Life

IMUO vol. 2

Waaay back in September 2016 I wrote a post about my unpopular opinions. I stand by everything I wrote except I now occasionally use “live your best life” jokingly and I watch basketball (the Cavs) with my husband. Anyway, I’m back again with more.

I don’t like The Avengers.
It’s not that I don’t like them as much as I just don’t have time to watch it all. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men, but I’ve only seen Iron Man and Captain America as far as “avengers” go. After this last movie am I going to be totally lost when the next X-Men or GotG movie comes out?! Why do we have to combine them all?? It just seems like a lot to keep on top of…

I hate the term “Girl Boss.”
I’m totally ok with making things more feminine if that’s your style (pink jerseys, lace on tool belts, etc.). It’s not my style, but all kinds of kinds, right? However, if you’re a female in a management role or a female business owner then you’re just a BOSS. It’s not a man’s phrase because it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world and you’re running it. Be a BOSS.
(Turns out Nadine mentioned hating this phrase in the comments of my last IMUO post!)

I don’t understand the Cardi B craze.
This might not be unpopular. She may not be a hit with people over the age of 25. I don’t know. Either way, I can’t get into her. I’m not a big rap fan anyway so I think this is pretty normal for me. She just seems like the next big thing and I’m a little clueless and uninterested.

I love Instagram Stories.
Man… I waste SO much time with IG stories. I love seeing pictures or watching people talk about their day or an experience. I don’t mind boomerangs or food pics or videos. Two things I don’t like: videos of concerts and videos of super loud noises. Other than that, I’m entertained for hours by these clips.

I live for rainy days.
You know how some people wait and wait for the sun to come out and make comments like, “What’s that thing?” whenever it finally does? That’s how I feel about rain and overcast days. There’s just something extra cozy about a dreary day. In the same breath…

I STILL hate summer.
I know we’ve been waiting 17 years for the snow to stop and the sun to show herself, but I’m over it now. I opened my windows for a hot second and I shed my coat for a few days. I’m ready for the leaves to change & the temperature to drop. Sorry not sorry, guys. I just looove fall & winter.

I’ll relent just a bit. There are parts of warm weather that I enjoy- evening walks with the dogs, driving with the windows down, ice cream shops being open… but after about a month of all that I’m ready for fall 😉

What are some of your unpopular opinions? I won’t judge you 😉

Life

Very Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve had some thoughts lately but I don’t know that any of them are complete enough to be a post on their own…

I original wrote a sentence that said “My style has changed SO much in the last 15 years”, but then I went to find photographic proof and actually it hasn’t. Hahaha. It’s varied in degrees, but I feel like I have this borderline grunge/comfortable/country road sense of style. Audrey, what the hell does that mean? Well, that means that I wear a lot of black and dark colored neutrals. I prefer jeans, sweatshirts, and vans over anything else. I love my cowboy boots, cutoff shorts (that don’t reveal my buttcheeks), and oversized shirts. I also love being barefoot. My last job required me to dress office casual (shift/casual dresses, dress pants, nice shirt) but this job doesn’t and I am IN MY ELEMENT. Today I’m wearing cutoff army green shorts, a muscle tank, and an open black plaid flannel with lace-up Vans. Living my best life, guys.

I believe that the female world is shifting… I was perusing Met Gala pictures and I noticed all the uplifting comments on female pictures from other female celebrities. I think that’s a direct reflection of the female shift. Gone are the days of catty gossip and backstabbing frienemies. It’s cool to be kind and petty to be anything else. Don’t get me wrong, girls hating girls is still a thing. I know I have moments of jealous and cattiness despite preaching love and support. We all falter and slip. But dang, sisters! I feel like the unity and power born from the last, oh, let’s say 3 years, has really taken hold. I feel like I am constantly looking to uplifting and complimentary people to help change my heart and mind and attitude.

Also, I think a HUGE part of becoming a happy adult is surrounding yourself with amazing people. After an unpleasant or disrespectful exchange with someone I always wonder why I allow that person to continue to be a part of my life. I have a fantastic husband, incredible parents/in-laws/siblings, and doting friends. It’s ridiculous to carry around the emotional baggage of hurtful people.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but we added someone to the office staff at work. For the last +1 year it’s just been K and I in the office, but in April the guy that I was hired to replace actually came back. He’s no stranger- I’ve known him (and his girlfriend-turned-wife) for 8 years and K has known him for over 12. I was a little worried about the change since K and I are used to be alone. But guys… I love it. Ha! It’s another person to talk to and he makes coffee in the morning so it’s fresh and hot when I get in (K doesn’t drink coffee) and it’s just nice have another brain to bounce things off of. I don’t have a point to this paragraph- I’m just updating you on my work life. Lol

I love the song Good Morning by Max Frost. It’s uplifting and upbeat and even kind of spiritual. You don’t usually get all three of those in a Top 40s song!

My husband got me an Apple watch for Christmas and this past weekend we went and upgrade my iPhone (because it was looong overdue). I know this sounds incredibly materialistic, but it just feels so REFRESHING to have working technology that keeps me on time and in the know.

I don’t love the look of my blog. I just updated it a few weeks ago but I think I’m going to mess with it again.

**HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful in-laws AND my husband’s grandparents (who are celebrating 60 YEARS!)!!

Anyway… I feel like I haven’t been super open or thoughtful in this space lately so I wanted to share some of the things rolling around my brain right now. I’d love to hear some of your recent random thoughts, too!

Life · Travel

“What Do You Do?”

I believe that we’re in control of what defines us. And while there are hundreds of things that define the person I am (dogs, coffee, books, Harry Potter…), my job is a pretty big one. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Some people work to live & some live to work & some fall in between. It takes all kinds of kinds. I feel fortunate that I love my job and I love making it a priority.

When I’m getting to know a blogger I always wonder are they married? Do they have pets? What books do they like to read? What job do they have outside of blogging? For me the answers are yes, two dogs, most books, and my official title is Director of Operations.

In 2012 my soon-to-be husband started a goods-based company out of my dad’s garage. With dedication and sacrifice he built the company into an international brand in its niche industry. As I’ve mentioned, at the start of 2017 I left my job and started with K’s company full time. Since then, the employee/friend that I was hired to replace has joined the team again, our job duties have been redistributed, and the company has grown even more.

My role, reassigned as recently as this month, requires me to wear many hats. I handle all the finances- income & expenses. I process orders, get them out to the warehouse, and track their progress from beginning to end. I schedule all the freight and packages that leave our dock and I relay their progress to our customers. I also keep track of lots of lists… I know every high school, drum corps., college, and independent drumline using our products. I believe we have product in every single state except North Dakota and Alaska. Someday… someday…

A few times throughout the year I get to travel (and do all that stuff ^ on the road- oof). We travel for two main reasons- state/regional trade shows OR music-based competitions. This past weekend we were on the road for a competition- the musical Superbowl for indoor percussion ensembles, known as WGI  Percussion World Championships. We are less sales-focused on weekends like that and more relationship-driven. We check in on customers already using our gear, cheer on their performances, and congratulate the folks that fall under our professional umbrella. It’s a really enjoyable event- especially when you like the people you’re with- but it’s early mornings, extremely late nights, lots of social interaction, and a TON of walking. I walked 28 miles from Tuesday to Sunday.

On trade show weeks it’s equal sales and relationship focus. We set up our booth, stand around and talk shop for 8 to 12 hours a day for three days, go out late to wine and dine friends, customers, and colleagues, and tear it all down and move products at the end. Equally exhausting. (Pretty much everything is exhausting, lol.)

When I was in high school I went to some of these events. I was starstruck by the world class competitors and giddy with excitement over free stickers and lanyards from the company promo booths. It’s very humbling and rewarding to work on the other side and see students get excited about the things I help to facilitate. I really, really love it. I think 15 year old Audrey would be impressed.

So that’s what I do. There is my consolidated job description. The stuff we make and sell are the carts and racks that hold synthesizers, mixer boards, cymbals, and drums.

Jason Porter Media

This job forces me to have knowledge on the always-changing world of music education as well as the competitive marching industry. I love that challenge. Additionally, I’m a rare female in an extremely male dominated pond and I find that to be a motivating challenge, too. (I’m always watching for shifts in this demographic and I get excited when I see more females on both the vendor and consumer sides.)

Coming off the high of this past weekend, I was inspired to share a little about my real-life job. Don’t feel obligated to do the same, but if you want to I’d love to hear what you do during the work day! Or, if you feel kind of meh about letting a job define you, tell me about something you love to do 🙂 Or ask me a question about something I do!

Life

A Wild Thursday Night & Canceled Plans

Hello. It’s me. I’m back from the crypt.

I was so swamped with work last week that I completely forgot to write and/or schedule a post on Thursday. K was home sick Monday and Tuesday so when I failed to post anything on Thursday his mom reached out and asked if I was feeling ok. Turns out she’s psychic because later that night I started throwing up and spiked a fever. UGH.

Over the weekend we were supposed to go to Bristol, TN with my parents, my uncle and my cousin. Since I was still sick Friday night we had to cancel on them. If you’ve been around for a while you might know that the Bristol NASCAR race is my favorite weekend. Devastated and pitiful are good descriptions for my mood this weekend.

So today’s post was supposed to be “Thoughts I Have While Attending a NASCAR Race” (similar to my ob/gyn post) but obviously I have nothing to report. I ended up not leaving my house from 4 pm Thursday until 1 pm on Sunday. I don’t know the last time I hibernated like that. I also don’t know the last time I threw up that much. (K lost 12 lbs. when he was sick. I LOST NOTHING.) But I am feeling much better and just in time for our work-related trip later this week. The dogs were also pretty pleased to be crate-less for +3 days.

Anyway… today’s post is just hi-hello-it’s me kind of thing. I’m really excited about this Thursday’s post, though. So despite my dull update today you should come back for that one, lol.

Until then, I’ll do my best to catch up on the blog posts I missed while I was sick. And stay caught up with everything going on while I’m on the road. (Understandably, my blog reading slacks when I get super busy with work. #sorrynotsorry)

Ok. Enough whining about being sick and canceled weekend plans. Tell me what you did last weekend!

Life · Type-A Tendencies

Things I’d Like to Learn to Do

On Tuesday Stephanie posted about vintage skills and it got me thinking… there are a handful of things I’d really like to improve or learn. And since I’m a blogger I figured the next step in my education would be publicly sharing those things with you.

Grow a garden.
My parents are awesome at growing and tending to vegetables and flowers. I hated the outside chores when I was a kid so I didn’t bother learning anything from them. But now I’m feeling that grow-it-yourself vibe and I’ve decided I want a gorgeous garden.

I’m going to start small. I’ve planted some indoor seeds already (and they grew!!) and soon K is going to build me a table garden like this one for the backyard. Right, dear?

…these are called seedlings, right? Pumpkins, zucchini, tomatoes, & peppers!

Learn Improve my German.
I have a very basic understanding of German. I took three years of it in high school but the only words/phrases that have stuck over the years have been the things my mom taught us before we went to Switzerland when I was 7. Numbers, yes and no, please and thank you, hello, goodbye, I love you, etc. (well, not the word et cetera…).

Play an instrument.
I spent 4 years playing saxophone and then five years behind mallet instruments (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone). And then I stopped playing music. I don’t know that I’ll ever get back into it, but I wish I had some piano skills- and it’s depressing that my ability to read music has suffered since I stopped performing.

Improve my sewing.
I have ZERO excuses. My aunt owns a fabric shop, offers different lessons and retreats and workshops multiple times a week, and she BOUGHT me a sewing machine. She’s amazing and she can literally make anything out of anything. I need to tap into that resource and spend some time with her.

Last time I went to her weekend retreat she (and my mom) helped me make this Halloween apron!

Decorate cakes.
My grandma and my husband’s cousin and my mother-in-law’s best friend are all star cake decorators. I’m not shy when it comes to baking or cooking new things, but the last step- the decorating- almost always frustrates me.

Down the street from my house there is an adult education building where they teach cake decorating. This one feels like a no-brainer…

Five seems like a good number to end on, right? Considering I’ve been trying to make ice cream for 9 months I think learning these skills will carry me into retirement. Lol

What are some new skills or hobbies you’re hoping to try? Any tips for me on these five??

Life

Spread a Little Sunshine…

When I first started blogging I got nominated for the Sunshine Award that floats around blogland every few months/years. I think it’s a cute little award because a) it means some blogger somewhere is thinking of you & your blog and b) you get to answer some tag questions (and who doesn’t enjoy that?!). Anyway, Bev from Confuzzledom tagged me for the award a few weeks ago ❤︎

sunshine blogger

The rules are… thank the blogger who tagged ya, answer your 11 questions, ask 11 more bloggers 11 new questions, and display the Sunshine Award. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

1) What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
My two 5 star books of the year so far are HP & the Chamber of Secrets, which was a reread, and Three Dark Crowns.

2) If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be?
(In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten.)
Let’s be real… probably a fox. But I also would love to have a hawk. I think they’re stunning. And also a wolf. And a mountain lion. Pretty much any animal… (I’m a firm believer in letting wildlife be wild. I know you can own foxes and hawks. I never will.)

3) What food could you happily eat every day?
Ice cream. Rice. Chips & salsa. Not together, of course.

4) What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
I like the size of my town. I also love all the hills, trees, and farmland on the outskirts of town. And I love living in the Midwest.

5) Where were you born?
Born & raised in Ohio.

6) Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
Coffee, per usual. Lol

7) What is one talent you wish you had?
I wish I could play the piano. I also wish I could speak another language (German) fluently. Technically those are both things I could work on…

8) Do you have a favourite board game?
It used to be Life, but I really like any board game. Clue is another fav. And Trivial Pursuit. K hates playing board game, though.

9) What is your favourite thing about blogging?
All the friends I’ve made. I also love the creative outlet.

10) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably chocolate covered crickets in 6th grade biology. But I’ve also had snails, turtle soup, alligator bites, and a small piece of a dog treat. *shrug*

11) If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?
In this order… buy land in the country and open a no kill shelter/sanctuary for dogs & cats & farm animals, build Kyle a large garage and let him fill it with cars he loves, pay off debt for my parents, in-laws, and siblings.

Those were fun! Thanks again, Bev!!

Eleven bloggers is a lot to tag so I’m going to nominate/tag some friends who I know enjoy questions like these. But please play along, too, if you want to answer them! Don’t be shy!

Alright Tanya (A Mindful Migration) & Stephanie (Not Entirely Perfect) & Rebecca Jo (Knit by God’s Hand) & Nadine (Life by Nadine Lynn), here are your questions:

1) If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with that time?
2) If you were transported to another decade, which decade would you choose?
3) What’s something you wish you knew more about?
4) Would you rather live in a castle, mountain cottage, seaside bungalow, or Beverly Hills mansion?
5) What’s a food that you hated as a kid and love as an adult?
6) Are there any “mythical creatures” (big foot, unicorns, ghosts) that you believe in?
7) What is something about you that people think is weird?
8) If you had to move out of your city/town, where would you choose to live?
9) What’s your favorite television channel?
10) What is your favorite dessert food?
11) What’s your favorite kind of writing to do? (i.e. blog post, creative, letter, etc.)

If you ladies don’t want to answer the questions I will definitely not be heartbroken 🙂 All for fun.

Life

The Bridesmaid Diaries

I’m not sure how things work with the men, but the ladies’ side of a wedding party can get nuts. (I’m pretty sure most men smuggle in flasks, make jokes about it “not being too late to run…”, and bitch about uncomfortable rental shoes.) If you’ve ever been in a bridal party maybe you’ve experience these types of women:

The takes-herself-too-seriously maid/matron of honor. You can reach out and ask if she needs help, but Ashley has everything taken care of. She’s even stuck personalized labels on all 87 water bottles at the bridal shower. If you need anything you can get a hold of her with the number she printed on the bottom of the ‘day-of’ itinerary she passed out at the rehearsal dinner.

The I’m-over-it maid/matron of honor. Excited at first, but then fully consumed by med school. She let the bridesmaids plan the bridal shower, took the bride to a dive bar for the bachelorette party, and she forgot her shoes on the day of the wedding. You know she and the bride are never speaking again after the big day.

The I-should-be-the-maid-of-honor bridesmaid. After the maid of honor gives her speech, Victoria stands to give hers. At the shower she low-key takes charge and rolls her eyes at the streamers and balloon hung by the m.o.h. And dress shopping? She will literally claw your eyes out to sit between the bride and the bride’s mother.

The flower girl/ring bearer’s mom bridesmaid. Raising kids is tough work and she’s been a little absent from the pre-wedding festivities. (Hell, y’all didn’t bother inviting her to the bachelorette party.) Getting kids to behave and perform at a wedding after getting their hair done, missing their nap, and strapping them into an itchy dress is damn near impossible. Someone get this woman a medal and a dirty martini at the reception.

The shit-show bridesmaid. Sometimes she responds to the group chat, sometimes she doesn’t. The bride bought her bridesmaid dress just to ensure she’d have it in time for the wedding. Her phone is dead 75% of the time, she’s late for every get together, and you’re pretty sure she came to the bridesmaid brunch in pajamas. For whatever reason, the bride keeps her around.

The friend-since-elementary-school bridesmaid. Since she still lives in the same town as the bride, she’s available and present at every event. As long as she has time to schedule off from her nursing job at the hospital, Lanie can show up to any event and help with any last minute details. Plus the bride’s parents just love her.

The college-friend bridesmaid. With a million inside jokes fresh on her mind, she’s always throwing out a quip that makes the bride laugh and give her that, ‘I’m glad you’re here’ look. Unfortunately, the open bar and single groomsman at the reception are her #1 focus as the night progresses.

The new-friend-bridesmaid. Having only met a year ago through work, this hip chick and the bride have bonded over girls’ nights out, monthly book club, and Sunday coffee dates. Will the friendship will last forever? Who knows. The wedding pictures will, though.

The sister-of-the-groom bridesmaid. While you’re sure she loves (or will grow to love) the bride, we all know she’s working her tail off trying to keep her beloved brother happy and put together. She’ll ensure that the whole show runs smoothly and on-time for the sake of her parents’ friends (a.k.a. the wedding guests).

The girlfriend-of-the-bride’s-brother bridesmaid. Let’s be real, Kelsey doesn’t give a shit about the wedding, the bride, or the nuptials. She just wants to hit up the open bar at dinner. She’s only been with the bride’s brother for 7 months and you’re pretty sure they’re on a break right now anyway, but it was too late to kick her out.


*Please pick up on the satire here. While I’m sure I’ve described some bridesmaids to a T, I’ve stood next wonderful people in weddings and don’t condone categorizing people into such general boxes 😉 I’m also a strong girls support girls advocate so, ya know, this is all in fun.

But also… one of these sounds familiar, right? Maybe you even identify as one. Haha. I know I do…