28 Things (because I’m turning 28)

Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s weird to be turning 28 because I feel like I was 18 or 22 or even 25 just last week. It’s weird to say I’m 28. I’m not bothered by it, I’m just confused about how I banked 28 years of life and where the past decade went…

But anyway, here are 28 things I know:

  1. Avocados are delicious. It took a while for me to acquire the taste, but YUM.
  2. You need to be passionate about something, even if it’s not what the cool kids are passionate about.
  3. There are no “cool kids.”
  4. Be friends with people you trust and love and want to succeed. It’s ok to not like or not get along with everyone, but when you find your people hold on to them tightly and lift them up and cherish those relationships.
  5. Horses are still terrifying.
  6. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but it’s always about how you treat them. Always.
  7. Kindness costs nothing but you’ll pay dearly for anger or hatred.
  8. No means no, silence means no, and walking away/resisting means no. And you are allowed to say no whenever the hell you want.
  9. Kids do not equal success. Owning a home does not equal success. Traveling all over does not equal success. YOU get to define your own success. Don’t hand that power over to society.
  10. Facebook sucks. If you have the willpower to quit it, you should. I don’t yet.
  11. Read more. Learn more. Talk with people from different walks of life. Educate yourself about what’s going on around you.
  12. Practice empathy, but don’t internalize all the world’s drama. It will 100% destroy you.
  13. Find role models. And change role models if you need to. Inspirational quotes actually go a long way.
  14. Meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise, gratitude journals… they all work. Get in the habit of doing something that works for you.
  15. Don’t let your fears control you. I’m still working on this one.
  16. Pay attention to who is excited to see you and to see you succeed and to share in your special days. Return the favor and love them completely. (This includes pets.)
  17. If you’ve ever thought about getting a dog, DO IT. And adopt from your local shelter.
  18. Pay attention to what you put in your body and on your body.
  19. But also, eat dessert whenever you gosh darn please.
  20. Cake and pizza are suitable breakfast foods. I don’t like pizza or (most) cake, but I’m giving you the go ahead to eat it for breakfast.
  21. Spend your money responsibly. I don’t mean save it- I mean research where your money goes when you make purchases and know who or what you’re supporting with the swipe of a credit card.
  22. LaCroix is gross. Sorry, but it is. (Hahaha. If you like it that’s ok, too.)
  23. You don’t need to find a life partner, but if you happen to meet “the one” make sure that person fully respects you & encourages you.
  24. I know it’s a popular phrase right now, but “self-care” is a real thing. It’s as easy as taking a bath, sleeping in on the weekends, or pouring yourself a cuppa tea and reading a few chapters.
  25. Go freakin’ vote. And don’t ignore politics. These things are happening in your world and they will eventually effect you. Stay on top of them.
  26. Learn the difference between effect and affect, who and whom, then and than, their they’re and there, etc. I’m still working on that first one.
  27. If you partake in the drink, know what cocktails you love and learn how to mix them correctly.
  28. Be unapologetically yourself. If you love Harry Potter or Disney or superheroes or fantasy or baseball or the beach or whatever. There is NO normal. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to being you. Identify what colors or things or people or places make you happy, and then invest in them wholeheartedly.

And that’s all I’ve got. Off to eat ice cream & donuts because I really don’t like cake that much.

Currently…

HEY HEY HEY! It’s fall AND it’s October! Welcome to my month, yo!!

Can you tell that I’m currently happy & enjoying this time of year?

Linking-up with Kristen for the best month’s edition of What’s New With You?. This is a long one…

Today I am currently:

Celebrating… my little Enzo! Today is his 5th birthday! I can’t believe our puppy baby is already 5. It hurts my heart and my head and my soul to think how little time we get to spend with our fur family. Good thing Enzo is living until the rip old age of 80. He’ll be putting me in a home some day.

Grateful… that my September challenge is over. I tried- I really tried. I am not a morning person. UGH. I think I’ve settled on a wake up time of 6:30am (most days). I was attempting to wake up at 6am every work day last month. I failed soooo hard. Yikes.

Moving on to… October’s challenge! This month I am not yelling or raising my voice with Lylee. Y’all… she is freaking stubborn and way too smart and incredibly defiant. She’ll still have to follow commands and be disciplined (inevitably), but I’m not going to raise my voice. (Lylee is a dog for anyone who’s new here.)

Working on… filling out my 2019 planner. I know many of you don’t think I’m nuts, but my husband & coworker give me quirky looks when I tell them that I order a planner/calendar/work planner for 2019. I don’t care- I love it.

My personal planner is from Plum Paper 🙂 (no affiliated links- I just thought I’d share pics)

(This is my third year with Plum Paper. Would anyone be interested in a planner post? Just highlighting how I like to use it?)

Reading… the last two books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake and After Alice by Gregory Maguire.

Watching… all my tv shows that are back! The Good Place, Superstore, and The Voice are all back on tv! I typically catch the comedies on Hulu a day or two later. K and I watch The Voice together each week.

Listening to… Ben Rector’s new album Magic & Thomas Rhett’s album Life Changes. We just saw Ben Rector again (for the third time) two weeks ago and he was as fantastic as he always is! His music is very appealing and relatable for late 20- & 30-something year olds.

Planning… our Halloween party among other things. This year the theme is famous people- real & fictional. (So you can’t just say you’re a dog or a ghost, you have to be Scooby Doo or Casper.)

Paying for… our builder to come back and add on to our back porch. We also *finally* brought in painters and our kitchen, living room, foyer/hall, bedroom, and master bath are PAINTED!

Wearing… all the jeans, all the sweatshirts, all the cool weather clothes. Last spring I bought myself a pair of lace up Vans (these) and last month I got a pair of Chuck Tailors (these). I honestly didn’t realize how badly I needed these shoes. I either wears my Vans or my Chucks almost every dang day.

I also recently bought these jeans from ON (I LOVE THEM) & this lounge sweatshirt from ON (so dang comfy!).

And also I just got my hair done last night!

Looking forward to… meeting K’s cousin’s new baby, my birthday, a fall trip with my loves, our Halloween party, celebrating birthdays, a business trip in November, and Williamsburg with the family over Thanksgiving!

Eating… as many fall things as I can get my hands on. Soups, Halloween candy, fall flavored donuts, caramel apples…

Drinking… lots of fall flavored coffee in the morning and relaxing tea at night ❤

Praying about… the world. It’s infuriating. Lack of respect, equality, common sense, and human decency are not a part of this Christian’s agenda. (Don’t get me wrong, in addition to praying I’m also voting, making calls, and writing letters.)

Thinking about… how I love this month and hate the world right now. How being an adult looks easy when you’re young, then you arrive and it’s like shit. How much I love my friends and how fortunate I feel to have *real* people on my side and in my corner at this stage in life. How K might be springing a last minute company cookout on me this weekend, lol.

Donating/Ditching/Regifting… hundreds of items around my house for the #MinsGame! And tracking it all on Instagram.

And that’s it. That was a long-ish post. If you made it through, thanks! Tell me what you’re currently up to!

Currently…

For Kristen‘s link-up I’m reverting back to a good ol’ fashioned “currently” post.

Reading… all the books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! I’m currently working on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Listening to… You Must Remember This podcast. I know I’ve mentioned it once this week already, but Lindsay got me hooked! I’ve listened to all the Charles Manson’s Hollywood episodes as well as the ones about Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve also been listening to the new albums from Dave Matthews and Ben Rector!

Watching… The Bachelorette. My friends and I text-party watch and I look forward to it every week. We’re usually snarky about the guys and supportive of Becca so I don’t feel the least bit bad about my not-so-guilty pleasure. Anyone else watching this season? Let’s discuss 🙂

Pouting about… Lebron James heading west. Sigh. I’m not mad at him and I still hate basketball, but it’s a bummer he’s not ours anymore.

Celebrating… this week’s intermission. America has her faults (many of which are occurring right now) but yesterday was her birthday and everyone almost everyone deserves a celebration. I’m grateful for the day off and I’m grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to do the right thing, help others, and vote in people who will actually put the needs of humans first.

Eating… lots of grilled stuff and summer foods. Watermelon, corn, steak, hotdogs and burgers, ice cream.

Drinking… wine. My in-laws have been working on opening a wine company for the last year and a half, and they’re finally up and running! Our house may or may not be stocked with the best wine around right now… 😉

Working on… getting all the left over garage sale stuff packed up and shipped off to charities. We had a pretty successful sale but dang it was hot outside all weekend!

Playing… softball! I joined a co-ed team that plays every Sunday afternoon. I played for eight years nearly 15 years ago, so this is slightly out of my comfort zone. I really like it, though!

Planning… a fall vacation. I’m not sure what or where yet, but I presented a 2 week out west trip to K and he shot me down. (I knew he would.) Now that I’ve softened the travel-blow with an extravagant idea, it’ll be much easier to talk him into a 5-7 day stretch of relaxation. 😉

Praying for… so many. Families who have been separated, the safe journey of refugees escaping violence and persecution, my sweet friend Rebecca Jo and her family, the health and well-being of family members and pets, neglected dogs who suffer when the heat index bursts.
**Definitely doing something additional about these things, too.

Recovering from… pleurisy. Two weeks ago I went to the ER with some chest pain, thinking it was just a stubborn gas bubble in my abdomen. Turns out it was/is pleurisy left over from untreated bronchitis. I’m much better now but the pain and immobility was a nuisance.

Relaxing… with my new video game! I found Mario Kart on https://wikibuy.com/ for a great price and finally pulled the trigger. It’s the only video game K will play and I’m really proud that I held off on getting it until I could find it for a low price!

Wishing for… colder weather (sue me), a long vacation, peace on Earth, and a pina colada.

Thanks for hosting What’s New With You?, Kristen!

*Thank you so much, Wikibuy, for reaching out!

Coffee? Coffee.

I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but all I can imagine is me pulling myself out of bed, twisting my hair into a messy bun, and asking you if you’re up for coffee. You nod, just as tired and drained as me, and we confirm our date for coffee.

(We’re also going to meet Kristen at the coffee shop for What’s New With You?, though…)

If we were having coffee I’d probably have something iced or frozen because I straight up hate this heat. Damn, guys. I’m over it. I’d open the conversation by telling you that I dream almost daily of a backyard pool oasis or shaded pontoon boat on the lake. I have access to neither and it makes summer quite torturous.

If we were having coffee you’d have to excuse my nose-blowing and throat-clearing. I am fighting some weird sinus/allergy/summer cold bullshirt. This is my third time being sick THIS YEAR and I am so over it. I don’t think I’m contagious, though. No fever and so far K and my close-quarters coworker haven’t gotten it.

If we were having coffee I’d ask about your long weekend (last week). Two of my best friends came back to our hometown (where I still live) and brought their significant others with them. The girls had fun winery/brewery hopping and then we met the guys for dinner and margs. The plan was to have a fire at my house afterward, but it rained so we sat in the living room and played What Do You Meme and watch the Rocket vs. Warriors game. I love having my friends home to hangout and relax with me 🙂 It doesn’t happen very often- usually I jet off to see them.

(And yes, I’m v pissed that the stupid Warriors are in the finals again. UGH.)

If we were having coffee I’d confess that there’s a deeper psychological reason for my summertime hatred. In the winter it is 100% ok to go home every night, snuggle under a blanket, and hibernate with a book and tea. In the summer there’s this grand expectation to do things. Whether it’s vacation or exercise or swimming or gardening or going to the beach or camping or whatever… it’s there. People discuss their weekends at the lake or on the road and then look at you expectantly. I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to be active and have fun. I don’t have a boat or a pool or a real garden or any athletic skill. Most of my friends live far-ish away (& I’m an introvert). I am SWAMPED with work in the summer. Honestly? My summer weekends look a lot like my winter weekends. It just feels kind of daunting, you know?

But if we were having coffee I’d genuinely want to know about your summer plans! Tell me the vacations you have planned and the weekend activities you’re looking forward to! Maybe it’ll give me some ideas to get out and about.

If we were having coffee, before we stood up and said our goodbyes, I’d ask if you read/heard any of the commencement speeches from this year’s graduation season. Steph shared Abby Wambach’s speech from Barnard College. I love it and I’d definitely share it with you.

And then I’d check the time and realize I’m late for work (because vacation days aren’t an option for me in the summer) and we’d hug and make plans to meet again soon. And I’d probably order another drink for the road.

Odd Things About Aud: Book Edition

I have some odd reading habits. (I imagine all voracious readers do, though I don’t consider my reading style to be “voracious.”) Perhaps you do some of these things, too. Maybe you think I’m a total nut who doesn’t know how to read properly. Either way, today I’m a open book. (Pun so intended.)

I always look to see how many pages a book has. Sometimes I even read the last page or paragraph of the book. I know I’m spoiling it, but sometimes my anxiety needs to know. Also, when I really love a character, I check the last page or chapter to make sure they’re still alive. #sorrynotsorry

I don’t enjoy thrillers. They make my whole body shake and I dream about them and I try to figure out “who done it” the whole time… but after reading The Woman in Cabin 10 I can accurately conclude that I tend to breeze through them much faster than any other genre. (And I definitely didn’t enjoy that one!)

I work better with a challenge. I like making a summer reading list or participating in Erin’s challenges because they give me a direction and a “to do list” for book reading. Even if I read things off that list, I have something that I’m working toward. I read best that way.

About halfway through a book I decide what I’m going to rate it on Goodreads/my blog. Then I give it the second half to up its score (or, unfortunately, wreck it).

If a book is good enough, I scour the internet for fan art/more details/background stories. I don’t think that’s too out of the ordinary, though, right? (I am all about the fan art with The Lunar Chronicles.) I try to curb the searching if I feel like it might ruin the ending/next book.

When I’m super into a book I typically force myself to put it down… even if I pick it up again 5 minutes later. I think my brain just needs a few minutes to process what I read or feel that urge to HAVE to jump back in. If someone were to watch me read they’d see me read for 30 minutes or an hour, set the book down and look out the window or toss the dogs’ toys a bit, then crack it open for another hour of reading.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with my Kindle. K gave me a Paperwhite for my birthday last year. I love it because it’s portable AND it’s backlit (that’s the term, right?) so I can read in bed while he’s sleeping. And therein lies the hate… If I’m not tired I will open up that Kindle and read for hours. Last week I read from 9:30pm to 2:30am. I have always been more productive at night, but I tried to change my ways after I graduated college. Kindle is making me regress…

I need to have at least 2 books going at the same time (and they can’t be similar). Also, there’s no limit to how many books I have going… Right now I’m reading seven. I switch based on what I’m in the mood for (like how one would pick a movie) and I scatter them all over the house so something is always at my fingertips 🙂

To be clear, I don’t always let myself spoil books. There are times I avoid GoodReads reviews or skip over a book during the #SUYB link-up. I’m not a total monster.

Do you have any strange reading quirks? Do we share any?

*I’m going to take next week off from blogging. I’ll still be hopping around and reading your posts, but my creative juices are lacking and I think a week off will help! 🙂

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 😉

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!