Currently

We’re so close to the weekend… I can feel it. Since I changed jobs I haven’t been counting down the weekdays but for some reason I am over this week.

Today I’m joining the blog world in linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You. Have you been dying to know what I’ve been doing lately?? Well you’re in luck.

Currently

Eating… a mixture of home cooked meals and takeout. We were doing great with meal planning but all the time away from home has left our kitchen a little bare…

Drinking… coffee and tea and smoothies with Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk. It froths up just like milk and gives drinks a little extra flavor. I’d like to make some soup or ice cream with it!

Reading… Heartless by Marissa Meyer and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Listening to… audiobooks for the first time. Last week I had a very long solo roadtrip so I downloaded Audible and listened to A Wrinkle In Time. I’m not sold on book-listening, but it might have been my choice of book. I’ll give it another shot before I nix it.

Watching… The Voice. For some reason K and I have been tuning into this show for the past few seasons. I read during the obnoxious (Gwen and Blake) parts. I’d also like to start watching Victoria (PBS) and The Crown (Netflix).

Planning… K’s 30th birthday party! We’re having all our friends over to the warehouse and doing things up like a backyard cookout (inside) with cornhole and giant Jenga and more. Except we’re having a taco bar and margaritas- not grilling burgers and ‘dogs.

Receiving… these adorable LuLaRoe leggings from Erin!! She’d heard I had never tried these leggings and then sent me a pair. How did I find such a sweet blogger friend??!

There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!
There are foxes AND elephants on these!! What even!!

Giving… away some books. (Idea inspired by Erin & the beautiful people in her book challenge.) Free to a good home- I’ll even cover shipping. Comment w/ the title(s) you’d like to receive 🙂

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Goodreads Links: Exposure to a Billionaire (not recommended…) | A Wedding in December | The Wind in the Willows | The Other Typist | Beatrice & Virgil | Island of the Blue Dolphin 

Feeling… a little burnt out from our social calendar and a little bit sad that winter is disappearing so quickly, but also very thankful that we have the means and health to travel and the business to keep us busy and the fresh, clean air to flow in through open windows.

Celebrating… so. many. birthdays! K’s uncle and dad both celebrated February birthdays. K is turning 30 next weekend. One of the guys in the warehouse just had a b-day, too.

Praying about… the violence and hate we’re seeing in the world right now. I don’t know what else to say about it.

Giving up… yelling at the dogs (for Lent). I rarely yell at Enzo, but Lylee gets scolded quite a bit. (She’s a teensy tiny bit headstrong. And stubborn. And downright defiant.) Anyway, I know she responds best when I’m calm with her, so I’m going to give it a shot until Easter.

And there ya have it. What’s new with you?

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Happy Not-Valentine’s Day

FYI, Last week I took a semi-planned hiatus from the blog because I’ve been feeling directionless and angry and trite. K and I were in Texas for business, too, so I just took the week off. (I still read posts when I could. )

On Tuesday I talked about books and skipped over the Valentine’s Day obligations, so today I want to backtrack. I don’t know how you feel about Valentine’s Day, but I’m OK with having a random day in February to remind me to show some love. (In 2015 I shared the love with all sorts of people.)

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This year K gets all my attention. I met Kyle almost twelve years ago.

❤︎ In all that time he has never made me feel like I couldn’t do something, ability-wise or permission-wise. He doesn’t doubt me.

❤︎ We will celebrate four years of marriage in April. Two years ago some stupid drama knocked me off my horse and made me breakdown mentally. K picked me back up and made sure I knew he was on my side no matter what. It sounds silly, but I didn’t realize his loyalty to me until that moment. He’d pick me first for dodgeball. He’s the co-captain of my Quidditch team. I’d be his “one choice” as far as deserted island companions go.

❤︎ I have always said that I don’t need K and he doesn’t need me. But I will openly admit that my life would suck so much without him. He’s my favorite human. I feel my best when I stand next to him.

❤︎ My husband loves dogs as much as I do. That’s not a learned characteristic. He is a bleeding-heart dog lover and that is my favorite quality in a person. (A direct quote from him on Tuesday: “Dogs aren’t a hobby. They’re a lifestyle.” Lol.)

❤︎ I have been angry and feisty and prayerful these last few weeks. I am an unapologetic feminist and sometimes that means angry rants at the dinner table and frustrated fact-sharing in the car wash queue. And K has endured it all with an occasional mumbled, “Yep” or head nod. I’m politically vocal and he’s reserved, but we’re both unapologetic.

And just for fun…

Who’s older? Kyle.
Who was interested first? My guess is me…
More sarcastic? Neither one of us are sarcastic.
Who makes the biggest mess? K.
What are your middle names? Louise & Geoffrey
Do you have any children together? Ly & Enzo. One was even adopted out of wedlock! *gasp*
Did you go to the same school? Yes, at different times.
Who is the most sensitive? Me.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? JNG. Hands down.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Jamaica, I think.
Who does the cooking? Me.
Who is more social? K.
Who is the neat freak? I’m not necessarily a neat freak, but I like things to be where they’re supposed to be.
Who is the most stubborn? He says me. I disagree.
Who wakes up earlier? K.
Who drives when you are together? Mostly him, but I do on occasion.
Who eats more sweets? K.

I got through all of that without saying I love Kyle, but I do. We’ve been busy this month with the business and dogs and travel, but I’m never too busy to say I love my husband, even and especially on an average day like February 16th.

Happy Late Valentine’s Day ❤︎

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Confessions Plus Some…

Of course now that I’m not posting on Wednesdays I decide to link-up with Kathy & Nadine for Confessions. Oh well…

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. . .

I confess that I thought about apologizing for all the political-heavy content or references made this past week or so. But I’m not sorry. And I won’t stop talking politics or sharing what I believe is right. I do NOT support a useless wall. I do NOT support barring/banning people from our country. I will NOT use the term “alien.” People are people. I do NOT support racism or sexism or xenophobia or homophobia. They’re not liberal buzzwords- they’re dangerous ideologies that divide us. I do NOT support thrown together, half-ass, ego-boosting executive orders that hurt and endanger far more people than they help. Jesus taught me to love others as I am loved. So I will. The very best part about this country is that I am allowed to disagree and voice that disagreement. And if / when that right is stripped from me I will still voice my resistance. I do not have to agree with anyone. #RESIST

If you need to stop following my blog that’s ok. But I’m not going to change my tune here in this space.

Moving on…

. . .

I am a terrible hugger. My nearly-life-long friend Aubrey is engaged to a wonderful woman named Alyssa. Last time I saw them we all hugged goodbye and I realized just how terrible I am. Mainly because Alyssa is the best hugger I’ve ever come across. It’s like a warm, strong wrap of friendship. It’s like when someone makes eye contact with you in a conversation and you feel like they’re really listening… except it’s a hug. I’m terrible. I’m the girl that won’t make eye contact and hangs out on the floor with the cat in the corner. My hugs are floppy and short and meaningless. I’m sorry to all my hug-receivers…

. . .

One night I was lying awake in bed, waiting for sleep to come, and I started panicking because for a split second I thought the world was in black and white… The TV was off and I was facing the wall with only the dark wood trim, white blinds, and light colored wall in my line of sight. And I was super tired. Ha… So the lack of color made me panic. I actually thought the world was in black and white.

. . .

I went Christmas shopping for the mutts and told myself they needed nothing, only something small each- maybe spend $20 total. Yeah… right… I spent +$50 on two new nylabones, a toy, and ample treats. In my defense, I thought everything was on sale. (Turns out it wasn’t…. so instead of walking away I just bought it all anyway. UGH.) And then all our family members gifted them Christmas presents so our house is overrun with toys and treats twofold. (I love that we have family who spoil our babies!! )

. . .

I changed jobs and my paydays got all switched around and my system (for paying bills/the mortgage) is totally wrecked. I’m a creature of habit and I’ve been doing the same thing for three and a half years. I am so, so thrown off.

. . .

I can’t wake up in the mornings. It was a 2017 resolution & it’s something I want to do, but I just sleep through alarms until K bumps me and says, “You should probably get up.” And then my morning is rushed and terrible.

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. . .

At times my mouth would make a sailor blush (sorry, family ), but my new job is making it worse. I work with five dudes in a warehouse environment. Filters don’t exist here.

. . .

Somewhat contrary to my previous confession, I think I’m too nice sometimes. Like when I’m calling about overdue invoices (at work) or lost packages (at home). I’m always like, “No problem. It’s ok. Thanks so much for fixing that.” Like, I’m legit pissed before I make the call but then I don’t have it in me to scold someone. Even when they probably deserve it, lol.

. . .

And there ya have it… Some fresh confessions, hot off the press.

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Truths I Live By…

Sometimes I see bloggers do a “get to know you” picture&post on Instagram for their new followers. While I don’t believe there are many new people revolving through the doors of Life as Louise, I thought I might start 2017 with a list of “truths.” Or just random things I abide by.

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First and foremost, a quick reintroduction.
Name is Audrey. Middle name Louise, hence the blog. I am in my mid-twenties and married to the same guy I took to prom. The loves of my (our) life are short and furry with cold-noses and four paws; we call them Lylee and Enzo. Four and a half years ago my husband started a company. Two and a half weeks ago I left my job and started working alongside him. (It’s still going well and we haven’t killed each other, thanks for asking. )

Other than those basics you should know that I love all dogs, red foxes, & Harry Potter. I love reading, but I’m not the bookworm I used to be. I drink coffee every morning, I eat my veggies, and I’m a huge fan of traveling, although I’m a little iffy around airplanes. (It’s fine. Hand me a boarding pass and I’ll get over it. ) I identify as Christian and human. That said, I prefer animals to Homo sapiens 98% of the time and I truly believe it takes all kinds of kinds.

So onto my truths…

  1. I will judge you by how you treat animals.
    I don’t like judging others, but I can’t help it. If you swerve to hit a groundhog (I’ve seen someone do this ) or you leave your dog out in subzero degrees, I will 100% judge you. And I won’t like you. And also I will steal your dog and re-home him.
    You don’t have to share every lost dog post on FB (although I do ) and you don’t have to be a vegetarian, but you need to respect animals. We were made to coincide with other living things- I don’t jive well with those who have a superiority complex.
  2. All of our stories end the same.
    That’s a nice way of saying we all die. And while I agree that death can be (and usually is) so, so heartbreaking, it’s something that’s 100% guaranteed. So keeping that in mind, life has to be full appreciated and lived. This is not a “Quit that awful job and travel the world” kind of PSA… I’m just saying that while we’re here we should get dessert, hold the door for a stranger, sign up for a random dance class, and love our friends and family fully. When I die- whether tomorrow or in 80 years- I don’t want people to be sad. I want people to feel like I contributed something to the world or their life. I want people to remember funny stories and laugh. I want people to bury my ashes under a tree and say, “See ya later, friend.”
  3. Bad things help us recognize the good.
    If we lived in a world where nothing bad happened I wouldn’t be upset, but that’s just not the case. Like most people, I lose and gain faith in humanity every day. The important part is gaining that faith back when all seems broken or lost; picking ourselves up and finding the motivation to fuel our next move.
    When I was younger I watched my cousin have a meltdown about leaving our grandparents’ house. I tried to explain to her that if she never leaves, she’ll never feel that joy of arriving again next time! My entire family looked at me like I had a second head, but I stand by that ideology. Bad things happen & we often have to do things we don’t like… but it makes the sweet moments sweeter.
  4. Respect & kindness are my religion.
    Well… technically I have a religion. But everything I personally believe is rooted in respect for all living creatures and the spreading of kindness / love / grace to those creatures.
  5. I am loyal to a fault.
    I will always pick on and tease those I love most, but deep down I would put everything on the line for them. And in a friendship or relationship, I naturally expect the same loyalty. I’m not lying when I say I would jump in front of a moving truck for K or Enzo or my best friend or my mom. I would. And when my brother’s heart was broken by girls throughout the years… Lord help those ladies when they crossed my path. I still glare at my best friend’s ex when I see him around town. They broke up +5 years ago and she’s waaaaay over it.

In addition to those, I always try to…

  • be kind to my restaurant server, bus driver, crossing guard, etc.
  • never ever ever litter.
  • remember that rude behavior and nasty gossip will get me absolutely nowhere.
  • always say please, thank you, you’re welcome, and excuse me.

Nothing earth shattering or mind blowing, but if you’ve ever wondered what makes me tick, those are the core things. We all have them. Tell me about your “truths”!

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*Fun fact: I hate the phrase, “Live your truth/Live your best life.” Maybe I should’ve called these mottos? Or values?

Ask Me No Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies

I feel motivated in January and yet I can’t decided what to write about or share.
Until I figure that out, here’s a fun little survey:
What are you completely bored of in life right now? 
Nothing. Life always has something interesting to offer.
What is your favorite scented candle?
I love pine & fresh scents (like cotton or laundry).
What movie do you laugh at the most?
I love Talladega Nights.  I’ve seen it a million times and I still laugh. Also, the 6th HP movie pre-cave scene.
What is the last song you listened to?
“I’m Alive” by Kenny Chesney & Dave Matthews.
What’s one thing you still have from your childhood?
Bunny.
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What was your least favorite subject in school?
Math.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Flying or telekinesis.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Compliments on my writing. Also, my dad once complimented my calves (which sounds weird, but it made me feel strong) & a friend complimented my skin. The skin one meant a lot because she didn’t necessarily mean the complexion (which is terrible), but that it was soft and youthful. That was nice.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Probably studying in India. Also backpacking in the mountains one weekend in college.
What’s one thing you need to have in your fridge at any given time? 
…wine.
If you could raid one woman’s closet, who would it be?
Olivia Munn #obsessed
If you could teach one subject in school what would it be?
History.
What is your favorite movie?
Clue, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Mummy.
Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram, I guess.
Dogs or cats?
I love them both, but I will always have dogs.
Dolphins or koalas?
Dolphins. They’re so smart and playful!
Bird-watching or whale-watching?
Definitely whale-watching! It was such a cool experience this past summer.
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Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Snail. Alligator. Turtle. None of which I’m dying to try again.
What’s your favorite band?
DMB, Panic! at the Disco, Fallout Boy, Old Dominion, Foo Fighters. (Like that weird mix? Haha.)
What country do you wish to visit?
England, Egypt, Germany.
What’s your favorite color?
Yellow. Black, grey, & purple closely follow.
Least favorite color?
Pink.
What color dress did you wear to your prom?
A periwinkle/silvery one junior year. A sleek orange & black one senior year.
Blow-dry or air-dry?
I usually get the process started blow-drying, then let it air dry.
Pilates or yoga?
YOGA.
Jogging or swimming?
I love to swim, but I don’t get to very often anymore.
Best way to decompress?
A nap. Or some Miss Fisher’s. Maybe a book & a bath with wine and a candle.
What’s the best thing to happen to you this year (2016)?
My brother’s wedding. Changing jobs at the end of the year.
Where would you love to live?
I like where I live. If I had to leave the country, I’d go to Switzerland. If I could stay in the country I’d probably move to Columbus.
What’s your midnight snack?
Whatever I can find… A cookie, cheese, a slice of bologna. I’m not picky. (In college it was Doritos.)
What do you usually order at Starbucks?
Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Caramel Brulee at Christmas. PGTL in summer.
Who is the last person you texted?
My mom.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Dogs. A loyal support system. A creative outlet (i.e. writing, scrapbooking, blogging).
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Usually around 3am I’m letting Lylee out because she’s an a$$hole.
What is the question you get asked the most?
“What are their names/breeds/age?” because I’m either always mentioning my dogs or I have one with me.
What’s one word you use too much?
“OK.” I say it when I have nothing to say or when I don’t really know how to respond. Mostly to K and my parents. I picked it up from Amy on The West Wing.
Would you describe yourself as messy or neat?
Neat. K is the messy one.
What karaoke song would you sing without needing the monitor?
So many… Let’s go with “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate since I’d need to be intoxicated to even consider karaoke.
What’s one skill you wish you had?
Faster reading. Fluent in German. Faster at crunching numbers mentally.
What is the geekiest thing about you?
Probably the HP obsession.
. . .
Pick a few and answer them in the comments! Or just repost your own survey if you feel so inclinded  🙂
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Coffee & Chill

Welcome to the first post of the new year! I’m writing this from my new desk in my new office at my new job 😁

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m starting 2017 with a few changes. First of all, posts are going to come at you Tuesday/Thursday instead of MWF. Feel free to comment whenever, though. I’ll try to respond a little more promptly this year, too!

Also, the blog is staying “Life as Louise” but I’m going to start signing off as Audrey– which is actually what I go by in real life. If you want to stick with “Louise” in comments and what not that’s fine with me, but I figured it’d clear up the confusion if I went with my name 😊

Now here’s a little coffee break catch-up post to begin 2017, similar to my one from Jan. 2016!

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If you’re curious, it’s been so good so far with the new job. Sure, we’re only two days in, but I’m really happy about this switch. We’ve settled on the title of “office manager” for me. To be totally real with ya, there are only two people in the office- K and myself. Since he’s the boss, I’m technically not overseeing or managing anyone. That said, my job title might as well be do-all-the-things manager because that’s essentially my job description. (Everything but sales and design- that’s K’s job.)

I fell off the reading wagon at the end of 2016. I’m determined to finish The Joy Luck Club soon and I’ve just started into a book for Erin’s challenge. Hopefully I get my mojo back with these two reads! If we were chillin’ with coffee I’d asked what your first book of 2017 is/will be?

This summer our plan is to visit DisneyWorld with my parents, Fred & Xtina, and family friends. I’ve convinced K that we should take a fall trip, too. I think we’ve narrowed down our options to a cruise or an all-inclusive resort. We’ve done both, so we’ll make a decision closer to time on which place we want to go. Do you have any vacations planned for 2017?

In 2015 we attended NINE weddings. K was a part of two of them. I thought the big wedding wave had past, but this year we’ve already got two on the docket and two couples close to us got engaged on Christmas day. We are definitely not out of the wedding-woods. Haha!

Did you get any fun stuff for Christmas? If we were on a coffee date I’d be asking all about your gifts! My husband got me some great shirts and a food processor. My mother-in-law got me the second illustrated HP book & a wooden salad bowl. My parents also got me a food processor (oops!) and new winter bedding. I’m part of a great gift-giving family, but my favorite part is watching them open the things we bought for them.

On Friday I mentioned some 2017 goals, but over the weekend I came up with a real, concrete resolution. In 2017 I’d like to finally kick the bad habit of biting my nails. I’ve been do it since I was 7 with a brief hiatus during my four weeks in India. (The unavoidable filthy and dust was excellent motivation.) If we were out for coffee I’d ask if you had any tips… I’ve tried the rubber band and the bad tasting polish. Do you have any bad habits you need to kick?

I went grocery shopping on Sunday and picked up some southern butter pecan creamer. I’d totally make you try it on our coffee date!

I won’t lie… it feels weird to post this on a Tuesday. We’ll see if I can adjust 😉

Since we’re so close to Thursday I’ll link-up with Gretch & Kristen!

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What's New With You

Currently…

Let’s start off with some random thoughts, then we’ll move on to the typical “currently” one-liners.

Currently

I think in the real winner in Monday night’s debate was Snap Chat. All hail the face swap filter:

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. . .

I saw this making its rounds on Facebook. I mean, it’s kind of a way to humble-brag about yourself in a humorous way, but I’m not above that 🙂

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Pam Beesly from THE OFFICE | Louise Belcher from BOB’S BURGERS | Ainsley Hayes from THE WEST WING

. . .

For the last week I’ve been going on about how a Jumanji remake would be terrifying and awesome. I just discovered that Hollywood might actually be working it? I’m going to need royalties for my idea, guys…

On to the one-liners…

Reading… Cress (Marissa Meyer). But I plan to finish it up this weekend. Also, Peter Pan and The One.

Listening to… random chill playlists on Spotify. I downloaded the music player at work & it automatically pops up when I turn on my machine each morning. Usually I just click a random playlist and let it go all morning as background noise.

Watching… new Fall TV shows like This Is Us & Bull. I also watched the first episode of The Good Place and I plan to keep with that, too. And The Mindy Project starts again next week!

Playing… Toy Blast. It’s an app for iPhone that’s similar to Candy Crush. My 9 year old cousin got me hooked.

Working on… all our landscaping! I finally take that chore off my seasonal to-do list and K suddenly gets the energy to work on it. THANK YOU to my parents for helping us Sunday & Tuesday night!

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*the mailbox post needs to be painted & the box replaced, plus river rock will be added to the flower beds! and a new porch light someday…

Looking forward to… our October Myrtle Beach get-away.

Feeling… like poop. UGH. On Tuesday night my sinuses revolted. On Wednesday I napped through my lunch hour & then went straight to bed after work. Thankfully it’s starting to clear up.

Missing… broccoli cheese soup from McDonald’s. Random, but the sick heart wants what it wants…

Dreading… finding health insurance 😦 My job doesn’t offer it and I lose my mom’s when I turn 26 next month. K has private ins. but his provider is leaving Ohio at the end of the year so we both need to hunt for new insurance. BLEH.

Praying about… the poor pitbulls and dogs that look like pitbulls because Montreal made a ridiculous, murderous, prejudice new law that sentences these dogs to death. Send me all the pitties- I’ll find them homes. Fear-mongering governments are on my last nerve. Please sign this petition requesting the ban be reversed. You can also register to foster or adopt a dog from the shelter!

Hey, the front door is finally painted!

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*we still need to switch out the deadbolt for brushed nickel & I want to paint the window trim white!

That about sums it up. Tomorrow is OCTOBER & my heart is singing with joy! What’s new with you?

*Totally did this a week early, but I plan to link-up with Kristen & Gretch next Thursday 🙂

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