Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog So Hard // And Link Sharing

Considering the topic of this post, that title came out sounding kind of caveman-esque.  "I no want blog today. Blog so hard!"


Okay, so I'm going to get a little mushayyy.  Today feels kind of like the last day of summer camp or something, because, if you've also been blogging everyday in July with Juliette, Faith, and Allie, we've been linking to the same link up for A MONTH! And as excited as I am to do recipe posts and Jesus posts and workout posts and whatever the heck I want to write about that day posts, I'm going to miss being able to easily read what everyone else who's been linking up for July has to say.  It's sad.  Sooo . . . ta-da! Yet another link up. It's the virtual equivalent of lining up our dairies on the cabin floor and writing our phone numbers down in each one.  Here's how it works:

1.  Add links to your Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and one other social media account at most. That's four total . . . sorry, we just can't have like 23483 accounts per person flying around all willy nilly.

2.  Enter your links like I did.  The URL to your social media account goes where the URL to your blog post would normally go.  For your name, enter as so:  Name @ Blog Name - Social Media Platform. I'm not tech saavy, so you have to enter each link separately. #SorryNotSorry . . . oh, wait.  That was yesterday, wasn't it?

3.  Click around to some of your fellow link-uppers' accounts! I mean, just click all the links if you have time! This link up is way more fun if everybody gets clicking, so please don't link up unless you plan to spread the social media love!

4.  Thanks for linking up!  Hopefully, this will help all of us who have been participating in the Blog Everyday in July Challenge to stay connected once July is over and we're no longer being challenged to blog every single day.

5.  The  "add link" button is really far away, at the bottom of the page.  Go find that button!

Aight, lets get down to business (til the Hunnsss ariiiiive, thanks Mulan / Ping.)  The topic on this last day of July is "Why Blogging is Hard."  I don't really want to talk about why blogging is hard . . . I feel like if I do that, I'm going to get really discouraged and have a breakdown and never ever finish this post.  We don't want that.  So, I'm going to try to talk about why blogging isn't hard, but in sarcastic terms so that I can still name this post "blog so hard."

Blogging is hard because . . .

| I get to write about whatever I want, whenever I want.  Granted, this can make blogging really, non-sarcastically hard sometimes.  Some days my brain doesn't want to come up with original, interesting content and I just kind of wish that there was someone blog guru somewhere giving me topics and forcing me to meet deadlines.  The majority of the time, though, I'm so thankful that I get to blog about what I'm excited about at any time of the day, including when I'm lying in bed (shout out to the Blogger app.)

| There is already a great community of bloggers out there to tap into.  Once again,  there's a side to that that creates actual difficulty - it can be hard to create a concept, title, and even a URL that hasn't already been done.  However, it's really great on the support side of things.  As a new-ish blogger, I haven't had to look too hard to find people who are willing to help me, link-ups to join, and archives upon archives of posts that inspire me and help me to to grow as a writer.  Yay!

| I don't even have to know how to HTML or anything to do it.  Because you can bet that if I did have to know anything techy in order to blog,  I'd be out of here waaaaay faster than my normal walking pace.

|  My family and friends support - and occasionally read - what I put on my area of the internet.  Originally, my blog was my best-kept secret, mostly because I was afraid that it would be a complete failure (how is that even possible?)  Lately, I'm slowly becoming more and more open about what I've been doing.  It's like an AA meeting or something.  "Hi, I'm Allie, and I've been blogging for a month and a half." "Hiiii Allie."  Anyway.  They're great.

| It gives me something productive to do with my time.  Well, I personally find blogging to be a tiny bit more productive than endless hours of 2048 (not that I've stopped doing that.)  It's also become a great replacement for boredom eating, which is fantastic because  boredom eating left some big pants shoes to fill in the comfort / entertainment department.

| Reading blogs is fun.  I really, really like reading blogs.  It's just so fun! And those last two sentences were completely unnecessary.  I realize that I could have deleted them, but I wanted to show you how I just wrote two intensely not necessary sentences.  Back to the blogs.  It's really cool to (virtually) get to know people who seem to be my separated at birth twin as well as those who couldn't be more different than me, especially because we tend to put a lot of work into our blogs.  Getting the chance to see a part of someone's life that they have poured their heart into is something that doesn't just happen every day.

Alright, so that's why blogging is hard.  And as much as I tried to pretend it was a piece of cake up there for my own sake, it really can be difficult sometimes all the time - snaps to all you bloggers out there! You're awesome! Now go give me your social media info so that we can stalk each other stay friends! Thanks!


No Ragrets // Things That I'm Sorry Not Sorry For

I don't usually use #SorryNotSorry, because it sounds really sassy to me and I am a former sass master trying to amend my ways.  I don't have a problem with it, but it's kind of like giving drugs to a recovering addict.  I'd probably take it wayyyyy to far (see number four.) (No, they're not numbered.  You just have to count.)  So, I did some looking around the internet to up my level of previous knowledge for this post, and I found this guy.  If he doesn't embody #SorryNotSorry, #YOLO, and every stereotype of my generation in general, I don't know who does.

I got this from Google. Thanks, Google. 
 So, under the expert guidance of the no ragrets guy (who Google informed me is actually named Scottie P.), I composed this list.

I'm not sorry . . .

| When I accidentally serve a really, really wicked serve at my dad when we're playing sand volleyball.  Like, the kind that is so far away from him and has so much spin that he couldn't ever possibly reach it if he had bionic legs and a ten second head start.  Did I do it on purpose? No. (I'm not capable of that, puh-lease.)  Do I feel a little sorry for him? Yes.  Am I giving the point back? Nope. #SorryNotSorry

| When I eat a dream bar for breakfast and that's all cough cough today cough cough.  I think that if there's ever a time in my life when I'm going to eat a dream bar for breakfast, that time should be now.  Granted, I'll probably think that every day that I eat a dream bar for breakfast for the rest of my life, but whatever.  Someday, when life has settled down and I'm no longer staying up late watching Tangled partying, I'll eat kale or something.  Not now.  #SorryNotSorry

And on a related note . . .

| When I eat the last dream bar / piece of cake / bites of casserole.  No, I'm not even sorry for the casserole.  I know how it feels to expect to eat super delicious leftovers for lunch only to find them gone.  I really do.  But if I had the choice to make again, you can bet your . . . casserole leftovers? that I'm just going to eat it.  Every time.  #SorryNotSorry

| When I take things a little too far.  Okay, most of the time I'm not sorry.  Sometimes I really do go too for.  Most of the time, though, I just say something in the name of good clean fun that somebody did not want me to say or text someone that shouldn't be texted or draw eyeliner not anywhere near eyes or my own face, etc.  And I always feel like it's not that bad.  #SorryNotSorry #Usually

| When I wear something that "doesn't match."  Admittedly, I may have taken the freedom I found in the new high school dress code a leeeeeettle too far those first couple years.  As it turns out, being restrained to polos and khakis may have been in my best interest.  But sorry? Nah.  I enjoyed it, I thought I looked good, and I managed to make a couple friends and not fail at most things while I was at it, so #SorryNotSorry.

Seriously, though, I'll try to find some pictures.  I looked like I got dressed in the dark, daily.  Or maybe in the light, but I was too ADD to remember what look I was going for from one piece of clothing to the next.  (Ironically, one day I actually did get dressed in the dark because of a power outage, and I think I wore things that coordinated pretty well that day.)

| About that time that I backed into a pole and cracked the rear bumper of our new to us / used car.  Actually, this is a lie.  I totally still feel bad about that every time I look at that poor car.  #Sorry

| When the kids I babysit every day sleep in so I basically get paid to blog cough cough right now cough cough.  #SorryNotSorry #PleaseKeepSleeping

| When I stay up all night reading a book, then sleep for two hours and get up and continue reading until I'm done.  And then have a major book hangover.  This happened with the DaVinci Code, and I don't really think that giving myself literature - induced hangovers is a healthy habit, but I had to know what was going to happen. #SorryNotSorry

| When I go on a thirty-day link up binge with Juliette, Faith, and Allie.  Also, when I shamelessly use the prompt they give to make a horrible segue into the whole link-up spiel. #SorryNotSorry


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Love Me // It's Exactly What It Sounds Like, But Less Conceited

We're being all self-appreciatey over here today, and I have to admit that I don't feel all that comfortable with it.  I don't know what's up with that.  There's a part of me that's always avoided giving myself too much credit for fear that I'll think I'm good enough and not try to get better.  There's also my entire brain, which thinks that loving things about myself won't really get me anywhere; or at least the amount that I love myself should be a lot smaller that the amount that I love other people.  But then my brain totally switches sides and says, "Well, if you don't love yourself at all, you definitely aren't going to love anyone else."  Except I'm not sure if that's really true.

"You seem to be at war with yourself." 
Well, I am, Flynn.  I'm trying to figure out whether to boycott this post or to just go along with it.

After some serious thinking and about twenty - four hours, I've decided to go with it. Hurrrrr we go.

| I don't need glasses. It's handy. Also, I'm not deaf, mute or paralyzed; basically, my body works pretty well, except when I fill it up with popcorn chicken and popcorn corn. (May or may not be what I had for lunch today.) Luckily, that's something that I'm capable of changing. I think.

| I got those book smarts. Which is nice, because it's made life a lot easier and (hopefully) college a lot freer.  I feel obligated to tell you that any intelligence I have is extremely compartmentalized, meaning that common sense is really hard for me and I can be a little slow on the uptake most of the time.  Is there a way to work on that? 

| I'm childlike. And, NO, that's not the same as being childish! 

No, it's not.

So not the same.

Go away, pictures! 

Anyway, I like acting like a kid, and that keeps me young or something.  Coloring, doing dolls' hair, dressing up for Halloween, riding the penny pony at Meijer ... it's good for me, and I like it. Some would argue that I am a kid, and technically, they'd be right. But I'd venture a guess that I'm a little more kid-ish than you'd expect for someone my age, and I like it that way. 

| I can work hard and maintain a certain level of discipline. ( says the girl who just had popcorn chicken and popcorn corn for dinner. Hey, I said I can, not I am.) It's true, as evidenced by the fact that I made it through P90X once and didn't fail my online class this year. So, even if I'm not currently showing signs of these abilities, they're in there. Deep, deep, deep down. 

| I can't make my tongue into a taco shell. Did you know that the inability to taco your tongue is a recessive gene? So, yeah, I'm rare. And I'm proud of that. 

| (Cheating for number 6) I can blog, and today I can link up with Faith, Juliette, and Allie for to Blog Everyday in July.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Pictures Last Longer // My Three Favorite Photos of All Times

| Favorite picture.  This picture was taken on Mackinac Island when I was in seventh grade, and it's my favorite to this day.  I love how happy we all look, the relaxed smiles and bare feet and laughter - it's almost completely unposed, I promise, and almost completely perfect. 

| Selfie.  Sorry for the poor quality, #webcamprobs.  It's no makeup, no hair style in honor of the Don't Try So Hard linkup going on today.  I'm not linking up because this post doesn't totally follow the rules, but you should go check it out anyway! (That no hair style thing isn't completely true . . . I've got a little ponytail bump going on, so I guess it's not completely natural. )  The point of the link up is to show off our natural beauty and notice others', all day!  I've been kind of rocking the Don't Try So Hard look off and on for about six months, or since I decided that I was trying too hard at too many other things to bother with hair and make up.  In other words, this is pretty much what I look all the time, so I've gotten used to natural face.

 | Picture I took.  A couple summers ago, my friend came over and we had an impromptu, self-conducted photo shoot at a park near my house.  Surprisingly, our amateur selves did a pretty good job! This is one of my favorites.  I love how the colors in her dress and hair play off the surroundings - we couldn't have planned that better! 

As long as we're talking pictures, do you think I could show you a few more?  I had a really hard time picking a favorite one that I'd taken. (wow, conceited much?) No, but seriously.  There will never be competition for my favorite picture, and I don't selfie that much, so that's why.   Here are some of the runners up in the "Pictures I Took" category. 

| Day at the park with my little sister! She was all about that dog hat (named Jessica) at the time, and the binoculars are just too cute.

 | This one's from Mackinac Island (do I see a pattern here?) where emergency vehicles are the only motorized transportation.  Everyone else gets around by horse, bike, or on foot, which would maybe explain why this horse was so friendly.

 | The Color Run in Lansing last year.  This particular part is the color party held at the end of the race, which includes music, free stuff, and lots of sweaty post-run bodies packed close together.  It was such a blast! 

Writing this and looking through old pictures, besides making me all nostalgic and emotional, is making me really miss having an actual camera around.  Don't tell my iPhone.  Since getting my first camera at age nine-ish, I've been such a mom when it comes to pictures. "Go stand by that statue/restaurant/tree stump/stranger!  Okay, smile!"  Then, I would promptly hook my camera up to the computer, upload the pictures, print them off, and scrapbook them, many times on the same day as the event I was scrapbooking.  A tad obsessed? At least I have great documentation of that time of my life!

I guess I'm just trying to say that I really, really love pictures.  And that if anyone has a nice camera that they don't want, they can send it my way.

Photo swapping with Juliette, Allie, and Faith today for that Blog Everyday in July challenge!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Meet Clyde // A Totally Fabulous Interview With Someone Who Is Not Named Clyde

I met Clyde at Panera, where we each got a bagel and split a blueberry cream cheese three ways with a stranger at the adjoining table   another friend because we are cheap thrifty money smart. 

Clyde wore pink shorts by, I don't know, Target or something, and a bandana. Also a shirt.  After Bible study, she was kind enough to answer a few questions for me / Allison. 

This is an interview conducted by Allison because I am enslaving Allie at the time. Yes. Okay, here we go.

The interviewee is Allie's (and my!) teenage friend Clyde.

A: So what's your fake name?
C: Clyde.

A: What is your hidden talent?
C: Catfishing.

A: Would you like to expand?
C: No

A: Okay
C: Should I be taking this seriously?

A: What's your favorite TV show?
C: Criminal Minds because it's all that's ever on.  Not really, but yeah.

A: Name someone that you admire.
C: I admire my grandma. Wait, this is going in there with the catfishing and stuff?

A: Who's Canadia's current Prime Minister?
C: Oh, that guy . . . no, he's the mayor or something. I was going to say the guy that smokes pot but he's the mayor.
A: Yeah, I don't know either.

A: Do you prefer cake or pie?
C: Pie.
A: Me too! What's your favorite kind?
C: I don't know. They're all good.

A: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
C: Ummm, how about fettcuini (I know it's spelled wrong, don't judge me.) alfredo.
A: No, that's not allowed.
C: Okay.
A: But if that's all I ate I would probably die.

A: What's your favorite memory with me?
C: Wait, you're really calling me Clyde? Come on.
A (the other one, as in Allie.  I'm back from my stint at unpaid employment ((aka slavery)) as Allison's college essay proofreader.)
C: I hate having to think of real answers to questions on the spot because the first thing I come up with to say is probably going to be something stupid that happened in grade school.
A: Anything you say can and will be used against you.
C: Okay. In algebra in eight grade when Mr. Heff had to stop teaching the other class to yell at us.  We were such bad kids.
A: DQs for life! (DQ stands for delinquent.  It was the letters that Clyde and I decided we were going to have after our names someday, when we were the only eighth graders in Algebra and causing trouble.)
C: But I don't know if that's my favorite.

A: Quote a movie, any movie rightnowgo!
C: No more rhymes now, I mean it! Anybody want a peanut? Wait, I should have said something from Forrest Gump.  I just watched that. Life is like a box of chocolates: never know what you're gonna get!  My momma always says stupid is as stupid does.
A: I love that movie!
C: I do, too. Do you cry at the end?
A: I get all sad . . . maybe I should watch that tonight, since I've been all emotional lately. (I have!)

A: Did that last question make you a little anxious?
C: Yes, definitely. I was very nervous.  Is that normal?
A: Yes, that's why this is a question, duh!

A: Name something inappropriate that you always laugh at.  Hey, this is a good one for you!
C: The things that my brother (he's 8) says. And does. And, yes, they are VERY inappropriate.
A: Anything specific to share? I love Daniel stories! (Her little brother is seriously hilarious.)
C: Might be too inappropriate for your ears.  (laughs) Sometimes he'll perk up, like when he's trying to figure out what me and Cristine are talking about. He'll guess, and we'll be like, "No Daniel, that's not it," and he'll be like, "Sexual activity?" That's the first thing he says.
A: (shows Clyde the computer) Is that about right?
C: Three question marks.
A: "Sexual activity???"

A: So, Clyde, how old are you?
C: How old is Clyde and how old am I are not the same question.  Clyde, to be exact, is sixty and retired.  I'm sixteen.
(I've informed Clyde that she needs to start a blog and write about how the name Clyde came about so I can link to it and you all can understand what's going on and laugh your heads off at it. So, that's coming soon.)

A:  You work at Panera. What's your favorite thing to eat there? In your expert opinion.
C: My favorite sandwich is the Southwest Chicken Flatbread. Is that all?
A: Yes.  //

Clyde is the one in disguise.  I know, all this secrecy. 

A special thanks to Panera Wi-Fi for helping us to conduct this interview.  And to the lovely staff for not throwing us out. 

That's all for today, folks!  I'll let you know when Clyde gets that blog up and running - she's really funny and understands basic grammar rules / English, so she's going to be great!

Meet even more new friends through interview at Juliette, Faith, and Allie's blogs!


Friday, July 25, 2014

The App-Solute Best // What's On My Phone

Punny, punny.  Happy Friday, blog reading people! The Blog Everyday in July challenge is winding down, and that's kind of making me nervous because, what? I have to come up with my own content? Original ideas? Thinking? Do I even know how to do that anymore?  I just kind of sit around at my computer and do whatever Juliette, Faith, and Allie tell me to do.  Share my most embarrassing story? Sure.  Guilty pleasures? Why not?  I like telling people about my solo dance parties.  Apparently, I'd pretty much be willing to jump off a cliff if I thought it was required for one of the prompts.

Take today, for instance.  I have to tell you guys all about the apps I use.  The horror!  Okay, its not that bad, and I'm doing it.  Here we are:

 I think Timehop might be one of those relationships that is kind of damaging but that I continue to invest in anyway because I can't stay away.  You link it to any and all social media / picture storing places that you can, and then every day it delivers you the pictures you took on that day for the past million bajillion years. plus a little fun fact about that day so you don't feel like a loser if you didn't take any pictures on that day.  Also, its mascot is this cute little guy, so that's huge draw.

I don't have a panorama tool on my phone naturally, so this app makes me able to take them! The coolest part is that the app saves each panorama as a 360 degree image, which you can view by sliding your finger across the screen.  It really helps to capture a scene in a way normal pictures just don't.

Not that you guys don't know about this, or that it needs my help to become popular. But I like Instagram.


   Evil. Don't get it.  I have it, and I like it (I think), but don't get it.              
   The time it takes to win is not worth it, and you WILL have to    
   win. And it will ruin your life because you will stay up until 2 AM
   watching some Real Housewives and playing it.

And that's my phone, basically.  Occasionally I call or text someone, but I prefer the company of pictures of my friends that can't actually respond to me and a cartoon dinosaur.  Kidding!  Except, that dino is so. cute.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Worth It // A Link Up About Bodies

Author's note:  When I heard about the Body Talk linkup that Juliette and Amber were hosting, I wasn't planning on participating.  I had a post scheduled for today; sure, the whole body talk thing seemed cool, but not this time.  However, my mind's been changed as I've been faced head on with so much of the insecurity and just bad stuff that goes on in girls' heads. After reading a few of the posts from the link up, I really, really wanted to be a part of it.   So, here we are.  Surprise post!

Once upon a time, (I know, you're not supposed to start with that. I learned that in, like, second grade. Bear with me.)  there lived a girl who had and was everything that every other girl hoped for.  She was beautiful, of course, and had the most beautiful gowns, made for her by her tailor.  She was the most accomplished sportsman she knew. (and she knew just about everyone) When she raced horses, hers was the fastest; when she danced, she was was the most graceful; when she shot an arrow, hers flew the truest.  She was kind and honest, good to everyone she encountered to their face and behind their back. Because of these things, she lived a full and happy life, certain that she had great worth and confident because of it. 

One day, while riding, the girl's horse caught sight of a snake in the grass.   The horse had always been easily frightened and it reared, throwing the girl off its back and onto the rocky path.  The girl recovered, but always walked with a limp.  "I will never be the best dancer or racer or archer agian," she said with dismay. "Never mind.  I still have my beauty, my tailor's scissors are still sharp, and I will never stop being kind and honest and good; it is there that I will find my worth."

The following morning, as the girl sat resting her leg, her tailor came to visit her.  Regretfully, he informed her that the queen of the neighboring county had requested that he come to sew beautiful gowns for her.  He had, of course, accepted, and would be off as soon as he could manage.  The princess, always kind and good, sent him away and wished him well. "My gowns will never be quite so beautiful," she lamented.  "However, I must keep my chin up.  I am beautiful and good and kind; I must be worth something still."

Another sun set and rose, and the girl was happy and confident, although maybe not so much as before.  She met with her friends, as usual, and complimented and encouraged them so that they left her feeling better than when they had come.  Just as she was returning home, a very dear, old friend met her on the street and inquired after the dress she was wearing.  "You always wear such beautiful new dresses.  Why are you wearing this one again?"  The girl snapped at her friend, who went away sad.  As her friend walked away, the girl wept. "I cannot be kind and good; I have lost my closest friend."  After a great while, the girl dried her eyes, threw back her shoulders, and said. "I am beautiful.  I still have worth."  But as she raised her head, she caught a glimpse of herself in a pool of water on the street.  Her face was sad and drawn and her eyes were dim.  "I am not beautiful.  I am rude to my friends; my clothes are old, and I walk with a limp.  What am I worth without these things?"

It's sad, isn't it? What's even more sad is that lots of us treat ourselves the same way.  We put a lot of effort into building up our worth.  We put in extra hours, run a little faster, make funnier jokes, wear higher heels.  At the end of the day, though, that stuff doesn't last, and if we've put our worth in it, we're out of luck when the events that just show up throughout our crazy lives take it away.  

Our bodies can be a huge source of worth, or a lack thereof.  You don't know how many times I've thought that if I was more fit, I would be happier and more confident; that somehow my worth would skyrocket.  If I'd just work a little harder, someday I could get to the point that I'd be completely happy with my body and what it looked like and what it was capable of.  At that point, I'd be assured of my worth. 

You know what, though? It doesn't work that way.  It just doesn't.  My worth and yours is not in toned arms and legs or perfect skin.  It's not even in our great body image, in the way we accept our flaws and learn to love them.  My body, and the way I view it, are not the determining factors of what I'm worth, and I'm glad of it.  If my value was based on a control that unsteady, it would crash and soar like the stock market.  

The story of the girl isn't over, yet.  There's more. 

At the sight of her flawed features, the girl gasped and walked quickly out of town, ashamed to be seen in that way.  She took long strides with her head down, past the shops and homes and farms that she knew, until there was nothing left.  She crossed the countryside in ashamed steps, never raising her head for the weight that she bore.  It was because of this that she nearly ran into a stranger standing in the road.  She raised her head to apologize was startled to find him looking at back as if he'd been waiting for her there on the road for a long, long time.  Whether it was because of his understanding eyes or the fact that he reminded her of her own father she wasn't sure, but the girl found the words tumbling out before she could stop them.  She chocked out her story, the words running together and not quite right, but he simply listened.  When she finished, she asked, not half expecting an answer, "Am I worth it?" 

She turned her eyes away, embarrassed but still waiting for an answer. Just when she was sure that the man had left, he put his hands on her shoulders and replied, "You're worth it.  I love you."  The girl really saw him for the first time then.  It was the king of the land where she lived; the most powerful and beloved man as far as anyone had traveled.  "You're worth it because I love you."

If our worth isn't in our performance or personality, where does it come from?  I'm a firm believer in the fact that each person has inherent value.  Frankly, I hope you are, too, because without that belief life would get pretty hopeless.  You'd be constantly under a cloud that threatens to open with every mistake, and I don't know you, but I know that's no way to live.  I'm a firm believer, also, that the worth that each person has originates in the love that man who created and rules our world and beyond has for them. I know there'll be some who read this who aren't buying the whole God thing, and that's fine.  You're not supposed to buy it just because I told you to.  This is just my story, and I know that without him I'd still be scrambling for a tailor cover up the areas where I lack with a pretty dress that won't last.

At the very least, don't worry about your body too much, okay?  Your worth is completely unrelated to it, pinky promise.


Hash Brown, Throwback Thursday // In 1997

Before we start, you need to watch this commercial from Esurance so that you get the reference I made in the title, because no joke left behind.

Today for #tbt, we're throwing it waaayyyy back to the good old days of 1997, when Prince Michael Junior, Netflix, Dolly the cloned sheep, and I were born.  I did a bunch of research on the old one-double-nine-seven using reliable sources like Wikipedia and, and that made me realize that other than being born during it, I really have no claim on the year 1997.  I really had no idea what was going on at the time whatsoever.  So, using all the interesting stuff I found out, I tried to recreate it so I could live it all again.

What was fresh:

First: ambience.  Spice Girls and Boyz II Men, both of whom enjoyed time on the top charts while I was enjoying my first year of life.  Go ahead and give them a listen to get the full 1997 experience if you're feeling nostalgic.

 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think an accurate picture of 1997 would include also some dudes with frosted tips and sagging pants, chilling in their crib and trying to form a boy band. Right? Ish?

Oh, Justin Timberlake.  The years were good to you. 

About six months later, when said boy band had formed, the would tell each other that they were "King of the world," per Leonardo DiCaprio in The Titanic, which they had paid $4.98 to see when it came out in theaters that year.

Girls might still be wearing overalls, and their moms would be running to the hairdresser for "The Rachel" - Friends was super popular, as were ER and Seinfeld. Their kids would be clamoring for a Tamagotchi or a Beanie Baby or Pokemon (which were, by the way, the bomb) gear instead of a cellphone . . . probably because they still looked kind of like this:

In fact, people who were my age in 1997 probably still talked on the phone a lot.  They'd pick up after a ring or two with a smooth, "Wasssuuuuuuup?" and dip when it was time to go to bed.

Died: Mother Teresa; Princess Di; Members of the Heaven's Gate Cult

Mother Teresa suffered a heart attack in Calcutta; Princess Di died tragically in a car accident in Paris;  Heaven's Gate Cult members tried to catch the Hale-Bopp comet and, presumably, didn't.

In the doghouse: Mike Tyson; OJ Simpson; Carlos the Jackal

Mike Tyson was suspended for biting, O.J. was found guilty, Carlos, once a most-wanted terrorist, was convicted in France.

Winning at life and otherwise: Detroit Red Wings; Switzerland; Microsoft; anyone with a car; The Simpsons

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for the Stanley Cup, Switzerland made the first plan for payments to Holocaust survivors; Microsoft became the world's most valuable company; gas cost $1.22/gallon,  Homer and friends become the longest-lived animated characters on prime time.

Fast forward a few years - we're still blogging every day in July with Juliette, Allie, and Faith!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In The Current // What's Happening With Me Right Here, Right Now

Can that be a phrase?  It would be used similarly to "hip" or "with it".  I.e.  "My mom is so in the current."  (Welcome, Mom!)  For my intents and purposes, in the current is a phrase.  Jump in and get with the flow - here's what's going on with me in the current. 

Reading: An IOU note from my little sister to my mom that reads as follows: You owe Brooke $1.80 (or possibly $.80? I'm not sure how many lines she puts through her dollar sign. I know, my own sister.) Oh, to be young and wealthy.  

Writing: ummmm . . . duh.  But if currently means just kind of generally in the same time period as I'm in right now,  I'm trying to write all my blog posts for this week and schedule them so I have time to work out, sleep, and socialize later on. 

Listening:  Born Free by Kid Rock, courtesy of a Chevy commercial.  I want you to know that I worked hard to find that out, because I care about the quality of the content I post.  I had my dad pause and rewind the commercial and then I Shazamed it with my phone and now you can all know exactly what I was listening to when I wrote this. 

Thinking:  It's times like these when I wish I had cooler thoughts.   About how I never want to make cookies ever again. 

Smelling:  Cookies being made.  

Wishing:  That my little sister wasn't such a compassionate person so that she wouldn't have wanted to do a cookie fundraiser and I wouldn't be still working on baking 380584 dozen cookies.  JK, I'm really proud of her.  I'm just kind of over the cookie thing.  Couldn't we have just bought all the donors apples?

Hoping: Those cookies aren't burning.  Because then I would have to hit Kroger for the third time today and then the workers will start to wonder about me.  

Wearing: I'm pretty sure that I'm a 100% pure-bred Target (pronounced: tar-jay) wearer right now. This skirt definitely is.  It's a skater skirt and it's soft and tribal and I wear it probably once a week. 

Wanting: This mosquito bite on my ankle to stop itching.  Why are my ankle bones so dang attractive to mosquitos? Why? 

Loving:  La Da Dee, that extremely catchy, summery song from the mouth of Cody Simpson.  And if you think I'm crazy, just give it a listen.  I dare you. 

Now, tell me that it's not stuck in your head and you don't completely hate it. 

Needing: A salty snack.  I have been craving one all day, and my needs are being met because I finally caved and went for some Veggie Dippin' Chips, which earn their healthy-sounding name by including a minuscule amount of kale in the ingredient list. Hey, I'll take it.  

Linking up with: Juliette, Faith, and Allie.  

Blogging: Erreday. (In July)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Awkward Years // Thinks That I Don't Understand

To be honest, I'm pretty much in the bumpiest seat of the struggle bus right now as far as an intro to this post is concerned.  You know, that seat right over the back wheel where there's not enough leg room and you can feel every pothole and the giant, hot bus seems to be constantly swerving?  Yep, that one.  It's kind of hard to write an introduction to a blog post from that position.  So I'm not going to try.  Wait, what's this? Words that come before the main body of my post?  An introduction, perhaps? Cool.

So, the struggle bus I'm on right now is feeling awfully similar to one I rode about five years ago during my awkward stage, when I was young and had no idea what I was doing with anything.  (At least, I think that was my awkward stage.  Hopefully I don't look back at this time five years from now and thing, "Wow, I was awkward.")   Let's talk about that other struggle bus, and all the stuff that happened on it that just doesn't make sense.   It's feeling like a struggle bus kind of day.

The vocabulary.  Which included heavy doses of "lyke" and "mi" and "coolio", because I was a hipster.  Maybe that's one of those trying to find your identity things.  It's sad that I thought I had to be grammatically divergent to be my own person, but it's okay.  I figured it out.

My affinity for all things zebra print, neon, or slightly edgy. I was all over it. I have since realized that I'm not a zebra, neon usually looks better on signs, and I'm not edgy in the least, nor do I want to be.

My obsession with Taylor Swift.  However, upon further review, I've decided that I'm totally okay with that.  Old Taylor was a thirteen-year-old girl's best friend.  Heck, I can still belt You Belong With Me with the best of them.

The fact that I never once realized how easy school was at the time.  I had no idea that the years were fast approaching when I'd have to do homework ever day, and that it would be hard, and that my grades would have a direct effect on the rest of my life.  Ignorance definitely is bliss.

The way that my make up had to match my outfit every single day.  My mom started letting me wear make up in seventh grade, and I used that to my full advantage.  Granted, I don't think anyone else could tell what I was doing, but it was a big deal to me.

Makes you grimace a little, huh?  Don't get me wrong, though.  As much as I make fun of Awkward Allie, I really like her.  She was kind of fun, she definitely didn't care what people thought, and she makes me feel like I've made progress in the last few years.  If you think that was rough, though, you should see my Facebook from the same time period.

Linking up with Juliette, Faith, and Allie to share my awkward self with the blogging world.


Monday, July 21, 2014

GIFs // No, Not Like The Nut Butter

This is going to be pretty sick.  As in, a serious case of word vomit.  Well, more like the kind of word vomit that would happen if I had also consumed, along with the words, a large side order of GIFs.   I'm not sure who coined the term "word vomit", but I like it.  Also, I feel like it's not completely accurate because regular vomiting is not fun and word vomiting is.  Additionally, sometimes word vomiting can be a nice break from the norm, whereas regular vomiting is a break from the norm but rarely nice.  

So, when I found out that we had to do GIFs today (as a part of the Blog Everyday in July challenge) I was like:

because I had never used a GIF in a blog post ever and so obviously they were really, really hard to use.  And unfortunately some of us don't have a source of unlimited free GIFs that we can use without even naming names, so where was I even supposed to find GIFs that I could use without being arrested if the police ever read my blog? 

I was having a tough time (understandably so, considering the circumstances), so I ate, duh. 

Which made the situation a lot better.  

Then I Googled "How to Use a GIF/Image" and apparently it's easier than it sounds.  So I gave it a shot. And I successfully added this GIF to my post. 

Isn't it so cute? Why doesn't my cat do this? I'm getting a new cat.  Bye, Si/Pepper.  And that is how I discovered that GIFs are a wonderful thing. 

As you can imagine, I was feeling kind of like this ish after that little win. 


You know, fabulous.  So I thought, "You know what would be really cool? If I MADE MY OWN GIFs for this post! It would literally be my day in GIFs! Why didn't I do that? I should totally do that!" 

Yeah. And then I was like, "Great idea Miss I-Just-Learned-How-To-Use-A-GIF."

But, I mean, it was kind of a fun idea.  

Then, my dad went to bed and I was left basically alone in the house at night and lonely, and so I turned on the TV and was really really reallllllly hoping that Friends would be on.  

But I knew I had about as big of a chance of watching Friends tonight as Andy up there probably does of getting whatever he wants.  

If you don't watch The Office, you may think that that's a good thing.  I'm here to tell you it's not.  What Andy wants rarely happens, which is why The Office is funny and I was so sad. 

But I scrolled through the channels even though I knew it wasn't happening. And guess what? 

Which means that, obviously, all the Friends celebrated with me. 

And that is how, thanks to Juliette, Faith, and Allie, I overcame my fear of GIFs. 

Oh! And you know what I just realized? JK Rowling totally invented GIFs! Remember these? 

Yep.  Before it was cool. 

Anyway, from here on out, I can tell that there will probably be a lot more GIF vomit.  And if anyone asks who coined the term GIF vomit, that was me. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hi, Nice To Meet You // A Link Up About Getting to Know You

I'm Allie, and I'm the girl behind a blog called Reckless, where I write about my life and how I'm learning to love, recklessly! (Hence the name.) But not a boy, because cooties hello! Just the people around me. Things I'm already good at loving: cooking, good, long talks, and pretty things.  I'm also fairly new to the blogging scene, so I'm linking up with Kristen (aka the Miscellaneous Mom) to get to know some awesome new bloggers, and also so you all can get to know me!

Also, I realize that it says Saturday in the title and it's Monday.  I'm a little tardy to the party. 

| What was your favorite food as a child? 

Cheeeeeeeseburgers! I have literally loved them since I was two years old, and I asked for them for my birthday meal for about the first ten birthdays in a row. 

| What's the #1 most played song on your iPod? 

I don't buy music, because I'm cheap thrifty money smart.  However, the song that I always try to trick free Spotify into playing for me over and over is La Da Dee, by Cody Simpson.  Don't make fun of me. 

| What is one of your favorite quotes? 

Hold on, let me consult Pinterest. . . okay! Survey says: 

| What's your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? 

When I'm inside, you'll find me doing anything from cooking to having a solo dance party to DIYing something. Outside, sand volleyball is where it's at! 

| What is your favorite form of exercise?

Erhhm, anything that doesn't feel like exercise?  I like to switch it up - I run, bike, walk, swim, hike, lift weights, play sports, or play active ish video games! As long as I'm moving.  My favorite is probably sand volleyball, though.  Broken record. 

| What is your favorite time of day? 

Morning! I also like sleeping in, but when I'm up, I love it! Plus, morning includes breakfast, which is my absolute favorite meal.  Win-win. 

| What's your favorite mode of transportation? 

This isn't practical, but it would be kind of cool to be able to boat everywhere! 

| What sound do you love? 

The. Ocean. Hands down! 

| If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? 

I'd do something for my parent's wedding anniversary - probably try and recreate their reception.  Fly in the wedding party and a bunch of friends, replicate the cake, book the same DJ. 

| If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? 

They're already around, but I'd pick them anyway: my parents.  They are amazing, and I've seriously learned so, so much from them!  It's scary to think what would happen to me if they weren't my mentors! 

| If you could learn to do anything, what would you do? 

I'd learn to speak a foreign language fluently.  Or maybe Latin.  It's dead, but it would help explain a lot  of our words now and it's pretty. 

| If you had to only work on one project for the next year, what would you do?

Oooohh, I like this question!  Good one!  I'd work on the small group devotional program that we're trying to get started at school.  It's a really cool idea, but it needs a lot of work and my undivided attention could help a lot in that area, I believe! 

| If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? 

Jane.  It's old fashioned and unique without being too showy. 

| If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be! 

Malcolm Gladwelllllll!!! Maybe if I post about him enough, he'll invite me to be his personal assistant or something? Maybe?

| What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I want to do education research or something Jesus-y, or both if possible! 

| What would you name the autobiography of your life?

Try Again

| Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but turned out to be for the best? 

So, so, soooo many times!  One of my favorites is when I had a really badly broken relationship with a friend, but then got to see it healed in a truly amazing way. 

| What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? 

I'm currently nannying for two boys aged seven and nine.  I learn something every day, and it's definitely making me stronger. 

| What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I've had more detentions for dress code violations than I care to admit, and I can be really bad about cleaning up messes.   Like, you should see my room. 

| When was the last time you had an amazing meal?

It'll be a week ago tomorrow (that's how important my food is to me.) It was breakfast in the south - biscuits, grits, peaches, eggs, bacon, orange juice, and milk.  I almost exploded. 

| What do you miss most about being a kid?

I'm still not legally and adult, but what I miss most about being at the younger end of the range of kid ages is having nothing to do.  I'm always really busy, and I wish I could be bored just for a little while!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

One Way or Another // Would You Rather

So, I started thinking.  I could be rendered inoperative at any time.  What if I eat myself into a food coma? What if I run a stop sign (not like I ever do that ever) and get hit by a car and knocked out?  Or I just fall asleep for a while? Or someone slips something into my juice box?  There may be some critical questions asked concerning my senses, personal assistants, and the state of my social media platforms, and I want someone to know what to answer for me.  It's in game form to make it seem less morbid and because of Blog Everyday in July.

Would you rather ...

1. Be blind or be deaf
Blind.  I switched my answer like five times, and each time it made me sadder because I realized how awful each one would be.  I had to do positive self-talk ("Allie, you're not really going to become blind or deaf. you're going to be okay. You're going to be okay. ") If I was blind, I could at least communicate withe people pretty easily and it would feel less isolated.

2. Be taller than you are or shorter than you are
Taller.  It would be handy for sports.  I've always wanted to be taller.

3. Be a teenager or a senior citizen for the rest of your life
Senior citizen.  They've got it a lot more together than I do in my current teenage state. 

4. Have no hands or no legs
Shoot, these are good! Legs! That one guy in the Olympics had leg replacements, and he was still fast so that seems like a good choice.  

5. Lose your front teeth or both eyebrows
Teeth.  The fake version of those are more convincing. 

6. Eat a worm or a cockroach
Cockroach.  I feel like the texture of a worm is pretty revolting. 
7. Spend a day in the Sahara or North Pole
Sahara! I have always wanted to go to Africa, so. 

8. Have a personal chef or a personal driver
Personal driver, please! I enjoy cheffing. 

9. Always have to whisper or always have to shout
Whisper.  Shouting hurts, and it would be unacceptable in a lot more situations than whispering. 

10. Can't taste or can't smell
Can't smell.  You can't control when you smell things, so sometimes you smell bad things.  You don't have to taste bad things if you don't want.  Plus, food!  Except smell and taste are connected . . . so is this a trick question?

11. Wipe with sandpaper or saran wrap
Ewwww, saran wrap? Saran wrap.  But I think I can hold it. 

12. Have Twitter shut down for a day or your blog disappear for a day.  
Considering how Twitter is not one of my strong points, it can go and I probably won't miss it. 

13. Text of your blog is screwed up or all the pictures you post on your blog are blurry
I'll take those blurry pictures.  I could probably pass that off as being artsy.

14. Never be able to post another GIF or never be able to receive comments on your posts
Never be able to post another GIF.  I just figured them out and I love them, but I LOVE COMMENTS EVEN MORE! 

15. Have a permanent wedgie or have the tag on your shirt constantly scratch your neck
Is this even a question? Have you ever had a wedgie? Tag, please!

Thanks to Juliette, Faith, and Allie for the write it yourself will would you rathers!


Ok, but I'm still not sure about the whole blind/deaf thing, so don't hold me to that. Which would you choose? 
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