Thursday, January 9, 2014

The year of plagiarism



I want to start off by saying I DID NOT WRITE THIS!! A friend posted it and I thought it was phenomenal and I wanted to share it. The original post is here:

https://medium.com/life-tips/494224e0f983


I cleaned up the language a bit but this is not my original thought. (even though I wish it was, it's so awesome).




14 Eff's I refuse to give in 2014:

1. Becoming a Morning Person

I’ve always hated mornings. I hate getting out of bed, hate getting out of the shower, hate finishing my coffee. I pretty much just hate everything and everyone who crosses my path prior to 10 am. I’ve tried to ‘fix’ this issue multiple times, trying to schedule in an hour of exercise or writing prior to embarking on my day. Fuck that. The only thing worse that getting out of bed in the morning is getting out of bed to torture yourself on a treadmill or stare at a screen. So keep all your “10 Things Successful People Do Before 5 am” motivational posts to yourself come 2014. I’ll be successfully asleep.

2. Making the Moment Count

Are you living in the moment? Right now, right this very instance? Are you making the most of this super-important, never-going-to-happen-ever-again stitch in time? Of course not; you’re reading this post, ignoring your kids, your boss, your dog, your girlfriend. In fact, I’d hazard to say you’re doing everything you can to avoid the moment. Amen to that. Moments don’t last; I’d actually say they’re pretty irrelevant by themselves. But string 50 of them together and then you’ve got a reason to pay attention. That being said, 2014 is the year I stop trying to make moments matter. No more searching for hidden significance in a small gesture or assigning importance to a particular event. And please, could everyone just stop telling me that everything I’ve done in my life has led me to this moment. Considering it’s 3 pm, I’m still in my pajamas, and I haven’t showered in two days… that doesn’t really mean much.

3. Fitting In

I suck at social situations. I’m awkward, withdrawn, quiet and quick to drop a sarcastic remark. I also sport a handful of tattoos, have an award-winning bitchy resting face, and have been told I give off a not-so-subtle fuck off vibe whenever I walk into a room. By no means am I trying to be standoffish, this is just who I am. So when it comes to fitting in at conferences, networking events, house parties, the supermarket — you know, anywhere there are other people — I tend to struggle. For years I’ve tried to fix this; forced myself to be more outgoing, more present, less me. It’s exhausting and annoying. So fuck fitting in. Despite my icy demeanor and lack of seemingly standard social skills, I’ve managed to surround myself with an accepting, loyal group of friends; people that understand my oddities and love me for them. Bitchy resting face and all.

4. Forcing a Smile

I’ve been told I’m very pretty when I smile. I’ve also been told I don’t smile very often. That, if I forced myself to smile more, I’d actually feel better, happier, simply by faking this joyous facial express. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t really care. I smile when there’s something worth smiling about. This doesn’t mean I’m drowning in despair the rest of the time. Normally I’m quite content. So fuck forcing happiness or faking jubilation. You want me to flash a smile, you’re going to have to work for it.

5. Quitting Vices

Why are New Year’s resolutions always about ending bad habits? Personally, I quite enjoy my vices. Beer = delicious. Pie for breakfast? Completely acceptable. Hoarding all of the blankets on the coldest night of the year? Not my fault you were too slow to steal them first. Everything in moderation, right? My bad habits have shaped me as much as my good ones. But at the end of the day, they aren’t really hurting anyone. I drink socially and with restraint, pie only finds its way into my fridge two or three times a year, and my boyfriend is more than welcome to yank the covers back over to his side… provided he’s ready to accept the consequences.

6. Swearing

My ex used to hate it when I would swear. And I get that — believe it or not, I’m not a huge fan of constant vulgarities either. That being said, some situations simply call for foul language. Come on, no one is going to stick to aScrew It list or an Eff It list. What’s more, studies have shown that people who swear are actually more trustworthy and honest. Which, by my count, means I’m kind of exceptional.

7. Guilt

Earlier this year I was told that guilt is the fear of future punishment. That we feel bad for past transgressions not just because we regret them, but because we’re worried that we’ll make the same mistakes again. I’m not entirely sure of the legitimacy of this statement, but it certainly resonated with me. I regret a lot in my life; I’ve made some foolish mistakes and have hurt a lot of people, not to mention myself. But it’s the fear of making these same mistakes again that weighs on me the most. And yet, the mistakes I made in the past were the result of dozens of different variables — age, health, circumstance — repeating them is pretty much impossible. So why bother dwelling on it? Eff the guilt; I can’t undo the past, but I can certainly look forward to the future.

8. Being on Time

If you know me, you know that, try as I might; I am never, ever going to show up on time. I’ll show up — I always show up — but nine times out of ten I’m going to be roughly an hour late. It’s a fatal flaw. It’s best to just lie to me about the designated meeting time. Trust me.

9. Lying to Myself

We all lie to ourselves. Some of these lies are inconsequential. Others send us down a slippery slope of denial straight onto a soft cushion of false security. I’ve lied to myself a lot over the last year. I’ve told myself things are fine when they’re falling apart, convinced myself that a bad decision was a blessing in disguise. Thing is, it’s easy to tell the lie. Believing it is a whole other story. So fuck the fabrications and flimsy fronts. How can you possibly trust someone else when you can’t even trust yourself?

10. Planning for the Future

I have very sensible parents; parents that sacrificed to provide my sister and me with the best life possible. For that, I’m thankful. That being said, now that I’m an adult myself (or at least I pretend to be), I think a lot of it was unnecessary. They wasted a lot of good years of their lives putting us first. As irrational as it might sound, I feel responsible for this. Granted, I don’t have kids, so I don’t really understand the type of devotion and selfless love that a parent feels, but even so, I don’t really know if sacrificing yourself for the sake of your children makes sense. I sometimes wonder if my parents lost more than they gained by having children. That, in the process of planning for our futures, they forgot about their own lives. There’s so much they could have done — should have done — when they were younger. Now, it’s too late. It’s like they went to bed at 30 only to wake up at 60 determined to make up for lost time. Except now the hourglass is nearly empty and the world has lost most of its luster. Selfish as it may sound, I could never travel that same road. I could never give my life to my kids; and please, save your “but you can have it both ways” spiel for someone less cynical. You don’t win the Mommy of the Year award sitting in a boardroom, and you don’t get a promotion for catching every Christmas concert. In one scenario, you resent your kids. In the other, you resent yourself. I haven’t yet decided which is worse, and to be quite frank, I don’t think I ever want to.

11. Growing Up

And give up my love of dinosaurs and LEGO? Eff that.

12. Saving Relationships

Romantic, platonic, familial — I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to nurture destructive relationships. Compromising in order to avoid confrontation, pretending problems weren’t as pronounced as they were. The fastest way to lose yourself? Focus all of your energy on something or someone that was never really there. Eventually you’ll wake up alone. Worse, you’ll wake up a stranger.

13. Forgetting Failures

I failed at being a wife. A lot of the time, I fail at being a daughter. I’m not a very good sister, and I have a pretty good feeling the odds will be against me if I ever decide to become a mother. I’ve failed at business, failed to relax while on vacation. I’ve failed to let insecurities go, failed to speak up when I had the chance. Fuck, I’ve failed myself more times than I’d care to admit. I’ve forgiven a lot of them. But forgetting them is useless. I made those mistakes for a reason. The least I can do is learn from them.

14. Falling in Love

If I learned anything in 2013, it’s that love — the overwhelming, this-is-the-one kind, the love that makes you weak in the knees, if not slightly duller in the head — isn’t real. It exists outside of reality, in a world devoid of calories and Kardashians. The fall is fun, for a while. But big love is just that… oversized and oversold. Overstated and filled with impossible expectations. I don’t want to fall into that kind of love again. It lacks substance. I prefer the little loves. My best friend’s daughter running around the kitchen chanting, “It’s all rainbows,” over and over again. The wag of a dog’s tail when you scratch the sweet spot behind her ear. Neglected nuances, subtle sincerity — that’s where love lives. Lost in a pile of unmatched socks, it sits and waits for you, overlooked and underappreciated. Flawed but sturdy; frustrating but frank. A beautiful mess of sadness and hope. Eff engagement rings and moonlit walks on the beach. Love hurts because that’s the only way to tell that it’s real.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolutions, Moments & Memories!

Happy New Year All!

Hope you all had a fun NYE and are off to a great start in 2014.
Our New Years Eve was a lot of fun. Gaylord hosted an "Around the World" themed event. You got a passport and had to go to 6 different places in town to get a stamp and then at midnight you turned your booklet in and got a paper lantern. They were supposed to do a big lantern sendoff thing but it was too windy so we just got to keep our lanterns. My cousin Carrie and her boyfriend Thad came up and spent the evening with us. I'm sure glad they did or we might have been those people in bed by 10. :) We haven't bar hopped for ages so it was really fun to go from place to place and see old friends.

Did you make resolutions this year? Mine last year didn't go so well so I decided to make them a little easier on myself this year. 
Here they are: 

1. Get Married (that'll be an easy one)
2. Be awesome! 
3. Eat better (notice I didn't necessarily say healthy so it'll be one of those - hmmm I've already had 3 s'mores maybe I shouldn't have another. you know, I'm trying to eat better.)
4. Try new things. (Like maybe I'll have a go at the ski hills this year. yikes!)
5. Don't leave the house with wet hair. I'm a pro at this. As a girl it doesn't seem fair that I have to do my hair, makeup, and figure out what I want to wear. Usually I can get away with 2 out of 3 so that leaves my hair wet and neglected on my head. 
6. Take more pictures. Just for fun. 
7. Write more letters. I've already started this. I love snail mail so hopefully you poor people that I'll be sending letters to do too. 

What about New Years traditions? Anyone have any? Justin and I started a thing a few years ago called the Moments and Memories Jar. It looks like this - 




I realize it looks really odd with Justins hand stuck in it. The photos were sort of an afterthought so I could share it with you guys. What we do is throughout the year we save things like ticket stubs, smooshed pennies, wristbands, and little notes we've written to one another. Then on January 1st we look back at all the little memories we shared during the year. It's really fun because we talk about the times we wrote the notes, silly things that happened here and there, etc. 
Here are a few pictures of some of the things we found in the jar this year. 


a few of the notes we had already pulled and read.






Ohh a geocoin! This was when we first started geacaching. We felt like kings finding this in a cache! 


I remember this moment clearly. I was in the shower in our old apartment and when I looked up there was a massive spider staring down at me. Justin came running and I had to scurry out of the shower so he could kill it. Even after he killed it I made him stay in the bathroom with me to make sure it didn't have any friends. 


When Justin and Ron were in California, Justin sent me flowers. :) He gave it away by calling every 10 minutes to see "if anything interesting had happened yet". 




Even Kelly left a note in the jar! It was folded like a paper airplane. What a neat surprise. And just because I can (and it's on this SD card) here is a pic of Kelly being mysterious at the Mystery Spot. 



These are a few of the other things in there. Parking pass from my birthday camping trip, Flogging Molly concert tickets, Christmas concert tickets, Mac Island ferry tickets, a magnet from a cool coffee shop we found up north, and other fun things. 

After we open and look through everything I seal it up in an envelope and write the year on the front. I think we've decided to wait 10 years and then we will reopen them. That'll be really fun to look back and see how things have changed. 

What do you think? Is it something you'll try? Or do you do your own thing?


Either Jazz was unimpressed or he had a wild New Years Eve too! 





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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bob Evans Blunder

I don't usually write complaint emails but tonight I felt like I needed to. And also since it's been so long since I've blogged I thought I'd share it with you.


Hello (Manager at Bob Evans),
My fiance and I ate at your restaurant and I wanted to let you know of a few issues we had. I'd like to preface by saying that after having been a server/bartender for 7 years and a manager for 3 I completely understand that people have off days. I am also not one to be overly critical of how other people do their jobs.

We stopped in at 7pm. We were seated along the back wall and then promptly ignored. There were around 10 other tables in the restaurant when we arrived. We waited about 10 minutes before being greeted and by that time we were fully ready to order. Our server, Grayson, introduced himself and was friendly. He apologized for the wait and quickly took our order. He did at one point after I ordered tell me 'No', as he was joking that I couldn't have something I asked for. I'm all for friendly banter but I wasn't feeling it after we had waited so long.

He came back with our drinks and said our food would be there shortly. In another 10 minutes I got my salad with the reassurance our food would be out quickly. Two more tables were sat right around then. At a nearby table a guest asked for hot tea and was once again told 'no'. Completely stunned she just stared at him until he explained it was a joke. The other table still wasn't greeted and after waiting 15 minutes I went to the hostess desk to inform Katie they hadn't seen a server yet. Ten minutes or so later Grayson arrived with a peace offering of banana bread and informed us there was only one cook and that he was behind. At 7:45 or so we got our dinner, but my fiance still hadn't received  the coffee he asked for when the banana bread came. Also, part of his order was wrong. He made no mention of it.

During the wait I was watching the kitchen, it was obvious he was working hard. The animosity between the BOH & FOH was also obvious. At one point there was an argument about who put the ticket in the window and some snappy comments were made.

Food sat in the window for several minutes before it was ran as 3 servers wandered around and one sat at the bar and ate. When our dinner finally arrived my fiances toast was like crusty cardboard.

At no point in the hour and a half we were there did I see your assistant manager on the floor. I also didn't see him in the kitchen but then again maybe he was in the dish pit. When I did finally see him it was because I was cashing out and asked Katie for your card and email address. She called him up and it took him several minutes for find your card and then he had to go to the office to get me your email address.

We swing by quite often and we usually have very good experiences but tonight that wasn't the case.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Just wanted to offer some constructive criticism to keep our community great. I can honestly say that had we been from out of town we wouldn't come back next time we visited. 

Sincerely,
Megan Parkes 
 
 
 
Harsh? I hope it wasn't too bad. We just have so many tourist in our area that I would hate for that to be the example. 
 
Love y'all!
 
 
                               TagLine*IAlmostForgotHowToDoTagLines!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

Little Slice of Heaven.......whole lotta sugar.

The thing about blogs, and social media, is, for the most part people always portrait the "best of life". ie.... I posted that picture because I look skinny and my boobs look killer! or, YOU'D BETTER UNTAG ME IN THAT ASAP OR SO HELP ME GOD!! The flip side of that are the people that air out all their dirty laundry like the internet is their private diary. If you're one of those people please, please, please stop! I have a few friends that are going through some custody issues, and honestly if you show up to the court with pages of profile wall drama they should slap you. Same with break ups, don't throw slander pies all over the place. It didn't work, he's a jerk, you're being dumb, it's OK! Everyone has broken up with someone at some point in their lives. And guess what?!? They survived!! Round of applause to all you folks with former break ups - Check you out, living and stuff!!

I guess the reason I'm ranting about this is because I'm straight up sick of people. I need to crawl into bed, eat ice cream for days, and not come out until I feel better. Don't get me wrong there are still people out there that I love and cherish. But there are also people out there that I could totally do without. I adore my family. I honestly don't think I would be the person I am today without them. Pretty sure if I didn't have such an awesome family (this goes for Justin's fam too) I would be a little grumpy troll that stayed in the basement and excelled at arcade basketball.

Maybe I'm just tired. Or hungry, I can sometimes get cranky when I'm hungry. We call it Hangry. Or maybe I'm disappointed? That might be it. I worked my butt off to clean the house, make a ton of sweet treats and invite everyone I know to my FIRST EVER origami owl party. And do you know who showed up? My mom, Justin's mom, and Karin. Thanks ladies, you're all awesome. Some people had really good reasons that they couldn't come but so many people backed out at the last minute. How many parties have I come to just to support you? How many letters, notes, etc have I sent your way just to let you know I appreciate and care about you? How many times have I done something above and beyond just to make you feel better? That's what I thought. TONS!

I know there is going to be someone out there that says "well you shouldn't do nice things for people to get something out of it. You should do it just because you want to". Well you know what, I do. It's ingrained in me be a thoughtful, kind, loving person. That's how I was raised. Maybe your mom didn't write little notes in your lunch every day, maybe she didn't send you a card just to say she was proud of you but you could still care.

I'm not saying that when I do something nice I want something done in return. I'm just saying the world might be a nicer place if we were all a bit more thoughtful. If you have an extra $30 bucks right now send your mom, or your sister, or your best friend some flowers. Or send someone that you haven't talked to in awhile a text just because you're thinking of them. Take a co-worker coffee because they've been working their butt off lately. It'll cost you $5 to do something nice and they'll think about it for the rest of the week.

I am very rarely a selfish person but I am still more selfish than I'd like to be. Give yourself today.

We all need a pep talk. Then get on the same team you turds.








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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Owl Always Love You

I'm not sure when my obsession with owls began but I know it's not a recent thing.

That being said I'm so excited to announce that I am now a designer for Origami Owl!!

Yayyyyy!!



What in the world is Origami Owl you ask?? They are 'living lockets' - just like your pandora bracelet - you design them yourself. The company's slogan is "every locket tells a story, what does yours say?".

I love the look of them. I can't wait to get my new designer kit so I can build my first one. I've never been to a party because the only person I know that does them is down in Flint. I was really nervous about getting into something that I had to sell. I am not a sales person. The positive response I got from my family and friends was amazing and now I can't wait to get started. :)

Bella, the founder, started this company with a kiosk in a mall so she could earn money to buy her first car. Talk about brilliant!
The mission statement:

OUR MISSION IS TO BE A FORCE FOR GOOD; TO LOVE, INSPIRE

+ MOTIVATE WOMEN OF ALL AGES TO REACH THEIR DREAMS+ 

EMPOWER THEM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

And anyone that knows me knows that anything that says "dream" is right up my alley. (I'll buy almost anything if it says Dream. There, now you know my dirty secret."


I mean really?!? How cute is this? 

This is how it works. Easy! And awesome! and totally you! 

I know it's a little picture but what an awesome idea for....say.... a wedding party? I already know I'll be wearing one on my wedding day. xoxo


I love my Pandora bracelet. My girlfriends got it for me for my birthday & Justin and the fam have added to it. Now it's full, (and heavy) and I only wear it when I'm getting fancied up. This is a nice alternative to that. (and you can build a whole necklace for the price of 2 beads!)




So that's the newest update for me. I'm working on a blog regarding the wedding planning but it's a lot of work!! LOL. 



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Friday, July 26, 2013

We're Gettin' Married!

It feels like it's been forever since I've blogged. I guess there hasn't been a whole lot of interesting stuff going on lately.

We are mostly settled in the house. Still need to unpack a few boxes, clean out the old garage and finish up the bathroom in the basement. It's lovely. I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out and how homey it feels. We've even had house guests. Matt stayed over for the housewarming party. Kelly & Alex came all the way from Chicago for a visit, Momma Ruth stayed at our place when the family was in town. And Lisa and Riley came up for a few days. Pleased to say the baby stayed safe and sound in our very un-baby-esk house.

I swear one of these days I'll go a whole day without thinking about the upcoming wedding. Hasn't happened yet, but someday it might.

Justin and I just finished officially asking our wedding party to join us for our big day. They all gleefully accepted and we are so pleased.

We each created a special box with "wedding day" essentials in them for the party people.

Sideways : You get the point. I painted each of the boxes with our wedding colors & the girls names. 


I even wrote a little note about how special they were and how much it would mean if they would stand by me. 


Inside the box I included:
-Tissue (cupcake print of course)\
- A little notebook for notes
- A coral nail polish (Elle's box had a mint colored polish in it)
- A mini manicure kit 
- A ring pop (of course!)
- and a swatch of our wedding colors. 
Each of the girls also got a pin with their role on it. The box pictured below is Lisa's (her daughter Riley is going to be our flower girl so she got a button too)
- OH! And chapstick, in mint obviously. :) 


Justin's boxes included all of the essentials as well. 
-Booze
-Button 
-"Top Secret" Note
- Mustache Shot Glass
and a save the date. 


His boxes turned out super awesome. I loved the look of the ammo boxes. 


His note was really sweet and well thought out.  


I stole this picture from Greg's instagram account. He was pretty excited. :) 



It means the world to us to have some of our best friends and family by our side. Thanks guys! 




I guess that's it for now. I have work to do.




TagLine*ChapstickAndBooze






Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All aboard the blogging train!

Where have I been?

I don't even know. I feel like wedding season is this crazy chaotic amoeba that sweeps into your life and drags you through the next 3 months. Don't get me wrong I LOOOOOVE weddings, and photo boothin', and making cupcakes, and steaming dresses, and editing pictures, and....and.... you get it. But phew! I need a nap! LOL Seriously guys we're only one month in. I need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.

June was a crazy month tho. We had 3 weddings, the senior all night parts, and my God Daughters baptism. One of these days I'm going to make a compilation of all the pictures Justin and I have taken together in the photo booth. I don't even think I have them all still. That hard drive fills up fast! I will make one of the pics I still have. That'll be fun.....and time consuming....

We have also taken on a very ambitious diet & work out program. It's a 12 week program to get our butts in gear and start losing some weight for the wedding. You know there is only 346 days left! LOL The only thing I'm bummed about is that I finally got a box of chocolate peanut butter pop tarts and now they have to wait.

We found out about this plan from our friends Dan & Kristen. They both had really good success with it and we hope to do the same.

It starts with clean and healthy eating. No more post bar trips to T-Bell. No more late night peanut butter pop tarts ( :(!!! ) just things cooked fresh.
This is our meal plan:
It seems like so much food to have to eat but when you break it down it's all healthy and filled with protein. Oh, LOL I just noticed that I wrote "turkey balls". Technically they are called turkey muffins, but they are basically just meatballs made with lean ground turkey, oats, spices, celery and onions. I also don't do egg whites. Which is why I have the choice of either 5 egg whites or 1 egg. The first day I tried to go all out and have all sorts of protein filled meals & mini-meals. I didn't even make it to lunch before I was stuffed. So today I tweaked a bit. I had 1 scrambled egg on 1 slice of Ezekiel Bread and some apple slices for lunch. A protein shake for mid-morning. I'll have a small chicken breast (4 oz) and some rice for lunch and a Greek yogurt for mid-afternoon. 

These are the small meal options that you can substitute instead of having turkey balls everyday. The nice thing is, is that veggies are free. I can have as many as I want, whenever I want. 
We made carrot cake protein bars & they are delicious! I didn't take them away from Justin, his meal plan did. :) More for me! 


These are the starch options for when you're filling in here and there. 


The best part about this plan is that I can make everything ahead of time. Monday night Justin and I spent about 2 hours in the kitchen making rice, pasta, & turkey muffins. I made some protein bars & we baked about 5# of chicken breast. After that all we had to do was assemble it all.
Everything is portioned out and ready to grab. Now that's my kind of kitchen!
This is our refrigerator now. I don't know why it's sideways. It must be trying to make a run for it lol. (Man! I'm cheesy! oops there I go again, lettuce stop this nonsense)


As you can see everything is already done for this week. No more having to buy lunch, no more drivethru at the end of the day. Just 2 minutes in the microwave and we're good! 

Along with the meal plan there is also a work out plan. We haven't started that yet but we will! If you would like to see more of that go - 

www.bodybuilding.com

>Find a Plan
>Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer
>Get Started Now
>Phase 1 

Seriously it's that easy. Bonus: No cardio for the first 4 weeks. The plan is to get your metabolism up and running, build some muscle to help burn calories & then shed the pounds. Sounds good to me. 

I am absolutely NOT going to tell you our start weights but I will keep you up to date on the progress that happens. 
I can say that I am up 45 pounds since Justin and I started dating. And he is up almost 65 pounds. (My guess is that his ex didn't make as many cupcakes as I do! hehehe). 
So here we go! Fit life. and egg whites blech! 

I also wanted to share a few pictures from Rileys baptism. She's such a doll!! 

 This was on our way to the church. The gown she was wearing is made out of her great grandmothers wedding dress. Each of the Caras kids (Dave, Lisa, Nick & now Riley) were baptised in it. How precious! 
She's not really sure what's going on here. 


During the service. Riley was not too sure about having water dumped on her head! 


Being baptised is a lot of work! 


The Caras family :)  


On the way home. All tuckered out. 

In her party outfit. :) 
Seriously! Look at that face!! 


Couldn't help but add this one. I'm one proud God Mother!





Well there ya have it. Life & All. 

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