Working on an article that I thought would not take me long to compile but it’s turning out to be much more lengthier, detailed, and all-around thoughtful than I thought it would. This is not a bad thing either. Just unexpected. I am also being picky on my selections for this piece too which makes it go slower than usual, but that’s because I want to be able to stand by my list with pride and know I had a good reason behind every choice I made.
Just another reminder to the world that good content is not built to be based on an assembly line model where you lather, rinse, and repeat it on an endless loop.
Numbers for listing purposes, not by rank of what I love the most or anything.
1. The Bake-Off Vegas trip. My expectations were that I was going to spend four days just having fun, fun, fun in Sin City but the reality of it was that while I had a very good time on the surface, beneath that was an entirely different story. It was a more somber time than I anticipated but also one where through the sadness, clarity and inner peace came through me. I knew, and know, what I had to do. I’d like to thank the bathtub I sat in sometime around 2 AM on Sunday morning in my hotel room for helping me answer the question I had had for some time, “You know some of those basic things you’ve been contemplating doing because they’re easy or the ones you’re already doing but don’t like? Let’s not do any of that.”
2. Knowing when to quit something I didn’t enjoy doing and walking away from it. That was hard. But I knew I was going to do it for awhile - I got asked about how I felt about this particular thing in October and all I could think was no, I really don’t like doing it at all. Just me realizing I want to do what fulfills me and not waste my time with things I feel don’t contribute to my personal growth.
3. Family and friends. I only surround myself with about two handfuls of people who really know the layers of who I am and that is all I need. Knowing that I have their unconditional love and they have mine is a real blessing.
4. Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” album. Shout outs to the following additional songs for making me extra happy - “Stars” by Ulrich Schnauss, “Ship Leaving” by Pieter Nooten, “Nida” by Stellamara, everything by The White Panda, that new Depeche Mode album, and the soundtrack for The Bling Ring.
5. Getting some extra encouragement from great people to do the one thing I’ve always wanted to do and feel at my most fulfilled with. (If this is ultra vague, then it’s just gotta be.)
6. Being made an honorary member of the Poppin’ Fresh family tree by General Mills. What started as me being a little girl who liked the Pillsbury Doughboy and thought he was cute turned into years of research and is now starting to become something bigger than what I thought it could.
7. Being made an honorary California bridesmaid for my dear friend Melissa’s wedding next year. We’ve come a long way since the high school days of working at Subway together!
8. I moved three times this year and I’m thankful it all wound up working out because the last move was far from planned.
9. My tight work team who have really been the best ever and get everything about me from how to get me a link to watch that Game of Thrones Red Wedding episode online and total understanding of what “yaaaaaasssss omg you look so good yaaaaasssss” means.
10. And a quick shout out to all of my limbs, eyesight, teeth, mind, heart, and assorted other body parts for all being intact. That’s something easy to take for granted. Luv u, boo.
Spending Thanksgiving alone in a hotel with a pool, good eats, and mimosas this year. Very much looking forward to sitting in bed, propped up by a million pillows to watch the Macy’s parade while eating breakfast.
Growing up, one of my absolute favorite things was to witness my little brother Earl get put into his place when he smarted off to my parents. The kid was cheeky and full of sass, but in a cute PG-ish way. (Well, that changed significantly when he got older but we’re only including the funny childhood gems for this one.) Whether in public or at home, my parents would get him alright, but with none of this time out in the corner bullshit or stupid yuppie parent at Starbucks whimpering “no… no… please… use your words… be kind… be kind.” Discipline and learning lessons went slightly differently in our household…
1) Here is a memory I’m not particularly fond of because this was something I also got saddled into when I got in trouble alongside Earl. We didn’t do time outs. Instead, my parents had a set of 10 Commandments nailed to our living room wall. You know, from the Bible. If you mouthed off, you went in front of those commandments and stood there for a prescribed amount of time. During said time, you needed to memorize each one from start to finish. Then my dad would call you over, state that he wanted to hear a commandment from you, and if you recited it perfectly to him, you were free to go. However, screw up any word or phrase, and back to the commandments with you (you could go back up to 3 times and then he’d toss you a bone with the easiest possible one). The trouble here was that this wasn’t your standard set of commandments either. You know how there are notoriously shorter commandments like “remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy?” This particular set included a small paragraph after even the shortest commandments to include in the memorization process. Far worse, all of the 10 were marked in Roman numerals which could definitely throw a small child off on commandments 8 and 9 especially. So yeah, if you ever want to punish a child effectively while simultaneously helping to increase their memorization skills so they can win a books of the Bible recitation contest at the private school they went to, do this.
2) That one time Earl told my dad he didn’t feel like taking out the trash even though it was his turn and involved the arduous task of twist tying the bag and walking it all of 15 yards to the waste dumpster. In turn, my dad went into his bedroom bright and early that morning and dumped our trash can on him while he slept in bed. If it’s ever possible to almost black out while laughing, I got pretty close that day.
3) Another time Earl said, on a morning that was 15 degrees outside with frost on the ground, that he wasn’t going to wear a coat to school because it wasn’t cold. Guess who got locked outside in his PJs on our front porch for 15 minutes, screaming and crying and begging through the mailbox flap to come back inside and he’d put on the coat? N O T M E
4) At this point, you probably think my dad and I were nothing but big bullies to Earl and dug it in deep with him for our own amusement. That might be true, but only in that family teasing kinda way where you can do it as a joke but the moment someone else outside of the bloodline tries to do it, they gotta die. Anyway, we all used to go to open houses on Sunday mornings. This was all in an effort to move to a different neighborhood which would go into effect when I was 14 but everything up until that point was research. (The internet sucked back then, remember that.) One of the games at the houses we liked to play was called Earl’s New Bedroom. This was where we would find the tiniest possible space in the house and declare it was Earl’s new room if we moved in there. This could be anything from a cupboard to a dumpster to a cellar but a cellar is actually really roomy and nice and idk if that would fit the ENB aesthetic. Our favorites were tiny closets with no windows where we’d convince him to go inside and then close the door behind him, placing our weight against the door as he tried to get out, laughing hysterically as he yelled at us on the other end. Never failed to worry the other people roaming around on the open house visit. Also, now that I think of it, this may be the reason why I never want to physically own a house and do not understand why people in my age group think house hunting is some awesome adventure. It’s boring, exhausting, and filled with pushy real estate people. Also, there is no such thing thing as the perfect house that doesn’t come without 9000 extra repairs needed. The kitchen might have new appliances, but then you have a creaking stairwell or unfinished basement to deal with. I’m not kidding around here when I say that if I could, I would not only live out of a hotel for the rest of my life, but also build a chain of hotel-esque lodgings for post-grads and not interested in being a homeowner peeps throughout the country. All about that one room lyfe.
Here we are on Friday November 22nd, 5:10 PM PST, 55 degrees and WINDY outside. We’re talking winds on a Chicago in May level. Biting cold and chilly.
I’m at home. Waiting on a tortilla casserole to finish baking, Kit Kats close at hand (helloooooo, PMS), and wearing my favorite striped sparkly top with… a pair of… sweatpants… on…
LET ME EXPLAIN MYSELF
Back in September, I went to a gifting event with HBO where one of the items I received was a pair of sweatpants from a company called Lazypants. Initially I stuck my nose up at them because I haven’t worn sweatpants since high school (I think that shit’s mandatory if you go to Catholic school - what goes under the plaid skirt in December? Sweats.) and have maintained a very skirt/dress/dress pants/tights image since. With the exception of a lululemon yoga pants purchase in 2012, the slightly more grown up version of the sweat. But I also wasn’t jazzed on getting sweats because at that point in time every single day in LA, the Valley especially, was a horrible sweating hot mess of 99+ degree temps. The idea of slipping into a pair of warm pants after a long day of work sounded downright awful, as did eating anything that wasn’t cold or fruit.
Today was biting cold. And so was yesterday with a nice addendum of rain in the mix. I considered my warmth options when I got home and realized that while I have a lot of pretty pieces of clothing, I always opt for classic over warmth in my purchases. (With the exception of winter coats but who sits around bundled up in a winter coat on their leisure time?) So I have a lot of light blouses and sleeveless things is where I’m getting at with this.
But then I remembered THE PANTS.
Dug them out. Put them on.
It was cozy central. Still is!
Anyway, here are the Lazypants below. Part of the original collection and gold star for myself for thinking to get them in navy. Another gold star that I uh, didn’t have to pay for them because they are $80 a pair but if you’re in the neighborhood to get warm fast, I’d say it’s a small price to pay to take you through winter.
The fact that when faced with the option of taking time off to go home for Christmas and see my brother visiting from the Navy OR get a filling and buy my bridesmaid’s dress for the BFF’s wedding next summer, I can only do one and it has to be the latter because Christmas is on a Wednesday this year and I work both before and after that day and really can’t justify taking a week off from work.
“My brothers and I would scream at each other, and we’d be like, ‘I hate you! You’re so stupid! You’re ugly!’ And then five minutes later it would be, ‘I love you.’ … Girls are so imaginative, so good at getting to the warped place and really just taking someone apart surgically. A girl will tell you: ‘Your arms are flabby.’ Oh my God! Don’t go for the arms!”—Jennifer Lawrence