Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun Friday!

My personal approach to life is to find joy and enjoy the humor of the every day. I hate taking things too seriously and I love to laugh. I especially love to laugh at snarky and sarcastic things, which is why my selection of links is full of just that. I hope you enjoy. Mostly because I worry that my particular brand of humor qualifies me as slightly obnoxious and I am hoping that there are other like-minded souls out there and we can all be obnoxious together.

As a fairly new first-time mom who was exposed to waaay too much stuff on the Internet like tutorials on how to sew your own play clothes out of the curtains when you have a spare 20 minutes, I whole heartedly enjoy finding the humor in our crazy parenting world. This blog is one of my favorite parenting blogs and has many funny posts but this one is my favorite. The Ten Biggest Secrets I Keep From My Kids.

Creepy things kid say. My favorite one on this list is, "Dad I love you so much I want to cut your head off and carry it around with me so I can see your face whenever I want." Because it was obviously meant to be a nice compliment, it just sort of unraveled there around cut your head off...

Tips on how to be a really good friend. Some of my friends could use some of these! Especially the ones that sew their own play clothes out of the curtains.

We all find ourselves saying unusual things to our kids (like the other day when I found the words "why are you rubbing my toothbrush in your poop" coming out of my mouth) but this dad turned his into art. I sort of want to order some for my son's room.

And lastly this. This is the best thing on the internets. If you haven't read snuggie texts before, congratulations I just made your day.

Have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and laughter!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Staff Picks: Favorite Women of Television

From Lucy Ricardo to the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey, women have been entertaining us with their wit and charm for decades. And because we are us, we have decided to tell you about the ones we like best, in a very wordy manner. Here are some of our favorite women of television:

Lorelai: I can't believe you're going to a therapist. You know they're totally going to ask you about me.
Rory: What?
Lorelai: They always want to ask about your mother. It's okay. Say whatever you want. But make sure you start with "my mother's very hot."
Rory: Yes, that won't seem at all disturbing to the doctor.

I didn't jump on the train boarded for Stars Hollow until long after Gilmore Girls ended. I don't know what I was waiting for, but when my sister finally convinced me it was worth my time I was hooked. I couldn't get enough of the fast talking, pop culture referencing, rabid metabolism of the Gilmores' world. Lorelai is a single mother to Rory, raising her to appreciate Metallica and The Bangles. Resentful of her silver spoon upbringing, Lorelai rejected her parents' vision for her, and chose to raise her daughter alone in spite of her parents' substantial means. Rory is incredibly studious with a penchant for reading. She shares her mother's musical tastes, insatiable appetite for junk food, and coffee addiction. Both women are usually armed with a witty remark or pop culture reference for each situation they find themselves in. They are devoted to each other. For the most part they support each other... although there was that one time when Lorelai started dating Rory's teacher... or that other time when Rory started dating the troubled nephew of Luke Danes. What I love about the Gilmores is their resilience and passion for life, their ability to find humor in most every situation, and the acceptance they show to one another, even though they are far from perfect.

It's time for complete and total honesty.  I have a wicked bad girl crush on Amy Poehler, even more so when she is playing Leslie Knope. I am convinced that Leslie Knope is quite possibly the perfect television character.  She started off a little shaky, but has become this fantastically well-rounded, in-depth character.  Her traits are exaggerated for comedic effect, but when it comes down to it, she is fiercely loyal, she stands up for what she believes in, she truly cares for people and she LOVES waffles.  I want to be her best friend.  She has also given us all the gift of Galentine's Day, which is definitely a new favorite holiday (most appropriately celebrated by eating waffles).

I love her relationships with her best friend, Ann, and her husband, Ben.  She has a way of being there and in your face and way super excited about things, without becoming overbearing or annoying.  And when she makes a mistake, she steps up and apologizes and/or fixes it.  She knows her flaws and she is humble when she needs to be, even if she kind of hates it.  She is pretty much the perfect role model. 

I really like the new Jane Bingum on Drop Dead Diva. She's the best of both worlds of model (Deb Dobkins) and lawyer (old Jane Bingum). Jane is pretty, fun, smart, sassy, and not the usual super-thin main character. It's interesting to see the two opposite worlds collide into one person. She learns a lot about acceptance and love. It's a fun show that I always enjoy watching.

I went ahead and gave away Leslie Knope and Buffy to avoid conflict, but just know that they are beloved by me. However, I am pretty excited to tell you about the amazingness that is Veronica Mars.
First, can we just take a time out to talk about how awesome Kristen Bell is? She has a very public irrational love of sloths. She is open about her lazy eye, which she has named. I am not threatened by the fact that my husband loves her, because it is completely based on her role in Heroes, in which she shoots lightning from her hands.

Veronica Mars is one of those cult shows that was cancelled prematurely despite the wailings of its rabid fan base. In fact, the Veronica Mars creator just put up a Kickstarter campaign for making a Veronica Mars movie, and it reached its two million dollar goal in about twelve hours. Is it really that good? Yes. Yes it is.

Veronica is a girl detective. Which sounds dumb, when you type it out like that. But she's part of a brilliantly modern noir world in which she solves crimes for (and behind the back of) her detective father. They are both outcasts in their town because her best friend was murdered the year before the series started, and her dad didn't think they caught the right guy, throwing him in opposition to the most powerful family in town. Veronica has lost all of her friends, and her dad has lost most of his business. Which means that Veronica is in a perfect place to be a hilarious, snarky outsider who solves everyone's crimes from her lunch table. She wears the occasional wig and dons the occasional accent, almost like the Sydney Bristow of the 11th grade, and for people who like mysteries but are sick of CSI and similar procedurals, it's a smart, funny alternative with a brilliant woman at its head. It's like Buffy for mystery lovers, minus the bad special effects.

I know I would totally be friends with Mindy Lahiri. I hate waiting for the new The Mindy Project to go up Hulu. I want to know what kind of a crazy mess the group has ended up in. Sure, Mindy is a bit selfish and celebrity obsessed, but who isn't? Her independence, sweet job, and amazing apartment gives me hope for the future of smart, strong, women. This girl always knows what she wants and she at least tries really, really hard to get it. Even if it's the ability to do nothing.

Reasons why Liz Lemon and I would be best friends...

She hates new experiences.
"I just want to go home and watch that show about midgets and eat a block of cheese."

She isn't afraid to admit she's a hot mess.
"Oh you don't want my advice on this. I ate a Three Musketeers bar for breakfast and this bra is held together with tape."

Her insults are witty and creative.
"Your toes look like dried up shrimps."

She has excellent coping mechanisms.
"I'm going to go talk to some food about this."

She's not overly affectionate.
"Lovers? Oh that word bums me out unless it's between the words meat and pizza."

She also likes to confess.
"One time I laughed at a blind guy eating spaghetti. Sometimes I pee in the shower if I'm really tired. I saw my grandparents making love once and I didn't leave right away."

She knows just what to say if a guy offers to buy you a drink.
"Really? I already have a drink. Do you think he'd buy me mozzarella sticks?"

She knows how to interact with the general public.
"This morning I stole a cab from a pregnant lady on crutches."

She knows when to give herself credit when credit is due.
"Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn't cried once today? This moi."

Rose: Now, I know no one wants to hear any of my stories right now...
Dorothy: That's always a safe bet, Rose.
Rose: ...but you need to hear about my cousin Ingmar. He was different. He used to do bird imitations.
Blanche: Well, what's wrong with that?
Rose: Well, let's just say you want to park your car under their oak tree.

You might find this strange, but I remember the first time I ever watched a Golden Girls episode. I was in the sixth grade, and I found myself sitting with my friend in her living room, blatantly avoiding my homework and trying to find something funny to watch on TV. There was absolutely nothing good worth watching (duh, Saved by the Bell had already ended), but while we were channel surfing, we stumbled upon four old women arguing over men half their age and then laughing about it over a delicious cheesecake while the credits rolled thirty minutes later. Honestly, most of the jokes went right over my head at the time, but Betty White's character, Rose Nylund, stole my young heart with her love for animals, incredible excitement over everything, and, most of all, her terrible stories of adventures in St. Olaf. While I loved all of the women on the show, I related to Rose the most because anyone who knows me knows that my sense of humor is, well, a little silly… like Rose herself. While most people roll their eyes at Rose’s lines, you’ll find me doubled over laughing on the couch right next to them. Rose just has a way of making a tough day so much better. You can always count on her to say something utterly ridiculous, served with the right amount of crazy. I literally watched this show from middle school all the way up to college until someone finally got the courage to buy me all of the seasons on DVD knowing full well that he would have to suffer through all of them with me. My husband is a brave man. 

I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that my fascination with Rose Nylund led to my love for all things Betty White. I'll probably regret sharing this later, but I've entered into a sweepstakes twice to meet her in California, I proudly displayed her calendar a couple of years ago, I own every one of her television show seasons on DVD, and a friend of mine almost conviced me that bidding on the couch from the Golden Girls living room set was a good idea. Fortunately, American television has been graced with a number of funny ladies; however, Betty White's Rose Nylund takes the cheesecake. 

I must say that all of my favorite TV women have pretty much been mentioned, but there is one more.  Topanga Lawrence.  That's right, everyone's favorite girl from that awesome TV show Boy Meets World.   You may think this is weird, as throughout the series she had her definite ups and downs as a character, but I love her.  She is always true to herself, and (for the most part) completely honest with Corey.  When he does something she doesn't like, she tells him.  If she wants to do something her way, she is totally comfortable with who she is; and come on, everyone wanted her hair, am I right?  Besides, who doesn't love the love story of Corey and Topanga? They make it through everything, and I even hear there is a sequel series coming? Excuse me while I squeal for joy!
I guess it was inevitable that with this group of blog writers, there were going to be overlapping interests, and probably no one is surprised to learn that Buffy Summers was one of them. (If you were surprised to learn it, that means you haven't watched Buffy yet. You should get on that. Right away.)

The thing about Buffy is that she's a totally relatable superhero. She has super strength, she trains hardcore, and she's a natural leader—but she also fights with her mom, likes cheerleading, and sometimes has a hard time choosing her Slayer duties over her social life. She makes mistakes, and sometimes they're big ones. She doesn't always do the smart thing (but she is very smart). She has a close group of friends, and she will do anything for them. She loves passionately and hurts deeply. She learns so much throughout the series, and her character growth is really amazing. But most importantly, Buffy kicks ass. This sounds like I'm sort of joking, but I really mean it—there is something so fantastic about 144 episodes of a show in which a woman saves the world, every time. She's small, blonde, beautiful, and powerful. She breaks stereotypes left and right (and it's especially satisfying when she fights the misogynistic villains Joss Whedon does so well). For me, what it boils down to is this: Buffy is a female superhero who never once wears a skintight bodysuit. The show is not just an excuse to watch a hot girl do cool things in unlikely heels while holding a giant gun. She's a realistic character (if a tad over-scripted; thank you, the 1990s). And when I watch this show, I actually find myself walking around feeling stronger and more confident. That's a pretty great thing to get from television. 

Who are your favorite TV women?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Confessions of a (Slightly) Germaphobic Mom

I love my children, and I am so grateful for them! However, some things they do I find completely disgusting.

Confession: I am a germaphobe. The various fluids that come out of my children gross me out.
 Spit, tears, mucus, poop, pee, ear drainage (my daughter has tubes in her ears).  They are disgusting.   When my children drool on me, I clean it off immediately.  If they chew on my clothing, I put paper towels underneath that spot so it doesn't touch my skin. When my adorable two year old gives me big wet kisses, I wipe them off as soon as he turns around. Don't get me wrong, I adore his kisses, but they also give me the heeby geebies.

My mother in law gives my kids big wide open mouth kisses, and when they get drool all over her face and mouth, she licks it off.  I'm not kidding. I am getting sick to my stomach even thinking of it.  She is a marvelous woman, one of the loveliest I know, but ew.

I will let my kids eat food that I wouldn't eat.  Not because it's dangerous or anything like that (I follow FDA guidelines for food preparation) but because I can't handle it.  If I drop something on the ground, they can eat it.  If it's cold and it was originally hot, I'll let them eat it.  Basically my husband is my standard, if he'll eat it, they can.  I keep being told germs are good sometimes, so I try to inoculate my children in this way.

I have already shared some of my anti-germ tendencies with my son.  He has to wash his hands when he gets dirt on them.  And he cries if something wet gets on his clothing.
When my adorable one year old drools all down my arm (every hour or so) I have a hand towel ready to clean it off, and sometimes I wash it off.

I am even not a huge fan of french kissing because it involves so much saliva.  Is that TMI?

I try to let my children play in the dirt, but I am bad at it.  They have a bath (or a complete wipe down with baby wipes) before I am comfortable again.

As I read this I realize that I am more than slightly a germaphobe... I suppose admitting it is the first step!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Naming My Anxiety

I'm going to get rather personal for a minute and, in all honesty, I'm quite nervous about it.

Have you ever struggled with a feeling or experience you couldn't really define or name?  Have you ever gone through something, thinking you were crazy or over-emotional or maybe just pms-ing?  I have gone through some less-than-ideal situations over the last five years.  I tried my best to keep it together and roll with the punches (so-to-speak), but sometimes your best doesn't quite cut it and that is more than okay. Figuring just that one thing out took way too long.

Nothing that has happened to me was overly traumatic or devastating.  A lay-off, being out of work for a few years, finally finding a job and suffering through while the situation became more and more unhealthy, watching my Grandmother through her last days with us.  These are things that people deal with every day all over the world, these things and worse.  There's another lesson that has taken me too long to figure out (and still takes constant reminding), my problems were big for me.  They were huge and they were stressful and they caused pain and doubt and fear for years, and that, too, is more than okay. 

Toward the end of my stressful job, I began to be abnormally emotional.  I cried at the drop of a hat.  I had been looking for a new job for 8 months with no hope of finding one.  Work was painful.  I came home crying during lunch breaks just to let off enough steam to make it through the rest of the day.  I was constantly worried I would lose my job, or have to leave to save my sanity, and that would leave me jobless yet again.  I couldn't become an even bigger burden to my family, who supported me through everything.  I was exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually. I would take bathroom breaks and just sit on the floor, in the dark, and cry uncontrollably until I could breathe again.  Finally, my mom told me to quit my job and move home to help her take care of my Grandmother.  I felt a literal weight lifted from my shoulders. For a moment, I breathed easier.  And I still cried.  A small pebble hit my windshield one day and I burst into tears, thinking of the money it would cost if I had to replace the whole thing.

Then, one day I was driving and listening to Steve Martin's audio book, Born Standing Up.  He describes having a panic attack and it was like a light bulb turned on inside my head.  Again, a weight was lifted.  He described a version of what I experienced and he gave it a name.  And maybe that's the most important thing that has come of this, understanding what a name can do.  I have since heard other people describe panic attacks and the things that bring them on.  Now I have a name and I have several accounts confirming that it's a real thing.  I'm not just sad or worried or stressed or overwhelmed or too sensitive.  All of those things seemed too small.  Depression seemed too big.  Occasional anxiety and panic attacks are super sucky, but manageable.  It's something I could suddenly wrap my mind around and try to understand.

Once I moved in with my parents, I tried to overcome some of these issues.  I realized that social situations were the problem, and now, as they are returning full force, I realize that unpredictability and lack of control are what cause the anxiety and, in turn, the panic attacks.  For a while, I just pushed through, taking very slow baby steps, as I tried to make new friends and make a new space that felt comfortable and safe.  I faced setbacks with the death of my Grandmother and I am facing them again now.  The difference now is that I know what is happening, I can recognize the onset of an attack and I can maybe try to stop it or work through it before it becomes a real problem.  But most importantly, I have friends and family around me who care what is happening and listen to me when I feel crazy for no reason and make me do things that are hard because they know I can do them.

I know I'm not alone in dealing with this.  And honestly, I've told very few people, because (as much as I know this is not true) it still feels weak and shameful.   I'm sharing this publicly now because I also know that the more support and knowledge we have, the easier it can be to work through.  I know what I feel is sometimes more than what others feel.  I know that sometimes my thoughts are just plain wrong and far too self-critical.  I know that what I feel and go through pales in comparison to what some other people deal with.  But maybe acknowledging all of this can help someone else give their struggles a name.  Or maybe it can just help me unload just a tiny bit more weight off my shoulders.  One way or another, maybe this can do some good.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Things That Never Die

Since it's Memorial Day and we're taking some time to remember, I thought it would be appropriate to share this Dickens poem with you. If you're less visual and more aural, you can probably find a choir singing a setting of it (which is where I first heard it).

The Things That Never Die
Charles Dickens

The pure, the bright,
the beautiful that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The striving after better hopes—
These things can never die.

 The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief's dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart—
These things shall never die.

 Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love—
Be firm and just and true.
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee—
"These things shall never die."

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's Friday!

Zach Sobiech's My Last Days video has been clogging up my news feed on Facebook the past couple days and when I finally followed the link I understood why. Zach passed away on May 20th, 2013 and this mini documentary shows how he spent his last days and how he said goodbye.

For some laughs for your Friday click HERE (best reaction ever). Also, visit the tumblr Reasons My Son is Crying. It's always good for a laugh, and totally relatable to anyone who has ever been around a child for more than a few hours. Finally, if you remember THIS blog we did a few weeks ago, and loved the Dove campaign as much as I did than you may love THIS parody.

I recently discovered a new author who publishes through Amazon. I've had my doubts about self published books, but Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon came so highly recommended I had to buy it and it did not disappoint. Amy is an incredibly gifted writer and storyteller. I also read A Different Blue, which takes place just outside of my home town, Las Vegas (you may have heard of it).  I loved it even more and I just had to share. If you like character driven novels with an interesting plot and beautiful love stories, check her out.

For those of us who have been counting down the days for the new season of Arrested Development, The wait is over this weekend.

Swimsuit season is coming up. Instead of killing yourself at the gym or denying yourself a reasonable treat now and again (cause we still have to be healthy, people) why not read THIS article about improving our self image....or maybe THIS one. Speaking of beauty, THIS post is a wonderful example of redefining beauty, written as sort of a love letter from a mother to her daughter. 

Finally, watch THIS video by Soul Pancake (the team that also brought us Zach's story). 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Giving Good Gifts

I am not very good at giving gifts.

I want to be. I like getting gifts, so I assume people like receiving them as well. From me, even. But I realize there's an occasion for which someone should receive a gift from me and I freeze.

What do they want? I think. How much can I spend on this? Should I make them something? When would I make them something? What would I make them? Why would I make them that when I don't know how to make that and never have made anything like that and it would probably be complete garbage? When will I get it to them . . .

You see where I'm going with this.

What's ridiculous about this is my mom is probably the best gift-giver in the entire world. (Although Lindsey is a pretty close second.) My mom is the kind of person that hears you mention off-hand that you've been thinking that maybe you'll start looking for a good biography of Abraham Lincoln to read, and months later she'll give you one for your birthday, and it will be perfect. (I use this example because this is precisely what happened to my husband on his birthday. I think he mentioned it once back in September, and she sent him Team of Rivals for his birthday in February.) She has a cubby in her room full of things that she saw for someone somewhere and just bought and saved it for the right occasion. (That's another problem I have. When I do find something I want to give to someone, I just want to give it to them, not save it for months. And then their birthday rolls around and I don't know what to get them.)

But the coolest thing to me about my mom's gift giving is that it doesn't stem from the fact that she loves to shop (although she does). When my mom gives me a gift, it's so clear to me that when I talk to her, she listens. She internalizes what I say, stores it away, and then she uses her secret ninja knowledge to buy me the perfect present months later. She gives me things that I want, but she knows what I want because what I want is important to her. Because she loves me.

The gifts are not important. The love is important. And when you really care about someone, and you make an effort to listen to what they need, you will know how to give them what they need from you - whether that's the perfect birthday present, a note of encouragement, a listening ear, or a hug.

I may not be as good at figuring those things out as my mom is, but I've got a great example and a lifetime to practice.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Confessions of a Kitchen Klutz: Projectile Cookies

My mother was an excellent cook, but she didn't see the point in baking. To her it was more work than the payoff.

But, once in a while, she would buy these microwavable cake mixes. For real, they sold those. You opened the box; put the mix in the pan provided, added water, an egg, stirred with a fork, nuked the whole thing and presto! Cake!

Sometimes she would get creative and add a fruit or some chocolate chips to the mix. And, well, when she wasn’t looking and she let me mix them up, I liked to add things too – nuts, extra sugar, honey, that sort of thing. Once I added an extra egg because I liked cracking eggs. Turns out, extra eggs in microwave cake mix will make the result kind of a slimy-rubbery Jell-O like bread thing.

I tell you the above to explain how I could grow up, get married, have a child, and STILL not know that you can't just improvise what you throw into a baking recipe without some basic knowledge of what various ingredients will do to said recipe.  You really can't.

The story I am about to tell you is true. This was the first time, on my own (well I had my six-year-old as back-up) and without adult supervision I tried to bake cookies. I was nearly 30. I rarely had baking type ingredients on hand.

The ingredients I did have on hand were probably given to me out of pity and concern, or possibly left behind by someone who used my kitchen once and had to run to a grocery store to do so successfully. So, the things I had were likely to be old and no longer the proper consistency …not that I would know the difference.

This is how the cookies were supposed to be made: 

1 cup shortening, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 - 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the shortening and both sugars. Then add eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt. Once the shortening, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt mixture is all creamed together, add the chocolate chips. Mix together, well. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for about 9-12 minutes or until golden brown.

This is what actually happened: 


I didn’t have shortening. In the entire time I lived in the house, I cannot say with any kind of certainty that I had ever purchased shortening. No worries. I had butter, unfortunately when melted it only filled about a half cup so I supplemented with olive oil. That’s probably better for you anyway.

White Sugar:

Had it! Totally had it!

Brown sugar:

Had that too, it was a little hard, which made it pretty hard to get in to the measuring cup, but my lovely six-year-old apprentice and I had a heck of a lot of fun pounding the bag of it against the counter until we could break off about a cup worth. And the olive oil supplement I mentioned above really helped with the “creaming” part of it.

Two Eggs:

I had exactly 2. Unfortunately, I did not go with my first instinct of not letting the six-year-old handle them on her own. About an egg and a half made it into the bowl. You know, roughly.


I was not currently stocking this ingredient in ice cream or extract form. I went with Rum extract, ‘cause THAT I did have and I am not sure what else I was supposed to do with it. Extract is extract, that’s how I figured it.


This is where it got tricky.  I did have flour, but since I had anticipated not having chocolate chips, I thought it might help sweeten the cookies up if I were to replace the flour with chocolate cake mix. But then in the end, the dough looked a little thin, so I also added a cup of actual flour, too.

Baking Soda:

I didn't have soda (that’s the yellow box in the fridge usually right? Mine was missing) so I used baking powder. Baking soda/baking powder: just two nearly identical forms of witchcraft in my book.


Had it! Woop woop!

Chocolate chips:

I didn't have those. But it did occur to me that I had, like, you know, more than half a bucket of Halloween candy left. Did you know it’s not that hard to cut up caramel squares and Hershey bars? And M&Ms don’t even need to be cut.

The few times before this when I tried to make cookies, I got flat mush that was baked onto a pan and had to be scraped off. (Who am I kidding? I just threw the pan away.)

On this attempt, my lovely little assistant and I got a very circular and cohesive (it’s not always easy to make them circular or cohesive) chocolate cookies. They looked delicious.

Revelling in my success, I took several to work on a crystal plate the next day to show off and share.  They had tasted fairly good, honestly, fresh out of the oven. But I guess something must have happened in them overnight – chemically or something. Because when my coworkers bit into them…well there was this “look” that came onto their faces.

Eventually word spread or something, because a crowd actually began to gather around my desk, to “see” the cookies I brought. Yeah. People came just to…look.

And then, one person got curious and threw one at the wall. Yep, for real, at work, someone threw my home baked cookie at the wall. And the most interesting thing happened. For the Buffy fans, you know that moment where Buffy stakes a vamp and it just turns to dust and dissipates into nothing?

That’s what happened to the cookie when it hit the wall. And the next, and the next, and the next.

I imagine the night cleaning crew was horrified. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This is Water

If this hasn't shown up in your news feed yet, allow me to pretend that we're Facebook friends and I'm tagging you as I post it. I saw it come up a few times before I clicked on it, and when I finally did, I was only planning to open it in another tab and then leave it until tomorrow. (This is something I do often when I find cool things I want to check out just as I'm trying to go to bed... and almost as often, it results in a browser with so many tabs open that I eventually lose patience and close out the whole thing without reading any of them. I sort of have issues with multitasking on the internet, by which I mean that I have to learn to stop doing it.)

Anyway. The point of that story was that when I opened the video in a new tab, it started playing automatically, and after just a few seconds I found myself not wanting to pause it. It's intriguing, eye-opening, and inspiring. If you take ten minutes to watch it, I feel pretty confident in promising you that you won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Not too long ago, there was a weekend when my husband found himself working a lot of overtime and as a result, I found myself watching a lot of shows on Netflix. By 2 am on Sunday I had run through all my go-to shows and movies and by necessity had to move on to random documentaries. Bankrupt pro athletes, Mary Pickford, the diet industry, etc., etc., etc… I ran through them all and nothing really caught my interest until I stumbled on Jig- a film documenting several dancers’ journeys to the Irish Dancing World Championships.

I consider myself to be a dance enthusiast. I have dabbled in pretty much every type of dance there is at one point or another (including Irish dancing). I started young and haven’t stopped yet, but I’ve got nothing on these kids fighting to become World Champion.

When the show began, I felt like I could relate to most of the dancers and their never-ending cycle of classes and rehearsals. Dance teachers ‘round the world yell at their students to point their toes and I’ve been there and done that. Half an hour in, however, the mother of a particularly voracious 15 year old told how her son used to pull back the carpets in their living room and attempt to perfect the same reel for 7 or 8 hours a day. Of his own volition. After that point in the documentary it became startlingly clear- I never have been, and most likely never will be, that passionate about anything. Ever. Possibly not even about my future children (sorry baby I am currently growing, but it’s true).

That’s just a depressing thought right there. Of course, this all happened at 2:30 in the morning and since everything in my world seems so dramatic after midnight, I shouldn't be surprised... but still. Now the thought has popped in my head and I can’t take it back. It’s out there, floating in my universe.

Well, I’ve had several good nights sleep since then and have decided something. Yes, the world might be a more beautiful and safe and convenient and creative place because of all those passionate people out there, and I sure do appreciate all the hard work they do, but my world is a delightfully calm and (dare I say) lazy place. In the best way possible. No, I’m not the World Irish Dancing Champion, but I am going to perform in dance recital about a month before I'm due to give birth, so I am declaring myself Pregnant Tap Dancing Champion. Huzzah!

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Friday!

Have you read this precious post from CJane? I love the way she describes her oldest daughter.  I love that her daughter's favorite show to watch is Rescue Bots.  I love that when her daughter finally looks at herself in the mirror, all dolled up, she just giggles with delight.  How often do you look at yourself in the mirror and actually feel giddy about how beautiful you are?  The times are few and far between, but they are so memorable. 

Cara shared this link and it's right up my alley.  A mother says this about her five-year-old daughter, "I wanted her to know the value of these amazing women who had gone against everything so she can now have everything."  Think of how much these photos will mean to her as she grows up. 

I am addicted to the song, You Belong to Me, from The Jerk.  Here's a cover from Zooey Deschanel and Ben Schwartz. Listen to it on repeat for a little bit.  Or just once in real life and then let it be stuck in your head for hours, which is where I may be at right now.

My sister got me this amazing necklace for my 30th (after I maybe pinned it five times).  It is my new favorite inanimate object.  You Are My Sunshine is the song my Grandmother sang to my mom, my mom sang it to us, and it is my favorite song to sing to my nephews. They don't have this version anymore (great timing sister of mine!), but they have this beautiful square version. The other stuff on the site (mimosa by m.e.) is also great.  Other favorites are here, here and here.

And lastly, I'm pretty much down with everything Kacy writes, but I love her posts on Babble.  Especially this one, "Our Favorite Fictional Moms and Why They Could Never Be Real." It's pretty spot on.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Confessions of a First Time Mom

I confess that when I was pregnant I broke our bed. I was just laying in bed reading, not even moving, when I heard some cracking noises, and then bam- the bed broke in half and I went crashing to the ground. The piece of wood that broke was directly underneath me so there was no question that it was my enormous girth that snapped it in two. My self esteem has never recovered.

I confess that after numerous birthing classes when we learned we just needed to think of happy colors and mentally open our birth canal, this is what my childbirth experience ended up looking like-

Seriously, I was so pumped and ready to have my baby in a stream while someone played the pan flute. Unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out that way.

I confess that I refused to buy new underwear when I was pregnant even when my undies started to look like a string around a pot roast. I have about five pair of underwear that I only wear to the gym, I've had them since high school (gross I know) and I refused to accept that I needed bigger ones. One night I was changing into my work out clothes, I got my underwear on and I saw in the mirror reflection that my husband was doubled up, on the floor, literally crying with silent laughter at the sight of me in those underwear. At that point, I couldn't really tell what they looked like so I asked him what was wrong. It took him a few minutes to stop laughing long enough to answer, "They don't cover the top third or bottom third of your bum. They only cover a tiny strip in the middle." 

I confess that I was totally planning on cloth diapering until I saw this slideshow. And then I was like sorry about that mother earth . . . how about I just donate to the Sierra Club or something and we'll call it even?

I confess that I use motherhood as an excuse for daily Diet Coke consumption. Whenever someone in church makes a comment that caffeine is really just the tears of Satan, I'm like yeah that's adorable but my baby makes me really sleepy....

I confess that after I spent pregnancy basically planning my run for president of the Le Leche League and cramming statistics about breastfeeding down everyone's throat, the best day of my motherhood so far was the day I decided to quit nursing. 

I confess that I go to great lengths to delay grocery shopping, one of which includes me eating my son's baby food. My favorites include baby yogurt, these wagon wheels that essentially taste like giant Honeycombs, and a particularly enticing pineapple-mango puree....

Now I'll say ten hail mary's and call it good. 

Relax and Snuggle

We got back recently from a wonderful trip to San Diego! We had a great time, especially at the beach, but we are glad to be back home also.

I was looking through some pictures we took at the San Diego zoo and thought the animals have it right sometimes.

This panda was surrounded by people, but it was just relaxing and eating bamboo. There was another panda that was spread out taking a nap in the shade. Pandas know how to relax!

Snacking and relaxing.

What animals are cuter than a mommy and baby koala snuggling in a tree? Not many- the zoo has a lot of animals, and these koalas were probably my favorite, followed by the cappybaras.

Mommy love.

Take a cue from these animals. They live in a stressful environment with people staring and yelling at them all day. What does the panda do? Kick back, relax, and have a snack. What do the koalas do? Snuggle together and take a nap.

Our lives can be very stressful, a lot of the stress being caused by other people, work, and the daily grind of life. Even in the midst of stress, you can take a moment to put your feet up, take a deep breath, eat a snack for energy, and relax. Doing this every day for a couple minutes will help you get a little perspective, have a better attitude, and feel more energized.

You should also take some time every day to appreciate the people in your life. Snuggle with the ones you love. Give your spouse a big hug and kiss when you see them. Sit with your kids and have a good talk. Cuddle your little baby close during nap time. Call your parents and have a nice chat. Get a friend to go on a walk with you. There are lots of ways to 'snuggle'.

Take time every day for yourself and for the ones you love in your life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wisdom of Eeyore

"A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference" ~Eeyore
Originally found on The Trevor Project's Tumblr page

My New Favorite Supermodel

I'd be lying if I said those were words I ever expected to say, but here they are, and totally true. I have a crush on Cameron Russell.

If you don't know about TED Talks, that is a situation that needs to be remedied immediately. If nothing else, you should acquaint yourself with them now because I'm almost guaranteed to post more of them here in the future. I've never seen one that wasn't fantastic, and most of them are pretty mind-blowing considering how short they are (usually five to twenty minutes, sometimes longer; this one's just under ten). 

Cameron Russell's talk is a good example. It's not earth-shattering, but it's a fascinating perspective most of us probably haven't had the opportunity to hear much of (because how many supermodels do you know?). It's also an interesting commentary on the way appearances affect our lives. "Image is powerful, but also, image is superficial. I just totally transformed what you thought of me in six seconds"—which she did by changing how she looked on stage. If you have ten spare minutes today, this would be an excellent way to spend them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Like Brushstrokes in a Portrait

I have a propensity to set large and elaborate goals for myself. Currently, I’m working on a list: 30 before 30. Which is exactly what it sounds like, 30 goals to accomplish before my 30th birthday, two and a half years from now. 

In the past, most, if not all of the goals I have set are forgotten within weeks. I look through journals I wrote in high school, all filled with unfulfilled albeit worthy aspirations.  Had I stuck with every goal I’d ever set out to fulfill, by now I would probably be a bilingual journalist, living in a foreign country running marathons. I would know magic, be filled with historical knowledge, dabbling in paleontology, and occasionally I’d be seen on stage. Sounds impressive right? As it so happens that is not an accurate description of my life. I got so caught up in the failure of my attempts, or the effort it took to achieve my lofty goals, that I would give up entirely. Lets face it, its just easier not to try. 

In the past year or so, I've noticed a change occurring. Most of the goals I now set are achieved. Most likely this change has occurred because of age and maturity. I also have a new attitude and perspective.  What I've learned that makes the most difference is: Be patient with yourself, and enjoy the journey. 

About four and a half years ago, fueled with good intentions I decided I would run a grand, full scale marathon. This was a pretty lofty goal, considering I'd never run a mile in my life. Not even when it was required of me for a grade at school. One day, for whatever reason I decided I was a marathoner. I put on some running shoes and ran out the door. Boy I was tired. I finished quickly (I don't know if I made it down the street) and came back home. I tried again a few days later. Maybe this isn’t what I really wanted. After a few weeks, my short lived desire to run a marathon was abandoned.

Flash forward to one and a half children later. My second pregnancy pushed my body to the limit. I determined somewhere around month 7 that if I ever made it to delivery, I would become a runner. I would actually start to appreciate my body for all it could do. If I could create a human being, I could certainly run. This time I decided to make a plan. I dedicated time, I gained knowledge, and when my baby was born, I began working on my goal. Things were slow at first. I started using the couch to 5k program. One of my friends began running with me. Four months after I began running, I ran my first 5k in 26 minutes.  I actually enjoyed running once I decided that I didn't need to be an elite runner the second I decided to lace up my shoes.
Right before my first 5k

Eventually I increased my mileage and last November, I completed my first half marathon. It was a full year from the time I started the couch to 5k to the half. The feeling of accomplishment was much greater than if it had been an easy undertaking. I found joy in the work, in the failure, in the try. I learned that my body can do hard things, my running partner became one of my closest friends, I learned to push myself to the limit, I learned that I can literally talk myself into enduring the run long after I assumed my body would give out. I keep going.

 David A. Bednar describes our efforts in life like a painting. Close up, the brush strokes don’t always makes sense, but as you step back and look at the painting as a whole, you can see how each stroke you make contributes to the portrait of our soul.

Each time I made the effort to put on my shoes and hit the pavement  my confidance grew, as well as my strenght and endurance. Becoming consistant, changing my habits little by little changed my perspective and my ability. This is true of any skill we hope to develop, whether its mastering a language, perfecting a craft, or just adjusting our character. 

Be patient with yourself. Each time you try, you put paint on your canvas.  When all is said and done, step back and look at the completed portrait of who you have become. Everything worth accomplishing is worth the time, effort, and fail. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Some Mother's Day Loveliness

A couple of things for your Mother's Day Weekend:

Paige suggested posting this nice Mother's Day video. It's quite warm and fuzzy, and you should share it with your mother and give her a big hug. Mothers do so much for us, and I know that I still go to mine for just about everything.

I also wanted to share this article I re-read this week, called A Mother's Bill of Rights, or Mommy is a Person. I feel like Mother's Day is a rough time for mothers in the thick of it, because there is a lot of putting mothers on a pedestal, and a lot of stories about angelic mothers, and a lot of pictures of mothers who clearly got to spend more than five minutes on their hair today. And hey, I'm not saying they don't deserve to be on a pedestal, but when you feel like you are personally failing because your baby won't nap and won't hold still for diaper changes and there is poop smeared everywhere and you just want to curl up in a ball and cry for a minute, it's nice to remember that besides being a Mother, every mother is a person, and a person is allowed to have bad days, allowed to feel frustrated, allowed to just really want to take a shower, and allowed to buy a Little Caesar's pizza for dinner sometimes.

Happy Mother's Day. :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's Friday!

This is probably one of the best photo blogs I've stumbled upon in years. From their website: "You Are My Wild is a weekly portrait project that brings together 14 photographers to document how they see their children." I love the honesty of these pictures.  Also this reminded me just how much time kids spend in their underwear and little else.  I love it.
If you need a superb chocolate chip cookie recipe, Mel's Kitchen Cafe has a winner. I've never pledged my allegiance to any one cookie, but when you need tasty, chewy (a must!), and attractive cookies that don't require softened butter (my achilles heel when it comes to baking), these are fabulous.

Your weekly internet ridiculousness here: A Cat Wearing a Shark Costume Chases a Duckling While Riding a Roomba Vacuum. Did these sorts of things even happen before Al Gore invented the internet?!?

Moment Junkie; another photo blog, but this one is "a blog devoted to showcasing the best in contemporary wedding photojournalism, with a focus on moments between people that are timeless, heartbreaking, hilarious, or all of the above."  A few favorites here, here, here, and here.

Have you been swept away by the force of Pinterest and found yourself with a sewing machine that you don't really know how to use? Melanie from The Crafty Cupboard is writing an "I Can Sew" series all through May, starting from the ground up with tools for beginners and getting to know your sewing machine. I consider myself a more seasoned seamstress but I have still benefited from her wisdom. You've probably also seen her chevron skirt tutorial floating around Pinterest.

An oldie but a goodie: Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie. It's the perfect early morning song for those quiet hours when the sun is still waking up. I'm also a sucker for stop motion anything.

And finally, this article: "I've Started Telling My Daughters I'm Beautiful." It impressed me deeply about how much women need to model positive attitudes about ourselves for our children. Right now I only have a baby boy, but you better believe he's going to grow up knowing his mom thinks she's pretty.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Staff Picks: Girls' Night Movies

This is the first of what we hope will be many collaborative posts where we just tell you what we all like in a category. We hope that you'll share your favorites with us in the comments! 

There's nothing more fun and relaxing than a good old-fashioned girls' night. We all need them from time to time to unwind and be silly. Here's a little (okay, "little") list of our favorites.

Meg: There are so many awesome girls night movies, but if I'm being honest, I'm always in the mood for an SLA (Sumptuous Literary Adaptation) and I have enough bookish/Anglophile friends that I can usually talk someone into watching them with me. North and South (the 2004 Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation, not the 1985 Patrick Swayze Civil War one) is basically Pride and Prejudice with a cotton mill strike. It clocks in at about four hours, but it's the perfect movie to watch while you work on projects, paint your nails, and swoon over Richard Armitage in all of his angular British majesty (plus the actor who plays Bates in Downton Abbey is running around). It has a little bit of a hefty (non-violent) death toll (cotton workers get fluff lung a lot) but the romantic payoff is so great that I always feel like starting it over again as soon as it ends. I have never recommended it to anyone who didn't fall in love with it, and I even watched it with my mother-in-law.

Lindsey: I didn't think this would be a difficult choice, but, my friends, it was so difficult.  I'm not a "chick flick" kind of girl and generally let my girlfriends convince me to watch things like North and South (I am the proud originator of the term "fluff lung," thank you and you're welcome) and other lengthy sagas.  I will confess I did not watch the BBC's Pride and Prejudice until I was in my mid-twenties, I do not know what I was thinking, because we all know that this happens:

And that's really something I can get behind.  My girls night movies are usually comedies that guys would also like, something from the 80's, or ridiculous teen movies with catchy phrases we can say over and over.  So, I'm going with the 80's selection since it is severely overlooked as of yet in this post.  There are so many, but I have to pick Pretty in Pink.  Molly Ringwald is the girl from the other side of the tracks who falls in love with a rich guy named Blaine.  BLAINE.  He has perfectly floppy hair and is non-threatening and soft spoken, just the kind of guy teenage girls swoon over.  The soundtrack is fantastic, the angst is thick, and Jon Cryer does the best lip-synch I've ever witnessed.  It brings me great joy.  

Bonus points for Pretty in Pink: I saw James Spader walking around the Louvre with his girlfriend in 2007.  It was amazing and every time I watch this movie, I remember slightly stalking him from a respectable distance in a famous French museum.  Kristy Swanson hits on Ducky at the end of Prom.  This means Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ducky dated (before she met Donald Sutherland and fell in love with Dylan from 90210). Movies are great.

Melissa: While You Were Sleeping is the perfect romantic comedy for a girls night. Starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, this 90s flick is filled with hilarious dialogue, and a plot so ridiculous it is irresistible. It’s the not so classic tale of girl falls for boy, boy falls onto train tracks, girl saves boy, boy falls into a coma, and in a comedic series of misunderstandings the boy’s family believes the girl is his fiancĂ©e. This movie has been a staple in our family since it hit theaters in 1995. It is witty, it is honest, and of course in the end true love conquers, leaving you satisfied (and maybe even a little teary eyed).
“Do you believe in love at first sight? Nah, I betcha don't, you're probably too sensible for that. Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person *really* knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with. Have you ever fallen in love with someone you haven't even talked to? Have you ever been so alone you spend the night confusing a man in a coma?”

Paige: Downton Abbey. Okay, I cheated. This isn't exactly a movie BUT if you watch two episodes in row it is! Or better yet, you could be like me and watch a whole slew of them at once and get a pop up box on your computer that says, "You've been watching for three hours. Are you sure you want to continue?" Thanks for the self-esteem boost, computer. They might as well put a note on the bottom of the chip bag that says, "You just ate a whole bag of potato chips. Do you hate yourself yet?"

Downton Abbey is the best because it is wholly and completely a soap opera... but it's on PBS and everyone has British accents so you can totally get away with watching it. Do you ever hear your co-workers talking about who finally kissed on Days of Our Lives? No, because everyone would be too embarrassed to admit they watch it. But you can still have the "can you believe who woke up from their coma?" conversations in total confidence if you invest in this classier soap.

So if you're going to hop on the band wagon (and I highly recommend that you do) you should know that the cool kids just call it "Downton"; don't ever let autocorrect make you look like a fool that spells it Downtown Abbey or you will be mocked and ridiculed; and we all hate Ms. O'Brien.

Now feel free to call the next person that cuts you off on the freeway an uppity minx.

CaraI’m sometimes up for a good chick-flick but most of the time I just need a smile. Some of my favorites that I’m always up for are (in no particular order): Young Frankenstein, Princess Bride, Some Like It Hot, Singin’ in the Rain (one of the few musicals I truly love), White Christmas (another musical I dig), and Noises Off.  Some of my TV favorites: Matlock (you really can’t beat spunky Andy Griffith in a grey suit, though it's not typically my friends' movie night pick), Firefly (Mmmmm...Nathan Fillion...), Friends, and The Vicar of Dibley.  If I feel as though I need a good tug on my heart I’ll opt for: In Her Shoes, Big Fish (always makes me cry), and Stranger than Fiction.  As you can tell, I really don’t like choosing favorites and I lean more toward nostalgia than anything else. :o)

Megan: My current movie obsession is Pitch Perfect. Who knew that a movie about "organized nerd singing" could be so fun?  I love almost everything about it. I watched it for the umpeth time on Monday night for "research," even though it meant I only got 5 hours of sleep that night. I love the soundtrack. We listened to it over and over again on our road trip last month. I love how empowering for females the movie is (it even passes the Bechdel test). The movie is also extremely quoteable! My favorite lines comes from Fat Amy (yes, there is a character named Fat Amy and she is played by the amazing Rebel Wilson). Here are just a few of my favorites: "I'm gonna finish him like a cheesecake" and "Yeah, I did, but yet maybe I didn't because I got hit by flying Mexican food."

Miri: This is a difficult question for me, because much depends on what kind of girls' night it is. Are tubs of ice cream and the comforting of a recently-dumped roommate involved? If so, is the goal cheering up or wallowing and commiseration? Is it a pizza-and-drinks movie night, where you just want something fun? A girl-power night? Snooty foods and classic films? (It is now obvious to me that I should have made a flowchart.) 

Weirdly enough, both types of roommate-comforting needs can be met by the two movies I couldn't choose between: Bridesmaids and Bridget Jones's Diary. Both are excellent for wallowing; both are also hilarious with sweet love stories and warm fuzzies. Seriously, Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are pure comedic genius. For something fun, Easy A is both hilarious—Stanley Tucci's role = fabulous—and a light-hearted, interesting (though not un-problematic) commentary on slut-shaming and other social topics. It has depth, but it's the kind of depth you can totally ignore if you're just in the mood for a funny movie. Now, if you're looking for girl power, I don't think you can do better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show, not the movie, which I haven't seen). I will say only this: Even moderate to severe levels of 90s cheese are worth it for the experience of a universe in which a woman is always the strongest person in the room. And finally... the classics. Go with pretty much anything starring a Hepburn, and you're good. For girls' night, I'd pick Stage Dooran almost entirely-female cast including Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller, and Eve Arden, plus dialogue that would make Gilmore Girls die of envy.

Elise: If I'm going to be honest here (and I believe honesty if of utmost importance when it comes to girls nights) I have to choose You've Got Mail. It's got the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks dynamic duo, cute music, a to-die-for children's book store, a great story line, and loooove. I'm impressed with how well the movie has aged even though the main theme centers around the internet in its prepubescent days, complete with the dial-up tones when everyone logs on to check their email.  This is my go-to movie and seems to fit any situation; are you crafting and need some background noise? You've Got Mail. Can't sleep? You've Got Mail. Feeling lonely because your husband/boyfriend/significant other is out of town? You've Got Mail. And it's endlessly quotable ("152 people who think he looks like Clark Gable. 152 people who think he looks like a Clark Bar"). See what I mean? Excellent girls night fodder.  

Lis: I really like The Holiday. It's got Jude Law- enough said for me, but I also like how they made Jack Black and Kate Winslet go so well together. It's the first movie I saw in a theater by myself. My other choice would be Northanger Abbey, the 2007 version. The main guy reminds me of Jude Law- pure coincidence. I love the playful feeling of the movie mixed in with the gothic novel aspect. It has comedy, drama, and romance- perfect Jane Austen for those who have watched Pride and Prejudice fifty times already.

Rachel: The Little Mermaid. The Les Poissons song, princesses and handsome prince, a happy ending, animation, and childhood memories.

Jill: Between growing up with five sisters and no brothers and ten years of living with various female roommates, I have had dozens, nay hundreds of "girls nights." They were all special in their own way, but not too long before I gave up living with a gaggle of girls to live with one anti-chick-flick husband, a group of friends and I discovered something even better than finding the best girl's night movie. We began a quest to find the best worst girls night movie. Ever since then we have been slowing making our way through some of the most unintentionally laughable films out there and let me tell you- they are some of the best girls nights I have ever had. The top contenders? Burlesque (Oh. My. Lands. I was speechless), Liz and Dick (we felt bad picking on a made-for-tv Lifetime movie, but it seemed destined to be in our lineup anyway), Spice World (okay, I not-so-secretly actually loved this one), Josie and the Pussycats, and my personal pick for the absolutely best worst movie ever made... From Kelly to Justin. Although, good luck getting your hands on a copy of that last one- I had to take the metro to a public library two counties away before I found it. Apparently it was, like, not that popular or something. Shocking.

Zaissa: Mirror Mirror is a newer movie that I think has been totally under appreciated. It's fun, and clean so you can watch it with kids in the room (they will like it too). I love the retelling of an old fairy tale that  dumped the old version of Snow White you may know. She was never my favorite character because - other than pretty, there wasn't much to her. The story was always more about what people did to her and did because of her. And she was pretty much a lost girl who just went with the wind. But in this version she is smart, funny, and really brave. Her beauty comes from the way she cares about other people. And she and the queen aren't fighting over being the "cutest" but over power - 'cause you know, even in a chick flick it seems like we girls deserve more credit than to have it believed all we care about is our skin and hair. The scenery is beautiful.

Dafni: Chocolat has to be my all-time favorite girls' night movie. Gorgeous France, smooooth, creamy chocolate, Johnny Depp... need I say more?? It may be my obsession with travel and my love for Europe (and did I mention Johnny Depp? :)) that pushes this to the top of my list, but it really is a fantastic movie. Beautiful scenery, acting and a romantic love story. So dreamy.

On a completely different note, Pitch Perfect is hilarious and all about music nerds. I was totally one of those nerds in high school. Wait- that's probably not past tense. Either way, this one is great. I usually like to give it some time before I watch a movie again, but I've seen this one at least 4 times in the last 2 months. Hilarious with a fantastic soundtrack = awesome.

Honorable Mentions (because this list could be so very long):

She's the Man
Bring It On
When Harry Met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle
Moulin Rouge
Mona Lisa Smile
Becoming Jane
Mean Girls
Whip It
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Miss Representation

What are your favorite movies for Girls' Night?