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The 25-Year-Old Grandma

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

Barbra Jordan

Welcome to the life of a young adult with the mindset of a geriatric, blue-haired, old lady with 3 children. I’v been contemplating starting this blog for some time now, thinking, I can’t be the only person in their early 20’s with no children, that goes to bed at 8:30 PM every night. Honestly, i’m hoping this blog will be reassuring to not only me, but my relatable peers out their in cyberspace that need the simple validation that there is someone out there in this world just like yourself! So, let me introduce myself properly. I am by no means a writer, or professional full of useful knowledge I am dying to share. This blog will not save you on car insurance, nor make you skinnier in the next 30 days. What it will supply, hopefully, is a relatable read from a complete stranger for your pure enjoyment. So here it goes. Throughout my day, I spend most of my time thinking about how I can get out of social situations to lay in bed with my dog and watch Friends reruns on a loop. Can anyone relate to this? Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, I enjoy going out for drinks and dancing on the bar, pretending I am still a college student and not just the Alumni that can’t seem to let go of their glory days. I am the type of person to make plans on a Tuesday, and come Saturday i’m just begging God for an excuse to cancel and not to leave my couch. I thrive off of my morning cup of coffee from my over priced Espresso maker with a splash of almond milk creamer for that healthier option that damn well justifies the 3 tacos and margarita’s I had the night before. Basically, I want to share with the world the reality of being an introverted extrovert who is always up for a nap and an oversized grandma sweater. Enjoy.

Rebel Behavior

For the first time in my life, I was called a rebel. It was a mumbled, under your breath, didn’t think the young kids could still hear you kinda name calling. Me? A rebel? Listen here Karen, I think you must have me confused with somebody else, because I have never been anything close to a so called “rebel” in my whole 25 years of existence. I wouldn’t even have considered myself a hardass when I wore my basketball hoodie everyday in 8th grade to get around those god awful polo shirts we were required to wear in Catholic school. What prompted this assumption you may ask? Well, it was the simple fact that my fiancé and I were not wearing our suggested protective face masks while exiting the home improvement store. Scandalous, I know. I am really getting out of control with my old age, but listen here bitch, I couldn’t breath with that cloth suffocating my insides.

Moving forward, with my entire summer vacation ahead of me, I preceded to think to myself of all the other acts of rebellion I could try out over the next 3 months. All the bullshit I should’ve tried during my teenage years, but now, who’s going to yell at me? This will be great! *Eats three soft pretzel sticks with cheese for lunch* what a great start. Rebels don’t eat their vegetables!

If you can predict, clearly it all went down hill from here. Not wiping up spills on the counter tops, leaving clumps of hair art on the wall in the shower, bra-less for days. I should’ve chose this life a long time ago! Oh, but it didn’t stop here. This was only the beginning. On Tuesday night, I skipped a shower, had not just one, but 3 glasses of wine and stayed up until a ridiculous 11 PM. My God who was going to stop me? Clearly I couldn’t keep this up forever. What if I were to go to far and end up on the FBI’s most wanted list for murdering my livelihood?

If any of my readers know me in the slightest, rebel is no where near my description box. I made a blog about my geriatric tendencies, and work with special needs children for a living for goodness sake. Being called a rebel will certainly be crossed off my bucket list Karen, and I definitely won’t be wearing a bra anytime soon, but I guess taking away from this rambling nonsense, don’t be like Karen. Make sure before you call strangers un-relatable names, that they’re at least 6 feet away from you.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

You know, quarantine has been treating me pretty well lately. Working from my kitchen table.. couch.. bed.. toilet.. Making gourmet lunches during my 12:30 PM amateur cooking show, all while wearing my “fancy” pajamas that only get broken out for those important Zoom meetings. What can I say, I have gotten more sleep, I have had more time to focus on my health and wellness, and I have had an overwhelming (appropriate) amount of quality time with my dog. I can admit that I am longing for life as we knew it, but I also highly enjoy having my groceries delivered to my doorstep. As my fiancé and I are adjusting to our new normal, we did encounter a day of unfortunate events during quarantine.

It started out just as any other beautiful, Spring, Saturday. We had planned on making the drive to get a truck load of top soil for my new garden beds. I am truly so excited to have the time to garden this summer, and prove to the world that I to can keep a plant alive. I am absolutely considering this preparation for having a small child one day. I also may be trying to redeem myself from my brown thumb last summer, but who is really paying attention? I have been working on my little baby sprouts for a few weeks now, and watching them grow from just a tiny seed gives such a feeling of satisfaction. As one may know, a plant requires water and sunlight to stay alive. If this is news to you, you might want to stick to buying your produce from the farmer’s market. As I was saying, water, sunlight. I watered, and since it was nice out, I put my little beans out in the yard to get a good ol’ sun tan. Fast forwarding to our return, there was a tragic accident that may have scarred me for the rest of my gardening career. Despite being my newly refreshed quarantine self, I may still have a pickle for a brain. I totally forgot I put my precious sprouts out to get some sun. I think we’re going to hold off on the producing of a tiny human. As the world moved in what seemed like slow motion, I watched in horror as my hard work crumbled under the tires of a 2018 Toyota Tacoma. Their funeral will be held Saturday, May 2nd in the back yard, please only close family and friends.

As tragedy stuck, we waisted no time in prepping for a regrow. We put on our homemade masks and headed straight to Tractor Supply. As if starting over wasn’t difficult enough, Tractor Supply was out of starter kits. So, what do you do in a quarantine? You make shift your life. And that’s exactly what we did. Our new sprouts are flourishing in egg cartons on the kitchen counter, what a time to be alive! Although, they haven’t started growing yet, so, we’ll keep you posted on the whole being alive deal..

To lightly encourage my fiancé to take me to Tractor Supply, I may have bribed him with a large Carmel Macchiato from Dunkin Donuts, but hey, we got there! Here is where the real unfortunate event happened. One that discredits all of my fiancé’s brain cells, and totally proved to the drive-thru lady that Americans are for sure idiots. As we all know, the world is taking extra precautions to stay safe now a days, Dunkin Donuts being one of them. Really, kudos to them. As we pull up to the drive-thru window, the lady reaches out of the window with a plastic bin that contains two coffees, and a plastic cup that had an unopened straw in it. Well, my fiancé takes the coffees, and proceeds to try and take the empty plastic cup. This cup was taped to the bottom of the bin, its clear purpose was to hold unopened straws. Yet, there he goes, pulling, and pulling, completely disregarding the frantic drive-thru worker saying “Sir, just the straw!” “Just the straw, sir!” As he proceeds to say “Man, that’s really stuck on there isn’t it!?” I about died of both laughter, and embarrassment that I am marrying this man. My greatest apologies to the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru lady, but I still laugh just thinking about this unfortunate event. And by the way, their coffee is still bomb, even during quarantine.

As the day continues to go on, you would think our unfortunate events would wind down. Wrong! The show doesn’t end until the fat lady sings, or in this case, your dog spills 32 oz of lemon water all through your table made out of raw wood. That’s right people, play time finished out the night almost like when a football team dumps the Gatorade container all over the coach after a big win. Luna decided she had so much fun during her game with dad, that she wanted to celebrate by dumping water all over the table. This event really kept me on the edge of my seat, let me tell you! So, there we were, sitting on the living room floor at 10:30 PM with the table flipped on its side, quickly drying it with spare beach towels, laughing at what our lives have come to.

I guess my take away from all of this is, even though life is definitely different right now, don’t forget to keep your head up. Our day was filled with a series of unfortunate events, yet I haven’t laughed that hard since quarantine has began. I encourage you to find laughter, and persistence in your new normal. Embrace the change, keep going, and always remember to water your plants.

Unpaid Gratitude

It has taken me a while to get back into writing with everything that is going on in the world. I guess you could say that I have needed some time to process what is really happening, and just how it is effecting my life on a personal level. I have now been out of my classroom for four weeks. That is an entire month I have been working from home, four weeks I haven’t seen my students, and thirty days of navigating distance learning without my colleagues being just a desk away. I don’t think that I had fully come to terms with social distancing, or the fact that our entire state is on lockdown. Some may say that is because I am too young to really have an understanding of how these types of things effect people other than myself. Some might insinuate that because I am youthful and healthy that I couldn’t possibly understand how high the stakes are for those of us who may be harmed by this invisible enemy. Sure, I have tuned into the governors briefings, and the presidents daily speeches, but it just hasn’t felt real. It feels as though I am going through the motions, just watching this movie of unrealistic events, but I am the main character. I have felt like i’m in my own little bubble with my dog, and Fiance, and somehow the rest of the world was just a place of its own. Until yesterday.

I was doing my usual scrolling through facebook, sending the laughing emoji for meme after meme until my thumbs got tired, but I saw something that really made me stop for a moment. It was a video from the local news station, cars were lined up for miles at the local food bank. Those people must have waited there for hours, upon hours. I couldn’t believe that there were that many cars, that that many people were in need of such a basic element of daily life – food. This image left a heavy toll on my heart. I obviously knew of local food banks and what they provided to people, but seeing this concept on such a large scale smacked me into a whole new perspective. In that moment, I had never felt so grateful to be able to put the basic necessities on the table. That moment started a snowball affect of gratitude just pouring out of me. There is so much to be grateful for in a time where everything else feels so uncertain.

What are you grateful for one might ask. A basic question asked in many instances. Sure, I have many things that I am grateful, and appreciative of, but in this moment I had never felt gratitude on such a high level. It made me really think of all the basic things in my life that I take for granted because I don’t always remember that not everyone has these essential things. During this time there is a long list of things I am so thankful to be able to appoint my gratitude on.

The ability to work. In the beginning of all of this, I was very uneasy about packing up my personal belongings, not knowing when I would be in my classroom again, not knowing when I would see the bright and shining faces that greet me every morning again. As the weeks go by I am just grateful that I have the ability to work from home, not having to worry about a lack of income like so many others around me are during these tough times. Some people have no idea when they will be returning to work – that is terrifying.

The ability to put food on the table. I have never been so grateful for such a basic necessity as I am right now. Although, the way we now go to the local grocery store is far from typical. Last weekend, my Fiance and I made our first trip of the season to my favorite local farmers market. When we arrived we were stopped by large signs on the doors, posted on neon paper, and a pack of gloves sitting on a table outside. Before we could enter we were to put on a pair of gloves, and only touch the produce we were absolutely going to purchase. This was harder than you think, I never realized how many things I touch at the grocery store that I don’t buy. At the checkout, a friendly face greeted us from behind a plexiglass shield. This was the new normal. This moment made me long for the normalcy that was previously taken advantage of by the everyday American.

My loved ones. There have been multiple instances where I have complained about being cooped up in the house with no-one to talk but myself all day, with nothing to do but clean and take way to many trips to the fridge. But, I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I surround myself with in this life. I am grateful to have these moments in quarantine with my soon to be husband. The extra time spent on the porch swing watching the dog play, and talking until the sun goes down. The ability to call my family and share in their boredom, sharing recipes and wedding ideas. This lockdown has made me really think about those individuals who don’t have moments like these to share with someone during these scary times. My gratitude lies with the friends and family that I know support me even when the rest of the world in so uncertain.

This is just a small dent within a long list of things to be grateful for, but as this war presses on, I will continue to further express my gratitude where gratitude should be paid. There are many aspects in this world that can’t be controlled right now, although this is the time that we need to remember the things that we can control. Remember not take things for granted that could easily and quickly be gone in an instance. Even when the world might be crashing down around you, there is always something to be grateful for, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tips To Keep Your Sanity – Quarantine Edition

Well ya’ll, writing about the exciting adventures of quarantine each and everyday turned out to be way harder than anticipated, meanings the only thing I have looked forward to these past few days is the meal I am going to eat next. There is a high potential that this blog may become “Cooking with Grandma” is the near future – featuring as many frozen goodies we can possibly make in a two week time period – stay tuned. All I can say is – thank goodness for in-home workouts, or this girl would end up looking like a 10 lb bag of potatoes squished into a 5 lb sack by the end of this pandemic. Although, I don’t have many exciting activities to report from these past few days, I do have some essential tips and to-do’s that could be beneficial to the general public that may be going just a little bat-shit crazy going into week two of self-isolation. So get your pen and paper ready and take some notes.

As some of you may have read, I went to take care of my little brother for a few days after his surgery. Although, this adventure had me driving over the river and through the CITY – I DO NOT drive in the city – it was a sense of self-validation that if there would happen to be another apocalypse in the near future, possibly with zombies, I would totally be able to drive us anywhere and everywhere to survive. My brother is doing just fine, most of the first day was spent with my ass planted on his couch re-living my childhood watching everything from The Lizzie McGuire Movie to Cadet Kelly while he slept – I guess you can infer that I was indeed a Hillary Duff fan girl back in the day. Day two of sibling quarantine was just as exciting as the first, although this time I made him watch Disney re-runs with me – he was super enthused. Although, he wasn’t as enthused when I accidentally put his fancy TV into Spanish with the audio description on and couldn’t figure out how to turn it off – neither of us are in fact Hispanic or blind. As our sibling hangout surprisingly quickly came to an end – time sure does fly when you have no where to be, and nothing to do – my parents came to check in on him and visit with me before I left to venture back through the city. While spending time with my loved ones, I came to the realization that none of this would be happening if we weren’t in quarantine. Sure, my brother probably would’ve had surgery, but I wouldn’t have been there with them if this crazy pandemic wasn’t happening. That’s what made me think, I really have been given the gift of time. It may have to be spent confined within the walls of my cozy little house, but so what? I have time to spend doing things I have complained for months, even years that I didn’t have enough time to do before. So here are my ideas that may have you thinking a little differently about being cooped up basically until further notice.

Spend time with your loved ones. Obviously if you’re confined to your house, you really don’t have a choice in the matter, but really spend time with them. For instance, today, my Fiance and I made 3 meals together, we cooked, we laughed, we danced in the kitchen, and I learned that he had to take his drivers test 3 times before passing – really be present with the ones you love. We spend our typical lives going so fast, there is constantly something to do, or somewhere to be, but for once in our lives that is no longer the case. I urge you to take a moment to enjoy their company, preferably, before day 14 of quarantine – by then they will quite possibly be on your last nerve.

Spend time doing something for you. In a time where we have all the questions with little answers, you might as well spend a little time doing something for yourself. You’re in control of the things that you can do for you, whether that be reading a book, doing a face mask, taking a nap – enjoy the moments you can take for yourself, some of us are not always lucky enough to have this extra time. This will also hopefully help with keeping your sanity during a trying time.

Clean up your mess. You have been saying for weeks now, that if you only had a little more time in the day, your house wouldn’t be such a mess – at least that is what I say, along with if I didn’t have a dog the size of a miniature pony. It is officially Spring, which definitely calls for some deep cleaning. Whether it be your house, your garage, your brain – now is the time sister! Your spouse is home, your kids are home, assign a job and get to it. Coming out of this isolation with a clean house and a clean mind might be a game changer for the rest of 2020, because right now, most of us would like to end our 3 month trial for this new year.

Get some fresh air. For the love of God, get the stink blown off of you. If it is only going 3 feet out of your door, get some fresh air. Let the sun shine on your face, if only for a few minutes. Although it might not feel like this chilly weather will ever come to an end – Spring has officially sprung. So, get out there. Take your dog for a walk, plant some seeds, wash your car, do something that will fulfill that Winter vitamin D deficiency.

Take a deep Breath. Take a moment to yourself to just breath. I realize some of you Apple watch owners like myself often ignore, or simply laugh whenever it tells you to breath. This time it is serious. I realize that for some of you, you have been sentenced to your house, unable to go to work, stuck with your 4 kids on repeat with no end in sight. It’s almost as if you woke up at 3 am, lost the remote in the couch and are unable to turn off the beginning theme song that plays over and over on the dvd home screen – it is enough to drive anyone crazy. So, lock yourself in the bathroom, turn on the shower, and just take a moment to yourself before you kill one of your children.

These are just a few suggestions that will hopefully give some ease during these difficult times. Absolutely do what you need to do to stay safe and healthy, but make sure you’re not sacrificing your sanity because of it. Sooner or later, we will all go back to a time where toilet paper is bountiful, and the only thing we have to worry about is what the hell to make for dinner for the rest of your life.

Quarantine: Day 3

First off – let me say I continue to have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on, both with life and work, so if you’re looking for some worldly answers – this is totally not that right blog for you. Moving on, I do totally wish I had some more exciting updates to tell you as day 3 is quickly coming to an end, and I basically have nothing to show for it except maybe an extra pound or two. I skipped my workout due to how ridiculously sore my asscheeks are. Again squats with weights is just not a good idea. After skipping my workout, there was indeed a series of unfortunate binge eating events that proceeded to occur. They don’t tell you that with boredom comes unforeseen hunger. Of course I need an entire roll of cookie dough right now, why are you questioning me Karen? My breakfast started out great. I had a spinach and mushroom omelette perfectly prepared with cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, all topped with a dash of Frank’s Red Hot. Please contact me with all of your breakfast needs, as if you were unaware – I am currently laid off, although that hardly changes the fact that I was totally poor before the Nationwide Pandemic. Now everything I ate after was a little less health conscious if you will. These items may have included – Chex mix, editable cookie dough, Mexican rice, strawberries, honey garlic chicken over rice, a protein shake, and maybe throw in a few Life Saver gummies… but thats enough about me.

One exciting adventure I am mentally preparing myself for this evening is babysitting my little brother for the next few days. For those of you who don’t know, my brother is indeed 22 years of age – hardly an adult. We will be working on potty training, how to properly wash our hands, and there will definitely be some Disney movie watching – just kidding. It may surprise some of you but he is indeed fully potty trained. I will be there simply to make sure he takes his antibiotic and doesn’t puke it up afterwords. No, no – he does not have the Coronavirus, so you can all stop panicking for my safety, my blogs will carry on for your pure enjoyment. You see, my brother is having surgery tomorrow. We were all shocked that it wasn’t cancelled, as it is not considered an “essential surgery”. I suppose I should consider myself lucky since I am not the one who has to take him to the hospital at a bright an early 5 AM – sorry mom, i’ll drink an extra cup of coffee for you.

As for the rest of my evening, my ass will continue to be planted on the couch, although I will be spending some much needed quality time with my Fiance. Lucky for him, I have prepared a special viewing of Holes – dedicated to my childhood I continue to live out vicariously through Disney Plus. Highly recommend. As for my loyal readers, I also highly recommend not binge eating the entire snack cupboard, and finding another social distancing hobby. I’ll check in tomorrow.

Quarantine: Day 2

You don’t realize how lucky you are to be able to get up, go to work, and interact with other human beings, until you spend 48 hours at home, with no one to converse with other than your Fiance’s cat, that you have no doubt will one day kill you in your sleep. So far I have forced the dog to cuddle with me, watched mindless TV, totally crushed Solitaire, and pretty much avoided all real responsibilities. It is like I am on my own private island. Let’s not discredit the fact that I started a new in-home workout program – boxing. Now I can contribute my lack of motivation to the fact that I can’t even sit properly to go to the bathroom – my legs are destroyed. Whomever thought doing squats with weights for 3 minutes straight was a good idea – I will find you, and I will remove of you.

On a lighter note – I received a reassuring email from my supervisor stating that she technically can’t force us to complete our paperwork at home, although if our boredom lead to it, it would probably be a wise choice. Have I completed any paperwork yet? Um, no. I feel as though the pressure is not high enough yet, plus I haven’t even caught up on This is Us yet, paperwork I would say is a little lower on the priority list – there is always week two of quarantine for that.

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with being stuck at home alone all day. I am grateful for the extra time to reset my mental heath, as well as check off some major to do’s from my never ending list – but, on the other hand, I am only on day two, and already going stir crazy! I feel like I have begun a new game of SIMS where we have skipped the tutorial, and my player is aimlessly wondering around with no idea of what the hell is going on.

Being confined to your house really escalates your desire to leave your house. On a typical day, I would have absolutely no problem planting my ass on the couch catching up on my favorite Netflix shows. But, since I skipped the COVID-19 game tutorial my desire to go to T.J.Maxx is through the roof right now. Sitting here staring at my decor-less walls for days upon end – the At Home store is basically calling my name. Same with Dunkin Donuts – I have plenty of over priced coffee to go around, but my desire for an extra large thin mint latte is at an all time high.

As day two is winding down, there is two things I know for certain. 1. My sleep schedule is already f*cked. 2. My Fiance is praying to God that he doesn’t get put on house arrest having to deal with me for the next week with no one to save him. Will we make it out alive? Will my paperwork get completed? Will I clean my house? Will I lose my mind? Stay tuned for day 3!

Quarantine: Day 1

You know, going into this previous week, us public school employees were highly concerned about managing the superhuman behaviors that were going to escalate as a result of day light savings, a full moon, and Friday the 13th all within a 6 day time period. Putting all snot dodging, table licking, and dirty tissues aside, these events were really making for an interesting week. If those weren’t enough turn of events, Friday afternoon we were told to pack up our personal belongings, as our school would be completely shut down for two weeks due to the Coronavirus frenzy. The first thought running through my head was “have you seen some of these kiddos on a normal day?” I honestly often contemplate wearing a mask on a good day. As a frantic group of teachers, we had more questions than administration had answers. Will we have to teach remotely? Will we continue to get paid? Will we have to make these days up? Will there be enough toilet paper to go around? Their response.. “We don’t know”. Well shit, thats reassuring – as i’m smuggling toilet paper from the woman’s bathroom out in my oversized therapy bag..

As most of the world has gone completely nuts, I wanted to bring my loyal readers along for my 14 day quarantine “vacation” as some non-educators may see it. Hunny – if this was a vacation, I most certainly would not be on my hands and knees, hand scrubbing that part of the toilet that everyone pretends isn’t there, covered in dirty hair and old piss splatter – surely this isn’t your idea of a vacation. I mean, I have basically been given the gift of time, although that time may be spent checking things off of a very long list I no longer have an excuse not to do – lucky me.

So far, my dog has been super appreciative. She has enjoyed sleeping in – taking up 3/4ths of the bed, and mid-morning spurts of energy destroying any toy that may ruin the mood – she is definitely here for a good time. As for myself, my ambitions may have been a little high compared to my actual motivation level.. How many of us might react when given the blessed gift of “social distancing” – obviously creating an outrageous list broken down by room, task, and level of disgust. Let’s just say, day 1 has come to an end and the mess has held its own – it’s not ready to go. It wasn’t prepared for this pandemic, and I needed to respect that.

So what did I do on day one of quarantine? I absolutely got some much needed rest, pissing my off my internal alarm by snoozing for at least an extra hour – going back to work is going to be a nightmare. I spent some quality time with my angel dog, as we snuggled up on the couch watching the dumbest reality TV show I could find from beginning to end within a 12 hour time period. Don’t forget the 3 cups of amazingly over priced coffee I sipped in peace without a 6 year-old child that’s not even mine mispronouncing my last name 10 times before 9 AM. I will say, the dishwasher ran, and a quality dinner was made, but I completely took the much needed mental health day that has been a long time coming.

Looking forward to the days to come, as we may be in stuck in the house for Lord only knows how long – I am totally starting to regret not bringing my board games home from work. This would be the perfect occasion to show my Fiance who the real boss is, and totally bargain Spring cleaning tasks. But, as for now, I will try and keep my sanity by slowly completing my chores like a responsible adult, and making deep conversation with my dog until I can hangout with real human beings again. Until then, i’ll keep ya’ll posted.

Secret Obsession

Well readers, the time has come to let one of my best kept secrets out from the cage. I have given you a glimmer into my everyday life, my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, but I have left out one tiny life obsession that gets me through each week with some sense of fulfillment – ALDI. Let me spell it out for you. A.L.D.I – write it down, yes sister, we are talking about a grocery store. But, not just any grocery store, ALDI has everything you could ever imagine! Need produce – go to ALDI, need toilet paper – go to ALDI, need a fort to hid your kids in for 3 hours- go to ALDI. I’m not kidding you THEY HAVE IT ALL! Let me share with you my weekend ALDI routine that gets my shit together before all hell breaks loose Monday morning.

Step one – Make a nice, steamy cup of expresso coffee, plant your ass on the couch, and make that list. I am telling you, planning out 4 to 5 dinners a week, what healthy bullshit you’re taking in your lunch, and how many boxes of Lucky Charms will get your man through the week, you will feel pretty much like a goddess walking into the greatest store known to man.

Step two – put on a bra. This is a classy store ladies, no one wants to see your melons when ALDI has perfectly good grapefruits in isle two for 50 cents a piece – put them away.

Step 3 – The quarter. Another prime example why ADLI is a class act. If you’re unaware, to utilize a shopping cart, you will be in need of a shiny quarter. The quarter goes in the cart, as it unhooks your cart from the other carts in stock. The purpose of this? To keep those runaways in check, obviously you will need your change back for your next ALDI adventure and will have no business letting your buggy you spent a whopping 25 cents on run ramped through the parking lot. This simple way to keep civilians in check also allows for “paying it forward” moments. That cute little old lady walking across the parking lot, ready to get her ALDI on, of course I will give you my cart for free – happy shopping!

Step 4 – Don’t forget your bags! I am notorious for forgetting my ALDI bag collection at home, only to remember as I am pulling into the parking lot – and I wonder why I have so many. If you’re new to the ALDI lifestyle, you will need to get into the habit of keeping your bags in your car, unless you enjoy apples rolling around your trunk like a box of milk duds. It’s not always super convenient, but part of the reason ALDI’s prices beat out other competing stores, is because they don’t have to spend excess money on providing bags at check out. I don’t know about you, but I will take the cheaper chicken thighs over free plastic bags.

Step 5 – The isle of shame. There you are – organic produce in cart, off brand girl scout cookies in hand, and all of the sudden you turn past the dog food right into a black hole of deals and random shit you didn’t know you needed. Right smack dab in the middle of the store lies the ALDI isle of shame. You don’t just wonder through with one item in mind, this particular isle tells you what you need, it speaks to you if you will, and let me tell you – this isle has spoken to me more often than not.

While I may be just a bit bias, ALDI has honestly saved me money when looking solely at shopping for my grocery needs. It provides me with solid organic, healthy options at prices that won’t break the bank. I won’t lie – there are a select few items that unfortunately, I can not get at ALDI, such as my shampoo, body wash, etc., although they do carry these items, I just prefer a different option not sold in their store. Now, looking at the items that called my name loud and clear – I am now the proud owner of couch covers, a bookshelf, a decorative shelf/lamp combo, a dog bed, a scratching post, a storage milk crate, meal prepping containers.. I think you get the gist – I may have a problem. Look at it this way – all the money you save on groceries allows for the awesome items you never new you needed! If all of these amazing qualities wrapped up into one store doesn’t persuade you to add ALDI into your shopping routine, you obviously don’t believe in the potential of the items you might find in the isle of shame. So please people, grab your quarter and add ALDI into your life – you won’t regret it.

When You Give a Girl a Mom

My mom and I have not always had the best relationship. Growing up, I was a nightmare of a child to say the least. I was mouthy, stubborn, and didn’t listen worth shit. Whatever she told me, I would do the opposite. Whatever advise she had to offer, it was going in one ear and out the other. I had a skull thicker than a coconut, and I wasn’t going to let my mother crack into it no matter how hard she tried. I was an independent teenager who didn’t need no parents – just like I totally didn’t need to pull my shirt down overtop of my belly button. Looking back I regret those precious could have been moments where guidance from the woman who was secretly always right would’ve been so helpful.

Mothers are an important asset to their daughters lives – little girls grow up watching their every move, aspiring to be half the woman their mom is one day. Now being very much a tom-boy as a child, I can’t say that I watched in aw as my idol put on her makeup in the mirror. But, I did admire her strong ability to conquer just about everything else – mountain of laundry – handled – home cooked meal every night for dinner – no problem – basketball practice, homework, and a science project – got it covered. As kids we sink into this mindset that moms really are superhero’s who can handle anything that you throw at them, that they’re some how indestructible. Over the last few years, I have come to acknowledge and really listen to the grumbles of not only my own mothers stresses, but also the mothers I interact with on a daily basis. I have compiled a short list of to-do’s that I feel in some way, shape, or form will keep you from pissing your own mother off any further.

  1. Listen to her requests the first time – My brother and I were notorious for “forgetting” to take dinner out of the freezer, switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, and of course vacuuming the living room when asked 8 hours prior. Now, we all know that these requests can be done quickly and easily, so put the phone down for a hot second and do them when you’re asked. You will thank me later.
  2. Offer her help – We all know that she is perfectly capable of doing 101 things at the same time on her own with no help – she truly is Wonder Woman. But, that does not mean that she wants to do all of these things solely on her own. The poor woman’s job is not to cater to your every move, she deserves to do things in life that also make her happy and fulfilled. So, pick up your dirty clothes, unload the dishwasher, make your own damn dinosaur nuggets and mac n cheese, and let her have a moment to breathe. Think about how many things your mom does for you in a day, or a week – by doing some of those things yourself, it allows for her to take a moment to replenish and continue to be the amazing human that she is.
  3. Do something for her – She does so much without even thinking to make sure you’re happy, healthy, and well taken care of. You can take 30 minutes out of your busy life to do something, anything for the woman who literally gave you life. Buy her flowers, take her to lunch, complement her outfit – do something that shows her that she is still the most important woman in your life.
  4. Listen to her advice – We all know that 99.9% of the time mom is always right. It is in your best interest to nod and agree, even if you think otherwise – yes, the green beans were indeed right in front of your face, you should’ve looked harder. I can’t tell you how many times as a child I argued with what my teenage brain thought was in my best interest, and of course in the long run, mom was always right. These ladies know what they’re talking about, they have physically pushed an 8 lb baby out of their body – let me tell you, they have seen a thing or two.
  5. Love her – Love her unconditionally. On her good days, on her hard days, on the days that going on seems impossible – love her.

Luckily, at age 25, I can proudly say that my mom is one of my closest and dearest friends, although I do get highly offended when she doesn’t pick up my phone calls on the first try. After all, I am her pride and joy. We did somehow make it through the angry teenage phase, and all of the times that I forgot to take chicken out for dinner – which I don’t think I have ever formally apologized for. I encourage those of you who still have the opportunity to learn from your mother, to take in every ounce of advice, pointless stories, and grumbling complaints with a grain of salt – we all know that we couldn’t make it through this crazy life without them.

Small Victories

I recently finished an eight week long workout program from start to finish. Please, hold the applause. Yes, I did indeed pay for an entire year to workout in my living room, with no one to breathe in my sweaty armpits but my dog. This was something that I have been pushing myself to do for some time now. No, I am not one of those psycho’s who runs for fun, and I most certainly do not enjoy “feeling the burn”, but as I am working my way through my 20’s, health, and self-care are slowly becoming more and more important to me. It took me a long time to begin this journey, partially because the tiny voice in the back of my head often whispered that I was incapable of completing something such as this, due to my frequent inability to finish things that I have started. I have a long history of buying the $1 down gym memberships just like every other New Years Resolution holder, to better my appearance and self-image for maybe 3 weeks, as I continue to pay that measly $35 a month, acting as if I will get my ass back to the gym as soon as life dies back down – isn’t that a joke, sister you’re never getting that $400 back.

This year seemed to be somewhat different. That tiny voice in my head was whispering just a little bit quieter. I took that as an opportunity to pull my own scared, quivering, yet motivating voice out from the shadows. I made the decision to silence the negative, self-loathing mindset, and let myself blossom into the person that I wanted to become. So, I asked myself. “Why can’t you finish this?” “What is the sole reason you can’t complete the things that you want most in this world?” My answer – Doubt, and the mindset that settling for something that fulfills me in the moment, is worth sacrificing my goals in the end. Don’t get me wrong, girl if you’re at your nephews first birthday party, you eat that piece of cheesecake – it would be a disservice to yourself and the cheesecake factory if you passed up that opportunity, but don’t sit there and eat an entire bag of Baked BBQ Lays and tell yourself it’s okay because they’re baked. Yes, I may be speaking from experience..

I am always perusing Instagram and Facebook, following those lifestyle bloggers with their inspirational quotes, and sexy pictures on some beach in the Caribbean living their best life, as I am thinking to myself – “I could never look like that” or “They have all the time in the world to work on themselves and mold such an influential, desirable lifestyle” and then I thought to myself – “why the hell can’t I?” Yes, I may never become a social media influencer, or a famous blog writer, but what I can do for myself, is keep pushing towards my goals while celebrating the small victories. That is exactly why I celebrated completing 60 days of bettering my health with a big ol’ snickerdoodle cookie dough blizzard from Dairy Queen – size small. I encourage you all to celebrate the small hurdles you have surpassed leading you on the way to your goals. Lost 2 pounds – celebrate. Finished a pile of paperwork – celebrate. Three days smoke free – celebrate. Got 5 more likes on Instagram than yesterday – celebrate. Whatever your goals are, celebrate the baby steps on the ride there, feed off of that momentum, and keep going.

As for myself, year 25 is really throwing me for a loop. I have never stepped so far out of my safely padded box, i’m not sure if I am confident, nauseas, or damn right out of my mind, but I am loving the person I am becoming. My advice to you all – stop letting the tiny whisper in the back of your head dictate what you can and can’t do. Celebrate the crawl, the baby steps, all the way up until you’re running the marathon. You are the social media influencer of your own life – don’t let Sarah on her Caribbean island stop you from living your best life.