Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Gypsy Life Countdown

10: The number of Miller Lites I've drank since arriving home. Except for we should probably multiply this number by at least two. P.S. isn't this the cutest coozie ever? It basically sums up my gypsy life of not working and traveling around everywhere this summer and I don't hate it one bit.

9: The pounds of dog hair I've removed from my clothing via a lint roller this past week and a half. Three yellow labs + one girl who wears nothing but black maxi dresses = a new breed of half woman half dog. I should probably get my own Nickelodeon show at this point. But in all honesty, I've seriously contemplated getting a non-shedding dog just for this very reason.

8: The number of hours I'll be sitting my ass on a bus to get from Washington D.C. (P.S. I'm currently in The Capitol for anyone attempting to make sense of my city hopping) to Charlotte this week. Yikes! The things you do for love (and to save a shit ton of money by not purchasing a plane ticket). Thank goodness I haven't watched a single ounce of television these past few days so that I can binge on Bachelor and Real Housewives the entire trip.

7: The amount of different places I've slept since leaving my apartment at the end of June. Let's see, in Charlotte at the boy's, the Philadelphia airport on the way home from my last trip to Charlotte (oh hey worst flying luck ever), in my bed at home, at a girlfriend's in Cortland after a night out, at a girlfriend's in Ithaca after a night out (P.S. that whole not needing a DD thing when living in NYC is one of the best things ever in life), in a camper at a festival, and now in D.C. at my friend Kristen's apartment.

I'll die a happy camper if I never have to sleep in an airport again

6: The number of Drumsticks in the box that I had to make a special trip out of the house for one random night while I was home. Except for I forgot that they were in said box in the freezer and only ever ended up eating one, so now I'm a sad panda.

5: The number of pounds I've probably gained from eating shit like this and having no concrete eating structure in my daily life since my new gypsy life began. Restaurant here, bag of Doritos on a road trip there, chips and dip at the pool on one day, a trip to the ice cream store on another. Add all of the "not so normal meal routine" to the "not a chance in hell I'm working out when there's all these other fun things to do" and we have ourselves five extra pounds. Why can't baby inner tubes made out of pudge be a trend? Screw pineapples, let's go with life size donuts around the waist.

4: The days I spent at the Grassroots Festival this past weekend soaking up so much goodness with family and friends from home. Every year thousands upon thousands of people cram into my tiny no stoplight town for this big event and every year it's a complete shitshow of drunks and hippies swaying to music. You really can't hate it. 

3: The amount of times I kicked myself each of those three festival days for not coming up with this genius "Wine2Go" idea that I used the entire time. A foldable, reusable, non-breakable, non-leaking wine bottle. It holds an entire bottle of wine and you can take it anywhere! It was perfect for me for the weekend because the festival has a "no glass allowed" rule, so I just filled this baby up, threw it in my cooler, and away we went. I even poured some vodka and juice in there and shook them up one night for an even stronger cocktail. Then I just poured it into my Grassroots mug while sitting in the park listening to music. The thing is just amazing, I tell ya. Plus the same company also makes the Flask2Go as well. See? Now you know why I'm kicking myself. 

2: The number of times I almost fell into the dark and rancid abyss of the Port-a-Potties while at this Grassroots festival. Like, it's 2014, can we come up with a better solution for public toilets?  

1: The number of times I actually thought that I could possibly move home for longer than just a summer and not want to stab myself in the head with a fork. But I think that's probably just because I'm home during the best time of the year and not when elephant-sized mounds of snow fall from the sky. Because if Ithaca was always as nice as it was the past week, I could easily plop myself down for a year or two and be quite content.

And now I'm off to continue playing in D.C. with my bestest bud on a rose before heading back down to North Carolina to get some snuggles in. Happy Tuesday to you and yours!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz: Round 3

It's the third installment of the Blogmopolitan Quiz! All you have to do it download the quiz here, upload it to Photoshop, PicMonkey, Paint, etc so that you can fill in your answers, post it on your blog, and then link your post up here so everyone can see your answers! Have fun being a celebrity for the day.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Meet Your New Best Friend

Quick announcement! The newest installment of the "Blogmopolitan Quiz" has been born! 

If you've been around the block a time or two, you know the drill. But if you're new to the game, here's what you do: click the link below, download the quiz by clicking the little arrow button at the top, upload the quiz to Photoshop, PicMonkey, or Paint so that you can fill in your own answers, post it on your blog TOMORROW, and then come link up with me right back here tomorrow so that everyone can see your answers. Almost 200 different bloggers linked up last time and made lots of new friends, so don't miss out on all the fun!

Click here to download the quiz: Blogmopolitan Quiz 

And now… I have someone to share with you today.  But she really doesn't need too much of an introduction. Partly because you probably already know her (she's like the cool girl in the cafeteria that everyone wants to sit next to) and partly because you honestly don't need me to talk her up in order to like her. Who wouldn't like a chick named Karli Bell, like seriously. 

I clicked on her page one day, read her about me section, fell in creepily in love, tweeted about my creepish love, got a witty and funny tweet back from her, fell more in love, and the rest is history.

But I do have to admit that I'm a little nervous about sharing her with you because I don't want her to like you more than she likes me. But I guess that's just what growing up is all about right? That and hangovers and cellulite, but whatever. Without further adieu, I give you Karli Bell.


there was this one time when i was supposed to write up a nice little guest post for erin and i totally flaked on her. do you have a friend like that? someone who you genuinely enjoy, but for some reason they can't get their sh*t together enough to not flake on you on a semi-regular basis?

well, that's me. i'm that friend. at least i know my weakness, right? (at least one of my weaknesses, anyway.) flakiness aside, erin has given me a second chance to be her (and your) new gal-pal...and i couldn't be more thrilled. so, let's be flaky-friends, yes?

six perfect reasons we should be friends

1 | i'm married to pretty much the hottest farmer there ever was. i post pictures of him semi-regularly and i'm not opposed to you gals using him for eye-candy. i do - errr. single. day.

2 | i co-host a supper fun link-up each friday called, oh hey, friday! if you're into it, you should totally join it. last week we had nearly 200 gals link up! all you have to do is write up five things about anything your heart desires. publish your post and head over to September FARM on friday morning to get your link on.

3 | i love to write super awkward stories about myself and the situations i get into. then i question how this keeps happening to me? like that one time i was in a pageant...in college. or the story of what really happened on our wedding night. (you'll want to read the wedding night post. it's a rough one.)

4 | maybe you're looking for a new pregnancy blog to follow? well...that's my life these days. i'm six months pregnant and write about how much i cry weekly. and who doesn't want to read about their new best friend crying weekly? you can see those posts here.

5 | i bet you probably like giving your new friends money, don't you? i thought so. well, i'd be happy to take your money since i'm saving my pennies for a new nursery rocker. i have my eyeball on this one.
but since i don't want to take all of your money (i'm nice like that), i'd love to offer all two-thirds hazel readers a 30% discount off all of my ad spaces. just use the code HAZEL30 and you'll be set.

6 | and lastly, because we're new friends...i want to treat you to some starbucks. seriously...get entered for a $20 starbucks gift card. i may not be able to drink loads of caffeine for the next few months...but i want you to be able to. erin - thanks a mill for being so fantastic and sharing your wonderful readers with me!

Girlll, you are oh so welcome. Plus, it's not too much of a burden when the lady I'm supposed to be sharing to the world is just so darn likable. Because seriously, just go click on her site and hop around for thirty seconds, I promise you'll want to be best friends with her right then and there. 

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Tale of the Fluffy Furbabies

Hmm what's in this box, guys? 
Something's moving around in there and smells super funny.
I'm kind of scared to stick my nose in there, though.
Is it a present for me? Cause I really like presents.
Especially peanut butter and the leftover milk from your cereal bowl.
Can you get it out for me?
And can I eat it as soon as you do? Cause I like eating all the things, guys.

Oh, baby bun buns!
And more than one, too. Do I have to share them with the other dogs?
OMG, they're so fluffy I could die!
I could swallow them both in one whole bite, too.
Gah, that'd be so much fun.
Can I eat them guys, can I eat them?

Okay fine, I'll just sniff them.
Umm, this is pretty lame.
Definitely not as good as everything in your fridge.
And I can't even play with them without you having to hold them in your hand?
This is a really stupid present, guys.
I think you should send them back and try again.

There, back into their nest they go.
That's better.
Oh, and no Peter Cottontails were harmed in the making of this blog post.
Although the barn cat makes no promises to be as kind.
Because she's quite honestly a pretty big bitch.
Dogz rule, cats drool.

Over out and out, Princess Leia
P.S. spay and neuter your dogs and cats (and any weird humans too)

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Monday, July 14, 2014

A Two Thirds Hazel Q&A Sesh

There was once a time when Karli from September Farm asked me a bunch of random different questions. I obviously love a girl that knows how to do random, because that's pretty much my middle name around this blogging world. So enjoy the ride of odd questions that have nothing to do with each other today. You might just get to know me a tiny bit better.

1. Have you ever been in a girl fight?
Surprisingly, yes. With a girl I now consider one of my best friends. Although she obviously wasn't that at the time things went down. 

I was dating this deuche canoe that was deathly allergic to monogamy (see also: was a complete man-slut). I found out he was cheating on me with this girl who obviously wasn't my friend at the time, and then ended up being the crazy looney toon that I was back then and bitch-tapped (not so much a slap, but not so much a puppy snuggle either) the girl on the cheek. Basically the complete opposite of this:

But then both of us grew up and realized that the d-canoe was the problem in our little love triangle of hellish immaturity instead of each other, so we joined forces, ditched him, and became best friends. Girl power!

2. Any scary moments in NYC?
Unfortunately yes. If you ever ride the subway in NYC, you'll sometimes hear announcements on the overhead speakers saying something like "Packed subway cars are not an excuse to inappropriately touch fellow subway riders." Or something. I always thought they were somewhat of a silly joke;  something that would never happen. That is until it did. To me. 

I was on an extremely packed car and some guy was pushed right up against my back. He kept bumping into my ass, but hey, the subway isn't the smoothest of rides so I tried to brush it off like he was accidentally doing it whenever we hit a bump. But then the train stopped and there were no more bumps, he reached all the way up with his hand into my crotch area and grabbed me. Sorry for the graphic details but it was absolutely as horrifying as it sounds. I screamed. Punched him in the back several times while chasing after him, and then lost him in the crowd on the subway platform. People are sick. So watch your back, err, butt, if you ride the subway.

3. Phone, internet, or fruits and veggies - which would you give up?
Phone, duh. I hate the phone, remember? Plus who in their right mind could ever give up strawberries or corn or potatoes or carrots dipped in hummus or watermelon or smoothies?

4. Are you a fan of your blog? Do you wonder why people read it?
Oh boy. Sometimes I think I'm creative and/or witty. 99% of those times I'm also delusional. So 100% of the time, yes, I absolutely do wonder why people read this thing. I'm just your average twenty something who binges on Netflix instead of going on exciting adventures. It's not a life that's too thrilling over here too often. 

Before I had a blog I stalked the shit out of Jessica Garvin. I would literally hit the refresh button on her page at least ten times a day hoping for a new chalkboard bump update. Little Baby Gavin dot blogspot dot com was my version of Walter White's blue meth. I was completely addicted and couldn't wait for my next dose. I look back now and ask myself why I didn't run straight to therapy. I mean, I'm seriously such a freak. But I can't for the life of me imagine that there's anyone out there doing that same thing with my site every day. Like I said, we're really not exciting enough over here for that nonsense. 

5. Any romance in the city or walk of shames?
There's romance, but not in the city. Most of you probably know where that happens by now, cough, Charlotte, cough. But walk of shames have definitely happened in my five years of city life. EARMUFFS GRAMA! The best are those after Halloween and Santacon because of the obvious ridiculousness in outfit choices. Just picture a girl running down the street in the dead of winter trying to catch a cab come Sunday morning with nothing but red booty shorts and a tutu on.

6. Which sport would you do at the Olympics?
I'd go with gymnastics since I was a cheerleader back in the day, but their thigh muscles seriously give me the wide-eyed emoji look faster than you can say "Time Warner Cable sucks". Which is also my WiFi password, P.S., should you ever need it. But since gymnastics is out, the only other option would be ice skating. And I'm still mad at my mother for not signing me up for classes as a child.

7. What led you to nannying?
Well let's see. I started out in fashion working at Donna Karan because that was my major in college. Didn't like it. But then I needed to pay the ridiculous bill that was my rent every month, so I got some random job at an executive search firm as a head hunter. Didn't like that either. The clouds cracked and sent me a miracle while I was there in the form of me getting laid off. It sucked a bit at the time but is now THEE absolute best thing to ever happen to me in my work life thus far. 

Because that allowed me to take a month or so off to really figure out what I wanted to do for work. I didn't want to jump straight back into some random job that would solely exist in my daily life as a method to pay rent. Going to bed depressed every Sunday night because the work week is about to start is absolutely no way to live your life. 

So I decided to get back to my roots of when I worked at a daycare center during high school and college, which then led me to look for a nanny job. A couple days later, I was interviewing with a couple who had the cutest, most squishiest, most adorable three month old little boy there ever was. And now, two years later, I can honestly say it's been the single most rewarding experience I've ever had.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Finger Lakes Wine Country and an OOTD

So now that the Charleston recap is over, I'm officially back home in Upstate New York for the next week. After that I'll be off to Washington D.C. and Charlotte (again) but who's counting the days away? Certainly not me. Anyway, I'm home, and we all know how much I love home in the summertime because I posted all about it here by listing out things I was excited for. 

And one of those things was the wine country. The Finger Lakes (aka the central area of Upstate New York which has a lot of long skinny lakes next to each other that look like fingers) has hundreds and hundreds of wineries all along the water up here. So you'll probably be seeing quite a few posts about them making their way around the blog this summer. Obviously the first one being today since you've already seen all of the pictures up above. My Grama picked my brother's girlfriend and me up yesterday around noon and we drove the ten minutes over from where we are on Cayuga Lake to where Wagner's Vineyard is on Seneca Lake. It's about 1/3rd of the way up the east side of the lake for anyone familiar with the area and looking to try it out.

P.S. Can I just say that having wineries this close to your home is basically like God's gift to Earth? 

But anyway, we posted up at the Ginny Lee Cafe, which serves food out on the deck adjacent to the actual winery itself, for lunch. It has the most beautiful view of the lake looking out over the vineyards and the wine obviously doesn't hurt either. I go with the Rieslings every damn time and have never been disappointed. But our area is known for them after all, so I guess that's probably why. I've even ordered one of my favorites at quite a few different restaurants in New York City before. Puttin' Upstate New York on the map!

Wagner's also is the home of quite a few weddings, as well as bands that play live music on the weekends. It's definitely one of the better known and most popular wineries on Seneca Lake, so if you're ever in the Watkins Glen/Ithaca/Upstate area, I strongly suggest making a stop here.

Plus while we were there, I obviously had to get a few pictures snapped of my outfit. I mean, would I be a blogger if I didn't?

You can see more of my dress in the top picture, but I just have to say that it's my absolute favorite maxi this summer. It's $32 and from Target, duh, and I've already gotten tons of compliments on it in the one week that I've had it. Even the man was like "Erin Gray, looking absolutely BEAUTIFUL tonight!" as soon as I put it on. And that right there means it's a winner, ladies.

My necklace is from Forever 21, sunglasses from Aldo Accessories, and awesome new bag from Anne B Designs.  

Sarah Burroughs is the powerhouse behind this awesome brand that not only offers gorgeous bags, but also a platform for raising money to build a sewing school in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's a self-taught seamstress who decided there should be an easier way to learn how to sew, so she developed a program to raise money to do just that. 

You can learn more about all of that here, where you can also donate to her platform as well as get a bag of your own. They are all customizable and come in a variety of fun different patterns. I obviously chose the black and white spotted one since I'm obsessed, but there a lots of others. Also, check out her Instagram to see a bunch of other pretty ladies showing off how they've styled their own bags.

Happy Friday everyone, I'm off to go boat around the lake, drink one too many beers, and keep my tanned skin, well, tan.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Trip to Charleston - 25th Birthday

If you made it all the way down here, you deserve all the gold stars today. Like every single one on every single sticker sheet in every single Kindergarten classroom across America. Because that, my friends, was a hell of a lot of pictures.

P.S. Can we all stop for a second so we can dish a few high fives my way? Because not only did I remember to pack my camera, bring it out of the hotel room, and turn it on, but I also managed to snap about 100 different pictures throughout the weekend. And that right there is quite the success story for this DSLR illiterate idiot over here. Bravo, Erin, Bravo.

So anyway, back to my 25th Birthday weekend recap in Charleston. To put it short: it was abso-friggen-lutely amazing!

We (the boy and I) headed down from Charlotte for the three hour road trip Thursday afternoon. Aka my actual birthday. The bday fairies decided to grant me my wish in that they kept that little thing they called Hurricane Arthur at bay. Literally. And thank goodness because we only managed to get about two minutes worth of sprinkles for the entirety of it sneaking its way up the coast. Miracles do happen once in a while. But let's get on to the recap, shall we?

Where we stayed: 
The Belmond Charleston Place. This was apparently one of the nicest hotels in the downtown historic area from all of the recommendations and reviews I received. And everyone was definitely right because this place is basically like something out of a classic southern movie. Completely gorgeous!

Where we ate: 
Charleston Crab House - Because I wouldn't shut up about needing crab legs or I'd die ever since the moment I saw them when we drove into town. The restaurant has a great roof area with umbrellas and fans while you crack away at your legs and bask in the happiness.

Poogan's Porch - We heard we were supposed to go here for brunch, which we attempted to do on Friday not realizing they only serve brunch on the weekends. But it was still amazing anyway. I had a pulled pork sandwich which was great, but the homemade biscuits were the real winner at this place. I've contemplated hopping on a plane back to Charleston just for these damn biscuits. And I don't even like bread guys. Go visit this city and order the entire restaurant's worth of these things.

82 Queen - If you are ever in this city, you must must must go here. But make sure you ask to be seated outside on the patio because it is quite possibly the cutest and most romantic area I've ever eaten dinner. The food was your quintessential southern cuisine and the cocktails were great as well.

We also had a reservation at FIG which is supposed to be great but we were too full from chowing down on some She Crab soup and Gumbo beforehand and never made it. Another place we went to late night was Wild Wing Cafe which had an option to get three different chip dips in a sampler. So I was obviously in complete heaven since chip dips make up the majority of my diet.

What we did:
Hung out by the hotel pool. A lot. Because I'm certainly not used to the muggy hotness of the south and couldn't walk around outside during the day for longer than a couple of hours without complaining. Shocking, I know. But the pool was perfect because we had a waiter bringing us frozen cocktails all day long, so why the hell not, right?

Went to Pavillion Bar which is on the roof of the Market Pavillion hotel for the fireworks show on the 4th. Charleston puts on a great show out on a barge in the bay and the rooftop was the perfect place to get a good view. Although the bartenders really need to work on making their pineapple vodkas a bit stronger because your girl over here is quite the opposite of a lightweight.

Walked around the downtown area and went googly gaga-eyed at all the pretty houses and scenery. It's seriously like walking around a travel magazine and I need to be transported into one of them asap.

Posted up on the roof at Henry's Bar and Restaurant on both our first and last nights. This is a great place because it has an area for everyone. Chill sports bar, rooftop with hang out music, a live jazz band floor, as well as an uppity dance club. You can't really go wrong, so this was easily our favorite bar down there. Minus the 30 bug bites I got within ten minutes on the first night. Do they make allergy meds for mosquitoes?

Ate. A lot.

Drank. Even more.

And basically just had the best time for three days exploring a new city together. Now I'm already searching around for what city we can knock off the list next. Cough, Chicago, cough. But all in all, turning 25 was complete perfection and I can't wait to see what's in store for this next year of life. Although I'm not sure how much farther I can go up than the smile I had on my face when being handed roses as soon as I woke up on my birthday. 

I guess we'll just have to see, won't we!

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