Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Eye Opener

Sometimes you come across quotes, stop reading halfway through, yawn for a second, and then throw them into the dark hole that is the pile of random shit you see daily but won't think twice about ever again. And sometimes you come across quotes like the one below, stop dead in your tracks, say "holy hell", and then rethink your entire way of living.

I don't know who this Robin character is, but whoever he is, he's a god damn genius. Because if there was ever a set of words that could smack you straight out of a funk, then these would definitely be the ones. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm deathly afraid of living a life just like this, or if it's because I've been living the life of a world traveler without a real routine lately, but this spoke straight to me.

The immense fear I have of waking up one day when I'm 75 only to realize I've lived a life of monotonous routine stems from my senior year in high school when my English teacher, Mr. Clifford, assigned us a project on the book "The Chocolate War". There was a quote in the main kid's locker that read "Do I dare disturb the universe?", and we were supposed to interpret that and answer the question ourselves. 

Do I dare disturb the universe? Do I dare relinquish myself from the conformity that is "normalcy"? Do I dare break free from sleepwalking through my days and, in turn, through my life?

I remember sitting there at my desk absolutely dumbfounded by it all. I had never looked at going about life in a systematic, comfortable, easy, straight forward, "I know what I'm doing because this is how I always do it" way as a bad thing. And it's certainly not a bad thing, I suppose, if that's what truly makes you happy. But it doesn't for me. It just isn't enough. So my answer to all of those questions back when my little old self was a mere seventeen was "abso-friggin-lutely". My answer to all of those questions now is still the same, just intensified by this new found quote of Robin Sharma's. Because his statement basically is the answer to whether or not you should disturb the universe. If you don't ever step out of the boundaries, do something new, or venture down a path that isn't so comfortable, then you're most likely just doing the same thing every year, for 75 years, and calling it your life.

I refuse to do that. I will not do that. I am petrified of that. Because YOLO. Sorry I had to.

Now that I've broken free from my own "wake up everyday at 7:10, get on a bus at 7:27, start nannying at 8:00, leave at 5:00, eat dinner at 6:00, go to bed at midnight" everyday routine to basically do whatever I want for a couple months, I've realized once again how insanely amazing it is to disturb this great big universe that holds the possibilities of each of our lives. Obviously I absolutely loved my days in New York as a nanny doing that same thing over and over. And obviously it is absolutely necessary to have that stable schedule because, hello, how else are we supposed to be mature adults paying bills while responsibly making a mark on this world. But I'm also the kind of person that needs to take a time out from that. The kind of person that breaks life into chunks and counts down to the end of one routine before I can go out and shake things up a bit. Because without the shaking and the disturbing, life gets pretty damn boring, pretty damn quickly.

So let's disturb the universe a bit, shall we? 

Call it a vacation, call it trying barbacoa in your burrito bowl instead of chicken, call it picking up and moving to a brand new place, call it driving home the scenic way instead of the faster way you take every single day. Just go out and break up the conformity that you probably haven't even realized your life has become.

Today I have Heather from My Little Happily Ever After here to share a few of her favorite things with you. My personal faves of her faves are the quote and obviously the gif. Because who in their right mind wouldn't want to be Blair Waldorf?! Check her out below and then go say hi on her own Princess-themed blog!

I'm a girly girl, but would like to think I'm up for trying most things once; I mean I did live on a farm for eight years! Since I'm the oldest, I'm pretty bossy and while it gets stuff done, that's been a bad thing for relationships in my past. I think the color pink is one of the best parts of this world and I love it when animal prints are "in". The one thing I can't live without would be water, which I drink through my straw cups… everyday! I'm always blogging about the stuff that's important to me, sometimes it's as innocent as the beautiful Florida weather and other times it's the latest New Adult or Romance book I've read.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Newest Obsession

Sooo I have a new thing to add to my list of obsessions. It falls rights behind the ever so obvious and painfully over-talked about other favorites of mine, cough Chipotle / chips and dip / Corona Lights / Charlotte / collages / Christmastime (I swear I like things that don't start with the letter 'C'). And I'm hoping this "thing" is quite obvious now that you've just feasted your eyeballs on my most recent collage up above.

I'm sure most of you have probably already seen this brand floating around your Instagram feeds or local shops by now, but if not, let me be the first to introduce you to Ban.Do

It doesn't get much brighter, quirkier, or sparklier than this. I'm pretty sure my brain automatically does one and a half cartwheels as soon as the website even pops up onto my browser. I mean how could it not when the brand is inspired be confetti cannons, roller coasters, milkshakes, and good times? Their words, not mine. It's just simply the most fun you can have while shopping. Unless the shopping could be free of course. But with prices like these, there really isn't too much of a need to sweat.

Trust me, I'm THEE biggest wimp when it comes to opening up my wallet, so if I can even justify the cash money then it's totally worth it. In the past week alone I've bought three things. First, the "hello good times coozie" which was in yesterday's post, and then most recently the "sip sip tumbler in frills" as well as the "17 month agenda in party dots". That gem speaker and the striped bandeaux are probably going to be up next.

But P.S. I haven't owned a planner/agenda since high school aka seven solid years ago. I'm extremely organized but I somehow feel less organized as soon as I write things down so I prefer to keep it all in my head instead. Things are seriously bonkers up in here, guys. But guess who has started to forget things now that she has a billion and a half different projects going on? Me. 

So I need a freaking planner. 

Except for there was that whole "fear of open wallet" syndrome thing, which means that this little lady can't fathom for the life of her spending the however many gobs of dough that is required for an Erin Condren or Whitney English, or whatever the cool kids buy these days. Sooo enter the Ban.Do 17-Month Agenda for.... drum roll please.... a whopping twenty bucks! Plus it 100% hands down looks like the most fun planner that you ever did see. Seriously just watch this 45 second video on it and you'll agree.

Tell me that's not the cutest effing thing you've ever seen in your life? I think I might actually even enjoy this written down organization thing. Oh and the other best thing? The planner pages start August 1st of this year and keep on truckin' until the end of 2015. Hallelujah to something that actually starts right now when you need it instead of in however many months it'll take until we arrive at the next year.

So now that I've shoved lots of pretty things in your face via the collage up there, as well as a planner down here, you're going to want some goods aren't you? Well you're in luck because... 

I'm giving away a Ban.Do 17-Month Agenda! 

All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below and one lucky lady will win with the option of choosing either the "I am very busy" planner or the "Party Dots" planner. Giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Good luck and party on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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 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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