Color Me All the Colors of the Rainbow!

I have a list of things I want to say about the ruling that the Supreme Court of the United States handed down Friday. (Are you shocked that I have something I want to say?) And to be clear, I am talking about the ruling on marriage equality.

1. Thank God.  Seriously. Thank God.

2. As a heterosexual, I have never had to worry about or even had to think about the rights that come along with marriage. I have always just taken for granted that those things would come and have come with being married. I don’t hate the government but, I don’t think the government should have any say in who or whether I or anybody else can get married.

3. This whole conversation just rings of past fights for equality- women’s rights and the civil rights movement. How many times are we, as Americans, gonna have to rehash old shit?

4. And speaking of being American. There’s this line… from the Declaration of the Independence of the United States… you may be familiar with it?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(Unalienable.) Yes, it is constitutional. Indeed.

5. One of my best friends is gay. He is one of Baby Bub’s Godfathers. He had to go to Massachusetts to get legally married and is still in the process of getting legally divorced- if you want to run off to get married (hello, I went to Vegas) that’s one thing but if running off is your only option- that’s a completely different thing. And don’t get me started on getting a legal divorce.

Why are we, as Americans so quick to hate? I want it to be public knowledge that as long as you are not hurting me or mine or yourself or yours, I am totally fine with you doing what you do.  And, as far as the SCOTUS handing down this ruling on marriage equality- it’s long overdue and about damn time! #lovewins

june 2015

 

 

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A Fun Things the Blog Recommendation: Outshine Bars

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The mercury is slated to hit 95 degrees this week in Atlanta. Even though summer doesn’t officially start until the 21st, it certainly feels like it is in full swing. Which is why todays recommendation is particularly pertinent.

Original Bomb PopIs there anything better on a hot day than a popsicle? Okay… maybe a margarita… but for all age groups, is there anything better on a hot day than a popsicle? And although I am a big fan of the traditional rocket/bomb pop, let’s face it, there is no “blue raspberry” flavor found in nature. And, unless you are making your own pops (which we all probably should be) you are hard pressed to find a popsicle that doesn’t contain massive amounts of processed ingredients/corn syrup. Which is why I wanted to pass along to you guys a recent grocery find that has changed my popsicle game.

To my chagrin, I am a big fan of a little something something sweet after dinner. When grocery Outshine Popsicle Arrayshopping, often Josh and I find ourselves in the “frozen treats” department. Several months ago, in an effort to not eat ALL THE ICE CREAM (especially in warmer months), I found myself reaching for a box of Outshine Fruit Bars. As I am the ultimate sucker (mmm, suckers…) for product placement/packaging/impulse buys, my hopes are very rarely high for such purchases. The premise sounded great– actual fruit juice, actual fruit pieces, no corn syrup, and only 60 calories– what was there to lose?! To my absolute amazement, these popsicles were amazing. Even Josh loved them… which (again) says much about how great this product is. The bars are delish, super-huge, and full of actual fruit– a win/win in my book. When I shared them with my Georgia family, they quickly also became converts.

Grape Outshine Fruit BarIn doing a little research into the Outshine brand, I noticed that ownership of the company varied from year to year. In some of my online picture searches, Outshine was owned by Edy’s, in others it was owned by Dryers; both of which are now owned by Nestle. Although there is some controversy behind some of Nestles business practices, the Outshine division seems to be on the up and up; catering to the real-food/ingredient movement. Go figure. Peep the variety of flavors: creamy coconut, grape, lemon, lime, mango, pineapple, peach, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, blood orange, coconut water with pineapple, and tangerine. If 60 calories is too much of a dessert for you, then they even come in a scaled-down 45-calorie version in lime, raspberry, and strawberry.

strawberry-raspberry-lime-packageLime Outshine Fruit BarsAdditionally, they have a varietal that includes vegetable juice in the pops, but they are not to MY liking. Though, if you’ve tried them and you dig them, let me know! As much as I would love to get a serving of veggies in through popsicle form, they didn’t float my boat. Additionally, they have a line of yogurt bars that look promising, but as I am not the biggest yogurt fan, I have yet to give it a whirl. My personal favorites in the fruit bar line are the lime, grape, and strawberry. The lime flavor tastes like the best frozen margarita (minus the tequila) you’ve ever had. And there are HUGE chunks of strawberry in the strawberry variety. Gone are the days of choosing popsicles by color instead of flavor. And as much as I have a soft spot in my heart for the bygone days of Otter Pops, since when are colors (purple/red/blue) flavors*?!

Strawberry Outshine BarSo, this summer, cool down with one of my new favorite products. I guarantee you’ll love them!

What do you think? Have you tried these yet? Are you a popsicle fan? Was the blue Otter Pop your public pool jam back in the day? As always, let us know in the comments!

*Yes, I know. Orange is a color AND a flavor.

 

 

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#WayBackWednesday : The Randos

The Randos

Okay, well- much like my touch and go posting this summer the #WayBackWednesday posts got thrown right on out the window- until this week. Let’s just hope I get it all together before Wednesday comes and goes this week to set this post live.

For this installment of #WayBackWednesday I thought I would group some seemingly random old posts that are only related in that they have crossed my path in the most recent weeks. They are very rando but in this whirl wind of my life- they are connected.

L-B-Ooey-Gooey-Bars-600x4501. Lemon Blueberry Ooey Gooey Bars: I made these last summer on a whim and they turned out to be incredibly delicious. As a matter of fact, I make ooey-gooey bars of all different varieties on the regular. I made pumpkin ones last fall that were awesome too! My Mom made these Lemon-Blueberry ones for Baby Bub’s baptism on the beach. She put the blueberries under the topping rather than on top of it- either way, they are delicious.

2. Eye Make up remover: Okay, I told y’all about my new Kat Von D eyeliner… it is water proof and it stays on, like real good. And I had just been kind of skating by without any eye makeup remover on hand. You remember when I did that post on homemade eye makeup remover and just gushed about how much I loved it… well, I did but it ran out and for some unknown reason I decided to try a different recipe that turned out to be not nearly as awesome… wha-wha-whaaaa. But, I made another (double) batch of the first recipe and it is awesome.

3. Long Island Medium– Okay, by now, y’all should know I am down with the Long Island Medium- I am. She has really helped me process death and the afterlife. One of the things she says is that when it feels like the universe is trying to give you a message from a loved one that has passed, accept it and find peace in it. Which brings me to the next one—

4. Miss Anne is going to bring me a toy: The other day Baby Bub woke up from his nap saying “Miss Anne is going to bring me a toy- she’s going to get me a train!” There’s just no way he could have pulled that out of his memory. There is a Miss Anne at school but she does the after school care that Baby Bub does not attend. So, I am just gonna say that Anne was hanging out with him in his dreams. Because if she was alive she would absolutely be giving him gifts. It makes me just so happy to think about Anne coming to Baby Bub in his dreams and that she made such an impression on him that he woke up talking about her. I mean, really though, she was good at making impressions! Ha!

5. 10 Things to Remember when Dining Out: As the busy season has kicked into full swing, I think about this post lots. Or actually, I think about lots of things I could add to that list— like anyone over the age of 21 should really think twice about Long Island Iced Teas… but, then the object of that post was not to be rude. But, I do have just one more tidbit for you- and it’s really a life tip not just specific to restaurants- are you ready? Be nice and play fair.

Well, that wraps up my list of randos. What instances can you link together that would be completely random to everyone else but yourself? You know, we want to hear about them!

june 2015

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*meow*

I know many a cat lover. Cats are great, but my allergies preclude me from being a “cat person”. That doesn’t, however stop me from enjoying adorable cat videos on the internet. Which is a good thing, since 90% of the interweb is comprised of cat-related cuteness. I recently stumbled upon a video that never fails to make me chuckle. And if it is an animal video, and it makes me chuckle, then you KNOW it is going to find its way onto the blog. It is only 19 seconds long, but if you lived through the mid-nineties, this might also make you laugh.

I mean, come on. Adorbz. I feel like if Collective Soul were smart they would do something with this. And if that video weren’t awesome enough, then check out this video of the incomparable Dolly Parton covering, “Shine.” It’s one of my favorite covers ever.

Shine on, everybody!

What do you think? Do you like cat videos? Are you a Dolly fan? As always, let us know in the comments!

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#theStruggleisReal

the struggle

Well, this week- The. Struggle. Is. Real.

Yes, I know it is a kitschy hashtag but it probably is so popular because so many people identify with it. I mean, who has never felt the struggle? This week, I have been just so overtaken with my #firstworldproblems. Oh, there’s another hashtag- I do love them even if they are so overused. But, anyway- let’s get down to business with this week’s list of what is causing my struggle to be real.

1. Summer School:

Baby Bub started summer school this week. And it seems the school has really upped its game! I mean, water days, bike days, ice pops- wha? Yeah. But, that means not only does he need an extra set of clothes, a lunch, a napper, he also needs to be slathered from head to toe in sunscreen and why is that such a big deal? I don’t know. But, Tuesday morning- I felt like I was living the old blog post of Jen Hatmaker- about how the end of the school year is so hard to finish. I literally packed his lunch from the snacks in the beach bag that was left in my car the night before and I chased him into school spraying him down with sunscreen and shoving his extra clothes and towel in a bag… yeah, the struggle is real.

laundry2. Laundry:

Oh Dear Lord! How in the hell do 3 people go through so much damn laundry? You see all these clothes? They are all clean! Yep, clean! I get them washed and dried but fail miserably at folding and putting them away- instead I just throw them around the living room looking for whatever piece of clothing I happen to be looking for— I mean, I love clothes- I do- but I hate doing laundry. And during the summer, the struggle is real.

3. Reality TV:

The reality tv shows are BLOWING UP this summer! I am keeping up with 3. Well, I am keeping up the media shit storms around 3 and then there are probably 3 more that I am keeping up with but really have little to no media shit storm surrounding them. So, the shit storms… the Bachelorette- I mean, she apparently shows it to a contestant before they get to the Fantasy Suite… is this 2015 or 1915? And they tease 2 contestants getting freaky with each other rather than the bachelorette… 2 dudes equals media shit storm but if it were 2 girls it would be just another day at the office. The struggle is real. And then Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. I am of the mindset that as long as you are not bothering me or mine and vice versa if I am not hurting you or yours then I think we should just let everybody be. I am a Christian but I don’t think I was called to pass judgement, I think I was called to love. We were all created in His image and the struggle is real. And then the 3rd media shit storm going on in reality tv world… the Dugglers’ reality tv platform is crumbling. Seriously. The struggle is real.

us4. broke down boat:

B.O.A.T. stands for Break Out Another Thousand. It is soooooo much fun- but, it is soooooo expensive. Well, maybe not sooooo expensive but it is always something that needs fixing or needs replacing or needs an accessory. So, picture with me- we are fresh from Pirate’s Cove headed back to the beach when all the sudden the motor sounds like we just ran over a can and then it rapidly slows down and then dies in the middle of Perdido bay… boats are just whizzing by and we were dead in the water. Luckily our friends were with us in their boat and they towed us to the nearby marina… we got it cranked and we got it back on the trailer but it is by no means fixed. The struggle is real.

5. packing my own lunch for work, homemade hot pockets:

At the end of the day, it is pretty important that I pack a lunch for myself to take to work. I usually take several snacks because about 9-10 pm I am starving probably because I have  not eaten since 2 or 3. I know, back to those first world problems- but a hangry bartender is no bueno. So, I try to pack leftovers but to have leftovers requires that I cook… the struggle is so real when it comes to cooking in the summertime. But, I found this pin on Pinterest for homemade hot pockets, more or less.

hot pockets

 

 

 

 

 

So, I cooked two big chicken breasts in the crock pot with a can of diced tomatoes. Then I added about 1/2 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup. (Yes, I used the canned stuff but- here is my recipe for homemade and clean cream of chicken soup- it’s tasty.) Then I took 2 cans of Pillsbury Grand Biscuits- one Southern style and one flaky kind- and I rolled them out to probably 4-5 inches diameter. And I put a scoop of the chicken mixture in the middle, folded over the biscuit dough and used a fork to seal it back together. Then I baked them on a greased sheet pan until golden brown. Yeah, I put a little dab of butter on them when they came out of the oven. These turned out to be a 3 for 3 crowd pleaser in this house. The struggle is real but at least we have lunch covered this weekend.

Spain Sunset6. work hard, play hard:

We work so hard in the summer time. We play so hard during the summer time. There is little rest for the weary… I know, whoa is me— It’s just that lots of our friends vacation down here and we want to throw down with all of them because we love them. However, I am not the spring chicken that I once was! But,if  the fun we have already racked up in the first few weeks of summer is any indication of what is to come in the rest of the summer- this is going to be one helluva summer- the struggle is real.

7. the world of band-aids:

Last weekend we spent a full day in the pool after the aforementioned broken down boat- and Baby Bub was climbing in and out of it. We woke up Tuesday morning getting ready for school with the additional task of cleaning out and bandaging his toes where he had scraped them climbing in and out of the pool. Baby Bub calls band-aids “stickers” and he is not a fan- even the fun Avengers stickers. Holding him down trying to put on band-aids is like trying to hold down a 40 pound monkey… oh wait, the struggle is real.

8. the pig: the pig

So, we got this pig… this Mylar balloon pig. It was the cutest pig- and Baby Bub loooooved it. The pig had 4 legs that weighed it down so, it looked like you were walking the pig when you pulled it behind you. But, then the legs stared falling off- after repeated taping them back on, we had to let it go. It got beat up by the ceiling fan- which Baby Bub was the funniest thing ever. But, after a week, the pig has gone on to happier hunting ground. The struggle is real.

9. manners, tissue in the ass:

Bub and I are doing our best to teach Baby Bub manners. Please, thank you, yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir- they go a long way. They really do- They are respectful and that is absolutely what I want Baby Bub to be- respectful. I was at work the other night and our bussers are all pretty much in high school and I was telling one of them something and when I was finished he said “yes ma’am” and another of the bussers said to him, she’s not going to like that because it will make her feel old… well, true but considering I am double his age- I don’t mind him using his manners with me. And yes, I told him that and complimented him on his good manners. And kind of in the same vein, I was on the beach last night when this young dude walked by— he was kind of a big guy and his pants were sagging way down on his arse and it was made really apparent because he had a piece of toilet tissue stuck in his arse crack… I am totally about looking cool and working your swagger- but there is nothing cool or swag-alicious about showing off toilet tissue stuck in our ass crack- pull up your pants, use your manners and smile- it will take you far- the struggle is real.

10. talking to TJ on Facebook:

Modern technology has come so far like in the last 10-15 years. My friends hiking the Camino- they called me from France using Facebook. Granted it was not the best connection but, still. We even actually facetimed using Facebook too. The update is that it is hot there. It seems like not so long ago that cordless telephones were space-age and now we able to facetime with people on another continent via the internet. I mean, the struggle is real.

Well, that’s my week in a nutshell. Where do you find the struggle to be real in your life?

june 2015

 

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A Summer Lifehack: How to Pick Out a Watermelon

Although Summer is technically still 20 days away, June in Georgia might as well be Summer. As Coralie mentioned last Friday, the fruits and veggies are already out in full force. Which is why, when I saw a helpful info-graphic about picking the perfect watermelon on one of my oldest friend’s Facebook page (thanks Linda!), I knew I had to share it with you guys! Never again will I thump a watermelon or sniff the navel… I now have the inside track! I backwards Google Image searched the image found on Facebook in order to find the original source which lead me to a blog called The Butterfly Bonsai & Margo’s Kitchen. Turns out, the internet has passed this picture with the corresponding text around like a bad penny, so it was nice to give credit where it is due… and also a valuable lesson in why you should always watermark your photos. Anyways, here is what they had to say:

How To Pick A Ripe Watermelon by The Butterfly Bonsai & Margo Kitchen

How to pick a Watermelon:

Everyday I see people banging on watermelons trying to pick the best one. Here’s the real deal on picking the sweetest Watermelon:

1. Make sure it has a prominent yellow spot. This is where it sat on the ground ripening. No spot = premature pick = not ripe.

2. Look for “webbing”. This is the brown, course web looking material. This is caused when bees pollinate the flower and scar the membranes that later forms the fruit. The more pollination = more webbing = sweeter fruit.

3. Look for black hard globs seeping out. This is sugar not insects or rotting. You’re welcome.

Kind of blew the lid off of the whole thing for me. I always picked mine on aesthetic values or if the navel was musky; avoiding the webbed ones. And if you are looking for the best way to cut your watermelon, peep my other watermelon lifehack here! Apparently, me and watermelon lifehacks are a thing, huh?!

What do you think? Do you buy this? What are your favorite ripe-fruit pickin’ secrets? As always, let us know!

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