5 Books to Take With You to the Beach This Summer

BeachBooks_FT

One of the best combinations in life is that of the beach and a good book. With a background soundtrack consisting of gull cries and waves slapping the shore, it’s beyond easy to get lost within the pages of a story. While there are tons of lists about what the best books of the summer are circulating, we worked to compile a short list of five that we found to be knockouts. Check out our picks below!

Continue reading “5 Books to Take With You to the Beach This Summer”

Advertisements
No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been single for a fairly long time now and I’m okay with that. Of course there have been those moments at 2 A.M. where I can’t sleep and think too much and have cried for no reason at all, but 99% of the time, I haven’t been bothered by it. I haven’t lived these past several years thinking “Oh no! I’m single!”. Instead I’ve been focused on a thousand other things. Being single didn’t define me, it was only one of several hundred words that could be used to vaguely describe me.

However, 24 was a turning point for everyone having something to say about my singledom. Apparently, 23 had been the last year I could be single without it being an area of concern. When I turned 24, that age brought with it a heightened interest in my love life. Too many friends and family members had something to say. “You’re too picky!” “There’s someone, don’t worry.” “Aren’t you lonely?” “Don’t settle, my niece didn’t meet someone until she was 45.” “Let me go through all of my friends to see if there’s someone who might be interested!” What the hell? Each new and uninvited comment from some friend or stranger about me being single led to a type of thought process I had never had before.

Everyone’s opinions started swaying the way I viewed my own love life. For a few months, I was in panic mode. I downloaded a dating app. I tried to work out why I was single with whoever was willing to listen. Maybe I had been single for too long, maybe I was too picky. Worst of all, I was starting to feel bad for myself. However, I wasn’t actively working on trying to change my relationship status. There was still that little inner voice screaming at me that I really did like being single and that I wasn’t looking for a relationship right now. When I started to write this article, it was supposed to be about the important benefits of dating yourself. The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn’t sitting right with me. This piece would have come out as yet another article trying to provide validation as to why it is ok to be single. Being single is a choice, not something forced upon you. That right there is the catch to society’s view of singleness. It’s treated like a disease that needs to be cured. I’m writing this for all my fellow single people in the hopes that you will realize this is not the case, and you shouldn’t have to justify why you’re single to other people.

Like I’ve already said, being single is an active choice. If I really wanted to be in a relationship, chances are pretty high that I could be. But I don’t want to be. People write that off as me being picky. I call it going with my instinct. I don’t decide to hang out with someone based on some list of factors I’m trying to check off, I go with what my gut is telling me. If something doesn’t feel right to me, I say no. And I’m sure this is the way for many other single people who are being told they’re too picky. You’re not being picky, and you don’t have to defend why you are being picky. You know you better than anyone else, and you know what is best for you better than anyone else.

There’s also the slight chance that people just aren’t actively seeking out a partner. On my current list of priorities, finding a guy is not near the top, and I’m even less interested in trying to make something happen by force. People are all about organic these days. Eat organic, use organic soap, wear organic clothing, take organic medicine, blah, blah, blah. We’re a society that is so focused on organic products, yet when it comes to relationships, we’re so quick to turn to apps and asking for set ups in order to find some type of relationship instant gratification. What happened to the organic relationship? One that occurs naturally without the assistance of a distance locator and the option to swipe right or left? A better question, why should you have to tell people that’s what you’d prefer to happen? An even better question, why is everyone so focused on other people’s lives and relationships?

Here’s the thing, the people who are focused on you being single are solely focused on what you might be lacking as a single person. Please, dear concerned friends and family members, ease up on the concern. We singles do not want your pity, or sympathy. In fact, it’s almost insulting. You may see your intentions as helpful. You may think that finding me the perfect setup could be a top notch good deed to add to your list. But here’s the thing, unless we’re asking for your help, do not assume we need your help. Stop focusing on the empty space next to us when we walk into a room. Again, that’s an elected empty space. It doesn’t mean we are sad or lonely. It just means we’re doing our own thing.

And that’s a good thing! Being single means really getting to discover who we are. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. In my case, I see my twenties as a precious and valuable time of life. They’re a time to begin a career, nurture your hobbies, discover what types of people excite you, find out who you are and aren’t compatible with. Yes, you can do this with a partner, but you can also do it on your own. The friends I seek out and enjoy spending time with definitely have the qualities that I’ll probably hope to find in someone someday. Because I’m single, I have the time to invest in all of these areas. But again, I’m not here to provide validation for someone else, we’re only validating it for ourselves.

I’ve come back to a point where the only person I listen to when the topic of me being single comes up is myself. I appreciate the people who want to find someone special for me, but if I’m not worried about it, they shouldn’t be either. I’m embracing this time for what it is: a time to explore, to create, to dream, and to do whatever the heck it is thatI want to do. I’m selfish, but I’m ok with that! There will come a day when I’m ready to stop flying the single flag and I’ll readily give up my time for the sake of someone else, but  for right now, I’m enjoying it for all it’s worth. I hope all my fellow singles are as well. Don’t worry about what others say or think- they were all single at one point too, and as I’ve said, that was anything but a bad thing.

How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

If there is one expression I have found to be true over the years, it is “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Getting older means that your circle of friends broadens and goes from those friends you grew up with to friends from college, friends from work, friends of friends, and a thousand other unique situations. This is both a wonderful and difficult thing. Adults are far more mobile than childhood friends. Some of us move far from our hometowns. Others travel, or get relocated for work. The likelihood of some distance being put between you and some of your friends is most likely, unfortunately, inevitable. Continue reading “How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last”

An Open Letter to Tom Hiddleston (a.k.a. Why have you broken my heart?)

Tom Hiddleston (Image Credit: John Phillips / Getty)
Tom Hiddleston (Image Credit: John Phillips / Getty)

Dear Tom,

It wasn’t until the news broke that you and Taylor *might* be dating that I completely comprehended the meaning of Beyonce’s Lemonade. This feeling of betrayal can only be fully expressed through a variety of song genres and subliminal messages. It’s not that I don’t love Taylor – because I do. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date her? She is talented, generous, beautiful, smart, adorably awkward at times. She’s literally the whole package. But is she the girl for you? Let’s think about it for a minute. You’re so generous, funny, talented, handsome, adorably awkward. Ok. Yes. You two might be perfect for each other, but there’s still one major problem. Taylor is most certainly and definitely not me.

Here’s the thing, we’re kind of supposed to get married. Sorry to drop that bomb on you only now. I figured I would get a few years into my career, rent a nice place in the downtown area, publish my first kid’s book, and then our time could start. You know, give you a chance to get a few more blockbuster hits under your belt, and then straight up marital bliss. I’m talking a quaint cottage in the English countryside in order to ensure our three beautiful kids have your accent, trips to the farmers market every Sunday afternoon, and spontaneous dancing in our kitchen on week nights. It was going to be so lovely. Sigh.

I know what you’re thinking: “Sarah, you’re crazy, I don’t even know you!” No, you don’t, but how big of a deal is that really in today’s day and age? People do much wackier stuff all the time. If people are allowed to marry inanimate objects in some states, I see no harm in planning my wedding to a dreamy human being such as yourself. And sure, the chances of us actually meeting are about one in a gazillion, but that’s still one gazillionth of a chance I’m willing to cling to. Actually, knowing you’d be willing to date someone my age brings that chance up from one in a gazillion to like, 10 in a gazillion. I can settle for that!

But how does one move past this type of betrayal? With grace, that’s how. If I know anything about Taylor’s track record, it’s that long term is not a word in her vocabulary. I’m sorry, that hurt me far more to say than it hurt you to hear. So when we eventually hear Taylor’s Hiddleston inspired hit, Low Key*, you can guarantee I will be ready and waiting with open arms. For now, my heart is broken, but I know someday you will put the pieces back together. Preferably wearing your Crimson Peak costume.

Forever yours,

Sarah
xxooxxoo

*My apologies for all the bad Loki puns to come out of the Hiddleswift photo scandal, but they don’t get old.

Out-of-the-Box Resolutions for the New Year

(Image Credit: BartPhoto)
(Image Credit: BartPhoto)

Each December 31st, millions of people put themselves through the stale process that is resolution making. They can’t help it; they’re pretty much brainwashed into it by the dozens of ads for gyms sporting their new exclusive new membership deals, magazines with headlines screaming “A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU,” cooking shows trying to undo the damage of their holiday specials with lighter menu options, and Pinterest telling you to create a resolution bored.

In years past, I’ve always made resolutions, and by March, I was always disappointed in myself for failing to meet the standards I had set for myself. Last year was the first year I successfully met my resolution -sort of. I had planned to complete one piece of art I was proud of a month. The monthly plan hadn’t happened, but by December I had finished 12 pieces I was extremely happy with. What made keeping that resolution so much easier than the hundreds I had come up with in that past was that it was already something I loved to do – not something I disliked that I was trying to force myself to do because the new year dictated I do so (eh hem, going to the gym).

It wasn’t until the second day of 2016 that I realized I had failed to make a resolution this year. I had gotten back on the band wagon of exercising regularly in the first few weeks of December and had started eating better (ok, slightly better) after Christmas, so the pressures of finding a healthy routine to follow once the New Year started weren’t really there. With that in mind (and please know I am not knocking those of you who made health related resolutions!!) I decided to come up with a few out-of-the-box resolutions those of us who are tired of the same old might enjoy too.

Visit at least three states I’ve never been to before

While I would have loved to have said countries, I don’t really have the money or time this year. (Here’s hoping for a pleasant surprise!) Instead, the idea of hitting up a few more states is both more doable and wallet friendly. There are several surrounding states I’ve yet to visit, and at least one (Louisiana) that I’ll definitely be hitting up in April. States work well because, depending on your location, a trip could require as little time as one day. It’s easy to forget the U.S. is a huge country with ample travel opportunities.

Try at least TWO new recipes a month

Some of us love to cook, and some of us just need to add a bit more variety to our standard menus of pasta, eggs, and sandwiches. With the ample amounts of materials available to us (cooking channels, Pinterest, food blogs, tutorial videos, etc.) there’s really no excuse not to test the waters a bit. You don’t have to go for the recipes that takes hours to make either – try one of Rachel Ray’s half hour meals! Or if you’re feeling up for a challenge, learn how to make macarons. Something a bit more exotic? I recently tried this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from Aarti Sequeira and it is seriously amazing.

Make space

Putting away my gifts from Christmas this year made me realize how much extra stuff I have lying around my house. My goal is to start with my room and to fill at least two boxes with stuff I no longer need/like/want. It’s amazing how quickly collections of things can build and take up our space. If you’re feeling a bit cluttered, go through your stuff and play the “Does this make me happy? Does it have a special memory? Does it fit? Would I miss it if it were gone?” game and clean out your closet, drawers, and space beneath your bed. Either sell your stuff to thrift shops or donate it to a local charitable organization.

Take at least one class in an area of interest

I know, time is valuable. But is there one thing you’ve always said you would like to learn, but have never had the time to actually do so? Well, pick one random day and carpe the diem out of it. For me, it’s salsa dancing. I’ve always wanted to learn the basics, and I am vowing to take at least one class this year. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to throw clay or improve your singing voice. Maybe you’d like to shoot a bow and arrow, or learn how to make your own lip balm. There are a ton of options out there! And for all of you who would like to take an actual class on a topic like religion or nutrition, there’s no time for the present! For flexible scheduling and FREE tuition, check out all the great things EdX has to offer.

Put the technology away more often

Recently, I caught my father talking about me to my mother right in front of me after trying to talk to me. “She’s always on her phone!” he shouted. Shoot. He was right. I’m so guilty of an unhealthy connection to the damn thing. So. I’m going try to do something about it and put it down way more often than I do. Challenge yourself to sleep your phone away from your bed, leave it in your purse or pocket when you’re out with friends, leave it in a safe spot for a few hours each day while you focus on other stuff full-heartedly, etc. I know our phones are supposed to help us to be more tapped in, but what are they causing us to be tapped out of? Distance, my friends, let’s try to distance.

Instead of signing up for that $1 deal at the gym, these are the resolutions I’ll be trying to keep this year –  I’ll let you know it went in 2017. In the meantime, let us know what you think of them and what your personal resolutions for the New Year are. Cheers!

My Amazing (Imaginary) Celeb New Year’s Bash

(Image Credit: camrocker)
(Image Credit: camrocker)

Recently, I’ve been wondering what the perfect New Year’s Eve would be like. Every time New Year’s comes up in a movie or a TV show, it’s always made out to be such a glamorous and fun affair. Key example? When Harry Met Sally. Best New Year’s scene ever.  

As yet another New Year’s Eve approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the eves of New Years past and they’ve been, well a little different than the Hollywood versions. There was the one where my friend and I opted not to go out and instead found ourselves sweaty and disgusting messes after playing too much Just Dance. Then there was the New Year’s where I worked the night shift and was asked by all my customers why I wasn’t out on a date. Then there was the year when my aunt from Florida came up, practically forced my family to go up to a cabin in Maine, and then later, rather melodramatically, exclaimed “For God’s sake, you girls should both be out with dates!” which obviously resulted with my sister and I crying over our pathetic existence as the clock struck midnight.

Last year’s was a bit better, minus the falling down a flight of stairs in front of a roomful of people I didn’t know and accidentally shattering a glass no more than two minutes after recovering from the first mishap. Needless to say, when it comes to this New Year’s Eve, I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I’ll imagine what it would be like to be going to have some amazing loft party with a few of my closest celebrity friends. Let’s see…

Jimmy Fallon, Taylor Swift, and I would have spent at least two weeks planning the ultimate New Year’s Eve bash. Jimmy will take care of all of the amazing games, and naturally, the Roots will provide the soundtrack. Taylor will do her thing and set up some fantastic photo booth where my guests will take ridiculously goofy photos that will wind up going viral on Instagram.

My two BFFs, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer, will stumble in early together and start cracking jokes immediately. This will cause me to laugh so hard that tears will fill my eyes, smudging the mascara and eyeliner that I applied so meticulously to my face, but I won’t even be mad about it.

Will Ferrell will arrive next, dressed as Bro Santa, and spend the rest of the evening causing Jimmy to break out in fits of giggles every 20 seconds. Naturally, the entire cast of SNL‘s past will wind up at my door following the video Jimmy posts to his Facebook page.

While the funny people do their thing and Taylor chases my cat around with antlers she made out of one of my old dish towels, the Brits will finally arrive. Colin Firth, ever a gentleman, will have brought me a new journal to start for the new year. Tom Hiddleston will get the dance party started, and Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart will be giving an impromptu performance of their new two man act, When Gandalf Met Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

At 11:30, Ellen Degeneres will drag Rihanna in and that girl will finally give me my money and all will be right with the world. Everyone will be having a fantastic time while Drake passes around cups of his Hot-toddie Bling, and I will have escaped for a quiet moment of reflection, staring out the window of my bedroom overlooking the sea of lights that is NYC. It begins snowing, and a small, sad smile finds its way to my lips.

“This night was almost perfect…” I’ll say quietly out loud.

“It is perfect,” a voice will say from my doorway. I turn around and, gasp! It’s him, Star-Lord.

He takes my hand and leads me back out to my fabulous friends just as the countdown to midnight begins. We kiss a firework-inducing kiss just as Meryl Streep walks in and yells out “LET’S BREAK THE INTERNET PART INFINITY!” Naturally, the most incredible picture of all time is then taken and I go down in New Year’s Eve history.

And that, my friends, is the perfect New Year’s Eve. The Daily Quirk wishes you and yours a very happy, healthy, and quirky New Year!

Is Amy Schumer’s nude photo brave? We say YES!

(Image Credit: Pirelli)
(Image Credit: Pirelli)

By now, we’ve all seen the photo of Amy Schumer that will appear in next year’s Pirelli calendar. Apparently, my initial reaction to it was far mellower than the the rest of the world’s. I wasn’t overcome by shock, extreme joy, anger or disgust. I didn’t feel the earth move beneath my feet in a quake of feminist pride. Instead I felt a simple “good for you, Amy.”

Would I have given her a fist bump if we were on fist bump status? Yes. The funny girl’s doing her thang and GNF about it; I can respect that. And I can respect her choice to strip down, because why not? Hell, I can even respect that random cup of coffee she’s choosing to drink in nothing but heels and panties because, let’s face it, we all like to feel like a badass bitch sometimes who will do whatever she wants, even if that means just wearing a killer pair of heels and skimpy underwear while drinking a chai latte. What I can’t respect is the the ridiculous backlash she is receiving, and how the use of the word “brave” to describe the photo has backfired in the worst way possible.

A lot of people were delighted when they saw Schumer’s photo, along with its witty caption of “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.” The adjectives Schumer threw out there were a list of words that could easily be hurled at the photograph, based on whoever was looking at it. Some people might be fans, some might be critics, some might be neutral, but all would have something to say. Instead of waiting for it, she presented it, realizing that everyone has their own views and opinions. Lo and behold, the public had a lot to say about it, and just as Schumer’s caption predicted, there was no general consensus.

As a woman who from time to time struggles with my own body image, I saw Schumer’s photo and was happy. Sweet, I thought, here’s a woman who more what the general population can relate to. She’s not a size zero model, she doesn’t have Kim Kardashian’s ass, and she likes Chipotle and beer just as much as the rest of us. She’s a busy woman, like many women are, whose main priority is not the gym, but the other hundreds of things she still doesn’t really have the time to do. She was owning who she was, and most importantly, she wasn’t ashamed of who she was or what “flaws” she might have as decided by the world of Hollywood and fashion magazines. Some people even ventured to call what she did “brave.”

The word brave, like most words, has several connotations. Here are two of them.

  1. ADJECTIVE

ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage:“a brave soldier”

  1. VERB

to endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear

The first definition describes a person. The second describes what a person does. People who are brave often do show courage, and in more extreme cases, they willingly face and endure danger or pain. People who brave something do things that they know may result in unpleasant consequences, but they forge forward anyway to take a stance or to prove a point.

Upon hearing that people thought Amy Schumer was “brave” for her actions, haters jumped all over the topic. The adjective brave should be reserved for only certain types of people: soldiers, police officers, firefighters, cancer fighters – just to name a few. And I agree- this is a word that we shouldn’t use lightly. You don’t apply it to every little thing. You don’t want to generalize its meaning. But do we not also use this word as a form of encouragement? When young kids are afraid to be themselves, do we not tell them to be brave? When our friends embark on a new journey, is brave an inappropriate way to label their actions? Did Sara Barielles not write a smash hit that implores all of us to do brave things in our everyday lives?

Amy Schumer posing nearly naked for a magazine is not the bravest thing anyone has ever done by a long shot. What’s brave is that she was willing to brave the onslaught of criticism and nasty remarks that were to come her way. What’s brave is the giant middle, finger she’s giving to any man or woman that tries to tell her that her body is not the ideal type. While the topic was trending on Facebook, one popular Facebook personality took it upon himself to comment on the photo, saying there was nothing brave about posting a disgusting photo of yourself. He went on  to call Schumer fat, ugly, and lazy, comparing her to women who “take care of themselves.” He completely demeaned the woman, acting like no person on Earth could ever find her physically attractive. THIS is why Amy is brave, you POS – for posting a photo that would receive such confidence-shattering slander as the garbage you posted. What makes her BRAVE is for not letting the millions of comments like yours break her.

Schumer was not posing for this picture so others would call her the sexiest woman on the planet, she posed for the picture to show that it’s ok to consider yourself a beautiful and strong woman who doesn’t need the confirmation of others to make herself feel so. Women as a whole need to stop analyzing what everyone and their mother thinks – anyone who has the time to try to bring you down is clearly lacking something in their own life. It’s been shouted at us for years that everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, and we can preach the idea as much as we want. We can go on to tell others that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or we can start to live it and stop passing off judgement on others.

You are brave Amy, just like a million other people who have gone out on a limb to prove a point. Thanks for showing us what it is to be a self-assured and confident woman who doesn’t need the approval of anyone else to tell her that she rocks.

What’s the big deal about…Tom Hiddleston?

Tom Hiddleston is like that kinda cute guy friend who you’ve never paid too much attention to, but all of a sudden it dawns on you years later that they are literally the perfect man and have been right under your nose all along, but you were just too dumb to pick up on it.

DUMB.

So. Dumb.

When I first saw Tom in Thor, he honestly didn’t phase me. I’m sorry to those of you who have been on the Hiddleston bandwagon forever and are shooting laser beams out of your eyes as you read this. I know, I was blinded by Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Loki was, to me, like a whiney little brother jealous of his older sibling who went way too heavy on the hair gel to get it into such a slicked back style. I got it, he was supposed to be the villain we love and hate at the same time, and I kinda liked and kinda hated him, but I just wasn’t gungho. When The Avengers franchise hit theaters, I began to get it more. Yeah he was hot, yeah that evil grin was pretty sexy, but something still wasn’t hitting the mark.

Flash forward to the present after a viewing of Crimson Peak, and yeah, I get it. Hear that, fangirls? I get it. Tom Hiddleston is now the object of all my affections. So what if it took a period piece and 19th century get up for the Hiddleston awakening to occur? It’s happened and life will never be the same. If you haven’t figured out why Tom is so great, let me enlighten you.

Tom, the Actor

Tom is an amazing actor. I’m not just saying that because we’re getting married someday, but because it’s the straight up truth. His versatility is quite remarkable, going from a maniacal Norse god to a vampire to a destitute Victorian inventor with a murky past to the voice of a loveable pirate. He’s believable in every role, not allowing the trace of any of his other characters shine through. But Tom’s not just great on film. He’s a wonderful stage actor as well, and has had starring roles in a number of Shakespeare productions, proving both his knowledge and understanding of the classics in addition to his badassery as a number of physically demanding characters on the screen. The intensity he can bring with a single stare is welcomed on both platforms.

Tom, the Humanitarian

While there are many celebrities who donate time and money to numerous charities and relief organizations, Hiddleston rises above many with his level of dedication. Hiddleston is incredibly involved with UNICEF UK. He’s made several trips to suffering African nations in order to raise awareness, and regularly writes pieces on what can be done to improve conditions in Western Africa. Need an example? Check out this moving piece he recently wrote about how the leaders of the world need to answer the call-to-action in South Sudan. In addition to his humanitarian efforts in West Africa, he’s participated in Live Below the Line (living on roughly $1.50 for a week), spoken out about ALS, and is a self-proclaimed feminist.

Tom, the Brit

For those of us who adore everything and everyone British, you can’t get much better than Tom. First, let’s talk about that accent. I don’t care if it’s a shallow follow up to his humanitarian ways, his accent is perfection. Tom is your quintessential British gentleman, a modern day Darcy if you will (and God knows so many of us are restlessly tossing and turning waiting for our Darcy to show up). Having a soft spot for Cambridge due to a study abroad trip, it delights me to no end to picture Tom strolling around its quaint and lovely campus during his days as an undergrad. To top it all off, Tom later studied at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (whose notable alumni include Sean Bean, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Macfadyen, Peter O’Toole and Alan Rickman, just to name a few). So Tom, what do you say to a cuppa?

Tom, the Lovable Goofball

To round out the package of an intellectual, talented in many ways, and caring humanitarian, Tom also has a fantastic sense of humor, wonderful singing voice and smashing dance moves. The personality on this man seems astounding. In any interview, Tom captivates the entire audience. Whether he’s sharing a joke about the text message he received from a friend, showing off his dance moves, singing the bare necessities or imitating a velociraptor, he always manages to remind fans that he’s a down-to-earth, goofy guy worthy of our love. To top it all off, Tom is always down to dress up as Loki and amuse unsuspecting kids.

So, if you’re like me and late to the Tom Hiddleston party, hopefully I’ve convinced you to give him more than a passing glance. Be warned, if you do watch Crimson Peak, you will fall in love because he so convincingly falls in love, and you too will find yourself wanting a doting Englishman with a (spoiler alert) nice tush. You keep being the wonderful human you are, Tom.

What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You

Horoscopes. Some people love them, some people put no stock into them. Sometimes, though, they are scary accurate. So there has to be some truth to the traits applied to us all based on our zodiac sign, right? Eh, maybe. Sometimes those descriptions are just a bit too sugar-coated…Cancers are the best cooks! Libras are the best lovers! Leos will perform the best in a marathon! And blah, blah, blah. What if horoscopes told us the downright truth? Well, if your horoscopes were like a blunt, bitchy friend, this is what they would have to say. Only continue if you can handle the truth. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading “What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You”

An Open Letter to Pumpkin Spice

(Image Credit: Masson)
(Image Credit: Masson)

Dear Pumpkin Spice,

First, welcome back! It seems like just yesterday we were reuniting at Dunkin’ –  hard to believe it’s been ten months already! Few flavors match your cinnamon and nutmeggy goodness. You’re a classic comfort in the chilly fall. Most of the time, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, my week feels oddly incomplete if I haven’t had my fix in some way. I know, I’m borderline obsessed. But despite my love for you, we need to talk.

At first, your need to enhance things like coffee and cookies and various baked goods was a welcome gesture. Don’t get me started on what you’ve done for the world of hand soaps, sanitizers, and candles. It’s incredible. But Pumpkin Spice, you’ve started to get, well, a little out of control.

I walked into the grocery store the other day and ran into a giant display of pumpkin spice Oreos. OK, maybe not a terrible idea, but Oreos are best as is. Everyone knows this. All these modifications to the classic cookie are decent at best. It was when I turn the aisle and saw pumpkin spice potato chips that I begin to grow concerned.

Really, pumpkin spice on fried slices of potato? It just doesn’t go. I wanted to catch you before you went too far, but I was too late. I’m saddened to say I saw you on the evening news last night, Pumpkin Spice. The reporter announced, and I can’t believe I’m even saying this, that your latest victim was dog treats. Or should I say Pup-kin treats. You, my friend, belong nowhere near dog food and you know it! I fear that you’ve begun to spread yourself too thin and are willing to exploit yourself by whatever means possible. This isn’t you.

I’m concerned about you and wish that you would get back to your roots that worked so well in coffee, cookies, and candles. Follow the example of your cousin, Vanilla Chai. They knew when to stop, enhancing only lattes, ice cream, and the occasional cocktail. You’re fantastic, there’s no doubt about it- but back down and do what you know is right. I love you and want you to be at your best; don’t spread yourself too thin. Less is more, and when done right, you remain special.

 

Love,

Sarah

Your First Time: Carving a Pumpkin

(Image Credit: Alliance)
(Image Credit: Alliance)

The first jack-o’-lanterns were supposedly carved in Ireland, except instead of using pumpkins, the carvers used turnips (weird, I know). The spooky lanterns were meant to represent the strange phenomenon of flickering lights over peat bogs, known as will-o’-the wisp. The pumpkin lanterns were meant to represent the faces of spirits and goblins. Nowadays, the tradition of carving pumpkins is widespread and, in America especially, has friendlier symbolism: come trick or treat here; we’ve got candy! Continue reading “Your First Time: Carving a Pumpkin”

Your First Time: Teaching

(Image Credit: Johoo)
(Image Credit: Johoo)

The night before my first day as a teacher was one of the most restless nights I’ve ever had. Every question I could have possibly asked myself, I did. Did I prepare enough? Will I at least sound like I know what I’m talking about if I didn’t? Will these kids even care about what I had to say? Will they learn anything? What if I trip in front of them? What if I go blank? Will I still be throwing up tomorrow (side note- I had borderline pneumonia that first week without knowing it and had started throwing up that afternoon as a side effect- best luck ever!) What is the difference between a gerund and a participle? Why did they hire me? What the hell have I gotten myself into? And on, and on, and exhaustingly on. By the time I fell asleep, my alarm was pretty much going off. Thankfully, adrenaline kicked in when I needed it most. Continue reading “Your First Time: Teaching”

Our 15 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015

Fall-Books

Some will argue that the best time to read is in the summer. You can lay in the grass, lounge on a hammock, perch on a beach chair with the waves lapping at your feet, or just sit in front of an air-conditioner, the breeze blowing through your hair as you read your favorite new book. I tend to be of a different opinion. The fall and early months of winter are the perfect time to settle in with a new book. The cracking of a fresh spine will echo the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath your feet. The soft glow that your Kindle or nook emits fits right in with the soft haze produced by a string of Christmas lights. I think we can all agree that reading a book while wearing your favorite sweatpants and a cozy sweater is far more enjoyable than a wet bathing suit. Continue reading “Our 15 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015”

Why You Shouldn’t Date a Girl Who Reads

(Image Credit: Djoronimo)
(Image Credit: Djoronimo)

Everyone, ok mostly everyone, remembers the original “You Should Date a Girl Who Reads” by Rosemarie Urquico. It’s this great piece of writing that beautifully describes the characteristics of a girl who reads and how wonderful a life with her would be. I’m an avid reader, and like every other avid reader who read it, I was all like “YES, THIS IS ME, SOMEONE GETS IT! MEN OF THE WORLD COME HITHER AND BEHOLD THIS READING VIXEN!” Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Date a Girl Who Reads”