What’d They Say? 5 Great Songs with Indecipherable Lyrics

"Work It" Music Video (Image Credit: WMG)

“Work It” Music Video (Image Credit: WMG)

This article is inspired by a YouTube comment. (Great opening, I know.) I was spending Friday night drinking grapefruit seltzer and watching YouTube videos, specifically my new summer jam and best use of the word BRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAATTTTT of 2016, Panda. (NSFW)

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Everything I Ever Needed to Know I learned from… ‘Clueless’

CLUELESS (Image Credit: Paramount)

CLUELESS (Image Credit: Paramount)

All my ‘90s girls out there know that, before the Mean Girls wave crashed in, there came Clueless, brought to you by the most loveable fictional character of all time, Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), duh. Continue reading

r/Showerthoughts takes on the ‘Important’ Questions about Apartment Living

redditapartment

The solace of the shower is one of the few moments in life when our attention is not trained on a smart device. Without the pixelized stimulation we’re accustomed to, our brains tend to turn to life’s great questions for entertainment and nothing illustrates this better than r/Showerthoughts, a subreddit where people post- you guessed it, their shower thoughts. Continue reading

The 5 Stages of a Netflix Binge

The 5 Stages of a Netflix Binge

We’ve all found ourselves lost in the downwards spiral of a Netflix binge. It’s an inescapable cycle that, regardless of how strongly you feel you need to get out, you continue to get sucked in by the characters you’ve suddenly grown to know so well. But, where does this addiction begin? Continue reading

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.

7 Pinterest Hacks That Aren’t Worth It

Pinterest

There are some truly great Pinterest hacks out there. Where else would I go to figure out how to maximize my storage space or fix a broken bronzer? Along with the life-saving hacks out there, though, are the not-so-useful ones that seriously make me question the logic of people sharing their advice. To avoid trying out a hack that might do more damage than good, check out the below list.

 

Use cotton to lengthen eyelashes.

If you’ve ever gotten one of those irritating little strands of cotton in your eye, you’ll know that the absolute last thing you should be coating your eyelashes with is cotton. For the sake of your eyeballs, buy yourself a lengthening mascara and some false lashes and leave it at that.

 

Break off clips from the ends of hangers to use as bag clips.

I guess if you are really desperate for a clip to hold your chips together (is anyone ever though?), you could break off the clips on the ends of your hanger to use, but who really thought that this was efficient? Save your clip hangers for hanging your pants – it will be way cheaper and easier to just get a bag of clips intended for your food.

 

Mix cocoa powder with lotion for an instant fake tan.

I actually tried this one, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s not worth your time. I ended up with completely uneven streaks all over my body and a ruined container of lotion. This might work out ok if you spend hours mixing the lotion and blending into your skin, but you’re definitely better off with using something actually intended for fake tanning.

 

Make grilled cheese in the toaster by turning the toaster on its side.

Yeah, sure, if you want burnt cheese all over the sides of your toaster, go ahead and melt away. There are so many more efficient ways of melting cheese on toast that won’t end up with a mini fire, though, so maybe pass on this one.

 

Put a lighter to your eyelash curler before using for a longer-lasting curl.

Please do not try this at home. When I first heard someone suggest aiming your hair dryer at your eyelash curler before use to heat it up, the thought of hot metal near my eyes got me nervous, but actually bringing a flame to the curler for the sake of beauty? Not worth it.

 

Contour your face with utensils.

Why is this necessary? Aren’t there flat-edged brushes on the market made for this exact purpose? And why does a line so sharp it needs to be stenciled out with metal need to be drawn onto your face in the first place? Your utensils should stay in your kitchen, not in your makeup bag.

 

Create marble nails in water.

This is a nice idea in theory, but I can’t imagine this would end up with anything other than strangely mixed nail polish colors all over my hands… and probably furniture. I’ll leave the designs to the pros.

 

It’s definitely tempting to test out every Pinterest hack you come across, but please try to Pin wisely, and let us know what hacks you’ve come across that nobody should try!

There’s a good reason you haven’t hung out with that old friend…

BRIDESMAIDS (Image Credit: Universal Studios)

BRIDESMAIDS (Image Credit: Universal Studios)

We all have that one friend from back in the day who we think was so spontaneous and so much fun. Every now and then they pop into our lives, and we make plans thinking it will be a great time. After all, we haven’t seen each other in months (or years) and we’ve been friends forever.

We talk our old friend up to our new friends like he or she is the epitome of a good time and reminisce about all the wacky memories we’ve made together. And when the day arrives of the scheduled hang out we’re totally pumped for what will be an amazing night.

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We expect to be completely in tune with our long lost bestie…

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And that the night is going to be awesome.

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Then our old friend does their first questionable thing of the evening…

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Like greeting everyone with highly offensive language, and you’re left like…

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You think maybe it’s just a fluke. You can forgive a little colorful language in the name of old times and having a good night.

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But then the next thing you know your old friend is throwing back drinks like it’s about to be prohibition…

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And disgustingly making out with a random in the middle of the dance floor.

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Before you know it, your new friends are confronting you all like, “I thought you said this person was awesome,” and you’re like…

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So you pull your old friend aside and you try to calmly explain this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

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And you think you have things under control until you get back from the restroom to find your old friend standing on the bar making insane proclamations.

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And all your new friends are like…

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Then you start to remember why it’s been so long since you hung out with your old friend…

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And all the memories of how they’ve caused chaos in your life in the past, like the time they drunkenly threw up on your roommate’s bed before taking your keys and driving over your foot,  come streaming back as your frustration level hits overdrive.

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So you try one more time to get things under control,

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But your old friend just laughs it off between shouting out inappropriately wrong lyrics to the song blasting in the background…

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At that point your new friends decide they’re going to “check out another bar”…

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And you and good ol’ days aren’t invited to come along.

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But even though you’re mad you kind of get it…

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Until you realize you’re stuck dealing with this disaster on your own…

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And even you feel like you need to bail…

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But you stick it out watching with secondhand (and personal) embarrassment…

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Because you’re not the kind of person who leaves a friend hanging…

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Until your old friend starts to pick a fight with the bouncer and you finally can’t take it anymore…

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And drag your old friend to the uber you called when they weren’t looking.

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Then when you finally get them home, after arguing non-stop about whether or not Sushi City is still serving and having to stop for them to get sick several times, you bid your old friend a fond farewell…

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Knowing you have no intention of ever seeing this person again after what they’ve put you through… at least until some time goes by and you forget what makes them so horrible all over again.

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How to Survive a Celebrity Breakup

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris (Image Credit: Taylor Swift/Instagram)

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris (Image Credit: Taylor Swift/Instagram)

Brace yourselves. Celebrity breakups are coming.

Last year, it seemed as if something was in the Hollywood air because a handful of celebrity couples just broke up out of nowhere. That’s when I believed love is dead. Coming into 2016, we haven’t been hit with THAT many breakups… Until now. Just this past week alone, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik, Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris, and Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama have split up.

Looks like I have to delete all my tweets saying that Taylor Swift and Calvin were my OTP goals… Erase the possibility that they would ever make a song together… Or even the fact that Zayn would have somehow found himself in a TayTay squad photo like Joe Jonas when they all were on swans together in the pool. I know you know what I’m talking about.

It’s OK, y’all. We can get through this. I’m used to this thanks to last year’s spur of breakups. First off, don’t dwell on the “whose fault is it?” You’ll end up torturing yourself on who to blame and end up taking sides. Sure, we could all get mad at Calvin Harris for being the one to break poor Swift’s heart because there wasn’t a “spark” anymore. Just you wait, Calvin. Don’t be surprised if we hear a song titled, “Sparks” or “Sparks Die” or some kind of title with that word incorporated in it. And, it’ll be a hit because everything that Taylor Swift touches turns to gold.

Second, don’t expect to see cute snapchats anymore. I relied on Gigi to give me sneak peeks into Zayn’s life since he’s been mostly MIA once he left One Direction. She gave us Directioners a way to keep a track on our beloved missed member. Sigh.

Third, think about the possibility that you could finally date Zac Efron. Oh, you didn’t hear that he’s single now and no longer with Sami Miro? Oh. Well, that should brighten up your day. So you’re saying there’s a chance, Zac? Actually, this could be the same for any relationship. We all have a chance. It may be a long shot and you will probably never run into them in your life, but it’s worth a shot to have positive thinking.

Lastly, if you’re like me, you will no longer have to torture yourself with the whole, “WHY CAN’T I BE HIM/HER?” feelings. I mean, wait. Is that just me?

It’s all right you guys. Things are always changing in the celebrity world. Next thing you know, our favorite ex-couples could be getting back together, having a baby and then getting married. It happened to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher so this could happen to anyone else. I have hope.

Confessions of a Habitually Late Person

CHLP

I will happily admit I’m typically always a late person to any function. Without a doubt, I’ll find a way to be late. Why? Because, I hate being the first one to anything. Bear with me on this one. Tell me it’s not awkward when you happen to be the very first person to any sort of event, whether it be a birthday party or some random celebration. It’s totally easy if it’s your best friend’s function or if you arrive with a group of people but when you plan on attending by yourself? That’s a whole different story. Continue reading

30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

30 Things You Should Be Able to Do By 30!

30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

There comes a time in everyone’s life where we come to realize that we are either on our way to becoming or have already become full fledged adults. While we all may reach this point at different ages, one thing is for sure: there are certain things we should be able to do on our own by the age of 30. Consult this list to see if you are on track or at least on your way to getting there!

1. Fix a flat tire (or in my case fight a flat)

If you ever find yourself alone with a flat tire and no one around to help you fix it, you could always call AAA, but just imagine how satisfying it would be changing it yourself. Besides it is a useful skill to have (Check out Your First Time Changing a Tire to learn how!).

2. Buy/own/ or have your own means of transportation

3. Learn how to say NO and stand by it

Say no to choices that you know are bad for you, or friends who want to borrow clothes but are notorious for never returning them, or to your friends who try to set you up on another blind date, after the other ones were clearly not right for you making you wonder: Do they know you at all?

4. Learn how to save and be responsible with your money

By the time you reach 30, if you have not already started saving for retirement, you are in a bit of pickle. You want to set yourself up for the future. You also want to maybe not overextend your wallet because you had to have that new jacket/watch/iPad, whatever it may be.

5. Know what a 401k is…and how to use it.

This kind of goes along with #4, but in order to set yourself up for the future, you should have some sort of 401k or Roth IRA, or at least a savings account that you don’t touch. It may not seem like much now, but continuous contributions now equals a happier you in the future.

6. Know proper table manners

You know…no elbows on the table, know which fork to use with which course, which fork to use as a weapon when someone tries to steal off your plate…common sense mostly.

7. Have one signature meal you can whip up

Whether it is cider-glazed ham with a ginger-lime glaze, or a bacon and guacamole grilled cheese sandwich, it’s always good to have one signature meal to impress your friends. Whether or not it is edible remains in question.

8. Get a real bed (not a futon, or your friends couch)

9. Make a bed

It doesn’t have to be hotel quality, but at least pull up your sheets neatly and fluff your pillows. Trust me, there is nothing more inviting after a long day than a freshly made bed.

10. Set up a home

Have a place you can call your own. Whether you decide to share this place with someone is your own decision, but you should at least know what it is like to have your own place and your own space.

11. Own a piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone in your family

Unless it is vintage, a family heirloom, or holds some kind of sentimental value, it is time to get rid of that old couch you have had since college.

12. Be alone for a while…

Learn to be comfortable with being alone. Embrace the silence. Listen to your thoughts. Clear your mind for a while.

13. Stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault

14. Take a compliment

Don’t fight it, or deny it or list the reasons why you are not worthy Just simply say “thank you.”

15. Fall in love without losing yourself

16. Do your laundry…

On your own…without dropping it off at your parents house.

17. Load a dishwasher

Now there is no one way to do this, but doing it correctly can extend the life of your dishes.

18. Grow some plants

Learn how to keep something alive before you have kids. Learn how to nurture it,watch it grow and protect it from harm.

19. Have a mentor

Find a mentor in somebody. Look up to them, discuss choices they made, paths they have taken and mistakes they have made. Do your best not to make the same mistakes.

20. Be a mentor

Then, when the time is right, be that person for someone else.

21. Stop following fad diets

22. Know that the only real way to lose weight is through healthy eating and regular exercise.

23. Get into crazy good shape

Do it for yourself and then take lots of pictures to prove that you were once in crazy good shape. Then try to maintain it for as long as you can so that you don’t have to say “Once upon a time I was in crazy good shape, but then…”

24. Know what works for your body type

Accept what your body type is and know what styles and colors work for you. Try to avoid the trendy items and stick with what works for you.

25. Properly format a resume…without padding it

26. Tie a bow/necktie

27. Learn how to take a good photograph…and not just a selfie

Photos capture moments in time and help us capture great memories. You should learn to take a good photograph that showcases these memories and all the people in them…and not just to fill up your Instagram feed.

28. Drink like a grown-up…

Meaning for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you must drink one glass of water. Also no getting “black-out” wasted and dancing on tables…unless you had a really rough week.

29. Know how to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next

30. Discover yourself…

Not in that way! Tsk tsks…get your mind out of the gutter! But do know your strengths and weaknesses. Admit to your weaknesses and play up your strengths and you will be on your way to global domination…or at least domination in the workplace.

Whether 30 is around the corner for you, a few years away or already in your past, these are a few of the things that you should be able to do by the time you reach this glorious age.

Originally posted March 10, 2014.

Signs You Might Be an Anglophile

It’s been two years since I spent a semester abroad in England, and I miss it every day. Like an ever increasing number of Americans (and other nationalities), I am afflicted with Anglophilia. Okay, maybe afflicted isn’t the best word. It’s not like Anglophilia’s a disease or anything, just a perfectly healthy interest in England and English culture. Of course, there are varying degrees of Anglophilia, but it’s much more than liking British accents.

One thing an Anglophile might notice in the previous sentence is my use of the term “British,” which he or she would know encompasses more than solely England, extending to Wales and Scotland as well because they’re part of Great Britain.

An increasingly global culture with a specific interest in England in the past few years because of the London Olympics, the Royal wedding and now the royal baby has led to growing appreciation of English culture and a growing number of Anglophiles.

Think you or someone you know might qualify? Take a look below to see some of the ways you can recognize Anglophilia in yourself and others.

You know how to “properly” spell words.

It’s a fairly well known fact that British and American English differ in several ways, including punctuation and spelling. What makes a person an Anglophile, however, is if they prefer British English words. My fellow Anglophiles may agree with me and use “cancelled” over “canceled,” “theatre” over “theater,” and “pyjamas” over “pajamas.” Just be careful not to go overboard on the alternate spellings. Professors and non-Anglophiles probably won’t be as understanding.

You know Lizzie Bennet, James Bond, and Harry Potter aren’t just movie characters.

Really, you should probably know that even if you aren’t an Anglophile, but it’s true that a common type of Anglophilia stems from a love of English books and authors, including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. As a former English major, I have this type of Anglophilia in spades, and I love reading English copies of novels to see what words they use that Americans might not. One British word that’s much more common in the US today is “ginger,” which crossed over during the Harry Potter years. Luckily, most Americans seem to use it simply to mean red-headed and don’t grasp its negative connotations.

You don’t understand the social stigma against eating alone.

Union Jack Hat (Image Credit: Edward Simpson)

Union Jack Hat (Image Credit: Edward Simpson)

While in England, I was told multiple times that eating alone was perfectly acceptable, and I often saw people sitting alone in cafés and pubs. In the US, I don’t feel like eating alone is encouraged. An important food staple for Anglophiles? Cadbury chocolate, which is usually only available in the US near Easter. For those who don’t want to wait that long to express their Anglophilia, you could start referring to your takeout as “takeaway.”

You fondly remember the British Invasion (both of them) or maybe just belt out Adele.

Some of my earliest stirrings of Anglophilia came from my love of the Spice Girls and S Club 7, and of course, I love the Beatles. Liking British music is such common practice that it might be weird to think of it as liking English culture. But judging by the number of people I have talked to who don’t know who S Club 7 is, it’s not always as common as you might think (For those who don’t know, S Club 7 was a pop group from the late ‘90s/early ‘00s who also had a TV show on Fox Family before it was renamed ABC Family).

You know there are more channels than BBC.

And I don’t mean there’s BBC One, BBC Three, etc. An Anglophile would also know about ITV and SKY at least. Television has been a very good way to decide if someone is an Anglophile, and shows like Doctor Who,Sherlock and Downton Abbey broke down country barriers by appealing to Americans and Britons alike. For those television-loving Anglophiles among you, I would recommend checking out dramas Luther and The Hour, and comedies Miranda and The IT Crowd for the slices of English life you so crave.

If you identified with any or all of the above, you may be an Anglophile. Congratulations! You should wear your new title with pride. But I also want to caution you. Being an Anglophile is far different from actually being English. Enjoy any trip to England you can get, but don’t put on your best British accent while there. Appreciating the country and the people is good enough.

Originally posted July 24, 2014.

Why ‘Dance Moms’ is Horrific…and I Love It

I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive Mallory Walker for getting me hooked on Dance Moms. I started watching the first season on Amazon Prime one day after she mentioned the show to me and now, many seasons in, I still keep tuning in to the perfectly choreographed trainwreck. At first I watched out of a morbid curiosity, having been a dancer myself and wondering how much more outrageous this Abby Lee Miller character could be than my own instructor who liked to call me “left feet” (as in having two of them) and would scream to high heaven if I missed a step (which I did frequently). Over time, I somehow became invested in the ALDC circus despite the many reasons I should find the show appalling: both the scripted and unscripted feuds, grown women going utterly water-throwing and purse-swinging bonkers over competitions, and small children being pitted against each other in what might as well be dances to the death given how serious they all take this stuff. Yet, I’m embarrassed to say those are the very same things that keep me watching.

If you’ve yet to check out an episode of Dance Moms (disclaimer: I feel like I should tell you not to watch given how addictive it can be), let me elaborate a bit more about what makes the show so insane and at the same time so fabulous.  

Let’s start by discussing Abby Lee Miller. Abby is the owner of Abby Lee Dance Company and the “choreographer” for the competition teams. Quotes on choreographer because depending on the episode/dance she sometimes has little to do with choreography beyond the creative vision of the number. But none of that is what’s interesting about her. No, what makes Abby interesting to watch is her complete lack of filter and unflinching ability to stare down a crying child. To say her teaching method is “tough love” is like saying the Kardashians have had a little work done.  

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At the same time, Abby really does want the kids to do well and win, if not for their own sake then for her reputation’s. The titular dance moms love to accuse her of sabotaging their kids so they don’t win, and there are times it seems like she doesn’t put as much effort into one kid’s dance as another’s, but I think Abby Lee cares way too much about her brand to ever set up a kid to lose on purpose. Abby wants all the kids to come in first all the time because as she says, if you’re second place…

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Speaking of the dance moms, their craziness doesn’t end with theories of dance sabotage. Oh no, their flamboyance makes up some of the most entertaining moments of the show, especially in the early seasons when much of the drama surrounded the idea that Abby favors Maddie Ziegler above the other girls (spoiler alert: she did and does).

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Every week Abbie set Maddie up with the best choreography and an opportunity to use the “Maddie Face” to win over the judges and, early on, every week the dance moms fought about it. Seeing adults get so irate and at times jealous over a child is hilarious, even if you do occasionally feel bad for them, knowing they only want their kids to win like Maddie.

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Problem is, most of the other kids are lacking one of the many facets that make Maddie a showstopper (no offense kids) and no amount of extra secret private lessons or gifts to Abby would make a difference when it comes to that. But of course they don’t see it that way and instead fight about it all the time, kids be damned.

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It’s sad when the kids overhear it, and it can even be uncomfortable to watch. But when they’re fighting on their own it can be laugh out loud funny. Their spats can range from calling each other every name in the book, often with bleeping required and finger pointing like this:

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To passive aggressive moments of awesomeness like this:
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And when they’re not fighting with each other, they’re fighting with Abby…

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…who isn’t much better about setting a good example for the kids.

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It’s not just the fighting that makes the dance moms such eyeball bait. Their scripted get-togethers and non-dance related convos often create great “what am I watching” moments that really leave you asking yourself, “Do they not know this is going to televised?”

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In case you’re wondering, there is in fact dancing on Dance Moms, and if you love dance or ever suffered through a class with a teacher like Abby, they really are the best parts of the show.

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The kids are talented and their camaraderie is adorable.  

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Even if some of them aren’t really as into as others…

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And some are a little too intense.

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The whole show is a big bunch of crazy, with a sprinkle of dancing and a lot of drama.
Yes, in many ways Dance Moms is horrific and I absolutely love it.

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10 Ways Having a Dog is Like Having a Toddler

(Image Credit: jstaley4011)

(Image Credit: jstaley4011)

Well guys, I’m treading on delicate territory. I’m entering a knife fight with a plastic fork and hoping that somehow I come out on the other side with minimal damage to my well-being.

So let’s call it like it is: I’m comparing a dog, specifically my dog, to a child, and I know that’s a hot button topic. I’ve done my research, and I’ve read countless mom blogs chastising pet owners for taking the time to say having a dog is like having a toddler.

There’s a reason a lot of people say that getting a puppy is a gateway to having a real child. When you get a puppy, or even a high energy adult dog, you are suddenly taking responsibility for something other than yourself that needs you. Dogs require a good amount of supervision, a lot of puppy proofing and take tons of energy to wear out. You spend the first few months barely sleeping due to crate training (read: late night tantrums) and housebreaking.

That being said, why would we as a society see getting a dog as a gateway if there weren’t some similarities between having a child and having a dog? Well, in case you are one of those people who sees their furry friend as a furchild and really doesn’t care who knows it, here are 10 ways having a dog is like having a toddler:

 

Silence is not actually a good thing.

Having a high energy breed means I know if my dog has disappeared and is quiet, he’s probably eating something he shouldn’t be, getting into something, or making a huge mess. If I don’t keep an eye on my dog at all times, he could be under the sink chewing on a bottle of bleach because he likes to chew on plastic bottles (I don’t know; don’t ask me why) and is smart enough to open pantry doors with his nose. Or, he might get into the chocolate chip cookies that were left (sealed, I might add) on the counter because he thinks they smell good. Also, true story, one time my dog ate a Lego block because obviously that tastes delicious to a dog.

 

You cannot keep your house clean while the dog is around.

I’ve seen what toddlers can do to playrooms – I’ve babysat a few that rival my ability to explode my belongings everywhere. Dogs like to make a mess. You leave them alone for too long or even just walk away, they’ve pulled an entire roll of toilet paper out of the bathroom, shredded it to pieces and make it into an international delicacy. I’ve also witnessed my dog pull every toy out of his toy bin, scatter them across the floor and then proceed to play with a flip flop instead. Plus, the muddy paw prints, the slobber, the fur… why even bother sweeping, mopping and vacuuming?

 

Playtime is all the time.

You know how in Frozen they say “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake, so now it’s time to play?” Well, from the moment the sun rises until the moment they go to bed at night, it’s playtime. It’s finding new ways to keep them entertained, to put a new twist on an old classic, like fetch or monkey in the middle. Too much downtime means you’ve got a full grown dog in your lap pulling your socks off and jumping on your stomach.

 

You no longer have personal space.

Dogs love affection, much like toddlers, so cuddle time is all the time too. Between play sessions, you get those moments that make your heart melt. They lay their head on your lap, they fall asleep and snuggle close. It’s a rare moment, but it makes you happy to know something out there depends on you – even if it’s just for a pillow.

 

You never leave the house without your dog “diaper” bag.

And no, I’m not talking about what you use to clean up their bathroom messes with. Whenever we take our dog with us anywhere we pack a doggy bag. We have water, treats, a favorite toy or two, poop bags and a towel (in case he gets into mud or something). We never leave the house when our dog is with us without it. When we are going to visit family, that bag increases to dog food, dog crate, blankets, dog bed, dog bone, and anything else he might need between now and the time we come back. He ends up having just as much luggage as we do, sometimes more.

 

Potty training is often a tedious process.

When you first get a puppy, housebreaking is a serious thing. You are up every two hours to let them out to avoid accidents, and once you’re up you’re out every hour or so. Sometimes they have accidents, and you have to carry them outside while they’re still peeing all over the place. There are lots of treats involved, an occasional bribe; but once they get it you realize they really get it and you just feel like you’ve conquered the world.

 

Doggy daycare is like a mini vacation.

You know how sometimes your kids have sleepovers at their friend’s house, have a babysitter over, or visit the grandparents for the night or weekend? Well, doggy daycare is kind of like that. It’s a place where they run out all their energy and then come home either really exhausted (or more hyped up if you’re unfortunate). For those few hours though, it’s the best you time you’ll ever have. Dogs, while easier to care for than a toddler, still require a good amount of time and energy throughout the day, and you don’t realize just how much time and energy until you’ve spent three hours on the sofa and not once had to yell, “WHAT IS IN YOUR MOUTH?! HOW DID YOU GET THAT! SPIT IT OUT, NOW!”

 

Doctor’s visits are usually expensive and a huge hassle.

Just like not every kid hates the doctor, not every dog does either; but most animals don’t exactly enjoy going to the doctor – my dog included. My 85 pound German Shepherd doesn’t like to be restrained, so you can imagine doing anything means you’ve got a whining, barking, bucking bronco you’re trying to hold down to get a temperature from or administer a vaccine to. Then you get the bill and you wonder how you’re not the one screaming on the table and accidentally punching nurses in the face.

 

You will do ridiculous things to see make them happy, just to see them happy.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve crawled around on the floor, jumped around like a monkey or made silly noises to get my dog happy and excited. Dogs love to play, and they love to be happy, so when you can figure out how to make the dog run for joy or cry with excitement (like my dog does when we get to the dog park) it’s just a great feeling. Playing hide and seek with your dog is fun, peek-a-boo with your dog is fun and wrestling (safely of course) is also fun.

 

Your life suddenly revolves around them.

There is a great quote that I’ve seen that reads, “To you they are only part of your life, but to them you are their whole life.” When you get a dog, you make a promise to do everything you can for them to make sure they live a wonderful, stress free life. You give them food when they are hungry, water when they are thirsty; you buy them toys and treats and take them almost everywhere you go. You teach them basic manners, like not to jump on guests and to lay down when asked, and drive them to obedience school to further their education. You care for them when they are sick, worry when they get hurt and cry when you are posed with difficult decisions regarding their health and wellbeing. They make you laugh, they make you frustrated, they teach you about yourself and they remind you what’s important in life.

 

When you are making decisions, you suddenly have to include what to do with your dog because you can’t just leave on vacation without making plans on who will watch them, where they will stay and what that person needs to know about your dog; because sometimes, parents and furparents alike need some time away from their children and pets. You are no longer just looking out for you, you are looking out for someone who, for a good part of their life, will need you and depend on you for many things. Despite all the other similarities, whether you see them or not, that dog – that furchild – needs you.

 

If someone loves a dog like one of their family, it doesn’t matter that they have four legs and fur, they will love that dog like a child, and treat it like their very own, birth-given human. And honestly, who are we to try and deny them that right? Sometimes people just have really big hearts, capable of loving all things, not just humans, with a maternal and paternal love.

 

 

An Open Letter to Homegoods

(Image Credit: zhu difeng)

(Image Credit: zhu difeng)

Dear Homegoods,

I hate you.

I’m kidding; I can’t hate you. I love you.

I love you almost as much as I love Target. You’re a really close second. You might even jump into first soon because every time I visit you, I find something else that I just NEED to own.

Browsing your aisles I automatically develop a case of ADD. Oh frames! Oh dish towels for all of the holidays! Oh baskets! Oh garlic infused olive oil! Oh a spoonula! It’s ridiculous, but it’s also amazing. Because I can’t always help myself.

And even more so now that I have a child, your kids’ department slays me. So. Many. Cute. Things. Last time I went just to pick up something for our bathroom and I left with a puzzle, a toy basket and a book for my son. Nicely done, Homegoods, nicely done.

On top of that, I noticed a cute collection of tiny chairs. Because all babies need tiny chairs. I surprisingly refrained from purchasing one on the spot, most likely because my wallet was already crying. Instead, I mentioned it to my mom and how my son probably needed one. So naturally, this happened:

Homegoods

And it’s the most adorable thing ever. So thank you Homegoods, for keeping things adorable in the Bannan household.

Homegoods, your cute things are my everything. And my house is slowly being converted into your showroom. Keep up the good work. And the good prices. You’ve got a happy customer over here.

Take all of my money.
Katelin