family

Area dog more than happy to be a couch potato

“Would you look at her,” said Tanya with a hint of despise. She was referring to her dog Stella who was stretched out across the couch in the living room. “I think when she dies we will bury the couch with her.”

Tanya and I nonchalantly took a seat next to Stella. “Is it really that bad if a dog enjoys being on the couch?” I asked Tanya. “You love the couch as much as the next person.” “I do,” she responded and took a bite of the grilled cheese sandwich she made inspired by the one seen on America’s Test Kitchen. “But this dog, she almost abuses the couch. I’ve never seen anyone so happy just spreading across the thing in multiple ways. She lays on her back, her belly, her side- you name it.”

I looked at Stella. Her eyes gave away content and a sense of bliss. Soft cushions were supporting her big head as her butt was slowly sinking into the couch. This dog was happy, so happy to be a couch potato.

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Babies Force Their Parents To Only Post Pictures Of Them On Facebook

CHICAGO- After having received many complaints from their users about the vast amount of baby pictures suddenly appearing in their news feed, Facebook decided to investigate the matter further after the initial suspicion of a complicated computer glitch.

“From what we have been able to find out is that newborn babies have indeed developed a take over scheme,” declared Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Executive of Facebook, at an impromptu press conference. “Investigation showed that parents, enamored with the babies cuteness, were not willingly posting pictures of their new-born babies smiling, pooping, sleeping or even eating carrots- it was all a deliberate scheme plotted by these babies who wanted to create Facebook accounts, but were not old enough yet to create one.” Most parents with newborns have had problems with the account takeovers. “It appears that some accounts are more hijacked than others,” stated Zuckerberg, “as some babies even took over the profile pictures posing under their parents names.”

Lara, an avid Facebook user, was thrilled to hear the results of the investigation. “I thought it was rather odd that my friend Jessica, who also recently had a child, kept posting pictures of her baby every hour. From the aforementioned baby being washed, getting a new bib to the baby cuddling with their dog, baby playing with Grandma, baby smiling for the first time…. I thought it was odd. I am glad Facebook came to the bottom of this.”

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(Inspired by The Onion)

The old and sparingly, the young and wasteful

Recently, we had quite the generational battle in my family. We decided to renovate my Dad’s tiny little cottage house somewhere in Georgia. He used it for his getaways when he needed a break from life, but now, as my sister has children on her own…she wants to take them there, have them live in the wild, learn how nature works and expose them to other beautiful crude facts of life.

And so, the idea of renovating came about. Let’s turn Dad’s old, shabby cottage into a family den! I believe he hasn’t touched the inside for roughly 40 years…. the rugs were used up and damp, the walls have been crying for a layer of paint. The closets, drawers and other furniture was wobbly and almost shivered under the weight of Dad’s fishing/hunting gear and tools. For my youngest niece, walking into the place caused an immediate allergic reaction to dust. We knew it was a big undertaking, but my sister desperately wanted this. Little did we know, the easiest part would be loading up the broken things. For the fight began with things that were still sort of-kind of-just barely useful and looked terrible.

Our Dad started arguing how wasteful we were and that just because something is old and broken, it does not mean it cannot be repaired. Yada yada yada. The whole afternoon became about us, the young and wasteful generation which buys things when they break down instead of fixing them. He fought for every chair, every dresser, every drawer, every table. And I get it, I do. I am “old-school”, if you will, and all about savings things and fixing them up- but only if they still look somewhat presentable. But things that are on the verge of collapsing and possibly hurting someone? Shouldn’t we retire old furniture too? At what point do we acknowledge nothing is meant to be used forever?

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Modern Hoarders

She was frantically pacing around the room. “I don’t know why you have to throw anything out! Don’t touch those books, someone gave them to me as a gift!” She looked livid. “Then why are they in the drawer?”

We’ve been looking for a battery charger all over the house for more than an hour, and still no sight of it. “This house has so much shit it in,” she grunted. “Finally!” I thought to myself. She was finally displeased with the piles of useless material items around the house. Maybe this is the opportunity to throw out some of it and clear out the dressers, the closets and the hallway.

Ten minutes into it, she got really mad. At me. For messing with her things, for trying to get rid of things. “You are ruining the order! You are making a mess! I can’t find anything anymore.” Her face was red from screaming at me and I haven’t seen her this upset in a while. I threw all the stuff back to where I found it and left.

I got home and Googled hoarders definition. I’ve seen the shows- Hoarders, buried alive! But my Mom’s place doesn’t look like that! She doesn’t have cockroaches laying around! She can still walk around the house without stepping on things. It did not match. She’s not a hoarder by definition. But what is she then? Why would a sane person get so upset over a pile of things she did not even know they were there?

I called David to discuss what I witnessed with him. His Mom is similar to my Mom- she has expired food in the fridge but she won’t throw it out. She still has the box from David’s first PC purchase. The blender box. Clothing from 1970’s. What is going on here? If they are not hoarders by definition but have separation anxiety, what are they?

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Quality chocolate for .50 cents

Alright, alright. You can’t get it in the American stores. For many reasons, chocolate in U.S. is not only expensive but the presence of cacao is terrifically low and sugar content abysmally high. But that’s how we like it I guess.

I liked it that way too until I discovered a German store called Lidl (Lidl is pretty much a copycat of Aldi or kind of like Dollar General with better quality products). There are many things in my life that bring me joy and finding great chocolate for the price of a hamburger at McDonald’s on Wednesday’s is one of them.

Lidl is/was a shabby-looking store with a strong warehouse feel. Nothing fancy or classy about it- but Germans love it. Almost instantly as I walked in, a 100 g (3.5- Ounce) of chocolate caught my eyes. Wrapped in an appealing, yet simple wrap tempted me from the shelves. Milk Chocolate for 50 cents. (Mind you, this was like two years ago so the price really hasn’t gone up at the time of writing.) This chocolate wasn’t expired or poisonous. It didn’t give you painful diarrhea. It wasn’t like godawful Hershey’s with their butter substitutes and whatnot. This was genuinely good chocolate. Because it was so cheap, I had to hoard it. I couldn’t pass on such a deal! I bought different kinds: the alpine milk one, the one with nuts, raisins, the white chocolate kind. I thought I died and went to heaven.

Needless to say, all that chocolate was gone before I could bring back any to the States (so I had to go back to the store and buy more). I miss that chocolate. I genuinely miss it. It crosses my mind specially as I wander down our Publix section or when I shop on Amazon. Good chocolate for little money does exist. It exist in the world of the good ole Germany. Now, who in Germany is reading this and is willing to ship some over to me? 😀

P.S: Thanks for reading my post! Leave a comment on what product you miss! 😀

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Link to my book on Amazon (since I haven’t posted one in like half a year 😉

Santa Claus and our parent’s lies

I hear loud arguing between Anna and Tim. We were given a recess, but instead a horrible fight broke out and everyone stayed inside. As I came closer, I could hear what the arguing was about. Anna was determined: “I know what I saw. It was my Mom who put the gifts underneath the Christmas tree. Not Santa! That’s because Santa doesn’t exist!” My heart stopped. My belly jolted. “You’re lying,” Tim accused her. “No, I’m not!” she cried. I was in shock. My developing brain was struggling to comprehend what had just been said. How could Santa not be real? I’ve been writing him letters for years! He’s been bringing me gifts each year; with Rudolph leading the way to my house. Why would my parents tell me about Santa if he wasn’t real? Why would my parents lie to me?

To this day I am hurt by the lies my parents told me about Santa. Why does it matter, you ask? It matters because despite the joy it brought me, it also brought me horrible devastation. For a young kid like myself, who spent hours reading and imagining different worlds, the non-existence of Santa was like a slap in my face. I could not believe people I trusted put on a charade, a show for Christmas. They made me write letters… they made me put cookies down for him. They made me believe he was real.

I do not have children of my own just yet, but I still struggle whether or not I should lie to them about Santa too. It gets even more problematic if I tell them from the start that Santa does not exist. Then, other parents will complain that my children ruined Santa for their children.

I don’t know why this lie has to continue. I know children are happy to hear it, but when you realize your parents lied to you and that it was them the whole time…. well, it kind of shows that even those you trusted lied to you. So, on the flip side, is Santa actually supposed to be a life lesson? As in, do not count on those you trust because they are not trustworthy either?

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Best plane ride of your life (you’re welcome)

Since I am leaving in, oh, 24 hours and 15 minutes to Ireland (because my best friend in the whole world decided to move there because she fell in love (I guess it is reasonable to fall in love with a freckled, red-haired man named Killian and leave Florida for it)), I thought I would share my experience on how to make your next flight the best yet. I’ve used this techniques various times and they brought me nothing but joy when flying.

1.) Forget the drugs

Don’t drug yourself with Dramamine, Melatonin or whatever other “remedy” you could find to sleep during the flight. How often do you fly, huh? Are you a business man who goes on business trips four times a week? I didn’t think so. So enjoy the flight by being alert. Awake. Conscious. I mean, you should be awake and drug-free in case the airplane goes down anyway.

2.) Choose an airline that offers free booze

I know you are trying to save by flying Delta (or some other 3-star American airline), but you are truly doing yourself a disservice. It’s an international flight; you want to fly in style, even if you are crammed in the back of the economy class. So choose an airline that offers free booze; come to the flight hungry and start of your flight with a glass of wine. After you feel buzzed, start ordering stronger alcohol because by the time lunch/dinner comes you will be able to gobble down the mini airline packages of food. They may not seem like a lot, but guess what, you can always ask for seconds (which brings me to the next point)….

3.) Ask for seconds!

Come on, we all know those Barbi meals they serve us never satisfy our food cravings. We are bored, we are on a plane, and we are hungry! Don’t feel shy asking for seconds. The flight attendant may think you are a greedy pig (but, honestly, will you ever see him/her again?? Probably not). So ask! I always order seconds politely, and flight attendants are never mad at me for asking. If they have some food left over, they always bring it to me. I mean, the thought alone of that food being thrown out is so horrendous I prefer to salvage the food and dump it inside my belly.

4.) Bring 3 pillows

They don’t have to be XL pillows. Just bring three. One for your head (that you will eventually lean against anything, trust me), one for your belly section (because you will be leaning that part of your body against something too), and another pillow for your butt (because after hours on the plane any extra seating softness is a blessing).

5.) Bring A4 blank paper and a colorful pen

Start drawing. You liked drawing as a kid, didn’t you? What happened? Did the society tell you that adults don’t draw? Baloney! Pick up a nice green pen and draw a flower. Monkey. Monkey and donkey playing a guitar, I don’t care. Drawing is therapeutic no matter what age you are.

6.) Write a letter to your special someone

I know, it is waaay “pre-internet”, but people still appreciate it. Pour your heart out for the one you love and hand them the letter as a surprise when you make them a lasagna from Costco. The romantic date is bound to be a success (but don’t tell them you wrote it on a plane because they will just think you were extremely bored).

7.) Think of the fact you are flying thousands of feet above the Earth (in a “wow-this-is-pure-magic” kind of way, not the “I’m-sick-to-my-stomach-at-the-thought-of-that” kind of way)

It’s one of the (wo)man’s finest inventions. Flying! You are flying through the sky! You! People before you centuries ago would have killed for the opportunity. People in 2014 would still kill for the opportunity. Enjoy it! Look outside the window. Is the sky filled with clouds? Is the sun just coming up? Can you see the stars? Did you just fly through a cloud? Can you see the beautiful Earth below you?

Unless it’s a night flight and it is obviously pitch black outside, I always stay awake for my flight. There’s a sense of serenity on the plane you just can’t get anywhere else. You’re stuck in a place above the ground for ten (or more/less) hours with people you don’t know. For me, it’s one of the few moments in my life I truly know the meaning of word serenity (or it’s all that red wine I had I don’t know anymore). Either way, enjoy your flight 🙂

P.S: If you have other tips for a great flight, leave a comment!

P.S.2: If you want to read a great book while bored to death on a plane, buy a copy of my book on Amazon.

P.S.3: Thanks for visiting this site and reading my blog! ❤

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Only 2 questions 25+ yrs old women in a relationship get asked these days

It started when my relationship with David became “serious.” You know, he met my family, we moved in and he knew I don’t shave in the winter and was OK with that. Serious. So naturally, Sunday dinners with my family had to become a common place to harass David and I with relationship questions.

1.) So when are you getting married?

I think I heard this question more often than I heard Britney Spears’s “Hit me baby one more time” hit on the radio in 1999. Why do you care if we get married? Why should we get married? Are we even ready to be married? We didn’t have answers to these questions, and we didn’t think about marriage. We liked spending time together and that was enough.

A few years later, my “clock” started ticking- at least in the eyes of everybody around me. I certainly didn’t feel any need to have a child and yet everybody else wanted me to have one.

2.) When are you having kids?

I was probably as annoyed with this question as Bill Clinton was with the question “if he ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.” I mean, give it a rest. Am I a woman? Yes. Do I have a vagina? Yes. Can my vagina make babies? Yes. Do I have to make babies? NO! Just because nature gave me a vagina with the ability to use it, doesn’t mean I have to (use it). I don’t make stupid faces and sounds when I see children. Honestly, I find puppies to be much cuter. Fluffier. And less of a hassle. But it doesn’t mean I walk around asking people if they have adopted puppies yet.

Maybe I will get married one day, and maybe I will have kids. But can you please stop asking me these questions? Why don’t you ask me if I have finally decided to volunteer at a shelter? Helped with a singing recital in a home for the elderly? Perhaps if I have helped tutoring English at a local high school? Why are those not more important questions, I ask you?

P.S: Not baby related, but here’s my book on Amazon which tells the story of an American student doing a study abroad in France. Please check it out and thanks for reading my blog!

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The key to everything in life….

CONSISTENCY

Noun.

Consistent behavior or treatment. The key to everything in life. How so you ask?

Consistently being good. Consistently working out. Consistently working hard. Consistently caring about yourself. Consistently caring about others. Consistently making this a better planet. Consistently trying to be a better person. Consistently supporting others.

Once you stop being consistent about the good things you do, you fail. You don’t work as hard, you get bad results. You don’t workout consistently, you get fat. You get selfish. You get lazy.

No more excuses. All the stuff you are not being good at, get consistent with it. Simple as that. Maybe someone will take my advice.

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What to do with a Christmas hater?

I love Christmas!! But not because of the presents, or the Christmas music. For me it is all about the tree. I love to decorate the tree and then read on the couch next to it. I love to just look at the beautiful sparkle decorations and shimmering light. It is truly something special, perhaps because it reminds me of the time I still believed in Santa and I used to wait for him to bring presents. Or because I still remember how homey it felt with the tree in the living room and my Mom in the kitchen making chocolate cookies as I was cuddled up under a blanket and watched cartoons.

Since I met David, however, every year I get more frustrated and end up in tears fighting with him. He hates Christmas. I mean, he REALLY hates Christmas. He hates the Christmas season so much that he is willing to ruin it for me. I don’t know what happened to him that he is so staunchly against it but he will go out of his way to make Christmas lame for everyone.

First we argue whether or not we should have the tree, then whether we should buy new ornaments for it or not. Then he won’t help me set up the tree (which is half the fun) and then he hates on the lights. When the time comes to go Christmas shopping to buy stuff for everyone, he makes the shopping miserable. Or if I go by myself, he complains about spending money on “stupid gifts.”

It’s hard, it really is hard to deal with it every year because it makes me want to not do it anymore. The arguing is just not worth it. I get it that Christmas should be about spending time with the family, but who ever died because a tree was set up and some gifts were bought?

Do you have somebody in your family that kills the mood each year? Please comment, I can’t be the only one with a Christmas hater in my house?

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