Wednesday, April 30, 2014

11 Reasons Why Being a Grown-Up is Sorta Overrated

As a prepubescent teen, the adults in our lives made being a real grown-up look really fun.  But you know what? It's not as glamorous as it looks.  Coffee gets old, and bras are boob jail. 

Here's 11 reasons why being a grown up is sorta overrated. 

1) Eating Whatever You Want:  As a kiddo, I can't tell you the number of times we'd go to a gas station. And, all I'd want is to grab as many Reese’s Cups as my chubby hands could carry.  But like most parents, my mom and dad fed me real meals instead of candy confections.  Fast forward to 2014, and, sure, there's days my dinner is a big bowl of ice cream.  But, that's the exception to "the rule" not the norm my preteen self would have predicted.

2) Driving:  Cars are expensive.  Monthly payments, insurance, and gas add up quick.  Plus, I'd much rather spend the five hour drive to Florida watching House of Cards over watching the road.

3) Having a Credit Card:  In just about every Disney Channel Original Movie from the '90s, the main character would magically have a credit card accidentally be mailed to him.  From which, said character would spend gobs of money on the sickest jelly shoes and Lisa Frank binders money can by.  But now, if we go on a crazy shopping spree, there's a monthly bill that rolls in, and we're expected to pay for it.

4) No Bedtime:  Minus college finals, is there really too many times when we should be pulling off a week's worth of all nighters?

5) Work Wear:  Unless you work for a super laid-back employer, jeans are only permitted in the office come Friday.  Sure, when you were five and sporting a neon green blazer to kindergarten, work wear seemed like no big deal.  But, now that you actually have to put together real outfits on a  daily basis, the days of t-shirts and shorts seem magical.  Plus, heels hurt!

6) Being a Puppy Parent:  Every time I walk into a pet store, I'm constantly fighting the urge to adopt a new furry friend.  Their sweet little faces are looking up at me, and I've got no one but myself to blame for not taking them all home.

7) Holidays:  These days, if you want candy you've got to be the one to buy it.

8) Carrying a Handbag:  My first purse was this red velvet number with a clowns head on its center complete with yarn hair.  It contained spare Barbie shoes, a Hello Kitty hairbrush, and Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers.  Nowadays, my bag looks more like a bulging suitcase then a trendy accessory.  And yes, the saying's true…once you go big, there's no going back.

9) Living the Roommateless Life:  Rodents exist, and you're the only one to catch the scurrying critter.

10) Drinking Coffee:  Remember the good old days when your  idea of drinking coffee was sitting in a Starbucks for hours on end sipping from your Double Chocolate Frappuccino and gossiping with your 13 year old friends about that cute, new foreign exchange student?  Now, it's more along the lines of how quick can I get this caffeine coursing through my veins?  Take it from a girl who constantly smells like a cup of joe; we're in an endless losing cycle thanks to our coffee addiction.  And, if we try to give it up?  Terrible headaches ensue.

11) Dating:  Rom-coms have ruined my idea of relationships.  I keep waiting for my future soul mate to magically reach for my cup of coffee because we've both ordered a Venti Vanilla Latte.  We'll brush hands, feel "the spark," and spend the rest of our days living happily ever after.  In reality, today's dating game is less about lasting and more about who you're going home come last call.    

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Allergies Ruin Spring

They say Spring is in the air, but it's actually just pollen.  There's no frolicking in the fields for allergy sufferers.  Nope, wearing pastels is the closest we get to embracing Springs.

1) Everyone's always like "look at those pretty flowers."  You're like "get those pollen bombs away from me."

2) The cute guy at the pharmacy thinks you're a mouth breather.

3) People mistake you for an aging athlete, since you've been lathering on the VapoRub like it's your job.

4) Claritin, Cold and Sinus Pills, Mucinex, Nasal Spray, Cough Drops…your medicine cabinet can rival any drug store. 

5) All you want to do is lounge in bed, far away from high pollen and mold spores.

From April-August, this is what I need!
6) But, you aren't contagious, so your boss still expects you to come in.

7) You've got blood shot eyes, but it's not from doing anything fun.

8) From sun up to sun down, your constantly sniffling.

9) . . . Meaning, you leave a trail that could rival any fairy tale breadcrumbs.

10) And, will inevitably end up up passing out in a pile of used tissues.

Oh the joys of Spring!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trading in Main Street for Dirt Roads

The epitome of country charm, Swainsboro's Flat Creek Lodge is the perfect spot for Southerners looking to escape the daily drools.  From the minute you trade in Main Street for dirt roads, it's all about enjoying the scenic serenity.

I'm no outdoorsy sportsman, but even I could appreciate the fabulous water fowl (including baby ducklings and black swans) and beautiful grounds.  Being a vegetarian, I'm probably not the best judge of the lodge's cuisine, but I will have you know that their homemade jelly had me going back for multiple biscuits! 

The lodge describes itself as a "hunting and fishing adventure," but I'd say as long as you enjoy rustic rooms, lilly padded ponds and cute baby cows, the Flat Creek Lodge should be your next weekend getaway destination.  But, be prepared; stuffed animals are everywhere.  So, don't be surprised when a giant black boar watches over your bed. 

Me being me, of course I had to take my camera and snag a few photos.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

14 Reasons Why Everyone Should Spend Spring Break With the 55+ Crowd

Did you ever see that episode of The O.C. where Seth and Ryan travel to Florida to visit Nana Cohen?  Before its teen soap turn of the pair taking center stage on an MTV-esque Spring Break Special, it starts with the duo playing shuffleboard alongside retirees.  Donning Tommy Bahama tees and sandals with socks, they're simply enjoying life, sipping on fruity mixed beverages with tiny umbrellas.  It's those first five minutes that made me want to spend my own recent week away from school in a 55+ community.

Ponce de Leon putzed around Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth more than 500 years ago.  His search for the eternal sprout spring may have been in vain, but for the AARP crowd, it's still the greatest sanctuary.  Retirement communities are practically on every corner.  And, I'm lucky enough to have a grandma that calls one in Ocala home.  

Here's what I learned from my stay:

1) The 55+ crowd having been driving "eco friendly" cars for years…they're called golf carts, and they're awesome! 

2) Bingo Mondays=Free Money

3) Spending a day tuned in to Turner Classic Movies feels way more productive than a Netflix binge.  At least here, you're watching the best in vintage cinema as opposed to marathoning through all 13 episodes of Orange Is the New Black for the fourth time.

4) No one judges you for going to bed before 10:00 pm.

5) You get to float around on pool noodles.

6) And, there's no stick thin biddies critiquing your bathing suit choice.

7) Even if you're not the most tech savvy person, everyone will just assume your an IT Genius if you whip out an iPhone.

8) There's tons of second hand stores around for you to furnish your new place.

9) Retired folks love their Happy Hour.  Wine and cheese for all!

10) There's no reason to set the alarm.  Everyone's retired, so sleep as late as you want.

11) They've got clubs for practically every kind of crafting a girl could ask for:  Quilting?  Check.  Watercolors?  Check.  Sewing?  Check.

12) And, for the athletes there's boochie ball, shuffleboard, and rounds of golf.

13) Just like single twenty somethings, they've got an empty nest.

14) Which means they won't judge you for having loads of pet pictures on your phone.

Originally Published On Thought Catalog 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Yes, I have a Baby Face.

Yes, I have a baby face.  I've got chunky cheeks with big blue eyes, and I smile whenever there's a lull in conversation.  I've got curly blonde hair and a flock of freckles cover the bridge of my nose.  I get it, my features don't add up to make you think I'm 23.  But, constantly being confused for a new teenager gets old and fast.

When the waiter comes I automatically know to a take out my ID, even if they breeze through everybody else's drink orders without carding them.  But, this past week an age oaf happened at the library.  I was applying for a library card (student loans are taking over my life, and I'm much too poor to buy all The Strand's Staff Picks) when the librarian on duty asked me where my mom was. 

"Um, I guess at her house," I muttered. 

"Oh.  Then I can't give you a library card today," she said.  "You have to be 16 to apply for one, or have a parent's permission.  They have to cosign on your card before you can check out books." 

I stood there with my mouth open for a good ten seconds before applying an awkward fake laugh.  I try to explain that I'm actually 23, but the woman doesn't believe me.  Only when I pull out my driver’s license and point out my birth date does she relinquish her tight grip on the paperback bestseller.  She eventually apologizes for her error, and attempts to compliment me by calling me "cute."

If only I had a dime for every time someone said I'll appreciated my girlish looks when I get older, there'd be no reason to have a full-time job.

I get it.  I look like I belong with the teenagers, which can be especially confusing now that I teach 13 year olds.  But, when an older teacher approaches me, asking why my cell phone's not put up, all I want to say is "I'm not some inexperienced kid.  I'm actually 10 years older than these Middle Schoolers.  I'm a high school and college graduate with a full-time job.  I have my own place and pay my own bills just like you do."  

Obviously, there's been times when I've seriously resented my baby face.  But, there is one major upside to my fountain of youth face:  I can still get away with buying items of the kid's menu. 

But seriously, I'm starting to come to conclusion that this is just who I am, and you know what?  I'm happy with it, even if that means I'll never be called sultry or sexy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The 16 Candies Every Easter Basket Needs

Even though Easter Candy has been crowding grocery store shelves since February, I've tried to resist the urge to buy bunny shaped chocolates until the actual month of Easter hits.  But, now that it's April 1st all bets are off.

16) Russel Stover Coconut Nest-Even though the classic treats are missing their three jelly beans, the crunchy coconut flecks and milk chocolate create a nice mellow mix with an interesting texture.

15) Wonka SweeTarts Chicks, Ducks and Bunnies-So you've got a last minute springtime event to plan?  Well, pop open a few bags of these tangy, sweet treats, and you're bound to have a hit on your hands.

14) M&M's Easter Eggs-Growing up, my mom constantly kept a bunny shapped candy dish stockpiled with pastel M&M's, so seeing the chocolatey candies means Easter to me.  Plus, they come in cute eggs, which is always a win!

13) Cadbury Mini Eggs- Cadbury Mini Eggs stand as one of the few Easter candies that aren’t sold any other time of year, so I treasure them in a way that I may not otherwise if they were as universal as M&M's. 

12) Ghirardelli Milk/White Chocolate Easter Square-My little brother is the King of Ghiradelli Squares.  So finding a new flavor to fill his Basket was exciting for the Easter Bunny.

11) Reese's Eggs-The perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio, they take your normal Reese's Cups to the next level.

10) Lindt Chocolate Carrots-Their packaging is pretty, and the chocolate's delicious.

9) Jelly Belly Jelly Beans-A Perfect Classic.

8) Brachs Pastel Candy Corn-These springtime perfections prove candy corn isn't just for Halloween.

7) Whoppers Robin Eggs-Nothing heralds the arrival of spring quite like those speckled blue eggs.  Plus, if you moisten one it's possible to use the candy as lipstick.  Because really, who doesn't want to stain their lips, teeth, and tongue bright blue?

6) Reese's Pieces Carrots-Sure, you can get Reese's Pieces all year long.  But, only with Easter can you buy them in a cute carrot shaped bag, giving the allusion that you actually like to eat your vegetables.

5)Lindt Bunnies-Every chocolate manufacturer sells bunny shaped goodies come Easter.  But, Lindt are the only ones worth their $5 price tag.

4) Chocolate Covered Peeps-Stealing a line from Mary Poppins, they're "Practically Perfect in Every Way."

3) Russell Stover Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs-Here's a candy that's best bitten in one sitting.  The marshmallow is soft and bouncy, creating the perfect treat for those watching their weight.  Despite its filling quality, each egg is only 110 calories.

2) Cadbury Eggs-With its pure gooey goodness and milk chocolate coating, they make an eggs-cellent addition to any Easter Basket.

1) Peeps-Whether they're just out of the wrapping or have been sitting on your kitchen counter for a few days, Peeps are simply the best Easter candy around!