My Fake Mantel

When we built our house, we had the option of putting in a fireplace, or three. Jacob had an unfortunate incident in our last house when a fire was going. The logs shifted, one rolled out and off the hearth, and melted the carpet in one thick line, about seven feet long. Because he's an idiot, he picked up the burning log with his bare hands and threw it out the backdoor where the rain put it out. This, combined with my fear of fires (I was once in a house fire, but that's a post for another day. It's quite embarrassing), and the fact that we were bringing a toddler and a newborn into our new home, I was ok with leaving out that option. Looking back, we should have put in a gas fireplace, but we weren't thinking clearly. There are too many decisions when you build, especially when you're six months pregnant!

I actually don't mind not having a fireplace. Sure, it would be nice to get cozy and read next to it during the winter or roast marshmallows with the boys, but I really hated cleaning the old one and I'd be so nervous with the kids and kittens around it. We'd probably never use it. The one thing I do miss is having a mantel for decorating, not to mention a place for Christmas stockings! So we put up two Ikea Ribba picture ledges on a wall in our living room and I have been using that as my holiday space this past year. 

The shelves aren't wonky! Jacob installed them and used a level. I just can't take a decent picture.

Please don't judge my lack of decorating skills. It's all pretty tacky, but it's hard to find decor that's less than three inches in size. I'm sure it'll change over time when I find pieces I like rather than grabbing anything to quickly fill the space. I just like that it's a little place up and out of the way to put some color and holiday spirit on. The kids really like it too and always get excited to decorate for the next holiday. When we aren't being festive, it just holds framed photos of us and our families.

Music Monday - Not an Addict

I was raised in a happy, healthy two-parent family with two younger siblings in the suburbs. We had neighbors to play with who became life-long friends. We were on the low end of middle class, but I never really knew that. My mom and dad were involved in our lives and taught us self-worth and self-esteem, good manners, acceptance, altruism, and the importance of education. I really did have an ideal upbringing, so it's no wonder I was a goody-goody. I followed rules. I got good grades without trying too hard (and if they were bad, I was punished). I respected authority and was afraid to get in trouble. Though I was pretty shy until high school, I made friends easily and got along with all of my teachers. I wasn't exactly popular, but I was involved. I was in band, played fastpitch (badly), belonged to a few after school clubs, and took leadership class. My close friends were cheerleaders and members of ASB. 

So my family and friends were shocked when I started hanging out with the slacker skater kids in 11th grade, especially when I started dating a guy who smoked cigarettes and did drugs. I got in trouble here and there for skipping school, being tardy, and talking too much in class, but it was nothing more than a few (ok, maybe like ten) detentions and one Saturday school. For the most part I maintained my GPA (it slipped slightly in the beginning of my relationship because I was preoccupied), I never broke curfew, and I stayed away from drugs. I didn't touch anything more than a few cans of Bud Light or bottles of Boone's Farm all through high school, and I only had hard alcohol once. See, I was still a goody two-shoes! I'm not saying I was a dream though. I was super bitchy to my family at the time, but that's normal for all teen girls whose parents "just don't get them" right? I was basically Angela from My So-Called Life or Lindsay from Freaks and Geeks. I'm so glad I don't have daughters.

But my friends got bad grades, partied, and experimented with drugs. They got speeding tickets and skateboarding fines. They didn't have curfews, rules, or jobs. They were young and free and sometimes I was along for the ride. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but they were. I never felt like I was in any harm and I thought I was being smart, but I was probably just lucky. Looking back we could have got in trouble so many times, and then there's that whole guilt by association thing my dad constantly warned me about.

Anyway, let's get to the music. This song came out in 1996 by a little Belgian band called K's Choice. It's about drugs and addiction and it's not something I've ever faced, but I love the song sooo much. It just reminds me of driving around our lame town with my friends, doing absolutely nothing (unless you count them smoking pot). I was obsessed with this song and never listened to any other track on their CD. Oh, the '90s.

K's Choice - Not an Addict
Breathe it in and breathe it out
And pass it on, it's almost out
We're so creative, so much more
We're high above but on the floor
It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive
If you don't have it you're on the other side
I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)

College? Well, that's a different story. Let's just say with my newfound freedom, independence and friends, and no longer being worried about "the girl who did drugs because her boyfriend did" label, I definitely made up for lost time. At least I can say it was on my own terms.


I absolutely love seeing stand up comedians. I don't think there's a better way to spend a night than laughing your ass off. Jacob enjoys it, but not as much as I do. He has a hard time hearing which makes it hard to understand them. And if they have an accent? Forget it. Luckily, he's been able to hear and enjoy the last few we've seen. 

Amy Schumer is my favorite female comedian right now. Some people think she's crude and slutty, but that's exactly what I love most about her. Self-depreciating humor is my favorite and she's nailed it. Her Comedy Central sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, isn't as funny as she is in person, but it's definitely entertaining. For my birthday in January we saw her at a casino. Unfortunately she ran out of material and had to banter with the audience at the end, which was funny, but not really what I came for. We still had a blast though and I'd definitely see her again.

In February, I saw Josh Wolf for the second time. He played at a small comedy club near our house and was absolutely hilarious once again. Jacob hadn't seen him before so he really had fun. I'm happy to report that after seeing him previously and reading his book, there were only two small shticks he repeated. I also really loved the way he handled some drunk girl hecklers. He turned that into a hilarious routine too. 

We saw Aziz Ansari last week at The Moore Theater. I've been dying to see him, but the last two times he came to Seattle, I already had plans. When he announced this most recent stop, I also already had plans, of course. Two weeks ago he added two more shows the following night and I grabbed tickets just before he sold out four shows in two days! He sort of had a dating and single life theme going on, which I don't really relate to anymore, but it was all very funny, especially when he interacted with the audience. That's how you know a comedian is actually funny.

I just bought tickets to see Chris Hardwick again this fall. Jacob will never see a comedian twice, so I'm glad I found a friend to come with me! 

Which comedians are your favorite?


Oh, romantic comedies. For the most part I can't stand them. I'm a pretty realistic and logical person, which means I'm not really a romantic at all. Nicholas Sparks makes me cringe. Long walks on the beach are exercise, not foreplay. Love at first sight is just lust. Pet names are embarrassing. Listening to a guy sing a sappy love song or recite a poem makes me giggle. I don't like weddings. I don't believe in soul-mates, fate, or kismet. Fairy-tale endings make me roll my eyes. Being in constant physical contact makes me claustrophobic. And don't you dare throw a rock at my window and wake everyone up at three in the morning. It can wait until tomorrow.

Man, I'm a grump.

It's not that I haven't had romance in my life. I did, in many relationships, and it's just not my thing. The guys seemed unoriginal, like they got their moves from a movie or a "How To Be Romantic" manual and it came across as clingy and needy. I didn't need someone to take care of my delicate heart, I wanted someone on my level when it came humor, intellect, ideas, values, fun, etc. So yeah, romantic comedies are pretty annoying to me and I usually don't find much comedy in them. But I am a girl, and some of them are just good mindless entertainment that make me happy, whether I believe in the happy ending or not. These are my favorite cookie cutter rom-coms:

These are the rom-coms I prefer. They're quirky, a little dark, less adorable, and actually make me laugh and think. Most importantly, they don't always have a happy ending.

When Misty at Handbags + Handguns wrote this post about watching When Harry Met Sally for the first time, I realized that I hadn't seen it or most of the old, classic rom-coms. So I downloaded a few of the ones I'm supposed to have seen and loved long ago.

I have to give it to When Harry Met Sally. It's a good one. It's thoughtful and very sweet, but not in an annoying way. Meg Ryan was so adorable! I think I liked it because their love was gradual. They didn't fall head over heels in one afternoon, they weren't always kind and sweet, and they really got to know each other. That's real life. I couldn't finish Annie Hall. First of all, Woody Allen annoys me. He writes and directs some really great movies, but I can't stand watching him. (I'm not getting into his personal life here at all, that's something for another day. I'm just talking about on screen). Diane Keaton isn't one of my favorites either. She's the same character in every movie. I guess it all started here because she was SUPER Diane Keaton-y. I just got tired of watching their neurosis. Moonstruck was pretty good, once you get past the cheese and predictability. Cher had a ridiculous accent, but her character was fun to watch. She was independent and knew what she wanted. I don't think Nicolas Cage is a good actor in general, and he was especially weird and macho in this movie, so I didn't fall in love with him, but I loved the supporting characters and thought it was an entertaining movie. Say Anything was alright. I know I'm going to get crap for this because people LOVE him, but Lloyd Dobbler is exactly the kind of whiny, needy guy I can't stand. I did like the story, Ione Sky was super cute, and there were many really great scenes. Lili Taylor was my favorite part of the whole movie though. Sleepless in Seattle wasn't great. I didn't find it charming or magical because of that whole fate and soul-mate thing that I don't believe in. Also, I like precocious kids in person, but not in movies, and this kid was annoying. I say skip this movie and watch An Affair To Remember, which it was inspired by. Heartburn was disappointing. The cast (including Stockard Channing, Jeff Daniels, Catherine O'Hara, and Joanna Gleason) and story (based on Nora Ephron's marriage) should have made it great, but I felt like Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson were trying to out-act each other. They also had zero chemistry. It was long and a little boring, but I liked the realistic ending. Maybe the book is better?

Have you seen all these movies?
What are your favorite rom-coms?

Happy Rex Manning Day + Giveaway

It's that time of year again... Rex Manning Day! Empire Records came out in 1995 just a few months after Clueless was a huge box office hit. It tanked in it's limited release and got terrible reviews. In all honestly, the movie is a mess. The story lines are all over the place and when the movie was edited three characters were removed and 40 minutes of film was cut, which made the movie that much more choppy. But I've never minded that at all. It's one of my favorite movies ever. Let me give you a little breakdown, gif style.

Oh Empire Records. You really are one of my favorites. 

sexy rexy you’re so sexi

“Welcome to Music Town. May I service you?”

Empire Records (Dir. Allan Moyle, 1995)

how i feel while watching lame chick flicks. 

I seriously wanted to live inside this movie. I wanted to be pals with all those crazies and steal AJ away from stupid Corey. My sister and BFF both love it and we all still quote it to this day. I used to force new friends and every guy I dated to watch it with me. They didn't have to love it, but they had to pleasantly sit through it to understand where I was coming from. I cannot believe it's almost 20 years old! Since it's a movie that I deem a must-see, I'm giving away a DVD! Enter below using Rafflecopter and I'll announce the winner at 9:00 pm PST on Monday, April 14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to know more about Empire Records check out these past posts: