celebrations, dare to be different

1 Down 4 to Go

I started with the number five. A group of gal pals each assigned a task that would involve me doing an activity they plan that is new, has a new twist, and is just plain fun. Why? Because it’s my 50th year on this earth and I thought it would be fun to spice things up and encourage my friends to get creative.

So far so good. What am I?

I am nothing more than a piece of art in the making. My first adventure was a paint class in a group of about 8 crazy ladies.

We had snacks. We had drinks. We had conversations. We giggled. We concentrated. Some cussed, a lot. One painted hidden objects in their masterpiece. One flipped the finger while painting. Somebody stole somebody’s crackers while they were so focused on painting. Oh,\ the faces that were captured that night on camera.

And then there was the instructor of the class. A little fruity for me, but it’s who we had for the evening. Our diverse group flustered her for sure. We tested her knowledge. We asked for help but then said no thanks. We took our time when she wanted to stay on task. The list could go on and on for this lady, but I will spare you the touchy freely details. 

Now we all had the same instructions but we ended up with totally different variations of the image. This was probably my most favorite part of the night. The finish line. The interpretation of each masterpiece. For example mine had a heart stamp added to keep mine unique. Another had their hidden objects. Some chose to blend colors more than others. In the end they were all amazing.

If you don’t currently have a friends group, I suggest you find one. Expand it when you can and welcome friends vs. limiting your friends. The more the merrier. More friends, more adventures always equals fun memories.

For this post I will toast my gal pal Kim who helped make this event a success. From start to finish no detail was left unturned. It is my hope that somebody reading this will join a new friend group, start a new friend group or just get out with friends and do fun things. We all learn by doing.

Painting was fun but frustrating. The time went by fast and the masterpiece is perfect for a white elephant gift with a gift card taped to the back of it. My friend Sarah gave me that genius idea and I can’t wait to regift my painting over and over again.

adventure

Bricks & Alpacas

Bricks remind me of strength. Bricks are the basic foundation for many buildings and / or empires. Bricks would be the last thing I thought about carrying around today yet I am so excited I had such a great opportunity with a brick.

You see, the brick is representative of a challenge from my adventure book. As odd as the instructions appear when read, the more fun that can be had ahead. How one interprets the assignment leads to the adventure itself. We started by naming our bricks. Mine was named Flash as a brick doesn’t move fast. Another was named Richard or Dick for short. Chase was named as well as Ash. Little Ash has a backstory. She could be short for Ashley or Asher making her gender neutral. Also bricks are represented in fireplaces as is ash. Brittani with an I was named in honor of Brittney Spears and the brick she is. Below is the first outing with our brick family as we set out for the day of fun adventures.

The girl gang is loaded with bricks today. A weapon? A stepping stone? An item to build with? For today it’s about the adventure and memories we create with our bricks. A strengthening of our relationships. Our travels start by car so the bricks are packed in a bucket with tissue paper for protection as well as flair. Off to eat brunch we go. Will the restaurant give us a high chair for our little brick family?

The bricks were involved in photos ops and shenanigans as the day progressed. From poses at the restaurant to a visit to an Alpaca farm. There was never a dull moment.

The bricks will find their final resting place in a pasture on our family farm while we head off to make more memories without the weight of the bricks. The giggles will be present for years to come as we pass by the bricks in their new spots on the farm.

As I close out this brick post i’ll now leave you this smiling Alpaca who posed for me on our field trip. This gem of an animal smiled bright with its stained teeth and grass-colored face. It was so funny to share this creative pose. So soft and fluffy yet such a hot mess up close.

What started out as a brick adventure ended up including an educational agri-tourism component allowing me to learn about Alpacas. It was a pretty cool experience and I won’t ruin the surprise by giving away the details of my Alpaca experience but I will share some photos for fun.

Because who doesn’t like a creature with hair as cool as this?

adventure

Tennis Flop

I had a match to play on a Friday night after a long weekend with my partner. It was a little cooler outside than normal and it was late. I wasn’t really sure if I needed pants or a skirt. Long sleeve or short sleeve. The evening seemed so wishy washy.

I started dressed in layers. I slowly peeled them off. One cheerleader arrived. Then two. Then three. Then four or five. It was overwhelming in a way but good in another. So many folks came to cheer us on. The unfortunate part was we were doing awful. A comedy of errors was leading to poor performance. 

Down by one. By two. By three. Four. Five. And then it was 6-0. Just like that we lost the round. We were stomping our feet. There were some chuckles. Some apologies. Some cursing. Some blaming. Some frustration. Some smack talking. It was still a game so onto round two we go.

It was a bit closer but we just couldn’t seal the deal. Deuce. Add out. Deuce. Add in. Deuce. Down by one. Down by two. Get it together ladies was the theme of the evening. More uh oh moments. More you should have hit that. More why didn’t you move fast enough. Is this really happening? Four to zero. Five to zero. Let’s get this one.

We ended the day with another 6-0 finish. The goose egg. The other team skunked us 6-0 and 6-0.  I am sure it’s a first for me not to have earned a point but as you can see above I still laughed hard. A deep belly laugh. No matter how down in the dumps you are performance wise, you can still laugh it off and be light hearted.
We had so much fun sucking today. We let our friends see us at our worst. We will hit the repeat button again tomorrow as we saddle up for a new match on the same court. Will history repeat itself? I hope not. If it does, I guess I’ll have to take another walk of shame.

Losing is part of competing. Losing gives you a taste of humble pie. Losing gives you opportunity to grow. Learning lessons about loss is important. Every true athlete knows this. In the moment and after the sting subsides. The work starts again. Train harder. Think smarter. Challenge yourself. 

It’s even funnier to lose when you realized you signed up a level higher than you should have. I guess one will see if we can get better playing at a higher level even if a lot prematurely. I have grown to love tennis. It’s an easy way to get some exercise. It has the competition element. It’s fun with friends. It’s cool shoes and cute skirts some days too. 

Speaking of days…enjoy yours!

healthy hacks

Mandy Candy Barbie

I heard Mandy. I replied with Candy. Upon arrival I read Barbie. I may have giggled a bit at that point. What am I even talking about?

For those of you who know me I like to use an alias. I especially like to use an alias when I drive through to get a cup of coffee. Sometimes my name is is Penelope. That one gets a giggle when I am immediately asked to spell it. Sometimes I’m Felicia. Hay name is awesome to hear back when the person at the window say bye Felicia….then realizing what they did. Makes my day every time.

Sometimes it’s Frances. An old timer name but it’s my mother’s middle name so I use it for good reason or as a virtual cheers/toast to her. But today it was Candy. Maybe it was what I thought of the day after Halloween. Maybe it was because it rhymed with Mandy. Either way I giggled at myself. Sometimes you need to just giggle at yourself to lighten the load of the day.

As I drive around to the window I’m giggling to myself knowing that when the person sees my app scanned they will see my real name. But it’s okay as her real name was Barbie so I didn’t even hear her correctly. Mandyplay buttonCandyplay buttonBarbie. They all sound good together.

As I enjoy my first sip feeling of my hot cup of coffee on this fall evening, I smile and think to myself how I can just add a little joy to my day with my imaginary names or alter ego and a warm cup of coffee. Simple things make me smile when the rest of the world seems crazy.

I also saw a ton of Barbie costumes this Halloween which made the Barbie name tag extra funny today. Halloween was a little lame this year but my day after made up for it.

Wonder what name I will be on my next visit? I guess it depends on my mood. Maybe once a year I use my real name. Funny nobody working ever questions my silly names.

dare to be different

Candle Wisdom

I never thought candle wisdom was a thing until I started getting candles with wise words or wise ass sayings on them. I never really wrote about this but it’s been on my mind thus I’ll give a shout out to some candle makers who have made my day, my week, my season and so much more.

We shall start with the Evil Queen brand. This company does it right! Baddassery, flair and scents that freshen up the stinkiest of rooms. My newest scent received in a gift bag was pretty awesome (shown above), but I can’t forget the new fall scent that makes giggle and smile as I illuminate my living room with freshness (see below). The fresh apple scent is just the right amount of fall flavor to warm the room.

Sitting right next to the coffee maker in the kitchen you will find this beauty. The perfect reminder for the day. Exhale the bullshit! We all need to put that on repeat. Well I do each time I light that sucker up. These candles are such conversational pieces.

The list can go on and on but this company does it right. From clever sayings to seasonal scents to dog mom status. I do believe I’m fond of the boss lady candles as well. I may keep those as power scents for the office. I just adore them all. Way to go evil queen!

I may have just shared my favorite candle wisdom brand however there are others out their taking their shot at the big time or even local small time gigs. I get some nice scents at the local farmer markets and I seem to always get candles in my gift bags. The most recent gift exchange yielded this beauty:

I keep this bad boy on my night stand. This way I burn away the shit of the day just before I retire for the evening. Now this wise woman said: go get you some candles with style, sass and then some. I promise you will giggle every time you look at them. You might even get a full belly laugh when you light it up.

Enjoy the light of my candles.