Things I Like – Spring 2013 Edition

Well, it’s been quite the hot minute since I last wrote, hasn’t it? I thought I’d make it until May before inspiration struck again, but alas, here I am. And here are a few things that have been occupying my thoughts/time as of late:

Le Pen

Everything is better in color, right? These sleek, colorful pens are amazing. I’ve been filling up my calendar with them, writing shopping lists, and doodling with these pens for days now. And every day I like them a little more. Bonus points for not smudging – a MUST for lefties such a myself.

I purchased these recently from Amazon for $10. Not too bad.

The Milk Carton Kids

I absolutely cannot stop listening to these guys. Especially this song:

The Milk Carton Kids – No Hammer To Hold

The fact that they give a little shout out to Minnesota (in the snow….of course!) doesn’t hurt. But seriously, they are great. I’ve been listening to both of their albums constantly over the past few weeks. The harmony of the leads voices mixed with the gentle strumming of the guitars is in a word, mesmerizing. You need to purchase their albums and see them in concert immediately.

Romantics Anonymous

Don’t mind the English subtitles. This movie is too charming to miss out on because of a silly little language barrier. Briefly, it’s about a woman and man working in a Parisian chocolate factory. Expect plenty of beautiful shots of Paris, chocolate-making montages, and of course, romance. If you liked Chocolat or Amelie then this is a MUST. A glass of wine and a piece of chocolate while watching is highly encouraged.

Romantics Anonymous

I believe this is available on both Amazon Prime and Netflix, fyi.

(My roommate get’s credit for introducing me to this movie….so glad she found it!)

Acure Organics

Recently, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up my eating (think less greasy pizza, more veggies and lean proteins…on said pizza). And since I’m spending the time and money to make sure that what goes inside my body is organic and good for me, it seems only natural that the things that go on the outside should be the same. Enter Acure Organics.

I stumbled upon this line a few weeks ago at my favorite local health store, Pharmaca. This all-natural line of face and body products are free of artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. The company is family-owned and based in the US, and uses fair trade and certified organic ingredients. The most expensive product is about $30, with most products in the $10-20 range, making it very comparable to most drugstore brands (but so, so much better quality-wise). A little goes a long way with these products, and I can happily say that after about 3 weeks of using the cleanser, toner, anti-wrinkle complex and facial scrub that my face has never been smoother and healthy-looking. I recently purchased the moroccan argon stem cell shampoo and conditioner and the smell is out of this world amazing. My hair feels nice and shiny after just two washes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this line. You can find the products online and in health food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Spring

Spring! Ain’t I original? I always say that Autumn is my favorite season, but wouldn’t you know, every time April hits I get a serious hankering to be outside all day, every day? The sun is out, flowers are blooming, and the beach is calling my name. My years in Southern California (and Arizona before that) have warmed my cold-Minnesota blood and I am truly happiest when basking in the sun. Honestly, if I could be any animal it would be a lizard. Give me a hot rock to lay out on all day and I’d be a happy camper.

I only wish  had a bigger yard so I could plant even more flowers, herbs and trees… which reminds me, has anyone successfully grown cilantro? My parsley, chives, basil, etc. are thriving but I cannot for the life of me keep cilantro alive for longer than a few weeks. Is there some secret that I’m missing???

**Please note: No one has offered me any sort of incentive to mention any of the above items. I just really, really like (LOVE) these things.

Frownies

Not just a cutesie facial expression.*

If you know me in real life then you’ve undoubtedly heard this story before. Sorry. I love attention, so I’m repeating it on the Internet. I have no shame.

My dear little Aussie is something of a professional escape artist. He loves nothing more than to have a quick run down to the beach – with or without me. Luckily, he’s been taught to pause and look both ways before crossing any street. I’m serious. It’s an excellent skill/trick.

So the other morning I found myself chasing after my little Houdini. In my pajamas, fuzzy slippers and Frownies still on. What’s a Frownie, you say? Oh, just the best anti-wrinkle treatment ever. But mostly, it just a big ol’ glorified stamp that’s glued to your forehead and the outside corners of your eyes. (You should really just Google them, I seriously love them.)

All of this is not so bad. I’ve definitely done more embarrassing things in public. Here’s the thing though, I live by the beach. A beach where handsome sun gods, aka surfers, flock to. In droves. Now, as I made my way down to the beach, in my pajamas, I noticed that my sweet little dog has stopped. Well, not exactly stopped. He’d been caught. By a seriously handsome surfer. At this point I should mention that my pajamas in the summer are made up of a t-shirt and a pair of ratty boxers that have almost no elastic left in the waistband and thus have a tendency to fall down if not gathered into a bunch on the side and held tight by either a hair elastic or an extra large safety pin. (Judge if you must.) The next few moments are forever engrained into my mind and went a little something like this:

Ridiculously Handsome Surfer Dude: Looks like you’ve got yourself a runaway.

Me: I know. Thank you so much for grabbing him. I guess he decided to go on his walk without me today.

RHSD: Haha. No problem. What’s his name?

Me: Sh*!head. I mean, Valentino.

RHSD. Cool name. My names Chad by the way…

Me: (Inner dialogue: oh god, I’m wearing my Frownies still, aren’t I? And I think my boxers are about to fall down.). Ugh…I have to go.

***Grabs dog by collar and hightails it out of there***

I often like to pretend my life is one fun Romantic Comedy. But as I get older, I realize it’s closer to an episode of Girls. Or worse yet, I am in a Rom-Com, but I’m not the star. I’m the zany sidekick who’s sole purpose is to create a laugh or two while everyone else is busy drinking wine and falling in love.

I think this story is precisely why I will never give up Carbs.

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No Makeup, wearing a Frownie.

* In case you’re wondering what a cutesie facial expression is, wonder no more! Example – Looks like you’ve got a case of the frownies! It alludes to not only an expression annoying people say to an office (but usually substituting ‘Mondays’ for frownies) and it also refers to a facial expression in a cutesie/diminutive way.