The friends in your head

In my head and in everyone’s head, there is this fantasy at work where famous people you would only dream about meeting are actually your best friends. In my head, I have these people and they are the best imaginary best friends a girl could have.

I used to have a SEVERE crush on Daniel Radcliffe. I know, me? Like the guy who played Harry Potter? What?! But no seriously, he was my dream boy all through high school. I had a picture of him in my locker and a girl actually bit me because I tried to stop her from stealing my poster of D.R. Now he has grown up and is awkward and adorable in interviews, still taken aback by questions, and is still so funny and awesome. He would be my old high school crush best friend. You know, the one you realize should just be a best friend for a reason.

Oh Daniel.

Oh, Daniel

Next would be the pensive and incredibly bright friend. You know, the one that you could see drinking tea with at 2 o’clock in the morning just because you got on to a random topic and you know time will get away from you because “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly…time-y wimey…stuff.” That’s right. David Tennant is my best friend in my head. I know. I would actually love to meet him, because of just how awesome he is…in my head.

Everybody needs that one friend who spurs you forward and gets you into random adventures and things you would have never thought you would have gotten yourself into. Then they would be so into the adventures they often just walk off and leave you behind. If you have never seen the show Sherlock then you basically just got the rundown of what Sherlock Holmes is like in the show. But, much like Dr. Watson, I would still follow no matter what. This best friend is none other than Benedict Cumberbatch himself. He seems like he would be so smart, but weirdly endearing, and you would just have to forgive him or hate him completely.

Strangely weird, and weirdly strange Mr. Cumberbatch

Strangely weird, and weirdly strange Mr. Cumberbatch

And along with those random adventures, you need the friend that makes you laugh until you pee your pants, and possibly even pass out due to the hilarity. This lady is bizarre and awesome, and strange, and I would love to spent just and hour with her going grocery shopping or something, because I honestly believe that Rebel Wilson would be just that wonderful to hang out with…at least in my brain.

Seriously, Rebel Wilson is my spirit animal.

Seriously, Rebel Wilson is my spirit animal.

Then there is the snarky bestie who you hang out with and be surly and sarcastic with, but is still awkward and weird. Who you hang out with because life can suck and it’s nice to know that some people feel the same way. Also EVERYONE must have a certain level of sarcasm and sass in your life. Anna Kendrick would be the friend I would most likely want to go to the mall and quietly (or loudly) mock people with. At least, my imaginary Anna is like that.

I love her in these Movies!

I love her in the Pitch Perfect movies!

I would also need that elegant, but quirky friend, who makes me feel more adult, because even at 24 I often find myself looking around and wondering how to adult (and, yes, “adult” is now a verb). I would have Anne Hathaway as that friend. Imaginary Anne is completely lovely and quite often I find myself with her in an old book shop reading copies of Jane Austen books in the secluded quiet of a back corner.

She's just so PRETTY.

She’s just so PRETTY.

Those are my people; the people I will daydream about and imagine different scenarios with in everyday life.

Please, tell me – do you have imaginary people running around in your head? Tell me I am not alone!

~ Andreah

Wonderful world of work

So there a couple things you should be 100% aware of when it comes to me… I am not normal. Working in an office environment is not normal for me.

This is so more me.

This is so more me. (Photo credit to UCS and their photo of their studio, which makes me miss college and the studio that I got to use there.)

I have never worked in a normal office environment, and I never thought I would ever be working in a cubicle, let alone being excited about it. I am more the type to have weird, in-between jobs that you never even thought someone would have, and I have had quite a few of those…

Have you ever heard of someone working in a turkey farm? Or know of anyone putting away books at the wee hours of the morning?

No? Of course not. Because no sane person decided that they would deal with turkeys, or put away heavy books at warp speed (or as fast as humanly possible) at 5 a.m. Besides the point of this post though, this is about my job now.

This is the most normal job I have ever had. I work roughly 8 hours a day. I come into work, use a punch clock and then punch out when I leave. I have never had a job like this, and although I have never seen myself in this kind of job, there is one thing I love about this job.

The people are AWESOME.

All of them are so unique, and I have made so many new friends that I can hardly count them all. Even my supervisors are awesome and very helpful people and my manager is really funny and nice.

Now, I haven’t told a lot of people at work about our blog at all, so I am so not trying to butter them up through this. It is just nice to be able to like the people you work with and work for. I have found some really good friends in my colleagues while I have been here, and although I am not going to mention any names, they know who they are and they know (from me telling them on a constant basis) how truly awesome and sweet they are.

They make it easier to come into work on my bad brain days because I know I will smile at least once from something ridiculous someone says or does, or that I say or do, and at work I am one of the more random people.

I am truly blessed to not only have a job but have a job where I actually get along with and like the people.

I know this is just a temporary position, but for the time being I have a found a place in the company full of awesome people, and that works just fine for me.

~ Andreah

A hidden love of storage

I have this thing about books. I have a love for books, that I know is not very unique, but I have another love that is tied in with this love…bookshelves.

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There is a social media site that leaves me dreaming of new, inventive ways to store, display, and love my books.

How CUTE!

How CUTE!

It leaves me wanting to build or find builders to create these ingenious and imaginative bookshelves.

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This website is called Bookshelf Porn.

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And it really is crazy how many different styles of bookshelves there are on this site.

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Things you would have never thought of!

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Placements that make it seem accidental, but are so not.

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If you too have a love for books, and by extension, bookshelves I beg you stay away…stay away from the magic that is bookshelfporn.com
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Or not.

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~ Andreah

Momfessions: Part 2

It’s that time again. The moment where I drag out my worst moments, my not-so-proud talents, my dirty, dirty secrets. The time where I say all the things I hope and pray other moms/dads/parents/humans are feeling because I can’t be the ONLY one that does/feels/thinks these things. RIGHT?!

It's TRUE.

It’s TRUE.

And today I feel it’s even more important to talk about the nitty gritty, the behind-the-scenes that will send non-parents RUNNING, because there are some incredibly brave, new, raw parents in my life, ones that are probably sinking under a hundred ‘flaws’ that are actually ingenious survival tactics and I want them to know that they are NOT alone, it DOES get better, and one day (I SWEAR/HOPE) we’ll look back and remember this time of war with fondness. AND that it is NOT today.

My house is always a disaster. No, really. Seriously. There are always Cheerios and crackers and other random dried food on my floors. I can sweep once, I can sweep a hundred times, I can not sweep for a week and the result is ALWAYS the same. It’s depressing. And my socks and my children’s socks (if they’re wearing socks) and Ben’s socks and all of my guests’ socks are ALWAYS crusted with something horrible. And I feel bad. But then I sweep and within seconds it looks as if I don’t give a rat’s ass about my floors. And in truth? Right now? I don’t. On the one hand, it’s too hard to care about something that NO ONE ELSE EVER CARES ABOUT. And on the other hand I’m providing my children with important immunity-boosting licking opportunities. The more dirt they eat, the stronger their bodies will be at fighting off the plague, right? Right. Because science.

I feel bad when I go to other people’s houses. Because my house is SUCH A TREAT to be in (i.e. you can find a treat on the floor regardless of the room you’re in…) that when I go to other people’s houses I can not see the flaws. All I see are all the things that they’re doing better than me…like the sweeping, or the dishes being all clean, or the fact that clear counter space exists, or that the bathroom doesn’t look like a frat house bathroom, or the grown-up furniture that looks like it belongs in the room, versus the what-we-had-given-to-us-or-found-on-the-side-of-the-road decorating aesthetic we’re currently obsessed (read: stuck) with. I try to tell myself that I don’t know the whole story. That I don’t know what they’ve sacrificed to get it done. I don’t know what kind of woodland creatures they have employed. I have no idea what’s hiding behind the doors or in the drawers I’m not privy to. But every time…EVERY TIME…I feel like everyone else has a grown-up house and I’m living a dorm life with three kids and that somehow this is a failure.

I hate when my babies are sick. And not because I feel bad for them or I wish I could take it away from them. But because they SUCK at being sick. They don’t want to watch TV all day. They don’t want to lie on the couch and sleep. They just want to whine and cry and be hugged and cuddled, but not that way, this way, no you’re doing it wrong, why do you SUCK, why did you put me DOWN, pick me UP. AND. They like cuddling while they puke. They don’t know how to blow their noses to remove the snot so they stop coughing. They still want to DO something even though they have no patience or capacity for it. I love my babies. But sick versions of them SUCK.

I love hunting boogers. Some people love popping pimples. Others adore digging out blackheads. Some people are vomiting just reading this. BUT. I take great pleasure in stealing my children’s boogers. Especially Isaac’s. He gets so grumpy and his boogers are so satisfying and big and…I kind of love it. I even like going after the ones that Lillian and Sophie have missed. It’s disgusting, but it’s the one pleasure I get from my kids being sick, so I’m going to take it.

My kids don’t do chores. I know I’m supposed to assign chores to my kids, but I just haven’t. I’m too tired and there is too much to do. And teaching my kids to do the things they could be responsible for is exhausting and takes more work than me just doing it. I know it’s a future investment thing, that if I spend the 9384737 minutes and 382473984 kJ of energy, it will pay off big in the future. But, I just don’t want to. I don’t want to do the dishes, but more than that? I don’t want to teach someone how to do the dishes. I have, however, just won the jackpot. Remember Adam Sandler in Big Daddy, where the kid tells him he wants to go to school and he’s so impressed with his parenting strategy because by letting the child choose his own path he ultimately picks the right thing to do? That is happening in my house RIGHT NOW. Sophie and Lillian have magically started clearing their plates after dinner and take turns sweeping and have even cleaned up their playroom spontaneously a bunch of times. It works! Adam Sandler is a GENIUS. Wait…

I hate bedtime. I have a friend (Hi, Heather!) who is basically in charge of all the bedtimes all the time. And I have no idea how her children are still alive and her marriage is intact and her hair is not snow-white. Seriously. Bedtime is not the cozy, cuddly, dreamy place that TV/movies/ads/bookstores sell it as. It is not filled with sweet children who are cutely snuggled in their pyjamas, waiting patiently and quietly while their parents read them stories filled with wonder. It is a cluster-f#*@ of nonsense, where everyone is tired (me) and hyped up (them) and no one is doing what they’re supposed to (Lillian) and there are a thousand questions and demands (Sophie) and people chucking their favourite blankets and pillows out of their bed (Isaac) and someone is sobbing in the corner (me). It’s a lot of asking them to sit still so we can read the damn story and praying that it will be over soon because if I don’t have fifteen seconds of time to myself before I have to go to bed to wake up to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, I might just kill someone. I hate it. Almost as much as doing dishes. At least they don’t bounce around and change their minds over what story they want read while screaming about putting on their pyjamas. So, actually, I hate it MORE than dishes. (It’s serious, yo’).

Welcome to the underground.

Welcome to the underground.

Okay. I’ve confessed my sins, my dirty secrets, and the things I probably shouldn’t have said out loud. Now it’s your turn: what are YOUR confessions? Momfessions? Dadfessions? Humanfessions? SPILL. Then I won’t feel so naked.

~ Julia

Sisterhood Spotlight: The Miniaturist

I am a bit of a snobby reader.

I personally blame my education – I have a degree in English, which was a learning path littered with literature and high-brow criticism, and hours upon hours upon hours of reading and dissecting said reading. In the end? I know what I like. I know what I don’t like. And it all comes crashing into the fact that I have very little time to actually read. When I choose a book I am really picky – I need it to be well-written, I need it to grab me, I need it to not be too graphic (or my very impressionable brain will run away with all the gory details), and I need it to be fairly straightforward (Fantasy? Sci-fi? If it’s based in a world like ours, I have a shot…build a completely new world with an entirely new vocabulary to name every piece of it?? Either give me a glossary or you’ll have to wait until I have all my faculties again…which will probably be never).

That’s why I LOVED The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, a debut novelist who wowed me with her prowess, imagination, and finely spun tale.

The story is set in 1686 Amsterdam, where 18-year old Nella is newly married to her wealthy merchant husband. But when she arrives to her new life, where she expects to be the mistress of her domain, she is met with blow after blow, surprise after surprise, and in the midst of it all, a cabinet-sized replica of her new home.

This book pulled me in from the beginning, with writing that was strong, yet clear. Although it is set in the late 1600s, and in a different country, Jessie Burton does a superb job of bringing you right in the middle of the culture and world, without making you feel like you’re playing catch-up the whole time. And even though there is a glossary in the back (THANK YOU), I didn’t have to use it once while reading.

I loved the history, the opulence, the hardship, the class and race clashes, the clandestine love, the unrequited love, and the extraordinary, yet hidden, strength of the main character, Nella.

The writing was gorgeous and the story was thrilling. It was a book that was easy to read, made me never want to put it down, made me want it to end so I could figure out where we were going, yet made me wish it never ended so I didn’t have to leave the world. The last quarter of the book was so tense and emotionally taunt that when I finished reading, I had a lump in my chest that I had carried for days.

I fully recommend this book…and now I need to go write more of my own novel, because Jessie Burton? You’ve inspired me. Thank you.

~ Julia

Are we home yet? – Baltimore Trip Pt 3

We did it…. well they did it, but I like to think our specific cheering squad helped boost morale. If you could HEAR the screams from Ben, and how Toni almost lost her voice, then you would think the same too.

I don’t even know how to write this seeing as we are no longer in the play offs as the Patriots defeated us. Isn’t sports lingo great – defeated – how extravagant!

I was placed with the task of writing about our way home – but I didn’t want to.. I still don’t want to. I want to still be there, still walking around with the rest of the fans, basking in us winning, us still being in the playoffs, still seeing Ben jump down the streets with so much energy that he had to do push ups in the hotel room in order to get some energy out.

However, we came home…we drove…for forever…and ever. I almost got sick – seriously I suck at car rides. I had Gravol, fresh air and I am sure everyone was thankful for that.

There were some highlights of the way home, so maybe I should just let you know about those. Because I wouldn’t personally like to read a sad blog about coming home from a vacation where we were stuck in the car for hours on end!

In the morning, the bakery attached to our hotel had chocolate croissants that were FRESHLY made that morning. As everyone was packing up and getting ready for the day, and to sit in the car, I went to the bakery and got coffee and croissants and brought them back to our meeting point of the trip, Julia and Ben’s room. Now do I have pictures of these delicious amazing, goooooeeeyy flakey yummy pastries? No I do not – because we ate them before I could get a picture of them. They were so good – so darn good!

JUST KIDDING!!! Of course I have a picture – jeeze this isn’t amateur hour, we bought more!

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Yum-O look at those eyes!

We even bought more for the drive home, so the beautiful picture you see above is our second batch of delicious treats.

Another highlight of our whole trip was how friendly everyone was – even as Mike was setting the GPS for home, a man who noticed Mike walked up to the open window and asked if he needed help to get any where. He then proceeded to tell us the completely wrong way to get home, but that was not the point. The point was he wanted to help – he told us to go from his house, which we were no where near, to get to Canada.

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The way home was long, like I said before. But with a great seat partner, which I had, and a request to go SHOPPING – it was made more bearable!

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Seat partner extrodinaire – who even held my hair when I thought I was going to throw up!

We stopped in Pennsylvania to stretch our legs, get food and to get some shopping in. We stopped at Victoria Secret where Julia found the love of real bras again since she has stopped nursing, Toni also bought little goodies, and I bought comfy pj’s. I also had my first Macy’s experience where I found and bought a dress for my wedding shower, and Julia and Toni tried to figure out how to steal a very large mirror that was sitting in the change room.

seriously ... can't take them any where!

Seriously…can’t take them anywhere!

After we were thoroughly scolded for wanting a car break from the men who failed to book off the next day, we were scurried to Subway where the option for “double meat” was asked very cordially. I declined…and I am happy to report for all our heart and waistlines’ sake, no one got double meat.

We were then shoved back into the car and whisked back to the border. The car ride home was uneventful – we tried to get home as soon as possible for fear that the rental fairies would turn our Tahoe back into a pumpkin.

The rest of the trip was a blur of…

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And this…

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With maybe a little bit of this…

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All in all it was a great trip – and I leave with you this amazing entrance picture of the great Suggs. Seriously, how bad ass is this picture!?

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It was a great trip, an amazing trip – and by far the best present I have ever given to Cody – even though the picture evidence that I have doesn’t really show it.

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This was after we won…I swear he loves me! Just kidding, love you babe!

~ Jacqui

A retail Christmas

If any of you lovely readers have ever worked retail during the Christmas season, you know how much of a mixed blessing it is. There are moments of joy, moments of frustration, and moments of embarrassment.

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You get to see families shopping, you get to see significant others trying to find the perfect present for their person, and you get to see friends shopping together. When you have little people running around your legs, running to Mommy or Daddy, asking if this would be a good present, it is just a downright cute kind of season. You get to help those girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, partners, etc. trying find that perfect gift, the one that they saw online, and called in, because your store has it! It’s sweet that you see the love in their eyes when you hand over that thing they were looking for and you get to see how excited they are that they get to check this off their list. Friends shopping together is always fun to see – they have a different language than the rest of the world. And the jokes that fly at each other…always entertaining. Especially when you see the looks on random passersby.

The moments of frustrations are met with a flushed face and a calm stance. Trying to soothe emotions during the holidays? You might as well be trying to diffuse a bomb in Times Square. You are blamed for things that have nothing to do with you and have everything to do with ordering. You try to stay calm and find a solution, but when you have to say no?

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Might as well stand in front of the firing squad right now for all the help you are! I try and think of something that is completely away from the store I work at, and think of something nice, or what this person if going through…because if they are yelling at me, there has got to be something else wrong out in their universe. I try and mend the situations, and if I can’t help, hand it over to a higher up, which again is frustrating.

I am embarrassed at least once a day every day, but at work it is especially embarrassing. Say you almost fall off a ladder? Red face. Say you are lifting that heavy stacks of books and a toot slips out? Quickly look around, and hope like hell your coworker isn’t beside you, in the next aisle, or anywhere within earshot! What if they are? Red face. Finally get those gold embossed mugs in your manager has been trying to get in, and what happens? Drop it on another cup and cue the red face.

I think the hardest part of working in the land of retail during the holidays is that everyone is frazzled, and in the end it is your job to keep a level head and do everything you can. Is the customer always right? No, but they are right to themselves, and that is all they care about. So the job is to do your best, whatever that could be, and try not to crack or rip anything.

~ Andreah