26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years

First things first – Christmas update on the blog! I love this holiday so much, and I did most of my Christmas decorating in my house today. I’m finishing up my birthday with a cheesy Christmas movie, and decking my blog out in Christmas just seemed like the natural thing to do.

Second things second – the mouse is DEAD! My friend Jacob was here and set good old wooden traps, and it got caught within a day and I AM SO HAPPY!!! The journey was documented in a five part facebook live series, and thank goodness it’s (hopefully) over.

Third things third – it’s my birthday (well it was when I started writing this…it won’t be when I post it)! I’m officially 26 years old now. It’s the last year of my mid twenties and first year of my late twenties, and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it. It’s been a lovely day. I have a great family and group of friends that are far too good to me.

I was watching one of my new youtuber’s videos the other day, and she posted this one not too long ago. Watch it and then read on.

I loved it, so I decided for my 26th, I’m going to share 26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years!

  1. Don’t go to sleep with your hair wet (Yep, stole this one from the video, but it’s so true).
  2. Find your perfect Sonic happy hour drink.
  3. There is no such thing as having too many plush throw blankets, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.
  4. Music can heal you. Let it.
  5. There’s no good reason to pee outside when indoor plumbing is an option.
  6. You have to  be happy with yourself first before you can cultivate any meaningful relationship (romantic or otherwise).
  7. You can learn something every day, if you just try.
  8. Mouse proof your house. Even if you don’t think you need to.
  9. Friendships are a two way street. Don’t be upset with someone for not reaching out to you if you haven’t reached out to them.
  10. Reach out to your friends. Build your support system.
  11. Find a friend that will tell you the harsh truth, because the time you least want to hear it is the time you will need to hear it the most.
  12. Don’t bite your nails.
  13. Respect others for having opinions that are different than yours and lead different lifestyles than you do. This world takes all kinds of kinds.
  14. It’s perfectly acceptable to cry yourself to sleep as an adult.
  15. Dance in your car to whatever music you have on as often as you possibly can, especially at stoplights.
  16. The world owes you nothing. But you owe yourself everything. Work hard to be the best version of yourself, and never stop trying to figure out who that is.
  17. Pray.
  18. Call your mom. And answer when she calls you.
  19. Make a budget and try as hard as you can to stick to it, but don’t fault yourself if this takes a few tries to get right.
  20. Learn to cook a few meals by yourself.
  21. Eat Mexican food a bare minimum of three times a month.
  22. Disney & Taylor Swift singalongs can always always always make a bad day better.
  23. Try to start each day with a cheerful attitude and smile on your face.
  24. When you pack to go somewhere, triple check your bag for underwear.
  25. Don’t wear a glittery sweater to the airport.
  26. Figure out what’s important to you, and make sure those around you know what that is by living an authentic life.

There you have it! A few nuggets that I’ve learned as I continue the trek through my twenties!

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I Don’t (Always) Have My Sh*t Together

Pardon the reference to a curse word in my title, but people, this is a straight up real talk post. This weekend, I spent some time with some old friends at a wedding. The wedding was a 2+ hour drive away, so it was a long time in a car on the way back for us to just talk about life. The good things, the bad things, the confusing things, and everything in between. Honestly? It was both a liberating discussion and a bothersome one.

I discovered that I’m not alone – there are others in my life, close to my age, that also spend some of their time having absolutely no idea what they’re doing in their life. This was the liberating part – the bothersome part? The fact remains that, at times, I literally have no. idea. what I’m doing. And I’m really trying really hard to figure it out…and some days I get a little more figured out and some days I don’t. One step forward, two steps back.

Granted, there are factors that increase these thoughts, and I have to take that into consideration. I just went to a wedding, so going to a another wedding single as hell doesn’t make being single any easier.  It’s the holidays, so it’s harder to be alone and easy to think about what you don’t have because everything others have that you don’t is brought to the forefront during the holidays. Another factor is my birthday, which is a week away. It’s my 26th, which is officially the last year of my mid-twenties and first year of my late twenties. Regardless of the fact that I don’t really have a life plan anymore, each birthday brings the question of, “Okay am I where I thought I’d be at this birthday?” And this year the answer to that question is…kind of.

There’s also the fact that I have been described as “stupid happy,” “a human ray of sunshine,” and I am about as extroverted as extroverted can get. I own a house, I have a good job, I have seriously the best family on the planet, I have a functioning car, I’m healthy enough to move around and walk from place to place, and I’m doing well for myself at my age. Combine all of those things together, and there’s no excuse for me not to have things figured out. There’s this sense of pressure (that I mostly put on myself), that I have to have my life together, and I have to know the answers, and I just have to be patient with the things in my life I don’t have yet, and that I haven’t figured out yet.

There are times when I totally have it. When I’m away from the office and a coworker calls, and I can tell them exactly what booth number their client is in without looking at a single document, I’m on it. When my 11 year old cousin smiles at the prospect of hanging out with me on her Friday night, I feel like I’ve done something right. When I look at my incredible family? I know it’s gonna be fine.So it’s not all bad. But there are times, boy are there times, when I feel crippled at your inability to answer life’s questions. And even more crippled at the fact that I don’t know if I’ll ever have the answer to them, or worse, the answers aren’t going to be the answers I want them to be. Here’s a good list of some of those questions I’ve faced recently.

Why won’t this damn mouse die? 
Was buying the house a mistake?
Is it okay that I’m in credit card debt? 
Is it okay that I’m going to continue to be in credit card debt?
Is it okay that sometimes, I can’t help it, I just need El Mezcal?
Speaking of food, how much longer can I eat like crap and not gain any more weight?
Why do I continue to not use my complimentary gym membership?
Is this why I’m single?
Wait…why am I single?
Is is the Disney music?
Is it the Harry Potter addiction?
Is it the obsession with Christmas?
How many dating apps is too many?
Is three dating apps where I should draw the limit?
What if God’s plan doesn’t include a husband and children? 
Surely He wouldn’t put this desire in my life to not have it right?
Do I need to change my online profile?
Do I even have time to date?
I should stop the dating thing til after the holidays and Bridal Fair, shouldn’t I?
Bridal Fair is going to be good this year, right?
Have I answered everybody’s questions at work?
Will I be good to go before the holidays?
How the hell am I going to answer these questions at Thanksgiving with my family if I can’t even answer them to myself?
Am I a good enough daughter? 
Am I a good enough sister? Granddaughter? Niece? Cousin? Friend?
It’s okay that this year’s Christmas presents is a little lighter haul right?
Does anybody else struggle with sticking to their budget?

It is a vicious cycle that just repeats over and over in my brain. Before anyone reads this and thinks, “Oh my gosh she’s really struggling, she needs help,” it probably sounds worse in black and white than it really is. Because like I said earlier…I do have a good job, I am a homeowner, and I am generally very much an optimistic person. But lately, I have been struggling with all of the above questions. The struggles can tie into so many parts of my life (faith, upbringing, life experiences, friendships, etc), but that would take far more words than I can continue to write right now.

The easiest way I’ve found to help with the fact that I don’t have answers to my questions are to stick to my vices, many of which I’ve been able to have while writing this post (I’ve been writing this for three hours). Vices like chocolate…talking to my mom on the phone…listening to music (especially Alan Menken’s instrumental Disney soundtracks)…and blogging. This blog is my therapy. And sometimes, I just need a little therapy session with myself to know that it’s okay…it’s really okay…that I don’t have my sh*t together.


High School Jams

So I’m sitting in my house, minding my own…and here comes the damn mouse. Small backstory on the mouse: I thought there was one about a month ago, then it disappeared and showed no evidence of there ever being one, and tonight there it was again. I saw it out of the corner of my eye…opened my pantry to get some popcorn, and BOOM out the mouse comes. Ahhhhhh I don’t do well with this crap. I’m honestly thinking about putting on my online dating profile, “Just looking for someone to get rid of the mouse,” and calling it good.

Fast forward to the rest of my evening. I am sitting down watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I was on facebook and David Archuleta put something on his facebook page, so then I decided to jam out to a little David Archuleta a la 2008. THIS then inspired me to jam out to songs from my past. I looked up the Billboard Top 100 for each year I was in high school (2005-2009), looked up the Country #1s from each year, threw in a couple of my favs that I remember, and voila!, a new Spotify playlist was born.

A few notes on some of the songs (not all of them, but some):

Behind These Hazel Eyes, Kelly Clarkson: Girllllll sing! This music video was so good too.
You & Me, Lifehouse: This was my high school boyfriend and I’s song. Rest in Peace, our baby relationship.
Anything sung by Usher: I will listen to you forever, Usher.
I Don’t Wanna Be, Gavin DeGraw: I LOVE ONE TREE HILL.
Beautiful Soul, Jesse McCartney: “I don’t want another pretty face…”
Settle for a Slowdown, Dierks Bentley: This was on repeat through my whole missions trip between sophomore & junior year.
Over My Head (Cable Car), The Fray: Love love love.
So Sick, Neyo: OH MY GOODNESS I FORGOT THIS SONG EXISTED I LOVE IT SO MUCH
Far Away, Nickelback: I listened to this song every single morning for an entire year. Just ask my brother.
Crush, David Archuleta: My friend Kady and I rocked out to this song too many times to count.
Makes Me Wonder, Maroon 5: First song I ever downloaded as a ringtone on my first phone!
Sexy Can I, Ray J feat Yung Berg: Oh man, I was so proud of knowing all the words to this song, but it’s so dirty.
Party in the USA, Miley Cyrus: Everyone loved this damn song. With a dream and a cardigan….

Enjoy! I can’t wait to listen to this at work tomorrow!

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…Oh, and a Few Thoughts about Dating…

I sat down tonight and tried to type about the election, but I couldn’t. Not because it’s bad, or good, or I’m  happy or sad, but more because I just can’t translate my thoughts to fully formed sentences that are easy for others to read and understand. So I came home and did three things that helped me with my confusion…the first was bake a coffee cake. The second was watch a cheesy Christmas movie. The third was pick my favorite romantic comedy and watch it…and that’s How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

I haven’t seen this movie in years, and it is pure perfection. I first saw it when I was in high school, and knew absolutely nothing about dating because I thought dating was just something people did in their 20s and I’d eventually understand it. Well, eventually is now. I’m almost 26, in the dating world, and I now relate to this film on a whole new level. That is both a good and a bad thing.

Dating is confusing. I already was at a disadvantage, because I’m beyond socially awkward, babble too much, and have opinions about certain topics in the dating world that most men aren’t in agreement with. Sigh. But beyond my own insecurities, I think it’s confusing for everyone: those that like it, those that hate it, those that are good at it, etc.  We all have no idea what we’re doing and we’re all just trying to figure it out. But the thing is that we all think that we’re supposed to have it all figured out already. That’s simply just not true…this stuff is difficult. But alas…I shall carry on, pray, and in the meantime, watch priceless romcoms that give me hope.

Because, at the end of the day, there is no way that I am as bad as Kate Hudson’s character in the scene you can check out below. And as I live and breathe, there is hope in that.

The Definitive Ranking of Taylor Swift’s Music Videos, #11-#1

Here it is! My top 11 Taylor Swift music videos. As I look through this list, I realize that four of her videos from 1989 are on here, and with good reason, but the other seven are a pretty good mix of videos from most of her different albums! Enjoy!

#11

  • Scott Eastwood. Good. Grief. Hottie.
  • She’s just making out with Scott Eastwood. I don’t know whether to mark it up or down for that.
  • Cool concept, but didn’t really work for me.

#10

  • Can my friends and I please go do this?
  • Kari, come home. I want a girls night.
  • Take me back to 22 (not really).
  • Okay, I would hate a party like at the end of the video. Hermit for life.

#9

  • Holy crap, excitement, I had no idea she made a video for this song.
  • So painfully accurate – do I look at them or not?
  • Why am I so invested in what happens in this fictional library?
  • I love this so much. 

Side note: If I could move any video on this list based on multiple viewings and not just the first viewing, this video would hop up to number 4 so fast. 

#8

  • The dancing!
  • Signature T-Swift stare into the camera.
  • What’s with the horse?
  • Very Pride & Prejudice. I love Pride & Prejudice.

#7

  • Whimsical
  • Abigail!
  • Such cute storytelling.
  • I’m surprised how much I like this video! It’s so cute!

#6

  • I have no idea what it means, but I can’t stop staring at this video.
  • Parts of this video are NSFW.
  • Fierccccce.

#5

  • I love Taylor Swift so much.
  • Let’s be real, literally every scorned woman has wanted to do the things she does in this video.

#4

  • Video has a slight advantage because I’ve already watched it a lot and loved it.
  • God I love Ed Sheeran.
  • These little kids have more romance in four minutes than I’ve had in my entire life.
  • IT’S SO CUTE.
  • T-Swift and Ed Sheeran as the parents….I’m done.

#3

  • I love this video. I’ve watched this one so many times.
  • MATT. SARACEN.
  • My fricking fav. I don’t even know why I love it so much but I do.

#2

  • Love love love love love.
  • I can’t explain the joy I feel when I watch this video. It’s so good. So good.

And finally….the top spot!!

#1

  • Put this sucker at the top. This is probably my favorite video of any artist ever.
  • This is the epitome of a perfect music video. Number One, no doubt. Sorry Mine.

I’ve rewatched so many of these Top 11. The ranking was based solely on my first watch through of each of them, but I loved some of these so much I couldn’t stop!!! Maybe someday, I’ll do a watching of some of my other artists (helllllo Luke Bryan), but honestly this took a lot of effort and I tend to be lazy most days. So I won’t for awhile.

Long Live Taylor Swift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Definitive Ranking of Taylor Swift’s Music Videos, #22-#12

Now for the next 11 videos! We are getting closer to the best (in my opinion) that T-Swift has to offer!

#22

  • But whyyy do so many tour videos have to exist?
  • They’re all definitely getting lumped together.

#21

  • Yup. I’m putting this as another tour video (rolls eyes).
  • Not video related, but this song is life.

#20

  • It’s not about the song, it’s not about the song…
  • Tour videos are just mean – they just remind me I’m not at a Taylor Swift show.

#19

  • There is the small chance I will actually like this tour video because I went to this tour.
  • Yep, I was right. This concert. There are no words.
  • I met an ex at this concert, and you know what, I’d do it all again.
  • LIFE.

#18

  • Pretty much the most country T-Swift video.
  • Good old hoedown.
  • Not about the song, but the best lyric ever is in this song…”All you are is mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life.”

#17

  • I don’t know what to think of this video.
  • Good message though. Laugh at yourself and shake that shit off.

#16

  • Chris Keller!
  • Friend zoned. That’s the worst.
  • Fabulous green dress.
  • On the bed with the guitar. I can’t.
  • So fricking good.

Side note: NOW we’re really getting to the good stuff. The rest of these videos are so. good. 

#15

  • Paris my love.❤ Wanderlust is real.
  • Okay, nope. Dude walks up to me in a cafe and just starts taking my picture. Nope.
  • This video is absolutely GORGEOUS. Gets alllll the pretty points. It’s going higher on the list for Paris and because it’s so damn pretty.

#14

  • My frickin fav (side note: clearly not, but it was at the time I watched it).
  • Ridiculously accurate for high school.
  • Brown haired fancy Taylor.
  • Gotta get prettier for the dance.
  • Makes my teenybopper rom com heart beat.

#13

  • All the authentic Taylor. I love it.
  • Extremely authentic to the song. I’m pretty sure it’s the most authentic video-to-song match she has.

#12

  • Yaay home videos.
  • Awww family. This is actually really cute. Tugs on the heartstrings.

Can’t wait! Top 11 Top 11 Top 11 are next!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Definitive Ranking of Taylor Swift’s Music Videos, #33-#23

This post has been such a long time coming! My girl Kari & I have long loved Taylor Swift, and last year when we went to her concert, I think that love just quadrupled, and pretty much became a part of our everyday conversation. I’m not kidding, we probably reference her in some way shape or form every single day. We can’t help it. I told her I was going to make a post of Taylor Swift’s music videos, then I went and looked on her youtube channel, and it’s a little intimidating…33 videos is a lot of watching!!

The hardest part of this was to watch the video and judge on video alone, NOT judge the song. So. Difficult. Some of my least favorite T-Swift songs are fairly high on the list, while some of my favorite T-Swift songs are on this first (bad) list! I also went with my initial reaction of where I wanted these videos to be ranked, not where I thought they should be ranked three days later after more viewing (see video #9 which after lots more viewing would jump up to #4).

I thought of commenting on all her videos and why they’re ranked where they are, but honestly, that’s going to be difficult since I didn’t watch all 33 in one sitting. What I DID do though, was take notes on each video as I was watching them. So, for your viewing (and reading) pleasure, I have posted the video with my commentary underneath.

Enjoy my least favorite Taylor Swift videos!

#33

  • Hair flips, sky points for days.
  • Just standing there singing! Lame.
  • Subtle patriotism with the red, white, and blue.

#32

  • Snow. How prolific.
  • Wait, that dude isn’t Taylor Lautner.
  • Sitting on a bed, on a kitchen counter, and in a bedroom.
  • Why is it snowing in her apartment?

#31

  • Stephen Colletti! One Tree Hill❤
  • Oh yes – flashbacks. Of course!
  • Just crying in her apartment…really?
  • Her apartment is fabulous though.

#30

  • She’s walking in a field? Okay.
  • I want to watch The Hunger Games now.
  • I don’t get it.

#29

  • Just another flashback video.
  • Same old same old.
  • Easy to forget this one!
  • The colors are really pretty though!

#28

  • Hello, straight haired Taylor Swift.
  • Really random??
  • This is a fun, “please let me sing you my song” video.

#27

  • Spying – I love it.
  • Girl powerrrrr.
  • Oh hey Taylor’s curly hair.
  • Her quote: “You know what? I’m over it.” Bahaha perfection.

#26

  • Okay, woods. We get it.
  • I understand nothing about this video, but I like her dress.
  • She’s stuck in a tree. I really don’t get it.

#25

  • I hate this stupid video.
  • This narration is the worst.
  • The tone of the video before & after the music part matches nothing about the music part of the video.
  • This video would be way better wihout the first two stupid minutes.

#24

  • I don’t like this video as much as the world does.
  • I do like those PJs though.
  • The animals just kind of creep me out.

#23

  • Tour video.

Side note: Allll the tour videos were definitely clumped together, and yes, Taylor Swift just mashing up moments from her concerts were still better than the other ones on this list.