Not A Real Post

Hey Blogstalkers!

Unfortunately this week I'm going to be taking myself offline a bit.  Everything and everyone are just fine and dandy but I have some personal issues to deal with and I'm just not feeling up to the task of blogging this week.  Hopefully I'll be back by Friday but if not then, Monday at the very latest.  Hope you all have an incredible week!

P.S The winner of the ONEELM GIVEAWAY from last week is Shelley Lee.  So if that's you email me at LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com for details on how to collect your amazing prize!

Other Things In The Drawer: A Bag Of Scissors. Ryan Is A Hoarder.

Holler at you Blogstalkers.

Today in an effort to be a better housewife I decided to organize all of the drawers and cabinets and closets in this place.  Everything was going swimmingly - canned goods were alphabetized, pastas sorted by shape and color, tangles of cords completely disregarded.  Then I got to the giant buffet in our dining room.  Most of the drawers hold things like my casserole dishes and cloth napkins and other kitcheny accessories but it seems Ryan at some point appropriated a drawer all for himself.

Not like a secret drawer just a drawer where it appears he decided to put handfuls of change and receipts for gyros and our old remote control.  At first I was aggravated and all "Where did this Beanie Baby even come from!?"  But then I found a crumpled up piece of hotel stationery from Lake Buena Vista which is where we stayed when we went to Disney World recently.

At the top it just said "MANTICS".  And then the only three words on this piece of paper were as follows: Batman, Spanks, Cooties.  And so obviously I called Ryan at work.

Lauren: Ryan what is this list I have found called Mantics?  Also, I really hope that is not short for ROmantics because if you think spanking and batman and cooties are romantic then we need to have a serious talk.

Ryan: What are you even saying to me right now about superheroes and spanking?  Oh shit, I just said THAT out loud at work.

Lauren: I'm cleaning out the buffet and I found this list from Florida.

Ryan: OH ok yeah that's when I started a Twitter account to report all of the ridiculous things you did.  That was so I could remember some of them.

Lauren: So Batman?

Ryan: That drunk kid that bumped into you and spilled beer all over you at Epcot?  And then said "Sorry Bra"?  You don't remember?

Lauren: No?

Ryan:  You were just all "Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Fratman" under your breath.

Lauren: That does sound like something I would say.  What does Cooties mean?

Ryan: Well if I was composing a tweet about it it would go something like, "It's raining in Florida and Lauren is bored so she decided to take ANOTHER Mensa exam for fun.  I don't think she's doing too well as I just heard her say from the other side of the room, "OH! I know this one! Circle, circle, dot, dot now you've got a cootie shot!"

Lauren: That is entirely too long to be a tweet.  Go on though, tell me about the spanking.

Ryan: No not spanking, spanks.  Can we finish this conversation at home?

Lauren: That is just the present participle and plural of the same word.  Did you hear that MENSA?  Yeah.  Now let me in you.

Ryan: No, the brand name Spanks, like the leggings you wear.

Lauren: Oh that is spelled with an X.  Spanx not spanks.

Ryan: How can you even tell how I'm spelling something over the phone?

Lauren: Oh I can tell.  Now what about my Spanx leggings?

Ryan: That day you wore them backwards on accident?

Lauren: Oh! Yeah! That I do remember.  My stomach was all round and shapely that day and my usually callipygian derriere was flattened to nothing.

Ryan: Right and then what did you tell me after you figured it out that night?  About a tv show?

Lauren: I don't remember, you tell me what I said.

Ryan: (In his Lauren voice) I'm going to have to double check to make sure I'm wearing these appropriately in the future.  Because I would hate to end up on that show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and have my only excuse be "I just thought my Spanx were on backwards again."

Lauren: And now you just said THAT out loud at work.

Ryan: I have to go.

**P.S. it seems the title of that list is short for Manic Antics.  Rude.**

Happy it's almost Friday Blogstalkers?


Tuesday Giveaway - ONEELM Style

What's shaking Blogstalkers?

It's Tuesday and sometimes on Tuesdays I host giveaways.  Today's offering is brought to you by Sarah who operates the Etsy shop ONEELM.  So without further Lauren blathering, which I know we all get sick of, I shall turn it over to Sarah.

Well Hello.  As Lauren mentioned in her incessant blathering, I am Sarah, the owner of ONEELM on Etsy.

ONEELM is a home-based, part-time, graphic design/Etsy store in the capital city of the great state of Ohio.(Can I get an “I-O” to my “O-H” please? Do people from Iowa or New Hampshire also yell out the spelling of their home state to each other? Maybe it’s an Ohio thing, I’ve always wondered.)


Anyway, Lauren announced this giveaway and I begged her to participate. Actually, I e-mailed her and then promptly left for vacation and then didn’t respond back for like fourteen days.  As a fellow Blogstalker, she totally had me when she first mentioned she loved Alice in Wonderland. I just knew we were kindred spirits from that very moment. (Kindred spirits huh?  Any chance you're also an Anne of Green Gables person Sarah?) 

Also, just like Lauren, I quit my job as a non-profit director to seek sanity and concentrate on the more important things in my life, my family and finding my own bliss. I am proud to say I married my very best friend and we have three children between us. We also have a four year old labradoodle named Otis who serves as my own personal art critic. He has discerning tastes.
Obviously.
ONEELM on Etsy opened a few months ago after the urging of my mother ever since Etsy was a thing. I strive to always find the positive side of things because life is too short to dwell on negative stuff. 

My art prints are colorful and reflect my personality. I hand draw many of my own fonts, graphics and then illustrate the rest. My previous commissioned pieces are also for sale and I take custom requests for everything from home beer brew labels to chore charts. (By the way, I have no advice in how to get your kid to do any of the chores on a chart, but at least it will look cool hanging on your wall. I do however, have a few really great home brew recipes I could share.)  



My Etsy store is my creative escape from my very structured graphic design work and accounting duties I perform for my husband’s company.  I hope you’ll stop by!

My giveaway is an 8 ½”  by 11” print featuring an excerpt from the 1872 Lewis Carroll classic: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. And because I know Lauren loves her Blogstalkers and to sweeten the pot, I’m throwing in one of my own personal vintage copies of the book which served as inspiration. 

The text on the print reads: The time has come my little friends to talk of other things.  Of ships and sealing wax of cabbages & kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.  Calloo, callay, come run away with the cabbages and kings.

As a final thought: I’m still curious as to why no one on Zazzle.com has created “WWAD?” (What would Alice Do?) bumper stickers. I checked, they are not a thing yet and you’re welcome for the idea. You have to send Lauren and me a portion of your profits.

Also, any orders in the ONEELM shop will also receive free shipping between now and May 23rd, 2013 by entering “LAURENLOVESRYAN” during checkout.

And now I'll turn it back over to Lauren.



So here's the deal.  Just comment for an entry.  The winner will be announced in next Monday's post.  And please make sure you check out Sarah's shop (which is named after her adorable daughter Emma's initials) because it is amazing and full of things I want to have.  Especially her Yes No Maybe So print.

**As always, I was not paid or perked in any way to participate in this giveaway.  I just like you guys.**


Do Not Ever Watch The Music Video for Let's Get Physical. You Can Not Unsee It.

Hola Blogstalkers.

So this weekend Ryan and I went to a home fitness store because we are contemplating purchasing an elliptical machine to put in one of the many bedrooms in our house that is currently empty of babies.

I have extensive plans to then use this elliptical machine to be dainty.  I even imagined myself a getting-into-shape-movie-montage and it is playing pretty much on repeat in my head right now.  Although honestly it's actually starting to sort of piss me off because for some reason the first song my stupid brain thought of when I was making this imaginary montage was "Let's Get Physical" by Olivia Newton John and now I can't unthink it.  And then that in turn influenced the wardrobe decisions my mind made for this fantasy and slouch socks are not a good look on me.  I just look ridiculous in my head right now.  So much so that I'm actually reconsidering using the elliptical.  Way to convince me of the exact opposite of what I wanted again BRAIN.

Although I suppose now I don't actually have to exert any energy or do any stretching so maybe I should thank my brain?

Thank you Brain, you are smarter than I give you credit for sometimes.  You are not as dumb as I tell people.

Anyway, so we walked into this store and there was only one guy working and we were the only ones in there so he was like, super attentive.

Hi I'm Baxter! What are you all looking for today?

Lauren: Well Baxter, as you can tell, I'm pretty much always working out.

Ryan: You didn't work out today.

Lauren: UH Ryan, look around, I am practically in a gym right now.

Lauren: So as I was saying, everyone at the gym knows who I am.  I am a Cel-Ab-Brity (points to abs) in that place and it is getting tiring.  I always have to be "on" you know?  And like sometimes, I don't want to have to wear lipstick  and pants to jog on the treadmill.  So we have decided a home gym is just the thing.

Baxter: Great! Let me tell you about all of our different models!

And then we heard about all the different elliptical machines for like an hour and Ryan tried a bunch of them out and we decided on a specific model and then Ryan told me we could not even consider purchasing it until I tried it out myself.  But I was wearing cowboy boots which are my "Let's Do Work" boots and not my "Let's Do Workouts" boots so at first I was hesitant.  I mean, I'm not even good at gym things when I'm wearing gym shoes.

Eventually though I acquiesced and threw one leg up onto a pedal thingie followed closely by the other leg.  And then Ryan and Baxter just laughed and laughed at me because I had somehow managed to screw even that up and was facing the back of the machine.

I had used my horse-mounting maneuver.  I blame the boots.

How was your weekend?


Five Things Friday...NOT...Four Things Friday

**First and foremost I want to send my thoughts and well-wishes to everyone in Boston right now.  What is happening is devastating madness and I hope it will all be resolved soon.  Till then stay safe Beantowners.**

Anyway, I've had some recent requests from some of you Blogstalkers to bring back the Five Things Friday posts so I am going to do that for you all today, though I can not promise that it will be a fixture in the future.  Also today is only four things.  You'll thank me, there are entirely too many words in this post.

So I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I'm a hypochondriac.  Everytime I have a headache or yawn a lot I think I'm suffering greatly from something unfortunate.  It started I think when I ran out of books to read as a child so I found and read my mom's Medical Dictionary.


It sort of looked like this and probably remains to this day the scariest book I've ever read.  It had an index in the back that I would use to self-diagnose myself whenever I had anything from a runny nose (MOOOM! I think I have cocaine abuse!) to a very deep splinter after attempting to do the running man on the back deck.

So anyway,

Four Things Friday - The Ailments I Most Frequently Convince Myself I Have

1. Appendicitis.  If my side hurts I have Appendicitis.  It doesn't even matter which side it is since the medical dictionary assures me that Appendicitis pain, while usually manifesting on the right side, can actually move around and affect the left side as well.  It can even make the behind-the-belly-button area sore. Ryan knows that if he looks over and finds me with my finger in my belly-button, he has caught me testing for appendix issues.  I am so sure that at some point my appendix is going to insist on seeing the outside world that I have considered buying it a jar, something with a nice city view perhaps though I suppose anything trumps an intestinal view.  The best part about this idea is that come Halloween when I make my bags full of Monster's Eyeballs (peeled grapes) and Worms (spaghetti noodles) I can also use the appendix and then all my friends (Ryan and Vanessa) will reach inside that bag and be like, "Uhhh I don't know, what is this?  A dried apricot?  Is it supposed to be like a monster tongue?"  And I will get to shout, "NO! It's a real appendix!"

2. Meningitis, specifically Bacterial Meningitis.  When I was going away to college I made my mom take me to my doctor and have him give me the vaccination for Meningitis because I read that it was much more common on college campuses than anywhere else.  Now you might say, but Lauren, as you were an all grown-up 18 year old why did your mommy have to come with you to that appointment?  Well that is because the doctor did not deem it necessary when I asked the first time and so I left an article on college and Bacterial Meningitis where I knew my mom would see it and then she was like "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS!? We are getting you a vaccine for this."  And I was like, "::sigh:: If you say so mom."

One of the most common symptoms of Meningitis is neck pain when you attempt to bring your chin down to your chest.  So anytime I detect any symptom of any kind or just feel 'off' my very first diagnostic test is to touch my chin to my chest.  This is especially unhelpful because of how I have a bad neck anyway (I've been to lots of physical therapy for it) so it very often hurts to touch my chin to my chest.  It's gotten to the point that I do this so often that (like the appendix thing) Ryan has started to notice it and say things like "LAUREN, you absolutely do not have Meningitis, you just ate too much cheese."  To which I reply, "No I don't think that's what it is.  I've eaten more cheese than this before and it didn't hurt to touch my chin to my chest afterward.  Let's just keep a close eye on me for the rest of the day."

Sometimes he dismisses my Meningitis fears so much that I think, "Just you wait Ryan, one of these days it is going to be Meningitis and then you will regret it!  I can not wait until that day comes."  And then I think "Lauren sometimes you think the stupidest things."

3.  There is not a name for this I don't think but I am convinced that my bottom teeth are moving around.  I swear they are not in the same place they were in last year.  Chewing just feels different.  When I casually mentioned this, my dentist just laughed and assured me that if my night guard still fits that my teeth are not "having middle of the night dance parties as you so eloquently put it."  I pointed out that the night guard would only prove that about my top teeth, which are quite obedient and excellent at biting into apples, and I was not worried about those teeth but rather the ones down below.  I was like, "Look! This tooth is starting to cross over this other tooth!  It's like freaking Snaggle Rock down here!"

(Remember Fraggle Rock?)



4. Strep Throat.  I legitimately got Strep A LOT as a child/teenager until finally my tonsils were so damaged at 21 that my doctor insisted I get them taken out.  Because I was older when I had it done the recovery from that surgery kicked my butt.  I couldn't eat anything for weeks and had lingering ear and throat pain for the next month until all the inflammation was gone.  So even though my doctor promised me that I would most likely not get Strep any longer, I am terrified, even eight years later that the surgery and recovery will end up not being worth it.  Just last week I woke up with a sore throat.  I forced Ryan to examine me using a flashlight and a popsicle stick.  I was all, "Dju hee unny huphahock eyes?"  To which he responded, "No I do not see any Streptococci but your throat looks a little blue, actually a lot blue."  Which freaked me out for a good ten minutes whilst I googled "Blue throat, probable botched tonsillectomy."  But then I remembered that in order to get the popsicle stick I had had to eat a blue popsicle.

That's all folks!  I'm a weird bird and I know it.  And now you're all scared away.

Have the loveliest weekend possible!


Dear Ryan, Please Don't Be Mad But, Oh Never Mind I Fixed It. Sincerely, Lauren.

How goes it Blogstalkers?

So you might know by now that I am an extensive journalizer...

OK pause for one second because I did not know until right now that journalizer was a word and it's making me sort of feel like I finally have something in common with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Which was not something I could ever say in the past seeing as how I have no illegitimate children or muscles of which to speak.  Like he's The Terminator and I am The Journalizer.  And together we travel the world and he wears metal boots and fights crime robots (or whatever it is The Terminator does) while I write profound things in tiny notebooks.  Oh yeah, that totally works.

Moving on though, one of the things that I write in my journals is letters to people who have affected my life in some way, big or small. (Sort of a la the site Dear Blank Please Blank)  These letters obviously never get sent but they help me vent or remember ridiculous things that happened or put my love for Justin Timberlake down on paper.

Here are a couple for your reading perusal.

Dear Guy At The Bar Last Weekend,

"Sorry Girl.  But your body feels really good right now" is not an appropriate apology one makes to a lady after you accidentally touched her all over her back thigh.

P.S. Maybe if you looked more like Ryan Gosling it would have been ok.


Dear One-Time Therapist,

Wondering why I used the phrase 'one-time'?  Well that is because I decided that I would not be coming back at the point in our session today when you leaned back in your chair, pushed your glasses up on your nose, raised one index finger and expressed the insightful thought that "perhaps your anxiety issues are all in your head."

Sincerely,

Well they're certainly not hanging out in my belly button.

Dear Dishwasher Manufacturer,

There are too many holes in your product.  If someone were to hypothetically drop a fork through one of those holes and then attempt to retrieve it they could feasibly get their entire hand stuck in the dishwasher for approximately one hour until their husband comes home to find them with their hand stuck in the dishwasher.  And then said husband could ostensibly make a rude remark about how "at least I know your hand got bathed today."  And then one's day would totally be ruined.

Sincerely,

Not ME, hypothetical person.

Dear Person That Recently Acted As Masseuse to My Friend,

It is true that I have only had two actual massages in my life but I do not remember either of them involving lingering hand-holding.  Maybe like a quick hand squeeze when you are working on the arms but certainly no interlacing of the fingers for "what felt like minutes at a time."  That is weird.

Sincerely,

Not ME, my friend

Dear Vanessa,

Please for the love of god stop buying shady massage packages on Groupon.  It is going to get you in trouble one day.

P.S. What base do you think that masseuse got to with you?  I feel like hand-holding could be like 'The Pitcher's Mound' but you have to remember that you were also not wearing a shirt so I can only assume that the dude basically just ran straight down the center of the field, over the pitcher's mound to second base.  You're just lucky he stopped there because I have no idea what center field means in The Bases game, probably like having the drums played on your butt.

Sincerely,

Lauren

Dear Arnold Schwarzenegger,

I have a really good idea for a new Terminator movie.  If you email me, I'll Write Back.

Sincerely,

The Journalizer

TaDa!

P.S. The winner of the Green Barn Soaps Giveaway is Jamie Boros.  So Jamie, shoot me an email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com and I'll get you connected with your prize!  Everyone else can still use the code "GetYourShowerOnJointly" at Green Barn Soaps through the month of April to receive 20% off your order!

Ryan's Budget Is So Boring. The Word "Costumes" Doesn't Appear Even One Time.

Greetings Earthlings Blogstalkers.

Every morning when I wake up the first thing I do, after letting the dogs outside, is check my email.  Over time the number of emails I get has increased because of advertising pitches* and reader emails (which I love!) and the like.  So recently I sat down for about one million hours and wrote a program using Microsoft Outlook that would sort my email for me.

*This week for example I heard from a company that wanted to send me a collection of their "intimacy oils" to use and review.  For money.  They wanted to pay me for sex.  I considered it and then remembered about how I am not a hooker.

Comments into one folder, Facebook things into another, etc.  I named the program "My Secretary".  Ryan got sort of mad about it the other day when he found out that all emails from him go into a RYAN folder.  Except for the ones that mention ski trips he wants us to take (too dangerous) or houses he wants to buy (we HAVE a house)... those get promptly deleted along with any email with the word "budget" in it.

He found about about the program just this week.  He called me from work.

Ryan: Hey did you read the email I sent you about the house in Colorado?

Lauren: Ryan I have told you time and time again to stop calling me at work!

Ryan: Did you or did you not get it?

Lauren: I don't KNOW Ryan, My Secretary handles all of my emails.

Ryan: You don't have a secretary.  It's not in the budget.

Lauren: That is what you think.

After hanging up, to prevent further such conversations I promptly instructed My Secretary to send the following response to all of Ryan's missives on the aforementioned topics.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your thoughts on ski trips and budget cuts.  They have been disregarded.

Best Wishes,

Lauren Gallagher (via her secretary)

He was not pleased.

Anyway, all of this just brings me to the email that I received this week, which resulted in an error message and was deemed "unsortable" by my previously never befuddled secretary.



An email with No Sender, No Subject and No Content.  From New Year's Eve 1969.

Obviously future Lauren finally figured out time travel and then tried to come back to now to tell me all about it but overshot herself a bit and is now desperately trying to reach me but as it is 1969 her email capabilities are limited.  It's the only explanation.

Hopefully she'll rectify the situation soon and then I will be able to ask her all of my burning questions about the future.  Like, exercise isn't good for you after all right?  And did anyone figure out how to make cheese with pigs' milk yet?  And how does it taste?  A little bit like bacon and a little bit like cheese right?  I knew it.

Have a great weekend!

Oh and if you have a minute, check out The Fussy Britches blog I recently added to my "Blogs I Love" section!

(This post is sponsored by The Fussy Britches blog.)

Semi-Conscious Lauren, That Bitch Be Crazy

Hey Blogstalkers! I've got to dash back to the grocery store in a moment because Ryan just texted to let me know that he wanted "something with pork and noodles in it" for dinner and that was not in my original menu plans but first I present to you, a series of conversations about stabbing and blood and near-death.

Lauren: (upon getting off phone) Ugh I have to go back in to the lab for more blood work tomorrow.

Ryan: So? It's not the worst thing in the world.

Lauren: I swear I walk into that place and they all look at me like I'm some sort of balloon.

Ryan: Yeah you're going to have to explain that a little bit better.

Lauren: I can tell by their eyes.  Their eyes just shout "Ooooh something new to pop with our stabby needles."  And then they strap me into their chair.  Probably to keep their new shiny balloon from floating away.

Ryan: I really don't think they strap you in...

Lauren: There's definitely some sort of strap.  And then they're all "Make a fist," and I am like "OH Believe Me I was doing that already."

Ryan: This strap you're talking about, could that be the tourniquet?

Lauren:  And then they make some sort of remark about my tiny baby veins and commence with the repeat stabbing.  And then I am on the brink of death, because who could survive three stab wounds directly to a vein, and then I pass out.

Ryan: You faint because you psyche yourself out and tell yourself you're going to faint.

Lauren: Pffft if I had that much control over my body I would instruct my thighs to stop touching.

Ryan: I know that you often have to be stuck more than once while they try to find a vein and I'm sure that sucks but aren't they all very nice to you once you've been revived from passing out?

Lauren: They give me cookies and call me pretty which sounds a lot like the witch in Hansel and Gretel to me.

Ryan: Alright well I'm not going to win this conversation.  Walks away.

**The Next Day**

Ryan: Lauren? Why is there a case of Capri Sun in the back of the car?  Is it your turn to bring treats to yoga class?

Lauren: First, HILARIOUS.  And second no that is for the ladies at the lab this afternoon.

Ryan: So you've decided to try to make friends with them?

Lauren: Absolutely not.  I have a strict policy of never being friends with vampires and you know that.  It's a test I've contrived.  If they can not successfully stick the tiny straw into the juice pouch then they do not get to stick a needle into my arm.

Ryan: This is not going to go over well...Pick you up at six still? (He has to pick me up because of the fainting.)

Lauren: Yes please.

**Six PM**

Ryan: How did it go?

Lauren: I only got pricked one time today.  Still passed out which everyone in there thought was just OMG The Funniest Thing Ever!

Ryan: I'm sure that's not true.

Lauren: Then why where they trying to hide their toothy grins when I awoke?

Ryan: That sounds like you hallucinating.

**A Couple Of Days Later**

Lauren: So I found out why all the lab techs were snickering at me.

Ryan: And?

Lauren: According to my doctor it seems I might have muttered "I'm Deflaaaating" a la the "I'm Meeelting" witch in The Wizard of Oz right before I fainted.

Ryan: That seems about right.


Tuesday Giveaway - Green Barn Soaps Style

Hola Blogstalkers!

It's Tuesday so you know what that means, time to give some effing awesome stuff away.  Today's giveaway is brought to you by Heather of Green Barn Soaps.  Some of you might know Heather from her blog Like A Cup Of Tea where she writes about her life and homesteading in Maine.

I know her from Skyping with her and from all of her emails where she does nothing but brag about how many lobsters exist in the state of Maine.  Sometimes she even sends me pictures of the lobsters and I am like OH MY GOD HEATHER stop talking about lobsters and figure out a way to send me some in the mail immediately.

Calm down Lauren.

Anyway, I shall leave the rest of this post to Heather.  You are welcome for this introduction Heather.




Green Barn Soaps (lovingly referred to as The Barn) is a Maine based handcrafted soap company, focused on providing you with high-quality preservative and cruelty free product.  We’re a small company, and we often make our soaps in batches no larger than 30 bars at a time so we can really focus on the product you’ll be putting on your skin.



 Started in 2009, Green Barn Soaps began on the simple theory of less is more.  After looking at the back of a bar of a well known “green” soap at a large chain, and being astounded at the laundry list of hard to pronounce ingredients, we knew there had to be a simpler and more environmentally friendly way to make soap and other body products. What started as a personal endeavor for friends and family grew as we started getting requests through friends of friends.



You never know what you’ll find at the barn as we’re always trying new items, though you’ll find a few staples time and time again. When it comes down to it we believe no matter what walk of life you come from, we all need to care for ourselves, take a moment, and give your skin a little love. Welcome to the barn. Come on in, the door is always open.

--Heather


Ok so here's the dealio. (Um this is Lauren again if you could not tell.)  All you have to do to enter to win $25.00 of product plus shipping is comment below.  Any comment will do.  The winner will be chosen randomly (in next Monday's post) which means that complimenting me does not help your chances though it does make me like you more.  The winner will be provided with a custom coupon code for use on any product (including sale items) at Green Barn Soaps.

And because Heather is awesome she's also giving the first 15 people to use the code "GetYouShowerOnJointly" 20% off your order at Green Barn Soaps.   Available for use on any product (including sale items). 

I like this picture because it reminds me of cheese.




a

If You Don't Spin It's A Shame!

Today, Blogstalkers, let's talk sports.

Not just any sport, let's talk baseball.  Chicago Cubs baseball.

Today is opening day on Chicago's north side.  It is my second favorite day of the year.  Over the years I have celebrated this day in a number of ways and today I'll share some of those with you.

First a little history.  Since Chicago has two baseball teams people in the city and surrounding suburbs tend to be split with what team they support.  Generally the North-siders are Cubs fans and the South-siders are Sox fans. And then there are the people who say things like "I'm not necessarily just a Cubs fan or just a Sox fan, I'm a Chicago fan."  Those people tend to get kicked a lot.  Not always by me but I'll be honest, a lot of the time it's by me.  Just like crying, there is no Switzerland in baseball.

"I'm a fan of both of you! Punch Punch Punch! NO PUNCHING! Go Chicago!"
Moving on.

Every year growing up, come Opening Day I would report to school in the morning and present my teacher with a note that informed them I would be leaving halfway through the day for important medical reasons, specifically periodontal things.  Bloody gums if you must know. (My dad didn't read the notes I wrote, he just signed them.)  Then I'd fidget through whatever multiplication times tables or state capitols I was learning until it was finally time to go home.

My dad would pick me up, I assume having presented work with his own note about periodontal disease and we'd head home and turn on the pre-game.  Then we'd make hot dogs for lunch and settle in to watch the game.

My hot dogs was always plain, just bun and dog.  Though normally I devour Chicago-style hot dogs with all the fixings, if baseball is involved, it must be plain.  This is because when my dad started taking me to games as a small child, I was, as you might guess, a clumsy relish-covered mustardy mess.  And thus my dad made up the rule that I was only allowed plain hot dogs.  To this day it's the only way they taste right at the ballpark.

A Chicago Style Hot Dog.  I still can't eat one without finding a sport pepper in my shoe later.  True story.


As I got older we continued our tradition.  And my dad would tease me about being in love with Kyle Farnsworth, "Ohhhh Kylie," he'd squeak in a high-pitched voice, "strike out the next batter for meeee?"  And I'd be like, "You're certainly a fickle lover.  Wasn't it just yesterday you were flailing about asking Nick Carter (my sister's crush) to write you a song?  It's not a great quality, Dad."

And then Kyle Farnsworth would strike out the next batter and I'd internally sigh contentedly, "Oh Kyle..."

He didn't strike out a lot of men, but when he did it was almost certainly for me.


After I left for college, I would still ditch whatever classes I had that day to stay home and watch the game alone and once I started work I always took the day off.  Which was actually pretty difficult to do as an accountant in the second week of April.  Somehow I always managed.

One year I felt especially bad so I made all of my coworkers special Cubs Cakes, which is the exact same thing as a blue cupcake.  I dropped them off in the morning and then retreated back to my apartment, patting myself on the back for being so thoughtful.  Then I ate the one I had saved at home for myself.  It was delicious.  A little later I caught my reflection in a mirror and screamed.  It seems the blue food coloring in the frosting had died my entire mouth and teeth BRIGHT BLUE.

I screamed and grabbed my phone and called my boss all "DON'T EAT THE CUBS CAKES!" but it was too late.  Luckily my group in the office didn't work with any clients.

This all brings us to today when I pretty much have my Opening Day routine down pat.  I wake up, eat a breakfast hot dog and watch The Sandlot.  Then I don my homemade uniform, which is a white Target sweatsuit with blue pinstripes drawn on it with permanent marker and TIMBERLAKE written on the back and watch the game.  Ryan is so terrified that I will wear this to an actual game that he makes me prove to him before we walk out the door that I don't have on white sweat pants under my jeans.  And then he checks my purse.  I'm working on sewing a secret lining into it.  He's so easily embarrassed at baseball games.  He abhors when I bring my duck-nut (picture below) and he almost left me in the Wrigley Field bleachers last year when I tried to start a new Wave-Like move called The Spin Clap.  And then he did leave me in the Wrigley Field bleachers for a while when I changed the words to Take Me Out To The Ball Game later the same day.  He didn't even let me finish the song...


When You Take Me Out To The Ballgame.
Partake in Spin-Clap and be proud.
Don't sigh at my antics and Duck-Nut's quacks.
Don't cry and say you'll never come back!

Here is a reminder picture of my duck-nut.  He comes with me to tall the games.

He is a Peanut Shaped Like A Duck.


Anway though, I'm off to watch the game which I have been DVR-ing.  This it totally totally the Cubs' year.

Who's your favorite Sports Team Blogstalkers?  Do you have any sports traditions or lucky socks?  Tell me all about it.

P.S - The winner of the Stella and Dot Giveaway is Tracy and Noah.  So if that is you, shoot an email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com to learn how to collect your prize!  If you didn't win (and I wish you ALL could seriously) remember that you can be entered to win an awesome Stella and Dot prize basket (like a $185 value) with any purchase you make in the Autism Awareness Collection!

Five Things Fridays - Here Are Some Random Words and Pictures.

What is up Blogstalkers?  Happy that it's Friday? I know I am.

I thought I'd use the time today to let you all get to know me a little better.  I'm sure you're all like "OH we know you plenty well enough LAUREN, like remember when you filled my mind with images of your butt?"

And you might be right, but I'm doing it anyway.  I promise to not mention my butt even one time.  Or let's just say, less than three times.  Since I suppose I did already mention it twice.

My butt.

I'm crap at promises.

Anyway, here goes.

1.  When I was in like sixth grade President Clinton came to speak at our community high school.  I went to watch the (outdoor) speech.  I was very short and tiny and looked like I was maybe like 9 instead of 12.  I couldn't see so my dad let me clamber up on top of something tall to watch him talking.  Then when he was finished and walking past a line of people, shaking hands, my dad encouraged me to use my bitsy-ness to squeeze through the cracks and see if I could shake his hand.  I was successful.  He briefly squeezed my hand and said something to the effect of, "I hope you got to see at least some of the rally," "Oh yeah," I replied, "I climbed on top of the porta-potty."  And then he was gone and I realized what I had said and I never told anyone that story until now.  I'm sure he didn't even hear me, but still.

2. This one is a bit serious but I've been fielding A LOT of emails and questions about having a baby and pregnancy and am I pregnant and am I trying to get pregnant now that I'm off my medications.  So here's the basic story: I've had two ovarian cysts rupture in the last two years and I've had my hormone levels checked and all sorts of tests done and things are just...weird.  I'm not pregnant right now and we're not trying to get pregnant right now.  I fully intend to write about this more on the Mom.Me site when I'm feeling up to it as this is not really the proper venue.  But I just wanted to sort of let you all know the situation.  In the meantime, thanks so much for your concern!  And now I will shut up about this.

3. I collect buttons.  Well, technically pins I suppose.  Here is a picture of three of my favorites.


Also in high school one of my sisters gave me a bunch of little red pins that said "I Am Loved" on them in all different languages.  I gave the Italian one to Ryan and I remember that he used to take it with him  in his bag whenever he traveled.  I just got curious if he still had it so I snooped in his traveling bag for the reason of LOVE and he totally does!

Sidenote: For everyone who is all SNOOPING IS BAD! I'm totally with you on that, I actually had to text Ryan and ask where his bag was and he told me and then was like "Wait, Why?"  And I said, "For snooping purposes." And he said "Oh Ok."  So we're all good.  He was probably more worried that I was going to fill it with with buttered popcorn jelly beans and then go see a movie or something.


Other things Ryan apparently has saved over the years:

A five page letter I wrote him the night before we went away to different colleges, A "Just Married" pin from Disney World that was given to use on our honeymoon and all of the ridiculous little notes I used to pass him in the hallway in high school.



God Ryan, stop being so obsessed with me! (Also, please don't.)

4. I keep a dream journal right next to my bed lately because I'm having the oddest dreams and then often don't remember them unless I jot them down as soon as I wake up from them, usually in the middle of the night.  Sometimes I still don't remember them after I read what I wrote:

 - Caught in cat net.

 - Won a race because I tripped everyone else with yogurt sauce in my pockets.

 - Lived in Full House house.  In bathroom like Stephanie in that one episode.  My name was Thunder for some reason?  (This one I sort of remember because they all kept saying things like, "Dad can we bring Comet and Thunder?" And I was like, Comet is the fucking dog and I am a person living in your bathroom, we are not to be grouped together like that.)

My brain is a frightening place to be sometimes.  What even is a cat net?


5. This has nothing to do with me.  This is just a picture of OJ and Ryan after they got drunk in a bookstore and then cut ahead of me in line to meet The Bloggess.  I'm not in the picture because "Be reasonable Lauren, SOMEONE has to work the camera."



This post has been sponsored by the childrens' book Baldo's Awesome Adventures by Silvia Beck Speyer.

BALDO'S AWESOME ADVENTURES" is a lovely picture book suitable for children ages 4-8. Baldo, a big red birthday balloon goes on an adventurous journey around the world and beyond to find a friend.  After many scary encounters he finds a friend different from what he expected...Written and illustrated by Silvia Beck Speyer.  Baldo can be found at Amazon.com

Have a fantastic weekend Blogstalkers!

Since I'm No Longer Taking Drugs - I Blame All of This on the LACK OF DRUGS.

Today for your entertainment Blogstalkers, a conversation with my husband, after he got home from work yesterday.

Ryan: You look like you're deep in thought right now.

Lauren: I'm definitely in thought, but I've just started this thinking session so I'm not quite deep yet.  The thought waters are just licking my ankles.

Ryan: ::sigh:: I'm not even going to ask. I'm just not going to bite this time.

Lauren: There's nothing to bite.  I'm not even fishing yet RYAN.  I'm nowhere near deep enough.  God you'd be the worst fisherman ever.  You couldn't catch a trout if I threw one at your face.

Ryan: Sometimes I think I should just keep my mouth shut all the time.

Lauren: Yeah, sometimes I think that too.  I'd get a heck of a lot more done if your fish lips weren't always flapping in the breeze.  Wow I am really stuck on this maritime thing.  I don't even remember what I was shallow in thought about before.

Ryan: If it helps you were muttering "Stab stab stab" when I walked in.

Lauren: OH! That does help.

Ryan: Ok fine, tell me.

Lauren: Well today when I was trying to think of something to post about I got bored so I started imagining what my life would be like if I suddenly got shrunk.

Ryan: How shrunk?

Lauren: Like six inches tall.  And also very skinny.  But still a little curvy too, you know?

Ryan: ....

Lauren: So anyway what happens is that I just wander about my office for a while wishing that when I was larger I had had the foresight to purchase a Barbie convertible for shrunken me to cruise about in.

Ryan: Is there a point to this story?

Lauren: Not really.  So I'm lolling about, all thin but still curvy, bemoaning my lack of elegant transportation when I hear a whinny.  AND I REMEMBER THAT I HAVE A HORSE.



Ryan: ...

Lauren: And so I waste the next couple of hours, before the battle begins, galloping around (sidesaddle because I am a lady) on Tiny Danza.

Ryan: Did you say before the battle begins?

Lauren: Oh yeah, there was a bit of a skirmish.  You know Walter, my blue robot?  Well he's mad I married him to a monkey one day when I was bored and my pez dispenser Belle is also not OVER THE MOON about the fact that I just betrothed her to an octopus even though she should be pleased as punch since she has no arms and the octopus has arms to spare.

Lauren: So I tried to settle the disputes like a fair and slender dictator but Walter started getting really worked up and I was all "Don't be so C3PO'd dude, you're going to overheat!" which turns out is a really off-color remark to make to a robot so we gathered our forces and went to war.

Ryan: This is so ridiculous.

Lauren: The bobble head dolls were on my side obviously, they are SUCH yes-men.

Ryan: Obviously.

Lauren: Anyway, we all lined up and I was about to yell CHARGE! but then I realized I didn't have a weapon so Tiny and I cantered off to the kitchen where I grabbed a corn holder.  And then it was all just STAB STAB STAB!!


Walter and his Rag-Tag Gang.

My Loyal Companions.

Lauren: Sadly, there were some casualties.


Ryan: I'm going to take a nap.

Lauren: The story's over anyway.  Come on Tiny Danza, I'll put you to bed too, you've had a busy day today.


What would you do if you were tiny for a day Blogstalkers?

Tuesday Giveaway - Stella & Dot

Hey Blogstalkers!

I'm sure you're all pretty aware by now that I don't normally post on Tuesdays and so you're probably wondering what the heck is going on right now.  Well I'm happy to announce that I'm starting a little Tuesday Giveaway series!  This will have absolutely no effect on normal M/W/F posting, just something a little extra to bribe you all to keep reading my blog.

Basically each Tuesday I'll be featuring a different Etsy Shop or Small Business or Blog that is eager to hand away free stuff to all of you awesome readers.

(If you're interested in hosting one of these giveaways by all means email me and let me know! LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com)

As today is World Autism Awareness Day, we're starting things off with a giveaway that benefits a great Autism cause.


More children are diagnosed with autism each year than with juvenile diabetes, AIDS or cancer, combined. ASD affects over 2 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years.(statistics taken from Autismspeaks.org)

During the month of April, Stella and Dot LLC will donate twenty percent (20%) of the retail sales price of each item in the specially marked Autism Awareness Collection sold to a customer to the HollyRod Foundation, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $10,000. The HollyRod Foundation, a charitable services program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with autism.

One of the readers of my blog, Kaite, works with Stella & Dot and is happy to bring you an opportunity to bag some gorgeous jewelry for free, namely the Spirit Bracelet and the La Folie Necklace pictured below.



All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and tell me your favorite Stella & Dot piece, whether it be from this new Autism Awareness Boutique or from any of the Stella & Dot collections.

(Personally I swoon over the Charlize Teardrop Earrings)





A winner will be picked via a random number generator next Monday and announced at the end of my normal Monday post.

But that's not all.  Although absolutely no purchase is necessary to enter this giveaway, Kaite also wanted to offer the following to anyone that sees a piece they CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT:


*Anyone who purchases at least one piece from the autism collection between April 2-30 will receive 1 entry into another gift basket drawing (S&D jewelry valued at $185)

 *And anyone that makes that purchase within the first 48 hours (from now until noon CST on Thursday) will earn themselves up to three additional entries in the drawing.

(*any $50 purchase = 1 additional entry *any $75 purchase = 2 additional entries *any $100 purchase = 3 additional entries)

So comment away, what's your favorite Stella & Dot piece? 

Full Disclosure: I will not be perked in any way for this giveaway, I just love bringing you all opportunities to pocket some prizes!



Holiday! Celebrate!

Happy April Fools' Day Blogstalkers!

First and foremost, I promise you this post will contain zero April Fools' Day Jokes. (And this is not some sort of convoluted April Fools' Joke where I promise you no April Fools' Jokes and then include one and when you are all "But you PROMISED there would be no April Fools' Jokes! and I am like, well that promise was ALSO an April Fools' Day Joke and I have now fooled you twice and shame on you.)

Seriously there will be none because this day brings back nothing but traumatic memories for me.  Like the year when my dad put grape jelly in the toe of my shoe (there was saran wrap involved so no shoes were actually ruined) and was all "I Got You Good!" and then made about a thousand "toe jam" jokes.

And then I got grounded because apparently - according to my mother - throwing a tiny jelly-filled shoe from the second floor of the house (we had an indoor balcony) at one's father's head and yelling "I Got You Good!" is not in fact an April Fools' Day joke and is really just throwing a shoe at someone's head.

I'm still working on a retribution prank for that year.  Something where I do something epic and then say, "It's peanut butter jelly time, bitch DAD."  I've not got the details worked out.


(If you got through that entire video you are a stronger person than me.)

But moving on.  Today is about an entirely different holiday, namely Passover.  I've mentioned before and I will mention again right now that my husband is Jewish.  He gets it from his mom's side of the family.  In the years since we have been together it has been traditional for his family to go to his grandparents' home to celebrate the Jewish holidays.

Because I always wanted to be a good guest and a good little girlfriend and impress everyone with how I, admittedly a Christian girl, would obviously do unbelievably well at instilling a respect for Jewish traditions in my children SHOULD A CERTAIN JEWISH MAN CHOOSE ME FOR A WIFE ALREADY,  I researched all the appropriate things to do and say on each holiday.

Come Rosh Hashanah I would be all "L'Shana Tova! To A Good Year!" and I would eat the apples dipped in honey even though honey makes my mouth itch.  and on Yom Kippur I would wish everyone an easy fast.  If it happened to be a Friday "Shabbat Shalom"s were in order and on Purim I would happily participate in all of the festive drinking.

My first Passover though was a bit of a struggle.  I had been both working and studying really long hours and had somehow neglected to look up what was appropriate to say and do on this day.  So in the car on the way to his grandparents' home I asked Ryan, "How do I say like, Have a good Passover in Hebrew?"  He happily filled me in, obviously delighted to have a girlfriend that was interested in his customs.  Or so I thought.

One appropriate thing to say on Passover is "Chag Sameach" which sort of sounds like "Khag sa-MAY-akh" with the "kh"s signifying a sort of guttural, back of the throat noise.  This is not how Ryan taught it to me.

So we get to our destination and shed our coats and say our hellos and I greet one of Ryan's relatives in just the way he's directed.  She looks at me sort of funny so I sort of questioningly try again.

"Hog Sammich?" I quietly intone while Ryan giggles off to the side of the hallway.

"Well no.. but we have lamb and matzo," she laughs.  "Why don't you come in and sit down?"  Then she hands me a bowl of Skittles for some reason.

And Ryan just keeps laughing and laughing.  And then I get it.

I've just walked into a Jewish household on Passover and asked for, of all things, a Hog Sandwich.

Not only is pork something that is not eaten in a kosher home but as it is Passover, bread it pretty much forbidden as well.

I was horrified.

Luckily these gatherings are pretty informal and Ryan's family is amazing and no one thought it was anything but funny.  Ryan was downright tickled pink, the goober.  Still though, I have stuck to "Have a Kosher Passover" upon this occasion every year since.

And at some point, as you know, I did marry my Jewish boyfriend and thus was joined for all eternity with one of the people from The Land of Milk and Honey.  Even though honey makes my mouth itch.

So that's all for today.  Did you all have an enjoyable holiday weekend?  Have any funny holiday stories to share?

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