johnny j’s

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{one of the weirdest (and not the best tasting) beers I’ve ever tasted — not worth the $18}

it’s a friday tradition during lent to go to a fish fry with my dad’s side of the family. with me working full time now {YAY} i have been unable to attend the last three weeks.

on good friday, we closed the office a little early since most of the businesses we work with were closing early as well. i was so excited when i got to tell my dad i would make it to the restaurant. last friday was a bit different than the other fish fry’s we’ve gone to. it was a restaurant instead of a church.

while the company was great, i was kind of disappointed in the atmosphere and the fish which was way too greasy and fried for me.

if you like grease, you will like it. but it makes my stomach a bit queasy, and i should have avoided it all together. but i didn’t and my stomach turned all night long.

what are your traditions during lent?

 

 

easter sunday

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photo 1 (3){my mama brought me flowers to work last Friday — it made my day – and yes, I schedule starbucks}

sunday morning i woke up at eight, wide eyed and ready for the absolutely gorgeous day ahead of me. i had been grinning at the thought of 70 degree weather on sunday since the weekly forecast was announced. and let me tell you, that sky never looked so blue.

on friday, we continued our tradition of making easter chocolate. pouring the hot chocolate into the molds made my mouth water. and i was tempted to just lick the spoon and forgo the chocolate {yes, i licked the spoon when i was done, don’t worry!} but whenever we do something like this, i can’t help but remember all of the other times in the past. its a wonderfully nostalgic time.

i am so beyond thankful for this time of year. and while i do love the chocolate and goodies i get in my easter basket, i love what easter sunday represents. and it’s what the priest said in today’s homily. it’s about new beginnings. bright and wonderful things are happening. we go through winter and look around at such {at times} sad surroundings. and then april comes around and it’s beautiful. and hopeful. i got goosebumps when mass started this morning just thinking about Christ rising from the tomb and what that means for the world. and while little kids may not get it, i think they all understand it’s a special day and not just about the chocolate.

so happy easter to all of my readers {two days later} and i hope you were able to enjoy this sunday with your loved ones.

we still don’t know how we did it.

i have a whole new appreciation for adrenaline rushes. and i know my friend, jenn, does too. previously mentioned, she just moved into the most perfect apartment. she’s been getting settled in and i’ve been having so much fun helping when needed.

whether it’s handing her a screwdriver, helping translate assembly instructions, or carrying a 100 lb wooden dining room table across a building outside, down three halls and up two flights of stairs, it’s been a fun adventure.

yes, i said 100 lb dining room table. trying to save money, nothing is better than a bargain. and you can’t get better than free. we were pulling into her complex one rainy, cold night and we saw this beautiful wooden table on the lawn. we parked and hopped out to check it out. after measuring it and going over the pros and cons of it, she decided to take it. we dropped stuff in her apartment and tried to think of the easiest way to get it inside and upstairs. we pulled our coats close to our bodies and ran out in the rain, grabbed the table and carried it halfway down the building, outside and through the large doors. we decided against the elevator because that would have taken way too long to figure out how to fit it inside. so we did the only other thing we could: carry it up two flights of stairs.

somewhere in between the initial run outside, and grabbing my end of the table, my adrenaline kicked in and Jenn says the same thing. oh. my. gosh. that thing was heavy. but somehow, twenty minutes later, we got it up.

it’s never a dull moment with my jennifred.

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after drying it off and wiping all the cobwebs off, we cleaned the table and set it in the right spot. we were feeling pretty bad ass and strong so what else are we going to do? juice. she had just bought a juicer from a friend and we were so excited {possibly more than normal} to try it out. we used apples, lemons and grapes and it turned out really well! i can’t wait to juice some more.

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i smile and giggle whenever i think about that night. and i also get mad that we didn’t think to take a video of us doing that because NO ONE believes we did it.

could it be…?

in ohio {and pretty much everywhere around this time of year}, we know that just because the weather warms up in March/April does not mean Spring weather is here to stay. BUT…for the last few days it has been extremely nice. dare i say that spring is officially here?

yesterday was so beyond gorgeous and i was able to get a lot outside done. i woke up early {thanks new work sleep in schedule — 8:30 is probably the latest now, huh?} and my dad and i got started with stuff outside. it’s so nice to spend time with my parents. my mom and i have always been close. but my dad and i, it seems the small things mean the most to us and they can be scattered. we worked on mine and his car and washed them inside and out. i had to babysit last night, which is always fun. and i swear my heart melted when one of the boys said, “alex, i just really, very much really love you.” oh kids, they kill me sometimes. they also introduced me to this video. while i don’t like this song in general, this video had me cracking up.

anyways, sunday was just as pretty, although the sun wasn’t out as much which is good for my skin, but i would have loved to have had more sunshine. i think it got up to 78 degrees! hey, i will take it. we put our furniture up on our back porch and like my mom always has said, the back porch will always be the best room in the house. everything just looks so much more colorful this time of year!

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{i loved seeing a pop of color in the mess of fall and winter}

because of the weather, i made some iced tea that is by far one of my favorites:
2 tea bags of melon mint tea
1 tea bag of Tazo’s orange tea
2 tea bags of green tea

it is so refreshing and i need to remind myself not to drink it all in one day. try it out! with being outside all weekend, i also got to see some more signs that spring is indeed around the corner.

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{GREEN!}

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 {you better believe i had my windows open all weekend! don’t mind my attempt to hold my curtains back — it was an impromptu decision and this is what i had laying around}

 

 

one wild and precious life

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i’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we treat our lives. we only have one life. one. and most of the time we treat it one or the other. precious, or wild. we protect ourselves and realize the importance of this time we have. or wild where we don’t care and live freely. freely to the point where we waste our lives away. but why can’t we have both? why can’t we have a wild and precious life.

my friend, Jenn, is the best person that this saying describes. and i may have bought her this Printed Palette sign for her  new apartment. because it is just too perfect for her. but i admire her outlook on life so very much. she takes every day and understands the importance of that day and makes the most out of it. she looks for the little things that make her happy. i like to think i am, too, like that and is why we are such good friends. but i sometimes take this life for granted. but you also don’t want to get too caught up in the worry you are going to miss out on something. you just have to live it. to the best of your ability. and yeah, we mess up. but that is the {odd} beauty of how things work. you mess up, you learn from it. i had this period in my life where i tried hard to protect myself from the outside. and i knew it was because i was afraid. but what ended up happening was i missed out on a lot. a lot of beautiful and crazy moments in my life because of fear. it took me awhile and i am thankful for patient friends for sticking it out with me and still being there at the end of the day, like Jenn.

yeah. it’s one wild ride. but the experiences, lessons, people in it, laughs, cries and hope make this one precious life.

a cute little houseguest

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my dad’s side of the family has been in florida for the last two weeks and we were lucky enough to get to dog sit for his dog, Bo!

bo is the cutest and most cuddliest dog ever, which is a nice change from my dog, zip. all he wants to do is lay on you and snuggle. i have kind of been soaking it all up!

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{i mean, look at that face!}bo2

{they try to compete for the bed sometimes. and then this ends up happening}

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the 50 self-published books you should be reading

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i could probably make you a list of the most amazing books i have ever read. and not one of them you can find in the stores, at least at one point.

as you may know, i am a self-published author. it’s one of the best things i could have done for my book, and one of the most infuriating. i am so very proud of my book. i worked really hard on it and somehow, a lot of people seem to enjoy it. some don’t, and that’s okay.

being self-published, it’s hard to get your name out there and get noticed. contests are a great way to do that. Indie Authorland is a wonderful way to get unknown books and authors known. i did a really awesome interview with them back in July which you can read here.

right now they are holding a contest: “The 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading” and you could nominate your favorites! Which, if it does, can include mine. if you read More Than You Know, and liked it, please nominate it and two other favorite self-published book. it would mean a lot to me!

you have until April 21! Vote here!

new beginnings

last Friday was my very last day of work at the rec center. it was bittersweet but i feel so so ready for my new “big girl” job as everyone is calling it. i kind of like it.

on wednesday all of the girls i work with went out with me to a local restaurant. Delanie’s has been a favorite of mine for as long as it’s been here. they have a killer suicide burger and their fried pickles and mac and cheese bites are to die for.

i laughed so much that night and hate myself for not getting a picture with everyone. hey, just another excuse to get everyone together, right?

so i’m not a huge drinker, well not all of the time, so when the waitress was explaining their drink special of the night, i was shocked to be interested. she said it was going to be big…but i didn’t realize how big she meant. i ordered the “Grog” which is a coconut flavored mixed drink. it comes out in this huge glass and is swore i wouldn’t finish it all.

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but then…i finished it.