Friday Five – August 14, 2015

Friday Five

The return of the Friday Five and since it’s Back To School season, I’m dedicating this one to teachers! They never get enough gratitude and this blog won’t be enough, but it’s a start. Here’s some ideas and ways to thank your favorite teacher, as well as a few thank yous of my own!

1. School Supplies

You know that feeling you get when you start a new notebook? When you open to a brand new page and use your favorite pen? The feeling of calmness and serenity and the “I can do anything” attitude that comes with it? That’s the new school year. And I don’t know if any of you that aren’t parents have taken a look at what is included on a 3rd grader’s School Supply list these days, but it is extensive – I checked out a local school’s requirements and bought everything on the list and it was over $60! And I had coupons! Now obviously I don’t have a 3rd grader, so I hauled it all over and dropped it off with the bestie and donated it – Kristin will supplement any child in her classroom’s supplies who can’t afford to bring it all. My point is this – if you can, do the same. Every kid deserves that “new notebook” feeling and not everyone can afford it. And if the family can’t, the teachers do it. And that’s not right either. You can check out my favorite local and deserving school’s list here, but wherever you are, your town probably does backpack drives and welcomes donated supplies!

IMG_20150811_1717252. Respect

I wrote this one out three times and have deleted it because I don’t have a child who goes to school and it’s hard to speak on (make that, be heard on) something you have only observed. So I am just going to say this: Respect teachers. They have a hard job and they deserve your respect.

3. Life’s a school and you gotta show up!

“If history does repeat itself, then I’m going to name my pet dinosaur, Reginald.”

4. Volunteering

All year round, teachers need volunteers. Even if it’s just to do story time or organize, every moment you can help them, is a moment cherished by a teacher. And you would not believe the amount of time they spend working outside of the classroom. Kristin’s job ended hours after my 9-5 job did when we lived together. School hasn’t even started yet for your kids, but those teachers are already in their classrooms, organizing and prepping curriculum. It’s astounding the amount of work necessary just to get the classrooms ready, never mind the planning, training and grading that goes on after the bell rings during the school year. An additional, year-round way of giving if you can’t give your time? Check out Donors Choose. You can choose to fund a classroom library, field trips, art supplies… You can give any amount of money towards any area of education that makes you happy. Books make me happy, so I donate to class room libraries and book drives…or when one of my teacher friends has a request. Because helping my friends makes me happy too. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a lot. Every bit helps and Donors Choose often does matching drives.

5. Sandwich

The foundation of my education was built in Sandwich, Massachusetts. I’d like to thank a few of those teachers that started my own journey into reading and writing and an education I deeply value. Thank you Mrs. Linda Pearsall, (1st grade), both Mr. & Mrs. Schermerhorn (11th & 6th, respectively), Mr. Mike O’Brien (12th grade), and Mr. Kevin Brogioli (11th grade). Yep. They’ll probably never, ever read this. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write it – because every teacher should know they made an impact and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful for them. Not to mention, I own this place. #idowhatiwant

StraightOuttaSomewhere

 

So, if you get a chance in the next few weeks…thank a teacher. Buy them a Starbucks, express your gratitude, acknowledge how hard they are working. And from me: Thank you, to every who is called to teaching. It is a noble pursuit and I am grateful to each and every one of you for making the world a better place. You are making a difference.

Are you ready for back to school? Do you still remember your first grade teacher? Share your favorite teacher with me in the comments! 

 

Friday Five – June 26, 2015

Friday Five1. Confederate Flag

Let’s get two very important facts straight:

  • When it comes to government buildings, it does not matter that you consider the Confederate flag a symbol of your ancestors. What matters is that Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy stated, “The foundations of our new government are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.” Racism, the foundation of the Confederacy.
  • It does not matter that you consider it an exercise in your freedom of speech to be able to wave it and represent the racism and treason of the Southern states during the Civil War. What matters is that, besides the south, the entire rest of the world sees it as a symbol of hate and our government buildings, that govern ALL people, should not proudly display such a symbol.

The comparison is overdone, but it bears repeating: The Nazi symbol once stood for something else as well. Now, almost universally, it is known as a symbol of hate. As is the Confederate flag, except for some southern states that need to get on the train because these flags are coming down.

2. Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler say “REALLY?!”

“Women’s sports in general not worth watching?” Really. Normally I would have a lot to say about that, but Seth and Amy handled it.

3. Gas Station Karaoke

You have to go to YouTube to see it, but it’s worth it.

4. Seth and Josh Meyers Go Day Drinking

I laughed so hard at this. Absolutely worth the watch. May I one day be treated as wonderfully by my future children. Cheers, Mrs. Meyers!

5. SCOTUS Rules Same-Sex Marriage is Legal in all 50 States

Today I watched hundreds of people spontaneously sing the national anthem on the steps of the Supreme Court as they celebrated the court’s decision. I am very proud to be living in a cultural revolution that places an emphasis on equality. I could write a thousand words on this but I’ll stick with these: Love is love. Equal justice. Equal dignity. For all.

mlk

 

Three funny videos sandwiched between two HUGE American issues. Sounds like a typical Friday Five to me!

So after the landmark day we’ve had…who is ready for another one when the states remove the Confederate flag from government buildings?

Friday Five – May 22, 2015

Friday Five

1. Red Nose Day

Yesterday was Red Nose Day. Red Nose Day started in the UK to raise money for children’s charities worldwide and yesterday was the first Red Nose Day in the United States! American charities include the Boys and Girls Club of America, OXFAM America, and Feeding America. I made a donation last night and even though the official day was yesterday, I hope that you all consider donating today! Just $10 can vaccinate a child from five fatal diseases… so that means $50 could protect five children for life. Donate HERE.

2. Yard Sale

I love going yard saling and looking for treasures! But putting one on? Ugh. We’re having a yard sale tomorrow and I am dreading it. I can’t wait for someone to offer me a dime for something that is marked a quarter. SIGH.

I hate this lady.

I hate this lady.

3. Game of Thrones Musical

Last night on Red Nose Day there was a hilarious skit featuring Coldplay and the Game of Thrones cast…worth the watch, GoT fans!

4. Reading List

A new Book List is coming soon to the blog because I have been reading a TON of new, great books lately! Can’t wait to share them with you.

A Library and a Cat? Cailyn's Life Goals.

A Library and a Cat? Cailyn’s Life Goals.

5. Tomorrowland

When I first heard there was going to be a movie based on Tomorrowland (one of the lands in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, for those not in the know) I got a little bit nervous. Sure, Pirates of the Caribbean was great (the first two anyways)…but Haunted Mansion (getting a reboot, what a surprise) was definitely not awesome. I haven’t seen it yet (though it will definitely be my reward this weekend for surviving this yard sale) but my friend Patty over at My No Guilt Life got a chance to go to an early screening and I am happy to report she was pleasantly surprised! #crisisaverted Read her review HERE.

disney ecard

I’m ready.

Alright, there’s the Five! Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and be sure to remember what the holiday is about…thank a soldier!

Are you going to see Tomorrowland this weekend? How about yard saling?

Friday Five – May 15, 2015

Friday Five

1. Birthday Week

It was my birthday on Wednesday and I was completely spoiled!! Josh took the day off of work and catered to my every whim – we saw a movie, went to the bookstore and he was entirely patient during a trip to Target. I received tons of cards and gifts from my wonderful friends and family and I could not be more grateful for all the love. Also – cards featuring cats are clearly perfect for this crazy cat lady and I can’t believe I didn’t get any doubles! Well done friends, well done.

Spoiled.

Spoiled.

2. The Tonight Dough

Caramel and chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. I feel like that’s an #enoughsaid. But I’ll add: It’s delicious and everything I ever wanted and more.

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3. Patriots Respond to the Wells Report

Brady officially filed an appeal for his suspension and the Patriots released their own response to the Wells Report about the same time I was releasing mine yesterday. I quickly linked theirs at the bottom of my post, but in case you missed it, you can find it at http://www.wellsreportcontext.com. I mean, I’m sure everyone that already decided the Patriots were guilty will definitely go read it. PS: Their response was 20,000 words. So if you thought MINE was long 😉

4. Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not in a Pool

My friend Caitlin asked for something guaranteed to make her laugh the other day – and this is what I sent her, so I figured I’d share.

5. Split Image

Split Image is a beautifully written article by Kate Fagan on ESPNW.com and it is worth your time. Fagan writes about Madison Holleran, a track star who lost her battle with depression at 19 while attending the University of Pennsylvania last year. Fagan looks at Madison’s Instagram account and social media presence to compare the difference between what was publicly displayed versus Madison’s inner struggles.

“Young women growing up on Instagram are spending a significant chunk of each day absorbing others’ filtered images while they walk through their own realities, unfiltered.”

The article is well-researched and supported by the Holleran family. In memory of Madison, the family has dedicated a Facebook page to ending the stigma of mental illness and suicide prevention. Madison excelled in both academia and sports, while also being beautiful and popular and having a strong family life. It seemed like Madison had everything going for her – but that is why mental illness can be a silent and vicious foe. It is our job to spread understanding so people can come out of the darkness and survive.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org/
  • Out of the Darkness: http://www.afsp.org/out-of-the-darkness-walks

matters

Ending the Friday Five on a serious note, again. But I felt like that article needed to be shared, even if the subject is uncomfortable.

How was your week? 

Friday Five – May 8, 2015

Friday Five

1. Hug it out!

The world waited for years to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao hug for a half hour rather than actually box. Mayweather is known for his defense (and his numerous offenses against women), while Pacquiao apparently had an injured shoulder before the fight. So basically it was just really boring. Below is my favorite take on the fight!

2. Universal Studios Meets Mario

Universal Studios announced the Nintendo characters and games are coming to their theme parks! Um, I can’t even contain myself. My lifelong dream of playing actual Mario Kart could come true!! Dream photo op: Finding the Princess in another castle… Hogwarts Castle!

mario kart

Kristin, we are so ready.

3. Flat Friend Visit

My friend Mary is working with a group of second graders and needed someone to be a pen pal to a child and have a Flat Friend visit. For those not in the know, Flat Stanley is a character in a series of books who goes on adventures and the Flat Stanley Project helps encourage literacy through letter-writing. So I got my own Flat Friend in the mail, along with a letter from a second grader. The one question my second grader asks me? “Is it true that Virginia had slaves?” …Sigh. Of COURSE I got the kid who wants to ask about slavery. Why don’t I go ahead and clear up some questions about religion or politics too? Anyways, I have taken my Flat Friend on a run, to the store, the post office. It’s been unreasonably fun for me.

Flat Friend 1

Fun Flat Stanley Fact: The Flat Stanley project has been around for ten years…there was even a Flat Stanley on the plane that landed in the Hudson. He was in a briefcase of the friend he was visiting.

4. Once Upon a Time Thoughts (skip if you don’t watch)

My favorite show is gearing up for its two hour season finale this week and I can’t wait. Season Thoughts:

  • Why must they turn Belle into an idiot? I mean really. She’s supposed to be smart. And this entire season they’ve been dumbing her down. So strange.
  • Love Regina’s full arc and path to redemption
  • Zelena is really starting to annoy me. I am not a fan. …and pregnant? I call shenanigans. Or at least I hope so.
  • The hair and makeup team has been doing a phenomenal job of making Emma look like she is becoming more of a villain every day. Her heart is going dark? More like those circles under her eyes! Throughout the season I have noticed she is less bright eyed and hero-esque and more pale and villain-esque. Do you think they are prepping us for Rumple to die…and Emma becomes the new Dark One?  <gasp> Or am I reaching because I just can’t understand why her makeup team has let her down?

5. Ya Burnt!

My favorite Seth Meyers skit is back! Royal baby, May Pac fight, Mother’s Day, ya burnt!

 

How was your week? Excited about Nintendo at Universal Studios? The Once Upon a Time finale? Comment below!

Friday Five – May 1, 2015

Friday Five

Happy May! Can you believe it’s already May? It’s my birthday month!

1. Oodles of Zoodles

I have been spiralizing up a storm since getting my Spiralizer last week and I’m happy to report they’re delicious! This tool is both super easy to use AND clean which means I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I am way less likely to use a kitchen gadget if it is hard to clean, I hate that. And I am happy to report that Josh enjoys zucchini noodles, though we’ve been easing them into the menu by combining them with a few cheese tortellini! Keep an eye out for an all Spiralizer themed List in the future!

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Here’s the one I bought:
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

2. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner

President Obama gave his usual speech to kick off the dinner and he did not hold back! Honestly, watching the entire thing is worth it. It’s hilarious, self-deprecating and the satire is spot on. But it’s 21 minutes so I completely understand most people don’t have the patience for that length of a video so here’s a two minute highlight reel. Everyone’s got two minutes:

View the entire speech here. It really is worth your time.

3. NFL Draft Day should be a National Holiday

I love Draft Day! It means football is creeping closer and that’s always a good thing. Plus, I root for a team that manages to always do great things on draft day, which is nice. If you didn’t stay up for the last first round pick yesterday, the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots selected defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. Great pick.

NFL

4. Cat friends vs. Dog friends

This YouTube has been around a while, but in case you missed it…here’s a look at what it’s like to have a friend that acts like a dog versus a friend that acts like a cat!

5. Shut up and Dance!

I love a good dance movie. It all started with Save the Last Dance, which Megan and I saw at least three times in the theater in high school. But the love continued with Center Stage, Step Up and the cinematic classic You Got Served. Below is a mash up of scenes from different movies (not just “dance” movies) where the main characters dance. I guarantee it will make you smile!

 

Are you ready to jump on the Zoodle wagon and buy a Spiralizer?

More importantly, are you ready for some football?!

Friday Five – April 24, 2015

Friday Five

 

1. Starburst Jellybeans FaveReds

You guys. You can buy a bag of Starburst Jellybeans that are only the red flavors – watermelon, cherry and strawberry. Best invention ever. Just wanted to report on my excitement.

Starburst Jellybeans

 

2. Cats Playing Patty Cake

Crazy cat lady alert! This is worth a watch just for the funny voice overs.

3. 90s Disney with 90s R&B

The perfect mash up – Disney songs and 90s R&B songs. Well done.

4. Pandora’s New Commercial

Ohmygoodness did Pandora get this one right! They blindfolded six kids and told them to find their Moms. It’s adorable.

5. Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s broke up with me last night. I had thought this season was too sad and I was getting a little bit exasperated because it felt like the writers needed some more sunshine in their life – so I was contemplating a break up myself. But they beat me to it. Nothing left for me to see there and I predict many viewers will agree. I don’t want to watch the aftermath of this because I find nothing enjoyable about watching that level of grief and sadness. You can make good television without it. And I am purposely not posting what happened, in case you have taken a vow of social media/television/radio/internet silence and haven’t heard what happened…though I am impressed if you watch the show and haven’t heard/seen/read about it!

Bones

How was your week? Are you still recovering from Grey’s? 

Friday Five – April 17, 2015

Friday Five

1. Dane Michael Stamper

Our Godson was born on Tuesday and we are SO excited. Greg and Brandy are going to be wonderful parents and we can’t wait to watch their bundle of joy grow up. I’m not going to lie – it’s my first time being a Godmother and I don’t think there’s enough fairy dust in the world to stop me from spoiling that little boy a ridiculous amount.

2. Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth won the Masters last weekend at 21 years old and broke quite a few Masters records along his way. And it was a wonderful sight to behold. Watching someone achieve their lifelong dream is what sports is really all about. If you don’t understand sports or why they can be important, here’s my advice: Watch someone reach the pinnacle of their sport after years of hard work. Envision the early mornings and hard workouts and Pop Warner games. And the blood and the sweat and the tears. And it all leads up to this one moment. Where their parents are crying, their high school coach is there, their siblings are bursting with pride. Heroes are born and somewhere an aspiring athlete is learning that hard work, works. It’s a beautiful thing.

jordan

3. Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day was April 14th. The day symbolizes how far into the new year the average woman would have to work in order to equal the pay of what the average man earned in the year prior. Women make about 78 cents to a man’s dollar when doing the same job with the same abilities, results and experience. That’s infuriating. And this problem follows women their entire lives – Women are almost twice as likely as men to retire in poverty. Change is necessary and it starts with us. We must change the “women are inferior” mindset on a ground level and it starts with women respecting themselves and their own capabilities. Which brings me to number 4 of my Friday Five 🙂

equal pay

4. Like a Girl

That ground level I spoke of? The Always company attempted to start there and explain the “like a girl” concept in a commercial last year in which they asked both teenage girls and young girls to “throw like a girl” or “run like a girl.” Young girls? Ran fast and threw with all their might. They didn’t perceive an insult because they have yet to realize the accepted notion that women are the weaker gender. Teenage girls pranced and threw funny. Our strength begins inside ourselves, and raising young women to continue to believe they are equals. Watch the full commercial below and let’s start making the phrase “like a girl” mean something amazing. Fun Cailyn Fact: I got in my first and only physical fight over this phrase. I was 8 and at recess. 

5. An Epic Sunday Run

The folks over at SoulPancake decided to observe April Fool’s Day by celebrating runners in the park with a fun surprise…and the result was amazing. If anyone wants to come cheer me on during my training run this weekend, please feel free to bring some water cups and “Go Cailyn” posters!

 How was your week? Which of my Five was your favorite?

Friday Five – April 10, 2015

Friday Five

1. Nivea In Shower Body Lotion

A new product to love! I gave this a shot after seeing it was on sale and clipping a coupon, doubting it would work because I just didn’t understand the science of it – body lotion that you put on in the shower…but then wash off? How does that translate to moisturizing later? But, #becausecoupon and #becausesale I obviously bought some. And I have no idea how it works, or why it works, but it definitely works! It feels like you’ve already put lotion on  – and after I get out of the shower, I can feel the difference. Plus, it’s quicker than doing it outside of the shower, which I constantly forget to do anyways. It’s a brave new world.

20150410_102109

2. Bingo!

I had the best time ever this week with my mother in law in West Virginia and learned a lot about the social dynamics of a Bingo crowd (I was practically begging Judi to go with me, as I find it both fascinating and super entertaining. She does not, but loves me and goes with me anyways). Want to make 58 people angry? Yell “BINGO”! And then do it again five Bingo cards later. I actually heard cursing in the Knights of Columbus cafeteria this week…and a LOT of people were glaring at me while I eyed their troll dolls and lucky rabbit’s feet. They don’t take kindly to outsiders. Just a little FYI.

All set up for Bingo! I forgot my troll dolls :(

All set up for Bingo! I forgot my troll dolls 🙁

3. Lip Synch Battle

I tweeted last week that this was the best new show on television, and this week’s episode didn’t let me down with Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. But in case you missed the premiere, here’s Dwayne The Rock Johnson lip synching to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

4. ESPN Bracket Winner

A 12-year-old named Sam Holtz tied for the best March Madness bracket and was only allowed to receive a Best Buy $1,000 gift card (due to his age) and decided to buy himself an XBox One. And then promptly used the rest of the gift card to buy a second XBox One to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He had a cousin that once had a wish granted and he wanted to repay them for granting his cousin’s wish (his cousin survived his illness, by the way). In a world of stories about children’s ugly behavior or bullying, here’s a heartwarming story that renews my faith in the next generation.

kinder than necessary

5. Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Concluded

I was relieved to read this week that the Boston Marathon bomber was found guilty on all 30 counts and sentencing would begin next week. His conviction won’t bring back the victims or heal the wounded, but my hope is that it provides some closure to those most effected by this terrible tragedy. And let his conviction and the justice that has been served be a reminder of how his terrible attack ultimately failed. Bystanders ran towards smoke and debris to carry, push, pull and haul survivors from the wreckage without knowing if they were still in danger. Marathoners that had just finished finished running 26.2 miles? Continued to run another two miles so they could donate blood at local hospitals. Terrorism is designed to strike fear in our hearts. And Boston did not kneel.

boston strong

Alright, ending on serious note for this Friday Five, but it can’t be helped.

Let me know in the comments if you’re watching Lip Synch Battle or heading to the store to pick up some Nivea In Shower Body Lotion this week!

 

The Friday Five – April 3, 2015

Friday Five

Second week in a row, the Friday Five!

1. Spiralizer

I got a Spiralizer and I am super excited to use it. This nifty gadget does such amazing things as turn zucchini into long strands of “spaghetti” and turns potatoes into curly fries. I’ll update on here and let everyone know if Josh is fooled by zucchini noodles (Zoodles!).

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Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

2. Friends Furever

This Android commercial has been around for a while, Liz texted me about it in February (Ooh De Lally is kind of our song)…but Josh has just recently discovered it and I can’t tell you how many times he rewound the DVR, or listened to the song. So I figured I’d share, in case you too are a few months behind 😉

3. Snacky Mouse

Nomar & Pesky got a Temptations Snacky Mouse for their birthday and they’d like everyone to know they are BIG fans and all their cat friends and cousins should get one immediately. You fill the mouse with treats and then the kitties bat it around until a treat comes out, which is relatively easy so the kitties give it two paws up!

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4. Back in My Day

Seth Meyers does a skit called “Back in My Day” and he puts on a Mr. Rogers sweater and talks about things “in his day”…and since he’s only 40, his “day” was only ten years ago. It made me laugh, especially the part about Lost. Because you all know how I feel about Lost: The Lost Hours

Can’t get enough of Seth Meyers? Well don’t worry, I watch him and Fallon every morning while I eat my breakfast so I can pull out the funny parts for you every week. So here’s a special 4B: Seth does another skit called “Ya Burnt” where he makes fun of different topics…and this week featured Easter, April Fool’s Day, Tax Season and Duke. Check it out Here.

5. Mime Through Time

These three are a sketch trio (SketchSHE) and just released a new video of them lip synching with some huge hits, starting with the 1940s all the way to today. There’s a song and a matching costume for everyone in this one!

Alright, there’s five things from my week that I wanted to share with you!

Anything you want to share from your week? Have an amazing recipe for me to use with my spiralizer?