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.

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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!

 

Running Mix Tape

10bestrunningthemedsongs

I love making mix tapes. I realize they’re not tapes anymore – but a burned CD featuring a compilation of songs chosen by me…well that will forever be called a mix tape in my mind. I still make them all the time, and often give them away so I thought I’d share a few here on the blog. And of course I’ll be starting with my very eclectic Running Mix, featuring songs about running and movement…or just say the word “run” or “move” a lot.

1. Going the Distance – Cake  

Sample Lyric:

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line
Engines pumping and thumping in time
The green light flashes, the flags go up
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup

2. Ready to Run – Dixie Chicks

Sample Lyric:

Oh yeah
Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run
All I’m ready to do is have some fun
What’s all this talk about love

3. Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

Sample Lyric:

It’s hot up in here
DJ don’t be scared to run this, run this back
I’m repping for the girls who taking over the world
Have me raise a glass for the college grads

4. Run Around – Blues Traveler

Sample Lyric:

But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

5. Run This Town – Jay-Z

Sample Lyric:

Victory’s within the mile
Almost there, don’t give up now
Only thing that’s on my mind
Is who’s gonna run this town tonight

6. Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine

Sample Lyric:

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

7. Run Rabbit Run – Eminem

Sample Lyric:

I found my niche, You gon’ hear my voice
‘Til you’re sick of it, you ain’t gonna have a choice
If I gotta scream ’til I have half a lung
If I have half a chance, I’ll grab it, Rabbit Run!

8. Move Along – All-American Rejects

Sample Lyric:

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

9. Bust a Move – Young MC

Sample Lyric:

She’s dressed in yellow, she says “Hello,
Come sit next to me you fine fellow.”
You run over there without a second to lose
And what comes next hey bust a move

10. Pon De Replay – Rihanna

Sample Lyric:

Run, run, run, run
Everybody move run
Lemme see you move and
Rock it til the grooves done

Alright, there’s my 10 best running-themed songs… guaranteed to constantly remind you to keep moving while you’re working out!

Did I miss your favorite running-themed song? Anything you would add? 

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?

I don’t always run, but when I run, I RunDisney

Out of the 12 races at Disney World, I have participated in every event weekend at least once, and completed all the races except for the Marathon, and three of the 5Ks – so I’m not saying I’m an expert, I’m saying I have a problem! Which brings me to two weeks ago, when I departed for my traditional girl’s weekend to Disney World so that I could participate in the Princess Half Marathon weekend with my two BRFs (Best Running Friends) Sarah Beth and Hope… and I was reminded once again why when I choose to run, I choose to RunDisney!

My first RunDisney event - ESPN the Weekend (R.I.P.) 5K in 2009

My first RunDisney event – ESPN the Weekend (R.I.P.) 5K in 2009…They didn’t even have corrals for this event!

1. Costumes

I love a good costume, and I especially love a good hand-made costume. RunDisney races are definitely the place for both and I have a great time every year brainstorming and crafting up some Disney-themed, running appropriate attire! This year we ran the 5K as Flora, Fauna and Merryweater from Sleeping Beauty, and did the Enchanted 10k as Newsies! Our fairy costumes were so popular that strangers asked to take photos with us, and when we popped into the Magic Kingdom to get our photo with Sleeping Beauty, the cast members and photographers loved it.

Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K costume creation and design

Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K costume creation and design…Yes, the tutus lit up. Awesome. #ifidosaysomyself

Newsies, Fairies, Queen of Hearts & Gaston, Fireside Girl, Cheshire Cats

Costumes through the years: Newsies, Fairies, Queen of Hearts & Gaston, Fireside Girl, Cheshire Cats

Make it pink! Make it blue!

Make it pink! Make it blue!

2. The Bling & The Swag

Aren’t medals pretty? Is there a better reason to run? I personally don’t think so. And it makes me terribly happy to have a tangible result of all my hard work – it makes all the training runs worth it! And I’m usually doing those training runs in a nice performance tech running shirt that I got with my race entry.(Teensy Weensy RunDisney Negative Thought Alert: Too many grey-ish shirts lately, but they listened for Princess Weekend 2015. Oh and the race entry fees are ridiculous. Worth it, but ridiculous).

My precccciooousssss (es).

My precccciooousssss (es).

RunDisney bibs and shirts

RunDisney bibs and shirts

3. Entertainment

No one entertains like RunDisney entertains. There are characters all along the course, music, marching bands and performers. Often the characters are “rare”, like Baseball Donald or Captain Barbossa – a character you can’t get a photo with by just entering Disney World. I’ve found that the Princess Half is the place to be for the best rare character experiences.

Baseball Donald - Enchanted 10K goal, complete!

Baseball Donald – Enchanted 10K

Pluto with Antlers

Pluto with Antlers – Frozen 5K

Sailor Donald - Expedition Everest Challenge

Sailor Donald –                Expedition Everest Challenge

Captains Barbossa and Jack Sparrow - Donald Half Marathon

Captains Barbossa and Jack Sparrow – Donald Half Marathon

4. Runner Treatment

RunDisney treats runners right. As a loud and proud “back of the pack” runner, I can definitively say I have never reached the end of a RunDisney race and there not be a banana and Runner’s snack box waiting for me. Not to mention cooling towels at hot races and warming blankets at cold races (like this year…30 degrees really put the ‘frozen’ in Frozen 5K). And this year RunDisney really upped their snack box game, which is always a lovely treat on the bus ride back to the hotel when you want to simultaneously eat your arm and fall asleep (Teensy Weensy RunDisney Negative Thought Alert: The races start SO EARLY. We get on busses to go to the start line at 3 a.m.).

 

Everything in my runner snack box

Everything in my runner snack box

Huddled in my RunDisney provided Mylar blanket after the very Frozen 5K

Huddled in my RunDisney provided Mylar blanket after the very Frozen 5K

5. Organization

RunDisney is a well-oiled machine. Everything is clearly marked, bag check is a breeze, busses run fairly smoothly and I’ve rarely had a problem with any of the logistics of running a RunDisney race. FIFTY THOUSAND runners descended on Disney World to participate in Princess Weekend this year – and it took me literally 6 minutes to get my bib, seconds to get my shirt, and 2 minutes when I needed to exchange the shirt for a different size at the Expo. They know what they’re doing. And shout out to the 3,000 volunteers – I may not have gasped my thank you for that water cup loudly, but I meant it!

Princess Expo 2014

Princess Expo 2014

6. Community

The RunDisney community is widespread and ever-growing. As my RunDisney obsession was blooming, I depended on blogs such as this one, or this one, and even fan-girled over meeting the woman behind this one. And then, one of my BRFs even started this one. If you’re interested in RunDisney anything, check out these blogs for information and race recaps that will help you learn every detail you’d ever need to know to make every mile magical! (And no, I don’t know all these people – I just have found their blogs, twitter feeds and Facebook pages to be vital to my RunDisney life!)

My No-Guilt Life

Random Ramblings of a Running Princess

Running Happily Ever After

Run. Walk. Repeat

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Some of my RunDisney community!

7. Mickey Pretzels & Dole Whips & Grey Goose Slushies

I run for drinks and Mickey-shaped food and there is no shame in my game.

My reasons to run...

My reasons to run…

Lots of photos, lots of costumes, lots of RunDisney love!

Let me know in the comments what you think…Why do you RunDisney? And if you don’t already, are you ready to RunDisney?

State of the Union – NFL Edition

The Super Bowl is over and my beloved New England Patriots are reigning champions. They won despite being plagued by accusations regarding under inflated footballs during their AFC Championship stomping of the Colts. Accusations that have been categorically denied by everyone from Tom Brady to Robert Kraft and none of which have been substantiated. But I am not going to talk air pressure, or defend the Patriots…my rant is this: In the last THREE days, the following NFL stories and scandals have broken – not a single one of which has appeared on my Facebook or been a leading story on The Today Show.

In order to differentiate, I have placed each story into the three main issues that people seem to be wailing about with the Patriots:

C – Cheating       I – Integrity      NFL – Actions not in accordance with the NFL “Shield”

1. Cleveland Browns, TextGate, C & I & NFL

The Cleveland Browns GM stands accused of texting coaches during the game – a practice that is expressly forbidden because it could lead to a competitive advantage. They currently face fines and a possible loss of a draft pick. That’s serious business and if found guilty, will face the exact same sanctions currently being threatened against the still innocent until proven guilty Patriots. PS: The Browns have plenty of other breaking news within their organization – Josh Gordon was banned from the NFL for a year for violating once again the Drugs and Alcohol policy and Johnny Manziel has checked into rehab.

2. Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion, FelonyGate, I & NFL

Good ol’ Letroy was pulled over with $190,000 in cash and over 350 grams of marijuana in his truck. He was extremely uncooperative and hostile to the police and was charged with felony drug and gun possession. Definitely not keeping up with the integrity side of the NFL.

3. Baltimore Ravens NT Terrence Cody, GatorGate, I & NFL

Cody was indicted this week on 11 counts of animal cruelty, including abuse or neglect of a dog and an alligator. The aggravated animal cruelty are felonies (as they should be) and are also coupled with a drug possession charge (of course). It is hard for me to contain my rage regarding people who abuse defenseless animals, so I am just going to leave it at that.

animalabuse

4. Atlanta Falcons, Artificial NoiseGate, C & I & NFL

The Falcons are currently under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise during the past two seasons while their opponents were trying to call plays and during the huddle. It is definitively cheating, and appears to have definitely happened – The Falcons owner has apologized and expressed his disappointment in their lack of integrity, though the investigation is continuing and the Falcons still face fines and possible loss of a draft pick. Fines and loss of draft picks? That sounds familiar. But fans don’t care about the Falcons (or Browns) cheating because no one cares about the Falcons (or Browns). Because they aren’t beating your team all the time.

5. Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, ArrestGate, I & NFL

Randle was arrested for drug possession after police responded to a call for domestic violence with a weapon. Drug arrests in the NFL seem to be a weekly occurrence, but I am including this one because it is his second arrest in four months. He was arrested for shoplifting in October. Clearly a wonderful representation of the NFL.

6. New York Jets, TamperingGate, I & NFL

The New York Jets owner apparently publicly expressed his interest for Darelle Revis to return to the New York Jets. This is a violation of the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy. I chose not to give this one a C for Cheating, primarily because I think it’s silly – but the rules are the rules and the integrity of the game is sacred and everyone just keeps telling me that when they discuss the PSI of footballs in a game won by 30+ points.

7. Indianapolis Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, Just a MisdemeanorGate, I, NFL & Idiot

Jackson was arrested this week for getting in a physical altercation with a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. A parking spot. So I am charging him with insulting the NFL Shield, a lack of integrity, and being an idiot. And not to add insult to 30+point defeat injury, but Jackson is the 5th member of the Colts to be arrested in the last 9 months…including the Colts owner (DUI). Maybe the NFL should launch an investigation and examine the science behind an organization with more mug shots than playoff wins this year.

insulting you

Just a reminder…these stories all broke THIS WEEK. And can all be found on ESPN – some front page, some buried. NONE can be found on The Today Show or on my Facebook feed. Did adding “Gate” to all their offenses make it real to you? Make you want to design a meme or haunt my Facebook page posting articles of football pressure? No? Could you look inside yourself and see that this Patriots situation was treated unfairly by both the media and opposing fans because it’s personal (we hate the Patriots) rather than an actual big story? Especially considering the cheating accusations against the Browns and Falcons – the ones that come with the same exact possible penalties as the Patriots? But no one cares about because the Browns and Falcons do not win. And that’s the truth of it.

socialmediaoverreaction

And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

supermanbrady

 

A Lot.

billbelichick

 

Have you been following these stories the past three days? Sharing articles? Worried about the integrity of the game?

2014 New Fall TV Reviews

tv show

Afraid you’ll commit to a new television program just to have it be cancelled as soon as you are invested? Never fear, I believe most of the new Fall shows have premiered and I’m here to give you my reviews! Through the magic of DVR, Josh and I usually try and watch the first few episodes of anything that interests us and this year I paid attention so I could tell you all what I thought was good enough to stay on your DVR! 

DVR Worthy:

1. </Scorpion> – CBS, Mondays at 9:00

It’s like The Big Bang Theory meets NCIS/Criminal Minds/any crime drama. It’s a group of geniuses that have come together to help the government solve crimes. I’ve really enjoyed the first couple of episodes and hope they are able to continue the interesting plot lines that are loosely based on the life of genius Walter O’Brien. It’s not hard-hitting, but each episode has kept me entertained.

2. Gotham – FOX, Mondays at 8:00

Taking a look at Lieutenant Gordon BEFORE he became Batman’s bestie in the police force. Gotham introduces us to The Penguin, Cat Woman, etc and begins with Detective Gordon trying to solve the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne (Batman’s parents). My only issue with this? Anyone that has ever seen Batman knows that A. The murder isn’t solved and B. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman because Gotham is a seedy underworld that needs saving – which means poor Detective Gordon is going to be fighting a losing battle this entire series. I don’t love that. I do, however, love seeing my boy Ryan Atwood in a television series again!

3. blackish – ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30

I haven’t laughed out loud so much during a sitcom since Modern Family’s first season. Yes, I am probably not the target audience for a show based around an upper middle class black family whose father is afraid his kids are losing touch with their roots, but I have found the storylines to be funny and engaging and not at all exclusively “blackish.” There is no white or black when it comes down to the age-old husband and wife argument of how to load the dishwasher correctly! For inquiring minds? In our house, utensils go sharp end down, bowls on the top racks, plates facing towards the middle, single-file. (Edited to add: Already picked up for a full season!)

4. Marry Me – NBC, Tuesdays at 9:00

Full disclosure, I love Casey Wilson and loved her cancelled-too-soon show Happy Endings. But Marry Me looks like a good replacement. Great chemistry between Wilson and her co-star Ken Marino, as well as a fun supporting cast, though some of which I can see being weeded out if the show gets picked up. Both Josh and I laughed out loud quite a few times at Wilson’s neuroticism and the rom-com esque plotlines.

5. The Flash – The CW, Tuesdays at 8:00

First off, I love The Arrow. That’s The CW’s other show based in the DC Comics world and in its third season of awesomeness. The Flash is a spinoff and so far, so good. Great casting and the first few episodes have made my inner comic book geek very happy. (Edited to add: Already picked up for a full season!)

6. How To Get Away with Murder – ABC, Thursdays at 10:00

Obviously, there’s a Queens University shout-out here as one of the minor reoccurring characters went to college with me! But that’s irrelevant because this show is good, though a little crazy at times. It reminds me of Revenge and Scandal – you’re not going to learn anything, but all the intrigue, plotting and backstabbing is very entertaining. (Edited to add: Already picked up for a full season!)

We’re Not Worthy:

7. The Mysteries of Laura – NBC, Wednesdays at 8:00

I love Debra Messing so I was really hoping I would like this show. But I have to tell you, it’s not awesome. Yes, women have children and go back to work. Yes, it is a struggle. No, you still haven’t managed to make the struggle funny or new.

8. Mulaney – FOX, Sundays at 9:30

I LOVE John Mulaney. Huge fan of him. This show? Not so much. It has potential, if only because John Mulaney is an excellent writer (he wrote for SNL) and standup comedian – so the possibility to become Seinfeld-esque is there…but it’s not there yet.

9. & 10. A to Z and Manhattan Love Story – NBC, Thursdays at 9:30/ABC, Tuesdays

Two more rom-com sitcoms that are just okay. Neither made me laugh like and neither had plot lines that kept me wanting to DVR it. I’d be surprised if A to Z gets picked up for a full season, and VERY surprised if Manhattan Love Story does. (Edited to add: Manhattan Love Story has become the first Fall 2014 show to be cancelled)

DVR

There you go! It’s not too late to cancel the duds or catch up online/on demand with some of my new Fall favorites.

Love anything I disliked? Dislike anything I love? Drop me a comment below and let me know what’s your favorite new Fall TV show!

Have Some Respect

In case you live under a rock, Derek Jeter retired last week. And even though I found the season-long Farewell Tour to be a teensy bit obnoxious, Jeter is easily one of the greatest baseball players, ever. But as I watched the coverage and social media unfold, I noticed there were quite a few people that still showed Jeter no respect. And as a Red Sox fan who refuses to say rude things about Derek Jeter just because he plays for the Yankees, it got me thinking: Who are people that are consistently disrespected by the collection of Haters & Internet Trolls that seem to be plaguing our nation?  And probably deserve our collective respect at this point? So here’s a list of people that I think have earned respect, even if we may not want to give them any:

1. Derek Jeter

RE2PECT. I mean, the entire campaign features the word ‘Respect’ and his number 2 in it. Derek Jeter played the game right and taught a generation of children that it is possible to win, lose, or be a mega successful athlete without acting like a jerkface. He had class, there was never a whiff of steroid use (even though he played in the Steroid Era), and he deserves our respect. I tip my cap, to the Captain.

jeter

2. Paris Hilton

The original “famous for being famous” starlet has a distinct lack of any discernible talent and still became a household name with a perfume line, record deal, and several television shows and film roles. She may be one of the smartest celebrities to ever walk the red carpet, exhibiting a savvy ability to manipulate paparazzi and an early adopter of social media. Now, some people might be unhappy that she paved the way for the Kardashians and thus wish Paris had been content to be a hotel mogul – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she managed to manipulate her name into a successful career.

3. President Barack Obama

I know, I know. His approval rating is at an all-time low and times are crazy. But. He has the hardest job on the planet. And it’s one of those jobs that is completely thankless and it is impossible to please everyone. Anyone, really. Every decision he makes is questioned by an entire country of citizens who do not even remotely know everything involved with those decisions. Imagine if every single move you made was examined and discussed relentlessly? We will never know what goes into his decisions. Show some respect to the leader of the free world. His job is tough.

4. Taylor Swift

Country lovers think she’s too Pop. Pop lovers think she’s too Country. The whole world seems to think all she does is date too many boys. When in reality, she is a 7-time Grammy winner, participates in extensive philanthropic efforts, writes all her own songs, and doesn’t date  more than any other 20-something. And in a sea of no talent, booty-shaking, lingerie-wearing Pop starlets? Her dedication to being an excellent role model for her fans is impressive. Plus, she loves cats. A girl after my own heart. But hey, the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

swift

5. Angelina Jolie

Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater. And whoa, I’m #teamjen for life. But. She is a humanitarian and Goodwill Ambassador that has donated thousands of dollars and hours to various charities. And has simultaneously become both the face for adoption and the punch line of every adoption joke ever. But adopting children in need while dedicating your life to various charity organizations is probably worth our respect. Plus – Tomb Raider and Hackers? The best.

jolie

Honorable Mentions:

LeBron James: But he’s an arrogant jerkface and I already said everything I need to say about him HERE. And, I own this place, so… sorry, not sorry.

The Kardashians: Ugh. FINE. They work hard at being famous. But they’re off the list because I can really only handle Paris. And Paris was the trendsetter.

Any major sport commissioner: They all have a thankless job where every choice they make is also questioned. But since Goodell isn’t exactly hitting it out of the park lately, I felt like maybe he needs to earn some respect back and I’ll leave them all off the list.

Alright. That’s my list of people that have earned my respect, even if I didn’t want to give it. And remember, you don’t have to like any of these people – but I think at this point, they have earned everyone’s respect.

Anyone you would add? Someone that doesn’t get the respect they deserve? Or someone you do respect, but begrudgingly? 

Soundtracks that Rock

soundtracks

I don’t know if anyone has seen this little Indie film, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — but its sort of killing it in the box office and one of the big reasons seems to be its awesome soundtrack. So I wanted to dedicate this particular list to soundtracks, specifically soundtracks featuring songs that are also performed by the films’ stars… because there’s already too many lists dedicated to the awesomeness of the Top Gun or Titantic soundtracks.

1. Grease

Definitely a predictable choice – but there’s a reason this film has stayed popular for over 30 years and I think the catchiness of songs that still resonate with teenagers is why. I recently pulled up to a red light and saw some teenage girls singing along to “Summer Nights” and I couldn’t help but smile because we did the same thing in high school.

2. Mary Poppins

Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke? If you don’t sing along with this entire movie, you can go fly a kite.

3. Men in Black/Wild Wild West

Note to readers: The good guys dress in black, remember that in case we ever face to face and make contact (that was all from memory, don’t judge me). Will Smith walks in shadows and moves in silence while fighting aliens AND strolled through the Wild, Wild West with Sisqo. The man is a legend. Additional Sidenote: The Wild Wild West soundtrack also features Enrique Iglesias… Bailamos (let the rhythm take you over). Yup, you all just sang it.

4. Above the Rim

2Pac stood out in this film as both an actor and an excellent contributor to an amazing soundtrack. Plus, this soundtrack gave us Warren G’s “Regulate.” And everyone loves that song.

5. The Bodyguard/ Waiting to Exhale

Whitney. Such an icon that you only need a first name. One of the most talented singers of all time and lost far too early. The Bodyguard soundtrack is still one of my all-time favorites and the Waiting to Exhale album also features Brandy, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige… I mean, that’s a soundtrack.

6. High School Musical

Listen, it’s one of the most downloaded soundtracks of all time. Sooo… Get’cha head in the game and don’t judge me. Oh, and my cousin bestie Liz recommended this one. She has excellent taste.

7. Frozen/Tangled

Oh, Disney. You just get me. Both of these recent soundtracks really get everything right. The songs are wonderful and creative, the actors and actresses are musically talented and both scores are amazing. I’ll never let them go.

Honorable Boring Mentions:

Purple Rain and Blue Hawaii – Yeah, Prince and Elvis. I just don’t get the obsessed fans. But I appreciate them.

Help!/A Hard’s Day Night/Any Beatles movie – Now the Beatles I do understand the obsession – I just thought it was too predictable for my list considering the movies are basically just long music videos.

If you want to buy any of these soundtracks (you should) you can click on the albums and use my affiliate link to order through Amazon.

Alright, these are the soundtracks I love that features the actors and actresses that I love! And I can’t take full credit for this one – it was a request from my cousin Don and he contributed several ideas – thank you!

What soundtracks feature an actress or actor that rocks that you’d add to my list? Disagree with any of my choices? 

 

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I was inspired to write this list a few months ago after my luggage was misplaced coming home from Disney World. And we’ve all been told and reminded by airline employees not to check anything irreplaceable…but I got complacent because I’ve never lost luggage. I had run a race and received a super cool medal and I put it in my checked bag. And then the airline lost my bag. And I was heartbroken. My luggage was later found but it got me thinking about lessons it seems us humans just have to learn the hard way – after you’ve experienced it.

1. Don’t check anything in your luggage that’s irreplaceable.

It seems like such a “duh”… right up until you do it and you’re like “I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT.” I was lucky and escaped this tough lesson with just a warning, but you better believe I have heard you Universe, and will pay more attention next time!

Compass

2. You lose friends, sometimes inexplicably.

Until you’ve lost a friend for what seems like no reason, and sometimes without closure, you don’t really understand what it’s like. But the older I’ve gotten and the more people I’ve talked to, the more I know this is a common occurrence. They either outgrow you, or are upset with you and never address it, or you just lose touch. It happens. And the hard way is experiencing it and learning how to get past it and let it go. I have had a few friendships end this way and I learned a lot from mourning the loss of those friends and dealing with letting it go.

efforttostay

3. Don’t cut your own hair.

I have mentioned this before (read about that here), but just don’t do it. Unless you’re a professional. Otherwise, you’re going to learn the hard way that cutting your own hair is a mistake you probably won’t make twice. And you’ll be growing out those bangs forever.

4. Life isn’t fair.

I know, I know – people say this all the time. You were probably first told this at five years old, and repeated it in your room while staring at your poster-covered walls and listening to angry music all through high school. But until life hands you a poop sandwich and tells you to eat it – and you HAVE to eat it – you don’t really know. And even when you’ve learned this lesson the hard way — it stays hard. <stamps foot> It’s just so… UNFAIR.

Lifeisntfair

5. Loss and Gratitude.

Speaking of life being unfair – the loss of an immediate family member is a devastation that you’ll never understand until it happens. It’s not a fun topic, so I won’t dwell on it, but I will say this – The strongest I’ve ever seen some of my friends and family was during a loss. They felt broken, but as a bystander who has watched several people lose parents/siblings/husbands/wives? They’ve never looked stronger to me and never seemed more grateful for life and the loved ones still in it. It’s a lesson we will all learn – and the only way is the hard way.

6. It’s okay for dreams to change.

You have a plan, you have a goal, you’re on your way – and then you realize it’s not what you wanted or not going to happen. I experienced this and can tell you that no self-help book would have prepared me for the confusion and depression. It went a little something like this:

“But… this is what I wanted! I worked so hard to get here! And now I’m here and I hate it. Oh dear. I’m a ship without a course! I’m a board game without directions! I’m a architect without a plan! What am I ever going to do?”

Make a new plan. Dreams change. Okay Universe, duly noted.

dreams

Dream big, buddy!

7. Debt.

Ugh. No one wants it, plenty of people have it, and people that have it and get out of it usually learn from that hard-earned lesson. And it’s another thing you are warned about  – but you don’t really understand it until you’ve been under a mountain of it and need to dig your way out. Then the lesson (hopefully) has sunk in.

8. Tackle the nagging task before it’s a huge task.

Oomph, we’ve all done this right? Kept forgetting to update your insurance and then you get in an accident the next day? Put “Backup computer” on your To Do list for 6 months and then your hard drive crashes? Or something smaller – promised yourself you would take the trash out before it got overstuffed and put it off just long enough to spill said trash all over the kitchen floor?  Or let your precious cats’ rabies vaccinations go up by a few weeks and then a bat gets into your house and Animal Control has to take your beautiful fur babies to the POUND for FOUR days and SEPARATED them while they get the bat tested for rabies, resulting in FOUR days of tears, depression and guilt. No? That one is just me? Fine. Well consider that lesson learned.

kittylove

Nomar & Pesky are besties and did not appreciate being in a scary place all alone.Their mom was equally unappreciative.

Have you learned any of these lessons? What other lessons do you think we have to learn the hard way?