Just try and tell me you wouldn’t smile the entire time you iced a cake with this.

I think it’s fair to say that most of us are happier when things are cuter.

Puppies. Kittens.  Baby Bunnies. Little kids when they’re not being annoying.

Admit it, all of these things make you happier than say…

Grass. Flashlights. Junk mail. Dirty dishes.

Right? I’m right, right?

So, in my opinion, it only makes sense that when there is an opportunity to make something that isn’t ordinarily cute even cuter, that opportunity should be taken.

Which is why I can’t resist adorable kitchen items such as these:
IMG_3770
IMG_3768

Meet Pastasaurus and The Grumpy Egg Beater (who has justified reasons for his grumpiness, I mean, come on… you’re literally using him to beat his dead friends. It’s actually kind of morbid when you think about it, so I just try not to).

This brings me to this past weekend when Boyfriend and I were out lunching and wandering around on this quaint little Main Street strip of shops on a Sunday afternoon like we were in some sort of Audrey Hepburn romantic film in the sixties or something. We strolled into a kitchen shop and my eyes kind of glazed over because cooking is not really my thing, but it is Boyfriend’s thing, so I knew we couldn’t simply pass by without going in.

As he bounced around looking at really expensive knives I knew he would never let me touch and pans that I couldn’t understand why they cost over $100, I spotted it. The new object of my affection:

IMG_3769

A pigula.

And he was only $4. How could I say no?

Me: I must have him.

Boyfriend: …seriously?

Me: Come on, you know I can’t resist something this cute. GEB and The Pastasaurus need a new buddy.

Boyfriend: Fine. How about this: You can have your cute kitchen items and I’ll have my practical ones.

Me: What, they can’t be both?

And then I got this look that seemed to say “You don’t really expect me to use a pig-spatula with any sort of seriousness, do you?”

So I walked up to the register.

Me (slightly louder than necessary): I would like this Pigula please!

Cashier: Oh, aren’t these great?

Me: I mean, I can’t resist something this delightful.

Cashier: And you know what? They’re actually really great spatulas, too!

I’m going to put this one in the “Victories for Emelie” column.

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Metaphors for writer’s block and other cliches.

I wrote this a few weeks ago when I couldn’t think of anything else to write, which was kind of refreshing because writing about the fact that I couldn’t write actually ended up helping me to write… Anyway, I shared it with my writer’s group and they all really liked it, so I thought I might share it with the rest of you as well because… well, why not?

 

I’m dying to write more often, but I’m finding that every time I sit down to look at a page, my mind goes completely blank. This weird whirring sound begins in my brain and my eyes tend to glaze over. What is that about? It used to be that I could get the words to start pouring out of me if I tipped my lexical pitcher just enough. Now, however, it seems like that pitcher is full of molasses instead of lemonade. It’s not that there aren’t any words at all within me (I always have words, ask anyone who has ever engaged in a conversation with me), but instead it’s like they’re all locking themselves up in some tower in my mind. They’re rebellious teenagers who refuse to come out for dinner. It’s infuriating. Almost as infuriating as the fact that I’ve switched metaphors three times within this paragraph.

 

So I’m getting the axe (and sticking with the locked up metaphor) and I’m busting down that door and marching those words downstairs because they’re mine, dammit, and I make the rules. Right? Ugh, I sound like my father… And you know what? Just like moody teenagers, words are going to do what words want to do whether you like it or not. Sure, you can force them to come out, but they won’t behave properly. They’ll still have an attitude. They’ll interact as minimally as possible and when they do manage to come up with a sentence, it’ll be a grumpy one that leaves you feeling hurt in a way you didn’t think possible.

 

So what do I do? I could go on a writer’s retreat. Take my words camping and get them to come out of that protective shell they have built so carefully around themselves a little bit! We’ll relax out in nature and interact with other words from other families! It’ll be refreshing! Until we get home and three days after the fact, we’re back in the same old place. The words are up in their tower and I’m down in the living room, just trying to figure out what changed.

 

So I guess the answer is to just keep trying. Keep interacting. Keep waking up every morning and making breakfast for the words. Keep going back to the words and keep trying to have a positive interaction with them until one day you’re having a full-on grand time with them. Sentence after sentence is happening and before you know it, you and your words have bonded and there’s a story there. It’s a story that you and your words will tell for decades and it’ll be your thing that the two of you have and that no one can ever really take away from you.

 

And then they’ll go back to being moody for a little while, and thus the cycle repeats itself.

 

But the stories will be the things that you think of at the end of it all when it comes to your words. It won’t be all the locked doors or silent treatments, but it’ll be the stories that the two of you created together. And, hopefully, you’ll end up closing your eyes and thinking, “Damn. We did good work.”

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And now I live in a hotel with a squirrel named Stanley.

It’s official: HE’S ALL MOVED IN.

His apartment is still in chaos, of course, but as of July 3rd, Boyfriend is a Connecticutian! HOORAY! I’m sure fantastic stories will follow about his adjustment process to living in Stars Hollow. I know that people were actually walking up to his parents while they were moving him in to ask all sorts of questions because this is small town life and when we see something, we say something. It’s sort of like an airport in that way (and in no other way at all).

What makes this extra special is that he moved in over the Fourth of July weekend and it turns out that this tiny town actually puts on one hell of a fireworks show, so we walked over to the high school to check those out and I’d be lying if I didn’t feel like the fireworks were actually in celebration of our own personal momentous occasion and not just the birthday of our great nation. It was pretty spectacular.

Also, now that we live so close to each other, Boyfriend thinks we should get Walkie Talkies. I am not against this idea.

Anyway, all this moving in and setting up apartments has gotten me all inspired to start doing stuff around my own house. While Boyfriend and I were on vacation, my friend Zoe watched the house and the dog and, being a chef/restaurant manager, she was appalled at my lack of a system in my kitchen, which is fair seeing as how my general process is this: “I need to put this somewhere… where does it fit? Ah! In this cupboard.” This is regardless of what else is in that cupboard.

And the fridge is just a pile of cold things, let’s be honest.

So as an early birthday present, Zoe came over yesterday and drank beer with me while we organized my kitchen. And now it is beautiful. IMG_3682

Zoe’s personal favorite area is the coffee corner: IMG_3688

Mainly because it has this feature: IMG_3689

Zoe says it makes her feel like she’s in a little hotel. I also think the fact that there is a squirrel involved has something to do with it because he is adorable. His name is Stanley.

So yeah, I guess this week has been pretty major. Boyfriend is living in town now and I officially live in a hotel.

With a squirrel.

Named Stanley.

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Goodbye Long Distance, Hello Neighbor

Don’t worry. I didn’t break up with Boyfriend and start dating my neighbor. That would be awful. Especially since my neighbor is an elderly woman with a herd of cows. No, my friends, Boyfriend is actually BECOMING MY NEIGHBOR.

This is insane to me, but in an awesome way, because we’ve been doing this long distance thing since we started dating (which, admittedly, was only about 6 or 7 months ago), but apparently he thinks I’m cool enough to just RELOCATE HIS ENTIRE LIFE FOR.

WHAT IS THIS? IS THIS WHAT LOVE IS? 

So yes. Boyfriend is moving away from his cool, hip, trendy city life to Stars Hollow, CT, where there is no cell phone reception and almost everyone in town knows who you are. Seriously. Everyone knows. People I don’t know are asking us about this situation.

And this crazy little town seems to be super excited for me over this whole scenario. People are coming into the bookshop and asking me all about it. There was literally applause from various town members when he picked up his keys. I think they’ve all been a little concerned that I wouldn’t last very long here because of the lack of young folks and social life. Oh, they have such little faith in what the Internet can provide these days… But now they can all rejoice (or cry) because I have yet another reason to not leave town.

And Boyfriend genuinely wants to live here with me. This is nuts! But it’s true. So, this weekend, he moves into his new apartment, which is right in the middle of town and across the street from the bookshop where I work. The only problem? Said apartment does not allow dogs (sorry Gio), but this also means that we’ll be forced to still maintain some personal space. We won’t be able to stay over at each other’s places all the time and I’ll still have to go home to do things. Like talk to the dog.

All of this rambling is basically my way of realizing that somebody really, really loves me. And that’s crazy because, well… have we all met me? But I’ve got to say…. this feels quite incredible.

This is going to be good, you guys.

 

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This is why I don’t shop at real stores.

First of all, thank you to all of you who responded to my post my last week. Thank you for the comments, the text messages, the tweets, and the emails. It was awesome to receive so many messages of encouragement. Especially this one:

Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but I feel like every time I write a post or even just talk to a friend about an issue I’m having, that issue almost immediately starts to go away.

After hitting “publish” last week, things started to happen that I felt like I could blog about and I started reading posts from bloggers who seemed to be going through exactly the same thing. It’s like there was something in the air. Or everyone was watching Orange is the New Black and therefore couldn’t muster the emotional energy to sit down and write.

Anyway, on to blog-worthy thing #1.

This guy, who was just hanging out so nonchalantly at an antique shop that I didn’t even notice him right away:IMG_3591

Now you might be asking “How the hell do you not notice a 15-foot-tall alien statue, Emelie?” and to that I say “I DON’T KNOW. MAYBE BECAUSE HE HAS ALIEN POWERS AND CAN BE INVISIBLE WHENEVER HE WANTS TO BE.”

But that’s just a theory.

The other logical reason is that there was so much stuff (weirdly none of it made it into this photo, so please just trust me.) outside of this antique shop that my brain was overloaded and I spent a lot of time looking down to make sure I wasn’t going to trip on something and subsequently fall straight into, oh I don’t know… an alien’s crotch.

I think one of my favorite things about him though is that he seems to be listening to all of your problems. Look at him, with his hands folded so peacefully, and his head tilted so understandingly as if to say “Yes, I can see why you’re so upset about that.”

Or maybe it’s a bride!

"I do!"

“I do!”

The possibilities are endless, you guys. ENDLESS.

P.S. I sent that alien-bride image to Boyfriend and apparently it is absolute nightmare fuel for him, so…. this can only get more fun.

P.P.S. I invite you to photoshop your own version of our new comrade here and post it in the comments section below or tag me on Instagram.

 

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Someone please get me to motivation station.

I get into these slumps every now and again where I lose complete motivation to do anything. I’ll cook dinner and then I won’t eat it because I’ve stopped being hungry. I’ll tell myself to write for half an hour and then instead I watch Archer for two hours… And then all of things that I need to do, like laundry, dishes, blogging, vlogging, and editing my book, pile up and I become so overwhelmed that I just end up saying “screw it” and I just sit on the couch and do nothing because I can’t for the life of me figure out which thing to do first. And then this spirals even further because I’ll realize that instead of doing something, I’ve done absolutely zero things, and that makes me mad at myself, so then I just sit there and distract myself by watching more Archer just to keep myself from yelling at my brain.

I am just now coming out of a 2-day slump of that very nature, and I’ve gotta say that the coming-out-of-it part feels awesome, but the getting-there part sucks, and then I’m forced to ask myself what it is that gets me there in the first place. Have I taken on too much or is the lighting in my apartment, while environmentally conscious, just so dim that it makes me sleepy and sluggish? Should I just start making another pot of coffee when I get home from work so that my energy stays up high enough to do all of the things that I want to do? Or should I start going to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier so that I can do more things in the morning before work so that when I come home I don’t have to feel bad about being a sluggy slob?

Basically what I really need is a plan. I need a motivation plan to do all of the things that I want to do because I’m not really willing to give any of them up… So if any of you out there have really good systems for juggling all of your responsibilities, please let me know in the comments section below. And if any of you are also going through a slump right now, also let me know in the comments because it’s nice to know we’re not alone, and who knows? Maybe we can help each other.

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#Karen

So Boyfriend and I are about to embark on a 15-hour road trip to spend an entire week with my family. Fifteen human beings and one labrador will be spending one week straight with one another in a house that comfortably fits a maximum of ten people.

This can only go well.

Alcohol will be required.

But first, the journey there. We’re driving from Connecticut to South Carolina, which basically means we’re just going to be on the I-95 for all eternity, and I have prepared for all things.

  • Water? Check.
  • Audiobooks and podcasts? Check.
  • Coloring books? Check.
  • Apples? Check.
  • The biggest box of Goldfish possible? Check.

Okay, so that’s the material supplies. Now for the sights. This is where you all come in. We’ve found a ton of sights along the way. We know we can’t stop at all of them because of time, but we figure that whenever we stop for food or gas, we’ll see which sight we’re near and then we’ll go check it out. The most interesting ones that we have found on the internet are:

  • The grave of the ARM of Stonewall Jackson. I’m not kidding. Just his arm is buried there and it’s a tourist attraction OBVIOUSLY.
  • A Whirligig Park. Enough said.
  • An abandoned renaissance fair. I basically just want to run around here and shout “HUZZAH!” at the top of my lungs, but let’s be honest, I’ll probably just get murdered.
  • And a two giant statues: one pink elephant and one grey one. I don’t know why this intrigues me, but it does.

Anyway, I figure some of you might know of some pretty cool sights along the I-95, right? Any ideas? Also, boyfriend and I will be all over this on instagram and twitter, so if you want to follow our road trippy adventures, we’ll be using the hashtag #Karen because that is what we have decided to name our trip. Why did we decide to name our trip “Karen?” Well, the answer is simple: We couldn’t think of a clever name for this trip that would make a suitable hashtag, and so after much debate and many terrible ideas, I decided that we should just name it Karen. So… follow the hashtag, #Karen.

Anyway, I’m writing this at 4am and with very little ability to tell myself that naming our trip #Karen is ridiculous, so I should probably walk away before someone puts a stop to my undoubtable genius.

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No one knows what’s going on up there at night, you guys. Not even me.

So I’ve been having really bizarre dreams again lately, which is always a strange combination of exciting and terrifying because when the weird dreams happen, it usually causes me and those around me to wonder what the frak is actually wrong with my brain and if I should start seeing a professional sometime soon about all of this, but in the meantime, I think I’m just going to turn to all of you guys here on the Internet because I respect your opinions enough to last me a while longer, I think.

Anyway, so my brother and I were playing volleyball, but instead of using a standard volleyball, we were using a beach ball. He and I were on the same team and we were playing against a team of two robots. These robots were not “Ex Machina” robots, but more like primitive versions of R2D2 types of robots. Very non-flashy and very able to pop beach balls, which was a huge concern of mine. Maybe if they popped it, we would lose? Or the game would have to end and they would kill us? I’m not sure, but I remember feeling like the stakes were high. Either way, my brother and I both dove for the ball and one point and the robots failed to respond in time, so we won, causing them to break down in a smokey and mechanical sounding death. My brother and I high-fived.

Then my brother took Boyfriend and me aside and started giving us life advice. None of it was making any sense so he finally said “Look: Life is like Noah’s Arc, right? I just don’t want to see you sink the ship,” and then he walked away.

When I told my brother about this in real life, he said, “Hey, that sounds like good advice.”

“Sure,” I said, “but I think the more important takeaway here is that we can defeat robots.”

 

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In honor of Mother’s Day…

Because this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to revisit all of my mother’s appearances on this blog, of which there are quite a few and they are all golden. So,  here’s one of the latest and greatest. And don’t forget: MOTHER’S DAY IS ON SUNDAY!!

And Once Again, My Mother, Ladies and Gentlemen…

So last night I was sitting at home and relaxing with some Netflix and my dog. It was perfect.

And then I went to wash my face.

“Why do my eyes look different?” I thought to myself. And then I realized that it wasn’t that my eyes look different, it’s that MY FACE IS FRAKING SWOLLEN AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

So, I immediately texted my mother (because that’s what you do in any emergency, and yes I count this as an emergency.), who is visiting my sister and niece in Chicago, which prompted this phone call:

Me: Hello?

Mom: What happened?

Me: I have no idea.

Mom: Is it allergies?

Me: I’ve never had an allergy! Why don’t you know that? All I did today was go to work and eat mac and cheese!

Mom: Weird… Do you have some Benadryl?

Me: No…and everything’s closed right now.

Mom: Alright, well… if it’s still like that in the morning, go get some Benadryl and go to the doctor.

Me: I don’t even know where there is a doctor… I’ve never needed one out here. I’M A CHILD.

Mom: Good God, Emelie…

Me: Anyway, how is Chicago?

Mom: Good. The baby has a fever.

Me: WE’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES!!

Mom: Well, your sister and I are fine. We’re just hanging out and drinking wine.

Me: Oh, maybe that’s my issue. I was out of wine tonight. Maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to not having wine.

Mom: You’re out of wine?!?!

Me: I know… I have failed you.

Mom: Well, that’s obviously the problem. You need to fix that. Put that on your shopping list for tomorrow, too: Wine and Benadryl.

Sister in the background: What??? DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!!!

Me: Mom, you give the best advice.

 

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Vomitoriums are not what we think they are. Also, I’m too weak to think of a real title.

I am not in shape.

I’m thin, yes, but I’d still be one of the first to go in the zombie apocalypse. I just don’t have the stamina.

It’s also that time of year when I’m cleaning out my apartment and my car and I think to myself, “Why not just clean up your whole life! Let’s start running and working out all the time!”

I contacted my sisters. One of them is a former marathon runner. The other is basically just a beast. Seriously, this woman works out more than I thought a mother of two could ever work out. I’m pretty sure that professional fitness trainers don’t work out like she works out. Her arms are gifts from Athena herself. And the weirdest part is that I think she actually genuinely enjoys it… My mom is also a fitness instructor… I’m starting to question my biological connection to these people again.

Anyway, the marathoner has me on this schedule where I sprint up hills in the morning and go on longer distance runs on flat surfaces once a week and then the other sister tells me all about these great 30-minute workouts she does, which she loves and says are the reason for her Athena Arms.

Guys, I just tried one of the 30-minute workouts. I lasted 12 minutes. And that includes the time I took to stop and go get water and use the bathroom before looking at the British dude with the bleached mohawk on my screen and shutting him down.

And then I texted Boyfriend.

Me: I… am not in shape. (I had to add the ellipses to account for the heavy breathing)

Boyfriend: Me either, my legs are so sore from yesterdays morning workout. (Apparently he’s on this must-start-working-out-again train, too?)

Me: I just tried to do one of my sister’s (aka THE BEASTHULKWOMAN) 30 minute workouts and I didn’t even make it halfway through before feeling like I might die in a vomitorium of sweat and sadness. And inside this vomitorium, there is no oxygen, oh no. Lungs collapse upon entering the vomitorium. The only thing one can inhale inside the vomitorium is failure and shame.

Boyfriend: Oh gosh babe, that sounds like a rough neighborhood.

Me: There’s lots of gang violence.

Boyfriend: Countless assaults on life and limb.

Me: Housing is pretty cheap, though, so that’s nice. You just pay in tears.

On a separate note, I just googled “vomitorium” (risky move, I know) and it’s totally not at all what I thought it was… I expected so much puke, but all I got was a bunch of tunnels because I guess a vomitorium is basically just the giant tunnel that you walk through when you’re leaving a stadium at a sports thing, which I think it weird because that’s like the stadium is puking you back out to society? That being said, though, it totally still works with what I’m saying because when you watch sports you’re never in as good of shape as the people playing the sports so then you could go to the vomitorium to reflect on your fitness failures in life, right? No? Am I still doing this sports thing wrong? I might be doing this sports thing wrong.

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