Sunday, May 17, 2020

What's on My Playlist (and perhaps should maybe also be on yours if you're interested)

No one: ...
Absolutely nobody: ....
Me: Hey guys wanna see what songs are on my playlist right now?!

That is the essence of this post but you know what? It's fine, nobody asked for this but that's ok because I have recently come upon some really good jams and felt compelled to share them with the class anyway because I don't know about you all but I love finding new music. Shout out to Spotify which I'm just gonna come out and say - is far superior to Apple Music and that is a hill that I'm willing die on.

Disclaimer: I realize some of these songs aren't new, but they are new to me. So yeah. There's that.

For a healthy dose of nostalgia:
  • Young & Alive by Bazzi - I am sucker for good lyrics and "Riding my bike like I'm too young to drive, careless and free like it's 2005" hits me right in the feels, you know?
  • The Other Girl by Kelsea Ballerini featuring Halsey - serious The Boy is Mine vibes and I am here for it. 
Love-ish songs:
The category is Sad Songs that Still Somehow Make You Want to Bop Around, for $400. What is:
A good breakup song or two to keep us humble:
For a good time call:
  • I Feel Good About This by The Mowgli's
  • Keep it Simple by Matoma and Petey, featuring Wilder Woods - if when you listen to this song your first thought is WHERE do I know that voice from?? It's because Wilder Woods is Bear Rinehart, lead singer of Needtobreathe which means we have no choice but to stan.
  • Good Day by Nappy Roots
What's on your playlist?!

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Here Lies Lover Fest 2020

Here lies Lover Fest 2020. How many days have we spent thinking about how this Corona Virus has done us wrong? We've lived in the shade it's been throwing until all of our sunshine was gone. It's a Cruel Summer when the one thing we've been looking forward to all year is cancelled. Ain't that the worst thing you've ever heard? 

Loyal Swifties stood in virtual lines for hours upon hours last fall to secure tickets to Lover Fest and just like that, it's cancelled. We were crazy to think in these Corona times, crazy to think that this could work remember how we said we'd die for tickets? And then the news came on a Friday and now we wake in the night and pace like a ghost; the room is on fire, invisible smoke. We said we're fine but it wasn't true. Because the hope and promise of a mass gathering of Swifties simultaneously screaming at the top of our lungs, "HE LOOKS UP GRINNING LIKE A DEVIL!" suddenly taken from us, feels like death by a thousand cuts. We get drunk but it's not enough because when the morning comes, Lover Fest isn't on our calendars anymore. 

So what do we do? We ask the traffic lights if it'll be alright (they said 'I don't know'). And now all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put us back together again, because despite the lock downs and the isolation, we hoped we'd never lose this, we hoped it wouldn't end because this is the kind of heartbreak that time can never mend. The 'Rona has sent us a clear message, taught us some hard lessons. I just forget what they were because these quarantimes are all just a blur. 

So Taylor, kiss us once 'cause you know we've had a long night. Kiss us twice and tell us it's gonna be alright. Three times because we've waited our whole lives for Lover Fest. We've loved your album two summers now but Tay Tay, we want them all.

2021 will be a fresh page on the desk, we'll be filling in the rescheduled Lover Fest date as we go (Taylor's easter eggs likely pointing in the shape of an arrowhead as if leading us home). So we'll meet you in the afterglow of these Corona times, Taylor. There'll be light pink skies up on the roof, the sun will sink down and we'll all have no curfew. The ultraviolet morning light will tell us that Lover Fest was worth the fight. We'll step into the daylight and let the 'Rona go. ...And maybe we can even go driving in, on my scooter, ah you know, just 'round London?

In paper rings, in picture frames, in all our dreams,
All faithful Swifties everywhere 

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Sunday, April 19, 2020


Admittedly, one of my favorite things about quarantine is is putting "quaran" in front of any word I want in order to make it quarantine conducive. This post for example, are things that are getting me through this quarantine - thus, quaranthings. My mom's birthday was on Friday which makes her a birthday quaranqueen. Quarantine in general, is a larger sign of these quarantimes. And so on and so forth.

So anyway, we are going on six weeks now since I have been banished from my beloved cubicle with a window view at my office, and sent to work from home. In that time states and the Nation as a whole have also locked down. These are the things getting me through these challenging quarantimes.

1.) Tiger King
Obviously. I actually only started watching this because EVERYONE was talking about it and I wanted to be able to participate and laugh along with the class. I made Nate watch it with me and we've been trading Tiger Kings memes back and forth ever since. If there is truly a light in these dark quarantimes, it's Tiger King. America thanks you, Netflix.

2.) Kelsea Ballerini's new album
I'm sure she did not do this on purpose but like, this is kind of the perfect quarantine album. Most of these quarantunes are a really nice mid tempo (with a few slow songs peppered in) that are perfect for like, doing the dishes, cleaning up around the house, writing in your bullet journal, and just generally winding down before you get ready for bed. Current favs: the other girl (with Halsey), love and hate, and needy

3.) The Morning Toast
I have followed Girl With No Job on Instagram for a while now because I think she's really funny, so I knew she had a morning show podcast with one of her sisters but I just never tuned in because it didn't peak my interest. But you know, now since we are living in quarantimes and we are looking for anything and everything to break up the monotony I randomly decided one morning to watch an episode.

It's "a morning show for millennials" that covers a handful of the top news stories in pop culture each day. I don't typically tune in to pop culture shows because it usually also has a political leaning and/or agenda - which is annoying and I'm not down for that. But I found that The Morning Toast for the most part, really and truly is purely pop culture. I love both Claudia and Jackie and their banter is so funny and entertaining. The Morning Toast is available as a podcast but they also do a live stream every morning on Youtube. It's now a morning routine for me to turn on The Morning Toast while I log onto work, check my email, and get my day started.

So for the next few items, one night I was by myself, feeling very ugly and down on the quarantine version of myself that hadn't left my house in seven days, and I googled something like, "self-care products for quarantine" and I found an article about all the cult favorite beauty products on Amazon. I threw caution to the wind and hit that "add to cart" button on a handful of items. These are those items.

4.) This face mask

I am way late to this trend but I am here to tell you this face mask is everything. I hesitated trying it months (years?) ago when it first came out and was super trendy because based on the reviews it was either a miracle worker or turned your face into a war zone. With sensitive skin, was I very afraid of the latter. I've used it three times now and so far I am loving it and it hasn't broken me out. You have the option to mix it with water or apple cider vinegar (ACV) and I went with the ACV. Does it smell like feet when you first put it on your face? Yes. Is the result worth it? Also yes.

5.) This facial spray 
This is also a trend I am late to, that I'm really regretting. It's a facial spray that you can use anywhere, anytime, and it's supposed to hydrate, calm, and refresh your skin all while giving you a dewey glow. Does it do all of those things? I think so? But more importantly this SMELLS like the most beautiful garden of flowers sent from above from the Lord himself, that you have ever smelled in real life and even perhaps in your dreams. It smells HEAVENLY and I spray it on my face three times a day for that very reason. I am gonna use this all summer long and now that I have experienced the Mario Badescu Facial Spray there is no going back. Bonus: a big 8 oz. bottle is only $12.

6.) This eyebrow and eyelash growth serum
Do I have any evidence yet of this actually working? No - it's only been three weeks. Do I care at this point? Also no because it makes me feel pretty and productive and like I am actually putting forth effort into my appearance and that I will emerge from this quarantine with full and lush brows and lashes. That's the hope. Also I can attest - this serum does not irritate my skin or eyes. I was worried based on some reviews of other serums that it would, but this one does not so I am pleased about that. 

7.) This self tanning lotion
Ok so this is not a new discovery but rather, a tried and true self tanning soldier that never lets me down. I don't usually break it out this early in the year however, but again - in these quarantimes when we haven't left our homes and we are feeling less than beautiful - a good tan can quickly remedy that. You don't have to do anything special with this one - just apply it as your everyday moisturizer and watch your beautiful faux tan flourish. You will emerge from The Q looking like the sun-kissed goddess we all should've been this spring. 

What things have been carrying you through these quarantimes?! Share with the class so we can all try them out! 😌

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

O.W.L's Magical Readathon 2020: TBR

Firstly, I just want to start this post off by letting you know, in case you don't, that "TBR" stands for To Be Read. It is a list of books that you intend to read. Thus, "To Be Read." It took me a good year of following various people/accounts/channels in the Bookish community on social media to realize this, so I'll save you the trouble and just come out and say that right now. You're welcome.

So anyway, if you are into books, reading, Harry Potter, or any combination thereof, this post is for you my friend!

Last year while perusing the inter webs I discovered G who runs Book Roast over on YouTube. With it, I learned about the the annual Magical Readathon she hosts that's based on the Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations (O.W.L) that students take in their fifth year at Hogwarts. This is a thing that happens in book 5 of the Harry Potter series but you don't have to be a Potterhead to follow along in this readathon. The purpose of this blog post is to share with you my TBR for this year's readathon! But before I do, here's how the readathon works: It's kind of hard to explain but I'm gonna do my best and include some links for you (that probably explain it way better than I do) in 3...2...1...

Hogwarts students take their OWL exams in order to determine what career path they'd like to pursue after they graduate. The career path you intend to pursue as a young witch or wizard, depends on how many/what OWL's you may need to take. So, in the fictional story of Harry Potter one subject = one OWL exam (e.g. Potions). For the purposes of this readathon in the real world, one book = one reading prompt (e.g. read a book with a white cover).

Check out the original OWL's announcement here:

Check out this year's OWL's announcement here:

Now, find the Wizarding Career Guide HERE
Next, find the OWL's letter and reading prompts HERE

You can follow along this readathon a couple different ways:
1.) Pick a Wizarding Career and you'll follow the prompts that are required for that career, or
2.) Don't use the Wizarding Career Guide at all and just look at the reading prompts, find some that sound like fun to you and go with those!

I've chose to go with the former and pick a career out of the guide - Wandmaker!
In order to become a Wandmaker I need to pass the following OWL's:
  • Ancient Runes
  • Arithmancy
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Charms
  • Herbology
So for Ancient Runes the prompt is: heart rune - heart on the cover or in the title. I've chosen to read "Love and Other Words" by Christina Lauren
Y'all know I love a good love story (if you don't now you do), and I've read a couple other books by this author and I really enjoyed them both! I got this one for my birthday last month so thank you, past Rissa, for picking out a book that fits a Magical Readathon prompt. Present Rissa thanks you.

Arithmancy: read something outside your favorite genre. I've chosen "The Ten Thousand Doors of January" by Alix E. Harrow
I picked this book out with Christmas money back in December for a couple reasons: firstly, HOW PRETTY IS THIS COVER? And secondly, this book was getting good reviews on social media so I thought yolo let's give 'er a read. My favorite genre is typically a contemporary rom-com (you can judge me for that, it's fine) so this fantasy book is definitely outside of that!

Care of Magical Creatures: creature with a beak on the cover. Because this is a Harry Potter themed readathon (but mostly because I had a reeeaaaalllly hard time finding a book with a beak on the cover that sounded good to me), for this prompt I'm going to read "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling.
Beak on the cover. My favorite Harry Potter Book of them all. Boom. Done.

Charms: white cover. "One of Us is Lying" by Karen M. McManus
This is a YA (Young Adult) murder mystery that I keep hearing people talk about and that I really want to check out but does it have a completely all white cover? No. Does it have a mostly white cover - enough that I can fit it into this prompt? Yes. I checked with the overlords of the readathon rules and they said it's fine. Also Abigail's Cup of Tea is also using it for this prompt and I am nothing if not a follower so yay for that.

Herbology: title that starts with an M. I'm going with "Maybe in Another Life" by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
I haven't yet read a book by this author but I have only ever heard raving reviews. Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote Daisy Jones and the Six, and also The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - two little ditties that were massively successful that you may or may not have heard of. Neither of those start with an M though, so this one had good reviews on GoodReads and I liked the synopsis so I'm gonna buckle up and board the Taylor Jenkins Reid train and hope I love it as much as everyone else!

So at the end of all this readathon do I win a prize or do I actually become a Wandmaker you might be asking? No. I don't. And neither do you should you participate. It's all just for fun. But that's the thing - it is freakin' fun and it's totally free and G spends SO. MUCH. TIME. and energy putting all of this together for us. The Career Guide, the prompts all the extra resources - she puts all of this together just for us at no cost.

There's a spreadsheet for buddy reading HERE, there's a spreadsheet for book recommendations if you're stuck on a prompt HERE, there's a form for giving book recommendations HERE, there's even a master spreadsheet (HERE) to log/view when you've finished a book so we can keep track of how many pages alllll of us have read at the end of it. I meeaaannnn, fun right?!

So anyway, if you made this far - you're a champ and I am long winded so sorry about that. This is the first time I've done a TBR post...or any bookish post really, so let me know if you liked it or wouldn't mind seeing more of them! The OWL's start April 1st and last the whole month long! See you at Hogwarts! 

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Someday I Will: Part II

You'll notice the title of this post indicates this is a part II - you might be wondering where part I is? Well, let me direct you, many many moons ago in 2013 to when The Daily Tay hosted a little 'ol link party (remember those?), and we all wrote about the things we would accomplish someday. Find my list HERE.

Sometimes, when I can't think of anything to blog about, I cruise my old blog posts to try and find inspiration. This is a good and bad idea for two reasons: 1.) Sometimes it works and I do actually find inspiration, and 2.) Sometimes it doesn't and I walk away from my computer, sad and defeated, wondering to myself how I was EVER that creative and thought of THAT many things to write about.

This is what was happening this Sunday afternoon when lucky for me I stumbled upon this post from 2013. So, let's revisit the things I said would someday happen and see if I have made any of them come true, seven years later.

2013 Carissa, some day she would:

Finish a bottle of shampoo, or tube of mascara
I hate to make the effort to scrape out the last bits, so I always just move on to the next bottle.
Too much work.
Can confirm: still true in 2020

Stop using the word 'commercialing'
My mom tells me it's not a real word, but I just don't believe it quite yet.
Ok so I understand this is not a real word - like, I can't deny it anymore but have I stopped using it? No. 

Be able to swallow a pill without gagging.
I swear I'm 26.
'Bout to turn 33 and this is still a problem. I'm better if it's tablets but like, any type of herbal anything in a capsule is troublesome because they float to the roof of your mouth and then you can feel them and it's all downhill from there.

Tell the server my order is wrong
I hate confrontation, so in the meantime I'll just eat this hamburger with the mustard on it anyway.
In 2020 it totally depends on the situation and how confident I'm feeling that day. Dunkin Donuts has messed up my coffee order SO. MANY. TIMES. that I feel pretty comfortable returning it to the barista and kindly reminding them that what they handed me is literally not even remotely close to what I actually ordered. I'm lying actually, it's usually just me being like "umm hi yes actually I think umm maybe perhaps this might not be almond milk could you maybe just like, double check that for me I'm so sorry."

Quit biting my nails
Unlikely, but maybe.
I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never not bite my nails. 

Be right and my husband will be wrong.
It has to happen at some point in our lives right?
Nate tried telling me once that you cast a "PatronUM." I said no, you cast a "PatronUS" by using the spell "Expecto Patronum." And obviously I was right because I am always right about Harry Potter things. 

Remember how to spell 'definitely' without spell-check fixing it for me every time
"Definitely" is still problematic in 2020.

Find a pillow that doesn't hurt my neck or give me a pillow headache every morning
Ok I think I have finally succeeded. I HAVE THIS. I have a comfortable pillow, you guys. HOORAY for progress!

Take a selfie
I just can't get past the awkwardness yet.
I don't post selfies for the public because that still feels very awkward but I do however, send lots of selfies via snapchat or text messaging to friends and family. It's typically a selfie of me making an inquisitive face, asking the recipient if it's too early to drink wine.

Learn HTML

Have a clear vision and direction for my life plan
For now I'm still just trying to find the free food, and use my Student ID for as long as I can. 
I mean, I have a steady job and I'm very comfortable with the state of my life in my thirties but free food is always going to be a priority. Student ID still sitting comfortably in my wallet, on deck and ready for action when called upon.

I should've known back in 2013 that most of these things were part of my DNA and there would be no overcoming them. I set myself up for failure, really. But hey, at least now I don't wake up with pillow headaches. 

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Currently: January Edition

I saw a meme on the internet once that said "please take your Apple Watch off if you are wearing a dress or formal attire. You look like a spy kid," and I think about that a lot. Is "spy kid chic" the look that I usually go for? No. But if I don't wear my watch then I don't get my steps counted and if my steps aren't counted then I can't watch my little spinny-activity-ring-thingy light up at the end of the day and if I can't see that then why have I bothered to get out bed at all today, right?

Anyway, January is nearing its end so let's talk about what we're currently into...and when I say "we" I really mean me since this is my blog post and these are the things I am currently doing, but sometimes at work I use "we" instead of "you" to make people feel like we're really in this together, you know? Like yes, YOU need to complete this report by noon but I'm gonna say "we" to show a united front kind of a thing, you know what I mean?

Wow I am off to a really rambley start today.

Currently, I am:

Watching: Cheer, on Netflix
No spoilers please, because I am not all the way through yet but OH MY GOSH this show is warming my ever loving former cheerleader little heart. I'm loving everything about this show so far - the storylines, the athletes (yes I said ATHLETES because Cheerleaders are athletes and we can fight if anyone wants to say otherwise), and the camera work and editing is just SO well done.

Drinking: Whipped Buttercream coffee creamer
Not like, by itself obvi, but with my coffee. I love the Natural Bliss creamers and the Hazelnut flavor has always been my go-to but I saw this in the store last week and decided to give it a try and it is *chef's kiss.

Reading: To All the Boys I've Loved Before series, by Jenny Han
I guess technically I am not currently reading them anymore because I tore through all three books in a matter of one week because I just could not put them down - but I'm putting them on this list anyway. (So Jennica if you're reading this, oops sorry I read way ahead and now I need you to finish books 2 and 3 stat so we can discuss k thx). These books were so fun to read and So. Damn. Charming. I swooned the whole way through. If you love young love, read these. "To All the Boys..." is now a Netflix Original movie and "PS I Still Love You" will be out on Netflix on February 12th and I CANNOT WAIT.

Trying: Goli apple cider vinegar gummies
You guys, I'm pretty sure I am corporate America's marketing dream because all it took for me to spend my money on apple cider vinegar gummies was one measley Instagram ad in my feed. I have never seen this brand or this item ever before but somehow, at six in the morning whilst drinking coffee and procrastinating my morning workout, I felt compelled to make this purchase. Note to self: quit scrolling through Instagram until you've finished all your coffee and won't make impulse buys. But nonetheless, they were promising me all the benefits of an apple cider vinegar shot plus super food infusions and other fancy nutritious things without the gross taste and smell of apple cider vinegar. So far I am enjoying them and can attest that they do in fact taste good, and fruity, and don't smell like a sour foot!

Loving: this meme
I saw this on Instagram and sent it to my coworkers because it seemed really appropriate for a lot of the shenz we deal with regularly. In fact, I loved it so much I printed it out and taped it up on the wall where we sit. That way, when folks come traipsing down to the Compliance department, happy as a clam tryna come at us with their same 'ol nonsense we can just point to the sign on the wall. Not today, Finance - get in the pond. Nope, not happening, Contracting - get in the pond. Go. Get in. 

K gotta go - gotta go watch another episode of Cheer before it's my bedtime! 

What are you currently into right now?!

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

New Year, New Brain Dump!

Hello friends and happy New Year! 2020 is upon us and my little Swiftie heart would be remiss if I didn't kindly remind you that "it was the end of a decade, but the start of an age." Actually I saw this on the internet the other day and I really feel like I missed an opportunity here:
But alas, here we are in 2020, a couple weeks late. I did not complete any 2019 wrap-ups, or favorites, or decade in review-type posts that any good blogger would have done, but I have the self awareness to realize I am not a good blogger and this is just a hobby so it's all ok. Also because I'm just bad at picking favorites. Although off the top of my head, easy, lightening round favorites of 2019 include:

Favorite book: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Read it, love it, cherish it, and then go watch the movie coming out this year. And then reread it again.

Favorite Album: Lover, by Taylor Swift (duh)
1st runner up: Hollywood's Bleeding by Post Malone
Never would I ever have thought I'd love a Post Malone album but this album is FYRE, as the kids say.

Favorite Show: New Girl
This show has been off the air for a while but I started re-watching it on Netflix this year and it is so damn funny. My favorite show, 2nd only to The Office. Watch it, love it, then watch it again and again and again.

So there we go, quick and dirty favorite things of 2019. I did it. I'm a good blogger now.

So anyway, usually I am one of those people that is like, raring to go at the prospect of a new year and a new start and making plans and planning goals and all that good stuff however, this year it has been kind of slow-go for me.

Firstly, I was really really sad to see Christmas go and I was a little mopey for a few days there feeling sorry for myself without a Christmas tree and twinkly lights. Then, I was too lazy to grocery shop last weekend thereby, leaving me still with holiday treats and leftovers to eat. THEN, due to my December habits of staying up until 2 in the morning to read books or watch Hallmark movies, I was physically unable to go to sleep at a decent hour this week and thus, subsequently unable to wake up early and work out. I didn't even get my planner set up for January until last week. Life is rough coming back from a blissful December, you guys.
But we're here, we're doing it, we're easing into 2020 and after re-establishing some normal sleep patterns this week I think I might be back to 100% ready to tackle 2020. I grocery shopped today and even met up with my old friend the produce section.

Actually wait before we get too far into 2020, can I show you how cute my dad and I were on Christmas Eve? Look, we matched:
On a scale of 1-10 for daddy/daughter preciousness this is a full on 10, am I right?

So yeah, if you haven't noticed by now this a brain dump of a post to try and get back into the blogging groove after a semi-successful Blogmas, so thank you for sticking with me through this mess of a post. I've missed sitting at my desk with my twinkle lights and my Christmas Harry Potter ASMR, and a candle to just blog it out you know? I especially miss this desk set-up that I tried to make cozy and Christmas-y to write all my Blogmas posts, see:
Frosted Cranberry candle still going strong, but RIP to my garland lights packed away in a tote in my garage until next year. 

One thing I love about brain dump posts is that I don't need to be concerned about making a transition when I want to change the subject - I just change the subject. So let's talk about how my GoodReads reading goal for 2019 was to read 20 books in the year and I finished the year with 22. BLADOW! I got a nice little book haul for Christmas, set my 2020 reading goal to 30 (!!) and so far I've read two books in January: Well Met by Jen Deluca, and the Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Do I read too many romantic comedies? Yes, but I can't help it I just really love them. Is one of my goals for 2020 to read a more diverse array of books? Also yes. So hit me with your book recommendations, peeps!

Did anyone watch the Golden Globes? I did not because I don't care about them and also, I hate celebrity culture. However, I was on Twitter casually scrolling when I noticed Ricky Gervais was trending. My curiosity got the best of me and upon further research, my eyes and ears were blessed with the opening Monologue of said Ricky Gervais, and his dropping of the hammer on Hollywood Hypocrisy. Please watch and enjoy the self aggrandizing celebrities squirm in their seats.

"...So if you do win an award tonight, don't use it as a platform to make a political speech. You're in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your god, and f**k off OK?"

PSA: I don't know who needs to hear this but there is currently a Harry Potter movie marathon on the SYFY channel.

Also, to close the loop on this blog post - "it was the end of a decade, but the start of an age" is a lyric from a Taylor Swift song and I realize I also put this in my Christmas letter to family and friends (am I extra, for this? Maybe.) and people may not understand. So please enjoy, "Long Live" by Taylor Swift:

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