Today, My Favorite Holiday!

You may be wondering what holiday is today. It is none other than my best friend’s birthday! My co-writer, Kristen, turns 27 today. Now you may think it is odd that I call someone else’s birthday my favorite holiday. I LOVE celebrating other people. I love finding THE perfect gift, making them something special, planning something for them, really whatever I can do.

Birthdays are always a big deal in my family. We celebrate, we have a meal, we do presents. But we don’t do cake. Most of my family members, including me, are not dessert eaters, but especially not cake eaters. This is a shame because I make spectacular cakes. Ask Kristen. 7 years ago (WOW HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG) she was driving to stay with me for the summer on her birthday, and I posted on Facebook this cupcake cake I had made for her. It was one of my first attempts, as decorating is my weakness. Go ahead and judge me.

It says Happy 20 Birthday Kristen in a weird spiral. I posted it on Facebook while she was driving. She was still surprised cause she doesn’t Facebook and drive.

But this isn’t about me or my cake decorating skills. This post is all about Kristen. So to celebrate her I’m going to tell you more about her. When I met Kristen, I immediately began calling her our college campus’ “Resident Gorgeous”. Now, pro tip, flattery only gets you so far with Kristen. From there, we became fast friends bonding over so many things. She’s my Bambi and I’m her Thumper. I’ll let her tell you that story though. Kristen has been through HELL with me and I’ve been through hell with her. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

I’m going to keep this post short, sweet, and to this point. Kristen is one of my favorite people on this whole planet. She will tell you like it is and be there for you when it falls apart. She will hold you through anything. She never says I told you so (unless it’s about a good thing). She is smart, talented, caring, AND beautiful. She’s the whole package and I love her so much. Kristen, I love you so much. Anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend…or an author for your favorite blog.

Proof of not only how beautiful she is, but how perfect we are as a team. I used to go with her to model and adjust her pose and surroundings to allow her to bring out her killer personality.

Leave Kristen birthday wishes below. Also, give me tips on how to send her belated birthday bakes via mail, because she lives too far away.

On my lips: the taste of whiskey- it’s been that kind of day.

In my cup: Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Small Batch

How to Move in 3 days

Good afternoon my fellow caffeine addicts! I’m here today to explain to you how for the…third time in my life I’ve moved in 3-4 days. Before I do, you need a little context. I moved a lot as a kid. I do mean a lot. We were always moving on to a new house, a new school district, a new job. I never stayed at one school for more than 3 years. I have moved at least 17 times in my life not including moving in and out of college dorms. That averages to moving about one and a half times every year.

Because I moved so much as a kid, I don’t have a lot of stuff. You can ask Kristen or my husband, or really anyone who ever lived with me. I actually recommend you ask my mother, because she’ll take credit for it. So let me skip on to my practical advice for people who aren’t as…minimalist as me.

What my husband looked like on Saturday, after my part of the moving was done.

1. Logistics, logistics, logistics.

In a quick move the hardest part is figuring out the logistics. If you can afford it, hire professional packers and/or movers. Either way, keep reading.

  • How are you going to move? Find a friend with a truck and a trailer, or rent a u-haul immediately.
  • Who is going to move you? If you only pay for one thing, I recommend you pay for movers. Otherwise, call all your friends, post on social media, be that annoying person asking for help moving. I recommend you at least buy them food and supply water.
  • What are you forgetting? Get your utilities turned on, schedule a move in appointment, get moving supplies, figure out a plan for your animals.
Listing your things for sale online when you’re a minimalist.

2. List everything for sale that you don’t need or want to take with you ASAP.

How do I decide what to sell?

  • Look at what you KNOW you don’t need. I was moving from a 3 bed 2 bath home to a 2 bed 2 bath apartment. The washer and dyer were provided where I was going. So I took a few photos, looked around Facebook Marketplace, and put them slightly below market average. They sold the same day.
  • Look at what you haven’t used in however long since you last moved. I purged a lot of clothes. With clothes you can try selling them online, with several apps that have developed like Poshmark, or take them to a consignment store and try your best there. I recommend everyone do this. Use the money to buy clothes you will actually wear.
  • Look at the things that are still in boxes. Almost all of us have a storage room or a closet or a back room with boxes we never unpacked. Either make a plan to use or display them, or sell them. This is how I decided to sell my porcelain dolls that I collected with my grandmother as a child.

3. The Cliche Organization Method…but it’s all trash.

  • Before you do anything else, go through your entire house with trash bags. Throw all the obvious trash that piles up away.
  • Go through all the stacks of paper. If it is important, put it in a folder or binder with a label. If it isn’t, it’s trash.
  • If something has missing parts, pieces, or is broken (try not to lie to yourself about fixing it) it is trash.
  • For the cliche part, grab boxes AND trash bags. Put trash in the trash bag, put items you no longer want that aren’t trash in a donate bag or box. Drive your donations somewhere so you aren’t moving them. Pack the rest.
  • As you are going through everything and moving furniture you will find more trash….THROW IT AWAY.
  • If you haven’t seen it in months and your heart doesn’t immediately leap when you find it, it’s trash.

Your instinct may be to hold on to things, but packing is easier if you accept your trash. Say it with me, THROW. IT. AWAY! Let me add, I encourage donating and recycling as much as you can. I’m just encouraging you to reconsider what you keep.

A realistic depiction of my trash and donate pile

4. How to ACTUALLY Pack Everything Quickly

  • Pack by category then by room. Start with bookcases, shelves, and closets. Categories that pack easily. Pack the rooms you don’t use as often like spare bedrooms, garage, or office. I save the kitchen and the bedroom for the last day. The only things you should be packing on the last day are bathroom necessities, medications, and bedding.
  • Label EVERY box with the contents and the room you want it placed in on moving day. Write in big if it is heavy or fragile on the top and at least one side.
  • Put all heavier items in smaller boxes and lighter items in big boxes so you don’t hurt yourself or your moving help.
  • Take breaks, but then get back to packing. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but at the same time, moving quickly requires you to maintain a consistent pace. Take breaks only to breathe, sit for a bit, eat, go to the bathroom, and sleep. I recommend taking showers and bathing to help with the pain and relax for a bit.
  • Stage your place as you go. This means moving all your furniture and boxes into a centralized location. This allows you to know more clearly what is left to pack and…drumroll please…throw away!
A photo of the box wall I made before moving on Saturday. This is almost all of the boxes used for our house. Ask me how many boxes we couldn’t unpack because we didn’t have space?

Moving can be stressful, but hopefully this helps. Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I prefer to move in about a week. any longer, and I stress out more. Maybe, you can do this too.

For our regular readers, for the first time ever, I did complete NaPoWriMo. Even with all this moving and changing jobs I managed to complete 30 poems in thirty days. I want to give y’all and Kristen the credit for my continued dedication and motivation. While there won’t be more poems, we have plenty planned for you this month.

On my lips: Twisted Kiss

In my Batman Mug: Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Black Tea

An Exercise in Building Sand Castles

Happy Friday Eve to all our coffee chuggers and tea sippers. Someday we will make an official poll and settle this tea vs. coffee debate permanently. Until that day we will continue to live by the “Why not both?” philosophy brought to us by that adorable girl in that commercial for that product I can’t remember right now.

This week I was discussing sand castles with a very dear friend, Mitch, after I felt like my life plan (my sand castle) was ruined in one message. I pointed out that we don’t build build sand castles thinking they will become houses we can live in. We know they are going to wash away, even if we didn’t believe our parents when they told us the first time. We build them just because. We take the moment to create art and have fun without worrying about the consequences.

Mitch poignantly said, “I have learned that sometimes you have to let go of what you once wanted to be able to get something better. Appreciate your sand castle for the joy it brings you today but don’t be afraid to let your castle of sand wash away when it’s time to build a house to live in.”

This meant more than he realized at the time, because ever since this verse has laid heavy on my heart. Matthew 7:24-7:27 ‘“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”’

I finally broke down two days ago and had myself a deep cry. My therapist called it guttural. Many people close to me have asked me what it was about, and honestly, it took me a while to figure it out. I felt completely out of control with my life. I felt like I was stuck in the same rut I’ve been in for a while.

Life is all about seasons. I am in a season of letting go. I feel like life is trying to teach me a hard lesson on not holding things too tightly. I am learning that letting go looks like losing things, making choices, ending relationships, and facing everything that makes you anxious in life all at once. I am a bit of a control freak and this month I have lost my job and a long term friendship (not Kristen, she’s forever).

I’ve been holding so tightly to so many things in my life, the good, the bad, and there has been bad aplenty. I take things people do very personally. Actually, I take most things personally. When life wants you to learn something, it gives you a ton of opportunities before it just hits you in the face over and over again till you get what’s going on.

I thought I was going to be stuck in this season indefinitely, not realizing that instead I am building my home brick by brick. Even as my seasons change, I am working on a foundation that can support me through them. I am starting to see these bricks in life. I went to an interview this week, and I got the job the very next day. Since then, things seem to be getting slowly better over time.

My mom gave me a piece of advice I have heard a million times over, “Things will work themselves out in time.” I want to modify that, because there is a core reason I don’t believe that. Things will work themselves out in time if you work too. Sometimes what you get is completely unexpected, better, or even just different. I am not in the same rut I was in a year ago. I haven’t been stuck in one rut for a while. I’ve been moving ever forward, and I hope you are too.

On my lips: treStique mini lip glaze

In my mug (pictured above): Sleepytime Extra

The Police and the Five-Pound Terror

Good evening lipstick wearers and tea sharers! I have quite the tale for you today. You see, last night my back yard was broken into and I had to call the police. My German shepherd first alerted me yesterday while my husband was talking to me on his way home. I told him I had to go investigate.

When I got outside, I saw…a Yorkshire terrier running back and forth across the fence line trying to get out before sticking it’s head through my chain link fence. I’m sure you are wondering how the police got involved. Well, you see, when I tried to remove this poor pup from the fence, it bit me and managed to pierce the skin. I walked barefoot around the neighborhood banging on doors and trying to find its owner, but I had no luck. So I called animal control after hours and was transferred to the police.

In case YOU’VE never had to call the police to tell them you were bitten by a Yorkshire terrier my husband dubiously named the five-pound terror, let me tell you about it. They laughed. Everyone I told this story to, except animal control, laughed. Eventually the puppy was caught and taken away, but she had no collar so I still had to go to urgent care, who laughed. I’m trying not to die from tetanus or rabies and deeply traumatized [sarc].

Because I mentioned her, meet my German shepherd, Nalah.

Th-th-th-th-th-that’s All Folks! You guys, know I’m cheesy by now, right?! I hope I’ve entertained you enough for today. Please leave a like for my pain and suffering, a comment with your own nicknames for the adorable Yorkie, and follow for more stories like this one.

On my lips: JaeLea Cosmetics “Batch 19”

In my cup: Dr. Pepper because it can’t always be tea, though I’ll be brewing my nightly cup soon.

Looking into the Past: Anniversary Edition

Well, well, well. How are my fellow mug huggers and caffeine chuggers? I hear my gorgeous Kristen has spilled the beans for me. Yes, today it has been one year since I married my high school sweetheart, Jaymes. Let me tell you, while we’ve known each other for 10 years, 1 month, and 5 days, we haven’t been together for all that time. (Before you look at me sideways, I am the weirdo that remembers the exact date we met.) There’s a limit to what I will share with you, but what I will say is this is our third, and hopefully, final go around at this whole being together thing.

Y’all this man really really loves me. – Photo Credit Redwoods Photography

While I’m not advocating everyone go get back with their ex, Jaymes is the love of my life and no matter what I did everything always brought me back to him. I know, I know. That sounds like some cheesy line in a pop song or a romance novel, but it’s true. No part of that was easy though. The thing I’ve learned from my first year of marriage is simple: Talk It Out. That thing you don’t want to be vulnerable about, or are too scared to say, talk about it. That fight you are having or feelings you are stewing with, talk about it.

Kristen took this photo of me during a lake trip the second time we dated.

As is tradition, we took our wedding cake out of the freezer and tried it. Honestly, it was surprisingly delicious. It was so beautiful we didn’t want to eat it. Once we started we became barbarians eating with our hands, but that pretty much sums up our marriage.

On my lips: Twisted Kisses, Kiss Me Twice because it’s my favorite

In my husband’s Batman mug: Celestial Seasonings “Sleepytime Extra” with honey

When Mine Becomes Ours

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I am a tea drinker. This is not Tea Drinkers Anonymous, because let’s be honest, tea drinkers will never admit they have a problem. We just have boxes and bags of different kinds of leaves that we swear can cure any ailment, real or imaginary. AND YOU MUST TRY THEM ALL! This meme really encapsulates the debate Kristen and I have about this constantly.

And honestly, who doesn’t love rainbow sprinkles?…Oh wait, ME!

I met Kristen in college. Her then boyfriend brought her over to me and my high school best friend and introduced her to us. I immediately said, “You must be our resident gorgeous.” You might think that is the moment we became best friends for life, but in truth it happened months later when we realized our lives mirror each other in a very real way, both good and bad. We call it twinning, and you’ll come to see it over time as well.

Kristen is our resident gorgeous, and I’m the resident cute.

Let me tell you some of the important bits. I am the girl you’ll find nestled under a tree in the park with a notebook or holed up in her office clacking her keyboard. I spent more time cuddling my cat than I do my husband, but I spoil him infinitely more. I have the most intelligent, talented, beautiful, and vicious best friend in the world, Kristen.

We are both lived examples of Murphy’s Law. But beyond that, we also hold the belief that with proper preparation we have the chance to break the law. We are here to prove it.

We have no recent photos together. So, you get this old bitstrip that is April Fools’ appropriate.

Kristen is the founder of this blog. We recently reconnected, extending our almost ten-year relationship, and she convinced me to put my love of writing to actual use. We have always planned to start our own empire and hope this is just the beginning.

I hope I’ve at least caught your attention. So as will become our tradition I will tell you my lipstick and tea of the day. You should know, despite the name, I don’t drink coffee…very often.

On my lips: LAQA & CO. Prickly Pear PH Gloss

In my “Yoda Obi-Wan for Me” Mug: Yogi Kava Blend tea