Birthday Bartender

Hey coffee fiends. It has been forever since we talked! Rachel has been doing an excellent job of manning the ship while I’ve been away figuring out some life stuff. In case you’re behind, her last few posts are pretty incredible! Click any of these links to get caught up on the happenings here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee:

How to Move in Three Days

Today, My Favorite Holiday!

Today, however, I wanted to touch back to her previous article from this past Tuesday. Tuesday was my birthday!! I turned 27! (Have no fear, my students took care to remind me that I’m only a few years away from 30 years old.) My birthday has been being celebrated all week, starting this past Sunday.

Sunday, my boyfriend took me to my favorite Mexican street food place: Tijuana Flats. Mexican food is my favorite, which is a cruel twist of fate, considering I’m allergic to peppers (specifically, the capsaicin oil they produce) AND cilantro. Do you know what two ingredients are most common in all types of Mexican food??? Do you??? Yeah, you see my pain. Tijuana Flats gives me the ability to enjoy my favorite flavors without all of that. Plus, their queso is to die for.

Here me now, peeps: QUESO IS LIFE! End of story.

Monday night, I was gifted with the best gifts. I received the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One-Phase Three, a gorgeous black and white tapestry (with a perfect red accent), and A TORTILLA BLANKET. Guys!!!!! I get to be an actual human burrito. My life is so cozy and wonderful. My boyfriend absolutely killed it.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, my boyfriend killed it again by bringing me Chick-Fil-A for lunch with lemonade. One of my students brought me chocolates while another brought me candy bars– a theme that has continued all week, with me receiving candy from students every day so far. To my absolute surprise, my parents, who had already given me wonderful gifts, sent me half a dozen long-stemmed red roses with 7 balloons to celebrate that I turned 27! This was accompanied by a box of Turtle chocolates (my favorite). The roses are blooming beautifully on my kitchen counter.

This week also marked the beginning of one journey and the end of another…

First, the ending. For the past three weeks, I’ve been waiting to hear back on a job. After an interesting series of phone calls and emails, I’ve accepted a position at a local public school here in Indianapolis. I will be teaching Earth-Space Science to Juniors and Seniors, with a hopeful return next year to teaching Biology. That said, I will not be returning to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired next fall.

My time at ISBVI was a chapter in my life I will always cherish. My students and their quirks taught me so much about teaching and about myself– as an instructor, as a woman, and as a human being. While I am leaving my position as the high school science teacher, I am not severing ties with the school or the community surrounding it. The friendships I have made will persevere, I will still volunteer and be involved, and I will continue to go to graduation until all of the students I have had in class graduate.

My life, currently.

My newest journey began on Monday: BARTENDING SCHOOL! I’ve been attending night classes for bartending every day this week. It’s been a wild ride, with a quiz every night. The midterm would be tonight, but this is Race weekend and we are all too busy. Honestly, I’m having so much fun I don’t even care that I’m exhausted. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be working the bar at the Indy 500. Fingers crossed!

I’m really excited about bartending. It’s going to be so much fun. I’ve been taking classes with a close friend, a fellow teacher that I did my student teaching alongside. She’s amazing and as of yesterday, plans to be my future occasional wine tasting partner! I’ll convert her yet!!

Birthday week is ending with a bang: the end of Game of Thrones is this Sunday. Tune in to see who survives.

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes I’ve received over the past week. You’re amazing.

On my lips: Cherry Chapstick

In my cup: Vanilla Coca-Cola

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

Return from Hiatus

Good evening followers, friends, and family. If you follow us on Facebook, you saw that we took a brief hiatus in light of the recent Notre Dame tragedy. Our, and specifically my, heart was in Paris. And in Paris it has stayed for the past few days… where it has relived beautiful memories and mourned the history and heritage destroyed by the flames.

When I was sixteen, I had the good fortune and parental push to become a People to People student ambassador. This journey took me from the Netherlands, through Belgium, on to France, and finally England.

We began in Amsterdam, then Belgium. From Belgium we went to France. I fell in love with the harbor town of Honfleur, France. The sailboats passing by combined with the narrow cobbled streets of the town center to sweep me off my feet. I long for Honfleur, even now. I fondly recall the breeze in my hair as I sat along the water, laughing and flirting with my peers. Those people are still my friends (Josie and Sam, in particular). But even before I walked along those cobbled streets, I walked through the streets of Paris until my feet hurt and my legs were sore. Yet I wanted to keep walking. There was so much to see. I recall the way it felt to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to walk under the Arc de Triomphe, and to see, with utter disappointment, the true size of the Mona Lisa within the Louvre.

Let me prepare you if you go: The real Mona Lisa is only 30 inches tall and just under 21 inches wide. And under glass, and roped off so you can’t get close. HUGE LET DOWN.

But one thing I remember vividly about Paris is the Notre Dame Cathedral. I remember the way you can see it from the streets below and how desperately I wanted to be there. I remember staring at the stained glass windows and the spire, so beautiful and intricate, in wonder. Then I walked inside. And while there is so much to see within Notre Dame, I was in awe of the energy of the space. You see, I’ve always found myself particularly reverent of places of worship that have seen many generations pass through their doors. Prayer seems to leave it’s mark on a place, and in this place, I prayed several prayers of my own.

Photo of Monday’s fire, NBC News.

This past Monday, that beautiful spire and that reverent space burned. Reporters said it was like a giant torch, the way the flames leapt from it’s ceiling before the eventual collapse. And when I heard the news, sitting in my bed after staying home sick all day… I wept. I sobbed for the loss of Notre Dame, listening as reporters described the scene. I sobbed as videos of the flames began showing up online and a part of my heart fell with that spire. And when the crowd began singing Ave Maria as she burned, with men and women falling to their knees praying and weeping, I joined them, sobbing and praying from over 4,000 miles away. Even now, I write these words to you in tears.

Nearly 1000 years of history, gone in an instant. Did you know that every beam of that roof was carved from a different tree, by hand? Did you know that the cornerstone of Notre Dame was laid in 1163? Medieval trees in that ceiling, the stories they could tell if we’d just listened. Gone. My mother was born in Paris, on an American Army Base, in 1962. My grandmother didn’t get to to go the top of the Eiffel Tower, because she was pregnant. But she did go to Notre Dame. And I have stood beneath those same beams as several hundred generations before me. But my mother will not. Her grandchildren will not. And for that loss, dear readers, words cannot truly convey my grief. Even though millions have been promised for the reconstruction effort it will take years, and it will never, ever, be the same. I don’t know if my mother and I will even get to visit the bandaged Notre Dame when we go, and we will go, because reconstruction will take so long.

My heart is broken. My tears are still flowing.

Praying for Paris, once again.

On my lips: Burt’s Bees Original Beeswax Lip Balm

In my cup: Water

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

Espresso yourself.

Lipstick Stain… and Coffee

Occasionally, I’m struck by a moment of genius: a tiny piece of stardust lodges itself in my brain in just the right way at just the right time and “VIOLA!” an idea is born. The morning prep time of May 8th of 2017 was such a moment. As I settled into my classroom, I took a sip out of my brand new bright yellow RTIC tumbler (a early birthday gift from one of my favorite humans) and looked down to see a perfect, colorful lipstick stain. I snapped a picture, sent it to that particular human, and posted it to my Instagram with the caption “Lipstick stains and coffee. That about sums up my whole life.”

And so it was that Lipstick Stains and Coffee was born.

When all else fails, make a silly face and get on with your day.
The photo you see above was taken approximately 30 seconds after the one at the top of the post. That awesome lipstick? Yeah, it was on my cup. That facial expression made my favorite human laugh, which is all that really matters.

Hi, I’m Kristen, the founder of Lipstick Stains and Coffee. I run this site with my best friend: a gorgeous, inspiring, and sometimes infuriating Aries with the mouth of a sailor who always shares her opinions. Her name is Rachel. You’ll get to know her soon enough.

I’m the girl you’ll find hiding away with Netflix and a predictable cop drama (right now, it’s Blue Bloods). They’re the best kind of shows to follow while scrolling on your phone and offer the promise of the good guys winning. We could all use a little more of that. I model my napping habits after my cat, a sassy Ragdoll named Rosie. She naps with me so long as I promise to pretend her dog siblings (teacup chihuahua named Pavlov and a black lab named Harvey) don’t exist.

Here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee we believe in constantly challenging ourselves. On some days, that can be as simple as getting out of bed and adulting (though admittedly, I often find myself wishing I had an “adultier” adult around to help me wing it a little better…). Other days, that can mean completing a third Master’s degree. We’re…. crazy gluttons for punishment tenacious like that. We’ve agreed that some of the best moments of our lives happen just outside our comfort zones.

Have that second, or fifth, cup of coffee.

We’ll even join you.

Welcome to our experiment in beating Murphy’s law.

As will be the tradition here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee, each author, guest or staff, will tell you what’s on their lips and in their cup.

On my lips: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

In my cup: Starbuck’s Iced White Chocolate Mocha with almond milk, 4 pumps of caramel sauce, 4 pumps of mocha sauce, and extra mocha drizzle.