I am a golden bowl of weird.

It's not a secret that I don't always make the best of choices. 

I set off fire alarms just by boiling water.

I trip over my own feet. 

I say ridiculous things when the situation gets awkward and uncomfortable, which inevitably just makes the situation even more awkward and uncomfortable.

My body is all messed up due to a birth defect.

I'm smart about some things, but not most things. 

I don't know how cars work and driving gives me anxiety. 

Most things give me anxiety. 

I'm basically just constantly making a fool of myself. 

And so one would think that I'd be super down for fixing all of these things.

But the truth is, I'm not so much interested in fixing these things as I am in finding a way to balance them. 

Because I like me and I don't want to become one of those people who is constantly at peace with myself.

World peace? Yes, please.

Inner peace? 

Don't get me wrong: I want to fix some things. The physical stuff can be a real drag. I hate having monthly migraines and the fact that my hips always hurt, so I try to do yoga every day - I even like the meditation part of it a lot, so I'm not dragging on that at all. 

But I also think that part of that whole narrative of self-care which has become so buzzy these past few years is not so much about learning to "be better" and more at peace and all "ommy" all the time, but to just love your dang self - not in a "look at me I'm so awesome" kind of way, but in a "I ENJOY BEING AROUND MYSELF EVEN THOUGH I'M WEIRD BECAUSE WEIRD IS FUN" kind of way. 

And it's not that I'm not constantly trying to be a better person or version of myself. I'm constantly improving. 

I just don't think that I need fixing. 

Maybe instead we should treat ourselves like one of those Japanese Kintsugi bowls where when it breaks, people just put the pieces back together by filling in the fractured bits with a special gold lacquer, thus making the bowl even prettier than it was before. All because it was broken.

I'm weird and anxious and I use cartoon-like voices to express myself.

I talk to my dogs (and I believe they talk back through me).

I have irrational fears of sharks in pools.

I know that my toilet is haunted, which is a thing that excites me rather than scares me although it probably should because ghosts possessing you through your toilet bits is VERY concerning.

My body is screwed up and I'm working on that.

I often go down rabbit holes of trying to live a zero waste life only to end up accumulating a bunch of trash. 

This is who I am. 

And if I wasn't that, then what the heck would I write about?

Homemade yogurt recipes that you can freeze in your old toilet paper rolls to make your own push-pops probably... but doesn't the internet have enough of those? 

I'll probably only be happy if I'm naked and living in the forest at this point: A rant.

I've been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is "cruelty free" (which means that it doesn't test on animals, not that it doesn't perpetuate the idea that if I don't wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I'm told) and when whatever it is that I'm buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN' HERO SHOPPER.

via GIPHY

Of course, it's hard when you're on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It's the lesser of two evils (lookin' at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl's got rent to pay.

Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren't owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn't want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it's Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other.  ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:

-IS IT ORGANIC?

-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?

-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?

-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?

-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT'S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it's gotten to such extremes that I'm starting to maybe go overboard?  For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:

Me: So. I had an idea.

The Mr: ...uh oh.

Me: No, it's a good one!

The Mr: ...okay.

Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*

The Mr: ...yeah...

Me: WELL -- one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!

I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.

The Mr: ...

Me: I'm going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!

The Mr: ...those fabrics don't match.

Me: I CAN'T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.

 

via GIPHY


Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE

 


What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?


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"SCATTER!" -My Brain.

My Bestbian is on her way to visit me from Boston RIGHT NOW and I am beyond excited because I haven't seen her since my wedding day (which was sadly the day I married someone other than her. Damn you, sexuality!)

We have MUCH catching up to do, so forgive me if this post is a little frazzled. Afterall, she now has to get to know me as a married lady and not her awesome, super hot single friend.

Just kidding. I've always been a married lady - I just only got the spouse recently.

Anyway, The Mr is yelling at me without using his words right now because the house needs to be cleaned just a little bit more before Bestbian arrives. I realize that sounds confusing, but it is possible to yell without actually using any sounds from your body. Basically, he's just walking around cleaning, but he's doing it really loudly, and history has taught me that this means "PLEASE GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND HELP ME PREPARE FOR YOUR FRIEND."

Or maybe he's just really passionate about cleaning?

Anyway, I should probably go... but to make up for this very scattered blog post, I'll be doing a live Q&A on Sunday night at 8pmEST for public #SundaySupdates! You should totally join me.

Also, here's a cute picture of my puppy who is definitely not this small anymore and is definitely trying to steal a sip of my vodka tonic as I write this. YOU'RE TOO YOUNG, ALOY.


#SundaySupdates, a live Q&A I do WHILST COOKING, is live and public this Sunday at 8pm! Most Sundays it’s just for the Patreon people, but the last Sunday of every month, I open it up to ALL OF YOU! Can’t make it? Post a question in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #SundaySupdates and I’ll answer it during the livestream!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

So... THIS HAPPENED. 

....WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!

In equally unsettling news, #SundaySupdates, a live Q&A I do WHILST COOKING, is live and public this Sunday at 8pm! Most Sundays it's just for the Patreon people, but the last Sunday of every month, I open it up to ALL OF YOU! Can't make it? Post a question in the comments and I'll answer it during the livestream!

Unless I black out and murder myself by then.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FISH.

A conversation I had with The Mr as we were getting into bed: Me: Do you think fish ever get headaches?

The Mr: I'm sorry, 'do fish get headaches?'

Me: Or any animals, I suppose. Do animals get headaches?

The Mr: I've never really thought about it.

Me: It must be so terrible to have a headache as an animal. I wonder what they do about it. Because it's not a life-or-death malady, is it? It's just an annoyance, but it can be so annoying that you can't do anything else... but I feel like animals don't really have that luxury, do they? They can't be like "Not tonight, I have a headache." or "I don't feel like hunting today, my head hurts," or on the flip side when one animal sees another animal out on the hunting grounds that isn't usually there, they're not like "Hey Steve, what are you doing out here today?" and then Steve has to be all "Oh, just seeking out some herbs for Julie. She's got a massive migraine," you know?

The Mr: I don't think that's how the animal kingdom works.

Me: Yeah, but you can't tell me that we're the only species that gets headaches.

The Mr: Well... most headaches are caused by dehydration, so... yeah, I'm sure animals get headaches.

Me: Okay, BUT WHAT ABOUT FISH?? They're never dehydrated.

The Mr: Good night, honey.

via GIPHY


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Just keep loving.

The news this weekend was difficult. I had a particularly hard time finding my sense of optimism on Saturday, but then I saw this tweet from The Bloggess, a woman who almost never fails to make me smile, and I felt the light in my heart get a bit brighter:  

And she's right. It seems that the jerks are the loudest in the room right now. But I want the change that. So, taking more notes from the fabulous Bloggess, I'm going to make a point today and for as long as I can to be Furiously Happy. To be Deafeningly Loving. To be Overwhelmingly Optimistic.

Because I refuse to let hate win. In fact, I refuse to let it think it even has a fighting chance.

Because just wait until you see what Love can do.


In other news, here is yesterday's #SundaySupdate video! The video got really laggy at some points and I'm not sure why, but the audio seemed to be doing just fine for the whole thing, so... hopefully all issues will be cleared next week. Enjoy!

 


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Love and Friends and Family and Mawwiage - A Guest Blog Post from Cole Campbell

Hello, friends! Over the next few weeks, I am away for my wedding and honeymoon, so I've invited some of my favorite writers to keep you entertained in my absence! Enjoy!! 


Hello everyone!

My name is Cole and I’m here to do a guest post for Emelie while she’s getting married and gallivanting off to Scotland for her honeymoon with Fiancé/Husband. (I’m not 100% sure where in the line up my post will fall so I’m being purposefully vague with times whether or not you’re reading this before or after she’s actually married. But hey, it kinda makes me feel like I’m in an episode of Doctor Who a wee bit. Yeah, I know that does not actually makes a whole lot of sense but let me have it, okay? Okay.)

ANYWAY!

When Emelie first asked me if I wanted to do a guest post for her I was like, “Sure! Of course! That’s Awesome! I’ll totally do that!” Then we hung up FaceTime, I thought for a short moment and was like, “CRAAAAAAAAAP WHY DID I SAY YES TO THAT?! I WRITE FICTION. I DON’T WRITE ABOUT MYSELF HOW WHAT WHY DO I DO THIIIIIIS?!”

I took some time to calm down.

Later, when I asked Emelie if she had any topic or idea she wanted me to cover, I was much more subtle about my trepidation (I hope). She responded with, essentially, “Lighthearted and fun is good but be yourself and do you!” I was like, “Thanks, that helps!” (Translation: That was not helpful AT ALL). I’m very much ad-libbing this from memory right now but you get the idea. So I started pondering. And I realized that recent events in my life combined with Emelie’s impending/already-happened nuptials mean a very specific topic is rattling pretty consistently around in my brain. And that, dear readers of a blog that is not mine, is Love and Friends, or the Family You Choose.

I mean, it’s not a shocking revelation or idea at all really but friends are just pretty freakin’ awesome, aren’t they? You meet someone and go: You, good person, are just amazing and I want you in my life forever, okay? Sometimes it’s a longer, slow process. Sometimes it’s snap-of-the-fingers quick. Emelie, for instance? She and I were friends for about a month(ish) before she moved out to Connecticut. And yet, despite time and distance we have become even closer. It just clicked. Insta! Done! Boom! Friends for life and there was little choice.

Except, technically, we did have a choice. We could not have skyped regularly, texted and kept in contact. We could have drifted apart and I wouldn’t have gotten excited updates about this guy she met, who became Boyfriend, wouldn’t have gotten an excited FaceTime reveal-of-the-ring when he became Fiancé and wouldn’t be going to/have been at (seriously this not knowing where in time my article is existing is CONFUSING) their wedding to see him become HUSBAND.

We made a choice to be friends. To be Family By Choice. AND THAT IS A TRULY AWESOME THING.

But seriously, though.

You meet certain people and they just stick to you like glue, or tree sap or those little foam packing peanuts, and they help you navigate life day by day whether they are in the same house, same town, or states or oceans away. Maybe they are family by blood, or maybe not. Maybe it was a romantic relationship that became a friendship, because you look at that person and go: The friendship at the heart of all this is too ridiculously valuable to set to the side and this is gonna hurt like nothing else but it’s worth it. Maybe you’ve known each other for more than a decade. Or maybe you just met. Connections between people are really, super-duper weird and random and varied I’ve found.

AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES THEM SO GOOD. LIKE DOGS AND CATS. (Don’t know if that makes any sense at all. It does in my brain).

I guess, basically, what I’m trying to say, (however badly, drawn-outly and incoherently) is to love the people in your life, that Family of Friends. Celebrate them in the every day because that is where they are rooted, in their weirdness, in their flaws, in their strengths and all the reasons you love them unconditionally.

And if they are someone who does the same back, keep them around, okay? So that one day, when you’re old, you can sit on a porch, with a nice breeze wafting by, rocking in your rocking chairs, and crack dirty jokes and trade bad puns because you’re still as awkward, nerdy, awesome and in love with each other as you were in your twenties (or whenever it was you met).

Because I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty amazing future to me.


Cole is a writer and bookseller with a background in theatre based out of northeast Ohio. He (controversially) does not drink coffee but loves tea, hiking, and animals of all kinds. You can read/see what he's up to @colehcampbell (Twitter) and @colehollander (instagram).

 

 


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It's snowing and I'm happy.

Hello friends!! It's snowing like crazy here in Connecticut today and Gio, Fiancé and I are in absolute heaven. The fact that I don't have to go into work and that I've been pouring baileys into my coffee all morning (a snow day tradition in our household) might be contributing to this feeling of euphoria, but STOP JUDGING ME I'M GOING TO BUILD A SNOWMAN LATER.

I always love when it snows. I can tell it's happened right when I wake up in the morning. Everything is quieter and there's something different about the way the light comes in through the bedroom windows. I can also see snow falling from the sky, so that helps to clue me in, too.

Anyway, blog followers, I don't really have a ton to say here this week, but I just wanted to pop on the blog and say hello. I have some cool ideas cooking up that I can't wait to share with you. New projects to launch and whatnot, but they're still simmering and not quite ready to be served, so I'll just have to leave you in suspense until they are ready, but I'm excited about all of them, so I hope you are too!

If it's snowing where you are, make sure you send me pictures! I love seeing what you're all up to. Build a snowman. Build a whole scene of them! Give them swords and turn it into a battle! Make snow aliens! Construct a snow wedding! The possibilities are endless.

I'll be posting our snow adventures on the social medias, so keep an eye out (links to my accounts are on the right!).

Remember to keep loving each other. Remember that I love you all.

I love you.

fullsizerender I let myself be sad and angry yesterday. I let myself cry at work and sink into a deep depression. I let myself sigh heavily and shuffle about in a daze. And I let myself get scared.

I gave myself one day.

But I'm not giving into that.

I have grown up believing that good conquers evil and that Love conquers all things, and it's easy to lose hope in that sometimes and to believe that everything is terrible and that I should start hating and stop loving some people, but that's how things get broken. And that's how things stay broken.

Nothing was ever fixed with hatred. Things are fixed through love and understanding, and it's usually not easy to love when things are badly broken.

But today, I want you know that I love you. If you're feeling scared and alone, I love you. If you, like me, are worried about your rights and the rights of those you care about, I love you. Even if you voted for him, I love you.

Today I'm committing myself to loving more fiercely than ever before. I will smile in the face of anger and I am going to live a more intentionally loving and kind life.

This means having tougher, but kinder conversations. This means trying to gain understanding instead of shouting about how right I am. This means admitting that I'm wrong sometimes. This means choosing to not pick a side until I've done more research and it means knowing an accepting that not every person on each side is the same. This means standing up for what I believe in, not matter the cost.

Yesterday I was scared and I was sad and I was angry.

Today and tomorrow and every day after that, I'm choosing love instead.

23 things to make you smile. Right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I've been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don't really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I've been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it's because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it's just because I like happy things and I honestly don't think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I'm not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn't take off quite as much as I'd hoped it would, but that's okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I'm going to keep this going, even here on the blog. So... in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:

  1. Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They're just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn't want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
  2. Artists. Okay, so I'm also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like "THIS IS A THING I ENJOY" and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us - and often for free. This brings me to the next thing...
  3. The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It's also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren't into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say "HEY, I'M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX." and someone else could be like, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!" and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I'm able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I'm currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
  4. Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT'S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
  5. Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn't need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
  6. Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
  7. Coffee. 
  8. Your ideal weather. For me it's 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I'm thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it's also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
  9. Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She's the best.
  10. Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They're the best.
  11. Riding trains. I'm sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, "British" about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
  12. Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
  13. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
  14. Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
  15. Pajamas. Duh.
  16. Making other people smile. 
  17. Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don't know why, but they're lovely. I've always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says "my favorite thing about rivers is that you can't step in the same river twice." That has always made me smile.
  18. I know I said puppies already, but let's just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
  19. Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you're not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
  20. When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
  21. Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn't it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
  22. Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I'm still on Cloud 9.
  23. Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you're feeling really crappy, I think it's nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you're not feeling it, I think it's nice to know that it's there. It's nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it's nice to love yourself. It's nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn't that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.

So that's my list as of this very moment. It's incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don't let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.

Ready? Go.