Stuff From the Internet: October 2019


This video from Hank Green at Vlogbrothers, which is peak 2019 yet hopeful and connecting.

Ours Poetica is a YouTube channel collaboration where people read poems- sometimes the authors, sometimes the spouses, sometimes celebrities, sometimes just people who love poems. Highly recommend. I really like it because often the speaker will tell a story- what they were thinking when they wrote it, where they were the first time they read it, who shared it with them, etc. You may not like every poem, but you will almost certainly like some of them.

I'm really torn on this Ellen thing. I don't think that ignoring differences will enact change...but neither will screaming at someone that they are wrong (even if they are absolutely wrong). If I cut every single person in my life who felt differently on immigration than I do, I would have almost no one of any color left. And guess what? No one would feel differently about the issue- just about me. I do fully believe you have to win hearts and minds to truly win a war. And you can't do that with least, I can't, and maybe that's what Ellen was saying too.



 I want to show this to everyone who complains about having to be politically correct. You don't have to, and intentions matter, but if you are intentionally ignoring the fact that you are hurting people, yes you are an asshole.
(pin links to this video, which I did not watch: )

Three Things: October 2019

Places I never want to go

Chinese buffet
the dentist
Haunted Houses

Places I always want to go

-the mountains
-the library
-TJ Maxx


Appetizers I will eat at any time

-mozzerella sticks
-fried pickles
-chips & salsa

Wall colors in my house


Things I'm looking forward to this month

- Harry Potter Themed Halloween Party
-checking items off my Christmas shopping list
-finally selling odds & ends that we don't need

Places I enjoyed in my youth

-skating rinks
-swing sets
-tree branches

Things 10 year old me never expected to spend so much money on

-light bulbs

How To Take Care of Yourself When Sick

 Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Thankfully I don't get sick a lot, but I have about a week each spring and fall when my allergies LOSE THEIR MIND and my body freaks out.

I was fine on Saturday- even lead a 45 minute workout- and then woke up on Sunday with my throat hurting. By Monday it was ON FIRE and on Tuesday I called out of work so I could basically sleep all day and not have to talk to anyone.

One of the most adult-y things I've experienced is figuring out how to take care of myself while sick. I know there are all these different recommendations and medicines and home remedies, all with a variety of anecdotal success rates. I really do believe everyone kind of has to figure out what makes them feel better, but here's mine.

  • Get your flu shot! I am being slightly hypocrital, because I don't have mine yet. I missed my company's annual flu clinic, unfortunately. My plan was to get it this week...and then I got sick. But let's all acknowledge- vaccines are the best proven way to help your body stay healthy. Do not fight me on this.
  • USE YOUR SICK DAYS. I know this is hard for some people, but especially if your work gives you sick days...USE THEM. The number one best thing for your body when sick is rest. Even if it's boring or guilt-inducing, DO IT. 
  • For stomach bugs:
    • Pepto
    • Gatorade (I prefer blue or clear, my husband likes red)
    • Chicken Soup
    • Saltines
    • Sprite
  • For allergies or colds:
    • These are different, but can have some of the same symptoms, so I'm putting them together.
    • OTC medication that FITS YOUR SYMPTOMS
    • V8 (cold & thick- great for sore throats)
    • Gargle with hot saltwater (I usually do this in the morning)
    • Hot tea or cider with honey (can also add lemon & whiskey)
    • Chicken Noodle Soup
      • Can also try tomato soup with a grilled cheese, if you feel up to it
    • Sit in a bathroom with the shower running full blast on hot (the steam is good for loosening gunk)
What's your go-to remedy when sick?

Home Improvement as Self-Care

 Photo by Cam Morin on Unsplash

Self-care can get a very cheesy rap. And I get it...there are things no bubble bath or glass of wine will fix.

Those things are valuable, IMO, but they aren't the only kind of self-care that people need. Sometimes self-care means doing what needs to be done.

For instance, I've been feeling a little sad about my house. For a variety of reasons that aren't really the point of this post. true Brittany fashion, I made a list of things I wanted to change- room by room.

Last week I accomplished one of my biggest goals for this home improvement plan- I repainted part of my living room. I had an accent wall that just wasn't working and I really wanted it painted to match the rest of the room.

When I went to mark this off my list, I was pleasantly surprised to see that over half the things on the list had been accomplished. It's nice to see forward progress.

Now every time I go in my living room, I think I did it. Something made me feel bad, I changed it, now I feel better. Doing something that has a physical result is so good for my mental health. 

Another, much smaller but probably just was as impactful change...was changing out our toilet paper holder. The couple who built our house was older and had some disabilities, so the toilet paper holdrs were the kind where you just slide the roll on there. Which is fine...for adults. But...I have a child. And our main bathroom, which the child uses, is a fairly tight fit. To brush her teeth, I usually sit on the toilet seat (lid closed, obvs) and at least 70% of the time she sits on my lap. So for over two yeras...every day, twice a day...we do this and she kicks the toilet paper roll off and onto the floor or in the trash can. SO FRIGGIN' annoying. I finally ordered a new, standard roll type and convieniently left it out on the counter and my husband changed it while I was out of the house.

Oh, and another weird thing about our house- all the light bulbs are different. Seriously, I don't get it. We have the boob-looking lights that take one type of bulb, can lights in the living room and kitchen that take another type, the type for our ceiling fans, and then the light over our sink is a flood light even though it's inside...I don't understand. Not to mention our bedside lamps, because I am the last person of our generation who enjoys warm hues and soft lighting.

Anyway- it was Hub's responsibility to handle the light bulbs and he was always frustrated about it because well, it's super frustrating. So I started taking over and then decided to take pictures of the boxes and upload them to our shared iPhotos so it's easy to keep track of. Then I got even smarter and just ordered from Amazon Prime, because it keeps track of what types we need and I don't have to go to the store.

Work smarter, not harder. Because anxiety and stress are hard. You deserve alternatives that don't make your life miserable.

Random Nerdy Hobbies I Could Get Way Too Into

May or may not have mentioned this before, but I have a tendency towards more. I think that is part of the reason I started grad school and why family planning has taken up so much mental space in my head. I like to know my next step and work towards it.

So, I probably need a hobby. I have reading, but I would also enjoy something to physically do with my hands. 

I've been trying to think of things, and this is what I have come up. They are all pretty friggin' no one's surprise.
1. Genealogy
    • Okay, so this isn't really anything to do with my hands. But, I like research and this is a fun, personal way to do that...without being graded.
2. Crocheting
    • I so want to learn to crochet! Every time I think I have a teacher or class, it doesn't work out. And I am not sure it's the kind of thing I can self-teach...but I really want to learn. You'll know if it happens because everything ever will be crocheted.
3. Puzzles
    •  Guys, I really enjoy puzzles. I don't have a dedicated space in my house to do them, without risking extreme I'm considering getting a puzzle mat so I can do it.
4. Sewing
    • This is not so much a hobby as just a skill I really need...for some reason I end up with little holes in my clothes all the time! I have a friend who will do it for me, but I feel bad asking so often. 

What are your hobbies?

Show Us Your Books: October 2019

I have been feeling like I'm in a bit of a slump, and looking back over my past few books I can see why. My reads this month were all a little...different. Nothing that really grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Have a big new batch out from the library though so hopefully better reading is in my future.

I'm going to go ahead and give a basic grade of B/3 stars to everything, because they were all okay. Not regrettable, but not something I'd recommend rushing out to get. 

This book sounded like it would be right up my alley.  It's a dysfunctional family drama that takes place mostly on a nearly-deserted island, that is almost set out of time. Also includes flashbacks. just didn't. The mystery of what exactly happened between the main characters was drug on for too long, and the pay off wasn't worth it just felt icky (highlight for spoiler: after finding out the man she thought semi-abandoned her by divorcing her mom turns out to not be her biological father, Elsa sleeps with his teenage son, who she thought was her half-brother for most of her life. The author does a good job of explaining the completely illogical and mentally unhealthy rational, but the way they interact in the present shows that no one has really dealt with any of this). It just...didn't all the way work for me.

 Pretty sure this was on Kindle Unlimited- it kept being suggested for me, because I read and enjoyed this authors The Paper Magician series. It was good, interesting...but I wanted more. Maybe I was in the trilogy mindset? But definitely recommend if you are into fantasy.

This book was interesting, but a slow burn. I was frustrated by a lot of things...but I think that was meant to happen's kind of a horrible situation.

What have you been reading? 
Link-up & let us know!

Life According to Steph

What's New With You: October 2019

I posted a long time ago, when someone said some sexist shit about women in country music, about making an all-female artist list on Spotify. I'm now at 670ish songs...and the last chunk is Loretta Lynn. This woman is so snarky and I effin' love it. Can I immediately join the fan club? Thanks!

My husband got serious about his diet and exercise, lost 25 lbs in two months serious. And I'm so proud of him! Seriously, he's amazing. But...he complains that I don't cook anymore...but healthy cooking when you have to be super conscious of everything is really frustrating to me and no, I don't want to do it. So...we are going to have to work on that.

Anyone who talks about "terrible twos" has clearly never dealt with a three year old. Y'all, I rolled my eyes at the term three-nager originally but...omg, it is fact. Babycakes is still wonderful and funny and so dang smart it can be annoying. She's just also quite possibly the most dramatic, and this crying at everything is very hard for me to deal with. Both selfishly because...dude, sometimes you just turn off the damn TV and it's not worth crying over. But also because she already apologizes for things that aren't her fault and gets really scared at things that aren't scary and as a parent all I want is for her to be brave and happy.

Also, we've gotten our first eye-roll! And our first spiteful action- we went to this fall harvest thing and had to force her to climb this big inflatable slide (totally age appropriate, all her friends were doing it). She cried but then definitely smiled and laughed while doing it. Once she got off and Hubs asked if she wanted to go again, she kind of squinted at him and said no...then did it of her own volition maybe 30 minutes later.

I've bought a few Christmas presents already, and a Christmas decoration. I know some people are probably saying it's too early...but it's way less stressful for me to have a plan and just do it piece by piece. My goal is to be 90% done by Black Friday, so I can actually enjoy the month of December.

Don't think I am bypassing holidays though...SUPER pumped for Halloween. My dad is kind of anti-Halloween so it wasn't a super big holiday in my childhood. But it's Hubs favorite, and it's kind of super fun to have a kid at Halloween. Of course...he wants super creepy and she doesn't. So I am kind of trying to balance the two. We're having a Harry Potter themed Halloween party for our friends and I'm SO EXCITED!

What's new with you?