Finally Friday.

Your Mission

Happy Friday! This week f-l-e-w by! Usually when I have exciting things on the horizon, the days (and nights) just crawl… but not this week! We’re spending the weekend in Breckenridge with my family to celebrate a BIG birthday for my mom. There will be lots of vino, baby snuggles, game time, wandering in and out of shops + good food. I may or may not grace everyone with my fabulous rendition of, out-of-key, happy birthday, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I do, also, want to report back that Christian and I were finally able to pick a back splash for the kitchen and that Christian and his parents installed it last weekend (what a great birthday present!). The only hiccup is that the tile ended up looking a little more brown that I originally thought it would, meaning I might have to reconsider my paint decision. Ahhhh house remodeling, how you test me. I hope that you have a fabulous weekend!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

*note: this week is a little heavy on all things girly. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Have you ever read a post that had you nodding along the whole time while simultaneously tugging (more like clawing) at your heart-strings? This post about what it means to be sisters (or best friends, or girlfriends) really got me – I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Also, I want to send it to all my friends, because it’s so so so true.

I’m 100% addicted to the 40 days of dating experiment. Like can’t stop, won’t stop, will be devastated if they don’t give me some closure at the end of it all. Have you heard about it? These two New Yorkers (one a commitment phobe, one that jumps into serious relationships at the drop of a hat) decide to date for 40 days and write all about it. If you read it, no cheating, make sure you start at the beginning.

Can I just tell you that Sarah Jenks is one of the most on-point, inspirational people on my radar these days? Every single post is just so good that I think that she can’t possibly come up with another one. Then she does. Her most recent post covers feeling fat and worrying that others are thinking/talking about you. The real lesson is that we’re projecting our shame in not caring for ourselves. I can’t sum it up — just read it.

Just to lighten it up after those deep posts up top, here are 22 things that you might not know about the show FRIENDS. I’m a die-hard FRIENDS fan and I didn’t know many of these (guess I’m not as die-hard as I thought).

Since I’m going to be attempting to deal with my PCOS naturally I have to get creative about some of my food options. I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Chia Protein Pudding and it looks delicious – I wonder if it tastes as good as it looks?

Getting sucked into the interwebs is such an easy thing to do; I mean, there’s such good stuff out there. I’ve definitely found myself caught in the faux inspiration trap more than once — it’s definitely something to keep in mind while heading down the online rabbit hole.

And, just because I liked this post so much — was it the photos, the popsicles or the info, I don’t know! Here’s a great tutorial on taking awesome photos for your blog.

Finally Friday.

Love

Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m turning 27. And, for the record I have a freaking awesome feeling about this coming year. I don’t even know what’s ahead, but I’ve got this internal vibe telling me that it’s going to be packed with good things. Let’s cheers to that, shall we?

[clink imaginary champagne glasses, here]

I’m planning on just taking it easy, nothing too crazy. On the books is a massage, maybe a pedicure, maybe a yoga class, maybe a movie and most definitely something delicious for dinner. The older I get the more I just want to surround myself with the people I care about, and celebrate in a low-key, just what I want, sort of way.

On Sunday we’re venturing downtown to Denver Beer Company to spend some time with my friend Liz and her boyfriend Brenden who are on a cross country road trip after taking their bar exam — I’m so excited.

In other news, the weather around here has been completely dreary – which is wonderful for the beginning of October, but less so when it’s the start of August. It should also be noted that there are yellow leaves on one of the trees in my backyard. Yellow. This is NOT OK when summer still, technically, has another almost 1.5 months to go. If anyone knows where I can file that complaint, feel free to let me know.

Here are my finds from around the interwebs for this week:

Did you know, in Chrome, that pressing CTRL+SHIFT+T will bring back the tab you accidentally closed? My online life was drastically improved with that little tip and the other 14 useful internet tricks were pretty good as well!

Oh, sugar. Why is does it have to be so all or nothing? I either want to eat that entire chocolate cake or not have any of it. Turns out on top of being delicious and bad for you — sugar could also be dangerous?

There’s something about the smell of lavender that instantly relaxes me — plus the tiny, purple flowers are just so sweet. In an effort to get more Lavender in my life I tried to grow some of it this year and while I haven’t killed it, it’s also not thriving. Maybe I should have read this post on growing and caring for lavender plants before I got started?

When it comes to talking about your marriage, it seems like there are all these unspoken rules about what is and isn’t appropriate to share with others — it’s a fine line and I often find myself unsure of which side I fall on. It’s good to know that if it’s part of being authentic and real, that it may be worthwhile to break the marriage talk rules.

I’ve always said that if I could have a job where I get to spend time learning about different people and different cultures, I would a very happy person. However, I don’t even know if that job exists or what it would be called or how to go about starting that. With that said, it’s easy to see why I got completely sucked into this video on the world’s tallest slum – it’s fascinating to hear all the difference perspectives.

Tell me that you’ve tried Biscoff spread — I could literally eat it by the spoonful out of the jar. What’s not to love about a spread made out of amazing cookies? Maybe, just maybe this Biscoff Spread Gooey Butter Cake, that’s what.

Hope you have an amazing weekend!

25 before I’m 25 – Fail.

So, I’m 25. The whole birthday thing happened last week and I’ve put off going through my 25 before I’m 25 list because, well, I didn’t do them all. 5 years ago all I would have wanted for my birthday was to go out, party, and have a night to remember with my friends. Now, all I wanted was a night, at home, doing nothing but relaxing. Maybe that’s the wedding planning/house buying craziness talking, but maybe it’s not. We had hamburgers and strawberry shortcake. It was the perfect in every way.

I originally posted about my 25 before I’m 25 list in 2010 and gave ‘er a little update in February 2011. Below is the final summary of what got done, and, um, what didn’t. About half made it to fruition and the other half of the list was a major fail. Everything on this list is still something I want to do, it just wasn’t in the cards for the year before I turned 25.

  1. Spend a week on a beach. Any beach. Unplugged. – Ok, I didn’t do this… but I’m going to be heading to a beach on my honeymoon. That counts right?
  2. Re-work the design of this site. – Done.
  3. Read 12 books, one per month. – Done. I think I read maybe 50 books this year, and totally underestimated my reading abilities.
  4. Post 100 times… 30 will, hopefully, be cranked out in November. – Well, I quit Nablopomo… and fell of the wagon when things got hectic this spring. Fail.
  5. Be healthy. Get back to working out and eating well. – Done. I think I’ve done this. I’ve been working out, trying to eat better and trying to slim down for the wedding.
  6. Try yoga. – Fail.
  7. Take cooking classes. – Fail.
  8. Schedule time for myself each week. – I would say I did this about 50% of the time. While I crave alone time, I’m too much of a do-er and end up finding things to do in place of “me time”.
  9. Find a classy purse that suits me. And buy it. – I bought a lovely gray purse off Etsy! Double done.
  10. Be able to do 10 push ups. – I can’t do 10, but I can see myself getting stronger and dipping lower and lower. Score!
  11. Attend Canvas and Cocktails. – I have a gift card but haven’t used it, yet. I’m halfway there.
  12. Smile more often — especially at strangers. – Some days this is a go, other days this is a fail. Check Denver traffic to see which day we’re on.
  13. Fix Charles. Surgery and all. – Done and done.
  14. Be happy. So much of it is in my control. – Done.
  15. Pick a cookbook and make all the recipes – except the ones with mushrooms or other inedible objects. – I’ve got cookbook commitment issues. Sue Me. Fail.
  16. Tell everyone I love, why I love them. – An everyday goal… and one that will always be in progress. Done.
  17. Send more mail. Cards, packages, random gifts. – I sent and gave lots of gifts, card and random little mementos this year. Done.
  18. Stay up late drinking wine and talking, even though I have to work the next day. – Done, done, done… too many times to count.
  19. Buy a pair of *perfect* boots for winter. – I bought a pair… but my calves rebelled and wouldn’t allow the zipper up. So technically, done?
  20. Spend a weekend in the mountains with friends. – Done.
  21. Buy something from Etsy for someone and for my house. – Done. I bought magnets at Christmas for friends (and a necklace)… and a purse for me!
  22. Develop my favorite pictures and hang them up. – Fail.
  23. Be a positive impact. Be aware of what I do, what I listen to and how I behave. You never know who you’re impacting. – Always a work in progress.
  24. Eat locally and naturally. Try to buy local and eat out at local restaurants. – Doing better at this. I love me some local food, and have tried to spend my money where it counts.
  25. Stop to smell the flowers. This year flew by and I was constantly caught up in the day-to-day. I want to remember to take it one step at a time and pause to enjoy it! – Well, I’m planning a wedding and buying a house. I haven’t had much time to stop and smell the flowers. Have to mark this one as a work in progress.

Maybe the next list should be a 30 before I’m 30. That way I have five years. Meaning I’ll either have plenty of time to get all 30 things done OR I’ll totally forget about it until the last day that I’m 20. There’s probably and equally good chance it could go either way!

*Image by Jonty Wareing

I quit Nablopomo.

Crazy busy week

So, I accidentally quit Napblopomo. I didn’t get home until after 12 last night and didn’t have it in me to try and write a post — not to mention that it was after the time limit. In that moment of panicked realization a sort of calm came over me – I think I’m ok with quitting this.

I go between feeling like this was an inadvertently good decision to feeling like a failure. But, sometimes you just can’t do it all. As a testament to that here is what I’m up against:

Yesterday was my sisters birthday. Today, I helped my Mom rake all day and made dinner and a birthday cake (with Christian, who in this moment requested to be referred to as “the old man”), and my older brother is getting into town later tonight. Tomorrow, we have a b-day celebration lunch, family time and a trip to REI and Sports Authority. Monday, my aunt comes to town. Tuesday, snowboarding with the bro and Christian. Wednesday, I have to work and my friend Katrine who is from Norway, but is studying in CA for the semester arrives. Thursday is Thanksgiving. Friday, who knows. Saturday, we have appointments at the art museum for the King Tut exhibit. Sunday, church followed by packing for my trip.

I then have to be at the airport at 4:00 in the morning, on Monday, for a flight to Louisville — and a week of work awaits. Oh, did I mention there are some MAJOR changes at work and I feel like a chicken with my head cut off every time I open up my lap top? No, I didn’t? Well, I do.

All of these things aren’t BAD things, some of them are GREAT things, but they all in the end contribute to me running here and there, then over here again and back to there.

So you know, it’s probably a good thing that I quit. Because I’m already having nightmares (literally) and the stress level is a touch out of control. So, adios Nablopomo 2010, it’s been real.

*Photo by: programwitch

I’m 24. And, 25 things to do before I’m 25.

I'm 24 and can hardly believe it.

I turn 24 today.

It’s weird, I feel like there is no way I’m already 24. When I was a little kid, 24 seemed so old, so mature. An age where things had fallen into place. An age where you had a great job, you had your own house, where you were dating the Ken doll. Where everything was glamorous. Not to say my life isn’t those things, but it’s weird to feel nothing like I dreamed I would.

This past year has literally flown by. I know things speed up as we age, but holy freaking cow. I  just remember being in elementary school praying for Christmas and all my presents to come faster, in contrast to now when I wish we could skip it all together because I don’t have time to shop. That’s been my life this year.

This past year I started commuting an hour each way to work, I met an amazing guy, I moved in with one of my best friends, I live near downtown, I traveled (North Carolina, Iowa, San Francisco, Louisville, Philadelphia, Indiana, Chicago, Los Angeles, and up to the mountains of CO), I climbed a fourteener and I got back to my roots and figured out what I believe. It was busy to say the least.

With that said, here are a 25 things I want to accomplish before I turn 25… before I’m a quarter of a century.

  1. Spend a week on a beach. Any beach. Unplugged.
  2. Re-work the design of this site.
  3. Read 12 books, one per month.
  4. Post 100 times… 30 will, hopefully, be cranked out in November.
  5. Be healthy. Get back to working out and eating well.
  6. Try yoga.
  7. Take cooking classes.
  8. Schedule time for myself each week.
  9. Find a classy purse that suits me. And buy it.
  10. Be able to do 10 push ups.
  11. Attend Canvas and Cocktails.
  12. Smile more often — especially at strangers.
  13. Fix Charles. Surgery and all.
  14. Be happy. So much of it is in my control.
  15. Pick a cookbook and make all the recipes – except the ones with mushrooms or other inedible objects.
  16. Tell everyone I love, why I love them.
  17. Send more mail. Cards, packages, random gifts.
  18. Stay up late drinking wine and talking, even though I have to work the next day.
  19. Buy a pair of *perfect* boots for winter.
  20. Spend a weekend in the mountains with friends.
  21. Buy something from Etsy for someone and for my house.
  22. Develop my favorite pictures and hang them up.
  23. Be a positive impact. Be aware of what I do, what I listen to and how I behave. You never know who you’re impacting.
  24. Eat locally and naturally. Try to buy local and eat out at local restaurants.
  25. Stop to smell the flowers. This year flew by and I was constantly caught up in the day-to-day. I want to remember to take it one step at a time and pause to enjoy it!

Here’s to a great year ahead and a great year behind! Pizza, cake and vino tonight. The only way to celebrate!

One.

It's my blogging birthday!

Today is a big day. Meganastout.com is having a birthday. I’ve blogged for many years, but more privately… and not here. So for celebration’s purposes today is my Meganastout.com blogging birthday! Hooray! Cupcake anyone? Eh? I’m having one so you might as well cave… I’ll toss in champagne if you can say something witty? Eh, eh?

I have to say thank you to all of those that inspired anything I’ve written. My family for always being undeniably quirky and wonderful, my friends for their ever adventurous and changing lives, my dog for being so absolutely bizarre and for Furbys and peanut butter — because the number of searches that are generated with those two topics is absolutely shocking.

So to all of you out there looking for Furby’s, thanks for stopping by and making my day. Hopefully you find a Furby… and that will make yours! And to the rest of you… non-Furby readers thank you, thank you, thank you. I heart you all and if I could personally deliver cupcakes and champagne (if you’ve earned it) to you I would. But… in all honesty I’d probably eat each cupcake and drink all the champagne on the way over; so, my presence would have to suffice. Still interested? Thought so.

Some of my favorite things from the past year? Completing Nablopomo, making people laugh, being more honest with myself and my writing, keeping Charles alive, traveling (I know I’m behind on writing about it), crazy shenanigans with those I love, all the food I ate and cupcakes that met their maker… oh how the list could go on and on.

Again, thank you! And, here’s to many more blogging birthdays to come!

*”Birthday Cake” photo by Theresa Thompson.

I’m the bees knees.

Over the past year a lot of things have changed with my job. (Now, now I know you aren’t suppose to blog about your job because, well, that’s how you lose it. But, keep your pants on it’s going to be OK). I’ve taken on some new responsibility and let me tell how I have just knocked it out of the park. One of these new responsibilities involves being on the [drum roll please…] “party planning committee”. I know you’re green with jealousy and you wish I would just shut up and stop bragging about my job and all my great responsibilities already. Sorry, I won’t, and can’t.

This “party planning committee” consists of a few office ladies that like eating. We did a little something at Thanksgiving, then again at Christmas and don’t worry if you have a birthday that falls within the 12 month calendar year you will be having an office party (more for us than you, but let’s keep up the charade mmmmk?). Card, cake and embarrassing stories will be included. Now it just so happens that the majority of our office birthdays fall in the July – December range, which leaves us high, dry and treat free for almost the entire spring. I try to keep the menu to the local cupcake store and a few Frosty coupons nearby for when things get a really desperate and I have to actually pay for the treats myself.

Ok, so now that you know the back story and how terribly in need of treats we all are (not just me), you’ll only be able to imagine the joy I felt when I discovered one of my interns has a February birthday. You know what that means? TREATS… that I don’t have to bake or buy!!! So we started the planning, we decided on the treat, got the card going and set the time/date. I also, luckily, have the important task of rounding up the card and storing it until the big day. I know, not many could handle the stress and pressure of this extra responsibility like I do. Some days you just have to take one for the team.

The card, magically, appeared on my desk having been signed by EVERYONE. Not just a few folks, but everyone. This is a rare feat and I basked in the glory of the break I was catching for a few hours. The card sat there in the middle of my desk simply for admiration’s sake. Our intern walked it to my office (her birthday card smack dab in the middle of my desk) and I quickly grab it up and carefully balance it on the edge of the trash can under my desk to avoid detection. Sneaky, eh? I was pretty proud of myself, but then again who wouldn’t be.

That was a few weeks ago. So today rolls around and J (also on the “party planning committee”) stops by to check and make sure that things are under control with the card. I assure her that it was the easiest card round-up I’ve managed yet and that we are all set to go for tomorrow’s festivities. I then decide it would be best to pull the card out and make sure that everything was just so. I dig through my drawers calmly at first to no avail. After a few minutes of digging I begin furiously thrashing spreadsheets about in search of the card. Again, no luck.

It appears that my ever so brilliant self forgot to remove the card from the edge of the “never to be seen again” abyss known as my trash can. That’s right. I threw away our intern’s birthday card. I suppose I no longer have a soul.

As my punishment we have to send around another card that will need corralling, though this time there is a joke about my idiocy hand written on the front. Oh joy.