Explore Cincinnati

Happy Monday Friends!

Anyone have a heart attack watching basketball this weekend? Just Big Blue Nation then? Whew, makin me nervous in that last one boys….

Anyway, I didn’t come here to talk basketball though folks. My Mother came up for the weekend which means lots of exploring! She’s been up to Lexington a few times now so we thought it best to branch out a bit to the surrounding areas. I’m not a huge fan of Louisville (sorry Kristen 😦 ) so we decided to go see Cincinnati instead since they’re about equal driving distance.

cincinnati skyline

Quite the sky-line right? Besides this awesome view, and the real cool art gems we found around town I’d haveta say Cincy was a bust too. (I now apologize to everyone reading this from Cincinnati as well).

I guess I’m just not a city girl at heart and none can stand-up to my love of Boston, so I don’t know why I keep giving them a shot. I think it’s a matter of feeling like I don’t belong and everyone knows it. Make sense? Dreams of the Big Apple I’ve never had….

Back to the cool stuff though. One of the biggest things I love about cities is all the art. Granted some of it is graffiti and not so pretty, but take a look at this thing….

purple people eater graffiti

I wish we coulda found parking near this guy so I could take some fun pictures #bloggerproblems Also another reason I don’t like cities….parking problems….

We also saw people hanging out of their windows! I mean calm down people of Cincinnati, everything’s gonna be alright, you’re city’s not that bad, I was kidding!

cincinnati graffiti

Seriously though, at first glance I thought they really were people until I realized what giant people they would have been. Get with it eyeballs.

We also went to this market that reminded me of Faneuil Hall in Boston, except not as cool duh. I tried to get a picture inside so you could see how crowded it was. Shoulder to shoulder crowds and people shoving past you does not make it easy to take a photo though. So the one I managed to snap was blurry plus I was getting the side-eye from like 30 people and their grandmothers, not too happy that I just took their picture so I deleted it…..

Here’s what the outside looked like though!

findlay market in cincinnati

Inside it was basically like a giant farmers market except with permanent stands. Like if a Butcher shop and a farmers market had a baby. There was a LOT of raw meat though and I got kinda grossed out. There was also a waffle stand, pie stand, and lots of handcrafted things like soap and jewelry. Made for an interesting morning. Plus free samples always make life a better place.

Oh and I had my first Bubble Tea….Mango, delish.

That afternoon we went to an Art Museum and friends, I really wish I could have taken pictures of this one fashion exhibit they had on display from the 60’s. It was weird with a capital W. Seriously there was a peacock inspired dress with a matching peacock feather head-dress…..”made for the working woman” WHAT?!?! In what world would a working woman need a peacock feather head-dress unless she was on safari and needed to blend in with all the Other peacocks??

I’m glad I’m not that kind of working woman……I fail to see the instance that any woman would wear a boobless bathing suit either. Like boobs, on display for the world to see…..That trend was definitely made by a man. A very pervy man….Get yourself together Fashion Industry of the 60’s!

cincinnati graffiti

Ok so that last picture was just pretty and I wanted to end on a high note. You know I couldn’t pass up giant painted sunflowers!

Has anyone else every been to Cincinnati? Thoughts? Feelings?

Or perhaps a suggestion on a city I might actually like better than Boston? Doubt it but you can always try me.

Now tell me about YOUR weekend!

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Linkin up with Weekending & MIMM

The Many Stages of Filing Taxes

Happy Friday Ladies and Gents!

I had to be at work today at 5:30 this morning and didn’t stay up to watch Kentucky play, ya know, because I’m old and can’t be staying out that late and all. (they played at 9:45, no thanks) I’ve since found out they won so Yay go Wildcats….unless my source was wrong in which case, boo Mountaineers.

Anyway, I did a very grown-up thing yesterday and filed my own taxes for the first time. My Daddy finally decided it was time for me to grow up and no amount of pleading or begging would dissuade him….. sad face.

I did it though, and y’all, filing taxes is easy if all you have are W2 forms to do….easy peasy lemon squeezy.

However, if you have other income like I do (hello freelance writing) it was basically akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack and the haystack is underground so it’s pitch black. Oh and also you can only use your face…..

Many Stages of Taxes

Stage One: Pick your Helper Site

I’m a DIY-er as much as possible so I wanted to do them myself versus going to like an H&R Block and paying them to do my taxes. I mean heck, people only go to school for a degree for this stuff, it can’t be that hard to figure out.

Stage Two: W2’s

Like I mentioned earlier, this part was super easy and only took me all of 10 minutes to do. Most of that was simply the learning curve of never doing it before. I used TaxAct and it walks you through the process really easily.

If by chance you can’t read then this may be a difficult step for you

Stage Two: Other Income

Here’s where things got dicey. First of all, for some reason all the questions about owning your own business were followed with questions about farm equipment. What? Then I wasn’t sure if freelance work counted as my own business (because no I don’t have employees or insurance costs or revenue thank you TaxAct questions) or as just extra income untaxed…..

Stage Three-Seventy: Confusion

I used the “back” button and Googled lots of terms several times. I mean, who comes up with this stuff? What the heck IRS. This is the stage in which you start to consider moving to another country because America is hard…. #ThanksObama

Stage Eighty-Nine: Review

Eventually you fill everything out, answer all the questions, tear out all but one strand of hair, and cry many a tear in frustration and somehow arrive at the part where they ask you to review all your answers……..

Basically I fumbled my face through the haystack in the dark and came out on the other side with scratches and second-guessing everything I filled out.

Stage Ninety: Filed and Complete

Finally you e-file them and you’re done.

And there ya have it folks, how to file your own taxes in 90 easy steps…..

Does anyone else file their own taxes like a grown-up? Or am I the only one who had trouble figuring out all the government mumbo-jumbo speak? Le sigh….

Here’s to the weekend!

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Secret Blogger Club (7)

Ok Wednesday Humday-ers!

I’m back at school and somewhat back on track from the snowy Spring Break that didn’t wanna let me go. Not that I wanted to be let go of mind you, but life goes on and a Master’s degree doesn’t award itself, amiright?

So welcome again to the Secret Blogger Club. I’ve got some great finds for you today! So link up your post and get to sharin others!

Secret Blogger Club Title

>> Our Local 5k Goes Viral (Press On & Run) Have you seen this story floatin around social media yet? Our very own Rebecca Jo ran that same race and I love her take on the whole thing.

>> Why I Follow Your Instagram (Helene in Between) If there’s a queen of Instagram I dub it to be Helene. Seriously the fact that she’s as big as she is and still takes the time to ‘like’ my photos sometimes means a lot to me. We’re basically besties now. I squeal on the inside every time I see she’s ‘liked’ a photo, I just can’t help it. Ok fine, I squeal every time I get a like, I can’t help it…

>> How to Work Towards Your Goals All Year Long (Lauren Conrad) Ok fine, she’s a huge celebrity blogger and it’s pretty safe to assume she doesn’t actually write the thing, but darn it if I still don’t have the biggest girl crush on her. Plus this idea sounds super fun to help motivate yourself and have fun with your girlfriends all at once.

>> Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand (See You in a Porridge) I’ve already made it clear if you write hilarious Bachelor recaps I’ll love you forever. Now I can introduce the second thing that will endear me to you for life. Because yes I do get completely invested in every book I read and yes books do equal happiness and life. #nailedit Kristen

>> DIY Cake Topper (Northern Ambitions) My favorite DIY-er makes the list because duh. You should read her blog because if you do you too can be the cutest thing North of the Mason-Dixon line. Unless your South of that line in which case you can only ever be #2 cutest thing…. sorry....Also she doesn’t even live in the States so this line doesn’t apply to her at all. I’m not really sure why I chose this demarcation….

>> Kinda Have Big News (The Grits Blog) I’m so very happy for Ash and her husband and I want everyone to go over and wish her well right this instant! Go do it now!

Link up below and join the club!

The Blonder Side of Life



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Books & Spring Break Snow

Hello Darlings!

Hello from the airport. It ended up snowing Friday and my flight was canceled. When re-booking my flight, I couldn’t get out of Boston until now due to Spring Breakers filling up all the flights! What? Who knew….

You should know I have horrible luck flying. The past 4-5 trips I’ve been on have been delayed or canceled and taken at least an extra day to get where I’m goin. I’m starting to take it personally….

Anyway, I had an amazing week in Massachusetts. One filled with snow that’s for sure. I’m really good at picking warm vacation spots. No amount of snow could have  put a damper on this trip though.

small plug, scarf by Me.

Scarf by me, uneven legs by orthopedic surgeons.

If you wanna see how high some of the snowdrifts still are, check out my Insta photo. And then promptly like and follow, le duh 😉

And even though I didn’t get lots of writing done or show up here too often, I did however read 5 books, so you can see where my priorities on vacation lie lol.

Books included:

  • The One & Only by Emily Giffin (2 stars)
  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (5 stars)
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (5 stars)
  • One Plus One by JoJo Moyes (1 star)
  • The Lady’s Slipper by Deborah Swift (4 stars)

Book Review

Ugh, don’t even get me started on how much I hated the last 1/3 of the One & Only. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read it, but just no. It ruined the entire book for me. I’m not a fan of Emily Giffen’s other books (i.e. Something Borrowed) so I really shouldn’t be all that surprised. Jodi Picoult never let’s me down though and mind blown with her latest one.

That also makes 18/100 for my 2015 goal. Catch me on Goodreads.

I also got to spend some great time with the World’s cutest tiny human. Any time spent with her is awesome, but watching JB play with her is perhaps the cutest thing I’ve ever seen on the planet. Well either that or the look on her face when she finds her belly button. it’s a toss up.

She’s pretty advanced for a one-year-old and left JB and I this message on the fridge.

fridge magnents

Parenting for the win. Role models for sure. How do you make it look so easy!

I took plenty photos for her but didn’t manage to snap one of us together. Too busy crawlin around on the floor together to be bothered. #babylife

Are you still a child and get a Spring Break? Or am I the only one who hasn’t grown up yet?


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Linkin up with MIMM & Weekending

Secret Blogger Club (6)

We made it to another Secret Blogger Club!!

Or another Wednesday if you don’t wanna be one of the cool kids, your choice 😉

I’m writing from Boston as I will keep reminding you all week because it makes me so Happy!! It will also explain my lack of bein around…. #sorrynotsorry also #ifeellikeadouchesayingthatallthetime

Secret Blogger Club Title

>> Are You Beautiful? (Life is Rozie) I actually found this floating around Facebook last week and just had to share on here. I seriously wish all girls, heck WOMEN could learn this lesson at a young age. I spent entirely way too much time trying to hide my “imperfections” when in reality I should have been celebrating them.

Plus, duh like one of my favorites said, we’re Awesome! Thanks for that Rebecca!! << Another good read right there!

>> A Letter to My Teenage Self (Cupcakes & Crossbones) Y’all know I’m all about empowering younger girls to feel beautiful, confident, and powerful and Tori did not disappoint with her letter to her younger self.

>> Explaining Bloggers on Instagram to Non-Bloggers on Instagram (The Daily Tay) Just yes…..Every time someone from my real life (i.e. work or school) adds me on Instagram, I feel an obligation to explain myself….. #bloglife

>> Wedding Traditions We Skipped (Geez, Louise) Not that I’m planning a wedding any time soon as far as I’m aware…I loved Kalyn’s wedding photos and her no apologies attitude when it comes to how her and her husband decided to celebrate their love. There shouldn’t be any rules to planning your own wedding!

>> Unwanted Side-Effects of Adulthood (Just the Elevator Pitch) hahahahaha….just go read this NOW

Now link up below!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life



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Hemp Hearts Winner

Happy Monday Spring Breakers!

Or rather I suppose if you’re reading this you’re most definitely Not on Spring Break. I’ll still be visiting your blogs however, b/c I live dangerously like that.

I’m just poppin in from Boston, where yes we did get some snow last night, I’m really good at planning warm weather vacations.

Spring Break Snow

I spent the entire weekend Not writing so this will be brief. I wanted to announce the winner of the Hemp Hearts giveaway. But first a thanks to everyone who entered and shared it!

So congratulations to Sue. I’ve emailed you. If I don’t hear back by Wednesday then i’ll pick another winner.

Finally the Secret Blogger Club will still be on this week, so be sure to link-up and join the fun!

Now tell me how your weekend was? (I’ll be stoppin by later 🙂 )


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Letters To My Baby Sister

You guys……Today I feel old and let me tell you why.

Today my Baby Sister turned 18 years old…….

My little nugget of a sister has been blessing my life with her presence for 18 whole years!

This isn’t real-life….

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to blog all about her today. She really is one of my most favorite people on this entire planet. So Hac, this one’s for you 🙂

Letters to my Sister

First of all, clearly I’m not even kidding about the nugget comment right! She’s was and will forever remain the cutest baby on the entire planet. I’m sorry, but your kid will never be this cute. Heck my OWN kid will never be this cute #sorrynotsorry future off-spring.

Dear Haci,

I prayed and waited 8 years for God to give me a sister, and once you arrived I knew why he waited so long, so I could have the perfect one 🙂

I mean com’on, just look at that face people, P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Hac Photo1

Dear Haci,

I just realized everyone reading this will actually think your name is Haci. Little will they know that this nickname goes back years and years and NO ONE else can ever call you by it for fear of your wrath. Many have learned their lesson…..

Dear Hac,

Your fearlessness and bravery have always been a source of inspiration to me. The way you stand up for what is right no matter who is starin back at you. I’ve seen you countless times advocate for the underdog and it never ceases to amaze me what a fighting spirit you have. Don’t worry, I’ll keep makin your phone calls for you though 😉

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Dear Hac,

There’s no one else on this planet that I’d rather be silly with. You have such a unique and beautiful soul and I’m so glad you’re mine forever and ever to be weird together. Admittingly, you pull off the weirdness better than I do, but you love me anyway. Don’t ever change that. The weirdness….well and the loving me part 😉

Hac photo 8

Dear Hac,

You’ve always had one fo the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever known. Granted that love usually only applies to all of God’s creatures, spiders included, but I know I come in the long list there somewhere. I want you to know that you’ve always been first on my list though, since the day i held you in the airport.

Hac photo 5

Dear Hac,

I always knew you’d grow into the beautiful woman (woman? nope, forever my baby) you are today. I don’t care how many times we complain about our looks together, you can never convince me otherwise. Even with all your old man clothes, your beauty still shines and I’ll never stop sayin it.

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Dear Hacie,

Can we just go back to you being this little again? Being 18 is overrated anyway, you wouldn’t mind right?

Hac photo 7

Dear Haci,

I wish I could impart all my old-lady sisterly wisdom on you as you head off to college in the Fall. Just know that sometimes life will throw some pretty hard lessons your way, but when they do you know I’m here to listen without judgment and to wait until you actually ask for advice before I give it to you. I know how you hate that lol

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I love you to the moon and back double infinity!

So here’s to you Baby Sis. And here’s to the next 18 years together! Actually let’s not think about that b/c I’ll be….well let’s leave something to the imagination on that one….

I’m not even gonna apologize for the picture overload. And yes, all of her baby photos are always on my phone. With a face like that how could I not? Whenever I go home to visit it’s HER baby photos I look at, not mine lol

So now it’s your turn, any words of wisdom for my baby?


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