Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Friday {Change}

I came across this blogging activity called "Five Minute Friday" on the blog Lisa-Jo Baker's Tails from a Gypsy Mama via Blue Eyed Bride.

Five Minute Friday

The rules?
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back on her blog.
3. And then visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.


I tend to be both long winded and a profectionist...so I thought linking up with this activity might be a great blogging exersize for me! So bear with me if this post is random, or cryptic, and has tons of grammar errors. I am going to try to stick to the rules as much as possible! So here I go...I'm setting the timer...

This week's theme: Change.

Ready...set...go!

I like to think I'm the type of person who really likes change, embraces it. I took pride in that part of myself in my younger years. I was proud that I wanted to be away from home for college. I was excited to do a semester in Australia. I was ready to graduate and head to the next stage of my life (grad school) when college was ending.

But thinking back on it now, especially in recent years, change makes me really uncomfortable. I know it's a necessary part of life. But when I develop close friendships or comfortable habits....I don't like when those things really change.

Growing apart from friends is really painful for me. I think its the worst kind of change. Although I do think that it can be necessary...it has been for me...as much as I really truly hate it.

But I know things can't always stay the same...or else we wouldn't have anything to look forward to...there wouldn't be room for anything new....

Done!

Ohhhhhh man when that timer went of!! Bah! I had more to say!!! I wanted to elaborate! But there you have it...my open and honest mind rambling about change....written in 5 minutes flat! I think I'll do more of these....

Laura Loves {August 2012}

I’ve been laying a bit low this month. I’ve had some fun family visits and some really laid back weekends as well. A welcome break after my busy busy July! But a laid back month doesn’t mean I haven’t found some things to love in August!

Schete Vite – Fast Drying Top Coat
Anyone who likes to do their nails knows that a fast drying top coat is important. Up until recently I was using a very thin fast dry top coat that had served me well. But after getting a few professional manicures this summer I realized my at home thin top coat wasn’t really “sealing” my nail designs and giving my nails the professional “shine” that I wanted. I also noticed that the top coat at the salon seems to dry decently fast too. There must be a better quick drying top coat out there! Well luckily I happened upon a nail art blog that mentioned the quick dry top coat Schete Vite! It’s not too cheap but you can find it the cheapest on Amazon! I quickly ordered it to try it…
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
(Photo from Amazon)
I LOVE this top coat. It is a nice thick polish that goes on smooth and really feels like it is sealing in my design or color. It doesn’t dry AS instantly as my old thin top coat, but it really doesn’t take long at all and extra minute or two is worth it (it does dry faster than regular nail polish). I was able to successfully create this tape manicure with it…and I only gave it about 15-20 minutes between the first coat (with a layer of top coat) and the tape to create the design!


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It also sealed in this braided design without touchup for 2 weeks!

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I have noticed with my most recent home manicure that it works the best with higher quality nail polish. My Essie polishes work amazingly with it…while some of my cheaper brands do tend to chip and peel faster. But overall I love this top coat and if you are looking for a fast drying top coat that is nice and thick and will seal in your design and give a nice shine….try Schete Vite! (But buy it on Amazon!).

Tim Helbig
I have highlighted my love for Grace Helbig (DailyGrace) a few times on this blog and I still have quite a girl crush on her…yup….I said it. However…her brother, Tim, created a channel on YouTube a few months back and has recently been posting more frequently. While his humor is a bit different and quirkier than Grace….I also find him awkwardly hysterical. Check out his recent video about trying to become ordained via the internet in order to marry two of his friends…

Letter to Hypothetically Gay Son
I came across this gem and I just had to share. This guy found a letter from a father disowning his gay son that was shared by the son on the internet. He then decided (not having any kids at the moment) to write a letter to the hypothetically gay son he may have in the future. I think it is really honest and touching. Enjoy {here}.

Game of Thrones Theme Song
I recently watched the first season of Game of Thrones. It is a pretty good show…I really enjoyed it. Great story…unpredictable…I’m hooked. But as silly as it may be…one of my favorite things about the show is the theme song. I mean, I’ve been watching it on DVD and could easily skip the theme and get on with each episode…but I never do because I love it so much! Maybe it’s just me but….have a listen…


I also really love this violin cover of it…


It’s really weird to be obsessed with a theme song but I could listen to this over and over….so good. Who’s with me?

PopCorners
I happened upon this new snack during a recent trip to Costco! They were giving out samples and I really liked them so I took home a variety pack! PopCorners are simply popcorn reformed into the shape of a triangle chip. They are light and airy and come in a variety of flavors including: Butter, Kettle, White Cheddar, Sea Salt, Cheesy Jalepeno, and (my personal favorite) Caramel! The variety pack that I got only included Kettle, White Cheddar, and Caramel so those are the only flavors I have tried so far. But I LOVE the Caramel and the White Cheddar is the favorite among the lunch crowd at work! That isn’t to say Kettle is bad…if you like Kettle corn you are sure to love that flavor as well!


(Photo from PopCorners’ website)
I was really surprised at how much I liked these. They aren't as bad for you as chips but sort of satisfies that particular snack craving. The flavoring on the chips is powder and so they are not greasy like chips or buttered popcorn would be. Plus it tastes like eating popcorn with no chance of the kernels getting stuck in your teeth!

Unfortunately, when I went back to Costco to grab more they were gone! (I think I remember them saying they were only going to have them for a limited time :-/)…but today I went to the PopCorners website and found out that you can buy them in bulk with free shipping! They were definitely a better deal at Costco but I don’t think these prices are TOO much worse…especially if they come straight to your door! I heard from a friend they are also available at Giant (but I have not confirmed) and I noticed there were some buying options on Amazon. The prices there aren’t too bad if you can get free shipping. But right now the flavor options are limited and they don’t sell the variety packs.

What have you been loving in August? Are you ready for the Fall? I’m personally looking forward to Fall TV!!! Be on the lookout for the return of What I’m Watching! And I’ll be back at the end of September with more things to love!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic High

I have spent the last 17 days glued to the TV watching as much Olympics as I can possibly get through in the evenings and weekends. I actually never thought I’d be so exhausted from sitting….but I am. As addicted as I am to the Olympics…I am ready to be a little more active in the evenings and get a little more sleep! But even though I am ready for those things…I still think these have been a fast two weeks and I’m sad to see it all come to a close. I thought I should highlight some of my favorite things about these Olympics! In no particular order…. 

Michael Phelps
I can’t even talk about highlights of the games without discussing Michael Phelps. While Beijing will be probably Michael’s most successful Olympics, London was a nice way to end a career. He didn’t grab as many medals, and had a bit of a shaky start, but he ended his career by becoming the most decorated Olympian ever as well as the first swimmer to ever three-peat gold in the same event (in 2 events!). He has been the man to watch in the summer Olympics for so long…it’s going to be hard to see him retire…but I think he put on a great show to end his Olympic career!

 
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Misty & Kerri
Speaking of three-peats…I am so excited that the legendary Misty May and Kerri Walsh were able to get their third gold medal in beach volleyball. I loved watching these two the entire tournament! I couldn’t get enough of volleyball…indoor and outdoor…but I was really rooting for these two to get the gold in their last Olympics together….and well…they did!


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Oscar Pistorius
How inspiring is this guy?!? Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee, competing against able-bodied opponents, will be one of the most memorable moments of these games. He did well too! Advancing into the semifinal in the 400M!


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And in just as moving a moment, the eventual gold medalist Kirani James, who was in Pistorius’s semifinal, wanted to trade name tags with Pistorius! I loved that he was honored to be in a race with someone so inspiring! Great Olympic moment!


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Golden Gabby!
I am totally smitten with Gabby Douglas! Seriously just look at that smile! I couldn’t help but root for her in both the qualifying and the all around! I’m pretty sure she smiled into everyone’s hearts!


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But really I loved all of the Fab 5 and I was very excited and proud of their team gold! I remember the gymnasts of 1996 well! I LOVED Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug! I feel like gymnastics has changed a lot since then. I was commenting a lot about how they used to do hand stands on the balance beam and you don’t see that anymore. And the scoring…well I have a lot I could say about that…but it is still one of the events I look forward to the most during the summer Olympics…and enjoyed it for the most part this year…especially…

McKayla’s Vault

McKayla Maroney Vault 2012 Olympics McKayla Maroney Vault During 2012 Olympics{Source}

Need I say more? I mean…I was alone watching this…and said “OH MY GOD” out loud before any announcer said anything about it being perfect…the best vault I have seen in my life. And now probably second most memorable only to Kerri Strug’s heroic vault in 1996. Really…the judge’s expressions say it all…


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Mo's 10K
I loved how much Great Britain was behind Mo Farah. And I really loved his finish in the 10,000M (10K) with his USA training partner, Galen Rupp, following him across the line for the silver! I just thought it was a unique moment of a “team” 1-2 finish that crossed country lines.

 
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Russian Men’s Volleyball Team
As I mentioned earlier, I have been really into watching Volleyball these games. Indoor volleyball provided some real excitement. During the group rounds, Russia played the USA and even though the USA had a few match points during the 3rd set, the Russians turned the match around, won the set, then the next, then tie-breaker to win the match. It was a huge disappointment for the USA…considering we had the match basically won. Seemed like one of the craziest comebacks in volleyball.

Well Russia put on an encore performance of that match today for the gold. While battling Brazil, the Russians were down 2 sets to 0 in the 3rd set and fought off 2 match points before turning the whole thing around and winning the 3rd, 4th, and 5th set to win gold! It was amazing! What made it even more amazing was how the coach basically totally changed one of the players positions…and he played even BETTER in the new spot and the team totally dominated the second half of the match! While it was a disappointment for the USA…it was very interesting to watch the same team pull that kind of comeback twice in the same games! Good for them!

Spain’s Synchro Team
They didn’t win gold…but Spain was my favorite synchronized swimming team in the free routine this weekend. I wish synchro got a bit more attention at the Olympics because it is really amazing what these girls can do. It is unbelievably hard. The tricks that Spain did were some of the best I’ve ever seen. At one point they balanced a girl standing on another girl’s feet….as they MOVED along the water….and didn’t sink one bit. Please note that these athletes do this without touching the bottom of the pool.


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At another point, they held a girl entirely out of the water in a back arch while only 2 other teammates were able to throw another girl enough so she could dive completely over the arch…


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I can’t even begin to express to you how hard it is to do these things. Synchro may seem silly to some people but it really is one of the hardest sports of the games. The new duel cameral this year was able to give a bit of perspective of the difficulty…and I was able to grab some screen shots as I streamed the duet competition…

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William & Kate!
Last but not least…I think one of my favorite things about the 2012 Olympics wasn’t even an athlete…it was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge…that’s right William & Kate (and Harry too)!! I know it was their job…but they were at so many events…sitting in the crowds…commenting on the games…


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cheering for team GB….and other inspiring athletes….


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and doing the wave…

 
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I loved how normal and genuine they appeared! And how much they really enjoyed the games! And even their slight PDA was refreshing compared to what you usually see out of royals! I love them!


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There is so much more I loved about the Olympics….but it is time to come down off the high…get back into a normal routine…until winter 2014 that is!

What were some of your favorite moments of the 2012 Summer Olympics? Let me know in the comments!