Favorite Christmas Songs/Albums From A Person Who Isn’t Lovin Christmas Music

 

Okay, first off, I just want to say as a disclaimer that I don’t have a horrible dislike towards Christmas music. The real truth is that I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas music. I’ve always liked it, but have never really loved listening to Christmas tunes constantly on every single station. I know, I know, you probably are all thinking, “What the heck is wrong with you Alex??” and yes, I ask myself that very same question each time Christmas rolls around. I can’t explain it, it’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas time as I absolutely love walking around my local city, looking at striking Christmas decorations, trees, and watching my favorite Holiday films, but I’ve just never gotten into listening to Christmas music. Could it because I’m Jewish? Was I automatically programmed from birth to be annoyed at songs about jolly old Santa Clause that pop up on the radio? Probably not, after all, it is said that the best Christmas songs have been written by Jews (however, if the best Christmas songs have been written by Jews, why couldn’t they have written better Hanukkah songs? Do you know one famous song about Hanukkah? I certainly don’t. If any of you guys know of any amazing Hanukkah songs, please let me know in the comment section below, I’d **LOVE** to hear them). I guess I’m just not a big Christmas music fanatic. This bothers my family greatly. When I was in the car with my Dad, he kept on asking why I kept on changing the station whenever a Christmas song would pop up. Sorry Dad, I just prefer 80’s pop/rock songs to Christmas tunes. Will I someday come to appreciate Christmas music more? I don’t know, but certainly hope so! However, with that being said, I do have some Christmas songs/albums that I absolutely ADORE AND LOVE! To get into the spirit of the holidays, I am going to be sharing with y’all my favorite songs:

Album #1: Kelly Clarkson’s New-ish Christmas Album “Wrapped in Red”

I’ve always loved Kelly Clarkson’s voice, it is just so soulful and unique. In fact, I think I had a mild obsession with Kelly Clarkson in the 4th grade; especially her nose stud. For some odd reason, I thought I was a cooler kid for listening to someone who had her nose pierced. I was 9-10 years, okay, cut me some slack! Okay, getting off topic here, anyways, when I heard that she had a Christmas album coming out, I knew that I had to check it out. Turns out that I **LOVED** it!! I think that this is my second favorite record of hers behind “Breakaway”.  In my opinion, it is one of the best Christmas albums of all time. She puts amazing twists on favorite classics such as “Baby It’s Cold Outside”,  “White Christmas”, and “Silent Night” with some new, original (I think, they might also just be songs that were sung before that I’d never heard of) Christmas tunes. My favorite jingles off of this album are “Wrapped in Red”, “Underneath the Tree”, and “Silent Night”. If you haven’t listened to Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas Album, get your butt onto YouTube and listen to it right now, you won’t regret it.

Song #1: Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith’s Last Christmas

In general, I’ve always really liked this song, but Glee’s Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith took this song and brought it into a whole new dimension for me. I just can never stop listening to this song during Christmas time and I mean, come on, who can get sick of Lea Michelle’s voice?

Album #2, Plus One Of The Best Songs Of All Time!!: Sarah Mclachlan’s Christmas Album.

If you don’t know anything about at all, you should know that Sarah Mclachlan is pretty much my favorite female vocalist of all time. Seriously dude, I think I’ve listened to all of her songs. Most of them, I believe, I have played like a broken record, but still, I never get sick of them. My Mom first bought this Christmas Album in 2006, when it first came out. Since then, we as a family have listened to it countless times, even during the summer (true story, we listened to it on our way up to Quebec City in August)! Sarah Mclachlan covers a lot of famous Christmas tunes beautifully, like an Angel (for Sarah Mclachlan fans you will get this pun here), such as “Silent Night” and “Happy X-Mas (War is Over)”. However, my favorite cover of her’s by far is Joni Mitchell’s “River”. In fact, I think it’s one of my favorite song covers of all time. I love how this song is so sad but yet hopeful at the same time. It also have a very uplifting melody to accompany the chorus. If you are having a bad day, even if it isn’t Christmas time, listen to Sarah Mclachlan’s “River” cover and you’ll feel instantly better, I promise. Additionally, I absolutely love the songs “Wintersong” and “Song for a Winter’s Night With You” just to let you know.

Songs #3 and #4: Mariah Carey

The first Christmas song of Mariah Carey’s that I love is destined to become a classic or has already become one and that is “All I Want For Christmas to You”. It is just so catchy and just wants to make me get up and dance. I also love her rendition of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. Her soulful voice is absolutely perfect for this tune and makes you want to listen to it over and over again. Which one of these two songs are your favorite of hers?

Album #3: Josh Groban’s Noel

In general, I love Josh Groban’s voice, but in particular, I love his Christmas album. Every year, we always listen to Josh Groban’s Christmas album when putting up the Hanukkah tree (yes, I know, we are very bad Jews) and this is a tradition that I will always cherish. I love all of the songs on this album, but my favorite tune is “What Child Is This”. I just love the instruments that are utilized in this song and most of all its haunting, but yet soothing melody. I can listen to this song and it can put me to sleep, let me tell you.

So that’s a wrap, those are my favorite Christmas songs/albums! Are any of what I mentioned one of your favorite Christmas albums/songs? What are some of your favorite Christmas tunes?

Happy Holidays!

-Alexandra Spund

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Walk Down Memory Lane: Favorite Childhood Books

When I was a wee one, my Mom really, really wanted my sister and I to love reading. She has always been a huge reader and made it her mission as a parent to instill a love of literature in the two of us. While other kids were watching Spongebob Square Pants and Rugrats on T.V., my Mom had us plopped on the couch watching Reading Rainbow, Between the Lions, or some other educationally approved kids’ show that promoted literacy. Whenever I would tell my Mom about a friend saying that they “hated reading”, my Mom would be all like, “Well that’s to bad for blah, blah, blah [insert imaginary name here], because reading is amaze-balls (okay so maybe she didn’t say that, but something of the equivalency)!!” Besides watching book related television shows, my Mom introduced us to lots of great picture and beginning reader chapter books. She would often read these books to us out loud, which, we would then have passionate discussions about afterwards. I loved these read out louds! They were much better than the majority of my teachers and my Mom could do lots of funny voices :P. The trio of us loved read out louds so much that we did them up through the 8th grade (yes, we are a weird family, don’t judge). I am glad that my Mom put so much time and energy into evoking a love of reading in both my sister and I. Without the great books that I read when I was younger, I would not have the amount of background knowledge that I currently obtain, an extensive vocabulary, and probably would have had a more difficult time getting through some of the dry books I’ve been forced to read in high school (cough, cough…The Scarlet Letter, no offense to those who dig it or anything). However, most importantly, reading has helped me become the open-minded, compassionate, and sometimes skeptical/cynical person I am today. Books have exposed me to the many joys and horrors of life and I’m grateful for that because reading about various issues inspires me to make change in the world. I want to bring the joy that I’ve read about into other people’s lives; especially those who have so little of it. In this blog post, I’m going to share my some of my favorite books that I read as an elementary schooler. Whether you are a parent, educator, or someone who is just curious about and/or simply loves amazing children’s books, you’ve come to the right place (psssstt…I am seventeen years old and still ❤ children’s books)! This will more than likely be a series on my blog, as I don’t want to just give y’all a laundry list of books; I want to explain what I love about each and every one of these stories. Drum roll please………….or you can just scroll down if you wish ;).

                My Favorite Childhood Books

 Book #1: A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannen

I remember my sister and I reading this beautifully illustrated book, with a wonderful message, multiple times. If you are not familiar with the book’s plot, it is about a young girl who is teased by her classmates for loving Lima beans. Therefore, she vows to never eat Lima beans again, but then, she comes down with a case of stripes. Her parents, however, force her to go to school regardless of being decorated with stripes, and is then subjected to even more teasing by her classmates. She eventually learns that the only cure for getting rid of her stripes are good ol’ Lima beans. Through this experience she learns not to care about what other people think. I believe that this is a vital theme for young children to learn that will carry with them through life. I know that the gorgeous pictures and carefully crafted sentences in this book has always served as a reminder to me!

Book #2: The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne

I remember hearing one of these books for the first time as a read out loud in grade school and then becoming obsessed with them shortly there after. I didn’t read all of them, but every single book I did read I thoroughly enjoyed. The premise of these books are that two siblings, Jack and Annie, find a tree house in their backyard and discover that it can make them go back in time. As a result, they go on some pretty immaculate adventures and go to many different places, witnessing famous historical events such as the American Revolution, The Olympics, The First Thanksgiving, and the Titanic sinking. These books really got me excited about history as a kid and made me eager to learn more about the colossal turning points that shaped our nation and world. I’d highly recommend these books to any kid in grade school, especially if they are not big fans of history, because Jack and Annie will for sure make the subject more enjoyable for them.

 Book #3: The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsberg

When I was young, I was so fascinated by summer sleep-away camps and desperately wanted to go for years. I would envision myself at sleep-away camp constantly, even going as far as dreaming up my own. Seriously guys, I would sometimes even open up a word document and make my own overnight camp brochures with snazzy backgrounds, slick fonts, pictures, everything. I would even make fake testimonials from kids with fake last names, such as Corington, Halifaxer, Roshien, Itrabide (for realzies, these were legit names that I made up. I went through my old journals today.) So, as you can imagine, the day my parents told me that I was allowed to go to sleep-away camp, I was uber stoked. However, when I actually attended an overnight camp located in Vermont, I wound up enjoying it a minuscule amount . I suffered from extreme homesickness, crying multiple times a day. I also really loathed the food and was mightily disappointed that the outdoor lunch buffet that was advertised on their website was really indoors and just leftovers from dinner. Damn liars.

Okay, I should probably stop ranting now and talk about how this experience is related to the book. Anyways, after my bad overnight camp experience, I found The Outcast of 19 Schuyler Place at Barnes and Noble and instantly knew that I would be able to relate to it from reading the back cover. The premise of this book is that a twelve-year-old named Margaret Rose attends sleep-away camp during the 70’s while her parents are trying to repair their marriage. However, the plot twist is that her cabin-mates are tormentors who play vicious pranks and therefore, she sends for her uncles to pick her up. After being rescued, Margaret Rose spends the rest of the summer with her uncles, trying to save two towers that are going to be taken down. I absolutely adored this book as a kid and read it multiple times (it is rare that I read a book more than once, even if I really love it). The love I had for this story is shown in its current physical condition, without a cover and pages falling out. I would recommend this book to anybody regardless of age, but especially for pre-teen ladies as I think that they will especially be able to relate to the main character, Margaret Rose, as someone that they could see themselves being friends with and take comfort in. Hopefully they will cherish this book, as I have, and take note of its wonderful messages of perseverance, unexpected friendship, and the fact that life just doesn’t work out all of the time. These themes have stayed with me throughout my teenage years.

Have any of you guys read these books before? What were your favorite books growing up?

Your Reading Buddy,

-Alexandra Spund

P.S. Here are the book links:

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Case-Stripes-Scholastic-Bookshelf/dp/0439598389

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Tree-House-Boxed-Books/dp/0375813659/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419050834&sr=1-2&keywords=the+magic+tree+house+set&pebp=1419050850610

http://www.amazon.com/The-Outcasts-19-Schuyler-Place/dp/0689866372

Sh*t Never To Say To Someone With Food Allergies

You want to know what amazes me? When people think that they are experts on things that they’ve never experienced first hand. Seriously dude, it’s like saying stay away from Indian food or don’t read Divergent because it’s just a rip off of the Hunger Games if you’ve never read/tried it before. Ludicrous! And do you want to know what really gets on my nerves? When people try to give me medical advice about my diet and what I should be eating, even though they are not a certified doctor or nutritionist. I have gotten this from people that are and are not related to (sans my immediate family of course) and it bugs me so much! Honestly, unless I seem unhealthy or unhappy, should you really be trying to toy with something that doesn’t even effect you? Do your research first before passing judgments. Since I’m in a ranting mood today, I’ve decided to compile a list of sh*it never to say to someone with food allergies:

Drum roll please…………………………..

🙂

SH*T YOU SHOULD JUST KEEP TO YA SELF!

1.) Don’t people go on the gluten-free diet to lose weight? You’re in such good shape!

While many people go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight, I did not eliminate gluten from my diet in order to lose weight. Throughout my teen years, I’ve never been slim, but I’ve most certainly never been overweight. I went gluten-free/dairy-free because my doctor discovered that I had an allergy after having medical problems that were chronic and would not go away. The long and the short of things is that it helped me and I’ve never been healthier than I’ve been now! Besides, if someone decides that they want to shed some pounds and think that going gluten-free might help, should you really be harassing them for eating a certain way that effects no one but themselves? As long as their diet is not turning into some type of eating disorder, is that really your business? Nope! 

2.) Those types of foods are expensive! Why would you spend so much money on that?

Yes, I am well aware that eating foods free of allergens is terrifyingly more expensive than the food you’d get at your grocery store and this is a problem that bothers me, but I can’t control it. Unfortunately, it’s the highly processed , pesticide infested crap-ola that is the cheapest because they are the least expensive to produce. But it’s costing us our health and environment, which affects our future and planet greatly! I could go on and on about this topic, but I will save this for another day. Anyways, I’m aware that my foods are more expensive, and yes, I hate that, but don’t imply that my family is being irresponsible for taking care of our health. We are not wealthy, like a lot of people who think that citizens who eat healthy are. Since we are middle class, we have to make certain cutbacks in order to afford to eat this way, but it’s totally worth it! Why? Because I’m feeling good y’all :). Oh and by the way, going natural and eating healthy doesn’t have to be ALL expensive. We do a lot of our shopping at Trader Joe’s, who’s prices are comparable with larger chain food markets. 

4.) What can you eat?

I eat dirt and grass. So pure and healthy! Just kidding, just kidding. But when people ask me this question in an insulting manner, that’s what it feel likes they’re implying at times. I eat lots of amazing foods! Ever tried quinoa? It is seriously the best thing ever, you can pretty much put anything in it (berries, nuts, etc.) and BAM, you have yourself a meal! It’s loaded with protein too! :P. In addition to using several different grain substitutes, I like to advantage of foods that are naturally gluten-free such as vegetables, fruit, and meat. There is more to food than just gluten and dairy peoplez!

5.) Your diet is such an inconvenience!

Well that makes me feel good! If my diet is such an inconvenience for you than don’t hang or eat out with me! Thanks! Also, if my diet is SUCH an inconvenience to you for one night, than I’d sure as hell love to put you in my shoes and see how inconvenienced you feel now!

6.) Gluten/Dairy-Free, your food must taste disgusting!

Yeah, I just love consuming gross food! The highlight of my day is when I get to eat my crumbly, cardboard tasting sandwich for lunch. Bland really is better! Nah dude, do you really think I’d put up with deplorable food 24/7? No way! Like I said before, gluten and dairy are not the only foods that taste palatable on this planet. Gosh!

7.) That looks disgusting!

Well you’re very rude Miss/Mr! Didn’t your mother ever teach you manners? But besides the obvious, do you want to know what I think is disgusting? The chemically drenched, genetically engineered meals you’re consuming that barely legally qualifies as food. 

8.) Weren’t you supposed to outgrow your food allergies?

Apparently, but I was not one of the lucky ones that suddenly discovered they could eat Mike’s Pastries again. Boo :(. I still have a reaction to when I eat gluten and/or dairy (especially dairy, the reaction is EXTREMELY STRONG), so yes I’m still an allergic person.

9.) Are you sure that you’re allergic to gluten and dairy?

Yes……why would I say that I have allergies when I don’t? And why do you care so much about me “double checking” when no one is shoving gluten-free/dairy-free foods down your throat? I’d like to know!

While not everyone is like this and don’t always mean to be rude, it can get soooo annoying and I’d appreciate if people would ask me about my diet in a more of an inquisitive manner rather than a judgmental one. Thanks y’all!

For all of you allergic folks out there, what is the most annoying sh*t you’ve gotten from someone about the foods you eat?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Favorite Fall Television Shows

I absolutley adore summer, but I don’t love the dearth of TV selections that are available! Luckily, I got Netflix Streaming this past summer, so I’ve been able to watch some cool new programs, but other than that, there is almost nothing on. Fall is probably tied for my favorite season next to summer and one of the reasons I love it so much is quite peculiar. You guessed right; it’s when many of my favorite television shows come back on!

This week, many of my current favorite television shows returned on air, which made me want to share my thoughts on them with you guys.  Without further adieu, let me tell y’all about some of my most loved television shows!

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What It’s About: A former lawyer, now stay at home Mom (Alicia), is cheated on by her philandering State’s Attorney husband, who is now involved in a very public sex scandal. When her husband loses his job, Alicia has to go back to work in order to give her family a steady income and returns to the field of criminal law as a junior associate and must work her way back up the ladder. We also watch Alicia try to rebuild her seemingly decimated marriage with her husband.

My Review: This is a television show that I’ve recently gotten into. My Mom and I watched an episode last year and enjoyed it, but it was during the 4th season, and we usually like to start watching shows from the beginning just so that we can fill in those gaps. However, after The Good Wife was named an Emmy nominee, you could watch every episode from seasons 1-4  on On Demand, so therefore, my Mom and I started watching it again. Although I thought the The Good Wife was very good (ha-ha! this is a joke my Mom and I have together about the show), it took me awhile to get into it.  My parents favored the show more than I did and my Mom in particular watched every episode.  What you should know about The Good Wife is that watching this program is not a mindless, lackadaisical activity like many other TV shows. You have to pay close attention in order to understand the different court cases. and situations that precipitate from them. During the summer, I just did not have the patience to sit through every episode and analyze, but when the 5th season came on, I became hooked. The Good Wife is one of those precious TV jewels  that gets better each season and does not decrease in quality. What I love the most about the show is that it’s not just about criminal law and court cases, but also intertwines the personal stories of the character’s during every episode. The Good Wife has not only made me appreciate lawyers and what they do more, but also understand  just how corrupt our justice system can be sometimes, even though it is quite superior to other countries. I can tell you one thing though, this show has definitely confirmed my little desire to become a criminal lawyer when I grow up!

Standout Character(s):

Kalinda Sharma

Kalinda Sharma

I just love the private investigator Kalinda and her mysterious, cool vibe! Even her name sounds super epic! If I ever wanted to re-name myself, it would probably be the name Kalinda. However, I would probably put my own twist to it and call myself “Lexinda” just so that it wouldn’t be too obvious that I  renamed myself after a character. I also adore her style! I hope that I can dress similar to her at my future work place (if they allow it, ha-ha). I mean, between the high heeled boots and leather jackets, what’s not to love? Even though she is an odd,  legally questionable, and at times, cold-hearted character, I love her ability to piece things together and her fierce loyalty to other characters on the show.

When It’s On: Sunday nights on CBS!

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What It’s About: I think a lot of you guys had probably watched or at least have heard of the show, but I’ll give you the reader’s digest anyways. This show is about a friend group of nerdy scientists and their socially clueless interactions with average people.

My Review:
I’ve been watching this show for almost 3 years and it is HILARIOUS! The concept of the show is very distinctive and the social ineptness of these guys combined with them trying to interact with their beautiful roommate who has average intelligence, makes for the best comedy! I think that The Big Bang Theory takes the cake for several things; excellent characterization, one liners, and it’s amazing usage of observational humor from the perspective of scientists with low social IQ’s. In my personal opinion, the show was at its best the first five seasons, but has dolefully gotten less funny since then. However, I still think that it’s an adorable show and I’m glad that they have been renewed for an additional three seasons. I just hope that they keep up their momentum and not become one of those bird-brained sitcoms on television.

Standout Character(s):

Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler (now don't you just love her name?!?!)

Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler (now don’t you just love her name?!?!)

I think Sheldon and Amy are one of my favorite television couples because their romantic relationship dynamic is like no other. They are as slow as snails (much to Amy’s chagrin) when it comes building this type of relationship,  but I personally think that they compliment one another! I especially give kudos to Amy, because I (and probably 99% of other women) would not be able date a man so pompous, let alone for 3+ years!  If you start watching the show from the beginning, you will see that Sheldon is not very receptive to any kind of physical, and often times, emotional affection, so it’s quite hilarious to see him in a “relationship”.

Penny

Penny

While Penny isn’t necessarily my favorite standalone character on the show, can we just give props to Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting  for getting like the best pixie cut ever?!?! It makes me almost want to get one myself!

When It’s On: Monday nights at 8pm on CBS

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What It’s About: A slice of life comedy about a New York, Jewish family seen through the eyes of twelve year old aspiring film maker Adam Goldberg.

My Review: When I first thought the previews for this show last year, I thought that it was going to be one of those dim-witted, slapstick humor shows. However, my Mom is from Long Island, New York and we are Jewish, so therefore, my family decided to give it a whirl. Turns out it is EXTREMELY FUNNY! I also absolutley love that this show takes place during the 80’s, which is what I believe to be the coolest era ever (shame on you parents for having me in the late 90’s!). The TV show producers totally have the culture of the 80’s dead on, from the gnarly fashion to the hit songs! This show is also based on the  main producer’s life and family home videos from when he was a kid, so I thought that was pretty neat too!  In many ways, this show reminds me of a less controversial version of Roseanne (which is one of my favorite shows EVER by the way)  Like Roseanne, it  doesn’t have a continuous, specific plot,  but is more just about the ubiquitous scenarios families go through and how they deal with them (and in this case, often in a hilarious, atypical manner). If you want to watch something lighthearted for a half hour, go watch The Goldbergs!

Standout Character(s):

Beverly Goldberg

Beverly Goldberg

Beverly Goldberg has got to be thee funniest Mom right now on TV!  If you were trying to find the word for “loving your kids” too much in the dictionary, it would be smack on the name Beverley Goldberg! She will stop at nothing to help/protect her kids, even going as far as dressing up as ghost at a Halloween Party to help her son Barry get a date with the hottest girl at school, or trying to get an approval letter from Ronald Reagan to get her son Adam out of the Presidential Fitness Test. I also love her very 80’s big hair too!

When It’s On: 8:00 or 8:30pm on ABC during Wednesday nights.

Parenthood:

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What It’s About: Taking place in Berkeley, California, Parenthood focuses on the lives and families of four siblings. The general TV show story line is based off of the 1989 film Parenthood.

My Review: Sadly, this is going to be Parenthood’s last season, which is why I’m really looking forward  to watching it this year! I stumbled upon Parenthood last year on On Demand  (around Halloween) and binge-watched 4 seasons until I was all caught up. This show was previously categorized as a “dramedy” and it was for awhile up until the 4th season. Now don’t get me wrong, the 4th season was outstanding (actually one of my favorites), but during the 5th season they kind of lost their way. I’m pretty sure the writers wrote every episode last year with the intention of making us cry. I love the emotional aspects of Parenthood, but for goodness sake writers, can’t you make us laugh a little bit more?!?!

Even though this show is not perfect,  I love how close knit the Bravermans are (and their last name! Parenthood, has made me want to marry someone with the last name Braverman lol) and how the writers and character portrayal accurately show the ups and downs of parenting.  Parenthood also handles a lot of really tough, controversial issues beautifully such as Aspergers, breast cancer, addiction, broken homes, and adoption. While I might disagree with the writers recent intentions to make this a “bawl your eyes out” type of show, they are brilliant and insert such witty dialogue. The acting is absolutley phenomenal and you can tell that the cast really works together beautifully as an ensemble. I am sad to see Parenthood go this year, but hopefully the writers will get back in the swing of things and return to its dramedy roots.

Standout Character(s):

Amber

Amber

Amber is such an incredible character! I would totally be friends with in real life if she weren’t stuck inside a television screen ;). I especially love how three dimensional she is! Amber has a rebellious streak, but is also compassionate and very understanding as a human being. I also personally feel that she is an incredibly insightful character, but also hilarious with her sharp tongue!  Her punky style with a hint of adorableness is so cute too!

When It’s On: Thursday Nights at 10pm on NBC

Do any of you guys watch these TV shows or want to? What TV shows are/were you most looking forward to returning to the big screen?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Going Back to 2008: The Hollister Trend

I was never one to fit in a crowd. I mean, I didn’t go out of my way to stick out like a sore thumb, but it was the little things. The minute differences such as my refusal to participate in the Hollister trend, that set me apart from others. When I moved to a new state in the 5th grade, almost all of the girls and even some of the guys in my class were wearing Hollister shirts. Want to know what my first impression of these shirts were? Yawwwwwn Fest!!!

I couldn’t understand how these mundane sheets of cloth, which only had the words “Hollister” slapped on could be so popular. You’d sometimes get lucky and get one with the brand’s signature bird as an addition, but most of the time, you weren’t. These shirts were a sensation! It was consumerism at its peak! I was seeing Hollister carbon copies everywhere and suddenly, unfashionable became the hottest new trend.

Despite my original skepticism, I was still the ten year old new girl in town and was determined to fit in. So therefore, I dragged my parents to our local mall to transform myself from a “What’s Not to Wear” girl into a hip and trendy pre-teen. When we first walked into the store, we were greeted by a picture of a hunky man’s broad chest. Hello, nice to meet you too! It was almost as though that picture was saying, “If you shop here, we guarantee that you’ll be able to find yourself an Arnold Schwarzenegger Jr!” Then, as we turned left, we walked into a dimly lit room where our noses were blasted with incense. Sexy vibes? Maybe to some, but honestly, the perfume was just giving me an allergic reaction. However, I still picked out my supposedly perfect, hot fuchsia pink Hollister t-shirt and was totally stoked to wear it at school the next day.

When I first wore that Hollister shirt, I felt so powerful, like I could be anybody; maybe even one of the popular girls! After all, one of the cool, probably most Hollister obsessed girl in our school, complimented on my shirt; how could I not be happy? For a few weeks, I wore that shirt pretty much every other day, feeling like I was going to find social heaven. I probably would have worn that shirt seven days a week if I didn’t have to wash it! I did this for about a month. However, it was my frugal instincts that reminded me of why I didn’t want to shop there in the first place.

One day when I was selling Girl Scout cookies, I noticed that my belt was digging into my brand spanking new Hollister shirt. After I moved it, I saw a very distinctive hole. This made me pause. How could this piece of clothing, which I bought just a little bit over a month ago, have a hole in it already? How cheaply was this made? Was it made out of banana peels or something? Who knows? Suddenly, it then hit me! This shirt that my parents just spent money on was boring, thinly made, and definitely not worth its price tag.

After that happened, I threw the shirt in the garbage and went back to wearing my neon bright, denim infested outfits again. I never was by eleven year old standards, fashionable, but to be honest, I really didn’t care anymore. I was just glad to have my clothing sanity back! After all, life is too short not be a little weird, right?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

May Favorites and a Micro Rant on the Topic of Favorites in General

Hi everyone!!

I know that I am a tad bit late to the favorite things party since it is already June 4th, but I’ve been wanting to do this type of post for awhile now, so I’m still posting it anyways . I’ve always enjoyed reading about the monthly favorites of other bloggers and you-tubers ,so I’m like, hey, why not make a post of my own! It’s ironic that I’ve been wanting to do this type of post for the longest time since I’m ridiculously terrible at choosing favorites. Whenever someone ask me a question like “what’s your favorite comedy t.v. show, place to take out Chinese food, eyeliner, etc.”, I always have to give more than one answer. However, I will try to condense this “Favorites” post down as best I can so I won’t tire your brains out :). Let’s get started with some of my favorite foods of the month!

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Food :P:

I’ve been really loving my Mom’s artichoke and basil turkey meat balls this past month. These meatballs just have such a distinct flavor and smell heavenly. She’s also begun to experiment making them with lamb which also manages to blast my taste buds out of the water. I’ve also really had a thing for Mexican Food lately. I think this partially because we found the most AMAZING Mexican restaurant ever this past month! They have A TON of gluten-free options and use a lot of local produce to make their food. Not only is it such a healthy place to eat out, but everything there taste delectable! I mean, if hearing the words fish tacos doesn’t make salivate, I don’t know what does!

Cosmetics: 

I’ve been really loving two products this month. The first product I’ve really been loving is my Pumpkin and Poppy cream eye shadow in “My Precious”. The color of this product is an absolutely stunning bronze that makes for the most incredible neutral pigment. This eye shadow is also wicked easy to apply and last ALL DAY with extremely little creasing. Seriously, I’m obsessed guys! You want to know what I’m also obsessed with? LIP PRODUCTS and in particular my Silk Naturals slick stick in Black Dahlia. This slick stick can create the slightest hint of plum on your lips if applied lightly, or a spectacular deep berry color with ultra shimmer if applied more intensively. I have a picture of myself where I use two of these products if you want to see.

Me makeupYeah, I know , I have weird pink tones under my eyes in this photo. This is because I was using a lousy concealer I purchased from Lush at the time that enhanced the pink tones the concealer would cause me to have when getting photographed. Oh the joys of  trying out new makeup sometimes ;)! 

Fashion:

I don’t really have any fashion favorites for the month of May, but I have been loving the days where I could break out into denim shorts, skirts, and short-sleeved tops. There is just no better feeling, especially after having a long winter!

Media (Music/T.V. Shows/Movies/Books/etc.):

I do have some book, music, and television favorites for the month of May! Unfortunately, I’ve been so jam packed with school work (you know how it gets at the end of year!) that I haven’t had much time for reading, but the book I enjoyed the most for this month was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I read Paper Towns last year and really liked it a lot! I just loved his witty dialogue and unique development of his characters! The past few months I’ve been hearing rave reviews about the book and knew that I had to pick it up and read it before the movie came out :). I read the book on my library’s kindle (which made it an entirely different reading experience all together) and thought it was a great page-turner, but also a tear-jerker (Well for most people at least, I personally did not cry. I don’t cry easily unless its something directly related to me or happening to someone that is close.) John Green really did a great job of creating likable, authentic characters that you could not help but root for. I am in awe of his deep understanding of the psychology of teenagers. In fact, I think he understands us teenagers more than we understand ourselves sometimes! In particular, he really made me understand how difficult it is for a teenager with terminal cancer to live their life, but not stop living at the same time. I wouldn’t say that this was the best book I ever read or say that it changed my life, unlike what many others have been saying, but I did really enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone.

Okay, well, that was a long paragraph! I promise I’ll make  the descriptions of my television and music favorites brief. There was nothing new on television that sparked my interest in May, but I did enjoy watching re-runs of Ugly Betty on DVD. I’ve talked a little bit about my love of the show before, but it is by far the most HILARIOUS show I’ve ever watched and the acting is impeccable! This show is so good that it deserves its own blog post which will be coming soon :)!

For music favorites of the month, I have two; Taylor Dayne and Sarah Mclachlan’s new album Shine On. I’ve always loved Taylor Dayne but I’ve been listening to her a lot more recently. In particular, I’ve been loving this remix that gives you a good glimpse of all of her best songs and just wants to make you get up and dance! I think I’ve listened to her to death and will have to give her break for awhile , but I highly recommend that you guys check her out, she’s awesome!

I’ve always loved Sarah Mclachlan’s voice so much, seriously, she’s one of my favorite female singers of all time. I’ve been so stoked for this album to come out this year and she never fails, I…PANCAKE FLIPPING..LOVE…THIS…ALBUM!! It is mellower than her previous work but it is still really great. My favorite songs from this album are “In Your Shoes”, “Flesh and Blood”, “Monsters”, and “Beautiful Girl”. I can’t wait to hear the songs live this summer when I see her concert, which is like a dream come true of mine!

Hope you all enjoyed reading about my favorite things!

Here are the links below if you all want to check out what I’ve been talking about:

http://host.silknaturals.com/creb/black-dahlia-deep-plum-shimmer-p-935.html

http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Towns-John-Green/dp/014241493X

http://www.amazon.com/Fault-Our-Stars-John-Green/dp/014242417X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401909519&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fault+in+our+stars

http://www.amazon.com/Ugly-Betty-Complete-Season-Collectors/dp/B003VFH8QA/ref=sr_1_12?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1401909584&sr=1-12&keywords=ugly+betty+season+1

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

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Facebook Pet Peeves

Facebook is the website we all love to hate. Even for those of you who proclaim that you despise Facebook, deep down you know you adore it  :). You feel like a superstar whenever you log in and thirty people who you are barely acquainted with click the minuscule thumbs up sign and “like” your new profile picture. Or when you write a status update that is just so epically awesome, sassy, owns everyone, and then your “friends” are applauding you with a plethora of “likes” and comments for posting it. It makes you feel like the king or queen of the internet.  Yup, that’s what Facebook does…about 10% of the time. However, the other 90% of the time, you are waiting for something to spark your attention and captivate your interest. Occasionally you’ll find something of intrigue, but…..much of the time, you’ll find status updates like these.

Introducing……..

FACEBOOK PET PEEVES!!!

Status Update #1:

Lms (like my status) for a rate! 

I have seen an abundance of these types of status updates on Facebook and it is really starting to make my brains want to explode into a million pieces  annoy me. Ugh! Everyone always rates each other between an 8-10, because at the bottom of their hearts, they know it is a shallow concept to begin with, so they make up for it by giving a rating that is baseless and has absolutely no meaningful criteria whatsoever. Like seriously, I really don’t care about how hot or awesome someone else thinks you are. Why don’t people do a “truth is” instead? At least that has an encouraging basis! However, I do have to admit that it is awkward when someone you barely know “likes” your “truth is” status update and having no clue what to say.

Status Update #2:

I cut my leg shaving in the shower today and now I’m bleeding.

This was literally a status update I once saw and I’m like, “why the fig newton would I, or anyone else, care about this?” Yes, we have all cut ourselves shaving and yes, it’s no fun, but why do users really feel the need to announce this to their 240 Facebook friends? Do they really think so highly of themselves that they’d think that we’d all feel so much sympathy for their  little shower accident? Or maybe they’re just bored? If so, find something else to do! Build a snowman, paint your nails, read a book, or go out and purchase a better shaving cream, I don’t care,  just please don’t write about it in a status update.  

Status Update #3:

I hate me because of you. 

You want to know what I hate – – passive/aggressive status updates that, despite your attempts to mask it as poetry, fails in the process . Sometimes, they can give someone a chuckle, but when seeing them ad nauseum, I believe that they can be quite agitating. I think that this is a way people try to stave off live confrontation – by trying to deal with relationship issues by swiping away at the keyboard. I really dislike when people do this because problems should be worked out in real life rather than on the internet. Also, it is not right to get other people involved in your problems. In addition, making status updates like these all the time just makes people appear to be as bitter as dandelions , so please…just stop bombarding me with status updates like these.

Status Update #4:

F*ck this, f*ck everything, life has turned into f*cking sh*t, f*ck, F*CK, F*CCCCKKKKK!!!

I also really get annoyed when people incessantly curse on Facebook. When used appropriately and judiciously, Facebook status updates  that include cursing can be humorous or speak true to life. However, most of the time, it just makes you sound like a drunken sailor to be frank.  If you really want to get your message across effectively, use a thesaurus or even better, look up some cunning Shakespearean curses. People will take you more seriously if you do, trust me.

These are just some of the things that bother me about Facebook, but I want to spare everyone a forty paragraph rant. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook has **great** utility when used in a positive way. I love using Facebook to showcase my photography to people, keep in touch with friends and family that live far away from me, and it is enjoyable to learn about other people’s lives, but I just strongly resent the way Facebook can be misused sometimes. This is why I am starting to turn more to other social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and obviously blogging, rather than being a Facebook addict, ha-ha!

Do any of you share any of the same Facebook pet peeves or have your own? Share your thoughts  below in the comment box!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund