(#) Summer Blogger Challenge 5

Yas. Yas. Yas. 

Finally. In my deep excitement in this week’s summer blogger challenge prompt, I have forgotten how to pronounce my e’s as I cheer for this week’s prompt, something that connects to my life well enough that I don’t have to mesh and morph into something that mildly works. I’m so happy I could run to the grocery store and kiss the cute worker that I’m currently in love with!

“Paper or plastic?” 

Gives kiss on the cheek, lays money on the counter, grabs purchases and runs out of the store and heads home to blog

Okay so the thing that’s making me so happy. Only a prompt that combines many strong aspects of my life and asks me to share them with my blogging people could stir such emotions. “What are the best restaurants of your city?” No, but that’s a good idea. “Who’s your history boyfriend?” Sorry but this isn’t the time to talk about Thomas Jefferson. “How much cooler are local and independent businesses than chains?” Oh man I think I’ll spare you from that rant.  How about something that includes my deep passion for my favorite season with the power of one of the best art forms: “What songs are you loving this summer/Summer playlist?”

  • Okay guys I know this song came out like five years ago, but remember, I’m a history major, I live in the past! I recently rediscovered this song a few weeks ago and have kept a Youtube tab of it open on my computer at all times. Iration’s perfect reggae beat and feel, combined with the love song keeps me happily bouncing around, smiling, and pretending that the bag boy loves me back. 
  • Oh, Bad Suns. A lovely hip and indie band that alternative radio station 102.1 The X brought to Strange Matter last month captured my heart with “Cardiac Arrest” (a song about “high voltage” love, not a heart problem). They have great acoustic songs on their channel, and get plus points for being cute, too ;) If you like that (why wouldn’t you? You’re fun, hip and cool just like them), I suggest their other songs, “Salt” and “We Move Like the Ocean”. 
  • Let’s hit the mainstream with the next choice: “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers, a project by one of the guys from fun. who is not lead singer Nate Reuss. Bleachers shares fun.’s quirky, almost Queen-like sound, and talks about a theme everyone experiences at some point: wanting to get better, because hey, aren’t we all a little not right? This is a must listen to anyone who has ever “trained themselves to give up on the past”. I give this song the Claire seal of approval of blasting in your car while driving. Side effects may include strange looks from the other drivers, though. 
  • OHMIGOD IF YOU IGNORED THE OTHER SONGS LISTEN TO THIS ONE RIGHT NOW YOU’LL BE DANCING AND SINGING LIKE ITS THE 1940′S I’M TELLING YOU THIS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Thank you il mio amico Sean for introducing me to The Mowgli’s during his hipster music binge. Their beyond upbeat and lively tune keeps me dancing and smiling during the whole song. The good vibes don’t cease with these kids, and since song is named after one of my favorite cities to eventually visit, I give them extra points. 
  • With the same kinda sexiness that lives in Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?”, Big Data’s “Dangerous” keeps you rocking and grooving. Sorry if you’re in the car with me when this comes on, because I’ll shush you and turn the music up. Mi dispiace. 
  • Sara Bareilles was (so far) my only concert of the summer, so it’d be a shame to not talk about her. Since depressing music seems to be her thing and I’m so drawn to “1000 Times” with it’s high emotion and music that pulls you in, it might as well go here. 
  • This came on my Pandora station one day and I immediately fell in love. Maybe it’s my thing for California, reggae, or listening to love songs and pretending that I’m the girl that they’re singing about, but regardless, Pacific Dub has me swooning in infatuation and pretending that I have a California boy singing this to me (Or a VCU boy. Those are cool too). 
  • Welcome to my all time favorite song, the very essence of summer, “Lay Me Down” by the Dirty Heads. A Bonnie and Clyde kinda love story, I can’t help but smile as I sing/try to rap the words. I could and have listened to this one repeat for hours on end, maybe it’s the story or the acoustic guitar in the beginning, but something here grabs me and doesn’t let me go. If you liked this, check out their new hit “My Sweet Summer” or another favorite,“Cabin By the Sea”

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(#) Summer Blogger Challenge 4

I’m guessing by now I’m expected to have “skills” and “know how to do things” because week four’s prompt is “Write a tutorial”. I have no idea what an outfit tutorial is (“To put your pants on, first unbutton and zip them, then put one leg in at a time), we talked about food last week, and nail art was my big interest in ninth grade, which was a few years ago, so don’t expect me to remember anything. I could tell you how to waste time doing a lot of nothing or how to obsess about your hair, but I’d figure I might as well write about something that I know how to do.

Here we go…

How To Be Unbelievably Awkward Around Boys

by Claire, who has way to much experience in this field

1. This first step is highly suggested but not necessary: Go to an all-girls school. Especially during dating years (i.e. high school and college). You’ll spend all of your school day and extra circulars with other girls, thinking how great and perfect it is to be an all female environment, but by the time you go out in the real world, you won’t have any clue what to do, thanks to limited male interaction

2. When you see a particularly cute boy in a real world situation, like at the pool or at work, you have a couple of options. My favorite is to panic on the inside and start hitting your friend (who, of course, is a girl), mumbling things like “omgomgomgomg do you see that handsome God over there?”. Continue reading

(#) Summer Blogger Challenge 3

This week’s prompt: Share a recipe! Well this is easy. I bake more than I tan (well I do a lot of things more than I tan, since my Irish heritage is pretty much against that), so I’ve got a plethora of recipes under my sleeveless tank top (See what I did there?! It’s summer, so I’m wear shirts without sleeves…..sorry). 

With my love of baking, I’ve saved hundreds of recipes on Foodgawker (the pinterest of food and food only), and tested out quite a few. But there’s one girl’s blog that is my fall back. Her cookies are always soft, her muffins are bursting with flavor, and cheesecakes are to die for. Her recipes range from healthier options to sugar and oreo overloads, and she has a soft spot for peanut butter (You wanna be her best friend too, right?). I never buy books-but I bought her cookbook in the spring and have used it countless times now. She’s won $5K from Nestle, has been on talk shows and radios, and her cookies aided me that time I tried to date engineers. You’d be doing yourself a favor by going to Sally’s Baking Addiction

Last week I made her flourless, peanut butter brownie cookies for one of my co-worker’s birthday. Everyone loved them, they were gone in minutes. Recipe here!

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I exchanged peanut butter chips for Reese’s pieces, which I think make the cookies kinda fun looking and taste awesome. The whole recipe was only seven ingredients and took seven minutes to mix together. Can it can get better than that? Yes, a cold glass of milk.  

Want to try some of her other recipes? My favorites include the potato toffee chip cookie, her skinny tropical muffins- which is like waking up at the beach with a glass of OJ, lemon blueberry cheesecake bars, her multi-purpose gingersnaps, and her sweet rolls.   

Okay guys, I let my baking secret out-be careful with this new power. Her food is beyond spectacular, but I gotta warn you: Just because a guy likes your cookies (and you) does not mean that he is going to ask you out. Trust me. 

(#)Summer Blogger Challenge 2

So for Week 2 of the Summer Blogger Challenge, the prompt is to write about your summer essentials or what’s in your summer bag.

Uhm I’ve got a problem over here….or two or three.

So I don’t really have summer essentials. I have all weather essentials, you know, phone, wallet, car keys, package of gum, bottle of water, and a bag of chocolate. Plus this summer I don’t have a “summer bag”. I have bagsZZZs: My purse for when I go to Carytown and fun places, my mini backpack for going to work and places that need more stuff that a purse can hold, my pool bag filled with library books I may or may not read and a bunch of forgotten granola bars, and my yoga bag which is really a tote bag that I stuck a yoga mat in. And there’s so much random stuff always in my car it might as well be another bag.

If I had a summer bag filled with summer essentials, it would probably go along the lines of this:

  1. There’d be my Heifer Project hat that one of my sweet customers gave me. ‘Cause sometimes you do fall asleep at the pool and a hat would be nice to make sure your face didn’t burn off. And why not advertise your favorite charity while you’re at it?
  2. Keys to a coral, convertible Volkswagen beetle to drive to and from Target, the pool, Charlottesville and other places on my summer list. (And yes, all my bumper stickers would transfer over)
  3. An endless mix CD of quintessential summer time music that includes but is not limited to: SublimeIration, The Summer Set, Bob Marley and the Wailers and The Dirty Heads,
  4. A never-ending package of Orbit peach gum. I bought a couple packs of these three years ago and never saw them since, which was such a shame since they were pretty freaking amazing
  5. Every day, there would be a fresh cup of iced chai tea to get my daily fix. Because chai is life and life is chai
  6. A pair of tickets to the Foo Fighters tickets from the Bring Foo Fighters to RVA movement. I may or may not be slightly extremely bitter about not getting tickets to this concert….Read about it here
  7. Magic sun lotion that lets you get that perfect, elusive amount of sunshine that’s healthy but not damaging. You get the right amount of color and vitamin D without any burns!
  8. Esquire magazine that rotates out all of the articles once I’m done with it.
  9. One of Target’s cute bathing suits…but not just any bathing suit. The second I put it on, I’m outta Richmond and in Jamaica with my friends, swimming in the crystal clear water, tanning  on the perfect beaches, and enjoying jerk chicken and fresh fruit in the fresh air.

 Maybe my summer can’t be filled with Jamaica sunsets, Foo Fighters concerts, and coral punch buggy cars, but a girl can dream, right? Isn’t that what summer’s about? Freeing yourself from responsibilities like school and doing what you want, whenever you want (at least to an extent)? Taking it easy and taking it all in, your friends, your family, and yourself, as you have a good time in the sunshine daydreams. 

Ugh, sorry guys, someone updated WordPress without telling me, and now I’m lost, scared, and pretty confused like a stray cat. I’m struggle trying to figure out how to add pictures and gifs, so bear with me here, and eventually I’ll update everything. Hang tight and stay groovy until then!