The Isle of Skye: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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The Isle of Skye is legit an otherworldly realm straight out of a Tolkien novel. One moment, you’re bumping along on a lovely one lane road riddled with potholes, surrounded by strangely-shaped mountains carpeted completely in a soft green and then, you round a bend and you’re somehow in a rough, craggy atmosphere, where a purpley-brown growth is springing out of a mist-covered ground and you are convinced you somehow landed on a planet not in our solar system.

(That was the longest fucking sentence I’ve ever written. It’s probably not even grammatically correct, but we’re just gonna roll with it.)

This is not a homage to Skye. In fact, my favorite part of Skye really had nothing to do with the actual place, as I could have met one of my favorite bloggers (more on that later) in Timbuktu if that was where she lived (and I happened to be traveling to Timbuktu).

This is going to be a post that fully prepares anyone wishing to go to Skye for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So, let’s just get on with it, eh?

The Good

Really, the best way to show the good side of Skye would be with the pictures I took. So, I’m going to show and not tell. Besides, even my amateur photography would better serve to express its raw beauty than any vocabulary I possess.

This was 10 PM on the Isle of Skye. 

That water, though…

Every conceivable shade of green can be found on Skye.

The coolest coffee shop that served me the best latte I’ve ever had.

The best latte I’ve ever had and my first time trying oat milk = OBSESSED.

Beauty around every bend

The skies really made that green pop.

An old cemetery by the sea

Too beautiful for words

The sheep. OMG the sheep. I loved them so much. I miss those wooly butts so bad.

A stretch of road with no one on it is how I hoped it’d be.

It was so quiet and peaceful at this spot. Right here. Right here is Scotland to me.

It legit looks fake.

What planet is this even?

Out of this freaking world!

Being introspective af

I really hoped we’d see a hobbit at the Fairy Glen.

This is Skye.

This is the Skye I want to never forget.

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A tiny Old Man of Storr 

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Hehehehehe

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Portree

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We got to this one before the hordes invaded.

The Bad

The Roads

Holy shit, the roads. Probably 90% of the roads on Skye are one lane. I don’t even know if that figure is at all accurate, but numbers don’t matter here. You’re gonna feel those one-laners and that’s all that matters.

Not only are the majority of the roads one lane, they are full of locals who don’t have time for tourists and their inept driving. One thing can be said about those locals: they have a system and they all religiously abide by it (You pull over if the pullout is on your side. If it’s on the other side DO NOT, FOR FUCKS SAKE, PULL OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE OR YOU MESS UP THE WHOLE SYSTEM, JANET.)

So, yeah, the actual Skye residents drive like bats out of hell and literally everyone else has no idea what they’re doing.

As if that ain’t bad enough, after every other sheep in the road (that’s not a figure of speech, btw, they are literally in the road) is a pothole the size of any one of the Kardashians’ massive fake asses, and considering the entire island is only 639 square miles, that’s a lot of freaking potholes.

Our rental car probably needed all new suspension after a week of those roads, and my chiropractor is rolling in the dough (literally and figuratively).

The Tourists

So, yeah, we were tourists, but we weren’t those tourists. We weren’t touristy tourists. We weren’t literally-push-like-we’re-in-Kindergarten-tourists.

Actually, I encountered pushy, rude tourists the most in really crowded touristy places like Edinburgh Castle and the like.

I don’t recall any one tourist from the Isle of Skye, but that is probably because we encountered 8,565,723 of them. To be fucking precise.

I get it, people want to see beautiful places. We all want to see The Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the Quiraing. Realizing that doesn’t make it any less annoying that you and literally everyone’s brother are trampling along to see a famous rock structure and not one bit of it feels like it should.

When you look at pictures of Skye, it looks so unspoiled, unpopulated, “unruined”. Unless you’re visiting during the off season, those remote-looking images are straight up false advertisement. It’s hard to take in and truly appreciate the raw natural beauty of the Quiraing when you’re fighting with hordes of tourists with their selfie sticks.

There were quite a few times we drove by beautiful waterfalls or odd-shaped alien formations and didn’t stop because the area would be literally crawling with people.

My favorite waterfall was this one…

…because strangely, we were alone on the road, and there was not a single person for as far as the eye could see. We barely caught a glimpse of the waterfall as we passed, so we stopped so I could run back to take a picture. As I was heading back towards the waterfall, the only sound I could hear was the sound of rushing water and just the wildness that Skye is when it isn’t overrun by people. It was my favorite moment, hands down.

Alone on the road with this made me feel so completely in Scotland.

The Ugly

The Lack of Amenities

The bladder is a sympathetic organ. It feels bad for you when there are no bathrooms anywhere to be found. So, to show how sorry it is, it makes you need to go to the bathroom far more often than is even humanly possible. The bladder is also a stupid asshole.

You know who else is a stupid asshole? The Isle of Skye.

Ya’ll, there are literally no public toilets on the entirety of the whole damn island. Maybe that’s an exaggeration as we didn’t explore every square inch, but where we did go, we didn’t see one. Not a one.

What is the result when a council/area/agency fails to provide public restrooms at popular tourist sites?

Well, let me fucking tell you.

TOILET PAPER EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE.

You have no idea the amount of stress I had knowing the bathrooms would be few and far between. And, that wherever I’d find to “wee” behind a bush, there’d already be toilet paper and I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK WHAT ELSE.

It was gross. Inexcusable. And, exactly what happens when a place is perfectly happy taking tourists’ money but can’t be bothered to provide sanitary ways to relieve oneself.

I’m just glad that one of my fears- having an attack of the travel trickle in the middle of nowhere- was never realized, because I really didn’t want that to be the highlight of my time on Skye.

The Locals Who Are Jerks

When we arrived in Portree on our first night, it was a really busy Saturday evening. The tiny Co-Op grocery store was a happening place, as everyone was trying to get their provisions for the evening. There is next to no parking in Portree, but we somehow lucked out with a spot directly in front of the store. In case we needed to move the car for some reason, my aunt and uncle stayed in the car and my mom and I went into the store.

As we were looking for a handful of basic groceries, my aunt was approached by a woman who ever so nicely (that’s sarcasm) told her she couldn’t park in the spot we were in all night. My aunt said something like, “We weren’t planning on staying in the grocery store all night, but thanks…”

This woman then proceeded to tell her how annoying tourists are and how she can’t stand them.

She said this to a person who is obviously not a Skye local, but a fucking tourist.

Our first introduction to the Isle of Skye was a woman who told us how much she hated us.

Awesome.

There were a few people who were kind and accommodating, but for the most part, the people we encountered on the Isle of Skye weren’t especially nice.

Even worse, we were told that the general consensus is that tourists suck and that fixing the roads or the lack of amenities is totally not worth it, but the money they get from the hated tourists? They’re cool with that.

Look, I get it. Tourists can suck. Especially the ones who push you out of the way so they can take 18 different selfies in front of whatever isn’t quite as cool as they are. If you live in a touristy town, hordes of tourists invading your area can get old pretty fast, but being rude isn’t going to make them go away.

What took away some of the sting of being treated like an invasive species was getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Lorna, from Gin & Lemonade.

Her and her hubby and darling daughter were so accommodating, kind, and an immense treat to spend time with. Because of them, I’ll always love Skye and when I think of my time there, I’ll feel a connection that can’t just be made by merely seeing and visiting, but by experiencing and truly getting to know the good that exists there.

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MASSIVE love to these people.

If you’re reading this and you’re a Skye local and you take offense, take it up with the lady who stands outside the Bank Street Co-Op-the one who warmly welcomes your guests.

Don’t Be *That* Person On the Plane

People are really, really annoying. There’s no doubt about it. Despite my desire to maintain the overly sunshine-and-rainbow delusion that all people are lovely individuals who almost never clip their toenails in public, it’s just not reality.

Chances are, the majority of the people you have encountered and will encounter on a plane have been perfectly normal people who don’t talk to you nonstop on a nonstop from San Francisco to Paris. Most likely they’ve kept their mouth breathing to a minimum, and they didn’t seem to ooze odors from every orifice. Most likely.

Sometimes, you’re not so lucky. Sometimes you get Del Griffith as a seat partner.

Behold, four airplane travel types that no one likes (please don’t be any of these people):

1. The Cougher

Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is covered in Kindergarten and is practically a curriculum standard. However, some people don’t retain this information into adulthood.

When you’re on a plane, it’s already bad enough that you’re confined in a space that’s 50% recycled air. It’s perfectly ghastly and inexcusable that a grown adult chooses to blast their germ-riddled spittle into the air and onto every surface around them in such a confined space.

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Sharing is NOT caring on an airplane.

Cover your fucking mouth like the civilized human you are pretending to be with your Ann Taylor pant suit.

And, for your convenience:

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2. The Farter

OK. Lemme be real a minute. We all have to fart. In fact, I’ve heard holding in your farts can be hazardous to your health. So, it’s unreasonable to expect anyone and everyone to cease farting the entire length of their flight (especially when you’re flying halfway around the world on a 9+ hour flight).

However, if after your test fart (the little baby toot you let out to test the waters, er-air) you’re met with something that could melt the fuselage, I hate to break it to you, you’re gonna have to hold those in.

When you have one of those metal melting farts, this better be you.

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Some things you can do to prevent excess gas during your flight are:

  • Eat smaller portions the day before and immediately leading up to your flight
  • Take Beano or other gas-reducer
  • Avoid greasy, fattening foods, as well as wheat, lactose, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, lentils, beans, carbonated soft drinks, onions, pears, and all other foods
  • Essentially, eat NOTHING before a flight

Really, it’s for the common good.

There are no private trees to fart behind on a plane. I repeat: THERE IS NO WHERE TO FART (other than the bathroom, but do you really want to be the person who destroys the bathroom on a long flight? No, you don’t).

3. The What Was That(er)

Farts aren’t always the worst thing that can come out of someone sitting next to you on a plane.

Sometimes, your next door neighbor sounds like they are working on an almighty hair ball. Sometimes, your seat partner coughs up mucus and spits it out in their barf bag. Sometimes, people moan/whisper/belch/mouth breathe/mumble/groan without end or for any discernible reason.

My favorite idiot. This was on a bus, but you get the idea.

No one wants to listen to the plethora of noises your body makes. If you can’t help it and your repetitive throat clearing is a verifiable tic, I feel for you and you’re excused.

But, if you can hold in your whispered devil worshipping incantations or that weird belch/cough thing, quit being an annoying asshole already. Please and thank you.

My favorite annoying asshole.

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4. The Groomer

In case anyone here wasn’t already aware, it’s not proper etiquette to do any sort of extreme grooming in your seat on the plane. Basic freshening up, like running a brush through your hair, applying a covert swipe of deodorant, or wiping your greasy face down with a face wipe can all be tolerated.

What should never be tolerated, however, is:

  • Clipping your finger or toe nails
  • Filing your finger or toe nails
  • Cleaning wax out of your ears (especially when you place your wax-coated q-tips on the tray table)
  • Popping zits or squeezing black heads out of the end of your nose
  • Scratching excessively anywhere below the belt
  • Picking crusted crap out from under your long, brown finger nails

This last one I actually had to endure during a 9 hour flight from Vancouver to London. A man sat down in the aisle seat next to my boyfriend, settled himself in his spot, and then proceeded to pick his long, poop brown nails the ENTIRE FLIGHT.

It was a real test of my gag reflex not to barf all over him.

If you have a gross habit that is not exactly socially acceptable behavior, IT DOESN’T BELONG ON AN AIRPLANE WHERE YOU ARE INCHES AWAY FROM A STRANGER FOR HOURS ON END.

*Bonus* When I was *that* person on the plane

Sometimes, we really have no intention of being *that* person, but it just happens.

Years ago, on a domestic flight with my then-boyfriend, I tried an Airborne immune supplement for the first time. Both my boyfriend and I had no idea how to take one. We popped them into our mouths, feeling pretty smart and proactive about our health.

Just seconds later, we discovered our horrific mistake as our mouths ballooned with ever-growing fizz. Pretty quickly, we were literally frothing at the mouth.

The fizz was growing ever bigger and we both tried to swallow it down, hoping to minimize the embarrassing mistake we had made. Instead of swallowing it all quickly and silently, because the fizz was coming and coming with no end in sight, we both gagged and coughed and spit as orange-tinged froth overflowed and spilled down over our chins and all over our clothes.

The people next to us and across the aisle looked at us, shocked and disgusted, as we literally looked rabid.

The boyfriend was irate that I didn’t read the packaging and didn’t know you were supposed to put the tablet in a bottled water to dissolve before ingesting. Oops.

So, even without trying, one can be shocking, disgusting, and annoying.

If we all just read label directions more thoroughly, tried breathing through our noses more, and picked the dried crap out of our nails before getting on the plane, air travel would be so much more enjoyable.

What annoys you the most about the people you have to share a plane with? Let me know in the comments.

No, Karen. They Don’t Have Your Brand of Bottled Water

Travel diarrhea, lost baggage, shady hostels-oh my!

These are the best parts of travel, amiright?

I’m actually only being half-sarcastic. The super crappy (often times, literally) parts of travel are always the most memorable.

My memories of The Rainbow Hostel in Dingle, Ireland are some of my fondest, and not just because I didn’t contract hepatitis. But, said memories do have something to do with a coed shower room.

(Hang tight for a blog post about this gem.)

I’m the kind of international traveler who realizes that when traveling in another country, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE MY FAVORITE TOILET PAPER AND THAT’S OK.

Also, I realize that my accommodations might not be decorated to my tastes and the free continental breakfast might include gray-brown lunchmeat.

IT’S ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE, SO SHUT YO MOUTH AND ENJOY IT.

I’m always amazed (but not really, because people) at the kinds of concerns and non-issues people have/had when on vacation.

Whenever you have some time to spare, scroll through some Trip Advisor or hotel reviews. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Here are some “issues” I’ve read about from review and comment sections that are ridiculous with a capital “maybe you just shouldn’t travel”.

1. Complaints about decor:

WHY DOES THE DECOR OF THE HOTEL/HOUSE/YURT/TREEHOUSE DETERMINE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR TRIP?

Maybe I’m missing something, but do people really go on vacation for the sole purpose of staying in a well-designed hotel room? For example, do people want to see France only if they can stay in an all-white hotel room?

Balthazar, I am not going to Scotland unless we stay in a house that is all tartan. And, when I say “all“, I fucking mean if the carpets, wallpaper, and coffeemaker aren’t tartan, it will ruin my entire fucking experience!”

No?

So, why are these people filling up the review sections with gripes about the decor in their accommodation? ALL I want to know is if it’s decently clean and bed bug-free. THAT’S IT.

You also don’t need to tell me you found a pube on the bathroom floor. I would like to know, however, if you found any kind of hair in supposedly clean sheets. That’s just nasty.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice hotel room or house rental, but if how it’s decorated can make or break your entire trip, how about just stay home?

Our gorgeously hideous London hotel room. Sure, none of the furniture matched and their “AC” was a stand fan, but it was close to a tube station, was affordable, and they folded our towels on our bed fancy-like.

2. Food options:

How can people be so unaware that they don’t realize beforehand that a place like Myanmar maybe won’t have a drive thru Taco Bell? This is totally my own made-up not-so-exaggerated exaggeration. But still.

I’ve read about travelers complaining about India having curry, and expecting to find a Mexican server at a Mexican restaurant in ITALY.

Read more of these idiotic and true traveler reviews here.

When I went to the U.K. for the first time I ate cheese and tomato sandwiches literally every day. Only a few times did I deviate from my newfound comfort food. I chose this option because it was (is) freaking tasty as hell and also because I’m not very adventurous, food-wise. I knew ahead of time to be prepared to eat different foods. Instead of complain how a different country from mine had different foods (shocker), I found new foods that I could enjoy without activating my gag reflex. It’s really not that hard.

My mother swore up and down she found the last and only jar of mayo while in England. It was found dusty and alone on a top shelf in a tiny shop. My good friend professed that not a bottle of ketchup could be found anywhere on the British Isles. Naturally, I had to take photographic evidence of their LIES.

3. Expecting things to go your way and ONLY your way:

Another thing that really chaps my lips (I don’t like the phrase “chaps my ass”, because when does an ass get chapped? And, chapped lips are the worst) is how too many travelers don’t leave their stubborn ways at home.

When you’re in another country, with an entirely different culture, maybe you won’t necessarily have experiences that are exactly how you experience life in your home country. In fact, I know you won’t.

One of these differences I learned the hard way was how some English toilets flush. After a long flight and no comfortable bathroom time, it was no surprise that when I got to our hotel room in London, it was go time. When it came time to flush, it just was not happening. Thank God my boyfriend at the time figured out that pumping the handle did the trick, because having to call down to the front desk for help flushing my plane poo, would have been embarrassing.

Actually, now that I’m thinking, that would have made an even better story! Damn.

So, I learned that many of the toilets I’d encounter required pumping. No big.*

(This same toilet also tried to kill me when I sat down on the seat and went sailing off the base of the toilet, because it was just sitting there, not attached at all. And, you don’t see me complaining.)

If you check out the above link, you’ll read about people complaining how a beach was too sandy and how Spain has too many Spanish-speaking people. You’ll read it and instantly feel better about yourself. You’re welcome.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, if your outlook is so cloudy and full of shit that you can’t enjoy the weird/funny/exotic experiences you will have when traveling abroad, why even do it?

Just splash the hot and cold together to get warm (Sage advice from a friend). Duh.

So, unless you’re complaining about travel diarrhea from tainted escargot, lost or tampered with baggage (because there ain’t any way to make that a positive), or filthy, insect-ridden hostels, maybe check yourself before you wreck yourself. Your absurd review could end up on the next “Ridiculous Travel Complaints By People Who Suck”.

The person who sat down next to us, took her gum out, placed it on this ledge to eat her chips AND THEN LEFT IT THERE is totally Karen’s weird cousin, Gayle. She for sure complained about the hostel’s lack of trash receptacles.

This is the first in my Travel Tuesday series in honor of my upcoming trip abroad this summer. I can’t wait to share some travel stories, tips only idiots need, and much more! Buckle your seat belts and ready your barf bags, people. We’re bound to hit some gnarly turbulence.

*British friends, was I imagining this or are many toilet flushers pumped to get the toilet to flush?

WTF Am I Even Thinking?

It’s no secret I am currently conspiring to write a book. Well, not simply conspiring. I’ve actually got *most* of it written. It’s just a messed up hodgepodge with almost no direction or central idea/theme/vision, is all.

No biggie.

Excuse me while I go throw up.

Actually, excuse me while I go procrastinate by doing literally anything other than write for my book.

*sits on edge of bed, staring off into nothing for the better part of an hour*

I’m struggling to find a central theme for my ramblings.

Not only that, I’m struggling to write solely for the purpose of someday maybe publishing my words.

I love me the instant gratification that is blogging.

Don’t even lie and say you totally weren’t shaking your head in agreement. You were. I saw you.

I write a post and, almost instantly, I’m met with feedback that feeds my soul (and that ever-present need to be validated).

It’s a really great rewards system.

“Writing” a book is the direct opposite of this.

I *have* to write and then afterwards no one rings a bell or gives me a high five or anything. It’s really disheartening.

So, I’m struggling, ya’ll.

Further, I don’t know what posts to save for my book and which to go ahead and publish on my blog.

So, not only do I have no direction whatsoever in terms of my “book”, I have no blooming idea what I should blog about.

A good example of this conundrum would be an idea I have for a travel series in honor of my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, the U.K. and Ireland.

Many moons ago, I went to the U.K. and Ireland for the first time, and it was, single-handedly, the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. Not only was it epic to experience being in another country, having the time of my life, but also, so.many random and hilarious things happened while there.

Now that I’ve gotten serious (and by gotten serious, I mean I’ve saved some Word documents with some possible already-written blog posts) about actually maybe putting a book together, I don’t know if I should include my travel stories in my book or on my blog.

And then, there’s the crippling self-doubt.

There’s always that.

I don’t want to rush-procrastinate and ruin my only future memoir. It’s not like I have a whole other secret double life that I can write about if I totally bomb telling the first life.

Would anyone notice if I tried to write it again?

Really, WTF am I even thinking?

This is the epitome of first world problems in case anyone needed a good psychotic example for a college paper or whatever.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect time to use my favorite Andy from Parks & Rec meme. I think it fits. Every time I sit down to write, it’s like wiping a poop marker- “Still poop, still poop”.

How Do I *Make Shit Happen*?

Sometimes, I look at the lives of really successful, happy people and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

All around me, people are purchasing their first homes, buying appliances and custom cabinets for said home, adopting pets, traveling, investing in IRAs.

And, here I am, buying a coat rack and feeling like that means I’m an adult.

It’s not like I haven’t tried.

I have.

It’s not like I sit around feeling sorry for myself all the time.

Sometimes I do, though. And, when I do, you better believe I really go all out with crying over dog videos in my onesie pajamas.

I tried really hard last year to find an affordable home to purchase that would provide me with the next step: adopting a dog.

I never found that home.

Maybe I was too picky, too hesitant, too scared of a major first step, but I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt on this one.

I chose one of the worst times to look for a home to buy in my area, as home prices are at a record high. I also wasn’t comfortable buying an overpriced home in a bad area. I’m no home buying expert, but that didn’t seem a wise investment.

Yet, still, I see people my age buying homes in my area.

What the actual fuck?

I’m planning a trip for this summer to the U.K., while at the same time, I can barely afford the gas to get across town during my monthly “week of poverty” before payday.

How are people, with huge families no less, able to travel so much?

What the genuine fuck?

I wonder sometimes if it’s my outlook. I try to have a positive outlook on things, but that’s hard when you feel like life is constantly beating you at some game you never knew you were playing.

I know a great many people will say that the power of positive thought truly exists. I’m not here to say I necessarily disagree.

But…until positive thought pays off my student loan debt, I’ll probably be a semi-skeptic.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not a hard enough worker or I lack gumption.

I’ve been looking for a side hustle to help pay for aforementioned trip.

I’ve looked into VIPKID, which is an online tutoring company. You tutor kids in China, so that means I’ll have to tutor with my Flock of Seagulls bed head hair and with sleep crusties still in the corner of my mouth, because the time slots for my time zone are un-Godly-early.

(I’m still highly considering VIPKID. I’ll just be a total sleep-deprived grouch is all.)

I’ve gone so far as to schedule a vehicle inspection with Lyft, but I keep getting this text message:

I’ve rescheduled twice, and Lyft doesn’t like to give out a phone number so one can problem solve using spoken words.

I didn’t even want drunk people puking in my car anyway, Lyft.

I should probably just figure out a way to make a side job happen and quit my bitching, but a very dominant, stubborn part of me knows I already work my ass off as a teacher, so I’m not thrilled at the realization that my career isn’t cutting it in the having-money-department.

So, all this to say, my goal for this year is to learn the secret to making shit happen.

Maybe it really is positive thinking? Maybe it’s not being more concerned about binging on Call the Midwife, but binging on bringing in some Benjamins? Maybe it’s not worrying how old I’ll be when I finally own my own refrigerator?

In fact, my first order of business is to quit worrying about everyone else.

(Maybe I can get this tattooed on my forearm?)

So, do you know the secret to making shit happen? Sharing is caring!

Random Why Wednesday

Why do I have all the time in the world to binge watch shows on Netflix, play Words With Friends, and spend hours scrolling through a comment section on a video about rat tails as a hairstyle, but when someone mentions working out, I’m all, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Why do bank tellers and cashiers ask people what their plans are for the night or weekend? I really don’t want to tell you my only plans for the entire weekend are to not shower, eat an entire pint of ice cream, and work on a Thomas Kinkade puzzle, OK? SO, QUIT ASKING.

Why do people pick their noses in their cars like we can’t see them? Your windows are tinted, not translucent.

Speaking of cars, why do I still worry people know I’m talking to myself when I could easily be speaking to someone on the phone through the Bluetooth in my car?

Why you no share our Facebook Friendsaversary? I don’t care we’ve only been friends for two months. CELEBRATE IT.

Why does IKEA shape their rugs like squatty penises, and when will I eventually unsee a penis rug every time I look at it?

Why do I recently sound like I’m giving birth when getting into bed every night? It’s like the weight of my day is being expelled from every pore and orifice and I need to be really vocal about that.

Why do I feel the need to take 18 different vitamins every day like they will somehow counteract the 20 Hershey Kisses, three bags of popcorn, and two pounds of pasta that I eat on the daily?

Why was I not born a Pygmy three- toed sloth?

Why is collecting enough Bath & Body Works hand soap for all of humanity to wash their hands for all eternity more important than paying my debt down?

Why are there always umpteen old people in every aisle at the grocery store when you’re running late?

Why did I look like this when I was 12…

…but twelve years olds today know how to contour their faces and draw on an expert-looking set of eyebrows? SHIT AIN’T FAIR.

Why are my leggings always inside out when they come out of the laundry when I put them in right side out? WHY? HOW?

Got any burning questions you’d like to share? Have any good answers for mine? Share in the comment section, because sharing is caring (unless it’s lice, the clap, or something you want me to eat that you touched with your bare hands).

Have Yourself A Manic Little Christmas

Anyone else feeling the holiday hassle yet?

No?

Just me?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Christmas. I mean, you could argue that I love the holidays even more than Clark Griswold.

But.

I stood in line at the post office yesterday for 30 minutes, while the one person working was in no real hurry and that really chapped my ass and put me in the opposite of a holiday mood.

It didn’t even matter that Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You was playing, because all I want for Christmas is another person manning the counter.

I’m also hating that my usually quiet Target has been invaded by, what has to be, Closet People, because where else have they been all year?

Amazon Prime, people. You won’t ever have to leave your house again.

Another thing, the boyfriend and I are going to a fancy shmancy Christmas party at the Governor’s Mansion. Said boyfriend has expressly told me leggings are not a clothing option.

So, I have to wear, like, a real formal dress.

I have one from years ago, but I’ve been putting off trying it on, because I don’t even want to know how much fatter I’ve gotten.

Speaking of being fat, do you know how fucking hard it is to eat well when cookies are practically raining from the fucking sky and you can get egg nog-everything?

Not only are the crowds annoying and the over-abundance of treats gut-expanding, the pressures to have the absolute best holiday yet is EXHAUSTING.

Not only do I overbook myself with social engagements, I seem to always feel the need to add just one more fun craft project/event to the long list of holiday must-dos.

When will I ever learn that the best experiences happen when I have zero expectations and almost next to no plan?

Never. Never is when I’ll learn.

So, what are you stressing about this holiday season? How do you combat the manic-like need to do all the Christmas things?

Oh, the stress.

Meh, Blah, Eh

I’ve been feeling so IDGAF about things lately.

Anyone else?

I have an actual, honest-to-goodness post almost finished and ready for Friday. It was supposed to be my post for tomorrow, but, life.

Ya know?

All I have to do for this post is add pictures, links, and do some fact checking- all the shit that really sucks when you’re getting a post ready to *publish*.

Am I right?

Also, I’ve been wondering why I feel it necessary to “have to have a post done by *insert day of the week here*” like my life depends on it.

It doesn’t.

This isn’t a job. No one is supervising me. I won’t be receiving an evaluation for my work (or lack thereof).

I’m sure my loyal followers will be around whenever I decide to grace them with my presence. Or they won’t.

I keep seeing people all around me with incredible side hustles, and here I am just doing my regular full time job and blogging whenever the mood strikes me.

Sometimes, I feel insanely stupid for spending so much of my time doing something that yields absolutely zero income. I’m aware enough to know that money doesn’t always buy happiness, but it does pay off debt and allows for luxurious travel and isn’t that the same thing?

I have been really needing a side job, but I know that if I do, my writing and blog will suffer.

(Or, I just need to write a book, but how will that ever happen when I can barely get a new post out every week?)

Whenever I realize this, I feel utter panic. This blog, my writing, my incredible followers mean a lot to me. They mean everything.

Unfortunately, these beautiful, wonderful, necessary-for-my-sanity things aren’t helping me pay off my debt or save for my upcoming trip to the U.K.

Well, that was depressing.

Let’s move on to another topic.

Along with the supremely deep pondering I’ve obviously been doing, I’ve decided I have an unhealthy relationship with popcorn.

I’m not even joking.

I legit eat three mini bags a night. It used to be two bags, but that didn’t bloat my stomach quite enough, so we’re on to three effing bags now.

Also, I feel I need to be totally transparent-I don’t just eat the popped kernels…

I…I eat the un-popped kernels.

They are probably growing a massive popcorn tree in my bowels as I type this. I might as well draft up a will.

But, seriously? Is eating kernels hazardous to one’s health?

Another awesome thing going on right now is that I’ve mysteriously hurt my ankle.

It’s swollen and puffy and sore.

Almost two weeks ago, I engaged in a 5k for the program Girls on the Run. I say “engaged”, because I sure as hell didn’t run and “walked” sounds even more lame.

Looking pretty decent, but this was 100% because this was taken before the race started.

So, somehow, while merely walking I hurt myself.

As if that’s not enough, my eczema is flaring up. I have itchy splotches of diseased-looking rashes all over my already-gorgeous body.

There ain’t anything sexier to a man then, “Babe, can you come put some cream on the eczema I can’t reach?”

You might as well just take me and my popcorn-growing eczema guts out back, because what in the actual fuck?

Meh.

Apple Hill Shenanigans 

This is a rant and a dedication. So, buckle your seat belts, people. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

After yet another carb-filled and merrymaking trip to Apple Hill, I’ve learned more than just how far I can push the load-bearing limit of my clothing or exactly how many fruit-filled pastries I can eat before my stomach implodes. I learned this year that:

1. People are assholes, even when they are surrounded by apple pastries, alcohol, and an endless assortment of exciting crap to buy.

2. Surrounded by said assholes, if you’re among non-assholes, you are far richer than the dick in the Tesla who thought it was cool to park in the pick-your-own apple orchard.

This Apple Hill year, I brought along my childhood best friend. We’ve legit been friends since we were two. Some years we’ve hated each other, but, somehow, we always find each other again.

This is the absolute epitome of our friendship over the years. Me, being a complete and utter tool and her, 1000% over my B.S.
This is us totally rocking the thirteen-and-awkward-af stage.
Thank GOD we discovered flat irons and tweezers!

The first time this friend attended our Apple Hill shenanigans, my mom almost lit the motel bathroom on fire trying to light a Hostess Sno Ball turned into a birthday cake fireball from hell. My aunt almost didn’t see her 45th year.

Since, my friend has admitted that her trips to Apple Hill without us are just not the same. 

We left for The Hill in the morning on a sunny, way-too-warm-for-fall Friday. Despite the fact that the weather report said it’d be almost 80, I wore a scarf and ankle boots, because, HELLO, it’s practically a basic bitch law that if you go to a pumpkin patch, you wear a scarf and boots.  Bonus points if the pattern on your scarf is chevron.

Our first lunch was spent at a popular spot, so it took almost an hour to stand in line and get our food. Because it was still early, the wait and the endless people didn’t affect my mood too much. 

I totally had my selfie stick and I wasn’t even ashamed, except I still can’t take a decent selfie. HALP!

Right after devouring a cheeseburger and garlic fries, it was sprinkled caramel apple time! It’s tradition!

SPERNKLES

#sprinklesporn

After I got my sprinkle fix, I was pretty much over walking around in the heat, looking at the same stuff, different farm.

While my mom and aunt looked at every single item, at every single booth, making friends with every single crafter as they went, my friend and I parked ourselves in the shade with an apple cider slushy.

We are sweating our balls off in this picture. Can you tell?
Note to self: apple cider floats > apple cider slushy 😑👎🏻
 

After way too much time in the sun and heat, we decided it was beer o’clock, so we headed to the Jack Russell Brewery. It’s the only brewery in the area, so it is a must-do every time we go to Apple Hill.

Without a doubt, every visit to Jack Russell is memorable, and this time was no different. 

This year, though, we decided that we very much dislike the people who own/run this establishment. They are rude with a capital bitch-eat-a-Snickers. 

Due to the unseasonably warm weather, the umbrellas were a hot commodity. After a table full of college-age girls near us had left, we tried to position their umbrella so we could get some shade. As we were trying (and failing) to make the umbrella grace us with sweet shade, one of the Cave Bitches (their meadery is in a cave-like room and they are serious bitches, thus their apropos nicknames) started going around closing the umbrellas.

Um, are you blind

This incredibly unfriendly lady wouldn’t know customer service or kindness if they each, in turn, smacked her upside her RBF. 

So, after being so kindly assisted with the umbrellas, we decided to just move one over to our table. In the process of doing this, we struggled a bit as the umbrella was awkward and there were quite a few trees. 

From the meadery cave, about 20 yards away, the Cave Bitch started screaming at us. 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU’RE HURTING THE TREES!” 

This terrible person couldn’t even crawl out of her rotting crypt to speak in a regular voice level or to, gee, offer to HELP US?!

I hope we ruined your tree, Cave Wench. 

I had had just enough alcohol to feel brave, so in order to not make a scene, we moved to the other side of the outdoor seating area and drank an ungodly amount of beer. 

Apple Ale- similar to cider, but not as sweet 😋

The next morning, it was Apple Cider Donut Time. Along with Beer o’ Clock and Cupcake Thirty, it’s one of my favorite times of the day! 

A friggin masterpiece

I was pretty much in heaven as I devoured my fried cake and coffee. But, then, some asshole’s dog wouldn’t stop barking. 

If you know me personally, you know I’m obsessed with dogs. I love the shit out of their drooly, adorable faces, but sometimes dogs can be left at home. 

I know that’s a novel concept for some people.

This particular dog, the one who majorly interrupted my enjoyment of the sound of my gluttony, simply could not handle the sight of other dogs. 

So, one must ask…

WHY THE FUCK DID YOU BRING YOUR OTHER-DOG-HATING DOG TO THE MOST CROWDED RANCH, WHERE OTHER DOGS ARE SURE TO BE FOUND? 

Because I’m an asshole (that’s Asshole speaking). That’s why. 

After this, I had a mediocre apple treat that contained, precisely, one slice of apple, bought a metric ton of fudge, and drank even more cider.

I mean, I love me some pastry, but just pastry is too much pastry.

When we were attempting to leave the 80th farm of the day, a woman, unearthing her child from underneath all of the crap she bought and was storing in her stroller, decided a fine place to do this was smack dab in the middle of the narrow roadway.

At this point, I was still hungover, sweating profusely, and had killer acid reflux from all of the apple I had eaten. 

I couldn’t even. 

After six hours, she was finally done unloading the stroller and we were able to leave. 

I may or may not have rolled down my window to thank her for making us late for more eating.

Don’t keep this fatty from her eighth apple brownie. Don’t even.

Despite the rude and pretentious people we encountered, the bullshit heat, and the unbearable indigestion, being with people who made my food baby bump jiggle from infectious laughter made it all worthwhile.

My favorite part of the trip was leaving the brewery, drunk and laughing obnoxiously at the spaceships we found by the Porta Potties (they were bee catchers). We piled into the car (don’t worry, my aunt was driving and totally sober and capable), excited for impending Chinese dinner (as if we had not had enough). My mom kept yelling, “Look out, Dana, there’s a car!” every time we passed every reflective sign on the road. I was laughing so hard, I could barely breathe, as I sang along (horribly) to Eric Church’s Springsteen, head back, staring at the endless stars in the sky through the moonroof. 

So, take that Idiot Dog Owner, Stroller Simpleton, and Cave Bitch, you were no match for 10,000 calories all from carbs, fabulous, but unnecessary junk, and 100% necessary-for-my-sanity ladies who know how to party. 

Apple Hill 2017 is one for the books. 


I won Apple Hill!

When I think about 17, I think about my best friend. 

My First FabFitFun Box

Ya’ll! I finally broke down and joined every other basic bitch and got me a FabFitFun box. It was a splurge (even at the discounted price of $39.99) that I really didn’t need, but TREAT YO SELF! 

I love, love, love the excitement that exists when you know a package is headed your way. It’s why I do Snack Crate and Ipsy, and why I order far too often from Amazon Prime, Zulily, and many others I’m too ashamed to list.

I decided to spare everyone a cringe-worthy Tori Spelling-esque “unboxing” video. I’m super awkward on film, and so many other *greats* like Snooki and Teresa Giudice are doing video “unboxings” for your viewing pleasure. 

So, let’s just get on with it, eh? 

What a beautiful fucking sight. This is totally staged, btw. How I really found my box was dented, dirty, and wedged into the bushes. I think our mail delivery people just toss our packages from their truck. It’s the only explanation.

The very same day I received my box, my darling guy got me this sweet and quite apropos treat, and somehow, my FabFitFun box didn’t seem quite as fabulous.

10000% my kind of gift

So, when I was done feeling all the feels, I finally got around to opening my box. 

The packaging is nice, and I like how they add the paper “grass” (what is that shit called?).

What I didn’t like is that these “high end” items come in mass-produced-feeling  plastic. This type of packaging takes away the “expensive” feel of the items.

Now might be the time, especially if you’re not familiar with the concept, to mention that FabFitFun profess that their $49.99 box is worth $200+.

More on that as we continue.

Let me show you my perfectly staged photo of the contents. Aren’t I so talented in such a basic-bitch-taking-a-photo-for-Insta-way?


Now, let’s review each item and their supposed cost. 


The MER SEA & CO scarf is one of the items in the box that I feel lives up to its apparent cost. Even so, there is no way in hell I’d ever intentionally buy a $98 scarf. With Target, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx’s amazingly low priced on-trend pieces, I can get a decent scarf for $12. 

I asked my live-in photographer (boyfriend) to snap a couple shots of me in my new scarf. What you will notice in the images is that the scarf is behemoth (maybe that’s why it’s so expensive-each one is made from 50 polyester trees) and that my Blog-Instagram Boyfriend was not having it, as I now have 82 random, blurry images of me getting ready to pose. Great job, Babe! 

Had to pick off all of the paper confetti from the box that was stuck on the scarf.
After spending “10 minutes” positioning the scarf in the mirror. 67 of the 82 images are of my wide ass at said mirror.
What an awesome, artistic action shot of my three chins!
Really glad he got such a great shot of my Bingo Wings!
After all of the prep, I was not pleased with the photo, but the photographer was 100% not having it anymore.
But, guess what? This beast of a scarf can totally be worn as a shirt! Fucking score!

Also pictured in the above images is The Jetset Diaries cable knit beanie. This is probably my favorite item, because my day 4 hair loves the crap out of beanies. This came-in-plastic beanie is supposed to be worth $49, and I just can’t. I bet you all that right now, this very minute, in any Target across the nation, sits a black beanie, almost identical to the one from the box and it’s $10. Again, why is a thin cable-knit beanie $49? Who are the idiots buying $50 beanies? 

Next up is the Mytagalongs hot and cold pack ($15). I am actually really excited about this, because I totally needed another ice pack to add to the 20 already in the freezer. The reason: IT SAYS, “ICE ICE BABY”. 


This was totally appreciated, because BUTT WIPES ARE EVERYTHING, YO. 


I can’t speak too much for these products, as I have yet to use them. I am totally excited to try the apple cider vinegar hair rinse, though! I’m also really looking forward to never using the lipstick, because I don’t wear lipstick. The Whish Beauty mud mask is valued at $48, the DPHue rinse at $35, and the Trèstique lipstick at $28. 


The Deco Miami lavender cuticle oil is just too cute. When I was first opening the box, I thought it was nail polish. I was so bummed, because I get gel manicures, so nail polish is useless to me. When I used my reading decoding skills and saw that it was cuticle oil, I was giddy. My cuticles are inexcusably ghastly! The oil is priced at $12.50 and is the only reasonably priced item in the box (save for the Cottonelle buttwipes). 


The imm-Living ceramic and wire geometric heart jewelry holder is the exact thing I’d use my last $5 to buy at Ross. It really is adorable and is already proudly on display on my vanity. That said, IT’S A PIECE OF GARBAGE. 

When I got it, there was a nub of ceramic in one of the holes where the wire base goes. I had to take some skinny scissors and jam it loose. Even then, the hole was too tight (that’s what he (?) said) and upon jamming the metal into the hole some of the “metal” flaked off. 


This cheaply made piece of poo is priced at $33. Fuck me.

I saved the coup de grâce for last.
When I first saw the fall box on Instagram, I saw a gym bag that read, “Will Workout For Cupcakes”. That sealed the deal. I had to have it.

Well, in my box I got a Walmart special that reads, “Meet Me at the Barre”. I’ve never been to a barre fitness class, and this bodacious bod has never, ever been confused for that of a ballerina’s. There’s no way I’d ever carry this bag. Just embarrassing. 

Not only this, FabFitFun is claiming that the thin canvas Private Party bag is worth $59. Excuse my French, but FUCK YOU VERY MUCH. 

I don’t shop at Walmart and haven’t for a solid four years, but I guaran-fucking-tee that they have a similar bag for no more than $10. If not Walmart, Wish is guaranteed to have it for $1.50. 

So, I’m still laughing that Private Party and FabFitFun thinks this bag is worth $59. 

Final Thoughts 

I have a really, really, really effing hard time believing the items that came in my box truly total $377.50. If this is indeed an accurate sum, I’m appalled at what is deemed high quality just because it has a high price. If this is the true state of the world now, maybe I can start harvesting my boyfriend’s belly button hair and sell it as “organic inner ear warmers”. I bet I could get 40 bucks per pair. 

I do believe I got my $40 worth, though. For sure. I just don’t like being taken for a schmuck. 

***When I realized that I didn’t get the cupcake bag, I immediately emailed FabFitFun and asked if I could make an exchange. I explained that I was Fatty McCupcakes and that I needed the cupcake bag. I said I’d write a blog post about my box and everything.

They got back to me very quickly and said that they’d exchange the bag “as a one time courtesy”. No, “We’d love for you to write a blog post about us, and not only will we send you the “Will Workout For Cupcakes” bag, we’d like to offer you a job as a paid blogger for FabFitFun” or anything. Rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful they are exchanging the bag, but the wording “as a one time courtesy” sounded kinda bitchy. 

Don’t let me discourage you. It really is a fun way to spend $39.99-$49.99. Just remember, it’s Reba Fancy, not Real Fancy.