award acceptance.. with a twist

Earlier this week (late last week?), I was nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. This time by Elizabeth. Thanks so much and welcome back! In case you aren’t familiar with this award, here are the rules.

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  • Put the award’s logo on your post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers.
  • Let your nominees know you have nominated them.
  • Post 7 facts about yourself.

Not to be difficult, but I’m going to have to make some changes. First, I’m going to make this open to whoever wants to do it. Tag me in your post so I can see it! Second, and this isn’t a rule change but… you’ll see.

When I commented on Elizabeth’s post to thank her, we had a small conversation about accents and I mentioned that I should do a post written in my heavy Brooklyn accent. Well, I don’t think this blog is ready for a whole post of that but I’m going to try to write my seven facts that way. Let’s see how this goes. Brooklyn starts… NOW

Hea’s the problem- I can’t think of any facts about myself, let alone seven.

  • I watched The Unautharized Full Howse movie on Lifetime last weekend and I definitely wasn’t impressed. After I got past the hair, it was almost impossable ta get ova tha blatant disregard of what tha set akshually looked like. More than that, it didn’t show much of tha drama that sapposedly went on. Like, Bob Saget coming to work high most of tha time. They showed him, Dave Coulier and John Stamos huffing whipped cream befawr a shoot but that was abowt it.

    That being sed, I’m still totally looking foward to Fulla Howse on Netflix next year.

  • I’m obsessed with tha new Town Howse Foccacia crackas. Specifically tha rosemary and sea sawlt flava. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD.
  • Lately, baleeve it or not, I’ve had so many ideas for posts that I bought myself a planna. I was planning out awl of my posts and when they’d go up and started to feel supa orga-nized; like a real blogga. Then I realized that just becawse I wrote things down and planned them owt, doesn’t mean they would ackshually come to be. I’ve been putting things awf and then I can’t figure owt where I got so awf track. Um, it’s a planna, not magic.
  • I’ve been ta Disney once in my life. Due ta poor planning, we neva made it to tha Magic Kingdom. So basiclee, I went all tha way ta Florida and neva even met a Princess, neva rode a teacup. I think I need a do- ova.
  • I think I mentioned this befawr, but when I was in first grade the New York Aquarium was celabrating the birth of Baby Baluga. My class was asked ta join the the fetivaties and come to sing with Raffi. We were apparently filmed by PBS becawse I saw our little faces years later while I was flipping through tha channels early one morning. I’ve tried to contact both the Aquarium and PBS fowr a copy of the video but no one has it. So, if anyone has an in with PBS (or someone who can help in my search), please let me know!
  • Owa air conditona at work is extremely unreliable so we have those heavy duty fans all ova tha building. I can’t stand them. I’d ratha sweat for 8 owas than keep them on awl day. Really, they remind me of summa school, they’re loud (and I can’t heea) and they put me to sleep. Yea, tha last one is a mistary to me too.
  • I think I’m regretting tha decision to write these facts this way. I feel like I belong on an epasode of Tha Sopranos. Just cawl me Martina Walnuts.

Now, that’s enougha that.

That wan’t too painful, was it? It was a teesy bit mortifying for me but, hey I am who I am. I love my accent. There’s a video of me on my communion day where my mom is telling me how proud she is and how happy she is and I look dead at the camera and say “Awr you gonna cry?” Like I belonged on Jersey Shore. If I could figure out how to get it on to my computer and post it, I will.

Anyway, thanks again, Elizabeth for the nomination!

If you need any help figuring out what was said above, leave me a comment and I’ll help you out!

Did anyone else watch the Full House movie?

Let’s discuss!

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lessons from liz

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and in its depths I found one of those word pictures (totally not memes, as i’ve misidentified them previously) with a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert. You know, of Eat, Pray, Love  fame.

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I was going to write a whole post on this quote and how I’ve been feeling a bit messy lately. Then I decided to see if Liz had anymore words of wisdom. Apparently, I live under a rock because woah. She sure does. Here are a few of my favorites.

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It’s funny because this week I’ve been spilling over with ideas for posts. I’ll probably forget them as soon as I post this, but there was a time when I had them and they wanted me to bring them to life. I feel important.

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When I first read this one I was like, YAAASSSS. I’d rather know that I’m imperfect (even though, clearly, i’m not) and be OK and confident with that fact then to be scared shitless, pretending that everything is fine.

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LAAWWWWD. This was another one that when I first saw it I was all, YAAASSS. This one might be my favorite because I think we’re all guilty of thinking of that person one too many times. You definitely just thought of them, right? I know. And I know it sucks but Lizzy is right, send all the love, light, rainbows and unicorns you can and then MOVE ON. Again, I know it’s easier said then done but it’s definitely something to work on. We’ll do it together. And remember, Liz has been through some shit. She’s seen it and lived it. She knows what she’s talking about.

What are your favorite quotes? Who “speaks your language” (if you will)?

Let’s discuss!

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swimming with the sharks

If you’ve been here for a while, you probably know all about my cosmopolitan, socialite-like lifestyle. So when I say I spent Thursday and Friday night watching Shark Tank, there should be no surprise. It was a good thing I did though because it gave me an idea. finally. 

It made me think of all the things I wish I could figure out a way to invent, thereby making me millions billions of dollars. Here they are, let me know what you think.

makeup brush cleaning machine: I’m lazy so anything that I could set and forget is fine with me. My idea is something that looks like an Easy Bake Oven/car wash/washing machine hybrid. It would attach to your sink nozzle and would have a place for brush cleaner/shampoo. You put your brush on the conveyor belt, soap and water are squirted on to the brush head. The head is then agitated to clean it. The brush head is rinsed, and dried and ready to be used.

exercise pill: In this world people are usually busy or lazy. We all know where I fall in those categories. I just can’t seem to find the time to get off the couch and head to the gym. The television doesn’t watch itself, guys. I would love to develop a pill that will do your workout for you. It would make you sweat, make your muscles ache, make your blood pump, the whole shebang. It sounds like a torture device, but isn’t that what exercise really is?

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the best bug repellant in the world: this summer has been a nightmare for me with getting bug bites. I’ve tried to make the itching stop every which way possible. Benadryl, Vaporub, AfterBite, banana peels, everything. I even heard that if you take Vitamin B1 and let it build up in your system, it’s a natural bug repellant. NOPE. I took my 300mgs for 8 months and no dice. So, I want to think of something that will either stop them from biting or make the bites stop itching. Any ideas?

the tickler: I looovvvveeee to have my hair played with but I have no one to do it for me at home. The Tickler would be a ring that goes around your head and would have fingers that you can set to tickle, scratch or rub. Eventually, I’d make something for the back, feet/legs, arms.

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So what do you think? Am I crazy? Should I have just kept these ideas to myself? Better yet, who wants to team up with me?

Let’s discuss!

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smorgasburg, street art & taylor swift

In a turn of events, I actually did things this weekend so here I am to tell you all about them. Not surprisingly though, those events include going to the city to take lots and lots of pictures. Whatever. I had a good time.

Friday: Lisa invited me to go out to with her and her coworkers to Smorgasburg in Coney Island. Smorgasburg is like a higher end food truck rally. The one in Coney Island (they’re all over Brooklyn and now going into Queens) had their vendors set up in shipping crates. It’s also fairly new to the area so there was a much smaller selection of vendors. I persevered though and got a delicious lobster roll from the Red Hook Lobster Company and a lemonade. We also shared truffle fries with a lemon garlic aioli that I would like to bathe in. After we ate, we went for drinks on the boardwalk and took in the view.

After drinks we said our goodbyes and made our way home. I put Mindy on Hulu and started an unofficial countdown until the new season starts. (21, by the time you’re reading this!)

Saturday: I’ve been stalking “The Love Wall” on Instagram for a while now so Lisa and I decided to take the trip. It was supposed  to be on the corner of Mott Street in Little Italy. Tell me how all of a sudden it’s in the Bowery.

Guys, they moved the love wall and Google said NOTHING.

I’ve been googling the wall for the last few days just to make sure that we knew how to get there and what else was in the area for us to do so you would think I’d know that it up and moved. Nope. The Bowery isn’t too far from where we were and I think that’s what makes it worse. Like, we could have went if we had known but GOOGLE DROPPED THE BALL. The mural that replaced the original love wall is great and has a good message so at least there’s that.

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Mulberry Street was closed to traffic which made it like a typical New York Italian street fair minus the zeppolis and sausage and peppers. We had lunch at La Mela, which was cheap and delicious. Then we found the Italian American museum, which I’ve been wanting to go to for a while now. Little Italy was one of the first places the Italian immigrants landed when they came over. The Stabile bank, where the museum is housed, was everything to these people. They went there to apply for jobs, wire money home, arrange for the rest of their family to come over. The building is the last original one of these buildings left. I loved that they kept it true to a bank, setting up the exhibits in the bank teller stations and opening the vault to show all of the receipts, mail and whatever else was left in there. They were also hosting a photo exhibit by a photographer named Steve Nadler. He did a who series of Little Italy over the course of the year in 1976. I absolutely loved it. Mr. Nadler was there and very open to talk about his work and a little of his life. It turns out that he and his wife had their first apartment in the same neighborhood where I live now. Such a small world. Anyway, the exhibit is there until Labor Day and he’s there every Saturday so if you can go, GO! In fact, let me know and I’ll go with you. Then we’ll go and find the love wall, for the love of God.

After the museum I needed a small hit of sugar so we went into Ferrara’s bakery for some cannoli. I decided on a mini chocolate one and for once in my life, it was a good decision.

The rest of the day was basically walking and finding all sorts of street art. It’s all over down there, just like the tourists. Everyone complains that Times Square is a tourist trap has obviously never spent time in Chinatown. Don’t get me wrong, I love tourists. I love listening to them speak and hearing the awe in their voices when they see the Empire State Building for the first time. I love giving directions to places I’ve been to a million times. I love knowing that they’ll go back to whatever state/country they came from and talk about their trip to New York ad nauseum. So yea, tourists for the win. Anyway, street art- lots of it.

Getting back to the love wall for a second, my intention was to take artsy, too cool to look at the camera, typical blogger photos in front of it. Luckily, we found other walls to do that in front of so at least the day wasn’t a waste. As if we did nothing else all day.

We walked around until we found ourselves in TriBeCa. We stopped by Taylor Swift’s apartment building to see if she wanted to get a cup of coffee and gossip but she’s on tour so I guess we’ll have to take a raincheck. We both agreed though that if we met her the one question we would have to ask is what it was like dating Harry Styles. (sidenote: this is why Lisa is my best friend. she brought up the question just as i was thinking it. #greatminds) We would promise that we wouldn’t sell her story or anything, we just have to know. Let’s be real, if you caught her coming out of her building and she gave you a minute of her time, after you told her how much you love/hate/whatever her, you wouldn’t ask the same thing? Exactly.

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After we left Taylor’s, we headed over to One World Trade. We were too broke to go up to the Observatory this time but I’ll get up there eventually. Also, I’m saving those pictures for another post so look out for them soon!

When we got home my feet wanted nothing to do with walking so I drove myself for some pizza and then watched The Devil Wears Prada with Nicole.

That is all. (ha! get it?)

What did you do this weekend?

Let’s discuss!

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the art of the music video

Being a child of the 90’s, I have a special place in my heart for music videos. They were a big deal back in the day, just ask Carson Daly. Remember Pop Up Video on VH1 and Making the Video on MTV? Those were my jams. Nothing better on a Saturday than reading all about who was coming to Melissa Ethridge’s window. It was a simpler time.

Since I am such an aficionado of these mini masterpieces, this week’s Friday Five Favorites (oh, whatever.) is going to be dedicated to my favorite music videos. spoiler alert: there will probably be more than five. you’ve been warned.

So in no particular order…


One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men: Does it get any better? I don’t see how it can. The jorts, the snap clips, the sunglasses – YAASS. Also, Mariah & Wanya 4eva.


Fantasy – Mariah Carey: Beyonce, I’mma let you finish but Mariah had the best amusement park video of all time.

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Seriously though, Mariah was the QWEEN of the 90’s. I used to watch this video and dream of the day when I could rollerblade around an amusement park singing my number one hit, just like MC. Maybe I should learn to rollerblade.
Honorable Mentions: Always Be My Baby, Forever, Heartbreaker


Bigger – Backstreet Boys: You thought I was going to go for I Want It That Way, right? While I certainly do enjoy the Boys dancing around an airport, there’s something about this video that I love. Maybe because it’s the first one I’ve seen from them since 2001? Maybe I just like the song? Whatevs.
Honorable Mentions: Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), Shape of My Heart, Just Want You To Know, basically all of them.


It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Celine Dion: I was OB-SESSED with this video. The romance! The drama! The ghost! My tiny 10 year old heart couldn’t deal. Pepperidge Farm couldn’t make a bigger cheese ball.
Honorable Mentions: None. I think this one takes the cake.


Night Changes – One Direction: I’ve gushed about this video before. Not much has changed.
Honorable Mentions: One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks), Best Song Ever, Story of My Life.


Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran: Oh, Eddie.

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And finally…since I have six already, what’s one more?


All I Have – JLo & LL Cool J: Holy early 2000’s, Batman! This video isn’t exactly a favorite of mine but the song and the Coach luggage holds a ton of memories for me. It reeks of Glow by JLo.

What are your favorite music videos? Do you wish Making of the Video would get revived?

Let’s discuss!

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new look!

I just have to say it- how pretty does my little space on the internet look?

I don’t mean to brag but…
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I’m really in love with it. If only I could package my life together so neatly. Anyway, the reason for the change was I made the jump to self-hosting. I haven’t decided if this is the best or worst decision I’ve ever made. There’s still some things to iron/figure out but for the most part, this is it.

The reason I decided to make the switch is when you self host everything you post is yours. I post alot of my own photography and want to keep it that way, MINE. Especially if I’m going to keep entering photo contests.

Speaking of photography contests, yesterday was August 10. According to the first letter I should have known the outcome by then. I didn’t hear anything but I’m going to stay positive and give it a few days because the mail has been a bit wonky lately.

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I hope you like the new look. Tell me how pretty it is what you think in the comments!

Let’s discuss!

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please, think before you speak

In a blogger’s life, there are some posts that they don’t want to write. Sometimes they just don’t write them. Move on and wait for the next flash of inspiration to hit. Other times though, they feel like they should bite the bullet. Pull on their big girl panties and get to typing. This is one of those posts for me.

I try hard not to let my feelings on important current events not show themselves on here. And by important, I mean things not related to One Direction. The main reason for that is I don’t feel like I am knowledgeable or articulate enough to defend myself from people who may disagree with me. Also, I tend to get facts mixed up, hear what I want to hear, etc which doesn’t help me plead any case. So, I keep my mouth shut. Except yesterday something happened that really irked me and I feel the need to open my mouth.

First, I think I need to tell a little background information. I work for a small medical school that is attached to a hospital here in Brooklyn, NY. This week is filled with orientation activities for the incoming medical students. Being day one and an early day, we provide a lunch for the students. We hold the lunch in the grove, which is a nice outside space with tables and shady trees. This event is closed off to the non-orienting students and the faculty/other staff. Without fail, we get a few stragglers who want to just sit at a table in the corner or on the grass to eat their lunch but we have to turn them away. I think it’s more of a “what if they take food and then there’s not enough” kind of deal more than anything else. Now with aaalllll of that being said, here’s what happened.

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just to give you an idea

My boss told me and my co-workers to get some lunch because we would have to go back inside soon. So, we got our lunches and since the students were using all of the tables, we wound up standing close to where the food was. I was standing near our summer intern, one of the ladies who works in the Residence Halls, and our caterer. Two men came over and were circling one of the food tables. They were clearly not new students and if there were any question, a simple look at their IDs would have proved it. Our caterer noticed that they weren’t supposed to be there so he asked them politely to leave, that this was a private event. I don’t know the whole exchange because even though we were standing pretty close, I wasn’t paying attention. I was just so happy to be outside, under a shady tree, enjoying the breeze. I noticed the men walk away and our caterer turned to me and the other two ladies and said, “Did you hear what he asked me?” We all responded no because, fresh air, you know?

The caterer, who is usually pretty animated, got quiet and said, (you better sit down for this one)

He asked me if he couldn’t have any food and couldn’t be out here because he was black.

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DUUUUUDDDDEEEEEEE.

I was speechless. Obviously, this man needed a map because he forgot where he was. Let me remind you, sir. You are at the new student orientation lunch, that you and your friend are trying to crash. There are 200 new students here today plus everyone working the event. The school that sits on the campus where you are standing right now is one of the most ethnically/culturally diverse campuses I’ve ever seen. You are in Brooklyn, which is in New York; or one of the most culturally diverse cities IN THE WORLD. You are surrounded by people who I know for a fact could care less about the color of your skin. THAT’S where you are, my friend.

for the record, the caterer responded similarly to Leo up there, except less… colorfully. he explained again that it was a private affair and that he just wasn’t supposed to be there.

My question to you is, if one of our black employees came over and asked you politely to leave, just as our caterer did, would you have asked the same question? I don’t think so, let’s be real.

Maybe I’m just looking at it from my point of view where I know how diverse of a school we are and how diverse of a city we live in, but I just can’t understand why this question is still a thing and why it feels like everything boils down to the color of your skin. Could he have been kidding? Sure, but how was this funny?

I’ve said before that I was always taught to be nice to everyone. That skin color, hair color, choice of fashion, age, wealth, weight didn’t matter. None of those things made anyone a better or worse person. I know this must sound naive, hence why I was hesitant to write and post it.

I think the point I’m trying to make is, it’s time that we get those thoughts out of our heads. easier said than done, i know. Listen to what people are telling you; sometimes the reason you’re being excluded from something is as simple as there’s a boss lurking somewhere waiting to scream at her staff for not enforcing rules. Be nice to people. Think before you speak. And please, let’s all do what we can, big things and small, to get questions and thoughts like that out of our minds.

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What do you think? Did this make any kind of sense?

Let’s discuss!

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fingers crossed!

GUYS, I HAVE SOME BIG NEWS!

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I entered a few of my photos in to a photography contest (where I just realized almost nothing I wrote about the contest was correct. Was I even paying attention?)? Well, a few days ago I got this letter in the mail.

Is this for real? #finalist #photography #photographersforum 📷 🎉🎊

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It’s hard to read so I’ll just tell you. It turns out that on of my photos made it to the Finalist round of judging!

I had to read the letter at least five times to even comprehend what it said. Even now, I still think I read it wrong. According to the letter, there was over 10,000 entries and they picked about 16% of them to be finalists.

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As of right now the only guarantee is that my photo will be published in the Photograph Forum 2015 Best of Photography book, which of course I ordered and will be arriving sometime in December. merry christmas, martina.

The winners will be chosen and notified on or around August 10th, which I can’t believe is a week away already. They will chose a 1st-4th place winner as well as 100 honorable mentions. The winners recieve all sorts of cash and prizes; the honorable mentions will have their name published in the November issue of Photography Forum magazine.

I’ll share the photo with you when I find out that if I’m a winner. Deal? Good.

Hopefully August 10th comes fast because my old Field Day Participation ribbon nightmares are starting to creep back in.

Fingers crossed!

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photo dump: flatiron to fifth avenue

What do you get when you mix two single gals, New York City and a camera?

THIS POST, THAT’S WHAT.

The other night, Lisa and I found ourselves venturing into the city. Our plan was to get soup and then frozen yogurt. And, in case you were wondering, yes, we were fully aware that it was 90 degrees and humid out. We even had a conversation about how making good decisions is not on our list of marketable skills. But really, when Tomato Cheddar is soup of the month, the bad decision would be not to get the soup.

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We got off at 14th Street/ Union Square and headed off to find soup nirvana. We noticed a group of fire engines on the block of the soup place.

Lisa: Oh, that’s definitely Hale and Hearty.

Me: No it can’t be.

Lisa: Totally is.

We get closer and we notice that the fire department set up caution tape right in front of the soup place.

Lisa: I told you it was Hale and Hearty.

Me: Ugh.

For a brief second I contemplated hopping the caution tape and getting the soup anyway. Then I realized that my foot would 100% get stuck and New York City’s Bravest (and hottest, if you ask me) would get to watch me eat the pavement. not a good look.

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It turns out that there was falling debris from the top of the building. As far as I know, no one was hurt except me and Lisa because we were denied our beloved Tomato Cheddar.

After dinner we took a walk over to the Flatiron Building. From there, our excellent decision making skills kicked in again and we started to walk to Rockefeller Center. Just for a point of reference, the Flatiron is on 23rd Street and Rockefeller is on 45th. You do the math, because we didn’t.

We tried to get a cupcake and a cup of coffee before we headed home, as per usual, but Crumbs had the nerve to be in the process of closing for the night. I mean, what is this? Don’t they know that there’s a possibility that two psychos from Brooklyn may need a sugar fix at 10pm? city that never sleeps, my ass. 

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As I was going through the pictures I took I was thinking that if Taylor Swift needs some assistance in her role as New York City’s Ambassador, maybe Lisa and I could help. Sooo… Taylor, if the pressures of the job get to be too much, just know that we gladly volunteer to lend a hand. Just as long as Lisa gets to play with Olivia and Meredith and I get to meet Harry Styles. Or Ed Sheeran, at least. It’s up to you, just let us know.

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another award!

I’m a little late but I was nominated this week for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award by The Finicky Cynic! Thank you so much for the nomination and for always commenting on my posts! I’m glad to know that someone is reading them!

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This award was a new one for me so I’ll share the rules, in case it’s new for you too!

  • Put the award’s logo on your post. done!
  • Thank the person who nominated you and put a link to their blog. done!
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers. we’ll see…
  • Let your nominees know you have nominated them.
  • Post 7 facts about yourself.

Now, seven facts about myself… haven’t I covered enough on here? Let me see what I can do.

  1. I’m not an overly touchy/huggy person but I’d love to have someone play with my hair and scratch my back on payroll. When I win the lotto, it’s on.

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2. I will watch any version of Snow White I could find. There’s one with Diana Rigg (or Olenna Tyrell for you Game of Thrones fans) as the Evil Queen. I watched it so many times I could probably still recite it word for word.

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i am, thank you.

She still scares the shit out of me, by the way.

3. Except for when I broke my leg, I’ve never had to go to the hospital. Call me Monopoly because I’m just visiting.

4. I’ve passed out once in my life. I was in Florida on vacation with my family. One minute I was standing in front of the mirror while my mom brushed my hair and the next I was on the floor with my dad in my face screaming “MARTINA!“. good times.

5. I know I mentioned this in my last post but, I’ve lived in the same house and have had the same phone number literally forever. (and that, my friends, is the correct use of “literally”) The thought of moving makes me sweat. How would I know where to go? And boxes! So many boxes!

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6. If I could eat one deli sandwich for the rest of my life (give or take. that’s a lot of commitment) it would be roast beef, mozzarella, and brown gravy on garlic bread. With a side of potato salad. yum.

7. I will never say no to a bouquet of flowers. Especially surprise ones. Or ones I buy myself, just because. Whatever. Just no carnations.

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Ok, now for the nominations.

Just Jessie

Never Serious Blog

The Other Juliette

AA

Mallory Can’t Even

Beyond Basic

Ok, so there aren’t 15 people on the list. Sue me. (please don’t)

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