Whoa!…..WONUTS!

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The WONUT. The people at Waffles Cafe in Chicago created these nuggets of fluffy deliciousness and I applaud them!

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My inner fat kid is freaking out! That Jonah Hill pic at the bottom of the Wonut picture is the expression my inner fat kid would have if it had a face. Excuse any typos because the drool seeping onto the keyboard is making it hard to type. How long ’til this sweeps the nation like cronuts? If it was up to me, I would already have these in my mouth with sprinkles somehow smeared on my face. Let’s make it happen!

Cookie Time

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That’s right boys and girls! Time to kiss that resolution goodbye because girl scout cookies are officially for sale! C is for cookie and also for Cariann! Coincidence, I think not! I know the recipes are online and you don’t have to wait for this time of year anymore, but I still like the old way of making a some kids’ days by buying cookies from them.  Our household favorites happen to be Samoas, peanut putter patties, and thin mints (duh!). It’s nice to see the scouts branching out with new cookies and even a gluten free option!

If you don’t recognize the reference in the above picture, it’s from the 1989 classic “Troop Beverly Hills”. You need to watch it. No questions asked. If you did recognize the reference, good luck not having the song stuck in your head for the evening. Well, I’m off to go dance the Freddy and chant “Beverly Hills, what a thrill”!

To save you some time, here’s a link to the entire song and dance sequence: Cookie Time

St. Lucia

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Earlier this year, we took our honeymoon to St. Lucia. I have been all over the place, especially the Caribbean, so it was hard to find a place to which we both had never been. I was stoked to go to St. Lucia at the time of our honeymoon, and I still think it was a great/perfect spot for a honeymoon. Besides the obvious reasons like beauty and all inclusive bonuses,  St. Lucia is a really spectacular choice because it is a small island and there is NOT an endless amount of things to do. Trying to fit in both of your wants/needs for excursions, shopping, eating, drinking can be exhausting, so going to a place where you can knock out the bulk of excursions in a day is awesome. I am one of those people that likes to discover as much as I can from a country and it’s culture, so I jam pack my vacations. My husband likes to have a little more chill time. In St. Lucia, the main sightseeing attractions can be seen with one tour from any of the local companies. They all pretty much do the same tour or some variation of it using a boat and vans. You hit Soufriere for some shopping, but it is pretty touristy shopping. You tour Marigot Bay, snorkel in Anse La Ray and Canaries, and sail around the Pitons (UNESCO site). You also sit in the Sulphur Springs inside the volcano, and yes, it smells like Sulphur. Your skin will feel so soft, and you will get multiple opportunities to purchase sulphur soap throughout the day. Then, you go through the rainforest to swim under waterfalls and pose for photo ops. After seeing a good portion of the island via land and sea, your guide will take you to a local restaurant for a little local flavor. Do yourself a favor and try it all! Don’t be afraid to try something new, especially the saltfish and figs. It’s the National dish! Drinks are provided for you throughout the day, but don’t overdo it. You will want to remember all the cool stuff you did.

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Another big attraction is the Castries Market.

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This market is huge. You can seriously buy ANYTHING there. Parts of it used to be a prison and is now a meat market. Pretty cool! The market is lively and colorful. Don’t be afraid to haggle, and buy things you can try back at your hotel. We purchased spices and hot sauces, and we have loved them all. The hot sauce is awesome and actually spicy, which I really appreciate. Like I said earlier, you can the sulphur soap everywhere, including the market. The added bonus, if you are like Brandy Glanville, is the Coconut Soap. Go ahead, check out what it says it is good for! We never felt unsafe while we were there.

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Pigeon Island happened to be a close hike from our hotel. It’s an educational and short hike up to the fort where you can have a picnic or simply soak in the view.

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Being the “support local” people that we are, we had to eat at a couple of the local food trucks while out on the town one night. Speaking of going out, it is totally safe and encouraged to go out and experience the island outside of your resort. Based on recommendations from locals, we hit the Rodney Bay area, and had more fun there than anywhere else. As much as they push the Friday jump up, it really is just a tourist trap. If your really want to feel local, hit up Rodney Bay. Our favorite spot was called Gravity. Just Go! The rumors are true about St. Lucia. Drugs will be offered to you all the time. A simple “No” works though.

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We stayed at the Sandals Grande, and would do so again. Every person that stayed at the other Sandals resorts told us they wished they stayed at the Grande. The beach is better there, and everything is upgraded. Since we try to be nice humans, we befriended the staff we interacted with daily. Having a couple conversations with the groundskeeper got us fresh fruit delivered to our cabana daily. Our cabana hostess most days was Louann. She will always have a special place in our hearts. Cheesy, I know. She escorted us outside the hotel to the Friday jump up so none of the locals would try to take advantage, and always made sure we had rides everywhere. That was not part of her job, so she went way above and beyond what she HAD to do. As a way to say thank you and give back, we payed for her to have a “day pass” at the hotel. That meant she got to do everything a tourist gets to do at the hotel. She loved it and so did we. We have since stayed online friends.
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The business card belongs to the taxi service we used multiple times. Big Mark made sure we were well taken care of and was suggested to us by Louann. He was always honest when we asked about certain places to eat, drink, or see!

If you are looking for a stress free vacation with tons of beauty and culture, book a trip to St. Lucia! If you have any specific questions, just ask me! I will try to be as helpful as possible.

Think then Type

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After some recent events, I feel it is completely necessary to talk about the awful topic of bullying/cyber bullying. Luckily, I have not personally been attacked or harassed online. Bullying is nothing new, but technology is giving bullies and mean girls new avenues to harass people. Recently, a friend of mine who owns her own apparel company has been attacked online. It has been going on for a couple days now, and even though she is a strong woman, it has to get to her after being attacked nonstop. Not only did these people voice their opinions about the item they disliked, they voiced them on her heritage, her looks, her friends, etc. These are supposed to be “adults” who have been taught to think about how their words/actions affect others. This leads me to the scarier thought: What awful things are tweens and teens, who don’t always think things through, writing to one another? Like most people, I’ve seen of bullying in person or on some cheesy Lifetime movie. Cyber bullying is just as bad if not worse. People are braver behind a keyboard than they are in person. I would like to think someone will step in if they see bullying in person. With cyber bullying, we may not have any idea someone is being attacked unless they specifically show us. Let’s be real. If they just got done being ripped apart by their peers, do you honestly think they will have to will power and self esteem to show loved ones the awful things people are saying about them? I wish they would, but I think not. Statistics show that half of kids being cyber bullied do not report it. Why people want to be seen as a bully is beyond me. Every single movie or show growing up portrayed bullies in a horrible and ridiculous light. Pretty sure I never thought to myself “that’s the role I want in life” while watching some bully on the screen, and they never end up “winning”. We all need to respect feelings. They may not mean anything to you, but they could mean everything to someone else. Being mean behind a computer is still just being mean. In a world with so many bad things in it, why do people want to contribute to the negative side of life. We should be embracing and celebrating each others’ differences, not singling them out. Life can be hard for everyone, so we need to lift people up instead of cutting them down. One person has the ability to change a life, be someone that changes for the better! Let’s all take a lesson from our parents to heart: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That’s an oldie but a goodie! It’s time to stop bullying and start a revolution!
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90% of my bad decisions are food related…

I am a weird Southerner. This cold weather usually makes people from the South crave chili and chicken soup. Not this weirdo and world eater. The past couple weeks, all I’ve wanted to fill my belly with is Asian food. You name it, I’ve craved it. Pho, orange beef, pad thai, vermicelli bowls, banh mi, sushi, katsu pork, bulgogi etc… Don’t get me wrong, I crave Asian food at least once on a weekly basis, but this is getting out of hand. Even when I eat one of those items, I still can’t “pho-get about it” Ha! See what I did there? I guess it could be worse. I could be craving something extravagant or out of season. First world problems are the pits! Hope you are bundled up and enjoying your favorite cold weather food. As for me, I’ll just be trying to control my drooling while daydreaming of my favorite Asian dishes. Have a case of dry mouth? Feast your eyes on the following pics to solve that problem. And yes, I see what I did there using the word “feast”!
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Less Mean More Lean in 2015!

Welcome to 2015! We made it! Wooooo! Now, I don’t really do “resolutions”, but I am all about always trying to better myself. Like every other person, I am totally down to say “Bye, Felicia” to a couple pounds. One of my main goal is to be kinder and more patient with others and even myself. It’s hard to convince yourself sometimes that you do not have to have everything figured out. I forget that I am constantly growing and changing, and so are my wants and needs. This grown-up stuff is for the birds, but I can’t run away forever! The world is always changing, but one of the changes I am most grateful for is the idea that we have to know what we will do with our lives and control every little thing that happens to us. That attitude is pretty much non-existent, which makes life so much easier for people like me (you know, the free-spirited, indecisive types). So, when you feel like you have no clue what is going on your life or no control of your future, just remember you are not alone! Everybody feels like that at one point or another. Finding yourself is a never ending game of hide and seek. Enjoy the search!
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Tales from an Etsy Seller

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I never intended on selling items on Etsy, but it is happening. i don’t know if it’s the excitement of people loving things you make or those people actually paying money for your items, but something about having an Etsy store is certainly thrilling! I may only have a handful of items, but they are all one-of-a-kind and completely made with love. Every single item is one that I originally made for myself for my wedding or other various occasions. It’s fun getting to be totally free with my creativity. My first actual sale on Etsy could not have been any less stress-free. A woman pretty much let me design her headband with the only restriction of “try to use a lot of neutrals and amber” and “whatever you think will look good”. Talk about a low maintenance buyer! The second she made the purchase, my heart started racing and my mind filled with thoughts of her hating what I was going to make her. After seeing her comments, though, I was definitely put at ease. So thank you, kind stranger, for making this whole Etsy thing way less stressful than I thought it would be.

Here is the headband I made for her!
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Check out my Etsy store, StaySparkled, to check out some other items!