swedish fish oreos

swedish fish oreos

I bought Swedish Fish Oreos because I didn’t have a choice.  They were on sale for $2.00 and that was a deal I couldn’t resist.

They sound absolutely disgusting. Why would anyone combine the chewy, fruity goodness of swedish fish with the chalky-perfect chocolate taste of oreos? Both excellent in their own right, no need to combine. They aren’t complimentary flavors in anyone’s book.

Still, I bought a pack this week. I felt an obligation to the research and development crew at Nabisco who must have read my diary wanting to combine my favorite snacks.
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I hate to say this, but they are disgusting. It’s like sandwiching a swedish fish between two oreos. Turns out that’s not a good thing. Your milk gets a sweet, syrupy flavor too, no bueno.

The pack is 2/3 full and I don’t know if I can finish. If these were regular oreos, they would be gone.  If nothing good comes out of this, at least I can share this info with my huge readership.

So, go ahead and feel confident purchasing Double Stuffs because you’re not missing anything over here.

year one

Can you believe it’s been a year since our wedding? Me neither.

Sometimes I think we’re just kids pretending to be married and someone is going to bust into our apartment and say, “You’re not old enough! You don’t know what you’re doing! You aren’t allowed.”  Then we do something weirdly mature like figure out our car insurance together and I realize that, yep, we’re the real deal.

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It’s been a fun year full of figuring each other out while living in close, close quarters. We’re bending and learning where we have to give a little space about what’s important. It’s a work in progress, and while a year seems like a decent amount of work, it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Most of our weeks become a blend of a variety show with singing, instruments and SNL-worthy impressions and accents, mixed with a cooking show for simple-minded folks who love Mexican food, all set in an apartment full of half-packed bags either coming or going from somewhere. The ratings are so-so, but we love it.

When I stop and think of being with Josh when we’re in our 70s, I can’t imagine it. That feels like eons away- will he still play piano? Will I still cook chicken three days a week? Will we still have full heads of hair? There’s no saying.

One down a million more to go. Love ya, Joshie Boy.

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worth the gold?

While watching the Olympics, I can’t help but to feel jealous. I wish I could represent my country and the best at something in the world.  Standing on that podium and hearing our national anthem while everyone cheers and cries would be a dream. Wearing the flag (or the leotard) of our proud country that some people are convinced is going to the shitter while competeing on the world stage is out of my reach.

Thanks a lot mom and dad for not strong arming me into an obscure sport.  Your parents have to get you started early and make you stick with it even when all your friends quit. Oh, and raw talent, genetic predisposition and unlimited funds for coaches/competitions/gear.

field hockey Thanks to Bob Costas and Ryan Seacrest, we know the back story of all these athletes. They pushed their hardest for their whole lives to get to Rio. To complete on that level, those folks have incredible dedication. I audibly let our an “awww” every time they run the video of the gymnasts as babies.

So the recipe for success is: start early and work the hardest.

Would I have missed Saturday morning cartoons to drive across the state for a competition?

I would have had to say no to a lot of Oreos.

Every morning, could I get up early practice before school?

Could I have swapped Girl Scout camps for swim camps?

Would I have missed dinner with my family every night for conditioning training?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m grateful for my experiences and I’ll have to live without that medal. Cheering from my couch will have to do.

So, I guess I’m glad my parents didn’t force me to stick with a sport for my whole life. I’ll settle to be average instead of Olympic. Mostly, I’m sorry that I didn’t make them Olympic parents who get screen time for looking too excited/nervous/celebratory.  Sorry, I let you down, mom and dad.

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very “busy”

This week I’ve been tied up in too many things to count. Embarrassingly, I’ve second guessed actual commitments to devote more time to these increasingly important happenings.

First thing, the Olympics. The summer games always pull me in like a magnet. The heart-wrenching stories, the crying parents, the cheeky commentators; I’m enamored. We finally figured out the antenna, so we can even watch it on NBC like regular Americans and not off some international website. We are living the life.

Did you watch this? Did you tear up? Me neither. Me neither.

from here

from here

Next, I’m reading like a fiend. I’m in the third book of the Outlander series. I’m about 450 pages deep into its 1000+ page bulk. The historical fiction has me in a strangle hold. I thought I may have given up on this series by now since it’s so long-winded, but I’m still trucking.  The part I’m reading right now takes place in Edinburgh, it’s giving me the itch to plan a trip to Scotland…

Besides actual reading, Josh and I started a book on CD on the drive to Hefferfest. He slept through most of the good stuff, but I’m on the last disc of the set. This week I was looking for any excuse to run errands and spend an extra minute getting in or out of the car. Coincidentally, it’s been the hottest week of the year here in Dallas, so there’s been some sweaty listening sessions.

My inner introvert squashed my usual extrovert this week. Usually I like to talk on the phone and catch up with people as I drive or putz around the house. This week I was a bad daughter/sister/friend with my nose stuck in a book.  Sorry, peeps.

Hefferfest ’16: Team Heff

My second Hefferfest was one for the books. I hope I can say that after every one.

It was great for a lot of reasons, three stand out.

  1. We had a ban on talking politics. This should be necessary for all vacations during election years. I highly recommend it. It holds especially true when spending time with people coming from all kinds of party affiliations, income brackets, ages, and slices of life that you will have to see again and again. Best just keep the focus on the olympics, ya know?
  2. We had nothing to do. Josh and I travel pretty often and we’re always sweating on how to get somewhere flying standby, then making a last-minute decision on where to stay. We try to cram in each and every recommended restaurant, tour and to do while we’re there (or we hike 10 miles in a day). It’s fun, but not relaxing in the same way sitting on a lake you’ve been to a million times is. Some folks turn their nose up on revisiting the same places for vacation, but this is a type of relaxation you can only enjoy in a location you’ve been, surrounded by hillbilly shows and tshirt shops.
  3. The Heffernans are a fun bunch. This is crucial when it comes to group trips. Boating and floating can’t be bad, but it helps when everyone climbs into the same bed at the end of the night for selfies or roses and thorns.

We managed most of the week without sunburns or chasing rainbows- although one was spotted.  This year’s theme was Team Heff, inspired by the olympics. Steph and Alex made the best tshirts and even a flag. We tried for a couple of of competitions, but ended up playing board games instead.

Our group had at least three GoPros floating around, here are some of my photos. I’ll hopefully have a video soon.

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Lovely London

London has always been on my to do list, but never at the very top for some reason. While I was visiting Will we decided we wanted to have a getaway weekend. London was the closest (a 1 hour flight) and the cheapest (round trip from Dublin was under $100USD), so we made it happen. Now it’s at the top of my I need to go back ASAP list. I can’t speak highly enough of the place. If you asked me to move there tomorrow, I would start packing.

A weekend in London is simply not enough. Here’s a GoPro video from the trip.

We started with the Tower of London, which may have been the highlight. It’s the old fortress and one time home of the royal family. We jumped on a tour Beefeater named Spike to get the rundown of all the history. There’s a museum packed with old arms and armor and the crown jewels are on display. We wondered around the castle and saw exhibits on the original art and the menagerie of animals that they kept. If you ever find yourself in London, go to the Tower and go early to beat the line! Hot tip, don’t bring Will unless you want him to read every little blurb in the whole stinking thing.

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We walked around and saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye and the Calvary Parade Grounds. We wove our way to Buckingham Palace through St. John’s Park. We found Westminster Cathedral- the Catholic Cathedral too. We ate dinner on the Southbank- fish and chips of course. We ended the long day of walking with beers by the theatre, just watching the English wondering around on the riverfront.

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Our second day in the city started with breakfast at the Red Lion where Winston Churchill and Charles Dickens were known to frequent. We did an audio tour of Westminster Abbey. I can’t even describe how vast and intricate the church is. Lots of people get photos outside, but it’s worth going in just to feel the weight of history and see all the tombstones.I was trying to reenact the DiVinci Code, but Will and Matt weren’t feeling it. Being in Westminster and the Tower of London was a stark reminder of how OLD stuff in Europe is. Some of the things we saw were a thousand years old. You just don’t see that in the US.

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It happened to be Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. We watched the Calvary Parade and caught sight of her in her bright green suit. We saw the Royal Family from the front of the palace. They came out to wave on the balcony and watch the fly over. We couldn’t have planned it better! It felt silly to stand in a crowd of Londoners and people from all over the world as they sang God Save the Queen. Us dense Americans didn’t know the words. People in the crowd and in the Tube smelled like a mix of sweat and Skin So Soft. They were polite enough, except some of the foreigners who got a bit pushy.

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For lunch, we found a pub to catch some of the Euro Cup and drink Purple Reign- a beer brewed for the Queen’s birthday.

Will talked us into the London Dungeon. It was a haunted house where every room was inspired by a different gory character in England’s history. As you could guess, it was corny. Will and Matt got lost in the mirror room too.

After the “Dungeon Experience,” Will and I literally ran about a mile and half to catch a Jack the Ripper Tour led by another Beefeater named Steve. We were laughing as we jogged in our jeans, arriving five minutes early. Steve led us around the streets of Whitechapel telling about each murder. He gave the infamous killer a lot of context and built in London history and all his opinions about cops. You know I can’t resist a ghost tour and Steve did not disappoint.
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Will and I finished the night with a late dinner at a pub. We watched futbol and drank some pints. At one point will ordered a beer from the bar. He asked for a recommendation from the bartender and couldn’t understand her accent when she answered him. He agreed to it and she poured him a Coors Light. That’s a long way to travel to drink a Coors.

Sunday morning we got up bright and early and headed back to Dublin. London, (someday) I’m coming back for ya!

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friends of friends

No one tells you how hard it is to make friends as an adult. There’s no classmates, no new kids living on the floor of your dorm. Many less welcome BBQs and ice breakers. Sure, there’s some work functions, but there’s so much pressure to be professional.

Finding new people takes a lot of effort. It creates weird moments of fishing for conversation and times you really have to try. Ugggh, trying.

But sometimes it works. Then you find really good people and you know how sweet it is to find another soul in the world who doesn’t make you want to punch them (at least most of the time). That’s when you lean on the only tip I have for ya- network. Not in the phony career sense. Become friends with your friends’ friends. It works like a charm.

This weekend I went to a bachelorette party for Carolyn from work. The next night I danced at a wedding for my high school friend Kristen.

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Turns out Carolyn’s friends and sisters are hilarious and quirky. She knows how to pick them, uhhh us. Kristen’s friends are equally as cool. We hung out at her bachelorette party and caught up a little at the wedding too.

People who you dig lead to meeting more people like them, or like you. Then you go somewhere for a weekend with them, drink a little, stay together in a rad an Airbnb or hotel, BOOM- you have new buddies. Let the bride be the glue between baller ladies. I can’t guarantee a 14-person golf cart ride or an almost visit to a lesbian bar, but I promise you’ll at the very least have a fun weekend and meet some not-so-strangers.

How does that one go about one is silver and the other’s gold?

Tahoe and San Fran

If lately it feels like I’m never home, it’s true. This past week Josh and I went on a trip to South Lake Tahoe and then mozied over to San Francisco for our friend Caleb’s wedding. It’s the longest and biggest trip we’ve taken together since our honeymoon and it was nice to be on a real vacation instead of just popping in or out of town for a quick and dirty weekend.

Since I started working at Southwest I’ve been talking about going to Lake Tahoe. The problem is, it’s really far from Dallas and I wanted to spend some quality time in nature. Neither Josh nor I ski, not for lack of interest- we just legit don’t know how. Besides, we love to hike and swim, so summer is a better season for our outdoorsiness. When we got invited to the wedding in SF, I cleared our calendars so we could make this happen. Boston, I think you might be next.

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We flew in to Reno late on Tuesday and drove an hour to the southern shore of the lake. Wednesday we put in 10 miles total starting on the Angora Trail around Fallen Leaf Lake. When we got to the crest to catch another trail back down, we ran into Malcolm. He’d been coming to his grandpa’s cabin for the last 84 years and recommend we backtrack to catch another trail and hike back to the Angora Lakes.

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One thing that I love about traveling with Josh is how he’s always game. Sure, he was cool to retrace a mile or so to find this lake with a sandwich shop on the shore. It added a kink to our plans and more walking, but we’re pretty chill travelers. Besides, friendly locals have the best recommendations.

The lake was freezing (they all are there, thanks to the melting snow), but Josh got all the way in and I waded in to my waist. After lunch, we found the Clark trail back down to the car.

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For the afternoon, we headed to Heavenly to ride the gondola, which was down due to fire. We stayed for a beer, then rented kayaks from the Tahoe Keys. The wind whipped at us in both directions and the water stayed choppy for most of the hour and a half we were out. It was the hardest kayak paddling I’ve done in a while, maybe ever. Still, the blue, blue water and the beautiful mountains in every direction made it worth it. It felt like being in a pool. A giant, cold pool with a wind machine.

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On Thursday, we hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for about six miles that eventually turned into ten. The stretch along Echo Lakes has a boat taxi at the end that’ll bring you back to the start. The little community of rustic cabins out there and all the trail people were getting me into my “I love nature, why do I live in a city?!” groove. That generally comes on day two of vacation without cell service. I can’t recommend going off the grid enough. We made it back to Tamarak Lake and then caught the taxi back.

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Sometimes we chatted about music or politicians  or Wild or the Taylor/Kimye feud or pointed out weird stuff along the trail. Lots of time was spent in silence, just looking around with big eyes and panting breath (when going uphill).  The Lake Tahoe area could not have been more comfortable. Our mornings started in the 60s and the day creeped up to the 80s. Excellent temps for layering flannel and backpacks on and off. These photos don’t hold a candle to the real deal.

We caught lunch in Heavenly and this time rode the gondola up to the ski report-turned ropes course for the summer months. The ride up was a little pricey, but worth the view and the ride.

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We finished the day in Emerald Bay at the Vikingsholm State Park. The hike isn’t too long, but it was steep for a stunning view of the bay and the old house on the property. We waded into the lake to wash off our gnarly hiking feet.

Oh and Reese Witherspoon retweeted me.

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We left Friday morning for San Francisco to meet up with the Rubles. We did some touristy stuff and walked along the pier. Josh ate three bowls of clam chowder in two days. He can’t get enough. We checked out the City Lights Bookstore where the beatniks got started and had drinks in North Beach. For dinner, we ate at El Farolito in the Mission. I’m still dreaming about that burrito.

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Before the wedding on Saturday, Josh, Lily and I rented bikes and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was about an 8 mile loop and the ferry takes you back to town from Sausalito. We only had to walk the bikes up a couple of hills and the bridge was terrifying/exhilarating. I highly recommend doing it next time you’re in town!

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The wedding was beautiful and so fancy! We had fun meeting the other Mizzou people there and requesting early 2000s rap from the DJ. There was also a green screen photobooth that we took some liberties with props. What a weekend, what a night.

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Reads for the weekend

It’s been a crazy week. While I don’t always have time or desire to write, I always manage to squeeze in some reading. Funny how that works.

About writing your story as you go on a blog. And sometimes it feels unexciting.

Talking politics with your parents. Specificaly about Ivanka’s dad.

How actually doing something is way better than a great resume. Holler for side hustles!

Let’s have better conversations? Ok, cool.

Say what you mean and stand behind it. You can’t separate politics from people.

Do it big this weekend.

Wrap on Dawson

We finally finished Dawson’s Creek. Josh and I have been watching it since at least March. There are six wonderful seasons that served as background noise while we worked, ate and putzed around. Not going to lie, I am elated to be done.

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I will argue time and time again that they should have called the show Joey’s Creek since it’s mostly about her. She’s also my favorite character. Katie Holmes, you’re my girl. Josh and I perfected the Joey Potter lip bite/side glance and the crazy smile. We would like to be cast in the reboot.

Gosh I’m going to miss Capeside High, the love triangles and weird deaths. They don’t call it a drama for nothing. What I wouldn’t give to be in that writer’s room deciding the fates of my beloved characters.

Josh only watched about every fourth one. As always, he asked a ton of questions and I filled him in on who was in rehab, who’s mom doesn’t understand, who is breaking up and who is hooking up. Most of the time we had to pause the show because so much happens so fast.

Like Gossip Girl, Dawson gives voices to teenagers. Makes their trivial problems (and often HUGE problems) important. I eat that up. The characters radiate innocence and have more free time than anyone in real life. They teeter on the brink of potential and absolute destruction, like that time Andy tired E while on anti-depressants. Yikes.

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Now that the DC chapter in our lives has come to a close, I want to wear some shapeless 90s sweaters and use big vocabulary in everyday life.