Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipe for happiness

Begin by separating all the key ingredients, this is important, because if you mix certain components together in the wrong order the end result will not be tasty.

Start with 1 cup of genuine smiles. Make sure they are well packed, and pour them into a big mixing bowl. Then slowly incorporate ½ a cup of hugs and warm embraces in with the genuine smiles. They will combine very easily after a few stirs. Be generous with your kisses, make sure they fill at least 2 tablespoons. They have to be passionate and affectionate kisses, not shy chicken pecks.

Set aside this mixture and grab another mixing bowl.

Scoop out three measured cups of laughter, make sure they’re fresh; it WILL make all the difference. Next, crack four enthusiastic high fives into the bowl and fold them in with the laughs. Add a 1/4 of a teaspoon of playful eyelash flutters, a pinch of cuddles and snuggles (careful not to add more than a dash, anything more might become overbearing and clingy) and last but not least add a dash of pink rosy blushes. Stir this well and very gently for about five minutes. Once you have finished stirring everything and it is all integrated, add the other bowl of mixture in with what you have just mixed.

Continue mixing for another 5 minutes until it is all bubbly and enthusiastic. Rainbows and glitter should start forming on the top, and that will tell you that the mixture is complete.

Pour into pan of choice and bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven of 325 degrees. Bake until golden brown and singing Beethoven's “Hallelujah”, caution: the rays of light will be very bright and might blind you momentarily.

Serving size: Enough to fill the bellies of all painfully cute woodland creatures that come and clean your house whilst you are away at work.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

I’m Laughing at Clouds….

I wonder if people walk in the rain anymore.

Would you grab an umbrella once it started raining? Just so you could stroll down the street, step in puddles, watch your reflection amongst a rippling surface, perhaps indulge in some singing and dancing and be like Gene Kelly?

Do they listen to the rain?

Do they try and make sense of the rhythm and patterns that those cascading droplets are making as they descend from the skies to the solid earth?

Do me a favor. Next time it rains, grab your sweetheart (if you do not have one, an invisible Mr. Darcy will do just fine) or family member or friend or cat or whatever is available and take a stroll in the rain. Wear your best pair of rain boots/duck feet and be daring. Hold their hand while the other holds up the umbrella. It’s a surreal experience and one that not many appreciate anymore.

Our little town has been plagued by dark clouds and blustery winds and MANY droplets that have accumulated into heavy downpours. Every time you look out the window you will see the sky is permanently blanketed in leaden clouds heavy and swelling with rain. The Earth absolutely loves all the attention it is getting, it has never been greener….or wetter for that matter.

It’s interesting how people complain about how dry the summers are, and then when they finally get a summer filled with rain, they complain about that. It seems there is always something to complain about. They have a serious case of needing to take their sweetheart’s hand and take a walk in the rain.

I do not have the power of little duck feet today, alas. I have some snazzy black heels to which will be my doom if it chooses to rain around 4:30 when I get off of work.

It looks like rain—no surprise there. So I may just have to take my umbrella and rainboots and take a long walk and let my thoughts be carried away by the rush of water and the soft drip drops and pitter patters.

If you listen closely, you will also hear me singing and dancing in the rain.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The WHAM Factor

Have you ever met one of those people...who are so opinionated and so closed minded that it absolutely drives you up the wall?

If there is one things in this world that I do not tolerate, it is closed mindedness. Those who cannot keep a broad perspective that can see both sides of the table are truly the most infuriating people on the planet.

"I am right, because I am always right, my opinion is the only one that matters, blah, blah, blah."

Seriously. Take it from the movie Bambi. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

That special group of people remind me of birds....

I know what you're thinking. You're probably giving the computer screen the oddest of looks. But let me explain!

Picture the scene....

It comes so unexpectedly that it is almost unwelcome entirely.

There you are, taking a leisurely nap on the couch, hypothetically curled up in a nice warm fuzzy ball of micro fleece, and suddenly WHAM

You sit up in alarm, searching desperately for the perpetrator. There is no visible evidence that reveals a shenanigan or intruder so you resume your nap on the couch, a little wary and cautious this time.


It happens again!

You race towards the general direction of the noise and low and behold, there is a bewildered and perplexed bird who is curiously cocking its head and wondering why it cannot pull a Matrix move through the glass of your kitchen window.

Birds are crazy.

Just like those annoying closed-minded people.

They have very little perspective when it comes to clear surfaces. (Then again, the same behavior can be observed within the human species. How many times have we ourselves walked into a glass door, or witnessed someone doing thusly? If you haven’t, just wait, it’ll happen).

Sometimes we just have to admit that we are not the cleverest of species at times….

How does one avoid closed-mindedness?

First of all, when you encounter someone who is closed minded you will often find yourself resisting them entirely. Resistance comes from you and who you are and how you define yourself as a person. Treat that moment like a personal challenge. Do not put forth an argument that is emotionally attached to you and your personal beliefs. Instead, make the playing field level by saying "you COULD be right...but what about this?"

Being open-minded means you are receptive to new ideas and are willing to consider and discuss and take on new challenges and perspectives. By exploring them further, you will be able to gain better knowledge as well as a broadened range of ideas that other people might have.

Consider all that comes your way and do not immediately resist the people who put forth those ideas.

In other words, to wrap things up with my peculiar metaphor from earlier....

Don't be the bird that crashes into everyone's window so unexpectedly!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Magic Beans

Unfortunately, these little buggers do not grow gigantic bean stalks....

You get up in the morning, you are crabby and half-asleep, and the only thing that will prevent the oncoming headaches and biting people’s heads off like an angry bear is a gritty mixture of that strong little brown bean. Somehow, it turns the meanest of morning creatures into happy campers within a few sips. It may take a cup…or two…or three…but for those of us who do not drink coffee or are new to the substance and are becoming a convert….it can kind of be terrifying to see the transformation people undergo when they are deprived of coffee. It almost makes you re-evaluate your decision to drink said coffee and what long-term effects it will have.

As a college student, I am proud to say that I do not get my caffeine fix from coffee or those fizzy sugary beverages that look like liquid radiation. Those are only used in desperate situations (such as finals week *coughhellweekcough*). I prefer healthier alternatives, such as tea. Tea contains SO many goodies for your body, including herbs and antioxidants and fruit extracts that can boost your immune system and clean out the evil free radicals. Tea can also give you that little extra “something” to get you going in the morning should you need it.

Coffee is that naughty little bean that does strange and interesting things to people. Why else would there be so many StarBucks coffee shops all over the place? They are indeed EVERYWHERE. I always feel a tad indecisive whenever I walk into a StarBucks because you have to make a bagillion decisions on the spot, and I am certainly a fan of trying new things.

Cappuccino, mocha, latte, espresso, iced, skinny, extra whipped cream and caramel sauce....

So many good things packed within a tiny cup.

Such highly addictive good things.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How I wonder what you are....

Once upon a time,

I remember gazing at the stars that night.

Losing myself to the celestial bodies that loomed above me, resembling a canvas made of black silk with diamonds scattered upon its smooth surface.

It was like looking into a stygian sea with pinpoints of light to guide you.

Then, one of them began to move.

It was as though it were a crystal, rippling and shaking from the vibrations of sound. Then it broke away from the darkness and twinkled and beamed as it began its luminous descent across the sky.

I watched as it raced towards me. It was surreal, unexpected.

I reached out my hands as though I were trying to catch a ball.

As soon as it made contact with my fingers, I winced and groaned.

It burned upon contact, yet the star was the most beautiful thing I had ever beheld. Its iridescence was inhuman, colors of all kinds flashing and glowing, singing a soft melody as it felt my grasp upon it begin to waver.

I did what any sensible man would have done.

I put the star in a cage.

It hummed and buzzed against the gilded bars, but the star made no fuss as it hovered and danced within the tiny perimeter that surrounded it.

It almost seemed to enjoy its captivity.

As the days grew longer, I began to covet the star. Obsessing over its presence. I was plagued by its existence and the fact that it remained within my possession.

But then, one day, the star no longer sang its bright songs. It remained at the bottom of the cage. Its light flickering and dimming like an exhausted candle, choking on its own pool of wax.

I tried everything within my power to cheer it up and make it lively again.

Nothing seemed to work. Not even the sound of my own songs or musical instruments.

So I did the only thing I could think of...and dreaded.

I took the cage out into the middle of the star gazing field. Shakily unlatched the door, scooped the coldness out of captivity and whispered to it. Wishing upon the star.

It came to life, slowly but surely, it burned and blazed one more time, bursting like fireworks as it shot out towards the heavens and began its long ascent.

A journey that I knew all along that would have to be taken eventually.

With a smile and a tear, I watched as it diminished into the familiar blackness to join the others that twinkled above me.

"Then the traveler in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark; He could not see which way to go, If you did not twinkle so."

With an empty cage, I turned on my heel and left the field. Hoping and praying that the star I once called my own would find the happiness it deserved.

A caged star is a dead star.

A free star is a living star.

They were never meant to be caught.


C'est fini! I watched Howl's Moving Castle and concocted of this little idea for a story. It seems riddled with metaphors and symbolic meaning, but I'll let you figure them out. In the meantime, be happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Let’s Talk Regrets

Life is filled with opportunities. By taking advantage of one of them, several thousand more arise. But what about the opportunities you didn’t take? Will they cost you? Will they haunt you? Do you regret not taking ‘that’ path instead of the one you are currently on?

Several times a day I find myself contemplating the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘how abouts’. I am always thinking, always wondering. Yet I find myself in the shoes of so many people who wish they could rewind the past. Unfortunately, life does not have a restart button. If you fail a level you cannot go back and start over.

They always say to live your life to the fullest so that you don’t have any regrets.
This may be true. But somewhere during that journey of your full life, you will have regrets that you wish you could tweak and alter and even return to and fix completely.

We sometimes fight for things we cannot have.

We sometimes are completely oblivious to the opportunities that are happening underneath our noses.

We sometimes are misinformed or there is a miscommunication.

We sometimes screw up so epically that we practically dig ourselves into a deep dark hole.

We sometimes build walls around ourselves and shut everyone out.

In today’s society it’s almost expected that you don’t make any mistakes. You are born and bred to believe that the world is a difficult place and you must never make a mistake, because mistakes result in punishments, and punishments are things you want to avoid at all costs because it will leave a mark, a mark you will be judged for.

Not true.

It is within our nature to make mistakes. We live under the guidelines of “trial and error”.

For example: The Homo Habilis looked at the Australopithecus and dared him to eat those green berries while he ate the purple berries. So the Australopithecus took up the challenge and ate the green berries and shortly died, whereas the Homo Habilis ate the purple berries and was very happy and satisfied and lived to have a long life. The trial being the different colored berries, the error being the eating of the incorrect color berries. Lesson learned, you now know to never eat those green berries, else you too will die.

That may be an overly dramatic example, but you KNOW it happened. (Also, Homo Habilis and the Australopithecus did not exist at the same time)

I am sure that the Australopithecus wishes that he could go back in time and stop himself from eating those poisonous green berries.

Unfortunately that is a regret that he cannot fix.

HOWEVER there are regrets that you can fix.

My personal motto is, “there’s always a however”. No matter how hopeless the cause, no matter how many times someone says ‘no’, no matter how harshly you feel you are being judged by others, if you have the courage and the strength and the determination, you will surely gain something from your endeavors. If anything you are proving to yourself that you are not giving up and that you will not be ruled by regrets. Keep Fighting.

I regret a lot from this year. A lot of open doors slammed into my face. But I was persistent, I always got back up and tried everything I could in order to find a key to open the door again or simply try and force it back open with my bare hands. I got my fingers caught in the doors, it hurt, but I managed to prop them open again and barge my way through.

I am finding that there are still several doors that are closed and will not budge, but that doesn’t mean I can’t open them again someday, I just need to figure out how. Only I can open them. I just can’t seem to find my keys…. The garden gnomes must have cleverly hid them whilst I was taking a nap.

Now that I have completely bored you with inspirational nonsense and ramblings about how you too have the power to change the course of your future, I am simply going to say this…..

You got this.

I love you.

Stay strong.

Regret Nothing.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 Facts about Piper

I’ve looked back on my entries and I realized that you know very little about ME as a person. Therefore, I shall compile a list of TEN, count them, TEN facts about me that are described in full detail. Consider this the “Never Before Seen Footage” of blog entries. So, here is your chance to get to know the person you are receiving posts from on a weekly basis.

Ready Set Go?

Let’s begin!

Fun fact number 1:
I love wearing boots. I am approximately 5”2 and therefore feel vertically challenged when walking amongst my peers, therefore, when I am feeling a tad ‘short’, I pull out my sassy boots (that go with everything!) and suddenly I feel like I have all the power and confidence in the world. ….Until someone who is 6”2 towers over me, then I just feel silly. I love all kinds of boots, especially rain boots. In my previous entry (hyperlink) I refer to them as ‘duck feet’, and they sure have saved my toes during the rainy season! Love love LOVE my little duck feet.

Fun fact number 2:
My favorite movie of all time would have to be “The Fellowship of the Ring”, the first movie in the trilogy that came out when I was still a kidlet. For some reason, it is the perfect beginning to any quest and the characters are sublime. I can never get enough of the story. And yes, before you ask, I have read the entire series. I am a huge nerd when it comes to LOTR and I am terribly proud of it. I own a pair of elf ears I purchased at the Renaissance Festival. Do I wear them in public? Only if it’s Halloween and I am dressing as a fairy. Do I wear them in private? Wouldn’t you like to know….

Fun fact number 3:
I collect coins of different currencies around the world and I also collect skeleton keys. Ever since I was a child I had a fascination with keys and wondering what each one unlocked. My imagination went crazy with days dreams of buried treasure chests, secret doors, passages that lead to other worlds, etc. I have a mad obsession with keys and where each one will take me. As for coins, that just happened out of nowhere. I just started collecting them and they have accumulated ever since.

Fun fact number 4:
I attract cats. For some ungodly reason, wherever I go, there is almost always a cat nearby that takes an interest in me. My family calls me the “cat whisperer”, because no matter how feisty or depressed, I somehow have the magic touch that makes every cat I encounter fall madly in love with me. (Note: Please don’t send me your cats, I am not an actual cat whisperer, I am merely a college student who likes cats.) Do I prefer cats instead of dogs? No, in fact, I much prefer dogs. When I was little I would have told you otherwise, by my preference has changed over the years, especially after owning a fantastic Australian Sheppard.

Fun fact number 5:
My favorite past-time food is macaroni and cheese. There is nothing quite like picking up a box of Spongebob Squarepants macaroni and cheese at the store. You feel giddy like a child and cannot wait to go home and indulge in empty calories and powdered cheese. Some people say the macaroni is better….nay! In my humble opinion, the shapes definitely taste better.

Fun fact number 6:
I ADORE curly hair. In this world, where a lot of things are synthetic and or can be mimicked, it’s always a joy to find someone who has naturally curly hair. I know that people who have ridiculously curly hair wish they didn’t, but seriously, I want in. Don’t get me wrong, I like my hair, but every once in a while I find someone with insane masses of tight ringlets and I go into this mode where I am determined to get a perm or finding a lamp that could grant me three wishes so that I could wish my hair to be like that. Or I just grab my curling iron and mousse and start playing around for an hour. Curly hair=awesome

Fun fact number 7:
I take pictures of the oddest things. You will find that I will get up close and personal with the foods that I bake as well as the nooks and crannies of nature. There is no surface that I am not willing to explore with my lens. One day I hope to have a fancy bagillion dollar camera and take high resolution photos that I can share with others. I love the feeling of using my camera as another pair of eyes, being able to see things in ways that you physically cannot. And if you can capture such beauty, then that is a true gift.

Fun fact number 8:
I love surprises! You would think everyone loves surprises, but that is not necessarily true. I have met people who get very uncomfortable from surprises because they were not able to anticipate or plan around said surprise. That's just silly. If someone arrives on your front porch with a bottle of sparkling apple cider and raspberry chocolate cake, there is nothing wrong with that picture. I also love surprising people. I love writing little notes and tucking them away in places that the person will look so that they receive a small 'hello' or something that brings a smile to their face. Happiness is something you should receive on a daily basis, and if I can do anything that can make that happen, I certainly shall!

Fun fact number 9:
My favorite color is green. But not just any green. When winter has finally diminished from the world and mother nature yawns and stretches and wakes from her long slumber, unfurling her lovely array of plants and flowers. My favorite color is that of newly born, budding, fresh spring green.

Fun fact number 10:
Last but certainly not least! My favorite thing to drink is tea. Specifically green tea or chai tea. I love the feeling of making tea in the morning and letting my hands linger upon the warm exterior of the mug. It has the same effect as hot chocolate, but is so much better for you, especially during the non-Christmas seasons. I am actually going to experiment with different iced teas this summer and see which ones I prefer, so keep an eye out to see how that goes!

There you go, ten quirky facts about your Piper. Hopefully you were able to get a better sense of this blogger and feel more of a connection. I love hearing random facts about friends or new acquaintances. Instead of getting a sense of what their general likes and dislikes are, you get more of a sense of their personality as well as the type of person they are. Everyone is unique and I love exploring that about all those I meet.

In return, I would love to hear random facts about you! Tell me your story.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Crazy Little Thing Called "Dove"....

Random fact:
I have great respect for Dove chocolate wrappers. Inside each and every one is a delicious surprise not only for the taste buds, but also for the muse.

I was eating a Dove almond dark chocolate when I curiously and carefully unfolded the foil wrapper and inside it said, “The only certainty in life is smooth chocolate.”

So true my friends….so true.

Chocolate is not only the greatest invention since sliced bread, it is also the epitome of that naughty little sliver of temptation in the back of your mind that whispers ‘you know you want more.’ Blasphemy.

With that said, I must confess… I could not resist another chocolate morsel. I indulged in (only) one more so that I could appreciate another harmless tidbit of wisdom. This one said, “Tempt your sense of exploration.”

Yes. Definitely yes.

I am a fan of Dove chocolate as well as their quirky little sayings.

Also, have you ever wondered what kind of job position that is? The person who writes such compact proverbs with the purpose to inspire and enlighten your day deserves a medal or a lifetime supply of chocolate or something, as long as it’s an epic reward.

Regardless, if this is indeed a job position, I will happily send in my resume and see if they would be interested in my several volumes of poetry and odd little lines of prose. If Martha Stewart can be invited to write Valentine’s Day lines for Dove chocolate wrappers, well then, by golly, so can us fellow writers!

It’s all a mystery.

A sweet, thick, slowly melting mystery that is just too good to be true.
Thank you Dove for all that you do. You provide us with such evil yet heavenly candies that are wrapped in silvery joy, making our days a bit brighter.

Indulge, eat chocolate!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All about being brave....

Why did the chicken cross the road?

The answer should be simple right?

To come, to see, to conquer!

No. To get to the other side.

Countless times in my life, I have always looked back and thought to myself...."If only I had done "this" differently, or "that" differently....if only I had been more brave." Don't we all wish that we had been braver at one point or another? Don't we all just want to get to the other side of the road?

Personally, I find that I am always asking for courage and strength, whether it be from God or from my family and friends. I never ask of it aloud, because...come now...who really walks up to their friend and says, "Give me strength!" I mean, I would, but that's beside the point. To save myself from curious and bizarre glances, I ask for strength silently.

Bravery is within us. We are capable of bravery. However, according to Mrs. Darling from Peter Pan, "there are many different kinds of bravery. There's the bravery of thinking of others before one's self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams. He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer... He does. And that is why he is brave."

I myself am being tested for bravery. Only this drawer is one that I have my fingers caught in and someone is threatening to lock it because they have the key when I didn't mean to give it to them.

Life is difficult, it was never meant to be easy. If we come out of life too clean, someone is bound to come along and throw us into the mud to dirty us up a bit. Sounds pessimistic, but it is true. Sometimes what we say or do catches up with us, and suddenly everything is turned upside down.

A lot has happened this year, too much has happened this year, but somehow I find the strength to get up each and every day. I am a hero. I am a survivor. And although it may seem like bridges are burning behind me, I can always rebuild them.

If you have ever been through a series of challenges that tested your strength and bravery, raise your hand and pat yourself on the back. Give yourself credit for how much courage you wielded during that time, and how it made you the person you are today.

I don't care who you are or what you have done. If the situation tested you, and challenged you, and made you question and re-think your values, then you deserve to have someone stand by you and believe in you and support you 110%. Just do your best, and be yourself. Strive to be a better person, because that is what life is all about. The experiences and the people who make us a better person.

Just breathe.


Take those steps, so that you too can cross the road to get to the other side.

You are loved.