Stuff and things and it's F R I D A Y !

Friday, June 13, 2014

  • I ain't cut out for California driving. I've been honked at twelve times and flipped off once. But he pulled his car up to mine and was clenching his fist so hard it started shaking so that counts for like, thirty two times? Also can we agree that man was crazy? Let's agree that man was crazy.
  • Last weekend at a wedding in Vernal (Vernal! You shockingly charming little devil, you!) I harassed the groom's brother a few too many times, telling him he would be perfect with my sister Paige and asking probing questions and setting up their wedding (I would shoot it pro bono!). The girl who I thought was his cousin finally spoke up and informed me that she was his girlfriend, not his cousin, and they had been happily dating for a year. Woops. 
  • On that note, I am thinking of writing my sister's number on my business cards. I hand out her number like, five times a wedding. Do you know any cute, single 17 year-olds? What do you think? 
  • Have I ever told you my dream is to live by a lake? Well, my dream is to live by a lake. Though I love the beach, I think I am too butch for it. I prefer to bask in the sun braless + unshaved, thank you. Ain't nobody judgin' at the lake.
  • I finished The Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella. I feel like it would be a really funny chick flick but it was kind of meh. Who is excited about I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You being out? Me! Which is odd to look forward to a book this much but once upon a time Amazon suggested it to me and then told me it wouldn't be out till June. And now it's out! I'm regretting sharing this pointless sentiment. 
  • I'm pretty sure 'Treat Yo' Self' is the anthem of my life. Ask the McDonald's employee who took my order twice in two hours because happiness is a Diet Dr. Pepper + ice cream cone. You can buy happiness (for $2.16)
  • How many Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups shoulder a person inhale in one sitting? Asking for a friend...
  • If you are reading this, happy day of birth Kevin. I should call you buuuuuuut...
  • Speaking of Kevin, I pronounce his name Kev-EEEEEE-n because my high school Spanish class was forced to watch UP in Spanish (duh) and that's how they pronounced Kevin's name. No one gets it + it's too late to explain. It's fine. And awkward. 
  • I watched both seasons of Inside Amy Schumer on Hulu this past week because I am important and have an incredibly busy schedule. Woof, she is funny. But also watch with headphones and make sure your in-laws aren't around? ;)
Happy F R I D A Y ! 


The Great Soda Challenge || A Diet Coke-off

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

- - - - - - 

Once upon a time, I decided to give up Diet Coke. Officially.
I held out for two months and convinced myself that I didn't miss it or need it in my life. I specifically remember phone calls to my mother where I talked about my newfound energy and how the thought of forty four ounces of soda made me want to throw up.

What a load of junk. 
Much like watching Mad Men and working in retail and Zumba, as much as I wanted to like it, I couldn't fake it for long. I mean, c'mon. Diet Coke is my one vice (...next to reality television,
celebrity gossip, and buying oversized clothing).

SO! In the words of Caroline Manzo from Real Housewives of New Jersey (Caroline, where are you?!), I'm taking this next level and "being the best." I'm pretty sure I misquoted her there and I'm pretty sure ten million people have said that same sentiment but hey, next level! Caroline Manzo! New Jersey!
(...in case you are of the socially superb, I'm referring to the episode where her daughter is talking about wanting to go to beauty school...)

I am pretty particular with my Diet Coke; it must be from a fountain (a can if I'm in a real pinch) and the ice must be pebbled + not too watery + the cup can't be flimsy and should preferably be a thick styrofoam. A vanilla + a slice of lemon if you have it, coconut if I'm feeling adventurous, and almond joy creamer if I'm feeling chubby.

This is all a long way of saying, yo. I ranked the fountain drinks in Utah because I take myself way too seriously + am a ridiculous human + love me a stiff drink on the rocks.

Sonic : 4.5
The analysis : Is there anything better than a Sonic Diet Coke with vanilla and lemon during happy hour? I think not. Pebbled ice, styrofoam cup, fresh lemons, and the opportunity to see pre-teens fumble with 44 ounces on ROLLERSKATES?! 

Hires Big H : 5.0(!!!!!)
The analysis : Holy sweet mother of fountain drinks, Hires Big H. They have this ice that's a hybrid between pebbled ice + shaved ice and I want to take a bath in it (actually no, no I don't. That sounds cold). They have 'Tropical Diet Coke' which is essentially dirty Diet Coke (coconut + lime) but with more lime and less coconut and it sort of tastes like pineapple? Don't overthink it and get yourself a large.

McDonalds : 3.0
McDonalds in a sweet tea cup (styrofoam) : 3.3
McDonalds Diet Dr. Pepper in a sweet tea cup : 3.5
The analysis : McDonalds' is like a vanilla bean ice cream cone. There's really nothing spectacular about it but you know what you are going to get. Fizzy Diet Coke. On melty ice. Plus it's a dollar and there's a drive through window.

Will's Pit Stop : 3.5
The analysis : I used to be ultra-enthusiastic about Will's; I even raved about their flizz-to-flavor ration on Yelp. While their ice isn't spectacular + their cups are kind of flimsy, they deliver.

Maverik//7/Eleven//Flying J : 1.1
The anaysis : Flat as a fifth grader.
                       Hey, that was funny! Praying people have scrolled this far.

Sodalicious : 4.6
The analysis : If we are being perfectly honest, they could hand me carbonated milk and I'd be happy. They have the nicest employees who will remember your name and ask you about your love life. Ain't nothing better than Anna K. and a Dirty Diet Coke.

Swig : 2.3
The analysis : I want to like Swig, I do! But I just don't. Two points for yummy concoctions + styrofoam cups + .3 because it's Wednesday.

Crest : 3.7
The analysis : Let it be known, the Crest nearest me doesn't carry Diet Coke but does carry Diet Dr. Pepper...which is weird. But! Their Diet Dr. Pepper is so good + they have a drive through and coconut flavoring. It's really all about the drive through. Ain't nobody need to see me barefoot and braless.

Guzzles : 1.2
The analysis : This is right across from Target. It serves Diet Coke. That's about the only plus? Oooof, I'm a cruel Diet Coke reviewer.

Fabulous Freddy's : 4.7
The analysis : People. Of. The. World. Fab Freddy's. They have a drive through, flavored drinks, and a reward program so that you get points for gas and other purchases that you can use in the store and on drinks...  that are already like, 75 cents. I stop here during my Nordstrom Rack runs and it is a match made in heaven.

Honorable mentions : 
Chick Fil A (their lemonade rocks + I always get a Diet Dr. Pepper. Styrofoam cup(!!!).
Carls Junior (overpriced, but always fizzy!)
Holladay Oil (buy a cup for $10 and get fifty cent refills all summer long. Plus drink flavorings!)

...now I need a Diet Coke.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm sitting in a hotel room with an inexplicable Persian influence. I'm fairly certain they wash their sheets with curry powder, but I can't be sure. On the bright side, it's kiddy corner from a McDonalds + there's cable (with Bravo!) + a bathtub. I rank a Level 0.5 on the Hotel Snobbery Scale. But I am quite bored -- I am watching the premier of Ladies of London for the third time this week and over-thinking my eyebrow shape. So, let's take some stock...

BUT FIRST : I am the queen of the salad. I really am. I have no talent in the kitchen but give me a salad bowl and some vegetables, and poof! I am in my element. I made this steak salad for Jeff and I on Sunday and it was heavenly.

- - - - - - -

I've seen this post popping around the Internet. Indulge me. Also, unrelated, but is the guy from The Singles Ward movie in the new Wendy's commercial? Get that man a Hollywood star!

And now...
Currently :

Making : a giant mess of my hotel room. I take full advantage of having two beds and sprawl all the contents of my suitcase all over the place whilst exfoliating with the complimentary coffee grounds (try it!).
Cooking : nothin'. Debating walking to the store for some Honeycrisp apples + pistachios.
Drinking : Dirty Diet Coke, duh.
Reading : 'Wedding Night' by Sophie Kinsella. It was nine dollars at Costco and is a romantic comedy in book form...and, once again, it was nine dollars at Costco. It's one of those books I feel slightly self-conscious reading on a plane.
Wanting : longer hair. I think?
Looking : forward to July when my sister comes to visit me. Falalaaaaa!
Playing : a game called, 'How long can I not work out for?'
Wasting : money. Whenever I am apart from Jeff, I tend to indulge in a little/lot of retail therapy.
Sewing : ha. I actually laughed out loud.
Wishing : I enjoyed running. I talked to a girl today who is running an Ultra-marathon this next weekend because it's just 'an addiction.' WHAT!
Enjoying : this weather.
Liking : the idea of a tropical vacation.
Wondering : if Beyonce and Jay-Z are still together? What the, Solange?
Loving : Red Mango's peanut butter frozen yogurt. Yum.
Hoping : no one saw me walk braless into the grocery store twice today. Unhooked my bra a bit too early.
Marveling : at how sexy Sonja is looking on Real Housewives of New York. Also when did their intros get so bad?! "I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm ready!" "Sometimes Sonja has to go commando, what can I say?" No. Stop.
Smelling : curry powder + Coach's Poppy (I just got it in rollerball perfume. Thank you, ULTA. You are my happy place.)
Wearing : a black tee shirt from Old Navy and black sweat pants...from Old Navy.
Following : too many people I don't actually know on Instagram.
Noticing : how much my feet hurt. Holy crap.
Opening : up some microwavable brussel sprouts. It's time.
Feeling : more bored than I was before I started this. Like, significant amounts.


Also, an update : Microwaved brussel sprouts smell like toots.


A recap of May because it is JUNE(!!!!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Today I walked out the door for my Sunday stroll with Jeff and he looked bemused. I did a little twist and twirl for him because I thought it was heading that direction and he just kept blinking on.

"Whaaaaaaat," I begged.

"You just look so..."

Twist, twirl, flutter of the eyelids.


Apparently long shorts, black flip flops, and a baseball tee aren't the most feminine look. Noted and noted. Ha.

On our walk we recapped May and decided that it was equal parts hectic and happy. I was living in Utah for half of it and was mostly homeless. I mooched off friends and lived in their apartments for a few days (I'm the worst roommate. I am totally out of the 'compartmentalized fridge' game -- I see almond butter, I eat all the almond butter. Oops.) while shooting weddings and feeling totally exhausted/totally thankful for having the world's best friends. I'm just going to throw it out there that every one needs a Morgan Randall. She let me bunk with her for a week straight and fed me and didn't even complain that I ate all her bananas...every time she bought bananas. One day I was locked out of my car and texted her early in the morning asking for a ride to which she responded immediately, "Sure! Coming!" without even asking why. Oh, bless her heart fifteen times over and promise I'm done being gushy.

I missed Jeff like crazy and became a much better Skype-date because of it (I just stare at myself...the whole time). But it was also so fun. It was like every time we saw each other and I was back in California, we had to get all of our fun out. We hiked and biked and Disney'd and played at the beach and lounged...all in a week's time. Now I'm off to Utah for more weddings and more mooching (just kidding about that last part).

Here's our May in pictures :

from left to right :
UT -->> CA : I came a week after Jeff did and enjoyed my Diet Coke + Audible filled drive.
This trail is right by Jeff's house and I love it. It's so beautiful!
With my best babe Nikki after a little Tropical Diet Coke + shopping trip. She thought my 'candid laughing' selfie was a bit much.
Disneyland! We went with Jeff's family from Michigan and had so much fun. 
A little trip to the Newport Beach Temple where we got married!
...ewww, gross.
Beach'n it at Table Rock. 
A bit of my Whole30. I massively failed this round (ha, having no kitchen was a struggle!) but loved my first round in March. I felt amazing.
Jeffrey thinking thoughts.
A wedding! I loved this couple + their big day. 
We spent Memorial Day at the beach like the rest of California.
A sunset after a bridal session. Heavenly.
Disney'ing round two. This was on Radiator Springs. The line was an hour and a half long and we actually had no idea what we were in line for the whole time. Ha.
Beach'n it part III with Jeff's brother Kevin and friend Don. I was so impeding on 'bro time.'
At the Bee's baseball game with Morgan. Free hot dogs, y'all!

- - - - -

Happy June!


Truth : I'm not 'California Cool.'

Sunday, June 1, 2014

- - - - - -

Jeff and I moved to Southern California at the end of April. He is working for his dad and I...well, I don't have a job. It's true. I only actually know how to get to three places : the beach, Sonic, and Target (...sometimes. I was hopelessly and gloriously lost today on my way back from Target and asked a lady to give me some directions who almost cried with relief that I wasn't about to mug her. Apparently following someone going 5 MPH and aggressively shouting, 'Hey! You!' is frightening?). I'm a Real Housewife of Orange County except I don't have kids. Or a house. Or perky boobs.

But I love it here. Oh, do I love it.
We are living in an apartment in his parents' house...eventually. Currently it is being occupied by his brother + cute family and so we are living in a bedroom. If you are wondering, it has really amped up our love life -- I feel like a high school bad girl, sneaking into my flame's parents' house at night to canoodle and watch ANTM marathons and other some such things. It's thrilling. And wonderful. And I am actually not kidding. Plus, his mom makes us dinner nearly every night and we get free access to their fridge (I think. Come to think of it, this really hasn't been established yet. Ha.). Live-in girlfriend, for life!

The only thing I don't love : how glaringly obvious it has become that I am far from California Cool. Yes, capitalized and yes, it's a thing. I don't know how people do it here -- they somehow manage to make everything look so easy and effortless and breezy. They are the anti-thesis of Brooke Stapleton, essentially. I take about fifteen outfit changes and a heavy mist of dry shampoo to look presentable and even then I am one gust of wind away from looking completely insane.

I feel like my lack of coolness is most exposed at the beach; I'm so vulnerable there! I can hardly walk in the sand and am hyper-sensitive to the salty water and to top it off, I'm wearing a swimsuit. Eek. It's as if I radiate 'I am not from around here' every time I step foot on T-Street with my Tommy Bahama beach chair and ungodly amount of Diet Coke in tow. Just a few days ago, I decided to try my hand at running on the beach. In my mind, I was just a bright colored pair of spandex and a medium-support sports bra away from being like the sun-kissed, gazelle-like women I see running up and down (and up and down, and up and down...) the shore all day long. Is there like a manual to that crap?! Within five minutes, the bottom half of my body was soaked and my shoes were filled with tiny bits of sand resulting in them weighing upwards of five thousand pounds. Maybe I'll just stick to lounging.

I suppose I just wasn't born with the 'cool gene.' The gene that helps you refrain from thanking people for letting you borrow a tampon by pointing to your ...girlies... and shouting, 'We are in business!' when you make eye contact outside the bathroom (...not a proud moment) and veers you away from ridiculous beach headwear. I just ain't California Cool, people. In fact, I think I am already disqualified from being 'California Cool' forever because I call it 'California Cool.'

It's fine.

I'm fine.

And I'm blogging, hey!


© simply brooke All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger