Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bye, Guys

Well, you guessed it. I'm blowing this Popsicle stand.  Which stinks, kind of, because I really, really enjoy it Popsicles. Especially the kind that come in that long tube thing and then you can suck out all the juic that's left over when you finish the icy part. And blogging.

It's all thanks to my friend Allison of an extreme case of wanderlust, one of my best friends, who gave me this book that I'm now obsessed with.  I'm a Christian, which you may or may not have known, and this book is about dancing for God instead of everyone else (you people). And as much as I've enjoyed dancing for you all, I think it's time for me to take a break. There may come a day when dancing for God involves me hopping back on here and sharing food or life or whatever with you, which would be super cool. Until then, though, I'm out!

Oh, and I'm not trying to sabotage your blog or anything, but check out The Divine Dance. Worth a read. Definitely.

Love, Allie

Monday, July 29, 2013

(this post isn't really about) Ping Pong

It all started with a distress call. One of my best friends of all times texted me words that I'd expect only from her.  Dangerous words, the ones we all have a mental list of. So we can avoid them. Words like:

"We need to talk."

"Do you know how this got here?"

"Can I be completely honest with you for a minute?"

The text said,

"Want to sleep over tomorrow night? We need to have a ping pong convo!!"

Yep, that bad. I know. Ping pong convo is what M and I call the conversations where we stand on either side of her ping pong table or mine, smacking the heck out of that poor little white plastic ball and venting about boys. Or being excited about boys. Sometimes both. Those ones are intense. They usually involve a cute guy cozying up to M, or, a few months later, said cute guy being a jerk to M. Sometimes stuff happens to me, but mostly I just listen a lot. I also enjoy a good whack at the ping pong ball.

Don't get me wrong, I like these talks. I like the drama (what can I say? Life gets boring) and also we usually end up having a deep, meaningful conversation that makes us both feel a lot better. But to have a ping pong convo is a bit of an emotional investment.

Fast forward a few days to M's front porch. I was ready. I wasn't in my ping pong convo gear (sweatpants big enough to fit a whole household for post-match snacking gorging) because she told me we were going dress shopping. I rang the doorbell and waited a    l    o    n     g      t      i     m      e     for someone to answer.  I got nervous. I saw a replay of the shirtless brother incident coming on.

Sorry, recap.

The Shirtless Brother Incident

(doorbell rings)

(Shirtless brother answers door)

Me: Hi, is (why aren't you wearing a shirt it's January?) M here?

Shirtless brother: No . . . you might want to give her a call . . . this is weird because I'm not wearing a shirt.

At which point I proceeded to go back to the car and call M. Anywhoo . . .

Someone answered.  It was a male someone. Please have a shirt on, please have a shirt on, please be wearing a shirt, please don't be partially naked. 

It was a guy friend of mine, who doesn't usually live at M's house. Oh, I guess he's going to go dress shopping with us . . . and sleep over . . . and have a ping pong convo . . . 


A surprise party for moi, apparently. Did I mention my birthday's coming up? I didn't handle it well. First there was the squeaking. Then the crying and the hand waving and the awkward standing . . . I CAME here for PING PONG! 

But it was fun.  And my friends are some of the best. 

Even if they are sneaking, behind the back, secret keeping liars. 

Want more weekend fun? Check out this Weekend Shenanigan link up with Sami's Shenanigans!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Dare-day: Issue 3

Happy Friday! Yeah, yeah. I know. It's been Friday for a good long while. You've probably already been wished a happy Friday by everyone and their next door neighbor.

Where did that saying even come from? I mean, the only next door neighbors I know are mine. Is that bad? Maybe I should invite some other next door neighbors over for a barbecue or somethings, so I can get to know them as well as whoever coined that cliche thinks is appropriate.

Now, that could be a good Friday dare . . .

No. Anyway, here are the real Friday dares. This is activity that would be totally not weird to share with every single next door neighbor on your Twitter feed, Facebook friends, and contacts via this link right here!  Then maybe once you've taken that step, then you can invite them over for a barbecue or something.

  • Be charismatic! Apparently there's a formula for that "spark", that "something extra", that "star quality" that everyone who's anyone allegedly possesses, and you can find it here
  • Start a Bloglovin' account (guess who still doesn't have one?) and follow all your faves. 
  • Sweat it out.  Even if you hate sweating, like me, but sweat buckets while stretching before the run, like me. Take it back to grade school gym class - everything old is new again with these intense moves.
  • Give something away. Souvenirs for Smiles is just getting off the ground with a mission that's worth giving up for. 
  • Hire a mermaid. Yep, that's a thing now. Or, just watch one in action here. 
  • If you've got some extra money lying around, undertake a juice cleanse! If you don't have extra money lying around, DIY it. Do your research first and read this witty post about one man's experience. 
Other than that, have a fabulous weekend! And please, please forgive me for being so late. Hey, the weekend hasn't started just yet!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Dare-day: Issue 2

It's Friday! Finally or already, ready or not, it's time for the weekend and the freedom to do whatever you choose. May I make some recommendations?

  • Join the rest of the world at the Museum of Modern Art to check out the revolutionary Rain Room, or see it in action from right where you are here. 
  • Try laughter yoga!  Yes, it's a little bit ridiculous, but they say it's good for you. Better yet? No yoga mat, pants, or studio necessary - grab a few friends (for maximum laughter) and do it right at home!
  • DIY - this one's easy and so cool. Pun not intended. Well, once I realized it was a pun, I didn't change it. So I guess that, yeah, it kind of is intended. 
  • Make this your mantra.
  • Educate yourself about this guy - looks like he's fixed to become one of the next big names in the sports world.
  • Make something from scratch. Make this from scratch. 
  • Stay in the know without really having to know it all with daily emails from The Skimm. Sign up here.
And since I had the nerve to suggest that you actually try all of these things, I'm going to do my best to try them out as well. I'll take pictures, don't worry. Expect a full round up sometime next week, after I'm back in the internet-connected world after a week of camping. 

I think I'll start with some laughing yoga. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Adventures in Detroit

If you live anywhere in the U.S., you've probably heard things about Detroit.  I know, at least, that whenever I'm out of town and tell someone "I'm from the Detroit area," their initial reaction is to draw back slightly and hold onto their purse. Maybe they thing I'm a gang member or a thug, or at least a little tougher than your average teenage girl. 

At which point I usually explain I'm from the suburbs. 

Usually. Sometimes I just go with the tough girl thing. It's kind of fun!

In spite of everything you've heard about Detroit or anything you're thinking of now after my description, it's not all shady, run-down buildings, graffiti, and liquor stores. The city has some really, really interesting stuff to offer - I think the fact that you have to dig through the rubble and avoid the gangsters to get to it makes it even more so! I kind of love the mixture of the the struggle of the present city and the beauty that's in its past or its hope for the future.

Belle Isle is one of those interesting places, and although it's seen better days, it is, after all, an ISLAND! (I really like islands) and it's full of history and hidden secrets and is just a bridge away from downtown Detroit. 

This monument is visible across a small lake as you're driving into the island, and the view is

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Healthier Cheesecake

Mmm, cheesecake.  Possibly the most infamous dessert ever, known for busting diets (and pants seams),  tipping the scales, heart attacks, and the like.  Cheesecake is the villain, and we know it. Yet, something continually draws us in - it's the bad boy we know we should stay away from even
as we're digging into a slice of turtle or pumpkin or New York style. Not just once. Maybe not just once a day.

Fortunately, there's a hero around with an almost guilt-free solution to our problem: blogger Angela Gallardo from Bare Root. This is almost word-for-word her recipe, with a few slight variations I've made. Don't worry; this treat has the whole package - it doesn't sacrifice any flavor. It's super easy if you have a food processor and there's no baking involved (our oven is lukewarm on a good day, so no-bakes have been my thing lately)! It's the perfect summer treat, as proven by the fact that my family and I couldn't wait for the pictures before digging in. Intrigued yet? Good! You can whip one up yourself right now.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Why San Antonio?

I said I would tell you about why I went to San Antonio "tomorrow" about a week ago. I'm sorry. I haven't been giving you the time and and attention you all deserve, and I know how that can take its toll on a relationship. Forgive me? Maybe I can make it up to you with a little healthy cheesecake recipe, available tomorrow. (I promise!)
I left Michigan for cowboy country (although to my disappointment I hardly saw anyone who qualified as a real live cowboy while we were there) to get out of real life for a while; at least, I suspect that's the reasoning behind it. And let me tell you, the atmosphere down there really was surreal. Getting dozens of high fives, cheers, and possible being bombarded with free hugs was expected, and you know what? It was really cool. I met people from Maryland, California, and Oklahoma, all in the same 15 minutes.  On Thursday morning, I ran a 5k with (well, behind, mostly) thousands of other Lutheran kids my age. Since I've been back, I've met at least 3 complete strangers with connections to the National Youth Gathering, the real reason for going to San Antonio.

All week, we learned how to Live Love(d) - singing (screaming) along with bands, laughing at skits, listening to speakers, playing sports, and playing cards in the hallways of the hotel. We saw the theme of the week in action, ALL. THE. TIME., from packing boxes of food for families in Uganda and Ireland and Peru to lending each other money for another meal at one of the plentiful Mexican restaurants in the area. It was definitely one of those mountaintop experiences. I recommend it. 

If I thought everything was going to be the same, predictable and comfy, when I got back home, I was seriously mistaken.  After arriving home at 2:30 at night and falling asleep in my jeans and shoes on the couch, I woke up 10 hours later not exactly sure where I was. 

Jurassic park grew in our back yard.

We have enough prehistoric summer squash and cilantro to power a small town for a year or so, I bet. Goodbye, energy crisis.

There were still cow-person hats lying around anywhere and everywhere, thanks to my horse-loving little sister (and my overbudgeting my food money)

There were all these flowers everywhere, and also my mom earned a car by selling about a million tubes of red lipstick. (Go Mom!) Hence, all the flowers.

Hence, also, a new umbrella, which I happen to really love! It's so happy and stylish.

The roses that bloom for a week a year bloomed and started dying while I was gone. 

It rained.

And then got really hot.

Unlike other times I've left on a summer trip, the pool is still clear and clean. (When you look up my house on Google earth, the pool water is fluorescent green. We were pool rookies and thought we could just leave it there while we left for a couple weeks. Hint: It wasn't)

The swing set was pretty much the same.  But it was really good to see it again.

There you have it, the story of my reason for leaving and then coming home again. Mostly I had a few pictures that I wanted you to see, and I needed you to know how amazing the National Youth Gathering was.

About the Jurassic Park situation . . . anyone have any good summer squash or cilantro recipes?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coming Clean

We need to talk.

You probably just flinched a little. Your heart rate quickened. You wracked your brain for anything you possibly could have done that would deserve a talking-to, before remembering, "Oh, yeah. No way could she know about that." You considered whether you should continue reading this post.

Congratulations, brave souls.

It's time for you to know who I really am.

I am your father.

Just kidding. I have a hard time with serious conversations; I get really nervous and start trying to be funny.

For the last few months that I've been blogging, I've been using a pen name.  I wanted to stay anonymous until I decided if this whole blogging thing was really for me and until my blog was something I liked and wouldn't mind people I know knowing about. I guess what I really want to tell you is

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. 

Oops, there I go again! The good news is, this blog has gotten to the point where I feel like it's "me" enough to put my name on. I'm Allie!I'm the rightful author of (Un)cool, not Bella! Now you know! Now, this blog is 100% real and a whole heck of a lot more (Un)cool. 

Thanks for having this little chat with me. I feel a whole lot better. 

Love, Allie

Monday, July 8, 2013

San Antonio

I'm back!

What, you didn't know that I was gone?  Let me try that again. 

I was gone. 

I'm back!  Last week, 30-some-odd friends and I ran off to Texas together to meet up with about 25,000 more of us for an adventure.  The proposed rendesvous spot was San Antonio.