accentuate the positive.

hi, my name is susie silver lining. 

if you know me, or follow me on any sort of social media, you may notice (or i hope you notice!) the absence of negative or snarky posts/tweets/etc. this is intentional in every way. you see, i have a philosophy that my attitude is the most important thing about me. and my personality and my writing better reflect that.

when i was younger, my dad told all of us kids that we needed to tape the following statement to the insides of our bedroom doors, so that we would see it before we started our days:

attitude

i thought dad was really silly back then, because who cares about stupid motivational quotes DAD? but wouldn’t you know it, this one stuck.

it made such an impact that this quote is now hanging on the wall of my cubicle at work (let’s be honest, it’s easy to get a baditude at work). i look at it every single day, and i let it shape my behavior. before i get upset with something, i think to myself, is this worth it? spoiler alert: it’s usually not.

this might piss some people off. sometimes you just want to vent and you don’t want somebody like me telling you what the silver lining of every situation is. i’m sure some of my friends get really annoyed with me over this trait. i know it’s easier to vent about things, and you know what? sometimes it feels damn good to vent. therapeutic even. but there are other ways to get rid of your pent up frustration or anger. write. walk. jog. love on your husband. do yoga. sing in the shower. cook.

do i always succeed in keeping up a good attitude? no. hell to the no. i have my share of days where everything going on around me makes me feel like i don’t have the energy to have a positive attitude. but i find that once i let my attitude slip to the negative side, the things in my life that are causing that feeling seem even bigger and it’s that much harder to get out of the slump.

i mentioned last week that i am dreading some upcoming stuff at work. so i needed a little reminder to accentuate the positive and not let my attitude make things worse. you better believe that i will be looking up at these words a lot in the next few weeks so i don’t forget that i’m in control of only one thing, so i better make the right choice with it.

(there might be one or a few cocktails involved to help the process along too.)

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE MY MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER RANTS. 

my first stitchfix.

i may never go shopping again.

because i have found the holy grail, and it is called stitchfix. stitchfix is a personalized styling service, which for those of you who are behind the times like me, means that you fill out your sizes and let them know your style preferences, then they send you a package on a day of your choosing (or monthly if you’re fancy). the package includes five different pieces (accessories, pants, shirts, dresses, etc.) that your stylist thinks would be a good fit for you.

then the fun starts. you get to try on the pieces and decide which ones you like and want to buy, and then you throw the ones you don’t want to keep into a pre-paid mailing bag and send it back within 3 days. (you do get charged $20 to have the stitchfix sent to you, but that money goes towards the price of anything you want to buy, which is pretty great.)

i got my first stitchfix right before labor day weekend, and decided to take some bad photos on my phone to share with you. no need to thank me. why did i choose to get a stitchfix during my shopping freeze? great question. if you can figure that out, please let me know.

item #1: tank top.

this would have been really cute on anyone else but me. when you have a short torso and big ta-tas, fitted is your friend. shapeless tops are just not flattering, and make you look pregnant, but in that way where no one can tell for sure and don’t want to ask. plus, i need longer tops, because otherwise i run the risk of flashing that midriff.

item #2: cable-knit sweater.

i love big sweaters. i’ve stolen at least three of Mister Man’s huge cable knit sweaters for myself over the years. this was adorable, with a double breasted button situation going on in front, and an awesome navy/red color combo for fall. definitely potential here.

stitchfix sweater

item #3: chambray tunic.

you can’t tell in the photo, but this is the most comfortable fabric ever, just soft like a blanket. and you can never go wrong with chambray, it goes with everything. i could see myself wearing something exactly like this on an airplane when i travel. it’s just polished enough. (this one was a little big for me though.)

stitchfix tunic

item #4: striped dress.

puffed sleeves. “it would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves.” (if you can name that book, you and i are friends forever!) this adorable little dress has striped, puffed sleeves and an a-line skirt. and it fit like a glove. you go stitchfix stylist!

stitchfix dress

item #5: burgundy skinnies.

the color was perfect, and the stretch was perfect, but the waistband was a little bit too snug. and even though it might be an okay thing to assume that pants stretch out, my own personal mantra begs to differ. i do not buy if it does not fit. period.

stitchfix skinnies

now, i was able to keep myself down to just one item, so can you kids guess which one i went with?

if you said “dress” or “vestido”, you would be correct! you guys, it is just everything. i did a little fashion show with all the pieces for my husband, and when i put this one on, he said, “wow, that looks really pretty on you babe! i think you should get that one!” and if any of you have women’s fashion-averse husbands, you know how amazing it is when they want you to add items to your closet…yea, it’s that good.

i will definitely try stitchfix again, mainly because it’s so much fun! there are times when i just don’t want risk ordering things online and hassling with returns, or i don’t want to deal with going to the mall and trying things on there, so having a package delivered to your door full of clothing tailored to your style is the perfect solution. it’s like getting a present that someone picked out from your pinterest boards (no joke, my stylist wrote me a little note saying she checked out my pinterest and that’s why she sent the sweater!).

if any of you are looking for a way to get in on the personal styling box fun, without the monthly commitment, i highly suggest trying out stitchfix! if you do, let me know how it turns out! 

*stitchfix does not sponsor this blog, all opinions are my own, but the links to stitchfix do connect to my referrer id, which gives me credits when you all get your first fix. feel free to use it or not, you won’t break my heart, i promise.

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHEN I SHARE BLURRY PHONE SELFIES OF MY STELLAR STYLE.

these days.

after a half day of work, the Mister and i will be on our way to the cabin for a long weekend of play. and this cabin is incredibly quaint in the sense that it gets little to no cell reception, so i will be mostly off the social media train for the next three days. and if that doesn’t scream vacation, i don’t know what does!

(sidenote: my dad used to make us physically leave our phones at home when we took family vacations. he was very anti-connection-outside-the-family-during-family-vacays. and then he got an iphone and it was all over from there, because he realized the beauty of having a camera and group text messaging. although i wouldn’t be surprised if he brought that rule back sometime soon. and it will be my fault for bringing it up. the end.)

enjoy the long weekend little ones, relax your butts off and eat some hamburgers for me. because this is america, and you should.

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these days i’m…

eating peaches on everything. most recently, on cherry vanilla granola for breakfast, which was like eating cobbler for breakfast without the guilt. i can’t get enough of these things, and i’m thinking i need to make a peach pie next week just so i can rest easy knowing i didn’t let the season pass me by.

peaches

planning the next home improvement project we want to take on. Mister Man really wants to tackle repainting the ugly basement rooms (although they are nothing in comparison to how bad the bathroom was!), but i think it might have to be touching up the paint and painting the baseboards in our bedroom. a boring project, but one you just have to suck up and do.

reading that real simple magazine i told you about last week. yep. haven’t finished it yet. there always seems to be laundry to do or a dr. who episode to watch, so i’m not exactly surprised…maybe this winter i’ll start reading books again?

praying for all the lovely friends and family that have gotten married over the last few months. now that we are almost out of wedding season for the year, my hope is that their marriages grow strong and that they keep that newlywed feeling forever. (yes, forever, i do believe that is possible!)

wearing pink mustaches with mags and hanna at the lyft launch party in st. paul on thursday. if you haven’t heard of lyft, i would highly suggest looking into it if you live in a city where they’ve launched. it seems like one of the coolest apps/rideshare ideas yet. their launch party was insanely fun! there was a s’mores bar! exclamation point!

lyft launch party

drinking water water water because it is hot as hades up here lately! even beer seems like it’s too much to handle at these temps, so i’m excited for fall to come so i can back in the festive mood.

loving the sidewalk cement poetry around the neighborhood. we used to have a lot of this back in the old neighborhood, and i cannot tell you how overjoyed i was to find even more in the new one! sidewalk poetry is done when people stamp the wet cement with nonsensical poems and phrases, and it’s so fun to discover them as you explore the neighborhood. this is one of my favorites:

sidewalk poetry

not loving how much stress i am anticipating at work in the next few weeks. we were told by our manager to more or less hold on to our butts, so we will see how my mood gets as we progress into september. (my wellness coach friend kali would not be happy to read this,  but don’t worry kali, this is why i’m coming to your workshop! self-care is necessary in this time for sure!)

working on establishing a better wakeup time for myself during the week. i’m pretty sick of being rushed to get to the bus on time. i am not anticipating this to be easy, because one cannot coexist as a night owl and an early bird. and it’s way easier to be a night owl, let me tell you. give me a quiet, dark house at night over a quiet dark house in the morning any day.

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE THESE DAYS.

finding God in the northwoods.

it’s that time of year. labor day weekend. the time when all minnesotans head to one of three places:

  1. the state fair (pass, it is way too full of sweaty bodies for me).
  2. one of our 10,000 lakes.
  3. northern wisconsin.

Mister Man and i are choosing option #3 this year. and actually, will be choosing that every year. we’ve been going to our family friend’s cabin in northern wisconsin for the last few years with his family, and it’s just absolutely the best. relaxing and fun and down home and wonderful. there is something about playing swedish golf with a beer in your hand in the woods that just feels so right, you know? beergaritas would work just fine too…

_DSC9252

probably staring down Mister Man for scoring against me. not competitive at all…

this sounds a little silly, but i get all sorts of contemplative when i go to the cabin. i’m surrounded by people i love and who love me. i feel the need to journal, to plan, to sit on the dock by myself to meditate on God’s plan for me and my life. after living in the city for so long, there is a real sense of calm and connection that comes over me when i get to the woods. like i finally have the space to stretch out and the quiet to really think.

but then of course i fill the space and the quiet with the people there, and constantly finding someone to talk to. you see, i am a talker. the people that know me in real life know this all too well, and it can be a problem. i never shut up. it’s one of the things i struggle with the most…feeling comfortable enough to just be still and quiet, to not feel the need to fill the space with my noise and my jokes.

i used to be very comfortable with silence. in college, we had perpetual adoration on campus, and i signed up for a weekly hour in which i was responsible for being there to sit with the Body of Christ and just BE. that’s it. just be. it was an hour in which i could sit and think of nothing, read spiritual books (i got to know thich nhat hanh and gandhi really well in there), or pray. it’s where i learned to read the bible, at the age of 20. it was an hour dedicated to my spiritual life and nothing else until the next adorer got there.

it’s on my list to start this up again, but until that happens, i think a good start would be to make time to be quiet on my own too. and what better place than the cabin, where He feels present all the time anyway? the first step is reminding myself that people are going to be okay if i am quiet for a while. they don’t need to hear my voice as much as i might like to think they do. (WHAT? that’s crazy talk, but okay.)

so here’s to making time for contemplation, and to finding God in the northwoods this weekend.

(and to bonfires and beer and swedish golf thrown in there too.)

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHEN I DIG INTO THE SPIRITUAL STUFF.
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photo credit goes to danny smylie.

humpday happy list.

they’re baaaack! oh and i know you’ve just been waiting for these little humpday posts to come back. don’t pretend you haven’t been. (okay, you probably haven’t been waiting, but just let me pretend for a bit.)

i hope you enjoy my little happiness list on this hot wednesday. i’ve missed looking for inspiration throughout the month, and good thing i’m picking it back up again, because i have a feeling that i am going to need some inspiration over the next few months. i just got a GIGANTIC project assigned to me at work, and although i’m very excited about it and the opportunities it’s going to bring, i’m also freaking the bleep out.

here’s to it being the wednesday before labor day, and all the fun to come this weekend. let me know what’s been inspiring you/keeping you going this month!

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1) humpday craftiness: rain drawings.

i saw this on (where else?) pinterest the other day, and now i cannot.stop.thinking about it! wouldn’t this be a fun thing to do on the sidewalk in front of your house, as a little surprise for the mailman  when it’s raining (or anyone really)? now i just need to convince Mister Man that this is a good idea too.

neverwet

2) humpday hairstyle: topknot, topknot, topknot. also a topknot.

this weather makes me want to strip naked and lay on the concrete floor in my basement. but since i have a full-time job and also that is not socially acceptable, i settle for piling my mane on top of my head in a topknot. there are bobby pins scattered around the house, in all my pockets and bags, if that’s any indication of how often this has been happening. in other news, i need a haircut.

topknot

3) humpday gift idea: gifts in jars.

at the bridal shower for my friend kari the other day, one of the guests, who happens to be a coworker of mine (as well as a fabulous blogger), brought two jars that looked like this one, full of household necessities like sponges, dish towels, COFFEE, etc. when i saw them, i had two thoughts: 1) i wanted to steal them for myself, and 2) i wanted to steal them and take them home for myself. as someone who is always at target last minute for shower gifts, and never has wrapping paper on hand, this solves many, many problems.

jargift

4) humpday recipe: infused olive oil.

i love me some infusing. simple syrup, alcohol, sugar, give me something to infuse and i’ll do it. nothing is off-limits, including bacon vodka. so when i saw this little post on a beautiful mess, i got really excited. it’s always nice to have some inspiration for simple tricks to make your cooking feel super extra-special fancy. i will be trying this as the fall starts rolling in.

oliveoil

5) humpday cocktail: beergarita.

specifically this pineapple beergarita from my friend trisha. you already know that she is amazing at whipping up delicious cocktails from our thirsty thursday series in july, but this one…i have not been able to stop thinking about this one. last year for labor day at the cabin, i put myself in charge of bringing the ingredients for a fun cocktail (that should surprise no one, unless you’re new here, in which case, welcome!). it was a hit, and so i’m thinking i should keep up the tradition and bring the ingredients for this baby up there this weekend. methinks it would put me in the running for most popular person at the cabin, right?

pineapple-beergarita-3

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sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

painting is better with the radio up.

time for another home improvement post! i am maybe the MOST proud of the work i am about to tell you about. when you have a husband who is great at everything handy, you don’t have too many opportunities to try your hand at said handy things. but i did this all by my damn self.

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cabinets

when we moved into our lovely little home, i was under the impression that all the cabinets had been redone, because they looked identical to each other. then i opened them up. turns out that the main wall of cabinets were original (circa 1928). they were in immaculate condition, but the insides were painted a ghastly yellow color that made them look pretty grungy and dark and dirty. that, in addition to the fact that the new wall of cabinets had sparkly clean white interiors, made it easy to decide to paint them.

my lovely in-laws came over  with supplies and working hands to help me start the process while my husband was out of town for work. papa z. taped all the cabinets off and showed me how to sand, then mama z. and i sanded all the cabinets down. it took such a long time, they were super old and full of gross layers of stuff.  thank the good Lord they were there to help me out.

then they left and it was all up to me. so i turned the kitchen radio up to pump-up volume (country stations on rotation, please and thank you), rolled up my sleeves and my dirty jeans, and cracked open that can of white paint.

this is how the cabinets looked before i painted them. you see what i’m saying? grody.

cabinets before

this is how they looked after one coat. i may have cried a little bit when i realized it was going to take more than one…you see those grooves in the back? they are about as much fun to paint as you would guess they were.

cabinets before 2

and then this is how they looked after two days of sanding, taping and painting:

cabinets after

cabinets below

so fresh and so clean clean. i am so happy with the finished project. anyone who comes over knows this, because i take them into the kitchen and show them the painted cupboards immediately upon arrival. that’s kind of obnoxious actually. but i don’t caaaaaaare. because now when i walk into my kitchen and see this:

cabinets 2

cabinets 3

…i know that the insides match the outsides, even the hidden parts are as appealing as what’s out front. as i type that, it sounds like a metaphor. and you know how much i love my accidental metaphors. so there are two lessons today kids.

  1. painting is always better with the radio up.
  2. in life, make sure that the inside of your personal cupboards match how gorgeous you are on the outside. it will be infinitely more satisfying than the alternative.

cabinets 4

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE WHEN I MAKE THE OLD LOOK NEW AGAIN.

the liebster, little darling.

oh hi. just me, on a monday morning, trying to recover from the AMAZING time we had at #sariweddingweekend. it was so exciting to celebrate the start of a wonderful marriage between two of my dear friends. you both were radiating pure joy, thank you for reminding Mister Man and me what a gift from God marriage is.

sariweddingweekend

now on to today’s programming.

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last week, i was notified by little miss amber over at mr. thomas and me that she’d nominated me for the liebster award! what you need to know is that amber is blond and has (awesome) tattoos, but that’s where the differences between us end. she’s kind of my soul twin in every way. and that girl has the best attitude around, do yourself a favor and visit her.

(full disclosure: haley over at les petites joies nominated me for a liebster award a while back, but i didn’t have time/didn’t have enough blogs to link to, so i never actually paid it forward. haley, consider this a joint passing on of the liebster from you, and also, is it weird to link back to you now? you don’t have to answer that.)

liebster

now. what is the liebster award?

“liebster” is german and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  basically it’s like calling someone a little darling. and isn’t that just the nicest? 

to me, the award is not only a way to say you appreciate new bloggers writing and efforts, it’s also a really good way to find and connect with a larger community of bloggers in the same place in their journey as you. and i love me some community. also, FYI, i find all my favorite blogs through other people, so these are the best.

once you have been nominated for this award, there are a few rules that you have to follow:

  • you’re required to answer 11 questions that the blogger who nominated you has set. 
  • you then need to state 11 random facts about yourself. 
  • you then need to mention other bloggers/blogs that inspire you or that you enjoy reading and nominate them. 
  • once you have nominated other bloggers, you then need to set your own 11 questions for them. 
  • once you have been nominated, thank the person that nominated you and post a link back to their blog if you feel so inclined.

amber’s 11 questions for me

  1. your all-time favorite book….and why? 
    this is hard, because i have so many books that i love, but little women has to be one that i could read over and over.
  2. did you have an imaginary friend as a child? if you did, tell us about said friend. 
    you guys, this is so boring, but i did not have any type of imaginary friend. i did not need one, because i had siblings for as long as i can possibly remember. i ran around the living room in circles with them and read books to them, and i was too busy to have any friends in my imagination.
  3. what song is you? 
    this is maybe weird, and not that deep, but “you make my dreams” by hall and oates is one that just feels like it matches my energy and my positive outlook on life. plus i love singing it to Mister Man.  
  4. if you had to live in a decade other than the current one, which would you choose? 
    oh gosh. this one is tough. i would say the 1940s, but later on in the decade once the war was over. people were just so GOOD back in that time.
  5. beauty product you can’t live without.
    concealer. no debate. funny story: when a friend of ours was entering the religious life, mama hools and i made her ask her mother superior if the sisters were allowed to wear concealer, because we can’t live without it and wanted to know if we could have been nuns in another life. the answer was no, and now my mom and i are confident we are in the right vocations. the end.
  6. are you a morning person or a night owl? 
    i am a total night owl, but am practicing (LIES!) to be a morning person. did you hear that sound just now? that was my husband laughing.
  7. what is your favorite season of the year?
    fall is my favorite. minnesota gets a bad rap for just being cold all that time, but you guys, our summers are REDONK. humidity, heat index in the 100s, it’s no joke. fall is my happy place.
  8. your favorite meal. 
    i have way too many. but if i had to choose, it would be the cajun jiffy blucy (a burger with peanut butter, mayo, pickle, bacon, pepper jack in the middle) with buffalo tater tots from the blue door. it’s like a heart attack on a plate, but i dream about it sometimes.
  9. three favorite online shopping websites.
    i’m on a shopping freeze right now, so i’ve almost forgotten what my favorites are. i’d say etsy, zappos, and target (free shipping!)
  10. which justice league hero are you? 
    i had to look up which heroes were part of the justice league. i seriously had no idea. probably the flash? because i’m incredibly slow in real life.
  11. post it notes or push pinned papers? 
    post its. local invention represent!

11 random facts about myself

  1. i am the oldest of five children.
  2. i have had the following random ailments, all before the age of 13: shingles, whooping cough, and an appendectomy. 
  3. in high school, i lettered in academics, choir and golf (for being on the team for three years) before i lettered in tennis, the only athletic sport i played.
  4. i secretly signed a 9-month lease the summer before joe and i got engaged, because i wanted to be able to get out of it if we got married within the year. whoops.
  5. i speak (almost) fluent spanish and have my certificate in spanish-english translation.  
  6. my favorite movie in the whole world is the little mermaid, and i wore out the vhs we had at my parents house.
  7. the scariest thing i’ve done in the last year was sign my name on the dotted line when we bought our house; i’m pretty sure that i didn’t breathe the whole time. (a close second scary time was announcing the hooley with a ‘z’ facebook page to the world. pure terror. please head over and like it if you haven’t yet, it will make me feel better.)
  8. cats freak me out.
  9. my second and third toes are longer than my big toe.
  10. i changed my middle name to my maiden name when we got married.
  11. i strongly believe that babies will be easier to take care of than dogs, albeit with more middle of the night wakeups than dogs.

my nominations for the liebster award

trisha from the dish by trish || haley from les petites joies || etley from etley enlightens 

my questions for you

  1. what is your favorite feature on yourself?
  2. what is your honest opinion – complimentary and/or critical – about my own blog?
  3. tell me your go-to recipe for dinner!
  4. do you have a guilty pleasure tv show?
  5. pie or cake?
  6. sweet or salty?
  7. what is your favorite grown-up movie?
  8. do you have any favorite words of wisdom?
  9. what is your most worn piece of clothing?
  10. do you have a favorite season? what is it?
  11. give me one piece of blogging advice.

woohoo! thanks for being you kids!

(if i didn’t include you, it’s because i don’t know about you yet! come out of the woodwork and participate too!)

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MAKE SURE TO CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON OR THAT BLOGLOVIN BUTTON TO YOUR RIGHT OR ADD ME TO YOUR READER IF YOU WANT TO TREAT YOURSELF TO ALL MY BRILLIANT LIFE MUSINGS. I TEND TO KEEP THINGS FUN AROUND HERE. PLUS, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE BLOGGING ABOUT BLOGGING.