May 28, 2015

Fly Me Away Vacation Playlist

Hey friends! What's the one must have for vacation? A great playlist! So I've enlisted the very talented, and rightfully proclaimed "Queen of Playlists," Kati Rose to give you her ideal set of songs. I'm still constantly grooving to her Hello Spring playlist, so I'm so excited for this one!

Hello Laura's lovely readers! I'm Kati Rose from Constantly Seeking Wonder. Over on my little space of the internet you'll find me talking about all kinds of things, but it seems I've gained quite the reputation for my playlists. Which comes as no surprise to me as in real life my friends have jokingly bestowed me the nickname "Queen of Playlists" because I have one for every situation in every genre practically. Today while Laura is soaking up the sun on vacation she asked me to take over her blog for the day and I knew just what to do!

Now, show of hands - how many of you will stare out your window over dramatically when you're in the car and suddenly an emotional song comes on. I know most of us have been there at least once (or every time we're in a car, I won't judge.) I'll admit I do it far too frequently. That's not the only time I get lost daydreaming though. Whenever I find myself on an airplane I always think about adventure and how vacations are full of possibilities. Basically it's me thinking about how freaking awesome my trip will be.

My handpicked Fly Me Away Travel Playlist attempts to encompass all those feelings with lots of feel good vibes. This is where I would totally insert the peace sign emoji just saying...


There's some of the travel classics and some unconventional choices too. I tried to keep it fairly relaxing with beats and tempos because I know as much as more bass is fun, it isn't the most soothing for those who hate flying.




Whether you're going to Branson, Missouri or Libson, Portugal this playlist is for you. Press play, stare out the window at the passing clouds, and start amping yourself for the wonderful journey ahead of you.

Happy Travels! If you enjoyed this playlist and would like to discover a few more or find yourself drawn to talks about music, pop culture, and entertainment with a heaping dash of sarcasm make sure to come say hello!

May 27, 2015

#HASHTAGHUMPDAY | I'm Away From My Desk Right Now

Hello!
 
I'm away from my desk right now on vacation so I'm unable to be here for #hasthaghumpday. 
 
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
 
 
Never fear though! Kasey  is filling in and my trusty regular co-host, Lauren, is back from her Mexican retreat. So they will be sure to take care of you.
 
Hop on over and link up with them!
Genuinely Lauren
Kasey at the Bat
 
See you next week!!! Miss you all!
post signature

May 26, 2015

What to do and see in Washington DC | Alanna & Company

I'm off exploring our nation's Capital so I have an extra special treat for you! Alanna is going to give you a run down of what you should do (and what I AM doing) in Washington DC! She's was the first one who popped into my mind when I found out I was going there - so enjoy!

Hello Life with Lolo readers! I'm Alanna and I blog over at Alanna & Company. If you didn't know, I live and have lived in the DC area for over ten years now and I absolutely love it! So if you're ever visiting the DC area, I'll tell you what I love to show off about my city.

The Touristy Spots

Ok, honestly, I'll just briefly touch on this. DC is a HUGE tourist town. I'm actually a crazy fan of the hop-on, hop-off buses so you can take your time at one place that interests you or skip other sights entirely. If you don't have tons of time, the main place you have to go is the National Mall! You can hang out with Lincoln at his memorial, see the reflecting pool, walk up to the Washington Monument and observe it in all it's beauty and glory. But honestly, if you have the time, go see all the memorials, they're beautiful and you'll get a great workout! Check this out if you want to do a walking tour. 

Credit

The Museums

I don't know how many big cities can say this, but we have world-class museums that are FREE to enter. So, yes go to these too! The Smithsonians are huge so one museum can literally take an entire day if you want to. My top two favorites are the National History Museum (hello, who doesn't want to see the Hope Diamond?) and the Air and Space museum.

Another neat thing, if you're going anytime during the summer, the National Gallery of Art offers free jazz concerts every friday! You can bring a blanket, camp out, and listen to some jazz. Pro tip: you can buy pitchers of sangria there!


What else to do?

Fine, you don't like touristy things or the museums? Well there is always the zoo (again free!), you can go to a Nationals Game for as little as $5. If you go see a Nat's game, definitely go sit at the Red Loft bar, it's better than the nosebleed seats and the bar is RIGHT there! Or you could also enjoy a stroll down the street of Georgetown if you like to shop.


The Restaurants

So, by now you'll definitely be hungry right? Here's some of my top picks around different neighborhoods of DC. Ted's Bulletin serves good american cooking and also breakfast all day. They even make their own pop-tarts! They're out in Eastern Market but also on 14th St. If you like Tapas, definitely check out Jaleo in Penn Quarter. They have over 70 options and most are pretty reasonably priced!

Heading over to Capitol Hill, you can also try out Good Stuff Eatery (I actually ate at another location in Virginia but I'm sure it's the same food) where you can try out Spike Mendelsohn's hand crafted burgers. P.S. Spike Mendelsohn is a Top Chef finalist!

Want something a bit fancier, try out Le Diplomat for classy french cuisine. Since it's nice weather out, you can sit on their adorable patio, too! If you like meat, definitely go to The Partisan in Penn Quarter. They have amazing charcuterie that's provided by the butcher right next door! And as a perfect segway, they have an awesome brunch menu there too! Oh for the love of brunch! But I'll let the bitches speak to that. They're the pros.

The Bars!

My favorite part! So unless you want to relive your college days I would suggest staying away from the ultra-preppy Georgetown and rowdy Adams Morgan neighborhoods. But no judgement, if you want that type of night, by all means go for it!

You'll typically find me around H or U St. There's H St Country Club if you want to play a little bit of games while you're drinking, there's also the Biergarten Haus, which keeps a dozen German brews on tap.

Around U St, a new favorite of mine is the Fainting Goat or Marvin's. The Fainting Goat is big 2-level bar with great prices and awesome craft cocktails. Bar Charley is a nice new place that I've been going to. It's great for a date night and with economical prices, that's a bit of a rarity in the area.

Then two places get noteworthy mentions because of their views: The POV and Brixton. Brixton is on U St and has three different floors, but their top rooftop level has an amazing view of the city. POV is in the W Hotel and it's more club like than a typical bar scene. You'll be paying about $11 for a gin and tonic and you'll have the best view of the city. Definitely somewhere to go to at the beginning of the night and then head somewhere else for cheaper drinks. Beware, you'll most likely have to wait in line for both of these...

Credit

So I hope Laura has fun when she goes to DC! If any of you are in the area or visiting, seriously, hit me up, I love to show people around the town and am always happy to give suggestions! Happy travels.

Follow Alanna here: Blog | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram Facebook



May 22, 2015

5 Things I Love About Traveling

 
Tomorrow I leave for a week long family vacation. One whole week! While I've already expressed that I wished it was to a beach somewhere, it's not. My family - mom, dad, sister and I will be exploring our nation's Capital.

No matter what the destination though, there are always things to love about traveling.

1 | Seeing/learning something new. Even in your home town you can find new things, but on a trip the whole setting is new! I love to explore and learn new things. I especially love historic settings - HELLO DC! Whether it's scenic nature, a historic anecdote or classic architecture, there's something of value to drink in everywhere you go.

2 | FOOD. One of the best things about traveling for me is trying new food (and beer!). There's always something local and different to try. Plus - there are no diets on vacation!

3 | Time with those who are close to you. Traveling allows for some serious together time - whether that's with your significant other, your family, your friends, or, sometimes, if your adventurous, yourself. The time away allows you to reconnect in a way you don't every day. Being separate from the "real world" let's you just be together or find yourself.

4 | Getting away from it all. Whether it's a weekend camp trip or a 3 week adventure to Europe, just getting away from your everyday stresses is a blessing. Being able to unplug and detach from your daily responsibilities can be so refreshing. 

5 | Coming home. To me, often the best part of a trip is coming home. Seeing that wagging tail of my best friend, queuing up the DVR and crashing in my own bed. You come to appreciate home so much more while you're away. Sure - vacation has some way better perks, but "there's no place like home."

Tell me, what are your favorite things about traveling?

TTFN,
post signature

May 21, 2015

Things that make me American




As I prepare to head off to our great nation's Capital I've been feeling a swell of patriotic pride.

'Merica, F*ck yeah! (if you haven't seen Team America do so NOW)

So it's had me thinking - just what all makes me an American? What makes me proud to be an American?

Lots of things.. (this is not an overly sincere list please do not be offended by some of the stereotypical and even offensive things included)

Things that make me American
  • drinking watered down beer from a koozie
  • putting ranch (insert condiment of choice) on everything
  • driving an American made car
  • ordering a super-sized meal with a diet coke
  • driving places I could easily walk
  • throwing a fit when the DVR doesn't work
  • expecting to get what I want right when I want it
  • showering daily, sometimes twice a day
  • speaking Spanglish when we get a call from a non-English speaking person at work (sorry)
  • having my cell phone connected to my body at all times
  • eating gravy
  • watching football
  • watching baseball (can't wait to see the Nationals game on vacation!)
  • shopping at Walmart
  • going to high school prom
  • not being (legally) able to drink until 21
  • eating gigantic portion sizes
  • not using the metric system
  • whitening my teeth
  • eating apple pie (my favorite!)
  • treating my dog like (or better than) most humans
  • having ice in my beverages
  • exercising my right to vote 
  • having both grandfathers as war veterans
  • covering my heart when the anthem plays
  • hanging that flag outside my house in honor of my country and those who have served it


Tell me, what makes you feel American?

post signature

May 20, 2015

#HASHTAGHUMPDAY | with Kasey at the Bat!!

My trusty side-kick for #hashtaghumpday, Lauren, is somewhere on a  beach drinking margaritas without me. 

As sad as that is, I am so very excited to introduce you to our lovely fill in host Kasey!

Take it away girl!!
 
Hiiiiiiiiii fellow humpday hashtaggers! I'm Kasey + I blog over at Kasey at the Bat!! I'm cohosting for Lauren because it was the second best option (after me going to Mexico in her place, obviously..) I usually blog about boozy things, baseball, ridiculous things that happen to me (spoiler alert, they're usually prettty hilarious), and I like to take pictures! 
 
 
 
So make sure you go on over and say hi to Kasey. Trust me, she'll be your be your new favorite! PLUS she'll be around co-hosting next week as Lauren and I swap - I'll be on vacation and Kasey will then be my replacement!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo


 First a little business. Here’s the scoop:
  • Each Wednesday create a post about what’s going on in your life and #hashtag each item or story. See an example HERE. Be as creative as you want! 
  • Grab the button and include it in your post
  •  Link up so we can all #creep on you and find out what’s new/funny/awesome /shitty in your life.
  • Comment on at least one other blogger’s post from the link up (someone you don’t already know!) if there even is anyone who links up…
  •  Share on all your social sites with #hashtaghumpday
  • Have fun! #hashtagtheshitoutofeverything #whocaresifitsarealhashtag

Kapeesh?

Alright on to business.

I leave for vacation on Saturday. And I CAN'T FREAKING WAIT!!!! #notreallyaconfession #imjustexcited


I'm on my second breakfast sandwich of the day and I'm pretty sure it's going to make me sick, but they are so damn good I just keep eating #cantstopwontstop #fatgirlproblems #ittastesbetterthanskinnyfeels



Along with leaving on vacation on Saturday I took Friday off (to pack and get ready) and I have my dad's retirement party Thursday afternoon so I also will be leaving early that day. AND I may have scheduled a sponsor meeting at 3:30 today so that I can go straight home from there too... #basicallyivecheckedoutalready #strategicscheduling



As much as I am excited to jet off to Washington DC I'm pretty jealous of Lauren down on the beach sipping fruity drinks. I like historic, busy, tons of walking vacations, but the beach just sounds so much better #becauseimlazy #andiwantacabanaboy



Speaking of packed busy days of vacation, I stupidly offered to "plan" the trip for my family because my mom was stressing me out with all her questions about it. So I thought it would be less stress to just do it myself. While it actually was pretty fun to plan, the stress has now transferred to it not being fun when we actually get there, or my family not liking what I planned #theybetterlikeit #ihopewedontkilleachother


Oh and don't worry about me not being around next week #iknowyoureworried. I have some amazing gals lined up for you including Alanna's local tips on what to do and see in DC,  Kati's vacation playlist and of course some Kasey thrown in for good measure #youllbeingoodcompany #showthemsomelove!
 

That's all for now - let's hope I can get it together and have a few more posts for you before I completely check out! #nogurantees

TTFN,
post signature

May 17, 2015

Sweet and Tangy Cucumber-Grape Macaroni Salad

I'm so glad pasta salad season is back. And by pasta salad season, I mean summer.

Warm sunny days were made for grillin' and my favorite of all the side dishes - pasta salad.

Emphasis on pasta.
 
So when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. It was the first pasta salad of the season for me. And with the extra kick of crisp sweetness from the cucumbers and grapes, it's going to continue to be on rotation!
 

I decided to add the grapes on a whim. It needed some extra color. I think they change the whole dish and bring just enough sweetness and texture.


The other great thing? No dairy. No mayonaise. Just a light vinigary dressing with a kick.


Based losely on this recipe from My Life and Kids.

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz dried pasta of choice (I used whole wheat macaroni)
  • 1 large cucmber, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 a large onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar (or sweetner substitution of your choice)
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:

Cook noodles according to package. Cut up ingredients while pasta cooks. Run cooked noodles under cold water. In a large bowl, combine with onion, cucumber and grapes and mix in oil. In a separate bowl combine all other ingredients as the dressing. Pour on salad and stir till well covered. Cover bowl and store in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.


I ended up added a can of chicken to it as well to up the protein value. It was perfect for my packed lunches!

 
 
What do you think? Are you a pasta salad fan? Let me know if you try it out!
TTFN,
 
post signature

May 15, 2015

5 Reasons Why you should go to the Dog Park { for dog parents }

The other night, as Gunner and I made our daily trip to the dog park, I had a thought.

Thank God for the Dog Park.



There are so many reasons WHY I love the dog park, or the "bark park" as we call it.  Going to the park has benefited us so greatly and has become so ingrained in our lives that I felt the need to share. I also felt the need to explain why we go, and why you and your pup should go too!

I encourage you to get online and find your nearest off-leash dog park. Luckily these days many cities have multiple parks and even beach dog parks  (like you Lauren!) available for "off-leash" time with your best friend. So do a little research and find one that will work for you. Because after reading this you will want to go!

You should go to the Dog Park...

To exercise your dog. The most obvious reason right? We all benefit from activity as part of a healthy lifestyle and our dogs are no different.  They need to run and play and get all that cooped up energy out. My dog is home alone all day while I'm at work - he needs lots of physical stimulation after snoozing all day in order for him to sleep at night and to maintain his sleek figure. Plus, it makes him really, ridiculously happy. So much so that as soon as I walk in the door he's spinning circles with excitement because he knows what comes next - dog park time!

To get out of the house. This might seem like a strange one, but to me there's something comforting about a destination that isn't going to cost me anything, isn't stressful or obligatory, and that I enjoy. I don't do well staying at home. I crave an activity and a destination. The dog park lends itself well. There are no hours, no fees, no expectations (other than cleaning up after your friend) and I can get out of the house and go do something. It's better than just sitting on the couch - or worse, cleaning the house. If anything it's a great procrastination tactic.

"Stop stalling to take pictures mom we're going to the PARK!"

To socialize your dog. It has always been important to us to socialize Gunner from a young age. We didn't want him to be a nuisance to others if we brought him places and we wanted him to get along with all other kinds of dogs. We've had him at Home Depot, a bar, friends' houses, and of course the dog park. It is a great place to expose your pup to other dogs in a non-threatening environment. Off leash is best so that they don't feel restricted and scared. While I can't claim Gunner is the perfect social butterfly (he's too ball obsessed/possessive) I do know he would be a lot worse off if we hadn't socialized him starting right after we finished his puppy shots. The more we socialize him with other dogs the more open he is to them - like some of his "friends" he sees every day at the park. They can have the ball....just not the new kids on the block.


To socialize yourself. I know what you are thinking - I talk to people all day long, why do I want to go talk more at the dog park? Well for me, in the evenings, usually the only person I talk to is Gunner. While he's a great listener, it isn't exactly as rewarding as talking to another person. In fact, the social aspect is probably my favorite part of the dog park (aside from how much Gunner loves going). I see the same people there almost every day. I see my "dog park crew" more than I see most of my friends. We exchange Christmas cards. We are a support system for dog questions and issues. And really, we are friends. I expect to see those smiling faces and their furry counterparts every day the same way I expect to see my co-workers. These guys love their dogs enough to come every day, the same as I do. They are my people....

Where else could Gunner show off his Halloween costume to all his friends?

To be a part of a community. This goes along with the above reason. The park has become my community. We all take turns bringing water, filling the bag station, and beautifying the park. There's even talk of raising funds for a water fountain! I know it seems silly, but I feel more connected to my neighborhood and my city by actively visiting the dog parks. I learn about things going on from my "crew," I see the facilities and changes that go on, and I meet people I wouldn't otherwise meet. That is what is great about being a part of something - even if it's just the dog park!



What do you think? Will you and your dog be sniffing out your local park soon? With nicer weather here now is the time!

Oh and if all that did sway you. Watch THIS (for your laugh quotient of the day)


Happy Friday!


TTFN,
post signature

May 13, 2015

#HASHTAGHUMPDAY | Club Foot Style

Hey hey! We made it to Hump Day! And I still have a foot so all is well (more on that later).


Before we get on to the goods, go check out my gal pal and co-host in crime, Lauren at Genuinely Lauren. Give her a little love and a high five while you're there.

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo


 First a little business. Here’s the scoop:
  • Each Wednesday create a post about what’s going on in your life and #hashtag each item or story. See an example HERE. Be as creative as you want! 
  • Grab the button and include it in your post
  •  Link up so we can all #creep on you and find out what’s new/funny/awesome /shitty in your life.
  • Comment on at least one other blogger’s post from the link up (someone you don’t already know!) if there even is anyone who links up…
  •  Share on all your social sites with #hashtaghumpday
  • Have fun! #hashtagtheshitoutofeverything #whocaresifitsarealhashtag

Kapeesh?

Ok so I'm going to talk even more about this weekend. It was just one that I need to talk about because a lot of things happened and it was all over the place #bearwithme

Saturday morning was #badass style and I got the dog exercised, got him groomed, stopped for coffee, had my oil changed and tires rotated, bought my Mothers' Day present, went to the store for all sorts of miscellaneous needs, deep cleaned the master bath, AND cleaned the floors #thatmightbearunonsentence #butIdiditall #nailedit



Needless to say I was feeling very accomplished heading to the grad party we went to that afternoon. It just so happened to be held at our friend's parent's house, who I found out on the way there are LDS and that there would be no alcohol and I should keep my sailors mouth closed #noguarantees



It actually was AWESOME despite the lack of sin involved. That was until some creepy crawly decided to sting/bite my foot. I don't know if it was a bee or a hornet or a wasp or possibly a Tracker Jacker but it flippin' hurt and I was pissed and couldn't swear about it #fuck #shit #OWWWW! There, now I feel better.



It stung awful and it swelled a little around the sting, but nothing major. That was until Monday. Yeah, it managed to be just fine all night Saturday and all day Sunday and then Monday I wake up to the itchiest Club Foot of all time. Swollen, ugly, ITCHY #GIVEMETHEBENADRYL #pleasemakeitstop



The good news is I have self medicated to the point now that I don't think it will need to be amputated #butitstillitches



Hmmmm... what else? Oh yeah I tried to party like I did back in college on Saturday night. It was a friend's birthday/housewarming party and may have attempted one or more keg stands. Definitely no longer acceptable in my life #Imtoooldforthis



Thank God there was champagne and unlimited brunch the next day for Mothers' Day #thecure




Also, in my drunken state Saturday night I felt the need to come up with an excuse to show everyone my stitches #doyouwanttoseemystitches #dontaskmewhyIdontknow #LOOKIHAVESTITCHES





What are you #hashtagging this week? Come link up and dish!

TTFN,
post signature

May 12, 2015

32 weekend thoughts {as random as they come}

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I really should write down the things that cross my mind. My stream of conscious could seriously be it's own comedy show.

This weekend was no exception. Here are just a few of the things that crossed my mind.

+ I'm too old for this
+ Ranch is perfectly acceptable as pizza sauce right?
+ I'm like a soccer mom without the kids
+ It's been too long since I cleaned the shower
+ It's been WAY TOO long since I cleaned the shower.
+ I need a cleaning lady
+ My stitches hurt
+ F*CK!!!! I just got stung by a bee.
+ Yep, that's gonna swell
+ I should have bought flowers for myself, I'm a dog/cat mom


+ If I smash up this burrito I can use it as chip dip
+ Why are my spikes dying?
+ I'm a plant murderer
+ I just paid to have my dog man-scaped
+ At least there won't be more poop dingleberrys for a while
+ I just want to eat popcorn in peace
+ My dog is better looking than I am
+ Can I just skip work until vacation?
+ Is that cat crap on the floor?
+ I'm going to regret this in the morning
+ I WANT TO PLAY MEGARUIT
+ I'm waaaaayy to old for this (attempting a keg stand)


+ Please bring me champagne so I can not feel like I'm not dying
+ So that's what it's called ( After the waiter called it a Poinsettia when you do a mimosa with cranberry juice instead of orange juice)
+ Snatches overcooked the egg in my benedict
+ I'll have to have another
+ YES MORE CHAMPAGNE
+ Seriously why are they always out of benedicts?
+ I deserve a nap
+ Dog Mom Day, treat yo' self


+ Little Mermaid is definitely happening
+ I'll never be too old for Disney movies
 
Is it Friday yet?
post signature