I've always enjoyed this day - I never really bought into the whole "corporate holiday" scoff - what's wrong with having a day to celebrate who and what you love? For most of my life, I gave out Valentines to all my friends & even to my students in American Samoa. I just like the idea of telling people you care about them and love them (obviously, I do this more than just on February 14th each year), but it is kind of fun to have a reason to send a card to someone or to well, write this post.
I'm still 25 years old, so I came up with 25 people & things that I love. Limiting my list to 25 was tough, but also entertaining. These are not in a most loved to least loved order. Now go grab some chocolate and hang out!
There's nothing I love more than a good burger. I love summer nights when my dad grills them and we sit outside and eat. I was famous for always ordering cheeseburgers at restaurants when I was a kid/teen/now? For example, as a child, I would order them at Rosita's instead of ordering tacos (that was kind of dumb, Q).
My first In-N-Out experience. How come we don't have one in Monterey? Wah!
This is a terrible picture. Is there even a burger under that bun?
b. The Fault in Our Stars movie trailer
I love Young Adult fiction. Always have, always will. Last summer, I joined the John Green bandwagon and read a few of his books, one of which was The Fault in Our Stars. SO good. They recently turned it into a movie and there's a pretty good chance I'll start crying before it even starts. Watch the trailer (and then go read the book!):
c. This picture:
It's just so good. My (then) 16 year old Samoan posse.
d. New Zealand
Y'all already know that I've been there twice. I could go again and again and again if I could afford it. I have nothing bad to say about this country (except for the fact that they really need to use normal ketchup and not "tomato sauce.") Here's some pictures from my last trip to Aotearoa (in which I drove around the country with the Jans!)
Peeking inside a wharenui in the Auckland Museum.
Hot springs! I kept expecting T-Rex dinos to come running out of those trees.
UM HI GET OUT THE ROAD, YO!
I betcha the Jans are peeing their pants right now. I BETCHA!
We had such a great time together!
Oh, New Zealand.
That sailboat has such a terrible view. I mean, ew.
The Moreaki Boulders are the coolest, gosh darn things ever.
Pancake Rocks and shadows
If you haven't already figured it out, I like to write. I think if I could write a blog for a full-time job with benefits included, I would SO do it. Would you read it? A girl can dream.
How lucky am I to have a brother who completely understands my weirdness, who continues to blow me away every day with how handsome he is, and who is one of the kindest, hard-working, and dedicated people I know. Also, he sends me snapchats of my cats.
g. Food blogs
Okay, I have a confession to make. I may need an intervention soon. I am obsessed with food blogs. As in I could literally sit in my bed all day long and read them. [Send help!] Food photography fascinates me. I just can't.stop.looking. Here are a few of my favorites and why:
- Iowa Girl Eats - Kristin and her family live in Iowa, (I talk like I know her. SEND HELP!) and a majority of the recipes she posts are typical Midwestern type food. Lots of meat, lots of delicious desserts, lots of mouthwatering drinks. Her personality is really bubbly and she has a great writing style. I highly recommend you start following her!
- Bev Cooks - I recently discovered Bev's blog. Actually, I discovered it during one of my classes in January [once again...help.] and I literally almost walked out of the classroom. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS SO FUNNY. I had tears in my eyes, people. Also, following her on instagram is probably the best decision you could ever make. She just had twin babies and her captions are soooooo funny. Follow her here: BC Instagram
- Half Baked Harvest - I don't think I've actually made anything from her recipe box yet. This is probably because I just stare at her photos of food. I'm pretty sure a puddle of drool happened recently.
This dude is the craziest, weirdest, softest, loveablest cat in all of existence.
Why would I give you a cute picture when I can give you a picture of him in a microwave? Zap.
He even took a selfie once. Good one!
I've always loved taking pictures, but it wasn't until a certain someone (hint: see letter k) came into my life that I really began to appreciate it. Between the two of us, we have five cameras? I think? I guess I use my iPhone as a camera a lot too, so six. Speaking of which, are you following me on instagram? I keep it private, but if you have an account, you can view my super neat photos here: Quinnstagram
This is Jerrod's camera. Check out that LENS!
Cupcakes are seriously the BEST food in the world. The perfect meal for me would be a cheeseburger and a cupcake. Not gross at all. Cupcakes also happen to be a super great thing to bake with your best friends.
What? You don't take pictures of yourself with cupcakes?
This was a couple nights before I graduated college aka almost four years ago (gasp).
That, my friends, is a cupcake food truck in Austin, TX. Did I inhale a cupcake? You betcha!
I think I've tried to type my "why I love Jerrod" description like twenty times. I don't think I can really sum up how much I love him in just a few sentences. I'm one lucky girl, I'll tell you that much.
I mean, look at us! Just a stunning couple.
Back in the early days.
I just noticed the phone number of the Dolphin Dock. It's funny because my finger is in the eyes of these here fish.
Love ya longtime, J!
I love where I come from. I am so thankful that I grew up in a farming family in a rural part of Illinois. I like that I come from a place that is home to kind, generous people. A place where people know how to drive and use their turn signals [c'mon Californians, it's not that hard]. I like that we grow corn. I like that I can go to Wisconsin to get really good cheese [that was for you, Drew]. I like that people assume we're all hillbillies. Midwest is best!
Whoever invented slippers was brilliant. I wish I could wear them everywhere. That is all.
Remember that one time Jerrod and I got a puppy? I owe you an update on him, I know. What I will tell you is that he is enjoying his time on the ranch in Texas. He likes to chase exotic creatures and expects them to play with him. He chews on antlers. He chomps on Jerrod because he's teething. He's such a little explorer and I'm anxious to adventure again with him soon.
He's getting so big. WAHHHH.
I first started drinking coffee in January of 2009, so it hasn't really been that long. I definitely wouldn't say that I am addicted to it, but I sure do enjoy it.
I am anxiously awaiting my reunion with Caribou Coffee!
If you live in the Sycamore area, have you ever been to Mudslingers? It's the perfect spot for slingers (mini donuts!) and a coffee on a chilly day.
Also, Mudslingers. Lattes are my weakness.
My apartment didn't have a coffee pot when I got here. I decided it would be a good time to try something different, so I went with a french press. I still can't decide if I like it more than drip coffee or not.
Cold brew, Jerrod standing in the lake, and ATX. 3 of my favorite things.
Are you getting sick of coffee pictures yet? I'm not!
p. Lord of the Rings
No one in Monterey understands how much of a Ringer I am. In high school, people knew me for my obsession! I guess I don't necessarily identify myself as such an insane Ringer anymore. However, I did go to New Zealand...and LOTR was filmed there...hehe.
Everyone remember the "GET OFF THE ROAD" scene?
Image taken from: Here
Here's the spot where it was filmed. I should totes be famous for this.
q. My Dad
He taught me to drive a snowmobile. He taught me to drive a car. He tried to teach me how to drive a tractor [which I almost drove into the barn]. He has taught me the importance of patience. He tried to still get me to be patient after his roosters cornered me and made me scream bloody murder. He has taught me to love animals. He has taught me to appreciate the outdoors. He has taught me how to work hard, to be dedicated, and to always put your family first. He's quite the teacher, and I'm lucky to call him my Dad.
I hope you're looking at our faces and not that picture of the Top Shelf Bloody Mary with the Monterey shrimps hanging off the glass! C'mon now!
Every single one of my best friends appreciates dessert. They call me at 11:00 at night to talk. They send me pictures of their cats. They climb mountains with me. They run with me. They appreciate my weirdness. They listen to me. They support me. They laugh with and at me. They help me. They comfort me. They will forever and always be my girls.
Cupcake likes clean laundry, to be picked up at the same time every night by my mom, and to meow all the time. He's also handicapped - only has three legs! Such a little fluff ball.
Why is lotion so amazing? Why does it suddenly make everything better? Does anyone know the answer to these questions?
Running and I are so hit or miss sometimes. I hate that you can get injured out of nowhere, but I love that you can feel such an intense high after you lace up your shoes and just go.
v. My Mom
She is the most honest person I have ever met. She gives advice that I can't not follow. She appreciates a good 'selfie. She makes fun of me for buying stuff on clearance. She jumped out of a plane and skydived (twice). She isn't afraid to tell me when I'm being stupid. She has the best fashion and jewelry. She freaks out when I drive her on a road on the side of a cliff. She believes in me. She encourages me. She is one amazing, hilarious, stunningly beautiful person.
w. Fleece blankets
There is nothing more comfortable than a fleece blanket. Combine it with a cat or puppy to snuggle with and you're golden.
x. My family
I have the coolest family. Some of them live in Illinois. Some of them live in Texas. Some even in Minnesota. They support me, they throw pine cones at me, they send me letters in the mail, they listen to me, and they will forever, ever, ever be my favorite people in the world. Cousins, aunts, grandmas, uncles - they're all the best.
She is one odd cat, but she has been in my life for a long, long time and she can be really sweet [sometimes].
and because it would be sad to leave out Z, here's a bonus:
I honestly cannot thank you enough for reading this crazy long post. If this is your first time on the blog, welcome! If you've been here a while - thank you thank you thank you. Happy Valentine's Day!
P.S. I'd love to hear who/what you love...share some in the comments [comment section has been updated and it should be easier for you to submit one!]