Venus Trapped in Mars

30 April 2014

Jenny Francis

I don't want to intimidate you with what I'm about to say but...

.... I was voted on the All Star softball team for Huguenot Little League 11-13 year old division. 

I know. Impressive. I'm not sure how they missed me at that year's ESPYs but I'll continue to stand by for the life achievement award. 

So when you make the All Star team (subtle brag, you're welcome), you leave your team and move on to play with a whole new group of girls.

So here I am, an 11 year old. I get the list of names of the girls on the team and I start crying because they are all "popular" girls. I didn't go to private school, I went to public ---- home of the 450+ graduating class. So you better believe that cliques dominated, and the "you can't sit with us" girls ruled the school. That shit will mess with your head when you're a kid. Which is so unbelievably sad, because life goes on to be so wonderful. I just wish there was a way we could tell the kids today that this is nothing. Just wait until college, it will be the time of your life. You will be popular, not in the sense of being a mean girl in a clique, but in the true meaning of the word; SO MANY FRIENDS! 

But how do you tell an 11 year old tomboy that? 

So I head to my first practice with my head down and hat pulled over my eyes. Petrified. The coach says grab a partner for warm ups and I want to run home. But I don't know anyone here, they're all terrible  mean girls that are so much prettier and cooler and more popular than I am!!!!!! 

Jenny Francis (I've changed her name for this story, of course) immediately skips up to me (the 11 year old All Star mode of transportation) and asks if I have a partner.



At the end of that practice Jenny invited me to her birthday party that weekend. I told my mom about the invite, and then told her that I wasn't going. In so many 11 year old words, I was basically assuming that she was a raging bitch just like the rest of the girls, regardless of the pity partnership earlier.

To make a long story short, because that is what every blogger should attempt to do... my mom forced me to go to the party, just as any parent of an only child should do. Jenny was the kindest, sweetest and most welcoming person I'd ever met. She wasn't changed by being one of the popular girls. She thought for herself and as it turns out, I ended up being the bitch for judging a book by its cover. 

From then on out, whenever I would doubt myself, or talk about the "popular girls", my mom would simply respond with, "Jenny Francis" and the discussion was over. 



But guess what? To this very day, I still make this mistake, if you can believe that. 
Oh she is prettier than I am, she won't like me. 

Oh she is thinner than I am, she won't like me.

Oh she has such nicer clothes than I do, she won't like me. 

Oh she has more money than I do, she won't like me.

Oh she is friend's with ____ she won't like me. 

Oh, she won't like me......... 





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29 April 2014

Win a Skateboard from Penny Skateboards USA

As I not so subtly hinted in Friday's post, I have a really cool giveaway for you today from Penny Skateboards USA (hah, poet... know it)! Penny Skateboards was kind enough to offer up a prize pack to one of my readers containing the Penny Pastel Fade 22" Skateboard, a Penny Skateboards hat and Penny hot spot tee! An image of all three items is shown below! This contest is open to US residents only and will run for two weeks! Good luck.... and you better send me some pics of you on that pretty board if you win!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


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28 April 2014

What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby





I'm pretty much bursting at the seems to bring you today's post. Last week, I mentioned on Instagram that I will be going to the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby as a Cottonelle Correspondent. 

This will be my very first trip to the Kenutcky Derby, but as I'm sure Helene would agree, since I did live in Kentucky for two years and have been to Keeneland more times than I can count, I totally get it! 




Ok, ok, ok... so Keeneland is nothing compared to what's known as the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, the Kentucky Derby. Even though I'll be devoting Fan Friday's post this week to the Derby (and maybe helping you guys win some cash money if you are planning on doing some off-site betting) here is a quick run down on this year's Derby.


The 2014 Kentucky Derby
When: May 3rd
Post Time (meaning the time the horses must be at their starting position): 6:24pm EST 
Length: 2 minutes (ish) 



Don't live in the Bluegrass State? You can still be part of the Derby Day excitement thanks to Cottonelle's Great Finish Sweepstakes. If the No. 1 and No. 2 positioned racehorses (hah, get it?! Cottonelle, get it?!) place in that order, the first 15,000 Americans to sign up here will win a year's supply of Cottonelle toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths. Trust me, it is always more fun to watch sporting events, even if they are only two minutes long, when you have someone or in this case, some horses to root for!

So now let's get to the good stuff, getting Derby Day ready! For most sporting events I'm a jeans and converse kinda girl, but not for the Kentucky Derby. Looking good and feeling good is what the Derby is all about. Cottonelle has a Clean Room at the race this year with refreshments, a hair and makeup touch-up station and a fun opportunity to chat with their spokeswoman Cherry! But what about the beauty and fashion prep a girl's gotta do in the days leading up to the race?

This leads me to the most important question a girl must ask herself when attending the Kentucky Derby.......




My answer to this question is hat first, then dress. 

So today, I thought it would be fun to bring you hat shopping with me and play a little game. I tried on 8 different hats, all pictured below. To add a little fun, I'm going to give away Jerry Jones Ad Space, my largest ad space, to one person who leaves a comment and correctly guesses which hat I picked to wear on Derby Day! If more than one person guesses correctly, I'll pick the winner at random!

I'm not going announce which hat I chose today, you'll have to wait and find out on Saturday via Instagram.


On Derby Day, I'll Instagram a picture of the hat I picked and announce the winner of the ad space by tagging them in the photo! 







So, which hat did I pick?

To win the ad space, leave a comment below and make sure you aren't a no-reply blogger! If you aren't sure, simply include your email address with your comment!


And we're off to the races, places
Ready, set the gate is down and now we're goin' in


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25 April 2014

Skateboard Chick

Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Being an athlete isn't limited to playing a sport that ends in the world ball. There are dancers, golfers, cheerleaders, gymnasts, swimmers, runners and thrill seekers, all deserving the title athlete.

As you may have picked up my subtle hints once or twice, I love all sports. As much as I love watching sports, and let's face it, the way I watch football could easily be considered an athletic event, I love playing sports even more. Like most athletes, I'll play anything, just give me the right equipment and I'll practice until I have it mastered. 

One sport I am dying to learn how to do is skateboarding. Just half an hour of skateboarding actually burns 150 calories. And, in my opinion, a girl on a skateboard takes coolness to a whole new level! She seems like a low maintenance chick with a smile on her face, the sunshine in her hair and not a care or stress in the world.









Even though I don't live near a beach boardwalk, I think my neighborhood would be the next best place to learn to skateboard. With all of the brightly painted murals and art around every corner, a skateboard would be the perfect way to explore and play tourist in my own back yard. I know exactly what board I would choose too... this one from Penny Skateboards Online. Is that not the prettiest skateboard you've ever seen?





Penny Skateboards is a company dedicated to building each board with the highest quality raw materials and fanatical attention to detail. Penny Skateboards are designed and built to look good, perform well, and exceed all your expectations. And boy do they look good! Penny skateboards offers a full range of bright colors, pastel prints and cool patterns to fit anyone's style and personality. Gone are the days of skateboards made just for dudes, and here are the days of pretty pastels, bold floral prints and bright florescents.





So I want to know, are any of y'all skateboarders? What pointers would you give me for learning to skateboard for the first time?

....... And who knows, maybe there will be a surprise giveaway on Tuesday for all of y'all who want to free your inner skateboard chick. But I guess you'll just have to wait until Tuesday, won't you? ........




Venus Trapped in Mars

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24 April 2014

Welcome to the 2 - 1 - 4

Oh hello strangers! I'm back from my Staycation *cough* unfortunately *cough*. This could be a lengthy post, so let's jump right in, shall we? 

On Thursday afternoon, my mom flew in and we headed straight out for fun. Our first stop was an item on my bucket list, the Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Thursday night open house. For just $12 a person (when you buy your ticket online) you get to tour the brewery, enjoy three helpings of beer in a souvenir glass and listen to live music for a few hours! I'm not just saying this because this brewery is in my back yard, but Deep Ellum Brewing Co. beers are my favorite. Seriously, best I've ever had. I can't get enough of their IPA and the Dallas Blonde. Plus from a Graphic Design standpoint, they seriously nail every single detail. 








And on the walk home I ran into my good buddy, Dirk....







On Friday we spent the day shopping for something that's a bit of a surprise, which I'll be talking more about on Monday (cliffhanger, dun dun dunnnn). Then we headed out to Arlington for the Ranger game! I of course brought my glove to batting practice and the little kids next to me were thrown baseballs but not me. This put me in a bad mood, but thanks to my friend beer, I recovered. 








On Saturday and Sunday we did more shopping for that same secret thing, watched the Mavs play, hung out at the dog park and just relaxed in preparation for our trip to the casino on Monday. I tried to follow my own rules at the casino, and found myself up $400 within the first hour. No comment on how much I had when I left, but I will say it was more than when I came, so that's a win, right? 

On Tuesday, we started knocking more items off the bucket list by having lunch at Katy Trail Ice House! 



After lunch, with a forecast of 86 degrees and nothing but sunshine, we tied up our sneakers, grabbed Veenie (just the girls this trip, Gee Neyland got some solo man time) and went for a walk around downtown. We stopped at Thanks Giving Square first, how cool is this?







Then Veenie and I snapped some family photos in the square. She clearly had a difficult time locating the camera....













Then off to Klyde Warren Park we went! We stopped at the BIG sign for a photo where Veenie and I posed as the i #nailedit.







Followed by the dog park where I apparently had more fun than Veenie did...




Then that night we gussied up and headed out for a beautiful (and I do mean bea-u-ti-ful) dinner at Soda Bar at the NYLO Hotel. The icing on the cake was the Tuesday night special, half off all food! 







On our very last day, we tried to cram as much in as humanly possible, including Top Golf,  the dog park, poolside margs and catching the Mavs game! 




*Insert six pack abs here*

Sorry if the 434 images in this post crashed your computer, and I'm sorry if my bathing suit post crashed your eyeballs!  
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18 April 2014

Not Before My Staycation

So while I'm on my Staycation Vacation, I've asked one of my absolute favorite bloggers to take over Fan Friday. Nicole is hilarious, a runner (aka the breed of person I envy more than anything), a graphic designer, creative, intelligent, innovative and a downright entertainer. Ok I'm gushing about this girl a smidgen, but I just adore her. I asked Nicole to take over Fan Friday because I knew I would leave y'all in the best possible fanatic hands, and just as expected, my girl didn't let me down. Now don't be a boob and go follow Not Before My Tea, but not before you read this...
----


When Sarah emailed me and asked if I wanted to do a guest post for Fan Friday, I'd like to say that I kept my cool.  But that'd be a lie... I was jazz hands, happy dance pumped.  I felt like Princess Kate had just asked my opinion on a new pair of dungarees for baby George.  Only this was even better because I don't even really know what a dungaree is, and Kate probably thinks that "football" means soccer.

I was also honored that Sarah would trust Fan Friday, my favorite weekly link-up, in my hands.  You might all find this amazing but I link up with Sarah almost every single Friday.  The amazing part isn't that I link up though (I mean, who wouldn't?); the amazing part is that Sarah lets me link up every Friday... because every Friday, my post is completely irrelevant to the link-up.  (Which is actually sort of incredible, really, given the link-up's many, many topics.)

But despite all this, she asked me to guest post anyway.  And God knows I don't want to let her, or all her lovely readers, down... so this week, as the Ruler of the Fan Friday Link-Up, I am going to write the most relevant post ever to grace the internet.  Relevance is the name of the game, after all, and with this post... we're all winners.



1.  Manual paper towel dispensers.  To the people pushing automatic bathroom anything: I admire your optimism, but please stop now.

2.  Bloody Marys.  It's sort of like a vegetable, and you can put pizza on top.

3.  Brunch.  They have Bloody Marys there.

4.  Lists.  They're all sorts of succinct, and complete sentences are optional.  Blue Green Pig Dumplings.  Doesn't make sense, but this is a list... doesn't matter.

5.  Maryland.  Old Bay everything.

6.  Chicago.  Not as good as Maryland, but eat here enough and you might forget.

7.  Sarah.  Sucking up?  Who, me?

8.  The Baltimore Ravens.  The Ravens are a religion.  For those of you who think that they can be lumped in with "Maryland," I will pray for you.

9.  This Woman:



10. Grey's Anatomy.  It's not just for pre-teens, guys.

11. Google.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry, which is a fancy way of saying I'm really good at Google-ing.

12. Hedgehogs and other small animals that sort of look like hedgehogs.

13. Sunday Mornings.  It makes the rest of the week worth it.

14. Blogger.  So free.  So easy.  And so temperamental and unexpected, you'll never have to watch E! News again.

15. The Skimm.  Just... you're welcome.

16. Spring.  This winter, Chicago set a record for the most days with temperatures below zero AND inches of snow.  It would be something to celebrate if it wasn't so god-awful.

17. ZzzQuil.  I'm still convinced this year's Nobel Prize was fixed, because ZzzQuil is by far the most influential advance in our society to date.

18. Golden Grahams.  And if the makers of ZzzQuil didn't win, it should have at least gone to the guy who gave us Golden Grahams.

19. Tacos.

20. Target.  Cop-out, I know, because who isn't already a fan of Target?

21. Moms.  I mean, this doesn't really need en explanation.

22. Country Music.  Wait, are bloggers allowed to like country music?  Whatever.  Ben & Jerry's could be a temporary fix, but I don't know where I'd be right now without Chris Cagle and Sara Evans.

23. Ice Cream.  Okay, but yeah, Ben and Jerry's is pretty good too.

24. Running.  To counteract the ice cream.  I'm running in the Boston marathon on Monday for no other reason than for the resulting ice cream debt.

25. Ibuprofen.  See number 24.

  
Whew.  That felt good.  Who knew being relevant could be so freeing?  Maybe I'll start following the rules more often.


---

Now what did I tell you? GO FOLLOW THE RULES NICOLE. She holds a BIOCHEMISTRY degree for God's Sakes. (And I don't even know if I spelled that right....)


Venus Trapped in Mars

  • Write a post about anything listed here
  • Grab a button. (It's glittery, would you have expected anything less?)
  • Link up EVERY FRIDAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
  • Follow me so we can be friends
  • Meet new friends who also like sports and being a fan
  • Hop, hop, hop.... hop around








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