Always & Forever New Kids Fans

~a post from the teeny-bopper heart of Chrissy~ NKOTBEver since Alicia’s post last year about going to see Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch together when we were teenagers, I have been meaning to write about our shared love for the New Kids on the Block.   It was actually much more then just love, we were absolutely ga-ga for those boys.  My brother once told me, years later, he was actually a little bit scared for me when I was in the height of my NKOTB craze because of how intensely I obsessed about them.  I lived, breathed and dreamed them from the 8th through 10th grade.   My NKOTB hysteria all began when I first heard “Please Don’t Go Girl” on the radio.  I didn’t know who they were, I just knew I had to find out and fast!  There was no going back after I saw a picture of them, discovering they were five, incredibly cute, teenage boys!  Oh, be still my rapidly beating teenage heart!!!!

Who's the dork posing with her Joe McIntyre poster?  Why, that would be me (age 14)!

Who’s the dork posing with her Joe McIntyre poster? Why, that would be me (age 14)!

Every girl who was a New Kid fan gravitated to her own particular favorite.  Alicia and I were no different.  We were both going to marry Joey Joe.  I’m not sure logistically how that was going to work out for both of us, but I’m glad we never did have the opportunity to find out.  It just might have ruined our friendship if Joe actually had picked one or the other of us. GASP…. LOL!  The funny thing is, now that I think about it, Joe was the only guy the both of us ever jointly fell for in all our years as friends.  I think it was those gorgeous blue eyes and his oh so sweet voice that did us both in.  Sigh!!!!

NKOTB VHSIt’s pretty funny how wholly I surrounded myself with the New Kids in those days, so much so that when I think back to those years of my life I can’t do it without thinking about NKOTB, too.  I had posters up all over my wall. I blared their music from my cute, purple boom box over and over again.  I had t-shirts, buttons, books, magazines, video tapes, and anything else I could get my hands on.  Alicia had a lot of the same things as I did, but she also had a Joe doll which I was extremely jealous of!  Another thing we both did at the time was designate VHS tapes specifically for recording anything we happened to see on TV with the New Kids on it.  We filled those tapes with their appearances on Friday Night Video’s, talk show’s, commercials, the Grammy’s, MTV interview’s, and everything in between.  I think I might still have one of my tapes somewhere deep in a box.  Alicia recently came across one of hers.  As you can see in the photo above, she was (and still is) very organized, listing the exact “counter” marks of each show she had recorded!

8-1990

Who is this other dork posing in front of her New Kids posters? Why, that is Alicia! Circa 1990

The New Kids on the Block had a definite allure about them which drew us girls to them.  It didn’t hurt that they were absolutely adorable, but that wasn’t the only reason we loved them.  The guys had a unique chemistry with each other and with their fans.   I can remember, sitting high up in the stands, far away from the stage at their concerts, and yet still feeling as if the guys actually made a direct connection with me.  It was like at some point or other during the show, each and every guy on stage made eye contact with me, which is literally impossible, but they just had a way of making each and every fan feel individually special and appreciated.  In my book, that is pretty darn cool.  Being a New Kid fan, is just fun….plain and simple!

Once a New Kids fan, always a New Kids fan! (circa Christmas 2012)

Once a New Kids fan, always a New Kids fan! (circa Christmas 2012)

There is one thing Alicia and I always wanted to do but never got a chance to do with each other, which is to see the New Kids in concert together.  I’ve been able to see them a handful of times now.  As a teen, I went to a different high school for my Freshman and Sophomore year then Alicia, so I saw them in concert with my some of my friends from there.  A few years ago, I had the opportunity to see them in concert again, but Alicia was living on the West Coast at that time and couldn’t go with.  Actually, Alicia has yet to have the opportunity to see them in concert at all. The clouds never did align for her to go see them, but that is all about to change this summer!  Drumroll please………..Now that Alicia is living within a day’s driving distance, we were able to work it out so we can meet up in KC to see the guys, along with Boys II Men and 98 degrees!!!!  Believe me, we are absolutely bubbling with excitement about getting the chance to roll the clocks back, and become pre-teen screaming girls once again for a night!!!

~Chrissy

PS- Here is their newest single “Remix (I like the)”.  It’s a great, catchy tune and the video is pretty darn cool, too!!!

I Can’t Help Myself, I Heart All Things Jane Austen

~”It is a truth universally acknowlegded, that” Chrissy is a lover of all things Jane Austen~

It’s been 200 years, today, since Pride & Prejudice was first published.  Happy Anniversary P&P!  What is most amazing to me is how much Jane Austen’s novels still resonates with the world today.  Think about it, it’s been 200 years and thousands, upon thousands, of us are still obsessed with her stories.   Her fans, of which I am happy to call myself one, can’t get enough.  We devour fan fiction, we lap up every new film/tv adaptation that come our way, and we re-read her novels over and over again.  I can’t think of any other author off the top of my head (well, ok, I’ll give you Shakespeare and Dickens) who has managed to keep such a hardcore, and crazy fan base, who 200 years later are still constantly craving more.  “Please Sir, I want some more.” as Oliver Twist in Dickens states (shout out, Dickens!).

Looking back, I have to give credit where credit is due, I owe my love for all things Jane Austen to my Mother, the biggest Jane Austen fan I’ve ever known!   Since I was a young girl, she has always had a fascination with the Regency England era of history, from the clothing, to the rules of etiquette that dictated society at that time.   It was very easy for me to also fall for this period of time.  It just seems to ooze romance to my modern sensibilities.  I am definitely a romantic at heart.

My Mom’s obsession with Jane Austen herself, didn’t really begin until she saw the BBC adaption of Pride & Prejudice on PBS about 15 or so years ago.   Not long after that, she introduced me to the story.  Since then I have devoured all of Miss Austen’s books and seen most of the numerous movie adaptations of her stories.  Persuasion is my favorite novel of hers, and my favorite movie adaptation is without a doublt the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice.  Quite honestly, I don’t know how you can’t fall head over heals for all things Jane Austen after seeing this adaptation.  I also don’t think it is physically possible not to fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy, or Colin Firth for that matter, after watching it! 🙂

My latest Jane Austen related craze is a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in the form of Youtube webisodes called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  I stumbled across this webseries when I was on Reddit about a month ago.  In this series, Lizzie begins a web diary of her life for a grad school project.  The webisodes are all 4-7 minutes long.  There are currently 82 videos and counting, and new ones are posted every week to my utter delight.  The series is also very social media driven.  You can  follow all the characters on Twitter, there is a Tumblr page, a Facebook page and so much more.  You can truly immerse yourself in the lives of the characters, if you so desire, and I do!!!  I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when the series comes to its inevitable conclusion.  Hopefully, they will adapt another of Miss Austen’s stories to consume myself with.

Besides The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I’ve also heard talk of a modern day adaptation of both Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibilites for television.  There are also a couple of fan fiction movies coming out soon: “Austenland”, and “Lost in Austen”.  I can’t wait to see all of them!

As much as I heart Jane,  I don’t know as I’ll ever get to the level of super fan that my Mom has reached.   I’m pretty close, but she is so obsessed that about 80% of the time I pop over to her house for a visit, she will have a Jane Austen dvd playing.  She has watched every movie version ever, 1000’s of times each.  We think  it is very likey she just might have been Jane in a past life!

Most recently, we welcomed a new member to our lovely family.  My brother, Bryan, and his wife had a little girl.  I knew it was highly imperative that she follow the footsteps of her Nana and Bestest Auntie Ever in our love of all things Jane, so I tracked her down a totally adorable Jane Austen onesie, which you can check out on CafePress.com!  She looks tres adorable in it, too!  I’m not sure if she gets it quite yet, but I have high hopes. 🙂

Speaking of Jane Austen themed gifts, one of the great things about obsessed fans is they make it super easy to shop for.  I don’t think a holiday goes by without either my brother, I, or both gets her something Jane related.  My absolute favorite find to date is the Jane Austen Action Figure I gave my Mom a couple years ago. I don’t believe you can truly call yourself a Jane Austen super fan without one!  (Unfortunately, it looks as though they aren’t being made anymore, so if you find one snatch it up quickly, they are a collectors item!)

If you are a fellow Jane fan, I would love to hear which novel/movie adaptation is your favorite.  If you are a romantic at heart and have not had the pleasure of either reading a Jane Austen novel or watching one of her stories come to life in the movies, please, please do yourself a huge favor and do so right away.

~Chrissy

*Top photo is a pic I took of the book “Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasurey” by Rebecca Dickson.

My latest Obsession: The PopSugar “Must Have” Subscription Box

~Bought and Paid for by Chrissy~

I have a confession to make, I am obsessed with the PopSugar Subscription Boxes.   Every month, I get as excited as a kid in a candy store on Christmas whenever  that white box with the pink PopSugar logo on it shows up on my doorstep!  Before I go on, I should probably explain a little about what subscription boxes are.  The premise is simple, you agree to pay a set price every month for a box full of different items.  You’ll find companies that gear their boxes towards the beauty buff, or pet lovers, or parents, or the eco-conscience, etc….   I’ve tried a few different companies over the last year and without a doubt, PopSugar is, hands down, the BEST one out there for the woman wishing to spoil herself with fun and exciting things.

Every month, for $35, you get a new box, filled to the brim with top of the line, super amazing products.  The variety of items sent each month is what really sets this company apart.   You’ll find food, beauty items, home goods, fitness products, books, and fashion items all stuffed inside each and every box.  The fun part is opening your box and seeing what your $35 has gotten you this month (They state each box is actually worth $100 or more, and I have found this to be true).   I haven’t been disappointed in anything I’ve gotten yet.   If the cost is deterring you remember you can cancel anytime and with Christmas coming they also would make a really fabulous gift for someone special on your list!

This is what I got inside my October Must Have Box (I’ve estimated the actual cost of each item here too):

Dylan’s Candy Bar Gummy Bears (5 oz) – $3.00                                                                                                                            
*These look absolutely amazing.  It’s been ages since I’ve torn into a gummy bear.  They are going with me to work today!
 
Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar snack bag (1 oz) –  $1.00
*Always a treat to eat.  I am a big fan of Pirate’s Booty already.
 
Unilever Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy shampoo and conditioner (13 fl.oz. each) – $5 each
*Some people feel shampoo’s have to cost a bunch in order for them to be any good.  I don’t believe that, and will gladly give this shampoo and conditioner the old college try!   
 
Red Flower Japanese Peony Candle with Rose Petals (6 oz with 50 hours of burn time) – $38.00
*I was shocked when I found out how much this candle costs.  Yowzers!  It isn’t something I would buy for myself in a million years but it is a definite treat as it smells amazing. 
 
J.K. Rowling‘s “The Casual Vacancy” Hardbound book- $35.00
*This was on my must read list, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it in my box.  I buy most of my books with my Kindle.  It feels good to have an actual book in my hands again though!
 
Crescent Moon ExerSocks for Yoga & Pilates – $8.00
*I’d like to say these will be great for all the yoga I do, however I have a feeling these will be worn while I am lounging around my home.  They nice traction on the bottoms so I won’t have to worry about slip sliding around on my wood floors!
 
O.P.I. Pink of Hearts Nail Polish Duo – $13.00
*I have always been a fan of OPI nail polish.  The colors included are: “You Glitter Be Good to Me” and “I Think in Pink”.  ~Pink is my signature color~ (Name that movie!)  I’ll have pink, sparkling toes in the next few days! 

Added all together I estimate this box to be worth $108.00!  If you’re interested in learning more about the “Must Have’ box, or subscribing, click here: http://popsu.gr/fsc.  I can always use the referrals as in no way, shape or form did I get paid or get my box for free to write this post (If you get referrals you get discounted boxes, yippee!).  I am just a proud consumer of an amazing product which I wanted to share with you!

~Chrissy

Mixed Tape Playlist for Your BFF

~a mixed tape creation by Chrissy~

I know it dates me but I really loved mixed tapes.  They were so thoughtful and took a heck of a lot of effort to make.  The song quality wasn’t the greatest, and yet they were pretty darn amazing because they meant something meaningful.  This was especially true if someone else made you your very own, one of a kind, mix.  Those tapes truly made you feel gloriously special whenever you listened to it.  Nowadays, with itunes and mp3’s, those mixed tape-like playlists have become a heck of a lot easier to make.   We’ve all got our playlists now for working out, cleaning the house, or just plain rocking out!

On my way to my homeship Target this past weekend, I happened upon a song on the radio about best friends.  The song was Oath by Cher Lloyd.  It’s a cute, upbeat kind of song.   I immediately thought of Alicia as I was bopping my head along with the beat.  In between head bops, I got to thinking about making my own BFF playlist, filled with songs that make me think about all my best girlfriends!  I’ll undoubtedly fill it up with an ungodly amount of songs over the days to come, as there are tons of songs out there that call to mind my amazing group of friends. For the sake of my post, I’ll just touch on a handful of my favorite songs to make my BFF list. You’ll probably notice I am heavily influenced by movies/tv.  Ever since I was a girl, I’ve been introduced to many great songs from the movies and tv shows I watch.   I’m a big fan of movie soundtracks!

1.  Joe Cocker “With A Little Help of My Friends” –  Originally a song by the Beatles, the Joe Cocker version was also the theme song for the “Wonder Years” tv show.

2. White Stripes “We’re Going to Be Friends” – What can I say about this song?  It is pretty freaking awesome.  If it sounds familiar but you can’t quite place why, it was part of the soundtrack for the movie Napoleon Dynamite.  That’s just a wee bit of pop trivia for you!

3. Ben E King “Stand by Me” – A classic song, that withstands the test of time.  It is also the theme to a movie by the same name.  If you haven’t seen the movie, please rent it right now.  It is such a great coming of age story about friendship.  Love it!

4. Weezer “My Best Friend” – I was first introduced to Weezer when I heard “The Sweater Song” in college.  What’s not to like about a song about sweaters?  Absolutely nothing!!!  I might have to put that one on a Winter Weather playlist.  I’m veering off course a bit here.  Anyhoo, “My Best Friend” very simply and sweetly, says it all.

4.  Green Day “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” –  The title doesn’t sound at all friendly, I know, but this song is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Green Day just so happens to be one of my favorite groups of all time, too.  To me, this song brings to mind memories of the good times shared with my friends/family/what have you.   It is especially enduring to me because of a wedding gift I received from Alicia.  She (with a lot of help from her brother Brian) made a photo slideshow of her and I growing up together, all set to music.  “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” was one of the songs she used.  I guess it was kind of like her mixed tape to me but with pictures! Whatever the case, it is one of my most favorite gifts, ever!!!

6. Natalie Merchant “Kind & Generous” – I told Alicia once that if she had a theme song, this would be hers.  She is exactly who this song was written about!  Everyone should have a person in there life who brings to mind this song and I think it should be your best friend!  Love you girl!!!

7.  They Might Be Giants “Birdhouse in Your Soul” – My friend, Becky first introduced me to They Might Be Giants.  All their songs are very silly and whimsical.  You can’t listen to them without smiling and laughing.  “I’m a little glowing friend”  Love that!

8. Bette Midler “Wind Beneath My Wings” –  A song from the movie Beaches, which if you haven’t seen it is a beautifully touching story about two best friends.   I’m might just cry thinking about this movie.  Ahhh…..so sad.   I have to warn you, if you click the link to the song have a box of tissues ready.   You’re going to need them!

9. The Rembrandts “I’ll Be There For You” – This is probably one of the very first songs I thought of when making my playlist.  “Friends” is my all time favorite tv show.  I’ve probably watched every episode a zillion times.  I could watch them a zillion more as they never get old.  The Rembrandts song is now and  forever ingrained in my head to symbolize my friends (Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and my real friends, of course, too).

10.  ABBA “Dancing Queen” – My BFF playlist would not be complete without this song.  Dancing Queen is truly a beloved favorite in my group of girlfriends.  If we are all together and this song comes on, I don’t think it’s possible for us all to not get up and hit the dance floor.  We’re all glorious Dancing Queens!

~Chrissy

*Image from Photobucket

The Art of Passing Notes

~Folded up, nice & tightly, & passed on to our readers by Chrissy~

When Alicia and I were in High School, passing notes throughout a school day was one of our favorite pastimes.  We didn’t have many classes together.  Of course, as you can well imagine, this meant there was a multitude of riveting and important information buzzing around our heads, which absolutely could not wait until lunch, or the bus ride home, for us to spill the beans on.   We  just had to put pen to paper, in between paying attention to what our teachers were saying, and compose pretty fantastic musings of all things important to a teenage girl.

Thanks to Alicia, and her amazing ability to hold onto things of sentimental value, a number of our highly engrossing and profound notes to one another have survived, unscathed, over the years.  I have to tell you, I am insanely happy Alicia held on to them.  It is an absolute hoot to look back at thoughts and contemplations of our lives back in High School.  The photo below is a little peek at a note I wrote from back in April of 1992.

One of my highly “profound”, somewhat erratic, musings from High School. I actually make references to Fraggle Rock, a Door’s song and a Doogie Howser episode, in what reads like a span of one breath. 🙂

Looking back, there are a few key details I can remember from our note writing days:

1.  You had to be very careful when passing notes in school.  Not only could a teacher confiscate your note but it could very well get into the wrong hands, the consequence of which could be mortifying.  Case in point, Molly Ringwald‘s character in Sixteen Candles.  She was sharing secrets between friends in class when the very person she admitted to wanting to “do it” with, happens to get his hands on that very note!  AHHHH….the teenage horror!!!!  Maybe it was a lesson learned from seeing this movie, but at some point in time, Alicia and I began using pseudonyms for any of the guys we mentioned in our notes.

2.  Folding a note to pass off was a definite art.  We developed all sorts of ways to fold and seal a note in an oragami type way.  In no way, shape, or form did this mean our notes resembled cranes or any other animal.  We just wanted our notes to be as small as possible and to stay closed until opened willingly.

3.  From time to time, writing the note was a thing of creatvity and imagination.  There were lots of different ways to change-up a note.  We would write all the words backwards or draw pictures instead of words.  I particularly delighted in writing them in a spiral pattern forcing Alicia to turn the paper around as she would read it!

I’m not sure if kids these days still pass notes in school.  I would imagine text messaging and emails have replaced, or at least, greatly decreased the use of notes to communicate with friends during school.  I will always hold onto a fondness for the art of passing notes, but I can’t help but admit if we had the technology kids have at their disposal these days, we would have been all over it!

Besides Birthday or Special Occasion cards, it has been years since I actually sent Alicia a letter in the mail.  The last time was probably in college.  Email is so much more convenient and instantaneous.  My note took almost a week to reach her!  This is largely due to the fact that I, having been inspired by this post,  folded it up nice and tightly, like we did in High School.  The US Postal service doesn’t do well with strange, bulky and odd-shaped letters!  It did finally get there though and let me tell you she was very surprised and tickled pink about it!

Having read this post, I would like to challenge you to send a friend your own handwritten note!  I don’t know about you but I think It is always fun to surprise your friends.  The more unique the surprise, the better, and your friend will never expect something like this to show up in their mailbox.  Be sill, be dorky and make your BFF’s day!!!

~Chrissy

Out of the Movie Archives: Remembering “The Goonies”

~ Chrissy’s remembering a favorite movie from childhood~

The Goonies

The Goonies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can still remember going to see The Goonies at the theater.   I was 10 years old and my next door neighbors invited me to go see it with them.   The movie transported me into a place all young kids long to go.  A world filled with danger, adventure, pirates, excitment, booby traps,  caves, and of course one amazing waterslide!  To this very day, I would still love to go on a Goonies adventure like they had in the movie.  Why no one ever made a Goonies: The Ride is beyond me!  Every other movie imagineable seems to have its own amusement park ride nowadays.  One of you theme parks out there really needs to get right on this.

There were many reasons I fell in love with this movie as a kid.  I’ll admit, right up front, I had one heck of a girlhood crush on Sean Astin.  However, the crush was just an added bonus to what is one heck of a great movie!  Looking back, there were plenty of moments which made it so gosh darn loveable.  These are some of my favorites!

1.  The Truffle Shuffle.  Today, this is probably one of the most memorable Goonie moments of the entire film.  I can’t even count how often I happen I see the snippet below, of Chunk performing the Truffle Shuffle, pop up while browsing the internet.   The Truffle Shuffle was in a class of its own.
truffle shuffle gif Pictures, Images and Photos

2.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  A guy named Sloth can save the day if you give him a chance.  He may have looked like a scary monster, with his cone shaped head, offset eye sockets, jacked up teeth and very limited vocabulary, but all it took was a bit of kindness, in the form of a Baby Ruth, and you quickly realize he had a heart of gold.

3.  What seperates the men from the little boy’s?  I never knew, until seeing this movie, it’s where you choose to take a leak!  Girls don’t have this problem. Guys seem to want to make everything a peeing contest. 🙂  This scene also leads into when Andy mistakenly thinks Mikey is Brand, giving him a big ol’ smooch.  (Be still my pre-teen beating heart!)  http://www.anyclip.com/movies/the-goonies/rFqy4bnn2htmb/

Mikey Walsh:  This is the little boys’ room and that tunnel’s the little girls’ room.  Let’s go.  (Data, Mouth and Mikey  head into a tunnel.  Brand heads to another tunnel)

Mikey Walsh:  Brand, where you going?

Brand Walsh:   This is the men’s room.  (Mikey turns to head back into the Little Boy’s tunnel.  Mouth and Data exit past him.)

Mikey Walsh:  Where you going?

Data:  The men’s room, Mikey.

Mouth:  Yeah, we’re going to the men’s room.

4.  “Goonies never say die!”  Life is a series of choices.  If you find yourself at a crossroads, do you take the safe road or do you throw caution to the wind and head down the more dangerous road into the unknown?  It’s not always easy to decide, but in a pivotal moment in the movie, we learn what choice a Goonie would make.  Of course, its gotta be the road less travelled.  Could you really expect anything less from a Goonie?

In some strange twist of fate, after I began drafting this post, I happened to be shopping at Target in the men’s section.  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I was in the men’s section, not for my husband, but because they have all the awesome & super geeky, retro t-shirts that I am totally obsessed with.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am am sort of a nostalgia freak.  Over the years I’ve bought some really adorable shirts (yes, I said a t-shirt from the men’s department is adorable.  It is, what can I say?).  I have a Fraggle Rock shirt, a Smurf one and my newest one…you can see for yourself below!

~Chrissy

This Heat is Driving Me Crazy!

sunshine Pictures, Images and PhotosI have had it with these unrelenting, scorching summer days we’ve been having here this summer.  In Nebraska, not only have we had the hottest July on record we’ve also had the driest one too. This feat we’ve accomplished doesn’t exactly overjoy me.  These are not records I’d like to see broken.  I’d prefer to watch as Olympians break records, rather then Mother Nature, thank you very much.

I don’t know what is going on with this crazy weather we seem to be having lately, but I can’t seem to help wondering about it a bit when every time I go outside I am blasted by our sun’s blazing hot rays.   And, although I would take hot over cold any day of the week, even us heat lovers have our limits.   This summer I’ve definitely hit it and here are some of the reasons why:

1. The inside of my car feels like it has been parked in Lot 666, just outside of the gates of Hell, from sitting all day in the blazing sunshine.
2.  I can’t buy a pint of ice cream without it melting into a cold soup by the time I get it home from the store.
3.  I normally hate winter but I am beginning to daydream about how amazing it would be to take a polar plunge into freezing cold water.  As much as I don’t want winter to get here, I want it to get here!!!
4.  The weather guys are begining to annoy me.  They really need to find another name for cold fronts during the summer.  If the temp is 103F today and the “cold front” that is coming in is going to make it 98F, it is not a cold front.  There is nothing cold about it.  Stop teasing us like that, please!!
5.  Even Murphy’s Law is all out of whack and unreliable, because I keep washing my car and there is not a drop of rain in sight!

Fall can’t get here soon enough!!!

~Chrissy