How to survive… losing your keys on New Year’s Eve

You know that feeling you get when you realize you’ve forgotten something? That pit in your stomach when you know something is already lost but you’ve forgotten to arrange a backup? Well I had that feeling at about 4am standing in front of our apartment on New Year’s Eve 2014 while frantically searching my purse for our keys. They were definitely lost and we definitely didn’t have a spare. Happy New Year…

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The night started off solid. My husband and I had planned an adventurous night for the New Year celebration and met some friends at a nightclub downtown. Since we live about 30 minutes from there and didn’t want to have to drive, we used our favorite ride-sharing company, Lyft, and made it downtown for less than $20. A steal!

We enjoyed a wonderful night of dancing, laughing, meeting new people, and we even won best dressed couple at the club, it was a great night! But, once the New Year’s Countdown ended, our group started to dwindle and what we thought was going to be a long night out, quickly became an early one. And that was a problem for us. You see, the ride-sharing companies of Lyft and Uber can have astronomical surge rates for New Year’s and we were told they would mellow out around 3am. So we decided to wait it out… I fall asleep at another bar (because it was 2 in the morning) and we are ‘politely’ asked to leave. We walk around downtown in the freezing cold to kill time, then we finally park it in the lobby of a Hampton Inn. It was warm and nobody questioned us. We both doze in and out for an hour when we finally hit 3am… the rates are still too high. But I have to call it, we are exhausted and cold and just want to be in our own bed.

No Lyft cars were available so we have to use their competitor UberX, which is hit or miss in our city. The car drops us off at home … $115 later… and as we cross the threshold of the apartment building, my hand is rummaging around for the house keys in my purse. But I am coming up short. I panic because I think they might be in the UberX car but that guy is long gone by then with no way to contact him.

So that feeling of “Oh well, at least we have a spare… oh wait” starts to creep up but then I remember that we live in an apartment complex, with lots of spare keys, surely the 24 hour maintenance man can let us in! Nope. Apparently we agreed in our lease that they can’t give us keys outside of the leasing office business hours… soooo we start immediately calling locksmiths. One comes at about a quarter after 4, and after the $40 consultation he determines our lock would have to be drilled out for $150. Which we would have paid since we were screwed at this point regardless but we didn’t know what our complex would do to us. So we paid the locksmith for nothing and sat in the hallway and pouted. Well, I was crying out of mere exhaustion and even contemplated breaking one of our windows, while my husband contemplated our limited options.

We brainstorm and decide to walk across our complex to a neighboring hotel to at least get some sleep. We could figure it all out in the morning. But, by this point, both of our phones are almost dead, it’s freezing out, my feet hurt, the walk felt like an eternity… and I start to realize I feel like a hooker. Perfect evening.

The hotel reservation was really for two nights since it was technically New Year’s Day when we rolled up at 5am. Bonus. Once we get to the room, my husband immediately uses the hotel phone to call his boss (the only local phone number he knew since our phones were now dead) and tells him where we are and what happened in a voicemail. So all we had left to do was sleep and wait. But before we fall asleep we realized that the apartment complex will not be open on January 1 so we won’t be able to get in until January 2 and we have a whole day to kill.

The next morning his boss comes to save us with bagels, extra clothes, and phone chargers. Then he takes us to his house for a day of recovery. But unfortunately we couldn’t stay long since I am highly allergic to his cats. Back to the hotel we go where we spend the night with a delivery pizza and a Shark Tank marathon. The next morning we awoke to 4-inches of snow that B has to run through to the now open leasing office, get a spare key, get the car and come pick me up – and we’re late for work because the office doesn’t open until 9am.

Happy FREAKING New Year 2014!!

P.S. I waited a whole year to post this because B still says it’s ‘too soon’… Needless to say we are laying low this year.

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Things you should NEVER do:

I’ve either learned from experience or need to take the advice myself.

NEVER - wired for struggle

Never wear fabric shoes near a fallen cactus

Never forcefully blow out a hot, waxy candle

Never spit out of a school bus window

Never dive head-first into unknown waters

Never stand on a stool to play a pinball machine

Never put GAK in your hair

Never put velcro in your hair

Never listen to those who don’t know you truly

Never put Visine in someone’s drink

Never waste time worrying about the future

Never waste time over-thinking the past

Never wash your hands without soap

Never forget to wear sunscreen on your face

Never bite your nails in a professional setting

Never lose your curiosity

Never write down something you wouldn’t want the world to know

Never forget where you came from

Never receive a gift without returning a ‘Thank You’ note

Never let others influence your enthusiasm

Never pass up the opportunity to make someone smile

Never let anyone define your emotions

Never let some random blogger tell you what you can and can’t do

Never compare yourself to anything other than your own goals

Never neglect to have a spare key

and NEVER forget to floss!

 

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Top 6 – Gotta Love It!

There are a few things that I use, buy or am a part of that just make my life great! Solid companies, refreshing perspectives, or just good ole quality brands. And if you haven’t heard of them, I highly suggest you check them out:

downloadGrooveBook

This is a superior concept. How many of us have hundreds of photos taking up precious memory space on our smart phones and all they do is just sit there? Your photos never leave your phone because who has time to upload them to their computer? Or, dare I say, even print them?! Well GrooveBook has removed all the difficult and time-consuming steps by producing an easy-to-use app. The GooveBook app allows you to upload 40-100 photos, straight from your phone each month and they will send you a little photo album! And the best part? The pics are perforated and date marked! You can select doubles and pull one out for your fridge, grandma, scrapbook, what have you! Pure genius. Oh and it’s only $2.99 a month. B and I both have a subscription and have been thrilled which each of our albums!

download (3)Kickstarter

This website allows for up-and-coming businesses, inventors, artists, designers, basically anyone who has a product, to create a platform and start a crowd fund. Crowd funding is the idea of posting a monetary goal and then offering incentives for those who want to donate to a make the product a reality. Many times new companies just don’t have the resources to produce what they need and through this site they can upload a video explaining the items. The incentives can include the product itself, personalized notes, or even packaged deals. The downfall only comes in the deadline. If the requested goal for money is not met in time (1-60 days), all deals are off and a person’s “donation” is not charged. We just bought The Coolest and we are definitely going to get it because the project was already funded before the deadline came around. You’ve got nothing to lose so go check it out!

download (2)FitBit

This is a new one for me considering I just got this as a birthday present (oh yeah, I’m 26 now!), but the FitBit is a health monitoring device that can track calories burned, sleep patterns, steps, exercise, and calories ingested. Just a little rubber bracelet which you can order in a variety of colors and styles and they run about $100. It also pairs up with MyFitnessPal which I already use fairly consistently. So far it’s been a great motivator because you can earn badges for completing certain goals and I love a good competition!

download (4)Spotify

We are still in the Premium Trial right now but I am loving this music app. For $10 a month you can have access all sorts of artists, albums, and songs. This is great for me because I love buying whole albums but then I fixate on just a few tracks. Other users can create playlists which any one can follow and that makes for great diversity and new exposure. This app is more convenient than Pandora because you can actually the songs you want hear and skip as you please!

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Two Dots

This is a new game spawned from the creators of the DOTS App. Super addicting and much more goal oriented. Each level provides you with a different task and the more squares the better! Take a break from Candy Crush and learn how to connect.

 

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Two Little Fish

 Putting poverty to Bed! A wonderful non-profit organization that sells children bedding and accessories. Local to Indiana but supports women in Ghana, Africa by using their handmade and dyed fabrics for every piece. Once an item is purchased, a child gets a mattress in Africa! Another great cause from within the brand: the owner and her husband are trying to adopt a Snowflake Baby by only profiting from the sales for their bunting! Check out her amazing and heartfelt story on their blog HERE!

 

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10 tips for Being an Outstanding Homo sapien

Outstanding Homo Sapien

1. Don’t just apologize, say “I’m sorry”

Sometimes the easiest way to end strife with another person is to not just apologize but genuinely say “I’m sorry”. Nothing hurts my feelings or ticks me off more than when people know they are in the wrong and don’t accept it.

2. Embrace change with open arms

I know so many people who can’t handle change. Not even when it comes to rearranging furniture in their house! I’m sure it has everything to do with my Military-Brat upbringing but change is soothing to me. I’m usually anticipating it once I’ve been somewhere too long and that trait has benefited me in all areas of my life.

3. Stay true to your beliefs but maintain an open mind

Yes, you may have your religion, values, morals, whatever… but so does everyone else! I’m not saying you should hold your tongue when you are confronted but hear others out and try to understand where they are coming from. Here’s something to start with, one of my old college professors told our class that “Theories are not to be believed or disbelieved but just understood.” The blew my mind, I’d never thought about it like that before. How does that make you feel about the theory of evolution now? Or the Big Bang theory or any theory? Just understand, don’t be so quick to ‘disbelieve’.

4. Find discipline & be disciplined

Who do you want to be? What drives you to be your best? Hold on to that. Find that inner strength and decide where you want your life to take you. This is my biggest struggle. I am famous for talking myself out of doing something disciplined. But if I could go back in time, I would sit myself down and produce a list of the traits I want to maintain throughout my life and then develop a process for following through. There is still time to do that I suppose…

5. Find a passion & stick with it

Whatever you do just stick with it. Discover something that you truly love and are fascinated by and drink up all you can on the subject! Not only will you have a vast amount of knowledge on a particular matter, you will find others who share the same passion and that will only fuel your hunger more!

6. Love without judgement & forgive wholeheartedly

We are human and make so many mistakes. You’ve heard that phrase a million times and you’ve probably exhibited it a million more. Others may not reciprocate forgiveness or love but if you have, then you will be at peace and can move on.

7. Develop Situation Awareness

People will notice that you care about what’s going on around you and might even develop the same habit. Now this is a blessing and a curse because once you have this trait, you can grow very impatient and frustrated when others don’t. Trust me, I know from overwhelming experience. But, you will prosper from knowing your surroundings and being proactive instead of reactive.

8. Be careful who you confide in

Not every one of your friends is truly interested in everything you spill out about yourself or your problems. And, unfortunately, they can hold it against you. Find that special friend who will always be willingly to listen and support, no matter what the dilemma. Those people are true and priceless.

9. Quality over quantity

This is another one of my struggles that I am slowly growing out of and it applies to all aspects of daily life. For example: 5 cheap shirts or 1 quality piece of clothing,  10 shallow friendships or 3 loyal friends, 2 snack packs of potato chips or a bowl of fresh fruit. Things that are quality take time, love, and usually more money. But the outcome outweighs those costs: your long-lasting material items and your mental/physical health.

10. Explore, discover, question, & test everything

Growing up doesn’t mean you have to grow out of your curiosity! Don’t always assume what you’ve heard is correct, look it up. Learn more, fuel that fire, and tell others what you’ve found. We have so many amazing resources within our grasp every second of the day, use and abuse them. Then share and spread the power of knowledge!

 

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Field Trip to Cincinnati

Ever get that travel bug and you just have do something new like RIGHT NOW? Well B and I felt that rumble last weekend and took a field trip to good ole Cincinnati! Just the two of us, just a two hour car trip, and just for the day. It was spontaneous and new, just how we like it!

We had originally planned to meet our best man out there and make a weekend out of it but he had to cancel last minute but we decided to still go up anyway. I’ve only explored the IKEA on multiple occasions so I was ready to branch out! The few items we had on the agenda were these three things:

  1. Eat at Tom + Chee – an amazing tomato soup and grilled cheese place that I found out about on Shark Tank
  2. Go to Nike – had to exchange a workout top B got for me in Chicago and we don’t have a Nike near us
  3. Jungle Jim’s – all we needed was some exotic beer but I had no idea what this place had in store

Just 3 simple places. How hard could it be? Well, when we decided to look into our trip (the night before) we found that those three places were all over the city and not very close at all. Whatever, we had all day, right? So who cares?

First stop: Downtown Cincy.

After arriving safely to the city, I Yelped the closest Tom + Chee (as they are now a franchise thanks to Shark Tank) and we look for parking. I don’t know what it is but parking can be so stressful. The streets weren’t even that busy but it was a new city for us and we were clueless. We started following these signs around for “$1 Parking” but we couldn’t ever find where the HECK to park for a dolla! Then we pulled into a garage on accident and it was $12 dollars for 4 hours so we drove right back out and parked on the street. No where close to the restaurant. Whatever, we could stretch our legs, no big deal. We walk the couple blocks to the place and guess what? CLOSED! Our whole trip was ruined!

No, just kidding. It was actually fine that this one was closed because we got to go to the original and it was awesome! B and I ordered the same thing: Grilled cheese with a glazed donut for bread, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Suuuuuper healthy. Then a cup of creamy tomato soup. So scrumptious! Then we had to get seconds and opted for the BBQ that had BBQ chips inside, heavenly. And I was tweeting @Tomandchee the whole time we were eating and turns out they are bringing one to Indy, Christmas came early this year!

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Yeah it was mouthwatering. B and I now know the trick to the donut bread so we’ll be making our own until the Indy location opens!

Next stop: Cincinnati Premium Outlets

Going with the flow, we decided to drive up north to the outlet mall and browse around after exchanging my top at Nike. Well… the browsing turned into a full on shopping day and we trekked around those shops for 4 hours! In the summer sweltering heat… it was ridiculous. But we got some great deals because, it’s so weird, but every time we go to an outlet mall, they have awesome sales for ONE DAY ONLY! And we seem to make it each time! We are sooo lucky.

 Final stop: Jungle Jim’s

We finally went to the hallowed Jungle Jim’s International Super Market and holy crap is that place over the top. We went specifically for the beer selection. B had his buddies sent him orders so he could load up which basically made it look like we were raging alcoholics with a cart filled solely with brews… don’t be a hater.

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Jungle Jim’s is like every grocery store across the world smashed into one obnoxious stop. And then sprinkle in a couple of the the old singing characters from Chuck E. Cheese… badda-bing, there you have it, overload central. They literally have the boat from Gilligan’s Island and on top… your favorite General Mills breakfast cereal mascots signing random crap above the fish aisle. Oh, it’s strange.

Then we high-tailed it out of there and made it home by 11pm. An exhausting but super fun day trip where B and I got to be totally spontaneous even amid the struggle of road-tripping 🙂

 

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