Awesome in October

October passed in a flash. Between both of us being sick and working lots of extra hours, we hardly had time for any fun. Things are growing and getting better, and good things are happening, even amongst all the exhaustion. Let’s check out a few of the awesome things we managed to squeeze in.

Awesomest anxiety attack

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We escaped a hot late October afternoon by taking refuge in the movie theatre. We saw Captain Phillips and it was worth every penny we spent on tickets and popcorn. Tom Hanks was extraordinary, as expected, but so was Barkhad Abdi. I swear I’ve seen him in something else, but his IMDB is clean. The kid was phenomenal. I love that the movie respected my intelligence enough to show both sides of the story. I was also amazed at just how intensely suspenseful it was, even though I knew how it was going to end. Definitely check it out.

Awesomest thing to eat too much of

Photo from Sally's Baking Addiction
Photo from Sally’s Baking Addiction

I first spotted this Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread from Sally’s Baking Addiction on Instagram, and I instantly wanted a piece, followed by about five more. I imagined a tall glass of cold milk waiting for me as I burned my fingers on this lovely bread that was still just a touch too warm. I could almost feel the chocolate melting and the slight crunch from the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. The dreamy smell wafting through my house as this bakes up, golden and fluffy and perfect. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

Awesomest thirty seconds in heaven

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I made it to the mall this month and remembered to show them my rewards card for a free piece of chocolate. Have you guys gotten one of these yet? It’s totally free to sign up for their Godiva Rewards Club. Dudes, you get a free piece of chocolate every month! For nothing! I can’t really afford to buy Godiva chocolate, so I don’t take advantage of the other aspects of the rewards club, but I love it when I remember to use my card for that freebie. Especially when I’m all alone, and I don’t have to share. 

Things you thought were awesome

You loved the dreamy indulgence of Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake. I think my boss and our board president might have devoured the last of it out of the pan with two forks. They know what’s up.

You love super fast and super delicious side dishes of the crispy potato variety. Parmesan Fried Gnocchi was the number two post. Ten minutes from opening the package to food in your face. Love!

And finally, the kids went crazy for Pumpkin Scones this month. It’s off the charts because it’s that good. Don’t miss out!

One more night of Halloween shenanigans, then this month is outta here! I can’t wait for November!

Be Awesome: Do It Anyway

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This blog has grown so much in so many ways. In the last few weeks, it’s seen some remarkable growth in traffic. Thank you so much. I can’t believe people are actually reading. That’s crazy! But mostly it’s grown to be something I really love and get excited about. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few other bloggers and geek out with them about how cool food blogging can be. I’m so thrilled that it’s catching on because it’s been a huge source of joy for me.

When I first started this project back in the spring, I had a huge list of reasons why I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m a terrible photographer, I don’t even have a camera, I don’t have very many friends to read and pretend to like it, and I’m not that creative. But I felt compelled, so I did it anyway. I started from way back off the line, but now things are starting to catch up and come together.

It’s been like that with a lot of things in my life. Some of the best things I ever did were things I was totally unprepared for. I learned what I needed as I went along. Not everything worked out perfectly. But if I step back and take a very long view, I’m right where I need to be.

If there’s something stirring in the back of your mind, an idea or adventure you’ve always wanted to try, I say, go for it! You have a million reasons why it will never work? Do it anyway! Don’t have enough money? Scale it back to something smaller, or make a plan to save up. Don’t have the talent? Says who? DO IT ANYWAY! Chances are, that’s probably your insecurity talking. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, the world will not stop spinning. The worst that can happen is that you had a little fun and learned something about yourself. The best that can happen? You discover something in yourself you never knew you had and it changes your world.

I still have a ton to learn about blogging and a million more things I want to try, do, and learn. I’m looking into the future and seeing things growing beyond my wildest expectations. It might not happen. I’m gonna do it anyway.

Be Awesome: Find Your Tribe

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So I told you about what went down on my Duncan Hines trip. Plot points are fun, but you know I can’t go more than five minutes without talking about my feelings. I learned a lot about baking, but I also learned something about myself. Something that I hope I can use to make my life a bit more awesome.

When I knocked on the door to the hospitality suite at the Duncan Hines Sweet Stars event, I was more than a bit terrified. My social anxiety was pretty out of control. This is exactly the kind of situation that freaks me out. Trapped for a weekend with a bunch of people who don’t know me. My husband, my best friend, my rock was in the middle of the ocean. I had almost no confidence in myself to make it through this weekend without completely humiliating myself. I gave it a pretty good shot Saturday morning, too.

I have to admit, it started off pretty shaky. Everybody seemed to know each other. Everybody seemed to have money and stability and a normal life. I didn’t know how to communicate with them. And of course, I can’t be anything but myself, so I’m sure at least a few people thought I was pretty weird. 

Events like this are no different than the high school cafeteria. I’ve learned that this dynamic never really goes away. There are always going to be the alphas, the betas, and then whatever I am. That’s how life goes, and I’m used to not being cool enough. It doesn’t really bother me.

Eventually, though, I found my tribe. The people on my wavelength. The people who made me feel like I belong. You have to have a tribe. It’s imperative to social survival.

There were a few people at the event that I could feel comfortable with and that I liked so much I wish I could take them home with me. 

The world is a big place, so there’s a good chance that someone out there is at least a little bit like you. If you can find those people, your life will be filled with much more laughter. Although I have a policy of being nice to everyone, and I sincerely try, I find I only truly connect with a few people. I think it’s perfectly okay to focus most of your energy on them.

I don’t have a need to be liked by everyone, but I do have a need to connect. I worried that I would spend the entire weekend by myself because I’m too much of a goofball to go up to people and just start blabbing about my real life and too stupidly honest to play it cool. Luckily, there were other people there who were much more outgoing than me, and they reached out. And though some people surely thought I was nuts, I found a tribe that accepted me and didn’t allow me to be tossed aside. I am so grateful to them for taking in the new girl.

I always dread social situations, but they usually end up being pretty awesome. Your tribe is out there. No matter what you’re into or where you are in life, there’s bound to be somebody who thinks like you. You can be exactly who you are. Somebody will appreciate you and laugh at your jokes. You never have to feel alone if you find your tribe.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos from Awesome on 20
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