40 day and 40 nights

As I’m sure many of you know, today is the first day of Lent.

I’m not here to write about what I’m giving up, because well, I’m not really giving up anything.
I’m a non-practicing Catholic and when it comes to religion,
my views are all over the place.

However, my Mom is Catholic, and sometimes she can be quite the riot.
She frequently sends me text messages that make no sense, but are hilarious nonetheless.
Kevin said we should start a twitter account called “Texts from Mona.”

(FYI her name is Mona Lisa. I kid you not.)

You might have seen this on my instagram already,
but the texts I received from her yesterday were too funny for me not to share here as well.

So without further, my mother, via text:


Mom Cell:  Morning sweetheart, today is “Fat Tuesday,” ie the day before Lent. 40 days & 40 nights of something you’re addicted to (love, reefer) whatever it is. :-):-)

Me: Hahaha. I’ll give up reefer! It will be easy for me.

Mom Cell: Remember when I gave up sex? Since backridden, I weigh 128 pounds! Oh my, my face is fat!!!  :-)*

Me: You are funny. I’m sure you look great.

Mom Cell: If cellulite is great, then I’m Fabulous!!

*parts of that text were edited to protect to protect the innocent.


So. A few things.

Is she implying that I should give up love? Um… wtf.

I don’t really smoke “reefer,” thus, giving it up would not exactly be a challenge.

No Mom, I don’t remember when you gave up sex.
If you ever told me that, I’m sure I blocked it from my memory.

Backridden, I think, is her new word for hurting her back and being bedridden.
She recently pulled a back muscle and hasn’t been as active as usual, apparently making her “backridden.”

My entire life my Mom has never been bigger than a size 4.
Her idea of “fat” is most people’s idea of skinny.

for context, here’s a picture:


And there you have it! Texts from my mother.

Are you giving up anything for Lent this year?


P.S. In an effort to emulate the cool bloggers, I started a formspring!
You know, because I’m sure you all just have tons of burning questions you are dying to ask me and all.

So far I’ve been asked a total of one question.
From my husband.

Patty McClainFebruary 13, 2013 - 11:03 am

You and Kevin will be happy to know I have given up all worrying for Lent. So if you hear something from me that sounds like worrying, it’s not!

KellyFebruary 13, 2013 - 12:03 pm

Oh my goodness, this was such a great post!

Sparkles and Shoes

MariaFebruary 18, 2013 - 3:25 pm

Truly grateful for that explanation of ” backridden”, as I was totally wondering if your mom was referring to some sexual position that made her skinny, but caused her face to get fat! She was talking about giving up sex, wasn’t she? This made me laugh quite a bit. En espanol, we say, “madre, solo hay una!” You only have one mother, yours is hilarious.

Sugar Baby

As I’ve written about before, I’ve been trying to get back into a healthier lifestyle for 2013 (and ideally forever on), so lately I’ve been reading a lot about health and nutrition and diets and yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been working on eating less carbs and more fruits and vegetables, and I’m proud of myself for that. Everyone has their own views on how you should be eating (paleo! south beach! gluton free! dairy is the devil! etc. etc.), but for me, I believe as long as you eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies, you’re doing okay.

So when I saw the infographic below, I found it incredibly interesting but enormously depressing. It’s all about sugar.

Sugar sugar sugar.

And I’m sorry, but what the eff? One apple and you’ve already exceeded your suggested sugar intake for the day?

Last night I started looking up the sugar counts of some of the foods I eat most often. I usually have a turkey sandwich for lunch, but sometimes, if I want to be healthy, I’ll have a big delicious bowl of fresh fruit or a green smoothie.

But now I’m confused. I did the math, and the sandwich that I eat has barely any sugar in it (8 grams), while my fruit bowl has almost 50! However, my sandwich is swimming in carbs, while my fruit bowl is not. So what’s worse? Carbs or sugar? What is one to do? Ahhhh!

See the depressing facts for yourself:


Based on that diagram, I might as well just be eating oreos!

AshFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:39 am

honestly, the sugar you get from whole foods is COMPLETELY different than the processed shit. i wouldn’t worry about eating those apples (: as long as you are not eating a high fat diet, you can eat all the whole foods you want- sugary or non (:

StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 11:58 am

Honestly, I think people tend to make a big deal out of sugar in general without looking at what else goes along with the sugar. I tend to view it the same way I view calories. There are empty calories and nutritious calories (the high calories in an oreo vs. the high calories of an avocado, for example). I think sugar is the same way – empty sugar and nutritious sugar. An apple may exceed the “recommended” sugar for the day but there are so many other great nutrients and vitamins that make it worth it. Whereas a chocolate chip cookie has little to no nutritional value and a lot of empty, useless sugar. I also think there’s a big difference between artificial sugars and sweeteners and the stuff Mother Nature included to make those foods appeal to us so we’ll eat them again and again. I think being healthy ultimately comes down to common sense and moderation. Graphs and charts can be misleading or misinformed. Eliminating entire food groups based on viewing one particular ingredient as “bad” just seems dumb to me.

StephanieFebruary 12, 2013 - 12:02 pm

PS – I remember bringing this up with my doc because diabetes runs in our family and she told me that your brain actually needs the sugar that comes from fruits, veggies, and grains (glucose, I think). Apparently it’s the only type of fuel your brain cells can use so if you eliminate or severely restrict those types of whole, natural sugars from your diet, you’re actually doing harm to your brain and not allowing it to operate at its fullest. Obviously too much of anything is bad, but you still need at least some sugar in your diet!

AllisonFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Just try to stay away from food containing high-fructose corn syrup / sweeteners. Good types of fructose and glucose are naturally found in fruits and vegetables.

I agree – “eat real food, from real ingredients, combined with a decent amount of veggies.” I’d add that if you eat regular portions, you’ll be ok!

JessicaFebruary 12, 2013 - 1:21 pm

I’m screwed then! Is this what you are going to try and give up for Lent? PS Your mom is too funny!

Julie / BoundFebruary 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm

I’m with you on the “real foods” concept. I think the frustrating thing about this is that even carbohydrates like sandwich bread basically are sugar…just more complex. That’s why I dig the paleo concept, because most of your food intake is coming from sources (like meat and vegetables) that have no sugars at all. Aaaaaand then I can save my sugar intake for frozen yogurt. Which is not paleo in the slightest and I do not care at all. haha!

nicole marieFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:13 am

ok there’s no way they can say that eating strawberries is worse than eating a twinkie… get serious. there’s a difference between natural sugars and processed sugars. so unless you have a sugar problem… eat those fruits away! obviously like you said everyone has their own idea of what’s healthy and iagree with you that eating the most natural foods is best

Let’s Get Mortified!

On Friday night Kevin and I went and saw Mortified, a knee-slapping funny comedy show in which adults get on stage and read from their teenage diaries. As the website describes: “Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.”

There are chapters of it located throughout the U.S., so if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you go check and see if it comes to your town. If it does, buy tickets immediately.
It’s hilarious. I promise you it’s worth it.

The show started off with the host asking for audience volunteers to participate in a Harry Met Sally orgasm contest.

Oh yes, you read that correctly.

People from the audience volunteered to come onstage and have a fake orgasm.

And the volunteers? They were fantastic!

To get up onstage and give your absolute best all-out-screaming-from-the-top-of-your-lungs fake orgasm, well, it takes courage and confidence that I just don’t have. Major props.

The show just got better from there. I was laughing so hard I was crying.

The venue was packed, and we ended up standing right next to a group of fun looking people,
a few of which we had talked to while waiting in line.
Our “line friends,” if you will.

Normally when Kevin and I do things like this, we go with a group of friends. It’s rare that we go to a concert or show just the two of us. While we love spending time together, we are together so much that sometimes we don’t have a lot to talk about. If you know us, you also know that we love meeting new people and making new friends.
Kevin in particular is quite skilled in the art of meeting strangers.

Without even talking about it, Kevin and I both started to do what we do when we are in crowded places and want to make new friends. Anytime Kevin would say something funny, he would say it VERY LOUDLY, in hopes that someone around us would hear his funny witty remark and decide to join our conversation. While Kevin was doing that, I started to inch closer to our “line friends” so that I could eavesdrop without it looking like I was trying to eavesdrop. That way, whenever someone said something funny, I could laugh with them like I was part of the conversation!

Though this sounds incredibly awkward (and can be if executed incorrectly), this approach usually works for us, and after about a half an hour, the group next to us had welcomed us in!  We were laughing and joking with them as if we were all old pals.

When the show ended, two of our new friends asked if we wanted to get a drink! Success!

Now, Kevin and I knew these people were younger than us, but it wasn’t until we were out of the show, on the street, that our age differences became apparent. The girl was super cute, fresh-faced and hipstery, with a helmet attached to her jeans since she had rode there on her bike. The guy was equally hip looking, wearing some indie band shirt and some hipster hat. I, on the other hand, had come straight from work, and my business casual attire made me feel more uncool than usual. They were both 24.

I had been about to do a yelp search to see if there were any wine bars we could go to, when they started talking about cool warehouse parties, and asked if there were any good clubs nearby. Kevin and I looked at each other anxiously. We were all about grabbing some drinks, but a club was a little too out of our old person comfort zone. I told them that the bar at the restaurant across the street looked fun! They did not look quite so enthused, but went with it.

I am no age snob by any means, but as the night wore on it became more and more clear to me that I am old. As much as I like to think I am still a young early twenty-something, alas, I am not.

I learned about new bars and clubs that I’ve never heard of, music that is apparently all the rage, and the new drugs that the young’ins are doing these days (wtf is DMT?!?!). Our new friends tried to convince us to go to Burning Man with them. Kevin told them that ship had sailed for him, and I said that I was old enough to know that walking around naked in a desert and getting sand in my vagina just wasn’t something that really appealed to me.

As the night wore on I got more comfortable with our new friends, so when I suggested we take a group photo, I kind of sort of grabbed her boob. She looked momentarily alarmed, but Kevin told her to just go with it, it’s what I do, and I believe I said “this means we are real friends now!”

Please excuse the crappy quality. My iPhone camera sucks.

By 1 am I was trying hard to suppress my yawns, lest I show my age, but when they suggested we move on to some cool new place I’d never heard of, Kevin and I decided to end the facade and call it a night. We said goodbye to our new friends, exchanged numbers, and hopped in a taxi.

When I woke up the next morning, feeling less than stellar,
I said to Kevin “last night made me feel old.”

His response?

“You are old.”

Ugh. Say it ain’t so.

MargaretFebruary 11, 2013 - 6:52 am

Haha! When we were in Vegas on our honeymoon, we started talking to a woman that was older than us (mid-30s; we’re both in our mid-20s). It was only when her husband, who was at least twice her age came over to join the group, that we realized it was super awkward and made our get away!

ritaFebruary 11, 2013 - 7:50 am

ha, this is my life every summer when the interns come. last summer i freaked out when i realized i was now their old married boss vs. someone cool at work. gross. oh well, getting older means way worse hangovers but better clothes, better wine, and more general happiness. i think i can take it!:)

MichelleFebruary 11, 2013 - 9:32 am

hahah…awesome story.

And just so you know, you can grab my boob any day. any time.

AliceFebruary 11, 2013 - 1:35 pm

This made me chuckle- I’m only 23, and at work I keep making my 30-something-year-old colleagues laugh by going “Oh my god I’m so old, I don’t even know who’s number one this week!”. So maybe it goes both ways? I’m definitely old before my time though, haha! x

Rich KrawczykFebruary 11, 2013 - 3:27 pm

DMT is the common name for the hallucinogenic drug N,N-dimethyltryptamine. It’s supposed to be similar to psilocybin, and is found naturally in the brain and is thought to play an important role in dreaming and near-death experiences. It’s usually smoked or ingested and can result in intense hallucinogenic and psychedelic states.

When death is near, the DMT that is naturally stored in the brain is released. It provides pain relief and an out of body experience which is said to help the dying person let go of life.

When smoked, the high lasts only 15 or 20 minutes, but you feel so incredibly good – it’s like being “reborn”.

It’s very hard to find as hardly anyone sells the stuff! So if your new found friends know where to get some – I’m in!

Oh, and by the way, wait till you hit your sixties, I can practically guarantee you’ll have additional perspectives on “being old” then! Ha!

KevinFebruary 12, 2013 - 8:17 am

Nice knowledge Uncle Rich!

SerenaFebruary 12, 2013 - 10:43 am

@Rich – ……. and this is why you are Kevin’s favorite uncle!

Something Funny For Your Friday

I came across this video on another blog and laughed so hard that I knew I had to share it here.

There’s a good chance you’ve already seen it as Kevin said he’s seen a few other people link to it (like usual, I seem to be late to the gone-viral party), but if not, it is completely worth 10 minutes of your time.

It’s two Dutch guys who go to a doctor in order to simulate what the child birth experience is like for women. SIck of hearing women complain about it, they decide to check it out for themselves.


Now, I’ve never given birth (obviously) so I have no idea how accurate this kind of simulation is, but it made me laugh so hard MY stomach started to hurt.

(and let me tell you, it’s certainly not helping my lack of baby fever, that’s for sure.)



Happy Friday friends! I hope all you Northeasterners are staying safe and dry!

StephanieFebruary 11, 2013 - 8:48 am

I had not seen that video before but it was amazing. Those guys were cracking me up! And they didn’t even simulate what I think seems to be the worst part – actually squeezing the baby out!

SerenaFebruary 11, 2013 - 9:56 am

@Stephanie – I’m happy you found this amusing. Usually my posts get at least a couple of comments, but since this one got nothing, I was wondering if I just have this really off sense of humor! I mean, I was cracking up watching them! Like laughing out loud in my office. I just find them so funny!

nicole marieFebruary 11, 2013 - 2:05 pm

oh my gosh…ddyyyiiinnnggggg…. that was hysterical!! i think every man should have to do that… and only for 2 hours! if only real labor was only 2 hours

Happy Birthday to my Blog

via Studio Diy

Today marks my first blog anniversary. My blogiversary, as others in blog land call it.

Well, to be honest, my first actual post was on New Years Eve 2011, but it was more a test post (as evident by my teeny tiny photos). On February 7th of last year I posted a picture of me and some friends watching the Superbowl, and from that point on I’ve consistently posted at least three times a week.

The comments I received from my post yesterday just confirmed how much I love having my own little space in the world wide web. My blog might be small, but my readership is authentic, and I love the relationships I’ve developed with some of you, and that I am continuing to develop with all of you reading this.

My most popular posts continue to be “Engagement Pictures Are Awkward” and “On Being White and Privileged” which is kind of funny to me, considering that they couldn’t be more different.
Then again, it’s probably a very accurate portrayal of who I am.

As I said yesterday, my blog personality and my real life personality are one and the same. I say bad words (sometimes a big old F-bomb is just necessary). I drink alcohol. I’m a proud liberal democrat. I don’t write about Jesus. I laugh at stupid things. I grab my friends’ boobs.  It’s who I am.

As my friend Nancy said in a comment regarding having a blog, “as vain and as shallow as the surface seems, it’s really fulfilling for my mental health.”

And it’s true. This blog makes me so happy, and I really do think that having an outlet like this helps keep me sane.

(My husband agrees.)

So to all of you out there reading, thank you, thank you, thank you!

You really are the bees knees!

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nancy @ adore to adornFebruary 7, 2013 - 12:01 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your blog!!! Time flies doesn’t it?
I for one am so thrilled to have come across your blog. Your posts are really great and you bring depth to my daily reads. =)
Oh…and thank you for the shout-out in this post. =) It’s so true with the mental health. =)

LindseyFebruary 7, 2013 - 12:10 pm

Happy Blogiversary!!

StephanieFebruary 7, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Happy blogiversary!! I’m so glad I discovered you and your blog. And I hope you’re planning to eat a rainbow cake today because that would be awesome, and very San Francisco. :)

AliceFebruary 7, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Happy blog birthday!! I really love reading your posts, and your blog was one of those which inspired me to finally take the plunge and start my own baby blog! Keep being yourself, and keep posting as you do- I love it! x

Julie / BoundFebruary 7, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Yay for blogaversaries, and yay for new friends! So excited to have found you, and glad that we can all protect our mental health in such a fun way :)

MargaretFebruary 7, 2013 - 1:25 pm

I always love how real your posts are- so much easier to relate to!! Happy blogiversary :)

KevinFebruary 7, 2013 - 1:57 pm

Do I have to get you a present made of paper for this too?
How about a nice bottle of wine waiting for you at home instead?

SerenaFebruary 7, 2013 - 2:01 pm

@Kevin – Um, the answer is YES to both. Duh.
P.S. I love you.

StephanieFebruary 8, 2013 - 1:27 pm

Happy Blogiversary! So excited to be your blog friend and wish you all the best. I enjoy checking in on your life, so please continue to “overshare.” :)