Macaron gone macawrong

macarons_wow

This week’s InfoNews column is up and it’s about perspective. And doubt. And looking at the glass half full. And it’s also about dessert. You can read it HERE if that sounds like a recipe for a good time.

image here // or if you want to see MY macarons . . . here

XOYW1

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Social or Anti-social media, that is the question

anti social

This week’s InfoNews column is up and it’s about my experience quitting social media for a week. It was horrible, FYI (the week, not the article I hope.) You can read it HERE.

And if you have yet to follow me on all forms of social media, I’m @byAndriaParker on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. You’ll immediately recognize my problem as beyond fixable.

XOYW1

Why you need to start your own detective agency, STAT

Melissa Chaib 1

The house on Dever Drive was green stucco. One of those early 80’s shoeboxes that we tried to make feel like home, but that always ended up smelling like something we never cooked. We had lived there for four years by the time the yard sale rolled around.

My brother Colin and I took on the responsibility of the extra float. We also manned the lemonade stand. You don’t know this when you’re a little kid, but lemonade stands are pointless. Nobody ever wants lemonade, they just buy it because you’re a cute 8 year old.

It was July, and it was hot. Desert hot. Dry heat that refuses to let you sweat but makes you feel constantly thirsty. Colin and I propped our little table up in between the two crab apple trees in our front yard, taking extra care to avoid getting tangled in hanging caterpillars.

We sat there for two hours while my Dad heckled with neighbors over the price of his ham radio gear. Our youngest brother, Stephen, lay napping on the grass beside us in his diaper while our last brother, Ben, was busy trying to re-claim all the toys he had previously decided to put up for sale. No one wanted lemonade. The yard sale was full of too many other goods.

“I have an idea” I said to Colin. “Let’s become detectives.”

Colin, 6 at the time, was thrilled to participate. I got smelly markers – orange and cherry scented – and wrote the words out on a piece of cardboard.

DETEKTIVES AT YOUR SERVIS

As I propped the sign up in front of the lemonade, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace from across the street came over.

“Whatchoo got there?” Mr. Wallace boomed.

Oh, we’re detectives now!” I called out.

“No, no” he said “behind the sign?”

I turned, deflated, to get him a cup.  “It’s our Mom’s lemonade” I said “fifty cents.”

He drank it fast and asked for another before leaning in to whisper something to us.

“I’ve got this problem, you see” he began “…it’s my apple trees…”

Colin climbed up onto the table excitedly, prepared for whatever was to come.

“The apples just keep going missing. Do you think you could sort this out for me?”

We took his ten dollars, with a promise of ten more to come when we gave him the answer. He took another glass of lemonade.

Mrs. Wallace looked at him with sparkling eyes and as the two of them walked away — Mr. Wallace to the ham radio and Mrs. Wallace to the Tupperware — Colin and I made the decision.

“Racoons!” we yelled after them. “It’s got to be raccoons.”

Colin held out his hand for the other ten dollars.

And we both knew at that moment our detective careers were over.

***

When did we start to feel self-conscious about reaching for the stars and falling short? When did we start worrying about the logistics of our big dreams and stop doing it because it might be nothing except for kind-of fun? What is it about the dread pirate responsibility that stops us in our tracks? Why, as we grow into the ages where the possibility of success is two-fold, do we pop the top back onto the Pringle container? We don’t need to fear rejection letters and bad Trip Advisor reviews — the only thing we have to fear is not putting the sign up.

This week, go forth and start your own detective agency. Who knows, you might even make a quick 20 bucks.

XOYW1

image credit: Melissa Chaib

Is the ‘problem’ you’re facing really just a warning sign?

FP

This week’s InfoNews column is live and it’s all about fad diseases and why the real problem is that we refuse to attend church where they won’t allow you to bring your own Starbucks in. JK. It’s not about that at all, I just mention it once or twice. It’s about why we’re creating excuses for our unhealthy lifestyles. You can read it HERE.

XOYW1

Is Pinterest making me more domestic, or . . . ?

pinspo

This week’s InfoNews column is up and it’s about what Pinterest can do for you. Originally it was about how Pinterest has made me less of an extrovert but then I got onto a roll about nutella and decided to shift my focus because I was hungry. If you need to be convinced or need to feel justified you can read it HERE.

XOYW1

It’s fall, so chill out already

apples The other day I got quite aggressive with my daily commute. It will fer sher be the death of me one day soon, so I was all “EFF IT” and I put ZZ Top on blast and just plowed through people left and right.

One guy yelled “woah, bitch, Imma get out the way,” which temporarily put me in a better mood — because Luda — but for the most part I was a tornado blowing through the streets of downtown Vancouver looking for any one to challenge me.

Why was I channeling my inner Twister? I don’t have any idea.

I could blame my adrenals, definitely. I’m sure what I need is more sleep and less coffee and a better commitment to warrior pose. But really, who wants practical advice when it comes to learning how to relax? It’s like everything else — give it to me fast and make it work faster.

OK, maybe not everything else.

When it comes to October I always find myself with mixed emotions. The world around us says slow down, but my immediate response is to go full-blown Martha Stewart and start collecting pine cones and leaves for random Pinterest projects. It’s a fragile season for me — one during which I always get sick and crabby — but it has such an exciting energy that I can’t help but want to do everything.

It doesn’t help that it’s my birthday month. (What, you thought I was going to keep turning 27 a secret? Puh-lease. Bring on the cake and flower crowns. Those are the new tiaras, right?) & the last thing I want to be doing during my entire month of birth is stressing out about the fact I have yet to go apple picking.

I always forget to go apple picking.

Sure, fall doesn’t feel like fall without its collection of scarves and playlists and pumpkin spice scented Bath & Body Works products, but that’s not what it needs to be about. The reason it’s a spectacular season is because this stuff happens whether you plan it or not. Your neighbor’s apples will fall off the tree and she’ll bring them over to you and you’ll attempt to make a pie. It will rain on top of dead leaves and you’ll smell something better than any B&BW lotion. Your boyfriend will drag you to tailgate at a football game. You’re going to turn the heat on and bundle up.

These things are all just going to happen. The last thing we need to do is ruin a magnificent naturally occurring season (as they all are) with another one of our to-do lists. So, while I’m not about to stop pinning recipes of gluten-free pumpkin bread and Hunter rain boots, I’m going to stop pressuring myself to go full tilt.

I’m spending this weekend in the mountains with no cell reception, and while I really want to roast marshmallows on an open fire, I’m not going to feel defeated if it rains and I can’t cross it off my to-do list. Instead, I’ll go back to reading my trashy young adult novel under the blankets.

And, without trying too hard at all, my adrenals will thank me. XOYW1