#tbt: Tales of a Third-Grade Laura

Only the coolest 8-year-olds had Walkmans. And spoiled toddlers, apparently.


I don’t know how I thought I was going to pay for one for her on her sixth birthday (two months away at this point). That was obviously a lie to make me look good in front of Mrs. Kleinhans.

Mood music

First of all, not that kind so get your mind out of the gutter.

Back in the day, I used to make mixed CDs like it was my job. They reflected my mood at the time and all I can say looking back is “Why wasn’t I diagnosed as clinically depressed years earlier?”

Oh, and also, “I can’t believe I liked country music that much.” Note to self: Find more of those for #tbt hilariousness on here…

Now it’s all about the playlist, and for the first time in a while, I made one recently. I call it “Songs I’m currently obsessed with.”

They’re not necessarily new, but I can’t stop playing them for whatever reason. So now I share them with you.

You’re welcome.

1. “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend because JOHN LEGEND MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER.
Sidetone: He’s not on my old list or my soon-to-be updated one, but if that man just sang to me, personally… I would do whatever he wanted. Told me to rob a bank? Yes, John Legend. Whatever you want.

2. “Make It Rain,” by Ed Sheeran
It was on the final season of Sons of Anarchy, which I recently binge-watched in its entirety and what caused me to update the aforementioned list because CHARLIE HUNNAM YES PLEASE. Plus Ed Sheeran can do no wrong.

3. “Locked Away,” by R City feat. Adam Levine
So. Damn. Catchy.

4. “Uma Thurman,” by Fall Out Boy
Can we talk for one second about how Fall Out Boy is seriously underrated? Their albums are the shit.

5. “3 Things” by Jason Mraz
This would probably be on a mixed CD (were I to make one now) about three times, because it’s so good. And my mindset these past few months kinda.

6. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
Overplayed on local radio and I’m still obsessed. Makes me want to jump up and down. Constantly. So there’s that. Is that moshing? I’m old.

7.  “Drag Me Down” by One Direction
Do not judge. This is a damn good song.

8. “Only Love,” by Mumford & Sons
Actually, just add the entire Wilder Mind album here. Some didn’t like it. I haven’t gotten anywhere close to being tired of it yet.

9. “Someone New,” by Hozier
Just add the entire Hozier album here too. Except for “Take Me to Church” because it’s overplayed and also my youth group kids keep suggesting it for singing at church because I don’t think they listen to lyrics.

10. “Cookie,” by R. Kelly
Because Magic Mike XXL. Therefore, listen to at your own risk. But NSFW. Ok so now that one does fit the title.

Looking for recommendations for new stuff though as well. What do you all recommend I listen to?

A few of my favorite things

Well, there are a lot in this one. You know, three-month break and all. Because even though I wasn’t writing on the Internet, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading it. I’m not an animal.

First and foremost, even if you aren’t on tumblr, bookmark this one and follow it. One of the best things I’ve ever seen. Genius.

Courtesy Flyartproductions.tumblr.com

This is the kind of writing I wanna do.


Just some general advice. Also, hellogiggles is my fave.


Y’all can just go ahead and get me these for any and all future babies (Spoiler alert: Not pregnant. Yet.) Sidenote- I love Paddington Bear, OMG. Except for the new live-action version. That’s an abomination.


No seriously, we’re BFFs.



I must say I agree with most or all of this list.

Take this personality test:http://www.ipersonic.com/test.html
And see what I got.

Viva Frank Underwood, that crazy bastard. (Spoilers). P.s. Hurry up, season 3, damn!

This is how I wake up Saturday mornings..

Maybe the only time you’ll see Lewis Carroll and Kendrick Lamar paired up?

I want all of the dogs.

And all of the cakes… (my birthday is April 12, thanks).

Spot-on alternate book titles.

Slow clap, all around..

I just love him, so much. Can I please see him in concert now?

I wish I could draw

This shirt..

Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 8.09.35 PM

This summer I watched all four seasons of Game of Thrones in about 2 weeks. So I’m a wee bit obsessed.

Need to print this – but I downloaded it from a site called paperfelt. Now to find a frame.
Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 11.44.58 PM
(sidenote – I also want to buy out paperfelt‘s Etsy shop..)

I don’t know how the powers that be at Disney haven’t made this go away by now, but I’m glad they haven’t. One of the very best accounts I follow… (it’s a parody, btw..)

Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 8.20.30 PM

Jenny Lawson is my spirit animal. Her book made me laugh harder than anything else ever has. Anxiously awaiting her second, but I understand the struggle. Especially since I haven’t started my first yet.

Amazing photography of children playing around the world. This makes my heart happy.

I need this framed, as well. And on a T-shirt, maybe.


#TBT Tunes

We are on Lawa CD 3, kids.

Let’s do this.

Track 1: “Two Pina Coladas,” Garth Brooks
OK I might actually listen to this entire song. Old school Garth…nothing like it. And he remains one of like three country artists whose albums I can listen to in their entirety.

Track 2: “Helplessly, Hopelessly, Recklessly,” Jessica Andrews
I’m sorry you guys, this was my country phase. I don’t know what’s coming next. Don’t judge me too harshly.

Track 3: “Angry All The Time,” Tim McGraw
Yeah, the title kinda says it. I think I was probably majorly depressed at this point. Must have gotten dumped not too long before this was made. This is a good song though. I’m singing along.

Track 4: “Already There,” Lonestar

Track 5: “With You,” Lila McCann
Damn, I keep waiting to go to the next one and it be some Ja Rule or Nelly. Also – what happened to some of these people? I haven’t heard anything about them probably since I made this CD.

Track 6: “Cowboy Take Me Away,” Dixie Chicks
Liz and I absolutely KILL this song at karaoke. In a good way. I think. After several margaritas.

Track 7: “Any Man Of Mine,” Shania Twain
Oh shit. Shania.

Track 8: “One Way Ticket,” LeAnn Rimes
Here’s where you can really feel sorry for me. Not only because LEANN RIMES. But because I still know all the words. I have for all of these. Do I remember half of the stuff I learned in high school? Nope. But every word to every song on every single mix I’ve got? YOU BET. (Sidenote – is this not the MOST 90s video EVER?)

Track 9: “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” Kenny Chesney
NOT AGAIN. I’m breaking this disc once this post is done.

Track 10: “Why They Call It Falling,” Lee Ann Womack
Inner monologue before this song starts “Please don’t have any more Kenny songs on here…”

Track 11: “The River,” Garth Brooks
Such a depressing mix of songs. What year was this? Who had hurt me? I blame KD. I blame all my high school drama on undiagnosed depression and KD.

Track 12: “Wide Open Spaces,” Dixie Chicks
Aw, remember when the Dixie Chicks were relevant? And good?

Track 13: “The Healin’ Kind,” Lee Ann Womack
Lord, help 16-year-old me. She’s a hot mess.

Track 14: “Friends in Low Places,” Garth Brooks
More Garth Brooks live. This one’s about getting drunk, which I actually never did in high school. #wastedopportunities #bandnerd #highonlife

Track 15: “Cowboy in Me,” Tim McGraw
I mean, I thought they’d at least KIND of pick up by now..

Track 16: “I Reckon I Will,” Lila McCann
Obviously loved me some two-hit wonder female country singers at this point in life.

Track 17: “Telluride,” Tim McGraw
Good song, but thank God this is the last track.

#TBT Tunes

In honor of Throwback Thursdays, I’d like to share with you a new (old) bit of awesomeness.

Last week, I got the awesome idea to start looking through my old mixed CDs for those burned in high school and college.

I have laughed, I have cried, I have judged myself.

This week we revisit “Lawa CD 2.” Get ready to live…

Track 1: “Who I Am,” Jessica Andrews
This isn’t starting off well.

Track 2: “Everything I Do,” Bryan Adams
What the…. what was wrong with me at this point?

Track 3: “Who’s That Girl?” Eve
OK, I was beginning to wonder. And get very nervous for tracks 3-17.

Track 4: “Put It On Me,” Ja Rule
Also known as me and Rebecca’s song. “Where would I be without my bay-bay??”
Ja Rule, man. I love him.

Track 5: “Can I Get A…” Jay-Z
Now, if you had heard just the first two songs on here – hell, even just the first one, would you have known this one was comin’?
If that fact surprises you, you don’t know me at all. But seriously I don’t know why those first two are part of this mix.

Track 6: “Play,” J-Lo
I’m sensing a pattern in my life at this point…

Track 7: “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” Kenny Chesney

Track 8: “I Hope You Dance,” LeAnn Womack
I might break this CD once I’m done writing this blog.

Track 9: “I Want You To Want Me,” Letters To Cleo
Ah, the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack……

Track 10: “Danger,” Mystikal
This is officially the weirdest mix CD ever made.

Track 11: “Stutter (Remix),” Joe feat. Mystikal
I did love me some Mystikal back in the day. And this was the jam.

Track 12: “Ride Wit Me,” Nelly
There he is. Wondered when he’d make another appearance…

Track 13: “Digital Get Down,” NSYNC
I’m laughing so hard I can’t see the computer screen. IT’S ABOUT SEXTING/SKYPE SEX. They were so progressive….

Track 14: “Shake Ya Ass,” Mystikal
WHAT DID I SAY about Mystikal?!?

Track 15: “So Fresh So Clean,” Outkast
Now known as the song I sometimes sing out loud after a shower.

Track 16: “Born To Fly,” Sara Evans
Also known as the first and only song I ever sang solo at karaoke and am still recovering from it….moving on….

Track 17: “Utha Side,” Nelly
I dare you to find a Nelly song (pre-duet w/Tim McGraw) that I don’t still know every single word to.

These can only get better, y’all. Maybe.

#TBT Tunes

In honor of Throwback Thursdays, I’d like to share with you a new (old) bit of awesomeness.

You see, back when we had that Murder Mystery New Year’s Eve Party, those of us (all of us) who couldn’t do math thought our “reunion” was taking place in 2003. So, cue me looking into my mixed CDs for those burned in my second and third semesters at college.

Ohhhh, the flashbacks. And the eclectic-ness.

So it’s made me want to explore some more of my old mixes that I haven’t listened to in years. This week? We journey through “Laura CD 1.” Not sure what year it was made. So mysterious.

Track 1: “Angel,” Shaggy.
Because, obviously. Where else would you start?

Track 2: “The Call,” Backstreet Boys
Oh. My. God.
“Listen baby, I’m sorry, just wanna tell you don’t worry. I will be late, don’t stay up and wait for me. Say again, you’re dropping out, my battery is low. Just so you know, goin’ to a place nearby, gotta go.” Such bad boys.

Track 3: “Get Another Boyfriend,” Backstreet Boys
Well, someone was on a kick.

Track 4: “VMA Live Performance” NSYNC
2000. The year I decided “This I Promise You” was totally gonna be my wedding song. No changing my mind on that one. Whoops.

Track 5: “What’chu Like,” Da Brat feat. Tyrese
Not even joking. You don’t know me. P.s. Tyrese…mmmmm.

Track 6: “Crazy For This Girl,” Evan and Jaron
Of all the songs so far on here, the only one I’m really not proud of is this one.

Track 7: “Sin Wagon,” Dixie Chicks
Because why not.
It’s SO FAST. I love it.

Track 8: “If My Heart Had Wings,” Faith Hill
It was a confusing time in my life. Did I like country? Did I like pop? Did I like rap? DID I LIKE THEM ALL?? So many questions.

Track 9: “Between Me And You,” Ja Rule
The obvious next track after Faith Hill. Sometimes I think about Ja Rule and wonder what he is doing these days…

Track 10: “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” J-Lo

Track 11: “Crazy,” K-Ci & JoJo
Time to slow it down. High school make out music, y’all.
Seriously, if you wanted to make out with me in high school, play some K-Ci & JoJo. Hell..it’d still work now.

Track 12: “All My Life,” K-Ci & JoJo
I’M JUST SAYIN’. Jesus take the wheel….

Track 13: “Ladies Night,” Lil’ Kim, Left Eye, Da Brat & Missy Elliott
First of all, RIP Left Eye. Second of all, revisiting this mix is making me so happy. Third of all, all good songs start with the sound of rolling dice.

Track 14: “What’s Your Fantasy?” Ludacris
Fun fact: Listened to this on the radio in a church van on a ski trip w/youth group that year. #Presbyterians

Track 15: “Don’t Tell Me,” Madonna
I don’t even like Madonna.

Track 16: “E.I.” Nelly
Country Grammar fo’ life.
“I’m a sucka for cornrows and manicured toes..”

Track 17: “Liquid Dreams,” O-Town
I wish I was lying.

Track 18: “Sorry Miss Jackson,” Outkast
All the baby’s mamas mamas.
I miss Outkast.
Related-ish: Want to see my favorite Andre 3000 moment ever: Skip to 6:15.

This movie is so underrated. One of my all-time favorites.

Track 19: “You Make Me Sick,” Pink
The grand finale of the first of many volumes of mixed CDs. I can dig it. Pink is the shit. I have two of her albums. Girl got attitude.

Join us next time for the equally mysterious, untouched since 2000 mix, “Lawa CD 2.” We graduated to nicknames. Shit was serious.

You can take the girl out of Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky outta the girl

Never have I ever lived outside of the state of Kentucky. I’ve lived like, four different places within the state, but my address has never had a zip code that didn’t start with a 4.

I’m not complaining. At all. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this state – my city, especially. We have so many amazing things here to be proud of, so many of the people I love are here…

We get a reputation for being pretty back-woods up here though. And there are those parts of the state. And, whether you want to admit it or not, if you live here and have for all your life (or even a good portion of it), there’s a little bit of redneck in there somewhere.

My redneckiness (yeah that’s a word…I just made up) was significantly higher when I was a kid. Weekends were spent out at my grandparents’ farm, walking on barrels and stilts and swimming or fishing in the pond. And I was a huuuuuge country music fan.

And I’m talkin’ that early 90s country. Like Achy Breaky and whatnot. Oh man.

A particular favorite – my absolute favorite – for a good amount of time, was “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’ Anymore.”

Here’s the video – I’ll let you take that all in.

That was my favorite song. IN THE THIRD GRADE.

There is so much wrong with that. But I listened to it on tape in my little Walkman on a mix with some Billy Ray and Dolly and John Michael Montgomery and Garth Brooks….

Well. One day in my third grade class we got an assignment. Bring in our favorite song/music to share with the class.

Obviously, I was going to bring my song about whiskey and women and duh why wouldn’t I? Don’t all 9-year-olds love this song?

Um, because my parents didn’t want to have to meet with the teacher/principal/CPS.

Why does this story matter?

Well. You see the man in that video up there? With the mustache? That’s Travis Tritt.

The same Travis Tritt that I found myself behind in line to get our free fedoras (YAY, swag!) at the Barnstable Brown party I told y’all about.

YES. It happened.

I took a picture of him and his lady while we waited, for work, of course, but then I had a thought.

When was I ever gonna see Travis again? When was I ever gonna be close enough to tell him THE story. The story that my parents love to tell people and one of my favorite anecdotes about myself.

So, maybe it was those three pomegranate-y drinks I’d had or the high from meeting John and Emilio. But I tap him on the shoulder and say hey.

“I told myself if I ever met you, I had to tell you this story,” I said.

He smiled and said “OK, shoot.”

So I tell him – third grade me, his song about drinking whiskey – my favorite, the pain of not being able to take it in and share it with my class.

And he, I kid you not, threw his head back and laughed. And told me that was awesome.

And then we were best friends. And I was like, “WHAT IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?” And then I went home and downloaded that song from iTunes.

Lovey dovey

I saw John Mayer in concert a long time ago. Twice, actually. I think? It’s been a while.

And I saw my girl Katy Perry a couple years ago. Best concert I’ve ever seen (until this summer’s NKOTB/Boyz II Men/98 Degrees amazingness). But we aren’t talking about that now.

Allegedly, John and Katy are together. And this makes me happy. Because they both make beautiful music that describes my life at various times and they’re just generally great and now…guess what. They made a song together.

And it’s glorious.

Seriously, I’ve had it on repeat for days and it makes me wanna fall in love so bad. And also makes me hope they never break up.

But yeah. Just give it a listen and tell me you don’t like it.

I especially like this part..

“My boy ain’t the one that I saw coming,
Some have said his heart’s to hard to hold.
It takes a little time, but you should see him when he shines.
Because you’ll never want to let that feeling go.”


A few of my favorite things

So. Once upon a time I started this series of posts called “Smiley Things” and then I realized that was a silly name so I changed it.

Basically, this is a collection – which I will do on occasion – of things I currently enjoy or have found elsewhere on the Internets and think are like the coolest things ever.

So here’s the rebranded Smiley Things. A little longer than usual ’cause I feel bad for being MIA for so long (I have a guilty conscience. I’m working on it.) And this post is complete with a bit of a tease to the next post I’ll be working on. (10 points if you guess what it is).

“You dirt-eating piece of slime. You scum-sucking pig. You son of a motherless goat.”

Amazing Muppet art.

There are decent people left in the world. Something that is always important to remember.


What in thunderation? I will be working a few of these into my vocabulary. Maybe.

The above amazingness can be found here: Disney Gents From Last Night.

I have a poster of the London Underground already, but this is amazing.

Have I ever linked to this? Even if I have, it’s necessary enough to be done twice.

All the single ladies..

A combination of two of the greatest shows currently on television.

“That’s so Reagan.”

Happy Place usually has some great stuff. This doesn’t disappoint. So glad that Kentucky’s not the only one that came up with that result.

I’d like any or all of these shirts, thanks.

As if I needed another reason to love Tom Hardy… 

New favorite meme. I would like to come up with a meme in my lifetime. One that gets all famous and whatnot. Wish I’d thought of this one, but I’d have to be MUCH better at photoshop than I currently am.

Beautiful. Hey girl.

For Sami.

Al Pacino yells a lot.

This is my friend. Not Justin Timberlake. I know it might be hard to tell the difference once you watch this.

My goal is to be on this list one day. And I feel like I could get there, since, ya know, this happened:
Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 10.52.14 PM

And like 20 people favorited it – 20 people I don’t even know. So, I mean, I’m basically famous now.