The animal in our chimney (part 3)

I can’t believe there’s a part 3 to this blog post series.

Check out part 1 and part 2 if you aren’t updated on our situation.

We’ve been in our apartment for three months.

We have had three birds in our chimney.

Bird one? Dead.

Bird two? Saved in time.

Bird three? Dead.

When we found out there was a third bird in our chimney, we did our best to get him out like we did with bird two. We blocked off the fireplace, ready to coax him in a tote, but when we opened the vent, we couldn’t get him to come down.

Unfortunately, we were both going out of town at different times (and it’s much easier to catch a live bird with two people), so we had to leave him from Wednesday until Sunday night, by which point the poor bird had died.

I have submitted another maintenance request asking for some sort of mesh/grate on the top of our chimney.

No more innocent birds should have to die.

And honestly, the scratching noises get really old.

I joined Ipsy

While I was in college, I started experimenting with more and more makeup, and it turns out that I really enjoy makeup. A couple of my friends joined a subscription service called Ipsy, and I was super jealous, so now that I have a steady income and a credit card, I wanted to give it a go.

For $10 a month, Ipsy sends you a makeup bag and five personalized products (often trial sizes). When you sign up, you take a beauty quiz, so that they can learn a little bit about what kind of products you like/are interested in. What I really like about this is that they send many different brands of makeup, allowing you to potentially try out high end items without paying the high end prices.

All of my everyday makeup is drugstore makeup, and my most expensive regular purchase is my foundation, which is still only $8. I’m hoping that through this subscription service, I can decide whether or not I should be spending more money on my everyday makeup, if I’m missing out on something great.

Here’s what I received in my July Glam Bag:

  • An Aqua Makeup Pouch
  • “Half Caked” Lip Fondant in Girl Crush
  • “Pureheals” Charcoal Mask
  • “Eyeko” Skinny Travel Size Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black
  • “Ellen Eden” Pressed Eyeshadow in Harmony
  • “Iby Beauty” Eyeshadow Fluff Brush


I tested all these products out today when I received my July makeup bag (right on time by the way), and so here are my initial thoughts.

I really like the lipstick. It dries down really fast, and I was originally a little apprehensive about the orange-ish shade, but it’s completely matte, doesn’t transfer, and it’s very different from anything else I have.

I was most excited for the mask, and it disappointed me the most. I have a cheap peel-off mask from Walmart that works better than this one.

The eyeliner is a little hard to work with, but it looks great, and I think if I can get used to the applicator, I’ll really like it.

The eye shadow isn’t a color I would normally pick out for myself, but it makes a great blush. The eyeshadow was a little beat up when it arrived, but it’s still usable.

To me, all makeup brushes work the same to me as long no bristles fall out, so this brush works just fine.

After I received my bag, I was given the opportunity to rate the items in my bag in return for points. These points can be used in the future for bonus items in a glam bag.



“A Quiet Place”

I rented a couple of Redbox movies for a quiet evening in, one of which was A Quiet Place. I had heard great things about it, and I had been wanting to see it ever since it was in theaters.

In case you haven’t heard about it, watch the trailer here.

Basically, it’s a horror movie that involves sightless monsters that attack using their hypersensitive hearing, so the protagonists are forced to stay extremely quiet. The protagonists, a family of five (including a deaf daughter), use sign language throughout most of the movie.

I was also very happy to find out that the actress who plays the deaf daughter, Millicent Simmonds, is, in fact, a deaf actress.

The director, and the father of the family in the film, John Krasinski purposely sought out a deaf actress for the part.

“… for many reasons, I didn’t want a non-deaf actress pretending to be deaf. Most importantly though, because a deaf actress would help my knowledge and my understanding of the situations tenfold. I wanted someone who lives it and who could teach me about it on set.” – John Krasinski

Because of the minimal amount of spoken dialogue, the sounds that do occur in the movie are much more intense, and since you have to watch the screen to not miss any dialogue that does happen, you are forced to stay very focused on the movie.

I’m someone that gets very distracted watching movies at home, but it was impossible to do so in this case. I really can’t compare this movie to anything else I’ve ever seen, and it is definitely worth the watch.

When I took a screenwriting class in college, I learned how dialogue is really NOT the most important part of your pieces (which I had previously thought). After this point, most of my writing contained little (and sometimes no) dialogue. It was really fascinating to see this kind of idea played out in an actual movie.

While this movie won’t make you jump out of your seat, it will keep your eyes glued to the TV. And maybe you’ll jump during a very quiet moment when your phone goes off (like I did… more than once).


The animal in our chimney (part 2)

I received a call Sunday morning from my boyfriend while I was visiting my parents back home.

“We’ve got another friend.”

He had woken up to more scratching in the chimney, so when I returned to the apartment, we endeavored to get him out. Last time the bird had been in there from Saturday until the following Wednesday, and I didn’t want this one to have the same fate.

We blocked off the fireplace and opened the vent. At first, he didn’t immediately come down, but he eventually did. We could hear him flapping around for a while, but then it got quiet. My boyfriend thought he had flown back up and peeked inside to find him. He started to lift the blockage away, but the bird then flew directly into his hand. I may have screamed.

We placed a tote in front of the fireplace, and eventually got the bird to hop inside. Carefully, we placed the lid on the tote and carried him outside. We were both very excited to have the bird out of the chimney, and we didn’t have to wait until it died to do it.


Happy 4th!

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe holiday.

Since I was lucky enough to have today off work, my boyfriend and I decided to find

something to do last night. We decided to attend Lincoln’s Uncle Sam Jam event at which they had a free concert, fireworks display, and many different food trucks. The event attracted around 20,000 people according to a Lincoln Journal Star article.

Although the weather was quite warm, the fireworks display was very incredible, and I’ve never seen such an amazing finale.

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My boyfriend and I had a really great time, and I’d definitely attend the event again (although I might recommend earplugs and bug spray). I attempted to take cute pictures of us while we were there, but William doesn’t always cooperate.

After the fireworks, William got a snow cone to get us through the crowd of people leaving, and we eventually got back to our apartment where we enjoyed some margaritas out on our deck.

This morning we got to sleep in before heading downtown for lunch. We also walked around, enjoyed the downtown area (which has very few people about because of the holiday) and stopped at Rocket Fizz, a soda pop and candy shop. I got a bag of salt water taffy (that I definitely don’t need), and we each got a soda. It’s a neat little shop downtown that is definitely worth visiting.


Perfect “Date Days”

Your perfect “date day” doesn’t have to break the bank.

My boyfriend returned from field school on Friday, so Saturday we spent the entire day together. In other words, it was a date day.

Going out on dates can be expensive, and as a college student and a recent college grad, we tend not to want to splurge on dates every weekend, so we’re always looking for cute inexpensive (or no cost) date ideas.

We started off Saturday by doing our grocery shopping in our pajamas. While this might not sound like a date, it’s a nice way to spend time with your partner while also accomplishing a very necessary task.

We returned home for leftover pizza and a lovely afternoon nap before heading out to Holmes Lake Park. This city park holds a very large lake where people go to fish, boat, walk, or just relax. We walked around the entire lake (not a small feat in flip flops), fed some ducks and geese, and played with other people’s dogs.















After leaving the park, we had another errand to run and ended up in the downtown area. We grabbed a bite to eat at a gyro place that refuses to be found through a google search. It’s right next to Ali Baba Gyros, and they have a delicious gyro burger. The majority of their meals are in the $8 range, but you get an incredible amount of food for your money.snapchat-1227030200

As we walked back to the car, we stopped at Freezing Thai Rolled Ice Cream. While it’s definitely not the best ice cream I’ve had in Lincoln, it is pretty good, and their sizes are what I call a “shareable” size. My boyfriend and I just got one to split (about $6.50), and it was the perfect amount.

We finished out the night by meeting up with some friends for a drink before attending a very lowkey house party. I love going out, but if you’re looking to save money, you’re way better off picking up some alcohol at a store and hanging out at home or at a friend’s. Lincoln’s Super Savers always seem to have good deals on alcohol. (This happens to be where we picked up Fireball and some margarita mix for a later day around midnight Saturday night).

Dates don’t always have to include $50 meals, expensive movies with even more expensive popcorn (Redbox is really great by the way), or pricey shows/concerts.

“Little Red Riding-Hood”

One of the fairy tales I have read the most variations of is “Little Red Riding-Hood.”

I think many people know the general story-line of this popular fairy tale. It’s a pretty basic plot. A young girl is sent to her ill grandma’s house with some sort of food (changes between variations), she meets a wolf (and tells him too much), and the wolf eats grandma and pretends to be her.

I think the most common ending I’ve seen to this story is where Red is gobbled up as well, but then a man with an ax travels through, cuts the wolf open to say Red and grandma, and they fill his belly with rocks.

However, the version I read today was much shorter and not nearly as “happy” as that.

The Blue Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, has a version of “Little Red Riding-Hood” that you can read here. This publication is a republication (unabridged and unaltered) from a publication from the 1880’s, including the original images as well.

I think it’s really fascinating to read all of these variations, and it makes me think about where they started and why they started.

In some versions of this fairy tale, there’s a clearly stated moral at the end, and I do believe many fairy tales were created and/or used as cautionary tales for children. Charles Perrault’s version states at the very end:

“Moral: Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say “wolf,” but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.”

I’ve also read a few modern/remade versions of “Little Red Riding-Hood.” The most interesting (terrifying) of which is titled “Wolf Parts,” written by Matt Bell. I do have a copy, if you’re interested, but it may change the way you view “Little Red Riding-Hood.”

What fairy tale (popular or not so much) should we look at next?