WHAT DO COUSCOUS, GLITTER, AND ARTIFICIAL TURF HAVE IN COMMON?

You know what’s super fun? When you live through a moment and then that moment just simply resides somewhere in your memory for the rest of time. Or until you lose your mind, whichever comes first. You experience it and then all traces of it leave your immediate surroundings for the rest of time. It’s the circle of life. The Lion King demonstrated this perfectly with Mufasa’s death. He lived on in spirit, but he wasn’t really there. And so should most things in life be. 

Certain things are good to have around after the fact. If you’re missing your significant other, for example, and they happened to have left some things at your place. If you eat the most amazing piece of cake and then the person who brought it leaves the leftovers for you. If you watch the best sports game ever and the after show just shows replay on replay of all the great plays. You get it? Occasionally it’s great to have some remnants leftover. Occasionally being the key word.

Regular things are ok to just dip out when their time in the spotlight has come to an end. Things such as food prep, outdoor materials, and craft supplies. And toilet paper … why does it always end up on the floor? Who is throwing it on the floor? Is it putting itself there? And why is it always in a shredded piece on the floor? Never like a full square. Just a wolverine on a rampage type shred. Also, why is it all of a sudden incredibly sticky when it’s on the floor? It will stick to anything, namely the rubber sole of your shoe. 

While we’re on this subject, why is the floor of every public restroom just constantly wet? My bathroom at home enjoys a dry floor 99.99% of the time. The only time it does not, is when I exit the shower. Is there a reason this doesn’t transfer to public places? Last time I checked, most public restrooms do not have public showers as well. And yet, puddles. All the time. It never dries. It’s stagnant. It is standing water and thinking about it gives me the chills. This is a crisis and I would like to know who is doing this to the restrooms of the world. It is not acceptable. It never was.

Wow, I could write an entire rant on that. I have so many more questions. But alas, that is not the journey we were destined for today. No, today we examine the crisis of cheap, tiny, circular objects found near humans all around the world. Don’t be fooled by how easy they are to acquire. It’s like a computer virus – shockingly simple to click on, but it will eff you up for a while. Days, weeks, months. It’s an all out commitment to seek out and exterminate it.

Enter the seemingly innocent physical viruses known as couscous, glitter, and artificial turf. If you’ve ever had the pleasure, nay the horror, of dealing with any of these things, you know what I’m talking about. If you have never dealt with them, well, have you never met a girl somewhere between the ages of 2-99 in your life? Because I blame the Disney princesses for the glitter issue. And the social stigma that girl and glitter must be soulmates since you can’t spell glitter without girl.

How does it not wash off? How can I clean it off all spaces, including myself, and still wake up and find it places? It’s made 50% of glue I have to believe. You barely touch it and all of a sudden it’s a part of you forever. It will show up in rooms that you never went into during your foray into the sparkly rainbow world. How? Magic? No. Demonic craft supply companies. Play with glitter, they say. It will make your life sparkly, they say. Yes, but then it won’t leave.

While glitter is probably the more well known craft curse, it is not lost on me that in recent years outdoor athletes have had to deal with an equally traumatizing experience known as artificial turf. It gets in your shoes. It gets in your bag. It somehow always ends up in your pants. It hides so nicely in a carpet. It will live under your insole for years. It’s everywhere. It is a disease. You can vacuum. You can sweep. You can shower. But it will never leave you.

And then, we have the edible portion of the post: couscous. If you’ve been keeping up to this point, you know the storyline here. It just appears. In the sink. On countertops. In the cabinets. Why? How? Make it stop. The kitchen has been scrubbed. It’s been deep cleaned. It has not seen a box of couscous in months and still … still! They pop up from time to time like the gremlins that they are. 

I don’t know who, or whom, is responsible for any of these creatures. I don’t believe they are inanimate objects. They must have some sort of advanced technology embedded deep into their tiny, miniscule little earthly bodies just to torture us. They were Siri, and Google, and Alexa before it was cool to spy on people. I bet they’ve been listening to us for years. But without a helpful counterpart which is the targeted ad.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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RANKING POPULAR HARD SELTZER BRANDS

Hard seltzers are a whole mood. Nothing says I’m here to have a good time for a long time like a hard seltzer. I mean it’s basically water after all. Just with some “natural” flavors and some sort of non-water added. Presumably alcohol, although who’s preventing someone from coming out with a hard LaCroix and scamming people. The Internet. That’s who. All the trolls and people looking to make a quick buck. Which in this case works out very well for all of us looking to get our buzz on.

Unlike beer, wine, or mixed drinks, you can drink hard seltzers all day. There’s a reason White Claw is the new unofficial Corona of the beach. Have one, have four, have a case – you can still go to dinner afterwards and feel great! In other words, it’s like drinking hard liquor without having to actually drink hard liquor. Because why do we do that to ourselves? It ends the same way every time and we never learn. Peer pressure is a true threat to the health of my liver, but still I can’t say no.

For everyone who thinks hard seltzers are for the weak, come talk to me after trying to keep up with your 7.5% IPA. Bubbles and carbs are not a good combination for efficiency in a timely manner. But this post is not about volume. It’s about quality and, like most things in life, not all hard seltzers are created equally. They are all created equally on the outside, however. I have yet to find a hard seltzer in a bottle. I have been given the option of a hard seltzer on tap, though, and I have to be real – that’s too far. A hard seltzer should come in a can, so I can take it anywhere, and be refreshing to the point where I’m not really sure if I’m drinking juice, regular seltzer, or something for adults only.

Alright, enough pregaming, let’s get to it! There are many, many, many … many options on the market right now, but some are better than others. Some are also better than most. 3, 2, 1 cheers! Here are the rankings of current hard seltzer brands. According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. There are definitely others, but for the sake of space, my sanity, and my health, sticking to more popular options:

  1. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Signature Flavors
  2. Press Premium Hard Seltzer
  3. Crook & Marker Spiked Seltzer
  4. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Classic Collection
  5. Truly Punch Hard Seltzer
  6. Bud Light Seltzer Retro Pack
  7. Bud Light Seltzer Remix Pack
  8. Bud Light Seltzer Holiday Pack
  9. Smirnoff Seltzer Rose Pack
  10. Natty Light Hard Seltzer
  11. Vizzy Hard Seltzer
  12. Bud Light Hard Seltzer
  13. White Claw Hard Seltzer
  14. Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer
  15. Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer
  16. Truly Hard Seltzer
  17. Jose Cuervo Tequila Seltzer
  18. Seagram’s Hard Seltzer
  19. Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer
  20. High Noon Hard Seltzer
  21. Truly Tea Hard Seltzer
  22. Truly Extra Hard Seltzer
  23. PBR Stronger Seltzer
  24. BON V!V Spiked Seltzer
  25. Wild Basin Hard Seltzer

Believe it or not, 25 only dents the currently way over-saturated seltzer market. This is my blog and I don’t feel pressure to justify, but I do think it would be fun to dive in deeper. And you can’t stop me, so here goes! Michelob and Press are clearly winners and everyone should buy them. I can, and will, drink them all day every day. Crook & Marker is a close third and very flavorful. Truly averages the bottom half of the list, but their Punch Pack is a gem. Not sure that tea is the same as water, so is it really a seltzer? Marketing says yes, but it still tastes like a Twisted Tea to me. Bud Light has found their true calling and has released several killer collections that spice up any time of year. Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo couldn’t be outdone by beer companies and make decent options as well. The rose collection is more for crisp seltzers / borderline cider fans, however.

Natty Light is the biggest surprise on this list. While I would never again subject myself to the watered down toast that is a regular Natty Light, their seltzers are surprisingly on point and their flavor combos are unique – which says a lot in the current market. Vizzy and White Claw are good, but forgettable among new competition. Seagram’s and Mike’s are known for disgustingly sweet drinks and their seltzers are no different. Still decent flavors, though, and who doesn’t love a good Mike’s Hard in the summer? Rounding it out, High Noon and BON V!V I can take a hard pass on. While their flavors sound good, the taste is nowhere near expectations. Finally, the new Truly Extra and PBR Stronger taste more like liquor than a refreshing seltzer. Though still both better than Wild Basin which tastes exactly like the name implies.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A KLONDIKE BAR?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Especially when it’s warm outside. And what is happening outside right now? You guessed it, the warm has arrived. Not just the warm, though. The humidity. That stagnant heat wave that follows you around. A never ending torture fee we all pay to enjoy a nice, natural tan, and swimmable water temps. It’s time to sweat like we’re melting. Drip like an ice cream cone. Heat up like Stephen Curry at the 3-point line. It’s summer. 

Summer is … one of the seasons. I’m not going to say where I would rank it in a list of the seasons since everyone feels differently, but it isn’t my first choice. It does have vacations going for it, at least. It also has higher electric bills, painful sunburns, and hair that don’t care. Despite some of it’s obvious flaws, nothing is perfect after all, we do get graced with frozen dessert treats. Which are like regular desserts just way better. They’re good all year long, if I’m honest, but something about eating something ice cold when it’s boiling hot is like dessert ASMR.

There are different levels to frozen dessert options. With the rise of food blogs, anything can be a frozen dessert now. Frozen dessert casseroles, frozen yogurt, frozen mousse, frozen parfait concoctions, frozen cakes, frozen fruit, etc. most of them are amazing. Sherbert on the other hand, is really only good for punches and I’m not sure why it’s marketed as a dessert … but for another time that adventure! 

Regardless, ice cream, in any form, far outweighs any of the other options, however. Put it in a cake, in between cookies, with donuts, with fruit, with more sugary things, cover it in chocolate, eat it plain, serve it soft, serve it melted – do what makes you happy. But think about this, what would you do for a Klondike bar? If you don’t know your answer right off the top of your head, are you even an American? That’s one of the best marketing campaigns from the millennial childhood. It’s one of the few that stuck with me all these years, anyways.

If we’re being honest, I wouldn’t do that much. Klondike bars are ok, but when I want ice cream I don’t want a nicely proportioned serving size where the chocolate to ice cream ratio is not ideal. Think about it – if you took all the ice cream in a single bar and put it together, it would be about a scoop. And I can’t tell you the last time I only ate one scoop of ice cream so, ergo, there’s a lot I would not do for a singular Klondike bar.

Some people feel differently. Some people would do a lot of things for one scoop of ice cream. One $2.50 scoop of ice cream. Steal a toy from a kid, throw a phone out the window, unfollow all of their friends online, kick your significant other in the shin, etc. and no judgement. Ice cream is the top of the dessert food chain. Switch the question from Klondike bar to a frozen custard concrete, though, and I too would be in the above actions. Shamelessly. I’m all about the soft serve ice cream with some extra mixins life.

So, I’m curious, what would YOU do for your favorite dessert? It can be anything within the legal realm. Well, anything is strong. But anything within the legal realm that you wouldn’t mind laughing with your grandmother about in a few months. That’s how I base most of my decisions as a full on adult. Would grandma think it’s funny? Go for it! Would grandma hate it? Maybe time to rethink. Would grandma not get it? Definitely go for it! Deal with potential regrets later.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THANKS FOR READING, PLEASE LEAVE A TIP

On this beautiful day, let’s participate in a quick thought exercise. It won’t be hard, I promise. And I don’t break promises, so from the almost nothing you know about me, and that statement, there’s zero reason for you not to trust me. Ok, let us wander down memory lane to a time when you could buy things, anything really, and simply pay for it. List price plus any sales tax. That’s it. You pay for it, and then you grab the bag and leave feeling satisfied. How far back in time did your mind travel? 

Actually, pause, I think we should address the question in your head. Was I supposed to go far back? Technically, I gave you no real instructions other than a time you spent money, so I guess not. My bad. But, if you think about the last time the custom additional payment line was added to a receipt, it may have been a while. That’s right, I’m talking about tipping! And America, I believe we have a tipping problem. Not the tipping you experience from consuming maybe one too many adult beverages. No, I’m talking about the tipping that comes from your wallet. The tipping that you have to do math to get to. The tipping that is optional, but mandatory. 

Are you picking up what I’m leaving on the table? When was the last time you weren’t asked to leave a tip for someone? It’s getting consistently more difficult to find examples of plain old pay and walk away. We tip for everything now. Not just when eating out, back when that was a more mainstream, and safe, adventure, but we’ve gotten to a place where almost every business feels it’s acceptable to ask you for a tip. You can count on it with any food adventure. It’s almost guaranteed for any type of experience you participate in. Don’t think that retail isn’t trying to hop on this bandwagon either. Where did we go wrong?

Since this is an opinion based blog, I would like to take some time and dive into my thoughts about being asked to make additional payments on things I spend money on. If this is your first time realizing there are zero factual backings to any of these posts, I apologize. But, also, we may need to discuss your ability to interpret sarcasm. Anyways … moving on … tipping! Or robbing, you decide. I think there are limits to the number of “services” that can acceptably ask me to spend more money than my receipt says.

If you give me a fantastic tour of a distillery, then of course I’m going to tip you – excellent service pays off. If you’re refilling my drink before I even know it’s getting empty, then of course I’m going to tip you – hard work pays off. If I order food and you drive it to me, then of course I’m going to tip you – not being lazy pays off. If I, however, pick out all of my own groceries and place them on the conveyor belt, then why would I leave the cashier a tip? You’re just doing your job. And I did all the hard work, so, what is that about?

For starters, why not just factor my tip into my bill? Then I wouldn’t care. Make me calculate it, though, and all of a sudden it’s an extra expense (and an annoyance). Use mind tricks with people – make us believe that was always going to be the total. Basic math equations aside, if I do all of the work and you simply are working at the register, what on earth is making it acceptable for you to ask for a tip?

Don’t get me wrong, tipping is not something that I see as an employee problem. In fact, I actually support adding extra money so they don’t have to make whatever absurdly low hourly rate their business has decided is appropriate. The main problem is that we still have places paying people less than half the minimum wage and banking on the fact that tips will push them, on average, to the federal minimum. How horrible would it be for you to start their pay at minimum wage and allow them to earn much more than that for their hard work? Why is that like asking for the moon?

Second imagination station train of the day. If you’re at your job, and have a meeting with your manager, what do you think their reaction would be if you asked for a tip / bonus for meeting the basic requirements you were hired (and are already paid) to do? You may be job hunting the next day. You may get laughed off as a joke. You may get the silent stare of terror. You may get a snarky comment. Small chance you get a tip, though. I feel like that should be no different in the consumer industry, but maybe that’s just me.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR S’MORES: YOU MAKE ME MELT

Can you think of a better pairing than graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Cinnamon graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows? Chocolate graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows?! Wow, I just about up and went for an overnight trip to the woods. S’mores are really the highlight of any camping trip. The most exciting part about them is that the camping part of the equation is 100% optional. So, in other words, s’mores are the highlight of being outdoors.

Hold on, back up a quick second. S’mores, for sure, are the highlight for outdoor adventures. But thanks to, I’m not actually sure who … the Internet, food bloggers, food companies, millennials, Mother Nature, electric companies? Anyways, at some point, the brilliant idea was formed and distributed widely to the general population of the world that s’mores could be an indoor activity. Mind freaking blown. No need to expose yourself to the creatures that will wander over to try and nab the delicious-looking, perfectly burned, marshmallows. 

Oh, and the smoke. Listen, I love a good bonfire, but I hate the bonfire smoke and will actively move continuously around the circle to avoid it. There is nothing worse than going outside to enjoy a nice, contained and non destructive, fire only to return to the house smelling like a tobacco factory. Hard pass. That smell is something awful and is like a leech on your clothing. Even the Snuggle bear struggles to get it fully out the first time through the wash. Then you start to get weird looks and questions from people close to you – are you doing alright? Are you managing your stress in healthy ways? Are you having a MID-LIFE CRISIS? Yadda yadda yadda.

What a fun tangent we just journeyed on together! In short, I will risk smelling like a smoker if it means I can eat a s’more. However, that is not necessarily a required evil of the process anymore. Because we’re a progressive species and have things like ovens, and toaster ovens, and microwaves now. Which all happen to live where? In the doors! And require what? Zero fire! I would like to take this moment to point out that graham cracker packaging has not kept up with the innovative times in the food industry. What is happening with the packaging? How is it still awkwardly 9 (nine?!) crackers to one non-resealable pack? Who is using 9 graham crackers at once? Why is 27 an appropriate number of graham crackers? Is that 3 per person or is someone not getting a second. I’m so concerned.

Unlike the graham cracker manufacturers, Hershey’s has decided to keep up with Jones’ so to speak. Their chocolate bar packaging now conveniently has directions for making s’mores using one of the predetermined four cooking options. How cute! Like we don’t know how to make a s’more. I mean, come on, are we sea creatures? Even the cavemen had fire – shoot, they probably invented the s’more! There is not a simpler food to make, other than maybe milk and cereal. Cracker, chocolate, marshmallow, then another cracker. 

S’mores have but one instruction. Make sure the marshmallow is warm. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, that is a suggestion. You could eat a cold s’more. It’s an ice cream flavor so it’s clearly been done before! How warm your marshmallow should be is a hot debate in the camping dessert world. I like my marshmallow to be completely burnt, other people like a light toasting, others like a pure white, massively expanded one from the microwave. No judgement, you do you. Burn that ‘mallow, melt that chocolate, and fill your insides literally glow with excitement over what is happening on your tastebuds.

If s’mores aren’t your thing, clearly you need better Google searches. Because the days of the OG chocolate and marshmallow are over. They ended the minute people started becoming millionaires as food bloggers. Anything that has any of the three iconic ingredients and can be eaten as a handheld option, can classify as a “s’more”. Why stop there, though?! Any dish can be s’more flavored now because that’s the beauty of modern day cooking. S’mores dip! S’mores cereal! S’mores lasagna! Go freaking nuts! Add peanut butter! Add caramel! Add bacon … idk whatever will make you smile.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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RANKING TWIZZLER FLAVORS

Candy is delicious and there is always a time for candy. Not all the time, but in certain moments you crave a sweet treat not involving chocolate. Which, for the record, is the real winner 99.99% of the time. But occasionally you get a craving for something more fruity and artificial by nature. Something colorful and fun. Something not in the shape of a demonic child, though – seriously what is with SOUR candy? I have never been a fan. When I want dessert, I don’t want to feel like I’m scrapping my tastebuds off one by one before I can finally get some teeth sticking gummy texture happening.

Same with hard candy … again, what? If I wanted to break a tooth I’d use my mouth as a bottle opener for the best, and most convenient, party trick around. I wouldn’t do it for a peppermint. There isn’t enough mint flavor packed into those to cover up the amount of physical and emotional pain they bring. I guess hard candy is better suited for people with patience. Similar to cooking. Why spend an hour cooking when Stouffer’s has frozen options that are easier? Why take hard vitamins when they make delicious, gummy alternatives? Why eat hard candy when you could not?

Thoughts on what does, and doesn’t, constitute real candy aside, there seems to be some candies that have stood the test of generations. One of those being the infamous licorice. It’s been around for literal centuries. And was apparently used originally to brew beer so if you weren’t on this bandwagon before, what excuse do you have now? It’s part alcoholic … well, not actually, but you can convince yourself of anything if you want to. In all seriousness, I would try a beer that had been flavored with licorice. Especially if it was cherry flavored because that is clearly the superior option.

I guess it isn’t fair of me to assume that everyone likes fake cherry flavoring. I’ll happily admit that outside of food, I too think it’s awful. Basically anything they make into liquid medicine is awful. Anywho … let’s get our opinions tangled up and rank Twizzler flavors! According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. Hershey now proudly makes 18 varieties of flavors and shapes since the OG strawberry twist wasn’t good enough, I guess. Here they are, brutally judged from best to why:

  1. Cherry Bites
  2. Cherry Nibs
  3. Orange Cream Pop Filled Twists
  4. Cherry Pull N’ Peel
  5. Watermelon Pull N’ Peel
  6. Strawberry Twists
  7. Strawberry Smoothie Filled Twists
  8. Cherry Twists
  9. Strawberry Filled Bites
  10. Strawberry Untwisted
  11. Rainbow Twists
  12. Mystery Twists
  13. Zero Sugar Strawberry
  14. Sweet & Sour Filled Bites
  15. Sweet & Sour Filled Twists
  16. Chocolate Twists
  17. Black Licorice Nibs
  18. Black Licorice Twists

While I don’t feel a need to explain myself, even I was a little shocked at where I placed some of these. Cherry, no surprises there dominates the first third of the list. It’s just freaking great! The cherry twists do lack some of the same flavor as the nibs, but still a solid choice overall. Orange Cream Pop and Strawberry Smoothie filled twists were surprisingly spot on taste wise and I’m a huge fan. You can’t go wrong with original strawberry or a fruity watermelon string-cheese like fun adventure.

Rounding out the back two-thirds of the list we start to get into the more questionable variety adventures. For example, why untwist the strawberry? The flavor was still there, but the fun was not. Rainbow twists, a lot like their Froot Loops and M&Ms counterparts all taste the same, but the vibrant colors are exciting at least. Mystery is … mystery. Hit or miss and why take the chance when so many other great options exist? Zero sugar, need I say more? Just don’t eat sweets then. We’ve previously established my dislike of sweet and sour “candies” so hard pass on those from me. The chocolate ones were by far the most disappointing since it’s chocolate … from Hershey … and a Twizzler … but alas, no. And then, of course, I have yet to meet someone who actually enjoys black licorice. At least the nibs are a smaller dose of what I’m assuming is minty molasses flavor than the twists.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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HELLO, MY NAME IS [BLANK] AND I’M ADDICTED TO CHEWY CHIPS AHOY

Everyone has that one food that they can’t resist under any circumstances. You could be coming straight off a Thanksgiving dinner for the ages, but if someone asks if you want to eat blank you’ll be like yep, let’s do it! Because it’s the one item where you have no control and don’t even pretend to. Your go-to cheat day meal. Your motivation while working out. The subject of your deepest, darkest food fantasies. Your food bae, essentially.

You know what I’m talking about. You can pretend like you don’t, and that’s a lie that you’ll tell yourself. For some people it’s something salty. For other people it’s something sweet. For yet others out there it’s a straight up entree. Probably a very specific entree from a specific restaurant and the same order anywhere else simply won’t do. For the rest of the population that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, it’s either a drink or something healthy. Both are questionable options for a fantasy food, but you do you.

For me, that food is Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies. Not Chips Ahoy, those are only ok and I think one of these days I will go deeper into the correct way to make a cookie, which, of course, is chewy, but today is simply not that day. Chewy. Chips. Ahoy. What?! Yes, I’m talking about the ultimate store bought cookie. The absolute God of drunk party food options. The all day, everyday, ultimate dessert option. I love these cookies so much that their serving size and the amount that I can fit in my mouth at one time are equal. It’s the one food that I don’t even think about calories with. Because everyone knows that when you’re in love, calories don’t count anyways. 

I bet a good majority of you are wondering, why? I talk a lot about Chipotle, and Oreos, and food in general, so why an overly processed, half baked, commercialized cookie? Well, it’s not a totally invalid question. But that judgement, though! This is a safe space! This is the one food I can’t resist, it doesn’t have to be yours. Especially if I have had any sort of alcohol. Doesn’t even have to be a lot of alcohol. I could have sniffed a bottle and I would be immediately in the mood for the cookie crack that is Chewy Chips Ahoy.

Walk with me, for a second, into imagination island where we will encounter the beautiful world of cookies. I think most people enjoy cookies in some shape, form, flavor, size, baked level, etc. I’m going to say something very controversial, but, I personally prefer cookie dough to baked cookies. It’s clearly superior. It tastes like how I imagine the clouds in heaven would taste if I were up there and could eat them. It’s sweet. It’s soft. It’s chewy. It’s slightly tangy. It could be chunky, if you added stuff to your cookies. It’s an explosion of goodness in your mouth.

Unfortunately, raw eggs are not in style at the moment. Salmonella was a thing, and now we have PTSD and remain skeptical of what our chickens have been doing prior to us cracking their unborn children. All the best parenting and lifestyle blogs are anti-cookie dough with dairy in it at the moment. Which is understandable, I can’t deny that. It does make your standard chocolate chip cookie dough unsafe to bring as a snack anywhere. You can eat it in your kitchen and only in your kitchen unless you want Internet trolls to shame you. 

Enter Nabisco. Who, like geniuses, thought about baking this cookie dough just enough to kill the salmonella evil spirits. Half baked cookies. Mind absolutely freaking blown. Now you can enjoy the cookie dough texture without any fear of dying. Win. Win. To the max. What more could you want from a cookie? It’s clearly superior. It tastes like how I imagine the clouds in heaven would taste if I were up there and could eat them. It’s sweet. It’s soft. It’s chewy. It’s slightly tangy. It’s mildly chunky. It’s an explosion of goodness in your mouth. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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I DON’T ALWAYS EAT UNTIL I CAN’T MOVE … WAIT, YES I DO!

The holiday season is probably the most divisive three months of the entire year. Sure, it’s a time to be thankful, and joyful, and giving, and terrified (you can get my full thoughts on Halloween’s place in the season HERE), but it’s also a time to pick a side and fight for it. No, I’m not talking about a political side, or a side of the dinner table, or a side of the family – those can be chosen at any time of the year. You don’t need pumpkins, dead turkeys, or cookies to do that to yourself.

Obviously I’m talking about when it’s acceptable to begin decorating for Christmas and playing some classic carols non-stop. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of these three categories:

  • Thanksgiving is a full on holiday and I don’t even get merry for Christmas until Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving is just a happy accident on the way to the best holiday of the year
  • All holidays are the same and should be treated equally

I’m not even going to touch that last category – you’re just wrong and that’s not true at all. Don’t be that person. Pick at least one to go all in for! Personally, I tend to fall into the middle category and if you’re with me, let’s drink some eggnog and play All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat. For everyone else, the ones in the first category in case you couldn’t keep up, I do not understand you at all. ‘You can’t skip Thanksgiving! It’s a time to be thankful and eat all of the food!’ – Thanksgiving lovers.

Mmkay … first of all, you should just be thankful like all of the time. If you need a holiday to remind you of that then it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Yes, you get to eat … a lot. You know when else you can eat a lot though? THE ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Which is 12 days long traditionally, 25 days if you’re Freeform, or year round if you’re like me so why do I want one day to eat when I can have multiple? I’m a big fan of eating (THAT’S NO SECRET), but Thanksgiving is just one day. 24 hours. That’s it. Nothing more. What is the appeal of that? 

Might I also point out that the Thanksgiving meal is shockingly similar to Christmas dinner. But without all the delicious cookies and holiday drinks. Makes no sense to me. I don’t need someone to tell me it’s ok to eat until my pants start to feel way too tight. I’m a grown adult, I can do that any day of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I love having those days off work and seeing my family. But it does bother me that both Thanksgiving and Black Friday are company holidays while only Christmas day is. Christmas Eve is just as big a deal. Corporate America never ceases to confuse me.

Anyways, to be clear, this is not a post complaining about Thanksgiving itself. It’s more of a general confusion around all the people who wait until the day after to begin celebrating Christmas. Can your spirit literally not handle double the joy and excitement? Why get excited for one holiday when you can be psyched up for two? Again, this is very simple math. 2 > 1. 12 > 1. 25 > 12 > 1. 365 > 25 > 12 > 1.

I have zero shame when it comes to Christmas. November 1 I take in my desk decorations and it’s a miracle I hold out until then because, if we’re honest, it’s never too early to be put in a hella amazing mood by looking at Christmas lights. It’s always a fun game to see how long after the New Year that my co-workers tolerate me keeping it up … my current record is February 8 and I think next year I’m going to beat that. Mostly since my main co-worker at the moment is my dog and she doesn’t care. Then it’s basically time to get stoked for that year’s Christmas so I don’t know why I even give in to peer pressure and take it down. I am a peacock, let me spread my wings and be merry!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you love Christmas as much as I do, let’s debate who sings the best versions of each classic Christmas song. If you are a Thanksgiving turkey, then you may have your holiday, but come Black Friday, you better be jollier than Santa stealing cookies from random houses all over the world. Thanks for reading!


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SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SOUR PATCH KIDS

Marketing South Patch Kids as candy is a straight up lie to all the poor, innocent, suckers of the world. How do I know? Well, for one, I am not a poor, innocent, sucker and only buy real candy (i.e. gummy bears and Swedish Fish). Side note: chocolate is not candy because it’s so amazing it’s in a class all its own. Feel free to @ me, I don’t care what you think because I’m right and you’re wrong. Yet, for some reason, those horrible bitter little children are “popular”. Let me help you out. According to Google, candy is defined as ‘a sweet food made with sugar or syrup combined with fruit, chocolate, or nuts’. I will admit though, that sometimes Google is not all knowing, so I took my search to the OG dictionary, and Merriam-Webster defines candy as ‘something that is pleasant or appealing in a light or frivolous way’.

Last time I checked, Sour Patch Kids are not sweet … initially, I know they supposedly sweeten up after destroying your taste buds with that awful sour punch, but I think that’s just your mouth returning to a normal palate. They also have nothing to do with fruit, chocolate, or nuts so not off to a good start here. Continuing down the candy definition, they are NOT pleasant OR appealing in a light and frivolous way (they’re sticky and heavy and gross).

I’m just now realizing, though, that the point of this post was not to rant about my major dislike of sour candies, really, the kids just fit best in the analogy. No, in fact it was to talk about how much I dislike people (real, live people, not candy people) that act like Sour Patch Kids. The ones who are sour at first and absolutely ruin your appetite for no reason. Like, I don’t know who peed in your Cheerios this morning, but I did not do whatever it is you’re upset about to you. I’m not some voodoo doctor stabbing your doll person and shouting out curses on you and your family. Believe it, or not, I have much, much, much better things to do with my life. These people are so sour it’s mind-numbing … literally. They don’t even know who they’re supposed to be angry with so they pick the first available person. Regardless of their role in the situation. 

Oh, you’re upset because Amazon’s HQ2 is moving into town? I got this free Amazon shirt at a conference, I don’t work for them – even if I did, you screaming at me (a random citizen) is not going to make its way up the corporate ladder and have the boss hogs up there decide to scrap the whole idea. I wouldn’t pass along your feedback, even if I did work for them. Why? Because you’re unpleasant, and I don’t like unpleasant things. It seems like you’re mad because the store is out of your favorite brand of laundry detergent? I am simply trying to do my grocery shopping. I don’t work here, don’t slam your cart into mine and demand I give you the laundry detergent – that’s not how this works. First come, first served. I owe you nothing. Complain to someone who cares like the fly on that wall over there.

My least favorite part of the live Sour Patch Kids, though, is when they all of a sudden turn sweet. It’s not subtle. It’s not fun. It’s sickly, and too much, and leaves a bad aftertaste. You just screamed at me until you were red in the face and now you want to bless me and my family and hope I have a good day? Well, ok, thank you for that, but it feels a little too late at this point if you know what I’m saying. I’ll hope your day gets better to the point where your blood pressure drops back into a healthy range. And I’ll hope that your face returns to a normal skin color and not one of a lobster. But other than that, I hope I never cross paths with you again. Long story short, people who act this way are sour, then sweet, and overall slightly childish so that makes them Sour Patch Kids … ugh.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a Sour Patch Kid, tell them to take a hike – they don’t belong in the candy aisle. Thanks for reading!


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WE NEED TO STOP TAKING UNWRAPPED CANDY FOR GRANTED

Think about this for a second: unwrapped candy. How does it make you feel? Angry, upset, annoyed, bleh, ugh, nothing? Those are all incorrect feelings. You should be feeling excited, joy, surprised yet intrigued, curious, pumped, ecstatic, overjoyed, filled with hope. Why? Um, because it’s candy. That comes unwrapped. Does your dessert life get any better than that? No, not at all! All of the tedious effort that was present before, has been eliminated from the equation. This is innovation and efficiency at its finest.

We all know that grocery shopping is a beautiful social experiment, and clearly highly suitable for JOB INTERVIEWS and first dates. If this is the first you’re hearing about this modern phenomena, welcome to the future of problem solving, creative thinking, and flexibility challenges to prove your worth. Grocery stores are kind of a hidden gem – there’s so much happening in those aisles. While each one has its place, this post is going to get laser focused on one aisle, specifically. The candy aisle. The most exciting, but also the most guilt-inducing, aisle in the whole store.

I don’t always travel down the candy aisle, but when I do, I end up with a cart full of sweets and the guilty look of a puppy who just chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. Self-control isn’t even part of my vocabulary. There’s just so many fun things to try! New M&M’s flavors, new Reese’s shapes, new Twizzlers flavors, new Hershey Kisses flavors, new Kit Kat flavors, you get the point. If no one ventured to try the new candies, they would all disappear off shelves forever. Which would truly be a tragedy. So I like to take it upon myself to support the lifecycle of whatever new concepts have appeared on shelves for the good of everyone.

Imagine if no one had taken a chance on unwrapped candy options. We would forever be stuck trying to peel those ridiculous Reese’s paper wrappers off the mini chocolate. Or have to trust that our Kit Kats, York Peppermint Patties, and Twix bars (despite their ridiculous feud over left and right sides – more on my Twix thoughts in THIS POST) had wrappers that weren’t going to do the most to protect its contents. Enter the best thing that has ever happened to sweet tooths worldwide. The removal of wrappers.

Why did we need wrappers in the first place? I get the King Size bars at the registers. Those are their own package and once opened, contain unwrapped candy. But why put a bunch of smaller versions of the same candy in a package where they were individually wrapped in another layer of defense against … what? Air particles? People’s thoughts? Who approved that? What a ridiculous workflow – open a package, select an item, open that item, then you can eat it. Nope. That’s too many steps. 

Thank goodness candy manufacturers leveled up and got smart. Save money on packaging and save time from package to mouth. There are zero losers in the new scenario. Plus, all the packages are now resealable too! What does this mean? You will no longer lose stray candies that venture too close to the edge of the bag without permission. Not that this feature is usually necessary, but if there are people out there who don’t eat the whole bag at once this could come in handy. Wow. How is everyone not losing their minds over this?! Pure genius. Less stress. Less obstacles to consumption. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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