Random Stuff List

June 12, 2016

Random Stuff

Hi, friends.

My Facebook feed has been full of things that are making me cry this week (and so not in a good way), so can we just talk about random stuff this morning and maybe eat cake for lunch?


1. One thing that did make me happy this week: coming across this bowling ball in the street while out on a walk yesterday morning.

Random Stuff List / Unbrave Girl

It’s obviously a gutter ball.


I’m going to admit that I about killed myself laughing over that yesterday, and I was kind of upset nobody was around to enjoy my joke.

But then I remembered I could tell everyone on the Internet about it.

Add that to my list of reasons to have a blog: to have a place to share your corny dad jokes when you’re not actually a dad so you don’t have any kids to share them with.

2. Speaking of dad things, Ancestry.com is having a 10% sale right now on their DNA kits. I just ordered mine. (For myself, not for my dad — sorry, Dad). And I’m SO EXCITED.

I’m really hoping that it tells me I’m descended from Egyptian pharaohs and Mongolian horse warriors. But I suspect it’s more likely I come from a long-line of sturdy, German potato farmers.

Either way, EXCITING!

Have any of you done this? What did you find out? Any surprises?

3. Last week one of the comments on my Random Stuff List asked me if I had any suggestions for books on strong, independent, single women. And, well, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I could only think of two and they’re both a bit obvious: Wild and Eat, Pray, Love.  

The truth is that I usually read popular fiction because I like stories and I like to know what everyone’s talking about, okay? And, well, in case you haven’t noticed, the lady characters from popular fiction tend to be more crazy-town than inspirational. (Think Gone Girl and The Girl on the TrainThese are not exactly the kind of ladies anyone should aspire to be. Unless you’re aspiring to go to jail.)

So I threw the question out on my Facebook page, and you all had some awesome suggestions. Three that I’m definitely downloading: Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir (I mean, how could I not with a title like that?) and Girl Waits with Gun (Also, AWESOME title.)

Do you have any other suggestions for books about bad ass, single ladies conquering the world?

4. Speaking of reading, here’s a fun quiz that helps you figure out what you should be reading this summer.

It’s kind of like one of those Facebook quizzes. But it won’t tell you that your spirit animal is Beyonce. (Which, honestly, do you need another Facebook quiz telling you that? Because, seriously, by now, you should just KNOW that.)

5. Yesterday I wore a sleeveless dress to a party WITHOUT a cardigan over it, which I haven’t done in approximately EVER.

And then I went out for ice cream, which I ate on a bench on the sidewalk while watching people walk by.

I suspect all of that has something to do with my reading this article earlier in the week: Stop Hiding: This is What Summer is All About.

Random Stuff List / Unbrave Girl

5. Speaking of getting over body hang-ups, this trailer for Embrace, a documentary about body image literally had me crying at my kitchen table this week. I so hope this hits the cinemas here in the States or at least the Netflix.

6. Serious question: should I get a spiralizer? You know that thing that makes “pasta” out of vegetables.

I never thought I’d ask that question because I am so not that person.

I like healthy food and all. But I am completely opposed to the practice of substituting not-so-healthy food with healthy food and then pretending like they are the same thing.

For example, you will never see me pretending “nut-cheese” is, in fact, cheese. I also can’t get behind the whole cauliflower pizza crust craze. And that thing where people pretend that frozen bananas are ice cream? STOP THAT NONSENSE RIGHT NOW.

But I keep on seeing these awesome recipes that use spiralized vegetables instead of noodles. (Like this one and this one.) And, I don’t know, they just look so light and summery.

Do you have a spiralizer? Do you use it?

7. Apparently bears can open up car doors.


8. You guys, there’s a woman in Denver who wants to open a cat bar.


(Wait. Do they have bears in Denver? Because I need to know before I start packing my bags.)

9. Speaking of cats, have you seen these newborn kitten photos? I’m pretty much DYING.

10. Also this woman complained to her Internet company, using photos of her cat. Because GENIUS.


That’s all, friends. Please feel free to share your DNA surprise stories, single lady book suggestions and spiralizer recipes below!

Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I can earn a small commission for any purchases made at no extra cost to you. Which means more ice cream for me! Yay!


I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On June 12, 2016 at 1:40 pm Jessie said:

    You can borrow my spiralizer if you want. It’s not in regular rotation here. 😉
    Jessie recently posted..How to Spend an Idyllic Afternoon on Île d’Orléans, Quebec

  2. On June 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm Rebecca said:

    We eat zucchini noodles. All. The. Time. And I mean at least 5 nights a week, every week.

    Except when we eat chicken spaghetti, then we use regular wheat noodles. However,

    I seriously cannot believe the things I am enjoying these days, considering the only vegetables I ate until I was in my thirties were potatoes and corn. I had my first salad after I had my first baby, because it was also the first time I ever needed to lose weight.

    But let me tell you, with the help of a dollar store that sells amazingly low priced fresh and frozen produce, we are eating easy, cheap and healthy – a nirvana trifecta for the lazy, broke and overweight. Zucchini noodles topped with various bags of frozen veggie mixtures are transformed by the addition of chicken broth and sesame oil – which is admittedly not cheap, but a bottle lasts a very long time.

    The other thing we do, which is not quite as healthy, but still easy and cheap and not as bad as a lot of other things we could be eating, is pour cans of soup over the zucchini noodles. Clam chowder, tortilla or queso soup, whatever sounds good but not filling enough on its own goes great with zucchini noodles.

    I have to admit that we do sometimes add just a little brown rice, to make it a bit more filling. But we also sometimes add fresh spinach right at the end, so that it only wilts, rather than cooks. In any case, even with the rice, if we eat early enough – say, finish by 6 or 6:30, a few days in a row, then I notice a real difference in both my weight and the size of my stomach.

    Our local 99 cents store has all of this for a dollar each – except for the sesame oil, which is usually cheaper at an Asian market than a regular grocery store. Sometimes we will splurge with salmon or chicken on top, but we always divide our dinners into 3 so my sister can take a serving to work the next day for lunch. All of those for a week costs maybe $15, and they each take less than a half hour to cook. I can’t recommend it highly enough, even if you don’t have a fabulous dollar store because it’s still easier, healthier and cheaper than almost anything else out there.

    • On June 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm Sally said:

      Wow. I’m impressed your dollar store sells fresh veggies. Ours only sells frozen and canned stuff… definitely not as healthy as the fresh stuff.

  3. On June 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm Lisa said:

    Tales of a Female Nomad was the very first travelogue I read. I randomly picked it up at a bookstore one day. I was fresh out of high school, kind of wanted to travel, didn’t know how, saw this book and it ended up changing my life. It’s been more than 15 years since I first read it and I barely remember what it’s about or how well it holds up for someone who has already spent years traveling, but I still think of it quite fondly nonetheless.

    I have a spiralizer. I used it for a while, but it’s super bulky and takes up too much space. Then I found out about Julienne peelers. They perform basically the same function and are small enough to toss in some drawer when not in use. They are also cheaper. I’d recommend against the spiralizer and instead get the Julienne peeler, especially if you’re on the fence about it all. I use veggie ‘noodles’ all the time. For spaghetti-like dishes, for salads, for random made up recipes. Very versatile.

    I used to feel much like you about healthy foods pretending to be not so healthy foods. I feel differently now. I could spend probably 2000 words discussing the reasons why, but I’ll refrain and be brief-ish instead. I really like pizza. But through my journey to a more healthy life, I’ve found that I also really enjoy feeling well, too. That means I have to be mindful of what enters my body. Since I cook most meals myself, it’s a really simple thing to substitute the bread for a cauliflower (or spinach or kale or whatever veggie is available) crust and there are a good handful of benefits to doing it (skipping post carb fatigue, keeping within my calorie range, feeding my body a good supply of nutrients, etc). I certainly don’t always substitute, but I sub more and more as I continue down this path simply because I get so used to feeling better that I want to keep it that way.

    Plus, to be frank, I’m really lazy and it’s so much easier and less time consuming to make a cauliflower crust than it is to make a bread crust. Same with frozen bananas vs making ice cream. This, of course, is only true if one is preparing and cooking all of their own meals. Buying a tub of ice cream or a frozen pizza is probably less time consuming than making the equivalent from ingredients.

    • On June 13, 2016 at 6:29 pm Sally said:

      From all the instructions I read on making cauliflower crusts, they seem MUCH harder and more labor intensive than making a regular crust from scratch. And I haven’t heard rave reviews about it either. I’m all about eating my veggies (I’d say 75% of my meals are just vegetables) and I am a huge cauliflower fan… but I’m not a huge spend-a-whole-lot-of-time-making-something-I’m-not-sure-I’ll-even-like fan. But I might reconsider… but I will never, NEVER reconsider about the frozen bananas thing. I’m cool with eating frozen bananas if that’s what you want to eat — but please do NOT call it ice cream. Just call it what it is: frozen bananas. 🙂

      • On June 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm Lisa said:

        I can’t even imagine what sort of recipe one would be using for a cauli crust to be more labor intensive or take longer than a bread crust. The baking time is the longest part, but it’s definitely no more than pizza crust. I actually made a cauli pizza last night (you gave me cravings just thinking about it lol) and it was a mere 10 minutes from start to sliding into oven. Someone who doesn’t pre prep their food will probably need an additional two or three minutes to floret the cauliflower. I think the biggest complaint I’ve heard from people I know is that they find it too soggy or something, but it’s always due to the fact that they failed to properly drain the cauli and/or they make the crusts too thick and don’t adjust baking time and temp for that.
        I’ll definitely continue to call a frozen fruit mixture ice cream in casual conversation, thank you very much. They aren’t simply frozen bananas in the same way ice cream isn’t just frozen milk. If those who are angry at healthy eaters want to create a new vocabulary to efficiently describe the foods we are eating, it would likely be well received. I get tired of defending my food choices.

        • On June 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm Sally said:

          I’m sorry if I sounded like I was picking on your food choices. I really do respect your decision to eat healthier and be more careful with the food you eat. I know it’s not easy — especially with all the temptations out there!

  4. On June 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm Sarah said:

    Get a julienne peeler, it can basically do what a spiralizer does, it just doesn’t look as pretty. The handheld spiralizers are pretty cheap, but the one I have it pretty annoying. I’ve read that the oxo handheld one is the best handheld, and it does just fit into a drawer easily. The larger tabletop handcrank ones are probably not worth the space they take up unless you’re really into spiralizing veggies.

  5. On June 13, 2016 at 8:39 am Paula said:

    That’s awesome about wearing a sleeveless dress without a cardigan! I still struggle with this at times. If I have a little bit of tan in the sunmer I feel more confident about it but if I’m my usual pale self I can’t do it. Even though I know it shouldn’t matter either way!

    • On June 13, 2016 at 6:23 pm Sally said:

      It’s such a little thing, but it did feel like such a big accomplishment to me. I was thinking I should wear a sleeveless top every day and write a blog post about it. But first I would need to buy some more sleeveless tops. Seeing as I hardly ever wear them I don’t have a huge supply!

  6. On June 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm Katie said:

    Anxious to hear your DNA results! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

  7. On June 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm Angela said:

    I grew my boobs in China (Sihpromatum #1) by Savannah Grace is good.

  8. On June 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm krishnakumarpradhan said:

    Enjoyed all that stuff about icecreams.Ban the bananas frozen or otherwise,but have you tasted mango mixedwith milkmaid and frozenOne more question you have visited Ancestry.com,did you notice my father’s nme sunderrao keshav pradhan in family histories there.He was a doctor who never charged anything to villagers for medicines were supplied to himby Govt.

    • On June 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm Sally said:

      The frozen mango sounds good. I’ve never tried it, but I still refuse to call it ice cream if it’s not!
      As for Ancestry.com, I only ordered the kit. I didn’t do any research yet. And I would have only been researching my family, so I’m sure I wouldn’t have uncovered anything about anyone from your family… unless we’re somehow related! 🙂

  9. On June 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm Leslie in Oregon said:

    My “bad ass, single ladies conquering the world” book recommendation: read, in order of publication date, the books in Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. This is thought-provoking historical fiction, well-written mysteries with a female private investigator/psychologist as the protagonist. Set in Britain, so far from WWI through 1938.

  10. On June 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm deb said:

    Looking good! Best list ever. Had to check Everything out!

  11. On June 30, 2016 at 9:47 am Dominique King said:

    Well. I enjoyed your gutter ball joke! I wasn’t much of a bowler, but I oddly enough, once received a trophy for women’s highest game score in an every-other-Sunday league I bowled in years ago. Kept the trophy on the toilet in the basement bathroom…I was so proud!
    Dominique King recently posted..Seward Johnson statues come to Royal Oak, Michigan


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