Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar Sunday

I LOVE the Oscars! They are so absolutely fabulous. I actually worked my hiney off all weekend so that I could sit here and watch the Red Carpet coverage and covet all of the fabulous fashions. I realized it's been almost a week since I've posted (oops) and since nothing really "blog worthy" has happened this week, I found this game thanks to The Blonde Ambition that I want to play and pass on to all of my fellow blog friends.

Here's how the game goes:

~you must post the rules
~post 11 fun facts about yourself
~answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you & then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged
~tag 11 people and link them in your post
~let them know you have tagged them

11 Fun(?) Things About me

1. I've never seen Godfather or Scarface
2. Even though I've never seen Godfather or Scarface, I have a very idealistic view of Mob Life--it seems very glamourous 
3. I have extreme germaphobia when it comes to the bathroom. I hate already wet showers and wet towels. Please refer to my earlier post in reference to The New Girl where Schmit rants about wet towls...
4. I had a mullet from 3rd grade to about 4th. Thanks mom <3
5. People say I look like Brooke Shields...?
Before I chopped my hair off

6. I saw Titanic 7 times in theaters
7. I am indifferent about The Notebook. I much prefer Ever After.
8. I am obsessed with Michael Kors watches. Seriously. It's not healthy.
Get on my wrist you sexy beast
9. I'm right handed and wear my watch on my right hand. Apparently that's not "right." But it makes sense to me.
10. I love the French Quarter in New Orleans. It's one of my most favorite places in the world.
11. When I was little and I would go fishing with my Papa, I would catch a fish and when I would let it go, I would kiss it and tell the fish to "have a good day."

 Here are the questions The Blonde Ambition asked:

1. If you could raid any celebrity's closet, who would it be and why?
It's a two-way tie. I would raid Lauren Conrad's closet for all of her amazing clothes, and I would raid Khloe Kardashian's shoe-closet.
Oh hey there...

2. If you were a shoe, what would you look like?
It's a tie...again...

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Not using blinkers when you turn and letting children cry/scream in public places

4. Favorite song of all-time?
Can't chose. It's impossible. 

5. Are you a dog person or a cat person? And why? (If you don't like animals, we can't be friends.)
Both. I have the most adorbs cat and dog ever. I can't choose.

6. You're queen for a day. How do you spend your royal 24 hours?
Shopping and traveling

7. What's the most delicious thing you've ever eaten?
My Meemaw's homemade Mac&Cheese

8. What scares you the most? (This can be deep and complex or shallow...whateva you feel like!)
Letting dogs run free off leashes. I almost have a panic attack.

9. Which celebrity do you wish would drift off into obscurity?
Kim Kardashian/Snookie.

10. You're 16 years old again. What advice would you give your younger self? 
You're skinny. You will meet the most amazing man who treats you like you're supposed to be treated...don't settle! Tell Papa you love him every single day. Appreciate living at home and don't wish to grow up so fast. Enjoy every moment, it goes by so fast. 

11. What's your Starbucks order?
Unsweetened green tea lemonade. Thanks Kalin. 

OK here are my 11 questions. I'm tagging everyone who reads this. 
1. If you were stuck on a desert island, what three thing would you bring with you and who would you want to be stuck with?
2. If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
3. What TV show is your naughty addition?
4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
5. Mayo or Miracle Whip?
6. Ryan Gosling, Robert Redford, or Brad Pitt
7. If you could rock one hairstyle, what would it be?
8. Who would you vote to be President and why?
9. If you could be fluent in one language, what would it be?
10. What's your favorite must-have fashion item?
11. If you could go one place in the world, where would it be?

If you play the game don't forget to leave your blog in the comment section- I'd love to read all your answers :) Hope you all have fun watching the Oscars and have a fabulous week <3

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Pick-Me-Ups

First, Happy President's Day everyone!
I wish I shopping...
 If you're having some major Monday-blues because you have to work/be at school, here are some funny/awesome little things I've seen that may make your day.

1. The Bitter Lawyer blog.  Today's post features the hilariousness that is Florida entitled: Florida: More than Just A Place To Die.

2. If you are a non-cooker person (me) but want to make something nomtastic then ladies and gentleman, I present to you uglies! Friends have described them as "heaven in your mouth" (and she would know, her dad is a preacher). Basically, it's like a sloppy joe in a little biscuit cup. I am making these for family night tonight. They're easy, reheat well, and amazing

They aren't pretty, but they're delicious
3. An oldie but a goodie. Beyonce the Chicken from The Bloggess.
Knock Knock...

4. Pinterest funnies

5. Something beautiful and/or inspiring to brighten your day

I hope that everyone has a very Happy President's Day and these little things make your Monday a little brighter. Have a fabulous week <3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I really have a love/hate relationship with Valentine's Day (which I think we can all kind empathize with that feeling). So I thought I'd share my best and worst Vday stories with you. They are both pretty awesome in their own way. 

So the worst Valentine's Day I think I ever had was my freshman year in college. It was the first Vday that I had been single in awhile and I was kind of homesick and all of that good stuff. So I just made up my mind that February 14th would just be another day, nbd. So,  I decided to go to the mall (hello retail therapy). I was doing fine, until I walked past the pet store window and saw all the really adorable pets and it made me miss my pets at home and made me even more lonely. OK, so I had a little moment then, it's fine, moving on. Then, when I left the mall, it had started snowing and I'm walking out behind this adorable little couple and he takes off his jacket and puts it around her and they kiss and snuggle together while walking to the car...srsly? Apparently, not in the cards for me to ignore what day it was, so I just decided I would run to Walmart to get some fake flowers to put in an empty vase I had and head home. BTW as bad as Walmart sucks on any given day, it's the worst on Valentine's Day, whether you're single or not, because it literally looks like Valentine's Day on crack jacked up on Mountain Dew and/or Surge (you 90's kids know what I'm talking about) in there. Anyways, so I was checking out, fake flowers in hand, and the teller says to me "Awwww how sad! No one bought you flowers today so you're having to buy them for yourself!!" ........................ WHICH, by the way, was NOT TRUE because my Dad sends me flowers every Valentine's Day since I was in kindergarten (so spoiled). Still though, WTF Walmart cashier lady?

Alright, moving on, now the best Valentine's Day ever. Overall I really do have nice Valentine's Days. As I said, I get flowers from my dad delivered to school every Valentine's Day since I was in kindergarten.

This year being no different <3
So, even when I don't have a boyfriend, I always have my Daddy to send me roses. This year, I also got flowers from my Meemaw- I was so surprised. They are beautiful.
I am one blessed girl
Since I've been dating Zach, I always look forward to Valentine's Day. Our first one was amazing. He made me the sweetest card, telling me all the reasons why he loved me, took me to a romantic dinner in Houston, and basically spoiled me to death :) I am so lucky to have such an amazing man who not only makes me feel loved and beautiful on February 14th of every year, but each and every day of the last four years we've been together.

Our First Valentine's Day

This year, Zach and I will probably do something low-key. Maybe the movies and cook dinner. Because I'm terrible at waiting to give gifts, I already gave Zach his. I made it with a little help from Pinterest and a LOT of help from my friends. It's a canvas that I modge-podged pictures of spots that are memorable to Zach and me.

I'm SO not creative, but this was a lot of fun and pretty easy to make

I put the step-by-step instructions on my Pinterest so go check it out. I'll probably do something like this again so I can keep it for myself haha. 

So I hope that everyone has a more love than hate relationship with February 14th this year. Remember, that even if you don't have a "significant other" there are so many other amazing wonderful people in your life that really love you <3

Update: I received the most beautiful surprise today when I got home from class. It made my day.
From my Valentine. They are so beautiful.

I love feeling like I live in a florist shop.
Right: Roses from Dad. Center: Bouquet from Zach. Left: Bouquet from my Meemaw. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday's Word: Alzheimer's

Disclaimer: This is me getting on my soap-box about something I am very passionate about. It's long, semi-depressing (at times), personal, but hopefully informative, and hopefully uplifting too.

Tonight, Zach and I watched an HBO documentary by Maria Shriver entitled "Grandpa Do You Know Who I Am?". It is a compilation of interviews with children, ranging in ages, who's grandparent is affected by Alzheimer's. During the documentary, Maria gives kids and adults who are dealing with a family member who has the disease some "lessons" in handling the one(s) they love. HBO, along with many other media outlets, are bringing more and more attention to this disease by airing documentaries and creating Alzheimer-specific websites where the public can learn more information about the disease and how they can help and get involved. This is a major step forward to finding a cure.

Traditionally, Alzheimer's (a form of dementia) was just thought to be a natural sign of aging. Even when families may have realized that this aging process wasn't normal, dementia and Alzheimer's were kind of a taboo topic to talk about. Maybe not "taboo" but just, scary. Alzheimer's is scary. Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer's. According to Alzheimer's Association Website an estimated 5.4 million people (1 in 8) in the United States in 2011 have the disease, and with the increase in number of older adults, that number is projected to double by 2050, meaning that Alzheimer's and dementia will likely affect virtually everyone in some respect. The projected increase between 2000 and 2025 for Texas specifically will be between the numbers of 49.1%-81%. In 2010, Texas alone had an estimated 340,000 people with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. It's the 5th for those 65 and older. Nearly 15 million American's provide care for those with this disease, 80% of care provided at home is provided by family members. The reason that many people are having to care for their own family members is that it is too expensive to put them in a facility. There are Alzheimer's-specific facilities which differ from normal nursing homes because the staff is trained in ways to help stimulate the fine-motor skills and the brains of the patients in order to prolong their lucidity. In fact, aggregate payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice are projected to increase from $183 billion in 2011 to $1.1 trillion in 2050, with Medicare and Medicaid only covering about 70% of that. (By the way, all of these facts and figures are from here). Basically, all these facts and figures and statistics I just told you about boils down to this: Alzheimer's disease is real, it's growing, it's expensive, it's deadly and we need to find a cure.

Some of you may know that my Meemaw (maternal grandmother) has Alzheimer's. I found out when I was a sophomore in undergrad in 2007. She had been acting strange for awhile. We were like most families. We just decided it was a normal part of aging. And then, my Mom took her to a doctor in Abilene and she was diagnosed. My parents told me while we were eating lunch. I was devastated. The only thing I knew about Alzheimer's was that it made people forget everything, and I kind of thought it would affect her immediately. Like the next time I went home, she wouldn't know who I was. I considered transferring back to Abilene to be with her. I didn't want her to think I had abandoned her when she started deteriorating. I'm her only grandchild, and she's my last grandparent alive. It was a tough time. We tried to have at-home nurse care, but even while the nurse was there she would wander outside or leave the gas on the stove on. We were eventually able to get her into an Alzheimer's-specific care center. Windcrest has been a blessing to be honest. Since she has been there she has actually improved. It's been about 5 years since Meemaw was diagnosed, and she still remembers all the important things. It's weird how it affects the brain. She has great long-term memory. She can remember growing up, the names of her classmates, meeting and marrying my Papa, raising a family. She can remember all of that like was yesterday. But her short-term is a little more fuzzy. Just insignificant things in the big scheme of it all. Our family is very blessed that she has been on a plateau for so long. She is still herself with her same personality, she can still walk a little, speak well, write letters, color (which she loves), read, travel, and most importantly, she still remembers all of us. We are very, very blessed.

Because she's so "normal" it's sometimes easy to forget she has the disease. The forgetting may be more of a survival mechanism also. But tonight, when I watched the documentary, and I saw what the future holds, it crushed me to be completely honest with you. I pray I never have to deal with the things those 15 year olds, 10 year olds, and even 7 year olds were having to deal with. The mood swings, the inability to speak, walk, remember. I know that's what happens with this disease. I know that could potentially be the future. And it scares me. 

And it's in moments like these I make myself believe that one day there will be a cure. That one day, we will tell our grandkids what Alzheimer's was, like how our grandparents tell us what Polio was. As I told you on Sunday, the U.S. government has set an goal for finding a treatment for Alzheimer's by 2025. We are working hard to protect our older loved ones from this disease, and to protect their families from the heartache this disease causes. But for now, the only thing we can do is educate ourselves. We can't control Alzheimer's yet, but we can educate ourselves so that the disease isn't so scary. We can educate ourselves as to what Alzheimer's is.We can educate ourselves to look for the early-onset warning signs. We can educate ourselves so that when someone we love, or someone we know is diagnosed, we know how to handle it better than we would've had we not known. Alzheimer's is scary. But it's not as bad when you know what you're dealing with. Please, visit to learn more about Alzheimer's, dementia, caregiving, support groups in your area, current research, current treatment, and how you can help find a cure. 

To all of you who have given your love, support, words of hope, comfort, encouragement to me, my Meemaw, my mom and my dad, "thank you" doesn't seem to be enough. To those of you who have a loved one affected by this terrible disease, don't be scared. Don't be scared to talk to the people around you. Don't be scared to reach out. Don't be scared, you are not alone.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Peaks, Valleys, and What's Crackalacken in the Upcoming Week

So on Sundays, I thought it might be good to recognize the peaks and valleys from the past week, as well as What's Crackalacken for the upcoming week.

Peaks and Valleys for the week of January 29-Feb. 5 2012

Peaks (I think it's good to recognize the blessings and happy moments first)

  • The love of my parents, friends, and boyfriend (listed in no particular order) <3
  • Getting a call-back from a potential employer
  • Losing a few lbs 
  • Getting a wonderful response about my new blog (ThAnKs EvErYoNe!)
  • My high school mock trial team that I coach winning best advocate awards and best witness awards (proud mama)
  • Not getting behind with reading for school
  • U.S. set goal to find Alzheimer's treatment by 2025!
  • Date night with Zach
  • One of my best guy friends getting EnGaGeD last night!! Congratulations Evan and Amber!!
  • This dog So adorbs! And this commercial More dogs... 
  • Waking up late on Monday morning, finding one of my animals peed on my bathroom rug, vomited on my living room rug, and pooped in my bathtub. The Trifecta.
  • E-mailing an employer who I had been in contact with/courting for almost a year about an internship this summer, only to get a two sentence response telling me they had chosen to go through SMU Law and "best wishes"...
  • Getting turned down by another potential employer for the summer 
  • Being reminded that the Cowboys and Saints aren't in the Super Bowl
My "valley's" aren't even that bad really in the large scheme of things. The poop in the bathtub thing was kind of hilarious. The two rejections in one week was kind of a bummer. My Dad always says, you just have to take the bull by the horns and apply for the jobs you want. You're closer to a yes if you apply than if you don't. And Zach always has had this kind of theory that if you ask 10 people, at least one person usually says yes. So I'm well on my way to that number :) and besides, someone has to say "yes" eventually. All the "no's" just make those "yes's" that much better.  

So- now What's Crackalacken next week Feb. 6-Feb 12

Monday: Family Night with Kalin, Cara, and Kasi

Tuesday: Happy Birthday Otto Frank!!! 
It's my 2 year birthday!!

Taking Otto to get a mani pedi No one is too excited about this. The last time Otto got a mani/pedi he bit the nurse, I had to muzzle him, and he pooped on my shirt.
Not. Excited.
Going to get a mani/pedi for myself (which I, on the other hand, love) 

And that's about it. It's so nice when you have a week with not much else to do besides school and homework.

I hope that everyone has a fabulous, wonderful week in which you all have many more peaks than valleys.


Friday, February 3, 2012


Oh hi there. Welcome to my blog. I think the hardest part of starting a blog (besides picking a blog name) is to decide what to write about in your first post. Therefore, I wanted to link up with A Blonde Ambition and Our Happily Ever After... and do a "Friday Confessional" to get this party started.

1. I am terrified of blogging. I'm afraid that just my sweet boyfriend, and wonderful parents will read this. Not that there's anything wrong with that :)

2. It took me about 3 hours to think of a blog name.

3. I really don't have anything that exciting going on. I know a lot of people start blogs when they get a new job, get engaged, are having a baby, can cook really well, or are very creative/fashionable. I am in law school, I don't have a "big girl" job (or any job for that matter), I'm not married or engaged (but I do have a hot, awesome boyfriend), my children are my wiener dog Otto and my white cat Bogie (best children ever), I can't really cook except in a crock pot, I wear jeans and tshirts most days, and as easy as those crafts look on Pinterest, I still can't modge podge really anything that well.

4. I am procrastinating reading for school.

5. I can't spell. Seriously. So if I misspell something on this thing, please don't judge too much. Yes, there's spell check, but sometimes it misses all of my spelling mistakes (I honestly feel bad for it. It has to be exhausted). But it's the thought that counts, not my inability to spell.

6. I'm also have terrible grammar. (I just misspelled "grammar" by the way)

7. I'm addicted to TheBloggess, reality TV (actually, just TV in general), Facebook, Pinterest, buying nail polish, buying makeup, Sushi, Firehouse subs, McAllister's, and anything sweet (which is unfortunate because I'm trying to lose weight, like always)

8. I really hate already wet towels and already wet showers. Please see the rant on damp towels here Damp Towel from New Girl

9. While I hate already wet towels, I love the New Girl.

10. I named this blog "What's Crackalacken" because my last name is McCracken. And without fail, almost every time I tell someone my last name, they say "OH what's Crackalackin?!" Or "what's cracken McCracken" And I absolutely love it. So thank you everyone for the inspiration. And also to Tanner and Lynn for all of the blog advice and help. Please check out their amazing blogs here: Tanner's Bananers and Illegally Blonde

So there you go, 10 confessions. I really am excited to start this blogging thing. Welcome to "What's Crackalacken." <3