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You should know that the title of this post is meant to be taken quite literally…

It’s Friday and I’m sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops downtown. It’s drizzly and gloomy outside but cozy and relaxing in here. Pretty much perfect for the way I’m feeling this afternoon, which is a little worse for wear after this week. So I’m soaking it up. I usually stay at school on Fridays so I can get a head start on whatever mountain of work I’m attempting to tackle over the weekend. Not today. Hours 1, 2, and 3 of Civil Procedure left me drained. It was a full and productive week, the best kind in my book, but today couldn’t have come soon enough.

So I decided to cut myself loose and slip downtown to recharge a little and get my head together. Some people don’t love working at coffee shops but for me it’s perfection. I love the vibe. I’m energized by the hum and buzz of the espresso machine and milk frother, the clicks of the keyboards, the quiet but friendly chatter. The people staring out the window, following a thought as it bobs and weaves through the crowd. And I find it so comforting to be alone–able to reflect and chase my own thoughts around a bit–surrounded by a bunch of people doing the same thing. Plus, people in coffee shops always seem to be in such great moods… which may or may not have something to do with the easy access to caffeine.

They’re a good fit for my personality–happiest alone in a crowded room. There must be a name for us, the people stuck in the grey matter between introvert and extrovert. You’re energized by people? You’re an extrovert! You’d rather be alone? You’re an introvert! I love people–I’m totally intrigued by them, but also totally overwhelmed by them at the same time. Know what I mean? So as I said, I’d rather be doing my own thing in a room full of people doing their own thing, than say, doing a group activity with a bunch of people. That kind of gives me hives.

So here I am, sitting alone enjoying a gloomy Friday afternoon with my stranger/best friends and sipping my favorite tea. I thought I’d share what’s new and exciting my life lately and some random thoughts, to keep in line with what seems to be the theme of this post thus far. Ready?

Random Thought No. 1: Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice. This tea is crack.

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I guess that’s not very random because I’m drinking it as we speak, as I do everyday, because I have a full-blown crack tea addition. What do they put in this stuff? If it’s wrong I don’t want to be right. It started when I was studying for my first round of law school finals last fall and now I’m hooked. I’m buying it in bulk on the regular from local coffee shops and I beg you to heed my warning if you don’t want to find yourself doing the same: this tea is addictive. It’s black tea with three types of cinnamon, orange peel, and sweet cloves, with no sugar added. Divine. Sometimes I think I should be a more sophisticated tea-drinker and dabble in the loose-leaf teas and the artisanals and the herbals and Rooibos but I’m just too hooked on this stuff. It gets me out of bed in the morning. Bottom line: you’ve been warned.

Side bar: Caribou Coffee (a chain we have in Michigan, or had, many of them are closing because I think they sold out to some west coast franchise) also has a remarkably similar-tasting (read: tastes the exact same) “Hot Cinnamon Spice” tea. I’ve asked multiple Caribou barristas whether it’s the Harney & Sons tea under the Caribou label and I’ve never gotten a straight answer. They claim it’s a special Caribou blend but I have my doubts. Anyway, it tastes just like the real stuff so I don’t discriminate.

Moving along…

Random Thought #2: I mentioned in my last post that B and I are enjoying the seasonal summer fruits lately. I should have clarified. It’s full-blown-berry-mania over here.

IMG_1124B and I made our way through 4 large containers of organic strawberries and 1 large container of organic raspberries within the last week. Yesterday, we restocked at Trader Joe’s. I’m curious to see how long it will take us to make it through another 2 containers of strawberries and 2 containers of raspberries. B is away this weekend visiting a friend, so I have my work cut out for me. Don’t be surprised if you see a berry recipe in the near future! We need to eat them by next Wednesday because we’re going out-of-town for the 4th of July! (More on that later, it’s an impromptu trip, but I’m SO pumped.)

Random LOVE #3: This happy little puppy dog.

IMG_3302I took this picture on our way home from the vet the other day. Stella had to get the bordetella vaccine because we joined a local dog park! The vaccine is required for many dog parks and doggie day cares as it protects pups from kennel cough. We took her to the park for the first time Wednesday night and she absolutely LOVED it! She had a great time chasing the other dogs around and she was acting like a baby puppy again. She’s only 4 years old, but on Wednesday she had the same “dog park spunk” she always had at her old dog park. Near our old house in Lansing, there was an unofficial dog park a few blocks away that I took Stella to when she was really little. Every night a bunch of us would show up with our dogs after work.

I wanted her to learn to socialize with other dogs and did she ever. If I’m a confused extro-introvert, Stella is a bona fide extrovert. She loves anything with a pulse: people, kids, other dogs, bunnies, cats… You name it. We would go to the dog park almost every night and she would chase the big dogs when they chased after tennis balls, and wrestle with the little ones. Pugs are a really social breed and Stella is definitely no exception. B and I really want another pug/sister/companion for Stella, as she’s SO happy when other dogs are around, but until we move this is the next best thing for her. I’m hoping this dreary weather clears up so I can take her again tonight!

IMG_0207Here’s a picture of a few of the dogs at the old dog park. Stella is the blur in front with the pink harness šŸ™‚

And here she is with her buddy Mr. Biggles. We puppy-sat for him last weekend so these two friends got to catch up!

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Random Love #4: The “Frozen Yogurt Loop”

B and I have upped our fitness game a bit lately. It all started with a pedometer and a $25 prize but more on that later. Suffice to say we’ve taken some long walks and runs lately. Not only is it good exercise, it’s also a great way for us to spend some time together “unplugged” and to catch up on our days; our plans for the next week, month, year; wedding planning! and whatever else we’ve got going on.

IMG_1127On a recent walk downtown–we were retrieving an umbrella we left at a restaurant we had walked for dinner to the night before, like I said, lots of walking lately–we discovered Sweet Earth. Ooooh my…

IMG_1129The good news is, we’re using it as a good incentive to walk the ~4.6 mile round-trip downtown and back. The bad news is I’m a recovering frozen yogurt addict and am highly susceptible to relapse. We’ve been twice this week already.

Random Love #5 and I’ll call it a day: This TED talk. By Glennon Doyle Melton.

Having faced some of the same issues Glennon addresses, it’s nice to hear someone make such beautiful (or “brutiful” in her words) sense of it all. I think we’re all a little more alike than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. I also adore this piece by her: “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On.” Different topic entirely, but written from a place of such thoughtful consideration, faith, and love, and timely in light of the SCOTUS opinions handed down this week.

Whew! I don’t know about you but I’m feeling relaxed and ready to head into the weekend–a few hours at a coffee shop will do that for you. Hopefully this rain gives us a break for a few hours. I’ve got a puppy to play with!

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Have an amazing and adventurous weekend friends!

-S

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