adults only

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You know that feeling when everything suddenly comes together?  The moment I’m talking about proceeds weeks and possibly months or years of endless worrying.  The type of worrying that springs up while you’re running on the treadmill, writing a term paper, or trying to boil water, and all of a sudden, you can’t stop wondering: Am I doing the right thing?  What if this is a disastrous idea?  Then you silence your mind because you have chosen instead of logic, you will follow your intuition.  Yes, always intuition.  If you haven’t figured me out yet, that’s the way I work – I follow the signs, I go where they lead.  No pros and cons chart for this girl.

It’s tricky to determine all the things that could go right about a project, and so I usually just go straight ahead with any experiment that crosses my mind.  This method has produced my best and my worst ideas.  A classic example of how our greatest strength can be also be our greatest weakness, right?1-IMG_9558
Today, everything with my experiment went totally wrong and made me wish I had a boss that vetoed all my bad ideas.  The flipside is that being left to my own devices usually makes for a pretty good story.  1-IMG_9560
The oddball quirky story for today is that I had a not-so-brilliant-but-well-intentioned idea to make an ‘adults-only’ play zone at the park.  I wasn’t intending to play in it or anything, but I thought the concept was pretty important, and might encourage people to be a little silly.

Anyway, I roped off an area between some trees with streamers, and then I blew up tons and tons of balloons to fill up the play zone.  Bad idea, right?  I guess I don’t have any experience with balloons, but it simply didn’t occur to me that they would blow like wild and be all over the streets within 2 minutes.

Oops!  Drivers started honking and I was chasing down the balloons and I definitely made more people angry than happy.1-IMG_9569
My little brother called in the middle of the mayhem, and I explained the situation.  He calmly told me that I should just fill the balloons with candy and hang them around for people that might need cheering.

Anyway, I went home and did exactly as my little brother instructed:

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candy from a stranger

ImageWould you take candy from a stranger?  No?  Well, what about on Halloween?  Then I bet you would.  Even the parental warning to ‘never take candy from a stranger’ has an exception to the rule.

I made edible street art out of candy the other day, and I’m hoping that my neighbors ate the entire wall over the past 48 hours.  The project made me wonder if my neighbors would hesitate before taking candy from a stranger.  Maybe you think they should refrain altogether, but, dear reader, I don’t.  If you’ll take candy from a stranger on Halloween, you can eat a street mural made of gumdrops and starbursts.

Today, I’m setting out to dispel the notion that we shouldn’t accept candy from a stranger.  Why, you ask?  It’s all about possibility.  I believe that a stranger is more likely to give you a sweet treat than something deadly.  Don’t you agree? I suppose there is no guarantee, but isn’t that just indicative of life itself?
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I believe we need to seek out the unexpected. Make room for whimsy, if you will.  We take a chance each time we interact with a stranger (we can’t be sure of their motives or temperament ), but we also open ourselves up to the possibility that they make us laugh, share a great story, or, potentially, become a friend.

“I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stunned by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.” — Augusten Burroughs

I believe that taking risks and making experiments allow you to life a creative life.  Risks backfire, best intentions fail, and we don’t always achieve what we strive for.  But the negative outcomes make the best stories.   And as for me, I would rather be a dazzling failure than sitting in my rocking chair wishing I had taken chances.  For me, the hope or possibility that the risks are worth the reward is enough to take the leap of faith.

When the stakes are high, the challenge is great, and it’s easy to shy away from the opportunity.  But what then? All is lost.  You might seek and fail, but if you don’t seek, you will fail without doubt. And so, dear reader, I advise you take a risk today.  Perhaps start by taking candy from a stranger.  If strangers aren’t handing out candy, then find another risk – something closer to your heart, and see where it leads you.
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The best part of this random act of happiness wasn’t the candy or the laugher, it was working with Justina Louise.  Justina is an ah-may-zing wedding photographer in the Twin Cities, and she took the day off work to be silly with me.  Check out her work, and say hello — she’s lovely!

willy wonka wishes

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Candy walls? Check. Golden tickets? Check.  True love, street art, and candy all pop into my mind when I think about my favorite things.  All three things get all mixed up (probably because I feel true love for street art and candy), and it’s actually a little bit hard to decide which one is my favorite. Just kidding, Jon (you win, always).

But seriously, street art is one of my favorite things because it brings a little creativity and fun to the ordinary, and candy is a favorite because it’s an instant way to sweeten your day (and, as my dentist knows, I don’t just have one sweet tooth – I have sweet teeth).

Today, I combined 2 of my 3 favorite things to create edible street art. I think I will call it ‘sweet street art.’ That has a nice ring to it, no?
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My monogrammed ‘J’ bag by Irresistibles LLC works perfectly for sneaking candy all over the city.  The designer, Kari, makes all kinds of stylish monogrammed bags by hand.  As a perk for my readers, she is giving away this cute polka dot bag:

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For a chance to win, simply tell me something that makes you happy (use the ‘say hello’ tab at the top of the page.)

Oh- and if you’re in Minneapolis, head over to Bryant Square to find the golden ticket hidden in the smiley face 🙂