Celebrating the Fourth of July (the American way)

Celebrating the Fourth of July (the American way)


One day a year, the American people are given the OK to publicly express their gratitude for the men who worked tirelessly to present them with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through a celebration of food, fun and family. (Not that we could really limit our appreciation to one day a year, but we do our best.) With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, people across the country are preparing for some of the wildest celebrations of the year. Even in our nation's troubling times, we deserve to properly observe this honorable day of independence, with just a few things that are a holiday must.

No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without some classic barbecue style foods. We Americans are known for enjoying our food in an organized fashion; specifically eating contests. I mean, would you really want to eat all of your favorite foods in any way other than stuffing your face so quickly that you don't even get to taste them? A true Fourth of July cookout celebration should always include meat, whether it be hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, ribs, pulled pork, or the most American meat of all: bacon. The meal should also include traditional patriotic sides, such as beans, coleslaw, Lays potato chips, corn on the cob, watermelon and potato salad. Independence Day cookouts would be nothing without some beverages- how could we forget the iced tea and fresh squeezed lemonade (and maybe just one ice cold beer) and of course, a red, white, and blue themed dessert.

It is also true that the Fourth of July celebration just wouldn't be the same without some classic activities. Every celebratory American party comes equipped with the obligation to partake in at least one (if not all) of the following events: Attend a parade- go ahead, sit on the sidewalk between thousands of other screaming, sweaty individuals, equally as excited about the holiday. Go see fireworks- this is one of the only times that it is socially acceptable to be face-to-face with a group of people and not speak a single word to any of them. Display an American flag- if you don't do it, did you actually celebrate?? Admire bald eagles- no explanation necessary.

This holiday weekend, it is clear that Americans do not need any more reason to celebrate how far our nation has come. Set backs aside, the American people have a lot to be proud of and so much more to be thankful for. Grab your family and friends and get ready to party. Break out the grill, the coolers, the glow sticks and the sparklers and spread the cheer in your own way. This holiday celebration is one that will be executed perfectly, no matter how you do it, so show off your stars and stripes and God bless 'Merica.

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A Love Letter To My Happy Place, Taco Bell

A real bond between a girl and her food is everlasting.

Dear Taco Bell,

Everyone has a place that is special to their heart, that removes them from the hectic realities of everyday life and into a calmer, happier state of mind. For some people, it may be the peaceful setting of the woods, a cozy bedroom, or a park filled with childhood memories; However, Taco Bell, you are my happy place.

Even though most people wouldn’t find you very special, and frankly, a lot of people don’t even admit that they like you, you will always have a special place in my heart.

I really appreciate how you have always been there for me. You never let me down, besides the fact that you no longer have Salsa Verde sauce, but I’m not one to hold a grudge, though it does feel as if something is missing.

From a very young age, you were always the place I looked forward to going to most. Every Saturday, I tried to convince my dad and brother to visit you for lunch, and even when they didn’t want to see you, I wouldn’t betray you. While they would go to a different fast food chain, I would make them stop at you first so that I could still have a part of you with me while they ate at another restaurant. I remember when you sold kid’s meals that came with a side of chips and cheese, which was perfect to satisfy my taco-loving soul.

As the years went on, I didn’t see you as much, but I still craved all that you have to offer. After a bad day at school, there is nothing that I would have liked to do more than to cuddle up with a Loaded Potato Griller and a Baja Blast Freeze. After an all-day softball competition, the only thing that would satisfy my hunger would be a Chicken Quesarito and Cinnabon Delights. After hours of debating where we should go to dinner, my mind always wandered to a Cheesy Gordita Crunch and a Chipotle Chicken Griller. The list of occasions where I want to be with you goes on and on.

Getting older, I knew that if I ate too much fast food, I’d gain weight, but that didn’t stop me from getting a job with you for my first ever part-time job. Everyone is shocked to know that I worked at Taco Bell for a whole year and am still so in love, but a real bond between a girl and her food is everlasting.

To this day, I treat myself to seeing you whenever I need a break from reality. I even went four times in two days during finals week…oops. Your food has been a comfort for me for as long as I remember, and nothing can take that away from me.

I love to bring other people, especially those who have never been blessed by the Taco Bell gods to venture out and allow their taste buds to savor the food so meaningful to me. While they may be underwhelmed, I am never disappointed.

Anyways, thank you for always being there for me, even though there were times where I chose others over you, you always let me back in. You are the one thing that has never betrayed, backstabbed, or hurt me. I’m sure I will visit you again soon! Probably within the next few days tbh...

All my love,

The Girl Who Is Too Obsessed

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Schugg

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8 Customers You'll Meet At Your Starbucks

"-That's like sooo basic!"

Ah. What a beautiful splendorous morning. There are many ways to start one, but my favorite one is always with a trip to my local overpriced coffee shop. As I frequented the establishment over the years, I’ve noticed that after a while, the customers become… familiar. Here is 8 types of them I’ve found.

i. The ‘healthy’ eater

She talks a lot about leading a healthy lifestyle. Does yoga thrice a week, makes a big fuss out of detoxes and eating right. She’s a sucker for an acai bowl, and a dreamer at heart. Gets a venti double chocolate frappuccino with whipped cream blended in, java chips, four pumps of caramel syrup, with a banana blended in for the sake of how bananas she is. None of my business though.

ii. The Artist

They are more of a myth than a person. There’s no reason in any season to get creative juices flowing in the air, intoxicating and stimulating imagination with sweet cocaine of coffee, their spiraling addiction coming into friction with the murmur of the moody meager morning-

I’ve never met a person who has actually written something profound in a cafe. You can’t. Whatever they’re doing, it probably is an intellectual sham, because you can’t write with someone yelling “Betsy!” every minute from behind the counter.

iii. The WiFi Thief

This person is here for the free WiFi, and nothing else. They have a beverage from elsewhere, take up the comfiest seat in the cafe and never seem to leave. Good for them?

iv. The “basic”

Ladies (and gents, although the stereotype applies generally to women for some reason) you’re NOT basic. You’re all unique gemstone-like snowflakes, who happen to share an interest in pumpkin spice lattes, certain kinds of clothing people consider UGG-ly, and seem to have your names grown at the same petri dish. Ashley is a good name though! Don't be ashamed to be basic!

v. The Cop

If you frequent the same Starbucks for long enough, you’ll notice a police officer or two (or three) pay a visit. The funny thing is even though you know they're there just for coffee a part of you hopes something exciting could happen.

vi. The Trendy Hipster

This is someone who has given up on this mortal realm. This is someone who when they speak their order, has lightning flash. They will order whatever is the most complicated and popular drink on the menu. For every new secret recipe they come up with, a million baristas die a broiling cruel and senseless death.

vii. The Intern

You will see them during afternoons or early mornings- especially if you live in the city. Their job description said they’ll accrue priceless experience working at Big Daddy Inc, but unfortunately this literally priceless experience consists of ordering 8 cups of coffee for everyone in the office. If they are ahead of you, consider yourself late to class.

viii. Your Best Friend

Okay, they’re not your best friend, but they certainly seem to know everyone on staff. The second they enter, from within the depths beyond the counter and the La Boulangerie glass case, someone greets out their name. Even some of the customers there know them. Do they come here a lot? Are they a neighboring business owner perhaps? Or, are they a mini celebrity or a mere phantom employee?

If you keep your eyes peeled, you are certain to find and stumble across someone like this at your local Starbucks!

Remember that this list, much like a pokedex, keeps on expanding on and on as the time goes by, so feel free to suggest who else should be added to it!

Cover Image Credit: Leah Kelley

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