A Cyrus Sandwich

“Guys, he is coming ,” 99.7 DJX’s Ben Davis calmly said to fellow DJ, Chelsea, and I. Not only was one Cyrus coming to the station, but the father of all Cyrus’, Mr. Billy Ray himself. In the flesh. I was having enough trouble thinking about meeting Noah, his youngest, let alone the dad from Hannah Montana.

Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with Miley. The days leading up to the big meet and greet I hardly slept. My anxious excitement filled every inch of my thoughts, until I woke up and it was THE day. The day I got to meet members of my favorite family.

The anticipation grew greater as the time seemingly got pushed back farther and farther. My two little hair buns on top of my head felt like they were going to pop off! I just couldn’t wait any longer! Then it was time to prep.

As I stood in the studio with Ben and Chelsea my heart pounded. I was shaking as I awaited the duo to turn the corner. Chelsea and I were discussing the Cyrus family and which members we hoped would tag along. As the intensity grew phrases were thrown out such as, “I’ll pee my pants if…” and “I will literally cry if…” To which Ben looked into each our eyes with a fatherly gaze as he said, “guys, he is coming with her. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you so you can get it all out now.” It was official. Noah was bringing her iconic father and neither of us could deal.

Just as our shock  hit us, J.D., the program director, walked in and announced a rash change of plans. Noah was going to interview later in the studio and they were on their way. Rushing out of the studio, I found a couple coworkers and we made our way outside to get some air.

Then, in slow motion, I glanced to my left, and there they were, walking down the street looking cool as hell. Billy Ray Cyrus clad in a heather- colored beanie and aviators and Noah Cyrus with red cast Lennon- inspired shades walked down Fourth Street straight towards me. I’m sure I looked insane, but I took in this movie moment and play it on a continuous loop at least once a day.

J.D. welcomed the pair as I stood in awe. Billy looked to us and said, “How are you all doin’ over there?” to which I quickly replied, “GREAT!” As we followed them inside Noah took a photo of our dog logo. It reminded her of one of her past pups. The two of them, along with their band got on the elevator and I followed in suit. JD came on with me (THANK GOD), knowing how big of a fan I am he just turned and smiled at me. So, of course, I turned around to Papa Cyrus and Baby Cyrus and introduced myself.. literally two inches from their faces. They smiled and greeted me.

Walking off of an elevator with Billy Ray Cyrus and Noah Cyrus was one of the greatest feelings in the WORLD. I walked in with them following behind me to all the fans who were patiently waiting. The smile plastered across my face told it all. It was truly better than Christmas morning, and that’s saying a lot coming from me.

As soon as we were all seated Noah said, “Hey dad want some pizza?” (so casual) He ate his sausage and pepperoni slices as he sat in a stack of five chairs just nonchalantly in the back of the room. They’re seriously such a cute father and daughter pair. Noah took her seat at the front of the room as she played “Again” followed by “Make Me.” She hit those high notes and sang so perfectly. I wanted to full out sing and dance but I had to keep my cool as everyone else was silent.

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After the intimate performance, we each took a picture with Noah. When it was my turn she looked at me and said “Hey girl,” like we were already besties.

We were rushed upstairs to the studio for the on-air interview. I held my breath as I filmed the entirety of the brilliance. I was so shaky, especially at the end of the session when Billy Ray turned to my camera and nodded! I literally thought I was going to DIE.  He had so many cool tattoos. I just couldn’t believe he was in the flesh right in front of me.

I took a picture with both Cyrus’s to which I said, “Cyrus Sandwich.”

“Everyone says that!” Noah said while smiling.

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After we were all done acting as paparazzi, I asked for Noah’s autograph and gave her some dried tea leaves. She was SO grateful. Like I had given her diamonds. She hugged me and said, “You’re so sweet thank you so much. Seriously.” Billy said “Hey you got your tea.” THEY’RE SO CUTE!!!

The rest of the staff all got pictures with Billy Ray and then we walked them out. Noah thanked me one last time.

Thank you to DJX for the best experience of my life next to my wedding.
P.S. They played “Achy Breaky Heart” that night during the opening of the Katy Perry show #lifemade

 

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A Furry Perspective

 

Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. My name is Otis. I just wanted to tell you about a day in the life of the infamous #BickelBeagle.

Each morning, starting at about 3:00, I BEGGGG my mom to let me in bed. You see, my parents  have this new rule where I’m not allowed to sleep in bed with them. If I try to they growl at me and this blue bottle full of wet stuff gets shot out at me! I just want to be close to them.

HEY HEY HEY HEY! HEY BUNNY! HEY! I SEE YOU THROUGH THE WINDOW HEY!

Anyways, I always choose to ask my mom because she’s not as strict with me. I just put my front paws on the bed and stare at her with the saddest face I can manage and she usually lets me jump up.

I like cuddling with my dad. He sleeps so heavy it’s like laying with a giant pillow that never moves. My mom always pushes me around and it just makes me so grumpy! Let me sleep, woman!

At 6:30, my dad’s alarm goes off, which means it’s time to eat! When I hear those beeps my stomach gets so excited that it makes me jump and shout yippeeeeeeee! I can’t help but to race around the bedroom screaming PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! My dad finally gets up after about the 15th PLEASE!

I race him to the kitchen, but I always win! Then my belly makes me run in circles and jump around until I hear the magical sound of food hitting my bowl.

YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM. Uh oh. I have to go potty. Now my bladder is making me race back to the bedroom where my mom is STILL SLEEPING. She’s so lazy. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

She’s faster than Dad when it comes to getting out of bed but still I’m about to burst. I race outside and smell the ground for my FAVORITE spot. There are a lot of rocks in my yard, but I like to go on grass. My spot is pretty close to the door so I can hurry inside if it’s too cold or raining. Although I love the raindrops. I HATE baths, but rain is just so fun to run in.

Yelling PLEASE doesn’t usually work to get back inside so I have to use my deep voice and say MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM!!!! This is my favorite part of the morning because as soon as that door opens I get a treat! My mom even bakes them for me in the fall. I think they’re pumpkin flavored but I don’t care. I just love throwing them around. Then I get to lay on my bed in the bathroom while dad showers. I just like being close to at least one of my parents. ALL THE TIME.

Once the shower is over I get to lick all the raindrops off my dad’s legs. Then, I climb back in bed with mom for another 30 minutes before she gets up and starts making noise come out of her phone that talks about Santa and jingle bells and my ancestors, horses and reindeer! I LOVE DEER. ONE TIME I SAW ONE IN MY YARD! I CHASED HIM AS FAST AS I COULD BUT HE DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY. I WAS REALLY SAD WHEN I COULDN’T FIND HIM BUT I THINK HE’LL COME BACK ONE DAY. I TRIED TO SAY HEY I’M RELATED TO YOU! BUT I THINK HE WAS TOO TALL TO HEAR ME.

When mom leaves I have to get in my crate, which is where I get my beauty rest. After staying up most of the night BEGGING to get on the bed, I’m pretty tired. I love curling up in a ball and just cuddling with one of my furry friends that mom and dad give me.  My mom says I look like a crescent roll. Sometimes I wake up to Jesus and God walking around upstairs. I usually try to talk to them but they’re too far away. I also talk to the turtles who live in a bowl across from my crate. They just sit there staring at me and sometimes climb on a rock! I think they sleep a lot, too.

THEN THE BEST PART OF THE DAY HAPPENS. I hear the doorknob and dad is home! HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI!!! I get so excited that I almost pee myself! And then my belly gets all excited again so I have to race around and jump everywhere until the food hits my bowl again. Then my bladder gets all excited. THEN MOM COMES HOME!!! It’s like two Christmases every single day! With mom I can’t help but scream MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM! She tells me that she missed me ALLLLLL day. And I kiss her over and over. I don’t usually kiss her because she ALWAYS wants me to, but when I first see her after sleeping I love giving her a bunch!

Then I just get to hangout with my parents. AKA my best friends! Unless it’s Monday. Because on Mondays I get to hangout with my DOG FRIENDS!! Roxy is my favorite. I know her name by heart. She’s technically my Aunt, but I feel like she’s more my friend. We get to run around all over a giant thing of grass! There are butterflies and weeds that are super yummy. Well not really but Roxy and the other two dogs eat them, so I might as well. I love rolling in little patches of dirt that I find. It’s the best. Mom always tries to make me smell like flowers, but that’s so GROSS!

The car ride home is usually pretty sleepy. My mom keeps a blanket for me to cuddle with in the backseat and I sleep most of the way. But I know when we take the exit to go to our house! I sit up and watch the other cars and trees because I can’t wait to get into my bed!!

After goodnight kisses from my mom and hugs from my dad I fall fast asleep and dream about Roxy and bunnies and gophers! Then I wake up at 3:00AM and peek at my mom and the whole day starts again. I just love living with my mom and Jake.

 

The One with the Tour

Soft. Like velvet. Like sitting on a cloud. A cloud that will always be there for you. That’s what it felt like, sitting on the very same couch that the cast of Friends sat on all those years ago.

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As the Warner Brothers tour came to an end, I could feel the anticipation of entering into the world I’ve always wanted to be a part of. As I turned the corner, tears filled my eyes as the set of Central Perk was laid out before me, in perfect array. I held my breath as we waited in line to place our eager tushes on the infamous upholstery. FINALLY it was our turn. It all happened so fast. We held mugs, looked in several directions for the “paparazzi,” and then it was on to the next in line.

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However, this isn’t nearly the end of the story. Oh no, my “Friends,” we’re just getting started. What I didn’t mention is that we’d already witnessed the “Central Park” where Rachel and Phoebe ran together, the stairs Ross played the keyboard on during the prom flashback, Frank Jr.’s House, and the “field” where Red Ross played Rugby. My heart was already soaring just from those instances and then from getting to sit where they sat, breathe the same air, just, you know, 10+ years later. Ok, so maybe not the EXACT same air. Regardless, I felt so close to my favorite characters.

I had no idea how much closer I was about to get. Back at the Perk, after our photo, there was a countdown on television screens above the set, a countdown for the next shooting. I HAD to be a part of it. I WOULD be a part of it, no matter what I had to do. And here we go…

The set attendant turned to all of us gathered around and asked who loved Friends. Thinking everyone would scream their guts out, I gave it my all. And I was the loudest… I’m sure I had a crazy look in my eyes when she turned to me and asked who my favorite character was, to which I replied “Phoebe Buffay.” All of a sudden, my dreams had come true. The heavens had opened as she began to sing “Smelly Cat.”  She handed me the mic, as I proudly sang the line, “What are they feeding you?” Then, as we all continued to sing, the attendant was about to turn to me again with the mic and the WORST thing happened. I don’t know how it could have happened. I guess with all the hype my mind just couldn’t process it all, but I BLANKED!  I FROZE! Thank goodness for the rest of the crowd helping me out. Even my husband made fun of me with, “REALLY?! You of all people!”

After that slight embarrassment, I was chosen to play Rachel in a scene (the only available female role that had nothing to do with my failure as Phoebe). The attendant asked me who I had brought with me, “My husband, but he doesn’t want to do this,” I said.  She persisted that I needed a Ross to my Rachel. He begrudgingly obliged as the crowd egged him on. We were joined by a Joey participant, as well. Suddenly all eyes were on us as we watched the scene from “The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner” and rehearsed our lines.

Lights. Camera. Action. It was my time to shine as a member of the Friends cast. I was giddy. Like on Christmas morning. I said my lines flawlessly, unlike the “Smelly Cat” incident. As we watched the playback I was just so full of joy all I could do was smile and forbear a scream.

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As we walked away, I couldn’t focus on anything else for this part of the tour. All I could think about was going back. So we did. Like five times. And on the last time, we lucked out. MAJORLY.

We noticed that no one was in line for pictures, and people were exploring the set! So, obviously, we got pictures all over the place. I kept touching everything, from coffee pots, to mugs, to magazines, to an old computer, to a guitar meant to look like Phoebe’s. I couldn’t stop soaking up each and every detail. I’m getting emotional right now just thinking about it, thinking about how I miss it so much and how I want to go back every single day. Once we had taken in every inch of the set, it was time to get our Central Perk coffee. And as we walked out, my tummy was warm with mocha and my heart was warm with a deeper love for my favorite Friends.

 

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Thank you Warner Brothers for letting fans experience something so raw and beautiful. I’m forever grateful.

 

DIY of the Day involving the VMA’s?!

Have you ever looked at a mason jar and thought, “I love you.” Well, I haven’t unless it’s a super old one that’s tinted blue or if it’s been made into something functional and cute.

Black Mason jar

The project I’m about to go into, involves an insanely cute mason jar… that I did not make. Before you freak out on me and call me a poser, I know how to make it, but I chose to buy it from a celebrity instead.

“What celebrity would sell DIY projects?!” you might ask. Could it be Kendrick Lamar? Miley Cyrus? One of the girls from Fifth Harmony?? Or am I just naming people from last night’s VMA’s? The answer will come later. For now, here’s the step by step guide to making a chic mason jar night light.

Items needed to complete this craft include: a mason jar, black spray paint, a candle or string of battery-powered lights, string, and tape.

To start, you’ll want to think of the design you want the light to show through the jar. The one I have is shaped similar to a sun. Cut and place the tape accordingly on the jar. Remember, you will be spraying the rest of the bottle black, so make sure your design is big enough for light to show through.

Once you’ve taped off your design, go outside or to a super airy space to spray the entire bottle black. Make sure you take off the mason jar lid during this step. I would do two to three coats, just to make sure you get full coverage.

Let that dry for over 24 hours. Then peel away your tape. Looking cute at this stage, I know. Just wait, it gets cuter. Then, either place your candle, or string of lights inside and screw on the outer ring of the lid. You can discard the center part of the lid if you used a candle (don’t catch on fire like Kendrick’s backup dancers on MTV), but you can choose to keep it if you went with the better option, in my opinion – an LED string of lights. (The celebrity who made this chose the candle, just FYI). Last step! Wrap the string of your choice around the top of the jar just below the lid. Do this a couple of times, then tie a bow! So rustic chic!

And voila! You have a modish night light you can use to add that warm ambiance to your home. Ok, time for the big reveal…  Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” LaValle made this adorable piece for me! Check her out at her shop on Etsy called Nicole’s Craft Room. She’ll even autograph your one-of-a kind-item! ! Sending DIY love to ya girl!

Doing the Splits

My chin is hovering over my knee cap. As I look over my extended leg I see my neatly painted toes. They’re shaking. Come to think of it, my entire body is shaking as I hold the position. I’m almost there. I can basically feel the carpet underneath me, and yet, there is space, a gap of air. Mocking me.

A 30-day journey to the splits taunts me. Day one, two, and three, have come and gone. Just like the weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have all passed and now I’m left with Monday and the start of the work week.

Life is like doing the splits. Each day, I inch closer and closer to my desired position, yet I reside in a place where a breath of air separates me from the ground, from my dreams. I continue to push and strain, and push and strain, but I’m exhausted. All I want to do is lie on the ground and watch time pass above me, but I have to push. I have to gain an inch, then another. If I don’t, I’ll feel static. Like the grey walls surrounding me.

Today is day four, another day that I get just a little bit closer to the ground. I long to sit comfortably, with my legs stretching out on either side of my body. It’s funny. Once I achieve this, I’ll have to keep at it. I still can’t just stop and stare at the clouds. I have to keep lengthening, keep doing the splits day in and day out.

Even as I keep stretching, pushing, I can feel myself being pulled too thin. It’s as if each leg is an extension of my body, of my efforts, being pulled like Gumby.

I guess I’ll just have to learn to do the splits while watching the clouds pass over me in a timeless moment.

DIY of the Day: Branch Necklace Holder

For all you Urban Outfitters lovers out there, this one is for you. I’m OBSESSED with the company, but their stuff can be pretty pricey. Over the years I organized my jewelry in several different ways, but my current necklace situation was NOT working out. I needed a new system, which is when I turned to the good ole Urban Outfitters site. I found the cutest necklace holder that was made out of a tree branch with thin rope and tiny, perfectly proportioned hooks.

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Since my husband is an engineer and can actually make my crafts a reality, I showed him the product that I MUST HAVE. I then expressed how maybe next month I’d be able to buy it, to which he said, “we could literally go get a branch from the yard and make that.”

It was a face palm moment. Of course I didn’t need to pay $40 for a stick I could go find in my own backyard.

After searching for about 20 minutes, I found THE PERFECT branch. I coated the glorious tree limb in a clear varnish, as to prevent the bark from flaking off onto the floor, and onto my necklaces.  I used a continuous thread of thin rope, which was wrapped around each end.

My handy man of a husband then drilled tiny holes for the chic white hooks that would hold each of my precious necklaces.  All that was left to do was pick out a spot on my wall and organize my necklaces accordingly.

The materials for this simple project were purchased at Michael’s for a whopping total of $15…. much better than Urban Outfitters prices, and mine caries the value of my own work and craftsmanship.

Having trendy functional items on a budget can be tricky, but as Hailee Steinfeld says: “We’re on the right side of rock bottom.”

My thoughts exactly on DIY, girl.

My version:Capture

DIY of the Day #BecomingBickelStyle

I’ve crafted my fair share of DIY projects, from my wedding centerpieces (and every other decoration) to cute home décor, to functional pieces. I’m OBSESSED with it! Not only does it save money, but I love being able to say “Yeah, I made that.” No big deal…

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It’s kind of like writing for me. Each week I expel one piece of writing onto the interweb. It’s like taking all of my bouncing thoughts and getting them out, as if they’re threatening to destroy me if I don’t.

Do It Yourself crafts are similar in this way. I find a concept I like or most likely LOVE, usually on Pinterest. Times do exist where I’ll come up with my own ideas. (Hard to believe, I know.) I see if I have the materials in house because, let’s face it, I have a tower of craft supplies, or as my mom calls “junk,” sitting next to my desk at home.

Usually I can make do with most cutesy projects, but what I don’t have I find on sale or use mega discount coupons at Michaels. That place is my second home, or at least it used to be before I got on a budget. Now, my husband forbids me to go there most of the time. Harsh, I know.

I want to take you through a DIY project from start to finish, through the nitty gritty dregs that go along with each joyous process. I have so many favorites that I’ve completed over the years, so just know this was a hard task to narrow it down.

Since it’s almost my one year wedding anniversary, I’ve chosen one that celebrates that! I made each and every centerpiece for my medium sized wedding which required 35 of them. Holy crap, right?!

Each centerpiece consisted of three wine bottles of various shapes and sizes. To start this process, you have to fill a tub or large sink full of hot water. Make sure you fill each bottle full of water as well. Lay them down and let them sit overnight. The next day drain and refill the tub with hot water once more for about an hour. Take them out one bottle at a time, letting the rest sit in the water until it’s their turn.

Lay a towel down on a counter that doesn’t scratch easily. Take an exacto knife, old kitchen knife, or blade of some sort and scrape the label off away from your body. Goo Gone is your best friend in this process. Trust me! I did 35 centerpieces, each containing 3 bottles, that’s 105 bottles, not counting the cute ones scattered around the venue! (Drank!) My pour fingers were raw by the end of each batch, which was about 10 bottles.

Once you have removed all of the labels and made sure NO STICKY RESIDUE REMAINS, it’s time to spray paint. If your bottles are still sticky, the paint won’t look right. I used three different colors, mint green, chalkboard black, and gritty sandstone. I went through so many bottles of spray paint, that I wish I kept track so I could blow your mind with the end number, but I was too focused on getting the job done.

This requires several coats of paint. I did this in the middle of the night on several occasions. Make sure and lay towels down where your spray painting because it WILL get on EVERYTHING. Let them dry overnight. I made sure each bottle was spray painted before I completed the next part.

To make them super cute and rustic, cut strips of burlap and canvas to wrap around the top portion of each bottle. Don’t hot glue your fingers to the bottle. It’s painful. Then once that dries, take hemp string or light colored string and tie a bow around the canvas, gluing it in place.

I didn’t just want the bottles to sit on the tables with nothing under them, so I came up with the idea of stacking vintage green books underneath them. Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds to find decently priced old GREEN books that you know you’re never going to use again after the fact. Vendors Villages are AMAZING when it comes to books priced at fifty cents to a dollar.

The next step required grouping the bottles into threes, making sure each grouping had one of each color and different heights and sizes of bottles. I stacked two books and glued the bottles on, varying their heights, all the while making sure to put stack the books the same way each time and glue the colors in the same place for each centerpiece (you’ll understand with the pictures). My florist provided the GORGEOUS flowers and cotton that were strategically placed to have the most aesthetic appeal to the eye.

And voila, you’re left with about 20 of these things after the wedding,  and you’re so attached to all the hard work you put into each one that you end up keeping half of them and giving the rest away as gifts. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I got so many compliments on them and they were so worth the trouble and effort. One is displayed proudly in my home as a reminder of my romantically whimsical wedding.

See below for your viewing pleasure!

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**Thank you to my bridesmaids, mother, and grandmothers for helping with the process. And a HUGE thank you to Michael’s for having all of the supplies all bought with coupons!

 

Somewhere between psychotic and iconic. Pop Culture. MTV.