My 10 Guilty Pleasures

This topic was suggested by the Daily Post email. It sounded like an easy thing to write about, but once I started making my list, I realized I don’t really feel “guilty” about the majority of my choices. In fact, those people who know me well probably won’t be surprised about most of them, so I went back to the drawing board…I started this post on Tuesday, and it’s just being completed today….Turned out to be a much harder topic than I imagined it could be!

1. RHONY/RHONJ: I’m not really a traditional reality TV watcher (I stick with cooking or art-based ones), but for some reason I’m kind of drawn to “The Real Housewives of…” series. And honestly, out of all the things on the list, this is probably my guiltiest pleasure. Of course, I was originally hooked by the first one, the Orange County ladies, but I never imagined they’d branch off to so many other cities. Although part of me isn’t too surprised; reality TV is big business. Plus, with soap operas becoming scarce, this is as close as you can get! Since I’ve moved and am living without cable, I haven’t seen any of the series for a loooooooong time. However, since I’ve been home about two months to help my mom, I managed to find the New York and New Jersey ladies on my screen. Granted I came in very late to both seasons and I don’t go out of my way to catch it–it’s more of a channel surfing/last resort type thing. I’m still unsure why I watch, but I think part of me enjoys getting to see some of the clothes, jewelry, housewares they own and part of me is curious to see what the ladies complain about. Sometimes they’re legit issues, like money or children, but then there’s whining that someone’s wearing the same outfit as them, or someone didn’t get an invite to a party, or even worse, two sweet sixteen parties on the same night (let’s not even get into how much these parties cost).

2. Disney Channel: I’m gonna be totally honest here: I’ve always loved children’s shows and still at almost 30, watch them on a near daily basis. Now, for many people this is crazy and not something they’d probably share with others, but I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. They’re usually funny, colorful and have easy (if not whimsical) plots. I see nothing wrong with any of those things. I also watch all the networks: Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon (and all its sister channels) and Disney Channel. Obviously, Disney isn’t big on animated series (my fave would be “Phineas and Ferb” though!!!), but have tons of live action shows. Right now, I’m following “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Shake It Up” and “Good Luck Charlie.” I must say I’m more of an old school Disney lover (as in “Even Stevens,” “Emperor’s New School” and “Lizzie McGuire”), but these three are sorta close. Although with “Wizards” ending this year, it’ll be interesting to see how the network (and viewers) copes. I also enjoy many of their original movies, my recent fave being “Lemonade Mouth.” Sure the plot was kinda cheesy, but darn it, those songs were great. And catchy…really, really catchy.

3. Yo Gabba Gabba!: I don’t even know how to describe the appeal of this show. It’s really a modern version of “Sesame Street,” but for the alternative/punk music lover’s children. I think the biggest appeal for me is the fact it’s created by lead singer of The Aquabats, Christian Jacobs. It’s got crazy, colorful characters that are sort of a cross between cartoon characters and Muppets. Each show has a segment called “Super Music Friends Show” which features horribly catchy songs, usually performed by some of my favorite artists, about everyday topics. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t wanna watch Weezer in bug costumes sing about insects, hear the Ting Tings sing happy birthday, watch “Weird Al” Yankovic be a circus ringleader or Jack Black ride around on a motorbike and sing songs about friendship? And I won’t lie, some of the songs pop into my head during various times of my day. Other gems include Biz Markie’s “Beat of the Day” (even I can feel like an awesome beatboxing machine…for about 20 seconds) and Mark Mothersbaugh’s “Mark’s Magic Pictures,” where Devo member and “Rugrats” composer draws easy pictures (I’m sold!). 

4. PPG bedding: I’m sure everyone has bedding somewhere (or had) with their favorite character printed on them. I’ve had a few sets, but my favorite has to be my Powerpuff Girls bedding. I was a huge fan of the show (still am), so when I saw the bedding in the store I felt I should own it. Now, I didn’t buy a whole set, just the sheets, and boy, am I glad I did. Not only are they horribly cute, but they’re amazingly comfy and haven’t fallen apart after so many washes. Plus, the fact you can’t buy Powerpuff Girls merchandise easily anymore makes them even more special.

5. Pokemon trading cards: I was in my teens when the Pokemon craze hit, and it’s still something I enjoy to this very day. I wasn’t really into the trading card game, the anime and video games were more my thing, but secretly I always wanted to have some of the cards. One summer I was helping my mom with a class she was teaching for second and third graders. I mentioned my love of Pokemon, which of course, the kids thought was awesome. At the end of the class, one of the students gave me a set of 10 trading cards, including some of my all-time favorite Pokemon (I tend to like the cute ones, but I especially love the Rapidash and Ponyta). I was so touched and sooooo excited to finally have some of the cards.

6. Cookbooks: If you’ve read my July 16 post, “Cookbook Obsession Breakthrough,” you’ll already know I like a cookbook. I love to look through them, even if it’s for a type of food I don’t like or would never try. I have no problems seriously reading an entire cookbook, like some people go through a novel. I just love to learn about ingredients, look at the pictures and see what type of things everyone in the world eats. Even if there’s only one recipe in the book, I’m inclined to buy it. I think having so many different cookbooks makes me a more adventurous eater and an overall better cook. Heck, just last week I added three more to my collection, but they were all recipes I’ll definitely make. My favorite out of the bunch is the Wagamama’s cookbook I found for under 10 bucks. Wagamama’s is a fabulous Japanese restaurant in London I ate at a ton while taking my journalism class over there. The food was cheap and amazing. I’ve missed them since I came back. Even funnier, I was just thinking about Wagamama’s earlier in the day and it was a total fluke I found the cookbook at all! It had to be fate for me to find that book on that day. 

7. Crayola crayons: I’ve been an art lover since I was a child so I had lots of art supplies around the house growing up. When I was in elementary school, I always got excited to go buy school supplies, especially a box of brand new Crayolas. If you love art or being creative, or ever read the book “The Art Lesson” by Tomie diPaola, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And I’m not talking about the basic pack with the basic colors. Nono, I always went all out and got the biggest box with the sharpener, which was beyond cool to have. You really don’t need to have crayons in middle school, high school or college, but I’ve kept up the tradition my entire school year. There’s something so magical about having a box of crayons; they’re all sharp and in the correct spot and you can’t wait to put them to use….Even better, all the leftover crayons get to go to school with my mom so her kids can use them!

8. Picture books: I’ve collected tons of picture books over my childhood, many of them have been sold, but I still have quite the collection. I still enjoy going into a bookstore and browsing the children’s section. It’s fun to see how some of the series I grew up with have continued or are now classics (granted that makes me feel a little old as well). This Easter my mom mailed me an Easter basket with some children’s books, including a “Little Critter” Easter book by Mercer Mayer I’ve never seen before. It was a very cute story, and I still loved hunting for his spider and other hidden friends throughout the book. She also sent me a Jan Brett book about the Easter Bunny, which was so much fun to look through. Her artwork still amazes me, and reminds me of the times my mom used to read her books (as well as many others) to me.

9. Cupparole: Only three other people have any idea what Cupparole is so I’ll fill you in before I explain why it made my list. On one of the very first dates my boyfriend and I went on was at Dave & Busters. After playing games for a bit (I wasn’t so great, except at the trivia one), we checked out the store and lo and behold, they had a pink stuffed unicorn about my size (I’m barely over 5 feet) for “sale.” I was sooooooo excited when I saw that thing, it was insane. I’d always wanted someone to win me a huge stuffed animal at a carnival or somewhere similar and I’ve collected unicorns since I was a child, so I thought this might be my chance. However, my dream unicorn wasn’t cheap; she was a few thousand tickets worth. I figured I had lost my chance, but to my sheer delight, with some help from his friends who were with us, they pooled their points together and I got my miniature pony-sized stuffed friend. Now, what does that have to do with the word “Cupparole?” That’s what we decided to name her. The word stems from my boyfriend saying he wished casseroles came in individual sizes, so I suggested he make a bunch in a small dish, or an oven proof cup, hence the word “cupparole.” I love Cupparole soooo much, probably because how she was obtained. Also, she’s huge, which makes her even more nifty in my book.

10. Ice cream straight outta the carton: Okay, before anyone gets semi grossed out, I ONLY do this if there’s only a serving or less left in the container. Or, if I bought a pint just for myself and I know no one else will want any, I’ll eat it straight out of the container. I’m not sure why it’s so appealing, but the ice cream seems to be tastier when it’s eaten that way. Kinda like when you cook things outdoors they taste better. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not really supposed to eat it that way that makes it adventurous and ups the yum factor.

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