Monday, May 14, 2018

rambles

At this moment, I miss blogging and as it is the end of my workday, I'm gonna seize the opportunity.

I think with all of the different forms of social media, it's really easy to know where people are and what they are doing. I doubt there is a single person reading this who doesn't "know" me elsewhere. But, as I have been lazy about even bullet journaling, some reflection via typing just felt right.

So this weekend I was in a wedding and you have likely heard about the dress fiasco. What no one complains about loudly enough when it comes to weddings is how expensive and almost ridiculous it is but then how seeing your friend that happy and glowing makes it worth it. Almost. It was damn expensive. Glad I could put my event planning skills to good use and diffuse crises while wearing a long dress. Being in a wedding also highlighted how little make-up I wear on a daily basis. How does one teach herself to use an eyelash curler at the age of 33?

We went on a vacation. I think being in your 30s is the height of needing a vacation from your vacation. But really, getting life in line and figuring out how to be a solid adult is hard. I went to the grocery store at 6:30 a.m. so I could feel somewhat together this week.

My cat woke me up on Mother's Day by puking twice. True love, am I right?

Still reading a lot, still scrolling too much. Read The Wedding Date in one sitting (on a plane, but still) and it was easy and delightful. Highly recommend if you need something for the beach or pool.

We are going to the ATX Festival for the fourth year in a row and TIM RIGGINS will be there and I am psyched. And also an Americans reunion/reflection on the series. That show is worthy of a rewatch.

I want to be better at sharing. I see so many things shared, or going viral, and I am like ME TOOOO, why didn't I think to say that?! How do you train your brain to realize where you are unique, and where you bring value? I have the same issue at work - it's hard for me to realize where I am an expert. I feel like so many things I know are common knowledge, but they aren't.

I need to make an agreement with one of my friends that I will be their Jonathan Van Ness and they should be mine. I love how every pronoun is "her" and he doesn't allow negativity and I want to be that bright light but I think my DNA is just too sullen. It's always funnier to point out the ridiculousness of something, but it's much more satisfying to pick out the good stuff.

(Responding to comments is my kryptonite...)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

add it to my list: march 2018

This month flew by for no good reason. I did get to go to Phoenix for a combo work/family visit last week and I have eaten some good food but have otherwise been pretty low-key. However, that doesn't mean I don't have some things to share with you, since sharing things is something I love to do.

Link up with me and Bre below if you are so inclined! Since you got no notice, the link-up is live for a month, so take your time...

Add it to your shopping list:

Ulta Lip Oil: the past few times Ulta has had a free gift with purchase, I haven't been able to help myself - I spend the $20 and feel like I get SO MUCH stuff to try. This month, my favorite thing in the bag was their lip oil. Despite the fact that it is coconut (not a favorite), it is SO hydrating that I can overlook the flavor. I also paid for a tinted one, and for someone like me who doesn't love a lot of color, it's a perfect attempt at trying without feeling made up.

Mrs. Meyer's Cleaner Concentrate: I just like the way Mrs. Meyer's products smell, honestly. I love the option to buy the concentrate as it's more eco-friendly and it takes forever to go through a bottle of it. Sure, you spend $7 up front but I'm not even halfway through the concentrate and I have refilled my spray bottle at least three times.

Add it to your watch list:

Queer Eye on Netflix: Allison and everyone else who said this was great, I'm sorry I doubted you. I watched the original and it was fine, so I thought I could skip the reboot, but when I travel, I like something I can download that Andrew won't want to watch. I thought I would give an episode a try and I was laughing out loud on the plane. The show is light, upbeat, teaches you a few tips to pass to the guys in your life, and just makes you want to be a better, more supportive friend. There are only eight episodes so I am trying to reward myself with them on trips to the gym. I feel like Karamo would approve.

Add it to your dinner list:

Easy Shredded Harissa Chicken: This is the easiest thing ever - a jar of harissa (a Moroccan condiment made from bell peppers) and chicken in the crock pot or instant pot. Take it out, let it cool a little, shred, and eat. It makes two meals for us, so I will have it with couscous, tzatziki, marinated chickpeas, and veggies one night and then on a Greek salad another night. Andrew loves it, and he could take or leave most chicken dishes. I have done the same thing with a jar of salsa and it made perfect enchilada or southwest salad chicken.

Add it to your podcast list:

Order 9066: After reading Dan Rather's book, I realized this was a huge part of American history that I knew embarrassingly little about, so when I heard about this podcast, I had to try it. Our country rounded up citizens, put them in tiny rooms, and barely fed them because they thought they might join sides with Japan in a war. Oh, and there was no evidence pointing to that. If you need a history lesson, check this out.

Tales from the Pits: Okay fine, I'm biased, but my husband and his business partner started a podcast about Texas BBQ and if that is a thing you (or someone in your life) is into, then check it out! They have gone all over Texas interviewing pitmasters, pit makers, and fellow BBQ fans and their research, curiosity, and genuine appreciation is obvious in every episode - it isn't just two fools with microphones. They're also giving out a Yeti cooler starting today so if you're in Texas, listen in and find out how you can win (and I think it will be hand delivered.... so maybe I will make that trip!). If you listen and like, please rate (with stars) and review (with words) - it helps!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

add it to my list: february 2018

Add it to my list is back with me and Bre. If you want to link up, you can do it below. This is just a chance to post your monthly favorite things that you are recommending to people in real life.

Anyway, onto my list:

Add it to your podcast list -

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd: Dax Shepherd just seems like a cool guy and his podcast is just a conversation with him and one of his famous friends on anything from vacations gone awry to race relations. The first episode is with his wife, Kristen Bell, and as much as I do not want to perpetuate that they are relationship goals, they basically are. And she wanted to stop the interview so she could go to Michael's. I also loved the Jimmy Kimmel episode. The episodes are super long (nearly two hours) but they are really interesting!

Add it to your people to follow list - 

Comments by Celebs: such a good instagram account that screenshots comments celebrities leave on social media accounts, especially those of other celebrities. There is a strong John Mayer influence here and I love it.

Add it to your things to buy list - 

A hairbrush cleaner: I had no idea these even existed. I use dry shampoo, and my brushes get really gross. It's also hard at times to get all of the hair out, and I do get oddly paranoid about how icky it looks on the off chance someone sees my brush. I was at a fancy shop in Brenham, Texas of all places and saw a brush cleaner like this and even though I normally don't buy things like this, I had never seen one before and I didn't google on the spot and it came home with me. I regret nothing. It pulls everything out and is also good for fine-toothed combs.

Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks - one of my friends brought these to Vegas as snacks. I probably haven't had a fruit snack in twenty years but I tried them because they were there and they are so good! They taste fruity, not weirdly sweet. Costco has a 42 pack on sale for like $12 right now which is insane and they are only 70 calories a bag so the giant box will probably only last a month... ish.

This striped, ruffle-sleeved shirt from Walmart: This is a repeat if you follow me on instagram stories, but both Sarah and Kristen bought it after I posted so it's worth sharing again. It looks super unflattering on the hanger but is really cute on and for only $10, worth grabbing if you're near a Walmart anytime soon.

Now it's your turn - link up your list below or let me know something you have loved lately.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

thursday list

A list because that is what I could come up with.

1) I have come to realize that I love local coffee shops a possibly unnatural amount. But, if you are going to put me in a new city (and give me a per diem if I'm working) and um, I need coffee daily anyway, why should I settle for crappy hotel coffee or Starbucks? Over the weekend I took a quick trip to Austin with Andrew and had lots of time to myself so I checked out two. Fleet Coffee Co. is a tiny place in East Austin that thinks really highly of itself - they had a gingersnap drink with gingersnap-infused milk that sounded amazing for a whopping $6.50 - but I still enjoyed my slightly lower-priced vanilla juniper latte (housemade syrup is my favorite). On Sunday, I went to Mazama Coffee Co. in Dripping Springs and basically fell in love - it was insanely cheap, had homemade baked goods with three lemon-blueberry options (heart eyes), and my lavender latte was delightful. And, it had a kid-free zone and as the person who always has a play date park next to her when she is trying to get work done, I loved that. (No offense, moms. Y'all have as much of a right as I do, but sometimes when the coffee shop is large and seating is plentiful, it's just like, Really?)

2) I have nothing new to add to the Parkland conversation but it has taken my attention and thoughts over the past week. The students are incredible and the NRA is the literal worst. If a teacher is willing to take a bullet for their students, then more power to them and they are amazing human beings; however, this should not be an expectation placed on them. They have families and lives, too, and are humans who might run. Forcing guns into classrooms is about the worst idea I have ever heard.

3) On a similar note, it's time to early vote in Texas. Houstonians, get your guide here and remember that your polling place is determined by your registered party, so do your homework!

4) I deactivated facebook last week. I don't feel that I have gotten time back from doing so - I just find other distractions instead - but it has saved me the headache of misguided gun conversations this week. I was tempted to re-activate tonight but realized that my sanity is worth more than creeping on people I must not like enough to keep up with any other way.

5) I think our first Brunch and Bujo was in August and we have had one every month since, with one coming up on Sunday. I really do look forward to them, especially when they force me to be an extrovert. And I say our but really Bre does all the work and has all the friends. I mostly just remind her that the end of the month is coming and commit to showing up.

6) I've really been trying to up my dinner game. I get tired of the same foods on repeat and want to be healthy-ish. I also love making a meal that will last for two nights so I only have to cook half the time. This week, I made spinach and ricotta stuffed shells (after a weekend of BBQ, a vegetarian meal sounded great, even if it wasn't low-fat) and shredded harissa chicken. The first night with the chicken, we had it with couscous (from a box), cucumber, tzatziki (pre-made), and marinated chickpeas (used this recipe as a guide but subbed in a lot of dry spices because lazy) and for the second night, I got stuff for a Greek salad but we have leftovers of nearly everything so I'm not sure what we'll do. What is it about seeing what other people are eating that is always interesting?

7) I should have saved the above for Add It To My List, which we are bringing back because we like it and a few others do, too. It will be the most un-linkup ever in the case that I will not promise to comment anywhere as that is my blogging downfall, but I do like to see what people want to share. It will be on the last Tuesday of the month which is this Tuesday, the 27th. And now you know.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

books lately: 2018 so far

I've read a string of great books so I want to talk about them. I read at least one that was so-so but I don't even feel like talking about it.

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen: Loved this book so much that it inspired its own post. I keep thinking about it. While there was so much I couldn't relate to, I loved the way the info was presented and the themes throughout.

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination: This was a college commencement speech that JK Rowling gave some time ago in book form. If you need a graduation gift, grab it. Really compact, uplifting book for someone standing on the edge of adulthood. You can read it in less than a half hour.

Sourdough: I've never read a Robin Sloan book before, so I had no idea that magical realism was waiting for me. It was realistic enough to keep me interested but the fantasy element made it kind of weird and fun. Basically, a woman who works in the technology industry gets a magical sourdough starter and baking bread takes over her life. It's a fun world with a smart, female character who had no romance that was completely unlike anything I've ever read. I want to read more by the author.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: I saw a preview for a movie called Love, Simon that just seemed like it stemmed from a book I would enjoy and here we are. It was a cute YA book whose characters I liked and a world I enjoyed spending time in - kind of the way I felt when I read Dumplin'. If you like young love and pen pals and teenagers worth rooting for, add this one to your list. I'll probably even watch the movie.

Little Fires Everywhere: Everyone seems to love this book and so did I. Everything I Never Told You (same author) was my first-ever audiobook, so this author holds a special place to me. I waited forever to get this from the library and it was worth it. I like reading books set in the recent past (1997) so that some things that technology would alleviate today aren't options. I like twisty family stories and the omniscient way that Celeste Ng's stories are written. I loved how people's intentions were examined, but I wanted more about Moody and all four kids' upbringing. It was also one of those stories where I would have loved more of an epilogue. But, overall, I loved the many directions it went, the writing, the setting, and the way it all unfolded. If you don't mind a book where there isn't a lot of action, it's a great one.

That's it. If you loved any of these, let's chat!

Linking up with Steph and Jana because these books are worth having a conversation about.