Friday, March 11, 2016

five to one on a friday

I saw Jess' post earlier this week and thought that doing something similar would be a good Friday post. I like blogging for a peek at someone else's life - what they're buying, what's happening, and how they spend their time. Here's a look at what's happening with me:

F I V E things I did this week:
1) Went to my neighborhood's Easter Egg-stravaganza with some friends, one of whom had a baby, so we didn't look like total weirdos. It was cute and there were food trucks.
2) Had dinner at Helen, which I hated on my first visit but have liked every time since. The roasted red pepper dip with feta has been haunting my dreams all week.
3) Got a pedicure with girlfriends. I rarely treat myself to one but it's one of their go-to friend dates, so I'm glad to have an excuse. Plus, OPI's Strawberry Margarita makes me happy every time I take off my shoes.
4) Took Bauer to a new vet. He has cat acne like a sixteen year old boy and I have to scrub his chin raw every night and apply ointment. He's also on a diet. He hates me. The things we do for our pets.
5) Had one of the best dinners at home, ever. Andrew made snapper, fried zucchini, and heirloom carrots with a mint tangelo gastrique for dinner last weekend. It was amazing. The fact that the cast iron pan creates smoke and I cried for two hours straight was not.

F O U R things I bought lately:
1) Sea salt spray. You guys, this is lifechanging. A friend had some she didn't want from Birchbox so I gladly took it. I cut my hair about a month ago and I'm tired of straightening it. My natural texture is ugly wavy that has been slept on, but if I use sea salt spray when I'm about halfway done blowdrying and scrunch as I finish, I get waves that are a little messy but even throughout my hair and exactly what I have wanted my whole life. I bought some John Freida spray at Target because it was cheap, but I will probably spring for the Parlour brand from Birchbox next time.
2) These flats from Payless. They're on super sale for like $12 with a coupon and I love that they're neutral but different.
3) 100 calorie packs of Sriracha cashews. Technically I haven't bought any (my friend gave me some), but I will. I don't like sriracha generally but these are delicious and spicy and a great afternoon snack.
4) I guess I'm on a shoe spree because I also got some sandals at Academy with a gift card Andrew got for Christmas (he'll never use it...). I had similar ones from Old Navy a few years ago, but they broke. These feel tougher and have a sturdier bottom. When you get older, these things start to matter, right?

not where the egg hunt was, but another pic from my neighborhood | cat Bauer, acne not shown | um, I loved this dinner so so much | that wave is courtesy of sea salt spray

T H R E E shows I'm watching:
1) The People vs. OJ Simpson - I look forward to Tuesdays, even though  I do tend to fall asleep during the episodes and have to rewatch.
2) The Walking Dead - This partial season started off so, so good. It's getting slower now, but I think the season finale will be amazing.
3) Younger - It's easy, mindless TV and I love seeing what they're wearing, as insane as some of the outfits can be. Plus a lot of the cast is going to be at the ATX TV Festival this summer and I can't wait.

T W O reasons I'm excited for spring:
1) I mention this every year, but spring break! Mine is this week and I'll be off starting Wednesday.
2) My nieces are coming to Houston! Every time I see them, we do something fun. Last year, it was roller skating. No idea for this year. Since I'm not their mom, I no longer post their faces on non-secured spaces on the internet,  but follow along on snapchat (eatdrinklauren) if you want to see what they convince me to go do.

O N E more thing I want to share:
@PeteSouza on instagram. He's the official White House photographer for President Obama. If you're the type of person who thinks any president, especially this one, does nothing but go on vacations and have fun, then please don't follow. If you're realistic and realize that of course this account will highlight the fun and fluffy stuff the president does, then check it out.

Springtime means bluebonnets in Texas so we are going to go see if this week's rain caused any to come out yet. Fingers crossed since they're a tradition in our house. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

february books in haiku

I love this linkup. What I sometimes don't love about this linkup is that so many great books are recommended, I feel like everyone who participates reads the same books over and over. Posts start to sound the same and it gets easy to skim the 75th opinion you see of The Girl on the Train. This month, I mostly read books that I have read opinions on many times before. In order to keep my post interesting, I tried to give you the gist of each book in haiku form. I also included other thoughts on it in case you're interested, but mostly for my own benefit.

(A) Crazy Rich Asians -
Rich people are weird
Lots of fashion names were dropped
Ridiculous plot.

This was like a soap opera so if you're into that, you'll like it. It was great for the way to and from work. There was a bit too much description of characters that was completely irrelevant, but after talking to my friend who lives in Singapore, I found other descriptors particularly interesting.

After You -
Lou will never learn.
Teens are a dumb plot device
No tears with this one

At the end of my last post, I said I was reading this but not enjoying it. Kristen said to read it like it wasn't a sequel and let it stand on its own. I took her advice and thought it was much better. Me Before You is a much better story, but if you like Jojo Moyes and how she writes relationships and dialogue, give this one a try. Though I could have done without there being a dramatic teenager plus Lou's lack of maturity, but that could just be me.

The Nightingale -

 France in World War II
A family's love endures
It might make you cry.

I got really into this one. I don't remember learning much about France during WWII but the history there is heartbreaking. It dragged in parts, but there was enough going on to where I always wanted more from at least one character's storyline.

(A) The Last Anniversary -

Island mystery
Love interests take a back seat
I want marble cake

I liked that for a Liane Moriarty book, there was more going on than romantic love. I also like that there weren't three female characters with intertwining stories. But, like most of her books, there's a huge event where everything comes together. This book was cute and fluffy in the typical Moriarty way but also had some more serious themes to cut through the fluff. I liked it.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works -

Inside newsroom life
Meditation works for some
Respond, don't react

I'm an ABC News watcher, so I picked up this book both to see how the author, Dan Harris, got happier, but also for insider tidbits about the news branch. Harris talks about his work life and a little about his personal life and the things that lead to him having an on-air meltdown and who and what he studied to get past that and learn to manage stress. He talks about religious ideas without being preachy and offers tips that people of any mindset or religion can apply in their own ways. While I don't think I'll pick up meditation anytime soon, the mantra to respond, don't react and some of his thoughts on success have stayed with me.

Love and Miss Communication: A Novel -

When she went offline
She learned that Facebook stalking
Was overrated.

I liked the idea behind this - a woman gives up on the internet during a time in her life when she happens to be single and unemployed. As someone who feels like she spends way too much time with her nose buried in a device, I was interested to see how a person - even a fictional one - fared in these circumstances. Some of the situations were funny - not knowing about social events because she didn't get evites anymore - and others were enlightening. She wasn't able to google a date beforehand and didn't know some very public things about him. It definitely made me think about how we process life in the digital age but as a story, it was just okay.

I'm currently having a hard time finding an audiobook I love (I quit Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Infinite Home, The Condition, and probably Mosquitoland) and my nighttime reading time has been reduced in favor of going to bed early so I can go to the gym in the mornings. I do try to read while on the elliptical, but my pace is definitely slower. Looking forward to some new finds today. Thanks as always to Steph and Jana for hosting!