Some of My Newly Discovered Favorite Things

Long time, no blog. I apologize for our absence. It’s been a crazy last few months with surgeries, travels, and everything in between. I admire anyone who can blog regularly during the summer. I thought I’d break the dry spell with a little post on an assortment of things that I have discovered since the last time we spoke.

Category 1: Entertainment

Hotwives of Orlando


I’ve never watched any of the Real Housewives series, but even for a newbie this spoof from Hulu still hits all the absurd notes. I’ve been a fan of Casey Wilson since Happy Endings (may it R.I.P. or be resurrected by Netflix) and the rest of the cast (including a memorable Kristen Schaal as a former child star turned train wreck) totally sell the hilarious story lines. If you are looking for a comedy with substance, this isn’t it, but it’s a perfect little diversion for days that are too hot to go outside (I do not enjoy feeling like I am living in a sauna from which there is no escape). You can’t go wrong with a show that brings you the line, “This is Orlando. You go big or you go back to Kissimmee.”

Category 2: Beauty

I’m always on the lookout for good standbys that I can rely on day in and day out, season after season. I’m sure you ladies reading this post understand.

I don’t know how they do it, but my lips manage to stay chapped even in the summer months. It would be impressive if it wasn’t so damn annoying. Enter cult classic Lucas Papaw. One application a day has kept the chapped lips away. I’m applying some right now. It isn’t just for chapped lips. You can also use the ointment on cuts, bruises, basically any skin malady. You can buy a 3-pack from Net-a-Porter. Those babies should last you throughout the year.


Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 3.44.57 PM

Eyeliner is one of those products that I have a lot of, but my application lacks skill of any kind. Most of the time it just looks like I let a kindergartener trace my eye with a unsharpened crayon. Votre Vu’s eyeliner is super creamy so it makes drawing a breeze. Better yet, it comes with a little smudger on the other end so you can get that perfect hazy coat of color worn by actors, singers, anyone with a makeup artist on hand (you know the look–like you’ve just finished making out with Idris Elba before realizing you had to go to a red carpet). My favorite colors are Charbon and Aubergine.




Weekend Roundup


I am sure about 90% of you are going to be glued to your couches/chairs this weekend watching March Madness games. Enjoy a beer for me! I’ll probably be doing a little bit of that along with the usual things that I love (um, napping). Regardless of what you are doing, keep in mind…

Would you wear orchid lips?

Saturday’s Inside-Out-Pocket bag would be a perfect spring/summer purse for those looking for an excuse to spend a little of that tax return!

Emma Stone’s reaction to a personal message from Mel B of the Spice Girls is basically how any girl coming of age in the ’90s would act. Not going to lie I have watched Spice World in the last few months. TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT. (I want a personal message from one of the Spice Girls, preferably Baby Spice because she was my spirit Spice).

Francophiles/dress-lovers, this H&M dress has Eiffel Towers on it. Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Someone want to get me up to speed on Divergent? I can’t keep up with all these new-fangled young adult books! Side note: can’t young adults just read normal fiction books? What did they read in the past before YA was a thing?

Have a good weekend readers!


A Little Orange is the New Black News to Last You Until June


June 6th, to be exact. That’s when the second season premieres on Netflix. Elle has some second season scoop that only makes me miss those crazy Litchfield ladies more! If you haven’t watched the first season yet, do yourself a favor and do so. Personally, I think this series is far better than Netflix’s other hit House of Cards. House of Cards made me feel sleazy after a few episodes. The Underwoods and everyone associated just seemed far too much on the side of villainy for me to really care what they were doing. Orange is the New Black blew me away–it is a show primarily made up of women–and diverse women at that, which is rare in this age (I’m talking race, sexuality, body types, personalities). Learning their stories as well as seeing real issues that are happening in our prisons made me not only appreciate the show but love it. Mark your calendars, fellow fans! June 6th and 7th shall henceforth be reserved for binge-watching.

February Discoveries

Winter hasn’t been all bad despite the attempts by the polar vortex to wreck havoc on all of us. Here are a few things that have gotten me through the doldrums of January and February.


I stumbled across this website Stitch Fix which acts as your personal stylist. You tell them what you want/need, how much you like to spend on items, what your style is like (there is even a place to put a link to your Pinterest board–I know you have one!). You can also tell them what colors, prints, and fabrics you want to avoid.  You get the delivery which has 5 items in it–you try on the items in the safety of your own home (and by safety I mean mental safety–those dressing room mirrors are rough).


The first season of FX’s The Americans is now available for free with Amazon Prime. I needed something to watch so I kind of just mindlessly chose it. Boy was I in for a surprise! Not since the first season of Homeland has t.v. been this suspenseful. I particularly enjoy that it gives us two anti-heroes as main characters. You too will find yourself feeling guilty as you cheer on KGB spies. The Cold War has never looked so cool.

P.S. Yes, I will post about my European vacation! Look for it soon!

Weekend Roundup

It’s been awhile since I have done one of these darn things, but since this may be one of my last blog posts before I leave for Europe, I thought I’d get back to business. Business being blogging. Next weekend will be full of traveling so I am planning on spending this one relaxing as much as possible. For her part, Jamie is in Minneapolis celebrating her fourth anniversary with her new fiance Kevin. I expect there will be a lot of cocktails and Instagrams of their drunk faces.

This weekend keep in mind…

If you have been following the recent developments in the Amanda Knox case and want to learn more about the perplexing Italian Justice System, you may want to check out the book The Monster of Florence. Regardless of whether you think Amanda is guilty (given the evidence I don’t), the book may give you a better sense of the system that she is up against. It’s also a must-read for those morbid folks who love crime stories. (In related/less depressing news: I will be in Florence sooooooon!).

Ladies, we get paid exactly what we are worth so stop complaining! (cue epic Liz Lemon eyeroll)

Striped shirts are my jam/inspiration/reason for living. So you’ll understand why I love this Loft tee. If I had Oprah’s money and Merlin’s powers (or is it the other way around?), I would say “free Loft tees!” to all of you and it would magically appear under your seats and you would all be happy. This one is particularly fun with it’s fake layered chambray.

Congrats to my cousin Katie! Her inspiring blog Live Half Full got listed as one of Chicago’s best health blogs by Refinery29. Everyone in the whole world needs to be reading it. Her approach to health and life is something that we all need to aspire to (I’m trying to be a little more like Katie every day!). I am so glad that she is sharing her endless optimism with more and more people! And for those who do read it I promise that Katie is every bit as awesome in person as she is on the web.

Have a good weekend, readers!

My Sometimes Strange, Deep Attachment to T.V. Shows


When it comes to t.v. shows, I am not typically a casual viewer. Sure, while I sometimes like to mindlessly watch “bad” tv shows if I need to just veg, I love to get into a series and seriously connect with the characters. That’s what I love about t.v. compared to movies–you have seasons to get to know the characters, what makes them tick, and their flaws. Unless you are a movie trilogy like the “Before Sunrise” movies, you simply cannot get as attached to the characters on film. They are fleeting presences in your life, compared to a great tv show, which I feel makes a big impact on my life. For example, I remembered starting “Friday Night Lights” my freshman year of college. During a huge snowstorm, I marathoned the first season and cheered for the team’s successes more than I ever did for my own high school football team. When I finished up the series my last year in college, I felt like the show had grown up with me in those pivotal years and had ended right as I was about to start my own unsure adventure. I started crying during the opening scenes in the finale and Kevin had to literally pause it and irritatingly ask me, “can you do this??” Haha clearly he doesn’t get quite as attached to shows as I do.

“Cheers” was another show that I associate with a special time in my life. My family had just moved to Omaha the summer before I started middle school and I knew no one but my own siblings in town. Late at night, I would sit up and watch tv. One night, on Nick at Night, I discovered the world of “Cheers.” Even with the loneliness that came from moving to a new place at such an angsty age, I felt a connection to those people and that place. The characters were so much older than me and had none of the glamour that other teen tv shows had, but it didn’t matter. I identified with the intelligent, stubborn Diane Chambers and, while my classmates had crushes on early 2000s heartthrobs, I was enamored with Sam Malone.

I’m not so much of a t.v. snob that I can’t fall in love with a show that isn’t deemed “Emmy-worthy.” “Supernatural,” now in its 9th season, is another show that I cannot imagine my life without. Kevin and I started watching it together when we first started dating. 4 years, an engagement, 9 seasons and many moves together, “Supernatural” is still with us. Normally, I’m not a big fan of spooky stuff. Yet “Supernatural” has these flawed brothers and anti-heroes at its core, keeping the stories tied to this human element. The mythology is sprawling and shows complexity of good and evil in such an interesting way. Every time you think things have run their course, they change up the overarching stories, bringing you back in. The angels and demons storyline sent against the stereotypical storytelling that you would imagine, adding layers and interest to something that seems so cut and dry.

And today….well, I’m one episode away from finishing “The Wire.” I know I’m going to cry. It’s such an incredible show, a sprawling, ambitious epic tale about the experience of Baltimore people whose lives are rarely shown on tv. As a teacher, I fell in love with the fourth season in particular, where schools were at the forefront and a handful of students showed that inner city students are NOT just bad kids who are thugs who will not amount into anything. No, they have so many talents and many are just looking for a mentor or positive adult figure in their lives. They are angry at times, yes, but rightfully so. These stories told on “The Wire” move me in a way that many popular shows today simply cannot. They are real, they show complexities of government, school systems, and politics. Nothing is black and white in their worlds.

When some people proudly declare they “don’t own a tv,” I don’t see how they can be so close-minded. T.V. itself is not junk; it is what you watch. Sometimes, I need a mindless show that I can just throw on. But other times, I need a “Cheers,” a “the Wire,” a “Supernatural,” a “Friday Night Lights.” And it’s nothing to be ashamed about.

When TV Characters Remind You of Family Members

Jamie has already covered how much her fiance, Kevin, reminds her of Nick from New Girl. Now it is my turn. Whenever I watch Happy Endings I can’t get past how much Brad reminds me of my brother, Kyle. Okay, I know that they don’t look alike, but they do have similar mannerisms which throws me off. Let’s take a look at my case.

Point 1: They both have blonde “slender dragon” girlfriends/wives that they adore.


Point 2: They share a love of goofy dance moves. Marvel at Brad’s moves…this will have to suffice. I don’t think I am allowed to post Kyle’s online for proof.


Point 3: Both aspire to be trophy wives.


Point 4: They both got major attitude. Don’t mess with Brad/Jane or Kyle/Aimee. They will beat you down.


I am convinced. Kyle is “White Brad.”

Hey! You! I Think You Need a Pick Me Up Courtesy of Vintage “Parks & Rec”

Mondays….so today, I didn’t have school but alas I did have a workshop until 2 pm today so it still felt like a normal Monday. Now it’s snowing (again) and it makes me want to just pretend it’s Saturday and I still have another day off tomorrow. The best way to cure the beginning of the week blues? One of my favorite scenes from “Parks and Rec” from way back in season 2. Leslie tries to cover for Tom by saying she shot Ron in the head….and hilarity ensues. Love all the hilarious sexist reasons she gives to appease the misogynistic ranger! In the words of Leslie Knope, “bitches be crazy.”

Snippet of My Novel

Sorry to bore the readers that have no interest in these posts, but I do like to share what I have been working on every once in awhile so people can know that I don’t just spend my time trying to effectively Netflix without accidentally spotting Blackfish (always on my recommendation list despite the fact that Netflix should know that I am scared of orcas. I mean, all the time I have spent with Netflix and they don’t know this simple fact about me?) and taking issue with Downton Abbey. 

“Young men had congregated all around Leon. A few shriveled up towards the front of the line, while others had proud, pumped out chests under their over-laundered dressing gowns and hair perfectly parted. Without a doubt, he was decades older than all the male patients assembled. One lad, his bloated stomach visible beneath the flare of the gown, gaped at Leon as if stared at Napoleon’s body on display suddenly reanimate. Why was he here, their eyes demanded. He had already lived longer than his father had; what motivated him to stay longer besides the base human fear of death? This generation of gentleman offered up control of their bodies and minds to strange doctors for the prospect of marriage, fatherhood, college campuses, politics, another war. The grief of jealousy hovered on the forefront of Leon’s mind. Did it make him wish he had institutionalize himself earlier in life, healing his lungs temporarily, enough to carve out a life of vigor? The mind bubbled with regrets when allowed space and time to entertain itself. Without a doubt, an unpleasant side effect of the rest cure, Leon thought.

“I lose ten more pounds and the doctor says my body is just going to start shutting down,” an emaciated ginger-haired boy whispered behind him, an airy voice sliding into nonexistence. Soon there would be nothing left of him, Leon shuddered, the realization running a quake through his spine. Already the skin of his skull drooped from the bone, no fat to round the boy. Shifting his weight from side to side, a pain in his left lung ticking like clockwork, Leon wished the nurses would hurry the weighing. Emitting a whelping moan, the boy standing behind him fell closer, nearly colliding with his back.  Leon had a story on his tongue that could comfort the frightened boy–“I was much younger than you when I first coughed blood and I outlived children who were born long after me.” Before he looked over his shoulder, Nurse Tally waved the group forward. Leon tried to overhear whether or not the boy had kept his weight up, but Nurse Betty caught him hanging back along the wall.

“Leon, I’ll grab a chair and take you back to your room,” she insisted, smiling to reveal her crooked teeth. The nurses maintained strict control over the patients in the hierarchy; it would be futile to protest as Leon had no voice in his life here. Within a minute, she wheeled him away with her brisk walk.

Dear Downton Abbey…

I bet a lot of you think that I am going to complain about mopey Mary (I get it, babe, your husband died but that doesn’t mean you get to be a bitch to Carson, the one person who probably adores you as much as Matthew). Or perhaps wonder why Julian Fellowes stuck us with Sybil-lite “wild girl” Rose (to quote Arrested Development: “her?”). No, my real beef with Downton this week is that they have Virginia Woolf make a blink-and-you-will-miss-her cameo and give her nothing to say. REALLY?! You make speechless one of the most brilliant writers/thinkers/conversationalists of the 20th century? Get thee to a library (or more likely, Amazon) and read A Room of One’s Own. Woolf is downright hilarious in that essay and instead of using her to talk to Edith about the plights of being a lady in the lady-hating early 1900s, all Virginia gets to do is have a prominent nose and look like she is having a decent time at the party.


Create a free website or blog at

A Quiet Voice in a Loud World

Just a voice in this noisy place we call earth. Talking about just about anything and everything.

Loyalty Binds Me

Twins on life apart in the adult world. Navigating Love, Jobs, Fashion, Food, and More Scary Grown Up Things.


Food, Photography & Joie de Vivre

Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

Live Half Full

Working Motherhood Blog | Chicago Suburbs Based

Picture & Poem

Twins on life apart in the adult world. Navigating Love, Jobs, Fashion, Food, and More Scary Grown Up Things.

p.s. it's handmade

Twins on life apart in the adult world. Navigating Love, Jobs, Fashion, Food, and More Scary Grown Up Things.

Awaiting on You All

A place to formulate ideas, inspirations, and practice