Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Friday, y'all!

Taken by moi in Apalach, 2014.

It's the "end" of another week and the beginning of another weekend. What do you have planned? I plan on checking out the last Blue Moon until 2018 (probably on my porch with a glass of wine with ice cubes in it- classy!). As for the weekend, I know not what is on the agenda. Perhaps antiquing with a buddy- perhaps schlepping about doing errands. I do know I have to take my car in to get the recalls fixed on it. Bugger- not having a vehicle for the day to run errands and grocery shop but I can make do!

Anyway, there's only 52 days left of Summer. It'll feel like even less when I see the big yella school buses roaming the city in two weeks. Where does the time go?

Instead of wasting time reading fifteen random (and totally awesome) things I've picked out for you, how about we go outside and get a sno-cone or go swimming or lay in the grass with our dogs? Eh? I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but I have the sneaking suspicion a lot of y'all stayed inside in the air conditioning instead (not that I blame you). However!!

Let's be Summery while the days are still feeling so free. As soon as school starts back up (even for those of us not in school and with no children at home), it signals something inside of us that wants to hunker down and get new pencil boxes and fresh notebooks, find corduroy pants and get a new haircut and that freedom of those last dog days sparkles and fades away.

Embrace these last weeks. Check out the Blue Moon on Friday night. Drink wine with ice cubes in it too. Why the hell not? It's Summertime, right? Let the little kid inside you swing in the hammock of that loveliness a little while longer.

X's & O's. I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend, friends!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Big One.

Throwback Thursday, 2009. Dancing in my apartment in my favorite jammies and favorite fuzzy hat. Somethings never change. 

Well y'all! It's hard to believe, but it's been one year since my semi-meltdown/rant and attempt at gaining more positivity in my life by starting this little blog. Exactly one year ago, I was dealing with a work situation that was toxic at BEST. I was paying too much in rent and making unhealthy choices. I was also 18 lbs. over where I was most comfortable with.

So much has changed and yet so little too! It's definitely a world away from where I was a mere 241 posts ago. For that, I'm super grateful. The hubs and I are healthier. We pay much less rent for our cute little tiny house too! The job situation has improved a bit and I even lost a few pounds too!

I try not to worry about the future as much as put forth the effort to ensure the utmost appreciation of it. That's my wish for this next year. To make the most of each and every single day so that when the future does arrive (as it tends to if we're lucky), the little chips I made in the stone will be revealing some pretty sparkly gems.

To you, lovely friends and loyal readers, thank you for joining me on this ride. It has definitely had its ups and downs. Format changes, ideas that never were realized and multitudes that have been. But I've had fun and I know y'all have too now and then.

I hope to keep you smiling and thinking positively in the next year as well!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Readin'

Hey y'all! What are you reading these days? I tell you, this summer, I've been devouring books. I think I've probably read about a half dozen. Here are some of my favorites!

Blackbird House. Usually I don't care for Alice Hoffman's writings as much as anyone who knows me would think I would. But, there is something about this book that is wondrous and strange and lovely.

Bad Monkey. Sent to me by my sweet buddy in D.C. with whom I have a homemade mail-order book club with. I laughed so hard, so many times. It makes me want to go back to Big Pine Key again and drink out of a coconut while the hubs lets Key deer walk all over him. So good and irreverent!

Telling the Bees. It starts great. Gets slow. Gets slower. Then boom! The action picks up and your fondness for the main character grows. Interesting interesting book. The descriptors seem a little vague at first due to the subtleties of the authors choices until you suddenly realize what a careful tapestry has been woven and you feel transported to each place and time. It's really something. It surprised me, actually.

State of Wonder. Another mail-order book club specimen. Much like Telling the Bees, it has its slower moments and then boom! Action and odd twists and turns. I'd love to know what you think of the ending too. My buddy and I had a great time talking about it.

This One and Magic Life. Oh de-lolly do I love a good magical realism book. This one doesn't overdo it, but it is heady and lyrically fragrant (that may not make sense, but you'd probably agree after reading). The ending is just terrific too. So my kind of ending! Also, Anne Carroll George wrote a series of hilarious Southern murder mysteries that I provably wouldn't have picked up otherwise but have devoured since my Mom gave them to me. Excellent and so funny!

Now I'm beginning The Girl on the Train. I have heard mixed review, so I'm super intrigued to see where I land on it.

What have you been reading? I'd love to know!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Friday!!

Lulu & Kit playing in the grass. She's happy, I swear!

Hey y'all! What have you got planned for the weekend? I'm brunching it with Mom on my day off as well as running a million errands, then working on Sunday again. I hope you have much more relaxing planned than I do!

Here's this week's list of funs, pretties, happies, interestings and what-nots to get your weekend kicked off right! Enjoy!

*Did you take me up on my challenge last Friday to do 3 Summer things? If not, here's a great recipe to try! 

*This video made me laugh.

*This is cool. The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method of packing for trips.

*This photographers life and career was changed by one chance encounter.

*Sixteen surprising things about parenting in the Netherlands.

*There's a place where you can swim with baby otters and play with all other kinds of animals. Yes please!!

*I love this! These couples make the best of their rainy day weddings!

*I've posted this before but it makes me genuinely laugh out loud every single time I find it. So even if it was two weeks ago, I'm posting it again. I don't care, it's that amusing to me.

*Mind, Body, Green's 10 songs to make you happy right now! Some of them I can vouch for, some I'm making it to this weekend.

*This is pretty cool. A trove of letters between German POW's in the US and the people who lived in the town around them shines a different light on...well, it's just very poignant, and interesting!

*Eight years after its series end, why the Gilmore Girls fandom lives on.

*Oh the cute sleepy puppy!

*I love this wreath for the Fall!

*This cracked me up! "My baby monitor just produced a paranormal horror movie"! So funny and the teeniest bit creepo!

Have a truly wonderful weekend, guys!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

An idea!

Lately I've been thinking about something...

I've mentioned the negativity detox last week. I've been doing sort of okay with that (could be better and will be). I've been thinking I should do a real full body detox. Not a cleanse, not just a good long soak (though both of those sound appealing), but a real-life detox top to bottom, from the rooter to the tooter, so to speak. 

Lately, I've just been thinking about how good it would feel to focus on one part of me at a time and just devote time to care for it. For example, a week of intentionally caring for my skin intensely, or my liver etc. Does that sound insane?

I already care for myself pretty well, but I could definitely do better. I don't really "treat" myself the way I'd really like to, either. Plus there are so many awesome ideas on Pinterest for DIY spa crafts! So, and bear with me here, I thought I'd cull together six treatments/detoxes/etc. to try focused on one area at a time for a week to a week and a half at a time. I know some will stick and help me to maintain long term self-care. Here are some of the things I want to research to work on.

*Hands & Feet
*Digestive Tract

What do you think? Think you'd want to try to focus on caring for your body in such a manner? I think no matter what you do, as long as you care for your body, your body (mind and spirit) will show its appreciation. 

Stay tuned on what I end up doing! I hope you have a truly wonderful day, buds!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A challenge for your weekend!

Hey guys, it's finally Friday amiright? I personally can't wait for my (one) day off and I just didn't feel like doing the typical "Friday Happies" today.

Instead I put forth the challenge to do three "Summery" things this weekend. Eat corn off the cob cooked on the grill, or hey have a whole cookout! Soak your feet in a kiddie pool while having a nice glass of something cool and refreshing. Watch a storm from your front porch.

Check out the (oftentimes free) outdoor concerts in your town and dance off the hamburgers you grilled out!

Hula hoop, play frisbee or go to the beach (or hula hoop while playing frisbee on a beach- even better)!

Carve up a watermelon and eat it outside (yes, even if it's a little warm out).  Set up the sprinkler and run through it like you did when you were little. I guarantee whatever "Summery" thing you choose, it will bring a smile to your face.

There are only 67 days left of official Summer. Be present in it instead of wishing for Fall (like I've been all week). Let's make the most out of the dog days we have left!

Have a truly wonderful day y'all!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bastille Day it like a French Gal!

Bonjour! It's Bastille Day, and I have no idea why I've always liked and celebrated this holiday. I'm a good ol' 'Merican girl in the Dirty South for crying out loud! However, I just love it and usually hit up my favorite French bakery in town for a fruit boat and tea. I thought it'd be fun today to get some inspiration from these French-inspired lovelies! Why not, oui? Oui!!

First, fashion! I always imagine one of the many reasons the French stereotypically look at Americans the way they do while Americans basically worship French women is somewhere in the French psyche, they imagine the Americans as a clingy lover. One who idolizes and changes in the relationship, when all French people seem to grasp that being a true representation of oneself is key. They certainly don't have articles in French that extol the secrets of the American je ne sais quoi!
Philosophizing aside, it's f-f-f-fashion!

Un: How to create a 5-piece French wardrobe and (theoretically) CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Ha! Love it.

Deux: 12 Secrets to dressing like a French woman!

Trois: How to live like a French Girl!


Quatre: Poulet Saute Chasseur (Hunter's Chicken). Looks so delicious!

Cinq: Galette de Pomme de Terre (Potato Galette). I love a galette!

Six: 44 Classic French recipes with wine pairing suggestions!


Sept: Twelve French ways to style your hair. SO chic!

Huit: French drugstore products that really work...I'm personally addicted to Rose Witch Hazel.

Neuf: What French women NEVER do to their hair. Fascinating!


Dix: Seven secrets to French decorating. Love it!

Onze: "French Women" secrets for a healthy home. 

Douze: Eight Feminine French rooms. 


Trieze: What French children are taught about food that American children are not.

Quatorze: This little French bebe, telling quite the tall tale about Winnie the Pooh. My heart, it is so cute!

Au revoir, mes amis!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Happies!

Friday rainbow!

Hello my lovely dearies! What's your plan for the weekend? I'll be trucking along at the shop, hopefully it will be drama-free and go by quickly so I can hurry up and enjoy my Monday off! Because I'm super ready for a long hot bath and bed, I'll jump right in to this week's list of happies, funs, pretties, interestings and what-nots to usher you into a rad weekend of happiness and hilarity!

*This guy does 10 second songs in a bunch of different styles. It's a little bit mind blowing.

*I love this guy! Alan Rickman talks about working with strong, talented, brilliant women. Oh you!

*I loved Alice Gao's interview on A Cup of Jo. What great simple style!

*This is one of the funniest artist series I've seen in a minute. "The Distance I Can Be From My Son". 

*This started out as an article that I wanted to roll my eyes about. Parents who think their kids' Minion toys in their Happy Meals were cussing. It turned out to be a great article on words and their meanings and how we, as adults, sometimes cause more harm than good in teaching our children about what's "good" and "bad".

*Bruiser just wanted to belly flop in the pool. He certainly succeeded.

*SO COOL! A Sun Printing Kit!! I want one!

*Weird things couples are thankful for. HA!

*These lovely gals tried on Victoria's Secret bathing suits, and this is what happened!

*A five step guide to Making S--t Happen!

*To Basil on your 10th birthday! My heart!

*Comedians talking about fatherhood.

*Both impressive and creepy! This guy can do makeup so well, he can transform himself into celebrities!

*Common entertaining mistakes and how to avoid them! I've done 'em all, y'all!

*And to round it out, 10 Ways to Remind Yourself You're Worth It!

Awesome! Have a wonderful weekend friends!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Negativity Detox

A while back, I posted an experiment I tried: The Gossip Fast. In this experiment, I tried, with varying results, to switch conversations at work away from gossip and toward the positive. The rule was "If the person I'm speaking about heard what I was saying, would I feel bad for saying it?". It worked, but after the past two weeks at work, I feel I need a detox, so to speak. I take responsibility for the part I play in it at work, but being surrounded by a half dozen heavy-duty gossipers, it's super challenging finding something to talk about with people you have nothing in common with. I feel its become a habit again and I don't want it to be.

So beginning this very moment, is a two-week gossip fast at work. Hopefully, I can make up for the @*&%storm that has been the ecosystem there lately. Wish me luck! I'd really love to break this wretched cycle.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Thursday Rant

Do you ever feel like you can almost taste big, positive, delicious changes in your life, but you don't know how the heck to get to them? I feel like that pretty much all the time these days. I think it's because I'm actually close, but I honest to goodness feel so overwhelmed and swamped by other people's bullshit at work (and quite possibly my own!) that it gets snatched away at the last minute.

Now my dreams aren't lofty by any means, and yet I find myself treading water more often than not. I'm also not in denial or being negative. I know I have made incredible leaps toward getting things back on track since I lost my job nearly five years ago. However, sometimes I get...ugh! I get so frustrated!

I need to leave my current job because it drives me absolutely effing insane. See this article for reference. And this post. However, I haven't been able to find a job that pays nearly enough to make the move doable. I don't even know where to begin to look for something that isn't linked to crappy job-hunting websites and takes seven months for a response (I'm looking at you, State of Florida jobs and PeoplesFirst) and y'all all remember this from a few weeks ago! It can feel so depressing and daunting, yet I know there is a clever solution somewhere. I know there is a way I can hustle my way into (my idea of) greatness!

But where to start?! I detest this feeling of impotence. Drastic measures may be in order.

Rant completed...for now.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day and if any jobs you don't want fall into your lap, help a sister out!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Sounds

Hey y'all! Did you recover from your holiday weekend? I surely hope so! The hubs and I drove to a favorite beach spot nearby and watched this movie as fireworks exploded all around town. It's incredible but I've been having weird dreams ever since. Ha!

Anyway, I've been feeling a rut in music over the past few years and recently it feels like I'm finally entering a new era of fresh music that speaks to me. First, with this song I posted a few weeks ago and then again when a friend introduced me to this guy this weekend, and I have been playing his albums non-stop. It has sparked my muse again and the creative writing has been flowing. Thanks to my buddy for the recommendation! Have a listen!

Particular favorites are Fun Times in Babylon and Tee Pees 1-12! What have y'all been listening to lately? I'd love to know! Have a truly wonderful day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

Happy Fourth of July weekend, friends! I surely hope you get some time to celebrate your independence. If you have to work, I say to you- stay strong and steadfast friends! Celebrations are everywhere you look!

 There's something so magical about this time of year. Perhaps because it is exactly the halfway point between the beginning and the end of the year. Perhaps because it's full of the nostalgic feelings of freedom that children have running about with sparklers and Otter Pops and what-not. It stays in your marrow, even as an adult. I don't know- there's a certain sweet, heady, hot and twinkling...magic this time of year. There's no other word for it.

I hope you find some magic this weekend too, friends. And here's this week's list!

*Check it this weirdly interesting optical illusion dance recital.
*Smaller than I dream of, but a rad tiny house nonetheless. Loved the Beer Moth House too!
*Proud Mama rents a billboard for her son's graduation. So sweet!
*Hahaha! Weird ways couples mess with each other. I know I've posted it before, but I spent an hour watching all of their videos over and over and I just want to be friends with them!
*Gilmore Girls Sports Bar? Where is Jess is more...
*Woah. Poignant and telling and...well check it out... Like A Girl.
*Cool!!! Blood donors in Sweden get a text when their donations save a life or helps someone! That's so damn neato I can hardly stand it! We as Americans are just narcissistic enough to find that really rewarding! Ha!
*24 Parents You Wish You Knew In Real Life...Hilarious and great, but my folks should be on there too!
*Waking up with Katia and Tilvie (the bunny). I just love the pictures and the artist's morning routines aren't too shabby either.
*#ProudtoLove. Oh, did it ever make me tear up!
*A 3 year old receives unbelievable bill for damaging neighbor's car!
*Gorgeous little farmhouse in...New York City...on the roof of a 6-story building. It even has a yard and garden!!
*How to attract fireflies to your backyard! (Try to ex-nay on collecting them though, their numbers are dwindling).

*Some extra fireworks fer ya!

I hope y'all have a groovy Fourth of July weekend. Take a few moments to send out some gratitude for your freedoms, liberties and those who have come before you to keep them. Ciao, friends!