My So-Called Oily Life

For the last couple years I’ve been dabbling in essential oils, but went hardcore into Young Living after being introduced to Thieves (my gateway drug) last winter by my friend Keely. Thieves 2

When I lived in Austin, pretty much the majority of my life, I suffered every fall & spring with allergies, so much so that I would get steroid shots in my tush to knock the allergies out of my system.  Austin is a great outdoor lifestyle city, but it is a huge hub for allergies.  Ugh.  About seven years ago I moved to the Houston area, & low and behold, my allergies disappeared!  Y’all, I thought I won the lottery…until about two years ago.  I was lucky enough (eyes rolling all the way back inside my head) to develop new allergies. allergies

So, while babysitting Keely’s boys I had the sniffles, but told her not worry that it was just allergies.  She quickly suggested diffusing a concoction of oils while I sleep to help get rid of them.  I just as quickly thanked her & promptly blew her off…until I stopped being able to sleep due to said allergies.

I ordered an oil diffuser from Amazon & some essential oils.  The oils I ordered were not anything special and helped maybe only slightly.  I was also “guilty” of buying oils from the grocery store.  cheap oilsAt this point I was not fully onboard with the whole essential oil trend, but ordered Young Living lavender & peppermint from Keely.  Side note: with quality oils, lavender + peppermint + lemon + eucalyptus is the magic blend for allergy sufferers.  I encourage everyone with generic lavender to get a bottle of YL lavender & just smell the difference…it is a game changer.

Last winter I got really sick with the flu, like I was down for two weeks.  I had chills, aches, the fever tears (you know when your eyes leak hot tears).  Keely came by my house & dropped off a 3-pack of Thieves spray – it is THE oil to use for immunity.  At this point, I was already too sick for anything but antibiotics to help me.  Yes, you read that right, medicine still has it’s time & place.  Once I was better, I used Thieves every night on the bottoms of my feet.  Y’all, I haven’t even had drainage, a cough, a sniffle, nothing since New Years.  We are now at November 20th, let that sink in.

To this day, my nightly routine is:

  1. Wash face, put on glow serum (made from oils).
  2. Diffuse lavender + cedarwood + frankincense – best combo to sleep like the dead.
  3. Spray Thieves on the bottom of my feet.
  4. Lights out, sweet dreams.

Okay, let me tell you a little about what oils are, etc. YL

What are they?
Essential Oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants.  The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves, & trees and bring health & healing to the body.  The chemistry is extremely complex & may consist of hundreds of different & unique chemical compounds.  They are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level.

Ways to use them:
Topically: apply to your skin or use a carrier oil.
Aromatically: diffuse using a Young Living ultrasonic diffuser or inhale directly from the bottle.
Internally: place oils in a vegetable capsule, fill with a carrier oil, & take like a supplement, add oils to food or drinks, or place directly in your mouth.

Fun facts:
Oils reach the brain within 22 seconds.
Within 2 minutes, they are found in your bloodstream.
And within 20 minutes, they will affect every cell in the body.

Are essential Oils safe?
Essential oils have been used to support our bodies for thousands of years across the world; therefore, we have thousands of years of history & research behind what they can do.  Although is may that essential oils are trendy, rest assured that they have been used for a long time.  In the spirit of the Holiday Season, two of the three Wisemen brought  Frankincense & Myrrh to the manger.

With that said, it’s important to get your oils from the right place to ensure you are only getting the pure oil & no other additives such as fragrance & fillers.  Unfortunately, there is no FDA regulation for essential oils; so many companies are claiming to have pure, therapeutic grade oils but testing shows they are not.  These can actually be dangerous, & many times when you hear stories about pets or people being harmed, it’s usually not the oil, but the additive.  how to

Scary Information About Everyday Products:
There is no federal regulation on chemicals in household products.  In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.

The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, per environmental experts.  We’re exposed to the routinely, from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners.  Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, & neurotoxicity.  Chronic exposure adds to the body’s “toxic burden,” the number of chemicals stored in its issues at a given time.

Words to Know:
Phthalates:
Found in: many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper.  Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label.  If you see “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present.

Perchloroethylene:
Found in: Dry-cleaning solutions, stain removers, & carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Health risks: Perc is a neurotoxin, according to the chief scientist of environmental protection for New York Attorney General’s office.  And, the EPA classifies Perc as a “possible carcinogen” as well.

Triclosan:
Found in: Most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”

Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.  Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers & streams, where it is toxic to algae.  the EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function.  It is a probable carcinogen.

Quats (Quarternary Ammonium Compounds):
Found in: Fabric softener liquids & sheets, most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”  Quats are another type of antimicrobial, & thus pose the same problem as triclosan by helping breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

They’re also a skin irritant & are suspected as a culprit for respiratory disorders.

2-Butoxyetanol:
Found in: Window, kitchen, & multipurpose cleaners.

Health risks: 2-Butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners & gives them their characteristic sweet smell.  It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents that don’t mess around.  Law does not require 2-Butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label.  According to the EPA’s website, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, & severe liver & kidney damage.

Ammonia:
Found in: Polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks, & jewelry; also in glass cleaner.  Because ammonia evaporates & doesn’t leave streaks, it’s another common ingredient in commercial window cleaners.  Ammonia is very dangerous to elderly people with lung issues & breathing problems & people who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis & asthma.  Ammoinia can also create poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach.

Candles:
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene & toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens).  In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. safe

So, why did I choose Young Living?

  1. It is the only company that has FDA approved oils for ingestion.  That’s right, you can cook with these oils, or spray Thieves in the back of your throat to suppress a cold.
  2. Over the next 5 years, YL will take their global operations to zero waste status.  I love this so much!
  3. I am now basically my own apothecary.  I’ve made the following so far: glow serum for my face, body butter, “soft scrub,” household cleaner, hair detangler, bug spray, spider spray for the house, under eye serum…that’s all I can recall at the moment.

Some of my Young Living favorites:
NingXia Red: NingXia provides natural energy support, promotes glowing skin, powerful antioxidant, supports healthy blood sugar levels, contributes to overall wellness, & provides an immune boost.

One serving of NingXia Red has the antioxidant equivalent of: 73 strawberries, 100 oranges, 85 pounds of spinach, 22 carrots, 34 onions, 59 heads of broccoli, 93 apples, 33 pounds of almonds, & 814 blueberries.

Super B vitamins: B vitamins are the only vitamins that the body doesn’t naturally reproduce, so we have to replenish them daily.  Two of these a day gets the job done!  Full disclosure, take them with food or a flavored beverage if you are sensitive to smell.

Thieves household cleaner, foaming hand soap (I hated foaming soap before), & laundry detergent.  I’m trying to use up all my dishwasher detergent & dish soap before switching to Thieves.

Pretty much everything else I make with the oils I get.  My next endeavor will be in the laundry room: stain remover & EO “bleach.”  I also have some fun treats coming up for the gals coming to my birthday wine weekend in December!

I’ve thrown out all of my candles & now exclusively use my diffuser.  I’m not crazy, or a hippie – this is an investment.  It is not inexpensive.  I recommend slowly easing your way into getting rid of the toxins in your home.  replace the bad with the good.  Figure out what your gateway drug will be.

If you are interested in Young Living or ahve any questions, you are welcome to get in touch with me.  If you get nothing else out of this, I hope you now have some food oils for thought…

Kiss Hug,

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East Coast Road Trip – October 2017

Okay y’all, I am so fired!  My intention was always to post my East Coast Road Trip!  I mean it was on my Bucket List after all.  I’ve always wanted to see New England in the Fall…I blame Gilmore Girls.  Fall in TX

So, when I started getting Facebook “Memories” from this trip, I realized I never did an actual blog post!  I’m the worst.  So fired!  But, as they say, better late than never!  Right?  RIGHT?

This trip was with my friends Brigitte & Jessica, and we met up with our friend Norma – we all used to work together.  You’ll see how this all works out as you read down.  After many, many phone calls & emails to plan this trip, Brigitte & I flew to Fayetteville, NC to meet up with Jessica.  From there, our adventure began.  Keep in mind, until New Hampshire, we spent >24 hours in each city.

Here is a picture of our planned itinerary. Planned Calendar

Someone (me) over planned, so this is what we actually ended up doing.  Actual Calendar

Once we landed in Fayetteville, we basically hit the ground running.  We took off for Washington DC.  Map 1We really tried to stay at inns instead of big box chain hotels, & the Tabard Inn fit the bill perfectly.  It was old & historical, there was no elevator, our room had antique furniture, the floors creaked…it was so quaint.  Hotel Tabard Inn

Our view from the room.

After we hauled our luggage up to the 4th floor, we had a light dinner & a bottle of wine at the Inn’s restaurant.  They also had a wedding reception in progress while we were there.

The next morning we got up early & went to the Smithsonian museum.  Y’all, this was easily my favorite museum from our trip.  EASILY.   We each chose at least 1 museum/educational venture on this trip that we really wanted to see.  The Smithsonian was my pick & it did not disappoint!

Full disclosure, I’m much more of a history & art buff than science, so the Smithsonian was right up my alley.  There was so much to see & I didn’t take a ton of pictures here…I was learning.

My take away from DC, was that I’d like to go back (maybe in the spring), & go on a National monuments tour.   Also, the traffic round-a-bouts are nuts.

We left Washington DC mid-afternoon & headed north to New York City!  Map 2

IMG_0243

Here we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Upper East Side.  It was the most affordable option & had parking, which was a must for us being on a road trip & all.  It was clean, it was nice, & we felt safe.Courtyard Marriott

See the red building in picture?  We had a super inexpensive, but tasty, sushi dinner there.  It was just a neighborhood sushi joint.  Not going to lie, having never been to NYC, I was super underwhelmed.  I thought it was really dirty.  That being said, there were lots of cute dogs, as Brigitte pointed out.  HA!

The next morning we got up, packed the car, & headed to the National Science & History Museum (Brigitte’s pick).  This place was massive.  It was also a school holiday, so LOTS of kids.

After awhile, I was kinda like “you’ve seen one dinosaur, you’ve seen them all.”  Then, I happened upon this view.

Those trees are Central Park!  This museum took us all day, & I know we didn’t see all of it, but we needed to get on the road to Mystic, CT.

I need to go back to NYC, that should be a trip on it’s own, not a stop over.  Note to self for your future road trip!

During our drive to Connecticut, it was the first time we thought it looked like Fall.  Map 3It became a running joke that every time we saw Fall colored leaves, we’d say something along the lines of “Oh look, there’s Fall.”  Over and over.  IMG_0276

One of my favorite movies is Mystic Pizza, so I asked Brigitte & Jessica if we could eat there.  I had heard that the pizza wasn’t great, but I personally thought it was really good.  What does a Texan know about good pizza though?

We stayed at the Inn at Mystic.  The Inn at Mystic

The next morning we got up early & headed to the Mystic Aquarium (Jessica’s pick).  The beluga whales were a big hit!

Mystic was quintessential New England.  I could have stayed in Mystic the rest of the time.  Definitely going back & exploring the town some more.

But, we had places to be in Boston, so off we went…to our Air BnB.  Map 4Y’all, this place was a fun house.  It was an old walk-up on the edge of Chinatown.  Obviously our apartment was on the top floor, because we never do things easy.  Every surface was slanted one way or another.  I slept on a futon & kept rolling off because the floors were so wonky.  Boston lodging is very, very expensive, but I recommend paying for an actual hotel.

We quickly dropped our bags & headed to Cheers!  Oddly enough, no one knew our names.  Sad day.  However, we did meet up with Samantha & Amanda, my now step-sisters.  I feel too old to say that.

They gave us a great walking tour of Boston from Cheers to the North End (aka Little Italy).   On our walk, we came upon the New England Holocaust Memorial, which you can walk through.  To say it was stunning is an understatement.  The noise of the city fell away.  Holocaust Memorial

IMG_0295

These six columns represent the six million Jews killed in concentration camps & the six main camps (there were more than 6); you walk along a path that looks like grates over embers, which periodically release steam to mimic the gas chambers.  Each victim’s tattooed number is etched in the glass.  Just writing about this is making me tear up.  This little spot in the middle of Boston was more meaningful & educational to me than anything I saw in a museum on this whole trip.  You can learn more about it here: NEHM

Once in Little Italy, we waited, along with everyone else, to eat at cute Italian restaurant that held maybe 40 people.  Samantha’s boyfriend Jay met up with us…he was the token guy.  While we waited Samantha took us to Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli, my first!  I got almond…I’m not a huge fan of anything with a cream filling, but this was amazing!

After Boston, we headed to Kennebunkport, Maine & made a pit stop in Salem, Massachusetts on the way.  Map 5We didn’t really have any agenda in Salem.  We were going to take a tour of the Witch Trials museum, but there was a long wait.  We accidentally (maybe fortuitously) saw that there was a psychic convention going on, I use that term VERY loosely.  By convention, I mean that there were three psychics in the weird arts & crafts mall.  One for each of us!  During this time Jessica lost her iPhone, funnily enough the psychic couldn’t tell us where it was.  Hmmm.

We asked a local for a good place to eat lunch, after searching for an hour or so for the phone.  We were ready for a cocktail.  I mostly remember that B & I shared really good nachos, & Jessica had a really good Fall mimosa…

You could probably skip Salem.  It was fun…until it wasn’t.

Next up, we got back on the road to Kennebunkport, Maine.  Map 6Y’all, I literally looked into how I could move here before we even got checked in at our Inn.  We all agreed that KBP was our FAVORITE stop.  We stayed at the cutest inn, The Lodge on the Cove, & it was amazing!!!  I’d like to move in permanently.

We arrived around dinner time, & we were hangry so we headed to the Clam Shack, which was closed.  We ended up eating a mediocre dinner at a place behind the Clam Shack that was less than memorable.  Sorry!  We also found one store in town that was still open, & we stocked up on Christmas ornaments!

The next morning, we had breakfast at the inn before heading into town for some shopping.  We were barely starting to feel some Fall weather here.  This town was sooooo cute!  Everyone told us to eat lunch at Alison’s, so we promptly put ourselves on the list.  Y’all, one word…LAHBSTER.  Each of us orders a dish with lobster, plus lobster poutine as an appetizer.  I’m pretty sure we ate everything, licked our fingers & the plates clean.  Run, don’t walk, to Alison’s.  You will not be sorry.

Somehow, we managed to squeeze in ice cream too from Rococo Ice Cream.  IMG_0312

After eating our way through Kennebunkport, we opted to take the scenic route to Lincoln, New Hampshire to Norma’s House!  To know me is to know that I love a scenic route.  Map 7

We stopped along the way to take pictures of pretty rocks, or shale as Brigitte, the geologist, informed us.  This was somewhere in the White Mountains.

We continued on to Norma’s house in Lincoln, a perfectly quaint New Hampshire town.

Since, it’s been over a year I can’t remember exactly what order we did things, so here’s a list:

  1. We ate our weight in pancakes at Poll’y Pancake Parlor Polly's Pankcake Parlor
  2. We hiked up a mountain.
  3. We shopped in town.
  4. We hiked near a river.
  5. We went Moose Calling.  We were looking for this: IMG_0332 (1)Norma’s friends had seen these beauties the evening we got into town.  We went looking too, but instead we learned that Brigitte doesn’t know the difference between a deer, a donkey & a llama, nor a goat & a cat.  Jessica is also the best at animal calls.  We laughed so hard in Norma’s car, I think we all left a little pee behind.  Hahaha!
  6. We did a quick little hike from Norma’s house…2 miles later…  Guess who didn’t bring tennis shoes or hiking boots?  I’m raising my hand.
  7. I collected a lot of leaves.
  8. Jessica cooked us an authentic Italian dinner.
  9. We learned that pork rinds with lime juice is pretty good. IMG_0333
  10. We found a covered bridge!

Before leaving New Hampshire, we had a few discussions about going back to some of our favorite places, instead of going back to DC.  We nixed all of that, & on the recommendation of one of Norma’s friends, we drove to Tom’s River, NJ.  He said it was one of the most beautiful places he’d been – that was a direct quote.  Now, I’m not sure I fully agree with that, but we did stalk Bon Jovi & saw some really fancy houses.

Less than 24 hours later, we were back on the road to Jessica’s house in North Carolina.  We picked up her dog Waffles from the kennel, order Thai food, & gave ourselves facials.  It was exactly the way a long trip should end.

Lessons learned from our trip:

  1. Maybe just start in Connecticut.
  2. You can pay tolls with pennies.
  3. Don’t attempt to move heavy furniture by yourself.

Next time I go to the East Coast, I will be making my way around Connecticut for a Gilmore Girls experience…I’ll probably be on that trip alone.

Once again, I apologize that this is soooooooooooo late.  If you have great places I should see the next time I go to the East Coast, please share!

Kiss Hug,

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What’s Up Wednesday: July Edition

WUW

Questions

What I’m eating this week…

I’m literally eating my breakfast: peach non-fat Greek yogurt, roasted pistachios, & mini dark chocolate chips. This is hands down my favorite breakfast on a weekday.  I know a lot of people aren’t into yogurt, but it helps keep my gut balanced.  I can tell a difference within 3 days if I don’t eat yogurt.

I’m also drinking a NingXia Red, by far one of my very favorite Young Living products.  NingXia

What I’m reminiscing about…

All these Hallmark movies are making me wish for a vacation, a prince, or Christmas.

What I’m loving…

I just had microdermabrasion for the first time a couple weeks ago.  I wish I could do it every week!  I loved it.  My facialist also gives the best facial massages.  Microderm

What I’ve been up to…

This summer has been crazy busy!  I need a summer to relax from my summer.

June 10: car wreck – I wasn’t hurt, but my car sure was
June 15 – 24: dog/house sat
June 28 – July 8: overnight babysat for a 2yo & 4 yo, they were so good but I don’t know how single parents do it!  I’m in awe of you.
July 10 -12: dog/house sat
July 17: FINALLY got my car back from being fixed
July 25 – 28: dog/house sit
August 2: dog/house sit
August 3 – 12: vacation!

Needless to say, there hasn’t been a lot of nights sleeping in my own bed.

What I’m dreading…

I’m dreading the school traffic coming back in a few weeks.  It easily adds 20 minutes to my commute in the morning.  😦

What I’m working on…

I’ve recently been getting into essential oils, I think I mentioned that in May.  With that said, I follow the hashtags, #YoungLiving & #essentialoils, on Instagram & I get TONS of oil ideas for diffuser blends, perfume blends, household cleaners, body butters, stain removers, body wash…you name it.  So, I’m creating a recipe book so I can just keep them all in one place instead of taking a screenshot with my phone & having to scroll through 87,000 pictures to get to a recipe.

I’m also slowly switching over from toxic household items to non-toxic.  I’ve already gotten rid of all my candles, they are SOOOOOO bad for you…full of carcinogens. I’ve switched to Young Living’s Thieves laundry detergent – LOVE!  I’ll also never buy bug spray, roach killer, or Goo-Gone again…there’s an oil for that!

What I’m excited about…

I’m so excited about going to visit my friend Maureen in Park City, Utah!  I can’t wait to be in 70-80 degree weather!  I’m flying up, & then we are driving back together.  Y’all, I splurged & upgraded myself to first class!  Who am I?

Do you think it will be like this?First Class

What I’m watching/reading…

I’ve obviously been watching Hallmark’s Christmas in July movies, duh.

Is anyone watching The Bachelorette?  I am not loving it, so much so that I’m not even blogging this season.  This is a case where we know more than the Lead at this point.  I hate that I know that ABC allowed a convicted sexual predator on Becca’s season & a guy, who is the favorite, that is clearly a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, gross guy.  It’s really bumming me out.  I feel like they are making a fool of Becca once again.  They already did her dirty in Arie’s season by filming the worst breakup of all time.  Okay – off my soap box.

I’ve been reading here & there, not as much as I normally do.  I’ve been studying for my Project Management certification, so the last thing I want to do is pick up another book.  But I did read a couple of quick, easy, & cheesy romance novels recently.

The Love by Numbers series from Sarah McLean was fantastic!  I also really enjoyed Finding Mr. Wrong by AM Madden & Joanne Schwehm – it was very Bachelor-esqe.

What I’m listening to…

I’ve moved on from Kacey Musgraves & am now obsessed with Lucie Silvas.

Download these 3 songs:
Place to Hide
Villain
Find A Way
You can thank me later.

What I’m wearing…

I have been living in my BP & Caslon tees from Nordstrom.

What I’m doing this weekend…

This weekend I’m going to the Astros game!  Astros

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Did I mention I was going on vacation???

What else is new…

Work has been crazy busy, I’m spear heading a new initiative that is supposed to officially kick-off tomorrow.

Bonus: What is my favorite thing I’ve done this summer…

My favorite thing about this summer has been the rain.  Yes, it is still hot in Houston, but it has really helped keep things to a manageable heat.  Knock on wood.  I’m sure my answer will be different in a couple weeks.

Until next time.

Kiss Hug,

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The Bachelorette: Karma is Karma

So, I made the tragic mistake of watching Episode 2 right before Episode 3, & they are running together in my head!  I can’t remember what happened on which date, so hang in there with me.

First Date: Wills, Jason, Jordan, David, Jean Blanc, Colton

The guys gave Becca & her girlfriends some pampering at the least spa-like spa I’ve ever seen.  Do you think the real spa was going through a renovation & so they filmed in the holding room for all the chairs?  Did they spend this episode’s budget on Richard Mark & the rights to Right Here Waiting?

So, Tia & Colton know each other & it’s super awkward.  Becca, clearly uncomfortable, addressed the issue with Tia almost immediately.  I loved that TinkerBekah asked if Colton though Tia was going to be The Bachelorette.  Ouch.  Becca basically wanted to know if they slept together, & according to both parties they did not.  Colton is back in Becca’s top 4 now.  Too bad she forgot Jason, I mean Joel Maisel, I mean Jason’s name.

Tell me these aren’t the same guy.

I’m betting some of these people will once again get the chance to paint each other’s nails in Paradise.

At the evening portion of the date, Jordan had some real quotable gems.

“He’s a dried up chicken.” – talking about David (the Chicken).

“You’re a skeleton of a man.” – speaking to David.  Jordan, I think you meant shell.

“Karma is Karma.” – referring to David tattling (cardinal sin) to Becca about Jordan’s 4,000 Tinder matches.

Let’s discuss the Tinder thing for a sec…
4,000 Tinder matches / 365 days per year = 10.958 matches per day
4,000 Tinder matches / 52 weeks per year = 76.923 matches per week
That’s a lot of time spent swiping right.  “Modeling” might be his career, but Jordan Tinders like it is his job.

Back to the quotes…

“You are something I would like to see myself next to.” – talking to Becca.  Jordan, that’s not how you speak to women.

“Attached to me is professionality.  It’s in the way I walk; it’s in the way I talk.  Okay?  If you want to try and wreck my image, you’ll never succeed.  And, you want to know why? Because my image is me.  Hey — cheers to you being a bitch.” – once again fighting with David.

Wills is all of us.
Wills

The best part of this entire group date was the reactions to the various Jordan/David arguments from Jason & Wills. Wills & Jason

Colton reconfirmed that he is here for Becca & didn’t sleep with Tia, so naturally they madeout a few times & he got the group date rose.

Second Date: Chris

They go to Capitol Records where Richard Marx was right there waiting for them.  Y’all they totally didn’t know who he was, right?  Also, has Richard had some work done???  Richard Marx

PS – what is Becca wearing?  That look is not cute, girl.

This date was kinda lame.  They had to write a song.  Chris’ daddy issues bubbled to the surface.  I don’t think Becca is that into him, I just can’t get past his similarity to Chandler Bing’s roommate with the goldfish.

Chris got the sympathy rose.

Meanwhile back at the house, we are greeted with lots of blood…David’s blood to be exact.  We see him being gurney’d out of the house.  Chris Harrison informs us all, including Becca, that David fell off the top bunk, face first on the tile floor, & that he is in ICU.  To be fair, top bunks suck & face wounds always bleed a lot.  Bunk beds

Third Date: Clay, Leo, Christon, Ryan, John, Garrett, Mike, Lincoln, Connor, & Blake

Football.  Lincoln sucks at drills & kinda cheats his way through them just like he did on the obstacle course from last week.  Clay, being the only player on his team, injures his wrist tying up the game.  I don’t quite understand how he did this, but he too had to be taken to the hospital  in an ambulance.

Two ambulances in one episode?  Mike Fleiss must have had such a hard-on.

Clay managed to get his wrist in a sling & headed back to the group date, which ultimately got him the rose.

Cocktail Party: Clay told Becca that he needs to have surgery on his wrist, & has to leave because his football “career” takes care of him & his entire family.  Que the convulsing ovaries heard ’round Bachelor Nation.  I suspect we’ll see this gentle giant again.

Favorite Tweets from the night: BSE3.1BSE3.2BSE3.3

My favorite part from the previews for next week is when David returns, just in the nick of time for the Rose Ceremony, with his face blurred out.  Jordan eloquently points out that David “looks like a chicken that crossed the road & got hit by a bus.”

What did y’all think of the episode?  Are we tired of Jordan yet?  I still enjoy laughing at him.  I suspect David & Jordan will e on the 2-on-1 date in two-ish weeks.

Until next time…

Kiss Hug,

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What’s Up Wednesday: May Edition

Hello friends, it’s that time of the month again!  No, Beatrice is not visiting (hahaha), it’s What’s Up Wednesday!  WUW

I’ll be answering these questions & linking up with Mix & Match Mama.  Questions

So, without further ado…

What I’m eating this week…

I don’t actually know what I’m eating this week (ha!), I’ve been out of town for a few days & desperately need to go to the grocery store.  I’ve been really craving salads, particularly salads that have a sweet & spicy vibe.

I’ve also really been into guacamole.  You can check out my love for guac here.

What I’m reminiscing about…

Y’all, it’s only May & I’m already missing our cooler weather.  I don’t know about where you live, but in the Houston area we skipped right past Spring & went straight into triple digits.  UGH!  I’m not going outside again until I can wear a sweater!

This was basically me all of Memorial Day Weekend…literally.  Yes, I’m using that word correctly; I really stood on ice at least 3 times this past weekend. Me

What I’m loving…

I just became a member of Young Living Essential Oils, thanks to my friend Keely.  No, I’m not going to try & sell you any…  EO's

I’m still a little skeptical about all the benefits, but after being at my mom’s house for 5 days & waking up all night long, etc. I truly believe that the EO’s I diffuse at night, in my own house, really help me sleep like the dead.  I also made a bug spray with essential oils for the wedding & it worked great!  Not only did the bugs leave me alone, but it smelled great & softened my skin.  Win, win, win!

What I’ve been up to…

May has been a crazy month…and I can’t even remember why.  I’m getting old…my memory is going.  I took a class, more about that later, & my mom got married on the 27th after being a widow for 10 the past ten years.

Oh, I also had some car trouble that occupied a good 10 days of my life…I thought it was a bad omen or something.  Bad things happen in three’s, right?

What I’m dreading…

Did I mention how hot it is already?

What I’m working on…

I’m kind of in an organization mode right now, so that seems to be my jam.

What I’m excited about…

I have a trip planned for August, which I know is kinda far away, but I’m still so excited to got to Deer Valley, UT with my friend Maureen!  Who wouldn’t want to spend a week here? Utah

What I’m watching/reading…

After the most dramatic deliberation ever (see what I did there?), I decided to watch this season of The Bachelorette.  I was really conflicted after the way last season ended.  You can read my recap here, where I explain my hesitation in detail.

I’m currently reading my study materials…all the materials.  So many words and pages and diagrams and formulas.

What I’m listening to…

I’m still OBSESSED with the Kacey Musgraves album, Golden Hour.  It is so amazing, I just can’t say enough good things about it.  I feel like each week I have a new favorite song.  Right now, my favorite is “Happy & Sad.”

What I’m wearing…

I bought this gorgeous dress from ModCloth for Mama J’s wedding over the holiday weekend.  DressI LOVED it; I thought it was casual enough for an outdoor (super hot) wedding, but also work appropriate.  It’s now on sale…just my luck!  It comes in white too.

What I’m doing this weekend…

This weekend I am getting a facial, I’m trying to Benjamin Button my face.  I’m also going to a baby shower & will be studying for a big exam any spare moment I have.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

On June 8th, I have a really important, big, terrifying exam.  It is a 4 hours, 200 questions, pass/fail exam, so any good vibes or prayers you could send my way would be greatly appreciated.  I don’t want to say too much about it yet, because I don’t want to jinx it & I’m really nervous about it.  I haven’t studied in 12 years since I was in college.  Studying

What else is new…

Not much else is new, which I’m thankful for.

Bonus Question: What’s my favorite summer salad…

I’m loving any salad with watermelon!  I love Marcela Valladolid’s Watermelon Feta Serrano salad.  How could you not love this salad art?!? Salad Art

Until next month…

Kiss Hug,

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The Bachelorette: Retire the “Damn Thing”

BeccaLet me start this recap by saying a few things:

  1. I really struggled with wanting to recap this season because I have not forgiven Mike Fleiss & ABC for basically turning Arie’s breakup with Becca into a #MeToo moment.  They handled it so poorly.  Did they steal the idea from UnREAL?
  2. Was it just me, or did they release the men’s bios really late?
  3. My mom got married Sunday, so I didn’t have the time to look at the bios beforehand, but I’ve listened to the Popcast, Here to Make Friends, & Will You Accept This Rose podcasts analyze the guys.  I feel like I have pretty good handle on the situation.  All of these podcasts have fantastic recaps as well, so you should definitely listen – after you read this of course.
  4. Garrett is this season’s Lee from Rachel’s Season…at least he is in real life.  He has deleted his IG account, but checkout this article.  He’s a real gem.  Racist.  Homophobic. Anti-women. I could go on and on.  Thank you to Ashley Spivey, Claire Fallon, & Emma Gray for keeping us informed!

With that said, I’m here for y’all, & I’m here for Becca.  She did nothing wrong last season, except saying “Let’s do the damn thing” twice.  We can now retire that saying.  I love Becca and hope her season is everything Arie’s wasn’t.  I will now never say the A-word again.

Limo One:
Colton: I love confetti.  I love a blonde with brown eyes.  Colton is definitely one to watch.
Grant: He is cute!  Love his dimples.  Grant looks like Matt Damon & Jason Bateman had a love child. Grant's LovechildClay: seems like a gentle giant.
Jean Blanc: He said “let’s do the damn thing” in French, who knew it could be worse?
Conner: He pulled Becca’s move from last season.  Conner looks like Dean & Juan Pablo had a love child. Conner's Lovechild

These guys were nervous.

Limo Two:
Joe: I love Joe!  He looks just like someone I went to school with; Dustin S. is that you???
John: The token Asian, but he is impressive.  I have him to thank for Venmo.
Leo: He has Alex the Russian’s face & Jason Mamoa’s hair.Leo's LovechildJordan: Seems like a Tool McDouche Nugget of the highest order.  You can see his dick through his pants, eww.
Rickey: He’s into grammar & adjectives.  I kind of love that.

Limo Three:
Alex: He’s much cuter in person; he brought a jar for all his roses.  I’m not sure what to make of that.
Nick: He arrived in a race car driver outfit (uniform?), then stripped it off to reveal his suit.  I’m undecided on him.
Mike: He brought the A-word in cut-out form.  Can we burn it?
Garrett: He drove up in a minivan; Garrett looks like Becca’s ex, Ross.  She’s totally loving him.  For all I know about him, he is very smooth & think he is Final Four, if not the One. Becca's Ex

Limo Four:
Blake: He road up on an ox this time? His feelings are “as strong as an ox.”  Is this okay?
Lincoln: Brought cake for his birthday?  I’m not even going to mention the awful story circulating about him right now…
Chase: He said “it’s all about the chase.”  Barf.
Darius: I missed his entrance somehow, but he went home…
Ryan: Is he wearing drapery as a jacket?  I love Ryan!

Limo Five:
Christon: He is tall, dark, & handsome.  He dunked over Becca, which was so cool.
Wills: Claims to be a closeted nerd; is that code for something else?  Is he Lincoln’s twin? TwinsiesJason: Gave Becca a secret handshake.  Jason looks like the husband from the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. JasonKamil: I don’t like the way he speaks to her.  Is he the coke addicted Russian dancer from UnREAL last season?
Jake: They know each other; she was weirded out that he was there & dubious of his intentions.  Jake looks like Andrew Keegan & Ryan Reynolds had a love child. Jake's Lovechild

Limo Six:
Trent: He arrived in a Hearst, yet didn’t say “I’ve been dying to meet you.”
Christian: Becca said he was suave, & the we promptly never heard from him again.
David: He arrived as Big Bird? A chicken?  He really kept up the bird act all night.  I love David!
Chris: Chandler’s roommate is here.  He brought a gospel choir; Uncle Gary would have approved…too bad he turned out to be the Tattler.  Chris

Overall, I’m not too impressed with the men so far.  I think Colton, Garrett, 7 Lincoln on ones to watch based on the previews.

Favorite Tweets from the night: BSE1.1BSE1.2BSE1.3

What did y’all think?  Any stand outs?

Until next week…

Kiss Hug,

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What’s Up Wednesday: April Edition

Hey y’all!  It’s been a couple months since I’ve done one of these posts.  I tend to get really busy at the end of each month & the beginning of the next month.  Such is life.  But, you know much I love… WUW

I’ll be answering the following questions: Questions

What I’m eating this week…

Okay, you guys I’ve been on a guacamole kick lately.  All things avocado!

Check out my Fancy Guacamole recipe here.

What I’m reminiscing about…

I’m currently reminiscing about my bed.  I wish I was still there this morning.  #truth Bed

Now, I love this pillow, but it’s not really true these days.  I am a morning person, but only if I get a full 8 hours of sleep first.

What I’m loving…

I’m loving this “drinking on the patio” weather we’ve been having down in Houston.  I had a day of two brunches just last weekend!  The pollen is finally under control, so we can go outside!  Pollen

What I’ve been up to…

I feel like I’ve been so busy lately, but I couldn’t tell you what I’ve done.  I have no idea.

What I’m dreading…

Ugh, tomorrow I am having MAJOR dental work done.  I have so much anxiety about going to the dentist.  I am one of those people that just has bad teeth.  Countless cavities, braces FOUR times, jaw surgery, 1 implant, crowns, root canals…you name it, I’ve had it.  dentist

Tomorrow I have to have a root canal & 4 cavities filled.  😦 I’m forcing them to give me the gas, mostly to their benefit, but I also plan to take a muscle relaxer or something to calm me down.  Everyone always tell me to bring headphones, which I just don’t get.  I mean the tools are in my mouth, I can hear it literally inside my head.  Not to mention, it’s just hard for me to hold my mouth open for so long.

What I’m working on…

I’m in the early stages of planning a vacation for early fall.  I originally wanted to go to Italy or France, but it is just not in the cards for me this year.  So, I decided a domestic vacation is doable, & I’m thinking Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, & Nantucket.

I’d prefer to go after Labor Day to avoid tourist season.  Do y’all have any recommendations?

What I’m excited about…

Sadly, I’m super excited about the Bravo lineup right now.  So many good shows on right now!  I think Younger is coming back soon too!

What I’m watching/reading…

My favorite Bravo show is back!  Season 5 of Southern Charm!!!  You can read my recaps here.

I just finished this book: Book

It was a super easy read, & so funny.

What I’m listening to…

Kacey Musgraves’ new album, Golden Hour, is the soundtrack of my life right now.  As far as country music goes, it is very mellow…gives me Stevie Nicks vibes.  Golden hour

What I’m wearing…

Y’all, I just got these new sandals from Target & I love them!  sandals

I have a love affair with tassels & pompoms, so these were a must buy.  Please ignore my foot.  Feet are gross.

What I’m doing this weekend…

As per ushe, I’ll be babysitting.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Next month Mama J is getting married.  My dad passed away 10 years ago, this past February.  To be honest, it is really weird for me, but I’m glad she found someone to care for & who will take care of her.

What else is new…

I’m wanting to try Whole 30.  Have any of you tried it?  Do you recommend it?  How hard is it really?

Bonus Question: What is my favorite Mother’s Day gift to give?

I like to get Mama J things she wouldn’t buy for herself, yet something she will use/like.  I’m also always trying to up her “game.”  For Valentine’s Day, I sent her CBD Oil because I did some research that it can help with Arthritis pain.  I’ve also gifted her with essential oils, cryotherapy, so you get the idea.

That’s it for now!  I love to read your comments, & I want to hear any vacation recommendations for solo trips!

Check back on Friday for my Southern Charm recap.

Kiss Hug,

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Southern Charm: Birth Control Plan

Is it just me, or have we seen entirely too many bedroom scenes with Thomas?  He is not attractive and I don’t need to see him in any state of undress.  I also do not need to see him with whichever girl (yes, I mean girl) happened to share his bed from the night before.  This time it happened to be Ashley, at least he’s dating her, but the two of them talking about their sex life is all the birth control I need!!!!  Thomas on my tvI was utterly disgusted.  Looking at them makes me want to gouge my eyes out, & listening to them makes me want to cut my ears off…I was in a real conundrum last night.  Creepy Thomas

Moving along…  Is it weird that a host of a baby shower controls the guest list?  I would think the person of honor would get to invite whomever they want.  Not the case when Patricia is in charge, which segued nicely over to Kathryn with Kensie & Saint.  I’m actually really impressed by how articulate Kensie is; how old is she?  Three?

Y’all, I know we are only three episodes in, but can we give Kathryn the award for Most Improved?  She has grown by leaps & bounds.  I feel like a proud big sis or something.  Look how far she’s come!

I was equal parts tickled & grossed out by Cameran & Whitney’s session with the birthing coach.  All I could think about was that women poop when they give birth.  I know it’s supposed to be natural & beautiful & all that, but gross.  If I ever have children, they will be adopted.   I loved the look on Cameran’s face during the session, it was as horrified as it was excited.  Also, Elvis the neighbor’s dog, made his TV debut!

They chatted about the theme of the baby shower, which I totally don’t get.  Maybe I’m too young, at 34, to know?  Maybe I’m not WASP-y enough?  I am still confused, even after several people tried to very nicely to explain it to me on Twitter last night. Baby Shower 1 Baby Shower 2

I’m going to breeze through the bromance because it was boring.  Austen wants Craig to slut it up now that he is free from Naomie’s clutches.  Craig wishes he was gay.  Shep thinks Craig should now go by Grill Shakespeare.  Oh, and apparently all the bars in Charleston are Cheers to Austen…get it?  I think that covered it.

Chelsea joined Cam at her doctor’s appointment, & she was more emotionally invested than Cameran was.  I loved this friend moment!  Bravo is really playing up the women empowerment on this show.

I’m skipping over Thomas’ convo with his dad because that really made me want to fill my ears with acid.  However, while touring Craig’s new pad, Kathryn revealed that she & TRav hooked up after last season’s reunion.  I believe this is their M.O.  Paraphrasing Nene Leakes, “Close your legs to Thomas Ravenel.”  Kathryn, you are better than this.

We finally arrive at the baby shower…that Kathryn wasn’t invited to, yet somehow JD made the list.  Patricia was dressed like Big Bird’s drunk aunt.  I still don’t understand the theme?  Audrey Hepburn & Jackie O…if they wore colors?  Whitney had a super gross cake made for Cameran.  Craig monogrammed his gift.  Naomie chastised Craig, for what I don’t know.  JD & Liz did a “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” appearance.  Patricia had no time for Naomie.  Did I miss anything?  Oh yeah, Ashley looked like a damn fool.

Favorite Tweets: S5E3 Tweets

What did you think of the episode?  Are we loving Kathryn or what?

See y’all next week!

Kiss Hug,

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Fancy Guacamole

Okay y’all, so I am a self-proclaimed guacamole connoisseur.  I’m always adding new things in my guac, upping the flavor content.  Fancy Guacamole

A couple years ago, I tried this guacamole at a restaurant in Georgetown, TX – El Monumento.  It is one of my favorite places to go when I visit Mama J!  Not only do they have great guacamole, but they have fantastic cocktails.  It’s also just a really beautiful setting overlooking the San Gabriel River in town.  el-monumento

The first time I had this “fancy guacamole,” I basically hijacked the bowl from the rest of the table while I tried to figure out what was in it – it was something sweet! So, my Fancy Guacamole is as close to El Monumento’s version as I can come up with.

Here is my basic recipe for Guacamole:

Fair warning, I eyeball all of these amounts…
Avocados – smashed with a fork
Tomato (typically one is enough) – diced
Garlic (usually 1-2 cloves) – minced
Purple Onion (half to a whole onion depending on size) – diced
Jalapeno (seeded) – finely diced
Cilantro (handful or so, I LOVE cilantro so there is never too much) – rough chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Aside from the avocado, all of these ingredients are somewhat optional depending on your taste.  Mix together!

Okay, so that is my basic recipe…probably most people’s recipe as well.

To make it fancy, add the following ingredients:
Mango (usually 1 small mango) – diced
Red Grapes (purple grapes, whatever you call them) – quartered Fancy Guacamole (2)

Sometimes I also add pepitas & cotija cheese sprinkled on top.  However, i don’t go out of my way to buy these.

Now, I know some of you are thinking that sounds terrible, but I’d like you to adopt my wine drinking philosophy – you MUST try a wine 3 times before deciding you don’t like it, as the flavors change with each sip.  I do this with food too!

Experiment with your guac, y’all!  I think watermelon would be really good, maybe with some serrano peppers & feta.  Roasted Corn, I mean that’s a no brainer!  A few weeks ago, I used pineapple.  Avocado seviche is great.  Avocado crab salad or chicken salad.  The possibilities are endless.

What do you like to put in your guacamole?  Are you going to give my recipe a try?

Stop back by on Friday for my Southern Charm recap!

Kiss Hug,

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Southern Charm: Good Ol’ Douches

Okay, the last two weeks have been crazy busy, so I haven’t gotten to watch Southern Charm in real time.  So, instead of a traditional recap, I want to RANT about Thomas, JD, & the other “Good Ol’ Boys Douches.”  Thomas & JD

Let’s first start with Ashley.  I have three things to say about her, so far:

  1. She’s trying too hard.  Take that as you will…I mean it in all the ways you are thinking.  Ashley Quote
  2. She’s loves her camera time; does this make her an opportunist?
  3. No offense to Chelsea, but Ashley looks like the lovechild of Chelsea & Landon. ChelAshDon

Now let’s move on to Thomas.  I’ve long said that TRav was a narcissist and master manipulator.  That opinion hasn’t changed.  I’ve also claimed that he is a sociopath and probably a contributor to the #MeToo movement in Charleston; I 100% believe he got Kathryn into drugs & then used it against her.  However, I want to throw something at you and see if it sticks.

Thomas is a functioning alcoholic & drug addict.  I think he targets younger women to manipulate date.  And, because they are much, much younger they are eager to please, and therefore, susceptible to trying “fun new things.”  Drugs.  Alcohol.  Sex.  Any combo of these.  Maybe they dabble with drugs & such in the bedroom?  Then these young, jaded women get addicted to drugs & Thomas, but associate both with love because they became addicted in the bedroom.  Once Thomas tires of them, he casts them aside, & then uses their addictions to either destroy their reputations or to reel them back into his web of crazy.

As much as I love Kathryn, she made a comment on last week’s episode that “she still loves Thomas.”  It wasn’t past tense, y’all.  She has come such a long way, and I feel like he could easily pull her back in.  I think Thomas is also playing Ashley for a fool, and if she’s not careful she will wind up as Kathryn 2.0.  Their date at the end of last week was proof of my theory.

JD Madison.  Where do I even start?  I don’t know much about him or Liz, or him & Liz.  However, in my experience is that if you hang out with Thomas trash long enough, eventually you too become trash.  I find it really hard to believe that JD didn’t cheat on Liz & lose all of her trust fund on bad business deal.  It now makes so much sense why Danni turned down working for Gentry Bourbon a couple seasons ago.  She knew what we didn’t know yet.  What happened to Craig’s money that he invested?

I personally came alive when Naomi skewered JD like the douche kabob he is.  I also give praise to Kathryn for calling Austen, Whitney, & JD out for looking at the women like they were crazy for not tolerating their behavior any longer.  The Good Ol’ Boys club is dying…I hope.  Cheering

Word on the street is that Liz is furious with Naomi for going after JD.

Austen falls into this Douche category as well, but to what extent I’m not yet sure.  He basically went after one of Chelsea’s friends & flaunted it in her face.  Classic douche move.

Favorite Tweets: S5E2 Tweets

What do y’all think of the season so far?  Shep is looking down right saintly right now.

My next Southern Charm post will be on Friday.

Kiss Hug,

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