Friday Five: I Did a Thing.

Hi friends! I have five great things to share with you this week…three of which would make great Christmas presents.

One: New Booties

I got some new booties (Joselyne Booties) from ABLE recently that I am in love with! I got them in Blue Grey Suede…cue the Elvis song!

What I especially love about ABLE is that they are a small, female owned ethical business that focuses on sustainable clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. They also focus on employing women & empowering out of poverty.

*Great gift idea

Two: Mascara

Okay, so lashes are my thing when I do my makeup. I’m always on the hunt for a mascara that will do all the things – lengthen, lift, volume, winged, etc. etc. My lashes are long-ish and blonde-ish, so without mascara I look like I have no eyelashes. In this pandemic mask world, mascara is really the staple of my makeup routine as you can only see my eyes.

So, with that said, I have found a new gluten free & cruelty free mascara that is so so so inexpensive. It has a horrible name – Lash Princess, but it is so good! I bought the multi-pack so I could try them all (4 for $18), but one is about $5.

Here is a before, one eye, & after pictures.

Three: Love Lettering

I started this book two weeks ago or so – I have been in such a reading rut during this Pandemic, which has really surprised me. Ashley Spivey (my book guru) recommended this book about a year ago; I bought it then but just got around to reading it. Love Lettering took me about 50 pages to get into it, the lead has a lot of internal dialogue which kinda frustrated me at first. If you love romance, NYC, & nerdy leads you will love this book. I have only been to NYC once (for less than 24 hours), & when I go back I know I will see the city in a whole new way.

The main character, Meg, has a hand-lettering business that basically goes viral. She falls for Reid, who is the ex-fiance of a client & she designed their wedding invitations – cue awkwardness. This book is a heart-warming love story as they navigate the city through signs (literal signs).

Four: Christmas

I did a thing… In a very #2020 fashion, I have already put out my Christmas decor. My house is currently Fall on the outside (business in the front), & Christmas on the inside (party in the back).

As you might guess, I’m very particular about my Christmas decor. For example, the main colors in any given item must be traditional Christmas colors (red, green, white, silver, or gold). I have a very particular order in which I decorate my tree. I also have a love/hate relationship with tree skirts & tree toppers.

First I add garland to the tree – I have faux popcorn garland & red, green, & silver beaded garland. Then I add reflective pieces; years ago I bought these ugly disco ball tree ornaments that I hang in the interior of my tree near the trunk – they reflect light like crazy & make my tree extra sparkly.

They’re ugly, but effective.

Then I add Christmas ball ornaments, dispersing them throughout the tree (don’t neglect the interior of the tree).

Next, I add ornaments that I’ve collected over the years from travels, ones that Mama J gave to me, & all of my Charlie Brown ornaments. Then I finish it off with the “jewelry” & snowflakes.

Lastly, I’ve made a beautiful table scape, & decorated around the house.

Five: Dishwasher

This one isn’t fun or fancy, but I got a new dishwasher! Over Labor Day weekend my washer, dryer, & dishwasher all went out. Yes, at the same time. Luckily, my washer & dryer got fixed quickly as they only needed belts replaced. However, the dishwasher needed to be completely replaced, and because of the pandemic, production has slowed & many people chose this time to renovate – so my new dishwasher just got installed yesterday. In the last two months, I have learned that I suck at hand washing anything other than pots & pans. Whomp, whomp.

That’s it for this week. Are y’all putting out your Christmas decor? Are you traveling for the holiday season? I am personally quarantining right now, so I can go to my mom’s for Thanksgiving. We also are only having four people for dinner, instead of our normal 20 or so people. Please think about the safety of yourself & others during this time, as COVID is quickly catapulting back to Spring numbers.

Kiss Hug,

Friday Five: Super Sized!

Hi friends! I’ve missed you! Sorry that I’ve been MIA the last two weeks…I have no good reason. I was lazy, this platform changed everything (so I’m re-learning how to use it), & I didn’t have five things to tell you about until this week. Now I have 10 things! Haha!

One: Down East

Okay, let’s chat about my new favorite online store, Down East. It’s women’s clothing, shoes, & accessories. They also have home furnishings. So, what I really love about Down East is that it is family owned, size inclusive, & sustainable. I’ve ordered a couple of interview ready tops, & a pair of mules (I love a good mule).

Two: Panzanella Salad

I have recently reacquainted myself with panzanella salads (aka bread salad). You can make this a million different ways, and Mix & Match Mama has quite a few recipes to try. I fell in love with one from a local Italian restaurant (Avanti), it is so simple but so delicious. Avanti’s has heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, arugula, & croutons with a lemon basil vinegarette. I crave this on the daily.

Three: Enchiladas

At the end of July, I made Half Baked Harvest’s Sheet Pan Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chicken Enchiladas – what a mouthful. I really need Tieghan to work on shortening her recipe titles, but I digress. These enchiladas were delicious, & so EASY (recipe linked)!

I think they’d be equally delicious minus the chicken, which leads me to…

Four: Going Vegetarian

I have decided to go vegetarian for the month of August (maybe longer). I’m on Day 7 and I don’t miss the meat. My favorite foods are veggies & carbs, and I naturally ate meatless meals about 40% of the time anyway. So, I decided to challenge myself to go completely vegetarian for August. I want to see if I notice a difference in my health, my body, etc. Will I feel worse, better, & what not?

Questions I get asked:

  1. Will you eat fish? No, that would be pescatarian (can you feel me rolling my eyes?).
  2. Are you going vegan? No, at least not yet, I’m not ready to give up cheese & yogurt. I’m very particular about yogurt textures.
  3. What are you doing for protein? I’m getting creative, but also I’m probably not getting enough…not that I did before either. I made some power protein balls (I can share this recipe), & I eat a couple a day. Also, yogurt, beans, lentil pasta, etc.

Five: One to Watch

Y’all, this book is a must read ASAP! I completely ruined my sleep schedule this week to finish this book.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London is about a plus size blogger, Bea, who is a vocal critic of Main Squeeze (a Bachelor type show). She writes a post about lack of diversity that goes viral, so they make Bea the next lead on Main Squeeze. It follows her journey through the process.

If you like The Bachelor or UnREAL, then you will love this book. Ashley Spivey did it again, by recommending another great read!

Six: Folklore

Okay, I know everyone is talking about Taylor Swift’s new album, but they are talking about it with good reason! Folklore is such a departure for Taylor, and clearly she has been the most productive of us all during Quarantine.

This album is the kind of album that you can (and should) listen to all the way through with no skips. My favorite tracks are: “The 1,” “Seven,” “This is Me Trying,” & “Invisible String.” I highly recommend watching the lyric videos on YouTube. So good!

Taylor’s voice gets better with each album she puts out, & her song writing is unparalleled. For me, this is the 2020 version of Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour album from 2018.

One caveat: I still don’t like the Reputation album.

Seven: Chapstick

I discovered this awhile ago, but Trader Joe’s has the BEST chapstick. It is called Trader Johann’s Lip Balm Virtuoso. It comes in a 3-pack & is found near the bath products. It’s a spearmint chapstick, which is probably why I love it so much – I much prefer spearmint to peppermint. If you like a tingly lip balm, this is your new best friend.

Eight: New Snack

Mix & Match Mama influenced me to buy these cashews from Amazon, and they do not disappoint!

Nine: Masks

Okay, I realize I may be the only one, but I like wearing masks. Are they annoying? Sometimes. Are they hot? In Texas, absolutely. Do they give me maskne? Occasionally. Most of this can be applied to seatbelts too, & I wear those with no qualms.

Old Navy has some super cute masks that come in a 5-pack for $12.50 or a 10-pack for $25.00. The colors & patterns are fantastic. Some have adjustable ear straps, & they come in adult & kids sizes.

I also bought 2 masks from Reuse Masks at the recommendation of The Defined Dish. They are the SOFTEST fabric I’ve ever felt…I wish they also made pajamas.

Y’all also know how much I love Sea Marie Designs, & they have really pretty masks.

Ten: To All the Boys

Last but not least, Part 2 of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is out on Netflix. Might I suggest a double feature this weekend of Part 1 & 2?

Okay, that will do it for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kiss Hug,

Friday Five: H-E-B is the Best!

Hi friends!  How are you all managing?  Are you slowly going insane, like me, or are you already there?  As most of you know, I work from home, so I thought I was prepared for a quarantine – in fact I thought I would thrive in a quarantine.  But, knowing that I can’t leave my house (only for necessities) is starting to get to me.  I’ve allowed myself to go out once a day on a walk to the mailbox. 🙂 All I want to do is go to the grocery store, but I’m trying to challenge myself to eat everything in my fridge, freezer, & pantry before I go to the grocery store.  Try is the operative word.

I find something everyday to make me laugh, and found this yesterday. CAFF1B07-B7E0-4A40-8C7A-6904387809FE_1_201_a

Despite all that is going on in the world, I have five favorite things from the week.

One: Ashley Spivey

So, most of you may not know who Ashley Spivey is.  She is my very favorite contestant ever from The Bachelor franchise.  We met her on Brad Womack’s second season as The Bachelor…you know the one where he only paid attention to Emily.

I started following Ashley on Twitter, then also followed her on IG.  I promise I’m not a stalker.  What I really enjoy about Ashley, is that she is not a traditional influencer.  She is constantly posting stories on politics & interesting articles, spot-on book reviews, clean beauty products, the occasional recipe, & so much more.

In this pandemic, Ashley is doing such a service by sharing any & all ways to help small businesses, people, etc. in these crazy times.  She is just a really good person.

Two: Bad on Paper

Every week I listen to the Bad on Paper podcast. AF9D33E2-FFF4-4AC9-BD5E-54C0EEF179AE_1_201_aI’m fairly new to this podcast; I’ve been listening for 6-ish months.  I started listening because Ashley Spivey was a guest, & stayed because I really like the hosts – Grace & Becca.

My favorite episodes are the ones that don’t have guests.  Is that bad, seeing as how I found the podcast because of a guest?  I really love their weekly recommendations, so much so that I tend to screenshot the show notes so I can refer back to them as needed.

This week I started the book Our Stop due to Becca’s recommendation – she’s my romcom girl.

Three: Clare Crawley’s Dudes

Earlier this week we learned that Clare Crawley’s season was halted due to Coronavirus.  You can read about it here.  Well, yesterday Mama J sent me an article that Clare’s season was being recasted.  This is unprecedented!  I think this is the right move.

So, this is what I think happened.  Last Friday was supposed to be Night One where Clare should have met all the guys.  At this point she would not have had access to the outside world, her phone, the internet, etc.

Now, if you read my post from Monday regarding Clare’s guys, then you know that I think ABC casted the vast majority of these guys without knowing who The Bachelorette would be; only 9 out of 32 were age appropriate.

That being said, I think that when they stopped production & sent everyone home, Clare regained access to her phone & the internet.  I think she started looking up her guys & told ABC to go back to the drawing board.  Smart move for all involved.  Clare has always maintained that she is looking for love, not Instagram followers.  She is one of the few contestants that has kept her job (a real job).  Clare knew that she wouldn’t find love with a 23yo.  At this point we do not know if all 32 men are being recasted, or if it will be a small number of new guys to mix in with a part of the original cast.

I fully co-sign this move.

Four: The Popcast

If you need a podcast to make you laugh, The Popcast is the one.  This is a pop culture podcast.  I have maintained that this is my GOAT for the last 2 or 3 years.  Come for Jamie’s sass & stay for Knox’s wheeze-y laugh. CE6A93A1-AD56-414A-8D4B-92A79CCE680B_1_201_a

This week’s episode was called “The No’s of Sickness.”  Y’all, I laughed out load for pretty much the whole hour.  I also uttered “Yikers” several times.  If you know, you know.

Five: H-E-B

In Texas we have a beloved grocery store chain called H-E-B.  I want to shout them out this week because they have been the backbone for Texans during this pandemic.  The workers have been tirelessly restocking the shelves.  They are currently hiring, so if any Texans that recently lost a job & are worried – please apply at H-E-B.  They have also given their employees a raise during this time.  H-E-B is now offering special delivery options for senior citizens in our communities. 8E860C46-D288-4DDA-B3D9-31CCCA83E3F6_1_201_aH-E-B has always come to the aid of Texans, Hurricane Harvey comes to mind for me.  They are good in the best of times, but they really shine a bright light in times of need.  H-E-B is a really good company & I’m proud to support them.

I will say that Trader Joe’s is also giving their employees bonuses.  Target & Whole Foods are giving special hours for senior citizens only so they can shop with less fear.  Lots of companies are doing right by their people & the collective “us” as well.

What have been your favorite things this week?  Any bright lights in this time of uncertainty.  While writing this post, the place where I get monthly facials called to confirm my appointment for tomorrow.  They have sent several emails regarding their strict cleaning practices, etc.  However, I cancelled my facial but told them to go ahead & charge me so this small business & my aesthetician would still get paid.  It seemed like the right thing to do.

Everyone hang in there.  We are all in this together.

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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The Bachelor: It’s Finally Arie’s Season!

Bachelor

Y’all, it’s that time again…Bachelor blogs will be restarting soon!  I know there are some mixed feelings about Arie as the Bachelor, but I have a few reasons why he’ll be great, or at least better than Nick Viall!

  1. He’s easy on the eyes!
  2. He knows how to throw a woman against a wall, in all the right ways.  You know what I mean.
  3. In case you don’t know what I mean, I’m talking makeout sessions against the wall.  Emily was a fan…so was I. arie & emily
  4. I personally love that he is not from the last two seasons.  We’ve had sufficient time to either miss him or forget him.  Perfect recipe for a good season.  It’s also allowed him time to self-reflect & mature, blah, blah, blah & all that.
  5. He’s from the Classic Bachelor era…you know when the dates were fun.  Helicopters, hot tubs, & heartache – oh my!
  6. He’s not an influencer, or trying to be a blogger, Instagram star, etc.  No flat tummy tea for him.
  7. Jef Holm is not a fan.  That’s right, one “f” Jef can’t stand him.  This speaks highly of Arie because Jef turned out to be a real Tool McDouche Nugget.  Google it.
  8. He’s a 6’2″ tall drink of water.  tall
  9. Arie is 35.  You know I love it when they’re older (as in my age)!
  10. Y’all, the best reason to watch is that Ashley Spivey has said she MAY come out of Recapping Retirement to blog this season!!!  You may remember her from Brad Womack’s second season, or as one of the HILARIOUS recappers from Emily’s season.  Ashley Spivey

 

I’ve taken the liberty of giving you all my very first impression of each of Arie’s contestants, before reading their bios.  I’ll post another blog post-bios.  PBFP1PBFP2PBFP3PBFP4PBFP5PBFP6PBFP7PBFP8PBFP9PBFP10

What do you think of my love for Arie?  Am I alone?  To be fair, I adored Nick until he became the Bachelor; hopefully, Arie will not disappoint.  Thoughts on the women?  Lots of weird names, & so many Laurens.  My thoughts on the women post-bio will be up tomorrow!

Kiss Hug,

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