Take It or Leave It

Post 9

Okay y’all, this Take It or Leave It post will be 2016 Olympics related.  OlympicsNow, I’m not one for sports of any kind.  I feel like as soon as I root for someone or a particular team, they lose.  Perhaps I’m a jinx?  Perhaps I’m superstitious?  What I lack in knowledge I make up for in enthusiasm when I do choose a team to support.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about what I watched yesterday.  I root for the ones that give me all the feelings.

Take It: Diving & Gymnastics

These are mainly the two events I like to watch during the Olympics, Diving & Gymnastics.  One, I’m fascinated by both.  How do they make their bodies contort like that?!?  Two, there is a Chinese diver that has been to the Olympics 4 other times!  That means she is in her mid to late thirties.  There is also a female gymnast from Uzbekistan that is 41; this is her 7th Olympics.  I am flabbergasted by this!  Don’t most athletes retire from their sport in their early thirties?

I was excited that Italy got the Silver Medal in the Women’s Synchronized Diving (not sure which meter 3 or 10).  It was Tania’s first time to medal, so that was emotional to watch.  I was really hoping they’d beat China, but the Chinese have never lost in this event in the last 5 Olympics.  Gold: China, Silver: Italy, Bronze: Australia  China

The person I’m most excited to see dive is Kassidy Cook.  She is from The Woodlands, TX, which is where I currently live.  I used to babysit two little girls that had swim team practice at the same time as Kassidy had diving practice, so this is truly amazing to see her succeed by just making it to Rio.  Even if she doesn’t medal, she can do no wrong.

Can we all agree that the USA Girls Gymnastics team is bad ass?  Who doesn’t love Simone, Aly, Gabby, Laurie, & Madison?  Loving Simone & Laurie the most.  I really hope Gabby has an outstanding comeback.  She did okay yesterday.  USA

My friend Katy’s mom said something interesting to me on Saturday.  Beth said that the Olympics aren’t what they used to be.  She said they used to be about showcasing unknown athletes with extraordinary talent.  Now it’s all about people we already know, the Michael Phelps & Serena Williams of the Olympics.  I have to say that I somewhat agree with Beth.  While the Olympics made Michael Phelps a household name, I kinda feel like once you’ve been once & medal’d then it’s time to retire & let someone else have a shot.  Many of these athletes seem a bit manufactured.  And, yes I do think they have extraordinary talent, but why hog all the medals?

Leave It: The Olympics being on channels other than NBC.

Last night I turned on my TV to watch RHONJ, & imagine my surprise to find the Olympics on Bravo.  Not cool!  I do realize that NBC owns Bravo, but many of the Bravoholics I know are not so interested in the Olympics.  I want to watch my shows!  olympics on bravo

What are you guys excited to see at the Olympics?

I will be live Tweeting & blogging #BachelorinParadise tonight.  One show doesn’t care about the Olympics!


Post 8

It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these posts, partially because nothing major has been going on (this is a good thing) in my life.  I’ve been working on a DIY project that I’ve been waiting to share until it was completed.  Well, the time has come – I finished it yesterday & I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself.  So, without further ado…

Take It: Vertical Gardens

About a year & half ago I pinned some garden ideas on Pinterest, some of which were vertical gardens.  My goal was to beautify my garage wall in my backyard; from my couch I look directly at this wall – it was tan & boring.  I’ve rented this house for 4 years now, & have done lots of things to cutesy it up (especially the curb appeal), & have a constant battle with the yard.  I have tons of things I would do – if I owned the house – but since I rent I don’t want to do anything too permanent, too costly, or something that would ultimately piss off my landlord.  He & his wife are super cool & my rent is so cheap for the area I live in!!!  It was a great find & a cute little “cottage”!

My friend Ruthy brought me a pallet from her husband’s (Paul) work, Karbach Brewery (shout out to some super delicious beer).  The pallet has been sitting in my garage for over a year (I kid you not).  Last weekend, the first weekend in a long time that I haven’t been booked with stuff, I got up at 7am (my attempt at beating the heat – didn’t work) to start working on the garden.  As you can imagine, I had very specific ideas about how I wanted it to look.  If you knew me personally then you would know that I am very particular about most things, but in a good way. 🙂

The pallet needed a few replacement boards & minor repairs, which I did myself.  #dustofftheshoulder  This is what I started with:  Pallet Before

Okay, so I replaced a board, cut down boards (using an old school hand saw) to fit inside the pallet to create “shelves,” sanded the entire thing, primed it, painted it, polyurethane’d it, & added a protective fabric to the back so soil wouldn’t fall out.  Phase 2

Please ignore the poor excuse for grass.  My entire yard is 90% shade 90% of the day, which is great for my utility bills but horrible for growing anything other than moss.  If you have any suggestions please share!  Yesterday, my mission was to complete the garden with shade loving plants.  My favorite are fuchsias, but the season has passed for them (at least in the Houston area).  Whomp, whomp.  After looking high & low yesterday, I found enough plants to fill the pallet & a small flower bed.  Phase 3

I love my vertical garden!!!  It was harder than I thought it would be, I am a novice after all, but didn’t take as long as I thought it would…once I actually started it.  Shout out to the amazing garden lady at Ace Hardware for giving me some Wandering Jew cuttings for free!  The only thing I would change is that ideally I would have mounted the pallet itself to the house.  Once again, I rent so thought it might behoove me to make it less permanent.  The plants you see are succulents, begonias, cyclamen, ferns, Wandering Jew, & a couple others I cant remember.  I’ll eventually add some herbs & what not in there.

Leave It: Lack of Time

Nothing terrible or dramatic is going on in my life – just the way I like it – but I could use some more time.  Can’t we all???  I feel like I’m being pulled in a couple different directions, which I allow so it’s a “me” issue.  I either need a caffeine drip intravenously or more time to myself.  I’m an only child, so I really thrive & value having “me” time.  My goal in the next few months is to commit myself to things a little less.  I used to read 2-3 books a week & now it takes me several weeks to finish 1 book – I’d like to get back to the former.

I have a few other personal projects going on, & once they yield results (one way or the other) I’ll share with y’all.  Thanks for reading & hope y’all enjoyed.


Post 7

This is not my typical TIoLI post, but I thought I’d share a poem that resonated with me in light of last week’s senseless acts of violence.  You can read about here: The Skimm

This is not really the right avenue to voice all of my opinions on the #BlackLivesMatter vs. #BlueLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter issue, but if you’d like to have a mature, respectful conversation about it, & I do have lots of opinions, please reach out via social media. ->

In the meantime, I borrowed this poem from my friend Lauren.

From Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes…sometimes a poem expresses things best. This is an excerpt from something she wrote called “We Are A Brave, Decent People”

we do not choose
who to mourn
by color.
we do not choose
who to mourn by age.
we do not choose
who to mourn by heritage.
Not by gender.
Nor by religion.
Nor by any other division–
just that the dead belonged
to someone who loved them.
Just that they belonged
to the enormous wheel
of humanity…

We mourn the dead.
We mourn fathers,
mothers, brothers,
sisters, grandparents,
friends, wives,
husbands, lovers,
children. We mourn
the swaths
of Creator’s forest
cut down.

We mourn all
because we are a decent people.

We pray for the families,
the mates, the friends,
the colleagues, and the very
animals also,
who are so sad this night
and for nights yet to come.

We pray that whatever helps
can come,
will come
and in ways
each person
can understand
and put to use

We pray for all
because we are a decent people.


Post 6

You guys, I have been so horrible about keeping up with my TIoLI posts!  I’m sorry about that; I frequently have weeks where nothing bad, but nothing really exciting happens either, so…

Take It: Recipes, Cookbooks, & Blogs

Y’all I LOVE to cook, especially for other people.  I find it really hard to cook for one, & I’m not a huge fan of leftovers (unless I can turn it into something else).  I’ve always loved your typical Southern & Tex-Mex fare, which gave me my curvy figure with a side of extra curvy.  My goal, as an adult, is to health-ify all of my favorite, Southern, comfort foods without compromising flavor.  From time to time, I post recipes that I love which you can find on the menu up top.  However, below are links to my favorite cookbooks & food blogs.  One of my favorite things to do is buy old Junior League Cookbooks from different cities on Amazon.  They make great gifts too!


Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember – I first came to know this book about 7 or 8 years ago while babysitting.  Sarah, the mom of that family, loved this book & frequently left me recipes to make the kids for dinner.  Not only did the kids eat every bite, but the recipes were delicious & the book itself is beautiful.  This is a Junior League of Houston Cookbook circa 1996.Rosemary

Jack Allen’s Kitchen – This beautiful cookbook is the same name as my FAVORITE restaurant in the Austin, TX area.  Not only do I love their black cherry mojitos, but this restaurant opened my eyes to the wonders of pimento cheese.  This cookbook showcases Farm to Table cuisine, as does the restaurant.  I recently used Jack’s pimento cheese recipe to make deviled eggs for a Kentucky Derby party – I was frequently told that they were the best so-and-so had ever had…the ultimate compliment, right?   JAK

Houston Junior League Cook Book – This is the 1987 edition.  I love this book specifically because my BFF, Melissa, found this book while cleaning out her grandmother’s house after she passed away.  She generously gave this book to me, as she knows I’m a “collector”.  Ms. Georgia’s cookbook had a ton of handwritten recipes that she had stuck in there as well as newspaper clippings of recipes.  Being that this book is older, most of the recipes aren’t exactly healthy, but it has as much sentimental value as yummy recipes.  cookbook


PaleOMG – my friend Heather (checkout her blog here: NewYorkRootstoSouthernBoots) introduced me to this blog.  I don’t really follow a Paleo diet, but you need to check this blog out specifically for her cocktails!  She also has several cookbooks available.

Southern Bite – I’m not sure how I came across this site, probably Pinterest.  I’ve already bought Stacey Little’s cookbook.  His Fajita Chicken Casserole is to die for – being from Texas, I LOVE a good casserole.  Casserole

skinnytaste – I’ve loved this blog for a while now.  All of Gina Homolka’s recipes include the Weight Watchers Point totals.  I especially love her recipe for 3 Bean Turkey Chili, I make it so frequently that coworkers now ask me to bring it for lunch.  I’ve also made her Cream of Zucchini Soup, which was delish, but be CAREFUL when creaming the soup as I learned the hard way & burned my eye…literally when my Vita Mix top exploded off.  crockpot-three-bean-turkey-chili

Leave it: I could easily go on & on about the craziness I saw at the Trump Rally last Friday in The Woodlands (I was there to peacefully protest…from the bar as it happened), or about our gun control issues, but all I will say is VOTE this November.  I don’t really care who you vote for, as long as you VOTE.  Come December, if you haven’t VOTED for our next president then you do not get to complain.  This election year has already made history a few times, & that is super exciting!  Let’s all be a part of history.  VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.


Post 5

Hey y’all.  I’ve had a rough week, but I did manage to have a couple bright spots.

My Take It of the week is that I’m so excited the Bachelorette is back!  the-bachelorette

JoJo is beautiful of course, but she’s had a great attitude so far (one night).  Based on night one & the previews, I already have the Final 6 narrowed down to:

  1. Jordan – I think he’ll make Final 2, if he doesn’t win he will for sure be the next Bachelor.
  2. Chase – looks similar to Jordan, but seems less cocky.
  3. Luke – strong, silent type veteran from TX. (my personal favorite so far)
  4. Robby – he is on this list because he & JoJo were making out several times in the previews for the season.
  5. Chad – he’s on here simply because JoJo loves a bad boy & he’s the worst!  He has issues with all of the guys in the house according to the previews.
  6. Christian – I think he might be an underdog, but he seemed to make a good first impression with JoJo.  Plus, he has a great smile & ABC needs diversity.

Bonus: I think Derek & [Saint] Nick may go past the first few episodes, but under the radar for a bit.

Who did y’all like or dislike?

So for my Leave It for the week is Single Shaming.  Fat Shaming, skinny shaming, slut shaming, etc. get plenty of flack, but let’s go ahead & add Single Shaming to the list.  I am a 32 year old woman that is happily single.  If I ever meet a man (looking at you Shep) that interests me more than my independence then I will happily get involved in a relationship.  Someone recently used my being single as an insult to be cruel to me.  I wasn’t offended, but I now view my friend differently.  It really said more about them than me.  Enough with shaming, of any kind, already!

Post 4

Y’all, I was remiss last week.  I totally forgot to post a TIoLI last Saturday…my bad.

This week’s Take It is my list of my Top  5 favorite podcasts.

  1. The Bitch Bible: hosted by Jackie Schimmel.  This podcast is a no-holds-barred look at all things millennial, pop culture, & social faux-pas.  Nothing is off limits with Jackie.  You’ve all probably heard of Jackie as she has a large presence on Twitter & has been a guest bartender on WWHL.  She has great guests.

  2. Ladies Who Lunch: hosted by Ingrid Nilsen & Cat Valdes.  These gals got their start on YouTube.  They basically bring you to lunch with them & chat about all those “taboo” topics normally left out of polite conversation.  This particular podcast is not so much funny, but it does touch on many important topics for women.  It’s kind of an Emily’s List for those that don’t pay much attention to women’s issues or current events.

  3. LadyGang: hosted by Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, & Becca Tobin.  They hilariously discuss all things celebrity & their lives while trying to keep up in Hollywood.  Okay, so I’m still very new to this podcast & it seems to be a little Keltie heavy, but she is hilarious.  Last week she told a story about queefing during a Brazilian wax…I looked like a moron laughing during my drive home.

  4. PopCast: hosted by Jamie Golden & Knox McCoy.  It’s weekly discussion (usually very lively) about all things pop culture.  My cousin introduced me to this podcast; she lured me in by telling me that Jamie & I are soul sisters.  Jamie frequently says things that I, myself, have said out loud, thus soul sisters!

  5. Bitch Sesh: hosted by Casey Wilson & Danielle Schneider.  They discuss pretty much all the shows on Bravo; their favorite is Southern Charm & the Housewives.  The first podcast I listened to was Casey (great name!) explaining to us that she “shit her marital bed.”

My Leave It for the week is hard water.  I live in The Woodlands, TX & none of the homes here seem to have a water softener.  Why is that?  I’ve now started using olive oil & coconut oil instead of lotion.  I find it hard to believe that in 2016 we don’t have water heater/softener combos!  I Googled it & it doesn’t exist yet.  Don’t steal my idea though, because I want to put a patent on that.

Have y’all listened to any of my favorite podcasts?  Do you have any suggestions?  Any ideas to help combat dry skin in Texas?

I’ll see you all back here on Monday for Southern Charm, & don’t forget that The Bachelorette is returning as well!

Post 3

I’m spent this Saturday running around getting a Mother’s Day present for Mam J, & getting a present for my sister from her daughter & daughter-to-be.  Hope y’all were more proactive & got your stuff done early!

Take It:

Okay, so my Take It of the week is the GIF Keyboard App.

You guys, I seriously have a problem with how addicted I am to this App.  There are multiple GIFs for every occasion.  I may be late jumping on this band wagon, but I’m here now!  Once you download this free app, it will walk you through how to add it to your texting keyboards…it is super simple if I could do it.

Leave It:

My Leave It of the week is age spots.  I’m 32 & I’ve recently discovered my first age spot…how can this be?!?  It’s just under my right eye, you’d think it would at least be on my left side based on the amount of time I spend driving.  I don’t know if I can do microderm abrasion to get rid of it, or if I have to just start taking more precautions.  aging 2

As a bonus though, my sister introduced me to lightly slathering my face with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray calls it) at night.  I have to say that I was super skeptical about this, thought it would make my face break out, but much to my surprise it is AMAZING!  Apparently the EVOO restores the elasticity in your skin (ie. gets rid of wrinkles).  This is a bonus Take It!

Check back on Monday for my Southern Charm Recap!  Hope you all have fabulous Mother’s Day.



Post 2

Hi y’all!  I hope you are having a fantastic weekend.  It rained again last night, here in Houston, but has since cleared up.  Okay, so I’ll just get right into it with my Take It & Leave It of the week.

Take It:  Theiss (pronounced Tice) Farmers Market in The Woodlands, TX.  It is a beautiful little place, one that if you blink you miss it.  They are open daily, which is unusual for this area (typically weekends only), & are a little slice of heaven.  The prices are amazing; I can typically get two weeks worth of fruits & veggies for less than $30.  They have the MOST amazing homemade banana bread & I truly appreciate that they leave the nuts out.  Warm nuts = gross in my book.  Obviously, they only sell locally sourced food & plants, but they also have a variety of home decor items for those that enjoy the rustic look. Theiss

Leave It: This will be controversial, but I could NOT care less about Beyonce’s Lemonade.  If she ruins my favorite drink, I will be devastated.  Now normally, I support fellow Texans to a fault, but I miss the Destiny Child days of Bootylicious.  I feel like maybe Bey has forgotten her roots?  I’m totally over Beyonce, Jay Z, Solange & the elevator incident, Becky With the Good Hair, & such taking over my social media feeds.  I DO NOT care.  So he cheated on her, seems like that happens a lot in real life & the celebrity life.  Leave if you really want to take a stand…you have enough money Bey.

You can find some of the lyrics here: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/25/beyonce-lemonade-lyrics

Do y’all agree or disagree this week?


Post 1

Okay y’all, I’m writing this from my hometown of Georgetown, TX.  This weekend is the Red Poppy Festival, & yes we are the poppy capital of Texas.

Anywho, this page is dedicated to my favorite & least favorite thing each week, which I’ll post each Saturday.

So with that in mind, my Take It of the week is the Red Poppy Fest.  I come back for this every year, & to visit Mama J.  It is always a blast.  Georgetown has doubled in size since I left, but it still retains its small town atmosphere, which make me all kinds of nostalgic.  For reference, when I graduated high school there was a regular Walmart, 1 high school, & a bowling alley; now there is a Sephora, Target, a movie theater, & 2 high schools.  Growing up in Georgetown, I couldn’t wait to get away from small town living.  Now as an adult I really enjoy going back from time to time.

The Poppy Fest has arts & crafts, food, kettle corn, booze, & live music.   I write this post as we wait for Tracey Lawrence to come on. He was a 90’s favorite for Mama J!   The Red Poppy Festival started when a soldier brought back Red Poppy seeds from his deployment; he planted them in his mother’s yard & the rest, as they say, is history.

My Leave It for the week is rain!  Normally, living in Texas, I am always greatful for rain…we’re in a perpetual drought.  However, living in the Houston area is a different story.  Houston has the worst drainage system I’ve ever encountered & it floods every time it rains.  Why you’d build a city on swamp I have no idea.  The only good thing to come from the #houstonflood is that my office was closed on Monday.  Many houses & schools are under water.  Here are a few pictures taken at the office on Monday.

Remember, “Turn around, don’t drown” is not just a cute phrase!  If you can’t see the curb, don’t drive through it.

Until, next week!

Kiss Hug,

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