Monday, July 27, 2020

What I'm Watching

We've entered the part of summer where it's too hot for me to even pretend like I want to leave the house. The heat index has been over 100 every day for the last week here in DFW. That means in addition to all the reading I've been doing also I'm watching a lot more tv. Here's what I've currently been streaming



Hamilton on Disney+ - Do I even need to include this, because duh obviously I've watched this! We were really lucky to see the musical in person when it came to Dallas last year, but getting to rewatch it (especially with the facial close ups) is still really cool.

Tangled the series on Disney+ - We put this one on randomly one night as we were folding laundry before bed and got hooked. It picks up after the end of the movie

My Spy on Prime - We watched this one for at home date night and thought it was really cute. It reminded me of something that the Rock would be in; kinda cheesy and endearing

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on HBOMax - This is the story behind the book of the same name. Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who died of cancer in the 1950s, without her or her family's permission doctors took her cells and those cells (HeLa) have led to all kinds of medical break throughs.

QueerEye on Netflix -  Oh how I LOVE this show! In my opinion this is the perfect feel good show and this new season did not disappoint

Eurovision Song Contest : The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix - Maybe I just had really low expectations, but this was one of the best things I've seen this year. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as small town Icelandic sings with dreams of winning Eurovision is exactly what we need at this time.

Sweet Magnolias on Netflix - At first I wasn't a big fan of this one; I literally fell asleep the first time I watched it. But it grew on me around episode 3 and turned out to be pretty entertaining

Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix - I randomly found this one night when I was looking for something new to watch and it is so great! Phil was a tv producer so he knows how to make an interesting program. My favorite part is at the end of every episode he video chats with his parents from whatever location he's in while they're back home.

Below Deck on Bravo on Demand - My husband and I are obsessed with this one! Having worked in luxury hospitality it's fun to watch and very relatable



What are you currently watching?



Friday, July 24, 2020

4 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in July

Tomorrow is July 25, Christmas in July day! Christmas is my favorite holiday so I'll gladly take any excuse to celebrate it, even 5 months early. I can't think of anything we need more in 2020 than a little extra holly jolly feelings. Today I'm sharing 4 ways to celebrate Christmas in July.


1. Watch a Christmas movie - I think this is my favorite part of Christmas and in my opinion the key to celebrating Christmas in July! I shared this list of holiday movies to stream back in December and a few of them are still available to stream now. My personal choice would be to watch Elf (currently on Netflix) because I think it's the perfect movie.

2. Listen to a Christmas playlist - Don't want to go full out for Christmas in July? Put on a Christmas playlist to help lift your spirits while you're doing house chores or cooking. I put together this playlist a few years ago of my favorite holiday songs.

3. Eat a favorite Christmas treat - My very favorite holiday treat is peppermint bark so I think it'd be the perfect Christmas in July treat! Other good treats are hot chocolate or Christmas cookies or whatever dessert screams Christmas to you!

4. Enjoy a favorite Christmas tradition - I bet you have a tradition that you do every Christmas; my Christmas tradition is eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve. I know a lot of people always play certain boardgames or maybe call all their family they're not with. Doing something as simple as that can really help Christmas in July feel holly and jolly!


How do you plan to celebrate Christmas in July?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How I'm really feeling

I thought it was time to do a quick real life check-in with everybody. We're about 4 months into quarantine which is about 3 months more than I ever thought this would last. It's so crazy to think back to early March and how different everything was then. I spent the first week of March in Vegas for a work trip; at that point we were only sorta starting to think Covid could become a thing in the United States. People were jokingly bumping elbows instead of shaking hands and I went to the Strip like things were totally normal. My flight back home to Dallas was half empty, which looking back on should have been a wake-up call that things were about to get serious.

I spent the rest of March in denial that things were going to get so bad. I stayed home and listened to all the recommendations, but I mistakenly thought everyone else was doing the same thing and it'd be over soon. We only left the house to grocery shop and have take-out put in our back seat before taking it home for "date night." At that point I was honestly loving staying home and being excited about having time to do more cooking and the quality time I was spending with my husband and Rebel. The denial of March quickly turned to darkness in April. I shared before that my grandmother passed away from Covid in April; I carried this dark cloud all month. I only took 1 day of bereavement because I felt silly taking more when we weren't traveling for a funeral, but I cried almost every day that month. Every time my phone rang I had a sinking feeling in my stomach because I was sure it was either my boss calling to tell me I was being laid-off or my mom telling me another family member has tested positive. I was trying to put on a positive face, but I was not in a good place. I was living in crippling fear; I couldn't even leave the house to go grocery shopping.
I regressed back to denial in May and was convinced everything would be fine for me to go on a trip to Florida in June. I was looking at the rising numbers in Florida and around the country, but still kept telling myself everything would be fine. I finally canceled my flight June 1 (thanks for the full refund Southwest!) and I think that's when I finally hit the point of acceptance. I realized none of the trips we were planning for 2020 were going to happen. I started thinking about how I could realistically make 2020 special because it wasn't going to be with the Disneyland or Europe trips I was planning. 

Now as we're closing out July I'm doing better. I still have moments of extreme anxiety, but I'm learning to pause and just breathe. I can't predict the future so I have to accept to just take it a day at a time. Planning too far ahead will only set me up for disappointment. Before I do anything I think about how it is going to impact others, and while I wish everyone would think this way all I can control is myself.


How are you really doing?

Monday, July 6, 2020

What I've read in 2020 - Quarter 2

If I'm being honest I'm glad to see 2020 Q2 finished; these last 3 months have been rough. Texas started reopening in early May, but I'm still mostly staying inside and only going out when I need to. This means I've have lots of reading time! Here's what I read in 2020 quarter 2


The Orphan's Tale - 4/5  This was a rare book where I enjoyed both the narrators


The Engagements - 4/5  This one took a while to get into, but I really liked how everything tied together at the end


We Were the Lucky Ones - 5/5  Hands down one of the best books I've read, ever


Limelight - 4/5   This was a fun story that was easy to picture; it'd make a cute Netflix movie


Bringing Down the Duke - 3/5    Not bad, but not great either


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - 5/5  The story really grabs you and keeps you interested right from the start. I could easily see this being made into a movie or HBO mini series


My Oxford Year - 2/5    Spoiler Alert! This felt like two totally separate books. The first half is your typical chick lit, goes to the UK and falls for her professor who also happens to be terribly wealthy and have a reputation as a playboy. Then halfway through we're hit with the bombshell that he has terminal illness? No thank you. That is not the book I signed up to read.


My Not So Perfect Life - 4/5   Exactly what you expect in a Sophie Kinsella book; a few laughs and a happy ending


The Man of my Dreams - 2/5     I wanted to like this book so badly, but ultimately just couldn't. It all came down to the main character just not being likable


Match Making for Beginners - 3/5    This sounds like a spoiler, but it really isn't : everything gets better after Blix dies. This one starts so slow but picks up in the middle and held my interest to the end


American Princess - 3/5   Interesting read that got better as it went. I really liked that you could tell the author did extensive research and included so many real people and events.  


The Bromance Book Club - 3/5  Fun and different story line that's great for the beach or pool



Check out my 2020 Quarter 1 reads here. Have any books I need to read next? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Monday, June 29, 2020

birthday wish list

My birthday is just over a month away and to say I'm a little bummed is an understatement. When 2020 started I thought I'd be ringing in 29 with a dole whip while riding Jungle Cruise in Disneyland. Obviously that won't be happening this year. Instead I'm hoping to spend the day quietly at home starting with a donut and then some reading and finishing the day with takeout from my favorite Mexican restaurant. Aside from that queso there really isn't much I want for my birthday, but my sweet husband has requested I publish a birthday wish list, so here we are.


coffee sticks - These are technically for cocktails, but I think they'd bring me extra joy in my morning coffee. I especially love the Big Tex, party flamingo, and piƱata ones.

headband - Specifically this one in rainbow stripe bright. One day we'll go back out in public and this headband would go with so much

leggings - People swear these are as good as the lululemon ones, but at a fraction of the price. I practically live in leggings so I'd be excited to try these out

kitchenwares - Anything from my kitchenwares wishlist post would be appreciated

t-shirt quilt - I have way too many shirts from college that I don't wear anymore, yet can't bare to part with. A t-shirt quilt seems like the perfect solution

gardening - Since we moved into our house a year ago I've been saying I want to do some landscaping out front, but haven't yet


Friday, June 12, 2020

kitchenware wishlist

I mentioned the other week that I've been spending more time in the kitchen lately. We have everything (and more) we need for regular cooking, but now that I'm trying to expand my skills I sometimes find myself passing up a recipe because I don't have a specific item. I've been putting together a bit of a kitchenware wishlist.


round cake pan - One thing I want to start doing is making pretty cakes, specifically layer cakes. I realized I can't really do not if I don't have two identical sized pans

bundt cake pan - As I mentioned before I really want to start making "pretty cakes" and a bundt cake is instantly pretty. I really like this one because it comes with a cover to keep the cake fresh

french onion soup mugs - A while ago Chrissy Tiegan posted an Instagram story making French Onion soup and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since

oxo pop containers - I have a few of these, but as I'm buying more pantry ingredients I need more!

brown sugar keeper -

veggie grill basket - We love using our grill to make burgers and chicken, but I'd love to be able to make some grilled veggies too

pizza stone - I keep seeing recipes for grilled pizzas that I'm dying to try

egg ring - My husband eats a frozen breakfast sandwich almost every morning for breakfast. I'd love to be able to shape my own scrambled eggs to make some homemade sandwiches

batter dispenser - We love making waffles so this would make everything less messy

popsicle mold - Every summer I say I'm going to make my own popsicles, but then never do


What's your favorite kitchen tool I need to add to my kitchenware wishlist?


Friday, May 22, 2020

7 recipes I want to try and 1 we love

We've reached the point of this pandemic when I'm looking to expand my cooking skills. My husband is allergic to bananas so sadly I won't be baking any banana bread and needed to look for inspiration elsewhere. I've been hunting Pinterest and some of my favorite cook books for new recipes I want to try! Here are a few I have my eye on


Pesto Chicken Sliders - I think these would also be really good swapping in goat cheese too!

Instant Pot Hibachi Steak and Vegetables - I make stir fry in my wok often so this looks like a fun alternative

Classic Fresh Strawberry Pie - It counts as healthy because it has fruit, right?

Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti - This was one of my favorite meals when I lived in my sorority house, so I'm excited to try it myself

Philly Cheesesteak Cheesy Bread - I want to try this now so it's perfected by the time sports are back

Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken - This looks like such a great summer dish

Low Country Shrimp Boil - Am I crazy or does your mouth water when you think about eating this too?


Bonus! We made these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last weekend and I can't recommend them enough! I baked about a dozen and then rolled the rest of the dough for the freezer and I'm happy to report they're still delicious using the frozen dough