Friday, April 3, 2020

6 Easter Basket Ideas for Adults

I originally planned to publish a post about Easter dresses today, but with the state of current affairs that seemed wrong. Our bishop closed all churches about 3 weeks ago and at least until the end of the month which means no Easter Sunday service. As a person of faith this has been hard. I know it's for the best to keep them closed so we don't have mass gatherings, but not having this peaceful space during such a stressful time is hard.

But Easter is a time of hope so I wanted to still publish something fun today. I fully believe that having these silly fun posts are essential to our health and mental well-being right now. So today I'm sharing 6 Easter Basket Ideas for Adults. These are all things you can buy online and have delivered to your home or pick up curbside.

1. Something to Keep Busy - A coloring book or board game are great ideas to help you pass the time. Looking for a great read to gift someone? I bet you can find something that sounds interesting in my 2020 reading list review. I also love the idea of a gift card for a month of Audible if you're trying to have less stuff in your home.

2. Something Trendy - This is more female Easter basket specific. But this is the perfect time to throw in something trendy, yet inexpensive! These earrings from Amazon and these from Target are perfect picks for something to include. Another good idea would be a headband, floppy sun hat, or rattan clutch.

3. Reusable Straw - You can find these lots of places, but I especially love this mini travel set. It seems silly to buy something "travel" specific right now, but I think it's important to think long term right now and remember one day we will be leaving our houses regularly again.

4. Self Care Items - Nail Polish (OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster is my favorite for spring) or a body scrub are perfect additions for a female basket. For your guy you could grab his favorite after shave balm or a fun new soap. I always talk about my favorite Burt's Bees at holiday gift guide time, but these would be a great item for an Easter basket as well!

5. Practical Basics - Underwear and socks usually aren't the most exciting gifts, but I love the idea of throwing in a fun practical item. MeUndies carries lots of fun prints that I think are well worth the price tag.

6. Candy - Is it really an Easter basket without candy? My personal favorite are Reese's Eggs, because they just taste better than the regular Reeses and Starburst jelly beans.

What are you hoping to find in your Easter basket this year?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What I've read in 2020 - Quarter 1

Earlier this year I made the decision to be more intentional with my time. Part of that goal was so that I could devote more time to reading instead of mindlessly scrolling social media. I've now read 10 books in 2020, only 2 less than I read in all of 2019, so obviously this goal is working. Today I wanted to share some reviews of what I've read in 2020 in case you're looking for a new book to read.

The Diplomat's Daughter - 5/5  This one was very interesting because it told a WW2 story from a perspective I've never considered. It tells the story of a Japanese diplomat's daughter stationed in America at the outbreak, a first generation American of German heritage, and an Austrian Jewish boy.

The Huntress - 5/5  I know it's early but I'm calling this my best read of 2020. It was slightly predictable, but the writing kept me interested and wanting to keep reading. Its about the hunt for a female nazi, nicknamed the huntress, after the end of the war.

Campaign Widows -  4/5   This was a fun frivolous read, especially during a campaign year! You don't really need to know anything about politics to enjoy this one, but if you do you'll probably pick up some extra funny bits. It follows a candidate's wife, former speechwriter, digital media editor, Georgetown "It" woman, and morning talkshow producer as they navigate election season.

The List - 4/5  The only reason this didn't get a full 5 stars is because I thought the ending was rushed after such a great buildup. I will say I was a journalism major and political science minor so that might have something to do why I enjoyed this one so much. Adrienne returns to her old stomping grounds of DC to work at the hottest news site in town as a style writer when she stumbles upon a story that is too big to not pursue.

Rush - 3/5   I wanted to love this one so much more than I did. Maybe I was just critical because I was a sorority girl at Ole Miss and found the over explanations of Oxford and Ole Miss student life to be exhausting? This story revolves around sorority rush at Ole Miss and tells the story from the point of view of a long time house staff member, a new house advisor, and a girl from a small town going through the process.

Bond Girl - 4/5   I may have been a little generous with this rating, but overall it was enjoyable. If you know anything about working in finance (I don't) you may have different feelings, but because I know nothing it was interesting to have a little peak into that world. This tells the story of a new graduate as she navigates life working on wall street leading up to the financial crisis of 2008.

The Last Train to London - 5/5   This was a very well written account of a part of WW2 I knew nothing about. After finishing this one I did some googling to see how much was real and it was heartwarming to find this true story of goodness during a time of such evil. This book is about the Kindertransport that brought thousands of Jewish children safely out of Germany at the beginning of WW2.

Playing with Matches - 3/5  This was so good until the end. I'll just say I didn't see the end coming and wasn't too happy about it. This is a fun light read about a girl who's first job out of college is as a matchmaker for a paid dating site.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - 2/5   So the story of this one was really really good, but I was NOT prepared for there to be actual erotic stories included. Had those been excluded this probably would have been a 4 or even 5 star read. The story centers around a girl who takes a job in what she thinks is to teach a creative writing workshop at the community center for Punjabi women. She quickly learns they are not able to read or write English, but they have a gift for story telling that others in the community do not know about.

The Lost Girls of Paris - 4/5   A story of female spies during WW2. It reminded me of The Alice Network, but not as good. A good quick read for someone wanting a historical fiction read.

What have you read so far in 2020?

PS : I've linked everything to Amazon because I think it's the easiest shipping/availably situation, but if able I encourage you to shop your favorite small local bookstore. My favorite is Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi - for now they are currently shipping!

Monday, March 30, 2020

spring 2020 playlist

Happy Monday friends! I'm coming to you today with my current playlist. Even before the virus I was working from home a few days a week so I've been perfecting this one for a little bit. I always say the key to making a great playlist is a mix of old and new songs and I think this one does exactly that!

What songs are you loving right now?

Monday, March 23, 2020

6 easy meals to make now

Starting at midnight Dallas County is under a shelter in place ordnance which means the only outings for the foreseeable future are to the grocery store. We've been really lucky and haven't had any issues finding groceries so far, even being able to buy our usual brands. I hope you're having the same luck where you are.

Today I wanted to share a few easy meals to make now. These are all recipes that either require very few ingredients or are flexible in what ingredients you do use. I think that's the key to cooking at home when you're under stress. I'd love to cook elaborate meals, but even if I could find the ingredients I'm too stressed to prepare anything elaborate. If you have any easy meals, I'd love you to share them below!

1. Breakfast for Dinner - Eggs may be a little difficult to find right now, but you can probably easily find pancake mix, breakfast meat, and fruit. For a little extra protein you can put some peanut butter on your pancakes when they're hot and it melts like syrup.

2. Ranch PorkChops - Pork seems to be the easiest meat to find right now and this is the perfect recipe for them! All you need are pork chops, ranch seasoning, butter and a crockpot or instantpot. Any side veggie or starch you have works well with this for a complete meal

3. Frozen Pizza and Salad - Is this the most exciting meal? No way, but it is easy and probably something you can find in your grocery store. You can also keep eating different variations of this depending on what flavors are in stock in your store.

4. One Pan Sausage and Vegetables - This is one of our favorite meals no matter what is going on in the world. You can use whatever produce you can find; potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. To make it a little more filling I'll serve it over rice or with a salad on the side.

5. Ravioli Bake - I've never tried this recipe personally but it looks super simple and yummy. You could also leave out the meat to make this an easy vegetarian meal and I bet the leftovers are delicious. Plus it's a little fancier than regular spaghetti.

6. Snack Plate - This is one of my favorite meals, especially for a day spent watching tv. The best part about this meal is you literally can't mess it up and it's a great way to use whatever you already have on hand. Some great items to include are cheeses, lunch meat, boiled eggs, pickles, crackers, olives, dips or spreads, sliced raw veggies, and nuts.

Stay Safe and Wash Your Hands!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Publish that Post

Last night as I was scrolling Instagram I came across a poll from Annaliese asking if bloggers were still planning to post with everything that's going on in the world. I quickly responded that I hoped so because blog posts and instagram stories are a welcome reprieve from what's really going on in the world.

I keep separate twitter and instagram accounts for my blog where I follow only fellow bloggers. In the last few days I've found myself wanting to exclusively keep looking at those profiles over my personal ones because reading about frivolous things is more fun than reading the news. Reading about spring fashion trends is better for my mental health than reading about how many people are quarantined in Italy. Yes, I think we all need to be smart and follow the recommendations of the CDC, WHO, and our local governments and doctors, but I don't think we need to get that information from bloggers. The best content I've seen shared by a blogger about coronavirus was from Kait when she reminded us of the importance of supporting small local businesses. She created and shared a graphic on Instagram stories where you could tag some of your favorite local businesses and has been sharing ones she's been tagged in for different cities.

I think very few of us started blogging because everything was going perfect in life. I certainly started for very different reasons. Back in 2013 I started writing and reading blogs because I wanted an escape, so I don't see why it would be any different in 2020. In the words of the Brits "keep calm and carry on." and publish that post.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Lessons from my First Fantasy Football Experience

This football season I decided it was finally time to see what all the hype was about and join a fantasy football league. Because I never believe in doing anything halfway, I joined two leagues. I had a team in a work league and one is a blogger league hosted by Sarah. Now that football season is over I'm ready to share my thoughts on the experience.

The first lesson I learned was that having two teams was a little ambitious. Luckily some of my players overlapped, but for the most part they did not. That meant having to pay a lot more attention to all the games every week. I needed to keep better track of bye weeks and injuries across the league vs being able to focus on just a few professional teams. Having two teams you'd think my odds of winning would increase, but that wasn't the case. It seemed I had the exact opposite result. At the beginning of the season my two quarterbacks were Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger; if you remember these two men both went out with injuries in the same week.

The next lesson I learned is that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. When it was draft day nothing went like expected. I'd spent all this time researching best strategies for people drafting in my position but when it was my turn the players left standing looked nothing like expected. People were drafting from all over the place, selecting personal favorites over high ranks. It made the whole process very stressful, especially for someone with a limited NFL knowledge/favorites.

The final lesson I learned is that you have to remember it's all just a game. As I mentioned above I had one week when both my starting quarterbacks went out. I had another week where the league's high scoring player was sitting on my bench. Another when my opponent had no quarterback or defense on their starting roster and still lost. Obviously I would have preferred to avoid all these situations, at the end of the day none of it really mattered because it was just a game for fun.

Playing fantasy football was an item from my 100 in 1001 list that was I glad to mark off. Overall I'd say my first fantasy experience was positive and I plan to pay again next year!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Spring Fashion I'm Loving

Now that Valentine's Day has come and gone I feel like we can start talking about spring. I know we're still technically about a month away from the start of spring, but hey the ground hog did predict an early spring! I'm trying not to make any fashion purchases this month, but here are a few things I've got my eye on once the month ends!

I also have my eyes on these new Rothy's but I can't decide if I think them more than the regular pointed toe ones. And this Target dress has been getting a lot of love from other bloggers recently, but I can't decide which color I like best.

What spring fashion do you have your eyes on?