Last Saturday, in a fit of “Too Tired to Go Out,” The Hubbit and I began Netflixing a new show. Well, new to me. He’s seen it, of course, but isn’t current anymore. I’m talking about Hell on Wheels. Y’all. Y’ALL. I am addicted. Why isn’t everyone watching this show? We’re only midway through season 2, so no spoilers, but I LUFF IT.

It’s so good and so intense and so well written and it totally has me fan-girling. It’s an AMC show, so kudos to them once again for the quality TV. Unlike The Walking Dead, however, I don’t just sit there, constantly expecting my favorite characters to die. Seriously. Ask The Hubbit. Every time Daryl is alone anywhere, I start rocking back and forth and saying “He’s dead” over and over. But of course it’s never Carl who dies. #teamkillcarl

I’m excited because it’s still on the air and I feel like it can be *my* show. It’s been so long! Dexter was my show, then it got crazy. American Horror Story was my show, but it got crazy. I am still in love with Jessica Lange, but this season is not doing that woman justice. And now, probably because this season is so dumb, she’s leaving the show. TWD is kind of my show, except it’s so disgusting and so terrifying and so full of death that it doesn’t quite make me giddy. Like I need to hunker down with a night cap to prepare. True Blood started as a guilty pleasure, then was MY SHOW, then got crazy. We are excited about The Strain coming back. It’s first season was amazing. I’m still warming up to its characters, though. So far only one has really stolen my heart: the exterminator guy, the actor from Lost. So maybe it can still be *mine.* Game of Thrones is just Game of Thrones and I love it and hate it and enjoy it immensely. We’re also into Peaky Blinders, but again, the characters haven’t completely sucked me in yet. It’s a good show, but not *my* show.

Outside of Ghost Adventures, which everyone should be watching, and HGTV, that was my TV life. But now. Now I have Hell on Wheels. And it presents me with an interesting problem. My first TV crush since Eric Northman (and a little bit Alcide Herveaux) on True Blood. Oh, and then Sawyer on Lost, but I finally watched it way after it aired, thanks to The Hubbit. Yes, I have a new man, and his name is Cullen Bohannan. And he’s just very southern and manly and very True Gritty and such a compelling character. And he looks like this:

hell on wheels 1

hell on wheels 2

 

Crushes aside, it’s a great show.I’m very glad my husband as quality television taste. Also of note, in this HBO-ification era of television (putting that film degree to use, remembering what I’ve learned) I am used to constantly seeing boobs everywhere. And I haven’t seen one boob on Hell on Wheels. Which is nice. I’m sure it would still shock every grandparent ever, but it’s downright tame compared to the rest of cable programming. (Lookin’ at you, GOT and TB.)

And that’s pretty much all I’m thinking about. What (or who?) are you watching these days?

Have a good Wednesday!

It’s not a secret. In fact, I’ve definitely alluded to the fact that I’ve been in kind of a funk/depression about writing since my birthday. I’ve flirted with quitting forever, but writing won’t let me give up. It’s like drugs or Diet Coke.

I’ve just felt like time is moving too quickly and all I do is my dumb job and suddenly I’m 26 and I have nothing (artistically speaking) to show for my time. And then I feel like I’m just a stupid idiot head because real writers go to bed at one and wake up at 5 and write constantly and work 9 jobs and they just care more and are talented. Then I’m like, “Woah, hold on, remember how much OT you worked? Over 300 hours?” So I cut myself a break, though it doesn’t help with the depression. I think the answer lies somewhere in between. Yes, I need to cut myself a break, but I also need to be more committed. Novels don’t write themselves. (With wisdom like that, can the world really afford for me to still my pen?)

Anyway, all this to say that my dear friend who is also a writer, C, reached out to me to become accountability writing partners, as we have done many times in the past. And we agreed that we were both feeling really iffy on writing just now, and that we should just write short stories to get the juices flowing and kick the inner critic to the curb. We turned in our first drafts to each other on Saturday, and I have to say, I was thrilled.

It was like when you kind of get over your crush, but then you see him suddenly at the mall or at a party or something and he smiles at you and you’re like “Gahhhh” all over again. You know. That feeling. And the story has many, many edits ahead of it before it sees the light of the internet, but I definitely think it has some good bones. And I feel a little invigorated. Okay, a lot of invigorated.

Then, Sunday, in my Kingdom Woman Devotional, there was a quote that really spoke to me that I’d like to share.

“‘Choose to walk the path God has placed in front of you, and put one foot in front of the other.’ Don’t waste time thinking, I know this has worked for other people, but it won’t work for me. Don’t second-guess God, reasoning, “I think my way would be a little faster than His way.” Even when the way ahead seems unclear, taking one step at a time is what will get you to the destination God has planned.”

Isn’t that just so lovely and comforting?

“Choose to walk the path God has placed in front of you, and put one foot in front of the other.”

Choose.

So simple and so complicated, isn’t it? I’m going to choose to write. Then I’m going to write. And I’m going to trust that slow, steadfast progress is all I need to feel like myself again and to see some results and rewards from my writing. Considering this is deadline week, it’s not the best timing to have conviction pumping through my veins, but that’s life. I’ll make up for it this weekend. I’ll be editing my short story and heck, maybe I’ll even take a look at my novel.

Y’all have a good day.

Oops, I did it again. I re-branded and re-designed and I’m sure you’re tired of it, and I’m tired of it, but listen. Linda, Honey. Listen. I’m actually happy with it for once. I won’t bore you with the stories and the inspirations and the Etsy Digital Paper Disappointment of 2014, but it’s all there. And I think I’ve finally found the celebratory, girly spirit I’ve been looking for. With a pretty font. That I got on sale. Holla! I vow to thee, my country, that this is it. Until next Christmas, because I just have to be seasonal, or I’ll die. Hyperbole aside, look how much better everything is. LOOK:

Screenshot 2015-02-01 13.02.07

 

 

 

Xenon is welcoming me to the 21st century.Screenshot 2015-02-01 14.59.14

 

Anywho, design, shmesign, let’s talk food. This is deadline week at work, so I won’t have much time, if any, to cook. Therefore the menu plan is mostly easy and tried-and-true, so if I find myself home with time to cook, I can.

In no particular order, this week, I’m making:

Meal 1: Bison Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash. This recipe is easy, delicious, and so comforting. I make it all the time, and the Hubbit loves it. I love it because it gets another protein into our rotation, and all the reasons I already mentioned.

Meal 2: HEB smoked brisket and canned green beans. For when I’m at work and The Hubbit needs to eat.

Meal 3: Quick Sriracha Beef Lettuce Wraps. I have not made these before, but it’s everything we love, AND it gets my husband to at least try some lettuce. Winning.

Meal 4: Chicken Paprika With Sour Cream Gravy and Creamed Spinach. This chicken recipe is one of my favorite recipes of all time. It’s beyond quick, easy, and so freaking delicious. Also, blame Mellissa (partially) for my own re-branding, thanks to her beautiful new site! I have not tried the spinach before.

Meal 5: Scotch Eggs. I don’t have a recipe for this, but feel free to Pinterest it. Basically, boil 6 eggs, peel them, wrap them with a lb of pork sausage, then pan-fry. Traditionally they are breaded and deep fried, but I’ve never had them that way. Serve with a full-bodied, grainy mustard and enjoy.

Meal 6: Spinach Artichoke Dip Meatballs and Pan Roasted Radishes. Sorry, not sorry that my meal plans are basically love letters to IBIH. I just love so many of her recipes I can’t help myself. These meatballs are heavenly. Seriously, heavenly. The creamy sauce… Amen. I’m making this meal Friday, as my reward for getting through another deadline week. I certainly know how to treat myself. Also, I’ve mentioned the radishes before, but you HAVE to try them. I don’t really like raw radishes, but I love them like this. And they’re super cheap and this recipe allows us to eat something that’s not spinach. Hallelujah.

Anyway, I don’t expect much to happen this week. Work, food, work, sleep, food. Rinse and Repeat. I hope y’all have a great Monday, though!

Remember when I told you that I, along with my fellow bridesmaids, were hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend Kristin? Well, we did that. And, if I do say so myself, we did that well. Everyone seemed to have a blast, everyone enjoyed the food, everyone had fun playing the games, and, most importantly, everyone celebrated the beautiful upcoming nuptials for Kristin! I am so, so, so excited for her. Marriage is the best.

I thought I’d share some highlights with you, in case you enjoy that kind of thing, or are seeking out Bridal Shower ideas.

Feast your eyes on some decor:

The “Welcome Station.” We had a guestbook, and then bits of scrapbook paper on which people could leave a note for the bride. I hole-punched the corner of the paper, and made a not-pictured cover for the book, and before the bride left, I bound all the pages together in a little memento book for her to take home.

Photo Jan 24, 5 46 27 PM

Here’s the image that’s in the big frame:Photo Jan 22, 8 57 17 AM

We also decorated every table with pictures of the engaged couple and a little “facts about the bride” page (as well as votives errywhere), like so:Photo Jan 24, 5 53 24 PM

 

Our major decor pieces where two banners I stenciled. One reading “Miss to Mrs” and the other with the Bride’s new last name. I adore them, if I’m allowed to say. Here’s the focal point of the room:

Photo Jan 24, 5 52 01 PM

 

A closer shot:

Photo Jan 24, 5 53 05 PM

And here’s the new last name banner, over the favor table (more on that later):Photo Jan 24, 5 52 43 PM

Here’s the “facts” page that’s in the frames:

Photo Jan 22, 8 56 28 AM

To round out the decor, we tied pretty pink fans on all the sconces. Here are a few pics of those, along with the gift table set up:

Photo Jan 24, 6 36 18 PM Photo Jan 24, 9 02 26

 

And now, for some games. We had so much fun! One of the maids brought a “Think Like the Bride” game she found in a party supply store. In it, you answer questions about what the bride would rather do. Kind of like the Newlywed Game. It was very fun. I came in second place. So close to the win. So close.

We also played the “Clothespin Game,” which is pretty self-explanatory with the following graphic:

Photo Jan 22, 6 21 06 PM

I was in the top 3. Might have been second. Curses. Curses.

We also played “Bride Libs,” which is also pretty self-explanatory:

Photo Jan 22, 7 14 12 PM

Here are the games in the flesh (well, kind of…):Photo Jan 24, 6 18 46 PM Photo Jan 24, 6 18 47 PM

 

I’d also like to share my cupcakes with you, because I love them. Indulge me, won’t you?

Photo Jan 24, 5 59 41 PMRecipe here. I added silver sanding sugar that I coated in silver luster dust (thanks to a pro tip from my dear friend who’s a professional baker.), and these precious lace cupcake sleeves.

And now, for my favorite part: The favors. I am obsessed with how cute these turned out. We popped popcorn, melted down some almond bark, stirred in some food coloring, and had ourselves pink candy-coated popcorn. It’s super simple but super delicious. My mom actually used to make it (without the food coloring) around Christmas time every year. It’s addictive. We dumped it into cute cone-shaped treat bags, tied them with ribbon, and added a cute label. I’ll let them speak for themselves from now on. And yes, I had a full-blown photo shoot with them. I am obsessed.

Here’s the graphic I designed to put on the label:

Photo Jan 22, 1 17 25 PM

And here is everything I stand for:Photo Jan 24, 8 38 07 AM Photo Jan 24, 8 38 11 AM Photo Jan 24, 8 38 18 AM Photo Jan 24, 8 38 26 AM

 

And that is the Bridal Shower! Again, I had so much fun and it was such an honor and a joy to be involved. I can’t wait for future wedding activities.

I hope everyone has a good day!

Guys. Guys. I’m really over this week. We’re heading back toward deadlines at work and I am just weary to my bones. Even though I have a million things to do, I plan on mostly relaxing. Because next week is majorly going to stink.

The weekend after Valentine’s Day, The Hubbit and I are taking a little weekend getaway trip to Galveston. I cannot wait. I plan to basically lay in a hotel room for two days, eat delicious food, and hang out with my best friend and crappy TV. It all sounds so beautiful I could cry.

The bridal shower was awesome and I will share the decorating deets with y’all soon. I’ve just been trying to get as much sleep as possible, since my sinuses are still not 100% healed from being sick for like all of January. I’m just trying to take care of myself and to be able to breathe through my nose. Simple, honest goals.

Y’all have a great day and may the descent toward Friday be speedy.

So. You don’t know this, because I haven’t told you, but I am mad busy. Tomorrow I am honored to be co-hosting the bridal shower for one of my truest and bluest friends, Kristin. And I may or may not be a tad perfectionist when it comes to parties and shindigs and revelry in general.Psychosis aside, I am super pumped for tomorrow and can’t wait to share pictures and what have you come Monday!

Since it is Friday, and fashion is generally our game, I want to let you guys know that I’m here for you and that there are some KILLER sales going on right now. I may or may not have taken advantage.

Like this one over at Ruche. Extra 50% off with code “EXTRA50”.

Or, over at Loft, we have an Extra 50% sale, a Sweaters for $15.88 sale (took advantage of that one) and pants $19.88 and under sale. Go. Go peacefully.

Modcloth is offering spring essentials for $19.99 and under.

Our old pal Macy’s is offering an extra 20% off of clearance.

New York & Company has tons of markdowns and some BOGO action going on.

Our potassium- filled friends at Banana Republic are offering 40% off of full priced merch AND an extra 50% off of clearance.

Basically, everywhere we’ve ever loved is having a sale. And I’m not going to look the clothes fairy in the mouth or whatever. Take advantage. Treat yoself.

And with that, I’m out! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. See you Monday!

Hello, beautiful people!

I’m happy to report that I am feeling better! Like ACTUALLY better. That cold was a doozy. Good riddance. I went back to work yesterday, therefore I slept in as late as possible. Unlike this morning.

I’m pretty sleepy today. The Hubbit and I stayed up late chatting so I didn’t fall asleep until round about eleven. And then I woke up with a coughing attack and then went to the bathroom at one. And then another coughing attack at two. And then. And then I scared myself awake at 5:17 with a terrible nightmare.

The Hubbit, my baby brother, and I were investigating a haunted house (don’t know why) and there was a ghost named Lola, but I don’t think she was a showgirl with yellow feathers, etc. Lola was obsessed with this one table in the house. So I was like taunting her with the table. But she wasn’t being nice and not really communicating, so, naturally, we started dismantling the table. So she freaked out and started threatening me through this weird radio thing.

It. Was. Terrifying. I woke up covered and sweat and way too freaked out to even close my eyes again. So I got up and read my bible and now here we are. I know it’s because we watched two creepy/awesome episodes of Ghost Adventurers last night, but I still just really don’t appreciate waking up terrified. Not cool, brain, not cool.

I’m going to go make some coffee and some eggs and wait for the blessed arrival of the sun, with some online shopping thrown in.

Y’all have a good, ghost-free day.

Hello, loves. I’m writing to you later than usual because I’m home sick. Still/again. The good news is, I’m seriously on the mend and think I’ll be at a cool 85% functional tomorrow. I still had fever yesterday evening, and I notoriously don’t take enough time to rest. And since it’s taken every vitamin I have to keep this cold from settling in my lungs and becoming bronchitis, I thought that I had better rest one more day. I’m sure if I hadn’t forced myself back to work on Friday, I’d be healed by now. Lesson learned. Lesson learned.

I know I’m getting better because I can almost taste again. Which makes this week’s menu all the more exciting. You’ll notice a couple of repeat items from last week. This is because, well, I’m not sure if you know, but I got sick. So sick The Hubbit had to cook me scrambled eggs a couple of times. And so I still have ingredients for two meals ready to go. Winning.

Here’s the menu for this week, in no particular order:

Meal 1: Still the Greek thing I’m making up. Will share, if it’s as good as it is in my head.

Meal 2: Still the Turkey Meatballs in Green Curry Sauce from IBIH. P.S. If you don’t watch your carb/gluten intake, then you can sub 1/4C breadcrumbs for the almond flour.

Meal 3: Fried fish with a mayonaise-less cabbage slaw. The Hubbit hates mayo and mayonaise-y things, so I’ll be creating something else. My dad has made really good slaw with EVOO before, so I might try that. Of course, I’ll consult Pinterest. Duh. I haven’t tried the fish before.

Meal 4: Was supposed to be stuffed tenderloin. However, since The Hubbit doesn’t like pork, we were going to do beef and HEB only had 10 pound packs of tenderloin for $100 when The Hubbit went, soooooo I had him get ground beef instead and I’m just going to mix it all together into a cheesy pile of meat. Or maybe layer it and broil it like a dumb shepard’s pie. You win some, you lose some. I’m going to serve with creamy garlic mushrooms. I haven’t tried either of these recipes before. And I suppose I won’t be trying the tenderloin now… Don’t judge me, I’m sick.

Meal 5: Cajun Shrimp Bisque. My Cajun husband is quite excited about this one. I haven’t made it before.

This week is full of things I haven’t made before! Look at me! Honestly, I think I was feverish when I made this plan, but we’ll see what happens. We have lamb, turkey, beef, fish, and shrimp as well as Greek, Thai, American, and Cajun flavors going here. Not too terribly shabby.

Also of note for this week, I’ve started my second novel for my reading challenge. I’m reading Stay Close by Harlan Coben, which ticks the box “A book you own but have never read.” There’s a fun story about this book. My mom loves Harlan Coben and one day my friend Patricia, who also loves Harlan Coben, told me that he was coming to town for a signing and would I want to go? I’m never one to turn down a book signing (I LOVE THEM), so of course I went. And got my mom an AWESOME mother’s day gift of a personalized, signed book (she kind of collects them, which is kind of where I got my book signing obsession. And my own little collection. Man, I love my mom.  BRB, texting her my love.) and I got myself a signed copy as well. See?

image1

I’m happy to report that Harlan Coben was charming, gracious, and everything you want a best-selling author to be. I’m looking forward to FINALLY reading this book.

That’s about it for me today. Y’all have a great rest of your Monday. And if you’re sick, my prayers and wishes are with you, because I’m really tired of being coated with snot, inside and out. Go, with that image in your head, and rock today.

 

Happy Wednesday, my beauties. I’m still not feeling well. My throat is killing me and I’m not happy about it. Not at all. But the weekend draws ever nearer, and I remain hopeful. I am going to continue to do my best to rest and take all my vitamins. I will conquer this yet.

Anyway, this post is very simple, very pointed, very frivolous. But it’s important to me. A while ago I got a free sample at Sephora of Philosophy’s Hands of Hope.

hands of hopeWhich Sephora doesn’t even carry. But whatever.

Now, Philosophy has been really hit or miss for me, but this hand cream was the balm bomb. However, being a hand cream novice, I’m not sure if it was actually awesome. Like how I used to think Cover Girl eye shadows were great until I used Urban Decay.

Is there anyone out there who is a hand cream expert? I want to buy a couple so I can have one at home and one at work. I don’t mind buying two different ones to try out. Any suggestions? Any happy hands out there? If not, because to be honest, I really don’t know if anyone uses hand cream, or if it’s worth investing in, then I’ll just go by the top rated ones on Sephora.

See y’all tomorrow!

 

Greetings, Earthlings.

I really wish that line wasn’t permanently stuck in my head. We all do, I’m sure.

Anywho, happy Tuesday. I still cannot shake this allergy/cold/general malaise that took over me Friday, January 2nd. I am kicking it into overdrive today. And by that I mean I’m taking zinc and I bought “Gypsy Cold Care” tea at Target and I’m going to take it to work and pretend I’m in a gypsy camp.

Danielle

 

I do want to say that despite the cold/general malaise, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Yesterday I left work, went to the store, came home, put groceries away, cooked dinner, and managed to watch three episodes of Gilmore Girls. I feel very accomplished.

I do have to tell you about the terror of HEB, though. So if you’re in the area, you’ll know that for some godforsaken reason, around dusk every day, thousands of angry, aggressive black birds and grackles and a couple pigeons flock to the HEB area. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t know why the city won’t do something and murder them all. I don’t have the answers. Well, last night they literally swarmed my car. I started to park, but then the birds kept coming and coming. I snapped a couple of pictures, but then felt like I was going to vomit, so I backed out and started trying to leave.

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This is a mere portion of what came. There was at least three times the birds here. They carpeted the lane.IMG_0031

I honked and eeked forward and hit a few and got bird @#$& on my car, but they wouldn’t move. Like I was literally trapped. I did didn’t want to just gun it and kill them all/they were swarming so thick I couldn’t see out of my windshield. And then suddenly, magically, one of them sounded the Horn of Gondor or something and they all swarmed away. And I was able to just circle around, get a parking space, and go inside without being attacked. But it was freaking terrifying. I almost called The Hubbit in a panic and also almost just left and went home, but I persevered.

The moral of the story is don’t put off weekend chores, or you will have to see and hear and almost die by way of thousands of birds.

In other accomplishment news, I have started my first book for my reading challenge! It’s the box for “A nonfiction book.” And it’s helping me serve my health goals and reading goals. Win/win. I’m reading Keto-Adapted by Maria Emmerich. (You can follow all my reading progress on my Goodreads, btw.)

 

 

image3

 

I love Maria and her approach to health. And I’m happy to be checking one off the list! Woohoo!

Also of note, I woke up this morning and did yoga. I know. I’m so impressed with myself. 2015, you’re shaping up to be alright. Y’all have a great day. See you tomorrow.