Coffee? Coffee.

I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but all I can imagine is me pulling myself out of bed, twisting my hair into a messy bun, and asking you if you’re up for coffee. You nod, just as tired and drained as me, and we confirm our date for coffee.

(We’re also going to meet Kristen at the coffee shop for What’s New With You?, though…)

If we were having coffee I’d probably have something iced or frozen because I straight up hate this heat. Damn, guys. I’m over it. I’d open the conversation by telling you that I dream almost daily of a backyard pool oasis or shaded pontoon boat on the lake. I have access to neither and it makes summer quite torturous.

If we were having coffee you’d have to excuse my nose-blowing and throat-clearing. I am fighting some weird sinus/allergy/summer cold bullshirt. This is my third time being sick THIS YEAR and I am so over it. I don’t think I’m contagious, though. No fever and so far K and my close-quarters coworker haven’t gotten it.

If we were having coffee I’d ask about your long weekend (last week). Two of my best friends came back to our hometown (where I still live) and brought their significant others with them. The girls had fun winery/brewery hopping and then we met the guys for dinner and margs. The plan was to have a fire at my house afterward, but it rained so we sat in the living room and played What Do You Meme and watch the Rocket vs. Warriors game. I love having my friends home to hangout and relax with me 🙂 It doesn’t happen very often- usually I jet off to see them.

(And yes, I’m v pissed that the stupid Warriors are in the finals again. UGH.)

If we were having coffee I’d confess that there’s a deeper psychological reason for my summertime hatred. In the winter it is 100% ok to go home every night, snuggle under a blanket, and hibernate with a book and tea. In the summer there’s this grand expectation to do things. Whether it’s vacation or exercise or swimming or gardening or going to the beach or camping or whatever… it’s there. People discuss their weekends at the lake or on the road and then look at you expectantly. I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to be active and have fun. I don’t have a boat or a pool or a real garden or any athletic skill. Most of my friends live far-ish away (& I’m an introvert). I am SWAMPED with work in the summer. Honestly? My summer weekends look a lot like my winter weekends. It just feels kind of daunting, you know?

But if we were having coffee I’d genuinely want to know about your summer plans! Tell me the vacations you have planned and the weekend activities you’re looking forward to! Maybe it’ll give me some ideas to get out and about.

If we were having coffee, before we stood up and said our goodbyes, I’d ask if you read/heard any of the commencement speeches from this year’s graduation season. Steph shared Abby Wambach’s speech from Barnard College. I love it and I’d definitely share it with you.

And then I’d check the time and realize I’m late for work (because vacation days aren’t an option for me in the summer) and we’d hug and make plans to meet again soon. And I’d probably order another drink for the road.

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1950s

Hello! Fair warning- you will not find Grease on my list of recommendations. Welcome to the 1950s! While girls and boys were sipping on shakes in the malt shop the rest of the world was fighting in the Korean War, racing to space, and whispering behind closed doors about communism and capitalism.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

I’ve mentioned this before, but music from the 1940s makes me happy. Some of those same artists trickled into the 50s (Sinatra, Crosby, Martin, …) but when the mid-century rock n’ roll starts I lose interest. (Which is funny, considering my father-in-law plays bass in a nationally recognized Elvis band.)

Alright, on to the recommendations…

B O O K S

I only have one book to recommend but it’s one of my favorites.

It’s the only TJR book I’ve read: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid) is so entertaining and engrossing. It spans a few decades, but it starts in the 50s. This book has star power, small twists, romance & friendship, and lovable yet flawed characters. I really loved it.

M O V I E S

(1953) I didn’t see it until I was in my 20s, but Roman Holiday is cute and fun and it includes Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck. When Peck was hired his contract gave him solo star billing. Halfway through filming he suggested newcomer Audrey be billed equally. (That didn’t happen in the 50s in Hollywood.) I really love both of these actors and their work outside their films.

(1954) If you’re new around here you might not know that I LOVE Clue. It’s one of my all-time favorite films. It’s silly and eerie and mysterious and star-studded.

I don’t have an exact year for this film’s settings, but many of the flashbacks in Big Fish are set in the 50s. I watched this movie a long time ago, but I need a refresher. I read that it’s based on a book and that the book/the plot is based on the Odyssey and 12 Labors of Hercules.

(1959) Again, it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it, but obviously Dead Poets Society makes the list. It’s a sad movie (especially now after Williams’ passing) but the message is good.

(1959) Another film I waited until my 20s to see, Chocolat is seriously so sweet (pun intended) and beautiful. It’s about the way we have faith and lose faith in other people, though in the end there is always something to connect us- even if it’s simply a love of chocolate.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S

I’ve only watched a few episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but I loved them! I love the constant dynamic between upper class and lower class, male and female, Jewish and not Jewish. The show is very progressive for 1958 and that’s 100% the point.

On the shelf…

Books I want to read include…

Television shows I want to watch are…

Now be sure to hope over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her 1950s recommendations, too!

The 1960s was a time of revolution and political unrest. From the rise of the Vietnam war to the death of President John F. Kennedy to the birth or hippies, the 60s were quite the time to be alive! Join us next month for our entertainment recommendations from the era!

Did you miss our previous decades-themed posts? Find them here: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Storming Gettysburg | What’s New With You?

In linking up with Kristen today for What’s New With You, I figured I’d share about our Gettysburg anniversary trip.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really enjoy celebrating things. I constantly have friends and family over for parties or plan a special trip out for birthdays & holidays. When it comes to our anniversary, we always try to do something special. The last time we travel-celebrated was in 2015 when we went to Niagara Falls for our 2nd anniversary. Originally I wanted to do something BIG this year for #5 like a cruise or an all-inclusive resort, but after being sick at the start of April and traveling +3 weeks already for work this year, I was a little burnt out and in need of a nearby quick trip. We’d never been to Gettysburg and we’re big history lovers, so it was the perfect choice!

I married a work-aholic and I know that. His job stresses him out but he loves it, so I try to be respectful of that when I plan trips. As such, our Wednesday morning started at work. We finally left town a little after 10am.

Gettysburg

We checked into the Gettysburg Hotel a little after 4 pm, dropped our bags in the room, and set out on foot for some dinner. It was sprinkling slightly but we didn’t have to venture far. We crossed the street and found The Pub & Restaurant. It was welcoming and quaint and very unoccupied.

After nomming on some Maryland Crab Bisque, Spicy Chicken (for me), and Meatloaf (for K) we took a short walk around the square. The rain was only spitting here and there, and the sun was shining so we hardly noticed.

We got some milkshakes from the Cannonball Olde Tyme Malt Shop and then we compromised. K wanted to watch the Cavs game so we pushed our movie date to the next night.

We scheduled a guided tour at 9 am on Thursday morning so we were up for breakfast bright and early! We had Bananas Foster French Toast (K) and Texas Toast Egg Sandwich (me) at our hotel’s restaurant, One Lincoln. It was so yummy and our server was super friendly.

Then we were off to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center.

I scheduled a two hour driving tour with one of the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefields Guides. They give you the option to hand over the keys and be chauffeured around the park while they explain the battles, landmarks, important people, and scenery. It was an awesome tour.

cannons / view from peach orchard (day 2 battle) / little round top (day 3 battle)

Our guide, George Maturi, gave use the basic rundown of each day. Gettysburg was a three day battle and for the first 2/3 it really looked like the south was going to win. Thanks to hubris, luck, and a little talent, the north pulled out a win and the south didn’t win the war. (If they’d won Gettysburg the south was convinced that they would’ve won the Civil War.) Of course, victory didn’t happen without sacrifice- thousands upon thousands of lives were lost each day of fighting.

view from little round top (day 3 battle)

After our tour we decided to peruse the museum, get some Starbucks, and drive ourselves around the park, stopping at whatever caught our interest during the tour. We had a gorgeous day to cruise around. A little windy, but sunny and clear.

Eternal Light Peace Memorial

We had a late lunch at food 101 and I ordered a Salmon Avocado Sandwich that has forever set the bar for sandwiches. Seriously. It was IN.CRE.DI.BLE. I don’t even know what K was eating because I had such a moment with my food…

After lunch we popped into the hotel so K could nap while I journaled. We went to see Isle of Dogs at the theater just around the corner (Majestic Theater) at 4:15 pm, then ordered dinner in and relaxed all evening. I love that we went to see that movie because Wes Anderson is one of my favorites and it just felt so perfect that his new movie was in theaters over our anniversary date.

We said goodbye to our hotel on Friday morning, picked up some coffee for moi, and headed back home so K could check in on the office before the weekend truly started.


If you decide to explore Gettysburg I would say it’s a 2 or 2 1/2 day adventure. We skipped Jennie Wade’s house, the David Wills House, and the Eisenhower Farm, but they each would’ve taken two hours or less. I would HIGHLY suggest the guided in-car tour. You can opt for longer than 2 hours AND you can ask them to focus on specific things if you want to (i.e. certain days or battles, specific regiments, etc.). I’m very glad we had a guide!

So tell me, have you ever been to Gettysburg? (I can’t believe both K and my 8th grade D.C. trips skipped this National Park!) Have you seen Isle of Dogs? How do you typical celebrate anniversaries?

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1940s

Ahhh. My favorite era! I love the music and fashion of the 1940s. I know the 40s are often associated with World War II and the Holocaust- especially the first half. I tried to offer a mix but many of my suggestions circle around those themes.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

This is a weird one… I really like this era but my recommendations don’t reflect that, lol.

B O O K S

How do I have NO books to recommend?! I’ve read stories from this decade, but I couldn’t think of any that were recommendable. Sorry, guys. *shrug*

M O V I E S

(1940) I don’t know why, but I just love The Philadelphia Story. I think Katharine Hepburn is such a stunning, inspirational human being and I remember loving her fire when I saw this movie for the first time. I also think it’s a cute romance. Plus, Cary Grant. Me-OW.

(1941) No beating around the bush, Pearl Harbor is definitely a war movie. But it’s another one that we just really love. Plus, the musical score from this movie is incredible. I love the music.

(1943) You don’t get to be a member of our family unless you’ve seen A League of Their Own half a dozen times. My husband loooves this movie and we always watch it when it’s on. I have a HUGE crush on Geena Davis and I love the different roles and personalities from all the women in this film. If you haven’t seen it YOU SHOULD!

B O N U S

I haven’t seen many episodes, but I agree with the vast population that loves The Crown. For some reason the royal family sucks me right in. (Yes, I will be waking up at the crack of dawn for Harry & Meghan’s wedding.) I can’t wait to watch more episodes of this show!

On the Shelf…

There are so many things I want to read & see set in this era!

The Alice Network (Kate Quinn)
The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)- My aunt just recommended this one to me on Sunday!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)- I’ve seen this book rated highly on reviews everywhere!
We Were the Lucky Ones (Georgia Hunter)- I’ve only heard amazing things about this book.

Foyle’s War– a British mystery television series set during WWII
Fleming– a mini series about the man behind Bond: Ian Fleming
Bomb Girls– I watched an episode or 2 and loved this. I need to finish it!
Island at War– another wartime mini-series

I know, I know. I need to get busy!

Be sure to hope over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her recommendations!

Throw on your poodle skirt and leather jacket, and meet us at the sock hop next month to dive headfirst into the 1950s! We’re rockin’ and rollin’ our way into the next decade and we hope you’ll join us!

Check out our recommendations from the 1910s, 20s, & 30s, too!

Coffee Break- Love & Hate Edition

Hello, beautifuls. I’m linking up with Kristen today for our coffee date. To spice things up I’m giving it a love/hate theme, although hate might be a strong word.

Before I begin, Happy Birthday (yesterday) to my Momma!

If we were getting drinks I’d have a cup of very strong coffee- with quite a bit of cream. No sugar, thanks.

First I’d ask if you got any of the storms that swept the Midwest on Tuesday night. If you saw my IG stories then you already know I was up half the night with a quaking dog. I’m very grateful that we didn’t have to hide in the basement from tornadoes or sit in the dark with no power, but I’ll still whine about my lack of sleep and the nonexistent cable and internet. And poor Lylee shaves years off her life when she worries and pants and shakes like that. Sigh. I spent the whole night on the couch with the scaredy-bear. HATE.

I’d ask what you’re watching lately. I’d 100% recommend The Good Place and Superstore. TGP just finished its second season and Superstore is still in its 2nd so you can absolutely binge & catch up. K and I are watching The Office on Netflix. We just finished up season 4. I want to check out Champions and Splitting Up Together, too. LOVE.

If we were drinking coffee I’d ask how you’re sleeping at night. We tried melatonin but it completely screwed with us, especially in the mornings. Right now I’m taking an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer at night for my back and I’ve been getting a.m.a.z.i.n.g. sleep… but I know it’s short lived since I can’t be on muscle relaxers forever. Lol. HATE.

As we were refilling and warming our drinks I’d ask if you saw Stephanie’s Clutter List?? After work I’m so unmotivated to do anything but spring cleaning is definitely on my mind right now. LOVE.

A few weeks ago K was gone on business and I took myself shopping. Both Lindsay and Steph have mentioned ON on their blogs and I treated myself to some new dresses and shirts. Everything was on sale and it’s all SO comfy!! I think it’s all on sale still! I got:

yellow off the shoulder | red stripe swing | black stripe swing

Before we finished our drinks I’d ask you if your library offers Hoopla. I just discovered this resource and it’s amazing! I can instantly borrow & download movies and music and ebooks from my library. How I only just discovered this platform, I don’t know. It’s definitely been helpful when it comes to materials for The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collab. 😉 LOVE

Before we parted ways I’d ask about your Easter weekend! (If you don’t celebrate Easter then I’d ask what fun things you did over the weekend!) We always have church and lunch with my family plus an egg hunt and kite flying. Then K’s family comes to our house for dinner and we head to his grandparents’ for dessert and another egg hunt. My weekend had lots of cleaning, cooking, and family.

That was a lot of ground to cover! Did I miss anything? Fill me in on what’s new with you before we abandon our mugs and get back to adulting ❤︎

What's New With You

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1930s

We’re back! (And if you couldn’t find Alexandra’s 1920s post from last month you can find it here! She had a scheduling glitch.) This month we’re checking out the 1930s- not a great time for the US of A… Between the stock market crash at the end of the 20s leading to the Great Depression and the dust bowl wreaking havoc on land and crops in the west, the US was struggling. Meanwhile, across the big pond, Germany saw the growth of the Nazi party, China was traumatized by multiple floods, and Spain found itself in a civil war.

Yeah… not a great time for planet Earth.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

Despite the incredibly depressing events of the 1930s, some of my favorites stories come from this era.

B O O K S

(1932) A few years ago I fell in love with Amory Ames. The first book in the series, Murder at the Brightwell (Ashley Weaver), is a mix of British elite, classic mystery, and a tiny bit of romance. Since that seaside scandal, Weaver has penned three more stories with a fifth due out Sept. 4th. I love getting lost in Amory’s (and her playboy husband Milo’s) adventures.

(1933) I’d wager that 75% of us (at least) had to read To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) in high school. I did, but it’s been a while. I remember this book being the perfect marriage of childhood innocence and adult conflict. I won’t lie- I decided not to read Go Set A Watchman when it was released because of the controversy surrounding Lee’s consent. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only Scout, Jem, and Atticus I know.

(Late 1930s) I expressed interest in Agatha Christie to a classical book-loving colleague a while back and she recommended I start with And Then There Were None. It was the perfect 1930s Clue-like mystery! Christie’s writing is timeless- the language was easy to digest and the plot flowed along seamlessly. Keep in mind, the original title and titular poem that this book was based around isn’t P/C by today’s standard, but the major contention points have been altered and the story sucks you right in. I love that the story was serialized in newspaper format when it was first released.

The 1930s are a fun setting for mysteries 😉

M O V I E S

It’s been SO LONG since I’ve seen Fried Green Tomatoes. It is one of my mom’s favorite movies and the song “Goodbye Earl” by the Dixie Chicks always reminds me of it. I need to rewatch this one soon.

(1935) Is The Green Mile a popular movie? I referenced it once to a friend and she told me she’d never seen it. It’s a sad one but it’s so good. But I hate the one part and I HATE Sam Rockwell’s character. But I love John Coffey. This film conflicts me.

(1937) I feel foolish for putting this on here, but Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of my dad’s all time favorite movies. It’s so silly but it has George Clooney so…. I suffer through it when he puts it on for the millionth time.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S !

I don’t have any 1930s tv shows or musicals to recommend. Do you?

On the shelf…

In 2015 BBC released the 3 episode mini-series And Then There Were None (based on the book I just mentioned)! I definitely want to check this out- especially because the cast includes Aidan Turner and Sam Neill.

I started the movie The Sting just last night but I didn’t finish it in time for this post. I’ll have it done for our final December recap. You should watch it, too, because Paul Newman and Robert Redford are very easy on the eyes.

I was reading an article about all the period dramas on Netflix (which of course I’ll share with you) and I saw the British drama Dancing on the Edge. I think it looks interesting!

We try not to repeat our recommendations so be sure to check out Alexandra’s blog now!

Big bands and WWII await us in May when we cross into the 1940s. Possibly one of the most romantic eras, I love this decade for its big band music and sharp fashion. Plus we start to see women hold down the fort and demand some credit!

Did you miss our first two decades?
Check out my recs from the 1910s and the 1920s!

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1920s

Alexandra and I are back to bring you some roaring 20s recommendations! The United States was between wars but there were battles raging behind speakeasy doors, on the streets of New York, and at the hemline of ladies’ dresses!

Also, when and why did we stop using the term “zozzled” (drunk)? I vote to bring it back.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films that we recommend from/about specific eras! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

I know lots of people love the 1920s, mostly because of Fitzgerald & DiCaprio. I am not one of those people. The Great Gatsby doesn’t show up on my list 😉 (But maybe it does on Alexandra’s… check it out!)

B O O K S

If you check it out on GoodReads you’ll find that Circling the Sun [Paula McLain] has mixed reviews. I enjoyed it well enough, though. Like many works of historical fic, it’s slow moving. You can’t rush a person’s life and sometimes there are sluggish moments. Also, Beryl Markham was a flawed woman and it shows in this story- but she was also a badass. The descriptions of Kenya and unpredictability of the country are rich in this story of societal survival.

(1929) The movie was a TOTAL flop, but the book Serena [Ron Rash] is one of my favorites. Damn… I both admired Serena and hated her. She was vile- but also so powerful and strong and manipulative. A woman living in a man’s world, surrounded by vast wilderness. This book has romance, but it’s not a romantic story. It was a story about survival and greed and destruction. Honestly, it is just a really good, slow burning wilderness tale. (Some reviewers on GR noted that there’s animal abuse. Technically it’s people living in the wild in 1929… so yes, there’s hunting and trapping etc.)

I’ve saved the best book for last… Orphan Train [Christina Baker Kline] is hands-down one of my favorite books. This book sucked me in, shattered my heart, pieced it back together, broke it a few more times, then warmed it up and sent it off with a kiss. As the title suggests, this is a story about orphans- specifically Vivian and Molly- and their journeys, struggles, and triumphs. I love this book.

M O V I E S

(1924) I’m not really a musical-loving gal but Chicago is one of my favorites. Zeta-Jones, Zellweger, & Gere play their parts perfectly. Annnd now I have “Cell Block Tango” stuck in my head.

(1925) Typically I avoid animal movies but Balto was one of my favorites growing up. Of course the cartoon is merely that. A dog named Togo actually led most of the journey and after the serum was delivered the dogs weren’t treated well at all 😠 But this movie is a sweet one.

(1925) In high school I used to peruse Hollywood Video for movies to watch and that’s how I found The Painted Veil. It’s a sad but beautiful love story, set during the cholera epidemic in China.

(1926) I don’t know why, but The Mummy is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love Evie and her sass, I love the Egyptian theme, and I love quoting this film all. the. time.

(1926) Could I claim to be a true PotterHead if I didn’t include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S !

I owe my love of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to Kristen. And when you get hooked on this three-season-series you can thank me 😉 I love that Alexandra loves the clever and gorgeous Phryne Fisher, too! All three seasons are on Netflix.

Obviously Downton Abbey, too! So good it transcends a single decade 😉

On the shelf…

When it was release The Artist was nominated and won a whole bunch of awards. I’d like to see it!

I recently saw Radio Girls [Sarah-Jane Stratford] pop up in a few blog posts. I think it sounds right up my alley!

Don’t forget to go check out Alexandra’s recommendations, too!! And if you missed out 1910s post you can find it HERE!

Next month we’re checking out Alexandra’s favorite era- the 1930s! It was a tough decade for our country but from devastation and depression is born hope and stories of courage and resilience! We’ll share some of our favorites in April!