Themes & Link-Ups

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
Books · Movies & Television · Themes & Link-Ups

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!

Books · Movies & Television · Themes & Link-Ups

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!

Themes & Link-Ups · Travel

What’s Up

Typically I do a coffee break or currently post for Kristen & Gretch‘s link-up, but I’ve already shared posts like that recently. Today I’m just recapping what we’ve been up to since the start of 2018.

J A N U A R Y

We didn’t do a whole lot in January (which I love). We had some health-stress but most of the month was filled with dog cuddles & lazy weekends.

Ly & E both had clean bills of health from the vet. We got their DNA tests back. And Buckeye fought off befriended a coyote.

Lots of snow meant lots of cozy reading time.

My mom had a pretty stressful month so I treated her (and me) to pedicures. That night K tried out his Christmas gift (a new smoker!) & we had my parents and his mom over. (His dad was out of town.)

The next day my brother and sister-in-law came home to surprise and cheer up my mom. We played Mario Kart on the Switch all afternoon.

Lylee loves her grandpa.

I ended the month with a 24in48 reading challenge. I read +6 hours total and squeezed in an intermission because my favorite 3 year old and 1 year old were celebrating their birthdays!

F E B R U A R Y

I had a (beat the) Winter Blues party at the beginning of the month. It was super small. Best friends & parents came over for drinks and games and camaraderie.

The next two weeks were filled with business travel. We spent four days in Columbus, OH, then came home for two, then flew to San Antonio, TX for six days.

The dogs were very happy to finally have us home.

My mom and I had a little date night in town between my Texas trip and Cleveland overnight. We got coffee at the local cafe, then popped across the street to the small theater to see Peter Rabbit. Guys… it was SO cute and comical. I loved it.

This past weekend I spent the night in Cleveland with my two best friends…

And that’s what’s new with me 🙂 What’s New With You?

Happy Birthday to my Grandma Peggy!

What's New With You

Books · Movies & Television · Themes & Link-Ups

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1910s

I’m so excited to kick off this series with Alexandra! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I love that we’re sharing some of our top picks with you guys! Even if you’re not into h/f I’m hoping that some of our suggestions strike your fancy 😊

After you scroll through mine pop over to Alexandra’s blog and see what she recommends!

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!

Before I launch into some 1910s recommendations I wanted to share a conversation I had with K…

K: So… you’re sharing recommendations on your blog for each decade?
Me: Yeah.
K: As in… “Recommendation #1: Don’t get on the Titanic.” ?
Me: No, dear. As in book and film recommendations set in the decade.

He’s a total goof. Anyway, on to those recommendations.
Please note that the dates indicate the setting, not the publication.

B O O K S

(1900) The Magician’s Nephew [C.S. Lewis] kicks off The Chronicles of Narnia and is technically set in the 1900s. Potato Potato. (That phrase doesn’t translate well to text.) I think the Chronicles can get boring if you read them in a row without a break, but I really like this first book a lot.

(1911) While Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie) the play was written in 1904, the book wasn’t published until 1911, so it counts. I love diving into classic fantasies (Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, anything Roald Dahl). I found this book to be fun and whimsical (although it didn’t age well p.c.-wise).

(1914) Last Christmas in Paris (Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb) is written in letters and telegrams. It’s a slow historical fiction burn (with no sultry romance, lol), but it was enjoyable and quick to get through. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy war romances.

(1914) I’m 100 pages into Girl Waits with Gun (Amy Stewart) and it comes HIGHLY recommended by Jana. I will be finishing it soon because it keeps sucking me in.

(1915) Right now I’m reading Dead Wake (Erik Larson), a nonfiction microhistory on the events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. Sometimes nonfiction books bore me, but Larson writes the truth in a very dramatic and entertaining fashion. I love that I’m learning about sea life and the war and Europe (and how they tie together) all in one book!

M O V I E S

(1910) I doubt that I need to go into detail about the magical joy of Mary Poppins, right?

(The movies category is weak on my blog for this era. I don’t watch a ton of war movies, but obviously anything WWI would fall into this category. Do YOU have any suggestions for ME?)

B O N U S !

I’m a big ol’ fan of Downton Abbey. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (PUN INTENDED) but I think it has a great pace with plenty of ups and downs that keep you coming back for new episodes.

On the shelf…

I’ve heard great things about The Alice Network (by Kate Quinn). I bought it from Amazon months ago and I still need to read it. I know it’s set in the 40s, too, so if I read it by May & enjoy it I’ll bring it up again!

The Girls in the Picture (Melanie Benjamin) has been on my TBR shelf for a while. I actually think it’s all queued up on my Kindle. Anyone read it?

Admittedly, my post is light on recommendations for this era. (Alexandra‘s isn’t, though!)

Hopefully some of these selections appeal to your history-loving heart! In March we’ll be foxtrotting our way through the 1920s! We hope you’ll join us!!

But also… if ever transported back in time, don’t get on the Titanic.

Life · Themes & Link-Ups

Coffee Date on a Cold Rainy Morning

Good morning 😊 It’s a little dreary and damp this morning but our drinks will keep us warm. I’m linking up with Kristen & Gretch today to share what’s new. Grab some coffee- let’s chat!

At the start of 2018 I was sick for nearly two weeks. Being sick is so frustrating. After having my throat swabbed and blood tested, I was told it was just a common virus and they couldn’t prescribe any drugs. Infuriating. “Take Tylonel and cough drops for a few days,” they said. More like overdose on Nyquil and pray to the healing goddesses for my lung capacity to come back 😑 Whatever. I’m grateful it’s gone now. After I finished complaining I’d ask how you’re feeling. If you said anything less than “Great!” I’d probably slide away from you. No offense.

Things have been stressful lately 😟 Not my story to tell, but we’ve just had a troubling few weeks. As far as schedules go, January was a slow month for K and I, but things are about to pick up for the next 3 or 4 months (at least). It’s a challenge to juggle professional and personal strife. If we were having coffee I’d ask how life in general is going for you. I hope you’ve have a happy 2018 so far.

On a brighter note, I asked forced two of my best friends to buy concert tickets with me to see Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett this summer!! (Thanks for the heads up, Laura!) I AM SO EXCITED. We’re seeing them in Columbus so we can pre-game at Kayla’s, uber to the stadium, and uber right back! Easy, cheap, and safe! Have you seen any of these artists live?? I saw Kenny last year and OD the year before that, but I’m SO EXCITED to see them again! Any (summer) concerts in your future??

Speaking of music, I really like Taylor Swift’s album Reputation. It feels good to just turn it up and jam. No shame, friends.

Guys… I’m the weirdo who’s GLAD for some snow before spring turns the whole country icky. (I hate spring… allergies and thunderstorms (which give my dog fits) and mud and the smell of dirt. BLEH.) Are you suffering from the winter blues? I wouldn’t judge you if you said you were ready for spring.

Before we start reaching for our coats and scarves I’d remember to tell you a funny little story. While two of my best friends live hours away, my other bff and her husband and two kids live a short walk away. We moved to her neighborhood in the fall and pinpointed that her house was on a hill a few streets away. Last night we turned off all our lights and she flickered hers off and on and then I did the same. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed at the nearby hillside lighting up and going dark. Totally silly and juvenile, but I love that I have framily so close.

Sigh… my coffee is growing cold. Is yours?

Last but certainly not least, Alexandra and Rachel have been driving the Gratitude Train over at Year of Gratitude since the start of 2018. Every Friday they have a guest contributor and tomorrow it’s me! Pop over there and get a rare Friday dose of me if you want to 😉

What's New With You
Life · Themes & Link-Ups

Currently…

Hello, November 🍂

My blog has been very surface level lately so I wanted to link-up with Kristen and Gretch today to go a little deeper with a currently/What’s New With You? post.

Right now I’m R E A D I N G so many books simultaneously. K got me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday last month and I went a little crazy on NetGalley… Physical-book-wise, I’m finishing up The Moon-Spinners and Circling the Sun. I just finished Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Style. On Kindle I dove into Fairest of All. (K got me Kindle Unlimited and I found it on there.) After I finish some of those I’ll crack into my NetGalley reads! I didn’t end up finishing Erin’s book challenge but that’s ok.

We’re done moving and the old house is officially turned over to the new owners, but I’m still S T R E S S I N G – O U T – O V E R the settling part of new homeownership. I completely broke down to K a few weeks ago and told him that our constant chaos in the house is killing me on the inside and making my anxiety a raging beast. I feel like a failure in my home which makes me feel like a failure in all aspects of life (as a wife, as an employee, as a daughter, as a fall-lover, as a dog momma). I know that’s silly and unhealthy, but I crave balance and order. I promise I’m trying to slow down and focus and relax this month.

I’m also P R E P A R I N G for the holidays (i.e. Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations). I think getting some of that stuff done will reset my brain and give me peace.

The kitchen is finally in order so we will be E A T I N G some yummy home-cooked meals soon. FINALLY, guys. I think one of the worst parts of moving was all the takeout and fast food and sodium-filled dinners during the process. UGH. The last few nights we’ve been snacking on the dips we had at the party (spinach & artichoke, taco, etc.).

We moved all our furniture into the new house and don’t plan to change anything, but we’ve definitely had to add. We are B U Y I N G allll the things right now. Lol. We just got new bookshelves and reading chairs for my library area, I got a new hamper for my itty-bitty laundry room, and we’re currently trying to decide on some end tables and a coffee table… Home tour soon. Promise.

My brain is overwhelmed like an accountant in April, but I am very T H A N K F U L – F O R all our friends and family. Between helping us move, letting me vent on the phone/through text, and celebrating with us at birthday and Halloween parties, I just can’t get over the love and support we’ve been given. Thanks, everyone 🖤 I love going into the holiday season feeling so loved.

We have a business trip in Indianapolis coming up, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t P L A N N I N G a potential winter trip for K and myself. I’ve only mentioned it to him, but I feel like I need to mentally and physically get away for a long weekend. We’ll see if it happens. I’d settle for a girls’ trip instead, but my bff is laid up after knee surgery. We’ll see…

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been R A G I N G – A B O U T the state of our country. The current administration, the Hollywood assault stories, the preference of policy and politics over people. It’s embarrassing and heartbreaking.

Let’s end on a good note, yes?

I am P A R T I C I P A T I N G – I N Alexandra and Shea‘s Live Your Best (Holiday) Life or LYBHolidayL in November. I’m pretty excited about it, actually. Taking the time to be grateful and intentional without spending hundred of dollars 🙂

(I don’t care if Halloween is over.) L A U G H I N G – A B O U T :

This is us trying to get the dogs to adjust to the new neighborhood. LOL

So what’s new with you?

What's New With You