Friday Favorites: Television

Before I dive in to my Friday Favorites today, let me tell you about how Friday the 13th and the full moon are shaping up in my house.  As a former teacher, I can tell you that all of the teachers you know will have a tough day today.  We will all swear by the full moon.  It really does make kids go crazy.  Add in the fact that it is also Friday the 13th, and you are just asking for a disastrous day. To all teachers, I am sorry and will pray for you today! Anyway, I may not be in the classroom with crazy kids anymore, but our dog is more than making up for it.  Let’s just say that she got very sick starting right at 12:00 AM, and we spent the night and morning cleaning up nastiness from both ends. I know you don’t care, but it really was so gross.  We are pretty sure she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat and it made her sick.  We are all really tired today because if it. My poor oldest child got the worst of it since it all occurred in her room.  I’m not sure she got much sleep at all, especially with the horrible smell. As you can see, we have had a great start to the day. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that it is dark, gloomy, and rainy outside! I can hardly wait for whatever else this day will throw at us.

Now, I am totally changing topics, and I have to make a confession. I know some of you are going to be surprised by this and some of you are going to judge me, but that is okay. I own it. My own husband thinks I am insane when it comes to this favorite of mine.  He shakes his head at me all the time about it.  I can’t help it, but I love reality TV. There, I said it. It is totally true. I don’t know why it fascinates me or why I get some kind of entertainment from it.  I know that most of it isn’t really real, but I watch it anyway. I sit there watching it sometimes and think about how dumb it is or how fake it is, and I keep on watching it. Sometimes I even feel like I am getting dumber by the minute, but I can’t stop.  My husband always says, ‘I don’t know how you watch that trash.” I really don’t know how I do either.  I’m just drawn to it. Some of my favorites are SurvivorBig BrotherThe Real Housewives of New YorkProject RunwayAmerican Idol, and Southern Charm.  There are tons more but they aren’t all coming to me at the moment.  I used to watch The Bachelor and Bachelorette, but I have grown tired of them and haven’t watched the last couple of seasons.  TLC, Bravo, and HGTV are like my favorite stations. I can turn to any of them and watch all day long if I had the time.  I guess it is like a guilty pleasure or something. I never talk about it with anyone so it’s not like I get joy from chatting about it to my friends.  Maybe it is because it is all so out there and so far from my real life that it allows me to escape from reality for a bit. I don’t know.  I just like them all. 

The other kind of TV shows that I may have a mild obsession with is real-life crime shows like Dateline, 20/2048 Hours, and anything on the ID channel.  No, I do not want to commit a crime or find out how to get away with murder.  I am just fascinated by these shows.  Any Lifetime movies that are based on real cases like JonBenét Ramsey or Casey Anthony fascinate me too.  I was also totally into Making a Murder on Netflix.  I guess I also like fictional crime shows, too, because I love Criminal Minds.  It is one of my favorite shows ever. I just love trying to figure out the mystery and looking at all the evidence.  Maybe I could have been an investigator or detective in another life.  Who knows? 

There you have it. You now know 2 of my guilty pleasures when it comes to television.  I’m not proud of the fact that I get enjoyment from murder and insane reality TV. There are so many other things that I could do with my free time instead of indulging in that, but I guess it is what it is.  I guess I can’t help what I find entertaining.

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Book Club: The Silent Patient

I was unable to give my review of my August Book Club pick last week, so here it is today.  Better late than never, right? Anyway, last month I chose The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides as my August pick.  It had great reviews and I even had a few friends tell me that they loved it.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same.  I won’t say that it was awful because it wasn’t.  It was suspenseful and had an unexpected twist to it.  However, it didn’t really hold my attention.  I found myself distracted while reading it and having to reread paragraphs multiple times because I had not been paying attention.  I can’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like about it other than it just didn’t grab and hold my attention. I love books that I just can’t put down until I finish it, and this book certainly didn’t do that for me.  I felt like I had to force myself to finish it. I know that this will be an unpopular opinion as so many seem to love this book, but I promised to always be honest with you all.  It was ok, but I didn’t love it. 

This book is about an accomplished artist, Alice Benson, who was accused and convicted of murdering her husband.  She was not sentenced to jail because they found her guilty by reason of insanity. She was instead admitted to a mental institute for the criminally insane. From the moment her husband was murdered and she was found next to him covered in his blood with the murder weapon nearby, she had gone mute.  She refused to speak at all.  Her one bit of communication was a painting she did immediately after the murder.  It was a self-portrait entitled, Alcestis.  People always took to painting as an admission of her guilt.  Theo Faber, a psychotherapist with his own troubled past, became obsessed with Alice’s case and treatment.  He managed to earn a position at the facility where Alice was being treated.  He quickly set his sights on treating her and eventually became her doctor.  He was convinced that he could help her and get her to speak again.  The story chronicles his attempts to reach her with multiple twists and turns along the way.  This story is told both from Theo’s point of view as well as Alice’s point of view.  It was a suspenseful story that had an unexpected ending. I did not dislike this story per say.  I just didn’t love it.  I won’t say that I don’t recommend this book because there are obviously a lot of people that liked it.  I just wasn’t one of them.  

I decided to go back a couple of years and choose a book that is a little older for my September pick. It was published in 2017 and was a New York Times Best Seller.  My pick for September is The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff.  It from the historical fiction genre and is set during World War II. It involves some of the individuals who protected Jews during the Holocaust.  Here is what the publisher had to say about this novel.

“A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival.”

Will you come along and read with me? Let’s dive into this book together! Happy Reading!

Anchored in a Good Book,

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Friday Favorites: Top 5

Today we are having our first taste of fall.  It is a cool 67 degrees out right now and the high is only expected to be around 70. You guys know that I love the cooler temps.  Unfortunately, it is also rainy out, so it is kind of dark and gloomy.  It looks like the perfect day for me to curl up on the couch and finish reading our book club book for this month. Today for my Friday Favorites, I am sharing 5 things that I am loving right now. Check them out! 

1. Essie Nail Polish-S’ll Vous Play

If you have been reading this blog for a while or know me well, you know that I despise glitter. I absolutely cannot stand it.  I hate how it gets everywhere and then you can’t get rid of it ever.  It seems to multiply.  However, I do like the look of glittery things.  As long as it is contained like in my new favorite nail polish color.  I love this color for several reasons. One is that it is pretty neutral color. I would describe it as a light pink color with a little shimmer.  It can go with most things I wear without majorly clashing.  It is subtle, which I really like too. Surprisingly, I really do like that is has a little sparkle to it.  

2. Portable Straw

I don’t know about where you live, but many restaurants around here these days are doing away with straws altogether.  I get he reasoning behind it.  My youngest will tell you straight up how bad straws are for the sea turtles and we need to save them.  However, I am a germ-a-phobe and have a serious issue with drinking out of a glass or paper cup from restaurants without a straw.  I don’t want to put my mouth where someone else that I don’t know has put their mouth.  It really grosses me out.  This has become a huge dilemma for me now that so many places don’t have them.  My solution is this nifty travel straw that folds up nicely into this little case and fits right in my purse.  Anytime I am out and there is no straw, I can just pull out my own to use.  Then when I am ready to leave, I dry it off with a napkin and fold it back into the case to wash later. 

3. Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop

I have had this Pampered Chef tool for years, and I use it multiple times a week to chop and mix food.  It is really great when cooking ground beef or ground turkey.  It helps me to separate it into smaller pieces.  I love Pampered Chef products as a whole, but this is definitely one of my favorites that gets used the most. 

4. One Bars

A friend introduced these protein bars to me several months ago, and I really like them.  I have tried so many different bars over the years and have never found one that I really liked and had really given up trying new ones.  I am kind of a picky eater, so finding a bar for me to eat on the go or when I need a boost has been difficult until now.  I really do like these One Bars.  There are so many different flavors, and I haven’t even tried them all yet.  In fact I just ordered a variety pack from Amazon the other day so I could try some more flavors.  My current favorite is Birthday Cake followed by Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough as a close second. The Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake is also pretty good.   Some of the other flavors include Lemon Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut, Salted Carmel, Chocolate Brownie, Almond Bliss, Cinnamon Roll, Blueberry Cobbler, Peanut Butter Pie, Cookie ‘n Crème, and Red Velvet Cake. I love that there is such a huge variety because it keeps me from getting tired of them.  Each bar contains 20 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar. Oh, and they are also gluten free!

5. Jogger Sweatpants

These joggers are super comfortable, affordable, and cute. They are perfect for lounging around the house for days like today when it is dark, rainy, and cool outside.    

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Friday Favorites: Blue Light Blocking Glasses

I think it has been well established by now that I suffer from migraines and have for years.  I take two different medications daily to help and sometimes even that doesn’t work.   I have tried many different things to help prevent me from getting them. Some of those things work well, some work for a while and then quit working, and some don’t work at all.  It is a constant trial and error thing with me to try to get relief.  I also have several triggers that will bring on a migraine, and I do my best to avoid those triggers. One of those triggers is light. Bright lights really bother me. They make my eyes hurt and feel strained, and I start to get a headache right behind my eyes. When I was a teacher, I used these awesome florescent light filter pads that covered the overhead lights and cast a soft blue light throughout the room.  Many of my students with autism also had sensitivities to light so this helped them and me.  Score! Other teachers would come hang in my room all the time because it was so peaceful. When I am at home, I often don’t turn the lights on.  I would rather sit in the dark than to have the blaring lights on. We also very rarely use our overhead lighting and use lamps with soft lights instead.  

Blue Light Blocking Glasses/Earrings/Necklace

The light from screens bothers me too.  My husband always gets annoyed when he uses my phone because I have the screen brightness turned down really low. He swears he can’t see anything on my phone.  I do the same thing with my computer and turn the brightness down low.  Otherwise the screen really bothers me.  I don’t know why, but it does.  This brings me to one of my favorite things.  I decided to order a pair of blue light blocking glasses several months ago to see if that would help with my migraines.  I had read a few articles from people saying that it helped them.  Since I already knew the screen brightness bothered me and I am on my phone and computer most of the day, I thought maybe it would help me. I chose a decent looking pair from Amazon that had good reviews and ordered them.  I know you are thinking that I already wear glasses so how could this possibly work? Well, I wear glasses because I am nearsighted.  I can read and see things up close just fine. It is distance that I have a problem with.  I don’t really need glasses to see my computer or phone.  I can totally see fine with just the blue light blocking glasses on to do my work.  Maybe it is all psychological, but they do seem to help me.  My eyes don’t feel as strained when I wear them, and I don’t feel the headache behind my eyes as often as I was.  Blue light blocking glasses were originally created to be used before bedtime to help with sleep.  I do think they help with that too, but I think that wearing them during the day when I am on my computer and phone a lot helps too.  If you suffer from migraines and are on your phone or computer a lot, I would highly recommend that you try them.  Go with the inexpensive ones on Amazon versus the higher priced ones on Instagram.  They work just fine for a fraction of the cost. 

Cole Hann Studio Grand Purple Horn Glasses (CH5019) /Earrings/Necklace

Now, recently I went to the eye doctor for my annual checkup and needed a new prescription because my vision had gotten worse seeing at a distance.  My close-up vision is still perfectly fine.  Anyway, I needed a new pair of glasses.  When I was ordering my new pair, the lady asked if I wanted the blue light blocking lenses.  I had no idea that this was now an option for my regular glasses.  Of course I said yes so I won’t have to change my glasses out several times a day.  The only drawback to these though, is when pictures are taken of me or I take a selfie. My lenses now have a purple tint to them in pictures unless I find the right angle.  I guess it is worth the sacrifice of trying to get great pictures in order to not get as many migraines!

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Friday Favorites: Top 5

It has been a while since I have done a top 5 post.  These are the top 5 things that I am loving right now.  Some are totally random, but they help make my life easier.  

1. HGTV Magazine

I have been obsessed with this magazine for a while and always buy it when I am standing in line at a store and see it.  I finally broke down and got a subscription with some of my airline rewards points. I  just got my first one in the mail, and I’m in love.  I have a slight obsession with the HGTV channel anyway, so the magazine is just the icing on the cake.  I love looking at the decorating ideas, the bright colors throughout, the tips and tricks, and so much more.  

2. Toothpaste Tube Squeezer

I told you all yesterday how the OCD person in me doesn’t like toothpaste tubes because I can’t stand the half squeezed tube.  My solution is this tube squeezer thingy.  It keeps the tube squeezed at just the right level and prevents you from wasting any toothpaste.  I add it to the end of the tube and press it forward each time I brush.  It makes it look much more orderly.

3. Shark Rocket Vacuum

I love this Shark vacuum to clean up quick messes, all of my hair in my bathroom and closet, and for the stairs.  It is so lightweight and easy to use. The top piece comes off and can be used almost like and old “dust-buster” my mom had back in the 80’s.  It is also easy to lift and use for high spaces.  This is such a great vacuum.

4. Young Living Easy Breeze Awakening Shower Steamers

I am obsessed with these.  I love to use them on the mornings when I wash my hair because that means I take a longer shower.  They are super relaxing to me and just amp up my shower time.  Smells of eucalyptus and peppermint permeate the shower, and it smells so good.  I think they really help with my migraines too on mornings like today when I wake up with one. They come 4 to a pack and are totally worth every penny to me.  

5. Fiskars Paper Trimmer

I use this thing all the time.  I use it when I am crafting, working on my vinyl creations, making things for the girls, creating fliers or invitations, and so much more.  It is much easier to use this when I have to cut something in a straight line than it is to use scissors.  Again, my OCD comes in to play here with making things perfectly straight. 

That’s a wrap on my current top 5 favorite things. What are you loving these days?

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*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission.

Friday Favorites: TOH Fall 2019 Collection

I know that you are all probably getting tired of hearing about Trades of Hope these days, but it is such a huge part of my life now that it is hard to not write about it.  I promise this will be the last time for a little while.  We just launched our Fall 2019 line entitled Shades of the Savanna, and I have to share with you my favorite pieces from the line.  They are all so good, but I have managed to narrow it down to my favorites in each category.  This line was inspired by a visit to Africa by our founders and is comprised of elements that could be seen on a journey through the African Savanna.  Things like feathers, various stones, hammered metals, and leather are seen throughout the collection. Each piece is beautifully handcrafted by our artisan partners who are working to change their lives every day. These pieces give them hope and power to rise up and live a better life.

Earrings: Trove Earrings

I am totally obsessed with these earrings created by women in Asia who have been rescued from brothels and sex trafficking. They feature tan, brown, and black shades to mimic the pattern of a leopard or tortoise shell in this cool geometric shape. They are extremely lightweight and very much on trend right now. We even have a Trove Cuff that matches them perfectly. 

Bracelet: Sanctuary Bracelet

Women in Haiti create this bracelet with its vibrant colors. These women are now able to keep their own babies instead of dropping them at an orphanage because they had no means to care for them.  This bracelet is created with hand-rolled cereal box beads and hand-painted Haitian clay. This clay is the same clay that they have had to use to make cookies for their children because they didn’t have anything else to feed them. Through this sustainable business they are now able to provide real food for their families and provide for them in ways they never could before.

Necklace: Radiant Necklace Set

While this set is more on the expensive side of our products, it is absolutely gorgeous.  It features 3 separate necklaces of varying lengths that can be worn together or apart.  They feature hammered discs, labradorite stone, and a blue topaz crystal drop.  These necklaces are handcrafted by women in India rising up out of extreme poverty. 

Scarf: Patrika Scarf

This scarf is so unique and versatile.  It is created by women in India using a hand blocking method.  Wooded blocks are carved to created the desired design. Then using natural dyes, these women use the block to stamp the design onto the fabric. How cool is that? Each scarf has slight variations due to the hand blocking technique.  This scarf is large in size and can be worn as a vest, bathing suit cover-up, head wrap, or as a regular scarf. 

HandBag: Rabia Bag

Women in India who are escaping extreme poverty handcrafted this gorgeous genuine leather bag. It comes with a detachable crossbody strap. The inside is lined with a beautiful blue-stripped fabric. It features an interior slip pocket and a zipper pocket. This bag does not even look handmade, but it is.  It looks like any designer bag you would get at a department store, but this bag is handmade and sold through fair trade to empower these women out of poverty. It is so beautiful.  Check out these adorable giraffe and zebra handbag charms that you can add to this bag made by our artisans in Guatelmala.

Home Decor: Batwa Basket Set

These baskets are handcrafted by women from the Batwa Tribe in Uganda who have been forced out of their native land as a conservation effort to protect the mountain gorillas. These people are treated like animals. Their partnership with TOH has given them dignity and a means to survive. These women weave each basket by hand using tall grasses and natural materials as dyes.   It takes 2 weeks to complete one basket!   Aren’t they adorable?

To check out the entire Fall 2019 collection and more, you can visit my website.  These truly are some of my new favorite things and the stories behind them melt my heart.  Aren’t they all so great?

Anchored,

Book Club: Summer of ‘69

Before I dive into my review of this month’s book club book, I just want to say that I love this book club. Even if I am the only person reading the book, I love it anyway.  I have been an avid reader my whole life.  I LOVE books of all kinds!  However, life seems to always get in the way and prevents me from reading as much as I would like.  This book club holds me accountable.  It forces me to make time in my schedule to read.  Knowing that I have to give my review each month and select a new book motivates me to find that 20 minutes here and there to read more.  That alone is enough reason for me to keep choosing books each month. My hope is that there are some of you that read along with me, but I’m totally cool with it if it’s just little old me reading because it gives me so much joy.  Now, if you are like me and you love to read but find yourself with never enough hours in the day and want to be held accountable, send me a message.  I will start an email group where I send you reminders each week to keep you on track.  I will be your accountability partner.    All you have to do is ask (and send me your email).

Moving on! Here are my thoughts on this month’s book, Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand.  Side note: I sort of geeked out when Elin Hilderbrand commented on my Instagram post when I announced her book as my pick for July. How freaking cool is that? Anyway, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.  It is the perfect summer read.  It was an easy read and had all of the elements of a great book.  This historical fiction novel revolves around the Nichols-Foley-Levin family in the summer of 1969: a time of war, self-discovery, gender equality, and civil rights.  It includes hints of suicide, love affairs, first love, getting high, and scandal.  Elin Hilderbrand expertly tells the story of 4 siblings and their journey through the events of that time period including the first walk on the moon, Woodstock, and the Vietnam War.  Blair, the oldest of the siblings, struggles through her pregnancy with the belief that her work-a-holic husband has been cheating on her while he also suffers from mental illness.  Kirby, the outcast of the family, sets out on a journey of rediscovery away from her family as she struggles to overcome her past while navigating the stigma of an interracial relationship.  The only male of the siblings, Tiger, is drafted and sent off to the war in Vietnam, and the whole family struggles to deal with his absence. The baby of the bunch, Jessie, begins her teen years that summer while feeling her first hints of love, becoming a woman, and learning the truth of her family’s history. Their mother, Kate, has her own struggles through that summer as she lives with what she calls her “punishment” for the events that led to the death of her first husband and father to her oldest 3 children.  The one thing that was clear throughout the story was that despite everything going on with each of them individually, they truly loved each other at the core of their being and that is what ultimately holds them all together. The story and character development of this story was done beautifully. I always love stories that make me feel like I am right there in that time period with them. Elin Hilderbrand did a great job depicting the historical events of that time and weaved them into the storyline in a way that was believable. I really did enjoy this book and hope that those of you that read it along with me did as well. Let me know your thoughts.

My pick for August (I can’t believe August is almost here!) is a book that keeps finding its way into my recommended reads.  I have looked at it several times as a possible choice for my book club but always pushed it to the side.   I have finally decided that is’s time to give it a go.  I like to try to mix it up with my choices so that I can appeal to everyone.   This month’s pick is a suspenseful thriller.  I have chosen The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.  It is a New York Times Best Seller.  Entertainment Weekly calls it “An unforgettable—and Hollywood-bound—new thriller…A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.” I don’t think I have picked a thriller yet, so this should be a change of pace for us.  I am excited to dive in to see where this story takes us.  Here is what Apple Books had to say about this novel.

“In this confident debut, Alex Michaelides mixes the meticulous packing of an Agatha Christie thriller with the dark tragedy of Greek myth. The Silent Patient starts with an unforgettable image: Artist Alicia Brenson stands in her living room soaked in her husband’s blood after apparently riddling him with bullets. After that, Alicia goes mute for years—until psychotherapist Theo Faber finds his way to the institution that houses her, armed with unconventional ideas about unlocking her past. Michaelides has crafted a binge-worthy, slow-burn psychological thriller that explodes in one final twist.”

Will you join me? Can I help you to be accountable for reading and doing something that brings you joy? There is nothing like diving into a great book and fully immersing yourself in the journey of someone else. Happy reading everyone!

Anchored in a Good Book,

*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission.

Friday Favorites: 90’s Movies

I heard a conversation on the radio the other day about the best movies of the 90’s.  That got me thinking about my favorite movies from that decade.  Well, when I went looking to refresh my memory about all of the movies from the 90’s, I found it was harder than I thought to pick my top 10 favorites. There really were some good movies made back then.  If you are a guy reading this, you probably won’t agree with many of my choices as most of these are what I would consider “chick flicks.” It took me a while to narrow it down to these 10, so I had to add a few extras to the list as well.  Now, I will mention that Tom Hanks is one of my all-time favorite actors so you may see more than one of his movies on the list.  I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t help it.  I probably could have made the whole list Tom Hanks movies, but I didn’t. Maybe I will do another post one day just about that.  I was a big Julia Roberts fan back in the day as well. You may see more than one with her in it too. Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite movies that came out in the 90’s followed by a few honorable mentions.

10. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

As I mentioned, I like Julia Roberts movies.  This one was a cute romantic comedy that I could watch a 100 times and still love it. It stars Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney, Rupert Everett, and Cameron Diaz.

9. The Hunt for Red October (1990)

You may be surprised by this one as it’s not nearly as popular as some of the others on my list, and it certainly isn’t a “chick flick”. I actually never watched this movie in the 90’s and probably had never heard of it until I married a submariner.  This is one of those Jack Ryan movies staring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin.  

8. Braveheart (1995)

This movie staring Mel Gibson is full of drama, romance, tragedy, historical fiction, and more. It is a long movie, but worth every second of it. 

7. A League of Their Own (1992)

This movie with an all-star cast is the first of the Tom Hanks movies on the list.  Along with him, Geena Davis, Modonna, and Rosie O’Donnell portray a heartfelt story of women stepping up to the plate when the men are off fighting in a war.  

6. Toy Story (1995)

I couldn’t leave this movie off the list with the release of the new Toy Story 4 movie recently. This is the movie that started it all and is one that many love the most, including me.  It is the only animated film that made it into my top 10.  This story staring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen is certainly a beloved classic.  

5. Father of the Bride (1991)

This movie staring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Martin Short is one of my favorites for sure.  It makes you laugh and cry all in one story.  It is such a great movie. 

4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

This is another one of those long movies that is worth every second.  I love this storyline and the meaning behind it all with the horrors that war brings.  It stars Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, and Vin Diesel. 

3. Pretty Woman (1990)

How could I not put this movie staring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere up near the top of my list? Most women will tell you that this is one of the best movies of all time.  

2. Titanic (1997)

The great, tragic love story staring Leodardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is certainly at the top.  I mean, who doesn’t love this movie?

1. Forrest Gump (1994)

Not only is this my favorite Tom Hanks movie and my favorite 90’s movie, it is also my favorite movie of all time.  I love this movie so much that I have watched it a million times and can just about recite the entire movie from memory.  If you have never been to a Bubba Gump’s restaurant, you don’t want to go with me. They always throw out trivia questions from the movie and I dominate! I love, love, love this movie so much! 

Honorable Mention:

*Silence of the Lambs (1991)

*Hope Floats (1998)

*Outbreak (1995)

*Jerry Maguire (1996)

*Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

*Twister (1996)

*Step Mom (1998)

*You’ve Got Mail (1998)

*Legends of the Fall (1994)

*The Lion King (1994)

I really do love a good movie. To me, if it is one that I can watch over and over again, it is considered one of the best. I could be flipping through the channels and come across any one of these movies and stop and watch it, even it the movie is already half over. That’s what makes it a good movie. What do you think of my list? What movie from the 90’s would you add? Now I think I may go try to find Forrest Gump or any of these others and watch it this afternoon.

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Book Club: My Sister, the Serial Killer

I missed Book Club Friday last week and this week is a bit off schedule, so I figured I would get it in today.  Our book for June was My Sister, the Serial Killer (Amazon) by Oyinkan Braithwaite.  This book came recommended by a few of my friends as well as by actress, Kimberly Williams Paisley.  This book is a quick, easy read.  I read it in a couple of hours.  It is a really short story with super short chapters.  Most chapters were only one to two pages long.  I will say that I have mixed feelings about this book, and I can’t quite say that I liked it or that I didn’t like it.  I felt like it jumped around a lot and that there wasn’t enough character or story development for me. I like stories that let you really get to know the characters.  I found myself wanting more. However, it did keep my interest for the most part. Again, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. If you are looking for a quick beach read this summer, this one would fit the bill.  

This is a story of two sisters. Korede is the oldest and is a hardworking, practical nurse.  She considers herself the ugly sister. Ayoola, the youngest, is a wild, carefree beauty that seems to have a knack for having men swoon over her.  The two were brought up in a wealthy family in Nigeria. However, unbeknownst to everyone around them, their family had a dark secret. Their father was a very violent man who attempted to sell his daughters to his important friends, beat his wife (and sometimes daugthers), and participated in shady business deals. Their mother resorted to sleeping pills to hide away from the horrors of their life behind closed doors. Following their father’s death (the author even makes you question the nature of his death), Ayoola’s boyfriends seem to keep ending up dead.  Although Ayoola gives excuses as to why she kills them, the true reason behind her killings never seems to be revealed.  Korede, was her protector, even from their father at a young age. She cleaned up the messes made by Ayoola every single time.  Despite her feelings about what was happening with her sister, Korede would do anything to help her, no matter the cost to her own happiness. This story seems to focus more on the strength of the family bond, specifically the bond between two siblings, than the actual murders. It demonstrates the old saying that blood is thicker than water. 

This story is surrounded by dark humor and mystery.  If you are looking for a quick read, this is the book for you.  While I am unsure of my love for this book, I can certainly see why it has become so popular. It has mystery, intrigue, family dynamics, and more. Let me know your thoughts if you read along with me.  I am interested to hear what others think about it since my feelings on it are so mixed.  

Let’s move on to my pick for July.  I hope you will come along and read with me. My pick for July is Summer of ’69 (Amazon) by Elin Hilderbrand. This #1 New York Times bestseller quickly rose to the top after its release last month. It has also made it on USA Today’s bestseller list.  I generally like historical fiction, and I hope this one doesn’t disappoint.  Here is what Apple Books has to say about this novel…

“Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical novel is a fun twist on the classic Nantucket beachside read she’s so well known for. A first love, an illicit affair, and Woodstock are all woven into this engrossing family drama, which follows four siblings over the tumultuous summer of 1969. While the era’s big social movements—like civil rights and gender equality—are front and center, Hilderbrand also has a lot of fun with the small period details, whether it’s serving relish trays or drinking to “settle the nerves” during pregnancy. Make sure there’s room for this nostalgic, summer pageturner in your beach bag.”

Come along and read with me!

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Friday Favorites: Bedroom Slippers

I am so glad that today is Friday.  I long for the weekends in the summer because competition season is over, we don’t have to travel anywhere, and our girls don’t have practices on the weekends in the summer.  That means we don’t have any obligations and can do whatever we want to do.  We can stay home all weekend and do absolutely nothing, work on projects that need to be done, go shopping, watch a movie, or even plan a little mini vacation.  Our weekends are so jammed full of things during the school year that we never really feel like we have days off or can get a lot of things done.  That is why summer weekends are the best! 

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things, but it is a thing I get picked on for loving all the time. I know that it won’t be a popular thing, but I use mine every single day. I will start by saying that I do not like to walk around barefooted.  I never have.  I think that part of that comes from having hyperhidrosis where my feet sweat extremely bad.  My mom says that even when I was a baby, I would have little droplets of sweat on my feet all the time.  It is something that I have lived with my whole life.  Now, though, it is well controlled thanks to my migraine medicine.  Drying me out is one of the side effects of my medicine and the one side effect in the world that would make me happy.  Anyway, I guess I didn’t like going barefooted because my feet were always sopping wet and now it is just a habit.  That means that I either always have on a pair of socks, or I have on one of my favorite things…my bedroom slippers.  That’s right, I wear bedroom slippers all the time! If I am at home, I have them on at all times. I very rarely will walk around without them unless I have socks on, even in my own house.  As I am getting out of the bed in the mornings, I step right into them.  When I get out of the shower, I immediately step into them.  I wear them all the time. Whenever I am traveling, I pack them in my suitcase.  I certainly would never walk around in a hotel without them because that is just gross to me.  Because I wear them so much, I have to replace them frequently (about every 2 years) because they just get worn out easily.  I do wash them a lot too, especially after we have traveled, which I think speeds up the wear and tear.  Anyway, I have purchased a million different bedroom slippers over the years and have found some that I love and some that I just didn’t like.  I prefer the ones that you just step into like a slide or clog versus ones that fit like a shoe with a back to them. Those make my feet too hot and cause me to sweat even more.  The ones with memory foam soles are my favorites, but I also like the ones that just have an extra padded sole. Over the years, I have found that my favorite brand is Dearfoams. Now, these are not about style and cuteness. They are 100% about function and comfort. I admit it…I just love bedroom slippers. I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but if you do like them, here are some of my favorites.

Dearfoams Quilted Terry (Amazon) These are the ones I am currently wearing.

Dearfoams Memory Foam (Amazon)

Dearfoams Chenille Clog (Amazon)

Dearfoams Chunky Knit (Amazon) I don’t really love these because they are too hot for me, but they are super comfortable.

As you can see, they aren’t the most attractive things in the world, but they are super comfortable and no one ever really sees them except my family. I am totally ok with the fact that my love for bedroom slippers is not stylish or something that most people would agree with. They are a necessity for me and I love them! We are actually a bedroom slipper loving family. Everyone in my family wears them, even my daughters. Try them out. Maybe you will become a bedroom slipper family too!

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