August

Well, I guess Summer has officially come to an end. Though the season itself isn’t over, the feeling of freedom is. The campus is full of folks, children are at the bus stops again, uniform ads are everywhere, and shelves are stocked with school supplies. Crazy! Summer seems to go by quicker when you don’t get to lay back and relax. I made no trips this summer. It’s kind of a bummer but I’m an adult and I have to work so I can do things I like. These things include eat and peruse the internet.

As this month draws to a close, it’s time to list the top 5 things I loved this month. I’ll admit it’s getting harder and harder to come up with 5 but I’m determined to keep this little series going. Plus, it keeps me writing which I enjoy. So here we go!

  • Quiet

The quiet was a new thing for me this summer. I’m used to summers filled with kids and parents. In my former life, as an Early Education teacher and administrator, summers were prime time. Kids were everywhere! There was lots of scheduling and corraling of kids. This summer, in my new life as an office manager, I experienced quiet. Slow quietness. It was a brand new thing to me. There’s not a flurry of registrations or chasing down parents to pay for their week of camp. There no planning for weeks of activities that involve water or booking things like snoball trucks and “”Zoo to You” experiences. It was quiet and solitude. I enjoyed it but it took some getting used too. I’m still not used to having a whole office suite by myself. I love my coworkers but I love being alone too, most of the time. I can’t help it. So experiencing a summer of quiet was a pretty refreshing.

  • Friendship

Have I written about this before? Probably. However, it’s still one of my favorite things. There’s something incredible about having a person in your life that you know you can trust and rely on. I hope they know they can rely on me. I love and appreciate being on a level with someone where they can just look at you and go “What it is?”. You might have everyone else fooled but that one person, they know. I’m so incredibly grateful to be involved in someone’s life and to experience things with them. It’s wonderful. There are so many benefits to it. To be known and genuinely loved by someone and for that someone to be able to put up with my crap, it makes my heart feel good. It’s nice to be loved. I realize I’m talking about the benefits for me but there are lots and I like them. So, there ya go.

  • Cheap Bouquets 

I love flowers and plants. I have about 10 in my house right now. That’s an inherited thing. My Mama and Meme (pronounced me me) gave the love of plants to me. I love buying myself flowers. This is only something I’ve started doing. It’s amazing how beautiful and cheaply you can get flowers. I love having flowers around the house. My preferred grocery store, Trader Joes’ always had beautiful flowers and I often just can’t help myself. I see them and I have to have them. It’s one of the joys in life, fresh flowers. Don’t be afraid to buy yourself flowers.

  • Glitter Gel Pens

Yes. Glitter gel pens. That’s one of the things I’m really glad to see make a comeback. I had a massive collection of gel pens. I loved them. The way they glide across the paper and how they came in so many varieties. Milky, neon, basic, and, of course, glitter. I recently purchased some gel pens for my desk at work, because you need a little fun everywhere in your life, and didn’t know they were glitter until I started writing with them. I expressed my excitement with an excited and shocked “Oh, my goodness.” which made my co-worker wonder what was going on. I quickly told him that the gel pens I was using were glitter and I didn’t know that and that I had just experienced an extremely exciting moment. It made him laugh, which I appreciated. Seriously, sometimes it’s just the little things. Little things like glitter gel pens.

  • 4-year-olds

Well, she’s almost 4. Probably once I let this post, she’ll be 4. Children are the best. The child I’m talking about is particularly special. She’s sassy and smart. She keeps you honest and makes you laugh. She loves dirt, snails, caterpillars, puppy dogs, kitty cats,  Magic School Bus, Tolls, and she can sing every word of the Moana soundtrack. She’s great. She started Pre-K this year and was an emotional day – for me. I don’t know how her parents felt about it (well, I do, I mean, we’re friends. Her mama is my best friend). I, as a friend, got to participate in the child’s first day of Pre-K. What an honor! She makes have to continue to keep up with what 4-year-olds like. It’s great! She wants me to play with her and hang out with her. It’s great to be loved and wanted. It’s great to see this girl grow and become this neat person. She’s got a lot to offer and I’m excited to see it. I’m so grateful to have her in my life. I’m thankful for her friendship and for the things she teaches me. Kids are fun. They keep you young and going.

So, that’s it! These are my favorite things for August. Got it in just under the wire! Whew!! Let me know what some of your favorites have been this month! Let’s learn from each other.

Advertisements

July

Well, the end of July coming means that sadly the end of Summer is coming. I’m excited to say that I do have 5 things for this month! Yay! Sorry, I got lazy and only had 4 for June. So, here’s my 5 favorite things for July!

The Newsroom

The Newsroom focuses on the anchor and crew of “News Night” and gives a dramatized, behind the scenes look at what it’s like deciding what news should be. It’s interesting to see a scripted show take on history, which this series does. I discovered it on Amazon Prime and have watched all three seasons, wishing it had gotten one more. It’s been a pleasure of a show to watch and it’s one I would gladly watch through again. The acting is great, it’s well written. It has just the right balance of humor. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest checking it out.

Naps

Summer at my place of work means summer hours. This means getting off of work at 4 instead of 5. In the 5 (almost 6) years I’ve worked at this institution, this is the first summer I’ve gotten to enjoy getting off work at 4. First, it’s weird. There’s so much of the day left. Secondly, I’ve developed a nasty habit of wanting to take a nap when I get home at 4. It’s a nasty habit because it messes up my night time sleep, which already has a proclivity to being messed with for reasons like anxiety and stress. Naps, though, y’all. They are wonderful. Absolutely fantastic. The best nap being Sunday afternoon naps. Yes. There’s something about Sunday afternoon naps that makes me incredibly happy. Maybe it’s because it’s the Lord’s day and he commands we find rest. I don’t know. I do know that I enjoy Sunday afternoon naps. I enjoy them immensely. Lately, I’ve gotten to enjoy quite a few rainy Sunday afternoon naps. Those are really my favorite. Yes. Naps.

Pinterest 

Yes, Pinterest. Now, I’ve had a Pinterest account for quite a long time. However, I’ve recently re-discovered the magic of it. You find so much inspiration there. Sure, some of those inspirational ideas our outlandish but they provide inspiration. (I’m not going to use that word anymore in this post.) Also, the number of recipes you can find on Pinterest is insane! It’s helpful for someone like me. I enjoy research. I enjoy learning about stuff, lots of stuff. I often turn to Pinterest to find articles or websites to help me with the things I’m currently into. Lately, it has been a lot of Paleo related stuff.  I’m really going to give that a go. It means no bread and no cheese. That’s a bummer but I’m going to really try to live a Paleo life. Thanks, Pinterest!

She Reads Truth

I’ll admit that since my dad passed away, I’ve had a really difficult time getting into my Bible on a daily, or even regular, basis. It was hard for many reasons. I’m not going to go into that here. However, after almost a year and a half of not being consistently in The Word, I knew I needed to make a change. She Reads Truth has helped before, its helping now, and it’s an excellent resource. They have studies which can be found on their website or on their app. The studies have daily devotionals. The things I like about these devotionals is that is they encourage me to dive deeper into the Word. Also, the focus isn’t just “what does this scripture say to me?”. Often, it’s “what do these passages teach me about God?” That, boys and girls, should be the focus of your Bible study. She Reads Truth has provided me with the ability to do my daily reading at my desk (which is not ideal but lately that’s how it’s been working out) and provides the spur I’ve needed to get into the wonderful Word of God again. It’s great and if you need help with a daily or regular study, I recommend checking out what they have to offer.

Purple Hair

Yes, you read that correctly. I am obsessed with it and have been since about January. I’ve attempted since February of this year to have purple hair. It was an idea encouraged by my best friend when she wanted fun hair for Mardi Gras. What better time to have purple hair then Mardi Gras? How about all of the time! So, since February, I’ve been getting my wonderful hairstylist to make my hair violet. I’ve always wanted pink hair but in order to have pink hair, you have to bleach. I’ve done that. I used Sun-In for an entire summer between 7th and 8th grade and it was a mistake. A big mistake. Also, bleaching your hair is bad. Not that dying your hair every 3 months is great. Anyway, yep, purple hair. I want it. I feel like I need it. Maybe it’s being 29 and suffering from “Peter Pan Syndrome” that makes me want it. Maybe it’s my desire to be a little different. Maybe it’s because I love the idea of it. I’m not sure. However, I am obsessed. (Seriously, check out my Hair and Beauty Pinterest Board. So much purple hair!)

 

So these are my favorite things for July! Please comment with some of your favorite things. I think we could learn from each other. Is there a hair color your obsessed with? A TV show you’ve happened upon that you love? Do you have a Pinterest account? Let me know!

 

June’s Top 4

Y’all, summer is here. It’s been hot, muggy, rainy, and hot here in New Orleans. I’ll be honest, I’ve been inside a lot. I haven’t been to the pool too much because they close that thing down quick at the threat of thunder (which is the safest thing to do) and I haven’t had as many snoballs as I had planned because I’m trying to stop spending so much money. It’s not an easy task.

That being said, I’ve had a hard time coming up with 5 things for June. Seriously, I like a lot of things but it’s hard to pick out 5 favorites for the month. So, I picked 4. Sorry, y’all. It difficult thinking of stuff that I really like. I like a lot of things but who knew it would be such a task to pick a few out and write about them.

The more you know.

YouTube Red. 

Guys. Before you say anything about “It’s stupid to pay for YouTube!” or how creators that have shows on the Red platform are sellouts, let me mention a few things about YouTube Red. BACKGROUND PLAY. Yes, friends, if you’re playing music on the YouTube app on your phone or your tablet and you ‘close’ the app, it still plays! Also, you can watch all the videos you desire without commercial interruption. Which is glorious and damning at the same time. Why? Because I can just stay where I am and watch my favorites without for hours on end. Like I said, glorious but damning. I get caught up in the happiness of the videos and get nothing done. Then I get depressed because I got caught up in the videos and got nothing done.

Also, you can watch all the videos you desire without commercial interruption. Which is glorious and damning at the same time. Why? Because I can just stay where I am and watch my favorites without for hours on end. Like I said, glorious but damning. I get caught up in the happiness of the videos and get nothing done. Then I get depressed because I got caught up in the videos and got nothing done.

Also, the content available through Red is pretty great. While I’ve only enjoyed only a few shows that are exclusives, they’ve been great. Also, you get Google music with Red which means commercial-free music. So, you can watch YouTube and listen to Lionel Richie on Google Music until you are completely happy. It’s one of the best choices I”ve ever made, even if it was an impulse decision. (I’ve written about that somewhere, I think. Or maybe I’ve just told a few people about it. I don’t remember.)

Summer Storms

While it keeps from enjoying the pool, I love a good storm. Here in New Orleans, we have storms almost every afternoon. I don’t know why exactly. I suspect it has something to do with all the water around us and the heat and the bowlness of the city. (I could be completely wrong. I’ll have to do some research on the science of why.)  That’s two things you can count on in the summer. A smothering blanket of heat and rain. However, rain happens to be one of my favorite things so I enjoy the storms that roll through. It gives me a good reason to get cozy on the couch and read. It also cools things off, slightly. The other downside it that sometimes it rains hard. Hard rain in NOLA means flooding. (Again,

That’s two things you can count on in the summer. A smothering blanket of heat and rain. However, rain happens to be one of my favorite things so I enjoy the storms that roll through. It gives me a good reason to get cozy on the couch and read. It also cools things off, slightly. The other downside it that sometimes it rains hard. Hard rain in NOLA means flooding. (Again, bowlness, the water pools, and the place fills up!) Despite those things, it is one of my favorite summer things.

Cup O’ Coffee Face Mask

Have I mentioned that I love coffee? I do. It’s my favorite beverage. The smell, the taste, the way it makes me sane. I love it. I also love Lush (I know I’ve talked about that before). The incredible thing about Lush is that they make things that allow me to enjoy my favorite things in a way I didn’t think possible. We’ve all had that experience of smelling freshly ground coffee and have thought “This smells so glorious. I want to immerse my body in it.” I also feel this way about the first cup brewed to start the day. Thanks to Lush, dreams that dream can come true. They have a face mask that has coffee and coffee grounds in it!

We’ve all had that experience of smelling freshly ground coffee and have thought “This smells so glorious. I want to immerse my body in it.” I also feel this way about the first cup brewed to start the day. Thanks to Lush,  that dream can come true. They have a face mask that has coffee and coffee grounds in it!

It’s amazing! You can see how they make this incredible thing here. I use it two to three times a week. It helps wake me up and makes my skin feel super soft and smooth. Also, I think caffeine has external benefits as well as internal so it’s a win-win. I get to enjoy coffee in a way I would have never imagined! Have I mentioned that I love Lush?

Double Walled, Vacuum Insulated Tumblers

This is one of those things that I was slow to get to. First, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Sure, the tumblers look great. Sure, they supposedly keep your drink cold (or hot) for a long time. Sure, you can put a cool decal or sticker on them to personalize them. But was it necessary? Well, friends, the answer is yes. I purchased one recently and I don’t regret it at all! It keeps ice for an incredibly long time. This is a feature that is handy during the summer heat I mentioned earlier. They are also easy to clean. Another big plus is that it seems to be the safest drinkware you can use. Now, I know there are conflicting reports about drinking from plastic and the dangers or non-dangers of it but after doing some research I felt like I needed to take the plunge on a fancy tumbler. It wasn’t a huge investment but I drink out of this thing all of the time! It’s a great thing for the summer.

Well, friends, the answer is yes. I purchased one recently and I don’t regret it at all! It keeps ice for an incredibly long time. This is a feature that is handy during the summer heat I mentioned earlier. They are also easy to clean. Another big plus is that it seems to be the safest drinkware you can use. Now, I know there are conflicting reports about drinking from plastic and the dangers or non-dangers of it but after doing some research I felt like I needed to take the plunge on a fancy tumbler. It wasn’t a huge investment but I drink out of this thing all of the time! It’s a great thing for the summer.

So, those are my favorites for the month. I will get more consistent about posting this list at a regular date. I’m figuring this out so bear with me, please. I hope you have a great summer. Eat lots of watermelons and enjoy the sunshine (with sunscreen, of course) and swim. I’ll have 5 next month I promise.

 

 

May’s 5 

Wow! May is winding down quickly, so crazy! It’s time for my top 5 for the month. This month is kind of a mixed bag but I think it’s some fun things.

The pool.

Oh gosh, I don’t think I can fully express my love of the pool. It has been a love that I’ve had since I was a little child. Some of my earliest memories involve the pool. The smell of a pool brings all sorts of fun memories and summer rituals to the front of my mind. It’s something I’ve probably said before but the pool is a happy place. Truthfully, any body of water makes me feel better. Even if I’m just looking at it. The pool, though, is something special. Since it’s May, it’s hot already here in NOLA and thankfully the pool on campus opened a little earlier this year. I’ve already been once and I’m planning a lot more visits. I will be covered in sunscreen but I intend on being out there quite a bit. I just love the pool so much! SO MUCH!!

Iced Coffee.

First, coffee is my favorite beverage. I’ve been a coffee drinker since I was a year old. I know that because it’s marked on my baby calendar. It follows a long tradition of giving babies “coffee milk” because the babies see their parents drinking coffee and they, of course, want in. I am a black coffee kind of girl and have been since I was 16. However, in the summer, there’s just something so dang refreshing about a well brewed iced coffee. I will have iced coffee occasionally throughout the year but the heat (and humidity, the air is like a freaking blanket. So warm. So very warm. And heavy.) causes my consumption to increase significantly. I love that it’s been discovered that the best method for iced coffee isn’t traditionally brewing coffee and then icing. No, friends, you must cold brew for iced. Fortunately, there a few spots in New Orleans that do it right. It’s not the national chains either, no sir. Local places, that’s where the iced coffee is best. Also, almond milk, not dairy. The heat. You don’t want that milk in there when you’re out trying to enjoy a nice day by the pool. (That may not be true but it’s something I’ve always heard. “Don’t drink milk during the summer if you’re going to be outside.” Is that just a Southern thing?)

Cold Case Files. 

Yes. Just yes. I (along with my best friend) have a new entertainment addiction. I’ve seen episodes of the show before but recently, we’ve been binge watching them (individually and together). It does weird me out a little because some of the cases used in the show are kind of scary. However, it provides an immense amount of almost mindless entertainment. It’s education in the sense that it makes you realize that DNA analysis of evidence didn’t start until about 1997. That’s only 20 years ago, y’all. The very thing that makes or break cases today wasn’t even available until the late 90’s. THAT IS CRAZY!  The most interesting cases are the ones in which they interview the perpetrators. It’s incredible and sometimes shocking to hear their reasoning for their actions. It’s scary yet satisfying because the cases get solved. It also provides interesting topics for conversations.

The Public Library.

Gosh, yet another place that stands prominently in many summer memories. I love books. Absolutely love them. I love reading. I love the way a book feels in my hands. I love the way they smell. I love looking at covers and reading bios on authors. I just love everything about books, including buying them. Well, when you live in a small apartment and don’t have any amount of room for the layers of bookshelves you wish you could have, you go to the library. It’s great. You get to read the books you want without them taking up precious square footage. You have a plethora of reading material available to you FOR FREE! (Unless you are like me and you get more books than you can read at one time and overlap a little on renews and get fines. But hey, fines aren’t too bad, they help keep the library in business.) My library trips increase in the summer, I’m not exactly sure why. I know as a child it was because the more book I read, the more personal-sized pan pizzas I could get from Pizza Hut. Shout out to you, Book- It program! Also, most libraries have a summer reading program so I participated in those. Not only were there books, there were also crafts. It was my own personal heaven. I still have a deep love for the library and I believe I always will.

Snoballs.

Friends, I previously mentioned the blanket of heat and warmth that takes over Louisiana in the summer. It is especially heavy in New Orleans. I don’t know if it has to do with the bowl that this place is or it is below sea level but dang y’all, it get hot. Thankfully, Louisiana (especially New Orleans) has something that helps. Snoballs. First, yes, that’s spelled correctly. Secondly, no, my sweet unknowing friend, it’s not a snow cone. A snoball is fine warm weather treat. Typically served from March to about September (sometimes October because global warming is real and Louisiana is on freaking fire until then) at stands all over the state (and practically on every other street in NOLA). They are a glorious creation of fine, snow-like ice and deliciously flavored syrups. Very often stuffed with ice cream and topped with rich condensed milk or fruit toppings. I love snoballs and I usually want them regularly between March and September. I love trying different flavors but a favorite is Nectar Cream or Pina Colada stuffed and topped with pineapple. Yum! It’s a Louisiana original and now place else can replicate the sweet relief that snoball stand snoball brings.

These are my top 5 for this month which is also the 5th month, weird! I hope you find something you can check out and enjoy! Feel free to share your favorites for this month with me!