.what I love: September 2018.

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I literally had to request a new password login for WordPress.  It’s a little depressing because writing is so life-giving and I genuinely enjoy planning content and writing, but graduate school is a demanding mistress.  One day when I’m totally finished, I hope to blog at least once or twice a week–we’ve even thrown around the idea of starting our own YouTube channel just for the heck of it, but until I’m done with research, data, research, data, APA, and more data, I’ll have to settle for little pockets of time when my coursework is turned in, my husband is busy, and my toddler is sleeping.

Here are my favorites from September (PS, can y’all believe it’s October already?  And that it’s still 95 degrees everyday?):

Food:

  • Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips.  These are perfect when I throw them into grain-free pancake mix.  Josh and I are both dark chocolate lovers, but the milk chocolate chips are great, too.  I like that these don’t have that sugar alcohol aftertaste that you run into so often with sugar-free products.  And seriously, nothing is cuter than Annabeth Shealy when her face is covered in butter, melted dark chocolate, and bits of pancake.
  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers.  I’ll be honest, I miss the convenience of grains.  My favorite lunch is a tapas-style snack plate (cheese, a little fruit, some olives, cured meats, and some crispy, delicious crackers).  Sometimes you just need some crunch that doesn’t come from a pork rind!  These crackers are SO good–we love all the flavors.  I usually pack a handful of these to have with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

Clothing:

  • THML Tops.  I’m a boutique kind of gal.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll totally shop at J. Crew and Old Navy and Belk, but I love finding unique pieces at boutiques.  My recent favorite transitional pieces (because it’s still miserably hot here in Georgia) include lots of THML tops paired with white jeans and boots.  I love the intricate embroidery, rich colors, and the fact that most of them don’t require any ironing.  They also look great paired with a cardigan or green army jacket.
  • Tieks.  It’s usually around this time a year that I start wearing my Tieks on a daily basis.  In February we spent a week in New York City and I wore my Tieks nearly everyday and felt totally comfortable (walking 25,000 plus steps a day while pushing a stroller).  I sized up when I bought mine and have been super pleased with them.  They’re pricey–like, made my stomach hurt when I clicked “Purchase” pricey, but I have literally lived in them.  When you try to run a Google search for negative Tieks reviews, you won’t find many.  They’re a high quality product and the company has great customer service.

Product:

  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation.  Seriously the best foundation I’ve ever used.  It’s definitely a heavier foundation…if you’re looking for something lighter, the Water Fresh Double Wear is great, too.  I’ve been using Double Wear since May and I don’t foresee myself swapping out for anything else.  Bonus:  Estee Lauder counters will color match you and whip up a 10-day sample to try for free!
  • Clinique Moister Surge Intense Moisturizer.  My friend Cassie brought me a jar of this moisturizer when I was hospital after delivering Annabeth.  I hadn’t used Clinique in years, but this stuff is the best.  It’s so moisturizing that it makes my skin feel full, but it isn’t greasy.  I have super dry skin so I like the “intense” version of this moisturizer.  I also love that a little bit goes a long way–last year I only went through three jars.

Media:

  • Jack Ryan.  We’re huge fans of The Office and this show (featuring Jim Halpert 2.0) was fantastic.  Josh has started reading the Jack Ryan/Tom Clancy novels in order because this show was so intense and amazing.  It felt like they literally ripped the plot from the headlines.  Bonus:  it’s only eight episodes, so you can totally binge it in one weekend.
  • Audible.  Audible is an audiobook subscription available through Amazon.  For $15 a month, you get one credit to use towards any audiobook in the Audible library (there are thousands). We’ve actually had it a long time and forgot about it, so we had a ton of credits built up that we’ve been putting to good use!  We each have about a 20 minute commute, so we listen as we drive and we also listen while we run.  Sometimes I listen to whatever I’m “reading” while I get ready in the morning or while I’m cooking dinner.  So far I’ve “read” The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (FIVE STARS), The Coincidence of Coconut Cake (FOUR STARS), America’s First Daughter (FOUR STARS), and I’m currently listening to Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  Josh has been listening to Patriot Games and I noticed just yesterday that he’s already downloaded the next Tom Clancy book in the lineup.
  • The Greatest Showman Soundtrack.  Amazing.  I literally cry every time This is Me comes on.  We haven’t even finished the movie yet (I KNOW), but we listen to the soundtrack almost every day.  We especially love listening and dancing around before bathtime and Annabeth’s bedtime routine.

Annabeth:

  • Squeaker Shoes.  They’re super obnoxious, but they make Annabeth so happy (and it’s easy to keep up with her in a crowd).  I tend to stick to the classics when it comes to dressing Annabeth, so we’re not really into Converse or super trendy items.  These little Mary Jane shoes are cute and she loves wearing them.  When Josh took them off of her last night, she cried and demanded, “Shoes ON, Daddy!”
  • Dohm White Noise Machine.  Annabeth is a fantastic sleeper, but she’s pretty particular about her sleeping arrangements.  She’s a creature of consistency so she likes her blackout curtains, her Owlet (she can now request it by name), her Halo Sleep Sack, and most importantly, her Dohm.  I’m not quite sure how it works, but it sounds like a really loud fan, but it doesn’t blow any air out of it.  I actually don’t mind when we stay in a hotel room with her because I like sleeping with it, too.  It’s adjustable and has an on/off switch (most white noise machines that have timed options only run for ten hours and she sleeps for twelve hours each night).

Is it still super hot where you live, or do you actually get to enjoy some autumn weather this time of year?  We’re heading to the mountains next week and it’s supposed to be much cooler–I can’t wait!

XOXO,

Court

PS-Football season has been both wonderful and exhausting.  I’m dreading the end of it, but I’m also really looking forward to it.

 

.first position.

Since marrying Captain C, I’ve become well-versed in documentaries.  Waiting for Superman inspired Josh to go back to grad school to become a teacher.  Food, Inc. made us really become mindful about the purchases we made each week at the grocery store.  Forks Over Knives has sent me into not one, not two, not three, but four forays into a vegan lifestyle.  In addition, Josh’s Netflix queue is Ken Burns documentary after Ken Burns documentary {we watched this one on Memorial Day and have been enjoying this one for several weeks}.  Marrying a man with a film degree has definitely rubbed off on me.

Tonight while Josh worked on an annotated bibliography, I looked through his documentary queue and found this gem:  First Position.

FIRSTPOSeFlyer_NYC_4

It was a gorgeous look into the lives of children who yearn to become professional ballet dancers.  It was intense and moving {twenty minutes in, I was sobbing}.  Even if you’ve never been to the ballet, you’ll appreciate the dedication, athleticism, and raw talent on screen.  Josh is not a fan of ballet by any means and he had a vested interest in each of the children.  I especially enjoyed the intimate look at the racial and gender stereotypes many dancers face when trying to gain scholarships or contracts with dance companies.  If you need something out of the ordinary, I’d highly recommend First Position for a weeknight in at home.

What are some of your favorite documentaries?  Have you ever seen something that inspired you to change a habit or become something different?  I found myself wishing I’d stuck with ballet!

XOXO,

Court

By the Zebra, For the Zebra

I don’t think it’s a secret that Josh and I are big television fans.  When we still had a DVR, we would pore over schedules for all the major networks and cable networks to ensure everything would receive equal recording time.  Sunday nights were always the biggest problem, especially during February sweeps with Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Vikings, Once Upon a Time, and a handful of other shows all recording at once.  We’ve done away with DishNetwork in favor of Hulu Plus on our Apple TV and thankfully, that has solved our DVR conundrum.

Recently, we started a new {to us} show:  Hell on Wheels.  The acting is fantastic, the scenery is gorgeous, and we’re suckers for anything vaguely historical.  Hell on Wheels focuses on the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.  It has loads of tension and features the most beautifully tortured antihero, Cullen Bohannon.

Yes...that is Ben from Crossroads.

Yes…that is Ben from Crossroads.  Let’s all send up a prayer of thanksgiving because, WOW.

If you recall from American History, the federal government was indirectly involved with the building of the transcontinental railroad, so obviously there are several incredibly corrupt characters.  My favorite, Thomas Durant, delivers a stunning speech at the end of the pilot episode:

“Is it a villain you want? I’ll play the part. After all, what is a drama without a villain? What is the building of this grand road if not a drama? This business is not for the weak of heart. It is a thorny, brutal affair that rewards the lion for his ferocity. But what of the zebra? What of the poor zebra? Well, the zebra’s eaten, as the zebra should be. Make no mistake, blood will be spilled, lives will be lost, fortunes will be made, men will be ruined. There will be betrayal and scandals, and perfidy of epic proportions, but the lion – shall – prevail! You see, the secret I know is this. All of history is driven by the lion. We drag the poor zebra, kicking and braying, staining the earth with its cheap blood. History doesn’t remember us fondly, but then history is written by the zebra for the zebra. One hundred years hence, when this railroad spans the continent, and America rises to be the greatest power the world has seen, I will be remembered as a caitiff, a malefactor, who only operated out of greed for personal gain. All true, all true, but remember this: without me and men like me, your glorious railroad would never be built.”

That, my friends, is good television and great writing.  We’ll be sharing our must-watch list later this month.  In the meantime:

  • Do you watch Hell on Wheels?
  • Do you still have a satellite or cable plan or have you made the switch to digital streaming?

XOXO,

Court