Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Recommendations

For all of you skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Aside from me, this month you get recs from Jana at The Townhouse Pioneer/Jana Says, Amanda at Voyage of the MeeMee, Kerry at Til Then, Smile Often, and Kelli at She Crab Soup. Links to their blogs and other social media shebangs are under their recommendations. Go forth and enjoy!

1. Friday Night Lights. Without a doubt, one of the greatest shows in the history of television. The show centers around the life of a small town Texas football coach and his family, but really, football is simply the backdrop (so don't let that dissuade you. I detest football and really, there's so much more, the football becomes incidental). Everything about the show is basically perfect so I don't even know how to start describing it. But I highly recommend watching it. Also, it's streaming on Netflix so binge watching is entirely possible. And if that still doesn't convince you, there's Taylor Kitsch without a shirt. 
2. My favorite app right now is Spotify. In the words of Stefan, this app has everything. Playlists. Customizable radio stations. Entire albums (did I just date myself?). The ability to follow artists and your friends. Sharing your listening selections on Facebook. Obscure 80s and 90s songs you forgot existed. The only problem is that the premium ad free service is about $10 per month, but for me, it's well worth it. Because so. Much. Music. If ads don't bother you, the free version works wonderfully.

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a book I always, and without fail, recommend. Easily my favorite book of the last 5 years. Written by Garth Stein about the travails of a race car driver using a dog as the narrator, it's one of those books, like The Fault in Our Stars or Defending Jacob or Nineteen Minutes, that just stays with you. Put it on reserve at your library ASAP and set aside a weekend. Preferably not the same one you're using to binge watch FNL.
4. Winter is terrible on my skin, especially my hands. To help fix the damage done by my compulsive hand washing, I use Bath and Body Works paraffin hand lotion, Look Ma, New Hands! It is the BEST hand lotion I have ever used. It's thick so a little goes a long way and it lasts for hours, even through additional hand washing. It will undo your horribly dry skin in a matter of days and then you'll wonder how you ever used anything else. I use it in the summer, too, because dry skin never rests. 
Visit Jana at The Townhouse Pioneer on Facebook / Follow on Pinterest / Follow on Instagram

1) Tangle Teezer: My hair is down to my waist and because it's so long, it gets tangled very easily. This thing legit gets rid of ANY knots EFFORTLESSLY and 100% PAIN FREE! The company is based out of the UK but I got mine at Target for $10.
2) Quinoa Taco Filling: Cook 1 cup of quinoa per package instructions, adding 1 packet of taco seasoning to the water. Once cooked, mix in 1 can of rinsed and cooked black beans and 1 cup of cooked corn. I put this inside of whole grain taco shells but it's honestly good by itself, too. I just add some cheese and taco sauce on top and go to town on it. I seriously make this 2-3 times a week that's how obsessed I am.
3) The Following/Scandal: The Following is creepy and will probably make you want to sleep with one eye open. But there's a hot dude with a British accent in it to make up for that. Scandal is like a non cheesy, non trashy, nighttime soap opera... and also has a hot guy with a British accent in it.
4) Free Kibble: This website features a new trivia question each day. If you play (it's FREE!!!!!!), whether your answer is right or wrong, 10 pieces of doggy food get donated to a shelter. They also have a sister site, Free Kibble Kat, which revolves around the same concept, only in relation to kitties.
Free Kibble
5) Be The Change You Seek (Kerry @ Till Then, Smile Often): Kerry has been chronicling her random acts of kindness and it's extremely inspiring. Go check out her ideas and I promise you'll get motivated to "Be The Change You Seek!"

Till Then Smile Often
Visit Amanda at Voyage of the MeeMee / Follow on Twitter

1. Victoria's Secret: If there is one things that pops up regularly on my blog it is my love of Victoria's Secret. It is a serious addiction. For the Semi-Annual Sale I may have placed 4 separate orders. I mean it was all on sale, you feel me?! Plus the perks of being a VIP member is awesome. I just got a $45 gift card for free!!
2. Drink of Choice Lately: Manic Mango - It is a Mango Schnapps and it is 101 proof. I mix a double shot with Diet Sprite and it is so good.
3. Favorite Recipe: I am always trying to expand on my cooking skills. I didn't have anyone teach me growing up so I really have to go by trial and error. This is by far my favorite recipe that I have made so far. It had a nice crunchy outer layer with a soft center. The Aioli added such a nice flavor to the whole dish. It was so easy to put together but made me feel like a 5 star chef. Click here for the recipe.
Corn Fritters with Lemon Dill Aioli
4. Movie: The Big Wedding. I watched this again this week and is just hilarious! Such a great cast of characters too. Talk about dysfunctional family drama. 
5. Magazines: I love flipping through magazines for recipe ideas. It may be one ingredient in a dish that sparks an idea or a dish that I can add or remove items. It can really get your cooking mojo going. My favorites are Cooking Light, The Food Network Magazine (The Bacon Issue - perfection), and Food and Family.
Visit Kerry at Til Then, Smile Often / Follow on Facebook / Follow on Instagram

1. We're The Millers - this movie will make you laugh until you cry, I promise it's worth the rental fee and then some.
2. Valspar Paint Samples - Work great for small at home DIY projects, you can get them mixed in ANY Valspar color, and they are only $2.98.
Photo from Kelli's blog post here
3. HGTV Magazine - I love Better Homes and Gardens but lets be honest my house will never look like anything in that magazine. HGTV magazine has projects and looks that are a little more realistic for your every day girl.
Visit Kelli at She Crab Soup / Follow on Facebook / Follow on Instagram 

1. Blog Post: I love this blog on kindness. I think the human condition is a great unifier - we're all in need of kindness at some point, which is why it's so very important to give it to others. And why I love Kerry's Be the Change that Amanda listed above in her list.
2. Books: If you're looking for a book that doesn't require much mental interaction but is a fine story, check out When in Doubt, Add Butter. Books I read this month that were okay: Beach House Memories and Margaret from Maine. I also read Allegiant, and sorry but I think the author phoned it in on the last book in the trilogy.
3.  CC Cream. "This CC cream by Perfekt costs $42 and is worth every bloody cent," says the girl who always has issues finding something that doesn't freak her skin out but has adequate yet non mask-like coverage. That girl is me. Plus, SPF 30 for the win. The spelling bothers me, of course. Gimmicky. I'll overlook it.
4.Noxema. No shit, you guys. Like the old school tub. I've been removing makeup with a cucumber face wipe every night, applying Noxema, letting it sink in for about 15 or 20 minutes while I fold laundry, wipe down the bathroom, lay out clothes for the next day, whatever, and then I wipe it off with some warm water. Use witch hazel and Neutrogena Healthy Skin night and dunzo. My skin looks good. Things are working.
5. Grammar video. I admit, I overuse literally, but that's an inside joke between me and my people. MFD shared this video with me and I was applauding and also laughing a lot.
There you have it. I hope you found something in here that speaks to you, and I hope you visit Jana, Amanda, Kerry, and Kelli and follow along on their blogs. These ladies share good stuff daily, this is just your sneak peek.

A special happy birthday to my mother-in-law. I hope your day is fabulous!

So long, farewell, au wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye


  1. Well, hello stranger! It's been a week. And it's just Wednesday... Great post, I love the concept of all these suggestions! I'm def. going to try the quinoa taco filling, sounds delish and easy peasy!
    And they video... I literally laughed til I cried! :-P The pic of Kelsey Grammer is the background... hilarious! That video wins the internet today!

  2. the art of running in the rain is such a great book!! made me cry!

    and scandal! i just finished season 2 and it's so hard to not start season 3! going to try and wait for the entire season to be over because there's no way i can wait a week to see each new episode!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  3. Oh my goodness, my hands have been WRECKED by this winter. I'm definitely going to try to get my hands on some of that B&BW lotion, Jana. (Haven't been in that that place in YEARS.) Thanks for all the great recommendations, ladies!

  4. Pete is OBSESSED with Friday Night Lights. He already watched the whole series last year and he's currently watching it again. Fun fact: I had a racy dream about the guy with long hair the other night, I had no idea what his name was in real life.

  5. So does that mean you're over your oil skin ritual thing for your face?

    1. Yes. I did the oil cleansing method for over a year, and in month 14 my face went insane. I didn't adjust my oils to the change in the seasons, and I was getting lazy about it by that point.

  6. Amanda might have convinced me I need the tangle tweezer! For some reason it's always freaked me out a bit, but I might try and find it the next time I'm at target!

  7. Loved all the recommendations!! Taylor Kitsch in FNL is so good. I love the Following too. That grammar video is so cute! Is this why everyone spells my blog name wrong or right?!

  8. I LOVE these posts except that most of the time, they make me go right to Amazon and order something (thank you Prime). Also, thank you for sharing that post again. I've found that living in the big city, I tend to have more things shoved in my face, but I think it will make me a better person overall. Happy hump day.

  9. I WISH I needed the tangle tweezer. Enjoy and appreciate your long, lovely locks, ladies! I do not want to read anything that makes me cry. I am a weinerwhistle ! I have enjoyed reading all of these blogs lately.
    Carpe diem! Love your MOMMA

  10. I need to watch the grammar video ASAP but I am too wrapped up in Spotify to pause it, haha. I need to finish FNL because I did love it but then life happened and I want to try Amanda's quinoa taco filling - that's a recipe I can get on board with!

  11. I can't wait each month for these posts. Great recommendations by all - I LOVE the Free Kibble Sites, can't wait to try out some new hand lotion, and DIED watching that video!!

  12. Yes to The Art of Racing in the Rain, one of the best reads ever!

  13. Friday Night Lights is incredible. I still need to watch the final two seasons because I'm terrible and I fell behind and then I just... didn't want it to end ever. /o\ But I recommend it so, so wholeheartedly.

  14. Yep, I agree with Jana about Friday Night Lights! One of my all time faves!! And Manic Mango???? I can't even begin to fathom that that tastes like!! YIKES!!! I am still on the Neutrogena bandwagon too!!!

  15. Hahaha I knew Kerry would say VS and Kelli would say HGTV before I even looked! I did not know about tangle teezer, I need that for sure.

  16. friday night lights is seriously the best show ever. ever. i'm interested to try that tangle comb. my hair hers knotty like no ones business!

  17. Scandal is one of my favorite shows! So good! I have checked out Friday Night Lights yet...may need to do that when I need a good binge. You know...every Sunday.

    Amanda's recipe sounds delish and easy. My kind of recipe!

    Old school Noxema is what my mom used to have us rub on our sunburns when we were younger. Shit is a miracle for a lot of stuff!

  18. All your sponsors are brilliant! I say that because I agree with just about everything above. I will have to give The Art of Racing in the Rain another chance. I couldn't get into it last time I tried but I love the other books Jana mentioned so I'll try again.

    I haven't used Noxzema in years but I swear just the mention of it and I can smell it!

  19. I NEED that Tangle Teezer- my hair is always a mess especially when wearing coats with hoods in the winter.

  20. I was nodding throughout most of this. I need to try or do or get some of these things. I love The Following and Scandal! Awesome shows.

  21. Awww Free Kibble sounds like a great site!! I love helping animals :-)

  22. We watched the millers the second time with my in laws. I am not sure what my husband was thinking. I almost peed my pants the first time I watched. hahaha so damn funny.

  23. Happy birthday to your MIL. I'm pretty committed to Jagermeister as my drink of choice but will have to give the Manic Mango a try. Never heard of it. I have absolutely horribly dry skin. I'm going to seek out Look Ma, New Hands and see how well it does. I'm up for anything that will rid me of the dryness.

  24. Yes, yes, YES to FNL... best show ever! #timrigginsforlife ;)


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