Friday Fives

Friday Fives: March 13, 2020

Aaannnnnd I’m exhausted.

This work week has felt so long, despite my only having been at work for three days. My brother and his lovely fiance got married last weekend in Orlando and it was a wonderful celebration, as well as a break from the cold. Hard to come back for sure.

Plus, I’ve been a bit out of sorts as work is now largely focused on dealing with coronavirus-related issues, but lo there, a weekend appears on the horizon, and I am looking forward to reading and going for walks and working on the bathroom.

That was a run-on sentence. I am an ace writer today. How are you doing?

Friday Fives

Last weekend, my family stayed in an Airbnb together (it was WILD—there were a horse and a wolf-like dog wandering the property and we had a blast).

Anyway, one night we watched Always Be My Maybe starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. It was the second time I’d seen it and I was reminded how delightful it is! Great characters, music, fashion, and funny to boot.



Jacob feeding Hidalgo carrots at our Airbnb


Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Irvin Painter

Both wonderful. Hoping to finish them this weekend.

34189556Listening to:
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, narrated by Julia Whelan

Still on my thrillers kick.




Still working on the bathroom. Added this Sea Monster Shower Curtain by Calamityware and it looks amazing.


Just the luxurious amount of time I got to spend over the weekend with some of the people I love most in the world.




At Cocoa Beach, FL

Friday Fives

Friday Fives: February 14, 2020 <3


Just two bacons in love

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

How do you celebrate?

I know folks that view V-Day as a made-up holiday that only benefits Hallmark and others that go all out, exchanging gifts and stuff.

Ben and I generally go out to a nice dinner, either the day of or around the day. This year, we were on top of that shit and Ben made us reservations at a fancy local spot.

They have my favorite soup ever made in the history of soup—mushroom, with real cream drizzled over the top. Fat kid heaven. 🙂

I also like to get both Jake and Ben some treats. And myself of course. Gotta’ keep up that Reese’s intake for optimum health.

What are you up to?

Friday Fives:

MOnty with Nellie and Nigel in the jewel and grass borders

I mean, look at him with those faithful doggos 😭

What I’m Watching: 

Nothing bc I am reading like a maniac. But as spring becomes more of a presence in my mind, I will turn to Gardeners’ World because Monty Don is one of the most soothing people on TV. He would really give Mr. Rogers a run for his money. I keep worrying that he’s a jerk in real life, which would crush me.


The jury is out.

What I’m Reading:

Just finished up What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons. So good.

I’ve started Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore but am having trouble getting into it. Anyone have any opinions to share on that one?

After loving Ethan Frome, I also bought all of Edith Wharton’s novels for 99¢ on Kindle. So there’s that option…

The Housekeeper by Natalie BarelliWhat I’m Listening to:

The Housekeeper by Natalie Barelli —It’s a psychological thriller that involves a housekeeper/nanny, so you know I’m in. It is read by a new-to-me narrator, Susie Berneis, who gives a delightful performance. Her tone is wry and she sounds like she’s been smoking for 20 years. I love it.


Giant heart eyes for this bathroom

What I’m Making: 

I’m working on gussying up our upstairs bathroom, which is taking the place of my artwork lately. The walls are gray and I’m painting the trim black. Shooting for the kind of aesthetic displayed by @offbeat.vintage.girl on Instagram.

Give her a follow if you love vintage/dark colors/have an older home.

What I’m Loving:

Kolaj magazine. It is brilliant. I save every issue for a special amount of time, when I can read every word and examine every page of artwork. It’s quarterly and I wish it were monthly because I literally want to jump into the pages and live in them.


Too much gorgeous. Can’t compute.

Tell me what you’re reading and/or fascinated by right now.

I need more internet rabbit holes to fall down!

Friday Fives

Friday Fives: One F and Three DNFs


Non-book-related image: How cool are these little water droplet stalactites, which I saw on one of my walks home this week?

Happy Friday!

I have been a real slacker on the reading front this week. I finished Paper Wife and The Secrets We Kept last week and struggled to settle in to a new book this week.

I did, however, finish the audiobook version of God is Not Great: How Religion Ruins Everything by Christopher Hitchens. Haven’t had the mental space to blog about it, but that was a win on the reading front.


Sad panda only ever has DNFs.

Had some DNFs:
Such a Fun Age – Really wanted to read, but just couldn’t get going on it for some reason. Interesting themes re: racial issues, but I lost interest quickly, so idk.
Dr. Zhivago – Wanted to read this after The Secrets We Kept, but again, couldn’t muster the energy for it. As with a lot of classic Russian literature, in my experience, it felt like an idea-driven book, rather than a character-driven book, and sometimes a bitch has no mental capacity for that kind of thing at the end of the workday. 🙂 I shouldn’t make such sweeping generalizations about Russian literature given my limited experience, but that’s what the Internet is for. I don’t make the rules, people.
Grand Hotel – I was looking forward to starting this one, but it was so very tedious. Loved Baum’s tone and voice, but omg, the minutiae was exhausting.

I’m a little concerned that I’m giving up on classics when I’ve decided on another classics challenge this year, but here we are. You have to kiss some frogs to find your prince.

On to Friday Fives:

Catastrophe Poster1. What I’m Watching: Nothing right now, but a coworker who also loves British television just recommended Catastrophe, so I’ll probably give that a try. If you’ve watched it, what did you think?


Confessions of a Bookseller2. What I’m Reading: My library hold on Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell finally came in! I’m careening through that now. It’s the follow-up to his first memoir, Diary of a Bookseller, which I read last year and loooved. I will say that I don’t think this one is as snappy, but I don’t care because I’m invested now. If you, too, are invested in the life of this curmudgeonly Scottish bookseller you don’t know, he spills some good tea about his relationship with Anna.

BadFeministRoxanneGay3. What I’m Listening to: Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay, read by Bahni Turpin. She’s such a wonderful narrator.


4. What I’m Making: *crickets chirp* *the sun sets* *a lone coyote howls in the distance*

Image result for funny gym memes5. What I’m Loving: Going back to the gym! Ben and I started going again. My goal is to get there three times a week. I’m just lifting and I am a weakling with noodle arms, as my coworker Karen would say.

So far so good on the new routine, but it’s only week two, so…

What’s everyone reading, watching, etc.?

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

Haven’t done a Friday Fives in a while, but since I’m being such a good, regular blogger lately, I had the urge and went for it…

durWhat I’m Watching:

Nothing. Weird. I went through a ton of Netflix and Christmas movies over my two-week break from work. I was super sick and escaped into the TV. I ran out of free Durrell’s in Corfu, which is sad. Have you watched it? SUCH a great show.

Please tell me if you have recommendations! Would love to hear what you’ve watched and enjoyed lately, movies or TV, no matter what genre.

43923951What I’m Reading:

The Essential Rumi, which I started, like, two years ago and recently came back to. What can I say? One is not always in the mood for mystic poetry. Tonight, I’ll also crack open Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and see how I like it. I am sure to tell you either way. 😉

45171444._SX318_What I’m Listening to:

The audiobook version of Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim. So far, I am absolutely loving it. It fits with my goal of reading more historical fiction this year.

What I’m Making: 

ACK. Nothing. This saddens me. I had so many grand plans for collage work and crafts over my holiday break and strep throat stole my vacation away from me. Sad panda. I hope to get back to it this weekend.

logoWhat I’m Loving: 

Recently, I’ve been outraged by the number of white people trying to “help” in African countries while broadcasting their helpfulness on social media.

People’s lack of knowledge around the history and cultures of the people they are “helping” is astounding and appalling to me.

I’ve enjoyed following the organization No White Saviors, which is a great resource for white people who want to do good things for other people but know that there is more to the story than what they’ve been told by many white missionaries and self-proclaimed activists. One of the messages NWS pushes is that “good intentions are not good enough” and I can’t agree more. I’m working to educate myself. If you’re interested, check out the NWS Resources page. Highly recommend.

Tell me what you’ve been up to! Happy weekend!

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

And because I’m such a good blogger this week, I’ve got a Friday Fives post comin’ atcha!

Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby

What I’m Watching:

I finished up a series of Gardener’s World via BritBox and next up is a thorough spooky movie watch list for October:
-Rosemary’s Baby (So good.)
-The Omen
-The Conjuring
-Amityville Horror, old and new
-Paranormal Activity
-Psycho (I’ve never seen it!)
-Practical Magic
-The Turn of the Screw (starring Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame)

41150394What I’m Reading:

Ok, don’t judge: The Family Next Door: The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue.

I have to find out what the deal is with these people. So far, it seems the parents come from a family of incestuous religious zealots. Ick. Those poor children.

29927840What I’m Listening to:

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, narrated by none other than Jayne Entwistle. It is delightful! I just discovered Pym and plan to read her novel Quartet in Autumn. Isn’t it fun to discover new-to-you authors? And even better when you love them.

What I’m Making: 

Quite a bit, actually. I’ve just finished a Day of the Dead themed mantel at home, and I’ve been making a collaged postcard a day as part of the 100 Day Project. I’m late to the project and it’s officially over, but I’m still going to do 100. You can see them all here. 



Day of the Dead wreath and a favorite postcard

What I’m Loving: 

I could spend hours falling down the rabbit hole of the Five Books site, where they interview experts who recommend the five best books on a particularity topic.  Vikings, Sylvia Plath, World War II. It’s all there.

And that’s it for this Friday. Tell me what you’re into right now!

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

What’s everybody up to this “holiday” weekend? Quotes around “holiday” because it’s just a regular weekend for me and it’s only a holiday in the U.S. Ben is working tomorrow and my house is in desperate need of a good cleaning. So, yay?

On with the Friday Fives!

Movie Cover: Being JuliaWhat I’m Watching: 

Still finishing up 90210 (I’m on season 10!), but I also just noticed that the book I just finished, Theater by W. Somerset Maugham, is also a movie starring Annette Bening. I will be watching it tonight (may have to start it on my lunch hour though!). Now that I see the dvd cover, it does kind of ring a bell. Looks like Bening won a best actress award for it too.


Book Cover: Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and ClydeWhat I’m Reading: 

I’ve started Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. I’m on, like, page 10, so I haven’t committed yet, but it’s pretty good so far. Good in that it’s a very dramatic story that holds my attention. Sad in that it starts off with the terrible murder of a young police officer.



What I’m Listening to:

Still Crime Junkie for now, but I also discovered the Allah-Las the other day, and contemporary psychedelic surf rock might actually become my thing this summer.



An ATC for a swap group I’m in.

What I’m Making: 

Some collage. Other than that, not much, honestly. I need to get back to my craft table, but I think I’m back in “consumption” vs. “production” mode. (Explanation here.)



img_20190605_171026What I’m Loving: 

Nothing earth-shattering lately. I’ve been buying fresh flowers for myself lately and it improves my mood every time I look at them. Highly recommend if you can swing it.

Happy weekend!

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

Happy Friday! It’s been a pretty mundane week, but I finished one book and started another, so I call it a win.

What I’m Watching:

Yesterday, I discovered these short BBC videos titled “The funny thing about…” Great format and they address some interesting topics.

Otherwise, I’ve now actually subscribed to BritBox and have continued the delightful Gardener’s World.

Atomic Habits by James ClearWhat I’m Reading: 

This week I finished Help Me! by Marianne Power (blog post to come) and started the much buzzed about Atomic Habits by James Clear. Got a copy from the library and liked it so much that I’ve ordered my own so I can mark it up with notes and highlights.

What I’m Listening to:

Not much of anything this week, I’m afraid. The weather has been rainy and cold, so I haven’t been walking home, which is when I usually listen to audiobooks and podcasts.

studionotenotebookWhat I’m Making: 

Crafts for some friends’ baby shower and that’s about it. I didn’t even work on my puzzle this week. Maybe it’s the weather. I’m too tired and curmudgeonly. I do continue to journal though and this week I was pleased to receive a new notebook I ordered, the Studio Note Tamoe River Notebook by Nanami Paper. It’s 480 pages of grid-paper goodness that lays flat when you write in it. The paper is fountain-pen friendly, which means I may have to treat myself to one of those too.

What I’m Loving: 

This lovely garden blog: Tangly Cottage Garden Journal

I’m hoping to be inspired to get my act together with our outdoor space. We just had a giant red oak removed because it was trying to push into our roof, so that was step one. I have a whole border flower garden planned out and I may be able to piecemeal some of it together this year, but we’re also shoveling money into painting our house, so…

Giant stump (and Jacob’s shadow)


Trunk on a truck in our driveway, plus the stumps of three small (diseased) trees that were also removed.


It’ll all come together in the end, right?…RIGHT?!


The house is slightly more finished than this now. The triangle at the top and all other sides have yet to see paint.

Tell me what you’re up to/into lately! ❤ 🙂

Friday Fives

Friday Fives


Our foyer BEFORE the cleaners got there. Does this say “squalor” to you?

Happy Friday! I, for one, am trés ready for the weekend.

In First World Problems news, we had cleaners at the house yesterday and it ended up being more stressful than if I’d just cleaned the whole house myself. There were two cleaners, who were very nice and who probably don’t make enough money to spend the better part of an hour scrubbing our bathroom floor. And then a lady who called herself “the inspector” showed up with a clipboard and tried to temper my expectations by saying the house would not be spick and span by the time she left and that since the mess wasn’t made in a day, I shouldn’t expect it to be clean in a day.

I felt…judged. I mean, do we have a lot of dog hair? Yes. Should we clean our bathroom floor more than we do? Absolutely. Do we live in abject filth and squalor? Certainly not.

All this is neither here nor there at this point. They have my money and I have experience, which, as Ben says, is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

On to more pertinent, if not more interesting, musings!

What I’m Watching:


Monty Don of Gardener’s World – the two dogs follow him around on camera. I ask you.

Gardener’s World, a BBC show hosted by Monty Don. I am watching it through a free trial of BritBox because apparently I am now a full-fledged Anglophile.


What I’m Reading:

TheInvitedbookI’ve started The Invited by Jennifer McMahon because I am always looking for a good ghost story. So far it’s…OK. I don’t care for the pedestrian writing – McMahon falls a little too far on the tell side of “show, don’t tell,” and it’s just not very sophisticated, I guess. I know I sound like a snob, sorry. I’ll see if it holds my attention.

What I’m Listening to:

UnderTheSkinPodcastStill listening to the audiobook version of Sarah Wilson’s First We Make the Beast Beautiful. And when not listening to that, I’m delving into Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin. I like him much better now that he’s been through a 12-step program. In fact, I truly enjoyed his book Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions. If you like audiobooks, I recommend listening to it as he reads very well. If you’re not British, you’ll have to get used to the accent, of course. But I find it quite amusing and him quite insightful.

What I’m Making:


I COVET this traveler’s notebook from Chic Sparrow. It will be mine!

I’m doing a lot of personal writing lately, rather than crafting or art-ing. Journaling is my method of choice and I’m even jotting down the beginnings of a book about it. Shhh, don’t tell. You’ll ruin the mystique around it in my head.


What I’m Loving:

And speaking of journaling, I’m currently obsessed with two blogs which are very focused on the tools of the trade:

Notebook Stories – I recommend this one for people who obsess about notebooks and journals and sketchbooks.

From the Pen Cup – fancy pens, writing, and notebook goodness. A bit more personal as well.

Fill me in on you. What are you reading, watching, etc., etc.?

Happy Friday to all! ❤ ❤ ❤

Friday Fives

Friday Fives

This is a new type of post I thought up after seeing some other bloggers something similar. I thought it’d be fun to share, generally, what I’m into on a week-by-week basis and, if you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear what you’re into lately too! Please do comment even if you feel like what you’re into isn’t that exciting. I’m always getting ideas from fellow bloggers and readers, so I’m happy to hear whatever you have to say. 🙂

What I’m Watching:

90210 (2)

RIP Luke Perry ❤

Beverly Hills 90210 on Hulu and freaking loving every moment and amazing 90s outfit.

What I’m Reading:

We all know I’m in a bit of a slump reading-wise, so I have little to say here, except that I’m slowly working through a (please don’t laugh too hard) James Van Praagh book called Unfinished Business. I mean, what if reincarnation is real?! I need to stay informed.

First We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah WilsonWhat I’m Listening to:

Also listening to the audiobook version of Sarah Wilson’s First We Make the Beast Beautiful and loving it. I recommend it for anyone who’s dealt with anxiety, depression, OCD, or, honestly, any other confounding mental disorder.

CollageWhat I’m Making:

Collage everything. I discovered artist Clover Robin last year and ordered her wonderful book Cut Paper Pictures. I’m messing around copying her style to learn how everything is done.

What I’m Loving:

  1. Springtime heart eyes emoji heart eyes emoji
  2. I got my April Pipsticks envelope and this bear card was in it and I love it so much.


How about you? What are you into/up to?