favorite things

Friday Favorites: March 7th

1. Its MARCH.

FFvs 3.7.14That means we’re a LIIIIITTLE bit closer to spring.  In other news, I’m pretty sure I’ve been ovecome with spring fever (can you take off work for that?) and the result is extreme giddiness.  Also it’s going to be 49 whole degrees out tomorrow and I get to go romp around with the boy OUTSIDE!  IN FRESH AIR!

I’m pretty excited.  Can you tell?

2. One of my favorite food holidays of forever is coming!

FFvs 3.7.14

Yes, I know this isn’t a picture of food. But the cool kids get it and probably know what the rest of this section is about now.

You may recall that I’m temporarily going off the veg-wagon for vacation reasons.  But the best part of it is that I realized I’d be able to eat my heart out on probably the one day of the year that I truly love to.

I’m pretty sure we’ll be celebrating on the 15th rather than the 17th, so that my dad can eat dinner with us for once but the menu will be sticking with the classics: corned beef (which I’ll be sharing our recipe for– trust me when I tell you to finish it on the grill, you’ll be much happier with your life), cabbage, potatoes, and Guinness & cheese-laden soda bread.

Plus lots of whiskey.  And maybe some carbomb cupcakes.  I dunno, didn’t print the recipe for those out again the other day.




If you live in New England, you probably get me on this one.  Yuengling is probably the best American-style lager out there (IMO), with bonus points for being the oldest American brewery and still being American-owned.  Its also still owned and operated by the Yuengling family.  They’re also complete badasses who sold ice cream during Prohibition because they obviously couldn’t sell beer.  ..and then promptly delivered a case to the White House as soon as the law was repealed, which is a little fishy but definitely adds badassery points.

But for whatever reason (“distribution issues”..yes, sure) its impossible to get east of New York.  Which, if you ask most New Englanders who have had it, is completely ludicrous.  (I mean, we’ve all become master beer smugglers as a result, but whatever.)

NO MORE.  (Sort of.)

Yuengling is now distributing to Massachusetts– the very state that, as luck would have it, I live about five minutes away from the border from.  I can have this stuff pretty much whenever I want, now.

Trust me.  You’re jealous.  (But you’re also welcome to stop by for a drink if you promise to play nice!)

Special after-draft add-in– a THOUSAND thank yous to the people who come to Planet Fitness in East Granby.  I don’t know the names of anyone who stopped to help me today but I see you all every day and I cannot, cannot thank you enough for your help this morning.  


Friday Favorites: February 21st

Guys, its raining and its sort of warm out (and by sort of I mean it was like 36 degrees on my way to the gym this morning).

I’m over the moon.

Here’s some other stuff I was pretty into this week.


FFvs 2.21.14 - FrozenYeah, I get it, I’m late to the party.  PS, I give zero fucks.  This was the most precious of things.  <feelings>.  Before this my favorite of the “new” Disney movies was Tangled; after an hour long gush-fest about how Elsa and I are SOUL TWINS, my bestie S asked if I liked Frozen better.

I didn’t know how to answer.  It felt blasphemous, but…I think I sort of do.

A Gentleman is talking me into cosplaying it.  I’m not looking forward to making that train, but motherfuck will I do it.  SOUL TWINS, I’m telling you.

True Detective

FFvs 2.21.14 True DetectiveYEAH I KNOW I’M BEHIND THE POP CULTURE EIGHT BALL.  See above comments about the number of fucks given.  This show is awesome.  Find a friend with HBO and get on that shit.

Or, you know.  Piracy is a thing that you could also do if you were so inclined.  Yar.

Pulling your spring coat out of the closet and finding money AND lipstick you’d thought you’d lost

This happened this morning.  Fuck YES.

And this darling little wax paper envelope.

FFvs 2.21.14 MakersThe contents of which you’ll find out more about next week.

Happy Friday, darlings!  Hope the snow’s melting down where y’all are as well, if you’ve got it.

(Short and horrible post brought to you by the fact that I feel like crap.  Sorry!)

Friday Favorites: February 14th

Happy V-Day/Singles Awareness Day!

But more importantly happy Friday, because fuck all the rest of it.  I gave myself chocolate this morning.  It was awesome.  And this, my friends, is my entire contribution to Valentines’ Day.

What have I been diggin’ this week?  Let me tell you.

Eric Church – the Outsiders

FFvs 2.14 - OutsidersY’all might’ve noticed that I kinda like country music.  Maybe a little bit.  The first single from this damn album dropped like last October, and I’ve been gagging for the rest of it since then.  Thankfully the rest of the album came out on Tuesday; true story, one of the morning jockeys on the station I listen to is a CRAZY Church fan, so he dubbed the day Churchmas and was having problems keeping it together when they ran the entire album.  (Cool it, Broadway.  Go take a cold shower.)

EC’s pretty grungy for a country artist– more along the lines of classic southern rock than a lot of the kind of poppy stuff coming out now (I know that includes Luke but ZIP IT, I’m still going to listen to him).  The Outsiders is no different.  Its been a pretty nice background for the week I’ve had, so its basically been my soundtrack since I got home from work Tuesday and downloaded it.

Really, Really Punchy Red Lips

Trust me, this is the best red lipstick you will ever smear on your face.  Bonus: this is a real ad, and they're still making this shade.

Trust me, this is the best red lipstick you will ever smear on your face. Bonus: this is a real ad, and they’re still making this shade.

Fun Fact: most of the east coast is getting punched in the face by snow right now, and its kind of putting me in a funk.  I am really, really sick of winter and I just want to think bright happy thoughts about sunshine and sitting in my goddamn Adirondack chair on my damn front lawn with a book and a Porch Rocker.  But since we’re not quite there yet, meet my second-best option.

Punchy lipcolor just makes me feel better.  Especially when everything else is so “blah” out.  See above for reference on the kind of red I’m talking about, because I am in no mood for snapping selfies of my own right now.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

FFvs 2.14 - the Help
Am I super behind the times on this?  Yes.  Do I care?  You had better fucking believe I don’t.  This is one of those rare cases where everyone tells you that you should read something because its just SO GREAT that you get yourself so amped on recommendations and decide they’ve all oversold the book so you decide not to read it– but then one day you start and its actually just as good as they’d said.

Maybe that’s a problem that’s unique to me.  I don’t know.  But whatever, I’m really digging this book.  Its a book club pick that I actually grudgingly voted for because I’d decided it might be time to give it a half a chance.  Good move, B!  I’m about 50 pages in and its reminding me so much of one of my favorite books of last year, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  Moral of the story is that I should stop forgetting I like Southern fiction and just read all of it, all the time, and inevitably start calling everyone darlin’ (already started) and blessing all their sweet little hearts.

Now for the nerdy pick of the week:


FFvs 2.14 - SWTOR

In case anyone was still doubting my nerd chops, here you go.  Yes, I have been sucking up my evenings playing a MMO Star Wars game.  And you know what?  Its awesome.  I’m playing right now as a bad-ass Sith assassin with a double bladed lightsaber and literally no fucks to give.  She will mess you up.

So while y’all are out having high expectations of dream dates and red roses, I’ll be curled up at home kicking Sith-ass and taking Sith-names.  And I’m perfectly fine with that turn of events.

XOXO and happy 14th, all!

Friday Favorites – 24 January

I like stuff.  And also things.  Here are the highlights.



Someone I know sent me this book in the mail, unexpectedly, and I think that might’ve been the best way I could have gotten it.  S is the book I never dared to dream about, and here’s why: you know those books you have when you’re a kid, with all the envelopes and letters and interactive everything?  You know how those books were actually the best thing ever?  S is basically that for adults, and what’s more is that it’s a story about a mystery about an author’s story?  So you have the actual novel text to work through, the timeline of the margin notes to work through, the included letters and tidbits as well as the external supplemental materials to work through, and the running mystery to work through.

Added bonus: there’s all kinds of little nuggets criticising reader response criticism, and I couldn’t be happier because reader response is bullshit but I’m not going to talk about it and get on a tangent and this makes it a hot contender for my list of favorite English Major Things.

That said.  I’m super excited about it right now, but I’ve read more than one review that basically says for as great as the concept and the visual/sensory execution is, the literary one doesn’t pull through quite so well– which would be unfortunate.  I have high hopes, though.  As long as JJ Abrams doesn’t insist on shoving polar bears into the picture and then never explaining them.

My Jane Austen Five-Year Journal


I actually only found out that five-year journals were a thing last week, but I have to say I’m preeeetty in love with the idea: you write a little note about what happened on a given day.  Repeat daily through the end of the year, and again for the next five.  At the end you’ll have a neat little retrospective of where you were in life years before, which is something that’s really very easy to lose track of.  What’s funny is that I actually have something similar of my grandfather’s– a yearly diary that his sister gave him before he shipped off to the Pacific with the Navy during WWII, with multiple years of a single date chronicled on the same page.  (His handwriting and spelling were awful, but I’ll forgive him because a) I loved the guy and b) the completed piece of primary-source-material is really, really interesting to read.)

Now, I’m under no impression that the next five years of my life will be anywhere near as interesting to read in seventy years as my grandfather’s exploits are now.  But if all I get is a cool retrospective on my own life dotted with Janeite witticisms, that’s good enough for me.  Plus it is way easier to reread journal entries written in the same book than it is to do so across about eight different ones.

Moon Candy

Moon Candy - FFvs 1.24.14

I mentioned last week that you’d be hearing more about Moon Candy, and I’m about to make good on that.  Moon Candy is, in short, my current favorite thing to slap on my nails.  I am such a sucker for this stuff.  I’ll go into the store to pick up completely unrelated things and WHOOPS, walk out with more Moon Candy.  There is a distinct chance its becoming a problem.  But to be honest, I don’t..actually care?  Or mind, rather.

The setup is pretty simple: on one end of the bottle you get a solid basecoat (respectable polish in its own right, but I’m a fan of Revlon polish in general so I’m not too surprised) and on the other you get a glittery topcoat.  BUT WAIT.  The glittery topcoat isn’t just any glittery topcoat: the flakes are all different sizes and colors, so the net effect is like someone puked multicolored mother-of-pearl onto your fingernails.

I am in love.

Luke Bryan

I have a thing for pictures of hunting!Luke.  Don't judge me.

I have a thing for pictures of hunting!Luke. Don’t judge me.

New?  No.  Favorite?  Still yes.  Going to see him tonight?  Abso-motherfucking-lutely and I’ve had a hard time keeping it together today with all the anticipation.

This section mostly just exists because I want to tell literally everyone about this.  You wish you were coming, don’t lie.

Friday Favorites – 17 January

I really, really love Fridays.

The past two weeks have been pretty madcap at work, which is I guess good for the company I work for (busy weeks = lots of $$) but very, very bad for my energy levels.  I’ve come home from work pretty much beat every night (hi, negative impact on social life, good to see you there) and then spent weekends recuperating.  Its made me into something of a granny.  Needless to say, I am not a fan.

But I am a fan of Fridays, because on Fridays I can usually sneak out a little bit early and get a jump start on my weekend– which is awesome, no matter what I have planned for Saturday and Sunday.  What better way to celebrate the best day of the work week than by sharing things I’ve been loving this week with you?

Hence: Friday Favorites, aka the things that topped my week.

Not being in a polar vortex anymore.



I don’t even care that it’s raining and generally gross out. I’m just happy I can open the trunk of my car again because the entire thing isn’t frozen. And that my windshield wipers can actually work instead of making it halfway across the glass and slowing down like the little engine that really wanted to but was too cold to try any harder.

JD McPherson

JDMP - FF 1.14.14

I popped JD into my Pandora today; the next thing that came up was Chuck Berry.  Ray Charles joined the party not long after.  If this is how my morning starts, I’m pretty sure its going to be an alright day.

I’m already pretty in love with classic rockabilly, so I really shouldn’t be at all surprised that I have unequivocally found my new music love interest in JD McPherson.  But this is pretty much perfect for my mood this month. I was listening to it at the gym the other day, and not only was it a pretty excellent motivator (damn that swing beat and its ability to make me want to move!) but it made me want to a) go home and bake something while doing the Charleston around my kitchen and b) take up swing dancing.

If you’re not on board with me yet, just go listen to North Side Gal and trust me, you’ll get it.

Vacation Planning

NOLA - FF 1.14.14

If I’m being honest, this could actually be the sole contents of my FFaves from now until April.  I wish you could see how excited I am about this.  I have been prone to spontaneous bursts of solo-dancing when thinking about this.

This April, my friend S and I are going on a friend vacation to New Orleans.  This will be the first vacation I’ve taken in probably five years, and let’s just say it has been a long time coming.  I’m not going to say too much about it right now (because this post would probably double in length and be severely less interesting) but just know that planning vacations is awesome and we’re staying at the #1 rated B&B in NOLA and they have zebra carpets and you should be jealous.

Tofu Shirataki

These guys are NOODLE GODS

These guys are NOODLE GODS

I don’t know who came up with this stuff and why they’ve been keeping it from me for so long, but I just want to give a shout out to Hungry Girl for bringing it into my life.  I think I already mentioned that I’m part Italian, so pasta has always been a big part of things– but I hate eating it because Reasons.  And that makes me a sad panda.

Enter Tofu Shirataki into my life: way fewer calories, way less guilt, and the added bonus of some (if not a lot of) protein.  I’m making a puttanesca sauce tonight to celebrate just how excited I am.

(Puttanesca is totally the party girl of Italian sauces.  Don’t even joke.)

This wine stopper.

I don’t even drink wine, but I want it just in case I ever decide to.

In other news: happy birthday, papabear!