Premiere Week – What We’re Watching – September 24-30, 2018

The time is finally here! It’s premiere week!! The blog has been a bit quiet (okay, very), as we transitioned from summer break into grad school again, but we’ve been waiting for this time to arrive. With shows returning, it almost feels like we have dropped back into our *true* routines. We thought we’d take a super quick break to give a run down of the shows we intend to watch this week!

This run down is for the week of September 24th, 2018 through September 30th, 2018. New shows are in bold!

 

Monday September 24th, 2018

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – Season twelve is unfortunately going to be the last season of TBBT and we’re a bit bummed about it. Sometimes I feel like we’re in a minority because we love the show, but hey – they’ve made it twelve seasons so clearly they’ve got at least a few fans! 😉 We will definitely be tuning in and it feels right to be starting off with such a good classic sitcom.

Young Sheldon (CBS) – I’d admit that when I first heard about Young Sheldon, I really was apprehensive. I just didn’t see it working out. Well I realized pretty early in season one that it DOES work and it’s one of my favorite new arrivals of last year. My favorite part is actually the set design. I think they have done an incredible job with making everything look appropriate for the time! I also enjoyed seeing Billy Gardell and I hope that he returns for season 2!

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Monthly Favorites – August 2018

I realize it’s been a bit dead here on the blog in recent weeks. Classes just started up again for both of us and its been a bit of a transition period as we get into the swing of things again. Don’t worry though, while our posts might be a bit more sporadic, we’re still here! I thought that I’d share my August favorites today, which admittedly might be somewhat sparse as it’s just one of those months where I haven’t got loads to talk about. Let’s just get into it shall we?

Made by Design Duvet – I’ve been looking for a new duvet for a really long time now. I’m picky and duvets can be really expensive! While browsing the isles of Target recently, I saw they had new bedding in and this duvet in particular which, is pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for. It’s got ties to keep your duvet in place, buttons up to close and has a really nice edge which makes it look like it cost a lot more than it actually did. It’s also just the right color and isn’t microfiber which drives me and my skin mad (I cannot stand the texture)! Oh and did I mention how utterly affordable it was?? Only $30! It seems that this new Made by Design range from Target is going to be a winner.

Floral Accent Lamp – sticking with home decor, I also picked up this lamp for a side table in my room. I’ve got a space that I’ve been working on cozying up into a nice reading space and I needed better lighting. I honestly didn’t expect to find any thing at Target, but I did! I will say though that this lamp looks much better in person than it does on their website. Once the space is done, perhaps I will share it here on the blog. I’ve been looking for throw pillows for the small couch/futon I’ve got and it’s been easier said than done. I found a couple yesterday at Home Goods but I need some more. If you’ve got any suggestions on good shops for pillows, please let me know!

Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour – I’m not gluten free, but I do try to eat as much GF as I can because I have found that my body isn’t the biggest fan of wheat (whole wheat bread and I just DO NOT get along!!). This flour from Bob’s Red Mill is absolutely excellent! I’ve used it plenty of times as a substitute for regular flour and it works really well. I love Bob’s Red Mill in general and haven’t come across anything from them that I don’t like so it’s really no surprise that this is another winner. I also LOVE their Gluten Free pancake mix. I’ve been using it for years, and while I might try other mixes on occasion, I also come back to theirs because it’s consistent and makes super delicious pancakes!

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan – this was easily my favorite read in a long while. I’ve already written a review so I won’t blab too much about it, but it was just wonderful. I just picked up The Endless Beach from the library and school reading be damned! I will get through this too! I’m currently working my way slowly through a biography of Queen Elizabeth II and really enjoying it. It’s taking me some time to read but my goodness, I have learned so much!! I’m not sure if I will review it here when I’m done or not, if that is something you’d like to see, please let me know!


BBC Sherlock – okay, please don’t judge at how slow I am to get into something – instead, perhaps marvel at my incredible restraint?? Can we view it that way? I mean, I realize I should have been watching Sherlock years ago. My sister has been a huge fan for years and I have no real reason for not watching aside from the fact that sometimes when things are well received and popular, I don’t seem to want to get into them. I honestly didn’t even think I’d enjoy Sherlock. For no good reason either. I’m an anglophile, I like mysteries and crime shows, and I love Elementary, so really, why the hell wouldn’t I like Sherlock?? Well, I LOVE this damn show and I’m so sorry it has taken me this long to watch it (I’m sorry Missy – your nagging was worth it)!! I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I know I’ll be sad when I do.

Lastly, I want to mention the music I’ve been enjoying the most this month. I’ve been listening to Aretha Franklin a lot ❤, and also really loving Whispers from Passenger. I can’t pick a favorite song from either, because it’s all lovely.

Hope everyone had a lovely August. I’m honestly ready for September and fall. Hoping we actually get a proper fall this year. Sometimes it tends to feel like we skip over my favorite season where I live. We’ve got a lot of posts planned for September thanks to the upcoming television season, so stay tuned for that!

The Cafe by the Sea – Jenny Colgan – REVIEW


Lately I’ve been having such a hard time finding my reading “groove”. I read a variety of different genres and sometimes, deciding what I’m in the mood for is easier said than done. I’ve started quite a few books over the past couple of weeks, only to abandon them because they just didn’t feel right. I’ve picked up countless library holds, and then brought them back not fully read. I definitely have favorite genres though, and there’s a certain style of fiction that I find absolutely comforting, which generally speaking, seems to always get me out of a reading rut!

I’m talking the light hearted, vaguely romantic, “chick-lit” type of fiction. Ideally set somewhere in the UK because I’m an unashamed Anglophile who has a serious longing for a place she’s never even been (don’t we all?). I read a lot of different genres and there was admittedly a point in time where I felt ashamed to admit that I enjoyed anything that would classify as chick-lit but really, I think it’s stupid that we should feel any ounce of shame for what we enjoy reading! I’ve come to embrace what I like and I feel much better for it. 🙂 When I find that nothing I try to read is really working for me, a little escapism from reality through chick-lit seems to always do the trick. Thankfully, I picked up The Cafe by the Sea, by Jenny Colgan from the library on Thursday because it has totally turned my reading mood around.

I’ve read one other Jenny Colgan book before (The Book Shop on the Corner), and now I have to say, that I want to read them all! Her writing is so enjoyable and it was so easy to devour this book, just like the last one. I actually had to force myself to go to bed the first night because I wanted to stay up all night reading. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt that kind of pull with a book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Years ago, Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up — and she hasn’t looked back. What would she have done on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious… and hopeleslly in love with her boss.

But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she’s suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers — all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework — and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking — and find herself restoring dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a café by the sea.

But with the seasons changing, Flora must come to terms with past mistakes — and work out exactly where her future lies…

There may be spoilers beyond this point!

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Elementary My Dear Watson: Lucy Liu, Gender Roles, and Power Suits.

I really don’t know shit about fashion. I won’t pretend that I do. I basically live in lounge wear, and though I wish I could step out of my (literal) comfort zone, I feel intimated and overwhelmed whenever I consider trying (but nonetheless, I am trying. I bought a necklace at the thrift store the other day, which, if you knew me at all, you’d know what a big deal that was!), but that doesn’t stop me from scanning through Instagram appreciating other people’s fashion sense. The same goes for Television.

We know I watch a lot of TV, and expert or not, there’s plenty to both love and loathe when it comes to television wardrobes. I (mostly) enjoyed watching Sex and the City, but oh goodness, I feel like I was the only one to hate Carrie Bradshaw’s outfits!! Who walks around in a tutu?! On my past blog, I wrote an ode to the fashion of Frasier character Daphne Moon, and recently on this blog, I wrote about Roz Doyle. All of these characters, presented a more or less typical femininity when it comes to what we expect from television. Different styles, yes, but these characters all portray strong females.

Wardrobes are a very mindful choice. They’re put together to give a certain vibe for a character, or to reflect different emotions. Sometimes wardrobe is used to reflect or foreshadow (for example, how Meredith Grey wears Derek’s ferry boat scrub cap following his death). The idea that we shouldn’t judge others on their appearance goes totally out the window when it comes to TV because we not only can’t help it, but we have to. Television has to portray to us an entire world, and unlike a book, there aren’t unlimited pages for character development and background stories. How a character dresses can help to tell us more about them.

I’ve always adored Lucy Liu’s wardrobe as Joan Watson on Elementary. From the very beginning it has been perfection. She pretty much lives in clothing that goes beyond my comfort zone, but which is still absolutely my style if I didn’t have said comfort zone. Even when an ensemble might have been a bit out there, it worked. Watson is strong and confident enough that she could likely make anything work. As the show has progressed, we have seen an evolution in her clothing choices. As Joan has gone from sober companion, to Sherlock’s partner and fellow consulting detective, she has largely dropped the more flowy, distinctly feminine outfits in favor of suits that many might consider more masculine. Yet, that’s just the thing: I’d argue that in the suits Watson has been opting for in past seasons, as well as this current one, she’s even more feminine, because through wardrobe choices, she is challenging the idea of what is femininity. 

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Dealing With Chronic Migraines: What Helps

I have struggled with headaches and migraines for years now. Really, when I try to think back, it’s hard to recall a time when I didn’t experience them. I remember enduring headaches when I was young, many of which might have been migraines, but I simply didn’t know how to identify them. I’ve never had a doctor officially diagnose me as someone who suffers from migraines. I once had a doctor offer me medications that I knew wouldn’t work for me personally, but beyond that I’ve had many doctors discount my experiences and the pain of living with chronic migraines. “It’s because you’re a woman.” … “You need to lay off the caffeine.” … “Try getting more sleep.” …  “Oh you’d know if it was a migraine!”  – These were some of the responses I’ve gotten from doctors over the years. But that was generally where the conversation ended.

Migraines run in my family. I really don’t need a doctor to tell me whether or not I’m actually suffering from them because at this point, I know. Rather, I needed a doctor who would listen to me and help me find ways to manage them. That hasn’t happened, and between that and other issues I’ve dealt with in recent years, I’m currently without a doctor. Finding a doctor that not only, is accepting new patients and my insurance is one thing. Finding a doctor who will listen to me is a whole different story. So in all honesty, I’ve taken a break from that search because it was really starting to drain me after a few bad experiences. It’s actually an issue I’d like to explore more, because I KNOW that I’m not alone, but more on that in the future.

Now that I’ve given a bit of context, let me get into the whole point of writing this post. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile, but ironically, as I sit here on day three of a migraine, I decided to just sit down and do it. Over the years, I’ve found myself suffering with more frequent migraines than in the past. Over the course of dealing with them, I have tried so many different things to try and combat them. Many, many, things that did not help, but there were some things that did, and I’ve wanted to share them with you. Of course, migraines are a tricky jerk. What might help one person, might do nothing for someone else. Also, it’s important to remember that I’m not a doctor or a medical expert, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now, the key thing I want to mention before I share these things is that while these are all in my tool box for enduring a migraine, none of these (with a few small exceptions) are really geared toward stopping them fully. I wish I could give you that solution – I really do.

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84 Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff – REVIEW


As a lover of books and an anglophile, I was immediately drawn to this book when I first came across it while browsing Book Depository. I ordered it, waited weeks for it to arrive, and then shelved it where it sat forgotten for about a year. The other day I was rummaging through my shelves trying to find something I “put in a safe place”, and met 84 Charing Cross Road again. It’s a teeny little thing so it’s no wonder that it go lost on a bottom shelf. Whoops.

The edition I have is actually two books in one. It includes 84 Charing Cross Road and the sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. The first is a collection of letters between the author, Helene Hanff of New York City, and a small bookstore in London called Marks & Co. Her correspondence begins when she is in search of a specific book and grows from there. The sequel, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street is in diary format and chronicles Helene’s experience when she finally makes it to London to visit. I honestly didn’t realize that I was getting two books in one when I purchased, I just liked this cover best (one of my favorite parts about ordering from Book Depository is all the lovely covers we don’t get here in The States)!

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July 2018 Monthly Favorites

For me, the end of July signals a significant change. August means school will be back in session, and that Fall is right around the corner. I love Fall – it’s my favorite season. But that change always has me feeling a bit regretful for what I might not have accomplished during the warmer months. This summer has been incredibly HOT. So I’ve spent a lot more time inside than out, and I’ve tried to make the most of that, but there will always be moments of reflection as Summer puts on its final show and I wonder what I could have done differently, or accomplished…you know, had it not been oppressively hot out…

I feel like I have a LOT of favorites this month. Some months there’s only a couple of things, while others I find myself with a lengthy list and that’s what happened this month. There’s a bit of everything so lets just jump into it.

My new desk lamp – I picked up this new desk lamp from TaoTronics and it is incredible!!! I struggle from frequent headaches and migraines and it can be difficult to find a balance between needing light to work, and finding the lighting to abrasive and painful (you should see how dim the brightness is on my phone!). This lamp has about ninety bazillion different settings that allow you to adjust it to whatever suits you, or what you might need for a particular project. It goes beyond brightness levels (of which there are TWELVE), and also has didn’t temperatures of lighting as well. Some are the super bright blue toned LED that can be expected of modern lighting, and others are more yellow toned, which is what my eyeballs seem to prefer. I also love the design because that too is adjustable and I have it set up to be right above my computer. Further, the light is non-flickering!! For my head that means so much because flickering and/or flashing light is a huge trigger for me! Oh and there’s a USB port on the light so you can charge a device off it as well. For $30, I really don’t think you can go wrong!

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