Archive of ‘Monthly Favorites’ category

October Favorites

Business

social squares

Social Squares 2.0
Y’all this update is SUCH a game changer! The categories are broken out AND you can search by color so your instagram remains the dreamy cohesive palette you want.

Movies

joker

Joker

Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.

This movie was a masterpiece. Nothing has made me miss acting as much as Joaquin Phoenix’s performance has in years. From the soundtrack to each subtle dance move to his outbursts of laughter to the costumes that set the era, every detail was stunning. This is NOT a movie of levity. But if you want to witness this horrifying, rough descent into madness I highly recommend it.

molly

Molly’s Game

The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe.

This movie is over 2.5 hours and my guy and I were riveted the ENTIRE time. I loved her story and, granted I do love anything with poker, casinos, heists, etc. I still felt that this was a top notch film. It’s written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and you can feel it in every moment (which I personally loved.)

Books

volunteered

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

This is the followup novel to Class Mom, which I absolutely loved. This one is seriously just as laugh out loud charming. This novel is really down to earth and warm and an all around fun read.

Tech

kinder

Kinder App

While in line at a haunted house, our friends told us about this free app. It’s basically Tinder for baby names. Obviously the intention is to use this app when you’re expecting, but my guy and I used it for fun. You link with your partner in the app and you literally swipe left and right on names you do and don’t like. So fun. And I loved seeing the names we agreed upon!

Food

hello fresh

HelloFresh

While scrolling instagram, I snagged an $80 off your first 4 weeks of HelloFresh deal so we decided to try it for a month.

I am NO contender for Top Chef, but I am working on my plating skills. Below are a few of the meals we cooked.

hf4hf3 hf2 hf1

From Top to Bottom: Crispy Chicken with Creamy Lemon Pasta and Tomatoes, BBQ Pork Chops with Honey Butter and Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans, Monterrey Jack Burger with Onion Jam and Potato Wedges, Teriyaki Pork Meatballs with Zucchini and Carrots and Jasmine Rice

Pros:
Delicious meal combos I may not have thought of on my own.
We consistently had yummy, relatively healthy meals on the table.
It was fun getting to experiment with new ingredients and I definitely felt like an accomplished cook after a few of the meals!
The directions were super easy to follow. Granted I’m not a novice chef, but when my boyfriend would help me he found it pretty easy as well.
Fun activity to do together!

Cons:
The long-term cost just didn’t seem sustainable for us vs. buying the ingredients and cooking.
The prep/cook times on the recipe were wildly inaccurate (or we’re just weird and slow.)

Verdict: We cancelled our account. Simply because we aren’t willing to pay the regular price. There are several other first-timer offers out there for similar services though like Blue Apron, Plated, etc. and we do plan to try those as well.

September Favorites

Well, well, well…look who’s being consistent! I’ve been consistent on social media this month AND I’m posting another blog (granted it’s just another favorites) just a few days after the month’s end. Tiny steps, people!

Movies

Two made the list that I LOVED this month! And they were vastly different, so something for everyone…kind of.

ready

Ready or Not?

Grace couldn’t be happier after she marries the man of her dreams at his family’s luxurious estate. There’s just one catch — she must now hide from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows and other weapons. As Grace desperately tries to survive the night, she soon finds a way to turn the tables on her not-so-lovable relatives.

This was a movie where even hearing the plot sounds too campy. But it’s so good and it just gets better at each plot turn! It’s gory, but I’m squeamish and I could handle it pretty easily (two parts I had to duck) so it’s actually relatively tame. The acting is SOLID.

brittany

Brittany Runs a Marathon

A hard-partying woman receives a startling wake-up call when a visit to the doctor reveals how unhealthy she is. Motivated to lose weight, she soon takes up running to help her prepare for her ultimate goal of competing in the New York City Marathon.

This is very loosely based on a true story. As soon as I saw this trailer I knew I wanted to see it, no matter the review – but the fact that it was well-received definitely helped. If you have ever had an issue with depression, addiction, self-esteem, or just feeling so behind in your life, do yourself a favor and see this. The writing is so solid and Jillian Bell is so subtly brilliant.

Business

WTC-Mock-Up-3

Websites That Convert by Megan Martin

I am so excited to give this business and website a full makeover and brand refresh! In the next few months, you’ll see not only a spankin’ new site and brand, but you’ll see a more consistent presence across the board and you’ll really KNOW who the Girl behind the Dallas Girl Friday is!

When You Need a Laugh

zack

Re-visit some of your favorite ‘Saved by the Bell’ episodes and learn that Zack Morris was actually a completely horrible human being. Written and narrated by Dashiell Driscoll.

Okay, so I’m behind and this came out several years ago via Funny or Die, but some of these episodes make me cry-laugh. Y’all. Zack Morris was legit the WORST.

Health

migraine

Anyone else have migraines? So mine are actually so terrible that I’ve tried countless pills, holistic remedies, and I’m currently on my second cycle of Botox to **hopefully** aid in my relief. My neurologist had me download Migraine Buddy from the app store to track my migraines since I started the Botox (there has been progress!) but the app is AMAZING. It’s super extensive but totally worth it if you’re trying to understand triggers, cycles, etc.

 

Summer Favorites

Starting this blog the way all of my blogs and social media posts seem to start…by saying I had such good intentions to write/post more. Yet here we are again, months later. So let’s wrap up the Summer, shall we?

Business

I took a huge leap of faith and made a big monetary investment in my business and MYSELF and signed up for Shanna Skidmore’s Blueprint Model. I’m 1/3 of the way done with the 12-week course and it’s so eye-opening and I really love it. I just know this is gonna do such big things for my business!

Vacation

My love and I traveled to Santa Fe for a dear friend’s birthday and it was quite the trip! Traveling is really tough for me. I’m not only a control freak, but I have terrible anxiety so I obsessively plan, make lists, etc. but it’s still so hard for me to be away from home, out of my comfort zone, out of my routine, etc. I am so proud of myself for going though and I feel that I managed pretty well and there were even several parts of the trip that I REALLY enjoyed!

santa fe

Highlights included: Seeing and getting to sing with a sweet friend from college who now performs all over the world in operas but calls Santa Fe home. Visiting Ten Thousand Waves Spa. The treatments there (I had Nose to Toes and the Shiatsu) along with the incredible onsite restaurant made for the most amazing and relaxing day. Spending time and laughing with sweet friends. The glorious weather.

Also, for the Bravo fans out there I had to share what I gifted Anto for her 30th. I love gifts that are personal but practical. Something that is meaningful but will be useful. I made these Taglines and Mugshots coasters on Shutterfly.

coaster 1 coaster 2

Favorite Books

nina hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

“The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?”

I’d read another Abbi Waxman book that I quit halfway through before, but I loved the premise of this one, so I gave it a shot and I really liked it! All of the characters were really colorful and as an avid trivia player, I loved that aspect.

ghosted

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

“When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.”

This book was one of those “keep refilling the bath with hot water to stay in and finish reading” it books. I had a few different theories and one of them half-panned out, but my jaw definitely dropped at one point in the book. I was so captivated by this book throughout and I highly recommend it.

Between books and audiobooks, I totaled 18 others, but the two above are the ones I recommend. Between either a weird payoff (looking at you The Other Woman, Let Me Lie, and Trophy Life) or me being so mad at the decisions of the lead character(s)/predictability of the novel (oh hey there One Day in DecemberRead Bottom UpThe UnhoneymoonersMy Oxford Year, and Waiting for Tom Hanks) it wasn’t an amazing Summer for books. Was it better for you? Send me your recommendations!

Movies/TV

My boyfriend is a huge movie buff and now that we live together I’ve gone from seeing about 2 movies a year to seeing 38 this season alone. Granted, a few were repeats I’d seen before at home like all 3 Toy Story movies before seeing the 4th in theatres but most were new and most I really enjoyed. Below are my new faves though.

coco

Coco

In Disney•Pixar’s extraordinary adventure, a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestor’s stories and traditions.

To say I loved this movie would be an understatement. I had a HUGE smile on my face from the first moment. I love the explanations of the traditions, the music, the storytelling, every detail. And I sobbed (for like seven minutes) at the end.

american animals

American Animals

The unbelievable but true story of four young men who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history.

I’d never heard of the real situation or the movie, but I was captivated by this. I almost hate to spoil the surprise, but it happens pretty quickly, they intersperse the movie with a documentary of the real-life guys and it’s SO INTERESTING. 

thefarewell

The Farewell

In this funny, heartfelt story, Billi’s (Awkwafina) family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch—the only person that doesn’t know she only has a few weeks to live.

I never watch movies with subtitles, but I loved this one. I would say about 60% was subtitled. It was so fun to watch Awkwafina in a totally different role. I also heard that she doesn’t speak Mandarin so besides her lines she truly didn’t know what the other people were saying and the director told her to lean into that discomfort. It really plays well on the screen and I thought the family chemistry and dynamics were really beautiful.

veronica

Veronica Mars

In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there’s Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town’s toughest mysteries.

In prep for the reboot season on Hulu, they put all the seasons on Hulu and I had never watched the show before. I dove in and was immediately hooked. An overarching mystery mixed in with small episodic mysteries plus teenage drama and Kristen Bell being hilarious and precious? Yes, please.

jane

Jane the Virgin

A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

The series finale just aired and I had been told by a few people that I would love this show. It is so campy (it’s a telenovela after all!) in the same vein of Ugly Betty and there are so many cliffhangers so I was really glad I was watching on Netflix and not week to week. I loved the romance and the serious heart behind it no matter how silly it got.

Phew! How was your Summer? Heading into Fall and that busy September/October wedding season? Let’s chat!

April Favorites

April favorites are here! From Jax and Brittany’s engagement party to books I loved to a great new way to outsource to Creative at Heart’s YouTube channel…

Holy Moly we’re through the first quarter of 2019! Which means that I have officially been in business for 3.25 years. Where does the time go? I suppose it’s about time I treat my blog as a part of my business and actually utilize it, huh? Alright, I promise to try. For now I’m committing to 2 blogs per month. Keep me accountable, won’t you?

Now onto my favorite things from April…

READING

i let you go book cover

I Let You Go // Clare Mackintosh

On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street…

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past. 
 
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them.

I LOVE a good thriller, but I often see the twist(s) coming – this one I did not. Well, not the major first one anyway :)

playing with matches book coverPlaying With Matches // Hannah Orenstein

Sasha Goldberg has a lot going for her: a recent journalism degree from NYU, an apartment with her best friend Caroline, and a relationship that would be amazing if her finance-bro boyfriend Jonathan would ever look up from his BlackBerry. But when her dream career falls through, she uses her family’s darkest secret to land a job as a matchmaker for New York City’s elite at the dating service Bliss.

Despite her inexperience, Sasha throws herself into her new career, trolling for catches on Tinder, coaching her clients through rejection, and dishing out dating advice to people twice her age. She sets up a TV exec who wanted kids five years ago, a forty-year-old baseball-loving virgin, and a consultant with a rigorous five-page checklist for her ideal match…

This was a really cute and easy read, perfect as we head into Summer and vacation season!

BUYING

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Elephant Art Print // Cami Monet

I met the incredibly sweet and beyond talented Cami at Creative at Heart when I attended in 2017. I have an affinity for elephants and purchased this sweet watercolor art print from her for my office. I love getting to support fellow creatives and shop small in the process.

LOVING

Speaking of Creative at Heart, did you know that they launched a YouTube channel?! Oh, you didn’t? Well, get on it! Kat is killing it with her adorable and helpful weekly videos aimed at creative entrepreneurs.

Also aimed at creative entrepreneurs, in mid-February Kat’s go-to gal, Emily Yost, started Outsourcing With Love. It pairs you with a vetted and verified assistant! I’m one of the founding members on the site, but I certainly am not an expert in all fields and there are PLENTY of areas I don’t even work in – like social media, graphic design, and bookkeeping. Looking to outsource? Head over here!

LISTENING

​Taylor Swift Releases New Single "ME!"

Taylor Swift put out a new song…it’s obviously on repeat. And from a boss babe standpoint, she launches better than ANYONE. Take notes, her strategies are on point.

hamilton

In April I FINALLY got to see Hamilton (the tour) when it came through Dallas. I have been in love with it for years and it was worth the wait. Every minute was pure perfection. And my mom loved it, too!

WATCHING

I’m aware it’s on its 10th season, but I live with my boyfriend now and it’s his favorite show…did you guys know that Shark Tank is AMAZING?!? Literally hooked and so happy that past seasons are on Hulu!

VANDERPUMP RULES -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)

Of COURSE, I’m still watching the pure trash that is Vanderpump Rules. Even though this season has been a bit of a yawn (reunion looks epic though!) it was so amazing seeing one of my clients on the show! I’m the VA for Holly (the AMAZING coordinator) at Inn of the Seventh Ray. Jax and Brittany had their engagement party there on the finale episode and it was so cool to watch (and see Holly on tv!!)