April 29, 2015

Book Review - Station Eleven: A Novel

I've been in sort of a book funk lately. I very rarely start a book without finishing it but I've had a bad string of books that just don't carry me through all of the way.

This one was different. Station Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel. 

There seems to be a current trend of post-apocalyptic novels out there - Hunger Games, Divergent, The Dog Stars (another favorite) but this one was a real page turner for me. 

The novel follows a traveling Shakespearean company in post-apocalyptic America while simultaneously navigating through flashbacks leading up to their current situation. I loved the ways the characters story lines were woven together - some were obvious but still interesting nonetheless.

Apparently TV and Film Rights were recently acquired and I can't wait to see how they adapt it from the book.

If you have read it, let me know what you think! And if not, any good book recommendations? I'm always on the hunt for my next favorite read!

April 28, 2015

Puff of Pomeranians

EH and I go back and forth on the subject of getting a second dog. Which really is me whining for a puppy while EH rationally lists out all the reasons why it's a terrible idea.

So, when I get a chance to dog-sit I like to take advantage. And it's even better when it's my MIL's Pomeranian because that means for whatever brief amount of time, not only do I have two dogs in my house, but two Pomeranian equals...a PUFF. That's the name for it and it's amazing.

To Moose's great pleasure, Bailey went home tonight but it was fun having a puff for a little while!

And now it's back to normal with my Main Man Moose, my favorite Pom of all.

I'll leave you with a final fun fact about Pomeranian's. Two Pomeranian's is a Puff, but three Pomeranian's is a Tuft!

April 27, 2015

2015 Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is coming up! I'm not a Mom yet (unless of course you count Moose) but I would love to get any of these items as a gift!

I've mentioned this lotion several times but it really is just that good. Niven Morgan Jean Baptiste 1717 lotion. It comes in hand soap, candles, home spray and more for whatever you might fancy. 

We received several lanterns when we got married and they're still my favorite - we've got two on our kitchen island now. And two on our back porch and one in the hall...This one is Amazon Prime eligible and no need to even wrap! Pair it with a flameless candle and put a big pretty bow on top and you're golden. 

Moscow Mules have made a recent comeback lately so why not gift a set of the fun copper mugs? Put the mugs with some ginger beer, a bottle of vodka and some fresh limes and it's a party within a gift!

Tassels are everywhere and I love the trend - especially on this Bauble Bar bracelet. The yellow color is perfect for the transition into hotter months. 

I've been obsessed with Kendra Scott for awhile and these Ellen Drop Earrings are so feminine and pretty. If these Ivory Pearl ones don't do it for you, there are tons of other options and styles. 

Tervis makes some of the best cups and these wine goblet styles are terrific. Tons of different designs and these hold up really well. These are my go-to gift options and they never seem to disappoint. 

This past Christmas, my SIL found this CEIVA Digital Frame - you download an app and you can upload photos instantly from your phone! We had so much fun uploading pictures and it's fun for the recipient because the gallery always changes!

Lastly, I love the Cinda B luggage line. I have the print above - Ravinia Black - in several pieces. I love how casual they are but a little more updated than some other print bags. 

Hopefully this inspires your Mother's Day Shopping!

April 26, 2015

Weekend Happenings and Funny Faces

I love an open weekend - one where you have minimal obligations. On Friday, we started our weekend meeting our out-of-town friend O for drinks and dinner. 

Since it's been awhile, we took him to our favorite new place that I love mentioning again and again - Lost Forty Brewery.

I'm grateful EH and S are good sports about blog pictures.

EH's enthusiasm for pictures continued on as we headed to The Flying Saucer with O.

Maybe he was just channeling Bailey.

The rest of our weekend was spent relaxing, cleaning the house, and cooking the most delicious at-home date night dinner ever.

Fred/Ed burgers for the main course - a family recipe that has evolved over the years and is seriously delicious.

Starting with sauteed veggies - onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic.

Is there anything more delicious? EH and I sampled this each time we walked by. Quality control and all that.

Paired with a spinach salad - topped with strawberries, toasted almonds and goat cheese with a poppy seed dressing. So good and perfect for Spring.

I really love making salad dressings from scratch. Don't get me wrong, I love me some ranch in any bottled variation, but there is something fun about whisking together your own ingredients.

And here was our finished product! I wish I could share the secret ingredients to this cheeseburger but I need written and verbal permission from multiple people and they're just no ready to give it up yet.

So much melty goodness. We don't make these burgers too often so it's an extra treat when we do.

Do you have any top secret recipes? 

April 22, 2015

Recent Purchases

On our recent trip to NWA, I took advantage of the guys playing golf to walk around the Pinnacle Hills Promenade and do a little bit of shopping.

Pinnacle Hills in Rogers is similar to the Promenade we have here in West Little Rock - they both remind me of the big outdoor malls everyone goes to in Florida or anywhere near the beach. Still, when the weather is nice it's a treat to be able to enjoy it while shopping!

My first purchase was this hat from Forever 21. When we were at the horse races several weeks ago I noticed SO many girls in these and I vowed to find one. But..I don't wear hats often so I was hesitant. This one was perfect - style was spot on and under $20.

Thanks to this hat and my new found love of dry shampoo, I might be able to start squeaking by with every-other-day hair. We'll see, that feels like a huge step.

Next I picked up my new favorite pair of wedges - GB Step-Back Slingback Banded Wedges. Gianni Bini is one of my favorite shoe brands and with 50% off, these were a no brainer. The wedge is high but they're seriously so comfortable.

And finally, I snagged a basic Piko shirt in white because I just love them. Perfect drapey shirt for when you don't want to look too casual but also you want to be comfortable. So easy to dress up or down. 

And lastly, after smudging my pedicure and not having time to go back to fix it, I ordered OPI My Chihuahua Bites so I can touch it up on my own. I love the bright color and at least on me, it has a slightly pink hue to it though the picture doesn't show it. I will definitely wear this again and again moving into summer.

So, nothing out of this world but I am definitely happy with all of my recent purchases! Anything you've picked up lately that you love? (Besiiiiides Lily Pulitzer at Target, though if you were lucky enough to grab some, I'd love to hear your thoughts!)

April 21, 2015

Recent Happenings

It seems like the warmer the weather gets, the more active we become. Not like, workout active, of course. Though we have plans for that!

Last Friday after the longest work week ever, we met up with friends to celebrate those who had taken their PE test. PE = Professional Engineer test that happens twice a year and is a huge deal in the world of engineering. I remember all too fondly how stressful the preparation for the exam is (second hand of course) so fingers crossed our friends passed their first round!

Saturday we headed up to NWA for another friend's birthday. It's always nice to get out of town, even for a night. Two weekends ago was Hot Springs and just now NWA - I will take any part of the Natural State!

On Sunday, we did what we usually do when in Fayetteville and that was hit up Feltner Brothers.  This classic fresh burger joint opened up the year EH and I moved down to Little Rock and we crave it all the time.

EH had already taken a bite out of his before I could snag a picture.

In the years since we've moved, Feltner Brothers has moved from their off-Dickson St. location to one off College. It lacks the energy and modern feeling of their previous location but I was relieved that the food was even better than I remembered.

Driving back home we stopped for a few furry hitchhikers.

Hopefully you know Moose but that patchy-furred fellow behind him is Bailey! He's staying with us for a few weeks. The only time I can get EH to agree to a second dog. :)

We also stopped for what was said to be the most delicious, creamy, pineapple flavored treat ever. Oddly specific, right?

Arkansas Pineapple Whip! In Conway, AR if you happen to be passing through.

The menu is small - basically your choice between two flavors (Pineapple, of course, and the day we visited - also cherry) then it's either cup, cone, or float. Ooh, and you could twist!

Wait, swirl. Twist or swirl, they both sound fun!

For 2.50 you really can't beat it. Not quite ice cream, not quite frozen yogurt. Very refreshing.

I was worried about the dogs scoping out my treat but they both were passed out from their adventures.

Moose requiring not one, but two dog beds. That's sort of his whole thing when Bailey is around apparently. All mine!

But they at least tolerate each other which is all I can ask for.

Isn't his little face cute? Bet you can't guess how old he is! Go ahead, try!

Just don't try and guess how long it's been since that back door has been washed, okay? Appreciate it!

While they tolerate eachother, Moose has suddenly come quite cuddly. Which we'll take!

I've heard that having more than one Pomeranian is called a Puff. I finally have one, even if only temporary!

April 16, 2015

2015 Oaklawn Derby Day

One of my favorite days of the year is the Oaklawn Derby Day. It always seems to be the most perfect weather day - clear skies, bright white clouds, and abundant sunshine. 

We started out Friday night by meeting the rest of the group. Hot Springs never disappoints with their sunsets.

Friday night is always more casual - EH's parent's cook lots of food, pour lots of wine, and people lounge and drink and try on different hats for the upcoming day.

On Saturday, everyone wakes up excited despite the amount of drinking the night before. The Bloody Mary's and Screwdrivers don't hurt.

I love EH's bowtie! I switch up dresses but stuck to my favorite hat that I've worn approximately five times to Oaklawn. 

We headed up to the Jockey Club which has the best views.

The group varies slightly year to year but it doesn't matter who you're with when you're at the Derby!

Mimosas at this point are a necessity.

As are cupcakes.

Since we were early for the first race, we had plenty of time for pictures.

Some more candid than others!

This one ^ cracks me up. My BIL trying to stay out of the way (or trying to be in the way, who knows!) and my MIL with her alert face. Either way, my SIL and I look cute!

There is always a mariachi band too!

This one is always my favorite though.

After a few races, it's nice to head out to the infield to stretch your legs and feel the sunshine. And also take off your heels.

There are ponies everywhere!

It was somewhere at this point of time that I won $25 on a race, which is HUGE because I bet rarely and very cheaply. Everyone seems to have their own strategy and mine varies. This year was by name, cross referenced by successful jockeys. Other times it's the grey horse. Or the longshot. You just never know what will hit!

The majority of the afternoon was spent socializing though!

Another successful Derby Day! It's not about the amount of money you win (or lose), but the value of the company you are with!

See you next year, Oaklawn!