Category Archives: About Me

Weekend Recap

Alas, this weekend was not a three day weekend for me, but I did get to spend plenty of time with some of my favorite people, so it was still a pretty great weekend. Since we only had Ben and Karen here for two days, the bulk of our time was spent hanging out and visiting with my other brother in law and his wife at their place. We did manage to make it out for brunch both days and take a walk around Cascades Park located downtown.

Saturday morning we went to one of my all time favorite local spots, a vegan place called Sweet Pea Cafe. They had my favorite green tea sugar cookies and my new favorite cookie, red bean filled green tea sugar cookies. I wanted to get a few extra to go, but they were sold out. We actually made it up and out of the house pretty early on Sunday, so after grabbing breakfast at Canopy Road Cafe (another local favorite), we made our way to Cascade. The early hour meant we had the place pretty much to ourselves.   Cascade has a cool kids area, so Karen and I spent some time squishing around barefoot in the sand. The boys decided to keep their shoes on, but they did join in when it came to playing with the old school water pump and jumping around on the play logs.  Since the park is located downtown, one side runs up against the railroad tracks. We did get to see an empty freight train later on in our visit, but I forgot to take a picture, distracted by the elaborate tags is boasted. It may be illegal, but I think graffiti artists are doing them a favor by sprucing up the old cars.  Even though we’d already had breakfast we decided to stop in at The Edison for a drink (and key lime pie). The restaurant is housed in an old building that used to be owned by the electric company, and the owners have given a playful nod to its origins when it comes to decor.
Like I said, it was a really great weekend and far too short. Hopefully we’ll all be seeing each other in Chicago later this year. It’ll be my first trip to the Windy City, and there is already a mile long list of all the places I want to see.

73 Questions

I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, thus the lack of posts, but I’ve been spending plenty of time aimlessly surfing the internet. While I was doing so, I got caught up on  Pugs & Pearls, which is written by a fellow north Florida blogger, and she had this great post called 73 Questions. It was a lot of fun to read, so I decide to do my very own post for you guys. I also threw in a few old photos for funsies 😉

1.What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? Finished my very first painting outside of class.

2. What is something you’re tired of? Hate. All of this hate fueled violence that has been destroying families and sparking more political posturing. Can’t we all just agree that no two people are going to be completely alike and celebrate the differences that make us all unique individuals?

3. What is something that recently moved you? Finding out that a group of my brother’s friends released lanterns in memory of him. Losing him killed a part of me, and not at day goes by without me missing him. It’s nice to know that he hasn’t been forgotten.

4. If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? Art!

5. What’s your favorite beverage? Blood Orange Lemonade #pretentioussummerbeverages

6. What’s your favorite cocktail? I’m strictly a mock-tail girl these days, but I recently had a Blackberry Sage Lemonade that was life changing.


7. What is your favorite cake? This is a tough one. We’ll go with a tie between Tuxedo Cake and Carrot Cake.

8.What is one thing you still have from your childhood? A bunch of little things. I have a keepsake box that is full of photos and trinkets.

9. What is your favorite movie? Under the Tuscan Sun or Chocolate.

10. What is something you can’t do? Crinkle my tongue. I spent most of 3rd grade trying, and I still can’t make it happen.

11. What is one habit you wish you could break? Overthinking. I can’t just deal with something; I have to agonize over the decision both before and after it’s made.

12. What makes you laugh no matter what? My cats. They are supposed to be these mysterious regal beings, but mine are mostly heaping helpings of flopsy hot mess.

13. What does creativity mean to you? It means looking at things and seeing what they can be vs. what they are.

14. What are your favorite lyrics of all time? “When you’re in black slacks with accentuating off white pinstripes, whoa-o, everything goes according to plan.” Random and fashion based, pretty much tailor made for a girl like me 🙂

15. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do? Strike out on my own. I’ve had opportunities to leave my 9-5 in favor of working for myself or with other creatives, and I just couldn’t bring myself to give up the steady paycheck.

16. Best advice for your 19 year old self? Stay away from the burgers and the liquor. Your liver is jacked up, and you’ll end up being a vegetarian anyway!


17. If you could raid one woman’s closet, who would it be? Shiva Rose

18. Must have purse item? Cellphone.

19. What did you want to do with your life at age 12? Be a world famous fashion designer.

20. What is something you will not be doing in ten years? Weekly treatments to fix my chronic migraines. Hopefully we’ll have everything under control by then.

21. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? You’ll spend your life regretting the things that you don’t do more so than the things that you do.

22. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime? Make my husband a kept man 🙂

23. Would you ever live anywhere besides where you live now? Absolutely!


24. What is your favorite dessert? I honestly don’t have a favorite; it completely depends on what I am feeling that day.

25. Is there a dessert you don’t like? Pumpkin pie. *shudder*

26. It’s brunch! What do you eat? Vegetarian Sausage and Gravy over Biscuits.

27. Who is your favorite painter? I couldn’t possibly choose only one.

28. Favorite Disney animal? Jack and Gus Gus from Cinderella.

29. What is a book you are planning on reading? I’m currently re-reading several of the Kelly Armstrong books I already own.

30. What did you read most recently? Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts

31. Favorite solo artist? Lana Del Rey.

32. What’s your Favorite board game? I strongly dislike ALL board games.

33. What’s a city you wish to visit? London.

34. Heels or flats? Flats.

35.  Where does one go on a perfect road trip? Up the East Coast and back again.

36. What do you do on a rainy day? Curl up in a large comfy chair, with a book, a fluffy blanket, a mug of tea, and a cat.

37. What’s your favorite exercise? Belly dancing. I wasn’t brilliant at it, but I had a blast.

38. What was your worst subject in school? Toss up between Physics and Calculus. I just couldn’t bring myself to care.

JulieAndy Rehersal

39. What is your spirit animal? I didn’t know how to answer this, so I asked Andy what he thought, he said “I dunno – may be a red panda, I’d say a Pollie (our neurotic orange cat), but it’s nearly the same thing.”

40. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Oatmeal and a veggie breakfast scramble. Gotta at least start my day off by obeying the doctors dietary orders.

41. What do you usually eat for dinner? No clue. Andy and I rarely plan because there are so many unpredictable variables involved.

42. Cooking or Baking? Pffft, baking all the way.

43. Favorite baked good? I make a pretty kick-ass chocolate chip banana bread. It’s comforting and homey. Andy has been known to inadvertently consume an entire loaf over the course of an afternoon.

44. What is something you wish you could be good at? Exercising. I wasn’t good at it even before I got sick.

45. Skiing or Surfing? I’ve never done either, but probably skiing, you get hot chocolate afterwards, right? Plus there are no sharks.

46. First celebrity crush? Taylor Hanson.

47. Most recent celebrity crush? Ryan Reynolds.

48. What color was your prom dress? Blue with black lace.

49. How do you manage stress? Reading, baking, shopping, and eating (although we’ve thankfully almost phased that last one out).


50. What do you do to relax? Lush bath bombs, a foot rub, and a good book.

51. Age when you were first kissed? 3. I kissed my very best friend (at the time) Andrew, my mom has the pictures.

52. Place you were first kissed? Andrew’s family’s house (I think).

53. Favorite fashion trend of all time? Flower crowns, always and forever.

54. Best fashion advice you’ve ever received? “Dress for yourself, screw what other people think.”

55. Trend you would like to see disappear forever? Super short shorts. I don’t need to see anyone butt cheeks.

56. Shoes or Bags? Shoes, I can’t believe this is even a question.

57. How do you know if you’re in love? With Andy, I knew when we’d seen each other everyday for a week, and I didn’t feel a need for “me” time.

58. Television show you’ve binged on recently? Orange is the New Black. Because you have to.

59. Who do you turn to when you’re sad? Andy.

60. Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? You can kill yourself trying to please someone and it won’t change anything.

61. If you could make a documentary about anything what would it be? People that don’t have human babies but have fur babies instead. You know, crazy cat couples.

62. What is your Kryptonite? A fur baby in need. There is a reason Andy and I had six cats.

63. What are you most enchanted by? The quiet, painfully rich lushness of the mountains.

64. What is your biggest strength? Being able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes I have to work for it, but I almost always can find common ground with someone.


65. What is your biggest weakness? Self doubt. Nobody has ever been as hard on me as I am on myself.

66. What are 3 words to describe living in Florida? Muggy, Buggy, & Hot. Clearly I don’t write the tourist brochures.

67. Cutest thing on planet earth? Baby red pandas.

68. Most important advice you’d give your future children? Celebrate and respect the things that make us all “different”.

69. Best first date idea? Coffee with set plans with friends afterward. You meet, talk and have an excuse to leave if things don’t go well. If they do, you can always call your friends and cancel.

70. Favorite type of flower? Peonies and Irises

71. What do you first notice about someone when you meet them? The scientific answer would be “gender”, it’s something we all do subconsciously, but consciously, I immediately find myself gauging someone’s body language.

72. What’s your guilty pleasure? Young adult novels. I am way to old to still be reading them, but I can’t stop myself.

73. Plans for the weekend? Finding Dory, and baking cupcakes.

Things That I Hate (Okay, Strongly Dislike)


If social media has taught us anything, it would be that people often have very strong feelings about things. Sometimes it’s the “big” things like politics or religion, and sometimes it’s something incredibly inane. One of the funniest rants I ever heard actually came from my husband about how he hates Tuesdays. So on my husbands least favorite day, I have decided to share with you a few of the ridiculous things that I “hate”.

  • The word moist, unless it is being used to describe a piece of cake (and even then), has no positive connotations for me. It brings to mind images of sweaty palms and damp moldy places (shudder).
  • The girly simpering shit storm that is going on about the movie Me Before You. (Spoiler Alert). I have heard all of the “pro” arguments for this movie, and for me, it comes down to this: he loves her, but not enough to set aside his epic self pity party. He doesn’t want to live life the “way” he is; he doesn’t want to “burden” her with his existence? Seriously, guy? What about the thousands of disabled people in this world? Do they not deserve a full life? To find love and be with someone “normal”? Plus, he is crazy rich; he could have a fleet of care givers giving him piggy back rides down hiking trails or mountain climbing or whatever adventure the two of them want. Just saying.
  • Leggings. For the love of cupcakes, people, leggings are NOT pants. Yes, they cover your legs, but anything thin enough to show your butt dimples or the color of your panties should be worn with another article of clothing that can cover, at the very least, your butt. Also, just because you can wear something doesn’t mean you should. I can fit my thunder thighs into a pair of XS leggings with obscene amount of wiggling and some heavy breathing, but when a garment is stretched to the point of being translucent, you should go ahead and give it a pass.
  • On the subject of clothing, I have recently discovered a deep and abiding hatred for short shorts. I think women should be able to wear whatever they want, but I don’t want to see someones ass checks hanging out the back of their shorts. Plus, I live in Florida where 95% of the population is always sweating and I don’t want to have to sit on a chair that recently played host to someones sweaty bare bottom and sometimes more than that. It seems that while it is okay having the bottom inch and a half of your bottom exposed, having your panties peaking out is absolutely mortifying. Short shorts + no underwear = far more than I wanted to see while enjoying lunch in the mall food court.
  • Cilantro. The downside to my love of ethnic dining, since it inevitably shows up in most Latin and Indian dishes. I’ve tried, I really have, but to me, it tastes like lawn clippings and soap. We had to stop going to one of the Indian restaurants in town because I made the grave misstep of politely asking our waiter if he would please ask the chef to skip the large handful of cilantro they topped their dishes with. He gleefully topped off our plates with a double dose and then proceeded to lose the ability to speak the English he had so competently used for the last year and a half of our visits. Turns out we weren’t the only patrons he had issues with and last time we went in he had been reassigned to the hostess stand.


Image from here.

Mermaid Wish List

Summer weather and the accompanying beach trips always take me back to when I was younger I wanted to badly to grow up and be a mermaid. I may have falling a bit short of the mark, I mean my hair is barely long enough to necessitate a dinglehopper, I prefer Victoria Secret Bombshells to sea shells and I still haven’t figured out how to breathe underwater. My shortcomings aside I do like to pick up the occasional thematically appropriate item (like the OPI Mermaid to Order polish). In honor of that, I give you my summer mermaid wish list!


  1. Let’s be Mermaids Tank Top
  2. Skinnydip Shell Bag
  3. Too Faced LA Creme Lipstick in Unicorn Tears
  4. Crown & Glory Mermaid Headband
  5. Silver Shell Ring
  6. Julep Polish in Aquarius
  7. Mermaid Tail Tights
  8. Skinnydip Mermaid Tears Box Bag
  9. I’m Really a Mermaid Tank

What is your summer wish list looking like?

Saying Goodbye to the Holidays

Saying Goodbye

I think the beginning of January can be one of the saddest times of the year. The holidays are over, you’re several pounds heavier (probably), and life slows back down into the mind numbing repetition of work, home, and sleep. I spent a lot of yesterday contemplating this as I packed away the last of the Christmas decorations and gazed around my barren living room. My husband even noticed the difference; he commented on how empty things looked, which was a little freaky because he said it literally at the same moment I was thinking it. He does that sometimes; he’s either a mind reader or we’re only a few anniversaries away from being that couple who always filters the world through the “we” (i.e. we like the take out from this place best; we are going to read that book this month). We’ll have to come up with some sort of cutesie melding of our names – perhaps Jandy or Andyanna, I’ll work on it and report back to you later.

The other side of this time of year is the “new beginnings”. All of the resolutions and blank canvases to be made and filled. I usually feel a bit smug because I don’t do any of that until my birthday in March, but there is also the “Shit, I only have 3 months to cross things off my list!” The mental beginning of the end. This year those feelings are intensified by a certain amount of discomfort, dare I say anxiety about the impending close of my 20’s. It has been an intense decade, and the view from the other side isn’t quite what I expected it to be. Good thing I have that extra 3 months to get ready, huh?

Image from here.