[getting excited about this || early saturday morning planning session for our upcoming napa trip!]
[LOVING this || 60 degree day + impromptu patio beers]
[celebrating this || our favorite 33-year-old’s birthdays with a blind wine tasting party]
[eating this || delicious brisket chili from wright’s barbecue]
[obsessing over this || $10 lilies from sam’s club!]
[trying out this || rent the runway unlimited – ask me about it! loving it so far]
[enjoying this || cozy snowy saturday with magazines + coffee]
M O V I E S
5. Mary Poppins Returns: You just can’t leave this movie without a smile on your face and a hop in your step. Pardon the cliché, but Emily Blunt is practically perfect in every way. The magic of the original movie was not only captured, but enhanced for another generation to love this enchanting story.
4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix): Okay, this is probably the cheesiest movie on my list and I’m sure to get some eye rolls, but guys, I LOVED this movie. Like, seriously, cheesy, rom-com loved this movie. The story is adorable, the acting is surprisingly good and we were all introduced to Noah Centineo, so there’s that.
3. A Star Is Born: You might be surprised this isn’t #1, but regardless this was a fantastic movie. I mean, Bradley Cooper as actor, director, writer, producer – can that man do any wrong? And Lady Gaga, OH MY GOSH Lady Gaga – I have an entirely new respect for her now. Also, how many times have we all collectively listened to “Shallow”?!
2. A Quiet Place: This is shockingly in the #2 spot, probably shockingly because I typically dislike scary movies. This one is SO unique though. Pre-Birdbox mania, this post-apocalyptic movie without sound keeps you holding your breath literally the entire movie. Also, can we give it up for cutest ever husband-wife duo John Krasinski + Emily Blunt (again!)!!
1. Bohemian Rhapsody: I LOVE LOVE LOVED this movie! The story, the music, the acting – Rami Malek is phenomenal. I’ve loved him since Mr. Robot, but I’m so glad he got to show the world how amazing he is. I couldn’t stop singing Queen for days and the movie just made me so very happy.
T V S H O W S
Y’all, if you don’t know this about me – I watch a lot of TV, like A LOT. And I love it and am not ashamed by it. This list is always the hardest for me to write every year, but when it comes down to it – I just try and think about what shows I’m most excited to watch every week, so here it is:
5. Outlander – Starz: This was #2 on the list last year (when I binged the entire series), so it’s not quite as high up there this year and this season has been a little slower, but I still adore this show so freaking much and it’s one of my favorite love stories of all time.
4. The Assassination of Gianni Versace – FX: This show captivated me. I was fascinated by Andrew Cunanan (the assassin) and obviously the portrayal by Darren Criss – who deserves ALL the awards. It’s honestly less about the assassination of Gianni Versace and more a mental psych study of Cunanan.
3. You – Lifetime: Okay y’all, this one shocked me how much I loved it. I noted it as a new show to watch early in the season because it’s a psychological thriller with Penn Badgley (aka gossip girl) and my favorite pretty little liar Shay Mitchell. But, this show. THIS. SHOW. Watch it on Netflix now. This role was MADE for Badgley, and you’ll be thoroughly creeped out, but loving it by the finale.
2. Younger – TV Land: Looking for a show that’s funny and heartwarming and has the best wardrobe and the best girlfriends and the best love triangle? (Oh and Lizzie McGuire all grown up!?) This is it. Please watch it now, and text me when you love it as much as I do. #TeamJosh
1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Amazon: Can Amy Sherman-Palladino do no wrong?! Also … can Rachel Brosnahan do no wrong?! This show continues to top my list thanks to the phenomenal acting, gorgeous set and costume design, and exciting plot. Give them all the awards, please and thank you.
Riverdale – The CW, Dirty John – Bravo, The Crown – Netflix, The Good Place – NBC
5. Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis: Y’all know I love a good self-help book (Carry On, Warrior, Lean In) and this one was no exception. What I loved about this one though, is how structured and specific it was. Each chapter is about a lie we tell ourselves. For example, “I’m defined by my weight” or “I can’t get past this”. Rachel does a fantastic job of breaking down the lie, giving a personal anecdote and sharing 3 specific ideas on how to combat these lies in our lives. Highly, highly recommend. You should also follow her on Instagram because she’s awesome.
4. The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang: This book was so stinkin’ adorable! I would characterize it as Eleanor Oliphant (another favorite) meets 50 Shades of Gray – yes, it’s steamier than you’re expecting, but has such a great story about a 30-year-old woman with Asperger’s who just wants to learn how to date. I don’t want to say much else, just read and fall in love with this fun, original, sexy book.
3. The Last Time I Lied – Riley Sager: It’s been a while since a thriller has kept me in suspense the ENTIRE BOOK. And a while since I’ve stayed up late (1am!) finishing a book because I had to know what happened. It’s basically Pretty Little Liars goes to summer camp, so I was obviously interested from the get go, but the storytelling is just fantastic without a single dull moment.
2. Women in Sunlight – Frances Mayes: From the author of Under the Tuscan Sun, this book did everything I wanted it to and more. The story follows four older women whose children want to put them in a retirement home, but instead become quick friends and decide to move to Tuscany. I laughed, I cried and I was transported back to Italy with every single page. The writing is terrific, changing with the character’s perspectives, and the story will give you passion to do something radical.
1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman: This book. Oh my goodness, this book. As a friend said, “YOU ARE IN FOR A DELIGHTFUL TREAT.” It’s so charming, yet so unexpected. You fall in love with the main character by the end, despite thinking you’re not sure how you can possibly relate to her at the beginning. It’s an uplifting, feel-good book, but with serious substance.
What were your top TV Shows, Books + Movies of the year? I’d love to know!
J A N U A R Y
birthday celebrations in lake tahoe with literally everyone
F E B R U A R Y
started a new job at the clorox company and haven’t looked back!
M A R C H
amazing family vacation in mexico
A P R I L
little rock trip to hike pinnacle mountain + brunch at lost forty
M A Y
fayetteville foamfest – our favorite event of the year
J U N E
TAYLOR SWIFT in chicago + deck warming party
J U L Y
trip to NYC (including live peloton ride, obviously) + the best 90s night for husband’s birthday
A U G U S T
palm springs for kira’s 30th!
O C T O B E R
the national in kc + 3rd annual fall party
N O V E M B E R
two terrific thanksgivings then a detoxing weekend getaway
D E C E M B E R
girls weekend in nyc + got some very important people engaged + amazing family time + ending the year with the best nye bash
Cheers to 2019!
5 years later I still miss you.
5 years later I want to tell you about how kyle and I are super into vinyls now – old and new, always growing our collection, because I know you’d just love that.
5 years later I still remember the worst phone call of my life and the longest, loneliest flight from arkansas to ohio.
5 years later I hold on to the few months leading up to this day that were full of memories – taking funny pictures while passing out candy at halloween, enjoying a gorgeous fall day tailgating, thanksgiving at home with the family and christmas together before we parted ways, us to vacation in seattle/vancouver and you back to ohio for work.
5 years later I still remember the last text you sent me – making sure we got home from our vacation okay and that you were watching Cash Cab, our favorite, and we’d talk tomorrow.
5 years later I still think of you every time I pass a woodie station wagon or finish a crossword puzzle or hear “classic rock”.
5 years later the holidays are still hard.
5 years later I want to tell you about my new job – about my amazing coworkers and how I’m doing something I love and how I’m happy, because I know you’d be so proud.
5 years later I want you to take me deep sea fishing in key west – because you talked about it all the time and we never got to go.
5 years later I want to sit on our back porch and drink a beer together.
5 years later I want to tell you we saw Ben Bailey from Cash Cab in NYC this summer.
5 years later I want you to know we’re happy, we’re all happy – but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten you or love you any less.
Love, your little darlin’
[great christmas party at samantha’s to kick off the week of festivities!]
[non-christmas event – celebrating Mom’s birthday with drinks at 21c]
[celebrated with this fun crew + made (double batch!) boeuf bourguignon – it was a hit!]
[potentially a new christmas eve tradition with husband – make your own pizza night, including english muffin pizzas husband loved making when he was a kid]
[zero christmas morning pictures (which included chicken + waffle brunch!), but post-brunch and presents included relaxing and nap time]
[finished the day with a wonderful dinner at the in-laws!]
Not pictured: a quick trip to Little Rock to see more family, including my 98 year old grandmother – we’re so thankful for all of our amazing family and such a wonderful Christmas.
Now to see what 2019 has in store! ❤
F R I D A Y
[the BEST post-flight stop: jacob’s pickles]
S A T U R D A Y
[Christmas Market Tour: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bryant Park, Saks windows, Strand Books, Pete’s Tavern + a ride on the SUBWAY]
[fun night in West Village listening to jazz at the Village Vanguard]
[then stumbled upon this AMAZING french restaurant, Boucherie)
[pictured: french onion soup]
S U N D A Y
[photoshoot in Brooklyn]
[mid-afternoon snack, obviously]
[rooftop bar (too cold) then dinner at Eataly pop-up Serra Alpina by Birrera – it was MAGICAL]
[MEAN GIRLS! such a cute, funny show!!]
M O N D A Y
[until next time, new york! I’m sure it won’t be too long …]
[drinking this || cappuccino in a Starbucks HOLIDAY CUP]
[loving this || last ((freezing)) tailgate of the season]
[celebrating this || beautiful lady at her bridal shower!]
[thankful for this || two amazing families to celebrate with on thanksgiving]