I Can’t Help Myself, I Heart All Things Jane Austen

~”It is a truth universally acknowlegded, that” Chrissy is a lover of all things Jane Austen~

It’s been 200 years, today, since Pride & Prejudice was first published.  Happy Anniversary P&P!  What is most amazing to me is how much Jane Austen’s novels still resonates with the world today.  Think about it, it’s been 200 years and thousands, upon thousands, of us are still obsessed with her stories.   Her fans, of which I am happy to call myself one, can’t get enough.  We devour fan fiction, we lap up every new film/tv adaptation that come our way, and we re-read her novels over and over again.  I can’t think of any other author off the top of my head (well, ok, I’ll give you Shakespeare and Dickens) who has managed to keep such a hardcore, and crazy fan base, who 200 years later are still constantly craving more.  “Please Sir, I want some more.” as Oliver Twist in Dickens states (shout out, Dickens!).

Looking back, I have to give credit where credit is due, I owe my love for all things Jane Austen to my Mother, the biggest Jane Austen fan I’ve ever known!   Since I was a young girl, she has always had a fascination with the Regency England era of history, from the clothing, to the rules of etiquette that dictated society at that time.   It was very easy for me to also fall for this period of time.  It just seems to ooze romance to my modern sensibilities.  I am definitely a romantic at heart.

My Mom’s obsession with Jane Austen herself, didn’t really begin until she saw the BBC adaption of Pride & Prejudice on PBS about 15 or so years ago.   Not long after that, she introduced me to the story.  Since then I have devoured all of Miss Austen’s books and seen most of the numerous movie adaptations of her stories.  Persuasion is my favorite novel of hers, and my favorite movie adaptation is without a doublt the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice.  Quite honestly, I don’t know how you can’t fall head over heals for all things Jane Austen after seeing this adaptation.  I also don’t think it is physically possible not to fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy, or Colin Firth for that matter, after watching it! 🙂

My latest Jane Austen related craze is a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in the form of Youtube webisodes called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  I stumbled across this webseries when I was on Reddit about a month ago.  In this series, Lizzie begins a web diary of her life for a grad school project.  The webisodes are all 4-7 minutes long.  There are currently 82 videos and counting, and new ones are posted every week to my utter delight.  The series is also very social media driven.  You can  follow all the characters on Twitter, there is a Tumblr page, a Facebook page and so much more.  You can truly immerse yourself in the lives of the characters, if you so desire, and I do!!!  I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when the series comes to its inevitable conclusion.  Hopefully, they will adapt another of Miss Austen’s stories to consume myself with.

Besides The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I’ve also heard talk of a modern day adaptation of both Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibilites for television.  There are also a couple of fan fiction movies coming out soon: “Austenland”, and “Lost in Austen”.  I can’t wait to see all of them!

As much as I heart Jane,  I don’t know as I’ll ever get to the level of super fan that my Mom has reached.   I’m pretty close, but she is so obsessed that about 80% of the time I pop over to her house for a visit, she will have a Jane Austen dvd playing.  She has watched every movie version ever, 1000’s of times each.  We think  it is very likey she just might have been Jane in a past life!

Most recently, we welcomed a new member to our lovely family.  My brother, Bryan, and his wife had a little girl.  I knew it was highly imperative that she follow the footsteps of her Nana and Bestest Auntie Ever in our love of all things Jane, so I tracked her down a totally adorable Jane Austen onesie, which you can check out on CafePress.com!  She looks tres adorable in it, too!  I’m not sure if she gets it quite yet, but I have high hopes. 🙂

Speaking of Jane Austen themed gifts, one of the great things about obsessed fans is they make it super easy to shop for.  I don’t think a holiday goes by without either my brother, I, or both gets her something Jane related.  My absolute favorite find to date is the Jane Austen Action Figure I gave my Mom a couple years ago. I don’t believe you can truly call yourself a Jane Austen super fan without one!  (Unfortunately, it looks as though they aren’t being made anymore, so if you find one snatch it up quickly, they are a collectors item!)

If you are a fellow Jane fan, I would love to hear which novel/movie adaptation is your favorite.  If you are a romantic at heart and have not had the pleasure of either reading a Jane Austen novel or watching one of her stories come to life in the movies, please, please do yourself a huge favor and do so right away.

~Chrissy

*Top photo is a pic I took of the book “Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasurey” by Rebecca Dickson.

Out of the Movie Archives: Remembering “The Goonies”

~ Chrissy’s remembering a favorite movie from childhood~

The Goonies

The Goonies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can still remember going to see The Goonies at the theater.   I was 10 years old and my next door neighbors invited me to go see it with them.   The movie transported me into a place all young kids long to go.  A world filled with danger, adventure, pirates, excitment, booby traps,  caves, and of course one amazing waterslide!  To this very day, I would still love to go on a Goonies adventure like they had in the movie.  Why no one ever made a Goonies: The Ride is beyond me!  Every other movie imagineable seems to have its own amusement park ride nowadays.  One of you theme parks out there really needs to get right on this.

There were many reasons I fell in love with this movie as a kid.  I’ll admit, right up front, I had one heck of a girlhood crush on Sean Astin.  However, the crush was just an added bonus to what is one heck of a great movie!  Looking back, there were plenty of moments which made it so gosh darn loveable.  These are some of my favorites!

1.  The Truffle Shuffle.  Today, this is probably one of the most memorable Goonie moments of the entire film.  I can’t even count how often I happen I see the snippet below, of Chunk performing the Truffle Shuffle, pop up while browsing the internet.   The Truffle Shuffle was in a class of its own.
truffle shuffle gif Pictures, Images and Photos

2.  Don’t judge a book by its cover.  A guy named Sloth can save the day if you give him a chance.  He may have looked like a scary monster, with his cone shaped head, offset eye sockets, jacked up teeth and very limited vocabulary, but all it took was a bit of kindness, in the form of a Baby Ruth, and you quickly realize he had a heart of gold.

3.  What seperates the men from the little boy’s?  I never knew, until seeing this movie, it’s where you choose to take a leak!  Girls don’t have this problem. Guys seem to want to make everything a peeing contest. 🙂  This scene also leads into when Andy mistakenly thinks Mikey is Brand, giving him a big ol’ smooch.  (Be still my pre-teen beating heart!)  http://www.anyclip.com/movies/the-goonies/rFqy4bnn2htmb/

Mikey Walsh:  This is the little boys’ room and that tunnel’s the little girls’ room.  Let’s go.  (Data, Mouth and Mikey  head into a tunnel.  Brand heads to another tunnel)

Mikey Walsh:  Brand, where you going?

Brand Walsh:   This is the men’s room.  (Mikey turns to head back into the Little Boy’s tunnel.  Mouth and Data exit past him.)

Mikey Walsh:  Where you going?

Data:  The men’s room, Mikey.

Mouth:  Yeah, we’re going to the men’s room.

4.  “Goonies never say die!”  Life is a series of choices.  If you find yourself at a crossroads, do you take the safe road or do you throw caution to the wind and head down the more dangerous road into the unknown?  It’s not always easy to decide, but in a pivotal moment in the movie, we learn what choice a Goonie would make.  Of course, its gotta be the road less travelled.  Could you really expect anything less from a Goonie?

In some strange twist of fate, after I began drafting this post, I happened to be shopping at Target in the men’s section.  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I was in the men’s section, not for my husband, but because they have all the awesome & super geeky, retro t-shirts that I am totally obsessed with.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am am sort of a nostalgia freak.  Over the years I’ve bought some really adorable shirts (yes, I said a t-shirt from the men’s department is adorable.  It is, what can I say?).  I have a Fraggle Rock shirt, a Smurf one and my newest one…you can see for yourself below!

~Chrissy

Friday the 13th

My brother on Halloween in the late 80’s.

Be sure to avoid all black cats, ladders, mirrors and guys with ski masks today.  Knock on all the wood you can find, and keep your eyes peeled for pennies on the sidewalk cause you’re gonna need all the good luck you can get….it’s Friday the 13th!In actuality, I’m not really the superstitious type.  What comes to mind for me everytime this day roles around the classic 80’s movie named after this day.  I would be willing to bet most people born in the 1990’s or earlier will also think about a very creepy guy named Jason, at least once today.

Scary movies and I aren’t friends.  They pretty much scare the bejeezus out of me.   A scary movie doesn’t just scare me when I am sitting in the theater.  My terror continues well into the night when I am snuggled all comfy, cozy in my bed with the covers pulled all the way up over my head.  You have to be completely under the covers because it’s a fact that if the monsters come for you, they can only get you if any part of you is outside of the covers! 🙂

Once I actually fall asleep, that doesn’t mean I am safe.  One of my most memorable nightmares was due to a scary movie that I hadn’t even seen.  It was 1999 and my roommate at the time, Becky, had just come back to our apartment after seeing “The Blair Witch Project“.  There was quite a bit of buzz about this movie when it came out.  I was a little bit curious about it, even though I had no plans to ever see it myself so I asked her to tell me about it.  She must have described the ending particularly well because later that night, I dreamed my very own disturbing version of the ending.  AHHH!!!  I woke me up in a heightened state of sheer panic.  My heart was beating a million beats a minute and I think I might have even screamed out.  I literally couldn’t even take my head out from under the covers the rest of the night cause I was terribly certain the Blair Witch was somewhere in my bedroom waiting for me!!  It was awful!!!

As you can well imagine, I don’t end up watching too many scary movies.  I’ve honestly never even seen Friday the 13th in its entirety.  I’ve only caught small bits and pieces of it over the years.  Of the scary movies I have seen, the scariest would have to be “Candyman.”  Alicia and I went and saw it together when we were in High School.  Why we did this is kind of a condundrum for me.  We didn’t go see it with a date.  (We did see “The People Under the Stairs” with dates, but that was so completely cheesy it didn’t scare me one bit, besides I was so nervous sitting next to a guy in a darkened theater that I wasn’t able to pay much attention to the movie anyway.)  Maybe it was a moment of bravery on my part, but whatever the reason behind going to see Candyman was, I was so spooked afterwards I wouldn’t let Alicia leave my side the rest of the day.  I mean that literally, too.  Bathrooms have mirrors in them, you know, and mirrors have the Candyman in them!  She was even such a good sport that she slept over and didn’t complain one bit that I had left my overhead light blazing bright all night.

These days, I tend to steer clear of the scary movies which leaves my husband, who enjoys them all by himself if he wants to watch one. (One of his other enjoyments is scaring me as much possible.  As you would imagine, this isn’t very hard to do at all!)  I have to tell you, I feel like a total wussy being in my thirties and completely terrified of something, as silly as, a make believe movie.

Maybe it’s time to see if I can get past my irrational fears of Hollywood monsters?  I wonder if  having become older and wiser,  I can make it through the entire film without screaming and running out of the room.  I can’t promise I won’t be watching the majority of the movie through the cracks of my fingers covering my eyes, but I’d like to at least give scary movies another go.  I’m pretty sure that most movies which scared me from my childhood probably wouldn’t today so I could proably get through most of them unscathed.  If you have recommendations for some really good scary movies leave me a comment, just don’t say Paranormal Activity, because I can’t even watch the previews for that one without being completely freaked out!

~Chrissy

“Magic Mike”, One Big Estrogen Filled Night Out with the Girls!

A couple of friends and I have been planning to see Magic Mike since the first preview came out.  This movie quickly became a big event for women everywhere.   It’s not hard to figure out why.  The movie is totally designed with all of us ladies in mind.  It has Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alcide from True Blood (or also known as, Joe Manganello) and a few other really good looking men, dancing, gyrating and taking off bits of clothing throughout much of the movie.  I mean, what’s not to like about that?

My girlfriends and I decided to make our movie night into a Girl’s Night Out with drinks and dinner beforehand.  Since it was opening night, and being the very smart ladies we are, we decided to purchase our tickets early so we didn’t have to hurry through dinner.  This was the smart part, what wasn’t so smart was deciding to walk around the mall for a bit, then wander into the theater 10 minutes before it started.  The theater was completely packed with hundreds of other ladies on their own Girl’s Night, and a small sprinkling of about 5 men (we counted).  We wandered around the top half of the theater asking if seats, with purses and sweaters thrown on them, were saved for a few minutes with no luck.  Our only option for seats was two rows from the screen next to the wall.  Our range of view was limited and our necks had cricks in them by the time the movie was over, but we had a great time none-the-less.

Before the movie began, my friends and I were laughing a bit about how all the other ladies in the audience were all middle aged and older.  Whoops, wait a second what were we laughing about?  We fall into the category of middle aged as well!  Sometimes its really hard to remember how old you are when you still feel like you’re only 21.   All of a sudden, the lights dimmed and the anticipation began to build as we sat through 20 minutes of previews, of which I can’t remember one title, but they all looked pretty funny.  Finally, the movie beings, to the thrill and cheers of this now massive estrogen ladden Girl’s Night Out.  Matthew McConaughey is standing on the stage, shirtless and with tight, thight black leather pants on.  We’re all waiting for the stripping to start.  That’s what we all came for right?  We can feel it coming.  Matthew is establishing the rules of the club.  “The law says you can not touch, but I see a lot of lawbreakers in this house…”  YES, we’re all naughty lawbreakers, Matthew.  START DANCING already!!!!  The screen goes black with JUNE in big scroll letters.  What? …..Wait…..NOOOOO.  Where’s the dancing?  Oh wait a second…..Channing Tatum just got out of bed and…..he’s naked and we get to see a glimpse of his nice round butt…. SCORE!!!!  Whoops and cheers erupt in the theater.  Next shot, was Olivia Munn’s breasts.  Boo’s ensue from the crowd.  Not because we had anything against Olivia’s boobs.  Not at all, they are very nice, but this is a crowd full of ladies who see boobs every stinking day.  We want the men!!!!

The story line wasn’t bad, although I would have really enjoyed more of a focus and build-up for the romance between Magic Mike and Brooke.  A great romance movie mixed with the male stripping would have really put this movie over the top!   I can honestly say I was wasn’t there for a story though.  I was there purely for the enjoyment of seeing hot, scantilly clad men perform.  This movie had did not disappoint in this department one bit.   The only thing that really disappointed my friends and I was the fact that we didn’t get to see the whole picture very clearly.  Because of our odd, up close and personal, position in the theater, we were only able to focus on one thing at a time, so I know we missed out on some really good views!

My recommendation to all you ladies out there, who are wanting a bit of fun and fantasy in a darkened theater filled with other women just like you, go see this movie, whoop it up and have some fun!  At the end of the movie, my friend Becky turned to me and said, “What do you want to bet the majority of these women are fans of 50 Shade of Grey?”  You know what?  I betcha she’s right.  I think this movie and the S&M, fantasy filled book that is 50 Shades of Grey, are all of us ladies way of relaxing our inhibitions and being total “guys” for a change.  Every so often, it is really kind of fun to be the oggler’s and not the ogglie’s for a change.  😉

A Girl Trip Bucket List

Alicia & Chrissy, KC Girl Trip 2012Alicia and I recently went on a Girl Trip to Kansas City, MO for a weekend.  We shopped, ate amazing food and pretty much chill-axed the whole time.  It was the first trip we’ve been on together since the late nineties.  (Geesh, time flies by way too quickly!)  Now that we live within a days drive of each other I imagine we will be able to go on more of these weekend getaway’s in the future.  KC is a great city filled with all sorts of fabulous things to do and see, and it’s also just so happens to be a great halfway point for us to meet up at.  While KC will more then likely be the location of most of our Girl Trips to come, we have developed our own special kind of bucket list with the Girl Trips we dream about taking one day.  These are the places we would love to see together because in some way, shape or form, they symbolize our friendship and growing up together.

Trip 1 – A Literary Excursion to Prince Edward Island.  Why Prince Edward Island?  Well it just so happens to be the home of a beloved literary character, Anne Shirley, from the series of books, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  Alicia wrote about her love of all things Anne a few months ago which you can read here.  When we were young girls we both devoured these books and watched the tv series over and over again, so this would be such an amazing trip to experience together.  Alicia is the one who stumbled on the Anne Vacation Itinerary on the Prince Edward Island tourism website.  There is so much you can see and do that are all related to Anne of Green Gables.  You can visit many of the settings from the books, like Green Gables, Avonlea Village, the Haunted Wood and the Lake of Shining Waters.  Doesn’t that sound simply wonderful?

Trip 2 – A Culinary Excursion to Hingham, MA.  So, what about Hingham, located near Boston, MA would make us want to fly all the way there to grab some grub?  A restaurant called, Wahlburgers.  Wahlburgers is owned by Mark and Donnie Wahlburg.  Do those names ring a bell?  I urge you to read a former blog post I did here, about a concert Alicia and I went to when we were teenagers, Marky-Mark and the Funky Bunch.  While we both really liked Mark Wahlberg, we were truly fanatical about a group called New Kids on the Block.  For quite some time in our teen years, we both ate, slept and breathed NKOTB.  Our favorite NKOTB member was Joey McIntyre but Donnie Wahlberg came in a close second!  Of course, if we ever do manage to take this trip we would find a few other things to do and see while in the Boston area, but eating at Wahlburgers is our #1 priority!

Trip 3 – A Theatrical Excursion to NYC.  Another shared love that stems from our childhood is a movie called Newsies.  It is a musical based on a group of newspaper boys who strike against the big newspaper companies of the day in New York City during 1899.  I will admit to the fact that a movie full of really cute boys may have had some influence on just how much we loved this movie, but it is also a really great story with loads of fun, catchy, toe-tapping tunes!  To this day we both still enjoy watching Newsies, and whenever one or the other of us catches it playing on tv we’ll send out a text, “Newsies is on!”  It wasn’t too long ago when I happened to stumble on a short video for the Broadway Musical, Newsies.  I quickly posted it to Alicia’s Facebook wall and another dream Girl Trip was added to our list! (I am really hoping Newsies will eventually go on tour and come to a city a bit closer to us, like KC, because that would make this trip that much more easier to cross off our bucket list!)

We have three Girl Trips on our bucket list so far.  Hopefully, one of these days when time and money prevail, we’ll manage to actually take one of them! We would love to hear all about the great Girl Trips you dream about taking with your BFF’s, too.

~Chrissy

A Few of Our Favorite Things – Week of March 25th

Our lives are often times very hectic and chaotic. We don’t always stop and appreciate the small things happening all around us. In this day and age, it is important to make a conscious effort to recognize the small things or moments that fill us with joy and wonder or make us insanely happy.  Below are a few of our favorite things or special moments we’ve experienced from this past week.  We’d love to hear about yours as well!

Chrissy’s Favorites:

1.  Fun Moments with my Husband and Movies.  My husband and I watched the remake of Footloose this past week.   While the movie was pretty cute it is not something I will probably ever watch again. So, why is this one of my favorite moments of this week? Well, this is largely because my husband and I had a blast trying to spot all the many, many similarities it had to the original movie.  Trust me, there are tons of references to the original from the opening credits to the very end.   As the final credits started rolling, I couldn’t help but feel extremely nostalgic for the original, Kevin Bacon version which I plan on watching this coming weekend to get my fix. Am I the only one who can’t listen to Kenny Loggin’s song Footloose without tapping my toes along with it? Watch the video, and try not to move your feet.  I dare to you!   “Everybody Cut Loose!”

2.  Shopping and Great New Finds.  Shopping at Target at least once a week is a pretty normal occurrence in my household.  It is my absolute, hands down favorite store.  If I could only pick one store to shop at for the rest of my life, it would be Target.  This week, I was thrilled to happen upon a totally cute and super sweet little necklace in the accessory section.  For many of my fellow Pinterest addicts, it will look familiar as I’ve seen a very similar necklace pop up quite often.  The necklace from Target is only $4.99 and comes with a cute pair of flower earrings as well.

3.  Spring time and New Life Blooming all around me.  Spring is definitely in the air here in Nebraska.  It seems like everyday I notice a different tree has decided to bloom in my neighborhood, but my favorite blossoming tree this year is in my very own backyard.  I have no idea what kind of tree it is, but it is truly lovely! 

Alicia’s Favorites:

1.  Home – After being away from home for vacation, there’s nothing like walking back into your own abode, dropping the suitcases to the floor and falling onto your bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to travel!  However, home is the one place you can completely be yourself.  You don’t have to get fully dressed before having breakfast like you do at the hotels.  Nothing says “home” better than cooking bacon and eggs in the kitchen while in your pj’s with your hair messed up!  Ha ha!

2.  Magic & Humor – This week, at my son’s Cub Scout Pack Meeting, they had a special guest.  They had a Magician who was also going to teach the boys (and girls) all about Safety with Electricity.  I will be honest and say that I was a little worried this was going to be really boring.  I mean, who can make electricity safety fun?  Boy was I proved wrong!  This magician was not only great at what he does with magic, but he was HILARIOUS!  He did a fabulous job of engaging not only all the children (and we are talking about A LOT of children at a Pack Meeting), but he kept the adults laughing their pants off with all of his puns and adult innuendos.  It was such an entertaining event.   To top the night off, he needed an assistant and he picked my daughter!  When he came walking out to her in the audience and said he wanted her to help him, I thought for sure she was going to refuse.  While she is quite the card around our family and friends, she is rather reserved in public settings and doesn’t like to be on display.  Quite to my surprise, she jumped right up and went with him!  Apparently this is something she has always wanted to do!  I was so thankful I had brought my video recorder so I could capture that moment forever.  She was the CUTEST Magician’s Assistant ever!  He had her tear up a bunch of tissue paper, put it in a bag, wave the wand and the torn paper turned into a cute yellow & black bonnet with a bow on it!  He put it on her head and sent her away.  She loves this bonnet and it was such a great experience for her!

3.  Parental Pride – This week was report card week along with Parent Teacher Conferences.  My husband and I are extremely proud of the children as they are doing so well in school!  My son got straight A’s and my Peanut has met and exceeded all of her Kindergarten goals!  They received several awards at the Honors Assembly for their achievements in reading and citizenship as well.  It’s a great moment to see them be recognized for all of their hard work and perseverance!

We hope you enjoyed our weekly reflections on our favorite things!  What were your favorite things this week?

~ Chrissy & Alicia

A Few of Our Favorite Things This Week

Our lives are often times very hectic and chaotic.  We don’t always stop and appreciate the small things happening all around us.  In this day and age, it is important to make a conscious effort to recognize the small things or moments that fill us with joy and wonder or make us insanely happy.  Our plan is to start sharing our fun finds or special moments with you once a week from here on out.  We’d love to hear about yours as well!

Chrissy’s Favorite Things:

1. My Friends.  I received an email from one of our best girlfriends wanting to plan a Girl’s Night In soon. I love getting together with girlfriends. It is the absolute best, most relaxing and therapeutic feeling ever! (The only bummer is Alicia and our other out of town friends don’t live close enough to come as well.)

2. My Mail Delivery.  Yesterday, when I opened my mailbox I was delighted to find the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer had arrived. My friend, Shannon, calls this newsletter Food Porn and I couldn’t agree more. 😉  I can’t read it without getting totally hungry!

3.  A New Dessert.  I decided to try a recipe for Black Bean Brownies which I found on Pinterest. (If you are interested in the recipe you can check it out here.)  I was initially thrown off because they didn’t have a lick of flour in them and, of course, beans in brownies doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Be that as it may I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Boy, was I delighted and shockingly surprised when they turned out to be really quite good.

4.  A New Movie.  I happend to see a new 5 minute trailer for the movie Snow White and the Huntsman.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this movie.  I’ve always enjoyed the Snow White story and love that this movie tells it in such a dark, dramatic way.  Charlize Theron plays the Evil Queen and although I never would have pictured Kristen Stewart as Snow White, she seems to pull it off well. 

Alicia’s Favorite Things:

Well I am on vacation this week!  We have visited New Orleans, Louisiana & Destin, Florida!  It has been a much needed family vacation and we are having a blast! The only bummer is that it has to end.  Be that as it may, I still have several favorite things that I used this week while on my vacation!

1.  My family.  I have to put them first this week since I am on vacation with them!  We don’t get long, quiet breaks (just the 4 of us) all that often.  So having this family time is just unbelievable!  I love my husband and children so much and I’m enjoying this time to reconnect and relax with them.  🙂

2.  My Kindle.  My brother gave me my Kindle a few years ago as a Christmas present and it is probably one of the best presents he has ever given me!  My Kindle is totally rock awesome.  I love that when I finish a book, I can “shop” on my Kindle while driving through the back highways of Louisiana and get a new book, instantly!  Scott and I also love playing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle on it.  It was interesting to figure out how to play this game while he drove the van, but we managed.   It helps pass those long hours of driving to your vacation spot!

3.  My Kindle Book for the trip:  “Nearly Departed in Deadwood” by Ann Charles.  This book has me hooked, line & sinker!  It reminds me of the Stephanie Plum series that I read a while back and I just love the mystery, comedy & a little bit of romance all mixed together!  I also have to admit that Chrissy has turned me into a “series” junky and I love that this is the 1st book in the series, so I know I’ll have more to read.  I hate saying goodbye to those characters that you grow to love in books, so a series is great!  I highly recommend it!

4.  My go-to jewelery piece for this vacation has been my Metal Works necklace that I bought last summer from Premier Designs.  I love, love, love this piece as it can be casual with a T-Shirt or go with a nice blouse and work for a great dinner out.  It is 38″ long, but I tend to double it up quite a bit and wear it layered, which looks fabulous.  Or go longer and it is super fancy! 🙂  (The catalog insert here shows the necklace as item F)

5.  Another favorite item of mine this week is my beach bag filled with all of the necessities for lounging on the white sands in Florida.  I have all of the beach towels for the family, sunblock, my Kindle, our camera, a bag for sea shell collecting and of course some water!  A good, big beach bag is a must have when on a vacation like this!

So there you have it!  A few of our favorite things!  We hope you liked them and maybe even discovered something new in the process!  Have a fabulous day!

~Chrissy & Alicia