Category Archives: Light Pulp

BBC: ‘Bittersweet’.

Happy Friday/Holiday-weekend Eve! Don’t you love that Friday feeling – knowing that you’re about to do whatever the heck you want for three whole days? Yep, that’s a great feeling. I always look forward to Memorial Day weekend – it’s festive in a no-pressure kind of way, and it’s the true sign that summer is coming.

Speaking of summer, the latest read from Blanche’s Book Club – “Bittersweet” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore – is perfect for the season! Here’s the description from Amazon.com:

Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong.

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact–and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev’s world her own.

This book randomly grabbed my attention – I found it on Pinterest about a month ago. I have always liked this idea of elite families, especially the ones with old money and Vermont estates. This book has that, plus a few very dark twists that I didn’t expect. I found this book to be very visual while reading it, which is one of my favorite things about reading.

Mabel’s character is easily relatable, while Ev is that girl we all know – very slender, fashion-forward, money-rich, and looking for love in all the wrong places. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a little bit of a mysterious escape.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, from “The Daily Show”. Should be an interesting one!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m hoping to scoot out of the office a little early and get this weekend started! My original plans of lounging by the pool all weekend have been squashed by the prediction of less than stellar weather. Instead, I made a list of indoor activities to keep me busy, including: seeing “Baywatch”, shopping, two dance classes (one is for charity and I cannot wait!), hair appointment, and of course, cooking up some new recipes! And okay… maybe I’ll add in some TV time, too.

I hope you all have a fun, safe weekend! I’m going to give myself Monday off from blogging, but I’ll be right back here on Tuesday!

‘Southern Charm’: Sari, Not Sari.

Patricia’s Sari party.

Man, yesterday was a pretty cool day. I kicked things off at the doctor’s office for an annual exam, and was brave enough to go ahead with blood work for the FIRST time ever in my life!

Then when I went to pick up my prescription, I thought it was going to be about $200 with my new insurance… and it was $0. And my doctor gave me two months’ worth of samples. Yes! And then I ran home and turned on “Southern Charm”, of course. Let’s get into it!

The episode kicks off with Naomi and Craig at couples’ counseling. Honestly, I was shocked at how horribly this went. They were arguing, yelling at each other, and calling each other names right in front of the counselor. I kinda feel like their relationship is coming to an end, but I feel like they’re the kind that just stays in it to win it, so we’ll see.

Later, Landon is out with Austen. They’re at some hole-in-the-wall bar and Landon is wearing lumberjack flannel and drinking Mich Ultra. They seem pretty chummy, but of course Landon keeps bringing up Austen’s “girlfriend”, Chelsea. Austen isn’t so sure what their status is given the conversation they had in last episode, after their night in the cabin.

And then Shep shows up wondering what the hell is going on – he’s pretty sure there are sparks flying between Landon and Austen, but I think he’s actually trying to start trouble.

Then, Thomas and his dad have a meeting to go over some of the residential projects Thomas has taken over. While Thomas’ dad has a rich history in politics, he’s taken on renovating Charleston properties in his later years, and now many of his children are taking over to help.

Out on another date, Austen and Chelsea head to a trampoline park that looks pretty serious. They make it through a few of the obstacle courses and they start talking about their families. Austen says he has a younger sister that he’s close to, which is surprising because she is 9 years younger than him. Chelsea asks, why did his parents wait so long, and did he ever ask them?

He says, well I actually already know. He then confesses to Chelsea that he had an older sister, who was 10 when he was 7. And basically… she fell off the side of a mountain during a family vacation. Like, for real. I almost burst into tears.

Later, Chelsea and Kathryn have an interesting conversation when Chelsea cuts and styles Kathryn’s hair. Kathryn says she wrote Thomas a letter, and says she will always love him, she misses him, and if she saw him, she’d just want to give him a hug. Uh, whatttt??

At Patricia’s, she’s hosting a party to honor her friend who helped with the Sari line (which features dog prints), and to remember their trip to India. While the group struggles to follow the strict rules at the table – no talking politics, religion, or sex – they certainly dressed the part.

And then the special guest arrives: a psychic. When Craig gets in the chair, the psychic says law is his passion, and that he will pass the bar within the next year. Everyone gets their turn in the chair, but all of the answers from the psychic seem a little toooooo perfect.

That is, until Whitney brings up Kathryn and a huge fight breaks out between everyone in the group. It’s basically last season’s reunion all over again. And that’s the end of the episode, naturally! It’s looking like next week’s episode is as equally riveting, with Kathryn back in the picture… dun, dun, DUN!

‘Southern Charm’: Foul Play.

Oh Craig…

The night’s episode kicks off with Kathryn heading over to JD’s house, where she finds out that Jennifer invited Thomas to her Sip n’ See, but not Kathryn… and she acts SHOCKED. Uh, girl you accused her of having an affair with Thomas, among being a blatant cold shrew to her about her son!

Meanwhile, Shep gets up and jogs over to Whitney’s house, as he’s still on his health kick. Shep says he wants to take the gang on a guided quail hunt, so that should be interesting.

Later, at Criag and Naomi’s, the two attempt to talk about what happened in the previous episode. Craig still doesn’t think anything he did was wrong, They continue to go in circles, so Naomi says she won’t talk about it any longer until their is a couples’ counselor in the room.

On Patricia’s porch, Landon stops by for a rum slushie, and Pat is wearing a kimono with chauncey printed all over it. Pat is giving Landon some love advice, and she’s quietly pushing Thomas into the picture. Landon admits she is proud of the father Thomas has become but she doesn’t want to be involved in all of the baby mama drama. Speaking of Thomas, he’s getting his kids ready to go with Kathryn for the weekend.

The group is heading out of town for the hunting trip, and naturally the lodge is GORGEOUS. Whitney jumps right into his hunting outfit which had me rolling laughing, as he looked like the Lorde of the manner, or even Benjamin Button. Ha!

Chelsea is living her dreams with all the guys dressed to the nines and her, carrying her own gun. She tells Austen she wishes he was more into trucks and guns… and then he walks into the field and gets the most kills of the day.

That night, Thomas arrives (once the hunt is over as he cannot hold a firearm per his conviction), and Austen and Chelsea seem like two peas in a pod. So, is it a coincidence that Shep starts drinking again? Nope.

Over dinner, and after, the group proceeds to get completely HAMMERED, so much so that even I was laughing while watching. But, it’s all fun and games until Austen and Chelsea head off to their cabin alone… dun, dun, dun…

So, they slept together, and in the morning, they’re having some pretty cute pillow talk. Chelsea says something about how they’re on the same page, but her page is “nothing serious”, and Austen admits he’s feeling a sense of attachment toward her post-sex. Awwww man – I kind feel bad for him!

It should also be noted that I’ve started recording “Southern Charm Savannah”, but I haven’t watched any of the episodes yet. I’m just not sure how it could be better than the original…

BBC: ‘Why We Broke Up’.

Hello, hello! My sincere apologies for not posting this on Friday – I had some internet issues on Thursday night, and was simply too tired to stay up and resolve them. But alas! I finished reading another book last week and wanted to share it with you.

Blanche’s Book Club’s latest read is “Why We Broke Up” by Daniel Handler. Here’s the description from Amazon.com: I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened. Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

…Sounds like the leftover from many of the relationships I’ve had!

I got this book from the library and what I noticed off the bat was that it weighed a TON. It wasn’t that big of a book, but upon further inspection I saw that it was printed on thick, glossy paper and was filled with colorful illustrations of the items inside the box. After reading it, I can’t help but wonder if the weight of the book was also supposed to resemble the weight of the box from Min.

This book is very different. The voice is very raw and honest, and although there are stories upon stories about this relationship, the reader is still given lots of room to imagine the course of this couple. Sure, it’s a little dramatic, but Min and Ed are teenagers, and nothing hurts quite like your first broken heart.

While most of the things inside the box represented milestones in their relationship, some of the tokens were proof that we all assign meaning to even the smallest of things – especially if there were very few of them. I can recall not wanting to go to Blockbuster after my first relationship because we would go there to rent movies… us and the entire world! It’s funny how much we invest in the physical parts of a relationship, possibly when there’s not much to feast on emotionally.

The way this book is written – one really long letter to Ed – is different and a bit artsy. If that’s you, I say GO for this one! It was fun and refreshing.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Bittersweet” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. We hope you’ll read it along with us!

I hope you all had a great weekend – I went to dance, lounged at the pool with a book and some wine, did some shopping, and did a little cooking. It was fantastic! I’ve got a busy week ahead between work and travel, and I’ve got my Steps for Crohn’s on Saturday. It should be a good one – but I’m ready for a brand new episode of “Southern Charm” tonight, which I’ll be recapping right here tomorrow. Hope to see you then!

Spring cleaning + soy candles.

Time to get scrubbin’.

Over the weekend, I decided to tackle a task I’ve been putting off: spring cleaning! I don’t think I’ve ever officially completed a “spring clean”, and frankly, I never understood why it was such a big deal (or maybe it’s not and I am just falling for the advertisements). But this year, I really felt like my apartment needed a good scrub.

During the winter months, I barely stepped foot on my patio, so it really needed the attention. So, I kicked off my Saturday by hitting up a few stores and getting supplies. I ended up with a giant new pot, six new plants (including a mini cactus, lavender, and a mountain laurel, among others), a cute citronella candle in a ceramic owl, and a string of solar-powered lights.

I spent the next four hours or so transplanting the plants that had survived the cold months, and putting my new plants in some random pots I had. I put up my string lights, swept the patio, and even cleaned the glass for my sliding door. Finally, I re-arranged the pots (according to their need for sunlight)… and it looked like an entirely new patio! I have eaten dinner out there a few times since, and it’s just so cute!

Next, I took my cleaning party inside and just started scrubbing. Truthfully, I keep my kitchen and bathroom pretty clean from week to week. Because of my kitty, I clean my bathroom (where her litter box is) once a week, and I always try to clean up my kitchen each night before bed. I hate dirty dishes in the sink!

But, rarely do I do these “big cleans”, and this one was about more than just scrubbing. I also wanted to get rid of a few things, and organize some drawers. So, this clean took a very long time. Currently, I have two brown bags of clothes to donate (along with a few pairs of shoes), and a stack of books. I’m not quite done going through everything, but it’s a start.

I cleaned out my kitchen drawers and my bathroom drawers, wiping them out and organizing along the way. Although it was a time-consuming task, it makes me happy to open up my makeup drawer each morning and have everything right in its place.

One thing that’s difficult for me is keeping things tidy. I’m really bad about just tossing things down when I come home for the day, or not putting things in their place once I’ve used them. And this week I’ve tried to be better about it since I put in all the time on Saturday, and although the place still looks pretty nice, I’ll admit it’s kind of frustrating always being on “tidy duty”, or whatever you want to call it!

On Sunday, I was rewarded for my labor with brunch and a girlfriend came over to make soy candles. The funny thing is, I had recently started looking into what it would take to make my own candles. Why? Well, I have a soot problem from burning cheap candles – the soot has nearly stained my ceiling and even my carpet. And it got me thinking – what the heck have I been breathing in?

So, when the friend suggested we MAKE soy candles, I jumped on it! She had already ordered the soy wax flakes (a 10lb bag), wicks and adhesive, a pouring pot, and a food thermometer. She even had the essential oils so we could add scent.

We went to Michael’s and found some really cute jars for under $2. We got to my apartment and Googled a few videos to make sure we weren’t about to mess things up. Honestly, we just sort of played things by ear. We boiled a pot of water in one pot, and placed the pouring pot into the water – the pouring pot had the soy wax flakes in it.

Those melted down, and we took the pouring pot out of the water and waited for the temperature to drop before dropping in the oil. It’s important to let the wax cool to around 120 degrees farenheit or else the scent will burn off.

We never could get a could sense of just how much oil to put into each batch – some sites said 1 ounce, which is a TON in essential oil measurement. We started with 6-8 drops of oil per 3ish cups (unmelted) of wax. If the wax didn’t have a strong smell after pouring into the jars, we added additional drops. The soy wax flakes were white and we didn’t add any colors – although some of the oils had natural coloring.

The fun part about making the candles was choosing the scent blends! I also have a collection of oils, so we had a lot to choose from. Some of the combinations we made were: lavender + peppermint, lemongrass + sweet orange, tea tree + lemongrass + cedarwood, and winter morning (a premade blend) + wintergreen.

So, basically you just have to pick your containers (you could use jars, cans, coffee mugs…), then apply the wicks to the inside bottom of the container, and add something to hold the wick in place – such as a pencil or a chopstick to lay across the top of the container and twist the wick around it.

Once you melt the wax, let it cool to 120 degrees, add the oil, stir, and pour into the containers. Then let it sit overnight – I put ours in the fridge to set completely. The one thing we truly guessed at was the measurements. We used 5lbs of wax and made 10 candles, all around the 6-8 ounce size. The wax melts down quite a bit, so 3 cups of unmelted wax is probably 2 or less cups, melted. I don’t know science, but this was a constant struggle for us!

Nevertheless, our candles turned out so cute, and I’ve already started burning the lavender + peppermint one and it’s fabulous. Homemade candles would make great gifts, or are just great to keep!

‘Southern Charm’: To Liver and Die in Charleston.

Shep and Cam.

Can I just say that Monday nights are pretty awesome – I’ve got two of my favorite dance classes to take, and then I come home to some great TV, plus there’s that whole feeling that at least Monday is over. Right??

I was extra excited to see last night’s episode after last week’s craziness with Craig and Naomi. So, let’s get into it. At the top of the episode, Shep’s doctor calls and tells him the results of his labs. Turns out he has an elevated enzyme in his live and needs to cut back on the drinking, and will be tested again in two to three months.

At another house, Cameron is waiting on Craig (typical). She’s showing him some investment properties so he can fulfill one of his many dreams! Turns out, he’s pretty picky about what he wants in a rental home, and Cameron asks him if Naomi is supportive of this financial decision. He says he can’t continue to do things JUST for her, or else he’ll come to resent her.

Meanwhile, Patricia is at the pool with Chauncey and Whitney stops by and tells her about the conversation he had with Thomas about dating. Patricia suggests Landon as a possible match for Thomas, and of course, she decides she should host a casual dinner party and she can seat Thomas next to Landon (how Charleston of her).

Then, Chelsea and Austen go on another date – beer tasting (perfection). They get to talking about Shep and Austen tells Chelsea that Shep was a little disappointed that he was the last to know about the two of them talking. However, Austen assures Chelsea that he’s squashed it and he has no questions about it, and he does not feel like he violated Bro Code.

Remember last week, when Cameron had the witch doll made for Shep? Well, she takes him out to dinner: a table for Cameron, Shep… and Mama Estelle (Cam’s doll). She explains to Shep that she had a doll made for him because she was going to cast a love spell on him but she’d since changed her mind. So, she gave him the doll and said he could use it when he met someone worth falling in love with.

Later, Patricia’s is putting the final touches on her dinner party, and she says, “With these kids, I can just go to Costco and buy all the liquor.” Seriously? I would PAY to see Patricia in a Costco. The dinner party goes fine, but it doesn’t seem like any crazy sparks are flying. However, Thomas sniffs out that it’s a setup pretty early in the evening.

Meanwhile, Craig is on the sewing machine, embroidering tiny images of his cat, Gizmo, onto pillowcases. Naomi is not impressed by this at all, and when Craig casually mentions that he put an offer in on a house, she’s not really interested in that, either.

Later, Shep joins Kathryn for his first ever yoga class, as he continues his journey to detox. He’s struggling pretty hard throughout the class, but afterward tells Kathryn that he’s trying to see what it’s like not to drink every night. There’s a few clips of Shep at home, taking vitamins, and making a fruit smoothie in a Vitamix. He then calls his mom and says, “I just made a smoothie!” …It’s probably one of the cutest TV moments, ever.

Speaking of parents, Austen has dinner with his parents, and they are REALLY fired up about him starting a business. They don’t see his work as a beer salesman as anything serious; they want him to settle down, get married, and have a 9-5, and they really want him to make a business plan to show them he’s getting serious. Whoa.

And finally, the gang heads to Jennifer’s sip and see, where Thomas and Landon are flirting pretty heavily, and Naomi and Craig continue their fighting in front of everyone. Basically, she’s calling him out on his bullshit and he sees it as her not being loyal…which doesn’t really make sense.

But at the end of the episode, it doesn’t look like things between them are getting cleared up anytime soon, because she leaves the party without him. Bloop, bloop! Guess we’ll find out next week!

BBC: ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’.

Hello! I’m assuming everyone survived the Star Wars’ holiday and is now prepping for margaritas, so happy Friday! And double score for you guys, because I’ve got a great book recommendation to share!

The latest read from Blanche’s Book Club is “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Morgan Matson. Another YA novel! Here’s the scoop:

Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever. Hellogiggles.com says, “Basically I couldn’t be more in love with this book,” from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.

Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone who yanks you out of your shell.

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. There’s just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Wait…what?

Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find.

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

* * *

I swear I’m not obsessed with lists or the number 13 (the book club recently read “13 Reasons Why”). Generally speaking, this book is fun and perfect for summer. It has a bit of a “Paper Towns” feel to it in that Emily is following the list in hopes of getting to Sloane somehow.

I’ve never been given a list like this one in the book, but it sure helped Emily have a summer she’ll never forget. A friend and I were just talking about how we love looking forward to summer adventures, and this book offers that same excitement.

I would definitely recommend this book for those who love a little summer fun and/or romance. It will be perfect for those lazy weekend afternoons.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Why We Broke Up” by Daniel Handler. Yes, it’s another YA novel – swear it’ll be the last one for awhile!

Have a great day and a fun weekend, all! I am hoping to tend to my patio garden some and possibly do some crafting and cooking – it’s going to be a weekend full of ME time!

Review: ‘The Search for Everything’.

John Mayer’s latest album, “The Search for Everything”.

I’m so excited for today – a new semester of my Blog Class kicks off at UT – plus, we’re halfway through the week! I know I was pret-ty skeptical of John Mayer’s latest album a few months ago, when we were only given a measly four songs per month.

But, now that it’s been released in its entirety (I actually got a free copy with the purchase of a concert ticket), and I’ve had a chance to listen to it – in my car and in my earbuds – and have heard a few songs from it live, I think I’ve got a grasp on my opinions.

From the jump, in general: I like it. Is it my favorite album? Nope. But there are definitely some gems that cannot (and will not) be ignored in the entirely of Mayer’s career. Here’s my take.

Best song: In the Blood 

If you’re looking for one of those typical John Mayer songs that’s got genius lyrics and is going to cleverly teach you some life lessons, THIS is the one.

Although we’ve been told from Mayer before that he’s aware of his ways (you know what I’m talking about), this song really seems to drive it home, while also discussing his family life – which he’s alluded to in a few previous songs.

“In the Blood” has been released to country radio stations as his next single.

How much of my father am I destined to become?
Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?
Will I let this woman kill me, or do away with jealous love?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I can feel the love I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I still really like “Love on the Weekend”, and it will probably remain to be a favorite of mine – I’ve had too many long distance relationships and understand what he’s singing about all TOO well.

There’s two upbeat tracks that are really fun: “Still Feel Like Your Man” (which Mayer admitted was about Katy Perry), and “Moving On and Getting Over”, which I had the pleasure of hearing live. It was fantastic. Many critics said this album was Mayer’s “return to pop”, but I disagree, and I think these two tracks are fair proof that he’s still going his own way.

And finally, there’s “Rosie”, which reminds me of early 90’s Lenny Kravtiz – loungey blues with desperate love lyrics. It’s catchy as hell, and makes for a good ear worm.

Yes, there’s a few other tracks stuffed in… and they may as well go forgotten. I’m not even going to pretend like a song titled “Emoji of a Wave” is worth my shit. Not even for John Mayer.

It’s no “Battle Studies”, but I definitely feel like we got a lot of hype for this one that was perhaps unwarranted. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll hold me over, but I can’t help but wonder if Mayer is suffering from a little bit of writer’s block.

In albums’ passed, we’ve gone on a journey with him over heartbreak (admittedly the ones we saw play out in the tabloids), his life as a famous person (before moving West), his family, and his struggle with getting older.

But is his journey over? His life is quiet now, and although that’s good for him, it sometimes isn’t good for the art. Been there, done that.

We were spoiled with the release of “Born and Raised” and then right afterward (#blessed) with “Paradise Valley”. It miiight be awhile before we hear from Mayer again, despite his claims that he’s got a vault of songs that were meant for “The Search for Everything”.

Guess we’ll see…

‘Southern Charm’: Craig of All Trades, Master of None.

I cannot get enough of this show!

Yay for Monday night TV! When the episode starts, Cameron is heading to a witch’s house…no seriously. She admits she was into white magic as a kid and has remained interested, so she picks out and purchases a voodoo doll to keep evil spirits away.

But let’s face facts, we are here for the drama between Shep and Austen, which I now realize I’ve been spelling his name wrong all along. Apologies.

So, the boys are playing basketball, and basically Chelsea comes up in conversation. Austen admits he’s seeing her, and Shep tries to play it cool but says Austen should have “let him know.” Austen is all, so I have to check in? No.

Meanwhile, Whitney and T-Rav meet for drinks and T-Rav admits that he can’t attract the right women because of his baggage with his baby mama. Well, well, well…

Later, Katherine calls Jennifer to see if she wants to get lunch. Basically she wants to rip her because she thinks her and Thomas got together.

Katherine is cold from the start, and Jennifer asks for clarity. Katherine is still pissed that Thomas passed her a handkerchief at the damn show reunion! Jennifer reminds her that she gave birth to a baby that very well could have died.

Pas Jennifer is sitting there, telling Katherine about her child’s brain surgery, crying… Kat is an ice COLD bitch.

At Craig’s house, he’s amped because he bought a sewing machine, and it arrived. Seriously what the hell? When he calls Naomi to share the news, she’s less than thrilled. I wonder why!?

Later, he’s legitimately sewing a tiny shirt…using the pedal barefoot.

At T-Rav’s, he pours himself a little cocktail, and calls Landon to ask her out to dinner. She has plans so she suggests lunch… Which Thomas says is the friend zone. He agrees on the phone but hangs up and throws it…ha!

Then, Shep takes himself to the doctor for a checkup, and the doc suggests not drinking for a week…. Uhhh… We will see how that goes.

Later, Craig cooks dinner for Naomi, and while eating it, he tells her that he’s looking to buy a rental property buy the end of the week and he also signed papers for his clothing line. LOLZ.

Naturally, Naomi is visibly pissed and tried to spell it out for him, that he can’t do all of these things at once if he ever hopes to pass the bar exam.

He then tells her that she’s acting dumb. Oohshitttt. The episode basically ends there but from the looks of next week’s episode, the fight isn’t over. Yowza!

‘Southern Charm’: Shepwrecked. 

Chelsea is at the center of the Shepwreck.

Shew! I made it back from a fantastic trip to Las Vegas – I’m writing this from my bed at 11pm, having just gotten home and showered.

Naturally, one of the first things I’m doing upon arrival is watching tonight’s (last night’s if you’re reading this on Tuesday) episode of “Southern Charm”.

Polo match. Austin picks up Chelsea. He asks her if there’s anything going on between her and Shep. She says they made out but he’s an idiot (huh?).

At the match, everyone thinks it’s a little awkward seeing Austin and Chelsea on a date. Agreed.

T-Rav’s kids are there and Craig gets offended when he doesn’t give the children proper attention. Craig then proceeds to tell everyone that he’s leaving because Thomas “ignores his kids”.

The next day, Shep is realizing his 37th birthday is in a few days. He asks Whitney if Chelsea was at the polo match. Whitney confirms that Shep indeed has competition.

Meanwhile, Austin has already made drink plans with Chelsea and he’s telling a friend maybe he did break Bro Code. The friend says no, that Shep isn’t the guy that’s likely to care. Yikes.

On the date, Austin and Chelsea are having some pretty serious conversation – from having kids to one-night stands. She seems to be getting pretty drunk, and Austin suggests they go back to his place. The scene cuts before she answers, but it shows Shep calling her the next morning asking if they can meet up soon – she agrees.

Shep also called Landon to invite her to his birthday party… So that should be interesting.

Later, Naomi and Cameron go to get their nails done and Naomi confesses that she feels like it’s her fault Craig hasn’t taken the bar exam because she has created a safe space at home where he doesn’t have to talk about difficult things, such as why he hasn’t taken the exam yet. Cameron thinks Naomi will leave soon if Craig doesn’t get his act together.

Shep visit Chelsea at her work – a hair salon – and she cuts his hair. He asks her about Austin, and although she’s coy about it, Shep can tell something is up between them.

For his birthday, the gang joins a bunch of Shep’s friends on a boat that Whitney dubs the “SS Tart” – which literally made me laugh out loud.

Cameron grills Chelsea about her feelings for Shep vs. Austin – and she says she felt more emotion when she kissed Austin. She says she can’t get over how much of a player Shep is. Fair enough.

Cameron tells Shep what the deal is and he says he knows Chelsea’s hesitation is because of his reputation as the “town bicycle” – LOLZ. Although he denies his status, he proceeds to flirt with every girl on the boat except Chelsea. So, looks like she was right.

Meanwhile, Whitney and T-Rav are talking about Landon, and T-Rav admits he likes her body. They call Landon over and she says, yes she is attracted to Thomas, because they like a lot of the same things, but it’s all of the baby mama drama that turns her off.

But perhaps from that little snippet in the first episode, she will get over it and they will date. Only time will tell!

The history of Las Vegas.

Viva Las Vegas!

Tonight, I’m hopping on a flight to Las Vegas, ready to spend most of my dollars on drinks and slot machines, wear some of my tackiest clothes (a cactus bodysuit is packed), and eat sinfully delicious food until my stomach hurts.

It will be my second time in Vegas, a place I’ve come to associate with good times. But how did Vegas, as we know it, come to be? I looked up a little info.

Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911, and its first claim to fame was its railroads. At the time, gambling was illegal, that is until 1931 when casinos began to takeover Fremont Street (the city’s only paved road), joined by showgirls.

In just 10 years, “The Strip” was born, and served as a second home to casinos and huge, glittery signs running off hydropower. By 1966, small casinos turned into massive ones that took their design cues from escapes around the globe – Paris, Rome, Egypt, and New York.

I remember years ago, before I’d ever been to Vegas, a family member went for a work conference. Upon his return he said he didn’t like it – “It’s just excess in every single way.”

And that’s exactly why I love it! Want a casino? How about one that’s 171,000 square feet, like at the MGM? It’s the biggest casino in the world.

During my last trip to Vegas, we stayed at the MGM hotel & casino, not knowing how historically huge it is, and I was stunned every time I went downstairs. You could actually never leave if you wanted to – or you COULD leave and step outside to see the lights, huge fountains, ceiling-high strands of crystals, a near-replica of the Eiffel Tower – it’s all so much to take it, but it’s a treat for the senses!

This time, we’re staying at the The Palms and I’m just SO excited! The Palms is owned by a very famous Vegas family, the Maloofs – which may sound familiar to you if you’ve watched “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, as Adrienne Maloof is one of the heirs to the throne.

The Palms was, at one time, home to the only Playboy club in the world. It has since closed, but it was quite iconic with crystal chandeliers, magazine covers throughout, and Roberto Cavallie bunny costumes.

The Palms is also home to a few famous suites, including the Hardwood Suite, which runs a cold $25,000 per night. Here’s the scoop from CNN Money: You don’t have to be a professional basketball player to enjoy the hardwood suite at the Palms, although if you are, then this is the room for you. In addition to the half basketball court, electronic scoreboard and extra-long beds, there’s also a locker room that can be stocked upon request with basketball jerseys and or cheerleading outfits — heck, you can even get your own cheerleaders if that’s what you want. As a general rule, most special requests will be gladly filled by the hotel staff. The two-story suite, which has a full bar as well as plenty of room for a DJ booth, is as well suited to partying as it is to playing games; in fact Russell Simmons and Paris Hilton have both hosted lavish affairs here.

If you’re a fan of MTV’s “Real World”, you may remember the cast of “Real World Las Vegas” resided at the Palms, and their suite still stands as the “Real World Suite”, minus all the cameras. It’s 3,000 square feet and even houses the original “confessional” room if that’s what you’re into ($10,000 per night).

…So, there’s that. I’m ready. It’s been a minute since I’ve had a vacation and I’m looking forward to a long weekend of glitter and adventure!

John Mayer’s perfect setlist.

Hello, love.

Well, I’m heading to Vegas on Thursday and aside from seeing the Backstreet Boys, the excitement of the Strip, the relaxation of the Palms’ pool (and bar), I’m also seeing my soulmate, John Mayer.

I’ve loved John Mayer since the first time I saw him live, when I was 16. If you do the math, that was almost 16 years ago – a very long time to be in love. But, like most relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs…

Almost exactly five years ago, I made plans to cross an item off my bucket list: Go to a city I’ve never been to and see a concert.

That city was Las Vegas, and that concert was John Mayer. I bought the tickets, lined up to meet a friend there, and we were SO excited. But about six weeks before our trip, John Mayer cancelled his tour because he had to have surgery on his vocal chords, and would be on rest.

Needless to say, I was crushed. But, my friend and I still decided to go to Vegas, and we still had a lot of fun. It would be another long while before John Mayer went on tour. And when he did, I saw him three times, in three separate states. I’d seen his tour so many times that year, I’d nearly memorized his set list, and could often tell by his guitar choice or chord tuning, what he was about to play.

But that was, like, three years ago – and now the guy is finally back on tour. I’ll be honest, I’m not so sure about this album, “The Search for Everything“. Yes, there’s some songs I like, but it’s no “Paradise Valley” – I absolutely love that album.

When he released “Love on the Weekend“, he promised he was going on tour, and he also said it would be everything we’d ever dreamed of. Whoa, whoa, whoa – big promises! It’s really okay, John, you don’t have to put on a nationwide tour just to finally profess your love for me.

Kidding aside, I got to thinking about what a perfect John Mayer concert would look like. After seeing him at least a dozen times over the years, I’ve heard him play some of my favorites. But what if there was a concert full of them?

I’ve refrained from looking up the setlist for this tour, but I’ve put together my own – what would be the perfect John Mayer concert setlist for me? This was tough, but here it is:

Why Georgia

If I Ever Get Around to Living

Moving On And Getting Over

Waitin’ On The Day

Split Screen Sadness

Born And Raised

Love On The Weekend

Clarity

On The Way Home

Tracing

In Repair

Dear Marie

Stop This Train

*Encore*

In Your Atmosphere

Wildfire

…What do you think? We will see how his concert compares… I have absolutely NO idea what to expect! I’ll definitely let you know… (you could also follow me on SnapChat and see for yourself @OrangeJulius7).

 

‘Southern Charm’: Step and Release.

Geez, I love this show.

I started last night by watching part three of the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, so that was juicy, and then settled in for another episode of “Southern Charm”.

It kicks off with Cameron hitting the gym, saying she’s taking charge of her health after living off “gas station food”, which makes me even more jealous of her. Chelsea joins the training session and says Shep stayed over, but they didn’t have sex. Not buying it.

Later, Craig and Landon meet for lunch where he says he’s helping Naomi put on a charity event, but shocker – he has no clue what he’s doing and hasn’t done much. Craig and Landon bond over how much they both hate Shep.

Meanwhile, Naomi is at Shep’s to pick up a donation and apparently have a glass of wine… hmm…

Later, Catherine shows up to meet with a modeling agent. While her pictures from the past are quite stunning, her agent gives her a reality check: she’s older, and well, doesn’t present as well in person. She suggests perhaps modeling with her children for family shoots – but because of her past, her visitations must be supervised. So, we’ll see.

Then, Landon heads over to T-Rav’s house for a cocktail, and he tells her he wants her help putting on a polo match for charity. He says he also wanted to reach out since he hadn’t in awhile. She seems really excited about both of these things, and we alllll know the relationship wheels are turning.

T-Rav, Austen (Austin?), and Shep head out for a guys’ night, which doesn’t happen without a little Landon bashing. They move on to a separate bar and proceed to have shot after shot, and Shep runs off with a random chick, who then actually turns him down for T-Rav! What!?

Despite his little efforts, Craig pulls off his part of the charity event and Naomi is happy, for now – I’ll still be shocked if they stay together this entire season. At the event, Landon is telling her friend that she doesn’t think her boyfriend has a “real job” because he sent her a picture of a fish he caught. Umm, ok? What’s your job, Landon?

Also at the event, Chelsea and Austen get to talking…flirting heavily, and he says they should go to the polo match together. She agrees, and gives him her number. Uh, WHAT?

Then, of course the episode is over and in the previews for next week, it looks like things get REAL awkward after they have their date.

Well, I’ll be there to watch it all go down and will report back!

Saying goodbye to ‘Girls’.

Saying goodbye to one of my favorite shows!

While most of America was gorging on honey ham and chocolate bunnies, I was waiting for the series finale of HBO’s “Girls”. Don’t worry, I whipped up stuffed shells with butternut squash sauce and some crescent rolls for the occasion.

I know “Girls” took a lot of shit – for making millenials look bad; for highlighting self-absorbed characters; for a lack of diversity; and well, often because of Lena Dunham. But I really, really liked this show.

Let’s be clear: it is/was not “Sex and the City”. Instead, it was the story of a group of friends living in New York city, post-college. It involved shitty boyfriends (and husbands), crap jobs, Brooklyn apartments, and the underlying sting of figuring out how to navigate life.

Before the final episode aired, I was a little nervous! But the episode flew by and it was a little surreal. Basically, it was a look into life after Hannah gives birth – 5 months later.

Soo… she actually named her baby Grover, which I was surprised by, and Marnie moved in with her to help with the baby. Naturally, they’re getting on each other’s nerves, and Marney is still navigating how to properly be single.

I was sad to see that the only characters in this episode were Hannah, Marnie, and Hannah’s mom. We were left with the same questions we started with this season: What would happen with Shosh? Did she actually get married? Would Desi ever get clean? What about Hannah’s dad? And Adam – he’s going to stay with HER?

The end just didn’t seem to fit for me, and I know I’m not alone because Twitter.

Everyone was saying last week’s episode was the real finale, which was probably true. All of the ladies found themselves at Shosh’s engagement party, and basically decided they weren’t meant to be in a room together.

Nonetheless Hannah and Jessa ended up dancing the night away, judgment-free.

Regardless, the finale tied a bow on the six seasons we’ve come to love. Hannah grew up and is somehow raising a child without the help of a man. Her mom has found peace, and Marnie, well, she’s learning to find her own way.

No, it’s not an ending that answers our questions, but truthfully, this season was for the books. I’m sad to see this show go – the reason I got HBO in the first place – but I know it was time.

Farewell, “Girls”!

BBC: ‘My Year With Eleanor’.

Hellooooo! I know it’s technically a holiday, so perhaps you’re reading this from the comfort of your bed? Or the beach? Here’s to hoping!

I’m at the office today, but we have spent a majority of the week packing, since the movers are coming tomorrow to put all of our work things in a new building. I checked out the place yesterday, and it’s nice, but very corporate. I’ll report there on Monday, so we’ll see how that goes.

I am really excited to talk about the last book I read: “My Year With Eleanor” by Noelle Hancock.

This book has been on my reading list for quite awhile, and I went to several bookstores looking for it. My mom eventually ordered it from a far away Half-Price Books, and I’ve just been waiting for the exact right time to read it. I knew it was going to be inspiring, and well, I’m in need of some inspiration! Here’s the scoop from Amazon.com:

In the tradition of My Year of Living Biblically and Eat Pray Love comes My Year with Eleanor, Noelle Hancock’s hilarious tale of her decision to heed the advice of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and do one thing a day that scares her in the year before her 30th birthday. Fans of Sloane Crosley and Chelsea Handler will absolutely adore Hancock’s charming and outrageous chronicle of her courageous endeavor and delight in her poignant and inspiring personal growth.

While I’m not a huge fan of the loads of Eleanor Roosevelt quotes out there, I can definitely appreciate a person willing to step out on a ledge for an entire year.

When you think about it, doing something every day that scares you seems like a really terrible task – despite all the growth, of course. But, Noelle Hancock mixes it up and does some really terrifying things (gets in a shark cage, flies a fighter jet, and goes skydiving), and she does some things that are less scary, but leave room for embarrassment (sings karaoke, does stand up comedy, and visits her ex boyfriends).

Naturally, she saves one giant task for last, and I won’t spoil it.

I know there’s lots of books out there like this, and while I haven’t read “Eat, Pray, Love”, I’ve heard it’s pretentious, and that’s exactly what I loved about Noelle’s story. It was honest, and although she shared all of the cool things she learned from her journey, she was also willing to show the dark side – think: sleeping pills, snotsicles, and an empty checking account.

I’m definitely, 100% recommending this book to anyone who feels like they’re in a rut, or perhaps feel like they haven’t lived their full potential yet. Who knows, maybe this book will inspire your “Year of Fear”!

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is… drumroll… “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. Read along with us by simply commenting here on the blog, or following me on social media @OrangeJulius7.

And so, it’s Easter weekend! I am not religious, but I treated myself to a Marshmallow Milky Way (YAS), and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make this Sunday a Funday, complete with eggs and mimosas… because, Easter.

Have a fun on, y’all!