Monday, August 31, 2015

What's In My Netflix Queue?

Image result for Netflix logo

A few years ago, I made the switch from cable to using a Roku to watch streaming television and movies (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, etc. ) and I've never regretted it! We have an antenna to watch live local sports and news, when we need to. We love tv on demand and don't think I could go back to normal cable.

I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their Netflix queue, no? So, I thought this would be a fun topic for a blog post since my tastes are quite random.

What's in my Netflix queue?

NCIS: One of the shows M and I watch together. I've seen these episodes a ton of times and they never get old.

Hell on Wheels: My newest addiction. Seriously, I watched like 8 episodes over the weekend. M will have none of it, but I love it!

Criminal Minds: Another one M and I watch together. Season 10 is now on Netflix.

The Office: Always. My all-time favorite.

House of Cards: M watches this. I tried...but the first episode where the dog gets hit by a car did me in. No thanks.

Star Trek Voyager: Definitely an M show. I would never. Although, Red from OITNB is the Captain in this show. M has her autograph because he liked her in Star Trek Voyager. So weird, huh?

Property Brothers: We love HGTV/home shows and this one is good.

Orange is the New Black: Too bad I finished the latest season in one week. I still go back and rewatch to catch little nuances I might have missed the first time.

Pretty Little Liars: I went through the first season and lost interest. It's still in my queue though. Just in case.

Once Upon a Time: I started rewatching this series with M. He likes it "okay" but other shows like Criminal Minds and NCIS take precedence.

Bad Ink: I love seeing people's horrible tattoos! HA!

Grace and Frankie: SUCH AN AWESOME SHOW! A coworker recommended it and I really enjoyed the whole season. It made me laugh (out loud for real!) and cry and had a great plot line.

Alaska State Troopers: Not really a show I love but I'll watch it if M is.

Daredevil: Watched some of this with M. He's a Marvel comics guys. Me? Not so much. But I tolerated it.

Cousins on Call: Another HGTV/home show that we like. Similar to Property Brothers except they are cousins and they surprise people with renovations when they are away.

That's mine...what are some shows in your queue?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Thoughts - How to Eat a Cupcake

Welcome friends. It's Thursday, which means it's time to catch a glimpse into the randomness that is April. And also, to link up your randomness too in your own Thursday Thoughts blog post. (Where you can blog about ANYTHING!!! As long as it's on Thursday.)

Today, I'm going to teach you a life to eat a cupcake. I've blogged about this before, but there really is no other way to guarantee an equal cake-to-frosting ratio and for maximum deliciousness. It's simple.

How to properly eat a cupcake while distributing the frosting evenly

Break off the bottom 1/3 or 1/2 of the cupcake and flip it rough side down ON TOP OF the frosting. This makes a sort of cupcake whoopie pie sandwich. Then eat. I prefer to eat with a fork at this point...because I am weird. But this will change your life, people!

You're welcome.

Now, let me hear from you! Link up below.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Why I [Still] Wear Statement Necklaces

Y'all know how much I love statement necklaces...right? I mean, if you've read this blog for any amount of time you're bound to stumble upon a post about or photo of one.

You might also have picked up that I don't often participate in a lot of fads as an adult. Now, as a teen, I fell victim to the silver lipstick, miniature animal backpacks and butterfly clips of the mid-late 90s. However, as an adult, I choose to embrace the classic over the trendy.

You may think that statement necklaces are a trend...or a fad. But in fact, they aren't. They are a very old, classic look that's been around for centuries. Modern statement necklaces gain their influence from the tribal/ethnic jewelry of India and Africa, the metal collars of Egypt and the Mediterranean and even the beaded/tiered look of Edwardian and Victorian pieces from America and Western Europe. Coco Chanel had a huge role in popularizing costume and statement jewelry in the 30s, 40s and 50s and many of today's pieces are directly inspired from her designs.

I STILL wear statement necklaces because they are classic and beautiful. I still wear statement necklaces because they are a wonderful way to tie an outfit together or to make an otherwise nondescript look stand out. I still wear statement necklaces because they've become MY signature. People know me for my statement necklaces (and my shoes...and my cardigans...but I digress). A statement necklace and a cardigan and flats IS my fashion formula. It's what makes me feel comfortable's just me!

I often post pics of some of my necklaces on my Instagram page. If you follow me there you can see them from time to time. Here are some I've posted over the last few months.

Do you wear statement necklaces? Would you ever try one if you don't already wear them?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Ah Thursday. I love seeing you every week....because it means we are closer to the weekend. Hallelu.

//1. I usually do my self-tanning regimen in the evenings. The last few times, however, I've woken up to some major splotchies. The latest one was right underneath my chin. Maybe I shouldn't do it right before bed??

me getting ready for a date

//2. Along those same lines. I need some dark colored sheets. We only have light colored sheets that fit our King bed. But King sheets are so expensive.... :(

//3. I can feel my late summer allergies starting to creep up...starting with a dry throat. No ma'am! I will not get another sinus infection. 

//4. I'm going to Chicago for a work trip in November. I've been to Chicago once before in May and I loved it. However, it's mid-November. In Chicago. Anyone got any advice for places to go/do and how the weather might be? 

Alright, that's all I have for y'all today. Will you link up below? Just add your blog post about anything! As long as you blog on Thursdays, you're good! YAY! Happy Thursday! All GIFs via.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Wear Fall 2015 Colors Together {Pantone Color Report}

Ladies and gentlemen...

It's almost fall.

Yes, we are getting close to the most wonderful time of the year (in my opinion). One of my favorite things about fall is wearing fall colors. Yes, I am one of those people who holds off on pairing my mustards with my navys and my olives with my plums until the temps plummet below 80 and the days get a little shorter.

As most of you know, I'm obsessed with pairing color with more color and I only use neutrals whenever absolutely necessary. However, the good news for you color phobes (i.e. normal people) is that a few of Pantone's Fall 2015 colors ARE neutrals. (I'm looking at you Reflecting Pond and Stormy Weather) And a few of them are very wearable colors like Biscay Bay and Dried Herb.

So, using my best color pairing skills, I decided to create a few different outfits incorporating some of the Fall 2015 Pantone colors. Now, I used every single color at least once...except for purple. I really loathe purple and it was a hard color to work I did what I do best. Gave up. ;)

fall 2015 pantone color report

Also, not gonna lie: Cashmere Rose was difficult to use but I managed to incorporate it in a bag. Hooray! My favorite combinations are Marsala + Biscay Bay and Cadmium Orange + Dried Herb. These colors are punchy enough to show off but still fairly muted for fall.

What do you think about these colors? Would you wear any of them?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Insta-Outfits v.4

It's been a hot minute since I've posted some of my Instagram outfit photos on the blog. For those of you that already follow me on Instagram (thestripedflamingo) I do apologize for the duplicate content. For the rest of you, here are a few of my Insta-outfits of late...

Yes, my gravitation towards stripes, navy and mustard is very apparent. But I do applaud myself that all of these outfits contain a print. I used to be very print-phobic but now I've expanded beyond stripes to incorporate polka dots and even geometric patterns! Go me! HA! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Keeping this one short and simple today. Today and tomorrow at work and then the weekend! YAY! It's good I only have 2 days of work left in this week because...

when housewives go on a trip

Okay, okay, not really. But...still.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\Go ahead and link up your post below! Can't wait to read them!////////////////////

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our New Home: Home Tour Part 3 - The Kitchen

For today's home tour, I'm going to start by letting y'all in on a little secret: I'm obsessed with kitchens. They are the rooms that make or break it for me when I determine the live-ability of a place. Surprisingly, our kitchen is the most "out-dated" or least decorated room of our house at the moment.

Now, don't get me's still very much move-in ready and functional. It's not a fixer-upper kitchen that needs to be gutted. But it's where the house shows its age the most (almost 10 years old) and where we could do the easiest upgrades and updates.

I love the layout of the eat-in kitchen and I love the HUGE kitchen island with cabinets all the way through. I love the brightness of the kitchen (there are 2 windows and a sliding glass door) and I love that our floor continues in the kitchen.

I don't love the color/stain of the builder grade cabinets. I still am not sold on the blue wall (see below) though it is an improvement from what we started with. I don't love the older range and dishwasher but the ones we have now work. And I loathe the countertops. Actually, those will probably be the first thing we update. They are gray linoleum and have some scorch/burn marks on them. Just not my fave. Here are some pics...

Projects we'd like to tackle:
  • Update countertops. I'm thinking quartz but I'm also into non-traditional materials like recycled glass, cement, etc. We do not want linoelum! 
  • Update cabinets. The cabinets are in good shape and have a good simple design so we may just stain them and replace the hardware. 
  • Update appliances. We've already updated the fridge. Next is the dishwasher and then the range.
  • Replace the sink. I'm dying for an under mount sink. I think we could probably do this while we do the countertops. 
  • Figure out how to "fix" the blue wall. It used to be chalkboard/magnetic paint over the entire wall. The previous owners taped a calendar on the wall before they painted so there's about a .25 inch gap between the non-chalkboard paint areas and the chalkboard painted areas. We've tried sanding and it just didn't work. Our options at this point are to replace the drywall, (cut out the chunk that had the calendar on it) or do something over the entire wall like beadboard. If we replace the chunk of drywall the texture of the drywall won't match up with the texture of the rest of the wall since we primed and painted OVER the magnetic chalkboard paint. I love might be what we do. But at least we don't have the black wall with the calendar anymore. I can live with the blue wall for awhile. 

It's hard to see in this picture, but you can still see the lines in the wall where the calendar was. It's a little easier to see below. 

That wraps up the kitchen tour. you have any suggestions for the blue wall?

\\\\\Don't forget! Tomorrow is the Thursday Thoughts link up!/////

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Show Us Your Books: What I Read in July

Time for one of my all-time fave monthly link-ups. I love, LOVE seeing other people's book reviews and finding new books to read. This month I read two from the same author, one that my mom let me borrow and a re-read. (Some people hate re-reads but I love them!!)

Something Borrowed - Emily Giffen

Okay, so this is the first in a series about two ladies named Darcy and Rachel. An interesting premise, this book takes the point-of-view of "the other woman" and runs with it. Now, while the friend Darcy is written to be a terrible person, I still find myself feeling guilty for her since she is the one being cheated ON. However, I also empathize with the main character, Rachel who is the cheater. I hate when I don't have a clear allegiance in a book and my feelings fluctuate from liking to dislike. Overall, I liked the ending. Three out of five salted caramels.

Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffen

Though not part of the Darcy & Rachel series (above) two of the characters from that series (Dexter and Rachel) are also in this book as the brother and sister-in-law of one of the main characters, Tessa. This one was also about someone cheating in a relationship but a marriage and both characters, though flawed, are likable in their own way. (Side note: no idea why I happened to try two books that were about cheaters and also part of the same storyline...weird!) The ending of this one was a little less predictable, but also a little boring. Three out of five salted caramels.

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

My mom let me borrow this one and I REALLY liked it. I was skeptical at first because I sometimes grow weary of plodding, depressive plot lines...but this one did not disappoint! There was mystery, intrigue, drama and sadness all wrapped up into one. I found myself absorbed into the main character's bout with alcohol addiction and struggle not let it consume her...though I'm not an alcoholic. I felt like I could identify with her. Odd. 

I loved the ending and there was a surprise twist! Whenever a book manages to surprise me, I'm a fan. :) Oddly enough, this book also dealt with an unfaithful spouse...what IS it with all of these cheater books?!?! Five out of five salted caramels.

Pearl Jinx (re-read) - Sandra Hill

I'm a bit obsessed with all things Amish/Mennonite so this rom-com was right up my alley. It combines archaeology (which I love), romance, the Amish and the Cajuns. It's funny and light-hearted but with an actual believable plot line. An underlying mystery keeps the book interesting but the real interest for me was in the characters and their story lines. I've re-read this book at least 5 times and it remains a favorite. Four out of five salted caramels.

\\\\\\\\\\\If you blog on Thursdays, link up with me! Thursday Thoughts will be live this Thursday! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

From a Woman Who Loves Football: Treat Me the Same!

Dear Tampa Bay Buccaneers,

I would like to offer you some advice from a woman NFL football fan.

Please, just treat us like you do male fans. We don't need special clubs for female fans. We don't want "movements" just for women. Heck, I'm not even a fan of tacky pink and glittery jerseys.

And we, most certainly, do not need "exclusive networking events throughout the year designed to encourage interaction while providing practical advice on how to express their love... into original design projects, fashion-forward team apparel and creative culinary creations."

Say what? Yes, I'm referring to your RED movement.

"Through exclusive offerings and experiences, our female fans will have the opportunity to not only add to their knowledge of the game they love, but also to help create a community through RED and own the way they enjoy football.”

You go on to explain that you will have a launch party with "gameday style tips from local area experts, and even a RED Lifestyle Lounge session to educate attendees on the art of incorporating their passion for the Bucs into their other lifestyle interests such as tailgating and home entertaining."

Bucs, as a football fan (who just happens to be female) I must express my disappointment in this campaign. Can't we all just be FANS? Regardless of the fact that you think Pinterest and fashion are the way to most women's hearts (and arguably it is for many) why not just let the fantastic-ness of the game of football be the drawing factor? Why emphasize our diversity and not just embrace it?

I think you can do better.


An NFL fan

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thursday Thoughts: On Watching Television With Your Spouse

We have four televisions in our house. One in the main living room, our master bedroom, man cave room and guest bedroom. I usually never watch tv in our bedroom and the guest room is...well...for guests. So we have two televisions that get used and there is a clear definition of tv usage in our house. The man cave tv is for gaming...and dumb boy shows. Usually, we watch an episode of a tv show while we eat dinner and maybe one more, then M retires to the man cave to watch his shows and I remain in the living room to watch mine until bedtime.

Shows M Watches That I Will Not Watch
The Strain
Any kind of anime
Comic stuff (Batman, Spiderman, etc.)
Weird sci-fi mess
Dragon Ball Z
Game of Thrones
Big Bang Theory
Star Trek

Shows I Watch that M Will Not Watch
The Office 
Mob Wives
The Mindy Project
New Girl
Pretty Little Liars
The Hart of Dixie
RuPaul's Drag Race
True Life
Dance Moms

Shows We Both Agree on Watching (sense a theme?)
Criminal Minds
Burn Notice
Property Brothers
Love it or List It
Holmes on Homes
Cousins on Call
House Hunters
Duck Dynasty
The Walking Dead

We're starting to run out of good shows to watch together. Any suggestions are appreciated. We like crime shows (duh!) and HGTV ish shows. With a random zombie show thrown in. I call this approach to television watching separate but equal. We spend time together, then we do our own thing. It's what works for us! 

//////////////Join in on the fun below! Remember your blog post can be about anything!///////////////

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My First Wine Tasting in the Books!

On Friday, I hosted my very first wine tasting. Now, I know a little bit about wine and I'm in a wine club that meets every other month, so this wasn't a total first time thing, but I've never actually HOSTED one before. The theme was California Dreaming. :) (It took place at my mom's house since she's more centrally located to everyone else than I am.)

We went through some of the major appellations or AVAs in California and sampled some of the red wines (always!!) from the dominant grapes in that area.

I created/printed a little sheet that had the silhouette of California with the appellations/AVAs noted and the region or area where that winery is located. The back had a spot for notes for each wine. 

The blue and purple bottles are water and the bowls are for dumping extra wine in the glasses. (traditionally at tastings you may take one or two sips and then you discard the rest)

Ah the food! I set up a number of appetizers and bites that go well with the wines we tasted. Of course, you can't have a wine tasting without a cheese plate! Brie, gouda, cheddar, colby jack and havarti. I used my new condiment tray thing and served some roasted almonds, dried apricots and red grapes. I also added olives...since some people apparently like the green ones out of a jar. Yuck! My chips and dip bowl becomes a veggie-and-hummus bowl and it worked out just perfectly! I also wanted to have a few prepared things for guests so I made my go-to fancy app Caprese Bites and bought a few different kinds of pinwheel sandwiches. 

If you're into wine, this might interest you. The overall favorite of the night was this Line Shack Petite Sirah from Paso Robles (San Antonio Valley) on the Central Coast of California. I used an app on my phone called Vivino to track the wine reviews and to also keep track of some of my favorites. 

The second favorite was this Petite Petit from Michael David Winery. This one originates in the Lodi appellation of California.  It definitely gets my vote for the coolest wine label!! 

For each guest, I had a wine glass customized by my sister-in-law (who has a decal/vinyl monogram business) as a parting gift. They turned out great! The name is Oddfellows Wine Club.

I had a lot of fun. It was a bit expensive but so much fun to plan and throw. I can't wait to do another one! 

Remember to join me tomorrow for Thursday Thoughts blog post linkup! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Our New Home: Home Tour Part 2 - Man Cave

Hey didn't y'all know that #mcm stands for Man Cave Monday too? :)

Today I'm giving you a glimpse into the world of my husband, whom I affectionately refer to as M on the blog. In our new house is the obligatory Man Cave. It's a room upstairs that contains all things man, is dark for movie watching/gaming and is adequately stocked with all things that a typical male might need.

M has LOTS of movies! This is just part of his collection. You'll also learn a little more about his favorite things as we continue, namely: Star Wars, The Carolina Panthers and movies.

M has a mini fridge and a "snack station". Bless. 

Of course, then there is the non-refrigerated liquid refreshment station. 

The highlight of this room, in my opinion, is the walk-in closet. He has a place to store all of his camping gear, hunting/fishing gear, guns, gaming stuff, etc. Bonus! It stays out of the rest of the house!!