Thursday, August 18, 2016

Vegging out: HBO-style

Last night, I poured myself a glass of cab and nestled into the coziest spot on the couch, amongst the blankets and animals.

Animals meaning Gus and Clementine.

We aren't running a zoo here, I swear.

I flipped open to where I had left off in the mystery I've been reading, but I just wasn't in the whole "missing woman, murderer on the loose in a small town" mood.

So instead, I grabbed the Apple TV remote and navigated to the HBO Go app.

Does anyone else consider disturbing documentaries a guilty pleasure?

I skipped over a few true crime films before landing on Americans in Bed.

Disturbing, indeed.

I started the documentary, sipping my red wine thoughtfully, and waiting to be shocked or scandalized.

Except I felt neither of those emotions.

Instead, I found myself charmed, laughing, and even crying at some parts. The documentary wasn't really about sex. It was about love and relationships. Some of the couples left me sad and depressed, but most of them made me feel happy and hopeful.
This couple was AMAZING.
It was a really well done film.

In typical Jenna-drinking-wine fashion, I was not ready for bed yet.

Usually tucked into bed and quickly heading toward dreamland at 10pm, the moment you give me a glass of wine, I am suddenly a night owl with a severe case of FOMO.

What movie would I watch next?

Since Adam was busy doing freelance work, I chose a more female-centric film that I'd had my eye on for a while. Brooklyn.
You guys, my eyes literally hurt this morning! That's how many times Brooklyn made me cry! The acting, the was all so beautiful. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, the protagonist is a young, Irish woman named Ellis Lacey (pronounced AY-liss, not ELLE-liss, which really confused me, by the way) who immigrates to the United States.

And let's just say there is the most swoon-worthy love story on top of some epic self-actualization on Ellis' part.


I highly recommend both movies if you happen to come across either.

They'll make you laugh, cry, and look at life in a new and exciting way.

Exactly what excellent storytelling should do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Tuesday Pun

"Look how pretty my apple looks beside my frame!" I marveled to my coworker, distracting us both from our current tasks. "Isn't it beautiful?"
She nodded thoughtfully, "Your apple beside the apple of your eye."

Obviously I wasted no time in texting that pun to Adam, pretending it was my own brilliant thought.

While he responded with a satisfying "Hahaha," he was probably just relieved to see that I was fitting in a piece of fruit after my Ina Garten brownie binge last night.

Making brownies is the best because you get to lick the bowl before they go into the oven and then enjoy little squares of chocolatey goodness after they're done baking.

They're the dessert that just keeps giving.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Balloons & Storm Clouds

After work this evening, I popped into Kroger for a few items that would help pull off a special birthday surprise for one of my most favorite colleagues.

In addition to A LOT of butter and chocolate (I baked Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies tonight—have you ever tried them? If not, please refer here), I purchased balloons to tie to my coworker's chair.

Balloons are problematic.

They're incredibly silly and fun, yet they're very frustrating to transport just about anywhere.

Oh my GOD, I thought, staring out the front windows of the grocery store as huge storm clouds gathered in the distance.

I put the pedal to the metal and rolled my shopping card outside like I was an Olympian competing in the 100 meter sprint.

Lightning streaked across the sky and thunder roared as I finally neared my little Corolla.

I threw my grocery bags into the backseat and then went to untie the balloons from the shopping cart's handle.

Except they wouldn't budge.


Boom, boom! Lightning, lighting!

My stomach felt sick and tears actually welled up in my eyes (seriously) as panic set in. I could not untie those birthday balloons for the life of me, and now I was set to die in a Kroger parking lot via lightning strike.

Finally, I fished my car keys out of my pocket and sliced the strings free.

The plastic clips went flying, one landing beside a nearby car and setting off its alarm.

"GAH! You've got to be kidding me!" I actually shouted aloud (like a crazy person!) before stuffing the boppity balloons in the car and hopping in the front seat.

Thank goodness I made it inside my car when I really poured!

I had to sit in my car for a bit once I arrived home. I took Snapchat photos of myself to remain entertained. I only stopped when a very athletic (and dedicated) runner jogged by, and I felt stupid.

I'm feeling very grateful to be in our cozy house tonight, with Ina brownies baking in the oven, our bedding tumbling about in the washer and dryer (meaning fresh sheets tonight, meaning the best thing ever), and no more balloons dancing in the wind.

Storms are better enjoyed from inside.

Just ask our wet golden retriever.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lucky Number 9

My lucky number is 9, so it's no surprise that today was such a grand day.

At lunchtime, I walked over to the seamstress for another dress fitting. Karen of Sewendipity is an absolute magician. She's making me the loveliest dress in the world. It has all sorts of ribbons, tulle, and even a bow. And today when I went for my fitting, she actually needed to take the waist in a bit, which is always a reason to rejoice.
This is the inspiration dress. Mine is pretty similar, but it features purples and a lot more sparkle!
Since I'm apparently sooo skinny, I stopped by Lala's Blissful Bites on the way back to work and picked up a "Foxi Brown" cupcake. It was chocolate heaven.

After work, I popped into Anthropologie to return a bottle of perfume I had bought online. I bought it thinking I was ordering a set of mini bottles, but it turns out, I just ordered one big bottle.

Naturally, Anthro was still having their "25% Off Sale Items" promotion, and naturally, I spent three times as much as the returned perfume cost me.

But I don't even feel guilty (yet) because I snagged a super flattering dress, a versatile t-shirt, an AMAZING wrap/kimono/scarf thing, lotion, and perfume (...because of course I would pick up more perfume after returning perfume. MEH).

When I arrived home, I climbed into my most favorite place in the world (bed) with one of my most favorite dogs in the world (Clem).

We plan on watching HBO Go tonight and politely asking Adam if we can have our supper in here.

He isn't going to say yes, but you can't blame a gal for trying.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Book of the Month Club Bliss

"Oh, a package!" I thought excitedly, as I strolled up our front porch steps after work. "Maybe it's my August Birchbox!"

It wasn't my Birchbox, though. It was my other monthly subscription and one of the most delightful services I've ever signed up for...


Last month, I read Missing, Presumed, which was a mystery book that took place in England. In addition to my hardback novel, BOTMC also included a tote bag, sunglasses, and crazy straw because they're just that neat.

My August book is called The Woman in Cabin 10, and it's written by Ruth Ware. I actually saw this novel quite a bit in the various airport bookshops during my recent trip to Austin. The cover art alone has me intrigued!
I call this my "wearing zero makeup, worked out, look rather underwhelming, so hide behind your book" pose
Liberty Hardy described the novel as a "delightfully fun mystery," so my hopes are high for this one.


I mean, how cute is that?

Cute enough to demand I wrap up my querying and editing for the evening to curl up with some red wine and a book instead? Yes, I believe it is that cute.

Off I go! 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturday Morning Trip to the Vet

When I went to bed last night, sometime around midnight, I was exhausted.

I spent last weekend in Austin—ending my trip with a 15-hour travel day on Monday (no fault of Delta's, all fault of my poor and inefficient flight planning)—and I returned to work bright and early that next Tuesday morning.

By the time Friday rolled around, I was feeling pretty les miserables.

So this morning, when I rolled out of bed around 11, I was all happy and refreshed. Adam had the coffeemaker brewing a fresh pot of hazelnut coffee, and it was a sunny Saturday.

I planned on hunkering down at the dining room table for a day of query letters and editing work. Maybe I would even artfully arrange my new Kate Spade tumbler (Thanks, Lib!) beside the vase of fresh flowers for a lovely Instagram picture.

The options were endless.

But when I went to army crawl beneath the bed to wake Clementine (who is deaf, and must be physically awakened), I was alarmed to see a pink discharge leaking from her "problem" eye.

When I adopted Clementine a little over a year ago, she came with two bum eyes. She has cataracts, and one of her eyes (the "problem" eye) leaks a clear discharge more often than not. She's been to the very expensive animal ophthalmologist to be checked out and cleared of any serious ailments, so it's just a Clementine quirk we deal with.
You can see her "problem" eye pretty well here!
This morning though...eeeeeek!

Even though Clementine was acting completely normal (and even let me wipe the pink discharge away from her eye with no flinching or agitation), I immediately called the vet who was able to get us in straightaway.

So off Clem and I went, zipping down the road to make it to the office as soon as we could.

Clementine's vet is wonderful. They took her back the moment we walked in the door. After some pretty uncomfortable eye tests (including the one where they stain the dog's eyes yellow), the vet determined Clementine had a pretty awful abrasion across her already cloudy eyeball.

Poor Clem!

We were sent home with antibiotics (with steroids...intense!) that Clem will have to take three times a day for ten days.

So while Adam and I will need to keep a close eye (ha ha) on her, I am just so relieved it wasn't something more serious.
Our little patient resting comfortably.
I swear, each time Clementine has a medical scare, it reminds me that I'm nowhere close to being ready for children.

If I get this worked up and emotional with my geriatric dog, how would I behave with a sick child? I was on the verge of sobbing in the examination room during Clementine's tests!

Now as I sit down with my mug of hazelnut coffee and search for literary agents, I'm feeling quite thankful for my little Corgi-Beagle mix and am so glad she's going to be okay.

How would I work without both of my writing dogs at my feet?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Thoughts from a Remiss Blogger

Hi there.

I'm popping in on this steamy Saturday morning (the temps are reaching 94°F today...yuck!) after nearly two months of quiet.

The past eight weeks or so have been busy, busy, busy, and so full of change!

Here's what's been happening.

I moved out of the Bachelorette Pad and into the Woodland Cottage.
Au revoir, Bachelorette Pad!

Meaning cohabitation (also meaning my Catholic parents were super not cool with this, just incase Pope Francis reads this or whatever, I feel like their disapproval should be in writing). 

Also, for the record, I love Pope Francis and his photo is on my fridge. 

Living with Adam has been amazing. I mean this when I say life is easier and happier. He packs my lunches. He cooks us dinner each night. We tackle the household chores and caring for our dogs as a team. 

And most importantly, after a long day at work, there is someone you can hug the second you walk through the door. 

I look a girls trip with my mom, aunts, and cousins to Madison, Wisconsin. We probably laughed from the moment we hit the road that Friday morning to the second we got home Sunday night. 

I've been able to work in a lot more time on my second novel. I'm so darn proud of it. I only wish there were more hours in the day I could spend on it.
Clem lending a helping hand.
I've started doing a bunch of different workout classes at our company gym, even classes I was afraid of, like Strength Training and Cardio High Intensity Interval Training. Guys, I have MUSCLES now! 

Adam built us a bookcase and a bed. Because he is THAT super-fantastic. 

We have a summer of travel ahead, including THE LAKE WHERE DIRTY DANCING WAS FILMED next week (this is also known as Lake Lure in North Carolina) and then Seattle and Portland, Austin, and Michigan. 

I read Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened (and think she's one of the most hilarious people ever now), but haven't had much time for reading otherwise. Again, I'll refer to my wish that there were just more hours in the day. 

We celebrated Clementine's 1st Adoptiversary. I love her more than ever with her cloudy eyes and short, little legs.

Life is good.