Coffee Talk: October

neighborhood-walk

I love Amber Thomas’ and Rachel Dawson’s monthly coffee dates, so I thought it might be fun if I joined in (a little belatedly). I think the structure is really fun, and I’m interested to play with it and see what happens.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d probably be late. Because honestly, I’m almost always late. I don’t have a great sense of time and I tend to try to do “just one thing” before I head out the door and then inevitably, I’m late. I’m trying to do better, but if I’m honest I’ve had an especially hard time getting out the door the past few months.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d apologize profusely for being late, and order my drink. A plain iced latte if we’re at Starbucks, but if we were at Minuti (a local Italian-inspired coffee chain that I LOVE) I’d get an iced chai. It’s creamy and cinnamon-y and not too sweet, which is perfect. But always iced, because it’s not quite chilly enough in Houston to drink something hot.

If we were on a coffee date, we’d have a lot of catching up to do. It’s been quiet around here on the blog, partially because I’ve been in a writing slump, and partially because I’ve been unsure what to do with this space. I’ve really struggled to find a focus, so for now I’ve decided to do more personal writing, since those are always my favorite blog posts to read. We’ll see where this goes!

If we were on a coffee date, I’d confess that I’m disappointed our Halloween plans fell through. I’m planning on wearing my costume next year, but it was just so good that I’m really disappointed that I can’t wear it this year. I’m planning on making peanut butter balls and eating them on the couch while we watch a movie instead. Reese’s is the only candy I’ve really missed since I’ve started eating low carb, so I’m excited to try making sugar-free peanut butter balls. Fingers crossed they turn out!

If we were on a coffee date, I’d remember that I started my low carb diet almost a year ago. And since then I’ve lost 46 pounds (so 55 pounds total since April 2015). I’m feeling pretty dang proud of myself! I’d probably also advise against a major dietary change the week of Halloween. Speaking from experience, it’s just not a good idea. 😉

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what your holiday plans are. Christmas is my very favorite holiday, so I love hearing about other people’s fun family traditions and disaster stories that are retold so many times they become legendary. My first Thanksgiving with Teddy’s family was a group Thanksgiving dinner with some people from their church who we’d never met. When we realized we were the first Huizingas to arrive, we were so petrified of knocking on a total stranger’s door that we parked down the street and hid in our car until Teddy’s parents came. Even after we were inside the conversations with the church group were SO awkward and the boxed-mix mashed potatoes were SO bad we decided next time we’d ask to have a family-only Thanksgiving. Teddy and I still laugh at that awkward first Thanksgiving as a married couple.

What about you guys? Can you even believe it’s already October?? Do you have any fun holiday traditions you’re looking forward to?

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Weekend Thoughts / 39

Daylight Savings

Daylight savings is killing me! One day I left work a little early and finally got to see the sunset!

 

October was a really hard month for me. I was stuck in a creative rut  and trying to figure out some weird health things so I was a lot of fun* to be around. (*Note heavy sarcasm) And then I started the Ketogenic diet the week of Halloween, so that was… interesting.

 

But good news is, the first week of November has already been way way way better than October! The transition to the Ketogenic diet has been going pretty well (besides the candy I ate on Halloween… and drooling over people’s desserts on Instagram). And I even have an outline for my second draft, so I’m hoping to start on that in the next couple of weeks!

 

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately, but I’m kind of ok with that. Sometimes I go through phases of wanting to write just for me, and none of it really seemed right for a blog post. I’m trying to give myself permission not to be super rigid about my blog schedule. That being said, I have some ideas I’m really excited about, so I can’t wait to share those with you!

 

In the meantime, here are my favorite reads from around the internet this week:

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Weekend Thoughts / 37

Thursday's Sunset

Sunset photos are back!

 

Hey guys, how is your weekend going? It’s definitely gloomy and dreary here, which I actually don’t mind too much. (As long as it doesn’t flood — crossing my fingers!) It’s been kind of quiet here this week since Teddy was out of town for 3 days. Still jealous that he got to go to Denver, since I’ve never been, but he brought me back a squirrel mug, so that helped.

 

Here are some of my favorite reads from around the web this week:

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Weekend Thoughts / 28

The twinkle lights behind my apartment are my favorite.
The twinkle lights behind my apartment are my favorite.

 

How has your weekend been? Mine’s been pretty quiet, which is really nice because the past few weekends have been craaazy hectic. Honestly I haven’t even left the house today — I thought about it briefly, but then I checked my weather app and thought… Nah. So I’ve just been doing stuff around the house, daydreaming about novel things, and re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s been a pretty great Sunday.

 

Here are some of my favorite reads from around the web this week:

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Weekend Thoughts / 22

When "get cupcakes" is on your to-do list, it's a good weekend.
When “get cupcakes” is on your to-do list, it’s a good weekend.

 

Earlier this week I read this quote from Gemma Burgess’ Beauty Uniform interview over on Cup of Jo, and I loved it so much:

 

Sometimes, when I’m really stuck in my head on something I’m writing, I leave the house and stroll around Sephora, trying different things on the back of my hand. I like to think that pondering makeup employs the part of my brain that doesn’t think about work or my children, so those parts can kick back and recharge while the beauty brain wonders, in her silly shallow little way, “But am I feeling an orange lip?” (See? It’s practically meditative!)

 

I really like the idea of having a hobby/ interest that has nothing to do with your work. I love makeup, but lately I’ve been a little lazy — I’ve gotten my 4 product, 5-minute routine down to a science, so maybe I need to start experimenting again?

 

Here are some other cool things I read this week:

 

Writing & Reading:

 

I’m really inspired by Amber’s bullet journaling and dailies. I think this might work a little better for me than my quarterly goals currently are…

 

Style:

 

Isn’t Laura’s 60’s mod look (inspired by Meghan Draper) the coolest? I think A Beautiful Mess’ new Style Muse series sounds really interesting! (It makes me nostalgic for high school, when I was way more into fashion than I am now.)

 

Around the House:

 

How to choose a color story for your home — I need this because I tend to pick random things I like, and then hope they go together. (Spoiler alert: sometimes it works, but sometimes it really, really doesn’t.)

 

Decorating on a budget — so smart, although honestly I usually don’t have the patience to go thrifting. Maybe I should change that?

 

In the Kitchen:

 

I’ve started experimenting with savory baking (and baking with whole grains), and Deb Perelman’s flatbreads with honey, thyme, and sea salt are next on my to-bake list. Yum!

I’ll be out of town for most of next week for a wedding, so things will be pretty quiet around here (although I might pop in with a new Baker Diaries entry on Tuesday — we’ll see!). If you’re interested, you can follow along with me on Instagram — I’m planning on taking way too many pictures while I’m in Chattanooga.

 

I hope you all have a great week! I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on having lots of drinks with college friends! I’ll let you know how that goes!

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Weekend Thoughts / 21

What a butt
Somebody found a new favorite hang-out spot.

 

How was your week? It rained SO much this week, and it broke all kind of records for Texas — we got 21 inches of rain in our part of Houston. There were also some pretty intense flash floods. It makes you really appreciate the first responders, who were working overtime this week!

 

This week is supposed to be sunny, which is really great because I don’t think Texas could take much more rain!

 

Here are some of my favorite things from online this week:

 

Writing & Reading:

 

I really like Amber and and Rachel’s Collaboreads idea — instead of a standard book club, where you all have to read the same book (and hope it’s something you like), they give a random criteria (published the year you were born, mentions your home state, etc.) and then you get to pick a book and review it. I really like this idea, because all of the digital book clubs I’ve seen tend to pick books that I’m not really into.

 

Art:

 

Joy’s Career Day visit with Kim West is so fun! I love how colorful Kim’s artwork is, and Joy’s little girl Ruby is too cute. Little kids always seem to have the most fun when they’re painting on the walls or doing anything that’s usually off limits.

 

Around the House:

 

Love these ideas for creating a fun outdoor space for this summer.

 

In the Kitchen:

 

I made a half batch of Joy’s Snickerdoodle Strawberry Shortcakes for Memorial Day, and holy crap guys, they were delicious! I used a little cinnamon sugar (left over from topping the shortcakes) to macerate the strawberries and I don’t think I can do it with just plain sugar now — it’s too good!

 

Sarah’s Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Frosting looks DIVINE. I’m a little obsessed with her photos because pink cake + pink flowers = the best thing ever, obviously.

 

I hope you have a great week! June 1 is tomorrow, and I can’t even believe it!

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Weekend Thoughts / 20

Yes Way Rose!

 

Hey friends! Are you excited for the three day weekend? I know I am!

 

This week was a pretty good one for me. I realized that in just over two months, I’ve written over 20,000 words for my novel. I was SO surprised and excited that I tweeted about it, and later I felt a little embarrassed. 20,000 words is maybe ⅓ of the amount of words I need for a novel. Was it silly to be so excited when I really hadn’t gotten very far?

 

Luckily I remembered Amber’s favorite ways to reward herself for reaching goals in her creative work, so I read it again. It was the perfect reminder that the Negative Nancy voice in my head is not cool and totally not fair to myself. I’m sure there are plenty of authors who can write better, faster first drafts than I can, but for me, 20,000 words is a big deal that deserves chocolate. So Teddy and I made a Wednesday night Target run to get chocolate (and kitty litter). And it was so great!

 

Writing & Reading:

 

Amber’s list of 5 ways we rob ourselves is sooo accurate for me. I’m particularly bad at dismissing compliments (and minimizing my own successes) and pretending those 5 minutes I spend on Instagram here and there don’t add up. Reading her post made me notice just how many times I check Twitter or Instagram when I’m feeling “stuck,” when I really should just keep pushing forward.

 

I never knew I needed a Star Wars and Princess Bride mashup until I read it. Someone please make this a video.

 

Around the House:

 

I feel like it’s pretty obvious that I love looking at pretty houses online, but thinking about decorating my own apartment is super intimidating. I’m really intrigued by Emily’s newest book, Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home and hoping it’ll give me some ideas for the new apartment.

 

Did you see Jacquelyn’s photo of the miniature pony foal? I’ve officially decided that I want a miniature pony farm when I grow up.

 

In the Kitchen:

 

I’ve never been to a Shake Shack, but I’m faking it with Deb’s Fake Shack Burger on Monday. Who else is excited for Memorial Day?

 

Molly always throws the cutest parties, and this macaron party looks so fun! Making macarons is pretty intimidating, so doing it in a big group would take the pressure off (because if you ruin yours you can always steal share someone else’s).

 

I always want to send care packages for my friends back home, but I’m the worst about going to the post office. It’s a problem. But I’m thinking if I make Melissa’s big batch of apricot muesli I’ll have no choice but to send it to friends. Would it be weird to send granola in the mail?

 

How was your week? I hope you have a great long weekend to recharge for next week!

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Weekend Thoughts / 19

Saturday Sunset

 

This week I unintentionally took a break from the blog, and it was unexpectedly great and exactly what I needed. But I missed writing here, so (hopefully) next week everything will be back to normal.

 

I’ve been reading a TON lately, and really pushing myself out of my reading comfort zone, which I’ve enjoyed (for the most part — there have been a few duds). But I’ve noticed that reading so much makes it harder for me to actually write. Maybe because I have other people’s words and stories buzzing around in my head? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try to slow down on the reading a little bit so I don’t get totally behind on my writing.

 

Here are some of my favorite things from the web this week;

 

Writing & Reading:

 

The story about Sandra sticking it to her jerkish boss from Some Kitchen Stories was really entertaining, but what really stood out to me was Judi’s question at the end — “Did you take care of your own heart?” Oof. Really needed to think about that one!

 

I loved Amber’s idea of a writing shelf, and I think I’m going to have to try that idea out for myself soon.

 

This Emojic 8 Ball from xkcd is pretty hilarious.

 

Around the House:

 

I’m on the hunt for a cute bookshelf for our new apartment, and I love seeing how Emily + her team can make one bookshelf blend in with so many different styles. I love this monochromatic/ eclectic style, but I also really like how colorful the Southwestern style is. Can you tell I know nothing about interior design?

 

Since I’ll have my own little balcony (!!!) in a couple months, I’m planning on having lots of window boxes with herbs and flowers. I’m totally inspired by Toshiko’s balcony garden. Her whole apartment is super cute, and I’m kind of obsessed with her cow print (I think?) chairs and pillows.

 

In the Kitchen:

 

Emma’s Vanilla Cream Pie with Marbled Meringue looks IN.SANE. Plus, I love that she also daydreams about owning a pie shop. I daydream about that way too much.

 

Here are 10 cake decorating tips from Molly of My Name is Yeh! Frosting layer cakes is my baking Achilles Heel, so I’m trying to read all the tips I can before I try again.

 

What have you been up to this weekend? The past couple weekends Teddy and I have both had unexpected plans come up, and while they were really fun I’ve been craving a day to just rest. So yesterday we made plans to not have plans — except for going to Torchy’s Tacos, because their queso is the best I’ve ever had. No joke.
I hope you have a great Sunday and a great week. We’re only one week away from Memorial Day!

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