Monday, July 14, 2014

Stuck In The Middle With You by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I should get ye ole disclaimer out of the way by stating that I got a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. And an honest review you'll get. I adored this book! Everything about it. It's subtitled "A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders" and that's about right. It's Jennifer Finney Boylan's story of raising her two boys while transitioning as a trasgendered person from male to female. More than that though, it's the story of a family and all of the ups and downs that any family faces and I just fell in love with this family reading this book.

Boylan doesn't go much into the actual process of transitioning in this book. For those interested in that, you can read her other memoir, She's Not There, which I've not read, but is at the top of my list now as I've fallen in love with her writing style. Instead, this is a book that focuses on the dynamics of her family. On her struggles with how she identifies herself within the family, no longer a dad, yet not the woman who birthed her children. Not completely their mother. Her two boys come to lovingly call her "Maddy", a mashup of mommy and daddy.

It recounts her relationship with her wife and the way they grow together. It recounts her own relationship with her own parents and several of those scenes brought tears to my eyes. It's not just a memoir of raising her own children, but also a memoir of her relationship with her own parents and I related so much to those moments. She had a wonderful relationship with her mother and I'm lucky enough to have a mom who has accepted me being a bit different from the norm as much as Jenny's mom accepted her being different from the norm.

One thing that Jenny herself acknowledges in the book is that she has been lucky. Not all transgendered people have the amazing support that she has had. Her wife stayed with her, her kids accepted her unconditionally, her community supports her. But in that acceptance, we're allowed a glimpse at a world that is moving in a good direction, I'd like to think. I love that someone CAN have that experience. It saddens me that there are people who don't have that experience. Who are abused and rejected just because of who they are.

Thank god for Boylan. She's given us a beautiful memoir of family here with lots of interesting commentary on gender as well that truly touched my heart. Along the way, she has "timeouts" where she has interviews with other authors, playwrights, activists, etc such as Augusten Burroughs, Richard Russo, Ann Beattie and many more. I really couldn't have asked for more with this book and I hope it finds it's way on many other shelves.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What I've Been Reading

I've read some good stuff lately but I haven't felt like writing full reviews, so I thought I'd just talk about what I've been reading lately. Humor me if you will :p Or feel free to ignore this post completely.

I finally finished Exiles in America by Christopher Bram this month. It took me almost an entire month to read this book because I got frustrated with it, but in the end I really liked it. It's the story of a gay couple - Zach, a psychiatrist,  and Daniel, a painter/professor, who have an open relationship, aka, they allow each other to have other sexual partners. No, this book isn't an erotic novel or anything like that. It's literary fiction. Anywho, back to the plot. They befriend a middle eastern painter by the name of Abbas and his wife Elena and Daniel starts an affair with Abbas. Here comes the's a post 9/11 novel. I waited and waited for the terrorist thing to come since Abbas was Muslim and of course it did. I also have own personal issues with open relationships though I have nothing wrong with people having them if that works for them, so this book drove me nuts at times with that too. But in the end, Bram did just about the only thing that could've made me love this book. I'm not going to say what that is :p But he did it in a matter of 2 paragraphs. If anything, I can acknowledge he's a truly skillful writer and wonderful at writing a meditative novel.

Debi has me HOOKED on the Morning Glories graphic novel series by Nick Spencer!! She put it on my list of books to read this month and I've read the first three volumes so far. Pardon my language, but these books are a complete mind fuck. I just can't think of any other words to describe them appropriately. I'm sort of pissed right now that I don't have volume 4 and that none of my local bookstores have them either! I'll be ordering volume 4 like now. It's about a group of kids all sent off to Morning Glory Academy, a boarding school, who's motto is "A Better Future", only you know (very clearly, I might add) right off the bat that there is something VERY messed up about this school. As in there are people being killed, some kind of cult shit going on, supernatural stuff and did I mention people being killed. I also found myself surprisingly attached to a lot of these characters really quickly without even realizing that I had become attached to them. I truly am dying to see where this series is going!

The book I'm in the middle of right now which I'll do a full review of when I'm done is Stuck in the Middle With You by Jennifer Finney Boylan and damn it's good! It's Boylan's memoir of being a parent as a father, a mother, and the time in between. For those who aren't familiar with Boylan, she's transgender and had surgery to become a biological female after fathering her two boys. This memoir is beautiful, funny, touching and enlightening so far and I'm really enjoying it. Along the way, she has interviews with other authors and creative types as well. I think any parent, anyone who's a little different, anyone who's ever struggled to fit in, anyone who's ever cared for anyone else could relate to this book. You certainly don't have to have walked in Boylan's shoes to appreciate this one.

That's it for my reading notes right now! What have you been reading? Anything I need to put on the top of my list?

Monday, June 30, 2014

July's Reading Plans

Good riddance to June! Unless I manage to somehow pull off a reading miracle in the next couple of hours, I will have finished exactly two books this month and both of those books were under 100 pages consisting mostly of pictures. One actually being a picture book for small children, Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman, and the other also being by Neil Gaiman, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains which was fantastic. That one I've read before in his Stories anthology, but I LOVED this edition which was accompanied by paintings by Eddie Campbell. I'm almost finished Exiles in America by Christopher Bram and I'm about halfway through the audio of The Night Watch by Sarah Waters but I doubt that either will get finished tonight, so those will likely go on the list for July's books.

I've been doing themed reading months with Debi this year and absolutely loving it! For July, we decided to pick books for each other! We made each other giant lists of books that we want each other to read :) The list I made for Debi is ridiculously long :p I'm in love with the list that she made for me and I've decided that I'm going to make it a goal to read every book on this list. Yes, this month I'll be focusing JUST on these books, but eventually I'd like to get to all of them! Here's the list:

1. The Stand by Stephen King - I've started this one TWICE! And I've actually really liked what I've read so far. I'm about 350 pages in. Maybe this will be the month I actually finish it :p

2. And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts

3. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Allison Bechdel - Really hope to get to this one this month!

4. Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma - Dying to read this series!

5. A Game For Swallows by Zeina Abirached

6. Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams - Has been on my TBR FOREVER

7. Javatrekker by Dean Cycon

8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Dean Cycon - Why have I not read this yet??

9. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Read this one!

10. Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay

11. Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

12. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor - Been wanting to read something by her forever now

13. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

14. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden - I tried the audio of this and didn't like the narrator but looking forward to the book!

15. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters - in the middle of the audio and loving it!

16. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein - Another I've been dying to read

17. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet - Haven't even heard of this one! Love those surprise books :)

18. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff - I may start with this one. It's short, sounds good and I can feel accomplished by knocking something out quick :p

19. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer - Read it and LOVED it. This is seriously a life changing book. Should be required reading.

20. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre - Another I'm dying to read (sensing a theme here?)

21. Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge - Another I haven't even heard of!

22. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - I've avoided this book like the plague for some reason and I have NO idea why! I think it's a case of everyone loving it so much when it came out that I'm afraid I wouldn't. I should no better though :p

23. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

24. The Tales of ETA Hoffmann

25. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

26. Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim - Really liked this one!

27. Under the Dome by Stephen King - Looking forward to this one! Season 2 of the tv series starts tonight! But I hear the book is significantly different than the tv show and really good.

28. Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg

29. Shine by Lauren Myracle - So good!

30. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - Yep, I really haven't read this one yet :p I think it's the same reason as The Goose Girl. I'm going to make this book number two though after Hollis Woods. I AM going to read this this month!

31. There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff - This will be my first Rosoff!

32. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, And A Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon - Well if that doesn't sound like a book I'd like, I don't know what does :p

33. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

34. Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry by Mildred Taylor - This is the book I dread most on the list :p I have this REALLY strong aversion to books that were "school books". I really have no idea why, but I just never liked books that I had to read for school :p I never had to read this one for school but I remember seeing it all the time when other kids were reading it. I WILL be proved wrong though ;)

35. A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn - Dying to read this one!

So looking forward to these!!! I have a good month of reading ahead of me :D

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Much Needed Happiness Update

My dad went back into the hospital today. It's nothing as major as the previous hospitalizations...though it's nothing minor either. He has a giant blood clot in his left leg so he'll be inpatient for a few days getting treatment for it. Thought I'd take the opportunity to do a much needed  100 Happy Days update! I promise an actual book review is coming soon as I'm almost finished TWO books finally!

Day 12

  • Starting to get my finances under control again by canceling monthly subscription stuff and downloading an app called Mint that's really awesome! 
  • Got a new hat and shirt (counterproductive as it may be to above happy thing)
  • Got to sleep in my own bed again after sleeping at my moms, which was a happy thing, but it's not my own bed.
Day 13
  • Working with my friend Paul...I look forward to Fridays when we work together, we always have fun at work!
  • My little brother sleeping over at my apartment. His girlfriend had a dance recital close to my apartment, so he stayed here.
  • Looking through old pictures of my family at my dad's house.
Day 14
  • New growth on one of my cacti and my fiddle leaf fig!

  • A wonderfully quiet night at work during which I got to read 100 pages of my book
  • A new beer
  • I started Orphan Black, which OMG why did I just start this show??? But can it please never end? And can someone please give Tatiana Maslany an award for best actress ever??
Day 15
  • Going to play Bingo with my friend Jessica at my favorite bar, The Half Moon
  • Winning Bingo! I won a bottle of vanilla spiced whiskey and a USA headband :p 
  • Getting caught in the rain leaving in a torrential down pour that left me looking like I just got out of the shower with my clothes on and I had water up to my ankles walking to my car. Yet it made me just laugh hysterically :p 
  • Dinner at moms
  • The World Cup. That GAME! Robbed!
  • Getting letters from friends that made me smile so much :)
Day 16
  • Dad finally going to get help at the hospital
  • Really good sessions with clients
  • MORE Orphan Black
  • Marcos pizza
  • Inspired by a photo Trish posted on instagram, ice cream (specifically Blue Bell Banana Pudding) to cure the bad day blues
  • This new app called Breeze! Love it! It's like having a fitbit on your iPhone. It tracks your steps and sets goals for you every day. And I NEED something to help me lose weight right now since my doctor put me on a pill to help with my high pulse. Now that it's lower, so is my metabolism :/ The pizza and ice cream mentioned above do not help....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

4 Days of Happiness!

Catch up time on 100 days of Happiness!

Day 8:

  • Picking strawberries from my strawberry patch at my mom's house. So excited with how many I'm getting this year! And they're getting bigger each week too. At first I didn't think I would have many but they're proving me wrong!
  • Spending father's day with the family together (sans my little brother :() But he was at Disney World with his girlfriend for the first time in his life, so I guess that's a happy thing too ;)
  • TV shows! Sunday is normally a good TV day. Believe ended and I'm so upset about that. It started off slow, but it really picked up and turned into such a good show and I'm pissed that it didn't get renewed :( I really loved those characters. Then there's Food Network Star, Devious Maids (which reminds me a bit of Desperate Housewives), and AMC's new show Halt and Catch Fire which had some interesting turns of events this weekend!
  • A bath with a book, always pleasant.
  • A Lisa Snellings-Clark email announcing an upcoming kickstarter project!
Day 9:
  • The other 2 Persephone books arrived: Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield and Gardener's Nightcap by Muriel Stuart along with a free canvas tote bag that's lined with a beautiful fabric!
  • I got the Forest Swords album on vinyl finally which is one of my favorite albums of last year. It took a little bit of growing on me, but DAMN I love that album so much. It's called Engravings and it's really good. It's sort of indescribable when it comes to genre. It has an electronic feel to it, an ambient feel to it, but it's completely it's own type of music.
  • Two good sessions with my clients
  • Gorgeous sunset over the lake on my way home. I don't get to appreciate that too often because of my work hours
  • I started The Walking Dead on Netflix after much persuasion from Debi! 
  • I finished a new page in my stamp journal
Day 10
  • Another really good session with a new client. I can't stress how much I love my private practice and how fulfilling that is. So wish I had a big enough case load that I could just do that. Still far from that goal though.
  • Got a much needed haircut and it feels so good, especially with it being summer.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel :D New Wes Anderson is always a reason for celebration!
  • New buds on the rosebush! 
  • I treated my betta to some new decorations for his tank and he seems to be in love with them :p He's been swimming around them and through them like crazy.
  • New Neil Gaiman! The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains arrived today...I've read the story before, I believe in his Stories anthology but it's now in it's own beautiful hardcover edition with gorgeous paintings and illustrations throughout!
Day 11
  • I ran into my friend Rachel today who I haven't seen in ages. Well quite literally barged into her :p She shares my private practice office with me and I accidentally walked in on her counseling session when I arrived early for my client :p Whoops! Good news is, I got to see her afterwards and get a Rachel hug!
  • My car note is paid finally. I was stressing majorly about finances this month even though it's only the 18th of the month. I'm a bit anal about having my bills paid super early...but good news is, they're paid now!
  • Stereogum did an article on the top 10 Tori Amos songs of all time. And while I may not agree completely, I liked seeing Tori getting coverage on Stereogum. Bonus: My sister later sent me the link as well :) Love that my sister read the article and thought of me. Bonus 2: I'll be seeing Tori in just a little over a month! 
  • My sister also sent me an email from pinterest about book space ideas which made me really want to do something with my spare bedroom in my apartment book wise...I found this pinterest site that I fell in LOVE with and I want all of these libraries in my non existent house. Lots of good ideas there!
  • New Zola Jesus album coming in October and this little teaser video clip has me SUPER excited about it!
  • Sleeping at my mom's tonight and that's always super comfy :)
What's making you happy right now?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Catching Up On Happy Days

I have three days of happiness to catch you up on!

Day 5:

  • Amir Sanders' audition on So You Think You Can Dance. I LOVED this girl and I so hope that she makes it onto the show so I can watch her dance some more. She's a ballerina from Harlem who auditioned to Beyonce's "Flawless", specifically, the spoken word part by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You can watch her audition on The Daily Motion here.
  • New cologne, 1899 by Histoire de Parfums, a literary based perfume and cologne company. I'm normally pretty sensitive to colognes but I'm so obsessed with this cologne. It makes me happy to put it on. It's a pretty gender neutral smell too that's citrusy, slightly tobacco-y maybe (though the description says it's not), and just made of awesome. It's apparently inspired by Hemingway. Seriously I could bathe in this stuff! I hate musky smelling colognes that are "manly" smelling and I can't take anything that's floral or vanill-y smelling either so it's hard for me to find a cologne I like.
  • New books! New Novella Carpenter and Julie Anne Peters all in the same day :D A good day indeed.
  • I woke up to see my tiger lilies beginning to unfold! They bloomed for the first time last year and I had no idea what they would look like before they bloomed and was taken away with how gorgeous they were. They did the same thing to me this year. So beautiful. Worth the very long wait time for them to bloom!
  • New office supplies! I needed stuff for my counseling practice...mainly note pads and pens and discovered I'm an office supply junkie :p I love this stuff and their prices are really reasonable too!
Day 6
  • I wrote and mailed off three more letters today :) Really enjoying hand writing letters again :)
  • I cut one of my tiger lilies and brought it inside. They make such gorgeous cut flowers too. They make gorgeous anything really.
Day 7 (That would be today)
  • I saw a red dragonfly when I went to get my coffee this morning. Like completely red. I've never seen a red dragonfly before! So beautiful. Wish I could've gotten a picture of him
  • The new Lana Del Rey album, Ultraviolence!  A friend sent it to me (it leaked) and it's GOOD! Really good! I have the limited edition ordered on vinyl from Urban Outfitters. Can't wait to get it!
  • Mary Higgins Clark on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me... I look forward to my drive home from work on Saturday nights because I can always listen to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR on XM radio and tonight, the special guest was Mary Higgins Clark. I've never had any desire to read her books but I really want to try her out now. She was HILARIOUS! Great personality.
  • I had a Persephone waiting for me in the mail when I got home :) The Hopkins Manuscript by RC Sherriff. I have two more on the way too!
  • I'm listening to Philip Glass' "Solo Piano" album on vinyl right now while I'm writing this and it's seriously one of the best albums ever. Perfect album to wind down to. Thanks Amanda Palmer for writing about it! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Today's Happys

Today was a case of struggling to find the happy stuff, but there was still LOTS of happy to find! This may not be as hard as I think. It was a long and exhausting day at work and I have to get up early tomorrow morning, but here's a quick post of happy stuff from today...I'm really loving keeping a record of all this stuff by the way!

  • Dead orchid flowers. My dear friend Debi turned me on to the beauty of dead flowers and it's something I always take the time to appreciate now and I always think of her whenever I see beautiful dead flowers :) It's sad that I can't keep an orchid alive for the LIFE of me, but at least these flowers are still beautiful even when they die :p Maybe I can do something with them!
  • My fortune from my chinese food tonight...this should be the slogan for this project!
  • I posted this on instagram, but last night (or early this morning), I was outside on my patio and noticed my jalapeño pepper plant was leaning over. I discovered it was because this monster of a jalapeño was ready to be picked! I've never grown a jalapeño this big!
  • Getting in 30 minutes of reading time before work. That's rare these days. I'm really loving this book. Just hope I can finish it this month so that I have SOMETHING read for the month :/ It's been a bad month for reading.
  • Neutrogena pink grapefruit face wipes. Seriously. They're so refreshing!
  • Sweet emails from friends :) I'm awful at returning emails these days, but I seriously have the sweetest friends.
  • One of my friends, Sharon, sent me a link that I absolutely loved! She said it made her think of me :) Therapists using gardening as a counseling technique. LOVE THIS! I've actually done it myself with a few clients with fantastic results. It worked really well in couples counseling with a couple that knew nothing about gardening...I had them start a vegetable garden and maintain it and they loved it and it really brought them together again. Anyway, here's the link! Hope this catches on in the field!
Hope everyone is having a good week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

So Sleepy...

My body is legit about to crash right now. I stayed up until almost 5 in the morning finishing Orange is the New Black Season 2 last night and now I want season 3...which is a thing by the way! It's officially been renewed for a third season. But I am SO TIRED right now. Luckily work was really slow tonight and I got to go home an hour early. So I'm going to post my happy things for today (and there are a bunch!) and then just watch tv until I fall asleep. Here we go:

  • FKA Twigs announced her first LP! This made me SO excited. I'm so in love with her music. It all has this beautiful, simplistic, rhythmic beat to it with her gorgeous vocals over it and it's unlike anything else out there. I cannot wait to see what she does with a full album! 
  • As I said in yesterday's post, I've been craving writing lately, and I actually wrote some letters and mailed them off today :) I have many more to write too! This has been even more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I REALLY miss handwriting letters to people. I had friends back in high school that I'd write back and forth to almost every other day. Good times. 

  • I organized my medicine cabinet finally. Sad that there is so much medication in this apartment that it needs to be organized :/ But that's what happens when you have migraines. And it drove me nuts how messy it was. Taken care of now!
  • Drum roll for this one! New Neil Gaiman short story collection in February!!!! Or at least that's what it looks like! So I have a habit of doing an Amazon search for Neil Gaiman like once a month and then organizing it by publication date so I can see what he has coming out in future months :p I did that today and up popped "Please Secure Your Own Mask Before Helping Others: Short Fictions" by Neil Gaiman to be released on February 24th, 2015. Needless to say, I preordered it :p I've been dying for a new Gaiman short story collection! Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things are both some of my favorite collections of short fiction ever. That news pretty much made my month. 
  • It rained today. It stormed today. I love rainstorms :)
  • Baxter doing his little trick. Baxter is my beta fish and he does this cute little trick where he eats food off of my finger. You can probably get your beta to do it too! Just dip your finger in the water, stick a piece of food to it and hover your finger over the tank. Betas like to jump for insects in their natural habitat so they'll jump to get the food off of your finger. When I feed him now, he'll eat a few pieces of food and then stop and just stare at me like "I'm ready to do my trick now" and won't eat any more food until I let him do his trick :p 
  • New book arrivals! In today's case, it was The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey which looks deliciously creepy and I'm in love with the cover.

Monday, June 9, 2014

What Made Me Happy Today...

Well this hasn't been so hard two days in! But of course, I didn't have work today too :p We'll see how this goes tomorrow! Here's what made me happy today:

  • I made my bed! And made a new blogging friend in the process. I got a google + notification that a blogger had found my post and she sent me a comment saying that she was going to do 100 happy days too! I went and read her blog of course and the first post she had up was titled "make your bed". It spoke volumes to me. I LOVE the feeling of getting into a freshly made bed at night, but the truth is, I only make my bed when I change my sheets. And it takes no time at all. So I'm going to start trying to make my bed every morning now. It's a great way to start your day off right...or MY day off right at least, which will lead to a great way to end my day :) 

  • I listened to more of Sarah Waters' The Night Watch on my way down to the south shore today and I'm REALLY loving this book more and more the more I get into it. And the narrator is really fantastic too!
  • Had a really good session with my client today. I really do love my private practice and I just dream of the day that I can just do that full time.
  • Stopped by my mom's for dinner after my clients and picked lots of beautiful strawberries! The bugs finally seem to be leaving them alone!! Thank god. 
  • I'm now at home being very grateful for Young Living! I signed up for Young Living essential oils through my friend Sharon a few months ago after hearing how they've helped her and I swear they've been life changing. They've helped my migraines, I sleep like a baby, they help anxiety, pain, and so much more. I even got rid of hiccups with them last night! I'm diffusing Stress Away with peppermint right now and it smells like heaven :) 

  • About to finish Orange is the New Black season 2 now (sad face for it almost being over!) and then write some letters to some friends :) I've been in a writing mood lately which is good for getting my blogging mojo back. What's your favorite place to find fun/pretty stationery and notecards? 
Hope everyone else has some happy making things going on in their lives as well! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I'll Be Happy For The Next 100 Days

Hopefully I'll be happy longer than that, but I've decided to do 100 Happy Days. Have you heard about this? Chances are you know someone who's doing it as it's seemingly taken the world by storm and I think that's a fantastic thing! I went on the website today and there was my excuse right at the top. "You don't have time for this, right?" That's exactly what I was thinking...I don't have time for this. There are going to be days where I can't, or I forget to post about it and then I'll just end up feeling like a failure and therefore NOT be happy. But I'm doing it anyway. Because this is about focusing on the HAPPY, not the few days that I might fall off track.

The concept is a simple one...for 100 days, seek out the happy in your life and share it on whatever social media platform you choose with the hashtag #100happydays. Or don't share it on social media. You can even email your happy days stuff TO the 100 Happy Days people privately if you want some accountability but don't want to share publicly. You can register for the project on the website. I absolutely love this idea and I love that it's become such a big thing. I love that people are looking for the happy in life.

I'm amending the rules a little bit for myself. I'm going to post wherever I feel like posting for the day, and on some days, I might just write in my own personal journal. So some days, I may post on instagram, some days I may post here on my blog, some days I may write in my handwritten journal, and some days I may do a combination of all or some of the above.

I'm choosing now to participate because it's freaking hot as shit outside. It's in the 90s with really high humidity and I loathe the heat. It drags me down every year and I always end up in this mega funk by the time July and August comes around. So I'm hoping that this project will get me through the'll take me though September 15th. And I have to remind myself to keep fighting through it and keep looking for the happy when all I can see is waves of heat and beads of sweat. The truth is, there's plenty to be happy about if I go searching for it.

Like today! If I sit here and think about it, I could honestly come up with dozens of things to list about today that made me happy. But a summary of my wonderful day...I woke up and got coffee and drove down to the south shore to meet my friend Jessica, my sister, her boyfriend and my mom at my old favorite bar, The Half Moon, which is in gorgeous uptown New Orleans. I haven't been to The Half Moon in four years! And my MOM came with us. I don't know that I've ever been to a bar with my mom :p I had a couple pints of my favorite beer, Nola Brown, we played Heads Up, laughed a lot and ate free crawfish. After that I walked down to District Donuts, this gourmet donut shop I've been dying to try. It was AMAZING. See photo below. I got a glazed donut, chocolate covered glazed, and lemon ginger. Will definitely be going there again. Came home and played in the garden and now I'm watching more Orange is the New Black season 2!

Can't wait to see what's in store tomorrow to make me happy :) Anyone else doing this? Anyone else want to join me? You know you want to!!