Fall Favorites Video

My Fall Favorites Video is available now on YouTube!

With the season of Autumn beginning this coming Tuesday, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my favorite fall things!

While you’re there, check out my other videos and please consider subscribing! In addition, there’s a fun announcement toward the end of the video!

Good vibes to the Gulf Coast

Early this week, Hurricane Sally made landfall in the place I’d like to call home one day soon. Orange Beach, Alabama.

My mother-in-law started wintering for a couple of months each year in Orange Beach a number of years ago. When she first told me about it, I thought “Alabama…really? How quaint…and backwoods.” I will be the first to admit I was 100% wrong.

Orange Beach is an absolute paradise. Charming people, delicious restaurants, fish markets with catch of the day offerings – you haven’t lived until you’ve had fresh Gulf Shrimp – and so many more little bits of perfection. My southern accent kicks in about 5 minutes after arrival. I exclaim with pride I do know the difference between “Y’all” and “All Y’all”.

Seeing the pictures of the damage from Hurricane Sally brought my heart pain like I can’t describe. Seeing the large fishing boats laying on the side of roads rather than in the water, marinas destroyed, the pier at Gulf Shores State Park, being renovated, nearly finished, had the mid-section completely wiped out. Walls and windows blown out of buildings, massive flooding, loss of power and phone service.

We have a trip back to Orange Beach planned for February next year. As the time approaches, I will be checking in to ensure that everything is still on the up and up, although I have a feeling that rebuilding will be rapid and strong. 16 years ago, Hurricane Ivan hit Orange Beach, and while no storm is forgotten, the residents rebuild the best they can. My husband and I were in Orange Beach a couple of years ago when Hurricane Nate swept through, the eastern edge of the storm brought high winds, rising tide, and the need for curfews to keep people as safe as possible. As mild as that storm was, I don’t care to go through anything worse.

My thoughts, prayers, and hope go to the people in the Gulf Coast.

Where were you 19 years ago?

The day for me started like a normal one. I was living with my parents, I awoke on a late summer Nebraska morning. I prepared for work in the call center of the first insurance company I worked for. My fiancé (now husband) and I were a mere 11 days from saying “I do”, but planning went amazingly smooth, so I don’t remember feeling an overwhelming amount of stress.

I was at my desk working on a policy history for one of our clients and drinking my coffee when one of my coworkers came in and breathlessly asked “Have you guys seen the news? A plane just hit one of the Twin Towers in New York!” She sat down at her desk and pulled up a major news network’s website just as the second plane hit.

We were all in disbelief. Was this happening? HOW was this happening? To be honest, I don’t remember much else that day, other than not getting any additional work done, and wanting to be on the phone checking on loved ones all day. Each one of us had various news sources up on our computer monitors, unable to look away. When news came in about the Pentagon and then the fourth plane, I remember several of my coworkers collapsing in tears. I remember feeling numb. Numb and lost.

My fiancé called and told me that I should put gas in my car before going home. The line for the gas station I frequented at the time wrapped around the block, but I waited. I got home, and honestly didn’t know what else to do.

The days that followed were a blur. More details emerged about the event being a terrorist attack and who was responsible. An uprising of patriotism like nothing I e ever seen happened in our country, with flags flying in every yard, in every business. People were watching out for their neighbors, even if they didn’t know them well. We were all in it together.

Five days later, my maternal grandmother passed away. She had been suffering from dementia and was in a constant state of fear from it. She didn’t know anyone anymore. Didn’t remember she had grandchildren. She would tell my mother that her husband, my grandfather, who passed in 1981, was coming to visit her and wanted her to go with him. Her funeral was three days before my wedding.

Here in Nebraska, as sad as it is to say, during years when we’re not involved in a pandemic, if a fall wedding is planned, you plan at least a year in advance, and choose the bye week for the Huskers….if you want people to show up for your wedding and not insist on a TV or constant updates on scores. My fiancé and I had done just that. However, with the terror attacks, the game scheduled for the 15th was rescheduled….and the original thought was that it would be moved to the following week…the bye week. My wedding day. The powers that be decided that a Thursday game was preferable, thank goodness.

So where were you 19 years ago?

Sunday Dinner – Grilled Beef Roast and Lemon Rosemary potatoes

Found this gem on my most recent trip to Trader Joe’s

Earlier this year, my husband and I purchased 1/4 of a cow. We took delivery of our beef at the end of June, and have been working through it as best we can. For two people, 200+ pounds of various cuts of beef is a lot. While we did get some lovely steaks and 41 pounds of ground beef, we also got a lot of roasts. I’ve never had a roast that hasn’t been cooked until it falls apart in a crock pot, usually with potatoes and carrots. I’ve done that a couple times, and decided for this weekend, I wanted to try something different.

We have a natural gas grill, which is really nice. We can choose to use applications that require the grill to be running for hours on end without having to worry about running out of propane.

The first step is to thaw the roast completely. Once thawed, rub all sides of the meat with the rub of your choice and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap for at least an hour, overnight is better.

The roast after being rubbed and wrapped for close to 24 hours

Unwrap the roast and allow the roast to begin to reach room temperature. While resting, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.

Cooking over indirect heat creates an oven environment

Start the app for the thermometer, enter the cut of meat, weight, and optimal temperature, then put your roast on the cold side of the grill and start the cook on the app.

Flip the roast once halfway through the cooking process

While the roast cooks, start on your potatoes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Use small potatoes, relatively the same size. Wash and quarter the potatoes, placing them in a bowl. Once the potatoes are in the bowl, drizzle a good amount of olive oil onto the potatoes. Add salt, freshly cracked pepper, minced garlic, the juice of one lemon, and dried rosemary to the potatoes. Mix until the potatoes are coated and turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread the potatoes in a single layer.

Bake the potatoes for 25-35 minutes. You can pour melted butter if you wish. Once the meater app lets you know your roast is close to the desired temp, pull the roast off the grill and cover lightly with foil to allow the meat to rest and reach the desired temp. Once rested, Slice the roast and serve.

Perfectly medium rare
Dinner is served!

One word of advice…make sure the roast you choose is a good cut of meat. If not, it could be tough and chewy rather than tender and delicious. If you try this meal, let me know what you think! Bon Appetit!

My Second Video is Live!

My second Video is a tour of my vanity table

I’ve been a makeup “junkie” for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite toys as a child was the Barbie “Bust” with hair you could style and fake makeup you could put on her over and over and over again.

I would say my general makeup “style” is classic, however, once a year, on Easter, I step out on the wild side and do a “Rainbow Eye” look with silver glitter liner and the whole bit. Sephora is one of my favorite stores, but it has to be a free-standing Sephora, not one of those “Sephora inside JC Penney” departments. Yes. There is a difference between the two. With the Pandemic this year, my shopping has been completed online, and with the two-day shipping available from Sephora, it’s just like Christmas every time a box arrives.

As far as social media (especially YouTube) goes, I’m not your typical “personality”. I’m not thin, and I’m definitely not twenty-something. To be honest, I did a lot of soul searching before I actually published the video, and I address the thought that I initially felt “too old” to be sharing my makeup collection. As I mentioned in the video, however, beauty itself is timeless. My makeup style has refined as I’ve become more chronologically advanced, and I’ve determined that I have some brands I really look to for great performance.

Seeing my collection as I put the video together, I’m proud of it. It’s a collection I’ve curated over the years, and while I don’t use everything all the time, each piece of the collection has a story or special meaning for me. I hope, if you take time to watch, that you enjoy the video, if for nothing else, about 15 minutes of peace and calm. Cheers!

Mr. Perfect Does Not Exist!

The faster you realize this unfortunate but true truth, the sooner you can proceed with discovering Mr. Close-Enough-To-Perfect. Prince Charming, …

Mr. Perfect Does Not Exist!

I saw this article this morning, and the headline is most certainly true. Perfect does not exist. However, I will say “perfect for me” does.

My husband and I met when dial-up internet was still a thing. When you only had so many hours a month on AOL and “You’ve got mail!” was an exciting and thrilling adventure. We call ourselves one of the original online couples that amounted to much of anything. We “met” in a chat room, I think talked about our favorite musicals, and kept talking from that point. It seems like it’s been 1000 years ago, when actually, it’s been 22, but I don’t remember actively seeking him out to talk until we had “stumbled upon” one another a few times and had actual, meaningful conversations about one thing or another. I will say that lewd conversation was never part of it. We talked for about 4 months before realizing we had a mutual friend, who had wanted to set us up for months, but just never got around to it.

He’s not perfect. After 22 years together and almost 19 years married, I can say with 100 percent confidence that he’s not perfect. But he’s perfect for me. We compliment each other in so many ways. We share common interests, and those we don’t share, we help the other learn more about if they wish…or not. He would never…ever…want to learn anything about Real Housewives of anywhere…which is one of my guilty pleasures. I couldn’t care less about baseball or the 70 other sports he watches. I do enjoy watching football and he’s an avid golfer, so I’m trying to find my way there too. I do have an actual hole-in-one on a scorecard from an actual “real” (not mini-golf) course, thank you very much, which is something he can’t say yet, but he is far superior to my skill level.

We’ve built a great life. We made really stupid decisions with money when we were younger and had to work really hard to correct that, but we have, and the experience taught us some very valuable lessons. We’ve been through highest of highs and lowest of lows, but we’ve done it together.

No. Perfect does not exist. But my husband is as close as there will ever be!

Scott and I in one of our favorite spots- Orange Beach, AL

August 2020 Reads

My August 2020 Reads

“How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi – I actually finished this book at the tail end of July, but feel that it is such an important read for everyone, I wanted to make sure to mention it. As a person who has lived in the midwest all my life, in a predominantly white community, in a predominantly white neighborhood, I didn’t realize how pervasive racism is in all aspects of our society. I hope everyone will take time to read this book and work to foster an attitude of true community and empathy for everyone.

“The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” by Arundhati Roy – I have been trying for months to get into this book, and I’m just not able to relate to any of the characters. The story itself has a lot of possibility, I just can’t get into it. If anyone has read this book, I’d be interested to hear your opinion, so please leave me a comment.

“A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin – I loved the HBO series of the same name, so I’m working my way through the books. I will admit that I’m not really into the fantasy/sci-fi genre in general, and the visuals presented in the show have helped me with the book just because I get lost in the details and descriptions and it slows me down. I’m enjoying the book very much.

“The Color of Compromise” by Jemar Tisby – This book illustrates examples in the history of the American church of how complicit that the church has been toward racism. Both this book and “How to be an Antiracist” were very uncomfortable reads for me, just because they opened my eyes to seemingly innocuous practices that are, in fact, elements of racism.

“Secret Stories of Walt Disney World” by Jim Korkis – Korkis, a Disney historian, presents the true and factual stories behind many attractions, resorts, and other parts of the place where Dreams Come True. It’s a very fun read

Coming Soon…to a Screen near you

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started and rocked everyone’s world (not in a good way), I find myself at home….a lot….all day, every day as a matter of fact, with a few exceptions of running small, short errands.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I’m an Introvert, so the thought of staying at home all the time doesn’t bother me, although I do long to be able to travel again. With the time that I’m not running around, however, I have found my mind wandering to find some sort of creative outlet. I started journaling recently, and I’m enjoying that quite a bit. I get to use my love of art in that pursuit as well, as I will typically do some word art to go with my entry, and occasionally, I will print pictures on my polaroid zip printer and stick them in my journal to serve as illustrations for my entries. Journaling is fine. It lets me get concerns out of my head and onto paper where they do much less damage and don’t cause severe overthinking, lack of sleep, and other tragic events.

As an introvert, I can say with all honesty, I do miss people. Some of my favorite times over the past few months have been when we’ve socialized with friends, typically over Zoom, and we’re just starting to get together with friends and family in person again…in very controlled circumstances for the safety of us all. In an effort to connect with people on a wider scale and maintain appropriate guidelines in a big way, I’m going to try to launch a You Tube Channel!

As I think about it, I’m terrified and excited all at the same time. I watch YouTube, typically when I’m looking for instructions on how to do something I haven’t done before, but I also enjoy lifestyle videos. They’re relaxing, calming, and don’t take up too much headspace. That will be my goal as well. To provide calming conversation and entertainment. If it grows, great. If not, that’s ok as well. The terrified part of me isn’t sure that I’m interesting enough for people to sit down and watch on a regular basis. I guess I can only try for awhile. It’s not a huge commitment of time or money, so why not?

The best thing that could come from it is I find myself part of a virtual community of like-minded individuals all over the world and, eventually, I could maybe earn enough money to meet some really big goals and make some dreams come true for myself and my family. The worst thing is that I decide it’s not for me, and pull the channel down..or no one watches my content. I’m going to sit down and try to plan some content for the next few weeks and set up a filming schedule. Here…as they say…goes nothin’!