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What I’m Reading, Watching, Eating, Thinking, Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, plannin’ and dreamin’

Cheers to anyone who picked up on the Dusty Springfield reference in my blog post title.

Apparently I write in this blog once a year, which is just frequent enough for me to keep the domain active so no one else steals my creative blog name hardy har har.

Today’s post is a light one and mostly a hello again to my dear devoted followers, who right now are mostly my siblings and closest friends – but to reward you for your devotion I have some fun content today! I hope to use this post to blow the dust off this blog so I can resume serious blogging at some point in the future. I miss writing, I miss creating, but mostly I just miss putting art into the ether and letting it float around like an opportunistic amoeba, waiting to latch onto someone’s heart and maybe make them feel some things.

me to me: I made this

What I’m Reading

I definitely have a problem and can’t read one book at a time – it’s physically impossible for me. If I start a scary book, I need to have a happy one to off-set the midnight spookiness so I can sleep alright. If I am reading a dark intense historical book, I need a mindless romance to offset the feeling of despair about reading about historical atrocities. If I am reading a memoir by someone I admire, I need to read something I don’t really care about that much to listen to while I do chores, so it’s not the end of the world if I miss a little chunk of the audiobook while the vacuum is on.

A few books I’m reading now (there are more, but it’s a little too embarrassing to showcase all of them and show you how big of a problem this book greediness is), are:

One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

I am really enjoying this book right now. Believe it or not, I’ve never watched the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. This book examines a fictional Bachelorette show called “The Main Squeeze”. Bea, a plus sized blogger, posts a critique about the show’s lack of diversity in only casting skinny models to be on the show, and the next thing she knows her rant inadvertently goes viral. Due to the publicity her rant receives, the producer of the show calls to cast Bea as this season’s next “Main Squeeze”. In order to grow her fan base and take the show to task, Bea goes for it and soon gets to pick from a wide array of gentlemen suitors. It’s an interesting take on fat-phobia, feminism, dating shows, toxic masculinity, staged elements of reality shows, and our own preconceived notions of ourselves. I’m about halfway through, but so far it’s a fun read about a subject I don’t really know much about – dating shows- from the point of view of a plus sized woman who’s typically excluded from them.

30 Days a Black Man: The Forgotten Story That Exposed the Jim Crow South by Bill Steigerwald

This non-fictional historical book recounts the true story of a reporter in 1948 named Ray Sprigle who went undercover disguised as a Black man in the Southern United States. Sprigle was already a decorated journalist, having won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was once a member of the Ku Klax Klan. Sprigle, obviously not a stranger to controversy, disguised himself as a Black man to write about his experiences in the Jim Crow South. This book is written very matter of factly and while dry at times, is fascinating to me because it is about a part of history I knew very little about.

What I’m Eating

I am a newly diagnosed celiac, which means I cannot have gluten. This has put a damper on my food loving soul, but to my great delight there are SO many good gluten-free options out there. I have become OBSESSED with this chickpea pasta, Banza. Normally, gluten-free pasta can be hit or miss, but this pasta is a HIT every time. It’s hard to tell that it’s not normal pasta, and the taste profile is simple with a slight nutty after-taste afterwards that is easily disguised by sauce or cheese.

probably not gluten free

I’ve also discovered these amazing amazing amazing rich and decadent cinnamon crumble bars. I’ve only seen them at Whole Foods but maybe they’ll be popping up in other stores if they get more popular. They’re half shortbread cookie half cinnamon roll meets a pie, and they’re DELIGHTFUL.

What I’m Watching

I just discovered this teen thriller show, Outer Banks, on Netflix, and it’s SO MUCH FUN. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt but with teen models who surf, dive for lost treasure, and most unrealistically of all, have no adult supervision while doing all of this, (you can tell I’m a mom now) while living in the Outer Banks (aka one of my favorite places in the world). Unfortunately, the show isn’t actually filmed in the Outer Banks – which I could kind of tell the minute it started, because it didn’t look like any part of the Outer Banks I know – but despite the fact that it’s filmed in SOUTH CAROLINA (cough cough INAUTHENTIC!), it’s still a super fun show and perfect for an easy summer watch.

Jeanette’s Pier in the Outer Banks (WHICH IS SADLY NOT IN THE OUTER BANKS SHOW)

Bake Squad – also on Netflix- is another perfect summer treat. This show is fast paced and more American than the best baking show ever, The Great British Bake Off, but Bake Squad captures some of that innocent joy and teamwork that makes GBBO so good. Hosted by Christina Tosi, who owns an epic bakery called Milk Bar (that makes GLUTEN FREE BIRTHDAY CAKE AND GUYS IT IS SO SO SO GOOD I HAD IT SHIPPED OUT TO ME FOR MY 30TH BIRTHDAY AND IT WAS INCREDIBLY WORTH IT so here’s a photo of the cake ok one sec…)

my gluten-free Milk Bar cake on a beautiful paper plate

Anyway, back to Bake Squad – Christina Tosi is a bright and joyful host who not only knows how to make an amazzzzing cake, see above, again, please, guys look, how beautiful, amiright? – she also knows how to assemble a charming cast of bakers and candy makers who come together to make DELIGHTFUL cakes and desserts for various celebrations in a friendly competition. It is utter joy, sheer delight, and cotton candy for your eyes. Please indulge yourselves and watch – you will not regret it!

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