Currently August 2019

Currently | 8.28.19

Watching | Lots!
> It has been in the 110s or hotter (as I write this it is 112 at 2:30 pm!) so except for our occasional staycation, we've been either holed up at home watching movies and series or at the movie theater. If you've been reading for any length of time you will know that I am a fan of the Fast & Furious franchise so I was lined up to see Hobbs & Shaw the first weekend it was out. The movie was predictable (I hate seeing all the good parts in the trailers) but entertaining.

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Working at Dolby for as long as I did, I got in the habit of sticking around to watch the credits which sometimes offer outtakes and teasers. In one of the outtakes/spoofs, Dwayne Johnson accidentally shares a spoiler for the last season of Game of Thrones, I could have killed him! We had yet not seen Season 8, but we have now. I couldn't stand it, so we did a 7-day trial if HBO and watched it! There were episodes I liked and ones I didn't but all in all, a good run.

Currently August 2019

We also went to see The Art of Racing in the Rain. I had read the book when it came out in 2009 so I knew what I was in for and packed the appropriate Kleenex! It is beautifully done and wonderfully acted. The acting was also good in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but the story was just awful! I have only ever liked 1 or 2 Quentin Tarantino films, and wish the interminable heat hadn't driven me to see this one at the theater!

On the side (meaning watching by myself and not with Mr. Misadventures) I am trying to like the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot. It totally reminds me of Episodes with Matt Leblanc (Showtime) where he plays Matt LeBlanc after Friends (brilliant writing on this show that lasted 4 seasons) but I am not liking it as much! Lastly, with Avengers Endgame coming out on streaming/DVD/Blu-ray we took the opportunity to rewatch all of the 22 Avenger films. Yeah, we do stuff like that! We finished Avengers Infinity Wars on Thursday evening just making it in time for the Friday release of Endgame at Redbox!

Reading | Lines, Signs & Forks: Diary of a Nomadic Road Tripper
> A couple of travel bloggers have recently released books and I am currently reading the one from fellow Arizonian Mike Shubic of Mike's Road TripLines, Signs & Forks: Diary of a Nomadic Road Tripper. I have met Mike at Arizona media events, interviewed him for Traveler Tuesday, and we've even had lunch so I know he is a good guy!

I am only partway through but it's a great story and journey. After I finish Mike's book I am FINALLY going to read Cara Black's series that takes place in Paris. As a francophile, I am a bit ashamed to say I've never read any of them (and I've known about them for years), but the bookworm in me is thrilled as I have a TON available to me. There are 19 of them starting with Murder in the Marais.

Best Bite | The Johnson 
> New category! And I have NO idea why I didn't come up with it sooner given my obsession for food. This month there was actually a lot of competition. Our meals at LON's were phenomenal, and I had a fried-chicken sandwich (twice) in Raleigh that was out of this world, but the winner goes to another Southern charmer, the Johnson-style spoon cake with saged-sausage white gravy, rice, and a fried egg from the Sassy Biscuit in Billings. I had it twice and wouldn't say no to a third time!

The Johnson from the Sassy Biscuit in Billings MontanaThe Johnson from the Sassy Biscuit in Billings MontanaThe Johnson from the Sassy Biscuit in Billings Montana

Working On | SEO 
> Surprise, no surprise here! I have been using one method to optimize old blog posts and to write new ones, but the last couple of weekends I have been spending time learning an alternative method which I think is less overwhelming. Bottom line is that this is a long-term strategy and it's going to take a while to see results.

Plus I think my style of writing is not always conducive to SEO which is why I generally (a) write about what I want and where I want and (b) love working on paid brand projects where I can collaborate and get paid for the type of stories I like to write and don't have to worry so much about SEO. I am trying to balance the 2! It is way more fun to work with Visit Billings, Chico's, and Enterprise Rental Car than to write 10 things to see in X! But if I can write stories like my Brittany series (Dinan, Fougères, Cancale, etc.) in which I did have SEO in mind, while writing what I want, then I will be satisfied!

Feeling | Flabbergasted 
> I always write about things I like or enjoy and very rarely write about anything negative, but I observed something this past month that floored me and I am still thinking about it! A couple of weeks ago, I went to get my eyebrows waxed, something I do every month. I go to salon studios, basically, large salon spaces broken up into little individual salon/beauty businesses. The person I see on a regular basis shares her space with another esthetician.

When I came in for my most recent appointment there was a woman there with 4 girls. 3 were her daughters and 1 was a friend of 1 of her daughters. When I arrived the eldest daughter was getting her arms waxed (after having just had her eyebrows waxed). She was 13! I'm sorry I don't have children so maybe I don't have a right to say this, but in what world does a 13-year-old need waxing???! And before someone says, “my family is Greek, Italian, Portuguese and we have dark hair and lots of it” I get that.

And I get that there *might* be extreme circumstances in which a 13-year-old needs this. But these were light brown/dark blonde girls! I didn't know what to think. Then when she finished, the 10-year-old got on the chair for her arms! Gah! Can't we let girls just be girls!

Planning |  Camping trips!
> We are headed back to White Pocket this weekend for one final shoot there. We've had epic sunrises, good sunsets, and drone and video shoots, but the stars have alluded Mr. Misadventures so we are on a mission to capture that this time. Not concerned about it being a holiday weekend. When we were there for Memorial Day Weekend there were 3 people camping!

We'll also be heading to some BLM land near Lake Powell (wish us luck!). We've got lots of Arizona state park and national monument camping trips coming up in September and October when the heat dissipates our Tepui tent on the truck is going to get a lot of use!

Loving | Friends!
> I mentioned in May that it's the 25th anniversary of Friends, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I have this Friends poster, framed and ready to be hung in my office (as is all the artwork in our entire house! I was just speaking with a new colleague about that and she said I should call it a design choice, I think I will embrace it!).

There are other Friends memorabilia coming out, I've got my eye on these coffee mugs from Pottery Barn, but also there is a (sold out) Friend's pop-up coming to New York City in September! I can't wait to see what else is in store for the 25th-anniversary celebrations!

My Favorite Photo | Mountain Shadows Shoot

Andi in Chicos at Mountain Shadows

I have been hoping to work with a clothing brand for a long time, but I am pretty particular about my clothes so I didn't hold my breath that I would get to work with a brand where I would actually love and wear their clothes. I'm kind of a stickler for authenticity – if I write about a brand its because I truly like them! So no one was more surprised than me when Chico's reached out to work on their summer travel collection campaign.

I selected my clothes and wore them on 2 trips – Billings and Raleigh for new hire training with my new employer. Then I wore them to Mountain Shadows for a mini staycation shoot. I love this property! The mid-Century modern decor is right up my design alley. The clothes that I selected in blues worked perfectly with the property!  And I got to try out a pair of Jambu shoes I've been wanting to wear (Viola in camel and navy – they are no longer available on Jambu but you can get them on Amazon!), as you know I am a huge fan of Jambu. I worked with them last fall and this spring and I will be working with them again this autumn.

That's my month, what's CURRENTLY going on with you?

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Currently August 2019

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  1. Alli Smith says:

    I’m gearing up for fall with new recipe ideas, decor, etc. That sausage-gravy meal looks scrumptious and I love your outfit!

  2. This month we’re just trying to get our feet on the ground since school just started again. We are running like crazy but I am hoping this weekend we can relax a little bit and just enjoy family time.

  3. Amber Myers says:

    It’s been hot here too. I’m in Texas, so it’s been in the 100s as well. Not fun.

    And I love Friends as well!

  4. Terri Steffes says:

    Headed to Spain, so my mind is full of travel organization trips. I am trying to decided what I want to do about the blog. Should it take a vacation too, or, shall I write while I am there? So many things to think about. I’m SEOing, too.

  5. An SEO plan is so important for growing your following, but as long as you’re using keywords in strategic places you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!

  6. Preparing for my kiddos to head back to school next week. I’m still learning SEO. It was so much easier with my Wordpress plugin.

  7. I feel like there is still so much I can still learn about SEO too. I wish it was something I mastered, but it is quite complex.

  8. Camping trips are always fun to plan! Sounds like you have had a great August so far.

  9. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    It’s been hot in our area and unusually rainy. Having a staycation sounds good with me too. And I wouldn’t say no to the biscuits and gravy either. 🙂

  10. It sounds like you’re having a great month! We went on a short camping trip this month and had a lot of fun. I enjoyed Episodes a lot!

  11. Karen Morse says:

    Sounds like you’re pretty busy! I can’t wait to read more about your new category! Food is life after all. It’s always so much fun to plan trips and a camping trip is the best way to end the summer and welcome autumn!

  12. Ahh, camping trip sounds fun! I am currently on a vacation but still working a little.

  13. Cathy Mini says:

    Sounds you had an awesome month. Staycation is our favorite thing to do with my husband.

  14. Melissa Dixon says:

    I am with you on the waxing! I can not believe the things that parents will do to encourage their children growing up too fast and setting bad examples for them as well as encouraging them to do those bad things themselves. It is a scary thing to observe when these other kids are friends of my child. I tend to isolate her from those kids and am struggling to find a healthy balance because this kind of stuff floors me as well. Now I wish you did have some kids, it sounds like I would like your parenting style. haha

  15. Sounds like you’ve been having a fun and busy August. That food sure looks amazing. I love biscuits, and I’d love to try those. I also have to say that I love Friends as well. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years already!

  16. Shannon Gurnee - Redhead Mom says:

    It sounds like you had an amazing month! Our kids are back in school and it’s still busy at our house! Ha ha!

  17. Love that decor, food, and photo , yes august is ending, school started as usual my routine has changed and sleep is less. I have to update old post too.

  18. The rice looks so good! I also need to improve my SEO. That’s my biggest challenge of the year!