What I'm Loving: May Edition

I constantly find myself thinking about things I want to share with my friends (cough-cough, YOU), but sometimes my newest discovery just isn't groundbreaking enough to sit down & write a dissertation about my favorite grocery store find.  So I've decided to start something new around these parts - a 'What I'm Loving' monthly series.  I get to tell you about some things I am falling for just like I would if we were sitting down at Starbucks over a once-again-removed-from-their-menu Honey Latte.   

I'm starting a big Disney series at the beginning of June, I decided to post my May wrap-up a tad early.  Grab a latte & let's get this thing started!

Books: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (affiliate link)

I probably should start by saying I love to read for fun, but grad school pretty much squashed any spare time for reading & somehow 9 years later I'm just now picking it back up again.  My weakness is for historical fiction & this one hits the nail on the head.  I'm 75% done with this book & it's been a great one to get me back into reading for fun.  It's set in the early 1800s on a farm in Virginia, chronicling the lives & events surrounding a family & their slaves.  The chapters alternate between the voices & perspectives of one slave and a young Irish girl who is an indentured servant.  It's an easy read & I've already got the sequel waiting on my nightstand, 'Glory Over Everything'. 

Podcasts: What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel

This podcast is 100% what got me back into reading.  A few bloggers & podcast hosts I regularly follow have been guests on the show, so I listened and now have a list of books I'm ready to read that will take me into 2020.  Anne runs a blog called Modern Mrs. Darcy, which is devoted to all things literary.  She's basically a book whisperer.   The format is the same every week: guests share three books they love, one they hated, and what they are reading now.  She then gives them 3 book recommendations specific to their tastes.  Anne - if you're reading this, I must have deleted the email where you asked me to come on the show.  Because SIGN ME UP!

Food & Drink: San Pellegrino Blood Orange

I hate carbonated water.  My first trip to NYC years ago was back in 2007 with my best friend.  In what I am sure was an effort to feel refined and fit in with the elite of Manhattan, I grabbed a San Pellegrino during a post-Broadway run through Duane Reade for late night snacks to take back to our room.  What the upper class missed out on was me spitting that nasty salty water across the hotel room only a few short moments later.  Seriously - how does anyone drink that?  Enter my last trip to NYC with my main squeeze earlier this year.  We had lunch at Eataly (ahhhhmazing) & he ordered the Blood Orange version of my water nemesis, much to my chagrin.  And then I tasted it.  All I can say is my fridge has yet to be empty of this delight since the day we got hom.  I have a legit addiction to Diet Coke & hate water, so anything (even though it does have a few calories) that reduces my DC intake is clearly a good thing.  I've tried some other flavors & in general I like them all (except Prickly Pear - gah!).  Kroger runs deals every few weeks, so they become an affordable treat & make me feel a bit refined in my yoga pants while I'm watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Movies:  Brooklyn (affiliate link)

So. Good.  I feel like there haven't been any high quality gal movies in a while (think While You Were Sleeping or You've Got Mail).  You know, something in between the dudeness of Marvel movies & the sappiness of Nicholas Sparks.  I couldn't wait for it to hit RedBox so I ordered it from Amazon & I'm glad I did.  Quick synopsis:  young Irish gal moves to Brooklyn on her own to start a new life in America.  And some stuff happens.  Just see it for yourself - you won't be disappointed!

Hair: Aveda Dry Shampoo

I've tried a few different options out there but this one takes the cake.  The smell is one step short of divine & its purely a powder - no aerosol!  I try to wash my hair no more than every 2 days to help keep my color vibrant for as long as possible between visits to the salon, and this let me get away with 3 days over the weekend!  

Hopefully you get a chance to test out one of my new favorites sometime this month - let me know what you think!  I've paid out of pocket for all of the above this month (well, the podcast is free), so know I'm only sharing what I'm really using & addicted to.  Seriously - this was such a fun post to write - I can't wait to see what comes through in June!  What are you loving this May?

Affiliate links are included for your convenience only.....shop where  you will - I fully support coupons, the public library, and all forms of price shopping so go for it friends!  If you do purchase through a provided link, TheHomemadeFig does receive small compensation to support the site.  

Disney Lego Minifigures (also: How I'm a Big Kid at Heart)

Life has been a little crazy around these parts here lately and I decided yesterday was the day to treat myself to some fun.  Which clearly means going from store to store looking for Disney Lego figures right?  No? Well maybe you should give it a shot because letting my inner kid out for a few hours was so refreshing in the midst of a life full of adult stresses.   

My sister wanted me to video the unwrapping of my finds so she could feel like she was there, so naturally I figured why not share it with all my friends right?  So welcome to the blog if you're new around here & if you've known me forever don't mock me for my wet hair and weird hand motions.  You're all welcome for this gem.

Video notes: I realize Mr. Incredible's name is .....wait for it....Mr. Incredible.  Gah. And they are mini figures, not mini figurines - I clearly can't read.  

I've got the majority of the collection after yesterdays hunt, with only one duplicate - if you're local & in the market for the extra Ursula let me know, I'm down for a trade! Fingers crossed I'll finally figure out the dot matching system on the packages & grab the last handful without spending a fortune.  If you head out to find your own they were about 3 cents cheaper at Walmart than at ToysRUs.  Clearly I find those savings enough to justify buying an extra bag  Or two.  Target is supposedly carrying them but my local store didn't have them (but they tend to hold back merchandise in the back for way too long).

Friends, can someone please tell me I'm not the only one who still loves playing with Legos as a "big kid"?  We've even had at-home date nights putting together the architecture series & I seriously treasure those memories.  Granted, I love most all things Lego, but I'll be glad for the day I'm not playing with Duplos daily.  How many primary colored towers & castles can one girl make in a lifetime?  Cause I'm probably maxing that out on a daily basis.  But truly I'm glad the little one loves building like me - I can't wait to see what we can imagine in a few years!

The Blacklist Is On My Blacklist

If you haven't seen last week's episode of The Blacklist & have any intention of it not being spoiled, then take this as your warning to stop reading.  

I have a love-hate relationship with 'boy-shows'.  Set me in front of Pride & Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, or 10 Things I Hate About You & I can watch them for hours back to back. But that's the ironic thing about marriage.  Whether I liked it or not, my TV & movie viewing slowly started becoming more boy-centric & my time girl-show watching dramatically dropped....more like plummeted.  (Thanks again to the movie industry who no longer thinks the masses want the likes of You've Got Mail & Miss Congeniality anymore).  So instead I have expanded my knowledge of superheros & James Bond.  I'll admit I don't totally hate it.....just a new phase of life to embrace right?  Captain America isn't so bad....

All of this brings me to how I got sucked into the suspense of The Blacklist during its's first season.  Lots of suspense, not too gory, & still some semblance of a love story.  So I jumped in with both feet & it has been a weekly date night watch around these parts.

Until now.  Well, maybe.  I'm still deciding if I'm quitting the show in protest.  But to be honest - I have to know what happens.

Boy shows should not have me crying during primetime.  Actual tears people.  Elizabeth Keene was not supposed to die.  And surely not as a complication of childbirth.  Maybe it hit me harder because of my own complications after having the little one.  But regardless I was glued to my seat (aka pillow since I was watching in bed.  Hello -  it comes on at 9pm & I am a mom so clearly that's my bedtime).

Once the faucet of tears finally cut off & I fully realized the awful plot twist the writers took, I immediately started hypothesizing. As in I dreamed about it all night and spent last weekend trying to guess where the writers would go after this episode. So here's my take....because clearly I need to make this into a happy ending.

I think Mr. Kaplan (the clean up lady - though technically she is called 'Mr' by Reddington) has secretly devised a way to fake Elizabeth's death in order to protect her.  Of course that would mean the doctor guy had to be in on it, and though his tears seemed too real to be a put-on, he used to have a thing for Elizabeth in an earlier season so I can see him faking it to save her.  Redd never shows emotion, so him almost fainting leads me to believe he's in the dark.  Kaplan made a comment to Redd before Liz delivered that he had made them all believe that he could protect her & clearly he didn't in this situation - hence giving birth in a nightclub with a disco ball.  I can see Elizabeth agreeing to go along with this in order save her baby, though her being intubated makes me question my whole theory - thats pretty invasive if it was all fake.  But this is the best I can come up with.

Switch over to real life and Megan Boone (Keen) really is pregnant.  So this plot certainly helps cover for her real-life maternity leave. And apparently there is a planned spin-off in the works with Tom Keen as the main character (supposedly the May 5 episode is the mini-pilot to see if NBC will pick it up).  The Solomon character is set to be a part of that as well, so this new vendetta certainly sets that up for some built in drama between those two.

But back to the original show.  If Elizabeth comes back as just memories or flashbacks, I'll call foul.  Because that's just lame.  I can't think of a series that has killed of the main character & the show survived.  Every single plot line & character was connected to her, that without her presence I feel like it's all lacking.  And then it will most definitely be a complete boy show and will be dead to me.

What's your theory?  Please tell me someone else shed a few tears & I'm not alone.  I'll be tuning in Thursday night with more anticipation than is probably accepted.  If I wasn't afraid of being let down, I'd throw a spontaneous Blacklist party.  That's what happens when you have good writers and a husband that gets you sucked into these crazy shows.