Hope your week has been simply grand. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me with lots of snow and celebrating for my recent birthday. Here’s a look at what’s popping my wig these days. Be sure to let me know what’s captured your attention so far this week!
- Making a Murderer. Unless you’ve abandoned social media, you’ve probably heard all the buzz about this docudrama series on Netflix. The 10-episode mini-series tells the painfully frustrating story of Steven Avery, a man exonerated for rape and later brought to trial in a separate incident on murder charges. Avery believes the authorities who have a personal grudge against him and resented his exoneration framed him for a murder. The storytelling is measured, understated, and compelling. I’ve been burned out on true crime stories for many years, so the fact that I’m really fascinated by this story speaks highly of how well it’s produced. Even though I have no idea if Avery is guilty or not, this is a gripping program. Like.
- Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Nadia doesn’t look like a Lutheran pastor. She doesn’t talk like a pastor. In a word, she’s amazing. (Note: I’m not Lutheran.) I first discovered her this fall when she was a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air, my favorite podcast. Give it a listen. If you like what you hear, then you’ll enjoy her new book, Accidental Saints. Love.
- Birthday food and drink. I had a caramel cake, blue bubbly, and Cheetos. Tasty love.
- Esther Dalseno. I “met” Esther through Twitter and Instagram, and then read her debut novel, DROWN. As you may know from my previous post on this book, it’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid fairytale. Esther has a new novel poised to come out this year, and she asked me to read it and give an early review. GABRIEL AND THE SWALLOWS is pure magic. I’m so excited for readers to experience Esther’s next book! Double love.
Happy 2016, friends! Hope the new year is off to a fantastic start for you. One of my resolutions is to do a regular blog post highlighting the things I like/love each week. Feel free to share with me in the comments what made this week special for you–I’d love to hear about a newly-discovered movie or TV show, a recipe, a book, or anything else you want to share.
- Unexpected kindness. The kids and I went to pick up a to-go order of chips and salsa from our favorite local Mexican restaurant. A man I don’t know was also waiting in the lobby. In one quick movement, he tossed some cash on the counter and said he wanted to pay for our order! It was completely unexpected and kind. We thanked him as he hurriedly left, perhaps a little overwhelmed by the effusive appreciation of three small children dressed as storm troopers. LOVE!
- Crack cake. I’d never heard of crack cake, but when I saw the rather simple recipe, I was intrigued enough to add it to my Pinterest food board. Then, I made the thing. Oh. My. Goodness. It was incredible. Not a crumb was left over. I highly recommend this cinnamon-y bundt cake. This recipe also enabled me to remove the cake from the bundt pan gorgeous and intact–a first for me! Incidentally, the recipe calls for white wine and I didn’t have any on hand, so I used what I had: pineapple juice. It was a perfect substitute. LOVE!
- The final season of Downton Abbey (no spoilers here). I admit it. Hubs and I watched the last season and Christmas special along with the Brits. It was a beautifully written and flawlessly acted set of episodes that brought the perfect ending to a program that’s become one of my all-time favorites. Aside from the absolute perfection that was the Christmas special, I enjoyed several key scenes involving Tom Branson. He’s tops in my book, primarily because we got to see a slow build as he changed over the course of the series. He embraced his place in the family, but maintained the spark that endeared him to Cybil and many viewers. Of course, the Dowager Countess was in fine form, as always. LOVE!
- Better Call Saul. With Downton done, I have a huge hole in the part of my heart where fictional characters reside. I’m looking for the next binge-worthy show. While I’m not sure I’ve found the next “it” show, I started watching Better Call Saul recently and really enjoyed it. This is a spin-off of Breaking Bad, a series that never resonated with me. After a couple of episodes, I just couldn’t get into it. So, I’m watching BCS with none of the baggage or context of Breaking Bad. Still, it’s well written and very well acted. I’m looking forward to getting a bit deeper into this series. LIKE!
- SNL’s Mom Translator sketch. Over the holidays, my sister-in-law and I really needed the help of the Mom Translator, a fake product featured in a “commercial” during Saturday Night Live. For some reason, she and I couldn’t accurately recall the name Kylo Ren, even though we’d both seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We each had variations that were weird and hilarious. Help, Mom Translator! LIKE!
Now it’s your turn! What do you like/love this week?
Crack cake image via It’s the Little Things Blog
Downton gif via Giphy
Top image via Flickr by jeffreyw