What I’m Into :: Summer 2015


I wanted two things from our family vacation. TWO THINGS. I wanted a family photo and a Christmas ornament. Which I got. But I should have specified, it seems, because what I really wanted was a GOOD family photo where all four of us are looking at the camera and smiling and a beautiful and/or unique ornament that represented our week’s journey together.


I got an ornament – a cheesy one with bears and the words, “South” and “Dakota.” And I got family photos. Lots of ’em. Just not many with all four of us (there are two) – and certainly not one where none of us look constipated, angry or confused.

SIGH. Oh well, at least I have these end-of-summer beauties as consolation:

first day of school

pasta baby

Yep, that’s my life these days! Constant chaos and sometimes pure exhaustion, days filled with tears and tantrums and hugs and giggles and silly faces. So many silly faces. It was a good summer and a hard summer, a fun one and a long one. In short? We were all ready for the school year to begin a couple weeks ago!

I realize it’s not quite the end of the month (when I typically publish What I’m Into posts and link up with my friend Leigh), but next week my blog will go dark as it goes under construction for a redesign. And I haven’t written a What I’m Into post since May. So – an early, end-of-summer version it is!


What I’m Reading

This may be my most eclectic group of books yet. Here’s the best of what I’ve read this summer:

  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan: For about five minutes earlier this summer, I caught a touch of royal fever. After using a photo of William and Kate in this post, I decided to watch the Lifetime movie about them. IT WAS ADORABLE, so I figured I’d read the book next. The book – which, as it turns out, was basically well-written fan fiction – was much longer and a little edgier than the TV movie. I liked it anyway – and really wish I knew how much of it was true to the actual William and Kate story!
  • On the Fence and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: These books were two of the best contemporary YA novels I’ve read. Realistic, moving, funny – and great dialogue. I’m not-so-patiently waiting for West’s third book to be available at the library.
  • Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey: I put off reading this for quite a while after getting it. It was the last of the five-book series about siblings in Alaska, and I didn’t want to say goodbye. The last book was a solid finish to the series, and thankfully, Goodreads tells me that Pettrey is working on a new series.

Plus I have the latest books by Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci, Catherine Coulter and Janet Evanovich waiting beside my bed, along with Longing for Paris, Wild in the Hollow and Simply Tuesday by my friends Sarah Mae, Amber Haines and Emily Freeman. And while I can’t technically call Amy Poehler my friend, I am about halfway through her surprising, entertaining and enlightening memoir, Yes Please.

Oh, and I just got Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For the Love, last week and I’m dying to crack it open and dive in.

I told you guys: I have a book problem!


What I’m Watching

Last week I finally caught up on So You Think You Can Dance. Would you believe I’d let half a dozen episodes stack up on my DVR? And that doesn’t even count the audition episodes I simply deleted. WHo AM I? I don’t know, but please don’t tell Cat Deeley. I couldn’t handle it if she were disappointed in me and my fandom!

So what HAVE I been watching? Plenty. (I know. Shocker.) Here’s what’s taken the place of America’s favorite dancers, at least for a couple months:

  • Stitchers: A young adult sci-fi procedural on ABC Family. Creative and pretty and snarky. Basically, all my favorite things.
  • UnREAL: Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of The Bachelor? No, me either, but that didn’t stop me from watching this well-written, less-than-family-friendly drama on Lifetime.
  • Suits: So much anger and drama! Revenge! Secrets! And so many sharp suits! I love this show, season after season – and this one is just as good as previous ones.
  • Blue Bloods: This is the show Mark and I have decided to watch together on Netflix. It’s no Friday Night Lights, but we like it better than Heroes or West Wing (the other shows we tried together). (Don’t yell at me, West Wing fans. I’m going to watch it on my own!)
  • The Musketeers: The only thing this BBC show is missing are the lovely harmonies of Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting. Otherwise, it’s got all the Musketeer adventure, humor and dashing heroes and heroines you could ask for.
  • Miranda: My friend Amber said it, nonchalantly, “You know Miranda, of course, Mary…?” NO, I said. WHAT IS THIS SHOW OF WHICH YOU SPEAK? HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF IT? Well, there’s no explanation for the latter, but I can tell you more about it now that I’ve watched nearly the entire series. It’s about a tall, awkward, delightful British woman and her awkward, delightful friends and family. It’s a half-hour sitcom in which the main character breaks out in song nearly as often as she addresses the camera. It’s hilarious and sweet and such fun – and you should watch it right away. (It’s on Hulu.)
  • Veep: I just watched the first season, and unless something changes dramatically I probably won’t see the rest of it for a while. (It’s on HBO, a station we don’t have, which limits options for streaming or online viewing.) Anyway. This show about a female vice president and her staff is irreverent and smart and biting and funny. Watch it if you like that sort of thing (but beware of a whole lot of HBO-rated language).

I’ve also had the uncommon [to me] fortune to see four movies in the theater this summer. Four! Of course, that hasn’t kept me from whining [at least to myself] about not seeing the new Mission Impossible movie (or the entertaining-looking Man from UNCLE) yet, but it has kept me from having the nerve to complain out loud.

You know. Until now.

WOMAN IN GOLD - 2015 FILM STILL - (L-R) RYAN REYNOLDS, HELEN MIRREN, and DANIEL BRUHL - Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky  © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

Anyway. A few words about the movies I did see:

  • Jurassic World: I laughed so much, you guys – but I’m just not sure it was supposed to be funny…
  • Inside Out: Fascinating, touching, intricate and highly entertaining to both my daughter and me. I can’t wait to watch it again!
  • Woman in Gold: A little slow (read: no car chases or superheroes, IF YOU CAN IMAGINE) but very, very good. Based on a true story, it was about a woman trying to reclaim her family’s property that was stolen by Nazis during the war. As usual, Helen Mirren was lovely. And I remembered how much I really like Ryan Reynolds.
  • Ant-Man: I hate to be punny, but this was a much smaller move than the other Marvel films. And yet it was funny and sweet and still reasonably exciting. I liked it a lot.

I love the beginning of the school year more even than January when it comes to fresh starts. So I’ve been trying harder than ever to get my stuff together and organize this family. It’s going…so-so. I’m sure we’ll get it all figured out by May. Heh.

So that’s some of the fun stuff I was into this summer. In case you missed it, here are some of my favorite posts:


On this blog:

At other places

Now, tell me: What were YOU into this summer?

Read more What I’m Into posts at Leigh Kramer’s blog!

10 Things I Learned about Friendship from USA’s Playing House

10 Things I Learned About Friendship From Playing House

I like TV and [some people say] I watch a lot of TV. And I really love talking to people about TV. I like a lot of different types of shows, some dramas and lots of comedies. And, FINE, plenty of procedurals, some that you might consider “old-people shows.” (I only watch one of the NCIS shows, okay?! Just one of them! I’m not old!)

But the show I have raved about more than any other this year is Playing House on USA.

Playing House is a half-hour sitcom about two best friends. Written by the show’s stars (Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham), this show is the best portrayal of friendship I have ever seen. St. Clair and Parham have fantastic chemistry and a solid grasp on what makes female friendships tick. And the rhythm of their banter is so natural that nobody’s ever surprised to learn they are long-time best friends in real life, too.


What’s it about? In short, one friend is pregnant and finds out her husband is a cheating weirdo. So her best friend quits her fancy job in China, moves back to their small hometown in Connecticut, and moves in to help raise the baby. Strangely enough after a description like that, hijinks ensue. I laugh so hard every time I watch it, but honestly, it really does have a lot to teach us about friendship.

10 Things I Learned about Friendship from Playing House

1. Real friends are well aware of each other’s craziness.
The pilot opens with Emma giving a presentation to her Chinese clients, while a text and phone call from Maggie remind her to wrap it up and get to the airport. Even though they’re separated by miles, they know each other so well that Maggie is well aware that workaholic Emma is running late and Emma knows without a doubt that the sound she heard through the phone was headstrong Maggie using power tools to assemble a crib in the middle of the night.

Then when Emma finds Maggie using power tools in the middle of the night AGAIN, she talks her off the ledge (okay, a ladder) and then rounds up friends to help complete the anxious mama-to-be’s to-do list.

2. Sometimes real friends love you so much it hurts.
Yeah, this is in the show. Face-punching. And hedgehog cupcakes. Are you sold yet?

hedgehog cupcake

3. Real friends are familiar with your comfort zone – and will push you right out of it.
Whether it’s forcing your friend to watch Silence of the Lambs (a funny scene in episode 2, but definitely NOT on my personal list of good friend characteristics!!), encouraging her to stand up to her ex-husband, or helping her through that last push in childbirth, good friends will stretch you.

4. Real friends will get in your space – or your tiny playhouse.
At various times in the first season, Emma and Maggie track down the other one and find her hiding (and crying) in the backyard playhouse. And even though it’s awkward and uncomfortable (and possibly dangerous since raccoons are holed up in the house at one point), the friends climb right in with each other to talk and encourage and listen and comfort. It’s a beautiful metaphor and also a funny visual. Because, you know, big people in a little house…it’s funny!


5. Real friends will go the extra mile when you need them.
The premise of the show is a big gesture of love, really. Emma quits her job to move across the globe the the hometown she’s successfully avoided for years, just to help Maggie raise her baby. But every episode shows the friends helping each other out, proving that the big gesture was not out of character for these friends at all.

6. Real friends will fight for you.
When Maggie goes to the hospital to deliver the baby, Emma is right beside her. She knows her role as Maggie’s support system, cheerleader and advocate, and she will fight anyone who gets in their way.

And when Maggie decides she wants an epidural after all, Emma is determined to make it happen:

M: Is that okay?
E: Oh, you’re gonna have whatever you want. I don’t care. I’ll go Shirley MacLaine on these people.
M: Shirley MacLaine? From Steele Magnolias?
E: No. Terms of Endearment, honey. Terms! Of! Endearment!

7. Real friends will make you face the truth.
Poor Maggie. Who could be strong in the face of four pounds of delicious cheese, man? Who?

8. Real friends are committed.
Whether that means commitment to being honest about hairstyles, to sharing the burden of raising a newborn, or to a bit, friends will COMMIT. Even if that bit brings out the Bosephus in a girl…

9. Real friends know what you’re capable of – even when you don’t.
You guys. This show is so stinking funny, with two weirdos and their weird families and weird friends acting like crazy people in a way that feels totally real and normal. But in the episode where Maggie finally delivers her baby? I SOBBED LIKE THAT BABY. Seriously. You need to watch it. Now. Go! I’m not even kidding.

playing house baby

10. Real friends make sweet, sweet harmony.
Well, really. Can you honestly resist a little bit of Kenny Loggins? Of course not.

If I still haven’t convinced you that Playing House is “totes kewl” (it makes sense if you’ve watched the show!) and must-see TV, then you probably need to watch the entire first season to get right. Lucky for you, USA is playing all 10 episodes this Saturday before the second season begins on Tuesday, August 4. Or you can watch on the USA website or on Hulu.

Who are your favorite TV best friends?

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Marriages

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

Last week a cry was heard ’round the Internet as news broke that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are divorcing. I know, I know. You thought that outrage and anguish was the result of another news report about ISIS or the devastating stories of black churches being burned.


Settle down. I’m well aware a person can be upset about all of those things, all at once, because we are complex and compassionate people. But no matter what else is going on in our world and in the news, I am still shocked by our collective reaction to the personal lives of celebrities.

And I say “our” because I’m no different. For example, I’m afraid that no matter how much work she does for the United Nations and starving children (or whatever it is she does for the U.N. I don’t actually know!), I will never stop thinking of Angelina Jolie as The One Who Broke Up Brad and Jen. Even though that was TEN YEARS AGO. And, oh yeah, these are people I DO NOT KNOW.

Yet…I still care. Strangely enough. Why IS that? Why do we care so much about celebrity marriages?

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

We think we know what’s best for other people.
Just like when I decided that I’d found the perfect job for my best friend the other day (I’m serious. It would be PERFECT for her, and she should apply for it right now. No, I don’t know if they’re hiring. That is beside the point!), we tend to think we know what’s best for celebrities, too. We read tiny nuggets about their lives, see a few strategic photos, watch a late-night interview – and all of a sudden, we’re experts on a celeb’s personality, values and needs.

Obviously if he’d quit traveling so much or if she’d quit working with such handsome actors or if he’d ease up on the self-tanner or she’d stop hogging the camera or — Right? We can figure out exactly what’s going wrong and just how to fix it!

Probably because this is practically make-believe for us. These are real people we’re making assumptions about, but we make up our own realities for them and their lives and their relationships.

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

We can’t separate fiction from reality.
Which brings me to this. You know you do it, too. You saw them in that movie together, and they were so cute! And then they were interviewed together on Ellen, and oh my gosh, they were hilarious! Of course it’s no surprise that they’re a real-life couple now; it only makes sense. But we forget when our favorite actors meet cute on the set that they’re not actually the characters they portray on screen. And what we see as obvious chemistry and compatibility might just have been excellent writing or savvy marketing.

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

It’s easier to worry about someone else’s marriage than our own.
A writer for one of the entertainment sites I read is obsessed with Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Rumors of a breakup earlier this year sent her into a GIF-filled tailspin. She was simply distraught at the mere mention of trouble in celebrity paradise. I agree Stone and Garfield seem adorable together, and the posts that writer published about her devotion to their relationship success were funny. But I had to wonder – when was the last time I got that worked up about my own marriage?

And that’s really what this comes down to for me. While it is fun to ‘ship characters in our favorite shows (Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt for the win!) or feel certain that you and your spouse would just have the most fun with a celebrity couple (Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd would TOTALLY be our BFFs…if only they met us.), it’s really not healthy to spend more time and energy focused on other people’s relationships than on your own.

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

Our addiction to celebrity relationship news isn’t completely removed from our own lives and concerns, though. Because, deep down, I think part of our fascination stems from our desire that fairy tales be true. We look at these beautiful, talented people who have all the advantages the world can offer and can’t imagine that their stories don’t have happy endings. After all, if THEY can’t make it work – with their personal chefs and nannies and maid services and makeup artists and personal shoppers – well, the rest of us might as well give up now.

We pin our hopes for marriage on these people who seem like shinier, prettier, better versions of ourselves – but who are really just as human and flawed as us. We forget that fame and fortune don’t alleviate all the stresses of the world, and they don’t make us immune to temptation or pride or other struggles. We ignore the reality and focus on the illusion and believe these super-humans must have super-marriages, and we build up their shiny pedestals of People magazines and interviews with Fallon.

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples

That’s why, when we hear that another famous couple is getting divorced, our reaction can be extreme – and more what we’d expect to be reserved for bad news about our actual friends and family members. It can feel like a personal blow, a twisted fairy tale – and a valid reason to give up hope that anyone can ever make marriage work.


If there’s one thing many of us need, it’s hope. We are desperate for hope, for a reason to keep believing – in marriage in general and in our own marriages. Marriage is hard, and sometimes it feels like the odds are stacked against us. Money is tight, jobs are stressful, kids are demanding, and dinner always needs to be fixed. We don’t have time for intensive therapy or weekend getaways or even a romantic dinner. So if the pretty people with charmed lives can’t figure this thing out, well, how could our relationships possibly survive?

If you know me at all, then you can probably guess that I don’t think all marriages are doomed now that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are calling it quits. Just the opposite, actually.

Why We Care So Much About Celebrity Couples | via givinguponperfect.com

Despite my commentary about the warped reasons we get so crazy about celebrity couples, I think it’s a good sign for marriage if the end of one breaks our hearts. Even if we are a little starry-eyed and impractical in our longing for “happily ever after,” the importance we place on marriage – both the ones we know personally and the ones we see from afar – is a good thing. It means we care, that we haven’t given up, that we value marriage itself.

It also means we’re longing for role models, for evidence that marriage can last, that happy marriages aren’t fantasy. So instead of peeking at the pictures on the magazines as we stand in line at the grocery store, why not search out an older couple at church? Spend time with them as friends and let them mentor you. Learn from their lives together, from the way they have fought for their marriage over decades.

And maybe, instead of winding down with E! News or your favorite entertainment site tonight, take a few minutes to connect with your spouse. Spend time focusing on your own marriage. Don’t drift apart. Put each other first. Keep learning what makes the other one tick. Dream together. Laugh together. Maybe watch a movie together.

Just…maybe not Daredevil. (You know, the one starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner? Too soon?)

Who’s your favorite celebrity couple?

How Netflix is Ruining My Life

Let's be honest, Netflix. I never, ever want to leave you. #onemoreepisode

A photo posted by Mary Carver (@marycarver) on

I mean, really. Why’s it have to ask me like that, every time? Do I WANT to exit? NO! Of course not! But I am, technically, a grown-up who needs to go to bed at some point. So quit asking me that, okay? Geez, Netflix. Quit being so clingy!

Until a few months ago we rarely used our Netflix account. We don’t have a gaming system or a Roku box thing or whatever it is that people use to get the Netflix on their televisions. [If you’re new here, you should probably get a handle on my slow adoption of new technology situation and read about the day I said goodbye to my VCR. Here’s a hint: It was not that long ago.]

But recently our lives were changed when we switched cable providers and, suddenly, Netflix appeared on our TV. Like magic! OH, THE SHOWS WE CAN WATCH! You know, without getting out that bulky cord and connecting the computer to the TV, like we did before.

It’s been awesome. I have watched A LOT OF THINGS. Not all of them great, fine, yes, this I will admit. But still, I finally watched (and loved. LOVED.) Sherlock, and I’m currently rewatching Chuck — so all is right with the world and my viewing experience.


Netflix is kind of ruining my life.

I mean, I used to have no problem watching one episode of my favorite shows each week. Unexpected reruns or holidays annoyingly coinciding with my regularly scheduled programming was irritating, sure. But for the most part I was content to watch my shows whenever the powers that be decided to give them to me.

Now, though. Oh, now, I can watch as many episodes IN ONE SITTING as I want. And I. Do. Want! So there’s been a lot of sitting at my house. Even more than usual.

And you know what happens when you watch episode after episode of a show? You get completely sucked into its world sometimes. And if that fictional world you’re watching happens to be a dark one (Hello, stupid Heroes, I’m talking to you!)? Well, good luck, my friends. Maybe go ahead and schedule that therapist appointment for the approximate week you anticipate resurfacing because you are probably going to need it. Holding onto reality is hard – and re-entry can be even worse.

Then – THEN! – there’s what happens when you try to go back. Re-watching old shows and discovering new ones is all well and good, but there ARE still shows on live TV. Right? You remember this? Shows playing today, at this very moment, that you might want to watch before they make it to Netflix? But how?

Sure, sure, you’ll DVR them. But can you really handle watching just one episode at a time? LIKE AN ANIMAL? But what else can you do? Save them up until you have enough for a good, solid binge? But what if you accidentally read or hear a spoiler? How annoying will that be?! WHAT TO DO?!

And speaking of spoilers and talking to other people about TV shows because it’s what we do…the emotional anguish that comes with binge-watching a show on Netflix that EV-ER-Y-ONE else in the WORLD has already watched and then NOT HAVING ANYONE TO TALK TO ABOUT IT? Well, it’s nearly unbearable. Do you know that I went back and read old recaps and reviews of Friday Night Lights when Mark and I watched last year? I may have (DEFINITELY DID) even listened to a couple (MORE THAN THAT) podcasts about it, just so I could pretend like anyone I know cares about a nine-year-old show.

So, you see, Netflix is clearly wrecking my entire life. Everything I hold dear (mainly my sanity and productivity) is at risk. I feel like I could say so much more about this, but you guys, I just got to the fourth season of Chuck when he [SPOILER ALERT – wait, what’s the expiration date on this, ANOTHER PROBLEM Netflix causes!?] finds out his mom was a spy, too. So obviously I don’t have time for more blogging.

Am I alone – or has Netflix ruined your life, too?

When You Need a Little Fabulous


A couple weeks ago Annalyn went to theater camp. Because we need more drama in our house.

Melodrama and emotional theatrics aside, she loved the camp. Singing and dancing all day with new friends who love to sing and dance all day was just about all the fun my little actor could take. At the end of the week, the kids performed a musical revue for their families. (They called it a play, but I’ve been in many plays and this was not it. It was songs with a few awkward lines in between.)

In order to be prepared for her big performance, Annalyn needed to practice her line, her duet and her group songs all week long. ALL WEEK LONG. Over and over, until all three of us (Annalyn, Adrienne and I) had them memorized. Well, saying the baby could sing an entire song is an exaggeration (remember: we are dramatic over here), but she sure did love dancing to the repeated tunes.

And, I’m not going to lie, so did I.

I was initially annoyed that my seven-year-old’s class was singing songs from High School Musical and other Disney teen movies. Prior to this summer Annalyn only watched animated Disney movies (and don’t even get me started on the obnoxious, non-cartoon kids shows on TV). But since she was singing songs from these movies (the first and second High School Musicals, Teen Beach Movie, and Lemonade Mouth), I decided we should watch them together.

I’d like to tell you they were awful — and one of them **cough, cough** Teen Beach Movie **cough, cough** WAS — but honestly? I enjoyed them nearly as much as Annalyn. Not always for the same reasons (like I did while watching Jurassic World last weekend, I kept wondering, “Is this SUPPOSED to be funny? Because it is hilarious!”), but we did both like watching them.

As a matter of fact, I’d decided to read a book while she watched High School Musical 2, but I didn’t pick it up once. Aside from the few minutes when I dozed off (come on! Can you blame me??), I watched that silly show just as intently as my daughter. Especially when the kids sang the song from theater camp: Fabulous.

The song is silly, sure. And the character of Sharpay? SUPER ANNOYING. (Although she has prompted Annalyn and me to have some good conversations about attitude and friendship.) And, really, the majority of the song is just ridiculous.

“Fetch me my Jimmy Choo flip-flops. Where is my pink Prada tote?
I need my Tiffany hairband, and then I can go for a float.”

Right. Ridiculous. But maybe it’s a matter of being brainwashed, after blaring – and singing along to – the song for five days straight. Or maybe watching four teen movies in two weeks was just too much for my precarious, post-baby reasoning skills.

Whatever the reason, at some point I started hearing the lyrics differently.

“I need something inspiring to help me get along
I need a little fabulous, is that so wrong?”


At first it was just stuck in my head like a glittery Disney earworm. But then I found myself thinking, “IS that so wrong? Maybe we DO need a little fabulous!”

Then, as we watched High School Musical 2 and Troy (Zac Efron) literally leapt through a field doing a happy dance, my eyes eventually stopped rolling and I had another thought. I thought, “Why is it so laughable for a guy to be so happy that he leaps through fields and bursts into song?”

Yes, I see your point. It is possible I’ve fallen under the spell of Too Many Musicals. But what if I haven’t?

IS THERE something wrong with needing a little fabulous? IS THERE something wrong with actually letting our happiness spill out, even if it means a song and a dance? IS THERE something wrong with choosing joy, even if we look a little foolish?

I say no.

When I cleared my Christmas decorations off the top of my piano several months ago, I decided to unpack some of my books. See, when we put our house on the market last year (and the year before that), we decluttered a LOT. That cleaning spree included packing up anything unnecessary – like my books. And when we moved furniture to make room for a baby, it meant going one step further and storing our bookshelf, too.

As much as I love reading, as important as words and the books that hold them are to me, this actually hit me as a physical loss. I MISSED my books!

So in early February, when YES my holiday things should have been long gone, I moved them out and replaced them with a stack of books. I may not have room for a full bookshelf right now, but I can display some of my favorites on top of my piano. That simple move has made me SO HAPPY. Just the sight of those books makes me smile.

And when I added a wooden dolphin and framed photo to my makeshift shelf? Well, my heart pulled a Grinch and grew three sizes! To me, de-staging my house felt FABULOUS. It eased my frustration that nobody wants to buy our house and we’re stuck here, possibly FOR-EV-ER. It reminded me that I like my cute little house (sometimes) because it’s my place, my HOME.


It was fabulous. Just like bright pink toenail polish, red paint on my dining room wall, photos of my family making goofy faces, pretty tissue boxes that cost more than the plain ones, matching towels folded just the right way, t-shirts with nerdy puns, new lip gloss, or sparkly earrings.

It’s just like my daughter’s collection of glittery hairbands and mismatched socks, and it’s just like the bloggers I see sharing What They Wore each week or urging each other to Do Your Makeup. It’s not about what other people think of you or how society says you should look (blergh.). It’s simply that sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about ourselves.

(Or, in my books’ case, sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about our homes.)

Little things. Frivolous things. THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE. And sometimes? Those things my heart calls fabulous are also things that inspire me – to take better care of my house or my body, to write something encouraging or helpful, to smile at the three people who I love most (and drive me the most crazy).

So I say, it’s not so wrong to need a little fabulous.

As for the part where we all choose joy and celebrate loudly (hopefully by leaping in fields and singing Disney tunes), I’m going to save that for later.

But today, if you’re longing for some fabulous? Don’t let that – or anyone – make you feel silly or frivolous. Swipe on another layer of that bright red lipstick, straighten the zebra print pillows on your couch, and grab your monogrammed bottle with the fruit-infused water. If something inspiring is going to help you get along, go for it! Be fabulous.

Do you need a little fabulous today?

Photos by hitchster, yozza and staci.