April 29, 2016

friday favorites #23: week of april 29, 2016

These last two weeks have been unusual. For whatever reason, I didn't have many pressing things at work (aside from the normal craziness that seems to spring up at this time of the year), so I spent most of my time fully immersed in yearbook--which is a good thing, seeing that speech brain (January through March) and Hashimoto's brain (a constant struggle) don't mix well! I'm not kidding you--I've found so many things on pages that I supposedly signed off on, that I gave my students good grades on, that are all kinds of wrong. Sigh. Suffice it to say, I'm glad it's the weekend. Here are a few things that I've been enjoying recently.

1. Planning a road trip
It's been three years since my sisters and I went away together. Sure, we've been together since then, but always with other people. Well, we're going to remedy that this year: We're spending a weekend in Nashville! We're not going until July, but this is a favorite because I just bought our tickets! We're going to Annie F. Downs' Looking for Lovely weekend. I'm super excited--and I love that it's going to be in Nashville, a city I've long wanted to visit! If you have any tips about places we should go or things we should see, let me know!
In Winona Lake on our last girls' weekend, which I sort of, kind of, not really wrote about here.
2. The Grinder
Rob Lowe. William Devane. Fred Savage. Boise, Idaho. Somehow, these four things combine to create the most consistently funny comedy I've seen in a long time. The premise is that Mitch Sanderson (Lowe), following the end of his successful law drama The Grinder, moves home to Boise and decides that playing a lawyer on TV has made him qualified to be a lawyer in real life, much to the chagrin of his lawyer brother Stewart (Savage).

Lowe may be the "big name," but Savage is the highlight of the show. He's really the stand-in for the audience--all this ridiculousness is going on around him, and he's the voice of reason ... who sometimes gets swept up into the chaos.

The Grinder still hasn't been picked up for a second season, and if it gets canceled, it will be a tragedy. If you have Hulu Plus, you can watch the whole season. And you should because it's hilarious.
I tried to introduce my mom to The Grinder in December. As far as I know, she hasn't watched another episode. Don't be my mom! Watch The Grinder.

3. Being an INSPY judge ... again!
Last year, I was able to judge the Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense category of the INSPY Awards (awards for inspirational fiction selected by a group of bloggers). I recently found out that I've been chosen as a judge again! I had such a great experience judging last year, and I'm thrilled to be doing it again! You can read about all of the judges here.

4. Hanging out with the speech team
The end of the school year gets really crazy. So many things are hapening: music concerts (that sometimes get rescheduled multiple times due to weather), track meets, awards nights, and on and on. In the midst of that, we always try to have an end-of-year speech party. So last night, we went bowling. Only four of the team members could make it, thanks to the aforementioned crazy schedules, but those of us who were there had a blast! And, to top it off, I got what could be my best non-wii bowling score of all time. I really should go bowling more often. (My score is the middle one: 122. Yes, I still placed last among the other adults I was playing with, but I beat all of the speech kids!)

5. The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter
We're going clear back to late March for this recommendation. Denise Hunter is one of my favorite romance writers, and her latest, The Goodbye Bride, did not disappoint ... and it earned a place on my keeper shelf, which is becoming harder and harder to do now that I'm only keeping the books that "spark joy." The Goodbye Bride is about an amnesiac who can't remember the past six months, so she assumes she still belongs with the fiance she abandoned. Anyway, here's a snippet from my review:
Lucy is such an incredibly likable character that I couldn't help but pull for her happily ever after. Hunter did a magnificent job of portraying Lucy's confusion, fear, and determination, and, due to Hunter's choice to let the audience in on Lucy's past only when Lucy learns about it herself, there's a sense of mystery and suspense that runs throughout the novel, adding another layer to the story.
 If you're a fan of clean romance, you'll definitely want to check this one out!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and feel free to let me know your own favorites! I'm linking up with the usuals: ErikaChristina, and Karli.


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