September 23, 2016

friday favorites #30: week of sept. 23, 2016 + giveaway

Happy Friday, everyone! It's officially fall, but it certainly doesn't feel like it here in Nebraska. That hasn't stopped me from enjoying a pumpkin spice latte or two :-)

So I was totally planning to make One Tree Hill one of my Friday favorites this week ... until I realized that it was one of my favorites last time! Suffice it to say, I'm still completely obsessed. So, in lieu of more gushing about OTH, here are some favorites that I haven't talked about recently:

1. This Is Us

Is one episode enough to know if I'm going to love a show? I don't know, but I absolutely adored the pilot episode. I'm not going to say anything else except you must watch it for yourself. It's available on Hulu.

2. The People v. O.J. Simpson's Emmy awards

I cannot believe that The People v. O.J. Simpson never made it into a Friday Favorites post. I loved it so, so much! I was in junior high during the trial, so I very vaguely remembered it. (I remember exactly where I was during the Bronco chase—on my way home from summer camp—and when the verdict came down—at school—but I didn't know too much about the trial). I was thrilled to see the show receive so many Emmy nominations in the "Limited Series or Movie" category. It won nine awards, including best limited series ... and Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark), Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran), and Sterling K. Brown (Christopher Darden) won acting awards. The series will hit Netflix sometime in 2017, so if you missed it on FX, be sure to catch it then!

3. Trader Joe's dairy-free options

A couple weeks ago, my mom, sister, and I went to see my sister-in-law perform at an Irish festival in Omaha. She was amazing! (And this is from someone who normally isn't a big fan of Irish music!)

I tried to upload a video I took, but I couldn't get it to work, so here's a pic instead.

Afterwards, we went to Trader Joe's. And there, I hit the mother lode. I've been cow dairy free for over a year now. I don't know if it's making a difference with my Hashimoto's symptoms, but I am absolutely positive being dairy free has reduced my PCOS symptoms, so I'm ready to settle in for the long haul. I've discovered, though, that sheep's milk and goat's milk don't affect me negatively. Unfortunately, cheese made from sheep's or goat's milk can be expensive and hard to find. (Well, it's pretty easy to find a basic soft goat cheese, but I'd like variety!)

Anyway, Trader Joe's had goat's milk feta, cheddar, and gouda! They definitely have that goat's milk tang, but they're so tasty! And now that I have the cheddar, I'm dreaming of pizza.

I also found coconut milk ice cream that's about half the price of So Delicious, and it tastes better, too! I've already placed my cheese and ice cream order with Blendy, who is coming home next weekend.

4. Live on Forever by The Afters

About 10 years ago, I first heard of The Afters when a friend played "MySpace Girl" for me. If you'd like a hilarious flashback to the MySpace era (wow, that was long ago!), check out this video:

I really didn't know much else about the group, but I recently had the opportunity to review their new album. I loved it! I also have a copy to give away. If you'd like a chance to win, enter through the Rafflecopter below.

(Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Contest is open in the US and CANADA only. Winner will be selected at random using and will have 48 hours to respond to email notification, or another winner will be chosen.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

5. Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Susan May Warren's writing. Her latest novel, Wild Montana Skies, releases next month, and I got to read an early copy. It's so good! (See my review.)

So that's what's been making me happy. As usual, I'm linking up with Erika, Christina, and Karli. What are some things you've been enjoying this week?


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received some of the products mentioned in this post free for review. The opinions expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I watched the pilot of This is Us and was surprised by how well I liked it. That said, I haven't watched more episodes, so who knows if I'll return to it or not. If I only have to invest in ten (or so) episodes (because of a cancellation), I tend to watch the show, but if it's going to turn into a multi-season I think about it more because, yeah, I'm addicted to a few too many as it is. ;)

    1. That's funny, Rissi, because I'm the opposite! I'm much more inclined to watch a show that has at least one full season ... and then, I usually power through a season or two before getting burned out on the show and quitting! I've surprised myself with how many pilots I've watched this season--This Is Us is definitely my favorite, but I also am really enjoying Pitch. As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


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