That Was A Bit Of A Hiatus, Wasn’t It?

Well, my word. I had no intention of being gone for so long. But even though it wasn’t planned, it’s been good. We’ve had three (THREE!) unexpected visits from friends who popped into town for one reason or another, plus a few days with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and I have had the best time hanging out and catching up and drinking way too many Peppermint Mochas.

Do you know what the Peppermint Mocha is, by the way?


I don’t know that there’s any merit at this point to a recap of the past week (we’ve done a lot of talking! we’ve done some unwrapping! there has also been a great deal of cooking!), but there are a few specific highlights that I would like to share with you at this juncture. Keep in mind that these things are very trivial and unimportant in the grand scheme of life, but that’s sort of been my ongoing bloggy theme for the last six years.

Why stop now?

1. I watched two movies.

There was a time in my life (see: late teens to mid-20s) when I could rattle off a list of what movies were playing in theatres without even consulting the Internet.

Wait. Rewind.

From my late teens to mid-20s the Internet pretty much consisted of an AOL home page and the occasional message board. So there actually wouldn’t have been a whole lot of “consulting the Internet” during that phase of my life. However, there would have been a great deal of consulting the newspaper as well as Entertainment Weekly.

So there. I feel better now that we’ve cleared up our movie consultation terms.

ANYWAY, I used to be pretty obsessed with movies / aware of everything in theatres / likely to see just about anything that caught my fancy. But then I turned 30 and became increasingly annoyed by people who talked throughout movies. And I also realized that there were fewer and fewer movies that I actually enjoyed. Combine those things with the fact that there was a whole lot of cleaning / furniture rearranging / decorating that I could accomplish over the course of 2 1/2 hours on a Saturday afternoon, and, well, the movies and I sort of had a parting of the ways.

That was such an endless overexplanation, by the way.

I do apologize.

The bottom line is that these days I rarely know what’s showing at the movies. I don’t know what gets good reviews or bad reviews, mainly because I don’t, you know, read reviews. And that is precisely why I had no idea what I was getting into when I recorded You Again and How Do You Know when they were on the Starz free preview a couple of days ago.

(I mean, that Kristen Bell was just adorable in Veronica Mars.)

(And who doesn’t love a Reese Witherspoon movie? She is DARLIN’ PLUS.)

So I recorded both movies and I watched both movies and I was underwhelmed by both movies and HERE’S THE TAKEAWAY: it would serve me well to READ SOME REVIEWS every once in awhile.

I feel that I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

2. I changed my skin care regimen.

It was back in the early fall, I think, when I looked in the mirror one morning and wondered why there was a middle-aged woman with dull skin staring back at me. And also: why did the skin under her eyes look so puckered? And why was there a place on her forehead that wasn’t so much a wrinkle as it was an indentation?

I gave myself a short motivational speech about drastic times, drastic measures, etc. and so on and so forth, and I promptly started to investigate some new skin care options. I narrowed down my list to a few products I wanted to try, and then lo and behold a friend of mine who is walking through a similar skin care season surprised me with several of those products. I practically hitch-kicked in our foyer on the day the unexpected package-o-potions arrived, and I thanked the Lord for sweet friends who spur us on to exfoliation and wrinkle prevention when it comes our skin care goals.

I also thanked him for Retinol.

The new products have been resting comfortably on my bathroom counter for a month now (I was totally intimidated by the multi-step process), but a couple of nights ago I finally started using them. I would love it if this could be like an infomercial and I could now tell you how my skin has never looked better! I’ve stopped wearing foundation! My pores are practically invisible! – but right now my skin is in that adjusting-to-new-products phase. At this very moment, in fact, I’m soldiering through a bit of a break out, but I’m hopeful it will be short-lived.

Stay tuned for more riveting skin care updates as the situation progresses.

3. We had homemade banana pudding for Christmas dinner dessert.

I forget about homemade banana pudding. It often gets lost in the shuffle of All Things Chocolate.

But oh, it is an underrated wonder, isn’t it?


Okay. Enough of my nonsense. HOW ARE Y’ALL? How was your Christmas? Have you recovered? What was your favorite gift that you gave someone?

I have so many questions.

So I’ll let y’all talk now.

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  1. Glorious. We’re on Day 2 of not getting out of pajamas, and it is glorious! Regretfully, the streak breaks tomorrow as I have a Women’s Ministry meeting in the AM, and since this is Dallas I can’t bring myself to leave the house sans makeup.

    We typically get a two-week break for Christmas, and this week is my favorite. Nothing to plan for, no hustle & bustle. Glorious! I do believe my life theme shall be ‘lounge wear’ this week. ;-)

  2. Great Christmas here. My favorite gift I gave? Everything I gave my granddaughter. She “ooh”-ed and “wow!”-ed everything her little 18-month-old self opened. Such fun. And the 592 piece Star Wars LEGO set that my 9yo put together in a few hours. I love that they loved the gifts.

    Nanner puddin’? It’s the best.

  3. oh. i dont like peppermint mochas and thought You Again was adorable and so funny! Especially Betty White at the end!

    glad you had a relaxing holiday! Happy new year!

  4. Oh, you always make me giggle!

    Our Christmas was great, although I learned that my 10 week old little man does not do well when he has to be shuffled through multiple family celebrations (neither does the 33 year old big man, but that’s another story). Too much time in his “crate” (which is how my husband refers to the car seat) makes for a grumpy little boy. HOWEVER, lesson learned for next year!

    My favorite gift I gave was a book I had printed that detailed the wonderful night our son was born – hubs was delighted and we both shed a few happy happy tears as we reflected back on how much better our world is now than it was 10 weeks ago!

  5. I almost wet my pants over your movie memoir. Because it is SO ME! In the teen years I had a lot more time to watch movies that were just so-so. Now my time is at a premium and I only watch movies that I am absolutely certain I will like. At home. Using Redbox or (shhh, don’t tell) free from the internet.

  6. Homemade banana pudding is the stuff dreams are made of. But — and I say this with all respect to true Southerners, as I am only a daughter of a Southerner (or a Southerner once-removed, if you will) — wouldn’t banana pudding be even more amazing with just a little drizzle of chocolate sauce? Or is that thought enough to get me ousted from the Junior League? (Not that I would know the Junior League if it bit me, but I’m reading The Help.)

  7. Yes, banana pudding is an under-appreciated wonder.

  8. anotherlisa says:

    glad your home is the place friends can unexpectedly drop by, although i kind of suspected you were that way. Christmas eve service was the best in just years and years; that was my best gift.
    please let us know if you’re planning a new years shindig, and if so, any recipes to share? i can never cook greens (prosperity) like my mom, but i’ve got hoppin’ john (good luck) and dirty rice down.
    re movies, one of my daughters and i stole away and enjoyed tin tin! don’t know if your little man is familiar with the belgian comic book, but thanks to spielberg, he is a fun movie adventurer!

  9. Oh so glad you had a good christmas. . . I feel as though I’ve been underwhelmed by most movies lately (besides The Help), and I tend to also never read reviews. Also, adam makes a mean banana pudding and it is a delight.

  10. Julie Reynolds says:

    I laughed out loud reading this, loved the movie update. My favorite gift that I have was a blanket with pictures of my two week old grandson to his aunt, my baby girl, she has been distraught over living so far away from him and so this made her feel like he’s right with her! She cried an ugly cry- it was great!

  11. I so gave up attempting to keep up with the movies years ago…

    Banana Pudding is frequently under appreciated and many times poorly made. A good Banana Pudding is a delight.

  12. Oh, I did miss you! I feel like you certainly deserved a little Christmas hiatus, but I was some tickled to see a new post tonight! We’ve had a stretched-out Christmas since I will do anything to work around my now grown-and-flown-the-nest kids (with spouses! and my daughter has a big-girl job! when? how?) Anyway – it’s been super-fun! AND, the stretched-out fun continues with an extended family trip to Disney World! We leave tomorrow! 20 people + a 4-month-old baby! (The wonderful, generous in-laws are sponsoring this little shindig!) Praying for good health and good attitudes and, well, endurance! Any “don’t-miss-this” recommendations from y’all’s recent trip would be most appreciated! Merry Christmas, you little cutie!

  13. I went to see How Do You Know with some friends at the dollar theater way back and afterwards I kind of wished I could have my dollar back. And it was only a DOLLAR. I wouldn’t have watched it again, even for free.

    Glad you had a merry Christmas!!

  14. Best gift was the deviled egg plate I gave my sister. It is orange and blue with a big UF in the middle. It looked right at home on the buffet table which was otherwise decked out in all manner of Winterberry china on Christmas day…

    We have our banana pudding at Easter. I have also been known to take it to a few Sunday School socials, where it’s fun to watch grown men fight over the last spoonful.

  15. Banana pudding is our birthday dessert around here. But I think it’s just what we need for Christmas next year!

  16. The best gift given?

    Hot Wheels Sky Jump – my 4 year old screamed “IT IS NOT! I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED THIS!!!” But my husband truly gave the best gift – he set up a website that has all the months of the year listed and I can click on any month. Each click leads to a page with pictures of different friends, a date and time. He has set up weekends away, nights out and afternoons away with all my different friends throughout the year – all babysitting taken care of, all arrangements done, I just need to show up on the right day, at the right time. Simply brilliant.

    Oh, and movies – almost always disappointing. Highly recommend “The Help” but that’s about it at the moment :)

    • Kimberly/OKC says:

      OH WOW!!!! You are one lucky woman…if my husband did that I would write it down so I would never forget it and if we were in a fight, years down the road I would look this up and forgive him forever!!! AMAZING!

  17. I had a very good Christmas. My favorite gift was a necklace my family gave me. I am wondering about your skin care products. What are they. Would love to know. I am thinking about starting a new one too.

  18. Missed you, Sophie. I guess I just don’t get banana pudding. Although I can dig out ALL the Nilla wafers and eat those. I really am a true Southerner. I promise. I never really thought about the movie thing, but it’s true. Has to really grab my attention and promise to please before I will see it. I loved giving all the gifts to my kids. They made it so much fun. We have played board games like crazy since Christmas. Fun times!

    • Kimberly/OKC says:

      RE: Banana pudding…have you HAD the sweetened condensed milk version? Bc it is De to the Licious!!

  19. Well my word. Who would think that there are so many banana pudding lovers. I like mine when it is still warm….. with a dollop of fresh whip cream on top.

  20. Our Christmas was lovely! It will likely be the last family Christmas out on my in-laws farm (it’s been in the family for over 120 years!) as they are planning to sell it in the next year or so. Becauase of that, for my inlaws I made them a little something from the farm.

    I took an old window that was originally in the bathroom of the original farm house. This window was sectioned off into 9 panels. I then had a friend come out and take photos of stuff from all over the farm. I then picked 9 (let me tell you…it was hard to narrow those down!) and used the window as a big collage frame. That was their gift and they loved it!

    I found this idea on pinterest (imagine that!). :)

  21. Best gift of the year, the puppet stage my husband and son made for our almost 4 year old granddaughter. Her delight was incredible and the whole weekend became about puppets. Being here in Santa Barbara with all 3 of my grown children, the 2 grandchildren, and Walt’s sister has been the best gift for all of us, I think.

  22. My life changed forever when I ate banana pudding that had Lorna Doone shortbread cookies in it instead of ‘Nilla Wafers. Shattered my sweet southern banana pudding paradigm, but my goodness at the goodness.

    I’m still trying to decide if I want to go see the new Muppet movie. It might shatter my sweet little Muppet paradigm too. Afraid it might ruin them for me forever because it’s just not a Muppet kind of world any more. Is it even still in theaters? Maybe I need to read a few reviews too!

    • You should see the Muppet Movie! We took our sons (ages 20 & 30) and daughter-in-law to see it over Thanksgiving. “Because it’s just not a Muppet kind of world any more” is the theme the movie focuses on. We laughed. We cried. It’s very sweet. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  23. Oh, I am just the same with the movies! I have half my joint honours degree in film, but I often no longer have any clue about what’s on (I do know that ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘War Horse’ are incoming though, so I haven’t lost it entirely!).

    Christmas here was lovely, calm and sweet, thank you for asking.

  24. Ooh, I LOVE new skincare routines!!!

    I love all things makeup.

  25. Please share the new skincare routines! I’m with you when looking in the mirror, knowing I need to try something new but then don’t have a clue what to do. Can’t wait for the updates!

  26. Okay, I am having a case of the very puckered under eye-ness. Or maybe it’s not really puckered so much as it is BAGGED. Should you find an undereye cure-all of some form or another, please share. I mean, PUHLEEEZE, pleeeeeezzzz, please share. In other news, due to the indentations in my forehead, I recently read the phrase “bangs or Botox.” I opted for the former, as I am not really too keen on the whole needle-in-my-forehead bit. And by keen, I mean I am terrified. Got the bangs today. My sweet hairdresser put it like this: “Oh, well, this IS a much more ‘youthful’ look for you.” Real gentle-like she said that.
    Christmas was wonderful. I just love the time to bask in the glory of the amazing life my Savior has given me. Plus a little spiral sliced candied ham glory.
    And, oh how homemade banana pudding reminds me of my beautiful Kentucky grandmother. My word, I miss her.

  27. Veronica Greear says:

    Sophie, I do love you and your blog, but I have to confess that I do not like banana pudding and cannot understand the people around me’s infatuation with it. I was born and raised in Richmond VA by true southerners, but I hate it. Ah well, on the skincare, I think there must have been a cosmic occurrence bc I had the same mirror epiphany situation at about the same time I think you did, and I too am in the adjustment phase, not just to the products, but in devoting any time to the drastic times drastic measures thing:) But I think it is all going to come out good in the end. SO soldier on!

  28. Well, I’ll chime in on the whole banana pudding issue – I like it alright, but I must confess, the BEST, makes you wanna slap your mama, version of banana pudding I’ve EVER had was at a Southern cookin’ restaurant here in Austin (Hoover’s) – banana pudding cheesecake! Traditional cheesecake topped off with about an inch of homemade banana pudding! STOP. THE. WORLD!!!! And the best present I gave was to my sister – my sweet Granny passed away 3 years ago at Thanksgiving and she made absolutely the BEST ever from scratch yeast rolls – which my sister loved almost as much as she loves her kids. Unbeknownst to her, several years before my Granny passed, I got her to give me her recipe for the rolls and I wrote it on a napkin. I also took a picture of her holding a pan of those rolls about to go into the oven. So, I framed my Granny’s recipe, that picture and my Granny’s rolling pin for her. So now my Granny can watch over my sister’s kitchen…Lots of tears were shed. Anyway…now I’m all verklempt! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your and yours Boomama. Your biggest fan in Austin, Texas (home of Chuy’s!)

  29. NO WAY – you did not just write about your skincare routine. I was planning on doing the SAME thing on my blog soon. We are embarking on The 11 Month Project in our home and while we are making a point of looking at every spending decision with a jaundice eye, weighing the pros and cons of every “consumable” purchase (while not purchasing one single unnecessary thing for the first 11 months of 2012), I can NOT, I will NOT, I MUST NOT give up my Lancer skin care products. Like you I have stopped wearing foundation all together, my skin is glowing and healthy and amazing. What I need to find is a magic wrinkle cream, but until that happens I’ll just settle for a peaches and cream complexion that makes me smile.

  30. Oh, I wanted banana pudding for dessert too! But I could not find the necessary ingredients :( Living overseas sometimes puts a real crimp in fulfilling various food cravings. I could not find anything resembling vanilla wafers. And the bananas were green. Not green-tinted yellow but GREEN.

    So… I am now on the hunt for a recipe so I can make my own Nilla wafers, and for the bananas to ripen.

    On the plus side: we made homemade vanilla ice cream in our new KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for the stand mixer (it was DELISH!) and sliced some fresh, juicy peaches to put on top. This happens to be my husband’s favorite dessert so all was well in the end.

    Except my mouth keeps watering, just thinking about banana pudding!

  31. Happy New Year! What a white new year we are having. We’ve been so spoiled with such a mild winter and BANANA Pudding! YUM! Now I have to make some :) I’m not sure what to do about my face but I’m sure I am pass due for retinol. I have such sensitive dry skin :( And a good movie is such a treat nowadays. We went to see We Bought a Zoo. I loved it personally and it is family friendly :) Come visit my new blog!

  32. Do you like the condensed milk version of the banana pudding or the “old fashioned” cook on the stove pudding banana pudding. We have very DISTINCT opinions in my family!


  33. I need to know what your new *magic* skin care products are??!!! Do tell!!

  34. Well, I’m a week or so late but here I AM! I watched You Again in the theater with my best friend and was so underwhelmed that I blogged about it. Yes, a review. Sorry you missed it because it would’ve saved you those hours you’ll never get back. I felt like I was watching a Nickelodeon special which–don’t get me wrong–can be great sometimes. Sometimes. But HUGE disappointment.

    Also, do share the skin care line. Us forty somethings NEED IT!