Archives for August 2015

Welcome Back, Sweet Bell

Slowly but surely some of the back-to-school stun is wearing off, and I’m figuring out how to juggle the different parts of our day – with the exception of cooking supper. I have totally failed at supper-cooking the last week or so, but judging from the bounty I just hauled in from Publix a couple of hours ago, I am determined to change my ways.

College football season may have something to do with the change of heart, because DIPS.

I actually went to the store tonight while Alex was at football practice, and while I was pushing my grocery cart up and down the aisles, I decided that the big takeaway from my epic trip to Costco a couple of weeks ago is NO. At least for groceries. I feel like I need to be someone who freezes more food to make a big Costco run worth it, and for better or worse, freezing food just isn’t a go-to for me. So while I know we will continue to patronize Costco for household stuff (heaven forbid I should have to live without their paper towels), everything except for cheese, cashews, and chicken salad was sort of a bulk-item bust.

However, I now have enough butter to take me straight through Thanksgiving, so I guess that’s a silver lining.

And speaking of a silver lining (or gold, as it were).

Before I dropped Alex off at practice tonight, he asked me if I’d be on the lookout for the return of Blue Bell when I went to the store. I had a sneaking suspicion that I would find it since there’s a Blue Bell Creamery about 40 minutes outside of Birmingham, and sure enough, I saw the most glorious sight when I turned down the ice cream aisle.

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Yes, I know $6.99 is a little pricey. But it’s been almost five months since it was on the shelves, so if you average out the price that’s only like $1.40 a month which means IT’S PRACTICALLY FREE.

There were only three flavors at Publix – vanilla, chocolate, and The Great Divide, which is half vanilla, half chocolate – but that did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm. I realize that there are lots of other ice cream brands, but the few we tried this summer reminded me of something Beth Moore once wrote about coffee from a certain fast food chain: it had a pretty good flavor if you closed your eyes and imagined real hard. Blue Bell’s flavor is something special, and we certainly felt its absence during its time away.

(However, I don’t know who would win if Blue Bell and Talenti gelato went head-to-head in some sort of frozen dairy product showdown.)

(I only know that I would like to be a judge.)

The irony of my excitement over that ½ gallon of Homemade Vanilla goodness is that I’m not even eating sweets right now. It’s a long, boring story that would put you straight to sleep, but the bottom line is that I’m going to have to enjoy Blue Bell vicariously – at least for the next few weeks.

I’m totally sniffing it, though. You’d better believe I am.

There is also some additional irony in that I have a raging case of PMS that has left me so hormonal that it’s almost embarrassing, so the fact that I’m not supposed to eat any of that beloved Blue Bell ice cream kind of makes me want to drive a car through a brick wall and naturally escape safely but then yank off all the tires with my bare hands and throw said tires into a fiery pit of sugar-free foods.

At which point I would enjoy some Blue Bell vanilla with Hershey’s chocolate syrup on top while fairies danced cheerfully around a maypole and blue birds braided my hair.

Clearly PMS in the 40s makes a girl feel SUPER rational.

Breezy, even.

I think it’s probably obvious that I’ve never been more cheerful.

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 53


Well, we hit the ground running in this podcast, and while you might initially think we’ve detoured into techy territory when we talk about our computers (FASCINATING, naturally), we find our way back to our normal podcast pastures: fashion (specifically, we talk A LOT about jeans and booties), make-up, college football, and tailgating foods that we’re planning to make at home for next week’s game day.

And if all that weren’t enough, Melanie’s iTunes goes rogue a couple of different times during the podcast and causes all sorts of tomfoolery and also shenanigans.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Just FYI – here’s where you can get more info on the products / places we mention (these aren’t affiliate links – just regular ole links):

Free People Denim Super Flares
Citizens of Humanity Flip Flop Flares (not the same as what Mel got, but I can’t find the other flares online, and her bargain price is in stores only)
– KUT from the Kloth Katy boyfriend jeans – petite, regular, and plus (our store in B’ham had plenty in stock in all sizes – just FYI)
TOMS Lace-Up Wedge Booties (not the same color as the ones at Nordstrom Rack, but still)
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Captain Rodney’s Dip
Southwest Fiesta Salad
Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Pulled Pork
Casa Ole’ Queso

Enjoy, y’all!

(Mostly) Trivial Things Of (Mostly) No Consequence

1. Tonight I took Alex to football practice in David’s Jeep. The top was off the Jeep because we are in a blessed stretch of pleasant, low-humidity weather (to God be the glory), and by the second stop light my hair looked a little something like this.


I just don’t have good Jeep hair, y’all. I didn’t when I was 14, and I don’t now, and next time I’m totally tying a big scarf around my head like Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment, the end.

2. If my listening habits are any indication, I’m trying to set a record for how many times someone can play this song in a three-day period.

3. This popped up on our DVR the other night. And I mean this in all sincerity, children of the 80s and 90s: IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA?

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

I think not.

4. This book right here? Reading it over the course of this summer has been like a balm to me. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

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Exactly what my heart and soul needed.

5. Nine days, y’all. Nine days.

Thanks for being patient in the midst of our back-to-school / back-to-work / general run-of-the-mill crazy. Hope y’all are having a great week!

I Have Been So Very Absent

School, y’all.


It has been so fun. It has kicked my tail.


Today I’m trying to play catch-up in order of the things I’ve neglected the most (doesn’t that make me sound like a productivity superstar?). First priority is the newsletter. Second priority is the laundry. Third priority is the book. And then A. has some football stuff to do this afternoon, but that is certainly not an area of our lives that has been neglected. We are ALL CAUGHT UP on the football.

So. Newsletter will go out sometime this afternoon. Laundry is about to go in the wash. The book, fingers crossed, will get a little TLC later today.

Hope things are great in your neck of the woods. I’ve missed y’all! And all of our back-to-school adjustments should settle down pretty soon.

See y’all soon!

Hello, Kind People

Today was my first day back at work (just meetings), but I think it’s safe to say that I probably won’t be posting much over the next couple of weeks. Alex has started football practice, I’m making my peace with waking up to an alarm, and there’s a to-do list rattling around in my head like nobody’s business.

Also – and this is just fair warning – my new book is due to the publisher on January 15th.

Say that with me slowly: JAN-U-ARY FIF-TEENTH. Four months from now. However comma it looks like it may release next summer, so that’s kind of fun, huh?

Last night I decided I was going to write a post about how Melanie and I do the podcast, complete with all the techy information (I’ve gotten several emails lately from folks who want to know how to put a podcast together). Anyway, I don’t think of the podcast as being complicated at all, but when I started typing it out, I realized that I do not in fact have a gift for technical writing. Because do you know what’s not really part of the technical writing skillset? BEING CHATTY.

Anyway, I’m going to try to finish that epistle sometime over the next week, and I’ll post it as soon as it’s all done. It is probably the only thing I will ever write that contains the phrase “export from Garage Band as an mp3 file.” It’s good to shake things up every once in awhile, I reckon.

Finally. Even though I may not be here very much, I will still be on the Instagram and the other regular social media outlets. In fact, today on Instagram I reposted a poem that Glennon at Momastery posted earlier this morning, and every time I read it, I cry.

I would have the best time with this poem if I were still an English teacher. Oh my goodness. And here’s what’s weird: if you had asked me last year what I would miss the most about being a classroom teacher, I would have said teaching writing – but I really haven’t missed that much at all. I’ve sort of relished not having to grade research papers, honestly. The literature, though? I miss it so much. Maybe that’s why this poem felt a little bit like a hug.

Here are some topics we will need to cover when I emerge from my back-to-school fog: 1) the night my laptop died 2) my cynicism-related epiphany 3) the awesome painted pallets my friend Delinda and her daughter are making (the college-themed ones are so perfect for football season) 4) Christopher Guest’s new movie and 5) the Mississippi State Bulldogs (specifically, Dak Prescott).

Hope y’all are having a great week so far – and hopefully I’ll be back soon. Thanks for being understanding and patient and everything good.


The Big Boo Cast, Episode 52


Earlier this week Melanie and I tried to record a podcast, and I don’t really think it’s hyperbole when I say it was the most boring 40 minutes in the history of podcasting. In the history of ALL PODCASTS EVER.

So today, we tried to rebound, and things were considerably more upbeat. We talk about our current and very fun stage of raising preteens (seriously – this is my favorite – THE BEST), a favorite sandwich we’ve rediscovered, an exciting and new-to-me cooking show, how our love of pajamas keeps us from taking fancy trips, the joy and wonder that COLLEGE FOOTBALL, IT IS ALMOST HERE, and a whole bunch of other stuff I can’t remember.

Oh. Windows. We talk a lot about windows. Not the Microsoft kind. The ones in our houses.

Also, I feel like I need to warn you that I accidentally hit a button on the back of my microphone before we started recording, and I sound a little quieter than normal because of that. You can still hear me fine. But if you notice a difference between Melanie’s volume and mine, that’s why. I didn’t realize what I’d done until I was editing the podcast, so I’ve now returned my microphone to its original setting, and I have also decided that even though the sound isn’t optimal, WE WILL ALL SURVIVE.

You can click here to listen. Or here. You can even listen right here on the blog.

Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Just FYI – here’s where you can get more info on the products / places we mention (these aren’t affiliate links – just regular ole links):

“Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” (though you’ve probably heard this 24,937 times already this summer)

Ham & Cheese Poppyseed Sandwiches (oh, the nostalgia)

Dinner at Tiffani’s

Jen Hatmaker’s funny video about leggings

Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment

Ladies and Gentlemen, Les Miles Talks About Soccer (I ADORE him though I do not know him)