Five Friday Favorites

This week, I’m super excited about killer zombies. And I have a craving for pumpkin pancakes. Those desires are one and the same, right?

Five Friday Favorites

1. This album: The Strokes’ Is This It. I heard a song from this album on the radio and it completely transported me back in time to sophomore year of high school. I’ve been listening to the entire album more than once this week.

2. This television show: The Walking Dead. Did any of you watch the premiere this week? (Spoiler!) Carol is such a BAMF!

3. This BuzzFeed article: “33 Struggles Only Copy Editors Will Understand.” Oh serial comma. Why do you haunt me so?

4. This recipe: Silver Dollar Pumpkin Pancakes. I haven’t made this recipe yet, but has The Pioneer Woman ever steered YOU wrong? I didn’t think so.

5. This watch: Fox Trot Watch. Okay, okay. It’s sold out online. But look at how cute it is! It even has ears! (Last spotted here.)

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6 Favorite Music Moments from Television

Growing up, I collected a lot of movie soundtracks. Songs always seemed to mean more to me when paired with a poignant moment from a movie I loved. I was the same with songs from television shows. But alas, I did not grow up in the era of iTunes or Spotify. I was, however, the child of cassette tapes and would sometimes go so far as to record my favorite songs on my cassette player. Let’s just say the quality was not good.

Nowadays, whenever a song from a television show sticks with me, you can bet that I will be downloading it the next day to relive that moment again and again. So here it is: My list of songs that really stuck with me from television shows. This isn’t to say that these are the best musical moments from a television series hands down. But these are the songs that will always have a special place in my heart.

Come Sail Away

6. Freaks and Geeks: “Come Sail Away” by Styx

I was late to the game with this show, having only watched it for the first time at the start of this year, but I had always heard how great it was. I mean, you can’t go wrong with that cast (James Franco has never looked so good). But it was this scene from the pilot that assured me I was going to enjoy this short-lived series. As Sam awkwardly takes his crush, Cindy, on to the dance floor for a slow dance, things only get more awkward when the music transitions from slow to upbeat. But eventually, the awkwardness breaks and everyone just has fun. I love how joyous this moment is. Plus, you get your first sneak peek at how awesome Busy Phillip’s character secretly is.


5. How I Met Your Mother: “Hey” by Pixies

Before Robin became insufferable…before the on-again-off-again relationship between her and Barney was exhausted…and even before Craig Thomas and Carter Bays completely ruined this entire show with an awful series finale…before all that, there was this wonderful scene from the all-around disappointing season 7 in an episode titled “Disaster Averted.” Robin and Barney find themselves alone in a taxi cab and suddenly can no longer keep their hands to themselves. They kissed; I rejoiced. And then I immediately tracked down the name of this song by the Pixies to play on repeat.

When A Man Loves A Woman

4. The Wonder Years: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge

This show had a lot out of outstanding music moments, which is primarily the reason why it’s taken so long to get this timeless series out on DVD! But this classic moment from the pilot will stand the test of time. It’s here that viewers took notice and realized they were about to witness the start of something magical. The main character, Kevin, follows the girl next door, Winnie, into the woods as she mourns the death of her veteran brother. He shoulders her tears and reassures her that everything is going to be okay. Then they share their first kiss, and the wonderful golden oldie by Percy Sledge plays in the background. “There were moments that made us cry with laughter. And there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder.”

Creature Fear

3. Chuck: “Creature Fear” by Bon Iver

If you’ve never watched “Chuck,” then you are missing out. This show is amazing and has loads of magical music moments. (Honorable mention: “Mr. Roboto” by Jeffster) My favorite one is from the season 2 episode “Chuck Versus the Colonel.” Chuck and Sarah, a couple everyone rooted for until the very end, wake up in each other’s arms while on another spy mission. (“I was full by your count. I was lost but your fool. Was a long visit wrong? Say you are the only.”) Then suddenly, as the music swells, their lips locked and fans everywhere screamed for joy.

Off I Go

2. Grey’s Anatomy: “Off I Go” by Greg Laswell

“Grey’s Anatomy” has had its ups and downs, and season 5 was the beginning of this series’ descent (hello there, Ghost Denny). But there was one saving grace throughout the course of this tumultuous season, and that was the finale. If the stunning revelation that George O’Malley was John Doe this entire time wasn’t enough to bring you to tears, then that entire final sequence will. As Izzie readies herself her soul for death, we see her ride the elevator while wearing her prom dress from the day that Denny died. However, as the elevator doors open, and the song’s hook breaks, she is greeted by an unexpected guest: George O’Malley, in full army uniform. The looks they exchange utterly break my heart. I can’t listen to this song without tearing up a little. “It might all be gone tomorrow.”


1. The O.C.: “Dice” by Finley Quaye

Another series that had MANY outstanding music moments—too many to count! While Imogen Heap’s “Hide & Seek” or Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” may be more memorable, it’s this moment that makes me smile, topping the list as my favorite television moment. I love watching Ryan run up those stairs—in slow motion, mind you—desperate to reach Marissa in time for that New Year’s kiss. And as messed up as Marissa was, she really did love that boy. To see them kiss amidst the confetti and this romantic song, and to hear Ryan finally declare his feelings for Marissa, was mesmerizing. Plus, I will always enjoy watching Oliver suffer defeat. Ugh! Oliver! You’re the worst!

There were a lot of kisses to romantic songs on this list. Maybe I should have called this list “Favorite Kisses from Television.” Regardless, what are some of your favorite music moments from television?

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My Style: Gingham the Great

Gingham The Great

I have basically been living in this army jacket all fall. It’s cozy, cute and a little tomboy. I paired it with an adorable blue blouse I found from the online boutique Tara Lynn’s. The blue gingham print, plus the blue polka dot lining, is what sold me on the blouse. (But if you have any semblance of a chest, you will need to order it in a size larger than you normally would.) Worn with my favorite pair of riding boots and dark jeans, and I’m ready for a PSL. (That’s basic talk for a pumpkin spice latte. *wink)

Gingham The Great

Gingham The Great

Jacket: Old Navy; Shirt: Tara Lynn’s; Blouse: Old Navy; Jeans: Joe’s from Saks Off Fifth; Belt: Target; Purse: Coach Outlet; Boots: Etienne Aigner; Watch: Charming Charlie; Earrings: Francesca’s; Necklace: Forever 21;


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Five Friday Favorites

This week I’m still reeling from watching “Gone Girl” in theaters; am excited to have finally finished the interactive novel “Ship of Theseus;” enjoyed making salmon cakes for me and the husband; and more!

Five Friday Favorites

1. This beauty guide: 3 Everyday Eyeliner Shapes

2. This movie: Gone Girl. I especially enjoyed reading this article about Gillian Flynn’s take on her “cool girl” speech from the book. That part really stuck with me.

3. This book: Ship of Theseus. (I FINALLY finished it!)

4. This song: Wonderwall by Oasis. What a perfect song to listen to during this rainy weather. Does anyone else instantly relate this song to that scene from “The O.C.” when Seth Cohen sweeps Summer off her feet?

5. This recipe: Naked Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

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Date Night Idea: Kansas Belle Dinner Train | Baldwin, Kansas

Kansas Belle Dinner Train
Photo courtesy Kansas Belle Dinner Train

Are you looking for a unique date night idea? Step into the 1940s via the Kansas Belle Dinner Train. This adorable dinner train starts in Baldwin, Kansas, which is about 30 minutes south of Lawrence, Kansas, and takes you through the beautiful surrounding fields for about three hours. The husband and I had a chance to enjoy a night out aboard the train this past weekend thanks to a Christmas gift from my mom and her husband. We got all gussied up (because where else can you wear a large hat if not aboard a train?), enjoyed a five-course dinner and experienced the Casablanca Express.

Kansas Belle Dinner Train

Kansas Belle Dinner Train
{Dress: New York & Company; Kimono: Target; Booties: Kohls; Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Necklace: LC Lauren Conrad (Kohls); Hat: Ruche}

Kansas Belle Dinner Train

We went to one of their evening dinners on Saturday, which features a special murder mystery show. The theme to the show changes with each weekend. The evening we went the theme was the Casablanca Express: “As you flee across war torn North Africa, you have an appointment with murder. You may be a black marketer, a Nazi sympathizer, or at the mercy of both—wondering how you’ll ever escape Casablanca.”

The show was performed by two men from the Nebraska theater group The Likely Suspects. (Some of their shows are performed by actors from Theater Lawrence.) They were both very funny to watch (although one of the men laughed at his own jokes one too many times, in my opinion). But they didn’t put on the entire production by themselves, and instead enlisted the help of willing (or persuaded, if you want to look at it that way) passengers to play important roles. I was cast as Sam, the sassy waitress from Bogart’s Bar; and A.J. was cast as Leopold Dietrich, a German passenger. We attempted to solve the murder of one of the train passengers, which seemed an impossible task (there were too many suspects, and it was hard to pay attention to the storyline through all the laughter). We both thought I did it, because it sounds like something I would do, but alas it wasn’t me. It was A.J.’s “wife” Marlene Dietrich.

The best part was at the end of the night when everyone voted on their favorite actors. A.J. and I both walked away with second place for favorite actor and actress! I mean, we didn’t actually win anything, but still. We may need to consider switching careers.

The five-course meal featured a small appetizer to share (cheese, grapes, veggies); potato soup; the pre-ordered main course (I had grilled salmon and A.J. had prime rib); and dessert. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the dinner could have been tastier. The soup was cold, the steak a little fatty, and the fish a little dry. But don’t let that take away from our experience. The actors were fun and the atmosphere was delightful. Plus, where else are you going to enjoy a train ride filled with potential murderers?

Kansas Belle Dinner Train

If you’re looking for a fun and unique gift or date night, you should consider the Kansas Belle Dinner Train. The husband and I had a fabulous time, and fall was probably the perfect time to go because we got to see the beautiful colors of the changing seasons from our window seat. The three-hour ride on Saturday evening, along with the five-course dinner, coffee and tea, costs $65. (Pre-order a bottle of wine and request it be waiting at your table right when you get there. Trust me. The couple we sat with did this, and A.J. and I were beyond envious of their foresight.) There is also a two-and-a-half hour ride on Sunday that features a three-course dinner (and longer daytime views of the surrounding landscape) for $55. Visit their website for more information.


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