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Loving Right Now: Instant Hotel (season 2)

12 Nov

I was recently sucked into a new show on Netflix and it was only 6 episodes… so I actually finished it within a month!

Here’s a quick trailer for the show:

Let me start by saying, I haven’t watched season 1 and from what I read it was totally different (and had different rules/prizes than season 2). For season 2, there are four pairs of contestants and they are competing against each other to determine who has the best Instant Hotel (basically an Air B&B or VRBO property). The show takes place in Australia, so each hotel option is in a different part of the country – which makes for some fun activities and sightseeing.

Here’s what happens: all the contestants take turn staying in each other’s properties as a group. So there are some group dynamics to deal with, as well as what it’s like to experience each of the hotels and the activities that have been arranged for them. After their one-night stay, each team scores their hosts on the house, location/attractions, value for money, and quality of their night’s sleep.

After they go through all four hotels’, the scores determine the two finalists. They get $10,000 each to make improvements to their property (based on the feedback they’ve gotten) and then the contestants get a chance to stay another night and give a final grade as a jury. The winners of the show receive $100,000.

I LOOOOOVED this show and looked forward to watching each episode after Jack went to bed. My favorite couples were Debbie and Justin (I’m totally wearing a ‘sausage dog’ sweater in her honor today), and also Leah and Jay. The team that drove me freaking crazy was Gene and Sharon. I liked that the drama wasn’t too drawn out and it only lasted 6 episodes. I also had no idea how the last episode was going to end up and literally gasped at the ending. So there’s that.

Have you watched Instant Hotel?

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Let’s Talk About Thrifting

11 Nov

I’ve shared a lot about thrifting here on my blog and on my Instagram account, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked much about WHY I thrift.

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

I thrift for many reasons. I very much enjoy finding high-end items for a fraction of their cost. I love trying new things without dropping a bunch of money on something that may not be a winner for me.

I consider it a hobby of mine and enjoy the ‘thrill of the hunt’ of scouring the racks to find that one item that rocks my world. It’s my personal time when I’m not taking care of anyone else… just me.

I’ve become quite a snob about quality and would much rather find a piece or two that will last and last, rather than buying yet another $5 t-shirt at a cheapo store that will be trash by the end of the season.

It’s also about decreasing landfill waste for me. To be able to save something that has been discarded and give it a new life is awesome. I love to buy something that has been created, worn, and discarded… instead of going for something new that would take more water, more chemicals, and add to the carbon footprint.

I still shop in regular stores, but over the years I’ve found myself buying new less and less.

And this is why I share my thrift hauls. To show those of you who haven’t tried thrifting yet that you can find some super awesome amazing items at the thrift store.

So, go pop some tags like Macklemore and share your thrift scores too! Tell everyone you paid $7 for that dress (with pockets, of course) and make sure to tag me at @pocketfulofjoules so I can oooh and aaahhh over them.

{Warning: this is the original version — not the clean one — so there are bad words}

Do you thrift? Why or why not?

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Taylor Swift’s Tiny Desk Concert

5 Nov

For some reason, I always forget about the Tiny Desk Concerts. But when I come across one, I typically love it… and want to watch a dozen more. So, in case you missed it, Taylor Swift recently sat down and did a Tiny Desk Concert for her Lover album and it was so wonderful.

Alternating between playing her guitar and her piano, Taylor plays four songs: The Man, Lover, Death by a Thousand Cuts, and All Too Well. The amount of talent in this woman is insane and watching an unplugged performance like this makes it even more clear.

If you only watch one song, watch Lover. It’s one of my absolute favorite songs right now and the acoustic version gives me chills. It starts at 9:00:


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Nope: Books I Didn’t Like

4 Nov

I’ve been having a streak of bad luck with my book choices lately. Usually, if I don’t love a book that’s fine… but I’ve read a few real stinkers lately!

Yuck #1: Room to Breathe by Liz Talley

It’s this one:

This book was one of my Amazon’s First Reads choices for October. It was described as a mother-daughter relationship book. The mother is divorced and starting over and the daughter is in her early 20’s and engaged. “As love lives tangle, secrets spill, and indiscretions are betrayed, mother and daughter will have a lot to learn—not only about the mistakes they’ve made but also about the men in their lives and the women they are each hoping to become.”

Sounds good, right? NOPE.

What drove me crazy: The mother was 39. THIRTY NINE. And throughout the entire course of the book they treat 39 as if it is so freaking old that it’s CRAZY that she would want to pursue any of her own interests. I mean, come on. THIRTY NINE!? On top of that, the daughter is the most selfish little brat and I wanted to smack her upside the head. Multiple times.

Yuck #2: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

It’s this one:

The one was a random book I thought sounded interesting on my Kindle Unlimited subscription. The premise is that a girl wakes up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia. She remembers absolutely nothing about her life before she woke up and when she hears that her father has come to Ireland to get her and bring her home, she decides to run away.

What drove me crazy: This girl. Yet another one I wanted to smack and/or shake. She is so freaking selfish throughout the entire book. Then, at the end when everything is messy and you are waiting for the happy ending to come along, all the pieces tie up in a bow too neatly if you know what I mean. For example, someone has lied to her since the beginning of the book and suddenly she’s totally cool with it and they get a happily ever after. NO. NO HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOR YOU, SELFISH WITCH!

Yuck #3: Trophy Life by Lea Geller

It’s this one:

This was another free Kindle Unlimited read. After 10 years of being a trophy wife, suddenly Agnes’ husband disappears leaving her and their infant daughter with no home, no money and no staff. But it’s not as easy as that, the husband is still around… he’s not dead or anything, he just got into some money trouble so he went into hiding. He told her to drive across the country to go teach at this private middle school and gather information for him. Yeah, it’s confusing.

What drove me crazy: So they try to set up the relationship of the husband and wife as if it’s some sort of love story, but every time he’s on the page I hate him. Like, really HATE him. He will randomly call or text her and if she doesn’t respond immediately he has a little hissy fit. And THEN, when they try to show *romance* if that is what they are going for, it is just really controlling and rapey. I hated him. I hated her for loving(?) him and I HATED this damn book.

There you go, three books to avoid.

How about you, have you read anything lately that you’ve disliked?

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