**Weird Milestone Alert**

Yesterday marked 100 days of "homelessness" for me.

For those of you who don't know, I'm not homeless in a "living under a bridge" kind of way, but still homeless in a very real sense. 100 days ago, there was a fire in the place I'd called "home" for nearly 5 years and I've been displaced ever since. 

A few BEFORE photos:

I'd just finished about a year of painting and redecorating before the fire...getting the place exactly how I wanted it.


Yeah, so...

I lived in a hotel for the first two months, which was equal parts weird and difficult with a smattering of awesome, like someone making your bed every day. #winning. 

This month, I've been in a corporate apartment, which is mostly a downgrade from where I was with three exception: a King Size bed, a soaker tub, and a washer/dryer just for me.

On the surface, one might be tempted to think this whole thing has been like an extended, paid vacation.

It hasn't.

There have been many blessings in the midst of this, of course, and things I've enjoyed, but, it's also altered the way I do life (at least for the time being) and had some unexpected side-effects that have been kind of difficult. So, to commemorate this not-so-auspicious occasion and have a little something to look back on later and feel thankful for "all the way the Lord has led me"...I give you a few fun facts about being homeless, kinda.

1. You eat a lot more pasta, probably more than is reasonable. When your life is in a tizzy, but you still want to be “responsible” and cook instead of doing drive-thru every night, there's not much easier than boiling water and waiting 10 minutes for dinner to be ready. Plus, it's super cheap. So, my homeless go-to dinner was buttered noodles or Kraft Mac & Cheese. Is the "homeless 15" a thing? If not, it is now. Officially.

2. It takes you three times longer to do pretty much everything. Because you're basically living out of a suitcase, in unfamiliar surroundings, and all of your routines are just a jumble of you trying to put pieces of your old routine together into a new routine. But, you have to think before you reach for/do anything...every time. Where is my purse today? Where are my clean underwear? Do I put sunscreen on before or after moisturizer? (As you're putting on lipstick) Did I brush my teeth? (Gathers items needed for a task and begins only to remember one crucial item is in another room) Dangit! Why am I such an idiot these days?

3. You forget, misplace, drop, fall behind in, and generally mess things up...a lot...consequently, feeling like an idiot and a mess most of the time.

4. You're also often late for things, even though you'd normally be 15 minutes early.

5. You're tired more often. Problems sleeping out, uncomfortable beds, foreign noises and upstairs neighbors who are either sleep walkers or have very tiny bladders all conspire against your sleep. If you manage to make it through your homelessness without hallucinating or having a total nervous breakdown from sleep deprivation, consider yourself very fortunate...and totally primed to have a newborn or a puppy in your new home, once you find one.

6. You really, really miss that old mattress you wanted to replace right before it was carted off to storage with 98% of your other worldly possessions. 

7. You really, really miss your vanity/morning getting ready routine.

8. Moving your few remaining possessions around from place to place is not fun and you often contemplate tossing most of it out just to avoid having to pack and haul it all again.

9. You realize you don't need as much stuff as you thought you did...except when it comes to makeup and skincare, then you always need more.

10. You learn that you are far more adaptable than you realized.

11. You come to believe completely and passionately, that Insurance Companies are, in fact, the Devil, and Insurance Adjusters probably have to sell their souls just like Keanu Reeves in that lawyer movie with Al Pacino. (#slightexaggerationforeffect)

12. For so many reasons, you find that everything cost more.

13. You frequently calculate the replacement cost of all of the things that couldn’t be stored or salvaged.

14. You wish your job required a uniform because then people wouldn’t bat an eye at you wearing the same outfit over and over and over again. #has5outfitsrightnow

15. If you’re from the New Orleans area, you feel that same sense of unease and loss and (#pressesbackofhandtoforeheadandtiltsheadback) “whatever will become of me?!?!” that you had in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. 

16. You sigh a lot more.

17. You have your first-ever panic attack. It isn’t fun.

18. You learn that you could REALLY get used to having maid service.

19. You may or may not become addicted to Trolli Eggs. 

20. You take up making videos on YouTube. For real! #science!

21. No matter how much you try to get a routine going and be normal, you just never, ever feel settled. 

22. You pretty much always wind up crying at some point when talking to pushy vendors or insurance company reps.

23. You realize that having a dishwasher is a necessity, not a preference. 

24. You realize that most people will forget you're homeless or think you're having some sort of fun extended vacation...and find that that's kind of a bummer.

25. You realize you can still be hospitable and serve others, no matter what your “home” is/looks like.

26. You become a bit more thankful for the little things...when you're not being a whiney hiney, of course. 

27. Some of the things that were big issues in your life prior to your homelessness, suddenly aren’t. 

28. Pedicures just never happen.

29. You think about eating clean or starting to exercise again, but those thoughts quickly get pushed aside by weightier concerns like "where am I going to live?" and "how do I get the insurance company to stop stressing me out?" and "Why does the person who lives upstairs have to walk around so much...at 3am?!?!"

30. You’re even more thankful for your faith, without which, you’d certainly have become the hottest of hot messes throughout this whole ordeal.

Life, as I knew it, is weirder and harder and I don't know when it will settle down again, but, I do know this:

“He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Job 23:10


Hey y'all! As some of you know, I've recently started vlogging (video blogging)...in yoga pants. I'm also learning a bit more about how to edit videos and put them together in a way that is a bit more interesting. So, that's been fun. In this vlog, I talk about how my YouTube habit has resulted in a bit of a shopping habit and share the totally impulsive and unnecessary purchases I made during a recent trip to Target.

Admit it, we've all be there, right?

I also channel Minnie Pearl, play a bit of air guitar and sing my own personal cover of Corey Hart's "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night"...because I'm impressionable and old and stuff.

I hope you enjoy it...and that you'll consider liking, commenting, and subscribing to my channel.


Yesterday, I posted my first vlog, listing a few of the hits and misses from my day. While I could do those types of things every day (I have a tiny critic living inside of me), I know no one else wants to hear what I think is wrong with everything all the time. SO, here are five things I was thankful for yesterday. The only thing I do better than mentally review/critique everything is be sappy...but I tried to keep that to a minimum, too. #yourewelcome


"I'm a vlogger. I vlog."

I recently discovered YouTube vloggers. For those of you who don't know what that is, its people who blog in words on video instead of typing out words. I've sort of collected a group of vloggers, primarily from the UK, into this little place in my heart. They're so fun and vibrant and living these amazing lives...taking me along for the ride. Anyway, I know I don't have nearly as much exciting stuff to offer the world as these other guys, but...I'm dipping my toe into the ocean of vlogging.

"Eees for fun."

If you don't have romantic feelings for make-up brushes, you may not want to watch.


Over the past week or so, I've kind of become obsessed with a YouTube vlogger named +bitsandclips. She has probably already contacted her lawyer to prepare a restraining order...even though she lives alllll the way across the country in a place called "Seattle." It's where all of the hipsters and coffee come from...and apparently, where aliens park their space ships for safe-keeping. (#MIBreference #seenit72000times)

ANYway, sometimes vloggers do "tags" where they give their friends assignments like "What's in My Diaper Bag" or "50 things about me" or "Love/Hate". Since I don't currently vlog and don't have a YouTube friend to tag me, I'm just going to do one of the "tags" here in blog form. Did you follow all of that? #beholdtherunonsentence 

And, since I don't have a diaper bag or nearly enough ambition to come up with 50 things about myself and no confidence that anyone would want to know that many things about me, anyway, I'm going to do the Love/Hate tag. However, I'm going to call it Love/Don't Love instead because my 9-year-old niece told me "hate" is a bad word and we shouldn't say it. ;)

So, here's the list.

I love (in no particular order)...

  1. Jesus. Deal with it.
    Me, singing to my Savior. #happyplace
    Just kidding. But, honestly, I know there are people out there that think I'm stupid or weak or uneducated or ignorant or judgmental or naive because I'm a Christian and that's ok. I mean, it's not fun for people to think that, or speak that, or give you that look that might as well be words that say that. But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes think unflattering things about people who don't agree with me or live life the way I do. It's in us to compare and contrast ourselves against others, for whatever reason, and, of course, to always think we are right. Nevertheless, I love Jesus and I love you even though we're not the same...unless you're really mean/violent person or hurt my family. But, that's for the other list...
  2. My family. We're awesome. You want to be us. You just do. It's ok.
  3. All things British...except the food. But, since I just blogged about that, I won't repeat why, here.
  4. Coffee. I love coffee with my bible in the wee hours of the morning. I love coffee in the afternoons, mostly because it reminds me of being in my grandma's kitchen. I love coffee at night because I usually have it with friends and that's always lovely. I just love coffee. It's warm and comforting and is like a hug in a cup.
  5. Going to the beach. The breeze, the sand, the colors, the intertwined sound of the waves coming in and going out along with the birds and the wind...it just sounds and smells like peace to me. 
  6. Bald guys. I blame Yul Brynner for this. If you've never watched the version of "The King & I" with he and Deborah Kerr (and why wouldn't you have already?!?!), do it. The. Dancing. Scene. Holy hot flashes, Batman. Oh. My. Goodness. Whew. I have a "moment" every time I see it. Ever since first "discovering" him and this movie, I love me a tall, strongly-built bald dude. #fansself
  7. Lists. I love writing things down and scratching them off. I am doing it right now. The rush of accomplishment I feel when I finish scratching off all the things on my list-of-the-moment is akin to getting a gold star from teacher or bringing my dad to see my room after I'd cleaned it. #tada! It's awesome.
  8. Nail Polish. Which I always want to write as one word. I currently have approximately 100 bottles. I go through phases where I will paint my nails every day or every other day and make sure my outfit always matches. Then, there are other phases where I just don't care and the polish can not only be mismatched but chippy for days and I'm like "meh. whatever." I'm in one of those phases right now, but not so much because I don't care. I just don't have time. Between the fire aftermath and trying to make up missed time at work and catch up on editing backlog and, you know, finding time to sleep, my nails have taken a back seat.
    I love black polish!
  9. Coke Zero. Yes, I know it is horrible for me. I mean, the stuff is all chemicals and can eat through the corrosion on battery cables, but...ugh...I love it. When I've had a hard day, I just WANT it...and nachos...and chocolate. It's kind of a problem.
  10. My kiddos. Well, they aren't MY kiddos. I didn't grow them in my uterus. Is that a weird word to just put out there on the internet? Probably. Sorry. But, anyway, I mean my nieces and nephews. I love them like I ̶g̶r̶e̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶u̶t̶e̶r̶u̶s̶ birthed them. I just love them so much, it hurts sometimes. They are so precious to me and so much fun and give me so much love in return. Ugh. #tititears #theycallmeTiTi #asinTeeTeenotTitty #nonotteeteemeaningtopotty #ohnevermind
  11. Music/Singing. I have music going for most of my waking hours and I sing all the time. I sing quietly or in my head at work, loudly in the car, equally loudly in the shower, and while I'm doing chores or any activity really. I also have a tendency to make up big and opera-style arias about random things I do around my house, such as: washing dishes, taking out the trash and going to pee.
  12. Certain Celebrities/Actors. There are several celebrities/actors I just love and will watch in pretty much anything no matter how lame or cheesy. They are: Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman, Sandra Bullock, Morgan Freeman, Amy Adams, Alfre Woodard, Bill Murray, Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones, and Drew Barrymore. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. Trying to remember random strangers you love is hard. (Note, I'm not including singers because, holy, that would be a long list.)
  13. Mike Rowe. Mike deserves his own number on this list instead of being lumped in with other celebrities I love because "He NEEDS to call me." #buffythevampireslayerreference Seriously, I don't know if he loves Jesus or not, but, once we square that away, we will be married and have little sarcastic children and travel the world getting dirty together. Well, um, they will get dirty and I will take pictures and laugh a lot.
  14. Cornball movies/shows. The more ridiculous, the better. I'm talking Monty Python, Drop Dead Fred, Encino Man, Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, MST3k, Strange Brew, Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Katz - Professional Therapist, Miranda, Pushing Daisies...again, I know I'm forgetting a few, but, remembering all the random, weird TV shows and movies you love is hard.
  15. My eyes. They are hazel, just like my Mom's, and pretty much the only aspect of my physical appearance that I like. I could ramble on about all the things I dislike and take up the next 13 hours of your life, but I won't. #yourewelcome. But my eyes...I kinda dig them. They change colors depending on what I'm wearing, so I call them my mood eyes; and they look super green when I cry...which is a lot. Every emotion I experience will, at one point in time or another, lead to my tearing up. It's how I roll. Anyway, my eyes are pretty. The end.

What I don't love...

  1. Awnings on houses. They make me angry. I fully realize this is a stupid thing to have such a strong opinion about, but, nonetheless...there it is. Awnings are for hotels or cafe's or little shops with outdoor displays...not for homes. 
  2. I think I'm going to continue with the ridiculous things I don't love, because there are several and by acknowledging that they are stupid things to have strong opinions about, I'm less likely to tick people off...So, that said, #2 is unintentional food mixage. Yes, "mixage" is too a word. If I choose to add corn to my rice dish or dunk my meat loaf into my mashed potatoes, that is ok and not gag-inducing. If I am served a plate and vegetable juice seeps over onto my meat or pasta or something, that is not ok and I will gag and have to surgically remove the contaminated food parts and then scooch the various foods away from each other before I can begin eating. Yes, I know I'm weird.
  3. My name: Tina. It's a floozy name. If there is a character in a book or movie or tv show, she is not going to be a nice, normal SAHM or something. She is going to be a bimbo, a stripper, a ditzy blonde or something like that. I'll give you one example...When the show "ER" was on, there was a 12 year old patient who was in for a broken leg, which was the result of being run over by a "John" who didn't want to pay for services rendered. While they were checking her out, they discovered she also had an STD. Her name was, obviously, Tina. That about says it all. If I had a mic right now, I'd drop it. My dislike of my floozy name has also led to my having strong opinions about what humans name other humans...but I won't go into that because it for sure will upset people and I don't want to do that because I'm nice and polite and stuff.
  4. Pruney fingers. Like, seriously. I love baths and swimming, but I hate for my fingers to get pruney, so, when I am doing these things, I try to keep my hands out of the water as much as possible. Which. Is. Weird. These activities, typically, require full immersion for the most part, but...not for me. I look the most ridiculous when in a pool, because I keep my hands up (think "a person's reaction when someone shouts 'This is a stick up!'") while floating and bouncing around the pool. It's insane, but, those are the lengths I go to for my weirdness.
  5. "Wrong" hamburger construction. There is, in fact, an absolutely right way to put a hamburger together. Consequently there is an absolutely wrong way to construct a hamburger, as well. The right way hinges on the proper placement of the sauce-type condiments and the vegetable condiments. Too often, though, I get a burger that has the lettuce and tomato on the bottom or the lettuce on top of the pattie or no sauce-type condiments on the bottom. Each of these are egregious problems all by themselves. Combine them and you wind up with half of the burger in your lap or bread too soggy to hold the burger together, much less eat. Let me explain further, because clearly I haven't said enough about proper burger construction already. ;) If you put the veggie condiments on the bottom, where there is generally no sauce-type condiments, there's nothing to hold the veggies in place and so the whole thing kind of shifts and slides and falls apart, and the bottom bun gets super soggy and gross. If you put the lettuce on top of the pattie it wilts and just gets all limp and too gross to eat. So, the proper method for constructing a hamburger is as follows: top bun with sauce-type condiments (all of the ones you want...not like just ketchup and then mayo on the bottom. You want the flavor to surround each bite of burger...or at least I do, so therefore, everyone should, clearly), lettuce, tomato, any other veggies, cheese, pattie, bottom bun, again with sauce-type condiments. And, there you have it, the proper way to construct a burger...and more words that have ever been typed on the subject in the whole history of mankind.
  6. Velcro shoes. These are for toddlers and the arthritic and no one else. They just look silly and the velcro never holds up as long as the shoes do because they get all sorts of lint and stuff in there. So, unless you are three or 73...just don't.
  7. Monograms. Ok, so I know this is going to be one that will probably tick a few people off, but...I'm sorry. It is something I feel very passionate about, so, it's on the list. I'll keep my "I think it's just cheesy" commentary to myself and go a more practical route for this. If you get something monogrammed, you can never donate or gift it to anyone else. Ever. I mean, I don't know about your family, but in ours clothes make the rounds...especially kids clothes. My nephews have worn clothes from several older cousins who have since passed it on to another cousin's child. If everything my nieces owned had their initials across the chest or butt, that would never have been possible and those clothes would have languished on some thrift store shelf before eventually being tossed because no one else's little girls had the initials KFG or TJG. Handing clothes down from sibling to sibling or cousin to cousin or from your closet to a consignment shop is a blessing to so many people. So, think about that before you rush out and monogram every stitch of fabric associated with your child, please. Other moms will thank you for it. :)
  8. Usernames and Profile pics for pretty much every guy on any dating site. If you don't have a shirt on or your handle includes the words "lover" or "boi" or "4u"...that would be a "no" for me. I have seriously thought of offering a service through my photography business that would provide nice, normal looking headshots and handle recommendations for single guys hoping to find love online that won't creep ladies out. The problem is, I think these guys don't realize they are being creepy and would never pay for such a service. #iseecreepyguysandtheydontevenknowtheyarecreepy #sixthsensereference
  9. "Eaux" for the letter "O" or an "oh" sound. As a grammar nerd and almost English Lit double major, this drives me bonkers. It's very much a Louisiana thing, so if you are reading this and don't know what I'm talking about, forgive me; but, locals know what I mean. It is a play on spelling with a hat tip to our French heritage, I suppose. So, instead of "Go", people write "Geaux" as in "Geaux Saints!" But, it's just not ok. Geaux is not a word. I feel as strongly about the use of "eaux" as I do about how humans name humans. I realize it is a pretty silly thing to feel so strongly about, but there it is.
  10. Ok, this is going to be the last one because, dang, this got long. So, #10 is...waitforiiiiiit...Valentine's Day. I will probably feel a bit differently about this day (and Mother's Day) should I ever have a Valentine or a family of my own, but, until then it is just a big, giant, kinda rude and in-your-face reminder of what my life lacks. Walking through life with that type of big life thing, carrying that "hope deferred"...for another year, again...on a regular day is hard. But, Valentine's Day is just kind of a jerk and show-off about the whole thing. It kind of ticks me off. So, over the past few years, I've started going into stores and accosting the Valentine's Day stuff (in a non-criminal damage kind of way). Sometimes I even make a video of my antics.
So, there you have it...my Love/Don't Lovelist. It went way longer than I expected. It also took longer to write than I expected, if that makes you feel any better.

If you want to just skim and watch the vids, I totally understand.

Happy skimming!



Hi, my name is Tina and I'm an anglophile.
(Hi, Tina)

What's an anglophile?

: ˈaNGgləˌfīl/
noun: Anglophile; plural noun: Anglophiles 
 - a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain.

So, basically, it means, I LOVE pretty much everything British. 

For. Serious. 

I think my love for Britain and British culture started with literature. I've always been a reader, but somewhere around the 7th or 8th grade, I was introduced to British Literature via "Jane Eyre." Prior to that, I'd been a Judy Blume and Laura Ingalls Wilder girl, but Ms. Bronte's "Jane Eyre" changed everything. 

However, my love affair with all things British didn't really kick into overdrive until after I watched "Pride & Prejudice" for the first time. The language, the turn of phrase, and even the buffoonery enchanted me. I then proceeded to watch P&P six more times over the next two days...and not the short, stupid, poorly acted version with Keira Knightly...I'm talking the full 6 hour masterpiece that is the BBC/A&E version which features Colin Firth as the restrained-yet-passionate Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as the delightfully forthright Elizabeth Bennett. 

So...that's real commitment. 

Pardon me while I take the mandatory 30 seconds for my Darcy-induced heart palpitations to stop.

Ok, back.

From that point on, my love for all things British has just grown and grown.
Later, I discovered comedic gems like, Monty Python and the Holy Grail...and began quoting it often. 

"It's a very silly place!"
"Go away or I shall taunt you a second time!"
"It's only a flesh wound."
"None shall pass!"
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Whose Line is it Anyway? Some of you may have heard of it, because, like "The Office" this show was copied and reproduced for American TV, but like most things, the British version is way better. It is a mad cap improv game show type thing, but the comedians are the contestants. The host, Clive Anderson, is as buttoned up as you'd expect someone named "Clive" to be. He is the straight man that keeps the show from descending into utter chaos, yet without completely removing the "anything can happen" vibe.

As an added bonus, the show features two Canadians, and everyone knows Canadians are second only to Brits on the "Cooler than Americans" scale. They are followed by the French, Australians and Jamaicans, in case you were wondering.

Absolutely Fabulous...it's name says it all. It is also absolutely ridiculous in the most British, and at times awkward of ways. 

Miranda, which, full disclosure, I discovered only recently by way of "Call the Midwife". Miranda is Miranda Hart, a comedienne, who as it turns out is also a great actress, period, and plays my favorite character, Chummy, on "Call the Midwife." She. Is. Hysterical. I "litrally" (#britishpronounciation) belly laugh during every single episode...which I may or may not have watched 3.7 times each...so far.

Then, naturally, my love affair with British TV inevitably led me to the show that is the butter to my bread, the cream in my coffee, the Jay Z to my Beyonce...Doctor Who. Now, for those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about or are picturing some geezer battling really 70's-esque, Sid & Marty Krofft-type alien puppets, let me share a bit of world rocking news...

There was a modern reboot of Doctor Who and...it...is...awesome! The Doctors are typically younger, hipper, and generally more attractive than the original set of Doctors.

And, they're sassier, too.
Other shows worth mentioning while we are on the subject of British TV: Broadchurch, Sherlock, Midsomer Murders, Merlin, Lark Rise to Candleford, Top Gear, IT Crowd, and, of course, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

Britain also does some pretty amazing mini-series. I've already mentioned "Pride & Prejudice", which then led me to "Wives and Daughters", "North and South" (not the Civil War movie), and "Bleak House". All excellent and all emotionally gutting, if you're into that sort of thing.

One of the reasons I think I enjoy British television and movies so much, besides the fact that most are far better written and far wittier than anything America has to offer, is the accents. Even the most cockney, unintelligible character sounds infinitely smarter than Americans. A Brit can read a gangster rap song and make it sound like a great work of literature...they're that good.

In addition to the accent, they just seem to handle the language more deftly than Americans, which I suppose comes from living in the land where the language originated. Even the regional slang that makes no sense to those of us stuck Stateside sounds like something out of Dickens.  

In comparison, the average American sounds like they read the Cliff's Notes on "How to Speak English Good" or as if they are working from a bad translation.

If you're like me and can listen to British accents all day, here are two other videos with accents. These two each feature one person imitating all of the accents and dialects found throughout the UK. One is funny and one is not, but they are both enjoyable. I may or may not have watched each of them 10 times in a row...so far.

An anglophile's resume would not be complete if it didn't include enjoying a good "cuppa" now and again, which I do. For a while there, I had "tea" at around 3 or 4pm every day, which consisted of a cup of tea steeped in a single serve tea pot on my desk and a few dainty cookies (or biscuits as they'd be called in the UK).

One thing you will learn if you ever attempt to explore British culture is, there are very strong opinions about how to make a proper cup of tea. Seriously. Books have been written on the subject. Most Brits will generally agree that the right way is "milk first." Which means, you take your cup, pour in the desired amount of milk (actual milk, not cream or half & half) and then plop in your tea bag, followed by your boiling water. However, I found the following video on YouTube which is as impressive as it is inclusive and interactive. Check it out...

There is one area of British culture that I've yet to work up the courage to explore and that is: British Food. Being from New Orleans, I have strong opinions about food and being American, I have an inherent snobbishness (read: fear) when it comes to things that are different (read: weird). And, there's not much "weirder" than the contrast between American food and British food. 

Maybe one day...

Our local World Market has started carrying a lot of British imports, including Spotted Dick...in a can. Soggy cake. In a can. #shudder

On second thought, some things are best left to the imagination (read: nightmares) or, until I can try the real deal in the UK.