OK.  I’m gonna be honest.  Another big reason I’ve been MIA lately is because I’ve become re-obsessed with an old love of mine – Outlander.  “What’s Outlander?” a stupid, stupid, stupid person asks.  It’s only THE BEST!  OK.  More specifically, it’s a series of books by Diana Gabaldon and it is awesome.  I’ll explain it to you if you PROMISE not to laugh because the premise sounds kinda dumb.  PROMISE!  OK.  From the Starzzzz website:

The “Outlander” series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Upon her arrival, she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. But when she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior [Ed. note - hubba, hubba, ding, ding], a passionate relationship is ignited. Now, Claire’s heart is torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Stop laughing. It’s not a straight romance novel.  I promise.  But.  The main character, Jamie Fraser (more specifically James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser – we psychos call him JAMMF), is the best.  Well, the main character is actually the woman, Claire, but whatever.  (No, she’s actually a good character – stong-willed, smart woman, blah, blah, blah).  It’s all about Jamie.  First off, he’s a redhead (BIG POINTS).  Second, he’s awesome. Generally.  I really can’t explain him.  You just have to read the books.

ANYWAY, after 1,000 (OK, 23) years of waiting, the books are FINALLY being made into their own series on Starzzzzz. And when I heard that, I nearly lost control of my bowels. See, I had read all the Outlander books FOREVER ago. Well, books 1-6. I didn’t realize that a 7th had been released AND the 8th was scheduled to come out in June (she’s like George R.R. Martin – she takes years to write each book). So, I set out to read all the books in preparation for the show and the newest book. And let me say that these are lengthy books. Each is 1,000 pages, give or take. But I read the newest one in a week. I pretty much shut out the world.

Blah, blah, blah, THE SHOW!  It’s being produced on Starzzzz by the same guy who did the reboot of Battlestar Galactica which I LOVED.  And as soon as I caught a glimpse at the guy playing Jamie (Sam Heughan), I almost strapped on some Depends:
Jamie FraserJAMMF 1I almost edited Claire completely out of that last picture, because like I said, WHO CARES???!!!

So, needless to say, I’ve dun lost my mind and cannot read enough interviews, see enough promo videos, and re-read Outlander enough times.  I’ve actually re-read the first book (the one that this season of the series is based on) about 10 times now.  OK, maybe more.  And I got the book on tape (I’m so caught up right now that it took me a second to remember the word “audiobook”) for Ryan to listen to.  We’re about 4 chapters in so far.  I am DELIGHTED by each detail.  I can’t tell if Ryan is silently rolling his eyes or completely enthralled.  I don’t have the guts to ask either.

OH, and if you want to see more information (because, DUH) about the transition from book to Starzzzz show, here you go.

And I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – YOU’RE WELCOME!  And if you see a news bulletin about a strange lady wearing a giant, old-timey dress standing outside of Comic-Con in San Diego next week, just know that I’m sorry.  And I’m sure you can send cards to the loony bin in care of Lizzie Fraser.  Tulach Ard!

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Watercolor Basics

So…I think I just received a sign.  See, I’ve always wanted to try to paint or draw.  In elementary school, some school helper told me that I wasn’t creative, so it kinda stuck.  When it came time to choose electives in high school, I opted out of art completely and just went with music.  Needless to say, I’m still at an elementary school art level (meaning I can work the HELL out of a bottle of glue and glitter).

Then yesterday, as I was sitting at my desk and wondering for the millionth time why Annie wasn’t a based-on-a-true-story about my life, I stumbled upon a tutorial on Pinterest.  Scratch that, TWO tutorials.  I think that qualifies as a sign that I could be the next [whoever is famous for watercolor painting - I never took art history either].  And before you nay-say all over my sign, no.  I wasn’t looking through a Pinterest folder called “How to Watercolor.”  Man, you guys are total jerks.

Anyway, here’s the first one.

Watercolor basicsWatercolor Basics.  I’ll be honest.  The donut got my attention.  I’ll be more honest – my “new” work computer doesn’t have working speakers (it’s like I’m living in a third world country here), so I have no idea what this girl is saying.  She could be saying to worship Satan.  Or WORSE, giving terrible painting advice.  But, you know, there’s a donut.

Watercolor basics - Alison ShowHere’s the other from The Alison Show.  It has a WEALTH of information and is part of a series.  So, no donut, but lots of info.  Although, maybe the video has just as much information.  Since I’m currently working in the year 1983, I can’t listen to it!!

So, just expect lots of watercoloring (that’s actually a word, right) in the future.  Maybe I’ll do self-portraits!  They would consist of masses of ginger/greying hair and owl-like eyes with a deer-in-the-headlights stare.  NAILED IT!

Anyway…back to my 5.25″ floppy disks and Pong!


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Guest Post – What to Wear to Summer Parties

What to Wear to Summer Parties

Here’s to summer fun! We all need this season to help us let loose and enjoy ourselves a little bit. That is why summertime is the perfect time to host or attend a great summer party. But before you start dishing out the potato salad and mixing up your margaritas, you need to figure out just what you are going to wear to this joyous event.

Don’t wait until the last second to get some great summer party options. Part of what makes you so fabulous is that you are ready to go at the drop of a hat, no matter what the occasion, so make sure you look good while doing it! Dust off the horseshoes and follow this advice for what to wear to summer parties this year.

Make sure that you are comfortable

No matter what, you should always be comfortable in what you are wearing. No, this does not mean that you can go to the parties in sweat pants, but you can find options that make you feel beautiful, comfortable and free to do whatever you please (doge ball in the backyard anyone?). Instead of a skirt, consider a great patterned romper to make your look more fun and versatile. Get great fitting designer bras that will keep everything in place without you having to readjust every 5 seconds. There are always comfortable options for summer that are still stylish.

Take risks that you wouldn’t normally…

As you begin to let loose for summer fun, try out some new risks in your style that you were too afraid to try out before. Take some tips from the celebrities who you admire to find some inspiration. Some popular trends this season include the bra peeking out from a low cut shirt, bright and bold patterns and of course, super short shorts. This is the time to branch out and maybe find a new style that you will fall in love with.

…but keep it classy

Don’t get over excited and through all the etiquette rules out the window. You should still stay true to your personal style and the preferences of the people hosting the party. If you are unsure what your hosts would want you to wear, you can think about the type of party that they are planning to throw. If it a casual outdoor BBQ potluck style, you can probably be a little more lax with the fashion rules. However, if it is a poolside cocktail party at an elegant venue, you will want to dress appropriately and leave the ripped denim jean shorts at home.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match

This season, there are bright color combination all around you, use them to inspire your outfit ideas. You can be a little bolder than you were in the winter. Try pairing two bright solid pieces together, or putting two colorful, bold prints side by side. You will look fashion forward and be able to express your inner wild child without taking so many shots of tequila.

Image: http://sizzlingmagazine.com/7-great-summer-outfits/summer-party-outfits/


Author Bio:

Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.

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