Too good not to share - redheads, alas

What HAVE I been up to lately? Oh so much, oh so little. It's September, and I'm feeling the changes and it feels good.

I spent the past weekend making one of my favorite recipes: the world's most complicated chicken pot pie from scratch. A four step process from stewing your chicken and slow-cooking the broth, to making the filling, the cream sauce (yep, cream!) and the rich buttery crust. So dang delicious and worth the three days of work.  All from my favorite indulgent cookbook The Pastry Queen. If you have a friend who loves to bake, it's the gift she'll always thank you for.

In fun news, this week was my birthday. I took an afternoon off and ate lunch at the Upper Crust Bakery, the special spot I always go on special days. I went thrift store shopping for some new fall duds. And I had a mani-pedi done at my favoritest ever salon, Embellish, here in the ATX.

For my nail varnish I picked Old Blighty by Butter - a vintage feeling burnt red shade. I feel purdy. Which is good, because lordy, lordy, I'm older than thirty by a mile now.

In drama queen news, I had a good little cry in my car at the post office, which substitutes as the passport office. I had made our appointments to have our passports "done" two weeks ahead. I had dutifully gathered all paperwork and I was prepared to see it behind me. Lo and behold, the jots and tittles of government bureaucracy threw an obstacle in our way and I found myself in tears.

I want to go to Paris. Soon. And I have a history of recurring nightmares involving passports -- it's always the missing passport, the forgotten passport, right as I'm about to enter the country. This tapped into some subconscious loch ness monster. I'm sure it will all be okay, but for now I feel like a captive of my own native soil.

And in case you're wondering why redheads are my theme, today, in news from the UK...  I admit it. I like to read the Daily Mail UK. It's embarrassing really. But did you know, according to said stately publication, that only 8.8% of men prefer redheads?!?

Brunettes come out on top in the hair color wars. I am quite flabbergasted. But that's okay. I've already got my man. Who, btw, didn't really prefer redheads until he met me. Love isn't about types. It's about meeting the person who breaks the mold. (Btw, I quite liked the news that men prefer curvier women. Thank goodness. Eating celery for life is a turn-off.)

But I say redheads, hurrah! What about Anne of Green Gables? Adele? Florence Welch? Lily Cole? Queen Elizabeth? Rita Hayworth? Pippi Longstocking? Nicole Kidman? Emma Stone?Amy Adams? Isla Fisher?  Lucille Ball? Gillian Anderson who immortalized Dana Scully on The X-Files?

In the what I'm doing this weekend category, I am perpetually looking for my next book. You know what you're reading isn't making you tingle when:
A) You're reading six books simultaneously and you're just starting a seventh
B) You'd rather watch bad summer television than read
C) You skim-read or skip to the end
D) You start re-reading something that did make you tingle awhile ago

In my case it's all of the above and I'm currently re-reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which did make me tingle the first time. It's an odd sort of dracula novel, slow-movingly creepy, the sort that keeps you awake at night but is still artistic and poetic and has nothing to do with gushing blood or silly teenage love.

Anything you're reading that is making you tingle? Please share!

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous holiday weekend everyone!


  1. I'm surprised by that 8.8% number as well. I think my hubby would love it if I came home from the salon a red-head. But, yay for curves at least! I've got plenty now, for sure -wink, wink-.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday!!!! I always think redheads are soooo beautiful!! who cares what dumb boys think! :)

  3. Happy Birthday. I am reading a lot of books and not really into any of them. I hope to finish at least one book before the year is over(lol).

  4. Happy birthday! btw, both my sisters have red hair and I'm super jealous! My one sister has this quote by Lucille Ball that says, "Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead."

    Enjoy the weekend!!

  5. Happy birthday!!! I think Upper Crust is a perfect way to celebrate.

    I am in the same book slump as you. I have been listening to Discovery of Witches on audio... okay, but not great. But I did just start Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and so far I really like it... like in a good tingle kind of way.

  6. Happy Birthday, Valerie! And Happy Anniversary! What a happy, celebratory month for you!
    I want to begin by saying that I've never cared for mysteries. At all. Old, time tested classics? Now we're talking! But for vacation, a friend recommended a somewhat charming, lightweight and really kind of fun mystery, and finally, I took her up on it. Murder with Peacocks, by Donna Andrews. Probably because of my general dislike for mysteries, I might be the last person in the world that hadn't read the book, but it was really, truly, fun beach reading! It's certainly not highbrow, but I really did enjoy it. So sue me. :)
    I hope you are well! I hope the celebrations continue for months! Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!
    XO ~Debbi

  7. I hope you had a happy birthday!! I've always wanted to have red hair, it's so vibrant and unique! :)

  8. Happy Birthday! I've made many attempts to become a redhead and to hell with the boys! x

  9. I really enjoyed Kostova's next book, The Swan Thieves. You might try that one?

  10. Thanks so much for all the great comments, everyone! I've been away from the computer since Friday, so it was a nice treat to come home today to all of them. Thank you for the book suggestions!

  11. Happy Birthday!! I love your blog...especially your posts on the movies and books...You are such an entertaining writer...I love how you used the pics of the redheads to describe what was going on in your life...The one of Anne brought back such happy memories of my daughter and I when we watched that series!!

    I will be popping by now that I have discovered your blog.....:)