Reviews, Shows

The Fosters Show Review

DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.
-Lena Adams Fosters

Every now and then, ABC Family [now FreeForm] comes out with a show that makes you feel all the feels… The Fosters – for me – is one of those shows.

Plot Summary

A young teenager in foster care is released from juvenile detention with nowhere to go and finds herself in the custody of a lesbian couple who have three other kids. This couple also takes in her younger brother. Throughout the show, the family goes through different trials as they live, learn, and love.

What I Thought

I’m a sucker for a good drama about families and teenagers, but I especially loved the twist on this one with the lesbian couple and the foster care system. Our flawed foster care system is not talked about enough and I really liked how this show dared to dive into this issue. Although homosexual couples are becoming more and more typical on television, I think it was very positive to show them as foster parents who are smart, successful, and loving.

Now don’t get me wrong, this show is extremely far-fetched in some areas, especially in the last two seasons. Without giving away too much, the kids save their school and get involved with immigration… and they get away with everything. I don’t particularly like that part, but I’ll put up with it, because by then I was already too invested in the show.

The story deals with tough issues like relationships with foster siblings, homosexuality and religion, drugs, brain injuries, immigration, cancer, and so much more! Also, the show knew it was getting cancelled, so they wrapped up the story nicely, so no loose strings.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I recommend giving this show a shot if you like guilty pleasure shows like Greek, Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale, 90210, etc.

Do you like shows that tackle tough issues?

| Lauren

Texas, Travel

Street Carnival Date // Lewisville, TX

For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of going on a carnival date. Holding hands while trying to survive a rickety ride, laughing so hard your stomach hurts, playing silly games to win cheesy stuffed animals, sharing a kiss at the top of the ferris wheel, and indulging in delicious fried foods are just a few reasons why I’ve always wanted to hit up a carnival with someone special. And at the end of May, Jeremiah made my dreams come true!

On his way home from work one day, Jeremiah noticed bright, colorful lights from the highway and saw a pop-up street carnival. He was so excited to invite me on a surprise date and I was ecstatic when we pulled up and I realized what the plan was for the evening. We had an absolutely wonderful time under the bright lights and loud music and now I’d like to share the highlights and tips from our carnival date.

Highlights

1. The Kamikaze

As soon as Jeremiah and I arrived, we used our tickets to catch a spot on the intense ride, The Kamikaze. We didn’t watch it all the way before jumping on, so it was quite a shock to our systems! The safety restraints on the ride did little to keep me in place, so every time the cart went around flipping us upside down I came out of my seats. It was nerve wracking, but so much fun. I couldn’t stop laughing even though my head was pounding and stomach was churning.

2. Kiss on the Ferris Wheel

Every perfect carnival date has to include a kiss on the ferris wheel. I had never had my Notebook moment until now and it was wonderful. My only complaint is that they didn’t stop us on the very top.

3. Starship 2000

After leaving our stomachs at our first two rides, we hopped on a zero gravity ride called the Starship 2000. We thought it would be tamer compared to the thrill rides we had previously ridden on, but we were wrong. This spun so fast and the bottom actually dropped out. Although my head was hurting really bad, I couldn’t quit laughing. Also the song Ocean Avenue was blasting as we spun, so that was a plus.

4. Bean Bags & Balloons

Even though we spend twice as much as necessary to play this game, it was a lot of fun to throw bean bags to pop balloons. Because of my kiss of good luck, Jeremiah popped three in a row and won me a stuffed penguin.

Tips

1. No Cover Charge

The carnival we attended was run by Talley Amusements who does pop-up carnivals all over Texas. At these particular carnivals, there is no cover charge. Instead of a single price to enter and enjoy, you have to buy tickets. The tickets can be bought individually or in a group of 20 or 48. All the rides require a minimum of 3 tickets to ride. Note: Buy the tickets in bulk in order to get more bang for your buck.

2. Rickety Rides

Going to a parking lot carnival doesn’t really scream safety, but Jeremiah and I gave it a shot. We rode four rides and majority of them were V E R Y concerning. They rattled and screeched, definitely did not sound as secure as say a rollercoaster at Six Flags.

3. Beware of Game Booths

Typically, I avoid the game booths at amusement parks, but this was a special occasion and we were trying to be as sweet and cheesy as possible. Jeremiah and I walked up to a game where you pop balloons by throwing bean bags. The game was $5/person, but all we had was a $20. We gave the booth worker the $20 and he refused to give us change claiming he let us play $20 worth plus tip. Because of this mistreatment, we didn’t have any cash to buy food. Jeremiah did win me a stuffed penguin.

4. Have Cash Handy

Although the rides take tickets, the game booths and food vendors only accept cash. They have an ATM on site, but it does take a $5 fee for every use.

5. Free Parking

One plus to this particular street carnival was that parking was available at the strip mall next to where the carnival was set up.

Overall, Jeremiah and I had a magical time fulfilling our dream of going on a carnival date! We rode rides that made our stomach’s drops and our head’s spin. We kissed on a ferris wheel and played cheesy games. It was a perfect night and I have my husband to thank for such a fantastic surprise date!

What is your favorite part about carnivals?

 

Love Always,
Lauren

Books, Reviews

The 5 Love Languages Book Review

I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. -Gary Chapman

I received a copy of this book from my mom. She was reading it as a part of a small group and she thought it would give me some good insight and better my marriage. I had heard about love languages, but had never given them much thought. I didn’t know how much weight I wanted to put into this theory, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to read the book.

Plot Summary

In the book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman attempts to answer the questions ‘why do so many marriages fail’ and ‘why is life different after the wedding’. His answer: love languages. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, and acts of service. You and your spouse both have a primary and secondary love language. By learning how to speak the love language of your spouse, you will better your relationship.

What I Thought

This book is all the rage and for a good reason. After finishing the book, I looked at what others thought on Goodreads. Turns out it seems to be a bit half and half on people who thought the book was fantastic and others who thought it was hogwash. Well, I fall into the first category. Going into the book, I kept an open mind. I wasn’t in a struggling marriage, so I just thought it would make an interesting read.

What I read really took me by surprise and I realized that I could go about love in a different way. One of the concepts in the book is that often times we show love the same we want to receive love. For me, this means that I clean the house, do the laundry, and plan dates, because I feel loved when I get helped with chores and taken on dates. Well what I learned is that Jeremiah might be appreciative of the work I do around the house and the dates I plan, but not necessarily feel loved by them. Kinda crazy, but the author proposes doing things that fall into your spouse’s love language and soon they will start doing things that fall into yours. I decided to put this theory to the test. From the time I read that chapter to now, I have been incorporating more physical touch into our interactions and low and behold I have seen a real difference in Jeremiah’s behavior.

The above theory is just one that is proposed, but the book is full of ideas on how to better your marriage and learn your spouse a bit more. Now, I’m not saying that I agreed with everything said in the book or that it is all factual; take it as it is, a helpful tool of theories to use or not use. Also, understand that if you’re marriage isn’t in bad shape or on the rocks then some of the more dramatic ideas are probably not for you.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I highly recommend this book to couples married, engaged, or in a serious relationship. From my own experience, I found some of the ideas in this book to actually work and show positive results in my husband (even though nothing was wrong with our relationship to begin with). Keep an open mind if you choose to read it. Happy love learning!

Have you The 5 Love Languages? Did you implement any of the ideas? What is your love language?

 

Let’s be friends on Goodreads!

Marriage

27 Things I Love About My Husband

In honor of my husband’s 27th birthday today, I have compiled a list of 27 things I love about him. [In no particular order] Without further ado…

1. I love how he can fall asleep anywhere, any time, and always in about 5 minutes.
2. I love when he cooks me breakfast!
3. I love his signature look of plaid collared shirts over graphic tees paired with blue jeans and converse. He is such a cutie!
4. I love how encouraging he is when I tell him about my newest passion project or challenge.
5. I love how talented he is with a paintbrush or pencil in his hand.
6. I love when he sweeps the apartment without being asked!
7. I love how animated his expressions are!
8. I love how he thinks about what he is going to say before he says it (regardless of how frustrated it makes me).
9. I love his long, warm, strong hugs! They are the absolute best for any occasion.
10. I love the voices and personalities he gives our pets.
11. I love how passionate he is about coffee.
12. I love his competitive nature even when he beats me at cards.
13. I love that he will play twenty card games in a row until we are tied, so we can both feel like winners!
14. I love when he kisses my forehead while I’m still groggy with sleep and he has to leave for work.
15. I love that he enjoys everything I cook regardless of how burnt it may be or gross it may look.
16. I love how much effort he puts into trying to keep up with me when I talk.
17. I love how patient he is when teaching me new things.
18. I love his huge contagious grin.
19. I love that he will go on jogs with me in the middle of the night even though I’m slow and feel I’m going to throw up.
20. I love how he watches “suburban filth” (his term for my shows) with me and enjoys them!
21. I love how he is always up for any adventure or roadtrip I plan for us.
22. I love his sweet smile when he is embarrassed or feeling shy.
23. I love how hard he works to provide for our family.
24. I love how he always knows when something is on my mind and lets me cry on his shoulder.
25. I love that he likes to thrift with me.
26. I love when he does magic tricks for me even though they drive me crazy!
27. I love how much he loves me and I never have to question it.

Happy 27th Birthday, Jeremiah!

Because I know you’re reading this: I really love you! You are an incredible man who does so much for me and our family. I hope you have a birthday every bit as special as you are! ❤

Marriage

Our First Married Valentine’s Day

This was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. Jeremiah and I have not been big on Valentine’s Day in the past, but we figured why not celebrate our love on a day everyone else is celebrating their love. At first we were going to plan a date together, but then I had a fantastic idea pop into my head and asked if I could plan him a special evening instead.

The Date

My plan was to have a candlelight dinner on our balcony surrounded by twinkly lights, but it was very windy and I was unable to hang the lights outside plus it was pretty chilly. I’ll admit that I got discouraged for about half an hour while I pouted that my idea was not coming to life as seamlessly as I hoped. Once I figured out how I could be creative indoors, I whipped into action and created a dreamy corner for us to have our inside late night Valentines picnic. For dinner there was spaghetti accompanied by our favorite sodas and lemon heart cupcakes for dessert.

Afterthoughts

Even though my surprise Valentines date night for Jeremiah was not exactly how I had planned it, it was absolutely wonderful! I set it up on the 13th, because I knew he was expecting something on the 14th and he had no idea! The way his smile got so wide when he walked in and saw the setup made my heart grow a few sizes. Jeremiah is such a great gift receiver, so I adore surprising him with activities, dates, and gifts. He is the best!