cookbook of the week

Saturdays with Harry: Part I

A/N: I’m not a fic writer by any means. I have like virtually no writing on here lol. I’m also not the best at prose, but sometimes a girl gets inspired. Mainly posting this for @harryspeakingfrench because even though I “don’t write” she still reads all my blurbs and concepts bc she’s actually the true best. Also this is PURE FLUFF. Also I’ve been having husband!Harry feels and this is the result.

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There are busy Saturdays, when you spend all day cleaning and doing laundry and grocery shopping for the week.

Then there are lazy Saturdays when you just say ‘screw it’ and watch netflix all day.

And there are the ‘let’s go on an adventure’ Saturdays. Those magical ones when you jump in the car, pick a place, and let time tell where you’ll end up.

All Saturdays with Harry are the best.

Keep reading

grandma

A thing that I like to imagine is Neil and Andrew moving into an apartment on the fifth floor or something (it’s good for cardio, andrew) (shut the fuck up, neil), and they only have one other neighbor on their floor and its a smol 80 year old woman 

- and Andrew and Neil keep to themselves because they’re both anti-human humans (same, bros, so much same)  
- And on their first night there’s a knock on the door, and Andrew and Neil look at each other and are really suspicious because they purposefully didn’t tell any of the foxes that they were moving in together?? because they didn’t want to deal with the looks back and forth and the giggles and the satisfied sighs and the general giddiness of the team
- Andrew doesn’t move so Neil sighs and goes to the door, opens it already braced for confetti to get thrown into his face or for a unified and undoubtedly startling shout of jubilation from the crew
- and he’s v confused when, neck already craned upwards expecting his very tall friends, he has to look down to see his visitor
- It’s a very very old, Andrew-sized woman, with crinkly warm eyes and a face made of 98% wrinkle
- And she’s wearing a yellow cardigan and smiling encouragingly, holding a pan covered in aluminum foil and Neil’s mouth waters immediately because the smell of cheesymeatysaucydelicious lasagna is wafting towards him
- Neil says “hi?” literally as a question because he’s so fucking awkward
- so she introduces herself as Jeong-sook and welcomes them to the apartment. “if you and your cute young man ever need anything don’t be afraid to mosey on over and knock!” and then she leans in conspiratorially and stage whispers with a wink “I take my hearing aids out around 7:30, just so you know” and then thrusts the lasagna into Neil’s hands and cheerily waves goodbye
- Neil stands in the open doorway for a minute, mouth hanging open at the woman’s salacious implication and mentally resigning himself to the fact that now that they’re introduced he won’t be able to slip past her in the hallway without some sort of small talk or genial greeting 
- He’s frozen there, pondering this, for enough time that Andrew comes up behind him and peeks around his shoulder, lifts the corner of the foil to see what it is
- “Grandma seemed nice. What do you think the chances are that she poisoned this?”

- It’s just the two of them so the lasagna lasts for the better part of a week. After its gone, they both open the fridge doors at least once in hopes that a second one will have magically appeared (sorry boys no such luck)
- Eventually, Neil washes the dish and goes to return it. 
- Neil, the babe that he is, doesn’t know that when someone makes you food it’s polite to return their dish filled with food that you’ve made for them
- Andrew raises an eyebrow when Neil comes back from his trip with the red pan still in his hands
- “She told me she wouldn’t take it back unless it had something good in it. She marked pages with her favorites.” He sounds a little dazed as holds up a battered, worn looking dessert cookbook with bright and colorful sticky notes poking out between the pages
- Andrew likes this woman.

- So anyway shortly after moving in Andrew gets a minor injury and has to sit out for six to eight weeks
- Neil is super grateful that this happened after they moved in together because now he can make sure that Andrew is recovering safely and properly
- Andrew spends most of this time at home, reading and playing with the cats and smoking out on the balcony or roof
- Jeong-sook always happens to be out on her own balcony watering her plants or sweeping or some other suspicious activity when he goes out to smoke
- Andrew has an inkling that she’s lonely, and that she sneaks out there when she hears Andrew telling the cats that they have to behave when they go outside
- (does Andrew Minyard talk to his cats? abso-fucking-lutely) 
- Andrew tolerates her chattering and she ignores his silence, continues to ask (unanswered) questions and tell him stories of her kids and grand-kids and late husband 
- This happens almost every single day for the first week and a half
- And then Andrew is just having an all around bad day and he finally snaps.  Neil had left that morning for a week and a half days of flights, press conferences, and friendlies, and Andrew was low-key missing him already. He hadn’t been able to get through the entire hour of physical therapy because the pain had been too excruciating, and then he’d returned home to find that King had thrown up all over the floor. THEN, as he was filling up a bowl with soap and water to CLEAN said throw up, the sink faucet had burst and soaked EVERYTHING.  
- He just wants to sit by himself on his own balcony, at his own house, in his own SILENCE and smoke a fucking cigarette. 
- So he gets out there and the damn thing isn’t even lit yet and Jeong-sook is already going off on one of her variations of how smoking is bad/is going to kill him
- And Andrew is so done. Just so done. He doesn’t care that this woman is in her eighties and could be blown over by a mild wind, he just wants some peace and fucking quiet, so he whips his head over and says something like “grandma if you don’t shut up about it i’m not going to be the only one that this cigarette harms”
- There’s an awful silence and Jeong-sook just stares at him
- and then she’s laughing so hard that she has to grab onto the handrail for support

Long story short, it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship

+ Jeong-sook had realized that she was going to have to break Andrew to get him to open up to her, so the prattling on and prodding him with a million questions had been calculated and purposeful  
+ Andrew is impressed when she tells him this, so when they part ways and he goes back inside he decides to flip through the cookbook she gave Neil a few weeks back 
+ He finds the page with the most stickies, studies it for a minute, then heads out to the farmers market 
+ son of a bitch whips up a Blackberry Cobbler in an hour and a half and presents it to Joeng-sook like he didn’t just consider hauling her over the railing and throwing her five-stories down 
+ from this point on she gets better at knowing when Andrew needs to be left alone and when he wants company
+ And Andrew learns that she isn’t as fragile as she seems
+ (honestly she’s quiet the whippersnapper) 

Andrew still has at least a month left of recovery, and so they spend a lot of time together

• Andrew fixes things around the house for her when they break 
• They watch their soap opera at the same time every day. Neil comes home to surprise Andrew for lunch one day and Andrew is next door, so Neil texts him asking where he is. Andrew says ‘watching soaps with Jeong-sook’ and it’s so outrageous that Neil laughs and thinks its a joke, replies ‘no but rlly?’
Andrew doesn’t respond because he already answered and good things are happening
• She bakes him his favorite desserts and sometimes they’ll even cook together (though they’re both very particular about the kitchen so this occurs only on days when they’re on their best behavior)
• She always asks about that ‘nice young man of yours’ and tries to give Andrew advice on how to woo Neil (honestly, some of it works)
• they gossip about the other tenants together
• Andrew buys her groceries when she’s having particularly painful days, cleans up around her apartment and brings the cats over to keep her company 
• Andrew hounds the landlord almost to the point of stalking until the elevator gets fixed so that she can actually go places now
•He takes her to doctors appointments and she always bribes him into lunch afterwards 
• I’m JUST going to throw it out there that they’re the same height and both have short blonde hair 
• She tells him about her childhood in South Korea, teaches him Korean words and phrases.  She knows he would be too uncomfortable to outright ask (as Andrew refuses to acknowledge any connection to his birth parents and so doesn’t like to show interest in the related culture/heritage), so she never pushes but plays it off like its all for her
• She was a boxer for most of her life, and so they compare fight stories and watch matches together (she yells at the TV a lot)
• There’s some sort of red-carpet team event and Neil is busy, so Andrew takes Jeong-sook instead. She’s so excited that she makes Andrew take her to the mall so that she can buy a new yellow dress-set. Reporters ask Andrew if this is his grandmother, and Andrew, instead of explaining, just says yes. Andrew has an arm looped around her for support and she’s fucking glowing and the photographer snaps a picture of it and it gets posted online and sports reporters and fans alike are amazed that Andrew Minyard Has a Soft Side. Neil prints out two copies and frames them, puts one in the apartment over the fireplace (figHT ME THEY HAVE A FIREPLACE) and gives one to Jeong-sook, who puts it proudly on the table next to her bed
• Her shitty ass children and grand-children never come around, but when they do Andrew makes a point of going over and glaring at them, making sure that they see how well she’s doing without them 
• When he’s finally allowed to play again she goes to all of his home games and watches the rest on TV. He calls her almost everyday while he’s away to make sure she’s not lonely and that she’s doing okay
• Andrew gives her a Minyard jersey that she wears whenever they go out together, because she thinks its funny when people do a double-take or whisper “that’s andrew and aaron” before they actually get a look at her face
• Neil is still a little unsure around her a lot because he doesn’t have that much experience with older ladies and she’s unpredictable, but she becomes a really important part of Andrew’s life and he - in that andrew way of his - tells Neil that moving into this apartment was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made

“You mind stepping in here a moment?” Roman called to Lori getting ready in the next room. The distant sounds of heels clicking against the marble floor raised in pitch before she stepped through the door. Throwing her jacket on, she quickly pulled her hair out from underneath as she gazed at the cookbook Roman had been gesturing to. “Maria restocked the kitchen last week, but I can’t find anything in the cupboard under— whatever that word is,” he frowned at the shorter woman. He’d been stressing himself out about tonight and it’d been slowly getting to him since he’d asked TItan to join him for dinner. The smaller woman tapped on the page, rolling her eyes at the taller male. 

“It’s ’Lobster Thermidor’, and that’s a way to prepare it,” she sighed quietly. “You need to calm down, Rome. Now, I put the twins to bed and I’ll be back tomorrow to pick Thorn up. Please, have a glass of wine to soothe your nerves and text me later to tell me how it went.” Just as Roman was about to reply, the doorbell sounded from the other side of the house and he found himself physically pushing Lori out of the kitchen. Getting the idea, Lori readjusted her dress begrudgingly before going to open the door for the other. She smiled sweetly while grabbing her purse before stepping outside. “He’s in the kitchen. Try to take it slow with him. I think he’s having an episode,” she joked, brushing past him.

3

New Zealander Unna Burch, who blogs at The Forest Cantina, taught herself everything she knows about good home cooking — and now, with her second Forest Cantina cookbook, she’s ready to teach you. 

“During the week I want fuss-free meals. Tasty food that isn’t too complicated to put together,” she says. “Weekends or during the holidays I like to make dishes that require a little more time and attention. My food philosophy is fresh, free range, and fair trade.”

The book also provides a guide to suburban self-sufficiency, including how-tos on keeping gardens, chickens, and bees — yes, bees! Dig in to the project here.

Fireworks - Vegas AU flash-forward sneak peek

Author’s Note: It’s the 4th of July, and I’m feeling writey. So we’re going to do a few Independence Day themed sneak peeks today. First up, a little flash-forward from a few weeks down the line in What Happens In Vegas.


They’re eating dinner when it happens. Someone down the block is a bit overeager to get the festivities started, and just as Regina is lifting an ear of sweet corn to her mouth, there’s a cluster of popping bangs. The corn falls to the plate with a clatter, landing half in pasta salad and sending a few noodles rolling off the plate.

Regina startles with a sharp, shuddering inhale, and Robin catches the tremble in her fingers before she presses them to the table’s edge to still them, her eyes wide and fearful and yet somehow oddly blank. Like she’s here, but not here, and she sucks in a few deep breaths with slow exhales to calm herself.

Panic, he knows. She doesn’t like loud noises; they’re a trigger, and a harsh one. Two weeks ago, Roland had dropped a thick cookbook on the kitchen floor and she’d dropped a spatula onto the eggs she’d been making, rupturing it and leaving Robin with no runny yolk for sopping up with toast. And just last night when Roland had been rambling eagerly about the weekend’s festivities – the cookout at John’s and the picnic dinner in the park where they set off the fireworks once the sky goes dark – Regina had smiled politely and said she wasn’t sure if she could make it on Saturday, but she’d try.

And now here they are, the fireworks a day earlier than they’re supposed to be, and she’s wrestled her breathing under control in short order, but Roland is giggling at her.

“Regina!” he scolds in his little boy voice, “It’s just the fireworks!”

She smiles at him, kind but tight, the sort that doesn’t reach her eyes but Roland will be none the wiser. “I know, sweetheart. They just startled me, that’s all.”

She swallows hard; her fingertips are still pressed to the table, turning white with the pressure. Her corn is still in her pasta salad.

“Cuz it’s not their night?” Roland asks, and she nods.

“Exactly,” she says, her smile a little more genuine now, but only for a moment. It strains again when she admits, “I don’t much like fireworks, to be honest.”

It’s as though she’s said she doesn’t like Santa Claus. Roland’s mouth drops open wide, his face indignant. “Who doesn’t like fireworks?”

Robin saves her from answering, his voice gentle but firm when he tells his son, “Now, Roland, we don’t all like the same things. Regina likes brussels sprouts, and you don’t like those, do you?”

Roland wrinkles his nose and shakes his head.

He was about to say more, something about how we need to understand when other’s tastes differ from ours and not make fun of it, but there are more firecrackers, and another gasp, and he watches dark eyes flick from Roland to him, and they shine suddenly, rimmed with wet and his heart aches. He hasn’t asked her yet, hasn’t questioned where this particular fear comes from, but he can see that it’s acute, more so than any other reaction he’s seen from her. (Cora’s tight grasp on her arm had had her stiff and pulling backward, intense discomfort and perhaps a bit of embarrassment but it hadn’t been this.)

“It’s okay, Regina,” Roland attempts to soothe, in the way only a four year old can, reaching toward her and patting the tabletop when he finds he can’t reach her hand.

“I’m not very hungry tonight,” she says suddenly, despite the fact she’s only had maybe a third of her dinner and it was a light meal to begin with. But she’s wiping her fingers on her napkin and scraping her chair back, and muttering, “I think I’m just going to go to bed,” as she stands and retreats.

Robin says her name, once, but doesn’t otherwise try and stop her. If she needs some solitude, he’ll not deny her that.

“Did I make Regina mad?”

Roland’s voice, small and sad, comes from the other side of the table and Robin looks over at him, shakes his head. “No, my boy. She’s just not feeling very well tonight, that’s all.”

Dark eyes, big and worried, track in the direction of the guest bedroom, dimples winking out as Roland scowls his lips and twists them side to side. Finally, he turns back to Robin and asks, “Can we go see the fireworks?”

“Right now?” Robin questions, another pop firing outside and making Robin feel suddenly and insanely annoyed. He imagines Regina in her bedroom, imagines her sucking in breath, imagines her shoulders jerking. People ought to be less bloody reckless with their celebrating; it’s not even the fourth yet.

“Yeah,” Roland confirms, around the mouthful of noodles he’s just shoveled in.

“Finish your dinner,” Robin urges, “And then we’ll sit outside a bit and see what we can see.”

Roland eats like a speed demon after that – Robin has to remind him twice that he could choke if he refuses to chew. No more than ten minutes pass before they’re out on the front lawn. They hear a few more clusters, these further away in the neighborhood, but they’re firecrackers, not proper fireworks and so there’s no light show to be seen.

He doesn’t check on Regina until after he’s put Roland down for the night, but when he does he finds her asleep, her body curled around her pillow, hair splayed back behind her, a round of neon pink foam visible in her ear. Her mouth is frowning, even in sleep, and she lets out a whimper, jerks and presses her face into the pillow. Whatever sleep she’s getting is not restful.

Robin aches for her, wishes there was something, anything, he could do. He’s her husband, he should know how to soothe her, but then, it’s not as though he’s had years to learn. There are bare patches in the things he knows of her, holes where the particularly painful parts of her past have nestled down and taken root. Dark places she’s not yet shed light on in the weeks they’ve been together.

So he leaves her be, shuts her bedroom door quietly despite her ear plugs and settles in to read before sleep.

Tonight, though, he doesn’t bring his book to bed as usual. No, he settles instead into the armchair in the living room, keeps to the common space with a view of the kitchen.

Just in case she wakes.

Just in case she wants to talk.

He’s asleep in his chair when she finally emerges around half two, but he wakes to the feel of his book being pulled gently from his fingers, comes to awareness to find she’d draped a blanket over his legs already. She’s thoughtful, Regina. When she wants to be.

When he opens his eyes, she freezes, his book clutched in her fingers, her hair sleep-mussed and pillow tracks on one cheek. He thinks she’s gorgeous. He always does. In his half-woken state he has a bleary thought that he hopes in a year’s time she’ll choose to stay.

But right now, she’s caught. Frozen. Had clearly been trying not to wake him, and failed.

Robin reaches out a hand for hers, for the one that isn’t still holding tight to his novel, and lifts her fingers to his lips.

“Are you alright, darling?” he rasps, and she looks down, looks suddenly very sad, pressing her lips together as she shifts his book to the side table and nods. He keeps her hand, asks, “Will you tell me?”

He doesn’t expect her to say yes, not fully, expects her usual I don’t want to talk about that. But what he gets instead is, “Can we move to the couch?”

She tells him more secrets that night, sheds light on some of her deepest darkness, and Robin sits quietly, and listens, and wipes away the tears that fall when she lets him.

She goes home in the morning, back to her place for a night, much to Roland’s disappointment. But Robin makes excuses for her, works doubly hard to make Roland forget she’s even gone, and as fireworks pop and explode in the sky, he thinks of her, and hopes all she’s hearing is her own breath, her own heartbeat.

When he sees her again on Thursday night, she’s right as rain, bitching as usual about the goddamn traffic between Santa Monica and Pasadena.

6

Flickering Tempo: Jack, the newest addition to the crew hiding out in the Danish countryside, teaches Arne how to dice properly. Arne has something else in mind.

Written for the splendid #EatTheRare week created by the lovely folks at @hannibalcreative.

Arne lingers by the open doorway to the kitchen, dark eyes darting around as he observes the latest stray they somehow managed to acquire out in the twisting cow paths of the godforsaken Danish countryside. 

A strange innocence clings to the boy, despite showing up in an incredibly rare and definitely stolen car fitted with a set of poorly made fake plates. They were forced to abandon and torch the lot before the local police came sniffing around—not to mention the two nosy, bumbling old fools Alfred and Carl. After all, no one drives an ancient DeSoto in these parts. No one drives an ancient DeSoto, full stop. But the wide, panicked eyes and babbling English, alongside Torkild’s new found altruism, was enough to convince the men to help the kid out of some convoluted jam with an Albanian banker. 

After a week spent sullenly scrutinizing Jack, Arne figures it must be the high flush on the boy’s cheeks, a rosy stain that never quite seems to fade. A lingering blush of youth above the slightest suggestion of facial hair accenting his fine bone structure. It makes him look sickeningly sweet, beautiful, delicate.  

Ripe.

Arne swallows thickly, the muscles in his jaw jumping. After a couple jittery half starts, he rakes a hand through his greasy fringe, brushing it aside before flexing and balling his fists. With a he stuffs them into his loose pants pockets. The long column of his spine a rigid, tilted line, shoulders rolled back, he takes a small step inside the loathsome room.

“Hey, Arne,” Jack greets him with a casual, friendly smile that curls his pink lips and crinkles the skin at the corners of his eyes. Flat, white, perfect teeth glint at him across the room. His accent is all wrong, the odd shape of his vowels, hitting each syllable of Arne’s name with an unfamiliar flatness.

Americans. 

A sneer, the faintest reflexive twitching of nose and upper lip, flashes across Arne’s face. Preoccupied with his cooking prep, Jack misses the fleeting reaction.

“I thought you guys were going for a walk?” He asks genially, though out of convention rather than genuine curiosity.

Arne stares, resolutely ignoring the vapid question in favor of fishing out a battered package of cigarettes from his pocket as he rounds the island. Blindly switching on a gas burner, Arne ducks down to light the cigarette while still inspecting the oblivious Jack. Sweeping back his hair with one hand, he sucks in a lungful of tobacco. 

An awkward lull follows as he rapidly becomes hypnotized by the way Jack slices through a plump, red apple with a finesse Arne could never possess. The broad knife an extension of himself; seamless, fluid movements despite the dull edge. The quiet, rhythmic thunk of it hitting the cutting board carefully laid out along the counter. It is only when Jack finishes chopping the portion of apple, glancing up to catch Arne staring, that the man snaps back to himself.

“What is this shit?” Arne gestures with his cigarette to the spread. A couple different Danish cookbooks Torkild bought weeks ago sit open around the scattered mess of ingredients.

“It’s my take on an apple pie.” A stray curl falls across his forehead as he resumes cutting the fruit into small cubes to fill some odd pastries he has rolled out on a nearby baking sheet. “Come here,” Jack beckons, that lovely, easy smile lighting up his face.

[continue reading on AO3]

waytoomanyfeelings  asked:

How do you think the conversation with Laurel will play out between her and Olicity at their home? I'm kinda excited to see their reactions to her randomly showing up

“Casserole!” Felicity’s voice echoed from upstairs.

“I’ve got it,” Oliver yelled back, pulling the foil-covered dish out of the fridge.

“Not mine! Yours is in the blue dish!”

He laughed, shaking his head. “Don’t worry, I have the right one.”

“If we end up poisoning our neighbor’s children, I’m blaming you. When the police come to our door because Denise and Kyle called them, I’m pointing right at you, mister.”

“Your casserole is not that bad,” Oliver replied, grabbing his keys as he made his way out of the kitchen. 

Felicity snorted on her way down the stairs. She was gorgeous - she was always gorgeous, whether she was all dressed up or wearing sweats or wearing nothing at all. She wore a light sundress and flat sandals, her lips colored in bright pink. He met her at the bottom of the stairs, one hand holding the casserole, the other wrapping around her waist. Oliver pulled her in for a chaste kiss, pulling back to see her skeptical face. 

“It isn’t. I would absolutely eat your casserole.”

“That’s because you like to indulge my mysterious inability to properly follow recipes. I can’t even boil water without burning something.” 

He smiled - it had quickly become one of his favorite things about her, that and her refusal to give up: “Never give up, never surrender,” she said… An hour later, she smacked the page in the cookbook she’d bought the week before. “Why doesn’t my sauce look like the sauce in the picture?” 

Felicity scrunched her nose. “’Eating my casserole’ sounds kinda dirty.”

Oliver’s smile morphed into a grin and he leaned in, kissing her again. “I like eating you too.”

She rolled her eyes, both of them remembering where his head had been buried when he’d woken her just that morning. She nuzzled his nose. “I don’t know, I might need another reminder tonight.”

Oliver chuckled as he kissed her, holding her tighter, lifting her off her feet just enough so she had to grab his shoulders to hold on.

“Alright,” Felicity said between kisses and he set her down. “We have to go or we’ll be late.”

“It’s a barbecue,” Oliver replied. Felicity swiped her thumb over his lips, showing him the pink remnants. He shrugged, barely finding it within himself to care. “Barbecues are things that don’t have designated arrival times.”

“It’s called neighbor etiquette,” Felicity said. She pulled her black cardigan off the rack he’d nailed to the wall in the foyer and opened the front door. “It’s the nice thing to do when you’re…”

Felicity stopped abruptly when she saw who was waiting on the other side. Oliver halted right before he mowed her over, his eyes latching onto… 

Laurel.

She stood on the other side, her hand hovering like she’d been ready to knock. Laurel slowly lowered her arm, giving them a little wave. “Hi, guys.”

“Laurel,” Felicity said dumbly, shaking her head slightly. “Laurel’s here.”

“Yes, I’m here.” Laurel smiled - the smile was warm and welcoming, and Oliver felt a tug in his gut because despite their new life, he missed them… he missed his family - and then her eyes danced around the little bit of their house she could see.

Oliver didn’t move, the casserole forgotten, the barbecue forgotten, everything forgotten. 

Laurel was here… and if she was here… it was bad.

The second of silence stretched into a minute, nobody doing anything. 

Laurel finally sighed. “I’m sorry to barge in like this, but… Could I come in?”

“Oh!” Felicity said abruptly. “Right. Yeah, of course, come in.” She backed up right into Oliver who suddenly remembered he had feet and they both backed out of the way as Felicity waved her in. “Sorry. You’re just… we weren’t expecting you.”

Laurel nodded. “I know. I would’ve called, but this…” She paused, biting her lip and then she met Oliver’s eyes full-on. “It’s important.”

“What’s wrong?” Oliver immediately asked.

Laurel didn’t waste a second. “You need to come back.” 

The words were a sucker punch to the gut. Oliver stared at her. She wasn’t talking about just him, or just Felicity… she was talking about… Oliver started shaking his head, and Laurel took a step towards him, her voice growing stronger.

“Oliver, we need you...

“The city needs you.”

His mouth was dry, his throat growing tight. “Laurel…”

Her hand flew up. “No, wait… just hear me out. Okay?”

Oliver blinked, so ready to say no… No, he wasn’t that person anymore, he wasn’t the Arrow anymore - that person was dead, and even if he hadn’t been, he didn’t want to be him anymore… 

And then Felicity reached back, slipping her hand into his. She laced her fingers through his, squeezing tightly.

Just hear me out…

Oliver pinched his lips, and then he nodded. “Yeah. Okay. Let’s sit down.”

“How did you lose the weight? I hate looking at myself. I want to be happy.”

First of all, there’s something you should know.

Losing weight isn’t going to make you happy.

I know that the way society has tried to form your ideas of beauty makes you think that being pretty and thin is going to solve all your problems, but that isn’t how it works. Losing weight comes with it’s own set of complications, and being overweight isn’t the cause of all your self esteem issues or unhappiness. It’s deeper than that, because body image issues always are.

Before you even consider losing weight, I want you to try and make peace with who you are now. If you don’t make peace with yourself now, it’ll be nearly impossible to enjoy yourself even when you have lost the weight.

Change your reasoning from “I want to change because I hate myself” to “I want to change because I want to be more.”

Second of all, I don’t tend to give out weight loss advice because I’m not a nutritionist, I’m just someone who lost weight over the course of six years. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes, and all this was was calibrating and changing my behavior when I saw what didn’t work.

I’m not going to recommend diets because those crash diets in and of themselves don’t work. You’ll drop the weight initially, but it’ll be nearly unsustainable once you get off of them.

Crash diets don’t work. You have to change your lifestyle.

The truth is, I was nearly 500 pounds and it’s because I ate junk food literally ALL the time, and I never did any kind of physical work whatsoever. All I did was fix that.

The thing about eating healthy and working out isn’t that it’s difficult, it’s just that it’s boring as hell if you’re not the kind of person who automatically likes that. I wasn’t that kind of person, so the “secret” was making me enjoy that.

Eating healthy was bland and boring to me, so I fell in love with cooking healthy recipes. I found stuff through Pinterest and online cookbooks, and at least once a week I’ll try some different recipe that I haven’t yet. I became obsessed with vegan food and restaurants and still love vegan and health food to this day because of it. I made myself fall in love with eating healthier, and even though I’ll still eat junk from time to time it’s okay because it doesn’t derail my life.

Working out was dull as hell, so I found a way to make it interesting. I played paddle ball at the courts near my old house. I wanted to walk more, so I purposely went to neighborhoods I’d never been to before or giant parks so I was interested in seeing more of the world around me. When I was comfortable walking, I jogged. When I was comfortable jogging, I’d run.

When I made eating healthier and exercising into a hobby, it stopped being work. When it became something I wanted to do, and not something I felt like I had to do, it became effortless.

019. You're Famous

NIALL:

It had started off as a joke, The Soroity Girl Cooking Show. Throughout college you had been the only one your roommates in both your dorm and later rented bungalow who could cook. You had a knack for shopping sales of all kinds and cooking really great and filling meals. It probably came from being raised by two parents who worked very hard. After school, you had three choices: starve, dine on pizza pops and cereal, or learn how to cook. Soon, your place became known throughout your faculty as the place to go for a good meal and you were often serving up to guests who would stop by to study or just chill. One guy who came by a lot to be fed, James O’Leary, was the son of a successful television producer and he pitched the show to his dad and before you knew it, you were saying goodbye to your English degree and hello to the Food Network. The show was an absolute success after your sixth first season episode where you made New England Pasta Bake as the main dish. After that, you were no longer just a nine pm time slot on Thursday. You weren’t just the charming girl in a red apron teaching college kids away from home how to cook, you were reaching all kinds of markets and even garnishing some serious fan mail.

After an exhausting day of heavy press followed by an energetic night show, Niall was lying in bed with a tray of room service and cold beer and mindlessly flipping through the channels. He wanted to watch Top Gear, but had missed the last replay of the night and was now just looking for anything to zone him out until he could fall asleep.The Sorority Girl Cooking Show sounded incredibly erotic to him and he didn’t have to order it. The title suggested it would involve food and a hot girl, the Irish man was sold. He took a huge first bite of his steak sandwich and laid down further in the sheets to tune in. You were already fifteen minutes in and now rolling up cold meat into perfect balls with your bare hands, freshly manicured as they always were before a taping.  With steak sauce sliding out of the left corner of his mouth, Niall was staring at the screen – hooked like millions of other viewers. He wasn’t sure what looked better, the lamb meatballs that were finished and fresh from the oven in the tray beside you or the smile you flashed at the camera when cracking a tiny joke.

Throughout the rest of the tour, the boys and some of the crew members would harmlessly tease Niall about his crush on you. They saw him watching the show on his laptop on the bus or tuning in and trying to cook along with you. The boys never complained because they were getting fed (sometimes well), but they couldn’t help but poke fun at him. When they arrived for their first in California, where you filmed the show, Louis thought it would be funny to take him to a taping of the show. However, your producer thought it would be even better to have the two of them assist you in cooking the day’s meals: whiskey chicken drummers for appetizers, tex mex pot pies for dinner, and apple pie sundaes (which Niall had already seen on your website and since then dreamed about you serving them to him in nothing, but your red apron).

The taping had gone over swimmingly, the studio audience laughing more at Louis’s constant joke cracking than they applauded the announcement your first cookbook,Babe on a Budget, would be hitting stores next week but they were all getting advanced signed copies. You sat in your dressing room, heels already off and your comfy pair of Keds were on. You reached behind your back to start to untie your apron, waiting for the hair stylist to come in and pull out all the bobby pins she had slid up in there when there was a knock on your open dressing room door. Your eyes shifted to the side anxiously, surprised to see Niall leaning on the door’s frame.

Just do it, mate!” You heard Louis hiss, but you couldn’t actually see him. It caused you to laugh though especially once you noted how cheesed it made Niall look, his eyes rolling back and nose hiking upward with irritation.

“Hey, you did great today.” Standing up out of your chair, you grinned kindly at the blond boy, forgetting all about your apron as you invited him in with a wave of your hand. “Did you have fun?”

“Yeah. Surprised I didn’t burn down the place.” He chuckled, nervously staring at his shoes for a moment as he stepped in closer. You sat on the arm of the small leather couch in your room, crossing your arms over your chest while still smiling at him. Niall kept looking at you only to avert his gaze. This was the smile he been hooked on for weeks now and he founded it far more enticing in person. He thought that, maybe, meeting you would ruin the show for him, that he would lose interest, but it had done the opposite and now he just wanted to be on the show, cooking beside you every day in his own red apron. “Sorry about cursing so much. I’m not used to all the kitchen gadgets and stuff.” He chuckled, but you just laughed it off. While you knew the boys (like all guests) were instructed to watch their language, it couldn’t be helped sometimes. You knew he didn’t mean anything by it.

“It happens. That’s why we we’re not a live show.” The idea of a live show absolutely terrified you. It was always pitched around in production meetings, doing a live show for a special holiday, but you were completely against the idea. “You must find it hard in your own shows.” You chuckled lightly, tilting your head to the side and feeling some of your hair fall over your shoulders.

“I’m getting better.” He said proudly, finally holding eye contact with you and not trying to hide how rosy his cheeks had become since entering your dressing room.

“So, is there something I can help you with? Do you need Donald for anything?” He was the producer; you were just the face of the show.

“No. I was looking for you.”

“Oh. That’s a first.” Grinning, you told him and stood up from the couch to be of better service to him. “Everyone always wants Donald. What can I do you for?”

“Well, we’re going to be in California for a little bit, a little over a week, and I know you’re busy with the show, I’m busy too,” He babbled, his hand gestures ranging from pressing a palm to his chest and then  pointing right at you with both index fingers.

Niall!” Louis hissed again from out in the hallway, causing Niall to blush a shade of red that did not suit him, it was scarlet and painting his entire face like he had just eaten too many spicy peppers. You had seen the face before.

“Are you asking if I’d cook meals for you guys while you’re here?” It didn’t seem farfetched to you, people had asked for you specifically to prepare them meals since the show started. Kelly Clarkson’s people were still emailing you to come down to Texas and prepare her and her family another feast after you catered a party for her and her crew when she had come to town.

“No. Well, you definitely can. I could eat those apple pie sundaes every day, but I was really asking if you would want to get together. You could show me around, maybe, I don’t know much about California despite coming here a bunch of times.” He looked up, his face turning from red to as pink as the inside of a medium well steak. Niall slid his hands into the pocket of his jeans and crossed his fingers once they were inside.

“Ooooh.”You held your lips in the shape of a lowercase ‘o’, dragging the noise on as you tried to wrap your mind around one fifth of the world’s hottest band asking you to show him around town.  Judging by how nervous his face showed him to be, you knew it was not just someone looking for a friend. Besides, he had four friends by his side and in a bus with him everywhere he went. He didn’t need any more friends or wannabe friends. Niall had done his research. There was nothing on the internet claiming that you had a boyfriend or anything, but the sound coming from your voice had his stomach in tight knots. Maybe you just weren’t interested. Maybe you found him gross. “Are you sure?” You asked and then immediately knew you shouldn’t have. “I just mean, you are who you are….”

“I know what you mean.” Niall nodded and understood completely. You didn’t have to say it out loud. Cameras and screaming girls were deal breakers for a lot of people. They were every day in his life and even he found it uncomfortable so he could fathom someone who wasn’t used to them being skeptical.  “But you are who you are, too.” While Niall’s life had been in the fast lane for the last three years, you weren’t exactly a nobody yourself. Your fan bases looked different, but you still had one. People recognized you in the supermarket and at the doctor’s office. He could at least offer you some support while your life changed. He knew better than anyone what fame was like. “I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Thank you for having us.” Niall uncrossed his fingers and curled his hands into fists before turning around to drag his feet out of the room. He felt like a real idiot, embarrassed for putting himself out there. He was the single one and girls wanted him everywhere, he hadn’t been ready for the rejection.

“Oh, come on, [Y/N]!” Once more, Louis hissed like an angry street drunk outside of your dressing room. You could just picture his face shaking in disappointment at how the exchange between yourself and Niall went. All you could do was chuckle though (and roll your eyes like Niall did).

“Niall!” Rushing out of the room, you shot your head out the door just as the hair stylist was coming in to assist you. He was barely out the door, so he spun around and your faces nearly swiped one another’s. “I’d love to spend some time with you while you’re in town. I already know where I’d like to take you first.” Smiling the smile you wore on the side of buses and on a billboard in front of The W Hotel, you told him.

“You don’t have to.” Niall was finally grinning again, his face free of shame for a moment. “I don’t want you to just do it because…”

“I want to.” Assuring him, you spoke a little softer. “Wear running shoes, we’re going for a hike.” You weren’t going to be cooking for anyone on a first date.

HARRY:  You never got sick before your own appearances or events, only when it came to Harry’s. Your stomach would become home to the most hyperactive butterflies and, you swore, they were armed with machetes and machine guns to keep you feeling particularly uneasy.  When the sitcom you played the sarcastic misunderstood teenage daughter on was nominated for its first round of Emmy’s last year, Harry accompanied you on the red carpet and to the ceremony. You were fine. Your dress cost more than you were worth dead and the jeweler warned you of what Hell was in store for you if you lost an earring or broke the bracelet, but you still didn’t sweat in the slightest. It was your night and you had the time of your life. However, when it was an event where you were the date and Harry was the guest, you always felt like you were about to be violently ill.

Doing up his cufflinks on the dress shirt that his stylist had laid out for him along with other options, Harry leaned against the closed washroom door and called in for you. The makeup artist had left a half hour ago and the town car was already waiting downstairs, Harry was worried that you weren’t already out with your heels on and ready to head out. He wasn’t as glitzy as he seemed. Red carpet events were not the be all end all to him, but this was the London premier of the Keith Richards documentary he helped fund and make happen. He was mostly just looking forward to celebrating the project and seeing old friends again.  Harry didn’t care what anyone had on or how they looked, as long as the night was a success.

“Are you alright, [Y/N]? The car is waiting and traffic is a mess.” It was always a mess in London, but Harry hoped that would make you come out quicker.

“I’m fine.” Holding a hand mirror behind your head while you squinted furiously into the bathroom mirror, you replied. You had been studying your low side bun ever since the makeup artist left you, your eyes smoky as Harry always liked them. It seemed like as soon as he saw the dark gray shades smudged over your lids, he forgot about everything and just wanted to keep you to himself all night, bent over a kitchen counter or underneath him on top of helplessly tangled bed sheets. As you put down the hand mirror down on the counter, you straightened out your strapless turquoise dress over your body with both your free hands. Harry’s fans were critical. They had an opinion to share on everything and, when it came to you, they were rarely positive remarks. Even tabloids didn’t understand how the mega star was wrapped up in a television supporting actress. You tried to let it go in one ear and out the other, Harry always urged you to ignore all the extra noise, but it was easier said than done. So, tonight, you wanted to look as good as you could. Fans would be there by the hundreds to see your boyfriend and cameras for every website, magazine, and television station across the globe would show up with flashing bulbs. Sighing, you picked up your clutch from where it was waiting next to the sink and turned to leave, but the bathroom door flew open and Harry was revealed.

“What’s taking you?” He asked, sounding a mixture of concerned and annoyed. “I never think you can look any more beautiful and then…wow….” He changed his tune completely, looking you over from your pedicured toes that peeked out underneath the skirt of your dress to the few hairs that were falling purposefully out of your finished hair. “I don’t even know if I want to go now.” He bit his bottom lip and purred at you, walking closer to put his hands on both your sides and steal a kiss. “You’re stunning. It’s no wonder Teen Vogue wants you on the cover for September.” He smirked and kissed you again. You had got the call that morning while you were still lying in bed and wishing the sun hadn’t screamed its way through the curtains. It was your first cover and you couldn’t have been more excited for the shoot.

“Harry, I’m so nervous for tonight.” You admitted quietly, resting your head on his shoulder for a moment and taking a look at you both in the bathroom mirror. While fans were warning you not to break his heart and claiming you two weren’t real, you understood in that moment why some blogs thought you two were cute together. With his hands on your hips and your head the shoulder of his dress shirt, you thought the two of you did look quite sweet. You would never feel good enough for Harry, but you were thrilled he thought otherwise.

“Why?” He laughed. “I’m nervous! I need you to be the rock.” He laughed. It wasn’t as if the Rolling Stones were some well-kept British secret. There had been plenty of rock docs made about them, but Harry still wanted this one to be the best reviewed. Critics were always hard on him due to his boy band roots. “Why are you nervous, hun?”

“I’m always nervous when it comes to your fans. When those girls came up for a picture while we were in line at Wendy’s last week, I nearly had a panic attack. They have the most judgmental eyes, you know, and they all have Twitters!” One of the girls had eyed you like you two were longtime sworn enemies, but the other had asked for a picture with you two and told you that she was a big fan of Split-Level  the family sitcom you were on.

“You need to get a Twitter.” Harry hugged you closer, knowing full well that being his girlfriend hadn’t been a smooth transition for you. You were fine when it was the two of you or your close friends, but when you were outside for the world to judge, it was much harder. “Because if they heard your weird thoughts after midnight like I do, they would absolutely love you.” He kissed you once more, even though you were in the middle of laughing.

“Thank you.”

“Let’s go, babe. I dare someone to not like you in this dress.” He curled his fingers between yours and led you out of the bathroom, eager to get a start on the night he had been waiting for for a while.

LIAM: Liam listened to his best friends, his four band mates talk about their own relationships, he listened to their girlfriends fret and whine over being tied to the biggest names in music and having their every move criticized. There was a time where he empathized with the guys only, knowing how they felt guilty or how frustrating keeping a personal life private could be. He experienced it with his own relationships in the past. However, now that he was dating you, the guys just didn’t understand. He was like one of their girlfriends now, his every move commented on, and feeling judged every time he stepped foot in different arena. He found himself texting Eleanor every day, feeling like an idiot for something he said to an interviewer at one of your matches or telling her something an elderly couple told him about tennis stars while he watched in the stands. Liam had thought that any girl would be lucky to be with him. He was kind, wealthy, good looking, and heavily emotional, but with you, he felt like a second string. You had become the highest paid athlete last year, the first female, and pictures of you with your racket and in your Stella McCartney tennis dresses were in every airport he walked through. He loved you, but he wondered what the Hell it was you saw in him. He worked hard, but not nearly as hard as you did at practices and in the gym.

That was where you two had met, in a gym, and he had been blown away by your stamina. He was fresh from a breakup at the time and couldn’t help, but let his dirty mind have the best of him. He watched you lifting weights in your black yoga shorts and red Nike sports bra and just imagined it being the two of you in the gym. His mind pictured you straddled on his lap on the pec-fly machine, pulling out your ponytail and using his body like a jungle gym. So, he went over and drummed up conversation, telling you about his workouts while he was on tour, what protein shakes he preferred, and commenting on the interview you had done on Oprah’s Next Chapter that he had watched with his Mom. He thought he would charm you, but the tables turned when you turned him down for his dinner offer. When he finally got your number through publicists, you rarely returned his texts. It took Liam three months and a lot of frustration to actually line up a meal with you, a lunch in San Francisco while you were there for a children suffering from obesity event. You asked him to lend his time to it and he said he only would if you had dinner with him, but you had managed to talk him down to a lunch at a little Mexican place you were fond of. That was half a year ago and now he was no longer Liam of One Direction, but Liam [Y/N]’s boyfriend.

“Man, that was intense!” You breathed out, slowing down from your jog as you stepped around a final rock and reached your destination at the top of the trail. You didn’t even take notice of the view yet, you held your hands on your hips as your toned stomach moved in and out rapidly, and waited for Liam to join you, and he was only a handful of steps behind. Quickly, you checked the time on your watch and calculated how long it took you, not at all satisfied with the results.

“Get that look out of your eyes.” Panting, Liam managed to say as he grabbed hold of his knees, feeling them wobble, as he came to a stop right beside you. “The fact that we finished that at all is impressive. Now I understand why it’s called ‘Madman’s Mountain’.” Sweat beads dropped from his forehead and landed on the rocks below his feet, but he couldn’t even be asked to wipe at his face. He was completely spent. You two were two of the most in shape people you knew of, but you were both hoping that a helicopter could pick you up instead of having to take the trail down again. Even thinking about driving home seemed painfully exhausting to Liam.

“Yeah.” He was right and you knew it, but you didn’t get at the level you were from being happy with average results. “Thank you for joining me.” You sat down on ground, turning around and staring out at the tree tops that spread out around you, shades of green you didn’t know existed surrounded you and showed little sign of stopping. It really was a beautiful sight to behold and, suddenly, all your hard work felt worth it. You took a long sip from your water bottle and reached your arm out to hand it to Liam, just in case he was out of water himself. You had noticed him pouring a lot over his face twice on the trek. “This is gorgeous. Totally worth it.” You exhaled, your breath finally normal, as you dined on the view.

“I don’t know if it’s worth it, but it is stunning.” Still trying to steady his heart, Liam said while sitting down next to you. He drank from your water bottle and reached into his shorts for his cell phone to snap a picture of where you two were. “It is nice to be away from everything though. It’s seriously just you and I up here.” That was why Liam had agreed to the hike. You two loved being active together, dog parks and gym dates made up your romantic calendar, but he had heard enough horror stories about Madman Mountain to be hesitant. However, knowing that there was no paparazzi alive in good enough physical form to make the hike up there for a photo of you two, he agreed. He just wanted a moment with you where he didn’t have the world watching, where the only people in the relationship mattered.

LOUIS:  Some people grew up on Disney, some people were raised on Rock and Roll music, but you had been pretty much nurtured amongst comedians. Your mother was an agent and booked the freshest funny talent, some people said she knew whether someone was bankable or not within five minutes of them coming into her office for a meeting. She always told you that you had a gift with impeccable timing and your knack for weaving bizarre stories. You grew up around funny people who were in the midst of perfecting their craft, meeting them right before they took off and absorbing what you could from their learning experience. They always gave you their favorite comedy movies or albums as a gift and you soaked it up the way you should have been soaking up flashcards and notes for your school exams. At sixteen, you performed your first amateur night, sneaking in on a Thursday when you should have been sleeping in your own bed. The crowd might as well have been crickets, but it didn’t discourage you. You were just more driven than before and, by the time, you were old enough to actually be in the clubs, you had a pretty solid set. Now, you were in demand. You were on your first tour, your first comedy special just filmed, and you were being hired to write for a few different comedy movies with actors that you had idolized since you were eye high to a pig’s thigh.

“I’m so jealous!” Louis cried to you on the phone. You could just picture him, grabbing at his hair and his eyes dilating wider than usual. “You’re getting ready to go for dinner with Christopher Walken and I can’t come. Man, I actually feel my insides turning green.” He explained.

“Well, you could come. You know you could.” While you zipped up your tall leather boots, you reminded him.

Were you in love with Louis? Hopelessly.  Was Louis happy with you? Without question. Were you two out in the open? Not even slightly. There wasn’t even speculation about it. In fact, you were pretty sure most of the world thought he was still with Eleanor. It bothered you half of the time and the rest of the time you understood. You and Louis had met on Red Nose Day. You performed a quick fifteen minute set and then, backstage, James Corden had introduced you to Louis, Eleanor, Liam, and Niall. All four of them had sore sides from your set and were eager for the chance to meet you. Eleanor even tweeted a picture of you, her, and Louis together (captioning it: with two of the funniest people I know). In fact, you quite liked Eleanor and when One Direction was performing, you sat with her in the green room and talked fashion and what it was like to be with someone as famous as Louis Tomlinson. At the time, you hadn’t expected that you and Louis would become fast friends. He came to some of your smaller venues, sometimes with Eleanor and other times with friends, and you would spend time with him afterwards at a bar or up at a hotel pool. Neither of you made a move on one another until after he and Eleanor had broken up. He kissed you for the first time after your comedy special had been taped, backstage right before your mother popped a bottle of champagne in celebration. It completely caught you by surprise, but you didn’t think twice before kissing back. You two had decided that night that if you were going to see one another as more than friends to keep it to yourselves for now. It was out of respect for Eleanor and to keep from becoming tabloid targets or upsetting anyone. It was fine, too. You liked quiet nights in your apartment with Louis with takeout food and a cult classic movie. It was times like this when your world was on fire and he wasn’t there to enjoy it with you that you were disappointed. It had only been a month, but you were beginning to have enough of the hiding.

“You were the one that wanted to wait, babe.” Louis reminded you, his voice soft as freshly fallen snow, but far warmer.

“I know. It’s hard than I thought.” You giggled at yourself, looking down at the toes of your shoes as they shone up at you. “Maybe, I should call Eleanor…talk to her…”

“Don’t you think I should call first?” He asked, not wanting to put you in an awkward position. Besides, he still loved his ex very much and didn’t want to hurt her in any way. She would always be a very important person to him. “I think I should call her first.”

“Yeah, maybe.” You weren’t sure; you had never found yourself in this situation before. While you had had boyfriends before, it wasn’t ever a relationship you were invested in like this one. “Well, at least I’m bound to get some material out of this.”

Louis burst out laughing on the other end of the phone, rolling his eyes as he calmed down.

“I like that you’re looking on the bright side, babe. Love you. Call me after your dinner tonight and let me know how perfect Christopher Walken is in person.”

ZAYN: Being famous had never been on your list of things to do. And you had a list of things to do. Your dad told you that you were born ambition, practically trying to be the first baby to walk out of the womb. Of course, he was exaggerating but it was still a story that you liked being told. While some people love material items and the idea of being worshiped like a mantelpiece, you were taken by things that bared heavier weight. Intellect, creativity, interest, and hard work. You didn’t think twice about pursuing Zayn Malik because he had all four of those qualities and you hoped, deeply but secretly, that he found all four of those things and a little bit more in you. It had been a fluke that the two of you met. One Direction had such a busy schedule that you didn’t think they would show up to a charity event as small as trying to save a historic library in South London, but he came, representing Bradford, and you had the chance to have a quick chat with him in the reference section while your knees knocked together below your white cocktail dress. When he asked what you did, you were truthful, a journalism student. He didn’t need to know you were writing a book, the first of what you hoped would branch into a series. Your best friend and parents didn’t even know that that was why you were so sleep deprieved, you were up late banging out paragraph upon paragraph on your laptop, lost in the fictional world you had wanted to create for a long time.

Tonight, a whole year later, you were standing on the balcony of your Maida Vale apartment, glancing over your shoulder to try and see the time on the clock inside, but when you looked, you saw Zayn watching you behind the screen.

“Are you not going to be sleeping tonight?” He was long since used to your insomniac tendencies, but he did think tonight was particularly cuter than the rest. His tattoos were mostly revealed as he sat shirtless, wearing only his black sweatpants. He slid the screen door to the side and joined you on the concrete, closing it with one hand behind his back. “Are you nervous? There’s no turning back now. There’s already been articles published and twelve hundred pre-orders.” He reminded you, your heart instantly beating faster. You leaned your backside against his chest and reached up to wrap both arms behind his neck.

“It’s just all happening. Tomorrow, well, today, I’m going to have a book on the shelves.”

“A book New York Times has already called ‘a modern day classic’.” Usually, he quoted about how they said you were a creative voice that your generation should read, but this one was just as reassuring to hear.

“How can I sleep when everything I wanted is about to come true? I don’t want to miss anything.” Quietly, you squealed, his hands clasped in front of you around your middle.

“You’d rather stand out here and get hypothermia?” He chuckled, his breath hot against your ear.

“It’s not that cold.” You shrugged, feeling a kiss placed upon the top of your head, right behind your messy bun. “I just want to know exactly what the world looked like when it all happened.”

“It looks like you with a funny little bun on your head,” He spoke, squeezing it with one hand and then gliding it back down to where his other hand was on your stomach. “Me, underdressed and freezing, and a whole lot of concrete and brick walls.” He laughed as your view really was just roof top after roof top.

“I’m just excited, Zayn.” Finally, you turned around to face him, your hands sliding up his back in a little attempt to warm him up.

He laughed and kissed your nose, pulling you closer and using your bun for a chin rest.

“I remember the night before our first album came up, I couldn’t sleep either. So, I’ll stay up with you.” He promised with a smile, as proud of you as you were of him. You really did feel like you could have it all together.

The Cookbook

Hey everyone!  First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for your kind words, strong support, watery mouths, and hungry bellies.

The Experiment has gotten a lot of attention recently, especially regarding the cookbook.  Loren Bouchard (lorenbouchard) reached out to me a few weeks ago and he told me what his image for the book was.  He’s been a long time fan of the blog, and I’m very excited to work with him.

The book is in very early development. We’re starting out with a few recipes and seeing how everything fits together.  I’ll keep all of you posted as new information arrives, but for now you’ll have to stick to the blog.

Keep on burgering, burgerfiends!

i go to bookstores and read books about inner passions, here we have: herbs, interior design, and an irish pub cookbook 😹 i filmed a winter lookbook today too! be up sometime this week x

@puppydogejade

For once in your life you’d decided that you’d actually make an attempt to do something nice without having to be told to do so. You’d spent the past week looking over various cookbooks and had planned to prepare a home cooked meal for your wife. Now you just had to find what you needed. In hindsight you probably should have looked through the kitchen earlier but you did and so now you were going through the cupboards in search of a suitable pan. Or at least you were until you found bottles of alcohol pushed right into the back corner of one of the cupboards. They weren’t yours, the fusions kept their stuff elsewhere so that just left your wife. And she was supposed to have dropped that habit.

>::::/

You pick one of the bottles up and head of in search of your wife with the intent to confront her about this discovery.

“Harley!! Where are you?!”

politicalmamaduck  asked:

I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner: LIBRARIAN AU.

Bless you.


She was back again. Ben called her The Scavenger in his head because she liked to pick collections dry. (Though he knew from her library card that her name was Rey. Pretty.) There wasn’t a pattern to her hauls, only that she’d take almost an entire shelf with her in that ratty little messenger bag and leave him to pick up her mess. Two weeks ago, it was the 641s, which was fine enough, but honestly who needed two dozen cookbooks of only Ethiopian food? The week before, she’d torn apart the Bs, robbing them of every single biography of Han Solo the library owned, and he knew from personal experience that that was both excessive and not that great of a story. Before that, the 940.5s, then the 155.6s, and before that, she’d checked out almost their entire collection of YA graphic novels.

He didn’t understand her, and couldn’t fathom that she was actually reading all these books in the singular week she would have them checked out, but occasionally he’d find one of her sticky notes still left in the books, so she must be at least skimming them.

A large, book-loving part of him praised her for not marking up the books like most of the students did. Not a page was creased and there were never highlighted sections. Just the odd post-it, though those never made sense. They were always just one word, and usually a name with an arrow pointing to the pertinent line. “Grandad,” or “Finn,” or “Jessika.”

He was a doctoral student and much too old to be scamming on the undergrads, but damn if this girl didn’t fascinate him. Tall but slender and knock-you-in-the-face pretty in that freckled, messy hair kind of way. She’d never said a thing to him beyond her “thank you” when he handed back her books. It was enough for him to latch on to her accent and warm at the surprisingly low pitch of her voice. He’d missed her when she didn’t show last week to return her cookbooks and take another swoop of the stacks.

Ben didn’t suppose he was fooling anyone but himself: he had it bad for the Scavenger and she was back. He’d talk to her tonight. He would. There were enough student workers at the desk to not need him running things and it wasn’t near finals time and he would. Tonight. He’d ask her if she’d cooked any of the recipes in her books or if she’d read the latest issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. He meant to catch her as she was dumping the books into the return slot, but one of the circ kids asked him a question and he lost her.

It was stupid and almost creepy, but he went into the stacks after her. Just to ask her if she needed any help finding anything. If she needed a job, as she knew half the collection already. Ask her to coffee.

He started in the 900s and quickly lost hope. She wasn’t usually one for fiction, but as he was already in the 250s and not coming up with anything, he thought she might be tucked away in the stacks upstairs. Just as he was about to give up, he found her.

The 020s.

Maybe she did want a job.

“Library science?”

She jumped and dropped her book which landed with a loud bang on the hardwood floor. She looked up at him then quickly away, turning into the shelf and running her fingers along the books in a very good imitation of someone who didn’t know what they were looking for.

Her book was still laying on the floor.

He reached for it and held it out. She was very pointedly ignoring him.

Shit.

“You, um, dropped this?” Idiot, he thought. Of course she dropped it. The whole floor knew she dropped the book.

“Thank you,” she mumbled and took it from him without looking. It occurred to him that he’d still never heard anything from her but these two words.

“Can I…help you find anything?”

She was quiet for a long moment, and he thought that she meant to ignore him again as she kept playacting like she was looking for a specific book. She kept running her fingers over the books, tracing the titles then the call numbers, one by one. Next shelf, same thing. Like she was performing an action that she had memorized.

“I’d like books about librarians, please. These are all about librarianship or their jobs. But I want books about librarians as people.”

Her voice was beautiful. Measured and posh and deep. Ben felt his ears heat with a blush, and he moved his hands through his long hair to make sure his Dumbo-ears were covered. “Any particular librarian you’re interested in?”

He cringed. That sounded like a come on. Real gross, dude.

“Well, you, actually,” she answered. “But you don’t have your doctorate yet so I doubt you’ve had any books written about you, even if your dad and mum are famous.”

“W-what?”

She turned to look up at him. Well, sort of. She looked at his nose. He knew it was big and that it drew the eye, so it didn’t bother him much. He wished she’d look him in the eye, though. She had gorgeous eyes.

“I’m Rey,” she said in a way that seemed like she’d hold her hand out for him to shake. She didn’t, of course. Ben wasn’t sure why he’d added the of course.

“I’m Ben. You know about my parents?”

She cocked her head, her eyes flitting to his for the barest of moments before settling on his nose again. “You checked out all those biographies on Han Solo to me. You know that I know about your parents.”

He liked her. He liked her a whole lot. She was weird and direct and he really, really liked her.

“Why do you want a book about me?” he asked. He took a step closer and she took a step back. This made sense somehow and he took a step back as well, giving her more space.

“To know how to talk to you,” she answered. She was looking at his eyebrows now. She wanted to know how to talk to him.

“You’re talking to me now, aren’t you? You don’t need a book for that.”

She cocked her head again, considering. “I usually do.” She tapped her nail on a four leaf clover button on the strap of her messenger bag and his eyes darted down at the sound.

Don’t kiss me, I’m on the spectrum.

Oh.

She seemed to change then, turning back to the shelf and starting to run her fingers along the books again. He reached out to her, but caught himself before he touched her shoulder. He pulled his hand back and squeezed it into a tight fist. It’s okay! Come back!

“Do you like coffee?” he asked. Her finger slowed on the books.

“No.”

Ben nodded. That was fine. It’s fine. There are plenty of other weird, beautiful, direct girls who singlehandedly drive the circ stats for late Thursday nights at the campus library. It’s fine.

“But I like coffee shops. I like people watching.”

He smiled. Relieved. “I do too. You want to people watch together sometime?”

“Okay,” she said, not turning from the books. “My phone number is in my file on the computer. I give you permission to write it down and text me. Please don’t call. I’m horrible at phones.”

His smile grew. He was horrible at phones, too.

“Okay,” he said. She was quiet again, but she was smiling at the books.

“Let me know if I can help you find anything else.”

4

END OF SUMMER COOKBOOK SALE!

Fall might be just two weeks away but that means it’s still summer so let’s cook like it! For the next week I’m selling my Summer Fresh E-Cookbook for 50% off with the codeendofsummer“ making this book, full of 25+ completely exclusive, delicious, healthy recipes and all my love, just $5! Purchasing this book goes SO FAR to help me do what I love by bringing you recipes you’ll love so please check it out! I promise, these recipes will be delicious even when the seasons turn!

Check out the cookbook here and use the coupon “endofsummer” :)

BIG NEWS: I'm making an e-cookbook!!

I started work on it last week and I’m so excited and inspired that after this weekend I’m about a quarter of the way done! The book is themed on summer recipes and focuses mostly on summer produce, grilling, and lighter recipes. The book will have at least 25 completely exclusive, only in the book, recipes along with add ins like guides to summer produce and recipe variations. There will also be meal plans and grocery guides. Right now it looks like the book will be vegetarian although I’m still deciding whether or not to put some grilled seafood in. Since I’m gluten intolerant the book will be completely gluten free too. :)

Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the recipes:

Vegan Loaded Breakfast Potatoes with Tempeh & Asparagus

Brown Rice Chickpea Sliders: 109 calories & 5g protein each

Vegan Orange Sherbet: 70 calories for 2 & ½ scoops!

I’m hoping to publish on my birthday, June 3. I’m still working on what program to use to sell it but it will cost $10-$12 ($1 for each book is being donated to Philabundance, an organization fighting hunger in my area/ the Delaware Valley.)

Have requests? Recipes or guides you’d like to see in the book? Are you excited for it too? Let me know! :)