okra fries

Stuck on Repeat - Part 3

In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2 for bar fight! Everlark. Before you ask, there will be one final chapter because there is a smut scene that I feel is a must have before I leave this universe. It’s a dirty job, but for the sake of loose ends, it must be done. ;-)

WARNINGS: RATED E for some filthy smut. Also, Mrs. Mellark is true to form in this one. You’ve been warned. I am not responsible for casualties caused by dining utensils, either real or imagined.

Precise laughter floats on the air in a frighteningly hushed dining room. No clanking of fine porcelain dishes or scraping of silver forks here. No boisterous comments or smashing of empty glass beer bottles as they land in 15 gallon recycle bins. Maybe the odd ring of crystal as someone calls for or finishes a toast. No loud rock and roll or Tom Jones stuck on repeat, just the grating softness of some classic piano concerto that makes her want to scratch out her ear drums right now.

Capitol Country Club is so different from what she’s used to that Katniss keeps shifting in her seat and can’t stop thinking about the sweat stains that are probably now marring the armpits of her bargain rack dress that must be at least five seasons old and came from a one-off designer brand store. Thankfully, Johanna has a secret passion for fashion and was able to magically work the dress into something that looked custom rather than clearance. Then she called in her girlfriend, Madge, to work miracles with Katniss’ hair and even some minor makeup. By the time they were done, Katniss felt confident and gorgeous.

Until she met the discerning, glacial blue eyes of Peeta’s mother, that is…

Keep reading

Ha Ling Noodles, Shanghai

I’m not a big fan of eating frog. Yes, I enjoy the flavor, but I hate the small bones you have to fight with to get any meat. So when a colleague suggested ordering bullfrog for lunch, I was hesitant at first, but ended up going in on the delivery order. “Just get me their most popular dish.”, I told her, and what arrived was one of the best lunches I’ve had in Shanghai!

While the name of the place is “Ha Ling NOODLES”, what I got was stewed bullfrog over rice…

It was explained to me that Ha Ling’s noodle dishes cannot be delivered, you have to eat them AT the restaurant so the noodles do not get cold and soggy. So when you order take-out, they substitute rice instead.

Nevertheless, this dish was simply fantastic! The bullfrog was braised in an addictive sauce of okra, hot peppers, garlic and ginger that I did not want to stop eating. And the frog was cooked perfectly; the meat literally fell off the bone making it easy and enjoyable to eat.

It was a big bowl of food, to be honest, but still came with a fried pork chop on the side…

I did not need the sweet soy sauce the pork came with as I preferred dipping it in the frog sauce.

If the bullfrog was THIS GOOD over rice, after however long it took to get to our office, I cannot wait to go and eat at Ha Ling and enjoy this dish as it is meant to be, cooked to order over noodles!!


8 South Guangxi Lu



How to Make Friends

People ask me pretty often how I have so many friends. There’s nor right or wrong ways to make friends, but I think there’s several basic principles that help you out. :) With school starting, I thought I would share!

  • Be interested: Show people you care about their lives and you would like to learn about them. Sometimes it can feel a little awkward asking people about their lives, and there’s definitely a point where it looks desperate, but if you are genuinely interested in people and who they are, they will be sure to sense that. Humans sort of like to talk about themselves, haha.
  • Find common ground: Honestly, there is something you’ll have in common with everyone. Sometimes it’s fried okra. Sometimes it’s books. Other times it’s Damon Salvatore. You just have to find it!
  • Be confident in yourself: Confidence is so incredibly attractive. I have developed crushes because people were so adorably and admirably confident about themselves. Also, be yourself – be as quirky as you want. I am a total weirdo but people still talk to me, and since I started out being a weirdo, they are used to it! You should never have to pretend to be someone with your friends.
  • Initiate: I know this can be terrifying for people. Even for me, this is a nerve-wracking step! But you have to spend time with people to get to know them! So talk to them! Say the first hello! Invite them places! Start with something casual and easy – for example, you’re talking about how freaking good gelato is with a friend. You then exclaim, “Okay, now I really want some gelato! Do you want to come with me?” (I mean, honestly, I will go anywhere if there’s gelato involved.) Also, don’t be offended if they say no. Keep it casual, but make that step.
  • Keep in touch: Is it just me or does friendship seem to accelerate once you get social medias? I’ve gotten so much closer to this one girl ever since I’ve gotten her Snapchat. We now talk all day and have like so many bullet journaling dates. It’s epic.
  • Be happy to see them: So one thing I am really blessed to have in my closet friend group is people who make a big deal out of my arrival. I will show up or they will see me and they’ll say “Hannahhh!” and hug me. Do you know how incredibly loved and wanted this makes you feel? if you want to make friends, show your happiness when you see people – even if it’s just a big grin and a “Hey!”

This is not a complete list… there’s plenty of other things you can do to be friendly. I hope this helps you in some way, though. Happy friend hunting. :D

Preference #1: Cookout

A/N: Hey Lovelies! So if you haven’t been keeping up to date, I’ve decided to start writing 5sos x People of Color imagines and preferences along with my regular writings. Representation matters and I don’t see enough poc imagines for 5sos out there, so I decided to change that. 

Calum: “Okay so this is basically like a barbecue?” Calum said, looking around at all your family and friends. His eyes scanned from a group of people dancing in one spot to a few of your family members grilling about. “Yeah it is when you really think about it,” you laughed, head bobbing along to the music as you watched Calum watching everyone else. “So why call it a cookout?” Calum questioned, graciously accepting the Styrofoam bowl full of banana pudding from your mom. “Depending on what region you live in the word changes,” your mom answered. Calum’s eyebrows rose up as he nodded at her words. That made a lot of sense it was like the “pop” vs. “soda” debacle. Depending on where you grew up phrases and words meant different things. 

Ashton: You laughed in amusement watching your cousins teach Ashton some new dance move that was circulating around social media. It wasn’t like Ashton couldn’t dance, but according to your cousins he needed work with his dancing. “See don’t let Y/N teach you these moves the only one she seemed to get right was the chicken head,” your cousin told Ashton. You rolled your eyes at his words, but smiled at Ashton when he turned around to grin at you. “I think I’m getting the hang of it,” Ashton said, breaking away from the group to come sit by your side. Ashton’s arm came up to wrap around your shoulder and he pulled you closer to kiss your cheek. ’“I’m surprised they haven’t worn you out yet,” you muttered, still a bit upset at all the bad dancing jokes they had been throwing at you.

Michael: “Cold spaghetti!” Michael exclaimed in happiness, his chest pressing up against your back as he reached around you to grab the spoon for it. “I didn’t know you liked that so much,” you chuckled, grabbing a piece of catfish for your own plate. “Cold spaghetti is amazing and great when you don’t have a microwave,” Michael said. He stopped in track making you look back at him in confusion. “What’s that?” Michael questioned, pointing towards something that was fried. Nearly everyone that came up to the table was grabbing it and Michael was curious to try, but didn’t exactly know what it was. You glanced away from your plate to look at Michael and then at the food. “Fried okra,” you mumbled in monotone, eyes already locked on the dessert table. Michael stared at it for a few seconds before scooping up a handful. Before he could even reach for something else you yanked him towards the dessert table before it was all gone.

Luke: He was sitting down on the ground with the rest of the kids. Legs crossed over the other perfectly and hands clasped together. “Duck, duck, duck-” your sister’s hand rested over Luke’s head as she thought about whether she wanted to say duck or goose. “Duck,” she said, hand lightly tapping over Luke’s head. He let out a groan at her words. Luke was getting antsy sitting on the ground waiting for one of them to finally tag him as goose. “Well ain’t that cute,” your uncle commented, coming up from behind you. “You might think it’s cute but I know Luke’s just using that game as an excuse to avoid being grilled by y’all,” you laughed, sending a wave in Luke’s direction when his eyes landed on you. “We’ll scare him before the night is up there’s no escaping it,” one of your other uncles said. You let out a shaky breath at their words knowing what they were saying was half true. 


More okra!

I imagine Yu Wenzhou teases Huang Shaotian time to time with much amusement. He will of course have something else prepared and eat the okra himself. But it’s always worth the extra effort to see the adorable expressions on Huang Shaotian’s face.


The official OHSHC english dub bloopers have finally been reuploaded onto youtube, so here it is in it’s entire 33 minutes and 32 seconds of glory.

chocolate covered fried okra has haunted my thoughts on a weekly basis for 3 years

(fair warning, the r slur is used once, at 5:16)

Thanksgiving with White families vs. Black families

White People Thanksgiving Dinner

Cranberry Sauce (w/ the cranberries in it)
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Congealed Salad
Pumpkin Pie

Total Amount Of Attendants: 4-10 people (Not including dogs and cats that sit at the table)

Black People Thanksgiving Dinner

Smoked Turkey
Fried Turkey
Fried Chicken
Roast Beef
Honey Baked Ham
Country Ham
Dressing (w/ Turkey baked in it)
Giblet Gray (w/ eggs and some mo in it)
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Turnip Greens
Collard Greens
Mustard Greens
Mixed Greens
Boiled Okra
Fried Okra
Green Beans
Baked Mac n Cheese
Black Eyed Peas
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Candied Yams
Carrot Soufflé
Potato Salad
Tuna Salad
Tossed Salad
Pasta Salad
Crab Legs
Fettuccine Alfredo
Deviled Eggs
Rotel Cheese Dip
Corn Bread
Hot Water Cornbread
Butter Rolls
Sweet Potato Pie
All Of The Sold Out Patty Labelle Pies
Pecan Pie
Egg Pie
Chess Pie
Chocolate Pie
Peach Cobbler
Punch Bowl Cake
Banana Pudding
Lemon Cake
Pound Cake
Red Velvet Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Caramel Cake
Yellow Cake w/ Chocolate Frosting
Carrot Cake
Sock-It-To-Me Cake
King’s Hawaiian Savory Butter Rolls
Fry Bread
Cous Cous
Popcorn shrimp
Shrimp kabob
Fried shrimp
Pineapple shrimp
Shrimp and grits
Shrimp and gravy
Birthday Cake
Bean Pies
Little Debbie’s
Pot Pies
Dirty Rice
Pig Feet
Hog Maws
Cotto Salami
Jalapeño Poppers
Cottage Cheese
Old Halloween candy
Egg Foo Yung
Vienna Sausage
Potted meats
Saltine crackers
Ramen noodles
Taco salad
Salisbury steak
Hot pockets
Frito Pies
Hot Dog Casserole
Pork Rinds
Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
Black Licorice
Hamburger Helper
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Hot Cheetos
Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Ranch Style Beans
Lil Smokies
Cases of Knockoff Soda
Seagram’s Gin
Crown Royal
Bud Ice

Total Amount Of Attendants: Anybody who likes Seasoning Salt and a 18 minute prayer over the food

Oh, these two. They make me happy.  Yesterday was a rough day, and sometimes when you’ve had a rough day, you want something simple and something that makes you feel nostalgic.  So, we went to Ross’s for dinner–it’s like this little country diner with live country music that’s been around FOREVER and now really doesn’t necessarily “fit” in our city anymore (except that it does, because everything at least kind-of fits in Austin and that’s what I love about it). Ross’s reminds me of my childhood and sometimes a big plate of fried catfish, fried okra, and mashed potatoes and gravy eaten amid a bunch of senior citizens is just what the doctor ordered (or…would never order, but whatever).  We brought our Uno game to play, ate greasy food, and watched old married couples dance. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed that it made me a little teary-eyed, but it also made me so, so happy.  This is the same kind of nostalgia I get when I drive the back roads to my parents’ house with the windows down–that’s one of the other few times I listen to country music.  I have a fantastic life.  And, I have to be grateful for the rough days because they never let me forget how fortunate I am for all of the good ones.

It’s been a while since I mentioned the ex.  I honestly don’t think of him all that often.  But, for those of you newer to this space; here’s the short version.  My sister committed suicide when I was younger and it derailed our family for a bit, and it definitely derailed me–my self-confidence already wasn’t that awesome because I was an awkward teenager.  I made some poor choices and I ended up marrying my ex-husband at 18 because at the time I believed that I had to work so hard to be loved because that’s how I knew it was “real.” And, if anyone can make a person feel like they have to work like a dog for any scrap of kindness, it’s that man.  We were married for about two and a half years.  Conner was just a baby when I left.  I don’t know when I would’ve found the strength to leave for myself, but I realized that this was NOT the definition of manhood I wanted set for my son.  The husband and I started dating when Conner was close to two years old and have been together ever since.  He is absolutely the definition of manhood that I’m proud my son sees everyday.


XD Random food pics from Dragoncon. Mainly pre-con dinner and breakfast on early Saturday morning. (Haha I got the breakfast buffet but Genos got the french toast). I’m more of a savory person but Genos likes sweet things. Hey, I promised random food pics and unflattering candids that Genos took of me stuffing my face so there you go. If it’s not apparent from the pics, I’m not a morning person so I’m basically just in a daze eating cured meats and various proteins. But my fave thing about the breakfast buffet at the Marriott is the smoked salmon/lox set up. <3 At Genos’ request I didn’t include any of Genos eating in this set bc we weren’t actually wearing any makeup or technically in costume. There are some more pics floating around. 

Dinner: Pimento cheese & crackers, celery and carrot sticks, deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes, Vegetable soup (Genos), Fried Shrimp & Okra (Saitama)

Breakfast: Plate 1- Grits, Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns (Saitama), Plate 2- Lox, Lemon, Capers, chopped hard boiled egg, red onion, poppyseed bagel, cream cheese (Saitama), Coffee, Apple Juice (Saitama), Not pictured is a bowl of granola with milk that I got after these pics were taken and some pastries. French Toast with bananas and strawberries, Coke (Genos).

Can you guess which of us is the foodie? XD

OH! Also while we were eating towards the end of our breakfast a random celebrity who is in a TV show and was a guest at the con…I literally do not know who he is but he was good looking…was at the buffet, and the whole kitchen staff and some other customers recognized him. I was just going near him to get some cheese for my grits and after being asked for photos by the 4th or so person he turned and saw me and I looked at him and he just gave me this look like PLEASE don’t recognize me and I just looked at him like WHATEVER DUDE. And he looked so relieved haha. XD


Hi There!! :)

I know I’m behind, and I have every intention of catching up this evening because the husband has a fancy manager’s outing tonight for work which means Conner and I get to eat cereal for dinner in our pajamas because we are not fancy (and we are 100% fine with that)! :) So, hearts to come–I just can’t lose this rare moment of silence at a real computer (SO much nicer for posting).

Yesterday was one of those spectacular days that makes you just SO happy to be alive–so incredibly grateful for simple pleasures and wonderful people.  I went to work for half a day and Conner went with me (LOVE how cool my work is about that always).  He was thrilled because he was given an old tape recorder and some tapes, so he was entertained by that for a few hours.  He was less entertained by my making him wear some of our read aloud props, but I bribed him with fried oysters at Quality Seafood Market for lunch, so he did it. ;) Those faces say “parenting done right,” I think? Yes? :D

My friend Shannon volunteers with me, so after work she joined us at Quality Seafood which was awesome–Conner got to ask her a million questions about South Africa (she moved here from there a year ago). Then, Conner and I took Walter for a long walk in the woods because it was a perfect and sunny, breezy 72 degrees.  We followed that up with dinner at a little country diner within walking distance of our house that we’ve somehow never visited. (How is that possible??)  They had a live band playing classic country music and even though the place was packed, we were easily quite a few decades younger than any of the other patrons. Several of the older people got up and danced, I had fried okra and sweet tea (indulgences I LOVE but rarely have), and I got to enjoy a wave of serious nostalgia since I was raised a country girl but don’t so much identify as such anymore.

Today, I’m off, and Shannon, Conner and I are going hiking and then walking over to the Greek place to have lunch on the patio. Tonight, we’re researching ticket’s/travel dates for our summer trip! :)  Life, man.  It’s awesome! :)