Fangirl, Swedish Fish And Why I Wish I Was A Braverman

For some reason, every spring I get obsessed with books. I read all year long, but there is something about the upcoming “lazy days of summer” (I can barely type those words with a straight face) that makes me start to scour Amazon and Target for books to add to my already over-flowing bookcase. It is like I can just picture myself sprawled out on a deck chair reading for hours while the children frolic around in the yard. The actual scene looks more like me reloading bubble wands and fetching snacks while attempting to sneak in a couple pages of my latest beach read, but it doesn’t stop me from arming myself with plenty of book options every April.

Since I am also obsessed with food and TV, I figured I could make it a threesome (ewww, y’all) and share three things I am currently loving…something I am reading, something I am eating, and something I am watching. I will probably make Lisa do this topic at some point here soon, too, so you can get a full behind-the-scenes look at the lives of The Dose Girls. Somewhere, Lisa is like, “Stop trying to make your theme happen, Ashley and just write a post”.

What I am reading


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Full disclosure here. I read Eleanor & Park a couple months ago, and Lisa wisely advised me to wait a bit on this book. I loved Eleanor & Park, by the way. But, I love this book so much more. It is one of those absolutely perfect books that you want to stay up until 3:00 a.m. devouring while also trying to go as slow as possible so it never ends. There is one particular scene (no spoiler alert needed, I won’t give anything away) that just so perfectly captures that feeling of being in college and all that it entails. You know that feeling. Trust me, you do. And when you read this book, you will feel it all over again. I definitely recommend picking this one up.

What I am eating


Ah, Swedish Fish. I tend to go through phases with candy where I will find one that I have not had for a while and then just buy it in bulk. Think ten pound bags at Costco, and you are not far off. Each time I go to the grocery store I will have a little talk with myself about how it is almost bathing suit season and even though Swedish Fish are *technically* a fat free food (it says so right on the bag!), I should probably skip the candy aisle just to be safe. And then somehow, three bags appear in my shopping cart and I find myself sneaking into the pantry to grab handfuls before carpool pick-up. Something has to give here, and I am afraid it will most likely be the waistband of my pants!

What I am watching

Parenthood. Specifically, the season (series?) finale. I can’t stop watching it. I find myself going back to the scene with Victor’s speech and then watching the last 30 minutes all over again. I want to be in this family y’all. I want this family to stay on my TV longer…producers, network people, listen up…the Braverman story is not over. We NEED another season of this show. I have to know that Julia and Joel are okay. ParenthoodForBlog


What you did to them this season was practically unforgivable, but you renewed my spirit with the scene in Sydney’s room. That was the Joel we all fell in love with from the beginning.




If at the end of the day, though, what I watched was the end of the series, then I thank you. Because the closing scene with the lights, the dinner, the backyard and that song playing, well it worked perfectly.


 Tell me in the comments what you are reading, eating and watching these days!




Fangirl, Swedish Fish And Why I Wish I Was A Braverman — 42 Comments

  1. I am in between books and I too read Eleanor & Park, so may need to check out this other book by Rainbow Rowell. And right now, it is Peeps and Jelly Beans for me, because I have too many left over from Easter. But TV everything has been reruns the past few weeks, so I am in a TV viewing slump right now, but hope that the shows will be back by next week 🙂

  2. Now I’ve got 2 books to add to my list, I’ve read neither Eleanor & Park nor Fangirl. I just, last night at 2AM, finished Me Before You. I had seen it on Tamara’s blog a couple of times and this made my heart ache. In a good way and a bad way. I couldn’t stop reading it – it’s much lighter than I sometimes go for but I’m so sad it’s over. Right now I’m all over Reeses PB cups (or eggs since it’s easter). And TV is The Mindy Project and Nurse Jackie. I seriously regret not keeping up with Parenthood, I may have to binge watch all of it over the summer.

  3. Ooh, I’ll have to check out this book! I’m always on the hunt for a good one. Right now I’m reading The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells (who wrote Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood), I cant’ stop eating chocolate with bacon in it, and I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy (and anxiously awaiting Pretty Little Liars to return this summer, because obviously I’m 16 years old.) But I seriously can’t buy any gummy candy (including Swedish Fish), because I have zero self-control!

  4. I think I went easy on my parents because I really did just read all summer long. Now if my siblings had followed my lead, rather than belly-flopped into the pool, gotten arrested (true story) and all around acted like imbeciles, then my parents would have had actual lazy summers. But no.
    Anyway, NBC does this every year like buffoons. They don’t announce that it’s renewed until May or so. It’s annoying. I don’t know why it’s on the fence every year because the show ROCKS! I believe it will be back!

  5. Eleanor and Park have been on my want-to-read-list, as has Fangirl. (One word? Two? Too lazy to scroll up and check!)

    I’ve never (GASP!) seen an episode of Parenthood. Weird, no?

    I miss you ladies. I need to come by more often. At the very least, the plan is to see you at Type-A in the fall (right? RIGHT?). If not before then. Hugs and smooches.

  6. Oh my God, I love Swedish Fish (when I was a little kid I thought they were real fish and Sweden was the greatest country in the world) and Parenthood!

    You HAVE to read my book. You would love it, seriously. I’m not being an asshole self-promoter here, I just know you would and then you could tell me how talented and funny and awesome I was and that would make us both happy.

  7. It’s important that we eat Swedish Fish since my son’s best friend has a dairy allergy and Swedish Fish are perfectly safe for him (and me) to eat. See, we’re doing a good deed and promoting health by eating Swedish Fish!

    P.S. A great big shout out to those gummy cola bottles I love!

  8. Last two books I’ve read were Mr.Churchill’s Secretary (A Maggie Hope mystery) by Susan Elia MacNeil and The Good House by Ann Leary. Both are great and can’t wait for my very favorite author, Jennifer Weiner’s book to come out this summer.

    I’m obsessed with salmon/avocado sushi rolls.

    Loved the Parenthood finale although it was a series not a season finale. Lets hope it can be reversed!

    The Scandal season finale was honestly one of the best I’ve ever seen and I want to watch it over and over again.

    Last night’s Mindy Project, An Officer and a Gynecologist had their best lines ever. Hysterical.

    Also (and I’m a little ashamed to admit this) I’m obsessed with The Originals on the CW. I never watched The Vampire Diaries but this spin off addictive.

  9. You have been a busy girl, Ashley! My bookshelf is almost full, so I have started going to the library. It’s working well, I feel like I’ve learned a new life skill.

  10. Reading: Underwater with way too many mag subscriptions to even make it to a book lately.
    Watching: Cannot make myself pay attention to DWTS so nothing.
    Eating: Um, jelly. Lots of jelly.

  11. I just read the Sisters Weiss for book club and found it really interesting, and I have eaten FAR too many jelly beans this week. Also, habe you tried the Breyer’s Indulgences Tiramisu ice cream? O. M. G. Although, probably “indulgences” in the name of it means you shouldn’t eat half the carton in one sitting…not that I know anyone who did that.


    I’ve been watching House of Cards – it sucks you in!

  12. I have a PILE of books either ‘started’ or ‘almost finished’- or most appalling- ‘NOT EVEN STARTED YET’- I just can’t find the time right now…

    I haven’t watched tv for weeks… I know, I KNOW! I am up until the wee hours of the night working- building a youth program for church is really taking first place on my ‘list’ right now…


    I AM EATING!!! I am eating Ilene’s GRANOLA like crazy! I am always downing my jelly beans in the car…and can anyone say “LEFTOVER EASTER CANDY”???? Constant input there. 😉

  13. Because I’m cheap, I look at goodwill and half price books for books. Sometimes I actually find something with a print date that’s seen the birth of modern printing, so….I’m reading something called “the bible”. It’s pretty long. And violent. It’s no Game of Thrones, but it may rival the death count.

    Ok i’m only half kidding. I’m really just reading the app. I’ve got Beyond Blonde, The American Heiress, several Mary Kay Andrews books, and several others with titles I can’t read from here. And my glasses are downstairs.

    I’m not eating anything. Yet. Kitchen is to far. But it’s not gonna be swedish fish. What’s wrong with you?! There’s chocolate to be eaten! 😉

  14. Reading….I have a stack to end all stacks. Not good. Watching…not much, since I don’t really watch tv. I did watch the finale to How I met Your Mother, since my family loved that show and watched every single episode multiple times, enough that I could actually watch the finale and know what was going on with the exception of a few things (which I got eye rolls on). And eating…a lot of guacamole these days. My daughter is fanatical about it and wants it every day after soccer or track practice, and I would say I probably make it 3 days a week right now. We’re going through a lot of avocados!

  15. Reading – Well I go on to the other end of the spectrum with what I read. I am a Stephen King junkie and every year when we go away for camp for a week I make sure to bring one that I am reading and another as a backup in case I finish. Watching – The Following, Law & Order SVU, Believe, & CSI. All of which I have a mini marathon early Sunday mornings before anyone gets up. Eating – Greek yogurt – 100 calorie Chobani & Yoplait depending on the flavor.

  16. Reading: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, but I loved Eleanor and Park and Fangirl’s on my list. She’s got another coming out soon called Landline.
    Watching: Orphan Black. So much fun.
    Eating: leftover Easter candy. I see a lot of that’s going around.

  17. Reading: I’m between books right now, so maybe I’ll start this one!
    Eating: Leftover No Bake Golden Oreo Lemon Dessert that I made for Easter. SO GOOD!
    Watching: Just started watching New Girl on Netflix. It’s pretty entertaining!

  18. omg I love parenthood and am still seriously bummed that Jason Ritter made only a brief appearance, I love him and want him back as a regular. I want to be a Braverman too! That show always makes me wish I had more kids, and then having a toddler and a full time job makes me realize it’s probably just better to watch it on tv. I am eating strict Weight Watchers these days, and looking for the my next book. I’m going to see if my local library has Fangirl.

  19. I am the same way with dark chocolate chips as you are with Swedish fish!
    I just finished “the fault in our stars” and need something on a lighter note! As for what am eating – oooh chocolate scones! And watching would be Nashville – and Bates Motel – I wanna stop but I cannot!

  20. Can I sit on your lap at the Braverman table? I LOVE, LOVE that show and I never want it to end. It’s so ridiculously relatable and I just truly love the characters and every aspect of the show.
    I made a note of the book – even though I have zero chance of reading it until June 4th. 🙂

  21. Dose girls, I’ve missed you! My computer has been collecting dust lately as I’ve been doing really unfun stuff like cleaning, decluttering, and other such nonsense. I was so glad to get back today to this great post! I LOVE when people just keep it real and recommend good stuff. Thanks for the book info! Thanks to my dvr, I’ve been watching way too much of tv lately. But I’ve been sticking to the fine arts with The Voice and DWTS. Looking forward to catching up on your blog! Yum…swedish fish…

  22. Lately I’ve been reading all of the Chelsea Handler books – not sure how I got started but I did and then I read the next and the next!!!
    I’ve been eating way to many Cheetos (with my wine!).
    Watching – still stuck on reality TV – this morning on the treadmill I got caught up on Real Housewives of NY and Dance Moms.

  23. I swear, I said the exact same thing about the Bravermans after the last episode! I told my mom, “I wish I could be in their family.” It would be so cool to have siblings who lived in the same town and all get together with their kids and have arguments but then make up and give each other advice, etc. All I have is my one brother, who lives as far away as he can get without falling off of America. And also he hates me. 😛

  24. Well, let’s see. I’m reading The Good Mother Myth (barely started actually). I’m eating Reese’s peanut butter eggs (don’t tell my kids). And I’m watching Deadliest Catch. My favorite show is back! Yay!

  25. I haven’t read a good fiction book in a long time…so I very well might check out Fangirl. Foodwise these days (illness days excluded) I’ve been gobbling up grapefruit almost every day. It’s not as much fun as Swedish fish, but my local grocery seems to have found a good batch of mild, slightly sweet grapefruit; and I can’t seem to get enough. We haven’t been watching Parenthood, but we did happen to catch a new series called Turn. It’s an American History nerd’s dream, all about a spy ring during the Revolutionary war. Though we are still in mourning over the end of How I Met Your Mother. *sniff, sniff*

  26. I’m currently on a “book break”. That happens after I read 2 or 3 in a row. Eating leftover ham… ham sandwiches, scalloped potatoes and such. We don’t buy Swedish Fish anymore… for some reason or other, the fish like to gag (almost choke) my husband every time he eats them.

  27. I want to be a Pritchett (“Modern Family”), and I want my husband to be a Braverman. Bravermans are nice to in-laws. Hey, they’re both in California! It could happen! I’m also watching “Fargo” on F/X.

    I’m eating Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins with cream cheese.

    I’m reading blogs and magazines right now, but my favorite author, Christopher Moore, just came out with a new novel called “The Serpent of Venice,” so I’m hoping to read that ASAP.

  28. I love Parenthood!!! After Julia and Joel started having problems I hated having to wait a week to know what was going happen so I decided to DVR the rest of the season and binge watch it all at once. Gonna have to come back and read that section I skipped because I was afraid of spoilers. 😛

  29. I love Parenthood but I’m so so many seasons behind. I fell behind when we cut cable and dvr service. But I love the Braverman family and when I think about being old, I want a messy happy family like theirs.

    Reading: Thrive by Arianna Huffington. I’ve got a blog post coming up about it next week. I wish I had more time to read. Maybe this summer when life slows down a bit.

    Watching: Nashville. I’m obsessed with the music and characters. Although I wish they’d figure out where they are going with Scarlette. She’s been a hot mess all year. It’s been a little cringy for me. I’m also watching Dancing with the Stars. It is my Nana’s favorite show and she likes to call to dish about it.

    Eating. Clearance Easter candy. LIKE A BOSS.

  30. I WANT TO BE A BRAVERMAN TOOOOOOOO! I love Parenthood, I also love Bones, Law and Order SVU, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and American Horror Story.

    Right now I am so addicted to any organic chocolate or dried mango slices from Whole Foods.

    I am reading Her Last Breath, it’s part of a murder mystery/cop series my Linda Castillo. I have to check out that book…Fangirl…love finding out about new boosk.

  31. How do you have time to read and watch tv?! I am lucky to get a book in once every couple months…but I am reading Stress Free Kids. Cuz we are stressed! I am however binging on my kids Peeops from the Easter Bunny!

  32. I’ve currently been reading racy romance novels that were free on Amazon. They tend to be quick reads and don’t require a lot of brain power to keep up the “story line.” That’s the kind of reading I need lately!
    TV-wise, I’m trying to catch up on Castle, but our DVR keeps skipping episodes and it’s making me mad. We’ve also been watching Grimm and Modern Family.
    Do you really want to know what I’m eating?? I got these delicious Chuao Chocolates to review for my blog and let’s just say I am being VERY thorough with my review!!

  33. I am so glad that you did nt spill the beans on the finale, because I’ve only watched about the first 1/3. I LOVE parenthood. It is an amazingly realistic look at family dynamics and I love the topics they hit on. I don’nt like swedish fish though.

  34. Just started rereading my way through the Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz (love these books) snacking on apple slices with peanut butter (nom nom nom) and watching orphan black (new season just started!)
    Btw I thought Fangirl was an excellent book 🙂

  35. I am reading a series called the Testing which is supposed to be like The Hunger Games and Divergent. I don’t have a TV series right now besides Shark Tank and The Voice 🙂

  36. I’ve just got finished reading my second Bev Pettersen book, and LOVED it too. I haven’t decided which book I’m going to read next (I’m finally reading for my personal pleasure again without having to do reviews unless I want to do them.)
    I am actually eating Milk Duds right now for the first time in ages.
    As far as watching TV or shows, I literally have been so busy reading, blogging, and just walking outside (A LOT) that I haven’t had much time to even watch my standard shows that I record to watch throughout the week like Hart of Dixie, Devious Maids, You Live in What, and Melissa and Joey, & Suits. I did catch glimpses of Walking with the Dinosaurs with my kids, and it was actually a pretty good movie.

  37. Do I win a prize for sharing two out of three? I am secretly, oh okay, openly addicted to Swedish fish. The sugary goodness takes me back to the days that I rode my bike with its banana seat and flowery basket to the ballpark to buy Swedish fish. Only then you bought them by the number of coins you had in your pocket. Score! I have a nickel! Five fish please!
    And Parenthood, curse you Parenthood! I watched this season, holding my breath and sobbing for Julia. It transported me back to the dark and confusing days of my separation. I remember the shock. I felt her pain.
    But you lost me on the book. Currently I am alternating between the funny “Because I Said So,” and the dark “Dark Places.” It all depends on my mood.

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