Sunday, May 21st

13 Reasons Why I Love Netflix

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

It’s been quite a spring for us. Violet is almost 21 months so she’s quite the big girl these days. I thought she’d be a little older by the time she started climbing out of her crib, picking out her own shoes, and expressing an interest in jewelry and makeup, but here we are already. She’s still not a champion eater, but she’s expanding her tastes one thing at a time. Her favorites are cheddar, scrambled eggs, pizza, and mandarin oranges. She’s sampling more and more at school, too.

Kids Only

Chris’ parents came to visit Easter week and we had fun cooking a big dinner together, doing an egg hunt and cascarones for Violet, and just enjoying each other’s company all week. After all the fun I got sick enough that I saw the doctor twice with the worst sore throat of my life. I also completely lost my voice, the timing of which unfortunately fell during a talk I participated in on Design for UX. I whispered my way through it, but it wasn’t ideal.

Professionally speaking, things are going well. I’ve been contracting with an emerging tech company since October and as of this month they’ve given me a permanent position as Director of Content. It’s an exciting role and I get to work on challenging projects that I love. Chris is also a director at his job and really enjoys what he does. It’s nice to be a place where we’re both happy at work.

Happy Easter!


That little butt is the best, right?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I finally caught up on the second season of Kimmy Schmidt, just in time for the third to come out. (Today!) Where I found the first season to be intolerable at times, I thought the second season was completely enjoyable. More Tina Fey is always a good thing!


I never bought into the Girlboss book phenomenon, but I was happy to give the show a shot. I’m not typically a binge watcher, but I flew through this love letter to San Francisco pretty quickly. Aside from the protagonist being annoying as hell, I really enjoyed it. Great soundtrack, costuming, and writing. No confirmation yet on a season two.

Dear White People

Dear White People

My favorite viewing last month was Dear White People. The controversial series resulted in a backlash so strong that people who felt it was racist against white people made lots of noise on social media and canceled their Netflix accounts. Before the show even aired. Idiots. Well, the show is fantastic and an important commentary on our current state.

13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why

The nicest thing I can say about 13 Reasons Why is that the teen suicide drama featured a bright cast of young actors who each held their own. The subject matter was tough to digest and I did not enjoy any of it. Because I lost a friend last year, I can barely tolerate any talk of suicide. And I was really annoyed that the kids in the series didn’t seem sad, so much as guilty.

On that note, RIP Chris Cornell, whom I loved for some many years.

Monday, April 24th

Get Away to San Antonio

Thank you to The St. Anthony Hotel, who treated my family to a luxury weekend! And thanks to my readers for supporting sponsors of this blog.

Despite San Antonio’s proximity to Austin, I’ve only been a handful of times. I love going there because there’s so much to be discovered. Not to say that I’ve seen and done simply everything in Austin, but there are few unknowns left for me. In San Antonio, I’ve done the Riverwalk and spent some time roaming around Pearl, but little else.

When the opportunity to spend a posh weekend at The St. Anthony Hotel arose, I jumped on it. As sponsors of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, they wanted to show off their fabulous amenities, restaurants, and show some out-of-towners more of what the city has to offer during this fun season.

The St. Anthony Hotel, San Antonio

A top-to-bottom tour of the newly renovated historic building yielded all kinds of interesting tidbits. It’s haunted by a number of ghosts who all have cocktails named after them at the chic bar Haunt. The Lady in Red was my favorite sipper, although I didn’t catch a glimpse of the famed specter herself. She’s known for her scarlet attire and penchant for appearing in the ladies’ restroom.

The hotel itself is stunning. Gorgeous, spacious rooms perfectly appointed with sophisticated art and furniture. At every level, the service was exceptional. After venturing out we’d return to our room to find delicious snacks waiting for us like chips and salsa served in a cowboy hat. Or cookies and milk to cap off the evening. We treated ourselves to room service late one night, nibbling on ceviche in the king size bed. I relish those extravagant moments and we only scratched the surface of what was available.

I’m always in awe of interior design in historic buildings. The inclusion of modern comforts while maintaining a classic aesthetic is so interesting. The most recognizable space in the St. Anthony is Peacock Alley with its grand piano and opulent chandeliers, and indeed, it is exquisite. Decadent lighting is a theme throughout.

St. Anthony Hotel Lights

When we travel with Violet she’s usually so tickled to be sleeping in the same room as us that she wakes up to play several times a night. On this weekend the room was so cool and dark that she didn’t make a peep at night. Maybe the excitement of each day zonked her out as much as it did us. Speaking of cool, The St. Anthony was the first hotel in the world to be entirely air conditioned. No place like San Antonio to start that tradition, let me tell you. It gets hot, you guys.

Schilo's Delicatessen, San Antonio, Texas

We popped into Schilo’s Delicatessen to cool off and enjoy lunch one day. As we’re mostly deli deprived in Austin, we couldn’t pass it up. The homemade root beer was the highlight of the meal, but the food that truly deserves mentioning happened at Rebelle. I believe our group sampled the entire menu and many of the cocktails. As the night wore on and conversation grew lively, we tried dish after dish after dish. I want to make a return visit and get more of the grilled octopus and famous spinach pudding. Everything was divine.

Rebelle, San Antonio, Texas

The St. Anthony generously sent us to the rodeo with some of their sponsor tickets, which allowed us to see the show with the all the fancy stakeholders. The rodeo was a family first and I will admit that we did not have the proper attire! (No boots, no fringe, no nothing.) But I learned that anything goes at the rodeo and it was so much fun. We split into small groups and rodeo volunteers took us around to see the sights. Our guide was a darling woman named Tater Tot, who was as cute as she sounds. I wanted to take her home with me.

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

We sampled fried cheese curds and cookie dough, pet horses and baby goats, and watched the riders warm up in Horse Discovery. Later we head into the stadium  (sans cameras, as directed) and ate dinner while we watched the rodeo. I was surprised that it was like other sporting events I’ve been to and not all countrified like I thought it would be. My favorite event was the little kids clinging for dear life to the backs of sheep, or Mutton Bustin’. Giving Violet’s hesitation at the petting zoo, we’d have some work to do before she’d ever go near a sheep.

It was a weekend full of firsts and we made so many memories. We cannot wait to return to San Antonio for our next Austin escape weekend. And we’ll stay at The St. Anthony Hotel again. Thanks for a great time!

Monday, January 2nd

The End of the World As We Know It, or Happy 2017.

Middle finger

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

A new year is always a time of hope, starting fresh, rebirth. Even though the changing of a date doesn’t really change everything, it’s nice that so many of us are on board with these traditions. I always look forward to a new year, but this time I feel robbed of my enthusiasm.

As 2016 progressed and gained a reputation for being cursed, particularly with a tidal wave of beloved celebrities passing, there seemed to be a consensus that we’d be better off when the year ended. Except that we won’t be. Not in the United States at least, where we’ve willingly elected a racist, stupid, narcissistic piece of shit to be our next president. I admit that I never even entertained the notion that this was an actual possibility so I was stunned when the unthinkable happened. A tried and true Hillary Clinton fan, I thought Trump was her ideal opponent. Because who would vote for such a joke of a human? And yet, here we are.

I’m depressed not just for our future and that we are going to regress 50 years in a short amount of time, but that humanity itself seems to be going backward. We’re getting stupider, less empathetic, more divided. I’m scared and sad and I feel powerless. My coping mechanism is to bury my head in the sand and stop paying attention to the news. It’s the opposite of what I should be doing. I hope to turn it around and do my part to keep our country from slipping into the darkest regions of hell. But I’m not ready just yet.

I can’t let myself be too depressed when this is my daily reality:


I have the best family life. My little family at home and all my family in New Jersey and elsewhere…it’s all great. I’m extremely lucky and I know how good I have it. I want to protect it. I want Violet’s generation to grow up in a good world. I want my own generation to thrive. I want my parents generation to have their best years ahead of them, and not have everything they worked for go up in flames. So…yeah. 2017 scares me.

Hope Outdoor Gallery, Austin Texas

Airplane snuggles



Aside from letting a mad man destroy the world, there are some things to look forward to in 2017. I turn the big four-oh in less than two weeks. And this year we finally get the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. (And a bunch of other cool pop culture stuff.) In August we’ll be captivated by the Great American Eclipse. So, it won’t be a total wash.

There are some Netflix shows to look forward to as well.

I am really excited for the second seasons of Love and Master of None. After meeting Paul Rust at a party at SXSW, I’m especially invested in Love. 

Love on Netflix

Master of None

Season 4 of Orange is the New Black gutted me so I’m eagerly anticipating the next season this summer. And of course, my beloved BoJack Horseman which is one of my favorite shows of all time.

Orange is the New Black

BoJack Horseman

This post feels incomplete if I don’t address the losses of 2016. I felt notably heartsick over Sharon Jones, who I’ve loved for a long time. I saw Miss Sharon Jones! when the Austin Film Society ran it and I felt even closer to her. She was my favorite live performer. I can’t believe that era is over.

I shed tears over David Bowie. And the news about George Michael hasn’t quite sunk in. I listened to him for my entire adult life and about half of my childhood. Wham’s Freedom was on my very first mixtape (that I made myself on a cassette, holding my boombox up to record MTV.) Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 was among my first CDs when I only had a few. I listened to it thousands and thousands of times and I still consider it to be a masterpiece. I chose Kissing a Fool as the song for my wedding party to dance to at my reception. I’d always hoped he’d find his way out of the darkness and make more music. What a shame.

Garry Shandling was also someone I loved and I’ll continue my tradition of watching The Larry Sanders Show annually. Talk about genius ahead of his time.

The hardest part of 2016 is something that I will carry with me forever. The deaths of two close friends changed how I feel about life and I’m still working to process them. The circumstances were different, one a suicide and one a baffling accident. I loved both and am unable to shake the sadness I feel about losing them. I find myself crying at random times when I think of either one and the holidays were particularly difficult. I dissolved into tears thinking about their families leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know grief must run a course and eventually I won’t feel it so sharply, but all these months later, it still grips me tightly.

Life is precious. And that’s what I’m carrying into 2017. I hope to make the most of it.

Friday, October 28th

Halloween Things

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

I love this time of year! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I’m crazy about costumes, pumpkins, and even candy corn. I’ve thrown many Halloween parties in my day, although it’ll likely be a few years before we’re throwing big grown-up bashes again. For now, we’re enjoying the holiday with our little strawberry and finding the spooky in the everyday.

Little Strawberry

As Netflix continues to add more and more things we want to see, our watch list grows exponentially. Here’s what we’ve watched lately:


Mascots on Netflix

I was eagerly awaiting Mascots and it did not disappoint. I love all of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries and was excited that Zach Woods joined Guest regulars Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, and Ed Begley, Jr. If I had a dream dinner party, these are the people I would invite. I’ll be watching this one again soon.


Tallulah on Netflix

I put off watching Tallulah because I thought it was going to be really sad. When I finally got around to viewing it I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t quite as heavy as the trailer made it seem. Ellen Page and Allison Janney reunited for the first time since Juno and both are tremendously talented and likable actresses. It’s a deep story that plucks at your sympathies.

No Men Beyond This Point

No Men Beyond This Point

Another mockumentary, No Men Beyond This Point is less enjoyable than Mascots. In fact, it stinks. But the subject matter was interesting enough to get me to watch it. In a world where men are no longer needed to procreate, women take over everything. The dwindling community of men either take to the woods or are employed as mannies. It’s a clever idea executed in the most boring, un-funny way possible.

Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids

Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids

I’m an unabashed Justin Timberlake fan. If you’re like me you’ll be happy to see that they filmed the last show of his most recent tour. I didn’t get to see this tour in person and now I know what I missed.

What have you been watching lately? Here’s a Stream and Scream Guide to help you with your Netflix watching all Halloween weekend.

Netflix Stream and Scream Guide

Friday, July 29th

Hot and Streamy

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

July was a good month. Violet celebrated her last official month of infancy by eating (and rejecting) many new foods, growing two and a half teeth, skinny dipping, playing peek-a-boo, and giving lots of wet kisses and snuggles. She grabs my iPhone and holds it up to her ear like she’s talking and can be bribed back to sanity with peanut butter during fussy times. Every single day is wonderful. Look at those chubby arms!

Fish Cake

Barbecue giggles


Skinny dipping


So here’s what we’ve been watching lately:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

ANDATORY CREDIT; NO ARCHIVE; NO SALES; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- "Josh Just Happens to Live Here!" -- Image CEG101_0022 -- Pictured: Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch -- Photo: Eddy Chen/The CW -- �© 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

At first I thought the campy comedy might be too silly for me, but by the second episode I was completely hooked on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and am now a Rachel Bloom fan for life. The musical numbers are brilliant and elevate the simple story to something special. The cast is an off-beat, charismatic gang of weirdos, other than Josh, the main love interest. Josh is boring, but the show is anything but.

Fun fact: Rachel Bloom and Broad City’s Ilana Glazer were once roommates.

Degrassi: Next Class

Degrassi Next Class

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a huge Degrassi nerd. Excepting the original run in the 80s, I’m well versed on all things Degrassi and can speak with authority on all characters and storylines from about 15 seasons of the show. The show stays current, and this new class is all about social media and fluid sexuality. Boldly tackling serious topics, this season gets into racism, cultural appropriation, and mental health. The current cast has few standout actors, most are quite terrible, but some cameos from former students make it worth the watch. (Sorry, no Drake!)

2 Days in New York

An NYC indie starring Chris Rock and is half in French? I loved this 2012 movie and am so glad I randomly stumbled upon it. I thought about it for a few days after seeing it. Man. Chris Rock is so great. I might need to watch Top Five again. I need to go back and watch the first one, 2 Days in Paris, which starred Adam Goldberg alongside Julie Delpy.


BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman

I haven’t finished the third season of BoJack Horseman yet because I like to take my time and savor it. This is one of my favorite shows of all time. I’m a sucker for the easter eggs and bottomless pool of actors they get to voice the human and animal characters. It kind of reminds me of The Simpsons (way back when it was good) and how each episode pushed the envelope little further. The animated series is hilarious, but also so sad and dark. It might be Will Arnett’s best work and is a nod to his own demons.

What have you been watching? What do I need to add to my list?

Tuesday, April 19th

Stream Queens

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

We’re just coming out of a month that was so incredibly busy that we’re finally just getting our bearings again. Normally I’d block off a little recovery time after SXSW, but we had no such luxury this year. We had back-to-back visits from my parents and Chris’ dad, both of which were wonderful. We took a road trip to Fort Worth and went to a wedding, the zoo, and Cane Rosso for dinner. Then last weekend was AFBA’s Colossal Curry Cook-off, which was a huge success!

Violet with Nana and Pop-Pop in Bluebonnets

Violet and GrandDad

Violet and GrandDad

Violet and Elephants at Fort Worth Zoo

Violet’s getting so big. She races down the hallway in her walker, babbles away, and tries to put her pacifiers in our mouths. So far, she’s really not digging solid foods much, but we keep trying a little everyday. My mom brought her a whole bunch of CDs and it’s so fun to watch her recognize the music and try to sing along. Sesame Street is her favorite, especially the songs sung by Grover.

We haven’t had much free time to watch TV, but I’ve relished those rare moments when I could relax on the couch and decompress with some entertainment. What we’ve been watching lately:

Meet the Patels

Meet the Patels

I enjoyed this so much I watched it twice. The light-hearted documentary focuses on Ravi Patel (who you may recognize from Master of None) and the cultural pressure to get married. It was impossible not to fall in love with his whole family.

F is for Family

This is decidedly NOT kid-friendly, but F is for Family is a cartoon worth watching. Bill Burr, Laura Dern, and Justin Long anchor this series that’s filled with recognizable voices. It’s some good clean 70s fun. BoJack Horseman is still my favorite though.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I haven’t quite finished the newly released second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but thought it was worth mentioning. Ellie Kemper is adorable.

Sensitive Skin

I’d watch Kim Cattrall in just about anything, but this was hard to get through. It’s highly stylized and on the surface, sophisticated, but also…really annoying? Cattrall is just fine. It’s Don McKellar, the male lead in season one, who rubs me the wrong way. But I’ll persevere and give the second season a chance.

What are you guys watching? Leave me a comment so we can discuss. Having trouble deciding what to watch? Make a fortune cookie!

Netflx Fortune Teller

Thursday, March 31st

South by South Baby

This post is part of my ongoing relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

We’ve been busy over here, with work and life and SXSW. We were those crazy people who brought a baby into the heart of Austin’s craziest scene! Our plans were to not go at all this year and we didn’t have badges. But once the parties and invites rolled in, there were a few events we couldn’t resist.

South by South Baby #SXSW #sxswi

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

One of those events was the premier of Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. It was Violet’s first movie and while she didn’t grasp the plot, she loved sitting in an audience of laughing people. She also chewed on her little red Pee Wee bow tie! We mingled with the cast and crew of the movie at the intimate afterparty. Paul Reubens was kind enough to let us snap a photo with him. The whole evening was a blast!

A dark photo, but that’s us and Paul Reubens. #peeweeherman #sxsw

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

Violet was a popular little guest no matter where we went and was in good spirits. She loves being out and about, so we take her as many places as we can. I was surprised by the dozens of people who approached us and expressed admiration for bringing her along. Most had babies themselves. She had her photo taken by lots of people and loved the attention. We made some great memories.

As we cherish all these special moments, we look forward to all the fun things that lie ahead. Netflix sent us some LEGO sets for the launch of their new LEGO shows and I can’t wait for Violet to get into all these fun toys I have stocked away for her. I’ll gladly invest in some LEGO slippers to spare my feet!

LEGO Slippers

So here’s what we’ve been streaming lately:

Documentary Now!

Documentary Now!

The IFC series features the brilliant Fred Armisen and Bill Hader in parodies of classic documentary parodies like Grey Gardens and The Thin Blue Line. It’s hilarious and smart. Here’s a guide to every documentary mocked.

Top of the Lake

Top of the Lake

The dark and disturbing series just announced that they are filming the second season, so I thought it time to finally get around to watching the first season. Elizabeth Moss carries the drama set in New Zealand, proving her acting chops go far beyond Peggy Olson.



It’s been questioned whether Will Arnett can carry a series and Flaked doesn’t really provide an answer. The slow-moving series is mildly appealing and Arnett is always likable, but this could have been better. I almost didn’t stick with this one but there was a satisfying payoff in the end. It’s just a little arduous getting there. Also, I can’t stress how much I loathe the opening credits.

What have you been watching lately?

Tuesday, January 26th

Year of Adventure

This post is part of my relationship with Netflix as a Stream Team partner.

I’ve been bad about updating my About page, so it looks like I’m a mom to two cats and completely ignores the fact that there’s a new little human in my life. But she’s here and she’s awesome.

Violet and Daddy

These last five months with Violet have been the greatest adventure of our lives so far. And I think the surprises and fun will keep coming all through 2016. I wish I could say our plans for the year have us traveling to Botswana or even New York, but our adventures will be of the more conventional variety. Still, if we look at each day as having the potential for adventure then we’re all in a position to do something great, right?

Some things on our horizon:

– Food! We’re starting to think about Violet’s next stages, which will include feeding her actual food. I can’t wait to see her little face as she gets to try her first sweet potatoes, avocados, and all sorts of other delights.

Little Sipper

– Swimming! My tiny mermaid will return to the sea. Or the kiddie pool.


– Crawling, toddling, sitting up. She’s going to be on the move before we know it and I’m afraid…but that’s all part of adventure, right?


So what am I watching? 

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat came up in my list of suggested titles because I’ve watched The Inbetweeners oh, I don’t…5,000 times? The British comedy is about a group of college freshman who didn’t make it into campus housing and are all put in a house together. It’s funny, shocking, and touching, like so many good British shows. I watched it twice. And if you’ve never watched The Inbetweeners, go do it now! Leave work if you have to.



Yes. I am probably the oldest living fan of Degrassi and I squealed when Netflix bought the series after its recent cancelation. For the uninitiated, this series has been on forever. It started in the 80s and came back in 2001 as Degrassi: The New Generation. (This is when I started watching.) It’s been on since then and this latest iteration is called Degrassi: The New Class. This is some edgy, Canadian teen programming, people.

Making a Murderer

making a murderer

The documentary show everyone is talking about, Making a Murderer, is just as compelling as it claims to be. I wasn’t hooked right away but eventually it did suck me in. The extreme poverty and subject matter make it tough to watch.

A Young Doctor’s Notebook

A Young Doctors Notebook

This story about a doctor played by both Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe is unlike anything else on television. The bleak Russian landscape is brought to life by a small cast in a tiny hospital. It’s gruesome and funny and tragic. Daniel Radcliffe is simply fantastic. Two short seasons are available on Netflix and I can’t wait for more.

What are you watching?

Thursday, May 21st

Weird Homes Tour

Some say Austin’s lost its weirdness forever, but that if we just look for it we’ll see bits of weirdness everywhere. The Weird Homes Tour makes the search easier with a curated list of Austin’s best and weirdest. Tickets ($25) for the self-driving tour are available on the website, along with a VIP option ($37) for those who want to party with fellow weird seekers.

10% of all ticket sales goes to Caritas in support of Austin’s affordable housing programs.

Do you have a favorite weird spot in Austin? I’ve always been partial to the Cathedral of Junk and have been many, many times. It’s a must-do for all my out of town guests and I love how it’s evolved so much over time. Every repeat visit brings new discoveries!

I’m very curious to see Aralyn Hughes‘ house. If you’ve seen a crazy decorated car driving around, chances are it’s one of hers. This iconic house? Hers, too.

Keep Austin Weird House

It takes time, dedication, and a bit of bravery to let your weird flag fly. I say we celebrate it and show appreciation for these great individuals who helped make Austin the city we’re so proud to show off. See you on the tour!

Saturday, May 23rd, 10 am-6 pm

Tickets and more information available at

Wednesday, May 13th

Life Changes

What’s happening to this poor blog? Ignored, barely updated, a ghost town of its former self. I did exactly what I swore I’d never do, which is become one of those bloggers who is just “too busy” right now.

But the truth is, I am too busy. For the last month (plus) Mr. Betty and I have been immersed in renovating our new house, taking baby classes, and just dealing with time-consuming nature of all these big life changes.

For those of you who don’t already know, we have a baby joining us around August 1st. To answer the most common questions:

1. It’s a girl

2. I feel pretty good

3. We’re still talking about names, but won’t announce it until she’s born

Baby ultrasound photo

This blog isn’t going to turn into a “mommy blog” which is another question I’ve been asked. Mad Betty will remain about pop culture and Austin. Even though blogs about parenting and coupons get thousands and thousands (millions, really) more hits than I do, I still plan on being the same old me. Just more tired and with more love. Anyway, I started a tiny blog to share news with friends and family back home, which you are welcome to look at if you want. Now I have another blog to fail at! Hooray!

Anyway, that’s the scoop. Right now we’re overwhelmed with house stuff and I spend my days painting, sanding, hiring and paying various helpers, looking at furniture, and yes, also working. I’m tired and haven’t had time to paint my nails or even watch one new episode of Mad Men yet. (I know!) I’ll do a separate post about the house and the vendors I used and recommend. Other posts coming up will include:

  • Features on Banger’s and St. Philip
  • Weird Homes Tour
  • Musings on late night TV
  • How to buy sunglasses
  • A recent Sephora haul

Anyway, sorry to be absent for so long. Thanks for sticking around. Please leave me a comment and tell me about your life these days.