Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc.).

1) 1 day of school left until Christmas break...woohoo, it can't get here soon enough. Today is the Christmas show and while it makes for a long day, it's always so wonderful and I can't help but love watching my little man in the show. This year he has a speaking part, which included weekly rehearsals and memorizing lines. I know when I was in 1st grade, I would NEVER have signed up for something like this.

2) I'm about 1/2 way ready for Christmas...I have a few presents wrapped, inside decor is done, even last minute adjustments...all that's really left to do is baking. I will bake the traditional Peanut Butter Blossoms (Hershey Kiss cookies) and Creme de Menthe Brownies - which at one time was my specialty and now I couldn't tell you when I last made them. 

3) I jumped on-board the Serial bandwagon and just started listening to Episode 12...she started it with a few comments making it sound like the last episode. Nooooooo.

4) I've been in a bit of a reading slump. I attribute it to a higher level of stress during the day, a lack of Christmas spirit and the overwhelming feeling of what to read many choices. 

5) We are hoping/planning to make a run for SC for New Year's Eve. As much as I wanted to stay put and take care of things at home, I am looking forward to getting away and being a bit of a sloth for a couple days.

6) I'm way behind on all things scrapbooking. I really hope the Christmas break helps me put a dent in my scrapbook deficit.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bout of Books 12.0 - Time to Sign Up!!

It's my favorite time of, not Christmas and all the chaos that brings (though I do like presents)'s Bout of Books 12.0!!!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Challenge!!

Another reason to love Pinterest...I found this!!!
I think I'll give it a try!!
And when I think about the books I've read so far this year, 
I could check off quite a few of these!!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week, etc.).

1) Damn! November & December are totally killing me. For a second I thought how glad I was that November was over, it brought lots of sickness to my house and a whole lot of bullshit to my life too (unrelated to the sickness). Well, then Dec 1st came along and Ethan woke up puking. Great! Because I had burned up so many sick days in the past two weeks, my mom had to come over to stay w/him. Thankfully it was the true 24hr stomach bug. We were back at school on Tuesday.

2) Since I am finally feeling well, I got my flu shot at Target on Tuesday night. While the shot was virtually painless, I was left with a nice welt on my arm - ouch. That has never happened before. 

3) This is my 5th year in my current job, which is also my 2nd career. This just so happens to me the WORST year of all 5....for many reasons of which I'll spare you. You can thank me later. 

4) I really didn't want this post to be all Debbie Downer-ish, but dang, it's been hard to find any "good" in my world lately. I'm not sure if I pissed off the Karma gods somehow, though I don't even know what I have done to piss them off.

5) Friends. Oh friends. Why is this SUCH a freakin' issue? So I asked a friend if she wanted to grab dinner on a particular night this week. She said she couldn't. Last time I asked, she said the same thing. I'm done inviting. Pretty sure she has valid reasons, is busy and not blowing me off, but her responses are so short, that it feels "ugly" and so I'm not asking again. In fact, I pretty much give up on the whole friends thing with anyone anymore. I'm tired of putting in more effort, only to be shit upon. I guess I suck as a friend. At least that's what I'm feeling like...again, unbeknownst to me why...can't think of what I have done to not have friends. I'm a counselor for pete's sake, I think about other peoples feelings all the freakin' time...I think I'd know if I pissed someone off. Heck, I rarely even speak up for myself. WTH? The hermit life sounds better every day.

6) I am probably clinically depressed at this point. 

7) I probably should say something about books...yeah, I met and exceeded my Goodreads goal...though I think I mentioned that already. I decided to read AMULET - the graphic novel series all the 5-7th graders seem to be reading (or have read) these days. I'm read 5/6 so far - only one more to go. They are pretty good, but it's been a little challenging to follow all the characters.

8) While I've enjoyed getting a few ARCs free and reading them before everyone else...I don't enjoy writing reviews, so I don't plan to pursue obtaining anymore. I am totally fine with this.


9) I received this Truthbomb on Wednesday morning...I think they sent it to me by mistake...seriously!!

10) I bought a lottery ticket. I plan to start buying regularly. You can't win, if you don't play...and at least it gives me a little hope for a while. Oh and I don't play the big lottos - too hard to win...I don't need millions, a couple hundred thousand can go a long way too!!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Hoping: to feel a lot better tomorrow. diagnosed with Strep this morning at the Walgreen's minute clinic after a quick and brutal sore throat set in late last night. Ouch. Spent the whole day in bed and of course, I have a ton of lesson planning to do before we are back at school on Dec 1 and I have a week full of lessons. Oh did I mention, I will also be observed at some point that week which means that every single lesson will need to be spot-on. Lovely.

Planning: lessons! See above.

Eating: since I hadn't eaten much all day thanks to angry throat,  was able to somewhat enjoy a ChickFila nugget meal WITH fries and still come in under my calorie limit. #win
Drinking: milk this morning and a diet dr pepper now but the carbonation is almost too much for my throat still.
Reading: an advance copy of "The Life Intended" by Kristin Harmel. It's a little different but I am enjoying it. Anxious to see how it all plays out, that's for sure. And if you haven't read "The Sweetness of Forgetting" - you must. Absolutely fabulous!!!
Watching: Still only committed to "The Mysteries of Laura"...Downton is back in January though so I'll add that to my weekly watches. Yay!!
Cooking: Today. Nothing. Mac n' Cheese in the microwave for Ethan tonight - since he declined ChickFila.
Blogging: enjoying it but still not blogging as often as I once did. I suppose that's good and bad. 
Listening: OK - I'm officially sucked into the Serial podcast after reading about it from a couple of different bloggers. Got all caught up on the 9 episodes over the weekend. Now I have to wait 2 weeks for the next one since they come out on Thursdays and there won't be one on Thanksgiving. 
Thinking: about how nice it will be to have 5 consecutive days off in a row. Hello Thanksgiving.
Needing: a lot of rest.
Wanting: to wake up tomorrow and be 10lbs lighter. Is that too much to ask?
Hating: that my throat hurts every time I swallow.
Loving: the "feel" of the mall and certain stores during the Christmas season. Love it.
Avoiding: the stores on Black Friday. Since I have no one to go w/me, I just don't go. Instead, mom and I will be going to see Mockingjay Part 1.
Anticipating: Christmas.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1) Can't this just apply to everyday?

2) I'm home from school/work with Ethan today, who is under the weather with some nasty congestion and a cough. I'm hoping we can beat this junk today so he can go on his field trip tomorrow. 

3) I'm reading 3 books right now. That's nuts, I know. I'm also 1 book away from meeting my 52 books read this year goal on Goodreads. I'm happy with that...comes out to more than one per week since we still have 4 weeks left and I'll likely finish at least 3-4 more books before December 31. For me, 52+ books in a year is good. I don't know how people do 100+ books in a year...maybe they aren't working full time, and if they are, then I really have NO idea how they do it. I suck at audio books, so that's not an option for me.

4) We are seriously thinking about selling our house and moving. There are 2 main reasons for this... (1) the hillbillies that live behind our house (outside of our neighborhood) are in the county where it is permitted to shoot guns...they have built a shooting range in their backyard. Last year, a bullet came through my neighbors bedroom window. I can't stop thinking about when we will be next. (2) There is a strong chance that a Dollar General store will be constructed immediately outside of my neighborhood. Now, I realize that these two reasons make it sound like I live in the most run down, hillbilly trailer park ever, but let me assure you that I live in a 200+ home subdivision with HOA dues of $300 a year and houses that range from $ no, we do not live in a trailer park. or a dumpy neighborhood. I'm no longer happy here and my unhappiness will increase exponentially if the Dollar General store is built. I knew I hated that store for a reason...I never shop there and now for sure I never EVER will. Crooks. The only plus side: we need a bigger house anyway.

5) I have an insane travel bug right now...which is funny since I just went to Charleston, SC last weekend. But I think this is more of a "travel someplace new" travel Seattle or London. I miss traveling.

6) I cannot believe how cold it has been already...we even had snow on Tuesday morning...enough that we should have had a delayed start at school, but they messed that up (again) I drove with white knuckles all the way to school. Thankful I don't live too far away. The high was 28 degrees that day. Nuts!

7) No plans this weekend. That's probably good since we were out of town and crazy busy last weekend. Well, I say no plans, but really it's the usual plans - YMCA, grocery shopping, lunch w/mom...nice and low key - the way I like my weekends.

8) For the past few years, I have wrapped up 24 Christmas books and Ethan opens one each night and we read it at bedtime. I love love love this tradition we have created. I ordered two new Christmas books for our collection: Here Comes Santa Cat and Memoirs of an Elf.

9) How do you deal with that feeling of "so many books to read and so little time"??? Seriously, it frustrates me so much. All I want to do is read, but that's impossible. Ugh.

10) Why in the world do we have school next Monday & Tuesday? It seems like everyone else is off the WHOLE week!?!?! Argh!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dorothea Benton Frank FanFest 2014 Recap

Beside the fact that my husband's work truck broke down in Charleston at 3:55pm when the event started at 4pm, the weekend was great!! 

Here are a few pictures from the 1st Annual DBF FanFest...good times!!
This was at the end of our walking tour on Saturday. There was a lunch demo w/DBF & her daughter who is a professional chef, but we did not have tickets for this part of the event.
This was Friday evening after the Welcome and Q&A, DBF signed our books and took pictures.
 Not only is she funny, she is super sweet too!!!

My favorite of all her far!

Walking Tour - one of the few cobblestone streets in Charleston.
I could go on a never-ending walking tour of Charleston...I love hearing about the history.
Apart from the freezing cold temps and wind, it was fabulous!!

Looking down.

Loved the sun rays!!!

This is the view from DBF's back porch...seriously...heaven...Charleston is across the harbor. We also saw a cruise ship depart. What I would do to live in her house....did I mention it's a former Civil War Barracks?!!? Amazing!!

Goodbye breakfast...and more book signing.
What a great weekend!!!
Can't wait until next year!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) Wahoo!! Today is my Friday!! Amen!! We are hitting the road at 5:30am tomorrow morning for good 'ol Lowcountry - South Carolina!! I'll be having lunch at Poe's Tavern and meeting Dorothea Benton Frank in the evening. Awesome day in store!!

2) That scarf I ordered from GAP last is beautiful, but it's WAYYYY too chunky/bulky for me. Have to take it back. Bummer!! I love scarves!

3) I paid a little visit to the ER on Tuesday morning....about 4am. It wasn't too fun. Ended up staying home from work that day, hoping to feel better, but instead ended up grossly nauseous from the stupid pain pills.

4) As a result of above mentioned ER visit, feeling like total crap and losing lots of sleep, I have done NO reading for 2 days. What? Guess we know what I'll be doing in the car en route to SC.

5) Totally bummed that "The Mysteries of Laura" was not on last night. Argh!!!

6) Thankful there are only 7 more work days until Thanksgiving break. Good thing too, because I couldn't take much more than that.

7) Ethan started some swimming lessons this week. He can "sort of" swim, but needs to refine some of his skills and technique. It's nice to have a little activity for him after school again, though it was nice to have a few weeks without too. Hopefully the TaeKwonDo stuff will pick up again...not sure what is happening there.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
Tired back to school teacher

1) DEVOLSON!! Found this on a teaching blog and it's SOOOO true in my world right now!! 

2) And since we're on an education spin...can I just say I'm totally over the amount of homework my 1st grader has had!! Seriously, I want my pre-schooler back so that I can have some semblance of a life after 4pm every day. Nope, now it's homework, homework and more homework and then our nightly reading to meet our 60 minutes per week requirement, followed by bedtime. We are currently working on TWO Thanksgiving is about Thanksgiving traditions, which is a sad joke in our house, because the only constant on that day seems to be watching the Macy's Parade. Last year we ate at a friends house, the year prior we made our own turkey...see, no traditions. The other project is a "disguise the turkey" project, where we will be disguising him as Walt Disney (my son's choice) and then have to research a few facts about Walt, decorate the turkey, get a pic of Walt to put on the turkey, etc. I'm tired.

3) I'm really enjoying "The Look of Love" by Sarah Jio...should finish it in the next couple days. I've enjoyed everything I've read from her. Hopefully she'll have a tour stop nearby and I'll be able to meet her. Speaking of meeting authors...9 days until I meet Dorothea Benton Frank!! Woop!!! Next week is a 4 day work week for me so we can leave on Friday for Charleston. It's doubly-good...I need the break from work and for a fun weekend getaway. Yes!!

4) Thinking seriously of going FULL blonde w/my hair. I've been having somewhat of a hair crisis for the past couple months and when I got highlights last time -at a new place- they suggested in a friendly/fun way that I should go full blonde...maybe something to do over Christmas break...hoping for something like this: 
So cute!30 Short Hairstyles for Winter: Very Short Hair for Women

5) Someday I hope to be in the position of working  a job because I WANT to work that job, not because I NEED to work. Needing to work totally sucks.

6) I think I'll take the little man to see Big Hero 6 on Sunday. He's been asking for weeks and it only comes out this Friday. Silly boy!!

7) Who knew it would be so hard to find Disney Christmas wrapping paper...and I should be more specific...Disney Christmas wrapping paper that is NOT from Frozen...we need Mickey and friends please!! We are actually using it to disguise our turkey (see #2)...apparently the idea is to disguise him so no one finds him and wants to eat him for Thanksgiving. A few years ago, a student disguised their turkey as Taylor Swift. That was funny. These will be hanging in the hallway. I'll have to take a couple pictures and post them for you.

I absolutely LOVE this scarf from the Gap. So I practiced some retail therapy and bought it for myself. I feel better. Until the bill comes. LOL!!!

9. This morning I saw a FB post from author Sarah Jio canceling her trip to Turkey. Apparently she has many fans/readers there. She stated she cancelled for security reasons, which is completely her right. I am appalled at her so-called fans as just about every single one of them left a nasty/mean/rude comment, one (or more!) even saying she is no longer a fan. People are nuts! And stupid. And idiots. And...well you get my point.  Would you bail on an author just because they  cancelled a tour stop near you? Heck, I wouldn't be able to like any authors, because NONE of them come to this ridiculous "city" I live in and I have to drive 3 hours to see anyone, because those cities are bigger.

10. Is this week over yet? I don't like wishing my life away, but find myself doing it more and more. Probably need to make some (major) changes. *sigh*

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Week in the Life

This past week has been the official "Week in the Life" event, led by Ali Edwards and I'm happy to say that I participated once again and am working on finishing up my album. What is WITL, you's a documentary project capturing the simple pieces of daily life, things you probably wouldn't normally take a picture of.

WITL is something I've done for the past 5 years and while it's a bit of work during the week, it's so worth it when we look back on the albums I've created. The other great part of WITL is that the week changes every year, so we are always capturing different seasons and/or events. 

Here are few of my favorite pictures taken during Week in the Life 2014:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) This week has been complete crap. I mean COMPLETE crap. Of course, this is all based on the 8 hours I spend at work. After 4pm, my days are usually pretty fun and happy. It's got me thinking a whole lot about where I want to be next year, because right now, I DON'T want to be here.  The only consolation (if any) is that most of my co-workers feel similar.

2) After that total crap Monday, I had a great Tuesday night. I drove a little over an hour to Greenville, TN to see Kenny Loggins!! It was the best 90 minutes of my week. Oh, man do I love him!! I am not a big concert go-er...I love them, just haven't been to a lot of them...but I have seen Kenny 3 times...each in a different state!! Michigan. Arizona and now Tennessee. Here's a clip from "Danger Zone" that night:

3) I am really enjoying watching "The Mysteries of Laura" but last night I was just too tired to stay up and watch it. So thankful for DVR!!! Hoping to squeeze it in tonight!!

4) Looking like another RAINY Halloween here in East TN and that totally sucks. It happens just about every other year. 

5) This is the week for the big scrapbooking/memory keepers Week In The Life and it's something I've done for 4-5 years now and I absolutely love it. Both Ethan and I enjoy looking back at the "mini" albums that document a (regular) week in our lives. I've been pretty good with remembering to take pictures, though I'm not in a lot of them...gotta work on that part. Here's a pic from yesterday...just out in the parking lot at school during dismissal duty.

6) I received an email recently from First Reads (Penguin) and saw that I could choose Sarah Jio's new book "Look of Love" and be able to read it before it comes out later November...I was so excited. Yesterday, I rec'd confirmation that I was chosen to receive the book. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've followed the link to download the e-book and keep getting the message that "Penguin has encountered a Server Error"...I get this message from my computer and iPad so I'm assuming it's on their end. I hope it's fixed soon. I just finished reading her book "Morning Glory" so I'm super motivated to dive into this one. I've loved everything I've read by her. 
20893363      17838336

7) I received my first ARC!!!! Woohoo!! And it's The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy...I have SOOO many books I'm dying to read right away that I cannot decide which one to start with. I sent the publisher an email to ask for a copy and never got a response, but then on Friday when I got home from work, I had a lovely package waiting for me. Hooray!!!

8) Ethan and I (mostly me) made these cute marshmallow treats for his classmates for Halloween tomorrow. I hope they enjoy them!!

9) I am insanely happy to have NO plans this weekend. Sleep is on the agenda. And some reading too.

10) I'm hoping for a few hours of "me" time this Sunday...thankful for another Boy Scout outing. Yahoo!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) I had a fabulous 26 hours to myself when Ethan and his dad went camping w/Boy Scouts last weekend. I went to the YMCA, did some house chores/laundry (which was still fun because the house was silent w/the exception of MY music), went to Starbucks & read my books, dinner w/mom followed by the movie "Best of Me"....I am now madly in love with James Marsden!! *sigh* I stayed up until 1am watching the 5 episodes of "The Mysteries of Laura" that I had recorded...which also rekindled my love for Josh Lucas!! Apparently I am very a bit star-struck...I think it's good that I don't watch much TV. :)

2) Let's just say that today is my least favorite work day of the month. I will be so happy when 3pm gets here. 

3) I've been enjoying the elliptical machine and the past couple times I've actually managed to read instead of watch a movie...I've not had much time for reading lately, so being able to read while exercising has been awesome. Hoping to go again today for a short workout...also tempted not to go at all since it's the ONLY night we have ZERO plans after would be SO nice to go straight home and actually cook a decent dinner. 

4) The rest of this year feels crazy busy. We are headed to Charleston two weeks before Thanksgiving for that awesome Author event with Dorothea Benton Frank. Then 2 weeks later I go to middle-Tennessee for my professional conference and then it's Thanksgiving. Whirlwind. Pretty sure Christmas will be at home this year and though we love to travel at least to SC for a quick getaway, we are trying really hard to just stay put and save money because just two weeks ago we booked ourselves a DISNEY CRUISE!!! I am crazy excited - as is Ethan of course. None of us have ever been on a cruise anywhere nor been to any part of the Caribbean, so this will be a blast for sure. It's not until late June 2015 but that gives us lots of time to save $$ and get everything situated. 

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon
5) I've been doing this Read-A-Thon...trying to anyway...and since it began on Saturday, I have read 270 pages. I'm happy with that considering all the other things in life that get in the way of quality reading time. 

6) I keep track of all my appointments etc. using my iPhone. It works perfect for me. I also LOVE the look and idea of a paper planner, especially all the fun things going on with them these days. I'm on the fence on pulling the trigger in buying one...probably an inexpensive one at first to see if I really use it. I don't have much down time to sit and jot ideas or doodle and so the phone has always worked better for me. Do I want something else to carry around? I also don't like my (poor) handwriting so then my calendar doesn't look "pretty" (yes, that's my OCD issue-I own it!) Can't decide what to do!!

7) Planning to do a practice run of our school Halloween treats this weekend. Found the cutest idea on line somewhere (a crafty blog) and want to give them a try before the very last minute. Hope they turn out. 

8) I wonder how much it would cost to get my own soda fountain machine with Diet Dr. Pepper? Seriously it is so much better than bottles or comparison.

9) Proud mama bragging moment: I had Ethan's parent-teacher conference yesterday. This week is their first week of differentiated spelling lists. He has 12 words. Used to have 6. These words are all twice as long as the previous words. The teacher told me that there is a group of about 5 kids (this includes Ethan) with these more difficult words. Then she said she needed to bump the words up even a bit more for Ethan. She followed that with that she will probably have a list for Ethan, a list for the group of remaining 4 kids, and then the rest of the class. In other words, he is the top speller in her class. I am so proud!!!

10) I really,really, REALLY wish weekends were 3 days long. They just go by so fast. They are full of errands and things to-do, there is little down time. I'm working this Saturday and so is Oscar. Contemplating going to Boo @ the Zoo (again) on Sunday...we went last week too. Ethan wants to go again. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


Trying: to find joy in as many moments as possible. this is freakin' hard by the way.

Moving: a lot more than I was this month. better workouts at the YMCA & making a point to walk more at school during the day. I've had 13k steps 3 of 4 days so far this week. Yay!! #fitbit

Wondering: I do this all day, so it would take a lot of space to type in the answer. 

Loving: seeing the excitement Ethan has for life...he has been looking forward to Halloween since mid-September and he has also been singing Christmas carols since about the same time. Cracks me up!!

Crafting: not much due to time constraints, but I do have at least 4 projects "in progress" right now. That's not good.

Hoping: to make huge progress on above mentioned projects this weekend. :)

Planning: some fun Thanksgiving day activities for dinner. Thank you Pinterest. :)

Remembering: how awesome growing up in Michigan was...even with the snow. In fact, the snow was great, until I became old enough to drive. 

Eating: much of the same...yogurt, cottage cheese, granola's getting old.
Drinking: Diet Dr Pepper. Water. Diet Orange Pop.
Reading: The Vacationers by Emma Straub and Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (for 6th grade book club)
Watching: just the movies I rent on iTunes to watch while spending 1 hour on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.
Cooking: yesterday was tacos & I'm not sure what I'll cook tonight.
Blogging every now and then.
Listening: i'm in the world's longest music funk. can't find ANYTHING that I LOVE...I'm even exploring podcasts because the music world is the pits.
Thinking: about the pros/cons to certain situations I would sometimes like to change.
Needing: to have time to workout at least 4x a week so I can get my quad strength back and commence running, which will lead to weight loss. hooray!!
Wanting: some things to be different.
Hating: certain things about my job...hadn't felt this way until past few weeks. total drag.
Loving: sleeping. resting. reading.
Avoiding: conflict wherever and whenever possible.
Anticipating: dinner & movie w/my mom Saturday night. Oh and the "me" time I'll get when I get home that evening...I plan to scrapbook until the wee hours of the morning. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1) I think I may be the last person on earth (or at least in the USA) who doesn't have a list of Podcasts that they are regularly listening to...or at the very least, are fond of. I'm really trying to find some I may like...but I also wonder if I will struggle to truly listen since I'm a big failure at audio books. Podcasts though are much shorter, so maybe there is hope. The 1st one I plan to try is: Stuff You Missed in History Class-wish me luck!!

2) I'm surprised it took this long, but the negative feelings about my job have finally set it...along with the feelings of dread every morning and oh yeah, the Sunday blues. It's probably safe to assume most of this is fueled by the numerous comments that my role is "unimportant" that have been launched my way this year. Yeah, it's been so awesome.

3) In happier news...the boys are going camping w/Boy Scouts this Saturday to that means a whole LOTTA "me time"...which I'm insanely excited about and without a single feeling of guilt (so far). Mom and I will catch a movie on Saturday night - probably "The Best of Me"...yes, I read the book and I cannot wait to see what the movie is like. I'll be bringing tissues for sure. 

4) Looking so very much forward to another hour on the elliptical today. I'm serious. Though it may end up costing me some $$ to spend an hour on the machine every time I'm there as I've found it's rather helpful to rent a movie on iTunes and watch it while exercising....since it's a bit bumpy for reading. Last two movies I watched: "Million Dollar Arm" (awesome!!) and "They Came Together" (thumbs down!! Too much of that stupid-type humor). Today's movie is "Horrible Bosses" to re-kindle my love for Jason Bateman...and to prep for the sequel coming out. Woot!!

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon

5) I think I'll try this read-a-thon...I could use a boost in my reading motivation as I've been insanely tired every night lately and haven't done much reading since Monday. Now to remember to document how many pages I read each night...that's the true challenge. Ha!!

6) I'm going to see Kenny Loggins in concert in just 12 days and couldn't be more excited. We're even driving 1 hour away to see him...which is strange because our city is MUCH bigger than the one he's going to play that doesn't make much sense to me...oh well...I'm sure there's a reason. This will be the 3rd time I see him and each time in a different state. Ha!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Q & A

1. Favorite childhood book:
I really cannot remember what book was my favorite, but I have been told my both my mom and aunt that I made them read me Dr. Suess's "The B Book" over and over again while on a road trip to Florida. Big Blue Bear. Beautiful Babboon....and it went on and on like that.

2. What are you reading right now?
It never fails...the school year is back in session and I'm reading multiple books concurrently...3 to be exact: "Absolutely Almost" by Lisa Graff for 6th grade book club, "The Big Disconnect" by Catherine Steiner-Adair - for (personal) professional development and "The Vacationers" by Emma Straub for good 'ol fun!!

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None at the moment...which is rare, because I almost always have at least one I am waiting on. "The Vacationers" is an e-book loan from the library though.

4. Bad book habit: 
Adding books to my TBR list and never reading them.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
See #3

6. Do you have an e-reader?
You betcha!!! I read on my iPad mini and I love it. I occasionally read regular books but only if I have to!!

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I prefer one at a time, but I have to read more than one at a during the school year.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Slightly at first. I found I wasn’t making as much time for reading because I was focused on blogging so much. I’ve cut back my blog posts so that I could focus on reading more – since that’s the reason I blog in the first place.

9. Least favorite book you have read this year:
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - who wants to read about a bunch of whiny, spoiled rich adults who make poor choices?!? Not me!!

10. Favorite book you have read this year:
It's a tie between....Goodnight June by Sarah Jio and The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

11. How often do you read outside of your comfort zone?
Not too often...which is probably why I'm not so good at book clubs...I enjoy the gathering part, but if the book doesn't sound like something I'll enjoy, I don't bother. Initially though, I did read a couple that I normally wouldn't have read and it confirmed my suspicions that I will likely NOT encounter some fabulous book through book club. I'm too stingy with my time to waste it on a book I am not going to enjoy.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
First & foremost...WWII historical fiction. I also love reading Low Country "chick" books over the summer (or any time really) from Dorothea Benton Frank and Mary Alice Monroe...two of my favorite authors.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Sure!! And I wish I could take a bus to work so I could get in more reading time. I need to move to a city with public transportation AKA New York City!!! 

14. Favorite place to read:
In seems that's the only place I read because that's the only time I have to read anymore. I used to love going to Starbucks to sit and read, but dang, who has time for that?!?!

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I will only lend a book out if I don't care about getting it back. People are irresponsible. Fact.

16. Do you dog-ear your books?
I read mostly e-books, but have and use regular bookmarks for "real" books!

17. Do you write notes on the margins of your books?
No way!

18. Do you break/crack the spines?
Not purposely.

19. What is your favorite language to read?

20. What makes you love a book?

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I really enjoyed it, read it in "record time" and did not want to put it down.

22. Favorite genre:
WWII Historical Fiction

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did):

24. Favorite biography:
See #23

25. Have you read a self-help book (and was it helpful)? 
Yes I've read a few. Haven't found them terribly helpful though.

26. Favorite cook book:

Ha! I get my recipes on-line anyway.

27. The most inspirational book you’ve read this year:
I think I have to say "Goodnight June" because though she did not think she would do what she did (sorry, don't want to spoil it in case you want to read it)...I love the risks she took and wish that I was as brave as her.

28. Favorite reading snack:
Iced Chai Tea from Starbucks

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience:
I can't think of one...I mean, I read "Gone Girl" because of the hype but it didn't ruin my experience...the ending ruined my experience, but not the hype. 

30. How often do you agree with the critics about a book?
I don't read critics reviews...why should I care what ONE person said about a book...they could have very different taste than me. 

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
If I don’t like a book, I don’t feel bad saying so. 

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which would it be?
Spanish. And I could read in Spanish right now but it would take me a LONG time to get through a book. Someday I may have to try it...when I have an abundance of time...who knows when that will be.

33. Most intimidating book I’ve ever read:

Ha! None...I avoid them!!

34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin:
See #33. I would like to read some classics, but I guess you could say I'm too "nervous" (hesitant) to bother as I feel like I'll end up bored outta my mind and have lost valuable reading time.

35. Favorite Poet:

36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library at a given time?
For me 1-3 including e-books. For Ethan - 10-15 at a time.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?'s the whole "eyes are bigger than my stomach" effect...I take home (way) more books that I really have time to read. :(

38. Favorite fictional character:
Probably Harry Potter.

39. Favorite fictional villain:

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation:
All of them. Thank you iPad mini and!

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading:
1-2 days at most. It's ranks up there with breathing, pretty much have to do it every day.

42. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
My son, chores, work, life.

43. Name a book you could not finish:

Code Name Verity - I tried, I really did, but despite many people saying how wonderful it was...I just couldn't feel it...and it's my preferred genre. Dang!!

44. Favorite film adaption of a novel:
This Is Where I Leave You

"This is Where I Leave You" - love love loved it!!!

45. The most disappointing film adaptation:
? no idea.

46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time:
I have no idea...never too much in one visit...I'm more of a frequent, but low-dollar over a couple months, that could be quite a few dollars, I just never kept track.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never. I just read the description on Amazon and/or Goodreads as well as a couple reviews if my friends have read it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through it?
My policy is, if I can’t get into a book by the halfway point, I’m not going to keep wasting my time. Too many books on my list to read, to waste my time on something not keeping my attention, for whatever reason.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I like to keep EVERYTHING organized.

50. Do you prefer to keep your books when done, or give them away?
Since I read primarily e-books, I keep them. The lending programs w/e-books are lame and nobody seems to really use them anyway. If I read a "real" book, then I probably got it at the library.

51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding?

"The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer...I really REALLY want to read this, but frankly, anything over 350 pages (it has 651!!) makes me hesitant...silly, I know...but it's my issue, I own it. :)

52. Name a book that made you angry:
"War Brides" by Helen Bryan....another that I thought I would LOVE, but the story was all over the place, there were a gazillion characters and it was impossible to keep up with them. I made it 1/2 way through and gave up...totally frustrated and then I end up angry that I wasted precious reading time on it.

53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did:
I don't start to read anything that I don't expect to like.

54. A book I expected to like but didn’t:
I expected to like "Code Name Verity"....but I did not. See #43.

55. Favorite guilt-free guilty-pleasure reading:
Staying in my PJs all day and's never happened, but I imagine it would be wonderful.