The Fall Bucket List 2018

One Monday morning, not too long ago, a co-worker arrived & I greeted him cheerfully. He gave me a sideways look because a) it was a Monday and b) it was morning. Then I saw a lightbulb go off and he laughed and said, “You’re in a great mood because it’s cold outside.”

YOU BET YOUR ASS, I AM.

And that is my classy intro to this year’s Fall Bucket List.

This year’s list feels a little light but life has been busy and I won’t pretend like I’d enjoy filling all my free time with traditional fall activities. I tried to stick to stuff that I either enjoy doing or stuff that really need done.

Outside Stuff

  • Go to at least one festival
  • Take a vacation
  • Family Thanksgiving trip to Williamsburg
  • Get some mums
  • Get some pumpkins
  • Carve some pumpkins
  • Do a fall craft
  • Take a dog or two on a fall hike

Inside Stuff

  • Gather the necessary items for our costumes…
  • Host our annual Halloween party!
  • Decorate the house
  • Start & finish a project I’m working on with K
  • Try out three new recipes for dinner
  • Bake a new fall cookie
  • Drinks lots of apple cider
  • Meet my cousin-in-law’s new baby! (She’s due early Oct.)
  • Celebrate my bffs’ birthday!! (One in Sept. & one in Nov.)
  • Find a new fall cocktail to make at home
  • Get a PSL
  • Get 50% of my Christmas shopping done
  • Paint the house
  • Hang 90% of all art/pics once house is painted
  • MAKE. ICE. CREAM.(If I don’t do it this time around I’m selling my ice cream machine)
  • Scrapbook Year 4
  • Order Year 5 photos
  • Continue working on office & emptying my parents’ basement

Do I already have some things crossed off? Yes. Am I ashamed that I jumped the gun? Hellz no.

I’m working on my overhaul goals, too. This month has been… rough. But I’ll recap that during Kristen’s link-up at the start of October.

What’s on your fall bucket list?

Spring & Summer Recap

Oh hello, Fall. You beautiful, sexy, amazing, perfect, gorgeous piece of the year. I’ve missed you so. (I know we’re 4 days away. I know.)

Today I’m putting the end cap on my spring & summer bucket list before divulging my fall list. I’ll share my new list on Thursday, so stick around 🙂 Until then, let’s evaluate my summer…

  • Go to a major or minor league baseball game (Indian’s game with cousin & friends)
  • Visit the farmers market at least twice
  • Go on anniversary trip to Gettysburg
  • Go to country summer concert with friends (Kenny Chesney)
  • Go to summer concert with K (Jimmy Eat World)
  • Finish cleaning stuff out of M&D’s basement
    Making progress!
  • Finish purging unnecessary stuff (This is never done but it’s “done” for now.)
  • Have a garage sale at new house!
  • Go to the outdoor rootbeer stand (Fundays)
  • Go swimming!
  • Go to Trumpet in the Land (outdoor play)
  • Follow 5 new blogs
  • Set up home office
  • Set up basement workout space
  • Scrapbook & finish year 3
  • Summer vacation (Darlington, SC)
  • Paint the bedroom
  • MAKE SOME DAMN ICE CREAM

Not bad… not bad…

As far as things I did not do…
We more or less nixed the idea of a basement workout space for now.
Our plan is to paint many rooms at once (and hire someone to do it). Putting it on the fall list.
I made a lot of progress on my home office/craft room, but it’s not done by any means so I don’t want to completely cross it off my list.

I don’t know that I necessarily started following 5 new bloggers, but I started frequenting and visiting the sites of multiple blog-acquaintances in hopes of becoming blog-friends. Does that make sense?

I know you summer-lovers are dreading the next 4 months (5 months? 6 months? …who knows), but I am very happy to see this new season. Come back in two days for my fall bucket list!

Thoughts While Rereading Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

Grab your cauldron and teas leaves, and join me for another installment of thoughts about Harry Potter. I’ve already covered the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets. Today we’re talking about my favorite book!

I feel like The Prisoner of Azkaban is the book that ties Harry’s past with his future. His friendships are cemented with Ron and Hermione, and the Weasley’s prove to him that they’re on his side (Arthur fills him in, Molly loves him, Fred and George help him out AGAIN). He learns more about his past and starts to visualize a future. He’s finally comfortable being a wizard. I LOVE the relationships in this book.

Alright. Let’s do this. *No true spoilers, but there’s alluding. Just FYI.

Every single time Crookshanks goes after Scabbers I silently cheer.

I know I said last time that McGonagall is my all time fav, but Lupin is, too. I love that man.

When Ron stands up for Hermione in Snape’s Defense Against the Dark Art’s class I actually lost it and laughed while also gasping.

In comparison, I like the way Harry finds out about Black’s actions better in the film. I like the way the full moon events unfold better in the book.

I appreciate how Snape and Lupin treat one another throughout the year. I like that we’re getting some history without ACTUALLY getting their history (or knowing that there’s beef there). Well, until they actually tell the trio about it.

Let’s address the weird elephant in the room… When I was a pre/teen reading these books I obviously had little crushes on Harry and the Weasleys and all their friends. As an adult? Remus Lupin is looking goooood. And a cleaned up Sirius ain’t half bad himself. Weird, man. Weird. (George Weasley will always have my heart, though.)

Hearing the adults talk about Black makes me so frustrated. But seeing Harry be so comfortable with Lupin warms my heart. This book gives me ALL THE FEELS.

“Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs,” sighed George, patting the heading of the map. “We owe them so much.”

No mention of the fidelius charm in the movie…

The depth and complexity in which Lupin’s tale intertwines with Harry’s is masterful. Lupin has such a rough go at life & every single time he feels joy is so bittersweet. He’s so resilient and strong. And he’s so calm and collected. I just love him.

I’d forgotten how invest HR&H are involved in Hagrid and his court case. 

Hermione’s interaction with Malfoy: 🙌 🙌 🙌 

McGonagall yelling at Lee during the Quidditch games is my favorite part of every game. 

Poor Neville…

The respect that Lupin has for Hermione is THE BEST. He’s is sooooo aware of the fact that H & R would be dead without her. 

The movie makes Dumbledore look suspiciously oblivious to Harry & Hermione’s final task. In the book he’s in cahoots with them and I think it makes it that much better. 

The movies make Dumbledore so explosive and Snape so calm. That is the COMPLETE opposite in the books. Snape constantly loses his temper. 

Listen… if you’ve *tried* to read the HP series and only made it through book 2, I am begging you to pick up #3 and give it a read.

I’m not sure when I’ll get around to book 4. They’ve pushed the release date back to 2019 and I heard that it’s being broken up into two books…

Which Harry Potter book is your favorite? I feel like a lot of people love PoA 🙂

What I Read…

I was one of those weirdos that enjoyed school for the learning aspect. With the exception of my roommates, my favorite part about college was time in the classrooms. I loved taking notes, writing stories/essays, and learning new things.

I did NOT love how little time I had for pleasure reading. I’m very grateful to be out of school and free of the obligatory text book reading. Bring on the fun books 🙂

This month I only finished 2 books. We had some crazy travel & work weeks. Linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana!

Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey
★★★/5 
Sam & Ian are co-workers, teachers, best friends, and NOT dating. But when all the teachers find out that Ian and Sam are both on the market, their relationship becomes a little more complicated.
Ehh… This was more like a 2.5 star book but I round up. I won’t lie- the END of romance novels are usually the best part. Or at least the last third of the book. It’s where the sparks typically fly & catch everything on fire. I actually enjoyed the first half of this book WAY more than the second half. The romance was weird and almost too friendly-to-lovey. And that’s coming from someone whose own romance went from friends to lovers. Ian wasn’t appealing to me at all. He was moody and touchy (personality-wise, not physically). I didn’t like that. Also, Sam was kind of tough on herself appearance-wise when it came to Ian’s amazing awesome attractiveness. *eyeroll* Girl- if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Don’t worry about being in his sex appeal shadow- move out the shade and soak in that sun. But I digress.
Should you read it? I would say no… It’s not my cup of tea romance-wise. If you’re a HUGE friends-to-lovers fan then maybe.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
★★★★★/5 
Days before Harry enters his third year at Hogwarts, the notorious Sirius Black escapes Azkaban prison. Everyone’s worried that he’s after Harry but Harry just wants to pass his classes and win the Quidditch cup.
This has always been my very favorite HP book. While Jo definitely ties books 1 & 2 into the whole series, I feel like we really start to get into the history and core story with this book. I love the introduction of Sirius and Remus with this book. When you’ve read this story before, I feel like you find a large chunk of the book frustrating. Oh well- deep, strong feelings are what makes the world of HP wonderful. What’s your favorite HP book? I’m really really loving my journey of rereading the illustrated versions as they’re released. They’re SO beautiful!
Should you read it? Duh, but only after you’ve finished the first two books!

*On Thursday I will share my Thoughts While Rereading HP & the PoA!

|5 points| Freebie: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
|10 points| Starts with the letter N: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
|10 points| Has a mostly orange color: A Tyranny of Petticoats by various authors
|15 points| A book with an unlikable character: An Act of Villainy by Ashley Weaver*
|20 points| From 100 books PBS calls “The Great American Read”HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban (illustrated version) by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Related to water in the title: On A Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
|25 points| Owned/TBR the longest (GoodReads): The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
|30 points| An emotion word in the title: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
|30 points| Each word in the title begins with the same letter: After Alice by Gregory Maguire
|35 points| A book featuring a character who shares your profession or similar one (i.e. does the same kind of thing as you do day to day): The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

I have 130 points out of 200.
*I changed this selection. It was The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.

What did you read this month?

It feels weird to post today and not mention September 11th… I think it’s called Patriot Day now. I know exactly where I was 17 years ago when I got the news. Today my thoughts are with the loved ones of the innocent people who died at the hands of hatred and fear, as well as those who mourn the loss of a friend or family member that’s since fought the terror in our world. 

RBG

On Monday night I watched the CNN airing of RBG. And since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or her. Without knowing much about her, I already had massive respect for Justice Ginsburg. Now, having a little background on her life, I’m just blown away by the determination, strength, convictions, and steady persistence of one petite, intelligent, and shy woman. Simply blown away.

I want to note that I have plenty to learn on the matter. There are books about RBG that I’d like to read, information and dissents from cases that she’s argued and presided over, backgrounds on the men and woman that she’s served along side with on the highest court in the land… but for right now, I have immediate takeaways from the film.

I urge you to watch it, even if you disagree with Ruth’s political position.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I come from an environment that does not share some (most) of my beliefs. I rarely engage in political conversation anymore because I’m always outnumbered. We don’t vote for the same people and we don’t see social, economical, or judicial issues in the same light.  I have learned to just walk away, though I’m still often outraged and upset. (K and I see eye to eye on 80% of things; I’m not talking about him.)

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.” -RBG

I have been explosive on issues that I’m especially passionate about. My natural response and tone is snarky. Snark doesn’t make you any friends, nor does it break down walls, catch flies, or welcome people to your table.

While there IS a time and place to be disagreeable (like when staring down the KKK or Neo-nazis or separating infants from their parents), it’s not at the dinner table surrounding by people who love you. So I’m trying to adjust my ways of arguing.

“Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.” -RBG

Additionally, I am quick to write others off when they seem totally against my views. Granted, I can’t control others or how they speak to me and argue their point. That’s a variable that will play a role in how I react- but that variable isn’t on me and isn’t a reflection of me.

“Fight for things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” -RBG

(I’ve found that I benefit greatly from Justice Ginsburg’s advice.)

It takes time to unravel the biases we’ve developed. While I know some people really do have hate in their hearts, I know most people do not. The idea of privilege or inequality or discrimination in any sense of the words seem preposterous to some people- and it takes a minute to convince them to remove those rose colored glasses. We have to trade in our pride for compassion.

“I think daughters can change the perception of their fathers.” -RBG

I do, too.

*I hadn’t planned to rant at the end, but I read some opinion pieces about this film/RBG, written by right-leaning journalists. Some attacked her physical appearance. Some go after her for her quiet nature. I even saw some that criticize her for her “traditional” decisions of marrying a man, following him for his job at one point, and raising children- not much of a progressive with those kinds of behaviors, they said. (They fail to mention that she raised those kids, took care of her sick husband, AND attended law school surrounded by men and sexist professors.) Under the articles were the same type of people commenting & bitching about women being justices in the first place- our gender not being suited for such professions. Having been reminded that these backward, outdated, unintelligent opinions exist in 2018, I’m even more astonished by RBG’s drive and perseverance and success. If you don’t believe that men and women are equal then it’s time to stop reading this blog.

I turned off comments because I’d rather you spend that time watching the movie 🙂

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1980s

When I’m a parent I imagine myself driving down the road, playing Fallout Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and The Academy Is albums (from the mid-2000s) for my kids. When I was a kid, my mom did this with 80s music. I’m not an huge fan of the general style but I feel like the 80s and the 90s were a great time to be a kid.

Ok, on to the recommendations! (When you’re done, go check out Alexandra’s recs!)

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

B O O K S

The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan) shows up on all those “must read” lists, but I hadn’t heard of it until a college roommate recommended it. I don’t know what it was, but once I sorted out which mother belonged to which daughter, I was so moved and swept up in their stories. I think this is a beautiful story about the struggles between old and new generations.

I read a book called Secret Daughter (Shilpi Somaya Gowda) for one of Erin’s challenges and ended up absolutely loving it. It was a very maternal book so I didn’t think I’d be able to relate, but it absolutely floored me. It also brought back such vivid memories of my trip to India.

M O V I E S

(1981) An incredibly under appreciated movie is Wet Hot American Summer. It was filmed in 2001 and stars Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Copper, Ken Marino, Molly Shannon, and so many more. It’s so dumb and goofy- it sucks you right in. If you really love it, they made some tv episodes, too.

(1982) While it’s admittedly a super raunchy movie, there’s something about Fast Times at Ridgemont High that makes me love it. It’s funny, but it’s also kind of disturbing in that the author of the book the film was based on actually went undercover as a student at a CA high school to develop these stories.

Three of my husband’s favorite movies are set in the 80s. He’d point you in the direction of The Wedding Singer (1985), Trading Places (1983), and Back to the Future (1985).

(The placement of apostrophes are important because of sentences like that one ^ )

I believe Alexandra is mentioning The Breakfast Club. I second that.

B O N U S

I know there are a millions 80s television shows, but I didn’t have a clue what to recommend. What do YOU recommend?

On Deck…

  • While I don’t have any TV to recommend, I am hoping to catch GLOW sometime soon. I also was to watch Freaks and Geeks!
  • Book-wise, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt has been on my TBR list for a while.

And that about sums it up! Be sure to pop over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her recommendations, too!!

Obviously the 1990s is the greatest decade because we were born into this world 😉 Just kidding! Next month we’ll dive into the 90s and explore some of the best books, movies, tv shows, and more set in this decade! Dig out your scrunchies and overalls!

Did you miss our previous decades-themed posts? Find them here: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970

Overhaul: 12 Months, 12 Habits

Bad habits are tough to break. I try to check off seasonal goals and bucket list activities, but that doesn’t do much for my bad habits. I got the idea to challenge myself in September with waking up early on time every day, but then thought, ‘Why not keep this going for 12 months?’


So here we are. All twelve months highlight things I’d like to change. My hope is that by altering my behavior for a solid 28 to 31 days I will foster some new (good) habits. So here’s what the next year looks like:

September: Wake up at 6am on weekdays
October: Don’t yell at/lose temper with Lylee
November: Wash my face every single night
December: Go to church every Sunday
January: No trips north just to shop
February: No eating past 8pm
March: No fast food (unless necessarily while traveling)
April: Go for a walk 4 times per week
May: Read for 30 minutes every day
June: Water the plants EVERY DAY
July: Cook 4 good edible meals (not all Asian) per week*
August: Yoga, three times a week, in the studio or at home
*K helped with the July goal, lol. And he’ll BE helping that with goal in July #GrillKing

Some of these are self-explanatory: getting up on time, not losing my temper with Ly (who can be incredibly frustrating/headstrong/stubborn/defiant), reading every day. The no eating past 8pm hopefully helps me curb bored snacking at night- which I’m guilty of. January’s habit is a mini-shopping ban. Unless I drive 30 minutes north I don’t have access to Target, Old Navy, HomeGoods, etc.

When we travel I won’t be holding myself to these things. I take food & sleep whenever I can get it on business trips. Ha.

I’m kicking off the 6am wake up call on Monday. Wish me luck! I’ll probably mention this monthly just to keep myself accountable 🙂