Blogger Favorites (and more!)

Happy Tuesday ❤︎ It’s been a really long time since I’ve written a “favorites” post and I’ve been collecting some awesome blog posts over the last month or so.

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Before I get into blog posts, here are some recent tangible favorites!

circle towel | Old Navy Fit&Flare cami dress | 48oz. Bubba mug

Can you tell I’m 100% in vacation-mode? Ha.

Ok… on to the posts:

What are some recent favorites- online and off- that you’ve discovered lately??

Summer Goals (because spring was a bust…)

Summer started yesterday, the link-up with Steph & Sara is tomorrow, and today we’re going to talk about some seasonal (and year-long) goals 🙂

First, let’s look at how hard I failed this spring.

Spring Goals

  • Wash cushion slips
  • Scrub grease build-up off cabinets
  • Replace/fix water heater
  • Get Ly on a walk schedule again
  • Clean junk out of basement
  • Hire someone to come & clean the carpets
  • Finish 3 year scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

I got 3 out of 8 accomplished. To be completely honest, I’m so glad I checked off the ones I did. The floors were terrible. Exhibit A…

*blushes* Life with dogs, #AmIRight? Moving on…

Summer Goals

  • Clean junk out of basement & utility room
  • Get spare bedroom clean and de-cluttered
  • Wash cushion slips
  • Wipe down fans, baseboards, etc.
  • Go for a bike ride once a week
  • Go putt-putting/mini-golfing (is there a difference?)
  • Tackle three books per month
  • Clean out/update my Spotify playlists
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Order pics for year 4

Manageable. Hopefully. (You’d think I’d give up on some of this stuff, but I’m determined.)

And last but not least, a look at my 2017 year-long goals:

Be Healthy.
(As in eat better & exercise.) Ehh… some healthy foods / 100% no exercise

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime.
(Less guilt when lounging/reading/unwinding.) K and I just argued about this a few nights ago. He’s really good at decompressing; I’m still working on it…

Read more.
(Last year I read 25 books. This year I’m aiming for 40.) According to Goodreads I’ve read 17 books this year and I plan to finish two this week!

Become a Morning Person.
(Less snooze button and rushing, more consistency and chill.) HA. No.

Get on Schedule.
(As in meal planning, cleaning, dog maintenance, etc.) I have a handle on the meal and blog schedules. Everything else is just too much right now. *shrug*

(You can find that original post here.)

So… summer is not a motivating time for me. We’ll see how this goes…

What are your summertime goals??

Life According to Steph

Chats with K

Before we dive into our conversations… today is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary! ❤︎ So I want to devote a paragraph or two to them real quick…

My parents are wonderful odd balls. (My brother and I got it honest.) My teenage years gave them (esp. my mom) a run for their money sanity, but as an adult I spend so much time with them. Mom and I still bicker sometimes & Dad and I shout over politics, but through the years I’ve learned so much about marriage and life from them. Honesty, forgiveness, understanding, and humor are the key ingredients to a happy relationship.

Bonnie & Clyde trying to steal the getaway-car thunder four years ago at our wedding…

So Happy THIRTIETH Anniversary to the animal-loving, garden-growing, child-raising, country-living parents that I’ve grown up loving and admiring. Fred and I are better people and better spouses because of you two. Thanks for everything! ❤︎

And now… a collection of random, weird conversations with the husband… 🙂

Me: You know… when I’m calm, I imagine these smooth-yet-wavy purple lines running through my body, carrying my calm energy to every limb. But right now I’m filled with these spiky hot pink and orange wiry balls just pulsing all throughout my insides because I’m so freakin’ anxious about all the things we have going on!
K: …your head is one f*cked up place to be, isn’t it?

In preparation for my garage sale…
Me: I’m pretty much done collecting stuff, but I wanted to ask if you had any shoes you wanted to get rid of.
K: No.
Me: …what about the ones in your office that you said you didn’t want.
*K glares at me.*
Me: So what you mean is ‘Yes, but I don’t want to take the time to look and weed them out.’

We’d been waiting almost two weeks for an important call…
K: Alright, Miss Cleo. You think they’re going to call today? What’re they going to say?
Me: Oh, Kyle. I don’t have that kind of foresight. I can’t predict when or how you’ll die, but I can predict that you’ll die.
K: Not me. I’ve hidden horcruxes everywhere. You’ll never get rid of me.
Me: …I so appreciate that reference, honey. But also I know two of them are the corvette and Lylee.

K was letting the dogs out and called me to the back patio.
K: This is either the biggest maggot I’ve ever seen or it’s the fattest, shortest worm.
Me: That’s a slug, dear.

Coffee & Conversation

Hello, beautiful friends. It’s been a while since we just “chatted.”

First and foremost, can we sit inside? The temperature has been tickling 90 degrees and I’m just not having it. Is it before 10am? If so I guess I can handle outdoor seating.

If we were sitting down for coffee I’d probably smell a little like mint (Biofreeze) and look a little stiff. Tuesday was one hell of a day- then, to top it all off, I went home, vacuumed, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I’ve had back problems all my teenage/adult life, but my shoulder aches SO BADLY. Fortunately it’s a bit better than it was on Tuesday.

If we were having coffee I would talk for at least a half hour about last weekend’s Buckeye Country Superfest! I went with my best friend and my elementary school best friend. (We amicably went separate ways in our teens years but stayed distant friends and our parents are pretty good friends and, as it turns out, we still have a lot in common.) GUYS- if you like country music you need to see Miranda Lambert live. The rush of female badass-ery that flowed through the stadium was unreal. She was so, so good!

Also, Kenny Chesney puts on a fabulous show. There was one moment when I was dancing and I just stopped and looked up to the star-dotted sky and felt so happy and at peace and euphoric. (Yes, I’d been drinking. No, I wasn’t fall-over drunk.) It was just a really fun weekend surrounded by wonderful people.

That said, if we were drinking coffee, I’d admit that I’m still recovering from the weekend. Two nights of music and drinks and little sleep tend to do me in. I’m no longer the 21 year old night owl I used to be… The Monday morning drive and workday was rooough.

If we were drinking coffee I’d admit that I’m counting down the days until vacation. I’m also craving ice cream every dang day. And I’m currently reading The Sisters Brothers (sent to me by Erin)! And I think that about wraps up my life right now.

So refill your cup and tell me what’s going on in your life!

What I Read… vol. 6

Second Tuesday of the month? You know I’m linking up with Steph and Jana to discuss BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS 😀

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The grading curve…

…and last month’s reads:

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | ★★★/5
Summary: Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, this story opens on Shahrzad and her impending death sentence. As the Caliph’s 72 bride in as many nights, Shazi is determined to stop the monstrous ruler’s cruel cycle and exact her revenge for a former bride and fallen friend. But from the get-go things just aren’t that easy. | Why I Read It: It sounded interesting and it was the selected book for Carolann‘s book club. | What I Thought: To be totally honest, I’m torn. I didn’t dislike the book and I didn’t love it. It just didn’t really click with me. I loved Shazi’s strong, take-no-sh!t attitude. I also really enjoyed (almost) every character. The magical element fell a little flat for me. It was a relatively creative story, but it definitely had that YA/teen vibe. I don’t plan on reading the second in the series, only because I don’t really care…
You should read it because… you like teen adventure and romance. If you’re looking for a strong, feminine, well-rounded protagonist then I’d recommend this story! Definitely a YA story, though.

The Heir by Kiera Cass | ★★★/5
Summary: The princess of Illea has never known rebel attacks or castes, but she’s no stranger to civilian unrest. When her parents suggest a new-age selection competition the feisty Princess Eadlyn is appalled. | Why I Read It: I’ve come this far with the series. I figured I’d finish it out. | What I Thought: I’ve given all The Selection books 3 stars, but this one is more like 3.5. I loved that there was no love triangle. I also loved Eadlyn’s confidence. At the same time, that girl was a brat. I get that she’s royalty and comfortable, but it shocked me that her mother, who came from nothing, would allow her daughter to act like that. I suppose we’re all jaded or naive in some form, but dang.
The romance (or lack thereof) was enjoyable. I like the guys, especially Kile and Henry (and Erik). I appreciate that we’re seeing a change in Eadlyn (I think)… Hopefully book 5 ties everything up in a relatively neat bow. (After 5 books I feel like I, as the reader, deserve that. Ha.)
You should read it because… you’ve made it this far. And while Eadlyn is more bratty than America, the story line is way more enjoyable and entertaining.

The Crown by Keira Cass | ★★★/5
Summary: Eadlyn’s selection is coming to a close, as is her time as “princess.” With a potential husband and a queenship in her not so distant future, Eadlyn has some important decisions to make about her life and Illea. | Why I Read It: Just making my way through the series. | What I Thought: Well… I borrowed it from the library on Saturday morning and finished the final chapter that night. It’s not that it was outstanding (I mean, it’s still only getting three stars), but the pace was pretty quick and the story was interesting (albeit, a tad underdeveloped in my opinion…). That said, the last 100 pages felt incredibly rushed. Also, while I was looking for a neat & tidy ending to the series, this was all a little too perfect and unbelievable. I felt like the king and queen’s personalities shifted too much, the selection romance was random and underdeveloped, and the antagonist was dismissed too easily after all the drama settled. Eady was way less of a brat, though. She was much more enjoyable in this novel than in The Heir.
You should read it because… you’ve made it this far. And it’s a quick read.

I’m doing a private book challenge with friends, but Erin’s reading challenge doesn’t start until July 1st (see my list here) so I’m going to hold off on any challenge updates until the next SUYB!

Thanks for hosting, Steph & Jana!

Life According to Steph

My Summer Bucket List

Between Jessica’s summer list and Chelsea’s monthly to-do lists, I decided I need a summer bucket list to get me in the right mood. (If you’re new here, I hate summer. But I’m going to give it a shot this year.)

I did a seasonal bucket list for fall and I felt very accomplished and fulfilled by the end. Fingers crossed summer ends the same way!

  • Go on a mini-golf date with K
  • Finish Year 3 scrapbook
  • Beach house vacation with the whole family
  • DCI Championships with K in August
  • Finish backyard landscaping
    • & host a cookout for the company
  • Take Enzo to the dog park
  • Outdoor concert with K & friends
  • Garage Sale (#2)
  • Visit the farmers’ market
  • Make a serious dent in Erin’s reading challenge
  • Drink more water
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Take the pups on an adventure

So to clarify… the beach vaca. and DCI trip are already planned, but I don’t care. Also, I’m doing a garage sale tomorrow, but my mom is doing one in July with my grandma so that’s why it’s #2- whatever I don’t sell tomorrow I’ll try again with in July.

I feel like my summer bucket list is kind of lackluster. Maybe it’s because summer just isn’t my thing… If you have any suggestions or additions to spice it up, I’m all ears!

Book Challenge by Erin 7.0

I don’t know how many of Erin’s challenges I’ve participated in, but they never get old 🙂 Here’s the link to her post. And here are my picks for this challenge!

Briefly, the rule are… books must be +200 pages, only one reread from your past, & no doubling up one book for two categories. It starts July 1 and ends October 31!

|5 points| Freebie (at least 200 pages): And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
|10 points| Starts with the letter “B”: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
|10 points| Has a (mostly) yellow cover: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
|15 points| Has a picture of an animal on the cover: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Published in 2017: The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| A compass or cardinal direction in the title: West With the Night by Beryl Markham
|25 points| From this list of the most commonly banned books in America: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
|30 points| A fictional book about mental illness: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
|30 points| With a non-human main character: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
|35 points| A book a Disney movie was based on/a book based on a Disney movie: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

 

I have a few books I want to (start and) finish before this challenge starts. I’m actually on a roll right now so I hope that carries over into July!

Join Erin’s challenge this month and tell me what you’d read in each category!