Odd Things About Aud: Book Edition

I have some odd reading habits. (I imagine all voracious readers do, though I don’t consider my reading style to be “voracious.”) Perhaps you do some of these things, too. Maybe you think I’m a total nut who doesn’t know how to read properly. Either way, today I’m a open book. (Pun so intended.)

I always look to see how many pages a book has. Sometimes I even read the last page or paragraph of the book. I know I’m spoiling it, but sometimes my anxiety needs to know. Also, when I really love a character, I check the last page or chapter to make sure they’re still alive. #sorrynotsorry

I don’t enjoy thrillers. They make my whole body shake and I dream about them and I try to figure out “who done it” the whole time… but after reading The Woman in Cabin 10 I can accurately conclude that I tend to breeze through them much faster than any other genre. (And I definitely didn’t enjoy that one!)

I work better with a challenge. I like making a summer reading list or participating in Erin’s challenges because they give me a direction and a “to do list” for book reading. Even if I read things off that list, I have something that I’m working toward. I read best that way.

About halfway through a book I decide what I’m going to rate it on Goodreads/my blog. Then I give it the second half to up its score (or, unfortunately, wreck it).

If a book is good enough, I scour the internet for fan art/more details/background stories. I don’t think that’s too out of the ordinary, though, right? (I am all about the fan art with The Lunar Chronicles.) I try to curb the searching if I feel like it might ruin the ending/next book.

When I’m super into a book I typically force myself to put it down… even if I pick it up again 5 minutes later. I think my brain just needs a few minutes to process what I read or feel that urge to HAVE to jump back in. If someone were to watch me read they’d see me read for 30 minutes or an hour, set the book down and look out the window or toss the dogs’ toys a bit, then crack it open for another hour of reading.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with my Kindle. K gave me a Paperwhite for my birthday last year. I love it because it’s portable AND it’s backlit (that’s the term, right?) so I can read in bed while he’s sleeping. And therein lies the hate… If I’m not tired I will open up that Kindle and read for hours. Last week I read from 9:30pm to 2:30am. I have always been more productive at night, but I tried to change my ways after I graduated college. Kindle is making me regress…

I need to have at least 2 books going at the same time (and they can’t be similar). Also, there’s no limit to how many books I have going… Right now I’m reading seven. I switch based on what I’m in the mood for (like how one would pick a movie) and I scatter them all over the house so something is always at my fingertips 🙂

To be clear, I don’t always let myself spoil books. There are times I avoid GoodReads reviews or skip over a book during the #SUYB link-up. I’m not a total monster.

Do you have any strange reading quirks? Do we share any?

*I’m going to take next week off from blogging. I’ll still be hopping around and reading your posts, but my creative juices are lacking and I think a week off will help! 🙂

Dear Meghan

I debated writing this post. I imagine we’re all tired of royal wedding talk, but I kind of love the royals (and this is my blog) so I felt an urge to write about the wedding of the year… Also, I’ve seen and heard a lot of hate talk direct at and about Meghan Markle (now Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex). If people can use their platform to say nasty things about a total stranger that they’ve never met then I can absolutely use my platform to say lovely things.

Dear Meghan,

Congratulations! I hope last Saturday was one of the happiest days of your life (and not too terribly stressful). It’s hard to remember where to stand and when to speak in a normal wedding, let alone one with the queen in attendance and a prince as the groom! I thought you were amazing and stunning and so damn beautiful- pretty much the way you appear in every public outing, actually.

I felt the urge to write because I’ve seen people say some pretty terrible things about you or Harry or you and Harry. I can’t quite understand that. I’ve seen the word “trash” thrown around quite a bit and I’m trying to figure that out. If it’s your beautiful bi-racial ancestry that they’re so wrapped up in then I think we can chalk them up to racist garbage humans. If it’s because you’re an intelligent, take-no-sh*t, self-made woman (if I had a drink for every time I heard THAT phrase on Saturday… I’d still be drunk), then I think we can probably also toss them and their opinions in the garbage.

Personally, I find you lovely. I like your passion and your outspokenness. I love your ripped jeans and messy bun style. I love the way you and Harry look at one another. If Harry is the people’s prince then you are most certainly the world’s princess. (I know, I know… technically you’re not a princess.) All that to say, you being you under all the pressure is incredible.

I think I should add that I love your sister-in-law, too. The Duchess of Cambridge is a badass in her own right and I love that you four (I’m including the boys, of course) seem to be such jolly mates. I don’t compare you to one another and I find that you’re both incredible role models. (If I have kids I hope that they see you all and your charity and selflessness as traits they’d like to embody.)

I’m confident that marriage won’t make you shy away from activism. You’re a blessing to that royal family and it was so fun (and historic!) to see a great family become even greater. It will be so much fun to watch you change the world. I love that you already have.

So anyway… thank you for being a GOOD American featured in the news for once. Our country needs a few shining lights and I think you are one. Also, if princesses still have ladies-in-waiting and you need one send me an email. Just saying. Until then, enjoy marriage! It’s fun and exciting and so rewarding!

Let me know about the l-i-w thing. Talk to ya soon.

-Aud

P.S. I love that you have a rescue dog. I am also available for the role of royal rescue dogs’ care taker. Just FYI.

I love the princes. I think William and Kate are stunning. I woke up early when I was in college to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tie the knot. I think that Harry, while a (lovable) trouble maker for a bit, is such a wonderful soul. And Meghan… don’t even get me started. The royal family is gaining a badass and I hope they don’t take that for granted.

I really did see a ton of negative things out there about the newest royal (and heard a few in person that I promptly shot down). That kind of racism/sexism/classism annoys the crap out of me. So here I am, attempting to put some positivity into the world 😉

So tell me, did you watch the royal wedding? Did you make it past the procession without crying? I did not… LOL

IMUO vol. 2

Waaay back in September 2016 I wrote a post about my unpopular opinions. I stand by everything I wrote except I now occasionally use “live your best life” jokingly and I watch basketball (the Cavs) with my husband. Anyway, I’m back again with more.

I don’t like The Avengers.
It’s not that I don’t like them as much as I just don’t have time to watch it all. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men, but I’ve only seen Iron Man and Captain America as far as “avengers” go. After this last movie am I going to be totally lost when the next X-Men or GotG movie comes out?! Why do we have to combine them all?? It just seems like a lot to keep on top of…

I hate the term “Girl Boss.”
I’m totally ok with making things more feminine if that’s your style (pink jerseys, lace on tool belts, etc.). It’s not my style, but all kinds of kinds, right? However, if you’re a female in a management role or a female business owner then you’re just a BOSS. It’s not a man’s phrase because it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world and you’re running it. Be a BOSS.
(Turns out Nadine mentioned hating this phrase in the comments of my last IMUO post!)

I don’t understand the Cardi B craze.
This might not be unpopular. She may not be a hit with people over the age of 25. I don’t know. Either way, I can’t get into her. I’m not a big rap fan anyway so I think this is pretty normal for me. She just seems like the next big thing and I’m a little clueless and uninterested.

I love Instagram Stories.
Man… I waste SO much time with IG stories. I love seeing pictures or watching people talk about their day or an experience. I don’t mind boomerangs or food pics or videos. Two things I don’t like: videos of concerts and videos of super loud noises. Other than that, I’m entertained for hours by these clips.

I live for rainy days.
You know how some people wait and wait for the sun to come out and make comments like, “What’s that thing?” whenever it finally does? That’s how I feel about rain and overcast days. There’s just something extra cozy about a dreary day. In the same breath…

I STILL hate summer.
I know we’ve been waiting 17 years for the snow to stop and the sun to show herself, but I’m over it now. I opened my windows for a hot second and I shed my coat for a few days. I’m ready for the leaves to change & the temperature to drop. Sorry not sorry, guys. I just looove fall & winter.

I’ll relent just a bit. There are parts of warm weather that I enjoy- evening walks with the dogs, driving with the windows down, ice cream shops being open… but after about a month of all that I’m ready for fall 😉

What are some of your unpopular opinions? I won’t judge you 😉

Chats with K

Just your average round up of conversations I had with the husband…

Me: Maybe these melatonin pills put you to sleep because when we take them I have to keep quiet for 30 seconds while they dissolve under my tongue.
K: Yep, I was just thinking that.

Discussing lunch in the middle of my alcohol & dairy detox.
Me: Let’s get Chinese.
K: We just had Chinese food.
Me: It’s my only option! Italian is creamy and cheesy. Mexican is creamy and cheesy. American food is creamy, cheesy, AND greasy.
K: Those are my favorite dwarfs!

Me: Do you ever feel like your lungs are restricted and you can’t take a big deep breath?
K: Yeah.
Me: I think it’s because I slouch.
K: I think it’s because I’m fat.

On National Puppy Day I posted a few adoptable dogs to K’s FB wall after he told me not to.
*phone rings; it’s K*
Me: DON’T YELL AT ME, DON’T YELL AT ME.
K: ….I haven’t been on Facebook yet but what did you do?

K: I don’t know why I haven’t fired you yet.
Me: Because it’d be awfully expensive.
K: How do you figure?
Me: “Cheaper to keep her.”
K: I didn’t say I’d divorce you.
Me: That makes one of us.

Upon entering Gettysburg…
K: Is this like a National….
Me: Park? Yes.
K: So should I not have a knife in my pocket.
Me: That is correct.
K hangs head and walks back to the car. We’ve seen this play out badly way too many times.

Me: I am the first person to get angry and outraged over silly jokes and trivial things-
K: Yeah. Good job.
Me: …that wasn’t the end of my thought.
K: Oh.

I collected some gems this month, I think. Lol

Very Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve had some thoughts lately but I don’t know that any of them are complete enough to be a post on their own…

I original wrote a sentence that said “My style has changed SO much in the last 15 years”, but then I went to find photographic proof and actually it hasn’t. Hahaha. It’s varied in degrees, but I feel like I have this borderline grunge/comfortable/country road sense of style. Audrey, what the hell does that mean? Well, that means that I wear a lot of black and dark colored neutrals. I prefer jeans, sweatshirts, and vans over anything else. I love my cowboy boots, cutoff shorts (that don’t reveal my buttcheeks), and oversized shirts. I also love being barefoot. My last job required me to dress office casual (shift/casual dresses, dress pants, nice shirt) but this job doesn’t and I am IN MY ELEMENT. Today I’m wearing cutoff army green shorts, a muscle tank, and an open black plaid flannel with lace-up Vans. Living my best life, guys.

I believe that the female world is shifting… I was perusing Met Gala pictures and I noticed all the uplifting comments on female pictures from other female celebrities. I think that’s a direct reflection of the female shift. Gone are the days of catty gossip and backstabbing frienemies. It’s cool to be kind and petty to be anything else. Don’t get me wrong, girls hating girls is still a thing. I know I have moments of jealous and cattiness despite preaching love and support. We all falter and slip. But dang, sisters! I feel like the unity and power born from the last, oh, let’s say 3 years, has really taken hold. I feel like I am constantly looking to uplifting and complimentary people to help change my heart and mind and attitude.

Also, I think a HUGE part of becoming a happy adult is surrounding yourself with amazing people. After an unpleasant or disrespectful exchange with someone I always wonder why I allow that person to continue to be a part of my life. I have a fantastic husband, incredible parents/in-laws/siblings, and doting friends. It’s ridiculous to carry around the emotional baggage of hurtful people.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but we added someone to the office staff at work. For the last +1 year it’s just been K and I in the office, but in April the guy that I was hired to replace actually came back. He’s no stranger- I’ve known him (and his girlfriend-turned-wife) for 8 years and K has known him for over 12. I was a little worried about the change since K and I are used to be alone. But guys… I love it. Ha! It’s another person to talk to and he makes coffee in the morning so it’s fresh and hot when I get in (K doesn’t drink coffee) and it’s just nice have another brain to bounce things off of. I don’t have a point to this paragraph- I’m just updating you on my work life. Lol

I love the song Good Morning by Max Frost. It’s uplifting and upbeat and even kind of spiritual. You don’t usually get all three of those in a Top 40s song!

My husband got me an Apple watch for Christmas and this past weekend we went and upgrade my iPhone (because it was looong overdue). I know this sounds incredibly materialistic, but it just feels so REFRESHING to have working technology that keeps me on time and in the know.

I don’t love the look of my blog. I just updated it a few weeks ago but I think I’m going to mess with it again.

**HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful in-laws AND my husband’s grandparents (who are celebrating 60 YEARS!)!!

Anyway… I feel like I haven’t been super open or thoughtful in this space lately so I wanted to share some of the things rolling around my brain right now. I’d love to hear some of your recent random thoughts, too!

Books I Want to Read – Summer 2018

This is supposed to be a book review day where I link up with Steph and Jana, and share all my opinions on books. Well, I finished an impress ZERO books since the last Show Us Your Books so I’m flipping the script today.
Before I dive in, HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY to my baby brother! ❤

I did a post like this last year in May and I’m impressed with myself that there were only two books I didn’t end up reading. With my last book challenge ending in April and the next one starting in July, I feel like I have some time to tackle a few of these!

Hopefully what I don’t finish I can squeeze into Erin’s next challenge somewhere.

One Dark Throne //#2 in the Three Dark Crowns series (Kendare Blake)
I finished the first books in the series earlier this year & I’m pretty motivated to read on and find out what happens… I’m avoiding all spoilers so I don’t know what it’s about.

A Court of Thorns & Roses (Sarah J. Maas)
I meant for this to be my next fantasy series, but I got sucked into the TDC series. Whoops. I own the first book in this series and the Throne of Glass series so hopefully I pick one up soon.

After Alice (Gregory Maguire)
You know I love me a good Alice in Wonderland spin-off/retelling. I picked this up from a bookstore a few months ago and put it on the short stack.

The Magnolia Story (Joanna & Chip Gaines)
I know this will be a quick read. I need to set aside a warm afternoon in the sunshine.

One of Us is Lying (Karen M. McManus)
I’ve heard nothing but good reviews with this book. I can’t wait to crack it open!

The Alice Network (Kate Quinn)
I remember hearing this was good. I bought it on a whim months ago.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows)
I feel like everyone loves this book. I think it’ll be a quick read.

Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)
This has been on my TBR list for a while and now it’s going to be a movie. Gotta read the book first, though.

The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling)
Can you believe I haven’t read this yet? I’ve tried but I couldn’t get into it. I’ll try again.

I own all these books except ODT, Guernsey, & CRA. I’ve got no excuse to not read the ones in my possession. Lol

What’s on your summer reading list? Have any strong feelings about these books?

I promise I’ll have some reviews for June’s #SUYB post!

Life According to Steph

Storming Gettysburg | What’s New With You?

In linking up with Kristen today for What’s New With You, I figured I’d share about our Gettysburg anniversary trip.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really enjoy celebrating things. I constantly have friends and family over for parties or plan a special trip out for birthdays & holidays. When it comes to our anniversary, we always try to do something special. The last time we travel-celebrated was in 2015 when we went to Niagara Falls for our 2nd anniversary. Originally I wanted to do something BIG this year for #5 like a cruise or an all-inclusive resort, but after being sick at the start of April and traveling +3 weeks already for work this year, I was a little burnt out and in need of a nearby quick trip. We’d never been to Gettysburg and we’re big history lovers, so it was the perfect choice!

I married a work-aholic and I know that. His job stresses him out but he loves it, so I try to be respectful of that when I plan trips. As such, our Wednesday morning started at work. We finally left town a little after 10am.

Gettysburg

We checked into the Gettysburg Hotel a little after 4 pm, dropped our bags in the room, and set out on foot for some dinner. It was sprinkling slightly but we didn’t have to venture far. We crossed the street and found The Pub & Restaurant. It was welcoming and quaint and very unoccupied.

After nomming on some Maryland Crab Bisque, Spicy Chicken (for me), and Meatloaf (for K) we took a short walk around the square. The rain was only spitting here and there, and the sun was shining so we hardly noticed.

We got some milkshakes from the Cannonball Olde Tyme Malt Shop and then we compromised. K wanted to watch the Cavs game so we pushed our movie date to the next night.

We scheduled a guided tour at 9 am on Thursday morning so we were up for breakfast bright and early! We had Bananas Foster French Toast (K) and Texas Toast Egg Sandwich (me) at our hotel’s restaurant, One Lincoln. It was so yummy and our server was super friendly.

Then we were off to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center.

I scheduled a two hour driving tour with one of the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefields Guides. They give you the option to hand over the keys and be chauffeured around the park while they explain the battles, landmarks, important people, and scenery. It was an awesome tour.

cannons / view from peach orchard (day 2 battle) / little round top (day 3 battle)

Our guide, George Maturi, gave use the basic rundown of each day. Gettysburg was a three day battle and for the first 2/3 it really looked like the south was going to win. Thanks to hubris, luck, and a little talent, the north pulled out a win and the south didn’t win the war. (If they’d won Gettysburg the south was convinced that they would’ve won the Civil War.) Of course, victory didn’t happen without sacrifice- thousands upon thousands of lives were lost each day of fighting.

view from little round top (day 3 battle)

After our tour we decided to peruse the museum, get some Starbucks, and drive ourselves around the park, stopping at whatever caught our interest during the tour. We had a gorgeous day to cruise around. A little windy, but sunny and clear.

Eternal Light Peace Memorial

We had a late lunch at food 101 and I ordered a Salmon Avocado Sandwich that has forever set the bar for sandwiches. Seriously. It was IN.CRE.DI.BLE. I don’t even know what K was eating because I had such a moment with my food…

After lunch we popped into the hotel so K could nap while I journaled. We went to see Isle of Dogs at the theater just around the corner (Majestic Theater) at 4:15 pm, then ordered dinner in and relaxed all evening. I love that we went to see that movie because Wes Anderson is one of my favorites and it just felt so perfect that his new movie was in theaters over our anniversary date.

We said goodbye to our hotel on Friday morning, picked up some coffee for moi, and headed back home so K could check in on the office before the weekend truly started.


If you decide to explore Gettysburg I would say it’s a 2 or 2 1/2 day adventure. We skipped Jennie Wade’s house, the David Wills House, and the Eisenhower Farm, but they each would’ve taken two hours or less. I would HIGHLY suggest the guided in-car tour. You can opt for longer than 2 hours AND you can ask them to focus on specific things if you want to (i.e. certain days or battles, specific regiments, etc.). I’m very glad we had a guide!

So tell me, have you ever been to Gettysburg? (I can’t believe both K and my 8th grade D.C. trips skipped this National Park!) Have you seen Isle of Dogs? How do you typical celebrate anniversaries?