Currently…

For Kristen‘s link-up I’m reverting back to a good ol’ fashioned “currently” post.

Reading… all the books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! I’m currently working on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Listening to… You Must Remember This podcast. I know I’ve mentioned it once this week already, but Lindsay got me hooked! I’ve listened to all the Charles Manson’s Hollywood episodes as well as the ones about Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve also been listening to the new albums from Dave Matthews and Ben Rector!

Watching… The Bachelorette. My friends and I text-party watch and I look forward to it every week. We’re usually snarky about the guys and supportive of Becca so I don’t feel the least bit bad about my not-so-guilty pleasure. Anyone else watching this season? Let’s discuss ๐Ÿ™‚

Pouting about… Lebron James heading west. Sigh. I’m not mad at him and I still hate basketball, but it’s a bummer he’s not ours anymore.

Celebrating… this week’s intermission. America has her faults (many of which are occurring right now) but yesterday was her birthday and everyone almost everyone deserves a celebration. I’m grateful for the day off and I’m grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to do the right thing, help others, and vote in people who will actually put the needs of humans first.

Eating… lots of grilled stuff and summer foods. Watermelon, corn, steak, hotdogs and burgers, ice cream.

Drinking… wine. My in-laws have been working on opening a wine company for the last year and a half, and they’re finally up and running! Our house may or may not be stocked with the best wine around right now… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Working on… getting all the left over garage sale stuff packed up and shipped off to charities. We had a pretty successful sale but dang it was hot outside all weekend!

Playing… softball! I joined a co-ed team that plays every Sunday afternoon. I played for eight years nearly 15 years ago, so this is slightly out of my comfort zone. I really like it, though!

Planning… a fall vacation. I’m not sure what or where yet, but I presented a 2 week out west trip to K and he shot me down. (I knew he would.) Now that I’ve softened the travel-blow with an extravagant idea, it’ll be much easier to talk him into a 5-7 day stretch of relaxation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Praying for… so many. Families who have been separated, the safe journey of refugees escaping violence and persecution, my sweet friend Rebecca Jo and her family, the health and well-being of family members and pets, neglected dogs who suffer when the heat index bursts.
**Definitely doing something additional about these things, too.

Recovering from… pleurisy. Two weeks ago I went to the ER with some chest pain, thinking it was just a stubborn gas bubble in my abdomen. Turns out it was/is pleurisy left over from untreated bronchitis. I’m much better now but the pain and immobility was a nuisance.

Relaxing… with my new video game! I found Mario Kart onย https://wikibuy.com/ for a great price and finally pulled the trigger. It’s the only video game K will play and I’m really proud that I held off on getting it until I could find it for a low price!

Wishing for… colder weather (sue me), a long vacation, peace on Earth, and a pina colada.

Thanks for hosting What’s New With You?, Kristen!

*Thank you so much, Wikibuy, for reaching out!

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 1960s

Welcome to the Sixties, friends. This is an era that gives me total anxiety. For being the birth of the whole “peace & love” movement, it’s an incredibly violent decade. War and anti-war riots, violent sexual diseases and rampant drug use, Helter Skelter, the JFK assassination, etc. That’s A LOT to take in a 10 year span. Plus the violence associated with (and mostly against) the Civil Rights Movement, second-wave feminism, and the Gay Rights Movement.

There is NO part of me that wishes I was alive and active in the 60s. Flower child, I am not.

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 weโ€™ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

While I adamantly dislike the 60s, I admit there are some amazing books and movies set in this decade. (Check out Alexandra‘s recs, too… And wish her a happy birthday!!)

B O O K S

Lots of YA and middle school literature here. But also some of the best books ever.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E.L. Konigsburg) was first read to me in 3rd grade and I think I’ve read it half a dozen times since then. It’s cute and it’s set in a museum and it’s the perfect introverted kid’s (adult’s?) fantasy of running away and living in a museum ๐Ÿ™‚

One of my favorite books ever is The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster). It’s witty and adorable and chocked full of puns. I love it. It’s a good lesson about how life is only as dull as you perceive it.

I’d be remiss to go through the 60s without mentioning The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton). It blows my mind that this story was written by a 16 year old high school girl. I mean, pretty much all of US had to read it in hs, right?? So incredible. Stay gold, guys. Stay gold…

M O V I E S

One night, probably during a thunderstorm, I was laying on the couch with the dogs and happened upon The Night of the Iguana on TCM. It’s a strange, strange movie, full of vice and madness (originally a play by Tennessee Williams) but it stuck with me.

(1962) My family loves the movie Secondhand Lions. It’s a heartwarming classic and if you haven’t seen it, I URGE you to watch it. (Also, if you’re anything like me and you worry about the treatment of animals in film, here is the AH rating for the film. The lion, pig, and dogs were treat 100% humanely. Spoilers in that link, just FYI.)

(1962) I love the X-Men movie franchise and X-Men: First Class is my favorite film. It reveals a lot about some of the mutants’ pasts, it has most of my favorite characters, and it has all my favorite X-Men actors (although I wish we saw more of Jackman- there’s only a short scene).

(1964) One of K’s favorite movies EVER is That Thing You Do. Probably because the main character is a charismatic drummer and the whole thing is a little goofy. Plus it has Tom Hanks and Liv Tyler.

*dates indicate setting, not release

B O N U S

Last week Lindsay mentioned the You Must Remember When podcast on her blog. I am not a podcast listener- at all. But I got curious and tuned in to the one about Lauren Bacall. Dang. I am 100% hooked. Episodes 44-55 detail the Charles Manson insanity- which happened in the 60s. It’s nuts & perfect for history lovers. I might’ve consumed +8 hours of Manson Family-related history this past weekend…

I will definitely be mentioning this podcast in future RSFB posts, too. I listen to it on Spotify.

Back when it was on TV in 2015, I loved The Astronaut Wives’ Club (abc). The stories and acting and history drew me right in! It’s based on the true book by Lilly Koppel, which I plan to read soon!

I still can’t figure out why Pan Am was canceled… It has SO many big names and I loved the stories! Admittedly, I haven’t seen the last few episodes in the series but I plan to. This show starred Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, and Michael Mosley to name a few.

On the shelf…

I’ve tried many time to read The Help but it’s always a DNF. I haven’t given up yet, though.

When these film trailers were released I wanted to see them, but then life got busy. I’m still hoping to watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Big Eyes, and definitely Hidden Figures someday!

The mini-series called The Kennedys caught my attention when it was first released and I remember watching the first episode, but then I got distracted. I’d like to go back and watch the whole thing soon!


Alright, that’s it from me today ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll find more 1960s books, movies, and TV shows over in Alexandra‘s corner of the internet!!

The 1970s saw political scandal, the rise of feminism, and environmentalism and anti-war protests. It was a weird time for the United States and the world. Weโ€™ll be sharing our favorite movies, books, and television shows that encapsulate the strange and groovy 70s. ย 

Did you miss our previous decades-themed posts? Find them here: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950

How To: Host a Garage Sale

I live in a small Midwest town where garage sales are still a pretty big staple of summer. My mom used to host them, I’ve hosted them, and street corners are decorated with neon SALE signs in every part of town all summer long. Is that typical across the country? (I’m honestly not sure…)

Anyway, tomorrow and Saturday I’m having a garage sale in conjunction with the neighborhood garage sale. (Our new house is in a development and I’m so excited to participate in the neighborhood sale!)

I won’t lie… I really like garage sales. I enjoy pricing things, arranging things, and selling things to others (a.k.a. checking them off my list). I’ve even been known to tell people to “just take it.” I’m 100% committed to getting rid of stuff. Since I’ve done this a few times, I figured I’d offer some friendly and totally unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about hosting their own yard/garage sale!

  1. Certain items draw people in. People like furniture, gently used kids’ toys and clothes, and jewelry. Once they’re in your driveway they browse through the adult clothes, kitchenware, and other miscellaneous things you have. People like winter coats, too!
  2. Keep your prices low. I might be guilty of under-pricing things, but they sell so I don’t care. And don’t be afraid to drop prices mid-sale.
  3. Friday is typically a better sale days than Saturday. Drop your prices overnight. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Friday (but maybe take someone’s best offer on Saturday). In my experience, Fridays are great and profitable while Saturdays are more of a freebie.
  4. Have refreshments! I’m not necessarily talking about a kid-run, bee-swarmed lemonade stand. Some cold $1 bottles of water will draw people your direction.
  5. Pay attention to when other around you are having sales. If you can get in on a neighborhood on that’s even better! People flock to multiple sales. Also, if people show up early and want to buy stuff before you’re 100% ready, let them ๐Ÿ˜‰
  6. Advertise in the newspaper/on Facebook/in the classified. Mention the *good* stuff you’re selling (see advice #1).
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Only go from 8am to 2 or 3pm. After that it’s not worth it. Also, if you have friends or family who want in on the sale you can take shifts!
  8. Speaking of which, share your garage with friends/family. I don’t have kids but my bff does and she’s bringing their old toys to our sale this weekend to draw people in. My mom is also contributing items. You can use different colored stickers to keep track of how much money each person makes, then divide it all at the end.

Honestly, there are no solid rules to garage sale-ing, but these tips have worked for me. I don’t like cluttered tables or mismatched items so I tend to stage and categorize. I think it’s proven successful in most cases. I usually mark the sizes on clothing, too. That way people aren’t tearing through my piles ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just a reminder:

  • obtain a garage sale permit (even if your neighborhood is having a sale)
  • check with people before you stick a sign in their yard (advertising your sale)
  • have change ready for people paying with large bills

I know some people find garage sales to be stressful and way too much work. I am not that person. Haha. Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you enjoy them?

 

Start of Summer: Goals Check-In

If you’ll recall, I combined my spring and summer goals and bucket list items into one post. I don’t like these warm seasons but having some fun stuff to look forward to helps me keep a good attitude. (Full disclosure: I did NOT have a good attitude about the +90 degree days in June.)

So anyway, since Thursday was the first day of summer, I figured a check-in was smart.

  • Go to a major or minor league baseball game
    I haven’t done this yet BUT it’s physically on the calendar for July!
  • Visit the farmers market at least twice
  • Go on anniversary trip to Gettysburg
  • Go to country summer concert with friends
  • Go to summer concert with K (Jimmy Eat World)
    Also already on the calendar for July!
  • Finish cleaning stuff out of M&D’s basement
    Making progress!
  • Finish purging unnecessary stuff
    It will be sold at the garage sale or donated by the end of the week!
  • Have a garage sale at new house!
    Happening this coming weekend!
  • 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?
  • Paint the bedroom
  • MAKE SOME DAMN ICE CREAM

I’m actually doing better than I thought I was. Yay for putting things on the list that I already had scheduled. Hahaha. Let’s bring me down a notch and revisit the goals for 2018 that I set…

Drink 64 oz. of water a day.
NOPE. I’m aiming for 32 oz. right now. Although on the day of Pride & the outdoor concert I drank over 96 ounces of water!

Read 50 books in 2018. And complete one of Erinโ€™s Challenges.
I’m working on it… I’ve read 17 books and Erin’s next challenge start in July.

Start exercising.
Hahahahahahahaha. Nah.

Keep up with meal planning.
This has mostly been a bust. We haven’t gone out to dinner much, but dinners are either thrown together, tossed on the grill, or ordered off a takeout menu. Summer threw me off.

Practice kindness, patience, grace, and peace.
I actually think I’ve made some progress with this goal. I’ve taken steps to controlling my emotions. I’m trying to be a better, more supportive, loving friend. Obviously there’s always room for improvement. I know I’m never done improving.

Not doing so great with the yearlong goals. Lol

I’ve got one more season to knock these out so fingers crossed! I’m not sure if the painting, scrapbooking, or workout space are going to happen… but I’ll try ๐Ÿ˜‰

Being OK With Being Enough

Lately I’ve been struggling with self-worth. I’ve noticed moments of jealousy, comparison, anger, judgement, and frustration pop up. I know- even in those moments- that my reactions are a result of being unhappy with myself, but I have been struggling with silencing the negative voices and curing my insecurities at their root.

I can feel the spiral as it’s happening, which is incredibly frustrating because isn’t the biggest “cure” of anxiety or wild emotions the ability to be aware of your triggers and emotions as they happen? I am fully aware of them- sometimes I even say aloud, “Audrey, what is wrong with you? Chill! Why are you feeling this way?!” But they’re still there.

I’ve been advised to invest in the awareness route. I tend to shut down emotionally or dive head first into distraction when things become overwhelming. I know that’s not right or healthy, but it’s a comfortable band aid. I’m going to give the awareness approach a shot next month, though. We’ll be flying to Dallas and I plan to NOT distract myself into oblivion and, instead, embrace every moment of the flight. (WISH ME LUCK. WOOF.)

But it’s tough to apply this practice when it comes to emotions. I am OVER THE DAMN MOON for my friends and their accomplishments. I’m even happy for acquaintances and strangers who have good things happen for them. But every once in a while, usually when I’m overwhelmed with 15 other things, I feel envy or judgement creep into my happy heart and turn it bitter. It’s frustrating.

I want to be skinnier, good at my job, more charismatic. I want to write a book and grow my own vegetables and travel with friends. I want to kick my flying fear to the curb and cure my lifelong acne and enjoy coconut milk. And honestly, no one is standing in my way. But Bitter Betty is a sneaky b*tch.

I am a STRONG girls support girls & empowered women empower women advocate but I am a human, too. I can be a catty, mean person in my head and to myself at times. I’m always looking for a way to fix that.

All that to say, if you’re riding any certain struggle bus today we can share a seat. No one is perfect. You vent to me and I’ll vent to you, and together we can figure out ways to be kinder, gentler, graceful humans in this world of comparison.

*I know things are tough right now. Speak up, donate, and love your neighbor fiercely.

 

Love, Kindness, and a Little PRIDE

I had a different post scheduled for today but when something emotional happens to you and you’re a writer/blogger, you write about it. This weekend I went to my first Pride.

There is some bad bad bad stuff happening in our world country right now. It makes me physically sick to think about and read about and keep up with. The amount of goodness and love and support and joy that I witnessed on Saturday has renewed my hope and fire and energy. I’m an introvert and I was fully expecting Pride to wipe me out and exhaust me, but it did the opposite. Strangers shouting HAPPY PRIDE to one another, bright colors and countless corporations, politicians, villages, and small businesses sharing their love and support for the LGBTQ+ community, and having my friends around me (even in the +90 degree heat) was exhilarating.

It floors me that marriage is only recently legal. Love was outlawed and persecuted and HATED up until a mere THREE years ago. What the actual hell? One of my very best friends is gay and it kills me that for so long her love was illegal. Guys, she is a FIERCE love-giver. When she is on your side she is on. your. side. And for so long this country wasn’t on her side. I feel so damn overjoyed and grateful to have celebrated her love on Saturday. Pride was the most beautiful, freeing celebration of love. It was awesome.

I witnessed some off the wall stuff on Saturday. Topless women, a drag show, some incredibly colorful outfits. It was nuts, but nuts in the absolute best way. Everyone was happy. Everyone was kind. Everyone cheered for and supported everyone.

Actually, that’s a lie. For a moment, almost directly across the parade from us was a man in an anti-GAY shirt with a megaphone. I have no idea what hate he was spewing because a girl with a large bass drum kept following him around, making noise every time his pie-hole opened. It was glorious and I think she might’ve been a superhero. Eventually he gave up and left.

I want to note that I grew up and live in a conservative small town. Big cities intimidate me and diversity is not something that runs wild in my neck of the woods. I love my town, but how I wish I could bring all the color and love from Pride back home and educate the handful of fearful folks. Someday opinions will change, but to do that we must all embrace and love as strongly and fully as the LGBTQ+ community does. You don’t have to be a negative product of your environment- you can have a positive influence on that environment instead.

I’m turning comments off today. I don’t think much more needs to be said on this topic. The world is filled with hate and you won’t find any of that here today. Take care of yourselves, friends. And take good care of others โค

Book Challenge by Erin 9.0 Selections

Is it that time again, Audrey?? Yes. Yes, it is.

Erin released the prompts for her next book challenge and I’m so excited! This four month reading challenge goes from July 1 to Oct. 31. I have a few work trips in there so fingers crossed I get some travel-reading done.

Ok, I’ll talk rules and dets after I share my choices ๐Ÿ™‚

Book Challenge by Erin 9.0

|5 points| Freebie (at least 200 pages): 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: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| One of the 100 books PBS calls “The Great American Read”Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (illustrated version) by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Something related to water in the title: On A Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
|25 points| A book youโ€™ve owned the longest (GoodReads list) but havenโ€™t read yet: 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

Ok… on to my sales pitch ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just kidding, it’s not a pitch. Erin hosts the most supportive and encouraging challenges, though. I use them as motivation to put down the remote or phone and pick up a book or Kindle. I read ONE book in my very first challenge- it’s not about how fast or many you read. It’s about enjoying the stories along the way. Absolutely ZERO pressure.

If you do want to partake, select your books and have them to Erin’s FB page before July (the earlier, the better- but she takes late joiners, too). Reading starts at 12:00am on July 1st and ends at 11:59pm on October 31st. One book can be a reread for you, but all categories must be different books (no doubling up to check off two categories) and all books must be 200+ pages. You can use audio and ebooks as long as they meet those requirements. Any questions? You can check out Erin’s FB page or ask me!

So tell me what you picked or would pick for each category. I won’t lie- I struggled a bit. Almost all of these are from my TBR list, though, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll FINALLY finish a challenge.