I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.
I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.
James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast
I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)
Emma Watson’s kitten interview
If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!
Elmo Gets Laid Off
To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.
I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.
Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida 😐
Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.
In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB 🙂
So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!
By skipping Mondays I lose my opportunity to recap my weekend. If you were curious, I had a good one 🙂 Fun fact: I spent every weekend in February out of town. First Cleveland, then San Antonio, then Columbus, and then Cleveland again last weekend. Some trips for business, some for pleasure. This weekend Kayla and I visited Aubrey and her fiance Alyssa because Aubs is recovering from surgery and we went up to celebrate her transformation and keep her company. (You can follow her story/creep on her here. She’s #InstaFamous)
In an attempt to stay hip and trendy I’m trying to keep track of the fun link-ups that go on in the blog world. I managed to jot down the schedule for the Add It To My List link-up with Lauren and Bre, so here we are.
Firstly, these three products were recommended by other bloggers:
I’m easily influence by others… I went out and bought this stuff immediately because I was in the market for some quality polish and comfy shoes for work. (The polish remover is cruelty-free & I needed that toiletry in c.f. form.) All three have my seal of approval!
Two years ago my grandparents gifted K and I some bamboo bedding. GUYS- we fell in love with it immediately. They’d bought it from Marshalls, so obviously I’ve never come across it again. Then last week this idiot (me) remembered Amazon exists and I have a Prime account. So I ordered some sheets. (How many pairs of sheets do you have for your bed? We have two. I always have to be on my laundry A-game, especially when I peel the sheets right before vacation and make the bed for the dogsitter, then come home and remember that now both sheets are dirty and I’m too exhausted to do laundry.)
I digress. Bamboo sheets are the softest and most comfy sheets ever. Go get some.
I made this last week and it was a hit (with all two of us). It’s crazy simple- the “hardest” part was chopping all the veggies. We had rice with it. (I also made Brussels sprouts separately because they looked so good at the store and K doesn’t like them so I couldn’t mix them in. But then he ate some so…. that was a minor victory in my kitchen.)
This fall K and I are planning to visit Disney. I’ve been there a handful of time, but I’ve never planned the trip. (I was a child and/or a band student on prior trips.) Kyle has never been to the happiest place on Earth, so I’m hoping to show him a good time. I’m looking for tips, tricks, and advice right now. I know how to “do” Disney, but any reminders or travel tidbits would be helpful. 🙂
The link-up for this post (with the beautifully talented Mattie & Olya) is scheduled for tomorrow, but by now we’re all aware that I switched my posting-days to only include Tuesday and Thursday. (Jury’s still out on how I’m liking that… )
To begin, I sent a package to Miss Maryrose in New York. (It shipped out a little late, but it should’ve arrive by last Friday. Plenty of time but my apologies, nonetheless!)
In return, last week I was greeted at the door by two packages- one in the shape of a book (😄!!!) and one from Uncommon Goods. Once I ripped gently cut them open I discovered that my gift-er was Ashley from Bits & Pieces of Me.
Ashley sent me Yes Please by Amy Poehler as well as this little note:
I love that this book was on your wish list, because it’s been on mine as well! I hope you enjoy it! -Ashley
She also sent me a beer + food pairing dish towel (from Uncommon Goods) that’s been on my wish list for quite a while. The colors (which are a little skewed from my filtered picture below) look great with our kitchen!
Similar to their Valentine’s Day swap, the exchanging was anonymous and conducted through elfster. A few days after I sent some goodies to Nikki in Texas I received a package in the mail from a nameless Elf! (Turns out it was from Jess of To Sparkle Punch!) I’m so glad I participated because I got exactly what I’d wished for!
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A week or so after the package came (and Mattie revealed to me who my elf was), I got a Christmas note in the mail from Jess! Since she’d sent the goodies via Amazon she wanted to get in contact somehow to wish me a Merry Christmas! So sweet!
Thank you so much for the Christmas gifts, Jess! And thanks for hosting, Olya & Mattie!
I’m finally linking up with Steph and Jana for ‘Show Us Your Books’ (tomorrow ) and I’m so happy about it! I started doing book reviews at the beginning of this year and I’m ashamed that it’s taken me this long to join everyone for the best book-day of the month 🙂
If you’re new here this is how it works: I review the books in the order I read them. I start by summing up the book in a sentence or two, then I tell you why I picked it. I share what I thought about it and whether or not I’d recommend it (and why)! Each book has a star rating:
So let’s jump in! (Images linked to the GoodReads page.) I finished two this month… *face palm*
Fairest by Marissa Meyer || ★★★★/5 Summary: Queen Levana is the evil queen, but even she has a backstory that may explain why she is like she is. Was she always “bad” or did something happen that shaped her path? | Why I Read It: This is #3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles and my brother & sister-in-law gave it to me for my birthday. | What I Thought: I haven’t seen Maleficent, but I imagine this is similar in that it gives a back story to the “evil queen.” Levana didn’t have it easy and I thought I might go into the fourth and final Lunar novel with some understanding for her because of a touching back story. I didn’t gain much sympathy for her, but I loved the story all the same. I don’t think you were really supposed to feel sympathy- I think this was just an explanation to her violent tendencies. I also really liked putting more pieces into the puzzles of other characters like Cinder and Dr. Erland You Should Read It Because… you’re making your way through The Lunar Chronicles and this comes next. I wouldn’t skip this one- it’s satisfying to see things come together.
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez || ★★★/5 Summary: Set in the mid-1850s, this is the story of four black slave mistresses and their struggle with loyalty, love, freedom, and family. The women come together each summer at Tawawa House, a northern resort in Xenia, Ohio where slave masters bring their “wenches” for vacation. The story is based on a real place and time in our history. | Why I Read It: I picked it for the #SCWBC16. | What I Thought: I don’t typically pick out books about slavery or the Holocaust because I hate that humans are capable of such cruelty. That said, we will repeat our history if we don’t educate ourselves. I’m floored that this place existed. This story was hard to read. There was no happy ending, similar to the fate of most slaves in the 1800s. Just on the brink of the Civil War, this story makes you question whether or not you would risk it all (including your life or the lives of loved ones) and make a break for freedom or if you’d continue to live under the thumb of a white tyrant. And if you did choose to stay because of family or loyalty or out of fear, would you have had the strength to survive? It’s a heartbreaking look at a heartbreaking time in history. You Should Read It Because… you’re fascinated by human behavior and/or the pre-Civil War time in history. This book isn’t easy to read. It’s not PG.
Megan’s Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge: |5 points| Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long: The One by Kiera Cass |10 points| Read a 2016 finalist for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson |10 points| Read a brand-new release: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
|15 points| Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you: Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
|15 points| Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan |20 points| Read a modern retelling of a classic: Winter by Marissa Meyer |25 points| Read a book with an alcoholic beverage: The Whiskey Affair by Raymond Armstrong |30 points| Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name: Tender Grace by Jackina Stark |30 points| Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects: Etta Place by Gail Drago & Etta by Gerald Kolpan |40 points| Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book: After Alice by Gregory Maguire & The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory.
Starting strong with a solid 15 points. Lol.
Still working on The Joy Luck Club. Haven’t had much time to read lately.
Can’t wait to see the other posts in this link-up!
Holy Moly, it’s December. And just like that 2016 is almost out the door! Lately I’ve been posting lists and reviews but it’s been two months since I’ve done a “currently” post. Since this lines up so nicely with Kristen & Gretch‘s What New With You link-up I figured why not!
Eating… pizza & leftovers. After botching two of the last HelloFresh dinners we received I decided that I could just as easily meal plan and make my own foods. But… I haven’t done the meal planning part yet so we ordered pizza on Monday and went out to dinner on Tuesday. Whoops.
Drinking… tea and coffee and hot chocolate! As the temperature drops I begin to crave warm beverages. My brother gave me a coffee maker (he had an extra, I guess? ) so once I buy some coffee I’ll be brewing it at home! (Right now I wait until I get to work or swing through a drive thru.)
Reading…The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. A friend recommended it & it’s one of the books I chose for the #SCWBC16. I just started it on Tuesday so I don’t have much to say about it yet…
Watching… as a couple we’ve been sitting down and watching The Voice. We also saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last Saturday. On my own I binge on American Housewife, Superstore, Speechless, The Good Place, and, of course, Miss Fisher’s!
Listening to… allllll the Christmas music. My favorite Christmas music genres (that’s a thing, right? ) are choruses, orchestras, and anything pre-1950. Also, acapella groups like Pentatonix and Straight No Chaser.
Feeling… patient. I don’t want to rush the Christmas season. I don’t want to lose my temper with holiday traffic. I don’t want to waste lazy nights or squeeze my eyes shut on hectic days. When I’m not feeling patient I’m trying to will myself to feel it 😉
Giving… to some of my favorites this past Tuesday. I’d live in a cardboard box if I gave to every single animal organization that I follow so I have to take turns. On Tuesday I opted to give back to the rescue that raised Enzo (Paws & Prayers). I also “sent” honeybees through the ELCA to a family in need across the globe. (I’m not sharing this for a pat on the back- I just wanted to share some worthwhile charities.)
Loving… all the packages on my front porch!! I love coming home from work & seeing that so-and-so’s gift has arrived! I love planning and buying and wrapping gifts for people! This week I got/am expecting packages from Amazon, Shutterfly, Wild Cedar Co., Carter’s, & Uncommon Goods.
Hating… the weird limbo that I find my life hoovering in. I try to be grateful for all moments and all seasons of life, but right now I feel like I’m sitting in an intersection and there’s something new and exciting down every street…. but I can’t quite pick a direction yet. (It’s as vague in my head as I just made it sound right here. Sorry.)
Looking forward to… Christmas! It’s my favorite time in the church calendar and I’m so excited to give gifts and nom on holiday foods and bask in the glow of trees and fireplaces.
Dreading… bills, early mornings, dirty rooms, mounds of laundry… all the things that accompany my fortunate life. Really I should be thankful for luxuries & utilities to pay for, a job to set an alarm clock for, and a warm house and comfy clothes to clean. #perspective
Praying for… the violence and hate to stop. The OSU stabbings were heartbreaking. I’m also praying for all the people & animals avoiding fires in the south. That’s so, so terrifying. And I’m praying for the folks in ND that are freezing to death because they believe so strongly in their cause. I don’t want to see this country become (more) cold and hateful. This country needs empathy.
Planning… a baby shower sprinkle for my best friend! She’s due in February with a boy (last time it was a girl) and I wanted her to have the opportunity to get some little boy clothes and toys. Plus, I love any excuse to spoil a mother-to-be (round #2)!