Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Recap...

Mother Nature is going crazy around here.  One day it was 60-70 degrees, the next it was int eh 40s and super windy. 

Friday:  A friend and I had a Crochet/Sex and the City party on Friday night.  We made enchiladas for dinner, had ice cream for dessert, and watched Season One of SATC while each working on our own crochet projects.  I made a sweater for my mom's new puppy while she worked on a baby blanket.  I can't tell you how much fun it was to just hang out like that without going out to places and dealing with a bunch of people. 

Saturday:  A nice relaxing morning where I finished the book I was reading was following by work in the afternoon.  It was a relatively short shift and went by pretty well.  I enjoy going in to my second job.  The people are great and the customers are nice.  I came home to relax with Melody and a good movie.  My plan was to do some laundry, however, I started to fall asleep on the couch and was in bed by 9 pm that night.  Apparently, I was tired.

Sunday:  It was another relaxing morning and I managed to sell an old papasan cushion that's been taking up space in my apartment.  It was back to work in the afternoon and for the first 2 hours, it was busy; the second two hours were incredibly slow.  Then, 5 minutes before I was set to leave, a customer asked me a question and by the time I was done working with her and she had left with her purchases, it was 20 minutes past the end of my shift.  That's alright though because she was nice.  That night, I did finish all my laundry and enjoyed a good couple of movies.

How did you spend your weekend?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Hello to the first full work week of the new year.

2. This is still one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie.

3.  I completely missed that the Golden Globes were on this weekend.  I usually love to watch award shows as I love celebrations, but completely missed this one.

4.  The new crochet sweater and it's very thrilled model.  She did not want to have her picture taken.

5.  The weather this week is acting stupid.  The temperatures are fluctuating between 20 degrees between days.  Right now it feels like spring, but by Thursday, there will be snow/ice.

6.  This "no spending unless its a necessity" is getting harder every day.

7.  Have you noticed that stores already have Valentine's stuff out on display?   So it begins....

8. For Christmas, I received two gift cards to Barnes and Noble and I'm so excited to shopping at my happy place, yet hesitant because I want to get a good deal and as much as I can.  Is that weird?

9.  The cabinets and refrigerator shelves in my kitchen are really bare.  Plus, it's going to snow/ice this weekend.  I should go grocery shopping.  Along with everyone else in town.

10. I need some coffee....or maybe some wine....

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekend Recap...

This first week of the new year is over.  This first weekend held cleaning, organizing, working, and some fun.

Friday:  After a long (4-day) work week, I was tired and spent the rest of the evening relaxing with Melody.  We (I) had pizza for dinner and began watching a Harry Potter marathon.  I love nights like this.  Friday nights are definitely my nights for calm and recharging. If that makes me lame, I don't care.

Saturday:  Surprisingly, I didn't have to work on Saturday, so after enjoying my breakfast and coffee with a little Super Mario, I began the overwhelming challenge of cleaning and organizing my spare room/office.  This room and closet holds all my "office" related stuff, everything for my MK business, my craft supplies, decorations, cake making supplies, books, and anything else that does not get stored someplace else.  I spent 6 hours in this room on Saturday.  I cleaned out everything and set things aside I would sell, reorganized my craft supplies after cleaning them out, and did a major overhaul on the closet.  It felt so good to finally go through the space.  There are times when I just turn on the lights and open the doors just to look at how nice it looks.  The filing cabinet however, is a task for another day.  :)  The rest of the evening was spent with Melody and Harry Potter.  I did manage to crochet a sweater for Melody.  I messed it up a little and it's just a little too big, but not bad for my first try. 

Sunday:  I had the morning to myself and soaked up every minute I could before I went to work for the rest of the day.  The day wasn't extremely busy or slow, so thankfully, the time went by rather quickly.  Once I got off, I didn't feel like doing anything else, not even cooking dinner.  So, I did a bad thing and purchased Chinese takeout for dinner and spent the rest of the evening doing nothing but playing some Super Mario. 

This may not seem like a very exciting weekend, but to me, it was incredibly productive and left me feeling really good.  What about you?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Welcome 2017!  Holy shit, this last year went by super fast.

2.  I'm not starting the year off with a long post about new beginnings, etc.  Instead, I'll probably do bullets or something.

3.  How many people are doing a spending freeze this month?  I know I am.  This month, I'm not purchasing anything unless I can justify it as a necessity.

4.  I've already set my 2017 Reading Challenge.  Have you?

5.  Today is the first day back to full time work since December 23 and to be honest, I could really use the rest of this week to myself.  I've got projects I want to complete and still need some time to myself to recuperate from the past two months.

6.  Want to know a crappy way to start off the new year and work week?  Mandatory training that is redundant and a complete waste of time.

7.  There will be updates made to this blog in the near future, hopefully.  I learned over the weekend that the mobile view for this page is really hard to read.  I'm sorry about that.  It's time to spend some quality time with the blog.

8.  Yesterday, I went through my dresser and closet and pulled out everything that didn't fit right, I didn't like anymore, or didn't bring me joy.  It was liberating and I feel so much better to clear out that space in my life. 

9.  Next up, my craft supplies.

10.  Yikes.

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Books of 2016

For 2016, I set a reading goal of 36 books.  This averaged to 3 books a month.  I am happy to report that so far, I have completed 37 books.  If you are not on Goodreads yet, you should be.  Then we can be friends!  I love Goodreads because I can keep track of what I've read, what I want to read, and how I liked each book.  It's so great to see the year in books and to look back and see what I have read.  Not to mention, it makes recommendations for you based on the books you enjoyed!

A great thing I discovered this year was the audio book.  Before you get up on the high horse, let me just say that I love read and hold actual paper books.  I like to turn the pages and feel the weight of the book in my had.  However, according to science, listening to books is just as good as reading them.   Also, why not make a boring morning and evening commute in traffic more enjoyable by taking in a good story?  I've become slightly obsessed now with audio books.

I decided to share with you my Top 5 and Bottom 5 books of the year.  I read some awesome books this year.  I also read some terrible ones.  Please, allow me to share them with you.  Upon reflection of my list, this year seemed to be about the series.  I read all or parts of 5 different series' of books.   That was definitely not intentional.

Let's start with the Bottom 5 because I like to save the best for last.  :)

#5:  Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis.  Stacey Ballis is a new author for me this year.  I enjoyed the first book of hers I read so much, I decided to read this one too.  It fell short and was kind of disappointing.  I believe it could have been much better.  Maybe it was that the main character continued to work for a horrible boss.  Or maybe the romantic relationship she develops seemed a little unrelatable.  Something about this story, I did not like.  I will still read other books of hers though.

#4:  The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.  This book was read as part of the Chronicles of Narnia series.  While this book gives you a good background of the "bad guys" of the Narnia world, this book didn't really add much to the story and I found it boring.

#3:  Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella.  I love the Shopaholic series.  Kinsella is one of my favorite authors.  They made me laugh so much and I really enjoyed the antics of Becky Bloomwood.  However, this book was such a huge let down.  It's well-know that Becky is a ditz and doesn't always make the best decisions.  She does have good intentions at heart though.  This book, was incredibly stupid and made Becky out to be an immensely selfish, narcissistic, and a flat out idiot.  Too sad.  After this book, I only read the last one for closure.

#2:  After Alice by Gregory Maguire.  The Wicked series is awesome.  This story is not.  Whatever happens to Alice's friend who falls down the rabbit hole after her is a waste of time and energy.  It took me forever to get through this story because it was just too boring and what I thought to be completely plotless.  Even though Wonderland is backwards, this story went nowhere.

#1:  Lost by Gregory Maguire.  The worst book I read this year.  A complete waste of time.  Not only do you follow the story of the main character, you follow the story she is writing as well since she's an author.  Then, you learn that the story she's writing is basically a memoir with the names changed.  It's so incredibly confusing with what appears to be four different plots, with none coming to an acceptable conclusion.  It was struggle to complete this one and a serious wastes of energy. 

Now, on to the Top 5!  The best books I read this year!

#5:  No Excuses!  The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy.  I enjoy a good personal growth book.  This one was recommended to me by multiple Mary Kay directors and I am so happy I read it.  It's filled with great tips for overcoming your excuses to make your life what you want it to be that are shared alongside real life stories.  It's a book I actually wrote in and marked for reference later.

#4:  In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick.   This is about the tragedy of the whaleship Essex and the story that inspired Moby Dick.  Reading about the experience of the crew members at sea for over 90s days, most of which was spent in tiny boats was a reading experience that stuck with me throughout the year.  The story is devastating, but powerful.  It's amazing anyone survived.  I thoroughly enjoyed the photos and maps shared in this book, they give a good point of reference.  A good piece of history is always pleasant.  I haven't watched the movie yet, so we will see how the story was interpreted.

#3:  Wicked:  The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  To sum it up, the Wicked Witch really wasn't all that wicked.  I loved this story.  Elphaba's backstory is one that will make you question everything you think you know about Oz.  There are pieces of mystery that were never explained fully for me, but that didn't make the book any less enjoyable.  I saw the musical at the beginning of the year, and although it is fantastic, it does not give a good representation of this incredibly character and her story.

#2:  How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.  By far the funniest book I've ever read.  I read about this on Emma Watson's group Goodreads page.  I'm not usually a fan of feminist discussion, but I am so glad I read this one!  A discussion of what it's like for a woman in this world shared in such an open and hilarious way.  It's filled with stories and insight and it made me laugh out loud at times.

#1:  Total Recall:  My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I love a good biography.  Especially about someone I like.  This book was amazing.  It was the longest book I read this year, but not only did it include some great stories, it was written in a very casual conversational tone and included Arnold' tips for success.  I like them so much, I copied the pages to hang in my office. 

So there you have it, the best and worst books I read this year.  I hope you have found a few books you may want to read.  If you have a book that you loved, share about it in the comments!  I would love to learn about more great books.

After this long post, here's something funny.