books | march 2017

Here’s a look at what I read in March:


The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9) | Lemony Snicket
The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events #10) | Lemony Snicket
The Grim Grotto  (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11) | Lemony Snicket
The Penultimate Peril  (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12)Lemony Snicket
The End  (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13)Lemony Snicket

This month was young adult series month, it seems! Finished the Series of Unfortunate Events books – my first time reading them. I can imagine devouring these as a kid and loving the three Baudelaires. Looking forward to watching the new Netflix series now that I’ve read all 13 books! These are written in such a fun style and the ending tied the series up in a very satisfying bow.





Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1, 2, and 3 | Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search, Part 1, 2, and 3 | Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift, Part 1, 2, and 3 | Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow, Part 1, 2, and 3 | Gene Luen Yang
Avatar: The Last Airbender – North and South Part 1, and 2 | Gene Luen Yang

Matthew and I recently watched the entirety of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Surprisingly enough to pretty much everyone I talked to about it, this was my first time watching the show (I’m late to most things). We found out there was a comic book series and quickly reserved all 14  of them from the library and flew through them. So fun, especially after the sadness of finishing the show. North & South Part 3 comes out later in April!


Truly Madly Guilty | Liane Moriarty

My one novel for the month! I loved Big Little Lies so I was super excited to read another Moriarty. This one was definitely good, I’m just not sure I love how it ended, order-wise. But all-in-all a great page turner that I enjoyed after so many series reads.

Read Together:


Out Of The Silent Planet (Space Trilogy #1) | C.S. Lewis
Perelandra ( Space Trilogy #2) | C.S. Lewis 

Matthew reads to me every night before bed and it’s one of the things I look forward to most each day. We’re currently working our way through C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy and finished Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra in March. A fun, weird, and heady trilogy worth checking out if you’re a fan of sci-fi and/or C.S. Lewis.

 

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On Deck
That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy #3) | C.S. Lewis
Scot Pilgrim vs. The World series | Bryan Lee O’Malley
It Was Me All Along | Andie Mitchell
Simply Tuesday | Emily P. Freeman
Married And Still Loving It | Gary Chapman & Harold Myra
The Best Yes | Lysa TerKeurst
Wild and Free | Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan

More graphic novels and some popular reads that I’ve seen circulating the blogger scene + a couple randoms I selected off the library shelf.

Want more? Follow along with me on Goodreads!

I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

books | march 2017

2015 goals update // august

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Every time I go to write a goals update post I think: “Again? Already?” And then, “Oh my gosh it’s already been another month!”

Time seriously flies. [but no for real, it does]

Current stats

  • Reading: 10/10 or 100% //  Revised: 16/20 or 80%
    [completed June 20, 2015]
  • Writing:  35/50 or 70%
  • Knitting: 6.5/12 or 54%
  • Learning: 1/1 or 100%
    [completed July 21, 2015]
  • Scrapping: 0/2 or 0%

Feel most accomplished about: Registering for a cooking class! I bought Favorite Asian Dumplings From Scratch through Craftsy and I can’t wait to work through this class with Matthew after we finish our Whole30! I’ve watched the intro and from what I’ve seen and experienced the Craftsy platform is great! Each lesson is a separate video, the instructors are available via forums, and you can even post pictures of your completed culinary creations! This class in particular is very popular and highly-rated – this information is another advantage to online classes as it helps guide decision making.

I’m also feeling good about my revised reading goal, blogging, and knitting. I’m in the middle(ish) of both March and August’s blankets and I’m hoping to wrap August’s up by the end of the month but if not then, by the end of the first week of September. I hate feeling behind on this, but I think I have plans/patterns for the last four blankets, which is a good feeling.

Struggled most with: AKA: Didn’t get around to this month: Scrapping. It’s been too crazy around here to even think about sitting down to scrapbook. I’m hoping to get some of the Southern Weddings collection for Project Life and simply use the prints we received from our photographers to make it quick and easy. Choosing and album size + pages is the hardest part for me. Maybe September will see this through to the end :).

Moving forward: Mostly it’s just a keep on keeping on for these goals with the exception of scrapbooking. That’s a get-started-and-don’t-stop-until-you’re-done situation. However, we’ve still got four months left of 2015 so hopefully I’ll still be able to finish up by the end of the year. Thinking about doing December Daily this year, though….

[see July’s update here]

2015 goals update // august

2015 goals update // july


Welcome to the second update of my 2015 goals! I’ve made some great progress in some areas and no progress in other areas – but who’s surprised? [not me.]

Current stats

  • Reading: 10/10 or 100%
    [completed June 20, 2015]
  • Writing:  25/50 or 50%
  • Knitting: 5.5/12 or 45.8%
  • Learning: 0/1 or 0%
  • Scrapping: 0/2 or 0%

Feel most accomplished about: Reading & blogging!

I completed my reading goal crazy quick, tearing through the books I borrowed from the library with ferocity until I finished my tenth book. This second [and third] batch of library books has just sat. And sat. And been renewed twice. And sat. But that’s how my reading flow is sometimes – from READ ALL THE THINGS! to read none of the things. I’m hoping to get lots of reading in at the beach! I upped my GoodReads 2015 Reading Challenge goal to 20 books and will be tracking my progress there.

And for blogging I’m halfway there! As I’m writing this I’ve got posts scheduled and drafts in the works and it feels good to be in the “flow” of the creative ebb & flow. Shaking things up seems good for that. All-in-all I’m definitely expecting to complete my 50 post goal this year and that is exciting for me and helpful in helping me figure this blogging thing out.

Struggled most with: At this point I don’t consider not getting something done a “struggle” but feeling bad about not getting something done [or not making progress] can feel like one. This month just hasn’t been the right time to pursue a class or work on my project life albums and unlike the last update, I don’t feel bad about that.

Moving forward: I’m still on track with my knitting and March’s blanket is slowly coming together as I work on each current month’s blanket. My main focus is to just keep on keeping on with blogging and knitting and keep the class and scrapbooking in mind but not stress over it. I now get emails from a site called craftsy that hosts online classes on a wide range of subjects and think we might go with one they offer – like sourdough bread baking!

I’ve lately been learning a lot about myself and the season of life I’m in and one of my biggest takeaways is that I’m tired of feeling bad about stuff I don’t need to feel bad about. I put a lot of invisible pressure on myself and then feel guilty about not getting things done and then feel miserable and like people are disappointed and upset with me when really they don’t even realize I have “failed.” So I’m working on that, trying to balance pushing myself and allowing myself grace.

[see June’s update here]

2015 goals update // july

2015 goals update 

Checking in one month after posting 2015 goals.

So far, not too shabby! I’ll finish my reading goal this month and I’m still on track for my knitting. If I keep on my Monday/Wesnesday/Friday posting schedule I’ll hit my blog post goal in 13 weeks, which is exciting. I realized Matthew & I probably won’t get around to an in-person cooking class but we could probably do an online one no problem. It’s important to assess and adjust goals in order to not feel like you’re trapped within your own self-imposed pressure. Sometimes you can adjust and change but other times you just have to let it go entirely. So far, halfway through the year, I’m feeling pretty good.

Current stats

  • Reading: 8/10 or 80%
  • Writing:  11/50 or 22%
  • Knitting: 4.5/12 or 37.5%
  • Learning: 0/0 or 0%
  • Scrapping: 0/2 or 0%

Feel most accomplished about: reading! I got my library card the last week of May and since then I’ve been tearing through books like they’re due tomorrow. I finished Big Little Lies, Station Eleven, Dear Mr. Knightley, and Eleanor & Park in two weeks and am now on The Rosie Project with Me Before You and Landline on deck next. I’ve got more books on hold at the library and a few more I know I want to add to the list so I’m thinking I might up my goal to 20 books and use GoodReads to track it after these first 10. Matthew and I finished our nightly reading selection of The Hobbit so we’ll see what the next pick is for that! I am totally loving reading more and am realizing just how much I missed it. Hooray for goals that help you remember things you love!

Struggled most with: scrapboooking. Uhg. I got all my honeymoon photos in Project Life pockets but filling them in with journaling and trip scraps is proving to be so hard. I think part of it is figuring out the right pocket page to use and the other part is not liking how flat and dark my photos turned out. Not sure if it is the pictures themselves or the printing service I used but I’m not quite happy with them.

Moving forward: I would love to start blocking out time each day to work on my album, even if it’s just 20 minutes, to help me get. it. done. I know that once it’s done, even if it’s not perfect, I will love looking through the pages so much. I also need to get caught up with my 2015 album! Yikes!

Going to keep on this steady M/W/F blogging schedule and hopefully order/get yarn for July’s blanket this month so I can be ready to roll on the first. Gotta plan ahead since we’ll be going on two beach trips throughout the month.

2015 goals update 

2015 goals

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Time to set our sights high and set goals for ourselves for the year. Oh. Wait. No it’s not. It’s mid-May, almost five months after people usually do that sort of thing. Woops.

I had already set some loose mental goals for myself and started a daily tracker for brushing my teeth (more on that in another post) but nothing more than that for the whole year. However, after seeing this instagram post from Nicole Reaves I was way too inspired to leave it at that. I pulled together my scattered thoughts and scribbles of goals and created something incredibly tangible and fun and track-able.

Materials-wise, I just used a piece of cardstock cut down to 6×8 (I found it to be a more approachable size than a full 8.5×11), a piece of washi tape, stamps, and sharpies. All of the stamps except for the varsity alphas on the top left are from Studio Calico along with the washi. The alphas I got in a dollar bin at Michael’s. I wanted it to be fun but also simple and while it certainly isn’t perfect it gets the job done and that’s the most important thing.

I think one of the biggest keys to success for me personally when it comes to goal setting and getting things done is visually tracked progress, in addition to making very specific and obvious statements about what those goals are. For as long as I can possible remember my family would hold a meeting on New Year’s Eve and reflect on the past year, set goals for the upcoming year, and review the previous year’s goals. We usually did one thing for multiple categories (because my mom is a genius) along the lines of: physical, spiritual, mental, etc. And for as long as I can possibly remember my list always included losing weight. At the end of the year when we reviewed I wouldn’t even know if I’d met that goal because I didn’t track it – it was just a general “all around” kind of statement. There were no action steps, no specific numbers, and no definitive beginning and end point. It was always embarrassing and defeating and I eventually got smart and quit saying it was one of my “goals” and spared myself the end-of-the-year awkward.

But hey! That’s the past! I have now learned how I can better goal set to encourage success when it comes to my goals. One of the most important things about this list is that it is very track-able and obvious when something has  been completed. It isn’t “read more books,” it’s read 10 books with space included to write down the book title and completion date. Specific, obvious, track-able. So here we go, my top five goals for the year:

one // read 10 books – After graduating college last May, I totally fell off the literature bandwagon. My focus was on planning a wedding and preparing for marriage, so I did read a lot of marriage books (and blogs) but that was the extent and I didn’t really track what I’d read. After years of literature classes one might be sick of forced reading assignments, but I found that there was a void there that wasn’t being filled – I needed to read. Books rock. I want to read more of them. Matthew reads aloud each night before we go to sleep and I will be including those books as we finish them. Follow along with what we’re currently reading via the GoodReads widget in the menu!

 

two // write 50 blog posts – This is my-crazy-I’m-not-sure-I-can-actually-do-this-one goal. But I’m writing it down and going to work to make it happen. I’ve been trying to act like I know what I’m doing with this space and create an ~editorial calendar~ but let’s be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing and I haven’t figured it out yet so here goes. I realized I have lots of ideas for potential posts and once I started thinking about it 50 felt really doable. I want to maintain a consistent posting schedule without setting myself up for failure so I’m not sure what that will look like yet. Right now I work to have a post every Friday, but twice a week seems pretty doable so I think that’s what I’m going to start shooting for. Fine print is write 50 posts, they don’t have to be published in order to count, but they do have to be scheduled and ready to roll. These are also personal posts – any that Matthew write will not count toward my 50. I’m already excited to color in the next one after hitting ‘schedule’ on this one.

three // knit 12 blankets – This is the one goal that I mentally set for myself in February after realizing that I was already two for two. Momentum, even just a little, is good for that. I’m really excited for this project and especially for a place to share my progress. This is such a fun hobby for me and I’ve got friends and family having babies left and right meaning I’ve got homes for most of the blankets to go to and I wont be drowning in knit blankets at the end of the year. I’ve already completed January, February, and April and I am in progress on March and just started May, hence the half-heart. I’m looking forward to learning and trying some new things with knitting this year!

four // register for 1 class – Lately I’ve really been wanting to attend a cooking class with Matthew for a date night. Sur La Table sends me lots of emails and the class menus always look so fun and interesting. We both love to cook and I think we would have a lot of fun taking a themed cooking class for a few hours one weekend. As you can probably tell, I don’t have a ton of confidence in us to actually accomplish this so it is phrased as register for a class, just in case. haha

five // finish project life honeymoon&wedding album – Every month since our wedding I have great intentions and say one of my monthly goals is to complete our honeymoon and wedding scrapbook and every month ends with little to no progress. Part of the lack of success on this has been due to my laptop’s sudden, unexpected crash in March which resulted in losing my folders of curated photos (uuuuuuhhhhhhhggggggg). But I’m happy to say all honeymoon photos have been printed and spreads are currently in progress! I’d love to have this done by our first anniversary so we can look through it on that day, but I’m officially giving myself until the end of the year. I would love to find my PL groove this year and get a routine for working on monthly spreads built into my days/weeks. I love photos and looking through albums and completed albums (no matter how full) are always so special to me.

So that’s it! Those are my top 5 tangible, obvious, track-able goals for the year! I’ll be posting (less in-depth ; ) monthly progress reports for added motivation.

2015 goals