Monday, November 17, 2014


I was the sickest I've been in a long time last week. (I'm sure you don't want any gruesome details, ha!) And I felt guilty about neglecting my blog by not posting. Kinda like that week in September when I was too busy.

But feeling guilty is no good. It's not productive or beneficial. So in the future, I'm going to stop worrying about having a post twice a week on set days, or even once a week. I still plan to post on Mondays, but I'm going to embrace a willy-nilly posting schedule if that's what the week calls for :)

In other news, our TV company gave us a free preview of some premium channels to entice us to add them to our basic package. Which has turned quite a few nights and weekends into movie marathons. It's just so easy to find something you want to see when you can browse through hundreds of instant options. 

The result? A few cool movies, lots of laughing together, and far, far less reading than normal. 

And to wrap up this disjointed post, last week it was finally my turn for the library copy of The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was amazing. Extraordinary acting, storyline, directing, everything. Mr. G and I both adored it.

Seen any good movies lately?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I Voted!

Yesterday was Election Day here in the US, which meant a day off from work for me. (Side note: It's amazing what a day off in the middle of the week can do for you! I went to a doctor's appointment, participated in a mid-day yoga class, voted, cooked a big casserole for the week's lunches and still had time to relax.) 

Do you vote? I know it's required in some countries, but not here.

linking up for wordless Wednesday

Monday, November 3, 2014

What I've Been Reading: October 2014

I was thinking just the other day about how much more I seem to be reading in 2014 as compared to years past. I track all my reading on goodreads, which has a handy stats feature that shows I've read 19,790 pages this year, the most of any year recorded there. And then I remembered - this is the first time in my adult life that I've only been working one job, and I finished school in April. Combine the two, and that means more free time and zero required reading! I'll enjoy it while I have it :) 

  • Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse - Rifka is a young Russian girl in 1919 whose family is on their way to America to escape anti-Semitism. Of course they face a whole string of troubles along the way. 
  • Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson - I'll admit I picked this up because it was sitting next to Letters from Rifka and the cover caught my eye. Lonnie's parents passed away four years ago in a fire, and this is the story of him finding his voice through poetry and connecting with his sister (who lives in a different foster home) through the Bible. On the depressing side, even the ending. 
  • If You Find Me by Emily Murdock - Carey and her sister are removed from the trailer hidden in the woods that they (sometimes) share with their mentally ill mother to live with Carey's father. Difficult to read at times, but well written and it made me grateful for my parents and uneventful upbringing!
  • This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki - The story of Rose's summer, which includes her friend Windy and arguing parents. Filled with lovely drawings (it's a graphic novel). This definitely took me back to my middle school years. And made me crave a beach vacation.
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer & Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride - Sam, a recent college drop out, meets a fellow necromancer, Douglas, when he accidentally damages Douglas' car with a potato. Disaster ensues. So many awesome things going on in these books, like song lyrics for chapter titles that had me singing aloud, lots of sarcasm, and cool characters. I loved these - I just wish they stood more on their own as separate stories and that the second one didn't feel so rushed.
  • Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh - This takes place about 120 years in the future, when scientists have discovered how to cryogenically freeze and revive people. They use this technology to save attractive women (8.5 or better on a scale of 1 to 10), placing them in tubes that potential suitors pay thousands of dollars to visit. The suitors can then choose to pay millions to bring the women back to life to marry. Both the characters and world building were excellent though I found the premise extremely creepy.
Up next: I'm torn between reading Seabiscuit (about a famous race horse, as told by the author of Unbroken, which I loved) or The BIG Disconnect (about how families and relationships are affected by living in the digital age).

What have you been reading?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bucket List

Just as the title says, this is my bucket list. I wrote about the beginnings of this list a little over a year ago (I'll blame finishing it on all the dying plants around here). 
Not in any particular order, except my marriage and a (future) child are at the tippy-top, importance-wise!

Nurture my marriage
Have a child (I think I want 2, but it's hard to predict without having any; hubby votes for 1 or 2 as well)
Complete 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (and depending on how that goes, possibly become an instructor?)
Go on a cruise
Hike part of the Appalachian Trail (a guided tour probably)
Pay off all debt (car loan and mortgage)
Go whale watching
Vacation with extended family
Write a book
Get a passport and  . . 
Travel outside the US
Do a handstand without a wall
Save for retirement (and retire!)
Go snorkeling in the ocean (I tried it briefly in a giant tank at Disney World)

Of course, I've already accomplished some things that would've been on a 15-year-old Amanda's bucket list, like graduate from college, public speaking, get married, go on a hot air balloon ride, buy a house . . but it seems silly to add those just to cross them off. The list above reflects my dreams today. :)

Do you have a bucket list? Any overlap between your aspirations and mine?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Giraffe Lunchbox

Much like the giraffe tv, I couldn't resist snapping a shot of this lunchbox . . 

Do you use a lunchbox? I take my lunch in a mini cooler because my work fridge is crowded and not the most reliable for keeping things chilly. 
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