July 22, 2016

Five Friday Favorites

1. The I Hate Green Beans Bachelorette recap this week. LOL. Thoughts on The Bachelorette? I have many.

2. Steph wrote the perfect addendum to what Jennifer Aniston recently said about women, marriage, and babies. I've got to start being meaner when people pry (I'm too nice, apparently), but I try to stay even-keeled when in social situations and losing it over Do you think you'll have kids? might make me some enemies. It falls under the same reaction as So when does he come back from being deployed? I wrote a post about that several years ago. Down to the letter, the same thoughts and feelings.

3. This thing about teachers. The whole article didn't exactly blow my mind, but this stood out.

Our teacher selves are characters. I've seen those who don't play characters and you can tell the difference. There should always be a difference between you and your teacher self when there's 30 kids looking at you. You do not have to be fake, in either case. You just have to be different if you want it to work for you.

4. I realized the other day that I've only been to Starbucks twice since school let out. That's TWO MONTHS. Once, I went with my brother's girlfriend (my brother, oddly, does not like the 'bucks) and the other time, I went in looking for a tumbler and got an iced tea.

I was seriously thrilled when I came to this money-saving realization this week, and it made me think of this Rodan+Fields graphic.

And that is TWICE-A-DAY use. Kind of like how I've only been to Starbucks twice since May, yet I  spent much more than $2.58. 

5. Because I needed a fifth thing, these are pretty funny.

July 21, 2016

(Kind of) Confessions

+I've been stalking Lululemon's website, waiting for their fall tote bags. I want something quality that will hold everything and has divider pockets.

+I think it's fascinating that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has really just become a vehicle to utilize affiliate links. Like, does it serve another purpose?

+I'm in charge of Girls on the Run at my site this year and it's stressing me out a little bit. I have this fear that a lot of girls won't sign up because they raised the price. They didn't just raise the price; they raised it $20+. This means that, for my free and reduced lunch school, it will cost each kid NINETY-SIX DOLLARS for 8 weeks of the program. That's kind of hard to wrap my head around.
Also, when I went to register on the website, this popped up. I didn't know these were "Languages".

+It happened with the dog food again and I know why now: Chewy.com is very sporadic in their shipping. Sometimes it's a 48 hour turnaround. Sometimes it's FIVE OR SIX DAYS. Talk about unreliable. This actually makes me really mad. If they can't guarantee shipping in a timely manner, why am I bothering? I could probably get dog food more quickly from Amazon.

+I simply cannot stand it when people claim that too much sugar makes them jittery. That's not a thing. I don't even know that I have a rational for this, but the complaining of "so much sugar!" or "sugar high" really gets on my nerves. Eat sugar, don't eat sugar, I don't care. They do this a lot on morning TV, I've noticed. 

+I had an army function the other day and it took so much out of me, mentally, and that's why I can't do those things often. I can socialize just fine on my own terms...military-related socializing is just...hard. 

+I don't like throwing people under the bus on this blog because consequences are a thing. I usually keep my unkind thoughts to myself (and my text messages). However...

I had a major WTF moment the other day. Someone posted on Facebook, and she listed all the MLM businesses she could think of and said to PLEASE not contact her about buying or selling any of them. SHE will contact "you" if she has a need for such products. It was a big production and she got a lot of head pats and "likes".

Then, the next day, she posted that she had a bunch of Coach handbags she wants to get rid of and "would anyone like to buy them?" 

July 20, 2016

A Review of "After I Do" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book was not given to me and this review is not compensated. I bought it from Audible. These are my thoughts and feelings and they're probably quite colored by my current deployment situation. Oh well. Spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution. 


This book was such a conundrum and it's pretty formulaic chick-lit so it doesn't appear to be something one could dissect...at first.

The farther I got into the book, the more confused I became.

I'm going to break one of my own rules and post a synopsis from Goodreads, because explaining it would take too much time.

First of all, they never tried therapy or counseling. Instead of getting someone on the outside to look at their marriage, they just...don't. In fact, their families are shocked that they've split up for a year. That tells me that they've never sought advice from anyone, on any problems. Everyone assumed things were good.

And...what exactly was the problem? They fell out of love? Fantastic. Go to therapy and figure out why. There was no catalyst. No affair. No money problems. No "I'm leaving you, so good-bye". This was the firstest of the first world problems. Like, find a real problem and then I'll maybe (maybe) be able to feel for you.

Lauren was a very annoying character. Ryan didn't exactly sound like a catch in many ways either, and I wasn't excited about the idea of them getting back together. Lauren made Ryan seem as unappealing as possible...it was more like he was this good friend she couldn't live without. And Lauren herself was awful.

The whole "we met when we were 19" leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I get that MANY people end up with the person that they knew in high school or when they were just starting out in college. They have wonderful marriages. It didn't work for these characters. In this case, it seems like Lauren never found a hobby because boyfriend and then she had a crappy relationship at 30 and couldn't figure out why because they'd been together for 11 years and that meant they were meant to be. She was so incredibly passive; falling into a job just because, falling into a marriage just because, etc.

Her whole affair with David struck me as odd. David also seemed unappealing. I didn't get what she was doing. Taking a break from her husband to date someone? Someone she didn't even like? For what purpose? Even though he knew she was still married, how was that fair to string him along if he were, in fact, wanting a relationship? That's really kind of mean. Same with what Ryan did to whatever women he was dating.

Lauren's journey of "self-discovery" included going to work every day, going on a date, and walking her dog. If that's the case, I'm on a journey of self-discovery too, minus the date. I was expecting someone to go Eat, Pray, Love, but no. Nothing changed except Ryan moving into an apartment. This book is not being advertised correctly.

The email hacking was frightening to me. I feel like whether or not they were reading each other's emails would've greatly affected the outcome of the book. Lauren never would've went on a blind date had she not known Ryan was dating other people. And then, since they were reading each other's emails, they weren't even sticking to the self-imposed parameters. It was like a double-blind experiment that wasn't double-blind, so it would've been invalidated.

The grandmother had the most sense when she told Lauren to FIND SOMETHING TO DO OTHER THAN SPEND EVERY DAY WITH HER HUSBAND. It seemed like a very college relationship in that, as long as they weren't at work, they were always together. No wonder they got sick of each other! And my real question here was: HOW MUCH DO THEY SPEND ON EATING OUT? Because it seemed like they ate out 5 days a week. (If it looks like I'm shouting with the all-caps, I am.)

Obviously, I'm biased. But as someone who spends entire years without her husband, this was a ridiculous book. Their solution seemed way too drastic for what they needed, which was therapy.

I didn't have an issue with the writing. It flowed just fine. The premise of the book was just so odd to me.

Did you read it???

July 18, 2016

Currently 7/18

Watching: Shameless. This is the first new-to-me show I've seen in a long time. I feel like myself again, watching something that isn't Gossip Girl (for the fourth time) or The Bachelorette.

Trying: Not to stay up until 1am watching Shameless because I don't have to set an alarm.

Reading: 3 different books. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, After I Do, and Business As Usual.

Listening: The Baby-Sitters Club Club podcast.

Finishing: Putting the basement back together after a fruitless search for something that cannot be, apparently, found.

I lost something, I can't find it, and it is driving me slowly insane.

Buying: I think the sentence-starter here should be "when am I not buying something?" because I always have something to buy. Currently, I've just picked up the finishing touches for my classroom. All I need now is some magnetic border and more sentence strips. Long live sentence strips.

Dreading: I'm actually dreading a lot of things lately because without Scott here, I tend to go into uber-anxious mode. But I'm oddly hopeful too. It's a weird place to be in. ----just keeping things real..there's no sunshine and roses here.

Liking:  I've been remembering to use my eye cream twice a day, every day, and I feel like it's doing me a lot of favors. This container has lasted me OVER A YEAR. At this point, I'm slapping it on a bit more generously because I want to make sure I use it well before it would expire. Bonus: it has sunscreen in it.

Making: Spinach Dip, Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats, and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. I highly recommend all of these things.

Cheers to another Monday!

(Is it weird that I'm now toasting Mondays instead of Fridays because this means another week is beginning?)

July 14, 2016

A list of things.

+I don't understand how people are this stupid. You can play a live-action video game. In fact, go for it. But it's like we're being tested and Darwin's theories are becoming tried and true. Part of me doesn't believe that it's come to this. I truly don't understand the why.

Quotes from the video link up there: It's tempting to run across the street and I ran into a pole the other day.
And sometimes people run into each other and into other objects too.
There is a chick who found a dead body in a stream in her quest and she just wants to keep playing.

**EDIT** I forgot to put this in. This is what the local Air Force base had to say about Pokemon Go.

These are depressing times.

Smoke from the wildfires mixing with the clouds in the distance.

+Things you don't want to say to your husband while he's deployed: If I had to evacuate because of a wildfire, what vehicle do I take?
Scott literally didn't know what to say to this. And then he answered with Well, the most expensive one. So the truck. You don't like your SUV anyway.
Me: I like it. I don't trust it. There's a difference.
Him: Well, it'd probably be okay in the driveway anyway. But you'd probably park it in the field to get rid of it.

**For the record, insurance company, you will find it in the driveway, should it come to this.**

+I noticed that, in the Show Us Your Books link-up this week, many people have been reading The Nightingale. I mentioned on Tuesday that I'm a bit burnt out on the WWII genre right now and this could've attributed to the decline...here's my review of The Nightingale last year:

If you can power through the first 6 or 7 chapters of this book without ripping it in half, returning it to the library, or falling asleep, you'll be treated to a decent story about WWII.  It's just your classic semi-love story, kind-of-adventure story, told from different points of view and from different time periods.  If you like WWII fiction, give it a try. I enjoyed it well enough but it did drag a bit.  Definitely written from a chick-lit point of view with a dab of historical fiction, not the other way around. This wasn't a book I couldn't stop listening to; it wasn't THAT good.  But it wasn't bad. Just took me a while to finish.

^^That first sentence is pretty telling, right?

+I went to the dentist the other day. As I was sitting in the chair, I thought that I probably should've been putting effort into flossing lately. I usually pick up the habit a few weeks before a cleaning, just to give off the vibe that I take care of my teeth properly. This time, I'd forgotten.
When the hygienist said I had a few sensitive spots, I said That's probably from lack of flossing. Might as well be honest.
But no cavities, per usual, so I must be doing something right.

+I went to the doctor for a procedure/test thing yesterday and it was awful, but it wasn't nearly as awful as when I had the same thing done a few years ago on base. This just goes to show that going off-base is worth it. Eventually I will make that move from Tricare Prime to Tricare Standard (which I keep threatening to do).

+It was a stressful week. And it's only Thursday. Here's some funny stuff from yesterday in case you missed it. Funny things are good.

July 13, 2016

More iPad Screenshots




If you have to search for a pin about what to watch on Netflix, you have too much time on your hands because it means you've already watched everything  you've wanted to watch.


These make me twitch. Effort and pleasing to the eye is attractive when it comes to classrooms.



That's exactly what I would do.


This has been floating around on Facebook. I'm not a Grey's fan, but I think this is really amusing. 

July 12, 2016

June Books

I was really cruising through books at the beginning of the month but by the end I was SO sick of ebooks. I can't do it anymore. 

However, my library is like a shed and most of their desirable inventory is via ebook. I just want to read an actual book. 

I set a goal for 10 books in June...I ended up with 9 new books and 4 re-reads. I was working on new book #10 and just couldn't stare at the screen any longer. 

I feel like I gave a lot of Cs this month. Don't let that deter you though. They were worth-reading books, and enjoyable enough for me TO read them. 

Daughter by Jane Shemilt A- 
Fascinating in a psycho-thriller kinda way. I wasn't sure which way it would go so it kept me on my toes. I mean, parts were kind of prosy and wordy. Two pieces of prose that stuck out: When you are young you have no idea what you will need as time passes or how strong you might have to be. And The Christmas tree lights blink pointlessly in the dull light. 
It was a mystery about a missing girl and I enjoyed it. I appreciated the way it all came together at the end and didn't just end the way a book I read last month did. That's not a spoiler because there were several ways it could've gone. (ebook)

The Curse Defiers (Cursekeepers book #3) by Denise Grover Swank B-
I listened to this purely out of commitment. I needed to see how [what I thought was] the trilogy ended. It's not a trilogy. There are more coming. So I'll probably keep up with it to see where things go. I like Collin. My overarching opinion of the last two books was that Dr. David Preston equals the Mason Deveraux of this series. Mason is in the Rose Gardner books and he is, without a doubt, the worst. (audio)

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes C+
I skimmed a lot of this because parts were trying too hard to be Shopaholic or Devil Wears Prada.
I did like Imogen though, even if the set-up of the plot was a little unrealistic. She's only 40, and was only out of work for a few months...she shouldn't be so in the dark. But really, it wasn't a bad read.
Anyway. I found some good quotes that some up true millenials nicely. Would make a great beach read. (ebook)

The Hitler youth one was about a millenial in spin class. I chuckled out loud.

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin C+
This has been on my TBR list for a year. It's YA and I couldn't find it for the longest time, so I just downloaded the audio. It's kind of like Gossip Girl meets dystopia, but a realistic dystopic future. I liked it enough but I didn't love it. The main character had no affect. I didn't care about her as much as I wanted. Her romantic relationship was weird to me. She's the closest I've felt I've seen to a Katniss; there's so many dystopia heroines out there. But it was almost like a dish that was cooked without just the right seasoning...something was missing.
If you're looking for a Zevin book to start out with, I'd recommend Elsewhere or The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. The author can write very well. No arguments there! I just don't know if I liked the characters in this one. I may or may not read the others in the trilogy. (audio)

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner C+
This wasn't a bad book. When I give a kid a C, I explain that they got "some of it", and she did write a somewhat cohesive story (or maybe the bar is just set low these days).

I feel like this could be the backstory to any mommy-martyr-blogger. I agree that it's never the straightest of paths that gets us where we are, and Allison's story had some twists and turns, but SO MUCH of the book was spent in flashbacks that I skimmed a lot.
The husband was an asshat. The child was insufferable. No wonder Allison had issues. They didn't really resolve a lot of the story by the end, and it started and ended exactly like a Lifetime movie, with a little bit of OITNB right in the middle. Very formulaic. I didn't care about any of the characters, least of all the husband or the kid.
That being said, like a Lifetime movie, it's hard to look away. I finished it in a day, but I did skim many of the irrelevant flashbacks that were meant to prove, I suppose, that the husband wasn't always an asshat. (ebook)

How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz C
I don't know that I actually have much to say about this book. It wasn't bad. It wasn't awesome. Since it didn't follow a straightforward timeline, it took some energy to read. I didn't have any ah-ha moments and didn't see any turning points. There were a few Oh, I see that now moments, but it wasn't full of plot twists.
I hated all the characters. Unlikeable characters can be good characters but I didn't feel anything for these three women. They continually made poor decisions.
And since so little information was given and it was written in time-jumping snippets, I kind of felt like I was reading through a gauzy veil; I had trouble visualizing because the set changed so often.
I found a couple of memorable things:

I wouldn't not recommend it. I just wouldn't expect too much. (ebook)

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid A
This story was shockingly good. I didn't expect it to be that good. It was great. It'd be classified as eye/shelf candy to any passerby, but it's deep. Like, interesting and I really wanted to see what would happen next. I was impressed.
Easily one of the best "listens" I've had in awhile.
If you need a vacation read or just a weekend read, go for it. (audio)

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid B-
This book was a little too Sparksy for me. It was Sparks+Pearl Harbor+Homeland all smashed into one. But it was okay. If you need a vacation read or a beach read or just a weekend read or if you need something to listen to while you repaint a bathroom that was just painted 18 months ago because you decide you don't like the color...it's a good one.
The line that stuck out to me, at the beginning, was something like You can clearly see where your life is divided. There's the before and the after. For some reason, that struck a chord and I took the book pretty seriously after that.  A sort of spoiler is in white:
I didn't like the ending. Like, not at all. Emma is kind of the worst. Like, the worst ever. 
I also am not a fan of the whole "high-school sweethearts end up together forever" thing. 
I usually don't read these kinds of books because I don't like that theme...too Notebook-y. 
And I realize that the high school sweethearts don't end up together in this book anyway but I didn't like Sam all that much. (audio)

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes D+
I'm the odd one who did not really love Me Before You. I liked pieces of it but I was not in love with the book whatsoever. I like Jojo Moyes well enough though, so I'm willing to try just about any of her books. This was okay. I skimmed some of it.  Parts of it reminded me of movies I'm sure I've seen before and parts were reminiscent of me visiting coastal towns in Alaska. I will always try a Jojo Moyes book though because I loved One Plus One so much. (ebook)

The takeaway here is that you should read Maybe in Another Life and, if you like twisted stories, Daughter


And I re-read Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, and Can You Keep a Secret? all by Sophie Kinsella. 

And I did not finish:

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly ---stopped at 20%

I really meant to finish it. A lot of people have been reading it lately and I was on hold for 2 months for a kindle copy at the library. And then it was just kind of heavy and kind of confusing (3 different stories/narrators, etc) and then I read something else instead (All Fall Down) and then I only had 3 days left to finish it and I couldn't renew it because there were 8 other people waiting for it. And then the Nazis killed a pet chicken and then there was a sick dog and that was it for me.
I can't deal with the animal cruelty, even if it is happening during the Holocaust.

Also, I've read quite a few WWII books in my time; probably more than most people because it's always been my primary area of interest. I just don't think I can deal with WWII fiction at this point. I recommend, if you're looking for a sad and tortured book, Sarah's Key.

But after A God in Ruins, Code Name Verity, At Water's Edge, Unbroken, Life After Life, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Ship of Brides, The Nightingale, The Storyteller, The Winter Guest, The Girl You Left Behind (about WWI), All The Light We Cannot See, Killing Patton, and then three kids' books on the subject: My Friend the Enemy, Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust, and The Devil's Arithmetic...I'm just so burnt out on the genre.
That's just what I could find on Goodreads from my reading in the last 2 years alone. Before that, it was always my go-to genre, so there's many MANY more in the last several years.
This is what I thinking when I gave up on The Lilac Girls. (ebook)

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda--stopped at 44%
I put up a valiant effort. But when there's 18 other things you'd rather do at the end of the day besides wrap your mind around this book...it's time to do the 18 other things and not read the book.
It was confusing to me and kind of discombobulating the way it was written backwards. Not so much that the story was hard to follow, but I was trying to summarize it in my head, to keep track of where I was at the beginning of each new chapter and it was too much work. Maybe I'm just a lightweight when it comes to books these days. Oh well. Did you read it? Note: This is a NetGalley book so I *might* go back and finish it eventually. (ebook)

-----Linking up with Jana and Steph!

July 11, 2016

Currently in Photos

Reading: I just finished Only You by Denise Grover Swank. I was putting off reading it, but did in one afternoon and it was wonderful. Since this was a July book, it'll be properly reviewed in August, but see more of my reads tomorrow when I have my monthly book post up for Show Us Your Books.

Wondering: When exactly this summer is going to be over. Time has, indeed, actually stopped.

Eating: These sandwiches. I'm upped my protein intake and this is an easy way to get 30 grams.

Drinking: Less coffee. I've cut back on caffeine. It's the opposite of fun.

Feeling: Like time has, indeed, actually stopped.

Appreciating: The sunsets. They're usually pretty nice. 

Failing: I'm not good at putting my shoes away.

Succeeding: I kept to my list at Costco. These are the BEST socks, by the way. I've bought 3 packs in the last year. 

Buying: School supplies. I was having a bad day, so I went to Walmart (the nice Walmart so as not to make my day worse) and loaded up on goodies. 

Planning: I'm organizing my binders at school. The red one has important stuff in it and it was in my classroom when I moved in. But I can't keep it because it's red and I hate red. It must be replaced. Also, the purple one is from a college portfolio I had. I keep it around as a daily reminder of how far I've come. 
This is really odd behavior, isn't it?

Loving: This wireless printer. It takes up virtually no space and works like a charm. 

That is me, printing labels for notebooks (in July).

Cheers to Monday. I like it when new weeks begin.

July 8, 2016

5 Friday Links.

+This tells why you could/should use the Reverse Dual Active Brightening Complex. It repairs past damage and brightens and lightens your skin. If you want to take one simple step toward repairing your skin, this is it!

+This tells you why you should do Pilates for just 10 minutes a day and expect results.

+This is a gorgeous planbook. It's $75 at its base price though, so I have to wonder if that gold is made out of actual gold foil or something.

+I get that this sounds a little preachy at times, but outer order does contribute to inner calm for just about everyone, right? Here's a few very easy things I try to do every day. 

+Motivational posters made out of Chad quotes. 

Was anyone else sorely disappointed in the fact that there was no Bachelorette this week? 

I would say HAPPY FRIDAY, but all the days kinda run together right now. And I'm publishing this in real time, at 12:10am MST, because I got home late from playing BINGO with a bunch of other elementary teachers at the local bingo place.
We did not win a thing. 
As one friend said, we simply paid for the experience

July 6, 2016

(Actual) Confessions

+When your husband is deployed, the day after a holiday is the best day of all. I felt relief on Tuesday, knowing that the last holiday for a long time was over.

+I killed a baby rattlesnake the other day by blowing it into pieces with a shotgun and I couldn't find it all. I buried what I could and resolved to keep the dogs out of that part of the field for a few days. Snakes can be venomous for days after they die.
Then I went back to the house (this really took a chunk out of my afternoon) and had a beer and some chocolate chip cookies. It was deserved.

+I don't like the phrase love you to the moon and back. What does that even mean? Do people actually say it out loud? Or do they just type it and buy it on wooden signs from Hobby Lobby?

+The dogs ate this remote two years ago. The Samsung TV, that was only about 6 months old at the time, hasn't been used since. I went to Best Buy and had someone explain how to use/work/hook-up a universal remote last week. Now the TV works again. It took two years.

+I've been waking up in the morning not being able to remember what day it is.

+We have this shower curtain rod that I cannot get to stay in place. The other one works, why doesn't this one? It's awful, a drain on my energy, and kind of sad that I can't get a shower curtain rod to work.

+We have tube lighting in our kitchen and bathrooms. It's kind of like a skylight. The one in the kitchen is glaringly bright during the day, so I covered it up.

+If there was a way to send dogs in care packages to soldiers, Scott would be enjoying Jett's company on this deployment. However, Jett is a delicate flower and he needs me around to dip his antibiotic pills in peanut butter, as he has a respiratory infection. He is the most loyal and loving dog that ever was, but man. He needs a personal petter or something. He never leaves me alone.

+I generally enjoy the nonsense that is The Today Show. The first half hour is usually the important stuff and then it's normally just people sitting around eating.
However, I had to mute it last Friday because who on earth wants to listen to Rachel Platten? I mean, ugh.

Today is Scout's "gotcha day". We picked up this little furball three years ago today. He forced me to learn to be responsible for another living thing. I can't even look at his puppy pictures without wanting to order up another one.

Anything to confess today?

Linking up with Nadine!