April 25, 2017

Things to Consider Adding to Your List

Linking up with Lauren today to list out a few things worth considering.

I really tried to think about things I do/use every day and how they could maybe help you too.

(Note: no affiliate links have been overused in the writing of this post. Also, I will go out of my way to avoid an affiliate link...unless I like you.)

1. This is pretty much why I don't have a Fit Bit.

2. If you are a teacher, this blog is fabulous. She has a podcast with real, actionable steps/tips too.


3. If you have dogs who like to run and you don't always have them on a leash, these are my lifesaver collars. The camo part vibrates or shocks the dog. Vibrating is for making the dog stop, look for me, and come back to me. Shocking is to get them back to me ASAP if they're not listening or if there's danger. The orange part makes noise that lets us locate the dog. We let them run around outside when we're outside and, to find them, the orange part screeches like a hawk and the dog realizes they need to come back and we can hear where they are at the same time. It has different settings though, so it doesn't always have to screech like a hawk. It's also to measure when they're on point and have found a bird.
I use these collars MULTIPLE times a day. They weren't very expensive for the amount of use we get out of them because we've been using them for almost 4 years.

4. Using the Lil' Dipper Crockpot as a diffuser. I read that lavender keeps away bugs so I fill the crockpot with water and put in a few drops of essential oil. It makes the whole house smell pleasant, and if I ever get around to remembering to buy different scents, I'd mix it up a bit. I was initially worried that it'd be an impossible smell to get out of the Crockpot (I only use the thing for food once or twice a year) but it cleans right out very easily with no residue or smell leftover if you need it for dip.

5. Le Pen. Ugh. These are amazing. In fact, I now hate my Sharpie pens and the Papermate Flair are even worse. They feel so cumbersome and scratchy; not super smooth like Le Pen pens do.

6.  This lotion. Since I sprained the fingers on my right hand last fall (or stoved them, as a Pennsylvanian would say), they've caused me problems. When I went to get a massage last month, she kind of played around with my fingers and said to try the NOW lotion to get the swelling and joint pain under control. I won't lie: the lotion smells awful but I use it a couple of times a day. It's a giant bottle too. I think what has really helped my hand is massage, though. I've been constantly moving and wiggling my joints. The masseuse said that the more I move them and massage them, the better they'll get. But I like to think that the lotion helps too. I usually put it on and wiggle my fingers around while I walk the dogs and especially before I go to bed at night...I've noticed then that the inflammation is barely there in the morning like it used to be.

So, any things I should consider trying/using?




April 24, 2017

Currently. 4/24


Eating: Chipotle. (does the internet really need another picture of someone's Chipotle bowl?)

Reading: The usual list of 4 or more books.


Loving: That this is a 3 1/2 day week for me. I have half of today off and there's no school on Friday.


Buying: A PopSocket. Have you tried one? Mine should arrive this week.


Appreciating: My never-ending ability to multitask.


Watching: This is the look Scott gave me when he realized I was watching The Great British Bake-off for the second time through.


Succeeding: At making up my mind.

Failing: At making decisions. I think there's a difference between making up one's mind and making a decision. Making up your mind means knowing what you want. Making a decision means deciding between alternatives (right?).

Planning: On recommending Sportdog collars to you tomorrow for the Add It to My List link-up.



Laughing at:


^That'll be 47 seconds of your time well-spent.

April 21, 2017

5 Things (I'm Glad About)



1. Rain. I enjoy it. I do not enjoy the thunder and lightning that popped up, or when our dirt road becomes impassable. But rain is needed. Last year we had a snowstorm the first week of May, so fingers crossed.


2. Getting our taxes done. We did them on Monday night.



3. I finally finished a book last night. April is a slim month around here for reading it seems.

4. The end is in sight.


Also, important dates have been marked (mindless TV that will get me through the summer) and the change of command has clearly been moved, as I've crossed it out, but you can't take personal days back so...looks like I have a day off.

But this is 110% how I've felt lately about everything in life. I could make a list of all the things that are "fine" but this sums it up.



5.  I have a haircut and a pedicure set up on Sunday. I promised myself I would relax this weekend because these last few weeks have seen nothing but stress. Also, I desperately need a haircut. The lady put in layers in February and I'm thinking I need a few inches off the longest layer to keep the body to it.

And that's it. Happy Friday!


April 20, 2017

Confessions. (S&T 4/20)

Stuff, Things, etc.


The confessions edition of Stuff and Things. This comes around every other month or so...so here we go:

1. I only eat Italian ice in even numbers. I must always eat two. I never feel satisfied with just one. This is a problem. Also, I only eat the blue raspberry ones so Scott knows he's only to eat the watermelon ones. This is really weird behavior for a grown-up, I know.

2. I buy Italian ice so we don't eat tons of ice cream.

3. My favorite ice cream in the entire world is Grandma's Cake Batter from Tillamook. They stopped making it. I haven't had it in years and, though they do sell Tillamook in Colorado, they don't have the variety they had in Alaska. I still check the ice cream case every time I walk by one, just to check. However, I'm certain it doesn't exist anymore because it's not on the website.

4. When people write a blog post about nothing just so they can affiliate-link it to death, I don't understand their purpose and/or motivation. Nothing against making a few pennies from Amazon or Nordstrom, but have an author's purpose for your writing. It's important.

5. Also, when bloggers say they love "this dress" or "this shirt" and they just affiliate-link it to a shopstyle link and I can't see where it's from without clicking the link, I can't even handle it. That's baiting and it's not a way to make friends.

6. Maybe this should be a pet peeves post.

7. When dishes don't come out of the dishwasher clean, I put them back in for another round and expect different results.

8. Last week, I overslept for the first time in my adult life. I got up at 6:15 instead of 5:00am. Scott said Oh now you only have an hour to get ready instead of like 3 hours. Because I do get up 2+ hours before I have to leave the house.

9. I save all of my fortunes from Panda Express. I was having a really crappy day a month or so ago (hence the need to stop for dinner) and I got an empty fortune cookie.



10. I am one entire season behind on Once Upon a Time.

11. Not gonna lie: I feel incredibly disconnected from the internet right now. There's major upheaval in life in general and just the processing of it takes a lot, and blogging then takes a backseat. I'll be ready to chat you all up soon though because I think the best way to learn is by relating to others and maybe someone can relate to me.        #vagueblogover



April 18, 2017

The enemy of Jett.


Scott shared this video with me on Facebook. We rarely "talk" on Facebook and I'm tossing around the idea of deactivating the ol' account again because seriously....
However, I watched this yesterday afternoon and it was amusing enough.
Perfect for Tuesday, right?

I should say that Jett's mortal sworn enemy is the rabbit (or the "bun-bun" as we call them). They make him so angry; I think he was very upset at the idea of Easter because it's a holiday that celebrates the evil bunnies. 
Anyway. 
Even Jett might think this little guy is cute. 

(Make sure listen with the sound on to get the full effect.)

April 17, 2017

Currently...4/17



Let's start the week with some current happenings.
I've got another 5-day one ahead of me.
There's no Easter break in Colorado.

Relating to:

(obviously I scroll feeds as I'm getting ready in the morning)
If I'm not ready for bed by 9pm, I consider the night a failure. Lately it's been closer to 10/10:30 and I hate that. 


 Reading:


Listening to:
Since I follow Reality Steve on Twitter, I got sucked into reading about the Luke drama last week, which led to me listening to a few episodes of his podcast. 
I don't read Reality Steve, really, because I don't like spoilers but I also don't care about Bachelor/ette spoilers so I'll probably read and then watch next month.

Also listening to...

I like this. It's a bit different than I thought it would be but interesting nonetheless.

Believing:
Positive thoughts.

Making:

Scott and I have spent all of 3 or 4 Easters together in the last 8 years, so this is what I make for dinner when we are together. If we're celebrating with others, we have ham too, but it wasn't necessary this year. 

Buying:
I love a good vinyl bag. My favorite cloth/vinyl bag was $40 from Nordstrom's and was discontinued. Even though it lasted me a solid 3-4 years and is still perfectly usable, I wish I could replace it. The handles are starting to go. 
So, I picked up this one for half price last week. It was backordered and came in early, which was a nice surprise. 



Laughing at:


Thinking:
When I see people wearing too much make-up


And that's all. 

What's currently happening with you?

April 13, 2017

Stuff and Things 4/13

+First, let's get real: I'm sitting here on Wednesday evening, soaking my feet, because I simply must give myself a pedicure tonight because I (a) haven't had time on the weekends to get one, and (b) it's so warm out that I have to wear sandals to work.
The dogs have been walked and fed.
Dinner is not ready.
I should probably do some yoga because I did yesterday and it really helped with stress.
Also, the Roomba is running and I'm listening to a teaching podcast.
Scott will likely be home late.
I'm just hoping my toenails dry before it's time for me to walk the dogs again (#twowalksanighthere).

Let's talk about TV.
Stuff, Things, etc.


+We started watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix this week. It's well done. I could've sworn I thought read the book in 2010 but apparently my amazing memory has failed me. It didn't come out til 2011. But I did read it long, long ago and...I didn't like it. I remember it was just blah to me. I never, ever recommended it to anyone. I do remember that I got it from the Ft. Richardson library so it was quite possible I read it as soon as it came out in the summer of 2011. I read a lot of books that summer. Now that "everyone" is reading the book, I decided to try the show...it couldn't be any worse, right? I like the show a lot and would recommend it.
(ETA: I was right. I read it in 2010. Whew. My memory is still in tact.)

+Who watched the season finale of Homeland?


It was unsettling. I miss the old Homeland. Like, the 2012 Homeland. Maybe I'll go back and rewatch.

+I have an undying love for The Great British Bake-Off now. Where can I access the seasons that aren't on Netflix?

What are you watching these days? In case you missed it, here's what I'm listening to and what I'm reading







April 12, 2017

5 podcasts you should try.

So, March is over. March was #trypod month. As in, recommend a podcast to someone else and let them try it. Here are my favorites:



1. Daily Hope. I listen to this while I get ready for work. It has 110% changed how my mornings go. I have a lot of trouble leaving the house in a positive mood in the morning. I just always feel...something and I don't know why (well, I know why but that's forthcoming and doesn't need to be discussed right now). Listening to this is very beneficial to my mood.

2. Appointment Television. I love listening to people talk about T.V.

Sometimes I wonder what they have against Showtime because, aside from the odd mention of Homeland, they never talk about those shows. HBO too...they'll mention The Leftovers or GoT once in awhile but nothing else. I wonder if there's a whole genre of t.v. they're missing?

3.  S-Town.

I feel like this is all over the place and for good reason. It's unlike what I expected (I don't know what I expected). I'm not a huge fan of This American Life; it's too broad. I liked the first season of Serial. The second season of Serial needs to rot away slowly (much like Berghdahl should in a prison cell). When S-Town was compared to Serial, I didn't want to try it. But I did. It's fascinating. Go for it. If I tell you what it's about, it'll ruin it. The less you know, the better.
This is exactly the kind of thing Scott loves, so I insisted we listen together as we were driving the other day...so I will have listened to it twice by the time he's done.
I wouldn't read anything about it or ask anyone about it (click here if you've already listened)...I'd just listen.

4. Body Kindness. This is fascinating. I always thought I wanted to get involved in the RD field (aside from the fact that I can barely do basic math), so this is a way to educate myself about what's going on out there in layman's terms. There's good tidbits too, about why we should avoid diets.

5. Happier. I don't know why I like this podcast so much. It's so basic...just talking about daily life and how it can be made easier, therefore made happier. I've listened since it first started two years ago. I can't even legitimately say I'm Gretchen Rubin's biggest fan...she doesn't seem like a ton of fun (but hey, neither am I)...but I love her message.


I listen to others but these are the first five that came to mind.
What's your favorite podcast???


April 11, 2017

March Books 2017



Breathing Room by Leeana Tankersley A+ 
I loved this so much. It's a book that tells the story of how to deal with Hard things (and I love the way she capitalizes Hard, because things that are hard to us are often Hard). Leeana is a military wife and, while I don't have the hauling-three-little-ones-around-the-world as a current problem, I could relate to much that she said. I could picture my low point (sleeping half the day during my first solo winter in Alaska) as I read about her experiences. It was a  99 cent Kindle Daily Deal back in February, only took a few hours to read, and was Christian-based in tone, but not preachy. Also, it was much easier to read/relate to because it wasn't prosy. It was very straight-forward. I would especially recommend it to military wives, but I think anyone could benefit from it.

Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
I can't rate this. It's a non-fiction book about grammar. I think every learned person should read it though. I honestly can't remember if I finished it but I'd always wanted to try it so I'm glad I did.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella B+
Finally! A new Kinsella book that's not a continuance of the ridiculous Becky Bloomwood saga.
I wasn't into the first 1/3 of this book. It just wasn't compelling; the middle wasn't much better. The last 1/3 of the story, though, glimpsed the real Kinsella and what she's capable of. I had flashes of The Undomestic Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret?, my two favorites. I would recommend this if you are a Kinsella fan. It's her best of recent years. But it's not absolutely amazing.

The Chosen (Book 1) by Denise Grover Swank B-
This was sci-fi thriller-esque kind of book. I got it for free last fall because I subscribe to the DGS newsletters (obviously) and it was a giveaway one month. It's not a bad story; one of her first. Pieces of it really pulled me in (especially around the 40% mark) but it wasn't the most awesome thing I've read lately. DGS does supernatural in an interesting way. I would read the rest of the 4-book series but likely wouldn't prioritize it.

Still Life by Louise Penny C+
As many of you assured me it would, this book picked up toward the end. I also didn't figure out what happened until the story actually wrapped up so that part alone kept me at least a little interested. This was not a thrill ride, though, and it was actually work to read. If you're looking for a foreign mystery, I would definitely go with In the Woods, the Tana French book that I read in February. I have the second Gamache book on my Kindle, so I'll give it a go.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough A-
This book was.... It's not about what you think it's about. As I told my friend, it was good, but I wanted as far away from it as possible at the end. I do appreciate that it wasn't about what I thought it was about (insert backwards logic here), but with 18 minutes left (via Audible), I figured out exactly where it was going and I turned it off because I didn't want to hear it. I finished it later that day and then came the part where I wanted to be as far away from it as possible.
The narration was great though, so I'd recommend the audio.

For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe A-
(I know, right?) So I got this because I genuinely like Sean Lowe. His tweets are amusing and I've heard he was a great Bachelor. I didn't watch the season, but I also don't particularly know much about him or care that much, to be honest.. I like behind-the-scenes books and that's what this is. I read it in two days so I'd say it was a worthwhile $2 spent.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert B-
This was an easy listen. I wish there'd been more character development? I feel like everyone was halfway written. However, I liked the story, the setting, and the descriptive food-writing. It was definitely a bit You've-Got-Mail-ish/27-Dresses-ish but not entirely. I just wanted more from the characters. Also, I wasn't impressed with the overall narration. I wish they'd switched back and forth to different narrators for the different POVs. I would recommend this book though...it was a good story!


And a kid's book...

The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith
Not going to rate this because it was short and it's for kids. However, the kid in this was horrible and he got better as it went. I really only read it because 1) I have a class set and needed to preview it and 2) A former coworker did it with her class every year and loved it and I'd never gotten around to reading it. It's good for a lesson on empathy if you have a 3rd-5th grader.


And I didn't finish...
One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp
Blech. I was gifted this with the disclaimer of "I hated this. Let me know what you think.", which was enough to color my opinion from the start. I can't resist a good bad review though: it was prosy in a gross way. I have the same issue with Shauna Niequist books. They're not bad as memoirs but the try-hard really shows. It's absolutely wasted on me. I do think that it also impairs understanding and comprehension because, if she only speaks in metaphors (and yes, Voskamp only speaks in metaphors), her message gets lost. It's terrible.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This wasn't what I thought it would be. I found myself really enjoying and visualizing the beginning and then I just didn't like it anymore. I expected to like it and I didn't, so that made me sad. It was physical work to read, so then I moved onto another book I couldn't put down and thought, Ah, this is what reading should be. It was very clear that this should be a DNF after that.

Linking up with Jana and Steph! And also with What I've Been Reading Lately!

April 10, 2017

Not quite a recap. It's Monday.

I could recap my weekend but most of it was spent feeling terrible. I even took a nap and that, like, never happens.
Also, I've literally sat down, like, three times to write this post.
I didn't do anything this weekend. The second half of last week piled on ALL THE STUFF and ALL THE THOUGHTS and ALL THE FEELINGS, so I think it just all caught up to me. I don't particularly feel any better about ALL THE THINGS but whatever. It's Monday.
In the between times of not writing this post, I: baked banana bread, folded laundry, hugged a dog (or two), did Pilates, graded some papers...etc. The necessary things.

I did do the grocery shopping and we did try an Ethiopian restaurant and I did make it to the post office but I didn't mail out ALL THE THINGS because, apparently, that's just how it goes.

I just ask for good thoughts and prayers as we head into another potential situation-altering week. ALL THE WEEKS seem to be situation-altering these days.


I could use another snow day. This is how I felt Thursday and Friday:




But then I think about this, and I realize things aren't so bad after all:



"Happy" Monday!  (If I must end this with an exclamation point, I will put quotes around Happy.)