Tag Archives: life

Monthly Recap: July

Books I Read

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (reread)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (finished July 1)

So I read A Wrinkle In Time for the first time. And I can see why it’s so beloved and classic. However, some of it was too on-the-nose for me and some of it was a hair too out-there. It’s like when I watched Interstellar for the first time, and I was pretty sure where it was going and I watched as this movie teeter-tottered on the fine line between interesting sci-fi and going off the deep end. I wanted to feel just a little more invested in the characters and could have done with less unnecessary riddles. I also watched the trailer of the new movie coming out the same day I finished and felt a little disappointed. I guess I wanted the movie to feel more classic, but to me it already screams: THIS WAS MADE IN 2017, so I don’t see it enduring as a movie. But that’s based off a two-minute trailer, so what do I know? Maybe it will be amazing.

A New Favorite…

Baking mix! Though don’t let the fact that it comes in a box fool you, this is almost as involved as made-from-scratch, but just as delicious and so worth it!

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

For some reason, it feels really momentous to have finished Deep Space Nine again. Probably because I love the show so much and the end is just so satisfying for me. As is reflected by my top episode of the season, the Nog arc really did it for me. But of course there are also the great arcs we see for Kira, Bashir, Damar, Sisko… It could be talked about forever, which is why there are podcasts dedicated to such. (If you’re a fan of DS9, be sure to give The Orb podcast a listen.)

#bookstagram Images of the Month

I think that both Caraval and Wall-E have made it onto my #bookstagram images of the month before, but they’re just so photogenic!

Movies I Watched

My husband and I saw Spider-man: Homecoming and Dunkirk. I reviewed Spider-man here, and I’m still sorting out my feelings for Dunkirk. It’s incredibly raw and intense, but without much of a narrative it was hard for me to appreciate it as a story. It’s a beautiful film, that’s for sure, but I would have loved to have gotten to know the characters onscreen better. I mean, in a way we know them because we see them when they’re afraid, but… I just wish I could adequately describe how I respect what Nolan was doing but just don’t really love it but I desperately want to. I actually want to try to see it again, preferably in film, now that I better understand what happened, thanks to the movie’s Wikipedia page that spelled it out.

In Case You Missed It…

I was featured on Andi’s ABCs talking about what decision I wish technology would make for me!

Plans for August

Switchfoot concert! I’m so excited. I lost count on how many times I’ve seen them long ago. It’s got to be around the dozen mark at this point. It’s also my husband’s birthday month! Which means CAKE! Oh, and celebrating my wonderful husband. 🙂 It also means my birthday is around the corner SOS I don’t want to get older.

Potential July TBR

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (already started)

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

(yes I know those last two were on last month’s list… shhh…)

How was your July? What are you looking forward to in August?

Monthly Recap: June

Books I Read

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)

By Your Side by Kasie West

(Finished on July 1) Duels and Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

So Better Off Friends… Why did no one tell me this book was a ME book? OK, I guess no one else could know that. It wasn’t quite as amazing as The Start of Me and You (AKA the most ME young adult contemporary I have ever read), but still pretty great.

Also, I ran out of time on my To Kill A Mockingbird audiobook from the library I was listening to, so I haven’t finished it yet, but I plan to physically read the rest once my hold from the library comes from (or until I find the physical copy in our house that I am pretty sure we own… whichever comes first). I was having a hard time with the narrator’s portrayal of Scout anyway. She made her sound like a very irritating girl with a very annoying Southern accent, instead of the more precocious girl with a not-annoying Southern accent that I imagine in my mind.

Stanley Cup Finals

I was pretty unhappy with how the Finals played out in games 5 & 6 (do not even get me started on the refs) but I am still proud of the Preds for getting so far when none of the experts expected it and enjoyed the ride! I also now have two Preds t-shirts and look forward to rooting for them in the future!

#bookstagram Images of the MonthPotential July TBR

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker

Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Movies I Plan to See in July…

Spider-man: Homecoming and Dunkirk! My husband and I haven’t made it out for Wonder Woman so I think we’re waiting for it on Redbox at this point, but Spider-man and Dunkirk are two movies we are going to make a point to go see. If you don’t know anything about Dunkirk, all you need to know is that Christopher Nolan made it. SOLD.

I did a thing…

I ordered from Book Outlet for the first time and got seven books for $37… Which I think is a pretty good deal but it’s still not a very me thing to do. I slept on it before I made the purchase though and as long as I enjoy my books I see no reason to regret it… other than the fact that I already need less stuff in my house rather than more… but books are different, right?!Totes.

How was your June? Any big plans for July?

 

Fave 5: Southside Chattanooga

I have decided to start a new feature called Fave 5, where I share my fave 5 whatever. The category may be broad or specific, it may be related to books, movies, food, products, or anything else.

Recently my husband and I took a quick, one night trip to Chattanooga, a city here in Tennessee about an hour and a half from where we live. When my husband and I went there two years ago, I was researching things to do for that trip in addition to the aquarium, and came across this yummy-sounding place that I will be talking about here shortly. This particular place that we fell in love with was in an interesting part of the city, so this time, we made it a point to stay in and explore that area. Even in two years more has come out of this neat part of Chattanooga, so I wanted to share my fave five things in Southside Chattanooga.

1. The Hot Chocolatier

This is the aforementioned place, and it is AMAZING. Like, I’d spent the last two years dying to back to this place.

So what makes this place so amazing you ask? The quality of chocolate is beyond incredible. Both times I drank the S’mores hot chocolate, and it is pretty much my favorite thing that has ever graced my taste buds. Last time my husband and I split an eclair as well, which was good, but eclairs aren’t my general go-to sweet. But this time we shared this piece of chocolate cake with salted caramel, and I am crazy super picky about caramel so I generally just avoid it, but this was THE BOMB. And paired with the hot chocolate? I can’t even.

Next time I think I want to try their frozen hot chocolate. Needless to say, so worth depriving myself of sugar for a week to save up for this pilgrimage!

2. Chattnooga Choo Choo

This was the hotel where we stayed this time, literally across the street from The Hot Chocolatier. We actually walked around the grounds during our last trip, as there are actual railroad tracks and train cars there. There is even an option to sleep in one of their furnished train cars, but we chose to stay in one of their normal hotel buildings. It’s not the newest, most hip place, but it’s worth staying here to be so close to all the great things in Southside, plus there’s plenty to see and do just at the hotel grounds. We spent a lot of time the night of our stay in rocking chairs on the grounds just people watching and chatting. It was a pretty perfect evening.

3. Songbirds Guitar Museum 

This is a new attraction on the grounds of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and a must for any fan of guitars. We just did the general tour, but fully intend to return and do the VIP tour where you can see even more guitars!

4. The Frothy Monkey

This Tennessee franchise coffee shop + restaurant has just opened a new location attached to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and despite the fact there are locations closer to where I live, this was my first time going to one. It won’t be the last. In full disclosure, we waited over an hour to get our breakfast on a Saturday morning and I got a little on the hangry side, but it was pretty new and apparently high school graduations were going on that morning, so it was the just the wrong time to be there. The breakfast food we had was so great though, and neither one of us could finish all the food we had despite really wanting to. We ate outside and again, it was such a neat atmosphere, soaking in the whole Southside vibe. (At least until I got hangry, ha!)

5. Starline Books

After my last trip to Chattanooga I did a post about this cute little independent bookstore. It’s just a short walk away from everything else I’ve mentioned here, and if you love books (which you must if you’re here) then it’s definitely a place to check out.

Bonus! Warehouse Row and The Terminal

The Terminal is right next door to the Choo Choo and is where we ate dinner, and it was quite good! Warehouse Row is a flew blocks away and we didn’t make it down there this time, but we went last time and it is such a neat looking shopping place.

What’s a favorite weekend getaway spot for you?

Monthly Recap: May

Books I Read

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

I also listened to two non-fiction books on audio in May. I decided to try adding audiobooks in with my podcast routine to switch things up. I don’t like audiobooks quite as much as podcasts because it’s not conversational, but it’s still working out pretty well for me. It’s a good way to absorb information while doing something else. Right now I’m “re-reading” To Kill A Mockingbird on audio, though I’ve thought about abandoning the audiobook to finish reading it for myself since the narrator’s attempt at a Southern accent has grated on me a little. We’ll see.

 

Netflix

As you may have seen on my post about Anne with an E, I got a Netflix free trial after never having it before, and watched that entire series. Since then, I’ve watched a little of Girl Meets World (thanks to Annie) and my husband and I have started Sherlock. We’re planning to keep the service through the summer, until our shows come back on TV. If you have any other recs, send them my way!

#Bookstagram Image of the Month

Life Things

A few days before our anniversary, my husband and I made a somewhat last-minute decision to take a quick, one night trip to a nearby city, Chattanooga, a few days after our anniversary. It was a really great little trip! I have a future post planned where I will share a little more about it.

We also ordered our first set of living room furniture! For our first 8 years of marriage we have been using hand-me-down furniture, which has been great and we have been thankful for, but since we’ve gotten into our new house last year we have been ready to sort of really make it our own. It will be several weeks before we get the new furniture, but when we do we’ll move the old couch upstairs to our bonus room and probably get rid of our old chairs. It’s kind of crazy to think about as it’s just another thing that feels so “adult”!

Looking Forward to in June

I don’t really have big plans, which is nice. Just some family stuff, and hopefully just enjoy the beginning of summer. I’m also rooting for the Preds for the Stanley Cup; GO PREDS! I’ve been to one Preds game before (a couple of years ago) and I honestly didn’t love it (getting shut-out probably didn’t help…), but watching them advance through each round of the playoffs has been so exciting! They’re down in the series right now, but it’s been a year of comebacks so I haven’t lost faith yet!

Potential June TBR 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Duels and Deceptions by Cindy Anstey

I’m still undecided on what else I want to read, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂 I also finished Better Off Friends already and really enjoyed it.

What are you looking forward to this month?

Monthly Recap: April

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

Books I Read

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

Only one of these is YA! I’m trying to broaden my horizons a bit. I enjoyed all these reads but Anne’s House of Dreams was my favorite (which was such a relief after Anne of Windy Poplars was a small let-down).

Movie of the Month

Beauty and the Beast! It was lovely! As much as I loved Emma Watson and the guy who played the Beast though, I kind of think Luke Evans as Gaston stole the show! He was spot-on.

My husband and I are also working our way through a Star Wars movies rewatch; only episodes VI and VII to go now!

#Bookstagram Images of the Month

Camp NaNoWriMo

I needed some serious time away from the project I have spent years on, so this month I dabbled on a new story idea that I am pretty sure now is going to be my next WIP, a contemporary about two teens competing for first chair sax. I completed my goal of 10,000 words, though they weren’t all exactly in order. Oops. Anyhow, I’m really loving it and hope I get to share it one day!

Looking Forward to in May

My husband and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage and 13 years together on the 16th! Sometimes it seems so crazy it’s been that long, but sometimes it feels like it’s been longer (in a good way)! Sadly, we don’t get to go on a vacation this month around our anniversary like we usually do because I got sick so much this winter and used up my PTO, sigh… But I trust it’ll be a good month regardless. We have a local jazz festival I am looking forward to plus a few things lined up to do with friends.

Potential May TBR

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (reread) by J.K. Rowling

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Paper Wishes by Lois Sephban

I also already finished one book after reading half of it on April 30 and finishing it the first day of May, but I’ll mention that in my recap next month. 🙂

How was your April? What are you looking forward to in May? 

*Edit May 29: I have closed comments due to an unusual amount of spam comments for this post.