Friday, January 20, 2012

5 on Friday - Books I Love (that don't have Harry Potter in the Title)

1. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

- I don't have a favorite book, but if I did, this would be it. It is a story set in WWII with Death as the narrator. It is haunting and beautiful at the same time.

2. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

- When I first decided to read this, I wasn't sure I would like it. I was afraid that it would be boring, but I was wrong. I love this book.

Great quotes from this book:

- “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”

-  “If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”

-  “These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.”

 3. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

 - The first time I read this book was in high school. I'm afraid that I didn't appreciate it then.

It wasn't until I read this book as an adult that I realized just how amazing this book is.

4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie

- The cover of this book is what first caught my eye. I assumed that it would be a fun, light read.

I wasn't prepared for the number of times I would laugh, cry, and then laugh again.

I've read this book several times and I still can't get through Chapter 2 without having to blink away the tears in order to see the page.

5. Unwind - Neal Shusterman

- I thought for a long time about what I should say about this book, and I still don't know.

It's a thought-provoking novel that is set in the future after a Second Civil War, which was fought over reproductive rights.

Abortion is now illegal, but between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, parents can choose to have their children "unwound."

This is a hard book to describe to people who haven't read it, because you don't want to give too much away.

I thought it was a great book, and I've recommended it to friends who have agreed.

That is it for my 5 on Friday. I have linked all of the books to Amazon if you want to find out more about them.

If you have read these books or just want to talk about others that you like, tell me about it in the comments.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthday Post

Yesterday was my birthday.

I turned 26.

I don't have any deep, heartfelt thoughts on being another year older.

I certainly don't feel any older.

As of today, I don't fear getting older either.

That might change, the closer I get to 30, but I hope not.

Anyways, I had a good birthday.

My husband took me out to lunch.

We ate at Panera Bread.

I tried the Thai Chopped Chicken salad.

It was good. The dressing was a little spicy, but not too bad.

I don't usually eat salad when I go to Panera Bread, but I'm glad I did this time.

I'm sure that I will get it again.

The salad was huge, so I ended up taking half of it home with me.

(My husband got the same thing I did.)

After we left Panera Bread, we went to Orange Leaf for dessert.

I had been craving Orange Leaf for a while, so it was a nice treat.

Then we went home, as my husband had to leave for work.

The rest of my night was pretty quiet.

At one point, my sister in laws did come by and surprise me with balloons and a gift.

That was a nice surprise. It's always nice to know that people are thinking of you on your birthday.

So, that was it.

No huge birthday party, just an afternoon with my husband.

It was great, just what I wanted!

What do you like to do on your birthday?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Update


- Finally received my signed copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I love getting packages in the mail!

I spent the rest of Friday reading the book. I finished sometime Friday night.


-My dad and stepmom came by and took Luke and I out to lunch for my birthday. We went to Chili's and I meant to take a picture, but by the time I remembered, my food was already gone. It was good!

-Got Chipotle for dinner and came back home and watched LOTR: Return of the King.


- Mostly hung around the house all day.
-Bought groceries
-Late night run for ice cream.

Friday, January 13, 2012

5 on Friday

This is another new series I am trying out for my blog.

Every Friday I will list five things.

It might be some of my favorite things, random thoughts, or it could even be pictures.

Basically it just depends on what I feel like doing for that week.

This week's five things happen to be random thoughts.

5 Random Thoughts:

 1. I'm not even halfway through January and I've already lost most of the motivation I had for making changes in 2012. I'm hoping to rest, regroup, and refocus on what is important next week.

2. The DMV is never fun, but it goes a lot smoother if you have all the right paperwork. I'm always surprised when I see people older than I am who aren't prepared. This can't be the first time they've gone through this. (Unless they just moved here from another state and just don't know, then I feel bad for them because I've been there and it can be stressful.)

3. What is the point of me pre-ordering a book if it I don't get it until 3-4 days after it's released? I could have gone to the store and bought it by now.

4. I'm glad the snow waited to fall until after we got new tires on the car. That was nice.

5. Every year I think to myself, "I'm going to do something fun for my birthday this year!" I turn 26 on Monday and once again, I have no plans.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's in my Bag?

This is my first time ever doing a "what's in my bag?" post.
Please bear with me, as I know this first one isn't the greatest.
Due to a busy schedule lately, I had to take the pictures at night, and the lighting is terrible.

I promise the pictures will be better next time.

*Also, I realize this may not be interesting to everybody who reads this, but I always enjoy reading these types of posts and I thought it would be fun to do one of my own.

This is my bag. It's nothing special. I got it at Target on clearance. I wanted a messenger bag that could hold a lot of stuff and this bag has been perfect. It even has room for my camera if I need to take it with me.

This picture is just an overview of everything that I pulled out of my purse.
I left out the small pile of trash, because I didn't think that it needed to be included, but if you are curious, there was also some random receipts in there.

 -You can barely see them, but I have a little package of tissues there in the back.

- My little yellow case hold my Burt's Bees lip stuff. The case came with stuff already inside it, so I didn't get to choose my own, but I really like it. Also, the thing with the black cap is lip gloss from Avon. It is the Apple Cinnamon lip gloss.

-Bobby Pins

 -Anti-bacterial gel from Bath and Body Works. My sister-in-law gave this to me. It is the Mrs. Claus Apple Pie scent.

-St. Ives soothing oatmeal and shea butter moisturizing lotion. This little travel lotion came free with my face wash, but I do like it. I don't always carry lotion around with me, but it is nice in the winter when my skin tends to be a little more dry.

-Mentos chewing gum. I really just bought this because I liked the container it was in. I don't really care for the gum and I probably won't get it again.

-My sunglasses. They are just a $20 pair that I got from JC Penny about 4 or 5 years ago.

-My keys

-My wallet- I got it from Fossil about 7 years ago and I still love it. At the time I thought it was expensive, but after all it's been through it is still holding up. Other wallets would be falling apart by now, but this one still looks as good as when I bought it.

-A gift card for Charming Charlie that I got for Christmas. it came with that cute red bag underneath it.

-My phone

-Some pens, a cap to a pen, some binder clips, an old fortune from a fortune cookie, and an old tag that used to be on my husbands keys.

-I almost forgot! The big red thing under my glasses is my Kindle. I don't think I ever showed you guys the case I got for it, but there it is. If you want to see a picture of my Kindle I have on at the end of this post. I got the Kindle DX, so it is a bit bigger than the other Kindles.

*There are two things in the second picture that I didn't discuss. One is just an old Time magazine that happened to be in my purse. The other is a thing with paperwork in it from Tires Plus.

So, that is it for my very first "what's in my bag post." I hope you liked it. I was thinking I might do this about once a month, just for something different to blog about. If you guys do your own post like this, tell me in the comments, because I would love to see them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Update


Husband didn't have to work.
Went to some thrift stores.
Found 2 books. (I know I just got rid of some books, but these are nice hardbacks that will take the place of some old paperbacks that I can now get rid of.)
Found the board game Quelf for $2. I have been wanting this game, but games are so expensive.

We went to Lowes to pick up some supplies for a little project I was working on for the kitchen.
Then, we decided that Krispy Kreme sounded good, so we made a spontaneous trip for some doughnuts.


Went shopping with my SIL and my nephew.
We went to Charming Charlie, Bath and Body Works, and Old Navy.
The only thing I bought was a cute bag at Old Navy that was on clearance. I think it will be a cute bag to carry in the summer.


I re-organized my silverware drawer with the help of my husband. (The project I mentioned earlier.)

Spent 4 hours at Wal-Mart getting new tires put on my car.
I had plenty of time to find some new makeup. I don't know a lot about makeup and I have never used this kind, so I am hoping that I will like it. Also, I got some new bobby pins, because mine seem to disappear all the time.

After having to go back inside twice, because something was wrong with my car, it finally got fixed and we got to go home.

That basically sums up my weekend. How was yours?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Capture: 2011 Top Ten

I almost didn't participate in You Capture this week.

Looking back on last year's pictures, I felt like I didn't take enough and that the ones I did take weren't good enough.

Then, I went back to this post and I realized that I couldn't not make one for 2011.

It's fun to look back through a years worth of pictures and remember all that you did.

The pictures may not be great, but the memories are amazing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Look At Me Go!!

As part of my goal to get organized this year, I realize that means that I am going to have to get rid of some stuff.

I started the process yesterday by going through all of my books.

I have a lot of books.

I have two bookcases that are more than full. I have stacks of books on my file cabinet. I have a stack in my living room and another stack in my bedroom. I usually have a small stack on my desk and a few more stacks on the floor of my office.

It is clear that I don't have an "organizational" problem. I have an "I have to many books" problem.

I filled a large tote bag full I books that I felt I could give away. (I realize now that I should have taken a picture.)

While this wasn't easy for me, I think it took less than an hour for me to fill that bag up with books.

Then, I took the books to a local used bookstore and they gave me $22 for my books. (I should mention that there were a lot of people who had the same idea because I was 9th in line for getting my books looked at. You can't imagine how hard it was for me to wait 30 minutes in a bookstore and not buy anything.)

So, for an hour's worth of work, I cleaned out some space in my office and I got paid $22 to do it.

Not a bad start to the new year. How has your year been so far?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

I love New Years! It's a great time to re-evaluate your life.  A chance to look at who you are and decide who it is you want to be.

The other day, I bought a ring that I love.

It basically sums up what I want 2012 to be about.
I want to enjoy every moment, even the mundane and boring.
I also want to be brave enough to try new things and put myself out there more than I have.

I don't have any specific resolutions for this year.
Instead, I have thought of 3 main areas in my life that I would like to continue to focus on in the year 2012.

1.  Organization
           - I think that this is a big issue for a lot of people and I am certainly no different. The thing is, our house has a lot of potential, I have just been low on inspiration. Luckily, Pinterest has started to help me with that and now I have a few ideas. Now all I need is to take the time to decide what I want and do it.

2. Writing
         - 3 years ago, I thought that I would never be able to write a book. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I have now written 3 books. The problem is, I never make it past the first draft. I write it then forget about it. This year, I would like to revise on of my books. Even if that only means I end up with a slightly better, but still crappy second draft. I have to start somewhere.

3. Me
     - This isn't really an area of my life as much as it is my life as a whole. I feel like I have a lot of questions that need answers. What do I want to do? I know what I enjoy doing, but I don't know what my passion is. What should I be doing with my life? What am I good at?

These are things that I will be thinking about in the new year.

What are some of your goals for 2012?