Monday, February 27, 2017

Link Up Reminder

Happy Monday all! Just a quick note to remind anyone who wants to link up with us - this Thursday the 2nd is the next What's New With You link up.

We hope you'll join us!

What's New With You

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stuff & Things

Happy Thursday everyone. I am still pretty much all over the place when it comes to blogging, so I thought a stuff & things with Kristin & Joey would be perfect today.

We finally installed a water cooler at work. I've been there 3 years this month and it's something I've been pushing for, my office goes through so many water bottles (not me! I swear!) so this is awesome. Sure, we won't save the environment on our own, but at least we aren't contributing as much.

Watched No Tomorrow on Netflix. Liked it very much. Highly recommend.

I've never had a problem with listening to non fiction before - normally it's the only way I can 'read' it. But I was struggling with Intuitive Eating and finally gave up and returned it to audible. I kept tuning out and wasn't retaining any of it. I put in a request from the library so maybe this will be the first time I actually read a non fiction book instead of listening. We'll see.

I am *this* close to paying off my last big card. My goal was to get it done before 30, which has come and gone, so I'm trying at least to get it paid off in the same month.

I think there was a bit of confusion in my last post about our bedding - we have one bed, with separate bedding. Not two separate beds. In all its pretty pinterest perfect current living in a basement glory:

I would say it's not normally that messy but it totally is. I cannot wait till we are in a new house and have a proper bed and the mattress isn't on the floor anymore. 

Speaking of new houses, we are officially house hunting. Kind of. There is nothing out there right now. I don't want to talk about it.

Good news though, we booked our New Zealand hotels - I had kind of paused on booking/planning that trip with everything going on, but figured I could at least get NZ sorted. I ended up saving 40% on what I had estimated because the hotels were having a huge sale. Now we just have to book tours and such, and that's NZ done. Australia is pretty much getting zero planning or booking right now until we get closer. Too much up in the air.

So. That's about it from me. What's going on with you?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stuff you don't need to know about me.

Inspired by Steph & Jana. Random little tidbits about me.

  • I don't like making eye contact. I can do it briefly, but I won't do it for very long.
  • I change people's names when I read. The earliest example I can think of is in the BSC, Claudia's sister is Janine and I called her Janie in my head for years until I read aloud for my uncle and he corrected me. The girl with the dragon tattoo - those characters became Liz (Lisbeth) and Mike (Mikael). I don't do it on purpose exactly, it's just like my brain sees a sentence and shortens it or eliminates the unnecessary.
  • I will most likely finish your sentence if you are talking to me. It's partly because I'm a fast talker and I assume everyone else is so you must be stumbling and I will help you along by supplying the word I think you need - and partly because I'm rude.
  • I have an absolutely shocking memory when it comes to books, movies or TV shows. Even if it's something I've watched/read multiple times. The thing is, when I'm re-reading or re-watching, it comes back to me. I can quote P&P or Beauty & the Beast when they are on, but if you asked me to quote either on my own without it playing in the background? Nothing, nada, zilch. I couldn't even tell you the exact wording of the first line of P&P with complete confidence.
  • I get into bed with socks on and take them off immediately. Every night.
  • I drank too much in Texas during my first trip to the US and think I gave myself alcohol poisoning. It's a long story but we were given a huge jumbo bucket of twizzlers from some random guy at a campsite, and someone had the bright idea to tip all the twizzlers out and let me use it as a vomit bucket. The smell of twizzlers is what made me vomit (and, okay, the alcohol), and to this day I can't handle the smell of them.
  • I would just like to point out that I drank too much because we have very strict laws on how much alcohol goes into a drink - 30ml. You are allowed to get doubles most places, which is 60ml (duh) but that's it. So, I come to America and order doubles because that's what I always order and next thing you know I'm dancing on the bar. The straight pouring/counting instead of measuring threw me. Also, because I knew nothing about tipping or American money, I over tipped and I think the bartender was rewarding my stupidity.
Moving on.
  • KC and I have separate bedding. Like it's two single beds instead of one king. I toss and turn too much, and I hate sheets (I end up wrapped like a mummy), and he is always too hot. So he has a blanket and a sheet and I have 5 blankets and no sheets. It took us like 2 years to try this and I swear it's like the best thing we ever did for our marriage.
  • I don't like cold water. I like room temperature water. To drink, I mean. In a bath, I like hot hot hot.
  • The epilogue is my absolute hands down favourite part of a book. If a book has an epilogue, I instantly like it more. I've never met an epilogue I didn't love.
  • If I read a book that is also a movie or tv show, I will watch it immediately after finishing the book, even if I didn't love the book. I'm weirdly obsessive about it. Must watch immediately. I just finished a book last month and I still haven't watched the movie because the book hurt my brain.

Also, I just wanted to share that Erin gifted me a pair of LuLaRoe leggings. I am obsessed.  They really are crazy comfy. Thanks Erin!

You'll have to excuse the we-currently-live-in-a-basement-mess in the background.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Books Lately

I've never been fond of Valetine's Day because it's too close to my birthday... but I love that SUYB falls on V-Day because there's nothing I love more than books (cats and people don't count). Seriously. Nothing. Okay, food comes close.

Good thing I combine the two.

The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale - 5 Stars
retelling based on old german fairytale, kind of cinderella-ish

Oh, this book was just so wonderful. Absolutely adored it. It's definitely young, but not a kids book I don't think. It made my heart all warm and fuzzy. 

Read for Erin's challenge - Green cover category.
The Hating Game - Sally Thorne - 5 Stars
romantic comedy

Seriously, if you like romantic comedies, you should read this book. I absolutely adored it, gobbled it up. I was expecting something light, funny and romantic. I got that and more. If you don't like those sort of things, skip it. If you do, seriously, read it. I loved it. Seriously. Looooved it.
The Memory Book - Lara Avery - 5 Stars
girl has rare genetic disorder that makes her start losing her memory

Oh, my heart. It's broken. This is a very sad book, but also happy and lovely. Mostly sad, but still good. Not perfect, has its flaws but I didn't want to put it down (until I did because I couldn't handle any more emotions). I do recommend.

The Winter King - C.L. Wilson - 5 Stars 
fantasy romance

I got this book from the library, didn't read it in time, sent it back, thought about not borrowing again, and I am SO glad I did. Look, 100% not for everyone, but if you like books like these, you might like it. For me? I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I couldn't put it down. LITERALLY it was glued to my hands (okay fine not literally). I was about 1/4 way through and I squealed to KC 'oooh this book is SO GOOD' and an hour later he was like 'shut up, you have NOT read that much'. I read it in one sitting because I was like screw everything else! I didn't even eat dinner! I know the cover is stupid! Really stupid! But I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Seriously. Highly recommend but only if you like books like these, don't pick it up if you don't.

Bird Box - Josh Malerman - 4 Stars
scary end of the world type thing except you can't open your eyes

Well shit on a stick this was flipping terrifying. It gave me nightmares. It was weird. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat reading it, which is good. The ending is a bit odd, not resolved really. But it works.

And I Darken - Kiersten White - 4 Stars
ya historical fiction retelling

Well I'm glad I finally got to this, considering I've had it since April. Oops. It took a long time to get good. It was unique, interesting and complicated, but at times slow paced and dry. It's a retelling of historical fiction with many liberties taken (which the author notes at the end) like Vlad the Impaler being female. Lots of political stuff that made my eyes close. I didn't like any of the characters and then somewhere around the middle I was like oh my goodness let me squeeze you with my love. 

Received copy from NetGalley
Nine Women, One Dress - Jane L. Rosen - 4 Stars
bunch of stories all connected by a dress

This book was super cute. It's hard to describe - it's kind of like Love Actually or He's Just Not That Into You, lots of stories and POVs. But the POVs aren't just the women. Because it covers so many people and their stories, none of them are very substantial and it's quite fluffy. But it was sweet and gave me the feels and I liked it. 
The Unidentified Redhead - Alice Clayton - 4 Stars
romancey romance 33 year old woman with 24 year old boy man

I read Wallbanger last year and was kinda eh about it, perhaps because I had super high expectations because everyone said omg! it's so funny! and sexy! and funny! I went into this one with lower expectations and I thought it was better. Funny, sexy (a little too much for me, but I can skim when I'm tired of those scenes) and realistic-ish. A bit of a rushed story, but fun nonetheless. Ends on a cliffhanger, didn't realise there was a sequel. Rage!
If You Find Me - Emily Murdoch - 4 Stars
girls living in the woods with meth addict mother, taken and thrust into real world

This was such a heartbreaking book. Beautiful and sad, well written and kept me interested. It deals with some tough topics, skimming over some things but still, I thought it was very good.

I will 100% NOT recommend the audio though. Sorry narrator, not a fan. Plus I just think the nature of the story and the way the main character talks, with the flashbacks as well, just 'read' it vs listening. I normally don't listen to fiction because of things like this, but it was on sale.. It was still a good book and I enjoyed it, but the things that did grind my gears were audio related.
I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella - 4 Stars 
chick lit typical kinsella book

This was a super fun, light read and I really enjoyed it. It was predictable, but not completely so, and not in a bad way. Recommend if you're looking for a fun read.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy - Teri Wilson - 4 Stars
pride & prejudice variation involving dog shows

I would say P&P variations are my guilty pleasure, except I don't feel guilty. It's hard for me to rate or talk about P&P variations because it's hard to separate them and I honestly can't tell you if it is good on its own, or because I love the original so much. That being said, this one made me gasp and laugh out loud many times and I was totally invested. I LOVED this book until about the last quarter, where it fell a bit flat - I just feel like the parallels the author chose to use just weren't as swoon worthy. I also would have liked the ending to be a bit more fleshed out, or an epilogue for pete's sake - why do we read P&P variations? To get more Lizzy & Darcy, not less. 
The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens - 3 Stars
light mystery about student doing biography on dying convicted murderer

This was in parts interesting, in parts infuriating. It passed the time just fine. I would have liked certain things to be more fleshed out, some parts were skimmed over and others weren't believable. Overall it was enjoyable enough.
A Murder in Time - Julie McElwain - 4 Stars
time travel historical fiction murder mystery

I was super into this one and really enjoyed it. I thought it was well written (some parts annoyed me, the author liked to end chapters with a foreshadowing sentence, very annoying) and interesting. I didn't hate the first few chapters of setting everything up like other people did, I liked the story, the romance, etc. Unfortunately, I struggled hardcore with the second one - A Twist in Time (thanks netgalley!) which bummed me out. I'm hoping there is a third to make up for it.

Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer - 2 Stars
i don't even know

I am missing something with this book. I almost DNF'd it, if not for Erin's challenge and also because the rest of the world seems to adore it. But lordy it was a chore, and I just didn't like it.

Read for Erin's challenge - Rory Gilmore category.


I also read The Spiderwick Chronicles which were really quite enjoyable for kids books.

Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I would recommend basically all of them if they sound like your jam. Ha. The Hating Game and The Winter King were definitely my favourites.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 2017 - What's New With You Link Up

Time for another What's New With You link up with Gretch & I! It's actually our one year anniversary of doing this link up, isn't that nifty? Time flies when you're having fun, right? Thanks to everyone who has linked up with us, I have loved reading your posts each month.

So lets get to it shall we? No real rules, all we ask is that you link back to us somewhere in your post - easy peasy. I'll be doing another monthly recap, though there isn't much to recap this month.

What's New With You

I had high hopes for January.

I never expect to wake up January 1st and have my life completely change. I know it's not the flick of the switch and I have to do the work if I want something to change. But, I still had big dreams in my head of this will be my year. I am gonna eat healthy, exercise, lose weight, save money, pay off debt, be happy and do all the things.

2017 started off great. My blahs from December were gone - a fresh clean slate does wonders for my soul. Unfortunately, in the first week of January I got horrible news. I've mentioned it previously, but something happened to someone back home and it's been quite hard. 

Thankfully, things are improving every day. There's still a long road ahead and we have no idea of the long term repercussions yet, but I am feeling more optimistic and confident.

All that being said, I did things in January. I read some books, ran with my friend, did my first spin class in 4 years. KC hurt his back and we had to go to the ER (he's okay) and we celebrated birthdays. I didn't take any photos for a few weeks though. Just wasn't feeling it, so I don't have much to share.

A girl at work got me a gift - a kitty notebook & bookmark.

and Chelsea was a weirdo.

I mentioned this fish back in August but I couldn't remember what it was called, only that it was in a box in the freezer section... and then Costco didn't have it for MONTHS LIKE HOW RUDE IS THAT but they finally brought it back and here it is, it's delicious.

So yep, that's what's new with me. Not much! I'm hoping with things improving as well as they are at home and February being birthday month, normal will find its way back to me soon.

If you'd like to link up with us, please do so below:

So, what's new with you?