Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Operation Get Happy

I hesitate to say I'm not happy because I am in the grand scheme of things, but in the little things I've been kind of blech lately, and that feels unhappy. I just feel off. Actually, I feel like I've been some sort of off this entire year. Some of it was warranted, sure, but I'm done feeling off. I also know I am only going to get worse as the weather gets colder and I don't want to get any worse than I am right now. I'm going to make an effort over the next few weeks and months to get happy again. 

Short term (over the next few weeks)
  • Get back into the gym/exercise in general. I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been since I've been to the gym, or even exercised at all besides running with my friend some Sundays.
  • Focus on finances. I've let them get out of control and it's stressing me out.
  • Clean, declutter and organise the house. Mainly the living room and the spare room. They have both become a mess holding random kitchen stuff and it stresses me out seeing all that clutter and mess, especially when I know I am the reason it's not being organised or cleaned.
  • Install secret drawers. Ikea has these drawers inside of drawers that I wasn't really fussed with when we saw them originally, but now our kitchen is done enough that we are using it, there is a lot of space between the bottom of the drawer and the top, plenty of room for another drawer in some of them. This blog has a picture of them if you want to see what I'm talking about (under #10). I am surprisingly really excited about them, but they've been sitting in the living room for almost 2 weeks.
  • Practice positivity and gratitude intentionally. A couple of times a week, write something I am grateful for or something good that happened that day.
  • Get to bed earlier and stop taking melatonin. I've been taking melatonin lately and I love/hate it. I need to stop. I've been staying up past midnight most nights, either watching TV or reading, then I take a melatonin and it knocks me out, I barely get up at 7:30 and I'm tired for the first couple of hours. I skip the gym because I'm too tired, I skip breakfast and end up snacking, I am lazy when I get home until I get energy to watch TV or read, then the cycle starts all over again. Not healthy.
  • Get more steps daily. Not necessarily 10,000, but I do need to stop sitting down so much.
  • Spend a little bit of time outside before it gets too cold. I am not an outside person, the only time I spend outside is when I run with my friend or mow the lawn. I know being outside makes me feel better (as long as it's not too much) and I know I will miss it when it gets too cold.
  • Make a bit more effort with my appearance daily. I got my hair cut short enough to avoid putting it in a bun and I'm still putting it in a bun with a lot of bobby pins and hairspray. I wear the same clothes over and over, I have a closet full of clothes I don't wear. I used to wear dresses and skirts to work all the time. I'm not trying to become someone I'm not, but when I put in an effort, I feel better.
Less short term (for the rest of the year)
  • Focus on finances. This is on both because I need to get it under control, then I need to do more than that. Stop mindless spending, pay things off early, save more.
  • Clear out the sunroom. It's a complete mess from the kitchen renovations - boxes and sawdust. I just want to clean it right now, then I'll figure out what we are actually going to do with it, furniture wise.
  • Take stuff back to Ikea. We have a bunch of extra stuff or things we didn't end up using, we can get money back. I love the drive and walking around Ikea, KC doesn't though, I would go by myself if I could carry everything we are returning back into the store. But I will need his help so he'll have to get over it and let me walk around the store.
  • Finish the kitchen. It's mainly little things like toekicks and the back of our little peninsula. 
  • Try to go outside once a week on my own. As it gets even colder it's going to get even harder for me to go outside unless it will be running with my friend. I need to get over it. I can run on my own, I have winter running clothes. I can go for walks or even.. I don't know. What do people do outside in the winter? Besides like winter sports, that's not happening here.
  • Write blog posts I've been meaning to write. Our trip to Australia and New Zealand and kitchen posts mainly. 
  • Do a couple of things in Louisville. This is going to sound dramatic, but I feel like I just exist here, I don't live in Louisville. I go to work and spend time with my friend and KC. I spend a lot of time at home. We go out to eat at the same places. Louisville is no Sydney but I still don't really feel like I belong here or know this city. There are things to do and I want to do them.
  • Let go of negative feelings about people in my life. I don't hold grudges really well, I hold them inside my head and get all bitter, but the other person doesn't know. I either need to tell them they pissed me off or hurt my feelings, or just let it go. 
  • Reach out to people at home. Goes hand in hand with the above, people at home might not have put the effort in with me, but can I say I did all I could do to put in the effort? We shouldn't waste time on people who don't care about us, but have I shown them I care, or are they thinking the I don't?
  • Relax and stop stressing about things I can't control. Of course, easier said than done, but stressing over something I can't control and constantly looking and torturing myself every month over something I can't magically make happen - I need to stop. Just stop, relax and worry about it in a few months when it's actually a problem.
  • Try 3 new things by the end of the year.

These aren't exactly goals, more like a plan. Not going to hold myself to them if I miss one or all of them, but I need to make an effort and that starts with a plan. I don't really have any pictures to go with this post, so here's a picture of Millie in her favourite place - a box.

But seriously, what do people do outside in winter? That's not me trying to be funny, but really asking. What is something you do outside in the winter?

Friday, September 15, 2017

5 on Friday

I loved Heather's post like this the other day so decided to copy. Thanks Heather!

5 favourite books so far this year:

- The Hating Game
- The Wall of Winnipeg & Me
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
- Beartown
- A Conjuring of Light

5 books I plan to read soon:

- Little Fires Everywhere
- Everything, Everything
Words in Deep Blue
- The Hate U Give
- Sourdough

5 books I want to read but they aren't out yet:

- Still Me (third book in Me Before You series) - Jan 2018
- Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe (I NEED THIS NETGALLEY) Oct 2017
- The Great Alone (Kristin Hannah!) Feb 2018
- Jane, Unlimited (by the author of Graceling!) released next week actually
- Burn Bright (last book in Alpha & Omega series) March 2018

5 things I've eaten lately:

- tuna, corn, chickpeas & mayo
- burritos
- 32 degrees
- vegemite on toast
- this pasta from budget bytes, I added chickpeas and then chicken for KC

5 things that made me not so happy recently:

- my friend sharing these super cute shoes on Amazon but they are out of the colour I want (not an affiliate link)
- stupid little pimples all over my face
- gross weather
- coworkers keep leaving
- finally got our dishwasher installed and it's freaking broken, we are out of the window for replacement but Lowes is still sending us one and we should have it in A MONTH so it's just sitting there all installed but not working, taunting me

5 things that made me happy recently:

- good books
- I have a kitchen sink and faucet!
- new Taylor Swift music
- Kate Middleton is pregnant again (and I hope she doesn't steal my baby names)
- whatever announcement is coming from Every Cloud Productions about Miss Fishers

5 funny things:

Happy Friday all!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Books Lately

I have read a shit ton of books lately. Not sure if it's because it's been longer than normal since the last link up, or because I have sacrificed sleep many nights to read. Not my brightest choice, I'm constantly tired, but at least I am book happy? We've been so busy with the kitchen and other stuff that the only time I really have to read is time I should be sleeping. It's fine. I'm sure I will crash and burn here soon and I won't touch a book for weeks, but until then.. lots of books. Also, I've really been into romances lately, you've been warned...

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - Mariana Zapata - 5 Stars
football player asks assistant to come back after she quits (romance)
holy shit snacks. Is it hot in here? *fans self*

Sorry not sorry. If you like romances (I repeat. Don't read this unless you like romances) you need to read this. Trust trust trust trust. I finished it and immediately re-read my favourite parts. It's a slow burn but I loved it so much. SO good.
The Mountain Between Us - Charles Martin - 4 Stars
two strangers on a plane that crashes in the middle of nowhere after pilot dies
Unexpectedly funny given what it was about. Twist at the end. Very handy/coincidental that she crashed with a doctor, but if I crashed I'd like a doctor with me too. No epilogue, bummer, they are my favourite. I recommend. Movie coming out soon with Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.
Lord of the Fading Lands - C.L. Wilson - 5 Stars
fantasy romance with fae and flying cat things
I absolutely adored The Winter King by the same author so I had high expectations for this series. Yes, I know, ridiculous cover. They all are. This series is 100% an acquired taste, so if you don't like fantasy romance, step away. This series is a bit 'out there' so you really have to dig the fantasy romance genre. It's really slow paced as well, the first two books cover like 10 days, I kid you not. It didn't feel slow though. I don't know what else to say, I loved them, but they are not for everyone. 
My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella - 5 Stars
girl gets fired by fancy-has-it-all-boss, focuses on how we only share the perfect stuff
Typical and predictable Sophie Kinsella book but I absolutely gobbled it up. Such a delightful enjoyable read. Loved it. It's light and fluffy, with the right dash of everything else. It's not the absolute best book ever but if you like Kinsella, I recommend. I think it's my favourite of hers so far, though I haven't read them all.
Received copy from NetGalley
Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout - 4 Stars
girl moves in next door to aliens
I normally don't talk about a series until I am finished with it, but I wanted to show Erin I actually read a book for her challenge! I am still working on the rest of the series. Honestly, I'm not sure how I felt about this one, it was good and I liked it, definitely similar to Twilight in some respects but I like the main character a lot more than Bella, she definitely has a backbone and I dig it. If I'd read this years ago I would have been obsessed but as of right now I'm just happily enjoying it.

Read for Erin's challenge - non human main character book
Winston Brothers Series - Penny Reid -  4 Stars
4 romance books about 4 brothers with beards
I am not a beard fan. I know lots of people are but meh. Regardless, I HIGHLY recommend this series, it was hilarious. I adore Penny Reid. I liked all the brothers, though the first one was my favourite. There's 2 more brothers to the series, so I'd wait until it's finished if you're interested. Also, I'd guess it would be better to read her other series first, as a couple characters pop up in this series and I've basically ruined those books for myself. I'll still read them though.
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh - 4 Stars
mulan retelling, reminded me of goose girl just a bit
I absolutely loved Ahdieh's other books so I had high expectations for this one. It starts off a bit slow but then all of a sudden I love all the characters and the story, which I think is how I felt with her other books. I didn't love the ending, not just because it was a cliffhanger but because it didn't really make sense. I'm still impatiently waiting for the next book of course.
It Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover - 4 Stars
domestic violence love story
I have two things that make me nope a book based on the synopsis/tags on goodreads, one of those is domestic violence. I knew what this book was about, I probably shouldn't have read it, but I figured because it was CH, it couldn't be that horrible. It was a bit ridiculous with the coincidences, dialogue and how fast everyone falls in love, but it was still hard to read and heartbreaking. I didn't like the guy you're supposed to like, and I liked the guy you're supposed to hate. What's that say about me? I've been in Lily's position - being the daughter of an abusive father, not in an abusive relationship thankfully - and as much as I should be ashamed to admit this, I honestly don't know what I would have done in her position.
The Opportunist - Tarryn Fisher - 4 Stars
girl finds out ex boyfriend has amnesia and uses it to her advantage

I could not put this down. What a freaking rollercoaster. All the characters were ridiculous and self sabotaging. Reminded me of Beautiful Disaster. It was pretty messed up, and (highlight for spoiler) there's no happily ever after. The series continues but I read some spoilers and I don't think I have it in me to get punched in the gut twice more.
St James series - Jamie Beck - 4 Stars
3 beachy romances about 3 siblings
I really liked this little series. Predictable but funny and enjoyable. After the punch in the gut of The Opportunist, I needed something a little more fluffy. This fit the bill perfectly. There were quite a few things over the 3 books that I didn't love, but I still recommend them if you like predictable, light, funny, sexy, happily every after beach type reads.

Caraval - Stephanie Garber - 3 Stars
travelling circus type thing where the audience participates in the show
I read this in one day so I was clearly into it and enjoying it, but it has more than a few plot holes and eye rolling ridiculousness. There was also a lot of things just straight up were not explained, like the fact the MC sees emotions in colours. I might have continued out of curiosity if I'd had the second in my hand when I finished, but I most likely won't now. It wasn't exactly a memorable book and I wasn't satisfied.
Love and First Sight - Josh Sundquist - 3 Stars
blind kid goes to mainstream school and then has operation to give him eyesight
This was mostly meh for me. Teenagers are annoying. It was cute and I feel like the author did his research. It was interesting and it did make me think. But overall it was a bit too simple and dramatic, as teenagers tend to be. Not mad I read it, but meh.
Hello, Sunshine - Laura Dave - 4 Stars
youtube cooking show lady turns out to be a fake and her secrets are revealed
I liked this book more than Eight Hundred Grapes. It took awhile to warm up to Sunshine (stupid name), gosh she was unlikable. But I guess that was the point. I eventually liked it and enjoyed watching her grow. I did think the book was a little too short, missing something. I would have liked a bit more. Some things wrapped up too neatly, some not at all. But it was fun and quick and I recommend it.
Received copy from NetGalley
Everything We Keep and Everything We Left Behind  - Kerry Lonsdale - 3 Stars
fiancΓ© dies.. or does he? plus sequel.
The first book was a quick, interesting read, kinda like a beach read. It took quite a few liberties and coincidences for things to work out, but overall I liked it. I enjoyed the second about the same, though I'm not sure if I would have read it if I didn't have it on my kindle already. There is a 3rd one coming out next year and I really think she's beating a dead horse there. These were fine books and I enjoyed them well enough but not enough to read another.
Received the second book from NetGalley
Texts from Jane Eyre - Mallory Ortberg- 3 Stars
text conversations with your favourite literary characters
So, some of these were absolutely laugh out loud hilarious. Others went straight over my head because I hadn't read all of the books mentioned. Some of them were funny even if I didn't necessarily 'get' them.
Head Over Heels - Jill Mansell - 3 Stars
chick lit, rom-com, beach read about a bunch of different people in a small village
Not my favourite of Mansell's that I've read so far, but I still enjoyed it. I feel like I know what I am going to get with one of her books and I love it. Light, fluffy, a little bit sexy, full of happy endings. What more could you want?
Received copy from NetGalley
Anything You Can Do - R.S. Grey - 4 Stars
romantic comedy about two people who grew up hating each other
This was cute, funny, sexy and ridiculously predictable but I enjoyed every minute of it. I recommend if you like enemies to lovers books.
The Girls series - Rachel Hollis - 3 Stars
3 romances about 3 friends
This was a super cute series, predictable, light and fluffy. Not much else to say about it, if you're looking for a good pool side/beach read, you know, as we head into Autumn, I recommend these ones.
Under Locke - Mariana Zapata - 4 Stars
motorcycle club romance
When I really like a book by an author, I add any other of their books that sound interesting to my goodreads TBR. However, I try not to read them for several months (unless it's a series), otherwise I know I will compare, which is no fun. This is why I shouldn't have read this book so soon after The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. It was good, I enjoyed it. It was my first motorcyle club romance and from other reviews it looks like it's very tame in that area. Though I did like it and do recommend it if you like romances, it didn't hold a candle to Winnipeg & Me for me.
The Look of Love - Sarah Jio - 2 Stars
woman can see love & must identify the different types or she loses her chance
Maybe 2.5 if we did half stars. Clearly Sarah Jio and I aren't meant to be. I really didn't like Always but this one sounded better. It was but it still wasn't my jam. Too simple and short for what could have been a good story, I'm disappointed. I didn't completely hate it, but I don't recommend it.

Read for Erin's challenge - mostly yellow cover book
Miss You - Kate Eberlen - 2 Stars
two people meet once and then keep missing each other over 16 years
This book was not what I expected, not in a good way. Bit of a disappointing read, it sounded so good. The author used way too many exclamation points for my liking.
Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson - 1 Star
anorexic girl dealing with death of bulimic ex-friend 
It is probably unfair of me to rate this book so low since I knew reading it would be hard and triggering. Maybe it's a good book for those who have never dealt with disorded eating, maybe not, I don't know. It just was not a healthy choice for me and I should not have read it. 

Read for Erin's challenge - fictional mental illness book
The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman - DNF
I have no bloody idea
My first DNF in over 2 years, I shit you not. I tried. I really did. But my eyes were bleeding from the boredom and I just couldn't hack it anymore. I just didn't care. I haven't read any of Hoffman's other books, this one had such good reviews - it's her most popular on goodreads - but nope. Not for me.

Life is too short for books you don't enjoy.
Opal (3rd in Obsidian series) & still working on Good Omens 

Here's where I'm at with Erin's challenge:

• 5 points: at least 200 pages – Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 p)
• 10 points: starts with the letter “B” - Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (563 p)
• 10 points: a (mostly) yellow cover - The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (286 p)
• 15 points: a picture of an animal on the cover -The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (409 p)
• 20 points: published in 2017 - A Million Junes by Emily Henry (350 p)
• 20 points: a compass or cardinal direction in the title – East by Edith Pattou (507 p)
• 25 points: one of the most commonly banned books – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (230 p)
• 30 points: fictional book about mental illness - Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (278 p) 
• 30 points: non-human main character – Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (299 p)
• 35 points: based on a Disney movie - Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (352 p)

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

TL;DR - I recommend The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - only if you like romances. Hands down my favourite book in this post, but I know it's not for everyone. Otherwise I recommend My Not So Perfect Life  and The Mountain Between Us.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

August 2017 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Good morning everyone! Time for another link up with Gretch & me, all we ask is that you link back somewhere in your post. Thanks a bunch. I'll be doing another monthly recap.

What's New With You

I totally roll my eyes when people say this all the time, but then I catch myself saying it, so I am rolling my eyes at myself. How are we in September right now? How do the days and months keep going by so fast, or so normal but seems fast? Where has this year gone? I feel like we've done so much and also like we've done nothing at all. It's weird. Not gonna lie, I am already for 2018. But I suppose I shouldn't wish the rest of this year away.

So. August. It was definitely the month of the kitchen renovation - yes, I know July was as well. This thing is taking forever. Honestly, the part that takes the longest is just waiting on other people. You do the demo but you have to wait on the drywall guys to come fix it, but before that the plumber, electrician and HVAC guy have to do their thing and of course it's not like you snap your fingers and they all show up on the same day. It's one big waiting game. We are almost at the end though, I see the light!

I won't really share anything about the kitchen today because eventually when I get my head screwed on properly and my house is in order again, I will share actual posts rather than catch ups.

So what have I been up to? Running with my friend and her dogs, though not as often because life and stuff. Lots of home depot trips. Lots of people in and out of the house doing stuff. Ikea sending all the things they didn't send the first time. KC putting my island together (I was worried it would be pointless or too small, I know it's early days but I LOVE it!). New gas stove!! More kitchen stuff. Kitchen kitchen kitchen. That's life right now!

Of course there was also the eclipse - you guys heard about that right? KC was off for the day so he came to my work to watch it with us. I really didn't care about the eclipse until the day of, so glad I saw it because I thought it was really cool. The best part was this random child who decided KC was his new bestie though.

and just in case you forgot I have some weird cats too - Millie's face when KC was using a nail gun made me laugh far harder than it should have. It was way funnier in person but I'm glad I got a photo of the nutter.

But cheers to the kitchen almost being done! Can't wait to share it all!

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

Oh, I got my hair cut too. Pretty short. Shoulder length-ish. But no photos?! Am I even a blogger right now?! But enough about me - what's new with you?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Link Up Reminder

Happy Tuesday after Labor Day all! Just a quick note to remind anyone who wants to link up with us - this Thursday the 7th is the next What's New With You link up.

We hope you'll join us!

What's New With You