Monday, November 20, 2017

Spotify: recently added

I have 2 playlists on my spotify. One is titled P&P, and it is simply the soundtrack from the 2005 movie + I recently added 2 more Austen related instrumental songs - and I listen to that at work on Monday-Thursday. On Fridays, I listen to my Fun playlist. Yep, that's what it's called. I also use this playlist at the gym, when I'm driving, or when I'm home alone and can blare it from the TV (PlayStation vue spotify, woo).

One of my favourite ways to waste time is to go down the rabbit hole of recommended songs. I discover songs that I haven't heard in years, but miraculously know all the words to. Isn't that the best? What blows my mind though, is that I used to be obsessed with certain bands or songs, but I don't remember stopping the obsession, but obviously it stopped somewhere along the line and now 10 years have just gone on by. Like 3 Doors Down, Default, Vertical Horizon, Puddle of Mudd, Sugarcult... it's so weird, right?

But I thought it would be fun to share a few songs I recently added to my spotify fun playlist.

What's the Deal - 28 Days - this is the only song of theirs I know, but I saw them live when I was.... 18? 17? 19? Who knows. Maybe younger. It came out in 2002 and I was still in high school. Anyway. They are an Australian band and were pretty popular from what my horrible memory remembers. My favourite lyrics were:

my best friend's to the left, she's closest to the esky
she passes me a coopers and she glistens in the sun

Oh and of course, the bit where the girl goes 'oh that was so good' - the crowd sang that at the concert, that's one of my weirdest strongest memories, the crowd screaming that (me included, duh, as that was the only song I knew).
 

Far Away - Nickelback  yeah yeah yeah I have the worst taste and I'm a horrible person, whatever. I don't care. I was a HUGE hardcore Nickelback fan, for like 2 albums. Hardcore. I saw them in concert twice (this was a huge deal as no-one ever came to Australia back then!), one of those times my friends and I were literally at the very top, nose bleed, no seats behind us and it was one of the most amazing concert experiences I've ever had. The other time I was up the damn front, literally no-one in front of me, and I recorded - on a flip phone, so cool - the chorus of Far Away and it was my ringtone until I got a new phone. Yes, I know how cool I was, clearly.


On A Slow Boat To China - Bette Midler & Barry Manilow - my mum had this album and I thought this song was hilarious. One year, on our annual drive to Melbourne, we listened to this album the entire way and I kept starting this song over because I thought it was hysterical. Since you probably don't know how far that is, it's like 10 hours from Sydney. There's no such thing as too much Bette though, so it's fine.


Have You Ever - Brandy - good lord, my dramatic teenage self loved this song, especially when I was 'in love' with someone who didn't love me back. Like belt that shit out with a hairbrush (except it was a bottle of impulse body spray) in front of the mirror for hours on end. Should I be embarrassed? Probably.


The Longest Time - Billy Joel - this was one of those songs that when I went to add it, I thought for sure it would already be on my playlist, but I was missing almost all of my Billy Joel favourites. Don't worry, I added them all.


When You Know - Shawn Colvin - have I mentioned I used to be hardcore obsessed with John Cusack? Have I mentioned that I don't just ever like something, I only do zero or obsessed. There's no in between. So anyway. I was a John Cusack fan girl, and Serendipity is one of my favourite movies OF ALL TIME and yes, I know it's a special kind of awful, but most of my favourite movies are. This song and January Rain by David Gray - which is an instrumental - are my favourites from this movie and I used to listen to them all the time. In fact, the trip after I met KC, on the 3 flights home from Louisville, I listened to these two songs (plus a Tim McGraw song, Just Be Your Tear) for the ENTIRE 24 hours. Yep, that deserves caps.


Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree - Tony Orlando and Dawn - the other day I was reading a book (romance, duh) and it mentioned this song and I promptly dropped everything and went straight to Spotify like I couldn't believe this wasn't on my playlist. I love the shit out of this song. It pretty much always makes me cry too because I have too many of those emotion things.


Lastly, Saturday Night at the Movies - The Drifters. KC and I went to the movies last month (maybe?) on a Saturday and I was like we never do this! and started singing this song. He'd never heard it before, gasp. Ha. I love The Drifters. They have another song I really like called Short People (it's a silly song) but it's not on Spotify. Boo.


So there we go, that's a few of my recently added songs to my fun playlist. I have 700+ songs on that playlist because I love variety and not knowing what comes next.

Do you know any of these songs? Did you sing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush (or body spray) as a teenager? Surely I'm not the only one, right?

Friday, November 17, 2017

TGIF #1

I recently finished The Gifts of Imperfection by BrenĂ© Brown and she mentions that she used to (or still does but I couldn't find it) do a weekly TGIF series on her blog, where she talked about a few things to do with trusting, gratitude, inspiring and faith. I thought it was a fun idea but decided to change the words for the letters and I'll probably change them every week because why not. I will stick with something to do with gratitude/being thankful though, because it's something I want to work on. I put it on my Operation Get Happy and have done absolutely nothing gratitude related. Perfect excuse to make me do it now. FYI no affiliate links were used.

Thinking - I had a busy weekend last weekend, next weekend will be busy, so this weekend will be the opposite of busy and I cannot wait to do absolutely nothing. Well, I will be doing some things - sitting on the couch, reading, eating, annoying my cats.. that's about it. Penny has been weird lately so I've been trying to suffocate her with my love to get her back to normal.


Grateful - I am trying to be less of a grinch this year so am trying to think of things that I like about cold weather. The number #1 thing I like about winter is making myself warm - hot drinks, blankets and slippers. So I'm grateful for those things, and bought myself some new slippers to celebrate being less grinchy... so far anyway.


Inspired - As I shared on Instagram, we finally installed our 'secret' drawers aka the drawer within a drawer. I also bought a bunch of stuff from ikea to organise and other random stuff, then I bought a couple of things from Chip & Jo's line at Target (I'm not a hardcore fan of them, but some of that stuff was crazy cute - namely this house lantern thing and this frame thing, I'm going to take the picture out, I just loved the frame) and it gave me the kick up the butt to really start organising and decorating the house. Of course I'm just doing it bit by bit, but it's better than not doing it at all.

Those drawer divider things were $1.99 each and perfect for our 2 junk drawers. That clip on basket was THREE DOLLARS, though full disclosure after I snapped the picture I realised my cabinet wouldn't close properly, and I cried a bit but then KC bent the front bit so it wasn't at an angle, now it closes. Phew. Our plastic bags were sitting in a trader joes bag and took up half that cabinet, so I bought one of those super fancy plastic bag holders for $1.99 and I love it. I'm trying to cut down on our plastic bag usage, but.. kitty litter. These bins from Ikea were $4.50 and they organise the rest of the under the sink mess, I love them and want 75 more. I also got 2 of the smaller ones and they are in my pantry. One day I want to get something bigger/fancier for my under sink so I use up some of that dead space but this'll do for now. Lastly, I've had this leaning bookshelf thing from Target for like 3 months, finally made KC put it together for this weird spot behind the couch aaaaand I love it. Now to fill it with all the crap.


Favourite - After we went to Ikea the other week, we went to dinner and got pizza and I discovered this new wine that I really liked and then found it at the bottle shop. So good. I'm still figuring out what kind of wine I actually like, and apparently I like this kung fu girl riesling.


So, that's a few things from me this week. Tell me, do you have any super fun organisational things I should buy? Did you get anything from Chip & Jo's whatever the line is called at Target?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I ate last week vol. 2

I mentioned last time that I really love seeing what other people really eat because I am nosy and it gives me ideas. That's the reasoning behind these posts and I hope there are other nosy people out there like me. Our kitchen is all but done now - we have several little things still to do, but it is a fully functional kitchen as opposed to last time - so this is more normal for us. I love convenience foods as much as the next lazy person, but we got a bit too comfortable with them during our kitchen renovation.


A few notes about the way we eat before we get started: I do not love meat. I don't hate it, but most of the time I am happy without it. KC and I are both picky, but about different things and it's hard to find something we both like. We tend to eat the same things over and over because of this, but I am trying to branch out to add more recipes to our arsenal. We don't eat pigs. Ever. Because I love them.


I am still trying to conquer meal planning and get our grocery budget down. However, when I grocery shop, I don't buy just for the week ahead. I utilise what we have in the pantry, fridge and freezer, then I buy the things I will need + things I don't need just yet. We never 'need' black beans, chickpeas, wraps, rice, etc but I buy them before I need them because my life would end if we ran out. Ha. I am a hoarder when it comes to food and it makes me happy to see an overflowing pantry. Half of me wants to be one of those people that buys everything for the week on Sunday and uses all of it, but half of me can't imagine not having all of those things already, you know? So sometimes our grocery budget is more than we actually use in a month, or less. Anyway. Like I said, I'm still trying to figure it out and meal planning properly is definitely the first step in getting the grocery budget down I think.


Breakfast

KC - egg muffins. Kale, (turkey) bacon, onions and garlic.


Me - avo on toast - I planned to have this every day but then a department got chick fil a for everyone on Friday, and I mean..... I ate it.


Lunch

KC - Tuesday & Wednesday he had this 'enchilada bake' - I make it without meat and add turkey or chicken for him. This time turkey. There are a bunch of recipes out there but I just throw it all in the crock pot on low (with quinoa on the bottom so it cooks properly). I think he added spinach or kale to these meals, I wouldn't do that personally.
Thursday & Friday - chicken, veggies & quinoa with tzatziki sauce (greek yoghurt, cucumber + dill). I just cooked the chicken in the crockpot, it's my favourite lazy way to cook chicken for him.

He ate out on Monday because it was a no student day, so they always eat out on those days.


Me - salad all week! I had a really great salad a couple of weeks ago and had been craving it ever since. I like a lot of crap in my salads - spinach, carrots, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta, croutons and craisins, topped with ranch dressing. I normally do cucumber and avocado as well, but I forgot the cucumber and didn't want to overdose on avocado all week.


I actually really enjoyed having a salad all week, it wasn't exactly instantly filling like, say, pasta, (it did fill me up because it was a lot of food) but the bonus part was that it took quite a long time to eat, like at least 15-20 minutes, and normally my lunch is inhaled in less than 5. So I liked that I got more time to just eat and relax, even if it was at my desk.

Dinner

Monday
Panko crusted tilapia & veggies - what a freaking quick + easy Monday meal! Seriously, so quick. So easy. So simple. The veggies took longer than the fish. I got so hungry when I was making this that I gave myself 2 pieces of fish and could barely finish. We will for sure make this again. Huge hit and did I mention easy?


Tuesday
lo mein + chicken for KC - I threw in some chickpeas because why not. I wanted to use bok choy but Kroger was out when I went shopping. Also I ruined the noodles and I don't want to talk about it.


Wednesday
Veggie grain bowls with tzatziki sauce + chicken for KC - I loved this. KC was not a fan of the meal but the tzatziki sauce was a hit. He also got cranky when I tried to take a photo of his meal so just imagine the below with chicken.


Thursday
Turkey + black bean burritos - we call this taco mix but it's just turkey, black beans + taco seasoning. It's one of the meals I actually like the taste of meat.


Friday
Burger & tater tots - I had a mushroom stroganoff (with turkey for KC) planned but we had plenty of leftovers and I ended up going out with a couple girlfriends I hadn't seen in ages. I had a burger and tater tots, along with several ciders. The bar has a bunch of old school games and we played a few because it was ladies night and we got free tokens. Score. The bar looks empty in that photo for some reason but it was packed. I think I was home by 11, my 30 year old self is so happy about that. No photos of the burger (oops) so these will have to do.


Like last time, I am a creature of habit and am happy to eat the same thing for breakfast & lunch all week. I go through phases but I probably have like 5 options for each that I rotate through. I love looking at recipes on Pinterest as much as the next girl, but I feel like everything is so fancy or not realistic, you know? Like I want to see what people actually eat. I'm always looking for simple, easy, quick + healthy meals that can satisfy a non-meat lover + a meat lover who deadlifts 500lbs so he eats a lot. You know?

If you have any - simple, easy, quick + healthy meals, please share!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Books Lately

Yay book day with Steph & Jana! Again, I'm still on a bit of a romance kick (I'm sure it will fizzle and die soon) so I didn't mention all the books I read recently for fear of suffocating everyone with the cheese and happily ever afters, so if you want to see all the books I read but don't talk about here, lets be friends on goodreads!

Darkest Sunrise and Brightest Sunset - Aly Martinez - 5/4 Stars
i can't even explain without spoilers but basically darkness + romance

Seriously, my reaction when I finished the first book was holy shit snacks. Even though I'd guessed what was coming it still shocked me. The second was good, not as unputdownable as the first, but still good. Basically, this woman has a kid and he has a heart problem but then BUT THEN he gets kidnapped AND THAT'S ALL I CAN TELL YOU. Plus romance. Which sounds weird, but it works.

Probably wouldn't recommend it to the mystery connoisseurs but it was good for someone like me who only dabbles in books like that occasionally.
The Duet - R.S. Grey - 5 Stars
two very different musicians have to perform a duet - romance

I have read a few of this author's books and enjoyed them all, this was by far my favourite. It was hilarious, I am not a laugh out loud person and I was alternating between face palming because it was so embarrassing and laughing so hard I couldn't see the words on the page. I recommend all of her books but I really really liked this one. I recommend if you like light hearted romances, as always ignore the cover.
A Thousand Letters - Staci Hart - 5 Stars
modern day persuasion

I loved this book. Thought it was a fantastic Persuasion retelling. Don't be put off by that though, if you're not a Persuasion or JA fan. It has lots of non-Persuasion things in there as well. It was written well, it's quite heartbreaking and infuriating in parts (Anne Elliot is a bit of a doormat, you've been warned). Lots of feels.
The Girl Before - J.P. Delaney - 3 Stars
the girl before died in a (very weird) house the new girl is renting

This book was the definition of couldn't put it down but didn't love it very much. It wasn't what I expected based on the synopsis and it's hard to explain what it was about without spoiling. I read a review that said it was like The Girl on the Train mixed with 50 Shades of Grey, and I would agree (yes, seriously, obviously I love my romance books but I was not expecting that in this book, and it's not 'romance'). I wasn't crazy about the ending, personally, but overall I recommend this.

Received copy from NetGalley
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas - 4 Stars
sixteen year old witnesses police officer fatally shoot her childhood best friend

This was absolutely heartbreaking. It was realistic and hard to read. It was surprisingly funny at times. It was sobering and important. The topic was hard to read about especially because it's so damn realistic. The book itself was well written and the characters were fantastic. 

Other books I read recently but won't bore you with reviews:


Wait for It (still not as good as Winnipeg, but I loved it)Opposites Attract 1&2, Dark Sexy Knight (I know, I know, the cover and the title, ugh face palm with embarrassment, but if you like romances and feelings, I highly recommend), Neanderthal Seeks Human and The Sea King (fantasy romance, sequel to The Winter King which I read in January and LOVED).
Dangerous Minds - Janet Evanovich - 3 Stars
sequel to curious minds

more like 2.5 but I am feeling generous. I was really excited for this one but ended up super struggling through it. I quite liked book #1 but I read it over a year ago so don't remember anything really. I don't know if it was me, or the book, but something felt different. Maybe because this one didn't seem to be co-written, it was only by JE? It just wasn't as good as the first one. I liked the banter between Riley and Emerson, but other than that the story wasn't really intriguing and I just didn't enjoy myself like I did with the first. It passed the time just fine like JE always does, but not enough for me to continue with the series unfortunately.
Bonfire - Krysten Ritter (yes, as in Jessica Jones) - 3 Stars
erin brockovich-y mixed with mystery

I totally requested this because I was curious about the author, I probably should have at least read the synopsis, since it's not my typical read. I feel like this book starts off super Erin Brockovich-y (investigating possible environmental problems caused by big company) and then all of a sudden is a mystery and dealing with some heavy stuff and possible foul play. Overall this book was just okay to me. Perhaps I'm not the best mystery reader, but it just never grabbed me.

Received copy from NetGalley
Jane, Unlimited - Kristin Cashore - 4 Stars
choose your own adventure kind of, 5 different stories after a certain choice, sci-fi-ish

This book is SO confusing. Let me just throw that out there. It's weird and quirky. It is well written and the storytelling is fantastic, loved the characters. It is unique and I've never read anything like it. It is NOTHING like Graceling, so if you're expecting anything even a smidge similar, step away. You''ll be disappointed for sure. I honestly don't know if I would recommend it. It was a bit of a slog to get through at times.

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen - 2 Stars
everyone is mean to the poor cousin they forced to come live with them

Basically I was bored silly the whole time I was reading this. No thanks, sorry Jane.



Linking up with Steph & Jana.


Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I recommend The Girl Before and The Hate U Give (plus all the romances I liked, but obviously only to those who like those kinds of books).

Read anything decent lately?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Books on my kindle I keep forgetting about

Inspiration for this post: past topic from Top Ten Tuesdays

I've shared the books I own that I still haven't gotten around to reading, but that didn't include ebooks. Out of sight out of mind has never been more true, I forget about the books on my kindle all the time. If it wasn't for my obsession with organising my goodreads shelves, I would never remember them.

According to my goodreads shelves, I have 71 (!!!) ebooks on my kindle I need to read. This includes library, kindle unlimited, purchased and netgalley books. Regardless, it's too many. I need to get this under control, so I figured sharing the ones I've had on there the longest would encourage me to get my butt into gear and, you know, actually read some of them.


The Humans - alien imposter inhabits professor's body to destroy evidence he'd solved but ends up learning about and maybe loving the humans in the professor's life

I came across this one because he had another book on netgalley that I requested (and didn't get, probably for the best) and this one was $2 at the time. Sold to the person who is easily tricked into buying a ridiculous amount of kindle books because they are so cheap.
Young Jane Young - Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss‑‑who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married‑‑and blogging about it. Then she runs for office years later.

A recurring problem I seem to have is with books by authors that I have already loved a book from. Case in point, AJ Fikry has my heart and I don't know about this Jane person. But I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.
Artemis - sci fi about a criminal on the first city and only city on the moon

remember when I wouldn't shut up about The Martian? Also see above with problems I have reading books by authors I've already loved a book from. How can it compare? It probably can't, but I did request it from netgalley so I should get to it one day.
Splintered - alice in wonderland retelling

this book sounds right up my book alley but for some reason I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm sure I will.. one day.
Don't Let Me Go - ten year old grace tries to get her drug addict mum clean with the help of Billy who is a recluse.

I loved Take Me With You but did not love When I Found You. I have a bunch of her books on my TBR and most of them (all?) are on kindle unlimited, so I'm sure I'll read them eventually.
Twenty Nine and a Half Reasons - 2nd in this series

I read and liked the first one well enough, bought the second one and... that was last year.
The Silent Girls - crime thriller about former detective turned private investigator

I bought this because it was 99 cents, and a bunch of people read and recommended it... like, a year ago.
The Sugar Queen - a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day

another 99 cent deal, I have got to unsubscribe myself from those emails... I've got a bunch of this author's books on my TBR and this one sounded good.
Ensnared - beauty and the beast retelling but sci-fi ish

a beauty and the beast retelling? Why haven't I read this yet?
The Mind Readers - YA paranormal story about a girl who can read minds.

I honestly don't remember buying this but apparently I did. I just checked and it was free, so it must have been a book bub email one again.
Chasing Polaris - YA romance about misfits, catastrophic mistakes, and unforgettable discoveries.

I have enjoyed a couple of Autumn Doughton's books and this one totally got me with the pretty cover.
UnEnchanted - A twist on the well-known Brothers Grimm stories comes a radical story of a girl who is a descendant of the Grimm family.

this is free, so that's probably why it's on my kindle. A few of my goodreads friends have read and like it, I think this is the oldest book on my kindle.
Making Faces - a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast - five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. One girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl.

I don't remember buying this but as I was writing this post I found out what it was really about (seriously Kristen?) and now I really do want to read it.
Breaking Up with Barrett - this is the first of six books about the Philadelphia-based, wildly-handsome English brothers who are all on the look-out for love.

I bought this when Karly talked about it and as I was writing this post I discovered she has another series that are fairytale retellings (first here) and they were on kindle unlimited, I ended up reading them before Barrett. See, I have a problem.
Ransom - childhood friends to lovers story

I think Rachel mentioned this in a SUYB post like a year ago. I'm sure I will get to it one day.
Time After Time - Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence.

Another recommendation from SUYB but this one has less than 100 reviews on Goodreads. Sounds like a cute book so I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet.
Mind of the Phoenix - Moira's an empath who is guilty of murdering her former Master, but given a second chance so long as she helps the police solve some murders.

No memory of buying this and none of my goodreads friends have read it... curiouser and curiouser. 
Eleanor - Eleanor is the story of two women with the same name, related but a generation apart. One dealing with the death of her twin sister and the other travels to a different world when she goes for a swim.

I do remember buying this one.. but I don't remember why. The cover is intriguing.
The Iron King - YA paranormal fantasy about faeries

I bought this ages ago because I knew I'd love it, but apparently that's not enough for me to actually read it.
The Roanoke Girls - Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die. - I know that doesn't explain much but I'm afraid of reading reviews to learn more about it in case of spoilers.

I think I probably keep ignoring this one because everyone keeps saying how messed up it is, and I'm not sure I knew that when I requested it. I'm sure I'll get to it when I'm in the mood for something like that.


Have you read any of these? Any I should bump up my list?

Do you have a problem with forgetting about kindle books you've bought?