Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 - 2/12 - February Goals

One down, eleven to go! Ha. Random cat picture because why not.



January Goals:

- No spend January. 
Fail-ish? We spent a bit of money on home improvement stuff, I booked a birthday celebration thing I've been wanting to do for years, I forgot about a product I have on automatic subscription from Dermstore and I bought 19 e-books but they were on sale and... this is why I have a problem. I also let my kindle unlimited membership continue instead of cancelling because I do read a lot of books on it. So even though we failed, I totally feel like I passed because other than that stuff, there was not a single unnecessary expense, no eating out, no impulse shopping. This is huge and I am way proud of us.

- Meal plan and stick to grocery budget. 
Fail-ish? Ugh, so much rage! We meal planned and it was fabulous, no eating out (okay, KC got one pizza and I went out to dinner with my friends once but other than that, nothing, and considering we were eating out 2-3 times a week before, that's awesome) but we still went over the stupid bloody grocery budget. RAGE. 

- Fix my skin. 
In progress but definite improvement. As I mentioned the other day, the clarisonic is definitely helping though it's not a magical fix and I'm still getting way more pimples in places I never got them before so this is still in progress.

- Paint my nails twice. 
Fail.This was the easiest one haha and I only did it once. Oops.

A post shared by Kristen (@seeyouinaporridge) on

- Catch up on blogs and emails. 
FailDidn't even make a dent.

- Read netgalley books older than 3 months. 
Pass! Yay me. Except, as of yesterday, I have one older than 3 months, rage. I'm still counting it as a pass though because it's my only one.

- Gym 3 times a week. 
Fail. I don't want to talk about it.

February Goals:

- No new library books & read the ones I have - I would like to do a completely library free month soon, but first I need to read all the books I have at home. I have 2 books on hold and I've been on hold for them forever, so if they come in, I will get them, but that's it. Read the books I have by the end of the month or return them unread.

- Meal plan and stick to grocery budget. This will likely be a goal every single month until I have it down pat.

- Read all netgalley books with published dates that have passed. I want to catch up so that I am reading books right as they are published, but first I need to clear my back log.

- Gym 3 times a week.

- Paint my nails twice. 

- Try to limit book purchases to not at the library books only. I have a hard time saying no to deals, especially if the library doesn't have them. So this month, my goal is to allow myself purchases but only if the library does not have them.

- Limit eating out/bad (but awesome) food to already planned events. It's birthday month, so I have a few things planned and I am going to do them and have fun, but I need to eat as healthy as possible homemade meals for the rest of the month. Except on my actual birthday, because.. birthday.

Also, just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up with us - tomorrow is the next What's New With You link up. Apologies for the late notice, I am not on the ball this week/month/year.

What's New With You

So, January was a bit of a flop goal wise for me, but as usual I'm not that mad about it (except for the grocery budget). Here's hoping February will be better! Anyone have any tips for lowering your grocery budget? I've read a lot online but I guess I am not implementing them right or not doing enough. We spend way too much for just the two of us, though KC is basically two people in terms of how much he eats lol.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

5 Things Lately

Happy Wednesday all. Hope your 2018 is starting off well, mine is except for the fact that it's freaking freezing. I think I've spent a total of half an hour outside in the last month. Too cold.We haven't had hardly any snow though, like dustings and that's it. I am okay with this. KC was off on Monday (snow day with no snow) so I made him drive me to work. I think the high today is supposed to be 59 and tomorrow 64. WTF.

Anyway. I wanted to share 5 things that I've either been loving or am excited about.

one. Clarisonic. I mentioned I've been having skin problems for the past 6 or so months and I bought a clarisonic around black Friday. I always thought they were a waste of money and they probably were for me when I didn't have the skin problems I have now. I don't want to jinx myself but I've been using it for like a week and I shit you not, already see a difference. Is this real life? Fingers crossed it keeps being amazing, I am in love with it. I got mine from Sephora, not an affiliate link, and mine came with kiehls products. I have not tried those yet because I am only introducing new products slowly and not several at once because that's what you have to do when your skin suddenly hates you.



two. Sausage rolls. If we are friends on instagram you know I spammed you with my making sausage rolls in America journey. I was very proud. A few people mentioned they'd like an actual recipe, I am not a recipe making/sharing person but in case you're interested this is an australian recipe (tomato sauce is ketchup) and instead of milk, I use egg because my mum uses egg. I also do not line a baking tray with paper, I just grease it. Also, I know you can google it but 220c is 425f and 300g is about 0.66lbs - the one my mum uses at home is 500g which is about 1lb, so I just eyeballed it. Because I used more beef, I upped everything else and used 2 packs of puff pastry (4 sheets). And they are expensive here, ouch. If anyone knows where to buy cheap puff pastry, let me know. Next up I am going to experiment with turkey or a vegetarian version.


Served it with tomato sauce - gosh I haven't called it that in years, happy sigh - and salad. Mum used to serve it with salad and chips (fries, leave me alone, I'm pretending I'm back home).

I know the name is confusing, to you sausage = pork, but nope. Beef. There are pork ones but I've never had them. Normally at sporting events or in the school tuckshop/cafeteria, they are bigger ones, but these are called party size and what my mum always made. I hate eating cold food that is meant to be hot, but I love cold sausage rolls.

Ok, trip down Kristen's childhood is done now.

three. Books! Show Us Your Books day always means I add a bunch of books to my TBR, here are a few of them (pictures are clickable to goodreads) I added yesterday:

             
             

four. New Books! Two of my favourite authors announced that they have books coming out in February and I am SO.EXCITED. Both of them are romances, so obviously skip if that's not your jam.

The first is Mariana Zapata's From Lukov with Love and I have no details other than the fact that it's coming out sometime in February, a few words and this gorgeous cover:


The second is The Beau & The Belle by R.S. Grey and I signed up for news/possibly an ARC and yesterday they sent the cover reveal and OMG I CAN'T WAIT. This one comes out on February 1st and I am seriously considering taking a day off. If both books come out on the same day I absolutely will.

About THE BEAU & THE BELLE

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.
I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.
That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.
A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.
Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.
Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.
My old friend, Mr. Fortier.
But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.
When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.
Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.
Add THE BEAU & THE BELLE to your Goodreads list here!

THE BEAU & THE BELLE releases February 1st - you'll be able to preorder your copy for .99c starting January 29th!

Keep an eye on R.S. Grey's Facebook page for the link!

I have read several of R.S. Grey's books (The Fortunate Ones, The Allure series, Anything You Can Do, The Foxe and the Hound and my absolute favourite, The Duet) so to say I am excited for this one is a wee bit of an understatement. I follow her on Instagram and she is funny and her baby is adorable. So there's that.

Oh, and if you are interested in her books, they are all on kindle unlimited, but if you don't use kindle unlimited they are pretty cheap at like $2.99. But, if you're interested in this one, it will be available for pre-order at 99 cents and then it goes up.

I know this sounds sponsored, but... nope. I'm just really obsessed with her books. Are you surprised right now?

five. Clicklist. I do the bulk of our shopping at Kroger, with a few things here and there at Trader Joes and Costco. I like Aldi but it's 'far away' (in Louisville terms) and they don't have everything, so it's a pain in the butt to go over there when I then have to go to other stores. 

I'm really trying to focus on meal planning and staying under our budget this month (literally never happened before) and I find it really helps. Not just because I'm lazy, but it's so awesome to be able to put everything in, see the total, plan my meals, not pick up anything unnecessary. Also sometimes I can't find things and this way they have to find it for me. 

That being said, I'm not sure I want to keep paying for it ($4.95) when I'm done with the free ones (first 3 orders) and I don't like them picking some things like produce or eggs - they gave me dodgy spinach last time and broke my eggs. Rage. So is it worth it when I am still going in to buy my own things? 

I did it last week and I was home in 15 minutes, that includes driving (I live like 2 mins away), going into the store and buying the stuff I didn't trust them with. So maybe that is worth $4.95. I don't know.

If you have Clicklist, or something similar, do you like it? Or prefer to do your own shopping?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Books Lately

Yay first Show Us Your Books of 2018 with Steph & Jana!

Wasted Words - Staci Hart - 5 Stars 
emma retelling
Totes adorbs. Same author as A Thousand Letters (Persuasion retelling) and I enjoyed it about the same. Cam was super geeky and I loved that - she can be annoying because she's Emma, super meddlesome and a bit of a know-it-all, so if you go in prepared for that (it would annoy me otherwise) you're good. I don't know if Emma translates to modern retellings as well as Persuasion and P&P, some things just don't make sense in this day and age, but I think the author did a really good job at balancing the original with her modern adaptation. Recommend.
Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng - 4 Stars
2 different families and all their drama

This book is super hard to explain and it's really convoluted, and book club was supposed to be tonight but now it's next week and book club has a rule - no talking about the book before book club, so hopefully no-one in my book club reads this. There were parts of this book that were boring and I wanted to skim, and other parts that I couldn't read fast enough. It was heartbreaking and made you think. Uncomfortable topics, unlikable characters, unthinkable situations. My expectations were high, I've never read anything by this author, and I went into this having no idea what it was about. I got some bad news the day I read the bulk of this and it definitely tainted my enjoyment of this book, but I still really liked it and recommend it.

Dating You/Hating You - Christina Lauren - 5 Stars 
enemies to lovers office romance
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. It did remind me a lot of The Hating Game, but different enough to stand on its own. This is only my second book by this duo, and I'd say I enjoyed it more than the other (Roomies). It was really funny. Paced well, good plot, loved the characters and the side characters. Felt all the feelings, good and bad. Really enjoyed, definitely recommend.

We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories - Gabrielle Union - 4 Stars
collection of essays about her life
I don't know what it is, but I enjoy celebrity memoirs even when I'm not exactly a fan of the celebrity. I avoid people I really don't like, but if I am kind of curious about them, I will pick it up and more than likely end up a fan by the end of the book. That definitely happened with this one - Gabrielle is funny and smart, and much more honest than I was expecting. She talks about a lot of things that are 'taboo' and opened my eyes about things I was definitely ignorant about. I recommend.
The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen A. Flynn 3 Stars
travel back in time to meet austen/save her lost novel
Some parts I loved, others I didn't. The idea is fantastic and overall I liked the story, but not some of the details. The world they left is different to ours and not explained, but words/terms are used so they don't make sense. The ending is abrupt, I didn't always understand the characters... sounds like I hated it, but I didn't. Overall it was a good read, but perhaps could have been a bit better.
I Could Write a Book - Karen M. Cox - 1 Star
emma retelling
I could make so many jokes about the title of this book. This was just so bad, so boring, so how the hell is under 300 pages but feels like 600. I almost DNF'd it so many times. Kicking myself that I didn't.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

Also, I just want to share something. This was a library book and someone had taken a sharpie to every single 'goddamn' in this book. It made me SO mad. I don't care what your religious views are, who thinks this is okay? Also please note that this was a romance so there were lots of other bad words in there that weren't attacked with a sharpie. Who the hell thinks this is okay? The library was aware of it, but man. It made me so mad. 



TL;DR - I recommend Little Fires Everywhere and We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories

Read anything decent lately?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

December 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 because that's how I roll.

What's New With You

December was a fairly quiet month for us, but also kind of busy because even an anti-social no friends grinch like myself gets busy around the holidays. Of course, we were also busy with sad things - KC's grandpa passed away and the services were 2 hours away from where we live, family was in town, etc etc.

We had a few christmas get togethers and for new years we went to a friend's place for some games and food. It was a good time, though the headache all day Monday was less than fun. There was moonshine and peer pressure involved. Kidding.


As I've mentioned, I am a new years resolution kind of person, though I'm not making any this year. I just love clean slates, looking back and seeing how far I've come (or not), making goals - even if I don't accomplish them. So the end of 2017 made me look back on the year, it had some highs and lows, as every year does. My highs were going home and to NZ (one day I will post about that) and of course buying a house (and doing the kitchen reno). My lows were my mum having a stroke (a year ago yesterday), KC's grandpa getting sick and dying, and not achieving something I was hoping would be easy. I am the kind of person that focuses on things when they don't go my way and that is obviously not a healthy way to deal with things, but I am working on it.

I normally do a year end recap though I am not sure I will, as that kind of sums up the year and that's all there is to it.

A post shared by Kristen (@seeyouinaporridge) on

2017 was also the year I cut back on blogging and social media, not intentionally, but when my mum had her stroke I just felt like I had nothing to talk about. I would sit in front of the computer and just... nothing. I could talk about the books I read or the things I did on the weekends, but other than that, I had nothing. Part of it was that if I did think of something, it just seemed so stupid and trivial when my mum was sitting in hospital on the other side of the world. My brain was focused on that, and when it wasn't, I focused on books or TV and I was already talking about those. I had no extra mental energy to spend.

I agree with everyone that says don't apologise and just blog when you want to blog, especially because this is just a hobby for me, so I didn't really mind and I don't feel guilty or anything. But my mum is better - still not 100% and likely never will be - and life has moved on. I am in a better place mentally and this has always been something I enjoyed - not to mention something that helps with my sanity/happiness - so I am trying to get back into it. So. That's whats new with me.

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


So - what's new with you?

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - 1/12 - January Goals

Happy 2018 everyone! I hope you had fun celebrating however you did or didn't, and I hope you are off today because days off are the best. I am spending the day reading, probably wrapped up in a blanket drinking 75 cups of tea because I can.

In 2017 I decided I wasn't going to do any new years resolutions (even though I am the kind of person who loves them) or year long goals because they just weren't working for me. I decided to do quarterly goals, but I'm here to report they also did not work for me. Oops.

I do have a couple of year long goals, the normal ones - get healthy, lose weight, eat better - you know. But my biggest, most important, most difficult goal is one I have absolutely no control over (yay) and not one I particularly want to talk about, not because I'm trying to be secretive but because I have nothing to say about it except that it's out of my control so.... not much I can do.

How's that for vague blogging?

Let's move right along. Back to monthly goals, let's see how that goes. Some of them are silly, some not so much.

- No spend January. No eating out, no shopping, no buying books, no nothing. 

- Meal plan and stick to grocery budget. This goes hand in hand with the no spend month, but I feel like it needs double the focus.

- Fix my skin. My skin has been a complete and utter asshole for about my 6 months and I've tried multiple things but if I'm being honest, I haven't been very disciplined or tried things I am positive will work, so that's what I'm going to do in January.

- Paint my nails twice. Baby steps.

- Catch up on blogs and emails. 

- Read netgalley books older than 3 months. Only 4, totally doable.

- Gym 3 times a week. I was back on the wagon of 5 days a week, fell off around the holidays, you know how it is.

There we go. 7 goals. Some of them easy and silly, some actually require work and discipline.  Like I said, I am the kind of person who likes new years resolutions or year long goals, but I can like them and admit that they don't work for me. So I'm going to try this monthly thing and see how that goes.

Even if I don't write them out or acknowledge them to anyone but myself, I always have year long goals or new years resolutions, I always hold out hope that this year will be my year. So I hope it is. I hope it's yours too.

Also, just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up with us - this Thursday the 4th is the next What's New With You link up.

What's New With You


How bout you - year long or monthly goals? What do you hope for 2018?