Friday, June 15, 2018


Happy Friday all! I'm only working a half day today, we are off on a little road trip for KC's cousin's wedding. I am excited because we always have fun with them and it's going to be a big shindig apparently - but in super small town USA, which is a bit of a contradiction I reckon? I don't know. Should be fun.

TBR - Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana was on Tuesday and I added a bunch of books to my TBR. It's actually been awhile since I have added more than a couple of books on a SUYB day - don't know why, but there were so many books this time that sounded good, so on the TBR they hopped. 
Also, the other day, I went a little nutty on Netgalley, as you do, and if you're on it, the new Jodi Picoult and the new Kate Morton are on there! Fingers crossed the netgalley gods grant me all the books.

Grateful - for our trip next month! Unfortunately I accidentally spoiled the surprise, or KC guessed something was going on and I have the worst poker face/ability to lie when I'm really excited about something. So now he knows we are going to Vegas for our 5 year anniversary. We went to Vegas for our honeymoon and it was great and we loved it. This will be my 5th trip to Vegas, it's my most visited city besides Louisville, Sydney & Melbourne and I don't think any of those count since I lived in all those places. But anyway. I'm excited. If you know me, you know I love to plan like crazy and I have planned zero things for this trip. Besides flight and hotel of course. I just want to go and relax, maybe see a show, do some shopping, eat lots of food. I've been there so many times I feel like I've done the majority of things you're 'supposed to do'. Eating, shopping & hanging out at the pool are my favourite activities anyway. We don't gamble and I haven't been to a club since my first visit. There's so much to do besides drinking and gambling, though yes of course there's plenty of that too.

I made the switch - Blogger was pissing me off so I made the switch to Disqus. If blogger fixes it, I might go back, but the switch was really easy. The only issue I had was importing old comments - it took 8 tries and when it finally worked, I can't respond to them (which makes sense in hindsight). But there you go. I didn't want to switch to Disqus because I like responding to comments via email, but I suppose I still can if I want to, or if I want to have a more private conversation with someone.

Favourite Recipe - I have made cauliflower rice before but it's not enough bang for your buck, I reckon. Heather sent me this recipe a couple weeks ago (I think?) and it inspired me to try it again. Full disclaimer, I took the lazy way in every way.  I used frozen cauliflower rice, a bag of peas & carrots, onions, 1 egg and sesame oil. I don't know if it was because it was so easy that I liked it better than when I made it last time, but I wanted to eat the entire thing. I mean, the cauliflower rice was like 80 calories for the whole bag, so why not. The oil is crazy high in calories though - not that I count calories, but I am always aware of what I'm putting in my food. I just had it vegetarian - protein from peas and the egg in case you're worried about my protein intake, wink. I don't like tofu and shrimp is a pain in the butt to cook (or I just suck at it) so maybe next time I will throw in some chickpeas or an extra egg. KC would not eat this because he'd have to eat 2 chicken breasts with it just to fill him up, so I'd rather use normal rice on him (fried rice is one of our go-to meals). I am not cutting out carbs, don't worry, I just eat a lot of carbs every day, so I figured a little cutting back won't hurt.

Anywho. Happy Friday! Have you been to Vegas? Are you a fan?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

10 things I don't suck at

I find it extremely easy to come up with things I suck at but it took me longer to think of 10 things I don't suck at. As in, I started this post right after the things I suck at post and it's taken me this long to find 10 things I don't suck at.

1. Drinking water. I used to hate water and then about 10 years ago just forced myself to drink it all the time, and now I have no issues. I never have to try to get the appropriate amount of water, I never have to trick myself or flavour my water, it's never a goal of mine to drink more water. I like plain tap water, preferably room temp. I will say drinking out of a bottle with the straw so I don't have to tip the bottle up? Genius. Makes an easy thing even easier.

2. Remembering song lyrics. If it's a favourite song, I can probably write the lyrics out on command (and did, during my year 10 exams, who needs to answer questions and write essays? Here's some song lyrics instead). If it's just a song I used to like 10 years ago, I can sing along immediately and be slightly amazed that I can't remember if I locked my car but I can remember the lyrics to this random song.

3. Parallel parking or reversing into a spot. I'm not amazing at parallel parking but as long as there's no angry person behind me beeping, I'm golden. It's kind of a skill you have to learn in Sydney, I think.

4. Typing. I am a fast typer. I taught myself when I had a computer and no internet, just word pad. I would listen to songs on the radio and try to type the lyrics in time with the song.

5. Sleeping through the night. Ha! Like I'm a baby. But seriously. I take longer than I'd like to fall asleep, but once I am asleep, I am asleep. I rarely wake up in the middle of the night, never need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If something wakes me, I can usually get straight back to sleep.

6. Flip cup. Okay, I am not the best flip cup player ever. But I only played it for the first time when I moved here, and I am pretty darn good. Not amazing. Definitely not. But 100% times better than my attempts at beer pong.

7. Guessing what people are going to say in movies/tv shows. I find this extremely entertaining, I only do it when KC can hear me because I'd wager it would be annoying. Basically what I mean is I have watched so many movies/tv shows that I know when someone will say something predictable and I say it before they do.

8. Remembering and spouting off weird fun facts even if I've told you them a thousand times. I love fun facts. Did you know 90% of the world's disco balls have been made in Louisville? Did you know Southwest uses their own employees in their commercials? Did you know there is no Q in any of America's state names? Did you know your ears and nose never stop growing? Did you know no number before the number one thousand has the letter A in it? Did you know movie trailers used to be played after the movie? Get it, trailing the movie... I've always called them previews though. I also love sharing American vs Australian fun facts - meaning if something comes up, if there is an equivalent or random Australian story, I will share it.

9. Being on time. On time is late. I will be there 5-10 minutes early unless it is 100% out of my control and then I will apologise 75 times. I can't always control the people I am with though, so I've learned to let go and stop trying to herd everyone like cattle. Apparently it's annoying?

^ did you know she makes like $47 million a year?

10. Giving up on TV shows. I mentioned that I suck at giving up on books, but I do not have that problem with TV shows. Off the top of my head, here are some shows I started semi recently and never finished: beauty and the beast, jane the virgin, game of thrones, parenthood, arrow, supernatural, once upon a time, mr robot, twin peaks, suits, the shannara chronicles, the 100, vampire diaries, orange is the new black, doctor who, greys anatomy, scandal, pretty little liars, new girl, mad men, gossip girl, dark matter, castle, and most recently, ozark. Some of them I definitely plan on one day catching up, but most of them I have no desire to. Further example: I never finished Downton Abbey, recently restarted it a few months ago and have already fizzled out again. It's not intentional or anything against the show, I just have a really short attention span and more often than not, I end up picking up a book. I do want to finish it though, so I will.. eventually.

I am really proud that I made this list and didn't include reading. Because, you guys, I really don't suck at that. High five to me.

What do you not suck at?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Books Lately

Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I mentioned the other day I've been reading a lot (what else is new) but I don't share everything I read because a) some books don't warrant a mention and b) I read a lot of romance and I know that's not everyone's jam. If it's yours, lets be friends on goodreads!

Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser
woman disappears after a night with neighbours and drinking
This was not 'couldn't put it down' until about 20%, and then I was all in. I really liked the characters and the writing, I didn't see the ending coming. It's not exactly 'thrilling' more of a what the heck happened - though there was one point that I was on the edge of my seat scared for a character - so as long as you don't go into it expecting that, you'll be good. Overall it was really enjoyable.
Received from Netgalley (I also bought it via BOTM before I was approved from Netgalley)
Kate Daniels series - Ilona Andrews
paranormal romance (magic and shapeshifters)
I try not to talk about romance books too much during this link up, but the romance part of this series doesn't start until (highlight for spoiler) book 4. That being said, the hint is there so if that's not your jam, scram. But if you like paranormal romance, I recommend. It was harder to get into than their Hidden Legacy trilogy, but once I got into the second one, I couldn't stop. I am currently up to book #7. The 10th and last comes out in August.

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty
something happens at a barbecue, everyone feels guilty
I love Liane Moriarty's books but this was not my favourite. The secret really drags out and then when you do find out, it's a teeny anticlimactic. That being said, once you find out, things start to make sense and I really enjoyed it. Like I said, I love her writing so perhaps I am biased. I will read anything she writes.
This Is How It Always Is - Laurie Frankel
story about a family, youngest child is transgender
This is the one Gina and I decided on this time. I have mixed feelings about this one and I cannot articulate them. It's definitely not an easy book to read. Sometimes I liked the writing, sometimes I didn't. I liked the characters but didn't connect with any of them 100%. I feel like some things were unrealistic. I feel like if certain things were different, this would have been a more 'powerful' story, but perhaps that is unfair of me. I don't know. Overall, I liked it. This would make a fantastic book club book if you don't mind talking about heavy topics. Thought provoking for sure.
The Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin Harmel
DNF. I tried. I don't know if it was the book, me or a wrong time kind of thing. Either way, I exercised my right to give up and give up I did.
Received from Netgalley.

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) & Us Against You

Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

If you're a romance fan, here are a few I enjoyed recently:
Simply Irresistible (I love Jill Shalvis so much) / Walk of ShameIdol & Managed / Making Up

TL;DR - I recommend Not That I Could Tell and This Is How It Always Is.

Before the next link up, Gina and I are going to read Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah if you want to join us!

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

May 2018 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it.

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In May:

We used our new grill a bunch:

I did a big closet clean out and watched Millie jump up to the top of my closet 3 times before finally making her stop. By 'jump up' I mean she jumped, grabbed on to my clothes, ripped a bunch off hangers as she struggled to claw her way up to the shelf where she would bite me if I tried to get her down. Ah, cats. Gotta love 'em.

Speaking of cats, I took a lot of photos of them because I really am quite obsessed with them.

^ In the bottom right, you can see Penny's new favourite thing to do while I am eating - she sits on the arm of the couch or on top of the couch behind my head purring as loud as can be, like she thinks she's a dog and I'm going to give her food. Even if I did give my cats human food, which I don't, Penny has the most finicky stomach and would probably puke on my the second I did. She's so weird.

Moving on. We did a couple of house projects - or rather, finished two and started another. The last one really wasn't necessary and more of a 'fun' thing, so when life got in the way we deserted it. I'm sure we will finish it in June, or maybe July. I will share when we do, of course.

^ Backsplash, finally! The middle project is probably the one I'm in love with the most, I get so obsessed with little things when I have an idea and finally do it. I really dislike our bathrooms but they are pretty low on the renovation priority list, so to help out with the lack of storage or just the lack-of-love for the bathrooms, I bought some spice racks from ikea and installed them on the side of what is essentially our linen closet. I put my skincare/hair stuff in them and I love it so much. The unfinished project has to do with the wall in the bottom right, it's behind our back door which is the entry we use daily.

In May, I went running and to the gym quite consistently if I do say so myself.

We also celebrated my brother in law's marriage at a BBQ at his new in-laws place, though I have no photos of said celebration, so here's a photo of another day where we hung out in their backyard and ate 32 degrees.

Finally, I read a lot in May, because what else is new.

You'll notice Penny is the only cat who is ever pictured with me while reading because she's the only one who likes to hang out with me 24/7. If I am sitting or laying down, she would like to be sitting with or on top of me. Chelsea prefers KC (but will follow me around or allow me to pick her up as long as I'm moving) and Millie hates everyone all the time unless you're in the bathroom then she's your bestie.

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

So that's what I got up into May. What's new with you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I dog ear my pages (and other bookish confessions)

I shared on instagram the other day (as in September) that I do something horrible that book lovers aren't supposed to do... Gasp. So I thoughout I'd share other bookish confessions.

As you can guess from the title, I dog ear pages vs using bookmarks. I have never used bookmarks. I've tried, I own a bunch of bookmarks, but my cats either play with them or I lose them. I read too many books to also keep track of bookmarks. Sometimes I'll use a scrap of paper instead, but a dog ear is always readily available, other things aren't. I never do this to books that are not mine.

I read in the bath or over any other body of water. I have never dropped a book in the water, but I am not careful and almost all of my books have a little bit of water damage. 

I shove my books in my bag or into bookshelves or in between couch cushions. I throw them on the bed or on the couch and they bounce off. I will often grab a book out of where I shoved it to see bent covers or pages. Oops.

I purposely break the spines so they are easier to lay flat or hold.

I eat over my books. I know lots of people do this, but I am not a neat eater so my books have food stains on them. I spill things, wipe it away, move on.

I do not write in my books and I do not like when I buy a book that has been written in. It's not because I'm all oh no I can't believe someone wrote in my pretty new book, but because it takes me out of the book, and if you write in a book, you should keep it. 

I don't hate movie covers. It's just a cover. If the normal book and movie cover were side by side, same price, I would buy the normal one. If the movie one was cheaper, or the only option, it would not stop me buying it.

I don't care if my covers match, or if all the books in a series are the same type. I own paperbacks in the first 3 of The Lunar Chronicles, but I was not waiting to read Winter so I bought the hard cover. I don't care.

I'm a sucker for a good cover. I will read books with crappy covers, but if a book sounds meh but the cover is gorgeous? Sign me up.

I skim. Oh, I am a little ashamed to admit this one, don't judge me! But if I am reading a book and the author is over explaining something, I'm gonna skim it. I'm sure the hills are real nice and pretty, and I'm sure all those songs in The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings were super important but guess what, I still got the gist of the story. I don't do this with every book or every page, I only do it when nothing is happening and the author is talking about how pretty the sky is for 75 pages.

I am horrible at returning library books on time. Oops.They sit in my car for days.

I am intimidated really easily by smart people and smart books, classics and things you might have read in college or high school.

I don't love bookstores. I feel bad saying that. I love books and love looking at them, but I don't love people, and I would rather look at books alone. I always feel overwhelmed and it's hard to browse. That doesn't mean I don't go into them, but not as often as I imagine other book lovers do.

My bookshelf is overflowing. Isn't everyone's?

I don't really organise my real shelves. All of my Austen books are together, all of my unread books are together, series books are together but other than that, nada. No alphabetising, not by genre or colour, nothing.

I have no desire to write a book. I feel like a lot of book lovers I know are also writers or want to be. That's fine, that's not me. Sometimes I get ideas that I wish were books but I figure someone talented will one day write it. I am not a good writer, I am a good reader.

I would 100% NOT ever want to read books for a living. Unless of course I just got paid to read what I want when I want, with zero requirements or actual work to be done.

In defense of dog earing pages and other things I do to books, I love when my books look loved and read. I love buying a second hand book and seeing that it was loved. I treat books with respect when they aren't mine. If I lend you a book and you get food on it, I don't care (as long as you wipe it off, gross), I don't care if you dog ear the pages. As long as I can still read it, I don't care. I rarely lend books though, because in real life people don't want to read my favourite books, and if they aren't my favourites I don't expect them back so I never see how people treat them.

Do you have any bookish confessions?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Link Up Reminder

Hello all - just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 7th is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me!

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Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 - 6/12 - June Goals

Hello June! I am insanely happy you are here. The weather has been beautiful lately - okay, not the last couple of days, but the last few weeks, absolutely gorgeous. Bring on the heat. I want more.

Last month I made 2 goals so I could just focus on them. It half worked? I went to the gym consistently, more than I have in a few months, though I definitely have room for improvement. Eating healthy was hit or miss, but mostly hit I would say.

The other goal was money related - no solo eating out, no buying books and no unnecessary expenditure. Failed spectacularly. 

This month, I want to focus on money. That's it. Of course I still want to go to the gym, eat well, paint my nails and catch up on netgalley books. But none of them need the focus that my expenditure does. And it really needs my focus.

So for June:

No unnecessary expenditure.

I have a quick girls trip this weekend, a wedding out of town in two weeks, a very expensive oral surgery. This will not be a cheap month, but there is no need for it to spiral out of control, which it will if I buy things I don't need, eat out instead of make my lunch, etc. 

In order to meet my goal, I am going to stay off the internet. Ha, jk. But I am not going to open any emails tempting me to buy things, I will not window shop. I will survive if a book goes on sale - it will likely go on sale again before I get around to reading it. I am going to pack my lunches and try to make cheap meals for dinner. Our girls trip includes Ikea, I can be sensible and not buy everything I see. We don't really have any social things planned besides the things I mentioned, so hopefully no extra money spent there. I can't think of anything extra I can do to stop spending money, but I am sure there are ways I can save money. 

Every dollar saved can go to something important, so it will be worth it.

Do you have any favourite cheap meals? Nothing super crazy like two minute noodles, but like a step up from that.