Monday, April 29, 2019

Link Up Reminder

Hello all! Just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 2nd is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Life Lately

I know I just did a what's new with you post, but 'life lately' is better than 'word vomit'.

Here's a cat. I can't handle the cuteness.

I want to blog more. I do. I miss it. I just feel like I have nothing to say, or when I do write a post, I think 'who cares? who wants to read this?' But who cares? Don't want to read it, don't. I don't have anything exciting to talk about but I still want to talk.

I read a post years ago where someone said if they looked at your instagram and saw more than 2 selfies in the top 6, they would unfollow you. Since then I've been paranoid about what I post on instagram, but again - I don't have anything else to share besides my face! Cats and books, that's it. But I feel insecure about what I post, so I end up not posting at all. Plus, there's instagram stories and that's just easier. But even then sometimes I think 'no-one wants to see that' and don't post. Why do I care?

Moving on. 

Things I've watched lately:

A cat show documentary
The fyre festival documentary
Bitter Daisies (with KC)
Altered Carbon (with KC)
Marie Kondo - funny story, I kept seeing everyone say that the first couple was really weird. I watched it and I was like huh, I kind of liked them. Turns out, for some reason, my netflix played the second episode first, so I watched the first couple last and yeah. They were weird.
Everything British bake off related on netflix - Again, my netflix was weird and played the last season first, so I met the new hosts and judges before I met the old ones.

Me too, Mary
You know how you'll think 'shit, did I lock the door?' and go back and check? I am really bad about that, like I need to go back and check twice because am I sure? Did I? I'll get paranoid one of the cats got out, so after I've double checked the door, I will go back in the house to make sure they are all accounted for, lock the door, get in my car and think crap, did I lock the door? Did I shut the garage? Better turn around and check. The other day I had to leave work to make sure I'd turned the oven off (I had, I *knew* I had but I still doubted). I've always been bad about it but it's gotten so much worse. I have to talk to myself as I am doing it - 'door is locked, it's locked, LOCKED'. I've also started taking photos of things like the oven to make sure I turned it off, or the garage to make sure it's shut. Or a photo of the cats to make sure I didn't let them out. Seriously. Do you think I am exaggerating? I am not. It is becoming a problem.

We went on a cruise at the beginning of the month - it was fun. After our first cruise, we didn't think we'd go on another but clearly we changed our minds. The cruise went to Mexico. It was good, we'd cruise again, but I personally don't want to go again unless it is summer. The weather didn't really go above 80 and that's just too cold for me to go near water. But it was fun. Funny story, both KC and I had coworkers on the exact same cruise. That wasn't awkward at all.

I got sick a week before the cruise. Awesome. It was mainly a sore throat and then all the other fun stuff. Then the day before we left, it was just a cough! Awesome. Except that was two and a half weeks ago and I am still freaking coughing. Not just a little cough either, but like waking me up in the middle of the night and I think I should have a 6 pack by now I've coughed so bloody much.

Our flight home wasn't supposed to leave until 4, arrive home at 9:30. We ended up getting on an earlier flight thanks to the fare we bought and ended up getting home at 3:30. I didn't book that flight originally because you never know what time you'll get off the ship and get to the airport, it's not worth the stress. It worked out well though, because who likes getting home and going straight to sleep? I like to shower, unpack (kinda), relax.. it was awesome.

We did some yard work the last two weekends, and goodness gracious that adds up doesn't it? We bought a few boxwoods for the front of the house - we started the right side back in November but then got in an accident so it was super not pretty for several months. Then I got some hydrangeas for behind the boxwoods and mulch for all of it. It looks great, but ouch our bank account.

We also planted a gardenia tree. When I shared our loss, Jana suggested planting a tree. I loved the idea so much, I knew exactly where I wanted to plant it though I couldn't decide what I wanted to plant. I saw the gardenia tree at lowes and I just knew immediately, as corny as it sounds. I see it when I pull up to the house, when I walk into the house and it is visible from the kitchen window. I love it so much.

Now, lets just hope it survives. Green thumb I do not have. My boxwoods survived so here's hoping. Also, lets hope the grass grows where we pushed back the garden bed. We sprinkled some grass growing stuff, so fingers crossed.

I would love to plant more boxwoods around the side and back of the house, but that's going to be a next year or even the following year project. This summer, maybe, if the pavers I want go on sale again, we are going to do a pathway to the front door. It looks fairly affordable and easy-ish. The 'ish' is that I know it will be back-breakingly hard, but easy in theory. We shall see.

When we got back from our cruise, I used my laptop that day and the next, until it suddenly died. It wouldn't turn back on, I couldn't figure out what was going on. It never gave me any low battery indication, just conked out. It's not a fancy laptop by any means and I've had issues with it but hoped I had at least a couple more years with it. We took it apart, couldn't fix it, I wanted to cry. I could get a new one, but I am really trying not to spend any extra money right now. So I just figured I'd be without a laptop for a few months. Then, on the Monday following the cruise, I tried to plug my phone in to charge. It didn't charge. So I checked, and KC had unplugged the power strip from the power point. So my laptop 'died' because the battery died. We took it apart and tried all these different things, but didn't think to try plugging it in. I was like, how the heck did this come unplugged? KC was like, oh yeah I did that. and you didn't think to tell me when I was dismantling my laptop?!

But hey, at least I don't have to buy a new one!

Here's another cat. I just like sharing pictures of my cats.

Speaking of money and stuff, I feel like I am *always* searching for ways to spend less at the grocery store. I've tried aldi and there is pretty much nothing there that is significantly cheaper than Kroger - that we eat, anyway. I think the most expensive thing we buy is meat, so I'm always trying to get that on sale or find it cheaper. I can't even imagine how much we'd spend at the grocery store if I ate meat all the time as well. I just want to know how people spend so little, I budget a certain amount and we always go over it by a couple hundred. I do include anything we buy at the grocery store as groceries, including toilet paper, toothpaste etc. But I buy a lot of that in bulk/on sale for my stash in the basement. So it really doesn't come up all that often. But anyway. I honestly want to know how to spend less. I think one of our main problems is that we are both kinda picky - when I look at cheap meals on pinterest and the like, I can go down the list and say 'well I won't eat that, KC won't eat that, I won't eat that one, KC won't touch that with a 10 foot pole'. On top of both of us being picky, KC eats a lot. He lifts lots of heavy weights pretty much every day and needs a lot of food. I also eat a lot, not because I lift heavy but because I really like food. I'm pretty good with meal planning and prepping these days, I feel like we eat relatively healthy and I think the meals are affordable, but then they all add up and suddenly we are over budget. Ugh. I have no actual request, I just want to magically spend less money. So if you have any magic tricks, do share.

On a final note, I am officially an aunty. My baby brother, who is not such a baby anymore, welcomed a son at the end of last month. Isn't he a cutie pie? I want to squeeze him. Hopefully we can go home in the next year or two.

So that's my little word vomit post. Feel free to share any grocery store saving magic tricks if you have them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I totally thought I would have more books to share today, we just got back from our cruise but I guess I didn't read as much as I thought I did!

Kill the Queen - Jennifer Estep
lone survivor of royal family massacre must take back the throne from evil cousin
This is why I hate reading books when the series isn't finished! I am so frustrated and need the next book stat. This was described as gladiator meets game of thrones, and I think that is fairly spot on but a very weak game of thrones. It's basically any want-your-throne kind of story. This was a great mix of fantasy and historical, I was totally captivated. Very satisfying ending, though I seriously need the next book now.
bookshop in small town and all the people
This was really cute and I enjoyed it for the most part. There was one thing that made me super frustrated with how it was handled (highlight for spoiler: the car accident when the guy was high, even when the other guy thought he was drunk he let him get behind the wheel? I couldn't wrap my head around that). There were a lot of characters and though it wasn't too hard to keep track of them, it did take a hot minute to feel any connection or care what was going on because of that. There were some stories I enjoyed more than others. Overall, it was an enjoyable, passed the time just fine kind of read, I did like it. Just didn't love it and can't quite put my finger on why. 
The Lost Husband - Katherine Center
woman and kids move to aunt's farm 3 years after husband dies
This has been on my list ever since I read and loved Happiness for Beginners. It was really cute and I did enjoy it, but not as much as the other two I've read by Center. There were a few things the main character did that frustrated me and that could be because I'm not a mother and I wanted to hit her over the head with some common sense. But I probably don't get it because I'm not a mother. That being said, Center just has a way with writing that makes her characters and stories so realistic and relatable, I loved all the characters in this one (even Libby, though I wanted to shake her sometimes) and it gave me lots of gooey feelings and I can't wait for the movie.
Ghosted - Rosie Walsh
couple spends week together, then he disappears
I am quite conflicted on how I feel about this one - it took until around 50% for it to get to where I actually wanted to know what happened. I'm not sure I could relate to how strong whatsherface felt and how devastated she was when he 'ghosted' her. I understand feeling strongly for someone after only spending a few days with them, but if that happened to me, I would be upset but would easily chalk it up to the fact that the guy lied or whatever. No big, move on. So that part was hard for me to believe, because I was like girl you need to be less of a stalker, yeah? But then things start being revealed and there's lots of twists and I felt a lot of feelings. So. Conflicted. Overall, glad I read it, wish the main character wasn't so unlikable in the beginning. Liked the ending.
On the Come Up - Angie Thomas
DNF @ 22%. Well this is awkward. Talk about an unpopular opinion. I liked THUG but I had some small issues with it. I liked the story and the characters enough to overlook those things. Unfortunately, I just didn't click with this one at all. Everyone loves the main character, I really really disliked her. Maybe she got better and I didn't give her enough of a chance. But I wasn't enjoying reading it, I didn't want to force myself, didn't want to hate read it. Maybe it was the wrong book at the wrong time. I've seen nothing but glowing reviews so perhaps it's just me.

Fix Her Up - Tessa Bailey
Don't be fooled by the cutesy cover, this is not The Hating Game or any of its friends - Tessa Bailey books are known to be super steamy and they call her the queen of something I don't want to write here, ha. This is my favourite Tessa Bailey yet, I absolutely loved it. 
Received from Netgalley.
The Right Swipe - Alisha Rai
This is a spin off of the Forbidden Hearts series. Again, don't be fooled by the cutesy cover, they must be 'in' right now or something. I'd say this was as steamy as those books. I loved the plot of this one, I love these characters - they are as realistic and as flawed as her other series - I just think she writes fabulous characters. I am very excited for the next one.
Received from Netgalley.
A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals series) - Alyssa Cole 
After absolutely loving the second book in this series, I had high high high expectations for this one. I did like it, but definitely not as much as book two.  I totally get why authors are including certain things in their books these days, and I don't dislike it exactly, it just gets a bit exhausting sometimes when it's all you see in the news and then it's in the books you read as well.. I don't hate it, but it takes a little enjoyment out of reading when I feel like the author wants to teach me a lesson. But anyway. I also read the little novella Can't Escape Love, which was cute.
Received from Netgalley.
The Austen Playbook - Lucy Parker
I love Lucy Parker. That's all I need to say. I just adore this series and wish she had more books out! I loved these characters, I loved the story, I want more. If you are a romance fan I highly recommend Lucy Parker's books.
Received from Netgalley.

In Want of a Wife - Noelle Adams
I don't know if I've mentioned this lately, but I am a big fan of a book called Pride & Prejudice. I've read a few Noelle Adams books and enjoyed them, but I had too many arcs and told myself not to request this - but then I saw it was P&P related and couldn't help it. She does stress that this is not a retelling, but I would consider it one in a loose way. The bones are there, but she makes it her own without offending Janeites. I absolutely loved every little thing about this one. I can't wait for the rest in this series.
Received from Netgalley.

Just started Where the Crawdads Sing for book club and still working on The Lost Man - I was hoping to finish it before today but alas. I'm about halfway through and really enjoying it!

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I recommend Kill the Queen or The Lost Husband. I also liked the Bookshop one and Ghosted, but not as much as the other two.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

March 2019 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. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts! I'll be doing a monthly recap like I do every month. Apologies if I don't get to everyone today, I will eventually get to all the posts, I'm just not near a computer today. Sorry this didn’t go up this morning!

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March was a good month - started off with a concert, we went to see Mariah Carey. I liked her music but was never a huge fan, my bestie is though and she came with me to Cher so I was totally happy to accompany her to Mariah. Because of that, I don't think I expected a whole lot? But she was seriously so so good. I really enjoyed it.

Other things in March - for the first year since we got back together at the parade, KC and I skipped the St Paddy's parade. It was raining and just nasty nasty weather. I figure our tradition is still alive and well if we only go when the weather is nice. We ended up dropping by the mall to get something for KC and the freaking mall lost freaking power! We were inside JC Penney and I'm not gonna lie, it was terrifying. KC and I had split up and I was like whelp, I'm gonna get murdered. He wanted to hang around to buy something but I was like nope time to go before people go nuts. We stayed for about 15 minutes and the power was still out by the time we left. I feel a little ridiculous but it was just so... odd being there in the pitch black. No thanks.

Then we went on a mini girls trip to Broad Ripple, IN. It was a cute little town and we had a great time. My highlight was this books & brews place. I could spend all day there and you better believe I bought a book (Lisa Kleypas, in case you're curious), it was only $3 and I love buying books when I travel. Also, if you are a cider fan , that Ace cider was pineapple which sounds weird but was so unbelievably delicious I have got to find it locally.

Book club was Verity + pizza, we also had drinks and an ice cream sundae day at work. I enjoyed the baileys more than the ice cream, actually. I also got a lovely gift from Bev - a book and chocolates. Plus my lone workout photo.

Other than that, the usual cats + books. I didn't take as many photos this month but I read a shit ton.

That's all I got up to in March, I'm excited about April if it means warmer weather! Hurry up summer.

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So, what's new with you?

Monday, April 1, 2019

2019 - April Goals

And we're in the second quarter of 2019 already - time flies and all that jazz. Actually getting my goals post in on time this month, will I achieve them? Who knows. We shall see.

March was a bit of a shit show - I did pretty good with spending, did not read my BOTM books, deep cleaned the house like it was my job, exercised maybe twice? I did get sick at the end of the month and it screwed with my exercise plans, but oh well. When I'm sick I'm a bit of a baby and don't want to do anything. I'm okay with that.

I'm not going to let my constant misses with goals deter me, eventually I'll cross everything off, right?

In April I'd like to:

- do our taxes
- no extra spending
- yard work
- one BOTM book
- one audiobook
- exercise 5 times
- get rid of all the stuff + clean the sunroom - when I did the big declutter, I got rid of a bunch of stuff but by got rid of I mean it's all in bags in the house or in stacked in the sunroom. It doesn't count unless you actually get it out of the house!

I think that's it, and I feel like they are all really simple and totally doable, right?

Just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 4th is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me!

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I don't know why I find goals so hard, I love making them, I love lists and thinking about goals, but actually working towards them? I don't know. It's weird. I make them and then forget about them. Anyone have any tips or tricks that help you achieve your goals?