Currently Obsessed With: April 2020

Hi everyone!

So, I can’t believe it’s May already!  Time is so weird, and I can’t believe I’m recapping April already.  2020 has been the longest year ever, and even though April didn’t feel as long as March, April still felt pretty long.  April was full of familiar things, and I’ve found that I’ve wanted to revisit things I haven’t listened to or read in a while.

I barely took any pictures last month, and with being at work or at home, there hasn’t been a lot of picture-taking.  But I did get a picture of some of the tea I plan on drinking.  I got it from the Literary Tea Company, and everything I have tried has been really good, so I know they will be too!

Let’s get to the highlights from April!

Inspired By:

  • The Smoothie Project.  I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately, and it’s been a really easy way for me to get some extra fruit and vegetables in.  I’ve only made the Bright Green smoothie so far, and it’s really good!  Everything looks really good, and I’m pretty excited to try some new smoothies.
  • YallStayHome.  I was really sad when YallWest got cancelled, because I was really looking forward to it.  I had a great time last year, but I watched a few of the panels that they did virtually, and it was really cool/inspiring to hear a lot of authors talk about writing and life.

Watching:

  • How To Get Away With Murder.  This was more of a rewatch of the first 5 seasons, but I was in the mood for a lot of drama…and murder.
  • October Faction.  I started watching this at the end of April so I’m not that far into it.  But I really like the couple of episodes I’ve seen, so I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about once I’ve seen more.

Reading:

  • Shatter Me.  After finishing Imagine Me, I decided I needed to read the whole series again.  It’s nice to read something familiar but also awesome.
  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.  I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, and I’m taking my time with this one.  But I love the tips I’ve seen so far, and it seems like it is a great resource.
  • Jubilee.  I love the history in it!  I’ve only made the chicken and dumplings (which were amazing) but it’s equal parts cookbook and cooking history, which is cool and different.

Thinking About:

  • Joining a CSA.  Most of my grocery shopping lately has been for produce but it would be cool to support a local farm.  I’ve actually thought about it off and on for quite a while, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot more lately.

Listening To:

  • The Black Tapes.  I don’t know why but I just really wanted to listen to this podcast again.  I really like story and how it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would.
  • Welcome To Night Vale.  After listening to The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home, I immediately starting listening to Night Vale from the beginning.  I forgot how many of the really early episodes are really cool (and quote worthy).

Dreamlife:

  • The San Diego Zoo!  I’ve dreaming about going to the Zoo a lot lately, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m following a few aquariums and zoos on Twitter, or if I just really need to get out of the house.  Once things settle, and the Zoo opens up, I’m definitely going!

Researching:

  • Label Makers.  I have some things I need to label, and I just want it to look pretty and organized.
  • Body Pillows.  I’ve been sleeping good but in really weird positions, and I just need something to help out with that.
  • Weighted blankets.  I’ve had a hard time falling asleep, and I’ve heard weighted blankets can help with that.  I feel overwhelmed by the options, and I don’t know if I should go with both a body pillow and a weight blanket, or one of them.  Does anyone have a recommendation of one they really like?

Eating And Drinking:

  • Smoothies.  I’ve talked about being on a smoothie kick already, and though I love this Basic Blueberry Smoothie, it’s also time to try something different.
  • Chili.  Mostly because I’m using up stuff from my pantry that I wanted to get rid of, but chili is always good.
  • Chocolate.  I’ve been on a chocolate kick this month.  Normally, I’m not big on sweets, which is weird, because I love to bake.  But if I want chocolate, I’m going to eat it!
  • Breakfast.  I’m not usually hungry in the morning, but lately, I’ve been pretty hungry by the time I get to work.  I started keeping stuff in the freezer that I can heat up.
  • Tea!  I have quite a bit of tea, and I’m excited about some of the tea I shared above.

Grateful For:

  • Having a job.  I still feel lucky that I have a job to go to, and I’m glad I can keep a routine going.
  • Virtual YALLWEST.  Even though the in-person YALLWEST was cancelled, I’m glad a virtual one was put together.
  • Just being okay.  Oddly enough, I’ve been a lot happier than I have been in a while, and I’m glad I’m doing okay.

Good Things:

  • Getting the stimulus check.  It actually came at the perfect time, because I had to get a new car.  The reason for the new car was not great- there were a few days where it was raining pretty bad, and I hydroplaned, spun around, and proceeded to total my car.  It was terrifying, because I was driving, and the next thing I knew, I was spinning around.  I’m okay, though, and as long as I’m okay, that’s all that matters.
  • I had some time off which was great- I had a four-day weekend followed by a three-day weekend.  I had originally requested the time off for the LA Times Festival Of Books (postponed) and YALLWEST, which was cancelled, but done virtually.  It worked out really well, though, because I ended up using some of the time off to go car shopping and do other car-related stuff.
  • I’ve been cooking up a storm, and I can’t remember the last time I cooked so much!  Months, for sure.  I’ve cooked, of course, but I’ve cooked stuff to keep in the freezer.  And I’m enjoying being in the kitchen again.  For a while, I wasn’t super into cooking, and it’s nice to be interested in it again.  A lot of it has gone into the freezer to use later, but it’s nice knowing that I can pull something out of the freezer if I don’t want to make anything.

And that wraps up April!

Stay safe out there,

Currently Obsessed With: March 2020

March has been such a crazy month!  I feel like I’ve lost all sense of time, which is weird because I’m mostly sticking to my usual routine.  I’m eternally grateful I still have a job- healthcare is pretty essential right now- but there have been a lot of changes, and I’m sure there will continue to be a lot of changes in the weeks to come.

You definitely can’t go wrong with animal pictures, and when I saw this duck on a walk I took, I knew I had to get a picture.

Surprisingly, I haven’t been as anxious as I thought I would be.  I’ve been journaling, crocheting, and doing yoga, which has helped keep me calm and relaxed.  Reading has helped, and so has being on medication for depression and anxiety.  It’s helped a lot, and I’m just grateful that I haven’t been too anxious.  I am, of course, because things are so different now than they were a few weeks ago.  But it really hasn’t been as bad I thought it would be.

Reading quotes from some of the books I’ve read has also helped.  I don’t know why, but it makes me feel better.  These are a few of my favorites, plus they’re some of the shorter ones I’ve written down, and I just wanted to have them as quotes that are really helping me out right now.

Inspired By:

  • House of Rage And Sorrow.  There’s one line in particular I loved that gave me a spark of a story that I have yet to figure out.  If I can muster up the motivation, I’ll have plenty of time to work on it.
  • Our Plague Year: This is a new podcast from one of the creators of the Welcome To Night Vale podcast, and even though there’s only a couple of episodes, I feel inspired to journal about how I’m feeling during the Covid pandemic.

Watching:

  • Designated Survivor.  I’m bummed there’s only 3 seasons of this show, because I really like it.  At least I can re-watch it!
  • Yoga With Adriene.  I’ve been doing yoga a lot more lately.  I love that she has videos for pretty much anything you need.  I’ve been doing a lot of her lower back pain videos lately, and it really helps!

Reading:

So many things!  A House Of Rage And Sorrow stands out.  Also, the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home, which was awesome!  And Renegades by Marissa Meyer.  I still need to finish the last book, but I’m in a mood to re-read the whole series, so once I finish Renegades and Archenemies, I plan on reading Supernova.

Thinking About:

  • Baking Bread.  I have a couple of books, now I just need to hope I can find some yeast at the store.  Failing that, something without yeast.
  • Learning to sew.  I have a sewing machine that used to belong to my grandma.  I have no idea if it works, but I’ve thinking about sewing for a couple of years now.
  • Grief and rage.  This has been on my mind ever since I finished House Of Rage And Sorrow.

Listening To:

  • Blood Ties.  This podcast was interesting to listen to!  It’s this 6 episode podcast about two siblings who learn family secrets after their parents die in a plane crash.  You can find it here, if you’re interested.
  • Audio books.  Granted, I only listened to one in March but I have been in an audio book mood.
  • I Said No Gifts!  This is a new podcast but there are some really interesting conversations revolving around gifts.  It’s pretty funny as well, and it’s fun to listen to.

Dream Life:

As usual, I can only remember bits and pieces.  I know I had a dream about the San Diego Zoo, I’ve dreamed about about being in a bookstore (several times), and I know my grandma has shown up in a dream or two.  I can’t remember any other dreams, or anything more specific about what I do remember, but at least I remembered something!

Researching:

Tea Kettles.  I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, and an actual tea kettle might be nice to have.

Eating And Drinking:

  • Tea.  I’ve talked about all the tea I’m drinking, so it’s worth a mention here.
  • Trader Joe’s Bacon Ranch Cheddar Dip.  This dip did not last long the couple of times I got, because it is that good!  If you can find it, it’s worth picking up!
  • Sun Chips.  I haven’t been eating Sun Chips with the Bacon Ranch Cheddar dip, but for some reason, I’ve really wanted Sun Chips.

Grateful For:

  • Having a job!  These are crazy times we’re living in, and I’m glad I have a job.  I know other people aren’t as lucky but I’m grateful to have a job.
  • I’m also grateful that I had a pretty stocked pantry when the shelves were pretty empty.  And the couple of times I did need to get some things I didn’t have, I was able to get it pretty easily.

Good Things:

Honestly, I wasn’t really keeping track of good things, but I did get new glasses!  I really can see a lot better now.

Work was really stressful for a while (and it still is, but in a very different way) but I am no longer doing two different jobs, which is a big relief.

I’ve done some spring cleaning, and I have a couple of drawers I need to tackle before I feel like I’m done.  It’s nice knowing things are more organized.

I’ve been doing some yoga, and taking some walks around my neighborhood.  Of course, I’m keeping my distance from everyone else taking a walk.  I’ve seen a lot more people taking walks, so I’m obviously not the only one needing some fresh air.

I even saw some ducks on one of my walks!  I definitely don’t get outside enough, but I’m definitely trying to only leave the house if I absolutely need to.

That’s all for today, and make sure you take care of yourself!

Currently Obsessed With: January 2020

Good morning everyone!

I can’t believe its time for another one of these posts already!  It feels like I just did a wrap-up for January, and now I’m recapping February.  I feel like this one is going to be a lot shorter, but we’ll see.

You can’t go wrong with hearts, especially for February.  I’m not big on Valentine’s Day, but it felt right to draw hearts.

And the quote you see in one of the pages above was the quote I didn’t know I needed until I was working on this particular page.  February ended up being a little rough especially after Valentine’s day, and that quote just really stood out to me.  I know the size of this picture is big but I just really wanted to make sure the quote was easy to see.

Inspired By:

The 52 Lists journals.  I talked about it a few weeks ago in this post, and while I wanted to talk about it, I don’t know that it warrants a full-blown post.  But I’ve really liked doing them, especially the last couple of weeks.  We’ve moved past the introductory-type lists- favorite things and goals for the year, and that sort of thing.  The lists are starting to get more thought-provoking.  I really am trying to be honest with these lists- it’s a little hard sometimes, because it would be so much easier to just put something on paper and not think about it again.  But I just really want to put a lot of thought and effort into it.

Watching:

This is going to be a short section, because I only wrote down the things I was really excited about: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.  I just love both movies so much, and while there was crying involved, both movies were also really fun and cute and what I needed when I watched them.

Reading:

Hand Lettering: Creative Alphabets.  I’ve been writing things a lot more this year, and I thought it would be fun to try out different alphabets and ways to write.  So far, I’ve just been looking at this one, but at some point, I may took a look at other books to see what they have to offer.

Thinking About:

Going back to school for RHIT.  I’m also going to talk about this in a different section, but it’s a registered health information technician program that ends with a certification.  I’ve been on the fence for a while, but with some changes at work that are coming, having that certification would be really nice, and open up more opportunities for me.

Scrapbooking.  I honestly can’t remember if I’ve talked about this, and I don’t feel like going back to check, but I have a bunch of photos I want to go through and organize.  I’ve been looking at the scrapbooking section at Michael’s and it’s hard to not get excited about the stickers and washi tape and different kinds of card stock.  It is another way for me to get things organized.  I’ve definitely been on an organization streak this year, and I don’t know why but I’m going to go with it.

Listening To:

Lindsey Stirling.  I don’t listen to her enough, but I highly recommend her.  Her new album, Artemis, is great, but I think Brave Enough is my favorite of hers.

Lovers by Anna Of The North.  I’ve been listening to this song on repeat ever since I watched the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movies.

Your Mental Breakdown, which you can find here.  It’s a relatively new podcast that I heard about on My Favorite Murder.  There’s only around 5 or 6 episodes, but I really like listening to it so far.  You’re listening in on a therapy session between the host and one of his clients, and there’s also a breakdown of the session afterwards between the host and one of his friends.  I think it’s really interesting to not only hear the session but to hear a breakdown of it as well.  I really do recommend listening to it from the beginning, which shouldn’t be too hard, because there are only a handful of episodes.

Dream Life:

There’s not much to report here, but the one dream I do remember is the FBI investigating my work.  I don’t know why they were…I just know they were.  It was really weird.

Researching:

RHIT programs.  I work in medical records, when I don’t have to cover as a receptionist, and having that certification would be really nice to have.  It would open a lot of doors, especially if I wanted to move into billing and coding, or something else related to medical records.  Online would definitely be easier, and thankfully, it seems like there are plenty of online programs I could do.

Flower pens.  I know this is random, but somehow, at work, ALL of our flower pens disappeared.  I know there are tons of tutorials, and if I can remember to make sure I have pens at home, I’ll be good to go, since I have everything else I need.

Eating + Drinking:

I’ve been eating chili, comfort food (like pot pies), cookie butter (right out of the jar) and hot chocolate.  Work is really stressing me out right now, so I’ve been eating a lot of fast food to (momentarily) make myself feel better.  That’s not working out for me in the long-run because my stomach always seems to hate me a few hours later.

I made this instant pot chili, if your looking for the recipe.  I brought it to a potluck at work, and there was still some leftover, so I saved it for the rest of the week.

Grateful For:

Awesome and supportive co-workers!  I’ve had a really hard time at work the last couple of weeks, and I ended up talking to my boss about it.  I’m just glad I was able to get some relief until we can get fully staffed again.  I’ve been having a hard remembering that I do have things to be grateful for, and even though I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal this year, it’s fallen to the wayside the last week or so.  It’s definitely time to get back on bandwagon, and it’s something I can use to remind myself of the little things when I need it.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to share next time.

The Good Things:

It’s a really short list this month, but the book signing for All The Stars And Teeth was really fun!  I also stopped by the grand re-opening party for Mysterious Galaxy, which was pretty cool.  Any event that has Storm Troopers outside is a must.  Book club was fun, as usual, and I always look forward to it, so that’s probably going to be the thing that comes up every month.  Basically, everything was fun.

I also started doing yoga!  My hips have felt particularly stiff and sore, and my back has been hurting a little bit more than normal, so it’s been really nice and helpful.  I really, really like Yoga With Adriene, and as someone who doesn’t exercise (even though I know I should), her videos feel very accessible.  Compared to a couple of other channels that I really like but struggle with doing, I feel like I don’t need to be really flexible or in shape to do her videos.  I feel so calm and relaxed afterwards.  I also love that she has so many different types of videos.

Plus, it means I get to use this pretty yoga mat.

That’s all for February’s recap, and I’ll talk with everyone soon!

Currently Obsessed With: January 2020

I feel like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these!  This is my monthly recap post, and they’re few and far between these days.  But since I’m journaling more, I thought it would be fun to start doing them again.  I ended up writing this post a little bit later than I wanted to but I got distracted by other things.  Better late than never!

Especially because I’m writing everything down in my Currently 2020 workbook.  I can only speak for January, obviously, but it was really fun to write down the good things that happened and the stuff I read, watched and listened to.

I’m not going to lie, drawing isn’t something I typically do.  When I do, I go for things like flowers.  I go for something super basic.  But considering creating is something I want to focus on this year, I felt like a pencil and paper was pretty appropriate.  And while I don’t know why I went for circles, I just know I wanted to draw a bunch of circles!

Inspired By:

1917.  This actually sparked an idea for me in terms of a NaNo project, and the idea of trying to get a message to people in perilous times really speaks to me for some reason.  I haven’t worked out how I’d do it, but it is hovering in the background as an idea.

Journaling.  I just feel like handwriting things now, and I think I’m having as much fun picking out pens as I am making lists and writing how my month went.  I honestly forgot how much I liked and missed journaling, and I really am glad I’m doing it again.  I just want to write all the things, even if it’s the alphabet!

Shutterbean!  I love her blog so, so much, and her blog is a big reason why I started journaling again.  I’ve been using her food journal for months, which has been interesting but helpful, and I love seeing the photos she shares from her own life.

What I Watched:

On Netflix, I watched V Wars, which was really cool.  It ended up being on in the background while I did other stuff so at some point, I might re-watch it.  A virus turns people into vampires, and two friends find themselves on opposing sides, and that definitely caught my interest.

I also re-watched old episodes/watched new episodes of the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the t.v. show with Melissa Joan Hart back in the day, but I also love how different/dark this version is.

I’ve been re-watching the Blacklist, and for the first time ever, I’m actually watching Dr Who live.  I stopped watching somewhere during the Peter Capaldi years (when it disappeared off Netflix) , so I have some seasons I need to catch up on.  I’m determined to catch up one day.  Maybe soon, I’ll go back and re-watch from the beginning.

Movie-wise, I saw 1917, which was really good, and Dolittle, which was pretty enjoyable.  I have to say, Robert Downey Jr is a pretty solid choice to be Dolittle.

Reading:

Well, quite a lot.  This is 99% a book blog.  But Navigating The Stars and Stay Sexy And Don’t Get Murdered stand out as audio books, which I don’t do nearly enough.  And Zero Repeat Forever made the list because it was my book club read.

Thinking About:

Going to therapy!  I used to go years and years ago, and stopped.  Part of me feels like I don’t have anything to talk about but there are a few things I want to work on and process.

Also, blanket storage.  I have a ton of crocheted blankets, with 3 in progress, plus a couple more I want to work.  I’m not at a point where I need storage, but it’s something I’m going to have to do at some point.

Listening To:

The My Favorite Murder backlog.  I have gone back to the first episode and listening to old episodes when I need something different to listen to.  I’ve done a couple of audio books, plus I have one going right now, so it’s on the back burner temporarily, but it always makes me feel better!  Now that I’m not on the Saturday schedule- I don’t mind working Saturdays but I’m also glad my Saturday shifts are done- I should be able to get a little more listening time in, whether it’s a book or podcasts.

As far as music goes, I haven’t been listening to a lot.  But there are two songs I’ve been listening to a lot: Wicked Game by Emika, and Burn It Down by Fitz And The Tantrums.  I haven’t been in a music mood lately, and if I do listen to music, it’s on for a couple of minutes before I switch to something else.

Dream Life:

Here’s the thing with dreams: I know I dream.  I remember dreaming.  I know they’re really vivid.  I just can’t remember my dreams for the life of me.

Well, for the most part.  I remember the occasional dream, and I’ve taken to keeping my phone next to me in case I wake up, remember a dream, and can type it in my dream notes.

The only dream I remember having is this one: the dream where Blockbuster was still open.

That’s it.  That’s the dream.  It’s the only detail I remember.  I wish I could add more detail but I honest-to-goodness can’t.  Maybe this month, I’ll have some dreams I can share.  There’s one that super-weird but I’m going to be terrible and not tell you now, because I want to save it for the next recap, just in case it’s my only one.

Researching:

Therapists!  I need to find someone who takes my insurance, and I know there’s one place I can go, but I’m curious to see what else is out there.  I suppose I could have done this in the Thinking About section, but I think I’m going to leave it here.

Craft supply storage!  I wanted to organize my pens and notebooks a little more, so I spent some time researching rolling carts.  I have since gone to Michael’s and purchased a couple of carts, and getting that semi-organized will be really nice!

Eating + Drinking:

Tea And Water.  Mostly because I had a cold for about a week or two, and coffee tasted terrible.  That’s how I knew I was sick…because normally coffee is not terrible.  Smoothies too, because I’ve really wanted to eat fruit, and berries looked good, but because I am weird, I can only have berries in smoothies.

And soup.  Again, I was sick for a bit, so soup sounded good.  Plus, I had some leftover, frozen turkey from Thanksgiving I wanted to use up, and turkey soup was really comforting.

Grateful For:

A new year!  I don’t know why, but this year, I’ve felt a need for a fresh start and setting goals/intentions/resolutions for the year.  I just feel so excited about what I want to do for this year.

Time to write.  I’ve been journaling and blogging- mostly at the library because I really want to work it in somehow.  Saturday morning is my usual writing time, and it took some time to figure out when else I could write, but I’m glad I took the time to write on different days and times, instead of just not writing.  It’s kind of nice, when traffic is really terrible, to stop at the library and write until traffic dies down.

And I’m also grateful Mysterious Galaxy is staying open!  I was sad to hear that they lost their lease, but they have since found new owners and a new location, so I’ll be able to go to book club and the really cool author events they have!

The Good Things:

I’m actually going to share this page, and while it’s pretty simple, I also really like it!  Mostly because I really want to write down this quote from The Bone Houses that I really liked somewhere.  I wanted to fill the page with something cool.  Making note of quotes from the books I read…I don’t usually do that, but there’s been a few that I liked enough to write down.

As for good things that happened, I feel like it’s pretty self-explanatory but there are the things I wanted to remember for the beginning of the year.

Some of it, I already talked about, like journaling, a fresh start, and Mysterious Galaxy staying open.  Getting organized- I’ve made a good start with looking at storage options, but now it’s time to actually do it.

But I mostly just want to talk about the book signing for Chosen by Kiersten White!  She’s also fun to see, and I love going to her book signings.  I’ve never seen Buffy, even though I always meant to after going to the signing for Slayer last year.  Thankfully, you don’t need to have watched Buffy in order to read the book, which is nice.  I can say I’m going to watch it someday as much as I want, but who knows?  Maybe it’s something I’ll actually get around to doing this year.  Don’t quote me on that, because I told myself I was going to watch it all before this signing, and I never did so…yeah.  Following through is not always my strong suit.

I honestly think that’s all for this recap.  I’ll see everyone soon, and for now, enjoy the sunset!

Currently Obsessed With: It’s 2020!

I can’t believe it’s 2020 already!  I feel like 2019 passed by in a blur, and that it’s not only a new year, but a new decade!

2019 has been fun and it felt like so much and yet so little has happened.  I’m looking forward to a new year, and I actually have some things I want to focus on for 2020.  It’s that time of year where I sometimes decide I’m going to do all of these things, and do them for a while, only to stop doing them.  I really want that to be different this year.

One of the biggest things was taking a vacation at the end of the year- I talked about part of it here, and going to three theme parks in three days was fun but exhausting.  I spent the rest of my time off doing nothing but sitting in bed, watching t.v.  Okay, I did do a few things, like get my hair cut and seeing Star Wars, which I liked.  Plus some last minute Christmas shopping, since I was at the mall already.  Going back to work was pretty hard, especially because I went back the day after Christmas.  I definitely need to take more vacations!

I want to go to more places.  I haven’t been to the zoo in ages, so maybe it’s time to start going again.  Maybe I’ll even go back to Universal Studios.  To, you know, see the rest of it, because I only did the Wizarding World and then left.  I’m definitely going back to YALLWEST, and maybe I’ll even make my way to the LA Times Festival Of Books.  They are on back to back weekends, so that might be a good time for a vacation!  Even if I do absolutely nothing during that time.

I’ve been to the movies more times in the last couple of months than I have the rest of the year combined!  Since late November, I’ve seen Frozen 2, Stars Wars, Little Women and Knives Out.  I remember, just a few years ago, going to the movies a lot more than I have been, and it’s fun to watch something new, instead of re-watching the same two or three shows over and over.

So what do I want to focus on for 2020?

I crochet, but I really love Shutterbean, and her blog is such an inspiration!  I want to be more creative and painting and drawing sounds fun but I feel like I have no talent for it.  I’ve tried hand-lettering a little, but I’m planning on exploring it more.  I also love seeing all of the photos she shares, and at least right now, I’m determined to take more pictures this year.  I’ll still crochet, of course, and since it’s taken a backseat over the last few months, I’m going to start crocheting more.  It may be time to pick up another big project, like a blanket…or maybe continue the couple of blankets I started and never really went back to or just pick up every once in a while.

And journaling!  I used to journal all the time in high school and even college, and then, over time, I just sort of stopped.  I have a few sitting on my table, and even though they’re more guided than what I used to do back in high school, I think having something guided will be good.  I think it will focus my attention and get me to write about something specific.  Maybe, in time, and if I keep up with it, I’ll do more free-form journaling.

I’ve been using the food journal for about 6 months now, and it’s been nice to look back and see what I’m eating.  I’ve tried the counting calories food tracking thing, and I always give that up after a week or two.  But writing down what I eat allows me to see what I’m eating and what I need to work or what I want to keep doing.  Drinking water is something I need to do more of because I don’t drink enough of it!  It’s actually more helpful for me than counting calories, but I’m all for whatever is easier for people.

I also want to start cooking and baking again!  I love cooking and I love baking even more but I haven’t done a lot of it over the last 6 months or so.  I’ve relied a lot on sandwiches and t.v. dinners, mostly because I’ve felt too lazy to cook.  But it’s a new year and it’s time to start cooking again.  Things got a little weird for a while, and I felt lazy, unmotivated and apathetic.  With a new year and a new decade, I’m feeling motivated and determined to make it last.

Back to cooking, though.  For a while, I didn’t really feel up to cooking or baking, but having done some of it over the holidays reminded me of how much I like it, and fun it is.  I have so many cookbooks, and it’s time to use them every week, instead of every few weeks.

Two things I’ve made lately: Instant Pot Ragu|Instant Pot Beef Brisket

They were both really good, and I have a lot of the Beef Brisket in the freezer right now, because it was a lot more than I could eat.  I’m glad I have something I can pull out of the freezer!  I have a couple of things I’m going to make, but I have some cookbooks I’m going to go through so I see what I’m in the mood for and put some sort of menu/meal plan together.

Even though creativity and cooking are two big things I want to focus on, I think focus is the underlying current.  For part of the year, I haven’t really felt like myself, and I had a hard time focusing on things like crochet and cooking, and over the last few weeks, I’ve felt like I can focus on it again.  I think, once I get back into, I’ll be fine, and getting back to being myself and doing things I enjoy.  If it means hanging out at the library more, or going to Panera or somewhere else to crochet or doodle or write things that may or may not be nonsense, then I’m going to do it.  And maybe make my apartment a place I want to be creative- though it is fun to get out of the house sometimes, and there’s something soothing about not being at home and doing something creative.  I’ve always been more productive when I’m not at home.

I’m feeling really excited about a new year and trying out new things.

Have a happy great 2020,

Currently Obsessed With: The NaNo Procrastination Edition

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. readers!  I hope it’s a fun holiday for all of you, and I’m looking forward to all of the food.

I feel like I haven’t done one of these in forever!  The last time I did one of these, I resolved to do them more often but that’s never happened.  Honestly, I feel like I haven’t had enough to talk about as far as non-review posts go.  There has been the occasional cool stuff on the internet post, but that’s been about it.

I’ve been in a blogging mood lately, though.  I’ve been catching up on reviews that I haven’t felt like doing, and in an effort to write something that’s not my novel, it seemed like a good time to do something different.

There’s nothing like procrastination to get me to do something different.  And it is my favorite time of year.

November!

AKA the month where I write a ridiculous amount of words in the span of 30 days.  This year, I’m writing a YA apocalyptic/sci-fi story where alien invasion meets the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.  It’s going better then I expected, considering I didn’t feel like planning anything.  Good, as in I’ve actually reached 50,000 words!  It’s definitely a year for pantsing it, and it’s been a while since I’ve done that.

My brain, however, has decided it needs a break, so it’s time to catch up on blogging, and I may pick up one of my crochet projects to give my mind a break more of a break.  It always ends up being a good reset, and I always go back to my project refreshed.  I’m hoping it will get me back in the noveling mindset.

I may or may not do some sort of wrap-up post in December.  I’m really thinking about it, because I feel feel like talking about it a little more.  It kind of makes me wish I had a second project to work on but I don’t have the energy for multiple novels this year.  Ever since that one crazy year where I did three 50,000 word novels in one month, I’ve been burnt out on the multiple novels in one month thing.  Maybe next year, I’ll have a smaller project to work on as a break from the main one.

Nail Polish & Skin Care Land

It’s been I don’t know how long since I’ve talked about nail polish, and earlier this year, I was sad to see the Julep Maven subscription box get discontinued.  I haven’t found a great nail polish subscription box to take it’s place, which is sad because I loved getting nail polish every month.

If anyone knows of a nail polish-only subscription box, let me know in the comments!

I have fallen in love with the ILNP brand.  They have some amazing colors, and while I have a lot of purples, they have a lot of other gorgeous colors.  I’m glad I gave them a try, and I’m always looking to see what else I want to try.

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I’ve gotten super-into skincare.  It’s that time of year where I can’t slather on enough lotion, and it seems like my skin is a lot drier than normal.

I’m in love with this 72 hour Hydrator from Clinique, and my face feels a lot more hydrated/less dry since I’ve been using it.  I’m also in love with this lip mask from Laneige.  My lips have been so dry and cracked, and they’re so much softer.

I’ve barely made a dent in it, and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks.  A little goes a long way, and I like it so much I got the chocolate mint one!  There were a couple of nights where I didn’t use it, and I noticed the difference in the morning.  Combined with O’Keefe’s Cooling Relief Lip Repair Balm (which I actually found at Wal-Mart), my lips are no longer cracked and peeling and super dry.

Speaking of subscription boxes…

There are a couple of boxes that I really like!  There’s the Feeling Fab box, which I’ve been getting for a few months, and I really like it!  It’s a lot of skincare, but they’re more sample sizes, which is good, because it’s a good way to test stuff out.  It’s been interesting, but it’s also been really fun and I’ve found some stuff I want to keep using.  I’m going to have to get a picture one of these months.

I also love the Lit Box from Frostbeard.  I’ve been a fan of their shop on Etsy for a long time now, and even though I’ve only been getting their box for a couple of months, it’s fun to get a new scent, plus other really cool stuff that goes with their scent of the month.  I love that you have the option to get either the candle or the wax melts- I’m a wax melt person, but when I saw they had it, I knew I had to get it.

Other Fun Stuff

I’ve been to a couple of book signings, and I had a blast at both events.

I got The Guinevere Deception signed, and having a new Kiersten White book to read is really exciting!  Plus, Kiersten is funny and her signings are always really fun to go to.

I also got to meet Marissa Meyer, and I had an amazing time listening to her talk about how much her Renegades trilogy changed since she got the original idea!  I’ve been a fan since reading her Cinder series, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see her in person.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m going to Disneyland with my family next month!  That’s the main thing I’m excited about, and I’m glad to take an actual vacation for once.  It’s been a few years since I’ve taken one, and I can’t wait to go.  I’m tempted to take a day and go to Universal Studios for the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter.  It’s not too far of a drive from Disney, so it would be the perfect time to go.  It’s close enough I could make the trip up there if I don’t make it, so we’ll see if I make it over there.

Honestly, that’s the main thing I’m looking forward to, and I feel like I’m missing a few other fun things.  But it’s November, and my brain can only handle so much right now.  I’m going to leave it here, and I’ll be back soon!

Happy Thanksgiving/Happy Thursday!

Currently Obsessed With: July 2019

Hello!  I can’t believe it’s August already, and the year is really flying by!

July was a pretty fun month for me.  Not a lot happened, but it was still a great month.  I went to the San Diego Zoo a few times…I ended up getting a membership when I went on July 4th, and it’s really fun to just walk around.  I’m pretty sore for a couple of days afterwards, because there are a lot of hills, but it’s worth it.

How can you not love baby giraffes?  There are two right now!  I only got a picture of one, but they’re both really adorable.

I just love the giraffes.

I’m bummed I didn’t make it before the pandas left a while back but we have polar bears!

Gerenuks look really cool, and they remind of giraffes.  And it’s amazing how they can stand up to eat.

And I actually managed to see a koala awake, which feels like a small miracle!

Anyway, that’s enough zoo talk!  I mostly just wanted to share some of the pictures, and there may be more to come.

I also hung up some pictures last month, and I can’t believe it’s taken me over a year to start decorating my room.  I’m in love with this starfish photo, this sea urchin photo, this macaron print, a really cool pineapple print, a Dragonfly Inn poster, and a Stars Hollow poster.  It’s just nice to actually have stuff hanging on my walls.  I’m actually surprised that I don’t have anything Harry Potter related hanging up but maybe I will one of these days.

I also had book club, which was fun!  We read The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson, and I really liked it.  I really liked the magic, and how connected they were to crows.  I’m curious to see where things go, and I’m pretty excited about the next book.

Really, that’s all I have for today.  I wish I had more to talk about, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have more to talk for August!  I hope you have a great day!

Currently Obsessed With: May 2019

Hey everyone!  It’s actually good to be back with my monthly wrap-up feature, and I’m really hoping this will come back more regularly.

May was a pretty fun month!  It started off great with YALLWEST, which I already talked about here.  I’m not really going to talk about it again, but I had a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for next year!

So, this is an April thing, and not a May thing, but I have to share a picture of the cake we had at book club in April.  It’s too cool not to share.  I can’t believe it’s been a year already!  The cake was made by celestialsweets, and you can find her on instagram here, if you want to check out her other creations.  All of which look awesome, by the way.

I also had a birthday, which was fun!  I’m pretty sure I ended up with food poisoning, but at least I started feeling the effects of it at the end of the day.

I never realized how cool the benches were at Fiesta De Reyes.  I know that’s super random, but it’s true!  I love how they’re decorated.

Usually when I go to Old Town, I get my coffee and some candy, and leave but it was a nice day out, so I decided to wander around for a while.  I always get taffy, and every once in a while, I’ll add some other candy too.

Anyway, Cousins is an old-timey candy shop and it’s fun just to go in and look around.  Even though I didn’t get any tea this time, when I do, I always get the black currant tea and the peach white tea.  I also love their highlander grog coffee.  If you happen to be looking for recommendations for coffee or tea.

You thought you were done looking at benches, weren’t you?

You’d be wrong, because there’s one more!

It was definitely a good day to stop and admire this flowers.

And also these flowers.

Plus this really cool plant.

And a huge tree!

And I don’t know why, but I always have to look at this flagpole!

No birthday is complete without ice cream.

Oddly enough, I didn’t have cake…but I was in the mood for ice cream, that I sadly didn’t get a picture of.  I didn’t think of it until I was done eating.  And of course, since it’s me we’re talking about, I did get some yarn.

I’ve been thinking about making some washcloths and those little face scrubbies.  Since I don’t have a lot of cotton yarn in my stash right now, I stopped by my local yarn store and got some.  I have a few projects going on and I swear, there’s a post coming on what I’m working on.  Not today, because I have zero pictures, and when it comes to craft projects, it’s always fun to actually see them.

That’s all for today, and I hope you have a great day!

Random Ramblings: The What’s Been Going On Edition

So, remember, years ago, when I used to do a monthly recap post called Currently Obsessed With?  They were going pretty strong and then they just sort of stopped, and lately, I’ve been thinking that I should bring that back.  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing the book reviews and those are not going anywhere.  But I’ve been doing my internet link posts, and it’s been nice to talk about something other than books.

An Easter Basket For My Mom

I made my mom an Easter basket!  It was really fun getting some stuff to put in there, and I wanted to get her something for Easter.  I picked up some food from the Honey Baked Ham store, and it was pretty good.  I figured the places that were open would be busy, and it seemed easier than making something.

I also cracked and bought an Instant Pot.  I’ve only used it once, but it makes pretty good taco meat.  For the longest time, I thought it was just a fad, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.  I think it’ll come in handy during the summer because there is no way I’m turning my oven in my apartment.  Unless I want it to get even more warm than it already is.

If anyone has any good recipes, send them my way.  I’ve found a few recipes that look good, and I also bought Dinner In An Instant and Comfort In An Instant.  I have yet to use them, of course, but I’m looking forward to using it.

I’ve been on a shopping spree lately, especially with clothes.  I hate buying clothes, but some of the clothes I had are starting to fall apart so it was time for some new clothes.  I shared some of the tops I’ve purchased lately in my latest around the internet post, and I am totally that person who will buy the same shirt in every color possible.  I’m really picky about clothes, so when I find something I like, I’ll get in every color because I know it fits well, and it saves me from trying to find other things.

I’ve been on a skincare kick lately, and I don’t know why I try end up using products that aren’t Clinique.  I’m not sure why but my skin also seems to look and feel better when I use it.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time either in Sephora or on their website lately…I love the liquid facial soap in mild, the clarifying lotion 2 and, in a big departure for me, I actually decided to give the dramatically different hydrating jelly a try.  I’ve only been using it for about a week, so I’m going to hold off on opinions on it for now.  I also picked up these wipes when I was in Sephora, and I really like them!  They’re great for when I need to cleanse but don’t feel like doing my whole routine.

I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately, now that I’m looking this post over!  Clearly, I’ve been shopping a lot lately.

I’ve been crocheting some lately.  I have to take some pictures of what I’ve been working on- blankets, mostly- but I have a hat I’m working on right now.  I have a few projects in mind- blankets, of course, but I was thinking of making some Christmas ornaments as presents, so now would probably be a good time to start on that.

It really sounds like I have a lot of blankets, don’t I?  Okay, there’s 5 that are finished, plus two in progress.  One is made up of granny squares, and I still haven’t finished sewing it together.  One of these days, I will.

Some Art Supplies

I recently subscribed to CreativeBug, and I got some art supplies at Michael’s.  They have some art classes and lettering classes that look really cool, and while I love crochet, I’ve also been wanting to try to something else.  I’m pretty excited, and I’ll try to remember to get some pictures of the stuff I do, so I can share them.  If anyone has good recommendations for art supplies, I’d love to hear them, especially for pens!

I’ve been going to a book club for the last year or so!  It’s hosted by Mysterious Galaxy, which is a local bookstore here in San Diego, and it’s really fun.  It’s been great because I never would have picked up some of the books on my own.  I haven’t loved all of them but that’s how those things go sometimes.

And the last thing I’m going to talk about is YALLWEST!  I’ve been meaning to go ever since I heard about it, but it never seemed to work out.  But this is the year it’s going to happen, and I’m excited.  It’s going to be a long drive since it’s in Santa Monica, but since my mom usually works early on Saturday mornings, I’ll probably head up there after dropping her off.

I think that’s all for today!  I don’t know know how often I’ll be doing these posts- hopefully, I’ll start doing them monthly again but it may be more sporadic.  And I’ll definitely be keeping it as Currently Obsessed With.

Happy Friday!

Currently Obsessed With: June 2017

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month feature where I talking about my favorite things from the last month.

I can’t believe it’s July already!  Where has the year gone?  It feels like it was January just yesterday!

Books:

I bought a few books this month- I bought Now I Rise by Kiersten White, Glitter by Aprilynne Pike, Escape Velocity by Jason Hough, and Love Real Food by Katheryne Taylor in print.  I also bought On The Edge Of Gone and Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, and the Nook version of And I Darken by Kiersten White, all of which are e-books.  I haven’t settled on my audible pick- nothing’s jumping out at me, but maybe something will later on.

I’ve also been getting audio books from Audio Book Sync, but the choices this year aren’t as appealing as the picks from previous years.  I’ll give them a try, though, because maybe I’ll end liking some of them.

Crochet:

I haven’t been crocheting a lot- the blanket is officially on hold until it’s cool enough to work on it again, but I haven’t picked up anything else.  I think last month I mentioned ordering an embroidery kit, which finally arrived in the mail, but has been sitting in my yarn basket since getting it.  I might pick it up, but I might go with something else. I haven’t been in much of a crocheting mood, but at least I have a few projects in mind for when I do pick up my yarn and hooks.

T.V./Movies:

I haven’t seen any movies, and I haven’t watched a lot of t.v. either.  I did watch The Keepers on Netflix, which I really liked.  It was more about the abuse that some girls at Keough High School experienced, and the lasting effects that it had, rather than the murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik.  Her murder is still unsolved, but it was horrifying to see what some of the students had to go through, and how nothing was done.  My question is this, though: why Cesnik?  It sounds like a lot of the teachers knew what was happening, so why her?  It could have been any one of the teachers.  Anyway, it was still interesting to watch.  I’m not sure what to watch next, since I have been in much of a mood to watch anything.  I have a shortlist, but I can’t decide, since I’m not in the mood for anything right now.

Around The Internet: 

June Things:

I went to the launch party for Now I Rise by Kiersten White!  It was a lot of fun, and it made me really excited to read it.  I’m not done with the book yet, but I really love Lada.  She’s willing to do whatever she can to help Wallachia, and she really cares about her country.  You know how with trilogies, the middle book feels like a bridge between the 1st and 3rd book?  You don’t get that with this book at all, which is really nice and completely awesome.

I loved hearing her talk about some of her upcoming projects, and writing this series (and writing in general).  I really need to take notes or something during author events because there are so many things I want to talk about, and then I don’t because I forget the really interesting stuff.  I did like what she said about how she likes to explore questions, and that she might not have written some of her earlier books now, because it was something she needed to explore at that time.

I got a new job!  It’s with the same company, but a different position.  I wasn’t expecting to get it, but I’m glad I did.  I didn’t realize how much I needed to change positions until I actually did, and I’ll be glad once they hire someone for my old job so I can focus on the new one.

July:

July Fourth is almost here, and I have no plans.  Maybe I’ll go see some fireworks, but then again, by the time that comes around, I might be too lazy to leave the house.  July looks like it’ll be pretty uneventful, at least at this point.

Music/Podcasts:

I’ve been on a trying-to-catch-up-on-podcasts kick lately, so no music choices for today.  If anyone has any music recommendations, I am completely willing to check out it.  I make no promises about actually liking it, but there’s no harm in trying, right?  I also have no new podcast recommendations, because I’m pretty sure I’ve shared all of the ones I would have talked about, but maybe next month I’ll have something.

Have a great week, and for those in the U.S., I hope tomorrow is full of fun and food!