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!

Book Talk: Cookbooks

Book Talk

Book Talk is a new feature where I talk about non-book review bookish things.

Today is all about cookbooks!  I really like to cook and bake (but I prefer baking), and I feel like I’m always talking about the cookbooks I buy when I do my currently obsessed feature.  It just seems like the perfect time to talk about what I look for in a cookbook and why I’m so drawn to them.

I definitely like simplicity as far as cookbooks go- I like ingredients that I can get at one of the several grocery stores near my house.  I definitely like recipes that are simple and easy to make, and not overly complicated, with a lot of steps or ingredients.  I also look at how much certain ingredients are used- mostly spices, oils and vinegars- because if I’m going to buy cardamom or champagne vinegar or coconut oil, I really want to make sure it’s something I’m going to be using quite a bit.  I just don’t want a random assortment of spices that I only used that one time because it definitely takes away from the space I could be using for things I actually use on a regular basis.

While I’m a big fan of e-books and audiobooks, I actually prefer my cookbooks in print.  I have no problem setting up my laptop on a counter with a recipe I found on a blog or on pinterest.  But it does make me nervous, because I tend to be messy when I’m cooking (much more than normal cooking messes) and knowing me, I’d spill or splatter something all over my laptop.  I don’t mind as much if food splatters over the pages of a cookbook, but I’m really hesitant to have my computer right next to the stove.

And with print, I love pouring over every single recipe to see what I want to make- I just love marking which things I want to make, and adding notes when I do make things.  Things like if I’d make it again, if I made it at all, and any notes I have about the recipe, and why I would or wouldn’t make a recipe again.  I could do these things with a digital copy, but for whatever reason, I’d rather do this with a print copy.

Actually, now I’m curious if a majority of cookbooks are even available as e-books.  I’m sure some are, but it’s not something I’d even think to look at.  For some reason, I can’t see cookbooks being a big thing in terms of e-books.  And cookbooks are pretty visual, which is why I can’t see a lot of them being an e-book.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and if it’s what someone prefers, that’s cool with me.

I feel like cookbooks say a lot about people- what they like to cook and eat, and cookbooks definitely say a lot about the people behind them too.  I’ve never really thought about what my cookbook collection says about me- and going off of that, you’d get that I really like to cook, but not that I love to bake.  But other than that…I’m not really sure.  I may have to think about this.

And I’ve never thought about this before, but cookbooks do tell a story- certain smells and foods bring up certain memories, and they’re such a good peek into a certain place and time.  Like, I love seeing recipes from the 1800’s or some other time period.  It’s just so interesting to me to get a peek into a time and place where people ate something completely different than I do, and it’s cool to see how much has changed.

I know I’ve rambled a lot but I can’t help but love cookbooks!  Have a happy Thursday!