Currently Obsessed With: May 2017

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

May was fun!  I find myself needing to review quite a few books…but unable to find the motivation to sit down and write them.  They will be coming, though, I promise.  Maybe I’ll start going to the library or Starbucks or something once or twice a week to get myself back into writing and blogging, since that’s the only place I seem to be productive these days.

For whatever reason, I’ve had a hard time writing at home, and I really have to sit down and force myself to do it. But if I’m not at home, I’m perfectly fine.  It’s weird, because while I’ve always managed to write at home just fine, it’s never been this hard.  I’m randomly in the mood to blog, but maybe the lack of motivation is a weird way to get me to take a break?  I haven’t really taken a break from blogging since I started back in 2010.  I can’t believe it’s been that long, but maybe it’s overdue.  I’ll be glad to get back to it consistently because I really miss it.

Books:

I did buy a few books last month!  I got The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye, Soldier by Julie Kagawa, and Binti and Hello, Moto, both of which are by Nnedi Okorafor.  I also got a couple of cookbooks: Joy The Baker’s Over Easy and Five Ingredients Or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook by Stephanie O’Dea.  Now that it’s summer, it’s pretty much time to dust off my crock-pot and find some new recipes.

I know it sounds weird, but I use the crock-pot more during the summer than any other time of year. It just gets so hot that I don’t want to turn on the oven or stand over a stove and cook anything, and the crock-pot is a pretty easy (and wonderful) way to cook that doesn’t require the oven or the stove.

I’m actually really excited about the slow cooker cookbook, because I really like her recipes- the ingredients are things I either have on hand, or things I can find easily at the grocery store.  I can’t wait to start making things from it.  I’m also really excited about the Joy The Baker cookbook too.  I have her other cookbooks, and I love her recipes, so I had no hesitation in ordering it online.

I also got The Rose And The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh and When Dimple Met Risha by Sandhya Menon from Audible.

Crochet: 

I’m still working on the blanket I mentioned last month!  I still don’t know what I’m going to work on when it’s too hot to work on it.  I’m going to have to find something in the next couple of weeks, because I figure by the end of the month, I’ll have to set it aside.

It might be the perfect time to work on a Viking hat- I’ve always wanted to make one, so I might start on that first. I also ordered a beginner embroidery kit from Etsy, since I’ve always wanted to try my hand at something besides crochet, and that seemed like a good start.

I also have this shawl that I started last year, and I’m considering going back to it.  It’s been in time-out for a long time, because the stitch count is completely off, and I didn’t want to keep going…but I also didn’t want to frog it either.  At this point, I’m considering frogging it and starting over, because being off on the stitch count is really bothering me.

Crocheting something that required a lot of attention during my lunch was not a good idea- I eventually switched over to projects that didn’t require any (or minimal) counting because then I wouldn’t lose track of where I was.

I’m also considering doing something made out of granny squares- I’m towards a blanket (of course) or a bag. Making the squares will be fun, but I’m a little hesitant because eventually I will have to put the squares together and there would be so many ends to weave in.  I have the feeling that they may sit there for a while before I get around to doing that.  By the time I have enough for some sort of project, summer would be over though.  Since I’m not sure what to make with them, I’d probably skip over the one method of attaching the squares where you do it as you go along.

T.V./Movies:

Let’s start with movies!  I saw Guardians Of The Galaxy, and it was fun.  Which wasn’t surprising, considering the first one was fun, but Groot was my favorite part of the whole movie.  I have the soundtrack, but have yet to listen to it- I liked the music but not as much as I like the music from the first Guardians Of The Galaxy.  I did really like a couple of the song, though.

I never made it to Everything, Everything, which I want to see, but I don’t know that I want to see it enough to see it in an actual theater.  Also, there aren’t a lot of showings, and none of the times work super well for me. They’re not horrible, but I don’t want to see the movie enough to make it work.

As for t.v., I’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix!  I really like Matt Smith in it, and I wasn’t sure if I’d like him in it.  And I’m not sure who’s playing Queen Elizabeth, but I really like her!  I also watched a few episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, and I like it, but not as much as I thought.  It’s hard to watch- mostly because it’s something I can see happening.  Not to the degree that it’s happening in the show, of course, but so much of what’s happening seems so very familiar, and not in a good way.

I haven’t read the book, though, so I wonder if maybe that’s why I’m not as excited as I thought?  In a lot of ways, I’m glad I got to watch it before reading the book, because I don’t have the book to compare it too, and I can go into it with a fresh set of eyes.  Plus, the wait list for the audio book is really long- it’s narrated by Claire Danes, which I think will be cool/interesting.  I did try reading it a few years ago, but it didn’t work for me, so I’m hoping the audio will work better for me.

As for what to watch next…I’m not sure what to go with next.  Nothing is really jumping out at me, but I’m considering watching this series called The Keepers.  It’s about this nun who was murdered, and the connection it may have to a priest who was accused of abuse.  I’ve heard a lot about Anne With An E, so that’s on the shortlist. I’ve only the first couple of books, and that was when I first started blogging years ago, so maybe I’ll watch it and then re-read it.  And I haven’t watched the latest season of The 100, so I’m between those 3 for now.

I haven’t listened to many podcasts lately, so I’m super behind on those.  I’ve given up hope for catching up on Gilmore Guys and Alohomora- their episodes tend to be long (especially Gilmore Guys, those 3.5/4 hour episodes kill me sometimes), and it’s hard to get through anything that’s over an hour-and-a-half tops.  But since I’m not really in the mood to watch anything, maybe I’ll switch over to podcasts for a while.

Around The Internet:

  • I don’t think about what it’s like to be a truck driver, but this article about truck drivers is pretty interesting.
  • I always wonder about storing certain foods (especially produce), and this list of resources seems like it will be really helpful.
  • I really like this article about writing ASL.  It’s such a visual language, and I wonder if some of the points mentioned in the book are why I had major issues with Soundless by Richelle Mead.
  • There are two interesting articles about some of the changes made to what the Librarian Of Congress can do.  You can find them here and here.
  • I think trigger warnings are important, and I love this post about why they matter.
  • I’m still on the fence about watching 13 Reasons Why- I was not a fan of the book, and from what I’ve heard about the t.v. show (from sources I trust), I’m not sure it’s for me.  I do want to know what people are talking about, though, so maybe eventually?  At any rate, there are a ton of articles and blog posts about the series, and this is one of my favorite posts I’ve seen so far.
  • I have yet to see the video, but this article highlighting a panel Chimamanda Adichie and Trevor Noah did on cultural identity in both literature and life makes me want to watch it even more.
  • If you’re looking for podcasts about food & nutrition, this list might be a good place to start.  I haven’t listened to any of them, but a couple have caught my eye.
  • Speaking of food: I made this lemon chicken, and it was really good!  Unfortunately, I went to make it, only to realize I took out a package of chicken thighs and drumsticks instead of all chicken thighs, but it was still really good with the drumsticks.  If anyone is wondering.
  • I also really liked this recipe for skillet chicken, and I like the idea of this breakfast meal prep.  I usually stick with oatmeal, since that’s a lot easier for me to prep, but I might do this every once in a while.

Fun Things I Did In May:

  • I did a Star Wars pub trivia thing with some friends.  I am completely horrible with Stars Wars trivia, but it was still fun!
  • I went to a book signing for Injection Burn!  I know Jason, and it was great to go and support him and his book!
  • My birthday was a few days ago!  Car stuff took up part of my day- it turns out I had a nail in one of my tires, and that was why it randomly needed air, but thankfully it was able to be patched up.  I will need new tires pretty soon, though, but not right away.  On the plus side, my car is good, and there’s nothing wrong with it.
  • Back to my birthday!  I did wander around Old Town for a while.  They have this shop that sells coffee and tea, and I was in desperate need for both, so I stopped by and got some.  I love their Highlander Grog coffee and their black currant tea.  I also stopped to get some salt water taffy from Cousin’s Candy Shop, and it’s fun to see them pulling the taffy and cutting it up.  Plus, they usually have samples.
  • And I know I can buy olive oil and balsamic vinegar elsewhere (and for a lot cheaper) but I just really, really like this roasted garlic olive oil and fresh apple balsamic vinegar.  I also like that they have a tasting room, which I would never think to do.  And tacos!  It’s Old Town, so there are a ton of Mexican food restaurants, and since I was really hungry, I figured I might as well eat something, and fish tacos sounded really good.

June Things I’m Looking Forward To:

Honestly, it’s not much.  I am looking forward to the launch party for Now I Rise by Kiersten White, but that’s it. Maybe I’ll do something else, but who knows?  I have plenty of time to figure it out.

Music/Podcasts:

Well…I haven’t been listening to anything new, music wise.  I do have a couple of podcast recommendations I want to share.

  • I just started listening to The Baby Sitter’s Club Club, and even though I’ve listened to the most recent episode, plus their first episode, I am already a fan.  It makes me want to go back and re-read the series along with them, because I haven’t read those books in forever.  Even though it’s been a very long time since I picked up a BSC book, it’s still easy to follow along.
  • I also started listening to My Favorite Murder.  It’s worth checking out if you like true crime, and I think it’s pretty interesting.  I’m a few episodes behind, but I’m hoping I can get caught up soon.

That’s all for today!  Have a great Sunday!

Currently Obsessed With: Wrapping Up 2016!

Happy new year!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year.  I spent New Year’s Eve with a friend, and we watched Clue the movie, played a game, and watched the Doctor Who Christmas special.  It feels like 2016 went by so fast, and it was an interesting year, to say the least.  It felt like so much happened!  I thought, instead of just focusing on December, I’d take a look back at the whole year.

Currently Obsessed With

Crochet:

This was the year of the crocheted blanket!  I made quite a few blankets- I finished three, and I’m still working on another one.  Blankets are so easy, and I don’t have to think about what I’m going to work on next, but I also want to work on something different, so maybe I’ll find some other projects to work on.  I’m hoping this is the year that I actually make fun hats for NaNo earlier in the year, instead of scrambling to make something in October.

Books:

I got quite a few of them!  I got the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts as a present, I got the first 2 Iron Fey books on audible, and I bought An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho.  I wasn’t sure what to get on Audible, because I have my eye on quite a few new-to-me books.  Nothing seemed right, and when I was looking through my wishlist, I noticed the Iron Fey books and decided to get the first 2.  They are narrated by one of my favorite narrators, it’s what I’m in the mood for right now.

I also bought A Thousand Boy Wishes by Tillie Cole, and I pre-ordered The Hate U Give and Frostblood with a Barnes and Noble gift card.  It was so hard picking which books to get- I had a hard time deciding between 2017 releases, and I have the feeling I’ll be pre-ordering quite a few books this month.

5 Favorite Things I Watched:

  1. Stranger Things is really good, and one of my favorite new shows!
  2. Fantastic Beasts was my most anticipated movie this year, and I have three words: erumpet mating dance.
  3. Deadpool was fun!
  4. The new Gilmore Girls episodes did not disappoint, and I loved going back to Stars Hollow.
  5. Finding Dory was adorable.

Fun Things From The Last Year:

  1. My trip up to Oregon.  I went for a cousin’s wedding, and had a great time.
  2. All of the book events I went to!  In particular, the signings for the Welcome To Night Vale scripts, And I Darken by Kiersten White, Imprudence by Gail Carriger and The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary Pearson.
  3. I had a great time at the midnight release party for HP & The Cursed Child.  When Deathly Hallows came out years ago, I never thought we’d get another midnight release party, and it was a nostalgic night but also cool to have another midnight party for a Harry Potter book.
  4. NaNoWriMo- it’s come and gone, but I wrote at a lot of cool places, and I won.  I do want to go back to it at some point this year, hopefully soon.  If I wait any longer, I probably won’t go back to it.

Some Cool Things To Check Out:

Dinosaur Tail Feathers!  These look so cool!

National Geographic’s 50 Best Images Of The Year.

I have food on the brain today, because I want to make these french toast roll-ups, this Cheesy Beef Enchilada Rice Bake, this chicken parmesan casserole, these Asian Pork Rolls, and Bacon Cheddar Waffles And Chicken.

While we’re at, here some of my favorite links from the last year:

The 100 Most Influential Photos Of All Time

Amazing Photos From A Pilot

Here are some cool photos of the Northern Lights

One more picture-filled link: 20+ Rare Historic Photos

Anyone want to play Jane Austen Bingo?

I really need to make these crispy chicken thighs again, because they were AMAZING!

And I am so glad I came across this DIY Oatmeal Packet, because I now make my own oatmeal packets instead of buying them from the store.  I love oatmeal, and this so much cheaper!

Looking At Last Year’s Resolutions:

To be honest, I’m only doing the non-bookish resolutions, because I’m saving those for another post.

I did not crochet 52 granny squares, and I most certainly did not work on a chevron blanket I have sitting next to me. I also didn’t go out of my way to exercise, and I had a pretty good year.  My room is organized enough, though it could probably be a little more organized.  And I saved some money, but not as much as I wanted to.  I’m still not sure what goals I want to accomplish this year.  I have some reading-related goals, but absolutely nothing in terms of stuff that’s not reading-related.  If I can come up with something, I’ll be sure to share!

Favorite Picture I Took:

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but the one below is my favorite.  It’s a photo of Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

Mt Shasta

Music:

I thought I’d share a playlist of my favorite songs from the last year!  Minus I Don’t Wanna Live Forever, because it’s not on spotify, but it’s one of my favorite songs right now.



I hope everyone has a wonderful and amazing year!

Currently Obsessed With: August 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

Let’s took a look at what happened last month!

Crochet/Crafts:

August was a little bit of a crafty month for me!

I made my own Harry Potter wand…and as much as I love Harry Potter, this is my first wand.  It’s not fancy at all, but it did the trick for a Harry Potter party I went to.  I followed this tutorial, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I used knitting needles, because I, for some bizarre reason, have knitting needles.  It makes no sense, considering I don’t knit, but at least I put them to good use.  I ending up making two, because I have no use for two, much less one.

August 2016- HP Wands

I did, however, learn that it’s important to read the directions on the bottles of paint.  When you need a wand for the next day, it’s probably a good idea to NOT BUY PAINT THAT NEEDS 7 DAYS TO AIR CURE.  Because that’s what I ended up doing…and as I didn’t have 7 days, I found myself making a trip to Wal-Mart.  Mostly because by that point, Michael’s was closed and Wal-Mart is open 24 hours.  I definitely made sure I got some fast-drying paint. They turned out pretty well, all things considered.  And now I want to do more crafts.  As much as I love crochet, I think I want to branch out a little.  I’m open to suggestions!

I didn’t do a lot of crocheting last month, mostly because I haven’t been in a crocheting mood.  The only thing I really want to work on is my blanket, and it’s still too hot for that.  Maybe in another month or two, I’ll be able to work on it again.

Books:

I didn’t buy a lot of books this month- just The Beauty Of Darkness, which I also got signed!  I particularly liked this post about the signing event, which goes into a lot more detail about some of the questions she was asked.

Book Signing- The Beauty Of Darkness

As for my Audible pick, I got Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.  I feel like I’ve seen it mentioned before, and I tried reading it in print, but that didn’t work for me, so I figured I’d go for the audio.  I have a feeling it’s going to work better as a audio book for me.

T.V./Movies:

I did not see Suicide Squad, mostly because I somehow forgot, and then when I remembered, I got lazy.  So there was no movie-going in August but maybe I’ll get to see something this month!

I finished Royal Pains, which I really liked.  I also watched Stranger Things in one day, which wasn’t hard, since there’s only 1 season, and it has only 8 episodes.  I kind of want to re-watch it already because it is sooooo good! I also started watching The Ghost Whisperer, because it seemed to be the only thing I was in the mood for.

I also watched the Olympics.  Well, some of it.  Normally, I watch as much of it as I can, but for some reason, I didn’t really do that this year, which is weird for me.

Around The Internet:

I really like this post about periods in YA.

This post about romance as a genre was really nice to read.  Also: historical hangover cures.  It’s an interesting read, and it’s not something I thought about before.

Why YA Needs Quitters.  This blog post makes some really good points.

Why Romance Readers Love Reading Digitally.  I only read romance very sporadically, but I can relate to a lot of the points listed.

The Differences Between Sex & Violence In YA.  I’m not a parent, but I thought it was an interesting post, and there’s a lot that I don’t think about because I’m not a parent.

Speaking of parenting, these picture books would make some great gifts for parents.

Now I want to re-read The Baby-Sitters Club.  It makes me wish I had held onto my old BSC and Sweet Valley books.

I made banana bread!  King Arthur Flour never lets me down.

I wholeheartedly agree with this list of things you should not say to romance readers.

I think quiet/underestimated characters are important, but they get overlooked a lot.

I also have a lot of chicken in the freezer, so I made Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs and Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs. It’s a good thing I like chicken.

Things That Happened In August:

  • The Beauty Of Darkness book signing.  I already mentioned it, but it was fun to go to, and I love hearing authors talk about their book and their writing process.
  • The Harry Potter Party!  There was a lot of Harry Potter-related awesomeness for a while there, and this party was a good way to end it.  It was super-relaxed and super-crafty, and now I have some cool crafts in my room. And there’s nothing like watching Harry Potter with other HP fans.

Things I’m Looking Forward To In September:

  • The people behind Welcome To Night Vale are coming to San Diego to sign the two new Night Vale books!  The scripts from the first couple of years are being released in book form, along with illustrations and behind-the-scenes stuff, and I’m looking forward to going, because I am a huge Night Vale fan.
  • Getting ready for NaNoWriMo.  Which isn’t until November, but I have a few ideas in mind, and I’m not sure what I’m writing yet.  I definitely need to start outlining those projects, and I’m hoping I won’t be too lazy to actually do it.  I might have to go to the library, since I seem to get a lot of work done there.

Music:

  • River by Bishop Briggs.  I cannot stop listening to this song.



  • Castle by Halsey.  This is another one I’ve been listening to a lot.  There’s something haunting about the song.

That’s all for today!  I hope today is a good one for everyone!

Currently Obsessed With: July 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

July has been a fun month!  It’s also been really hot, and the lack of working AC didn’t help, so for the most part, all I had the energy to do was sit on the couch and watch t.v.

Crochet:

I finally felted the purse I talked about last month.  I tried doing it by hand, but I got really impatient, so I ended up throwing it in the washing machine.  I had to do it a couple times to get it to how you see it in the picture, but I think it also depends on how felted you want it.

July 2016- Felted Purse

I wasn’t completely happy with how the handles turned out, but that was my fault- I didn’t count as well as I thought I did for that part of it.  It’s also really small, so I’m not sure what I’m going to use it for, but I am using a different purse (that’s also bigger than what I’m used to), so maybe I’ll use it for smaller things like my keys and wallet.  But I’m not sure.  Below, you can see what it looks like, before and after felting.

July 2016 Purse Before And After

As you can see, you can still see the stitches a little bit, but I think felting is one of those things where you do it until you get the look you want.

I did a capelet and witches hat too, and both took longer than I wanted to.  But only because I got a bit lazy, so then I had to crochet furiously for about a week, just to get them done in time for the midnight release of HP And The Cursed Child.  But I got it done!  Somehow, I did, even though I’m not completely sure how!

July 2016- Fleur Collage

I really like the capelet, though I don’t know that I’ll wear it much beyond the Harry Potter events going on.  But honestly?  It was a lot cheaper/easier making it than it would be to buy it.  And it’s the same with the hat!  I will say, though, that the hat threw me a little.  I really like it, and it turned out well, but there was something slightly weird about it.

There were some rounds, mostly towards the end, where my stitch count was off for no apparent reason- and it was always the rounds where I didn’t increase.  I had the correct number of stitches in the previous round, I didn’t miss any stitches- even at the beginning and end of the round, and I even counted a good three or four times.  And yet, I was still off by one stitch, even though I should have had the correct number of stitches.  I don’t think it’s the pattern, because it was fine until the brim, so I’m chalking it up to crocheter-error.  You can find the pattern for the hat here, and the pattern for the capelet here, if you’re interested!

Books:

I went to the Gail Carriger book signing for Imprudence, and I had a great time.  If you ever have the chance to go to one of her books signings, they’re really fun.  She takes questions the entire time, and she’s funny, and people always ask really interesting questions, and she has some really funny answers.  One thing I might start doing is taking notes, just because I can never remember what they talk about, and I wish I could talk more about what people asked and what their answers are.

Also: Harry Potter midnight release party!!!!!!!!  That was fun, and I talked more about it here, but I will say that it was nice to go to another midnight release party for Harry Potter.  I can’t think of any other book that would get the midnight release party treatment.

As for the books I bought: I bought Imprudence by Gail Carriger, and Servants Of The Storm by Delilah Dawsonn. Of course, I also bought Harry Potter And The Cursed Child- both print and e-book.  I also got When Reason Breaks by Cindy Rodriguez from Audible.

T.V./Movies:

I saw The BFG, which I talked about here, and I also went to see Ghostbusters.  Ghostbusters was a lot of fun to watch, and in no way did it ruin the fact that I grew up on the original- which I now want to re-watch, because it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it.  I loved Holtzman, and Patty was awesome, and I loved that they were very much about the science, and what they had to go through in order to be taken seriously.  Also: Chris Hemsworth as the dumb receptionist was absolutely hysterical.  It definitely has its own story, and I think the all-female cast was a good choice because it meant it was really different from the original.  But there are also quite a few nods to the original Ghostbusters movie, and that was really cool.  And definitely stay for the credits, because it’s one of the most entertaining credits I’ve seen in a long time.

As for t.v., I’ve been watching Law & Order: SVU on Netflix, so I’ve basically been watching the post-Stabler seasons (which I’m sure are on hulu).  I will never understand how I can binge-watch this show.  I finished season 1 of iZombie, which I really liked, and now I’m watching Royal Pains.  I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Royal Pains, and the original stuff on USA is pretty cool, from what I’ve seen of Royal Pains and White Collar.

Around The Internet:

Reading rules we don’t follow as adults that we expect students to follow was pretty interesting reading and makes a lot of good points.

This blog post about genres and how important it is to place books into the right genre was also interesting reading.

On a semi-related note: How To Define YA and Do YA Characters Need To Be Role Models?

I liked this post about disability terminology, this one about navigating criticism and discussions about disability representation, and this one about chronic illness in YA.

I also liked this interview with 4 YA authors about sci-fi, sex and writing for young women.

If it weren’t so hot, I’d totally make these baked chicken strips.  However, that just means I may need to have these snacks on hand.

This honey lemon chicken looks really good!

This post hits the nail on the head about required reading in English class.

Speaking of school…I loved seeing these historical photos.  They really bring history to life.

I am a fan of page flags, particularly when I read non-fiction, and these make me want to buy some!

You can find all of this, and more, over on pinterest!

Things I’m Looking Forward To In August:

There’s not much, but there are a few things I’m looking forward to.

  • A Harry Potter party!  I went last year, and it was super-fun, and I’m definitely looking forward to it this year.
  • I’m going to a book signing for The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson.  I’m sad the series is coming to an end, but I also need/want to know what happens next!
  • Suicide Squad!  I usually go see all of the Marvel movies, but I almost never make it to the DC ones.  But this one looks cool.

Music:

Here’s a playlist of what I’ve been listening to over the last couple of months.  Enjoy!



Currently Obsessed With: June 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

Is it weird to anyone else that we’re now officially halfway through the year?  Because it’s a little weird to me.  June wasn’t an eventful month for me, but I think July will be more interesting!

Crochet:

It hasn’t been a big crocheting month for me.  I finished this purse…mostly.  I need to felt it, and then it’s done, but so far, it’s smaller than I would have liked, and I even added a few rows.  I’d definitely like something bigger, and I found a couple of things on ravelry that are felted and cute, but I may end up modifying it a bit to see how a bigger version would turn out.  Below you can see the “before” picture, and I’ll share the “after” once I actually felt the purse.

June 2016 Purse Pre-Felted

I also started this washcloth, but one side looks a little crooked.  It would be easily fixed once it’s done and I do the border, but I actually have to get to that point.  I may end up frogging it, and starting over, and have stitch markers at the end of each row if I have…which I might do, because even with counting stitches, it looks off to me.  Unless I’m not crocheting in the same spot at the end of each row, which is what I think I’m doing wrong, so maybe I need to do that, because I know it’s going to bug me.  Maybe I’ll make some face scrubbies to go with it…

I’ve basically put my blanket on hold for the summer, as I do not, under any circumstances, want to sit under a blanket in weather that’s probably going to be in the 80’s or 90’s for the next few months, so it’s in time-out for the time being.  Which makes me question whether doing a temperature blanket is a good idea for a year-long crochet project next year.  And I’m pretty sure I don’t have the right colors (or enough of the right colors for the one’s I do have), and since I’m trying to de-stash right now, I may do a blanket out of the random assortment of yarn I have.

I do have my eye on this capelet and this hat, as possibilities for a Fleur Delacour outfit for both a Harry Potter party I’m going to, and the midnight release party for the HP & The Cursed Child script.  That, or the sorting hat.  I may get stuff for both, and dress up as one for one thing, and go as the other one for the other thing.  I can’t seem to find a good pattern for adults, but there’s one pattern that comes up a lot for kids…I’d have to modify it, and I don’t feel confident in my abilities to actually do that, especially in a month, and with two other projects…and it seems like a few people were having trouble with the pattern, if the comments are any indication, so if I do go for a Sorting Hat costume, I might end up buying a hat off of Etsy.

Books:

It’s been quite the book buying month!  On my Nook, I bought Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund, Positive by Paige Rawl, Midnight Bites by Rachel Caine, Lord Of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase, and Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith.

I also got a few books from Audible!  I bought Interpreter Of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.  I also got Outrun The Moon by Stacey Lee with my Audible credit.

June 2016 Book Haul

I also went to a book signing for And I Darken by Kiersten White, which I reviewed here.  Marie Lu was there as well, and it was awesome to hear them talk about Kiersten’s book.  Especially having been able to read an ARC of it, and it makes me want to go back and re-read it, because I loved hearing her talk about the history and research that went into it.  And this blog post has a pretty good recap of what she and Marie Lu talked about.  I got a signed copy (and I absolutely love the cover, it’s gorgeous), plus I got a signed copy of The Young Elites. And I randomly bought Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick earlier this month.

T.V./Movies:

For movies, I saw Finding Dory, which was absolutely adorable, and I’m so glad it finally came out!  I was surprised by the number of adults in the theater, which is totally cool, but it did surprise me!

And for t.v. (by which I really mean Netflix), I watched a couple episodes of iZombie, which I like so far, but I haven’t done much watching of anything lately.  Maybe this month, I’ll start up with something.

Around The Internet:

I love this list about why libraries are awesome!

I never really thought about books being translated from British English to American English before.  But I say keep the original British English in books, because changing it takes away from the book in it’s original form.

I totally agree that we shouldn’t shame people for choosing not to have sex, just the way we shouldn’t slut-shame people.  Let’s just let people make the decision that’s best for them.

This post about what the word diverse means is absolutely worth reading.

I love seeing these pictures of libraries from all over the U.S.

It might be good to make a couple batches of these cheeseburger sliders– one to eat right away, and one to freeze.

I also want to make this hash brown casserole.  It could be interesting to throw in some chicken or something.

And when it’s not super-hot, I’m totally making this Garlic Lover’s Spaghetti.

Speaking of not crocheting blankets during the summer, these are some good tips for doing exactly that.

I love this post about your go-to not being your go-to anymore.  I’ve noticed it a little bit with my own reading over the last year-and-a-half or so, as I’ve tried to read a little more diversely.

You could probably talk for hours about spoilers, and this Book Riot post does it quite well.

As usual, you can find all that and more over on this Pinterest board.

Music:

I’ve been listening to some good stuff, I’ve just been too lazy to actually put a playlist together.  I’ll do an extra-long one next month, I promise!

Have an awesome day, and for all of my readers in the U.S., have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Currently Obsessed With: August 2015

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about all of the things I’m currently into and everything that’s been going on!

Currently Obsessed With

August has been a great month!  I went to a book signing (more on that in a bit) and I went to a Harry Potter party, which was so much fun!  I dressed up as Luna, which consisted of a floral skirt over some tights, with Converse-type shoes, some brightly colored socks, and a pink top.  I also printed up a picture of the Quibbler from a DIY Luna costume tutorial thing, and taped it to a magazine I had, and I also found a print-out of Spectrespecs, that I attached to my glasses.  I also wore the Luna Lovegood scarf!  I got sorted into Slytherin, which was funny, because I was dressed up as Luna, and I identify as a Hufflepuff…and I’m the least Slytherin person I know.  There were tons of stuff to do at the party, like coloring your own patronus, wizard’s chess, quidditch (which ended up being Slytherin vs everyone else), runes and trivia.  I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s Harry Potter party!

August has been really hot, and I’m hoping it cools down, because all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch t..v. and nothing else.

Crochet:

I haven’t been crocheting a lot, just working on the same dishcloth I’ve been working on for a couple of months- and that’s only at yarn group.  Otherwise, I haven’t been working on anything.  Oddly enough, though, I really want to pick up my blanket, which makes no sense because it’s too warm to work on it.

Books:

I went to a book signing!  For Zero World, which I think everyone should pick up.  But I am biased, since I know Jason, so keep that in mind.  But still.  Read it!  Anyway, we listened to an excerpt from the audio book, and Jason talked about the book, and how it came to be, and then he answered some questions, and it was just awesome.

Books- August 2015 Zero World

I’ve read a lot this month, but for whatever reason, I haven’t really wanted to read.  Audio books seem to be working well, though, because I finished one I started in July, and listened to three others.  I’m definitely on an audio book kick, so for now, I’ll probably be listening more, and reading less, since I’m not in the mood to read…with my eyes, anyway.

Books- August 2015 Coloring Book Collage

As for other books, I bought 3 coloring books, and it’s been awesome.  So even though I haven’t been crocheting, I have been coloring.  I definitely have a post about coloring books in the works as we speak, that’s how much I’ve been enjoying it.

I got The Book Of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez from Audible, and considering the fact that I’m on an audio book kick at the moment, I’m hoping that I get to it soon!

T.V./Movies:

I finished House, which I kind of want to re-watch because there are a bunch of episodes I had going as I was falling asleep, but I think I might wait a while for that.  I’ve watched a few episodes of season 8 of the new Doctor Who (I like it, and I’ll keep watching it as long as it’s on Netflix, which is the only way I can see it at the moment), and I still don’t like Clara, and I’m not sure how I feel about the new Doctor.  I’m sure I’ll have more of an opinion once I’ve watched the entire season.  I’ve also watched some NCIS, and that’s really about it for t.v.

I’ve also been watching Fear The Walking Dead, which makes me want to re-watch Walking Dead.  And I actually find it a lot creepier/scarier than Walking Dead.  I think it’s partly because we know what’s going on and where things are headed, since they’re both set in the same world.  And partly because you’re watching everything unfold. There have only been a couple of episodes, but I really like it so far.

I haven’t seen any movies…I don’t even know what’s out right now, and there hasn’t been anything I’ve wanted to see in a theater.

Around The Internet:

I have a lot to share this month!  I have a bunch of cool blog posts and articles that aren’t on pinterest (for more cool things I’ve read this month, go here).

I really loved this post on how to get back on track.

This article about book banning was really interesting.

Speaking of book banning, this post about some students at Duke having issues with Fun Home by Alison Bechdel made me think.

A post titled When I’m Gone really got to me emotionally (in a good way, though) and it really makes you think.

This post about getting your shit together is something I can relate to.  A lot.

There’s been a lot of talk about For Such A Time by Kate Breslin.  This post is particularly good. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books also has a great review about it.

You can now judge a book by it’s cover.  It’s interesting to see how my ratings of a book matched up with the ones on goodreads.

According to this calculator, it will take me 5 years and 2 months to read all 700+ books on my TBR list on goodreads.  Assuming I don’t add any other books…which I probably will…and also assuming I don’t keep reading any of the series I know are on there…which probably won’t happen…which means that it will take me longer than that to finish.

I made homemade applesauce, and it was amazing.  And really easy.  It’s amazing what you can do in the crock-pot.

Speaking of crock-pots, I want to make this bread.  I would never in a million years think of that.

This post makes me want more coffee mugs.  You can never have too many.

Maybe it’s time to get back to the books.

Or eat mini sausage pancake muffins.

We might even have time to look at really cool book-themed sculptures.

I think my favorite story, though, is the one about the middle school teacher who decorated her classroom Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone style.

Music/Podcasts:

So, I haven’t listened to a lot of music this month- I just haven’t been in a music mood.  And while I could share some podcasts, I won’t because I don’t feel like looking through them to figure out what I have and haven’t shared yet.

But I think I will share some that I want to check out- I don’t listen to a lot of book-related podcasts, so those are what I’m sharing.  I haven’t listened to any of them, so but I can’t wait to check them out.  And I’m always looking for podcast recommendations, so feel free to share.  I’ll give anything a try, so it doesn’t have to be book-related!

The Worst Bestsellers sounds fun.

Witch, Please sounds right up my alley.

Literary Disco seems interesting.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Currently Obsessed With: July 2015 Was So Awesome!

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

July was so much fun!  I went to a book signing and a knit and crochet show, and both were pretty awesome. I’ll talk more about them, but I’m definitely glad I went to both!

Crochet:

July was a good month for crochet things!  I made the Luna Lovegood scarf for a Harry Potter party I went to, and I really like the scarf.  I would definitely make it again, but I think next time, I’d use a bigger hook, because something about the scarf would work well with a bigger hook.  Really, the possible combinations of different hooks and yarns would make for an interesting scarf, and it would be interesting to see how much the scarf changed.

Crochet- July 2015 Luna Lovegood Scarf

I also went to the Knit & Crochet Show, and I am so glad I went!  I would definitely go again if I had the chance.  I took a couple of classes- one about shawls, and one about the shell stitch.  I learned so much (which is all I’m going to say, since one class specifically mentioned that we only say we took the class and I’m applying that rule to the other class just to be safe), and if you have the chance to take classes with Marty Miller or Karen Klemp, go for it, because I thought they and their classes were pretty awesome.

Crochet Show- Collage

I also got some yarn.  Pretty, pretty yarn.  Which is also very, very soft yarn, and all I want to do is hug the yarn and look at the yarn.  As much as I wanted to buy all the yarn, I knew that I couldn’t.  How I stuck to my budget, I have no idea.  I really don’t. But walking around before buying anything helped a lot.

I got Mulberry silk yarn with beads, and all of the colors they had were beautiful.  I’ve never crocheted with yarn that has beads throughout the yarn, but I couldn’t resist!  I think I even have a project in mind for it, which is sort of weird, but at least I know it won’t sit there because I don’t know what to do with it.  I also got some bulky pink yarn (because pink, and they’re also local, which will make it easy to get yarn from them again).  And I got fingering weight yarn (the bright green) and the yellow is a cotton and something (I want to say rayon, but I’m not sure) blend that will be fun to work with.  I think I might want to use the green for another Luna Lovegood scarf, because I think a really light-weight yarn would work for it.  And lotion from Squirrel Stash Yarn.  (Random side note: I know Cait, and I think everyone should check out her shop on etsy. She has awesome stuff).

And Lion Brand was one of the sponsors, and they had some goody bags for people who pre-registered.  I’m excited about the yarn, of course, but the bag is a reusable shopping bag which is nice for storing the yarn I got!

Books:

I went to a book signing for The Heart Of Betrayal by Mary Pearson, which I’m super-excited about, because I really liked the first book, The Kiss Of Deception.  I haven’t started it yet, because I have what feels like 50 million library books I need to read (and not being in a big reading mood right now isn’t helping), but I will read it soon!  It was fun to hear her talk about the book, and what inspired it.  Also: the poster is awesome, and I love the pins and the bookmark!

Books- July 2015 Collage

I also got The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi from Audible, which I’m looking forward to listening to, assuming I can find some time to actually do that.

T.V./Movies:

I haven’t been to the movies in a while, but I’ve been going back and forth between House and NCIS. I was surprised that NCIS was on Netflix, but now I get to watch it from the beginning.  I randomly came across the show a few years ago on USA, so I’ve never seen the episodes in order, from the beginning.  And so far, I’ve seen all of them, but still.  It’s nice to start from the beginning.  And it’s been fun re-watching House, but I think I may have re-watch the re-watch, because I have a tendency to watch it when I’m falling asleep, so I’ve missed a lot.  But it’s still a great show.

Around The Internet:

I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to Around The Internet, so you can see everything there.

I did want to specifically mention a Cover Snark post from Smart Bitches,  Trashy Books.  Also: there is a guest review for Emily’s Magical Bejeweled Codpiece here.  You need to read it, you really do.

I read a fascinating interview with Alton Brown here.

Who knew that translating Alice In Wonderland could be so challenging?  I didn’t.

Dear Author has a really thoughtful post about liking problematic things.  It’s something I have a hard time with.

I really need to spend some time looking at this list of the 37 best websites to learn new things.

Music/Podcasts:

I have no music picks this month, because I’ve added a bunch of new podcasts to my rotation.  I thought I’d share some of the ones I’ve added recently.  I’m having a hard time keeping it short, and at this point, I’m strongly considering doing a special post just to talk about more podcasts.  I’m always looking for recommendations, so if you have any, leave them in the comments!  Here’s just a few for you:

  • The Black Tapes Podcast.  The best description I can think of is Night Vale done in the style of Serial.  I was listening to it at work (there’s only 6, and they’re all an hour or less) and I was getting massively creeped out listening to it.  And there were points where I forgot it was fictional.  That’s how realistic it is.  You can check them out here.  (Also, you really need to listen in order, because otherwise, things won’t make as much sense).
  • Most of the ones from How Stuff Works- the history one, the conspiracy one, stuff mom never told you, stuff you should know, and stuff to blow your mind.  They’re all really interesting, and if you like learning about random things, they’re worth checking out.  Which you can do here.
  • The Nerdist Podcast.  It’s really funny, and more often than not, I find myself laughing as I’m listening.  The one with Ian McKlellan was really fascinating.  You can check out The Nerdist podcast here.
  • The Gilmore Guys.  It’s a lot of fun, and I came across it when I saw an article somewhere about Gilmore Girls.  It even got me to watch a few episodes of the show.  I don’t usually start at the beginning of podcast, especially if it’s over 10 or 15, like this one.  But after listening to one of the episodes, I knew I had to start back at the beginning, so it’ll be awhile before I’m caught up on this one.  You can check out Gilmore Guys here.
  • Sean DeTore’s Mixtape (found here) and The Air Raid Podcast with Aaron Roden (found here). Both have really awesome interviews with people, and I heard about them on the Grapes Of Rad (which is also a favorite and totally awesome podcast where the co-hosts talk about the most random stuff.  You can check it out here if you want).

Happy August!

Currently Obsessed With: March Was Mostly Boring

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things I’m obsessing over.

Currently Obsessed With

March was a weird month, and I talked about how I still felt pretty low energy with reading and blogging. Hopefully April will be better!

Nails/Beauty:

I don’t have much to say, since I’ve already talked up my month in nails, but I did want to talk about that super-sticky base coat I got (since I forgot to mention it).  I did notice that my nail polish started to chip within a day, which is weird because I didn’t do anything different.  But other than a few small chips (and one sort of big one), it’s been okay.

Crochet:

I haven’t really been working on anything- I just haven’t been in the mood or have the energy to crochet anything, except whatever it is I’ve been doing during yarn group.

Books:

I went to a book signing, for Prudence by Gail Carriger, and it was super-fun.  I don’t think I laughed during a book signing so much before, it was absolutely hysterical.  I also got City Of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster as my audible pick, and I’m excited because I’ve wanted to read it for ages.

T.V./Movies:

I’ve been trying to catch up on a few things, like Revenge and Blacklist!  I also loved the season finale for Hart Of Dixie, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get canceled, but something about the episode made me feel like it might be, because it felt more like a final send-off.

I saw Insurgent, which I already talked about, and I also went to Cinderella, which I loved.  The costumes and sets were beautiful, and I had Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo stuck in my head for a week.  I do wish the one song that Cinderella and her mom sing were on the soundtrack, but maybe there’s another version I can hunt down.

Around The Internet:

I’ve found a few awesome things I really want to share!

Like this post about Harry Potter Spin-Offs and this hilarious post of Harry Potter Parodies.  I think Sorted This Way is my favorite one of the bunch, but they’re all really cool!

This is a really interesting post about re-reading, and this is an interesting one about pelvic pain and YA.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a hilarious post about clippy bookmarks and romance novel covers.

I really like this post about the history of Harlequin.  It’s totally worth checking out, even if you’re not a romance fan.

This blog post about a culture of reading/a culture of buying made me think a lot!  As did this one about e-book pricing…and I think I will never understand e-book pricing.

This blog post about reading diversely reminds me that I really want to do my own post about it (even though the thought terrifies me for some reason).  It also makes me glad I’m such a YA fan, because it seems like there’s a lot of resources for YA fans, but that could just be that it’s on my radar a lot more than adult books.

Music:

I haven’t listened to a lot of music, but I do have a few new albums I haven’t had a chance to listen to. Hopefully, I’ll have more to share next month!

That’s actually it for March!  I really hope April is much more exciting and eventful for me.  Happy Thursday!

Book Talk: Book Signings Are Pretty Awesome

Yesterday was pretty awesome!  I went to the book launch party for The Kiss Of Deception yesterday, and had such a great time!  I reviewed it earlier this week, so when I saw that there was going to be a book launch party/book signing at Mysterious Galaxy (a local sci-fi/fantasy/horror/mystery/thriller/suspense bookstore), I knew I had to go.

Kiss Of Deception And Swag

I haven’t been to many book signings, but they’re always fun to go to because going makes me even more excited to read the book.  And going to a signing for a book I’ve read was fun in a different way.  I really enjoyed The Kiss Of Deception and hearing Mary Pearson talk about all of the different inspirations for the book and how writing her Jenna Fox books inspired her to write this new series definitely made me want to re-read it already!  Reading the book before going to a signing definitely adds a different element to it- I have no idea how to explain what a difference it makes, but it does.  And I’m definitely excited to keep reading, because I’m so looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Kiss Of Deception Poster Collage

Like, I love that she was inspired by lost civilizations and true love and lack of technology.  There is definitely this feeling of a world that’s not necessarily medieval Europe (which is pretty common in fantasy), but something slightly older than that.  The different songs and stories and histories of the different kingdoms really added to that, and it really is one of my favorite parts of the entire book.  And the map in the physical book really helped see where everything was.

Having read an advanced copy, I don’t think the map was included, but that map, plus the one pictured above really helped see where everything was in relation to all of the other places.  That map is one side of a pretty awesome poster that was given out at the party!  The other side is the cover of the book, which is also the side that happens to be signed.  That part is a bit hard to see, but it is there.  The cover is pretty awesome, and it sounds like she’s pretty happy with the cover!  Plus, the bookmark has a little heart attached, which makes is really cool, because it goes so well with the book, and what it’s about.

Kiss Of Deception Signed

I definitely want to go to more book signings, though.  I’ve had a blast at the ones I’ve been to, so I’m definitely going to have to go to more.  I just…don’t know how to find out about book signings- well, not completely.  I’ve been to a few at Mysterious Galaxy, because I get their newsletter (and a couple of those few were in support of a friend), and I only recently signed up for the newsletter for another local independent bookstore (Warwicks, which is allegedly 30-ish minutes from my house if there’s no traffic, according to google, but it seems like farther away than that) plus one for the county library…which I think should cover most everything.  But I don’t know if there are other places to look, so if anyone has other suggestions, I am certainly welcome to them!

I love that I can look at a signed copy of book, and have very strong and specific memories attached to that book, because it’s definitely memorable.  Although…actually reading the signed book makes me nervous, because I’m way too freaked out that something bad will happen to it, so the signed copy is the nice copy that looks like it’s never been read…because I likely haven’t actually read that copy.  So, chances are, I’ll have a 2nd (e-book) copy of the book that’s my reading copy.  Not that I would take bad care of a signed book, because there is no way I’m eating or drinking near that book, and I would definitely use a proper bookmark (instead a paper clip or folding the corner of the current page) and I probably wouldn’t take it anyway. Other. unsigned books?  I’d probably dog ear them and whatnot because I don’t really care, but not a signed copy.  Or something someone lends, because I totally take good care of books that aren’t mine.

I am so glad I went, and I definitely recommend The Kiss Of Deception!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!