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,

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals And Resolutions For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Goals For 2015

I can’t believe it’s almost 2015 already!  It went by really fast, and it’s weird to think that I’m setting new goals for myself. There are so many things I want to do next year, and here are some of them.

Reading:

  1. Read More Diversely.  This is my top priority this year in terms of reading.  I really need to get of my reading comfort zone a little, and read all kinds of books by and about all kinds of people.  I am going to consciously choose a few books a month about a character or written by an author that is not like me- whether it is race, religion, or sexual orientation (or any number of ways, but those 3 are the first 3 that come to mind) I NEED to do this.  Recommendations would be helpful, if you have them.
  2. Also: buy less books and read more of what I have.  I don’t know how well it will work, but I know for sure that my audible credits are going towards reading more diversely, since the other formats I own tend to be not-so-diverse.
  3. Feel less reading guilt.  The guilt I feel in terms of so many things really takes over sometimes, and I need to be not-so-hard on myself.

Blogging/Writing:

  1. Comment more on blogs.  I know I said this last year, and I started off great, before getting completely derailed.  I so need to start commenting on blogs again.
  2. Work on world-building/characters and maybe an outline for last year’s NaNoWriMo novel.  Last year, I realized I really wanted to re-write it (as I was writing it), because I couldn’t work on the world-building ahead of time for the life of me.  I have a much better idea of where I want things to go now that I’ve written a first draft, so working on that should be a lot easier now.

Crochet:

  1. Learn how to do an adjustable ring.  MY LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER IF I COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS.  Do you have any idea how many projects I avoid because I don’t know how to do it?  You probably don’t, but it’s quite a few.
  2. I also want to learn how to do new stitches this year.  I really need to try different ones just to change things up.  Still, I did do a little bit better since I tried a few new things.  Like starting a blanket, and learning the ripple/chevron stitch. And I learned how to do foundation single crochet!  The learning new crochet things will continue next year.

Other Goals:

  1. Exercise.  Everyone’s favorite cliche for resolutions.  I had random periods of doing it, but that went out the window when I sprained my ankle.  Actually, it did way before that, but do you want to know when I actually felt motivated to exercise? When I couldn’t because of my ankle.  Now that it’s better, I will (hopefully) do this!
  2. Use the nail polish I have!  I have a ton of nail polish, mostly because I have the Julep subscription box, and I get nail polish every month (well, every month I don’t skip).  On the plus side, I tend to not buy nail polish at Target or wherever, because I have a lot.  I really want to wear a different color every week, because I have so many colors I don’t even wear (or wear once or twice, and then I’m done).
  3.  Drink more water.  I don’t drink a lot of water- I drink things like tea and juice and soda and coffee, so I want to start adding in some water.
  4. I see all of these great craft ideas on pinterest, and I never do any of them.  I want to start making some of them.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish. Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own Top Ten List based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014

I can’t believe we’re a week into the new year already!  We could do bookish or non-bookish, and it somehow seems appropriate to do a combination of the two, since there’s a lot I want to do this year!

The Bookish:

  1. Re-read more.  I had this as a goal for 2013, and was good about re-reading books I’ve read since I started blogging back in 2011. But I didn’t re-read any of the print books I have, which was my original goal.  Still, I do want to re-read more this year, because it’s so easy to get caught up in catching up on the new releases.
  2. Read what I have.  With my Nook, it’s super-easy to buy books, and then never read them, so I really want to read the books I have.  At least some of them.  And as a side note, I would like to be a little pickier with the ARC’s I request from netgalley, because it’s super-easy to request books, which leads to requesting too many, and that leads to me feeling overwhelmed by ARC’s.  Basically, I need to pay attention to what I have, and actually reading them.
  3. Listen to more audiobooks.  I’m not the best at actually listening to the books I get through audible, and while I did get a little better with it last year, I really need to go on an audiobook binge this year.  Because they are pretty awesome, and they keep me from going slightly insane during the day.
  4. There are quite a few book-related things that I feel self-conscious about, and I really want to work on that, because I don’t like it, and it makes reading not-so-fun.  I’m hoping to actually talk about some of them this year, so hopefully, that’ll help a little.

The Book Blog-ish:

  1. Stay on top of behind-the-scenes blogging stuff.  Because being behind on stuff is not fun, and it makes my life easier when I stay on top of things.
  2. Writing reviews as soon as I can after finishing the book.  There were points where I got behind on reviews because I didn’t write them right away, and that made reviewing a little more difficult because certain things weren’t fresh in my mind. Writing shorter reviews every once in a while helps…and the possibility of not writing a review every once in a while could be an option this year.
  3. Comment more on posts/be a part of the book blogging community.  I really want to comment more and be a little more involved in the book blogging community, so I will do this!
  4. I want to do add in some personal stuff.  Like, I do book reviews (obviously) and the Top Top Tuesdays and the Gilmore Girls recaps, but I also want to add in some here’s what I’m up to/currently obsessed with-type posts.  Because I used to them, and now I can’t remember the last time I did one, and since I miss doing them, I think it’s time to start doing that again.  At least every once in a while.

The Cliche/Non-Bookish:

  1. Exercise!  I had a bit of a reality check a couple months ago, when I had a physical for work and…and weighed more than I ever expected.  I’m so out of shape that I can only handle 5 or 10 minutes at a time, so baby steps for now! Also: if anyone feels the need to ask me how exercising is going…that’s okay, because I might need someone annoying me with questions about how it’s going.
  2. Try new things with crochet.  I’ve moved past the scarves and coasters part of crochet, but sometimes, patterns scare me. When I try them anyway, they aren’t as hard as they originally seem, and limiting myself because patterns look scary is stupid.

2013 Resolutions: How Did I Do?

2013 was a pretty good year,  and I thought I’d talk about how I did with the bookish goals I set for myself way back in January.  I feel like I’m a bit late to the year-end wrap-up party, but now seems as good a time as any to do it!  Like I said, I set these goals a year ago, and though I’d re-visit them to see how I did.

Goal #1: Re-read books on my physical bookshelf

I didn’t really do this, and Goblet Of Fire and Speak are the only books I remember re-reading.  So re-reading the print books I have didn’t really happen…but I did do a bit more re-reading of some of the books I have on my Nook, so re-reading wasn’t a total loss.

Goal #2: Vary my reading a little more

I actually did really well with this!  Netgalley helped a lot, because I found some really interesting non-YA books through them.  I definitely plan on balancing my reading material, but…I did get a little away from YA this year, and I miss it.  So now I just need to balance the two!

Goal #3: Plan what I’m reading a little more

I pretty much ignore this goal, except for ARC’s I was reviewing, so I could have them read in a reasonable amount of time, so the review could come out at a good time (like, around it’s publication date).  I really need to start following through on the Top Ten Tuesday seasonal reading lists.  If nothing else, I should follow through on those.

Goal #4: Actually Finish Series/Get Caught Up On Them

I did okay on finishing, and it wasn’t until later in the year that I started re-reading series to catch up on them.  I definitely need to work on this, because I’m horrible about finishing them…or even keep up on them.  I did start to re-read a few series towards the end of 2013, so I’m hoping I’ll keep up that momentum!

Goal #5: Hoard less books and read them more.

Yeah…having a Nook has turned me into a book hoarder, and while I still need to work on actually reading the books I get, I feel like I have gotten better with this.

Goal #6: Buy less books and use the library more

This one totally didn’t happen.  I did use the library a bit, but not as much as I was hoping.  Still, I have plenty of books to read, so it’s not like I have a shortage of reading material.

Goal #7: Comment more!

I was totally going to comment more on blogs.  I feel like I started off pretty well, but at some point, I just kind of stopped commenting on other blogs.  I really need to do that this year.

Goal #8: Listen to more audiobooks

I did better than I was expecting on this one!  I still have plenty of audiobooks to listen to, but I have been on an audiobook kick lately, and that’s helped!

Goal #9: Use more cookbooks

This one didn’t really happen…can I blame it on pinterest?  Because that seems like a really good idea right now…

Goal #10: Read more classics

I read only one classic- The Outsiders.  And honestly?  I don’t particularly care if I read any this year.  I did attempt to read a few, but I had to DNF them.  It would be nice to read a few, but it’s also not one of my goals for this year.

To Sum Up…

I did better on some than on others, which kind of surprised me for some reason.  I have a post coming about my goals for this year, some of which are bookish, and others…are not.  I have a couple that I may or may not talk about throughout the year, but for now, it seems pretty likely I will be talking about them.

Top Ten Bookish Goals For 2013

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top 10 lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Bookish Goals For 2013

I’ve read a lot of books over the last year, and there are definitely a lot of things I really want to do as far as reading is concerned.  It’s amazing what sort of goals you can come up with after reading a lot more than I ever expected in the last couple years.

  1. Re-read books.  I have 2 bookshelves full of a lot of books…most of which I haven’t read since high school or college.  So re-reading would be good.
  2. Vary my reading choices more.  I love YA, I really do.  But there was a point a few months ago, when I felt a little bit burnt out on YA.  Hopefully, varying my reading material will help out with that.  Plus, it’s just weird that I’m sticking to YA, when I know I’ll like at least some of the books aimed at adults.
  3. Plan out what I’m reading…at least a little.  I just randomly pick stuff, and it works pretty well, but I’d like to have an idea of what I’m reading.  I’m thinking a monthly list of potential books, and going off of that whenever possible.
  4. Work on getting series read.  I read start so many series, so I really need to work on finishing series that I’m reading.  Maybe I need to prioritize them by assigning them a rank, based on how much I like them.  You know, read the ones I love right away, and go down that list.
  5. I’m good at buying books, but I’m terrible at reading them, especially right away.  I have a few classics in paperback that I’ve had for a good 4-ish years, and have never read.  So, read the stuff I buy would be a good goal.
  6. Buy less books, and use the library more.  I go through these weird cycles where I buy a ton of books, but don’t use the library.  Or I use the library a ton but don’t really buy anything.  I definitely need to balance buying books, borrowing them, and re-reading them.
  7. Comment more on the blogs I read.  Seriously, I’m great at reading blog posts, but horrible at commenting.  There are so many times I’ve wanted to comment, and didn’t, so this year, I will most certainly be commenting on stuff!
  8. Listen to more audiobooks.  I really like them, and I have an audible account, so I really should take advantage of that.
  9. Use more cookbooks!  I have a few, and I don’t use them nearly enough.  They are sitting there, collecting dust, and that needs to be rectified immediately.  Plus, I’ve been eating like crap for months now, so if I actually use my cookbooks, I’ll be eating better.
  10. Read more classics.  There are a bunch of books I was never required to read in high school.  I kind of  feel like I’m missing out on something by having not read these books.  Plus, I definitely appreciate them more, even if I don’t like them.  And…there’s just something different about reading them because I WANT to read them, instead of reading them because I HAVE to read them.

What are everyone’s bookish goals for the year?

At Least I Have A Plot

So, it’s that time of year when I go completely insane.

It’s time for NaNoWriMo, which means I’ll be writing a 50,000 word novel next month.

I am quite relieved to have a plot and 2 characters who are named, which is a big improvement.  A week ago, I only had a genre…and now I know the names of 2 characters and a plot!  It’s quite exciting, and I have the feeling I’ll be pantsing it more than normal this year.

I knew I wanted to write something YA, and I decided contemporary was what I wanted to go with.  Something paranormal would be cool, but I honestly don’t have the energy for it this year.  Maybe next year.

Tucker and Holly don’t like each other, and have to work together to keep the local factory from closing because their don’t want their parents to lose their jobs.  Along the way, they become friends.

I really like this idea, and while it doesn’t have to be a factory, I like the idea of their parents losing their jobs because of something closing down.  They really will have to set their differences aside, because of what will happen if the factory does get closed down.  I’m hoping I can work out the details a little more, but if I don’t, that’s totally okay.  I definitely need to get the job thing figured out, since that’s kind of important.  But of that’s all I get figured out, cool.  If I work out more than that, that’s also cool.

This brings me to the ever-important playlist.  I think it’ll be heavy on Taylor Swift, but I’ll definitely be looking through my music collection and see what seems to fit.

It is weird writing one novel- it’s been quite a few years since I’ve written one novel, and I’m so used to writing 2, that one novel is really strange.  But honestly?  One novel seems right.  Besides, I’m having enough trouble working on one idea, so two just seems weird.

This year, more than any other year, I’m really okay with just going with it.  Whatever happens, happens.

Well, I say that now.  Who knows how I’ll really feel when I actually start writing on Thursday?  I’m sure this year will go a lot better than last year, but either way, NaNo is always interesting, and I’m sure this year will be no exception.

Dreaming Of Stores

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my dreams, so I think it’s time to share some.

I’ve had a few dreams over the last few weeks where I’ve been shopping in grocery stores.  Once in a while it’s Wal-Mart, but mostly grocery stores.

I don’t need a dream dictionary to tell me that it could mean that I’m looking for something I don’t have.  Apparently a large and/or well-stocked market means there are possibilities and choices…which I have and really need to narrow down…

Dreams are interesting things, and they can tell us a lot.  I guess my subconscious is trying to tell me that I need to make sure that I’m okay and am a happy and fulfilled person.  It won’t be easy, of course, but these things usually aren’t…right?

In the spirit of self-love, I suppose I should do some sort of contract or something.  I don’t want to go into this blind, and while I have some thoughts on what self-love means, I feel like I need to have a plan…some things that I NEED to work on and achieve this year.  I will work on that over the next week.

It really is amazing what a dream can set in motion.  Although it’s something I really should have been working on in the first place.

I can’t think of anything else, so enjoy your weekend!

The Year Of Self-Love

I settled on a word, and it is self-love.  I had some trouble coming up with a list of words, and then I remembered that I had bookmarked this link.  Granted, it’s a few years old, but it had a long list of words that I borrowed from.

It was hard to narrow it down to one, but the nice thing about self-love is that it does encompass a lot of the other words I liked.

The whole idea of self-love has really clicked over the last week or so, and it will definitely be a priority this year.  It’s sad that it wasn’t, and isn’t, but right now, the need to work on the self-love is very strong.  I really liked this one post from The Lettered Cottage that talks about the blogger’s word of the year.

So what does self-love mean to me?

For one thing, taking care of myself physically and emotionally.  Eating well and exercising.  Not being so hard on myself.

Accepting that I don’t need to be perfect, that it’s okay to have faults.  Accepting that it’s okay to mess up every once in a while, and that mistakes don’t mean I’m a failure at life.  That it’s okay to take care of myself.  Letting go of fear and indecision.

Okay, so, this post makes me want to cry.  It’s very hard for me to even think about this, and writing it down…makes it very real.  I think a resolution word will be a good thing, because I can make it as specific or as broad as I want.  Specific enough so that I’m not winging it, but broad enough to give me some wiggle-room.

I will be sharing my progress at least once every 1-2 weeks, so we’re going to be getting a lot more personal over the next year!

My To-Read List Is Out Of Control

I love Goodreads.  I really do.  With all the reading I’ve done this year, it’s come in handy.  I love reading, but as much as I love reading, I decided that next year, I would set a lower goal for myself in terms of reading.  Like 50 to 75 books. 

And then I started exploring their recommendation section.  It reccomends books based on what you’ve added and based on similar books that other people have added.  I had a handful of books on my to-read list…like 4 books, so literally, a handful of books. 

Now I have over 200!  226 to be exact.  It’s ridiculous!  But I’m always looking for new books to read, and considering that it’s based on books I’ve added and rated, I’m sure that I’ve found a bunch of books that I’ll really like.  I’m definitely going to start working on that list, since some of the books I’ve requested having a long waiting list, and I’m going to need books to read while waiting for them. 

I definitely have 2 years of reading material, and that’s if I stick with the 100 book per year goal.  And now, I’m considering it just to make it through that list. 

I mainly use Goodreads to keep track of what I’ve read, am reading, and want t0 (or going to) read, and what I’ve rated it.  And it keeps tracks of when I’ve read something too, provided I add in the dates.  But I really like the recommendation feature, and it refreshes as you add books, so I’m sure I’ll find even more books to read. 

They have all kinds of lists of books, and in answer to the question you may be asking yourself, I found some books there too!  I haven’t looked it all too much, because it’s a little overwhelming, and I pretty much ignore the groups, quizzes, and trivia sections, but I find the giveaway section really cool.

Seriously, I love the giveaway area.  Let me tell you why I love this part of the website.  Publishers list books that they give away for free.  You can enter to win a copy of these books.  I entered a few, because those books look really interesting, and if I can potentially win a free copy of it…

So a couple days, I was checking my email…and to my surprise, I won a free copy of a book called Wildflower Hill!  It’ll arrive in the next 4 to 6 weeks, but I’m really excited, since I don’t win anything.  I’m looking foward to it’s arrival, that’s for sure. 

But 226 books!  226!  That’s a lot of books to read!  But there is a good thing about having such a long list.  I’ll always have something to read, since, you know, I have a really long list of books to choose from.

I Have A Confession To Make

I was going to be all productive over the weekend, and work on my plot bunnies.  I had high hopes of doing some character profiles, and actually attempt to make some decisions on what to do.  I was even going to do some writing on Saturday or Sunday.

So it should be no surprise that I didn’t do anything.  I didn’t write anything, I didn’t make any decisions, work on any of my characters…but I did write a couple of notes for one plot bunny.  And then realized that it was something I had written a few lines up.  So I didn’t even come up with any original ideas either. 

The clock is ticking, and I have just over 6 weeks to finish up these ideas.  It seems like a lot of time, but for a procrastinator like me, it’s really not that much time.  Maybe I need to spend some time at the library, since that seems to be one of the few places I can actually get any work done.

So, I’ll try to work on a couple characters, and try to decide what direction I want to go in for a couple of them.  I can’t promise that I’ll get any work done, since I seem to be really bad at it right now, but I’ll definitely try.  I just need to sit down and actually do it. 

Here’s hoping I will!