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!

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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!

T.V. Talk: I Really Need To Talk About Grey’s Anatomy (With Spoilers)

I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, and while watching it, I had so many random thoughts while watching it that I needed to get it all out!

Blog Graphic- TV Talk

There are going to be spoilers for all 11 seasons.  You have been warned.  

First, my thoughts on Season 11.

Which is the season that just happened, for anyone who is curious.

Did Addison go to Derek’s funeral?  I don’t think we’ll ever know, and in the long run, I don’t think it’s that important, but I am curious.  I know they’re divorced, and it seemed like they didn’t talk much after that…well, maybe but I’m not sure.  But she is his ex-wife…

Overall, I liked the structure of season 11, and the focus on Meredith and her past, especially in relation to her history with her mom.  I am wondering how far ahead Shonda Rhimes knew that Derek was going to die, because there were some really interesting parallels between Meredith and her mom, and this time around, it did seem like it was hinted at throughout the season.

Re-watching this season, it’s actually surprising that it took so long for Maggie to come in- considering the fact that the affair Richard and Ellis is a very well-known fact at this point, and looking back, it fits in with everything else this season, and it does seem like the best point for it to come up.  I don’t, unfortunately, remember what I thought about Meredith having a half-sister, except that I wasn’t sure.  I didn’t really pay attention to what I thought about it at the time.

I kind of wonder if it was always something Rhimes considered- both the introduction of Maggie, and the death of Derek, and she was waiting for the right time to write those things in.  Like, on NCIS, the death of Mike Franks was always in the back of someone’s mind (whoever it is makes those decisions), and they were waiting for the right time to work it in.  That’s the feel I got with both things while marathoning it.

I was also nervous about Yang (played by Sandra Oh) not being on the show anymore, but I was surprised by how much I didn’t miss her being gone.  She’s a great character, and I miss her, but I thought the show didn’t suffer for it.

Random Thoughts On Other Seasons

The free clinic.  It was important for a while, but then it wasn’t really mentioned or a place where they went anymore.  I’m curious if it got dropped in favor of other story lines, or if went away the way the E.R. almost went away when Pegasus tried to take over the hospital, or if it’s still there but not a story line anymore.

I kind of miss how much they interacted with the nurses and other hospital staff.  It’s probably something that’s been dropped with because of the different story lines, but still.  I miss it.

It also seems like there are a lot more characters now then there were when the show started, and sometimes, it feels like the number of things going on and characters to focus on seem a little overwhelming.  But it is the sort of show that can go on for a long time, because you can always bring in new characters as old ones leave.

It’s amazing how different the few remaining original cast members look- especially Meredith.

After the plane crash, during the first couple of episodes of season 9…it was hard to watch.  But it really struck me how much they needed to have what happened in the woods as the second episode. It had a lot more impact and was truly heart-breaking knowing what happened after those events happened.  Especially when you’re doing a re-watch.

Considering how many of the hospital staff get together, I’m surprised that it took so long for them to have an official policy on workplace relationships.  In real life, a hospital like Seattle Grace probably would have had something like that in place already. Obviously, I’m not watching it because it’s just like real life, but really, so many seasons in, and it takes an intern lodging a complaint for them to do something?  Granted, it’s why we have Derek and Meredith (love them!) and Mark and Lexie (miss them!) but it still popped into my head.  And they do spend so much time together that it makes sense.

It really is easy to forget about characters once they’re off the show.  Like the couple of interns from Mercy West, who died in the shooting, or Dr Brooks and Leah Murphy, even though they left more recently.

Whatever happened to Meredith’s dad?  With Lexie gone, there really is no point to having him mentioned again, and he and Meredith never really had a relationship in the first place.  I can’t remember if it was mentioned- the last thing I remember was the liver transplant, and after that, nothing.

I feel like there used to be more funny moments, and now, it doesn’t seem like there are as many now.  Which is fine, but I kind of miss the funny moments.

I think Grey’s is going to be on for a while, but I am curious about how they’re going to end the series…when it does, of course. I don’t want it go anywhere, but I am sort of wondering what might be in store for us in general, especially with the death of Derek.

Interns!  There was the first group seasons ago, that had Lexie and George, and the one that had Ben, Wilson and Edwards. And there’s the new group introduced at the end of season 11, so I’m curious if any of them will stick around and if they’ll have more of a role.  I still think there’s a lot going on, even without an intern story line, and I kind of didn’t notice until the end of season 11 that groups of interns were few and far between.  Maybe they’re there, and just never appeared on the show or something.

Happy Sunday everyone!