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 #2: February!

I can’t believe it’s time for another round of what I’m currently obsessed with!

One of the big things has been cookbooks.  I’m completely horrible about actually using them, but I still can’t help but collect them!  I’ve added a few to my really small collection.  There’s something fun about flipping through a cookbook, figuring out what to make for dinner (or lunch for work) and shopping and then making something yummy.

Cookbooks

It’s not even funny how much of a Rachael Ray fan I am!  I know there are people out there who doubt the whole 30-minute meal thing, but her recipes really do take about half an hour…at least, they do for me.  And I saw the vegan one when I was looking at vegetarian cookbooks, and since I have a couple of her other cookbooks, I had a feeling this would be another good one to add to my collection.  I’m not vegan, but it’s fun to try new things and new ways of cooking things when you cut out certain ingredients.

Speaking of books…I got the Nook tablet!  My old one still works fine, but…it just seemed seemed like time for a new one! Everything seems so much more clear, and the covers look so much better in color than they did in black and white!  Things were clear on my old Nook, but somehow, everything seems so much clearer and sharper.  I think my favorite thing about it is the cover, which is totally awesome and I can’t stop looking at it.

Nook Cover

The cover is a photo from the archives over at the New York Times, and when I saw it, I knew that was the cover I had to get!

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Etsy lately, and I’ve had my eye on this bag.  And there’s also this other bag that I also really like too.  And I’ve had my eye on a few things at Ruche too.  I also really liked this post about “real” readers over on Book Riot.  I kind of need to be better about bookmarking cool stuff I read on blogs, because I know I’ve read some interesting posts that I totally forgot to bookmark.

Remember that book jar I was talking about last month?  I finally put it together, only to realize the jar I have is nowhere near big enough for all the books I want to have in it.  It’ll work for the time being until I decide to get something bigger…or if I want another one at all.

Book Jar

As for music…I have quite a few songs that I can’t stop listening to!

Like Happy by Pharrell.

And Feel Again by OneRepublic.

And we can’t forget about Dark Horse by Katy Perry.

Or Team by Lorde.

And I still can’t get Let It Go out of my head.

To name a few…you can find the full February playlist on spotify.  (I’m wingedcreature, in case anyone is wondering). I don’t use Spotify all that much, mostly because I haven’t completely figured out to use it.  Other than how to make playlists. But I figured it would be a great place for making playlists, so we’ll see how it works out.

The Olympics!  I almost forgot to talk about them!  I just love the Olympics, and the Opening Ceremonies this year were amazing.  Definitely right up there…they’re definitely my favorite after Bejing.  It’s just so fun watching a lot of sports that I don’t normally watch.  Like the biathalon, where they ski and than stop and shoot at a target.  Or speed skating or curling! And the ice skating was so good this year, especially the ice dancing, which was exceptionally good this Olympics.  And it’s cool that you have all of these countries known for skiing and snowboarding competing, and then some country you wouldn’t expect to have an athlete competing in the Winter Olympics.

Honestly, I think that’s it for this month.  I’ve been so busy watching the Olympics, and I’ve had some stuff going on (that’s all taken care of now) and I’ve been so exhausted that I haven’t really been into a lot of a stuff this month.  Hopefully I’ll have more to share next time!

Gymnastics Is Turning Me Into A Crazy Woman

I’ve been reminded of how much I love watching gymnastics the last few days, and I’ve noticed something.

It’s turning me into a crazy woman.

It’s entirely possible that I was already like this, and the crazy is just amplified by watching the Olympics.  But I’d like to blame it on gymnastics.

Vault.  OH.  MY.  GOD.  Completely speechless after MyKayla Maroney’s vault.  I’m curious as to what the deductions were, but it was a great vault.

I really liked the Romanians on beam.  Unfortunately, we only saw glimpses of the Romanians and the Chinese.  It’s too bad we didn’t see any of the other teams.  Seeing Great Britain once or twice would have been nice.  And Japan.  And whoever else competed.

Russia just fell apart on both beam and floor, and seeing them cry made me want to cry for them.  I really liked their leotards and the glitter in their hair.  What really did it was floor!  There are no words.  I cried.

That’s right, the seeing the U.S. win gymnastics team gold- for the first time since 1996- made me cry.  There was a lot of nervousness and excitement in wondering if it would happen.  (Of course it happened, I’d have been really surprised if it didn’t).  Lots of waiting while they posted the official score.  And then the jumping up and down screaming.  Then a happy dance.  And finally, crying.  It’s just so exciting!

All-around and event finals are coming up, and that will be exciting too.  I can’t wait!

Skeet Shooting Is An Olympic Sport?

Every Olympics, I’m always amazed by some of the Olympic sports.

Like skeet shooting, weight-lifting and cycling.  I’m sure they all work really hard at their respective sports, but at the same time, I wonder why I spent an hour or so watching cycling.

I watched a little bit of water polo and men’s volleyball, but it was really more background noise than anything else.  And beach volleyball.  I was utterly baffled as to why the other U.S. team (the non Misty May/Kerri Walsh team) were wearing hats at night.  I get goggles, but hats?  I am so confused.

I have to say that I am really amused by the fact that there’s a beach volleyball court in England.  I don’t know why, but I am.

I have really good prediction skills too.  Sort of.  I was watching the qualification for women’s gymnastics, and correctly predicted that the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and Romania would be amongst the 8 teams in the final.  And Great Britain.  The first five, because those are the countries you would (rightly) associate with really great gymnasts and are the countries that tend to dominate gymnastics.  Great Britain, Italy and Canada, not so much.  But then again, the first 5 tend to overshadow everyone else, to the point that you tend to forget there are other countries competing.

And I do feel bad for Jordyn Wieber.  So I knew that she didn’t make it to all-around because of a technicality, but when I watched it, it was a little hard to feel sorry for her.  I know her dream was shattered but no one’s really talking about how Aly did make it to the all-around finals.  At this point, I feel sorrier for Raisman than Wieber.  Unfortunately, I can not figure out why there’s a two-athlete limit…I know it’s a rule, but how hard is it to explain why it’s a rule?  My thought is that it’s a way to even it out so some of the athletes from countries that aren’t gymnastic powehouses have a chance.

I also watched diving, and I’m always impressed with synchronized diving.  It’s amazing how the divers are in sync and everything.  And swimming!  You can’t forget about swimming.  Seeing Dana Vollmer break a world record was exciting.  Butterfly looks exhausting though.  And the men’s 1o0m breaststroke, where Brendan Hansen just barely beat out the guy from Hungary to get the bronze was exciting.  Especially since he did better than Kitajima, who he has a rivalry with.  And the guy from South Africa breaking the world record.  Swimming was super excited.

Actually, that’s the nice thing about the Olympics.  You get to see a lot of other athletes from a lot of different countries.  And you get to see a lot of sports that you otherwise wouldn’t think of, you know?  Like, when are you going to find yourself watching people riding bikes on t.v.?  Or getting excited over rowing?  Seriously, rowing was exciting to watch.  And then I was like, why am I excited about this?  It makes no sense.  But then again, it’s fun to be excited about things like rowing.  Because when else is this going to happen but the Olympics?

I’m still kind of sad that softball and baseball aren’t in the Olympics, but at least there are plenty of other sports to be excited about.  I suppose that’s enough rambling for today…but it’s not the last time I’ll be rambling on about the Olympics.