Currently Obsessed With: May 2016

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

Currently Obsessed With

May was a really good fun month!  I went to my cousin’s wedding up in Oregon, which I talked about here (and I shared a bunch of pictures too).  And, of course, I had my birthday, and it was pretty nice, even though I didn’t really do anything.  I don’t really get why people freak out about turning 30, because it really wasn’t a big deal to me.  If anyone has thoughts on that, I’d love to hear it, because it seems like people seem to freak out about turning 30 more than any other birthday, and it just confuses me as to why…

Crochet:

It’s been a good month for crochet!  Partially because when I went up to Oregon, I needed something to do in the car, and it was a good chance to work on stuff.  Like a cowl!  I love that it’s bright pink, and it’s pretty warm, but it was hard to do as a capelet.  As it turned out, it was a quite a few inches off in terms of circumference, so while it was good as a cowl, the capelet didn’t quite work.  But I’ll still wear it, and if I make one from this pattern again, I’ll either need a slightly bigger hook, or I need to do more chains to make it work as a capelet/cowl.  I do like it, though, because it’s really simple, and you just keep going until you’re done!

May 2016- Collage

I also started this shawl, and I really like the pattern.  It started off going pretty fast, but now it’s big enough that each row does take a little bit longer.  It’s taking longer than I thought, partially because it’s getting a little bigger, but I also think it’s because I’m using a small hook and a fairly thin yarn.  I’ve never worked with fingering weight before, and I’m still getting used to working with it.  It’s pretty yarn (and squishy, which makes it fun to work with) and I love that’s self-striping.  I’d definitely buy more of the yarn, but next time, I might do something that involves using 2 strands of it.  That could give it an interesting look.

And I’m still working on the blanket.  The yellow is done, and blue is next!  I’m not sure if I’ll keep adding colors after the blue is done, or if I’ll start on the border.  Maybe measuring the blanket is in order…it is big enough to keep me warm and sit under, and it’s going to get really hot soon.  Once that happens (and if it’s not done), it will definitely have to be put aside until it’s cool enough to work on.

Books:

I’ve been busy reading a lot, but I did buy a few books this month too!  I got The Cage by Megan Sheperd, The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson, plus the rest of the books in the Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas. I already had Throne Of Glass, and after reading Crown Of Midnight and Heir Of Fire, I knew I liked them enough to actually buy the e-books.

I also got The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor from audible.  I also bought Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto from audible.

I’ve read Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, and I’ve tried reading the 2nd book in that series a few times, but always put it on hold because I can’t get into it, so I’m hoping I’ll like the audio book more!  It helps that I really like the narrator they have for the series.

I’ve also been getting audio books from AudioBook Sync, which I did last summer too.  I still haven’t listened to those (I really should get them on my iPod to listen to when I’m driving to work), but I love that they have such a wide range of books.  And I love that they’ve paired classics with newer books.  Some I already have, and there’s a couple I either have on audio already, or it’s one I’ve read, and didn’t like.  But there’s a bunch I haven’t heard of, and I’m looking forward to actually listening to some of them.

T.V./Movies:

I saw Captain America, and I thought it was completely awesome!  I don’t always get to the theaters for the other Marvel movie they do, but the main ones are getting better and better in my opinion…I think this one is my favorite so far!

I also saw X-Men: Apocalypse, and for me, it was entertaining but just okay.  But maybe that’s because the last X-Men movie I saw was the first one- I haven’t seen any of the others until this one, so it stands on it’s own pretty well…but I was probably missing things from the previous movies.

As for t.v., I’ve been catching up on stuff (mostly Nashville and Agents Of Shield since I’ve been way behind on both of them), but it seems like t.v. is winding down until the fall.  At least for me, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll actually start something new this summer.

Around The Internet:

These fish tacos are really good!

I love these diagrams of family trees in Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology.  It makes them seem more clear somehow.

The kitchn has a really good guide to storing tea.  I drink tea, but not the way I drink coffee…but I think it has some pretty good tips.

And on another tea-related note, is loose-leaf tea really better than tea bags?  Which reminds me, I do need to get some more loose-leaf tea.  I have a place here in San Diego, but I’m always looking for more places.

I thought this article about wellness and healthy eating was interesting.

This Jane Austen Bingo makes me wonder how it would work as a drinking game.

I need a reading nook.  These make me want one so bad.

This post about whitewashing in The Hunger Games movies made me think a lot, as did this post about things to keep in mind when talking about books with LGBT characters.  And from The Huffington Post: 4 myths about reverse racism that need to stop.

This post about movie adaptations: a million times yes!

Should we stop worrying about spoilers?  Maybe, but it probably depends on the person.  Either way, this article was a pretty interesting read.

You can find all that and more over on pinterest!

Music:

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done an actual, official playlist, but I’ve been listening to quite a few songs lately, so I figured it was warranted!

Have a great day!

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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!

Author Playlists

I got the idea for this post after discovering that Rachel Caine (one of my new favorite authors) wrote out a playlist of the music that got her through Undone.

I honestly don’t pay too much attention to what other authors listen to when writing.  Like, I like making playlists for all my NaNo novels.  And while authors might mention a band or two in the aknowledgements or something, it was the first time I had actually seen an author post a song by song list.  So when Unknown was available for download from the library, the first thing I did was check to see if she had a playlist at the end of the book.  She did, so I’ll have to check it out.

But for now, let’s focus on the Undone playlist.  What’s cool is that all of the songs I’ve heard fit the book really well.  Here are some of the songs, and my thoughts:

  • Life Is Beautiful by Sixx: A.M.  First, I love the name of the band (or what I assume to be the name of the band).  And it’s one of my new favorite songs.
  • Citizen/Soldier by 3 Doors Down.  It’s been forever since I’ve listened to them, but I just love how the song sounds.
  • Give It Up by LCD Soundsystem: This is such a fun song!  It makes me want to dance awkwardly.  And, for some bizarre reason, learn how to play the guitar.
  • Believe by The Bravery.  This is actually a good song to get lost in.  And relax to.
  • Tess Don’t Tell by Ivy.  I love how this song sounds, and I love having it on in the background.  I need to see if she has anything else available so I can check it out.
  • Everybody Got Their Something by Nikka Costa.  Another current favorite that makes me want to sing along.

And I really can’t want to check out some of the ones from Unknown.  I think I even have a few of them, but the thing I like the most is that I’ve discovered a lot of music I’ve never heard before.  And I’ll even have the chance to check out some people I’ve heard of but never actually listened to before.

I’m really fascinated with this, because it’s always interesting to see what music authors listen to, and what music gets them through their novel-writing process.  To see what inspires them or their novels.

I don’t think I’ll be looking for what music authors listen to, but I will be paying more attention to it…if I happen to come across it.  Especially because music and writing go so well together.

Stayed tuned for a Top 10 Tuesday post tomorrow!

A Harry Potter Playlist

By now, it shouldn’t be a secret that I love Harry Potter.  I have a giant playlist for the Prehistoric Chicken novel, that has every Harry Potter-related song I own on it.

But this is not that playlist.  Instead it is a selection of songs that I keep listening to over and over.  It includes both wizard rock and songs from the Harry Potter soundtracks.

  • Rockin’ Out At Hogwarts by Gred and Forge would be on there.  Their music is hilarious, and this is a fun song.  I always want to sing along to it.
  • Flash, Bang, Done by Oliver Boyd And The Remembralls: Starting with this song, every song is either by Oliver Boyd And The Remembralls or on one of the soundtracks.
  • Just A Hufflepuff: I love this song.  Mostly because Hufflepuff is the house that I identify with the most.
  • Spells And Scars: I love that it’s told from the perspective of the Death Eaters.  And I love the music.  There’s 2 different versions (one acoustic, one not) and I don’t which one I like better.
  • We Are The D.A.: This would be a good theme song for the D.A.
  • Flight Of The Prince: I love this song, and like Spells And Scars, there’s 2 different versions.  I like both, but I think I prefer the acoustic version.
  • ’til Death: Love this song!  It’s another one told from the perspective of Death Eaters, and I love the music more than anything.  It’s haunting.
  • Dumbledore’s Army is the first song from the soundtracks- It’s from Order Of The Phoenix, in case anyone is wondering.  There’s something very hopeful about the song.
  • Mischief Managed! is from Prisoner of Azkaban, and it’s a medley of a lot of the songs on the soundtrack.  It captures the overall feel of the movie really well.
  • Obliviate is from Deathly Hallows, Part One.  There’s something powerful and haunting, and one of the few songs that stand out.
  • Lily’s Theme from Deathly Hallows, Part Two is another one that stands out.  The dementors around the castle, Snape overlooking the courtyard…when it comes down to it, Lily’s sacrifice is so very important to the entire series.
  • Courtyard Apocalypse from Deathly Hallows, Part Two.  Oh.  My.  God.  This is such an amazing song, and it gets stuck in my head a lot.  If you only listen to a couple songs from the DH 2 soundtrack, this one (and Lily’s Theme) are the ones you need to listen to.
  • The End Of An Era by Oliver Boyd And The Remembralls.  This song ALWAYS makes me cry.  It sums up how I feel about the Harry Potter series, and a good song to round up the playlist.

Since this is playlist really features Oliver Boyd And The Remembralls and the soundtracks, I think I need one that focuses solely on other wrock bands.  I think I’ll be sharing that one when it’s finished.

The Hunger Games Soundtrack

The Hunger Games soundtrack came out last week, so I thought I’d review it.  I’ll talking about each song on the soundtrack, so let’s get started!

  1. Abraham’s Daughter by Arcade Fire: This goes so well with the movie, and I think it’s a good choice for the soundtrack.  Not only that, but it’s a great song to start off the soundtrack.
  2. Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by The Secret Sisters: This is a pretty good song, and it’s very folksy.  I have an inkling that “this is a good fit for The Hunger Games” will become overused in this post.
  3. Nothing To Remember by Neko Case: I like it.  That is all.
  4. Safe And Sound by Taylor Swift (and featuring The Civil Wars): This is the 1st Taylor Swift song on the soundtrack, and it fits The Hunger Games so well.  The video is also very haunting.
  5. The Ruler And The Killer by Kid Cudi: This is an interesting choice for the soundtrack, but at the same time…I think it’s another good choice.
  6. Dark Days by Punch Brothers: I love this song, and I think it’s one of my new favorites!
  7. One Engine by The Decemberists: This is another song that fits the soundtrack very well.  It’s a great song, and it makes me think of Katniss heading off to the Games.
  8. Daughter’s Lament by The Carolina Chocolate Drops: Can I just say that I love the name of the band?  Because I do.  As for the song, it’s another good choice.  It makes me think of Katniss hunting in the woods.
  9. Kingdom Come by The Civil Wars: I am not surprised to see the Civil Wars on The Hunger Games soundtrack.  They are such a good fit, and it’s surprising they only get one song…2 if you count the one with Taylor Swift.
  10. Take The Heartland by Glen Hansard: This is yet another good choice.  I really like that there’s a good mix of songs, and this one is no exception to that.
  11. Come Away To The Water (featuring Rozzi Crane) by Maroon 5: I think I was most suprised by the inclusion of Maroon 5.  If there’s anyone who doesn’t fit (at first glance), it’s them.  But I was pleasantly surprised, and it was a pretty good choice.
  12. Run Daddy Run (featuring the Pistol Annies) by Miranda Lambert: I love that Miranda Lambert is on the soundtrack!  And I love that she’s singing this song.
  13. Rules by Jaymee Dee: I like it.  And it is a very good fit for The Hunger Games.  I like that it’s on the soundtrack, because it makes me think of Katniss hunting…again.  But I think it also says a lot about Katniss and Peeta rebelling against the Capitol.
  14. Eyes Open by Taylor Swift: The second of 2 Taylor Swift songs, and it’s another good choice.  It’s a wonderful song, and I think it sums up the entire series perfectly.
  15. Lover Is Childlike by The Low Anthem: This is another interesting choice for the soundtrack.  I think it might be my least favorite song, but it is a good song for the soundtrack.  It makes me think of the end of the book.
  16. Just A Game by Birdy: And the last song on the soundtrack!  It’s a great choice for the soundtrack, and especially as the last song.  The music was a little overpowering, but overall, I like this song!

I was surprised by some of the huge names on the soundtrack.  I figured most, if not all, of the songs would be done by artists no one has heard of.

Overall, it’s really good.  I feel like all of the songs (and artists) were carefully selected for the soundtrack.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5!

U2

I can’t believe that I haven’t talked about U2 yet!  I seriously love them…but for some reason, I only have a couple of their earlier albums, their 2 most recent ones, and a couple other songs.

No Line On The Horizon: I’m going to be honest, and say that this is my least favorite.  Only Put On Your Boots, Stand Up Comedy, and Fez- Being Born stand out.  The rest just kinda blends together.

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is pretty good, and I really like Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own.  It’s not only one of my favorite song by U2, but it’s one of my favorites off of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.  Vertigo?  Love it!  All Because of You and City Of Blinding Lights are also some of my favorites.

All That You Can’t Leave Behind: I don’t have the complete album.  Instead, I just have a couple songs.  Beautiful Day is one of my favorite songs of all-time, and if you haven’t heard it, you should listen to it.  Elevation is a pretty good song too.

The Joshua Tree is one of my favorites.  Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and With Or Without You are my favorites.  I also like One Tree Hill and Red Hill Mining Town.  Overall, it’s a pretty good album, and worth a listen.

War is probably my favorite of the four.  Overall, it’s just amazing.  Sunday Bloody Sunday?  I find myself singing along.  Same thing with Seconds, New Year’s Day, and Red Light.  It’s so hard to pick a favorite, because all of them are so good, but I think the 4 I mentioned are the ones I listen to the most.

They’re definitely one of my favorites, and I don’t listen to them enough.  I think I need to listen to them more!

Another Random Playlist

The other day, I decided that I needed another playlist.  And I thought I’d share some of the songs on it.

  • In This Divide by Azam Ali: I came across her website on stumble upon, and listened to this song.  Her music seems to be a mix of Middle Eastern and electronic.  Some of her songs are in English, and others are not.  I like that she blends genres so well.
  • Miss Invisible by Marie Digby would be on there.  I like it, and I think it’s something that everyone can relate to.
  • A bunch of songs by Sara Haze would be on it.  Nothing else needs to be said, because I will do whatever I can to work her into as many playlists as I possibly can.
  • Losing My Religion by R.E.M.  I love this song!  No clue why, but this song is on the list!  There’s something very comforting about this song.
  • Champagne Supernova by Oasis: It’s my other favorite Oasis song (because who doesn’t love Wonderwall) and it’s a good song.  It always makes me smile.
  • Shiny Happy People: by R.E.M.: It’s called Shiny Happy People, how can you not like it?  Song title aside, it’s another favorite song of mine.
  • Uncharted by Sara Bareilles: I think I love the music more than the song, but overall, another song that I like.  This song always makes me smile.
  • Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean: No playlist is complete without country music!  This song has been out for a while but it’s one of my favorites.  It’s a fun song, and fun songs are good.
  • Something To Believe In by Parachute: I’m a big fan of Parachute, and I love this song.  It makes me happy, and always puts me in a good mood.

So that’s the playlist!  I think I’m in a U2 and Santana kind of mood, so be on the lookout for posts about them in the next few weeks.

A Random Playlist

I created this playlist recently, mostly because I noticed that I was listening to a few songs in a particular order.  It’s a mix of songs I have, and songs I would totally add to the list if I had them.  I thought it might be a good idea to create a playlist for those songs.  Here are just a few of them.

  • Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer: I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately.
  • Boys and Girls by Pixie Lott: I love this song, and I have no idea why.  But it’s fun a song.
  • Turn Me On by Nicki Minaj: I’m not a huge fan of Nicki Minaj, but I love this song.
  • Lights by Ellie Goulding: I am such a big fan of Ellie Goulding.  If you haven’t heard this song, go listen to it now.
  • Safe And Sound by Taylor Swift: One, I love Taylor Swift.  Two, this is the perfect song as the theme for the Hunger Games movie.  If it is not, for some insanely stupid reason, it should be.  Seriously, it fits the book so well, it’s not even funny.  It’s very haunting, and it makes me cry.
  • Breathe Me by Sia: One of my favorites right now.  I think I like the music more than anything else…
  • Talk by Coldplay: I’m not the biggest fan of Coldplay, and have no idea why they’re considered alternative.  But this is one of my favorite songs by them.

So there we have it!  Enjoy your Monday!

Music To Work Out To

I like listening to music when I’m at the gym.  And while I’m sometimes in the mood for listening to random music, I usually stick with my workout playlist.  I thought I’d share some of the songs on that playlist.

  •  Ice Ice Baby is one of the more random songs, but there is a purpose to it’s inclusion.  It keeps me going and distracts me from how much time I have left because I’m too busy trying not to start rapping.
  • Forever by Chris Brown.  It’s fun, but other than that, I have no clue why it’s on there.
  • Airplanes by B.o.B.  This is a good song for the end of my workout when I’m tired and wanted to stop.
  • Pretty much every Ke$ha song I own.  Her stuff is pretty energetic.
  • Fear by Stop Making Friends.  Another good song for when I start feeling a little tired and want to stop after 10 minutes.

Looking at that list, I feel like it’s missing a few songs, so I may have update it!

An Inspirational And Uplifting Playlist

I didn’t listen to anything new last week, mainly because I was trying to catch up on podcasts.

Instead, I will be sharing some songs that are on my inspirational/uplifting podcast, one that has an astounding 85 songs.  It usually puts me in a good mood whenever I need some cheering up, or whenever I feel inspired or happy.

  • So Small by Carrie Underwood: I love this song, and it deserves its spot on the playlist.  I can’t put my finger on why it puts me in a good mood, but it does.
  • You Gotta Be by Des’ree: It always cheers me up, and I always feel like things will be okay.
  • Walk You Home by Karmina: This song is good at reminding me that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes.
  • Lovely by Sara Haze: When I’m being hard on myself, this is one of the first songs I go to.  It’s a good reminder that I’m fine the way I am and that I don’t need to change myself to make other people happy.
  • I Don’t Want To Be by Gavin DeGraw: Another favorite for when I’m hard on myself.  Basically, I like it for the same reason for the I like Lovely.

I think that wraps it up for today, so have a great day!