Friday, October 20, 2017

September 2017 Books

I made up for the lack of books in August and finished September with a grand total of nine books. I finished off the 5th Wave series, a couple of chunky books, and got back into listening to audiobooks in the car.

My favorite this month was surprisingly Little Women.  I started this book years ago and barely read a chapter because I just wasn't feeling it but this time around I could not stop reading it every spare chance I had. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Goose's Twelfth Birthday

My baby turned twelve a few weeks ago and it broke my heart.  She's supposed to be a little girl on my hip for the rest of my life.  :(

For her birthday cake she wanted another computer game cake.  This year it was Animal Jam and she asked for this very specific top hat.  I tried my hardest and she said she liked it so I guess that's all that matters, but this was probably the hardest homemade cake I've ever made.

 We have a whole slew of annual celebrations that we do for birthdays in our house.  They get to pick a cake and homemade meal, a restaurant to eat at (no holds barred in this area), and we try to do a special party or event.  Goose wanted me to cook chicken quesadilla's, to eat the big man steak at Patti's Settlement and then take her best friend to Holiday World.  We bought season passes for all of us at Christmas and they were best present idea ever.  We've already gone four times this summer and we still have a month left on our passes.

For her birthday morning I covered her door in crepe paper but she's a moody preteen girl and refused to come through it.  So she carefully peeled off some tape and stepped through it for a few days until I finally took it down.  *sigh*

 For her quesadilla's I throw a buttered tortilla into a skillet, cover it entirely with cheese (Fiesta is my fave!), put cooked chicken, crumbled bacon, and pico de gallo over half and once the cheese gets a little melty you can flip the other side over the one with all the toppings.  A couple minutes to brown and it's done.  It's Goose's current favorite Mom Meal.

We took them to Patti's for the first time last Christmas and even though it was bitterly cold, we had a fun time walking around and looking at all the lights.  This time it was a lot nicer weather, but we I think we all kind of preferred the winter experience.

Goose got her steak and was a happy girl.

We took her to Holiday World and it poured on us most of the day but it cleared the parks out and her and her BFF spent the entire day riding roller coasters over and over.

I love you, little Goose!  You are silly and beautiful and so smart.  You were my number one baby.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

August 2017 Books

We went to Disney World in August and the older I get the harder it is for me to read in the car so my completed number really isn't all that great.  They were almost all kids books, too.  Oh well.  At least I read!

My favorite books this month were Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy.  The Yancy was a reread and I loved it even more the second time around.  The rest of the series isn't that great but this first one I just love. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Disney World 2017

We surprised the girls with a trip to Orlando a few weeks ago and it was a secret six months in the making.  The girls woke up at six in the morning and we told them they were going to Disney World and we were leaving right then and there.

Before Disney we ate dinner at Medieval Times and it was probably the highlight of the trip for us.  The girls are already asking when we're going back.

Beside the castle is an authentic medieval village and you could go inside them.  We only went through the torture chamber but it was really interesesting.

The last time we stayed at Disney we were in one of the moderate resorts and we both agreed that the amount of time we actually spent in our hotel was not worth the extra money so this time we went for one of the value resorts.  And it was not the best choice.  The hotel was clean and fun but it was in desperate need of an upgrade.  The girls loved that our maid posed their dolls everyday, though!

We only spent one day in each park and while we got to ride pretty much everything we wanted to, it would have been nicer to take our time and not power walk through the parks.  I walked 25,000 steps the first day alone!

We've already decided we're going back quicker than five years like we did this time.  We love Disney!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

July 2017 Books

I only finished six books in the month of July which was one of my smaller months, BUT I did finally finish the monstrosity that is War and PeaceFINALLY.  

I'd been working on this since the first of the year and it was a chore, not going to lie.  I finally just forced myself to read at least ten pages a day.  I figured ten pages isn't much but every little bit counts and I normally managed to do around 15 pages instead of 10.  Once I started that the book finally started to seem manageable.  It was a big day when I finished.

Those MinaLima classic editions of Peter Pan and The Beauty and the Beast are beautiful and they're interactive.  I love them. The books themselves are a little boring but everything is more fun with a pull-out or pop-up!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Random Things I've Loved Lately

It's been ages since I made a random post of things I'm loving so here's just a hodgepodge of pretty pictures and stuff I'm obsessed with lately.

I was introduced to Larabars back in January when I did my first 28 Day Reset round.  They're these snack bars that only have a few ingredients in them and they. are. amazing.  I buy them in bulk every time I go to the store.  Peanut Butter Cookie is just the best thing ever.  I savor them like a candy bar.  So, so good!

I worked my butt off during this last year.  Most days I was gone between 10 and 6 and there were quite a few days where I worked 7-6.  So I rewarded myself with a handful of Barnes and Noble orders.  There's nothing I like better than beautiful books.  Usually I buy for my girls or when it's for me I only order books I've read through the library and loved.  There's nothing I hate worse than spending $15-$20 on a book and hating it.  The MinaLima editions of classics are an exception.  I buy every one that comes out because it's not just the story I want to enjoy, it's the whole experience.  They are worth the money.  I already have the entire Harry Potter collection but I want to start reading them with Bug and I thought she would enjoy the illustrated versions so I'm going to slowly start to collect them, too.

If you have a Krispy Kreme near you then run, don't walk, and get there before the Cake Batter donuts are gone.  They are the best donut I've ever eaten and Goose can literally eat five in one sitting.  She's unstoppable when it comes to the Cake Batter flavor.  I love sitting at the table with a yummy donut and a hot cup of coffee and not moving for a while because there's a book in my lap. 

*sidenote- this book was horrible

I know this post is heavy on the books, but it's honestly because books are a huge part of my life.  I rarely leave the house without one because you never know when you need something to read.  Growing up my parents spoiled me with books.  They were so cheap and I read so much that pretty much every time we went to town I got a new one.  Wal-Mart came out with the Wizard of Oz paperbacks around the time I was in sixth grade and I eagerly started collecting them.  I never got them all but I had a decent amount that I absolutely loved.  Oz became my favorite fantasy world and over the years I've gone a little crazy in my collection.  I'm rereading the series now and trying to go slow with no more than one book a month but it's so hard!

Monday, August 7, 2017

June 2017 Books

There was a grand total of ten books I finished in June and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I managed to do.  My kitchen redo project was in full swing so I was listening to audiobooks almost every day this month and that helped out my count a lot.

My favorite book this month was Beartown.  Honestly the only reason I picked this one up was because the cover was so pretty and I went into it not really knowing anything about the plot.  It turned out to be so good that I read almost half of it in one morning. 

This wasn't the most exciting reading month but I'm glad I was able to knock out a lot of random books and that I was able to stick with the audiobooks for so long.  Usually I lose interest and stop downloading them after a couple of weeks.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Our Playroom Renovation

We've lived in our house for nine years now and we've never once touched the playroom.  It was a dingy two-tone white/tan color and some of the paint was peeling off the stucco walls.  Even though we both wanted to give it a makeover we never attempted because it's such a large room and there's so. much. junk in it.  Now that the girls are older we are finally starting to clear out some of the toys and I woke up one day and thought, "Today's the day.  We're doing it."

It took me two weekends of cleaning, painting, and cleaning again but it's now so much brighter looking and we don't cringe every time we walk in.  It needs some decorations but I'm cheap so I'm just going to wait until I come across something on clearance or at a yard sale that I can't live without versus going out and spending a ton of money buying new things.  We also need to do another big toy purge but they did really well the first time so I don't want to push it just yet.

Here's a before/after of the main toy wall.

We got rid of boxes and boxes of junk and I moved some things around to make it easier for the girls to find what they wanted.  The bookcase on the left holds all their movies and games in one easy location instead of spread out in several rooms.  I also cleaned out the plastic storage box and emptied an entire drawer of toys.

The bookcase is my favorite part of the new room.  It was a loud blue color and I painted it white.  Now it matches the room and looks like a brand new piece of furniture.

"Kitty Area" is another thing I'm proud of.  We never use this main door and it the closet next to it made the whole area look dark and dirty so I decided to paint both doors white to brighten it up.  My husband was opposed to the idea at first but afterwards he agreed it was a huge difference.

I would like to find some large pieces of art and an oversized clock to hang on the walls eventually.  My kitchen is my next big reno project!

Monday, July 3, 2017

May 2017 Books

May was a GREAT reading month for me.  Even though I didn't read very many books I managed to finish off several large books this month.  I go through spurts of "Eh, why read when I can watch TV?" and "WHO CARES ABOUT TELEVISION LET'S GO TO THE LIBRARY!" and this was a definite library month.  Six of these books were from there and I just appreciate the heck out of our library for taking such good care of us.

I enjoyed so many of these books!  My favorite was The Host by Stephanie Meyer.  It's my second time reading this book and I loved it even more than the first.  Say what you will about Meyer's Twilight series, this one is nothing at all like it. 

I FINALLY finished Anna Karenina after I downloaded the audiobook and listened to it while I worked on painting my kitchen.  I didn't love it but I did enjoy it a lot more than I had expected.

Stephen King has a new short story out and Gwendy's Button Box was a quick but enjoyable read.  He should stick with short stories because for the most part they are better than his doorstop novels.  Not as much rambling and just enough to creep you out and then leave you.

Outlander was a spur of the moment book decision for me and I'm glad I made it.  I've had it for a couple years now but never picked it up.  It definitely could have used an editor to shorten it by a couple hundred pages but the action started to pick up about halfway through and was a little easier to take.  It almost read like a Scottish fanfic.  I started the second book in the series but I think I'm one and done with the Outlander universe. 

I hope the rest of the summer is as good of a reading month as this one!