Reading more: The Fourteenth Goldfish

book squareThe Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I actually received this book quite some time ago but just found it in my kindle the other night. Some of the reviews popped up into my reader and they seemed favorable so why not. Insomnia had come for a visit so it wasn’t like I had anything better to do for a few hours?

I don’t usually thank insomnia for stopping by, but this time I can see it was a good thing.

I liked this book a lot.

From Amazon:

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer. Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth? …

Ellie and her grandpa were a fun duo because it seemed they would be unlikely friends. Turns out grandpa was just what Ellie needed to find her own path.

This was a warm, engaging book with some great basic historical references to science sprinkled in. I loved the characters, the plot, and how Ellie found her love of science. I also liked how it explored the idea of changes in friendship and in what we know.

It didn’t hurt that Melvin reminded me a little bit of what I remember of my grandpa…even though I doubt he would have been looking for the fountain of youth.

It was short for an adult, but I can imagine its perfect for it’s target audience (grades 3-7 )

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Good things 2017: Week 3-4

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One of Mehmere’s cast iron pans. It was pretty gross so I washed and re-seasoned it.Now I use it all the time.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’m not sure what the coming year means for this little space on the internet. I don’t know that it fits anymore. While I sort that out, please enjoy some of the good things from weeks 3 and 4 of 2017:

  • Really feeling more like myself and people noticing.
  • Salt for the driveway.
  • Teamwork
  • Hugs
  • Commissioned work. I tell you, it never gets old!
  • Possible travel plans for next New Years! (I know we just had one, but this will take some planning.)
  • Learning new things
  • Breakfast sammiches in my cast iron pan.
  • Baby showers for dear friends
  • New babies in the family. Congrats to my cousin and his fiance (and special congrats to G’ma Lizzie!
  • Talking to Brodyman on the phone. (He sends his best.)
  • New books to read (Super cute one coming tomorrow)
  • Seeing very good friends unexpectedly
  • Hoodies and leggings
  • Random texts with cousins and bellylaughs/snorts from replies.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

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Sammi loves to cuddle.She’s not mine, but she loves me.

Favorite Song:

This isn’t a song, but it is pretty amazing.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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(Flight and) Road Trip! #CandMofftoseetheOG

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This was right before he tried to lick my face and knocked me ass over teakettle. Too bad MJ didn’t get a pic of that!

I realized I never recapped my trip with The Bro over Thanksgiving. While I had a crap ton of fun, I don’t know that others would find it super exciting. It started with a way too early flight I might have missed because my first cab company didn’t come get me, a lovely chat with a woman while we waited for coffee at the airport, passing out in my seat before take off and a lay over in BWI I got to have gluten free french toast during. (Highfive Silver Diner!)

I conked out again between BWI and Kansas City. I waved at Leavenworth as we drove by, but we didn’t go into the prison (not allowed) or onto base. (I got there on Thanksgiving so nothing was open.) We did check out Wal-mart for some dinner options and some supplies for the trip, though. I love going to people watch in local Wal-marts.

I also did get to see (and more importantly, throw the ball for!) my Brodyman, say, “We’re not in Kansas anymore”, have good talks with The Bro, experience driving Taco (The Bro’s Tacoma), and do some Black Friday Outlet poking around/shopping.

We ate some pretty good food, spent a lot of time playing with OG and even went to the Zoo! It was pretty chilly that day so a lot of animals were inside, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it on a warmer day with more animals!

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Aunt Court snuggles.

We also took OG to the pool – which he LOVES thank goodness. Let me tell you, that boy loves the pool, splashing himself and others and watching us be goofballs.

He also loves ketchup, his daddy, running after the ball, sleeping in the bed with you, and taking his socks off in the car seat. He’s a big fan of slides and swings too and most of the time, me.

Love that little guy. He’s such a little character. It was hard to see him go.

The trip back had me driving while The Bro did Calc homework, navigating end of the holiday weekend traffic and trying to find something to eat before my 2 am return to the airport.

I flew home with my heart full, any sleep reserves I may have had depleted, and a little more in love with a small blonde boy with really big hands that match my own.

 

 

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Reading more: Rum Luck

book squareRum Luck by Ryan Aldred was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I might have mentioned before that a good portion of my day is spent reading page after page of boring stuff in small print. Some of it’s interesting, but mostly it’s just informative.

Since that’s about 30 or so hours a week, I like to keep my for fun reading more entertaining, lighter, dare I say even fluffy.

Usually a cute beach read or cozy mystery fits the bill. I was mildly excited to see this offering in my NetGalley.

From Amazon:

Ben Cooper was supposed to be on his Pacific honeymoon. Not waking up in a Costa Rican prison cell with no memory of the night before.

Then again, Ben never thought he would catch his fiancée with some clown – literally. Or that his friend Miguel would drag him to the surf paradise of Tamarindo before Aunt Mildred could ask why they cancelled the open bar reception.

But surely his friend and lawyer Victoria didn’t need to fly down from Toronto overnight. After all, the police would let him go once he sobered up and paid his fine. Right? …

I wanted to love this book because the premise was fun, but it was slow to get started, missed some great comedic opportunities, and was just sort of blah. It would be a great beach read if it didn’t take so long to get into. Also, It felt like there were random plot lines stuck in that didn’t add anything to the story line or character dimension.

And I figured out the culprit and Ben’s bank lock halfway through.

There were some great scenes like the bongo/dj battle dance party but overall I feel sort of meh about this book.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Coffee date

2017 book challengeHi there. So nice of you to join me today for a cup of coffee. You’re looking lovely as usual. I like what you’ve done with your hair. Oh mine? I washed and brushed it today, just for you!

So, what’s in your cup? Today I have half coconut/half regular with coconut creamer and a pack of hot chocolate. It’s Friday, I’m having a treat and I ran out of Kahlua Coffee so I went with this.

Do tell, what’s new with you? Nothing super exciting in my world to share. It’s very quiet at my house right now. When I’m there, I’ve been spending time cleaning, sorting, packing up some things, etc. I think I’m going to have a closet built in one of the bed rooms and still have to paint my kitchen then find a non-boob looking light for it.

I don’t know how long I’ll stay in my current place, but I figure I might as well like my space while I’m there.

This week, I’ve also been working on the whole self care thing. Part of that is that I’ve also been doing Yoga with Adriene in an attempt to get back into my practice. I could go to the gym and do it, but I don’t really like the instructors there. I miss our instructor who moved to AZ.

So far I’ve done the first day of Yoga Camp. The theme is “I accept“. I’m working on that in few aspects of my life so I did it twice.

Another part of that is reading more. I’ve been wanting to read more books lately (and more than just trashy novels, although I do love them) and saw a friend posted this reading challenge. The graphic was hard to read so I made a new one and if you can’t see it still, here’s the full list. In an effort to stick with it, I think I’ll see about finding books that fit more than one category.

No pressure though. I’m also going to read more of the books I already have on my shelf. There’s lots I haven’t read yet!

First, I think I’ll find a book from my childhood that I read in school and go from there. Does anyone I went to school with have suggestions?

 

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Diet rebootish…

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Dinner ~30% of the time up til this week.

I should note the word “diet” here to means the food I put in my body as opposed to restricting to lose weight. I’ve lost what’s becoming a noticeable amount lately, but it hasn’t been even close to a healthy way. I think I’m mentally paying the consequences for it now.

Which means the people around me might be too. I’m sorry. I’ll get my head out of my ass now and take better care of myself. Self care is something I’m trying to focus more on.

I know what to eat to feel good, healthy, sleep well, etc. I also know what not to eat. Gluten is still a definite no go. I experimented a few times over the last few months with different beverages and unintentionally with some foods I shouldn’t have.

I also know sugar and dairy are also on my list of things to be more mindful of. Does this mean no more milk in my coffee, milkshakes, cheese, sour cream based dips, cookies, cupcakes etc? Not even close. Girl has to live after all! But half and half, treats every day and having cereal for dinner need to stop. Or maybe just not be a staple.

Is it possible one can not live on cereal, frozen veggies with peanut sauce, vitamins, wine and coffee for 80% of their diets? I don’t see why it couldn’t be so (I did before!), but maybe after 30 it’s a bad idea.

So, while I’m home or at the office, I stick to my coconut creamer, more salads/veggie meals and if I want a cookie, cupcake or brownie, I have to bake it myself. I’ve also said, “See you later” to my Bully Hill. It’s not doing me any favors right now.

I know. “Promises, promises, Court!” But I’m going to try. The alternative hasn’t been fun. I also need to start being more kind to myself so I’m going to start with what I tell my swim kids, “I don’t care if you CAN do it today. I care if you TRY TO do it today.”

Now to ignore the Mounds bar in my cabinet for emergencies.

(It should be noted that if you cook for me or suggest we go out for burgers or gluten free pancakes? I will eat the gf food you make or jump on the chance for a burger or gluten free pancakes. Especially if it comes with fries and/or bacon. I like food and burgers and pancakes make me happy.)

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Good things 2017: Week 1-2

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I haven’t taken any fun pictures to share so please enjoy this one of the stage when I went to see Dirty Dancing @ Proctors in November with some of the best ladies I know. It was incredible.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

New year, new start and all that jazz? Sure. I’m really of the opinion that you can start something new any time, but this year there were some big changes around the new year that could mean more big changes.

I was busy the last couple weekends living life for me, not just to share with the internet so I didn’t get around to blogging it or taking all that many pictures really. Oh well! BUT! Here are some of the good things from weeks 1 and 2 of 2017:

  • Making plans with friends I’ve missed.
  • Flannel sheets and my alternative down comforter on my bed to keep cozy.
  • 13 kiddos on my 5-6 yo swim team. I’m insane, clearly.
  • Love My Goat White even if we need to take a break from each other
  • Crafty projects
  • All you can eat sushi with Sue for NYE
  • Soul-filling time with a dear friend and kisses from her babies. (We also had crepes!)
  • Pattern “guessing” for a coworker to try and figure out how the heck she got it right the first 60 times but it doesn’t work now.
  • Heated seats in Bitchytoo (new to me car)
  • My pretty new Keurig machine because I can’t make a decent pot of coffee.
  • Amazon Prime Shipping
  • Google Image search and photo shop skills.
  • Hand cut fries in hole in the wall bars.
  • LLR leggings (I think I have my fill though, unless the owls get released with a black background.)
  • Sharing a brain with BatGirl, even if it is a little weird sometimes.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

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It’s from Christmas, but I think I’ll frame it for my kitchen wall. 2 of my favorites.

Favorite Song:

Oh Ed, I adore you. You get a lot of mention here.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Friday Five – What to remember from 2016

I don’t know if you’ve seen it, facebook made year in review videos for us! No, I’m not posting mine. It mostly didn’t highlight the things I want to remember from this year. Also then you would know that I liked 23,330 posts/photos/links shared on facebook this year. I feel like that might be a low estimate, but considering I seriously cut back on social media in the second half of 2016 it might be right.

2016 has been a rather conflicting year for me. There were some very high, highs, and some really low, lows. I was inspired, I was creatively stifled. I met some really amazing people, I met some real shit heads. I welcomed babies and new friends, we said goodbye to others. I think it was a very balanced year and although there is still some personal conflict, I’m okay.

But what do I want to remember from this year?

  1. I want to remember that I was and continue to be brave. Maybe more brave than I ever have been in my whole life. (Short of the year I took off from college.)
  2. I want to remember that I feel/felt love. I know I have the very best friends and family a girl could ask for but this year reminded me of that in spades. I also did my best to be a good friend and want to remember those moments too.
  3. I want to remember that I thrive on meeting others, connecting with them, and laughing but I also recharge mentally and emotionally in the sunshine and quiet.
  4. I want to remember the deep breaths and the moments I let things go. I may have fallen off on the number of yoga classes I attended, but the lessons I’ve learned in them have been helpful this year.
  5. I want to remember the stumbles as well as the triumphs. Lord knows there were stumbles, but I’ve landed on my feet so far, even if it meant dusting myself off. (Knock on wood I keep being able to!)

As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I want to thank those of you who have been active participants and also those along for the ride for this year. It’s been a doozie in a lot of ways, and while I have a lot of moments of self doubt, I’m in a mostly good place.

What do you want to remember from 2016?

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It feels weird…

Due to various things going on in my personal and family life, I’m not cooking or attending an actual Thanksgiving dinner this year. This isn’t the first time Thanksgiving has been less than “traditional” but it definitely feels the most weird.

I mean c’mon, I’ve had Thanksgiving dinner of pizza, wings, and beer at Ft. Sills. Thanksgiving on Saturday of lasagna and salad. Thanksgiving brunch on Sunday heavy on the beverages, light on the food. And several years in a row it was on Friday with shopping in the morning.

This year I’m traveling with the Bro. You might recall our epic road trip from last year? This one has me flying into Kansas City, road tripping to Louisville, back to Kansas City. Being that we’re on the road, it means we won’t be having traditional Thanksgiving fare and man, I love stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie.

We’re tentatively thinking of having Wild Turkey, Cranberry Cosmos, and Pumpkin Pie shots for dinner Thursday.

Honestly, I don’t care what I eat or where I am for Thanksgiving. I just care about who I’m with…but it might mean I make a turkey, Chex Mix, stuffing and pumpkin pie next week or the week after.

Or host a Thanksgiving dinner on a different day. You want to come over for turkey?

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Good things 2016: Weeks 45-46

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Highly recommended combo

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

So there have been some icky moments in the last couple of weeks so I’m especially thankful for the good moments in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s Good Things for weeks 45-46:

  • Dirty Dancing at Proctors with some of the most dear friends
  • Hot showers after a cold night at the pool.
  • My kiddos first swim meet. I’m so proud!
  • Love My Goat White
  • Crocheting with friends
  • Gluten free lasagna
  • The Copper Fox with Daddy-O to listen to our friend Bil play music.
  • A really good craft show
  • Realizing I’m down 15lbs from June 2015 and some of my favorite pants are thisclose to fitting again
  • Laughing with friends
  • The ice machine at work
  • New babies making their way into the world
  • My Pop.
  • Paying off my car loan…
  • and the bank approving a semi-unexpected at this time car loan for me.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:
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Favorite Song:

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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