Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Birthday Goals {32}

Two weeks ago I turned 32. It was such a great celebration and this year, more than ever before, I felt so comfortable and happy with getting older. I've arrived at this place where I feel like I've been doing a lot of internal work this year and I'm on a good path going into the next year. I've accomplished a lot this year and I'm excited to see what happens next.

Looking at my goals from last year, it doesn't look like I accomplished a lot. I definitely didn't get to everything I wanted to (I mean, how is this year already over?) but it doesn't reflect all the good things that happened. I got married, I went on my honeymoon in Mexico (which was my first time out of the country!), I went to Chicago with friends, I got promoted twice, and found a new therapist that has changed my life. So many big, good things. I'm ok with not getting to the other things on the list below.

Explore my city (and state) 
Run a half marathon 
Create more 
Cook my way through the Thug Kitchen cookbook
Get serious about skincare
Save $2K 
Start a podcast 
Declutter and organize 
Focus on friendships 
Learn tarot 

Birthday Goals for my 32nd Year 
Monthly self care dates 
I want to be more in tune with myself this year. I think part of it could be monthly self care dates. I envision it being taking myself to a new coffee shop once a week to work, or out to lunch at one of my favorite spots. Maybe even a day where I work from home and watch Netflix with a face mask. So many self care options! 

Twenty Nine-King 
No one else loves this idea title, but basically I want to read more Stephen King next year. I've listed his books from first published to most recent, and even included non fiction & short story collections. I'm really excited to read more of his work! 

Write my memoir
This one feels big and scary to write. I don't need to publish this. I won't. But I do want to write more and have a lot of feelings about my life I want to get down. I'm planning to have a weekend ritual where I drink coffee and write for a bit. 

Take a solo vacation 
I've never travelled alone. I don't think that's super weird, but I do think it would be interesting and good for me to take a weekend trip alone this year if I can swing it. 

Create one thing every month 
I've noticed a huge bump in my mental health when I make time to create new things. Even crocheting or knitting hats at night makes me feel so much more centered and accomplished. I want to make time at least once a month to make something new. 

Master intuitive eating 
I recently discovered intuitive eating and it's changed my life. It clicked for me like nothing has before. It can take 9-12 months to really master intuitive eating so my big goal this year is to focus on mastering this. 

Explore my city & state 
This is one I'm bringing over from last years goals. I want to try to make this happen in 2019.

Monday, December 10, 2018

December Book Club

Hey book friends! It's our last book club pick of 2018 (lol wut) and this month I picked our book by literally looking at my bookshelf and seeing this book with winter in the title. I didn't even look at what this book was about and I ordered it so long ago I didn't remember! Turns out it's in the fantasy genre and even though Jen has read a lot of YA fantasy lately, she gamely agreed to my pick that I definitely put a lot of thought into! I'm excited to tackle something that's been on my shelf for over a year and I hope it's seasonally appropriate.

What's it about? 
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesel can't help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds--and the mysterious man who rules it--she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

November Small Goals

Happy November friends! So far I'm really enjoying the fall leaves that are sticking around and voting got me pretty fired up (even if Missouri is weirdly insistent on being a red state while voting for pretty liberal propositions but whatever). With my birthday coming up, I'm feeling really reflective on the past year and starting to think about what I'm hoping to accomplish in the coming year. I'm excited to work on some goals this month & see what the end of the year has in store for us! 

Jen's October Small Goals
1. Josie and the Pussycats Marathon.  Until Riverdale, I never realized the Pussycats were part of the Archie universe. I remember being obsessed with the early 2000's movie but they girls seem so much cooler now that I know more about their history.
2.  Removing Carpet.  Bam! I'd definitely say I've removed over half the carpet and glue upstairs. I'm probably the most pumped about this goal because its the most time consuming but I'm so damn happy with the progress I've made. Although my wrists are less happy.
3. Finish Quilt.  Done. Literally the entire quilt. Its ready to be snuggled under and I am so happy!
4. Start an Outfit Diary.  I downloaded "Your Closet" and followed through for a month. But, I don't love the app so I'm not sure I'm going to continue. It's just such a hassle uploading my outfits each day. I still love the idea of having all my clothes/accessories in a database though. Has anyone used a different app and had better experience?
5. Halloween Books.  By the time I got all my reads organized by the library, half the month was over. I did get 2 spookish read in though so not a complete waste.

4/5 - I killed October.

Jen's November Small Goals

1.  Cross-stitch Ornaments.  Last year I had planned to make some cross stitch ornaments to put on my tree but I never finished them.  I'm going to pull them out, finish stitching them and turn them into ornaments because my tree needs some Christmas Kawaii.
2.  Library Books.  My library books are out of control. I have 4 or 5 sitting on the kitchen table that are just staring at me.  Hopefully I can return them all to the library read by the end of the month.
3.  Stretch Challenge.  I've neglected my workouts and this month blogilates is hosting a stretch challenge. This challenge seems like the perfect way to transition into workout out again.
4.  Clean out undergarment drawers.  Lately I've been focusing my energy on building my "cozy" wardrobe.  My, I'm just hanging out all day at the house wanting to live my comfiest life, wardrobe and my pajama wardrobe. It's time to purge some of my older stuff that has seen better days are isn't the most comfy, especially my old bras. It has felt amazing replacing them recently and I want to give Aerie a major shout out (and not just because I want to be an Aerie Girl).
5.  Memory Quilts.  A co-worker has asked me to help her make 2 memory quilts for her niece and nephew for Christmas which is a pretty big project. I don't have all the supplies yet, but I hope to have these half way done by the end of the month.

Heather's October Small Goals

1. Schedule in two kinds of self care I've got a float scheduled for November and I got my nails done a few weeks ago. Done and done! 
2. Go to two workout classes a week I am shocked I kept this up, but I guess I'm in love with spin class now? I go 2-3 times a week on my lunch break and it's amazing. 
3. Make some Halloween crafts I did not get any Halloween crafts done this month, but I did start crafting again. 
4. Redefine my style Still did not get this done. I am mostly living in leggings, but I do still have this on my radar. 
5. Make a budget for the last 3 months of the year Ok so my budget is not super traditional, but I'm committed to tracking every cent I spend through the end of the year & be diligent about how I'm spending my money. 

3/5 goals crushed 

November Small Goals 
1. Host the 3rd annual Friendsgiving! One of my new favorite traditions is Friendsgiving! It's super small but a really meaningful celebration to me. I'm excited to host something low key this year and spend some time with Jen & my sister. 
2. Book a birth chart reading All I want for my birthday is my birth chart read. The only thing holding me back is knowing what time I was born, but I am about to find out so this is happening. 
3. Plan out my birthday goals Every year I make goals on my birthday for the following year. I want to hammer out what those are and come up with a plan to make them more visible throughout the year. 
4. Drink more water I'm trying to drink more water lately. I don't have a goal of oz per day or anything, but I think I have a solid plan in place. 
5. Finish the Intuitive Eating course A friend loaned me an intuitive eating online course that I'm really excited to dive in to. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November Book Club

It's almost the end of the year and we are about to end the 6th year of the Best Friend Book Club. It's my longest running book club and my absolute favorite thing I've ever done. Book club started as a way to stay connected with Jen long distance and I'm overjoyed that we have continued it this long (with no signs of stopping!). Jen chose the book this month, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. Not only is it very on brand for us, the ebook is also on sale for $2.99 right now! I can't wait to dive in and look forward to hearing what you think! 

What's it about? 

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Two Halloween Reads

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager 

When I got approved for this ARC, I was at work and literally screamed, scaring a few coworkers. 

One of my favorite books last year was Final Girls by Riley Sager & I was really looking forward to their next book, The Last Time I Lied. It was hands down my most anticipated read of 2018 and it did not disappoint. 

The story centers around Emma Davis, who watched her bunk mates at summer camp leave in the middle of the night. Vivian, Natalie, & Allison were never seen again. Now Emma is an adult who paints haunting images hiding the figures of the 3 missing girls. The owner of the camp asks Emma to return as a painting instructor for the summer and she uses this as an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends. 

This books was so spooky. I felt some Camp Crystal Lake vibes for sure. I don’t think you can have a book set at a summer camp without those vibes. Plus the mystery of the family who owns the camp and what happened to Emma’s friends. I enjoyed the alternating views, from present day to the past, all leading up to finding out what happened that night the girls disappeared. 

I read this book in one day. I literally could not put it down. I do think Final Girls hit more on the horror themes I enjoy and this one was more in the mystery/thriller genre, but it was still a solid spooky read that was obviously inspired by the horror genre. Riley Sager has cemented themselves as a must buy for me now. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage 

When I got a copy of Baby Teeth in the mail, I was instantly intrigued. The cover was interesting and the description sounded pretty creepy. Then I read it and it was one of the most frightening books I’ve ever read. 

The book follows Suzette, a mother who loves her daughter but is worn down by homeschooling and Hanna’s violent outbursts, mostly aimed at Suzette and hidden from Suzette’s husband. Hanna is incredibly sneaky & manipulative for a 7 year old. Oh yeah and she doesn’t talk. Unless it’s to tell her mom she’s the spirit of a witch who is there to kill her. 

As a parent, this was hard to read. It was like all your worst nightmares coming true. A child you wanted who seems to want you out of the picture. The chapters from Hanna’s perspective were chilling and I felt so creeped out while reading this. 

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for something kind of creepy to read for Halloween. I honestly think about this book every few weeks, so you know it’s good if I can’t stop thinking about it. 

*Both books were given to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review* 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Small Goals

Happy mid-October! I know this is late but I'm posting our monthly goals late anyway so DEAL WITH IT. Not that I think people care that much, but I love goal setting and monthly small goals are a great way to hold myself accountable for getting things done. What's on your October goal list? Tell me so I can get ideas to steal for my November list! 

Jen's September Small Goals
1. Decorate for Halloween.  Done! Not only have I decorated, I've purchased so many new decorations that I think I can justify having a Halloween storage tote now. Go me!
2. Finish WIPs.  This one is a work in progress. I had 4 WIPs to finish. 2 are done and I've cut out the fabric for the other two and have them sewed into blocks.  I just need to quilt them now and get them ready for display. I'm counting this one though! 
3. Fix Drywall Cracks I really want to count this one but I won't. I did not touch the drywall this month. As predicted, I got distracted by removing part of the carpet upstairs and uncovering old hardwood. New plan: remove all the carpet glue off the hardwood and I'm thinking about painting the hardwood gray. I'm in love with this new plan.
4. Yearly Sampler Catch Up.  Done! This is probably the first time I've been caught up all year. It really is perfect timing with the release of some seasonal patterns.
5. Goldie Vance Marathon. Thank you cozy Sunday afternoon for letting me binge this series. It was so good!

4/5 is pretty badass which means I'm pretty badass.

Jen's October Goals
1. Josie and the Pussycats Marathon.  I'm really digging making a comic book marathons a goal. There are 2 comics in the newest version of this series and I can't wait to dive further into the Archie world.
2.  Removing Carpet.  Now that I've started this goal, there is no going back. My goal is to have at least half the room carpet free. It's a really big room and removing the glue is a really slow process. Hopefully I can knock this goal out of the part and surpass my expectations.
3. Finish Quilt.  Sew I've been slowlllllly working on a quit this summer. It's nothing special - just a patchwork quilt made out of a hodge podge of fabrics. My husband sleeps hot and prefers quilts sans batting. The goal was to finish it by fall and oops, it is fall and it isn't finished. The top is getting close to be done and I just plan on yard tying it for quilting purposes. Maybe I'll finish this month?
4. Start an Outfit Diary. I've always secretly wanted the Clueless closet set up. Being able to see your entire wardrobe and generate outfits is a literal dream. I've decided to download an app that does basically the same. You load all your clothes into it, it can help generate outfits on lazy mornings and I love the idea of keeping an outfit diary. Being able to see the stats on how often you wear something and if you are getting your money out of each purchase.  Loading my entire wardrobe seems daunting, so I'll probably just start out small with keeping the outfit diary and with some time I'll get a majority of it loaded.
5. Halloween Books.  I love picking out spooky books to read during the month of October. Spooky books are my jam and I just love participating in season nonsense, even if its nonsense made up by me. I'm hoping to squeeze in 5 different spooky stories! Also, stay tuned for your spooky book list for October!

Heather's September Small Goals
1. Sign up for workout classes I did it! I signed up at Trufusion, which offers a variety of different classes at different levels. So far I've tried a kettlebell class that killed me & I'm planning on a cycling class, dance class, & yoga. I'm really into the variety and it's kept me excited about working out. 
2. Finish at least one knitting project Done! I finally finished knitting a cardigan I started last year. Now I just need it to be cold enough to wear it. 
3. Track my money  This is one I did not do. I know my spending was much less than it's been in the past, but I didn't keep an exact count of what went in/out. 
4. Find some new lunch recipes I tried a few new things this month. A winter pasta salad & cauliflower leek soup. Both were winners & even the girls loved the soup leftovers. 
5. Organize my extra room Another goal smashed! Its' not perfect yet, but serious progress has been made. 

4/5 goals complete! 

October Small Goals
1. Schedule in two kinds of self care My therapist recommended scheduling in my self care. I have been really letting myself get pulled in a lot of different directions so I feel like I'm the last thing I prioritize. I would like to get my nails done & get a massage this month. 
2. Go to two workout classes a week The gym I signed up for is $95/month for unlimited classes. To really make this worth continuing past the cheaper intro month, I need to go to classes AT LEAST twice a week. I'm putting it on my calendar now! 
3. Make some Halloween crafts I got a good start with my Hocus Pocus sign, but I'd like to make even more Halloween decorations for my house. 
4. Redefine my style I'm in such a style rut lately. I'm living in leggings and most things in my closet are going untouched. Do I need to do a big purge and start over? Do I accept that I just wear leggings every day now? I'm not sure. I'm going to figure it out in October though. 
5. Make a budget for the last 3 months of the year One of my huge lifelong goals is to be better at money. I want to look at the upcoming holidays and budget accordingly. Do I need to start a spreadsheet? I guess we will find out! 

Friday, October 5, 2018

September Rewind

This month feels like it was a weird one for reading. I just did not have as much motivation as I expected. I finished the book Traction by Gino Wickman for work, which is maybe only exciting if you are also interested in business related books. I loved our book club selection Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson & caught up on the August book club pick From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon. 

I started watching Jane the Virgin & I'm obsessed. It hits all my buttons. I'm a sucker for shows on the CW anyway, but this one is on another level. I am ready to binge watch even more of it in October. 

If you don't know, I got promoted recently into a management role at my job. I'm so excited about it, but it's my first time managing people. Obviously, I want to read or listen to things that can help me figure out my management style without relying on my extensive knowledge of Michael Scott. I've really loved the Being Boss podcast. It's mostly geared towards entrepreneurs (which I am not), but I've found a lot of value in it. They also touch on some woo aspects of things which I am very into!

Also this month 

Werq the World drag show 
I love RuPaul's Drag Race and when some friends from work wanted to go to the tour, I was like hell yeah. We had great seats and got to see the top 4 queens from season 10, plus some past season winner. Bob the Drag Queen was maybe the highlight for me, along with Aquaria's Kill Bill themed performance. We are now planning to go to the Christmas themed tour in November and I cannot wait! 

Cards Game 
Jarrett's mom got us tickets for a Sunday afternoon game recently and it was actually our first (and probably only) game of the season. Despite being in the sun & sweating the whole time, it was a lot of fun. I got to eat ballpark nachos, which I'm convinced are one of my love languages, plus the Cardinals won! 

Bestie painting day! 
Jen's sister has her own business making theme amazing wooden signs, so Jen got her to organize a painting day for us (and their mom!). We both made these Hocus Pocus themed signs & I'm so excited to find the perfect place for mine when I drag out my Halloween decorations this weekend. We already have another painting day planning in October. It's such a fun way to spend some time with my bestie & make something new.

This month was a bust reading wise. I just could not stay motivated. Other than binging all the Goldie Vance comics I only read one book: Renegades by Marissa Meyer.  I usually tear through anything Melissa writes so I was surprised it too me close to a month to finish this book. I guess I just wasn't in the right headspace, yah know?

I've been very into binging Buffy the Vampire Slayer recently. I'm now on season 3 and it's really grabbing my interest. I was unaware Seth Green was a main character and other characters are showing their super powers and I'm INTO IT.

I don't think I listened to anything new, but has anyone seen Dimitri Martin's new standup special on Netflix? I'm always a sucker for puns and plays on word. Watch it.

Also this month

Bathroom Refresh
I've been going through a bit of a nesting phase. I've been spending a lot more time by myself and in turn really figuring out what I want and need out of my home spaces.  I decided to paint my bathroom, including my cabinet and medicine cabinet, over labor day weekend.  The space is so much more cheerful and it has inspired me to continue refreshing different areas of my home. Just because my house is old doesn't mean its too far past a simply refresh. Next project, removing 50+ year old carpeting and repainting the hardwood underneath. Stay tuned!

Taylor Swift Concert
So I did something a little out of my comfort zone, I went to a Taylor Swift concert.  A sweet friend from work invited me to go with her. She was chauffeuring her granddaughter and a friend and I happily tagged along to the event.  Taylor puts on an amazing show and I'm very happy I jumped at this opportunity. The wristbands were the coolest. They were synchronized with the music and you basically got to watch a light show throughout the stadium in addition to Taylor's performance. 10/10 recommend to a friend.

Painting Day
Ok, I really tried to think of something else I did this month so we wouldn't be talking about the same thing. Buttttttt, I'm a boring person and painting day was so much fun. Plus, I'm very proud of my little sister starting her own side hustle.  Her creations are amazing and I'm in awe of her craftiness.  Her future goal is to be able to teach painting classes and she is using us as her subjects until she feels ready to tackle that. Please check out ironpineappledesigns on facebook, instagram and etsy.