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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October Book Club

Hey book friends. October is hands down my favorite month. I've been working on some spooky reads & movies & tv shows to binge all month long. 

When deciding on a book to read this month, I knew I wanted something spooky. It’s weirdly kind of hard to find something super scary that’s not Stephen King (please send me any suggestions obviously) or that I haven’t read already. However, when I picked up this ARC I’ve been meaning to read for months, I realized it might fit the bill. Sadie by Courtney Summers is more of a thriller. Once I realized it also has chapters told in the style of a true crime podcast, I was SO IN. True crime podcasts are my jam. This book just came out last month and I can’t wait to dig in. 

What’s it About? 
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.