On My Bookshelf [March]

Well, I just joined the Arlington County Public Library, and then a month later (aka this weekend), I paid my first late fee. 😉 Last Sunday, I remembered that my books were due and I dropped them off while I was out doing errands. But, while I was collecting them from around my room, I left one behind because I honestly thought it was mine! It was the one I liked best anyways, so no surprise that I tried to keep it, right?!

Me Before You
Jojo Moyes

me

I read this book in a day, so I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not I liked it. Ha! I truly had no interest in reading this book until I saw that it was becoming a movie. But in its defense, I also didn’t really know the storyline, and once I did, I knew it was one that I would like.

This story starts with the main character, Lou, losing her job. She works at a cafe in a small town in England and she loves it! The owner of the cafe suddenly needs to leave town, and so he does…leaving Lou with no job. Now in her twenties, she never went to college and never really thought about what kind of job she would like to have. The career center in her town places her in the most random of jobs until finally she becomes a caretaker for a former London businessman, Will. He was paralyzed in an accident and is not interested in embracing his new life in a wheelchair. He’s sarcastic and mean, but Lou gives back a little of the sass that he gives and they end up becoming friends. She wants to badly for him to see the bright side of life again, and her job as his caretaker suddenly becomes so much more than just a job. I really loved how this story unfolded because even though you think you might be able to guess the ending, it really ends in a completely “un-Hollywood” way and so I am interested to see how it plays out on film. I am listening to the sequel, After You, on audiobook right now, and again, I have no idea what the storyline is, so I will keep you posted. 🙂

Then Came You
Jennifer Weiner

9758764

I remember buying a sample of this book on my Kindle and being highly annoyed when the first chapter and a half ended. I wanted to know what happened! I finally bought it at a book sale at the library this summer for the low, low price of $1. 🙂

This story weaves together the lives of Annie, India, Bettina, and Jules. These four women are brought together through motherhood, in one way or another. Egg donor, adoptive mom, surrogate mom, mother as stated in a will…there is a little bit of everything in this book. Each of the main characters has a chapter and it is not confusing at all to switch from point of view to point of view because the chapter that follows goes along with the one that precedes it. Jules is an Ivy League college senior when she decides to donate her eggs to earn money to help her family. Annie is a stay at home mom who never thought about anything else besides being a mom when she decides to become a surrogate to help support her family and regain her sense of purpose. India has climbed the social ladder all the way to the very top, marrying a very rich New York City businessman who she actually decides she loves. When they decide to have a baby together, Bettina (rich businessman’s daughter), starts to look into India’s past because she is convinced this woman is not as she seems. Even though these four lives could not be more different, there is a big sense of friendship and community woven throughout this book!

If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities
Mark Batterson

if.jpeg

This is my pastor’s latest book and I am working my way through it chapter by chapter. There is a part inside of everyone that wonders, “What if….” but usually, that voice is quieted by our thoughts of the past and wondering what we could have done better. If only I said this/did this/looked like that/read this book/took that job etc. etc. etc. I am excited to read more about how “what if…” possibilities can define my life because to me, that represents forward thinking, and we all know we’re moving towards the future anyway, so you might as well think that way. 😉

What have you been reading?

bookwormwednesday12

Book Talk [February]

My favorite thing to do is cuddle up with my big purple blanket, a cup of coffee, and a book. I have found that the Internet…and Netflix…and apps on my phone…well, they make this very simple task of curling up with a book seem like a challenge. But, I am always much happier and more relaxed when I make time to read. 🙂

Here’s what I checked out from the library this month:

The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower

47613914.cached

This nonfiction book is all about life inside the White House. The author gathered these stories from White House domestic staff like the butlers, maids, gardeners, maintenance men…you know, those people who work there for years and years and see more than one Presidential family come through. It was SO interesting to read how they prepare for a new family and what kinds of things they are expected to do. Plus, most of the people who have these jobs have them because someone in their family worked at The White House, too, so they REALLY know a lot about the people who have lived there! When I visited Renwick Gallery a few weeks ago, I waited in a long line outside the museum, which happens to be right by The White House, and I talked my friend’s ear off with all the new facts and stories I learned.

A few fun ones:

Lyndon B. Johnson was obsessed with having a very intricate shower built in his bathroom. Ha!

The Clintons were the loudest, most argumentative First Couple.

One of the butlers joked that he had never heard Mary J. Blige played in The White House until the first night the Obamas were there. 🙂

The First Families pay for all their own food! –> I thought this one was so interesting because there are so many luxuries that they have just by living in that house, so it was a surprise to read they still have that same normal expense as the rest of us!

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

51Dv9RUSOJL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Perhaps my FAVORITE book. I started it on a Saturday night and finished it on Sunday morning, thanks to Blizzard Jonas. This historical fiction book is about two sisters living in London during WWII. As the war moved closer to England, children were sent to the country, with the thought that they would be safer there should anything happen to the city. The first chapter starts out in present day and HOOKS you right from the start. I couldn’t wait to see what happened, and I couldn’t predict it, either! I was so sad when this story ended because I wanted to keep reading about the characters. It was the perfect ending. This is my favorite time period to read about, which I always feel weird saying, because there was obviously a war taking place, but it is just fascinating to read about everything that went on at that time.

The Trump Card by Ivanka Trump

51zAlqRwMUL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

You are more than welcome to judge me for this read, but I got this book from the library in audio book form and I really enjoyed listening to it on the way to and from work. This book is essentially written for someone who is just beginning their career, and I loved the perspective and motivation she provided for someone (like me) in that stage of life. Though she did relate many of her explanations to the business world, I still felt myself relating and engaged. She only talks of her father as a father in this book, and that was enough. 😉 #savethepolitics

I stole 2 of these 3 book recommendations from Allie’s recent book post, so now I need some more help! What should I read next?

bookwormwednesday12

Bookworm Wednesday: January

I tell my students all the time that I love to read, but I’ve found in the last few months that I don’t practice what I preach. I DO love to read, I DO have a stack of books waiting to be read, and I DO scroll through Instagram and fall down the Internet rabbit hole every time I have a free moment. I learned how easy it is to survive without social media (minus my blog) when I gave it up for Lent last year, and it is one of my resolutions this year to make less social media part of my life. I have a life outside of those apps, so I need to go live it. And I’ve been doing a lot of that living thing during the holiday season, so that’s a good omen for the new year. 🙂

Today I’m talking books with Molly & Katie!

bookwormwednesday12.png

The first book I read over the holidays was a book chosen at complete random. I have a box of books in the back of my car that I was given for free and have been meaning to take into my classroom. Since I always forget the books are there, they made the trip with me back to Pittsburgh instead of making it into my classroom in Virginia. 🙂 I was waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) to pick my brother up from work one day and I decided to go get a book to read while I waited. I did want to read, but there was also terrible service in the parking lot of my brother’s work and I was wasting a lot of data (and patience) trying to make everything load. #firstworldproblems

IMG_3445.jpg

ANYWAYS, I found the first book in The Babysitter’s Club series and I was so excited! I still have every single Babysitter’s Club book at my mom’s house somewhere. I loved the whole series, I loved the Super Special series that came out a little bit later, and I loved the Babysitter’s Little Sister series, too. Reading a book is like going to another world or another life for a little while, and these books were part of my little kid life. There were a lot of parts that I remembered while I was reading and then there were some character traits and events that I didn’t remember at all, so it was a fun read! And obviously a quick one since it’s written for a younger audience. 🙂

The Internet: that place you go to post way too many details about your life and make friends with people you’ve never met. Or something.  The below book was brought to me by one of my best blogging friends, Molly, who is also the co-host of this link-up. #shamelessplug

FullSizeRender (1).jpg

I bought the book from the “Shop My” page on her blog and I feel very creative with my side by side picture (Molly left, me on the right). #dontmakefun #youknowyouwantto

 I purchased both Dancing Through Life and Balancing It All with my aunt in mind, because she loves Candace Cameron Bure. I kept this one for myself and gave the other to my aunt and I can’t wait to trade with her! Dancing Through Life is all about Candace’s journey on Dancing With The Stars with a lot of her faith in there, too. I am not a DWTS superfan, but it’s really interesting to read about her experience. I am especially loving reading about how she stayed close to the Lord throughout her experience because I tend to think I can handle everything on my own and I KNOW I need to pray about the situation and/or the people before I take action. I am very inspired by her confidence in herself, her faith, and surrounding herself with only the people who will lift her up. That is what I want for myself.

I feel like I cheated with the third book because I didn’t really READ it…

tumblr_lwafiskt1b1qzyvfwo1_500.jpg

Tell me you feel the same way as Rory about books?! #gilmoregirlsforever

My aunt gifted me Michael Strahan’s new biography Wake Up Happy for Christmas…but I recieved the audiobook so I could listen to it while I traveled!

51ZzfYnUR-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

My mom told me if she listened to an audiobook, she would fall asleep. Ha! I love listening to podcasts, so I figured an audiobook would be similar and I would like it. The coolest part is that Michael is reading the book himself! I love watching Kelly and Michael when I’m home on a weekday, so hearing him talk all about his life was really fun. I listened to it while I drove back to DC and every day on the way to and from work this week…and now it’s over and I’m sad! If only Kelly Ripa would record an audiobook, too. 🙂

This really is the story of Michael’s life, but he weaves in positivity and motivation into each chapter (or phase) of his life. I had NO idea that he was one of six children, from Texas, raised in Germany, a father while he was in college, a long-distance father as his wife and kids went back to Germany, or a really amazing football player. Sure, I knew he played football and had 4 kids from two marriages, but beyond that I just knew I liked his charisma on TV! My favorite fun fact that I learned is that his brothers used to call him “Bob”…which he later learned meant “Booty on Back” because he was an overweight middle schooler. Poor guy! It gets better…he used his own money to buy a Jane Fonda VHS and worked out by himself every day after school!

I related to him a lot as he spoke of his experiences because he is a very introverted guy, but he is also very thoughtful and tries to think about how everything that happens to him can be for something good. I consider myself an introvert and an over-analyzer, so hopefully now that I’ve learned his strategies for waking up happy, I won’t just wake up and be happy…I’ll be happy all day long. 🙂

What have you been reading?!

Scarves & Books: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hello, friends!

In case you were wondering, I say the word “friends” approximately 157 times per day. At least. At my school, I have noticed that a lot of teachers say “friends” when they are referring to their entire class, and I have also noticed that I have started doing the same thing. So for example, instead of saying, “Hey guys, stop that”, I might say, “Oh no. My friends are walking in the hall quietly. They are NOT talking.” And then suddenly, everyone pops to attention. 🙂

Anyways.

Today’s post is brought to you in part by two duos: Rachel & Astleigh and Katie & Molly!

scarf swap

Floral and Fudge & Hill Collection

A few weeks ago, Rachel and Astleigh announced that they were going to host a scarf swap. I love reading both Rachel and Astleigh’s blogs because they truly appreciate the little things in life and both seem so joyful. They are a little bit older than me, so in reading their blogs, I find myself looking up to them a little bit. So of course, when they mentioned their idea, I loved it! Those who were interested in this white elephant exchange sent in their name and address and received a name and address in return. This exchange had my name written all over it because I love to shop and I love to send and receive mail! I think mail, especially fun mail, makes the day so much more exciting. I was happy to make someone else’s day with a scarf! My email said that I would be sending a scarf to Becky over at Little Loud Life. I purchased a violet colored, lightweight scarf that is perfect for fall, yet can be worn all year long for my new friend!

wpid-20151005_075615-02

This is Becky wearing her new scarf! Not only did I get to send her some fun mail, but I also got to know another fellow Pennsylvania blogger. She writes about every day life with her family and I can already tell that she is someone I would love to know in real life. She seems so down to earth and her two kiddos seem so sweet!

Early last week, I opened my mailbox to find a package from Blake over at Forever Callahan. If you recall, I was so excited that I threw my new scarf on over my workout clothes…and I had just finished working out! Ha!

IMG_1759

The scarf that Blake sent me is totally something that I would pick out myself, yet I have never seen anything like it before. It has a pretty purple, pink, and gold paisley pattern and is lined with purple tassels. It’s also an infinity scarf, which is my favorite kind of scarf to wear because it styles itself! I often find myself tying “regular scarves” together on opposite ends so that I can make them infinity scarves. It’s just my favorite way to wear them!

IMG_1870

In 2.1 seconds you will understand why I’m not a fashion blogger. Or any kind of legitimate blogger, for that matter. I am already jealous of the pretty pictures that Astleigh posted of her and her scarf earlier today! However, I have yet to wear my new scarf and so I have attempted to style it a few different ways that I think I may wear it in the future. 🙂

IMG_1881

Let’s look at the worst picture first so we can move on. 😉 This maroon shirt from Old Navy is loose and falls slightly off the shoulder, so though I mostly wear it in fall and winter, I always find myself wearing a scarf with it so that I can cover up! It’s lucky that the color matches perfectly since this is a “scarf” shirt for me.
IMG_1878

Next, just a regular V-neck t-shirt that is in the purple family, but isn’t too matchy matchy with the scarf. Jeans and brown boots and I’m good to go!

IMG_1880

And finally, I keep seeing and reading that white jeans or pants are appropriate in the fall. Well, how about this chambray shirt, this scarf, white pants, and brown boots? I think I would look like a Pinterest model. #justkidding

bookwormwednesday12

Better Off Benedict & Colors Of Life Blog

Last month, I told you I was reading a lot of books about teaching since this is my first year. Since then, I have tried to make some more time for reading for fun…and especially reading for fun off screen. When I say that, I mean not on the computer or my iPad. I don’t spend a ton of time looking at a computer at work, but I feel like I have a lot of screen time in my free time, so I am trying to split that time up between the computer and books!

IMG_1884

I got this book at the local library’s huge sale a few weeks ago. It’s written by Ann Brashares, who, if you remember, is the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. This story follows the girls several years later when they are all grown up! Right at the beginning, the story takes an unexpected turn, and I wasn’t really happy about it! Even so, I am interested to see how it plays out. I loved these stories when they first came out and I love that the author wrote a book about the girls as adults!
IMG_1882

I’m also reading this nonfiction read that I ordered from Amazon. I don’t remember where I had heard someone mention this book…but I do remember wanting it right away and then just never ordering it. The title speaks to me because I still struggle with food and exercise sometimes, worrying that I am not eating my best or doing enough at the gym, even though I am not as obsessed as I once was. I don’t know that I expected it to be a story, but I did expect chapters of some sort.

IMG_1883

Strangely enough, it can be a quick read if you want it to be. Each “chapter” is about 2-3 pages and they are not specifically about eating or working out. As you see above, this chapter is about making the choices that will allow you to live your happiest and healthiest life. There are also little sections about surrounding yourself with the right people and not wanting what other people have. Even though it is not what I expected, I am liking it so far!

Alright, I think we are all caught up. I wish this post had gone live at 9 o’clock this morning instead of 9 o’clock this evening, but one month into school, I finally caught my first sickness! My throat felt strange all day on Sunday and by Sunday night, I was talking like a frog. I felt fine on Monday, I just had no voice, which made for an interesting day of teaching. 😉 Tuesday I woke up all congested…so last night, I went right to sleep as soon as I could! I’m feeling better today but definitely still sound froggy. I can’t whisper, because no sound comes out, and I can’t yell, because my voice cracks like a teenage boy. So it’s one volume for me. My students love it. Happy Wednesday!

Rain, Reading + A New Look

How was your weekend?! Mine looked a lot like this…

IMG_8852

Comfy clothes and slippers approximately 6 seconds after arriving home. Ha! I dare you to change faster than me. 😉 I was super excited to wear these clothes because it felt COLD this weekend which was a welcomed change! As a 23 year old, I pride myself on being an adult (90% of the time) but there are still some things that I rudely claim “only old people do”. One of these things –> talk about the weather. However, let’s discuss weather for a minute.

IMG_8711

Sitting in my car because nothing is important enough to deal with hail.

The Maryland/DC/Virginia area has been having some crazy thunderstorms lately. Last week, it was about 95* with 90% humidity all week long. It. was. so. hot. But on random occasions, we would have these ridiculous thunderstorms…think puddles that are deeper than you think when driving, lightning that makes green lights turn red, and hail. This craziness usually only lasts for an hour or so and then we are back to sun and heat. But on Saturday, it torrentially downpouring and CHILLY! 🙂 After running a bunch of errands in the morning, I decided the rain wasn’t worth fighting with anymore and came home to relax in my favorite comfy clothes. Is there anything better than that on a weekend?!

IMG_8794

Aaaand there’s that sun we were talking about.

My weekend was already off to a great start (besides cooler weather) because my roommate checked our mailbox and I got ALL THE THINGS!

IMG_8837

The new music and choreography for Round 40 of PiYo (which is 80s inspired…so fun!), a card from my mom, a card from one of my best friends, and FREE protein powder packets from Quest Nutrition! I received Vanilla Milkshake and Chocolate Milkshake after filling out a survey a few weeks ago. My favorite Quest protein flavor is peanut butter because it is truly such a decadent flavor! Some protein powder can taste gritty or even thin, but I have never had that problem with Quest protein powder. You should try it! (P.S. I’m not sponsored in any way by the company, I just love their products.) Their website is always offering some kind of free promotion. Also, they just came out with two new protein powder flavors: Salted Caramel and Banana Cream. Salted Caramel is right up my sweet tooth’s alley. 😉 One of my friends from college sent me a picture of the two free packets she received in the mail and she got the two NEW flavors! I love mail and I love free things so I tried not to be too jealous. Ha!

FullSizeRender

My many pieces of mail inspired me to sit down and make little cards and care packages for two of my friends or family. One of my summer bucket list goals was to send two pieces of mail each month. June = check! And I am obsessed with the stationary. Target dollar section is the best!

 IMG_8846

For some reason, I have been waking up at 3 or 4 AM every night and I cannot seem to go back to sleep. Thanks to Molly’s suggestion, I heard some pretty good tunes the other night. 😉

IMG_8939

And I added another book to my list for the year! My mom and I set a goal to read 52 books this year and seeing as it’s already July, I am nervous about how close I will actually get to achieving this goal! I love Jodi Picoult and when I saw this book at my local Half Price books, I knew I had to get it because even though it’s an older title, I have never read it. It was hard to finish and I hate when that happens! It was much different than her “typical” story line, the timeline was a little difficult to keep up with because each chapter jumped around, and I found myself kind of not caring what was going to happen at some points. Now that I know how the story ends, I like how it all came together…and I’m glad I have another book to add to my list! Ha! Have you ever started reading a book that you just couldn’t get into!?

IMG_8853

I ate my favorite meal on repeat…

 IMG_8867

…and served in the nursery at church before attending service on Sunday. I go to National Community Church in DC and I’m so glad God brought me to that place when I moved here last summer. I have been in a small group since I started attending church, but I just started serving in the nursery. I LOVE spending time with the babies in the nursery. The first week I shadowed, I was holding a baby who was teething and she was SO distraught the entire time her parents were in church. This week was much better but we were a few adults short so it was difficult to appease the ones who were upset and keep the ones who were happy entertained! My favorite moment was laying on the floor with 2 girls and a boy and playing “cars” with them. They thought sound effects were hilarious even though they were only about 9-12 months! One girl took a liking to me and when she got tired, I ended up rocking with her a lot. When her dad picked her up, she cried! I wanted to go home with her. She was so sweet!

Perhaps the biggest event of the weekend came when I went to the hair salon and told my stylist to “chop away”.

IMG_8919

I have worn my hair the exact same way since eighth grade. I just like my side swept bangs and long length! I have cut it shorter a few times over the years, but I really wanted something different! Now, I have choppy layers and my hair is longer in the front and shorter in the back. Also, my favorite topknot ponytail hairstyle is out…

IMG_8921

…because my ponytail now looks like this! Ha! Running so far has required lots of bobby pins and headbands. 😉 And I miss the knot on top of my head when I’m just hanging out and relaxing! It feels weird to have my hair down. Ah!

– How was your weekend?

– How often do you change your hair?

What’s Up?!

My love of surveys will never die. And I love checking in with all my favorite blog friends to see what they’re up to! Join the link up on Mel or Shay’s blogs and share your rambles!

whatsupwed1

What I’m eating this week:

IMG_7614

Warm weather has me craving ALL THE FRESH THINGS! I have been eating a ton of huge salads with grilled chicken. My favorite summer dish. 🙂

IMG_7729

I’m a big fan of food with ingredients that I can pronounce…these “That’s It” bars that I found at Chop’t (hey! A salad place! What do you know;) are made up of just apples and mangoes. Dried fruit in a perfect little serving size! If you give me a bag of dried fruit, I will go to town. If you give me a bar, I will only eat one. Therefore, these bars are a double threat for me because they are only two ingredients (that I can pronounce) and it’s already in a perfect serving size for me!

What I’m reminiscing about:

IMG_5029

I was a camp counselor at the YMCA for the past two summers and while those days felt so very long while I was in them, I really will miss becoming such good friends with other counselors and hanging out with the little people every day!

What I’m loving: 

IMG_7848

Not over how cool and portable and easy and fun my travel blender is. I LOVE IT! $14.99 well spent, my friends.

What I’ve been up to:

IMG_7724

Traveling. Which means lots of entertainment is needed on the way to my destination! I love the Pentatonix station on Pandora and The Chalene Show on the iPhone’s podcast app! Chalene’s podcast is also available on the Android version of the podcast app, but I don’t know what that’s called. 🙂 Probably just podcast. Ha! She is so positive and she talks about health, fitness, living a healthy life, making good decisions, work, your free time…she covers it all. Love her!

What I’m dreading:

IMG_7762

And on the note of traveling…I’m dreading going back and forth from DC to Pittsburgh. I have plans in both places during these first few weeks of summer and I am excited about it all, so I guess I need to just be thankful I have the means to travel and leave it at that!

What I’m working on:

1a4058d9e604b63e6653804a5b90afd4

Closing my silly laptop. I am applying for jobs right now and I feel like I am a SLAVE to certain websites and my email account. I just want to tune into LIFE instead of my computer!!!

What I’m excited about:

images

So, this show definitely isn’t for everyone. It can be crass at times but I love it. This fall, I saw the Orange Is The New Black book at Target and because I had heard people talking about the show and didn’t understand their obsession, I decided to read the book. I am a book –> movie/TV fanatic so I had to read first haha! When I started watching the show on Netflix, I had no concept of how long it was or how many episodes there were. When the last episode of Season 2 ended (and by the way, it ends on a huge cliffhanger), I jumped off my couch to hit PLAY NEXT EPISODE and I was so upset when I realized there were not, in fact, more episodes to be watched. Needless to say, I am super excited for Season 3 to start on June 12!

What I’m watching/reading:

FullSizeRender

I did some serious damage at my favorite store in Pittsburgh…Half Price Books. Does your town have one of those stores??? There are multiple locations in Pittsburgh and ZERO in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. It’s so sad! Ha! All of these books were $4 or less each, so I was pretty happy with my finds. 🙂 I decided to start reading Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie first. Blake is the creator of TOMS shoes and for some reason, I am so intrigued by his story and advice for making a difference! I have been loving personal development/self help/nonfiction books lately so this is right up my alley. I also brought Seating Arrangements along for my travels this week because it seems like a lighthearted read! I really want to read Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places because I loved Gone Girl, but I’m convinced it’s too scary! Someone talk me into it or share your review, please! 🙂

What I’m listening to:

When I find a song I love, I LOVE IT. I downloaded this song yesterday and I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to it 25 times already. At least.

And this is pretty good too…

And Blake Shelton. Because he’s Blake Shelton. I have eclectic taste in music, as you can tell. I’m on the road again as you read this. I needed lots of new tunes!

What I’m wearing:

IMG_7790

These shoes. The end.

Actually, not the end. I said I wouldn’t jump on the Birkenstock train BUT I’M HERE AND I’M SO HAPPY!

What I’m doing this weekend:

IMG_3732

Summertime + Kenny Chesney + my friends = the perfect Saturday. Kenny is playing at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with Eric Church, Chase Rice, and Brantley Gilbert. He’s come to Pittsburgh SO many summers in a row and I haven’t been to one of his concerts since I was probably ten years old! I can’t wait. 🙂 This is a throwback with some of the same girls I’ll be hanging out with this weekend to Tim McGraw last summer!

What I’m looking forward to next month WEEK:

TaylorSwiftRed

I’m changing this one up;) Next Saturday I’m going back to Heinz Field to see Taylor Swift. AH! I saw her when she was in town for her Speak Now tour in 2011 but I fell out of love with her when her Red album came out. I LOVE the 1989 album and one of my friends got tickets for Christmas and I’m the lucky girl she invited to go with her! We have tickets on the field. I’m not one to spend a ton of money on my concert tickets…I always feel like I’m there and that’s enough for me but I’m about to be so close to Taylor Swift and that is SO COOL!

What else is new:

College_of_Education_logo_vertical

Even though it is officially summer, I am taking two online classes that start in early June. I was so burned out at the end of the spring semester because I was working on the most important paper of my grad school career, BUT I know that nothing worth having comes easy so I guess it comes with the territory. I am going to enjoy this TRULY free time from grad school while I can, but I’m also excited to get started with these next two classes!

Bonus question…What is your favorite thing to grill/BBQ?

   

One of my favorite ways to eat pineapple is with a packet of Jello powder sprinkled on top…extra flavor! But grilled pineapple is so fresh and good, it is a close second.

 

 I’m not a huge fan of red meat unless it’s served with an Italian dish. You won’t ever see me eating a steak or a burger! But I do love turkey burgers and this brand is my new favorite. They have a ton of protein and flavor!! 

______________________________________________________________

So, tell me: what have you been up to?!

And if you’re a blogger, here’s your list of questions! Have fun!

WUWquestions

Bookworm

  My very favorite show in middle school was Gilmore Girls. I started watching part way through the series, but of course I went out and bought the first few seasons on DVD because duh. This was before the days of Netflix. Now I have the entire series of DVDs and I rewatch them all the time! Rory Gilmore and I relate on so many levels, but the biggest one is that of books. I feel like she read different genres than I tend to read, but we’re both always in the middle of several books and we both always have a book on us at all times. 🙂

I was on Pinterest recently and I saw this list:

All 339 Books Referenced In Gilmore Girls

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to start crossing books off that list. 😉

b381cdf0439d2fe824a9ac35c8af402f

One of my goals for 2015 is to read 52 books. I am getting anxious because I think of June as the halfway point of the year (because it is) and I only have 13 books on my “already read” list for the year! Check out my list in the One Year, Many Pages tab of this blog. 🙂 I don’t want to be cliche and say, “Well, now that it’s summer, I’m going to have so much more time…”, but that is partially true. And the other part is I just need to get off my laptop. SO MANY BLOGS TO READ AND PICTURES TO PIN!

The month isn’t over yet, so I’m hoping to finish 3 books. Here’s what I’ve read this May…

IMG_7720

All over blog world (since I told you I have been a blog reading machine lately;)), everyone is raving about Liane Moriarty’s books! I really liked this book…I read it by the pool the weekend after I turned in my biggest paper of the semester. Pure relaxation! I loved her writing style and her characters…you learn a lot about a bunch of different characters who are all connected in some way as the book progresses. The only complaint I had was that it seemed like every female character was divorced, widowed, or in an unhappy relationship! I suppose I should have expected SOME animosity somewhere since the title infers that a man is keeping a secret, but still. I have rose-colored glasses on about love. Couldn’t ONE of the couples have been happy?! Haha take a read and let me know what you think. 🙂

IMG_7687

Since I moved to the DC area last summer, I have been attending National Community Church. Our pastor, Mark Batterson, has written several books and he gave a copy of his newest book to us at service a few weeks ago! I was so excited to read this book because it’s all about making the life YOU have more exciting. It’s saying yes to adventure, whatever that may be for you, and sharing your experiences with others. Life is meant to be lived and loved with other people by your side. Pastor Mark’s mentor, Dick Foth, coauthored this book and it was the first book he has ever written! He has given the sermon at church a few times since I started attending and he is such a good storyteller that I knew his writing would be just as amazing. This book is SO relatable, no matter how old you are, and I love how they use life experiences and Scripture to make ideas more meaningful. The chapters are split into two parts: “Dick’s Story” and “Mark’s Story”, so you could easily read a few pages, set it down, and pick it up to read later. READ IT!

Sidenote: it used to make me cringe when I would see my aunt reading a book and highlighting it like crazy. I like a well-read, worn book…but if it’s highlighted or has notes in it, I don’t want it! I want to make my own connections as I read…I don’t want to be swayed by someone else’s. And look what I did to A Trip Around the Sun…

IMG_7690

So no, you cannot borrow my copy. Sorry. 🙂

IMG_7721

Book #3 is a work in progress. We have a store in Pittsburgh called Half-Price Books which I LOVE because you can sell your already read books to them or buy books that others have already read at discounted prices. And they always have the newest titles, too! There is no Half-Price Books in Maryland, so one weekend a few months ago when my mom was out shopping, she stopped at this book store to get a few books for me that she thought I might like. I am not far enough into this book yet to give you a full review…but that little red sticker on the front likens this book to The Help, which I loved! So I will keep you updated. 🙂

I’m headed home to Pittsburgh for a few weeks and I’m headed to THE BEACH this weekend so I hope to get lots of reading in soon! As I was writing this post, I saw this link that my friend posted on my Facebook wall…

21 Books From The Last 5 Years That Every Woman Should Read

…NOW I’m overwhelmed! Rory Gilmore’s list plus Huffington Post’s list have me set up for awhile!

And if you are a Gilmore Girls fan and love to read too, you will appreciate this picture. Reason #473 why Dean is basically my dream guy. 🙂

 47a86d304bd8bc1ddb48cb987d59d452

Linking up with Narci for Carpool Book Club!