Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Podcast Challenge 13-24


Okay, so there's a lot of podcasts out there, but not all of them are winners. August 7-12 I listened to the following podcasts:
Favorite of the Batch: Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything
Best Surprise: 99% Invisible
Definitely Going to Continue Listening: Stuff Mom Never Told You

Five favorites of 1-24
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything
  • S-Town
  • Levar Burton Reads
  • Criminal
I have been listening to podcasts while I go for walks, while I clean, when I fold laundry, in the bathtub, when I'm cooking, pretty much everywhere.  And what I've learned is that not all podcasts are amazing.  I've stumbled across some that I listened to one episode tapped out as soon as it was done, but I've also found some really awesome new listens.  But really, it's made me decide to keep looking for new ones (even after the challenge is done) and giving some a try even if I don't think they'll be my cup of tea. It's been a fun experiment so far.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Podcast Challenge 1-12



In the first six days of August, I've listened to so many different podcasts, that I've had to resort to keeping an Evernote list of the ones I've tried so far.

So, here's the ones I listened to August 1 through August 5, in no particular order:
  1.  Levar Burton Reads
  2. Memory Palace
  3. The Moth
  4. Criminal
  5. Lore
  6. Southern Hollows
  7. Stuff You Missed in History Class
  8. Invisibilia
  9. How to Do Everything
  10. Hidden Kitchen
  11. Side Hustle School
  12. S-Town
Favorite of the batch: S-Town
Best surprise: Southern Hollows
Definitely going to continue listening to: Invisibilia

I was kind of concerned about how I was going to find 62 podcasts to try out, but I've been coming across new ones on Twitter and adding them to the list.

To follow along, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.  I post every day of which ones I'm trying out.  If you have a recommendation for me, drop me a comment.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Reading List


So it's time for another reading list.  August is already here

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz- I've heard good things about this "fourth book" of the "Girl with the Dragon's Tattoo" trilogy.  So, I'm looking forward to catching back up with Lizabeth Sander.
  • The Tempress by Paul Spice- The true story of a 1920s femme fatale?  Interested!
  • At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie- Because sometimes a girl just needs a little visit with Miss Marple.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman- Another true story.  The Zabinski's helped Polish Jews by hiding them in their zoo.  Serving as a safe haven for many as they were smuggled out of the country.  There's a movie coming out based on it.
What's on your August reading list?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

July Book Recap

Books Read in July


July was a decent month for reading.  I didn't make my five book goal, but I did get through three books.
  •  First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde is book five in the Thursday Next series. It had been on my reading list in January, but I just finally got it read.  I think there's one left in this series, and while I've enjoyed it, I am ready to finish it.  Does that make any sense?  
  • Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann was discovered in a thrift store on the shores of Lake Superior in June.  This story of sheep solving the murder of their shepherd was not all what I was expecting.  I did enjoy most of the sheep characters, but there was one or two existential sheep scenes and I wasn't sure what was going on or how they fit in the story.  There was also some confusing parts where I had to go back and reread to see if the sheep were imaging something, really experiencing what the book said, or if it was a flashback.  I don't know if something was lost in translation or it's just the authors style, but it wasn't necessarily a negative for the book.  I was expecting a cozy mystery and it was more than that.
  •  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was interesting.  Not as scary as 1984, but still disconcerting.  Babies are not conceived and raised by families, but rather grown in jars.  Monogamy is frowned upon and medicating any feelings of discomfort away is strongly encouraged.  Also, it was originally published in 1932, and there is a ton of sex in this book.  It's mostly implied, and it's not really gratuitous, but it still seems odd that it was wrote 85 years ago.  I wonder what the original readers thought of it.  The ending i also kind of sudden, but I think the author meant for it to be.  It's one of those books I really don't think I'll ever read again, but I am glad I read it. 


New July Books

For July, I managed to only add one book.  It's another book in Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series.  Nemesis is book four and I found it on Bookmooch so I had to snap it up in preparation of getting to it of the next few months.

2017 totals:
22 Books Read
22 Books Acquired

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Country Get Away

I think vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but so often we fill them with sightseeing, and eating out, and playing the role of tourist that we miss out on recharging our batteries and return even more tired than when we left.

One of my friends and I were talking about how we just wanted to get away for a weekend and work on our writing and goal setting and just find some clarity.  She said, "Let's do it!" and so, over breakfast at one of the local restaurants on Saturday, we booked an AirBNB that's only about an hour from where we live for the following weekend.  It was a cute little cabin on a farm, complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sauna, and a little kitchenette. 

Our Little Sauna Cabin
We loaded up on groceries, books, planners, and laptops and struck out Friday afternoon, after I was done with work.  Our hosts were great and we had a great time just relaxing and recharging.  I went through  a lot of blogging and personal planning, made a lot of lists, read and snacked on apples and cashew butter a lot.  We sat in the sauna both nights and just enjoyed have limited cell phone reception.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if I ended up there again this winter.

It was close enough to home that we didn't have to spend a day traveling, the price was reasonable, especially when you split it with a friend, the weather was beautiful, and it was so nice to just lounge in sweats and not worry about makeup or laundry or grocery shopping for the week to come or anything else.  I came back feeling so relaxed and still had energy to clean my house Sunday afternoon. 

Do you have a favorite spot to get away and just relax?

Monday, July 31, 2017

62 Podcasts in 31 Days

31 Days of Podcats

Remember "Serial"?  That was my first Podcast, and I was hooked.  I've written about some of my other favorites here and here.  During my weekend in the country, my friend and I were comparing notes about podcasts we like, and I added a bunch of new ones to my list.  My husband had also given me some recommendations so I checked some of those out too.  And listening to all these new podcasts is just making me want to dig deeper and deeper into the world of podcasts.  I listen to everything from fiction, to true crime, true story, creativity help, history, religious, and psychology. 

So, I've decided for August, I'm going to listen to 62 different podcasts in 31 days.  Originally, I was thinking two episodes a day, and a variety of at least 25 different podcast, but I think there's so many interesting ones, I'd barely be scratching the surface at that rate.  Want to follow along?  I'll be tweeting out the exact episodes I listen to each day, and giving weekly updates starting tomorrow.

Have any recommendations?  Please leave them below!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

12 Excuses Why There's No Blog Post Today

Quit Making Excuses

Okay, in an effort to be more honest, I'm going to share some of the actually excuses I have told myself when I thought I should be working on blog posts, to convince myself not to.  Try not to judge me by my ridiculousness.
  1. My camera doesn't take good pictures.
  2. The lighting isn't good for pictures right now.
  3. My life is boring.  I don't have anything good to post.
  4. I have nothing to say.
  5. I need to clean my house.
  6. I should really organize my closet.
  7. I will after I finish this self help/creativity boosting/interesting book.
  8. I should really read some other blogs for inspiration.
  9. I don't want to be copying other bloggers.
  10. I don't have anything unique to say.
  11. I really need to clean my office before I start.
  12. This really isn't the right time of month for that post.
This is kind of my way of getting it out in the open, so next time I try to self sabotage, I can tell myself to knock it off.  Does that make sense? 

So, for you other bloggers, what do you tell yourself that gets in the way of your blogginig?  Or if you don't blog, what excuse have you used that can unravel your creativity faster than any other?  I'm trying to be less self sabotaging, and have more self discipline, but it's a hard journey friends.