Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Book Recap

I felt like I read a lot in June, but I didn't get through nearly as may books as I was hoping.  I also found a lot of new reads at used bookstores this month.  (Oops!)

I read all nonfiction this month! I think that has to be a first.  Here's a little synopsis.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  I like anything Michael writes. He's clear, he makes science easy to understand and he doesn't make food seem overwhelming.  His book is basically about why we should eat more real food- food that doesn't have an ingredient list, because it's the ingredient- broccoli, eggs, watermelon, etc.  He talks about how we got so off track and various food studies and why the whole way we think about food is flawed.  Very good read.  He sums up his food philosophy very succinctly: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

You Are Talented! by Patrick Kavanaugh.  This book is great for people who feel like they're just mediocre at life.  It's a great practical guide for finding and honing your talents.  Whether you feel like there's a spark of talent inside you're trying to grow into a flame, or you think your talents are just a pile of cold embers, this book will encourage you to dig deep and find what your talents are- and grow them.

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry.  I think we all know that I'm a Todd Henry fan by know.  I recommended his podcast, and posted about morning rituals a few months ago.  This was his first book, and presented a lot of the same things he's podcasted about, but it was nice to have everything laid out in order.  I took a lot of notes, and even though the book is geared towards people that have creative 9-5s, I found a lot it very helpful.

Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer.  I had been wanting to read this book for a few months and finally inter-library loaned it.  It's got lots of pretty photos, so good recipes, and is really laid out in an easy to understand manner.  Amelia has a similar philosophy to Michael Pollan, in that you should only be eating real food- plenty of plants, and fruits, nuts, and seeds.  It's not a diet book, but more about adjusting your lifestyle.  Very good!

A trip to St. Vinnie's was responsible for a lot of my acquired list, but when softcovers are only 50 cents, how can a girls say no?  Here's a list of what I picked up.

So, that's how my month shaped up bookwise.  How was yours?

Books read for the year: 21
Books acquired this year: 29

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Local Flavors Swap is Open!

The next Chaotic Goddess Swap is now open!  I've signed up, and if you want to, now is the time!  The Local Flavors Swap is always an interesting one because you send a box of regional and/or local items to your partner.  I always have trouble coming up with cool ideas for this one, but I'm feeling like I have a handle on it this year!

So you want to play?  Here's what you have to do.
  1. Go to the sign up page, and fill out the Google form.
  2. Wait to be assigned a partner.
  3. Talk to your partner.  Find out what they like.  Stalk them on Instagram, but not in a creepy way.
  4. Send out a package of at least five items with a total value of $20-$30, by the shipping date.
  5. Send you confirmation info to your swap buddy and the girls at Chaotic Goddess.
  6. Wait for your package of goodies from your partner to arrive.
  7. Write up a nice post about all the awesome things you got.
And that's it.  Want to play?  Click the pick below for more information.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Musical Mondays- Radical Face's "The Crooked Kind"

It's Monday, so that means it's time to get a little musical.  :)  I first heard this song at the end of an episode of "Elementary", and I really liked it and had to track down the artist.

There really isn't a music video for it, but here's the song.

To me, it made me think of all the people who have drifted out of my life.  Kids I went to grade school with, who you thought you were going to be best friends with forever, people you used to work with, and laugh with, friends you used to see all the time.  But then life happens and you kind of drift outside of each others circles.  But, they still leave an impression.  And this goes both ways- you leave an impression on people too.  What do you want to be remembered as?

You can check out what everyone else is listening to over at My So Called Chaos' Musical Mondays and feel free to link up with us, if you have a song to share.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekly Round Up- June 28

Another week is in the books, and that means it's time to share some of my favorite reading from the past week. I'm linking up with Miss Angie at My So Called Chaos and Brandi at High Heeled Love.

The Weekly Round-Up

  • I loved this post from Pretty Lovely about edible flowers.  She gives some good tips as well as a list of some to try as well as some tips for how to use them.  And just to warn you, the photography on her blog is beautiful!
    Used from and with permission from Pretty Lovely.

  • Kaitlyn Marie Co. shared about why she's going vegan.  As someone who's trying to be more conscientious about what I eat, and knowing where my food comes from, it was interesting to read her thoughts.  She also offers a couple good resources if you want to learn more.
  • Middle Places had a great post about the joys of hospitality called The Joy in Just-Enough, about how we don't need to have the best of everything in order to share it with others.  It struck a chord and made me tear up a little too.  You should read it!
    Used from and with permission from Middle Places

  • Ashley from A Cute Angel shared her favorite barre workouts.  I've done at home barre workouts and they're a nice change up.  It gives me the same feel that yoga does.  Like I'm all stretched and just feel taller and more graceful.
    Used from and with permission from A Cute Angle

  • Chaotic Goddess' Local Flavor Swap opens on Monday!  If you want to sign up and send a box of local goodies to a new blogger friend, and in return, receive a box from them, then this is the swap for you!  These girls run a professional swap.  And there's a giveaway to go with it to boot.  So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!  

    And don't forget to head over to the link up and see what everyone else is reading this week!  Or join in, if you'd like.  We'd love to see what you're reading.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

We Have a Winner!

My second blogiversary giveaway ended last night at midnight.  This morning I had Rafflecopter pick a winner, emailed the winner, and have already heard back from them!  I hope she loves the prize pack as much as I loved putting it together!

Congratulations to Kathy and thank you to everyone who entered!  I have big plans to make year number three the best yet!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Please Don't Ask Me What I Do

It's one of the first questions we ask someone new, when we meet.  "What do you do for a living?"  Uck.  This question has always made me feel kind of like I need to issue a disclaimer.  Like "I'm a health unit clerk, but that's just until I figure out what I want to really do with my life."  It feels kind of unfair that so much of my identity is wrapped up in what I do for a living, when  I feel like my job has so little in common with who I am.  I write, I like to cook things from scratch, I love nature and walking outside, and watching birds, I blog, I love prowling used bookstores.  None of these things are related to my job.

Is there anything wrong with not loving your career?  I don't think so.  I think it's possible to have a job which is just that, a job.  (As long as you give a 100% while you're there and try to have a good attitude.)  Trust me, if I could afford to just stay home and blog, and craft, and cook all day, I'd definitely be doing that, instead of working as a HUC.  

So what's a girl to do?  I think you need to feel free to add that disclaimer, like, "I'm a health unit clerk, but if I had my way, I'd just read and blog and explore nature all the time."  I'm guessing people would be more inclined to ask me what kind of books I like than what a health unit clerk does.  And when you meet new people, be conscious that most people have some deep inner stirring that is probably totally unrelated to where their paycheck comes.  Ask deeper questions, like "What would you be doing if money was no object?" or "What are you passionate about." or "So if you could get a redo, would you still have chosen the same career field?"  Some people love they're job and they'd stick with it, but I bet you'd be surprised how many people would have chosen a different way.

And most of all, keep working towards your dreams.  Just because you're not passionate about your current job, doesn't mean you'll never find one you are passionate about.

So what are you passionate about?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Musical Mondays- "Empire" from Of Monsters and Men

So remember last week, when I told you I had a bunch of songs I wanted to share?  Part of the reason is that two of my favorite bands had recently released new albums, and this week I'm going to share one of them with you.

Of Monsters and Men is this cool little band from Iceland who had a great first album, which I loved, and still listen to all the time, but years had gone by and nothing new had come.  Finally, a few weeks ago, they released their second album, and I love it so much!  Here's a song from "Beneath the Skin".

Heavy stones fear no weather, and from the rain,
comes a river running wild that will create,
an empire for you.
I love this line!  And it made me think of an article a friend had recently shared on Facebook.  It was called, "To Be Happy, You Have to Go Your Own Way".  It was all about how, doing things you really want to do is hard.  It's hard to eat healthy instead of hitting up a fast food place.  It's hard to exercise every day.  It's hard to declutter your life.  And if you want to grow your blog, it's hard.  Basically, anything we want out of life is going to be hard.  There's going to be rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  But it's up to you to harness the river all that rain creates and use it to make your empire.

And it's up to you to decide what your empire is.  What would you love your life to look like?  Want to work less hours, travel more, or become polylingual?  It's not going to happen if you're laying on your couch binge watching "House of Cards".  You have to go out there and get it, and it's going to be hard, and it's going to suck sometimes.  But hard, sucky things are the things that make us grow as a person and help us build our empire.  So don't be afraid of that!  Go out there and get it!

Want to see what everyone else is listening to this week?   Check out the link up at My So Called Chaos.