Sunday, August 27, 2017

Three Loves for the End of August

Here's a couple of the things I've been feeling lately... Because lists make me happy.

hot drinks

1. Golden Milk.  This mixture of turmeric, coconut milk, and spices has this rich, indulgent taste that seems like it came from a fancy coffee shop instead of things that I threw together in a saucepan late at night when I can't sleep.  (Any other insomniacs out there?)  Here's the recipe I use from The Minimalist Baker.

2. Turkey meatballs.  Confession of the not very scandalous kind- I never bought ground turkey until about a month ago.  I'm not really sure why.  But since I have, I've been making turkey meatballs and eating them on everything from rice noodles to salads.  They hold their shape well and taste pretty satisfying.

3. I am by no means a Taylor Swift fan.  I mean, if I would have to describe my attitude towards her, it'd probably be "indifferent".  I don't really dislike her, and some of her songs are catchy, but her new song has just embedded itself in my head and I kind of like it.  I find myself singing the refrain under my breath.  And while my default setting towards whatever is popular is to avoid it at all costs, I just can't seem to shake this song. Also, major props to her for standing up to the grope-y DJ in Denver and seeing it through to the end.

Sometimes, certain things just resonate with you.  I mean, I'm always looking for a hot beverage to try on chilly nights- whether it be tea, hot cocoa and butterscotch schnaps or just coffee, but mixing spices with coconut milk probably wouldn't have been on my list to try until I started having trouble sleeping.  When you can't sleep, you're not above resorting to weird home remedies, and while I haven't noticed better sleep with golden milk, I have discovered I really like the taste.  Turkey meatballs just seem to have developed out of a desire to cut out read meat.  And Taylor Swift?  I don't know, does one really need a reason to want to jam out to Taylor Swift?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Podcast Challenge 25-36

Well, I think it's getting harder to find straight up amazing podcasts, but every now and then I find a gem that I'm surprised I hadn't encountered before.  And while a lot of this batch are smaller or more niche, there's been some that are real treats.

25. The Fizzle Show
26. The Mythology Podcast
27. Write Now
28. Gone Cold
29. Process
30. Spilled Milk
31. Stuff You Should Know
32. Imaginary Worlds
33. Blog Fuel
34. Annotated
35. To The Best of Our Knowledge
36. An Uncluttered Life

Favorite of this Batch: Write Now
Best Surprise: Tie between Gone Cold and Blog Fuel
Definitely Going to Continue Listening to: Annotated

Five Favorites of 1-36:
  • Write Now
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Annotated
  • Criminal
  • Levar Burton Reads
So, I've made it more than halfway!  What do you think?  Is there any awesome podcasts out there that you can't believe I haven't tried yet?  And remember, if you want to follow along with my daily updates, check out my Twitter feed or Facebook page.

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?