Friday, May 22, 2015

Fri-YAY 5.22.15

Can I just say that I am so happy that today starts a three day weekend and the unofficial start of summer. I'm so looking forward to having that extra day off to relax and share it with the boyfriend. It also means half day Friday's at work are starting. They are such a nice perk.  It feels so good to sneak out early on a nice Friday afternoon.

O N E//
I have seriously been slacking on the blog front. Life has been just so busy that I haven't had the time to read blogs, let alone write a blog post.  And truthfully, it's been alot of work, party planning and sleeping. I hate it though because I haven't had time to read some of my favorite blogs like Natalie at Never Serious or Steph at Life According to Steph. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, life will be less crazy and I can really focus on writing the great post ideas I've had swimming around. I haven't even been reading that much. It's typical for me to read everyday but not lately. Usually I read on my lunch break at work but I haven't been doing that either.

T W O//  
My parents are out of town on vacation so I've been taking care of their dog, Boots. She's a pretty low maintenance dog because she does not like to be inside so she is perfectly happy to spend her time outside while my parents are gone.  I've been stopping over after work to feed and give her some attention.
T H R E E//   
Making these delicious looking Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars for Errol to take with him this week. Cheesecake is one of Errol and I's favorite desserts.

Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars - you won't even know they're light! Only 128 calories each!
Image via Sally's Baking Addiction

F O U R// 
It's all still up to you finally to take the first step to change!
The timing of this could not be more perfect.  Trying to believe in taking that leap of faith and embracing the change.
  F I V E//
This song on repeat.

Linking up with A. Liz Adventure


Karli at September Farm

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hashtag Humpday: Party Planning and Getting Dirty

It's been a hot minute since I've been here.  Between work and planning my parent's anniversary party, I have not had the time to blog or even really visit blogs like normal. And I also don't want to feel pressure to have to come here everyday and have new and exciting things going on.  I don't want it to become a chore. Anywho, moving on.

Speaking of party planning, man is it stressful.  I just want this to be the Pinterest perfect event I have planned in my mind and well, life is not Pinterest perfect. Also when you have the smallest budget known to man, you can't really expect much. I have to keep telling myself that my parents are going to be surprised and appreciate it no matter what. #bestchildaward
parks and recreation animated GIF

I wore makeup yesterday for my interview (!!) and I could not wait to wash the ish off the second I got home.  My normal routine is some moisturizer, my brows and alittle mascara and done.  I just do not like the weight of foundation or concealer on my face.  I used to wear it all the time but I prefer the less is more approach now. #notagirl #naturalisbetter

We had our yearly company wide community service day last Friday.  It is just so good for the soul to be able to volunteer and help better the world in your own little way, all while getting paid. We volunteer at an local camp for underprivileged kids by cleaning, building stuff and just getting it ready for campers. For the last few years, I've volunteered on the trail clean up crew.  Part of that job is making sure the drainage areas and streams along the trail are cleaned and free of debris. I was on a group with four other girls. Pretty much none of them wanted anything to do with the mud and water. And there I was knee deep in it with my hands and face all muddy.  #dirtygirl 

I've become obsessed with the show Married at First Sight.  Who am I?  The first season it was on, I was all like really?! But I caught a few minutes of a show one day and then I binged watched about 7 episodes and am now caught up. Does anyone else watch this show? #teamjessicaandryan

I've been sucking at the meal planning lately. This is the time of year that Errol works out of town and he likes to bring some sort of cooked something with him for dinner or lunch a couple nights.  I just have not had the motivation or creativity to think of something.  He tends to like casserole type of meals or grilled meat and I have exhausted all of my go to meals.  Any suggestions? #suziehomemakerIamnot #IonlydoitcauseIlovehim

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo
Linking up with Life with Lolo

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How You Feel When Hiking a Mountain

Hiking is probably one of my very favorite hobbies, besides reading of course.  This will be my third summer season out on the trails and I haven't looked back since.  I do some winter hiking here and there but I really don't have the gear for it so I stick to familiar low elevation trails during the winter. The main issue I have with hiking is finding and coordinating a time to go with someone.  I had one friend that I used to go with all the time but since that one time, when she broke her leg at the top of a frickin mountain, I kinda refuse to hike with her again.  But that's a story for a different day. 
The night before a big hike, you plan my outfit and put together your backpack and snacks. Then this is you the rest of the night, waiting for the morning.
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Your alarm goes off and you spring out of bed, which if your like me is not normal.  I'm more a hit snooze three times kind of girl.
Reactions Rachel Berry animated GIF
Usually you're ready before you need to be so you sit and watch the clock.  Maybe double check that you have enough water and snacks.
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Finally, you get to the trailhead and we begin the adventure.
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Even though it's several miles to the top, you start off like you're in a race. You're just so happy to be out there and in nature.
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Then it's time to stop for a water break.
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Everything's going good. The birds are singing and the winds blowing. 
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Then comes the steep hill.
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Then it's one big long never ending hill to the top, which you can't even see.
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You walk 100 feet.  Stop. Walk 100 more. You start reasoning with yourself.  If I can just make it to that tree up there, I can have a drink of water.  You still can't see the top.
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You make it to the top of the hill.  You think you're done...and then you see another hill.
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But finally, the trees part and you see it.  Vast open skies as far as the eye can see.
Sex Wants animated GIF
And you are rewarded with views like this.
Or this
And it makes it all worth it. You remember why you hike in the first place.  You reward yourself with lunch and start the trek back down the mountain and hope this doesn't happen.
Fail Fall animated GIF
By the time you reach the bottom, you're already planning your next hike.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

April Book Review

I only read 6 books in April which is less than I have been averaging but still a decent number.  As of the end of April, I've read 35 books this year so not too shabby.

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent. Could have been better/something missing
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Rating: 3/5
 I had such high hopes for this book because The Historian is definitely one of my top favorite books.  If you haven't read it, you should check it out.  It's lengthy but worth it.  The Swan Thieves reminded me a lot of Tracy Chevalier or Susan Vreeland's novels, which I like but I just couldn't get into it. Even the art story mystery that was the main thread through the book, wasn't engaging.  And I don't know if the book was so disappointing to me because I had high expectations or because it actually just fell flat.  I'm going to chalk it up to some of both.

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
Rating: 3/5
 You can read my review of this book here.

Harry Potter Books 1-4
Rating: Book 1--4/5 
Book 2--3.5/5
 Book 3--3.5/5
Book 4--4.5/5
 I mean, what is there to say that hasn't already been said about Harry Potter? I haven't read the series since the last book came out and I never read it in full then, only just books 5 and 6 in anticipation of the last book.  So I guess you could say that this was my first reread of the series in full. I always knew that the series was at the top of my book list but I kind of forgot the magic of it. I'm starting book 6 now and not ready for it to be over.

 Must Read: Harry Potter (duh)
One to Skip: The Swan Thieves

Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fri-YAY 5.8.15

This week just flew by, which isn't a bad thing. The bf has been gone all week for work so I am most definitely looking forward to seeing him after work today.  Usually on Fridays he is pretty beat from the work week so we tend to lay low on Friday nights.  We'll probably order in or grill and watch a few shows that recorded during the week.  What are some shows that you only watch as a couple?  We have a few but at the top of the list currently is Person of Interest, The Following, Bates Motel and Elementary.
This weekend we have some more yard work to do.  Last weekend we finished up the raking but we still have some weeding to do and the porch needs to be cleaned and organized. It's supposed to be nice so I'm hoping to take our boat or canoe out for the first time this year.  He'll fish but I'm fine just sitting back with a book and drink in hand. I'm also hoping to have a few people over to sit around the fire.

O N E//
I had some exciting news in regards to a work opportunity this week.  I'm trying not to get too excited because nothing is certain but I'm feeling pretty optimistic. Vague message is vague.

T W O//  
I finally got around to switching over my summer clothes.  Man, what a process. It took me about 5 hours all together to pack away the winter boots and sweaters, clean and sort through my summer clothes and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  I ended up with a large bag of items to send to thredUP and I left a few things on the free pile at work. Also, if you haven't tried thredUP, I can't say enough good things about it.  This will be my forth time sending in a bag and I have gotten over $100 each time.  I can't speak to the purchase experience but my selling experience has been great.  If you are interested in purchasing, send in a bag first because once they issue your payout, they will send you a 40% off email.
 I love how clean and nice my clothes room looks now.  Give it a week and it will be a disaster again. This is just a little glimpse.  There's more clothes in my closet, in a dresser and on a small table.  Please tell me I'm not the only one with this much clothes.
I left one pair of Ugg's out because they are cozy at night when your outside. Ps those are just my summer shoes.
T H R E E//   
Last Sunday we went on a hike, more a nature walk, around Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge. Even though it's close to where I live, I had never heard of it before.  I had just kind of stumbled a crossed it a couple weeks ago. We started at the end of a trail and hiked into the preserve.  It ended up being about 5 miles round trip.  Apparently it's a big bird watching place because within seconds on us reaching the dock area, a bunch of bird watchers showed up with their binoculars and cameras with 30 foot lens attachments.  We didn't stick around there for too long.  But the views!! The mountains!! This place was so gorgeous.

The Presidential Range at it's finest.

F O U R// 

  F I V E//

What fun things do you have planned this weekend?

Linking up with A. Liz Adventure


Karli at September Farm

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book Review: The Girl in the Road

"Monica Byrne bursts on to the literary scene with an extraordinary vision of the future.  In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected."
Rating: 3/5
Byrne's book tells the stories of Meena and Mariama who are on two parallel journeys set decades apart.  Both are running for upsetting events that have happened in their life.  Meena is a girl living around 2060 who makes the decision to embark on the Trail, which is a alternative energy conductor that runs from India to Africa. The Trail has kind of become a nomad area for society's outcasts.  Her journey to Africa, Ethiopia specifically, has a purpose.  Mariama is a young girl living in Africa and also making the trip to Ethiopia.  Her story takes place around 30 years before Meena's and before the energy crisis that brings about the Trail.  Their stories end up colliding in a way you never see coming.
What I Liked:
I was really interested in the energy technology and the world of the future that Byrne built.  The future of this novel seemed plausible and was in some ways, realistic to how you would imagine our future to be.   The climate and energy issues are something that could very well happen if we do not redirect our course and the solution to these problems, within The Girl in the Road, seem like sustainable resolutions.  The Trail harnesses what is called Blue energy and is the successor to Green energy.  The Trail is built of large upside down pyramids that have bobber like pieces connecting each piece.  The top of the pyramid has solar panels and the bobbers harness the wave energy.  The whole piece is connected to the ocean floor and can submerge itself for ships to pass.
I also liked the type of pansexual culture in this book. Everyone was free to love and be who they wanted to be. There was even something called transracial where you could genetically modify yourself to be whatever ethnicity you wanted. I did find it interesting that a caste type of system was still widely referred to and people were still judged based on this.  For a society to be so free and nonjudgmental of a person's sexual choices but still to be judged based on what group you were born into, I guess some things don't change even 40 years in the future.  
I found myself more invested and interested in Meena's story than Mariama's.  It was easier for me to connect to Meena even though she was crazy.  That's the other thing, it seems like everyone was slightly crazy/off in the future. I'm not sure what it was but people were either crazy or they were agitated.  No one you see in the book is truly happy.
I thought I had the book figured out but the twist at the end when you final figure out how the two girls are connected threw me off.  It was definitely not what I was expecting.

What I Didn't Like:
The story did not grab me the way I thought it would after reading the summary.  I for sure thought this was going to be a book I loved and it just fell flat for me.  I can't quite put my finger on what exactly I didn't like.  And to be honest, I didn't love the ending.  It felt like there was so much build up about Meena getting to Africa and then when it actually happened, you were kind of left feeling like "that's it'?  Mariama's story did wrap up nicely and that is where the connect lies, without going into too much detail.  I feel like her side of it was atleast told and had a natural ending.  I also had a hard time connecting with the religious side of it.  There were elements of multiple religions and strong, powerful goddess type of figures.  

I gave this book a solid 3 because I enjoyed the book more than I disliked it.  I would definitely check out Byrne's future works as I liked her writing style and thought the book premise was inventive.
I will note that there was one very brief scene that if you are sensitive to things happening with children, might turn you off.  It was only about a half page and it was not very graphic but I know some readers will not like it.
Definitely check this book out if you are interested in futuristic societies and stories of personal evolution.

 I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Reduce Stress

Work for the next couple of weeks is going to be crazy with a capital C.  When you lose someone in a three person department, you feel the loss acutely and pair that with a normal crazy busy time, you get one stressed out Rosie. When life gets stressful, it's good for your mind and sanity to find a way to reduce that stress. Below are my sure fire ways to relieve some stress.

Read a book

This is by far my most used and favorite way to destress.  Books have always been a huge escape for me.  If I've had a bad day, I come home and pick up my current read and just drift away into the fictional world for awhile. I like not thinking about my day or my to do list for a couple hours.

Change of Scenery

If I'm having a particularly bad morning, I'll take my lunch hour and go for a walk or drive. Sometimes, you just need to remove yourself from the situation to get a better perspective and take a breather.  Sometimes I'll take a walk with a co worker or other times, I will take a drive in my car and listen to some music.

Get Outside

I'm lucky that we have some great nature type trails around our house.  This goes hand in hand with the change of scenery but I like to also get out in the woods and kind of reconnect with myself and nature. Being out in the woods just naturally makes me feel better.  It's no secret that exercise of any kind releases those feel good endorphins.

Have a Glass of Wine

Or some other adult beverage.  Cracking open a bottle of wine or beer after a long day can be a great way to decompress and wind down after a long day.  Bring your favorite magazine or treat yourself to an at home mani to kick it up a notch.


Sometimes you just need a good laugh that leaves your sides hurting and tears streaming down your face. So go hang out with the friend who is a clown or watch a show that makes you laugh. Studies have shown that laughing is good for your health.
"A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally. It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood."

What are some of the ways you like to destress after a long day?