Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Twenty-Five More Things About Me

Post idea courtesy of this pin  

If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? 
Somewhere secluded, in the woods but near a rocky coastline. Maybe Maine or Oregon? Something log cabin-esque but with not too much wood inside. And some gardens and animals roaming around.

If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Save half and spend the rest on traveling for a solid year, treating my parents and having a mini shopping spree.

What is the best vacation you've ever been on?
France in high school circa 2004-ish

Three tv shows you watch on a regular basis?
Hmm, I have a few shows that I watch when they're on. Top three that come to mind...The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory and Big Brother (Also I retract my previous statement about Frank. What a tool.)

Where's your favorite place to be?
Either at the top of a mountain top or sitting on a sandy beach at the ocean or lake.

Where's your least favorite place to be?
Stuck in traffic, waiting. Really waiting anywhere.

Name five movies that you love
The Goonies, The Breakfast Club, The Fifth Element, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Welcome to the Dollhouse.

Name five books that you love
The Time Traveler's Wife, Ethan Frome, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The History of Love and The Book Thief

Do you subscribe to any magazines?
Yes, Real Simple, Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachel Ray and US Weekly.

What's your favorite kitchen appliance?
I honestly don't use a lot of appliances in the kitchen. My favorite kitchen item is my grill pan.

What makes you really angry?
Ignorance/close mindedness or people who are two faced.

If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
I used to play clarinet all the way up until high school but now, it would probably be the piano.

Favorite color
Teal or kelly green

If you could pick any career, what would it be?
Either something insanely cool like international spy or a librarian or fashion/home decor merchandiser.

Where were you born?
Even though I'm adopted, I was born in the same state I grew up, New Hampshire.

What are the three stores you would like to get a gift certificate to?
Amazon, B&N and Anthropologie or Loft

What's your least favorite household chore?
Hands down cleaning the shower

If you had a super power, what would it be?
Impeccable intuition

Name three foods it would be hard to live without
Cheese, steak and ice cream

Name three foods you could live without 
Lima beans, liver and eggplant

One person you wish you could go back in time and talk to?
Probably my grandpa who died when I was young. I'd liked to have a conversation with him now that I'm older.

What is your favorite day?
Saturday

Favorite Sesame Street character?
Snuffleupagus

What place would you like to travel to?
Italy

What do you wish you did more of?
Travel 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tried and True: New Recipes

I've been meaning to post a new Tried & True post for a while and this was planned to have a different theme but it's the day before I leave to go to a work event in Chicago so I changed it slightly. Plus I was planning on taking photos for that other post and haven't...ooops! I decided to feature some new to me recipes that have been winners since I always like reading these on other people's blogs.

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

Via Little Spice Jar

I made this on a whim this week and really enjoyed it. I subbed in turkey because that's what I had. Next time I think I'll add some more seasoning to the turkey mixture. The sauce definitely has a kick to it but it was a nice heat not overly obnoxious. Errol wasn't a huge fan but he also doesn't like ground turkey or meatballs that much.

Red Roasted Carrots

I love, LOVE roasted veggies. They're healthy and pretty easy. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. I liked the addition of sesame oil and thought the carrots had a good flavor.

Citrus Glazed Coconut Banana Bread

Via Taste and Tell
I think I've mentioned it more than once but I am obsessed with coconut. I made this awhile ago and brought it in to work as a random treat. I loved the slight coconut flavor. I can never make a glaze come out all white and pretty like that. Usually it just seeps into the bread but this was still good nonetheless. It was gone by the end of the day so everyone seemed to like it.

Just a short and sweet post for today. I've got a busy day at work trying to wrap everything up before I leave. I have a customer visiting who I'm excited to finally meet but it also means that I'm away from my desk for a lot of the day. I've got to pack tonight since I'm leaving Saturday night. Errol's picking up his new motorcycle tomorrow morning/afternoon (he just got one last year but he's trading it in because it wasn't as comfortable as he would like) so I'm a little crazed that I won't have the day of to really get everything together. 

Follow me on Instagram to see all of my Chicago adventures!
For more Tried & True recipes, check out my Tried & True Pinterest board.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

June 2016 Book Review

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it. Would recommend
3- Decent/solid read.
2- Would not recommend. Barely finished
1- Hard no, DNF. Gave book away.
 

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Rating: 3-3.5

Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.

First off, I have to say that my version was a fuzzy black hardcover. I loved the fuzz but equally love the innuendo of the above cover. What to say about this book...it definitely had the shock value. I couldn't decide if it was written for that alone and might have been over the top or if this is really how a female pedophile works. I liked the first 2/3 of the book. It's funny in that you see on the news about these female teachers who get in trouble for sleeping with and/or getting pregnant with their 12-14 year old students and honestly (not sure why), I've never really connected that to them being a pedophile. Society has it ingrained in you to think of males as predators but not women. Kudos to Nutting for taking on this taboo subject and taking it that one step further.  I thought the ending of this book was rushed and felt like it was forced. I'd like to think that if you were doing something that would essentially ruin your life, you wouldn't repeat the same mistakes over and over (with this, I mean getting caught more than once). But maybe because it's an addict you don't care?

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Rating: 4

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, had three goals―sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

I love this style of book where fucked up shit happens and you can't read fast enough trying to figure out what happens next. This was my first Stevens book and it won't be my last. It started off a little slow with the present day therapy sessions. I found it hard to reconcile the past person to the present person speaking but not a deal breaker. Talk about a messed up ending. I didn't figure it out until shortly before the reveal. Definitely would recommend to fans of Gillian Flynn or Jennifer McMahon.

Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas

Rating: 3

As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, “We are your neighbors, your coworkers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent—even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder faster than the rest, and appear to have limitless self-confidence.  Who are we? We are highly successful, noncriminal sociopaths and we comprise 4 percent of the American population.” 

I guess I had a theme last month- fucked up women. First a female pedophile, then a girl who gets abducted and now a female sociopath. I found the author to read as very condescending, arrogant and cold. While these are personality traits of a sociopath, it was kind of a turn off while reading. How many times do I have to hear that she has a "brilliant IQ"? I liked the psychology aspects but it felt redundant. It wasn't until the last 1/3 of the book that she made that personal connection and included stories from her life. I think if she could have done more of that, I would have enjoyed the book more. It definitely made me wonder how many sociopaths I know and when she talked about certain things, I kept wondering who I knew that might be one. Chances are, I have to know atleast one.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

Rating: 4
Audio
Inspector Gamache Series #5

Chaos is coming, old son.
With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? 

This might possibly be my favorite Penny to date. There was so many things I loved about this story. From a cabin with treasures to the character development of the Three Pines residents to Ruth and Rosa. I cannot say enough about how much I am enjoying this series. I highly recommend listening to the series. The reader has a voice that perfectly fits the tone of the books but also Inspector Gamache. I have to pace myself and listen to other books inbetween. The ending was so heartbreaking, like sighing and tears in the car feelings.

Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Rating: 2.5

Set in the New York of the 1930s, Heir to the Glimmering World is a spellbinding, richly plotted novel brimming with intriguing characters. Orphaned at eighteen, with few possessions, Rose Meadows finds steady employment with the Mitwisser clan. Recently arrived from Berlin, the Mitwissers rely on the auspices of a generous benefactor, James A'Bair, the discontented heir to a fortune his father, a famous childen's author, made from a series of books called The Bear Boy. Against the vivid backdrop of a world in tumult, Rose learns the refugee family's secrets as she watches their fortunes rise and fall in Ozick's wholly engrossing novel.

Two thumbs down...what a tedious read. I don't know if it was because it was totally not what I was expecting or what but this was not for me. I quickly read the jacket summary and was picturing early WWII historical fiction. There were some sections that were ok. I'm not a fan of overly religious themed books and this was in large parts. For me, it was one of those books where you get to the ending and it just all feels pointless. I thought Rose could have been a great character if the book was more about her and less about stupid, nonsense stuff. 

Love It: The Brutal Telling and Still Missing
Leave It: Heir to the Glimmering World
Life According to Steph

Friday, July 8, 2016

Currently 7.8.16


Thinking:

Getting deep here for a second...but thinking about what I want out of life. I don't know if it's the summer antsy-ness that always seems to set in (which can most likely be blamed on summer vacations of youth) or just the stage of life I'm in but I keep having this thought like there has to be more. More what, I don't know but just more. With the dreaded 30 quickly approaching, I'm acutely aware that I'm entering a new age bracket. I'm a pretty go with the flow type of person, even with my life. I don't plan, I'm not a planner really at all. And while that can be good or bad, I'm feeling the need to make some life plans for myself. Like where do I want my career to go and what are mine and Errol's priorities in life. Otherwise, I feel like I'm just going to float through life and then it will be over. A lot of it is being open and honest with myself about what I want but also willing to forsake "comfort" to make those changes. It's hard y'all.

Loving:

The weekend adventures Errol and I have been having. The previous weekend we took our small boat out and spent the afternoon on the lake. The next day, we went to my favorite swimming spot, Willoughby in Vermont. Fourth of July weekend we went disc golfing and spent the day/night in Burlington Vt. If any of you have visited Burlington, you know how cute and eclectic it is. I just love the vibe there. I had one of the best burgers of my life at The Farm House. It had a garlic scape jam and jalapeno aioli that was superb.

Planning:

Our 10th anniversary trip to Acadia/Bar Harbor Maine. Not only does the rocky coast of northern Maine look absolutely stunning but there's some killer hiking trails I want to check out. A trail that skirts the edge of a cliff and one that has iron rungs attached to the rocks, count me in! I love stuff like that. I've been wanting to make my way to Acadia for a few years and this is the perfect excuse. Fyi, I cannot believe that we will be celebrating 10 years together in a little over two months. It seems like we've known each other forever but like it was just yesterday.

Reading:

 I read Baker's Little Giant of Aberdeen County when it first came out and enjoyed it. I randomly bought Mercy Snow off Bookout a couple months ago. I was surprised when I started reading and realized that it was based in my area. The town is fictional but there are towns and landmarks mentioned that are real to northern New Hampshire. I'm about 2/3 done and liking it so far.

Watching:

Big Brother. Is anyone else watching this season? Oh man are there several people that I love to hate. I think Corey legit might be a creep or something. Something seems off about him. I love Nicole and Da'Vonne. Paulie is not bad on the eyes and Bronte might have the most annoying voice I've ever heard. My early vote to win is Frank which is funny because I barely remember him from his original season.

Cooking:

Via
I made this Roasted Veggie Mac and Cheese from Gimme Some Oven the other week and it was a hit. I love mac and cheese and roasted veggies so combining the two was a win-win. The cheese sauce was really simple. I haven't had the best luck in the past making cheese sauces so I was happy this went together well.

Listening:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who I Want to Be

I want to be the type of person who... 

+ inspires others

+ is gracious and humble

+ is a good friend

+ shows empathy towards others

+ is someone that people want to be around

+ finds fun in the mundane

+ always looks at the glass as half full

+ trusts openly unless proven otherwise

+ believes in the good of others

+ loves with all their heart

+ never loses the little kid in them

+ is honest but not malicious 

+ isn't afraid to laugh at herself

+ never stops being a bookworm

+ has patience

+ takes risks and jumps even though they are scared

+ doesn't care what others think

What type of person do you want to be?
 
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