Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015!

I love to read, but I tend to read the same things over and over:
a.) Food memoirs 
(other people's business plus recipes? Two of my favorite things!)
 b.) Books by my tried and true authors (like Dave Eggers or Elizabeth Berg)
c.) Novels that are getting lots of hype 
(the best ones seem to be by first-time novelists)
d.) Cooking/health/parenting books
e.) Books about to be made into movies 
(I will read pretty much any book so that I can justify overly criticizing the movie)

Books I don't usually go for:
Philosophical, non-fiction, murder mysteries, Jane Austen and similar classics, books with disturbing subject matter (obviously), and biographies
In an attempt to branch out,

I can think  of a few books already.
Book I should have read in high school? Frankenstein or Scarlet Letter
Book my Mom loves? Walden 
Book everyone has read but me? Outlander or Unbroken

Take this challenge with me...or maybe recommend some books that would work?
  The fun begins!
Saturday, January 3, 2015

14 Things I Loved about 2014

      I know I haven't blogged much lately, but I just love New Year's roundup posts. I definitely do NOT want to have 15 resolutions in 2015, but I thought it would be fun to look back at 14 things that made me happy in 2014!

1.) Having a baby! Arthur Conan came on Groundhog's Day and Super Bowl Sunday and has been my squishiest, easiest baby yet. He is such a cuddlebug--2014 was daily baby love fest!

2.) And more babies! I got two more nephews and a niece this year. They are all adorable.

3.) We started homeschooling! We are still finding our rhythm, but I have loved having all of my kids with me everyday.  We are doing lots of science, reading, and exploring. We are going through a homeschool charter school, so my kids still participate in activities like horseback riding and martial arts. It has been so fun!

Coco making butter after reading Little House in the Big Woods
4.) My bed! I was going to say that we are in a rental house after living with my parents for 2 years, but all I really care about is that we have a king sized bed!  Considering at least one child ends up in bed with us every night and the fact that we have slept on a full-size bed for the past 3 1/2 years--I am so so thankful for a big bed! 

5.) My serger! This was the one thing on my wishlist for the past 2 years, and my hubby got it for me for my birthday. I love it so much--I use it every time I sew, and it is super fast. This pretty much changed sewing completely for me!

A serger finishes all your seams--if you look inside your clothes, they were all finished with a serger. Less ironing, hemming, and folding. Perfect.
6.) Our van! We got a used Toyota Sienna last January, and it is so nice to have a running, working vehicle that fits all the car seats. I love it.

7.) Seeing lots of family and friends this year. Obviously :) The blessing of living in California is that we have lots of loved ones here.

8.) Children's Book Club. We started having kids' book club with a few other families, and it has been so fun.  Before this, I never finished reading a novel to my kids, but now, we all love reading time.  As a result, we watch much less tv, and the kids think of little projects to "show and tell" for book club time. So far, we have read The Borrowers, Matilda, Gregor the Overlander (reading now), Danny the Champion of the World, and the Mouse and the Motorcycle.

9.) My husband has started strumming! I have had a guitar for 11 years, and this year, for the first time, my hubby finally decided to learn some songs on it! It makes me so happy to see and hear him strumming away and watch as he learns new skills (and super happy that I can teach him a little). Music is a huge part of my life, and I grew up always hearing my Dad on his guitar--so this brings me great, great happiness :)

10.) This movie. It's rated R for what? 4 f-words (which I hear when my neighbors are talking outside soo..) I loved it. The music is perfect; the ending will make you cry with happiness; and the main actor looks like my little brother.

11.) This book.  This was probably my favorite this year--I just loved it and loved the ending, which might make me a bad person? You'll have to read it to see...

12.) This quote. 

13.) This makeup.  Nothing make you feel better than lip stain you get for $1 at the drugstore that you actually love!! (not sure why it's so expensive on Amazon...)

14.) This soundtrack. We went and saw Into the Woods, and the soundtrack is kind of charming/kind of annoying...but when your two year old walks around the house singing, "I wish to go to da festi-baal!", it is the cutest thing ever.

So goodbye 2014! Thank you for all the little joys :)

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