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Monday, June 15, 2015

Catching Up

Yikes - it's been awhile since I got a minute to sneak off to Tim Hortons and use their internet and update my space here.

There has been a lot of activity and family drama (which I don't plan on going into here).  I do have one bit of news I'd like to share, however.  C and I are getting married!!!!

We got engaged two Mondays ago and will be getting married .... July 25th.  As in a little over a month from now.  Needless to say I'm a bit stressed, but I've got my dress picked out (and ordering this weekend), the location is picked and will also be paid this weekend, all the invites went out today and ..... well that's it.  It's basically just the little stuff from here on out.  

So, hopefully you can understand why this post is short and sweet and why I haven't been on for a bit.  But I am jumping back on this blogging bandwagon and will have posts up again starting Friday.  

Until then - wish me luck with the craziness!  (Because I'll need it)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Monthly Goals // June 2015

1,000 activity points on my Misfit daily

This turns out to be about 10,000 walking steps

Get my butt camping already!

I have yet to go camping this summer and it makes me super sad.  Every time I plan on going, it rains.

Hoop dance twice per week 

I need to start re-learning some of the moves, but I'm wicked excited about it.

Find a place to live

 This one is already in the works, but I felt the need to put it on here anyway.

Get my blog branding figured out

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Bucket List // 13 Awesomely Fun Things I Want to Do This Summer


Go Camping Monthly (June, July, August, Sept)
Spend a long weekend at my fam’s camp
Go berry picking
Have a water balloon fight
Throw a BBQ
Go on a daylong 4 wheeler trip
Go to a concert
Go to a fair
Have a baseball/wiffleball/kickball game
Go on a bike ride
Road trip!
Climb Mt. Katahdin
Canoeing / Kayaking

Monday, May 25, 2015

On My Shelf // May 2015

Whoops - this was supposed to go up on Friday but apparently I never hit publish.  My bad.  I also feel like I read more books, but can't for the life of me remember them.

Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne BoleynBrief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Margaret Campbell Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a HUGE fan of Tudor era books. I'm not sure why, but the history of the time with all the politics of being at court just draw me in. That said, I really enjoyed this book. It's, in the simplest terms, a(nother) book about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. I enjoyed that they didn't paint Anne as a horrible shrew with no redeeming qualities (like they do in a lot of books). She was flawed, but was human.


Lizzy and JaneLizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed 'Lizzy and Jane'. I read it all in an afternoon when I was sick. I loved that the characters were flawed in a realistic way that made them easy to relate to. I didn't feel like the flaws were a story device, but almost as if the characters where real people. It made me want to actually get to know them in real life.

I would recommend this book to any reader who is looking for a fun, quick read


Wylding HallWylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Wylding Hall" - Good. Would have preferred a slightly more straight forward format instead of the bits from people here and there. Would have loved more detail. Still not 100% sure what the connection to the finches and that hill with Julian and Nancy was. Left me slightly confused - but good bones of a story.

View all my reviews

Both "Lizzie & Jane" and "Wylding Hall" came from NetGalley.com - which provides free books for honest reviews. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The WanderList // Alaska

Since I have a serious case of wanderlust right now, I thought it would be fun to share a new location on my wanderlust list (WanderList -- get it?) every month.  I decided to start it off with a bang with a location that has been on my must see list forever.




 All four photos are from the Flicker Creative Commons website.  #1 & #4 are by Christopher Michel, #2 by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and #3 by Bureau of Land Management.

Monday, May 18, 2015

About A Girl // 7 Facts You May Not Know About Me

Today I wanted to get a little more personal and share some facts about me that aren't common knowledge.



I have anxiety.  To be exact, I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety with agoraphobia.  Yes, agoraphobia is the one where people don’t leave their homes, but mine isn’t that bad.  I get anxious around people and generally prefer to be by myself or with C or with a small group of friends.  It drives people crazy that I seem to not want to spend time with them, but it can just get overwhelming for me with working with people all day.  Well, honestly, even when I don't work with people all day it gets overwhelming.  It got super bad when I worked at Wal Mart, but is a lot better now.
I make tons of plans and make lots of goals for my life …. And don’t follow through.  Womp, womp.  Yup, I’m one of those people who can’t seem to get their shit together.   The “problem” is that I have a lot of interests and love to learn, so I get super excited about something for a bit and then move onto the next thing to learn.  I am *slowly* working on this as I don’t want to be known as the person who can’t stick to things.

I have a slight obsession with my rabbits right now.  Okay, right now probably isn’t the right phrase, but whatevs.  If I could work from home and spend all day with my buns, I would.  I get fixated sometimes on there being a fire in the house and not being able to get them out.  If I could get some sort of bag to put one of them in and carry them with me everywhere, I would.  I legitimately asked C the other day if he thought I could convince my work to let me bring one of them to work every day.  And that is just the tip of the crazy iceberg.
As much as I love the outdoors, I haven’t been camping or hiking in …. Oh, about 2 or 3 years.  And it bugs me to no end.  I hate that I’ve gotten lazy and away from that part of my life.  I LOVE being out in nature and nothing centers me and clears the fog from my brain like a good hike through the woods.  This summer, that all changes.  I have some plans and C is on board with getting out more.

I spent the summer living in a VW camper van one year.  Yup, it was pretty awesome.  That summer, I also went kayaking with whales.  One day I may tell you about that trip.  Since then it’s been a huge dream of mine to buy my own camper van. 
I lost my mother 1 month before my high school graduation.  It’s been 13 years (April 22nd), but I still miss her everyday.
Growing up, I had a problem with stealing.  I used to steal money from my brother and parents all the time.  I don’t mean just taking it if I came across it, but actually going and looking for money to take.  I don’t ever remember getting into huge trouble for it, but I also don’t think I got caught very often.  Maybe I just blocked out the punishment.  Who knows.  Luckily for me and everyone around me, I’ve since outgrown that compulsion.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Springtime Sadness

Between this lingering upper respiratory infection kicking my ass, the never ending rain of the past few days and the fact that temperatures have dipped back into the forties after some days of 60s and 70s, I've been in a slump and feeling down.  I've had a hard time doing anything - let alone getting my act together to post here like I want to.   I'm officially in a funk --- and not the fun kind



And to me - the worst of it is, because of the rain, I had to cancel my first camping trip of the year.  I try to get out the first or second weekend of May, but didn't this year and really feel like I missed out.  I am *hopefully* going to be heading out next weekend because it is really time for me to spend a little 1 on 1 time with nature.

Camping trip aside, I've decided it's time to pick myself up out of the sadness muck, start taking my Zoloft again everyday (another thing I've been slacking off on) and just get shit done.  I've spent way too much time today creating a To-Do list of that I want to accomplish between now and Friday when Miss M gets here for the weekend.  A lot of it is, unfortunately, the cleaning that I haven't been motivated to do lately.  And, it's insanely long.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Awesomeness in Maine

While I was sick with my infection, I managed to drug myself up enough to feel good for a few hours.  C and I decided to take advantage of this and head down to the Bangor Comic and Toy Convention.


One of the highlights for me was meeting (and getting a picture with) Ernie Hudson - Winston from Ghost Busters.  When I told him he was the reason I wanted to go to the convention so much, he even gave me a hug!   It just .... made my .... well, not life exactly, but definitely it's been years and years since I've done something that has made me that excited and giddy.


C's big fan moment was meeting Mark Ryan who is the voice of a lot of the Transformers in the recent movies.  C has a TOTAL Transformers obsession (show pic of shelves), so this was a huge deal for him.  Mark Ryan could not have been a nicer guy.  He took the time to really talk to everyone who came through his line.  C got to chat with him for 5 or 10 minutes.



No cosplay this year - however, I do have someone working on a piece for a cosplay costume for next time that I am super excited about ... but won't share with you until I have all the pieces.  Because that's how I roll.  
 
 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Biggest Time Management Challenge -- Solved!



I’m participating in the Startup In 60 Blog Party! Startup In 60 is a time management course for busy women for are ready to finally start their own businesses whether they’ve got 60 days, 60 minutes, or 60 seconds. Click here to join the program.









 One of my biggest challenges with time management is that I tend to want to do too many things -- I have a hard time narrowing down what is the priority for me right now.  Because of that, I usually end up feeling pretty overwhelmed and don't do anything (or very little) or skip around from task to task to task without finishing a thing.

Something that has really helped me with this tendency is to create a master to-do list and a today to-do list.  My master list is the running list of every little thing that pops into my head that I want to get done.  Honestly, at the moment, I have a project/blog master list and a IRL list since I have a couple online projects that I'm working on.

Every Sunday, I sit down with the master lists and write out my today list with the top things I want to accomplish.  Usually, I try and limit it to about 5 or so on weekdays since I also have a 9 to 5 and I tend to go a little bigger on the weekends when I don't have to worry about time so much.  What I use is very similar to Sage's Ultimate To Do List but on a daily instead of weekly basis.  Although looking at it, I may see if that weekly list works better for me for the multiple projects I have going at the moment.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monthly Goals // May 2015

So one of my short comings is that I get over ambitious with my to-do (or goals) list, get completely overwhelmed and then end up bailing..... which is what happened in April.  Not to make excuses, but it also didn't help with the never ending rain causing some depression and a nasty upper respiratory infection that knocked me on my ass the last two weeks of April.

With that in mind - here is my pared down and simplified list of May Goals

Go Camping

I want to get out on my first camping trip of the year.  I like to go the first weekend in May, but we have Miss M that weekend and I'm not sure how she'll do since it'll still be chilly.  She really wants to go though, so we'll see.

10,000 Steps a Day

This one means I'm going to have to add more walking in my day to day as well as taking walks after work.  This is one of my super ambitious goals, so I'm not sure if I can get there.  Honestly, though, I would still be super stoked to do it 5 out of 7 days week.

Figure Out My Budget

I keep thinking I get my budget under control and then change what I want to do.  So, May is the month that I am finally going to sit down and really figure out what the heck I want to do.

Start a Garden

Now that the snow is almost gone and temps are consistently in the 40s, it's time for me to start thinking garden.  I am thinking about a small container garden with herbs and greens for the buns as well as a "fairy garden" with Miss M.

So those are my goals.  I've picked some fun ones and some serious ones.  Here's hoping that with my simplified plans, I can stick with them and really get things accomplished --- especially since coming up I have the launch of another site that I am wicked super excited about -- Book Club of One (more on that to come later)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring is here



Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill,

Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.

- Rupert Brooke

Friday, April 17, 2015

National Parks Fee Free Weekend

Hey lovely readers.  So this weekend is a Fee Free weekend at the US National Parks.  If  live in the US, make sure you get out and take advantage of this awesomeness.

Per nps.gov *Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Currently

FEELING //  Tired - stupid allergies keeping me up

PLAYING //  Nothing ... I'm not playing anything at the moment, not even on my phone

WONDERING //  If I could get away with bringing one of the buns with me everywhere - even work

BOOKMARKING //  Tips on how to improve my About page. 



FINALIZING //  My new site -- Book Club of One (more info on this coming soon!)

CRAVING //  Turtle cake- chocolatey, caramely, gooey, yummy goodness

WORKING // Getting busier at the day job - which is good since it was getting boring

READING //  House of Echos by Brendan Duffy

LOVING //  That winter seems to finally be over -- weather in the 50s the last few days.  Yippee!!



MARVELING //  On how stupid some people can be --- they will believe anything.

PONDERING // How I can afford a vacation to Tokyo for C and I

ADMIRING //  Some cute bunny jewelry on Etsy

NEEDING //  To get my butt into gear and get to walking every day



ANTICIPATING //  I am super excited about a convention in Bangor in two weeks

DREAMING //  About creating enough income streams to let me work from home

LISTENING //  Thinking Sideway podcast - I'm addicted!!

PLANNING // My first camping trip of the year

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

6 Podcasts I'm Loving

Lately I have become absolutely addicted to listening to podcasts.  That’s what I listen to in the car now instead of music …. Except when I’m with C because he has not jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet.  While I have a large list that I listen to, I find myself pulled back to the same few favorites over and over.

SERIAL

The one that started it all for me.  I’ve listened to Serial probably about three times now.  For those who have been under a rock lately and haven’t heard of it yet*, Serial is the telling of a story week by week.  The first season was about a murder from the 90s in Baltimore in which the ex-boyfriend was convicted.  The story really revolves around if he did it, who it lying, why are they lying, and what the heck happened that day. If you even remotely enjoy true crime stories or Law and Order type shows, I recommend this one whole heartedly.  I can’t wait until the second season comes out.

Favorite Episodes : Ummmm …. All of them?  The Alibi  //   What We Know   //   Route Talk

THINKING SIDEWAYS :  

This podcast is my current favorite.  In the simplest terms, it’s all about unsolved mysteries.  Topics range from the Mary Celeste, to Jack the Ripper, to the Arthur Seat Murder Dolls, to stone circles. 
Another awesome part of this podcast is the dynamic between the three hosts - Steve, Devin and Joe.  The episodes never feel rehearsed and canned.  They feel like you and a group of friends are sitting around discussing these things and throwing out ideas and facts.

Favorite Episodes :  Jack the Ripper  //  The Dyatlov Pass Incident //  The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe  //  Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers

WELCOME TO NIGHTVALE

While the first two are true story type podcasts, Welcome to Nightvale is pure made-up enjoyment.  I have laughed out loud to this on multiple occasions.  WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

I also just found out that they are touring with a live show right now. 

Favorite Episodes :  Pilot  //  Station Management  //  A Story About You

THE LIVELY SHOW :  

This is my go-to blog when I am looking for business and blogging inspiration and just general life stuff.

Favorite Episodes :   All of them --- I pick and choose depending on what I need help with at the moment.

KNIFEPOINT HORROR

This one guys.  This one is so good.  All the stories are written by the same author, Soren Narnia, but read by different people. 

Favorite Episodes : town  //  cult  //  rebirth

NERDIST :

Okay – this one is also my current favorite.  What?  A girl can have two favorites.  This one feeds my nerdy, fan girl side.   I fell in love with Chris’s interview style from The Talking Dead (The Walking Dead’s aftershow on AMC) and got unreasonably excited when I learned he had a podcast.  I legit squealed with excitement when I learned that he has episodes with some of my favorite people – Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, and SO.MANY.MORE.  Seriously, if you are at all into anything that could even remotely be considered nerdy, check out this podcast.  There is something for everyone on it …. Even if you end up not listening to some of the back episodes like me.

Favorite Episodes : The First w/ Tom Lennone (made me laugh out loud throughout the whole thing) //  Felicia Day //  Wil Wheaton  // Nathan Fillion  //  Simon Pegg  //  Big Bang Theory

As you can see, there is a bit of a theme to the podcasts I like – mysteries, horror, and nerdy goodness.

Oh – and I listen to all of these through "Podcast Addict" on my Android phone.  I used a different manager app before, but didn’t like it as much.  Podcast Addict is super easy to use and has a nice layout.  And it’s free, so that’s awesome too.

I’m looking for recommendations --- do you have any favorite podcasts that I just have to check out?  Let me know in the comments below.

Just so you know // I was not paid or asked to sing the praises of any of the podcasts or the manager app I use.  I just love them all so much I wanted to world to know.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sharing is Caring // Found Love ... Now What

Welcome back to another Sharing is Caring.  Today I want to share with you Found Love … Now What, a blog written by Belinda.  Belinda is a California girl who met her husband while on a trip to New York, had a long distance relationship with him, got married and then moved to Wales.  Her blog is all about being an expat, her life in Wales and (a recently started Monday series) positivity.
Belinda has to be one of the most positive people I have come across in the blogging world.   Let me rephrase that – one of the most genuinely positive people.  It doesn’t feel like she is putting on a show to the world, it seems like she tries really hard to be positive and joyful in her day to day.

Belinda’s style of writing is one of a best friend.  She writes like you are girlfriends meeting over coffee and she is catching you up on her life.
If you have a chance to head over to her Instagram account, I highly recommend it.  Her photos has made me add Wales to my want-to-travel-to list …. And Wales has never been on my radar before. 
Where to Find Belinda :  Instagram  //  Twitter  //  Bloglovin’  //  Facebook

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Monthly Goals // April 2015

Because I am failing so hard with having quarterly goals (I keep putting stuff off because I have so much time left) I've decided to start having monthly goals in the areas that I want to work on.

MONEY // Get a set budget set up

HEALTH // Walk 1 mile a day at least 5 days a week  &  15 minutes of yoga workday mornings

RELATIONSHIPS // One date night and one date day with C

SOUL //Find my core values and brainstorm ways to live them

BLOG // Comment on at least 5 blogs daily

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE // Explore Aroostook County


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stitch Fix // April 2015


So, this is my fifth fix or so. For those of you who don’t know what Stitch Fix is the following is via their website

What is Stitch Fix?


Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest!

How does it work?


1. Fill out your Style Profile

Begin by filling out the Style Profile. This helps us understand your size, style, shape, budget and lifestyle. Completing your profile should only take about 10 minutes.

2. Pick the date you’d like to receive your shipment

We’ll send you a selection of five clothing items and accessories handpicked by personal stylists on the date you choose. At the time your stylist selects your items, you will be charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 will be applied toward anything you keep from your shipment.

3. Try everything on in the comfort of your home

4. Buy what you like and return the rest

Simply return the items you don't want in our prepaid mailing bag and drop it at any USPS mailbox. Stitch Fix clients enjoy free shipping both ways as a benefit of using our service!

5. Tell us what you think!

Don't forget to give us specific feedback on each of the items you receive. Our personal stylists are able to send you better selections when we know what did and didn’t work for you, and why. Our blog offers a number of tips on the best ways to communicate with your personal stylist.

Anyway – my first few fixes were … hit or miss.  I’d find one, maybe two, items I’d like, occasionally an item I’d love and that was that.  
TRUTH TIME – It is totally my own fault that my first fixes were underwhelming.  I am not good at describing what I did and didn’t like about items and my Pinterest board that I had linked to my profile was all over the place.  Now, my Pinterest board is reviewed and changed up for every fix I get and I try to limit the amount of stuff on it.  Having said that, I did feel like one of the fixes had a stylist that just didn’t pay attention to anything I said I like or wanted.  But, overall, the stylist try very hard to make sure you like what you’re getting.  If you put the effort in to be specific, it’ll pay off for you.
And now back to the review.

MARGARET M – EMER POLKA DOT HIGH WAISTED CROP PANTS ($98)


First off – that $98? That was scary.  They almost went back on that alone.  When I pulled the pants out of the box, the fabric turned me off a bit.  It was stretchy and odd and the pants were (I thought) cut skinny.  But, like a good little fixer, I tried them on …. And was underwhelmed.  Whomp, whomp.  So I went, and dug out my full length mirror, fussed around getting it all set up and then stepped back and took a good look at my pants.
I LOVED them!  Apparently, all it took was a little time on my body to sort of unstiffen and unfold to look awesome!  They are high enough to cover my muffin top, super comfy, and make my legs and butt look good.  This is a good reminder that even if at first you aren’t sure you’ll like it, try it on anyway.  You may just be surprised. 

Sorry - no picture at the moment, but I'm sure they'll make an appearance in photos eventually.
Verdict – KEEP

41 HAWTHORNE – ABRIANNA LONGSLEEVE KNIT CARDIGAN ($48)


This is another one that right out of the box threw me off.  The color is more pink than I go for – pink on my skin tone is just a bad, bad scene.  But, again, I tried it on.  And it looked good.  The color has just enough purple to it to not make me look blotchy.  
Also, it is cut to nip in a bit at the waist, which adds some nice shape to an outfit without having to mess around with a belt.
Verdict – KEEP

BRIXON IVY – FALLON MIXED PRINT SLEEVELESS BLOUSE ($44)


This one has a cute pattern, although it isn’t my favorite piece of the fix.  It’s okay, but I’m not in love.  It was cut well for my body and looked pretty good on.  The unfortunate part?  It was too tight across the girls.  I’ve sent an email to see if I can get a size up.  We’ll see.
Verdict – KEEP, to get the 25% off.  If I can get the next size up, I’ll even wear it to work and what not.

41 HAWTHORNE – RENESME GEO PRINT FAUX WRAP DRESS ($78)


I knew right off I’d love this dress.  And I was right!  It fits like a dream.  That’s all.  I just plain love it.
Verdict – KEEP

FUN2FUN – TORRANCE LACE DETAILED SLEEVELESS BLOUSE ($38)


It looks just sexy enough for date nights and girls nights out.  I wouldn’t wear it to work because it shows too much cleavage for that, but I love it.  
Verdict - KEEP
One of the reasons that I love Stitch Fix is that I don’t have to go to the store and try and figure out what looks good on me.  I am a complete dunce when it comes to clothes.  Poor C has to tell me if things look good.  This takes quite a bit of the guess work out of it.  Also, I can choose to get fixes every 2 or 3 weeks, every month, every quarter --- basically whenever I feel the need.
DISCLAIMER : This is not a sponsored post.  I paid for all of these items as well as the subscription fee.  That said, if you do click through one of the links and sign up, I do get a (very) small credit.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What Do You Want to Be Known For?


I ran across this question last week – I’m not sure where.  Possibly a blog or a book.  Anyway … It’s been rattling around my head since then.  What DO I want to be known for?  What kind of person do I want people to remember or know me as?
Some answers to this are easy – kind, fun, generous, etc.  Others, not so much.  I want to be known for doing something with my life (pretty vague, I know) but I don’t want to be known as someone who wasted their life not fully living it.
And then comes the inevitable question – AM I known for these things?  What can I do to more align with how I want to be known?  Am I a kind, generous person?  Am I doing things that hold be back from living a full life?  Am I the kind of person my (future) kids will admire and want to be like?

So, readers, as I roll this question around and overthink it, let me know -  What do YOU want to be known for?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

On My Shelf // April 2015


Stephen King's N.Stephen King's N. by Marc Guggenheim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'N' is based on a short story from Stephen King's 'Just After Sunset' and I am a big fan of almost anything Stephen King. That's what attracted me to this graphic novel to begin with.

Anyway - I thought the art work was great. Very creepy and gave a good atmosphere to the story. This is more of a slow burn horror -- you get into the middle of the nerves and "edge of your seat" feeling before you know you are there. Very much had a descent into madness feeling.

If you're into graphic novels and Stephen King, make sure you add this one to your collection.




The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl GeeksThe Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

** I received this book free through NetGalley for an honest review**

"Finding fierce passion for a new fandom is way more fun when you have someone to fangirl with"

This book is all about girls owning their geeky passions, helping you cultivate your fangirl status, and you're new to the scene. There is also an intensive section all about conventions and how to get the most out of them.

It also gives you some helpful tips on how to add your fangirling to every day life.

I have to say, I LOVED this book. It gave me ideas on how to incorporate more of my geeky loved into my life and also helped me kind of fall in love with other fandoms that I may not have realized I'm all about.

If you, or someone you love, is a fangirl - give this one a read.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Current Obsession // Circa Products

I decided today that I wanted to share with you my current obsession with Circa products.  I currently have three, but have two more winging their way to me as we speak.

I  use their junior sized Master Agenda to control my life, blogging schedule and more.  I use a junior size for my Somewhere Over Yonder blogging book, a Letter sized for MyNationalParksProject.com, and will be using the new letter sized books for a new business idea (bunny based) and for a course I'm taking.


















I love the fact that you can take pages out and add them do easily.  Also, I can put pages from a junior sized notebook into a letter sized with no problem -- no matter the size, the "holes" are the same width apart.  It makes it so convenient to write notes to myself at work and them transfer them into the correct book when I get home.  With the punch I bought, I can also punch any paper and add it to my book.  I did that with a pretty photo I found in a magazine to fancy up my agenda.

 
 
If you're interested in getting some Circa notebooks of your own, I definitely recommend getting the Circa Simply Irresistible Sampling Kit.  It's a bit expensive at $40, but you get a letter sized and junior sized notebook, PLUS you get a $40 gift card to buy more Circa products .... like a paper punch or their awesome Master Agenda.  It is certainly worth the price if you plan on investing in Circa.
 
I am not getting paid to review, nor did I receive any free products from Levenger.  I just love the Circa products and want to share that love with the world.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sharing is Caring // Hannah Gale



For this weeks Sharing is Caring, I want to introduce you all to Hannah Gale of ... well, Hannah Gale.  Hannah is a mid-20s blogger out of England.  She writes about life and fashion and about a little bit of everything.

I enjoy looking at her fashion pictures and photo tours of London and other British cities.  She has a good eye for what looks good.

She also seems like the kind of person that you'd (or I'd) like to be friends with IRL.  That's a huge thing for me reading blogs.  Do I want to be friends with them?  Yes? Well, sign me up.
 
 
 
I love how real and open Hannah gets in her posts.  She opens up about past struggles, with how lonely she is after a recent move, how she feels about her weight.  I find her extremely relatable.  She is going through some of the same things I'm going through or have in the past. 
 
Where Else You Can Find Her :  Instagram // Facebook // Twitter

Friday, March 27, 2015

8 ways to create more joy in your life

Happiness is not something ready made.  It comes from your own actions.  - Dalai Lama


Serve Others / Volunteer //  There is nothing quite like helping others to give you the warm fuzzies.  Go to the pound and walk some puppies.  Help serve at a soup kitchen.
Forgive //  Forgiving others will bring you a sense of peace.  That's not to say you need to let destructive people back into your life, you just need to let go of the hurt and anger you are holding.
Be Happy NOW, Not When You ______________ //  Everyone has done this little dance - I'll be happy when I lose weight, or get that job, or move, or, or, or.  Yes, you may want those things, but you deserve to be happy NOW.  As you are.
Play //  Laugh.  Be Silly.  Throw a solo dance party.
Send A Love Letter //  This doesn't have to be a romantic love letter.  This can be to a friend, to a family member, to a mentor.  Let someone know how much you appreciate them in your life.
Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone // There is nothing like trying something new and learning to master it to bring you loads of joy.  
Own Your Sadness //  As counter productive as this might seem, sometimes you need to just ride your sadness out to the other side to get it out.  If you try to keep your emotions bruried, it's hard to feel joy.
Enjoy The Journey //  Be happy where you are - right now - in your life.  Maybe you have a job you don't love, but it gets you the money to have adventures.  Maybe you live in a city you hate, but it helps you really figure out what you want in life.  Maybe your relationship is breaking, but it was making you miserable anyway.  I firmly believe that good can come out of any negative situation, you may just have a wait a little to figure it out.  That is one of the good things about life - everything happens for a reason, even if you don't know what that reason is.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

celebrate spring


Although it is *officially* spring, I think we may have a little ways to go here in Northern Maine before the snow goes away.
If you’re like me and cling to the fact that nice weather is on the way (even if you can’t see it), here are some ways to celebrate the start of spring and get you in the mood for that warmer weather.
  • Start Your Plants
  • Buy some flowers for your house – bonus points if they are an early blooming flower like daffodils (my personal fav)
  • Open the windows and let in some fresh air – if it’s super cold, make sure you only do it for a few minutes… I don’t want you to freeze your buns
  • Get outside – if it’s nice, go for a hike.  If there’s still snow, embrace it and go cross country skiing.  Getting outside will also help you notice all those tell-tale signs that spring is starting to appear.
 
And for the more adventurous and/or warmer climated folk – Go camping.  Perhaps even making it your first camping trip of the season.  I won’t be because I don’t do winter camping, but I am considering a bonfire with s’mores.
** How do you celebrate Spring? **


Monday, March 23, 2015

Sharing is caring // scotland instagrams

With my current Scotland trip planning and obsession, I wanted to share a few of the Instagram accounts that I am following to help get me in the mood.
 
 
This is the official Instagram account of Scotland's National Tourism Organization.
 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

on my shelf // half-life book review



Probably not a good idea to take advice from your dead twin sister. High school sophomore Trisha Traynor and friends have played the Halloween mirror game for years, the one that’s supposed to show a glimpse of the guy they’ll marry. But no one’s ever seen anything.

Until tonight—when Trisha is gob smacked by the candlelit arrival of her long-deceased twin sister, instead of her crush, Kirk Maxwell.

In a voice and vision that only Trisha can hear and see, Chessie claims to be back on a compassionate journey. Trisha fears she's gone nuthouse crazy. But she nonetheless follows the instructions Chessie outlines in their nightly conversations, until she finds herself stepping across some ethical lines, and probably ending all chances with Kirk.

When a sisterly showdown ensues, resulting in the shattering of the mirror, Chessie’s gone again, and a heartsick Trisha sets about righting her recent wrongs. That is, until she stumbles upon the real reason Chessie had come back and the most important glimpse yet that the mirror could never predict.

Goodreads   //   Amazon  //  B&N  //  Leap  

Author Bio:  Tina Ferraro been writing since she learned to hold a pencil, and sold upwards of a hundred short stories to national magazines before turning to novels. She is the author of three Random House novels, The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, How to Hook a Hottie and Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, which have received distinctions such as the ABA Book Sense Award and two RITA nominations.
Her fourth YA, The Starter Boyfriend, has spent time on Amazon’s Top 100 Lists. She lives in Los Angeles with her rocket scientist husband, two cats and whichever of their three young adult children is in town. When not writing, she enjoys playing Facebook Scrabble, swimming, and chasing coyotes out of her neighborhood.
Twitter  //  Facebook  //  Website  
My Review // I thought that this book was well written and ... cute.  I felt like it could have been longer, maybe explored a little more in depth.  Everything was wrapped up quickly and neatly and that didn't feel super realistic.  I felt like the main character, Trisha, was very relatable.  She came across as a typical teenage girl.
All in all, it was an enjoyable, easy, quick read.




Disclaimer :  I received a copy of this book for an honest review as part of the book's blog tour.  I was not paid to review, nor was I told to give an positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, March 16, 2015

sharing is caring // Rad Girls Collective


For this week's Sharing is Caring a picked a relatively new blog that I love - Rad Girls Collective. 
 
  
About Rad Girls Collective
 
We are a community of female adventurers based in Victoria, BC.

We are event hosts, content creators & messengers of rad.

As a collective, we aim to celebrate, inspire, and empower women to jump off the beaten path and forge a new route.

-- via Rad Girls Collective
 
Rad Girls Collective is a space where I go to get inspired for my outdoor adventures - especially the beautiful photos on their Instagram feed. 
A photo posted by Rad Girls Collective (@radgirlscollective) on


 
 

You can find the Rad Girls Collective on their Website  and  Instagram