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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