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 - 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)