family fun

Mystery Blogger Award.

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Thanks to Birdie Bookworm for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award.  I was pretty surprised to be nominated and of course honored. Who knew I was so mysterious? I don’t do a lot of these award thingies but this one looked fun so I’m going to attempt to play along.  😀

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The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well (Okoto Enigma @ Okoto Enigma’s Blog)
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About ME:

  1. I’m trying to talk myself into giving up sugar and so far my progress has been… slow. I mean I think my overall eating habits are pretty good but then I get to moments like “so I can’t have like, any soda?” and things go kind of sideways.
  2. I can’t eat clam chowder without judging it like a food critic after years of attending on old hometown’s annual Chowder Fest where we voted for our favorite clam chowder in town.
  3. I hate wearing socks. So winter is pretty lame because they are kind of mandatory and I get cold easily. When spring comes, the sandals come out and stay out until snow falls again.

Some of My favorite Blog Posts:

Questions from Birdie:

  1. If you had to read only one author for the rest of your life, who would it be and why? I don’t think you have any idea how impossible this question is. Seriously? L.M. Montgomery ranks high because her books are rereadable and she’s written a lot, thank god. But I’m going to fret over this answer for the rest of the day because argh.
  2. 51vXH2JGV8LName one book that imprinted on your soul, and tell us why. The first that comes to mind is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read it in college when I was feeling like kind of the worst person. You know when your life choices are questionable at best and you are thinking “Why would anyone even root for me?” Well when I read GWTW and found myself rooting for Scarlet no matter how unlikeable she often was, I realized that we all do stupid, selfish stuff and tomorrow is always another a day.
  3. Where’s the most exciting place you’ve ever been? Huh. Well going to Wurzburg, Germany was pretty exciting – it was my first time out of the country and so obviously pretty world changing for me. I also really loved going to Las Vegas with my husband – it was our first vacation just the two of us and it was in one of the most exciting places in the US.
  4. What is the best recommendation you’ve ever received? The school my kids are going to? It was recommended by a good friend and neighbor whose kids were getting a lot out of the place. We’ve been tremendously happy there and I’m so glad we made the switch.
  5. Name your favorite fictional character, what Hogwarts House would they be in and why? This is about as hard as choosing one author to read forever. The first few that come to mind are Elizabeth Bennet (Ravenclaw), Anne Shirley (Gryffindor or Hufflepuff) and Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Ravenclaw / Gryffindor)

Nominations & New Questions:

Questions:

  1. What is your current favorite show to binge watch?
  2. What was your first favorite book?
  3. If you could give yourself a superlative (like from high school yearbooks) what would you award yourself?
  4. Describe your ideal breakfast.
  5. What app on your phone could you not live without?

Nominations:

You might be asking yourself, “Self, what is a Mystery Blogger Award anyway?” Well, here’s how the award’s creator describes it:

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
Okoto Enigma

With that in mind, I nominate the following people:

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious?

Alison @ Hardcovers & Heroines

Kate @ Opinionated Book Lover

Jenny @ The Bloggess

Jenn @ Simply Moms Blog

Kendra @ The Lazy Genius Collective

Joanna @ Cup of Jo

Kate @ Ex-Libris Kate

Ok – I’m feeling rebellious so I’m going to stop here. And I want to reiterate what Birdie said on her post. Please feel no pressure to follow along if you don’t do the blogging award thing. I totally get it – it’s a lot of work. I nominated you because I think your blogging is excellent and that everyone should read your work. So only play along if you want to / have an hour to kill before you need to pick up your kids. Deal? ::hugs::

family fun, mama kat's writers workshop

8 Things I Accomplished This Week.

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This week has been less than productive in a lot of ways as I’ve been a little under the weather and laziness kind of became a priority. I’m behind on laundry, my kitchen has looked better and my husband cooked dinner two nights in a row (he’s such a keeper). So yeah. It’s been that kind of a week. But in the name of Positive Thinking, I decided to play along with Mama Kat’s last prompt for this week’s Writer’s Workshop and list some things I did accomplish this week in between huddling on my couch and drinking lots of water and tea and waiting to go to bed again.

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  1. 200w-5.gif.gifI signed my 7 year old up for a week of Trolls themed Ballet Camp this summer. My 10 year old will be doing a week of Scratch programming summer camp.
  2. Before my cold kicked into high gear, my team trivia group came in 3rd place after one heck of a game. I love our group because we have very eclectic knowledge spheres. When we join forces we can be unstoppable.
  3. I found out who my Whiskey Buddies were on one of those Facebook quizzes. Important stuff, guys.
  4. 200w-4.gif.gifI folded at least one load of laundry when my husband complained that he had nothing to wear. I left the other loads unfolded until eventually my ten year old decided it would be easier to take his clothes upstairs and fold them himself. Huzzah! The seven year old and I are still in a standoff. Who will blink first?
  5. 200w-2.gif.gifI took my dog to his grooming appointment when I really didn’t feel like it. I also picked him up from said appointment and picked up my kids from school and kept them all breathing until bedtime. Honestly, I think I deserve an award for this. Or at least some good chocolate.
  6. 200w-3.gif.gifI cleaned / organized my desk in my office – you have to accept my low standards of clean, but I can assure you – major progress was made. So many papers were recycled this week guys.
  7. I started counting my calories again. I’m not actually limiting them yet, I’m just kind of giving myself a starting out progress report before I dive in and join my husband in his new diet that seems to be working like… a thing that works really well. Seriously, I have to hurry up and lose weight before he gets all toned and hot without me.
  8. giphy3I made myself try on a whole bunch of jeans and then didn’t buy any of them because none of them were perfect. Even though they were on sale. Then I went to a bookstore where I didn’t buy any books. That’s its own kind of accomplishment, really.

I could probably go on, but I don’t want to brag too much about how awesome I am. Or do I? I mean if you have like an award that you’ve been waiting to give out, I get it. I’m kind of a big deal.

What have you accomplished this week?

Leave a comment and I’ll respond with enthusiastic cheering, okay?

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family fun

A Spring Wish List.

Our weather has been borderline ridiculous lately. We have had a few days of blessedly beautiful weather that lulls you into a false sense of security and has you making spring plans and breaking out your sandals ; mixed with sudden snow storms that force you to retrieve all the snow pants and restock the sidewalk salt then go hide inside again and turn on your happy lamp.

While hiding inside, I’ve done a fair amount of online window shopping. Here are a few more recent additions to my Amazon wishlist that I’d love to celebrate the eventual spring blooms with.

51aciin1nkl-_sl1001_FOR SPRING SHOWERS These umbrellas look way too cool. They actually open in the opposite direction of regular umbrellas, they have an arm hoop thing so you don’t have to hold the umbrella and all your groceries AND they can stand up when you need to put them down.

FOR GAME NIGHT I’ve been eyeing Marrying Mr. Darcy for ages. If it would come down in price a little I’d totally consider splurging on it, but I haven’t been able to justify it because I’m not convinced my husband would play it with me. Utter Nonsense! however might be right up his alley. I was looking at this one at Barnes and Noble last week and was instantly smitten. It’s basically reading stuff out loud in hilarious, terrible accents.

b3063163-63d2-4e4a-b97b-2fc56d647792-2017-0203_frieling_speyere-vintage-inspired-pepper-mill_silo_rocky-luten_002A KITCHEN TOOL This vintage inspired pepper grinder from Food52 is highly likely to make its way into my husband’s stocking on Christmas. We’ve been using a grocery store brand pepper grinder that works ok but the twist style can be kind of wrist crampy and this one is infinitely prettier.

TO LISTEN TO I’ve been coveting two CDs lately – the Hamilton Soundtrack, because I figure it’s the closest I’m going to get to seeing the musical any time soon; and An Evening With Sutton Foster because I’m kind of a major fan girl.

513pp8o3c2l-_sx354_bo1204203200_TO READ I loved A Wrinkle in Time and can’t wait for my kids to read it. These days it seems like a graphic novel version of anything makes it instantly cooler. I’d love to see this story in picture format also. There is a whole series of classic kids literature being adapted into graphic novel form and I have to say, I totally approve. What classic novel would you like to see get the graphic novel treatment?

 

family fun

Our 4th Dogiversary.

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Doctor during his first week in our home.

Four years ago we adopted the cutest puppy in the history of cute puppies. Within a week of dog ownership I had a lot more adjectives to attach to said cute puppy, and they weren’t as nice. Being a dog mom is hard. People warned me, but honestly I had no idea what I was in for and it wasn’t my finest moment – still isn’t some days. We still have a tenuous relationship to be honest – in addition to not really being a dog person in my heart of hearts, he’s a lot of dog. He’s anxiety walking with seasonal allergies, gastrointestinal issues and more energy than twenty second graders combined.

And while he is busy eating things he shouldn’t, barking at any living creature within a ten mile radius of our property and causing general mayhem and destruction, I cannot reason with him. I can say NO sternly, spray him with a bottle, stick him in his crate and whatever but I can’t say, “Darling, you don’t need to be afraid of the mail man every day. I promise he’s allowed to leave packages on the porch,” and expect him to understand or change.

We’ve both gotten better over the years. We’ve found little tricks to keep him relatively well behaved. I learned to get out of the house more so that I don’t feel like his prisoner. He’s mellowed out a little and was nice enough to eventually learn to use the bathroom outside. And although I don’t like him every day, I’ve found that in spite of myself I love him and consider him part of the family. Luckily my actions speak louder than my words.

I don’t balk at the $90 dog food; I happily take him to the groomer once a week so that his sensitive skin and allergies don’t drive him up the wall (this spring we’ll probably go back to bathing him ourselves unless my husband decides the convenience is worth the price); I stayed home with him 24/7 and monitored him relentlessly when he had a benign tumor removed and wouldn’t leave the stitches alone despite so much effort. I went momma bear on his first vet and found him better care when they weren’t cutting it. I found in my actions the love that my words are rarely patient enough to convey.

And honestly, most of the day we are good buddies. He follows me around the house whether I like it or not and often curls up to sleep next to my chair. He’s kind and patient (if overly energetic) with the kids and he worships the ground my husband walks on. He’s so smart about so many things in spite of a major stubborn streak that rivals my seven year old. He is beloved by our groomer and doggie daycare staff when he goes for overnights when we are out of town. He’s a good dog in his heart of hearts.

Because of the various breeds running through his DNA, he’s expected to be a “puppy” behavior-wise until he’s about 6 so I continue to hope that he may mellow out even more over the next few years. But like all the other members of our family, he has earned unconditional love from us even when he acts like an absolute twat. Lord knows the rest of us aren’t always our best selves either.

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Doctor today, by my side as always

I’m linking up again with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Head over there for more writing prompts and responses.

Mama’s Losin’ It

family fun

Book Detox: 5 Things I Learned On The Way to the Used Book Store.

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My husband and I are in the process of combining bookshelves to try and create a little more room in the master bedroom. The first step means getting rid of some books that we’ve read and don’t need to keep and maybe even some books we don’t think we’ll get around to. I took the plunge and started combing through my stacks on Saturday morning.

I was relentless – I am a self proclaimed bookaholic and sometimes I’m way too liberal with my book purchasing choices.My eyes are bigger than my reading stomach so to speak. I knew my collection of books was bordering on ridiculous and I took this opportunity to get my shit under control. After a morning weeding through all the books, I took two huge boxes to the used book store that buys old books.

Here are some things I learned while going through my shelves.

  1. My reading habits have changed a lot over the years and that’s okay. I don’t have to want to read the same books I did ten years ago. My reading habits are not under investigation and don’t need to answer to anyone.
  2. A lot of the books on my shelves have been there at least as long as I’ve been married. Those were my first victims – If I’ve owned a book for ten years but haven’t read it, I’d better have a darn good reason to keep it.
  3. It’s probably a good thing that I cancelled my Book of the Month membership a few months ago. I absolutely loved getting books in the mail and I look forward to reading them at some point, but I have nine unread titles that I’ve received from them on my bookshelf right now.
  4. It felt kind of amazing when I took those boxes of books out of my room and then came back to admire my shelves. Those unread books were holding some emotional baggage that I didn’t realize I was carrying. Giving myself the freedom to let them go was liberating.
  5. I am a sucker for books on clearance. Have you noticed that your standards drop when something is on sale? A LOT of the books I got rid of had a clearance sticker on them. Is this a sign that I’m good at bargain shopping or that I’m prone to impulse shopping when the price is low enough? I need to remember to choose quality over quantity when it comes to the things I love.

I still have a lot of books to read, but I can feel peace about this because I chose every book on that shelf intentionally. Every book was up for removal this weekend so the books that are left are books I’m eager to read now.

When is the last time you purged your book collection?