I always get annoyed with myself that my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups are too long and that no one wants to read that much. I get carried away on all sides – the bookish and the personal. So! My solution was to create Lauren Lately to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. (After all, I base all of my book stats around the month ending anyways and my personal life is more flexible 😉 )
✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨
Terrible. I made a little note at the top of a post earlier this month and it still stands true. I’m appalled by everything happening right now in the country, and that most people are too selfish and full of privilege to see the other sides to this election. That the implication of their vote goes much further than they realized as they were doing it. I’m not going to say anything else because frankly? I’m still exhausted. Distraught. In mourning. How and when can we move on? Can we even move on? I don’t know.
Monday Night RAW was a fun event on Halloween with my friends from college and their boyfriends. The boys all like wrestling so we knew we had to attend when it came to Hartford. It was such a fun experience that really gets you involved from the start. Even if you don’t care about wrestling at all, it’s so easy to get caught up!
Engagements times a million! I’ve had multiple very close friends get engaged since June of this year. Two of my roommates from college, two of my best friends from high school, and Chris’s best friend from high school – just to name the people closest to me! All of them are planning September-ish weddings in 2017 and 2018, so we’re really hoping there won’t be any overlap. (I think I’ll get lucky!) Out of those weddings, I’m pretty sure I’ll be in at least three of them as a bridesmaid. It’s going to be a busy couple of years!
Lots and lots of hikes have been happening over the weekend with Chris. We love trying to find new places and visiting ones from my childhood. I used to hike a lot with my parents when I was young, so we hit up two of them this past weekend – one very small hike with a gorgeous view over a reservoir and one longer one overlooking the autumn trees and some houses. We went to the Cambridge House Brewpub after one of them for some beers and an early dinner. We want to try to go out and do something like this every weekend while the weather is still mild. The best part about some of the hiking spots in Connecticut is that they’re out in small towns with cute local restaurants to try out!
Fall TV shows: I know I’ve probably beat this topic to death here, but some are now on hiatus (The Good Place) and I’m hoping to begin a few more and catch up. I’m still loving Timeless and This is Us! Chris and I also want to start Westworld together this week. There were a few shows I was considering a while ago and I think I’ll probably start them when they hit midseason breaks and/or if they get more episodes.
Community: This show is just really, really important to me. I forgot just how much. Chris started it recently and I got completely sucked back into it as he was watching. Sometimes he puts them on while I’m there and I’ll watch but he’s also watched a bunch on his own (so I’m not doing a full rewatch or anything). I have to actually watch some of the later episodes again so I can finish with the final season 🙁 Maybe I’ll work up a post sometime about this show because it’s craaaazy how few of my friends (like none of you guys!) have seen it.
Gilmore Girls: I know there’s a literal zero percent chance I catch up on the episodes before the new ones come out (I’m only in season two lol) but I’m glad to keep it going. I’m still not 100% a fan of the show, which makes it hard to want to sit down and watch it. I know I probably will end up enjoying it and being glad I watched, so I keep “forcing” myself to do it – as terrible as that sounds.
Doctor Strange: Way more than I expected! The more I think about it, the more I sort of loved it? The whole story was unique and different from other Marvel movies. I liked the magical aspects of it so much. The tie-ins to the other movies were, as always, so perfect. It also gave some great lead-in to upcoming movies in the Marvel universe. It’s crazy to think about how they’ll all come together in the Infinity Wars. I need more.
Animal House: I’ve already seen this one of course, but it was Chris’s first time! We got it out from the library and he ended up really liking it. It’s such a funny movie even though so many aspects are kind of terrible (compared to how our culture is now!) The creepiness around how they treated girls and what they did was definitely disturbing, but the style of humor still is relevant today.
Podcasts & Other Media
Criminal: I’m now caught up and listening to them as new episodes air. I have to say, the most recent episodes were two of the most interesting ones they’ve had. Totally fascinating! I am always anxiously awaiting the next one to be released. #gimme
I’m still looking for new podcasts to start. I’ve been intrigued by Call Your Girlfriend and Ana Faris is Unqualified; those might be up next for me to try. I also got back into How Did This Get Made? because I was in need of some humor last week. It did a good job of distracting me from the clusterfucks happening in the country.
Food & Drink Recipes
Buffalo Chicken Chili | Recipe Here | I made this recipe and really loved it! I ended up adding more chicken, then more chicken broth as a result. It was a very thick chili and unfortunately only had about 3 servings in it. I will definitely make it again with double the recipe and more buffalo sauce! The carrots were a really nice addition to it, by the way.
Enchilada Casserole | Recipe Here | This was worth making but not my favorite. It’s incredibly easy so I can see myself doing it again sometime! It really only has a few ingredients and adding sour cream on top makes it even tastier. There was a little too much enchilada sauce for it to really taste like anything but that flavor, so that’s my biggest issue with it.
Products & THINGS
I honestly haven’t bought anything lately except my Norwex cloths. You can ask me for more information or check out my most recent Bookmark Lit Bulletin. I’ve been trying to save money, so buying random shit is definitely on the backburner. I can’t wait for Christmas so I can start buying more decorations soon!
Reading challenge: I’m not sure if I’ll actually participate because my reading has been so wonky lately, but that’s also why I want to join in! Of Wonderland made a mini November reading challenge that’s so easy, I should just go for it for the rest of the month. It’s broken up my week but I’m just going to make it four books, since I’m late to seeing the post. Here’s what my TBR would be:
- Read a Fantasy Title You’ve Been Staring At Forever | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
- I haven’t been staring at it forever, but it’s sort of the only fantasy I want to read right now.
- Read a Book You Previously DNFed/Placed On Hold | Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch
- I started the audio one day then decided I wasn’t in the mood. This is my book club’s pick too!
- Read the Next Book In a Series | Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
- I think my hold from the library will hopefully be in soon! EEK.
- Read a Book You Were Supposed to Read in 2016 | The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
- I always read her books right away and just finished this one!
Five Year (Book Plan): I’m not sure where I’ll be (in life, location-wise, etc.) and this is something I should definitely consider. I’ll be 30 years old. Holy shit. Jessie’s post about her five year book plan was really interesting to read! It got me thinking quite a bit and I think I’ll be making my own post sometime.
Since Last Time…
This is where I’ll usually recap my goals and to-dos from the previous month. I don’t have this list at the moment since this is my first Lauren Lately post, but I hope it helps me stay accountable in the future!
Goals Until Next Time
1. Finish at least three holiday books. I don’t like to read too many too early in the season, but I always wait too long to read books and review them BEFORE Christmas (so they actually help people this year). I hope to have read at least three holiday books by the next post (December 15th) so I can say I made some headway.
2. Consistently use my bullet journal and try new things. I become pretty stagnant in this sometimes because I just don’t spend a lot of time working on it. I spent a whole night making pages for November’s monthly events, bookish bingo tracking, books I’ve read, weight loss tracking, etc…. and haven’t made any ~fun~ pages since. It’d be nice to make more bookish lists and try to expand my horizons before the end of the year.
3. Get back into couponing. I was never crazy about it like I wish I could be, but I need to be better about checking prices, clipping coupons, and then actually using them. I also want to add a subsection to this bullet to remind myself to start try out the Stop & Shop Pickup services again. I need to better use my lunch breaks…
4. Enjoy my lunch breaks and don’t go shopping all the time. I hate running errands after work – especially grocery shopping – because I just want to be HOME. It takes forever and delays my dinnertime. Honestly the biggest issue is that I work in the same town where we’d run legit errands like Target or Ulta or the mall, so I never want to come back to the same place I just got home from for shopping. I need to relax on the errands during lunch though because (1) I spend too much money and (2) I could be reading!
5. Figure out a budgeting tool again. I was using Mint for a while once I cancelled my YNAB membership. I was sick of having to go in and add/edit transactions all the time. I need to figure the whole budget thing out because nothing suits my needs perfectly, which leads me to quit them. I’d like to start a new membership with a clean slate for the New Year!
Coming Up in My Life
CHRISTMAS!!! My favorite time of year is here. I start listening to music and decorating (inside) before Thanksgiving. Once it hits Thanksgiving though, all bets are off for decorating outside too. I just love the holiday season and want it to last as long as possible, okay? I’ll be cozy as shit in my pajamas, with some hot chocolate, while the snow (hopefully) falls, and while Christmas movies play in the background.
Thanksgiving too I guess. I’m always happy to see my nana and some of Chris’s family too. Plus I don’t think we need to discuss the football aspect right? Let me get those leftover turkey sandwiches with everything on them!