Lauren Lately | January 2017

Posted January 16, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 6 Comments

header-ll 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 ūüėČ )

✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨



Christmas Days Off |¬†Because Chris had Christmas Eve Eve off from work, I took the day off too! We went for a nice wintery hike and really enjoyed that particular trail. Later that same day, we went to my mom’s house to watch¬†The Family Man. I used to love watching it every year with them, but it has been a while since we’ve all seen it. It’s sort of Christmassy, because the main plot gets started on Christmas, but not as much as I remembered. It was great to relax with a beer, taco dip, and pepperoni bread.


Christmas¬†| We definitely had a jam-packed Christmas as usual, but we were able to eliminate one stop on Christmas day. We went to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve to watch football and then headed over to Chris’s family’s house for Christmas Eve food and presents. Because we exchanged gifts that night, we didn’t go there on Christmas Day… which was a relief. Chris’s cousin had me for Secret Santa and got me Panthers drinking glasses! The next morning, we went to my Nana’s house for food and presents with my mom and her family. We went to my dad’s house afterwards to exchange gifts with them.

New Year |¬†Because Natasha is constantly coming up to CT/RI to see us, we headed down to see her for New Year’s in New Jersey. We headed down with Cassie and Andy on Saturday afternoon for a low-key night in. We had snacks, played games, and went to hibachi for dinner. We stayed up fairly late, after the ball dropped because we had an early ride home the next day. We had discovered a Tim Horton’s on the way there, so I knew I was going to force everyone to go there for breakfast on the way home! I used to be obsessed with them and then they closed all their northeastern stores. I was SO happy to taste one of their donuts and an amazing breakfast sandwich after like 7 years, no joke.

Skiing/snowboarding |¬†We managed to go quite a few times so far this year! I told Chris that we’re ahead of the game because last year we didn’t even go out until February. I’m getting better but still sticking to the bunny hill. I enjoy it but just need more control over my skis, turns, and legs haha. Then I’ll be ready for the real trails! (Bath photo here to show my favorite post-skiing activity! Every time. My body needs it.)


Engagement Party |¬†As I’ve mentioned, another pair of my best friends got engaged! We had their engagement party this past weekend, which was really nice. It was a lot smaller than the other one we went to back in September in NJ, so it was good to be more casual. I love spending so much time with these friends of mine.


TV Shows

The OC |¬†I started binging this one in college, but paused during Season 4 because of ~senior year activities~ and fine, yes, also because it’s DIFFERENT. Totally different feel than the first three seasons because of, ya know, someone not being in the show anymore. I recently decided I should just finish the thing off because it’s been years since I started it. I have to be honest, I’m kind of loving this season! Taylor is an interesting character and the episodes are really unique and different. Ready to finish it!

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia |¬†I have been waiting like a year for Season 11 of this fucking show to get on the internet. I finished the previous season a long time ago but wasn’t able to keep rolling into the current one. SO this month it was finally added, right before the new season came out. We binged the 10 episodes we needed to see and are now completely caught up. I love this horrible show <3

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The Office |¬†Yes. We¬†finished the final season. I’m really sad about being done because I seriously LOVE this show and can’t figure out why I stopped watching it back in the day. I could easily add this into my shows-I’m-constantly-rewatching cycle (okay, right now¬†Friends is the only one on that list). I SOBBED for the last 3-4 episodes. Fuck that was so hard to watch. I can’t even think about it right now, to be honest.


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Moana |¬†I went into this movie with extremely low expectations, TBH. I heard GREAT things about it, but hype killed¬†Zootopia for me and I wasn’t about to let that happen again. I LOVED THIS MOVIE. The soundtrack was utterly perfect and the movie itself was adorable. I would go see this again in theaters because ugh soooo good.

Podcasts & Other Media

Moana Soundtrack |¬†I’m not a soundtrack person at all. Seriously. I might listen to one catchy song from a movie if I get addicted to it, but it rarely happens. So, it says a lot about this soundtrack if I’m listening to basically all the songs. I seriously loved it.


Food & Drink

French Onion Soup |¬†I don’t know where this came from and have no idea if there’s a good recipe for it, but I’ve been addicted to french onion soup. I get it from Panera pretty much once or twice a week. It’s SO GOOD. I got it at a fancy restaurant when we were out for lunch at work and it wasn’t even as good.

Spicy Crab Dip |¬†Yep, another addiction without a recipe. My dad got some from a local meat/seafood shop (that my best friend’s dad owns) on Christmas Eve and it was delicious. I’ve bought it twice since then because I’m fairly addicted to it. I wish I could make it myself but I’m lazy.

Products & THINGS

Basic tees and leggings |¬†My LulaRoe and Honey & Lace addiction is still pretty real, y’all. I’ll be wearing leggings more often in the near future, so I have certainly stocked up! Amazon has some pretty great, cheap, basic tee shirts and long sleeves. I don’t buy LLR or expensive plain shirts because I know I can get them elsewhere. There are two – here and here – I’ve loved lately! Thank you Amazon, you da best. I love getting shirts for less than $15 (or half that much!).

Blog Posts

Our Favorite Podcast Episodes of 2016¬†{Books & Sensibility} |¬†I’m always looking for good podcast recommendations because I’m super picky about them and can never choose. This post is interesting because it calls out specific episodes, not just podcasts in general.

2017: Power {Super Space Chick} |¬†I loved reading Kristin’s journey in 2015 and how she plans to use “power” in 2017. She has the power to change things in her life, like her attitude toward the city or anxiety about certain things. I love this and completely relate about needing to go out more, see friends, explore, etc.

The Effects of Becoming a Bookperson {It Starts at Midnight} |¬†I nodded my head so vigorously while reading this post! The first sentence alone made me start nodding: “True story, once upon a time, I used to just buy a book, read it, and move on with my life.” Man, I remember those days! Being a book blogger changes everything, lol!

30 Discussion Post Prompts for your Book Blog {Pages Unbound Reviews} |¬†I recently posted my own list of blog post ideas, so it was fun to read another person’s list! I hope to use some of this topics in the future when my well runs dry. Woohoo!

How to Get Up Early + My Ideal Morning Routine {Super Space Chick} | Clearly I love Kristin because she makes it on all these lists… including two times today. I actually have a post like this sitting in my drafts foreeeever now. Maybe I’ll post it sometime soon! I completely agree that having a good morning routine and getting up earlier makes me feel 100000% better throughout the day. I like getting a start on things ASAP and having “me time” before work. Lifechanging.


Since Last Time…

1. Finish at least two more holiday books. // PASS \\ I finished a total of seven holiday books this past season, and that feels damn good. I’m excited that I snuck in nearly all the books I wanted to read.

2.¬†Figure out my bullet journal situation for next year. // MOSTLY PASS \\ I kind of determined that the bullet journal thing miiiiight not be for me? I have a terrible case of boredom and procrastination and all of those other lazy words. I still want to find a way to make it work – or at least a planner situation in general – but I’m not sure yet. Alexa was super kind and sent me a¬†reading planner I REALLY wanted that she wasn’t going to use, so I’m giving that a go!

3.¬†Write out my bookish and bloggy resolutions and finish yearly wrap-ups.¬†// PASS \\ Man do I love wrap-up season. I finished my posts and read so many other peoples’ posts with surveys and summaries and resolutions. I still have a few 2017-related posts coming up too, but they’re all complete.

4.¬†Write my TTT posts through the new year. // PASS \\ I wrote a lot of these out a few weeks ago, so I pretty much scheduled January. At the time of writing this the TTT page on the hosts’ website wasn’t even filled out through February, so I’m good to go there. I’ve drafted all the possible TTT posts I can!

5.¬†Determine how much of my paycheck can go into savings each week. // PASS \\ I decided to do the 52 week savings challenge (google it, you’ll see). It might be hard to complete sometimes and I hope I succeed, but I won’t beat myself up over it. I want to put at least $20 in each week once I reach that point in the challenge, in case I’m not able to actually do more than that. I could just save $20 a week but I hope that I can keep building it up like the challenge suggests.

Goals Until Next Time

1. Finish cleaning my closet and desk; pare down everything. I was planning on putting this goal here without any progress being made, but I went crazy on my closet during the snowstorm last week! I got rid of more clothes, moved things around, and did a bunch of laundry. I need to finish this off with my other clothing drawers, then move into my desk area.

2. Develop a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Chris and I despise cleaning. We talked about needing to make a cleaning system for each weekend that focuses on one room in the apartment, then rotates around Рkitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom. It needs a deep clean sometimes and we feel better once we do it!

3. Focus hardcore on reading from my shelves! Without giving anything away about upcoming possible life events, I really want to focus on reading books from my shelves. I might be storing a bunch of them for quite a while, so reading a lot of them Рespecially backlist, already published ARCs Рwill become important!

4. Bring unhauled books to The Book Barn, then donation bins; audit my Goodreads shelf for owned books.¬†I cleaned my shelves forever ago – and could easily do it again – but they’re all sitting in my garage. I need to actually bring them to sell or donate. I’m really not sure if this will happen within the next month because I have so much going on, but I really need to put it here. I’ll consider it a “mostly pass” if I’m able to eliminate some books and organize my Goodreads “own-physical” shelf. I never updated that shelf when I got rid of books the past two times, so I know it’s in need of an audit.

5. Prepare a monthly TBR post for the blog and actually follow it.¬†I just drafted a new “feature” for the blog where I talk specifically about my monthly TBR. I like highlighting my upcoming reads and I hope it holds me accountable! I’ve been better about actually following the in-my-head-TBR-list, so maybe putting it online will help. I’m also adding a vote feature where people can choose from 3 books that I MUST read that month. They’ll all be books from my shelves to help with goal #3.

Night skiing // New Years // First read of the year with my new bookmark // Mexican night! // Fave place to read 

Coming Up in My Life

Valentine’s Day plans |¬†I bought Chris Book of Mormon tickets for Christmas because they’re coming to Hartford in February. I got tickets for Valentine’s Day so it worked as a double gift. We’re going to have dinner in Hartford near the theater and then go see the show. It should be fun! I’m pumped.

More skiing |¬†Between now and mid-February when you’ll see the next one of these, I can’t think of too many things happening in my life! Skiing (and going to different mountains for once) will be high on the priority list, once our lives calm down this week.

Talk to meeeee! What’s new?

6 responses to “Lauren Lately | January 2017

  1. I love these wrap up posts, it’s always so fun to see what’s going on with bloggers aside from the books! I have on my list to start doing monthly TBR AND montly haul posts too in order to hold myself accountable for my book buying and reading! I’m excited to hear about your ~secret~ possibly life events this year! ūüôā I’m also glad you liked Moana because I LOVED it and will be buying it immediately upon it’s release.

  2. I’m so glad I could send that planner your way! I felt terrible because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use it, so I’m pleased it went to a good home. Good luck with all your new goals <3

  3. Oh Moana was so wonderful!! I took my daughter and we both loved it. I can’t wait until we can buy it and watch it again!! I like the monthly TBR idea. I may have to add that in somewhere myself. Also I am starting a type of cleaning schedule myself I keep track of in my planner. I found some on Pinterest I liked and hope they work!!

  4. I’ve never gone skiing! My husband loves it so we’ve been thinking about planning a trip soon. I can’t decide if I would want to try it out or sit inside and read by a fire while he goes out for the actual skiing part! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the last season of The OC. I too had been really nervous about it but I ended up loving it. I kinda want to do a rewatch of the series! My last one was a couple of years ago. And I still have to see Moana! I’m sad it’s not in theaters near me anymore but I’m planning on buying it as soon as it comes out since Lin did some of the music and I’m sure I’ll love it! And ahhh thank you for including not one but two of my posts in your list<3!!!!! I can't wait to read about your morning routine!!!

  5. I’m so happy to hear you loved Moana and are obsessed with the soundtrack as well. We’ve all been singing the songs in our house. We listen constantly and can’t wait for the DVD release. I draw the line at seeing it twice in the theaters, but Christopher would go again with me in a heartbeat if I’d allow it. ūüôā

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