Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month.
✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨
August’s visit home and Smackdown Live | I left off my last Lauren Lately with my sister’s visit to Portland and that we were headed home the following day. We had Jen’s (Chris’s sister) grad party at his parents house, which was FULL of delicious food and his family members. We got to relax by the pool that weekend and then I worked in my office for a few days. On our last night home, we went to Smackdown Live in Providence with two of my friends. It was awesome because it was the last show before Summerslam. We watch Baron Corbin make an idiot of himself and it was insane.
Old Orchard Beach | My goal was to soak up the coastal Maine towns/beaches while we still had summertime to enjoy. We made our way down to OOB for a day and LOVED it. I wish we stayed longer or explored into the nightlife, but it was a really cute beach town with lots to do. I hope to go back when the weather is nice!
Jen and Peter’s visit | Chris’s sister and her boyfriend came up for a few days during the week, since Peter had some time off from school between rotations. We mostly hung around, had good food, and went “sightseeing.” We took them to Portland Head Light because Jen never went there when she lived here. We also tried the bar down the street, which she had been to, and had delicious nachos. We watched movies and really just relaxed for a few days!
Weekend trip to Boothbay Harbor and Freeport | I knew about Boothbay from Sarah’s trip last year and it looked like such a cute spot to check out! It’s only an hour north of us in Portland, so I grabbed a cheap hotel room and we headed up there the next day. I loooooved the cute little town and all its shopping. Good food, beautiful harbor. We also made our way to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which was such a fun place to spend a day and take pictures. We also stopped in Freeport (home of the LL Bean flagship store and the big boot statue) for lunch and shopping on the way back to Portland.
Sebago Lake day trip | See what I mean about exploring southern Maine? We went up to Sebago Lake for a day as well. My stepmom went there as a kid so I somewhat knew what to expect. We decided to go hiking on a land preserve, which was pretty good but mostly in the woods (meh). Then, we grabbed some lunch and hit the beach for a couple of hours. It was a really nice, relaxing day (that ended with amazing ice cream too). I’m curious about the other side of the lake now. We went to the side closest to us (30 minutes away) but there is a lot to do on the other side (an hour away).
Hiking in Freeport and Mackworth Island | On Labor Day, we decided to head up to Freeport (right above Portland) for some more exploring. We went to the Maine Audubon Society for a really scenic hike. There were water, woods, and meadows, so there was plenty to see. After our hike around there, we went to Mackworth Island for a couple of hours, just to lay on the beach one more time this season. We stopped for sushi on the way home and it was pretty gooood.
Birthday weekend in Salem, MA | I’ve always wanted to explore Salem and finally got the opportunity for my birthday. My mom and stepdad met us up there for a day/night away to celebrate my birthday. We did some of the historical museums and tours; we mostly stayed away from the spookier stuff like haunted houses. We also did a Salem ghost tour at night, which was easily the highlight of the day. We had some good food and enjoyed walking around the city all day. The day after my birthday, which is usually a sad day, was awesome because FOOTBALL IS BACK and the Panthers won!
Summerslam | We’re obviously still addicted to wrestling even though it’s hard now that football has started. Football > everything but we’ll definitely have two screens up when we watch MNF (if it isn’t the Panthers playing of course – then just one TV will be on). We watched Summerslam in late August and were sure to (a) eat like it was the Superbowl and (b) dress the part!
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath | I heard about this show and decided to jump right into it with Chris. We’re always fascinated by documentaries about Scientology, so it was a no-brainer. We’re really enjoying it overall but I think he’s getting sick of watching too many episodes, since the stories are similar in each one.
Iron Fist | I didn’t hear great things about this show but I always feel the need to see EVERYTHING related to Marvel, especially since the character is in the next show (The Defenders). We’re slugging through this one very slowly and don’t like it too much, but are determined to finish.
Friday Night Lights | I caught up on all of my other shows I was in the middle of (Total Divas, Total Bellas, and Schitt’s Creek), so I jumped back into FNL. Good timing too, because apparently it’s coming off Netflix in October! I need to crank through the rest of the seasons beforehand. Season 2 is very dramatic and sad, so I hope season 3 is a little less so.
Raven’s Home | We started watching this show on a whim when my sister visited and I’m LOVING IT. I hope more people my age start watching because unlike Girl Meets World, this show stays suuuuuper true to That’s So Raven. Raven is the same goofy person, with similar or the same catchphrases, and always gets into hilarious situations with her kids. I’m serious – this show is good, and not just for the nostalgic reasons. I have a few episodes to watch and catch up, but I loved the first five or so.
We have been REALLY into 80s and 90s movies lately. I don’t even want to highlight all of them here because it’ll take up too much space, but here are some more: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Empire Records, Groundhog Day, Armageddon, and so many more. (Most of these I’d seen before and Chris hadn’t.)
Podcasts & Music
Thin Air | I’m still listening to podcasts while I shower and get ready for the day, so I added a new one to my rotation. I’m still listening to new episodes of The Fall Line, Unconcluded, and Criminal as they come out. I’ve slowed down on My Favorite Murder because after a while the episodes start to grate on my nerves. Anyways, I started listening to Thin Air randomly a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE IT. I’ve been fascinated with people who disappear, never to be seen or heard from again (especially after listening to and completely catching up on Up and Vanished). This podcast is perfect because each episode features a new case where someone essentially vanished and they’re not sure what happened to them. The cases range across history and I love that I’m learning about instances from the 70s then closer to present day then the 50s then the 90s. It gives you an interesting picture of these investigations over time.
Food & Drink
More sheet pan meals | Pretty much any recipe that I can throw on a pan will be created by me these days. I’m so lazy and eager to eat that I just follow the simplest recipes. For instance, I put carrots and olive oil on a pan, then sprinkled cinnamon sugar mix on them, and put it in the oven. The easiest side dish.
Okay because I did this horribly: pic.twitter.com/iNMfBQvJKa
— Lauren (@bookmarklit) September 8, 2017
Apple dessert | We have so many apples and not very many ideas of what to do with them. I don’t have flour or really anything for baking them, so I found a super easy recipe for baking apples and making them nice and sweet. They were so easy and delicious.
Purchases & Addictions
Apple Watch | I got a new toy! I’m loving it so much. I’ve wanted one for a long time and finally decided to treat myself. I love that I don’t have to pull my phone out all the time to check it. Even just basic things like responding to a text while I’m upstairs and my phone is downstairs has become so easy. I’m a big fan of how it tracks activity (compared to the Fitbit), so I’m continuing the weight loss journey a bit.
Around the Blogosphere
My Guest post on GReads! | I wrote a little post about my reading and blogging journey for Ginger’s blog this month. It was fun to talk about how I got here and alllll of the factors that led to me starting a blog. She’s celebrating SEVEN years of blogging and highlighting some other wonderful bloggers throughout the month, so make sure you check out other posts too.
Stuck in the Past @ Girl in the Pages | Cristina and I are always on the same page, so it’s not a surprise that I totally agree with her on this one. We did our A-LIST reread for last week’s feature and she’s generally been in a nostalgic reread mood lately. I feel the same way – I’m dying to reread the GOSSIP GIRL series! I reallllly wish there were audiobooks available because that would be the perfect way to do it. I’m going to check in on my GG collection and see which books I’m missing so maybe I’ll reread later this year.
Since Last Time…
1. Read physical books and bring them home! | PASS | Finally succeeding on this one. I finished the whole A-LIST series and have another book or two to bring home. I think I still reaaally need to make progress on other books I have here, but this is a good start. I’m excited to clear off one whole shelf on my bookshelf to replace with other things.
2. Ride bikes around the cove 1-2 times a week while it’s still nice out | FAIL | We haven’t ridden bikes in a while… whoops! I really want to do it while it’s nice out, but we haven’t been home on the weekends to ride them downtown. I love using them as a means of transportation but we’ve been walking or driving away from Portland lately. We’ll see what happens – maybe we can sneak some rides in when we get home.
3. Find a good trail or two and hike | PASS | Yay! We finally got back into hiking, just in time for fall. Chris’s foot surgery will impact how much we get outside during the month of October, which sucks, but we’ll see how he feels. We hiked around the Sebago Lake area and then Freeport the following weekend. I wish it was easier to hike during the week/after work, but I’m nervous about it getting dark out while we’re there.
Goals Until Next Time
1. Enjoy seeing people while I’m home, but don’t overbook myself | I hate when I schedule too much during my time at home, but it’s so tempting because I’ll be there for over a week this time. We’re coming home tomorrow all the way through the following weekend. I have a lot of people to see while we’re there, but we’re also trying to help Jen out for the week. Chris’s parents are in Vietnam so Jen is taking care of the animals by herself AND she starts her job on the 18th, so this gives her some time to relax from those duties. Plus, we have a wedding on the 22nd.
2. Hike a few more times while we still can | Again, this is a big maybe. Chris’s surgery could impact this because it may be too cold to hike once he’s healed up. We’ll see about the timing of everything. I’d like to explore a couple more places near us in Maine.
3. Plan a fall trip to Vermont or New Hampshire | We’ll be traveling that way for skiing/snowboarding later in the year, but we want to go to Vermont or NH for the leaves changing. Yes, the leaves are gorgeous where we live in CT/ME but we’ve been wanting to get away and try somewhere else then.