Lauren Lately | December 2017

Posted December 14, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 9 Comments

header-llBecause 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 ✨



Home for Thanksgiving {Lego meeting, hotel stay} | Even though the last recap was basically right after we came home at the end of October / early November, we had to come home again a few weeks later for Thanksgiving. We really didn’t do anything in between the two trips home, honestly. So! We we were able to come home a few days before Thanksgiving to go to our Lego club’s holiday meeting, which was a blast. We got sooo much free Lego. That night, we actually got a hotel room in a little CT town that we’re considering living in after we leave Maine. We enjoyed a nice dinner out and walking around in the rain, then ended our night in the hotel by the fire with drinks. We did some exploring the next day before heading to my dad’s house for football. I worked in the office in the days leading up to Thanksgiving (even though we didn’t get much work done!). I went over to visit my friend Paige on Thanksgiving Day (in between going to my Nana’s house and Chris’s parent’s house – yes we have two meals!) and she asked me to be her Maid of Honor ❤️ I’m very lucky her wedding isn’t until 2019 because I am swamped with other weddings in 2018! hahaha.

Day in Kennebunk | The day after Thanksgiving, bright and early, we came back up to Maine. My dad and his family were at my grandma’s house (30 minutes south of where we live in ME) so we stopped there on our way home. We shopped around the Port and spent the whole day watching college football with them. It was incredibly fun and I feel like I needed that time with my family for sure.


Exploring! | Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been a bit better about getting out of the house! We went down to Saco to try out Rapid Ray’s, a quick service burger place that was pretty damn good. Over a couple of weekends, we went for walks into the city and around our favorite island. We stopped for The Holy Donut on the way to a ski swap (which didn’t lead to any exciting purchases) and realized we really can walk almost anywhere from where we live! I can’t wait to do a better job of that in the warmer months.

Christmas decorations and activities | I love Christmas (not a secret if you’ve ever read this blog in December!) so I wanted to do my best to decorate with limited things. We didn’t bring our ornaments or other decorations up with us so I wanted to get just a few things to hold us over this year. We ended up buying a fake tree (ugh!!!) but it’ll be a good thing in the long run. I’ve always wanted to have a house with two trees (one for just Panthers ornaments) so this one will be useful someday. I did end up buying a mini real tree so I could still enjoy the smell though 🙂

The Disaster Artist and SNOW | We didn’t explore the downtown area too much (I mean we’ve been there before plenty but it was in the summertime), but it was nice to see the Christmas decorations! In any case., we went downtown to the little indie movie theater there, since it was the only one in like a 50 mile radius playing The Disaster Artist. I’ve talked about how important the book/original movie are to me, so clearly I had HIGH expectations for the movie adaptation of the book about the movie…. got it? Hehe. IT WAS PERFECT. I don’t want to talk about it unless you’ve seen the source material (The Room) because I just want people to fully appreciate the “behind-the-scenes” stuff. We went Friday night and spent the rest of the weekend running a few errands (before the snow) and then being lazy during the snow. I think we watched 5-6 Christmas movies or TV episodes over the weekend too 😀


TV Shows & Movies

Check out my HOLIDAY MOVIE post here! That’s basically all I’ve been watching 😉

james franco oh hi mark GIF by A24

The Disaster Artist | As you know, I love bad movies and The Room is one of my all-time favorites. I talked about my experience with the movie, meeting the creator, and then reading The Disaster Artist (a book about the making of the movie.) And now, to make things more complicated, James Franco and Seth Rogan made a movie… about the book… about the movie… So CLEARLY I was absurdly excited. AND IT WAS SO GOOD. I just talked about it above so I won’t repeat anything but UGH YES SO PERFECT.

steve harvey lol GIF by TV Land Classic

Family Feud | So I absolutely hate Steve Harvey but I LOVE this show. It’s obviously something you just thrown on for background noise but Chris and I keep getting into it every night. We like to make fun of dumb answers and try to win ourselves.

paris hilton no GIF

The Simple Life | LOL so I was randomly in the mood to watch this a couple of weeks ago and got Chris addicted with me. Paris and Nicole are seriously so funny, even though their complacency definitely verged on being disrespectful a lot of the time. I can’t wait to keep watching lol.

charlie cox GIF

The Punisher | On to the next Marvel show! I’ve always been intrigued by this character because he’s a villain but not really at the same time? We haven’t been watching a lot of TV lately but this is basically up next for us.

Podcasts & Music

I haven’t been doing much on the podcast front, aside from rotating new episodes in.


Food & Drink


Tropical Smoothie Cafe | We had a random mall employee recommend this restaurant to us and we decided to give it a try… then ended up getting it a total of 3 times in 1-2 weeks. The best thing is that they have this Splenda substitute when they make the smoothies that reduces the calories by half, basically. Their food is pretty good too!

Cookiessss | I’m horrible at baking so I had to buy this mix from Trader Joe’s to feel like I can bake from scratch. I definitely cooked them too long because we made them bigger, so they ended up being too hard. We have to microwave them to eat lol.

Shepards Pie and other cold-weather foods | I love anything with beef and potatoes in the winter and this is my go-to SUPER easy recipe. Here’s how I make mine:

  1. Cook ground beef on the stovetop. Cook mashed potatoes however you like to.
  2. Pour beef in a 9×9 dish. Pour on a can of cream of mushroom soup. Pour in a can of corn (some people do peas or beans – that’s your call. I love corn the most). Mix the soup, corn, and beef together.
  3. Put mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture. Put it in the oven at 350* for about 30-45 minutes, or just when you see liquid start to bubble up on the sides.

Other recommended recipes from the past month: Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks, Mongolian Beef Ramen, Tilapia in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Crack Chicken, Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and Crockpot Shredded Beef. I also made my go-to Meatloaf recipe from Lipton Soup; I will never make a meatloaf without this mix inside!

Purchases & Addictions

Christmas presents and Secret Santas | I haven’t bought anything for myself this month as far as I can remember. I’m feeling decent about my shopping at this point; I just have a few other things to finalize!

2018 Planners – Bookish and Personal | I bought two planners for next year because I’m a turd. I got the Plum Paper Planner for my personal and work-related stuff. I started it for December so I could use it ASAP. I’m probably going to regret it next year when I have to buy another new one in November instead of a normal calendar year (we’ll see how I finagle it – maybe I can just add an extra month to it or something). Time is arbitrary anyways. I also managed to snag one of the Bookish Planners for 2018, which I’m SUPER excited about. I can’t wait to get started with filling it out! I’ll have post in the New Year about these planners too 🙂


Around the Blogosphere

Statistics Survey at Book Addict’s Guide/Andi ABC’sI love this time of year for all the bookish surveys! This one focuses on reading numbers and I love analyzing those.

End of Year Survey at Perpetual Page-TurnerAnd the one that started it all! I’m pumped to have this again in my life and can’t wait to start filling it out.

Planning for a Great Year at Perpetual Page-TurnerI’m not always huge on the whole ~New Year~ attitude unless it comes to bookish goals, but I love Jamie’s ideas here!!

How I’ve Increased my Reading in 2017 at Girl in the PagesI love seeing my girl reading again (especially when I’m the one forcing book series on her hehe) and this was just a fun post to read!

5 Ways to Find Time to Read at So Obsessed WithAnother post about getting reading done, except with a new baby flavor. Hannah vowed to keep reading when she had her son and she shares tips to read no matter how busy you are.

Black Dog Bay Series Review at Girl in the PagesThe series in question that I mentioned above!

The Seasons of Book Blogging at It Starts at MidnightI related to this post so hard. I definitely go through seasons with my reading and blogging.

Books that Become Movies in 2018 at Perpetual Page-TurnerI was already looking forward to quite a few of these adaptations but Jamie brought a lot more to my attention too.

My Favorite True Crime Podcasts at Life with KendalI’ll be honest that I usually skim through true crime podcast recommendation posts… because I’m always convinced I’ve already listened to so many! I have to say that this post was very worthwhile for me because I added two of them (the last two actually) to my to-listen list! I’m super excited.


Since Last Time…

1. Enjoy a nice hike | PASS – We went to Mackworth Island for a quick hike a few weeks ago. It’s great that Chris’s boot is off and we’re able to go on hikes again. Hoping for more soon!

2. Start my Christmas books early | PASS – I started my holiday books pretty early (late November I think). I’m pumped to get more of them done this year as a result.

3. Bring winter things to the apartment and reorganize | PASS – We brought warm clothes and I did a bit of reorganizing to fit our ski stuff around. I forgot some of my holiday sweatshirts so I’m bummed about that, but oh well. We got most of what we needed and acquired more Christmas decorations.

Goals Until Next Time

1. Go for a hike again or ski for the first time | I don’t know how the weather is going to be between now and January 15th, so I wanted to leave this a bit more open. We have the option to hike again once or twice, or hopefully start our ski season in the New Year.

2. Get ahead on my Goodreads challenge | This is a little arbitrary but by January 15th, I want my Goodreads goal to say that I’m ahead by at least one book. I like to kick off the year at top reading speed.

3. Cross off 2 items on my 101 in 10001 list | This post is coming next month but I have a nice list of goals using the Day Zero Project and I want to start cranking through them.

Talk to meeeee! What’s new?

9 responses to “Lauren Lately | December 2017

  1. OMG I was shamefully obsessed with The Simple Life when I was younger and I love that you’re watching it now. I wanted all of their clothes at the time and I definitely thought they were so cool but in retrospect, yeah they were completely disrespectful! And I already told you via insta but I ended up ordering a Plum planner too after being impressed by yours! Mine should *hopefully* be delivered today (after it’s adventures being sorted to the wrong post office). And I love the bookish planner too! Much less work than a bullet journal!

  2. Now I want a burger. I love hikes but we live somewhere where its 110+ degrees all year so we can only hike if we drive to the mountains. I plan to go to colorado next year for our family vacation and I plan to go hiking and spend a lot of time inthe mountains. Happy almost 2018!

  3. Yay for exploring around your town and getting to spend time with family! All of your Christmas-y pictures look so cozy (oh, and your Christmas card came, by the way!). That 2018 bookish planner is everything I didn’t know I needed!!! Adding to my Christmas list ASAP. There’s a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Midtown here in ATL, but I have never been– now I’m gonna have to stop by. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, Lauren! <3

    Madalyn @ Novel Ink recently posted: Weekly Novel Rewind (20)
  4. Rebecca

    Looks like you’ve had a full month so far! I used to love Family Feud and it recently came back after being off air for years, but it doesn’t have quite the same spark. Interested to hear how you go with your goals, using the Day Zero Project. I’ve never heard of it before, I’d love to know more. Any chance you’ll be bring back the Netflix and Books challenge again, if you find another co-host to help run it? No pressure, but I really loved joining in. Happy reading and happy holidays 🙂

  5. Aww thanks for the (double) shout out! And I’m glad you like that I’m reading your recs because I’m always worried I’m harassing you constantly for book recommendations LOL. I can’t wait to see your post on your planners, I ALMOST went with the Plum Planner but decided to go with an Erin Condren again instead (old habits die hard!) My BF and I really want to see the Disaster Artist so I’m glad you enjoyed it! We could not stop laughing and quoting the trailer at each other lol.

    Cristina (Girl in the Pages) recently posted: Girl in the Pages Best of 2017 | Best 2017 Releases I Read

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