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 ✨
Skiing and winter activities | The weekend after our Vermont trip, we enjoyed some more snow and cold weather activities at home! We went skiing for Chris’s dad’s birthday with his sister and her fiancee. The snow at our place kept us indoors, which we definitely needed! We’ve been hanging around and enjoying books and Chris’s new Switch.
Planetarium, Wolfpack game, and bingo nights | We had a busy stretch of a few days in mid-January. There was a planetarium event where they discussed the upcoming lunar eclipse and taught us a LOT about their history. I’m a huge fan of planetariums so hopefully we come back. The next night, we went to a Hartford Wolfpack hockey game with some friends. I’ve been going to Wednesday night music video bingo every other week with my friend and it’s SO much fun.
Harry Potter high tea and Olde Mystick Village | My friends and I decided a month ago that we HAD to go to the limited time Harry Potter High Tea at Alice in the Village in Mystic. The food was so good and it was super cute! I loved seeing little kids dressed up in their outfits too. We had sandwiches, baked goods, and Harry Potter-themed drinks and candy. We walked around the shopping area afterwards and hung down in Mystic for the day.
Busy Superbowl week/weekend with friends and family | I went to my friend’s house the Thursday before the SB and enjoyed a big takeout meal from a local restaurant. It was so good to catch up with her! Later that week, I had about a million things to do the day before the Superbowl – my friend was hosting a brunchtime jewelry party, my nana came home from the hospital and we were planning a lunch for her, I had to help my friend on some wedding things, AND we planned to go to a friend’s house that night to see it (since they just bought it). PHEW. It was a lot of running around between like 4 different towns and areas of Connecticut, but it was good to get some shit done. I’m not in the mood to discuss the actual SB anymore so bye. We ate leftover SB snacks and dips for two days after and it was kind of delicious, NGL.
Lego Movie 2, dress shopping, and more | We made plans to see the second Lego movie the day after it came out, hoping that a 9:30 PM showing would mean less small children (yes we know it was made for kids). There were literally five other people in the theater; it was glorious. The next day, I went bridesmaid dress shopping with Chris’s sister and tried to figure out the best option for everyone. We loved the first one we tried on and picked it! We grabbed lunch after at Taso’s Eggsellent Adventure, which is somewhere we’ve been wanting to try, and our food was overall not very good at all. We went to WeHa later in the day to get Donut Crazy and Shake Shack, as well as checking the Lego store in the mall. My friend’s sister reached out to me earlier in the week to say that she’d be getting engaged to her boyfriend that weekend, and invited us over to celebrate afterwards as a surprise. We made our way over there Sunday and had fun seeing them.
Bingo and Valentine’s Day | I went to bingo this week again – this time with my newly engaged friend too! It was fun as usual. As for Valentines Day, we don’t care much for this holiday, like many other couples, but we still try to do something new. It’s a good excuse to get out there! The past couple of years we went to see Book of Mormon and went skiing, so we were a little more low-key this year. It was my year to plan something so I spent many hours doing some research and found the best prix fixe menu because we’ve never done that before. Gelston House, about 40 minutes away, offered four courses of food Chris would actually like, so it was a no-brainer! The food was mostly great; the only thing that was meh was the French onion soup. Otherwise, a great, low-key night out!
Siesta Key | Oh man, my favorite terrible crack show is back. I’d been waiting FOREVER because it seemed like they were never even going announce that there was a second season, let alone a release date. I still hate/love everyone just as much as before. I cannot stop watching this; it’s a worse version of Laguna Beach.
Schitt’s Creek | THE NEW SEASON IS HERE. God I love these people *so much* it’s insane. If you’re still sleeping on this show, I’m not sure what to tell you. You’re sincerely missing out.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part | Obviously Chris and I had to go see this immediately when it came out! It was really cute but definitely more kid-oriented than the first one? I feel like the original could appeal widely to adults, kids, Lego fans, and non-Lego fans. This one had more songs and less funny one-liners than the first one. I still enjoyed it very much overall; it was well-done in keeping with the story and the “big reveal” from the first movie.
Royal Rumble | This is my favorite PPV of the year because the concept is just SO fun! You can make wild predictions, hope your favorites win the 30 man/woman match, and expect interesting returns or call-ups. The actual night around the Rumble wasn’t great because we had a birthday dinner for Chris’s dad, which made us start the show 40 minutes late. We then had to drive home after a match or two, which is another 40 minutes. We ended up not being able to watch anything live, which is my favorite part – to react with people online, AND had to be up until 1:30 AM to finish the show. OVERALL, the matches were great and the rumbles were almost as good as last year, so I won’t complain.
The Last Days of August | I was curious about this podcast when it was announced because it seemed like a really complex and often controversial topic. It’s only available on Audible so when I resubscribed for one month to get CROOKED KINGDOM and THE SPIES THAT BIND audiobooks, I figured it’d be the perfect time to give it a listen too. August Ames, a pornstar, was bullied on Twitter for some tweets that were interpreted to be homophobic. Regardless of anyone’s stance on the tweets themselves, the sad result is that she committed suicide immediately after getting the Twitter pile-on. When the podcast host decided to investigate further, as he had recently dove into the industry in another podcast, he found out a LOT more about the life of August (real name Mercedes) and her final days. It was a really fascinated and complicated podcast, about 3.5 hours long, that I would recommend if it interests you.
Post Malone | I don’t know what it is about this man but everyone loves him… including me. People who I didn’t expect to like his music end up loving it. I’ve been addicted to this simple playlist of his songs on Spotify and even got myself Premium again to listen as I please.
90s Love Songs | I really loved this playlist during Valentines week! Bingo night had a love or breakup theme to it, so many of these songs were played the night before too. Just a fun nostalgic playlist by Spotify!
Food & Drink
I had a LOT to report here so I actually made a separate post HERE if you’re curious about some of my recent favorite recipes and other things in the kitchen! [Please note that I’m dumb and this post/link isn’t going to be live until early next week!!]
Clothes on sale | I’ve been trying to be better about tracking clothing purchases and sharing them on the blog but I just never get around to it. I’m not super stylish; I just like sweaters and floral print. Old Navy, Target, and an ex-Lularoe seller (who now sells stuff in her own boutique) have been some of my favorite places to buy clothes. I also started looking for new boutiques on Facebook like hers and have ordered a few things! I don’t want to spend a lot of money on things while I’m still in the process of losing weight but I still need a few things that will work for me!
Makeup | I’ve been REALLY good about not buying as much makeup/skincare lately but I decided to pick up a few things at Christmas Tree Shops when I went there the other week. I replenished my old favorite of the Maybelline Dark Circle Corrector Concealer because it’s the BEST. I’ve been going through some older concealers I have with lighter shades lately because I found that the Too Faced Born This Way that I love so much is just a little too dark for me. I’ve been mixing in the lighter shades to get the right one. I purchased the following new items:
- Essence Colour Correcting Stick: Even though I’ve been sleeping well lately, I’ve noticed that my concealers haven’t been covering up some dark circles. I got this color correcting stick (seems to be discontinued now?? UGH) and love it so far! It really brightens under the eyes and helps with my concealer color issues too.
- Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream: I’ve been wanting to get into eye creams because I’ve noticed some wrinkles underneath that concealer bunches up in. I’m hoping to use this until it runs out and decide on repurchasing, because I tend to write things off too early without giving them a chance to work!
- Loreal True Match Blush: I don’t care much about blush but the Milani Baked Blush is a little too sparkly for me, so I wanted a new shade or brand. I like this one! It’s much more powerful and less subtle than the Milani one, for sure.
Ski bag and boot bag | Chris got me this and tried to get it before we left for our Vermont trip, but of course it arrived a few hours too late! I used them the following weekend when we went out for his dad’s birthday and I really liked it! It’s nice to keep the skis in a bag to avoid getting the car messy and the boot bag is a good size. It can fit everything, including my pants and jacket, if I put the helmet on the outside.
Bullet journal | Sigh. Yes, I got back into this. I was so bad with it the first round simply because it was too much to track daily life and habits, so I ignored it. I bought a new bujo after seeing some of Kristin’s videos about it (linked below) and started filling it out. The difference this time is that I’ll be only doing reading-related things in it! I didn’t get the bookish planner this year so this is a fun, creative way to track book things.
Around the Blogosphere
Staying Current with YA Series and How Do You Decide Which Books to Buy? at Girl in the Pages | Gotta share the love for a couple of Cristina’s posts, as usual! I’ve talked about book-buying on my blog before and I love reading other people’s takes on this subject. She also discussed how hard it is to keep up with YA series because it’s not logical to reread them ALL the time. What other options are there for recapping?!
32 YA Books Releasing in 2019 on my TBR at The Infinite Limits of Love | I’m so excited whenever I see roundup posts like this! I’m constantly looking for new books to add to my list and Nick delivers here.
Stowe, VT Winter Travel Guide at One CrafDIY Girl | I’m always looking for New England travel plans and locations because Chris and I will be taking a lot more weekend trips going forward, as he doesn’t have PTO with his work. We went to Vermont this year but I’m bookmarking for another time when we see more of Stowe!
Bullet Journal Posts
I’m getting back into the idea of having a bujo again, except just for bookish things. I wanted to link a few posts or YouTube videos I found from googling things – both for me to look at later and others to enjoy!
Blossoms and Bullet Journals blog
10 Bullet Journal Spread Ideas for Book Bloggers
Using My Bullet Journal for Books and Blogging
8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal as a Reader & Blogger
VIDEO: 2019 Bullet Journal Setup
Last Month’s Goals & Progress
1. Go to a local event with friends ✔️ We went to the Hartford Wolfpack hockey game in the middle of January, and the following weekend attended the Harry Potter high tea down in Mystic. We’ve been heading out to do new activities with friends and sometimes just each other lately; I love it.
2. Clean, reorganize, and declutter the kitchen ✔️ I took alllll the food out, threw things away, and reorganized our pantry bins in the kitchen. We have everything in perfect spots and I’ve been good about not over-buying OR under-buying at the grocery store. So far, so good.
3. Try 6 new recipes between my Instant Pot and my Crock Pot ✔️ I’m pretty sure I succeeded in this for the most part? I made a couple of new soups and chilis in each of them, plus I learned how to cook frozen chicken for shredding in the Instant Pot. My post with food/recipes will know more than I do off the top of my head.
Goals Until Next Time
1. Ski at least two more times | We went twice in January but screeched to a stop for a little bit. We just haven’t been in the mood for some reason. I have plans to go at the end of the month with a friend but hopefully Chris and I will get out there a couple of times too??
2. Invest in a new purse or organizational method | I’ve talked about this before but I need to get a new purse with pockets for the work week. Chris’s sister also has this wallet that you can attach a chain too and it becomes a crossbody. I want to find some way to combine these ideas? For example: I’ll have big, structured purse that can hold my laptop AND planner for the work week or when I need space. I’ll use the wallet-purse combo as my wallet, and can pull it out and use it as a purse when I need something smaller. I also, in general, want to be better about bringing my planner home instead of leaving it on my desk 24/7.
3. Get rid of old clothes as I acquire new ones | I mentioned earlier with my weight loss that I’ve been slowly acquiring new clothes. I need to also get rid of the ones that are too big for me! I keep hoarding everything because I’m like “oh I can still wear this” even though it’s 2-3 sizes too big now. My plan has been (and this has worked so far!) to get rid of clothes at the end of the season. For example, I have these big sweaters that I’m still wearing even though they’re two sizes too big. When winter is over and I’m not wearing sweaters, I’ll get rid of them, and buy new ones next season once I know my size. I did this for my dresses at the end of summer too so I’m preparing to buy more dresses in a few months now.
The rest of February – thank god! – is pretty low-key. We have been so busy for the last couple of months and it’ll be nice to have more open weekends to do whatever we want. We plan to hit the planetarium on the 28th because they’re doing the solar system show I wanted to see earlier in the month but we postponed. Early March brings a few birthdays around for celebrating but I haven’t given it much thought quite yet. Overall, I’m pumped to be free and clear at the moment!!