Category: Personal / Information / Etc.

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

As usual, a new year brings new planners and spreadsheets! It’s my favorite thing to organize and get settled. I’ve talked in the past QUITE a bit about my planners and spreadsheets (bookish and otherwise) because they change every year AND whenever I’m in the mood to try something new. Here are all the ways I plan to organize my 2019, now that we’re about a month in! Happy Planner As you’ve seen before, I use a physical planner for most of my life and work-related planning. I’ve tried mannnny types over the years and am still continuing to try new ones! This year I’m using a Happy Planner again. The “socialite” one I picked offers many of the things I’m looking for in a planner. I was really looking for something where boxes were customizable in some way. I prefer to label things on my own because my life has a few different elements to incorporate. I don’t have a bookish planner this year, so I knew I’d need a box to track books or blog things. Otherwise, you can see how I organize above. The top box is about bills or things due that day. Box two is a mini to-do list and errands I’ll run during lunch. There are two boxes for AM and PM, in case I have time-specific things to do before, during, and after work. Next is the book box and last is a meal planning box. The top left picture also shows the pen color […]

My TBR Cart

Posted January 11, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 8 Comments
My TBR Cart

Like everyone else in this bookish space, I got a TBR cart in 2018! (I loved reading a few posts by Jamie, Brittany, and Cristina too!) It works really well for me because I have a tendency of tossing library books wherever and running out of shelf space. I also have a shelf for planner-related stuff, since it’s something I’ve finally gotten back into and never had space to store. My desk downstairs in the living room is kind of pointless because even if I work from home on a snow day, I’m more likely to be on the couch or bed. I don’t NEED a designated space really. I do use it sometimes, but it usually becomes an annoying spot for clutter collection (like aforementioned library books and mail). I’m tempted to move it upstairs into the Lego/storage room instead. I digress. TBR Cart Early setup When I got it back in early December, I filled it with some random stuff and a very loose TBR plan. I didn’t have any library books checked out at the time but knew I’d be incorporating them sometime soon. Here’s how I set it up: Top shelf: upcoming holiday book TBR, bin with sticky notes (later bookmarks), Kindle, iPad mini Middle shelf: bags of pens/markers/planner supplies, cup of colored pens, unused bin, book sleeves Bottom shelf: upcoming physical copy TBR (two ARCs and some hardcovers) I figured that my immediate TBR and books I’m currently reading would be on the top (possibly library books), planner […]

2018 End of Year Statistics

Posted December 31, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
2018 End of Year Statistics

I participated in the Statistics Survey in years past (2014, 2015, and 2016), created and hosted by Brittany and Andi, two of my all-time favorite bloggers and friends. They didn’t move forward with hosting it for this year and I decided to make some adjustments to their questions for my own purposes. I always share stats and EOY information at this time anyways, but there are bits and pieces sprinkled in from their survey as well! Monthly Reads and Stats, Book Buying Habits Average book rating for 2018: 3.7 stars Average number of pages per month: 3,504 pages Average books acquired per month: 12.8 books Most books/pages read in a month: January – 14 books (4,765 pages) Least books/pages read in a month: June – 7 books (2,343 pages) These are definitely not surprising to me. I always try to get ahead on my Goodreads challenge in January. Signing up for new reading challenges, participating in Bout of Books, and just being excited for a clean slate of reading? Those things all lead to an increase in January to get me on the right foot. I’m also not surprised about having a low reading month in June. It was super busy. We packed in EVERYTHING we could during our last month in Maine, including a trip home for a wedding AND a trip to California for a wedding/vacation. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of reading done that month, which is why I tried to read a little more […]

2018 End of Year Survey

Posted December 30, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 4 Comments
2018 End of Year Survey

I loved filling out Jamie’s survey in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. This is the 9th time she’s hosted this survey and it’s so fun to see what everyone chooses for the categories. Last year, I didn’t allow myself any duplicates. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum for this survey, but it feels impossible. I’ll need to have a few. To learn more about it and see a blank set of questions, check here! It was so fun to reread my answers for last year, since I copied that survey here to clean out and fill out. Number of Books You Read: 120 Number of Re-Reads: 2 | Number of DNFs: 5 Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary 1. Best Book You Read In 2018? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) See a full list of my “best reads” of the year (5 stars and 4.5 stars) here if you’re curious.     Best of the best: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills Best contemporary: Love a la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm Best non-contemporary: The Wicked King by Holly Black Best adult fiction: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid Best sequel or companion: 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno Best diverse read: Dear Martin by Nic Stone 2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t? My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows just, for me, was not as good as the previous companion. I enjoyed that it followed a […]

Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

Posted December 26, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

I posted my Hallmark Holiday round-up the other day (which I continue to add to after posting, if you care to click the link for an update!), but wanted to do a last-minute movie round-up for everything else watched in 2018. There were some new-to-me movies, the yearly classics, and some I haven’t watched in YEARS. They’re all categorized below and some of the old favorites / new movies have little bits of my thoughts underneath. The tried-and-true yearly favorites don’t need any information! Yearly Watches       My favorite Christmas movie is THE SANTA CLAUSE, and that’s usually my first “real” holiday movie of the season. I don’t really count all of the Hallmark ones I keep on in the background starting in November. My second favorite is CHRISTMAS VACATION because it’s perfect. The others are classics we’ve started to watch each year! New-to-Me (Non-Hallmark) Movies Hallmark movie reviews can be found HERE!   I wanted Chris to watch THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES with me (we failed at that) but knew I’d be watching THE PRINCESS SWITCH alone! I put it on while wrapping presents and folding laundry (fun and exciting stuff) on my favorite day – Christmas Eve Eve. It has the classic switcheroo storyline of two strangers who look alike and decide to swap lives for a period of time. It was definitely a cute one! Haven’t Seen in Years    I had high hopes for this section because I really wanted to watch a lot of rom-com Christmas […]

2018 Favorite Products

Posted December 20, 2018 / Lifestyle, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
2018 Favorite Products

I circled back through my Lauren Lately posts to round up some of my favorite new products, purchases, etc. from 2018. As you’ll see, it’s mostly makeup and healthy/beauty related because that’s where most of my money goes. Sorry, not sorry. [Links will be mostly to where I bought the item, or on Amazon if it makes more sense.] Skincare / Body / Hair Body Anti-Chafe Balm | This was great when I went to NYC for a weekend and walked everywhere! I’m not a city gal and don’t often walk around, but when I visit cities in the summer? This will be my go-to from now on. I love wearing shorts or breezy dresses to keep cool during those months, but walking 20,000+ steps around a city requires some kind of anti-chafing system. This worked well and I didn’t even notice it was there! Keep it in your purse if you have to reapply. Thayer’s Witch Hazel | This stuff just feels so nice on my skin. I learned that witch hazel makes a good toner and this is the one I use during the daytime. It’s light and doesn’t feel like anything, but refreshes my skin. I don’t massage it in with a cotton pad – I just kind of let it absorb and apply the COSRX liquid (below) right after. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer | I know I just talked about these in my last Lauren Lately but they’re both already favorite purchases this year. I love being […]

Holiday Hallmark Movies

Posted December 17, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Holiday Hallmark Movies

I honestly wasn’t into Hallmark movies until last Christmas, when I discovered their wonderfulness and large amount of Candace Cameron Bure. I just recorded some that looked interesting and reviewed them on the blog throughout December. This year, I downloaded the Hallmark Christmas Movie app, pre-planned which new ones I wanted to watch, and recorded a bunch on my Sling DVR as needed. I figured I would toss ALL of them into one post with some quick thoughts (I’m posting this now but will ADD TO IT LATER). They’re listed here in order of me watching them.    Christmas at Pemberly Manor While I’m not a Pride & Prejudice fangirl, I can often appreciate a “retelling” without knowing the source material very well. This was a cute movie overall! I’ve seen that some people don’t like the female lead very much but I’ve liked her over the years (and really only know her from the 90210 reboot I loved). The male lead was decent too. It was a classic story of a girl putting on a Christmas festival and getting the grumpy workaholic to take some time off for loooooove. Christmas Joy This one was super cute. A market researcher is forced to return to her “hometown” after her aunt suffered an ankle injury. She takes over on the annual Cookie Crawl while trying to balance her work AND the cute Christmas-obsessed guy she used to know from high school. I thought the two leads had really good chemistry and […]

Favorite Ornaments + Some Holiday Decorations

Posted December 12, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Favorite Ornaments + Some Holiday Decorations

I’m here today with a simple post highlighting my favorite Christmas ornaments, as well as the overall decor of my house right now. I’ve loved Christmas as long as I can remember and have acquired at least one new ornament every year. My mom has a bunch of mine from childhood – including this HUGE picture frame of me that’s all glittery – packed away because she’s stopped getting trees for some Scrooge-y reason. In any case, all of my ornaments from my dad’s house (literally 100% Panthers ones) have made their way to me. At some point in my life I’ll have a second tree for just them! Without further ado, here are some highlights of my favorite Christmas ornaments and the memories attached to them. Tree & Ornaments We went to a local farmstand to get our tree right after Thanksgiving, and it was a nice way to spend Small Business Saturday! The people there were super friendly and we LOVE the perfect shape of it. Finn and Jake (from Adventure Time), a pizza, one of the Winged Keys from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, an ornament from book pages, an ice cream cone Panthers airplane with Santa, Lego cat, lounging snowman, WWE chair (from TLC set), Finn Balor WWE gingerbread man, homemade Elmo from childhood Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter, Lego Christmas tree, Tinkerbell, Christmas sweater, Kurt Angle WWE gingerbread man, Panthers bell, John Cena WWE gingerbread man Goofy from a trip to Disney, Tweety ornament from childhood, […]

101 Things in 1001 Days Update

101 Things in 1001 Days Update

The Day Zero Project made it on my radar a few years ago when I started following Stephanie’s blog, Not Entirely Perfect. This project is where you make a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days, which is just under 3 years (2¾ years). It’s fun to plan out the goals you think you may have over that time frame because you can mix in easy one with more difficult long-term ones. So, I did make a list at the time and did… somewhat okay… with a lot of the goals. I ended up quitting because the goals weren’t related to my life anymore, with the move and other priorities shifting. When Stephanie posted how to make a 101 in 1001 list, I decided it was time to do it again. I think I’m ready to do it again now that my life is going to be somewhat settled in the near future lol. I started the list on December 1, 2018 so it will end on August 28, 2020. I decided to share my list here with you. Here’s my list on the website if you want to follow me or check in on my progress! Today’s post is the first update to my list with all progress made and immediate goals! 66 not started yet | 9 in progress | 26 completed In Progress Post challenge updates each calendar year during it | I wanted to post each year during the challenge with some of my challenge progress. So far so […]

How We Cut Cable

Posted November 8, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 7 Comments
How We Cut Cable

I’ve had this post drafted for a while (and by “drafted” I mean a post draft with zero body text and just the title of “How We Cut Cable”) – back in October 2017. We cut cable a few years ago and have had zero regrets since. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve wished for regular cable again in the past year or two. I’m here to chat about how we get by without cable! (To be clear: this post is not sponsored by anyone or any service, but the link below has a referral discount I’ll talk about later!) As you can see, we were still able to stream the World Series, football games, and seasonal faves! What we watch We watch the following things live each week: football games (and sometimes other sports, depending on the season) and wrestling. We needed to figure out how to watch the channels that those appear on, because a lot of other shows that we’d watch later can be found on Hulu or on channel-specific apps. Our wrestling shows happen on the USA network (and will also be on Fox in a year or two). Football games happen on CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, and Amazon Prime, depending on the day of the week. Full disclosure: my team is based in North Carolina so I don’t often have the option to watch them on regular TV where I live. My dad has NFL Sunday Ticket, so we will go over […]