• January 25, 2017

    January Round Up

    OOoooh man.  This month isn’t over yet?  Really?  Still going for about one more week, eh?

    I’m pretty darn over it.

    First of all: the snow.  Good gracious God in heaven, the snow.  This January we’ve broken records with the snow.  Now, I am a mountain girl and totally ok with snow and all that…. But this city of mine ain’t really ready to deal with what Mother Nature is layin’ down!  I actually shoveled the street in front of my house a couple weeks ago.  Yes, you read that right, I shoveled the street.  Frankly, there were no other options besides staying home for all of January.  So. Yeah.

    You’d think with all that snow, I would have had lots of time to read lots of books.  Joke’s on you though, because I was shoveling all that snow in my street instead of reading.  For January, I was only able to just keep up with my book club requirements with A Day of Honey by Annia Ciazadlo and Gulp by Mary Roach.  I enjoyed A Day of Honey, but I really loved Gulp.  She is super provocative and sarcastic – it actually made me think about Jenny Lawson’s books a lot.  Can’t wait to see what the other ladies at book club think about it!

    There were a couple of new (well, new and new to me) shows I have been enjoying.  The first was A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix.  Can I just say that Neil Patrick Harris is a genius?  And that I love him?  It. Is. So. Good.  The second show I’ve been obsessing over is Jane the Virgin, which I never thought I’d say.  Actually, I never thought I’d watch it, let alone love it.  For those skeptics like I once was… just give it a try.  It’s way too complicated to really explain here, but it’s basically an Americanized telenovela with all the drama you’d expect, but also with lots of great humor to balance it out.  Please, just go watch a few episodes, ok?  Ok.

    This month we are also starting up a new D&D campaign, so I’ve been doing some character building.  I’ll be playing a gnome wizard named Moonie Mugglewump and I’m really excited about her!  Think, Luna from Harry Potter mixed with Kvothe from the Kingkiller Chronicles and a bit of Judy Hopps from Zootopia.  Fun, right?  First game is this weekend, so we’ll see how I get back in the swing of it all!

    Aaaand the last thing I have to share with you for January is that I’ve started a Bullet Journal.  I’ll do another more detailed post sometime about bullet journaling, but suffice it to say that I like the layout options and tracking method a lot so far.  I have been enjoying the creative aspects and also use it to help with mindfulness.  I am not a great artist, but there is hope, I think, for me yet!

    So, there you have it.  This was my… interesting… January (sans political issues/concerns/ fears/hopes/whatever because this should be a happy place for me and for anyone out there who is reading).  Here’s hoping that February will have better surprises in store!

  • January 18, 2017

    Hope

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    Hope.  This year – 2017 – I decided that I would focus on hope and make it a priority to stay positive in all the varied aspects of my life.  Since then, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about this post and trying to figure out how to convey all of the things I want to you.  I’ve wracked my brain and started this a hundred times in my head.  But, if I’m being completely honest, I have also been fervently avoiding this post.

    You know how when you ask for courage, life tends to give you all kinds of terrible challenging things to be courageous about?  Or you ask for patience and life presents you with trials that make you feel… not so patient?  That’s kind of how I am feeling right now about hope.  Sometimes I just don’t feel very hopeful.  Sometimes I think it would be better to pull the covers over my eyes and pretend the world doesn’t exist from the comfort of my bed.

    Perhaps that is just it, though.  Perhaps hope (and love and gratitude) is not meant to be a feeling so much as it a choice.  Perhaps hope means dragging yourself out of bed when you’d rather stay hidden.

    In 2011, Michelle Obama addressed a group of young women leaders in South Africa and said “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”  She goes on to say that when people start asking questions and begin having these conversations… these are acts of hope and the ripples grow exponentially outward from there.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that if the world is overwhelming, and you know you can’t solve all of the problems you dearly wish you could; If there seems to be no good or joyful thing to keep you going; If you’re struggling – choose hope.  Choose to crawl out from the protective covers of bed and begin again.  Find a thing that you care about,or a thing that gives you peace and let that be the first stone dropped into the water and watch how the ripples spread.  Your question or thought or passion may ripple so far that you become a source of hope for someone else who needs it.

    In the coming months, I implore you to find your hope and spread it around like wildfire.

  • January 11, 2017

    Books of 2016

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    If you’ve been reading the Bliggity Blog for awhile, you will know that a couple of years ago I challenged myself to read a book with a title from every letter of the alphabet.  Well, 2016 is the year I finally finished the challenge!  The last few letters were:

    E – Every Last Tie by David Kaczynski

    N – Name of the Wind (Kingkiller #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

    R – Reading Lolitta in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

    T – Ten Days in a Mad House by Nellie Bly

    V – Valentine Grey by Sandi Toksvig

    X – X-it by Jane George

    Once the challenge was complete, I kinda went to town with all the books I’ve been hanging on to as well as a bunch of books for book club!  I’ve really enjoyed having a group to read and discuss books with – it’s been really wonderful and I’m tempted to join another (goodness… would I have time?  Maybe a YA lit group?).  Anyway, in the past, I’ve always given a synopsis or review of the books I read, but this year there are just too many.  I enjoyed most of these books, though, and would recommend them all to the right reader!  :)

    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

    You’re Never Weird on the Internet  (Almost) by Felicia Day

    An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Alder

    Push by Sapphire

    Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

    The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

    As Always, Julia edited by Joan Reardon

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

    The Rat Queens

    Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya van Bremzen

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

    Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    Stir by Jessica Fechtor

    I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

    Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

    Buffering by Hannah Hart

    Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

    Currently, I am reading A Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo for book club and it’s been really good.  I’ll continue to keep record and share with you how things are going and what I’m new things I’m finding!  Right  now, I am on track for my goal of reading 30 books in the year before I turn 30!  :)

  • January 4, 2017

    Resolutions

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    Well, friends, we survived the dumpster fire year of 2016!  Pat yourself on the back and wave a banner – you did it!  No matter how bad things got, you stuck it out with me and came out on the other side battered and bruised, but alive.  Good job!  Depending on where you and and what your life philosophies may be, 2017 is either looking really good or really scary for you – but you know what?  We’re gonna survive it (and hopefully thrive in it…) just like we did in 2016.

    Every new year, my husband chooses an overall theme for the year.  I’ve never really done that before, but I think this year deserves a theme: Hope.

    If you’ve been reading my blog in recent months, you will know I went to Hawaii with a dear friend back in October and I learned a lot of things about worldviews and lifestyles.  I learned a lot about the idea of Aloha and it struck me as something very hopeful.  Since then, I’ve been sort of working towards a lot of my resolutions in wishy-washy, nebulous ways, but I want to really make them a priority this year.  I want to make real, concrete change in my mind and my life:

    Be more present
    - Bullet Journal
    - Meditation
    - Less phone/tv time

    Be more grateful
    - 1x per month, do something nice to thank the awesome people in my life
    - Weekly gratitude journal – bullet journal section
    Be less “busy” and more productive
    - Less distractions – tv, Facebook, etc.
    - Set real goals and try to meet them

    Be more open to people and opportunity
    - Check in with friends and family
    - Think outside the box more – try new things

    Be healthy
    - Less sugar
    - More water
    - More exercise

    To me, these things really represent hope.  Being real and grateful, opening myself to the universe and what’s in it, and moving forward with positivity in my heart, mind, and soul.  This will NOT be easy.  It’s not necessarily all things that can be measured, but it’s things that I  know can make a real difference between dumpster fire despair and hope.  Find hope, ya’ll and cling to it for dear life because life is dear.  And YOU are dear.  Take care of yourself this year.  <3