Monday, March 27, 2017

Helllooo from Scotland!

Just kidding! How great would that be though...?!


No, I've actually just finished reading Outlander (for Erin's 6.0!), and spent a lot of the springy overcast weekend watching (most of) the first season of the show. So I feel like my mind is kind of still in Scotland.


Le sigh. You guys, I did not expect to be so swept up in this book...

I had the full gamut of emotions. I was smiling, laughing, sobbing, cringing, throughout the whole thing, and I loved every. minute.



Seeing the on-screen adaptation is surprisingly awesome as well. The trailer looked tad cheesy... so I was nervous, but it's actually really well done for the most part!



KC has been watching it with me and I think he's mostly enjoying it as well. He heard me talk about the book... all week... so he knew a lot of the plot, but we've been chatting about it a lot when we're not watching.



^^^ uh yeah ^^^

Also as a bonus, one of my favorite dwarves from The Hobbit (Dwalin) is in Outlander. You guys know how I love the Hobbit... I just love seeing the actor (Graham McTavish) in another role! Makes me want to watch everything he's been in. So much talent!! (also you guys, he's 56 and he's in crazy good shape!)


I don't have a ton to say... because I don't want to give spoilers... other than... if you enjoy action adventure/romance/historical fiction type books you should pick this one up! The size is a bit daunting, but I think you'll really enjoy it!

Tonight we'll probably finish the last few episodes.. and then I'll have to wait to get the next book from the library. :)

Unless the weekend's library book sale gets the better of me... and I end up finding and then buying them all... haha

Have you read these? If so, what did you think? (no spoilers please!!)

What have you been reading lately?!

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, March 24, 2017

Have You Heard? // Warpaint - "New Song"

Happy Friday Friends. I'm still sick, but starting to feel a bit better... hopefully I can breathe through my nose this weekend. #partyhard



Here's a catchy tune for your Friday...



A shout out to all of you sweet ladies and your lovely comment's on Wednesday's post! Thank you so much, it definitely made me feel better to stop "vagueblogging" and to hear your thoughts. You're the best and love this bloggy community! *heart emojis*

What are you guys up to this weekend?!?!

We have a a birthday party for a friend, and other than that it's pretty chill! I'm hoping to finish reading Outlander and maybe start the show with KC. :)

Other Posts This Week: Tale As Old As Time (thoughts on Beauty & the Beast), and Currently / No More Vagueblogging.

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Currently // No More Vagueblogging


Well, I have no post prepared for today... so here's what I'm up to currently... / an explanation behind all that vagueblogging.

Drinking: iced non fat no whip mocha from Starbucks and iced water. Trying hard to drink a lot less soda recently. I think it's going well overall. Also picked up chambord this year, have you guys had this...?! Delicious.

Eating: KC has been making bacon, eggs, and toast some mornings. #spoiled We were making a lot of Irish-y meals last week... and last night we made Chicken Bruschetta Pasta... which is the bomb dot com. (that is from back when KC and I first got married, I had the crazy idea to try 100 new recipes that year... yikes... glad we have revisited this one!)

Watching: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (in season 3, I don't want it to end!!), and New Girl for the bazzilionth time.

Reading: Outlander. *all the blushing emojis* Also reading The Bone Witch. I recently finished Saga (a graphic novel) and I LOVED it. 5 Stars, go pick it up!!! (rated Mature...) Also, I'm not someone who reads a lot of graphic novels yet... so ... I think this is saying something... :)

Listening To: hmm not much. I'm still obsessed with the Chainsmokers X Coldplay song. 1989 has been in the car... but listening to music has been low priority recently.

Feeling (physically): sick. I've got bad allergies or a cold. I can't tell which, but it's not really letting up. :( Currently at that stage where my nose starts running spontaneously. Boo.

Feeling (emotionally): drained.

It's been a doozy of a year so far you guys. I know I vagueblogged you guys forever... so I'll just get it out here quickly...

On the 2nd of January my mom announced that she was leaving AZ and heading back to KS with my younger sister. We weren't given a lot of explanation as to what was going on, or was wrong, or anything like that, she just left. They moved in with my grandma who lives here, and not too long after that my grandma had a serious accident. I mean like, a week after them moving in. She is mostly recovered now, but it's been a lot of care and therapy, etc. Then my uncle (who has some health issues) was admitted to the hospital... and it wasn't looking good for a week or two... but he is also recovering now. (thank goodness to both of those!) All of this was happening while my sister Jess was you know, 9 months pregnant. So we tried our hardest to support who we could, but to prioritize taking care of each other and our own families. That baby being born is the brightest spot in our year, and I hope that things keep looking up now that he's here. So anyhow, my dad came in to town to see the baby a few weeks ago (right before KC's bday week), and he and my mom started working out the details of their divorce. It wasn't a fun weekend for anyone to say the least. It's been a long and complicated few months, but I'm to the point where I just want them to do what they need to do. I'm not sad about it or anything like that, but I'm tired of the stress. Jess and I both want to be there for our parents, but we're their children too. So we're doing our best to step out of it (over and over) and keep taking care of ourselves and each other. The main thing I'm worried about right now is our sister OE, who's going to turn 10 next month. I know this is fairly succinct (no one needs all of the details), it's not meant to be unfeeling, just informational. Believe me... I've had #allthefeels .

So yeah... here's to abolishing major anxiety in 2017, right?

In all seriousness, I'm trying to work through it and take care of myself as much as possible. My anxiety is a big issue without all of these things, so I'm trying to be pretty direct with everyone about my needs right now. It feels selfish sometimes, but I also need to remember that taking care of myself isn't selfish. It's necessary.

This should also be a pretty good indicator of why most of my goals were about stress, self care, making less plans, staying home more, etc. rather than making more and more plans. And yes, this is also why KC and I decided to move and save money so last minute at the beginning of the year.

What have you guys been up to lately?

Anyone been through something like this? 

Always open to more self care ideas...

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tale as old as Time // Beauty and The Beast

Hello everyone! I hope that you had a great weekend!

We started the weekend off right with friends, dinner, a bookstore run, and Beauty & the Beast! I promise not to give any spoilers (though, what could those be...?), here are a few of my thoughts.



Loved:

The way they brought the world to life. I loved the sets, the setting, seeing all of the familiar scenes visually come to life.

I was worried about this, but I thought the way the objects came to life in their characters was well done. I was thinking it might look kind of weird or fake, but it was pretty cool.

The cast, of course! I have a big crush on Luke Evans (at least in the Hobbit movies. hahha)

The new songs!

The part with the book in the library! - cool!!

Belle's inventiveness (teaching the girl to read, clever ways to do laundry, etc.)

La Fou's whole character. He was much more of a character in this version. I thought he was funny and more well-rounded than the cartoon. I also liked his ending! (no spoilers!)

The Snow!!

The credits were really cool... is that weird....? Did anyone else watch them?!

I liked that the Enchantress had more of a role in this version.

Did Not Love:



I think I am the ONLY person this will apply to... but I legitimately did not realize that they were remaking this movie scene-for-scene, song-for-song. I thought it would be like Cinderella. The same story, but with some new scenes or changes, at the very least not a scene-for-scene re-shoot in live action. I didn't HATE it or anything because of that, I was just disappointed. I kept waiting for new things, and there just were not very many. Which also had me a little less pulled into the movie. When I knew what was coming I found myself thinking about how Emma Watson is just sitting at that table smiling at nothing for 3 minutes during Be Our Guest. Etc. I wasn't fully immersed in the movie. I think had I realized ahead of time it would be the same.... it would have been fine. Everyone else seemed in the know... so I guess it's just me! - Oh well! Hopefully I'll get over it in time.

The prince's growl toward the end. Just a wee bit cheesy for me.

"Be Our Guest" in live action, while the same, looked a little bit odd. I realize they were remaking the scene, but a few parts of it looked not very real to me. I kind of wish they'd done something a bit different with it.

What did you guys think?

Have you seen it yet? If not, are you planning to?

Did anyone else not realize it would be the same movie...? (pretty sure I'm 100% alone)


*In order to prep for all the future ones I'm going to make sure I know how similar they are supposed to be ahead of time. LOL.*

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, March 17, 2017

Have You Heard? // Milky Chance - "Cocoon"

Happy Friday Friends! & Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you are doing something fun to celebrate tonight! (even if it's just Bailey's and Leap Year on Netflix).

It's been kind of a busy week here, but not a bad one by any means. I hope you had an ok week too!


Wow, it's March. The weather here has been pretty warm all winter. I'm not really complaining though I do love snow... Anyhow, as a side effect, we've been driving with our windows down a lot. One of my newer favorite songs is this one. It's a bit faster paced than some of their songs from their last album, which I obviously still loved... :) Though you know... it did snow once this week and once the week before. The weather has been extra bi polar this winter.

This video is kinda strange, lol.



Anywhooo, what are you guys up to this weekend?!

Tonight we have a very prolonged dinner/drinks session with friends pre-beauty and the beast. Eep. Not many other things on the docket. Which hopefully means hanging around the house, project life, reading, and Miss Fisher's. KC's parents have started watching too. 

Other Posts This Week: February Reads and KC's Bday Week Recap.

XO,

Alexandra

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

KC's Bday Week Recap! // 2017

Last week was KC's bday week! If you follow me on IG then you've probably seen a bit about it, but I wanted to do a quick recap here on the blog. If you hadn't already noticed... KC made silly faces in almost every photo that I took of him! HAHAH

Monday 3/6

KC has been wanting Spotify premium, but refused to pay for it, for ages. While he ran out to get coffee I sent him a gift card for one month. "to start the week off right."



That night we had to run an errand out-of-town so we did that and then grabbed Baskin Robbins.... because we don't have one here! haha


This was all before we went to see The Fifth Element at Alamo Drafthouse. You guys, I swear they don't pay me to advertise for them... though I would!! (HA) We just love that they play some of our favorite movies on the big screen. This was another "movie party" so we had props (a cap gun, a temporary tattoo of the elements, a book of matches, and a sticker..) In addition to watching a fun movie! This is one of KC's ALL TIME favorites, so I knew that we had to go! I also don't usually feel like watching it, because even though I really like the movie, sci-fi is not my favorite genre. I'm so glad that we went! (as an aside... our state was filled with tornadoes that night, previously the weather man had called it an chance for "frisky storms") - LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOL - understatement.... Some of the state raged in fire and had tornadoes, luckily none touched down near us. It was all calmed down by the time we left the movie near us anyhow.

Tuesday 3/7 - KC's actual bday!

On Tuesdays I'm off work. So I got a bunch of secret groceries for the week, and also the groceries to make pie. This is his favorite cherry pie, so that's what I made.



We had lunch out at a great local pasta place. KC has been getting the sandwiches. He loves that Parks and Rec bit where Tom is shortening everything. "Apps and Zerts" LOL. So he snapped me this:


I gave KC a copy of a fun game called "capital lux", we played it a bit before dinner. Before dinner we also tried out the harnesses we got for the cats. I was surprised... Scali did not like it, but Duchess did... how backwards! We'll try again sometime soon!




KC's mom made his favorite meal, chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. It was delicious as always, and nice to eat as a family.


We then did a little round of D&D. I'd been refusing to play, but figured saying yes would be a good bday week present for KC. He loves coming up with the adventures and the all the details!


We played as a family, it was actually more fun than I thought it would be, and I think KC had a really good time! (which is the most important part! hehe)


We finished the night off with pie and ice cream! :) I also gave him a Mouserat t-shirt ala Parks and Rec. It needed washed, so I figured I'd get it to him early in the week.

Wednesday 3/8






On Wednesday KC usually has D&D guys' night. So, he did that again. We went to Terrebonne, a local Cajun place for dinner. He loves it and I don't usually want to go.. but it was good. Their poutine is amazeballs.

Thursday 3/9



On Thursday KC and I went to grab lunch at his favorite sandwich places, and then after work we went over to our friend Rachel's house to play games and have Chinese with her and her husband and their foster kiddos. It was really fun as we had not seen those friends in a while, so it was really good!

Friday 3/10



KC really likes that movie What If, with Daniel Radcliffe. It's offbeat and funny, so I planned for us to watch that with his parents. If you've seen the movie you'll probably remember the giant "Fool's Gold" sandwich that Elvis was obsessed with. They talk about it a lot in the movie.


It's basically a huge PB&J loaf with bacon on it. It's served hot. KC has wanted to try this ever since he saw the movie. So I figured we'd better share. It actually turned out really well, it was pretty tasty, and I'm glad that we did not have to eat it all on our own! It was a fun night. I gave him another game afterward and we played that. It was one we had played before, but still did not own!

Saturday 3/11 




We basically spent most of Saturday unpacking and cleaning for our Sunday game night. We did take a break to get brunch with my mom and Olivia and also later in the evening to start Miss Fisher's with my in laws. It was fun watching the first episodes again. :) I did give him the last of his games... but sadly we didn't have a chance to try most of them yet. Hopefully this coming week! Of course with severe weather ("frisky storms!") on Monday, we ended up with snow on Saturday. LOL.

Sunday 3/12

We spent part of the day prepping (and making more pie), for KC's Pies and Ties bday party/game night.


tiny bowtie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Sisters with their babies. LOLOL Cat lady for lyfe.

It gave us an opportunity to see some friends, it felt like it had been forever! Jess & Kalor came and brought the baby. In his tiny outfit complete with a tie. :) So cute! We had a great time! Plus I mean... pies!! Our friend Mariah made a bĂȘte noire. It was SO good.

Overall, it was a great bday week! I had a lot of fun treating KC to some of his favorite things and other things that he'd been wanting to try for a while. I'm not sure what my favorite part was, but I'm really glad that I got to spend it with him! :) I think that giving him games without time to play them was not the best choice on my part... but that's ok!

Last thing... here's the throw backiest picture of me and KC. 10 years ago. We had JUST started dating a few months before this. Drink that in. LOL



What did you guys do last weekend? 

How did you spend your favorite birthday?!

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, March 13, 2017

February Reads // Big Triumphs

In January I barely read, but in February I was voracious! I read four books in the first 9 days, (the first three I recapped in my January Reads post). Once I started Where'd You Go Bernadette... my reading plummeted to a screeching halt. To be fair I was also insanely obsessed with Miss Fisher's... and just wasn't reading much. LOL I did finish strong in the reading department. I finally finished Mistborn in the first few days of March, and another book the same day, So I'm including those too! I'm still plugging away on Erin's 6.0 challenge. :)




Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

4.5 Stars - I recommend this if you enjoy fantasy and adventure reads or kickass female characters. Also, if you're in it for a series.... because there are more books! This book borders YA and high fantasy, so there's a lot of plot, you won't be bored!

Celaena Sardothien is the deadliest assassin in Erilea. When the prince and the captain of the royal guard pluck her from her enslavement in the salt mines, she's made an offer she cannot refuse. She'll compete against 23 other competitors (assassins, warriors, thieves, etc.) to win the title of the King's Champion assassin. If she wins, she'll serve him for 4 years (and then be free), if she loses, she's sent back to the salt mines. Along the way she'll make friends and enemies, discover truths of the land's ancient past, and learn of a dark threat - that's killing off her opponents one by one.

I've obviously heard a ton about this book. Everyone seems to love Sarah J. Maas's books, and I can't blame them! She writes power-house characters, brutal action scenes, and intriguing worlds so well. It's a good mix of action, high fantasy, and romance. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses before I read this book... and so I was expecting something a bit different, but I wouldn't say I was disappointed by this one, it just wasn't what I imagined. This book takes place in the human world and the plot resides a lot around the castle, the court, and the competition. I imagined there might be more related to a magical plot, but I think that will be coming in later books. Overall I liked Celaena. I liked that she was confident and totally bad ass. Occasionally she'd get kind of girly (very interested in dresses, etc...), I didn't mind it, but it started reminding me a decent bit of The Selection Series. I guess overall I just wanted her to be super brutal all of the time, is that weird? ha. There's a love triangle here, but it's not over powering. After reading Court though, I did expect a bit more steam... alas. I liked that she made friendships as well as love interests, and I'm excited to see where the magic and relationships go. If you've read it, did you have a (book 1) favorite? (no spoilers from other books, please!) I'm currently team Chaol. *Swoon*

A triumph because I've been meaning to read foreverrrr!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (why no question mark?!)

2 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy family dramas and reading about characters that you love to hate.

This book follows 15 year old Bee's journey as she tries to track down her mother Bernadette. After Bee gets a perfect report card she chooses a prize of a family trip to Antarctica. Bernadette has been worn down by her life in Seattle, and can't stomach it anymore, and leaves. This book is a collection of letters, emails, notes, etc. that are collected by Bee as she tries to track down her mother.

Overall this book was incredibly hard for me to read. I liked the format, and the idea behind the book, but I did not like almost any of the characters. I'm admittedly pretty judgy... but my goodness, these characters were INSIPID AF. Well written certainly, as they were meant to be cringe-worthy.. but oh my! I thought that the format made it a quicker read, and I actually loved the format. I basically just had a hard time sympathizing with most of the characters. About 60% through it picked up and I started to be a bit more grabbed by the plot... and I felt for Bernadette and Elgie more. I loved the last part of the book the most, the setting was really interesting and you get to learn a lot more about Bee. I would have been more interested in the story if it was written from the character's perspectives instead of the little notes I think. I liked Bernadette and Bee's dynamic, and Elgie and Bee's dynamic. I don't know. I think this book is well written. You really get immersed in the upper-class Seattle world... I just hated it.... So I give it a 2 as far as my enjoyment, it was tough to rate because the writing was really good. She makes you hate Seattle and most of the characters. hahah 

A triumph because it was SO difficult to get through for me!

I finished these on March 3rd... but hey, I'm putting it here anyhow! :) 

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

4 - 4.5 Stars - I would recommend if you enjoy fantasy and high fantasy novels. Also if you root for the band of underdogs or the con artists. (think Guardian's of the Galaxy, LOTR, Ocean's movies) This is a thick one, but the world building and magic system are absolutely fantastic. There is a reason that everyone recommends this to you.

This book follows Vin, a street urchin, a skaa (lower born) who is part of thieving crew in The Lord Ruler's lands. In a male dominated world and profession she is used for her abilities and harshly abused. One day Kelsier and his band of colorful friends come to acquire her for their team. They assume there is more to her ability than meets the eye. She quickly gets swept up into the world of Mistborn (allomancers - those who can manipulate metals) and a plot to overthrow The Lord Ruler. Vin learns how to disguise herself as lady Vallette, siphoning gossip and news from court. As the crew makes progress, one question remains, how can they assassinate an immortal ruler?

I was given this book (and the other two in the original trilogy) about 4 years ago. A friend of ours really wanted me/us to read them. I clearly put it off forever, or wasn't in the right mood for quite a while, but once I started I was pretty into it. I was hesitant to read an official high fantasy novel, but I found it really accessible once I got a few chapters in. I unfortunately started this in December and fell off the reading wagon during the holidays. Then I packed it away by accident when we moved... so it took me a while to find and then finish. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, the rag tag band of skilled misfits will remind you of things like guardians of the galaxy or LOTR. However, this book is a lot more than that. I think that Sanderson's capacity for world building is astonishing. He creates a crazy and unique society. The magic (allomancy) is really fascinating and nothing like powers in other books I've read. I highly recommend this if you're looking for an engrossing fantasy read.

A triumph because it had been on my shelf for such a long time, and from a friend to-boot. (spelling?)

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

3.5 - 4 Stars - I recommend if you like fluffy YA, Hamilton, and historical fiction. Though this book is more romantic fiction than it is historical fiction.

This book follows Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler's love story during the American Revolution. Alexander is a well-known man working for General Washington, but he's also a penniless bastard from the Caribbean. Eliza is a wealthy general's daughter. Whip smart, beautiful, and passionate about her country. When Alexander delivers bad news to her family they're off to a rocky start. As the story goes, the two are pulled together by the war.

Overall this book was really cute and fun to read. It took me just a day, and was very fun and fluffy. I enjoyed the first half of the book the most, I felt like it was just a tad weak toward the end. But to be fair, I was also starting to get pretty tired. This book is much more romantic than it is historical, though I did enjoy the historical bits of it. I can't say I'm a history buff, so I always enjoy reading historical fiction for the tid-bits that I don't remember or never knew. I haven't seen Hamilton, but it's not the entire story, and it's fuzzied up a bit. It is YA after all. The beginning reminded me a bit of P&P or something else regency (sassy sisters, mother who wants to marry off daughters, balls, extreme automatic dislike for romantic lead...etc.) Toward the middle and end I felt like Alex and Eliza's characters act or seem a different than they did. And not in a "they changed during growth" way, but in a "they are either pretty wishy-washy or just not that defined..." kind of way. If that makes sense. I basically thought I had a good idea of their characters, and then they felt completely different later in the book. Overall it's pretty cute. So if you're looking for a solid YA romance, check this one out.

**I was given an advance "sneak peek" of this book by Netgalley. I was able to purchase an ARC version of the full text though. :) So my review is based on the full thing ARC edition.

A triumph because finding a paper ARC is like finding a 4 leaf clover!

Currently Reading:



A Fork in the Road edited by James Oseland
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco - HOW GORGEOUS IS THIS COVER?!

Books on Deck:



Here are some of the books I'm hoping to start/finish/re-read soon, and obviously working on Erin's 6.0 challenge too! So far I'm 4/10 or 65 points after Where'd You Go Bernadette.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Dry by Jane Harper 


Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books tomorrow. :) 

Life According to Steph

Glad to have read something, but hoping for much more in the coming months! :) 

What have you been reading? What do you hope to read this year?!


Let's be friends on Goodreads!

XO,

Alexandra

* Asterisks denote titles that I was given advance access to by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Have You Heard? // The Revivalists - "Wish I Knew You"

Happy Friday Friends! I hope that you had a great week! Bday week has been fun so far, I've got something awesome (secret!) planned for tonight, and Sunday is our game night Pies and Ties party. I can't wait!

This song is so much fun. It's got a major disco/throwback vibe to me. Anytime it comes on, KC turns it up and grooves in the driver's seat. :) The music video is pretty cute too!



What do you think?!

What are you up to this weekend?

Unfortunately I can't say what we're up to... because *bdayweeeeeek* (tired of me yet?! :P) other than the game night Sunday. Though I do hope for a bit of downtime for watching Miss Fisher's and reading.

Other Posts This Week: Conquering Dental Anxiety, & Happy Birthday KC.

XO,

Alexandra

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Happy Birthday KC! // 2017

Well friends, today is KC's bday! He is turning 26, and I've got a whole bday week* planned, which I'll have to tell you about later! *secrets* :)



As usual... I have a lot of mushy thoughts... and so I'll try to form some type of post... :) - sometimes I try not to repeat.. but do anyway.

12 Facts about KC
  1. He has the prettiest sea green eyes.
  2. He used to be the pickiest eater. Now he'll eat almost anything!
  3. He has a ton of fun designing D&D adventures for his friends. He's still selling online guides, over $1500 made on just one!
  4. When we first started dating, KC loooooved Bowling for Soup. I kid you not.
  5. He made a playlist that's just for cleaning so he feels super pumped about dishes or an apartment sweep. (it's a good one!)
  6. He has the sharpest and simultaneously most creative mind. He always amazes me with his abilities and new ideas.
  7. He loves a lazy weekend.
  8. He sticks up for what's right. (whether it's reminding young gamers that using "raped" in another context is not something to joke about, or sticking up for equality pre- and post- election.)
  9. He loves Ron Swanson & also bacon. - those go hand in hand, obvs.
  10. He's not concerned with stereotypical gender roles. He'll rock T-swift, he'll take me to see Pride and Prejudice, he'll laugh over cute cat videos, and tiny baby clothes with me. 
  11. The man bun is still going strong... for those who were curious.
  12. Growing up Robin Hood was his favorite Disney Movie.
*if you wonder why we do a bday week for KC's birthday, or if you're thinking... that's excessive and unrealistic. Here's why I do it: 

KC is absolutely the sweetest most selfless human I've ever met. I'm not saying that because he's my husband, I'm saying it because it's true. He'll do things he doesn't want to do when he really doesn't have to. He puts me, his family, his friends, and many others before himself nearly all of the time. He spoils me every day just by being with me. He gives his time and service without thinking. Because he so rarely asks for anything, or to do anything just for himself... I like to make a big deal out of his birthday. It's the only time when I can truly spoil him. I don't expect to make up for it, because he'll keep on being his selfless self... but I like to show him how much I appreciate him once per year. 

Bday week started back in 2012 after we got married. Each day I do something fun for him. It might be a gift, it might be an activity, a meal, etc. It's quite often something that's just his favorite. For example, we go to his favorite restaurants that I don't LOVE. One year I gave him a new board game almost every day. It just depends on the year. :) Some years are "better" than others based on time available, budget, etc. but I do my best to make each bday week enjoyable for him. 

Anyhow, happy birthday my love! I'm so excited to spend another great year with you. I hope that this year is your favorite year yet!

XO,

Alexandra

Monday, March 6, 2017

Conquering Fears // Slowly but Surely

Hello friends! Today I'm getting real about fears and anxiety... read on.


Last week I read Audrey's post about her fear of flying, and how she is taking steps to make flights more manageable and less anxiety-filled. Wow, what is it about people bearing their truths on the internet that makes us feel less alone?! Even though I don't have a fear of flying, I do have a fear of the dentist and reading Audrey's post gave me some encouragement that I desperately needed!

If you've kept up here... you may have seen me move "GO TO THE FREAKING DENTIST" on my 2016 goal list from month to month with no progress. In January (2017), I FINALLY made the appointment that I had been putting off. That in and of itself was a big step for me! Anyhow, I could really relate to Audrey's post... so here's my version.

When you're a kid and you go to the dentist, cavity free teeth win you a prize. If you were like me, you grew up fishing out crummy jumping frogs and bracelets out of a giant tooth each visit you made. Luckily, I was a kid who never needed braces either. So I equated perfect teeth, and perfect reports, with that prize. With being "good". Having good teeth made me a good person.

Late in high school I got my first cavity. I had no dental anxiety at that point in time, so while I wasn't looking forward to getting it filled...  I wasn't scared. Well let's just say the numbing shot was enough to totally freak me out. All of a sudden I could feel the needle, feel the pressure, feel the drilling, even though I couldn't feel the pain. The sensations were way too much for me. When I left, I had a whole new opinion of the dentist.

Around that same time I got my wisdom teeth removed. Nearly everyone has to do this as a teen, and I wasn't that nervous about it either. I went in to get my consultation at the oral surgeon, the turned on a video to "prep me". Images of diagrams, teeth, etc. etc. flashed before me, and I didn't even know it... but I was crying. They made me stop mid-way through, which is fine I guess. But what a weird response, right?! I didn't even know that I was doing it. It wasn't anything particular, it was just the video as a whole. During my operation I started to come-to during the procedure. I didn't feel any pain, but I did feel the pressure and motion at least for a second. It was so unsettling! I don't think you're supposed to wake up...! My recovery was fine, no issues, no pocket things, no vomiting, etc. I was eating a turkey sandwich just a few days later.

In college my mom kept us going to our childhood dentist. It was about 30-40 minutes from where I was living. Half way through college we stopped going together as a group. The scheduling was too hard. I was supposed to find a dentist where I was living... but I didn't. I think the insurance was confusing, my dad was changing jobs (and insurance) several times during my college years, so I just never did it. I couldn't keep up with the changes, and never made it enough of a priority... though I definitely should have.

After college, I made an appointment with a recommended dentist. Very gentle, very nice, etc. I went in and she reminded me of Mrs. Kim from GG. She was very stern and made me feel awful from the get-go. I instantly felt the reversal of the good teeth = good kid / good person feeling I had. I felt like an awful person... even though your teeth have nothing to do with your character. To top it off, the week before this exam, my IUD (which had recently been inserted) fell out of place, and then had to be removed. (which was another ordeal...) So when they asked, "Is there a possibility you are pregnant?" - I had to say yes. Mrs. Kim did not seem to understand why this situation had occurred, or why I wouldn't know. In addition there were 2-3 other hygienists in there as well, in on the conversation. I did my initial appointment and then I never went back.

Fast forward to now... I've got a new dentist. I told them about my anxiety, and did my initial appointment. They didn't make me feel bad at all, which is great but I still had some anxiety. Now I've got to go back for a normal cleaning (which I'm not worried about) and (some) host of other appointments for cavities and even a root canal. :( It's going to cost tons of money, and my anxiety about it is just as high as it was before. I'm going to make myself do it (of course), while I have the momentum... but I'm very much dreading the experience.

Any tips for keeping calm during dental procedures?!?! - please share!!

Things I'm thinking so far:
  • Headphones in with a soothing playlist
  • Possibly a weighted blanket or the x-ray blanket... (I've read that weighted blankets help with general anxiety)
  • Putting it first thing in the morning so I can get it over with and not have any food/drink beforehand
  • Some type of calming mantra
  • Taking comfort in preventative measures I'm taking around reducing future dental issues, and tracking those in my habit tracker (brushing TWICE a day, flossing daily, using a prescription (extra fluoride) toothpaste in the evenings, cleanings every 6 months, researching healthier caffeine sources)
Please share your thoughts, experiences, anxieties in the comments. (if you want)

I feel like even though your fear and mine may not be the same, we can relate to each other on dealing with them! Another post that was similar to this was Lauren's post on driving anxiety. Which I do have a bit of.

Thanks for reading & in advance for the ideas and support!

XO,

Alexandra

Friday, March 3, 2017

Have You Heard? // The Chainsmokers & Coldplay - "Something Just Like This"

Happy Friday Friends!

It's been kind of a busy week here, but not a bad one by any means. I hope you had an ok week too!


This song was released two weeks ago, and I've started doing that awful FB thing where I "save" everything and then rarely revisit the links... so I forget to listen to new songs.. all of the time. Holy cow! This song is so freaking good. The lyrics are dynamite. - that's not even a cool thing to say... but I don't care. This is my new jam.



Gahhhh! I love it!

Anyhow, what do you guys have planned this weekend?

My dad and grandma are flying in to see everyone and to meet baby Darrick. We'll spend time with them tonight and Sunday. On Saturday KC is doing a MTG tournament with his friends. I'll probably hang out at home and try to read and do some unpacking. I should really do some meal prep... we shall see! :P I am almost done with the first Mistborn book, and now that I have time to read... I'm really into it!

ALSO, NEXT WEEK IS KC'S BDAY WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) 

Other Posts This Week: Mini Mini Scrap AlbumOscar's Dresses 2017, and Two Months In // 2017 Goal Progress.

XO,

Alexandra

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Two Months In // 2017 Goal Progress

Hello everyone, can you believe that it's nearly March?!

I can't. February was weird and it flew by.


I set a bunch of goals I am really excited about for 2017, I had fun actually working toward them in February, as January was kind of one-track mind kind of month!


Goals for February:


1) Finish upacking/storing away items. /get settled in new space.




Check - We did ok and also pitifully at this. We stored away all the empty boxes, we put a lot of packed boxes in the basement to store long-term, and we did empty some of the boxes. I was given a fun little sorting cart from my MIL to store my scrapbook stuff. Seriously... almost everything fit in it... and I'm so freaking excited! We started doing a 28 min clean (the length of KC's playlist) and it really helped us kick it into gear organizing-wise. :) Hopefully we can keep going and be done ASAP! We have people coming over early in March!


2) Send some snail mail




Check - I sent some mail starting with my blogger snail mail exchange with Kelly & Stephanie. It was so fun to write letters back and forth! If you'd like to join let Steph know, she'll add you to our FB page! :) I also sent a few things to friends living out of state. :) An improvement, but I hope to send more things next month!


3) Finish last section of travel mini album, film video for it.




Fail - I didn't do this! But at least my scrapbook stuff is organized now! :) I did share my mini mini album video earlier this week though! :) 


4) Have friends over for a game night!


Check - No, it was busier than we thought it would be for a full on game night (snacks, etc.) ... but we did do a game night with my SIL and her fiance. It was impromptu but fun! :)


5) Meet my sister's baby!! 




Check - Yayyyyy! My sister had her BABY!!! EEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's perfect. See lots of lovey pictures and gushy words in this post... 


6) Plan out KC's bday week!




Check - I did pretty well at this! I got a family dinner + game night planned on his actual bday, and a game night with friends a few days later. There are things in between... because bday WEEK. I can't disclose those though... just in case he reads this! I also got all of his presents and I just need to wrap them! :)


7) Try making egg muffins for breakfasts.


Fail - Nope. I had really good intentions. We have at least 20 eggs right now. LOL 


8) Read 5 Books




Check - I read 5 books in February. I finished Blossom Street Brides, Soulless, Ever the Hunted, Throne of Glass, and Where'd You Go Bernadette. The first one was not great, and Bernadette drove me crazy.... but the others were fast, fun, and fairly gripping. You can read more about some of those here, (I read a ton of these in the first week of Feb, so I threw them into the Dec/Jan post!) and you can read about the others next week!


9) Start learning about Hygge


Fail - Nothing yet...but I did buy a book and get one from Netgalley too.


10) Prep some food for busy day meals


Check - I did fairly well at this with KC's help! We tried to take it easy and make some dinners that didn't take a ton of work. A few rotisserie chickens with potatoes and veggies. Some pasta with veggies..., stir fry, etc. Sandwiches for lunch. I feel like around the second week of the month we got into a better groove with cooking or meal prepping. I hope to continue through the rest of the year.


Total: 7/10 - Very good, I'd say! :) 

Other Updates (aka we're soooo social) LOL:


My friend Juliet was in town from Taiwan! It was great to catch up with her a bit and get some info about her wedding! I'm so excited, and I can't wait until she is back in March for a longer period of time! :) :) 


We saw Pippin (the musical) at a local performing arts center. It was a part of their "broadway" touring program, and the show was great. It's kind of a weird one if you haven't seen it.... but we enjoyed it overall. 


We prepped a ton of freezer food for my sister and her husband. One day = 40+ servings of frozen foods! :) :) We made chili, pulled pork, enchilada casserole, chicken broccoli rice casserole, and a pasta bake. Hopefully that will make life with a newborn a bit easier. :) 


My friend Rachel and I have been doing the preserving challenge via food in jars. January's food was marmalade, you can check out the one we made - here. February was salt preserving. I didn't know what that was... but basically tons of salt = bad environment for bacteria. So you don't have to can/seal/etc. the salt preserved things! We made a soup base (bouillon equivalent) from veggies and you guessed it, salt. Read about that, here. I can't wait to use it. It lasts 4 months in the fridge and a year in the freezer! :) Bring on the soups! + it was super easy! We also made a cilantro citrus salt... which I have no idea how to use... but am looking forward to it! Read about that one, here. haha And by "we" I mean... I zested some lemons and then had to run... and Rachel did all the rest of the work! 




We also had some brunches, meals, etc. with friends. It was my mom's birthday and we baked her a cake from Cake Magic. It was strawberry chocolate. YUM. I still can't figure out why the chocolate cakes turn out drier than the vanilla ones though... thoughts?


We also got invited by my SIL and her fiance to help them beta test a new escape room at Breakout Lawrence. We didn't get out, but damn was the room cool! They ranked it a 9/10 on the toughness level (15% ideal breakout percentage!). We gave a little bit of feedback since it was new, but we think it's an awesome room! It's civil war themed, how cool is that?! It makes me want to go back again!! :)




I tried on and FINALLY ordered a bridesmaid's dress for Juliet's wedding! I was kind of agonizing over which one to get, and the ordering time is extensive and often expensive too. Luckily I tried one on and found out I could order off-the-rack at nordies and just get it altered. Plus the color I wanted was on sale. #winning Eep it's convertible and I cannot wait to wear it! I feel like a mermaid in it... even in the dressing room. hahha But obviously, very much more importantly I'm so excited to watch one of my BFFs get married!




KC and I went to see Moulin Rouge at Alamo Drafthouse. It's such a good movie, but we don't watch it a lot since it's kind of long and sad.... but it's a classic and I'm so glad that we went to see it on the big screen! I don't think I had seen it in at least 7 years...? Oh, it was glorious. Now I just want to be Satine for Halloween... haha Also, I always start out thinking Ewan McGregor is kind of a funny choice.. and then he woos me with his song. LOL It's so great. Elephant Love Medley is a classic KC and me road trip jam. haha Also, I have to say this movie means significantly more as an adult than it did as a teen. If you'd like to read my rambly thoughts and mostly just a lot of photos and GIFs related to Baz Luhrmann movies... then check out this post... 


And I FINALLY went to the dentist like a champ*. I guess they just do the x-rays and exam now when you start a dentist? Anyhow, I have a cleaning scheduled for KC's bday. Awesome. LOL I'm going to have to get some work done... but whatever, I'm just going to make myself do it. If you want to read about my personal journey or dental anxiety, check out this post!


Also, we made another batch of homemade vanilla extract. YUM! :) Check out the SUPER EASY recipe, here.




I also started doing a tiny bit of bullet journal style "habit tracking" this month! I went back and used my planner retroactively... which helped! Turns out, despite the move, I'm not doing too badly. I have definitely noticed that I either read, or I work on creative projects, I don't really do both in a given day. Maybe on a weekend. It's fun so far, and I hope to enjoy it as it evolves. I'd like to mood track too. Does anyone else do bullet journalling of any type?


I also started doing a bit of sketching and playing around with water colors and my aqua pen. It's really such a clever tool that makes water color much more enjoyable for me. I wouldn't say that I'm very good, but I am having fun. I don't usually create things just to enjoy creating them, so it's a nice change! :) I also had to buy some of Jane Davenport's mermaid markers because.. 1) Mermaids, obvs. 2) how gorgeous are these colors?! 3) obsessed with brush pens right now 4) they them at my local Michael's so after a coupon they were  just $25!




We did end up going back to the breakout place and ended up breaking out of the Y2K room. It was super fun. We got out just at the last minute. It's definitely better to do it in bigger groups, but I was proud of us, and it was a fun thing to do with friends! :)

Also, biggest surprise of the month?! Getting $40.48 back from our apartment deposit! What?! We expected to get NOTHING back. Especially since they didn't give us the cleaning sheet until the day we left last minute for work driving to Nebraska. LOL. I'll take it! :P 




We also saw P&P at the Alamo Drafthouse. It was delightful, a "girlie night" so people could swoon and cheer as much as they wanted (a lot...). ha. KC went with my friend Jessica and I and it was fun.

We also started watching Miss Fisher's and we're almost done. It's fabulous as everyone says it is! :P 

Goals for March:


1) See Beauty & the Beast - GAH

2) Read 5 books!
3) Have an epic KC Bday Week!
4) Read at least 2 Netgalley books
5) Bachelorette / Shower plans for Juliet
6) Shower plans for SIL
7) St. Patrick's Soiree?! - last year we did and it was so fun!
8) Read one book from an under-loved genre (2017 goal list)
9) Finish two more months in my 2016 PL album
10) Do one extra workout every Tuesday

How was February for you?


What did you accomplish?


What are your goals for March?



Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for, What's New With You?

What's New With You

XO,


Alexandra


*wayyy too overdue to be considered a champ at this point. But worth mentioning all the same.