Tuesday, January 29, 2019


I know that Dumplin' came out last month, but I feel like it wouldn't be fair not to share about it here. Oh Dumplin'! I ADORED this book. ADORED IT. I was so so so excited when I heard that it was being made into a movie.

I read this back in early 2016, here is my review:

The Movie:

I absolutely loved the movie as well! I felt like it was a lot more centered on her self confidence, and her relationship with her mom than the book was, which was a nice change of pace. The book focuses a little bit more on her romantic relationships. I thought the acting was so well done Jennifer Aniston and Danielle MacDonald had great mother-daughter chemistry. It was so funny, and so heartwarming. I absolutely adored all of her fellow anti-pageant mates too. I looooved Millie, and KC could not stop cracking up over Hannah. I loved all of the Dolly stuff, again! Let's not forget my favorite, Harold Perrineau, who also played Mercutio in Romeo + Juliet. Everything was so over the top and I loved it! :) I had a lot of fun seeing this book come to life on the screen.

I know that some people liked the movie more than others, and that some were disappointed by the movie because they loved the book so much, and that others were disappointed by the book because it wasn't anything like the trailer for the movie. You are my reader friends, what did YOU think?!

For me, enough time passed in between reading and watching that I wasn't too critical about it.

I cannot wait to read Puddin' which I have heard from you guys is just as good (even better, some say!) than Dumplin'! :)

See my thoughts on To All The Boys I've Loved Before & Guernsey too!



PS - I sent this to my grandma for Christmas and she loved it. So much so that she didn't want to "ruin it with the movie". :)

Friday, January 25, 2019

2019 Goals & Word // Let's Do This!

Woohoo! It is 2019! The last few years have been a doozy. Really really. 2018 was definitely the year where I experienced the most positive change and growth. I was able to move from managing my anxiety (and holding on for dear life), to actively working on some new improvements and feeling a little bit of motivation again. I think the last time I felt that way was about 2015. This year, oh this year.. this year I'm feeling so ready to work on so many things and have a lot of fun. I want out of the shell even more. I feel prepared to do it, because I've spent the last few years learning to take care of myself. That is so exciting, friends! (I'm having trouble expressing myself... but I think you get it!)

Personal vs. Common Goals

This year KC and I set some common goals and divided them up first into categories, and then into actionable chunks through the months. The header goals are the main ones, and the little bullets are ideas that we have to carry them out throughout the year. :) In other words... this might look like a massive list... but it's really just an actionable list to be divided up over the next 12 months. This makes the blog post look crazy, but I enjoy knowing how people break down their big goals, and their specific actions toward tackling them, so I wanted to share them anyhow! :) A lot of these are things that I put on my lists year after year and have trouble tackling by myself. I think approaching them as a family will make us more successful, and make it more fun!

So... here are my goals for 2019!

Personal Goals

Word of the Year: 


I really want to grow all of the things. From a flower garden and pollinator friendly yard to better habits, and more diverse experiences.

Personal Goals:

Plant a Garden (flowers, fruit/veggies that we will eat, bee-friendly plants)
Go Kayaking (as much as possible)
Try Family Recipes and Learn Their Stories (probably document it)
More Outdoor Adventures (horseback riding, SUP, camping, hiking, etc.)
Read 60 Books (more fairy tales, more non-fiction, a few classics, a biography)
Feed the Birds!
Make a Hummingbird Cake
Go to the Beach
Settle into our home!
Try a New Pie Recipe

Common Goals:


Things Have A Physical Home
     -Craft/Scrapbook Items
     -Books (build built-ins)
     -Closet Storage (winter clothes x_x)
     -Entertainment System (built in, video games, etc.)
     -Laundry Area (storage, tiny mudroom spot)
     -Kitchen Organization (streamline, creative storage)
     -Pantry Organization

Yard Woes + Low Maintenance Landscape
     -Get Grating Done (Save Money, Schedule)
     -Add Stair Rail to Outdoor Stairs
     -Edge the Sidewalk
     -Repair Fence
     -Landscaping on Hill
     -Wood Pile (cut up into manageable bits, dispose or us)
     -Tree Management (take down more trees? :(, save money, etc.)
     -Hang Up Mailbox
     -Grow a Moonflower Plant on Our Porch
     -Get a Lilac Plant
     -Buy Garden/Lawn Tools
     -Consider our backyard/driveway (garage? shed? patio area/furniture?)

Plan for Home Updates (budget, timeline, wish list, etc.)
     -Living Room Floor
     -Stair Flooring
     -Tile (both bathrooms, laundry room)
     -Back Splash
     -Paint Burgundy Strip of Wall
     -New Stove (gas?)
     -New Dishwasher
     -Furniture (chairs for upstairs, dining chairs, card table, etc.)
     -Hang Things on Walls
     -Light for Landing
     -Basement Storage (shelves, what goes down there, light, etc.)
     -Get "last" of Things from KC's Parent's House
     -Paint Bathroom Sink Cabinet
     -Paint Bedroom Furniture


Take After Dinner Walks
Go Kayaking
Go Hiking
Spend More Time Outdoors


Save Money to Achieve Goals (and determine what those are, how to prioritize, etc.)
     -Meet Twice Per Month About Budget
Reliable and Accurate Budget Plan


Master One Loaf of Bread
Add 5-10 New Reliable Recipes to Our Go-To List
     -Go to Aldi
     -Try a Few New Recipes Each Month (both choose!)


Have a Kitchen Garden (use it)
     -Get Tools
     -Plan What To Grow (how much, map it out, planting schedule, etc. etc.)
     -Learn Maintenance, Skills, etc.
     -Grow Flowers (which, where, etc. etc.)
Learn to Meal Plan (in some capacity) by End of Year
Have Cleaning Schedule (light) by End of Year
Keep Social Calendar Manageable
     -Set Off Limits Days (no plans!)
     -Set Scheduled Days (to do an actual thing together)
     -Meet Every Sunday about Social Calendar (for upcoming week)
Focus on Our Marriage
     -Go On Two Dates Per Month
     -Enjoy More Everyday Together Activities (walks, cooking dinner, baking, playing games) vs. sitting and reading/playing video games. :)


Make Plans for Europe (even if it's a 2020 or 2021 type of trip)
Volunteer/Give Back
Go to Hawaii
Go to the Beach (could be in Hawaii)

Because I think it's fun to look back... here are my goals from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012!

What are your goals for this year? If you have a post, send me the link!! I'd love to read it... and get back into blogging and blog reading a bit more regularly this year!!

Do you break up your big goals to make them more actionable or manageable?



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Keep It Together 2019: A Brand New Year!

Hello Friends! What a year it has been so far, it hasn't been that busy... but there also hasn't been time for a lot of blogging! I am excited to post today with Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag for our Keep It Together!

If you are new here, this is our linkup for all things planners, memory keeping, and journaling. Please feel free to join us on the third Thursday of the month with any posts that fall into those categories! :)


Last year I did a bujo, which I liked sometimes, and other times really hated. This year I am back to using a traditional paper planner. I got this one from 1Canoe2, and it is so so pretty! Right now, my planning is fairly light, so we'll see how it goes as the year goes, but it has been nice to have a real planner again! This year I'm using it to track a few goals that KC and I both have, like meeting every Sunday to look over the schedule for the week, and talk budget. :)


December Daily:

I finished my December Daily early in January. It wasn't as much fun to make as I had anticipated, but I am glad I have it to look back on, and really like the pretty items that I got to use.

2018 Goal Documenting:

I left off documenting April 2018. I lost all of my May-August photos, so it took me a while to get motivated to work on tracking down photos from KC's phone or old instagram stories. I got everything printed and documented May. I am working on June right now. That's such a heart breaker because that's where the Cuba and Mexico photos would go. :( :( :(

What's Next?!

via Crate Paper Blog (linked below!)

No idea...! I feel like doing something different this year! However, I need this collection in my life... How gorgeous is it?! Summertime vibes!

Do you have any planning or memory keeping goals for the year?!

Please feel free to linkup with us below! We'd love to see what you are up to!

Make sure to hop on over and see Lauren's post! :)




    An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

December Reads // Just A Few

December was not a reading month for me, but that's ok. I definitely surpassed my reading goal by plenty in 2018. Missed my top books of 2018? Check them out here.

I read the first two books in December, and the last one in January. :) 

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella* - publishes 2/5/19

2.5 - Stars - I might recommend if you like contemporary fiction where many things go wrong, and there is a lot of family drama + a little romance.

Fixie Farr got her nickname because she always needs to fix things. When her mom goes on holiday and leaves her in charge of the family shop AND keeping the family together she doesn't know what to do. Her brother wants to turn their family kitchen shop into an upscale lifestyle store, and her crunchy sister wants to turn it into a yoga studio and spa. The problem is, she can't stand up to them and jeopardize the family. Along the way she meets Seb and saves his computer from damage and gains and IOU from him.

I was looking for a cute and fluffy read, so I picked up this Kinsella novel. I've never read Kinsella, but I was hoping to find a new favorite author. Right off the bat I was so frustrated with so many of these characters. Fixie lets everyone walk all over her, her brother is an asshole, her sister is self-centered, and her love interest is a total douche nozzle. The cuteness of the IOU doesn't even come very much into play until about 50% into the book. Then it doesn't take long for everything to go crumbling. I don't know, I guess I'm just not the kind of person who enjoys books where everything goes wrong all of the time. There were some very funny and very cute parts to this book, in general I liked their family business, but so much of it was focused on the changing of it. I kept waiting for Seb and Fixie to get together. Once they did I felt like their relationship was confusing, and so were their motivations. HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER: He goes back to his ex?!!?! Their relationship was so anticlimactic that I wasn't even excited when they got back together. I did end up liking the ending, but getting there was painful.

The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork*

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy re-imaginings of fairy tales.

When Clara receives a nutcracker for Christmas along with a book of his adventures, she is pulled into the story and into his world. She must help the nutcracker prince to beat his mysterious enemy who has turned his army to toy soldiers, and all of the children of the kingdom as well. Clara and Nutcracker must battle rats at every turn, and figure out who the enemy is, and how to beat him at his own musical

First thing to know. I am obsessed with The Nutcracker. When this book came out, I knew that I needed to read it! I loved how the tale was reshaped into a story of a young ruler trying to save his kingdom, and a young pianist finding her talent. I thought that the world was extremely vivid. I liked to imagine this fairy tale land filled with snow, candy, and glass-spired buildings. While I am never super fond of killing off creatures that aren't sentient, they did seem to have quite the (massive-sized) rat infestation, and the lead villain was relatively interesting. I was impressed by the magic of music in this book, and the author's knowledge of music and composition. My favorite thing about this book was probably being swept up in the world and beautiful descriptions. I didn't like that Clara's motivation for a lot of the book was her love interest, but at least she grew, acknowledged it, and it became healthier at the end. As an aside... soooo many onomatopoeia. So many. x_x

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

3.5 Stars - I might recommend if you enjoy contemporary romance.

Hannah Wells is one of the few people passing her philosophy course. When the most popular hockey player at her university asks for her help studying for the re-take, she reluctantly says yes. Garrett Graham needs to pass philosophy to continue playing hockey, and will even pretend to date Hannah if that's what it takes. As Hannah tutors Garret, a major pain in the ass, she realizes that he's not as shallow as he seems. Shockingly, he might be just her type.

Overall this book was a quick read, and pretty steamy. However, it definitely wasn't a new favorite. I found it to be a little too young for me, it was very college-y. I couldn't quite get into the college hockey or music scene, the partying, or the "dude" relationships. Admittedly, I couldn't really relate to these characters at all... so I guess that's not surprising. I did appreciate that they were dealing with some issues outside of college, and that that shaped some of their angst. However, it was a lot for me. Not sure if I'll continue with the series.

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

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

Let's be friends on Goodreads!



* 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

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018 Goal Review

Hello 2019! I am so glad you're here.

What a year it was! It was filled with intense ups and downs, but a also a lot of joy, awe, and contentedness. Can't ask for more.

2018 Goals:

"Invest" My Love, Money, and Time (see below for more)
Go to the Beach
Treat My Body Better ---???
Watch 12 New (to me) Period Dramas
Eat Advenurously
Read 50 Books
See Family More
Get Warmer Socks
Have Adventures

How it Went:

I did a great job at my word of the year "invest". I was able to use my money toward a world that I want. I shopped for more long-term, high quality, and eco-friendly things when I could. That also meant things like electing to have wind energy in our home, and getting fossilized bamboo as our flooring choice. On a smaller scale I bought a decent coat, birks, and some saltwater sandals that seem to be pretty durable.

We also invested in small local businesses, so many restaurants included! Which I feel great about. I love our little town and it's fun local spots!

I was grateful to get to visit Arkansas, Cuba, Mexico, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island in 2018. While in Mexico, we spent some time at the beach. It was rocky, but really lovely. We saw so many fish! I need to post what I can about these trips soon. Not sure if I can stomach a Cuba/Mexico post without photos. :( :( :(

I am not sure if I treated my body better or not... it feels like a half-pass. On the one hand, I was kinder to myself related to my body, and had fun getting dressed again from time to time. I also started drinking teas for caffeine, which are still sweetened but way less bad for me than a latte or a soda. On the other hand, I took a lot less walks, and didn't eat super healthy. We cooked very little... because moving, etc. etc. KC's job was really horrible until he left in September, but now works in a different city... so we didn't take a lot of walks. We tried kayaking, which was super fun and has inspired me to try that more often as a means of fun exercise! I dunno... what do you think?! hahah

I watched 12 new-to-me period dramas. Most of them were good at least 3 stars. At the top of my list are Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep is hilarious and heartbreaking), Sweet Land (slow and lovely), Little Women (2017) (cinematically beautiful!), and Guernsey (obviously). Absolutely the worst movie I've EVER seen was Diary of  Chambermaid. Blech.

We bought our home in April and have had a lot of fun making it our own. I feel that 2019 will be even more of that type of year as we *really* settle in. :)

We tried a few new restaurants in town, and a few new(er) cuisines (to us). We ended up eating quite  a bit of ramen/neo ramen and a lot of Indian. We also tried some fun new brunch places, and yummy things like lots of lobster rolls, and Cuban food on our travels.

I definitely surpassed my reading goal, by a lot. It was a means of treating and avoiding anxiety in a crazy year. I have no regrets. See my top 26 books of the year, here.

I got to spend more time with my sisters, nephew, mom, and grandma which was really nice. We also made a point to see KC's closeby grandparents every few months. There were a few months where we were super busy, but I feel good about it. It's something I hope to continue in 2019. Lastly, we got to see my grandma and dad a few times from Arizona, AND my extended family a little bit more than in the past few years.

I bought a lot of socks. I bought some at LL Bean, a few pairs of Smart Wool, and got a pair of Bombas for Christmas. My feet are still cold sometimes. But its a step in the right direction, har.

2018 was definitely an adventurous year! Between the adventures in new places and the (perhaps more mundane) ones that come with severe decluttering and buying a home, we learned a lot! One of my favorite adventures was *finally* trying kayaking for my birthday this year! :) I liked all of the adventurous moments both big and small.

Overall 2018 was a great year! I feel like it has laid a wonderful foundation for 2019!

How did 2018 go for you? How did you do on your goals?

Sharing  my 2019 goals and word of the year soon! :)