Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

1. First world problems: re-acclimating to life after a great vacation. It seems wrong to bitch about it because so many people can't take vacations to begin with, but it is sort of disorienting to return to regular life. Days fly, which is good - I had no idea it was Wednesday yesterday - but things are whirlwind-ish overall, which gives me the spins. Life was much simpler last week.
2. I'm dying for a haircut. I don't typically wish days away, but I cannot wait until that happens next week. My hair is the longest it's ever been and I'm sick of it. I got the urge to karate chop it off of my own head last week. It's got to go. I feel rednecky and unkempt. Michelle Duggar-ish. In just the hair way, no other way, mind.

3. Yesterday Shannon at Brass Honey posted about a 21 Day Challenge relating to your happiness. Click there to check it out and come on back. As I was reading her post, I realized that while I make sure to take the time every single day to say out loud to myself three to five things I'm thankful for, I don't do that here. I fully believe in the importance of acknowledging what you have with gratitude. From now on I'm going to share them in this space and hope that it might prompt you to acknowledge your gratitude daily to yourself or in the comments here. If you don't see it in the body of my posts, check under my signature. It won't always be a pretty picture, but it'll be there nonetheless. Thanks for the inspiration Shannon!

4. I get gel manicures twice a year, for vacation. They hold up so well but I'm dying to get them off when I get home. My nails feel fake and heavy or something. I won't remove them myself because they're a pain in the ass so Monday I ran out to get them done at lunch. New color: zoya Perri, one of my favorites. Yes, I have already been perusing our next vacation in September even though we just got back from this one.
5. My new favorite t-shirt and standard pony tail/ no makeup.

6. It seems right to follow that photo up with this line of questioning - do people know that you marinate meat in a marinade? That while meat is marinating, you can read the ingredients on the bottle of marinade? That meat never marinades and consequently is never marinading? Marinade is the noun. Marinate is the verb.

7. Speaking of, my go-to marinade for chicken thighs has been about a cup of Simply Heinz, a half cup of soy sauce, some vigorous shakes of Worcestershire, about three tablespoons of dijon mustard, about three tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, and a heaping tablespoon of garlic. I add kosher salt and some white pepper, whisk it vigorously, and let the chicken thighs sit in there for about 8 hours. Boom shaka laka. What's your favorite homemade marinade?

8. The Show Us Your Books linkup is on Tuesday. Get ready!
9. Speaking of books, I participated in my first ever book challenge with Kristen, Kay, & Kari and their Literary Ladies Book Club. All books had to be at least 200 pages and you couldn't change the first three categories. Thanks to vacation and a book a day, I'm finished the challenge! Here's what I read:
  • A YA Book - The Pledge, 323 pages 
  • Non US Author - The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 294 pages (Original pick was A Half Forgotten Song and it sucked)
  • A book that was recommended by a blogger - Where They Found Her, 336 pages (original pick was Hopeless, had to shuffle categories)
  • A book that has been on your To Be Read list for a year or more - Bittersweet, 385 pages
  • A book with a kickass female character - Jane Eyre, 507 pages (this was a re-read - I didn't feel comfortable reading a book I haven't read before with a kickass female character - how do I know she's kickass until I read it? I don't. Unless it's part of a series, and I didn't have anything new on that front either.) Jane was a feminist before her time - "I am a free being with an independent will." You are indeed, girlfriend. Go on now. 
  • A book that is or will be a movie or a TV Show - The Pines, 303 pages 
  • A book written by a comedian or celebrity (I changed this category to A Book with a Recurring Character) - Heat Lightening, 338 pages
  • A book with a one word title - Hopeless, 410 pages (Original pick was Fading, couldn't find it at the library)
  • A suspenseful book -  Rough Country, 388 pages (Original pick was Where They Found Her, had to shuffle categories)
  • A book about summer, with summer in the title, or related to summer -  The Summer Wind, 384 pages
10. Ecard of the week

 photo purple_zpse5f7f916.png

Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things


  1. So much good stuff here. You know I can't wait to read all about all that reading you've done in next week's link-up.

    That polish - I like it a lot.

    I've found that I've gotten worse at following grammatical rules. I don't want to get worse, but I have. I wonder if there is a course available anywhere to teach adults a refresher. If not, there needs to be one.

    Gratitude is wonderful. It needs to be shared. Thanks for that reminder. I don't mean to sound like I'm blowing smoke up your ass, but I'm thankful for the handful of bloggers that I enjoy interacting with on a regular basis, I'm thankful for a guy whose baggage works well with mine (got that reminder after reading another blogger's post), and I'm thankful for a group that hosts a rad 4th of July party in Sydney because I'm still experiencing a little bit of a high when I think about it.

  2. I get the first point fully. After our Maldives vacation I had a hangover for 2 weeks. The book challenge sounds fun. I hope I can join too.

  3. I think the only way to get over vacations, is to think about the ones you have coming up so it's totally understandable!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  4. omg i've been on a months-long vacation that i think i will never adjust to going back to work/real life! you read a shit ton of books, that is so awesome! heading to the library today to grab some for vacay next weekend and will see if any of the ones you posted are there.

  5. I was thinking of you earlier in the week, thinking how quiet you were but you're back to work-schmerk this week after a fab holiday. It always sucks ass going back. It's nice to come back, but going back to work is never fun times.

    Positive: the weekend is almost here! Take it easy lady xo

  6. This: I feel rednecky and unkempt. Michelle Duggar-ish.

    I about died laughing this morning.

    Also, my fave marinade is soy sauce, applesauce, a pinch of brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic and Worcestershire.

  7. I am sorry but you could never be Michelle Duggar-ish but that's a funny thought. I use Wish-Bone Zesty Italian dressing and little Frank's Red Hot as my go to marinade for anything, always good! I am correcting everyone all the time, grammar mistakes annoy the crap out of me. Thankful thoughts... I need to do more of that. I really think it brings good karma.

  8. Holy crap - you finished the challenge already?! I've barely started. I felt the same way you did with the kickass female character. I was hesitant to give that title to anyone I hadn't read about before, so I picked a continuation in a series I already like.

    I just switched up my method for tracking gratitude. It used to be 5 things every day I was grateful for and I'd write it in my planner. But I noticed that it's become more of a chore than a time for reflection, so now I'm compiling my favorite one each day in a Google Doc and then at the end of the month I'll reread them and (hopefully) remember all the good stuff. Your #2 is really making lemons into lemonade! Lol, I can tell when I wasn't having a good day because all 5 of my things will be like that, "My shins don't hurt as much as they did yesterday." And so on. :P

  9. Such a good call on the gratitude idea. I should be more mindful, too. Love the grammar lesson. I'm still stuck on peak/peek/pique and wish there could be a massive PSA on that. Please feel free to call out any grammar errors I make; I taught it to high school kids in college so it should be decent but I'm rusty from really writing so infrequently. Excited for Tuesday's book post as I'm watching Wayward Pines and still meh on it so I want to see if the book is better.

  10. I'm done with 6/10 of the reading challenge. But I'm reading other books too so this is a MAJOR victory for me.
    Marinade/marinate drives me nuts. But I do know that, try as I might, I'm not *quite* perfect so I usually let that one go.
    I'm letting my hair growing again...I hate this cycle. I do want it shorter but every time I go to the salon they say, "NO! You have such nice hair" and they just layer it and trim it up.

  11. Coming back from vacation is THE WORST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally went into a depression the Sunday before I had to come back.

    Your nails look fantastic! Keep it on! Get your moneys worth :)

  12. I so knew you'd win that reading challenge!
    LOVE that t shirt. Love it. I need it. (In a tank top, I don't do t shirts)
    I've never done gels but I think that's how I would feel about them. Too fake for me.

  13. I can't believe you are done the reading challenge! I'm half way through my fourth pick. I've been sprinkling in some books that I didn't pick because all of the first three I picked and read were duds.
    Budget Bytes has a pretty good recipe for Greek marinated chicken that I use quite a bit.

  14. You finished the challenge?! And here I was thinking I was doing great after finishing 4 with 3 more on my nightstand.

    I need that shirt in my life. I had Michelle Duggar hair earlier this year. It was terrible. I'm getting close again. So is the child. We need haircuts. Badly.

    I have no interest in gel nail polish. I feel we've discussed this already.

  15. Ok before I get into the actual blog content because I forget to mention this every time. I am in love with the white floral dress in your header. Every time I see it I think "I want that dress!"

    Moving on...

    I hate those first few days when you return from vacation. I always feel a little lost. How was I just relaxing/having fun a day or 2 ago & now I suddenly am expected to return to a normal routine like nothing happened??

    I really love your nail color. I need to change mine. I'm being lazy about it because I had two back to back manicures, which I never do, & I fell in love with how my nails looked done professionally vs how they look when I do them.

    Congrats on finishing that reading challenge!

  16. I'm watching Wayward Pines now and I want to see where they take it. I didn't realize it was based on books until after I had watched too many episodes!! Also I am thankful for AC every day, every hour and every minute!

  17. I've got a happiness project/challenge planned for when Little K starts school, it's on my 40 x 40 list to get it done!

    I wasn't on vacation last week but I feel very off my routine this week what with all the visitors and moving from house to house I did. I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can regroup.

  18. You read so many books!!! Is that the same Bittersweet I reviewed a few weeks ago? I need to know someone else s thoughts on it all! Love that new polish color, so pretty. And I love the things you are thankful for. I too am thankful for black plums. I am in desperate need of a hair cut and color, need to add that to the list of things to schedule!

  19. I love your nail color! I'm getting ready to go on vacation and I'm already dreading coming back... Have a great day!

  20. ha, I love your marina(d)(t)e comment. That's how I feel about affect/effect- one is clearly a verb and one is a noun!

    Yes, the first few days back from vacation are terrifying. After so much anticipation, planning and then fun-having- it's daunting to think that you're right back where you were with all that behind you! It's okay to complain.

    And I'll forever be thankful for plums. Especially those rare but exquisite perfect ones. I don't know if you watch "Modern Family" but they highlighted that with Phil one time and it was pretty funny.

  21. totally agree about getting back into the swing of things after vacation. i feel kind of lost for a few days lol.
    that last ecard is the best.
    i am pretty bad about saying things i am grateful for each day, but i really should. thanks for the inspiration!
    i laughed so hard at the word 'marinading'. it looks so wrong.

  22. Haha love that tshirt! And I definitely know what you mean by re-acclimating to normal life after vacation. I always have a rough time too, especially after being gone for a week or more :-P

  23. a book challenge?! that is awesome! I'm with you on nails done for vacation- they hold up way better even if i hate the way it feels.
    that t-shirt is the best!

  24. Im dealing with #1 right now. Not the most fun first world problem but it always seems to be inevitable.

  25. I know, I always feel like a jerk saying I need recovery time from vacation, but when you're Type A and you suspend life for a few days or a week, there is catch-up that must be done! I hate coming home from any type of trip late on a Sunday because I need time to put all my expenses back in order, unpack, put everything in its proper place, etc. or I won't sleep Sunday night or function on Monday! Oh and also, I LOVE that tee :)

  26. 1. I would shave my head before I let myself look like Michelle Duggar.
    2. Reghan would rather read for 3 hours than play. She is reading 3 years ahead of her age.
    3. I am grateful for my dog, for my family, and for coffee. Bonus - wine!
    4. My favorite marinade is balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh parsley, pepper, pink himalayan salt, and crushed ginger.
    5. vis-a-vis nothing at all, I just bought a loaf of artichoke bread. Just thought I'd mention it.

  27. I love that you already finished the challenge!!! Yes to getting nails done for vaca. I'm trying to grow my hair back out, cutting it right before all the heat in Florida was a bad idea!

  28. LOL @ marinate/marinade! I'm continually in shock at how long your hair is.

    So you've finished the reading challenge, and I just signed up today.

  29. I am in love with the new nail color! Gorgeous! And I cannot wait for the big book link up, I have read so many good books I can't wait to share!

  30. Also, do some engaged people know that they have a fiancé or a fiancée, not a "finance"?

  31. You are a reading fiend! I love it!!! I really love Shawn Achor's TEDtalk about being happy if you haven't seen it - it's amusing and so so so true. I need to do a better job with my gratitude. My husband is really good at it, but I struggle with it more. I get caught up in all kinds of nonsense. Maybe I need to be like you and hold myself accountable on the blog. I'm so glad you had an awesome trip last week - the pictures really are incredible!

  32. It IS so hard coming back from a vacation, though. I'm also bad about getting back from vacation and jumping in to planning the next one immediately. I browsed flights and trains within Europe today...

  33. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You inspire me all the time so it's nice that I could return the favor :). Have a beautiful day Steph.

  34. Life after vacations are brutal. Love that nail color. I tend to go with bottle marinade but that one sounds really good. You blew through that list like a champ!! I still have 5 more to read to finish.

  35. So happy you finished!!! I don't qualify of course but Ive read most. Im saving the last one!

  36. I love the idea of sharing a few simple things you're thankful for each day. Sometimes it's so much easier to focus on the shitty things in life and forget that there are tons of things to be grateful for. I know I'm guilty of taking things for granted that I really shouldn't!

    I love (and need) that t-shirt. There are so many things I read (especially online) that make me cringe. I get especially annoyed when I find spelling and grammatical errors in a novel. I mean, come on ... How could an editor miss those?

    I'm finishing up my post for the link-up ... It's one of my favorite times of the month! I love the nerdery that goes along with discussing books!

    Congrats on finishing the Literary Ladies challenge! I'm only on my fourth book for the challenge, but I'm chugging right along. I should be finished with it soon.

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