Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - When it's right the light just comes shining through

Hey. Hi. Hey. I'm tired and didn't feel like doing the typical Thursday Thoughts in which I cuttingly point out the hypocrisy of Mr. Both Sides Have Very Fine People President (where "both sides" are Nazis, one of which ran a woman over and killed her, and Nazi protestors) and his swamp of asskissing traitors go full throttle after three women of color in Congress instead of calling their own racist hateful antisemitic people in like they of all people should be anti-semitism police, so instead here's a 10 list of things I'm loving right now:

1. Birthday Countdown: we're about a month out, people. If you've read here for long, you knew this was coming, as is the month-long celebration. I always buy my own birthday gifts and those are always sneakers or athleisure shoes, nail polish, and books. I have ordered the sneakers and nail polish (going full on Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes this year, so I got four for the price of two OPIs and used a Target gift card so they were free). Still nailing down which books I want, and will use an Amazon gift card so they'll be free too. Free is for me. The sneakers, not free, but only $50 so a win.

2. Shore House Countdown: I try not to think of it when I can't go there. This is the longest I've gone without going to get something or drop something off or check in on the house. MFD has been doing that, my Dad and Carol stopped in in December, and Rich did a drive by last week. I'm feeling the absence of the shore in my life heavily right now. I am officially on overnight temp weather watch and always hoping for an early spring.

3. Dollar Store Bowls: They're the white ones below. The stripes are the final two bowls remaining from my shower in 2009. The ones in the back are the only ones left from World Market expensive ass bowls that all chipped. The Dollar Store bowls are the real MVP. They don't chip. I have them at the shore too.
4. The Bruce and Bender Show: these two are so cute and a riot together, even when they're wreaking havoc or destroying shit. Yesterday MFD reported that they got ramen out of the pantry and ate it in the living room.
5. Radical self love: getting up close and personal with yourself, even the parts you don't like, and loving yourself through it all.
6. A weekend of reading ahead: Well, a weekend of reading is usually ahead, but it's like a group activity this weekend. Are you joining in?

7. The ability to work from home: bless it, very seriously. I worked from home Tuesday and am working from home today.

8. Baked goods from Mom. Last night she dropped off cookies and a pound cake with strawberry icing. I ate all of the cookies and called it dinner.

9. Fake sun and fake massage: Both improve my mood immensely. If you feel any type of way without the sunlight in the winter, I am telling you to get the Sun Touch Plus and park your ass in front of it for a half hour a few times a week. It's a season changer. If you are like me you'll combine that time with your massager and get up off the couch a half hour later feeling like a new person. Don't mind the dog hair, feel the serenity.
Amazon links are affiliate links

10. Ecards.

What are you loving today? 
Aside from should be on your own love it list every day.
If you aren't, what can we do to get you on there?
Holding space in my heart for Parkland students, families, and community today and every day.

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Caught Up in You by 38 Special

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What you can expect in a resort-style trip

Raise your hand if you've spent a lot of time investigating and pricing out vacations you know you're not going to take in the next six months when you need a little escape from the every day? My hand is raised.  I've seen a lot of friends asking for resort recommendations as we sit in the winter months here in the Northeast. I feel you all.

This week I've been dreaming of being footloose and fancy free-dreaming, and doing a little researching. It's no wonder resort trips are becoming more and more popular. There are your typical all-inclusives and then there are total resort-style trips. Those have been on my mind this week: privacy, fantastic amenities, a choice of restaurants/menus for dinner, your own home, and all the decisions on what you want to do. Resorts are specialized leisure where a company has carved out a small oasis in paradise. You have a small community with which you can interact or stay entirely shielded from. Friendly staff are on hand so everything feels within reach. Crucially however, you have your own property to romp around for however long you're there: a lounge, bedroom, bathrooms, garden, beach, and pool in many of them. It's kind of like being a property owner in a wonderful part of the world, so you get a feeling of exclusivity. You choose how you plan your days out, what you want to do and when. You can, of course, do nothing. There’s no rush, you can simply lay back and take it easy but have anything provided for you at a moment's notice.

Total privacy and space
In the usual kind of tropical vacation, you’re in a hotel with many other guests, sharing a swimming pool. Your balcony is next to another  room. If you have the desire to have your own space, you can get it if you go resort-style. Usually however, the properties are fashioned in the style of the country or location. For example, if you’re close to a beach like the Kingfisher Bay resort you’ll have properties that are standalone (doesn't that look like we should get on a plan right now?). You can have something that is entirely private or semi-private. You have your own space so you can sunbathe alone with nary a person in your line of sight. Privacy is the key to these resorts. If you don’t feel like going out, then you have all the appliances you need to cook a meal within your own four walls.

It's all-in and exclusive
Resorts have exclusive items and activities that other holiday companies don’t offer. Resorts have access to a part of the beach that no other person can use and their own planned excursions where trails and activities are exclusive to their list of guests. You can go through parts of the rainforest, desert, or mountainous region that other people are not privy to. Resorts will often have their own style of doing things also, such as providing private chefs upon request. They give their guests their own pools and jacuzzis, as well boats of all kinds to go out into the sea to swim or fish. It's an all-in package that gives you everything you could ask for and that is the definition of exclusive. You’ll do things that other holiday goers around you can’t do even if they offered to pay for it.

Resort holidays are going to keep on captivating the general public. It's very alluring to have your own space, pool, waiting staff, and privacy. It's like you’ve been given a place in paradise that is all yours.

I'm a fan of vacation daydreaming of all sorts: traversing cities, roughing(ish) it in a cross country road trip, cruising, living small and sparse somewhere beautiful, and living large and lovely like a resort-style trip.

Warm and sunny are calling my name.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Show Us Your Books: February 2019

I've spent a lot of time reading recently, and I'm not planning on stopping. If you're in reading mode, join us for a readathon next weekend: read as much or as little as  you want, start whenever on Friday and end whenever Sunday. Check in whenever you want by taking reading pics and tagging us in them on IG or Twitter. We have random prizes. Why not? Everyone is welcome.

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads
*Buy links are affiliate links, cost you nothing to buy through, and benefit the running of this linkup*

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - I wonder what it was like for Angie Thomas to have a complete smash debut novel sit over 100 weeks at the top of the best seller list with The Hate U Give, to let go of her second book out into the world of people with impossible expectations? Whatever it took, I'm glad she did, because Angie Thomas has done it again. The story is good, the writing is good, the point of view just as on point as in The Hate U Give, but the main character in this book, Bri...I adore her. You should read it. Hard cover, owned, pre-ordered from Amazon buy hard cover (only $11.39), buy kindle

Recursion by Blake Crouch - Hot damn. I jumped on this advanced copy as soon as I saw it on Netgalley and I'm glad I did. I loved the story. I love how Blake Crouch can write books based in science and make me feel like I understand them well. Free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out June 11. pre-order kindle / pre-order hard cover

The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Foster #2) by Robert Bryndza - I dig Erika. I do not dig some of the men around her. Philly library paperback buy kindle / buy paperback

Sugar (Sugar Lacey #1) by Bernice L. McFadden - McFadden is a wonderful story teller. I loved the writing. The story was hard and redeeming all in one. Philly library paperback buy kindle / buy paperback

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena - This reminded me a lot of Clue and I couldn't put it down. I love a simple whodunit. Philly library hardback buy kindle/buy hardcover

Crimson Lake (Crimson Lake #1) by Candice Fox - I had a hard time getting into this, but once I was in I was in. I will try another. Philly library hardback buy kindle/buy paperback

Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman - I thoroughly enjoyed the frankness of Frances. I loved all the characters and the glimpse into their worlds. BOTMC, own, mailed on buy kindle/buy paperback

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Wake Up by Catherine Ryan Hyde - I loved the writing, as I did in Take Me With You. The story didn't hit me quite as hard, but it was interesting and a quick read. Philly library paperback

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin - There was a wait for this at the library, meaning this old novel is experiencing a resurgence in popularity likely thanks to the movie. This was good in the way a punch in the gut is good for making you appreciate that you can breathe. Baldwin is a master. Philly library paperback

A Killer's Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery #1) by Mike Omer - The story was pretty good and I liked both Zoe Bentley and Tatum Gray. I'll check out a second in the series. This was a Kindle first read, I never remember that but I know this one was. Amazon kindle e-book, free

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land - Lots and lots of people suck moments in this one. Anyone who doesn't have a grasp of what it's like to live on minimum wage or gig work should read this. We need to understand how people are living. Free e-copy from Netgalley

Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster #3) by Robert Bryndza - A little bit slower than the previous too, but it kicked up a bit. I'll go on with the series even though it means buying the rest on kindle - my library doesn't have them and can't get the e-copies (did you know some publishers don't allow libraries access to their ebooks? I got a load of info from my librarian LOL). Amazon kindle ebook, purchased

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal - A nice story and little peek into Punjabi culture. I loved Nikki. I know it was in the title but I wasn't expecting actual erotic stories in there, I was like oh they're actually doing the erotic stories thing LOL. I'm not great at stories within stories. I loved how this group of women blossomed as the book went on and found support in each other. Philly library hardback

The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene - I felt anxious through quite a few parts, but the good reading anxious not bad real life anxious, the what's going to happen type of anxious. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis - A little slow moving but it sped up in the middle. Mounds of secrets. I loved Olva and Rosemarie, I wish more of them were in the story. Judith was a shit, by design. Free e-copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Book comes out July 19

Grafitti Moon by Cath Crowley - Poetic writing, not a bad story for YA. Heavy, as YA can be. Philly library hardback

Queenie by Candice Carty Williams - Queenie the book was good, Queenie the character I loved, even when she didn’t love herself. I also loved the Corgis minus Cassandra and the grandparents. 
Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was hoping hard to get this one and it didn’t disappoint.

The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent - This was compulsively readable with a huge HUH in there. Can't say more without giving it all away but it was totally not what I was expecting in any way and I can't decide if I think it was a plot cop out or not. Regardless it didn't stop me from devouring the book. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper - I should not have read this book at night. Parts of it are frankly terrifying. If you like horror thriller, you might like this. It was too much for me. I closed my kindle at one point and was rigid with fear. An interesting premise that sort of blew up at the end. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not Worth It

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton - The main character is 400 kinds of crazy. The author pounded that home throughout and it felt repetitive at times, making a portion of it feel like a slog. The link between the past and present felt really tenuous. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

At Briarwood School for Girls by Michael Knight - Barely okay, lots of potential but a lot of disconnect. Likely a case of too much going on. Cut the unnecessary side stories and characters out and this is a much better book. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

No Exit by Taylor Adams - Meh. BOTMC, own, sold

Did Not Finish

What have you been reading? 
Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is March 12, 2019 
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
3. Visit other blogs & talk books

Inlinkz Link Party

Monday, February 11, 2019

TWTW - the one with the February living

Friday I did the shit that’s been piling up: bagged clothes to give away, sorted others for eBay/thread up/poshmark (remember when I said I’d never sell stuff because i had no time or inclination? Me too.), went through my shoes and labeled storage with my trusty label maker, put two loads of laundry away, did a load of towels, painted my nails (Insta-Dri Midnight Drive), wiped down kitchen and baths, ran the dishwasher, and started a book. 
Saturday I set donations out for Vietnam Vets pickup, hit the post office and library, ran a few other errands that ended in a hotdog in the car lunch (freaking delicious), spent a fun and busy afternoon with my niece and nephew in which I even got to wear the crown (thanks Lola Jean!), made dinner, read, did a mask, and some later night food prep. 
Sunday After a 10 hour sleep, I was barricaded in the bedroom with the dogs for two hours while Comcast came to do the internet install so I finished a book and started another, photographed some things to sell, had someone come pick up a chair I sold, made soup, and ate MFD's delicious orange cake. 
Sunday evening was showering, cleaning up the kitchen, packing lunch, showering, reading, watching Cruel Intentions and True Detective. I was up until 1 reading and the book was so scary I had to close my kindle and still my heart LOL. 

Weekly food prep: power breakfast muffins to freeze, breakfast egg muffins with mushrooms, kitchen sink veggie soup for lunches and a dinner. Other dinners are rice and beans.

See you here tomorrow for Show Us Your Books! 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing, but different than the day before

Marveling over the ice floes on the Delaware Tuesday - my brain is at war with my body, one knows that climate change is fucking scary and the other still loves the warmer temps - after a funeral for a truly kick ass lady that I admired and was happy to know through one of my best friends and her family.

Struggling to understand this fucking mess that we saw walking the dogs the other night. Men of fighting age? Are we starting a street war? What the fuck is happening? Also, opium.

Trying to figure out why the F Bender is eating my shoes. He chewed a toms tag right off the other morning before I woke up and realized what was happening.
Photographing dogs sleeping on pillows. Because of course I am.
Realizing there are a lot more lunatics out there who readily believe pro-choice is pro-infanticide than I thought there were. There are facts around late termination of pregnancy, do they know that? Bless their hearts. Also, don't come for me on this. I will cut you completely out of my atmosphere for all of eternity without so much as blinking. It is hard enough on women to make an awful fucking medically necessary decision like that, no one needs your misinformed self out there spouting judgement and bullshit, showing your ass. I will protect the right of people to be free from that in this comment section at least. Some of you all don’t know anyone who has been devastated by this and it shows. Be a fucking human.

Listening to Raspberry Beret by Prince

Reading: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday. Stop by, Jana & I are cooking up something low key fun.

Reminding you how to calculate your age. 

Applying this e-card to the entire week

What's new with you?

Linking up with Kristen

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