Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Book List

As you know, reading is one of my foremost hobbies. I am always reading something, fiction, non-fiction, chick-lit, sci-fi fantasy. For my own record so that I know what I've read, I decided to put together a list of all books read in the past year. Sort of a year end recap, but mainly a list I can refer to if I forget what I've read. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the books, and be sure to check out some of my "From My Bookshelf" series where I recap a lot of good reads through out the year.

1) Shrinkage: Bryan Bishop
2) I Alone Survived: Lauren Elder
3) Big Little Lies: Liane Moriaty
4) Station Eleven: Emily St. John Mandel
5) Paper Towns: John Green
6) Looking for Alaska: John Green
7) Us: David Nicholls
8) Anne of Green Gables: Lucy Maud Montgomery
9) The Last Anniversary: Liane Moriaty
10) How to Build a Girl: Caitlin Moran
11) What Alice Forgot: Liane Moriaty
12) Flat-Out Celeste: Jessica Park
13) Every Fifteen Minutes: Lisa Scottoline
14) A Three Dog Life:  Abigail Thomas
14) A Watershed Year:  Susan Schoneberger
15) Changing Lanes: Kathleen Long
16) Festive in Death: J.D. Robb
17) Fear Nothing: Lisa Gardner
18) The Engagements: J. Courtney Sullivan
19) The Firm: Duff McDonald
20) The Myth of You and Me: Leah Stewart
21) An Abundance of Katherines: John Green
22) The Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins
23) Just One Day: Gayle Forman 
24) Gone Again: Doug Johnstone

Friday, September 18, 2015

it was only a word....

A sweet little love song for your weekend. My local radio station played this last night, and I cannot stop listening.  Happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

around the web in 10 links v1

For what I lack in posting on a regular basis, I am a pretty steady reader of a lot of things the internet has to offer. Found some great links I wanted to share with you this week.

Erin's pencil case souvenir idea, fantastic way to bring something useful home from travels.

Beautiful Feather note cards from minted.

Great early fall layering sweater. Helpful for anyone else who suffers from hot afternoons at a sunny window seat at work. I bought two.

Hating boats gets you blog traffic, who knew?

Is summer really over? Not if I can help it with my new jam.

Joanna's thoughts on single tasking. Is time to put the phone down for an extended period of time?

A DIY I definitely want to do, I might need help though....

Did you know you can freeze delivery pizza? I've started this trick and it's works so well.

A great place to find some staples, and some fun things. My most complimented shoes are a find from here.

I cannot stop listening to these funny ladies, I caught up on a few back episodes while watching people on the beach. I was not laughing at you beach people!

Friday, September 4, 2015

maybe... we'll meet on the high street

Happy September dear readers. It's been a while since I've done a lately post... and I do think they are my favorites to read from all of you. Makes me smile to know what everyone else has been doing, reading, thinking about...

Shall we?

reading: nothing, absolutely nothing. I have a work book club book that I should be finishing, for August book club (not a typo).  Maybe I'll finish over the long weekend.

listening: all the podcasts, yes, all of them. I went down the rabbit hole of podcasts this summer. I had to listen to Serial, which lead me to This America Life, and then well I needed more. I've been getting into The Nerdist, and Lady to Lady.

craving: apple picking. I want to pluck apples off the trees this fall, and drink apple cider.

avoiding: pumpkin spice. I am so over pumpkin spice anything - I always think I want it, but it's a very acquired taste for me.

eating: watermelon, got to get the summer fruit in while it's still around.

dreaming: of another vacation... so many places to think about going.

watching: Hart of Dixie on netflix, and totally over relating to all the characters. I am a bit sad I discovered this gem after it was it was cancelled. It also has some Friday Night Lights alums - Scott Porter and Cress Williams.  

loving: the little kitty girl. Adopting a pet has made me a better person. Molly and I are quite the team, plus she likes to eat my leftovers.

Friday, August 21, 2015

wake up san francisco

Oh look at that, just a little photo montage from my semi-recent travels to the fantastic land of San Francisco.  I was fortunate enough to get to spend almost a full week enjoying the hilly sidewalks and gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge (officially been around it on every single angle now), as well as  a much needed time with some good friends from my old neighborhood from my days in Hoboken. I am already counting down to the next outing.

Friday, August 14, 2015

take it easy

2015 so far has been whirlwind… my little blog space has been on the way back-burner – which has been completely fine with me. I am still enjoying reading so many blogs, but just been a little too occupied with other things to give my blog a little love.   I debate here and there when I should get back to posting, and I continually update my books read list to publish at the end of 2015 (hey bear hey… you can tell there will be at least one post to end 2015!).  One day at a time, maybe a post a week if I feel like it… and if there is no post that’s okay.

P.S. Today is my blog's birthday. It marks four years since I started rambling around the internet.

(quote via flapjackmelody)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ghost Cat

Introducing the newest resident in my apartment, Molly the Ghost Cat. Please welcome her to the family as the first pet of mine who doesn't swim in a bowl of water and doesn't live at my parents' house. So far we seem to get along pretty well given that I do remember to feed and water her and give the appropriate amount of pets.

Friday, May 8, 2015

remembering the good, forgetting the bad

Life handed some me some lemons, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer during the Christmas holidays. I was the one who made the call to take her to the hospital on Christmas Eve. I thought she was suffering from a mild stroke, at the time a very scary thought. An MRI found two glioblastomas, fast growing tumors – which turned a bad diagnosis to a worse one. Doctors’ appointments were made, surgeries scheduled, treatment plans decided. If everything went to plan, there may have been a year. Instead the family got four months from diagnosis to the day she passed away, blissful in sleep.

It’s hard to believe that when I walk into my parents’ house, my mom will not be there to greet me any longer, or to drive me bonkers as mothers tend to do. I will miss picking up the phone just to say hi, or complain about my day. I’ll miss the texts between Mom, my sister and me, where Mom would just ask for more nephew pics (she never could get enough). I’ll miss knowing my biggest fan is always waiting to hear about what I’ve been up to no matter how boring. I will miss her.

Life will continue to adjust to a major change, grief will continue to sneak up at unexpected times, and I’ll make it through.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

would you rather?

Have you ever played the game, would you rather? I remember playing this with many teams through out  college, it's a great way to figure out how people tick. I even think there may have been cards to prompt the discussions, as I remember one very distinct question. I thought it be fun to think of a few questions and post my answers. If you want to play along, please make sure to leave a comment with your post so I can read your answers.

would you rather, sweat cheese or throw up marbles?

Definitely throw up marbles- I don't throw up that often, but sweat happens a lot. Then I wonder, if you chose sweat cheese - would you eat your cheese?

would you rather, have the ability to be invisible or fly?

Hands down fly. Can you imagine the way you could just end up at the beach for the day? No hassle of the airport any more?

would you rather, watch one movie for the rest of your life, or read one book?

Definitely I'd pick watch one movie and then be able to read all the books. Let me read it all please!

would you rather, wear pajamas everywhere or have to wear business attire everywhere?

Business attire. I love some good pajamas but I hate that we live in a culture of under dressing at every turn. Plus who wants to wear pajamas to a wedding?

would you rather, live at Winterfell or live at Hogworts? 

Okay, even for me this is tough - Game of Thrones or Harry Potter? Wouldn't you want both? Though the grown up in me says Winterfell and Jon Snow.  Sorry Harry - maybe some other time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

stephen hawking broke my heart

This past weekend, I finally saw The Theory of Everything, the biography of Jane and Stephen Hawking's marriage. The movie is based on Jane's book (yes, I've added this to my reading list now) Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. Most people are well aware of Stephen Hawking, his genius, as well as his ALS, but I never before truly consider his personal life, or that of his wife. Hands down, I don't think many people are as strong as Jane, she loved man who was told he had two years to live, and chose to stay. And she loved, cared, supported, even in an increasing hard situation, as two years continued into many more. It was devastating to watch Stephen loose his physical abilities - I cannot even imagine how much strength he has to keep on fighting. At so many points in the movie I was crying like the sap I am, but when Stephen told Jane he was taking his caregiver to America, I was heartbroken. Stephen Hawking broken my heart by choosing Elaine over Jane. I forgave him a bit by the end, when he did continue to include Jane in the important places of his life, and reminded her and us about the life they created together

(photo via NY Times)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

from my bookshelf: paper towns

John Green - a legend in his own right for telling some great young adult stories. If you didn't read Fault in Our Stars, you've probably cried your eyes out over the movie. I recently decided to read a few more books by John since sometimes a little young adult literature is just about what I need in my life.  First up on my list was Paper Towns, which is also going to be a movie in the near future (my one rule in life, is to always read the book - even if you see the movie, the book its just amazing). Next door neighbors, where the young man loved the young lady from a far, have a great night of mischief and revenge on classmates, when the next morning she disappears. Told from the point of view of Quentin as he looks for clues about the disappearance of his friend Margo. The question that begs to be asked, is can everyone be found?

All and all I enjoyed this book, definitely a mystery, as well as a story of can you ever truly bring someone back home, who may not want to be found. I will definitely see the movie as I am curious how this will be brought to life.

Monday, March 2, 2015


February was a bust blog wise. Here's to kicking off March with a post... hopefully I'll be a bit more present this month on my space.

dreaming: of spring – 7 feet of snow and counting, and when it gets warm it will take some time to melt. Summer sun is calling my name.

reading: Us: David Nicholls. So far interesting – a marriage story that doesn’t look like a happy ending, but there’s a ways to go before I’ll know what really happens.

watching: Archer on Netflix. I think I love this primarily for Jessica Water and my love of all things Arrested Development. I definitely love the humor on this show – the snark factor.

smelling: my summertime candle – if you can beat winter, you might as well smell like a day at the beach.

needing: a pedicure – winter’s been tough on the old heels. 

wanting: new workout gear, might be time for an upgrade from the raggedy capri pants I've worn for years - I am not sure, but they might be see through 

listening: Ed Sheeran - I am hooked that that voice, I also think I have a thing for gingers - call me Ron Wesley? 

failing: at getting my steps in on fitbit- tell me March will be better?

Friday, February 20, 2015

you sort of set off an eternal winter



Eternal winter for sure around here. I grew up in New England, I even traveled further north for college - so I've seen my fair share of snow in my day. I am calling mercy - I am ready spring - please show up.

Hope you all have a nice snow free weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2015

from my bookshelf

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a world without electricity, no internet, pretty much the brink of survival? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel takes a look at life in the United States and Canada after a world wide pandemic takes out 99% of the world population in a matter of days.  Told with both flashbacks, present day, and multiple characters the author really makes you think about the world as we know it no longer existing. Imagine the impact on those who lived with advances all of a sudden living in a world where you can no longer grocery shop. Also think about those born in a world where things like cars and airplanes seem like made up stories. I highly recommend this book as one for anyone who loves to unplug from being connected, and those really thinking about what happens if our modern day living all goes away.

Friday, February 13, 2015

songs that speak something true

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done
Or what I will become
Who will love me for me
~ JJ Heller

Happy Valentine's Eve - a little ditty about finding someone who will love you for you, which is what everyone deserves. Sending a little love out to all this weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2015

fifty shades uncomfortable...

Oh hiya, so my mother (a lovely 70 year old) is now begging me to take her to see Fifty Shades of Grey. She's obsessed, and no she hasn't read the book. The thought of seeing what I can only assume will be at least partially pornographic film with my mother gives me the heebs. I read the book, and only the first one because I was so uncomfortable - the little prude in me was not like oh yeah I need another fix of this - no thank you. My sister, the good sport, bought Mom the book - she gets that on Wednesday. The premise is you cannot see the movie without reading the book. I can only hope that Mom continues her slow completion rate of books - you know so that the movie can be out of the theater when she finishes the novel - but you know this one she'll probably devour.

Please pray that I am not forced to take Mom to the movies to see this one. I'll watch any British period drama she wants - old ladies and the sea? Sign me up. Fifty Shades of Asking Me Questions about  is this what normal girls do, just say no.

(PS - you get a lovely photo of a grey dog because that's far more enjoyable for me)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

post super bowl musings

I confess that I had hoped to write this post Monday - right after the Super Bowl, however the flu had some other thoughts. I am in that sort of recovered but not really, and really the less food I can eat the better I feel in general about life. Anyways onward and upwards.

I moved out of New England in August of 2007, prior to that year I had never lived anywhere but what I'll call Patriot's nation. At this point I had watched my team (who were my team when things were not good) win three championships - becoming one of those teams everyone loves to hate. Trust me, everyone loves to hate the Pats kind of the same way people love to hate the Yankees. Upon my move, I ended up in Giant's territory - one of the few teams that in most circumstances a Patriots fan could also love - different division, only true place where upsets could happen would be... the Super Bowl.

Well, wouldn't you know, my first football season in a new place, where there's this weird broadcast rule about only playing in market games at certain times, the Patriots had the perfect season until - the New York Giants won the final showdown that year. I watched that game - I know that the Patriots clearly forgot to come to play that day, and well the Giants took them to town.  It was a very sad day for all of us and Tom Brady.

My luck would not change in 2011, when the Giants and the Patriots would meet again in the Super Bowl. It was another heartbreaking loss - but it was when I started to wonder about if it was me who was bringing luck to the home team (as in the home I lived in).

This past season the Patriots started rough... the questioning of Tom Brady's skills were in serious debate as the season started. However, the team got it together and made it to the Super Bowl. I started to question if finally, after moving back to New England the Patriots would finally win the Super Bowl after so many close tries. I watched on Sunday night (more psyched for that Budweiser Puppy commercial) - and as the game ticked down I was certain that the Seahawks were going to make that final score when Malcolm Butler made that interception to win the game. Say what you will, Tom Brady, Gronk, Malcolm Butler - you may have been on the field - but I came home and that's why you won the game.

You're welcome New England - let's do it again!

(image via )

Monday, January 26, 2015


Happy Monday dear readers. I hope you had lovely weekends. I am very excited to do a lately update for you all today. Let's get started:

reading: And I Alone Survived by Lauren Elder.  I finished this all in a single day, very interesting true story of Lauren Elder who survived a small plane crash in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and hiked her way to safety despite some crazy challenges including climbing down a 100 foot dry waterfall.  Definitely worth read (and I'd happily send you my copy if you would like, first one to say yes in the comments it's yours, we'll connect and you'll get the via post).

taking advantage of: winter weather walks. I love crunching through the snow. This weekend Boston got a few inches of snow, making the world look magical. The rumor is a bigger storm is starting tonight, that will bring nearly two feet of snow. 

feeling: lots of blog love this week. I saw through Kristen's blog - Why Girls are Weird, about Authentic Bloggers on Facebook. I love getting to link up with some great real ladies out there. I am enjoying reading lots of new blogs, and hoping that people are enjoying my little space a well.

eating: pralines, my mother loves to send me a big box each year, and then I eat the entire box. They are so good. Glad that the pralines are harder to come by in New England.

planning: starting to think about some time off, I'd really like to head to Amelia Island for a few days this spring, or maybe the west coast. The winter blues might be setting in despite liking the snow.

looking forward to: a visit to a favorite city to see a favorite singer in a favorite venue in a few months.

Friday, January 23, 2015

from my bookshelf

Cancer... its a really scary word. I think everyone gets a little cringy when you hear the word cancer. Someone close to me recently has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, given months to live, even with aggressive treatments. To say life is different now as I switch from work mode, to caretaker mode, doctor appointment attender, etc. is an understatement. However, I do believe that knowledge is power, and the best thing one can do is to become a bit more informed, and feel a little less helpless. A friend, who knows I am a reader, suggested that I pick up Bryan Bishop's Shrinkage about his own brain cancer, was pretty smart. I devoured this book, knowing that not everyone's experiences are the same, but feeling like I had a viewpoint on what the next few months of life will be like while this is tackled for my close someone.  I am sure I'll dive in more once the sting of the news wears off more, and  decide I want to share.

Bryan tackles the tough stuff, while including some humorous thoughts. I definitely found myself going between laughing and crying, but feeling like I know what radiation will be like. I was able to ask about the radiation mask (don't google that, it's really weird and sort of scary), and be informed all because I read.  I am sure the doctors love me and my questions, but this poised me to ask some of the questions that I wouldn't have known to ask.

Monday, January 19, 2015

best sweatshirt ever

I recently purchased this sweatshirt with my Banana Republic birthday reward, and really I should have bought 12 of them. It's so comfortable and soft. Definitely will be worn all the time, all year long. Best part, today you can save 40% with the code BRWEEKEND.

Happy shopping.

Monday, January 12, 2015


My little space of the internet, I'll say it now - even with the best of intentions I think I am going to suffer through 2015 and admit now that I'll never hit a good blogging schedule. It's not that I don't want to blog, there are just a few other things out in the world that require more of my time and energy.

Anyway a little lately post to keep the creative juices flowing:

Listening: Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson's mash up of Taylor Swift's Style and Blank Space - it's so good. I could listen to this all day long. Rumor is Taylor is a fan of this too. It's amazing, do yourself a favor and favorite this now.

Baking: Birthday cupcakes for Mom's birthday. Probably the best looking cupcakes I've ever made, and surprising as I totally had to scrape all the mix out of the cupcake liners back into the bowl because I forgot the water the first round. Truth to paying attention when you are baking, or well...

Reading: Shrinkage by Bryan Bishop. Informative and funny - sometimes you need a little non-fiction in your reading list.

Getting warm fuzzies: from the extra special birthday lunch I had in Connecticut last weekend. I got a nice surprise from some very special friends. Sometimes you feel the love.

Looking forward to: to a weekend in my old stomping grounds, including a concert by my music crush Matt Wertz. As soon as I saw that he was going on tour at one of my favorite small venues, some emails were sent and tickets purchased.

Not minding: 6 AM spin class once in a while during the week. It's refreshing to bang out exercise first thing in the morning and then be free in clear of that the rest of the day.

Keep me up to date on what's going on with you. Also would love some book recommendations for when I finish my current book.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 2015 Goals

Happy 2015 dear readers. I decided that this year, I would set some monthly goals at the start of each month. Hopefully, some of these become increasingly challenging, but I figure full year resolutions get so hard because they are often so lofty.  My January goals are small but getting me back into the right track health wise - the last few months of 2014 were difficult to get a good routine going.

1) Attend 8 Spin Classes. I really enjoy working out, so far I've already made it to 3 classes this month. I'll probably smash through this but February we can go for more.

2) 310,000 Fitbit steps. I figured a monthly goal was better than a daily goal, it gives me some flexibility to have some higher step days or having days where steps are not as easy to obtain.

3) Getting back to reading. I have a few new books lined up on my kindle - I'd love to be able to give you all some good book recommendations during the year.

What's on your list for January?