Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

What's in My Purse (Right Now)

As of 1/7 this is most of what is in my purse. I love my J. Crew magic wallet that I bought on ebay last year. The bottle you cannot read is natural hand sanitizer; I need to remember to use it.

The content of my purse changes and in summer I have sunglasses. I'd like to have a small beauty bag, a small comb, a tissue compact, a Swiss card or knife, and a first aid kit. I probably should carry a small bottle of SPF. I probably could minimize the sewing kit. I'd like a new umbrella.

For that amount of stuff my purse is rather large. I like to have plenty of room to stuff my bullet journal, books, and etc. as I need. I bought this B. Makowsky purse at Clothes Mentor for $30 around 2 years ago. I love it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Bucket List

~Make shimmery snowflake garland with silver thread. Surely I can manage this.
~Bake several goodies. I've a couple baking books plus tons of bookmarks.
~Try some hot chocolate recipes. I'd really like to try some of the gourmet ones I've saved.
~Cook through a cookbook. This one; I love it.
~Read well. I want to be well on my way to my goal. I already am I think, but pride before the fall, lol.
~Learn to play Scotland Yard (if not also Mr. X, Whist, and Bridge).
~Work on music category. Learning, appreciating, etc.
~Begin serious genealogy. I can do plenty to prep before I pay I think.
~Wedding projects and purchases (by March 30). I haven't got my dress and want to keep my eye out but not become to delayed.
~Have some spa days. I'd like to use up some products plus try a few recipes.
~Go ice skating. We'll see.
~Complete Duolingo Spanish. Since I'm down to learning one language, this is reasonable.
~Watch a bunch of movies from my list. I just need to order a bunch from the library and this should be easy.
~Alter my sister's bridesmaid dress. We all get to pick our dresses; they have to be short and blue or gray, so my three little sisters have theirs. The one I need to alter is a sheath, and I will be taking in the darts.
~Complete tons of knitting and a few sewing projects
~Work on my art journal. I've done a bit with my amazing new calligraphy pens, but I need to be more creative in my entries.
~Complete some art via classes. (Craftsy, Creativebug, and several YouTube channels).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas Bucket List Completion

~Gingerbread house. I showed photos earlier. It was super cute and tasty even though it wasn't durable.
~Christmas Cookie exchange. I made these Peppermint Meltaway Cookies.
~Watch Christmas singalong. We watched the two from our childhood.
~Try a Couple hot chocolate variations. Nope, I just put extract in mine but didn't try any of my pinned recipes. I can put this on my winter bucket list though.
~Bake a fruitcake for Mamau and Papau. Yes, but I would've preferred to have rum to use to make it more flavorful and authentic.
~Make truffles for Christmas Eve. Didn't have the chocolate or the time.
~Bake some Christmasy goodies. Didn't have much time or inclination for more.
~Make shimmery snowflakes for room. Not yet. I'm going to move this to my January bucket list.
~12 Days of Christmas blogging. I'm going to give myself credit. I blogged quite a bit about Christmas; I think this may have been too restrictive.
~Buy, make, and wrap all gifts by the 21st. This didn't happen. I wrapped a Christmas Eve gift on Christmas Eve and a Christmas gift on Christmas (although we celebrated it Monday).
~Read Christmas stories. I read Christmas with Anne and one story from the third collection of Christmas from the Heart.
~Watch a couple of old Christmas movies. White Christmas and Its a Wonderful Life.
~Watch tons of Hallmark. Of course although I think I may take a break if possible next year.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Books I Reread in 2016

I just started rereading the Jane Austen novels in December, and I'm planning on rereading Book Thief since I received a lovely copy for Christmas. After watching the movies with the girls in December, I thought about rereading Harry Potter, but I might still push on for 2018 (too much rereading and rewatching too close makes me annoyed about old favorites). I've got plenty more on my reread list if I need any certain enjoyable reads.

I reread 26 books (this is a lot for me), half of my new total, so I read 78 books total this year. I'm for quality over quantity, but I had time for more.

100 Cupboards
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Ingleside
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Chestnut King
Dandelion Fire
Eight Cousins
Emily Climbs
Emily of New Moon
Jo’s Boys
Keeper of the Bees
Little Men
Little Women
North and South
Old Fashioned Girl
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Rose in Bloom
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
The Westing Game

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Movies I Watched in 2016

This doesn't include rewatches.

Recently Released (2015-2016)
Bridge of Spies. Thrilling, provokes some intellectual thought, and Tom Hanks is brilliant.
Brooklyn. Cute, but Tony really makes the movie, everything else is rather bland (except Domhnall Gleeson).
Captain American: Civil War
Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Wars: Episode VII. I was too gullible in thinking highly of this; STAR WARS FANS liked it, and I don't fall into that category. That being said, I will still probably watch the whole series, old, middle, and new.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Martian. Watched because Dad wanted us too; another one of those interesting plot but overall ridiculous, crude, poorly acted, etc.
The Mockingjay Part Two. Way to give as little Peeta and Katniss romance as possible, people.
Zootopia. The PC and message here were so absurd and suBtle it was hard to completely enjoy this.

Recent Decades
Belle. Overly modern and fanciful in some aspects, but perfectly correct in the idea that people know exactly when they are doing wrong. And wow, the love story.
Big Hero Six. Animated movies shouldn't be sad :(
Bridge to Terebithia. So sweet.
Leap Year. Hilarious.
Polar Express
The Phantom of the Opera. I think I watched the movie for the first time this year, but I'm not absolutely sure.
Tuck Everlasting. Hello, from Miss Flakey, but Jesse sounded like such a pipsqueak which is unfortunate because he is so adorable. And we didn't appreciate the attempted "deepness" of the story.  Boring, selfish, stifled, pragmatism. Just go with Jesse. We all said we would've.

Classic Hollywood
A Penny Serenade
An Affair to Remember
Annie Get Your Gun. Stupid. Howard Keel is so far above everyone else in this film in talent its absurd.
His Girl Friday
How to Steal a Million. I cannot overstate how good this is. An amazing about of quotable lines.
I Was a Male War Bride. This was in the set Mom got me for my birthday. Its really raunchy and suggestive although quite funny. And one of her outfits (nightgown) is extremely immodest (worse than some modern things). I'm always rather shocked at how raunchy and immodest old movies are sometimes. I think we've blinded ourselves. We shouldn't be shocked at how the 60's turned out; culture trails Hollywood.
Little Men
Made for Each Other
State Fair
The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Lonesome Dove. Skipped parts and didn't finish and should've stopped sooner and wouldn't recommend based on violence and general immorality and moral murkiness (that is the best that can be said of the so-called "good guys" and its probably too good).


I can keep track of my books via Goodread, but movies are harder. This list is from my blog and memory and are mostly from the last half of the year, so if I watched any early in the year and didn't blog, well, they are forgotten (and those from my early January 2016 post I most likely watched most or all of them 2015). All but two of the classic Hollywood I watched when I had Amazon Prime briefly, so that accounts for a considerable portion of my movie viewing which seems larger than normal. I reviewed most of the oldies and will add a few notes to this list.

I didn't go to the movie theatre once in 2016.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Books I Read in 2016 and Reading Plans for 2017

I LOVE Goodreads "Your Year in Books." Is this new? I read 52 books and 15,278 pages. Per usual, I waited until the end of the year to set a challenge in order to see how much I read, and of course I set far more than I could actually finish at that point. With my openness of time and how much I wasted on the Internet, I could have fit many more scholarly books and fiction.

Only four of my books were nonfiction. So much for my loft goals. Actually, though I'm proud of that two of those books were scholarly monographs of almost 1,000 pages. And I think that I've truly adjusted my motivation to fit in a more intensive nonfiction list this year. I've kept my lists from last year and will use them as a guide, but I work better with greater flexibility, so my plans are to double down on scholarly nonfiction, Christian nonfiction I own or Mom recommends (i.e. Sunday reading) although I want to be careful just because it is Christian and/or nonfiction doesn't make it meaty or helpful or good (looking at you Amazing Grace), and quality fiction.

As far as new fiction, I've had a pretty mediocre year; I wasn't super thrilled with a lot of this, and I need to work on learning to ascertain quality, quickly and working to finish harder classics that are worthwhile . . . The Way We Live Now doesn't qualify.

A Light in the Window
A Little Taste of Poison
A Pocket Full of Murder
A Tangled Web
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
All the Light We Cannot See
At Home in Mitford
Ballet Shoes
Black Fox of Lorne
Christmas with Anne
Code Name Verity
Dawn Wind
Early Candlelight
Fahrenheit 451
Frontier Wolf
Gathering Blue
I Am the Messenger
Jane of Lantern Hill
Magic for Marigold
Mississippi Bridge
Out of the Silent Planet
Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle
Rainbow Garden
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
Silver in the Blood
Song of the Trees
Star of Light
Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves
Summer of My German Soldier
Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Blythes are Quoted
The Friendship
The Key to Extraordinary
The Light Beyond the Forest
The Magician’s Elephant
The Making of a Marchioness
The Outsiders
The Secret at Pheasant Cottage
The Tanglewoods’ Secret
The Tatooed Potato and Other Clues
The Vicar of Wakefield
The Way We Live Now
The Wind in the Willows
Thimble Summer

Albion’s Seed
Going Solo
Native American Testimony
The Saltwater Frontier

Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Gifts

I got two pretty bowls from the $5 exchange and "I Love This Yarn" (I exchanged the acrylic for cotton; she thought the brand was all cotton, I think. I love that Hobby Lobby carries this nice feeling cotton with tons of colors) from Mom on Christmas Eve. This was on my list.

On Christmas Day from my parents I received Ghirardelli dark chocolate and caramel bar, two oranges, gloves, leggings, fuzzy socks (with aloe inside), a purse (the lady from church who made it said she could exchange, because she forgot I liked the bottom of the purse unpinched, so I will be getting a different purse later), a sweatshirt, and a nice seam ripper that can be sharpened or have the head replaced as needed.

My future BIL drew my name and got me 2 Piano Guys C.D.s (E gave him my list).

Mamau and Papau bought me a copy of The Book Thief, a sewing book, a necklace and earrings set, and a left-handed calligraphy set with five nibs and four colors of ink. All but the jewelry was from my list! I LOVE the pens; that slant makes a HUGE difference in my ability to make the proper strokes.

Wow, I love gift lists. I got a nice mix of gifts from my list and other. I think that everyone liked what I gave them too although I don't know what E's boy thinks; he's hard to read, all things considered, I think I did a good job.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas Knitting

I forgot to take a photo of the $1 gift; it was a cream version of the twist headband in this post. The beret is this pattern, and I love it as it looks like a real beret instead of a beanie when worn. I'm going to use it as a base for all other berets I make because it is the only true beret I've done. Also, I blocked it with the opening on the bottom of the plate and drew it up tighter with yarn stitched around, and this may have helped with the shape a bit. I think that mine looked better than the photos on the pattern page, so don't be worried to try it.

The pink shawl is my third Holden, and my first attempt at knitting with beads (I improvising the number and placement). The photos do not do the crystals justice. This was for my grandmother.

The L'Enveloppe was for my sister, and I didn't do the decreases correct (I think the seed stitch version instructions were confusing, if not wrong in keeping the pattern, so I improvised it to my detriment), so it is far longer than the pattern. Now, because of the asymmetrical nature, I don't think it looks wrong, but I thought I would note this for anyone who might try the pattern.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goals for 2017

I'm not great with specific lists, especially when they are not essential. I have 6 main goals for this year. Obviously some of these will include specifics, but I don't want to focus on the specifics as the goal since I tend to get lost with that.

1. Eliminate excess. I took about a week Internet and technology break. I need to manage my usage better and take breaks more often. I’ve cut down on stuff, but I need to maintain a simpler amount. I need to narrow my focus on a few hobbies and interests.

2. Improve health and wellness.

3. Improve reading habits.

4. Create more. I need to just do things instead of plan. My streamlining goal will hopefully help me focus.

5. Aim for success in my life plans.

6. Work on self-education and research. Again, streamlining should help here. I previously had four languages on Duolingo; I’d like to aim at learning Spanish.