Weekend Update – January 7. 2018

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Weekend Update | 4 comments

Weekend Update

Our holiday season was nice but I’m kind of glad to have all the hoopla over with and the decorations put away. It’s nice to be back in somewhat of a routine.

Happy for:
Surviving this week. It was the longest short week ever at work. January is always my busy time at work and it started right off the bat on Tuesday morning. I was so glad we had nothing much on the agenda this weekend.

Looking forward to:
Bout of Books 21 starts tomorrow (technically midnight tonight). I always enjoy this weeklong effort to read more than I normally do.

Letting go of:
I didn’t choose a word for 2018. I pretty much ignored my word for 2017 about five days after I chose it.

There are a few other things I’m going to let go of this year. Some of them are just becoming that one more thing that I feel I have to do and I need to remind myself that they are completely optional.

Making an attempt at:
I’ve put away my traveler’s notebook and I’m trying a digital planner/journal this year. The Hubster got me an apple pencil for Christmas and I want to try keeping my journal and planner on my ipad.

This video was the best thing this week.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Bout of Books 21 Sign Up

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 6 comments

Bout of Books 21

It’s that time again. Next week will be my fourteenth Bout of Books.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 21 starts on Monday January 8th.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I love Bout of Books. Three times a year I have an excuse to say “I can’t do that right now, it’s my reading week”. The Hubster is used to it by now. I don’t go into Bout of Books with any expectations of reading for X number of hours straight through. My life doesn’t let that kind of thing happen. The way I approach Bout of Books is to limit things like spending time on Twitter, or playing games on my phone and substituting reading time for all of those little distractions. I also set aside extra time in the evening for reading too.

I like to keep track of the time I spend reading during Bout of Books. I never track pages read but I do track time reading or listening to books. I use a great app on my phone to track my time. It’s called ATracker.

Bout of Books 20 tracking

Bout of Books 20 tracking

It’s super easy to set up two tasks (reading and listening) and then it’s just a tap to start and stop tracking time. Now that there’s an Apple watch app to do that on my watch instead of my phone.

I think the reason I like to track time is that for me being ‘on the clock’ keeps me from getting distracted by my phone, the TV, that pile of papers on my desk, etc. I enjoy the time tracker and the daily and weekly reports I can get on how much time I’ve actually spent reading.

I won’t set any goal because that’s really not the purpose of Bout of Books. It’s all about a low key week long focus on reading more than usual. I will put together a Kickoff and progress updates post on the 8th.

I hope you’ll check it out and decide to join in on the fun.

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January 2018 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Fun, photos | 4 comments

January 2018 Photo a Day Challenges

Happy New Year! Time for another month of daily photos!

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. Every once in a while I just can’t find a prompt that works for me that say so I give myself permission to tag whatever I do want to photograph. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for January:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram
There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I’m closing in on 6 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my December 2017 Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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Weekend Update – My January 2018 Could Do List

Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in Fun, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update

December 2017 Could Do List

I’ve seen a few bloggers post a monthly ‘Could Do” list and I think it’s a fun idea. Here are a few things I”d like to do in December. I might do them all but I don’t feel obligated to complete the list.

1. Clear out and purge another room
In December we took everything out of the kitchen cabinets and put less than half back. I still need to do the pantry but I’d like to tackle another room too.

2. Reed the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Since they started releasing the illustrated editions with art by Jim Kay I’ve been making them a January reading tradition.

3. Be more active in my LibraryThing group
I want to put this higher on my priority list than it’s been the past few months.

4. Go to a museum
There’s lots to do around here that we’ve never done.

What’s on your “Could Do” list this month?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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