July 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

July 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

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. 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 July:
(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 now have over 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my June 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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Five Books I Want to Read: Summer 2017

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 6 comments

Five Books I Want to Read: Summer 2017

I’ve been doing this seasonal list of Top Books I’d Like to Get To for a while now. This time I did pretty good with getting through my choices.

For Spring I picked 5 books and I finished four of them and I’m currently reading the fifth.

The four I finished are:

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy
This is the fourth in a cozy mystery series featuring a White House Chef.

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
This one languished on my shelf far too long. A book about the elements of the Periodic Table sounds a bit dry but it wasn’t. It was a lot of fun and filled with wonderful tidbits of scientific history.

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey
The Serge Storms series is wild, violent and totally wacky. I love it.

1776 by David McCullough
This is another one that sat on my shelf for far too long after I bought it. I enjoyed it and learned a lot.

The one I’m still reading:
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I adore the movie and I’m having fun reading the book.

Today is the Summer Solstice so it’s time to pick my Summer possibilities that I want to read before the Fall Equinox on September 22nd.

The Five Books I Want to Read This Summer

For this summer I’m picking a mix of non-fiction and books from series I’m currently reading.

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

I bought The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore back in December but haven’t read it yet. I’ve always been fascinated with the Romanov Dynasty.

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I started reading the Sherlock Holmes books several years ago. It’s been a while and The Hound of the Baskervilles is next for me.

 

 Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O'Neill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill is an audiobook I bought a while ago. I keep hearing more good reviews of it so it’ll be coming up soon on my iPod.

 

The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse by Peter May

More and more people keep telling me that The Blackhouse by Peter May and the rest of the trilogy are excellent. I need to read it.

 

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor is fun time travel adventure. I need to read the next one up for me, Second Chance.

 

What books are you looking forward to reading in the next few months?

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week June 2017

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in Fun, Ten Things, Weekend Update | 4 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week June 2017

Ten Things I Liked This Week June 2017

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week in June of 2015 and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. Mini Mini-Golf
One of the hotels in Portland turns their parking lot into a miniature mini-golf course and beer garden in the summer. It’s a blast.
Mini Mini -Golf

 

2. Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
This recipe from Dad Cooks Dinner is delicious.
This is also his photo because it’s better than my photo.
Dad Cooks Dinner Mac & Cheese

 

3. Pod Save America
Currently my favorite podcast
Pod Save America

 

4. Jigsaw Puzzles
I enjoy doing them but get a little obsessed and do little else until they’re done. This one,  The Craft Cupboard from Ravensburger was tough but fun.
Jigsaw Puzzle

 

5. A Fiona Update
You knew there’d be something about Fiona didn’t you? She’s been spending more and more time with her mother and in the outdoor pool.

 

6. Starting Fresh
I deleted my TBR spreadsheet this week. Then I returned all the library books I had out with the exception of the one I have through interlibrary loan. Prior plans are no longer relevant.
Delete

 

7. A New Job for The Hubster
He was laid off in April. He’s getting severance pay so we’re not hurting but this week he accepted a new job starting August 1st. It’s a relief.Your'e Hired

 

8. My New Kitchen Light
We’re in the process of winding down the slowest kitchen refresh in history. We started with paint back in 2005 This week we replaced the old light over the kitchen table.

 

9. My Friend’s Siberian Kittens
They are adorable and mischievous.

 

10. Movie Day
We’re finally seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this afternoon.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Weekend Update – The 2017 What’s in a Name Challenge Wrap Up

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

The 2017 What’s in a Name? Challenge

This is my favorite Reading Challenge and the one I have done every year since it first started.

The Tenth Annual What’s in a Name Challenge

What's In A Name 2017

What’s In A Name 2017

Charlie at The Worm Hole hosts this one.

For the What’s in a Name Challenge participants are asked to read books whose titles fit a selection of categories. I typically end up looking for a book in December to fit that one tricky category that seems to come up almost every year. This year I completed the challenge before the end of May. I think that’s the earliest I’ve ever completed this annual challenge

Here are the 2017 categories and the books I read:
(Clicking the images will take you to my reviews)

A number in numbers 

1776 by David McCullough

1776 by David McCullough

 

A building

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

 

A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

 

A compass direction

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy

 

An item/items of cutlery

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

 

A title in which at least two words share the same first letter

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey

 

It’s not too late to join in on this challenge. For more details check out the sign up post at The Worm Hole.

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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June 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

June 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

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. 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 June:
(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 now have over 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my May 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.

Read More

Bout of Books 19 Wrap-Up

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 4 comments

Bout of Books 19 Wrap Up

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 19 ended last night. It was my tenth Bout of Books and I’ve got the next one marked on my calendar the week of August 21st-27th.

Once again I had a great time having a reason to say ‘nope, it’s Bout of Books and I’m going to read instead”.

I had a great reading week. The main reason I like Bout of Books is that it’s a low-pressure readathon. I never feel like I need to stop doing everything else to just read but I am encouraged to maximize and make more time for reading than I normally do. Obviously I worked full time all week so that limited my reading time but I managed to get a lot of reading hours in.

I managed to make some changes to my daily routine that I’d like to make regular habits. I traded my bus ride twitter and phone game time for reading. I also made sure to stay away from the phone apps and read on my lunch break. It used to be my habit and I’d like to get back to that. I feel like this week has kickstarted my reading mojo.

I don’t track pages read but I do track time spent reading and listening to audiobooks. My goal this year was to end up with more time spent reading than I did for the last Bout of Books. In January I had 17 hours and 48 minutes of reading time for the week.

For this Bout of Books I ended up with 21 hours and 12 minutes of reading so Yay Me!
Bout of Books 19 reading
This is what I read this week.
I finished one audiobook – Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson.
In print, I read The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey, Black Hammer Vol. 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire, The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, Fairest Vol. 1: Wide Awake by Bill Willilngham, and I started The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean.

All in all a great week of reading. Now I have a pile of reviews to write!

If you participated in this week’s Bout of Books I hope you had a great week of reading. If you didn’t participate you should consider joining me and all the other participants in August.

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