January Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Fun, photos | 2 comments

January 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 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 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my December 2016 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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Bout of Books 18 Will Soon Be Here

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 6 comments

Bout of Books 18

It’s that time again. I’m joining in for my eleventh Bout of Books.

Bout of Books 18

Bout of Books 18 starts on Monday January 2nd.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th 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 18 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 17

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. This year I’ll be able to use their 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 some theoretical reading plans and post them on the 2nd. numbers of books.

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

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week December 2016 Edition

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 in Fun, photos, Ten Things, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week October 2016

Ten Things I Liked This Week December 2016

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week a about a year and a half ago 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. My new leggings
These are my new favorites
Flamingo leggings
2. This puppy
Just too stinkin’ adorable

 

3. Finishing the outdoor decorations
The weather kept interfering but we finally got it done. The minion is The Hubster’s new addition this year.
Christmas decorations done

 

4. This
This is so me
I have so much to do that I'm going to read

 

5. Car Curling
The video was wild the first time I saw it but it was fabulous after the curling play by play was added.

 

6. Working from home
I was so glad to be able to work from home this week when freezing rain made my windows look like this.
ice coated window

 

7. Muppets
The Carol of the Bells (with Animal)

 

8. This
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this week and I loved it.
things to remember

 

9. Saltine Toffee Bark
This was the fist time I made this amazing concoction but it won’t be the last.
Saltine Toffee Bark

 

10. My new kitchen rug
This is perfect for the holiday season
reindeer rug

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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December Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Fun, photos | 2 comments

December 2016 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 December:


(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 4 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my November 2016 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

What’s in a Name Challenge 2017

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, What's in a Name | 2 comments

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. It’s not a huge commitment and I usually manage to check off most of the categories randomly without even trying. There are usually a couple of categories that I end up needing to actively search for a book but that’s always a fun search and I’ve found some real gems along the way. This year I picked up both Drinking in America and Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table at least partly because of this challenge

The 2017 categories are as follows:

The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):

  • A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street)
  • A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn)
  • A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen)
  • A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW)
  • An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths)
  • A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling)

As usual I’ve tried to include some easy categories and some not so. Remember the titles I’ve given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

For more details check out the sign up post at The Worm Hole by clicking on the image above.

Half the fun of this challenge is looking for books that might work. I’m looking forwatd browsing my TBR lists to find books that fit for the 2017 categories.

Hope you decide to join in the fun

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Thankfully Reading Weekend 2016

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 1 comment

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2016

 

It’s Thankfully Reading Weekend

My friend Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelves has hosted this reading event on Thanksgiving weekend for years. I’ve never been able to participate because traditionally it’s been a busy weekend for us.

This year it turns out that we have less plans than normal over Thanksgiving weekend. Even the weather is telling me it need to read. We usually do all of our Christmas decorating this weekend but this year the outdoor decorations are going to have to wait until it’s not raining (well not raining so hard anyway).

Guess I’m just going to have to get some extra reading in this weekend.

Thanks Jenn!

If you want to participate click on the image above. It’ll take you to Jenn’s sign up post.

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