About Me

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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

What I Was into in February


Another month - come and gone just like that. I don't know what your February held...but I suppose if you read my blog on a routine basis, you know what my February held! As always, this is just a small recapping of the things I was interested in and amused myself with while the chilly days of February flew by! And by chilly I mean, holy crap this past month was frigid!

Books I Read

The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester - This was the book club selection for our February meeting and it was yet another book I'd have never chosen on my own time - but I read it for book club and it was actually fairly good. This book is non-fiction and tells the story of the creation of the English Oxford Dictionary and the intersection of the lives of the two very different men who were tantamount to it's creation. The book is pretty short and sweet and I must say, proved to be more interesting than I originally thought.

Riveting, no doubt.

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Another book club read! This book was certainly a different one - a utopian novel set in a "brave new world" where people are decanted, (not born) are grown to serve a certain purpose in society, conditioned for only happy feelings and taught to have as many partners as possible - enjoying oneself is key. I wasn't at all surprised to see that this book has made numerous banned book lists over the years; I can see why it would have caused a stir...especially since it was published in 1931. A good book though and I really enjoyed reading it. Word from my Mom is that she hates it...

Not sure I'd want to live in this world...

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon - The sixth book in the Outlander series; I finally had the time on my hands at the end of the month to put this book out of it's misery, ha-ha! I think I've been bouncing around on this book since sometime in late December. The story follows Jamie and Claire as they face the oncoming Revolutionary War - Claire knows what the future will hold for the young country of America and she must help Jamie and their family navigate the dangerous waters that war will lead them through.

Finally finished this one!

Books in the Queue

Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall - Our book club read for April; this is the story told in the Gone with the Wind but from the perspective of a slave on Tara Plantation. I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

*And to be honest, I have got so many books on my bookshelf right now that I still need to read, there is no telling what I'll end up reading next. So this section will just have to be left at the one book because what I read next is anyone's guess, ha-ha!*

Can't Miss Television

Being Human (UK Edition) - I watched the remake of this; the US version, on SyFy pretty religiously and so when I discovered the original was on Netflix (seriously, Netflix has opened up so many doors for me with television watching...) I had to check it out. I love the similarities and differences - I also absolutely love Russell Tovey and Aidan Turner, who play George and Mitchell. So far I've only made it through the first season and a wee bit into the second season but I'm enjoying it immensely! The show follows (much like the US version) Mitchell (a vampire) George (a werewolf) and Annie (a ghost) as they struggle to fit in with the world around them and be something similar to human. I think my favorite part is that Annie makes tea all the time because that's all she really is able to do...at least at first. Ha-ha!

It's hard to "be human"
House of Cards - Season Three! Spoiler Alert if you haven't watched this far - and that means you Ginger! The story picks up six months after Frank has taken his place in the Oval Office; his approval rating is not great, Claire is bored with only being the First Lady, tensions with Russia are high and a once trusted friend is turning his coat...and that's only in the first five episodes. Where the Underwoods always seemed to have a firm grasp of every situation they were presented in seasons one and two, their hold on power in season three seems tenuous at best in season three. Perhaps the House of Cards they've built themselves is about to fall? I'll have to continue watching but I must admit, I'm proud I didn't just blaze through all thirteen episodes in one sitting - I have a wee bit of self-control.

Oh the Underwoods....
Ellen's Furniture Design Challenge - This was a show my Mom and I saw preview for and just decided on a whim to check it out; it has really been a neat show. Six designers were chosen by Ellen DeGeneres and each week they have to make a piece of furniture that falls within certain guidelines. As with most any show like this, each week a contestant is eliminated. We had an early favorite who went home after four weeks and now with just the finale to go, it's anybody's game but I think everyone in our house is cheering for Tim to win. I've been so impressed (and at times horrified, ha-ha) by the level of creativity and skill that these designers have showcased over the weeks and thoroughly enjoyed watching it!

I like that yellow chair....


Movies I Watched

American Beauty - I have heard so much about this movie over the years and since Netflix has opened the door to so many different options; I decided to watch it. The story follows the life of Lester Burnham; a middle-aged man who has a listless marriage, a teenage daughter that despises him and a job that he hates. Lester has a bit of a midlife crisis: quits his job, starts smoking dope and lifting weights, buys the proverbial midlife crisis hot rod and even becomes a bit too obsessed with his daughter's best friend. The movies ends in a way I certainly didn't expect but I enjoyed it all the same and it was certainly an interesting tale. All this time all I've ever heard about this movie is the weird obsession that Lester has with his daughter's friend - and while that's a part of the movie - there was so much more to it than that. I think I could watch this movie over and over and get something different out of it - but the main theme is to live life; be an active participant and don't go through your life in a daydream.

This movie was...different...

Fargo - I loved the television show that premiered in early 2014 that was based on this movie and again, courtesy of Netflix I was finally able to watch this movie. It cracked me up...and it probably wasn't supposed to do that but it reminded me so much of the TV show and the accents that each of the characters have - well they're hilarious! Fargo follows bumbling car salesman Jerry Lundeegard as he tries to orchestrate his wife's kidnapping in an effort to get money; the kidnapping goes horribly awry, things spiral out of control and police officer Marge Gunderson must follow the clues to solve the mystery. I enjoyed the movie - I think I enjoyed the TV show better. I know, probably a sacrilege or something...but oh well. *I've since read that this is considered a "dark" comedy, so maybe it was supposed to crack me up...in a weird way...*

Also another interesting movie...
Snowpiercer - Oh what a movie; I've been back and forth about watching this for about a month now and I finally decided to bite the bullet (train) on Friday night and just watch it. The films follows the survivors of a global apocalypse who live on board a train called the Snowpiercer. The train circles the globe and a class system has emerged on the train; Curtis, a member of the lower class located at the tail of the train leads a revolt to get to the front of the train and make changes. The film itself was a bit odd...but also intriguing and as the group of revolutionaries move closer to the front of the train, the cars become more extravagant and amazing. I'm glad I watched it but I don't know if I could recommend it...not because I didn't like it, but I don't know if I know anyone else who would like it!

Fighting your way to the front is dangerous...
Despicable Me 2 - I finally got around to watching this one, courtesy of my minion-crazed friend Katie. I loved Despicable Me and I'm not sure why it took me so long to watch this one, but I loved this one just as much as the first. The story follows Gru as he is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help seek out and take down a new and "evil" threat. The antics are made funnier as Gru navigates the waters of romance, raising three girls and corralling all of his minions; made especially more challenging when some of them are snatched and turned a funny shade of purple...ha-ha! As my sister also pointed out - the guacamole hat is delightful; someone should make that a real thing.

Altogether more delightful.
Horrible Bosses 2 - The last day of the month was obviously sequel day...ha-ha! I'd been waiting to see this since it came out last Fall and this was the first opportunity. I absolutely love the Horrible Bosses trio and the first movie is most likely one of my favorite comedies - ever. The second one...well, not so much. The story follows Nick, Kurt and Dale as they endeavor to be their own bosses, try to sell their invention and have it stolen from them...which leads them to plan a kidnapping in an effort to steal back their company and their money. Hi-jinks ensue and Jennifer Anniston and Kevin Spacey makes cameos as two of the three original Horrible Bosses...but it just didn't quite have the same magic as the first.

A bit more "horrible" than the original...


Music I Listened To

House of Cards Soundtrack by Jeff Beal - This music is very intense and somewhat empowering. I guess it makes me feel a little bit fierce, ha-ha. I must confess, I listened to this music when I went on all my job interviews because it made me feel a little bit like I could take over the world. :)

Outlander Soundtrack by Bear McCreary - Another companion to a show that I love; all of the music on this soundtrack is just really beautiful Scottish music and I love it. I joked with my Dad that maybe I enjoy the music so much because of our Scottish ancestry; regardless of why I enjoy it, it's certainly beautiful music.

Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson - Another great song I've come upon while listening to K-Love; it has a great beat and and awesome message - which of course are two things I really love!

Theater & the Like

Sleepy Hollow: The Ballet - Which didn't happen because snowpocalypse happened on Saturday the 21st and it coincided with the stomach bug of 2015. So, this part of the post is a bust. And yes, we were all really sad about this. :( I guess I'll make it to the Kennedy Center at some point, but apparently in February of 2015 it wasn't meant to be.

Yummy in my Tummy

Kirkland European Cookies - Oh my you guys. Our church has a Valentine Banquet/Silent Auction for gift baskets and this year, my family won a tea basket. A packet of these cookies was included with the basket and they are to die for. All manner of chocolate and shortbread awesomeness in one box.


Oh my yes - these are lovely!
Albanese Gummy Bears - A little treat that my Mom brought back from her weekend visit to Indiana; these are the absolute best gummy bears ever in creation. I discovered that the peach gummy bears might actually be my favorite; they are the most delightful.

Yes please - I'll take all of them.

What I'm Looking Forward To

Starting my new job! What!! That's right - March will bring with it the awesome start to a new journey for me, working at Creveling Wealth Management. I can't wait to start this new job! It will be so awesome to see how things unfold, learn some new things, step back into the work week hours of 8-5 and have the weekends to get on with adventures again.

Hopefully some more Spring-like weather! Although I've been warned that the snow in Virginia likes to hang around sometimes till almost April, so that may not happen. I guess I'll take whatever comes, right? Can't do much to sway Mother Nature! 

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