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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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Thursday, June 1, 2017

What I Was Into - May


How is May already over? Are you kidding me?


Books I Couldn't Put Down

Beauty & the Beast by Elizabeth Rudnick - This is exactly what you might think; the novelization of the movie! It was a very quick and easy read; I think I started it on the flight to Las Vegas and had finished it the next night. I enjoyed it, but then again...I think by now it's obvious that I enjoy pretty much anything and everything related to Beauty & the Beast!

Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly - I ordered this book on a whim; it was only $8.99 for the hardback edition and I am so glad I purchased it! The synopsis from AmazonLost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast's library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she's always dreamed of...But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This book was so engrossing and I devoured it...or I suppose one could say; I got lost in it! It was a great read!

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - The first of the seven books in the Harry Potter series; this was a re-read...but still as enjoyable as ever!

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - The second of the seven books in the Harry Potter series; another highly enjoyable re-read!

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling - The third of the seven books in the Harry Potter series; you guessed it, a re-read that I was engrossed in! 

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - I didn't actually "read" this book; I downloaded via Audible and listened to the book as I was driving to and from work each day. The book is narrated by Dan Stevens (of course it is...) and was engaging from the start. The synopsis from Audible: Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

Another incredibly engaging book that I really enjoyed! Audible may become a thing for me!

Books on the Shelf

I must admit...I haven't made a dent in the pile of books I purchased almost three months ago. I think it's pretty obvious based on the above that I've fallen into a Harry Potter hole...I'm not sure how long I'll be there. I just started reading Goblet of Fire, so I might actually end up re-reading the whole series. Who knows?

Must See TV

Fargo - The third season of Fargo; sadly, has not been quite as engaging as the first two...but it's kept me intrigued nonetheless. Bumbling brothers Emmett and Ray Stussy find themselves caught up in a decades old feud over a valuable stamp bequeathed to them by their Father and the cast of characters around them get drawn into the wider story as mishap leads to murder and so much more. Of course, all committed with those perfect Minnesota accents in place...



The White Princess - The follow up to Starz's The White Queen, The White Princess follows the union of the houses of York and Lancaster through the marriage of Elizabeth York to Henry Tudor. The couple's marriage was filled with tension at the start, but as the two must ally themselves against outside forces...including their own families. The constant fight to keep the throne and the fight to keep their marriage together in the face of the many foes that come against them make the story all the more compelling.


Plus - I love anything to do with the British royalty!

Movies of the Month

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II - That's right; I finally saw something besides Beauty & the Beast! I wasn't sure what to expect with the first installment of Guardians of the Galaxy but I loved it and couldn't wait for Volume II! This movie had the same quirky and irreverent sense of humor, the lovable misfit characters were back in action and of course...Baby Groot! What's not to love about Baby Groot? I spent most of this movie cracking up and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!


Beauty & the Beast - Yep! I saw this movie again in May! I think it's safe for me to say this is my favorite movie and leave it at that. I'm not admitting how many times I saw it in theaters...but maybe someone can guess?



Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - I do love a good Pirates movie and while the third installment was more of a "miss" to me, all in all I am thoroughly delighted by these movies! The fifth installment was a hit for me; following Will and Elizabeth's Turner's son Henry as he plots to obtain the Trident of Poseidon to break the curse binding Will to the Flying Dutchman. Along the way he encounters Jack Sparrow, the deadly Salazzar, Captain Barbossa and of course...a love interest in Corinna. If you're a fan of any of the Pirates movies, I'd definitely recommend seeing this one - it was great!



Binge-Worthy

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The third season follows the continuing adventures of Kimmy Schmidt as she navigates college life; her unusual strength (that time in the bunker paying off...) earns her an athletic scholarship to Columbia. Titus continues to be outrageous...well, honestly all the characters continue to be outrageous and outrageously funny! 


House of Cards - The fifth season of Netflix's first series; Frank and Claire's battle to win the White House on a joint ticket against Republican candidate Will Conway intensifies. The Underwood's unstoppable thirst for power is threatened by Washington Herald reporter Tom Hammerschmidt's quest to unravel the deeds that earned the Underwoods their status.. Frank asks Claire if people realize what they've done to get where they are - but of course they don't; if people knew, the Underwoods would be imprisoned for life!



Tasty Treats

Desserts from Jean Phillipe Patisserie - The delicious desserts from Jean Phillipe Patisserie were hands down one of the tastiest things I ate all month! The Lemon Tart was easily the most beautiful to look at and the most delicious...but the Raspberry Intense Cake and Blueberry Cupcake were also amazing! I'll be making a return trip to Jean Phillipe Patisserie the next time I'm in Vegas!

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Mexican Street Corn @ Mesa Grill - The pastries were close to the best thing...but the very best thing I ate all month was the Mexican Street Corn at Mesa Grill. It was one of the most splendid things I've ever eaten in my life - and I don't really like corn! I've been scouring Pintrest to try to find something remotely similar so I can recreate it. Something tells me I won't come close! 

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Earworms

I honestly haven't listened to a ton of music this month; I spent a large part of my drive to and from work listening to podcasts and Murder on the Orient Express via Audible...however, when I was listening to music (usually on the elliptical...) it was...

Celine Dion - This musical selection is definitely inspired by the fact that I saw Celine Dion in concert early in the month. She was absolutely incredible and so of course, I have been playing some of her tunes!

Beauty & the Beast Soundtrack - Laugh if you must but this is my go-to music choice when I am on the elliptical. I have a playlist set up that gets me to 30 minutes, 35 minutes, 40 minutes and more...and so I "rock out" to this soundtrack on an almost daily basis!

What I'm Looking Forward To

(More) Nationals Baseball - The first two months of the season have been good; Harper, Murphy and Zimmerman at three, four and five in the batting line-up have been nicknamed "Murderer's Row" because one of the three is likely to murder a baseball. Max Scherzer is on fire...but that's not really much of a surprise; you can almost bet you'll see something special every time he steps onto the mound and Stephen Strasburg recorded a record and career high 15 strike outs on his last outing. It's a great time to be a Nationals fan and I can't wait to get to more games at Nationals Park!

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Spending time with Friends - This may be sort of a "duh" thing...but I've got plans to catch up with several different friends throughout the month of June and I'm looking forward to each and every moment!

So - that's what has kept me occupied throughout the month of May! I can't wait to see what June has in store; I'm sure it will be fantastic!


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