The Reading Tag

By now, I would think you’d have figured out that I love to read; so when I came across Ashley’s “The Reading Tag” post on her blog, hellonatureblog.com, earlier today I immediately decided that I needed to do this tag on my blog!

Please feel free to do this tag on your blog as well, and if you do, please leave me a link to your post in the comments!

1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

I usually read while lounging on my bed, although I do occassionally read on the couch, at the kitchen table, or if it’s a nice day I might do some reading outside!

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Usually I’m using the little receipt from the library as a bookmark, which is handy to keep around as it reminds me of when the book(s) are due back to the library!

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or certain number of pages?

I prefer to stop reading at the end of a chapter, or at least at the end of a page. There are times when a book is just too good to put down and you sneak in some reading whenever possible, and then in that case you stop reading whenever you happen to get interrupted!

4. Do you eat or drink when reading?

Sometimes, but not usually. It all just depends on how good the book is that I’m currently reading!

5. One book at a time or several at once?

I’m definitely a one book at a time type of reader, I’d get too confused by trying to keep up with multiple books at the same time!

6. Reading at home or everywhere?

Usually at home, but if it’s a good book… everywhere :)

7. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head, for sure.

8. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

I never skip pages, and I avoid reading ahead if at all possible. If the book is that uninteresting, I’d much rather just stop reading it altogether and go find another book to read.

9. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

Everything I have been reading lately comes from the library, but I try to keep books in like new condition for as long as possible.

10. Do you write in your books?

No, never. (See answer to #9)

11. What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading “Stir-fry” by Emma Donoghue and I’m finding it a bit difficult to get through.. and I’m only on page 23, sooooo… yeah. =/ I just need to make more time to read it! I did enjoy reading “Room” by the same author, which was the reason that I picked up this current book from the library.

By the way, would you like to become friends with me on Goodreads.com ???????

Current Nail Polish or NOTD

I decided to paint my nails this afternoon before I attended the #bloggersdoitbetter chat on Twitter (I love that chat and highly recommend attending one if you can!), here are my chosen polishes:

NOTD: 8-11-14

I put the black Revlon polish (#780 “Ritzy” if you are curious) on my toenails, and I’m sorry but there will be no picture of that on my blog! Ha! I do feel now that I should have probably chosen a brighter color, but I’ll live with the black polish for a little while anyway.

NOTD: 8-11-2014

And here’s what my finished mani looks like! I used two coats of PRO-FX nail repair as a base (HIGHLY recommend this product, found this HUGE bottle of it for $5 at Wal-Mart!), two coats of Nicole by OPI gumdrops polish in the shade “Blue-Berry Sweet on You” NO top coat, and on the accent nail is two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme wear polish in #220 “Celeb City” and I did apply a top coat on top of that polish, although I did so after taking the photo.

I really enjoy the gumdrops polish, it is textured and so shimmery in the sunlight. I also have it in the pink color and would love to get even more of the colors in that collection!

My Life This Week

This photo basically tells you what my life will be consisting of this week: reading “The Fault in Our Stars” before I have to return it back to the library on Saturday, and drinking tons of homemade iced coffee! Also, let’s not forget catching up on YouTube videos!

Only the important stuff is going on over here! xo

August Goals & To-Do List

My August Blog Goals:

  • Post at least 2 times each week.
  • Get more unique visitors each week than the week before.
  • Tweet each new post at least 2 different times.

My Blogging To-Do List:

  • Set-up and follow an editorial calendar for the month; get posts written and scheduled to post in advance!
  • Include photos that I have personally taken in my blog posts.
  • Figure out how to plan and schedule tweets out in advance.
  • Try to attend at least one twitter blog chat each week.

My Personal Goals for August:

  • Complete at least one goal from my ’101 in 1001′ list.
  • Try a new recipe or two.
  • Attempt to learn how to edit videos.
  • Dye my hair (my roots are so grown out!)

And a Personal To-Do List:

  • Purchase some photo frames and find an area in the house to hang them.
  • Research and download a video editing program.
  • Get some photos printed out.
  • Send out two pieces of snail mail.
  • Find a workout challenge online and try to complete it.

July Favorites

Can I steal a popular YouTube video topic and turn it into a blog post? Is that legal? Am I cheating? Who knows! But here are some of my favorites for the month of July!

  • ICED FRIGGIN’ COFFEE!! – I will be sharing a recipe for my homemade iced coffee SOON!
  • WordPress Plugin: Editorial Calendar – I just got this installed and haven’t had a chance to really try it out yet, but I think it will be an amazing tool for planning future blog posts!
  • Blogging Productivity! I made a list of over 100 blog post ideas this month!
  • Twitter Blog Chat! #bloggersdoitbetter – This month I discovered and attended my first ever Twitter blog chat and had a lot of fun! I gained some new Twitter followers (bonus!) and am planning on attending more of these chats in the near future!
  • WordPress: The ‘Distraction Free Writing’ tool is definitely going to be coming in handy! No idea how long that little feature has been around, but now that I’ve found it I’ll sure as heck be putting it to good use!
  • Pharrell Williams “Come Get It Bae” music video makes me want to learn to DANCE!

And for the heck of it, here are some UNfavorites for the month!

  • The weather! Too many rainy days. Cooler than average temperatures, Uhmm… it honestly felt like the end of September, not the end of July! What the what?!
  • I’ve been losing hair like craaaaaaazy lately, thanks a lot there thyroid. Seriously. Just keep my hair on my head where it belongs, mmmkay?!?

Cheers to a new month and getting back some of my blogging mojo!

Background Blogging.

You may not believe this, but I have actually been working on blog things… YES! It’s true!.. I just haven’t been posting anything! LOL.

Yesterday I started writing down a list of blog post ideas and that list grew from 10 topics, to 25, to 50, and today I have been adding even more to it and it’s currently grown to over 65 blog post ideas! I’m super excited about it!

My next step is to start planning out a blog editorial calendar, which is just a monthly calendar onto which I will figure out how often I want to put up new blog posts and then writing down the post topics on those certain calendar days. This will help me out tremendously with not only battling writer’s block, but being able to plan out and schedule blog posts in advance and finally starting to blog more frequently! Get excited!

Summer vacation (uhmm.. well.. yeah, technically it’s my child’s summer vacation from school that I’m referring to, but whatever) continues throughout August, so I’m not sure just how often I’ll be able to blog in August. Although, I am not sure why I’m even mentioning that as I only blog maybe 2 times a month as it is… uhmm, hello?! Preeeetty sure I can blog more than that!

I am looking forward to finally getting my blogging back on track and getting organized! Heck, I might even become so productive that I even start including PHOTOS in my blog posts! What!?

Current Developments: July 2014

Hi there! My name is Jenn and I am a horrible blogger. I have been blogging so very infrequently that it’s easier just to make a bullet list of the news I want to share!

  • New Favorite Band: Hedley
  • My son recently lost his first tooth! #excitingnewsinparenting He’s 6, by the way.
    firstlosttooth.jpg
  • Also on the parenting topic: my child can now ride his bike without training wheels! Whoo! He still needs practice with things like turning and stopping via use of the pedal brakes, but he is doing wonderfully with it!
  • I love the McDonald’s iced frappe’s and decided to save myself some money and try making something similar on my own… so now I make myself iced coffee at home and it’s pretty yummy! I will have to share my drink recipe soon on the blog for that! On a related note: I should have purchased the decaf instant coffee… whoa, caffeine overload! hah!
  • In thyroid news, my medication dosage was chopped in half again and now I only take 75mg worth of it a day! (Compared to the 300mg/daily that I originally started with, this is amazing!)
  • Also, related to thyroid problems, my hair and scalp has been really dry so I now coat my scalp and hair with coconut oil and put it up and let it absorb for 30 minutes to an hour before I have a bath or shower; I still shampoo and condition as normal and this treatment has helped out a lot with getting my scalp feeling normal and makes my hair feel super light and much smoother! So I’m loving that! Also, I only wash my hair like twice a week, not daily (unless it’s just feeling completely dirty and gross!)
  • I wrote this entire post while my hair was coated with coconut oil, and now it’s time for me to have a bath! Is that TMI? TTFN, blog!

Over half.

Somehow it’s already reached the month of July and the year 2014 is halfway over..

I’m glad that my son is now finished with school and on summer vacation, we have been enjoying the warm weather and spending much more time outdoors!

Speaking of spending time outdoors, I purchased a picnic blanket from Target and it’s basically become my favorite thing ever and I love using it! My son and I have already been on 3 (THREE!) picnic dates to a local splash park / playground; he runs around with whatever kids happen to be there and I hang out on the picnic blanket in the shade and read a book or listen to music on my phone, we  both have a lovely time! And of course we bring along a little food and a couple of drinks as well!

Recently we have taken to having ‘quiet time’ on our front porch in the evenings around dusk and we are all really enjoying that, and wondering why we didn’t develop that habit sooner. Our front porch is not screened-in but we haven’t been having much trouble with bugs yet (keep fingers crossed that it’s stays this way!) but I did have an idea to purchase ‘replacement’ gazebo netting as I figure we’d be able to hang it along the sides of the porch and it would probably cover our needs just perfectly.

I am so rusty when it comes to blogging, this post has taken me waaaaay longer to write than it should have! I wonder if this will be the month that I get back into the habit of being a regular blogger?? Hah.. yeah, don’t hold your breath!

Hey June, What’s New?

I guess it’s about time for what has turned into one of my bi-monthly blog posts, how sad is it that I can’t even manage to write a new blog post once a week?! I must try to change this….

Anyway, I thought I’d write a little post about what is new or currently happening in my super interesting and mostly news-worthy personal life (note: sarcasm) so let’s do that then, shall we?

  • First and most notable: I signed up for Grooveshark Anywhere which means that I now pay $5/month and can now use the Grooveshark app on my android phone and listen to pretty much any music that I feel like! Either ONline or most exciting, I can save music to my phone and listen to it OFFline whenever the heck I feel like it! And.. added bonus, it scrobbles to my last.fm profile so you can totally stalk me and see what music I’ve been listening to lately!
  • Because I’ve been listening to music with grooveshark A LOT Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m deeply in need of some new music for my ears so please leave a comment and give me some music recommendations!
  • The top 5 songs I’ve listened to the most over the past 7 days are 1) Hedley – “Pocket Full of Dreams” 2) Michael Jackson ft. JT – “Love Never Felt So Good” 3) Demi Lovato – “Let It Go” 4) Ed Sheeran – “Lego House” 5) Mat Kearney – “Ships in the Night”
  • I’m currently reading “The Help” on loan from the local library, and no, I haven’t seen the movie yet. I have this thing where I refuse to see the movie unless I’ve read the book first, and then it takes me a while to get to reading the book and then… I just never see the movie. LOL, do you do that? Or maybe it’s just that I don’t want the movie to ruin the book, or vice versa.. For instance, I’ve read all 3 books of The Hunger Games, and recently finished reading Divergent, and have yet to watch any of those movies. Or how I’ve never read or watched the movies for Twilight or Harry Potter even though they were (and still are?) immensely popular series.
  • I’ve just been wearing clear polish on my fingernails, it’s just easier… if it chips it’s hardly noticeable! ha! But I’ve been considering putting switching it up and applying some color, it’s just ugh.. so much more maintenance involved that way!
  • I try and make sure to at least watch the new daily vlog from the SacconeJolys on YouTube every day! Love them!
  • And it’s dinner time and I’m hungry, so goodbye for now blog! TTYL!

A Quick Thyroid Update

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about how I am currently back on thyroid medication to treat my hyperactive thyroid (grave’s disease); did I mention that I had let it go untreated for roughly 6 years?? Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that… but anyway!

I first saw the endocrinologist about it at the beginning of April and got blood tests done then to check my thyroid hormone levels, lucky me I get to go and have blood tests done every month so my doctor can keep track of my levels and increase or decrease my medication as needed to get things as close to *normal* as we possibly can.

(image source)
I started off with being prescribed to take PTU 100mg / three times a day, in addition to taking a beta-blocker once a day. After finally hearing my May blood tests results from my doctor, who discovered that my thyroid was now on the opposite end of the scale and had become hypoactive (under active), my dosage was lowered to PTU 50mg / three times a day and no more beta-blocker!! Best news ever! I certainly am not a fan of having to take medication 3 times a day, every day, so to go from taking a total of 7 pills a day down to just 3 pills a day is a wonderful thing!

P.S. Just for the record, I would much rather suffer through hyperactive thyroid symptoms than hypoactive ones! I’ll take muscle weakness over muscle & joint PAIN any day of the week, thank you very much. Ouch. I didn’t particularly enjoy the slower thinking, memory loss, or having sluggish movement symptoms either… it’s good to be back to feeling more normal, that’s for sure!