- 75 incredible photos of this century (so far).
- I am more excited about this piece of movie news than I have been about any film buzz in a long time!
- After reading Me Before You, I’ve been drawn to articles regarding death with dignity.
- LOVE this post.
- These observations on life as a 25 year old are definitely true.
- 7 signs divorced couples said they missed.
- Kate Middleton, you have competition for being my style icon.
- 100 ideas for date night.
- Glitter Guide’s favorite fall posts.
- 24 interesting facts about being a parent in the U.S.
- Weddings I loved: 1, 1.5, 2, 3.
- Recipes I want to make: banana chocolate mug cake, quinoa crusted fish and chips, brown sugar pull apart bread, pumpkin mac and cheese, spooky boo brownies, French lentils with lemon shrimp and asparagus, pumpkin pie chia pudding parfaits, spanakopita stuffed spaghetti squash bowls.
- 40 ways to decorate a jack-o-lantern.
- How to start saving for retirement.
- A fall to-do list by Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling – definitely want to do all of these activities!
- 21 Halloween-themed cocktails.
- A love letter to Cleveland.
- Love this post on finding the blessings.
- Some great Hello Giggles posts: why living away from your best friend isn’t the end of the world, rom-coms based on true stories, and signs you love the library.
- Awesome fall shades by Zoya.
- Check out what’s streaming for Halloween.
- 8 ideas for organizing your kitchen.
- Recipes I want to make: shrimp fried farro, baked chicken and orzo, tart cherry-glazed brussel sprouts, bbq chicken french breads, brie and cheddar apple beer soup with cinnamon pecan oat crumble, roasted red pepper feta stuffed potato skins, stuffed turkey breasts with butternut squash and figs, and pumpkin beer waffles.
1. Dan and I got married.
2. We had a great minimoon!
3. And a fantastic picnic reception.
4. We also moved into our first home together.
5. I had a wonderful time getting ready for the wedding with an awesome kick ass bachelorette party planned by my sister and best friends.
6. I had a ton of fun attending others’ weddings, including a best friend’s.
7. I was hired to be a tutor full-time at my alma mater.
8. I survived a difficult season of coaching and got to see four of my swimmers compete at Districts, not to mention watch so many others improve so much.
9. Helped quite a few students keep focused, pass classes, and graduate.
10. Finally attended my first BGSU homecoming weekend as an alumni.
11. Dan and I went to many Indians games.
12. And we did Dinner on the Diamond.
13. We went to a Cavs and a Bluejackets game, too.
14. We hosted Thanksgiving for my family and his family together.
15. So many long walks with Madison in the park.
16. Joining and going to a near-by gym, as well as joining Tone It Up!
17. Buying and using my road bike.
18. Fun parties at my sister-in-law’s apartment…including Halloween when Dan & I were beekeepers and Madison was a bee!
19. I made a new close friend in my co-teacher at work.
20. Hosting friends and family for weekends in Cleveland.
21. Going to An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends with my parents and spending Memorial Day weekend with Dan’s family.
22. Celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday.
23. Celebrating the end of the school year with an early summer weekend in BG.
24. And sooooo much more! Reading as much as possible, morning coffee and relaxation, cooking dinners with Dan, hilarious times with my students and swimmers, my parents adopting another dog, visits to Columbus, holiday celebrations, basically any time spent with family and friends!
It’s been a great 24th year, and I can’t wait for what the next year holds! Here’s to 25!
I’ve had a great spring break – which started off with seeing an awesome Indians win Monday evening!
- This Massachusetts kitchen is GORGEOUS. Seriously, I had to put the adjective describing it in caps, it’s that beautiful.
- 10 health benefits of lemon.
- Love these nail art looks, and the mugs that inspired them (I actually have the owl mug in brown!)
- This story is heartbreaking but beautiful.
- I really need to break pretty much all these habits.
- 33 nonfiction books about America’s greatest pastime.
- I am intrigued by this idea of reading books of a certain theme/topic in a specific order. Have you ever done something like this? What books and in what order?
- Ways to brighten your – and others’ – day. Plus 20 more. And…15 more.
- These weddings are beautiful: 1, 2, 3.
- 10 awesome YouTube channels for working out.
- Recipes I’d like to try: roasted broccolini with lemon tahini, spring veggie and lemon Moroccan chicken skewers with minted goat cheese yogurt, banana cake with penuche frosting, twists on avocado toast, pineapple mint juleps, and ham and cheese waffles sandwiches.
Title: The American Heriess
Author: Daisy Goodwin
Book Number: 2 out of 75 (as part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days journey)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (One star = couldn’t finish; two stars = didn’t like; three stars = enjoyable; four stars = great read; five stars = fantastic)
Summary: At the turn of the century, Cora Cash is the only child in the one of the richest families in America. Despite their beautiful homes and extravagant parties, her mother is not satisfied. She is determined to become part of society’s most elite, and will do whatever she can to ensure Cora enters into a marriage that will raise their family’s status from one of new fortune to unquestionable superiority. To Mrs. Cash, that means packing up her daughter, traveling to Europe, and looking for an appropriate suitor among nobility. Much to the surprise of society both in England and America, Cora Cash finds herself marrying not just any nobleman, but the Duke of Wareham. After a whirlwind proposal and wedding, Cora struggles not only to navigate the subtleties and secrets of English society, but of her new husband. After a lifetime of money dictating her choices and how people treat her, Cora must dig deep within herself to find out who she truly is and what she wants her life to be.
Thoughts: This book has gotten rave reviews, and it is about the intricacies of high society of both America and England in the late 1800s. If there are two things I’m a fan of, it’s good books and history, so I figured this book was perfect for me. I have to say, I was a little disappointed, but it was probably because my expectations were so high. The book is pretty long, and at times can feel a little slow. In other words, for most of the novel, I didn’t really have a lot of trouble finding a place to stop and put the book down for a bit – until the last 100 pages or so. By the end, the story had really picked up. All the events and tension building throughout the book come to a head and set off an intense chain of events leading to a dramatic conclusion.
I was a little taken aback by the way the book ended. It first it felt a little abrupt, but I realized it was because I had been reading this lengthy book for so long that I had become committed to the story and wanted (or maybe just expected) it to continue. I think it was also because the title of the book, and the fact that it was told from mostly Cora’s point of view (as well as that of her mother and maid), made me believe the book was supposed to be about Cora’s life. However, in truth the book is more centered on marriage – the reasons why people enter into marriage, how those reasons and the past affect the marriage, how marriage changes people, and the choices and sacrifices marriage requires. As a newlywed, I found this theme of the novel the most intriguing – despite the fact that my modern marriage took place after four years of dating someone from my native country, not a foreign nobleman I only knew for a couple weeks. The American Heiress was a wonderful novel, but because of the length and sometimes dragging of this book, I would recommend it only if the time period and gossipy, romantic elements strongly appeal to you.
Have you read The American Heiress? What did you think? If you’re a fan of historical fiction, are there any other books you’d recommend?
At the beginning of the year, I created a 101 in 1001 list. On my list was attending a Blue Jackets game. I had never been to an NHL game before, and the Blue Jackets are the NHL team in Columbus, OH, my husband’s hometown. So for Christmas, I bought three tickets for a game (for him, his best friend, and me) to attend while visiting Columbus for a weekend.
We went to the game a couple weekends ago. It was fun! The atmosphere at the game wasn’t quite as exciting as I hoped it would be, except when a shot was close to being a goal scored, a goal was scored, or a fight broke out. I’m used to college hockey games in a much smaller setting, so that might be why. The first period of the game was really fun, though! Hockey is definitely a sport, like football, that I prefer watching in person.
In between the first and second period Dan and his best friend, Tristan, said they were going to go to the bathroom and asked I wanted to walk around. I said no, I’d stay there. After a couple minutes by myself an older gentlemen came and sat next to me. He was friendly and was made small talk, and by all signs was harmless. But he kept touching my knee and my back, which made me uncomfortable. Then he asked me to blow my nose into a tissue and then give it to him so he could keep it in his special collection of tissues so the Blue Jackets would maintain their winning streak. I declined, feeling even more uncomfortable.
But I didn’t get up and walk away. I didn’t ask him to leave. I just kept making polite small talk. I don’t know why I didn’t pursue either of those totally logical and legitimate options when I was in a situation that, though extremely weird was most likely harmless, made me feel uncomfortable. I guess because I didn’t want to be rude or hurt someone’s feelings. I didn’t want to make “a mountain out of a molehill.” But I felt uncomfortable, so even if it wasn’t a situation in which I was in harm’s way, I shouldn’t have felt like I was being rude or dramatic if I spoke up or walked away. I am sharing this experience because I think a lot of people get into situations where someone is overstepping limits and nothing is said or done about because they fear being impolite or dramatic, or they just hope by ignoring what’s happening it will go away. I have no problem encouraging my students, family, and friends to stick up for themselves or defending them if I feel their well-being is threatened in the slightest manner, but for some reason, when it was just me, by myself, with no one else I knew around me, I shut down. I hope I’m never in an awkward and uncomfortable situation like that again, but if I am, I know I owe it to myself – and the person who is pushing boundaries – to speak up and make it clear what is happening is not okay.
Eventually the man got up and left, and I immediately texted Dan and Tristan what happened and to hurry back (why hadn’t I done that earlier? Because there was no way I could text without the man seeing what I was typing…and again, I was afraid of being rude). When they returned, we left our seats and spend the rest of the game walking around the arena and watching the game from another spot. We still had fun, but I hope I can go to another game sometime in the future so I can hopefully have a more overall positive experience.
Have you ever been in an awkward and uncomfortable situation where you didn’t speak up? Or that you did?
- She’s okay now, but Madison hurt her leg playing two weeks ago. She was crying and couldn’t put any weight on it, so we took her to the ER vet. The vet said she probably partially tore something in her leg, so we’ve made sure she’s been taking it easy, not walking up and down stairs a lot, not jumping on and off furniture, etc. We also found out she has arthritis in both her back legs, so we are looking into the best ways to help her.
- This season our team hosted an invitational meet that is annually held between the three high schools in the district and local private high school. It hadn’t been held at our school in almost ten years, but we worked really hard and pulled it off! It went well and I’m glad it’s over.
- This winter has been brutual! Our district used six calamity days in January alone. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up!
What I am…
- Reading: I just finished reading The American Heiress (review to posted later this week!). I am going to start reading The Friday Night Knitting Club next. I’ve heard good things about it; have you read it?
- Watching (TV): My favorite shows are The Mindy Project, Community, Bones, and Parks and Recreation. Are you watching the current seasons of any of those shows? I love How I Met Your Mother, too, but I didn’t enjoy the first couple episodes of this season so I wasn’t anxious to keep up, and now I’ve fallen way behind! HIMYM fans, it’s gotten better, right?
- Watching (Netflix): Dan and I started watching and quickly finished Orange Is the New Black. It’s an awesome show about life in a women’s prison. I can’t wait for season two! We are currently watching Friday Night Lights. We can’t get enough! Does anyone else love that show?
- Listening to: Pure Heroine by Lorde. The CD has been on repeat in my car ever since Dan got it for me for Christmas.
- Doing for fitness: A couple months ago, Dan and I joined a gym just a few minute drive from our apartment. In addition to swimming at the gym’s pool, I also log time on the cardio machine and do Tone It Up! routines. With swim season, I am have only been getting to the gym a couple times a week. I love coaching and will miss it when the season is over, but I am looking forward to having more time to work on my fitness goals!
- Posting: I have a fitness Twitter account I have shared on this blog before, but I changed my username recently from @getfitgetstrong to @kcdaily_fit. In addition to my personal Instagram @beagleandbear (which I am a bit obsessed with), I have a fitness Instagram @beagleandbear_fit. Feel free to follow me!
- Loving: Madison is recovering well, the days are getting longer again, curling up on the couch with a big cup of tea and a book, the White Barn Candle’s scent Winter, snacking on pretzel sticks.
What is new with you?
Sunset in Columbus last weekend
- This house in D.C. is simply beautiful.
- I also enjoyed this house tour of U.S. Army Captain Katie del Castillo’s D.C. apartment (If you can’t tell, I love D.C.!).
- This new site to help you find your wish list items on sale seems pretty awesome.
- How Chinese New Year works.
- I’m adding this book to my to-read list. And this one.
- Loving these weddings: 1, 2, 3.
- This casual side braid style is definitely one I want to try.
- I’m loving the news that Elizabeth Banks is directing Pitch Perfect 2!
- Why you can’t take photos inside the Sistine Chapel.
- I am not okay with J.K. Rowling’s reflections on who Hermione should have married!
- What it means to boil water…a must-read.
- Here’s some trivia you should know. Just in case.
- Recipes I’d love to make: Super Bowl pom pom cupcakes, cranberry walnut chocolate chunk cookies, quinoa pizza bites, smoky kale Caesar salad, classic lemon bars, and almond crusted salmon.