What I Learned in 2015

It's okay to not follow the plan.

This is hard for me to follow, and I'm still struggling with it; I like to know what's going to happen before it happens. But if that was always the case, life would be extremely boring. It's impossible to know everything ahead of time, even though sometimes I wish I could.

I'm probably overthinking it.

And when I say probably, I mean definitely, because I overthink everything. I've got to put down the notepad and the 12,000 internet tabs I've got open, and go outside or talk to someone. They may have a fresh view on it that I haven't thought of yet. Or the answer is so obvious, it's staring me right in the face and they are thinking, "Duh."

I'm a grown ass lady, and I can do what I want.

There's no one to tell me what I can't do, now that I live with only my husband, myself, and two sweet kitty cats. If I want to sing to my cats and drive wherever I want to travel one day, I get to decide that.

You don't have to be successful at all the things.

Pick a thing or two and try being successful at it. If that means you don't do another thing, that's okay.

Travel is fun and adventure is necessary, but enjoy the habits of being home.

There is hardly any better feeling than coming home after a long trip. It makes me appreciate everything I missed while I was gone. Every day cat snuggles and watching Netflix should not be under-appreciated.

What worked for other people may not work for me.

I often cannot stop myself from wondering what would happen if I did exactly what another person did, but no one person follows exactly the same path. Also, what makes me happy is not going to make another person happy.

First, you dye your hair; then, you quit your job.

I tend to build up pressure very quickly, although not that often. When I became unhappy at work, it happened so fast, I didn't see it coming. One day, I didn't like my hair color, and the next day I couldn't stand coming to work. Really, what I think I was concerned about was feeling stuck in the same place at work, so I was looking for changes I could make elsewhere. Next time, I will look for warning signs and hopefully be more aware of how I'm feeling at work and what I can do to change it.

It's not nearly as big a deal as I think it is.

Relax and stop freaking out, because no one else thinks it's that big a deal. Go look at something else for a moment and relax.

I am looking forward to being a part of whatever my little family has in store for us next year.

I hope you've had a good year and am wishing you a happy New Year!

My Favorite Books in 2015

2015 was a good year for books. I did a lot of rereading this year, with Harry Potter! I reread each one, and it was one of my favorite things about books this year.

I think everyone is familiar with Harry Potter, already, so I won't introduce you to that one. I'll always post about Harry Potter if I get the chance, though. You never know when you'll need some in your life.
I read some other fabulous books, which you may or may not have heard of.

1. Trigger Warning - Neil Gaiman

I love fantasy and sci-fi short stories. In fact, that's almost the only short stories I've read. Besides that fact, though, is that Neil Gaiman is my favorite author, and anytime he puts out a new book, I feel excited.

Part of my excitement this year was that I ordered a signed, first edition copy of this book. Neeerrrrrrd. He signed it in purple pen. This was even better than that one time he accepted my friend request on Last.FM.
It is a collection of his short stories. He has several, and I recommend them all. If you've never read any, Smoke and Mirrors is a good place to start, although you could start with any of them.

2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

While I'm on that note, I might as well mention American Gods. This was a reread for me, and another of my favorites.

They are supposed to make this into a TV series at some point. Is this still happening? It needs to happen.

The story is that Shadow, recently released from prison, comes home to unexpected news about his wife and is then pulled along as a player in a plot amongst almost-forgotten gods.

3. Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

This is the only book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, so far. Man, was it sweet.

It is about a guy working in IT who begins reading emails from a coworker as part of his job to filter emails. Before he knows it, he learns about things going on in her and her coworker's lives.

I liked the conversations between two best friends through email. If you ever talk to anyone through email at work, you will see similarities. I also cried huge tears at the end.

4. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

This is a book about how the creators of Pixar run a team of creative people and how they have done business. I enjoyed learning some of the background of Pixar; the Disney-Pixar merge part was especially interesting.

It's also about lessons in business, and although I'm not in business, it gave me a good idea of how managers should do things. It also kind of spoiled me, because I compare other employers to Pixar and think that it's not the way Pixar would do things.

5. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

I've recommended this before, but you should check it out. It's a book about love and communication in the modern world. It surprised me with interesting discussions and made me laugh.

6. Rags and Bones

This is a short stories collection, with retellings of classic tales. I mentioned that I am a fan of fantasy and sci-fi short stories, and this has both. Some are much better than others, but I enjoyed them all.

Also enjoyed:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Martian by Andy Weir
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
You're Never Weird On the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

I'm linking up with Steph today for Show Us Your Books.

A Who and Star Wars Weekend

I have to confess that I didn't put up a tree this year. Or decorations. Or anything. I'm only home for two weeks this year, so it didn't seem worth it. We will have to double up everything next year for a double Christmas, when I hope things are more settled down. This time is a little crazy.
My cat got this box for Christmas. As you can tell, she loves it a lot. She sat in it for about 5 minutes, then was over it.

Movies:

We went to see Star Wars, and it was awesome. I'm not a huge Star Wars nerd (Harry Potter all the way), but I enjoyed it.

There was a guy at my work who came in complaining about it, but he can just get over himself. I hate when people nitpick movies to sound like they are cool.

Also, BB8 was one of the cutest things about this movie.

Purchased:

I get excited about things like getting a cute new welcome mat.

Watching:

We finally caught up on the most recent three episodes of Doctor Who! I thought this season was really good, although I definitely want to rewatch it and some of the other recent seasons, because I like seeing them all together.

The Christmas episode was especially good this year, I thought. How cute were the Doctor and River?
I mean, there were so many great moments. Not a spoiler, but when they went in the TARDIS, it was hilarious. They are adorable, and I thought it was nice to finally have just them together.
I also want to steal every piece of her wardrobe this episode. All the sparkling dresses!

Food:

Hello, I am a cookie addict. I make cookies every week, and this week is oatmeal chocolate chip. These are from a mason jar mix Greg got me for Christmas, but here's a similar recipe which is basically the same ingredients.

How was your Christmas weekend? Did you see any good movies/TV?

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston today for Weekending.

Weekending: Travel Edition # 2

Guess what? I only have one more week of training time near this lovely beach, and this coming weekend I get to fly back home for Christmas for a couple weeks! That means that soon I get to snuggle my kitty cats.

I also get to see what kind of groceries my husband has been keeping in the house in the three weeks I've been gone. I'm guessing there's going to need to be a trip to the grocery store.

I would not be good at traveling for work. I'm unraveling here. I need my blankets and my tiny apartment.

Running:

I did a decent amount of running this weekend and today. Don't be fooled; it was immediately followed by laying there like a giant two-legged potato. My legs don't actually hurt that much after I run, but my ovaries still hate me. Don't ask me why.

I've been running with other people a couple times, which is really fun, but also makes me run faster. My body should take it easy, but my mind says go go go.

Usually, when I run in my own neighborhood, I do a mix of walking and running, but lately, I feel great while I'm running but not great later. I know if I just ease up a bit, it will feel a little better.

Food:


I ate all the foods this weekend. The people in my group wanted to go out to eat a couple times, and we were able to get away from our hotel rooms and relax . The first time was a little hard to find vegan food, but I made it work with some salad and fries and a tall glass of cider. No pictures, because I devoured it all. Next, I convinced them to stop at Mellow Mushroom, because I knew I could order a vegan pizza there. Yummmm. Next time, I'll order it without cheese, and just toppings.

I also took myself to Moe's for a burrito bowl and Sonic for a strawberry slushy and some tots. The only thing that could be better is if they still had sweet potato tater tots.

Then, I found these babies at Target, and you better believe I bought them. I tried one today, and they taste just like pumpkin pie.

Movies:

I went to go see Mockingjay Part 2, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice end to the series, even if I'm not sure if they needed two parts.

I knew it was going to be sad, and I was also terrified during one scene. If you've seen it, you probably know which one. I knew it was coming, but it was so scary!

I thought I made it past all the sad parts and hadn't started crying yet, but then there is a certain animal part that I totally lost it at.

How was your weekend? Have you seen any new movies?

I'm linking up with Biana today for weekending at B Loved Boston.

Currently

Location:

I'm still beach-bound in Mississippi and away from home for training, counting down the days till I get back!

The beach is nice to look at, but I actually miss the cold weather in Delaware. Flip flops in December is not normal. I miss boot weather and snuggling in blankets.

Workout:

I've ran three times this week, and probably will take at least tomorrow off. I have a battle sometimes when I run, because my ovaries seem to take issue with it, and sometimes I will feel a little sick the rest of the day, like they are agitated. Probably something I will ask about whenever I have a doctor visit next time. The obvious answer is don't run, duh.

I like to try to beat the clock, even if I regret it, later. I tell myself to run/walk, but I always want to make my run hit a certain time.

Maybe this winter, once I get back home, I will get back into the gym, since it is usually snowy/cold out in January and February. I could possibly get back into the elliptical, since that's lower impact. Or do my miles on the treadmill.

Also, what you can't see in this picture is that on the exact opposite side of the beach is a busy road. One side was a nice beach view during my run, and the other side had cars driving by.

It was a decent run, but the people liked to honk a lot, and only in Mississippi would I be the only one running on a sidewalk that runs along a beach!!

Reading:

I'm on the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. The last book was really good, even though it dragged in a couple parts; it picked back up, later. I'm into the characters, now, and there are a few new ones in this book that I like.

I know a lot of people have read this series. Are there going to be more? I don't see how in the world she would wrap this up in one book.

Watching:

I watched The Imitation Game, last night. What an incredible movie! I'm a little behind in watching it. If you haven't seen it, yet, I definitely recommend it! It was fascinating, and also a little heartbreaking.

I didn't know the story going into it, but it is basically about Alan Turing and breaking the German Enigma code in World War II. I enjoyed both Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and the ending was quite shocking to me. How our judicial system could be so heartless is terrifying.

Loving:


If you want to see Benedict Cumberbatch being silly, you should hear him saying 'penguins.' It cracks me up every time!!

Weekending: Traveling Edition

This is definitely a weird weekend. Not that anything totally unbelievable happened, but I am so out of my routine.

I am on a month and a half trip for training for my part time job, which I will say most of the time takes one weekend a month. This trip is a bit long, but I have a break during Christmas and New Year's.

The hotel is super glamorous, if you are into sinks in your bedroom, no A/C (I'm in Mississippi; it's about 70 degrees F and hotter in my room), and trains driving by all night every couple hours, within a half a mile from the door. And cooking? Who needs to cook, when you're equipped with a microwave? I'm homesick, guys. But I'll be alright.

I did carry my complaining butt to the gym every day this weekend, since we had a three day weekend and not many plans.
The gym was brand new and nice (same gym I go to in Delaware, different location), although no one was there most of the time. Mississippi is not into early weekend workouts, or the gym isn't that popular yet, maybe. On the bright side, I didn't have to feel weird about doing squats in the mirror.

The beach looks pretty; I only stopped to take a pic and didn't get out, because there are mainly casinos along the coast. I heard a bunch of fireworks the other night, though, so somebody was getting their party on.

I went shopping at Target and tried on a few things. I found a cute pair of high waisted green pants and an asymmetrical sweater, but ended up only getting a long black cami to wear with leggings and a workout top that was on clearance (see pink top above).
 I accidentally left my flats at home, so I had to wear flip flops in December, but it seems to be totally normal here!

I've been watching a lot of Friends. I'm starting season 5, now. Phoebe had a super cute pug puppy in an episode last season, and I wanted to steal it.

I also took myself out to see The Night Before and I enjoyed it very much. I definitely recommend it. It was funny and dirty, but also kind of sweet. I started to tear up, because it made me miss my husband, but that would probably not be the normal response haha.

How was your weekend? I'm going to eat more double stuff Oreo's, because there's no one here to stop me.

I'm linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending.

Things That Are Different at 28 Than When I First Moved Out

Recently (okay about 2 months ago), I celebrated my 28th birthday. I don't know what happened this year, but I am on a completely different path than I planned just a couple years ago. I went from enjoying my job, to feeling bored and unhappy (could I do the same thing every day and feel like I was pulling some coworkers' weight all the time at a place I couldn't see any growth?), to searching for the next step.

And as scary as it is, I quit my job. That's crazy, right? Luckily, when I left I left on good terms and my boss told me clearly that I was welcome back, so it isn't as terrifying as it could be. But still terrifying!! I am jobless. Sort of.

There's nothing like a change in your routine to make you appreciate what you have. I'm away from home for training (for the next month or so) right now, so I'm looking at you, weird hotel room that makes me miss my home.

While I sit and contemplate my need of husband / cat snuggles, I thought about all the things that have changed since I first moved out on my own after graduating college.

When I first moved out, I moved from South Carolina to Delaware and lived with my future husband and two roommates; all four of us were jammed into a two-bedroom apartment. It was a nice apartment, and one of the only problems we ever had with them was the official notice we got stating not to feed stray cats. I am a cat feeder, okay! It is what I am.

But, I noticed that there are a lot of things that have changed since first moving out on my own. Here are a few things that are different:

I no longer eat box mac and cheese and frozen biscuits as meals. Although, midnight cereal snacking is still a thing.

I buy the good toilet paper.

We no longer have roommates, just one playful boy kitty and one disgruntled, crotchety lady kitty.

My wardrobe has expanded to include dresses, skirts, and bottoms that aren't jeans. Although, I'm still a fan of sweatpants when comfiness is needed.

I cook myself food almost every day, and frozen food doesn't taste the same.

The only fast food we eat on the regular is Chipotle. I don't see any reason to give that up!

Pajama time on the weekend is 9 PM on a late night.

I should probably also make a list of things that are the same, such as: I still can't afford to buy that closet that Cher has in Clueless with an endless combination of outfits.

How much has changed since you first moved out?