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I hope everyone has a merry and bright Christmas! Happy Holidays, everybody!

Friday Ramble Dec. 4

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Happy Friday, everybody. Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I recap the week and include some of my favorite posts and inspiration from other bloggers.girlboarderWelcome to December! Here we go! Christmas season.

I totally dropped the ball last week with posts. I ended up getting a cold on Sunday and by Tuesday I thought I was going to die. I woke up dizzy and was forced to stay home from work. I have jaw problems from TMJ. This messes with my inner ear and I have problems with vertigo sometimes. Being sick just made it worse. I forced myself to work on Wednesday because I don’t have any more vacation time to take off sick. I just lose the hours from Tuesday as unpaid.

I had to do the monthly billing before the office closed for Thanksgiving, so, even though I felt like I was swallowing glass, I went to work. As I suspected, I came in to find 6 emails from various people asking if the billing was going to be done on time. Because I work with passive aggressive morons. Why would you send emails to the person who is out sick and get increasingly annoyed when they don’t answer. Brain dead little idiots, that’s whom. Also, I have never been late with the monthly billing. I should complain to corporate about harassment. This shit happens every month.

Thankfully, my throat was a little better on Thanksgiving and I was able to eat my turkey dinner without crying in pain. Ha! I just made a pun. Now I have this annoying cough that will just not go away. All night long. Cough cough cough. I’m going mad, I tell you. I need sleep!

Thanksgiving was good. I made mashed potatoes and broccoli cheese and then then hauled it to my brother’s house. The rain held off, thank all the gods. We ate and talked and I played with his cats. He has a new kitten that is the most adorable thing ever. Then I cam home and my own kitten bit me because I am a cheating whore who petted another cat.

I also watched the new Jurassic World movie. All I could think of was ‘why is Peter Quill fighting dinosaurs?” Lol. I have a one track mind. I’ve always liked Chris Pratt and, while I find it insulting that he had to loose all that weight to break into leading man roles, it’s nice to see him in something that’s not a comedy. I mean, he’s still funny, but he’s a good actor and I like seeing him in more prominent roles. Plus, dinosaurs! I love the Jurassic movies. Even if the series is getting a bit long in the tooth and this one was too convoluted. I still enjoy them. (Poor Katie McGrath.)

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Check out The Best Christmas Markets in Europe from The Sunday Chapter. The pictures are all soft and glowy and I’m jealous. We don’t have anything that can really compare in the Midwest.

Build a tiny paper village for the holidays and then string LED lights (the type that don’t get hot) around it. A Beautiful Mess shows us how.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Travel Solo by the Wonder Forest gals.
I’m fairly sure I’m never going overseas, even though I desperately want to. I know no one would go with me. One friend will never have the money and the other friend keeps having kids. I need more close friends. The thought of traveling alone is panic inducing. I could probably manage traveling in the US but not overseas. If something were to happen at least I’d have someone there to help with whatever shit went down. I don’t think I could handle it by myself and end up spending the time wherever I was stressed out.

13 Ways to Feel More Confident from Angela at The Sunday Chapter.
I obviously need to work on this. Maybe I can get confident 4enough to travel overseas on my own! (Don’t hold your breath.) I did do a good deed this morning. It was cold enough to frost the car windows and living in an apartment means parking outside. I was scrapping my car off when I noticed a lady with mobility problems I’ve seen a couple of times just sitting in her car, waiting for her heater to clear her windshield. I went over and scraped it off so she could leave without waiting. Her name is Gloria.

This Is What A Handwritten Novel By Neil Gaiman Looks Like from BuzzFeed.
Oh my god! Gaiman’s handwriting is horrible. It’s a Frankenstein mix of print and cursive. I’m so disillusioned.

The Goodreads Choice Awards, Best Books of 2015 as voted on by the readers.

The 17 Funniest Tweets About Books In 2015 from BuzzFeed.

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I’d do this the next time I’m in the library but they’ve started using those computer check out stations. (pout)

Everyone is doing Christmas gift guides. Oh my god, so many. I’ll have to post links to some of the best next week.

26 Things Every Person Should Do for Themselves Once a Year from A Cup of Jo.
Be nice to yourself. Sometimes you are the only person who will be.

It’s almost New Years’ resolution time. Oh the horror. 30 Challenges for 30 Days of Greatness from Marc & Angel Hack Life.
I should do something like this for January.

The Books

Finished: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Started: Soundless by Richelle Mead (I hope to finish this today)

Waiting: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I’ll make a trip to the big library in my town for my first batch of under 300 page books. I hope to read Coraline on Saturday, it not even over 200 pages long, and then I’ll get started on the other books. I’m most looking forward to Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty, so I’ll probably start with that.

Provided I can finished Soundless by Richelle Mead today, I will be on track to read 15 books in December. Wish me luck!

under300pagesreadingchallenge

Had to take Fiona, my cat, to the vet last night. A few days ago she was playing and a poop came out. She was so embarrassed. I’ve been giving her some treats for constipation since then but didn’t think much of it. Then on Wednesday night she was using her box, let out a loud meow, jumped out, and ran to scoot her butt across the carpet. A little poop came out. I was horrified. Fi looked ok down there and didn’t seem to mind me lifting her tail and taking a peek afterward.

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Still, I took her to the Vet Thursday night just to be sure. Of course, they didn’t find much. No little nasties in her stool and the Vet couldn’t find any obvious signs of what was going on. They expressed her anal glands but otherwise said to just keep an eye on her. If she does it again we might have to see about food allergies and blood work and other crap. So, I spent $100 I really don’t have to be told ‘I don’t know’. Awesome.

You know, I could be a doctor. They’re only guessing anyway. All I would need is a white coat and Google. “Well, all your symptoms match the symptoms of the Black Death, so we’ll just go with that. Sound good?” (dead eyed stare into the camera)

Thank you for reading!

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Friday Ramble Nov. 20

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Happy Friday, everybody. Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I recap the week and include some of my favorite posts and inspiration from other bloggers.

girlboarderOh my god. I never thought organizing a Thanksgiving potluck at work would be so much trouble. We have a potluck at work every year the week before Thanksgiving. This year I am part of the activities committee and, oh my god, what a bunch of whiners. Look; eat or don’t eat, I don’t care, but stop bitching at us. Complaining to the committee that there is never enough food and too many desserts is pointless. It’s a potluck. The food is coming from you guys. If you want more food and less desserts, then that’s what you need to bring. We supply the hams and rolls and other bits. The other food is up to you people. That’s what a potluck is!

Plus the head guy is being a butt. We wanted to get a turkey breast to go along with the hams because we have people with diet restrictions and one person who is Jewish, for fuck’s sake. We were shot down. “If we carter to one person, we’ll have to carter to everybody. They should be grateful for what they are getting.” If they can’t eat it at all, THEN THEY ARE GETTING NOTHING! What a shortsighted jerk…

On a side note; my little family is doing Thanksgiving at my brother’s house and I’m responsible for the mashed potatoes and broccoli and cheese. It’s just me, my Dad, and my brother and his girlfriend/wife. That’s all that’s left of my family. Depressing. We were never a big family in the first place but it’s still sobering.

I like to look at decorating websites. They interest me and I like seeing other people’s homes. But there is this ‘Scandinavian’ look that has been really popular for the last couple of years and I’m sick of it. The homes are white, with some gray and brown thrown in there so you don’t walk into the furniture. It’s boring! I need color in my life or else my mood drops into the pits. All the blogs are touting it as ‘clean’ and ‘functional’, and ‘minimalist’. All I see is someone who couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort to decorate their home.

I started using Eucerin Redness Relief Face Lotion and it gave me an itchy, burning rash on my neck. Awesome.

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That wretched Starbucks’s red cup controversy, explained from the start.

Urban Epics is holding a massive 10 book giveaway along with $200 Amazon gift card and a vintage Remington typewriter. Click HERE to enter!

18 Unbelievably Rude Texts From Your Anxiety. Yes, that is my life. Because I enjoy staring up at the ceiling every night for two hours trying to fall sleep while my brain races in little panicked circles. It’s real fun. Not.

Stop scaring your cats with cucumbers! What the hell, people?

Longleat’s Festival of Light in the UK. Because it is now November, so, CHRISTMAS ALL THE THINGS!

Since I have no room for a normal Christmas tree, I’m looking into Alternative Christmas tree options. More options. More, more options. And even more options. (I kind of like the idea of putting green paper up on the wall in a Christmas tree shape and making paper ornaments.)

Living in a small apartment, with a cat, it can get quite stuffy. So, here are 3 Stove Simmers to Make your Home Smell like the Holidays.

Iowa Girl Eats has Gluten Free Party Potatoes! Also known as funeral potatoes, these suckers are cheesy and topped with a crunchy layer of crushed corn flakes. (Say that 3 times fast.) They are the best thing in the universe.

The Jim Henson Company is doing a new movie! Turkey Hollow airs on Lifetime this Saturday November 21 at 7pm central. As a long time lover of the puppet master and the Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal, I will be watching this and recording it.

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Everything from Helene in Between. Everything.

Kati Heifner’s gluten free blog that I adore.

Bake Happy has icing examples, for all your holiday cupcake needs.

The Books

Finished: The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman & The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Started: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Waiting: (shrug)

Added to TBR list:

Daughters of Ruin by K.D. Castner

The Penguin Lessons: A True Story by Tom Michell

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman

I’ve decided for the month of December to read my under 300 pages TBR pile. These are the book I’ve added to the to be read pile that are under 300 pages.  (Alright, maybe a little over 300 pages. Just a couple pages. But definitely under 310 pages!) As it stands, that is 43 books. It takes me, on average, 2 days to read a under 300 page book. So, I expect to finish at least 15 books but will aim for more. I’m hoping to take out a good chunk of my TBR pile. Think of it as an early New Years’ resolution. It’s going to be cold, I might as well read.

What are some under 300 page books that I should read?

under300pagesreadingchallenge

Also, am I the only one who finds blogs that have multiple authors confusing? Who am I reading? Who’s story is this? It doesn’t help that they are all calling themselves “I”, which just means it all blends together in my head. Wait, this was written by person #4 and not person #2 like I thought? I’m so confused! It’s this shit that gives me trust issues. (No? Only me? Ugh.)

 

Thank you for reading!

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Friday Ramble Nov. 13

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Happy Friday, everybody. Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I recap the week and include some of my favorite posts and inspiration from other bloggers.

girlboarder

First of all, Happy Friday the 13th!!

bella67 | pixabay

I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to make for Thanksgiving (that I can actually eat since I’ve gone gluten free). I miss rolls. Oh god, how I miss rolls. (Good, warm, soft rolls. Not the gluten free rolls that I’ve been putting up with, which could be used for baseballs.) Luckily I was never fond of pie or cookies but I freaking miss good bread. Of course, the turkey and mashed potatoes and veggies will all be fine to eat but I know those rolls will just be taunting the hell out of me.

I think the tires on the right side of my car are slowly leaking air from when I skid out on the wet roads Halloween night. Even though I took the car to the shop to be checked over the following Monday and was told the car was fine. Of course, finding time to stop by a gas station to put air in them is hard to do since it’s dark by the time I get off work this time of year. My worry intensifies as it gets colder. (I’m a very anxious person and my brain decided long ago that my car is a good object to fixate on. I wish it wouldn’t. It’s a very expensive object to fixate on.)

Everyone in my office is coughing and sneezing and oh my god GET AWAY FROM ME! I do not have any vacation time to take to get sick. If I get the flu or a cold bad enough to stay home, I just lose those hours. That money is gone. I can’t afford to get sick. I just paid off my credit card from last year’s shit (glasses and teeth and a vacation and breaking my arm). I need that money. Everybody keep your germs to yourself!

Next week’s menu will include this recipe for crock pot sausage, green beans, and potatoes from Recipes that Crock. I might replace some of the liquid with chicken broth for more flavor. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

Yes, hello, pain in my neck and shoulders. I missed you too. Not.

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The Design Sponge peeps posted Social Media Do’s and (Please) Don’ts. I’m guilty of some of those Don’ts. I’m horrible at keeping up with Twitter. There is just SO MUCH STUFF! I get overwhelmed very easily.

You have to check out On the Smugglers’ Radar over at The Book Smugglers. Ana and Thea do a weekly post about what books have taken their fancy lately and been added to their TBR piles. It never fails that I find at least one book I’m interested in too; which to both good and bad. I have enough TBR books as it is! (Added The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude to my shelf. Dang it…)

Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Even the crispy fried onions, people! I can’t deal. I just can’t. (whines with want)

Excuse me while I overly identify with some bloggers and have to go hide in the bathroom at work for 20 minutes to think. Wonder Forest posts Secret Anxiety Fighter: 6 Things You Didn’t Know. Also a little older post: The Little Mentally Ill Me.

Elsie at A Beautiful Mess walks us through a cranberry wreath just in time for Thanksgiving, as well as a cranberry related contest. (A couple years ago I made a cranberry wreath much like the one shown and made the huge mistake of hanging it outside on my door. A couple of a days later I came home from work to find the apartment breezeway filled with birds, all of them going to town on my cranberry wreath. Oh my god. The breezeway and my door had to be scrubbed down with soap and my door repainted because the birds had pooped everywhere. I was mortified. I took cookies to the leasing office to apologize to the maintenance guys and they told me it wasn’t the first time that had happened. I about died. So, if you make a food wreath, I seriously suggest sealing it with some sort of clear spray. Learn from my mistakes, people.)

Small world in blog-land. Foodiecrush contributor Hayley Putnam interviewed Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats about going gluten-free the last two years and her new ebook Gluten-Free for Beginners: 30 Day Meal Plan and Guide for Gluten-Free Success. I follow both blogs. Foodiecrush also shares Kristin’s recipe for gluten-free Beef with Broccoli. (I went gluten free a couple months ago in hopes it would help my PCOS. It hasn’t been very fun but I’ve been seeing signs of improvement.)

This sarcastic response to the Starbucks red holiday cup ridiculousness. 20 Things I Find Offensive About This Red Cup from The Daily Tay, who I found a couple of days ago and adore her attitude. (The cup is red and green, people! Those are Christmas colors! And the Starbucks cups have never been religious. If you are letting a cup define your holiday, then you are the one with the problem.)

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The Books

Finished: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen & Beastkeeper by Cat Hellion

Started: The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman

Waiting: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Subscription Box Review : Owl Crate October 2015

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I fell off the writing wagon. I was doing really well until the beginning of this week. Then I slowly wrote less and less everyday and now I haven’t written anything for the past two days. I’m like 6,000 words behind where I should be. As usual, I have lots of ideas but no motivation. Why, brain? Why must you be like this? As I sit right now, I have 15,299 words. By the end of today, I should have about 22,000. Yikes.

My cat, Fiona, finally managed to tear a slat on my mini blinds. Well, not really mine. They were there when I moved into the apartment four years ago. But the point is that she is a very naughty kitty and will be getting coal for Christmas.

I’m thinking about joining a read-a-thon for Thanksgiving or Christmas and then reading just the books on my TBR pile that are under 300 pages. The tiny books I can finish in just two or three days despite being busy or hit with the sudden desire to stare at the TV for an evening. That would knock out a good 10 books or more off my TBR pile.

I really, really want to start using Instagram but I don’t have a smartphone. I have a dumbphone that is slowly dying on me. I could carry my point-and-shoot Canon camera around with me everywhere I go but I don’t have the patience for that. (whine) First world problems….

A co-worker told me on Wednesday that she envied me because I was always so calm. I thanked her and then hightailed it to the bathroom so I could laugh like the crazy person I really am. It’s nice to know I’m fooling the world, even if I’m not fooling myself.

photo copyright Patricia Hull
The touristy Main Street in my town, by the Missouri River. It’s a cute area but all the little shops are over priced and bland gift shops. There are a couple good stores I visit but I’m basically only down there to wander along the river and for festivals and stuff.

Thank you for reading!

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Friday Ramble Nov. 6th

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Happy Friday, everybody. Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I recap the week and include some of my favorite posts and inspiration from other bloggers.

girlboarder

slippery_when_wet_signs[1]I hope everyone had a good Halloween. I’ve had better. Although this Halloween was not as bad as last year, when my Mom had recently passed and then I ended up breaking my arm on November 1st. No, this year just had some yucky, rainy weather that made me spin out on a wet road driving to my friend’s house. Nothing like extreme panic to get the blood pumping! I thought for sure I was going to roll the car. I spun in a complete circle and ended up in the grass. But, I guess I was lucky. I didn’t hit anything, nobody hit me, and I was able to drive away after the cop checked my car over and sent me on my way. Thank you to the Maryland Heights police department for helping this idiot Saturday night. I know you probably had a million calls just like mine on that night. I was actually on the phone with 911 when another guy in a truck did the same thing I did coming the other way. It was that type of crappy night.

I took my car up to the shop to have it checked out on Monday morning. They didn’t find anything. So, I’m really lucky that I didn’t damage the car. I had clumps of grass and mud stuck up in the underside. It looked like my car had a green beard. So, lesson learned but no harm done. I still fully expect to wake up to a flat tire but fingers crossed I don’t.

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Simply Grove starts talking Thanksgiving with her post on table décor. I find tablescapes and dressing absolutely fascinating. My family never did anything so fancy for holidays. We just put out the food in whatever dishes we had and used everyday cups and plates. I always fantasize around dressing up a table for Christmas dinner but it’s lost on my family. The one year I tried to put pretty glasses on the table for Thanksgiving dinner, they all gave them back and asked for plastic cups. Plebeians.

I have horribly sensitive skin along with blemishes and redness. Bane of my existence at 32 years old. I thought pimples were a teen thing? Why am I still dealing with this as an adult? What Olivia Did… posts about her Top 5 Cleansers. I think I might try her suggestion of Ren Evercalm Cleansing Milk.

Jacquelyn over at lark & linen posts 12 of her best blog tips.

The A Beautiful Mess girls just put out my favorite Design Style series post by showcasing Scandinavian design that isn’t just white on white. I’m also mad jealous of Elsie’s rainbow glass collection seen here and here and the sister’s trip to Iceland, even if it does look cold.

Tracy at Shutterbean posts a recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Rolls. I’d probably add some chicken in there. This would have to be done on the weekend when I have more time. Normal people could just pop a tube of crescent dough or something from the grocery store for a shortcut. I’d have to make gluten free dough for this. (sigh) Why is there not a pop tube of gluten free dough on store shelves? It could make my life so much easier!

American woman Cory Amaro in France, with a camera. Need I say more? Visit her blog Tongue in Cheek.

Go to Dana Fox’s blog Wonder Forest for all your blogging needs.

Are you looking for great photos to use on your blog but worried about legal issues. Then visit unsplash and pixabay. All their photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Which means you can do whatever you want with them without asking permission from the photographer or website. Unsplash has a lot of artsy, high visual photos. While pixabay is more a of mixed bag that includes all sorts of things.

Love The Here and Now posts their Favorite Blogging Resources.

24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More

Angela over at The Sunday Chapter has posted The 60 Most Useful Websites on the Internet. I like roadtrippers.com. It lets you plan your roadtrips. It’s also useful for finding interesting sights around your home town.

THE BOOKS

Finished: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Started: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
I was at my favorite book store, Main Street Books, Saturday before last and decided to complete my collection of SAA books. I also bought Lost Lake.

Waiting: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman >> I didn’t know Shulman had written a 3rd book in her Grimm Legacy series, which I adore. I was wandering the shelves and stumbled over it. I’m so excited to read it!

I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box!

I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box!

I have an unhealthy obsession with subscription boxes. This is also why I’m always broke. I’ll post a review of my OwlCrate box next week. I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep this subscription. I signed up for 3 months, which will get me the October, November, and December boxes, and paid just over $100. That is a lot of money for such a short time. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe the next two boxes will blow me away or something.

I also get Ipsy, Try the World, and KitNip boxes. I won’t renew the Try the World box next year. It’s a food subscription box where each box focuses on a different country. It was also expensive and, while interesting, I wasn’t really using anything they send out and now that I’ve gone gluten free, it’s useless. The KitNip box is a cat toy subscription box and both my cat, Fiona, and I really enjoy it. And of course Ipsy is makeup.

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Everyone have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

Thank you for reading!

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