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What's Happening, February 2019

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True story: I've started and added to this post many times. So it's basically a hodgepodge of what's been happening over the past month.

But first, a catch-up:

What I'm Eating/Drinking:

I'm fresh off a Whole30! It was my SIXTH go-round and perhaps the easiest? Each one of these is SO different for me. This time, I think my body was really craving healthy food and no booze after the holidays. Right on cue, one of my best friends gave me the Whole30 Slow Cooker cookbook so I had some new recipes. I was also pretty low-key last month, recovering from the holidays and knowing I had many travels and events coming up this month, so there wasn't much temptation. BUT, I did manage to survive a five-day business trip while doing this so huzzah!

What I'm Loving

Call me materialistic, but I bought a robot vacuum to handle the massive amounts of dog fur Leo sheds daily. I run it every other day (usually when I'm home as it will get stuck on the occasional cord and, …

On Living Alone

Facebook reminded me that 10 years ago today I lived alone for the first time. This was not really planned--my roommate had been laid off from her job (hello, recession) and my apartment complex let me just move into a one-bedroom unit (that, now that I think about it, was next door to a coworker!) rather than break my lease. This all happened in the span of three weeks, so I didn't have a ton of time to plan or get used to the idea.

That first period of living alone only lasted 10 months--I'd already arranged to move in with a new roommate once her lease was up that fall. Since then I've lived alone again in Dallas, and now in DC for almost three years.

People often expect me to have a strong preference for a living situation--that I either LOVE living alone or HATE having roommates. But honestly, I've loved both situations. I've never had a bad roommate situation, so I've been lucky that I look back on all of those times fondly.

But, I'll be living alone …

2018, a Recap

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I wouldn't say 2018 was the best year. As I look back at past years, I start to wonder what I *would* consider a great year. Does the weight of what's happening in our country affect me that much (and, yes, I think it does). Am I at a point now where more sad things happen--deaths of friends' parents, people in my life having health problems, and as I take on more adult responsibilities, life is a lot less carefree than it used to be.

That being said, there were still notable things this year, so let's take a look back . . .

Bests: Book: A Man Called Ove, Frederik Bakmann  Movie: To All the Boys I Loved Before (note: this is a Netflix movie. And I LOVE it) Song: The Middle by Zedd, and Younger by A Great Big World TV Shows: Queer Eye, The Americans, One Day at a Time, Superstore
[UPDATE]Episode of a TV Show: Insecure "High-Like" Musical (I saw four so I feel like I need a favorite): Come From Away (it is a CLOSE second to Hamilton in my heart, I saw it twice, I…

The Last 2018 Bookshelf Entries

I ended up reading a few more books before the year was over, recapped here:

Personal History, Katharine Graham: This has been on my to-read list for awhile, as it's widely considered the creme de la creme of memoirs (and is Pulitzer Prize winning). Graham is the former publisher of The Washington Post, who succeeded her father and husband in that position. She was a witness to so much history, and her matter-of-fact take on things is fascinating. Don't get me wrong, she grew up very privileged and wealthy and as such had many doors opened to her. However this also shows you that money doesn't protect you from life's tragedies. Some of the book is skimmable, but it really is fascinating.
For fans of: The Post, boss ladies of yesteryear

The Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll: This book was on many "must read" lists over the last few years, and I finally got around to it. I have to admit, I really didn't know what this book was about, and it was not the bo…

Holiday Feelings

I've done holiday favorite posts in the past, so instead this year, I'm sharing things just on my mind this holiday season. (Note, I started this post two weeks ago, but am not updating it to past tense now)

1. I am in the midst of many a holiday shipping debacle. Mainly, that packages seem to get to a distribution center and stay there for 5 days. Needless to say, every single shipping deadline has been missed.

2. I'm rewatching The Family Stone as I type this. Man, do I have a complicated relationship with this movie. I used to LOVE it, and was always surprised I was in the minority. But, in the past few years, I've been struck by how much everyone in the movie would benefit from therapy. And better communication skills. So I spend half my time armchair-diagnosing people, and half my time enjoying the scenery.

3. A group of girlfriends and I do a "Favorite Things" gift exchange--rather than White Elephant, we put together a gift of $20 or less of a favorite…

On the Bookshelf in 2018: Part 2

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(Catch up with Part 1 here)

Picking back up with the rest of the books I've read this year. Note, I'm now including who I think would like this book at the end of each synopsis (if I have an idea), and have added that to my previous post.

Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails, by Michelle Markowitz: I read this poolside in Cancun, which is the appropriate setting for this book. It's light, it's fun, it's eye-rolly. It's told through emails and texts amongst a group of friends as one gets married and the rest are involved (or not involved) in the wedding and live their lives. Of course it's set in NYC (women live elsewhere, authors of the world).
Good for: chic-lit fans, people with friend groups who rack up the reply-alls

Beartown, by Fredrik Backman: The same author as A Man Called Ove, but a VERY different book. A small hockey town is rocked by a crime committed by one of the players, and the book unravels it from eve…

On the Bookshelf in 2018, Part 1

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I didn't feel like I was reading a lot this year, until I took a gander at my Good Reads list and saw that I was up to 20 books for the year! I've kind of hit a lull at the moment, and am planning on re-reading the last 4 Harry Potter books, so this would be a good place for me to share my list and thoughts:

The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware: This book was clearly trying to be like Girl on the Train. I read this on a cruise back in February, not knowing the "cabin" in the title was a cruise cabin, haha. It was ok, but I tend to not love books that are trying to be like other popular books.
Good for: Someone who can't get enough of The Girl on the Train-esque books.

All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai: This was a book I really shouldn't have liked. It's sci-fi fantasy and a bit technical, but I ended up being really fascinated by it. Basically, thanks to a time travel experiment gone wrong, a man ends up in our version of 2016, not the futuristic version that he…