Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekend Reading Material // No. 38

Constance Lyu // Nerdy Bookshelves
^ via Constance Lyu ^

No. 38 // July 25-26, 2015

+ Because food made "for women" is not just a super obvious marketing ploy, but also just plain terrible. I can say that because this guy tried eating nothing but "female food" for two weeks and wrote about it.

+ STEBEN'S GETTING MURRIED. Not, like, this instant, but his engagement photos came out a couple weeks ago and auuuugh, SO ADORBS. Also. Bookstores. Yes.

+ Dear People Who Live in Tiny Fancy Houses... {and subsequent/related response articles}.

+ Additionally, besties who built their own community. STSS is down. Now to find the perfect location...

+ And I really really want to stay at this cliffside {literally} hotel in Peru. Because that HAS to be awesome. I'd probably go with the zip-lining option over climbing up there though.


Happy weekend, friends! We're working on increasing Patrick's exposure to strangers and new things, so we'll be taking him to a campfire thing tonight that the parentals are volunteering at... wish us luck!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The 23 List // June Update

^ The bridge at 1.77 miles on a Lake Chabot hike with the padre. Isn't it pretty? ^

+ take a road trip... where I'm actually behind the wheel and there are other people in the car // Well, I didn't take a road trip, but I DID finally drive with someone other than my parentals in the car last week! *cheercheercheer* I felt really accomplished the entire rest of the day. :P

+ hike a trail that takes longer than five hours from start to finish // The padre and I have been slowly increasing the length of our walks around Lake Chabot, now that he's able to handle the distance and hills better. Even though our walking speed is gradually increasing as well, it will probably still take around five plus hours for us to go all the way around. Not sure we'll be able to accomplish that in the next two weeks though. Still. Progress!

+ read three nonfiction books, cover to cover // Coolhaus Ice Cream Book by Natasha Case & Freya Estreller. I've been a fan of their company since my freshman year of college, so following along with their success has kind of felt personal. I dunno how to explain it-- you know those companies that you just click with? This is one of mine. I most likely won't be making any of their ice cream recipes anytime soon, but I'm hoping to try a few of their cookie recipes before the end of the 23 List.

+ reach 50 Instagram and 500 Pinterest followers // Numbers time! 82 Instagram friends, 540 Pinterest peeps. Pretty awesome.

+ get a job // DONE. My month long unintended hiatus was partially due to starting a new part time job, partially due to our new pup, Patrick. But yeah! I'm working again and actually getting a paycheck as opposed to my normal "work for free internships" thing. Whoot! Excited.


It's been a chill month. I'm not hermitting, per say, since I'm going outside almost every day to work for a few hours, but I didn't do any adventuring either. It's been lots of dog, lots of walking with the padre, and lots of working. Hopefully next month will involve more adventures and playing {it'll help that Patrick will have all his shots by mid-July and can then go outside in public places-- right now he's stuck in the house and backyard}. There's a wedding and several birthdays coming up as well, so those should be fun!


The 23 List updates for September/OctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary/FebruaryMarchApril, and May in case you missed them. (:

Monday, June 1, 2015

TV Finales of 2015 // Thoughts

Last autumn, I reviewed a bunch of TV premieres and tried to judge my chances for continued viewing based on one episode alone. Well, after an entire television season has passed, I can now reveal which shows I actually stuck with and which fell by the wayside! I think I might be the only one who cares in terms of the mysterious question of "WHAT DID SAM WATCH THESE LAST NINE MONTHS," but that's okay. I want to know. So I shall write. (:

Ermahgherd. If there is one show that I am willing to fangirl over, it's this one. I'm not even sure I can put into words what I love about it so much without *squee*ing, but I'll try. The writing was consistently good {although there were a few filler episodes, but even those were still interesting}, the action sequences are excellently put together {this may be the one show that could make me nervous (read: elevated pulse for the last fifteen minutes) every week}, that chemistry/fit between all the actors I said they needed more time to develop and strengthen at the start of the season? Yeah, it's good now. Ugh. Seriously, the overarching storylines for the characters and their relationships to one another is just... I can't even.

There are few things I am willing to watch on repeat {only The Italian Job and Guys & Dolls until now}, but this show has definitely been added to that very short list. So so SO excited for Season Two and crossing my fingers that it maintains its quality.

The Amazing Race:
This was something I just started watching this season and, much to my surprise, quite enjoyed. Now I kind of want to try out for the show, but one, I'm so not prepared yet and two, I don't know who I'd try out with. It seems fun, if a tad crazy and very intense and stressful and conducive to angry/tired tears. But other than that... :P

Fresh Off the Boat:
Initially wary of the title, the show itself isn't too bad. The jokes are funny without being too self-deprecating or counter-racist {you know, if all the jokes were about how awful Caucasian people were or something}. A lot of the 90s references DO go over my head {I grew up then, but didn't really participate/care about the pop culture stuff}, but that's on me. It's been renewed for a second season even though viewership has been slowly dropping according to the numbers, so let's see if ABC will give it another full season or if it'll be cancelled midway through {which is what I'm thinking might happen}.

Once Upon a Time:
Eh. That entire Frozen-centric first half was so. totally. useless. The storylines weren't exciting, the acting was meh, and I just couldn't get myself to be enthusiastic about what was SO OBVIOUSLY a marketing ploy by Disney to prolong the hype over a mediocre movie. So I took a break from the show.

The second half of the season, I semi-watched. Like, we'd turn there if the Great British Baking Show had a lull, but if I missed a week or two, I'd survive. And then I watched the finale. Because you HAVE to watch alternate universe episodes, you know? And ermahgherd. So. Good. The writers hit their stride once more and threw in plot twists and better storylines and more interesting characters. That cliffhanger was excellent, I must say. I'm guessing the second half of the season was heaps and heaps better than the first, but I'll have to wait until it all comes out on DVD to catch up on the Villainesses/Evil Trio storyline. Hopefully Disney is done with Frozen for at least another year. Integrate Star Wars when that releases? Fine. Bring back Arendelle when Frozen 2 releases? NO.

Big Bang Theory:
"But what do I do about THIS ring?" Asdfjklsfdsjkl.

Modern Family:
When you know you're being renewed for probably at least another two or three seasons, I guess you don't have to try so hard with the season finale. Or at all. This WAS another very good season of Modern Family, but the finale was so. weak. The jokes were O.o, the storylines O.o, and pretty much no cliffhanger whatsoever. Definitely disappointed with the finale episode, but the rest of the season was fine. My favorite episode was probably the one shown entirely via Claire's computer screen. My parentals were like... "Whaaaat."


Selfie: SIIIIIGH. Told you ABC would cancel it. All the sad faces. ))): Boo. Not happy this was cancelled, but wasn't surprised. Because again. ABC. *shakes head* {I think I'm not waxing eloquently about my disappointment on this one (and A to Z) because it's already been half a year since they ended and we've had time to adjust. I'm sure I would've had more to say had they justjustjust been cancelled}.

A to Z: Foresaw this one not surviving, too. Not AS disappointed {more like resigned} when NBC called it quits on this show since it was starting to get a little "eh", but I would've liked it to end in a different spot. Wasn't a fan of the finale. Girl passes up major job offer to stay with Boy? Been there, done that, still not a good solution. For a show that discussed the Bechdel Test, that finale was a pretty lame move.

Forever: Alas, ABC has cancelled this one, too. Oh, ABC. Why you so cold-hearted. I've started to get the feeling that anything that doesn't feature major makeout seshs or partial nudity ends up cancelled on this network. I'm pretty sure the timeslot ABC stuck it in didn't help any {10-11pm is pretty late at night for a show with no adult content, guys}. Upside, Season One was wrapped up in a nice little bow in terms of completing all unfinished storylines, so at least we weren't left hanging?

Mindy Project: Not something I'd watch religiously, but it works for mindless TV if I need a break. FOX cancelled it at a weird place this season, but if you didn't know, Hulu picked it up for the next season. So it's only semi-cancelled. It'll be interesting to see where she goes with this pregnancy storyline.

Gotham: too scary. I can't watch this by myself at night. Sheesh.
NCIS: New Orleans: I didn't feel attached to the characters enough by the end of the pilot to care what happened to them in the second episode. I feel a little bad saying that, but it's true! I hear good things about the show, but it's not something I feel the need to tune in for each week.
Agents of SHIELD: technically I watched the entire first season, but after the season two premiere, I gave up trying to keep up with all the new characters and weird plotlines they introduced in one fell swoop. Tommy loves it though and it IS impressive {or majorly devious, either one} how Marvel integrates its movie releases into the TV show plotlines. Nice job on that guys. This Comm major gives you an impressed face. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Thoughts // No. 6

Margaret Haddix // Summer Reading

No. 6 // May 25-31, 2015

+ Since the padre and I aren't quite ready for another dog yet, but the house feels slightly empty without pets, we're thinking maybe fish can hold the fort until the right dog comes along. You know how last week we cleaned out the weird bar/sink area in the breakfast nook {I didn't name it, that's just what it's called}? Our old fishtank is also there, so we scrubbed that down and filled it with new water, too. We'll need to run the filter and add pro-fish chemicals this week, but maybe next week we'll have fish friends! :D

+ American Ninja Warrior started up again Monday. Literally the only show I'll watch of all the summer fillers. Not sure about this new female co-host, but maybs she was just nervous during the first episode? O.o

+ All the fruit! We've got strawberries, blueberries, pears, apples, cherries, blackberries, and persimmons in the house and it's great. And oranges and bananas, but I don't really get excited over those...

+ There's a new series I want to start on the bloglet soon that I put some work into this week. It's not anywhere close to being ready to publish, but progress is being made! 

+ The songs on mental replay lately: Octahate, Centuries, Good Girls, and Here's to Never Growing Up. {Why must the music videos always be so O.o ? Siiigh}... Also. I just realize they're all slightly angry sounding. I swear I'm a happy person? :P

Written Sunday at 4pm:

+ Sooo, there's a new addition to our house thanks to Maddie's Fund weekend. I'll explain in a bit, but yep. It's exciting news!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Weekend Reading Material // No. 36

Megan Bravinder // Bright Pink Florals & Hola Marquee Sign
^ via Megan Bravinder nee Welker ^

No. 36 // May 30-31, 2015

+ I don't personally use this method of checking if a steak is done, but I did start laughing when I read the article. Mostly because I could just picture certain friends of mine poking each other's faces while testing their steak. The imagery. Oh man.

+ Steph is under the impression that we don't have any good beaches here in Norcal, but here's a list of five lesser-known SF beaches that might change her mind.

+ Esther's post about building your tribe and strengthening your community is a good one. STSS already has a joint spreadsheet for future adventures, but I really like the idea of volunteering with friends. I'll probably drag Janelly to do that one with me. :P {If you're reading this, Janelle dear, are you down? :D }

+ I think I'd feel super rushed if someone took me on a three-hour of their massive city, but Jordan put together one such tour for San Francisco that I'm pretty curious to see if it really works. 


Nothing planned for this weekend either, I think. Probably more waffles. Hope you have an awesome weekend, friends, and enjoy the last bit of May!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The 23 List // May Update

Backyard Strawberries // Homegrown
^ Not bad for growing these from seed last year, right? :D ^

bake eight new recipes // well, I haven't made anything new this month, but I did make a bunch more Brown Sugar Oatmeal cookies to take down to LA for #STSSSpringAdventure2015. And Funfetti Cookies, because Steph. But those don't count cause it's not a new recipe to me. You can find it here though if you've never heard of them!

+ read three nonfiction books, cover to cover // in the middle of, like, three different nonfiction books right now. Either next month's update will have a ton of book reviews or I will have given up and just returned them unfinished to the library. You can only renew something so many times, you know?

+ send snail mail to five people {thank you cards don't count} // so. many. thank you. notes. were sent out this month. So many. I think I'm still two or three random snail mails short of finishing this one though, unless I just give in and say thank you notes count. Hmm. Nah, I should probably just stick to the rules, huh? O.o

+ reach 50 Instagram and 500 Pinterest followers // as of this moment, we're at 86 Instagram peeps and 533 Pinterest ones. Whoaaa.

+ walk across the Golden Gate Bridge // plans have been made for this to be accomplished when Mickeyla is home for a week in June. If you'd like to join us, let us know!

+ listen to 10 podcasts // I listened to two more! And I didn't take notes! Aren't you proud of me? I'm proud of me.

+ start a guest interview series on the blog // STARTED. Yusss. Thanksthanks to the great Janelly for being the guinea pig and giving us a fanTAStic first interview!


I suppose we did okay this month. Not too much was crossed off the list, but small bits of progress were still being made, so. Two more months! I can already tell you a few of those things on the list aren't going to be completed, but I think that's alright. I'm glad I've gotten as far as I have!


The 23 List updates for September/OctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary/FebruaryMarch, and April in case you missed them. (:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Talk to Me // An Interview with Janelle

^ I love friends who are willing to get in front of the camera for me. Also. This face. D'aww. ^

On my 23 List last August, I mentioned wanting to start up an interview series on the bloglet and it's taken me... ten months to fulfill that item.

From the start, I knew exactly who I wanted to be the inaugural person for this interview/guest thing--the one and only Janelly! She's been mentioned on the bloglet quite a few times, usually as my co-conspirator and fellow adventurer, but did you know she's an awesome writer as well? After reading her answers to my questions and fangirling like mad {I told you she was AWESOME}, I now think she should just sit down and write a book already. Fiction or nonfiction, I'd read it.

Things you may not know about this girl: she has one of the best collections of nerdy/adorable shirts I've ever seen {if you need tips on where to find them, ask her in the comments!}, she will almost always go for the green tea item on the dessert menu {or the mango if there's no green tea}, her fat cat Leo is my favorite {even if I'm not his}, and she has the best facial expressions. And she puts up with my nonstop chattering anytime we're together, which I am so thankful for... heh.

If you'd like more Janelly {because who wouldn't? I mean}, you can find her on Instagram. Thanks so much, dear, for being the brave first soul to try this out! <3

^ If looks could kill, Janelle and I might BOTH be dead. Leo is not amused. O.o ^

What did you want to be when you grew up and what do you do now?
- Unless you’re giving me choices like those Buzzfeed quizzes, you’re starting me off with a difficult question! *laughs* I wanted to be so many different things when I grew up; it always seemed to be changing. For the longest time though, I remember wanting to be a writer. My elementary teachers complained that I daydreamed too much, so I think my parents decided to do something with that imagination of mine and forced me to take a creative writing class one summer. I’ve been having a love affair with writing ever since. Back to the present however, I am currently in between jobs, and am thinking about going back to school to try to get a Masters in child education.

Do you have any tips for people who might want to go into your field?
- First off, for your readers, I graduated with a bachelors in Speech Pathology. This does not mean you are certified to be a speech pathologist assistant however. So for those interested, I recommend going to a junior college and attaining an AA degree first and getting certified as an assistant because you’re going to have difficulty finding a job other than as a behavior interventionist or instructional aide. It’ll serve as an alternative if you’re not able to get into a graduate program on your first try.

- Some other tips for undergraduates: Get to know your professors on a more personal level and ask if there are research opportunities you can assist with. And do as much volunteer works if possible; aside from seeing how high your GPA is, they look at how much experience you have working with people. For those unsure about which population they want to work with, contact speech pathologists and ask if it’s possible to shadow them.

What was the best decision you made during college?
- *chuckles* I must be “the glass is half empty” kind of person because I’m thinking of all the bad decisions I've made during college. I think my best decision was signing up to work at the supply room in the Speech Clinic on campus. I was paired up with a girl who turned out to be in almost all my speech related classes except one in our first semester as juniors. We became close friends and study buddies up until our graduation! If it weren’t for her, I think I’d have dropped out of Speech or had many more mental breakdowns than I actually did.

If you could give your collegiate self some advice based on things you know now, what would you tell yourself?
- I would tell my collegiate self that you have to force yourself to be sociable and more talkative, especially in the mornings when you rather be sleeping. Volunteer as much as you can, go find a part-time job on campus, and REMEMBER while getting good grades is important, it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know!

What's one place you'd like to travel to someday?
- Japan. I’ll be broke before I’m even halfway through my trip, but I won’t regret it! I’ve always admired Japan’s respect for harmony with nature and the architecture of their temples and gardens. You don’t get that in America. And while most people are interested in visiting Tokyo or Osaka, I’m more interested in visiting locations such as Kyoto or Sapporo. Not to say I wouldn’t want to go to Tokyo or Osaka, I’d really like to go visit Disney Sea, which is Japan’s version of California Adventure, but looks much more amazing.  

What's one place/event you'd recommend others check out?
- Are we talking local or like a vacation out of state? I’m not really big on festivals and events if I have to pay for them, so I guess location wise I’d have to pick Half Moon Bay. I recently discovered I have a fondness for Nor Cal beaches. The cold briny sea air, the morning fog that may never go away for the day…there’s so much I enjoy about the beaches and landmarks in Half Moon Bay area. A couple months ago, I took a day trip with a friend’s sister to scout out a location for the bridal party and WOW. It was beautiful. The sun was out, it was a nice 70 degrees for once and the ocean was this deep dark sapphire blue. We visited Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, which is hidden along the main road, but has a gorgeous view and beach that can only be accessed from a path near the hostel. Afterwards we checked out the tide pools at Moss Beach since it was low tide. We got excited over all the little creatures inhabiting the tide pools like hermit crabs and tiny fishes!  I may have left my heart in Half Moon Bay. *laughs* There’s so much of Half Moon Bay I have yet to see, but yes! Do check out the area and for people looking to go on a nice day, I recommend the summer. Also always bring a jacket, it tends to be colder than San Francisco!

How has an unexpected failure turned out to be a good thing?
- After I was accepted to Sacramento State, I forgot to apply for housing and by the time I realized it the dorms were already full and I was placed on the waiting list. I called the housing and they recommended checking their off campus housing which was a couple of blocks away. The off campus housing were loft apartments complete with a private kitchen, bathroom, and individual washer and dryers; and at the time they were surprisingly much cheaper than the dorms. My parents and I signed the lease once we finished the tour. (:

What's one thing you wish you knew how to do OR want to learn?
- I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone, but I’d like to learn ballroom dancing. Simple right? Wrong! I don’t have feet coordination and I can’t keep a beat! I was the worst at DDR as a kid when I played with my cousins and when one of our friends decided to teach me the waltz, I’m pretty sure she was ready to scream her head off because I couldn’t get the basic steps down. She was nice enough to laugh exasperatedly instead. So learning ballroom dancing would be a challenge for me (and a great way to get some exercise), but I really would like to have feet coordination for once!

What's the latest thing you geeked out about?
- Oh…*mulls over it for awhile* I think it’s Beauty and the Beast. I read a retelling of the story titled Beauty by Robin McKinley recently, then went on to watch La Belle et La Bete. I wasn’t aware there were two versions of the movie, a 1946 and a 2014 version. Both versions are amazing in their own rights though. The 1946 version is quite like watching the original fairy tale unfold before your eyes and isn’t romanticized like modern retellings have been. I personally enjoyed the 2014 version more because there was a backstory explaining how the Beast was transformed and the graphics were stunning. I have to be honest though, my favorite remains Disney’s animated version.


Lightning Round:
Favorite book right now?
- I read this trilogy recently by A.G Howard titled the Splintered Trilogy. It’s a dark twist on Alice in Wonderland. I was surprised how ensnared I became with the world she created. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read.

Favorite thing to make in the kitchen?
- Recently it’s baked parmesan zucchini. Healthy and tasty!

Favorite foodie spot?

Where do you want to live in five years?
- I’d like to live in Washington.

What's your spirit animal and why?
- I’d have to say a fox. In folklore they’re labeled as being sly and mischievous beings, which friends occasionally say I can be. Plus I like foxes. (: