Writing Prompt #55: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 17)

Week #17: Something You Take For Granted.

The first thing that came to my mind is my health. I’m incredibly grateful that I am relatively healthy. I see my doctor every year; I go to the dentist twice a year. I don’t have any chronic conditions, with the exception of my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The last time I was truly sick was back in February, when I was diagnosed with the flu and a sinus infection simultaneously. Luckily, I was given Tamiflu and an antibiotic, and I was basically back to normal in four days. It was incredible.

I try really hard to stay healthy. Al and I work out at the local gym nearly five days a week – We get up at 4:15 a.m. I’m currently walking the treadmill for 30-45 minutes, but I want to get back to weight training soon.

My new FitBit that Al got me for Christmas has been very helpful in holding me accountable – I try for at least 5,000 steps per day, if not more. I also log my water intake – My goal is 75 ounces per day. It feels really good to surpass those goals!

Eating healthy/healthier has been the biggest challenge – I’m constantly looking for better, easier recipes! I’ve tried really hard to limit how junk food I eat, but that’s not easy with my stress levels sometimes! We’re trying to eat more salads at dinner, and eating out less frequently. I want to keep up the routine of meal planning and prepping on Sundays – It makes the rest of the week a lot smoother.

If you have any tried-and-true recipes that you love, I would love to hear them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #54: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 16)

Week #16: Simple Things In Life.

There’s too many to list!

A few of my favorites:

  • Having a cup of coffee in the morning.
  • Forehead kisses.
  • A long hug after a long day of work/school/meetings.
  • Seeing the beautiful roses right outside my house.
  • Having a car that I can drive almost anywhere, any time.
  • Reading almost every night before going to sleep.
  • Experimenting with essential oils – Lemongrass is the current favorite (for the diffuser in the living room and the wool dryer balls).
  • Singing along in the car.
  • Getting together with friends for monthly dinners, and game nights!
  • Discovering new podcasts.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #67: Second TBR Recap

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Image Credit: Bookicious

Welcome back!

In case you’re interested, here are the links to my previous TBR posts:


This is what I’ve read since my last update in January:

  1. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  2. The Whistler, John Grisham
  3. Angels & Demons, Dan Brown

And, here’s my updated list!

Laura Beth’s To Be Read (TBR) List, as of April 2017:

  1. The Language of Silence, Tiffany Truitt
  2. Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase
  3. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  4. The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  5. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  6. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  7. New Boy, Julian Houston
  8. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling
  9. 11/22/63, Stephen King
  10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  11. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
  12. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
  13. Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs
  14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  15. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  16. Music in My Heart: My Journey with MelodyErin Falligant with Denise Lewis Patrick
  17. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  18. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
  19. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  20. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  21. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  22. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  23. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  24. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  25. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  26. Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson
  27. Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
  28. The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr
  29. Loving Day, Mat Johnson
  30. American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst, Jeffrey Toobin
  31. The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Toobin
  32. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke
  33. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  34. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe
  35. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  36. Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney
  37. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters
  38. A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, Del Quentin Wilber
  39. Teardrops of the Innocent: The White Diamond Story (True Colors – Volume 1), Allie Marie
  40. Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, Lily Ledbetter
  41. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  42. The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  43. Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1, Valerie Tripp
  44. Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2, Valerie Tripp
  45. Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit, Valerie Tripp
  46. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  47. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  48. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  49. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  50. Son, Lois Lowry
  51. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  52. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  53. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  54. Emma, Jane Austen
  55. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  56. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  57. The List, Patricia Forde
  58. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  59. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  60. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  61. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  62. Inferno, Dan Brown

That’s all, for now!

I’ll publish my next TBR update / recap in July!

What have you read recently?

Happy reading!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #53: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 15)

Week #15: Things You Like About Spring.

I love the warmer weather. I’m grateful that the daylight sticks around longer, and I don’t have to drive home from work in the dark!

I’ve always loved nature. In the spring, the trees and flowers come back to life! It’s a beautiful sight.

Spring brings back memories for me, too. I think of the spring breaks I had from school. As a kid, I spent most of them in Florida with my family. My dad’s parents took the whole family on a Princess Cruise during spring break and Easter when I was nine!

In college, spring was when the semester started to wind down. It usually snowed right before spring break, but then the temperatures rose into the 70s, sometimes the 80s. A lot of the girls broke out their bikinis and started tanning on the lawns. I’m not a huge fan of hotter weather, but feeling a cool breeze as I left The Rotunda office or the library at night was amazing!

Easter is one of my favorite church celebrations. The sanctuary is adorned with gorgeous flowers, the hymns are beautiful, and butterflies are released after the service to signify Jesus coming back to life.

It’s a time of more sunshine, warmth, transition, and feeling happier!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #52: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 14)

Week #14: A Talent You Have.

I’m grateful for being able to write well, as well as edit. I loved being the Copy Editor of Longwood’s newspaper, The Rotunda, for nearly two full years.

Now, I’m the “resident proofreader” at my work, and I love being able to help when called upon. It helps keep my skills sharp!

In addition, I’ve helped edit a children’s book, several resumes, and one dissertation.

I’m grateful that I’m able to share my talents with others!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #66: April Goals

Welcome to April! It’s hard to believe we’re already in month #4 of 2017!

Here are my goals for April:

  1. Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.
  2. Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).
  3. Buy my desk!
  4. Tackle the garage, once and for all.
  5. Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!
  6. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  7. Celebrate birthdays!
  8. Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.
  9. Read at least three new books.

Here’s the breakdown:

Complete my Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep class.

  • I only have two classes left!

Take, and pass, my CPC exam (a.k.a., boards).

  • I take the exam one week from today!

Buy my desk!

  • Thanks to Wayfair.com, I’ve finally figured out what I want. Once I pay my credit card bills this month, this is one of the first things I’m buying!

Tackle the garage, once and for all.

  • We want to empty the garage, finally. We want to find places for everything!

Finalize plans for our second wedding anniversary getaway!

  • We have a good idea of where we want to go and what we want to do, but we want to call Jody at AAA. She helped us plan our honeymoon, so we want her input!

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • I’m going to call the academic advising department next week to make an appointment!

Celebrate birthdays!

  • My dad’s birthday is on Monday!
  • Our friend Michaela Leigh’s birthday is also on Monday, so we’re seeing Beauty and the Beast tonight with my parents, her mom, and we get to meet Michaela’s boyfriend, Chris, for the first time!
  • My Uncle Richard’s birthday is next week, so I definitely want to call him and catch up.

Start designing my custom shelving system for my American Girl dolls.

  • My dad’s offered to help me!
  • He found some nice quality birch wood at Lowe’s recently.
  • I want to make the measurements soon, and then go pick it out.
  • I’m so excited!

Read at least three new books.

  • I’m six chapters into my latest book!
  • But, I also want to visit the library at least once this month to pick out a totally new book.
  • Look for these Book Reviews soon!

Do you have any goals for the month of April?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂