Getting Personal #157: January Goals Recap

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Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

January was a very busy month! I can’t believe we’re a full month into 2019!

Here’s the link to my January Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!
  2. Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.
  4. Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!

  • Al created a Google Doc, and we take turns editing it!

Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!

  • I downloaded ibotta!
  • I’m still researching Robin Hood, but I like what I see.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I’m getting there, piece by piece. I’ve worked on it as much as I could this month, and I’ve been better about separating things to recycle, trash, and shred.

Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!

  • I made a couple of trips! I think I cleared out six boxes full of stuff!
  • I also sent a box of clothes to Darby for consignment.
  • Up next: Taking clothes to Clothes Mentor!

Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I only wrote about 200 new words, but I also decided to change the overall POV.

Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!

  • The calendar is back on track now. And I’m less stressed!

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

  • I posted every Monday in January!
  • Look for another post on Monday!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of seven goals!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: These were directly related to time and effort.

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of January?

Come back tomorrow to see my February Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Adventures #4: “A Step By Step Guide to Creating A Media Kit”

I’ve been following Brianna Marie Lifestyle for quite a while! I saw this post in my email inbox recently. I felt it was such an important post – I needed to share it!

Here’s the link to Brianna’s post:


I’ve heard of Canva for a while now, but now I need to sit down and actually use it!

I really liked Brianna’s post, and I intend to follow every step. I really think it will help elevate me, and the blog!

Also, this post is reminding me to get a new headshot done – It’s beyond time to update it!


What about you?

Do you have a media kit?

Any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #71: A to Z Book Tag!

a to z book tag

Image Credit: Howling Libraries

I saw this tag on Destiny’s blog, Howling Libraries!

The tag was was originally created by The Perpetual Page Turner.

Here’s the link to Destiny’s post:


a | author you’ve read the most books from:

  • Ann M. Martin. More than 150 books between The Baby-Sitters Club series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, Mysteries, Super Mysteries, and a few others! I also had the Baby-Sitters Club Friendship Kit computer software in the mid-1990s.

b | best sequel ever:

catching_fire

c | currently reading:

Image result for all the missing girls book

d | drink of choice while reading:

  • Nothing. I don’t want to spill anything on my books.

e | e-reader or physical book:

  • My heart lies with physical books! However, I’m not against e-books.

f | fictional character you would’ve dated in high school:

  • Either Ron or Neville from Harry Potter.

g | glad you gave this book a chance:

  • WHO KNEW? … Reflections on Vietnam, J. Holley Watts. A powerful book / memoir of a woman’s service in Vietnam with the Supplemental Recreation Activities Organization (SRAO) program of the American Red Cross.

h | hidden gem book:

Image result for story of a girl book

  • Story of a Girl, Sara Zarr. I was assigned to read this in my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011, and I fell in love with it. If I don’t have that copy at this point, I need to buy another one. I want to re-read it and review it here.

i | important moment in your reading life:

Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows book

  • Finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows during the summer of 2008. I wasn’t interested in the series originally, even though a lot of my friends and classmates devoured them the minute the new book came out. However, I caught on quickly, and enjoyed all seven books. Finishing Deathly Hallows was really hard, and I clearly remember not picking up a new book for nearly two weeks that summer. I needed to heal first.

j | just finished:

evicted

k | kind of books you won’t read:

  • Anything that is truly horror, or glorifies abuse (Fifty Shades of Grey, for example).

l | longest book you’ve read:

  • The Bible.

m | major book hangover because of:

  • I don’t think this has happened to me in years. See the letter I for more context.

n | number of bookcases you own:

  • In my house, just one! It’s six-feet-tall, and I love it.

o | one book you’ve read multiple times:

The Great Gatsby - Complex

p | preferred place to read:

  • In bed before going to sleep, or a comfortable couch/chair if I’m reading during the day.

q | quote that inspires you/gave you all the feels from a book:

  • “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

r | reading regret:

  • I can’t think of one.

s | series you’ve started and need to finish (all books are out):

t | three of your all time favorite books:

Image result for harry potter and the order of the phoenix book

A Walk to Remember (Hardcover).jpg

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
  2. Looking for Alaska, John Green
  3. A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks

u | unapologetic fangirl for:

Pleasant Company Catalogue Holiday 1991

The Smugglers Treasure Cover

  • All of the American Girl books. I started reading them as soon as I could, and I learned a lot about history through these characters. I’ve re-built my childhood collection (Samantha, Felicity, and Kirsten), and added plenty more. I’m also on a quest to own all 22 History Mysteries. Also, I highly recommend The Care and Keeping of You series for girls. There’s a book for boys, too!

v | very excited for this release:

Image result for parkland book

w | worst bookish habits:

  • I buy more books before reading my current stack. I can’t let a good book pass by me.

x | x marks the spot! start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:

The Lady's Slipper

y | your latest book purchase:

Image result for janesville an american story

Image result for mosquitoland book

Image result for the hate u give book

Image result for a sky for us alonebook

  • Last week, I bought four books from Barnes & Noble with a generous gift card from my mom for my birthday last year:
  1. Janesville: An American Story, Amy Goldstein
  2. Mosquitoland, David Arnold
  3. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  4. A Sky for Us Alone, Kristin Russell

z | zzz-snatcher book—last book that kept you up way too late:

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond.

Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #163: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter Q)

ABC Book Challenge - F

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “Q”:

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Quit It

  • I need to re-read this, but I distinctly remember learning about Tourette’s syndrome for this first time because of this YA book.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “Q”:

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Q’s Legacy: A Delightful Account of a Lifelong Love Affair with Books

  • This one looks like pure joy!

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The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs

  • I’ve been fascinated with the story of Anastasia and the Romanovs for years!

4670267

Questioning The Millennium

  • I’m really curious about this author’s perspective on the millennium. I remember Y2K – Do you?

111450

Quidditch Through The Ages

  • I’ve always wanted to read this!

125424

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

  • Secretly, I think I would have done well as a psychology major in college, since I enjoy books about people who have gone through journeys with mental illnesses or similar struggles. This one is going near the top of my next TBR.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter Q? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #162: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter P)

ABC Book Challenge - J 2

Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “P”:

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The Pelican Brief

  • John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. This is one of my all-time favorite books! I’m looking forward to re-reading it soon.
  • Also, I highly recommend the movie adaptation (1993). One of my favorite movies!

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • This is one of the shortest books I think I’ve ever read, but it’s one of the most powerful ones.

378

The Phantom Tollbooth

  • I can’t remember if I had to read this for school, but I do remember getting a copy of this from the library. I know I need to re-read it, but it was fascinating years ago.

420282

The Polar Express

  • As you can probably tell by my Awesome Authors post about Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express is one of my all-time favorite books!
  • Also, if you haven’t seen the movie adaptation (2004), I highly recommend it. I watch it every Christmas!

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PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives

  • I stumbled upon a copy of this book at the library when I was in high school. It was incredible.

1885

Pride and Prejudice

  • I first learned about this book from Wishbone!
  • I really need to re-read it, but it left a great impression on me.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “P”:

79090

Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

  • I don’t know what it is, but I really want to read this book. Maybe it’s the true crime angle? Definitely picking this up at either the library or the bookstore ASAP.

2156

Persuasion

  • I haven’t read everything that Jane Austen wrote. This is going back on my list!

18295838

The Pink Suit

  • Since I love historical fiction, this book seems right up my alley.

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Pretties (Uglies #2)

  • I read Uglies, book 1, in my Young Adult Literature class in the spring of 2011. I’ve wanted to read the rest of the series since then.

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The Princess Bride

  • I love, love, love the movie adaptation (1987), but I’ve never read the book!

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter P? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #161: “Tell The Story Challenge”

mystery

I was challenged by Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table!

Here’s the post where I was challenged:


Kristian gave her nominees a photo to use for the challenge, and asked us to be as creative as possible and then nominate at least three more bloggers to keep the challenge going.

“The Polka-Dot Umbrella”

I received the polka-dot umbrella, with matching rain boots, for my seventh birthday. I was obsessed with polka-dots for years, and my whole family knew it. It was all I wanted on my clothes, my shoes, and even my room. So far, I’d scored two shirts, an Easter dress, and a fun comforter for my bed. I was already angling for a polka-dot backpack when school started again.

I remember fawning over the American Girl catalog when McKenna was the Girl of the Year, or GOTY, in 2012. I was only three then, and Mom told me I wasn’t quite ready for a doll that cost $115. I circled the umbrella and rain boots a bunch of times, wishing and hoping that American Girl made a girl-sized version. They had a lot of other matching doll-girl things! I was really mad for a while, but learned to enjoy what I had.

It rained the day after my seventh birthday party, and I was so excited. Still hopped up on cake, ice cream, and seeing family, I probably begged Mom twenty times to go outside. She finally relented, but only “when I’d straightened my room and found places for all of my birthday gifts.” I promised to knock out my birthday thank-you notes after playing in the rain, too. That made her smile, and nod. I dashed off to my room. What normally took me an hour, that day it was 20 minutes flat.

Mom stopped doing the dishes, followed me to inspect my room, and then knelt down to me in the hallway.

“Good job, Sarah. I’m impressed. You’re growing up. Seven is a big age, you know.”

“Why’s that, Mom?”

Mom thought for a minute. “Well, you’re starting second grade, and you’re learning new things every day. And, you’ve been such a good help to me with Jackson. I know your dad and I are hard on you sometimes, with straightening your room, and chores, but we’re always proud of you.”

Jackson was my three-year-old brother. He had “special needs” that I didn’t really understand. He could walk with his walker, and was slowly learning to talk. Mom was really worried, a lot, but she always appreciated me helping her. Daddy was really busy with his job, and I heard both of them talking a lot, at night, over “bills” and lots of big numbers and other things. They didn’t yell, but I would hear Mom crying. It made me sad. One time, after Daddy went to bed, I silently went downstairs and just gave Mom a hug. She was at the kitchen table, with papers covering the whole thing. She smiled, wiped her eyes, and whispered, “Thank you, Sarah. I love you. Back to bed, now, okay?”

Mom put a hand on my shoulder. I came back to the real world. “Sarah? Are you okay, honey?”

I hadn’t noticed that my eyes were full of tears. I smiled, put on my brave face, and swallowed the tears. “Yes, Mom. Thank you. I’m happy. I can’t wait to use my new umbrella and rain boots! Polka-dots are so fun!”

Mom straightened and nodded. “Put on your raincoat, too. Okay? You can go up and down the block for a while. I’ll call for you when it’s time to come inside. Got it?”

I nodded, dashing for the hall closet. Jackson was in his play area near the kitchen, where Mom could keep an eye on him. He cooed and laughed as I put on the purple raincoat, perfect polka-dot rain boots, and got my matching umbrella ready.

“Bye, Mom! Bye, Jackson! I love you!”

“I love you, too, Sarah.”

The rain had slackened, but still drizzling. And it was foggy. I was learning about weather, and how something called temperature helped make fog, and snow, and sleet. A few other people were on the sidewalk. Mrs. Perkins was walking her dog, and I saw my babysitter and her boyfriend under another umbrella.

It made me happy. I loved to play in the rain. A lot of my friends didn’t. They didn’t like getting wet, and especially not muddy. Daddy called me a “diva tomboy,” and I always giggled. I loved everything polka-dots, and unicorns, and glitter, but I also loved getting dirty and running around.

I turned right and skipped down the block, trying to stay on the sidewalk. I loved the puddles, but thought about what Mom always said. “Always look both ways for cars, bikes, and people.”

There was one huge puddle near the corner, where I needed to turn around. I looked both ways first. A car zoomed past. I’m glad I waited. Once it was safe, I splashed as hard as I could. I think all the neighbors could hear my squeal of delight.

My jeans were wet, my new boots were really muddy, and I loved it. I felt free. It was hard to feel that way in the house, a lot. Mom and Daddy were busy, Jackson needed a lot of attention, and I was alone. By myself. I felt left out.

Mom didn’t know that I wanted McKenna so badly, the 2012 Girl of the Year, because I wanted a friend to play with at home. Sure, I had friends, but most of them couldn’t come over to play with me because of Jackson. At least, that’s what they’d said at school.

While I was skipping, splashing, and singing, Mom watched me from the window. She finished the dishes, checked on Jackson, and then rummaged through the top shelf of the hall closet. The one place I couldn’t reach.

She smiled, smoothed the polka-dot birthday wrapping paper on the stack of boxes, and sighed. Sarah earned this gift, she thought.

I was still singing “Fight Song” when Mom heard me squeak inside. For once, I put my new polka-dot umbrella in the stand, took off my new polka-dot boots on the rug with the other shoes, and hung up my wet raincoat on the lowest hook of the coat stand. I felt important now that I was seven. I locked the door, and padded down the hall. I said hi to Jackson, who laughed at my wet hair and jeans, and was saying hi to Mom when I spotted the polka-dot wrapping paper.

“Mom?”

“Hi, honey. Oh, look, there’s another birthday present. Do you want to open it?”

My eyes were as wide as saucers. I had no clue what it could be.

Mom silently cried as I unwrapped McKenna, beautiful, perfect McKenna, and most of her clothes. The last box held the precious umbrella and rain boots, just like mine. I just stared at the kitchen table for what seemed like a really, really long time.

Mom wiped her tears, and hugged my shoulders. “Happy Birthday, Sarah.”

I was in awe. I couldn’t speak. I think my mouth was a big, wide O shape. “This was the best birthday ever, Mom. Thank you. I love you.”

She sighed, trying not to cry again. “You’re welcome, sweetheart. I hope you enjoy McKenna. I know how much you’ve wanted a doll like her.”

I think I was still in shock. “Can I – take McKenna outside?”

Mom smiled, happy to see her oldest child so thrilled. “As long as both of have your polka-dot umbrellas open and polka-dot rain boots on your feet, yes.”

“Yippee! Thank you!”

The last tears sliding down her cheeks, Mom watched as I carefully put McKenna’s boots on, opened her umbrella, and then re-dressed myself in my raincoat, boots, and bigger umbrella. I carefully shuffled my new umbrella in my left hand, and gingerly carried McKenna under my right arm. “Come on, McKenna, let’s go play in the rain! Do you know the words to “Fight Song”? Let’s sing it together!”

Mom picked up Jackson and held him close as she pointed to me and my new friend. He smiled a big smile, and clapped his hands.

He giggled. “Sarah.”

“Jackson? What did you say?”

“Sarah.” He pointed to the window. “And – doll.”

Mom hugged him. “Oh, Jackson, sweet boy. You’re talking! Yes, that’s Sarah and her new doll! What a smart boy!”

“Sarah. Doll. Happy.”

Mom started crying again, overjoyed. She couldn’t wait to share the good news. I had a new friend, and Jackson was finally talking.

The girl-sized polka-dot boots and umbrella are too small for me now. But, they proudly sit on top of my dresser, right next to McKenna. I don’t “play” with her much any more, but I still have everything from my seventh birthday. It’s one birthday I know I’ll remember forever.


Thank you so much for the nomination, Kristian! I really enjoyed this challenge!


Nominees:

  1. Didi Oviatt
  2. Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts
  3. Destiny at Howling Libraries

Here is your photo:

Image result for nature scenes


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #23: The Liebster Award – Number Four!

The Liebster Award

Found on Planet Simon

Thanks, Simon, for nominating me! Check out his blog, Planet Simon. I love his science and NASA posts!

Here’s the link to where I was nominated:


Simon’s Questions

  1. What inspires your blog?
  2. Have you been writing since you were a child? If not when did you start writing?
  3. What is your favorite blog and why?
  4. What are you most passionate about?
  5. Do you draw inspiration from everyday ordinary occurrences?

My Answers

  1. I love writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 10-years-old. Also, I had to create a blog for one of my communications classes in college. That blog inspired me to continue my journalism endeavors, and share my own thoughts, passions, and goals along the way.
  2. I kind of answered this in #1, but yes. I filled notebooks and tons of loose-leaf paper with journal entries, stories, and more. I wish I hadn’t thrown many of them away when I was an embarrassed teenager. However, I still have the dark blue three-ring binder with a variety of typed and hand-written short stories from age 10 through high school.
  3. I can’t pick just one. Nope, can’t do it!
  4. Excellent question. I think I’m most passionate about helping others. I love engaging with people, and problem-solving. A lot of my paths in life have gone this way, and the journey continues.
  5. Absolutely. I particularly take note of nature and natural elements around me.

My Questions to the Nominees

  1. When did you start blogging?
  2. Do you remember what inspired your very first blog post?
  3. If you could sell anything, what would it be, and why?
  4. What’s your favorite season?
  5. Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack?

Tag – You’re It!

  1. Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  2. Howling Libraries
  3. Fiction No Chaser
  4. Bookmark Your Thoughts
  5. Perfectly Tolerable

No obligation to participate!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂