Getting Personal #156: Ninth TBR Recap

book quote - good housekeeping

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

Welcome back!

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


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Laakso, Laura, Fallible Justice (ARC Review)
  2. Watts, J. Holley, WHO KNEW? …Reflections On Vietnam
  3. Block, Lawrence, Small Town
  4. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  3. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  4. Hopkins, Ellen, Crank
  5. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  6. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  7. Summers, Courtney, All the Rage
  8. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  9. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give
  10. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1

Removal Rate: 10/14 = 71%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America *Re-Read*
  2. Ng, Celeste, Everything I Never Told You
  3. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  4. Weldon, Fay, Habits of the House

Keep Rate: 4/14 = 29%


Adding To The TBR

  1. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  2. Kubica, Mary, Good Girl
  3. McGinnis, Mindy, The Female of the Species
  4. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  5. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee
  6. Pon, Cindy, Want
  7. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone *Re-Read*
  8. Sanderson, Brandon, Mistborn: The Final Empire
  9. Westover, Tara, Educated: A Memoir

So, my current TBR is 13 books.


Do you have a TBR?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #155: “North Island, New Zealand” (Reblogged)

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love lighthouses. I’ve had the opportunity to visit and climb several of them on the East Coast – Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. One of my dreams is to visit every lighthouse in the United States, and climb as many as I can. That’s no small feat!

For Christmas 2017, my sister-in-law Savy bought me this incredible book, Lighthouses of America. I love it! I plan to review it here on the blog soon.

For now, though, I’ll be admiring this photo of North Island in New Zealand. And thinking about the next lighthouse in my vicinity that I can visit and climb.

Do you like lighthouses? Where do you dream of traveling and exploring?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

North Island, New Zealand

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Getting Personal #154: January Goals

Happy New Year!!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

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

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.

  • We decided to start a Google Doc that has all of our budget items for 2019. Hopefully, this will be much more manageable and less frustrating!

Check out savings and investing apps.

  • Since I listen to a lot of podcasts, there are always advertisements. I’ve heard about Robin Hood, an investing app. I don’t know if I’ll commit to it, but I want to check it out.
  • One app that our sister-in-law loves and swears by is ibotta.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.

  • I started recently – I spent nearly two hours in there last Saturday afternoon. I filled four donation boxes, finally organized my bookshelf, replaced the light bulbs in the ceiling fan fixture, filled a trash bag completely, and cut up at least 10 various-sized boxes for recycling.
  • Next weekend – I want to concentrate on the filing system.

Donate, donate, donate.

  • I’m long overdue to make a few trips to the thrift store and the library.

Continue work on my 2013 WIP.

  • Current word count: 14,247 words.
  • My rough goal is to reach at least 17,000 words before the end of January.

Reset our cleaning schedule.

  • I started using our wall calendar to mark what area of the house needed cleaning every weekend. This was a good system for us, since we typically divide and conquer the cleaning together. Just need to get back to it.

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

  • My original plan was to post these every Monday, but it’s fallen by the wayside recently. However, I’m committed to posting one every Monday in January!

Do you have any goals for the month of January?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #153: December Goals Recap

New Year Ahead

Image Credit: First Baptist Church

It’s the end of 2018! Wow!!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  2. Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!
  5. Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!
  8. Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!
  10. Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.
  11. Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!
  12. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished! 

  • December 8th: 606 new words
  • December 9th: 217 new words
  • December 30th: 620 new words
  • December 31st: 2,372 new words
  • Current word count: 50,461 words
  • I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!
  • I DID IT!!!!!

Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.

  • I haven’t finished the story yet.

Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.

  • This was put on the back burner.

Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!

  • I have a timeline established for these two. I want to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April to work on the 2014 WIP, and then the July session to focus on the 2018 WIP.

Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.

  • Since we didn’t celebrate at home this year, we decided that the tree wasn’t necessary.
  • I wanted to put up the wreath on our front door with battery-operated Christmas lights and Christmas ribbon, but that didn’t happen.

Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.

Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!

  • We had ourselves a good time!

Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • No effort at all.

Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!

  • See the photos below!

Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.

  • The boxes are stacked and ready, but they didn’t make it to their destinations this month.

Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!

  • Here’s my list: A new pair of glasses, a new pair of prescription sunglasses, my first pair of Rothy’s shoes, continuing Rodan and Fields skincare, and a new business suit.
  • A good chunk of the rest of my money will be squirreled away!

Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

  • We had a wonderful time at Al’s parents for Christmas. We took almost a week off of work, and it was great. Al had nearly two weeks off altogether.
  • No New Year’s parties for us – Just a quiet night at home with our dogs, a delicious dinner, and watching movies until midnight, with Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 12 goals. I’ll take 50 percent. Not bad for the end of the year!
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: A lot of these were due to time constraints, and lack of motivation and effort.

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

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!

Happy New Year!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #152: My Favorite Things of 2018

Favorite Things - Quote Master

Image Credit: Quote Master

I’ve seen several blog posts like this pop up in the last week or so. I wanted to do my own!

Also, I wanted to capture how many books I actually read in 2018. Several blog posts mentioned this, and I wanted to tally mine. One young lady read 110 books this year. That’s incredible!

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2018:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 2
  • 4 1/2 stars: 8
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 1
  • 3 stars: 1
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews (First year ever!)

I really enjoyed reading these two books. I hope to read more ARCs in 2019!


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Aquaman
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Blockers
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Game Night
  • Incredibles 2
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout 
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite TV Shows

Favorite Podcasts

  • Assassinations (Parcast)
  • Conspiracy Theories (Parcast)
  • Female Criminals (Parcast)
  • Hostage (Parcast)
  • Kingpins (Parcast)
  • Small Town Dicks
  • The Adventure Zone – “Amnesty” (Maximum Fun)

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2018!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #151: “The Drain House, Drain, Oregon” (Reblogged)

Image Credit: Just Wunderlust

I love sharing inspiring posts from Just Wunderlust. The photos are incredible!

I’ve been thinking of Oregon a lot recently. Mainly because my best friend, Melissa, and another friend, Brittany, live there. But, I’m in awe of the beauty of the state. This photo is no exception.

Seeing the mist and the trees behind this house makes me think of the story I wrote and illustrated in fifth grade. I called it “Electro Girl,” and I set it in the forests/mountains of Oregon. It’s definitely writing from my 10-year-old self, but seeing this photo makes me think of that story. Also, that story was recognized as a Young Authors book, and going to the ceremony and reception that year was where I got to know and love Melissa!

The colors of the house make me smile, too. It looks like a doll’s house.

I did some research, and learned that Drain is located in Douglas County, in the southwestern part of the state. The last population count, in 2017, was 1,169. The town is named after town founder and politician Charles J. Drain. It’s a prominent example of Queen Anne style architecture. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1978.


What do you see when you look at this photo? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Have a great week!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

The Drain House, Drain, Oregon

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Getting Personal #149: December Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 14

Image Credit:BeautyBeyondBones

Holy moly. It’s already December. December of 2018. This year absolutely FLEW BY!


Here are my goals for the month of December:

  1. Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP.
  2. Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing.
  3. Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP.
  4. Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs.
  5. Decorate for Christmas.
  6. Read at least three books.
  7. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party.
  8. Seriously send some snail mail!
  9. Be a Secret Santa!
  10. Take donations to the library and thrift store.
  11. Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019.
  12. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s!

Here’s the breakdown:

Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP.

  • I’m seriously *this close* (Imagine me making a small space between my thumb and index finger) to reaching 50,000 words!

Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing.

  • Once I hit 50,000 words (or more), I’ll send the Word document off to Melissa! I’m so excited that she agreed to do the first round of editing!

Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP.

  • Doing all these writing projects and endeavors in 2018 is inspiring me to pick up my other WIPs. I really want to flesh out the rest of this one, tentatively titled “Specialton.”

Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs.

  • Along the same lines, I want to set deadlines for outlines and fleshing out my 2014 WIP, tentatively titled “Discussion of Differences,” and my newest WIP, tentatively titled “Tunnel Vision.”

Decorate for Christmas.

  • We are going to decorate this weekend!

Read at least three books.

  • I’m nearly finished with my current book. I’m itching to finish it, and start on the next one. My nightstand stack needs to decrease!

Enjoy Al’s company holiday party.

  • I’m excited to attend the “Masquerade” on Friday, December 7th.

Seriously send some snail mail!

  • I’ve been a pen pal to an 8-year-old boy in another part of Virginia since the school year started. I can’t wait to send him a birthday card this month.
  • I also want to send some other mail to a few friends that I enjoy corresponding with throughout the year.

Be a Secret Santa!

  • I’m excited to be a “Secret Santa” to three teenagers this year!

Take donations to the library and thrift store.

  • This is self-explanatory. Clearing out the Lady Lounge and garages!

Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019.

  • My savings account has been woefully depleted since the middle of 2017, due to high credit card bills. I’m determined to commit to saving as much money as humanly possible during 2019, so I want to make this list and stick to it.
  • A few examples: New glasses, new prescription sunglasses, a new pair of black flats/dress shoes.

Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s!

  • Both holidays will be here before we know it!

Do you have any goals for the month of December?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂