Getting Personal #89: Fourth TBR Recap

Matilda Book Quote

Image Credit: Pinterest

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 July:

  1. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  2. The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space, Tamara Dietrich, Mark St. John Erickson, and Mike Holtzclaw
  3. The Runaway: A Maryellen Mystery, Alison Hart
  4. The Lady’s Slipper: A Melody Mystery, Emma Carlson Berne
  5. The End of Everything, Megan Abbott
  6. Love and Loyalty: A Felicity Classic 1, Valerie Tripp
  7. A Stand for Independence: A Felicity Classic 2, Valerie Tripp
  8. Gunpowder and Tea Cakes: My Journey with Felicity, Kathleen Ernst
  9. Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake, Frank W. Abagnale, and Stan Redding
  10. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  11. The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, A World War II Soldier, Walter Dean Myers
  12. Growing Up with Aloha: A Nanea Classic 1, Kirby Larson
  13. Hula on the Home Front: A Nanea Classic 2, Kirby Larson
  14. Prints in the Sand: My Journey with Nanea, Erin Falligant

And, here’s my updated list!

Laura Beth’s To Be Read (TBR) List, as of October 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. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  6. New Boy, Julian Houston
  7. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling
  8. 11/22/63, Stephen King
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  10. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
  11. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
  12. Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs
  13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  14. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  15. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  16. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
  17. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  18. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  19. Dare Me, Megan Abbott
  20. The Fever: A Novel, 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. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
  42. Caraval, Stephanie Garber
  43. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  44. The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  45. Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1, Valerie Tripp
  46. Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2, Valerie Tripp
  47. Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit, Valerie Tripp
  48. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  49. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  50. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  51. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  52. Son, Lois Lowry
  53. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  54. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  55. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  56. Emma, Jane Austen
  57. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  58. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  59. The List, Patricia Forde
  60. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  61. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  62. Digital Fortress: A Thriller, Dan Brown
  63. Deception Point, Dan Brown
  64. Inferno, Dan Brown
  65. Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown
  66. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  67. Camino Island, John Grisham
  68. The Rooster Bar, John Grisham
  69. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self, Manoush Zomorodi
  70. Lost Laysen, Margaret Mitchell
  71. Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell, Margaret Mitchell; edited by Jane Eskridge
  72. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane
  73. Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
  74. Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
  75. Pretties, Scott Westerfeld
  76. Specials, Scott Westerfeld
  77. Extras, Scott Westerfeld
  78. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, Robert Kolker
  79. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.), Francine Prose
  80. Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert, Ruth Ann McKinney
  81. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
  82. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  83. In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien
  84. July, July, Tim O’Brien
  85. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
  86. P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han
  87. Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han
  88. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
  89. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
  90. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  91. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  92. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
  93. Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls
  94. The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls
  95. Because You Exist (Light in the Dark Series) (Volume 1), Tiffany Truitt
  96. Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1), Margaret Peterson Haddix
  97. The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson
  98. Postcards from the Edge, Carrie Fisher
  99. Shockaholic, Carrie Fisher
  100. Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
  101. The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
  102. Trell, Dick Lehr
  103. In A Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware
  104. The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware
  105. We Can Be Mended, Veronica Roth
  106. Carve The Mark, Veronica Roth
  107. Sing, Vivi Greene
  108. West End Quartet, Ariadne Apostolou
  109. Defining Sexism in the U.S. (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 1), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  110. Sexism and U.S. History (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 2), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  111. What Yo Mama Said, Elizabeth Hall Magill
  112. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy, Seymour Reit
  113. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace
  114. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
  115. The Upside of Unrequited, Becky Albertalli
  116. Words in Deep Blue, Cath Crowley
  117. Turtles All the Way Down, John Green
  118. Lea Dives In, Lisa Yee
  119. Lea Leads the Way, Lisa Yee
  120. Lea and Camila, Lisa Yee & Kellen Hertz
  121. Mary Jane’s Ghost: The Legacy of a Murder in Small Town America, Ted Gregory
  122. The Dark Lake, Sarah Bailey

That’s all, for now!

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

What have you read recently?

Happy reading!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Getting Personal #88: October Goals

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Hooray – October is finally here!

There are so many exciting things happening this month!!

Here are my goals for the month of October:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate several birthdays!
  3. Celebrate Mary Lauren & Jeremy’s wedding!
  4. Celebrate Nick & Savy’s wedding!!
  5. Write at least 400 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt.
  6. Write at least two blog posts on home improvements.
  7. Make / purchase photo canvases.
  8. Attend Hampton Comicon!
  9. Finally start moving items from my parents’ house to ours.
  10. Keep our kitchen table clean!
  11. Update my TBR.
  12. Be a successful co-hostess for the October PEO meeting.
  13. Write some snail mail!
  14. Celebrate Halloween!
  15. Enjoy Little (Lane) when she visits for a week!
  16. Order the Desert Mist Diffuser, and more Savvy Minerals makeup!

Here’s the breakdown:

Donate blood.

  • Our next blood drive is Saturday, October 7th!

Celebrate several birthdays!

  • My mom’s birthday is this week, as well my good friend Ashley’s.
  • Mia’s birthday is in the middle of October. She’ll become our niece in two weeks!!

Celebrate Mary Lauren & Jeremy’s wedding!

  • Their wedding is October 7th – It’s gonna be a blast!

Celebrate Nick & Savy’s wedding!!

  • October 14th!!
  • I’m so excited for Savy to become my sister-in-law!
  • Mia will be my niece!
  • We get to trek to the farm, eat, drink, bounce in the bounce house, and celebrate!!

Write at least 400 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt.

  • I’m chugging along. It’s felt really good to sit down and pour out my thoughts. I’ll reach 50,000 words yet!

Write at least two blog posts on home improvements.

  • I’m determined! It’s been over a year worth of work!

Make / purchase photo canvases.

  • I’m excited to pick several engagement photos and wedding photos with Al, and then hang them up!

Attend Hampton Comicon! 

  • We’ll head to Hampton for the day on Saturday, October 21st.

Finally start moving items from my parents’ house to ours.

  • The weather’s finally cool enough, and I’m beyond ready to make my office what it’s supposed to be! My dolls deserve to be in one place!

Keep our kitchen table clean!

  • Our kitchen table has been a perpetual mess for a long time. I’m determined to clean it up, and keep it clean!

Update my TBR.

  • It’s that time again! My final TBR update of 2017 is coming soon!

Be a successful co-hostess for the October PEO meeting.

  • I’m excited to co-hostess the meeting next week at Susan’s house. I’ve already bought Reese’s pieces cookie dough, and I’ll buy some veggies, crackers, and pretzels at the end of this week.

Write some snail mail!

  • I’m long overdue to write letters to several special people in my life.

Celebrate Halloween!

  • Al’s co-worker, Kathryn, and husband Tim, open their house every year for a Halloween bash! This year, the theme is Stranger Things. So exciting!
  • We’re excited to hand out candy to our neighborhood again – The kids’ costumes are awesome!

Enjoy Little (Lane) when she visits for a week!

  • My Little is coming home to visit toward the end of the month. I can’t wait!
  • We’re participating in a fun wood door hanger paint class!
  • She gets to see our house for the first time!

Order the Desert Mist Diffuser, and more Savvy Minerals makeup!

  • I updated my monthly order late last week, and it usually processes around the middle of the month. The plan is to put the Desert Mist Diffuser in the living room, and move the Dewdrop Diffuser to my office!
  • I’m starting to experiment with the Savvy Minerals eyeshadow, but I’m excited to get my hands on the eyeliner, blush, and misting spray!

Do you have any goals for the month of October?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #87: September Goals Recap


Image Credit: Kara Cozier

September was a mix of busy and relaxed! It’s finally starting to feel like fall!!

Here’s the link to my September Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Celebrate seven years together with Al! — Accomplished!
  2. Enjoy Savy’s bachelorette weekend! — Accomplished!
  3. Make / purchase several photo canvases. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Make a series of home improvement blog posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Write at least 300 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Accomplished!
  6. Move my bookcase from my parents’ house to ours. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Inventory my entire personal library. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Make and start using homemade deodorant. — Accomplished!
  9. Start using my Savvy Minerals makeup. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Celebrate seven years together with Al! — Accomplished!

Enjoy Savy’s bachelorette weekend! — Accomplished!

Make / purchase several photo canvases. — Did not accomplish.

  • I spent way too much money on other things this month.

Make a series of home improvement blog posts. — Semi-Achieved.

Write at least 300 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Accomplished!

  • With the journal I wrote about in my recent Writing Prompt post, it was an excellent motivator!
  • I wrote approximately 554 words!
  • Current word count: 11,216 words.

Move my bookcase from my parents’ house to ours. — Did not accomplish.

  • Argh. A few missed opportunities to make this happen. Soon!

Inventory my entire personal library. — Did not accomplish.

  • This goes hand-in-hand with my bookcase. Soon!

Make and start using homemade deodorant. — Accomplished!

Start using my Savvy Minerals makeup. — Accomplished!

  • See the Getting Personal post, above, for more information!

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of nine goals! Woohoo!
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with this one. More to come!
  • The three goals that I did not accomplish: Like last month, most of these involve time. I’ll keep chipping away at them until they happen!

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

Come back tomorrow to see my October Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #86: My Skin & Makeup Routines (Part 3)

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I’m trying some new things, so I figured it was time to write another Skin & Makeup Routine post!

Here are the links to my original posts:


I just finished my bottle of Rose Jam shower gel last week. I think it lasted roughly seven months. It smells amazing. I’m planning to buy another bottle during my next trip to the store.

Here’s a few of the new things I bought during my last trip to LUSH – My annual birthday trip!

Ultrabland is one of the best makeup removers that I’ve ever used. I bought a second, bigger pot of it during my last trip to the store!

I haven’t tried Cup O’Coffee yet – I want to try it this weekend. For best results, you’re supposed to leave it on your skin for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off. It smells heavenly! I’m also excited to try The Olive Branch, once I finish my bottle of Dirty Springwash.

This is two parts of my daily moisturizing routine – I use the Enchanted Eye Cream right under my eyes. Less baggy and diminished purple! I doubt I will use anything else other than Enzymion – It feels so smooth, and it’s really helped me control oil, and my breakouts.

Ocean Salt (left) and Dirty Springwash.

Ocean Salt smells like the beach and limes. I need to go back to LUSH soon – I’m almost out of it! And Dirty Springwash smells so fresh and minty!


Left to right: My bigger pot of Ultrabland, Plum Rain shower gel, and my second bottle of The Olive Branch (I accidentally bought two!)

My LUSH wish list:


When I started getting into Young Living Essential Oils earlier this year, I began to realize that makeup is full of terrible chemicals, and a lot of toxins. Yuck!

I decided to take the plunge and look into the Savvy Minerals by Young Living makeup.

Over the last few months, I’ve been stockpiling. I bought the Essential Brush Set, as well as two shades of the eyeshadow – “Spoiled” and “Best Kept Secret.” Turns out, I accidentally ordered two sets of these eyeshadows!

Next month’s Essential Rewards order will have the eyeliner, and blush. I’m also looking forward to when they release mascara!

I like the packaging – It’s very fancy, and perfect for gifts. But, I wish they wouldn’t do the paper confetti! It gets EVERYWHERE!

I love the Brush Set!

My Savvy Minerals wish list:


Making this change was set in motion within the last month. I already knew many deodorants and antiperspirants have a laundry list of chemicals, but most of them are truly awful!

My Young Living consultant, April, recently posted a recipe for homemade deodorant.

She wrote:

“What’s cooking? Homemade deodorant! Did you know that many store bought deodorants contain chemicals like

⚠️ aluminum- linked to Alzheimer’s and an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer

⚠️ parabens- can disrupt hormones and has been linked to breast and prostate cancer

⚠️ triclosan- this ingredient is sketchy enough that it has to be removed from hand soap by this fall because the safety of it is in question. But it is still in many deodorants!

⚠️ propylene glycol- can cause damage to the central nervous system, heart and liver

⚠️ fragrance- a catch all term that covers hundreds of “trade secret” ingredients. May cause skin irritation, allergies, respiratory issues, etc

Guess what? My deodorant doesn’t contain any of those chemicals and it is super cheap to make. Not only that, but it really works! It took less than 5 minutes to make- so easy!

I’ll post the recipe in the comments. Do you make your own deodorant?”

Homemade Deodorant Recipe

2 Tbs baking soda
2 Tbs arrowroot powder
3 Tbs organic coconut oil
5-10 drops Purification essential oil
5-10 drops Lavender essential oil


Combine 1 Tbs baking soda and 1 Tbs arrowroot powder. Add coconut oil and stir. Depending on how warm it is in your house, the coconut oil may be in a solid or liquid form. Coconut oil is a solid below 76 degrees. If it is in solid form, warm it slightly (just until it liquefies) for easier mixing. Add desired amount of essential oils and stir. I chose Purification because it is great at getting rid of odors and Lavender because it is good for your skin. Add 1 Tbs of baking soda and 1 Tbs of arrowroot powder, stir well and transfer to storage container. To use, dip your finger into the deodorant and then apply a dime-sized amount under each arm.

My ingredients! I had everything at home, except for the arrowroot powder (That’s the small baggie). Luckily, there’s an awesome store in Chesapeake called Sage Organics. They sell many items in bulk, and you can measure out how much you want on your own.


My results! It took less than five minutes to make. I used a sterilized Tupperware container. The main thing was melting the coconut oil, but that only took 30 seconds in the microwave. It smells amazing!

I want to try this Deodorant Spray next!


I also just started using Young Living’s shampoo and conditioner. Traditional shampoos and conditioners have many of the same chemicals and nasty stuff! Plus, my hair was getting really greasy and gross recently. I don’t have time for that!


I just started using the Lavender Mint this week. It smells AMAZING! Plus, the mint feels really good on my scalp.


I have the Copaiba Vanilla waiting the wings. It also smells really good!

What about you?

Do you have a certain skin routine? What about makeup?

Have you tried any homemade recipes related to skin or makeup?

Check back in a few months – I’ll likely have another update post to share!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #85: 500 Followers!

Thank You - Pinterest

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I learned early this morning that I now have 500 followers!

Thank you, everyone!

I’m so tickled that this little blog of mine continues to grow. I can’t believe I’ve gained 300 more followers in a little over a year (I wrote a similar post in mid-August 2016, when I reached 200 followers).

I’m astounded at how many people around the world follow my blog, as well as read, like and comment on my posts.

I appreciate every single one of you!


Here’s to more writing and blogging!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #84: Favorite Songs & Artists, 1950s-Present Day

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I was recently inspired to write this post, thanks to my friend Drew. He posted a Facebook status about his dislike for a particular song that’s been popular for several decades, and that sparked a conversation about the 1980s, and our favorite songs from that decade.

In addition, I saw this video from MetroLyrics on Facebook, and I loved how the creator(s) showcase(s) so many songs!

Now, I want to go decade by decade, and list a handful of my favorite songs and artists from each one!

Come along and enjoy!


“Rock Around The Clock” (Bill Haley & His Comets, 1952)

  • Automatic favorite!

“Sh-Boom” (The Chords, 1954)

  • My parents had a generic “Best of the 1950s” CD that I frequently borrowed after I received my first portable CD player – This was one of the songs listed!

“Earth Angel” (The Penguins, 1954)

  • I think this song was also on that CD!

“Heartbreak Hotel” (Elvis Presley, 1956)

  • It was hard to not list a ton of Elvis songs!

“Bye Bye Love” (The Everly Brothers, 1957)

  • This was another song that I grew up listening to!

“At the Hop” (Danny & The Juniors, 1958)

  • This song makes me think of sock hops, dancing, and excellent music!

“Beyond The Sea” (Bobby Darin, 1959)

  • This song has been in so many movies!
  • It reminds me of fancy clubs and restaurants – The old days.


“Unchained Melody” (The Righteous Brothers, 1965)

  • My parents played this on our stereo at home a lot. I remember my mom singing along.
  • Plus, Ghost (1990) is one of my favorite movies!

“Good Vibrations” (The Beach Boys, 1966)

  • The Beach Boys is one of my parents’ favorite bands!
  • If you haven’t seen Love & Mercy (2014), I highly recommend it – It’s an excellent movie. I gained a greater appreciation for Brian Wilson, and the band.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, 1967)

  • I grew up hearing this song, but I remember it most from Remember The Titans (2000).

“What A Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong, 1967)

  • This song immediately lifts my spirits!

“Carolina In My Mind” (James Taylor, 1968)

  • My parents are also big James Taylor fans – They’ve seen him live several times.
  • However, this song is special – My dad played this song when he proposed to my mom. Then, in 2015, we surprised Mom by dancing to this song during our father-daughter dance at my wedding.


“Fire And Rain” (James Taylor, 1970)

  • I think this was the first James Taylor song I remember hearing!

“Baba O’Riley” (The Who, 1971)

  • I’ve always loved this song – The synthesizer always gives me goosebumps.
  • It’s also the theme song to CSI: NY, one of my favorite shows.

“Saturday in the Park” (Chicago, 1972)

  • This song always makes me dance and sing along.
  • I also had the opportunity to see Chicago live, in Portsmouth, in the early 2000s – I think I was either 13 or 14. I went with my parents, and their friends Phil and Diane. What an awesome memory!

“Hooked on a Feeling” (Blue Swede cover, 1974)

  • I heard this song here and there growing up, but absolutely fell in love with it when it was featured in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  • Al and I entered our wedding reception to this!

“Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” (Elton John, 1974)

  • I started listening to Elton John more in high school, while driving the 15 miles back and forth to school.

“Isn’t She Lovely” (Stevie Wonder, 1976)

  • My mom has loved Stevie Wonder for years. I think this one is my favorite.

“Don’t Stop” (Fleetwood Mac, 1977)

  • Fleetwood Mac was another favorite in my parents’ house. This one tops my list.
  • I also love the cover that the cast of Glee did in 2010.

“Old Time Rock n Roll” (Bob Seger, 1978)

  • I heard this song a lot growing up, but associate it now with Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983).


“Come On Eileen” (Dexys Midnight Runners, 1982)

  • This song is awesome! It automatically makes me dance and sing!

“Eye of the Tiger” (Survivor, 1982)

  • This was the theme song of my high school football team. Go Tigers!

“Uptown Girl” (Billy Joel, 1983)

  • I remember borrowing Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Vols. 1 & 2 on CD from the local library, and then putting all of them on my iPod.
  • We’re hoping to see him live at Madison Square Garden next summer!

“Footloose” (Kenny Loggins, 1984)

  • Although I grew up listening (and dancing) to this song, I actually never saw the original movie until 2010!
  • I also enjoyed the movie re-boot – Footloose (2011) – Al was such a good sport and offered to take me to see it!

“Ghostbusters” (Ray Parker, Jr., 1984)

  • Automatic favorite. I also associate this song with Halloween. I love the Ghostbusters costume I bought several years ago!
  • Although I didn’t see the full movie until 2010, I’ve visited the firehouse in New York several times!

“You’re The Inspiration” (Chicago, 1984)

  • This was one of the first songs I loaded on my first iPod!

“The Power of Love” (Huey Lewis and the News, 1985)

  • Back to the Future (1985). Need I say more?

“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, 1987)

  • Dirty Dancing (1987).
  • I’ve been to Mountain Lake three times, where they filmed part of the movie!

“Smooth Criminal” (Michael Jackson, 1987)

  • It was SO HARD to not pick a ton of Michael Jackson’s songs. I love this one.
  • This is another one that Glee covered that I adore!

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Whitney Houston, 1987)

  • Same story with Whitney – So hard to not pick multiple songs.
  • Like the title, it makes me want to dance the whole time!

“Never Gonna Give You Up” (Rick Astley, 1987)

  • Yes, it’s cheesy and campy, but I will never stop loving it.


“Baby Got Back” (Sir Mix A Lot, 1992)

  • Whenever I hear this song, I’m immediately transported back to elementary school, and the Plaza Skating Center in Portsmouth. So many skating parties!

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Mariah Carey, 1994)

  • Yes, it’s cheesy, but this is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. The local radio stations start way too early, but hearing this song always gets me in the mood for the holidays, and Christmas spirit.

“Wannabe” (Spice Girls, 1996)

  • I was introduced to the Spice Girls by my friends Karen and Michaela Leigh, who are sisters. We played this song a ton at their house in Norfolk. Karen also had the dolls!

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” (Shania Twain, 1997)

  • I don’t remember the first time I heard this song, but I instantly liked it! The music video is totally awesome, too.

“Tearin’ Up My Heart” (*NSYNC, 1997)

  • I think I fell in love with *NSYNC with this song. I’m definitely a ’90s child!

“…Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears, 1999)

  • I remember outright begging my parents for this CD. I was so excited when I got it, I nearly cried!

“Larger than Life” (Backstreet Boys, 1999)

  • I definitely sang into my hairbrush, in front of my mirrored closet doors, to this song. Over and over and over!
  • I shameless danced when this song came on the radio in the car a few months ago. Al was driving, and he saw me freak out a little.


“Stronger” (Britney Spears, 2000)

  • I loved this song early on, but it took on a new meaning for me in college.

“Bye Bye Bye” (*NSYNC, 2000)

  • This song was on repeat for a while! I remember trying to learn the dance moves!

“Come Away with Me” (Norah Jones, 2002)

  • I associate coffee shops and dark jazz clubs with this song. It’s one of those that relaxes me and makes me feel good.

“Invisible” (Clay Aiken, 2003)

  • When Clay Aiken was runner-up on the second season of American Idol, I knew I wanted any and every CD that he released.
  • I remember many trips to Florida where this song, and the rest of Measure of a Man, was on repeat on my blue portable CD player.

“The Way” (Clay Aiken, 2003)

  • The first time I heard this song, I nearly cried. It’s so sweet and sentimental.
  • I remember watching the music video over and over on YouTube. And, occasionally, I play it again.

“Dancing Through Life” (Wicked soundtrack, 2003)

  • I love almost all of the songs on the Wicked soundtrack, but this one is my favorite. When I had the opportunity to see the show in Norfolk in 2009, I bought a red tank top with this printed on it, and I loved it. I’m sad that I grew out of it!

“Walk Away” (Kelly Clarkson, 2004)

  • I was a late-bloomer with Kelly Clarkson. But, I’ve loved this song from the beginning. It’s edgy, and I almost used the lyrics to tell off my ex-boyfriend when I broke up with him in 2010.

“I Gotta Feeling” (The Black Eyed Peas, 2009)

  • This is a quintessential dance / party song.

2010s (So far)

“Rolling in the Deep” (Adele, 2010)

  • When Al and I saw I Am Number Four (2011) in theaters, I heard this song for the first time. I immediately wanted more! Adele is now one of my all-time favorite artists!

“Mine” (Taylor Swift, 2010)

  • I felt an instant connection with this song. It felt like it was telling the story of Al and I.
  • I got up the courage to sing this song to Al at our rehearsal dinner. I practiced in the car, alone, every chance I got. My bridal party helped me make posters that read “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine,” and they held them up as I sang. My knees were shaking the entire time, and I know Al was embarrassed, but it was completely worth it.

“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” (Kelly Clarkson, 2011)

  • This was my anthem for a few years!
  • Kelly has such a powerful voice – I love it!

“Domino” (Jessie J, 2011)

  • I always feel sexy when I sing along to this song.

“Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen, 2012)

  • I love Carly Rae. This is one of those songs that instantly makes me dance and sing.
  • Also, I love the video that the cast of The Big Bang Theory did with this song!

“Who I Am with You” (Chris Young, 2013)

  • Like “Mine,” I felt an instant connection to this song. I first heard it on the radio in 2013, as I was driving back to my apartment one night. I pulled over in my neighborhood to listen to it, and immediately re-played it when I got home. It’s been one of my all-time favorite songs since then. We danced to this song for our first dance at our wedding.

“Word Crimes” (“Weird Al” Yankovic, 2014)

  • Al introduced me to “Weird Al” – I love his parodies!
  • This is one of my all-time favorites. If you’re a grammar nerd, like me, I think you’ll appreciate this one.

“Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift, 2014)

  • I love Taylor Swift. This song makes me dance, even if I’m sitting down. It’s so upbeat and catchy!

“Shatter Me” (Lindsey Stirling featuring Lzzy Hale, 2014)

  • I can’t remember when I first fell in love with Lindsey Stirling, but she’s amazing! We had the opportunity to see her live at The NorVA in 2015!

“Lips Are Movin” (Meghan Trainor, 2014)

  • Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I usually search for Meghan Trainor on YouTube – It never fails!
  • I adore her style, and her musical inspirations!

“Heartbeat Song” (Kelly Clarkson, 2015)

  • I cried when I first heard this song, and cried harder when I watched the music video. It’s an amazing song about love!

“One More Light” (Linkin Park, 2017)

  • The recent deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, both from suicide, makes this song even more poignant.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun researching. I definitely listened to all of them, too!

What about you? What are your favorite artists / musicians? Do you have any favorite songs? I’d love to see your comments.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #83: Seven Years


Image Credit: BrainyQuote

I can’t believe another year has passed.

On this day in 2016, I posted the following:

I loved doing it, and since I received so much positive feedback, I’ve decided to make this an annual post!

Plus, I’m really proud of myself – In the last year, I’ve posted nearly 50 “Getting Personal” posts. Wow!!

Today, Al and I celebrate seven years together.

Here are seven photos that are special to me.

Facebook July 26

Photo taken July 2015. I made this photo my Facebook cover photo on July 26th: “Two years ago today, we had our amazing engagement photo session with Amanda Kyle MacDiarmid, who owns and operates Stellar Exposures. I had completely forgotten about this photo until it popped up on my Facebook Memories! I need to get a photo canvas!” Image Credit: Amanda Kyle MacDiarmid, owner / operator of Stellar Exposures.

November 2015 (3)

November 2015: I think we were laughing during Al’s dad’s toast as the best man. Image Credit: Amanda Kyle MacDiarmid, owner / operator of Stellar Exposures.

November 2015

November 2015: Obligatory photo! We had a blast at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in Orlando, Florida, for our honeymoon!

November 2015 (2)

November 2015: All smiles at Universal Studios!

February 2016

February 2016: When Lane came home to visit! Cannot wait for the end of October! Image Credit: Lauren Lane Bellar.

September 2016

September 2016: Al took this photo while we were sitting around the fire at the Vardaro Farm, Scottsburg, Virginia.

Bauer Holiday Party December 2016

December 2016: Bauer Compressors company Christmas party.

We need to take more pictures to round out 2017!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂