Getting Personal #80: My Love for American Girl

American Girl - Etsy

Image Credit: Etsy

Some of you have probably figured out by now that I have loved Pleasant Company and American Girl for, well, forever.

I wanted to give you a bit of an inside look into my love and passion for these books and the dolls!


Here’s a few articles that I read and reviewed while working on this post:


Before we dive into my love / passion for these books and dolls, here’s a brief history of Pleasant Company and American Girl.

Pleasant Company was launched in 1986 by former textbook writer Pleasant Rowland. The idea was sparked when she wanted to buy dolls for her nieces, ages 8 and 10 at the time, and the only options available were Cabbage Patch Kids and Barbies.

She then took a trip with her husband to Colonial Williamsburg, and she was inspired by the history there. She thought girls would be interested in learning more about history by connecting with dolls associated with certain historical time eras.

There were three original Historical Characters when the company started in 1986:

  • Kirsten Larson, 1854
  • Samantha Parkington, 1904
  • Molly McIntire, 1944

Here is the complete list of Historical Characters the company has created:

  1. Kaya, 1764
  2. Felicity Merriman, 1774
  3. Elizabeth Cole, 1774 (Felicity’s best friend)
  4. Caroline Abbott, 1812
  5. Josefina Montoya, 1824
  6. Marie-Grace Gardner, 1853
  7. Cecile Rey, 1853
  8. Kirsten Larson, 1854
  9. Addy Walker, 1864
  10. Samantha Parkington, 1904
  11. Nellie O’Malley, 1904 (Samantha’s best friend)
  12. Rebecca Rubin, 1914
  13. Kit Kittredge, 1934
  14. Ruthie Smithens, 1934 (Kit’s best friend)
  15. Molly McIntire, 1944
  16. Emily Bennett, 1944 (Molly’s best friend)
  17. Maryellen Larkin, 1954
  18. Melody Ellison, 1964
  19. Julie Albright, 1974
  20. Ivy Ling, 1974 (Julie’s best friend)

In 1995, the company debuted its American Girl of Today product line, where girls could pick from a variety of hair, eye, and skin colors to make their own dolls. Today, it has been relabeled several times, and it’s now branded as the Truly Me line. The company even offers dolls without hair for girls with alopecia, hair loss, or going through cancer treatments.

In 1998, Rowland sold Pleasant Company to Mattel for approximately $700 million dollars!

In 2001, American Girl launched its “Girl of the Year” (GOTY) line. With the exceptions of Lindsey (2001-2002) and Kailey (2003-2004), all GOTY dolls have only been available for one calendar year, with the new doll being unveiled on January 1st.

Along the way, several Historical Characters have been archived – Samantha and Nellie, Kirsten, Felicity and Elizabeth, Molly and Emily, Marie-Grace and Cecile, and a few others. The decision was made for all the “Best Friends” dolls to be archived by August 2014. Caroline Abbott was the most recent character to be archived, in spring 2015. The only two Historical Characters to have been brought out of the archives, so far, are Samantha, and Felicity.

In the summer of 2014, American Girl revamped its Historical Characters line into the BeForever line. The original six-book set was redesigned into two main volumes, and then what’s called a “Journey Book,” where a modern-day girl goes on a journey with one of the Historical girls.

Currently, in 2017, the BeForever line has approximately 10 characters, with the 11th being Nanea Mitchell, 1941, scheduled to officially debut at the end of August. Gabriela is the current GOTY. There is a new Contemporary Characters line of 18-inch dolls, consisting of Tenney Grant, Logan Everett, and Z Yang. Logan Everett is the company’s first boy doll. Z Yang is the first doll to be created from American Girl’s popular YouTube channel. The WellieWishers are a series of five 14.5-inch dolls, designed for younger girls. Bitty Babies are also available for children ages 3 and up.


Now, if I remember correctly, I was given my Bitty Baby doll in 1994 or 1995. I have some photos from a few vintage Pleasant Company Holiday Catalogs below.

Before I even received my first 18-inch doll, my “American Girl of Today” that I named Stephanie, I absolutely fell in love with the American Girl books!

Pleasant Company Catalogue Holiday 1991

These are the original “meet” books – This photo is from the Pleasant Company catalog for the holidays in 1991. Image Credit: Mental Floss

Before the BeForever line was introduced, each Historical Character had a “Central Series” of six books. I’ll use Molly’s name as an example:

  1. Meet Molly: An American Girl
  2. Molly Learns A Lesson: A School Story
  3. Molly’s Surprise: A Christmas Story
  4. Happy Birthday, Molly!: A Springtime Story
  5. Molly Saves The Day: A Summer Story
  6. Changes for Molly: A Winter Story

The six books cover approximately two years of each character’s life. I loved reading and re-reading these books. There were beautiful illustrations in every one! My personal library had all of Felicity’s books, and Samantha’s, in hardcover. I borrowed the rest from the library, over and over. When I was in speech therapy for most of elementary school, I distinctly remember reading Felicity’s books out loud to my parents as practice.

Eventually, I gave away most of my American Girl book collection to other girls, and the library. Now, I’ve been feverishly rebuilding my childhood library, and then some! I have a huge copy paper box in my office space that is overflowing with books. I’m so excited to get my huge bookcase from my parents, and promptly fill it up.

In addition to the Central Series, American Girl has published other contemporary titles for girls, and I owned many of them (Games and Giggles, Tiny Treasures, Help!, The Care & Keeping of You, etc.). They have also published multiple short stories and mysteries featuring the Historical Characters. I’m also very fond of the 22-book History Mysteries series, as well as the eight Girls of Many Lands books.

I will never stop loving the books!


Photo montage!

This is the most recent catalog that I received in the mail. It’s significantly smaller than the older Pleasant Company catalogs. This one is about the size of a small magazine, roughly 50 pages total.

This is one of the vintage Pleasant Company catalogs that I recently purchased from someone on Facebook. I loved looking through these as a kid, over and over.

This is my current “stash” of doll stuff in my office!

 

I have Molly’s desk at my parents’ house! I found it in really good condition from a Facebook post a few years ago – I only paid $30 for it!


This is from one of the Pleasant Company catalogs. I remember starting at these full-size photos for hours!

Here’s some photos featuring the American Girl of Today line!

I loved the Snowflake Jumper when I received my American Girl of Today, who I named Stephanie. I need to do a second blog post when I get all my dolls from Mom and Dad’s!


My Stephanie is currently dressed in the School Jumper outfit at Mom and Dad’s. I also had the Girl Scout Uniform, and I took Stephanie to a few troop meetings!


I had the Cheerleader Outfit for many years – I eventually sold in it a lot of AG clothes to a woman at my office building for her 6-year-old daughter. She emailed me the following weekend, saying that she gave the box of clothes and accessories to her daughter early, and she and her friends loved everything!


I now own the Culotte Dress after years of wanting it. Facebook is an amazing resource for all things Pleasant Company and American Girl!


I didn’t have that swimsuit set, but I did have the In-line Gear and Baxter the Bunny!


This was the outfit that my doll Stephanie arrived in, for Christmas 1997!


I remember loving all the girl outfits and accessories! My parents said no, though. They didn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes that they knew that I would quickly outgrow!


I love the Jeweled Headband, and those AG Earrings! I also had a very similar haircut from fifth grade through middle school.


I loved these outfits – Totally 90s!

I absolutely love the older catalogs! I’ve had so much fun recently, looking through the three that I recently purchased. So many memories!!


Here’s a fun quiz:

Here’s my results:

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“Hey, Molly. You either wanted to be a Samantha but got stuck with a mom who gave you Molly (raises hand reluctantly), proudly wore glasses, loved World War II, or all of the above. Either way, be proud of your inner Molly — though you suck at doing math.”

I’ve always loved Molly! I definitely wore glasses, from sixth grade on. And I definitely suck at math!


This past week, American Girl officially launched their newest product – “Create Your Own” American Girl!

Not the best photo. But, meet Bethany, my true look-alike!


Bethany loves to daydream. Her fave place is the city, and her fave things are reading & writing.

The new doll line is a bit more expensive than the other dolls, around $200. But, after nearly 20 years of having a blonde doll, I think it’s high time that I have one that actually looks like me!

My doll collection, at the moment, consists of five dolls:

  1. Stephanie, my American Girl of Today, 1997 — Mom and Dad bought Stephanie for me for Christmas. I was a very happy 9-year-old!
  2. Molly McIntire, 1944 — Molly was the first doll that I bought with my own money, right before she was archived in 2013.
  3. Kit Kittredge, 1934 — Al bought her for me for my birthday in August 2016.
  4. Chrissa Maxwell, Girl of the Year, 2009 — I quickly identified with Chrissa’s character several years ago. Her story revolves around bullying. Chrissa came home to me in early 2017.
  5. Unnamed American Girl of Today, circa 1996 — I bought this doll off eBay in 2016, trying to help out someone on a Facebook group with creating Harry Potter dolls. That never happened, so I kept her. I may turn her into Hermione Granger someday 🙂

I have a few other dolls on my wish list. Aside from Bethany, my Create Your Own, I would love to eventually own Nanea, 1941, and Maryellen, 1954.

Nanea Doll - American Girl Wikia

Nanea Mitchell, 1941. Image Credit: American Girl Wikia


Maryellen - American Girl Wikia

Maryellen Larkin, 1954. Image Credit: American Girl Wikia


As long as I live, I don’t think I will ever get “too old” for American Girl. It’s been such a staple in my life since the mid-1990s!

I’ve always appreciated Pleasant Company’s and American Girl’s dedication to historical accuracy. I give immense credit to these books for making me love history!

I’ve written Book Reviews on several of the new BeForever books, including Maryellen’s and Melody’s stories. For my birthday last week, Al bought me the two Classic volumes of Felicity’s books, and I can’t wait to read those. I’m also very excited for several new releases this winter (I may or may not have already pre-ordered these from Amazon):


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #79: Reflections, On My Birthday

Birthday Quote 2017

Image Credit: BrainyQuote

I wrote a Getting Personal post on my birthday last year, and I received a lot of positive feedback. I thought I would continue this tradition every year. For me, it brings the past year into focus, and it makes me feel good.


Since this time last year, I’ve lived in my own house with Al for over a year. I’m so happy that we’ve reached this point. We have independence. We’re navigating our way through “adulting” the best that we can. I’m happy that we both have stable jobs that give us good benefits, as well as modest incomes. We’re paying our bills and saving money, but we’re also able to have a little bit of spending money, too. Our house is certainly big enough for the two of us, but we also have room to entertain and (eventually) grow our family. We’ve already had adventures in dog-sitting, and we’re thinking about getting a cat, or two.

It’s amazing to look around, in almost any room, and realize that it looked completely different when we bought the house. We still have several projects on our list – Matching blinds for the rest of the windows, finishing renovating two dressers for two bedrooms, blackout curtains for our bedroom, painting an accent wall in the living room, and finishing my office – but we’re enjoying working on them together. And that’s the whole point, right?

It’s also hard to believe that I will likely, finally, earn my Associates of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies as 2017 comes to a close. Wow. It’s been a long five years, with a few semester breaks here and there – Like not taking any classes for the two semesters before my wedding, for instance. (Best. Decision. Ever.)

I’m officially registered for Legal Writing this fall. I’m headed to campus again on Thursday nights from late August through mid-December. I’m excited to take this class – This is one of the main classes that I have looked forward to since starting the program. Better late than never, but here we are. Keep your fingers crossed that this is truly my last class before graduation!

I’m also glad that I had the opportunity this spring to prepare for the boards (exam) to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC). Many thanks to Shana for keeping me in the loop. It’s funny how things work out – I was hoping to take Legal Writing in the spring, but an English prerequisite was in my way, and I couldn’t register. During the Super Bowl in February, Shana told me TCC Workforce Solutions was offering the CPC exam prep class again (She took it in the fall of 2016). I was able to sign up in the nick of time, with the class starting two weeks after she told me.

I was incredibly nervous, but also excited. This was new territory for me. I’d had some exposure to ICD-10, CPT codes, and HCPCS codes through the nature of my job and my work, but not a lot. Casey, my former manager, encouraged me for years to get certified, and I finally took the plunge.

Medical coding is HARD. There’s three different sets of codes, and each code is for something different. It also depends on your interpretation of the doctor’s notes, which isn’t always easy.

Test day was Saturday, April 8th. It was almost six hours long! Luckily, I was able to answer all 150 questions before time expired, plus check my answers. I didn’t feel like I completely failed, but I wasn’t super confident that I passed.

About a week later, I discovered that I had passed the exam by accident. AAPC sends emails about meetings, and one of those emails started with, “Dear Laura Beth, CPC-A.” I almost fell out of my chair at work. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, so I logged on to AAPC to see my score. I ended up passing with a 76 percent score (I needed at least a 70). I tore out of my cube and ran down the hall to tell Casey. I was jumping up and down!

I found out later that I was the ONLY ONE in my class to pass the boards. I was floored. There were 15 people in my class. It was amazing!

So, now I’m certified. I have to earn a set number of continuing education units (CEUs) by a certain time next year, but going to AAPC chapter meetings every month, plus doing webinars, add up. I was pinned by the Peninsula Professional Coders last month during a special ceremony, and there were several others who are newly certified. It feels nice to have such a supportive community. Being certified also opens the door to new job opportunities. I’m very happy at Riverside, but it’s nice to have different options when thinking about the future.

There have been some challenges this year, but nothing insurmountable. Casey left Riverside for another opportunity in mid-April, which was devastating to me.

We suffered with a broken AC unit at our house for about two weeks, at the peak of the hot weather. We know now that we need to replace our HVAC before next summer. We decided to forgo a wedding anniversary vacation this fall, but we’re planning to go to New York City in the summer of 2018!

I have a lot to look forward to as I start the last year of my 20s:

  • Former work colleagues becoming true friends.
  • Enjoying my slight obsession with LuLaRoe.
  • Being part of the Pray for Me Campaign at New Creation UMC.
  • Celebrating seven years together with Al on September 4th.
  • Heading to the mountains for a weekend in early September, celebrating Savy’s bachelorette and making new friends.
  • Helping Nick and Savy celebrate their kick-ass wedding at the Vardaro Farm in October!
  • Celebrating two years of marriage with Al on November 14th!
  • Being with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Helping Tony and Rachael celebrate their wedding in December.
  • Finishing my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt by reaching at least 50,000 words, and then editing begins!
  • Reading many more books.
  • Continuing blogging, and meeting many more amazing bloggers!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #78: August Goals

We have arrived at the peak of summer. It’s my birthday month! But, I’m also excited because we’re in the home stretch, headed toward fall. Yay!


Here are my goals for the month of August:

  1. Register for the fall semester.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Clear out the clothing clutter, once and for all.
  4. Celebrate my birthday!
  5. See The Dark Tower.
  6. Write at least 300 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt.
  7. Move my bookcase from my parents’ house to ours.
  8. Update my resume and LinkedIn profile.
  9. Make a series of home improvement blog posts.
  10. Make the Succulent Sphere craft for Savy.

Here’s the breakdown:

Register for the fall semester.

  • This is happening on Friday! I’m absolutely determined to make this happen!

Donate blood.

  • Blood drive #101 is on Saturday!

Clear out the clothing clutter, once and for all.

  • My thredUP donation bag is scheduled to arrive this week!
  • I’m so excited to finally clean out! Our closets need it!

Celebrate my birthday!

  • I’m excited to take the day off from work and thoroughly enjoy it.
  • I’m making my regular pilgrimage to LUSH Handmade Cosmetics and Barnes & Noble, plus meeting Al and his co-workers for lunch!
  • My parents are taking us out to eat sometime this coming weekend – Spaghetti Eddie’s!
  • Al’s parents are supposed to stay with us during the second weekend of August, so hopefully we can get our parents together then, too.

See The Dark Tower.

  • Al is more excited for this movie than I am (Stephen King’s epic book series), but I’m intrigued!
  • Plus, who can resist Idris Elba?

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

  • I felt so good at the end of July – I just want to keep going!
  • Making time for it makes such a big difference.

Move my bookcase from my parents’ house to ours.

  • This will be a significant step in making my office complete!

Update my resume and LinkedIn profile.

  • Piggybacking off of last month, this is something that I desperately need to do. Five years is way too long!

Make a series of home improvement blog posts.

  • This is long overdue, so be prepared for lots of Before & After photos!

Make the Succulent Sphere craft for Savy.

  • Link coming soon!
  • Savy saw this video when I shared it on Facebook and tagged her, and I’ve offered to make it for her!

Do you have any goals for the month of August?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #77: July Goals Recap

July felt like one of the longest months to me, but I think that’s because of two weeks of suffering through AC issues (Now gloriously fixed!), and we didn’t have many plans during the weekends. However, the end of the month always seems to sneak up on me!

Here’s the link to my July Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Clear the clothing clutter. — Semi-Achieved.
  2. Start designing my custom American Girl doll cabinet / storage unit. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Register for the fall semester. — Did not accomplish.
  4. See Spider-Man: Homecoming. — Accomplished!
  5. See Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. — Accomplished!
  6. Write at least 200 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Accomplished!
  7. Work toward weekly meal planning. — Accomplished!
  8. Set up a consistent cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!
  9. Update my resume. — Semi-Achieved.
  10. Publish a bigger variety of blog posts. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Clear the clothing clutter. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I got it a bit more organized and clearly divided.
  • I tried everything on, just to be absolutely sure!
  • This past week, I just ordered a Donation Bag through thredUP – I love that what I put into this bag, when it arrives, (including Al’s stuff!) will help our local Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation! There are three local charities that we can choose from, at any time.

Start designing my custom American Girl doll cabinet / storage unit. — Semi-Achieved.

  • We took measurements of a standard American Girl doll box.
  • Al is starting to work it up on the computer, using Adobe Illustrator.

Register for the fall semester. — Did not accomplish.

  • This is happening, just later this week!
  • I called the academic advising department two weeks ago – They don’t make appointments, they only take walk-ins (Of course they do).
  • I’m prepared to sit on campus all day on Friday until this happens. I’m tired of waiting!

See Spider-Man: Homecoming. — Accomplished!

  • We saw this on Thursday, July 6th! It was a later showing, and we were both really tired on Friday at work, but it was COMPLETELY WORTH IT.
  • It’s one of the best movies with Spider-Man, in our opinion.
  • It’s a movie that I think would make John Hughes proud.
  • If you haven’t seen it, we both highly recommend it!

See Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. — Accomplished!

  • We saw this last weekend – A Sunday matinee.
  • It was good, overall – Not anything spectacular.
  • The CGI was stunning and mind-blowing.
  • The story – Not so much.
  • We’re both a little sad that it flopped at the box office.

Write at least 200 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Accomplished!

  • Drumroll … I wrote approximately 452 words!
  • I feel awesome. I’m hoping to keep this momentum going!
  • Current word count: 10,662 words.

Work toward weekly meal planning. — Accomplished!

  • We sat down and mapped out the month of July. We basically picked one meal per week, and then I adjusted the recipes I had accordingly.
  • One of our favorite recipes now is Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken.
  • The first time I made it, I followed the recipe step-by-step. It was really good!
  • When I made it again this week (Monday), I grilled the chicken on our George Foreman grill after marinating it for over 24 hours with olive oil, water, salt, and pepper. Instead of spinach, I used a whole head of broccoli. Absolutely delicious! I made enough for us to have ample portions for five nights.
  • This week – Taco salad!

Set up a consistent cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!

  • I took a pen to our Chick-fil-A calendar in our kitchen, and basically alternated Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Floors on every weekend. I wrote it down for every Saturday, but I give myself all weekend to make sure whatever it is gets done.
  • I’ve also noticed that I now feel less stressed because I’ve broken it down in this way!

Update my resume. — Semi-Achieved.

  • The main thing I did was write down the highlights of my current job, and the skills that I’ve learned while working for Riverside so far. I just need to condense it down into something that’s resume-worthy.
  • I’m not planning on leaving my current job anytime soon, but I know that it’s a good idea to keep my resume updated and refreshed.
  • I also need to overhaul my LinkedIn profile.

Publish a bigger variety of blog posts. — Accomplished!


Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 10 goals! Yay!
  • The three goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy with my progress with these goals.
  • The one goal that I did not accomplish: I’m okay with this – I’ll be able to mark it as officially Accomplished at the end of this week!

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

Come back tomorrow to see my August Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #76: “Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin” (Reblogged)

As the incessant heat wave breaks a little bit this week, I feel like this photo is foreshadowing what fall could be like. This girl is beyond ready!

I look at this photo and I think about several great things happening in September and October – Savy’s epic bachelorette weekend in the mountains, and then Nick and Savy’s wedding at the Vardaro farm!

Also, knowing this photo was taken in Wisconsin makes me think of my beloved Green Bay Packers and football!

As much as I like summer, it’s just too hot and humid! I love the cooler air and the changing leaves much more.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Haley Woods
Sunset Dock, Pelican Lake, Wisconsin

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Getting Personal #75: Third TBR Recap

New-book-quotes-The-book-is-not-an-escape-from-life-but-a-shortcut-to-a-better-one-540x540

Image Credit: Ebook Friendly

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 April:

  1. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  2. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper Kerman
  3. The Devil’s Dozen: 12 Notorious Serial Killers Caught By Cutting-Edge Forensics, Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D.
  4. Music in My Heart: My Journey with Melody, Erin Falligant with Denise Lewis Patrick
  5. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

And, here’s my updated list!

Laura Beth’s To Be Read (TBR) List, as of July 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. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  20. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  21. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  22. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  23. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  24. Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson
  25. Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
  26. The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr
  27. Loving Day, Mat Johnson
  28. American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst, Jeffrey Toobin
  29. The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Toobin
  30. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke
  31. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  32. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe
  33. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  34. Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney
  35. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters
  36. A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, Del Quentin Wilber
  37. Teardrops of the Innocent: The White Diamond Story (True Colors – Volume 1), Allie Marie
  38. Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, Lily Ledbetter
  39. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  40. The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  41. Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1, Valerie Tripp
  42. Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2, Valerie Tripp
  43. Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit, Valerie Tripp
  44. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  45. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  46. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  47. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  48. Son, Lois Lowry
  49. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  50. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  51. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  52. Emma, Jane Austen
  53. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  54. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  55. The List, Patricia Forde
  56. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  57. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  58. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  59. Inferno, Dan Brown
  60. Digital Fortress: A Thriller, Dan Brown
  61. Deception Point, Dan Brown
  62. Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown
  63. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  64. The Runaway: A Maryellen Mystery, Alison Hart
  65. The Lady’s Slipper: A Melody Mystery, Emma Carlson Berne
  66. Camino Island, John Grisham
  67. 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

That’s all, for now!

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

What have you read recently?

Happy reading!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #74: July Goals

July Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Here we are! Summer in Virginia is in full swing. Hot and humid!


Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Clear the clothing clutter.
  2. Start designing my custom American Girl doll cabinet / storage unit.
  3. Register for the fall semester.
  4. See Spider-Man: Homecoming.
  5. See Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
  6. Write at least 200 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt.
  7. Work toward weekly meal planning.
  8. Set up a consistent cleaning schedule.
  9. Update my resume.
  10. Publish a bigger variety of blog posts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Clear the clothing clutter.

  • Piggybacking off of last month, we’re trying to clean out our closets. There’s a lot of things that don’t fit / we don’t wear anymore.
  • We just need to bag it all up, and head to the local thrift stores.

Start designing my custom American Girl doll cabinet / storage unit.

  • This is going to be my birthday gift from Al. I’m so excited!
  • I’ve been designing it in my head ever since we started talking about it last weekend in the car.
  • I’ll finally have a functional / beautiful way to store my dolls and their clothes / accessories.
  • This will be a fun project that we can work on together!
  • I promise pictures!

Register for the fall semester.

  • Once the replacement Longwood transcripts come in, I’m making an appointment on campus to make sure everything is taken care in terms of transfer credits.
  • After that, I’ll talk with Professor Pedigo to make sure everything is squared away.
  • Then, I can finally register for Legal Writing!

See Spider-Man: Homecoming.

  • We’re definitely going to see it on Thursday, July 6th!
  • Depending on how the first show goes, we may go see it again with friends.

See Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

  • I was initially skeptical about this one.
  • But, after watching several YouTube videos and reading more about it, I’m excited to see it!
  • It looks super trippy, in a good way. I’m excited to see how they interpret the graphic novel.

Write at least 200 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt.

  • I was re-reading what I’ve written so far, and I’ve been jotting down some thoughts. I’m excited to add more to the story, bit by bit.

Work toward weekly meal planning.

  • After looking at our budget recently, and finding out earlier this week that we need to replace our HVAC system, I’m motivated to start meal planning in a notebook.
  • We have several good recipes that we like and use a lot, but any new ideas and welcomed and appreciated!

Set up a consistent cleaning schedule.

  • This is another thing I want to put in writing, or on the calendar in the kitchen.
  • I need to make time every weekend to do some cleaning, so stuff like dust doesn’t pile up.
  • We have our laundry and sink / dishwasher routines down cold, but vacuuming / dust mopping / dusting – Not so much.
  • As an adult with my own house, I’m now starting to understand why my mom had me do certain things at certain times every month – It really helps!

Update my resume.

  • In talking with Professor Pedigo at the blood drive last month, she’s offered to help me update my resume. She keeps student resumes on file for lawyers needing help, and other job opportunities.
  • She also recommends to update it every six months, so I’d like to get in the habit of doing that now.
  • I also want to update my LinkedIn profile, and a few other professional things this month.

Publish a bigger variety of blog posts.


Do you have any goals for the month of July?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂