Getting Personal #123: Home Improvement, Part 3

Home Improvement - MoneySpace

Image Credit: MoneySpace

Time for another Home Improvement update!

If you’re interested, here are the links to my previous Home Improvement posts:

Master Bedroom

I don’t have a current photo to share, but we finally got rid of the old curtain rods and ugly brown fabric! We have proper blinds now, like the rest of the house. Woohoo!

Living Room

This is an older photo, but we took down the old brackets above the big picture window. We went to Lowe’s and picked out fancy silver curtain rods, and coordinating / complementary curtains. The pattern is so pretty!

Since this photo was taken, Al bought two more panels so we close the curtains if we want to.

Lady Lounge

Nearly complete!!

I took this photo on April 12th.

Al’s dad was delivering the custom doll cabinet and wardrobe, so I needed to clear the space!

Delivery day: April 14th. It’s so beautiful!

On the left, Stephanie is the American Girl doll I’ve had since I was nine years old. She’s 20 now! And Molly was my dream doll. I bought her in 2013.

All six dolls! Left to right: Stephanie (American Girl of Today), Molly (Historical, 1944), Kit (Historical, 1934), Autumn (American Girl of Today), Chrissa (Girl of the Year, 2009), and Z (Contemporary Character, 2017).

The double-sided shoe rack still has room!

One Saturday, I was feeling super stressed and anxious about a lot of things. I went into my Lady Lounge, picked a different outfit for each doll, and re-dressed them. When I was done, I felt so much calmer and relaxed.

Molly is wearing the American Girl of Today Play Outfit from 1998. Kit is wearing the Beachside Outfit, first released in 2003.

Stephanie is wearing one of my all-time favorites, the Earth Day Outfit, which was released in 1996.

Autumn is wearing the Birthday Outfit from 1998. Chrissa is sporting the Picnic Outfit from 1998. Z is wearing one of her own outfits, Z’s Sightseeing Outfit from 2017.

Have you made any home improvements recently? I’d love to hear about it!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Getting Personal #122: My Take on “Down The TBR Hole”


Image Credit: papertrail rambles

As I mentioned in my May Goals post, my TBR has just spiraled out of control! I was searching for a way to cut it down, or at least rein it in a bit.

Enter Destiny, from Howling Libraries.

She does this awesome series of posts called “Down the TBR Hole,” which I’ve been eagerly reading, and studying, for a while. She uses her Goodreads account to cut down her list.

Since I don’t use Goodreads as religiously, here’s my plan.

I’m going to take my wild list and reorder it, similar to Destiny’s standing TBR, where books are ordered alphabetically. Let’s see what happens.

Here’s the link to my most recent TBR recap, which was published on April 10th:

My original TBR, as of April 2018, had approximately 186 books.


First, I decided to tackle the “Remove” list.

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  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. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  8. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
  9. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
  10. Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs
  11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  12. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  13. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  14. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
  15. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  16. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  17. Dare Me, Megan Abbott
  18. The Fever: A Novel, Megan Abbott
  19. Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott
  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. Loving Day, Mat Johnson
  25. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke
  26. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  27. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe
  28. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  29. Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney
  30. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters
  31. A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, Del Quentin Wilber
  32. Teardrops of the Innocent: The White Diamond Story (True Colors – Volume 1), Allie Marie
  33. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
  34. Caraval, Stephanie Garber
  35. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  36. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  37. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  38. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  39. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  40. Son, Lois Lowry
  41. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  42. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  43. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  44. Emma, Jane Austen
  45. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  46. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  47. The List, Patricia Forde
  48. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  49. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  50. Digital Fortress: A Thriller, Dan Brown
  51. Deception Point, Dan Brown
  52. Inferno, Dan Brown
  53. Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown
  54. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  55. Camino Island, John Grisham
  56. The Rooster Bar, John Grisham
  57. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self, Manoush Zomorodi
  58. Lost Laysen, Margaret Mitchell
  59. Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell, Margaret Mitchell; edited by Jane Eskridge
  60. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane
  61. Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
  62. Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
  63. Pretties, Scott Westerfeld
  64. Specials, Scott Westerfeld
  65. Extras, Scott Westerfeld
  66. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, Robert Kolker
  67. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
  68. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  69. In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien
  70. July, July, Tim O’Brien
  71. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
  72. P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han
  73. Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han
  74. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
  75. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
  76. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  77. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  78. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
  79. Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls
  80. The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls
  81. Because You Exist (Light in the Dark Series) (Volume 1), Tiffany Truitt
  82. The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson
  83. Postcards from the Edge, Carrie Fisher
  84. Shockaholic, Carrie Fisher
  85. Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
  86. The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
  87. In A Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware
  88. We Can Be Mended, Veronica Roth
  89. Carve The Mark, Veronica Roth
  90. Sing, Vivi Greene
  91. West End Quartet, Ariadne Apostolou
  92. Defining Sexism in the U.S. (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 1), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  93. Sexism and U.S. History (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 2), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  94. What Yo Mama Said, Elizabeth Hall Magill
  95. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy, Seymour Reit
  96. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace
  97. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
  98. The Upside of Unrequited, Becky Albertalli
  99. Mary Jane’s Ghost: The Legacy of a Murder in Small Town America, Ted Gregory
  100. The Dark Lake, Sarah Bailey
  101. The Innocence Treatment, Ari Goelman
  102. Haunting the Deep, Ariana Mather
  103. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford
  104. Jesus’ Son: Stories, Denis Johnson
  105. Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson
  106. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories, Denis Johnson
  107. The Secret, Bryon Priess
  108. Warcross, Marie Lu
  109. Nothing But Sky, Amy Trueblood
  110. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee
  111. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
  112. Husband in Hiding (The Unde(a)feted Detective Series), Karina Bartow
  113. With Malice, Eileen Cook
  114. The Year They Burned The Books, Nancy Garden
  115. Last Night, Kerry Wilkinson
  116. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
  117. The Life of Jesus, Ernest Renan
  118. A Doll’s House, Heinrik Ibsen
  119. Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
  120. The Old Wives’ Tale, Arnold Bennett
  121. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
  122. The Red and the Black, Stendahl
  123. Victory, Joseph Conrad
  124. The Revolt of the Angels, Anatole France
  125. Sanctuary, William Faulkner
  126. Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  127. Within a Budding Grove, Marcel Proust
  128. The Guermantes Way, Marcel Proust
  129. South Wind, Norman Douglas
  130. The Garden Party, Katherine Mansfield
  131. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  132. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  133. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  134. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  135. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
  136. The Dinner, Herman Koch
  137. The Time-Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  138. Green, Sam Graham-Felsen

Whew! That’s so much better! I feel so much lighter.

At least 50 of these books have been on my TBR since I started my TBR recap posts in January 2017. Yeesh.

Removal Rate: 138/186 = 74%

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

  1. Bader, Bonnie, and Connie Porter, The Underground Railroad (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  2. Bader, Bonnie, A Girl Named Helen: The True Story of Helen Keller (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  3. Banks, Patrice, Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide
  4. Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker, The War I Finally Won
  5. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  6. Calonita, Jen, Z On Location (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 2)
  7. Carlson Berne, Emma, The Titanic (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  8. Casanova, Mary, Menace at Mammoth Cave: A Kit Mystery
  9. Choi, Mary H.K., Emergency Contact
  10. Crowley, Cath, Words in Deep Blue
  11. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  12. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  13. Falligant, Erin, The Legend of the Shark Goddess: A Nanea Mystery
  14. Garrison, Margaret, Prez: A Story of Love
  15. Gaskell, Elizabeth, North and South
  16. Gilbert. Kelly Loy, Picture Us in the Light
  17. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  18. Haddix, Margaret Peterson, Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1)
  19. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  20. King, Stephen, 11/22/63
  21. Lehr, Dick, Trell
  22. Lyons, Kelly Starling, A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  23. McNamara, Michelle, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  24. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  25. McKinney, Ruth Ann, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert
  26. Murphy, Jim, My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
  27. Myers, Walter Dean, My Name is America: The Journal of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy
  28. Nijkamp, Marieke, Before I Let Go
  29. Paley, Rebecca, The Boston Tea Party (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  30. Paley, Rebecca, A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  31. Patrick, Denis Lewis, A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  32. Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
  33. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  34. Rowling, J.K., The Casual Vacancy
  35. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  36. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  37. Swanson, Jennifer, Pearl Harbor (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  38. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  39. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Braving the Deep
  40. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Out of This World
  41. Toobin, Jeffrey, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst
  42. Toobin, Jeffrey, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson
  43. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1
  44. Tripp, Valerie, Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2
  45. Tripp, Valerie, Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit
  46. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In
  47. Yee, Lisa, Lea Leads the Way
  48. Yee, Lisa, and Kellen Hertz, Lea and Camila

This is so much better! I don’t feel like I’m drowning in books anymore!

Plus, with a more manageable list, I don’t feel so overwhelmed now. With so many books on the list for a long time, it was getting overwhelming to just a pick a new book after finishing one.

I love reading – I don’t want a long list to detract me from doing something that I normally love.

Keep Rate: 48/186 = 26%

Thanks for the inspiration, Destiny!

My original TBR posts, which I publish every quarter, will likely follow this format going forward.

I’m excited to tackle more reading!

Do you have a TBR?

Have you gone through your list and done a Keep and/or Remove exercise?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #121: May the 4th Be With You!

May the Fourth Be With You

Image Credit: Inside The Magic

Today is May 4th!

For Star Wars fans, today is “May the Fourth Be With You” Day!

Here’s some information from Star Wars Day: May The 4th Be With You

Since my hair is super-short now, I can’t put it into the Princess Lea buns. However, I did do it for Star Wars Day in 2011!

And, tomorrow is “Revenge of the Fifth.”


Are you doing anything to celebrate May The Fourth Be With You?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #120: Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Recap

Camp 2018 Writer Profile Photo

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

I was inspired to write this post from my friend Madi Grace!

Here are the links to her Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 recaps:

Here are the links to my posts where I mentioned Camp NaNoWriMo, and announced my decision to participate for the very first time:

As a reminder / refresher, my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo was to write 20,000 additional words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor / attempt, tentatively titled, “Experiences from Camp.”


Kristin, a teenager from Kansas, has heard of this experience called “Camp” in Maine. However, everyone who has gone there can’t accurately describe their experiences – Just a lot of mystery, suspense, some thrills, and a lot of chills. When she’s selected to go, she’s excited to meet Brennan, and see “camp” for herself. From the start, Kristin doesn’t get what she’s bargained for, and her excitement turns to absolute terror.

Previous Stats

March 27th

  • Current word count: 11,216 words

March 31st

  • Added 2,025 new words between March 29th and March 30th.
  • Current word count: 13,241 words.

And now, here’s how I did!

Day 1

Today: 785
Total: 785

Not a bad start!

Day 2

Today: 0
Total: 785

There were several days throughout the month where I wrote absolutely zero words!

It was frustrating to not have written anything on Day 2, but I persisted.

Day 3

Today: 602
Total: 1,387

More progress!

Day 4

Today: 892
Total: 2,279

This was my highest word count so far.

I felt like I was on a roll!

Day 5

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

This was the start of a days-long slump where I just did not make any time to write.

Day 6

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Again, little to no time was carved out to write.

Day 7

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 7 was the start of the first weekend of the month, and we were so slammed that I came home utterly exhausted.

Day 8

Today: 0
Total: 2,279

Day 8 was also part of the weekend.

But, I was bound and determined to break out of this slump!

Day 9

Today: 983
Total: 3,262

That’s more like it!

This was my highest word count since camp started.

I was rejoicing!

Day 10

Today: 329
Total: 3,591

I started to notice that if I wrote a high number of words one day, then the very next day, my word count was typically lower.

Oh well, at least I added words!

Day 11

Today: 1,198
Total: 4,789

Holy moly! I knocked the daily word count (667) out of the park!

This was my highest word count of camp at this point.

The only way to go is up!

Day 12

Today: 0
Total: 4,789

Day 12 was shortly after my family started experiencing a big crisis.

So, I’m not surprised that I didn’t write much on this day.

Day 13

Today: 667
Total: 5,456

Nailed the daily word count, down to an exact science!

Day 14

Today: 0
Total: 5,456

Another weekend day – No progress.

Day 15

Today: 1,530
Total: 6,986

After a rough day, this was the highest word count of camp at this point.

My high scores, so to speak, were increasing!

Day 16

Today: 0
Total: 6,986

Utter exhaustion again.

Day 17

Today: 435
Total: 7,421

Much better!

Day 18

Today: 1,006
Total: 8,427

Even better than the day before!

Inching closer to the halfway mark!

Day 19

Today: 0
Total: 8,427

Another rough day.

Day 20

Today: 820
Total: 9,247

I was thrilled that I exceeded the daily word count.

Just inches away from the halfway point.

Day 21

Today: 455
Total: 9,702

Word by word, I felt happy that I was getting closer to the 10,000 word mark.

Day 22

Today: 660
Total: 10,362


I crossed the 50 percent mark today.

Cue the happy dance!

Day 23

Today: 635
Total: 10,997

As the numbers increase, I’m hoping that I can actually succeed with my goal!

Day 24

Today: 795
Total: 11,792

The word count today was better than yesterday.

I’ll take it!

Day 25

Today: 0
Total: 11,792

Another weird day.

Feeling a bit stagnant, and unsure.

Day 26

Total: 1,080
Today: 12,872

In spite of the ongoing family crisis, I felt really good with today’s results!

Day 27

Total: 1,230
Today: 14,102

Amazingly, I exceeded yesterday’s word count.

I also took the day off from work, I needed a decompression day. The family crisis turned into mourning. My family lost three uncles within two weeks of each other.

But, I’m very pleased with my progress!

Day 28

Total: 3,051
Today: 17,153

It’s amazing what can happen when your husband takes a long nap in the afternoon.

This word count absolutely crushed all the other high scores.

I was on cloud nine!

Plus, the finish line was in sight.

Day 29

Today: 1,063
Total: 18,216

Inching closer and closer.

I really felt the pressure today!

Day 30

Today: 2,040
Total: 20,256

Oh, my goodness. I DID IT!!!!


I exceeded my goal for my first-ever Camp NaNoWriMo!!!!

Current word count: 33,507 words.

Camp 2018 Winner Facebook Cover

Image Credit: Camp NaNoWriMo

Final Thoughts

Wow. I’m stunned. Astonished. And thrilled!

I was immensely apprehensive about signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, especially since I didn’t participate in “regular” NaNoWriMo in 2015, 2016, or 2017.

But, through the encouragement of Madi, and several other friends, I decided to take the plunge.

I felt 20,000 new words for this novel was a very lofty goal, but I was very pleased that I not only met it, but I beat it by 256 words. It’s so inspirational!

I loved the camp environment and atmosphere. It was like a virtual writer’s retreat for a whole month! Also, you had the option of being placed in a “cabin,” so you could meet and interact with other writers! We had several lively discussions and cheering sessions in my cabin. So much fun!

I cannot wait for the next Camp NaNoWriMo in July. Bring it on!!

Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #119: May Goals


Image Credit: OJ Benson Notes

Hello, May! It’s nice to see you! Everything is in bloom, the beautiful spring colors are back, it’s riding in the car with the windows down weather!!

Here are my goals for the month of May:

  1. Drastically curb my spending habits.
  2. See Solo: A Star Wars Story.
  3. Finish prepping the Lady Lounge for the new standing desk.
  4. Schedule the replacement of our ductwork and HVAC system.
  5. Finish the book I’m currently reading, plus write the Book Review.
  6. Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018.
  7. Update the Household Bills spreadsheet.
  8. Visit the farm!
  9. Prepare for P.E.O. State Convention.
  10. See the Virginia Symphony Orchestra perform the music to Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets live.
  11. Publish my first “Down The TBR Hole” post.
  12. Continue progress on my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.

Here’s the breakdown:

Drastically curb my spending habits.

  • Maybe, just maybe, if I write everything down here on the blog, I can actually make this work.
  • My pledge, to myself, is to spend as little money as I possibly can during the month of May.
  • This means doing everything I can to: (a) not buy any more new clothes [both for Laura Beth, and Laura Beth’s American Girl dolls], and, (b) not eat out as much for my lunches.

See Solo: A Star Wars Story.

  • This movie looks really good. We’re looking forward to seeing it at the end of the month!

Finish prepping the Lady Lounge for the new standing desk.

  • I just need to: (a) clear out the remaining boxes, (b) sell off my box of American Girl items that are duplicates or things I don’t need anymore, and (c) give the room a good deep clean.
  • We may not necessarily but the standing desk this month, but the room will be ready for it.

Schedule the replacement of our ductwork and HVAC system.

  • This is one of the big home improvement projects that’s been hanging over our heads for a while. After we suffered for nearly two weeks last summer without A/C, it’s time to suck it up and get everything replaced.

Finish the book I’m currently reading, plus write the Book Review.

  • I’m motivated to break out of my reading slump!

Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018.

  • This is something that Al mentioned recently, and we just need to sit down and do it. The plan is to make a “map” for the rest of the year, and plot out what goals we want to accomplish every month, whether it be something for the house, traveling, and so on. I have a good feeling about this!

Update the Household Bills spreadsheet.

  • I’ve fallen behind again. I’m determined to get caught up, and stay that way!

Visit the farm!

  • We’re excited to head to the Vardaro Farm again this month!
  • Look for an Adventure Time post after the trip.

Prepare for P.E.O. State Convention.

  • I’m headed to P.E.O. State Convention again! This time, it’s in Blacksburg, Virginia, near Virginia Tech!

See the Virginia Symphony Orchestra perform the music to Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets live.

  • My parents weren’t able to use these tickets, so they gave Al and I first dibs.
  • We didn’t have the heart to drop $100+ on tickets when the symphony performed the music to Harry Potter and The Sorceror’s Stone back in November, so my parents’ loss is our definite gain.

Publish my first “Down The TBR Hole” post.

  • A friend of mine commented on how long my TBR had gotten when I published the latest recap in April. It’s gotten out of control!
  • So, inspired by my friend Destiny at Howling Libraries, I plan to take a virtual chainsaw to my list, and definitely clean it up!
  • Here’s an example of one of Destiny’s posts: Down the TBR Hole #27
  • My post will probably be a little different than hers, but I’m excited to do this!

Continue progress on my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.

  • I made AMAZING progress on the novel during Camp NaNoWriMo during the month of April!
  • So, I’m not setting a specific goal here, but I want to keep writing, as consistently as possible.
  • I’m definitely signing up for Camp NaNoWriMo again in July – I can’t wait!!

Do you have any goals for the month of May?

If so, I’d love to hear about them! Comment below!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #118: April Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 5

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Welcome back! April was a relatively busy month. But, the weather has finally started to stabilize, several rains have washed away the nasty pollen, and we’re already a full quarter through 2018. How crazy is that!!

Here’s the link to my April Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Give blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Did not accomplish.
  3. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2018. — Accomplished!
  4. See Avengers: Infinity War. — Accomplished!
  5. Continue working on my Lady Lounge. — Accomplished!
  6. Read at least two books. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Enjoy time with Melissa! — Accomplished!
  8. Attend the TAPA Spring Luncheon. — Accomplished!
  9. Attend Olivia’s bridal shower! — Accomplished!
  10. Visit LanternAsia with Al, Casey, and Beth. — Accomplished!
  11. Attend the P.E.O. Family Gathering. — Accomplished!
  12. Update my TBR. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Give blood. — Accomplished!

  • We celebrated our 18th Anniversary blood drive on Saturday, April 7th.
  • I was able to give a Power Red donation for the first time! Yippee!
  • What is Power Red? — Power Red is where you essentially donate two units of your red blood cells. Everything is spun through a centrifuge, and you’re given back your platelets, plasma, and some saline. You have wait 16 weeks to donate again, which is okay because I’m going to be out of town for the June blood drive. I don’t feel guilty now!
  • For more information: Power Red Donation – American Red Cross Blood Services

Celebrate Dad’s birthday! — Did not accomplish.

  • Dad’s birthday fell in the middle of the week. We’ve offered to take him to dinner at some point, but our family experienced a series of crises the week after his birthday (Family illnesses, and Mom and Dad needing to travel down to care for said family).
  • So, we’ll officially celebrate some time in May!

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2018. — Accomplished!

  • I feel SO GOOD that I did this!
  • I can’t wait to do it again in July!
  • I’m writing a Getting Personal post about my experience, so look for that on May 2nd!

See Avengers: Infinity War. — Accomplished!

  • Al and I went to the Peninsula Movie Bistro on Saturday, April 28th.
  • No spoilers, but if you’re a fan of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), this movie is a must. We’re already planning to see it again in the next week or so.

Continue working on my Lady Lounge. — Accomplished!

  • Oh, man! I’m so excited!!
  • Al’s dad delivered the custom doll cabinet he built for me on Saturday, April 14th. So, I hustled my butt and got all the boxes cleared out for him during that Thursday and Friday.
  • The last piece is to move the remainder of the boxes that are along the wall where my standing desk is going to be. Almost there!!
  • Look for an upcoming Home Improvements post soon, with photos!

Read at least two books. — Did not accomplish.

  • With the aforementioned family crises toward the beginning of the month, I’ve been so exhausted by bedtime that I fall asleep pretty quickly.

Enjoy time with Melissa! — Accomplished!

  • Al and I drove up to Richmond on Sunday, April 29th.
  • We had such a nice visit. Her mom made amazing paella, and then we hung out with Melissa for several hours, just catching up. I didn’t want to leave! We finally left, reluctantly, at 8:00 p.m. to drive home.

Attend the TAPA Spring Luncheon. — Accomplished!

  • The luncheon was held on Saturday, April 14th. It was a gorgeous day!
  • One of my sorority sisters, Beth McOsker, was honored as the “Greek Woman of the Year.”

Attend Olivia’s bridal shower! — Accomplished!

  • Olivia’s shower was hosted by my mom on the afternoon of Saturday, April 14th. It was so wonderful!

Visit LanternAsia with Al, Casey, and Beth. — Accomplished!

Attend the P.E.O. Family Gathering. — Accomplished!

  • The Family Gathering was held on Saturday, April 28th.
  • Although I arrived a little late, it was a very spirited, positive discussion. We met until noon, and everyone came away with several great ideas!

Update my TBR. — Accomplished!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to 10 out of 12 goals! Yippee!!
  • The two goals that I did not accomplish: Family illnesses suck, so much. But, it’s okay. We’ll get through this!

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

Come back tomorrow to see my May Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #117: “Writing Table, Leeds, England” (Reblogged)

As I think about my experiences with my first Camp NaNoWriMo so far, I found this photo from England very fitting for today. I see photos of desks and libraries often, and I think this setup is perfect. It’s romantic, in a way.

It’s a little different, knowing that a desk like this would, in 2018, most likely hold some sort of computer rather than a journal, parchment, or stationery.

But, I like to wax nostalgic, thinking back to the days of my childhood when we didn’t have the family computer. I filled up notebook after notebook with random thoughts, song lyrics, the beginnings of stories, and more. I remember throwing out a bunch of them when I was a teenager, feeling ashamed at the time that I was holding onto the “childish” journals. I so wish I had kept them! But, I have memories. I made up stories about my Barbies, my stuffed animals, and eventually, Stephanie, my one American Girl doll I loved and treasured for many years. It was so innocent.

It fills me with happy memories, knowing that those journals and notebooks led me to writing longer stories. I have those stories in a blue binder covered with stickers – I did keep that. It makes me think how far I’ve come in my writing pursuits and endeavors. It makes me proud.

If I were sitting at this desk today, I wouldn’t have my laptop. I would have a notebook, or loose-leaf paper, with several pens, daydreaming and writing the day away. It makes me feel peaceful and pleased.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Writing Table, Leeds, England

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