Getting Personal #126: Movies That Are Inspiring My Travels

Travel - Adventure in You

Image Credit: Adventure in You

I love Paige Wunder’s blog, For The Love of Wanderlust. Check her out!

I was inspired to write this post by Paige’s recent post:


Chicago, Illinois – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

As a kid, I visited Chicago a couple of times, since my Aunt Nancy, Uncle Larry, and cousin Missy lived in nearby Gurnee, Illinois, for years.

However, I’ve never been back to visit as an adult. I’d love to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, Wrigley Field, and Willis Tower.

Other movies filmed / set in Chicago:

  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Risky Business (1983)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • The Fugitive (1993)
  • Never Been Kissed (1999)
  • On the Line (2001)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • The Incredibles 2 (2018)

Mountain Lake Hotel near Pembroke, Virginia – Dirty Dancing (1987)

I’ve had the opportunity to stay at the Mountain Lake Hotel twice. Longwood’s S.E.A.L. organization has held their annual Leadership Conference there several times, and I was able to go as both a participant and a workshop presenter. If you ever get the chance, it’s such a beautiful area!

I would also like to eventually visit Lake Lure, North Carolina, where the rest of filming took place.

Other movies filmed / set in western Virginia and/or western North Carolina:

  • Shenandoah (1965)
  • Firestarter (1984)
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • Richie Rich (1994)
  • Patch Adams (1998)
  • Big Stone Gap (2014)

New York City – Ghost (1990)

I’m a bit biased, since I was born in Manhattan. Plus, there are so many movies that have been set in or filmed in the Big Apple. Oodles of them!

It was so hard to pick one movie that makes me think of New York. But, Ghost is one of my favorites. I still remember the very first time I watched it – With my mom.

If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. It’s dramatic, it’s a love story, and it’s also very funny.

I can’t wait to show Al the Big Apple for the very first time this fall!

Other movies filmed / set in New York City:

  • Rear Window (1954)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • The Great Gatsby (1974)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  • Romancing the Stone (1984)
  • Big (1988)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • Quiz Show (1994)
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • You’ve Got Mail (1998)
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Finding Forrester (2000)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  • National Treasure (2004)
  • Night at the Museum (2006)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
  • American Hustle (2013)
  • The Great Gatsby (2013)
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • The Big Short (2015)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Sully (2016)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Pelican Brief (1993)

This is one of my favorite John Grisham book-to-movie adaptations. Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are a great pair, and it’s a gripping thriller.

Roberts’ character is a law student at Tulane University, and seeing the variety of locations they used for filming is one of several reasons why I want to visit New Orleans.

Other movies filmed / set in New Orleans:

  • Gone With The Wind (1939)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
  • JFK (1991)
  • The Client (1994)
  • Interview with the Vampire (1994)
  • Ruby Bridges (1998)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Beaufort, South Carolina – Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve watched it at least 20 times.

I’ve only been to South Carolina once on a trip – To Charleston, for a family friend’s funeral, when I was 12. I’d love to go back as an adult.

Just the antebellum architecture and gorgeous old oak trees is enough to lure me there.

Other movies filmed / set in South Carolina:

  • The Big Chill (1983)
  • Glory (1989)
  • The Prince of Tides (1991)
  • G.I. Jane (1997)
  • Radio (2003)
  • The Notebook (2004)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

British Columbia, Canada – Juno (2007)

I had the opportunity to visit parts of British Columbia while on a trip to Seattle and the San Juan Islands with my parents in the summer of 1998. I saw parts of Victoria, and Buchart Gardens. However, I’d love to go back and explore more.

Other movies filmed / set in British Columbia:

  • Jumanji (1995)
  • Double Jeopardy (1999)
  • Lake Placid (1999)
  • Agent Cody Banks (2003)
  • I, Robot (2004)
  • Miracle (2004)
  • Saved! (2004)
  • Fantastic Four (2005)
  • Shooter (2007)
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Greece – Mamma Mia! (2008)

Mamma Mia! has become one of my favorite musicals. I need to see it on Broadway! Until then, I can’t wait to see the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with my mom when it comes out in theaters in July.

Other movies filmed / set in Greece:

  • The Big Blue (1988)
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
  • Before Midnight (2013)
  • Jason Bourne (2016)

Boston, Massachusetts – Spotlight (2015)

It’s a tough subject – Child sex abuse within the Catholic Church – but Spotlight is one of those movies that I’ve seen multiple times. Maybe it’s the journalist in me?

I’ve always wanted to visit Boston. It’s one of those historic cities that I haven’t had a chance to see. In addition, I’d love to explore New England as a whole. But, Boston is a good place to start.

Other movies filmed / set in Boston:

  • The Firm (1993)
  • With Honors (1994)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • A Civil Action (1998)
  • The Boondock Saints (1999)
  • Legally Blonde (2001)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)
  • The Proposal (2009)
  • Ted (2012)
  • Ted 2 (2015)

This was a really fun post to write!

What about you? Do you have movies that have inspired you, or are inspiring you, to travel? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Getting Personal #125: June Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 2

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hey there, June! Nice to see you!

We’re halfway through 2018. Wow!


Here are my goals for the month of June:

  1. Attend P.E.O. State Convention.
  2. See Incredibles 2.
  3. See Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
  4. Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018.
  5. Update the Household Bills spreadsheet.
  6. Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.
  7. Download Evernote.
  8. Host a “vacationing doll” from Ohio!

Here’s the breakdown:

Attend P.E.O. State Convention.

  • P.E.O. State Convention is in Blacksburg, Virginia this year!
  • The theme is “Catch The Waves To Better Futures,” so we’re having a beach party in the mountains!

See Incredibles 2.

  • Finally! Fourteen years in the making, we’re finally getting a sequel!!

See Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

  • We really liked Jurassic World when it came out in 2015, so we’ve been intrigued about the sequel for a while now. Bring it on!

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

  • I’m determined to make this happen in June!

Update the Household Bills spreadsheet.

  • This has been been bugging me for at least three weeks. It’s absolutely happening!

Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor.

  • This is another thing that’s been bothering me. After all the work I did for Camp NaNoWriMo in April, I didn’t write a single new word during the month of May. Challenge accepted!

Download Evernote.

Host a “vacationing doll” from Ohio!

  • One of my American Girl doll Facebook groups is full of ideas. A woman in Ohio has nine kids, so vacations are expensive. Her 7-year-old daughter loves AG, and wanted to send one of her dolls, Emily, on “vacation.”
  • Al and I will have her for a full week, before I ship Emily off to the next destination!
  • I’m so excited to be participating!

Do you have any goals for the month of June?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #124: May Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 8

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

May was a month full of adventure!

Here’s the link to my May Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Drastically curb my spending habits. — Accomplished!
  2. See Solo: A Star Wars Story. — Accomplished!
  3. Finish prepping the Lady Lounge for the new standing desk. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Schedule the replacement of our ductwork and HVAC system. — Did not accomplish.
  5. Finish the book I’m currently reading, plus write the Book Review. — Accomplished!
  6. Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Update the Household Bills spreadsheet. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Visit the farm! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Prepare for P.E.O. State Convention. — Accomplished!
  10. See the Virginia Symphony Orchestra perform the music to Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets live. — Accomplished!
  11. Publish my first “Down The TBR Hole” post. — Accomplished!
  12. Continue progress on my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Did not accomplish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Drastically curb my spending habits. — Accomplished!

  • I’m so incredibly proud of myself. I actually did it!
  • The power of writing down a goal really works.
  • I saw the difference in my bank account and credit card statements.
  • I also FELT the difference, which I think is the most important thing. More money in the bank means more money to go toward the things we NEED.
  • My stated goals were: (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.
  • I felt successful with both goals, and I’m very happy.

See Solo: A Star Wars Story. — Accomplished!

  • We saw Solo on Thursday, May 24th.
  • Is is the best Star Wars movie ever? No. Absolutely not.
  • However, it is fun, entertaining, action-packed, and a good story. The cast is AMAZING!
  • Give this movie some love and go see it.

Finish prepping the Lady Lounge for the new standing desk. — Did not accomplish.

  • We had other priorities this month. The standing desk is lower on the list!

Schedule the replacement of our ductwork and HVAC system. — Did not accomplish.

  • We had to get our electrical panel upgraded first, and we’re just waiting for the city inspector to sign off on the work.

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

Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018. — Did not accomplish.

  • This just didn’t happen. Looking forward to doing this in June.

Update the Household Bills spreadsheet. — Did not accomplish.

  • See above comment. I’m determined to do this by the end of June!

Visit the farm! — Did not accomplish.

Prepare for P.E.O. State Convention. — Accomplished!

  • It’s almost time! I’m so excited to be a delegate with Darcy this year!

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

  • Al and I went to Chrysler Hall on Friday, May 4th.
  • It was such an awesome concert!
  • Plus, we got to eat California Pizza Kitchen AND cotton candy during the movie!

Publish my first “Down The TBR Hole” post. — Accomplished!

Continue progress on my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Did not accomplish.

  • I had all the intentions of working on it during my trip to Florida, but it just didn’t happen.
  • However, with my self-imposed deadline of December 31, 2018 on the fast-track, I best be cracking for the rest of the year!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 12 goals! I’ll take it!
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: I forgot what happens when you take a week off of work and travel extensively for that week! On to June!

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

Come back tomorrow to see my June Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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

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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.

YIKES!


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 #119: May Goals

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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 buy 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:

Ready?

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 🙂

Writing Prompt #114: “The A to Z Writing Challenge: Favorite Songs/Music/Bands” (Letter Z)

Welcome back! Today is the final day of The A to Z Writing Challenge!

April 30th – Z

Zero to Hero, Hercules Soundtrack (1997)

The letter Z was an easier pick than I thought!

I’ve loved Disney and Disney movies ever since I can remember. In 1997, we went to see Hercules at the Movies 10 theater in Chesapeake. I loved the movie, but the music was great, too!


What are your favorite songs/music/bands that start with Z?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!


And, this is the final day of The A to Z Writing Challenge! Thank you so much to everyone who followed along with my nearly-daily posts during the month of April. I discovered many new songs, artists, and bands along the way!

I loved this challenge so much, that I think I will do it next year, too!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂