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 🙂

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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 starwars.com: 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.”

HAHAHAHA!


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


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #119: May Goals

Quote

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:

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 🙂

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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Commentary #68: “Support Systems” (Reblogged)

I’ve been following Sara’s blog for quite a while. Her poetry is beautiful. She does fun Questions of the Day every now and then.

She also makes the time to reply to every comment that is posted. She’s so sweet, and incredibly supportive!

I wanted to share this post of hers about support systems. It’s a long one, but she pours her heart out. I know I’m glad I took the time to read it.

Sara, you’re an awesome person!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Sara in LaLaLand

For a large portion of my life, I have felt that I have not had a very strong support system. Growing up, I was not taught how to talk about my feelings, I was encouraged to shut them down. It was not until I was living in “the real world” that I noticed the way I expressed myself was not normal, but it was the only way I knew. I did not have the kind of parents you could talk to about anything and everything.

I first experienced death when I just turned 10 years old and I did not know how to deal with such a thing. I was not talked through loss. I was given the news and then left to my own devices. I even remember some cruel kids mocking how this person died. I was lost at that point and from here is where I started building…

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Getting Personal #114: Happy Birthday, Dad!

Father-daughter dance. Dad and I danced to "Carolina In My Mind" by James Taylor. This was a surprise for my mom as well - Dad played this song when he proposed to Mom!

Image Credit: Stellar Exposures

Today is my Dad’s birthday!

Writing this post makes me realize we need to take more pictures.

This is one of my favorite photos. This was taken during my birthday dinner last August, when Mom and Dad surprised me with “the gift I’d always wanted” – So many laughs!

I think this is the most recent photo of us, taken in October at Nick and Savy’s wedding.

Have a wonderful day today, Dad! We can’t wait to see you on Saturday for the 18th Anniversary blood drive, and take you out to dinner to truly celebrate soon.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂