What I’m Into + December Small Goals

I'm sharing my November favorites and my December small goals in today's link up. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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As always, I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my November small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

I’m super proud of how well I did with my November goals, especially since I was out of town for a whole week and threw off my regular “get stuff done” schedule.

  • Prep Christmas gifts. Yep! We actually got everything prepared in time to deliver gifts in person to most of my family. (More fun and a lot cheaper than shipping them!)
  • Dye my hair again. Check. I struggled with the color this time and ended up covering up the pink with a darker red, which looks much better.
  • Experiment with watercolors. Not yet, but my husband has promised to put this on his schedule for this weekend.
  • Complete the Skillshare challenge. This project turned out to be more than I could handle this month. Oh well.

Three-ish out of five? I’ll take it! Now, for my December goals:

  • Organize all my bookish statistics for the year. I did this last year and had a lot of fun with it. And since I’ve been working hard this year to diversify my reading, I’m excited to see how well I did.
  • Create space to relax. November was all about getting work projects completed, and December is going to be jam-packed with parties, concerts, and family gatherings, so I want to consciously make time for relaxation. (Maybe even a movie night with my husband or a game night with the roomies.)
  • Read through my backlog of books. I requested several ebooks in anticipation of my Thanksgiving travels, and I may have purchased some new books at my favorite used bookstore in Chattanooga.
  • Sponsor a businesswoman through Kiva. For many reasons, including my recent readthrough of Half the Sky (review to come soon!), I feel the pull to sponsor a woman starting a business in a poorer country. And since sponsorships start at $25, even I can afford that.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: I got my hands on Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book for five cents (see my bookstore visit above), and I also found her book of Christmas short stories. If you remember my love for all things Connie Willis, you’ll understand why this thrilled me so much.

TV shows Movies I’ve been watching: I just got Love & Friendship, the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, and I can’t wait to watch it!

Music I’m loving: I just found out I can borrow music through my library’s website, so I requested the newest albums from Bruno Mars, Panic at the Disco, and Ariana Grande.

Podcasts I’m listening to: I just added Note to Self, which describes itself as a technology podcast about being human, to my podcast roundup.

My favorite Instagram:

I had so many photos I loved from this month that it was difficult to choose a favorite!

Hand lettering by NewberyandBeyond.Etsy.com
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If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

What I’m Into + November Small Goals

I'm sharing my favorite October moments and my November small goals in today's link up. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my November small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

 

My October goals didn’t go half bad!

  • Have a TBR reading day. I’m counting this one as completed. Although I didn’t take a whole day just to sit and read through a bunch of books, I did request almost 20 books off my TBR list from the library and have read through almost all of them.
  • Get an actually significant amount of cross stitching done. Yeeeesss…? I’m counting this one as completed, but again, there’s a huge amount of cross stitching left to do if I ever want to finish this Christmas stocking.
  • Repair, replace, or remove certain household items. This is another goal that’s about halfway done. I did repair some items that just needed a little hand stitching, but I still need to get my pants hemmed and take a bunch of clothing to Goodwill.

I’m trying to keep my November small goals simple, since I know I’ll be spending a lot of time traveling for the holidays and rehearsing for my church’s Christmas concert.

  • Prep Christmas gifts. I know what I’m going to be giving almost everyone on my list, and I want to prepare them this month so I can drop them off at my family’s house when I visit for Thanksgiving (instead of having to pay to ship them).
  • Dye my hair again. This will be a fun project! I’m trying something new this year–photos to come!
  • Experiment with watercolors. I’m hoping to harness my husband’s expertise with this.
  • Complete the Skillshare challenge. Skillshare classes were a great help to me when I was learning to hand letter, and I’m hoping to complete the teaching challenge this month so I can start my own hand lettering class.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: A book club I’m part of on Goodreads is going to have its first in-person meeting early next month, and we’re going to be discussing The Girl from the Train. I’m excited to read and discuss it!

TV shows I’ve been watching: I’ll be honest, I’ve only been watching Parks & Rec and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries this month. The first is a great backdrop for my cross stitching work, and the second is a super fun show that I’ve been rewatching with my husband (I’ve already seen all the episodes on Netflix; he hasn’t).

Music I’m loving: I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.

Podcasts Audio books I’m listening to: I’ve read so many audio books this month (and skipped several that I thought I would like and hated about five minutes in). I just finished listening to Words in the Dust, and I found it pretty interesting.

My favorite Instagram:

My sister and her husband visited us in October, and we spent time doing all the great Florida tourist things. We had a great time at the beach (of course).

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If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

 

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

September Small Goals + What I’m Into

I'm sharing my September small goals and what I'm into from last month! | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my August small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

I actually did all right with my goals for August:

  • Prepare my students to perform the national anthem. Check! It was a lot of fun, and I was super proud of my students. They did a great job.
  • Review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You can check out the review here.
hand lettering | NewberyandBeyond.com
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  • Get paperwork done. Yep! Thank goodness. I hate having those nagging tasks looming over me.

And my goals for September:

  • Make an opera cake. This fancy cake has so many steps that it’s going to be an all-day project.
  • Get a significant amount of cross stitching done. December is coming much faster than I had hoped, and the stocking I promised to make for my husband isn’t nearly close to done! I need to buckle down and do it.
  • Buy (and wear) red lipstick. It looks so cool on other people, and I want to try it! But this requires that I go into a Sephora and ask for help, because I have no idea what shade would look good on me.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: I’ve got Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series sitting by my bed, along with Tana French’s book Faithful Place. But both of those are going to have to wait until I finish Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French, which I’m really enjoying so far.

TV shows I’ve been watching: I’m about to start a rewatch of Parks and Rec. I tried watching the series from the beginning a couple years ago, but the first season was so bad I gave up. But I’ve seen episodes from later seasons and thought they were really funny, so I’m going to give the show another shot. (But I think I’ll start from season two this time.)

Music I’m loving: I created a playlist I call “chill” that I’m really loving. Think Bon Iver, The Civil Wars, Hozier, and Jose Gonzalez.

Podcasts I’m listening to: Piano Parent Podcast is right up my professional alley–it has tips for parents of piano students on what instrument to choose, how to help your child practice, and much more. (It’s also hosted by Shelly Davis, my own piano teacher when I was a kid!)

My favorite Instagram:

I went with a couple of friends to do a painting class, and it turned out to be one of the hardest classes the studio offers. Still, we persevered and came out with these enormous, beautiful canvases.

painting | NewberyandBeyond.com
I’m no artist, but I was pretty proud of this piece!

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and some of my hand lettering ventures), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

July Wrap Up + August Small Goals

I'm reviewing last month and making goals for August in my July wrap up post! | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with writes like a girl for my August small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

Small Goals

To start with, here’s a quick review of my July small goals:

  • Celebrate my third anniversary with my husband. Check! We ate at an Indian restaurant we’ve been wanting to visit, and, of course, ate our wedding cake replica.
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Delicious!
  • Work on my hand lettering. I completed this one about halfway. I ordered some brush pens to experiment with, and I’ve been watching all the how-to videos.
NewberyandBeyond.com
Yeah, my spacing needs work.
  • Type up a chord and scale sheet for my students. Done!

So two goals completed, two half completed. Not too bad! Now, my goals for August:

  • Prepare my students to perform the national anthem. And probably brush up on my own conducting skills–I haven’t directed a group since I was in college! Still, I’m excited to lead my kids in singing at our local baseball game.
  • Review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Oh yes, I read it. But if you want to know what I thought, you’ll have to check back next week.
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Review coming soon…
  • Get paperwork done! I have several nagging paperwork-related tasks that have been on my to do list for a while. Now is the time for me to actually get them done. Not the most fun goal, but a necessary one.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: As part of my classic books challenge, I’m currently working my way through Middlemarch. I haven’t had much time recently to read it, but I’m really looking forward to picking it up again this month.

TV shows I’ve been watching: I was looking for something to put on in the background while I work on cross stitching a stocking (a project that has turned out to be much more involved than I anticipated), and I ended up selecting Guy’s Grocery Games. I’m not a huge fan of Guy Fieri, but this game show/cooking competition is funny, lighthearted, and something that I don’t have to watch every second to enjoy.

Music I’m loving: I’ve had Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too” and Adele’s “Send My Love” stuck in my head on repeat for weeks.

Podcasts I’m listening to: If you enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s books about happiness and habits, you’ll love the podcast she hosts with her sister Elizabeth. It’s called Happier, and it covers the same topics as The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. Gretchen and Elizabeth are fun to listen to, and they always have interesting tips and tricks to make your life better.

My favorite Instagram:

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Some of my all-time favorite books

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and the occasional selfie), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

Ten Facts About Me + July Small Goals + What I’m Into

Ten facts about me, plus my (overdue) small goals for July and my "what I'm into" contribution for June. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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I’m linking up with the Broke & the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday, writes like a girl for my July small goals, and Leigh Kramer for my monthly what I’m into.

I’m so behind on all my monthly link ups! (I blame my 4th of July vacation.) So I decided to combine my link ups into one big post. If you’re one of those people who likes seeing behind the scenes of the blog, you’re going to love this post.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Facts You Should Know About Me

  1. I was born in Nebraska, spent some time living in Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, and currently live in Florida. I never know what to say when people ask me where I’m from.
  2. My husband and I own two gerbils named Ethel and Millie. One day we’ll have cats (once we’re no longer living with our deathly-allergic roommate!).
  3. I’m afraid of whales. Why? Because they’re enormous, and that freaks me out.
  4. Animal friends are my favorite. I love seeing pictures of different species hanging out together.
  5. I actually hate coffee. (Hot tea forever!)
  6. I play Neko Atsume. Yes, I’ve collected all the cats.
  7. When I was in college, I went on a four-day trip to visit thirteen states with some friends. It was such a ridiculous idea, but some of my fondest college memories came out of that trip.
  8. I like to cross stitch. Mostly because I’m too impatient to learn to knit better.
  9. I don’t have any piercings or tattoos because I’m phobic about needles.
  10. I’ve never met a fruit I didn’t like.

July Small Goals

First, a review of my June goals. I actually did pretty well this month!

  • Plan a staycation. Done! And this was so fun. My husband and I spent several days going to the beach, visiting the local wildlife park, and eating at new local restaurants. It was relaxing, fun, and cheap (three of my favorite words!).
  • Contact our wedding cake baker. Also done! The cake is ordered, and we should be receiving it a few days after our anniversary this month.

Goals for July (now that we’re halfway through):

  • Celebrate my third anniversary with my husband. Three years doesn’t sound like much, I admit, but I’m still surprised at how quickly they went!
  • Work on my hand lettering. I’ve just gotten into this, and I’m really excited about it. I’m not very good, but I’m hoping to get better!
  • Type up a chord and scale sheet for my students. I have a few students who are starting to work on their technical skills, and I’m having a hard time remembering what each one is doing. I want to make a chart of some kind to track their progress.

What I’m Into

Books I’m looking forward to reading: The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains; Magyk by Angie Sage; Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal.

TV shows I’ve been watching: My husband and I are making our way through the newest collection of Good Eats on Netflix. Alton Brown knows how to make cooking (and even science) fun.

Music I’m loving: I created a singalong playlist on my Spotify account that’s full of old favorites from my high school and college days. When I’m upset or stressed, I crank it up and destress!

Podcasts I’m listening to: The maelstrom of political talk online is no good for my sanity, so I’ve turned to the Pant Suit Politics podcast for my political news. I’ve just started listening, but so far I’m loving it. The two women who run the show (one on the left, one on the right) are polite and thoughtful even in their disagreements, and they keep me apprised of the latest political happenings without the vitriol that’s so prevalent elsewhere.

My favorite Instagram:

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Feeding the birds on vacation

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram (I post lots of book pictures and the occasional selfie), you can do so here.

If you want to see more of what I’m into every month, along with sneak peeks and my favorite posts from the blog, sign up for my email newsletter! It’ll show up in your inbox once a month and bring you the latest blog news and the things I’m loving.

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