Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #3

Blogmas 2019

Today is the final installment of my seasonal favorites posts! If you’re interested, you can see part 1 and part 2 here.

Food

Irish Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks – Man, I’ve been living off these things. They. Are. Delicious. I’ll be sad when they’re gone.

Rooibos tea – I think this has made my faves list before, back when I did them as a normal monthly thing. It’s my favorite tea ever, perfect year round

Cookies – These are the cookies that Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff sent me! I’ve been munching on them since they got here earlier this week, and it’s making my tummy jiggle extra. Whoops

Crunchy Cookie butter – see above for what it’s doing to my tummy, yo.

Games

Terraria – (game play trailer above). I’ve been playing this for years, but this past month I’ve really jumped back into it. It’s kinda like… Minecraft? But way better, man.

Other Stuff

Weighted blanket – my husband kindly got me a weighted blanket for Christmas this year. As you can see I’ve already forfeited ownership of it to the cat. It was good while it lasted.

Phipps’ Winter Lights Show – Phipps Convervatory in Pittsburgh decks out its greenhouse every year with Christmas decorations, resulting in essentially a wonderland. Really, it’s gorgeous. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh during December, it’s worth going, man.

Not so subtle plug to my instagram, but here are the rest of the photos I took there too, if you’re interested


And that’s it! This was a fun series, and I hope to do it again next year! For now, we’ve got the boring part of the year to look forward to. Until next August when it starts to get fun again. 😛

Are you ready for sweater weather? Tag!

Blogmas 2019

Hi! I got tagged in a tag so I’m gonna do the tag! I was tagged by the Orangutan Librarian (thanks pal!)

Hot Chocolate – What is your comfort book?

Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted #1)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I read this countless times as a young teen, and it always was such a nice experience. I haven’t picked it up in a while, but just thinking about it makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Pumpkin Carving – What is your favorite creative outlet?

Honestly? Probably this blog. My job is very logical and doesn’t leave a lot of room for personal style, and when I get home I usually just read or whatever. I used to paint my nails a lot – I did nail art and all sorts of stuff, but I kinda fell out of that. Maybe I’ll do a nail art for blogmas, we’ll see if I get inspired. I also used to draw a lot – I worked in charcoal, mostly – but I haven’t done so in a long time. This is my favorite thing I ever made:

Used one of my favorite characters for my drawing midterm a couple years ago - charcoal 18x24in.

Falling Leaves – Changes that appear bad but you secretly love?

This one’s easy: The weather, and it’s no secret. I love the cold, I love the ice, I love the snow. I don’t even mind snowy roads when driving to work because luckily, I can work from home if that happens. So it’s like childhood snow days all over again for me.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – Something you love that other people judge

Sticking with the season, I’ll say the season! And I say this because while I love everything October-December: the temperature, the snow, the holidays, the seasonal drinks, the seasonal beers, all of it, my husband is the exact opposite. He likes the warm weather and the sun, so during the summer I suffer and he’s in his element, but during the winter I thrive and he suffers. And he totally judges me for it.

“HOW CAN YOU LOVE IT WHEN YOU CAN’T STOP SHIVERING?!” he says. I just do, man. I just do.

Bonfire Night – What makes you explode with joy?

Books! Cats! Coffee! Beer! Dogs! Vacations! Sleeping in! Cheese! Chocolate!

Fright Night – Favorite scary book or movie

The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – This is the only book on my favorites list that’s a horror, so it fits the bill. This is the weirdest book I’ve ever read and I recommend it.

Halloween candy – Favourite thing to eat

Gyros. Picture courtesy of… me! That’s my arm!

Scarves – Your autumn ‘must have’ accessory

Matching socks. You have no idea how hard it is to achieve some days, man.

Fire – A book or film that burns your soul

Castaway on the Moon. Really, you should watch this movie. I think about it all the time.

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems to one thing but really has a different inside

Vanilla Sky. Honestly before I watched it, I thought it was a romance or a rom-com or something. Nope. Watch it. Really. Don’t let its appearance deceive you.


And that is it! If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! Otherwise, I tag BookbinderWay and AllThingsMommaBlog!

Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #2

fall post.png

Hello! Today is part two of a three part series I’m going to do. Basically ‘monthly favorites’ but focusing on fall, because, as the title says, it’s the best time of the year. Fight me on it.

You can find part one here, if you’re interested.

This is what I liked this month!

Food

They are all Thanksgiving-related items, does this shock you. Does it.

The first item is the Gobblerito, a seasonal special of Mad Mex, which is a Pittsburgh-based restaurant (these… will all be from Pittsburgh-based things, come to think of it). But basically it’s a burrito as big as your head, filled with turkey, corn, black beans, stuffing, and then coated with turkey gravy and served with a bit of cranberry. Heaven on a plate, I’ve never been able to finish one in one sitting. (Photo credit of madmex.com)

The next right below it is the pilgrim sub, a seasonal special of Get Go, which is actually a gas station similar to a Sheetz or Wawa or whatever you have near you, owned by the local grocery store Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh. It’s turkey, cheese and cranberry all loaded up into stuffing bread, and it’s delicious. (Photo credit of GetGo’s twitter account)

The final picture is the coveted Smoked Turkey Waffle, available seasonally by Pig Iron Public House, which, you guessed it, as Pittsburgh based. The waffle itself is made of stuffing, and then on top there’s smoked turkey, gravy, and friend mashed potato-and-cranberry balls. It. Is. Delicious. (Photo credit to ME. I TOOK THE PICTURE)

There’s one more Thanksgiving item I haven’t gotten to yet, called the Gobble Gobble burger, sold by the Pittsburgh burger joint BRGR… if I get to it in the next month, I’ll mention it in the next faves post. 😛

Games

Just a flash game this month. I’ve been hooked on it: Blendoku, which I know is at least available on the android app store, maybe the apple one as well? Who knows.

It’s a game kinda like a mix between sudoku and a crossword puzzle, but instead of placing numbers of letters, you place colors in a way that they blend into each other well. It’s fun!

Television

Honestly, the two I mentioned last month, Food Wars and My Hero Academia are still up there. Otherwise:

Supernatural. Man, I’ve been watching this show from the beginning. It’s just started it’s final season – the 15th one – and it’s all comin’ together. Note, do not watch the above trailer unless you’re caught up or you don’t mind spoilers that you’ll have no context for until you actually watch the show. If you don’t mind the no-context spoilers, it gives a really good vibe about what the whole show is about. Honestly when I found it I watched it twice and let my feels be feels.

Queer Eye. This is a Netflix show that I picked up maybe two weeks ago… and have since binged all four seasons plus their four-episode Japan special. I’m obsessed. Everyone is so wholesome and kind and loving and wonderful and augh ❤ Season 5 is coming out soon and I’m pumped for it.

Music

Lately, I’ve been using a playlist on spotify for my Nanowrimo projects, called ‘Epic Instrumental’ where it’s just what it sounds like. This is it!

Also, this song’s been pretty good lately:

Other Stuff

JonTron. A youtuber that’s been around for ages. He does comedy videos, and while I’ve liked him for a while, one of his latest videos, the goop video above, cracked me up. So he’s a favorite this month.

My Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. I don’t get super festive for both of these holidays, despite the fact that I love them both, haha. On the left is my one candle – Caramel Pecan, and a box of leaves. On the right is my jackolantern this year.


And that’s it! One more of these posts mid-to-late next month, and that’ll be it. It’ll be back to the boring times this month.

Happy falling and wintering!

Fall and Winter Bucket List of 2019

Bucket List

Hi, new kind of post today! As I’ve said a million times now, fall and winter in my opinion is the best time of the year. The holidays, the weather, the seasonal flavors, the cuddliness and spookiness and merriness and turkeyness of it all, I love it.

So today I want to make my own personal bucket list of things I want to do this fall and winter. Some of it will be already completed, since it my head I start ‘fall’ basically on September 1st. But they’ll still be included for completion’s sake.

PS a lot of these will be food related, because let’s be honest, what else could I want from life. 😛

The Bucket List

  • Write this post – Done (pbtbt)
  • Get hot apple cider
  • Get a pumpkin spice latte – Done (shh)
  • Get a gingerbread latte
  • Get a peppermint mocha
  • Get a chestnut praline latte
  • Go to an applefest (I missed my opportunity, I think this one will remain undone 😦 )
  • Drink fall beers – Done
  • Drink winter beers
  • Pass out candy on Halloween
  • Break out the electric blanket
  • Re-arrange my bedroom furniture
  • Plan out my blog posts for October, November and December – Done
  • Participate in Nanoplanmo – In progress
  • Participate in Nanowrimo
  • Participate in Blogmas
  • Make a list of Christmas movies to watch in December
  • Finish that movie list
  • Finish my Nanoplanmo TBR
  • Eat a pumpkin cookies
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Finish my Goodreads reading challenge – Done
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Go Christmas shopping
  • Go people watching on Black Friday
  • Get a Gobblerito
  • Get a Pilgrim Sub – Done
  • Get a Gobble Gobble Burger
  • Eat turkey
  • Paint my nails fall themed
  • Paint my nails winter themed
  • Go to a Friendsgiving
  • Drink hot chocolate
  • Organize fluffy sock collection
  • Make best of/worst of book lists (part of after-Blogmas posts)
  • Make list of good blogmas/vlogmas content to follow
  • Keep up to date with releasing anime/tv shows, etc weekly
  • Finish my buddy read
  • Go Christmas light hunting
  • Go see the Trans Siberian Orchestra live
  • Have a movie night with buddies
  • Have Christmas-flavored sweets
  • Make slow cooker chili
  • Buy point-and-shoot video camera
  • Re-arrange books
  • Finish 10 in 2019 list
  • Finish reading goals
  • Read Harry Potter books 3 and 4 in illustrated editions
  • Read at least 3 more books towards r/Fantasy Bingo
  • Watch all 8 Harry Potter movies
  • Watch the extended Lord of the Rings (again)
  • Watch the extended Hobbit (again)
  • Learn to crochet
  • Go to a Halloween party
  • Wrap presents
  • Help parents chop down a Christmas tree
  • Decorate apartment all Christmas-like

At the moment, that’s what I can think of. If I come up with more, I’ll come back and edit this post I guess. 😛

But see. See. This is the best time of the year because all of the above.

Are you planning on doing anything fun this fall and winter? Lemme know – I could always use more things to stick on my list. :”D

Winter Book Haul | #22

Book Haul Base Banner

Hello! Welcome to my first quarterly book haul! One of my resolutions for this year was to purchase fewer books to the point where monthly book hauls were no longer warranted. This season I think I did pretty good. This is a sizeable haul, but it’s for three months of buying – January, February and March – when last year I would easily get this many books in a month.

So, so far, this goal is going pretty well. 😀


Technically I already own a copy of Way of Kings, but I got it as an e-copy for free when amazon was having a special. I wanted a hard copy though – you can’t sniff an ebook. Otherwise everything in this haul remains unread except for the Captive Prince trilogy – I actually read those by borrowing them from a friend and then loved them so much I went out and got my own! And I got them the afternoon after I took that stack photo, which is why they’re not in it. 😛

If you’re planning on reading any of these or have read them, do let me know.

Happy reading!

Holly Jolly Holiday Tag v1 – Blogmas 12/1

Today is December first, so here is my first Blogmas post. Wish me luck (and be prepared to get sick of seeing me in your feed because I’m gonna be there all month. :”D)

This tag I found here but I don’t think she’s the creator. If you know the creator, please let me know so I can link them.

The questions:

1. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Spoiler for my ‘Top 5 Favorite Christmas movies’ post later this month, but my all time favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story. It’s so great. My boyfriend hates it and I make him watch it with me every year, it’s a wonderful tradition. 😀

I CAN’T PUT MY ARMS DOWN. D:

2. Are you on the Naughty list or the Nice list?

I’d like to say I’m on the nice list, but I do have a habit of squeezing the tooth paste bottle from the middle instead of the end. I know, I’m a monster.

3. Show us an embarrassing Christmas Card photo! (WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE OK)

Honestly, I don’t. At least, not at my apartment with me. But I do have one of my kitty. :”D

4. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

Hahahahahahahaa.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I live in western PA. I have white everything from November until April.

(Though funny enough none of the snow it’s snowed so far this winter has settled. Maybe I’m jinxing myself)

5. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as much as I look forward to them, usually pass by in a blur. Between going to My boyfriend’s parents’ place, my friend’s grandma’s place, my grandma’s place and my parents’ place, both days just zoom. So I guess most of my holiday is spent in the car.

6. Play or Sing your favorite Christmas Song!

There is no way in hell I’m recording myself singing. You so funny. So here is my favorite song 😛

7. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

When I was really little and couldn’t afford gifts for my parents, they would give me ten dollars to use at the ‘school santa shop’ my elementary school put on each year to get them and my sister things. We’d treat those as grab-bag gifts and open them on Christmas Eve. When I got older, that tradition stopped. When I started going to my friend’s grandma’s on Christmas Eve, we would (and still do) exchange gifts then, and my boyfriend’s parents’ get-together is usually Christmas Eve as well and involves gift giving. So yeah, I’d say about half of them happen on Christmas Eve.

8. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Yes, thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger repeating them as he’s jogging down the road in Jingle All the Way.

Dasher Dancer Prancer Vixen Comet Cupid Donner Blitzen

Rudolph. :”D

OLIVE. :”D

9. What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year?

Breakfast bake at my grandmother’s place. It’s the most wonderful food and I only get it twice a year – Christmas and Easter mornings. I’ve been craving it since October.

10. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Ideally I’d like to have a real tree. When I lived with my parents, we’d go out and chop one down and haul it to the house. In my apartment with my SO, 1 – there’s no room for a big tree and 2 – he’s not a big Christmas person. He didn’t even want a tree and I wanted a huge one, so we compromised and got a small one. See look :”D (I’ve told him once we move into a large apartment, it means a larger tree, even if I have to go out and chop it down all by myself. O:<)

IMG_2221

11. Hands down, what’s your all-time favorite holiday food and holiday sweet treat?

As mentioned before, the breakfast bake. Salivate.

As far as sweet treat, definitely all the peppermint stuff that comes out during December. Peppermint chocolate, peppermint coffee, peppermint peppermint. It’s all delicious.

12. Be Honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Everyone loves receiving gifts and ten years ago I would have said that, but now I love giving gifts more. It’s at the point where I can actually get things for people that they might not otherwise be able to get for themselves, so it’s really exciting to see their reactions. :”D

13. Show us your tackiest Christmas attire (ex: Ugly Sweater)

I don’t have any. 😦 I wish I did, but I don’t. I will have to remedy that.

14. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

Up in the mountains. I want to spend Christmas in a lodge with a huuuuge bay window looking out over the mountain range and snow with a huge twenty foot Christmas tree in the corner and a large fireplace and comfy couches and lots of coffee and wine.

15. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make?

None that I typically help make, no. But breakfast bake breakfast bake breakfast bake breakfast bake!

16. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

I’m totally awesome at it. You’ve never seen anything as beautiful in your LIFE.

17. Most memorable Holiday moment

Probably my cousin falling over and knocking our Christmas tree down. It was one of the huge, real ones. Water, pine needles and freaked out cats everywhere. Good times. xD

18. What made you realize the truth about Santa?

My parents told me when I was 10 or so. I was too dim-witted and hopeful to figure it out on my own.

But they let me carry on til I was TEN. D: I feel like my little classmates were snickering at me for years.

19. Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them?

Yes and I try but usually not just because of the person I am.

20. What makes the Holidays special for you?

Just seeing everyone. And I still get that giddy feeling I got when I was little. Not as intense, but it’s still there. I feel like when I have kids, it’ll come back again just from the excitement of watching them experience everything. 😀


 

And that’s it for this tag. If you noticed in my schedule post, I have this tag listed twice. That’s because someone came up with a whole new list of questions, so double fun the fun. :”D

Anyways,  I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’d like to do this, do tell me so I can read your post! MERRY CHRISTMAS 😀

 

Winter is Coming Book Tag

Another tag, yay. I’m not reading fast enough to do reviews currently (boo finals), so tags it is. This tag was created by Katherine Barka on youtube. Again, was not tagged (I really need to start talking to people, man), but I’m doing it anyways :”D

1. Snow: It is beautiful when it first falls, but then it starts to melt. A book/book series that you loved at the beginning, but then, at the middle of it, you realized you don’t like it any longer.
For this one, I’m going to pick Twilight. Originally I thought it was pretty decent, probably 3 1/2 stars. As the books continued though, I liked it less and less. Breaking Dawn was one star for me. It felt like a fanfiction in my opinion (Don’t yell at me!) – everything that happened felt like Stephanie Meyer just went on a fan forum and picked ideas out from it. I don’t know. The quality I guess just dropped in that one. I couldn’t find the book believable (well, none of them are obviously, but this one is super non-believable.) So there’s that.

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2. Slowflake: Something beautiful and always different. Choose a book that stands out, that is different from all the other books you’ve read
My pick for this doesn’t exactly have a unique plot persay, but the way it presents it is pretty unique. I really liked it! The book of course is Horrorstör. This book got a three star rating from me – meaning I liked it. Like I said, plot is slightly cookie cutter, but the book itself is entrancing. It’s presented like a catalogue to the store where the plot takes place. It was very hard to not flip ahead to see the increasingly interesting advertisements for products at the beginning of each chapter. So if you want a unique read, go for this one.

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3. Snowman: It is always fun to make one with your family. Choose a book that a whole family could read.
I don’t think I can answer this question completely, unfortunately. My sister doesn’t read, aside from comics. My mother only reads fiction, my father only nonfiction. I kinda read a bit of all that. So I can’t really pick a book that would fall into the catagory of something they’d all read. -_- Lamesauce.

If we’re talking about families in general, Harry Potter. Harry Potter Harry Potter Harry Potter.

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4. Christmas: Choose a book that is full of happiness, that made you warm inside after reading it
For this one, I’m going to choose A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and this one I obviously read specifically around Christmas, so it doubles the warm fuzzies. :”D (also, the version of the film that Patrick Stewart plays Scrooge, go watch it. Patrick Stewaaaaart)

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5. Santa Claus: He brings wonderful presents. Choose a book that you’d like to get for Christmas
I would really really REALLY like to get S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. I actually asked for this one, so hopefully someone will be so kind as to pick it as a gift for me. I’ll hug them forever. If I get this one, I have a feeling it’ll replace my selection for the ‘Snowflake’ question, just because of its presentation.

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6. Snow bowling: It can be painful to be hit by a snowball. Choose a book that hurt, that made you feel some strong emotion, like sadness, or anger.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It hit us all. That’s all I’m saying.

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7. Sledding: We all loved it when we were younger. Choose a book that you loved when you were a child.
Already mentioned Harry Potter, so… Ella Enchanted! I read this book so many times, I could probably quote it. I love it and will read it to my future children. It’s a retelling of a fairy tail, has a good main character, is easy to read for kids, I just love it.

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8. Frostbite: Choose a book that you were really disappointed in.
Hah, for this one I’m going to choose a nonfiction book. Last summer, I decided to teach myself programming and figured I’d start with Java. I bought Beginning Programming with Java for Dummies and was highly disappointed that while it explained concepts well enough, there was no practice opportunities! How am I supposed to learn to program if there isn’t any practice? I felt like I was reading an encyclopedia.

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9. Reindeer: Something that is dear to us. Choose a book that is of great sentimental value to you.
Going with the Christmas theme, I’m going with Santa and Pete. I don’t remember where I got this from, probably my mother or grandmother. The reason it’s so special to me is because one Christmas when I was really little, my mother read this to me over the span of the week before Christmas, and I’ve tried to read it again in December every few years since then. I think I’d cry if I ever lost it.

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Tada, tag number three done.