from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Hello again!

Being a perfectionist, I build a lot of roadblocks in my path. Often, I’ve thought about a post I’d like to share and then don’t because I don’t love something about my post. The truth is, I’m not here as an English teacher or graphic design guru. Heck, I’m not even here as an authority on sewing. I just want to write about my experience, meet new people, and keep learning. That being said, I’ll even welcome POLITE corrections on my grammar and any other tips you have to send my way. I like to learn new things! 

I’m proud to say that although I haven’t been blogging about it, I have been sewing! Through my job, I met a wonderful lady who has offered to teach me to sew for free for a couple hours a week. She is currently teaching me how to make my own pants, so stay tuned! I’ll post a picture of the final product once it’s done. I also try to meet a good friend once a week to sew together. We will start posting picture updates of that too 😉

I started picking sewing up again around September but with many breaks due to holidays and weddings. Even so, I’m happy that I’m actually doing it. I’m trying not to be hard on myself for being so inconsistent. Life happens. (Another place the quote above fits my life!)

This past year, I’ve learned that raising a puppy is exhausting but so rewarding. Cole is an amazing dog and a mama’s boy. He just had his first birthday before Christmas, and he had a little impromptu birthday party with his girlfriends. It’s crazy how fast he is growing up.

I also got an amazing job, providing resources to foster children in the Tampa Bay Area. It has been so rewarding to have a job that I know helps make a difference in the lives of others. I also took up a side gig as a Independent Jamberry Consultant. Why not? Ive gone so long without being able to wear anything on my nails, so it completely sucked me in. Don’t worry, it won’t be taking over my blog!

I do tend to take on more than I can chew so I think, this year, I will be focusing on simplifying, enough to be able to enjoy the things that are important to me, as well as spending more time with friends and family. I don’t typically do New Year’s resolutions, in fact, if anything, I do birthday resolutions, but there’s no time better than the present! 😉

What about you? Any New Year’s resolutions? 

Books, Books, and more Books…

I’ve mentioned before that I love to read. Growing up, I was the girl who walked with my nose in a book everywhere I went, that is, until I walked neck first into a diagonal electrical line. Lesson learned. Of course as a teen, when school and social activities got more intense, I cut back on the reading only to regret it years later. There are so many books I haven’t read yet! Over the last few years, I have been in reading challenges on trying to lessen that gap, averaging at about 40 books a year. I realize I can never read ALL of them, but I enjoy trying.

This year, my husband says to me: “Christina, why don’t you just read what you want. Skip the reading challenges this year.” Sure, why not?! I can go through the books on my new bookshelves and finally read the ones on my TBR list that have been on it for years. (I’ve probably only read about 1-2% of these!)

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The thing is, I don’t know how to stick to a laid-back plan. Instead, as soon as some girlfriends mention starting a book club, I’m in! Then, because I don’t have to worry about meeting an intense challenge goal every month, I start browsing the giveaway sections. Next thing I know, I’ve won 4 more books, that I need to read ASAP. So much for the leisurely reading. I can’t help it, I love reading about reading, and how can you say no to a potentially good book, especially if you can have it for free in exchange for your honest opinion? I just can’t do it! So here is my reading line up so far this year:

Roman Fever by Edith Wharton – Read  ★ ★ ★ ★

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin – Read ★ ★ ★ ★

A & P: Lust in the Aisles by John Updike – Read ★ ★ ★

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Read ★ ★ ★ ★

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Read ★ ★ ★

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – Currently Reading (Book Club – February Read)

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys – TBR (Goodreads Giveaway win)

Finding Zero by Amir D. Aczel – TBR (LibraryThing Early Reviewers win)

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg – TBR (Goodreads Giveaway win)

Rain by Cynthia Barnett – TBR (LibraryThing Early Reviewers win)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – TBR (Book Club – April Read)

Are you reading anything good?