Voyager Walk – Help Me Make A Difference

Hey guys! I’ve made the decision today to join in on the Voyager Walk, a 100 hour virtual walk that symbolizes the time is might take a family to travel by foot and bus to reach medical attention in Ghana.  Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser on Outlander, has created this challenge to raise money for World Child Cancer organization.  Beginning June 1st through August 31, my goal is to raise at least $130 in addition to walking 100 hours over the course of the three months.  For more information on this fundraiser, click here.

My younger brother was diagnosed with a rare cancer when he was 16 and it broke my heart to watch him go through all of that pain.  So I’m making it my mission to do what I can to help children get the treatment and care they need to beat this dreadful disease.  Help me in my quest by donating and sharing with your friends and family.  Even the smallest amount can help!  Check out my fundraising page by clicking HERE or the photo above.

Thank you so much! 🙂

 

National Cat Day!

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Today is National Cat Day!  This day is all about spreading encouragement to adopt cats!  I don’t know about you guys but I know that our local shelter always has an abundance of cats looking for a special family to take them home!  In March 2012, my husband and I adopted our first cat together from our local animal shelter.  Nika (originally named Edda) was 6 months old when we got her and she definitely had an interesting personality.  We instantly fell in love with her.  She loves mac ‘n cheese and popcorn and is fierce when it comes to play time.

A few months later we decided that she needed a playmate for the hours when we were away at work.  So we went back to the shelter and found our little Enzo.  He was 4 months old and the cutest, feistiest little kitten we had ever seen.  He loves ANY kind of food so after several destroyed loaves of bread and boxes of crackers, we learned we couldn’t leave any food on the counters.

Now you may be wondering why I am posting about cats on my blog…. Well, let me tell you.  Cats are the perfect reading companion!  In the winter, they love snuggling up and make the perfect lap warmer.  When you get new books, they are the perfect bookstagram accessory. And sometimes they will even keep you company while you blog!  I never thought I would become a cat person because I actually used to be scared of cats when I was growing up. But now I couldn’t imagine my life without these two furballs!  If you have ever thought about owning a pet or even if it is a new idea, I urge you to visit your local animal shelters and adopt a cat!

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Weekend Update

Hey guys!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Originally I had planned to have a simple weekend of reading at home.  But as always, plans change and I actually didn’t get to read as much as I had hoped.

Friday I got some fun bookish mail including an ARC I won through LibraryThing and the last new Harry Potter Funko that I want for my collection!  I also finally finished updating my TBR and Reread jars.  I hadn’t updated them in so long that I had decided to start fresh instead of trying to figure out what books were missing.  I color coded them by genre and it makes the jars so colorful!  I love bright colors so this makes me really happy to see on my shelves.  And I agreed to make a Shutterfly photo book of my brother’s wedding for my mom so to thank me so got me this Ariel beach towel.

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I also was able to watch the season 2 premiere of Outlander a day before the official premiere day!  We don’t have cable so I am really glad that Amazon Prime started offering a Starz add-on subscription.  The episode was so incredible!  I am so excited to see how the rest of the season plays out on screen.  Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are pure magic.  And Tobias Menzies did a great job as well even though Frank is not my favorite character.  On Saturday, the official premiere day, I did a post about Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber.  If you missed that one, check it out here!

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Afterwards Ethan and I continued to watch Dexter season 3.  This is our first time through the show so no spoilers please!  Sitting around watching tv all night afforded me to have lots of cuddle time with my cats.  We had a bit of a scare the week before so it was good to have some time with them.  They’re so goofy.

On Saturday after we woke up we went up to run some errands.  We stopped at Total Wine, which is like a huge version of the Costco liquor store, only cheaper!  Ethan stocked up on some vodka and gin while I loaded my cart with moscato, which is the only kind of wine I like drinking at this point.  This only cost me $26!

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After we got home we ended up watching more Dexter until we finished season 3 and then switched over to some new episodes of House Hunters International.  More TV time equals more kitty snuggles!

On Sunday I woke up early because I just can’t seem to sleep in anymore.  While Ethan was still sleeping I continued to read the Colleen Hoover Wattpad story that I had came across on her Twitter the night before.  Her writing is fantastic as always and this story is so much more intense than anything I’ve read by her.  It is for mature audiences so beware of that and it involves some very touchy subject matter.  (Click on the photo for the Wattpad link)

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I started and mostly finished the photobook for my mom.  And later in the afternoon we discovered a total bummer of a plumbing clog.  We did some research, made a trip to Menards and ended up getting the problem fixed for only $15.  I am so relieved we didn’t have to call a plumber!  Before we got it fixed, I went to my parent’s house to take a shower and they gave us these awesome aluminum mugs from our favorite brewery on the North Shore – Voyageur Brewing Company in Grand Marais, MN.

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I was able to read some of Seveneves this weekend but once I found that Colleen Hoover Wattpad story, I set it aside so I could read that.

So that was my weekend!  How was yours?

 

 

 

Weekend Road Trip

Hey everyone!  Just a heads up that I may be pretty absent from social media this weekend.  Ethan and I are hitting the road with my parents to travel out to the Black Hills (which is in western South Dakota) to visit my grandparents!  I don’t get great service out there so I won’t be posting much or at all.  I haven’t been out there in almost 5 years and Ethan has never been out to their house (which is really a beautiful log cabin) so I’m super excited that he finally gets to see it!  It’s about a 9 hour drive to get there so as soon as my dad and I get home from work, we’re hitting the road.  I’ve got plenty to read and Ethan is bringing along some of my graphic novels so if I run out of things to read, I can move onto those since I haven’t read them yet.

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I started I Crawl Through It by A.S. King yesterday after finishing Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  After ICTI, I plan to read Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (and if there is time I’ll move on to Forever).  The graphic novels that Ethan is bringing are the volumes of The Eye of the World (first book of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan).

I am just so excited to get out there and for Ethan to see the cabin that is a big part of my family history.  I don’t remember exactly what age I was (I’d guess 4th or 5th grade) my grandparents starting building the cabin along with other family members.  It was originally meant to be a vacation spot but they loved it so much they ended up moving there permanently.  It’s gone through a lot of changes over the years with two additions as well.  Here are a couple of photos from the last time I was there.  I’m looking forward to really updating my photo collection when we go.  You can kind of see where the additions are because the logs are a much lighter color.

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End of the Week Update + Look At Next Week

It’s been awhile since I’ve done any sort of update on the recent happenings in my life, bookish and non, so that’s what this post is!  Are you ready? 😉  If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should 🙂 ), then you have seen quite a few of these pics already.

Two weeks ago my little brother got married to his college sweetheart.  They got married in the same, small Iowa town that we a bunch of us went to college in.  My great uncle, my dad and his two brothers, my mom (that’s where my parents met), my aunt (married to my dad’s youngest brother), myself, my brother and my new sister-in-law.  It was fun going back to that town.  I haven’t been back there since my brother graduated in 2013.  I spent 4 years of my life living in that town (2005-2009) so it was fun to see how much it has changed and how much it hasn’t.  It was a beautiful wedding and I couldn’t be happier for my brother.

jimstephweddingTop right photo is of the mother-son dance.  Middle photo is of Ethan and I.  We were host and hostess along with Steph’s brother and sister-in-law at the reception.  Bottom right is of my Dad having a great time dancing in one of my brother’s friend’s crazy suit coats lol.

Then this past weekend on Sunday I was lucky enough to get to go see one of my favorite country musicians, Jason Aldean.  We were extra lucky that it was one of the few concerts that he teamed up with Kenny Chesney at outdoor stadiums.  It was a great concert and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!

jasonaldean concertThe other day I got some GREAT book mail but I will be saving photos of that until I do a book haul post at the end of the month.  I also got some great deals on some new shoes yesterday so I can’t wait to get those in the mail!  Tonight Ethan and I are having a little date night.  On Sunday we’re heading down to Austin, MN to visit my Grandma for the day.  I have Monday through Wednesday off work so Monday I am getting together with a friend to have a shopping day.  On Tuesday I get to cross off one of the biggest things on my bucket list…

shania-twain-2015-rock-this-country-tour-art-400pxAfter many, many years of waiting… Shania Twain is back on tour!  Totally can’t wait for this concert!

That’s it for the non-bookish updates.  As for bookish updates, I am pretty behind on my 20 Books of Summer Challenge.  July is almost over and I’m only less than halfway through my list!  Luckily once August hits I’ll be able to knock off some more during carpool since I don’t have to drive.

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Currently I am reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  I like it but not as much as I thought I would so that’s a little disappointing.  I still have no interest in The Distant Hours so I’m almost 99% positive that one will end up being a DNF.  With some time off work next week I am really looking forward to getting a lot of reading done!

Monday will be my last book haul of the month (and hopefully for awhile) with the exception of a few packages that are still on their way.  So stay tuned for my July Book Haul post coming up next week! 🙂

And that’s it!  Thanks for stopping by!

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