Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Currently Reading....

It's Tuesday!!  One more day closer to the weekend!  HA!

I used to be that person who couldn't read more than one book at a time.  This summer, I found out that indeed I can!  I read a lot this summer.  Summer is the only time I can really just read and read and read.  Once back to school hits, I read less. Or so I thought.

Today I'm sharing the books I'm currently reading!  Because there are actually quite a few!!

I said that I don't really read during the school year, but since it just began, I am.  Partly to finish up books I started while I was on vacation and partly because our principal assigned us a book to read!  HA!  And I am reading a book for book club too!  So I guess I'm starting the year off with a bang!

The book that I am reading and will hopefully finish for book club by next week is The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.  I never read it in high school (and honestly, I'm a bit shocked it was ever even assigned to anyone is high school!).  I was really excited when I found out this was the September pick because I'm a big fan of the series on Hulu.  If this was not the pick, I'd most likely had taken this month off!  Wish me luck!

A book that my principal gave us as a sort of back to school gift/school book club read is FOCUS by Mike Schmoker. And in all honesty, I'm liking it a lot.  I'm not too, too far into it because I'm not sure what he's going to do with it with us, but it's all about scaling back and actually teaching less things, just "the essentials", with a more positive impact. I'm on board!

I'm getting more and more into the audio books these days as well.  I found myself up in the middle of the night a crazy amount this summer. So while I was awake  I'd listen to audio books.  When I found myself getting sleepy, I'd bookmark that that part of the book and set the sleep timer on my Libby app. Right now I'm listening to the YA novel, The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. I like it a lot.  It's a mystery thriller. I always go into reading YA with the intentions that I can add the book to our school's library.  It's so hard to get the 7th and 8th graders to actually want to take out books.  This is NOT one that I can add, but I'm definitely enjoying it.

And last but not least I'm sharing a new daily devotional. If you've followed the blog for awhile, you may remember that I wrote a post with my best friend, Melanie about the qualities of a best friend after reading Nobody's Cuter than You by Melanie Shankle.  Last week she posted a photo on Instagram of Melanie's new book Everyday Holy and her 100 Day reading challenge. After reading my Mel's thoughts on the book I bought it and was about to catch up this weekend.  It is so good you guys!!  As a religion teacher, there are so many get points and nuggets of wisdom that I can share with my students.  After having to catch up, I'm sad now that I only read one day at a time!

Whew...this seems like  a lot all at once!  But I'm totally doing it!  

What books are you reading now?  I'm always looking for recommendations.  
Let me know!

Have a great Tuesday!  Hug your loved ones this September 11th and send a little prayer up for all those we lost on that day!

Read about the time my sister and I visited the World Trade Center here!

And calling all fashionistas!!  Tomorrow on The Blended Blog it's all about the CAMO!!  Link up your camo lovin' with us or share your look across your socials and ours.

Do you have a closet full of clothes and yet think you can't find anything to wear?  Or maybe your just looking for engagement and encouragement of a diverse group of woman who are all in the same boat!  If so, join our Facebook group!  Check it out here!

Monday, September 10, 2018

10 things you probably didn't know about me!

I love these kinds of posts! So much so that I've done something similar for the last few years on my birthday!  You can find those posts here, here, and here!  So when I saw this was the theme for today's TBB Link up I got excited all over again!  Because in all honesty, each year...each day really...brings out some new, random quirks as I get older!

So today I'm gonna share 10 things you probably really don't know about me!

1- I spend more time at my school than I do at home!

2- I'll admit it...have an unhealthy attachment to my iphone!  And I use it for anything but calls!

3- I have more clothes than any one person could need in three lifetimes. And usually when I let something go, that's the one thing I really wanna wear a few days or weeks later!!

4- I sometimes don't empty my dishwasher, I just grab things out if it as needed.  Lazy?!? Nah...I think practical!

5- I bought I new queen bed a few months ago...I can't say that I love it!

6- I buy flowers...for myself!

7- I take a lot of selfies!  Wait...if you follow me on Instagram, you might know what already! (If you don't, you can here!!) But a lot of times they're for the blog... and like the title says, t's a solitary life, so there's no one else to take pics for me!

8- Somedays "Girl Wash Your Face!" is on a constant loop in my head.

9-I truly believe in people being in your life for seasons, and I understand when it's time to let them go.

10- This Summer I went to my 10th Kenny Chesney Concert!!  You can read all about my love for Kenny here!!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!  Now head on over to The Blended Blog and link up your own post of 10 things...I'd love to get to know you better! 

No blog? No problem...share something with me in the comments below or on your social media.  Tag me (@solitarylife101 and @tbblog!)and use the hashtag #TBBallaboutme!

May your coffee be strong and your Monday be fabulous friends!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

It's Throwback Thursday Y'all!!

Hey Friends!!  
Happy Throwback Thursday!!  It's the day when I revisit some of my favorite posts!!  Today, in honor of the new school year and yesterday's first day of school (insert sad face here! #summerforever), I'm sharing a special throwback for you!!

In addition to blogging here on The Mishaps and Mayhem of a Solitary Life (or these days, more accurately, just documenting life on Insta daily) I'm a contributor to The Blended Blog, with a super fabulous group of woman.  We are coming up on year three of our collective!  YAY!!

Two years ago on TBB I shared A Teacher's Survival Guide for Back to School.  It's how I survive as a teacher!  And guess what?  It still rings true today!!  So I'd love it if you'd hop on over to TBB and give it a read!!  And feel free to leave me a comment about how you survive back to school...either as a teacher, parent or just plain ol' human!!  If you are a regular, year round worker, are you hating the traffic these days??  LOL  Let me know!!

Find my original post here!!

And because it's #TBT and Back to School time, here's a bonus treat!!  An old school, school photos of me...in Kindergarten circa 1985.

First day of Kindergarten (Left)

First School Photo! (Right)
One I have never lived down!  When anyone asked me why I didn't smile I said, "The guy told me to look at his nose, there was nothing funny about his nose! This is probably the only time in my life I didn't smile for a photo & the only time my hair was not pin straight and whispy! {Why did my mom keep this?!?

Side note: I HATED EVERY SINGLE DAY of Kindergarten. I cried every single day and they had to send for my oldest sister , who was in seventh grade at the time to come and calm me down!!

Monday, September 3, 2018

All things Cozy!!

Hard to believe we are so close to colder weather, shorter days and cozy nights!!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE me some Summer but I kinda can't wait for booties, jeans and sweaters!! Today is another edition of TBB Asks: How do you do COZY?  So Fun!!

I have them, but honestly , I don't wear them!!

Favorite Blanket?
My UGG Blanket...hands down!!

Thick of Thin Pillow?
Ummmmm....my pillow is super thin!  It wasn't when I got it in 5th grade.  It's the only thing my dad ever bought on the Home Shopping Network!  Now it has no less that seven pillow cases on it and is super flat.  BUT I seriously can't sleep without it!

Favorite Warm Beverage?
On the daily??  Definitely coffee.  But when I'm cozy on the couch under my favorite blanket?  Hot Cocoa...with a splash of RumChata of course!

Yes...but it's like with the slippers...hardly wear them.  I wrap up in my blardigan more!

Favorite Comfort Food?
Hmmm...that's tough!  I'm really not sure!  Maybe ice cream??

Movies or TV Series Binge?
Definitely a TV Series Binger!  This Summer I binged The Crown, The Staircase, The Handmade's Tale and caught up on the second season of The Sinner!  The Handmaid's Tale is just cray (reading the book now too!) and The Crown is my new fave.

Actual PJs or Leggings?
Since I actually wear leggings to work and out, PJs!  But I don't sleep in them!  I just wear shorties and a tank to bed!  I don't like much on when I sleep...it's too hot!  Then in the morning for lounging, I put on PJs.  The longest I've ever worn a pair of PJs is on Christmas day when my family wears PJs all day...it's our tradition!!

Do you cozy up on the couch or in a chair?
Definitely on the couch!

Hoodie, t-shirt, or Sweater!  
ALL of the above make me feel cozy for sure!!

TBB ASKS has quickly become one of my favorites of the month!!  Head on over to The Blended Blog and link up your answers with us.  It's always cool to compare everyone's answers!

Now I'm off to enjoy my last day of freedom before it's back to reality tomorrow!!  Boy am I going to miss Summer Vacation!!  Have a great day...and thanks for stopping by the blog today!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tuesday Tunes!

I've been dipping my toe slowly, but surely back in the blogging pool ahead of summer's end.  It's my hope that, come September I'll be back to blogging on the regular.

This is totally ME!!

So, today I'm taking the guesswork outta shuffle, and providing you with a pretty kick-ass summer playlist!!

I've been reading and tanning lots this summer and when I'm not laying out and reading, I'm listening to music, thanks to my free Amazon music trial.  I thought I'd be fun to sure my summer playlist with  you!And I hope in the comments below you'll sure with me your favorite songs of the summer too!

I used to be a die hard country fan, but these days I'm branching out.  I've been listening to more mainstream music.  I guess just cause I feel like I always wanna dance it out!!  Here are some of my faves on repeat this summer.  These are not particularly new or just out this summer, but most were new to me!

My Summer Playlist

Better Now- Post Malone

Live it Up- Rudimental & Major Lazer
Pretty much my summer theme song!!

Get Along- Kenny Chesney (of course my Kenny is on the list!)
Such a great song, especially for these current times.  I'll always love Kenny!!
The whole album he put out this summer is pretty awesome.  And if you purchase it, all proceeds go to hurricane relief in the Islands...Kenny's home!

End Game- Taylor Swift (with Ed Sheeran and Future)
Now I know I'm 38 and should be over Taylor Swift but I like to stay relevant for my Middle Schoolers and look super cool to my nieces!!  Also, another song on the Reputation album, that in my opinion is better covered by contestants on The Voice is Ready For It.  I heard that song for the first time on The Voice and like their arrangement way better!!  Check it out here!!

Slow- Liam Payne
The words reminded me of Adele's song, Water Under the Bridge, but it's a pretty great beat!!

Particula- Major Lazer
Another one with a crazy fun beat that just makes me wanna dance!

Heartbreak- Lady Antebellum
Pretty much the perfect song for someone living this Solitary Life such as myself!!  And it was pretty much a fun surprise that I got to see them in concert this summer!!

Aficia- Weezer Cover
This is an awesome cover of the original by Toto.  But why when I listen to it do i only here Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon singing it!?!  I am the only one who remembers that??  Check it out here!

What Lovers Do- Maroon 5 (featuring SZA)
Another one that just makes me wanna DANCE!!!  Actually, if I'm being totally honest, I've loved everything Maroon5 as of late!  Wait, Girls Like You...

I Like Me Better- Lauv
I know this one has been around forever, but I really like it.

Barcelona- Max George
Had no idea who this guy was, but this song was on an Amazon suggested playlist, and it kinda stuck with me!! (Actually a lot of these were Amazon suggested!) Another great dance tune!

Life Changes- Thomas Rhett
Ain't that the truth!!  Another catchy one.  Got to see Thomas Rhett for the first time this summer when he opened for Kenny Chesney.

And this last one is just a bonus....lucky #13 if you will!  It just makes me laugh!
I'm a Mess- Bebe Rhexa

Rather than post all the videos of these songs to the blog, I made a playlist on you tube!!  You can find it {here}! If you'd like, follow me too!

What's been the song of the summer for you?  Let me know!!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Summer STATS!!

It always happens!!  Summer just flies right by in a blur!!  All in all I'd say this one was a pretty good one!!  The weather wasn't fantastic, but I got my tan on, swam a little, and had plenty of FUN!  Although I didn't travel to exotic places, I had a staycation, most night being spent in town and a Rae-cation, watching my sister's dog for 11 days and being at her house was kinda like a resort!  HA

Today I thought I's share a little Summer Stats post, pretty much wrapping up my summer in numbers, or what I can remember of it anyway!!  It's pretty much in no particular order, just stream of consciousness!

June 22, 2018 at 12 noon- Summer Vacations Official Start!!

5- Pool Parties attended!!

2- Beach Days

5 Days with Houseguests!
My cousin, her husband and little son came and stayed with my for about five days during the 4th of July week!  It was a lot of fun...life with a two year old is busy!!  LOL

3 out of 4- Summer Street Festivals attended in town!

3 series binge-watched!  Finished the Handmaid's Tale, The Staircase, and The Crown....totally my new fave!!

11 Days on Raecation! (Dog-sitting!)

2-concerts attended, 7 artists on the bills

Actually, THREE concerts attended!!  My nieces put together a concert for the family on Sunday Aug. 12th.  They called themselves Lookly.  Lauren, Brooke, and Emily.  And let me tell you...it was a serious show.  There were real tickets, merch, snacks and drinks, a security guard, VIP experience, and a 50-50 and raffle prizes!  And I won!!

10- the number of Kenny Chesney concerts I have seen over all.  My tenth one being this summer.  It wasn't the best one, due to the terrible rain that put a damper on the show, but thinking back at 10 shows is pretty amazing.  #KennyForever!!

2 Ralph's!  WHAT?!?  I think we're breaking up in favor of Smallcakes Sea Salt Caramel Brownie!

On to the books I've read and listened to!
I have great intentions when it comes to reading books during the school year, but inevitably I know only one or two books get read during the year, so when summer comes around, and I have the time to read, I READ!

I returned to my library's book club, Novel Brews this summer and also brought along 5 friends.  I also participated in an online reading club fellow blogger friend, Leslie put together on Facebook.  I also had big plans to read Jimmy Fallon's Summer Reads book, Children of Blood and Bone, but since I bought it on Amazon Prime Day and then ended up getting the rest of my books from the library, it went to the bottom of the TBR list.

I read 11 books this summer and listened to 10 audiobooks.

Hands Down my favorite book of the summer was The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell!  So good!  It was long but I just could not put it down.  Read it in 4 days!!

A week from tomorrow is my first day of school.  As much I as I love summer, I think I'm ready!  But I'll certainly miss these lazy days!!!

What has your summer looked like?  Let me know in the comments below!!

Monday, August 6, 2018

TBB ASKS: August: The Party Edition!

It seems as though it's only ever TBB Asks that gets me out of my blogging hiatus these days!!  I am enjoying the dog days of summer and am to the point where I'm dreading Back to School now.  Dreading Back to School time doesn't mean I'm not excited to go and start the year fresh, it just means I'll miss the carefree days of summer vacation...the schedule of no schedule at all, the lazy days of sitting in the sunshine, reading for hours on end, etc.

But I'm pumped to dip my toe back in the blogging pool today with TBB Asks and am excited to share a big announcement with you all!!

Our Blended Blog family is growing!  We've added two more ladies to our tribe!  Kellyann, who blogs over at The Blonde's Shopping Bag and Vanessa from X-tremely V !  We are so excited to have these ladies on board with us!!  Head on over to The Blended Blog to get to know them both!

It's August and that means it's The TBB ASKS: THE PARTY EDITION!! 
So Let's get this party started!!

 If you asked my mom, she's say anytime we hang out as a family it's a party!  But thinking back, I can't remember the last time I went to a party PARTY!  Maybe a wedding over a year a go!?!  But I'm gonna do my best to get in party mode and answer today questions...then who knows? Maybe I'll be inspired to plan a party!!

1. Favorite Birthday Party as a Child
Oddly enough my favorite birthday party as a child was actually cancelled.  I'm a February baby and there was a snowstorm on the day of my party.  We ended up cancelling the party but it must've been on the later side because one of my best friends and my favorite teacher still showed up!!!! It was so random and fabulous.  She drove all the way to my house in the snow.  And I just couldn't believe that my teacher was in my house!!  It was the best....I will never forget it.  I wish I had pictures of the day...I know my mom most in her old photo albums but the day is burned in my memory as one of my all time faves!

Not to long ago, my mom cleaned out her basement and made piles of things for all of us girls.  On of the things she found was my journal from third grade.  Every weekend we wrote a letter to our teacher telling her about our weekend, and she would write us back.  This was the same teacher who came to my party, so that memory immediately came rushing back. I loved looking at the things I wrote to here and that she wrote back.  She really was my favorite.   I looked her up on facebook, and she's exactly the way I remember her, minus the fact that she's cut off all her beautiful hair.  But I don't have the guts to friend request her.  I would be heartbroken if she said she didn't remember me!!  HA!!

2. Do you like to entertain?
Honestly, this is a hard one.  Because I'd say yes and no.  I do, but then by the night of the party, I find myself too stressed.  I've hosted small dinner parties and game nights here.  I'll take game nights over dinner any day!!

3/4. What kind of parties are your favorite? Big or small?
I like all kinds...for different occasions.  Small parties are fun when big parties are sometimes overwhelming...but a huge blow out can be tons of fun!!

5. Favorite Thing to do at Parties?
Eat, Drink, reminisce and dance...if there's dancing!!

6. Party Food Favorites?
All the apps!!  I could eat apps all the live long day.  I much rather prefer apps over a big meal!  That's probably true on the daily.  I'm not ashamed to say that, as a single girls, wine and cheese is sometimes dinner!!

7. Favorite Flavor of Birthday Cake.
It used to be chocolate as a kid, but now it's fun-fetti with fun-fetti frosting!  And yes, I know, I'm not a kid anymore!!  LOL  It's just so yummy!!  And these days it's cupcakes over a big cake!!

8. Balloons? 
Balloons are always a good idea!!!!

9. Best Party Song?  
This is easy...Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke

This song played at my cousin's wedding years ago and when it came on I was shocked to see my dad busting unforgettable moves to the song and singing every word. My sisters and I were in a bit of a shock actually!  After the shock wore off, we all joined my dad! 

10.  Do you like to dance?
YES!!  I don't do it well, but I enjoy it.  These days tho, my dancing mostly just consists of dance parties for one in my living room!!

 I hope everyone is enjoying the last weeks of Summer!!  Head on over to The Blended Blog to join the linky party, get to know our newest members and have some fun!!