Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the category “5 on Friday”

5 on Friday- April Updates

I’m back from the most stressful month of March I think I’ve ever had!

  • My exhibit at work opened on Wednesday night, and while my actual exhibit was done 2 weeks ago, the historic house I work in was in a state of chaos right up until midday on Wednesday. I do not like working under these types of conditions, but because of people, scheduling, and other circumstances out of my control, I had to deal. There were more than a few late evenings.
  • Now that the busiest months of my work have passed, I am so ready for vacation in 2 weeks. Pumped to go see family and spend some time in nature, but honestly just happy to not go to work for 10 days.
  • Spring has decidedly not sprung in my corner of the world. In my excitement for the turn of the season, and some prep for my vacation, I put away all my wool sweaters and heavy clothes, hoping that would tempt the weather gods to smile favorably on us, but nope. Lots of layering for the next week or so when I think the highest temperature we’ll see is about 45.
  • Since we’re still in hibernation mode, we’ve been watching a lot of TV and movies. Happy that The Americans is back on (last season!), intrigued by Homeland— though between that, The Americans, and our actual news, it’s a lot of conversations about Russia. Side note: Russia is not a country on my travel list. Highly recommend the movie I, Tonya too. Even if you have no interest in figure skating or Tonya Harding, it’s an interesting look at class/culture of domestic violence that even Q enjoyed.
  • I now own an actual Kindle! When I quit playing Farm Heroes Saga at the beginning of 2018. I was still looking for some passive entertainment that wasn’t social media that I could watch on nights when I want to relax with Q but have no interest in his show/movie. I sometimes read a physical book with the book light (I tend to shut my main reading lamp off when we’re watching TV). I do crossword puzzles on the iPad, but after a few a night, I needed something more. I downloaded the Kindle app for iOS, but felt like the iPad was getting too heavy and hot, so after polling my Twitter reader buds, I settled on the Kindle Paperwhite. Q also really wanted to get me something for my birthday related to technology because I never get stuff for myself in that category, so this was the perfect compromise. I don’t know what took me so long to jump on the bandwagon!

(not me but I hope this is me in a few weeks lounging and reading outside!)

5 on Friday: A Brief Life Update

  • My work life over the past few weeks has been TOUGH. My “work wife,” who really is one of my closest friends, left at the end of December to follow her dream of becoming a nurse and start nursing school full-time. I’m overjoyed for her, but sad for me. That, combined with the entire workplace being in transition as we await a new executive director and some other lingering issues, have made for a few stressful weeks.
  • If work stress wasn’t enough, we’re still enduring some hard stuff with personal family issues, so Q and I are really in turtle mode where we’re hibernating and hunkering down to try to maintain some sanity with ourselves.
  • How have I been handling stress and trying to find relaxation? The British Baking Show. Seriously, every night when it’s Q’s turn in the basement “gym” (a bunch of weights, a treadmill, and some yoga mats), I plop down on the couch to my new zen place- watching British people make desserts I’ve never heard of, would never eat (why is there so much cooked fruit- gross!), and could never even attempt to make. I find it mesmerizing, but most importantly, relaxing.
  • I’m reaching peak old lady- I’m supplementing my crossword puzzling, coloring, and reading with Fill-In puzzles. I think I need a hobby or some other creative pursuit.
  • Weekend plans are much of the same- some housework, some errands, lots of reading.




5 on Friday- Spring Photos

After what seemed like a few endless weeks of cold, rainy, damp weather in southern New England, we have had some SPECTACULAR days this week. In an effort to appreciate the everyday little things more and bring more positive mojo into life, I made an effort this week at work to go outside for a few minutes each day. I work at one of the most picturesque places in the state and I have to remind myself to get out of the office to literally take time to smell the roses ( or pansies for this time of year)!

Here are 5 shots to brighten your mood on this Friday.

Enjoy your weekend!


5 on Friday: The Obamas

The country has changed dramatically in 8 years. Far more prolific writers than myself have said many things on the topic of the Obamas, but here’s 5 small tidbits from me on this day.

1  As a lover of words and books, I am captivated by how fellow book lover President Obama talks about the topic. Here’s the list of all the books he has recommended over the years. I’m happy that a few I’ve read are on there, and a lot are already on my to-read list too.

2  Some of the shots of President Obama with kids are some of my favorite images from his presidency, a bunch of which are here. My favorite is this one!


Pete Souza

3  Michelle Obama with Ellen at CVS is way too funny, especially when she discovers the boxed wine. Watch it! 

4  Fashion history is a big interest of mine, and Michelle Obama set the bar high. Here’s an article on why the clothes she wore mattered and a slideshow of 50 of her most memorable outfits. I’d love that turquoise sheath dress she wore for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

5 The Obamas seem like incredibly interesting, down-to-earth people and both of them would make the guest list for my dream dinner party (which is very much a dream considering my kitchen abilities).


As our world changes today in a big way,

I’m keeping hope in my heart for the future.

5 Summer Favorites

As the start of the school season is upon us and the unofficial end of summer with Labor Day, I’m trying to savor these lazy days of summer. Here’s what I love the most about summer.

  • Fresh, local fruits and vegetables: There is nothing tastier than a tomato or blueberry from a local farm, picked within hours ( or by me!) of eating it.
  • The hours between 4-8pm: I love that time right after work when the sun is still out, the temp is a tad cooler, and it’s all about relaxation.
  • Sandals:  I love shoes, but hate socks ( I know, I’m a weirdo), so sandals are really my ideal shoes.
  • Grilling: I actually rarely grill, but I love grilled meat and veggies. Plus, it usually means that Q is cooking so I can just enjoy the meal.
  • Being outside: Whether it’s reading on the swing or walking at lunch, I enjoy being outside as much as I can ( minus the super humid, gross days).


What are your top 5 favorite things about summer?

Happy weekend!

5 on Friday: May Excitement

  1. The month of May is filled with lots of good things- Mother’s Day, the birthdays of my brother, aunt, sister-in-law, and Q, and now my brother and wife’s anniversary. Plus there’s a long weekend thrown in so it’s a great month!
  2. Other excitement of the month: A quick trip to Cleveland for a few days for a work conference. A new city ( and state!) for me so even though it’s a quick trip, I’m looking forward to exploring a new place.
  3. After house frustrations and feeling incredibly overwhelmed by some house projects, Q and I are not set up with a great landscaper to come deal with some of our outside issues. Just knowing this is happening has eased my mind tremendously.
  4. This particular Friday in May is particularly celebratory as I’ve paid off the last of my credit card debt!! I feel like there should be a badge or something for that.
  5. Plans for the weekend include celebrating my former boss tonight at a birthday party for him, then another celebration on Sunday for my brother and Mom. Lots of fun and good times happening and so much to be thankful for in my life.

Happy weekend!

5 on Friday: Life Update

  1. My noticeable absence lately is a sure sign that even though things slowed down at my day job, life has continued to flurry about. I’m behind on about 75% of things-everything from cleaning, laundry, and other adulting bits. Some of it is burnout, some of it is stress, some of it is the feeling that changes are happening/coming, and I’m turning inward to try to make sense of it all. Vague on purpose, but more to come.
  2. Instead of dealing with some of the aforementioned issues, my mode of operation is avoidance and then pushing interest ( or obsession?) to other things. So instead of figuring out what the heck is going on with life, I’m obsessing about dinner lately. Meal planning has been occupying my mind, especially as I try to eat more vegetables and cut out more meat. The problem is my carnivore of a partner with an appetite like a lumberjack, so I’m trying to find ways to make enough food for him and healthy options for me without feeling like I’m running a restaurant every night of the week.
  3. Very much looking forward to Game of Thrones this weekend. We spent the week catching up on last season. I never would have thought I would like this show. Still don’t think I’ll get around to reading the books though.
  4. Speaking of TV, are you watching The Americans? We only got into the show in the past month or so when we got Amazon Prime and watched all the previous seasons, just in time for the current one that started in March. I think it’s one of the best on TV and this week’s episode was stellar.
  5. Weekend plans include some yard work, decluttering and dropping off, and other chores I have been avoiding, as well as some family time before my mother is off to Italy ( very proud of her for taking this group tour).

Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend!

5 on Friday: Women in US History

In honor of women’s history month, a 5 on Friday filled with some interesting females, a favorite topic of mine!

Alice Ramsey- In 1909, she became the first woman to drive solo across the United States- it took her 59 days!


Image source

Susanna Madora Salter: The first female mayor in the United States, elected in Argonia, Kansas, in 1887.


Beatrice Turner: An artist who never married so of course people think she is a recluse ( she wasn’t), but she did have some weird habits and eccentric behaviors. I only recently learned about this woman and am anxious to learn more.


Image source

Image source

Sara Delano Roosevelt: Mother to FDR. The entire Roosevelt family is fascinating to me ( check out Ken Burns documentary on them), but FDR’s mother is quite an interesting character. FDR was certainly her prized child and she made Eleanor Roosevelt’s life quite difficult at times.



Patsy T. Mink: First woman of color and first Asian American woman in US Congress- and from Hawai’i! She was one of the main legislators responsible for the passage of Title IX in 1972.


Image source



5 on Friday (#12)

* If you follow me over on Twitter, you may have seen my tweet last night about avoiding laundry. Seriously, I cannot stand it. I put it off until I can’t any longer and then spend the night whining about it. Other domestic chore I hate- ironing. Also not high on the domestic chore list- dusting ( but I’d still do it any day over laundry).

*Domestic chore I love- washing dishes. In the sink or dishwasher, I’m a fan. Washing them in the sink is almost meditative to me. I know, I’m a bit of an odd duck sometimes.

* Another thing I said over on Twitter, but want everyone to know– The Imitation Game was an awesome movie. Seriously, probably one of the few I’ve really enjoyed from start to finish in a long time. Fascinating story of World War II code breaking, but really it’s a character study of Alan Turing, who has a remarkable life story.

* A sign that Q and I maybe need to get a life– free Showtime this weekend on cable so we can binge watch the last season of Homeland. We binge watched season 3 and the start of season 4 with the last free weekend months ago, anxiously awaiting the free weekend again. Yea, just writing this I realize we need hobbies.

* I have that spring fever itch to throw out everything in my house and clean every single thing. Q asked last night if this will happen every April, which of course, yes. The urge to declutter will always be there for me, even if I don’t do anything about it. I’m even contemplating taking a day off from work just to clean and organize. Yep, really need a hobby.

Here’s to a great weekend for you!


5 on Friday (#11)

* It’s Friday and raining here, though for the first time since CHRISTMAS, it’s over 55 degrees. I know it’s boring to talk about the weather, but it’s been such a weird, wacky, and long winter here in my neck of the woods, that it’s hard NOT to talk about it.

* I haven’t been very good about posting some of my favorite internet finds, mostly because I’m trying to get in the habit of reading things right away instead of letting them linger in the blog reader for months. As a lover of fashion history, this article about the old animated Disney Cinderella movie and the influence of Christian Dior’s post-World War II fashion was quite interesting. I have not yet seen the new live-action Cinderella, but it’s on my radar.

* With my love of women’s history ( or herstory!), I found these tidbits about presidential marriages quite interesting. I’ve read a bit about Edith Wilson before, but didn’t know much about the other wives. First Ladies fascinate me because of their roles as both wife, diplomat, entertainer, and so on.

* Recent movie watching: Interstellar ( interesting but way too long, though didn’t have half a clue what they were talking about– not surprising since I almost failed high school physics), Birdman( can see why so many nominations, but was a bit confused sometimes too), Foxcatcher ( also way too long, but fascinating, yet creepy). This weekend will be some kid movie watching with Little Man, but also The Imitation Game.

* Easter weekend will be low key, likely with decorating Easter eggs with Little Man, maybe a little egg hunt if the weather cooperates, and family dinner on Sunday. Hoping to maybe get out into the yard and see what kind of mess awaits us when we get around to spring cleanup.

Enjoy the weekend and have a great Easter!




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