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 (#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!




5 on Friday (#10)

1. This is my busiest, most stressful time of year at work and this week has kicked my butt. This weekend is supposed to be rainy, so I’m spending it in total relaxation mode- sleeping late, lots of reading time, and no work emails ( hopefully). Much needed.

2. I’m headed to Nashville for a work trip in a week or so. I’m only there for about 72 hours, but I was very excited to learn that the hotel I am staying at is right near Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore owned by one of my favorite authors Ann Patchett. This bookstore is frequently listed on ‘bookstores you should visit’ lists, so I’m so excited that I’ll have a little bit of time to visit.

3. As I said before, work is crazy busy right now. I’m dreaming about it, making lists about it, and really my brain is consumed by it. I feel like I cannot do the other things in my life until this exhibit opens, which is slightly inconvenient for getting things done– like my overdue oil change, gifts to send to friends, and so on. Only a week more to go, so I just need to bear down and get through it.

4. Spring-like weather is arriving, the snow is slowly melting, and I’m so over wearing wool. I’m anxious to do a clothes purge and reorganization, especially since I ordered my first StitchFix! It should arrive Monday and I’m very excited to see what kinds of goodies are in store.

5. 2015 goals mini status update: doing really well with journal writing ( about 4 nights a week I accomplish a quick life update and 5 things I’m grateful for); kicking butt at meal planning and eliminating food waste; have updated curtains in sunroom. Others are in works as warmer weather arrives and I’m committed to baking bread this weekend!

Enjoy the weekend!


* StitchFix link contains referral credit for me, so if you sign up, I get some money off my next order!

5 on Friday (#9)

1. Seeing as this was my first full work week since January 5th, I’m exhausted today. I was so spoiled with snow days, holidays, and days off. Considering I’m pushing into my busiest time of year at work in the next few weeks, I’m trying to take as much time for myself to relax as I can.

2. Spring, please come soon.

3. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I finally joined the 21st century and got an iPhone back in January. Or maybe I did? My level of exhaustion can’t remember which end is up. I miss my flip phone only a little, but was so thankful for the iPhone last weekend when I got lost on my way to anti-gravity yoga.

4. I finally bought new snow boots after 5 or so major snow storms made me realize how deficient my other boots were. I had hoped that buying them would trigger some cosmic force that would stop the snow from coming again, but we’ve had a few inches since, plus some nasty slush stuff. Sorry it didn’t work!

5. This weekend is for getting some fun errands done with Mom while Q works, celebrating my birthday a little early with the family, and doing some house brainstorming about some changes we’re thinking about. And of course, sleeping in and hopefully a nap!

Happy weekend!

5 on Friday (#8)

1. I have had so much going on with work in the past few weeks, I feel like I haven’t had the head space for much else, hence the lack of blog posts. I had up for a few hours the other day that I was going to take a blog break for this month, then decided against it, but with more busy times ahead, that sort of may still happen, but I’m trying to learn to handle it all, so who knows. The jumbled nature of all those sentences might  be an indication to the frazzled state of my brain.

2. This frazzled brain is very excited for my three-day weekend. I work at a non-profit organization in Rhode Island and that state is the only one left in the United States that still celebrates Victory Day. What’s that? It’s the now politically correct name for Victory over Japan Day from World War II. It makes very little sense why it’s still celebrated here, but I guess every state has its random state holiday day off, and I’m very thankful ( and very in need) of this one.

3. There is much excitement on the horizon- this 3 day weekend, my upcoming road trip with my mother, Q’s son starting kindergarten, big changes at work, and some professional development stuff for myself that I can’t wait to talk about ( but have to wait on for right now, but it’s exciting).

4. The weather has been sort of great this summer- no super humid, hotness that makes you feel gross just breathing, for which I’m thankful because I become a sweaty, cranky mess ( or beast) on those days. I haven’t made it to the beach yet ( a crime for where I work and live), but I’m hoping to rectify that on my day off Monday ( maybe). It was actually pretty cool here this morning, something like 59 degrees, which seems odd for August, but I kind of love it.

5. Q & I have a odd love of the show Wipeout. How’s that for a random Friday fact?


Happy Weekend!

5 on Friday (#7)

1. I have spent the past few weeks clearing out/decluttering at both my parents’ and grandmother’s house. At my parents’ house, my Dad had held onto some pretty random things in the basement and shed; at my grandmother’s, she had pretty much fifty years of stuff in the place. We had dumpsters for both and there was kind of an amazing feeling throwing out junk. We donated so much stuff to various places and had a yard sale last weekend and another tomorrow. Mostly, this makes me never want to buy a single thing ever again, plus makes me want to get rid of so much of my own stuff– 4 boxes so far, plus more clothes that I already donated.

2. As part of trying to rein in my budget and savings more, as well as inspired by all the stuff of these cleanouts, I’ve been having a no-buy June. So far, so good ( though our grocery bill this past month has been over budget, mostly due to my poor planning/laziness), though as a result of this and the closet purging, I’ve noticed some huge gaps in my wardrobe that I’m hoping some yard sale revenue will cover. In all my pairs of shoes,  I don’t have any brown shoes for the summer ( how did that happen?) I think if I have learned anything in all this decluttering and purging is that one only really needs the basics with a few extras thrown in for fun.

3. 3 words: Leingkugel’s Summer Shandy. So good.

4. After spending pretty much the entire month of June, plus a weekend in May, on cleanouts and getting rid of stuff, we’ve decided to do pretty much nothing else for the rest of the summer. Our garage and fence stripping/painting project is going to wait til September, at least.

5. With all the cleanout stuff and the ridiculous amount of pollen blowing around, we were a little behind on getting the patio furniture out, but we finally did last weekend, which was perfect timing for the one random hot day we had this past week. It was so nice to sit outside after work with some iced tea and a magazine, but I forgot how loud my yard can be at that time of day with the main road behind us. Maybe I’m just becoming a cranky old lady, but my tolerance for loud neighbors and road traffic is waning and I found myself dreaming of a quiet house in the woods lately. Someday maybe.

Wishing you a happy weekend and the official start of summer!

5 on Friday (#6)

1. I was home sick on Wednesday with the stomach bug that has been going around for months. I don’t know how I evaded it for so long, but it was gross and I whined and cried like a 3 year old.  So of course I called my mom and cried to her on the phone. That helped, as did her (always) smart advice to drink some tea and go back to sleep. Mom’s are the best ( as was Q who clearly did not know what to do with a crying girlfriend throwing a sick induced tantrum). Also, there is a good chance it actually *wasn’t* the stomach flu, but bad wine.

2. I’m in the middle of listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken on my commute and it’s one of the best nonfiction books I’ve “read” in years. Highly recommend– it’s fast paced, well-researched, and overall, a great read. I’m very interested in World War II ( my undergrad thesis was on women nurses during the war) and the book has long been on my reading list. I’m glad I got to it before the Angelina Jolie movie comes out and ruined everything for me ( though I did see a news report on the film production a few months back, so I sort of knew what to expect).

3. Today Q and my brother are embarking on a small construction project at my parent’s house to finally finish a project my Dad started in the summer/fall and never finished. While I’m very happy they’re doing this together for my Mom and having some bonding time, I’m also sort of nervous for the process, though I have no doubt they’ll get it done — just wishing I could be a fly on the wall to watch what I am sure will be comedic construction antics!

4. Here in New England, spring is playing mind games with us weather wise, which is fine ( well minus the fact it’s still been chilly at night and the heat keeps going on), but in the manner of #firstworldproblems, I’m struggling with transitional dressing. Added to the fact that my place of work is directly on the ocean, meaning sometimes a 10-15 degree difference of temps from everyone else. I feel like I’m wearing the same 5 outfits over and over. Today I dared to go out in a dress without tights, leggings, or socks. I only got as far as my front porch before running back in to put leggings on. I’m antsy for my summer clothes!

5. Last night my mother gifted my Dad’s motorcycle to my cousin. As my parent’s only nephew and someone who is in to cars/mechanics, it was definitely the right home for the bike, which my Dad loved but was very cautious on ( he only rode in town and never on the highway). Seeing the smile on my cousin’s face was just so awesome and it makes my heart so happy for a million reasons, but mostly because I know my Dad would love that something he liked so much is going to someone he cared so much about. It’s times like this that the sadness is there, but it takes on a new sense of closure and peace to know that my Dad’s legacy lives on in many ways and with different people.

5.5 This weekend is for cleaning– we went last weekend to the DeCordova Scuplture Park and Ikea since the weather was nice and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a great last weekend of April!!

5 on Friday (#5)

1. I’ve never been so happy for a change in season as I was for spring. I know we’re not out of the woods yet and I live in New England where the weather is always wacky, but it’s more the promise of warmer weather not being too far away that is most needed. This winter was beyond brutal, not just in terms of freezing cold and snow, but just felt long and sad without my Dad too.

2. I’m using lists too much on the blog- I’ve started/stopped a lot of blog posts in the past week, most of which because I had too many feelings and was unable to make the writing make any sense. Here I am being hard on myself again.

3. I’m trying a few new ‘saving’ techniques lately to build my emergency fund, pay down debt, and save for travel. I’m a big saver at the market with sales and coupons, so I’m going to take the amount I save every week at the bottom of the receipt and put that into my savings account. This week was only $26, but there have been weeks when I’ve saved $50 so this could help a lot. I’m also doing the 52 weeks of saving idea ( first week $1, second week $2, etc.). It seems like a no-brainer and I found this checklist to remind myself, plus it shows the amount saved if you keep up.

4. My brother and his fiance are in Florida this week and while I’m  happy for them (especially since they’re visiting with her family), I’m so jealous. Lots of travel conversations going on so my wanderlust and cabin fever will have some relief soon.

5. Plans for the weekend include some serious house cleaning, a birthday party for a special 2 year old, and lots of relax time. We’re having grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner tonight and I cannot begin to explain my excitement at the prospect of this, wine, and watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie with Q. It really is the little things that matter most.

Happy weekend– and happy spring!

5 on Friday (#4)

1. Maybe it’s because the winter has seemed ridiculously long and almost every day since Dad died seems hard, but January and February have dragged on for me. March is a month filled with lots of good things ( my birthday, anniversary with Q, spring, changing the clocks) and I’m happy, but surprised!, it came along so quickly.

2. I’m giving up online games for Lent. Only exception to this is NY Times Crossword on the iPad. I’m hoping this will become a permanent change. I don’t want to admit how many hours I’ve wasted away on Candy Crush and Farm Heroes. RIDICULOUS is what that is.

3. My mom and I had our theater night last night- we saw Peter & The Starcatcher.  It wasn’t on our regular subscription package but we switched one show for it. I’m so happy we did. It was light-hearted and funny, which was what both my mom and I needed. Highly recommend it if it comes to a theater near you!

4. I had to go renew my driver’s license before Tuesday and finding time in my busy work schedule and the limited open times of the MA RMV was becoming challenging. I did not want to spend my precious time off on Monday sitting at the registry to get it done. Thankfully, a meeting got out early yesterday and I was able to make it over to the registry. When I got there and got my ticket, the ID renewal wait time was 0 minutes! PSYCH. 45 minutes later, I left with my new ID. Talk about false hope. Also, people watching at the Registry of Motor Vehicles is quite entertaining.

5. This week was ridiculously long and getting out of bed every day was a chore. You’d think there was molten lava under the bed the way I protested every morning. Three day weekend coming up for me. I like to take my birthday off from work, but it falls on Tuesday so decided to make it a 3 day weekend instead. Monday looks like some more gross snow/rain/slushy gross mix but I’ll be getting a massage and maybe doing some sale rack browsing, plus a birthday dinner ( of Indian food!) with the family. 

Happy weekend and March!

5 on Friday (#3)

1. I wrote last week about getting back into the groove in the kitchen. Recent highlights include: baked chicken, orzo, feta and dill; pork tenderloin in the crockpot; chicken mozambique, and sweet& sour kielbasa stirfry. There were some regular favorites in there ( tacos! spaghetti with Italian sausage!), but I’m hoping to do 2 or so new recipes a week.

2. I finally listed my wedding band for sale– only took me almost 2 years to get around to it. Hopefully it will find a happy couple. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me 2 years to getting around to selling my wedding gown and other accessories. I’m also thinking about selling a bunch of my porcelain dolls from childhood, but that’s an undertaking that requires some research. Worse case I guess is I just sell it all at the family yard sale in June.

3. I haven’t been watching all that much of the Olympics this time around. We’ve been watching a lot of movies lately ( Austenland was super cute) and our favorite shows like Walking Dead and Downton Abbey ( Q mostly watches this because I’m watching it haha).

4. My coworker is in San Antonio this weekend for a wedding and it’s something like 80 degrees there. I’m jealous. I’ve never been one to have seasonal depression, but I’m just so blah lately with the weather and missing Dad. Yesterday the sun was out and I was so happy I felt like running around outside yelling. I didn’t, but it gave me hope that spring isn’t too far away.

5. Plans for this weekend include taco night tonight, sleeping in, and some small house projects, family time, and more movie watching. Relaxing weekend of not much going on is quite needed.

Happy weekending!

5 on Friday (#2)

1. I’m so over winter.

2. Work has been steady busy, which has been good in trying to get my brain focused again. This weekend I’m determined to not be super lazy and feel like I’ve done something productive, even if it’s just a bit of cleaning and organizing my sock drawer- thrilling life I know, but cohabitation has led to quite the mismatch of socks!

3. Netflix TV show recommendation: An Idiot Abroad. Part travelogue, part silliness. Really funny and Ricky Gervais is behind it.

4. I’m not sure if it’s the 5 year itch or too much Pinterest, but I’ve been daydreaming of moving and features of a new house that I’d love (entryway, a 1/2 bath, not a galley kitchen).

5. We moved a treadmill into the basement from my parent’s house which has been great. Watching shoes and movies on the iPad while walking/running on treadmill has made it so much more bearable and enjoyable for me. Currently, I’m rewatching HBO’s Big Love, which I got into just as it was ending, but never saw the earlier seasons.

Happy weekend!


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