Life By Kristen

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

Archive for the category “Currently”

Currently: December

Reading: Lots! All of my library holds came in at the same time, so I’ve got 4 titles in the stack at moment, though I haven’t started any yet since I just picked them up last night. I will likely read The Rosie Effect this weekend ( I finished The Rosie Project last weekend). Both are technically romance, but I wouldn’t categorize them in that way as I think they’re more comedic and heartwarming. Other titles going right now: Just Sit ( review to come!), War Bride’s Scrapbook, The Alice Network, and Hammer Head. Last weekend I read one of Debbie Macomber’s Christmas books to get into the season– The Christmas Letter.

Watching: Lots of movies, Christmas and otherwise. We watched Scrooged the other night and last night watched the Kingsmen sequel, The Golden Circle. It was just OK. I also watched  a bunch of episodes of the newest season of The Crown last week, and likely will finish the series in the next week or so.

Loving: Having four-day work weeks. I took last Friday off to do some errands ( and watch The Crown), and am off tomorrow for the same. Q and I both took off Friday the 22nd and are planning to go see the newest Star Wars. The next two weeks after are short with the holiday. I’ll then have one week of 5 days before another short week with the MLK holiday.

Thinking: A lot about my Dad as the four year anniversary of his death is Saturday.

Anticipating: The Nutcracker! After years of wanting to go and never getting organized enough to get tickets, I’m going Saturday night to Festival Ballet’s Nutcracker at PPAC in Providence with my Mom and my coworker Liz. I haven’t seen the ballet since I was a little kid ( I went with my Brownie Girl Scout troop to the Boston Ballet’s version) and the Nutcracker music is required holiday listening for me.

Image via here


Currently: October

Reading: Harry Potter #4. I’m borrowing my friend’s hardcover copy and it’s huge, so making it hard to get comfy with it like other books.

Watching: Finally Walking Dead is back! It might be surprise you that I watch this gory show, but I like how it really looks at the characters and contemplating what you would/would not do in a zombie apocalpyse. I only watch with Q because then I can cover my eyes for the gross parts and he tells me when it’s safe to look. Also, let’s be clear- my chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse are maybe one week since I have such short arms I don’t think I’d be able to attack one and keep it away without getting bit! And yes, I’ve spent too much time thinking about this. I’m also really liking the Will&Grace reboot.

Loving: that it’s finally fall weather. A few weeks ago, just when it seemed like the summer temperatures were over, Q took out the AC from our room. And then we spent almost another week with gross humidity and high temps.

Eating: Tons of apples and butternut squash. Also loving that I can finally use my oven. I have a strict no oven rule in the summer because we have such a small house that retains heat, so I’m excited to be baking again.

Planning: Our first time hosting Thanksgiving. I’m pretty pumped as it’s my favorite  holiday and will be the first major one Q and I host together ( we’ve done Mother’s and Father’s Day at our spot before).

Listening: To so many podcasts! I haven’t listened to an audiobook on my commute in a while because I’ve been adding more podcasts to my playlist. I binged through Dirty John (about a con man) and been going through the backlist of Criminal (really enjoyed the recent episode about the brothers who escaped from Alcatraz).


Hope your October is filled with pretty foliage, cool nights, and lots of Halloween candy!


Currently: August

How are you, people of the world? I’m going to be honest, my summer has been a bit rough. The state of the world, happenings at work, and some life and family happenings have made for some tough days. I’m trying to take care of myself and my people, practice gratitude where I can, and try not to worry. I’m not great at the last thing, but some days are better than others.


Eating: the fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and other veggies from the local farmstand and the veggie garden at my work. I love cucumbers- I’ll eat them raw with nothing on them, with some salt and olive oil, in Italian dressing, and so on. I love pickles. And yet, I do not love cucumber flavored things, especially cucumber water.

Loving: That this summer has not been brutally hot and humid (fingers crossed it stays that way through September).

Buying: Secondhand clothes from ThredUp. It’s an online consignment spot where you can send clothes to sell ( or they donate) and has a huge selection of clothes. I’ve ordered dresses and skirts mostly from there, and have been pretty successful with finding great items, and getting rid of a number of things that either don’t fit anymore or aren’t in line with my style and life these days. Full disclosure: if you click through that link, it gives you a personal invite via me that gives you $10 to shop with and I get $10 too!

Traveling: Q and I went to Martha’s Vineyard last weekend for the day as part of a 4-day weekend stay-cation we both desperately needed. It was gorgeous, but so crowded.

Trying: To not watch the news as much and when I do I try to counter it with good things to remind me of the goodness in the world, like this amazing man in Minnesota who built a pool for the neighborhood kids after his wife died. It made my night on Thursday after a rough day at work and made me all teary reminding me of the great people that still exist among the hate and horrible things.

Disliking: I jinxed myself the other day saying I haven’t had a mosquito bite in awhile, then preceded to get 5 while taking out the trash on Tuesday night. I was outside for maybe 10 minutes total and became a feast for the local skeeter population. I’m somewhat allergic to mosquito bites and they turn into huge, itchy welts that only high-powered anti-itch stuff will help.

Reading: A fluff summer novel, starting the 3rd Harry Potter book, and listening to I am Malala.

Donating: To Southern Poverty Law Center for all the work they do on educating/exposing/prosecuting hate groups. I had the chance to meet some folks who work at the center back in 2004 when I was in Alabama for a conference and was impressed all those years ago.


Currently: May

This month is just about half over and it is flying by- hard to believe that Memorial Day is only a week and a half from now.

In my family, May is for celebrations ( brother, friend, aunt, sister-in-law, Q birthdays), Mother’s Day, and my brother and sis-in-law’s anniversary. We had a delicious dinner to celebrate the month of May and everyone in it on Mother’s Day, even though the restaurant was crowded and I got all weirded out by the crowds.

This May is also crazy busy because I’m helping to organize a national conference at the end of the month for one of my professional affinity groups. It has been…interesting. It’s way outside my wheelhouse of things I’ve done, but a lot of the organizing has been stressful because of the number of people involved and various moving parts. I ended up taking on a lot more than I originally thought I would because so many members of the host committee had to drop out for various reasons. I’m in charge of many things, but the silent auction ( which is a huge thing at this conference) has become a huge project, involving hundreds of items, many of which have been delivered to my house ( Q and the mailman aren’t my biggest fans right now!). The conference starts May 29 and goes through June 4th, and I cannot wait for this all to get going. It’s been over a year of planning ( almost 2 actually), so getting to the finish line is definitely all I can think about right now.

With that going on and other life happenings, there seems to be some blah energy around us that needs to get moved out. I’m committed to pushing more positive stuff into life. I’m not one to wish away the calendar days, but I know once this conference is wrapped up that I will be able to relax a bit more and feel at ease. Just getting the clutter of these silent auction items ( there are A LOT of books) out of my house will make me feel better!

Here’s hoping your May isn’t as crazy as mine has been so far!



Currently: April

Loving: the sunshine after work. The time between 4-7 pm is one of my favorite times of day. I’m not as productive as I am in the morning when my creative juices/organizational mind get going, but I love it because it feels like freedom. During the work week, I listen to books or podcasts on my commute home to relax and 40 minutes later, I get home leaving the stress of the day behind. Now that the weather seems to have FINALLY turned to spring in my neck of the woods, I get to go for a walk before dinner, read in my sun-filled sunroom, or do whatever I want.

Loathing: Day-job work drama.

Reading: Some personal discovery/development books as I dream big about what I want next in my life for career. I am eager and wanting for change SO BADLY in my everyday life and both Q and I are determined to make it happen.

Watching: Vice NewsBetter Call Saul, The Leftovers, Veep,  and The Americans.

Anticipating: A super quick trip to Nashville next week ( like 24 hours quick) for a consulting thing and Maine at the end of May for a big national conference I’m helping organize.

Thinking about: Do we sell our house and rent somewhere so we can free up money to pay down my student loans and focus on ourselves and future OR do we refinance and stay put, knowing that the house chores like yard and repairs are ramping up and taking us away from things we want to be doing instead? I think about this at least once a day, with different opinions depending on what’s happening. Like after the fire? Sell. But then reading in my sunroom or enjoying having laundry in our basement? Stay. I’m all over the place.

Eating: Kashi Chewy Nut Bars. Favorites including salted chocolate chunk and almond snickerdoodle. They’re not Whole30, but since we’re not as strict with following it now, they’ve become my go-to on the run snack.

This weekend has some work around the house including cleaning again. Since the fire 2 weeks ago ( also how is it just 2 weeks, as the weeks since have been so long), we had the house professionally cleaned of smoke and soot by a disaster cleaning/restoration company which I am so thankful for, BUT to clean properly, they had to move a lot of things around and while most of it is in tidy piles in our basement and attic, now we have to go through that stuff to get to what we need, put the basement zones back together, put furniture back into its proper spots, etc. I’m not complaining since it could be so much worse, but I look forward to a weekend of true down time for Q and I where we don’t have much going on, errands to run, or things to clean/rake/fix.

Orchids Q bought me the weekend after work exhibit opened-  3 more buds opened since then!


Currently: May

Planning… our trip to California in June. It’ll be Q’s first time to the Bay Area, but mostly we’re just anxious for some time away from work.

Reading… Secrets of Flight (review next week)  and strategically planning what to request next from library or to read from my shelf.

Watching… Game of Thrones, Veep, The Americans, and AMC’s miniseries The Night Manager ( last installment tonight!)

Awaiting…. A work-related conference in Cleveland for the next few days, followed by the long weekend and unofficial start to summer.

Anticipating…. a summer writing/blogging gig with a local nonprofit

Eating… A lot of apples and peanut butter! It’s become my go-to lunch with a yogurt for days when I don’t have leftovers.

Feeling… Like things are in motion for changes and keeping myself open to opportunities and ideas for growth.




Currently- April

Currently recovering from a crazed month of March at work, especially the last few weeks of installing an exhibit.

Thinking about sanity, day jobs, interests, and money.

Loving more sunlight each day

Loathing the lack of spring weather– I think it’s becoming less of a season each year





Here’s a small glimpse at what’s going on in my world…

Watching: Not a whole lot. Game of Thrones is the only show on right now that we’re actively watching, as our others are all done for the season. We finally watched Homeland Season 4 last weekend and have been catching up on all the Oscar nominated films that are now coming out on DVD. We have A Theory of Everything at the moment, which we better watch tonight before it’s kiddo tv/movie weekend.

Reading: Slowly. I’ve said it before, but I have some serious mental block with reading books from my own shelf. I don’t know if it’s because I know I own it or what, but I struggle to get through books that are not from the library. I’m currently reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, which is about Dr. Paul Farmer. The story and the man are fascinating, and this book has probably been on my shelf since college. I’ve been reading a lot of magazines and cookbooks lately.

Looking: For work-appropriate spring/summer tops. Having a hard time finding things that aren’t too trendy ( like high-low shirt hems), too dressy/formal, or don’t have ridiculously large pockets on the boobs.

Listening: To audiobooks feverishly in the car on my commute. Currently it’s A Devil in the White City. Finished The Art of Racing in the Rain last week, which was a delightful listen and book. I like to alternate fiction and non-fiction with what I am reading from a physical book and listening to in the car.

Planning: Our small summer getaway with Little Man, and thinking of other summer adventures we want. Also trying to get Q to finalize a vacation spot for us for late summer/early fall.

Loving: My sunroom. Walking after work again. Change in pace/work responsibilities now that the exhibit is open.


What’s going on in your neck of the woods?



Eating: The last of the banana bread ( with chocolate chips!) I made over the long weekend. I thought it would be one of the last times I used my oven for awhile, but considering it was in the 40s last night, I have a feeling I’ll be baking into June at this rate.

Drinking: Citrus infused water- lemons, limes, an orange. It makes for a much more yummy way to get all my water intake in during the day.

Reading: A LOT. I’m listening in the car to Nothing Dauntedreading Somewhere Off the Coast of Maineand just finished two others and have two more to pick up from the library on Saturday morning. I get into these spurts where I’m feverishly reading and can’t get enough- love it.

Thinking/Planning: About what to do in my backyard. Q & I did a lot of backyard cleanup over the long weekend, and I’ve been plotting about what to do with the space because we love being outside in the summer and want it to be a spot to hang out with others too. If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve seen I’ve (somewhat obsessively) been pinning lots of ideas for our patio, good plants/flowers for shady areas, and so on. My current thinking involves either a nice set of chairs/bench or possibly a hammock….

Trying: To not buy clothes/shoes/product/anything for myself in June. I did the closet changeover and was sort of amazed/disgusted at how many items of clothing I have for the summer. I’m making a very conscious effort to not buy anything in the month of June and also trying really hard to get rid of things. The first part I think will be far easier than the second.

Loving: Having a supportive, understanding partner in Q. It’s just really awesome to have someone be on my “team” in life. Also loving that I’ve come to embrace my homebody status- sure I like to go out every now and again, but I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve created a home and life that makes me feel just as good being around the house as it did years ago when I wanted to go out all the time. Oh how life changes.

Watching: Lots of movies. We have 1 or 2 more of the 2013 Oscar Best Picture nominees to watch and then we’re going to start making our way through older movies, AFI lists, etc. It’s the summer and TV isn’t great, so we’re going to make the most of it. Also, we finally watched Game of Thrones  are are HOOKED. I don’t know why we passed on it for so long, but now we’re big fans.

What’s going on currently in your world?



I’m alive!

I wasn’t kidding when I said this is one of two super busy times of year for me, work and lifewise.

When my museum closes for the winter ( we’re in a seasonal tourist town), I actually get busier working behind the scenes on many projects that can’t happen when we’re open to the public. Photo shoots for next year’s exhibit, Christmas programs, meetings, end of year celebrations, annual regional museum conference- it feels like the month is jampacked with activity, as well as my favorite holiday of the year.

Currently, I’m just trying to keep up with it all, knowing that the slowness of my down time at work and life in the summer is my payoff for this busy rush that will end in April. Sure, I’ll get some down time with the holidays, but for the most part workwise, it’s busybusy until spring. I like that pace of life, even as stressed as it makes me sometime. Last night I did a bit of a brain download of all the random things from the immediate to the longterm( think about a headboard for bed, clean microwave, buy meat) and that seemed to help that feeling that always seems to creep this time of year. I hope I’m not the only one that feels it- that just on the edge of frazzled, stressed mess. Once again this year, I’m trying to push back on that feeling and just do what I want and feels right, not pushing to do beyond my abilities.

As busy as I have been, I love the month of November and this time of year. I love the start of the cold weather, the planning of the Thanksgiving feast, and the fun of the holiday season in general. I’m savoring the moments as I can- even if the days are full and zooming by!

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