Life By Kristen

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

Archive for the tag “5 on Friday”

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!


5 On Friday (#1)

Even with a holiday on Monday and a snow day on Wednesday, this week seemed oddly long.

1. I’ve not been great this week ( well mainly Wednesday) about feeling at peace with the chaos that is my life right now. Things have mellowed out in terms of things needing to get done from my Dad, but still a few things looming that I haven’t had the energy or focus to start on. I sort of feel like I’m on list overload at the moment both at work and home. I dropped the ball on a few errands this week which I realize is fine, but on Wednesday when the man and I were home for a snow day, I realized my laziness of not running errands/going grocery shopping, were all coming to a point and things were getting a bit lean in the household supply department. I freaked out a bit about being a bad adult and feeling like I had no focus/control. I’m being far too hard on myself I know. No one expects me to keep it all together and I’m doing alright so far, so I should stop worrying. I just keep repeating “peace.”

2. The funny ( funny weird, not funny haha)thing I’m ( and my entire family, most of Dad’s friends/people) learning about grief is how it can come out of nowhere and for the strangest reasons. One night I found myself in tears after hearing some random tv show character say “Hi Dad.” A few days ago it was reading a news item and saying ” Dad is going to have something to say about this.” It’s easy to prepare oneself for missing a person on the expected days ( holidays, family Sunday dinners, etc.), but the small moments where you would have called that person are really where it hurts the most. Again “peace.”

3. I tend to be pretty quiet on here about my love life and that’s something I’m going to stand by fairly adamantly, but I will say that cohabitation with the man is going really, really well. I especially enjoy the thoughtfulness of coffee in the morning, someone else to worry about dinner half the time, and a shoveling buddy.

4. I was out of work for 2 weeks for my Dad and that time away just sent me off kilter enough with my deadlines ( all personal) that even though I’m focused with what needs to get done, the motivation is often lacking. I work on so many long-range projects and exhibits, it’s hard sometimes to get going on something until it feels more immediate. Maybe because of the time of year, the extreme cold, and the desire to just be under the blankets all day, but I have to try really hard every day to get my tasks done. Again “peace.”

5. The weekend includes sleeping in, errands, a first birthday party for a special little boy, and family time on Sunday. I’m also hoping to get back into my Sunday cooking habit to stock the fridge and freezer because as I said before, things are getting pretty lean!

Happy Friday to you all!

5 on Friday: Recent Books

Thanks to my newfound love of audiobooks, I’ve been pushing through my reading list fairly fast lately. Here are 5 fairly recent books that I recommend:

1. I Was Told There’d Be Cake– Sloan Crosley. This collection of essays was great in audiobook format- it was read by the author and her various essay topics were witty, sarcastic, and thoughtful. I especially enjoyed her musings on weddings and being a bridesmaid.

2. Living History– Hillary Rodham Clinton. This massive book ( something like 590 pages) has been on my book list for almost as long as the book has been out. I’ve picked it up at the local library more than a few times, but was either never quite in the mood to read it or just couldn’t get through it. It was perfect as an audio book for this reason ( though I think there were like 22 discs or something). I didn’t particularly enjoy the reader ( there is a version with Hillary herself reading, but it was out and I wasn’t in the mood to wait), but I learned a lot about Clinton’s life I didn’t know ( that she participated in the federal Watergate investigations as a law student, for example) and I very much appreciated her honesty and candidness regarding the various activities of her husband and the strains on their marriage.

3. The Language of Flowers– Vanessa Diffenbaugh. HIGHLY recommend this book for a number of reasons- great characters, short chapters, and the kind of story that just leaves you wanting more. This was a recommendation from a former teacher of mine ( one of my favorites- see tomorrow’s post) on facebook & I got lucky to find it on the new arrivals shelf at the library. The parts about the language/meaning of flowers was interesting enough to me, but really I was just captivated by the life of the main character, Victoria.

4. The Knitting Circle– Ann Hood. Back in high school I read a few books by Hood after she spoke at my high school honor society’s induction ceremony. She’s a local writer and many of her titles have been on my reading list throughout the years. This book is her fictionalized telling of the the time in her real life after her daughter dies. Even though I didn’t care for the knitting parts, the book has really rich characters and it was a quick read, even though the subject deals a lot with sadness and loss.

5. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie– Ayana Mathis. This book was on my reading list, but not something I thought I’d be reading any time soon. It was an Oprah’s book pick recently, and while I like Oprah and am a subscriber to her magazine, I haven’t always loved the books she recommends. What I liked about this was the historical fiction aspect and the span of characters throughout time, but overall, it left me feeling a little meh and leaving me with more questions about characters and circumstances than I like at the ending of a book.

5 on Friday

1. I’ve never needed a three day weekend from work as much as I do this one. Maybe it’s the less than stellar weather this week in SE Mass/RI or just some weird work karma going on right now, but I’m looking forward to an unplugged weekend with those that matter the most to me.

2. In that same vein, I’m having a hard time believing I was in Amsterdam almost a month ago. It seems like we just came back yesterday and yet, I definitely feel the need for another vacation soon.

3. My excitement for planting and yard work combined with the gross weather brought out some nasty allergy stuff this week for me- totally knocked me on my butt. Still have a horrible cough and all stuffed up. My ears finally popped this morning and I screamed with excitement like I’d won the lottery. Seriously, they’ve been blocked for like a week, you’d get pumped too.

4. Twice this week I’ve given out career advice to former interns or younger museum folk. This makes me feel old and awesome at the same time, but mostly in disbelief that I’m at the point where people ask me for advice considering I still feel like a 16 year old most days. I’ve been at my current position 5 years in September ( how the HECK did that happen!??!) and still sort of feel like the new girl, when obviously, that’s definitely not the case anymore. Sometimes I think that’s a bad thing to have been at a spot that long, but mostly I’m in disbelief that it’s been that long since it feels like no time at all has gone by, but in these 5 years I’ve had A LIFE and this job has been the constant rock and frequent refuge from all the junk that was going on with my personal life.

5. I’m not huge into shopping at a store unless I’m in the mood to hunt for a bargain at Marshall’s or a thrift shop, but I’m a huge supporter of online shopping ( seriously I think it might be one of the best 20th century inventions). During the reorganization year of my life, I pretty much banned myself from shopping unless it was absolutely necessary ( like in holes in my shoes). In the past few months I was bad and bought a lot of random tops and things with “special sales” ( I can be such a sucker for a good email marketing campaign). I ended up returning a fair share of things, but I’m working on being very disciplined with my clothing and accessory spending. I’ve done it before with books and have been very successful. I only buy new books if  they are purchased with a gift card, and severely limit my purchase of used books- in fact in 2012, I think I only purchased 2 used books. I’m thinking with clothing the new rule is going to be buying only to replace things I need. For example, my go-to black heels that are both work and going out appropriate kicked the bucket last week with a hole right through the sole. I wore the shoes for at least 5 years ( I think probably more like 7 though) so replacing them with another good quality black heel will serve me well in life.  Part of the clothes buying discipline is not just budget, but also because I realize when I did my seasonal closet change over that I have so much stuff I rarely wear or use, but I still buy anyway. Definitely looking to kick this bad habit in the bud this season!

Hope you all have a wonderful long holiday weekend- take a moment on Monday to remember our veterans like my grandfather who was in the Army during the Korean War.

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