101 in 1001 Update #17

What I did:

28. Read 100,000 pages toward 1,000,000 page goal (51,362/100,000) — May reading totaled 2737 pages. Pretty decent showing.

34. Make 250 different greeting cards (220/250) — I made 14 different designed cards this past month. I seem to be averaging 13 designs per month. Loving my progress!

45. Make 50 new recipes (50/50) — I made a yummy Strawberry Lemonade Coconut Water that hit the spot!

54. Try 25 new restaurants (17/25) — I finally got to try Nola in Palo Alto before we went to the Computer History Museum last Saturday. I ordered the Shrimp and Crab Salad Po Boy with Mac n Cheese, but also got to try A’s French Toast Bananas Foster. And we had to order Beignets for dessert. So yummy!

Remaining goals and total:

Friends, Family, and Love
1. Send out homemade holiday cards in December 2x (1/2)
2. Build a snowman
3. Complete 52 once a week photos of Arthur
5. Date nights x 20
6. Complete a Jar of Life
7. Host a tea party
9. Write a personal manifesto
10. Take a picture of myself every first day of the month
11. Give 5 Just Because gifts
12. Give Arthur 25 pictures books in 25 days for December 2016
16. Take Arthur and twins to go see Santa

Crafting and Culture
17. Attend an opera or musical
18. Reread the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit
20. Finish one of my Perpetual Reading Challenges
22. Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all 
23. Watch a meteor shower
24. Attend 5 concerts (1/5)
25. Complete 10 Day in the Life posts (3/10)
27. Tour a factory
29. Finish 2015 and 2016 Project Life book (family and Arthur)
30. Finish 2015 and 2016 December Daily
32. Watch 100 different TED Talks and do a short review/analysis on the blog (new series)
33. Watch/rewatch every Academy Awards Best Picture since the year I was born (1982)
1982: Gandhi
1983: Terms of Endearment
1984: Amadeus
1985: Out of Africa
1986: Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Driving Miss Daisy
1990: Dances with Wolves
1991: Silence of the Lambs
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Shakespeare in Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: A Beautiful Mind
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Million Dollar Baby
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: No Country for Old Men
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The Hurt Locker
2010: The King’s Speech
2011: The Artist
2012: Argo
2013: 12 Years a Slave
2014: TBD
2015: TBD
2016: TBD
35. See a drive-in movie
36. Listen to every song by The Beatles
37. Finish watching every Star Trek television episode and movie
38. Have a Pixar movie month
39. Complete The Artist’s Way
41. Learn Ruby on rails

Food and Drink
44. Take a cooking class
46. Open a cookbook to a random page and make what ever is on it
48. Take a bartending class
51. Make fresh pasta
52. Learn to make a good martini
53. Do a brewery tour
55. Try 5 new to me foods

Health and Fitness
57. Lose 2 pants sizes
58. Walk a 5K
59. Get a massage
60. Take a yoga class
61. Get three pedicures (1/3)
62. Do a spa day
65. Get lasik
66. Get CPR certified again

Travel
67. Stay at a Bed and Breakfast
68. Go on a vacation with Josh
70. Travel to a new state

Philanthropic
71. Give a 100% tip

72. Donate something extra at each MVPA social x 10 (6/10)
73. Pay it forward at Starbucks/coffeeshop

Financial
76. Open an Etsy shop

Miscellaneous
79. Get Arthur’s tattoo
80. Get a passport
82. Learn how to use our DSLR
84. Make a chalk mural on the driveway/porch
87. Complete a coloring book
89. Take an IQ test
90. Play Bingo in a bingo hall
95. Go to a convention (blogging, SU, etc)
96. Dye my hair purple
97. Revamp my wardrobe
98. Take real photos of me for my blogs
99. Post a vlog
100. Go apple/berry/etc picking

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Currently #7

Currently 6:22:16

Watching: The Great Food Truck Race on Netflix. I binge watched season 1 on Sunday. And I’ve since moved onto the next few seasons. It’s something fun to watch while doing chores and writing blog posts.

Reading: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy — I had to put it on hold at the library due to the popularity of the movie. Thankfully it came in last week. I’m sure I’ll be done by tomorrow. Still waiting on N to finish The 5th Wave so we can watch the movie.

Listening: The Hamilton Soundtrack has been on repeat lately.

Making: I offered product shares this new Stampin’ Up catalog. Four of my stamp club ladies took advantage of the offer. Our big ordered arrived today so I’m cutting and packing paper.

Feeling: Just really hot and tired right now. Hoping I get some energy back. I’ve got many weeks left to go in the pregnancy.

Planning: June is basically all planned out so I’m turning my attention to July. I’ve got lots of things to fit in somewhere and still leave time open for rest.

Loving: Really been craving fruit lately. Love how much is currently in season at the farmer’s markets.

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

51l7ECrqMYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Infinite Sea (Fifth Wave #2)

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Putnam 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 300

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Finishing the Series

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

While waiting for N to finish The 5th Wave so we could watch the movie, I picked up the second in the trilogy. The second volume in the series just felt like a bit of a letdown. It was much shorter and focused on action action action. There was hardly any character development. I would have like to get to know some of the characters more. Instead it’s action on every page. After a while, I was tired of the action and wanted things to slow down. Hopefully the conclusion of the trilogy is better…

Ffith Wave:

finishing the series

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

51vucHDzQ-L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave #1)

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Putnam 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 457

Rating: 4/5 stars  Movie: 4/5

Reading Challenges: Perpetual – 365 Days of YA; Popsugar – Movie This Year; Book to Movie

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

So I grabbed this off the library’s Lucky Day shelf on a whim. It hadn’t been on my TBR shortlist. And yet, I’m glad I picked it up. I was assuming this was going to be a wimpy alien invasions story heavy on the melodrama and sap. Amazingly, it wasn’t. I found myself intrigued by Yancey’s world building and characters. I thought Cassie would be our only narrator, but thankfully we get to hear from a few other characters. I got so sucked into the story that I finished this in two days. I don’t know what got into me, but I only surfaced once I read the last page. And then I was disappointed by the ending until I figured out that this is a trilogy. Guess who just reserved the second novel from the library…

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Overall, a decent adaptation of the novel. Of course there were changes, but those changes didn’t fundamentally alter the story or characters for me. The pace was okay. Lots of the slower moments and conversations were cut for time and pacing. I get it. It’s a Hollywood movie. I would have liked to see more character development especially from Ben and Ringer. But I get it. I did like Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan. Good casting there. The actor who played Ben wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but oh well. The twins enjoyed the movie. So I guess it was a win for movie night.

Ffith Wave:

  • #1 The 5th Wave
  • #2 The Infinite Sea
  • #3 The Last Star

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The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

9780525427216Title: The Magician’s Land (Magicians #3)

Author: Lev Grossman

Publisher: Penguin 2015

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 416

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books; Finishing the Series; 52 Books – W25

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

Finally Finally Finally dove into this one. J read it awhile back and warned me that I should reread the first two before tackling the conclusion. I’m glad I did. There were lots of little things that I forgot about that come back int he third book. But overall, so brilliant! This volume has a much better pace than the first two books. Plus we get some great twists and turns that I totally didn’t see coming. And we encounter all the old characters as well as a few new ones. I loved the switching between Quentin’s story and Eliot and Janet. It was nice to return to Fillory and see how the storyline ultimately played out. I would have finished the book in 4 days, but the toddler kept stealing my iPad to play games and would subsequently run the battery down. So It took me more like a week and a half.

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Life Right Now #20

As I look outside my window: Very bright sunshine creating a huge glare on my computer screen
Right now I am: Finished my breakfast, watching Arthur watch Paw Patrol, and finally getting the stamp club order in
Thinking and pondering: How many responsibilities do I want to take on for the Design Team? Big transition of leadership happening and I said I would help out. Just don’t know exactly how much I want to do.
On my bedside table: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig
On my tv this week: We introduced the boys to Hogfather, contiuning our Pratchett movies. J and I caught up on some Veep and Silicon Valley. And the twins restarted The IT Crowd.
Listening to: Hamilton Soundtrack. Every time I put it on, Arthur grabs the microphone and proceeds to sing and dance. So cute!
On the menu for this week:
  • Monday – Broccoli Beef, Rice, Veggies, Dumplings
  • Tuesday – Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Tortellini, Garlic Bread
  • Wednesday – Chicken Ranch Tacos
  • Thursday – Eggs, Bacon, Coffee Cake, Skillet Potatoes
  • Friday – Ham and Potato Soup, Dinner Rolls
  • Saturday – Hot Dogs and Brats on Grill, Chips, Veggie, Fruit
  • Sunday – Leftovers
On my to do list: Finish up some cards, cut and package paper shares, clean downstairs, finish The Magician’s Land (so close to the end!), finish Week in the Life album (so close to being done)
Happening this week:
    • Monday – Nothing…
    • Tuesday – Don Castro Regional Park Beach Day
    • Wednesday – Half Moon Bay Beach Day
    • Thursday – Library visit, errands probably
    • Friday – Nothing so far…
    • Saturday – Asian Art Museum Visit
    • Sunday – Book Club; Happiness Project Check-in
What I am creating: I’ve got a few card ideas for this coming week…
My simple pleasures: All the fruit!
Looking around the house: Arthur’s made his usual mess, but overall the house is in decent shape. Just needs a quick vacuum and wipe down this week.
From the camera: We had lunch at Nola before going to the Computer History Museum on Saturday. A got the French Toast Bananas Foster and N got the Monster Pulled Pork Sandwich. We have so much leftovers, but it was amazing!
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Odds and Ends

Here’s my randomness for the week:

  • This baby is so friggin’ active. Really not looking forward to him at ~36 weeks.
  • My reading has been on fire lately. Already 11 books and we’re halfway through June.
  • I think I need a new planner system… this one is just not cutting it.
  • My bed is so comfy; that is all.
  • So glad the boys enjoy going to the library.
  • Finally caught up with my One Bad Mother podcast. A little sad…
  • Really proud of myself for getting a good daily intake of water. No more dehydration!
  • Passed my glucose tolerance test. Hallelujah!
  • Rewatching Outlander is my current guilty pleasure.

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East of West Vol. 1

41zYlQCG7HL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Title: East of West Volume 1: The Promise

Author: Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta

Publisher: Image 2013

Genre: Comics

Pages: 96

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH!

Of the three random comics I grabbed off the library shelf, this is definitely the best series. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s written by Jonathan Hickman who also wrote The Manhattan Projects. Instead of science, we focus on the supernatural embodied in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I was immediately pulled into the world. Fascinating! An alternate history with some interesting supernatural bits throw in… Must read the next volume.

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