Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Christmas Recap 2016

Saturday- My birthday! I leveled up to 32 this year and I felt just fine about that. 

My parents took me to breakfast for my birthday and then they took Kyra for a bit so that Robert and I could get some things done before we had Christmas as their place that evening. 

Christmas Eve was spent happily enjoying my family, eating loads of tasty food, and of course opening gifts. 

After my parents we headed over to my FIL's house to do more food, fun, and presents!

Sunday- Christmas Day! The morning was spent sleeping in because Kyra was exhausted from the night before. She actually slept until 8:30 am! When she did get up we spent the morning just us three enjoying our Christmas together. 

She might be a little spoiled but hey she is the only one and we do Christmas big around here!

The afternoon and evening was spent with my MIL and again there was huge amounts of food, fun, and yes even more presents! It's a full event when your family is as large as ours! 

My Brother In Law and his SO gave me the Harry Potter Brush set and I nearly cried.

Quick Backstory: Kyra LOVES gumball machines. She doesn't really want the candy as much as she loves putting money in and getting something. Anyhow this lovely cast iron and crystal beauty was my given to my husband by his grandparents years ago. It has been in storage for a long time. This year it passed to Kyra and it is just beautiful and she was so excited to have a gumball machine of her own! (Also those are M&Ms as I personally don't think Kyra is old enough for gum!)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well and apologies that this post took so long to post!
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Best Books of 2016

I didn't get as much reading done this year as I would have liked and some books I wish I would have skipped but here in no particular order are my top picks for 2016! 

A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard-A book I picked up on a whim simply because the title struck me. Some amazing stories from the authors time as a paramedic. Some things are just to real and this book has some really wild stories. However it was a really awesome and fast read! Maybe not for the squeamish though!

You by Caroline Kepnes This book was creeped me out for WEEKS afterward. It sticks with you in a way that I cannot describe but I still find myself recommending it to friends who don't mind feeling completely uncomfortable and maybe even a little terrified. Disturbing is taken to a whole other level in this one.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting- This book was MESSED UP. I still feel weird about putting it in my top books but the fact is the writing was brilliant and the story, while completely awful and horrifying, is something that you will not forget. Again this one is not for the squeamish or for those that might be triggered by sexual abuse. It's intense.

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly- This book was so different from what I expected. I loved the main character Kymera and while the story had some predictability to it, it still didn't end the way that I expected. A really wonderful YA book and the start of a promising series of books.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King-I am a Stephen King fan for the most part. I can't say that I love all his work but I still love how he can really terrify me. This set of stories had it's moments that were slow but I still find myself thinking about the really scary ones ever so often. Some ghost stories just can't be shaken I guess. And since I can't seem to let it go this one had to make my top list.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton- I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy this book. It is so different from the films and normally when the film and book are so different I get pretty annoyed. However I like the film for what it is and I liked the book for what it is. The narrator was really amazing for this one on Audible and I am really glad I purchased it so I can listen again and again.

Elite by Mercedes Lackey- The second book in a series that I am just in love with. I really enjoy Lackey's books and this new series is amazing. I love the characters and this whole new world that she has created. HIGHLY recommend if you love fantasy and distopian type books! I want to gush more about what I love but I don't want to spoil it for anyone!

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick- I adore Anna Kendrick. I find her very relate-able. I would recommend this book be listened to as apposed to read. She narrates it herself and I think that adds to the book immensely. I laughed out loud many many times and I really enjoy her quirky nature. If you are a fan of hers then it is a must read! 


Be sure to join the linkup and share your best reads of 2016!
Life According to Steph
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Confessions 12/21/16

1. I confess that I had part of this post drafted for a totally different post from last week but Kiya got  really sick on Friday and the post never got published. I was scared that she wasn't going to make it and admittedly got completely distracted. I am happy to report that she is doing just fine!

2. I confess that I have been adding artwork to Robert's lunches. This one from last week was my favorite response however. It is supposed to be a squinty face with tongue out. 

 3. I confess I got a real kick out of the UPS guy making a tower of our packages. It's like they are their own little Christmas tree!

 4. I confess I had a really great time last week at the play date. I loved getting to hang out with another mom and Kyra had such a good time playing with her girls! I hope we can continue to meet up and hang out because it was really wonderful to hang out with someone who gets that you will be interrupted at least twenty times a minute.

5. I confess that I have had this song on repeat since I heard it last week. I love it. 

So what are your confessions for the week?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My "Must Watch" Christmas Movies

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated Version ONLY)- I am not a fan of the live action version at all. The story is completely backward from the original tale and while certain parts make me laugh out loud (Most of the Grinch parts) the Whos in Whoville make me really sad. They are supposed to be the moral center...not the Grinch!

2. Muppet Christmas Carol- I remember going to see this with a group of friends at the movies. It was actually for my birthday and there were twelve of us and seriously my parents must have been crazy. However the movie is brilliant and still tugs my heartstrings each time I watch it.

3. Home Alone 1&2- Classics. Usually watch these while putting up my tree.

4. Elf- A newer classic but still a classic in my opinion. Funny and ridiculous and perfect for when the holiday stress starts to get the better of you!

5. Love Actually- I was late to the party in falling in love with this one but honestly it's just sweet. I love following all the different story lines that also connect in one way or another. Plus Hugh Grant dancing is the BEST.

6. The Holiday- So many beautiful quotes from this movie and so many hilarious and wonderful moments. I laugh and cry every time I watch it. Kate Winslet is just brilliant.

7. The Family Stone- I saw this movie with my mom and bawled like a baby. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and is our family stone. Also the two main brothers (Luke Wilson and Dermot Mulroney) are basically just like my own brothers. Also I am both the older sister and the mean sister. I had to be both since I am the only girl.

8. Little Women- Okay so this isn't really a Christmas movie but I love the Christmas scene where they have the lovely breakfast all put out and then give it to the family in need. I mean if that isn't Christmas spirit I don't know what is.

9. Jingle All the Way-Pure fun and hilarity. Plus my brother does the "Put that Cookie Down!" bit and it cracks me up every time.

10. The Santa Clause- I still find this movie magical even years later. I am happy to report that it is currently on Netflix if you haven't gotten the chance to see it!

11. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer- Another absolute classic and one of Kyra's favorites as well. She loves to see the reindeer fly. Also she really liked the Bumble.

12. Miracle on 34th Street-I ususally watch this one on Thanksgiving because that is technically the day it starts. I prefer the newer version to the old one and the scene where everyone posts that they believe still makes me cry. Yes I am a bit soft mushy person on the inside. 

So what are your "Must Watch" Christmas movies? 

Okay so you will note that Christmas Vacation is not on this list. There is a reason! I was only introduced to this movie a year ago.....not kidding. So I've only seen it all the way through once! 

Another note* I Forgot to add A Christmas Story to this list as's not a "must watch" but it usually gets watched because TNT airs it for 24 hours during Christmas Eve anyhow so eventually I see it at some point.
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Currently.....December 2016

Working On: Getting through all the Show Us Your Books linkup posts and the Best Books of 2016 post!
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Watching: A bunch of YouTube Vlogmas videos because I love looking in on the day to day lives of strangers I guess. Also Christmas Movies. All of them.
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Reading:  Life, Love and Lemon Pie is on the nightstand right now but I'm also like half started on six others. I can't seem to settle down to a book this week.
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Loving:Lipton Black Tea Vanilla K cups. Seriously these are a game changer. So delicious! I only had a little sample of two and I am already trying to hunt down more!
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Excited: About the holidays of course but mostly for Kyra to open her presents on Christmas morning. She is old enough now to start really getting excited about Christmas and Santa!
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So what are you up to Currently?
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What I Read...November 2016

 So many good books this month! Totally made up for the lackluster reading in October. I cannot wait to share with you all!

1. Suck In Your Stomach and Put some Color On! by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson - This book as Steph so nicely puts it Passed the Time just fine. It was funny and a quick read though at times repetitive. Some of things that her mother said however rang right back to my own childhood and that was when the book was the most hilarious! I'm not from the South....though some may consider Missouri the south....I don't really think so...anyhow while I'm not a Southern Belle by any means I do remember many of these sayings being said to me as I grew up!

2. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert  - I love books about food. Seriously. I saw this at Target and put it on my library list immediately. I read it in a day. I loved the characters and though I knew the basic outcome/premise of the story it was written so well that I didn't mind. In fact I was just eager to see what happened. Also I wanted to go to Milwaukee immediately and try some of the foods they talked about! A really great read and will most likely be added to my home library very soon!

3. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman- Picked this one up at the library just spur of the moment and I am so glad that I did! This JF book made up for all the bad YA books I read last month! The story is very entertaining and fun. I will be reading this one to Kyra when she gets older for sure! I liked the puzzles and the characters. I also really want to play the Book Scavenger game, it sounds like a blast!


4. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick- This book was hilarious and I am SO glad that I got the audio book version since Kendrick reads it herself. I feel like I can completely relate to her social awkwardness and I loved hearing her stories about how her career began and what it really felt like during the process. Funny and quirky and very enjoyable.


5. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton- I actually got this one on Audible at the request of my husband and started listening one day while I was cleaning and was immediately hooked. I love the movies but I had no idea how intense the book was! Normally you either like the book or the movie more (normally the book in my case) but I have to say that I like both equally. There were some major differences between the two and that made the story even more intense when things didn't go exactly as I thought they would. Very much enjoyed this and immediately downloaded the second book as soon as I finished it! 


6. The Lost World by Michael Crichton- VERY different from the movie and very different from what I expected! I really enjoyed this book though not nearly as much as the first one. I have to say that I grew pretty weary of a main character always getting hurt and then getting drugged up being used an excuse for rants/tirades/exposition. Other than that I loved the narrator and would have liked to see more of the strong female characters that were in the book in the actual movies!

7. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso- This book was just okay for me. Honestly it felt more geared to a young twenty something as opposed to my age group so that might have been the disconnect there. It wasn't bad by any means and I feel like those that are just entering the job market and wanting to learn and possibly even excel this would be a good one to read. It passed the time just fine. 

All in all some great reading this past month! Now it's crunch time to finish before the year is up! 

Life According to Steph
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thoughts and Confessions

Every time I sit down to read/comment on a blog I get distracted. I'm like that dog Dug from UP. Seriously I have no idea where my focus has gone but I need to get it together again. 

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I am still working on my pictures/blog for the recap of my girl's weekend. I am the SLOWEST ever at recaps I swear. 
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I really wanted to do Vlogmas but  (1) I can't find the charger to my camera.  (2)I don't trust my phone to make a good recording. (3) I worry that I am boring. 
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After the awesomeness that was having my girls in to visit I have gone right back down the bummed out rabbit hole. Things are just tough right now and I feel like I am just treading water. I am not going to get super personal on here but I will tell you all that I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life. 
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I think I might have made a mom friend at story time last week. We actually set up a play date for our kiddos so fingers crossed that I might have found someone with kids to hang out with. 
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Blogging has been on my back burner lately but that isn't because I'm not writing posts or uninterested. It is honestly because I've been so busy trying to figure out life stuff. My blog is a passion project and thus I don't make money from it. I'm okay with that for the most part as I love coming here to write either way but I need to focus on things that also bring in the monetary stuff. 

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I am ahead of the game on presents so far and I actually have all of the ones that I have bought wrapped and under the tree so I feel pretty awesome about that!
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I confess I am so anxious about finishing my Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I have seven books left for the year and while this last month I have been a powerhouse of reading I am scared I won't finish! 
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I confess that I learned more about the city I live in this past week than I have my entire life. Literally even in my own hometown. Apparently I am a hermit that needs to get out more. 
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Face Masks are equal parts awesome and horrifying. 

Happy Wednesday Everyone. 
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