This weekend was such a doozy and I want to remember it (especially since M thinks my Project Life stuff is too pricy to keep up all the time). I was gone for work Thursday/Friday and we managed to kick of December with a bang!
We started off with a family friendly 5k in our town – we walked to the start line! M pushed C in the stroller and we had such a blast. So many of my runner mama friends were there as well and it’s always a great time to catch up with them. After walking home, we had a bunch of boring house stuff to attend to during nap time.
After C woke up, we headed to the Columbus Zoo for WildLights. It was so much fun and C loved watching the light show on the lake. We also hung out with the water monitor (not pictured below, there were too many other kids in my water monitor pictures for me to feel comfortable sharing) for many actual minutes. I love our zoo membership!
On Sunday morning, I had another 5k, the Run Santa Run with one of my running partners. We didn’t PR but it was such a blast and there was a free beer at Bar Louie afterwards 🙂 We closed out the day with C ‘signing’ some of our holiday cards and catching up on our advent calendar (yes, we were already behind).
2016 was the year of just surviving, just barely keeping my head above water. Of calling two mile walks and bagged salad self care, of swallowing myself whole and coming out on the other side shellshocked and mourning. Of building a soft, safe nest and ignoring the storm that raged without.
2017 was the year of hustling, running around, running in cirlces and trying to keep it all together. We moved in our house, working from home got so so much harder with a kiddo who can and wants to play all day. Of giving myself grace, maybe too much grace. It was the year of sitting on the couch, watching the news, of hunkering down. Of joining new groups, of being able to watch the storm from the cave door.
2018 needs to be the year operating at a higher frequency. I know I do better when I have a full to do list that is just enough to challenge me but not feel insurmountable. I do best when I expect more of myself. I’m not sure what my One Little Word will be for 2018, but I know what kind of year I’m ready for. One where I shoot bullets into the hurricane if it’s all I have.
It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst Break Ups in History by Jennifer Wright: This was a very fast read and really lighthearted history romp. Highly recommend.
French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon: When will I learn that I don’t enjoy ‘white woman goes somewhere exotic and Learns Something’ books? The food lessons contained within are great (and are better articulated in It’s Not About The Broccoli) but it’s highly mired in commentary on how Americans and French see life eating So! Differently!
I know it’s early but the best time to start is now. I’ve decided to tackle an actual project pan in 2018 and I’m going to get started on moving out these products ASAP. I might have placed an order from Sephora for my birthday and I have some new skincare and a new lipstick headed my way.
- Dr. Jart+ BB cream + Rimmel Stay Matte foundation + Andalou Naturals – The Dr. Jart+ is a half oz sample. I regularly mix the Rimmel and the Andalou and both are getting up there in age and need used up.
- Sephora lip oil – I don’t know why I bought this. It’s just OK.
- Stile Smudgestick in Lionfish – I swear, this is the only eyeliner I used in 2017 and ITS STILL GOING. I have two more that need used too!
- NYX lip liner – I don’t really use this/these so I’m just trying to use them out and get it out.
- BITE double ended lipstick – again, this is old and I LOVE these bright colors. These lipsticks are made with food grade ingredient so they can go off fairly quickly.
- Sleek Blush x 3 in Lace – I’ve hit major pan on this and I wan to use it up! I have another blush in basically the same color (clearly, I like what I like!)
- & 8. & 9. & 10. I want to hit pan on three more pans in my franken-pallet.
11. all my sheets masks
12. Briogo Leave In Mask
13. Sephora Brush Cleaner (this is a total gimme and I’m OK with that)
14. Pacifica Future Youth Mask
15. Freeman Peel Off Mask
16. Vitamin C serum- oh man, I do not like this. I’m going to use it up mixing it into my body lotion.
17. Dr. Jart+ Water Drop
18. Dr. Jart+ Micro Water
Wish me luck!
I wrote about my feelings towards the end of my #readharder2016 journey last year. I have some thoughts and feelings about this year’s challenge as well.
I should preface this by saying that I added a layer of complexity to my own version of the reading challenge for 2017. Inspired by the dominance of xenophonia and hate with the election of you-know-who, I decided I would no longer consume media written by straight, white men. And I would limit the number of white women on the list to four. I did cave a few times this year (The Gift of Fear being the stand out example, worth it in my opinion and a parenting book, co-written by a straight white couple).
But for my Read Harder, I sought out authors of color and I tried to purchase those books whenever I could. I also tried to take the time to review all the books by authors of color on Goodreads – these reviews are vitally important to feeding the Big Data Machine. I want there to be more stories from all these voices; from gender non-conforming individuals, to black women and men and for writing in translation. I did fall short of limiting my number of white women, I have 5 books I consider to be by white women (one is a native French woman) or I cannot tell from author bios on Amazon or Goodreads.
I know that I would never have read as much as I have this year without this challenge. I’ve read 46 books and it’s only the first week of November! But I have also joined a monthly feminist book club locally and the idea of having some sort of assigned reading next year that amounts to 36 books…is daunting to say the least. I was given a book by a good friend in the spring and I still have not picked it up yet. That’s a travesty! In 2018, I’d like to try to find a balance between pushing myself, growing in my understanding of feminism and reading as and for pleasure.
Watching Elijah (Fall Short North #1) by Amy Spector: This short story was for the ‘Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location’ task for Read Harder. It’s a simple story about moving past the terrible things that life throws at you and finding happiness on the other side. Set in my city, this short story was a breeze to read and engaging. I loved all the little details that screamed The Short North to me! I’d highly recommend this novella!
The House of the Spirits by Isabell Allende: Oh man, The House of the Spirits. I chose this as my ‘reread’ task for Read Harder because I remember loving this translated novel when I first read it in high school and then when I read it in the original Spanish in college. Well, I have to say that I’m not sure this holds up for me anymore. I know that my politics have changed and I’ve become even more strident with age and parenthood but the actions some of the main characters take I cannot support and the class issues are impossible to ignore. All in all, I’m a bit disappointed I reread this and the varnish of memory is gone. Island Beneath the Sea and Daughter of Fortune are Allende books I have read more recently and I’d recommend.
Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova: Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power; which, of course does not go as planned. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be really inventive in the fantasy genre. There’s a bisexual love triangle that is smartly, and normally, handled.
Let The Words by Yona Wallach: My LAST Read Harder 2017 book! I am so glad to have finished this challenge for this year! However, I do regret leaving the genre I connect with the absolute least, poetry, to last. I really struggled with this free form collection of poetry, but as always, am glad for this genre which helped me stretch.
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde: This was something I suggested for book club but I ended up missing it as I had the date wrong. What a bummer! I enjoyed reading this classic collection of feminist essays and value Lorde’s perspective on the intersection of race and gender in American society (and how it needs to be radically altered).
The upstairs of our house has this weird landing area outside the main bedroom. It’s too small for an office (and with the knee wall, it would have meant all new furniture) but it’s too large to just walk through on the way to the bedroom. I wanted to make use of the attic space on either side and had M build in some book cases. I originally wanted something wider but that would have required cutting load bearing 2x4s and we weren’t sure we knew enough to properly re-enforce them yet. We ended up with 3 smaller, more modern looking shadow boxes and I love them! They would also be more versatile if we ever want to change up how we use this space (I can see it becoming an office when we save up for new furniture).
What we did:
Removed the old spindles over the half wall up the stairs
Built in 3 bookcases into the pony wall
Switch the light fixture for something lighter and more modern
Add in a new chaise lounge
Hang plants from ceiling
Sew and hang curtains