Clothing Low Buy – January 2019 Month One Review

Okay so a month or so ago, I announced that I intended to set out on a clothing “low-buy” for the whole of 2019. What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that I’m giving up shopping for clothing entirely – but that I’m changing how I am shopping. I’m buying second hand, or from ethical shops (fair wages, environmental impacts, etc.) for most things (some exceptions, see the original post – linked above). Every month my intention is to review how my progress on this goal has gone and to share it here. Let’s get into month one. 🙂

Clothing Low-Buy – January 2019

-The first thing I did was go through all of the clothing I already own. I don’t really feel that I own too much, especially considering that I don’t actually have a closet, but through the process of decluttering, I filled up quite a large garbage bag and drastically freed up space in my t-shirt drawer. I went through bags and shoes too. I’ve never had a ton of either, but I was able to find a few that I no longer wanted. It also inspired me to go through all my beauty and skincare stuff – that was another experience entirely!!

Clothing donations – a few bits went to eBay, but everything here was donated.
This is literally just headbands. Over FIFTY headbands!! I can’t even wear freakin’ headbands!

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February 2019 TBR + January Recap

This is big. I think this might be the ONLY time ever, where I’ve been able to say the following: I READ MY ENTIRE TBR!!! Okay, so it was only four books – small fish for most of you out there, but I was trying to stay somewhere between aggressive and realistic when I put my January TBR together, and I did it! I read all four books and then some!

In this post, I said that my goal was to read 50 books in 2019. I also shared the four books that I hoped to read in January. I made it through all of them, plus some others that I picked up from the library. My local library is a rather small one, but I love that our county system allows you to request books (or other materials) from any library and have them sent to the library of your choosing. It’s $0.25 to have a book sent from anywhere in the county, to the library five minutes from my house. You can’t beat that! In an effort to be more frugal this year, I’ve been trying to utilize my library a bit more (I’m also no longer buying books on Amazon…or really, much of anything, but that’s a whole different story)! I’ve never had anything against the library, I just also love collecting books, so sometimes I need to curb my book buying a bit. 😉

In total, I read EIGHT books in January.

Here’s what I read:

  • Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  • My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper
  • I’ll Be There For You – The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller
  • #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy
  • If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
  • Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery (#2) by Jenny Colgan
  • Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery (#3) by Jenny Colgan

You can see my ratings for everything I read over on my Goodreads page (feel free to friend me over there!), but I think my favorite book this past month was Little Beach Street Bakery (the first over the two that follow in the series). I’ve learned in the past year or so, that I really enjoy chick lit – especially when set in England/UK/Europe. I’m realizing that there’s perhaps a bit of an escapism theme in the entertainment I’ve been enjoying, especially in recent years. With such a messy reality, who can really blame me?

Grad school started up again at the very end of the month, and I have to admit that I haven’t opened a book for pleasure in a few days, but I’m still trying to be hopeful that I can continue making time for personal reading goals despite everything else. I’m keeping it simple again this month with a four book TBR, but I’ve also got some holds from the library that I’m in queue for, so we’ll see what happens there (I’m number 33 in line for one particular book!).

February 2019 TBR

  • Betty White In person by Betty White
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
  • Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell
  • The Many Lives of Doctor Who by Richard Dinnick

Every book on this list is from my own personal collection, and has been sitting on my shelves for a bit, except for the Agatha Christie. I’ve always wanted to read her books and when I came across a whole bunch at the thrift store recently I picked them up for super cheap figuring it was worth the risk since it’d be cheaper than one single book new!

The Doctor Who book is a graphic novel / comic and Missy recently reviewed it if you’re interested. I figured it was perfect for my TBR this month since I was looking for light and simple to try and keep my reading momentum going!

I’d love to know what is on your TBR this month, and what you’ve loved reading in January! Lets talk about it in the comments! Of course, if you’ve ever got suggestions for me, I’m all ears!

Happy Reading!

Doctor Who: The Many Lives of Doctor Who – Richard Dinnick – REVIEW

Hey guys – so I know Tina tends to be more of a book-lover on the blog than myself, but one of my goals for this year is to read more as a way to expand my knowledge as well as to give myself and my eyes, some much needed “R&R” away from screens. I intentionally set the bar low on my Goodreads with only 10 books because I know it can be hard during the school semester to read for classes let alone for myself. Plus, I want to get back into the habit of reading more!! I remember when I used to whizz through books during high school so my hope is to return to my former reading glory of satiating several books monthly. Considering I’ve already read four so far this January, I’d say I’m doing well!

The latest book I’ve finished has been the graphic novel Doctor Who: The Many Lives of Doctor Who from Richard Dinnick. I’ve been learning that I enjoy reading graphic novels. I used to read manga and have more recently enjoyed reading the March historical trilogy from Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and earlier this month, I polished off Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. It really shouldn’t surprise me that I like graphic novels so much, seeing how I loved reading the comics as a kid (I absolutely loved Opus the Penguin).

I’m also quickly becoming a Whovian. I’ve been working my way through watching both the Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor, and my eventual goal is to watch every single Doctor. I’m no where near done, but I have a basic understanding of both the order of the Doctors and some of the creatures from the iconic British science fiction program. Now that I’ve explained that, let’s talk about the book itself!!

The book kicks off right as the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) regenerates. While the regeneration process takes place, The Doctor revisits past incarnations of himself as a means to prepare the latest and current Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) to travel through space and time dimensions. While I mentioned before I’m not yet as well-versed in all versions of The Doctor, I think this book was a fun read despite that and it’s not really necessary to have that knowledge to read it. The fourteen different stories from prior versions of The Doctor provided a really enthralling read as they travel through space and time from New York in the 1980s, Northern Italy in 49 B.C.E, and beyond. The stories not only feature the 14 different versions of The Doctor but also incorporates some of the beloved companions, other characters, and creatures like the Daleks and Cybermen throughout the series. The stories also incorporate various established characteristics from the series such as The Doctor’s distaste for pears. Regardless of how much you may or may not know about the series, this book does a good job about making a series of short tales that are captivating without needing extensive knowledge about everything within the Doctor Who series.

The stories in Dinnick’s book would be nothing without the mesmerizing illustrations. The illustrations within are individual masterpieces as each story was done by different illustrators. Like each incarnation of The Doctor, the illustrations have their own discernible creative differences but every illustration is both authentic and gorgeous visual representations in their own way. I think one of my favorites were the illustrations of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor – they’re absolutely adorable and fun and made me want to switch to watching the Fourth Doctor now!

Whether you’re a fan of the longstanding sci-fi series or just looking for an in to the Doctor Who fandom (I’d say that this book is a great way to enter this world, that can honestly feel overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar), this book is a very short read and if you’re anything like me, will leave you wanting more. The book earns a 3.84 rating on Goodreads, but I personally would’ve given a higher rating of 4.5. It is absolutely brilliant and it’s safe to say I want to dive further into Doctor Who graphic novels!!

Double Vision: Sitcoms & the Great Recasting

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – you’re watching a TV show and you notice that one actor who was on the show in its first few seasons, is back as somebody else. Well, I recently noticed this with Golden Girls when in one of the episodes Rose was dating a guy named Arnie Peterson who looked really familiar. Turns out the character was played by Harold Gould who would go on to portray another of Rose’s love interests with Miles Webber. A whole dissertation could be devoted to the way Golden Girls reuses actors or has several actors playing the same characters, but it’s not just Golden Girls that I’ve picked up on this, it’s sort of a whole thing…

 

Harold Gould as Arnie Peterson (left) and Miles Webber in The Golden Girls.

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Why I Hated The Last Season of The Office

So I’m probably one of the last people out there to watch The Office (what can I say I’ve been living under a rock), but it was one of my goals for the new year to finish watching every single episode of the show which spanned the course of nine seasons. I started watching the show around the time I was finishing my undergrad and I quickly understood why it’s such a favorite. But I have to admit that in contrast to prior seasons, the last season just wasn’t as good in my opinion. Hear me out – it wasn’t all bad, but there were definitely things I thought could’ve been better about this cult favorite show’s final season.

The Bad, The Good and The Ugly

First off, I really hated the way that Andy just up and left everyone (especially Erin) to be on a boat/in the Bahamas for three months! I know comedic writing makes sure to incorporate the foibles of characters, but it just seems rude that Andy would make such a profound misstep after telling Erin that he loved her, by acting like such a jerk during season nine. One of my other gripes about the last season were the conflicts between Jim and Pam. I really felt uncomfortable with the way Jim was splitting his time between Philly working for his company Athlead, and working in Scranton part-time at Dunder Mifflin. All while Pam was left to hold down the fort as a single mother. I was conflicted – I wanted Jim to follow his dreams, but also I could see the strain being put on Pam and felt sympathetic for her. Especially as there were several moments during the season that I felt Jim was being really dickish to Pam unnecessarily (say for failing to get a video of Cece’s ballet recital)! I just felt like after watching Andy and Jim for so long, they suddenly were acting completely out of character. Here were two guys who at one point, would have done anything for the women they loved. Everyone is entitled to their missteps in life but it just felt like too much. Long gone were the twelve days of Christmas and teapots with secret love notes.

It was hard (that’s what she said) to watch the ninth season with the roller coaster ride that Angela and Dwight’s story lines had become in the final season. Angela finds out that Robert is cheating on her with Oscar, but she continues a short lived facade of a happy marriage to The Senator. Dwight then asks Angela for assistance caring for his elderly aunt as the two reconnect, but any hopes of the two reuniting are squashed by Angela’s mention of her husband Robert. Dwight soon ends up romantically pursuing his neighbor Esther while Angela’s marriage to Robert continues to unravel when during a televised press conference he comes out as gay. The results end up providing one of the sweetest moments from Oscar as he offers a place to stay after Angela is evicted.  It’s difficult because you just know that Angela and Dwight belong together!! The will they, won’t they of their relationship extends dangerously close to the end of the final season. I’m just happy there was a happy ending, or this entire post would be one long bitch about how they belong together!

Another area of frustration for me was the warehouse mural. Pam’s artistic skill is so underappreciated throughout the show and few really seem to acknowledge it (I’m still a little choked up from Michael’s reaction to Pam’s paintings in the Season Three episode “Business School”) so when someone defaced the mural (with butts, really?!?) that she was working on in the warehouse it really bugged me, but then we find out who did it. Is it just me or does Brad William Henke (who portrays new warehouse worker Frank) play the whole douchey antagonistic type of character really well as evident by his character in Orange Is The New Black? Things were definitely made better when we were provided another sweet instance of Pam and Dwight teaming up as they painted on his truck together. It can’t be said enough – Dwight and Pam’s friendship throughout the show is seriously underappreciated!!

This might be controversial, but for me, one of the highlights of season nine was the exit of Ryan Howard’s character. I did miss the sass that Mindy Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor brought to Dunder Mifflin, but I’m not going to lie – I absolutely couldn’t stand Ryan so I may have clapped when it was mentioned by Toby that he had left (sorry, not sorry)!!

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In a 90s Kinda World, I’m Glad I’ve Got My (DVDs): Physical Media in a Digital Age

I’m a creature of habit. In most scenarios, I don’t like change. Change taunts my anxiety and makes me feel threatened, uncomfortable, and like I have lost whatever control or trust that I might have had. I love a good routine and dependability. Knowing that I can trust a certain aspect of my environment to be consistent is incredibly valuable to me. When I turn on the television at night, I take comfort in seeing The Golden Girls, or Frasier on my screen. Not only are they funny and entertaining, but they’ve become reliable aspects of my routine. I enjoy watching my sitcom reruns, but more than that, they keep me company late at night when I often struggle to find comfort, or sleep.

I’ve always had a pretty dysfunctional relationship with sleep – I remember as a kid closing my eyes and thinking, OK, if I fall asleep right now, I can get five hours of sleep before I have to get up for school. I got in trouble for reading in bed by the light coming through my window, or seeping in my room from another You’ll ruin your eyes!, my mom would scream. Check mate mom – I’ve worn glasses for years (though, I DON’T wear them for reading). I used to love going to sleepovers at my maternal grandmother’s house because she was a night owl. We’d watch I Love Lucy together, or The Golden Girls. We’d head to the grocery store at midnight, cruising around and stopping for DIY sandwiches in the car made from the deli and fresh bread we had bought. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not as much an insomniac as much as someone who just isn’t meant to ascribe to normal sleeping patterns. I’ve come to realize it’s sort of a family thing – my aunt, mother, and sister are all night owls. The difference being for them, is that they can all fall asleep quickly. Me on the other hand, not so much.

Which brings me back to my beloved sitcoms. I welcome their company every night because they’re so familiar. Often times, I find myself lying awake not simply due to insomnia, but because of painsomnia. My joints, nerve pain, or some other discomfort like to keep me awake at night. So having Rose Nylund, Roz Doyle, or even Lucy and Ethel to hang out with me is a nice comfort. But come October, I find myself at a loss because Hallmark likes to go crazy for Christmas and removes their overnight sitcom reruns in favor of their Christmas movies. So I surf around looking for other sitcoms to take comfort in. Luckily there isn’t much of a shortage, and I am grateful that multiple channels air them. During Christmaspalooza, I’m often watching The King of Queens, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, The New Adventures of Old Christine and others.

Christmas has come and gone, and generally, the start of January means that Hallmark goes back to their regularly scheduled programming. This year? Not quite. They’ve changed the schedule, eliminating shows, extending some and reducing others. This creature of comfort was not happy. But I’m not writing this just to bitch about how a television network messed up my routine (although, they did and I’m not gonna lie – I’m bitter about it), I’m writing this because it got me to thinking about a larger issue that has been on my mind a lot recently: digital vs. physical media.

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Build With Us! Sims 4 Build Challenge – January – #Sims4PubCrawl

It’s a new year and I’m excited to introduce a new series to the blog with Sims 4 monthly builds. You may know I’ve been playing The Sims since its initial series of games (I still have the complete The Sims game disc and can remember the graphics that seem so primitive in contrast to the game today), but I feel like despite the many (many) years that I’ve been playing, I very rarely share what I’m up to in the game, or the builds that I create.

So I’ve decided to create a thing! I was thinking that in a way to get myself to share my creations, we could all do it together. Starting this month, I plan to share a different themed build on the blog each month. I’ll be uploading each one to the gallery and I hope that you will feel inspired to join in and do the same!

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