February 8 2018

January Reads

Here are the books I read or listened to in January 2018. Check back for more lists of books about once a month.

These are the codes for how I read each book:
(A) = Audio Book
(E) = Ebook
(P) = Paper Book
1 to 5 *s rating system

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1) Stronger by Jeff Bauman (A) ****

2) Reach by Andy Molinsky, Ph.D. (A) ***

3) The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (A) ***

4) Written in Stone [Books by the Bay Mystery #4] by Ellery Adams (A) ****

5) Poisoned Prose [Books by the Bay Mystery #5] by Ellery Adams (A) ****

6) Lethal Letters [Books by the Bay Mystery #6] by Ellery Adams (A) ****

7) Writing All Wrongs [Books by the Bay Mystery #7] by Ellery Adams (A) ****

8) Killer Characters [Books by the Bay Mystery #8] by Ellery Adams (A) ****

9) The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau (A) ****

10) Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic (A) ***

11) The Case for Hope by Lee Strobel (A) *****

12) God Speaks Your Love Language: How to Feel and Reflect God’s Love by Gary Chapman (A) *****

13) The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It by W. Chris Winter (A) ****

14) If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland (A) ***

15) The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau (A) ****

16) Love in Every Stitch: Stories of Knitting and Healing by Lee Gant (A) ****

17) Selected Shorts: For Better and For Worse (Selected Shorts) by Symphony Space, Shahrnush Parsipur, Luis Alberto Urrea (Goodreads Author), Ethan Canin, Sherman Alexie, Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen E. Bender, Kamran Talattof (Narrator), Jocelyn Sharlet (Narrator), Robert Sean Leonard (Narrator), Harold Gould (Narrator), Keir Dullea (Narrator), Joanna Gleason (Narrator), Joanne Woodward (Narrator) (A) ***

18) The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks (A) *****

All of these books were checked out from my local library and downloaded as audiobooks to my phone. I can listen to them in my car while driving to and from work or on errands. I listened to them while getting dressed in the morning, eating my breakfast, and packing my lunch. If I am home alone, I am usually listening to a book while doing other things such as folding laundry and crocheting hats for charity. I was shocked by how much more reading I could get done by listening to the books instead of reading them either electronically or in the actual paper form.

As you might imagine, buying all of these books would be quite expensive, especially as quickly as I go through books. This is only one of the many reasons I LOVE my local library. I did read from paper books or eBooks, but those were the ones I carried along to read in restaurants while we waited to be seated or for our food to arrive. They are not on the list because I have yet to finish them. I find that I really enjoy listening to books. Maybe it helps me remember the times when I sat on or near my mother while she read from storybooks to me as a child? Who knows?

Why the library you ask? Well, other than the obvious money saving aspect of it, there is the fact that I have no intention of reading books more than once with a few exceptions, so I don’t feel the need to own them. If I own a book, I must find a place for it in our house and must on occasion dust it and all the others along with it. Life is too short to read the same books twice, so it is certainly too short to spend time dusting books or finding room for them. That is time I could better spend reading more books!

What is your preferred format? Do you read certain books in one format or another? What determines which format you choose?

I like to see what the front cover looks like, so you can see all of them below.

I actually read the first 3 books in this series in December 2017. This is a great series that I found when looking for writing books and I actually read the Writing All Wrongs book first and loved it so much I started the series and read it (listened to it) all the way through. I had apparently read the first book in the series years ago and never got around to getting the rest from the library.

September 28 2017

Trash to Treasures #2

I had a small problem with my closet door. There were two hooks that used to belong to some kind of a shoe hanger organizer of some sort years ago and that’s long since gone but they’ve hung over the closet door for years. I used them to hang my nightgown and robe up on every day.

Last Saturday, when I was in one of those small hardware stores, you know the kind that has everything you could ever want and only the people who work there know how to find it that it was time to do something to fix the problem. I decided when I passed a set of pegboard hooks on a display that had Little Red Rubber ends on them, that I should think about looking for those little rubber tips to put on my closet hooks to protect my clothing. So, being a female who isn’t afraid to ask for help and having better things to do than browsing a quaint little hardware store for hours, I asked for help locating them. It took a couple of people to find them, but then the guy said oh they were in the bulk hardware aisle, and he showed me where they were. He kindly left me to make my own choice as there were several different colors and sizes to choose from. I suspect the guy had experience in dealing with indecisive females, but I didn’t mind taking it grim there. I picked the two sizes that seemed the most likely to fit what I remembered the size the size of the flat square hooks to be. The black was smaller and the white was the larger. I want sure which would actually fit, so like a female I bought both.

It took me a from Saturday afternoon to Monday night to actually remember to bring them upstairs with me, but I finally did. I took my nightgown off the hook and since the black was the smallest, I tried it first. The black fits fine. I figured I’d go ahead and put the white on top because I had them anyway and it would just be extra padding. (See before and after photos below.)

So now they’re fixed and hopefully, my clothing will last a little longer without getting those annoying little dimples, snags or holes in them right near the tags.

The grand total cost for the project was $0.79 including tax the little black ones were $0.17 each and the little white ones were $0.20 each I got two of each with tax total out the door was only $0.79! It works great, wad all done in just a couple of minutes. Another easy do-it-yourself project I’ve been meaning to get taken care of for 17 years.

So, if there’s something around your house that you’re not happy with, don’t be afraid to find your own answer and see how little or how much it might cost to fix it. You’ll be surprised how much you can do yourself with a little common sense, and if there is anything you can’t figure out search YouTube. What have you been putting off for way too long? Let me know in the comments below, mauve we can figure it out together.

August 17 2017

Trash to Treasure #1

Do you ever wonder how so many companies get your address so they can send you all those free labels you didn’t ask for and will never be able to use? I have, but I don’t let it take up too much brain time. Most of the time, with a name like mine, there is at least one word that isn’t quite spelled right. Even if everything is perfect, I could never use all the labels I get. Since we pay most of our bills online, I probably use less than a dozen address labels a year other than those I put on the annual holiday/winter newsletter. To be honest, I keep the nicest labels for those newsletters and the others I plan to throw away.

Before I toss them, I cut the free stickers off of them. What free stickers you ask? Those cute little designs to the left of the address. Sometimes they are puppies and kittens, sometimes birds, often times they are hearts as the ones you will see pictured here. So I cut carefully to disconnect the address from the cute design and sometimes I even save some of the address portions to use to label books before loaning them out, or keep a few in my purse to fill out the contest entry form in a hurry or share my contact info with a friend with minimal effort.

Recently I got the set pictured here in the mail. As you can see, it came with a few sheets of note/list paper, 2 large and at least 8 small stickers in each of four different heart designs. As a bonus, it also had a two-sided sheet to tell me the symptoms/signs of both a heart attack and a stroke. Hey! You never know when you will need those! None of us is getting any younger you know.

If you have been reading my blog for long and specifically the posts about bullet journaling, you might have already guessed how I use some of these stickers. Below are several examples of how I have used these free stickers to set the theme for my weekly bullet journal spreads.

I have also used them on my calendar in the past to track things like workouts. Kind of like gold stars we used to get on our papers in grade school, but much less expensive.

So, what have you been throwing away that could be repurposed into something usable? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

August 3 2017

Back To School $ Savers

When the month of July comes to an end, it can only mean one thing. It is time to take advantage of all those great back to school sales. Now, some of you may be saying to yourself that you don’t have school age children. That’s fine. There are some really great deals to be had if you watch the ads. We used to buy the limit when we found ten cent spiral notebooks or fifty cent filler paper and composition notebooks.

Glue is another one of those things they like to put on ridiculously low sales. I thought we would never use those four bottles of Elmer’s Glue All that I had gotten super cheap, but then a project would come up where paper mache was called for and then it was the glue to the rescue. You’ll be happy to shop from your personal stash of supplies that you got for pennies on the dollar instead of full price at the grocery or drug store in the middle of the night when your child comes to you in a panic because the project is due tomorrow and they forgot all about it until they were almost asleep.

So my friend, even if you really don’t see yourself using these supplies, consider getting the super cheap ones and donate them to the local elementary school. There will always be students who don’t have the proper supplies and these often end up being purchased by the underpaid teacher. Often times an organization will put together themed baskets for a fundraiser silent auction. There is almost always a basket of school supplies. You can also make a coloring basket with twenty-five cent sale boxes of crayons and dollar store coloring books. The same idea can work with colored pencils and adult coloring books. Perhaps some erasable ink pens and crossword puzzle books would make another nice basket. A nursing home might have some residents who would love to have coloring books and crayons in the activities room for the residents to use. A homeless shelter would most likely be happy to take those unused school supplies off your hands. You may have to think outside the crayon box, but I’m quite sure you will be able to either put the supplies to use in your home or office and if not, then there are countless numbers of places that would be happy to have your few dollars worth of supplies.

Once school is in full swing, maybe September or October, keep your eyes open for clearance sales. We have gotten some wire shelves meant for inside school lockers, notebooks, binders, label makers and all sorts of great stuff that rarely goes on those super low sales at unheard of prices. Many of the things you might use to decorate a dorm room or send your college student off with will be on sale then too. Think about things like twin sized sheet sets, blankets, organizing bins, cork and dry erase boards and that sort of thing. Not typical school supplies, but very useful in many places that are not college dorm rooms or student apartments.

So, have I gotten you motivated to at least look at the sales flyers with a more careful eye to savings even if you don’t have students at your house?

Feel free to tell us about the best deals you have found on “school supplies” in the comments below.