ABC Reads - February Edition

Happy March 1st everyone! Just the sound of March makes me think of spring. I'm in Alabama this week for work and the weather is fantastic. It's making me yearn for the spring and summer weather. I'm back with Mia and Andrea for the ABC Reads February edition. Let's take a look and see how I'm doing.

B - Beautiful Uncertainty, by Mandy Hale (February 2016)
C - Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith (January 2016)

E - Everything I Need To Know...Disney Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow (January 2016)
F - Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, by Newt Scamander (January 2016)

O - Orphan Train, by Christina Blake Kline (January 2016)

W - Why Not Me?, by Mindy Kaling (February 2016)

What have you read lately?

I Have Cats, But I'm Not Crazy

If you follow me on Instagram, Snapchat (ldybggal), or read my blog regularly, then you know I have two precious adorable cats. Helena and Cosima are my babies. They are my 'children.' No they are clearly not humans, but they are living beings.

People call me a cat lady or even sometimes a crazy cat lady. But really, I'm a mom. I'm a mom to two adorable, sweet, little creatures that depend entirely on me to take care of them, just like children do from their parents.

I feed them every day.
I make sure they have fresh water every day.
I clean their potty every day.
When they don't feel good I can tell, because they act differently.
When they get sick I take them to the doctor and give them their medicine.
When I have to travel for work, I miss them terribly (thanks mom for the snapchats) and I know they miss me, because when I come home Helena goes crazy and rolls all over the floor at my feet.
When one of them gets stuck on top of the refrigerator, because she decided to be adventurous, I get her down.
I clip their claws (aka...their toe nails).
They have a bed time.
We snuggle.
They play.
The tend to get into trouble (fireplace...falling in the trash can...etc).

I love them to pieces and they are my babies!

Meal Planning 101

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This post is dedicated to my dear friend Mia

We all know how much I like to plan. And over plan. And then plan some more!  The kind of planning I'm talking about today is actually reasonable and it doesn't set me up for any sort of let down.

Meal planning is HUGE for me and I do it before every major trip to the grocery store. If I didn't plan my week out in food, then I would end up eating carrots and icing for dinner. Okay, not actually icing, but the point is there would be no rhyme or reason to anything in my cabinets.  The main reason I meal plan is so that I am prepared at the grocery store.  Sometimes it takes me no time at all. Sometimes, like this last Sunday, it takes me two hours.

I like to keep a notebook that I use specifically for my meal planning. On the first page I keep a list of 'go-to' foods that I tend to eat on a regular basis.  This way if I'm feeling stumped, I am able to refer to that page for meal and snack ideas.
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I keep one page per day. It gives me plenty of space to plan out my meals as well as write down what I did at the gym that day. I also like to make reminder notes of what is going on that day. For instance, there are two Tuesdays a month that I have Junior League meetings. On those night I like to have a quick and easy dinner available to me. This week I made a salad and took it with me to the meeting (note the could switch up note below on Tuesday :))
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Like I mentioned earlier, my main reason for meal planning is to make my grocery list. I don't always follow the meal plan made. Sometimes it is really hard to get up earlier enough to make breakfast or by the time I get home all I want to do is make scrambled eggs and heat up left over salmon (like last night). When I have days that like I just take a colored pen and cross out what was planned and write in what I actually had. It helps with future planning situations.

There are tons of different idea out there that come with printables for meal planning.  All you have to do is go on Pinterest. I have used printables before (they are really pretty), but I am much better off with a blank sheet.

That's how I meal plan. How do you do it?

Bookish - Why Not Me?

Oh, Mindy Kaling, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. In a total girl crush way that is. I am Mindy. Mindy is me. Well, she's four years older than me. A famous writer, actress, comedian. But in the essence of a woman, I can relate to her so much! Especially when it comes to dating and body image.

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Here's the synopsis from Goodreads -
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

I read Mindy's first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? a few years ago for my book club and I absolutely loved it. I had no doubt that I would love Why Not Me?  Mindy has a way of relating to her readers. She tells it how it is and how she really feels.

Why Not Me? is broken up into sections. They don't necessarily connect, but Mindy is good and senselessly moving from chapter to chapter. She talks about her short-lived time in a sorority - Sigma Delta at Dartmouth (had she been in Gamma Phi Beta at George Mason I knew we would have been big/little!). She also gives us her take on weddings - she doesn't like them. I absolutely love and appreciate her chapter 'A Day in the Life of Mindy Kaling' where she has her assistant take pictures of her throughout her day. Literally from her 5am wake up time all the way through to her 12am bed time. You really see how hard she works.

The part of the book that I loved and appreciated most what Love, Dating, and Boys Who Ru[i]n the World. There is a chapter in this particular section that she talks about her dating experience with a particular man. From the beginning of their meet all the way to their end (I'm not spoiling anything, I promise) I could relate 100%! Another chapter, in that same section, called 'A Perfectly Reasonable Request' is another relatable aspect of her book.
     What I’m asking for is not that much. I just want a boyfriend who is sweet and trustworthy. That’s it.
     He doesn’t need to have a perfect body or look like George Clooney. I want a guy who wants to curl up on a Friday night and watch Netflix. He can even pick the show. I mean, ideally, it’s serialized and female-driven, and maybe not that boring political one. But honestly, I don’t care. It’s not important.
     All I want is someone reasonable who is basically a good guy. Someone patient, who doesn’t mind if I’m taking an extra few minutes getting ready before we leave the house. But who is impatient with the same things that I am, like when we are waiting too long to be seated for dinner and he should maybe to talk to the hostess. Because otherwise, why did we make a reservation at all?

When it comes to body image Mindy is totally frank about how she feels about the media and their opinions about her body.  In the chapter 'Unlikely Leading Lady' Mindy talks very openly her own body struggles and when Hollywood and the Skinny.

I could talk and talk and talk some more about what I loved about her book. Basically - go buy it! Or get it at the library. Wherever it is that you get your books, go now and get Why Not Me? so you can read it. I loved it!

Currently . . .

Dreaming . . . of being debt free of my credit cards. Soon...very soon! I just made my first HUGE payment in a long time today. It only goes down from here!

Drinking . . . lots and lots of water. I read (or heard) somewhere that you should drink at least half of your weight in ounces of water. That's 78 oz for me right now.  I have a couple diet coke's at home and when those are all gone I am going to try soooooooooooooooo hard to get off the stuff once and for all! Yeah, I say that a lot ;-)

Eating . . . or trying to eat healthy. I haven't done too bad this week, actually. Keep posted and check back on my progress tomorrow.

Listening . . . I just got my Spotify Premium back and I created a bunch of playlists. I have a Broadway Mix, Movie Soundtracks, several different artists, a Rando Pop Mix and on and on! If you have any recommendations for work out music, please let me know!

Loving . . . my kitties! They make me smile so much!

Reading . . . I have four books that I'm currently reading. I know, a lot! I can't help it! For the Literary Trio I'm reading The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto; for #LadyReaders I'm reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. For myself and for fun I'm reading Mindy Kaling's new book Why Not Me? and Mandy Hale's new book Beautiful Uncertainty. I can't help it! I want to read everything!

Wanting . . . spring to show up! I'm ready for it to be warm enough to walk on the Greenway. I'm ready to put the pantyhose away and to wear pretty skirts. I'm mostly ready to lose weight and buy new clothes. Spring is a good time for that.

Watching . . . I recently discovered that the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is on Hulu. I am currently on season 2 and loving the throwback. Her horrible bangs and dark lipstick/gloss. Oh late 1990's!

Wondering . . . where Mr. Right is.

What are you Currently up to?

Challenging Myself

For some reason I am just drawn to challenges. Every time I read a blog post that's about a new challenge I want to sign up. Every time I hear about someone that is doing or has just completed a challenge I want to try it out for myself.

Example #1: My friend Chrys just completed 31 Days of Spending Zero. If you've been around for a while in the blog world you're familiar with Ruth's blog. My friend did it for the month of January and saved herself around $700 in excessive spending. That's insane! I certainly do not have quite that much to be save, but every little big helps. I followed the 'ground rules' and made my lists. I'm not being strict with myself like you're really supposed. I'm using at as away to track my spending. I'm about $15 into unnecessary spending. Go me! haha

Example #2: I recently discovered the blog Ember Grey by a lovely girl named Emily. She has the 12 Months of Bliss Challenge. Emily's challenge is about self-reflection, loving yourself better, as well as random acts of kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. I'm all about that!  The self-reflection and loving myself better are definitely two things that I need to work on. Emily started the 12 Months of Bliss back in June, so she's about half way through it.  February's challenge is about 'sharing kindness over negativity.'

Example #3: Kenzie over at Hello Neverland is hosting a weekly, year long, challenge for Intentional Living.  Every week she will supply a different prompt.  So far they have all been small, very doable, prompts. The prompt that begins tomorrow, February 4th, is to write something every day. Whether it be in a journal, a blog post, a poem, or part of a book (yay for my non existent novel!).

My mentor doesn't like it when I take on challenges or when I set too many goals. Maybe I'm setting myself up for disappointment. I know that I have been am too hard on myself when it comes to things like that.  This is why I really like Kenzie's Intentional Living idea. The weekly prompts are small and small is good.

So, here is to living intentionally!

linking up with mia and shelly for write or die wednesday!