Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 2011 Round Up

Click mosaic to biggify. Created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Nearly finished with Wuthering Heights, which I've never read before. Honestly not understanding the fascination.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: Still going with The Closer, Rizzoli and Isles, Suits, and In Plain Sight. Watched a lot of Murder She Wrote this month, for some reason, usually late at night (not sleeping well). Finally catching Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work on PBS. Saw an excellent GPB special on Margaret Mitchell.
* New Films: There were a bunch this month, so I'll bullet them.
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Meh, though better than the second one.
- Captain America - Really great movie! About as close to a chick flick comic movie as we're going to get; old fashioned, genuine, and romantic.
- Social Network - Well acted, but I didn't necessarily like it; I prefer my Sorkin in West Wing form.
- Secretariat - Pretty good, though I think Seabiscuit was better.
- Don Juan De Marco - Definitely different, but that's pretty normal for Johnny Depp; very sweet movie, though.
- How the West Was Won - Interesting; glad I saw it, and amazing to see all of those classic actors in it, but can't say I really liked it.
- Winnie the Pooh - Excellent entry to the Pooh tales! Absolutely loved it; laughed loud and often.
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - This was okay. Definitely different, and awfully violent and intense for a PG film; too old for Luke for now.
* Old Favorites: The Land Before Time II, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Star Wars, Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Groundhog Day, Atlantis, FernGully, Ratatouille, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tangled, Avatar, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Cars 2 (yes, again, in the theater; went with my best friend while she was here, as she and her daughter hadn't seen it)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
We decided to go out with a bang before clamping down on all spending. As a Christmas gift, we had promised my mom a visit to Fogo de Chao, since neither she nor Dad had ever been. Combine that with our anniversary and our last chance to spend any money, and we made reservations for Saturday. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed the experience. (And I am kicking myself for not having someone take a picture while we were there.) Now we don't need to go back for another 5 years! LOL

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
My dad sent me a new external hard drive, since mine is old and full (only 300 GB, how was I to live on so little! LOL). I now have a lovely new 1 TB drive. I also received a couple of gift certificates to Amazon from my parents and a friend, and a movie gift card from my brother for my birthday. Gave Connie some things for her girls while they were here.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Oh my goodness, do I really get to say it? For real this month? None! I had to change my prescriptions, because I couldn't afford the other meds I was on with our new budget (or lack there of), but that's more of a financial concern.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Visited with my best friend from Texas, and met some old friends for dinner while she was here. My birthday was very low key, just cards and lunch at Olive Garden. I did have lunch with my parents the following weekend on their way home from a trip to New Mexico to see my aunt.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
Alton Brown Cocoa Brownies (yum, need to try again when baking alone), Bubble Up Pizza (good for something different on occasion, needs a little tweaking, sadly not any cheaper than frozen pizza, though does yield leftovers when frozen pizza does not; hmm). We also ate at Figo for the first time with our friends while Connie was here.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
I started buying the Sunday paper, which is definitely unusual.

What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
I've been trying to adjust to some new blood pressure meds (these are less expensive), but my head hurt for nearly two weeks (adjustment, not pressure), and the fatigue has been incredible. After three weeks, it is a little better, but I'm still not completely adjusted. And apparently, I am more stressed than I thought, because I had a complete and total meltdown one day in the last week. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. It didn't help that I had a nibble on the resume (which was nice), but nothing came of it.

What were my accomplishments this month?
How about a 101 Things in 1001 Days update? I completed three new items, and made some progress on some others.

4. Try a new recipe or restaurant every 3 months. Not a bad little goal, and I enjoyed it. I think I'm going to split out the goals for new recipes and new restaurants next time around, though.

6. Send an RAK every 3 months. Finished. I tend to do these secretly, so I can't tell you who/what/how! LOL

99. Make and install a favicon on my blog and website. I had tried to do this more than once, but couldn't make it work. Then I found, which allows you to either download some of their user made favicons and gives in instructions for how to get them to work (that's what I did), or allows you to make your own. It was really neat! All of my blogs and some of my website pages (the ones I actually use, like the 101 Things page) now have favicons.

Speaking of the 101 Things list, I thought I already had item 101 wrapped up (have a new list of 101 things ready by day 1001), but the change in our financial circumstances have caused me to have to drop about 1/4 of the items I originally had! I'm still short 15 or so, and I am really having trouble with the last few. I've got, um, 60 days.

In financial news, I made excellent progress on my price book for groceries, which allowed me to do a Costco price analysis. That showed that we could probably save enough to make it worthwhile, so we joined. We switched to a new cable package to save some money. Get this: we now have (VoIP) phone, plus have all major movie channels (Starz, HBO, Cinemax, Showtime), plus faster internet, and cable bill went *down,* plus we got to drop the land line bill. How crazy is that?! Cutting back on eating out has also caused me to lose 5 pounds in July, bring my total lost since Memorial Day to 13 lbs. To chronicle our fiscal progress and accomplishments, I started a new blog about our frugal experiments.

Speaking of blogging, I finally started blogging about Boston. I started writing the entries in late June, but I waited until I had several entries written before starting to post them because I didn't want too much time to lapse between entries. Really have to get back to writing them, because I'm about out of buffer! LOL I tried making brownies from scratch with Luke, which I also blogged about. The brownies themselves were way yummy, but I'm not sure the mess and frustration were worth it.

In the silly department, I watched nearly all of the longest Braves game in Atlanta history. I stuck with it until the 18th inning, but after 6+ hours and the equivalent of two full baseball games, I had to go to bed! The boys finally managed to win it in the 19th. I've also started participating in the Get Glue community. You "check in" to various things (I mainly use it to track TV shows and movies) and you can earn virtual stickers. But, every 20 virtual stickers you earn can be printed as actual stickers, absolutely free! I know, it's not much, but I managed to earn my first 20 stickers and they should arrive in the next few weeks. I am embarrassingly excited about this.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

Completely missed a weekly photo there. I think I've only done that once or twice before. Anyway, I'm not sure Luke accomplished much this month besides surviving. It has been *so* hot, especially the end of the month. But school starts in a week, so there should be lots more in the accomplishment department next month.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Watched the safe launch and landing of the final shuttle mission. Wondering where the American space program is heading next.

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: finally rounded up

1 comment:

  1. I read Wuthering Heights early in my teen years. And really hated it, or at least hated the characters. I guess that is a sign of a well-written novel, though, right? Now Wuthering Heights just makes me laugh--I overheard a conversation in the ladies bathroom before seeing Jane Eyre about "this is the story with Heathcliff, right?" to which I had to tell them "wrong Bronte". Enjoy the book!


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