Dog image from 123RF. Rope frame by MandaBean (no longer available). Font is Kristen ITC.
What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Still chipping away at Return of the King. I am making it my goal to finish it before my birthday in July! Also don't think I read as many articles this month as last, and of those that I did read, there weren't nearly as many memorable ones. So this is a short list this time.
- 30 Abandoned Places That Look Truly Beautiful (My Science Academy)
- Mathplants (FW:thinking)
- Metropolitan Museum Sheds Its Metal Admissions Tags (New York Times) - This makes me sad. I still have mine from 1994!
- And a very interesting series of three blog posts from Around the World in 80 Jobs, all worth reading. I had never read this blog before, but the situation is completely inexcusable:
What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: Enjoying the return of Major Crimes, Perception, and Rizzoli & Isles. Not much else going on in TV land (which is funny, since we still seem to watch an awful lot of it!). Certainly more baseball going on than previously.
* New Films: Got a few new ones in this month, some at the theater even! Ah, summer!
- Out of Africa - This was interesting, and I enjoyed it. Beautiful to see and hear (love John Barry!). Very little in this world is better than a relatively young Robert Redford wooing a relatively young Meryl Streep.
- Bulletproof Monk - This was okay but still fun. I figured out the twist way too soon, which took some of the fun out of it. Chow Yun Fat is always great, but this was not a great movie. Just okay.
- Oblivion - We *really* enjoyed this one, much more than I thought we might. Definitely see it. Full musings here.
- Now You See Me - A fun ride, but don't think too hard. Just sit back and let it wash over you. Full musings here.
- Arthur Christmas - This was a different movie. Sweet concept, but the execution was a bit odd in places (perhaps due to being a British film). We liked it okay. Not sure I want to make it part of the Christmas tradition, though.
- Epic - Luke really liked it. Grown ups thought it was fine; not great, not bad. Full musings here.
* Old Favorites: I, Robot, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Anastasia (new for L), Hitch, Wreck-It Ralph (new for L), L.A. Confidential, Aliens, Alien 3, Stranger Than Fiction, The Prince of Egypt (new for L)
What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
We have officially implemented "movie night," at least for the summer. (Not sure if we will be able to continue once school starts, but I really hope so!) I thought it would be on Friday nights, but it has worked out better to do it on Saturday nights each week so far. We have popcorn in spiffy personal popcorn buckets and everything! Luke is really loving it, though I'm not sure if he loves the new movies or the popcorn more. LOL There is a list of pre-approved options that he can select from. So far, we've watched Anastasia, Wreck-It Ralph, and The Prince of Egypt.
What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Mom gifted me with some items during our first trip to Sephora as an early birthday present (above is the combined haul for me from Sephora (Mom's treat) and Ulta (my own money)), including my first Urban Decay eyeliner.I've been hearing about these constantly from my make-up expert friends, and Rimmel quit making my most favorite perfect-for-me liner pencil, so I've been looking for a replacement. They're not cheap, but I could have bought two UD liners for what I've spent on inexpensive replacements that aren't right. I was able to try the Urban Decay testers at the store to check for color, and they have a ton of options. They really do go on like butter! I also got four Sephora nail polishes (white square cap and the three to the right of it) and a glass nail file. Thanks, Mom!! (Ulta purchases were the liquid glitter eyeliners (on clearance) in the front, and the top left 7 polishes.)
What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Other than what is mentioned above, nothing comes to mind.
What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Luke is coughing a lot for no reason anyone can figure out. I wonder if he has a sinus infection, but he's not showing the usual progression or typical symptoms (besides the cough). We'll give it a few more days to go away, then it will be off to the pediatrician. I still had a cough at the very beginning of the month, but it finally dissipated.
And I have been officially discharged from physical therapy! My professional ankle rehabilitation is complete. (And I don't have to use the dreaded BAPS board anymore! I *hated* that thing.) That does not, however, mean that I am at 100%. It just means that the rest of the healing will take time, but there really isn't anything else they can do for me. Just keep up my exercises at home, be sure I am using my ankle as much as I can (but not if it causes pain; discomfort is okay, but not true pain), and wait. To me, the true test will be Disney World next year. If I can do that, with all the walking and getting into and out of rides and such, I'll consider myself "well." Guess we'll find out!
What new things and Pinterest pins I try this month?
Yes, I rearranged and tweaked the question a bit. This just seems to make more sense. I'm trying to just try more new things in my life in general, be they foods, restaurants, recipes, techniques, crafts, experiences, places, etc.
Sephora was new, and though fun, I don't think I will be shopping there too often. Most of what they carry is out of my price comfort zone, though I do like that you can try things there; they have samples of nearly everything out. I called Spain for the first time (for work, but still). Actually, I think it is my first transcontinental call ever; I've called internationally before, but only to Canada. I tried my (burned) hand at steak for the first time.
I tried one of the new pasta dishes at Panera, the penne bolognese. It was okay; the pasta was very under-salted, IMO, but the flavor of the sauce was nice. And I tried one new recipe, from Pinterest, of course: Cracked Out Stovetop Chicken and Rice - Recipe Here (Plain Chicken); Pin Here. (Pinterest has apparently done away with their old embed button, so this will have to do. Will also need to start taking my own pictures.) We both really liked it, DH even more than I. I used rotisserie chicken that I had already chopped up, so it literally came together in less than 30 minutes from the time I walked into the kitchen. Great quick weeknight meal.
What were my accomplishments this month?
In a way, I feel like finally getting back in the swing of things with cooking and new recipes is as accomplishment. Things have been a big off-kilter in the kitchen for a while now, starting with Disney/the ankle. Hopefully, we're back on track now with more cooking/eating at home and trying more new things.
Like steak! I cooked my first steak this month. Definitely an accomplishment! It's one of those things I've been meaning to do, so I finally did (thanks to gift from a neighbor and a defrosted freezer). I actually tried twice this month. The second attempt was a bit overdone, but I think I got the flavor and seasoning right. Will also try a different cut of meat next time (tried t-bone and sirloin so far).
Only about a year left now on 101 Things in 1001 Days (ends June 28, 2014). Not doing so great on that list. Must hop to it!! Goodness, I haven't even updated the link since January. Really should fix that.
What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
Not much, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It's been a quiet and relaxing June, which is precisely what everyone needed! No major behavior issues or injuries, which was nice. We did implement a new "chore for allowance" scheme. It involves a combination of feeding the cats *and* not complaining about doing it, both of which affect how much money he earns in a week. We will add other chores to the list as appropriate.
He was extremely hungry at the end of the month and started tripping over things, which is usually a sign of a growth spurt. Glad we hadn't started shopping for clothes for MIL's wedding yet!
What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
Work was very frustrating, but things did eventually resolve themselves (for the most part) by the end of the month. It was crazy for a good 2-3 weeks, though.
Anything else noteworthy to record?
Can't think of anything.
Monthly Round Up concept courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady, tweaked by me.
Currently feeling: rounded up yet again