Monday, June 30, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.110

In a small cafe
( via Stefano Corso ) 

maudlin adj. [ˈmd-lən]: self-pitying or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness (via)

Having not seen one another in years, their reminiscing soon grew maudlin as they thought of what might have been.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

link love

♥ What better way to start this week's link love than with 10 Things I Didn't Know About Neil Gaiman Until I Wrote a Book About Neil Gaiman. Could he be any more delightful?
The death of the American mall
♥ I love quantifying books, like these 5 Gothic Novels, By the Numbers
An Alternative to Stronger Female Characters: Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl
♥ 7  Things Only Chronic Overthinkers Will Understand (I don't necessarily agree with all of these, but there are some heavy hitters)
♥ A style analysis of Batman Beyond. Gotta love predictions about life in the future from the 90s
Library cards from around the U.S. (what does yours look like!?)
♥ I'm guilty of letting uncertainty and negative thoughts spiral out of control. Kyla Roma shows you how to get your negative thoughts back on their leash
♥ These 5 summer camps for adults look quite fun, says someone who hated summer camp and plotted my way out of it every year
♥ Can you love a flawed novel?
♥ Ever wonder what classic novels would be called if they were told from another character's perspective? In response to J.K. Rowling's Draco Malfoy series imagining...
♥ This is your brain on writing




This might be the single greatest thing ever.
What fun links have you found this week?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reading Healthy with Sam of In-Aeternum

Sam of In-Aeternum is here today to share some all important reading tips that perhaps we don't always think about: how to stay healthy while you read!
( source )

In the blogging community, we have a strong presence of avid readers. My name is Sam from In-Aeternum.net and I would like to share some tips for healthy reading habits. I am currently writing a PhD, so I spend a lot of time reading for my work and when I am done with that for the day, I love to pick up a book as an evening leisure! So for me, like many others, it’s important to understand and practice healthy reading.

Ideally, it’s recommended to read at a desk, with both feet flat on the floor with the book elevated as to avoid bending your head down, but let’s be realistic! This isn’t always how we read. Generally we will curl up on the lounge with a book or lay in bed reading at the end of a long day and these positions are really not great for your overall health and wellbeing. Especially if reading in these positions is regular like it is for me! But we need to be realistic and there are a few things you can do to reduce the strain on your body while you are reading, whether it be laying on your bed or in more traditional, recommended positions at a desk:
  1. Light  // It is important that you have adequate light. Your poor eyes are working all day long and reading places extra strain on them. So ensure that, wherever possible, you are utilizing natural light (e.g. from the sun) and in low light situations make sure that you have a lamp or light source close to you. Even when reading at night with the room lights on, it is recommended that you sit with a light source close to you. 
  2. Eyes // While we are on the topic of eyes, it’s good practice to get your eye tested once a year. You may need reading glasses if you do large quantities of reading or if you are experiencing headaches, eye twitches or if you are feeling tired quickly. The test only takes about 20 minutes and glasses can be quiet inexpensive, so is worth doing to avoid long-term eye damage. 
  3. Posture // As mentioned above, obviously sitting at a desk is the best practice for overall health but a few things to consider about your posture when reading can be applied to any position that you are in from laying down to curling up in an arm chair. Be conscious of your shoulders and ensure that they are relaxed. Especially if you are reading something stressful (like crime or horror) or if you do not understand something you are reading. Where possible, keep your back and neck straight and try not to twist you hips or legs to the side. Do not bend your neck down to look at your book. If needed, prop books up with pillows and cushions to ensure that your head is tilting as little as possible. Finally, if you do have pre-existing back or neck problems, talk to a chiropractor or physiotherapist about the best posture for your body when reading. 
  4. Time // It is important to take regular breaks, especially for people that are reading as part of their job. Get up and walk around at least once an hour and stretching every half hour is recommended. Simple stretched such as tilting your head to one side and the other, rotating your head and neck slowly and soft arm stretches can make a big difference. Make sure you regularly focus your eyes on something in the distance to give your eyes a rest and sometimes closing them all together is the best way to give them a break. Just don’t fall asleep!
What do you struggle with when you are reading? Do you have any extra tips to reduce the strain of reading on your body?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Summer is officially in full swing, and oh, has it ever felt like summer! I'm not a fan of the heat, but I find that if I focus on little things like iced tea and bright pedicures, I'm much more likely to survive the day (and subsequent 2 months).

In an attempt to beat the heat and continue my summer philosophy of never getting out of my pajamas, I've been spending my days working on some scrapbooking and watching copious amounts of Top Gear (which I suppose says a lot about me).

♥ I had an interview on Monday and I have my fingers crossed that something good comes out of it! I spent most of the weekend frantically making sure my teaching portfolio was up to par, and am so proud of the outcome! Filled with résumé copies, a kick-butt personal statement (in my opinion), and a few standout lesson plans, I poured my organizational heart and soul into this binder and was actually kind of sad to let it pass out of my hands!

♥ The NovelTea Book Club is go! If you haven't heard about my latest endeavor, you can check out this post to find out more about getting your read on this summer. I'm super excited to launch a book club with all of you, because we have such wonderful discussions in the comments already! July's book is Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store, which I know many of you have been wanting to read (or already done so - and you can totally still join in the conversation!).

♥ Today marks the fourth day that I've gone to the gym (I'm actually heading out the door here shortly to tally day four!) and I'm quite proud. Working out is the dullest and most horrendous activity in my book, but working out with a friend has helped in the motivation department. As has the mindset that I'm training in case Pittsburgh ever needs to call upon a vigilante to fight crime. You think my preparedness is a joke but...
little loves
finishing some #MyDetailsClass layouts ♥ jumping in the swimming pool ♥ gingham button-down shirts ♥ The Expendables 2 (how can you not love it!?) ♥ how nice Hawaiian Tropic's After Sun Lotion and Aloe Gel feels on my sunburn (received as part of the @InfluensterVox #SurfsUpVoxBox, and just in time, too!) ♥ free membership to the local gym for the summer ♥ almond cookies ♥ 22 Jump Street ♥ Channing Tatum. I never got it. I still don't entirely get it. But I won't deny, he's pretty to look at I came to this realization during 22 Jump Street. Yes, I've caved ♥ Peach Green Tea Lemonades from Starbucks

What have you been up to this week?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Introducing NovelTea: a Summer Book Club

Happy Tuesday, Teacups! And boy, have I got something awesome for you this morning!

You know I'm all about reading, and while I enjoy curling up with a good book and just relaxing by myself, I've missed the kinds of discussions from my undergrad days, the ones that stemmed from many people reading the same book and talking about their experiences with a particular story.

I've been toying around with the idea of a blogger book club for some time now, and with summer in full-swing, I couldn't think of a better time to kick off a chill, commitment-free book club (though it helps that you read the book in order to talk about it, you're not obligated to join in if book clubs aren't your thing or a particular book doesn't interest you) that has one rule: love reading!

It's no Book-It (though, perhaps maybe we'll get buttons and stickers one day!), but I'd like to invite you to join NovelTea - a book club for readers of My Life as a Teacup, lovers of good stories, and fans of literary fiction, YA fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and the occasional classic novel!

Here's how NovelTea will work:
  • On the last Tuesday of every month I'll post the book club selection for the upcoming month. For instance, today just so happens to be the last Tuesday in June (coincidence? I think not!). The book NovelTea will read in July is posted below. This gives you some time to decide if you're interested in participating for that month, and if so, to get your hands on a copy of the book.
  • Over the course of a month (in this case, the entire month of July), we'll read the selected novel. But that's not all - you'll have plenty of opportunities to join in the discussion as we read the book together. I'll be posting my thoughts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook - you name it! - with the #NovelTeaBookClub hashtag. Don't forget to join the NovelTea Facebook group, where we'll be discussing everything about the novel (down to what type of tea we'd pair with it!)
  • On the last Tuesday of that month (the last Tuesday in July, for instance), I'll post my own recap here on the blog along with a link up for you to share your own post about the book. And don't forget - I'll be posting the selection for the coming month's book club in this post as well!
You might've seen this Instagram picture I posted last Thursday. Deciding which book to read first hasn't been easy, but thanks to your input and suggestions, July's book selection for NovelTea is...

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

NovelTea
The books that didn't make the cut this time, such as My Name is Memory and Love Letters to the Dead, may rear their heads again in the not-too-distant future, as will a poll to allow you to really get involved with NovelTea, but after hearing such great things from book lovers and readers of My Life as a Teacup, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore seemed like a novel many of you were excited to read! And besides, kicking off a book club with a novel about a magical bookstore seemed like a message from the cosmos.

What's the next step?
  • Grab a copy of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. You can purchase the book here (this is an Amazon affiliate link, meaning I will receive a kickback if you purchase through this link, though the funds go right back into My Life as a Teacup to keep things running smoothly!), though you can certainly pick up a copy from your local bookstore, or check it out at your library!
  • Start reading!
  • Join the NovelTea Book Club group on Facebook to share your thoughts on the novel, or follow along on social media with the #NovelTeaBookClub tag.

This project is something completely new to me, at least in a digital setting, and I welcome your input throughout the process! If there's something you'd like to see happen in the book club, or something that just isn't working, please don't hesitate to bring it to my attention. I'm looking forward to the many great things NovelTea can become (Google Hangouts, I'm looking at you!) and I'd love your help in making that magic happen!

Will you be joining us for the month of July? Have you read Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore before (you can still join us, by the way!)?

Monday, June 23, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.109

Felt Tips ~ Explore #9
( via Theen Moy ) 

indelible adj. [in-ˈde-lə-bə]: impossible to remove or forget; lasting (via)

The moving speech would leave an indelible mark on my mind for years to come.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

link love

Some weeks I just feel like the Internet is on a roll, and this is (another) one of those weeks...

The most important list you'll ever make...
♥ I never know what to make of astrology, but this extremely detailed Harry Potter astrology is eerily spot on (at least for this Ravenclaw Libra)
14 Awesome Bill Murray Moments, because Bill Murray is wonderful
This man got stuck in an airport overnight and made a music video. Now I'm inspired to use my time more wisely and get creative even in dismal situations.
♥ Sailor Moon is being re-aired on Hulu, which is great news for us Moonies. If you're new to the series though, you might want to take a look at this ridiculously comprehensive history of Sailor Moon that's running on The Mary Sue before the new Crystal anime airs.
♥ I do love a man in glasses, but these comments are just the icing on the cake.
If Strangers Talked to Everybody Like They Talk to Writers
♥ There's a billboard here in Pittsburgh that's completely controlled by people on the internet
Here's what Victorian London looks like invaded by 600 book worlds... (I spy Norwegian Wood, The Chamber of Secrets, and Jurassic Park! Have you spotted your favorites?)
Reimagining the Female Superhero: Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, Marguerite Bennett, & more discuss comics at Special Edition: NYC 
♥ A look at NYC in the summer of '49
♥ I would love to snag a seat at one of these otherworldly dinner parties!
♥ George Orwell's tips for a perfect cup of tea
Death to High School English provides an interesting opinion on preparing kids for college writing
♥ To the Bookmobile!: The Library on Wheels of Yesteryear

What fun links have you found this week?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Big Changes + a Spark e-course Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links, which means purchasing Spark through this post puts some money in my pocket. I wouldn't recommend anything that I myself haven't tried, and frankly, this e-course has helped me tremendously over the past month! Kam is a blogging rockstar, and I think you'll love her course!

You might have noticed my absence from the blogging world over the past few weeks. Aside from my weekly features like link love and Things I Love Thursday, think around these parts have been relatively quiet, and for a good reason.

My Life as a Teacup has come a long way since 2010, and I feel like I can finally say that I've settled into my voice as a blogger. Books, writing, and technology are a staple on this blog (along with a healthy dose of geekery) and I want to bring you even more of the things that you love. Over the course of the summer, I'll be rolling out some new features, and reorganizing things around these parts in order to do that - I couldn't be more excited!

(I would love to continue to hear your feedback about My Life as a Teacup, so that I can take your thoughts and interests into account going forward. Tell me what you want to see here on the blog!)

***

It's been easy to get lost amidst all of these changes, and feel frustrated by all of the chaos. One beacon in this journey has been Campfire Chic's fabulously-timed Spark e-course. Once a day, for thirty days, an email lands in your inbox with a simple task for helping you to refocus. From analyzing your routine to spreading some blog love, each bit of "homework" takes only a few minutes to complete (a concern of mine, since I was neck-deep in grading finals and projects at the time!). It's amazing how just a few simple little tasks can serve as building blocks to something bigger!

I'm so grateful for Spark and all of the sanity it helped me retain as I make revisions here at My Life as a Teacup. Too often I hear bloggers complaining of being in a slump, or simply not feeling like they once did about blogging, and I can't recommend Spark enough!

Ready to rekindle your passion for blogging? You can use the code SPARKTEA for $2 off the course through June 30th.

And if that's not enough, Kam is graciously offering to give away registration in the course to one of you! So what are you waiting for!?

(No worries if you can't contain your excitement and need to get your hands on Spark ASAP; if you win this giveaway, Kam will refund your purchase!).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you deal with blogging burnout?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

How nice has it been to just enjoy the past week off? Completely off. No obligations, aside from a few birthday/graduation parties, etc., but it's nice to just have a few days with no pressure, not much that I have to do. I know not everyone gets this opportunity, but I'm ever thankful for it, and urge you to try and fit at least one day of pure rest into your schedule, if possible.

Father's Day was celebrated with a family dinner and a showing of the latest Godzilla movie. Dad and I have always been fans of giant monsters, and we've been talking about going to see it since it came out. What better way to celebrate Father's Day than with Godzilla smashing half the city in order to save it?

♥ While it's nice to not have "any" responsibilities, wow does it feel good to accomplish something. I still have chores to take care of, rooms to clean, things to tidy, but even something as trivial as cleaning out my closet feels good.

♥ I had the opportunity to have lunch with my cooperating teacher from my student teaching days this week, and oh! how I missed her! We sat and talked for hours. Doesn't it feel wonderful to have a nonchalant conversation with someone who you genuinely click and get along with? I haven't seen her since Christmastime, and all of the support and guidance she still continues to provide is something I'm lucky to have.

little loves
air conditioned buildings - these past few 90 degree days have been no fun (I'm a winter kinda gal) ♥ Netflix movie marathons, including Dirty Dancing ♥ fried ravioli ♥ fresh basil ♥ making plans with family and friends, many of whom I haven't seen in quite a while ♥ breakfast in bed ♥ the annual (and family tradition) Strawberry Festival ♥ making homemade jam ♥ being complimented, and being confident and mature enough to accept it ♥ interesting female characters ♥ good ol' healthy daydreams
What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, June 16, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.108

Day 8: Wise sayings of a fortune cookie
( via smruti_damania ) 

pithy adj. [ˈpi-thē]: concise and forcefully expressive; having substance and point (via)

After the long, droning presentations, Casey's pithy speech was a refreshing change for the audience.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

link love

Does handwriting matter? I personally learn better when I write something down versus type it, but is something truly lost when the process of handwriting goes away?
Choosing analogue over digital
♥ My knowledge of electric cars was about zero, but Alexis has been blogging about her experiences with an electric vehicle and I feel like I am tangentially learning loads too!
Shadow of the Colossus + moss terrariums = unlimited coolness!
♥ I almost always include exclamation points and risk sounding juvenile rather than unapproachable (and some grammarians seem to agree!). It's too late now, exclamation points are unstoppable.
29 Signs You're Doing Just Fine (Even If It Doesn't Feel Like It)
♥ And if you still weren't convinced: You already know everything.
Fixing the Ph.D.
♥ I know many of you were just as upset as I was about last week's shared link claiming YA literature was "embarrassing". The article is somewhat of an Internet sensation now (which was probably the intent behind writing it in the first place), but that means plenty of new ideas, tweaked arguments, and rebuttals have emerged. The Trouble with Reader-Shaming and Should You Be Embarrassed to Read YA? point/counterpoint piece, just to name a few. Care to chime in for a second week, dear readers?
Batman: The nice guy
♥ Who knew Nathan Fillion did nail art. Superhero nail art, at that. Can we be best friends now?
17 Stunning and Memorable Bookstores

Pittsburgh from above!

I don't know how I feel about living in a glass house, but that doesn't make this tiered house in Japan any less beautiful.


What fun links have you found this week?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It's my official first week of summer vacation and to be honest, as much as I like having the time to relax, I'm not terribly good at it! It's hard for me to have so much free time and not let my mind go into overdrive (and overthinking everything). So here's to putting the over thinking aside and make that energy productive instead!

♥ The last time I cooked a meal? I couldn't tell you when! I've made a pact to cook at least one meal a week that isn't just a tried and true recipe. As much as I love whipping together a generous helping of lemon breadcrumb spaghetti, it's not really a wholesome meal, and I'm starting to get bored with things. The cleanup may suck, but the rosemary pecan-crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce was well worth the labor!  Not to mention it gives me time to relax and unwind.

♥ Realizing that, despite my own internal thoughts running amok in my head, the past week has been full of love and fun with friends and family, no matter what my brain tries to dissect about every little detail.

♥ I don't think I've painted since high school, but Wednesday morning I pulled out the oil paints I received from my college roommate and got to work. A simple photo in my Instagram feed that I had seen that morning inspired me, and I just knew I had to feel paint on my fingertips again.

little loves
the amazing and powerful stories that dance can tell (hello-o SYTYCD!) ♥ TFIOS and seeing matinees by myself ♥ easy alligator hair clips ♥ talking and laughing with friends ♥ dinners on the porch ♥ playing with kittens ♥ Mexican food and makeshift indoor "patios" ♥ Barbara Gordon's awesomeness, even into Batman Beyond ♥ powering through my first library haul and writing book reviews ♥Earl Grey with breakfast ♥ plums ♥ daily yoga in my inbox ♥ I am continually getting more and more excited for 22 Jump Street

What are you happy about this week?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Making the Most of Your Netflix Marathon

02.
I haven't been terribly present online for the past few weeks as I've been grading final projects and tests, and getting my classroom in order for summer cleaning and construction. Now that the school year's officially over, I can settle in and enjoy my first summer off in years (usually, my summers are filled with classes or grad school work, and it's nice to just relax and take some time for me!).

That isn't stopping me from taking the next week to unwind, and I will say, don't expect many posts from me this week - I need to spend a few days taking care of myself and intend to do just that. One way that I intend on relaxing?

Netflix.

There's something about curling up with a movie or t.v. show that just strikes your fancy as you scroll. But what I find most interesting about Netflix is the ability to marathon a television show (whether it's many seasons over the course of a few weeks or, as I somewhat hesitantly admit, powering through an entire series in a matter of hours).

I've never been one for television. Growing up, there weren't many shows that I cared to watch on a consistent basis, or for anything more than background noise. I was a reader, wanting to curl up with a book, or make things, or draw, or go to the park. Even now, I find it difficult to remember to tune in to a channel week after week without setting a reminder on my phone, and I still find that other things take precedence.

Take Supernatural, for instance - a series that I powered through during my breaks on campus during undergrad, watching four seasons in an embarrassingly short period of time. For me, (most) story arcs are more powerful when condensed and watched almost movie-style. The themes, the constants and development of plots and characters is all more realized, stronger.  Plus, I just don't have the patience to be left with cliffhanger after cliffhanger on a weekly basis.

Some of my favorite ways to enjoy a Netflix marathon?

Take it outside // No one said you had to forgo the outdoors at the sake of binge-watching television! Lately, I've been toting my iPad out to the patio to sit with an iced tea and catch up on my favorite series.

Build a fort // Nothing screams commitment to a day in than a blanket fort. Bonus points if you bring snacks and stay in your pajamas.

Opt for a theme // Marathons don't have to be all about television. Think about marathoning your favorite movie franchise (Marvel, I'm looking at you) and including all of your favorite prequels, sequels, and spinoffs.

Everything is better with friends // Why not host a Jane Austen shindig and nibble on Brie and fruit with your close friends?

What do you prefer - marathoning a series in one setting, or enjoying the story unfold over time?

Monday, June 9, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.107

2012.05.31
( via Eric Konon ) 

wake n. [ˈwāk]: the path left by a moving body (as in a ship); as a result of (via)

Her disregard for the feelings of others often made her friends feel used; everywhere she went, she left emotional destruction in her wake.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

On My Bookshelf: Summer Reading List

I can't believe summer is upon us! Today is the last day of school, and I've got lofty plans to do all sorts of things this summer. Bet you can't guess what my number one is?

Read lots of books!

Okay, so that wasn't terribly hard to figure out.

I've always loved visiting the library, but something about summertime conjures up images of Book-It stickers and stacks of book threatening to tumble off the table because they're stacked so high. With all sorts of spare time on my hands, I can't think of any better way to spend it than getting lost in a book - any kind at all! Quick, fluffy reads; adventures; mysteries to play along with; sentimental beach reads; you name it, I'll read it!

There are probably tons more books I could add to this list, but here are some I'm particularly looking forward to cracking open this summer:

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton // Summer is my time to indulge in a good many things, especially historical fiction (as well as mysteries and other things), and what better way to immerse oneself than in a world rich with historical detail and creepily detailed miniatures of real-life things?

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion // Something about socially awkward scientists trying to find true love resonates with me.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt // Mysteries and summer just go well together, and this is another book that I'm almost so sickened by seeing its cover on bookstands everywhere that I want to read it and put it out of my mind. Hopefully, that's a good put it out of my mind.

Austenland by Shannon Hale // I won a copy of the book and movie a while back, and while I've watched the film, I have yet to tackle the book! It seems like just the right amount of fluffy, escapist chick-lit to kick off summer.

The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab // I bought the first book in the series on a whim thanks to a review on Forever Young Adult (I believe) and a flash sale on Amazon and was not disappointed. I'm hoping the series continues to be as good as the first book!

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer // A summer-sort of bildungsroman? Okay! I'm feeling this lately.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton // Put the words "tragic" and "exquisite" in a review, and I'm fifteen times more likely to buy/read it. And magical realism. Sold.

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff // Geeky love story, take two.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman // I checked this out of library a few months ago with every intention of reading it, but a combination of not enough  time and a wait list caused me to return it prematurely. Here's to round two! Plus, someone once said the words, "Adult Harry Potter" to me and I've been intrigued ever since.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell // After Attachments, I need more Rainbow Rowell in my life, period. I almost don't even care what this is about, because I know it will be beautifully written.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz // Friendship! Summer! Shiny reviews that make me think that I will really enjoy this tale of two, well, friends. Loners turned lifelong friends, that is. Or so Goodreads tells me.

Romance is My Day Job by Patience Bloom // Bring on more fluff! Summer seems the be the time when I indulge in light, "chick-lit" reads (but usually, I find it entertaining to enjoy the bad humour of Harlequin romance novel titles - try it sometime; it won't disappoint!), and this memoir seems to fit the bill. Really, I'm just looking for a bit of light summer fun.

Sidenote: Does Book-It still exist even more? Wouldn't it be cool to have a blogger summer Book-It competition, complete with pizza party for the winners? How does one have a digital pizza party? Why can't all bloggers be real-life neighbors so this can happen!?

What's on your summer reading list?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

I can't believe it's already June! It seems like just a few days ago that we were making New Year's resolutions and complaining about snow. Normally, I'm not a fan of summer, but with each new season comes the promise of fresh starts, and I'm quite looking forward to tackling some big (and some small) projects this summer.

♥ I used to always carry around a plethora of CDs; music was always playing, from headphones to my car. Having a broken car stereo for the past few months meant forgoing my favorite songs and playlists for the radio. As much as I've been entertained by some pretty catchy new tunes, hearing the same ten songs will drive anyone crazy. Last week, I had my new stereo installed, however, and it's great to have access to my music collection again.

♥ Tomorrow is the last day of school, and as much fun as the past few months have been, it'll be nice to have a break and not have to worry about lesson plans and papers for a little while, not to mention enjoy

♥ I know I've raved about the weekly classic movies that are shown at the local theater, but yesterday was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which I almost couldn't handle from the moment it was announced (6 months ago, mind you). Favorite movie ever + nostalgia + Harrison Ford + Sean Connery = I don't even know what to do with myself.

little loves
falling into another pit of Netflix streaming ♥ Tina Belcher ♥ critiquing Backstreet Boys music videos ♥ theater in the park ♥ iced coffee ♥ waterproof phone cases ♥ catching up on How I Met Your Mother ♥ reserving books at the library ♥ summer and salads pair so well together! ♥ Ben & Jerry's salted caramel core ice cream ♥ the scent of rain ♥ coconut milk and peaches beach waves

What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Activities

Expo Wheel
For once I'm actually excited for summer to arrive. I could do without the heat and humidity, without the sweatiness and general discomfort, but all of the exciting activities I've been adding to my to-do list have me willing to put my negativity aside and enjoy learning and doing a great many things this season.

It's been awhile since I've posted a good ol' to-do list here, but with so many awesome things to look forward to, I couldn't resist!

Go to the gym // As a teacher, I get free membership to a local gym this summer, which I intend to take full advantage of, even if my rationale is to train for my becoming a magical girl.

Read at least one book each week // Summer is synonymous with library season, and I'm planning on taking a chunk out of my to-read bookshelf.

Catch up on Doctor Who // I'm behind. Still. I think I can manage to watch this last season before the new Doctor appears in August...

Go out for brunch // It's my favorite meal, yet there are still so many local restaurants that I've not visited for brunch.

See a movie in the park // Each summer, local parks show various movies on an outdoor screen. Why spend the evening inside when you can have a picnic, enjoy the outdoors, and watch Space Jam?

Have a bonfire // I don't know how much I trust myself with fire, but I think I'll brave it for the marshmallows.

Go camping // Or at the very least, rent a cabin. Baby steps.

Take a dance class // After my 10-minute introduction to East Coast swing dance last week, coupled with the airing of this season's So You Think You Can Dance?, I'm itching to bust a move!

Clear up blog clutter // I've been trying to declutter and streamline past blog posts, from making layouts consistent across the board, categorizing old posts, and fixing broken links and images. Let the madness continue!

Go kayaking // Last summer I discovered the joy that is being in a boat on the river, and now that I have some idea of what I'm doing, I'm ready for more!

Monday, June 2, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.106

Around the campfire
( via Tristan Schmurr ) 

regale v. [ri-ˈgāl]: to give amusement to, entertain (via)

Note: These days, I've been using this word embarrassingly often. I have no regrets.

Jake regaled us with tales of his time abroad.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

link love

It's June already! Wow, how time has flown!

The Top 5 Rules of Writing a Kick-Ass To-Do List
♥ If you can master this single most important financial skill, you will do your wallet a huge favor
The Pittsburgh Novel is an online bibliography of fiction and drama set in Pittsburgh. I had no idea there were so many stories set in the city!
♥ On that note, check out this map of Pittsburgh illustrated like Tolkien!
♥ How to tell if you're in a Jane Austen novel 
♥ It's no secret that I'm a morning person. Here's how you can create a lovely morning on your own.
♥ Common problems that stop you from writing and how to fix them
♥ This Netflix bug mashes movie summaries together, and it's the most hilarious thing I think I've ever read! Also, I would probably go see all of these make-believe movies
Ayn Rand's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a gem of a read
♥ Dive into Mark Twain's inner-literary thoughts with a sneak peek of marginalia from his own library!
♥ The Disciples: James Mollison's Portraits of Music Subcultures (absolutely fascinating!)
Should trigger warnings be put on literary classics? I don't know where I stand on this myself yet, but I don't think I'm a fan...need to do more research!
A music album turned hardback novel - awesome!
Epitaphs for the Novel, which always seems to be getting declared "dead"

What fun links have you found this week?