Tag Archives: books

2015 book club books – part one

I’m in a book club. 

Photo credit: LIfestyleUpgrade101.com
Photo credit: LifestyleUpgrade101.com

I use the term “book club” loosely, as there are two of us – me and my favorite guy friend who lives across the country. 

On and off for the past several years we’ve taken turns picking out a book each month. Sometimes, we discuss it in detail. Sometimes, it’s more of a, thank-God-that’s-over-with-let’s-just-move-on, kind of deal.

As another end of the year post, I thought it would be fun to reflect over the books we chose this year. Ian was kind enough to give me a write up and rating for each one which I’ll share here. 

I’m splitting the year’s books up into two posts, as Ian has not yet finished December’s book. (Cough.)

Continue reading 2015 book club books – part one

Decluttering part 2: books

I decided to just pull the band aid off, and get rid of what I knew would be the hardest before moving onto the other stuff.

I had segued into this purge with my cookbooks and food magazines, but now, we’re into the nitty gritty: the novels, the short story collections, the memoirs.

Just kidding, I refused to get rid of my memoirs.

But I did donate – including cookbooks – 144 books to a local library today, and I managed to drive away without crying.

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Continue reading Decluttering part 2: books

Decluttering part 1: cookbooks and food magazines

Recently, the husband and I read (he listened via audio book) The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

Now, financially, we’re not in bad shape – we’re actually in pretty good shape. But we’d like to be better. Specifically, we’d like to be more mindful about spending habits, actually use a budget every month, pay off my student debt, and save for the future.

We’ll have been married for a year tomorrow, and you know what? Things are exactly the same as they were during the five years we were together before getting married. Except for one thing: money.

Our money is more combined than it ever was, which is a good thing, but it’s all the more reason to get on the same page.

What does this have to do with decluttering, you might be asking?

Well, in researching budgets in general after reading the book, the husband found Budgets Are Sexy, and through that dude, we found Blonde on a Budget.

This chick is ridiculously smart about money and budgeting. She paid off $30,000 of debt in two years by creating budgets and living a minimalist lifestyle. She went through a massive decluttering of her home, literally taking inventory of everything and getting rid of 60% of what she owned.

I spent hours reading her blog. And I began to get inspired. 

The husband and I often talked about getting rid of stuff. I did donate some clothes awhile back (big whoop). But usually the conversations go something like:

Me: We have too many Christmas decorations. We need to get rid of some.

Him: Well then let’s get rid of some Halloween decorations, too.

Me: (icy cold glare as I mentally wrap my arms around my pumpkins and witches and ghosts).

Or,

Me: Do you really need all of this electronic crap and computers and wires? Can’t you get rid of some of it?

Him: What about your books?

Me: (falls over and has a heart attack at the thought of parting with my beloved collection of paper and ink and pictures).

But now, we’re ready.

The easy part will be getting rid of our own stuff that we know we’re able to part with. The harder part will be getting rid of stuff we need to consult the other one about, but we’ll do it together, because that’s what married people do.

So as not to get overwhelmed, I’m going through stuff one category or section of the home at a time. And I’m going to document as I go along – maybe you’ll be motivated to cleanse your home as well.

The rule is: You don’t have to get rid of anything you use often or that you really, really treasure. Otherwise, be ruthless.

Now, I started with my cookbooks and food magazines. I have collected many cookbooks over the years – about half a dozen I use regularly, a few more sparingly, and the others go untouched.

I am subscribed to Food Network Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Bon Appetite – of the three I love Food Network the most, by far. (Also, I get Writer’s Digest, but I’m keeping those for now because there’s far fewer of them.)

I decided to rip out recipes I want from my magazines and toss the rest of them. Unused cookbooks will be donated. Hopefully this will be a good segue into donating a good chunk of my other books.

Continue reading Decluttering part 1: cookbooks and food magazines

My top 5 best cookbooks

At this point in life I own dozens of cookbooks. Admittedly, several of them I have never even tried a recipe out of.

(This is why I love getting cookbooks as gifts- I don’t like spending my own money on them, because I feel I should try more recipes from the ones I have first. But other people spending money on them for me, that’s okay. Feel free to recommend your favorites to me, and I’ll put them on my Amazon wish list!)

Although some haven’t been opened in a couple years, there are a few cookbooks that I keep coming back to.

Continue reading My top 5 best cookbooks

Wedding showers

My wedding shower – or bridal shower if you will – was this past Saturday. It went perfectly, other than the fact that it flew by so fast I didn’t get a chance to speak with everyone individually as I wanted to.

In the majority of my wedding posts I talk about the planning process, questions to ask vendors, etc. I hope as I write about my wedding journey I can advise and occasionally amuse others along the way.

In the case of the shower, I had nothing to do with the planning and didn’t know where the location was until I was driven there. It was so wonderful to be out of the loop, to have one less thing to worry about.

Consequently, I don’t have a solid list of how to plan a shower, but I would like to share what was done for me – I’m sure great ideas can be sparked.

To start out with this, this was the cake, courtesy of my very talented future sister-in-law. I’m pretty sure all guests were shocked that she is not a cake person or baker by profession.

Continue reading Wedding showers