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Currently | Catching Up

currently december 14 2014

Briefly | I missed checking in the last two Sundays because I was at my parents house — first for Thanksgiving, then for a volunteering event and my mom’s annual Christmas party. I thought about blogging from the road, but figured I could just catch up when I get back. Consider this three weeks of updates mashed into one!

Time and Place | 11 a.m. at my desk, writing on my failing laptop — I got a hard drive error last week that bumped up my search for a new one. Everything is backed up, so I’m just hoping it’ll hang on until after the holidays.

Eating and Drinking | Raspberries (not very good… out of season) and water. We had friends over for a game night last night and I ended up staying up way too late and drinking a little too much wine… lots of water today.

Reading | I’ve had some really good and some rather disappointing reading in the last few weeks. I finished The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber over Thanksgiving and thought it was really lovely. I want to re-read the end because I flew through it in one of those late-night reading binges. I also finished Descent by Tim Johnson (Jan. 6 from Algonquin), but didn’t love it. I thought the writing was overdone and the ending was unsatisfying. But other people with great taste in books have raved about it… so I’ll be in the minority on that.

On the nonfiction side, I finally finished 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. The book looks at how to maximize time over the course of a week (168 hours) and thinking about ways to make sure your time is invested in the things that truly matter. She encourages people to keep a time log for a week. The results from mine have been surprising to me. I’m still thinking about what the information means for my goals for 2015 — more to come on that!

Watching | Now that most of my favorite shows are on a holiday hiatus (oh my gosh, The Flash and Arrow were incredibly good this week) I decided to re-watch season six of Parks and Recreation. This Parks and Rec clip war between two of my favorite tv/culture critics Linda Holmes and Alan Sepinwall made my week.

Listening | I finally finished Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. I really loved it in a way that isn’t quite coherent yet.

Making | While I was out of the office for Thanksgiving, my coworkers did some decorating in my office. I think that tree is pretty awesome.

Cooking | I’m going to try this recipe for Crock Pot Ranchero Chicken today. Iowa Girl Eats is one of my favorite food blogs because her recipes are relatively easy and always turn out delicious.

Blogging | Over the last couple weeks, I shared mini-reviews of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and linked out to a freelance review of What Stays in Vegas by Adam Tanner. I also wrote about some of the backlist television shows that I binged on this year.

Promoting | I’ve really been enjoying the posts connected with A Month of Favorites is a December-long celebration hosted by Andi (Estella’s Revenge), Tanya (Girl XOXO) and T (Traveling with T). I’m going to look through the topics this afternoon and see if any spark my creative juices.

Hating | Work was a little stressful this week. We are switching layout software at the paper, and the transition has been… not entirely smooth. We survived, but getting there frayed my patience a bit.

Loving | My sister and I took my mom to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas for her Christmas present. It was such a fun thing to do together — White Christmas is one of her favorite movies that we watch together almost every year.

Avoiding | I have all my Christmas shopping done (yay!), but I need to wrap all of the presents (boo!). I’m thinking about doing that while the Vikings play later this afternoon.

Anticipating | I put up our small collection of Christmas decorations this week. I am certain that Hannah is going to take down the Christmas tree soon. But there’s nothing of value hanging on it, so we’ll just deal with it when the time comes.

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bex December 14, 2014, 1:44 pm

    It’s such a busy time of year! I’m also drinking a lot of water today – work Christmas dinner last night involved seeing a lot of friends I don’t see regularly as I’m on maternity leave and it was a great night, but I’m definitely still recovering!

    I hope you don’t mind if I borrow this format over at my blog? I think it will help me stay a little more focused!

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:00 pm

      Not at all, steal away! I borrowed this from a few scrapbooking/lifestyle bloggers that I read, just change up a few of the words each week so they make more sense for me 🙂

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) December 14, 2014, 2:07 pm

    We’re decorated for Christmas but I still have shopping to do and need to finish up the cards.

  • Bryan G. Robinson December 14, 2014, 4:22 pm

    I read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please too and had to revise my Top 10 Books Read In 2014 post as a result, to add it and another to make 12, because I forgot another one. So much for doing that post early before I actually had finished.

    Work has been stressful here too, so sadly I can relate, but hey (at least I believe this is true) we both have time off for Christmas and New Year’s so let’s keep thinking of that. It will get us through, I believe. 🙂

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:01 pm

      I’m debating whether to do best of this week or next week… I’m thinking this week, if I can get my act together and actually write those posts.

      I do have a bit of time off for Christmas, but not as much as I might like. Some is obviously better than none though!

  • Andi December 14, 2014, 7:05 pm

    I hope we managed to help your creative juices along! This is the first time in a while I’ve felt my blogging mojo come alive. I just pinned the Crock Pot Rachero Chicken. Ranchero sauce is one of my favorite things EVER, so this sounds perfect!

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:02 pm

      I had to fudge the recipe a bit — using canned jalapeno instead of fresh and skipping the fresh cilantro — but I’m still happy with how it turned out. I’m curious how the flavors will change after a few days as leftovers.

  • Beth December 14, 2014, 8:02 pm

    I love Iowa Girl Eats, too! Some really good recipes on there.

  • Belle Wong December 14, 2014, 9:59 pm

    I think I need to keep a time log! I’ve seen 168 Hours at my library’s ebook site. Maybe I should put a hold on it after all. Good luck with your tree. Ours, I’m sad to say, is now the oddest looking thing – more of a skirt shape on the bottom and a regular tree on the top, with a huge gap in the middle where the cats like to sit (and bend even more branches). We think we might have to go with a cardboard tree next year!

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:03 pm

      I think the tree we got is the perfect size — too big for Hannah to knock over with her paws, but too small for her to actually climb. She’s tried a couple of times, but always backs off when it starts to shake.

  • Jeanne December 15, 2014, 7:12 am

    We tied our tree with fishing line to a curtain rod. It’s pretty sturdy, but if the 15-pound cat jumps for the top of the tree, the rod and all will come down.

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:04 pm

      I thought about doing something like that, but then got worried she’d actually try to tip it over and we’d do some serious damage to our rental house — dang security deposit!

  • Jennine G. December 15, 2014, 8:00 am

    I just watched White Christmas for the first time this weekend! I have to say, I liked it. And my mother-in-law will be happy since it’s one of her favorites.

  • Sandy December 15, 2014, 9:46 am

    OK I think we will need an in-depth review on this time management thing. I need help in that area. I’m pretty much done with my shopping and wrapping with the exception of a few odds and ends. Only thing I really need to do now is plan Xmas eve and Xmas menu. It’s a great feeling.

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:05 pm

      I’m hoping to write about the book in the new year, after I have some time to digest and maybe try implementing some of her ideas about using time more effectively. It’s definitely given me food for thought!

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves December 15, 2014, 11:24 am

    Ha-I think I need to read 168 hours! I feel like I always have NO time! But, I guess that comes along with having two young kids at home. I’ve been participating in A Month of Favorites and have been having a blast! It’s such a fun way to end the year and I’ll definitely be coming back for more next year.

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:06 pm

      Part of why I read 168 Hours was because I felt like I had no time, and then felt ridiculous because I don’t have kids and life like 10 minutes from work… I have plenty of time, I’m just not using it well.

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf December 15, 2014, 12:11 pm

    Ummmm yeah. I need to get 168 Hours. 🙂

  • Bree December 15, 2014, 1:30 pm

    Mmmm raspberries. They are so delicious. Have you ever dipped them in chocolate? so good

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:06 pm

      No! That sounds great.

      • Bree December 17, 2014, 7:05 pm

        Try it! Or with chocolate cheesecake or chocolate mousse.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End December 15, 2014, 6:12 pm

    I’ve made a deal with my little sister whereby I go over and read her The Dream Thieves, and in exchange for that, she does beautiful ribbons on all of my Christmas presents. It is the best. She has all sorts of attractive ribbons and decorative doodads for Christmas gifts, and that is not my talent at all, so I’m psyched to be able to outsource it.

    • Kim December 15, 2014, 9:07 pm

      That is the best idea! I felt smug because I bought nice wrapping paper and new labels for my presents… then forgot to buy tape. Good thing the boyfriend had some lying around that I could use.

  • Laurie C December 31, 2014, 9:32 am

    I’m on vacation for one more day and have been trying to catch up with my favorite blogs this morning! Our season tickets to a local community theatre included a White Christmas show before Christmas this year, so that was nice! I had never seen the movie, I don’t think! I just pinned that Crock Pot chicken recipe to try in January!