Category Archives: At Home

Think Out Loud Thursday: Falling into things

I am going to start “reflecting.” But quickly, don’t worry. Just a theme and a quick thought. Nothing too crazy, to be worried that I am getting too analytical or reflective in all this “free time” of mine!!! Keeping it fun but real:

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page.

Thinking..

About all the things I need to do tomorrow…(from Sportsmomshop.com)

So freakin’ true. If my husband is travelling, all bets are off for anything being on-time or going in a straight line!

Reading…

I just finished two great books: The Chesapeake Bride , which was romantic & a fast read (click here for the review & giveaway), and Still Here  which is contemporary literary fiction- also fun! (click here for the review of this one).

Now I am reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. It is my town’s book pick of the month which is sort of fun, but I had gotten it for Christmas as a gift and it’s been sitting in my TBR pile! After the first 10 pages, I am already excited to get into this one…stay tuned for more.

Playing…

Lots and lots of games. My kids are kind of over playing pretend with me, but they ask me every day to play something with them. If it’s not just basketball or soccer in our yard, we choose a game. My favorites (because, really, the mom should pick what she likes I think!) are:

Yahtzee

and this SUPER fun and one that I NEVER win, Rubik’s Race:

I love Yahtzee because I know how to play it! It was super easy for my kids to pick up- even the younger 7 year olds can play with my 12 year old or me and still win, which makes them super happy.

And the Rubik’s race is cool since I NEVER win, they can all feel smarter than me, which is of course true, but this way it’s proven!

Listening to…

Nothing. Really just the news on the radio since otherwise I never hear or see news. Boring I know, but my life is not super exciting my friends, and that is a good thing…

Cooking…

Since being unemployed, I bake WAY too much, and cook meals on time. I hear you moms…dinner on time is work! I start really early to get my kids fed before practice- otherwise it is cereal beforehand and something light after that most times is not a real meal.

Moms that work outside the home have it a bit harder I have to say- they have to meal plan and use their crockpots probably twice as often to get a decent dinner on the table. That said, I love this lady and her meal plans, and not just because I am an affiliate- I am an affiliate because I bought her books and plans so often, I figured I should make some money from it!

A Month of Quick & Easy Meals

Planning is key, seriously and I may just start up my meal plans here again- what do you think?

september meal plan

Doing…

Training for a marathon at the end of October. With my new shoes, I feel cushioned, but with my old body I am not sure I feel ready! We shall see!

Looking forward to…

Wrapping myself up in a blanket…darn it got cold soon, right?!

Favorite of the week so far…

This quote:


Linking up with Thinking out Loud Thursday!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page.

Book Review: Still Here by Lara Vapnyar

As a book reviewer, I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging For Books to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and as always my review and opinion is 100% my own. Links within the post are affiliate links (read full disclosure).

Let’s start this review by me telling you that I really enjoyed the book. Now you can keep reading all about it and know that I am not wasting your time!

I didn’t know if I’d like the premise, but ended up very interested:

Four friends who separately leave Russia to live in New York City. The book details how their lives are intertwined, and different since leaving Russia, their expectations and experiences as immigrants in a new city, and how their outlooks on life change, the longer they stay in the US.

For those of you reading from Book Beginnings…the first few line (s) of the book are:

“Promise me you won’t call it ‘Virtual Grave,'” Vica said as they turned onto the West Side Highway.

“You were the one who hated ‘The Voice from the Grave’!” Sergey said.

“‘The Voice from the Grave’ is even worse. We can’t afford a name that’s a downer.”

“Well, the entire idea is about death. And death happens to be a downer,” Sergey said.

From the New York Times Book Reviewe, 100 Notable Books of 2016:

Vica, Vadik, Sergey and Regina met in Russia in their school days, but remained in touch and now have very different American lives. Sergey cycles through jobs as an analyst, hoping his idea for an app will finally bring him success. His wife Vica, a medical technician struggling to keep her family afloat, hungers for a better life. Sergey’s former girlfriend Regina, once a famous translator is married to a wealthy startup owner, spends her days at home grieving over a recent loss. Sergey’s best friend Vadik, a programmer ever in search of perfection, keeps trying on different women and different neighborhoods, all while pining for the one who got away.

The backdrop of the story is the concept of our digital lives. How we present ourselves one way on social media, either hoping to present our best-selves or the self we want to be. The book raises questions about whether our online life is actually our life, and should it live on once we are gone (dead). The characters in the story debate this idea, and the perception about the value of our digital lives is reflected back and forth as we see the characters live ACTUAL lives.

Huh. Super interesting to me, as I have a sense that I hate Facebook and know everyone presents only what they want people to see, but I also use it a ton for this blog – it is a platform for what I want to show the world about HAG, so I find value in using it in my life. The book was expert in mirroring the absurdity of our digital lives in these characters.

Aside from the story itself, I loved the insight into immigrants from Russia in a city. I liked that I could relate to the characters who were approaching 40 years of age, who were at points in their lives where they are focused on jobs, family, or their futures. I liked that I could relate on that level but also gain some insight into how different living in the US is to someone from outside of it.

Overall Take:

There is romance, technology, contemporary life, urban sensibility and philosophical rambling in here. Maybe not for everyone, but I found it fun and satisfying.

 


Still Here, by Lara Vapnyar
Hogarth Press (reprint), 2017, 336 pages

Ultimate Coffee Chat: September

ultimate coffee

Like that picture? It’s from last year! I have been sharing my coffee-chats for over a year now and you have been telling me how much you like the general-style updates. So I am keeping it up- maybe late and maybe boring, but I am also keeping it real!

Here’s what I would tell you if you and I were sitting on my porch sipping our hot bevvies!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you: It’s freaking cold out here!

I love Fall!

Fall came fast huh? I am so glad since I LOVE fall. All things fall. The weather, the running weather, the smells, the decrease in bugs, the increase in routine, school starting, football stuff, soccer stuff, cozy things all around me like sweatshirts and blankets…I can go on! It goes without too much emphasis then, that I love pumpkin and apple everything! YES. Fall is my guy. I know it’s not quite leaf-jumping weather yet, but I couldn’t resist this picture- the boys were so little! Time is a-flying! Welcome to Fall my friends!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you: I love Fall for running.

Rolling to run

Now, I spoke about running weather. It is p-e-r-f-e-c-t here right now. Cool enough so I don’t run out of steam just because I am baking in the sun, and warm enough that I am not even layering yet. Perfect! Remember last month, I said I needed new sneakers? Well I still don’t have them and I am going okay- I can only think how great it will feel once I actually have some cushion on these feet! I am squishing an 18 week training plan into just 8 weeks (yes, I have a sense that I will tweak my planned runs quite a bit!) I mostly just use a plan so I can have an idea of what I should be running to be ready, but I don’t stay to it hard and fast if I am reducing the time like this- not if I don’t want to be hurt anyway! Do you use a plan for your racing or running? I’d love to know so share- please!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you: I just finished a great book 

…which I will review in depth later this week on the blog, but it is so relevant for NOW. It’s this one:

In a quick snippet: It’s about four Russian late-thirty somethings who met in Russia but all live in NYC now. It revolves around a questions of our virtual lives- how we actually live in real life versus on Facebook or social media in general. Sounds boring, but to care about the book means to be invested in the characters- and I was. They are well thought out and interesting to me, as a window of what it is like for them as immigrants in the United States, but also how we share the commonality of the absurdity of online-lives. Pretty interesting, right? Stay tuned for a full review.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you: That’s all really.

Oh! Wait! I forgot too- I have been re-painting my upstairs bathroom!

Repainting this ugly thing!

Look at this beast! So ugly- but so useful. I will have to do a post on that too- I painted the cabinets (this times-two) and walls, and actually some of the hardware too- some of the paint they have now is awesome! It has awoken (waked?- what is the word for this?) in me both a love of painting and hate of it. I am not sure yet  how I feel. It is making the rest of my house look perfectly awful though, so I need to get cracka-lackin’ and paint the rest of it! Good thing I am STILL not working right?! Ha! Gotta look on the bright side my friends, keeping it sunny!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and I loved sharing my porch with you this month!

I am linking up with my other bloggers this morning over at

Thanks for coming by to chat~

This post includes affiliate links, which does not mean you pay a penny more when purchasing through my link. It means that in helping you easily find some of my favorite products, I receive a small commission if you purchase. Thank you so much for supporting Hardly A Goddess! *P.S. I only share products I truly love! For more information, see my full disclosure page.