Enduring All Things

Friday, May 18, 2018

What I'm Reading, Watching, and Listening To {May 2018}

The following post contains SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. If you do not wish for that movie to be spoiled, please do not read that section (or don't read this post at all). The rest of this post contains no spoilers but I could not help myself with that one. Read at your own risk.

Now that that's out of the way, Happy Friday, Friends! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I've loved doing my monthly book review posts. And if you read my blog last month, you know that I have decided to switch things up and include things I've been watching and listening to in my review posts as well! So here is my second ever "Reading, Watching, Listening" post. I hope you enjoy reading these reviews as much I as I enjoy writing them!

Books:

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

A while back, I bought JR Rowling's adult novel, The Casual Vacancy from a discount table at Barnes and Noble. I was never quite compelled to pick it up until after I read the Cormoran Strike series. You see, I didn't love the Cormoran Strike series and since the Harry Potter series is like my favorite literature of all time, I wanted to see whether I would like The Casual Vacancy or not.

Well, it turns out I didn't really enjoy it. I think JK Rowling is an excellent writer. But I think she can be too blunt and crude for my tastes. Hence why I enjoyed her "children's" novels and not her adult novels. The Casual Vacancy follows the goings on of a small town after a key member of the parish council dies unexpectedly. It's very political. But surprisingly, I didn't mind that. In fact, I was drawn in by the small town politics and frankly, the pettiness of a lot of the characters.

But it was difficult to get into. I found myself avoiding reading it whenever I had time. That is, until about two-thirds of the way through the book. I think part of that was because there were so many characters and the book jumped around to each of their perspectives so it took a while to start to understand and care for them.

I will say the ending was unexpected and sort of jarring. It certainly challenged my perspective on some things and I think some people would certainly benefit from reading it. But I can't really say I give my stamp of approval because of the crude nature of some of the content. So read at your own risk.

Blog Posts/Articles:


TV Shows:

Better Call Saul

I talked a little about Better Call Saul last month because we were mid-way through season two. We finished seasons two and three and I must say, it got better! It's still no Breaking Bad, but it got better. Oh and season three ended with a sort of crazy cliffhanger. So now I'm dying for season four to come to Netflix!

Anne with an E

So Ann with an E is a TV series based on the story of Anne of Green Gables. I think it originally aired on a Canadian TV channel, but season one is now on Netflix and it's pretty amazing! I love the story of Anne of Green Gables. I've never read the books but I loved the old movies growing up. I think this show has done an excellent job. The acting is great and the show totally sucks you in. I've fallen in love with the story all over again. It's all about girl power and adoption and there is so much to learn from Anne. Now I want to read the books!

Movies:

A Quiet Place

You guys, A Quiet Place was SO GOOD! So as I'm sure you know from the trailers, this family has to be really quiet because the monsters that have taken over the world are attracted to sound. As long as they can be quiet, they're safe. So the movie used sound as a huge character involved in the story telling. And it used a lot if indirect story telling in general. You had to infer the backstory from clues you see (or hear) here and there. I thought they did a fantastic job with this. I don't want to give too much away but the sound mixing was really cool.

The whole concept of a movie where the characters hardly ever talk is so foreign to us. It was weird sitting in an almost silent theater when I'm so used to high action, super hero movies that almost burst our ear drums! But that's what made it so great. This movie is certainly a piece of art and I hope it wins a lot of awards.

Oh and it is very suspenseful. I doubt that's a surprise. But there are almost no jump scares. As far as the scariest parts, they are sort of expected. Does that make sense? Basically I'm trying to say it's not that scary of a movie.

The Ritual

The Ritual is a scary Netflix original movie that Pearson and I watched the other night. At first, I wasn't a fan. For some reason, scary movies set outside in the woods don't sit as well with me as others do. In the first half of the movie or so, there was a lot of suspense. It was a really good set up in the forest in the middle of nowhere, Scandinavia. But once the action sort of picked up, I enjoyed it a lot more! I won't give anything away but the ending is one of those that makes you think. Which I absolutely love!

All the Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies [Possible SPOILERS if you haven't seen these]

In the two weeks leading up to the Avengers: Infinity War premier, Pearson and I watched all the MCU movies out so far. Actually, that's not entirely true. We didn't watch The Incredible Hulk because it's not Mark Ruffalo. But, it apparently does count in the univeres so I wish we did watch it. We also didn't watch Black Panther again because we didn't have movie pass yet and didn't want to spend the money to see it in the theater again. But we watched all 16 of the others!

I forgot how good the Iron Man movies were! I don't love Robert Downey Jr nor do I love Tony Stark. At least not as much as others in the series. But the Iron Man movies are actually pretty good! I mean, it makes sense, right? They're the movies that started this whole phenomenon. Oh and in Pearson's words, "The Iron Man movies are the most realistic Marvel movies as far as science and technology are concerned." So that's why he likes them so much. haha

I will say though that Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World are probably my two least favorite in the whole MCU. But they're still pretty great! It's just unfortunate that they come back to back. But, as I said, all of these movies are all really good.

And I am so glad we watched them all together because certain things made more sense and I picked up on things better. For example, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when SHIELD falls to Hydra, there is a particular SHIELD agent (Specialist Klein) who shows up later in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Oh and Marie Hill is shown interviewing for a job with Stark after SHIELD falls and the next time we see her she's working for Stark. I wouldn't have put those things together if I didn't watch them back to back.

Also, did you know Cap says "I can do this all day." In ALL of his movies? And lastly, both Bucky and Loki's stories are so much more raw and emotional when you watch the movies back to back. You can see them turning from friend or brother to villain and back and it just means so much more!

So I think when Avengers 4 comes out, we might start even earlier and watch them all again but include the TV show Agents of SHIELD too. Maybe we're crazy. Who knows.

Infinity War. [SPOILERS]

Okay first of all ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE DIED. Which just means they will all be coming back somehow. And I kind of hate that. Alright let me take a step back. I expected this movie to be devastating because they were facing Thanos, the most powerful being in the universe. And because there is a part two coming out next year. So I figured Thanos was going to dominate during this movie and the Avengers would rally again next year.

What I didn't expect was to be left with all the original Avengers and have all the new kids on the block disappear rapture style at the end. I mean Evans, RDJ, and Hemsworth's contracts are almost up (except Hemsworth might be extending his but that's another story for another time). And there's no way Marvel isn't going to make more Black Panther and Spider-Man movies. So, I totally give them props for going for the unexpected. They definitely took me off guard. But at the same time, I wasn't really even that sad when everybody died because they will be coming back. I mean after all, as Dr. Strange said "It was the only way." So something crazy is going to happen to make everything right again.

I will say that I'm pretty confident that only the people who disappeared at the end will come back. Which means that everyone who died before that are really gone. Which makes me super sad for Loki! I wasn't sad when it happened because I was like "everybody is going to die so w/e." But now I'm sad because he's probably really gone for good.

Anyway, I could talk theories all day. But I'll just say everybody needs to go see it. And I also highly recommend taking a month or so to watch all the movies back to back. It's pretty great!

Update 5/18: I wrote the above "review" right after I saw the movie. Now it's been four weeks and I am not so sure the people who died before the finger snap are dead for good. After all, Loki is an ice giant. If he really died, wouldn't he turn blue and die as his true form? Also he told Thor that the sun will shine on their people again. Also, the next Guardians is supposed to focus on Gamora. Now it could be on a different timeline or maybe Gamora comes back but she's not really back (there are lots of theories). Anyway I said I wasn't going to get into too many theories but I just wanted to correct my opinion.

P.S. Sorry this wasn't exactly a "review." I feel like at this point, a review of an MCU movie won't persuade you to watch it or not. They have a cult following and you either love them or not. This movie was the best MCU movie so far in my opinion for many reasons. They had a lot of hype to live up to. They had a BIG and seriously dangerous villain to portray. And they had 40+ named characters all fighting for screen time. I thought they did an excellent job. When the movie was over, I didn't even realize it had been two and a half hours. I thought we still had half the movie. And that's saying something! Especially since it started at 11 pm.

Ok I'm done now, I promise.

YouTube:

SNL

Pearson and have been watching SNL sketches on YouTube. I'm not exactly sure why we don't just watch it live on Saturday Nights. Maybe because we hate commercials. Netflix and our streaming culture has ruined us. We hardly ever watch live TV. Anyway, they put all the sketched on YouTube the next day so you can watch the while episode for free.

Avengers Stuff

Ever since Avengers: Infinity War came out, I've been pretty much obsessed. So while I work during the day, I watch YouTube videos all about it. I've watched a lot of interviews with the actors and press tour stuff, but also explanations and theories about the content of the movie and future movies.

My favorite channel that I've found for the latter is New Rockstars. These guys are comic book nerds but they have great presentation and I've watched all the videos they've made since the movie came out (which is a lot).

Listening:

I haven't discovered any new music or podcasts since my last post. But I've been listening to the live action Beauty and the Beast soundtrack again as well as the Hamilton and The Greatest Showman soundtracks.

NEXT:

These are what I hope to be reading, watching, and listening to next...
  • Book: I'm not sure. I bought some Mary Higgins Clark books from the friends of the library sale recently. I'm also thinking about reading the Harry Potter series again this summer to get ready for Wizards Unite. And as I mentioned earlier in this post, I kinda wanna read Anne of Green Gables. Oh and per Ali of Our Happily Ever After's recommendation, I kinda wanna read Jane Eyre too. Too much to read and too little time!
  • MoviesDeadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story, of course. But we have Movie Pass now so we'll probably be seeing a lot more than that.
  • TV: Pearson and I are currently watching The Walking Dead and I am currently watching A Little Help with Carol Burnett.
What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

5 Tips for Getting Stuff Done

Hey, Friends! If you follow me on Instagram and watched my stories last week, you know that Wednesday was NOT a productive day for me but Thursday WAS!

So today I thought I'd bring you my tips for having a protective day. Some tips I use to stay focused and get stuff done.

*Side note: Every time I say stuff in this post, I feel like I should be using another s-word. It sounds more real. Isn't that sad. I hate that. I have always tried not to curse. When I was growing up, it was a big no-no. And as an adult, I've realized how immature and unprofessional it is. And yes, there are many words that are much worse than the s-word. And I'm truly not judging anyone. It's just, in my opinion, it's one thing to accidentally mumble (or even shout) a word when you stub your toe or something horrible happens. It's another to use it in place of another word like "stuff." And it's really sad to me that it's become so common in our society today, that even I am seeing that it sounds more real. Ugh

So when I really need to get stuff done, here is what I do. (Full disclosure: Sometimes these tips don't even work. I've had a bad habit of procrastinating lately.)
I have a bad habit of procrastinating and getting distracted when I'm trying to focus on work and get stuff done. Here are 5 tips that help.

ONE || Get dressed and ready for the day.

When I used to work from home for a tech company, I usually just rolled out of bed and started my day. But I've learned that if I actually change out of my pajamas an put some effort into getting ready for the day, I'm so much more motivated and productive. I'm not sure if it's a confidence thing or what but when I stay in my PJ's with bed-head, I just end up being lazy all day.


TWO || Use music to help you focus.

I love music as much as the next person, but usually when I listen to my favorite music (mostly show-tunes), I get super distracted and just end up singing along! So I have a few go-to playlists that sort of drown out distractions and help me focus on the task at hand. There are a lot of great film score stations on Google Play music. I love the Relaxing Film Scores station but Epic Film Scores can be good for when you need intense laser focus! I also have my own playlist of instrumental music that I keep updated with pieces from my favorite movies. I'm sure you can find similar stations and play lists on Spotify, Pandora, Apple music or whatever you use.

Oh and Pearson uses heavy metal music to stay focused. Like this one, or this one, or this one. So maybe that's more your style. To each their own.

THREE || Use a block schedule.

I got this idea from Jordan Page of FunCheapOrFree.com. Of course I did because I basically worship everything she does. But that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I pre-ordered her new program, Productivity Boot Camp, which goes live on Thursday so I'm excited to receive a lot more productivity tips from the master. But enough fangirling.

The concept of a blog schedule is that instead of scheduling out your entire day down to the minute or second, or just feeling overwhelmed because of a long todo list for the day, you break down your day into blocks. You only focus on one aspect of your day per block of time. So say you have "me time" first thing in the morning before your day really starts. You drink your coffee and watch the morning news or do your daily devotional or whatever it is from 6-8 am. Then at 8, you put that stuff behind you and you have family time until 10. You forget about EVERYTHING else and focus on your family. Then when you kids get off to school or go down for a nap or whatever, you have work time from 10-noon. You put everything else away and focus on work. Get as much done as you can in those two hours. Then from noon-2 pm, is lunch and housework time. Get it?

You tailor the block schedule to fit your needs but the concept is the same. You only focus on each aspect for a certain amount of time and block everything else out. It's much less overwhelming!

FOUR || Prep the night before.

This is something I used to try to do in high school and college because I was so bad about waking up on time. I would lay out clothes and pack my backpack the night before. I would have coffee in the coffee maker so I just had to push the button when I woke up (before programmable coffee makers). It helped so much! I tried to do all that again when I was working outside of the home but I haven't done it so much while working from home. But I've discovered lately that it helps even when I don't go anywhere!

So at night I lay out my workout clothes and I write down whatever I need to get done the next day. I try to clean up the kitchen so I don't wake up to a discouraging mess. I set out my vitamins to take first thing in the morning and just kinda get mentally prepared for what the next day will look like. It's pretty amazing what a difference it makes.

FIVE || Airplane mode and time saving apps.

I don't know about you but I am certainly addicted to social media and other distractions. It's really a big problem. I'll be working on a blog post or other project and every few minutes I click over to Facebook on my laptop or I pick up my phone to scroll through Instagram or play some Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. So I've discovered some apps to help with this.

First of all, Stay Focused is an awesome chrome extension (but I think other browsers have it too) I discovered back when I was working from home for a tech company. You can have it block a list of websites you don't want to have access to or have it block everything except a list of sites you do want access to. You can set it up to work certain times of certain days of the week or select the "nuclear" option where it "nukes" websites starting now for whatever amount of time you set. I've been using the nuclear option lately for when I need to get stuff done and it's been great!

I know there are tons of apps out there to do similar things for your phone. They block certain apps at certain times etc. But for me personally, I either put my phone in the other room when I need to focus or I put it on airplane mode. That way, even if I pick it up, I won't be able to load anything and then I remember I'm not supposed to be on it right now.

Basically, in order to get stuff done, you have to be diligent about it and plan ahead.

I used to think that motivation and productivity just come around when they want and you take advantage of those times. But it doesn't work like that. Usually you have to make yourself be productive and these are just some tips to help you stay intentional about that.
Do you have any productivity tips to add to my list?
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »

Thursday, May 10, 2018

15 Ways to Flirt with your Husband

Hey guys! Did you know that May is "Date your Mate Month"? At the beginning of the month, I mentioned on my Instagram Story (and that's now in my "Marriage" highlight on Instagram) that for me, dating your mate is more than just going on dates with your spouse. It's about treating him or her like you did when you first started dating.

We all know we can get pretty comfortable with our spouses after being married for a while. This isn't always a bad thing, but it can be when you start to take each other for granted. So I like to be reminded every once in a while to treat Pearson like I did when we were just kids and hopelessly in love.

Anyway, so today I wanted to share some fun ways you can flirt with your husband and keep the relationship fresh and treat each other like you've just fallen in love. Most of these can go either way for a husband or wife. And I'm sure you've heard of most of them before, but this is just me reminding you to do them every once in a while. Consider this a little nudge...

Oh and I've separated them into categories of the 5 Love Languages because that's what I do. So, if you know your spouse's primary love language, maybe focus more on that section.
Since it's Date your Mate month, I am focusing on treating my husband like I did when we were first dating. Here are 15 ways to flirt with your husband to help you do the same!

Words of Affirmation:

  • ONE || Write a fun love note somewhere unexpected. I like writing on the bathroom mirror in lipstick or dry erase marker (because it comes off easier) or I'll write a message in the steam after I shower and then it will show up again after his. You can also write a note in sharpie on the inside of your shower curtain liner! What a great idea, right? Thanks, Dating Divas! You could also actually send him a love not in the mail to his work or your home OR send him an email if you don't normally use that form of communication.
  • TWO || You could also have fun with sticky note love notes. Hide them in fun places like under his pillow, by his toothbrush, on the milk carton etc. Or cover his car with them (or at least his steering wheel)! Not sure what to write on them, try these PRINTABLE Sticky Note Love Notes.
  • THREE || Send him flirty texts throughout the day. This is such a simple way to flirt a little during the day when you're not together! Here are some short love note ideas that would be perfect for a text! Also, the Dating Divas have an awesome text message picture pack that I used all of last year. You just download the image and send it straight to your hubby. It's easy and it makes a simple text a little more fun!

Quality Time:

  • ONE || Have a romantic date night in. Order take out and watch a movie, but make it really special and romantic with candles, cozy blankets and pillows. Or better yet, make a fun fort!
  • TWO || Find some getting to know you questions. Like these Pillow Talk Questions. Here is a blog post of mine with ideas to talk about on date night.
  • THREE || Meet for lunch. Maybe surprise him at work or plan it ahead but get together in the middle of your busy days!

Physical Touch:

  • ONE || Kiss in car at stoplights. I have always loved this idea! It's fun and has a little risky aspect to it.
  • TWO || Play footsie. This is a classic and fun one!
  • THREE || Randomly smack or grab his butt. You can't get much more flirty with that, right?

Acts of Service:

  • ONE || Warm up his car before he leaves. Or scrape ice off of it. Or wash his car for him. Or fill up the gas tank sometime. These little gestures are a great way to show you're thinking of him
  • TWO || Do a chore that's usually his job. If his primary love language is Acts of Service, coming home to see the floor has already been vacuumed (or your equivalent) means a lot!
  • THREE || Surprise them at work with lunch or coffee or ice cream. This is similar to my last suggestion for Quality Time, but this one focuses more on bringing him lunch so he doesn't have to remember his lunch or go get lunch rather than taking the time to spend lunch with him. Though both are great!


Receiving Gifts:

  • ONE || Send him a selfie! It could be an innocent one with which you're simply reminding him you're thinking of him or a not-so-innocent one.
  • TWO || Pick up his favorite treats at the grocery store. This is another classic that I think we often forget about. But if your husband's primary love language is Gifts, this small gesture goes a long way!
  • THREE || Make his favorite dinner. Bonus points if it's not really your favorite!

So for the rest of this month, I challenge you to find little ways each day to flirt with your spouse. Treat them like you did when you were first dating. Or treat them better than that now that you've been married for a while and you know them better. Now you can treat them like THEY want to be treated!

What are some other fun ways to flirt with your spouse? What would you add to my list?
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »

Monday, May 7, 2018

HUGE Mother's Day SALEbration

Happy Monday, Friends! I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to start the week off with a bang. I just had to jump on here first thing this morning because there's a big opportunity that you can't miss and it's ending on Wednesday!

In short, The Dating Divas are running a HUGE Mother's Day SALEbration in which a ton of their family and kid products are 50% OFF!! At these prices, you could get everything in the sale for less than $30!!

So what exactly is on sale? I'll tell you!

*The links below take you to blog posts telling you more about each item. The blog posts reflect the original price but if you add them to your cart from that screen, it will show the sale price. Click here to see the entire sale with the sale prices.
Hurry and head over to check out this sale because it ends on Wednesday the 9th at midnight!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Platinum Rule

You guys, do you follow Jordan Page from FunCheaporFree.com? She's the best! Like, I've been totally fangirling over her for a few months now and the other night I dreamed I was hanging out with her at her amazing house. I kid you not. She is a budgeting, and productivity genius and basically just wins at life every day. Even when she's not having a great day, she fails with grace and still shows the world that she's human. Anyway, you should totally follow her. Especially on Instagram.

But I digress. Every Tuesday, she and her husband, Bubba, go live on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for a live Q&A on Tuesday! A couple weeks ago, during one of these lived, Bubba mentioned what he calls the Platinum Rule. We all know the Golden Rule, right? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Basically treat others the way you would want to be treated. Well Bubba says we should actually take that one step farther and treat others the way they want to be treated. After all, we're all different people and we want different things!
The Platinum Rule is to treat others the way THEY want to be treated rather than the way you want to be treated. This concept can help so much in a marriage. Think of the 5 love languages! Do you and your spouse speak different languages? If you try to love them in their language, it changes everything!
This is so true and such a good rule. I've never heard it this way before! And it can be applied in all of our relationships but today I want to look at how we can implement this in our marriages.

I've talked about the 5 Love Languages many times on the blog (here is my Love Languages tag) because I think there is so much insight there. You can learn so much about your spouse and how to love them if you understand their love language. If you're not familiar, the 5 Love Languages are Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation. The idea is that everybody favors one or two of these "languages" over the others and some people might not perceive love at all if their partner is only showing love in a language they don't speak. Does that make sense?

So problems arise when spouses speak different love languages. And especially if they aren't even aware that they are speaking different love languages. Imagine a wife who wants nothing more than to cuddle on the couch when her husband gets home but as soon as he gets home, he heads to the kitchen and starts making dinner or cleaning up and takes the trash out then runs the vacuum cleaner a few times. The wife thinks he does not love her and is maybe even avoiding her. The husband is showing his love the best way he knows how. He's sacrificing his evenings, after work, to serve her by doing things he thinks need to be done and he may not even know that she's hurting and just wants some quality time together in the evenings after he's been away all day.

Her primary love language is Quality Time and his is Acts of Service. If they were aware of each other's languages and put in an effort to speak the others instead of just their own, the whole dynamic of their marriage would change. Plus, not only would they learn to speak each other's languages, the would also interpret each others languages better. Maybe the wife wouldn't be so hurt when the husband does things around the house if she understands that it's his way of showing love. And maybe he wouldn't resent all the work to be done when he gets home if he understands that she would rather just spend some time together.

Anyway, that was a really long winded story, but I just want you to understand what I'm getting at. If we learn each other's love languages and other needs, we can treat them the way they want to be treated rather than just the way we want to be treated. The effort becomes about the other person rather than a selfish view of "why doesn't he appreciate what I'm doing here. I would love it if he did this."

The other day Pearson came home in a bad mood. His insecurities at work were showing up again. (You know, that pesky impostor syndrome we all have) And he was disappointed that his Keto diet wasn't working as well as it had the first couple weeks. At first I tried to stay out of his way (like I always do) and started making his lunch for the next day. Then I remembered that his primary love language isn't Acts of Service. It's Physical Touch. So I abandoned my post in the kitchen and went and cuddled with him on the couch. Before I knew it, his mood had improved, he felt a lot better, and we had an enjoyable evening!

It takes more effort to learn what your spouse wants but it's so worth it!
Do you know your spouse's love language? Make an effort to treat them the way they want to be treated!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...