Archive for January, 2012

Things I Love: Book Fairs

I have always been a big fan of reading, ever since I was a young girl. I remember reading books like The Green Mile by Stephen King for pleasure while I was in high school. Unfortunately, when I went off to college, my desire to read beyond course readings and textbooks took a steady decline over my four years. As the intensity of the school work increased (senior thesis, anyone?) and the required reading became longer and more complex, I found myself frequently choosing a mindless television show over reading for fun. Since graduating, moving to Colorado, and discovering the local library district, my love of reading has reignited. I tend to visit the library about 3 or 4 times a month, picking up books (mostly nonfiction), audio books (good for my work commute), and magazines. Occasionally I will pick up a movie or two and I’ve recently discovered how to check out ebooks for my NOOK tablet. The library is one of the greatest free resources out there.

Although I use the services at the library regularly, I also enjoy building up my personal book collection. I try not to buy too many books unless 1) it is a book I checked out from the library, read, and really enjoyed or 2) they are super cheap. That’s why I love attending book fairs. Drew and I are both book fans, although my book collection is nothing compared to his. At the moment his two bookshelves are full and he has stacks of books just hanging out until we move and can afford a few larger bookshelves.

Yesterday the library branch that I frequent most often was holding a used book fair. All paperbacks were selling for $0.50 and all hardcovers for $1.00 – a very good deal! Combined, Drew and I picked up 26 paperbacks and 2 hardcover books for a total of $15.95 with tax. Out of curiosity, I went through and calculated how much all the books would have cost if we purchased them at their respective cover prices…and came up with a total of $245.56! What we ended up paying was a darn good deal if I do say so myself. Of the 28 books we got only 4 of them were for me (3 paperbacks and 1 hardcover). The gems I picked up were Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, The Lost World by Michael Crichton, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, and Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus.

Now I have a few more books to read and apply towards my book goal for this year.

01.29.2012 at 11:54 AM 2 comments

National Peanut Butter Day

Today is National Peanut Butter Day!

This morning I enjoyed a delicious bowl of overnight oats with peanut butter, one banana, and cinnamon mixed in. Yum! It’s been a while since I’ve had overnight oats.

And no, the peanut butter love did not stop there.  I also had a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch. What can I say, I’m just diggin’ the pb these days. 😉

01.24.2012 at 8:12 PM Leave a comment

Maple Snickerdoodles & Toffee Butter Cookies

Below are two cookie recipes that I used for my Christmas 2011 tins, both from Kim at Lovin’ From The Oven. The maple snickerdoodles had just the right hint of maple and were very delicious. For the toffee butter cookies I followed the recipe posted on Kim’s blog, but upped the amount of toffee bits from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. The cookies came out extremely soft (even a week later) and had a mild sweetness that I enjoyed.

    

Check out the recipes for Maple Snickerdoodles and Toffee Butter Cookies over at Lovin’ From the Oven!

01.08.2012 at 11:48 AM Leave a comment

Hello 2012!

I can’t believe it is already 2012. Where did the last year go? I swear, 2011 must have been on a permanent fast forward because it just zipped by. Looking back, I must say that this past year was a pretty wonderful one. For starters, 2011 was my first full year out of school. I do miss being in the classroom and learning, and I do plan on going back to school to further my education sometime in the future, but I quit enjoyed not being committed to school. I was able to read for pleasure, one of the things I had to put on the back-burner when I was in college. I discovered the local library district and how awesome libraries are these days. I even convinced Drew to get a library card. 😉

Speaking of Drew, we are celebrating our one year anniversary this month. I am amazed that I’ve been able to stay in a relationship for this long, considering all my prior relationships have been less than five months in length. Perhaps this relationship is different because I have finally met a person who completes me and compliments me at the same time. It also helps that I am head over heels in love with this man. He has been by my side for so many ups and downs and I could not ask for a better partner. I am most excited to see where the new year takes us. We will be moving into a place of our own in May and we both are looking forward to that next chapter in our relationship.

Another significant change that happened last year was that I found a new job. Since moving to Colorado in the summer of 2010 (after college graduation) I bounced between several jobs. They weren’t all the greatest and they weren’t all steady, but they brought me to where I am now. I was hired as a financial specialist (or, more commonly known, a bank teller) at a local credit union in August. I really enjoy the people I work with and I have been learning a lot of new information and skills related to my position. I hope to move up from level one to level two this year, ideally before or during the summer season.

There are many things that happened in 2011, but this post would end up being a novel if I discussed them all. I feel good about the new year and hope that it will be just as great, if not better, than the previous year. I have several goals laid out for 2012 — some fun and some serious. I have my book and movie challenges, which are becoming a yearly thing. For my fitness goals I want to run a 5k this year and I also want to focus on strength training since I pretty much avoided it for most of 2011. I started doing the 90-day ChaLEAN Extreme fitness program yesterday and I am definitly feeling the pain results. For my financial goals I plan to increase my retirement savings via contributions to my IRA and 401(k) (once I qualify later this year), set aside money every month into my “house goal” (down payment for a house), stash some money into my emergency fund, and keep up with my good money habits. All these goals (and a few more I have) all seem pretty attainable for the most part. I’m sure things will shift financially when Drew and I move in together, but I will continue to do my best with what I’ve got.

Before I leave off, I must mention that I have a bunch of recipes to post for the Christmas gift tins I created and gave out to co-workers and friends this year. Drew spent almost a week in the hospital right before Christmas getting surgery, thus this blog, and other things, got pushed to the side while I spent time with him pre- and post-surgery. I am happy to report that Drew is recovering nicely and will be able to return to work this week. 🙂 With that, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

01.02.2012 at 10:56 AM Leave a comment


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