Sunday, January 21, 2018

What I Read This Week: January 21, 2018

When I look back on this week, nothing that special really comes to mind. Have you ever had that happen? You just look back at how your life has been recently and all you can think of is, "Well, that was just, you know, a few days." I find those days of nothing to be odd. They just feel like time has passed and that's it. Oh well. At least I get to have a fun friend brunch today to end this week. It's always nice when you have something special to look forward to.

  • Work
    • Guess what I finally finished reading? Digital Imaging: A Practical Handbook. You know... that book I started in July. Last year. It wasn't a particularly long or difficult book, I just was forced to read it in brief snippets around my usual work activities. The content is rather outdated at this point, but the general concepts of digitization and digitization projects still holds true.
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, January/February 2018 - For a two month issue, this was pretty slim. That's okay. I still liked the article that talked about what foods are going to be trending this year.
      I also liked the muffin-a-month feature. I don't make muffins that often, but several of these recipes looked tempting. I thought it was hilarious that the opening editor's note brought the often debated issue of the difference between muffins and cupcakes. Frosting seems to be the deciding factor. 
    • The Atlantic, January/February 2018 - The cover of this issue seems rather menacing to me. I assume that was a purposeful editorial decision. The cover story on Putin was rather enlightening. I knew, generally, what Putin's deal was, but this article fleshed it out a lot more to me. I did learn the ramifications of having nothing but the "old guard" ruling in Russia. Spoiler alert: It doesn't look like it will end well. Beyond the cover story, my favorite piece was about the effort to exonerate a man who is behind bars for robbery and murder. The facts show that he's likely not the perpetrator, but there is no DNA evidence to exonerate him. It's a sad story and one that will really make you think about the criminal investigation and justice system. Finally, I just sort of shuddered my way through the story about Mike Pence. The fact that Pence seems to truly believe that god has a plan to make him president just makes me feel wrong.
  • Books
    • I finished reading Signs of Hope. It was a great book because it made me feel uplifted when current events were getting me down.
    • I am now reading Branding: A Very Short Introduction. This isn't exactly a great bedtime reading book, so I might need to add something more interesting into my daily rotation. I'm basically read this because I think the information might be useful.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Friday Find: Candlelight

It's hygge season. I read The Little Book of Hygge last year and one of the recommendations is to fill your home with candlelight. Now that's a piece of advice I can get behind. The Husband and I have a small stash of candles and we always try to light at least one a night. (The Little Book of Hygge recommends lots more than that, but you can do what you like.)

You can get candles from just about anywhere, but I love to start my searches at Anthropologie because they have a variety of scents and everything looks so cute.

You can buy this cut glass candle here. See all of Anthropologie's offerings here.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Links and Stuff: January 18, 2018

  • There is a library in Turkey that is composed of books saved from the trash. [CNN]
  • Kids books shouldn't be all joy and adventure. Kate DiCamillo argues why kids book should be a little bit sad. [TIME]
  • If one of your 2018 resolutions was to read more, here are some apps that can help you achieve that goal. [PopSugar]
  • Children's books in China and the U.S. teach young readers different lessons. It might be worth each country learning from one another. [NPR]

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Not Resolutions

We're now two weeks into 2018. This is the time when some of us are already falling off the resolution bandwagon. I used to set resolutions and I never managed to follow through on them for more than a month. In 2017, I tried something new. Instead of resolutions, I decided to add things to try for the year. I tracked them in my bullet journal and I was quite successful. Instead of trying to remove something from my life, I decided to try things that added value to my life. I tend to be a positive person, and I think that's why my "not resolutions" were more successful.

To further that success, I'm continuing these "not resolutions" for 2018. Life is so much more fun when you're exploring than when you're trying to cut stuff out.

Here are some of my "not resolutions" for year.

Try one new thing a month.
I am a home-body. My favorite weekends involve PJs, bingewatching, and coffee. I do not apologize for this. But, I am also incredibly curious and love to try things both at home and in the area. This is a repeat not resolution from last year and it had me making meatballs and dumplings from scratch, kayaking and paddle boarding, and visiting new parts of DC. It was great! So, I'm going to continue this activity. The "new thing" doesn't have to be big, it just as to be novel to me. I am already thinking up ideas for this year - like making matzo ball soup, visiting the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and finally getting to the Crumbs and Whiskers cat cafe. I want to pet kitties!

Eat at one new restaurant a month.
DC has an amazing restaurant scene. And, yet, The Husband and I tend to eat at or order from the same places time and again. I love a good regular spot, but we both agreed to branch out and try a new place each month last year. Given that we live in walking distance of four major food hubs, that's not hard. The only hard thing is narrowing down our list of places to try. We keep a running list in Google Keep and any time I find a place I want to try (so many places have tasty looking brunches!) it goes on the list.

Work on my French.
I took French in high school and about two years ago I decided to jump back into foreign language learning. I started using Duolingo to practice my (very) rusty skills. Now, I'm working on beefing them up even further with the goal of becoming fluent. I still use Duolingo, but I've tacked on TinyCards and the Coffee Break French podcast to my learning rotation. (Frankly, I think practice more now than I did in high school.) I'm even tossing around the idea of buying Le Petit Prince so that I can translate it.

Work on my handwriting.
First of all, my everyday handwriting is actually fine... inconsistent in style, but fine. I just love writing, calligraphy, and all things paper, pen, and stationary. I've started reading handwriting and hand-lettering books and I also try to practice a bit of my handwriting daily. I even signed up for Boho Berry's Positive Scribes class. One day, I might open an Etsy shop where I sell hand-drawn note cards and mini-signs... but I have to practice more first. (At least I found a use for all those random journals I acquire.)

Run a 5k distance without stopping.
This is the closest thing to a resolution on my list. I don't want to train to run in a 5k race. I just want to be able to run that distance without stopping or walking. I don't have to be fast. I just have to be able to do it. I very much dislike running (and, really, working out in general), but I find that this is a good way to enjoy the weather and listen to podcasts.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What I Read This Week: January 14, 2018

I am trying harder this year to get things done. I was fantastic at using my bullet journal last year for daily and monthly tasks, but long-term projects and personal/professional development... not so much. This year, I hope to do better. This week, I started working on the first steps of some of my goals and major projects for the year.

The new header on this here blog is one of the first steps I'm taking toward revamping the content I create. I have some fun ideas in my head and I'm shaping an editorial calendar to help me put it all together. For the first time in awhile, I'm excited about what's to come.

  • Work
    • College and Research Libraries News, December 2017 - I thought this was going to be a skim issue... until I got to the article highlighting marketing resources. I read that piece in its entirety and added a bunch of it's recommendations to my bookmarks and feed.
  • Magazines
    • Washingtonian, January 2018 - I was really looking forward to the cover story on the locals favorite places in DC. I was hoping to find a spot or two that was new to me. Alas. I've heard of or visited every spot on the list. There was an interesting story about how the local economy might tank if we can't find a way to diversify our economy. It was a bit of a scare-mongering article, but it made some very good points. DC relies quite heavily on the government and associated industries. Finally, there was a two-page spread featuring illustrated lunch bags a father draws for his daughter. They're awesome.
  • Books
    • I'm nearly finished with Get Your Sh*t Together. It's not a groundbreaking book on productivity, but it does make some good bullet points about how to focus.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Friday Find: Book Caddy

Between your phone, laptop, e-reader, fitness tracker, and other electronic gadgets, we all seem to be cord wranglers. Lady B shared this book caddy with me. It's both useful and chic.

You can grab this from aha.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Links and Stuff: January 11, 2017

  • An interview with the hosts of the podcast By the Book. They live their lives by the tennets of a self-help book and then report back. This podcast is now on my list of things to listen to. [NPR]
  • Libraries and laundromats. Normally, books and water don't go together but, in this case, they are a match made in heaven. [Model D]
  • Free webinars for librarians. These are just for the month of January. [Web Junction
  • A list of excellent podcasts for librarian and booklovers. My podcasts to listen to list is getting so long... [5 Minute Librarian
  • Just an avalanche of book returns. This is a librarian's worst nightmare... but it does mean everything is coming back. [Sunnyvale Public Library]

Monday, January 08, 2018

In My TBR: Why We March


Title: Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope - Voices From the Women's March
Author: Artisan

How Long It's Been a TBR: Since it came out about a year ago... and I lucked out and got it as a gift for Christmas.

Why It's a TBR: I attended the Women's March last year. I was devastated by the result of the 2016 election (we're talking crying in the shower for over a week levels of devastated) and there was no way I was going to miss this march. It turned out to be an incredibly day. I was among friends and hundreds of thousands like-minded souls who could not be silent. We couldn't see the stage from our spot, but it didn't matter. There was a buoyant camaraderie aimed toward making our voices heard. We marched. We chanted. And we made some phenomenally good signs. This book celebrates that day. The second I saw it existed, it went in the TBR.

Some of the signs I saw at the march. 

Chance I Read It Soon: Extremely high. The anniversary of the march is in a few weeks and I can think of no better way to relive that amazing day than to read this book.