Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | December 2021

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of December. It is hard to believe that 2021 is in its final month and 2022 is right around the corner. I feel like I am already cooking up ideas for 2022, but I want to accomplish a bunch of things this month as well. I will say, I am going to try and be a bit better about posting, life has just been a bit hectic and it was not much of a priority. I have some ideas planned though for this month and I can’t wait to share them with you, also I will still be posting a wrap up of sorts for November, it will just be a bit late. Oops!

Reading Plans

This month I really want to finish reading the last two books in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, The Two Towers and The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. Apart from that, I want to read the second book in the Dune Series by Frank Herbert called Dune Messiah. If I read any more than that I will be thrilled, but those are the books I really want to get through before the year is over.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I am taking part in Knitty Natty’s Sockmas challenge of sorts. You can find all the information on her website linked here. As I write this, it has already started since it started the day after Thanksgiving here in the US. The main purpose of this is to complete a pair of socks in the allotted time, about three weeks. As of right now I am about halfway through both of my socks so I am well on my way to achieve this. I decided to knit using the pattern Cafe Mocha by Twin Stitches Designs. I am using blue though instead of brown/tan yarn so it will look more wintery. Other than that, I really want to get my WIPs down and I don’t plan on casting anything new on as of right now, but we shall see. I feel like I always want to start a new project before I finish another one.

Random Goals

I honestly don’t have many goals for myself this month. I am really focusing on finishing up some of those pesky goals I had for myself this year overall, a lot of them you can see in my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. I also want to focus on getting organized and get better at making more manageable goals and expectations on myself. Lately, I have really been making outlandish goals for myself that are just not doable in the time I give myself and I need to just get better at being realistic while challenging myself.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful month and aren’t too cold as the fall weather starts to slowly shift into something that feels a lot like winter.

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Sign off, thanks for reading!

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | My Doctor | Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Book, this month I am reading a book that was recommended by my doctor at my most recent annual visit. We always name a few books for each other, which is a lot of fun. I ended up picking Anxious People from the couple they mentioned mainly because I have seen this cover and title all over the place.

Description

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This novel really has a unique premise to it. I mean, you jump right into a hostage situation in an open house. The life stories that are explored are interesting if that is something you enjoy reading for sure. The main thing I like about this book is that it really shows you don’t know what goes on in other peoples lives and what they are dealing with that led them to where they are.

What I Didn’t Like

This is a very personal thing when it comes to reading, but I thought personally there were so many side stories I started to loose interest. I am not someone who enjoys a large cast of characters. I enjoy maybe 4 if I am being adventurous. I feel like this book gave peaks into the lives of these peoples, all great ideas and really made it clear that you never really know what someone is dealing with, but I never connected with anyone. I want to make it clear, I DNF’ed this book at 70% so I gave it a real try, but I just didn’t feel overly drawn or connected to anyone. I did feel empathetic to people who do deal with these things though. Some of the things that happen to these characters I would not wish on anyone at all. Like I said, this is a really personal thing when it comes to reading and I feel like it is also affected by my current mood.

Overall

This was not the best book for me. I had a hard time getting into it or connecting with the characters because it jumped around so much for me personally. I really loved the idea of the book, looking at what is going on in the lives of those who were taken hostage as well as the failed robber. This book explores the hardships that sadly a lot of people end up facing. I thought the ideas was GREAT and I can see why other people adore this book. It really has a lot going for it. It just isn’t for me, at least not right now. I can see myself reading this again in the future when I am in a different mood and feeling differently about it. But, as of right now I DNF’ed it at 70%.

Up Next

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | September 2021

Reading

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

This month I am thrilled to say I finished my first pair of knitted socks and I already cast on another pair. I don’t think I will be working on this second pair anytime soon because I have a few gifts I want to get through first before making something for myself. In addition to that I also finished my poncho/sweater I was working on for months. I feel like this month was really LETS GET EVERYTHING DONE! It really felt great to finish both of these because the socks are my first knitted project ever and the poncho is the first wearable I did in the round so it was challenging, but really rewarding because it came out wonderfully and I can’t wait to wear it when it gets colder.

Life

This month has been a bit of an adventure in a few ways, but I am happy to say I was able to go apple picking with my boyfriend and we were able to pick a few different kinds just to try and then enough to make some delicious treats! I love going to pick my own apples, but pick my own food in general. It is so fresh and the flavors are just so much better in my option because of it.

On top of that I decided take these monthly goals I have for myself and get a little whiteboard and put them up in the room to really make sure I meet the fun goals I have set for myself not just the adulting ones I need to do. I want to make the fun things I want to do a priority too. So, I picked up a cute little white board and decorated it a bit and picked up some fun colors to use. I am adding a section for the goals I have, my tbr, but also my current yarn projects. Turns out I was in the middle of more than I thought. I am loving having these things in one place so I can really focus and see what I have going on. Organization at its finest!

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Life Style

What I Use to Budget & Financially Plan

Hello and welcome to a VERY different post. I normally don’t talk about this topic, but I thought it would be fun to show what budgeting tools work for me personally. That is not to say I am a money or budgeting professional or saying these things will work for you. These are just a combination of things that have worked for me and my lifestyle. If you want to learn about budgeting and the like, talk to a professional!

Budget Book

Legend Budget Planner is the budget book that I have been using for about a year and a half to two years at this point. What I really like about this planner, as they call it, is the fact that everything is already set up and you have plenty of room to add your bills and other expenses without wasting too many pages. It also was the first budgeting thing I activity bought for myself and it was great at helping me understand budgeting and what should go into it.

Cash Envelopes

picture of cash envelopes

Another things that has worked for me is using cash and actually seeing the money leave my pocket and wallet. I used a card for most things, but I realized I never really kept track of how much I was spending. This really puts it into perspective for me personally. This is kinda based off of Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System, but I will be honest I never really did research into this system or this person. I did however link an article about it from debt.org for you to read more on it. I mainly just say people on youtube doing it and it seemed like it worked for them so I gave it a shot so I can’t say I follow his method per se.

Pictured above you see the items that I budget, stash is just money I want to save, hobbies is for books and yarn arts or anything hobby wise I want to get, gas is for my car, groceries is for delicious foods, flow is money that I can move into any category depending on need, and essentials is things I need like shampoo, deodorant, or cleaning products. This set was made by The Average Budget. I also have used items from THandCoDesigns and MsCaliBudget and loved them.

So, these are the things that work for me personally at this point in time. It might change as my needs change, but we shall see. Do you have any budgeting tools or methods you use?

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Lists & Recommendations

My Unread eBooks

picture of ereader among plants

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of the ebooks I own and have yet to read. I will say, I mainly use my ereader to read books from the library, but there are a few books I have picked up because they were on sale. The ereader I use is a Kobo Libra H2O. I did a few posts about it when I first unboxed it, Unboxing | New eReader! and also an update on how I felt about it after some use Let’s Talk | 6 Month Review of Kobo Libra H2O. Anyway, here is a list of the books that I have sitting on my ereader ready for me read.

  • The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller
  • Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami
  • The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
  • The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox
  • Middle March by Mary Ann Evans
  • Horns by Joe Hill
  • 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
  • Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
  • Ships of Destiny by Robin Hobb
  • Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Lists & Recommendations

Ten Random Books from my Owned TBR

Pile of 10 books from my owned tbr

Hello and welcome to a post where I show you a glimpse of a few books on my owned tbr. I planned on showing you only 10, but alas, I cannot count and took a picture of 11. I felt like it might be fun to just pick up the first books I saw and showcase them a bit. As of writing this my TBR is around 35 books so this is only a third of what I have. Anyway, here are the 11 books I picked up!

Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Dinner by César Aira

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríof

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Heaven by Meiko Kawakami

Fresh by Margot Wood

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | September 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for the month of September! It is so strange to think about that fact that we are moving into the last 3rd of 2021 already. I feel like the year has just started, but is also ending so soon. Time, what a weird thing sometimes. Anyway, here are the things I hope to read, do, and maybe even experience over the next month!

Reading Plans

This month I really want to reread The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I am not sure why, but The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Trilogy just screams fall and early winter to me. I feel like September is the perfect time to start since the weather generally starts to shift a little chillier throughout the month. The second book I really hope to finish would be to finish my current read The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil: or, BeBop’s Miscellany by Bill Sprouse. Nothing like reading some folklore of your own state! I grew up knowing about the Jersey Devil and such, but I thought this would be a fun look at this cryptid.

Crochet & Knitting Plans

Since I took up knitting socks last month I want to finish the other sock and make it a pair. I also started working on a cowl to use this winter I would love to have completed before it is needed. Other than that I don’t really have any goal projects I feel like I MUST work on. I think I am going to be a mood crocheter when I pick up a new project from my stash.

Random Goals

I think this month I would really love to go apple picking. I am always eating apples year round, but I think it would be really nice to grab a few myself. Other than that I am hoping I am able to relax a bit and maybe get to sit by the fire pit a few more times before it gets too cold at night. I love being outside so much and I really want to milk this weather for as long as I can because once it is cold I am locking myself inside. I do not do well with the cold.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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Sign off, thanks for reading!

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | August 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly digest where I discuss the books I read and hauled, crafts and crocheting I completed as well as random life stuff I did or tried. I have to say my reading was really flying this month, I read so much and I am so happy my reading mojo is back in full swing. It really has been a struggle this year and I am not quite sure why and what changed.

Some of the books read this month, sock I was working on and a blanket I finished crocheting.

Reading

  • Read Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann
  • Read Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Read The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever by Kent Garrett and Jeanne Ellsworth
  • Read Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin by Megan Rosenbloom
  • Read The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
  • Read Treasure by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Read Snowflakes by Ruth Ware
  • Read Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
  • Read Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  • Read Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū
  • Hauled Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
  • Hauled Fresh by Margot Wood
  • Hauled The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Total TBR Count: 33, Last Month: 35

Crochet & Crafting

This month I tried something new, something I didn’t think I was going to be capable of. I knitted a sock! I have never knitted before, but I signed up for a sock class and I actually did it! I didn’t think it was possible, but I did it! I am really proud of myself because for me knitting is much harder than crocheting. I think I am going to continue to knit socks or little things along with my larger crochet projects because I have found they use different muscles in the arms and hands and it gives them a break while I still get to work on stuff.

I am almost done with my poncho, I am loving how it is coming out, but it is starting to annoy me. Four hundred stitches per row! I only have 6 or 7 rows left of the body and then the little sleeves. I also started and finished a blanket that I LOVED how it came out.

As for other crafting I didn’t do to much this month, learning how to knit took up too much of my brain power. I am thrilled with that I accomplished though! Organizationally, I bagged up all of my yarn and labeled them by project so they are protected from things that love to eat yarn. But, also great for when I want to start a new project everything is easily organized and I don’t need to dig through all my skeins.

Life

I tried making a London Fog Latte for the first time. I took a recipe from Gimme Some Oven. It is a really yummy latte, I have made it quite a few times since the first one and a great one to have instead of a cup of coffee. This month I focused on relaxing mornings and then productive days. I have done a lot of cleaning and getting rid of things I don’t use. I mainly focused on the storage bins under my bed, I ended up emptying an entire one. I also deep cleaned my office and got rid of about two bags of things and was able to donate one of the bags and the other was shredding since it was paperwork. It felt good to finally tackle those projects.

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Life Style

My Reading Routine 2021

Hello and welcome to post where I talk about what my reading looks like these days. A long time ago in 2017 I made a post called My Reading Routine. I feel like a lot has changed in the roughly 4 years since I have written that post. So, here is a little update!

When

This one actually has not changed too much. In my original post I mentioned that I mainly read on the weekends. This is still true, but that is because that is when I do my chores and listen to audiobooks. But, it is also when I have time to take a breath and set aside some me time. I have also started reading more at night, but it might not be a book. It could be articles, blog posts, or anything else. I just read what I feel like reading while I wind down for the day. I just need to make sure it isn’t too engaging because I will be up all night reading.

Where

In my original post I talked about how I like to read outside, which I still do. Nothing better than reading on a hammock when there is a light breeze in the air. I don’t so much go out in the summer time anymore though. I save outside reading for when it is cooler so I am not melting into a puddle.

Now, as far as reading inside I still read mainly in my room laying in bed. Like I mentioned earlier I have tried to make reading any form of media before bed. I don’t use my arm chair too much these days because my plant collection kind of gets in the way, but I forgive them because they are majestic and bring some beauty to my room. Since shifting away from using my chair, I now read quite often at my desk. I am not sure if it is because I have been working from home for so long or what, but I have found this space to break away from others and just focus. As for audiobooks, I listen to them while doing chores around the house so any and all rooms get utilized.

What I Need

When I first wrote this post I talked about wearing comfortable clothing, listening to classical or instrumental music, lighting a candle, and a comfortable blanket. A little has changed. I still love being comfortable when reading, especially if I plan on reading for quite some time. As far as background noise I have really taken to ambient ASMR, especially fire places and thunder storms. I don’t bother with candles in the same way that I did. I will light them from time to time, but it is few and far between. But, the thing I need the most and I can’t read without is a good book. Everything else I can do without.

Sign Off 2020
Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Reading Challenges

Replacing My Screen Time

Hello and welcome to a post where I am going to share my experience attempting to replace my screen time with some reading instead. I have been seeing this concept shared by a few booktubers such as The Book Leo and Spoopyhol. I thought it was a really fun idea and would be a great way to put my energy in enjoying my hobbies and not just looking at a screen mindlessly. This really goes hand in hand with me wanting to take a few ideas from my recent read, Thinking Like a Roman Emperor and implementing them. I did a whole review on this book, you can read that here: Reading Taste Test | @jacksepticeye. Anyway, here is what happened throughout my attempt to replace my screen time!

screen time data

To start off I needed to take a look at my screen time for the previous week and I ended up spending 1h 48min a day on my phone. This is actually better than I thought it would be, but to think of reading that much a day seems like it might be a bit difficult. Also, I am going to be monitoring or tracking my reading using an app called Study Bunny and set it to 110m, which is the equivalent to 1h 50m.

Screen shot of Study Bunny

Monday, August 2nd: Read from 13% to 100% of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar. I ended up reading a total of 2h 15m.

Tuesday, August 3rd: Started reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs and ended on page 154. I read for 1h 50m.

Wednesday, August 4th: Oops life got in the way. So my time for the day was 0h 0m. I am hoping to make this up before the week is over so I can get the time in.

Thursday, August 5th: Continued reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs I started on page 154 and ended on page 296. I read for the full 1h 50m.

Friday, August 6th: Continued reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobbs I started on page 296 and read until page 398. Following reading my tome for the entire 110m, I ended up reading two short stories, Snow Flakes by Ruth Ware and then Treasure Oyinkan Braithwaite. I read both of these short stories back to back and added another 40m to my reading for a total of 3h 40m.

Saturday, August 7th: The first section of reading was the daily amount of 110 min and I read from pages 398 to 547. Later in the day I decided to read some more. I ended up making it to page 631 and took the days total to 3h 13m.

Sunday, August 8th: The last day of the challenge and I was determined to finish this read to end this challenge with the book, I thought it would be fun. I read from page 631 to page 880. The total time of reading for the day ended up being 3h 19m.

Reading Time Graph

Number of hours of required reading was 12h 50m or 770m. I ended up reading a total of 16 hours and 7 min this past week. I ended up exceeding my goal, even though I missed a day of reading, which I am proud of. I thought I would have a hard time trying to make up the missed day, but it all worked out in the end! I am really glad I ended up taking on this challenge and I hope to try another reading challenge in the future!

Sign Off 2020
Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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