My Year in Movies: 2019

I don’t track my movies with near the precision of my books (I don’t bother with re-watches, I’d quickly lose track), but I have started tracking movies with Letterboxd. And a few days ago, I received an email with my movie year in review from Letterboxd which was a fun surprise. I think I didn’t put all my Hallmarks for this season in yet though, so its not totally accurate on the number of films and hours. I did some updating.

And then I realized that Letterboxd has a duplication problem; you can have multiple entries (and multiple counts) of the same movie, so that completely defeats the purpose. I then exported, deleted, updated, and edited my list of watched movies. So now I have an Excel list, but I’ll have to manually add the date of the movie, etc. However, it is easier to mass add the category tags in Excel. I wish there was a better site, but there doesn’t seem to be. Maybe I can somehow juggle both (clear out my account and import everything back in, and then add movies more carefully? And then export, cut the ones I’ve recently added and brush it up?).

I probably should track re-watches to track my overall movie watching habit, clearly the Hallmarks are waaaaay out of hand.

Per the email and my memory/Wikipedia. I think I watched some Hallmarks that were new to me but not new this year, I’d have to check. This is as accurate as its getting right now.

  • I watched 61 new-to-me films
  • My two biggest categories were Hallmark at 27 titles (I’ve watched 140 Hallmark movies out of 437 movies I’ve counted, this merits another post) and Classics at 16 titles
  • My most watched actor/actress was Lauren Bacall (6: Designing Woman, How to Marry a Millionaire, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and Dark Passage)
  • My most watched director was Howard Hawks
  • My 4 highest rated films were Spider Man: Homecoming, Testament of YouthI am Dragon, and Thor: Ragnarok

New Year Resolutions and Planning

I’ve spent a lot of time planning, several drafts of resolutions, goals, etc. I watched tons of YouTube, mostly MuchelleB for ideas and inspiration (last year Lavendaire was the go-to YouTuber) plus lots of AmandaRachLee and others (see my Pinterest board section for more of them) for the practical, physical planner pages.

I’d decided on a lot about my physical planner system that I wanted: letter-sized (I prefer larger, and letter is more practical for print-outs here in the U.S.), dot-grid paper, bullet journal layouts, and removable pages. However, I did make some changes, I changed from Filofax to Staples Arc (I got this one), because of color mainly, but also the price (since the Staples notebook was on sale). I still have yet to get the punch for my notebook.

I then tried to research a good paper thickness. I ended up with 28lbs paper, but I definitely go thicker next/when I get the chance). I found this free bullet journal dot paper print-out (I’m going to have to work with my printer settings in order to try to get it to be perfectly symmetrical, also not sure my printer likes the thick paper).

I’m keeping my yearly, quarterly, monthly goal breakdown, but I’m trying to aim for more practical and achievable (for me personally) goals. Again, I’m not holding myself to these strictly, but if I aim and get many things partially completed and constantly readjust, I will be doing quite well. This time I also set some basic resolutions that my goals will fall under. These are:

  1. Achieve a basic level of financial and career security
  2. Make a significant improvement in overall health
  3. Implement systems and organizations to make life easier
  4. Make more serious and systematic strides in skills

My word of the year is: Security

My focus of the year is: Aiming for independence with comfort

My goals are quite long (and are the details of the resolutions) and have been broken down into categories (I’ve posted the reading ones already, I think I might make each category a separate post, at least for the less personal ones).

I’ll probably post pictures, but maybe after I get the planner looking a little prettier.

 

 

Christmas 2018

Christmas Eve we gathered with extended family, ate appetizers, children opened gifts, ladies drew number for $10 gifts amongst each other, men did the same, and we drew for men’s and lady’s stockings. My brother, sister-in-law, and niece stayed over at our house.

Christmas morning we had our tradition cinnamon rolls, opened stockings, my parents exchanged gifts, niece received gifts from my parents, and those still at home received gifts from parents. I also accidentally opened my gift from our sibling exchange (oops). We then watched White Christmas.

We then went to my grandparents, ate more appetizers, gave and received gifts from grandparents, from sibling exchange (we drew names from each via drawnames.com which is awesome, we filled out our gift lists on it, I want to use those for birthdays also), and parents gave gifts to the married siblings. Some people watched Rogue One (very Christmassy), and we played games (including Fishbowl, which we also played on New Year’s Day, and some played on New Year’s Eve, it seems to be trendy).

From top left clockwise, the $10 ladies gift I gave, most gifts I gave Babysister whose name I drew (the fox print fabric is an infinity scarf) minus a flower in a vial necklace and lotion, the gifts wrapped (I gave my mom a set of state made jams and jellies), and the belatedly-finished-still-not-given shrug for my niece (I still also have a sweater dress to finish for her).

My sister declared once she got out of school that she was going to start Harry Potter. Um, how about wait 5 days until Christmas?! I hid my copy, and told and texted everyone in the family to refuse to let her borrow their copies. It is HIGHLY out of character for me to misplace books also I’m not a good liar (and I didn’t want to lie, so I cut off from saying I didn’t know to saying it wasn’t on my shelf), but she suspected nothing.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we helped my grandparents decorate for Christmas, and these are the areas I helped decorate.

I smashed a bunch of random Christmas photos into this collage. From top left clockwise, the bell wreath hanging from my doorknob (I’m keeping Christmas up until after the twelfth day of Christmas; its the 4th as I’m writing), the first version of my neat bookshelf (I cleared the floor and draped all the messy corners in white or gray), Sugarplum things she’s a decoration, my gingerbread house, my plate of appetizers from Christmas Eve (I LOVE that as a meal, and my grandmother fixed more and fancier appetizers for Christmas but I didn’t get a photo), the second version of my neat bookshelf (I’d smashed my snow globe decorating and later Mom bought another for me), the gorgeous wood Advent calender my mom bought for my brother and sister-in-law, Musicalmiss’s Dr. Suess “gingerbread” house (most of my sisters and I gathered at my brother and sister-in-laws house for a gingerbread day), and center is my hope chest nativity scene (I had three neat areas to decorate, the other is in the top collage).

Clockwise from top left. Awesome leftie sewing Gingher scissors with a case from my mom (I bought some sewing scissors but they weren’t nice like my mom’s so I always borrowed/kept hers), my stocking stuffers, more tea from Mom, athletic sweatshirts and cozy socks from Mom, blouse and gloves from Mom, and all the lovely movies Musicalmiss got me (she had my name).

Clockwise from top left. Some goodies I picked out some bags of goodies from family friends. Necklace and earrings from my grandmother. The $10 ladies gift I received on Christmas Eve (well, I drew for myself and my sick sister, and I picked this one because I knew what is was as another sister gave it, lol), and my gifts from my grandmother. That is an antique knitting basket/bag. That jar is a ton of lotion, I might be getting a slight hint as to the slight problem of the state of my hands, maybe.

 

Our Christmas decor.

More of our Christmas decor. I missed getting our main tree with all the gifts downstairs.

DIY Leather Leaf Earrings

Last year for my sister I’d meant to make the leaf earrings that Joanna Gaines (this sister has a very similar style to Joanna) wears in almost every episode in the last season of Fixer Upper. I had some scraps left from the thrifted lambskin leather jacket (I had used this to make a belt for this same sister last Christmas). If you don’t have scraps, I think craft stores carry small packs of leather and possible faux leather.

I made a pattern in Word with an online picture (because the diamond shape in Word was wonky to work with) which you can download here: Leather Leaf Earring Template. I would love a Cricut one day though.

I’d seen earrings with a shimmery leaf on top, so I grabbed some tempera paint that looked close to rose gold (I think it was bronze). I wanted the red to show through, but I added a bit more tempera than I thought, so it’s more opaque than I wanted (and I think the leather is from different parts and took the paint differently, so bear that in mind).

If you search leaf earrings in YouTube there are multiple tutorials, here is one featuring similar earrings. One showed how to punch a hole with a thumbtack which is nice if you don’t own an awl or similar tool. I already had rose gold colored ear wires, but I grabbed some bronze/rose gold colored wire from Hobby Lobby to use for the jump rings. The mini tools are from Hobby Lobby, but I definitely need to upgrade, the wire cutters didn’t work.

What I’ve Been Up To

New phone. I bought the Google Pixel 3 during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, or rather signed up for the payment plan. I had a reasonable justification for this, I’ll see if that pans out or not. Anyway, the camera was a main selling point. I’ve also loved trying out apps I couldn’t get because my iPhone didn’t get updates anymore as well as realizing my apps I did have previously have been updated as well. One new app is Serial Reader which I’ve been using to read War and Peace. I wanted Kristin Lavransdatter as well, but it isn’t available on it currently.

Finishing my reading challenge.

Various Christmas things like knitting, shopping, seeing a high-school White Christmas play. I also made some Joanna Gaines inspired earrings for my sister with help from Youtube videos. I’ll do a separate post for that.

Enjoying time with my niece and seeing lots of videos and photos of her. I have a lot of younger siblings, but I was young when they were babies and obviously didn’t care much about developmental milestones. We obviously all think that our niece (daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter) is a genius. Her laughing videos are hilarious, and apparently she knows how to sing because when her mama plays the piano, she “sings.” The most recent video she was sitting in my sister-in-laws lap while she played “singing” and cutting her eyes at my brother who was videoing as if to say, “are you getting this Daddy?”

Whilst brainstorming for the ladies $10 gift, I looked at turban hats (will possibly be making myself one) and a couple of them showed adorable little brooches). When I went on my last Christmas shopping trip (I didn’t need me things, but it was so successful which just makes me happy), I found this absolutely darling pins.

Enjoying Christmas, I’ll have a few posts up soon.

Binging on Youtube. I’m really missing the blog world, so many people quitting and less inspiring, more shallow business-y people starting, I go through phases though, I follow and unfollow rather a lot, not because I start to dislike but because I’m bored or don’t want to have that many regular channels to follow. I’ve of course watched tons on planning videos for New Year’s prep I’ll link to some of those when I post more on my year’s plans.

Rescuing a kitty on New Year’s Eve. The rest of our family went to a friends but I preferred to stay home. I put our “baby” cat in, and an hour later went to walk one of the dogs and saw her (as I thought, small, black with a collar) outside. I rushed upstairs (when in doubt, panic) and found her looking sleepily back at the crazy lady. I knew it wasn’t our other darkish cat, and I assumed it ran away or in the bushes, but it had run up high into our tree (I’m not sure what kind off tree but it had lots of thin, very twig filled branches, like a net, not optimal for fetching a cat). After checking with a neighbor, slipping, and shaking a food bowl, the cat came down. I posted about him on Nextdoor (an essential site/app if you have animals), and we kept it overnight and fed and watered him. We haven’t had feral strays around in years, and I could tell that he’d been much loved by people (he was cuddly and shiny) and definitely at least a partially inside cat, and that he seemed lost, and he also seemed young as he was small. We don’t have a letterbox, so I eventually let him out. His owners said he came back home and that he was indoor/outdoor. I was so relieved.

New Year’s Day we had our homemade dough-nuts and board games day. Thankfully it was a much smaller group than usual.

Reading Goals for 2019

I looked at my laughably ambition 2018 goals, and I decided to modify them a bit.

I would like to read 100 new to me books this year. I decided to set that as a reasonable number and add more on as I re-read any or set a better pace or read anything too easy to count. After comparing last year’s reads with this year, I decided I needed to step up my goal for nonfiction and break it down into chunks. I think I want to average about 4 nonfiction books a month for about 48 total. I still need to work setting a note-taking habit.

  • Continue on my U.S. history study. I read all of one, I believe towards that this year and that one was in the early part of the year.
  • The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge (since it’s smaller this year)
    • A book you’ve been meaning to read
    • A book about a topic that fascinates you
    • A book in the backlist of a favorite author
    • A book recommended by someone with great taste
    • Three books by the same author
    • A book you chose for the cover
    • A book by an author who is new to you
    • A book in translation
    • A book outside your (genre) comfort zone
    • A book published before you were born
  • Read my borrowed books (in flux, but I think around 5 now) and unread owned physical books (mostly devotional types books, several of them gifts, I think around 30). I’d also like to read several of my ebooks.
  • Classics Club: I’m working on War and Peace currently on Serial reader, so that should be finished this year. I’d like to read all the Shakespeare’s plays that I have listed, 10, I think. I’d like to finish the Ernest Hemingway novels, and try one C.S. Lewis, and maybe at least start Kristin Lavransdatter.
  • I would like to read 2 poetry collections, 2 essay collections, 4 non Shakespearean plays, 4 autobiographies/memoirs/biographies, and 10 scholarly journal articles. I might look over the Pulitzer Prizes for some works.
  • At least one book in each of these categories:
    • World history
    • Personal development
    • Critical thinking
    • Logic
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Art
    • Music
    • Travel
    • Geopolitics
    • Religion/theology
    • Personal finance
    • Science (non-medical)
  • At least 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction from outside the U.S. and Europe
  • My re-reading possibilities
    • Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries
    • Maybe Anne of Green Gables series
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • To Have and To Hold
    • The Tale of Two Cities
    • Book of Walter Scott’s Poetry
    • Ivanhoe
    • Aunt Jane’s Hero
    • Evelina
    • The Book Thief
    • The Harvester

My Year in Books: Reading Year in Review

Here is My Year in Books on Goodreads (I’m not sure its visible for everyone); not sure if the page number is accurate, I did read 140 which it shows at the bottom but not at the top.

Goodreads numbers (factoring in the slim book that I didn’t list on Goodreads because it had to do with my geographic area, and supplementing the information with stats from My Books > Stats page).

  • 141 books (about 40 more than last year)
  • 39,576+ pages (almost 10,000 pages more than my previous record in 2014; also, see note above on re-reads)
  • Longest book: 908 pages (Brothers Karamazov)
  • Shortest book: 24 pages (the golden book Kitty’s New Doll, a childhood favorite, a Christmas theme this year, that my sister received for Christmas)
  • Average rating: 3.2 (I checked previous years, around 3 usually is my average)
  • Most popular: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Least popular: Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History by J.N. Hays
  • Approximately 25% was on my fantasy shelf
  • Around at least 12-15% was Agatha Christie
  • Most of my 5 star reads were re-reads
  • I had 6 one star reads

Now, I started also tracking books in Excel. Later I discover that you can export your Goodreads information in an excel sheet, but when I tried for this year the most significant column (date read) didn’t properly transfer for me (less than 1/3 of books read in 2018 showed a date in Excel), so that was rather useless. I asked about this, so we’ll see if it’s corrected.

Anyway from my 6 main categories (Re-reads, Literary Fiction, Light Fiction, Illustrated Books, Serious Nonfiction, and Popi for this year:

  • Re-reads: 35 (not including Illustrated);  13 Literary Fiction and 22 Light Fiction (last year I re-read around 12)
  • Literary Fiction: 14 (27 including re-reads)
  • Light Fiction: 58 (70 including re-reads)
  • Illustrated Books: 11 (at least 3 and up to 5 were re-reads from childhood)
  • Serious Nonfiction: 10
  • Popular Nonfiction: 13
  • Total nonfiction: 23 (last year I read at least 30)

What I Read December 2018

Nonfiction
The Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. I really, really enjoyed this at first. I didn’t appreciate the lack of sources, and I noticed he embellished his stories and spoke too firmly of things that maybe weren’t so factually provable, but I didn’t really pause until I came to the story of the 12 Days of Christmas. That song included an extremely far-fetched story about it being code for Catholic doctrines (besides the connection stretch the doctrines weren’t specifically Catholic, and Latin rather than English was significant in Catholic teaching at that period). I looked it up, its essentially an urban myth. So of course that gives me pause about the whole book. I know there is a more updated edition, perhaps this story (and other issues if any) are corrected in that. I still want to read his other books about Christmas, I just think I might be doing my own confirmation research

Light Fiction
15 books by Diana Wynne Jones. Howl’s Moving Castle at 4 stars is the highest rating I’ve given her books, I think. She has a lot of boring ones plus I find a lot of problematic elements in her works (dwimmer magic in Crestomanci gave me a twinge for example with the dead animals). I did put one book down (The Time of the the Ghost) which I definitely advise against (twisted, violent, occult, savage, old pagan), although I skimmed it (I need to stop that, not exactly consistent). My standards slipped I think both with morality and with quality because I wanted easy, and I wanted to finish my challenge.

  1. The Lives of Christopher Chant. Not my favorite Crestomanci; his and Millie’s backstory is fun though.
  2. The Islands of Chaldea. Her family should have left this unfinished.
  3. Dark Lord of Derkholm. Fun enough, tons of moral issues though.
  4. Year of the Griffin. Fun enough.
  5. Witch Week. Fun enough.
  6. A Tale Of Time City. Interesting.
  7. The Magicians of Caprona. Cute.
  8. Witch’s Business. Cute.
  9. The Ogre Downstairs. Funny a bit heartwarming at the end.
  10. Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories. Some good, some disturbing, some boring.
  11. Enchanted Glass. Interesting, totally repulsive “twist” at the end though, to me.
  12. The Homeward Bounders. I gave it a three, but drawing a blank about my impressions and the details.
  13. The Game. Boring.
  14. Earwig and the Witch. Bleh.
  15. Wild Robert. Funny.

Illustrated Books (oh, I know, scoff)
Dorothy Kunhardt’s Kitty’s New Doll. A Golden book childhood favorite my sister received for Christmas. This one has the original illustrations (far more charming that the current ones, I need to get my own copy, why do publishers do this, if you want new, keep the old and have both!).
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee. A childhood favorite that I received for Christmas.
Thumbelina by Hans Christian Anderson, illustrated by Adrienne Adams. Received for Christmas; I grew up on the movie, but I don’t think I’d read the original story.
Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter. Part of my Christmas season reading.

Rereads
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Knife (Spell Hunter), Rebel (Wayfarer), Arrow, Swift, and Nomad by R.J. Anderson. I love these painfully, just read them.

A Literary Christmas Wrap Up

I’m posting my wrap-up for A Literary Christmas, late of course, but I was only participating loosely since that tends to work best for me. Any reviews will be in November and December books read posts. Now, I need to peruse everyone’s links to find ideas for next Christmas.

Juvenile Fiction
The Holly and the Ivy Rumer Godden
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story Lemony Snicket
Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story Cynthia Rylant
The Christmas Day Kitten James Herriot
The Lump of Coal Lemony Snicket
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Barbara Robinson

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter. I added this.

Grown-Up Fiction
Christmas At Fairacre Miss Read. I guess I’ll try this next year.

Christmas History
Christmas In Williamsurg: 300 Years of Family Traditions K. M. Kostyal
Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas Ace Collins. I loved this at first but had my confidence in his veracity shaken by one of the stories (see my review); however, I think that if the updated version has corrections, I want to buy it and the second one as well as his book of stories (which Sarah of Lilacs and Springtime mentioned, and which I then requested from the library, but it looks like it might have been lost or taken off the shelves since my request), and maybe read a story a day for a Christmas countdown next year.
Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, And Rituals at The Origins of Yuletide Christian Rätsch. Yeah, um this was disturbing. Also, not quite honest. Seemed to not merely be a factual story but a promotion of ancient paganism and drug use. Also, you can’t separate the pagan aspects out from Christian aspects so easily. Christmas is more like spaghetti historically, and you won’t get an honest picture unless you look at all the parts with some organization, something these authors weren’t doing. I put down.
Christmas Customs and Traditions, Their History and Significance by Clement A Miles. I added this but only got through a few chapters as it was written in 1912 and is a bit more scholarly than easy. I do want to get it again, but I think I will start over and read more carefully and take notes.

Christmas Baking
Scandikitchen Christmas: Recipes and Traditions from Scandinavia Brontë Aurell
Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen Luisa Weiss
Festive Baking: Holiday Classics in the Swiss, German, and Austrian Traditions Sarah Kelly Iaia

I didn’t make anything this year except what Mom had already decided on. Maybe I’ll have more motivation next year. I own the last book already, but I’d like the other German baking book as well if not also the Scandinavian one.

Yarn Along: January

I’m linking up with Ginny Sheller’s Yarn Along here.

I’m still working on Christmas knitting. One of my resolutions last year was to finish gift projects on time. Ha. Clearly that needs to be this years as well.

I started Suzie Sparkle’s Jasmine Dress (I LOVE the styles she has) in Knitpicks Shine Worsted in Sailor (I love this yarn; I love that it is in two weights, the feel of it, the cost; it’s my go-to for babies with Valley Yarn’s Goshen although Knitpicks is easier to order from). The pattern is for DK, so I’m usually as smaller style based on my gauge, fingers-crossed that it will turn out. I’m making the long-sleeved option, and I think I might want more eyelets in the skirt, and a ribbon around the waist, we’ll see.

I’m reading Odd Girl Out which is a sort of memoir from the author about her adult diagnosis of autism. I just randomly found this on a blog, I think and thought it was interesting. You usually hear of boys with autism. I’m a third in I think. Interesting story but I hate present tense writing and this is pretty wordy.

I whipped this bonnet (the pattern is $2, but I think it was free when I got it) up for my niece in November with some left-over Knitpicks Shine. I had several more balls of different colors, so I’ve finished two more of different sizes (one for my niece next winter) plus have a fourth on the needles.

I’m quite proud of this even though it’s late. My mom bought my niece a 12 month baby dress at a boutique in Baltimore when visiting friends months before she was born, and she wanted me to make a shrug to go with it for Christmas. Of course it was blocking (I will break this procrastination!) when we opened gifts. I made the pattern myself with help on the number of stitches for cast on and sleeve increases from other raglan patterns (because raglan is easy, I knew I could come up with a pattern rather than buy a similar, plus I like mine better!). This is Knitpicks Shine sport in Robot I believe, and the clasp is from Knitpicks as well (I’d collected a few over the years). I haven’t given it yet, I’m wanting to finish the sweater dress first and then go visit, and I can take a photo of the shrug with the dress Mom gave.

The New Year Tag for 2018

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
I’m a hobbit, especially this year. I can’t think of anything major.
Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make one this year?
I made a ton of goals and while I met some parts of the goals, overall I don’t think I made a success. Yes, I’m definitely having goals. I’m trying to make them more general upfront, and then I will break them down into more achievable steps and plans.
My resolutions were…
I posted them around this time last year if you really want to see them.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my sister-in-law to my first niece (first niece or nephew, is there a group word for that?).
Did anyone close to you die?
No.
What countries/states did you visit?
Florida (the states we drove through to get there don’t count). In other words, back to normal; so much for my dreams (I missing the key ingredient of bravery, since I apparently cannot drive 2 hours in my own state to see the total solar eclipse, over a year, and I’m still disgusted with myself). I’ve been made aware that around this area there are two states, the one you live in and Florida.
What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Financial independence.
What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
My niece’s birthday.
Did you move anywhere?
No.
What was the best month?
All the ones after my niece has been born (the last 3.5).
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’m not sure. Maybe spending more time with family.
What was your biggest failure?
All things financial and career (per usual).
Did you suffer illness or injury?
No.
What was the best thing you bought?
I didn’t have major purchases, but I bought a lot of unique handmade and vintage items. I posted about the art fair already. I think I have yet to post about some of the other trips.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who didn’t do or say anything awful.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everyone who did.
Where did most of your money go?
School and make-up and skincare, I think.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My niece.
What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
I don’t go to concerts.
What song/album will always remind you of 2018?
I’m so not a music person, should probably work a bit on that. I have listened to the Greatest Showman music, probably the most current music.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? Happier or more positive at least, I hope, I think?
2. thinner or fatter? Ouch, definitely fatter.
3. richer or poorer? Um, less in debt.
What do you wish you’d done more of? 
Saved money.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spent money. Shared too many words and emotions at work (i.e. trust no one).
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Like I said, not a huge music person. But I have enjoyed learning about Christmas carols in Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. And as folk music is definitely my favorite genre, I enjoyed watching and listening to this bluegrass clogging video.
How did you spend Christmas?
With family, I’ll probably post about it soon.
How are you spending New Year’s?
Well, typing this post, I opted not to go with my family to friends. Tomorrow, per usual we have people over (to avoid people having run-ins with drunk drivers) for homemade doughnuts, ping-pong, and board games.
Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Social media.
What were the best books you read?
The best books were old favorites for fiction. I did enjoy starting Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle and Diana Wynne Jones’ Crestomanci books as well as a few others, but no loves there. I appreciated a lot of the health and disease books I read and Sleep Smarter which I want to buy and use like a manual.
What were the best movies you watched?
I Am Dragon, Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Bringing Up Baby, and Monkey Business.
Did you fall in love in 2018?
No.
What was your favorite TV show?
Yeah, I’m NOT a television person.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
What did you want and get?
Spiderman: Homecoming, The Hollow Crown, and The Magic of Ordinary Days.
What did you want and not get?
Books with beautiful covers on my wishlist.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Apathetic.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Probably watched a movie? And later we did a family month birthday (we have 5 in that month). Apparently I didn’t do a birthday post, not sure why. But I need to work better at documenting memories, it’s disturbing what I can’t remember. I turned 28.
What kept you sane?
Easy books, funny movies, my room.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Financial and career security.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hmm, I think I did more fawning on old favs (including really old ones like Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper), Tom Hiddleston, oh, wait. I know a good one. When we watched She’s the Man, my sister and I were drooling over young Channing Tatum (let’s be real, the major reason I wanted to watch that). I also fancied the men in I Am Dragon. But I can’t think of anything that matched my Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddlestown rages (those later two, especially Hiddleston were more like “real” crushes, cringy I know).
What political issue stirred you the most?
We don’t do politics here.
Who did you miss?
No one.
Who was the best new person you met?
Most new people I’ve met have been work people.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
Always have an emergency fund.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Five things I want to do in 2019:
Achieve financial stability
Implement patterns to make my life easier
Travel more
Maybe get out of my shell more (that’s not really a want but a should)
Develop my talents more.

Fall Fun List Success

  • An autumn festival (already scheduled, just need to ask off) with my grandparents
  • Join in on our family Ladies Shopping Day; I have only been able to join on show-and-tell the last few times. We’ve tried to have 1-2 shopping days with the ladies in Mom’s extended family where we shop at antique stores and consignment shops with a break for lunch and an end of day after snack and show-and-tell showcasing our finds at the end. So much fun.
  • Spend lots of time with my niece and take lots of good photos. Since I’ve gotten a new phone, I’ve gotten some photos and videos, mostly videos. It’s more fun just to talk to her and watch her though.
  • Maybe a autumn hiking trip. No.
  • Buy all my planning stuff for next year. I bought some, not the fun stuff though and that after fall
  • Read tons moreParticipate in Classics Club dare and read 5 more from list. I did read a ton more, just not much from the Classics Club although I did start War and Peace.
  • Work on blog development a bit (Genesis, IP, spam, disclosure). No.
  • Make serious dent in my sewing stash. I haven’t sewn at all.
    • Finish second smocked baby dress ASAP
    • Two more business skirts
    • Fall dresses and skirts
    • Baby dresses for summer (as Christmas gifts)
    • Tons of baby bows and such
  • Make a serious dent in my knitting stash. No, but I’ve done a little at using up some odd balls and leftovers by making one bonnet for my niece as well as two more in different sizes and starting a fourth plus a bit for Christmas.
    • Knit at least one sweater and sweater dress for me
    • Baby sweaters, rompers, sweater dresses. I finished my niece’s shrug and just started her sweater dress, after Christmas
    • Socks for me
    • Baby socks
  • Dress up as Audrey Hepburn from How to Steal a Million for Halloween. Maybe next year.
  • Start working on regency outfit. No, I could have at least make some mock-ups, I have plenty of scraps/muslin for some of that, but I lacked the motivation.