End of Month Tally: January

A look back on my month, with some fun pictures, too.

Books I Read:

Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant. I give it 3 out of 4 X’s on a moonshine jug. A violent tale of bootlegging in Virginia, and a band of brothers tougher and grittier than the dirt roads they travel. When I found out before the holidays that it was going to be a movie (back in early December – thanks, FilmDrunk), I had to grab the book and read it, because…I really like doing that. I don’t have a real reason; I just enjoy comparing the movie to the book.

Craft, Inc. by Meg Ilasco. My cousin is thinking about starting to sell her crafts on etsy, so I thought I would read this to get some helpful tips in case she asks for my advice. I borrowed it from the library and as soon as I started reading it I realized I just need to buy this book. Its helpful tips are way to numerous to just jot down-I would just be rewriting the whole book! it goes through all the steps, from something so small as the name, to the big stuff like licensing and cost of labor. It is a must read for anyone who has a marketable skill they want to share.

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi. I don’t remember how I came across this book, but it is different than my usual genre of books. I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did because it had some great insights from one journalist’s side of the politics of the last few years, and the different angles of looking at the labyrinthine structure that is our nation’s economy.

Editor’s Note: I tossed and turned (while awake) about whether or not to include these last two books, but I read them, so I think they count)

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I don’t know if this counts as reading, since it’s a cookbook, but it is too massive too ignore. I cannot wait to show off all the magical things I bake using these recipes (breakfast sweets FTW!)

Diane Arbus Family Albums. I think my favorite picture is of Ricky Nelson and his family. The perfect triangle of life and love really moved me. But throughout all the pictures, I couldn’t help but try to imagine what Arbus did to make the subjects feel at ease, or how she directed them. I am fascinated by that aspect of photographers.

I can’t really put a picture of the Fallen Heroes Fund, or some facsimile thereof, so here’s a link to a bunch of videos of dogs greeting their soldier dads when they get home. I watched it once and I still tear up even trying to explain it to someone. Watch it if you want your heart to melt.

Donation for the Month:

Inspired by the UFC’s Fight for the Troops, I donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. I am in strong opposition of the ridiculous wars our country has gotten itself into the last decade, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support the troops who are risking their lives. For those whose lives are challenged with a permanent change when they return. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes supports the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.

The more I think about it, the more people I know affiliated with the military. One of my favorite bloggers, friends, family members, even my boss’ son, who is like a little brother to me, is in the Army. So making a donation to this fund is a no-brainer.

Budget Analysis:

I used the money I saved over the holidays to go shopping at the thrift store with my mom. In my defense, I did need work shirts. I did not however, need some of the other stuff, but I did spend less than $20 – the budget I set for myself. But now at the end of the month, I have no fun money. Stupid car registration, throwing off my money mojos. I did do my taxes the other day though, so I am looking at a great little chunk of change to put away for emergencies. Emergencies like getting to the beach so I don’t rip my hair out, or buying The Beau a trip to the Tillamook Factory.

Inspiration Board, 2011

I promised some pics of my new and improved 2011 inspiration board.

Well, here it is!

You can click the image to see it larger, or go to my flickr to see all the shots.

It’s a lot less psychedelic than last year’s – although I couldn’t completely get rid of the neon in my brain – but this year I have some new things I want to focus on, get back into self-reflection and self-bettering. I don’t quite know what that means, but that’s what this year will be about, finding out the answer to that question I’ve been asking myself.

I love the “no pain, no gain” quote next to the amazing Esther Lin’s photo of Arlovski.

I also thought I would leave some open spaces on this year’s board, to make room for adventure trinkets and souvenirs of the year.

Have any of you made an inspiration board or two?


Links of the Week

Here are things that I have been perusing through this week that I just had to share:

  • This interesting interview with Peggy Orenstein about her book “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” and how gender roles have (sadly) become more sexily pronounced and how the expectations have become even higher for girls within the last 20 years.

I love asking moms I know parenting questions from things I read like this. Particularly The Beau’s sister, who has an almost 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, both girls. Last week it was about the Tiger Mom. This week it might be about girlification.

  • Rainbow Cupcakes from Amanda at hello pretty eyes. She graduated from culinary school, is the head baker at a cupcake shop, and if that isn’t the most awesome thing, she shares her how-to for the most amazing rainbow cupcakes ever! I think some ridiculous cupcake colors are in my future…Phoenix Suns colors! Mardi Gras! Cinco de Mayo!

  • This picture for today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is breathtaking. Most of them are truly amazing, but when I opened this one up to really big, it got me all choked up.

  • Amanda F. Palmer has released a new album of Australian-centered songs and I was on the fence about it for a while, thinking they wouldn’t be anything to write home about. But jeez lady, let someone else have a little talent here! She makes a song about how much she hates Vegemite (even though her beloved continues to eat it) and surprisingly turns it into much more than a funny song. Good stuff here. And yes, you could pay for $.69 for the whole album, but wouldn’t you rather AFP not have to be a beggar? Wouldn’t you like to get more than $.69 for hours upon hours of work you did out of love?

  • Abbey of Aesthetic Outburst has made a goal of 20 valentines before Valentines’ Day (above is day 8) and I while I would be tearing my hair out, she is creating the most thoughtful, marvelous treasures.

  • While I know that most people who read this blog aren’t MMA-focused, I had to add this because I was enraptured by it and had to watch it a half dozen times, think about how crazy it was, then watch it again.

Has Summer Goals Returned?

I hope it’s safe to say one of my favorite, inspiring tumblr’s has returned! Summer Goals aesthetic is achingly beautiful and always makes me want to run out and start planning camping adventures, adventures in the woods and lazy days doing nothing but reading and listening to great music.

all photos via summer goals

Have you started a list of summer goals yet? I haven’t yet, but I might have to start making one of my infamous drawing lists soon!