i do things besides binge watch tv…

Look at this brand new book I’m reading!

Oh, what? It’s been ten years since the last book in the series was released? Two books after? Oops.

Okay, confession time.

I started my annual-ish Harry Potter re-read last summer in preparation for what would end up being Harry Potter trivia victory for my sister and meshipped my series across the country, and made it all the way into the fifth book and stopped.

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Why?

The fifth book is angsty! I was homesick, missing my family, friends, and my life. I couldn’t handle the stress that Harry and friends were enduring. Even though I already know how it ends. Or! Because I know how it ends.

Sorry, I’m going a little crazy with the italicizing.

Point is, Harry Potter is a wonderful, glorious, magical gift to the world in which I can always return, particularly when our ministry seems to be infiltrated by dementors, Death Eaters, and Voldy himself….

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Other books I’ve read lately:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

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And also reading:

The Girls by Emma Cline

 

What are the summer rImage result for the girls emma clineeads you can’t put down?

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lately

TV: Cheers- I’ve finally admitted this is a thing I’m doing, rather than putting an episode on intermittently between shows…after five seasons.

Books: I’ve been reading quite a bit lately- I’m aiming for one a week- and right now I’m on the new-ish Tana French novel, The Trespasser

Music: Hamilton- it’s been over a year now and I still adore it

Food: french toast has been making more of an appearance in breakfast, as you’ll have seen in yesterday’s post- I’m still learning how to make it crispy rather than soggy in the middle; I’ve also been trying to be more experimental

Exercise: I’m calling it the Wonder Woman workout because I took a collection of exercises Gal Gadot did to train for the film, as well as my own stuff, and it’s crushing

Hobbies: the usual reading and writing; but also drinking a GALLON of water a day to try and make me feel better- I’m on day six of my goal for a month and so far it hasn’t been too hard

Things I’m Looking Forward To: weekends in LA and of course, still Disney

lately

TV: Cheers…am I missing home?

Books: Emma by Jane Austen. I’m making my way through her works. I love making the Clueless comparisons. A re-watch is a must after!

Music: old playlists entitled RUN CAITLIN- a weird assortment of pop music, Eminem, and musicals- and back to Hamilton

Food: nothing all that different than usual

Exercise: total body compound strength training, lots of running

Hobbies: the usual reading, writing, procrastinating

Things I’m Looking Forward To: Stephanie visiting this weekend!! and of course, still Disney

lately

TV shows: Veep (one of my favorites ever), Superstore, Blackish, Powerless, The Good Wife, and Big Little Lies- I read the book a few years and and loved it and thus far the HBO series is amazing. Reese and Nicole for the win!).

Books: The Boston Girl and Where’d You Go, Bernadette. 

Movies: Gifted (Chris Evans is a dream), Moana, The Princess and the Frog

Music/Podcasts: Moana soundtrack, Ingrid Michaelson, musicals, current pop hits, WDW Radio, Be Our Guest podcast, Missing Richard Simmons

Food: waffles with peanut butter and a drizzle of syrup, stir fries, and tacos

Exercise: running, spinning, hiking, and strength training

Hobbies: writing and researching for an upcoming trip (see below!)

Things I’m looking forward to: going home for a few days to attend my cousin’s wedding and see my family, my friend Stephanie visiting next month, and going to Disney World with my family in August!

nora ephron and reading

This week, I finished Nora Ephron’s memoir I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections. Nora wrote one of my favorite films, When Harry Met Sally, and she’s always been a writer I admired from afar. Having just moved to LA to pursue writing, I’ve made it my goal to learn as much as I can from past and current writers, especially female.

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I love Hollywood memoirs and books about Hollywood stars. I’ve made no question about my love for Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and I also recently finished Amy Schumer’s book, which I enjoyed immensely. One of my favorite books of all time is Kate Remembered, a book written about Katharine Hepburn’s later years, which is fascinating, sweet, and speaks to me for whatever reason.

I believe that I Remember Nothing was Nora Ephron’s final book before she died. (Thanks to Google, I confirmed this as fact). As I read, I felt bittersweet compassion for her. She loved her family, writing, food, and New York City more than anything. She struggled and triumphed, as a woman, as a writer, as a human being, and her best medicine was to write about it.

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The memoir included a series of essays on topics such as her career in journalism, love of salt and not caring if the chef at a restaurant felt offended by her using it, the fragility of life, realizing that her friends never liked the dessert she baked for Christmas dinner, losing friends, and the things she’d miss and wouldn’t miss in life. In hindsight, this book was her goodbye. I feel privileged to have read this book and experienced, however briefly, life through her eyes.

Sometimes I forget how important it is to read. It’s so much easier to come home at the end of a long day and flip on the tv (okay, laptop for Netflix). Reading requires imagination, effort, thinking. Reading is the easiest way to explore the world, not only to various exotic places in the world, through fiction and non-fiction, but through different minds. Perspectives, we only ever truly know our own, but we can learn so much from others. Be it if they invite you in and share it, if you observe it, or if you accept it.

My goal is to read a book a week, which feels ambitious, sadly, if I’m being honest. But if I can watch a season of a television show in a week, then I can spend a few hours reading.

Harry Potter and the Strength Inside

Such a wonderful weekend! After work on Friday, I got moving in the kitchen to chop up some salads for dinner for me and my sister. Once we were done eating and chilling for awhile, the family (minus my brother-in-law who was on a hiking trip) went out for some ice cream on a perfect summer evening. I’m loving the purple cow frozen yogurt, which is black raspberry base with dark and white chocolate chips.

The next morning, I was back at it for work, and when I got home, it was nice to relax by the pool. Later that afternoon, my sister and I headed into town to get our tattoos. I’ve been wanting to commemorate my weight loss journey for awhile, and I finally found the perfect encapsulation!

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Strength is a reminder of what I’ve done, yet it is does not describe the end result so much as the path I had to take, the choices I had to make, and the ideology I possessed in order to keep going. The supremely cool part about it is that it’s written in my own cursive! Now whenever I’m running or lifting weights, or need strength in any other little or big task, I can just sneak a glimpse and move forward!

Up next, Lauren and I had a celebration to attend. Not only is July 31st the birthday of the greatest writer who ever lived, JK Rowling, and her creation, Harry Potter, but there was a midnight release of the next chapter of the Harry Potter legacy. The Cursed Child is in play form, which I wish desperately I could see in London, and it was fantastic. JK Rowling asked fans who saw the show not to spoil it and fans who were waiting eagerly to see or read not to seek spoilers, and I listened. Don’t mess with the queen! I read it in under three hours, crying, laughing, and reminiscing. A real blessing.

Here are some highlights of the midnight release at Barnes and Noble:

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Such a treat to wake up on Sunday morning, make an amazing breakfast, and read this spectacular play!

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After reading, I got down to Sunday chore business. First, a four mile run and a one mile walk that I crushed- thank Dumbledore for no humidity! Next, a little vacuuming action, some meal prep for the busy work days ahead, laundry washed and folded, and blog posts to write!

An awesome Sunday!

French Toast On A Cold Winter’s Day

Hi! It seems like we ended the weekend and just side-stepped Monday. At least, to me, Monday flew by, which is why we didn’t find a new blog post yesterday. The highlight of yesterday was my getting a new winter’s jacket because my old one met its demise in a washer with a pen. It was a white coat. I don’t think I’ll be washing my new one.

Here’s how I started my Tuesday morning. Scrambled eggs, French toast, and berries.

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Sometimes, you just need to spice up that toast.

Yesterday’s workout consisted of strength training.  I did a lot of cardio on Sunday with a run, so I hit my triceps, chest, legs, and core. Part of it was done with a friend from work, which makes it more fun! For the first time, I did some work on the TRX bands, so that’s something I want to look into more.

Now onto the day’s most surprising moment: I finished a book!

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve read something other than a textbook (all with good purpose), so it was a little strange (and delightful) to jump back into the world of fiction. I love that I can connect to the library on my iPad and I spent some quality time a few days ago just browsing all the titles available. Many of the books I wanted to read needed to be put on hold and I’m just hoping they don’t all come at once.

First to pop up was Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. Going into it, I didn’t know much about it other than that it was “sad.” While I thought the premise had its tragic moments, I think it delved into some important political issues that people don’t want to talk about. I really can’t dive in too deep so as not to spoil, so I will just recommend that you read it yourself. You will feel sad, but also inspired.

And also, apparently, I have stellar timing because the movie version is coming out in March. Go me!