Monday, September 1, 2014

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: August 2014

1) A photo of me:

2) Candle scents* this month:
Pink Sands. Clean Cotton. Wild Passion Fruit. Island Guava.Waikiki Melon. Kiwi Berries. Pomegranate Fruit. Starfruit and Orange.

3) What I am reading this month (you can find me on Goodreads!):
M is for Malice (Sue Grafton) - Finally! The last several books in this series left me feeling meh. The stories were only mildly compelling (not what I'm looking for in a whodunnit), the characters felt bland, and I was almost forcing myself to keep turning the pages, because I really didn't care who or why. Not bad enough to consider stopping all together, but close. This one was such an improvement! I liked the characters, I liked the "stuff" going on in Kinsey's personal life, and the plot kept me guessing. I never saw the ending coming. The only complaint I have is a couple of scenes in this book were given no resolution. They were similar in tone, and would have shared an answer, but the one alluded to seemed very out of character for the series. Either way, I'm actually hopeful that the series may be back on the upswing.
The Scent of Rain and Lightning (Nancy Pickard) - I had been anticipating this book since I first heard about it. It certainly lived up to my expectations. It was an easy, summer beach read (perfect while I was on vacation!). The characters were well fleshed out. I felt like I knew them quickly. I enjoyed the pace of the story, the way it moved on the timeline (present to past and back again). The mystery was engaging and the ending was satisfying.
The Lady of the Rivers (Philippa Gregory) - I'm a little over halfway through this one and I can't believe how much I've been enjoying it! I certainly liked the first two books in the series well enough (obviously, if I've kept up with the series) but I wasn't a huge fan of Jacquetta in the first book. But the more I'm learning of her story (this book actually pre-dates the first two, chronologically), the more I am liking her! I can't wait to see how this fits in with what I know from the events of the first two books.

4) Calendar image for the month:

Sunset and birch trees. Two of my favorite things in nature.

5) New recipes tried this month:
Chicken Stir Fry  - Looks like a lot of ingredients but it came together very quickly.
Chicken Alfredo Lasanga - This one was T's baby. I won't say it was simple (it *is* a lasagna), but it was very tasty!

6) Restaurants where I ate:
Panera. Anton Schweiger's Jagerhaus (Anaheim, CA - while on vacation). Village Haus Restaurant (Disneyland). ESPN Zone (Downtown Disney, Disneyland). Corner Bakery (Irvine, CA - while on vacation). The Big Cheese (Angel Stadium). Diamond Club (Angel Stadium).  Olive Garden.

7) Five things I am loving this month:
1. Vacation. A little relaxation...
2. ...a little Disneyland...
3. ...a couple of Red Sox games...
4. ...and some friendship time. Just what a girl needs to recharge.
5. A lunch date with my husband, following my 6-month ring inspection. It's been *forever* since we went out to eat anywhere.

8) Three goals I had this month and three goals for next month:
1. Five blog posts from my stash of drafts. (I managed to do three of them, with big plans for a fourth, but I just couldn't find the right words. I'm going to try to be better about dipping into that inventory though. So many ideas in there, waiting.)
2. Make another batch of pesto. (Made and in the freezer! And based on what I see from my basil, I think I may need to whip up another batch soon.)
3. More magazines. I have a vacation coming up though, so scaling back to fifteen. (I lost my momentum. Only got to ten.)

1. I *will* get to fifteen magazines in September.
2. Find and participate in a month-long Disney photo challenge on Instagram.
3. Finish tidying up my music files on my laptop so I can finally get iTunes set up and buy a few songs I've been wanting to add to my collection.

9) The best part of this month and the worst part of this month:
The best: (oops! I left this empty at first! updated to add...) The great big hug I got from T when he got back from his trip. (I left the evening before his early morning departure, but got home Monday evening; he didn't get back until Wednesday night.)
The worst: Ten nights of sleeping poorly. I could fall asleep but then I would have crazy, vivid dream after dream, which would wake me up, repeating multiple times each night. I'm still trying to get caught up.

10) A photo I took this month:
Can you even just believe that sky? ::swoon::

*All scents are Yankee Candle, unless otherwise noted.

7 with their own thoughts:

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:23:00 PM  

Ooh, great post! First and foremost, LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo of you Dawn, it's gorgeous!

I love Clean Cotton from Yankee Candle, mine is almost completely gone or I may have finished and tossed that one before packing the others. Such a nice clean happy scent ;)

Marked that chicken stir fry to try, I love anything with pineapple :)

I *so* wish we had a Panera here. I envy you having one to eat at :) We're eating out a lot right now, with everything going on, and I'm looking forward to getting back to cooking soon.

I love that you have so many draft posts, I am not nearly creative or imaginative enough to do very many and have available :)

Hope you are having a great day!

~**Dawn**~ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 8:51:00 PM  

Aww, thank you, Stacy. You're so sweet. =)

Clean Cotton is one of my summer scents. I'm enjoying it for another few weeks, til the season changes!

You don't have Panera??

I have many undeveloped ideas. That's about it. LOL

Giuseppina Lubrano Wednesday, September 03, 2014 10:21:00 PM  

Love that photo! Love these posts! And I don't know how you even made it through 10 magazines....

~**Dawn**~ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 10:25:00 PM  

G: <3 you! And I made it through ten because otherwise my husband may disown me. ;-)

*krystyn* Thursday, September 04, 2014 7:47:00 AM  

Wait! What was the BEST part of the left that one blank!

~**Dawn**~ Thursday, September 04, 2014 9:12:00 AM  

LOL, Krystyn! NO ONE else caught that! I just fixed it. ;-)

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