Read Watch Play #10

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, and the Sunday Post. Read, Watch, Play is a monthly round-up of bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week. Feel free to join in and let me know what fun you have had recently!

What I’m Reading

 

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am slowly plugging away at this one. Don’t be deceived by my slow progress…I love it! My Own Words could best be described as a compilation of Justice Ginsburg’s speeches, articles, and opinions. I love how she continually references and mentions all of the trail-blazing women that came before her, like Belva Lockwood and Florence Allen.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I’m proceeding cautiously with this one, given all the sexism and misogyny. I’m only 30 pages in, but so far I like the world-building.

What I’m Watching

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This Is Us. I binge watched the first half of the season over winter break in December, and have been watching weekly ever since. This is definitely one of my favorite TV series at the moment. I have loved every, single episode, many of which have hit SOO close to home with my life right now (Randall’s reunion with his birth father, mainly). Until the finale. What was that?! I did not like it. I wanted more Randall, Kate and Kevin!

What I’m Playing

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Ticket to Ride. I just realized we have been so busy that gaming has not happened for a while in our house! Instead of leaving this section blank, I’m throwing in the board game that is currently at the top of my wish list!

What are you up to on this sunny, Spring Sunday? 

Read Watch Play #7

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, and the Sunday PostRead, Watch, Play is a round-up of bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week. Feel free to join in and let me know what fun you have had recently!

Whew! The last few days have been a whirlwind! We have had loads of family in for both Thanksgiving and M’s 9th birthday, which was yesterday. Very little reading, but lots of fun to be had. We went to the NC Zoo yesterday, a birthday request, and M and her cousin both had a blast.

One of the cutest – and funniest – moments of M’s birthday happened during the birthday gift opening. Her excitement and exuberance over receiving all of her gifts was contagious, but her reaction to opening one of them was priceless. She asked for a 2016 Hillary Clinton Funko! Pop, and when she opened it – OMG! She literally cried tears of happiness, jumping up and down and hugging it to her chest. The reaction was so over-the-top and genuine she had everyone in stitches. Even the Trump supporters in the family!

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Who knew a little Hillary could give so much joy to a 9-year-old? She looks up to Hillary – and the historical aspect of her campaign and what it represents – tremendously. It was all incredibly cute and a little bittersweet – when we bought the HRC Funko Pop!, we were hoping it would be a gift representing the newly elected Madame President. It still stings a bit.

In case you’re wondering what to buy a 9-year old this holiday season, these were all big hits:

  • My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope
  • AmScope Prepared Microscope slides
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Lego Friends Heartlake Grand Hotel
  • LilGadgets Wireless Headphones
  • Beados Sweet Scoop ‘N Mix
  • Harley Quinn Mini Action Figure
  • The Blank Comic Book Panelbook (for drawing and writing your own comics)
  • Usborne Write and Draw Your Own Comics –do you see a theme developing?
  • Mindware Extreme Dot-to-Dot: Animals
  • Books: The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey by Chris Colfer, Big Nate Blasts Off by Lincoln Peirce, and Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.

BLOG ACHIEVEMENT!!!

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Woohoo! I reached 100 followers a few days ago! A BIG thank you to everyone who follows my blog!

Now, on to Read, Watch, Play!

What I’m Reading

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The Exclusive Edition from OwlCrate, of course!

What I’m Watching

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Stars Hollow is back!!!! Filled with nostalgia, I have watched two of the four revival episodes: Winter and Spring. It is so cozy and fun to be back with Rory and Lorelei.

No spoilers on the last four words, and the real ending, until I finish the final two episodes, please!

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We went to see Doctor Strange on Friday, it was so good! Marvel movies – comic book movies in general – can be hit or miss for me. This one was so much fun to watch. I am admittedly not well-versed in this Marvel character’s storyline, so much of it was new to me! I love the magical and mystical components, different from the pseudo-science I was expecting. It definitely made me want to dig up some Doctor Strange comic books to learn more about the character’s book storylines!

 

What I’m Playing

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We always get out the Apples to Apples Jewish Edition when my in-laws come to visit!

What are you up to this week? Let me know in the comments!

Read Watch Play #5

October has been an incredibly busy month, and it has been a few weeks since I last did a Read, Watch, Play post, which is my version of the Sunday Salon. Read, Watch, Play is a round-up of bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week. Feel free to join in and let me know what fun you have had recently!

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What I’m Watching:

  • Stranger Things (Netflix)- I finally finished the first season! It is rare that I watch anything classified as horror, but I’m glad I made an exception for this one. The actress who plays Eleven, Millie Bobby Brown, is brilliant. I can’t wait to see where they take the show next.
  • Just Add Magic (Amazon) – An original series by Amazon, and a much better than I thought it would be. M started watching this about two weeks ago, and after walking by a few times while she had it on, I got sucked in to the series as well. Just Add Magic is targeted to tweens – the show is based on a middle-grade book of the same name by Cindy Callaghan – but there must be some magic involved, because adults seem to enjoy it equally as much!

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What I’m Playing:

My first triathlon is officially in the books, y’all!!

I’m done, done, done!!! Joy, joy, joy!! I dismounted from my bike into a happy dance yesterday when I polished off the last mile for the Jimmie Johnson Virtual Triathlon!!

The JJF runs from October 1 – October 31, and is a 140.6 mile virtual race that involves a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles cycling, and a 26.2 mile run/walk/jog. It is not completed at once, but broken up into however many workouts you need to get it done.

As of October 29, I completed:

  • 2.4/2.4 mile swim
  • 114.53/112 mile bike
  • 26.31/26.2 mile run

For a grand total of 143.24 miles! For me, this is a MAJOR accomplishment!

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What I’m Reading:

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One of the best things that I read this week was not in a book, but at M’s elementary school. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and on Thursday her school participated in Unity Day. Students – dressed in orange to make a statement against bullying – took to the sidewalks around the school with messages of hope, positivity, and encouragement, to show their support for one other.

I happened to be helping at the school book fair the morning the kids went out to dress up the sidewalks with chalk messages, and it was POWERFUL. I was a victim of bullying during my middle school years, and it melts my heart to no end to have my daughter enrolled in such a safe and supportive school. Messages of hope and solidarity were literally spread from corner to corner of the school property.

Below is a small selection of messages written by M and her fellow students. I’m telling you, these kids are pretty amazing.

  • “Together we can change the world. Speak up to stop bullying.”
  • “The truth may hurt for a while, but a lie hurts forever.”
  • “Fly away from the Haters!”
  • “Never give up on life.”
  • “There are so many kind, though some are blind, there are so many kind!”
  • “The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one!!”

I think Mr. Browne from Wonder could find a few more precepts from this crew to add to his collection.

What are you up to this week? Let me know in the comments!

 

Read Watch Play #4

Read Watch Play is my own version of a Sunday Salon: a round-up of bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week. Feel free to join in and let me know what fun you have had this week!

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What I’m watching: 

I still haven’t finished Stranger Things, TV time these days is rare, indeed. I have two more episodes to go. I am really loving Eleven’s backstory, she is such a fascinating kid. I hope she finds some peace and happiness by the end of this season!

I watch Once Upon a Time every Sunday, and I have to admit, I relish this season’s return of the Evil Queen! Lana Parilla must have so much fun playing the part, and the Queen’s costumes are always amazing! Do you think Regina and/or her sister will succumb to the Evil Queen’s tactics? Emma’s premonition is certainly setting up an interesting arc for the first half of this season, but part of me thinks this season is too busy. Between Mr. Hyde, the Evil Queen, the entrance of the Aladdin characters and other untold stories, Emma’s premonition, and whatever Rumple is getting up to these days, there is a lot going on in Storybrooke right now.

I will also be watching the Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump debate tonight. That should be an interesting one. Will you be watching?

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What I’m playing:

I mentioned last week that I am participating in a virtual triathlon this month. I don’t usually like to toot my own horn, but…toot, toot! I am so happy with my progress so far this week.

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation Virtual Triathlon runs from October 1 – October 31. It is a 140.6 mile virtual race that involves a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles cycling, and a 26 mile run/walk/jog. It is not done at once, but broken up into however many workouts you need to get it done.

Right now, I am ahead of schedule, and might be on track to complete the triathlon a week early! My biggest achievement this week was my first swim. I love swimming, but I haven’t actually swam as exercise in years. I jumped in the pool on Tuesday with a goal of as many laps as I could do in a one hour period. I stepped out of the pool 1 hour 15 minutes later having swum 70 lengths (35 down-and back laps) in a 25 yard pool. That’s a freakin’ mile, people! Amazingly, I wasn’t sore the next day either! Although I did have horribly matted hair. I bought a swim cap on my way home.

JJF Race Stats (October 9)

1.7/2.4 mile swim (71% complete)

42.64/112 mile bike (38% complete)

8.1/26.2 mile run (31% complete)

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What I’m Cooking: 

Meatballs. This batch almost didn’t make it into the oven without losing a few to a curious cat! This is Hello Kitty, lover of tuna, goldfish crackers, and meatballs.

Our meatballs change depending on my mood, but here is the base recipe I build upon.

Italian Style Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds grassfed beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds mild italian sausage
  • one thick slice of firm bread of your choosing (sourdough, whole wheat, baguette…I think I have used them all).
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, finely shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons italian seasoning (I use salt-free Catazano herbs from Savory Spice Shop. It contains garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, European basil, Mediterranean thyme, rosemary and Greek oregano).

Directions:

Have your sauce of choice ready to go on the stovetop.

Turn on the broiler. Pour the milk over the bread until it is saturated, and let it soak for a few minutes. Squeeze out the excess milk, and quickly pulse in a food processor. Gently combine all of the ingredients with your hands until just mixed together. Form into medium-large size meatballs (about the size of a Ping Pong ball). Broil in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, until the outside has browned, then transfer the meatballs into your sauce and finish cooking in the sauce on the stovetop, about another 15 minutes or so.

Bon Appetit!

What I’m Reading:

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. I just finished reading Serafina and the Black Cloak this morning. I think I will count this for Wonderless Review’s Halloween Readathon, even though it is not on my original list. A review will be posted tomorrow! It was interesting to read a book set at the Biltmore Estate, near Asheville, a place I have visited many times!

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’m starting this one today! It looks like it will be a quick read. I have been meaning to read this book for ages. There are so many cultural references to Jekyll and Hyde, I have always felt remiss about not reading the original!

What are you up to this week? Let me know in the comments!

Read Watch Play #3

Read Watch Play is my own version of a Sunday Salon: a round-up of bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week. Feel free to join in and let me know what you are reading, watching, cooking, and playing in the comments!

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What I’m watching: Stranger Things (Netflix – Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller). I love sci-fi, but not horror movies. Stranger Things, an 8-episode Netflix original that has become immensely popular, straddles that line. I fully admit I have to cover my face and peek out through my fingertips during a few scenes. I don’t do well with horror, but somehow, I really like Stranger Things, especially the nostalgia of the 80s. And I think therein lies the appeal of this show for so many – the power of 80s nostalgia. I have three more episodes left, and hope to finish Season 1 this week.

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What I’m playing: I am going to twist up this topic for the month of October, because I am doing something I have never done before: a virtual triathlon! I will be participating in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Virtual Triathlon! Running from October 1 – 31, this is a 140.6 mile virtual race that involves a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles cycling, and a 26 mile run/walk/jog. It is not done at once, but broken up into however many workouts you need to get it done.

I kick-started the virtual tri on October 1 with a bike ride, and will follow it up today with a 6-7 mile jog/walk (I’m not a big fan of running, so I won’t be full-out running for this race). My gym workouts and yoga classes have definitely been paying off the past 6-months! Yesterday’s 12.9 mile bike ride involved quite a few hills, and I am not sore at all this morning. Hooray!

JJF Race Stats (October 1)

0/2.4 mi swim

12.9/112 mi bike

0/26.2 run

Wish me luck on my first triathlon!

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Photo credit: Bon Appétit.

What I’m eating: No pictures of my own food this week, but I have been eating a lot of soup! I don’t know if it’s seasonal allergies or something viral, but I had a few days that I felt a tad under the weather, so I made one of my staples. It’s a simple soup: chicken broth, 1-2 slices of lemon, carrots, DeLallo organic whole-wheat pasta, salt and pepper to taste, and some fresh basil sprinkled at the end. I let the broth simmer with the lemon and sliced carrots for at least 30 minutes before adding in the orzo. One night I also tossed in a few small meatballs from Trader Joe’s at the very end when serving, which gave it a new twist and was oh so delicious!

I also made one of my favorite cannelloni bean recipes this week, as a side dish to have with a baguette. This recipe, or some variation of it, Cannelloni Beans with Spinach, from Bon Appétit, is quite the staple in our house. Sooo good!

Monday will be a lovely Rosh Hashanah meal, which I have not planned for one iota yet. I better get on that today. Yikes! L’Shanah Tovah!

Currently ReadingA Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab. I’m hoping to finish up on Monday afternoon, when I will hopefully have some relaxing time at home after the Rosh Hashanah services and meal.

What are you watching, eating, or playing? Let me know in the comments!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: TV edition

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosting by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is TV-themed! I have chosen to do my current TBR – or, rather to-be-watched, list of television shows.

We don’t watch a lot of television, so I have a lot more shows that I want to watch, versus those I have already seen!

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1. Stranger Things – I have heard this is greatness, especially if you were a child of the 80s, so it is currently at the top of my Netflix queue.

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2. Black-ish – I watched the Pilot episode last week, and hope to see the rest of the episodes very soon!

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3. Madam Secretary – I have a penchant for political dramas.

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4. Call the Midwife – a BBC period drama about a group of nurse midwives working in London in the 1950s and 60s. I have been trying to find something to fill the Downton Abbey void, and hopefully this will fit the bill.

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5. Supergirl – Season 1 is coming to Netflix streaming on September 10; M and I will be watching it together.

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6. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – How did I not know that they turned this book into a mini-series? I was quite excited when I discovered this delicious fact last week.

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7. Game of Thrones – I have held off from watching GoT until I read the books. I plan to start the first book in January…watching season one will follow shortly after I finish it!

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8. Veep – Like I said, I like my political dramas. I also like political satire!

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9. Sherlock – Benedict Cumberbatch and Sherlock, two of my favorite things.

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10. The Newsroom – Yes, I have heard it is remarkably bad, but I still want to give it a chance.

Read Watch Play #1

A round-up of both bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week.

What I’m watching:

Outlander, Season 2

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I only have one episode left, and I will be fully caught up on Season 2 of Outlander. I have read all of the books, so I know what is coming, which makes it that much harder too watch the final episode of the season! The Outlander world is going to change forever with the next episode, and I feel that the last few previous episodes were a final goodbye to the 18th century Highlander world, and many of the men in it.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, Season 1

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This show is so much fun! We’re watching the English-dubbed version of this French cartoon that is currently airing on Nickelodeon. Miraculous is a new superhero cartoon that takes place in Paris, and contains a strong female heroine with a male sidekick. Sadly, that is something you still don’t see very often, so I give it a big thumbs up just for that! The animation is beautiful, and you can see an anime influence in some of the sequences. Before it’s launch as a CG-animated series, it was originally imagined as a 2D anime created by Toei Animation.

The villains, aside from Hawkmoth, are actually everyday people, and sometimes friends of Ladybug (Marinette) or cat Noir (Adrien). Hawkmoth sends out an akuma–in Japanese folklore an akuma is an evil spirit–to someone who is feeling depressed. The akuma penetrates something held by the person: an umbrella, bird whistle, roller blades, etc., and turns them into an evil villain with the goal of capturing Ladybug and Cat Noir’s “miraculous”, the power that allows them to transform into superheroes. It’s an interesting approach.

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One of the akuma villains, Stormy Weather.

 

What I’m playing:

No Stress Chess

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No Stress Chess has been a favorite game all summer long, as we teach M how to play chess.

Candy Crush Soda

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I never get tired of playing Candy Crush. It’s the perfect time waster when I have 5-10 minutes of downtime during the day. I am currently on Level 825.

 

What I’m eating:

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I found an excellent scallops recipe on Pinterest a few months ago, and we have been making it quite often ever since. I found the recipe, Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Spinach, over at The Hungry Apple.

 

Currently Reading:

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Still plugging away at Rebecca.