Month: May 2014

Thought Questions, day 79: What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too!

Day 79: What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now? Hopefully, working as a writer and traveling a good deal around the world.

Thought Questions, day 78: Is it more important to do what you love or to love what you are doing?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too! 

Day 78: Is it more important to do what you love or to love what you are doing? I think that’s a tricky one. Certainly it’s important to do what you love, but you can’t always do so (for example, I do have to trade in binge-reading to go to work!), so perhaps learning to love what you’re doing is more important, since it reflects an attitude adjustment.

On the other hand, I would hate to trick myself into thinking I love something that’s sub-par and therefore “settle for less” instead of pushing ahead for bigger and better things. I think you need to balance seeing the bright spots in less-than-optimal situations with the ambition to move on.

Or maybe I’m overthinking the prompt today.

The Goodreads Tag

I found this tag over on Evelyn’s blog We Were Raised By Wolves and just had to fill it out–you all know how nuts I am for books! I tag anyone else who wants to fill it out.
 
What was the last book that you marked as read?
Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence. It’s the start of a trilogy that’s piqued my interest for some time. I would say it was just okay–interesting enough that I’d like to eventually read the other two books, but not so much so that I’m in a particular hurry.
 
What are you currently reading?
I’m still nibbling my way through The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama, and I recently started Writers of the Future: Volume 30, an anthology of sci-fi and fantasy short stories.
 
What was the last book you marked as to read?
The Taken trilogy by Erin Bowman. I’m a sucker for dystopia.
 
What book do you plan to read next?
Probably S., by J.J. Abrams. I also have some biographies of Nikola Tesla that I want to dig into.
 
Do you use the star rating system?
Yes, and like so many other users, I wish they allowed half-star ratings! So many books are really in between two stars.
 
Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?
Yes. I challenged myself to read 100 books and so far I’ve read thirty-nine books and six of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories (which GR for some reason marks as full books). I’ve also partially finished five other books, but they went on the “unfinished” list.
 
Do you have a wishlist?
No. I just add books to my “to-read” list and then look for them at the library.
 
What book do you want to buy next?
The next novel in A Song of Ice and Fire. 
 
Do you have any favorite quotes?  Would you like to share a few?
You can find my faves here.
 
Who are your favorite authors?
Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Bill Bryson, Neil Gaiman, Arnaldur Indridason, and Agatha Christie.
 
Have you joined any groups?
No. I try not to spend a lot of time on the computer for things like that. I’d rather be reading!

What are your favorite genres?
I will pretty much read anything if it’s well written. I’m a sucker for dystopia, steampunk and fantasy of a medieval bent (like A Song of Ice and Fire). Magic is okay if used judiciously, but I hate reading fantasy novels where the characters constantly fight themselves into corners and then POOF! magic saves the day. It’s like a big fat cheat. I also really like Nordic or British crime thrillers (American, not so much). Anything with time travel is instantly interesting to me.

My husband has a theory that I’ll pick up anything if the character on the cover is wearing a hood. Based on my “read”/”to-read” list, he may be right.

Thought Questions, day 77: Where would you most like to go and why?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too! 

Day 77: Where would you most like to go and why? New Zealand! I’ve wanted to go there since I was a teenager. I think it’s beautiful!

Thought Questions, day 76: What do you love most about yourself?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too!

Day 76: What do you love most about yourself? My sense of humor. If it were a physical trait, I’d say my eyes.

Random Thursday: Things that brighten a yucky day

In no particular order, things that cheer me up on a crappy day:

1. Tea
2. A stack of magazines
3. Chocolate
4. Skyping with my mom
5. Kitty cuddles
6. Pictures of baby animals (or better yet, baby animals in person)
7. Hanging out with my husband, who never fails to make me laugh
8. Walking in the park
9. More tea
10. Vegan cupcakes from Boots Bakery
11. Getting a surprise card in the mail
12. Bubble baths with fancy bath soaps and lotions
13. Music
14. More tea!
15. The humor section of Pinterest
16. A really good book
17. My electric blankets
18. Ice cream. The chocolate coconut milk from So Delicious is divine.
19. Vegan Pad Thai. Takeout of course, so I have to neither cook nor clean up.
20. Even more tea!

What cheers you up on a yucky day?

Thought Questions, day 75: If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart?

I got these questions from Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, where I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself. My friends Katrin, Celeste and Jasmine have also been answering these questions, so be sure to go check out their blogs too!

Day 75: If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart? I think this is such a difficult question to answer objectively, because we all like to think that we’re very different from our enemies and in truth we probably have more in common than we’d care to admit. I would say that in some cases perhaps my “enemies” do not have the same depth of empathy for other people and for animals. (For example, the fur industry would definitely count as an enemy to me!) And there are a lot of people I really clash with because they are very harsh toward other people who are struggling through life with homelessness, addiction, etc. I really try to have compassion for everyone, since you never know what the circumstances are that have landed them in this bad spot.

Product review: Adovia Natural Dead Sea Mud Soap

(Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.)

 

The product: Adovia Natural Dead Sea Mud Soap; $16/4.4-oz. bar. Available through Amazon.com.

The claim: Great for eczema, psoriasis or acne. Dead Sea mud minerals keep the skin hydrated while also cleansing to remove impurities. Made with natural and animal-friendly ingredients.

Ingredients: 80% Palm/ 20% Palm Kernel oil, Dead Sea Salts, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Deionized Water (Aqua), Natural extract (Fragrance).

My experience: I’m not a big fan of using bar soaps to wash my face. For the most part I find that they fall into one of several categories: too drying, too abrasive, doesn’t clean well enough, leaves a film, etc. In short, just not up to par for cleaning my sensitive, somewhat dry yet acne-prone skin.

This soap is really different from anything else I’ve tried. It does a wonderful job of cleaning my oily T-zone without over-drying, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling scummy. My skin just feels super-clean and pleasant. I do think it’s helping reduce my breakouts, which is awesome, since I’ve been going through a period of stress-related breakouts recently and nothing else seems to be taming them. I don’t have eczema or psoriasis so I can’t say how it would help with those skin conditions.

This soap does have a very faint earthy smell, owing to the natural ingredients. Personally I’m fine with that, especially compared to harsh chemical fragrances (which my skin typically finds irritating). I don’t think the scent would be an issue for most users, since it isn’t overpowering.

My final review: 9/10. It’s a little pricey unless you snag it on sale, but overall I do think it’s a worthwhile investment for problem skin, and it’s a pretty generous size for a bar.

(I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)