Friday, August 29, 2014

Eleanor and Park

I'm linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday! You can follow my reading progress and the books that I'm currently reading on my Goodreads.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

One of the best books I've read this summer has to be Eleanor & Park. This novel, set in America's heartland tells the timeless story of young love and about loss and finding oneself. The language in the novel is so personal and private that it kind of reminded me of that little voice inside your head. The story was relatable since I'm sure nearly everyone has had a young love experience like this at some point.

I fell in love the Park and his character development was amazing to watch from beginning to end. While I liked Eleanor, I definitely identified more closely with Park. In general this book had so many great quote and takeaways that I wanted to save. I'm sure I'll read this book again at some point. I'd recommend this to anyone who liked The Time Traveller's Wife or Where'd You Go, Bernadette?.

That's all for now,


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Longer Distance Lessons

For those of you who I don't know IRL, you probably haven't heard about how Boyfriend and I have lately been in an even longer distance relationship. See, he's been between five and six hours off of East coast time since July. I shared with you in the fall my long distance lessons, but I figured that being an even longer distance warranted an updated post.

From my trip to Cincinnati in March

1. Communication is key. Sharing your life with you significant other can definitely be harder when you're on different time zones and communication is hindered because someone is inevitably sleeping. I've found that when we're able to Skype we try to make the most out of it. Figure out a communication schedule that works for you - we've been Skyping when I wake up or right before he goes to bed. We also text constantly when we're both awake using the Viber app which I couldn't recommend more. We are able to text and call for free using it and we don't have to worry about cellphone and international charges.

2. Be independent. Being in a long distance relationship in general forces you to be independent, but I've found that for the past few weeks I really want to participate in fun activities that I can tell Boyfriend about. For instance, Dîner en Blanc and about meetings I attend, but also don't forget to talk about the boring things in your life - making dinner, doing laundry, and having to write a thesis.

3. Support each other. I've found that when the only real way we communicate is a the mercy of technology, we've had to be patient while Skype figures itself out, or calls go fuzzy. We've also spent a lot of time listening to each other, and really listening, because you only have so much time to talk in the day. Just being available and willing to listen has really benefitted us.

4. Make plans. While he's been away, Boyfriend celebrated his birthday in a foreign country. To remedy this, I'm planning quite a birthday celebration for the next time he visits. I'm also planning my trips up to New York to visit him and activities we can do in Philadelphia. Looking towards the light of being together has really put the longer distance in perspective.

5. Stay positive. We know that he's not going to be abroad forever, and eventually he'll come back to the states. It's all about realizing that and knowing that we'll at least be on the same time zone soon.

That's all for now,


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blogger Bookshelves: Scarlett's Excellent Adventures

Next up in the Blogger Bookshelves series is Scarlett from Scarlett's Excellent Adventures! She's a food blogger with a ton of great-looking recipes on her blog, most of which I want to make. I also love that she keeps a troll on her bookshelf to protect the books and her office area! Read along:

I'm happy to be a guest here today for the Blogger Bookshelf series. I have always loved to read. When I was in college I couldn't decide on a major, so I went with something I knew I would love and classes I would love to take - literature. Being a food blogger at Scarlett's Excellent Adventures, I don't get to talk about my love of reading very often, but I still manage to sneak seasonal reading lists into my blog. On to the tour!

Here is a picture of my bookshelf:

Q1: Give us a mini tour of your bookshelf, what's it like?
 First of all, my bookshelf is located in our office, and as you can see I am outgrowing it. Where folks might say I need another bookshelf, what I really need to do is go through some of the books and donate them.

The literature major in me needs to organize my books by topic. The top shelf houses my special book collection, the second shelf contains my cookbooks, the third shelf is slowly being taken over by the kids books my son has been given, but is still too young to read. My fourth shelf is kind of my "self help" section. It has our baby name books on it, as well as some yoga books and other similar books. The fifth shelf holds some books that I loved (or never read) in college, as well as some novels that some day I just may read. The bottom shelf holds all my photo albums and scrapbooks.

Q2: What's your favorite book on your shelf? 
My favorite book is Gone with the Wind. When I was a teen moving out of the kids section of the library, I started reading all the books that I could find that had the most pages. During that time, I happened upon Gone with the Wind. After spending considerable time reading it over the summer, I was absolutely in love!

Q3: What's your oldest book on the shelf?
Technically my bible is housed on these shelves, so I guess that would be the oldest written book on the shelf. But it is a fairly new print. My husband bought me some older copies of Gone with the Wind while we were dating, that are older in age than my fairly new bible. The book that I have owned the longest is a book about stamp collecting that belonged to my grandfather. My grandfather collected stamps and when I started the hobby as a kid, my grandmother wanted me to have something from his collection, so she gave me this book. Inside she pasted a picture of me and him together - one of the very few pictures of us that I have.

Q4: How do you decorate your shelf?
I don't consciously decorate my bookshelf. I keep special knick knacks on it, but there isn't room for much more than books. My husband started putting a collection of family pictures on top when my son got big enough to grab things off of the tables in the house.

Q5: What other books and items live there? 
As I mentioned, I also keep my photo albums and scrapbooks on my bookshelf, as well as some special books that belong to my son. You can see I also have my recipe box on there, as well as a couple of special mugs, and a couple of boxes that were given to me as gifts. My troll sits at eye level and protects my bookshelf and my office.

Q6: Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for letting me share my books and my bookshelf today. Unfortunately it doesn't get as much use as it used to, since I now do a lot of reading on my e-reader. But it is still a wonderful place to keep all the books that are very special to me.

That's all for now,


P. S. If you're interested in sharing your bookshelf, please leave a comment below or email me at

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Schuylkill River Trail

I'm pretty partial to working out indoors, but every now and then, especially this summer when its been nice out, it's pretty nice to get some fresh air and be outdoors. One of my favorite spots just in the city of Philadelphia and that extends out to the suburbs is the Schulykill River Trail. Non-Philly people - don't be scared - it's pronounced Skoo-kill. The multi-use trail system spans roughly 140 miles and is frequented by joggers, walkers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

I took the trail from Market Street, one of the main arteries of the city, up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for my little trip. My segement runs through Boathouse Row and behind the Museum, and next to the Fairmount Water Works, of which I took a few pictures. After that, the trail runs along the riverbank on the west edge of Center City as a waterfront park where I saw a few swans. While it was a little overcast, it was the perfect Sunday morning to be out since it was cool and quiet.

Throughout the trail, and especially near the city, there are great views and things to see. While the portion of the trail that I was on was paved, additional segments are added every few years. Happy trails!

That's all for now,