Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Redux: 10 Good Things

1) The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!

I still can't quite wrap my head around this. I want to put a post together about the many, MANY emotions I have about my beloved Cubbies finally winning it all, but so far I haven't been able to find the words. This video sums it up pretty damn well.

Photo by Max.

2) I traveled to the Bahamas, Key West, NYC, Mackinac Island (twice!), and Chicago (also twice!). 

I traveled quite a bit this year! We took a Caribbean cruise in February to celebrate my graduation from grad school. In May, I traveled to Mackinac Island for a conference and finally got to stay in the Grand Hotel. Later that month, we went to New York City for the weekend to see Gillian Anderson star as Blanche Du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire. The summer was spent taking quick weekend trips up north. In September, we returned to Mackinac Island to run the 8 Mile Race around the island. October and November included trips to Chicago for the World Series and the Championship Parade.  I'm so, so grateful I was able to travel as much as I did this year and only hope that I can continue. 

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn

Port Oneida, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Mackinac Island

Wrigley Field, Chicago

3) I simplified my wardrobe.

I decided to define my "personal style" and for me, that means sticking to a very neutral color palate (black, gray, cream, olive) and having pieces that I can mix and match. This is nothing revolutionary, but it has greatly reduced the size of my closet and how I view clothing. I'm guilty of indulging in shopping a bit too often and this has drastically cut down on that. If it's not in my color palate or I don't need it, I don't buy it. This is all certainly a work in progress, but it's really helping me downsize and I love it.

4) The X-Files returned, filling me with hope and angst.

Seeing Mulder and Scully again after so many years was an absolute delight. BUT WOULD IT HAVE KILLED YOU TO ANSWER A FEW IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, CHRIS CARTER?!?!?! WOULD IT?!?!?!


5) I read. A lot. 

I feel like this year I discovered a renewed vigor for reading. I listened to audiobooks  almost constantly: in my car, in my office, while I do the dishes. When I wasn't listening, I was reading: graphic novels, comics, YA and children's lit, memoirs, literary fiction, poetry collections, how-tos, the list goes on and on. See what I read in 2016 here

6) I became a vegetarian. 

I was a vegetarian for a time when I was a kid and I've been wanting to return to it for years. I'm at a point in my life where this just feels right. I've been doing my research, reading a lot of vegetarian cookbooks, and experimenting with vegan recipes here and there as well. I actually found this book to be a very helpful, nonjudgmental resource about choosing to not eat meat.

7) Kyle and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on August 6th. 

We took a carriage ride around the city, had a fancy dinner at Cygnus, and then went to see Star Trek Beyond, because we're not that fancy. I'm so grateful to be married to such an amazing man who is always up for any of my harebrained ideas and who fixes me eggs every Sunday morning. Here's to many, many more.

8) We adopted a cat. 

This is Teddy Roosevelt. He's very vocal and very cuddly. He is also very cross-eyed and very large. Don't let this picture fool you--they're just roommates, not friends. 

9) I tried new things like hiking, snowshoeing, and yoga.

More than ever, the outdoors has become my refuge. I spent  a majority of this year getting outside whenever I could and it has done wonders for my soul. Even with cold weather upon us, my friends and I still hike almost every Saturday. And this is the first winter in years that I have actually wished for more snow, just so that I could snowshoe. I tried yoga for the first time this year, absolutely fell in love, and wished that I had started practicing sooner. 


Wishing you love and light in 2017, friends. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Redux: Still Another Year in Books

My library card got quite a bit of use this year. I've read/listened to more books this year than I have maybe ever: 135. I attribute this to listening to audiobooks on my one hour round-trip commute and devouring any graphic novel I can get my hands on. 

I made a strong effort this year to read books written by women and people of color. I hope to continue this in the years ahead. I'd like to participate in a reading challenge that will get me reading out of my comfort zone and that will give me deeper insight to our world. I read almost everything on my Summer Syllabus (aside from finishing one of the graphic novel series), along with many recommendations from my library's monthly book club. I also reread some favorites, including Wild, The Little Prince, and When You Reach Me. I'm also delving into the Anne of Green Gables series, which I've never read before but am quickly falling in love with.

I agonized over picking my favorites this year. Most of the titles on this list are for young readers. (Although I think that Bucky F*cking Dent takes the cake overall!) I read some really wonderful stories that I loved for different reasons. Aren't books the best?

Here's what I read this year. (All images courtesy of Goodreads.) Which of these have you read and loved (or hated!)? What did you read this year? What should I be reading in 2017? 


Top 15 Favorites
The Complete PoetryMaya Angelou
Between the World and MeTa-Nesihi Coates (audiobook, read by the author)
MatildaRoal Dahl (audiobook, read by Kate Winslet)
Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing EyeTania del Rio & Will Staehle
Bucky F*cking DentDavid Duchovny (audiobook, read by the author)
The Turner House, Angela Flournoy
84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
My One Hundred AdventuresPolly Horvath
Dumplin', Julie Murphy
I am Princess XCherie Priest
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson 
Paper Girls (Vol. 1), Brian K. Vaughn
Where Am I Now?, Mara Wilson

Want to know more about what I'm reading throughout the year? Follow me on Goodreads, Instagram, or under the hashtag #whatmollyreads. Let me know where I can follow you! Wishing you all an amazing 2017 filled with good coffee and even better books!


Here's what I read in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015