Books a lively fancy read in 2017

Book Review: What I Read in 2017

I’m a bit late to the game, but I see people are listing what they read last year, so I thought I’d join in. I say “read,” but the truth is I listened to the majority of these books. Does that still count? I know some people hate how the narrator does voices in audio books, but I actually love it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I usually try to borrow books from the library instead of buying them and fortunately the library has two excellent apps for downloading audio books – OverDrive and Hoopla – in addition to Kindle for e-books.

Here’s what I read in 2017 in no particular order. I only included books that I read (or listened to) cover to cover…and not ones that I started and then abandoned. I tried to include whether or not I liked the books, but so much of that is subjective so you’ll have to decide on your own. There are no spoilers so it’s safe to read. 

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Training up the next generation of busy bodies

Training Up the Next Generation of Busybodies

“Jonesy is on the balcony with a little girl looking through a set of binoculars.”


“I think she’s training the next generation of busybodies.”

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Glasses Comfort over Vanity

When Comfort Is More Important than Vanity

I was in 5th grade when my mother took me to the optometrist for the first time because I couldn’t see the writing on the board from the back of the class. I desperately didn’t want glasses, but knew better than to argue with my mom. At least I got to pick out the frames. They were kid-sized, oval-shaped and made of dull red wire.

“Look at the leaves on the tree outside,” the technician told me while my lenses were being cut. “And then look again when you get your new glasses.”

I followed the instructions and was shocked. I thought I could see the leaves before, but now I could REALLY see. Each leaf was individual, vivid, and somehow brighter. When I took the glasses off they looked like a fuzzy clump. It was AMAZING!

Even so, I still was determined to only wear my glasses when necessary. Continue reading

American Flag Cake

Happy Birthday, America! A Look Back at 4th of July Desserts

I love baking and each year that I’m in town I usually make a red, white and blue 4th of July dessert. I’m not sure what I’ll make this year, but in honor of America’s birthday, which is right around the corner, here’s a look back at a few of my past 4th of July creations.

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Training for a half marathon in summer

Training for a Half Marathon in the Summer – Am I Crazy?!

The alarm goes off and I wake up after hitting snooze only once. I have to get my run in while it’s still cool outside. I check the weather; it’s already 78 degrees and 86% humid and it’s only 6 AM! Well…there goes my plan to beat the heat. I’m not a morning person so this is all the excuse I need to skip my run and crawl back under the covers.

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how to give a wedding toast a lively fancy

How to Give a Wedding Toast without Freaking Out

It’s June so summer is almost here…and that means wedding season has already arrived. I’ve attended two weddings so far and will be attending even more over the next few months. It’s here, so get ready.

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Balkan cheese pie from Mother's Day dinner.

Do You Know That Is a Serbian “Б”?

From the outside, my family seems perfectly normal, but I know the truth. Like most people, as a kid I didn’t notice a lot of my family quirks, but as I’ve grown up, my eyes have been opened: We are all really strange.

Probably everyone feels this way about their family at some point in time, but I was reminded of this at our Mother’s Day dinner over the weekend. Before I get into the story, here’s a quick snapshot of my parents:

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Why I Love Traveling Alone

I was recently in NYC for work, but I was able to extend my trip into the weekend so I had plenty of time to play and enjoy the city. I’ve traveled alone before, but it’s always been to visit friends or family so this was my first 100% solo vacation and I loved every minute of it.

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Central Park

It’s OK to Feel Stupid

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to New York for a class for work.  It was exciting and I learned a lot, but it was also hard. I was the youngest person in the room by 7 years (I know because the other young-looking attendee mentioned when he graduated from college) and the least experienced. And it was obvious not just to me, but to everyone else. They all had titles like Manager, Director, Vice President, none of which are my title.

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Hitting Send

It’s silly, but I have been postponing sending an email for over 6 months. I finally hit send earlier this week and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

It was a short, administrative email about a not fun thing, but it only took about five minutes tops to write. So why did I wait so long?

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