Pin Collecting

I’m not a huge collector as a rule. I like stuff and I have an assortment of random things, but I don’t really have an “it” item that I collect. Tony has his shot glasses, the thing everyone knows to get him for souvenirs. I have a few Pop Vinyls, but only the ones I like. I have scarves, but only in patterns I love.

The closest thing I have to a collection is pins. I have a wide array, from random places, and of different types. I tried to separate into categories for the following pictures.

Peter Pan and Friends

Assorted Disney Pins

Epcot World Showcase

Disney is my biggest collection of pins. We’ve been three times with my parents and my mom is an avid pin collector. I love the pin trading that goes on, but it’s also hard for me to let go of pins because if I got a pin it’s because I want to keep it!

Universal Studios

I love the Universal parks! I don’t have as many pins from there, but it is slowly becoming more of a thing, so who knows what the future holds?

Hard Rock Café pins

I love the pins available at Hard Rock Café! Their sexy and iconic images always grab your attention. It’s also fun to see the variety available at different locations. This is another one my mother is big on!

Walmart pins

I’ve worked at Walmart for 15 years. While they don’t do pins as much anymore, I love some of the ones they’ve had in the past. My personal favorite out of this lot is the Rollback Man!

Movie pins

I have more movie pins than this, but they’re attached to different purses and such. I am way too lazy to pull them all! FYE is my favorite place to grab movie pins, but some, like my minion, can be snagged at the movie theater when they’re doing their charity drives. Isn’t he cute?

Random pins

They’re are always going to be ones that don’t belong in a category. My Marine pins and my Thousand Islands River Run pins are such. I’m hoping to do more motorcycle runs in the future, so I’ll (hopefully) be adding to that category!

Fandom pins

This is probably my favorite, albeit smallest category. For now anyway! Have you seen the Etsy selection of fandom pins? They are so beautiful, and capture moments, or quotes from some of my favorite books! I can’t wait to make this my biggest category!

What are your collectibles? Do you collect pins too? How do you store them? My mom has several binders for her Disney and Hard Rock pins, but I think I want something that I can see easier. Thoughts?

Throne of Glass series

Aren’t they beautiful?

Sara J Maas. Have you heard the name yet? If not, you need to know that shes a brilliant author! She’s written the Court of Thorn of Roses trilogy and the Throne of Glass series. It’s the latter that I want to talk about today, since the last book of the series comes out in October! Kingdom of Ash has so many storylines to wrap up and it will have to be the most epic thing she’s written!

Throne of Glass, technically, starts with the book Assassin’s Blade. It is not one long story, but rather five short novellas that are a kind of prequel. You are introduced to characters who become important later on. I really recommend this as your starting point!

The first real book is Throne of Glass. It stars Celaena Sardothian, an amazingly efficient and smart alec assassin, the very best of Adarlan, who is released from the salt mines, where she was a slave. Her freedom comes at a price though, she must enter a competition to become the king’s champion (assassin). Prince Dorian and his friend Chaol, the captain of the guard, bring her back to the kingdom. The competition reveals many of the kingdom’s secrets, which sets up the rest of the series.

Crown of Midnight, book two, still follows Celaena through new adventures and devastating heartbreak. Characters we love leave us, causing Celaena to start down a new path, or a very old one, depending on how you look at it.

Heir of Fire brings Celaena to a new kingdom, new characters, and secrets revealed. Rowan, a fae warrior, comes on to the scene and he is a very harsh male. I will ask you to be gentle with him, he has reasons to be the way he is.

Queen of Shadows brings even more new characters, new problems to be solved. Celaena, or Aelin, is trying to do the right thing, for both her friends, and the kingdom, but her means are unbelievably crazy. The plans work out though, so stay with her to the end!

Empire of Storms will break your heart. It is amazing, and we get to know some older characters much better. Elide and Lorcan are my personal favorite as far as unlikely allies. There are many of them in this book. Enemies work together to try and stop a greater evil and ot makes for a great deal of reader entertainment! Remember, heart break, but worth it!

Tower of Dawn made a lot of readers angry. It’s just as brilliantly written as everything else, but at the end of Empire of Storms you have beloved characters in dire straights, only to skip back in time. We join Chaol on the southern continent and meet a whole new cast of characters. Chaol and Nesryn, another character from Adarlan, are in Antica to heal Chaol’s injury, and to hopefully raise an army to fight the evil trying to take over. Give this book a chance and, if nothing else, tell yourself that you need to know these characters before Kingdom of Ash!

Enjoy the books! They are beautiful and the although the stories can pull at your heart, they will also lift you up. My two favorite quotes from this entire series are

“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”

and

“You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if only you dared.”

Those two quotes can see you through almost anything, and there are many more inspiring quotes to be had. Along with funny and quippy ones. Have you read these books? What did you think?

Sara J Maas Nerdy Post Box

Geeking out hard today!

Today in the mail I got my first Nerdy Post box in the mail! I have recently discovered these geek boxes and this is already my second Sara J Maas one. It’s such a thrill when they come in!

Morrigan quote shirt

I knew I had to get this box as soon as I saw the shirt that was included. This gorgeous Morrigan quote shirt features Illyrian wings and the three peaks and three stars of Rhysand’s tattoo. Nevermind the fact that the quote is super inspirational!

Being an awesome geek box it also included the following goodies. All of them totally swoon-worthy for a true Sara J Maas fan!

Double sided bookmark. Featuring Rowaelin and Feysand.

Carranam lip balm. Carranam is someone you can link magic with.

Beautiful Starfall enamel pin.

Amazing postcards featuring cities in both series and a coloring one.

Two quote cards, one about Aelin and one about Celaena.

Beautiful quote poster.

Really pretty sticker.

As you can see, Nerdy Post did an amazing job putting this box together!

Have you ever gotten a nerdy or geeky box? What was your favorite? If you could get one, what would you want the theme to be?

Panera Mac n Cheese

Dinner time

I’ve had this recipe saved for a while because my baby girl is the biggest fan of Panera. I used to be, but sadly, they keep changing the menu and their prices keep rising or the portions get smaller.

Its reached the point where Panera is her reward meal, always the mac n cheese, but I’ve been hoping for a copycat recipe! I finally found this one and girls weekend is the perfect time to try it out.

Recipe requirements:

  • 1 lb shells
  • 2 C sharp, white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 C butter

Start by melting your butter, then whisking in your flour. Add the milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Mix well and let simmer. I actually grated my own cheese for this, so wow for that! Add in the cheese, stirring as it melts.

Side note: this recipe was way too cheesy, even for my baby girl, so next time I’ll be cutting the amount of cheese to 1C.

Add the cheese to your cooked shells, and enjoy!

Month 1 Habit Tracking

Its somehow the end of August already. Does anyone know how that happened? It seemed like it would never get here, as I was so anxious to start using my new planner, and now it’s over. Weird how that works!

First time in my life using a habit tracker and here’s what I have to say about it:

1) It is really encouraging to look at the month as a whole and see how often you do something. Normally when I’m on a streak of something (exercise or my language app), the first missed day completely ruins my momentum! With the habit tracker, you have a visual reminder that, although you missed one day, you’re still killing it this month.

2) I was adding things throughout the month. When I saw how it impacted my daily behaviors, I realized just how much I could use this for. I can keep track of my social media use (Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr were the ones I focused on), it was also a reminder to check in daily with groups that I’m supposed to be active in. The habit tracker really helped keep me in line!

3) It is shockingly motivating to check off the little boxes. I got really excited to be able to say that I exercised, or did my yoga, etc. I came up with individual ways to mark each item too, which added to my fun.

4) The habit tracker helps you not feel so bad about the things you’re not getting done. Obviously you have to prioritize what is most important to you, and I need to rearrange my priorities a bit based on how my month went. By looking at a single day though, you’re able to see that you may not have accomplished one thing, but you still see how much you did. It’s very motivating!

I am very glad I started this habit tracker and am looking forward to how it evolves over the next year. I have a really good feeling about it!