Getting Personal #271: Twentieth TBR Recap

Image Credit: Mommy and the Books

Welcome back!

Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR post:

  1. Elliott, T.E., Service and Slumber: A Historical Tale Inspired by Sleeping Beauty (The Beast’s Legacy Book 2) — Review coming soon!
  2. Oviatt, Didi, Sketch — Review coming soon!
  3. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  4. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR

  1. Mlynowski, Sarah, I See London, I See France
  2. Owens, Delia, Where The Crawdads Sing

Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Bethell, CM, Forged in Fire Book Two – Ayden (The Guardians Series 2)
  2. Cervantes, Angela, Lead With Your Heart (World By Us series)
  3. Cullen, Dave, Parkland: Birth of a Movement
  4. Davis, Michael, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
  5. Land, Stephanie, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
  6. Macy, Beth, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
  7. Patrick, Denise Lewis, See Me, Hear Me, Know Me (World By Us series)
  8. Rosen, L.C., Jack of Hearts (and other parts)
  9. Wyeth, Sharon Dennis, The River and Me (World By Us series)

So, my current TBR is nine (9) books.

Do you have a TBR?

What are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #270: January Goals

Image Credit: See Jane Write

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Make progress with editing book #2.
  2. Read at least two books.
  3. Publish my Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO Set post.
  4. Continue de-cluttering.
  5. Completely clean out my closet and re-organize.
  6. Send certain clothing items and shoes to Cottey College for their professional clothes closet.
  7. Continue meal planning.
  8. Begin book cover designing with Canva.
  9. Continue researching and learning about becoming an author.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of January?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #268: December Goals Recap

Image Credit: Goodbye Bread and Cheese

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of December:

  1. Give blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Enjoy Christmas! — Accomplished!
  3. Publish my NaNoWriMo 2021 Recap post. — Accomplished!
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews. — Did not achieve yet.
  5. Work toward finishing the first draft of Book #3. — Did not achieve yet.
  6. Participate in a fun Christmas card exchange. — Accomplished!
  7. Continue decluttering. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Officially sell or donate all remaining duplicate or unwanted American Girl items. — Did not accomplish yet.
  9. Take some time off work for New Year’s. — Accomplished!
  10. Celebrate New Year’s! — Accomplished!

December was wild and crazy. Sometimes, it felt like time was flying. Other times, it was a slog.

I was able to give blood on December 2nd, after sitting out the October drive because of the stitches in my back. That was exciting. My iron levels have been very consistent since the summer, and I hope to keep that going. We are approaching 8,000 total units collected since we started the drives in April 2000!

I was thrilled with my success during NaNoWriMo 2021. I’m still amazed that I was able to write more than 53,000 words during the month of November! Consistency is key. I had no zero days at all, and I stuck to my plan, and it worked! I also bought the NaNoWriMo Winner T-shirt for the first time to celebrate.

Our original Christmas and New Year’s plans got blown to smithereens because of COVID-19. Al and I are fine, thank goodness, but there were four people that he and I interacted with the week before Christmas that were either exposed to the virus, tested positive, or had symptoms. Also, poor Ferb was having a lot of trouble that week as well, and sweet Al took him to three different vet visits. He was diagnosed with Canine Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (CHG), so we are monitoring him closely. We’re not sure what happened, but he’s doing much better now with a few subcutaneous fluid shots, anti-nausea shots, and an antibiotic. We knew something was really wrong when he didn’t want to eat. But now he’s scarfing down the chicken and rice and begs for treats, so we think he’s fine now.

The Christmas card exchange was super fun! We also received many nice photo cards and paper cards for our fridge!

Al and I also had a blast sponsoring a local child for Christmas. We went to multiple stores and tried to get some clothes, books, and toys that a 9-year-old would like. The child’s mom gave me an awesome list of his interests. Al really got into it and enjoyed it. We can’t wait to do it again next year. The best part was getting a text message on Christmas Day with a photo of him smiling, wearing the zip-up hoodie that we bought for him, surrounded by a multitude of gifts. I nearly cried. It was fantastic.

Al and I enjoyed our own version of Christmas, being together and safe with the dogs. We surprised each other with several nice gifts. My parents came over on the afternoon of Christmas Day with gifts and food! We spent some time together on our porch socially-distanced, and it worked out nicely.

The Book Reviews didn’t happen, and that’s okay. I really struggled with reading this year, especially the second half of the year. I’m determined to get back to it more consistently in 2022!

I’m excited to spend some quality time with my parents and Al’s parents for New Year’s before going back to work next week and starting another year! Cheers to 2022!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #267: NaNoWriMo 2021 Recap

Image Credit: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo November 2021!

Welcome back! Here’s my recap of NaNoWriMo 2021. After skipping out on NaNoWriMo in 2020, I was determined to make it happen this year. And, boy, was it worth it!

As of November 1, 2021, I had 20,986 words written.

Personal Goal: Write at least 20,000 new words for book #3, but let’s see what happens.

Full disclosure: Never in a million years did I think I would ever reach 50,000 words in a month.


Day 1 – 1,786 new words, one untimed session and three timed sessions totaling 45 minutes.

Day 2 – 2,089 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 3 – 1,919 new words, 45 minutes writing time.

Day 4 – 1,686 new words, 45 minutes writing time.

Day 5 – 1,948 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 6 – 1,793 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 7 – 2,229 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 8 – 1,688 new words, 45 minutes writing time.

Day 9 – 1,639 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 10 – 1,686 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 11 – 1,687 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 12 – 1,738 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 13 – 1,891 new words, 50 minutes writing time.

Day 14 – 2,102 new words, 45 minutes writing time.

Day 15 – 1,835 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 16 – 1,846 new words, 45 minutes writing time.

Day 17 – 1,835 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 18 – 1,799 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 19 – 1,857 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 20 – 2,010 new words, 75 minutes writing time.

Day 21 – 1,631 new words, 35 minutes writing time.

Day 22 – 1,662 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 23 – 1,596 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 24 – 1,617 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 25 – 1,718 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 26 – 1,726 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 27 – 1,573 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 28 – 1,603 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 29 – 1,752 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Day 30 – 1,854 new words, 40 minutes writing time.

Total for November 2021: 53,795 new words.

Current word count: 74,781 words.


Final Thoughts

Holy shit, I’m just blown away. I’m still stunned that this actually happened. I won NaNoWriMo! For the first time ever!

For those who may be curious, I hit 50,000 words on November 28th.

I went back to my old blog posts. The last November session I participated in was 2019, and I wrote 25,101 words during that session.

I doubled my output for this one. Wow!

My friend Ren continues to be a huge cheerleader for me. They are amazing!

I stuck with my plan from Camp NaNo and sat down every single day before starting work if possible, and then definitely after dinner until I met or exceeded my daily word count.

I’m also a Google Docs convert now.

Al chuckles that he always heard the din of my fingers on the keyboard for 30 days straight. It’s a beautiful sound.

I hope to finish this first draft for certain during Camp NaNoWriMo April 2022, if not sooner than that. I’m excited to continue Camp NaNo in April and July, and then work toward beating this goal in November 2022. This is the book I started during NaNoWriMo 2014. I have several other novels in various stages!


Have you done NaNoWriMo in November before?

Have you done Camp NaNoWriMo before?

Let me know what you think!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #266: December Goals

Image Credit: Pinterest

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of December:

  1. Give blood.
  2. Enjoy Christmas!
  3. Publish my NaNoWriMo 2021 Recap post.
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews.
  5. Work toward finishing the first draft of Book #3.
  6. Participate in a fun Christmas card exchange.
  7. Continue decluttering.
  8. Officially sell or donate all remaining duplicate or unwanted American Girl items.
  9. Take some time off work for New Year’s.
  10. Celebrate New Year’s!

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of December?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #265: November Goals Recap

Image Credit: pinterest.com

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of November:

  1. Complete NaNoWriMo 2021. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate Grandpa’s 96th birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Celebrate six years of marriage with Al! — Accomplished!
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews. — Did not achieve yet.
  5. Celebrate Thanksgiving! — Accomplished!
  6. Donate more clothes and unused household items to charity. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Clean off the dining room buffet, and keep it clean. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Transition my wardrobe to fall/winter. — Accomplished!
  9. Continue to sell my duplicate and unused American Girl items. — Semi-Achieved.

November flew by. I hit my stride with NaNoWriMo 2021 – It was my best one ever. Look for a Recap post about that coming very soon.

We had a great birthday party for Grandpa’s 96th birthday! My mom outdid herself – Amazing food and delicious key lime cake.

Al and I had a wonderful wedding anniversary. We went to a new restaurant in Suffolk, Amedeo’s, on Sunday night. I also surprised him with a charcuterie board in the shape of a six (6) for six years the following week. It was delicious, and we had leftovers for days. Plus, I was thrilled to support a local business!

Thanksgiving was awesome. I successfully cooked my second turkey. My parents were amazing hosts. And Al’s parents met my Grandpa for the first time! One of the highlights of the day was another Zoom family reunion with several members of my dad’s extended family – Several of his cousins from all over the U.S. (California, Kentucky, Minnesota, Virginia). Can’t wait to do it again soon!

I wrote one Book Review this month: Book Review #97: “The Breach: Devon” (The Guardians Series Book One)

I’m hoping to finish reading several books soon and publish a few more reviews in December.

I’ve donated several American Girl items to charity since it’s been really hard to sell them recently. I’m hoping that I can sell a few things in December as Christmas and other holidays approach.


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of November?

Come back tomorrow to see my December Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #264: November Goals

Image Credit: Jen Russum

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of November!

  1. Complete NaNoWriMo 2021.
  2. Celebrate Grandpa’s 96th birthday!
  3. Celebrate six years of marriage with Al!
  4. Publish at least two Book Reviews.
  5. Celebrate Thanksgiving!
  6. Donate more clothes and unused household items to charity.
  7. Clean off the dining room buffet, and keep it clean.
  8. Transition my wardrobe to fall/winter.
  9. Continue to sell my duplicate and unused American Girl items.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of November?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #263: October Goals Recap

Image Credit: jenny collier blog

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of October:

  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate Mom’s birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Enjoy a good friend’s bachelorette celebration. — Accomplished!
  4. Mail a long-overdue package to my university sorority sisters. — Did not accomplish yet.
  5. Complete another consignment box for Darby’s Dresses. — Accomplished!
  6. Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2021. — Accomplished!
  7. Complete the first pass review of the current version of book 3. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Sell or donate all American Girl items that were previously set aside. — Semi-Achieved.

I wasn’t able to give blood because I had MOHS surgery a week before to get clear margins for a mole that was biopsied in July. I had 10 stitches in my back, and the Red Cross says that the stitches had to be gone before I could give. Bummer, but I’m bulking up my iron for giving in December.

My mom’s birthday celebration was delayed a bit because my grandpa fell in the bathroom a couple of days before her birthday, resulting in a day in the ER and a couple days admitted to the hospital. Nothing was broken, thank goodness, but more PT/OT at home. But, we had Mexican the following weekend, and Mom received a ton of great cards.

I had a blast at Lane’s “boo-chlerette” celebration! You can read about it from my post earlier in October.

I’m super stoked for NaNoWriMo to start TOMORROW! Yay! I’m in a much better head space to write this November than I was in 2020. Book #3, I’m coming for you!


What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of October?

Come back tomorrow to see my November Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #262: My First Experience with Microdermabrasion

Image Credit: Medical News Today

I did something completely out of the ordinary recently, all to help out someone who is amazing!

In order to graduate, students have to perform a certain number of services. It’s a lot like dental hygiene school, but these services include chemical peels, facials, LED light therapy, and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), among other treatment options.

I made a new friend in Kelsey, who is a student at The Chrysm Institute of Esthetics in Virginia Beach. This is a trade school that helps people become Estheticians and Master Estheticians.

I’ll post a link to the list of student services at the end of the post. If you’re close to Virginia Beach, please support these students. Kelsey is an awesome person. She eventually wants to work with lasers, which is super awesome! She wants to help people. These lasers are super sophisticated, and getting more precise all the time.

There are a variety of services offered. And all of them are affordable. As an example, I paid $30.00 for my microdermabrasion session with Kelsey. If I were to go for a microdermabrasion session at a local skin care clinic, I would be paying quite a bit more money. The investment for a membership that includes microdermabrasion at one local skin care clinic is $119.00 per month. To me, going to see Kelsey or another student at Chrysm is worth it! You’re getting the same services at an affordable price, and you’re giving these students hands-on experience and practice with what they’ve learned.


Microdermabrasion

Kelsey explained every step to me. She reviewed several things with me before we started, which was my consultation. She took my notes on my eye color, hair color, skin type and tendencies, and a few other things. This helped her “score” me on what’s called the Fitzpatrick scale or skin type. This helped her figure out the appropriate products to use on my skin. I’m a 2 on the scale, so I’m a Type I. This means that my skin is pale white, burns easily, and extremely sensitive. The scale goes form Type I (0-6) to Type VI (35+).

It was a very relaxing and soothing procedure. I wore a stretchy headband that kept my hair back. She used several products on my face to help exfoliate and prepare my skin for the suction wand, which removed the top layer of skin. My favorite part was the soothing chamomile mask, which felt amazing and refreshing. My skin felt refreshed afterward, and Kelsey noted that the redness she observed when I had arrived that day was already reduced.

I was originally a little nervous, but Kelsey was very confident and amazing. Every procedure is supervised. Kelsey asked a few questions of them during the session. The supervisors were impressed and kept complimenting her work.

I was so impressed and appreciative that I immediately wanted to book another session with her. I’m going back to see her in mid-November before the holidays.

The key for microdermabrasion is to not use any exfoliating products on your face for 24-48 hours after the procedure to reduce irritation. Don’t touch or pick at your skin for 2-3 days to let it heal. Also, use sunscreen every day if possible. I bought moisturizer with SPF 30 for my skin care routine less than a day after my session with Kelsey. After several pre-cancerous mole scares, I don’t play anymore. Especially with my face!

The entire session lasted an hour, and I went back to work when it was done. Easy, relaxing, and painless.


Resources

Skin type and tanning ability based on the Fitzpatrick skin pigmentation scale | ResearchGate

Student Services | The Chrysm Institute of Esthetics


What about you? Have you ever had a microdermabrasion session done?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #261: October Goals

Image Credit: Found on Facebook from a friend.

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of October:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate Mom’s birthday!
  3. Enjoy a good friend’s bachelorette celebration.
  4. Mail a long-overdue package to my university sorority sisters.
  5. Complete another consignment box for Darby’s Dresses.
  6. Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2021.
  7. Complete the first pass review of the current version of book 3.
  8. Sell or donate all American Girl items that were previously set aside.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of October?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂