Favorite Things: April 2013

I’m considering different formats for this feature, so forgive me if I start playing around with stuff and my posts aren’t consistent.  However, while I debate and consider and ponder, here is a quick rundown of some of my favorite things from April!

Clive Barker’s Abarat: Absolute Midnight

The third installment of the Abarat series, this one is just as delicious as the previous two.  I was having trouble really getting into a book recently, but this one hooked me and will hopefully get me back on track with reading more regularly.  I’ve been reading almost every night again.  Also, the book features so many colorful, fantastic (much like the colorful, fantastic characters that inhabit the story) art pieces done by Mr. Barker.  Chapter by chapter, I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.  And when I’m finished, I will patiently await the next book.

Hempz Treats Body Lotions

Chantel and I have been picking these up at Marshall’s for about $6 each, and they are so great.  They smell like delicious, sugary treats like Strawberry Cheesecake, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Sugar Lemon Squares.  Yummy!

Making Plans with Friends

Any excuse to spend time with friends is a good one.  Whether it’s tea and a sweet snack at the book store or a trip to Dallas to nerd out at an anime convention with faraway friends, I’m excited about upcoming friend-time.  I always feel so happy when I’m around friends, people who understand me and share some of my interests and loves.  My occasional bookstore tea and treats date with the lovely Vanessa always makes me feel ready to move forward with writing and other projects (even though I tend to easily get stuck and lose my momentum), and my annual trip up to Dallas for A-Kon (which I will hopefully blog about) lets me reconnect with friends I haven’t seen, only communicated with online, for a year.  And this year we’ll be enjoying our Japanese pop culture while celebrating friendship as well as my (and Chantel’s)  graduation!

Saving

I’ve never been particularly good at saving.  Anytime I save some money, I end up having to use it for something instead of being able to leave it alone.  However, almost 10 weeks ago I started a 52-week savings challenge.  Week 1 started with $1 in the jar, week 2 had me adding $2 more, and so on.  The idea is that as the weeks increase, so to does the amount you save each week.  In other words, in the final week, week 52, I will add $52 to the jar and complete the challenge with a total of $1,378 saved.  Then I can use it for whatever I want and start the process all over again.  It feels good to stash that little bit of money aside every week and seeing it (with the help of a nice little print-out to track my progress) add up.

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Chantel and I threw together some fancy chocolate chip cookie dough this evening and are going to bake cookies tomorrow afternoon.  They feature bitter-sweet chocolate and salt.  I love a good salty-sweet treat, so I’m excited to see (and taste!) how they turn out.  If they’re super delicious, they might earn themselves a quick blog post.  ^_~

The Beach

I mentioned the beach in my last post, and briefly talked about going there with my twin sister and best friend a while back, so I decided to post about our trip to the beach and share a few more photos.

As good as it can feel to spend a little time in the sun, I don’t care for hot weather and burn quite easily. I always slather on the SPF 100+ before spending any length of time in the sun, and the three of us used to go on nighttime outings to the beach instead of going during the day. Sometimes we shared the water with a bunch of tiny, bioluminescent organisms that glowed around us as we moved. It always made me feel sort of magical, like a mermaid or faery.

This time, we decided to head out to the beach in the evening to take advantage of a little bit of sunlight and a little bit of dusk. It was Labor Day weekend, so there were a lot of people on the beach, but the further down we drove the further the distance between cars. We parked, got out of the car, and I proceeded to snap some photos while my sister and friend headed into the water. There were so many little, quick-footed birds hustling about on the sand, and a couple of times a group of pelicans flew down close to the waves. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any pictures of them. Because of the time of day during which we were at the beach, it wasn’t hot at all, but because of the time of year it wasn’t cold either. The water felt great! And that feeling of freedom that comes with being in the open water is so refreshing. We played in the waves, occasionally taking large quantities of saltwater to the face, until the sun had almost disappeared behind the dunes. Then, we sat on the sand with the surf rushing up around us and toward the shore for a while before packing up and heading back to the house.

Despite all the time I’ve spent comparing the beach here to the clear-blue-watered beaches I’ve been to in Florida, which had me convinced that my local beaches weren’t all that appealing, I think I’ve come to appreciate the beaches here more than I used to.