Far From The Madding Crowd

Earlier this summer, I went to see the newest film version of Thomas Hardy’s novel with T and his family while vacationing at their lake house.  Needless to say I loved it (and you would too if you enjoy seeing Carey Mulligan rock a period film), and I wanted to read Mr. Hardy’s original version immediately.  Lots of people at my local library must have had the same idea, since I had to wait for what felt like forever to receive a copy, and only finished it last night.
 The story’s heroine is Bathsheba Everdene (inspiration for Katniss?!), a strong-willed, independent, and somewhat vain woman who rises in social rank and power after inheriting her uncle’s farm and all of its responsibilities.  Despite her insistent declarations of being too independent for marriage, Bathsheba finds herself to be the love interest of not one, but THREE men; Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer who asked for hand before her inheritance of the farm, William Boldwood, a fellow affluent farmer whom Bathsheba unknowingly entices, and Frank Troy, a scoundrel of an army sergeant.  I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil the novel for you, but I can promise that this is an interesting and worthwhile read (and there is at least one unexpected death!)
I admit that I initially had a difficult time getting into the book, which is not at all surprising considering its original publishing year of 1874.  However, once I got used to the novel’s rhythm and style (be warned: Hardy enjoys using multiple paragraphs to describe the various settings) I found it was quite easy to keep up with.  I highly recommend this book if you enjoy the classics (I’m thinking Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, etc.) If you do check it out, I would love to know what you think!
Now that this book is finished, I am having the hardest time choosing my next read. Any suggestions?
Until next time…happy reading!

Work It

When T and I first looked at our apartment, its selling feature was the 1/2 bedroom that we thought would make a perfect study.  When we moved in, I was so excited to get my desk and my little creative corner set up.  I got the desk part done…and by that I mean my desk was placed in the study and then instantly covered by a crazy array of papers, picture frames, old textbooks, and various other odds and ends that I didn’t have an alternative home for.
Months later (ermm…7) I finally had an afternoon of free time which I decided to use to tackle our study.  While I’m far from an expert, here are a few bits of advice I forced myself to follow during my “make the desk usable” project.

1) RECYCLE EVERYTHING- Really.  You do not need those old invitations to events you’ve attended years ago, those syllabi from semesters ago, or the receipt from that coffee you bought in 2011.  Any such odds and ends that are not important or (seriously) sentimental can go right in the recycling bin.
2) Place things where they make sense- This might seem like a no-brainer, but keep your things organized by purpose.  One of my desk drawers for example is the “important items” drawer where I keep important documents, extra checks, and invitations to upcoming events.  In another drawer, I keep my pens, stationary, stamps, etc.  You get the picture.
3) Make it yours- You don’t want your home office or study to feel like you’re at work.  This area should feel inviting, relaxing, and fun.  Add pictures, signs, plants, candles, etc that inspire you.  These items will personalize your space and help you feel happy when working there.
4) Keep it clean.  It’s no fun to work at a dusty desk, or look out a window with a dead fly on the sill.  It’s just not.



{feeling more creative already}

{yes, i did hang this by myself}

 {book corner}

Have you ever undertaken a work space makeover? I’d love to hear all about it! 
Until next time!

The Big 2-5!

This past Friday, I turned the big 2-5!  It feels VERY strange to be half-way through my twenties, but hey, at least now I can rent a car!  My day was the absolute best I could have asked for.  We had our last day of summer school where all my students sang ‘Happy Birthday’ while giving me a sweet handmade card, T took me out for a couple afternoon drinks at my favorite restaurant, and I met up with all of my friends at Daedulus’ rooftop bar in Cambridge for sangria…so much sangria.  I truly could not have asked for a better day and night to ring in my twenty-fifth year.

{baby diva me}

 {Red Lentil eats}
{coolest water glass}
 {forever friends- dress details here}

 {obligatory birthday shot}
{my T}

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m ALWAYS up for setting a goals list, so I thought a 25th year goal list was the perfect gift to myself.  Here are my Five for 25 Goals!

1. Run a 5K and a 10k
2. Read twelve new books
3. Adopt and stick too a 100% vegan diet for the entire year
4. Finish my Master’s of Middle/Secondary Education
5. Start a daily gratitude journal and write in it every single day

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!