reading

Reading in 2021

Hello beautiful dreamers,

My content is usually all over the place, however I am making an attempt to add more reading/book related content to my blog posts. Especially considering that I am in the process of making a career out of writing and books, it seems appropriate.

Reading was something I did obsessively as a child/teenager, but slowly fell out of the habit during college. And now, of course, running around after a toddler takes up a lot of my day, so reading doesn’t always fit into my day. However, the daydreams never stop, so I always come back to my books. 

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Posted by katharine_marie in books, life updates, 0 comments

March 2020 – A Closer Look

Hello beautiful readers!

March was a full blown adventure, wasn’t it? I feel like we started out strong and then slowly devolved into “the world is ending.” So that’s great. I wasn’t sure how to write this post, exactly, but then decided that I would just focus inward a little. We’re always going to remember the spring of 2020 as the time of the world pandemic, so why not take a look at some other things.

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What happened in March?

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

This was my worst month so far, blog post wise – including this one, I posted four times. Last Friday was my quarterly post, checking in on some of those ideas I was hoping to push for in 2020. Before that, I posted a little update letter to try and find some hope in the chaos of current events. And at the very beginning of the month I had a post about how I handle being interested in everything all the time.

In the Books…

Definitely my worst month to date. In the spirit of honesty, I’ve been super anxious and when I’m super anxious I read fanfiction and trashy romance novels – just a coping mechanism, I guess. I pulled out A Wrinkle in Time yesterday to make a point after we watched the latest awful movie rendition and now that it’s sitting out, I may read it. Who knows.

On the Screen…

We finally finished watching How I Met Your Mother. Since I’d already done it once, I forced Juan to make it through that horrendous final season just to reach the end.

I started watching The Voice on Hulu, and I’m enjoying this season! For some reason I love judging people on TV – a guilty pleasure maybe? I don’t know.

We watched the new live-action Dumbo, the 2018 version of A Wrinkle in Time, and a whole lot of kids cartoons.

Writing Things Down…

Sadly, I did not do any fiction writing this month. I’m really looking forward to doing a little bit in April if I get the chance. But I have been able to do some essay writing for a job and of course, journals and short essays for school!

Other Hobbies…

After half the month off, in the last week and a half, I’ve been able to get back to riding and it’s been great fun, just like always.

I’ve still been baking and cooking and not doing too bad a job! Everything gets eaten, so we’re enjoying it I guess! Last night I did cinnamon rolls and other than being a teensy bit overbaked, they were scrumptious! I need another one now….

Home and Family…

Well… as of last week, The Husband is on leave from work and we are social distancing/self isolating as best we can. That’s fun. It’s not like we ever really went out and did anything, but now the only thing we do is go to my parent’s property or out to the trails to walk. I think we’ve both been adjusting to being around each other 24/7, although the Tiny Princess doesn’t care, she’s just happy to have both of us home.

Overall, things are going well, just trying to keep our heads down until things improve around the world, and keep our positivity up. If you need something to watch, we’ve been watching Jimmy Fallon – he’s doing at-home versions of his talk show and it is weirdly inspiring and makes us smile.


Love, light, and kindness,

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A Closer Look – February 2020

Hello beautiful dreamers!

I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of February. And if it wasn’t a leap year, today would actually be the last day. Yikes. But that’s not important right now. The main thing is that I am so confused as to how we got here. I hadn’t bothered pulling up this post until a few days ago – to give some perspective, I got an email a while back about some paperwork that needed to be submitted by the 29th of February. And I haven’t been procrastinating, exactly, just honestly believing that I had plenty of time. And then on Tuesday I get another email saying I have four days left to complete my paperwork. I think I died a little on the inside. I mean, I’m ready for spring, but I’m NOT ready for March to be here already.

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So… what did we get up to in the incredibly short month of February?

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

Well, we kicked off the month with this blog’s 100th post!! Which just so happened to be a ramble about how I’m attempting to continue reading more. Then we had a heart to heart about how rough it can be as a mom sometimes. I opened up a little with thirteen weird confessions that people really didn’t know about me and compared the differences between video content and the written word. Then we finished off with an update on how I’m feeling a month after leaving my job, and I offered a closer look at my personal morning routine.

All together, I had 7 blog posts in February, and 14 as the running total for 2020.

In the Books…

Last month I did better with my reading than I had in a very long while, but that all changed once I was no longer working and I’m still figuring out how to fit it in consistently. As such, I didn’t really finish anything in it’s entirety during the month of February, but I did read!

Firstly, this month I had my best streak with reading a passage of Scripture on a regular basis. Apart from a few random days here and there (weekends mostly) I sat down and read a few chapters almost every morning.

I read portions of a book on natural remedies for kids to help me get a little prepared to start my own apothecary! Not entirely kidding – I’m excited to buy some herbs and create some really cool stuff in my kitchen.

I also read part of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, a book I actually picked up way back in the early stages of my pregnancy. I don’t necessarily subscribe to all the parenting tips in it, but I consistently fall back on the ideas presented when I doubt myself as a mother.

On the Screen…

This month I was able to configure the budget and The Husband got the larger tv that he’s been wanting. That was exciting! And then I had to ask him what all we watched this month because even with the larger screen my brain still didn’t remember what it showed.

I have a tiny kid in the house, so we watch a lot of cartoons. I LOVE Disney Plus because I can put on the classic princess movies and we can dance around to all the songs. It’s awesome. She also loves the theme songs to several other cartoons like DuckTales and My Little Pony. She could care less about the actual show, but she loves theme songs!

Speaking of Disney Plus, we finally watched the live action Lion King!! It was better than I was expecting and yes, I did cry all over again. Sniff sniff.

Since the Princess was so super tiny, we didn’t get to go see Zombieland: Double Tap in the theater like we hoped/planned, so we rented it this month and got a lot of laughs out of it! Still don’t know why I enjoyed it that much, but it was really funny.

Writing Things Down…

I think I was really hoping to be much further along on rewriting my book project than I am right now, but it’s okay. Other things took precedence this month and I’ve accepted that. I’m kind of thinking that regardless of how March goes, I’m going to use Camp Nanowrimo in April to give myself a bit of a goal and see if that helps.

I’ve also been journaling a LOT more, so I’m counting that as a win, and I only missed one post on my blogging schedule, which happened the week that we were all sick so I’m not upset about that! Plus, I got my first side gig so I’ve been learning the ins and outs of different styles of writing and enjoying that!

Other Hobbies

I’ve actually been able to ride and I’m so happy! Ideally I want to get out to the farm to ride my horse three-ish times a week and it’s been a little hit or miss because of the rain, but I’ve had a lot of fun getting back to my all-time favorite hobby.

The Tiny Princess seems to like when I play the piano so I’ve done a bit more this past month. I’ve been working on a piano version of a Coldplay song and I’m starting to play around with one from Metallica.

The other week I got a little restless at home, but couldn’t come up with any kind of errands to go run, so I started baking. And guess whose house has had either cookies or something other sort of baked good around since then. It’s mine….. whoops.

Home and Family

Tiny Princess update! She rolls from her back to her tummy all. the. time. But still won’t roll from her tummy to her back, although the last few days we’ve gotten a lot closer! She is extremely busy and can be very demanding. She loves to sit up, especially if we put her in the corner of the couch so she can practice doing it on her own. I feel like she’s going to be quite independent quite quickly. Sad day. She LOVES it when daddy gets home from work and she likes going out for walks on nice days. She’s about to be six months old in a week or so and I don’t know if I can handle that…

We all ended up getting sick during February – baby’s first cold! – and I’ve definitely struggled with keeping things in order around the house, but The Husband is always very quick to remind me that being a mom is a full time job (see above where I said she is extremely busy) so I’ve gotten better about being a little flexible.

2020 Intentions

In February I really focused on my spiritual self and actually have a nice little morning routine that includes that aspect. I cooked several different meals that I hadn’t tried before and they turned out pretty great! We got a little headstart going on our house savings. And I got accepted to the college I wanted!!


Love, light, and kindness!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Blog Writing, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 0 comments

an attempt to read more

hi folks,

First off, this is my 100th post on Elemental Dreamer! I’m so excited that we made it this far! Since I started this particular blog in September of 2018, I have not missed posting for a single month. I have to say that this is my favorite space of all the ones I’ve posted on in my history of blogging and I’m so happy you all are along for the ride. It can only get better, right??

So last week, in my January recap, I went over the books I had read during the month. And, actually, I’m quite proud of myself because it has been a challenge in the last few years to really find the time to read more. I have a massive collection of books but I really don’t read like I want to. i think that’s just about everyone’s complaint, isn’t it?

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Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Part of what happened, is that I committed to reading on my breaks at work. Since I was pumping, I couldn’t leave or do just anything on my lunch. I actually had to sit down and stay put, so I read. And there are a fair amount of words you can read on a thirty minute break twice a day! But already, in the week and a half that I’ve been staying home, it’s become a lot harder to read like I was. I’ve managed to keep up with my writing, but that’s hard too!

So I’m working on a plan to make the reading a priority in my day to day life now that it looks so different.

The main thing I can think of is that I could read instead of mindlessly watching tv in the evenings. The Husband and I spend some time together once The Princess is in bed, but he also works on his film editing and sometimes I’m trying to scramble and get the last few things done around the house, even though I know I need to take that time to relax.

So I present this question to you all – how do you fit reading into your daily life, if you do at all? 

I love how much more creative my mind is when I read on a regular basis, so it’s something I definitely want to spend more time on.


Love, light, and much kindness. Happy 100 posts, Elemental Dreamers!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Blog Writing, Books & Writing, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Setting Goals, 0 comments

A Closer Look – January 2020

Hi wonderful dreamers!

When I made my objectives for 2020, I mentioned a little about how I’m not doing very specific goals this year, but rather working towards certain priorities and intentions, if that makes sense. So, in light of that, I decided not to do monthly goals either. Firstly, because I’m terrible at updating them every month, and secondly, I wanted to do exactly what I’m here to do today. And that is, post an update about January – not necessarily what goals I did or didn’t do, per-se, but just… what happened, I guess?

So. January has felt very long and very short all at the same time. The Husband and I had decided that I would be staying at home with the Tiny Princess for at least a while, and last Friday, the 24th, was my last day at my full time job. So I spent most of January looking ahead to that change, and then this past week has been a lot of figuring out what that change actually looks like. But I’m loving it so far!

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Photo by Jeff Siepman on Unsplash

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

On this blog, we had a variety of content. I talked about the things I’m striving for in 2020 and I rambled about my emotions surrounding quitting my job to be a stay at home mom. I offered a few motivational journal prompts for those rougher days, and then you guys all got to meet me all over again in my updated introduction! I put out a poll asking what kind of blogging content you all prefer – it’s still open if you haven’t voted yet! – and I’m working on using those results appropriately. And then last week, I asked what you would wish for your life to look like in ten years, and offered my own dreams! And now we’re here!

In the Books…

So… surprisingly, I didn’t do half bad on the reading front. I read four books on my Kindle, and started another one that I don’t think I’ll be finishing because the writing is just grating to me.

Country Heaven, by Ava MilesActually a pretty great romance novel, only a little cheesy, and the plot was actually really good!

A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery, by April FernsbyIf you couldn’t guess, it’s a mystery story and the main character is a psychic. This one was just okay, not fabulous, but it did keep me entertained the whole way through. Honestly, the psychic aspect of the main character wasn’t that well written, even though she was great otherwise!

Cappucinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse, by Harper LinYeah, I read several crime novels this month. This one was better than the previous one – no psychics – although parts of it did seem kind of far fetched. I’m just confused – do random civilians go around solving murders all the time, or just in books?

Casino Girl, by Leslie WolfeOkay, fair warning, this is the second book in a series, but I didn’t realize that when I downloaded it and I still very much enjoyed it! Another crime novel, but this time the main character is actually a detective, so much more believable. There were certain aspects that didn’t quite make sense, probably because I didn’t read the first one yet (I’m going to!) but regardless, I was very invested in this story from beginning to end. This is the one I highly recommend out of all the crime novels I read this month!

On the Screen…

I’m woefully behind on the new movies right now – we missed the entire holiday theater selection, but I heard there were some fantastic movies out there! What I did watch, however…

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood was fantastic. Very, very different, though pretty much normal for a Quentin Tarantino movie, and we actually talked about it the next few days.

I’m still loving the Disney Plus content – makes it super easy to pop a movie on for the Tiny Princess if we need to, plus we got to watch the new live action Aladdin all over again!

I’m currently binge/re-watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix so I can watch the new season, Husband and I are working through How I Met Your Mother (a re-watch for me, new laughs for him) and Grey’s Anatomy is back on!

My Own Words…

I didn’t get as much written as I originally wanted to, but I’ve still made progress. I opened my current book project to start editing, and then decided two pages in that it needed a whole rewrite. So that’s what happening there. Beyond that, it’s just been blog posts for you all!

All Other Hobbies…

By the time this post goes up, I’ll have made my first trek out to the farm to ride my horse! If you didn’t already know, you can read about that under that tab up there that says horses. I’m excited to be riding again, even if its miserably cold and wet right now.

Home and Family…

The Tiny Princess CAN roll over now, she just mostly chooses not to. She learned to growl this past month, and also do that shrill scream that annoys me to no end. But besides some really rough teething moments, she’s been doing really well. We even had one incident where she slept the entire night. Hasn’t happened since then, but it gives me hope!

This past week I helped Husband with one of his video projects by providing some voice overs – new territory for me, but I kind of had fun! I even think I would do more of it for him in the future if he needs it. And I just remembered that he reads this… whoops.

Being home now also means I’ve started to really tackle some of the bigger house cleaning, and I love having a more organized space!

2020 Intentions…

The biggest step I made on my ideas for the year was applying to colleges, and even picking one in particular that I really liked! I’m still wading through paperwork, but hopefully that goes through and I can get my acceptance this next month!


Well, that went on ridiculously longer than I anticipated, but hey, it was kind of fun, right?

What did you do in January?

 

Love, light, and kindness for all,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Books & Writing, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, Setting Goals, 0 comments

8 New Blogs to Follow

Hello lovely folks who are somehow still reading my little blog!

In order to write well you must expose yourself to all sorts of writing – which means a whole lot of reading. And since I write blog posts, it’s a good idea to read a variety of different blogs. My blog reader has approximately 150 sites on it and I log in every morning to anywhere from 5-25 new posts.

Eventually I get around to reading them all, but there are always the select group of authors that I click on as soon as they pop up. It’s not even their content, exactly, but rather the way they tell their stories that make me jump on their new posts so quickly.

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So today I’m going to share some of those sites with you all! These are a few of my favorite blogs to read and I hope you’ll maybe find some new reading material. These are a mix of information blogs, personal ones, and lifestyle blogs. Some are about horses, some about minimalism, and some are just completely different.


Reading My Tea Leaves

Slow, simple, sustainable living – that’s the description of Erin Boyle’s blog. Her “Week in Objects” series is probably one of my favorites with it’s unique photographs accompanied by very few words. She is a staunch feminist and I can’t say I agree with all of her views all of the time, but I really love the quietness that emanates from her words. That and the fact that her and her husband live with two children in an apartment of only a few hundred square feet? Highly impressive.

The $900 Facebook Pony

This is definitely a horse blog that I am obsessed with for many reasons. Firstly, she competes in eventing (the horse sport I would love to do) on a little bay horse (I have a little bay horse!). Secondly, she’s based out of Texas, so I can relate to so much about the horse lifestyle. And of course, she has a great way of telling the stories of her adventures with both her competition horse and the youngster she’s bringing up too. Basically, Amanda is who I want to be when I grow up!

The Londoner

I’ll be honest – my obsession with Rosie’s blog started with her pictures. So. Pretty. So I stumbled across the pictures and stayed for the adorable travel stories and the lovely style tips. To be fair, I also enjoy her baby tales as a natural-minded mama. Plus London! I mean, there’s a little something for everyone here!

Elna Cain

Alright… so this isn’t a personal blog so much as a wealth of information about writing, freelancing, business tips, and so much more. A literal treasure trove of advice, all coming from someone who knows how to explain it in such a straightforward, honest, and REAL way. I actually feel like she understands what it’s like to be in my shoes when I read her posts and THAT is why I keep coming back.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Switching gears completely here, this blog is aimed directly at Christian women looking for answers to their questions about marriage. I’ll warn you now, the subject matter is often quite explicit or graphic, but the advice and ideas are amazing. As someone who has struggled with putting spiritual faith and relationships in the same room, this entire website really helped me out. Sheila has a fabulous view of marriage as an equal team effort that really satisfies that little feminist side of me without negating anything else I believe.

The Bloggess

Bizarre thoughts from author Jenny Lawson – definitely bizarre and sometimes incredibly disturbing. No, this blog is definitely not clean language-wise but yes, it is absolutely flipping hilarious. Jenny has a thing for taxidermied animals and a relatable struggle with mental illness. I can only read a handful of her posts at a time because I will die of laughter otherwise – the dark humor and raw stories are very addicting though.

The Baker’s Help Meet

Okay, maybe there’s a little bit of bias that makes me click on this one so fast, but its definitely warranted. This blog is written by one of my dear friends and details her life as a young wife and mother on a family ranch. She talks about the various adventures they get into as well as the mental and spiritual journeys that happen along the way, plus a healthy dose of the same horse-related-insanity that I am afflicted with.

A Collection of Madcap Escapades

Yes, another horse-related blog. But seriously, the storytelling on this one is probably my absolute favorite. Dom is a horse trainer first and has some great client adventures that are always great to read, but she also rides endurance (my other favorite horse sport) and I might be a little obsessed with the stories she tells about her rides. They always keep me entertained and intrigued and I always finish one of her blog posts with an intense urge to go jump on my own horse and get to work!


Hopefully you found at least one new blog to read in that list, so now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite blogs and why? I need more reading material!

 

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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July 2019 Goals

Hello lovely folks!

Summer is definitely upon us. I just checked my phone and the forecast is a weird mix of super heavy thunderstorms and 100 degree days. It’s awesome. Although the rain is okay, there has been a lot of major flooding in Texas and Oklahoma so maybe now would be a good time to stop dumping water on our heads, okay? At least, that’s my point of view!

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June seemed like a bit of everything thrown all together. The show I was planning to work on was cancelled sadly, although maybe for the best since I haven’t been feeling all that great again lately. Writing-wise though, it’s been super great!

I covered a lot more in my Quarter Two review post, so you can read that if you feel like it, and I updated my June goals post so you can see how I did on those!

So… what do we have planned for July?!


Goals for July 2019
  • Find and set up our new lease – moving in August!
  • Finish paying off the midwife.
  • Stay on budget as much as possible – moving and babies are expensive!
  • Keep working on my communication – this has been a big topic at home lately.
  • Earn X amount with my brand new freelance writing business!
  • 10 blog posts here on Elemental Dreamer.
  • Complete and win Camp Nanowrimo.
  • Read two books.
  • Play the piano several evenings during the week.
  • Write several cards that are long overdue to be sent.
  • Set up our baby registry.
  • Celebrate a birthday by going out of town for a weekend.
  • Attend the Fort Worth Indie Film Festival!
  • Spend the holiday weekend with my family.
  • Daily things like journaling, taking my vitamins and stretching.

The heat is really tough to deal with at 7 months pregnant so I’ll be spending time in the air conditioning as much as I can. Definitely looking forward to a great month though!

What do you have planned for July?

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

 

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Mindful Monday: Push

Hello gorgeous folks! It’s a Monday again!

My weekend ran away with me and I can’t say I’m super thrilled about it being Monday again. I just wanted to stay in bed this morning and sleep all day. But I still have a job – which I actually really like! – that wants me there on time every day, so I couldn’t be that lazy. So far, work has been straightforward and nothing has gone wrong, so it can only get better, right? Hopefully your Monday has been a bit more positive than mine!

Over the last week/ten days, it’s just been like an emotional rollercoaster in my head, and not the nice, easy kind. It’s kind of obvious that it’s a pregnancy hormone thing, but still it makes my day more than a bit annoying at times. Yesterday I got woken up very suddenly from a nap and it made me extremely grumpy and snippy, something that really doesn’t happen very often for me. During the middle of last week I also had a depressive episode, but it was shorter than most of mine and only lasted for about two days before I was back to normal. And from everything so far today it feels like I might have another one coming on. Without any obvious triggers, I’m just going to go ahead and blame it all on hormones for right now. My poor husband though – I feel really bad for him.


This Week..

  • I’m finally seeing my chiropractor again!
  • An actual grocery shopping trip.
  • Writing more consistently, especially on my Nano project.
  • Several subjects that I need to do more research on.
  • Do something else in the evenings besides playing games on my phone or watching tv. It’s a bad habit, especially when I’m already feeling emotional.

What I’m Reading…

Even though I started this book quite a while ago, I’m only now picking it back up to read. Dean Koontz is one of my favorite, more modern authors, and I just adore his writing style. I very quickly got sucked back into the story and I’m really excited to find out how the story ends!

Parenting might not be a subject I write about on this blog, but now that I’m going to be actually doing it myself in several months, I find different philosophies rather interesting. I read this blog post today and found it very insightful. I might be a ways off from the toddler stage, but having good solid ideas in mind from the very start is, at least in my opinion, a much better place to be.

Although I doubt I’ll ever be able to get myself all the way over to the extreme side of it, I do love me some hard-core minimalism. And when this post from Happy Grey Lucky popped up on my blog reader this morning, it inspired probably a bazillion new home décor ideas in my head. Even though I would love to see something on the wall above the bed (something super simple like maybe an abstract or simplistic piece of art, particularly if it was nature-inspired), I love love LOVE the way the author used that books display shelf to add some color to the room. Between that and the natural light – I could fall asleep in this room in a heartbeat!


What are you up to this week?!

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

 

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