Book List for Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge Book List |

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the books I read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge, but I also did another 2016 reading challenge. The Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge is a list of 40 categories of books to read. Once again, I winged it throughout the year, so I didn’t have a set reading list before I started out on this challenge. This list covers a broad range of topics, and some were easier for me to fill than others. Since I sometimes draw a blank when coming up books to complete reading challenges, I thought I’d post what I read in case anyone was looking for book ideas. I’m not posting any reviews or ratings for these books, but if you want to see my reading list, click over to Goodreads and check it out.

1. A book based on a fairy tale – Beastly by Alex Flinn
2. A National Book Award winner – Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson
3. A YA bestseller – Paper Towns by John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since high school* – Moo by Jane Smiley
5. A book set in your home state – Rumble on the Bayou by Jana Deleon
6. A book translated to English – Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
7. A romance set in the future – The One by Kiera Cass
8. A book set in Europe – The Dinner by Herman Koch
9. A book that’s under 150 pages – The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
10. A New York Times bestseller – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year – The Circle by Dave Eggers
12. A book recommended by someone you just met – Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
13. A self-improvement book – Miss Minimalist by Francine Jay
14. A book you can finish in a day – The Guard by Kiera Cass
15. A book written by a celebrity – Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
16. A political memoir – And the Good News Is… by Dana Perino
17. A book at least 100 years older than you – Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
20. A science-fiction novel – Wool by Hugh Howey
21. A book recommended by a family member – George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade
22. A graphic novel – The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
23. A book that is published in 2016 – The Witnesses by James Patterson
24. A book with a protagonist who has your occupation – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
25. A book that takes place during Summer – Soldiers of Fortune by Jana Deleon
26. A book and its prequel – The Selection and The Prince by Kiera Cass
27. A murder mystery – Watchdog by Laurien Berenson
28. A book written by a comedian – Yes Please by Amy Poehler
29. A dystopian novel – Four by Veronica Roth
30. A book with a blue cover – Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
31. A book of poetry – The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson
32. The first book you see in a bookstore – Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
33. A classic from the 20th century – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
34. A book from the library – The Murder House by James Patterson
35. An autobiography – Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
36. A book about a road trip – An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with – Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
38. A satirical book – Animal Farm by George Orwell
39. A book that takes place on an island – Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy – The Crown by Kiera Cass

Halloween 2016

We had a very happy Halloween!

This was Gavin’s first year trick or treating, and he loved it. It was cute how he would get really excited when would get to a house. He would start saying “trick or treat” and run up to the front door, but when they opened the door he got really shy and wouldn’t say anything. When they held the bowl out for him to take a candy, he would take as much as he could get… so, this kid knows how to do it right! Since he’s a cute little kid, they’d give him extra candy and talk to him for a little bit. He usually said “bye” when we left, so that’s something.

We had a family themed costume this year – Gavin was a police officer and Michael and I were the burglars he had nabbed.

Halloween - Cops and Robbers |

Halloween - Police Officer |

Halloween - Checking his loot |

Monthly Recap (October 2016)

At the first of the month, we went to Dogtoberfest – a craft beer and animal adoption event. It was a lot of fun! Michael and I got to taste some beers, and we all enjoyed walking around the event and seeing the different animals. They had a firetruck and police car there too, so Gavin got to visit with the police and firefighters and look around the vehicles.

Dogtoberfest |

Gavin and I stopped at a local church’s pumpkin sale to get a few pumpkins for the house. The people working the sale were very friendly, and Gavin had a lot of fun looking at the pumpkins and picking out a couple to keep.

Since we had pumpkins, I thought it would be nice to get a few mums and decorate around our front door. I don’t normally decorate for the different seasons, but I thought it would be fun to do, plus it makes our front door look more inviting.

Gavin picking out a pumpkin |

Front door fall decor |

One of the storytimes we went to this month was for fire safety. They had a few firefighters there to talk with the kids about fire safety and show them what the firefighter’s wear. They also had a firetruck and let the kids get on it and learn about how it worked. Gavin loved it! He kept wanting to get in the firetruck. Gavin even made the local paper. They were there to write a story about the fire safety storytime, and Gavin’s picture ended up being in the paper. It was a photo of him touching one of the firefighter’s helmet. Of course, he was interested in touching the helmet. That little boy of mine does love hats!

Gavin on a firetruck |

Gavin in the newspaper |

I started rearranging Gavin’s room. He’s getting close to transitioning to a toddler bed, so I’ve been making a few changes to his room to prepare for that. One change I made was moving his dresser into his closet to free up more floor space. I took down the poster sized map that hung on the wall over the dresser, and made a vinyl alphabet design to hang on the wall. Gavin loves all types of transportation (boats, trucks, planes, etc.), so I used vinyl to cut a boat, plane, bicycle, car, train, and motorcycle to hang on the wall around the alphabet. Gavin likes it. He helped me hang everything up. The alphabet went up first, and he would say the different letters and seemed to like it. But, when the transportation designs started going up, he got a big smile and kept saying “Neat!” – I think the new wall art was a hit with him.

Wall art in Gavin's room |

Wall art in Gavin's room |

Our local library had a special Halloween storytime. The kids could come dressed in their Halloween costumes, and they got a treat – a free book. Gavin went dressed as a lumberjack. He had a good time, and he liked looking at all the costumes. Also, the book he got has been a favorite one all week.

Gavin as a lumberjack {Halloween} |

Gavin as a lumberjack {Halloween} |

Our church hosted a trunk or treat event for the kids. We took Gavin, but it was around his nap time, so he wasn’t too excited. Gavin went dressed as Saint Francis, but I didn’t take any photos. He was a little fussy – mainly he wanted to be held the whole time. But, he did get the hang of saying trick or treat, plus he got some candy and stickers.

Happy Halloween!

Book List – Gilmore Girls Season 7

Book List for Gilmore Girls: Season 7 |

I previously posted book lists for Gilmore Girls Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, and Season 6. Below is my book list for Season 7 – this was the last season of Gilmore Girls. This book list was compiled by watching the show and researching other people’s book lists found online. The book and the episode it was in are included on this list. Gilmore Girls was on for seven seasons, so I’m doing a book list for each season instead of one really long list. My book lists leave off reference books, travel guides, and cookbooks. For books that I have read, I included a rating – I will update this list with ratings as I finish reading more books. To see what I’m currently reading, click over to my Goodreads.

12/4/2016 UPDATE:
I did create a Goodreads list for this book list. If you’re interested, click on over to Gilmore Girls: Season 7 Books.

Gilmore Girls: Season 7

Book Episode My Rating
George Orwell
Episode 1
Gypsy said “Big brother is watching.”
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
Episode 1
A book Lorelai had bought for Luke.
Henry David Thoreau
Episode 1
Rory mentioned Walden pond.
My Life So Far
Jane Fonda
Episode 1
Lorelai read it at home.
Not Read
Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White
Episode 3
Rory mentioned it at Friday night dinner.
Not Read
Henry Miller
Episode 3
Rory read it at the bookstore.
Not Read
Emily Post’s Etiquette
Emily Post
Episode 4
Lorelai said “We’ll have to
consult Emily Post again.”
Not Read
William Kennedy
Episode 8
Logan mentioned it.
Not Read
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
Episode 9
Chris called Lorelai ‘Madame Defarge’.
R is for Ricochet
Sue Grafton
Episode 12
Sookie mentioned it.
Not Read
S is for Silence
Sue Grafton
Episode 12
Sookie mentioned it.
Not Read
The Skin of Our Teeth
Thornton Wilder
Episode 12
Lucy read it in the cafeteria.
Not Read
A Monetary History of the United States

Milton Friedman
Episode 13
Rory wanted to take a copy to
Richard at the hospital.
Not Read
Gender Trouble
Judith Butler
Episode 14
Paris looked for a copy at the bookstore.
Not Read
Eva Luna
Isabel Allende
Episode 14
Rory said she liked it.
Not Read
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
Episode 14
Rory said she had read it.
Not Read
The Vanishing Newspaper
Philip Meyer
Episode 15
Mitchum suggested Rory read it.
She already had.
Not Read
William Shakespeare
Episode 15
Richard mentioned it at Friday night dinner.
Richard III
William Shakespeare
Episode 15
Lorelai mentioned it at Friday night dinner.
Holy Bible Episode 16
Lorelai and Lane discussed it.
Love Medicine
Louise Erdrich
Episode 18
April mentioned it.
Not Read
The Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie
Episode 20
Paris mentioned it.
Not Read
Paradise Lost
John Milton
Episode 20
Rory had a final on it.
Not Read
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain
Episode 20
Rory mentioned it.
The Shia Revival
Vali Nasr
Episode 22
Christiane Amanpour read it at
the Dragonfly Inn.
Not Read


Home Gym {Before & After}

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Home Gym |

Years ago, one of the previous owners enclosed the garage and created two bedrooms. We are using one of those bedrooms as a home office and the other as a home gym. This is another room that I finished last year, but never wrote anything about it on the blog.

The room was originally painted off-white with off-white trim and doors. I painted the ceiling and walls light gray using Behr Premium Plus Ultra matte/flat Full Moon (Behr – 780E-2). The built-in shelves were painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra matte/flat Sparrow (Behr – 780F-4). The trim and doors were painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra satin Ultra Pure White. The interior of the closet was painted with Behr Premium Plus Ultra matte/flat Ultra Pure White.

Home Gym {Before & After} |

Home Gym {Before & After} |

This room has a concrete floor. The floor originally had two coats of paint on it, the bottom coat was red and the top coat was black. The floor was scuffed up pretty bad since I had been using this room as a storage and work room, so I wanted to repaint the floor. Since I wasn’t happy with how the floor turned out in the home office, I decided to paint the floor with a concrete stain instead of using a dye. I cleaned the floor and scraped up all the loose paint. After making sure the floor was as clean as I could get it, I used Behr Concrete Stain on the floor, hoping it would work better than the concrete dye. I used a paint roller to apply two coats of Tar Black. I opted not to use a sealer since it caused a cloudy look to the concrete dye floor. So far, this floor looks much better than the floor in the office, plus it has held up better.

Home Gym {Before & After} |

Other improvements were:
– Hired someone to remove the popcorn ceiling.
– Replaced the ceiling vent registers.
– Placed LED light bulbs in the ceiling fan and the closet light fixture. (affiliate link)
– Replaced the ceiling fan pulls.
– Replaced the bronze door knob on the office door with a Baldwin satin nickel knob. (affiliate link)
– Replaced the bronze door knobs on the closet doors with Baldwin satin nickel dummy knobs. (affiliate link)
– Replaced the bronze door hinges on all three doors with satin nickel hinges.
– Replaced the ball catches on the closet doors.
– Installed a new doorstop for the door into the room.
– Replaced the windows.
– Removed the blinds and hung curtains. I used a double curtain rod with curtains and sheers from Target. We already had the curtains – I had used them in another room, but wasn’t happy with how they looked, so they got moved to this room.

Home Gym {Before & After} |

Home Gym Closet {Before & After} |

We hired an electrician to update the electrical work in our house. For this room, that was:
– Replaced the outlets with white decorator outlets and wall plates.
– Replaced the toggle light switch with a white decorator rocker switch and wall plate.
– Replaced the cable outlet with a white decorator coax and wall plate.
– Replaced the phone jack with a white decorator jack and wall plate.
– Had hardwired smoke/carbon monoxide alarms installed in the house – one alarm was placed in this room. (affiliate link)
– Had the light switch for the attic lights moved into the attic. The attic access is in the room, and the light switch was in the center of the wall and looked out of place, so it’s nice to have it moved into the attic.

Home Gym |

Home Gym |

It’s nice to have this room finished – it gives us a nice work-out space and we both want to use this room more. We already had the treadmill, but we bought the exercise bike and weight bench last year. We had another weight bench, but decided to get a new one since the other one wasn’t in very good condition. The exercise bike was something I wanted because I prefer it over the treadmill. Now, I just have to make more time to use this room!