Can you believe the first month of the year is over?? It just flew by waving it’s snowy, icy hand(at least in Wisconsin) and has been replaced by more ice and snow. I personally love the winter(gives you an actual excuse to stay inside) but then again my commute consists of ten steps from the basement to the first floor. So I would say I should probably not have an opinion on this.
Gotham- This show has the vibe of GOT but with Batman! Or at least my opinion.
La Mantas- Yes it’s a French show, but it’s about a woman serial killer, her cop son and the detective who captured her working together to find a copycat killer, who is recreating her crimes. So far so interesting.
Little Women- I was on the fence about this movie. Mainly because there are so many adaptations of it and very few great adaptations of it. Either they make Jo so feminist and angry and too flighty, missing to capture her tenderness and frankly fragility. Or they make Amy(my favorite character and probably the one I relate most too… if mixed a bit with Beth) a villain and her so vain and selfish you don’t care what happens to her. Yeah they don’t do that in this film. I have been to see it twice, which is a hallmark for how much I like it. The way it’s paced and flies from the past to the present. The chemistry between the actors, the breathtaking landscape and score. Ah it’s so good! It gives me the feels of the Joe Wright’s Pride&Prejudice with the simplistic elegance of filming.
1917- Okay enough about Little Women that’s talk about the greatest movie of the year and the greatest movie I have seen in a really, really long time. Again I was on the fence about this one. In fact I probably wouldn’t have seen it if my friend didn’t want to go. Not that I don’t like war films. I do, I just bawl like a baby throughout them. This one was no exception, but the acting(George Mackay is my new favorite actor) and the way it’s shot- It takes you to another world it so visually stunning. It makes you feel like you’re actually there with the soldiers. Another thing I adored about this movie is how realistic it was. The walk across no man’s land is appalling and your mind just wants to believe that that never happened… but it did and it looked exactly like that… At the end of the film when the credits rolled the packed theater just sat there in silence for a good ten minutes.
Black Magic– I have been on a Little Mix kick ever since watching their journey on the X Factor on YouTube. I don’t like all of their songs but this one and the one below are my two favs.
I Fall For You– So I watched a movie called Not Another Happy Ending. (Mainly because it had Ian Deceaser from Agents of Shield in it) The movie had okay moments and then not so okay moments, it dragged at times, however the colorful wardrobe and scenery was whimsical and the scoring was great. I found this song and the one below because of the film. I like the songs themselves but Linda Thom, who sings them… let’s just say I am as of right now listening to her other songs to find new favs. Don’t you love it when you find a new artist?
Not Another Happy Ending- see above.
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell- So I purchased this book last summer on my yearly work trip to Pittsburgh and have devoured it this month. It’s the true story of an American woman turned British, who basically set up the French resistance in WWII. With little to know trying in spy-craft and a very vague mission to cause the Germans and French police as much trouble as possible Virginia Hall almost single handled led the British intelligence coming out of occupied France. A really inspiring and amazing story.
Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto- If you follow my Instagram account, or if you saw last week’s post about coffee than you know I absolutely love this book!! A perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life or for your own coffee loving self. Fair warning though, you’ll never make coffee the same way again.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton- Recommended to me by a friend I really liked this book. But even more so when I learned more about the author behind it. Daring from her experiences growing up S.E. Hinton wrote this while she was in high school and one of her own friends(a greaser) has been killed. Following the story of a greaser gang and family the story is told from the prospective of the youngest member, Pony Boy. Gripping from the start I highly recommend this book.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- For those of you who read my reading list for 2020 you’ll know to reread one of my favorite books of all time was on there. Well I did it and it is still amazing. I don’t think there are many people who haven’t read this gothic tale but if you haven’t do it! And yes it is three thousand times better then the movies.
No podcasts again this month… but I want to get back into them. I was listening to podcasts when I was wrapping Christmas presents so I need find something else to do while I listen to my stories.
I debated with doing this post. Will they actually care about my plans for the blog 2020? In the end I decided since I am such a goal oriented person and love making lists and then checking things off my list that this post would be fun to make if nothing else. (Sorry my loyal readers but please let me indulge in my mania just this once- Who am I kidding?! I always indulge)
So what’s up with the blog?
Travel- Oh how I LOVE to travel. With at least two awesome trips planned for this year; New Orleans in March and Maine In October. Expect some awesome tips, tours and packing posts. Arguably one of my favorite posts to write I can’t wait to be on the go again!
Nannyhood- Continuing the original theme of my blog I will be passing on some of my advice to aspiring nannies, tips for my fellow nannies and my honest opinions for those of you who are just curious about nannies.
Monthly Media Favs- I love doing this monthly media rap up posts, so you can expect these to continue.
Nanny specific product reviews- We’re talking diapers, food products, clothes, toys, etc. All of my fav products for your perusal.
Diary spews- I can’t help myself when it comes to the random spewing of words. Sometimes we just need to set out our thoughts in order and in words, no? Hope you enjoy these, thankfully sporadic, views into my inner workings.
Exploring Milwaukee- I have lived here for two years now and yet still feel like there is so much about Milwaukee I don’t know. As I continue to explore my adopted home town(city) I will pass it on to you. *smiles*
Photo Dumps- I enjoy taking photos. I enjoy taking more photos than I actually need. Not only will I be continuing the tradition I started last year of a yearly round up of my favorite photos, I will also be doing photo style diary posts and so on.
Facebook Vlogs- I am the worst when it comes to vlogs. I promised you guys a vlog for my trip to North Carolina back in November and I still haven’t posted it. (I am a despicable human being) But I do want to add this kind of content to my repertoire. So I am going to take my Facebook page(link at the top of the page) and use it primarily for video content- Yay! So be sure to like the page so you can get notified when I post a video. (Also my long awaited video will be going up this week… I am going to say Friday)
No more fashion posts..
Now don’t freak out and think I am never ever going to make a fashion post again, because I probably will but only if it ties into another theme. For example, “what I am packing for a trip”. And if I keep using stitch fix I will do an unboxing post. However just stand alone fashion posts are a thing of the past. While I had fun doing them they’re not the direction I want to take my blog in. And plus they are a pain to create; all the links and most all of my clothes are outdated so they don’t sell them anymore, so then finding something similar- A pain! What I am thinking of doing is putting some fashion favs/collections on Instagram. So if you love my fashion related content it will still be out there just not getting an entire article about it.
Also I will be updating my sister’s signature look transformation(first started here) because yes it is still going on.
I just want to wrap this up by saying 2020 is going to be a great year for this site(I think so anyway) but I really want to know what you guys think. Are you excited about the content I have planned so far? Anything I should add? Lose? Please- please– let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to sign up for email notifications and follow my Instagram account, plus like us on Facebook since a lot of new content will be coming through there as well.
This is a hobby I started… I guess two years ago. I took an art class on art journaling and then last year I officially dived in and turned my daily planner into a doodle filled “art” book. I use the term art loosely here because my doodles are a far cry from actually being art. But it was a fun way to keep track of my year and I am continuing the tradition this year.
Once again you can go crazy with this hobby and blow tons of cash on pens, markers, stickers, etc. There are people who bullet journal and obsess over penmanship and cute little banners. Or who really go all out for art journaling, because they can actually sketch or paint. (Totally jealous of those people) But I know my limits. I draw doodles and cartoon characters and call it square. Which is perfectly okay because that’s me and so when I look back at my “art” filled daily planners I can see my own whimsical take on life.
That’s it! These are my hobbies for the year. What about you? Any hobbies? Old ones? New ones? Let me know in the comments below.
Okay post #2 on my hobby 2020 theme is all about sewing. Now over the months of November and December I did a lot of knitting, which my Mom had taught me to do when I was younger. My Mom is like the craftiest person I know and has definitely passed it on to us girls. I mean she has done everything: painting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, hook rugs, etc. Any time I call her and say I am thinking of trying such and such she’s like, “Yeah I think you’d like that. I remember doing that and really enjoying it.” It’s like what has this woman not tried! But it’s actually really nice because if I have questions or need critiquing she is literally a text away.
Getting back on track; I knitted hats for friends and family and those big fluffy blankets as Christmas gifts. Once the Christmas season was over I missed my knitting. I could have obviously kept knitting, but I didn’t want to knit for knits sake. I wanted to create something!
Running with this I started to toy with the idea of embroidery. I had been thinking of trying my hand at this gorgeous art(cause some of it is literally art worthy- see below) but what really got me excited was some posts I read by one of my favorite bloggers Carly the Prepster. In these posts she talked about taking up, specifically needle point. That was it. I decided to try my hand at the needle.
I rushed to Hobby Lobby and then Joann’s and purchased a beginners kit for cross stitch and embroidery. (I incidentally couldn’t find a needle point beginners kit. I have sense found one on Amazon but I thought that was kind of weird that neither store had anything. Is there somewhere else I should try looking?)
I have since started work on my cross stitch and have made a few… mistakes. I didn’t realize how twisted your thread can get and so the back of my work is an ugly, sloppy mess. And I miss counted a row, so I had to fudge it. But other than that I have been greatly enjoying it. Last night I sewed well past ten o’clock(which is something for me as you know I’m normally dead to the world by 9:30 pm) I just had to finish my mushroom!
Kind of like my craft coffee craze, sewing can easily turn into an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to. Like anything you can learn the tricks and tips of the trade and bypass all the overpriced crazy crap. I have created a Pinterest board(link at the top of the page) called “needle art” where I am pinning all my inspiration. Plus be sure to follow the old instagram(link is also at the top of the page) to see some of my own meager contributions to the sewing community.
That’s another thing about hobbies. You stick your little pinky toe into the water only to find out it’s not a kiddy pool but an ocean of people and ideas and tools. It’s actually really cool when you stop and think about it. Anyway…
This week is all about the new hobbies I have decided to pick up for the year, plus the ones I am carrying over from last year. In this specific post however we will be covering… *drumroll* COFFEE!!!
When someone loves coffee, like me, someone can easily and quite honestly, happily slip into the world of craft coffee. What is craft coffee you might ask? Basically it’s going back to the basics of coffee, before the age of the machines(well kinda) to make the perfect cup of coffee.
For Christmas my older sister(who knows me too well) purchased for me a Kalita Wave pour over device, an adorable goose neck kettle and Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto.
This book is really, really good. My biggest take away from the book was how little we as people actually know about coffee. For instance, wine making has been around for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. It’s been tweaked and fine tuned. By contrast coffee has only been around from the 15th and 16th century. And in America especially(not so in Europe) coffee is expected to taste… well bad. Jessica’s mission in the book is to give you the tools and tricks to making a coffee shop quality cup of coffee at home.
Now not being someone to do something in haves I decided to take all my new lovely coffee tools and make myself a coffee bar. If you follow A Nanny’s Book instagram(link at the top of the page) than you will have seen my coffee bar diy. I think it turned out rather nicely for being a spur of the moment impulse.
Now you are probably saying to yourself, “This sounds like a very expensive hobby.” And yes it can be. Like any hobby you can spend an absolute fortune on it. But you don’t have to. Thanks to the internet you can get knock offs or preowned equipment or shop sales. Another thing Jessica stressed in the book was that, while quality tools and even good(e.g. expensive) coffee beans, help in making that not so elusive perfect cup of coffee everyday- it’s really technique that will make or break you.
And it has been amazing the taste differences between using a pour over device and fresh ground coffee to using my coffee machine. I have yet to make the perfect cup for me, but since she gives very specific parameters it is super easy to trouble shoot and experiment until I find just the right formula.
So for Christmas my employers gave me a gift certificate to Stitch Fix“an online clothing shop designed to provide personal styling services for women at an affordable cost”. My boss has been using Stitch Fix for probably six or seven months and has greatly enjoyed it. Thus she decided to share the joy.
I must admit there was something fun about filling out their online style survey. It was cool to put your fashion choices under the microscope and to be really honest about what you actually wear. Like yes those heels and mini skirt combo is darling, but will I actually wear it? Yeah no! There are also mini tests on their app that just show you different articles of clothing and ask whether it’s your style or not. See super fun, right?
Their subscription process is also very user friendly. You can cancel whenever and have your profile set up to send you a box every week, every month, or every three moths. Which is super cool! I’ll probadly (if I continue the service) switch it to send me something new every three months. There is a flat $20- styling fee plus whatever clothing articles you decide to keep. (Bonus they accept PayPal- That’s like my unofficial check for an online store. “You don’t take PayPal? Then I’ll be shopping somewhere else”) You have three days to decide what you like and what you don’t, then just send it back in the pre-paid mail slip. Super easy and convenient.
Also if you let them know of a special event that’s coming up they will send you clothing specifically geared toward that event. Like in two months I’m going on a girls only trip to New Orleans for my sister’s birthday. I let my Stitch Fix stylist know and am excited to see what she sends next month. (Which I will of course share with all of you)
Without further ado- What was in the BOX…
They give you a styling card to give you some ideas on how to style the different pieces they send you. Plus a receipt of how much everything costs, which I will be sharing with you so you can see how much everything cost. Bare in mind that on their website when you are setting up your profile they ask you how much you typically spend on clothes and what kind of brands and quality of clothes you prefer. Okay the first piece was…
I am not a scarf person so that was an easy no for me. And I have soo many jackets. So yeah it wasn’t very hard for me to send it back.
So what are my closing thoughts? I am so far enjoying it and am excited to see what they send next month. I feel like that they got my style choices pretty spot on for the first box. And while the prices are a bit more than I like to spend (not that I haven’t spent that kind of money on clothes, but I do try to shop mostly sales racks or at resale stores) remember that if you don’t want to keep any of it you don’t have to. You can send it all back! They either send a new box that month(if you want) or save it for the following scheduled date. Yeah so I think it’s a wonderful service, but it might not be a necessity for me a shop alcoholic. At the same time maybe it will curb my buying habits since I know the latest fashions are coming in the next post. That would be lovely if it wear true. I really think I could learn to love this site. I really do.
It’s that time of the year. Time for an update on A Nanny’s Notebook mascot… George the Goldfish. (You didn’t know we had a mascot? Here and here– educate yourself!) I think it’s funny the only times I do life updates on this ever grumpy, fat fish is at the beginning of the year, though his birthday is at the beginning of August sometime. Let’s just say George doesn’t like broadcasting his age all over the internet. I mean he barley likes taking pictures. The only way I got the below shots is because his favorite person in the whole world(not me in case you were wondering. I just feed and clean him) a young three old girl had come down to visit.
Yes so George is still an amazing fish with a bigger than him personality. Be it a generally grumpy and ill tempered personality.
So this time last year I did my first ever “book list” style post and I thought I would continue on with the tradition.
So I’d like to say I met every goal that I set for myself reading wise last year, but that wouldn’t totally be true. If you remember(and if you don’t please refer yourself back to last year’s post) my three main goals were:
Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Of course I’m totally envious of people who plow through like seventy books a year. Mainly because before I was forced to grow up I could do the same. But hay at least I read at least one book every month. And I pretty much met all my goals… except of course something by Dickens… Let’s get to this year’s literary goals shall we?
This year’s goals are kinda of similar to last year’s but more specific and bigger!
Read Bleak House by Dickens by June
Re-read Jane Eyre(My all time favorite book… ever)
Continue reading nonfiction(more specifically though Wild West history… I feel like as a country there is a lot of disconnect with this time period)
And my author for the year is… Elizabeth Gaskell
My all time favorite author I have already read several things by Elizabeth(my favorite being Ruth) however I feel the need to finish up her amazing collection of works. If you have never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell you’re missing out. A contemporary of Charles Dickens(whom she worked for) and Charlotte Bonte(who was her best friend) Elizabeth is the like the perfect combo of both. Her more we’ll know works include North and South, Wives and Daughters, and Cranford. I can’t wait to dive back in.
How about you guys? Any literary goals for the year? I’d love to know. And who’s your favorite author/book? (I know difficult to choose) Don’t forget to like, comment and sign up for email alerts about the latest content.
Another year, another windowsill garden tour(last year’s) I’ve actually had to cut out some of my plants as they died so my sill isn’t as over run with lush greens as it normally is. Also my plants are going through what I like to call an ugly phase. In other words none of them are blooming.
With seven days off to be with my whole family the Christmas season was looking bright and care free. But life rarely turns out so simple and carefree. To start with my parents 16 yr. old yorkie took a turn for the worst the week before Christmas and they eventually made the decision to put her down. She’d lived a long and good life and it was time. Still her sudden change of health came, if not at a surprise than at least at a fast.
Everyone was of course sad for her lose, but we never dreamed that just two days later my sister’s three old Havanese, Dot would bolt from the house. After a five hour search through the dark, cold Illinois night we eventually had to wait till morning to search again. (I ended up getting an awful had cold because of the fridge temps) By morning we searched again for hours and found no sign. Flyers went up along with Facebook pages and ads in the newspaper. As of this writing(seven days later) Dot is still missing. There’s a small chance she’ll be found and returned to my sister, but that chance gets smaller everyday.
My parents(since my youngest sister still lives with them) went from having three dogs to just the one in less than a week. I know they’re just dogs and they don’t live forever, but these darling fur-babies grab hold of your heart, don’t they? We may never know what became of Dot, or where she ran too, but I do know that God is in charge of even this. It hurts and it sucks, but He loves Dot even more than we do(He created her after all) and He knows exactly where she is and who she’s with.
Anyway if you guys can be please praying, especially for my sister. Two sweet puppy Christmas sweaters went unworn this year and it tares at my heart.