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At the beginning of the summer, I decided to track the amount of new books, movies/TV, games, and recipes I had completed during my first summer off as a teacher. I initially set a goal of 5-10 games, and 25 of everything else. As you’ll see, I didn’t quite reach that, but I’m still satisfied with what I accomplished, considering the time I spent with friends, family, on vacation, and at the gym.



1. The Master Magician – Charlie N. Holmberg

2. The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo

3. River Secrets – Shannon Hale

4. Forest Born – Shannon Hale

5. Pioneer Girl – Laura Ingalls Wilder

6. Etiquette & Espionage – Gail Carriger

7. A Slight Change of Plan – Dee Ernst

8. The Will of the Empress – Tamora Pierce

9. Jackaby – William Ritter

10. All American Girl – Meg Cabot

I ended up reading 10 new books this summer. This was way lower than I anticipated, but I ended up also rereading quite a few books, so in a way it makes sense. The most notable new book I read was Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That book on its own took up a huge chunk of time, being so lengthy and stuffed with detail. I loved Wilder’s Little House series, and this was her autobiography intended for adults. I won’t say much more because I intend to make a blog post out of it, but it was great. Additionally, I had grand plans to attend book club this summer, but it never happened. The Ghost Bride was for one of the book clubs at the library, but I ended up having a schedule conflict and couldn’t attend. It was actually a good book though, and I’m glad I read it. I probably wouldn’t have if not for book club.



1. Rear Window

2. A Streetcar Named Desire

3. Orange is the New Black Season 3

4. It Happened One Night

5. Gossip Girl Season 6

6. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

7. Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

8: Tron: Legacy

9. Property Brothers Season 1

10. Annabelle

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. West Side Story

13. Property Brothers Season 2

14. Taxi Driver

15. House Season 7

As you can see, I watched a lot of Netflix this summer. I also watched a handful of movies on the AFI top 100 movie list, as we continue to make progress towards our goal. Numbers 7 and 8 were rented while babysitting my husband’s little brother, and 10 and 11 were new releases from the library we hadn’t seen in theaters. Nothing much to say about this, other than I was so pumped about Orange is the New Black S3. It was pretty good, even though I know it got a lot of criticism for being less intense than previous seasons. I still hate Piper.



1. The Swapper (PS4)

2. Never Alone (PS4)

3. Okami (PS3)

4. Ether One (PS4)

This category was a little disappointing. I spent a TON of time on Okami, and ended up getting the platinum, so that was a major accomplishment that I really enjoyed. But it caused me to get a bit burnt out on gaming, and so I didn’t play as many as I had planned. My backlog is getting huuuuuge. The first two were decent but unremarkable PSN games that were free with PS+. Ether One on the other hand…. It was another free PSN game, but oh my god it was both brilliant and horribly frustrating. I am planning to write a review on that as well.



1. Kale, Barley, and Feta Salad with a Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

2. Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms

3. Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

4. Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion, and Potato Hash

5. Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

6. Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese

7. Asian Salmon in Foil

8. Tomato Bacon Spinach Quiche

9. One Pan Mexican Quinoa

10. Spicy Thai Noodles

This category I am proud of, considering all the time we spent eating out and traveling. I tried quite a variety of new recipes, and I’m pretty good at choosing them, because quite a few of them made it into the regular rotation. The majority were pretty healthy as well. My husband liked them all, and ate plenty of leftovers. I even took two weeks to make nothing but new recipes, which was an adventure! I definitely plan to keep this up throughout the year. Definitely check out some of the links.

All in all, this was a fun project for the summer, and I enjoyed logging my accomplishments. I probably will not do a play by play of the new things I read/play/watch/cook during the school year, but as always check the text on the right side of the blog to see what I’m currently up to!