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2018

Reading List for 2018

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A little over due, but still here nonetheless!! Since we haven’t yet read any of these, we’ve included the summary on the back of each book. Also check out the links if the book is becoming a movie!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. 

 

Here are the books we’re looking to cross off the list this year:

 

 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33574273-a-wrinkle-in-time?“It was a dark and stormy night. Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a dangerous and most extraordinary adventure– one that will threaten their lives and our universe.”

Watch the trailer here

 

 

 

 

 

What Alice Forgot  by Liane Moriarty

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6469165-what-alice-forgot?ac=1&from_search=true“Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.”

 

 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18774964-a-man-called-ove?ac=1&from_search=true“ALL YOU NEED IS OVE.

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the most grumpiest man you will ever meet, a curmudgeon with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People think him bitter, and he thinks himself surrounded by idiots.

Ove’s well-ordered, solitary world gets a shake-up one November morning with the appearance of new neighbors — a chatty young couple and their two boisterous daughters — who announce their arrival by accidentally flattening Ove’s mailbox with their U-Haul. What follows is a heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unlikely friendships, and a community’s unexpected reassessment of the one person they thought they had all figured out.”

Watch the trailer here.

 

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/13526165-where-d-you-go-bernadette“A compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.” – Synopsis from Goodreads

 

 

The Pact  by Jodi Picoult

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10916.The_Pact?ac=1&from_search=true“From Jodi Picoult, one of the most powerful writers in contemporary fiction, comes a riveting, timely, heartbreaking, and terrifying novel of families in anguish — and friendships ripped apart by inconceivable violence. Until the phone calls came at 3:00 A.M. on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now, seventeen-year-old Emily has been shot to death by her beloved and devoted Chris as part of an apparent suicide pact — leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.”

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Book cover for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo“Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.”

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Book cover for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon“The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”

 

 

February 1, 2018
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Carpe Diem and Other Ambitions for 2018

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Carpe Diem ambitions for 2018

Every New Year’s Eve, I get excited about the new year coming. Anything seems possible, so I make a mental list of all the things I want to do. In reality, I usually only do a couple of those things. I’ve never actually finished a checklist, even if it’s just what I need to grab at the grocery store. But I always make a list so I can go back and remember “oh yeah, those are all the things that would make me happy”. I know we’ve already mentioned some mantras for 2018, but here are some of my personal aspirations for this year.

 

Budget successfully

Since I started bullet journaling, I see how much money I spend and on what each month. This has helped me realize that I spend way too much on material things, things that I’ll probably get rid of in a couple months anyway. My goal is to pay off as much as I can on my credit cards and loans. Last fall, I switched my car insurance, which has saved me about $50 a month. I also transferred my credit card to an outside bank with 0% APR for 21 months so I can catch up on payments without the interest. I’m looking at ideas by The Penny Hoarder and seeing which work best for me.

 

“Me” time

Photo by Anna Demianenko on Unsplash

I’m surrounded by people nearly everyday. I work on a team, I have roommates, I hang out with friends, I talk to the cashier at the grocery store. It’s good to have that interaction with people, but sometimes I need to step back and have time to myself. I find peace when I’m doing puzzles, writing, reading, exercise or watch T.V. by myself. It’s a place where I can zone out and purely focus on what I’m doing without interruption, like a meditation of sorts. I want to take an hour a day once a week at LEAST to dedicate to myself.

 

Related Reading: 6 Mantras to Live By in 2018

 

No complaints

I know I’ve already mentioned this in our other post, but I’m really serious about it. Too often I hear myself coming up with excuses of why I can’t do something. Granted, money is usually a factor, but I need to think of other alternatives. I don’t want to make people feel incompetent or left out on my account either. So instead of insulting or saying something negative, I’m going to work on constructive criticism, controlling frustration and letting others speak before I do.

 

Good vibes only

Carpe Diem and Other Ambitions for 2018

I have a lot of friends, but I also have had a lot of people who have hurt and dismissed my understanding and friendship. So as a favor to myself, I’m cutting out those people, and focusing my energy on myself, putting in the effort where it counts. I don’t want to look back and see how much effort I put into something and never realized until all that time was past. I want to take initiative, be forward, push for what I want, what makes me happy and involve those who want to be included.

 

Related Reading: Our Bucket List for 2018

 

Carpe Diem

I want to be able to end my day with a sense of accomplishment. I have a journal where I can write one line of whatever I want everyday for the next five years. That page should be something that I am proud of, or an influence someone had on me that day. I want it to be for what I’m grateful for and things that make me happy. I don’t want to take it one day at a time, I want to make it into an event.

January 2, 2018
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Our Bucket List for 2018

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Bucket ListAs 2017 is coming to an end, we decided to write down all the things we wanted to accomplish in the new year. Some are things that we never got to in 2017, others were thought of in the moment. We have an entire year to do everything (or close to) on this list. Welcome 2018, we’re excited for what you’ll bring!

2018 Bucket List

  • Hike a 14er
  • Go camping
  • Visit Canada
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Visit a city (in state) we’ve never been to
  • Spend a day on the water
  • Go skiing
  • Visit Hanging Lake
  • Write a story
  • Go on a Cruise
  • Do at least ONE Adrenaline Junky activity
  • Meet someone famous
  • Foster a pet
  • Go to a concert
  • Spend a day at a resort spa
  • Make our first $100 as bloggers
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go fishing
  • Swim with sharks
  • Go clamming
  • Stomp grapes
  • Try a strange food
  • Learn new songs in American Sign Language
  • Volunteer
  • Shoot a gun
  • Go paintballing
  • Go to at least ONE sports event per season
  • Ride a tandem bicycle
  • Ride a “beer bus”
  • Visit a hostel
  • Book an Air BnB
  • Go to a winery

 

January 2, 2018
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6 Mantras to Live By in 2018

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new year mantras 2018

 

If you’re anything like anyone, right about now you’re working on a list of New Year’s Resolutions that likely has a number of repeats from years prior. Still haven’t stood up to your boss? Gained weight instead of lost it? Have yet to write that book you’ve been talking about since you were eleven *coughBELLEcough*? More than likely you start the year with great intentions, but fizzle out by March. That’s what happens. A year is a long time and a lot happens during all those moon cycles.

Maybe the problem isn’t you and your level of discipline; maybe the problem is with resolutions. 

What is a resolution?

A quick search in a separate tab lists the definitions of resolution as “a firm decision to do or not do something” and “the action of solving a problem”. This suggests that there is something wrong with us and our lives and therefore we must fix it.

Personally, here at TwoFeelsWrite, we had a bit of an issue with the ever so popular NYR to lose weight. Yes, yes, some people really do need to lose weight and some want to and that’s their life and their decision and you go Glenn Cocoa! But focusing too much on losing weight can lead to investing on a really expensive treadmill (a.k.a. coat hanger), or spending too much on a gym membership that you probably used in January, but now it’s June and you still haven’t cancelled the automatic withdrawal. One of the biggest issues with wanting to lose weight is that it can lead to dangerous fad diets or have too much focus on a number.

Resolutions are often firm and narrow, with clear success and failure. It’s hard to stick to something like that for twelve months when you obviously haven’t been working on it in the past (hence why it’s on your resolution list!). Maybe it’s time to try something else.

What is a mantra?

One more definition search: a mantra is “a statement or slogan repeated frequently” and/or “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation”. But what does it really mean?

To us, it means a new focus, putting the emphasis on growth rather than problem. A mantra is something positive that you aim to incorporate in your daily life as a reminder towards success and happiness. There is success and there is failure, but maybe not as severely as with resolutions.

Take a look at the six mantras we’re going to be living in 2018.

1. Be Healthier

Bet ya saw that one coming a mile away. Nevertheless, it deserves to be here.

Belle: A big thing for me is my mental health, which has taken a beating in the last two years. I want to go to the gym and do yoga so that I’m physically healthy and stronger (and to look good naked, because #real), but also so that I have more energy and focus. I’m working on transitioning from coffee to tea so that I can cut out sugary creamers from my diet and keep my anxiety under control. There’s also drinking more water, not eating as much sugar, and overall healthy habits that I want to incorporate as best I can.

Elena: When I start something, I’m not always driven to finish it. The problem with being healthy is that it is never ending. My “cheat days” become my daily routine and healthy meals become less frequent. I want to work on balance, eating things that make me feel good more often: less junk food, no fast food, no soda, less alcohol and smaller portions. With the help of Pinterest, there are thousands of yummy recipes that are healthier. I received a yoga kit as a corporate gift from my company, so I have everything I could need. I just need the drive and be able to stick with it and make it a routine to be comfortable in my skin again and feel good.

2. Complain Less

In this day of climate change, political and economic disaster, and countless articles on how Millennials are killing this and another five killed in a terrorist attack, it’s hard to stay positive. But it’s important to keep some optimism and happiness in our lives.

No complaints

Belle: I was really inspired by a kid’s speech at a high school speech and debate tournament where he had this great “give yourself a hand” spiel. More or less it went something like this: “for every negative thing you focus on, point on five positives. Give naysayers and doubts the middle finger. Make a commitment to growth and a pinky promise to always keep trying. And every day give yourself a thumbs up because you did it.” That’s the sort of cheesy stuff I want to do this year. Focus on my successes more than my short comings, celebrate the little things, redirect conversations away from Negative Nancy and towards Polly Positive, and take control to change the things I complain about the most.

Elena: It’s so easy to find things to complain about on the daily: my back aches, there goes another $200 on medical bills, another misfortune to the car I’m stuck in a lease with for the next two years. I noticed when I wasn’t living in America and I was in school (not working) I was so much happier. But, I was also racking up a lot of debt. So to even the playing field, I need to find fun things to do in moderation so that I can still pay my bills, but also have a fun day out. Not just that, I find comfort in reading, writing and going to church or volunteering. When I think about people less fortunate than me, it’s easier to stop complaining.

3. Establish Sustainable Balance

This might be the biggest thing we (this time meaning our generation at large) struggle with the most. In college, there was the classic triangle of “grades, sleep, and social life: pick two”, and we’re shocked and terrified that, instead of going away, it’s grown into the hectic heptagon of “work, health, house, hobbies, sleep, social life, self care: pick two”. A lot of things fall by the wayside, and we’re still figuring out how to do it all.

Belle: I’m maybe sorta kinda cheating with this. I found that the biggest obstacle was working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour commute each way. So I got rid of it. Now I’m reorganizing my schedule around my needs and when things work best for me. For example, I can focus and get a lot of work done in the middle of the night and overall do better when I wake up later. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m setting little goals and schedules for every day so that the big tasks become little chunks and I’m more likely to have the time, energy, and discipline to do it all.

Elena: Trying to balance out my life is about as hard as trying to win $1,000 on a lottery ticket from the grocery store. I’m really terrible with following through with things: I still have a coffee table I need to stain, I have three crafts in a pile on my bedroom floor, I still need to get sandbags for my car this winter. I’m finding that when I take a moment and right things out, it’s really not that overwhelming, it’s very doable. What I need is more organization (the bullet journal is my savior), less T.V., more time reading or with people and watching my spending.

Related Reading: 5 Ways To Stay Focused 

4. Work On Yourself, For Yourself

This is the age of empowerment and self realization. Don’t admire people that improve themselves: be that person!

Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

Belle: I’m working on a lot of projects this upcoming year because they’re things that I either really enjoy and need to have more of in my life, or because it could be the thing that let’s me do the things I really enjoy. I’m doing away with traditional definitions of success and what’s expected of me in order to do what I believe to be is best for me. No more worrying about what looks good on a resume or what’s going to be put in the family Christmas card: I know me and I’m going to do what’s best for me so that I can be my best for others.

Elena: Sometimes when I’m at work, I look up prices for working visa’s to different countries or different jobs in the area to get away. Then I come to my senses and make a list of pros and cons of my decisions. I find that the more goals I have set, even if it’s finishing a project by the end of the week, I feel so much better. For this upcoming year, I want to do things for myself; take a vacation with my godmother, go to Canada (because why the hell not, eh?), get rid of the things I don’t need, make a financial plan and stick to it, calculate my BMI to keep track of how my body changes. I want to be a better person, do things for others, work hard and have fun!

Related Reading: 3 Reasons to Love Being Single

5. Build On Successes

This is where the mantra mentality can really take hold. Every day can be another mile stone, can be the “I did five pushups instead of four” and “I only hit snooze twice this morning” and “I made a new network connection today”.

Belle: I’ve been using this philosophy a lot with my gym routine as of late: “it wasn’t my best workout, but I went. I was at the gym, and I tried. I’m still developing the habit.” I’m at the point where it’s turning into a bit of a cop out, but it’s still good to view things positively so that I’m more inclined to do it again. Now I have to learn how to recognize successes and how to turn failures into successes within new business ventures and long-term goals. I can’t afford to let something work once and then not figure out how to make it happen again.

Elena: Successes are all mental, but they come from the people around you the most. My sister lost weight, she looks great and I told her so! My boss thanks me at the end of everyday, even if I feel like I did nothing that day, she always makes me feel appreciated. It’s great to have reassurance on accomplishments, but to really feel successful, I need to really invest myself and my time. If I do that, I will feel successful when I leave the gym and my my abs are in pain when I laugh, when I have everything checked off my “to-do” list, or when I have an extra $50 in my savings. Little by little things will grow and change and make me feel more successful.

Related Reading: The Two Step: A Bilateral Move

6. Take Risks

We do not endorse covering yourself in bacon fat and jumping into a pool full of piranhas as positive risky behavior in 2018. But you won’t grow if you stay in your comfort zone, so eventually you have to cross your imaginary line and try something new. Maybe that means making the first move towards the cute guy at the bar or speaking up in work meetings. Maybe it means wearing bright red lipstick or going bungee jumping. That’s for you to decide.

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Belle: Oh boy howdy. 2018 is going to be the year where everything changes for me, but it has yet to be determined if it will be for the worse or for the better. I’m starting the year off by quitting my 9-5 and trying the freelance/independent contractor/aspiring student lifestyle. And I know the risks won’t stop there. But I’m excited and I’m determined to make it work.

Elena: This is what I’m looking forward to most! I went crazy when I was abroad in college and it was probably the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m finding that I haven’t met many new people because I haven’t been going out or staying in hostels. I’m always with people I know, so we usually keep to ourselves. But the more people I meet, the more possibilities there are! I’m testing out the Inner Circle (which costs $5/week, but if you create a profile, then try to delete it, they offer you a free trial ;)). Not only is the Inner Circle meant for dating, but also just meeting people in your area. Moral of this mantra: be like Yes Man with no hesitation.

 

What are your 2018 goals and mantras? What steps will you be taking to achieve them? Let us know in the comments, as well as how we might be able to help!

December 26, 2017
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