ikea logo 300x107 IKEA Haul

We decided that it’s time to get some real furniture for our house. We walked through Ikea and ransacked their website to upgrade our living room and dining room. Our place is currently made up of mostly handmedowns or furniture we’ve had since high school. Ouch. Obviously it was time to do something. We are getting all this delivered at the beginning of next month!

Dining Room

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The perfect table for boardgames and dinners!

Table with pop up leaf that is so easy I can do by myself. We both love board games and our table was woefully tiny. We can only play card games or games with small boards like Pandemic. This means that my boyfriend’s favorite board game Eclipse is something we have to take to other people’s places. But no more! For me I am excited to be able to use servingware for once. No more buffet style dinners!

chair 300x300 IKEA Haul
Super comfortable – we have the linen covers not available online I guess!

We have to sit somewhere! We have been eyeing these comfty chairs for a long time. We actually already have 2 of these because we could not wait any longer as the previous chairs were TERRIBLE. So we are picking up 2 more to round out the set.

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I am in love with this beauty.

Mmm sexy sideboard. We are getting 2 of these bad boys. One to be used as a real sidebar and the other will be in the living room used as a bar! When I showed Skitch this he was smitten as well which really worked out since I was planning on getting two of them even if he thought they were super ugly.

Living Room

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It’s comfortable, a looker, has storage AND a bed. SOLD.

This sofa will change our lives. The current sofa situation is a futon I’ve had since I was like 16. Needless to say we don’t spend much time on it and feel bad making our friends and family sit on it because it’s hard as a rock. This new sofa is lovely looking, has storage under the lounge part and the bed takes seconds to create. It’s amazing!

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The perfect lamp for us <3

I love the shininess and the shade on these lamps. I think they’ll give enough light and I can move them closer when I am reading a book or magazine. I feel like we live in a cave all the time and it bums me out so this should keep both of us happy.

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Everyone has these – they are brilliant.

Billy Bookshelves – everyone seems to have these and we already have 2 and are getting 2 more for movies, video games and more books. These are going behind the sofa flanking the sideboard we are using as a bar. So much storage and it’ll look so nice.

That is pretty much it for this phase of upgrading. We are so excited for these changes. His desk is currently in the dining area and he just doesn’t have enough room so we are moving him into the living room and adding the sideboard so I can have a lot of my pantry back! We are getting all of this delivered so they can take it up the stairs into our apartment. We are currently organizing and taking things to goodwill to prepare!

What are you checking out at IKEA?

Audiobook Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander 200x300 Audiobook Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Book one in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
I thought that my first book review should be a little different from previous ones so an audiobook review is just the ticket. I am very fortunate to be able to listen to audiobooks at my day job and they are my favorite thing to listen to as well. Who doesn’t love the idea of someone reading them a story!? I use my library and Audible to listen to books on the cheap.

“The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is 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 stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” (Good Reads)

What I thought

So I have read this book before and own it and love it. I’ve recommended this series to so many people and now it’s your turn! I really was itching to start a nice long series and with the newest book recently released and the Stars miniseries it was an easy choice! The story is great as it’s not boring and progresses well. Know that the time travel is not cheesy at all and any one who likes historical fiction will love this. That being said there is a lot of sexy time in this which when I read the book was just skim until dialogue starts again but in audio format and listening at work with headphones it was awkward at times and fast forwarding to the proper place difficult. If you’re into that you’ll be good to go though. There is obviously romance in this book and it’s actually a pleasure to listen to and read. It’s not a trudge, is believable and the sexy time in there isn’t over the top fanfic-y at all. I don’t think I would put this book into the romance genre as yes there is romance but really it’s much more of a true adventure than that. I mean a woman from war ravaged England going back in time and ends up married to a Highlands Scot – super action packed. Don’t let the romance or sexy time keep you from reading this. This book is teenager and up I’d say.

Now the narrator is Davina Porter and I have listened to many of her other books and I love her reading of The Mists of Avalon. Her reading of Outlander brought a lot to the story for me. She has a Scottish background so her cadence, accents and rolls are amazing. She transports you to Scotland and all of the voices are enchanting. They are believable and don’t break the story. I think her Jamie voice is fantastic and she made him come alive! I recently started the audiobook for the next in the series called Dragonfly in Amber and am excited to carry on with this long series.

Favorite Quote

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.” ― Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

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Where have I been?

IMG 4887 300x267 Where have I been?Hello there! It’s been quite a while hasn’t it? It was all rather tragic – my laptop died. It kept having kernel freak outs and it was apparently time to move on. I could not afford a replacement because I am stubborn and I wanted another Apple product. I have successfully procured a new computer and it’s a dream. I got a new 27 inch iMac with an upgraded videocard [because why get a new computer and have the World of Warcraft either not work or look ugly?!] and ram and other boring specs you probably don’t care about. Just know that it’s a fantastic computer and I am totally smitten.

I did not just sit around sadly and bemoan my situation though – I decided to DO something. It I wanted it to be big and scary. I opened my very own Etsy shop called Fortuna Phials. I spent most of 2013 researching, reading and coming to terms with plants, gemstones and Etsy’s crazy SEO. I opened my shop in January of this year and it’s been such a learning process. There have been big moments – my first sale, my first international sale, having people leave such nice feedback and talking with other artists in that community. I’ve reached a great place with my little shop and I can’t wait to expand it more in the future.

I did miss this place so much though – the recipe talk, the book reviews and generally showing the internet my random geekery.

So I have big plans for a relaunch of this great space in the future. For now – hang tight. I’ll be starting slowly with 2 posts a week and going from there. I am planning on expanding to more how to’s, more recipes, more random lifestyle bits, adding beauty review/items/chats, fitbit updates, more geekery in the variety of anime I am consuming and games for handheld devices [I am really into iPad games at the moment!], tea chats where I tell you how to brew the perfect cup of a variety of teas and generally talk about my tea obsession and much more!

I will leave you with this mix I am currently crazy about:

pixel Where have I been?