The Busy Giffs: 2019

April 5, 2019

a 40 in 4 Update of Sorts

My 40 in 4 list has taken a slow down lately, especially as I find myself thinking about what I want in my life. So much has changed for me in the past two years, between happiness with my career and my body, to plans for the future that keep changing. 

So why not replace some things with things I really do want to accomplish?

I'll add...

a. Got a nose piercing! I've been talking about it for years and finally did it as a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday!

b. Buy a NEW new car! I've never owned a brand new vehicle but after having so many issues with our last car, we decided the extra money on a brand new car (under warranty) was smarter than any other option. 

1. Run a 5k
2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
4. Buy a bicycle.
5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
9. Get a job in Higher Ed
10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.
13. Get another tattoo (or two).
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.
16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
17. a. Got a nose piercing! I've been talking about it for years and finally did it as a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday!
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
20. * Get professional head shots for the blog.
21. * Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
21. b. Buy a NEW new car! I've never owned a brand new vehicle but after having so many issues with our last car, we decided the extra money on a brand new car (under warranty) was smarter than any other option. 
22. * Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
22.
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.

29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. Fence in our yard.
34. Landscape.
35. Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.

38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.
39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.
40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.

I'll be excited to pay off some debts and work on our backyard soon. 

x, Heather

April 1, 2019

March Books

Having no car almost all month meant no gym, which meant more books than before. Some of these were really enjoyable.

The Other Woman - Sandie Jones


This one was fun. The twist at the end was something I did not expect and really enjoyed that.  It's a quick read and slow at parts, but enjoyable.

The Other Woman Vanishes - Amanda Quick


This one was really enjoyable! The mystery just gets better and better with each page and the suspense of it had me reading the book in a day! I've never heard of the author before but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Five Feet Apart - Rachel Lippincott


I grabbed this book since it was being shown on the library website as a "hot title" since the movie is coming out. I'm not going to lie... people will love it, but it just feels like a watered down John Green novel and I don't really care for most of those so...

No Exit - Taylor Adams


This one could have been so good. But they gave away the twist too early.  And it was gruesome. But I couldn't put it down. The ending was a bit weird.  I had to reread a sentence a few times for it to click, but when it did I was happy wit the outcome.  If you don't mind gratuitous gruesome moments including nail guns and blood, you won't be able to put it down.

The Current - Tim Johnston


I don't really like this book because there is no real ending and that bugs me.  I don't like unresolved plots, but at least until the last couple pages, it was good. The mystery of it kept me intrigued but the ending left a lot to be desired.

Island Girls - Nancy Thayer


I'm always drawn to books about Massachusetts and this one about the island is no different. A man passes away and leaves his estate to his three daughters, from three marriages with certain perimeters.  It was good book, but a bit slow at times.  The underlying secrets made it more enjoyable. It's a perfect beach read.

Six more books done!


February 28, 2019

February Books

This month was weird... I started a handful of books but only finished four of them, and even then I wasn't sure that I wanted to finish these 4...

The Pisces - Melissa Broder


What a weird book... that's all I can say.  It's an easy read, perfect for the beach if you're into sex with mermen... I don't know.  I finished it for the sake of finishing it but I do not understand why it's being given so many awards...

Still Lives - Maria Hummel


This "murder mystery" wasn't much of one and the "twist that will shock you" at the end... wasn't. Again, I wasn't super impressed but maybe that's just because I felt like I figured it out before the end...

This is how it always is - Laurie Frankel


This was a surprise book. I only put a hold on it because it was in Reese's book club.  The story of a transgender (possibly?) child and how the world responds to it found me in tears multiple times. It's a book worth reading if you're okay having your heart ripped out a bit.

You Think It I'll Say It - Curtis Sittenfeld


This was another surprise book. It was a "found it on instagram and put a hold with no idea what it was about".... but I enjoyed it. Rather then a novel, it's a collection of short stories, some better than others. It was a very quick read but enjoyable.

That's four more for the year!

February 1, 2019

January Book Reads

This year, I'm really focused on doing things that make me happy and a huge thing for me, is reading. I love reading and am making a conscious decision to read more this year. In the past, I read 50 books during the year and while that's a lofty goal for this year, I do want to read more, whatever that number may be. So I did what any normal person would do... I typed #books into Instagram and then placed the first 20 that looked interesting, based on the covers and photos alone, rather than on any content of the book, on hold at my local library.  It's a good start and will be so exciting to see what these books are like.

This month I read:

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

This is one that I placed on hold blindly.  I didn't read the subtitle and honestly assumed it was a fiction story similar to Wild, and expected a wilderness ridden thriller, but instead, I found myself reading a self-help book. Had I read it years ago, I may have considered it to be life changing, but with where I am now, it was more affirming. So many things that Brown comments on are things I've said out loud or thought and to hear someone else say it was a nice reminder that I am where I want to be in my life.
I highly recommend this book to others and have already told multiple people that they should read it.  Some may need it to be life changing and others may find it reaffirming but Brown's easy going, conversation-like writing made it a simple read that I got through in a few hours.


When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica



I grabbed this book off the shelf when I went to pick up Braving the Wilderness, having no idea what it was about. This is one of the first books I could not figure out. I pride myself on figuring out books (and movies) before the end but this book had so many twists that every time I thought I had figured it out, something new was mentioned and I realized that my thoughts were wrong. It was truly a gripping story and I wanted to keep reading to see if I was correct.  The end presented such a major twist that I never could have guessed.
Again, I highly recommend this book to others that want a thriller that is hard to put down. There are some things that may be triggers for others: death of family members, kidnapping of children, IVF/infertility, and miscarriages to name a few. Kubica does a great job keeping the reader engaged, guessing what really happened.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


This is one of the first to arrive based on my experiment and since I had heard of the TV show, I was excited to read it. This book quickly drew me in, introducing characters and leaving cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.  I found myself interested in what would happen next, hoping that my predictions were correct.
It's an easy to read story and while there are many characters, it was easy to keep track of.  I finished the book in a day, after spending the rainy day curled up on the couch.
I'm excited to check out the tv show now!

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker


Even after finishing the story, I'm not sure I like it. The ending felt rushed and honestly, I'm not sure I got the closure I needed in a story. The story itself is told about multiple people, and I enjoy that type of narration but the story seemed convoluted at times and I struggled to understand where the realness and fantasy of each person's story began and ended.
It was a quick read, only 250 pages, but I don't think I would ever pick it up again.


I read much more than I expected to this month and am excited to see how many books I finish this year!

January 1, 2019

New Year: New Plans

Happy 2019!
I'm always excited for a new year and new possibilities, but honestly, not much changes for me, at least not on January 1st.

I did check off another 40 in 4 item and have plans for the next few sooo...

1. Run a 5k 
I ran my first mile a couple days ago on the treadmill and marked my time. I have a goal to keep working towards and my wonderful amazing husband (who can somehow run long distances even though he hasn't in years) has already said he'll run something with me.  My dream is to go do a Disney Run but we'll see.  This is so do-able this year.

2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
Another easy one to accomplish this year. Without dance every weekend, we'll hae so much more time for family things that don't involve tagging and competitions. I'm hoping to get to the Vineyard in late May for Dave's birthday!

4. Buy a bicycle.
The kids each got new bikes this year so it's only fair I get mine soon right? I keep getting stuck on it because of Tyler though. He an't keep up, but is he too big for a wagon on my bike?

5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
The plan is a trip this summer to visit my brother, go to a vow renwal and visit Disney! Cross your fingers!

7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
Hmm... maybe a day at Universal would make sense while we're alreday in Cali...

9. Get a job in Higher Ed10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.13. Get another tattoo (or two).
I have an appointment this month with my mom! Let's hope I don't chicken out! And side note, why am I way more terrified of tattoos now than when I was younger? I mean, I have 4!

14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.
16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
Emmalee keeps asking so this seems like another thing we'll be doing. I'm debating April vacation at Normandy Farms where I went camping growing up, or Ellis Haven near my mom, or hitting NH this summer....

20. * Get professional head shots for the blog.
21. * Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
22. * Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.
29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
C'mon summer vacation....!

31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. * Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. * Fence in our yard.
34. * Landscape.
35. * Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.
38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.
I'm turning 33 this year and that seems like a great excuse to disappear to a hotel and spa for the night with my girlfriends right?

39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.
I have $100 saved up already! Go me, right!? Except there's so much more I want to do! 
It's amazing to me how much my plans have changed in 2 short years already but I'm excited to accomplish some of these!

xo, Heather

a 40 in 4 Update of Sorts

My 40 in 4 list has taken a slow down lately, especially as I find myself thinking about what I want in my life. So much has changed for me ...

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