The Lineup: Chelsea

Chelsea’s Lineup

Music: Spotify playlist: ConfiDANCE (Song spotlight: Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha; Okay Okay by Alessia Cara)

We all have our struggles. Two at the top of my list are mornings, and confidence. In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I created a Spotify playlist to start my mornings with a little pep. As soon as I turn off my alarm in the morning, I try to queue up this playlist, and keep it playing during my morning routine & trip to drop my oldest off at school. I sought out about half of the songs, knowing they already help me improve my mood on bad days. The other half Spotify suggested to me! A couple of my *new* favorites include Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha, and Okay Okay by Alessia Cara.

  • Available on Spotify

Movies: He’s All That

I suppose I’m a shameless millennial. I was scrolling through the Netflix “coming soon” tab when I found this. She’s All That was one of my favorite movies for the years after it came out. I mean, Paul Walker you guys. Even as the jerk bad guy, he’s dreamy. Anyhow, it gave me all the teenage angst lovey-dovey vibes that I wanted. I had such high hopes for this movie. I watched it the day it launched onto Netflix. A little overzealous, I know. Anyway, they did a great job of giving the story line an update and making it current to today’s youth. The characters have the same personalities and attributes of attraction that the original actors did. Matthew Lillard and Rachel Leigh Cook even make an appearance! It didn’t live up to the original’s hype, for me, unfortunately. Perhaps that is just because those were my people, and I suppose that makes these ones my kids’ people. Whatever. Worth the watch—but maybe just once.

  • Available on Netflix

Television Show: Curious Creations of Christine McConnell

Some might say I’m a bit of an oddball. I would say I just really love Halloween, and spooky stuff, and all things weird. This Netflix series is all of those things and more. Christine is kind of a Martha Stewart of the…spooky variety. She shows the audience how to make beautifully creepy creations like cakes, tea services, and edible tree ornaments. She also has a host of strange Jim Henson-like creature friends who are always getting into mischief while she tries to teach us about her creations. It’s a strange show, but I suppose I’m a strange person.

  • Available on Netflix

Kid’s Television Show: Dug Days

My son is two, and I stay home with him during the daytime. It’s a fun age riding the line between constantly having to tell him, “no”, and staring at him with a big goofy grin on my face because he’s just SO wonderful. Watching him watch Dug Days does that second one to me. He just loves Dug. I’m not sure what it is—he’s not very verbal just yet—but the grin on his face when I turn it on just melts my heart. There’s only five or six shorts in the series, and they are short, but they are adorable and definitely worth the watch.

  • Available on Disney+

Audiobook: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, narrated by Amanda Leigh Cobb

I read this series a couple of years ago and truly enjoyed it. I must have talked about it quite a bit, because when my husband decided to start an audiobook series (and the book he was hoping to read was checked out), he started listening to this series. I became very excited to enjoy the story with him—a tiny book club for two. The story was just as good the second time around! I’m not a huge fan of the narration of this series, but I am glad they got the same narrator for all of the books (so far); it made it a consistent read. I’m a sucker for a few specific things in stories, and this series seems to check all of those boxes.*sigh*

Apps: Chirp Books

Are you a fan of free and inexpensive? I am a fan of free and inexpensive. Chirp is an audiobook application I learned about through their sister (e-book) company Bookbub (which you should also check out if you haven’t heard of them). After creating your account, you can select favorite genres, authors, and narrators. Based on these favorites, you will receive a daily e-mail with a list of books you can purchase at discounted prices! The only disadvantage is you have to listen to it through their app. It’s a free app and subscription, though, so I’d call that a win! All books suggested to me so far are $5 or less. You can also put audiobooks on a wish list, and the app will alert you if they ever go on sale! I, um, I’ve purchased more $5 audiobooks than I care to admit so far.

Hobbies: Spare Room Remodel

*NOT* my office but what it aspires to become

About two years ago we moved into a new place to make room for a new little addition to our family. It had everything we were searching for, if it was a little higher in the price range than we were hoping for. Anyhow, the basement was unfinished. This might be daunting for some (read me), but the benefit was worth it. I aspire to write– and when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading—so, one of the unfinished rooms in the basement has been reserved as an office/writing space for me sometime in the distant future. I guess I decided I wanted less distance, because I moved all my books back into storage and started working.

Man I underestimated the work that goes into a project like this. I was excited to paint, but forgot about the dry walling and mudding that had to occur first. I did a decent amount before deciding a garage sale to fund a professional to finish the work was probably the best idea. Now that is done, and I’m in the painting process. I love the gothic library look I’ve chosen, and I’m excited to decorate now. Again, I forgot how much work has to occur before that step can be taken, though. Baseboards, crown molding, door trim, window trim, carpeting, and installation of shelves ALL have to occur before I can decorate. Picking those items out is enjoyable, and the installation isn’t unenjoyable—but the bill that accompanies it? That’s is for the birds. So, my project is somewhere in the in-between now. Not exactly the distant future anymore, but further away from the now I was eager for. These things take time, I suppose.

ON MY RADAR: books on my “TBR” shelf, movies and television shows on my “Queue”, podcasts I’ve been eyeing but haven’t had the time to listen to yet. Things I haven’t bit the bullet and purchased, but really hope to sometime soon.

  • Books: Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul
  • Podcasts: The GIST of it; Ologies
  • TV Shows: Sexy Beasts; Tattoo Redo
  • Movies: The Fundamentals of Caring

The Lineup: Monica

Monica’s Lineup

Audiobook: The Duke and I (Bridgerton #1) by Julia Quinn

After seeing this series become popular on Netflix, I decided to give a shot at listening to the books. I am currently enjoying listening to the first book of the Bridgerton series on Libby. Although regency/romance isn’t typically my top choice for books, I find that Julia Quinn has done a great job at adding humor and suspense to the story. Despite the melodrama undertone of the whole thing, I find myself absorbed in the fictional world of 1800s high class.

Book: Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette by Anna & Lizzie Post

As my October wedding approaches, I have found myself studying how a wedding should be conducted. On top of everything else to buy, send, or make, there are also certain behaviors expected at a wedding ceremony and reception. Honestly, I have never been married before, so this whole wedding planning business is all new to me. I found this book extremely helpful in deciding how to plan my reception and have an easy flow to the evening!

Podcast: RELAX! with Colleen Ballinger & Erik Stocklin

 I have been a fan of Colleen Ballinger for quite some time now. Her typical content is on YouTube as a family lifestyle video blogger. However, this year she and her husband, Erik, started a podcast to talk about life and current events. I typically turn this on when I am doing chores around the house. It is such a fun and lighthearted podcast, which makes it very easy to listen to. Both Colleen and Erik are famous actors, and they even met on set of Colleen’s Netflix series. They talk about what life is like in their careers, with their two-year-old son, Colleen’s current pregnancy with twins, and so much more. They also post their podcast video recording on YouTube, so you can sit down and watch it like a talk show.

Album: Battle at Garden’s Gate by Greta Van Fleet

Recently, the up-and-coming rock band, Greta Van Fleet, has been all over my social media. This album has been on repeat for me for at least a week now. My favorite song, which constantly gets stuck in my head, is “Heat Above”. They are a group whose sound is reminiscent of the 1970s band Led Zeppelin. Battle at Garden’s Gate is their most recent album and is available here at the DPL!

Television: Manifest

My fiancé and I are not avid TV watchers, so to have a show we both enjoy is rare. This week we started watching the series Manifest on Netflix. From the start, it had us both a little mind blown and confused. Essentially, it is about a group of people on a plane that supposedly had been missing for five years. However, for the passengers, it was only a few hours. We are finding that there is a Christian story line in the series. I am excited to see where the plot goes and to see if it keeps both of us entertained.

  • Available on Netflix.

The Lineup: Xochitl

Xochitl’s Lineup

1. Book: Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here by Paula Begoun

I am really big into skincare and have enjoyed the brand Paula’s Choice, so I knew I had to read this advice book written by her. She’s informative and blunt, so she doesn’t just promote her brand but other brands and different procedures as well. Paula debunks rumors and makes sure everything she recommends is backed with science, so this often means her opinion can change as science evolves, which I appreciate. Her honesty and knowledge are refreshing. I really liked how she doesn’t over-complicate things, so everyday consumers can read and have an understanding of what they should look for. My favorite piece of advice was about wearing sunscreen, which she reiterated throughout the book.

  • Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library

2. Documentary: Osage Murders: The Reign of Terror

After finishing up Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, I went to look for more information about what the Osage people went through back in the 1920s. I ended up finding a documentary about the Reign of Terror, the name given for the period scanning three decades from 1910 into the1930s, which resulted in over fifty unsolved murders of wealthy Osage people in Oklahoma. The documentary was provided by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, a public broadcasting service network. The video is only about 28 minutes so it is not a long watch. It’s an interesting and important part of history that I’m happy I did more research on.

3. Podcast: Red Collar (episode: Superdad Psychopath)

The whole show takes a look at murders and crimes committed by seemingly well-off and great people. It is hosted by Catherine Townsend and the episodes are usually about thirty-five minutes long. The episode I took a listen to recently was about the Watts family murders in Colorado back in 2018. She really went into the financial troubles that the couple had always experienced. The podcast brought some details to light that I thought the media and the popular Netflix documentary skipped over. Townsend makes sure she’s thorough with her explanations and has facts to back up some theories and motives to consider. It was an interesting listen for sure and I plan to listen to more episodes.

4. Television: Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

This was hands down my favorite TV show growing up. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is a Cartoon Network original animated series about a foster home for imaginary friends no longer in need by their creators. It centers around a kid named Mac, his witty imaginary friend Bloo, and all the other residents and workers at Foster’s. It’s a really silly show that does center around comedy, but the serious moments are really heartwarming. The show is honestly just as great as I remembered it to be. The episodes are only about 25 minutes long, so it is an easy show to binge.

  • Available on the streaming platform HBOMax.

5. Article: The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared

I am fascinated with true crime cases, especially the bizarre ones. This one really took me by surprise. Treva Throneberry decided to run away from her life in a small town in Texas, at the age of eighteen, all the way to the state of Washington to start anew as a sixteen-year-old. Through the article, you learn of her family life and her mental problems she was dealing with back in Texas as you get to know the life she was living in Washington. You also learn that she made impersonating a young girl her habit. I really liked that the article switches back and forth from her past and her life elsewhere all the way until her final arrest. It also talked about her unfair trial she had to go through given she was clearly mentally incompetent. Treva Throneberry’s case is a sad one, but I’m glad I took the time to read it.

What’s Ashley Reading?: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

We recently added a new service called Hoopla!  It is a website/app that patrons can use to check out ebooks, audiobooks, TV shows, movies and music on their devices.  Each patron is allowed eight items a month.  The items range from new and popular to the classics.

I have started to play around with it a little bit.  I like that there are a wide variety of books, old Disney movies, British TV shows and soundtracks available.  I recently realized that I can even add the app to my Fire Stick and stream the movies on my TV!  How cool is that?!

One of the features I found most intriguing even though I do not read a lot in the genre is graphic novels.  The site has a very good selection.  While enjoying the story the reader can hover their mouse over the images to enlarge them (because sometimes that print is very small). This also helps when looking at the artwork and seeing more of the details.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa

Summary: Sabrina Spellman, a teenage witch is the daughter of a mortal and a warlock. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday she has to make the decision to join the Church of Night. She is currently living with her two maiden aunties in a funeral home.

Highlights: I picked this as one of my first items to check out from Hoopla. I had recently watched the new Netflix series based on the graphic novel and I watched the original TV show as a teenager. I enjoyed the stories in the first volume. They are very dark! The art work is very interesting.  I never read the Archie comics (which these are a spinoff of) but several characters from their universe appear in the Sabrina stories.

So if you are expecting the nice and bright Melissa Joan Hart version this is not it. Salem, the cat, is still here as well as her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, but after that everything is different.

Lowlights: Since graphic novels are more centered around the art work the stories are much shorter. I wanted a little more story but I guess I will just have to check out volume 2 for that.

FYI: There is very dark themes and imagery.