Friday, March 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes {Take 74} Exciting spring developments (books! dance! beer!) edition

I know I've been harping on this spring thing lately, but I can't help it. :0 In all of my years of living in WNY, I can never remember feeling this way following a winter. I actually feel my mood lift when I see the sun out these days, and the piles of snow diminishing.


So on my mind today are a motley assortment of things, but all have a common root in that they are taking place during spring and bring me joy. So here we go!

-1- A new book in the "I Am Margaret" series means a very quick-like download

Corinna Turner's "I Am Margaret" has quickly become my very favorite fiction series (reviews of previous books here and here). I have read the first two books (devoured is the more appropriate term) and the third book just came out this week. Let's cue the angels singing, shall we?

Liberation is available for just $3.90 for Kindle, and I had that baby downloaded to my precious Patrick in record time. I'm finishing up what I'm reading now *halo* but then I'm giving myself permission to dive right into book 3. Speaking of what I'm reading right now...

-2- Catholic Book Club, and can I say how much I adore that precious St. Therese?

I'm finishing up Trusting God With St. Therese by Connie Rossini in preparation for my Catholic Book Club post on Wednesday:

I am *really* enjoying this book, and gosh, that St. Therese! So cute! So charming! I think that St. Therese is one of those people that on the surface seem hard to relate to (entering Carmel at age 15 and having such a childlike faith; my sheer volume of sins crush hers, I am certain :0) but on the other hand, she has this quality... people love and relate to her. She was given a special gift and charism by God, and we are all just drawn to her innate sweetness and trust in God's plan for her life. I have been thinking about her a lot during the day, and it's all because of this book. I hope that you're reading it too! It's a $4.99 download for Kindle. Come back on Wednesday to read more!

-3- This time, with flare!

My dance troupe is ordering new costumes, beledi style gowns that we can wear for certain pieces. We chose a standardized fabric (lime and blue paisley, we're never one for boring colors :0) and then we can each customize the gown as we'd like, since they are custom made for size anyway. So sleeves, slits, all that jazz, are totally up to the individual dancer. I chose the halter neckline (we're going to be wearing these outside in the summer, and I worry about sweat. Just one of the many, many things I worry about ;-)) and the "flared" skirt, which means that it'll be super twirly, like a trumpet skirt. No slits, for maximum twirly effect. :) I'm very excited! Each dress will be a little different, I can't wait to see them all. We'll debut them at the hafla on May 2nd, and then wear them for all of our summer festivals.


-4- *bites nails*

 Speaking of dance, I have chosen solo music for the hafla. For someone as hyper organized as I am, this is no small feat. I go through my playlists of Middle Eastern music (sub-organized by style, of course), I go though iTunes for new ideas, I watch YouTube videos to see if anything inspires me...It takes a long time for me to pick the perfect piece of music. I want something that is different from the last solo piece I did, that really resonates with me, that is an ideal length (because Audacity and I do NOT get along when it comes to cutting music), and generally speaks to me, saying "dance with me, we'll be fabulous together!" I get nervous dancing solo, but it's like eating vegetables: it's good for me. It helps me to learn and grow as a dancer and performer. This long explanation is all to say that I picked something, and I love it. :) It's an instrumental Baladi piece, so it has both slow and fast segments, and nice opportunities for drum accents. I'm going to be improvising, so I've just been listening to it a lot and getting an idea for which types of segments go where. It should be interesting, I'll report back in. :)

-5- I have playlists organized by season. Because I am a nerd.

And on the music theme, I have moved to my official spring/summer playlist for background while I work. Yes, I have seasonal playlists. :) The music is upbeat and would go well with an outdoor barbecue, those are my criteria. I'm enjoying the change over my winter of listening to the scores from Fargo and Frozen. #GodIsGood

-6- The one time of year that I watch basketball...

Yes, the NCAA Tournament. I do love it this time of year, though I do not normally watch basketball of any kind. Mike runs a pool amongst our family and friends, and it's really fun. So like a dutiful wife, I filled out my bracket. Then Thursday morning I second guessed some of my picks (Duke - you can never be trusted!) so I changed them. And... *groans*

Iowa State, what were you thinking?! Frankly, I'm blaming Duke again, simply because they're also in that bracket, so why not blame them? I had Iowa State in my FINAL FOUR. And they LOST THEIR VERY FIRST GAME. I will say, this is the beauty of the Tournament. Even smaller schools that make it in: if you win your conference, you're in and you get to contend for the title. So Iowa State was seeded 3rd in their bracket, I believe? And they were beaten (by a single point *grieves*) by a team seeded 14th. Very, very exciting. And speaking of the Tournament...

-7- Ending with beer, because why not?

 I'm taking the afternoon off to watch basketball with Mike. And we got a special growler of beer just for the occasion: a Brown Ale with chocolate tones, yuummmmm. The University at Buffalo Bulls are playing this afternoon, and I picked them to go to the Sweet Sixteen, so let's go Bulls! We need something cheery around here after the winter we had.

All right, have a fantastic weekend everyone! I have a busy one ahead. I'm taking the kids to see Cinderella tomorrow, and on Sunday my mom and I are going to see The Phantom of the Opera, which on tour here locally. I'll talk to you all on Monday! And check out more 7 Quick Takes over at This Ain't the Lyceum!

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