5 Things I Do In My Spare Time

Due to today's #30lists prompt, this post might look pretty similar to last Wednesday's mid-month update. Sorry. :-/ I promise to throw something new in here! :)

1. Listen to music

My commute is a minimum of 45 minutes each way. Way back when I lived 10 minutes from work, I would use this extra time to do other things: read, blog, photoshop, etc… Now I find I'm a bit more limited in what I can do. Thank goodness for Pandora! And NPR when I'm sick of music.

But occasionally, awesome companies like One2One provide me with free (in exchange for a review) music like Gwen Stefani's new album This Is What The Truth Feels Like  (iTunesTarget). That's when the real fun of commuting begins! Who wouldn't enjoy rocking out to a new Gwen Stefani album during their daily commute?

I distinctly remember when No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom came out in the 90s; it was my first real exposure to Gwen Stefani and I wasn't sure if I even liked her. Over time though, she grew on me … and the world. If she wasn't a household name prior to Tragic Kingdom, she was soon afterward when 6 singles hit the charts from the one album. Those chart-breaking songs, including "Just A Girl" and "Don't Speak" were such big hits that they are still played on the radio to this day, nearly 20 years later!

Despite the numerous multi-platinum selling albums Stefani has recorded to date, more recent hits haven't really appealed to me including "Hollaback Girl" and "Rich Girl"; her newest album, however, is a call back to the 90s, a refreshing reminder of what Gwen Stefani's music is capable of. This Is What The Truth Feels Like highlights impassioned themes of love and loss especially found in newly released "Make Me Like You", "Used To Love You", and "Where Would I Be". 

This Is What The Truth Feels Like is, in my opinion, one of Stefani's best albums yet and I happily look forward to many more hours commuting knowing that I have her sweet and sultry voice to keep me company. 

Unfortunately, all of my time spent on the road listening to Pandora, NPR, and Gwen Stefani leaves little time for much else, but somehow I still manage to…

2. Read

I do have a goal to reach this year!

Just yesterday I finished The Flower Workshop by Ariella Chezar and Julie Michaels and Your Idea Starts Here by Carolyn Eckert.

The Flower Workshop was an amazing read and one that has inspired me to try putting together a beautiful flower arrangement using one of the many recipes and tips she provides in this prettily designed how-to. In fact, this is a book I highly encourage anyone with the tiniest bit of interest in floral design to get. The authors provide lots of useful information about how to arrange flowers, which flowers are best in which seasons, and how to care for your newly designed floral arrangement. All 250+ pages make for a fast and easy read (unless you are reading Germany For Beginners) as you ooh and ahh over the images. Trust me – you want this book. And if you aren't a flower person, you can always impress visitors and break the ice by using it as a coffee table book. I won't tell. ;)

Your Idea Starts Here, while good in conceptualization and an equally fast read (as compared to The Flower Workshop) didn't quite live up to the high standards I had for it. You know how I like using blog prompts as lead-ins to help me write my blog posts? That's what I expected with Your Idea Starts Here, and maybe you get a tiny bit of it, but, I have to be honest, no prompt in the book made me excited or intrigued and ready to start a creative-process. I don't have any other book recommendations for idea-needing people, but I can suggest saving your money and using pinterest or google in your creativity process. Sometimes something as simple as sitting down with a pen and paper and creating a mind map can be helpful. (Apparently you can do this online as well!)

Then there is …

3. Photoshop

which I don't do nearly often enough. I get irritated with color matching. Then I publish an image I'm not certain of on Instagram and get 20 likes almost immediately…

A photo posted by Mandy on

I'm not asking questions.

4. Blogging

I love to write. Yes, I would love it if you all would click some links for me and buy some things, but, really, I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my daily creative outlet of writing. 

Probably go crazy. 

Or be lonely…  

Something like that.

And finally… 

5. Travel

Really it's the planning that I love. 

And the going.

And everything in between! :)

What do you like to do during your spare time? Anything on my list?

* Both the books and album were received for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading and I'm looking forward to a quite house on Saturday morning to catch up a bit! Thanks for visiting me through the A to Z Challenge!


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