25 Things Update!

25thyearEarlier this year I posted a list of 25 things I wanted to do in the year before my 26th birthday. I feel like I’m a little behind, and there are already a few entries on the list that I know I won’t be able to cross off this year, but that’s ok. The whole point of this list was to give me some fun goals for the year and I’m already very pleased with the fun things I’ve been able to do so far.

Over the past several months I have been able to cross off some things from my list that I never got around to posting about! I feel bad about that because I could have easily made individual posts for these things and shared with you more pictures. But sometimes a shorter update is better :)

Here are four things I crossed off earlier this year that I never got around to posting about!

#12 Swim in the Mediterranean

Before we left France we took a day trip down to St. Cyr, which is about an hour east of Marseille. The water was so clear and blue, I can totally see why so many people like to vacation in the south of France. The beach was really crowded, there were even people waiting for other people to get up so they could take their spots. The weather was beautiful and although we had to drive three hours there and back, it was such a lovely day. I would have really regretted living in France for two and a half years and never getting to see the Mediterranean.

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#14 Join a club

Several months ago my blogging friend Regina @ The Sunflower Pages mentioned that she wanted to start an online book club focusing on Young Adult books and I immediately jumped on board! I love reading books with other people, and the fact that it’s an online club was even better for me since I was living abroad at the time. Now that I’m back in the States it’s still nice chatting with people from all over the place.

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So far we’ve read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (LOVED IT), If I Stay by Gayle Forman (just in time for the movie),  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Right now we’re reading Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.

#20 Attend a masked ball or period-era ball or maybe just a really elaborately themed party

In June we had to say goodbye to our Grenoble community, and it was even more bittersweet than I thought it would be because they threw us a Disney costume party! It was so well done between the decorations, the food, the games, and of course the costumes :)

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Matt and I as Peter Pan and Wendy :)

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Winnie the Pooh and Mickey & Minnie Mouse cakes!

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My friend Laure (Minnie) who drove down from Lyon to see me, and my American friends Joy and Lisa who planned the party :)

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My wonderful friend Dalene who was one of my closest friends in Grenoble. I miss her so much!

#21 FIND A NEW JOB

This was one of the biggest things on my list, and in my October Highlights post I shared with you that I had an interview in the beginning of November. Well…I GOT THE JOB! I started last Wednesday so this week is my first full week. So far, I love it! It’s a very small office (there are 4 of us), but that makes everything so much more personal. The job itself is low-stress and relaxed, which is a nice change of pace. I’m very excited for this new direction I’m taking, and I’m also looking forward to my husband finding a job so we can find a place to live & finally be able to settle down and unpack our wedding gifts (they’ve been in their original boxes in my parents’ basement for nearly 3 YEARS because we moved to France right after getting married).

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, and gave me interview advice! I am so so thankful :)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn Reads (plus some life updates!)

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Scroll down to see my belated Top Ten Tuesday list for “Autumn Reads,” but in the meantime here’s a little update about what has been going on in my life lately:

Please forgive me for my very long and unannounced hiatus! I meant to write a post about all of the changes in my life these past couple of months, but I never could seem to find time to pen them all out. For those of you who know me in real life, or if you converse with me regularly, you know that a little over a month ago my husband and I moved back to the U.S.

It had been long-expected for us and for our close friends and family (we bought plane tickets back in May), but we didn’t make any big announcements until shortly before the actual move. The reason I am just now writing on my blog about it is because I’ve been in a conundrum about its future. Obviously, the title An American in France is no longer appropriate, but my ties to France are still very strong considering my husband is French and we do plan on moving back there one day. But this gives me an opportunity to change not only the title of my blog but the theme as well. I’d love to still blog about French things, but I also enjoy blogging about books, so I am brainstorming new title options. For now, I will keep blogging on An American in France, and I will do my best to be more regular about posting (I really do miss blogging and reading all of your blogs as well!). If you are really talented with thinking of blog titles, please share with me your ideas in the comments below! I’d really appreciate any input :)

And now, the fun stuff! (yay for Top Ten lists!)

Top Ten Books I Plan To Read This Autumn

I actually made this list back at the start of autumn, so half of these I have already read, but they fit the category nonetheless.

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Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson – I read this novel in early September, actually, but it’s the perfect type of suspense novel to keep you interested this autumn. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this book, and the end is so creepy it stayed on my mind for a couple of months after I finished it. There’s also a movie version with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong coming out on Halloween of all days! But, as always, read the book first :)

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – This summer I went through a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants phase and read the entire series over the course of a few weeks. I had never read it before, and I had always thought the movies were pretty cheesy, but the series greatly blew my expectations. I loved each of the books, but this last one in particular, which is definitely NOT a young adult book like it’s predecessors, was my absolute favorite. If you’re familiar with the series, and even if you aren’t, this book will break your heart and then stitch it back up just when you think all hope is lost. It’s definitely a somber read, perfect for those grey autumn afternoons.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I guess this book would be great to read during any season. It takes place during Christmas, but in California where it always feels like summer. And like Rainbow Rowell’s other novels, it deals with broken people, another autumn-appropriate theme. I read Rowell’s first novel, Attachments, earlier this year and so far it may just be my favorite book I’ve read all year. Landline has her same adult fiction style (which I prefer over her YA style), and you’ll be laughing, crying, and hoping for a happy ending.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall – Ok, this is probably more of a summer read, but it takes place during an entire school year so it does have some “Back to School” themes as well. The title of this novel fits perfectly. It’s a love story told through the eyes of 14 other people (including an animal and an inanimate object), and it’s totally swoon worthy. The main characters are awkward and loveable and will have you laughing and gushing as they trip and fall over themselves.

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Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins – Another set of books that I would normally save for the summer but which also fit the back to school theme (at least the first one does. I haven’t read the other two yet). I’ve heard so much about these books, and maybe that gave me too high expectations because I didn’t find Anna and the French Kiss as amazing as everyone said it was. So hopefully the next two are more intriguing.

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The Here and Now by Ann Brashares – I saw this beautiful book cover all over the bookstores in France this summer and since then I’ve been dying to read it (I’m a stickler for pretty book covers, another reason I loved A Little Something Different). It’s kinda science-fictiony, another type of book I like to read during this season.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This book has been on my TBR list allllll year and I finally started it not too long ago. Most people know how this book goes so all I’m going to say is that I hope I finish reading it before Christmas ;)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Another book-to-screen story that I’d like to read before it leaves theaters. I’ve been on the hold-list at my library for about a month now…

There’s my TBR list for this autumn! Have you read any of these books yet? Oh, and if you have any spooky suspenseful book recommendations, please leave a comment for me! I’m looking for good Halloween reads :)