We are getting into January, but 2016 still feels fresh and new. I think it is going to be a good one. Here are a few things that I'm doing/loving/obsessing over right now.
I am obsessed. I feel a weird obligation to tell the entire world about this book because of a long story that involves me receiving it as a gift and resenting it, carrying it on international travels and not reading it for many years. But I finally did and it was incredible. For a short plot synopsis: a nurse in 1945 is transported to 1743 through magic stones in the Scottish highlands. Danger, political intrigue, and romance ensue. I was worried that it would be too much of a romance novel for me (which is why I dismissed it all those years ago), but it definitely isn't and the book doesn't revolve around will they or won't they get together. I finally read the book because of how much I enjoyed the show (which you should also watch). The plot of the show and the plot of the first book are very similar, but I was super into it and on the edge of my seat, even though I knew what was going to happen, which I think says a lot about the writing. Reading Outlander reminded me to reading as a kid - I was completely immersed in the story. I highly recommend it (although this book may not be for everyone - there are aspects to the story that may be upsetting or triggering regarding torture/sexual assault, so please be aware if that is something of concern for you). I have requested the next book in the series from the library and the wait is killing me.
After posting artwork to my Instagram account daily in 2015, I am keeping up the daily art habit, but I haven't been posting artwork to Instagram every day. The first day that I "missed" posting was a little bit scary and weird, but I am loving it right now! I am working on pieces more slowly and taking more time sketching, inking, then coloring than I would when I was trying to get something "finished" and ready for Instagram (not that everything I posted in 2015 was so beautiful and Insta-worthy). I'm happy to be making things just for fun that I'm not worried about sharing and to be working in a big sketchbook after working on a lot of 4x6 pieces of watercolor paper during my December Drawing Giveaway. Sharing drawings daily online did a ton of awesome things for me, so I definitely still recommend it - I think the lesson here is that switching things up is always inspiring and good for you.
Even though I just said that I am enjoying a break from sharing my drawings on Instagram every day, I still feel the urge to share what I'm working on. I've been doing that on Snapchat lately. I don't worry about the photos looking as polished as I do on Instagram (clearly, I don't worry about Snapchat photos looking polished at all). I like sharing process shots that show how artwork is progressing as I work on it (again, working slowly in multi-step processes) and sharing other random things that I'm doing throughout the day. I also love to check out other people's stories! If you want to see inside the aforementioned sketchbook, connect with me on Snapchat @haleyca - I'd love to see what you get up to as well!
In keeping with my last post, I've made a bunch of small routine changes around here that are making me very happy! After using a gift card to buy a blender I've started making smoothies to take with me to work (even sneaking some green vegetables in there). I've also been doing some small things at nighttime, like listening to a calm playlist while I get ready for bed and reading before going to sleep instead of watching TV. I feel much calmer and more relaxed before bed and I haven't been waking up during the night as much since I made these tiny changes. As I've said a million times, small things make such a huge difference when done every day.
What are you really into lately? Do you have any books that you're obsessed with? I can add them to my list for when I'm done with the Outlander series (7 books from now...)