10 Happy Things

happinessHiya friends, welcome back. Lately, with my life being really hectic (between school, work, and everything else), all of this can really ratchet the anxiety up, let’s just say panic attacks are happening at least three times a week.

With all the craziness going on, I thought it would be nice to take some time out today, and write about 10 things that make me happy. If for nothing else, it might give me something to look back on when everything gets overwhelming. Okay, we’re jumping in…here are my 10 happy things in no particular order, enjoy.

  1. Hobbs

Well, this one is obvious. I mean, I wouldn’t have married him if he didn’t make me happy. I’m not gonna lie, there are times when I could smother him with kisses. Then there are times when smothering him with a pillow sounds pretty hoofin great (he snores…A LOT, and a pillow is a weapon of opportunity). In all honesty, the jackass can make me laugh like no other, and if there is one surefire way to my icy heart, it’s definitely humor.

  1. The Furry Overlord and his Spunky Sidekick

This clearly means Marley and Spencer (take a guess which one is which). I consider these two wack jobs my babies, and boy do they freakin take advantage of that. Spencer only eats food Mom (that’s me) cooks, spoiled little shit. Marley, on the other hand, eats a diabetic friendly food that costs $48 for six damn pounds. If they didn’t make me happy I certainly would complain more than I do about those things.

  1. My Family

A bunch of loud mouth, cussing hooligans, and I wouldn’t have them any other way. We are very Italian, being loud and well fed is just part of the package. The best part about them is that I know all I have to do is call and someone will show up. Those people taught me how to fight and love with reckless abandon. They’re crazy and can definitely be a fucking handful but they’re my kinda crazy.

  1. My Friends

Ever met people that you are sure you were meant to be friends with? Those people that you know are meant to be in your life, but could definitely not be blood related because that’s just a recipe for disaster. Yeah, those would be my friends. I don’t have very many, but the ones I do have are one in a fucking million. Lucky me for finding them.

  1. Reading/Writing

Two things that save my sanity when reality gets to be too much (which happens more often than I’d care to admit). I was about 3 when I learned to read, and I haven’t looked back since. Writing followed quickly after, and I was sold. Now I could create my own worlds to disappear into, sign me the hell up. Without these two things, I don’t think I’d really be me, and that makes me really happy.

  1. Baking

I’m basically Betty Crocker, people. The weirdest thing about this one is…I bake all the things and yet I eat none of them. That’s not completely true, I’ll eat one of everything I bake, but I’m happier when I share it. I think it’s my Italian side that I just love to feed people. Food is easily one of my love languages, and I use it often.

  1. British Television

Oh, how I love British TV. I can honestly be in the shittest mood ever, turn on something where everyone has an accent and I’m instantly happy. Also, it makes me really happy that they can say anything, show anything, and do anything on television. Don’t believe me…watch Embarrassing Bodies on Netflix, you won’t regret it. It is an experience, and it is so worth it.

  1. Harry Potter

If you know me and you knew this would be on the list. I am a Potterhead. Yes, I know that makes me a geek, but seriously I will fight over my fandoms (especially HP) and I’m not even ashamed of that fact. My anxiety can be a raging asshole, and he will come for me hard fuckin core, but the second Hedwig’s Theme plays, or I crack open the book…he sits down and shuts the fuck up. It is the one and the only thing in my life that works consistently, every time.

  1. Russell Howard

See, in number one I said that the quickest way to my Elsa heart (Frozen joke) is by making me laugh. Russell Howard never fails to do that. It’s so bad that lines from his stand-up come out of my mouth whenever they are situationally appropriate, and sometimes when they’re not. If you’ve never seen a Russell Howard stand-up there is one on Netflix, called Recalibrate. Or, if you don’t have Netflix, I suggest searching Russell Howard on YouTube.

  1. The New House

Buy a house, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. What they don’t tell you, is fun is only there like 50% of the time. The other 50 is full of leaking faucets, yard work, and a toilet that loves to run. A silver lining, I’ve learned how to fix a running toilet, and stop a faucet from leaking. It is fun, and it’s nice to finally have that permanent home base, or HQ as we call it. This is our place, our little corner of the world. The place where we will love and fight, raise babies in and send kids off to college from. If I had a hat, I’d hang it on the wall, because this is where we belong.

There ya have it. 10 things that make me happy. It’s a nice list if I do say so myself. A perfect reminder on the days when shit gets too hard. I’m smiling already. Until next time…

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Welcome Back!

happy new year

Happy New Year, my friends. First off, yes, I took a massive break, and I’ll explain everything in this post. Honestly, I’m happy to be back, and boy do we have some shit to talk about.

What a year I had in 2018, a big ol’ year of firsts. First year as homeowners. First houseguests. First time hosting a major holiday. Let’s talk about this stuff.

Many of you may know that last November, Hobbs and I purchased our first home. In this first year, we have turned this house into a home. The first floor has been painted and decorated. I let Hobbs choose the colors we used, and it should be noted he’s hoofin color blind. With that being said, he didn’t do too bad…except our dining Link.pngroom is a color called “Salamander” but seriously, it’s basically Link’s Tunic Green (not really shocking if you know Hobbs). The other colors were chosen, I suspect, for their names more than the actual hue. They all have space-related names, Hobbs is a nerd for space. Needless to say, the new paint made the house feel more like us. Also, as I write this I’m pricing out new dishwashers because ours shit the bed. Buying a house was a dream of ours, but man we were NOT prepared for how much money we were about to sink into it.

Let’s jump ahead to June, or as I like to refer to it, “The Summer of Friends.” Our best friends, who live across the country due to being in the military, came to stay for a whole 6 weeks. What an eye-opening experience this was, Hobbs and I don’t have kids (yet) and we had a lovely little look into what it would be like to be constantly surrounded by a 7-year-old and a toddler. To say we were tired every night is an understatement. Seriously, where do they get their energy? We loved every second of them being here, and had an absolute blast! I can honestly say I missed them when they left and might have had myself a mini cry as they drove off to the airport. All in all, it was a great summer!

Jumping into Fall/Winter. We hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner this year. How the fuck I got through those meals with relatively low levels of anxiety…I will never know. There were 15 people in my house for both meals, and for Thanksgiving, I cooked the hoofin turkey!!! (I had never cooked a Turkey before, butfamily christmas.png let me tell you…I nailed it!) Honestly, I enjoyed having my whole family here, and it wasn’t as horrible as I initially thought it would be. I might even consider doing it again next year…don’t hold me to that though. Oh, before I forget, two honorable mentions for this section of my life…both my oldest nephew and my brother got engaged in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, I get a new sister-in-law, and a new niece-in-law (is that even a thing?). Also shocking…I like them both.

Those are really my highlights for this past year, and looking back it wasn’t too terrible. I mean, I’m gonna give it a solid 8 on the year-in-my-life scale. Not too shabby.

Now that we’ve looked back, shall we look ahead?

no resolutions.jpgThis year I refuse to make resolutions, mainly because I never fucking keep them. In place of hastily made resolutions, I’ve decided to implement some simple, yet well-placed, changes. Firstly, I’m gonna work on taking care of myself better, not just physically but mentally as well. To be fair, my mental health has taken a backseat and I think I’ve gotten myself as far as I can on my own. I’m taking my own advice and calling in some reinforcements. Wish me luck. Next, it’s time to get my shit together. The plan is to get myself on a schedule, that way I have time to write. I miss writing. I need to write more. I just want to have time to sit here and be creative without worrying over what’s not getting done. Lastly, Hobbs and I have made the decision that it’s time to start the family plan. We’ve been married 7 years and together almost 11, and we’ve been putting off the kids because there were things we wanted to do first (namely, buy a fucking house). Well, we’ve gone and done that, so let’s add tiny Hobbs and Biblios.

Don’t worry I have some plans for this space as well. There will be some changes and new things happening in the coming months, and I’m stoked to see if you guys like them. I’m gonna add in some more of myself, bring in more things I enjoy while still staying true to my first love, books. Stay tuned for that.

That’s it, my friends. My review of 2018 and the look forward to 2019. For the first time in quite a few years, I can honestly say I look forward to seeing what this year brings. I wish you all the very best in 2019, and I hope the new year inspires you to do whatever it is you’ve been wanting. Until next time…

Challenge Accepted!

Hiya friends! I feel like I’m forever apologizing on here, but seriously these last couple of weeks have been ROUGH (and that’s putting it mildly). Between my ankle and tons of doctor’s appointments (in the coming week I have three scheduled), LOTS of homework (I HATE MATH), add in that I haven’t been sleeping and I’m currently building a world for a story I’m working on. (Side Note: If you need some help staying organized while building a world of your own, check out Tiffany Crystal’s blog for some hints.) Anyway, add all that together and you’ve got a doozy couple of weeks, but enough complaining, let’s get down to business.

As I have been spending a great deal of my time sitting in waiting rooms, and well…WAITING. I’ve been spending that time browsing Pinterest on my phone, I’ve pinned everything from DIY ideas to nursery themes (funny part is I’m not even pregnant).

BUT, the most exciting thing I’ve found is Rory Gilmore’s reading challenge. Now most of the people who know me IRL know that I am a massive Gilmore Girls fan for many reasons, one of those is Rory Gilmore. She’s a bookworm like me, she’s also extremely funny which I also fancy myself, now if only I could talk as fast as she does. There are 339 books on this crazy list, and I’m setting myself the challenge to read them all, which I’m pretty sure makes me just a hoofin’ crazy.

I’m going to start today, and I’ve already decided the first couple of books I’m going to read. I’m not even sure where this challenge originated, but I’m going to link to the list I found (The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge). Feel free to give me your feelings on any of the books you’ve read, like having the tissues ready for when I read Flower for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (thanks for the heads-up Tiff). Wish me luck my friends. Until next time…

 

Book Review: The Butterfly Garden

Hiya friends, welcome back. As promised here is my review of the book that broke my reading slump. (Oh, happy day!)

The butterfly garden

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The Butterfly Garden

Dot Hutchison

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…(Amazon)

 

Now my thoughts, which begin quite simply with how interesting I found the plot of this story. I’m a sucker for mystery crime novel, and this one did not disappoint me. When I began reading it took some time to get used to how the author jumped between the present interrogation and the past memories. I immediately felt for the main character Maya, you could just tell she had a rough start at life, and being captured by the Gardener was just the latest terrible thing to happen to her. I will say, there are parts that are not for the faint of heart, it’s extremely creepy at points, and I can definitely see how that would be off putting to certain readers, but I’m a weirdo and I just thought it added another layer to the story. Then, as in typical crime/mystery novel fashion, there was a twist. But WHAT a twist! I didn’t see this one coming at ALL, which just made me like it even more. In honor of the tough women, I give this novel four and a half butterflies.

 

Well, there you have it, my review of this incredible novel. I really hope you take some time and maybe give this book a chance, I don’t think you’ll regret it…and if you do you can blame me.  Until next time…

Back from the Brink

Hiya friends, welcome back. So, last Friday I was whining about being in a reading slump, to which I received a wonderful book recommendation. (Side note: I haven’t gotten the book that was recommended yet, but I am planning on getting it this weekend.) That being said, I am happy to report the slump has broken.

I repeat…

THE SLUMP HAS BROKEN!

*insert celebratory dance here*

I had a cheeky midnight browse through Kindle Unlimited on my..well my Kindle (quality writing Nikki), and I found the book that has successfully dragged me from the depths of my despair…

The butterfly garden.jpg

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The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison.

I’m officially half way through, and let me tell you my bookish friends, oh mama it is so good! If you’re into crime/mystery, I highly recommend it. I mean, to be fair, the ending could totally blow it for me but I’m hopeful. Right now, it has just the right combination of what the fuck moments and snarky banter to keep me reading long past my bedtime.

I know this is a super short post, but I have a book to read, people. Stay tuned for a full review next Friday. Next week we’ll finally be back to our regularly scheduled programming, and I can’t wait. Until next time…

Oh, the Agony…(yes, I’m being dramatic)

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Hiya friends, welcome back. Do you ever get in a slump with your reading? I am dealing with this right now, and it’s annoying as hell. I swear it feels like school is taking over my life, and by the time I have a spare moment to read I can’t decide what to read, or can’t get into anything. Ugh.

Seriously, during a good reading stint I can devour A LOT of books, but recently I’m struggling to just pick up and finish one. If you’ve been watching my Goodreads page you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t finished a book since Magic Bites. Which well….BITES dude.

Slump2

Usually I can drag myself out of the slump by reading a book I love (not gonna lie, it’s usually Harry Potter) but this time it’s not working. I guess what I’m asking is if you guys have any suggestions, whether it be what to read, or how to break this streak. I’m game, my friends, I’ll do anything at this point.

Please. Help me!

Sorry for the short post, but honestly I can’t write about a book until I finish one dammit! Hopefully, this dry spell is broken by next Friday, otherwise, I am screwed here. Until next time….

Book Review: Magic Bites

Hiya friends, welcome back. Prepare yourself for my first ever book review…dun dun dun. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Magic Bites

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Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

My Final Thoughts:

It’s no great secret, judging by my last post, that I am a massive fan of bad ass female characters, the tougher and mouthier the better. Kate Daniels is the embodiment of that very description, a tough as nails merc determined to find who killed her guardian. Throughout this story, you meet a wide variety of interesting characters, from the Beast Lord to a teenaged werewolf to a creepy vampire. Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me, “werewolf and vampire, oh hell no I read Twilight, that was enough for me,” but trust me when I tell you to give this book a chance. I adored the witty banter between the characters, and loved even more how Ilona wrote about magic in a way that didn’t leave me wishing for Harry Potter (quite difficult to do with a Potterhead like me). If I had to find one negative in this book it was that it left me with a few unanswered questions, but all in all, that’s not bad because it makes me want to read the rest of this series. On my scale, I’d rate this book 5 feels, it gave me all of them my friends.

There is only one thing left to say, until next time…