Currently-November

General- This month started out great with my annual women’s retreat that I attend. I even got some solid writing time while enjoying beautiful mountain views. I got home and was promptly sick for two days. I got back to normal and then got blasted with the flu. Seriously guys, I’ve never been that sick in my life. At least, from what I can remember. I’ve never had no energy. I’m usually the one powering through illness to get to work and do what I need to do. There was no overpowering this bug. Seriously, this would have knocked the Hulk out. However, I’m recovering, feeling better, and we decorated for Christmas a week early! Whoo hooo!

Since my husband and I have been married, we have spent black Friday decorating the house instead of going out into the chaos of the world. About 4 years ago we started a new tradition. We spend all morning decorating the house and then in the afternoon, we’ll get lunch (sometimes) and then go to a store and pick out a new ornament for our tree. Each year someone gets a turn. Since Thanksgiving fell so late in November this year, I made the argument that we had to decorate a little early so I get the same amount of time to be holly jolly. My husband being a logical man, agreed and we decorated over the weekend and this year was my turn to pick our ornament. I picked a cute little red truck. It looks great on my tree. 

Reading– I’m still hooked on the Luminaries by Susan Dennard on Twitter. This is a choose your own adventure style story that Susan started about 5 months ago. Seriously, I’m conditioned to check my twitter at the same time every day for the update. We’ve managed to keep our last life hanging on for a bit now. We’re in the climax and things are making me stressed. But the story is so good! You have to check it out. I’ve also started and finished One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. This is a YA murder mystery that makes you think everybody is a suspect. This was my second time reading it but it was even better the second time. SO GOOD. Plus they just finished filming the pilot for the TV show. (And I’m desperately hoping it gets picked up) This book is perfect for TV. Think Harper’s Island with fully formed characters. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Harper’s Island. But you didn’t get all the info on all the characters because, well it was a mini-series and someone had to die at the end of every episode.) I’m currently reading Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus. While reading One of Us is Lying, I developed theories and whatnot the moment I started reading that book. Two Can Keep A Secret however, I know nothing. I’m halfway through the book and I only have the small inkling of a theory but cannot explain why I think that and well, I know nothing. It is such a good book though. I love how McManus puts a lot of characters in her book and each character is distinct and has their own voice. It’s wonderful. 

Listening– Christmas music! I’ve been jamming out to my Christmas playlist for a good minute. I also discovered a podcast called Relatable by Allie Beth Stuckey and I’m hooked on it! She is speaking wisdom in every single episode I’ve listened to. So good. With being sick, I haven’t been listening to much though. Hopefully next month will have some more things for you to check out. 

Watching– The Masked Singer! Can someone explain to me how Kelly Osborne got everybody convinced she was from the south? That was my favorite reveal so far. For some reason I think the Fox is Robert Downey Jr. No idea why, when I see the Fox on TV I end up thinking about RDJ. It probably isn’t but who knows. Also, I feel like the Leopard is gonna end up winning. I know there are stronger singers but that animal has been in the bottom two twice now and survived both smack downs. Those judges want him to stay in. I’m also back on the Resident. I love the characters on this show. However, it is very Man VS The Man and the little man never wins and there is like NO forward progress on that storyline so it is hard to watch sometimes. Grey’s Anatomy is a staple in my house. With being down with the flu, we watched A LOT of Disney+. Hello all my favorite childhood shows. I started off with 10 Things I Hate About You and then when it was over I had my husband restart it. 

Writing– My WIP is currently at 6K words, almost 7K. Thanks flu for killing my writing streak. I don’t know if I’ll finish in time for NaNo but I’m definitely going to try. 55,000-ish words in like 5 days? I’m sure someone has done it. 

Currently- August

General- Have I talked about the fact that I live in a dessert? Seriously, the past three weeks have had half of the week holding excessive heat warnings. Check on your dessert friends, they are burning up. This month has been very quiet around my house. We’re trying to stay home more and do more family time. We get plenty of family time, we are just trying to stay home while we do it. When we leave the house, we end up staying out way too long and spend money we didn’t intend to spend. Hubby and I have also been working on a lot of projects together. We made him a workstation in the garage (and reorganized that garage and go rid of SO MUCH STUFF) and he is building shelves. He made me a board so I can keep track of upcoming blog posts. I also made bible tabs for my bible and I’m in LOVE with them. They are so cute.

Reading– I’m still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it back up since my trip to Washington. I started reading some business books and books along those lines. It is a struggle to read those too. It’s been a struggle to read lately. It makes my heart a little sad. 

Listening– I quit the Saving Quinton I started listening to. I just couldn’t get into it the way that I did the first book. I might look up what happens because I’m curious but I could not keep listening to it.  I listened to the first books in the Program series. That was very interesting and scary. It reminded me a lot of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan where the government is scared of something and doing whatever they can to prevent it but since they handle teenagers they don’t care what happens to them. Although, in the Program, the program that is supposed to cure depression isn’t ran by the government, just has a lot of power. They were good books. There are a lot more in the world of the program, different story lines and what not. I’m good with what I read (listened to.) 

I’ve been struggling with music lately. I feel like I’ve been listening to the same 20 songs and I need new ones. Tell me what your favorite song is lately! 

Watching– We cancelled Netflix in favor of Hulu Live (heck yes, sports!) so I am no longer watching West Wing or Criminal Minds. We just started watching Leah Remini’s series on Scientology and WOAH. Scientology was always a weird religion to me. A sci-fi writer wrote the textbooks for a religion? Really? And I’m supposed to believe he knew what he was talking about? I’ll stick with Jesus. We’ve also been watching a lot of Cats, the musical. My son loves it. 

Writing– Projects, presentations, blog posts and Instagram captions. I started an outline for my book. It was painful. Since I’m currently on a week long break from school, I am hoping to get caught up on the outline so I can set word count goals and really get working on this book. 

Other– The project I was going to announce has been announced AND LAUNCHED! I started a podcast called Hasta la Pasta where I will talk about all sorts of fun things. It will be an extension to my blog. The first episode is live now! You can listen on the website or on Spotify right now. (I’m waiting on approval for Apple & Google Play) 

Book Review- Sweet Evil

Yay! My first book review. I’m not being paid or anything to do this review. I just really wanted to let you guys know books I enjoyed reading. I think I mentioned this book series in one of my Currently posts because I read this series in like a week. I would lay down to read, realize it was like 1 in the morning, and then see I was at like 68% and I might as well finish it at that point. Right? Any other late night readers out there relate? That’s okay, maybe I’m just weird. Also, yes, I am aware that I am reviewing a book that was published years ago. I don’t discriminate books because they are older.

Sweet Evil is a book I’ve had on my kindle for years. I read it back when I used to work a graveyard shift that wasn’t very busy. I would read a book or so a night so I was constantly buying new ones on my kindle. I don’t even know how I came across Sweet Evil but I read it and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to this summer where I’m looking for something to read and not spend all my money (because I’ve bought enough books this year already) so I go through my handy dandy kindle library and decide to give Sweet Evil another read.

Side note, this is why I don’t read series books. I read Sweet Evil years ago, knew there was going to be more books and promptly forgot about it. I love following series and seeing the character development but sticking with them until they are all published is ROUGH. The only series I was able to follow like that was Harry Potter. The first 4 appeared in my library in my room, I got the 5th one the day it came out, I lost track around the 6th book (because it took forever) and then got the 7th book the day it came out. Even with Harry Potter though, I still forgot about it. There are so many book series I am in the middle of that I need to just get the next book but I forget about them. However, I do enjoy reading a series after all the books have been published. Then I get to read them the way books are meant to be read, quickly and with lack of sleep.

I swear I have a point in this post. Sweet Evil! This book is by Wendy Higgins. The first of a trilogy if you haven’t put that together yet. We meet this girl, Anna. She has a best friend, who is a dude, typical YA things. She’s adopted, we learn and is being raised by someone straight out of the 50’s in parenting style. Her adoptive mom is named Patti and she is typical over-worrying mom. 

Turns out, she had plenty of reason to worry because we soon learn that Anna is a nephilim and has a demon for a dad and we get started on a wild ride. We meet Kaiden, who is also a nephilim and 100% trouble. Obviously, he is the love interest and equally parts bad to Anna’s good.  Sweet Evil is a journey to Anna discovering who she is and meeting her biological father (duke of substance abuse) and also trying to stay away from Kaiden’s dad (duke of lust) because of reasons. It’s really great and keeps you hooked. It’s also good for a second read. Plus it is the kickoff to a great series. There is demons, angels, prophecies and character development. (The most important thing!) 

At some points, Anna does seem too”good, like it almost unbelievable for a person but that is the ONLY flaw I have in the book. 

My rating? 8/10 & I would still reread it. 

Currently- July Edition

General- It is too hot to even think about going outside so we are attempting to learn the art of staying inside the house and finding fun things to do inside. We have been reorganizing and moving some things around at home so we feel like we have brand new spaces! So that is pretty cool. We took a trip up to Washington to visit some family and tried the BEST donuts ever. Plus we got to scooter all around town. It was a blast. I have awesome family and watching Little Man play with my cousin’s kids was pure joy.  

Reading– I’m currently reading The Bookish Boyfriends A Date with Darcy. I started reading it on the plane to Washington and haven’t picked it up since. I haven’t been reading like I was. It’s a roller coaster ride, my reading habits, a lot of ups and downs. Give me some book recommendations though! I’m always looking for a new book to read. Although, my shelves are filling quickly with more books I haven’t read than books I have. 

Listening– I just finished Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen and I am starting the second book in the series, Saving Quinton. I read her series with Callie & Kayden and LOVED the books. Her books do have trigger themes in them and I really wish book descriptions had trigger warnings sometimes. While I’m normally okay, I wasn’t 100% prepared so it was a little jarring at first. In fact, I was even considering not finishing the series after Breaking Nova but I loved the ending and I needed to know what happens next. There is a lot of redemption in her books, so I have hope. At least, Callie & Kayden had redemption. This month I also finished Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson. I bought the actual book years ago at a book fair and loved it. It’s a cute YA for when you don’t want to deal with adult problems. 

Watching– I’m still working my way through the West Wing. I stopped watching Designated Survivor. A friend said Netflix ruined the show with the 3rd season and when she gave me the reasons it was ruined, I no longer wanted to watch the show. No point in watching something to have to skip a season. I started Criminal Minds though! My best friend and I used to binge watch her seasons on DVD. Hotch is my favorite. I’m so psychology obsesses and curious that I wish I knew that this was a job possibility when I was in high school, before I discovered writing, because maybe I’d be working my way to the BAU myself. (Lol)

Writing– ALL THE PAPERS. I haven’t really been writing anything outside of school stuff and journaling. Oh, and some blog posts (duh!). The one thing that is keeping me going is that I have had another professor tell me that my paper was the best one they got so that gives me hope for my writing. This week, I got the comment “Excellent paper, as usual,” which makes me happy and smile. Seriously, it makes me think I actually know what I’m doing when I write. You gotta take the victories when you can, you know?

Other– I’m working on a project I’m hoping to announce soon. I’ve also started doing a bible study with my friends and we just did our first week and it was really cool to see how different parts of a single chapter of the Bible had different parts that stood out to all of us differently. I’m trying this thing were I go to bed before midnight and we are trying to not have our power bill look like a car payment. This summer has been really interesting and fun and I’m kind of excited to see what is going to happen next in our lives. 

Currently- June Edition

General- we are getting a small reprieve from the desert heat. We’ll apparently stay in the 90’s this weekend. Am I going to talk about the weather every single time I do one of these? Probably- it is too hot to function and someone needs to know. 

Outside of that things have been pretty chaotic around here. Hubby just got back from army training and while you might think having him home would just mean things would go back to normal when he got home, you’d be wrong. It’s like rediscovering our groove. This training about about 4 weeks so I had 4 weeks of making my own decisions without input or feedback, my own schedule and my own things. Now, I’m back at work, hubby is back at work, our schedules are wack and why does the army need to do training anyway? Hahaha. It probably didn’t help that he was home for about five seconds before we packed the car and headed to California for another Universal Studios trip. Basically my life is a mess this week and I’m just rolling with it. 

That being said, I will be taking a week off from the blog. Next week there will be no blog posts because I am going to sit down, focus on a set schedule and start things on a new project. Plus it is the last week of term so it will be nice to be able to be able to put all my writing energy into my final papers.   

Reading– I finally finished Girl, Wash Your Face! Also, in the past month I have read the Sweet Evil trilogy by Wendy Higgins. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, and I feel like I am forgetting one. Maybe I’m not. I’ve been picking up my reading game! I’m almost back to where I used to be a few years ago when I used to inhale books. It was good times. I’ve also been really into audiobooks lately. So I’m going to do a listening section.

Listening– I finished the Dark Elements series I was listening to back in May. I also listened to the Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (P.S. she is my FAV author). Currently I’m listening to Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West. (I inhaled every single book she had available at my library last year in three weeks. Love her!) I also have started to listen to podcasts more often! Currently I’m really into Rise by Rachel Hollis and Live Free Creative by Miranda Anderson. I’ve been following Miranda on Instagram for a year or so now, she is super inspiring and is very good at giving practical steps to problems. Rachel Hollis is awesome and I loved her book so listening to her podcasts just gives me the same motivation and feelings her book did, so it’s all good stuff. 

Watching– Descendants & Descendants 2! Hubby and I ran across the first one right before the second one was released a few years ago (maybe last year?) and fell in love with the movies. Disney movies just have a way of sucking you in. We had some of the songs on a playlist we made last year. I pulled up this playlist to listen to in the car one day, one of the songs from the soundtrack came on and my son has been asking for the “chill song” (Chillin’ like a Villain) ever since. So, we bought the movies and have been keeping it on repeat while we are home. In my heart lives a 5 year old. I’m okay with it.

I’m still hooked on Designated Survivor and am almost done with the first season. I’m also watching the West Wing. Basically, I love dialogue driven political shows. Oh, and technically I watch Friends every night sooooo that is what I am watching.

Writing– A lot of drafts of my papers for my classes this term! Gosh, I am writing more for those than I am writing for myself. Last month I mentioned I was pulling out a project I set aside 6 years ago. Well, I put that project back on the shelf and now I am working on another project I started, this one was about 4 years ago, and stopped for whatever reason. It is sort of a memoir project, but I know that is what I need to be writing right now so I dusted off that project and now I’m working on it from the beginning. Instead of editing the almost 20,000 words I had, I’m just started from the beginning and using the first draft, I guess you could call it, as a bouncing point. I’m working from a different angle this time so I am really excited to see where it goes. 

Other– I’m getting ready for our 4th of July BBQ. Independence Day is my favorite holiday and I light all the sparklers. This year is my first year having a backyard and a grill and all the adult things that makes having parties easier. (Apartments and parties are a tad rough. At least my old apartment was.) So I’ll be writing about that one soon, after my birthday party & book launch party I still need to write about. I just like parties, okay. I went to event planning school for a reason. 🙂 

Tell me what is going on in your life! I love writing posts like this, seeing all the details of my life in the current state. It’s pretty cool.