Friday, June 15, 2018


Happy Friday all! I'm only working a half day today, we are off on a little road trip for KC's cousin's wedding. I am excited because we always have fun with them and it's going to be a big shindig apparently - but in super small town USA, which is a bit of a contradiction I reckon? I don't know. Should be fun.

TBR - Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana was on Tuesday and I added a bunch of books to my TBR. It's actually been awhile since I have added more than a couple of books on a SUYB day - don't know why, but there were so many books this time that sounded good, so on the TBR they hopped. 
Also, the other day, I went a little nutty on Netgalley, as you do, and if you're on it, the new Jodi Picoult and the new Kate Morton are on there! Fingers crossed the netgalley gods grant me all the books.

Grateful - for our trip next month! Unfortunately I accidentally spoiled the surprise, or KC guessed something was going on and I have the worst poker face/ability to lie when I'm really excited about something. So now he knows we are going to Vegas for our 5 year anniversary. We went to Vegas for our honeymoon and it was great and we loved it. This will be my 5th trip to Vegas, it's my most visited city besides Louisville, Sydney & Melbourne and I don't think any of those count since I lived in all those places. But anyway. I'm excited. If you know me, you know I love to plan like crazy and I have planned zero things for this trip. Besides flight and hotel of course. I just want to go and relax, maybe see a show, do some shopping, eat lots of food. I've been there so many times I feel like I've done the majority of things you're 'supposed to do'. Eating, shopping & hanging out at the pool are my favourite activities anyway. We don't gamble and I haven't been to a club since my first visit. There's so much to do besides drinking and gambling, though yes of course there's plenty of that too.

I made the switch - Blogger was pissing me off so I made the switch to Disqus. If blogger fixes it, I might go back, but the switch was really easy. The only issue I had was importing old comments - it took 8 tries and when it finally worked, I can't respond to them (which makes sense in hindsight). But there you go. I didn't want to switch to Disqus because I like responding to comments via email, but I suppose I still can if I want to, or if I want to have a more private conversation with someone.

Favourite Recipe - I have made cauliflower rice before but it's not enough bang for your buck, I reckon. Heather sent me this recipe a couple weeks ago (I think?) and it inspired me to try it again. Full disclaimer, I took the lazy way in every way.  I used frozen cauliflower rice, a bag of peas & carrots, onions, 1 egg and sesame oil. I don't know if it was because it was so easy that I liked it better than when I made it last time, but I wanted to eat the entire thing. I mean, the cauliflower rice was like 80 calories for the whole bag, so why not. The oil is crazy high in calories though - not that I count calories, but I am always aware of what I'm putting in my food. I just had it vegetarian - protein from peas and the egg in case you're worried about my protein intake, wink. I don't like tofu and shrimp is a pain in the butt to cook (or I just suck at it) so maybe next time I will throw in some chickpeas or an extra egg. KC would not eat this because he'd have to eat 2 chicken breasts with it just to fill him up, so I'd rather use normal rice on him (fried rice is one of our go-to meals). I am not cutting out carbs, don't worry, I just eat a lot of carbs every day, so I figured a little cutting back won't hurt.

Anywho. Happy Friday! Have you been to Vegas? Are you a fan?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

10 things I don't suck at

I find it extremely easy to come up with things I suck at but it took me longer to think of 10 things I don't suck at. As in, I started this post right after the things I suck at post and it's taken me this long to find 10 things I don't suck at.

1. Drinking water. I used to hate water and then about 10 years ago just forced myself to drink it all the time, and now I have no issues. I never have to try to get the appropriate amount of water, I never have to trick myself or flavour my water, it's never a goal of mine to drink more water. I like plain tap water, preferably room temp. I will say drinking out of a bottle with the straw so I don't have to tip the bottle up? Genius. Makes an easy thing even easier.

2. Remembering song lyrics. If it's a favourite song, I can probably write the lyrics out on command (and did, during my year 10 exams, who needs to answer questions and write essays? Here's some song lyrics instead). If it's just a song I used to like 10 years ago, I can sing along immediately and be slightly amazed that I can't remember if I locked my car but I can remember the lyrics to this random song.

3. Parallel parking or reversing into a spot. I'm not amazing at parallel parking but as long as there's no angry person behind me beeping, I'm golden. It's kind of a skill you have to learn in Sydney, I think.

4. Typing. I am a fast typer. I taught myself when I had a computer and no internet, just word pad. I would listen to songs on the radio and try to type the lyrics in time with the song.

5. Sleeping through the night. Ha! Like I'm a baby. But seriously. I take longer than I'd like to fall asleep, but once I am asleep, I am asleep. I rarely wake up in the middle of the night, never need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If something wakes me, I can usually get straight back to sleep.

6. Flip cup. Okay, I am not the best flip cup player ever. But I only played it for the first time when I moved here, and I am pretty darn good. Not amazing. Definitely not. But 100% times better than my attempts at beer pong.

7. Guessing what people are going to say in movies/tv shows. I find this extremely entertaining, I only do it when KC can hear me because I'd wager it would be annoying. Basically what I mean is I have watched so many movies/tv shows that I know when someone will say something predictable and I say it before they do.

8. Remembering and spouting off weird fun facts even if I've told you them a thousand times. I love fun facts. Did you know 90% of the world's disco balls have been made in Louisville? Did you know Southwest uses their own employees in their commercials? Did you know there is no Q in any of America's state names? Did you know your ears and nose never stop growing? Did you know no number before the number one thousand has the letter A in it? Did you know movie trailers used to be played after the movie? Get it, trailing the movie... I've always called them previews though. I also love sharing American vs Australian fun facts - meaning if something comes up, if there is an equivalent or random Australian story, I will share it.

9. Being on time. On time is late. I will be there 5-10 minutes early unless it is 100% out of my control and then I will apologise 75 times. I can't always control the people I am with though, so I've learned to let go and stop trying to herd everyone like cattle. Apparently it's annoying?

^ did you know she makes like $47 million a year?

10. Giving up on TV shows. I mentioned that I suck at giving up on books, but I do not have that problem with TV shows. Off the top of my head, here are some shows I started semi recently and never finished: beauty and the beast, jane the virgin, game of thrones, parenthood, arrow, supernatural, once upon a time, mr robot, twin peaks, suits, the shannara chronicles, the 100, vampire diaries, orange is the new black, doctor who, greys anatomy, scandal, pretty little liars, new girl, mad men, gossip girl, dark matter, castle, and most recently, ozark. Some of them I definitely plan on one day catching up, but most of them I have no desire to. Further example: I never finished Downton Abbey, recently restarted it a few months ago and have already fizzled out again. It's not intentional or anything against the show, I just have a really short attention span and more often than not, I end up picking up a book. I do want to finish it though, so I will.. eventually.

I am really proud that I made this list and didn't include reading. Because, you guys, I really don't suck at that. High five to me.

What do you not suck at?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Books Lately

Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I mentioned the other day I've been reading a lot (what else is new) but I don't share everything I read because a) some books don't warrant a mention and b) I read a lot of romance and I know that's not everyone's jam. If it's yours, lets be friends on goodreads!

Not That I Could Tell - Jessica Strawser
woman disappears after a night with neighbours and drinking

This was not 'couldn't put it down' until about 20%, and then I was all in. I really liked the characters and the writing, I didn't see the ending coming. It's not exactly 'thrilling' more of a what the heck happened - though there was one point that I was on the edge of my seat scared for a character - so as long as you don't go into it expecting that, you'll be good. Overall it was really enjoyable.

Received from Netgalley (I also bought it via BOTM before I was approved from Netgalley)
Kate Daniels series - Ilona Andrews
paranormal romance (magic and shapeshifters)

I try not to talk about romance books too much during this link up, but the romance part of this series doesn't start until (highlight for spoiler) book 4. That being said, the hint is there so if that's not your jam, scram. But if you like paranormal romance, I recommend. It was harder to get into than their Hidden Legacy trilogy, but once I got into the second one, I couldn't stop. I am currently up to book #7. The 10th and last comes out in August.

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty
something happens at a barbecue, everyone feels guilty

I love Liane Moriarty's books but this was not my favourite. The secret really drags out and then when you do find out, it's a teeny anticlimactic. That being said, once you find out, things start to make sense and I really enjoyed it. Like I said, I love her writing so perhaps I am biased. I will read anything she writes.
This Is How It Always Is - Laurie Frankel
story about a family, youngest child is transgender

This is the one Gina and I decided on this time. I have mixed feelings about this one and I cannot articulate them. It's definitely not an easy book to read. Sometimes I liked the writing, sometimes I didn't. I liked the characters but didn't connect with any of them 100%. I feel like some things were unrealistic. I feel like if certain things were different, this would have been a more 'powerful' story, but perhaps that is unfair of me. I don't know. Overall, I liked it. This would make a fantastic book club book if you don't mind talking about heavy topics. Thought provoking for sure.
The Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin Harmel

DNF. I tried. I don't know if it was the book, me or a wrong time kind of thing. Either way, I exercised my right to give up and give up I did.

Received from Netgalley.

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) & Us Against You

Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

If you're a romance fan, here are a few I enjoyed recently:
Simply Irresistible (I love Jill Shalvis so much) / Walk of ShameIdol & Managed / Making Up

TL;DR - I recommend Not That I Could Tell and This Is How It Always Is.

Before the next link up, Gina and I are going to read Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah if you want to join us!

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

May 2018 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it.

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In May:

We used our new grill a bunch:

I did a big closet clean out and watched Millie jump up to the top of my closet 3 times before finally making her stop. By 'jump up' I mean she jumped, grabbed on to my clothes, ripped a bunch off hangers as she struggled to claw her way up to the shelf where she would bite me if I tried to get her down. Ah, cats. Gotta love 'em.

Speaking of cats, I took a lot of photos of them because I really am quite obsessed with them.

^ In the bottom right, you can see Penny's new favourite thing to do while I am eating - she sits on the arm of the couch or on top of the couch behind my head purring as loud as can be, like she thinks she's a dog and I'm going to give her food. Even if I did give my cats human food, which I don't, Penny has the most finicky stomach and would probably puke on my the second I did. She's so weird.

Moving on. We did a couple of house projects - or rather, finished two and started another. The last one really wasn't necessary and more of a 'fun' thing, so when life got in the way we deserted it. I'm sure we will finish it in June, or maybe July. I will share when we do, of course.

^ Backsplash, finally! The middle project is probably the one I'm in love with the most, I get so obsessed with little things when I have an idea and finally do it. I really dislike our bathrooms but they are pretty low on the renovation priority list, so to help out with the lack of storage or just the lack-of-love for the bathrooms, I bought some spice racks from ikea and installed them on the side of what is essentially our linen closet. I put my skincare/hair stuff in them and I love it so much. The unfinished project has to do with the wall in the bottom right, it's behind our back door which is the entry we use daily.

In May, I went running and to the gym quite consistently if I do say so myself.

We also celebrated my brother in law's marriage at a BBQ at his new in-laws place, though I have no photos of said celebration, so here's a photo of another day where we hung out in their backyard and ate 32 degrees.

Finally, I read a lot in May, because what else is new.

You'll notice Penny is the only cat who is ever pictured with me while reading because she's the only one who likes to hang out with me 24/7. If I am sitting or laying down, she would like to be sitting with or on top of me. Chelsea prefers KC (but will follow me around or allow me to pick her up as long as I'm moving) and Millie hates everyone all the time unless you're in the bathroom then she's your bestie.

If you'd like to link up, please do so below.

So that's what I got up into May. What's new with you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I dog ear my pages (and other bookish confessions)

I shared on instagram the other day (as in September) that I do something horrible that book lovers aren't supposed to do... Gasp. So I thoughout I'd share other bookish confessions.

As you can guess from the title, I dog ear pages vs using bookmarks. I have never used bookmarks. I've tried, I own a bunch of bookmarks, but my cats either play with them or I lose them. I read too many books to also keep track of bookmarks. Sometimes I'll use a scrap of paper instead, but a dog ear is always readily available, other things aren't. I never do this to books that are not mine.

I read in the bath or over any other body of water. I have never dropped a book in the water, but I am not careful and almost all of my books have a little bit of water damage. 

I shove my books in my bag or into bookshelves or in between couch cushions. I throw them on the bed or on the couch and they bounce off. I will often grab a book out of where I shoved it to see bent covers or pages. Oops.

I purposely break the spines so they are easier to lay flat or hold.

I eat over my books. I know lots of people do this, but I am not a neat eater so my books have food stains on them. I spill things, wipe it away, move on.

I do not write in my books and I do not like when I buy a book that has been written in. It's not because I'm all oh no I can't believe someone wrote in my pretty new book, but because it takes me out of the book, and if you write in a book, you should keep it. 

I don't hate movie covers. It's just a cover. If the normal book and movie cover were side by side, same price, I would buy the normal one. If the movie one was cheaper, or the only option, it would not stop me buying it.

I don't care if my covers match, or if all the books in a series are the same type. I own paperbacks in the first 3 of The Lunar Chronicles, but I was not waiting to read Winter so I bought the hard cover. I don't care.

I'm a sucker for a good cover. I will read books with crappy covers, but if a book sounds meh but the cover is gorgeous? Sign me up.

I skim. Oh, I am a little ashamed to admit this one, don't judge me! But if I am reading a book and the author is over explaining something, I'm gonna skim it. I'm sure the hills are real nice and pretty, and I'm sure all those songs in The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings were super important but guess what, I still got the gist of the story. I don't do this with every book or every page, I only do it when nothing is happening and the author is talking about how pretty the sky is for 75 pages.

I am horrible at returning library books on time. Oops.They sit in my car for days.

I am intimidated really easily by smart people and smart books, classics and things you might have read in college or high school.

I don't love bookstores. I feel bad saying that. I love books and love looking at them, but I don't love people, and I would rather look at books alone. I always feel overwhelmed and it's hard to browse. That doesn't mean I don't go into them, but not as often as I imagine other book lovers do.

My bookshelf is overflowing. Isn't everyone's?

I don't really organise my real shelves. All of my Austen books are together, all of my unread books are together, series books are together but other than that, nada. No alphabetising, not by genre or colour, nothing.

I have no desire to write a book. I feel like a lot of book lovers I know are also writers or want to be. That's fine, that's not me. Sometimes I get ideas that I wish were books but I figure someone talented will one day write it. I am not a good writer, I am a good reader.

I would 100% NOT ever want to read books for a living. Unless of course I just got paid to read what I want when I want, with zero requirements or actual work to be done.

In defense of dog earing pages and other things I do to books, I love when my books look loved and read. I love buying a second hand book and seeing that it was loved. I treat books with respect when they aren't mine. If I lend you a book and you get food on it, I don't care (as long as you wipe it off, gross), I don't care if you dog ear the pages. As long as I can still read it, I don't care. I rarely lend books though, because in real life people don't want to read my favourite books, and if they aren't my favourites I don't expect them back so I never see how people treat them.

Do you have any bookish confessions?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Link Up Reminder

Hello all - just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 7th is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me!

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Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 - 6/12 - June Goals

Hello June! I am insanely happy you are here. The weather has been beautiful lately - okay, not the last couple of days, but the last few weeks, absolutely gorgeous. Bring on the heat. I want more.

Last month I made 2 goals so I could just focus on them. It half worked? I went to the gym consistently, more than I have in a few months, though I definitely have room for improvement. Eating healthy was hit or miss, but mostly hit I would say.

The other goal was money related - no solo eating out, no buying books and no unnecessary expenditure. Failed spectacularly. 

This month, I want to focus on money. That's it. Of course I still want to go to the gym, eat well, paint my nails and catch up on netgalley books. But none of them need the focus that my expenditure does. And it really needs my focus.

So for June:

No unnecessary expenditure.

I have a quick girls trip this weekend, a wedding out of town in two weeks, a very expensive oral surgery. This will not be a cheap month, but there is no need for it to spiral out of control, which it will if I buy things I don't need, eat out instead of make my lunch, etc. 

In order to meet my goal, I am going to stay off the internet. Ha, jk. But I am not going to open any emails tempting me to buy things, I will not window shop. I will survive if a book goes on sale - it will likely go on sale again before I get around to reading it. I am going to pack my lunches and try to make cheap meals for dinner. Our girls trip includes Ikea, I can be sensible and not buy everything I see. We don't really have any social things planned besides the things I mentioned, so hopefully no extra money spent there. I can't think of anything extra I can do to stop spending money, but I am sure there are ways I can save money. 

Every dollar saved can go to something important, so it will be worth it.

Do you have any favourite cheap meals? Nothing super crazy like two minute noodles, but like a step up from that.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

While I'm waiting

I have a..... problem isn't the right word, but we'll use it for now - I have a problem with the way I live my life. I've always been like this. I wait for things. I prefer to say I look forward to things. I love looking forward to things. The idea of not having something to look forward to terrifies me. They can be big things - moving to America, going on a trip home, buying a house, going to Europe - or they can be smaller things - losing weight, fixing my skin, waiting for a new book to be released.

I have no issues with this waiting/looking forward to things. I quite like it. The problem part is when you're not in control of the thing you're waiting for. Money stops me from travelling, travelling stops me from buying a house because I'm spending all my money. Fixing my skin takes time, losing weight means more exercise and less bad food. I am in control of all of those things though. I can not eat the bad food, I can go for a run, I can stop spending money on stupid stuff so I can spend it on XYZ.

When it's out of my control.. I can't do anything. I don't like that. So I wait. I can't look forward to it because it keeps escaping my grasp and it feels like torture to look forward to something that's not happening.

^ all 3 cats in the same space without trying to each other had to be documented

When we first started trying to conceive, I didn't think I would ever really share it on here. People deal with it all the time and I was completely prepared for it to take some time, didn't expect for it to happen overnight. I am not talking about it now because I have been diagnosed with anything - I haven't. I am not talking about it because we've been trying for several years - we haven't. I am not talking about it because I think I am a special snowflake who is the only person to ever struggle to conceive - I know I am not. I'm talking about it because it's always on my mind,  and what's a blog for if not to talk about what's on my mind?

When I say it's always on my mind, I mean it's in my head pretty much all the time. I don't stress about it, so please don't tell me to stop stressing. I know people mean well when they say things like that, but if it were that easy, if that were the simple fix, I would be pregnant. I am not a stressed person, I do not worry about things like I used to. A lot of that has to do with my mum having a stroke - the shit that used to stress me out just doesn't bother me anymore. It put everything into perspective. So I do not think I am a stressed person. 

I have no idea what is wrong, if there is even anything wrong with me. All I know is that I am not pregnant but I am doing everything I am 'supposed' to be doing. I am not yet at the stage where I want to or feel the need to see a specialist, though I am nearing it.

I am not at the point where I begrudge other people for getting pregnant - I do not know their stories. I am happy for people when they announce their pregnancies, when they share stuff about their kids. But I am definitely at the point where it hurts more than I am comfortable with. That's not their fault, it's mine. I don't know how to stop the hurt. If I ever hurt or resent people more than I happy for them, I will have to do something about it. But I don't think I will because I can separate myself and my situation and be happy for them while being sad for myself. I used to seek out baby related everything, now I avoid it. Not people sharing their pregnancies or whatever, but I do not actively search for things like I used to. What used to be a fun way to pass the waiting is now another knife to twist.

I am not 100% comfortable talking about this - which is stupid, why are you sharing it on your blog Kristen? Because I feel like I need to. Not for anyone else. For me. Because this is impacting my life. I am sad. I am waiting. I feel like I am in limbo, waiting for this to happen. I am scared it won't happen. I know we are very early into this journey and other people tried for years and years. I don't want to act like my situation is as bad, but surely I can also say hey this sucks and I would like a virtual hug please.

When I am waiting for something and it feels so far out of my reach, I can get so despondent about it, so what's the point of anything when this one thing is never going to happen. I know that's ridiculous. I know I shouldn't feel that way but I am not sure how to get out of it. This is not exclusive to our TTC journey, I have felt this way about other things in my life. The difference is, I either got over it or accomplished the thing. This feeling has never lasted so long before and I am struggling.

I am not expecting something to magically make me feel better about this, but I need to focus on other things, I think. I will still think about this, but that's inevitable.

^ who needs a baby when I have a Millie

So that's the point of this post, to say hello, here's what's going on with me, this is why I have been such a (real life and internet) hermit lately because I don't want to people, so let's focus on some other things.

Other things:

- Paying off debt. I've been too loosey goosey with money lately. We are *this* close to paying off a big thing but other things have been neglected while we were paying off that thing, so now need to focus back on those things.

- Lose weight. I've been eating my feelings like you would not believe. I need to stop, I need to get back to the gym more consistently. I made a real effort in May and it 100% made a difference for me, mentally, emotionally, all the allys. I am unhappy with myself right now, so I would like to be happy. I don't think a number will magically make me happy, but fitting in my clothes and not feeling like a sack of shit should help.

- House stuff. House stuff is so fun! Because I've been too lax with money, some of the exterior things we wanted to do likely won't happen this year, but we've been doing other things inside. I didn't plan the big exterior stuff properly anyway, but we might still get a couple things done.

- Cut back on shopping. I am still comfortable with the state of my shopping addiction, but lately I've been making myself feel better by buying things. Not really clothes or whatever like I used to, but books, house stuff, makeup or skincare (because I 'need' it). I am not in danger of being super addicted again, but in order to pay off debt and do stuff around the house, I need to stop wasting money.

- Blog more. I like to blog. I like to read blogs. I cut back lately because I feel like I have nothing to say, but it's a way to entertain myself, keep busy and it's an outlet.

- Self care. Don't love the term self care, but love the idea of it. Nothing crazy, but taking the time to actually take care of myself will do wonders I am sure.

- Be positive. I am naturally a negative person. I've been working on being a positive person for like 6 years and I will always be a work in progress. I can feel myself slipping into negativity lately and I do not like it.

- Braces. Surprise, starting that awesome (expensive) journey at 31. On one hand I feel too old, on the other, I have (hopefully) a long time left with my teeth so... this should be fun.

- A secret trip. KC normally does not read my blog without my permission, so he better not see this. I have a surprise trip planned in July and it's the perfect thing to look forward to.

Maybe other things:

- Read less. I don't know how much I want to commit to this one, if at all. You all know I love to read and I read a lot. But I feel like I am using it as a crutch lately, I constantly have my head in a book and I ignore reality. Exercise, self care and being a productive human are all suffering because of it, but I am coping, so... I'm not sure.

I am all for feeling things and letting myself go through the phases of life naturally. I normally give myself grace to feel like shit and get over it. I am aware that I get in funks, I go up and down. I am fine with that. The reason I am trying to get myself out now is because I am not comfortable feeling this way for as long as I have and for who knows how long in the future. I don't want to put so much pressure on getting pregnant, like it's the magical thing that will make my life perfect and make me happy. That's too much pressure for any one thing.

I mentioned that I am not 100% comfortable sharing this or talking about it, and that is because I am sensitive and get aggravated when people say things even though they mean well. Unfair, I know. But also because I am just not normally one to share big things like this, I like to deal with them in my own little bubble. I have a friend I've been unloading all my feelings off on, and of course I have KC. It's good to have these people and this support, but I am starting to feel like a burden, you know? Or a broken record. I realised I need some help, some outlet, some other way to get this off my chest. So here it is, off my chest.

So yeah. That's what's going on with me lately. Hit me with your best self care ideas.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spotify: recently added vol. 2

Like I mentioned last time, I have 2 spotify playlists - one is my 'P&P' playlist which started off with the soundtrack from the 2005 version and now has a bunch of instrumental songs. I love listening to it during the week (Mon-Thurs) or when I want music in the background without words to distract me. My other playlist is my 'Fun' playlist which is for Fridays, the gym, driving etc. It currently has 980 songs, and it's quite a variety. I love coming across new songs and re-discovering old songs.

Here's a few I've added recently:

Work Song - Hozier y'all, I am hardcore obsessed with this song and I don't even know why. How did I discover it? One of my favourite authors, Kristen Ashley, mentions a lot of songs in her books. I normally know them, or if I don't, I check them out and move on. This one though, I listened to it, thought eh whatever, didn't exactly love the book and the song didn't speak to me. But then it was in my head and I listened to it again.. and again.. and again. Last Friday, I listened to this on repeat all day and that is zero exaggeration. I'm sure I'll get sick of it soon but there's just something about it I love.
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I'll crawl home to her

Theme from Rawhide & Everybody Needs Somebody to Love - from The Blues Brothers - 'nuff said, yeah?

(Marie's the Name of) His Latest Flame & Viva Las Vegas - Elvis - I had a bunch of Elvis songs on my playlist already but somehow I was missing these two! Viva Las Vegas is one of my 'guilty pleasure' movies, as in it's absolutely awful and I've seen it about 75 times and know the entire soundtrack off by heart.

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window - Patti Page - yes but how much is the freaking dog you guys. I've been asking that question my entire life. Also, I think it's funny that this is in a video game, one I know KC has played.

The Weakness In Me - Joan Armatrading - I remember this song from the 10 Things I Hate About You movie. I suck with remembering quotes from TV shows or movies and I'm always slightly amazed when people pull one or several out from a movie they saw 5 years ago. I can't even quote P&P or Beauty & the Beast and I've seen them hundreds of times (I can quote when they are on, like talk along with them, but not from memory). But I can tell you exactly what movie/TV show/TV commercial I heard a certain song in, even if it was years ago. I associate a lot of songs with movies or the like. I don't know why.

Love Really Hurts Without You & Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car - Billy Ocean - someone at work said something about get out of my car and I was like, like the song! and then obsessively listened to these two songs for 2 weeks.

That's Freedom - John Farnham & Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel - let me tell you how much I hated everything Australian when I lived there, now all of a sudden I'm like go Australia and the other day I added so many Australian artists and songs so I could cry at work (it was a good day...).

I even added Waltzing Matilda you guys. It was a homesick kind of day. Thank goodness I still call Australia home isn't on Spotify, otherwise I'd be listening and crying every day. As it is, I occasionally listen to My Island Home (Christine Anu's version) and the first part goes

Six years I've lived in the city 
And every night I dream of the sea 
They say home is where you find it 
Will this place ever satisfy me 

and I find it fitting I re-discovered it just after my 6 year expat-iversary.

And okay, I'm done now. Do you know any of these songs?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Books Lately

Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I had a bit of a lacklustre bunch of books since the last link up. One of my 'couldn't put 'em down' books was actually one I read a couple of months ago. Oh well, can't win 'em all. 

How to Walk Away - Katherine Center
woman comes to terms with her life after an accident, who & what really matters

I actually read this back in March but wanted to wait until closer to the release date to share. On her website, it says she writes bittersweet comic novels about how we get back up after life has knocked us down and that hits the nail on the head with this book. It made me laugh, it made me teary, it made me feel all the feels. It was so heartbreaking and realistic and I highly recommend. Comes out May 15th. Loved it so much I bought it via BOTM.
Received from Netgalley.
Arrogant Devil - R.S. Grey
enemies to lovers romantic comedy

It's no secret I am a huge fan of R.S. Grey and will read anything she writes. I enjoyed this one more than The Beau & the Belle, but not as much as The Duet. I find this one very hard to rate or talk about because I love her books, so I am biased, but compared to others I've read lately, this one didn't hit all the marks? But it did for an R.S. Grey book? I don't know. I'll just leave it at that, if this sounds like your jam, you can pre-order it for 99 cents (it will go up on release day, which is May 10th). It will also be on KU when released, if you have that.

Received ARC from author.

My Oxford Year - Julie Whelan
girl goes to oxford for a year, me before you-ish

I did enjoy this one - it's a 'romance' but that part is skipped over very quickly. The synopsis says 'for fans of Nicholas Sparks and JoJo Moyes' so that should tell you the kind of book it is, emotionally. Though I did enjoy it, something was missing for me. It felt like it was trying very hard to be the next Me Before You. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I didn't hate it.
Received copy from Edelweiss.
What Happened - Hillary Rodham Clinton
i'd wager the title and author make this pretty self explanatory

I'll be completely honest, this was a bloody hard book to read. It made me very emotional. I am not a citizen so I could not vote, but I do live here and the election showed me that I need to be more informed and involved. This was interesting, at times dry or boring but that's the nature of non-fiction for me. Most of the time it just brought up feelings I had the morning I woke up after the election. If you are interested, I recommend. 
The Dry - Jane Harper
man goes back home when friend dies, old mysteries resurface

Ok, this one is hard for me to rate or put in a category, I did read it super fast but only because I procrastinated and left it until the very last minute before book club (as in, I finished it at the book club meeting, oops). I was definitely disappointed and expecting it to be more Australian (pickup truck and liquor shop, really? womp) but I didn't guess a thing and it was well written. I'll be checking out the second, though I've heard it's not as amazing.
Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin - Mariana Zapata
slow burn romance, girl goes on tour with brother's band

So, when you read an older book by an author you are slightly obsessed with, your expectations will be way too high and you may also allow things to slide that you wouldn't from a different author.. or maybe that's just me. I loved this because it was MZ. It was not my favourite of hers, the writing was not what I've come to expect and there is no way anything will ever beat Winnipeg for me. That being said, it was cute and I liked it.

Had to share that photo I took while reading this book in case you missed it on Instagram - perfect timing Penny. 
Unbury Carol - Josh Malerman
girl dies all the time, husband buries her alive for money

I loved Bird Box - I thought it was terrifying, though I know a lot of people weren't fans. I had high expectations for this one, but it fell flat right away. I almost DNF'd but curiosity killed the cat and all that. Clearly, if the synopsis says something along the lines of 'girl dies all the time but it doesn't stick' I need to stay far, far away. It doesn't seem to work for me.
Received from Netgalley.

Still struggling through The Room on Rue Amélie. Also reading Truly Madly Guilty for book club.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.
Life According to Steph

If you're a romance fan, here are a few I enjoyed recently:

Forbidden Hearts series (yes, the covers and titles are ridic - I kept putting them off for this reason, but these were so well written, diverse realistic characters, funny, love love loved them) The Kiss Quotient (Okay, sorry this doesn't come out until June, but trust - add it to your TBR. It was adorable, kind of like Eleanor Olipant and The Rosie Project - but way more romancey) / Pretty Face (I am officially a Lucy Parker fangirl)Rock Kiss series (again with the ridiculous titles and covers, loved these).

Alexandra, Heather and Rachelle read Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin along with Gina and I this month, I hope we all enjoyed the book! Our next choice is This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel if anyone wants to read it with us before the next link up.

TL;DR - I recommend How to Walk Away, fo sho. Unless you 100% hate any kind of even the smallest bit of romance, ever, you hard hearted grinch, you. But seriously. I recommend. Add it to your TBR, or don't. I dig it.

Read anything decent lately?