Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! I have a couple good books to share today even though I'm not fully back to my normal reading self. I'm sure I'll get back there eventually, I'm all about not forcing it.

A Woman Is No Man - Etaf Rum
three generations of palestinian women in brooklyn
I really hemmed and hawed over the category to put this book under - because it took me 4 and 1/2 months to read, it was the opposite of couldn't put it down. I started it in a not so great place of my life and didn't pick it up for weeks at a time (mainly because I didn't feel like reading and when I did, I wanted comfort and this is not that book). Finally, I picked it back up and flew through the second half. The topic of this book makes it hard to read so I doubt it'll be a finish-in-one-sitting for anyone. I don't know how much my 'meh-ness' with the first half of the book was me and how much was the book... I think mostly me. I really enjoyed the second half, if a book stomping all over your heart can be enjoyed. It broke my heart. So even though it took me ages and I didn't *love* the writing/first half, it goes up here and I do recommend it.
Ask Again, Yes - Mary Beth Keane
family drama
Read this for book club, it went over fairly well-ish. I had heard great things so perhaps my expectations were a bit high. I thought it was written really well. Definitely more character driven than plot driven, which I am normally okay with except in this one I feel like it needed just a tiny bit more of a plot, or fewer characters... I like character driven books but I feel like this one had too many characters to really connect to any of them properly. Though, perhaps that was the point, it was more of an overall look at their lives rather than a close up of a short period. I thought certain things could have been developed more or at least not skipped over... but overall, definitely enjoyed it and do recommend it. This is another I wasn't sure which category to put it in, but I finished it in a day and enjoyed reading it, so up here it goes.

Dear Girls - Ali Wong
ali wong's letters to her daughters/memoir
For some reason, I am always intrigued by memoirs even if I'm not a 'fan' of the celebrity. Some of the ones I've enjoyed the most are ones where I didn't know much about the person beforehand (Gabrielle Union, Leah Remini, Shonda Rhimes, Tina Fey to name a few, and yes, Tina's was like, 10 years ago, I am a fan now). I've never watched her standup, but I really enjoyed Always be my Maybe, so I figured why not. Long story long, parts of this were funny but I am not sure her sense of humour is really for me. If you are an Ali Wong fan, I recommend. If, like me, you didn't know much about her humour beforehand, maybe not. Also, it was a lot about marriage/pregnancy/babies, which, you know, not exactly things I find funny right now, but again, that's me and not the book.
Received from Netgalley.

Love on Lexington Avenue - Lauren Layne
I adore LL's books but the first in this series was a letdown, so I was hesitant to try this. But I figured I've read 18 of her books and out of all of those, only 4 of them were 3 stars, so not even bad, just not great. Anyway. This one follows in the same footsteps steam-wise (aka, none) but it was much more enjoyable - everything about it clicked for me. I adored the characters and the story, it was cute and funny, the ending was literally the cutest ending on the entire planet. Excited for the next one!
Received from Netgalley.
Awk-Weird - Avery Flynn
Avery Flynn can do no wrong in my eyes. This was adorable. Oops baby after one night stand is not normally my jam, and I tend to stay away from that trope anyway for obvious reasons, but again, Avery Flynn can do no wrong. I love love loved the found family in this one - made me think of my own found family. Very cute, definitely recommend if you like romance/her other books.
Received from Netgalley.

Still reading The Heart's Invisible Furies (about 20% in)

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Life According to Steph

I also re-read the first four in the Winston Brothers series, the second in the Charley Davidson series, the thirteenth in the Psy-Changeling series and the prequel novella in the His Dark Materials series (definitely continuing) - but don't have much to say about any of them except I enjoyed them all.

TL;DR - I recommend Ask Again, Yes and A Woman Is No Man.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

October 2019 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. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts! I'll be doing a monthly recap like I do every month.

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October was busy busy busy busy. I got the keys to my apartment on the 1st, but didn't properly move in/start sleeping there until the 4th. I got a lot of new stuff - nightstands, bed (and mattress), couch,  dresser, tv stand, tv, desk, bookshelf, cat condo(s)... thank goodness for my amazing friends who came over and put literally everything together - seriously, everything. I did nothing but feed them pizza and follow directions. There is no way I would have been able to do everything on my own, I am so thankful to them. 

Some of the new stuff:

JR Ward (author of the black dagger brotherhood series if you are familiar with paranormal romance) did a thing with the Louisville Library and we got to meet her and then listen to her talk, it was so freaking awesome. 

Then, another friend and I went to go see JoJo Moyes - gah, I adore her! I love love love seeing authors. We got to chat with her and get our books signed, but no photo with her unfortunately.

In other random things - think I went to ikea three times? Once with a friend, so that was fun. It's about 2 hours away, so not too bad. Another time I went to their TJ Maxx afterwards and had way too much fun. I had a couple friends over to hang out and watch Hocus Pocus, though my apartment wasn't even a little bit ready for company. I got a little witch headband and a witch hat hair clip and the little hair clip one was the perfect size for Millie's head. Doesn't she look thrilled. There was a firepit birthday celebration night in there too, which was a ton of fun. Went to Nashville for the night for a halloween party, I was a 'witch' - as in I wore black and that little witch headband. It was a fun night. On actual halloween, I slapped some cat ears on for work. We did a little pot luck thing which was fun. Book club was Ask Again, Yes (SUYB on Tuesday!) and chili. I did read other books, but didn't really take photos apparently. Also watched some TV, went to the gym/ran a couple of times, but no photos so did it even happen?

In other non-fun things - said goodbye to Chelsea on the 2nd, but I mentioned that last time. We closed on the house and went to the courthouse to file the divorce paperwork. It was actually processed in like, 2 days, so we are officially divorced.

In cat news, they are both doing super well but I can tell them miss/notice KC & Chelsea's absence because they are both needy. Penny has always been very needy, but Millie is Miss Independent. I keep expecting her to get back to normal eventually, but it hasn't happened yet. She's gotten better, but still not the old Millie, and she might never be. But thankfully, they seem to have accepted the new place/life, no eating/bathroom issues and that's what matters. In case you missed it on instagram:

Long story short, the half wall/open stairs situation was a surprise when I got my keys. I hemmed and hawed and had a bit of a breakdown, but ultimately decided on staying and I'm really glad I did. Except for Penny hanging out in that window. But I don't know what to do - if I try to block it, she'll just try and go around it and be more likely to fall.

Other than that, they really are doing well. It's so weird to have photos of only the 2 cats now. Not bad, just... weird. Penny and Millie were always 'my' cats and Chelsea was more his, but still. I do miss her, but we are doing pretty well just the 3 of us. Especially when there is tuna involved (last photo).

Phew. So that's it from me! If you'd like to link up, please do so below:

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So, what's new with you?

Monday, November 4, 2019

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, November 1, 2019

2019 November Goals

Well, it's been a hot minute since I did some goals. Felt like getting back to it.

In November, my goals are:

- get back into the gym and eating well - so, I lost about 25lbs going through everything because I wasn't eating and my heart rate was constantly going crazy. I was exercising occasionally, but not a lot because I didn't want to lose even more weight. When things calmed down/started moving forward, I found my appetite again and because I'd lost so much so quickly, I didn't care what I ate - lots of takeout, nachos, ice cream, chips and dip... not healthy, but at least I was eating and gaining a bit of weight back. But it's starting to get out of control and I don't want to die of a heart attack, so. My goal is to eat well 80% of the time and go to the gym/exercise 4-5 times per week.

- no shopping except thanksgiving weekend. I've gone a little crazy with shopping lately - mostly things I 'needed' for the apartment, then clothes because mine didn't fit after losing the weight, but I definitely need to slow my roll... until thanksgiving weekend.

Penny is very okay with the amount of shopping I have been doing. She loves plastic bags - hiding in them and eating them. So obviously I don't leave plastic bags hanging around.

- to do one scary thing. I've done a lot of things outside of my comfort zone lately, but most of them were out of necessity, so I'd like to do something scary (to me) on purpose.

- to get rid of some clothes. So, I went through my clothes months and months ago and had a bunch of things set aside to get rid of. Then, when I was packing, I used some of those clothes to protect breakables. It all got mixed in with my normal clothes when I unpacked and put things away, so now I need to go through everything again. It's okay though, because I've actually worn a few things I was going to get rid of because they fit me again. But I still have too much.

- to put things away, organise, declutter and purge stuff. When I was packing, I was kind of in a daze and just shoving things in boxes. As I was unpacking, I realised I have certain things I won't use anymore and things I've outgrown/no longer want in my life. But I kept putting it off because it was too overwhelming on top of just unpacking/surviving. Now I feel a bit more settled, I want to go through and get rid of all those things.

All of my boxes are unpacked but that doesn't mean everything is put away or neat... clearly, I need to do that and get rid of some stuff.

- to shop from my pantry/freezer. I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to food, which is all good and fine except when you move from a house to an apartment and can't organise anything because you have too damn much. Obviously I'll still need to go to the grocery for a few things like milk and produce, but I *could* survive on what I have for at least a month, I think.

- no solo eating out. Again, because of the moving and the being lazy, I was eating out way too much. It wasn't bothering me too much since, hey, I was eating again, but it's adding up and so are the pounds, ha. There's no need for me to eat out on my own anytime soon.

- 1 happy/grateful/positive thing daily. I will probably do this on instagram, because it is super easy to document things like that. Basically I want to find 1 thing each day that makes me happy/grateful/think positively. I have those thoughts anyway, but they are easy to forget when I'm in a sad mood, so I thought if I recorded them and could easily look at them in one go, that would help get me out of those moods. I thought about doing 3 per day, but baby steps.

This photo has no point, but I didn't want Millie to be left out. Ha.

So, that seems like a lot written out like that, but I feel like they all work well together. We'll see. Here's to a good month. Got any goals for November?