Friday, June 12, 2020

Friday random stuff & thoughts

I keep thinking I want to blog more but then I think my life is super boring and I don't have that much to talk about anyway. Then I go and write this long ass random jumbled post. Happy Friday!

Yesterday would have been my daughter's first birthday. If she was born on her due date, that is. I took the day off to just not be around people. Perhaps one day it will stop hurting. Perhaps not. So much has happened in a year. Last year, I got this watercolour print made from one of the ultrasound pictures. I love it. I wish I had more, more to remind me of her, but it's not like I ever stop thinking about her. There's no real point to sharing this except that I want to. Sometimes I worry people think I am looking for attention, or bringing it up just to bring it up. Everyone is different, perhaps if I was still married and had been able to get pregnant again, I wouldn't talk about my first daughter as much. I don't know.

I got this table from Ikea ages ago and finally put it together the other day. I didn't realise how much I missed sitting down to eat or be on my laptop instead of sitting on the couch. Also, Millie loves it, which is of course all that really matters. It extends, you know, for all the dinner parties I host.

Yoga with Adriene (and Heather)
Sometime in mid-March, Heather and I started doing yoga 'together' and we did the 30 day Home challenge in April - one of my goals was to do yoga every day (oh hey goals, totally forgot about you for May and June) and then we continued with the May calendar and again in June, though we've been a bit more flexible in June with doing random videos rather than following the calendar exactly. So anyway, that's almost 3 months of yoga every day. I feel like it's done wonders for me, mainly mentally, but also in improving my yoga practice. Sometimes it's 40 minutes, sometimes it's 5 minutes. I really enjoy the habit now and it's something I don't really think about. These are from April, when I wanted to record each day for the goal I totally forgot about:

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Bowls
I got a purple carrot box through Kaity and this was one of the meals. I'd had tempeh before but this was the first time I cooked it myself - it was so good that I've already made it twice on my own and can see it becoming one of my staples. When I made it on my own, I skipped the celery mainly because I forgot to buy it, I didn't feel like the radishes added a whole lot so I skipped them too and I made the sauce with greek yoghurt instead of vegan sour cream. Next time I think I'll add cauliflower to beef it up a bit more... except, you know, without beef. A strict recipe follower, I am not. It doesn't look the best but goodness gracious it was tasty.

There are lots of things I am trying to do right now, I won't go over them all here, but I will share this guide for unpacking your anti-blackness from Brittany at A Little Britt of Fun if you've not already seen it. It's full of resources, links, things to do, ways to educate yourself. It is something I have saved and will revisit often.

Books are something I think about and talk about a lot. In the past, I know I've thought that I read what I read, and that's all there is to it. I don't think a person should read a genre they don't want to read, reading is for an enjoyment, etc etc. I'm not going to go pick up a book just because it is by a diverse author, I'm not going to not pick up a book because it is by a diverse author. I'll just read whatever as long as it sounds good and it's one of the genres I like. I told myself that was good and right and enough. I figured that other people were doing their jobs and getting BIPOC authors out there. I didn't see my part in it, or rather, I didn't accept my part in it. But now I realise that ignoring the problem is accepting the problem, and that's not okay with me. I'm realising it in a lot of areas, but books are what I'm talking about today. I'm still a mood reader, I still want to read the kinds of books I want to read, but now I recognise it is completely on me to seek out the books by BIPOC authors that do appeal to me. What did I think, they would just miraculously fall in my lap? I've also saved articles with podcasts to listen to or things to watch, but I read more than I listen/watch, so that's why I'm talking about books.

Non-Fiction on my TBR
I've been really into non-fiction this year, though I've read mostly self-help/development kind of books. A lot of these were on my list already, but I put them off for stupid reasons, I've purchased most of them or got them from the library so hopefully sooner rather than later.

Fiction on my TBR
The A.I. Who Loved Me - this finally came out on ebook after being an audible exclusive for 6 months. I love Alyssa Cole.
With the Fire on High - this has been on my list ever since Tanya shared it one SUYB. I know I've borrowed it from the library twice, just didn't get to it in time. That cover is gorgeous and I've heard nothing but good things.
The Vanishing Half - I have heard amazing things about The Mothers but just think because of something in that book it's not the right choice for me, personally, for about another 10 years. Netgalley declined me for this one and sometimes that makes me bitter and not want to read the book, but Heather loved it so I can't wait to read it.
Shades of Love series - I am pretty sure I heard about this from The Fated Mates podcast, sounds right up my alley.

The Water Dancer - I have this from the library now, but haven't been in a super reading mood lately. Soon, hopefully. Something about that cover just calls to me.
Opposite of Always - this sounds so unique! I love a good time travel book, not gonna lie.
Such a Fun Age - I've heard this one will make me feel lots of feelings. Can't wait.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls  - that cover though. I've heard mixed things about this one, it's been on my list for ages and I'm curious.

Binti - this is a novella and it's been on my radar for a long time. Finally borrowed it from the library because it sounds fantastic and should be a quick read.
The Boy in the Black Suit - I absolutely loved Long Way Down and have been meaning to read more by Jason Reynolds.
This Is My America - popped up on netgalley and sounded awesome. I saw the 'fans of Jason Reynolds' and I was sold. Also, yes, am a sucker for a gorgeous cover. Comes out in July.
Here to Stay - another netgalley one, I'd heard fantastic things about her book American Dreamer but M/M romance is not my jam. This one sounds delightful. Comes out in August.

Books I've read and would recommend
most of these are romance because most of the books I read are romance

The Wedding Date - I know a lot of people have issues with this one, and I didn't enjoy the later books in the series, but I did really like this one.
Sin & Ink and Passion & Ink - listen, these are steamy AF. but so freaking good. I need more from her.
Hoops series - these are heavy books, not light reads at all, I have to space them out for my poor heart.
Chloe Brown & A Girl Like Her - my love for Talia Hibbert knows no bounds.

Queenie - oh, Queenie. I still think about her like I knew her or something.
Reluctant Royals & The Loyal League - contemporary, historical, dystopian, and a new thriller (below) - is there anything Alyssa Cole can't do?! 
When No-One is Watching - I know I just shared this book on Tuesday but I seriously thought it was so good. I might be a teensy bit biased because I do love Alyssa Cole so much, but.... maybe not.
Final Hour series - these books are fantastic, some of the best romantic suspense I've ever read.

Long Way Down - seriously, even if you don't like poetry (I don't normally), you should read this. 
Red at the Bone - I loved this one so much. Her writing is so beautiful.
We're Going to Need More Wine - she's so fun and honest and I feel like she's my friend now, like I was inordinately happy when she welcomed her daughter.
Year of Yes - I read this years ago and still think about it. Have been meaning to re-read it.

Alrighty, well that's all from me. I had a weird week with the anniversary of my due date (my daughter's would be first birthday? I don't know what to call it) and I'm thankful it is almost the weekend. My brain is trying to tell me I had something planned on Saturday, but I can't quite get a grasp on the memory. I really need to write things down or actually remember where I wrote them down. I'm sure it will come to me.

If you have any book suggestions you didn't see me mention above, I'd love to hear them!

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