People always say that strange things happen during a full moon. I firmly believe that the lunar cycle changes us, either temporarily, or perhaps more permanently. Children can begin acting wildly, interesting occurrences going bump in the night, maybe a mood shift for yourself; a new idea or hobby will develop, mental clarity for a tough situation, or it’s just your time to release some pent up physical/mental energy. Our most recent full moon brought on a desperate need for change.
This change came in the form of rebranding my blog to fit where my life is going, motivation to deep clean areas of my house that gave me stress, being more aware of how my words and feelings can affect others, especially my husband and kids.
So here we are, besties. I’ve got something brand new and I think being able to have a space I love to share all of my interests, not just my bookish ones, will give me more sense of peace and creativity than when this was just for books.
Come along with me and explore the darkest parts of the forest.
Oh my gosh you guys! I haven’t posted anything for like.. 2 weeks? I am SO BEHIND it’s not even funny! I’m sitting here stuffing my face with leftover pasta, just thinking about the insanity that has been my life. Let’s rewind a little.
Last Wednesday – Chuck ran himself over with a power jack with a pallet of beer on it; busted his foot wide the hell open! We sat in the ER for 6 hours for them to give him 3 stitches, a boot that was too small, and no crutches even though they charged insurance for some. Luckily his work is covering the cost of the medical bills but DANG, his foot was gnarly! Chuck was off Thursday, Friday, and the following Monday so naturally we treated this like an unexpected vacation. Hence the reason for my lack of posts. My family will always come first y’all!
This Tuesday – This was Chuck’s first day back at work. I had so much catching up to do, mainly over on Bookstagram! I was so behind on my own comments, my algorithm group comments, my DMs… holy moly my DMs were wild! Most of them were well wishes for Chuck so that felt really good!!
Wednesday I was finally getting back into the groove of my social media life. I was caught up on my partnership posts and started reading An Ember in the Ashes via audio with @bibliomaniacamanda because she’s never read it *GASP*. I love that series with my whole heart.
Thursday I had to help at my son’s school for a teacher luncheon and then I had Chase’s parent teacher conference. Chase’s reading score is off the charts for second grade and the rest of his report was so impressive. I am so proud of my little guy!
Friday – today… BOO BLAST. I woke up this morning and loaded the kids up, met my cousin at Lowes to pick up hay bales, delivered them to the school and started setting up for the Boo Blast/Trunk or Treat event. This was for the catholic schools in the region. It started at 5 so I went and set up a cute little trunk (a camping scene lolol) and made a ton of Mom jokes that the kids didn’t laugh at but the parents did (SCORE). Chase had a blast! My in laws had Xander and took him to the event for a little bit, but it was just so cold!
So… here I am, sitting at the computer trying to give an update of the whirlwind that has been my life for the last two weeks. Xander is asleep and Chase is off with his bio dad for the weekend. I hope everyone has been enjoying their Friday and I hope you’re loving what you’re reading! Along with AEITA, I’m also reading Royally Screwed, which is an adult smut novel and my oh my is it steamy! Shane East (who is Steve West) narrates it and it is just so good! If you’re looking for a good adult, non cheesy romance with a good plot, This series is for you! They are all standalones as well!
Do you participate in readathons? Right now I am hosting a House Cup Readathon (#housecupreadathon19) over on Instagram! Thankfully I have my head girls in charge of their houses! I could not do this without their help! It’s so amazing to have a group of people I can rely on to help make things fun and exciting (and not so overwhelming)! Go over and follow these wonderful humans listed below on IG! I have a little something something coming in the mail for each of them! It’s not much but it’s what I could do (and afford) to show them my appreciation!
People are really catching onto these types of groups! We have 18 members per house and every 100 pages you read is 10 points! If you finish your book, it’s like catching the snitch and you get 150 points for your house! The houses are closed but we will open back up on the 15th for new members up to 25! I finished Savage Appetites yesterday so that earned my house 170 points! I also read a little of A Thousand Pieces of You! I’m going to start The Wicked Deep today once I get back from the pet store!
Yesterday I posted about my TBR and I already want to change it! LOL Anyone else like me? I swear I am the moodiest reader there is! I don’t get overwhelmed though because I have a fairly strict rule of only buying books I’ve already read and loved (making every book I see on my shelf something I adore). It helps me justify spending extra on limited edition copies. Speaking of special editions, I want that Illumicrate edition of The Starless Sea so bad that I might cry if I don’t get it.
Any special editions you’re waiting for? I will have to get the special edition of Clockwork Angel, I already know that! I’m also debating on the editions of SoC and CK! We shall see what my budget allows as we are redoing the hardwood in the nook/library!
Well, I think that’s enough rambling for me today, I hope y’all have a fantastic rest of your week!
“Describe a garment you would like to wear that would give you power.”
Long ago, a handsome man got down on one knee and opened a small, velvet box. The box contained a small diamond ring, three glittering jewels; two smaller diamonds set on the side of the larger one in the center with even smaller diamonds running the length of the white gold band on each side. It was breathtaking, perfection made into something so small. He told me he loved me, he never knew what it would do to me as he slid the ring onto my finger.
That man is long gone now, lost within the years. I stood along the ridge of the cliff and peered across it’s vastness. I can see the other side, I can see the river down below. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just step off the side and feel the air rush past me, whipping my hair back, being set free. The power within my ring will not let me go.
The magic was said to have come from the earth in which it was created and the blood of man dying to mine it. Sacrifice after sacrifice. The people stopped caring about the earth and those same people stopped caring about each other. Now I get to watch them all die.
“What stories do you tell through your attire? Are those stories true?”
The first moment that I start to wake, it’s usually because my fingers are numb. The baby sleeps in the crook of my arm all night and his head is heavier than you’d expect. I push down into the mattress and drag my arm out from under him and make my way out of the room. I avoid the creaking boards as I walk by Chase’s room and I look in the mirror.
I am tired. This is most definitely true.
I check my face for signs of sleep, brush my teeth, fix my hair back into a bun on the top of my head and then get him ready for school. I know I’ll be dropping him off so I’m not scared about what I look like. No one will see the fact that I don’t have socks on and it’s freezing temperatures outside, or that my hoodie I threw on has stains from doing the dishes last night.
I just can’t find the energy to care.
Some days I go to the grocery stores, I do try and at least wear clean clothes there. Most of the ladies know me and have seen me come in after dropping Chase and have watched Xander grow – they know he doesn’t sleep.
They know… they know I am so tired.
I go home and stay in the same clothes. I wait for my husband to get home and then sneak into the shower. I am renewed. The hot water scalds my scalp as I scrub with shampoo. I drag the razor along my skin in efforts to feel like I actually care about what I look like. I get out, I dry off, I twist my hair a top knot so that by the time it dries, it falls in loose waves.
That makes me feel beautiful.
I put on some new leggings, fresh underwear and a bra, a new shirt… depending on the weather, maybe a sweatshirt. It feels so good. I love the way that I feel. I love the confidence even a simple shower gives me. I tell myself that I’ll do this every day even though I know in the back of my mind that I won’t. It’ll be days of slow deterioration with my hygiene before I get the energy to shower again. It’s hard to be truthful about it. You’d think it’d be easy to hop into the shower every single day and feel this good about yourself but time slips away in the rush of having a family.
“How do you choose to ornament yourself? Does it change from day to day?”
When I think about this prompt, I think about my wedding rings. It’s the only thing I wear daily to ornament myself and set myself apart and it never changes. Getting married to my best friend is one of the best decisions I ever made. The rings hold such a special meaning. Not because they are gold with diamonds, but because of what they represent. The represent being bonded with another soul, being a part of a family, showing the world that I have another half. Being married is hard, as are many things in life, but I wouldn’t want to go through the motions with anyone other than Chuck. He is truly my soulmate, if those exist. He is always there for me, I have never once doubted his love for me even on my worst days. I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with him.
Speaking of family, I took a few days off from the blog and most of the social media to focus more on my family over the weekend and during my eldest’s spring break. I also wanted to focus on reading a few books I’ve needed to read and review. You can check out my micro update of Mistborn here. I am going to start Wicked Saints and The Fever King soon!
“Around the thick fur of his ruff he wore a lariat of gold and rubies, and the twisting horns that rose from his head were marked with ridges that glowed as if lit from within by a secret fire.”
The Language of Thorns is one of my favorite companion books. There are a lot of mixed reviews on whether or not people enjoyed the story but I did! I loved getting little glimpses into the Grishaverse even if it’s through the guise of folklore. I loved the rich stories that weave into the other books and the beautiful illustrations. I think I appreciated it more for what it was rather than judging purely on the contents.
This prompt makes me feel like it’s Nikolai Lantsov turned beast, like a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Fancy clothes, golds and jewels, and that secret fire set in his eyes.I don’t read many retellings knowingly, but I am excited to read A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. I might knock that out this weekend!
“Tell the story of the most magical day or experience of your life so far.“
We woke up early. Mufasa was downstairs sleeping with the other dogs because he couldn’t make it up the stairs anymore; his disease had progressed to the point where he could barely stand without assistance. He was only 7, I thought we’d have more time.
Chuck went outside to load the kayaks in the truck. He strapped them down tight, made sure we had our paddles, our cooler, and questioned whether or not to bring Tuna. We decided to leave her behind and take Tyson so we could focus on Mufasa. Tyson had already proved to be an excellent kayak companion but we were unsure if Mufasa would be able to handle being on a small water craft.
“Are you sure about this?” I said, looking over at Chuck.
“Look at them,” he said, “they are just so happy! Even if Mufasa can’t get into the kayak, he always loved lakes and rivers. Maybe the water will help ease his muscles.”
The wind whipped at their faces, nostrils flaring as we wound down the back country roads. Tyson and Muf were a pair, never separated and I knew this was our last chance at a trip for the two together. The end of the summer was quickly approaching and Chuck wasn’t sure there would be another opportunity. We had a sitter for the kids, we had the morning free… this was it.
We got to the lake and the dogs eyes were full of anticipation, their tongues out, tails wagging hard. And then Mufasa fell out of the truck trying to get down. Chuck looked over to me and I felt a stabbing ache in my chest. Muf was the kind of dog who had dignity, needing help was embarrassing for him. He was our protector, he didn’t want to rely on us. I went around the side of the truck and grabbed onto Mufasa’s harness and held Tyson’s leash as Chuck got the kayaks out and drove the truck to the parking spot away from the put in.
When Chuck returned we tried to get Mufasa into Chuck’s boat, he was clearly the stronger of us and he could easily haul Muf’s 110lb body to safety if he fell out. He wasn’t comfortable in Chuck’s boat because of the way it was set up, so he switched for my kayak with a smooth surface. The boat rocked as he wobbled trying to adjust to the sudden lack of stability the ground gives. Tyson was already perched on the bow of my boat, staring out into the water, ready to launch.
We paddled our way out, not going too far in case Muf decided to bail. I kept checking on Chuck, scanning his face for worry but he held it together. He
wanted this as badly as the dogs did. These dogs were his life, before me, it’s all he had. Then I saw it. I saw the look on Mufasa’s face. Tyson let out a little whimper as I fell back away from Chuck’s boat. He wanted to be closer to Muf but I just had to get a picture. He was genuinely happy. I know that people think that pet owners are crazy but you could truly see what Mufasa was thinking. His emotions showed all over his face and he was loving his life out on the lake.
Tyson is kind of the grandpa of our dog crew. He’s old, a little grouchy, but a really great travel companion. He didn’t like being this far away from Chuck and Muf so I had made sure to paddle back towards their side when I snagged a picture. I was having an internal struggle between enjoying the moment and taking every picture I could. I was so upset that I didn’t bring my GoPro. I wanted to record the entire thing and not worry but I forgot it in our rush to get out of the door.
We spent about 15 minutes paddling around the lake. We took a break to let the dogs get off the boat, go to the bathroom, get their footing. Mufasa didn’t do as well swimming as we had planned, which made Chuck sad. I think the degeneration of the muscles in his hips just wouldn’t allow him to kick hard enough to stay afloat. We kept his harness on that had a back handle and that helped Chuck support his weight. The little dogs have life jackets because we never thought we’d be brave enough to take Mufasa. I’m so glad we took the chance.
We got back in our kayaks and paddled around some more until the weather started getting warm. You could tell Muf was tired, his eyes were drooping a little and he was slower on his reaction time. We knew it was time to go. Chuck packed up the kayaks and we stood there staring out at the lake together, wishing we had more time… wishing we had thought of doing this sooner, wishing we would not have made excuses. We didn’t want to let our regrets take away from the magicof the day so we smiled, we held each other and we got back in the truck.
Muf and Tyson fell asleep almost immediately. The dogs having this one last experience before it was soon time to say goodbye to our beloved baby Mufasa is something we will hold in our hearts forever. I Love You
“Describe something in your life that others might view as ordinary but that you experience as magical.”
Food. There is something magical about cooking food and then being able to consume it for energy or for pleasure. We take ingredients that can be eaten on their own, or can’t be eaten on their own such as spices or raw meats (in most cases) and combine them together and then add heat, changing the chemical structure of the dish. We then take that food and enjoy it by ourselves or by serving it to others. There is nothing I enjoy more than making a delicious and hearty meal and then serving it to my family. Food brings us together, gives us comfort, reminds us of good and sometimes bad times.
For me, my favorite dish is a Korean dish called “Haemul-sundubu-jjigae,” or spicy seafood and tofu stew. This dish reminds me of my mom, which then reminds me of home.
You start with your stock, add seafood, spices, tofu, and let it boil not only to cook but to absorb flavor. The longer you let this stew simmer, the more condensed the flavor becomes. Crack an egg into it at the end, let it poach, and add a splash of vinegar to give it some bite! I top it with green onions and eat this dish with hot, sticky white rice. It’s usually pretty spicy! Yum!
You can find an easy recipe and video to follow by clicking *here*. Maangchi is an incredible resource for Korean cooking! The beauty of Korean food is that you can substitute basically anything! If you don’t like seafood you don’t have to add it! If you don’t like beef but like pork, use that instead! I hope everyone in their lifetime gets to experience the magic in eating cultural foods!
I bought Leigh Bardugo’s magical inspiration journal knowing that I’d never write in it. I have anxiety writing in things like that, hell I photo copy coloring pages so I can do them again! So I decided to do my journaling in this blog and will put them in their own category so I can easily find them! Some of the blogs will be a story associated with the prompt, some will be my thoughts, maybe it’ll be a blog on something that I’m inspired by, etc! I’m just going to have fun! I figured what better to start a year long journal than to start on your birthday!
Day 1 – “We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.”
Today is my birthday and I feel like I’m wearing a crown! I’ve received so much love from the bookish community, my Instagram is full of people who love and support me and I just can’t thank them enough. I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel waking up to being 31; however, I didn’t have to wake up to being 31 because I was so deep into reading Mistborn: The Well of Ascension that it was 1:30AM by the time I realized that I should probably go to bed. The magic system of Mistborn is so unique and the universe is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I am hoping to get the UK paperback editions of Mistborn era 1 and era 2 soon! I know that it’s going to be one of my favorites and I’m only halfway through tWoA!
Learning to wring magic from the ordinary is something I struggle with. Often I find myself lost in my negative feelings. Sometimes I have to take a step back and understand that magic is all around me. Simple things like a good book, a sunny day, cooking delicious food, my kids being healthy… I need to appreciate the magic from my family most of all; love. Loving and being loved are such special experiencing. You don’t know what life truly is until you’ve loved something with your whole being.