Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What I Read: Summer 2017 Edition

Since I have missed the linkup these past few times I thought I would just go ahead and group my summer reads into one big post. Also I didn't get much reading done in June so I had to do some catching up in July and it just made sense to put them together instead of trying to separate them. 

So here's what I've been reading! 

Confessions by Kanae Minato- This book was strange. I liked it but at the same time it was really strange. I was never sure how I felt about any of the characters until the end and by then I pretty much disliked them all. But at the same time I really enjoyed the book itself. I liked getting to see the story from all the perspectives and I liked how they all tied together in the end but I'm still not sure how I feel about this book other than it kind of still creeps me out and makes me low key stressed out at the same time. But the fact that I am still thinking about it makes me sure that I actually did enjoy it. If you are into weird ones you might like this. 


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins- Now this one I know I liked. I actually liked this one so much more than Girl on the Train. I loved this story and getting to know the characters and their dark secrets. I wanted to know more about the pool and why the women were drawn there. Or why they ended up there at any rate. I thought this novel was so well written and it had me on edge the entire time and I finished it in less than 24 hours. It may not please those who really loved Girl on the Train (which I greatly enjoyed but this one was better.) but it is a great read for anyone who loves that genre. 


The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hanna Tinti- I know several people have raved about this one already and I can add my own praises to that list. I loved the writing and the characters however I will be honest and tell you it took me a bit to get this one read as I kept getting distracted. It had a slow burn for me and that wasn't really what I was looking for. It was still a brilliant book and I feel like I will reread it in the future to give it a real shot but for now I can say that it was good. 


A Court Of Thorns and Roses Full Trilogy by Sarah J Maas- Okay I am just grouping these three into one to save on space and time because I could honestly go all in and rave about these for hours. I know some might be inclined to judge because these are YA but I will tell you right now that I am hook line and sinker for these books. I read them all within a few days only delayed by the fact that I had to wait for the third to come in at the library. I already have the full set of hardbacks on pre order from Amazon because I must own them all. They are SO GOOD. The stories are well written the characters are amazing and I cannot sing the praises of this series enough. I could go on and on and honestly I want to fangirl out so badly here but I don't want to spoil anything. I have never read the Throne of Glass series by this author but I will having read these. However I guess Throne of Glass is still going while this trilogy ended. There are supposed to be more in the world but following different main characters and that is actually really awesome because I like when things have a full ending and I'm not waiting around forever. If you are a fan of Throne of Glass or of fairy tales in general I think you will love these. Word of warning however the audio book narrator sucks on these so just read the actual books instead. I wanted so badly to pick up the entire series on audio book to listen to whenever I wanted but was sorely disappointed by the choice of voice actor. (She takes weird pauses and tends to gasp a lot and that irritates me) Seriously these are bomb. New fandom acquired. 

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So that's what I read this summer! What have you been reading? Be sure to join the linkup and share!
Life According to Steph
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

What's New With You...

Kyra is starting preschool in a few weeks. I'm so excited for her but also a little heartsick over it. I mean she has been my buddy for the past 4 years and we have never spent more than 12 hours apart since the day she was born. Not that we will be spending that much time apart I mean it is only a few hours a week but still....my baby girl is growing up and it's happening to fast! 

Kyra also started gymnastics this summer. She has loved it since day one and I am so proud of how much she has learned these past few weeks! She can now do a bridge and climbs the ladder all the way to the top! She was so scared she would cry when it was time for the ladder in the first weeks but then about 2 weeks ago she just did it and reached the top and hit that big red button. Seriously I am just so proud of her I could burst into little fluffy bits of pride. She's growing and learning and I just cannot handle the cute of it all! 

I know it is fuzzy but she did it and I am just so proud!

I'm also planning on taking a whirlwind trip in just a few weeks. I don't have a lot to say about it yet because it is kind of a surprise/crazy thing and I don't want to jinx it but man I am excited and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out! It's going to be an adventure! 
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Working from home has been amazing this summer. Though it is not without its challenges. Sometimes I find myself utterly annoyed at taking on an assignment when I know that I've got a million other things going on at home. But I want those dolla dolla bills yall. It's been nice to contribute after so long of not having any income at all. I love knowing that I'm helping in any way that I can to keep our family going. 
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I'm also on the hunt for a new planner. I have loved bullet journaling but I have found that since my schedule is picking up I need something with a lot more structure that I can just grab and not worry about making a layout for it because the week is already there set up and I just need to fill it out. That isn't to say that I don't want something pretty and full of adorable stickers and cool markers but I need something that has some of the work done for me. It's going to get crazy around here once school starts and with gymnastics and with work.....yeah. So if you have any planners that you are legit happy with please let me know because I am overwhelmed with options. Also if it isn't too expensive that would be awesome because I want to get the absolute best bang for my buck! 
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Well that about sums up the current situation. I'm back into reading again and writing again and that is making me happy. I've also been focusing on taking an hour out of each day for my own personal use and that is helping me feel like a human again and thus everyone in the house seems happier. Who knew? 

Happy Thursday.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It's been a while....

It's been a long while since I posted on this blog.

That doesn't mean I haven't thought about it. In fact I think about coming here almost daily.

I think about the posts that I would write to you all. Things I would share. Things I would say. Cute little gifs that I find funny or little stories about my life that you might find entertaining.

But I never wrote them.

I haven't written in my journal since May.

I haven't written for pleasure for longer than that.

I hadn't been reading either.

Then suddenly a few weeks ago it was like the fog lifted. I tore through five books in just a week. I suddenly had my journal out and while I have yet to write in it ideas have been forming and thoughts have been culminating and at this point it is just a matter of time.

And then there was this blog. This blog that I loved so dearly but was avoiding. I had no idea what I was avoiding just that I couldn't come here and post the things that I wanted and I couldn't stop worrying about the fact that I hadn't even read a blog post in weeks and honestly what kind of blogger am I if I don't post or read blogs? Answer: a crappy one.

So since today is the first of August and since things around here are going to be changing a lot I am back here in this space again. I'm making sure that I am reading things that spark my interest and make me happy. I am going to start writing again even if it is all just nonsense on a page. I am back to trying to find myself again after spending the summer lost and somewhere else.

So I don't know if anyone is still out there listening but I'm sending this message into the void. Hopefully many more will follow.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life Update

Wow. It's been over a month since I posted on this blog. I'm not even sure how that happened but I last night I was thinking about my blog and writing and everything that has been going on and I decided that I wanted to come here and do an update. I'm not sure what that will accomplish other than to make me feel better but hey that is a good enough reason isn't it? I think so. 

So basically I've kind of pulled away from social media in general lately. I haven't been blogging, I rarely Snap, I post only the occasional post on Instagram and Facebook is something that I skim and then close out of because the world is an angry scary place right now and while I'm
not burying my head in the sand I would rather not deal with it on a social media platform that in my personal opinion has had its day. 

In addition to that I've also been really busy. We had our anniversary, a trip for Memorial Weekend, Kyra's 4th birthday, and then a spontaneous trip to Omaha. It's been a very full couple of weeks but they have been amazing because they have all been about spending time with my family. Not just the extended but just my little 3 person family and that is really wonderful. Not to mention Kyra also started gymnastics two weeks ago and she is loving it and it makes me so happy to see her falling so in love with something that is so good for her. She is meeting new people, learning new things, and learning to do things on her own without me and that makes me so proud I could just burst. 

I also missed the book linkup this month. Not because I really "missed" it but because I was sad to say that I didn't finish 1 book in the month of May. So much was going on and while I have books I started I haven't finished anything up until this past Monday. I am still slogging through American Gods which I cannot tell if I really like or not...but I'm invested and I will finish. I am really glad that I  did finish at least one book this month though so I have something to post next month! 

I have not had coffee in nearly a week. This is NOT by choice. I ran out and we've been running around and we haven't gotten to pick any up. Then Kyra got sick on Monday and has been sick and so I haven't left the house because when we did on Monday she got really sick in a store and I don't think that either of us are ready to relive that again. So yeah....no coffee. Sure I could ask my husband to pick some up on his way home from work but he has been super busy with work since they moved the whole office to another (further away) location and he is so tired by the time he gets off work I feel super guilty about asking him to stop, so I'm just sucking it up until I can get to the store. 

I have been working. I wasn't going to share this here because it is just a little side job thing but honestly I really enjoy doing it and it is nice to be bringing in a little money on my own while still being able to be home with Kyra all day. However due to a computer crash last night I had a bit of a setback which I am still upset about but this is the first time since I started back in March that I've had an issue so really I've been lucky. I'm not going to bring this little job up on the blog much because as I said it is a small thing but I'm pleased with it all the same. 

So basically this is my long winded way of catching up. I hope to start blogging more but I am making no promises at this time because right now I have to take each day as it comes. There is a lot more going on that I'm not going to share on the blog but just know that I am still here and I am still reading all your blogs even if I don't always comment. I am usually a week behind and by that time anything I could say will have already been said but just know I am still reading and I have a MASSIVE book list from the book linkup and hopefully I will get some time to really read them this month. 

Okay I'm off, hope you all are well. Happy Wednesday.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What I Read: April 2017

The Week Before the Wedding by Beth Kendrick- Another Kendrick book and another fairly predictable love story. I actually liked this one a lot even though it wasn't set in the Black Dog Bay series. The characters were enjoyable but I did get slightly annoyed at the main character's complete devotion to following everyone's wishes but her own. Sure I know people just like that and that is absolutely a thing but it was so frustrating. I would say if you are a fan of Kendrick you will love this and if you are just looking for a light summer read you will also probably really enjoy this one. 

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney- This book has me feeling some type of way. I was hooked pretty early on and the characters had me intrigued even though it was really hard at times to keep them straight since the story flashes from past to present throughout the entire thing but by the end I was just left with this sense of meh....followed quickly by undeniable anger and then eye rolling frustration at the author for having trapped me in a book with a lackluster ending. Honestly I don't even know what I think now. I gave it a three star rating but I am really considering dropping it to two now that I have thought about it a little longer. I'm just not sure. Also some SERIOUS trigger warnings: rape, infant loss, physical abuse. Just to warn you ahead of time if you are considering this book because I wish I would have known so I could have avoided it. 

That was all I finished this past month but I have about 5 that I am currently reading included Neil Gaiman's American Gods which I am listening to on audio book and am constantly trying to sneak off and listen to on my own so I can fully appreciate it. So far it is really good! 

So what have you been reading? Be sure to link up! 
Life According to Steph
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Monday, May 8, 2017

The One with Lots of Family Time

Friday- I spent most of Friday morning super busy but then the afternoon Kyra and I had to get out of the house. So first stop was the library to pick up some holds and also to take care of some fines. My library was running the Food for Fines program again so we took our canned goods and got our fines forgiven. 

After the library we had to make a grocery store since it was Friday and since we had gotten a ton of work done the past week we treated ourselves to Starbucks. I got the Green Tea Frappe and let me tell you it is now my go to drink! Actually I have been researching how to make it at home because yeah I'm going to need that one a lot over the summer! 

Kyra got a tasty treat from the "kitchen" as she calls it. Not pictured because she immediately ate it. 

We powered though the shopping and then headed home to make some tacos for Cinco De Mayo. Let me tell you there were amazingly tasty. I'm not normally one for salsa and sour cream and all that jazz but everything was so fresh and wonderful and of course I didn't take a picture because I'm a greedy guts who eats her food before being a good blogger and snapping a photo. 

After the awesomeness that was dinner I headed out for my evening walk and passed by these lovely flowers that told me they wanted their picture taken. 

Saturday: I spent part of the morning finishing up some work and then wandered to our downtown area because they opened a few new stores. 
I think I need this. 

These too. 

 Then that afternoon we took off to take Kyra to visit some parks! The day was too gorgeous to spend indoors!

After playing around we had to stop by Target for some necessary things and of course left with things that we didn't really need because that is curse of Target.

Then we headed to my parents for the evening and fed the animals. I should have snapped pictures but again I was playing with Kyra and hanging with my family so yeah my phone wasn't even with me. 

Sunday: More work in the morning and then the afternoon was spent watching some old movies. Not like super old more like...90s old. We watched- Major Payne, So I Married an Ax Murderer, Clue, and Nothing But Trouble. All hilarious and a great throwback. 
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Sunday night another evening walk that was accompanied by a few little hop toads. 

So that's what we were up to. How was your weekend? 
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Currently May 2017

Reading: I started American Gods about a week ago and I am really enjoying it. I haven't gotten to listen as much as I would want to since it has been so busy around here lately but honestly I am really looking forward to getting into this one because so far it is intense and I am digging it! 
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Watching: Honestly I haven't been watching a whole lot lately. Still enjoying the show Harlots and Cosplay Melee but really I haven't been keeping up with anything as it has been hectic and busy. 

Loving: This face spray from Tarte. Seriously it makes my makeup look so gorgeous and actually makes my face look luminous and dewy (not oily) on days when I am just not feeling doing a full face of makeup. I will be repurchasing this one for sure! 
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Excited about: My anniversary coming up, also Kyra's 4th birthday is right around the corner. 

Working on: Planning Kyra's birthday party, writing, trying to figure out what my next steps are, you know general life stuff. 

So what's new with you? Be sure to join the linkup and share! 

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Confessions:It is what it is....

I confess that lately I haven't really known what I am going to do with this space. You may or may not have noticed my absence lately but basically I've written about 6 posts in the past 3 months. I'm just not sure what it is I am getting from this blog anymore. Sometimes I come here just as an outlet but lately I have felt paranoid about that. Once you put things on the internet they stay there forever and I worry about putting my heart here and then it being out there for all to see. I do keep a journal but I haven't wanted to write in that either lately. I'm not sure if I am avoiding things or what is going on but I haven't felt like coming here and addressing the things on my mind. 

I confess that honestly I feel like I have fallen into the trap of posting the same posts over and over again and I haven't put much heart into them which is something that I really dislike. I prefer to write things that if they aren't important than at least they are enjoyable and that has not been the case lately and I apologize for that. 

I confess that this probably stems from feeling a little lost and stagnant in my life lately. A lot of plans that I had for myself haven't come to fruition and now I am struggling to figure out what the next step is. 

I confess that after the epicness of a weekend at Planet Comicon it always takes a few days for me to get back to normal. It's like this huge adrenaline rush for three full days and then the sudden end of it is a really abrupt for me. Also being an introvert putting that much energy into getting ready and being out among that many people always drains me. So basically this week has been a bit of a wash because I am still trying to get back to normal. 

I confess that I'm not sure where I am going with this post I am just trying to be honest and put it out there that things are just kind of meh right now. I'm trying and I do love blogging I just feel like I don't have anything to add to the conversation anymore. I'm going to try and at least come here and post something once a week but it it what it is. 
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What I Read: March Edition

It's time for my favorite link up again! I actually did a decent amount of reading this month though admittedly I did get hung up on one particular author. Oops.

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick- This is actually book 2 in the Black Dog Bay Series. Basically Black Dog Bay is THE place to go after you have had your heartbroken. Everything in the town is themed (The Whinery, The Jilted Cafe, Better off Bakery...etc) This book was fun, silly, and predictable but that was exactly what I was in the mood for. If you are someone who likes cozy romance books with happy endings. You'll like this one.


Put A Ring on It by Beth Kendrick- The third in the Black Dog Bay series. Again lighthearted and fun. I love how old characters turn up in these books and honestly out of the four books in this series this one was my favorite. I loved seeing characters from before get even more fleshed out into actual main stars of the show.


Once Upon a Wine by Beth Kendrick- The fourth in the series. 
Again sweet, fun, predictable. I really want to move to this town and meet all these characters. I suppose that is why I keep coming back for more! Hopefully this isn't the last in the series because I really love them!


The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick- Another Kendrick but this time not set in Black Dog Bay. This one is a stand alone but I really loved reading about the two VERY different sisters and of course reading about all the delicious baked goods. Romance and pastry...I mean the two go hand in hand right?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling- Okay so I have read this before but when I saw that Eddie Redmayne was reading the audio book version I picked it up immediately on Audible. I love that this edition includes even more creatures and I love that Eddie has given Newt Scamander life in this audio book as well as on screen. Delightful.


Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt- All this sweetness there was bound to be one sour right? This book was just miserable to read and I honestly did not finish. Misogynistic and plain violent toward the female characters (although they were all vapid and awful anyhow) plus the author was literally OBSESSED with breasts. Just UGH. I put it down and never looked back. Hard Pass. 


Be sure to join the linkup and share your books!
Life According to Steph
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Currently.....April 2017

Working on: Everything pretty much. My house needs cleaning, I have a mountain of work to do. I have blog posts that need to be edited and scheduled. I have pictures that need to be uploaded and saved to files. It is just a never ending to do list around here! 
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Watching: I haven't really been watching all that much TV lately but we did start watching Harlots on Hulu and I'm enjoying it so far. Also started Cosplay Melee and am really enjoying that one as well. 
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Reading: I actually just got a whole stack of books that came in off my holds list but haven't started any yet. I'm looking forward to them though! 
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Loving: Our season passes to the KC zoo! The weather was lovely this past weekend and we decided to pack a lunch and go spend the day. It was so relaxing because we didn't have to hurry because if we didn't get the entire thing seen in one day we would just catch it the next time! We actually did finish the whole thing but that was only because it was such a gorgeous day!

Excited About: Planet Comicon of course! It's coming up at the end of the month and I can't wait to see some awesome cosplay and meet some amazing creators! 
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Don't Forget tomorrow is the Show Us Your Books Linkup! 

Life According to Steph

If you are looking for more like this post then checkout this linkup! 

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