Journaling on Bad Mental Health Days

I wanted to share some prompts I’ve used on bad mental health days. On those days when my mental health sucked the absolute most, regardless of the funk I was in, I think those are the moments I need to write the most. I did 2 wonderful weeks of Outpatient Therapy at a local hospital and after lunch there were 2 hours of art and journaling time. A few of these are prompts I found and wrote my responses to while there.

journal

  • Describe a time in your Life when you failed & what you learned from it.–This one was tough. Who wants to dwell on failure?..but it was the second part that got me. What did I learn from this failure? I wanted to focus on a time when things didn’t turn out how I expected or hoped..and what I took away from that not happening.
  • What does your ideal life look like?–Looking at life and goals for my life, especially during such a dark period really helped boost my hope for the future.
  • What lessons have I learned from having depression?–Determined to not allow this piece of my life to kick my butt, I jotted down what finally calling it what it is, seeking help and managing day to day with it had taught me.
  • What are 3 things that made you happy today?–When life feels so redundant and when you live with this cloud following you around, I know me personally, I forget to reflect on the happy moments. So I jotted down one day what had made me happy. Don’t give all the negative your energy.
  • Write the words that you need to hear–This prompt was really important to me, because when I hit my really dark period it was after years of having never giving my “monster,” a name. So it was really new for me..and also new for my loved ones. I think with it being this new thing we all needed to learn to live with,  no one really knew what to say to me. And things they were saying weren’t always the right thing. A lot of people in my life, some of the most important ones definitely have the ability to make things about them. So writing what I needed to hear in that moment was refreshing and uplifting.
  • Jotting down “triggers,” and what I can do to combat them–For a few weeks my therapist gave me an assignment to jot down when my moods take over, what I’m doing and how it made me feel so that at our following session we could sit and discuss them. This got me to thinking and wanting to write down triggers. Focusing on my triggers and coming up with my own ways to combat them felt very powerful. It took some strength but I knew that was only the beginning of the battle..I’d have to actually use the techniques I came up with when the time came. There was something moving about owning it and taking that responsibility.

 

So these were just a few writing prompts that I used during some of my darkest mental health days. I do have a specific journal just for my mental health journey which I love and prefer and would recommend to you as well. It has a little bit of everything in it..music lyrics, quotes, poems, art work and writing.

My hope is that even if not one of these prompts, this post gives you the encouragement needed to do some writing on the days when nothing feels possible. and know I’m here rooting for you.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

Ways to Fill a Journal

Since receiving a Lisa Frank diary as one of my birthday gifts back in 3rd grade, journaling has been a very important part of my life. As I get older, it gets even more important. 

journal

My daughter is now a 3rd grader, and it was shortly after giving birth to her that I got heavy into researching our ancestry. I remember my research coming to a dead end, and telling my Mom, “This would be so much easier, had someone kept a journal!” 

Then 2 years ago, my Grandfather passed away after a tough battle with Alzheimer’s. There is so much I wish I could’ve asked him, but seeing his memory fade away, I knew it was impossible. It was really his passing that was the kick in the butt I needed to jot down life. If anything were to happen to me, I’d like to leave behind something for my kids to read and understand how my mind worked, my opinions on things, my loves..

I understand though that journaling can be tough! Especially when your day to day may feel like there isn’t really anything exciting worth writing about. So I’m sharing some ideas of other ways you can fill your journal if you find yourself in a rut.

  • Recipes I’ve Tried--I consider myself a Pinterest Chef. Most recipes I’ve tried have come from there and if they turn out right, I’ll jot them down. You never know whose hands years from now your journal may end up in..and food is such a way to connect!
  • Movies Watched–All of 2018 I jotted down every movie title I watched as I watched them. This was cool for me to reflect back on because I don’t watch very many movies and I’m trying to do better with that. I watched more romantic comedies than anything, lots of classic film and of course..horror!
  • Quotes–I have notebooks I use specifically for jotting down quotes I’ve come across and loved. My soul is eternally 17, so the more angsty, the better..
  • Prompts–I am a big advocate of going on Pinterest and searching for writing Prompts. These come in so handy when you want to just write, but don’t really know about what exactly. A few I have written before are: The Best Advice I’d give to my younger self..The thing I’m most thankful for..
  • Art Journal--I am obsessed with watching art journal flip through videos on Youtube. I don’t go all out but I did buy a notebook with blank paper/no lines that I use for art journaling. I cut magazine articles out..I have art supplies..whatever I’m feeling at the time goes in there. I don’t use that journal often but when I do it brings a different sense of calm and relaxation. I love it.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Lists--I keep a smaller, pocket size notebook in my car to write random things in that come across my mind while out and about. Any ideas I have, things I need to remember even grocery lists before running into the grocery store.
  • Book Reviews–I know most readers post reviews on Goodreads and if you want to go deeper, you can probably find a review for something on Instagram and of course Blogs and Youtube. Prior to posting my reviews on my blog though, I write my thoughts down in my book journal. I jot down quotes I like as I’m reading it and character traits, plot twists..opinions of the writing while making my way through. Doing this helps me better formulate a review once I’ve finished. And one day my kids will be able to take my book journal..see what I read years prior and read my thoughts on it.
  • Tracking Spending–Now this is an idea I want to give a try. I want to keep a record of where all of my money goes to, that way I can start doing better at budgeting and managing. Either paper clipping receipts, printing them out and gluing them in or just jotting them down..I think either way it could be very beneficial. Especially over a period of time and if say next year I kept track of all of my book buying, to be specific..it’d be interesting to see how much money goes toward my book buying habit.

 

So those are just a few ideas I have of ways you can fill your notebook. I hope this helps.. if you’d like maybe some Prompt ideas, I’m totally down to share some or create some. Just let me know.

we will chat again soon. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

Sunday Coffee

I wish you sidewalk pennies on bad days and the unfailing sense that things are just going to work out.

Happy Sunday friends. Grab your morning drink of choice and let’s catch up.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

I can’t believe we are already over the halfway mark of May. This month has been a month of better choices and good reading. I have been cutting coca-cola from my diet during the work day and doing really good with it. This isn’t my first attempt at staying away from soda though so I’m a little nervous but I want to push myself to have the discipline needed to stay away from it. It is getting easier as days go by. I may have a few sips later on in the day once I’m home, but I’m not craving it. I don’t like craving something I know isn’t good for me which is why I really want to phase it out of my life.

This upcoming week should be (*fingers crossed*) a short week, and I am so looking forward to it. I have a stack of physical books and a handful of ebooks I really want to get to so a long weekend will be perfect. I’ll be honest, I have been reading so many wonderful books this year and I owe being so close to my reading goal for the year to audiobooks, but I really miss the love I used to have for physical books. Audiobooks are fantastic, a big help for my hectic lifestyle. They really are lifesavers, but I want to retrain my mind to also want that urge to pick up physical books again and just read them. A lot of the times now, I will have both the physical book and audiobook going to follow along with. I miss the enjoyment of making my way through a story on my own and the pride I felt after having completed a book on my own. Is this weird?

I had some cool book mail come arrive this week:

The Key To Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo which I ordered for myself. It is a new release, romance but also focuses on the relationship between three sisters.

From Book Depository, my order of Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane arrived. It releases in the states this fall but impatiently, I couldn’t wait!

I’ve been in the mood for a memoir so I ordered a copy of The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing, I received a copy of Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madisen which releases May 28th.

Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason arrived which has an adorable cover and came with some sweet beach theme gems.

And fulfilling my cowboy cover loving heart, Justified by Jay Crownover arrived and I’m in love with it.

This past week was a really good reading week for me. May in general *knock on wood* has been a great reading month so far. I hope the momentum continues. I think it helps when you’re at peace with parting ways with a book when it’s not doing it for you. At this point, I know within the first 50 pages if a book has the thing I need to motivate me to continue on reading it or not, and if it doesn’t then I move on from it. I have so many other books I want to read/need to read, there’s no time for books I’m not feeling. I haven’t read anything terrible this month. For the most part it’s been fun, perfect for spring reads. With two weeks left in the month, I am excited to see what else I can make time for.

Pretty uneventful week this past week was. My life literally was work and home so if anything exciting in your world happened, please share it with me. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

My “Why”: Why I started My Romance Blog

In a nut shell, why not..?

IMG_4522

I had too many “I have time to do that later moments,” in my 20s..so my Dirty 30s are all about seizing the most out of every moment I’m blessed with. I kept making excuses and finally just Went for it.

As a woman of color occupying a teeny tiny piece of this very white female online book community who also reads the red headed step child genre (yet the genre making the most money) the odds can feel VERY against me but who gives a sh*t about *odds*?

Romance was the genre I thankfully began reading and fell in love with months before the darkest mental health moment I’ve had in my life. Once I sought help, while at every group meeting, during outpatient therapy, every doctors appointment..I always had a romance novel with me. Always. I felt the genre and it’s authors became companions for me and helped pull me through a tough time..so it’s only right I do my part, regardless of how big/small to show them love.

Romance is such a huge genre, I truly believe there is something out there for everyone..you just have to find the right book. I’d love for someone who maybe never read a romance to find a new favorite book due to reading my blog or seeing an Instagram post.

I work full time. I’m a mom of 3 littles and *fingers crossed* will be going back to school in the next few months. I wanted something I could give my attention to that truly felt like mine. Blogging and my Instagram (falling4romance) are mine. They keep me motivated to make time for myself both to read and blog. It’s having my blog that gets me out of bed on the weekends to go visit a coffee shop, sip a delicious latte and get reading done.

I love when I hear what someone’s idea of what they think a romance reader looks like. While in some cases I know someone who can identify with their idea..I am typically not it. Being in the military and a police officer in the military, it is very much a man’s game. Women in our career field tend to be one of the guys..not what you would expect to be a romance reader. I hope my being here gives that young lady/woman at home who is torn because she doesn’t think she’s the right demographic..she’s not what people would expect..she’s not sure where she’ll fit in, that girlfriend push to just go for it!

There it is Friends. My ‘Why’ behind starting my blog. I’d love to know yours..

until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

 

 

19 questions.

 

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

 

How many books are too many in a series?

Depends on how much I’m loving the series. I am new to the world of series reading and the most I’ve had to read was 7ish books, but could’ve definitely read more.

 How do you feel about cliff-hangers? 

I understand their purpose..they definitely put me on the edge of my seat and have me super anxious to find out what’s coming next but if being honest, I’d rather a book wrap all it’s loose ends with one book.

Hardback or paperback?

Paperbacks but the struggle to wait for their release is too real sometimes.

Favorite book?

There’s no way I can narrow it down to one..Winter Sea by Susann Kearsley, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier, Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins..Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Just to name a few.

Least favorite book?

Girl, Wash Your Face was absolute trash.

Love Triangle… Yes or No?

This is one plot device I don’t mind at all.

The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

I downloaded a Mariah Stewart romance and knew instantly I wasn’t in the mood for it. Maybe another time.

A book you’re currently reading?

I just started The Affiliate by K.A. Linde thanks to the Audible Romance package.

The last book you recommended to someone? 

I recommended Next Year in Havana to someone wanting to read When We Left Cuba who hadn’t read the first book yet.

Oldest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Newest book you’ve read (based on publication date)? 

California Girls by Susan Mallery

Favorite author?

Susanna Kearsley

Buying books or borrowing them?

Both. Although my hauling has slowed down a bit, I love the excitement of ordering a book and getting home from work to open the package. I love perusing the bookshelves at my local used book store or B&N but I am a huge library user. I always have an audiobook downloaded through Overdrive!

A book you dislike that everyone else loves? 

Girl, Wash Your Face. 

Bookmarks or dog-ears? 

Both.

A book you can reread over and over?

Lullabies by Lang Leav

Can you read while listening to music? 

I’ve tried it once. It was instrumentals, Chillhop on Youtube and it wasn’t as difficult to concentrate as I expected, but I’d prefer silence.

Multiple POVs or one POV? 

Both are fine as long as the story is easy to follow.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days on average? 

I hardly ever read a book in one sitting unless it’s a poetry collection or a short audiobook. 

 

Those are my answers, please feel free to chat with me about any you’re the same on or different. I’d love to know.. and if you’re up for it, do the tag and let me know! Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C

The Breakfast Club Book Tag

Hello friends! It is tag time. Sara @ The Bibliophagist is who I saw do this one in particular, and being a total Breakfast Club Stan, I had to do it.

breakfastclub

Princess

A book that is very popular and pretty on the outside, but you thought was uninteresting on the inside

99PercentMine

 

Sorry, not sorry. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t feeling Darcey whatsoever. My fingers were crossed that good ol’ Tom would redeem the story for me, and was greatly disappointed..and her brother?! *insert eye roll emoji..please* Darcy’s brother was so immature. Before you ask..No, I haven’t read The Hating Game. One day, I do plan to give it a try but with how disappointing this one was, I’m in no particular rush.

molly

 

Criminal

A book that looks/sounds rough and bad, but ended up completely stealing your heart

PRIEST

One word honey, PRIEST.  It’s so damn wrong but is so damn perfect all the while. Sierra Simone crafted this very atmospheric, totally forbidden, so sexy, romance. I was hooked from beginning to end.

criminal

 

Brain

A book that made you think

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

 

When We Left Cuba really made me think.  My mind was all over the place while reading this book, thinking of Beatriz, and her role as a woman during the time period the book is set. It was one of those reading experiences that really had me questioning “what would I do?” I liked how Chanel Cleeton bought to light that not all women just sat by as things were happening. So many actually took action and did their part.

brain

 

Basket Case

A book that people would call you crazy for reading

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

 

The reason I chose Midnight at the Wandering Vineyard for this one is because, readers I’m close to are big on, “Don’t read it, if you’re not feeling it.” I completely roll with this, if I’m hating the book. I didn’t hate this book, but it sure as heck lost my interest to the point, for a while I was reading yet had absolutely no idea what was going on.

basket

 

Athlete

A book that made you struggle/work to finish

womenofthedunes

I had to go with Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine for this one. Was it entirely the books fault..? Not necessarily, however it did play some part in it. Once upon a time, about 3 years ago, historical fiction was my jam! Honestly, it feels like I woke up one day and no longer had any interest in reading it. So, I was a little nervous in picking this book up and once I began reading it, it wasn’t doing it’s best to rekindle my historical fiction flame. I do however think if you are a historical fiction fan, and are especially fond of Scottish history, you’ll love this.

athlete

 

Feel free to answer these questions if you’re up for it. I’d love to see your responses. If you decide to do it, let me know so I can see your answers. xo.

MollyRingwald

Sunday Coffee

We made it to another Sunday friends! We didn’t chat last week, but it’s all good. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in #RomBkLove which is going on during the entire month of May. I’m back though for a catch up so grab your morning drink of choice and let’s catch up.

Coffee 12 May

Song lyrics currently stuck in my head because I’ve been jamming out to my 90s playlist a bit more than usual lately:

“You see it all around you. Good loving gone bad. And usually it’s too late when you Realize what you had. And my mind goes back to a girl I left some years ago (Who Told Me) Just hold on Loosely But don’t let go. If you cling too tightly You’re gonna lose control. Your baby needs someone to believe in And a whole Lot of space to breathe in.”

Thank you to 38 Special for this magic that has me driving back and forth up the highway singing at the top of my lungs, remembering summers of taping songs from the radio, softball games and long days at the pool.

The past two weeks haven’t been too bad. My co-workers, in an attempt to “help me,” cut down on my soda consumption have started this two week “water only challenge,” where the only liquid we consume is water from 7:30-4:30. It’s a total bore and most days it’s around lunch time that I want to whisk away to the nearest soda machine and buy a coke but surprisingly..I’ve been doing a good job. I made it all this week even with the pressure my boss put on me by buying a coke and sitting it on my desk..and OPENING IT. I felt myself beginning to sweat nervously as I heard the air from the bottle breaking free as he twisted the cap. It was torture, but I held out. 

This past week has been overwhelmingly full of tough decisions. I have two troops who were at the end of their enlistments and fighting to stay in. For one of them there is really no hope..the decision has been made based off of the mistakes he has made in the past. He’s done. It’s sad. His wife already had 4 kids when they married and is now pregnant with their baby together. I’m learning how difficult it can be to keep things business and not allow the personal to override the decision that needs to be made based off facts.

I recently finished reading A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. I won’t share too much here because I do have a ‘review’ coming for it, but I really really really liked it and understand why it’s so hyped.

Processed with VSCO with l1 preset

I am currently making my way through The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. I haven’t hit 100 pages yet but I have mixed feelings. My fingers are crossed that things pick up a bit. I remember having so much fun reading The Kiss Quotient..this book feels super heavy right now which is fine, but that’s not what I was expecting.

I also got approved, *surprisingly* for a few books on Netgalley. I have a love/hate relationship with Netgalley. I have phases where I want nothing to do with them because of the pressure I feel when I login, but then wanting to be a good blogger and actually review some books before they come out kicks in and before I know it, I’m back in the game.

I definitely didn’t expect to get approved for The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai which releases early July. I got approved for Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey which I’ve been hearing mixed things about but still want to give a try. A September release I’m shocked I was approved for is Well Met by Jen DeLuca..which I don’t know much about but have been seeing all over Instagram. Think I’m going to go into this one *hopefully* knowing the least amount of information as possible.

I hope in this past week was good for you and that you found some time to put yourself first. I have totally been getting sucked into Netflix, obsessed with Our Planet..another one of those Planet Earth type shows. It’s so good and so easy to get lost into. I am obsessed with the way certain shots are done and the colors. I love it. I hope you find something for you that will carry you away while you’re lounging on your couch or wherever you chill. Until next time, take care of yourself. xo.

B5EF10B8C3AF2A7E7A5CADAA74704D8C