#Blogtober October Favorites

Blogtober

Happy October 31st. Let’s be cliché for a moment shall we..I can’t believe it’s the end of October. Seriously though, tomorrow is November, so basically day 1 of my birthday (I celebrate the entire month) and I’m very excited. Let’s chat about my favorites from October.

My little brother visited from Houston, Texas and we watched As Above, So Below on Netflix. It’s one of his favorite movies and being that we don’t get to see each other often, I liked getting a glimpse into his interests. I still look at him like my baby, baby brother..so hard to fathom that he’s a grown man, but he’s such a good man who is very curious and seeking answers.

I highly recommend the movie though. The experience of watching it, is amazing. The directors and writers did a wonderful job of transporting you to the underground (literally) of Paris.

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The five star read that has stuck with me the most from this month is The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. It is a wonderful mystery full of story references and a whodunnit that I didn’t see coming. To see my thoughts as I read this book, check out my Youtube Video

I participated in Spookathon this month which was really nice, but it really put me in the mood to begin reading my Holiday Romances and I’m glad I did.  My stack of Christmas romances continues to grow and with Nonfiction November coming tomorrow, I don’t want to fall behind on my stack. So far, it’s been a lot of fun. My current read has me on the fence a little bit, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that something in the last half that I still have left to read, blows me away. As much as I wanted to stick with the spooky theme for my reads, I went with my guy and I encourage you to do the same. I think as readers, especially those of us who engage in the online community, it’s so easy to unintentionally fall into the pressure of, ‘I have to be reading xxx.’ I am definitely a mood reader and was once upon a time a seasonal reader, but it’s become apparent that my mood preferences are taking over even my seasonal preference.

I made a really good pot of chicken noodle soup a few days ago. Nothing beats throwing a bunch of ingredients together and the delicious smell all throughout your house as you make magic happen. As soon I had that first bite, I was like wow..best pot yet! Indulge yourself. Make one of your favorite meals. Eat in. Light some candles and cozy up on the couch with your delicious meal. Never underestimate the power of a cozy night in.

Documenting my life. It has been overwhelming, stressful and crazy, but I’m enjoy it. I love the memories that I’ve put out there and will be able to return to. My biggest worry is putting myself in a box. I don’t want to put myself in a box, but the process of figuring it all out mixed with just kind of winging it, has been a really cool process.

Share with me friends what an October favorite for you was. I hope this month was an amazing one for you. Let’s make November unforgettable.

xx.

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#Blogtober 10 Songs I Feel On Another Level

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I feel like I’m picky with the music I listen to yet at the same time, what I love is pretty diverse. I love southern rap..the deeper the bass the better. I’m a Missouri born girl so a good country song sends me back to nights at the state fair. My first love was 80s pop and soft rock and I’m forever indebted to the ways 90s music makes me feel. Today I wanted to share some songs that I play over and over either because I have something on my mind and the lyrics take me back to a certain time or place..make me happy or the millions of things in between.

Better Now by Post Malone. When the beat softens and he sings, “I promise, I swear to you, I’ll be okay..you’re only the love of my Life,” I feel that.

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“She said I don’t need a model, I don’t want a movie star. You don’t have to win the lotto, oh I want you to win my heart.”  Next is Simple Things by Miguel. I love how true to himself Miguel is. He isn’t afraid to do his own thing and this song is a true favorite of mine. Damn, the things a girl tends to want are the simple things.

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In another Life I bet you were my girl♡” Next is In Another Life by D’Angelo. There’s something sad, beautiful and romantic to me about this lifetime not being the right lifetime for two people to be together.  I think my fascination with this started way back in the day with Next Lifetime by Erykah Badu..but my most recent fascination with it is thanks to D’Angelo. The music is beautiful. D’Angelo is one of those artists you can tell pays attention to every detail that goes into crafting his music. It’s perfection.

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Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears = my first ever Favorite Song.

“Saturdays when we dance in the dark in the room where it all gets real ♡” Saturdays by Twin Shadow ♡♡

To be drunk and in love in New York City. Midnight into morning Coffee ♡” I Like Me Better by Lauv

“Everytime I see you falling I get down on my knees and pray. I’m waiting for that final moment You say the words that I can’t say ♡” Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order released the year I was born, 1986, and I heard it for the first time recently and it’s all I listened to for days!

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Love Bites by Def Leppard. I heard this one morning in the gas station on the way to work, pulled out my Shazam to find out who it was by and literally played it the entire day at work. Another 80s throwback, released in 1987. “I don’t wanna touch you too much baby cause making Love to you might drive me crazy. I know you think that Love is the way you Make it, so I don’t wanna be there when you decide to break It.”

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Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye. One of the few songs that actually brings me to tears. It was released in 1971 and it’s insane how relevant to 2019 it is.

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“And you come to me on a summer breeze, keep me warm in your arms then you softly leave. And it’s me you need to show. How deep is your love.”♡ How Deep is your Love by Bee Gees. Growing up Saturday Night Fever was my Mom’s favorite movie so the soundtrack was in constant rotation in our house. How Deep is your Love and More than a Woman are forever favorites♡

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Share with me some of your favorite songs, favorite lyrics..whatever♡

xx.

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#Blogtober 10 Things About Me

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Nothing to do it but to do it..let’s get into 10 things about me. I’d love to know a random fact about you.

  • My first crush was in 3rd grade! This kid who’d moved from our town from Detroit, Michigan who only stayed at our school for a year before moving somewhere else. I had shoeboxes full of ‘love letters,’ I wrote to him which basically consisted of song lyrics. I’d literally hear a song on the radio, run home and add the lyrics to the current letter in progress then stash it away in the box. So, when Jenny Han published To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before..I felt that on a whole other level.letters
  • As a kid, I was obsessed with horror. It started with my love of Goosebumps by R.L. Stein and just kind of went from there. The grocery store used to have these little horror magazines in the checkout aisle my parents would buy me. One night, my Mom and I watched the third Candyman movie and let me tell you! All his movies are scary but there’s something about THAT one, that had me scared to go to bed. The horror magazine I’d bought most recently at the time said if you think you have a haunting take a pair of shoes and face each shoe in a different direction at the foot of the bed. It sounds so ridiculous now but that’s how I slept for weeks after..oh and with my softball bat within arms reach for extra measures!
  • I’m one of those weird people who believes in ghosts but have never had an experience. I don’t know how I’d handle it if I did.

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  • I’m a total empath, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I remember during group therapy one time, I was moved into a new room to talk ptsd. As soon as I sat down I started crying! I was so overwhelmed. I told the counselor, someone was going to be notified ‘they didn’t have enough time,’ and someone else felt like, ‘this was their last chance.’ Sure enough, a girl was notified she was being sent home earlier than expected and one of the guys felt that this was his last chance! He’d done so many therapies and treatments. It was crazy. It was real to me, like this is something for real! But it is also really overwhelming taking on other people’s emotions.
  • There are books I won’t read simply because I know I’m going to love it so much! It’s almost like I’m intimidated by the experience I know it’s going to bring.
  • I have slept with my rain app on every night since 2011. Even if it’s actually raining outside, my app has to be on!

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  • I deployed to Saudi Arabia for six months and I’m still pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it there. It was one of those experiences where I really embraced myself in where I was and took it for what it was. Was it the most progressive place to be a female? No. But how many other 32 year old American girls can say they lived in the city of Riyadh? Not many. It was a crazy experience, but I loved every minute of it.
  • I’m an obsessive coca-cola drinker. I know I know. It’s like the worst drink out there. What can I say..? I’m addicted. I do love water too though and feel like I balance my drinking habits out pretty well. Also, in my defense, I am making a conscience effort to drink more water than coke and hopefully weed it out of my consumption eventually.
  • The older I get and the more books I read, my five star ratings are shifting. For a book to be a five star rating for me, it’s all about the experience I have while reading it. There are books that put knots in my chest it feels like. Books that I have to sit down and walk away from because I’m awestruck at what I just read! I pay more attention to the craft of storytelling. I love beautiful writing. If I finish a book and know I’ll be thinking about it for a long time, it’s definitely a five star read.
  • I think my spirit is eternally 17, almost legal but still holding on loosely to childhood. The age I am most excited to reach for some reason is 47. I don’t know what it is but it’s like something has reached across the universe and whispered to me that, at 47 I am going to be wholly confident, in love with my life and at my best. I could and should, totally be doing this now..but there’s something about that age that I am aspiring to reach for. Guess we’ll see what happens. ♡

 

I’d love to know something about you! Share with me a random fact.

xx.

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#Blogtober Sunday Coffee

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It’s the last Sunday in October. It feels like only yesterday I was excited because the month of Halloween was here! October 2019 has been good to me. There have been some dumpster fire days but for the most part it’s been amazing.

At my last appointment with my therapist we talked about making an effort to make myself happy more. So I am trying to figure out what this looks like exactly. As a Mom and a spouse, so much of yourself goes into making sure everyone else has what they need and are happy. This makes me happy, but what else..and should I expect these ‘things’ that make me happy, to make me happy all the time? I am learning to be more realistic with my expectations. Of course they won’t. They can help though.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being a creator and my expectations for putting content out there. I Tell myself, keep it fun. It should be fun. The online community though has this unintentional way of being competitive with stupid algorithms and whatever other calculations they throw in there. You hustle hustle hustle, push out content, you’re happy with it, you love it..but what expectations are there? Almost ghostlike, it shifts from being fun to being work, and for what? Recently I had a good friend inbox me like, thank you, if I can support you in any way, let me know where and how. That meant so much and honestly, the relationships I’ve built with people are what keep me pushing. I want to chat with people. I want to discuss things with people. I guess in some weird way I am just hoping for something amazing to out of nowhere fall into my lap. Hah! isn’t everyone though? Like I’m waiting for some sign that I’m meant to keep going so hard.

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In the beginning of the month my reading was very October theme focused. I was reading and loving paranormal romances. I read a few five star reads. Overall, it was great to immerse myself in reads that were a bit darker and atmospheric. As expected though, I became very antsy for some holiday romances. My stack of them began to get a bit out of control and knowing Nonfiction November would be coming, I wanted to get a jump start. I don’t regret it one bit. Holiday romances have a way of cheering me up unlike any other subgenre. They are so cozy, warm, sweet and romantic.

Last night I watched Hallmark’s film adaptation to one of the holiday romances I’ve read recently, Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale and I’ll be honest, I had to sleep on my thoughts about the adaptation. Initially, I really felt some kind of way because it felt like Hallmark changed so much of the movie and I didn’t understand why. I still kind of don’t..the book is perfect the way it is, but in the end the movie still ended up being okay. I felt like with the changes, the chemistry between Abbey our heroine and Nick, our hero was a bit unbelievable in the movie but it was still an alright movie. Obviously you can only fit so much from a 300+ page book into a 2 hour movie. I guess secretly I wish they would’ve stuck more to the book. I didn’t really see the value added in the switch ups they chose.

Any way, I would love to know what’s going on with you. How your October has been. If you had a five star read this month, let me know what it was in the comments. I am thinking of doing Vlogmas over on Youtube, so if you have any videos you’d like to see, let me know!!

xx.

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#Blogtober What We Don’t Talk About as Bloggers

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Blogging is work! There are days where it feels like literally all day I have been on the computer writing blog posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. I love having a space where I can chat about the genre I love and whatever else I decide to post, but I won’t sit here and act like it doesn’t feel like a job (that I don’t get paid for) sometimes. What helps me out is taking advantage of those days when I don’t have a lot going on and knocking out posts and scheduling them ahead of time.  That way, I’m always ahead of the game and as those scheduled posts come out, I can continue typing new ones. This also allows me some breathing room. If I have a few days where I’m swamped with homework or just not in the mood to type up any posts, I’m already taken care of because I put in the work already.

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It sucks when you put your heart and soul into a post and when it goes live, it doesn’t get the response you were expecting. It sucks. There are tons of posts out there chatting about how to capture an attention grabbing headline. Maybe it was the headline that didn’t pull people in. Maybe it’s the graphics. It can be so many different things. All you can do is keep pushing though. Write another post and put your heart and soul into it. At the end of the day, as long as you are happy with the content you are creating, that’s all that matters. If it bothers you that much, reach out to someone and ask for constructive criticism on what you can do better to improve. Research Research Research! The information from successful bloggers is out there. Don’t let it go to waste. See what has gotten them to where they are.

It’s not enough to just be a blogger anymore. You have to use social media *cough* Instagram to boost your blog. So much for laying off of social media for a while, right? Instagram has changed everything. It is such a critical tool for people with platforms. Your favorite Podcast, probably has an Instagram. Your favorite YouTuber probably has their Instagram linked in the description box of their latest video. It is a cool way to get more behind the scenes, daily life of someone whose content you enjoy but it’s also a way for them to encourage you to check out their latest podcast episode or youtube video. It’s the exact same for blogging. If you’re posting on your blog just for you, that’s different. If you’re posting on your blog with the intentions of growing a following, you have to put yourself out there as a creator. The traffic isn’t just going to come you. You have to promote yourself. Remember my first point of how it feels like a job..

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The online creator world period, has a way of making you feel like you have to pick a lane and stay in it! This is something I struggle with. I’ve created my space and I have moments where I want to include content that’s totally unrelated to my normal, but I’m hesitant because I’ve gained a following based off the content I’ve already put out there. It can be nerve-racking to think about switching it up and putting something new, and your followers not liking it. Like, ‘we came here for romance, so what is this post about recipes here for?’ Do you just rebrand what you already have out there? Do you start over, something new?

 

These are just a few of the things I feel like we don’t talk about as bloggers. I would love to get your perspective on my topics or thoughts you’ve been having.

xx.

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#Blogtober Friday Reads

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Happy Friday friends. I hope this week has been amazing for you. If you have any cool weekend reading plans, share them with me down in the comments. I may or may not have something cool I’m doing on Saturday. We’ll see.

What I’m reading though.. My current read is A Wedding In December by Sarah Morgan.

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Sarah Morgan is a master story teller. This book is such a joy to read. It follows a Mother named Maggie and her two daughters, Rosie and Katie. Rosie, calls randomly with news that she is getting married..in a month! The family is from Europe but Rosie has been in the states, so not only is there a last minute wedding, but the family will have to fly to Colorado. Maggie is harboring the secret from the girls that she and their dad are getting a divorce and daughter Katie, a doctor, just doesn’t believe in love and is determined to talk her sister out of getting married. It’s so good. It is part of my Holiday Romance 5 Star Predictions which I did a video for over on my Youtube..

Fingers crossed, I get A Wedding In December finished today so I can kick off the weekend with something else. I’m thinking I may pick up my copy of Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. Shoutout to Penguin Teen for sending it to me! My friend Carolyn posted on Instagram that this is one of her favorite books and she rereads it just about every year, so that has me even more excited to read it.

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These two are my immediate priorities. Once finished with those I want to pick up Awakened by Mini Boyce, which is book 1 in her Oracle Chronicle series.

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Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love. 

Thank you Thank you to Author Mini Boyce for sending me a copy!

 

Other stuff I have out there this week..

Check out my Holiday Romance Recommendations Video

 

You can also check out my Author Question and Answer with Author Jenny Hale here. This weekend Jenny’s second book to film adaptation will be premiering on Hallmark and I can’t wait!

xx

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#Blogtober 4 Paranormal Romance Recommendations

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October comes and I immediately have this yearning for darker..spookier..atmospheric books. I want books that give me a certain vibe and put me in a certain mood. I don’t know what has come over me, but I have actually read a few paranormal/fantasy romances this month that I’ve really enjoyed.

Claimed by the Elven King by Cristina Rayne.

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I listened to this via Audible Escape. Was it mind blowing? No. But what it is, is a romance between a human woman snatched from her world and transported to the world of the Elven King to be his Queen and bear him children. I didn’t know what to expect. It is very steamy, but at it’s core has a pretty decently strong story line. If you need an entertaining read, I say give it a go. My friend Maggie from Stormereads is going to be shaking her head at me, because she DID NOT like this one.

Halloween Boo by Sarah Spade

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If you were like me, a hopeless romantic to the core, always wondering..’I wonder what would happen if…’ then there’s a strong possibility that as you watched Zachary Binx grab his sister Emily’s hand at the end of Hocus Pocus and finally cross over into the light, you wondered what if Dani and him actually had a chance once she got over? Yes, in my hand I plotted fan fiction for Dani and Zachary Binx to reunite and fall in love. Yes, I know his time was 300 years before hers but I needed something. Thank you Sara Spade for giving me that with Halloween Boo. In a nutshell, there you go. Fun. Worth the read.

Swept Away by Kamery Solomon

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Basically I have this fascination with the idea of you and the person you’re meant to fall in love with being separated by time. I have come to terms with the fact that, that is why I love time travel romances so much. If you’ve ever flipped through the history channel’s line up you’ve possibly seen their show about treasure seekers on Oak Island. That’s where this book kicks off. Enter time travel. Pirates. Knights Templars. It’s an amazingly good time and what’s even better is that it is book 1 in a series, so yes! There is more to come. If anything, read this for Tristan O’Rourke.

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

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This is only my second Tiffany Reisz and yet again, here I am, questioning why I haven’t read more from her yet. The Headmaster was so d★mn good! It is one of those paranormal stories that you don’t really get just how paranormal it is until you get to the end of the book. Just sit back for the ride, fall in love with the students our heroine teaches and swoon at the romance between Gwen and Edwin. Then the ending will come and you’ll be like I didn’t expect THIS!

If you’ve read any of these let me know what your thoughts were, but most definitely if you’re in the mood for something with a paranormal theme I recommend giving one of these a try.

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