Sunday Coffee

It has been forever since I posted a Sunday Coffee. They were my favorite posts to do once upon a time and I’ve missed them, so here we are.

Sunday Coffee

I finished three books this week; The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jiminez which you can see my thoughts on in my most recent reading vlog, here and I rated a 4/5. Then I read The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel which I rated 5/5 stars and most recently I finished Cowboy Come Home by Carly Bloom which I rated 4/5 stars.

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to moderate my Second ever author panel which was a total blast! IMG_1688

All three of these beautiful ladies have new releases out so it was fun to chat about their writing processes and their lives as readers. The event was presented by BookPeople which is my all time favorite Indie bookstore, located in Austin, Texas. All three books are absolutely wonderful and The Boyfriend Project is a Book Of the Month pick which makes me happy! I am always geeked to see romance as a pick. You can check out the BookPeople’s website here and support an independent book store. They have copies of these ladies’ books in store.

2020

Last night I put Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis and The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan on my nightstand. I have both checked out from my library on audio and need to get to them before they are due back. I also checked out my first ever Mary Kay Andrews novel. I hear she is Queen of Beach Reads and she has a new release that I can’t wait to get my hands on titled Hello, Summer. It sounds amazing. I have been in an unexplainable reading mood but it mostly consists of just going with my gut. I predominantly read women writers but now more than ever, women’s stories are getting me through the $hitShow that is 2020. So I’m just continuing to go with the flow because so far it’s working and the reading has been a lot of fun.

Today I plan to squeeze in some movie watching time, but it is currently Weekend Contemporary-a-thon and I’m low key participating in that so I also would like to read some. I have Hallmark movies recorded that I’ve neglected and would like to get watched. I have also before bed, been watching Frasier on Hulu. I will never get tired of 90s sitcoms and this is my first watch of Frasier. It is hilarious, I love it so much. I’ve also gotten back into my first ever watch through of The Twilight Zone (the original) and it is so damn good. The crafting of the stories is so good and I love the lessons that come with each episode. If I watch anything during the day it is usually one of my paranormal ghost hunting shows (I am addicted to them!) I try to keep at least one or two episodes recorded for when the mood hits me but even if not, there is typically at least one on tv.

Cooking life here in the Hill House has consisted of big pots of spaghetti that we can eat off of for a few days, taco nights (my Hubs makes delicious tacos) and the occasional last minute BBQ. Oh, and wine! Lots of wine. Stella Rose Black Reserve is my new favorite sweet red wine and that is a hill I will absolutely die on with no problems.

I’ve been journaling, doing group therapy every Monday at 11 and trying to stay sane like I think everyone is at the moment. I have some days that are extremely overwhelming because I crave that sense of normalcy so bad but I am determined to find the silver lining, and find the vacation in everyday. That’s why today I am plopping on the couch and treating myself to a movie day. So excited.

Sending you my best. If you need to chat, I’m only a message away.

 

What’s Up

Hello friends. The blog has been silent since #Blogtober ended. No worries though, I have been hard at work to make sure there is a daily post in the month of December. I just wanted to pop in today to chat about what’s been going on.

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I turned 33 on November 11th and it feels great. I remember being younger and being so intimidated at the sound of turning 30! It sounded ancient but there is something really chill about the 30s. From what I hear, things only get better from here. The best way to describe the 30s is that you finally find this comfort in, it is what it is. I think we put these expectations on ourselves that by 30 you’re supposed to have x, y & z all figured out and your life is supposed to be totally put together when in reality that’s just not the case. I think for most of us, our 20s were a hot mess and it’s in your 30s that you start to sweep the floor and clean the mess up. And you’re chill about it, you’re not stressing about it. Things will get taken care of with time.

On my birthday I lounged on the couch, read romance novels and watched Hallmark Christmas movies. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My husband made delicious tacos for dinner and it was an amazing overall day.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to slow down, so I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve been reading and not worrying so much about putting my thoughts somewhere. That will come, but I am so happy right now just really trying to be in the moment of things.

I am back in School and it’s kicking my butt. I am currently taking two classes, History of Christianity and History of the American West. Both are interesting, but I’m not going to lie, I’d rather take one at a time. Being that I am paying for my online classes though with my GI Bill, I’m basically getting paid to be a student, so taking only one class translates to less money and my husband isn’t going for that! Especially when he takes like five at a time.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want my blog to look like in the new year. I feel like we are a constant work in progress but as I evolve, I want her to evolve too. We will figure it out. As for now though, I am going to finish watching Mountain Monsters and let the change come to me.

I hope all is well with you. We will chat again soon.

xx

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#Blogtober What We Don’t Talk About as Bloggers

Blogtober

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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Sunday Coffee

Hello Friends. It has been a minute since we sat down over a cup of coffee to catch up. Feel like there is quite a bit to catch up on, so let’s chat.

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Well, I started a new job within my unit. It has been bittersweet. Twelve hour shifts on the weekends absolutely sucks, but you can’t beat having days off during the week. I do love my Sunday’s being at home though so I am taking it with grace and appreciating that although I have such a hectic work week, I have weekends at home with my kids.

Taking over a job when the person who is leaving has mentally said screw it, is tough. The guy I am taking over the position for is retiring next year and has basically wiped his hands way before I even got the job, with the job. It is frustrating, but I tell myself, part of figuring it out for myself is going out there, sitting down with people, having face to face contact and building those connections. So far, I haven’t completely messed anything up, which is good. My main challenge, is staying on top of so many things at once, and supervising so many people. I have about 40 people under me; who all have their own stuff going on. There have been days where I literally sit and stare at my computer screen because I have no idea out of all the priorities, which is the most important and what direction I need to head first. I come home some days drained. I physically and mentally feel that I have given all I have to give.

This is where I want to send a huge middle finger to those who think audiobooks aren’t considered reading. One day when I was extremely stressed out, I got in my car at the end of the day and the audiobook I had been listening to picked up where I left off. The power of storytelling. Within a matter of minutes, I felt all the stress on my shoulders begin to lift. I was so absorbed in the book I was listening to, I began to forget all about my crappy day. It almost bought me to tears. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that something as simple as a story coming through my car speakers was even possible, and that everything was working as it should at that moment for me to listen, because it completely changed the course for the rest of my day.

Although my physical book reading has slowed down a bit, I have been listening to audiobooks as much as I can. They are so convenient and really come through for me, when I want to read but just don’t have the time or energy to read a physical book.

After almost five years of being glasses free, I have become a glasses wearer again. I had eye surgery back in the summer of 2014. I knew eventually, I would need reading glasses. That is something we were actually briefed before getting the surgery, but I don’t remember being told that the surgery wears off. I have felt myself squinting but for some reason never took it serious. I kept going back to, “I’ve had eye surgery.” Well, it is time for me to get a new driver’s license and after two exhausting trips to the DMV, I finally go with everything I need and make it to the end of the process. I have swiped my card, get my receipt, and am told it is time for the vision test. I’m not worried. “I’ve had eye surgery,” right? I am told to read the fifth line and let me tell you, it looked like a bunch of scribbles and upside down shapes. I had no idea what the letters were. So, $50 for an exam and $100 for glasses later and I am back to wearing glasses. I can already tell the difference. I have been taking the glasses off and putting them back on as I look at certain things, completely amazed at the difference they are making. I wish I wouldn’t have been so naïve and went months ago to get my eyes checked. I haven’t went back to the DMV but I am at ease knowing that this time, for real this time, when I go back, I have everything I need for my drivers license. Lesson learned: read read read the websites these places have to be better prepared.

I have been trying to disconnect more.  I think I spend too much time on my phone. I want to get to a point where I don’t wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is scroll on Instagram and Twitter first thing in the morning because let me tell you this Friends, if you haven’t already figured it out for yourself: social media can be way too depressing first thing in the morning. I remember about a week ago, there was a discussion on twitter that I just so happened to login before bed and catch some of the back end of. Well,  I wake up the next day, get on Twitter, and see more comments. It was on my mind all day. I am all for discussion and growth but sometimes, the subject matter, the how it came about and all that, is just not the way I want to start my day. So I removed the Twitter App from my phone. I understand having the app. The app makes it quicker to access the site. I think taking away the convenience of it, is helping with my limiting how much I am on there. Now, I have to get on the internet explorer to get on. Just a few more seconds of work, but still, not as convenient as having the app.  I have also been limiting how much time I watch Youtube. I fall down rabbit holes where I spend hours watching videos. That is time I could be reading, watching movies I’ve recorded or might have missed something amazing one of my kid’s did. There are just not enough hours in the day and I want to be mindful of where I am dedicating my time.

So, here we are, it is November. I will be 32 in 7 days. I am so excited. I am loving my 30s so far. There is something so chill about them. It feels like okay, I survived the hot mess and chaos that was my 20s and now I look at things truly through the lens of “it is what it is.” The Queen, Michelle Obama has a memoir coming out in a few days that I am counting down the hours for. My daughter turns 10 this month, and I am planning a cozy, yet wonderful Thanksgiving. I really wanted to go home to be surrounded by family, but I also want to make memories for my kids where they remember it just being us, doing out best and things turning out just fine. So I really want to make a wonderful dinner at home.

So share with me, what is new with you?

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