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.

 

#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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Sunday Coffee

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

sunday coffee

It’s been a while. A lot has happened. life is changing. If you follow me on my social medias, then maybe you know..I retired from the military!

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I’m very excited but also nervous as hell. This is what I’ve been doing since I was 18 years old. The learning to adjust struggle is real. I still wake up entirely way too early. Now that my job doesn’t depend on how physically fit I am, I have to dig deep and find the motivation to get back into some kind of work out routine. Waiting for everything financially to flow how it’s supposed to has me a little nervous..but I am staying positive that everything is going to work out. *fingers crossed* they always do.

I started making youtube videos again. Crazy, but I really missed talking to a camera. I went back and forth with, do I go back or not, for a while. I reflected a lot on my niche, what lane do I want to be in? I honestly struggle mentally when I come to the realization that I have cornered myself, or put myself in a box, so at this point I am determined to film the videos I want to film and create what I want. Consistency and Transparency are what matters most to me at this point. Put out content and be as real as possible.

I’m in my first online course in over a year and I feel like it’s kicking my butt. Once upon I fell in love with history and convinced myself that teaching it is what I wanted to do with my life! Someone should’ve shaken me! My current class deals with the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam War which truly fascinates me but it’s so masculine at the same time..I’m over it. If I have to read one more time about Presidents who didn’t want to be the one to lose a war or anyone else’s ego, I am going to flip!

The fall is here and I couldn’t be happier. I have broken out the crockpot already and started making different fall vibes recipes. I could eat soup at any time during the year but there’s something perfect about the fall season that just screams *make soup in the crockpot* to me. The joys of having leftover taco soup while lounging on the couch watching some paranormal ghost hunting show are unreal and hard to describe, but sometimes just what I need. It’s been so lovely.

Today is the last day of the Contemporary-a-thon which is hosted by some lovely book tube ladies. This is my first time every participating in this readathon, and I quite enjoyed myself. I have been vlogging and posting a video every 2 days *except Friday through Sunday, just posting them together.* Vlogging everyday is some work. Especially when I vlog a bit then edit a bit, thinking that it will free some time at the end. My reading did start to slow down though toward the end. Friday, I didn’t read anything. I think I was just really mentally checked out after having to read for school Friday morning. After that, I was like No way!

I did start two books yesterday though. Penguin Teen sent me a copy of Looking For Alaska with the movie cover as the cover to the book.

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I’m only a few pages into it, but so far so good.

And I downloaded the audiobook to Irresistible by Melanie Harlow. I was in the mood to return to an old faithful favorite who I knew would pull me out of whatever rut I felt myself going in.

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In a nutshell, that’s what’s been up with me. I have a few articles on Frolic coming out soon, hopefully, that I’m very excited about. I have an idea for Youtube that I think will be a lot of fun, and a series that I can also learn a lot while making. So *fingers crossed* that all works out.

Here is my latest video:

 

But that’s all from me. Let me know what’s been up with you. What are you currently reading or loving at the moment. Be Kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. We will chat again soon. until next time, xo.

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Sunday Coffee

Hey hey. It’s been a while since I posted a Sunday Coffee. Grab your Sunday morning drink of choice and let’s catch up.

sunday coffee

My Sunday Coffee’s have been one of my favorite posts to create so I came to the realization that I didn’t want to overdo it and get burned out on writing them. From here on, they will be the one post that will be spontaneous. I will write them when the mood is right. My life is too boring to write them every week. 

At the end of June I ventured home to celebrate my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. It was absolutely beautiful. My cousin from Chicago is an amazing event decorator and she made the venue perfect. We did it in this historical hotel in our small town’s downtown area. The lighting was amazing. The deserts and the little treats, she created all by herself were too beautiful to eat, but tasted amazing. It was a night to remember and one fit for a Queen.

Some things have happened that really have me examining and working on boundaries. I have been trying to key in on where I need to do better at putting them up. With who. Standing my ground and keeping them up. I’m learning that the dynamics of relationships change. Maybe it’s just a phase of life, maybe not..only time can really tell, but I have to take care of myself. If it’s bringing more stress than not, I have to establish those boundaries and decide what I will and won’t put up with. Know when too much is too much and not let it go there. I hope this makes sense.

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My reading has been great throughout June and so far in July. There have been a few duds, but the experience  of reading certain books and chatting about them with friends has been so fun lately.  I have discovered a few new authors whose work I want to venture into more and show my support for.

I have been doing a lot of research on how to do more with my blog. I’ve watched countless Youtube videos and read many blog posts. A lot of the information out there pertains to fashion and lifestyle bloggers, so I am at the point where I’m tying to figure out how to take the information I’ve jotted down and put it to use as a book blogger.

I was in a mood recently where I really missed vlogging, so I’ve been doing mini vlogs on Instagram via the stories. I’m asked quite often if and when I’ll return to Youtube and I’ve considered it, but I don’t want to put myself in a box. We’ll see what happens. I was ‘vlogging’ this past Friday, as I basically did some 30 minute reading sprints through one of my current reads. I basically used the stories to do updates on how the reading went and what I thought of the story. Sheesh! I read so slow when reading a physical book. I have watched so many videos of people talking about how they have trained their minds to read faster. I can’t. I don’t know if it’s the consumption of audiobooks or what. I can listen to an audiobook on 3x speed and keep up, so reading on my own feels so slow. I love audiobooks so much, but I also miss my reading before I became. fan of them. I find myself dreading having to read a book without the audio version sometimes, because I know it will take me longer to get through, than what I’m used to now.

I’m taking things a day at a time. Working on refocusing my energy. Trying to be more cognizant of what I’m consuming and switching it up if it’s not something that adds value to my life, my intentions or my goals. Things have not been perfect these past few weeks but I refuse to dwell on it. I’m reading my romances. Driving around the city, listening to Podcasts I have saved. Drinking coffee and trying to figure things out. Put things into perspective.

Chat with me and let me know how your Summer is going. What have you been reading? Have you done anything cool? We are so close to the fall being here, and I can’t wait. It’s my favorite time of year and means we are that much closer to Christmas. I am so antsy for Christmas romances at the moment!

Take care of yourselves. We will chat again soon.

xo.

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Sunday Coffee

Hello friends! We have made it to another Sunday, and this Sunday is part of a four day weekend for me which I am so thankful for.

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

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Things I learned this past week:

  • 3 Minute planks suck SO bad.
  • I need to work on time management
  • I feel overall so much better when I’ve had more water than soda to drink.

Okay, confession time. I have never considered writing, authoring a book, until I began reading romance. I have a handful of stories that have been heavy on my mind for the past year or so and I want to bring them to life. Insert the fear and self doubt. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea how to start a story..how to write enough to create a book..how to end a book. I don’t want to be one of those people who assume that just because I’m a reader, that I can jump right into writing and be fine. I want to take it seriously. I want to do my research and do it right. I guess what I mean by doing research is research before I even get into the process of bringing these ideas to light. Knowing what I want to write, I want to read stories with similar plot lines. I want to submerge myself into as much of the subject matter as possible. I also really want to get lost into some nonfiction about writing from the perspective of woman writers. I’m not really rushing myself because I do want to go about this the right way and in my mind, this is it.

Three of the ideas I have are: first, I really want to write a time travel romance. The time travel romance scares me a little because this subgenre of romance isn’t as popular as it was once upon a time. My second idea, surprisingly, is to write a young adult novel. I want to write  a young adult romance that I would recommend to 17 year old me. Lastly, I really want to write a book of poetry..angsty as hell love poems. The poetry collection may come first. We’ll see what happens.

This week the highway going into work was closed off. Yes, your girl was frustrated because it was less than a month ago when the side of the highway coming home was closed. This made my 10 minute commute to work turn into an hour. Looking on the bright side, I get hella audiobook listening time in.

I finished Blackerry Summer by Raeanne Thayne which is book one in her Hope’s Crossing series. I rated this one 3 out of 5 stars. Look, when it comes to this one..I have started and stopped it quite a few times. Nothing really against it, I just don’t think I’ve been 100% in the mood for it when I’ve been picking it up. Even this time, I think its just me wanting really badly to binge a series, is the reason I gave it a go and stuck with it. Next, I finished No Two Ways by Chu Yi Rodriguez which I rated 2 out of 5 stars. I didn’t go into this one with expectations but I was also hoping for greatness with it. Sadly, there was just a lot about it that left me disappointed. A review for it will be coming in June. Lastly, my most recent finish was Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole. I won’t say much about this one here because I have an entire post covering my thoughts scheduled to post next month but I will say, I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

It was a crazy stressful week and I’m glad it’s over. I have got to do better with time management at work. I’ve got to squeeze the most I can into the time I spend at work. I’m tired of going in early and staying late. I feel like a dog constantly chasing it’s tail in circles. My therapist and I have talked about this; having realistic expectations and recognizing that I won’t get everything done that’s on my list everyday. Sometimes it may take a few days. And I need to be okay with this. Listening to the audiobooks I was in the middle of and catching up on Podcasts definitely helped put my mind at ease and definitely helped me chill out.

My wish for you this week; whatever you have to do to help yourself chill out, I hope you figure it out. Breathe in, breathe out and keep going..but have realistic expectations for yourself and be okay with saving some for tomorrow.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sunday Coffee

Hello to another Sunday morning. Grab your morning drink of choice and let’s catch up.

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Shoutout to 3 day weekends! Shoutout to the time having a random Friday or Monday off gives you. This past Friday was so chill. I woke up and tried a new to me coffee shop where I had my first ever Maple Sage Latte. It never ceases to amaze me the many different flavors Baristas can put in my coffee.  After leaving there, I had to get my back right tire fixed. I can only imagine how stressed out I would’ve been had I noticed my tire was losing air while at work. As time consuming I assumed this trip to the car repair shop would’ve been, it wasn’t long at all and while waiting, I got to sit and hang out with my kids. Friday was a local San Antonio holiday called Battle of the Flowers. It’s part of our cities First Celebration and every year school is out for this day. So it was cool to sit and chat with the kids. On a typical work day it feels so go go go that we don’t always get those moments.

One thing I am trying to do better at, is telling myself I can use my free time doing something other than reading..(it’s tough though!) My preference for my Mom time is reading, so I am a horrible television watcher! My husband made me my own profile on our Netflix account and it is so unused, but this week I got on there and saw the Dr. Brene Brown had a special on there. The Call to Courage is what it’s called and while I haven’t read a book of hers yet (shoutout to Long Library hold times) it made me even more of a fan of hers. I laughed, I cried..I took so much away. She is such a good speaker, so relatable, so personable. So if you’re looking for a good watch and have been following her, or are interested in what she has to say, I’d definitely check it out.

I also watched the first episode of a new docuseries (I’m not exactly sure how that’s spelled) they have called Chef’s Table and Oh My Goodness, I’m hooked! The first episode follows and African American chef at a restaurant in Savannah, Georgia called The Grey, named Mashama Bailey. The Grey is located in what was once the Jim Crow South in what used to be a Grey Hound Bus Station that when Mashama first walked through, she could see and feel was once segregated. It was amazing to see this space that once upon a time her own ancestor’s wouldn’t have been able to walk freely through is now ran day to day by her. The episode was shot beautifully and showcased not only Mashama’s journey of becoming a chef but also the people who are part of it: local farmers, local fishermen..the people who assist behind the scenes in making her dream happen. It was beautiful, so humbling. 

“Who you become as a person is up to you–Up to your imagination, your will, your determination, your choices.”-Maria Shriver

I am in a nonfiction mood at the moment. Currently I am about an hour left from finishing I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver. It is just the pick me up I needed. I also have two other on standby checked out from the library: Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning To Say by Kelly Corrigan and Flat Broke With Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha. My current romance is Unbroken Cowboy by Maisey Yates.

I met with my Psychologist and we had a really good conversation. This was our first full appointment together with her being my new doctor. We talked about expectations and literally the entire conversation was an aha moment for me. We mostly talked about work and how I’ve been getting two work an entire hour early with the expectation of leaving at 4:30 (If I’m Lucky) having everything completed! She reassured me, that will hardly ever happen. It was a reminder that I need to cut myself some slack. There will always be something that needs to be done and that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I stress myself out so much at work and still have to go home and be Mom..so I really need to take it easy on myself, and I wish this for you as well. Be Kind to yourself, Take it easy on yourself and Cut *You* some slack.

Let me know what is new with you. Did anything exciting happen in your life this past week?

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

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Sunday Coffee

Yay, we have made it to another Sunday. This past week was one for the books. There’s quite a bit to share. Grab your drink of choice and let’s catch up.

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First things first, I (finally) went to Dallas, Texas! On trips home to Missouri I have driven through Dallas, and it is intimidating as hell. The reason for the trip was to attend my first ever author event. I got to sit front row at Half Price Books and listen to, and ask questions to Chanel Cleeton!

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The event was completely free, I just had to get myself to Dallas and pay for a place to stay. It was a nice, during the week getaway. It was very interesting to hear Chanel speak about some of her family history and the motivations behind both When We Left Cuba and Next Year in Havana. I loved hearing a bit about her background, having studied international relations and attending law school. It made so much sense while reading Beatriz’s story in When We Left Cuba. 

What I found interesting, which I typically do, is to learn that she had no “formal training,” in writing when she became a writer. I think that is so fascinating and definitely inspirational. I’ve had a few story ideas floating in my head for a while but always use the excuse that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve heard a few authors say this but I think hearing it in person from an actual author, whose book I was holding in my hand made it seem more real life for me.

We also chatted a bit about what is to come from her, and I’m so excited. There will be 2 more books that follow the Perez family and both sound wonderful. Cleeton is definitely an author who I believe in what she’s doing. I’m fascinated by the time periods and history she is bringing back to life.

After the event, I was browsing books as I waited for my husband and Kids to pick me up when another attendee and I started chatting. I literally felt like I met my new best friend. Georgia and I found out that we are both Missouri girls living here in Texas. We are both romance readers. She is actually putting the finishing touches to two books she’s been working on and attends quite a few book conventions. It was so nice. The event itself was great, and then meeting and chatting with her was the icing on the cake.

Reading wise, I am currently in the middle of a couple of things. I looked on Goodreads and was surprised to see that I dwindled my currently reading shelf down to one book, which is a poetry collection by Andrea Gibson called Lord of the ButterfliesThis isnt my favorite collection of Gibson’s.. honestly at times I find myself a bit bored but I keep going because there are some truly powerful, hard hitting poems in it at the same time. I’ll share a few passages I’ve highlighted:

“Do you ever feel like the best of you is something you’re still hoping to grow into?”

“what I want most is to live the rest of my life desperately wanting to live it. I want to give that to you. I want it to find you in the nothing at all. I want it to be something.”

One thing that is irking me just a bit too with this collection is some of the poetry is a tad long for my liking. It’s a preference thing. I don’t necessarily want to read a poem that is over two pages long. More than likely, halfway through my attention is gone and the ending didn’t stand a chance.

Aside from that, I started listening to That Month In Tuscany by Inglath Cooper. I was in the mood for something with travel in it, and both the audiobook and ebook have just been sitting untouched for an embarrassingly long time so I gave it a go. I have about five hours of listening time and it’s not a bad book. It does feel a bit too set up, too trope heavy I guess you could call it. It follows Lizzy whose marriage has gone to crap. Her husband is the inattentive husband who spends too much time at work and cancels on her when it’s time to take their anniversary trip to Italy. Lizzy decides screw it, she’ll go by herself because for entirely too long, she’s put aside things she wanted to do for her husband. Insert Ren! Ren is a rockstar that Lizzie doesn’t recognize initially on their plane ride over to Italy. The two end up hanging out when they get over there. Ren just wanting to be normal and Lizzie wanting to enjoy the moments and being in Italy. Oh and let me not forget Lizzie snot nose daughter who I already can’t stand. Cooper thus far has done a wonderful job of creating a cast of side characters who are complete jerks to have me rooting for Lizzie and what she’s doing. We’ll see where this journey takes us.

Let me know what’s going on in your corner of the world. Do something nice for yourself  and be kind to yourself. Until we chat again, xo.

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Sunday Coffee

Hello loves, Happy Sunday! I hope this past week was a good one for you. Mine wasn’t too bad. It definitely wasn’t as stressful as previous weeks. Grab your Sunday drink of choice and let’s catch up..

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Oh, the feeling when you know you’re off for a couple of days. The straight up joy with no chaser. I took leave the first three days of this upcoming week for an event I am planning to go to, but don’t want to share just yet, out of fear of jinxing it! This will be my first time attending anything like this and I am so excited. I have a blog post I am currently working on that has a lot to do with it, and I can’t wait to share the post with you all. I am so not a fan of what I just did hear..leaving out the details..but trust me on this. I’m excited, but nervous..hoping that it turns out perfectly.

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Spring Reading is starting off with a bang. Although my reading has slowed down a bit, I am enjoying what I’ve been taking my time with. I recently finished my first poetry collection by poet Kat Savage called Redamancy. It is the first poetry collection in a good while that has been on my mind since I finished it. As I sit here and gush, let me share a few passages I highlighted:

“ask me what my favorite time of the day is and I’ll say it again and again-just a little after seven in the morning when I’m late for work and the sky is orange and I’m trading secrets like baseball cards and falling in love for the third time this week.”

“My lover isn’t made of metaphors. He is real and I feel him just as I feel my own heart beating in my chest even when he isn’t here.”

“He makes me feel e v e r y t h i n g after too long of nothing. and that is enough. That is everything.”

“I am breathing you in one mannerism at a time.”

So obviously my eternally 17 year old, angsty love poem loving soul adored this collection. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrated I was becoming at not being able to track down a collection of love poems.

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Yesterday I tried a new to me coffee shop called Press Coffee. The two baristas working were absolutely sweethearts, I’m obsessed with the vibes in the place and my Vanilla/Lavender latte was delicious. I’m so grateful to live in a city with such an array of coffee shops to choose from. I’m finding I have my favorites, but looking out for a possible new favorite hasn’t gotten old yet.

I’ve been thinking of hauling one of those tbr carts I’ve seen trending. Is that what they’re really called? I for real, have a stack of books on my dresser and no more room only my book shelves. I low key wanted to haul new shelves this year, but can’t bring myself to do  so when mine are still holding up.  So I started really looking into the carts. Once upon a time, being surrounded by so many unread books would’ve overwhelmed me, but not anymore. It excites me when I think of all these new journeys I have awaiting me. At least that’s what I tell myself when I look at these stacks and stacks of unread books.

This weekend felt like another weekend I deserved. I am learning that when you’re in charge of a team, in my case, about 29 people..I won’t always make everyone happy. I am also learning that sometimes the best thing I can do, is to allow the team to figure their stuff out on their own. I find myself getting the most worked up during the week, when I’m being pulled into situations that I honestly should just let them team handle themselves. With me being too involved in their issues, it takes time away from the tasks that are actual priorities for me. Being in a leadership position is all trial and error until I get it figured out. It has taught me so much and yet I feel like I am continuously learning. I just want to get to the point where I’m not bringing work home and to where when I get home, I don’t feel so exhausted from the “mask,” I find myself donning throughout the day.

Let me know how your week went. Did you read anything good? Any book or Podcast recommendations you have are greatly appreciated. Until next time, take care of yourselves. xo.

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