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2020 Goals

2020 Goals

This is going to be a long one so grab a cup of tea or your preferred drink and settle in. 

I have decided to approach 2020 a little differently.  I am determined to make this year great so instead of jumping in headfirst I am going to wade in.  If I’m honest 2019 was not the greatest year for me in general. I went in with all of these plans and grand ideas only to fall flat.  I have been reflecting on this for the past few weeks to see where I went wrong and what I can do differently. Yes, there were a lot of factors that played into it like my daughter’s active music schedule, not having a job then changing jobs, and so on but that is life and I need to find a way to work with all of this crazy if I want to succeed.  

As I watched everyone put up their goals for the new year and picking their words, I honestly became overwhelmed. But then it all came to me. I fell flat because I  try to do way too much too fast and I burn myself out it’s not a matter of motivation but I literally exhaust myself and end up sick, which in turn forces me to rest and I fall behind. 

I also realized that I have created a lot of bad habits that I need to fix before I can successfully move forward. Which brings me to my plan. Instead of picking a word for the whole year to live by I am breaking it down to picking a word per month.  This way I can build on what I accomplish and I do not overwhelm myself if things do not go as fast as I want them to. This is driven by my main personal goal this year: To take care of myself. I know this seems obvious to most but when things get tough, that is the first thing to go and I need to make me/my health a priority or I am not doing anyone any good.

My word for January is:  Reset

I need to stop and reset all of the bad habits and begin making them back into good ones.  I know from experience that you can not just say I’m not going to do _____ anymore and have it miraculously work. So this month I am focusing on figuring out what I need to fix (I fix one thing and three more come to the surface) and approaching it without the added stress of a hard deadline. I never give myself enough time and that is one of the reasons I fail.  They say it takes two months to create a habit, so I am going to take this one day at a time.

I am breaking down my 2020 Goals down to four categories General, Personal, Blog, and Reading.

Personal 

  • Take better care of myself:
    • Losing 8 more pounds (this is really important to me because if I accomplish this there is a chance that my diabetes will go away.)
    • Eat Breakfast every day. A real breakfast not junk.
    • Drink my daily water.
  • Create Morning and Evening Routines. If you have any ideas I am all ears.
  • Watch at least 1 SkillShare class a week. 
  • Use my Start Today Journal Daily
  • Use my Bullet Journal Daily
  • Engage with people more

General

  • Controlled Spending (goal is to pay off debt)
    • Book Purchases – 2 a month (this is outside of BOTM YA and Audible)
      If I do not buy 2 books that month they can roll over to the next month
  • Use all of the candles I currently own before I start buying more. (This has always been a big issue in the past I really love candles)
  • Use Coupons – Check weekly and before shopping trips
  • Online Shopping – Only do from home (when feasible) – so I can take advantage of Honey and Swagbucks (plus this gives me time to think on the purchase and decide if I actually need it.)
  • Do Surveys: Pinecone, I-say, Paidview point, etc.
  • Work on eliminating fast food (big money suck)
  • Attend String Association Meetings (horrible parent I don’t think I have attended one yet.)
  • Attend Band Meetings (I stared finally attending these again a few months ago.)

Blog

  • Update the look of my blog
    • Find a Theme that I like (I have been wanting to do this for about 9 months but just never committed to anything so it’s time that I do it.)
    • Update with new header etc when I get them (I commissioned these a little while ago)
    • Create a better schedule for updating site pages (I want to start doing this on a weekly basis)
  • Cross-reference Reviews more timely (I want to do this the day they are posted or weekly)
  • Try to not take on more than 1 review book a month (I took on way too many in October and burned myself out. I am still feeling it.)
  • Post at least 3 times a week
  • Be more active on Social Media ( I really struggle because I have an issue with comparing myself with everyone else. Working on that)

Reading

  • Get my Physical TBR to 175 (I hope that I will get this number down much lower but I am being realistic with how I feel right now.
  • Get my E-Book TBR to 50
  • Catch up on more Series (I was surprised how I did last year so I am hoping to do good this year too.)
  • Clean out my shelves at least once a quarter and take books to sell (if I play this right I won’t be spending too much out of pocket for books which helps with my spending.)
  • DNF if I do not like a book (I put way too much pressure on myself to finish books I’m not feeling.)

So there you have it those are the start of my goals for 2020.  I know I want to start an exercise routine of some kind even if it’s just some time on the treadmill I just need to figure out where to block that out but that will come.  Baby steps.

If you have stayed for all of this you are wonderful.  If you would like to talk about any of it or tell me what your plans are for 2020 talk to me in the comments below or if you want message me on another platform.

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2019 Goals

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would put together a post for my 2019 goals. I have decided to do this for two reasons, first so that I can hold myself accountable and second so that I can see what I accomplished once we get to the end of the year. This year I will be starting a new job and I am not sure what all will be coming my way so I am not sure how much reading I will get done.  I read more in 2018 than I ever have in one year but I am hoping to do half as well this year.

I learned a few things this past year regarding my reading first I do not have to purchase all the new releases and read them to be relevant. Some of the books that I was most disappointed about this year I only picked them up because they were popular. I also realized that big hardback books scare me if they are in paperback it does not bother me as much. Crazy I know but I’m working on it.

Goodreads Goal
I am setting my Goodreads goal to 15 books. I find this is a good number because there is no stress to hit it and I mostly just like being able to go back and see the list of books that I read throughout the year.

Physical TBR
I started this year with a physical TBR of 236 I really want to get this number down to at least 175. I really want to get my backlist of books down.

My 2019 10 Books I want to read
Setting up TBR’s is not generally a good thing for me because I am such a mood reader. So what I have done is I picked out 10 books that I am excited about but they keep getting pushed down my pile because of other books. The plan is to help keep these books on the top of my pile of books.

  1. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman | Add to Goodreads
  2. Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Add to Goodreads
  3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard | Add to Goodreads
  4. The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen | Add to Goodreads
  5. Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey | Add to Goodreads
  6. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Add to Goodreads
  7. Witchfall by Victoria Lamb | Add to Goodreads
  8. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton | Add to Goodreads
  9. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl | Add to Goodreads
  10. Now I Rise by Kiersten White | Add to Goodreads

More Specific Reading Goals
I want to either finish or catch up on at least 3 series.
I want to read at least 3 tomes (books over 500 pages).
Purchase less books.

What are some of your goals for this year?

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My last day at work

Today was my last day working for a company that I have been with for 12 years. Over these years I have worked with some truly wonderful people that I hope to stay connected with them for years to come. I received some wonderful gifts and a card with all of there heartfelt words that made me cry.

I have been truly blessed to have these people in my life over these last 12 years. My bosses in New York were the most caring human beings I have ever had the privilege to know.

I have no idea what the future holds or where I will go to from here. I am going to look at this as time I get to spend with my family until another opportunity comes along.

This may be the only post you see from me this weekend as I gather my thoughts. But more will come next week.

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What I’ve been up to

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to do an update post and just share what I have been up to.

Personal

Football season is finally over but we still have a Christmas Parade and multiple concerts before the year is up. So to be honest my reading has slowed down and will most likely slow down more before the year ends. I am still looking for a job since mine is ending on December 15 of this year so there is that.  I have interviewed lately and I am really hoping they come through. So any and all positive vibes would be very much appreciated.

Reading

I finished 2 books since I updated last.

Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn

by Daphne du Maurier
4 Stars
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This unforgettable story of murder, mystery and passion by one of the best-loved writers of the twentieth century is perfect for a teenage market. Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek are now available for the first time in YA editions.

In the bitter November wind, Mary Yellan crosses Bodmin Moor to Jamaica Inn. Her mother’s dying wish was that she take refuge there, with her Aunt Patience. But when Mary arrives, the warning of the coachman echoes in her mind: Jamaica Inn has a desolate power, and behind it’s crumbling walls Patience is a changed woman, cowering before her brooding, violent husband. When Mary discovers the inn’s dark secrets, the truth is more terrifying than anything she could possibly imagine, and she is forced to collude in her uncle’s murderous schemes. Against her will, she finds herself powerfully attracted to her uncle’s brother, a man she dares not trust. 

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

(Steampunk Proper Romance #1)
by Nancy Campbell Allen
4 Stars
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Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. 

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man-beast and all?

I am currently in the middle of three books. (1 I am not sure if I am allowed to say yet.)

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman
by Theodora Goss
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I am 200 Pages in!

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.

Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.

But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?

Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.

Blood Moon 1
Chroma Crossing Chronicles: Blood Moon
 
by S. Yurvati
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Hunky pheromone-laden-man meets pretty accident-prone female—it should have been a love story with a happy ever after ending. 
However, when the bored deities choose Candy and Thorne for an amusing game, the gods/goddesses put forth sets of circumstances that can tear the couple apart and wound them deep within their human souls. 
City girl, Candy wanted to become a successful artist and maybe someday find a man who would make her feel loved and valued, a feeling she’d never known while growing up. However, with a name like ‘Candy Cane’, males never failed to remind her with a wink and snicker, how it sounded like she was a ‘professional’. And ‘professional’ held so many connotations, none of which she had in mind regarding relationships with men. 
With her father’s sudden demise, Candy finds she’s inherited funds and a carriage house in beautiful historic Savannah. Not only can she now afford to go to SCAD, her future as an artist looks promising. Unfortunately, her step-mom (and her disturbing son Todd) resides in the main house. When Candy gets her first commission for a life-sized portrait of a beautiful woman from a rather unsettling man, she soon questions what had seemed coincidental. 
Candy is a modest female who has always found solace in her artwork, whereas her widowed step-mom, Cherry Ann, considers physical pleasure and money as her measures of worth. And as Candy pursues her art, Cherry Ann pursues a new lover who expands her world of sexual gratifications far beyond past parameters. Cherry Ann finds her new risqué sex life to be addictive and doesn’t recognize the danger of the man she’s invited into her life. 
After surviving a couple of ‘accidents’, Candy realizes someone apparently wishes her harm. When she’s chased (by the one thing she fears most) Candy accidentally, or so it seems, crosses into a new dimension, land or whatever. She finds herself in an unknown wilderness without resources, let alone a map, or GPS, plus she left her cell phone at home—again. Looking around she sees a curious terrain that is void of color, thus leaving the landscape looking like an old sepia photograph, hardly the Savannah spring day she’d left behind. 
The artist in her wants to understand how primary colors could disappear to leave a land so colorless . . . so entirely beige-ish. How could such a phenomenal occurrence come about? A land without modern conveniences—almost as though she’d stepped into a time past, yet that wasn’t quite accurate either. 
As Candy literally stumbles through the wild terrain, an intriguing hunter comes upon her. His presence makes her girlie parts beg to become ill-behaved, and before she knows it, her hormones are arguing with her strict moral compass. 

Watching

In these past few weeks, I have watched yes finished The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. 

Podcasts

So I have been listening to a few podcasts lately.

StoryPunks
https://storypunks.world/

Last Podcast on the Left
https://www.lastpodcastontheleft.com/

Lore
https://www.lorepodcast.com/

Cabinet of Curiosities
https://www.curiositiespodcast.com/

Macabre London
https://macabrelondon.com/podcast/

Games 

On the weekends we play WOW (World of Warcraft) with friends that are scattered globally.  

As a family, we have started playing MTG (Magic the Gathering).  We did have not played in years but our daughter decided that she wanted to start playing so here we are.

So how have you guys been lately? 

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General Life and bookish update

General Life Update:

As of yesterday, Jason is not going to have to have surgery on his shoulders. There may be a minor surgery in the future but that is still up in the air. He is healing but still isn’t supposed to lift more than a coffee cup. My brother has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now and they hope to do his gallbladder surgery today. In three weeks we have had to have a gallstone removed, then repair the damage it did, then both of his lungs have collapsed, not at the same time, but still. Jamie is wrapping up her last year of middle school and as so there are multiple things over the next two weeks.

I hate to ask but any prayers / positive thought or whatever you can send this way would be appreciated.

Book-related Update:

So I have learned a few things: 1) being a very organized person can only help you so much, 2) being able to schedule future posts is amazing, and 3) TBR’s just don’t work for me. No matter how organized I am it does not eliminate stress. If you have read above you have an idea of the personal stress I have so I do not need to add additional stress to things which leads me to the third point. Trying to keep to a TBR is incredibly stressful to me because I am a mood reader.  So I have found myself at odds more than once stuck between what I want to read and what I feel that I have to read.  The idea of the yearly TBR and the seasonal TBR are not so bad but these past few months setting up a monthly TBR’s and trying to stick to them caused me so much unnecessary stress.

So it makes sense if it causes you stress don’t do it right?  So in walks anxiety and the feeling that I will be letting someone down if I do not stick to what I said I would do. I do know how irrational that sounds but the idea of failing anything causes me most of my anxiety. So as of today (Tuesday, May 15, 2018), I am throwing my TBR out the window and I will not be posting one in the foreseeable future. Maybe down the road, I will try it again, you never know what will happen, but as of right now I am eliminating this one stressor.

If you have read to the end of this thank you!  It may not seem like much but at least one random person out there cares enough to read this thing through.

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TBR

May 2018 Update and Reading Plan

Hello Everyone!

So it’s the first of the month and time to set up my May reading plan. My May reading plan is going to be more of a wish list of what I am hoping to get to read.  This month is going to be very busy. Jason has an appointment and we will get to see if his shoulders are healing the way they are hoping they will if not then they will have to plan for surgery so positive vibes are welcome.  My brother who has DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) had a gallstone that got loose and has wreaked havoc on him. He has been in the hospital for over a week and will be there for a while. They still need to remove his gallbladder and due to DMD and him being 23 this is not a typical surgery. Then on a positive note, we have concerts/honor society things/middle school graduation for my daughter.  It’s going to be a crazy month so we will see how all of this works out.

So as to not pressure Jamie (my daughter) into reading anything except what she needs to in order to finish out this school year I am not holding us to a book this month.  We may end up picking something but we haven’t even talked about it yet.

On to the Books!!

Ariel
Ariel: The Restored Edition 
by Sylvia Plath
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When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn’t the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath’s original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem “Ariel,” which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath’s works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.

The Last Namsara
The Last Namsara 
by Kristen Ciccarelli
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In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

Practical Magic
Practical Magic
by Alice Hoffman
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The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.

One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

a court of frost and starlight
A Court of Frost and Starlight 
by Sarah J. Maas
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The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

I hope everyone has a great reading month.

Happy Reading!

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Life update

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give a life update. Last Thursday Jason had a motorcycle accident and now has two broken shoulders. Please, please watch for motorcyclists on the road. This happened because someone pulled out in front of him and he swerved to miss them. We are very thankful that he is walking away with only broken shoulders because it could have been so much worse.

Due to an upcoming surgery and getting into a grove afterward with work and taking care of him. My posting schedule will be a light for a little while. I still plan on posting g some content it just will not be consistent.

Thank you all for your patience.

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