Uncategorized

Romantic Reads TBR

I love reading romance books. They are my favorite genre of books, and they always put me in a good mood.

Valentine’s Day is this month, and I am so ready to spend this month diving into romantic novels. Here are a few that I want to get to this month. And, yes quite a few of them are from my mashed potato list.

  • Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlene
  • Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
  • Falling by Jane Green
  • The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
  • The Wedding Date series by Jasmine Guillory
  • Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstien
  • Start Here by Trish Dollar
  • Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds

Yes, this is a bit of an ambitious list. But, I’m hoping to get through some of them. Will I? Stay tuned.

Shopping My Way Around CT

Clinton Outlet Mini Haul

As I mentioned quite a few times in previous posts, I am obsessed with going to the outlets. This past weekend, I decided to take a trip to the Clinton Crossing outlets with a few of my girlfriends.

I came into shopping with a single purpose — I wanted a new crossbody bag in a color that wasn’t black (I was thinking brown), a new pair of jeans and a laptop sleeve for my Mac. I also knew that I wanted to get my Valentine’s Day gift for my boyfriend, as well as something for Lucy. I also wanted a chance to spend time with my friends, which is a treat in itself.

My friends and I got there around 10:30, and we were there around four hours. And, I stuck to the list. Other than a couple of extra sweaters, that is.

So, let me tell you what I picked up. Since I did get gifts, I will leave those out.

First and foremost, I picked up a new laptop sleeve from Vera Bradley. The sleeve was originally $50. I got it for $20. I love it that it has enough room for my cables and my laptop, and that it’s padded so my computer will be safe.

Next, I picked up a toy and some treats for Lucy. I paid a little more for this, but since I have been having a hard time finding interactive toys, I was willing to pay for it. And, Lucy loved it.

I then picked up some clothes from Banana Republic. First, I got two pairs of pants. I actually have a pair of their jeggings and I find myself constantly wearing them because they are so comfy. Then, I got a few sweaters for $15 and $10. Those were impulse purchases, but I’m ok.

Lastly, I purchased another crossbody purse. Yes, I have a lot of bags. But, I found a purse that I feel I’m love with and I wanted to get one in a similar style. I found this one at Kate Spade for 70 percent off, with an extra 20. I still am looking at a brown one, but I love the color, so I couldn’t resist.

Overall, it was a successful day of shopping and well needed girl time. If you have an outlet in your area, I highly recommend making a day of it and going with friends. Trust me, it’s a fun way to treat yourself and get some girl time.

What I Love Wednesday

What I Love Wednesday: January 29th

Happy Hump Day everyone! It is the last Wednesday of the month, and I am so amazed that we are already at the end of January. It already feels like 2020 is flying by. That said, here are my favorites this week:

  • Graphic Novels:

I started my journey by watching Ariel Bissett’s YouTube channel. In one of her book haul videos, she mentioned that she picked up Bloom by Kevin Panetta. When she talked about the story, I loved it and knew that I had to get that.

I picked it up after finishing the After series. And, I read it within one day. I heard from a few Booktubers about Heartstopper and Laura Dean keeps on Breaking Up With Me. So, I bought both of them on Amazon and am so excited read a few more. And, even if you don’t like graphic novels, I highly recommend that you check out Bloom, as the story is so amazing.

  • Essential Oil Rollers:

My local Pier One is closing, and so I went there to find a few things for my house. They really didn’t have anything for my price range or style. However, they did have these awesome rollers. I picked up a sleep one, and one for energy. I’ve used it a few times, and I already am in love with using them. I go back and forth with using essential oils — I have a diffuser that I sometimes use. However, I love having a roller and I love how it affects my mood ever so slightly.

  • Target Room Spray: 

Having a dog can sometimes be smelly. One day while wandering around the aisles at Target looking for a salt lamp, I found this lavender and eucalyptus room spray for ten dollars. So far, I’ve been using it for a lot of different reasons. And, I love it. I love how my rooms in my house smell as well, and I highly recommend that you pick it up.

  • Little Words Project Badass Bracelet: 

I saw these bracelets while wandering around Nordstrom. I had a Nordy note, and so I decided to purchase this bracelet to remind myself I am a badass. I’ve worn it a few times, and it’s definitely has empowered me. I love this bracelet so much because it’s perfect for layering with my SV Decker Beaded Bracelets, and I can wear it alone.

Relationships

Do Relationships Change Us?

I have been in a relationship for over two years. I can honestly say that I am not the same person who I was when I first entered my relationship. I definitely grew to be more responsible and mature. Same with my boyfriend.

That said, I have began to think about relationships and how they change the person. I don’t know about you all reading this, but I’ve had a few friends who turned into a totally different person since they began dating their significant others.

But is that change a good thing? 

In some ways, it is. For instance, if you have some dangerous habits that are unhealthy, and your partner inspires you to not do them anymore, then that’s a good thing. However, I also think that changing is inevitable, as humans tend to not stay the same. We grow. In the case of my boyfriend and I, we were fortunate to grow together instead of apart. Growing together is such a great feeling, because you can turn around and say look how far we’ve come.

Furthermore, another positive change is when someone saying that they don’t like a certain band or a movie, and then when they begin dating that person, they do like it. I think this is a positive change because maybe that person never really listened to that band, because it’s overplayed, or whatever. This then opens your mind to new things, which is never a bad thing.

However, change can also be a bad thing. Throughout the years, I’ve had so many friends do a 180 from who they once were and began to change their values to please that other person. To me, that’s a scary thing to watch. For example, if someone has said that they don’t want to have sex before they get married, and it changes once they meet their partner, that is a change that is not okay in my opinion. To me, it’s a sign of insecurity. Which is not okay, because it shows that you are more focused on keeping the person happy — not you.

Furthermore, I think the biggest not-okay change is changing who you are to please that other person. I’ve seen that happen so many times, and that’s not okay to do either, because it causes you to feel like you as a person are unlovable. If you like something, your partner should support it. For example, my boyfriend always supports me when I want to crochet or read a book. If someone doesn’t like it that you spend time doing xyz, which is something that makes you happy, then you shouldn’t have to give it up or change it. Just saying.

Overall, change is something that we can not avoid due to circumstances and life in general. We mature. We go through stuff. That changes us. And, people change us and inspire us to grow. However, changing the hard core of our personality just to please someone is something that will never be okay.

Eating My Way Around CT

Eating My Way Around CT: Bangkok Boulevard

Thai food is one of my go-tos when it comes to takeout on a Friday night. I know it’s cliche, but I love it. In the winter months, it’s definitely something that I get on a regular basis. And, it’s definitely one the healthier side.

One of my favorite places in Hamden is by far Bangkok Boulevard. It is located just past the Route 40 connector. And, they easily have the best Thai food in the New Haven area.

Bangkok Boulevard has the best of both worlds. You can easily order takeout. However, if you want to eat in, you have a great atmosphere to do so. The service is excellent, if you do choose to do that.

If you do choose to get takeout, it is super easy to do so. You can call and they will have it ready for you within a half of an hour. Or, you can download the app and order it from your phone. Easy. (Tip: If you download the app, you get emails with coupon codes from time to time.)

I’ve only had a few things on the menu — Pad Thai (in both veggie and Chicken), Spring Rolls and Satay (Grilled Chicken). And, they are delicious. It’s hands down the best Pad Thai that I’ve ever had. And, I’ve explored a lot of places in the New Haven area.

When looking for a great restaurant, I look for two things: value, and taste. This place ticks off all of those boxes for me. It costs about $10 for a Pad Thai meal. However, most of the time, I can get two meals out of it. Furthermore, the taste of the food is great. As I mentioned earlier, the taste is always fresh and it’s always delicious.

Overall, I definitely recommend if you are in the New Haven area and love Thai food, that you check out Bangkok Boulevard in Hamden. Trust me, it’s definitely worth it.

What I Love Wednesday

What I Love Wednesday: January 21

This week is a four day week for me, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m just recovering from a cold and a stomach virus, so I am so excited to just feel better. Anyways, here are my favorites of the week:

  • Little Big Town’s New Album

Little Big Town has become one of my favorite artists lately, and I have had their latest album on repeat since it came out. I have been on a country music kick for a while now, and therefore, have become a fan of Little Big Town. My favorite tracks include: Next To You, Forever and a Night, and Wine, Beer, Whiskey. 

  • Trader Joe’s: 

I have become obsessed with going to Trader Joe’s ever since I’ve been watching Brooke Miccio’s videos. What I like about going to Trader Joe’s is that they have a great selection of frozen foods that are affordable and healthy. I have been getting their soup, their spring rolls, and their cookie butter. And, Lucy has been enjoying their doggie treats, which is actually cheaper than where I used to get them. Overall, I am definitely now a Trader Joe’s fan.

  • Nook Glowlight Plus:

I mentioned in last week’s post that I’ve been obsessed with my Nook. However, there are a few things that still haven’t checked the boxes for me. For instance, my regular Nook Glowlight was not waterproof, which was a huge thing for me. I also heard that the Nook Glowlight screen was a little better than the previous one.

So, I decided to treat myself and upgrade.

And, I loved it.

I will do a review in a few weeks, but overall, I am definitely happy with this purchase so far.

  • Crocheting: 

I have been crocheting a lot lately. There are so many things that I have yet to make. I am currently working on a huge blanket that I started in late March of last year and I have yet to finish. Now that all of my Christmas projects are complete, I am determined to actually finish it. Since I only have a few more rows left, I am pretty sure I’ll have it done before the spring.

What are your favorites this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Journaling · Mindfulness

Wanna Start Bullet Journaling? Here’s Some Ideas To Get Started!

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I am new to the whole bullet journaling concept, but so far I’ve been really loving it. It has been helping me stay on top of my goals, and helping me stay organized.

Now, what is a bullet journal?

According to Wikipedia, the definition of a bullet journal is a method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. It organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming and other tasks in a single notebook.

And, I’m loving it. I love that everything that I need is all in one place, and it’s helping me stay on track.

Like journaling, many people want to start a bullet journal but are constantly unsure how to get started. Here are some ideas for those who want to get started, but don’t know where to begin:

  • Year in Review
  • Yearly Goals
  • Monthly Goals
  • Weekly Goals
  • Week at a Glance
  • Birthdays
  • To-Do lists
  • Books to Read
  • Crafts to Do
  • Vision Board
  • Savings Goals
  • TV Shows You Want to Watch
books · Uncategorized

21 Mashed Potato Books I Want to Get To In 2020

You may be looking at the title and scratching your head. What is a mashed potato book? Well, according to one of my favorite podcasts Books UnBound, a mashed potato book is something that has been on your to be read shelf for a while.

After listening to this, I decided to compile a list of books that I have in my collection that have that classification for a number of different reasons. And, this year, I’ve decided to tackle these books. I’m going to try to tackle one book per month this year. Well, at least one per month as it would take more than that to get through all of these.

That said, here’s my list:

  1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  2. The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
  3. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
  4. One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
  5. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  6. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
  7. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  8. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
  9. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  10. All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr
  11. American Royals by Katherine McGee
  12. Small Great Things by Jodi Picolt
  13. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
  14. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  15. Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlene
  16. Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
  17. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  18. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
  19. Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstien
  20. Start Here by Trish Dollar
  21. Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds
What I Love Wednesday

What I Love Wednesday: January 15th

Can you believe that we are already in the middle of the first month of 2020? No, I can’t. I just can’t.

With that being said, here are some of the things that I’ve been loving this week:

Catfish: I am obsessed with Catfish the TV show. Last week, was the season premier. And, I am so happy that Kami was the new co-host. The show is one of my favorites, because I enjoy learning who is behind the messages. Therefore, I am excited to watch the new season every Wednesday night — or record it when I’m unable to see it. Gotta love OnDemand and DVR.

Nook:

Okay, so in my best purchases of 2019 post, I said that I loved my Kindle Paperwhite. And, I do. But, there’s a few things that I don’t like about the Kindle such as the fact that it doesn’t have buttons, I don’t really know how to access my library, and I’m confused also how to shut it off. I think that is partially because I’ve had Nooks for the duration of my e-reader career. That said, I decided to start reusing my Nook again because I’m reading the After series and wanted to use my e-reader to get my items instantly. I also wanted to be able to carry it quicker. And, I am beginning to really love my Nook again. Therefore, I might continue to use my Nook. I’m not sure if I will, but so far, I am happy with that one again.

Booktube: I am an avid reader. Recently, I began to dive into the Booktube community. And, I love it. I love watching these videos for many reasons. The first is that it excites me to read — not that that’s something that I have trouble doing since reading is something that I enjoy doing. But, it gets me excited to read books that the YouTuber loves or hates. Some of my favorites include:the Peruse Project, and Becca and the Books.

Cinnamon Bread: I recently discovered cinnamon bread at my local grocery store. I made cinnamon toast recently and loved it. It’s similar to cinnamon rolls, but a whole lot healthier. Therefore, I am obsessed with cinnamon bread as well.

mental health · Mindfulness · Uncategorized

What I’ve Been Doing to Help My Mental Health

Ever since the holidays, I have been in a little bit of a funk. I think a huge part comes from the natural hustle and bustle of the holiday season – the cramming of family gatherings and trying to make sure you remember everything that you need to accomplish. However, the holiday season this year was something that was even more draining on my mental health. That said, I’ve been trying to do a lot to help try to ensure that my mental health is my top priority. Here are some of the steps that I’ve taken:

  • Workout More: Exercise is hands down one of the best things that one can do when their stressed out due to the endorphins that pulse through the body. My goal this year, as you probably guessed in my post about my New Year’s Resolutions, is to do workouts that I enjoy. Whenever I do a cardiovascular workout, I always feel much better about whatever is thrown at me. Therefore, I am trying to include working out in my regular routine. Plus, you know, it’s good for your physical health as well – aka an added bonus.
  • Yoga: I’ve been making sure that yoga is added to my regular routine. I love yoga because not only is stretching really great for my body, but it also centers me. It makes me focus on that moment and what feels good for me, and to be present. For me, stress can overcome my entire body. That said, having a practice like yoga that brings me down and stops me from overthinking – at least for twenty minutes – is something that helps me remember to breathe. Just cause, you know, sometimes I forget.
  • Journaling:

I love to write. However, one may think that I journal more frequently than I actually do. That is until recently. I decided to just start journaling, and writing down anything that I was feeling in that moment – moments of grief, moments of anger, moments of anxiety, sadness, etc. I also use my journal to log things that actually went right or moments – big or small – that cause happiness. Getting into the practice of writing things down has been therapeutic for me because it releases all of the negative emotions instead of holding them in. Which you know, is definitely a good thing.

  • Going on Dates By Myself:

Yes, I am in a relationship. But, you can bet your last dollar that I am still taking myself on a date. Most of the time, it is a trip to the coffee shop. I bring my book and I sit and enjoy a latte. For an hour, I focus on only the story of the book that I am reading. And, it is amazing. This is something that I challenge you with – even those who have boyfriends. Take yourself on a date. It can be, as I said, to get a latte. Or, it can be to get your nails done, go to the bookstore, or whatever the case may be. That said, make a date on the calendar and go out on a date with you. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it.

  • Treat yourself: I knew that this past week was going to be a stressful one going into it. That said, I decided to purchase something a little extra special at the grocery store this week – a lovely cake. The plan was to eat a little bit of it every night to help me get through. And, it helped. I savored every bite of that cake. Having that little treat was something that I looked forward to after a long day. That said, there is something about a carrot after a stressful time. Carrots, for those of you who don’t know, are something to look forward to. That may be the cake that I purchased. Or, it may be a trip to the store you love and purchasing something you’ve had your eye on after a long week. Whatever makes you happy and gets you through, you go for it.
  • Listening to Podcasts: Last but certainly not least, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. What I like about them is that they are treats to listen to – and can serve as background noise during tasks I don’t enjoy. Since I enjoy listening to the podcasts, I am able to look forward to the tasks I dread just because I get to listen to the podcast that I enjoy.