Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey and Geneviève Godbout

Since I've been trying to write more often I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about a few thing I've been doing this past week. And what better place to start than with a book review, especially one that's as seasonal as this. I have a few reviews I'm a bit behind on so I'll be doing a few of these this month. If you like bookish updates let me know and remember to follow me on LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Libib (@deelinnea).

This was such a cute little book. I really love reviewing children's books from LibraryThing because I can go through them quite fast (I'm a fairly slow reader when it comes to fuller sized books) and I like
having books I can someday read to my kids. I know, it's super sappy to say that, but I like the idea anyway. So over the past few years I've been collecting some children's literature as I browse books stores, and online. Some of my favorites are Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty (I have got to start picking up more from her), and Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey. I saw this one  on LibraryThing's Early Reviewers and thought that it looked so cute. I mean look at that face! So I requested it. If you haven't done Early Reviewers I highly recommend it, it's a great way to get books for free. Just sign up, and under the "More" Tab select "Get Free Books". It does take a little while for them to get to you, depending on where they ship from (I've had some from UK or Canadian publishers every once in a while) but you can get physical copies or e-books for free. I will say I don't know how they choose reviewers, but it helps if you review some of the books you've already read. So onto my thoughts.

First off the illustrations, all done by Geneviève Godbout are so pretty all throughout the book. It's that rustic, airbrush look that always makes me think of Christmas or winter in general (like The Little Match Girl or The Snowman). It's got very vintage stylizing, and every page is beautiful. The story is, of course about how Santa grows up to be the jolly Father Christmas we know him to be. It starts with his first "HO, HO, HO!" and goes to show how Santa is a symbol of the kindness we show to each other, and the joy that come with having a generous heart. And the thing I love the most about it is the ability to say all this in a 30 page book without it sounding preachy, as many children's books can do when they have a moral lesson.

One of my favorite lines in this book is, "When Santa became a teenager, he continued to be unusual. He knew his own mind. He didn't always fit in with the crowd. But his parents thought he was wonderful." I think that's a very good message and says something that everyone, no matter how old, needs to be  reminded of: It's okay to be a little weird.

I think this is a really good book to get you into the spirit of the Holiday Season, especially if you have little ones to share it with. My little sister and I both enjoyed it very much, as I'm sure you will too!
~Delaney

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Something Wicked This Way Comes


I'm getting into the spirit of Halloween, and Target is a deep chasm to which I pour all of my money into. Lol I'm just kidding. But I bought a dress, and took pictures of other dresses I plan on buying when I can reasonably do so. I'm trying to get better at money management, at being a responsible adult (I refuse to use that word that people use on the internet that sounds childish). I'd like to get a car here soon, though I need a license first, an so I've been saving, but that being said I have been sorely in need of nice clothes to wear to work. I tend to be opposite when it comes to money, I'm okay with buying inexpensive things when I want them, but I'm not willing to fork over the money for good quality things that I need and know will last longer. I also sew, and constantly tell myself "I could make this", but the problem is I don't. I share a room again and so getting out my sewing machine and making a skirt isn't as easy as it was before. Also I tend to be lazy with projects like that and so I take forever to finish them (all things I'm working on). So a week or so ago I went out and I bought myself some nice dresses that will hopefully last me a good while so I can weed out some old things in my closet.


I love this dress, it's so comfortable! A bit tight in the upper arm when I bend my arms, but I've started walking again and I'm focusing on a healthier eating routine now (no more midnight scary movie, popcorn and ice cream!). I'm doing this for me. I'm not good at following routines,and completing goals (Remember my beginning of the year plans back in 2015?), but I am honestly trying. So I bought a few things. And I have to say I love this dress. It's dark blue and the detail is beautiful! So I dressed it up with some grey tights, and some kitten heels from Poetic License. And then of course my new favorite accessory: the Time Turner my sister Bri and brother Fraser brought me back from Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station.

I have loved it so much and worn it every day since! I am loving this autumn so far, though it could be colder (it's 86 today!). We've gone to pick some pumpkins an it was really fun. An autumn tradition my family has is going to Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen to pick our pumpkins, we get some apple cider, and pie, and look around in the shops and it's all really lovely.








We went the Sunday before last and again I wore my Time Turner, a dress a friend of mine gave me, though I don't remember where she bought it, and some boots from Target. It was nice and cool, which was a good change, and although we weren't able to go hiking I wore some boots, and this green dress which ended up being a smart decision because the temperature did pick up in the late afternoon. The boots are from Target for a year ago and the purse is as well. This sweater is something my brother was getting rid of I think. None of us are really sure where it came from, unfortunately a common ordeal when you live with a lot of people and you all love thrift shops. But it fit me so I took it! They had this adorable pumpkin house at the place we went to go pick our pumpkins and I just couldn't miss that photo opportunity! Also this is what I imagine my house would look like if I lived in a autumnal forest as a fairy (one of my life goals).
We all got to look in the shops and I found this really weird and cool witchy cloak in one of them. It was incredibly heavy and kinda smelled like it had been sitting in an attic for years, but it had arm holes and a really cool hood, but I forgot to get pictures of it up.

We spent most of the day there just looking at everything, and trying out some of their jams and other fun things. They have you-pick raspberries when the season is right, and some nice trails to hike. So if you can battle the crowds it's quite a cool day trip!



























Sunday, October 22, 2017

And We're Done!

I made it to midnight! So much fun! so here's the total:

I've finished four books today:

Audiobook - The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Audiobook - Classic American Short Stories featuring Ambrose Bierce, Steven Crane, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Jack London, James Fenimore Cooper, and Kate Chopin
Comic - Mickey Mouse & Goofy: Mystery Island (A vintage comic but the author and artist are not names)
Paperback - A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner

 and I've made effort on two others:

Paperback - The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo
Audiobook - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

And believe it or not I cleaned most of my kitchen, so I'm quite proud of that!

Now I am just continuing with Hitchhikers' while I wait for my sister to finish showering, because I haven't showered in 24 hours and I still have to teach a class tomorrow at 11:30. But I am so glad I did this! My first full Readathon! Well goodnight!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readathon Day

2:00 a.m.
So it's started. I've officially been reading for two hours! Switching between a audio, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and a paperback, The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo. Both very good so far!

11:08 a.m
I read from midnight until two last night, and then slept for six hours, and picked up Bone Gap again. I'm nearly finished with it.

11:26 a.m.
Finished Bone Gap! I lived it, and will definitely recommend it to anyone! So good! Onto the next one, Classic American Short Stories!

3:37 p.m. Finished with Classic American Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce, Steven Crane, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Jack London, James Fenimore Cooper, and Kate Chopin. It was pretty good, some were more interesting than other, as is normal when you are sampling different authors all at once. Next I'm on to a few more chapters of The Fire By Night by Teressa Messineo, and then I'll probably switch back to an audio. I never thought I'd get so much accomplished today! I've cleaned almost all my kitchen! I love audio books!

4:33 p.m. I finished Mickey Mouse and Goofy The Idol of Mystery Island. An old Disney comic I bought at a yard sale once. Super cute stories, if not a tad culturally insensitive. Onto the next one!

8:07 p.m. I finished my next book.! A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner. It's a short (123 pages) book on youth ministry and being a a good leader and connecting to kids that may have completely different lifestyles as you. It's really good and if you work in youth ministry I highly recommend it! Next up is finishing The Fire By Night my Teresa Messineo Because the last book I have is the one I'm most excited for!

10:23 p.m. Change of plans. I've been doing dishes for the past few hours so I chose to stick with audio books and am currently listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The audio book is read by Stephen Fry and so good seeing as he did the voice of the narrator for the film! I have an hour and a half left in the day and I am so glad I was able to complete this day! So far I have completed four books and I will only have about three hours left in the book at midnight so I can finish it off tomorrow. So I am going to start packing up and spend the next hour getting ready for bed! Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Booklist and Prep

This year I'm going to commit to the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. I wanted to do it last year but I didn't plan it ahead of time and I ended up having a lot of things getting in the way. So here's me planning ahead.

If you haven't heard of the Readathon it's a worldwide reading event where readers take the day to do what they do best: Read! It takes place twice a year, in October and May, and the next one is Saturday, October 21st. I am Reader 102 on the list of readers and I am super excited to get going. These past two years I've been in a bit of a reading funk and haven't had a lot of enthusiasm for the books I'm reading so this is going to give me a chance to dig into my TBR, and find some good reads!

I've been reading a lot about the challenge: tips for readers, people getting really excited to start and I feel I am ready to get going! I'm stupidly excited about this challenge, and so I'm gearing up! I'll update you all the day after on how it goes.

If you're interested in doing it too sign up at the Readathon's website and let me know what your reader number is! It would be awesome to know some people who are reading along with me!  Also do a little bit of research. There are some really good tips I'm seeing on blogs from people who've done the Readathon before about preparing. Things about what types of books are easier to binge, ideas for Readathon parties, snacks, and more! This one from Book Riot is pretty good. Lots of them say to pick shorter books, and to mix it up. If you aren't making a lot of progress on a book switch to another. Oh and make sure you eat and adjust your eyes every so often! It sounds like a pretty fun event.  Apparently they do give out some prizes, and there's some mini challenge as well if you're not able to participate in the whole challenge.

So, on to the books! Lots of what I'm seeing says have a variety of books and formats available to you, and obviously, know your strengths and weaknesses. I am a slow reader, so they suggest starting with shorter books, it helps you feel like you've accomplished something from the get go. I tend to go for YA or Chick Lit kind of books, so I thought this would give me a chance to crack open some of my other genres. I am really good at bingeing audio books and tend to finish them quickly, so I have a few of those on hand.

I decided to start with a pretty small list and work my way through the shorter pieces. And if I can manage that I'll add to the list, still keeping the texts pretty short.

2017 Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Booklist


  1. The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo - Paperback
  2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby - Audiobook
  3. Classic American Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce - Audiobook
  4. A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner - Paperback
  5. Mickey Mouse and Goofy: The Idol of Mystery Island - Comic
I decided to pick some of the books that I've technically already started but never finished. I tend to pick books up all at once and then never devote enough time to one of them and finish it, so I'll definitely start them over one at a time, though some people have suggested that breaking a book up as you read another helps when you start to feel stunted.

Ultimately this is all about the fun of reading so whether I finish all my books or none I'm still going to love having an entire day devoted to reading!

Remember to let me know if you are taking part in the festivities, and share your booklist. Happy reading!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This Is How My Brain Works: Anxiety, Decisions, and Getting Things Done


I think I'm going to be starting a series. Mostly I've been writing a lot lately and I've fallen back into liking it again so I think I'm going to just run with it. 'This Is How My Brain Works' is going to be my unfiltered thought process. I'll pick a topic, or just start writing and see where it takes me. It could end up being a Magical Mystery Tour into my psyche, boring AF, or somewhere in between. 




Lately I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety. I am going to be starting school this Monday, and I'm very nervous. I haven't even started yet and I'm worrying about falling behind, or dropping out. I was never a really great student when I was in school, and going into something new in general makes me nervous. Well mostly everything makes me nervous.

I don't ever really talk about it, but I worry about everything all the time! Even silly things.
  • I smiled way too much at that barista. Now he'll think I'm hitting on him.
  • I haven't washed my hair in a week, people probably think I'm an ogre.
  • That joke was mildly insensitive if you don't get the reference to this show or that movie. They think I'm horrible!
  • Is 'crap' a curse word when you are talking to the parents of preschoolers? Should I have said 'Shoot' in front of them or does that sound too much like Sh*t?
  • Does the other receptionist know that I wore these pants twice this week?
  • Should I really be wearing jeans to work this many times anyway?
And those are just the day to day worries! The stupid little ticks in the back of my mind that go off as often as they see fit, as I go about my life. Then there's the Big Picture Worries! The ones about my life and future, the ones that make me nauseated every time they squeeze their way into my mind.
  • Do I eat too much? Too fast? Too frequently? Not often enough?
  • I know I've known my best friend since 4th Grade, but does she really find me funny or am I irritating? Am I an obligation?
  • What's going to happen when I get a real job?
  • I know I'm excited for this or that opportunity, but am I really the kind of person they want watching their kids? Leading their teenagers? Being an example?
  • Is it too late to start college?
  • Is it really worth going when I know it's going to be a challenge?
  • Can I make it as a teacher?
  • Should I just give up now?
  • Should I pursue new friendships when I know it's going to be hard to hang out because I still don't have my license?
  • If I haven't had a boyfriend by the time I turn 22, will I ever meet someone?
  • What will I do if I ever have a baby with MAS as well?
  • Am I good enough?
I tend to be a person who either shares way too much or not enough, and then I end up going over that awkward thing I said again and again in my mind until I'm not really sure what I said, but I know it was probably something dumb and I should just go hide under the bed for a year.

You know that dream when you go to school and everyone laughs at you because you're in your underwear? Well I never really had that. But I have had that fear of being called out as different, of being told, "You don't belong here." That dream where even the people you are closest to turn their backs on you because they're finally done with your stupidity, your immaturity, that weird laugh you have, or how you're always biting your lip when there's a lull in the conversation and you can't think of what to say next.

This last summer was basically that feeling for six out of ten weeks straight. I got a job with a travelling summer camp and I knew nobody. I have a really hard time introducing myself in the first place, and because of that I tend to come off as snobby or even doltish. I feel like I don't make enough of an effort, but I don't really know how to. Which is weird because everyone else in my family seems to make friends wherever they go! I just get tongue tied, I forget people's names, or I say something stupid and then leave abruptly (True story!). I am awkward AF! I don't volunteer myself, nor do I start new things without worrying about it for weeks on end.

But for some reason at the beginning of the year I got up one day and said, "I am going to start school." And the only thing that could possibly have any influence on that decision was a book. No thought, no preparation, I just decided based on some pretty words someone I don't know said!

Not that that's completely out of character! I tend to be the type of person who either over thinks and then doesn't follow through or makes snap decisions and jumps blindly into an abyss. That's how I ended up working for NDC this summer, that's how I ended up joining 4-H in high school, that's just how I make my decisions! When I think about an option for any length of time I usually just end it with, "I could never do that." or "What if this ends up happening?" and I chicken out. I think of every little thing that has gone wrong in my life, and I say, "That is why we can't have nice things! This is why friendships end! There is the reason you are a hopeless person!"


I try not to talk about my anxiety. I feel like it's a word that's thrown around so often that it's lost all meaning now. That people who use it are just lazy, or they're making excuses instead of facing the world. But the fact of the matter is we all have it, some much more than others, but all of us nonetheless. The issue is that instead of teaching ourselves and our kids to treat those anxieties, to work through and overcome them, we give it a free pass. We turn it into an excuse instead of a problem in need of solutions.



Now before I get called out I will say this disclaimer: No I am not a doctor. I am basing this all on my own personal research and experiences. There are all kinds of manifestations of anxiety. Depression is a real medical condition where your brain releases the wrong gasses in the wrong amounts, causing many problems, not all of which can be cured by just, "Getting some sunshine and hugging a puppy".

Depression is defined as:
"condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal;sadness greater and more  prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason."

(It is also worthy to note the definition of Clinical Depression).

Whereas Anxiety is defines as:
"Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune."

I have known people with depression and it is a constant battle that they are actively working through every day.  Anxiety, for the most part, is fear. It's can be overcome with a diligent routine to make the right choices to prevent our emotions from taking over. Depression is something that takes constant work and never fully goes away.



Now that I've cleared that up I'd like to say that even though we know this, it can still be hard to help ourselves when we're hit with anxiety. I tend to be the type of person who denies I even have it, and so when I have peaks I bottle it up, I say, "That's not you, you're being a paranoid and you just need to get over yourself." But that is probably the worst thing you can do with anxiety because, at least in my case, I tend to shut down and just avoid facing my fears, which furthers the problem in the long run.
Part of fixing something is admitting that it's hurt, right? So here are some of the things I try to do when I'm overwhelmed and anxious, and a few others I found online that I will definitely use in the future:

Stop 
Stop whatever it is that's making you anxious for about 5-10 minutes. Put it down, you will get to it later.

Calm
Take some deep breaths. I am a visual person so I like to think of anxiety as a dark cloud in my lungs. I really focus on filling my lungs to their fullest, and slowly expelling it from my chest. Maybe try closing your eyes if it helps.

Think
Think of AT LEAST three positive things about yourself. Say them aloud if it helps, "I like to decorate cake. I have a huge family who loves me and wants me to succeed. My entire left hand is an inch longer than my right hand. I am awesome at math." Reassuring yourself always helps with stress.

Take Care
Get a drink of water. Sometimes hydration is the best cure. Do you need: To get a snack? To open the window? To go to the bathroom? Then do so. Ignoring basic needs when under a lot of stress only adds to the problem.

Relax
Doodle a bit to calm yourself and boost creativity. Hum a song that calms you. Have one thing that helps you relax quickly at your side for when you can't get up (like when you're in a test or about to make a speech): Are you a fidgeter? Then maybe have a ball of Play Doh to squeeze and roll in your hand, or try one of these. They're small and so they won't be noticeable in your hand, and they're way less distracting than a clicking pen or a tapping toe. (I actually just bought one and I'll do a review of it here in the near future.)
Don't do all of these though! That's going to be really distracting. Find one that works for you and still allows you to focus on the task at hand. Then stick with it!

And always remember to breathe! Try taking deep breaths before going into interviews or doing a presentation, or anything else that causes anxiety for you. Use the silly cloud method I talked about to cam yourself or take some power breaths to amp yourself up if you're feeling a bit down or frightened.

Plan
Think of the first thing that needs to happen. Make a physical to do list or just a mental one.
Sometimes to do lists don't work for people. You get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do that you end up staring at the list instead of completing it. So instead say, "What do I need to do now?" For example when studying: Right now you need to read a chapter of "X" Book or write "X" amount of words for an essay. Focus on just that and nothing more. Once you're done move on to the next step or...

Reward
Find a reward system that works for you.
Reward yourself with an Oreo for every chapter you read. Or a chapter of a book you're reading for fun for every hour you spend on your power point for work. But set limits or you'll end up abusing your reward and your work will fall by the way side. Found something that just distracts, or makes your more anxious? Cut it out of the routine!

Watch
Watching your time is really important! Making sure you're not powering through to the point of exhaustion is always good if you're that type of person who just wants to get projects completed. Make sure you are taking those breaks at least to just eat something, or relax your eye if you're working at the computer or reading. But you also need to watch your time during breaks if you tend to get distracted by other things when you need to focus. Ask yourself questions periodically, "How am I doing? Do I need gum? Do I need to remember to breath? would I be more comfortable without shoes on? Would anyone notice if I slipped them off for a moment? Assess quickly and take care of it now to avoid them irritating you later on.

Reflect
Proof that I'm still working on these? I just had to pull myself away from a jar of raspberry sorbet and a long scroll through Facebook after taking a break on this post. A break that was almost twenty minutes! This proves that social media and desert are distractions for me and not good ideas for breaks. Try out different things, and figure out what's not allowed to be a break for you. If you too can't help but sitting on social media, than make sure that is not your reward. If you are the type of person who's always saying "one more chapter" or "just after this episode" then make sure that reading and Netflix are not your rewards. If you know you won't be able to stop don't even start.

And that's what I've got! I am not going to say that these work for me 100% of the time. I still really struggle with distractions and anxiety. And usually the latter is caused by the former. But it's all about finding your balance. If you have a friend who also struggles with anxiety or distractions ask them what they do to combat it. Maybe there's something you haven't tried before. And likewise if you have some tips, advise or critiques on some of my suggestions by all means let me know!

~Delaney

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reading Update!


I have been reading out the wazoo this week! I started the Read Harder challenge over at Book Riot. I just finished 'A Book Published This Year', and I chose Veronica Mars, book two, Mr. Kiss and Tell. I was a huge fan of the show when it started, and am constantly re-watching it! if you haven't heard of it look it up, watch it, and love it! As I said this is the second installment in the book series, it picks up a little while after the last book. It's a series that you could technically go into without having watch the series or movie, but I am a huge Marshmallow and highly recommend it (plus there's only three season, a movie, and two books, so it easy to jump right in, and be caught up real quick). This book was SO good, it brought back a character that was forgotten since her appearance in season two, and I loved the way that her story was finished after the nine and a half years since she was introduced. I don't want to give too much away but I will say we get to see a lot more Logan, and even an appearance of Leo! I highly recommend this book, Rob Thomas just keeps getting better, and it'll tide you over until his new series iZombie starts on the CW!


 I'm currently reading quite a lot of books. I got the Bluffer's Guide to Chocolate by Neil Davey about a year ago on LibraryThing's Early Reviews, but it took me forever to start reading it because it was in .epub format and I couldn't find a program that would read it, and when I did find one I could only read it on my computer at home, because I couldn't find a way to upload it to my phone(I've finally decided I need an e-reader). And so I restarted it this week and I'm really enjoying this book. It's just a brief overview on the history of chocolate, and some fun facts that you can use to make yourself sound like you know what you're talking about when the subject comes up, but it's actually fairly interesting for a brief-history-type book. and these books are all under 100 pages from what I've seen so far, so they are quick reads, if you don't quit on them because of weird formatting like I did. I'm also starting the book on surfing in this collection, written by Craig Jarvis, which I got the same way and had the same issues with, but that being said LibraryThing's Early Reviews are a great way to check in on what's coming out soon, and get free books at the same time. This one is good too so far, but I'm not that far along with it, so it's too early to tell. I knew a lot of the terminology, growing up here in California and having sisters who surf, but I am hopeless on a board, and though this would be a bit of an encouragement to get back out there, and work on my balance so that I can start surfing again. Also I just really love the beach, and want one of those Goof Boards.

 One book that I have been enjoying so much, but I just had to put down so I could finish a couple of others is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. This book is interesting, it's cute, and it's just absolutely absurd! I can't even begin to describe it so I'll let Amazon do that for me:
"When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
"On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers."

It's one of those books you just can't put down, then again I have an addiction to Korean TV dramas(Rooftop Prince is amazing so for, and You Are Beautiful controlled my soul for sixteen episodes), so maybe I just can't put it down. 

The next one on my list I haven't picked up yet, but I've read all the previous books in the series, Hidden by the mother-daughter duo P.C. and Kristen Cast is the tenth of twelve books in the House of Night Series, not including the six Novellas. I haven't started this one because I wanted to finish off the first three in this list before diving back into this series because it just takes you away from reality. The House of Night series is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in an alternate world where Vampires(they spell it Vampyre) are real and everyone knows about them. The main character is Zoey Montgomery (as she starts out, soon changing her last name to Redbird to identify with her Cherokee heritage) who gets Marked as a Vampyre and her life is completely changed around, she starts going to the House of Night, a high school/finishing school, that teaches students how to be a Vampyre, there's a ton of hippy-dippy mythology related to the Cherokee legends, as well as their own mythology related to their Vampyre goddess Nyx. The series dose touch on social issues like homosexuality, and slut-shaming, which in my opinion can become preachy in the sense that the authors teach a lot of acceptance of diversity, which I'm NOT bashing, but then they can start off saying don't be mean because someone is gay and then turn around and talk about how being a Christian is the worst thing you can possibly do. Zoey's mother and step-father are very conservative Christians with sudo-Mormon beliefs, which I found irritating because the authors seemed to bunch up all types of religious views and only explain the judgmental conservative types, using this as a basis for why religion is cruel, In my opinion a bias and hypocritical conclusion. However this series is action packed, with some great mysteries along with some silly teenage drama, and it's altogether really fun! Zoey has some amazing friends each with great personalities. The Vampyres in this series each have different affinities, from James Stark's archery skills(he never misses the target), Aphrodite's visions of the future, and even to Zoey's ability to control all five elements(water, earth, fire, air, and spirit) this series is so good! I will caution that, though it is labeled Young Adult, the series was originally planned to be adult fiction, so there is a lot of cursing, and discussion about sex, it's kind of Gossip Girl with Vampyres. That being said I can't wait to dive back in to this series!

This is a book that doesn't bother me that I'm reading it with multiple other books, in fact it makes it more enjoyable. Robert Frost was a very wordy poet and many of his poems are dreary and depressing, but because I am a stickler for finishing a book once I've started it I continue to tell myself I will finish this book. His poems can run long, and some of them are quite beautiful, but many end in tragedy. Which I don't mind, I love Edgar Allen Poe's work, but Frost's tragedy is more akin to Nicolas Sparks than Poe so it can be a bit dreary, and if you're like me you'll yell, "BUY A PUPPY, AND EAT SOME ICE CREAM, YOU DEPRESSED OLD MAN!" on more than one occasion in this collection. But it can be quite enjoyable in small doses if you do enjoy a bit of mopey poetry every once in a while, so it doesn't bother me that I'm reading this one in between the others.






The first book int the Wildwood series, simply named Wildwood, by Colin Meloy, the lead singer of the band The Decemberists, and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis is another one that I am enjoying tremendously, but for my own sanity I put it down so I could finish off a few others. The series is set in Portland, Oregon, where the authors currently reside, and follows the story of a young girl, Prue and her friend Curtis as they embark on an adventure to save Prue's baby brother, after he's been kidnapped by a murder of crows and taken into the Impassable Wilderness. This book is just a really good story beautifully illustrated and very well written. If you like The Decemberists you've probably heard of this series, but if you haven't I highly recommend it! Especially if you're into the Portland scene, or just really like Portlandia.



And last but not least, especially because it has the most pages in it, is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I was kind of late to the whole Harry Potter craze, I am a tremendously slow reader so once I got to the fourth book in this series it took me forever to get through them, and also Netflix doesn't really help with concentration. The Harry Potter series is pretty self explanatory if you've been living on earth for the last twenty years. I was a huge fan of the films, but I was in the middle of a series that my mom had suggested at the time, and I was trying to finish it(I never did). And then I just kind of forgot about Harry Potter, and when I did think of it I was too involved in other series so it just sort of slipped through the cracks, if you will. But I started reading them in 2011 in between other books, because I had already seen the movies, and knew what happens. I really love this series, and understand why the fans are so devoted. And even though I loved the films, the books just have so much more to them! One complaint that I had when I watched The Sorcerer's Stone for the first time was that Nicolas Flemel's character was not explained at all, and so I did enjoy answering those questions I've had when I watch the films. J.K. Rowling is one of those authors that help you forget that there is an author (does that make sense?), the charters have such strong voices, even if they're being narrated over (eg: "he was thinking" vs. "I was thinking"). I just love this series, and I do actually regret seeing the films before I read the books.

And that's it! My really long reading update!
Links for Readers:
LibraryThing - Book Community, Free Accounts, Book Swaps, News, and Free Early Review Books!
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Book Riot YouTube - News on New Releases, Reviews, and more!

My LibraryThing and Goodreads are on the right hand side of this post, along with other places you can follow me. Have a good day guys!

~Delaney

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Years Resolutions (While it's Still January)

Ugh, I have been incredibly busy and lazy all at the same time. Work got hectic for a while, and so in the evenings and on weekends I just vegged. A lot. I had a lovely holiday season, and hope you all did too. My sister came home from Texas, and we got to spend more time with her than I thought we would. We had a lovely 'ol time together, and then she went back, and we all miss her a lot. My days have been filled with work, and then it died down for a little while until we had some emergency filing this last week. But finally that is done.
I've been really thinking about the idea of a New Year's Resolution. It's viewed as something you have to do, and I feel like that's why December is unofficial New Years Resolution Month, because everyone thinks "Oh Crap, I didn't do the thing!" So I didn't make a New Years Resolution, instead I thought about happiness and health and how they really go hand in hand. People are healthy when they're happy, and it's hard to find happiness in life when you're in unhealthy situations. I'm not talking solely about dieting, or a bad relationship, though that can also be applied here. I'm mostly talking about habits like making sure that you are positive about the morning, no matter what and then seeing where that takes you. Now I'm not going to say that just because I get up in the morning and say "I'm gonna be happy dammit!" that it makes it so. I'm talking about making little goals and treats for yourself everyday. I've definitely struggled with it so far, so I'm not going to lay out this Forty Week Fitness Plan like you see on Pinterest. I'm going to make small, teeny tiney, itty-bitty goals, a few a week and try to keep good on them. They say it takes a full 21 Days to change a habit, which means I would have been really productive on Tuesday if I had started working on my laziness on New Year's Day. But alas the cycle continues. So I was thinking that if I make fifteen large goals for 2015 I can come here and check off all of the little things, as I work on those big things. And it gives me a chance to do a bit more blogging than I usually do, which is nice. I know what you're going to say, 'that's the exact same thing that you said you hate', well not exactly. I get motivated by lists and goals and moving. I will not clean my room on the weekend if I don't sit down on Friday and say 'what needs to be done, and how can I accomplish it?' That's just who I am.
I also like to workout a lot when I'm trying to loose weight because I tend to eat healthier when I'm working out even though a large amount of being overweight is not lack of exercise but poor eating habits and  I'm also, unfortunately, the person who will make plans and come up with excuse after excuse if I don't have a way to check in on myself. Today I saw a vlog from a lady I follow on YouTube, Louise, and she was talking about getting into working out again, and keeping herself motivated through social media. She's been using a hashtag #GlitterGetsFitter and it kinda motivated me to work on my health as well. Diabeties runs rampant on my mom's side of the family, and so I have really been trying to get myself to start eating right, and stop snacking, and the likes. So today I went on a long walk with our puppy, Henrietta( but we call her Henny), and I felt really good! I was really productive afterward, and even went out and ran some much needed errands. It was great! Hopefully I can stick with this for the rest of the year, because I'm always more productive if I run in the morning, and I sleep better if I do some walking in the evenings.
I have been doing a once a week yoga class at our local studio Anam Cara where they do Donation Yoga on Tuesdays, it's basic poses, great for people just getting into it, and I just love it. My sister, Grace is becoming a full-on yogi and is obsessed with it too! I've started doing some of the poses throughout the week in the evenings, it's a great way to wind down from work, and helps clear my mind so I can focus on my home To Do List. I love it!
That's pretty much all I've been up to in the past few days. And I'm making myself a promise that I will be sticking to it all. I hope everyone is having a great new year, and I'll talk soon!

~Delaney

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Autumn

I have a cold. And while normally I would either soak it up like a drama queen, and complain about going to work, or be incredibly peeved and ignore it until it got worse, I've kind of accepted it. I get to drink tea and honey, I can bring tomato soup to work, and eat it out of a mug. I can cuddle up in blankets at home, and wear socks and sweaters in eighty degree weather, well for a little while anyway.
I can forego obligations to clean my room, or wishes to sew, and I can cuddle up with a warm mug of tea, and read or watch Netflix. All things I love! Of course I am not one of those people who have cute colds. I don't get a pink nose, or an adorable little sneeze, I don't get clearer skin, because my face doesn't loose oil. My nose looks the same, though that's no problem, I always liked my nose. My sneezes are like fog horns, that wake my sister from across the room at night. My mind is foggy and unable to do one task without falling asleep or moving quickly to another that I won't complete, confusing the process of what needs to be done. Last weekend I left work with an empty desk, and now I feel like it will just continue to pile up higher and higher until I am squashed. Orders, Motions, Declarations, and the occasional letter are swarming around me like that last scene in Alice in Wonderland replaying a wonderful dream until it's a horrible nightmare. Does that make sense? I need to go to bed.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Boots; Netflix; Sweaters; Life















Well I have been quite busy and the past year has gone by in a flash, and yet it feels slow in someway. Even though it was months and months ago May feels like it was just a corner away. The beginning of the year was uneventful enough, I got a break from 4-H and returned in time for presentations, and Record Books. Finished my final year with an All-Star role, and ready to become the Cake Decorating leader in my club The Trailblazers this winter. This spring my great-grandmother passed away and it hit really hard. She had Parkinson's for so long, and was bedridden. It truly crushed me because she was such an amazing woman. She is very missed, though I know she's no longer in pain.

All I do anymore is work. I need to get my license at some point but I keep putting it off. Right now I'm just set on getting the house clean so we can put up Autumn decorations. As I mentioned in my previous post Carrie Fletcher's Letters To Autumn have been amazing to watch these past few weeks, it makes me so warm inside to hear another person say wonderful things about my favourite time of year.





I feel so ready to curl up with a good book, and a cup of tea. If only it weren't in the high sixties through the seventies like it's been for the past few months. I've started watching Gilmore Girls again, I am proud to say that I watched my DVDs to death and was so excited they were being put on Netflix. That show will always have a special place in my heart. Especially at this time of year. So far my Autumn has been great. I still don't know what I'm doing for Halloween, but I have three weeks to figure that out. I just hope the temperature continues to drop.



Today I wore an incredibly comfortable outfit. My blouse is from Target. It has some great lacing on the sides, but it was tucked in so you can't really see it.

The skirt is something I stole from my sister's closet, because I don't have a decent black skirt anymore. My sweater is from Anthropologie. I've had it for a while now. It's one of my favourites and I never wear it. I don't know why that is. It's got some really great lattice work on the edges and it's just so cozy! I also love the little carved buttons on it.

  


My Shoes are Dexflex comfort by Dexter. I've never heard of this brand before, I got them from my grandmother and all I know is they're cute and super comfortable, which I find is never present when talking about crunch flats. I love them so much!

Flat
As a side note, I actually bought a brand new pair of shoes this week, but they didn't go with my outfit, I'll have to ware them this week to show them off. They are Mossimo, and floral and so amazing! I have a new black dress I'm going to ware them with when it's a bit cooler.




Well that has pretty much been my life for a while. I'm going to try to post here a bit more this Autumn and Winter. and do some more outfit posts, as well as some stuff I'm working on. This next week I'm going to try to get my bedroom clean so that we can move kids around. And then hopefully get some new stuff on figment, since I have been neglecting it for far too long. Talk soon! ~Delaney