Dirty 30’s List Update

Hey Guys!

Well this is my update on my Dirty 30’s Birthday year list.  I’ll admit that it has been a rough couple of months since I posted my list and I haven’t really strayed far from home.  But lets see if I accomplished anything since the 6 months I posted this.

  1. Go out of the Country. (Somewhere not Mexico!)
  2. Visit Disneyland/world and Universal Studios!
  3. Travel on a train somewhere random and explore!
  4. Actually do something on my 32nd Birthday! (well as crappy as it sounds I had to not only work on my birthday but I also had a 20 page paper due the next day so I postponed doing something for a while.)
  5. Get my passport.
  6. Try as many recipes as possible from what I’ve saved from pintrest and online. (So far I’ve done 5)
  7. Go into an airport and buy a plane ticket and go somewhere.
  8. Travel First class somewhere.
  9. Create my first YouTube Video.
  10. Get another tattoo. I’ve been talking with my sister who has designed my next 2 tattoos and I also have plans for another 2!
  11. Go Horseback riding
  12. Go to New York.
  13. Pet/ride an elephant.
  14. See the Hollywood sign in person.
  15. Try all the best and most famous burgers in Texas. I’ve tried a few places and so far I’m not that impressed with them.  But I’m going to keep looking!
  16. Go to the Texas State Fair.
  17. Go on a road trip.
  18. Stay in New Orleans for a week.
  19. Go camping.
  20. Go back and float the river again. (This hasn’t been completed yet, but I’ve got the trip paid for and we go in August)
  21. Go hiking on Enchanted Rock. (It’s only 2 hrs 47 minutes away… great day trip and possibly camping!)
  22. Fill a Truck bed full of blankets and pillows and go stargazing.
  23. Go on a cruise.
  24. Participate in the Run or Dye again.
  25. See a Broadway Play/Musical. (I would take an off broadway play/musical too!)
  26. Go to a Masquerade ball.
  27. Buckle down and write at least half of my book.
  28. Finish writing my book.
  29. Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams.
  30. Visit Ground Zero.
  31. Buy my first car.
  32. Buy my first home.
  33. Take a Picture with every state sign in America.
  34. Visit the Salem Witch House/Museum.
  35. Climb the steps of the Mayan ruins.
  36. Get Fit.
  37. Take a photo everyday for a year and then post them.
  38. Go to a haunted house.
  39. Leave a note in a library book.
  40. Send a letter/present to a soldier.
  41. Be in a professional photo shoot.
  42. Create a recipe book. It’s not professionally done or anything, but Create 365 has a Recipe planner extension.  So I put in all the recipes that were my grandmothers and great-grandmothers in them for my sister for Mother’s day!
  43. Finish the Dimes challenge.
  44. Go on a Date to a zoo.
  45. Create a reading nook.
  46. Stand in all four states at one time. (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah)
  47. Throw a Harry Potter Party.
  48. Rent a house/apartment/room on airbnb.
  49. Take underwater pictures.
  50. Actually post vlogs that I make.
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On Book Shaming and other things

Hey Guys!

So today I’m going to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while.  I’m not usually one to share my opinion on something like this so publicly but I’ve gotten tired of people doing this: shaming people for what they are reading, all without reading the book or books in the series oneself and only ever listening to what other people have to say on the book(s).  Now mind you that this is my opinion, and just like everyone else out there I’m entitled to it.  Just as you are to yours.  You don’t have to like it and I’m pretty sure that not everyone will.  This entire post/essay is on the opinion of one person and will reflect that, just as I have voiced my opinion so can you.  The only way that we will be heard is to speak out and voice what we have to say.

The reason that this post/essay has come about is because there are people sharing pictures of women reading the book series Fifty Shades of Grey and saying that because they read these books, they should not have a problem with how the new President treated women or what he said about women.  The one argument has absolutely nothing to do with the other, just because some people assume that the books are about one thing, they believe that if you can read a fiction book about something like “that,” then you should have no right to complain about what a man, who is leading our country, was heard and recorded saying he would do to any woman just because he can.  I’ll be coming back to this later.

What one must remember is that on the one hand we have a fiction book, in this case the Fifty Shades series, about fictional characters and on the other a real person, President Trump, who said some horrible and hateful things, about women and what he would do to them.

The role of literature in our society is a widely-debated topic.  One of the definitions of the role I found most was that it played a vital role in preserving and passing down the knowledge we gain and have gained throughout past generations.  The book itself does not have to be non-fiction for readers to gain a type of knowledge from it.  It takes creativity and imagination to continue to invent something new, and books provide us with that.  Reading both fiction and non-fiction provide us with pieces of the past or the present or even possible futures. Fiction and non-fiction books have a good habit of showing us something about ourselves that we would never have thought of before, reading them are good ways to provoke a change in ourselves.

But what is fiction?  Fiction is defined as “literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.” This form of prose can come about in many different forms and types in stories, including but not limited to, erotics in fiction.  Fiction novels allow us as readers to explore things that we would never have done before, from being a pilot or president to exploring forms of sexual pleasure we never would have thought to try.  Reading this type of fiction does not make a person bad or immoral or any other negative characteristic, it is simply a form of exploration that we as readers are trying.

After some research, I found that erotica in fiction is a subsection of the romance genre.  The romance genre itself is a $1.4 billion industry that jumped 40% higher after the sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series began selling.  It became even higher when eBooks came onto the market allowing the anonymity to what you as a reader where reading.  But that is for another post.  Both the Romance genre and its subsection erotica comes in many… flavors if you will.  Not every erotica fiction out there is BDSM or about fetishes, just like not every romance out there is more than just about a man and a woman meeting and falling in love.  The backstory is just as important as the main story.  They tell us about the characters, their needs and wounds and unacknowledged pains that led them to where they are.  The Romance genre has come a long way, from the chaste books of Barbra Cartland, who wrote over 700 books in her career, to the newer authors of EL James or Sarah MacLean.  There is no right or wrong way to write a book, as long as it feeds a need of the reader.  Erotica, as a genre, helps readers explore their fantasies in a safe and private environment.  To make people feel ashamed that it is wrong.

Let’s look at the books in question, the Fifty Shades series, for a moment. Spoiler Alert!  We have a character, Christian Grey, who after a childhood that was horrible, was taken advantage of by an elder and grew up knowing he was messed up.  After meeting someone new and scaring her away, he decides to change because he wanted her more than he wanted his old life.  So instead of having a man who abused women because he could, we now have one who was abused himself and changed because he found someone who was worth it.  The other character was a girl, Anastasia Steele, who met someone who she believed was out of her league and lived in a world that she couldn’t.  When she falls for him anyway and after learning how he “really” was she runs.  She leaves because she knows that what he wants isn’t what she wants.  But as a grownup she knows that she’ll still have to deal with him, so when he asks her to give him another chance and to see that he’s changed she agrees.  So now, instead of having a woman who wants a man to abuse her, we now have one that decided to love a man who was abused even though he didn’t believe himself worthy of it and until he could do it himself.

But where in this story does the author present having a man doing something to a woman without her permission?  Nowhere.  Reading this story does not mean that the reader condones abuse, are anti-feminist, or even disregards violence against women.  It simply means that they have an open mind and like to read fiction or whatever genre they happen to be reading at that moment.

Turning our attention back to Trump and his comments about women: as the leader of our country, he has an obligation to lead by example and show us that as a nation we should treat others respectfully.  Not just women, but everyone.  Instead what we received was what they, in the media, labeled “Locker room talk.”  While logistically he was nowhere near being a president or even a candidate for that matter, when he made these comments.  He was still an influential business man.  That alone should have curbed the media talk after the news source surfaced footage of him as he was giving an interview.

I have always been of the opinion to not judge a book by its cover nor on the opinions of others.  So, if we haven’t read the books then perhaps we shouldn’t be shaming others who have.  There should never be shame attached to reading of any kind.  Just because you believe a book shouldn’t be read doesn’t mean that someone else won’t read it and that it’s not helpful.  It’s really simple really, if you don’t enjoy the books, then don’t read them and don’t tell someone that they are wrong because they want and do read them.  It’s just that simple.  The fact of the matter is that these books are a work of fiction, and that’s fine.  But don’t assume that just because someone reads a work of fiction, that it is ok to assume their beliefs and morals are based on something else that they have read.  Just because you read this type of book does not in any shape or form mean you deserve to be mistreated.  It does not mean you are an abusive or disrespectful person.  As a whole we as readers need to learn that what we read does not define who we are as an audience and should not reflect badly on us.  A book is a book, but as a rule, it is not inherently evil.  That would be like saying that because someone was reading Harry Potter, they worship or practice witchcraft.

However, one also needs to remember that you should never be ashamed of what you are reading.  You should never feel the need to hide your book or whatever you happen to be reading on.  Something to think about would be that if you feel the need to hide a book you are reading from the world then you probably should not be reading it.  Face the world head on and with a straight face.

I’ll be the first to admit that as a teenager I read books that I probably should not have.  I read my first romance novel at 13 or 14 and by 16 had amassed a large collection of books of all genres that were my own.  Some books that my own mother said made her blush at the time.  But in all the time of reading and owning books, I have never felt the need to hide one away.  Even from my very religious grandmother.  My grandmother who did not read very much because she was from a time when girls did not really go to school. (even though she later went back to school and graduated… not with a GED but an actual High School Diploma) My family, while vocal about the amount of time I would spend reading rather than doing my chores or homework, never said that I could not read a book that I wanted to read.  They would chastise me for spending the amount of money I would on books, (I hadn’t found out about ½ price books yet) but would never tell me I could not read something.  When I was in the sixth grade my mother actually had to go to the school, after they told me I could not read something because of my age, and tell them to allow it.  That if I had problems understanding something that I would approach them.  This should be the approach to anyone who reads, you should be able to read whatever strikes your interest.  There should never be a time when you feel that you should not be reading a book.

So back to the original topic of this post, I’m not here to say that you should think the same way that I do.  But in that same regard, you should not be trying to say what other people are thinking.  Reading a book, no matter the genre, is not wrong or bad or shameful.  We should be thankful that others are out there reading.  Literacy in the United States is harsh compared to other countries.  32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read.  That is around 14% of the population, 21% of adults can’t read above a 5th grade level and 19% of high school graduates can’t read at all.  Instead of making a person ashamed for reading a book, not just the Fifty Shades Series, but any book be glad instead that they can read at all.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

How to be a Better Morning Person

How to BecomeA Better Morning Person

Hey Guys!

Today I’m coming at you with a post on How to be a better morning person, or to become a morning person.  I’m not sure that I would call myself a morning person, but I’m definitely not a night owl either.  But then again… I have always been a better morning person over a night owl.  I do however get my best work done during the morning hours, mainly because this is when I have the most energy.

I’ve also been known to be up by 5 in the morning simply because my body refuses to sleep any longer. (and believe me when I say that it sucks when you only just went to bed at 1 or 2!)  Of course, I was like this even when I worked a graveyard shift… so that may just be my personality.  But below is a list of things that I do to help keep myself productive and going in the mornings.

Get ready for the next day before you go to bed

Figure out what it is that takes you the most time in the mornings, once you know what it is make sure that it’s done before you go to bed.  For example, for me I gather everything that I’ll be needing for the next day all together and pack and ready for me to leave.  Depending on whether I’ll be going to work or to school is what I get ready for my clothes.

So whether you are getting your lunch ready for work or school, or a backpack or a purse, if it is done the night before then you won’t have to do it the next day.  It’s also super easy to pick out your clothes and not have to worry about that in the morning as well. (or if you’re like me have a nice selection of leggings for school!)

Another thing to consider would be taking your shower at night, doing this could save you a good fifteen minutes in the morning.  Then instead of having to wash, dry and fix your hair in the morning you can just fix it.  Or if you need it I really recommend using dry shampoo for your hair on those days that you don’t wash it.  I love Tarte’s new dry shampoo!

Scale back your bedtime a little at a time, but make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep

One of the things that people forget about when deciding to either a) become a morning person or b) get up earlier in the mornings, is that they need to also go to bed at an earlier time.  One of the easiest ways to start getting up earlier in the mornings is to slowly start going to bed earlier as well.  By going to bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you usually do.  This way when you set your alarm for the same amount of time earlier.  Continue to scale back a little at a time until you are getting up at the time you want to.  There is no hurry to do this so take your time.

Try not to reach for your phone first thing in the morning

If you are anything like I am, you tend to reach for you phone before you do anything else.  This could be good or bad depending on you.  I can spend hours just playing on my phone and before I know it, I’m late for something.  So if you’re able to make sure you plug your phone in somewhere not near you, this way you can’t just grab your phone in the morning and play on it, you are forced out of bed and starting your day.

Workout in the mornings

If there is one thing that I’ve discovered is that working out in the morning is more liable to wake me up and energize me than working out in the evenings or afternoon.  It doesn’t even have to be a hard core workout, simply walking in the mornings is enough to get your heart pumping.

Make sure you eat breakfast

If there is one tip I’ve heard over and over it’s that you should always have breakfast in the morning, even if it’s a small one.  There are so many options that you can choose for this meal.  A way to get ahead would be try and get it ready the night before.  Making breakfast sandwiches or pre-made pancakes are great ideas.

If you’re eating on the go, then try a smoothie or fruit, have a little bit more time in the morning mix up some oatmeal or scrambled eggs.

Make yourself a workable morning routine

A routine is something that everyone should try to have.  It doesn’t have to be a big to do but, something small like a set time that you are waking up and when you eat breakfast.  Just something that gives you a schedule of events for the mornings.  You could even make yourself a checklist of things that needs to be done every morning.  Before long you wouldn’t even need the list.

I don’t know about you, but giving myself a reward for doing something is the biggest way to ensure that I actually do it.  Rewards could be something like allowing yourself that extra Starbucks a week, or trying that new drink, or even getting yourself that new book or movie that you’ve eyeing. FYI: If you have never tried the Pink Drink at Starbucks, it is amazing!

Another type of reward could be buying yourself that expensive body wash, or bath bomb or shampoo that you’ve been eyeing for a while.  Have fun with this reward.

The lasting thing that I can say is that you should maintain your routine, just because it’s the weekend or your day off doesn’t mean that you should ignore your routine.  Ignoring it for one day could cause you decide that maybe you shouldn’t follow it on a day that you really should.

Maybe Music

For me having background noise going just helps me keep on track.  Consider making a playlist for your mornings, or finding a spotify or pandora list that gets you going in the mornings.  There are some great music apps out there that could help.  Or you could just go on YouTube and create your own playlist with videos.

Have a set time to be ready by everyday

One way that I make sure that I’m ready for the day is to set an alarm for myself.  No… I’m not talking about an alarm that wakes me up in the morning, but instead one that tells me that I have five minutes before I need to leave for the day.

That being said, take your time in the morning.  Don’t rush yourself and make yourself be read in fifteen minutes, if you don’t have to be somewhere until hours later.  Schedule you some time in the morning to do something for yourself.  Whether that’s drinking a cup of coffee and reading a few chapters in a book, or watching an episode of a show, a morning workout or watching YouTube videos.  It’s up to you.  Rushing yourself could lead to forgetting something and making you late.

What do you do to make the most of your mornings?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!
Tabby

 

Summer Reading List Update: June

Hey Guys!

Well one of these days I’ll make sure that when I schedule a post it actually is scheduled… :/  

Well the end of June is upon us and I’m updating ya’ll on how my summer reading is going.  So far, it hasn’t been too bad.  I’m making headway on my list, with a few other books thrown in for good measure.

CASTLE (2)

Well not too bad for the month of June.  What book/s are you reading right now?  Comment down below.

Until Next Time!

Tabby

Because of Lila Release Day

Because of Lila Abbi Glines Now Live FB

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Welcome to the Release of

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About the Book

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Prim, proper, classic good girl, and her least favorite label – icy.

Lila Kate Carter has heard them all. The last one, being the newest. She is not icy. She just doesn’t care for Cruz Kerrington and his spoiled, selfish, careless ways. That doesn’t make her icy, that makes him a jerk!

Tired of being labeled and doing what is expected of her, Lila Kate leaves Rosemary Beach, Florida ready for an adventure. Wanting to recreate herself, find a new path, and become something more.

Eli Hardy is tired of women who always act the same, do the same thing and expect the same thing. He’s ready to swear off women until he can get the rest of his life together.

Two weeks into his no-women-rule he meets Lila. She’s so damn sweet and polite. Like she walked right out of an etiquette book. But he’d already been drunk before she walked in so there was a good chance she might not be as stunning and perfect as he thinks. He’s just too drunk to worry about that.

The next morning, he swears he can still smell her on his skin. He just can’t remember why or what happened after that third dance.

Their worlds are about to collide, and so are the secrets and lies.

Purchase Today!

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Teasers

Release Day Because of Lila Abbi Glines Teaser 4

Photo Credit @PopKitty

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Photo credit @huxley.sbae

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About the Author

Abbi Author Photo.jpgAbbi Glines is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, Field Party and Existence series. She never cooks unless baking during the Christmas holiday counts. She believes in ghosts and has a habit of asking people if their house is haunted before she goes in it. She drinks afternoon tea because she wants to be British but alas she was born in Alabama. When asked how many books she has written she has to stop and count on her fingers. When she’s not locked away writing, she is reading, shopping (major shoe and purse addiction), sneaking off to the movies alone, and listening to the drama in her teenagers lives while making mental notes on the good stuff to use later. Don’t judge.

You can connect with Abbi online in several different ways. She uses social media to procrastinate.  

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Because of Lila Abbi Glines Now Available FB

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End of Month Wrap Up: June

End of Month Wrap Up-

This is my end of month Wrap up for June.  On here you will see what’s been going on in my life, what I’m reading both for school and for fun, what I’m listening to and what is on my to read list. I’ll also be posting a list with what I’ve posted in the past month to give you an idea of what you might have missed.

Going on in my Life:          

  • Finished my summer 1 spanish course

Below is a list of things that I’ve read, am reading, am listening to, and is on my to read list.  I’ve also linked each one so that they are easier for you to find.

Books I’ve Read in May:

  • Water Bound by Christine Feehan
  • Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan
  • Air Bound by Christine Feehan
  • Earth Bound by Christine Feehan
  • Fire Bound by Christine Feehan
  • Bound Together by Christine Feehan
  • Amnesia by Cambria Hebert
  • Yes, Prime Minister Aria Cole
  • Prime Minister by Ainsley Booth , Sadie Haller
  • Dr. Bad Boy by Ainsley Booth , Sadie Haller
  • Full Mountie by Ainsley Booth , Sadie Haller

I’ve taken it upon myself to challenge myself to reading and re-reading some old favorites of mine so that I can read newer additions to the books.  I have a list of the books (series) that I want to try and finish this summer.  That is on my Summer Reading List Post.

What I’m Currently Reading:

Books I’m Reading For School: I’m super excited to say that I’m off for the summer so no new grad school books until September… well for the most part.  I was told I’d need to take Spanish 3 & 4 for my master’s degree.  But that isn’t really what I’d call heavy reading, especially since it’s only one book for the class.

  • Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
  • Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

So for the month of July I’m participating in a Summer Bingo Reading Challenge  where it gives you a list of authors to read and the first five to get 5 in a row read and reviewed wins a prize.  I’m looking forward to discovering some new authors this way!

To Read list:

I have to say this list isn’t getting any smaller… I have actually started a monthly update list for the summer months… maybe I’ll continue it every month, to see what I can get read during the month.  I have also done a post on my summer reading list that I want to try and get done before school starts.

What I’m Listening to (Audible):   (this depends on my mood)

What I Finished on Audible:

Favorite Blog posts that I’ve discovered this month:

I have found so many incredible blogs this month… though I’ll admit that I’ve mainly been look at planner blogs.  I’ve recently began to use a Happy Planner and I’ve become obsessed!

Blogging

My Posts this month:

  • End of month Wrap up: May
  • My Must Have List
  • Story Time: My Worst/Stupidest Breakup ever
  • My Favorite: Book Series
  • TMI Tag!
  • Amnesia Release Blitz
  • Book Talk: Audio Books?
  • Thank You

You can find any of these on my main page and scrolling through my posts!

Well here I am with another monthly wrap up and I realized that I missed 7 posts that I had planned for this month.  So… to help myself to try to not miss like I have the last two weeks I’m going to be posting only two days a week.  Starting in July I’ll be posting on Wednesday and on Saturday.

 

Until Next Time!

Tabby