Random|| Life Update.

BA3CD91B-3E02-420F-8F10-572FACA5C0D5

“everyone blooms in their own time; some far ahead, some far behind; so wherever you are, don’t worry, you’re gonna be fine, fine, fine; cause everyone blooms in their own time”


Hey!

I am kind of surprised my last post was May 1st. I’ve just been busy and distracted a lot this month. My cousin (& bff) has been in town visiting. I was able to show her my house and also around Lakeland a little bit. The flower picture above is one that I took at Lake Mirror when I showed my cousin the garden (Hollis Garden) there. I decided to go to my mom’s house for a week with my cousin. We didn’t do anything there besides home stuff, because everything is still crazy and shutdown because of the virus. We did get to hangout in the pool though. It was nice hanging with my family even if it was all spent at home. I missed my family so much, so I think this was much needed.

As far as reading goes, I finished one book so far this month which is a bummer. I wish it would have been more, but at least there’s still about two weeks left in the month. Maybe things will change. The book that I finished was Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer. I flew through the first half of this book, but then my family was visiting and I stopped reading. I really liked it though and can’t wait for the sequel. I am currently reading two books, Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and I am also reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton again, because I love this book so much and can’t help but reread it all the time lol.

catfishingoncatnetworkingstifftheoutsiders

Aside from these things, my life has pretty much been the same. I am still playing ridiculous amounts of Animal Crossing, watching all the seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and trying to fit some kind of reading in. I guess I can’t complain too much. I am just ready for things to get back to a more normal normal? They have been opening things here in my area now, but I’m still too paranoid to really go do too much too soon. It took a lot for me to even leave my house to go stay with my family for a week.

I am back at home (just got back last night) and hope to catch up with you guys soon! I read some of your your posts from my phone when I was gone, but I forgot my laptop at home. I don’t know why I didn’t think to bring it and really wish I had! Since I just got back home from visiting my family, I need some time to just chill at my own house with the furbabies and husband. Being social for a week straight is also kind of exhausting for me. I need time to just be by myself again. I’ll catch up with your posts and comments within the next few days.

In case you missed it:
Wrap Up|| April.
Book Haul|| April.
Book Tag|| Goodreads.

I hope you have a great day!
ashleyblack

Stuck…where do I go from here?

2F8A43F0-8218-48E8-BAF1-834AE4529028

“stop holding on, if it’s holding you back, then let it go; your grass will always be the greenest if you let it grow” 🌼🐝🌿


This is one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken recently. You can find cool picture opportunities anywhere! Example: I took this photo in the garden section of Home Depot, lol. I’m going to do a series of picture posts; I have a ton of pictures to share. I went to upload them all into one post and it ended up being 60+ pictures, so I decided I’ll break it up into multiple posts instead. I’m going to start working on those this week, so that by next week I can start posting them.

Other than these posts, I’ve been feeling a little bit stuck in terms of my blog, my bookstagram, and essentially my life as well.  I am trying to get back into bookstagram, but I have no idea what kind of pictures to post and what theme I want to go for. When I first started my bookstagram I had so many ideas and I was having a lot of fun with it. I guess since I haven’t really been doing it consistently over the last couple years, I forgot and lost my creativity with that. With the blog, I’m not sure what kind of content I should post. It’s kind of frustrating!

I think when I start to feel uninspired is usually when I quit things and I don’t want to quit blogging! I actually really love it and love all the friends I’ve made and continue to make every day, but sometimes I feel like I’m boring everyone with the same content over and over again. You know, it’s not even just blogging and bookstagram. I have an online journal that I write about things happening in my life (it’s more of personal journal and I’ve been using it since I was in high school) and I really have nothing to write in my own personal journal either.

I think it has more to do with how I’ve been feeling about myself lately. I have all of these negative feelings (and thoughts) about myself over the last 3-4 months that I’ve never had before. It’s so weird experiencing this because I used to always think so highly of myself. Now I question whether that was even real or if I was pretending/lying to myself all my life. The end months of 2019 messed with my self-confidence and shattered who I thought I was. I only feel like a fraction of who I was before and that scares me! I want to get back to my old self, where I was always positive and always happy. I want to get out of this negative headspace. Some days I think I am finally out of it and then others I feel right back in there. Sigh.

I’ve been obsessed with this song “Hangnail” by Rationale. I feel like I relate to it a lot lately. I just feel down about myself and my life these days. Here’s the song if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/O9sTYRUkSHc

“I wish I had this poetic poise, an articulate finesse.
I’m too clumsy and the words escape me.
I’m hazy and any passing thought can displace me.”

I think this negative headspace; these thoughts and these feelings are pouring into everything in my life, including blogging. I think this is where so much of my “stuck” feeling comes from too. Maybe I can Google search some ideas for both bookstagram and my blog and see what I can come up with! I did bookmark an awesome blog post from Kelly from Another Book in the Wall about “how to blog when you haven’t read anything new“, so I may also go back and reference her post to get some ideas as well. Anything you guys want to see on my blog? It doesn’t have to be book related!


Here are my social media accounts if you’re interested in being friends outside of the amazing blogosphere. I usually post regularly on my personal Instagram account.

Goodreadsheyyitsashley_
Twitter: whoa_itsashley
Pinterestlalalaitsashley
Instagram: heyyitsashley – personal Instagram account
Bookstagram: foreverbookish_ – book Instagram account (underscore after “bookish”)

I will catch up with all of your posts and reply to comments later today or possibly tomorrow. I’m really hoping to try and get some reading in today. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Andy Reads|| Maybe Someday.
March TBR (Maybe).
Wrap Up|| February.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2020 Personal Goals.

personalgoals

Hey!

I created a goals post for reading/blogging (linked at the end of this post), but figured I would do one for my personal goals as well. I had a list of goals for 2019, but I only accomplished maybe five of them. I want to try again and really hoping that I finally get around to some of these things! So what they?

Master my Nikon D3400 manual mode. I’ve had my Nikon for a couple years now and I have yet to really use it other than always having it on “auto”. I want to learn all the camera settings and really start learning the basics. I take pretty great pictures with it, but it’ll be nice to really learn the ins and outs and take even better ones.

Use Duolingo at least 15 minutes every day. I’ve been off and on with Duolingo for years. I’ve been going through the Spanish language with it. My dad is Guatemalan and it would be nice to learn Spanish. We were never taught growing up. I want to start the program over and do it every single day for at least fifteen minutes (can be more if I feeling up to it), so I can finally learn the language.

Learn to cook/make more meals myself & eat healthier. I have no idea how to cook and I honestly never really try very much. I’ve started to sort of learn and actually try in 2019, but a lot of stuff is just boxed or canned and I would love to learn how to cook with more fresh ingredients and spices. I also want to make healthier meals, because we don’t always eat the best things and we eat out way too much.

Setup a daily exercise routine & lose 25 pounds. Toward the beginning of 2019 I started doing this monthly exercise challenges and I did it for three months straight. I thought I noticed some progress, but for some reason I just stopped doing it. I want to try again and exercise regularly. I would also like to lose 25-30 pounds. I know I’ve gained quite a bit of weight over the last few years, so it would be nice to get healthy and lose some pounds.

Start a bullet journal. I’ve always wanted to start a bullet journal. In 2018 I even got two bullet journals and a bunch of supplies (pens, washi tape, stencils, and stickers), but never got around to setting them up. More because I have no idea where to even start! So I want to possibly finally do this.

Change my last name. I got married in March 2017 and I still have not changed my last name officially. I did on Facebook (LOL), but not legally. Lots of things prevented me from doing it and then everything with buying a house and all of that, I just figured it would be easier to just keep everything to same for now. I want to finally change my last name.

Get my driver’s license. This is LOOOOONG overdue, seriously. I think it’s my anxiety that really prevented me from ever doing this, to be honest. Well, when I was in high school, the fact that I never went to school stopped me at first. But then I developed some major anxiety about the world and driving and that’s the main reason now. I really need to work on my fear of driving and the world, so I can practice and finally do it.

Go through my closet and donate clothes. I own so many clothes (the hubby too) and we don’t even wear half of them. I want to finally go through our dresser and closet to get rid of clothes to donate and finally organize our closet. It’s so hard letting things go sometimes, but like I said, we don’t wear half of the clothes we have.

Complete a few house projects. Our house while it’s really great, it’s also a work in progress, because there’s quite a few things I would love to change/update. I’m hoping to do a few more things this new year. Like finally paint our bedroom and redo the flooring in there. We have all the supplies, just never got around to doing it before the year ended. I would also love to repaint the kitchen cabinets and repaint the entire inside of our house. Also a few little inexpensive things like changing all the doorknobs on the bedrooms/closets/bathroom doors.

Go on a trip somewhere. We didn’t really get to travel last year and we don’t really get to that often. I want to plan a trip somewhere for a long weekend (or even an entire week). Possibly Savannah, GA or Colorado. I would even love to go visit Maren (The Worn Bookmark) in Minnesota. All of these are actually possible if we try for them. But even if we can only make it to one place this year, I would be happy.

Complete Kingdom Hearts 3 & Pokemon Sword. I really need to finish these games, especially Kingdom Hearts 3 as I’ve had it for awhile now and have been slacking with playing! I really enjoy the game, but just haven’t been in the mood to play lately. I’m probably halfway through it now. I started Pokemon Sword and got my third gym badge. I need to get back into it, because I feel guilty that I really wanted it and spent the money for it and then after awhile stopped playing. I enjoy the game as well. I guess I’ve been more focused on reading recently instead.

I really just want to find out who I am this year, because honestly, I don’t even know who I am anymore. 2019 really messed with my self-confidence and shattered who I thought I was.

Do you have any personal goals that you hope to accomplish in 2020? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one.

In case you missed it;
2020 Reading Goals.
2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).
Wrap Up|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! 😀

Since it’s almost Christmas, I thought it would be fun to share all of my Christmassy pictures that I’ve taken over the last couple of months. Some you may have seen on Instagram (if you follow me) and some I haven’t posted yet. It’s going to be really picture heavy, just a heads up.

The first sets of pictures are from around our city (Lakeland). The Christmas tree pictures are from the big Christmas tree that they have up at Lake Mirror. I was sad I didn’t get a chance to see it at night (except from far away), but it’s still pretty in the daylight too.

Story behind these last two pictures. The hubby and I were walking away from the big Christmas tree and as we were walking away, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were walking by us! It was so random, but so cool. They were having a little photo shoot by the Christmas tree, haha. The second picture is a Christmas tree made from kegs from Swan Brewing. It’s a brewery we like to go to. My family was visiting one weekend and I took them there.

These next set of pictures are ones that I took at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. They were all decked out in Christmas decor. I would have loved to see it all lit up at night, but we never got the chance to.

1BC46331-F273-4CD7-8DF1-2AB8722E146A

8DB312E4-F9BE-4E9D-B107-B320C357CD85

Processed with VSCO with k3 preset

13BDCD80-DDB4-4F9E-ABC0-6E8B2C3906DC

This last picture is from watching the retelling of The Grinch (Grinchmas) at Islands of Adventure. It was probably about thirty minutes, but it was really fun to see it acted out live.

These next set of pictures are from when my family and I went to this little Christmas event in Celebration, Florida. There was live music, SNOW (aka soap, LOL), and lots of fun Christmas things and decor to look at.

C7714154-0183-4879-B519-5E21F05D1176

DE6AF527-8896-462A-B592-A4BA792F8772

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Celebration, Florida was a cute little town and I wish we would have walked around the neighborhoods at night, because so many houses were decorated with so many decorations and lights. It would have been so cool to see. And most of the houses were HUGE (like the one I shared). Always next year! 😛

The hubby and I are spending Christmas with his family this year, so we will be leaving tonight to drive over there. We are both really looking forward to it. I will catch up with you guys after Christmas and I have a bunch of end of the year posts lined up, so be on the look out for them!

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| Christmas Book Blogger.
Friday Finds #84.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

ashleychristmas

 

 

Random|| Life & Reading Update.

lifeupdate

Hey!

It’s been almost two weeks since my last update. I’ve been in a blogging slump, honestly. I’ve also been stuck in my head a little bit. So I’ve been trying to distract myself with reading, TV, games on my iPad, or recently the new Pokémon Sword game on Nintendo Switch. This year has been so weird for me and it’s kind of hard to explain. I guess maybe because there has been so many changes this year. A big one having moved four hours away from my family and not seeing them every single day.

I also feel like my anxiety has gotten so much worse too, which really sucks. I can’t really even tell people about it, because then I just get told I’m making a big deal or I need to “grow up” and to “stop being scared of the world”. 🙄 If it was that easy, then I would have stopped being this way a long time ago. It’s hard and it sucks. I feel lost and not very supported in my real life (outside of the blogging world). Dealing with things on your own is hard sometimes. Not having someone to talk to is hard sometimes. That’s why I get stuck in my head sometimes.

I don’t know if any of this made sense and I’m sorry if it didn’t. This has just been a really weird year for me and most of the time I just can’t put it into words. A lot of great things happened too, but I think my mental health took a hit this year. I’ve never experienced most of these feelings before or if I have, never as bad. It’s new and has been an adjustment, I guess. So I that’s why I’ve been distant around here and also in my real life. It’s been all about distracting myself this year, because if I don’t then I just constantly think about everything that bothers me and it makes me sad.

I decorated my house for Christmas, which I love. Here’s a couple pictures of the outside. Just did a couple touches of Christmas outside. I think we might put up some Christmas lights on our house. I really want to go all out Clark Griswold style, but I doubt that happens LOL. We also put up the Christmas tree too. I haven’t been able to take a good picture of it yet.


And here is a quick little reading update of what I read recently and what I may read next.

autoboyunhoneymooners

I recently finished reading Autoboyography and The Unhoneymooners both by Christina Lauren. By the way, I just realized that Christina Lauren is TWO PEOPLE! Anyway, I really enjoyed both of these books so much. I need to read more from Christina Lauren.

regrettingyouqueenofnothing

I think in my last reading update I said I was going to read Regretting You next, but I ended up reading The Unhoneymooners instead since it was a library book that was going to be returned soon. SOOO, I may be picking up Regretting You today. I am supposed to be getting my copy of The Queen of Nothing (I got the black Barnes & Noble edition) today or tomorrow, so I may also be picking that one up soon too. I’m actually scared to read The Queen of Nothing, because I really thought The Wicked King wasn’t that great. I guess we’ll see what happens!

Well, that’s all for this post. I just wanted to give a quick update on why I haven’t been around too much. I try to hop on to catch up with you guys at least once a week, so I will at some point this week. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Mini Review|| The Wives.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack