Random|| Life Update.

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“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.

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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?

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Why I’ve Been in a Reading/Blogging Slump.

lifeupdate

Hey!

There are a few things I want to write about and the main thing being why I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump. This may get long! Right at the start of May (actually April 30) I was told that I may lose my job. Since that day I have been beyond stressed about what was going to happen with my job and what I was going to do, because we just bought a house in a new city four hours away from family! I currently do not have a license, I never got one as a teen for whatever reason. So it would make finding a new job a struggle. I currently work from home. I also have major social anxiety and talking to people I don’t know kind of freaks me out, so I was kind of just going crazy. What was I going to do? I can’t drive anywhere. I can’t talk to people. It was just a lot to deal with. FYI: I am going to start working on finally getting my license. It’s time!

When I found out about my job, I pretty much cried for a long time. Then I ignored everything happening and read book after book after book to escape that reality. That’s why in May I read so many books and got so many reviews posted. I was ignoring what was happening. I was also waiting to see what was going to happen with my job, because my boss told me he would let me know what is going on in June. Once June hit, I was so nervous waiting to see what my boss was going to tell me. So I stressed out so much and impatiently waiting for that email about what was going to happen. It finally happened 2-3 weeks ago and he told me I could work part-time. So that’s what is happening right now. I am still working, but part-time. It was a little bit of a relief to know I still had a job, but also a downer because it’s part-time. I also don’t feel secure with this job now. I feel like it could still end at any moment and that’s stressful and weighing on me a lot.

Another thing is that this week my work computer crashed and I lost all of my files. I lost all of the stuff that I use for my job. I now have to work on redoing everything. I had so many spreadsheets and starting over really sucks. I had five years worth of work stuff on that computer and a lot of it I use every day. So I’ve been annoyed with that and trying to remember the most important things and a way to start again. The last backup for some things I have date back to December, but the most important things that I use daily I didn’t have saved somewhere else. So now I am stressing about that on top of the work stuff.

My personal computer seems like it’s on it’s last leg too and I need a new computer. The problem is, buying a new computer. Computers are expensive! Now that I am working part-time, we are trying not to spend money as often. I need a new computer at some point, because I really don’t want to risk losing all of my personal stuff; like thousands of pictures and music. UGH. I want a brand new hard drive/tower (I have plenty of computer monitors so I don’t need that), but the hubby thinks we should get refurbished for now. I don’t want to do that, because I don’t want to risk a refurbished computer breaking down a year or two later. So I’ve just been stressed about that too.

I’ve been in this weird place in my head lately and I don’t like it. A lot of it has to do with work. Some of it has to do with the fact that I can’t spend money or do things like I was before. It is now all about saving, saving, saving. I hardly ever leave the house, which usually I’m fine with but lately not really. I want to go do things or buy things, but I can’t because we’re trying not to spend money until we figure out the job situation and what happens in the future with that. I was excited about buying this house, because we would get to fix it up how we wanted it and make it ours. We haven’t really been able to do anything with our house because of all of this. It’s frustrating and annoying and I hate it. I’m not even that excited about owning a house anymore, which is really sad!!

I feel like maybe I’m complaining, but honestly, I’m not the type of person that complains about anything. So this is all new and weird and I don’t like it. I’ve always been an “it is what it is” type person. I usually go with the flow and whatever happens, happens. I’m usually always happy and good vibes. The fact that I haven’t been that person in months sucks! This is not who I am and I don’t like it. I want to get back to my old self, but I’m not entirely sure how to get there. Even writing that line is making me start to cry. It’s so damn sad! I’ve never been like this before and I don’t know what this even is. I just want things to go back to normal, but I don’t think that can happen. At least not right now. I think our “normal” has changed too.

So with all of that being said, I haven’t been blogging much and I haven’t been reading much this month. It’s not because I don’t want to, believe me, I want to! My mind is drowning in other things/thoughts and I can’t seem to figure out a balance between everything. So instead I just do mindless stuff, like watch TV. I’ve been catching up on my DVRed shows and shows I’ve been wanting to watch on Hulu/Netflix that I haven’t gotten the chance to watch yet. I’ve also started exercising every day and I feel like I’m starting to finally see results. I still eat like crap, but whatever. Let me tackle one good thing at a time. LOL.

I also can finally say that I finished my two current reads; well technically I have like 50 pages left in one but it counts because I’m going to go finish it right now after I post this. I’ve been reading these same two books (Naturally Tan and Red, White & Royal Blue) for weeks now due to this reading slump. I’m so sad that this entire month I only read read three books. That’s not like me! My mind has just been elsewhere. I’m hoping that things will start looking up or that I can get out of whatever it is that I’m in in my head. I don’t even know how to classify it, because this has never happened to me before. I don’t even think I was this stressed when I was planning my wedding or even the process of buying a house. That all was a breeze compared to what I am feeling right now.

I am really hoping to finally do that picture update soon. Until then, here are my two favorite pictures that I took over the last month or so.

The first picture was when my friend and I went Pokemon hunting at Lake Mirror here in Lakeland, FL. All over Lakeland there are swans (real and fake) and this one has been my favorite that I’ve seen so far since living here. The second picture is when my family and I went to the beach. We were on a ferry when I took this picture, because we wanted to go to Caladesi Island and in order to get to the island you have to travel by ferry. I’ll have a post all about it with even more pictures soon. It was a fun time!

I think I will end this now (it’s gotten a lot longer than I thought), but hopefully I will be okay soon and you’ll see more of me soon. If I am a little MIA (missing in action), these are the reasons why. I’m still around, just not as much right now. I still try to blog hop and still try to post at least once a week if I can. It’s just harder with where my head is at and also the fact that I haven’t been reading much. Hopefully this all changes soon. Hopefully I can figure out some way to get out of my head and back to reality. Like I said, I just want to get back to my old self. I don’t like who I am lately and that’s never been the case before. I’ve always loved who I was. I’ve always been a happy person. I never let things bother me. Now it’s different and it’s really sad. I’m sad for myself, so much.

This weekend I am going to Cape Coral for my cousin’s son’s birthday party and I am really looking forward to that because I’ll get out of the house and because I’ll be able to see my family who I haven’t seen in almost a month. Do you have any plans for the weekend? What are you currently reading?

In case you missed it;
Top Ten Tuesday|| Most Anticipated Releases.
Mini Review|| Virtually Yours.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Nature, Dinosaurs, & Other Things.

pictureupdate

Hey!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, so I figured I would do a quick little picture update! 😛 I have a ton more pictures that I could post, but I am running out of storage space on the blog again (ugh). I may have to upgrade again or figure out some other way. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing and pictures I’ve taken over the last few weeks.

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We (sister, hubby, and I) went to Circle B Bar Reserve again, but this time we checked out the lake area and OMG it did not disappoint. I was able to get so many awesome pictures and see so much cool wildlife. There were a ton of different birds and alligators! Luckily we survived and didn’t get eaten by any alligators, haha. The area was huge and we didn’t walk the entire thing, so we may have to check it out again ASAP! Here are some of the pictures that I took there. I took a lot, so I had to really narrow it down for this post.

We even seen some wild boar/pigs, which was pretty awesome! There was like a whole family of them. I couldn’t really get great pictures because I didn’t want to scare them away and my camera wasn’t cooperating with me, but I did get these two pictures. We seen some armadillos too.

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These is one of my favorite pictures that I took at the nature park. It came out so great and I am pretty proud of it, haha. My main focus was the butterfly, so I didn’t even notice there was a bee on the flower next to it. So that was a cool surprise when I was going through my pictures and noticed it.

On April 9th, it was my younger sister’s birthday. She’s only a year younger than I am. Her birthday happened to fall on a Tuesday, so we went Moe’s for her birthday. Taco Tuesday 😛 ! Moe’s is always so good! We also baked her a cake for her birthday. It came out really awesome. I think we are really getting into this cake decorating, haha. Over the weekend of that week we decided to check out Dinosaur World. It was a good time, but not something to do more than one time. Haha. It was interesting though. Here are some pictures of the dinos. I took a bunch, but again, had to narrow it down a lot for this post.

Below are just some random pictures that I’ve taken throughout the last few weeks.

And of course my furbabies. Top two pictures are of my boys and the bottom two pictures are of my girls.

That’s all for this post. I hope you enjoyed seeing all my pictures. You can follow me on Instagram if you want to see more or as I post them. Username: heyyitsashley. I am currently battling a cold, UGH. I knew it was coming, because yesterday I had a stuffy nose, but I woke up today feeling like such crap. Hopefully this doesn’t last long, because my family is coming to visit this weekend and I don’t want to feel bad when they are here. Anyway, I better go start my work day now.

In case you missed it;
It finally happened!!
Friday Finds #79.
Review|| Girls with Sharp Sticks.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

Thought I would do a picture update since I haven’t really done one since my birthday and I haven’t really been reading very much this last week to do full posts about that. I will put a little reading update at the end of this post though. 🙂

On the second Thursday of every month Munn Park has food trucks, so my younger sister Stephanie and I decided to go check it out. It got us out of the house, because we spend 98% of the time in the house during the week. The 2% being when we go outside to check mail, take out garbage, walk the pup, or grocery shop. Remember how I mentioned stir crazy? Yeahhh. So we decided to go check it out and it was a nice day. Here are a few pictures from around the park.

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Now onto the FOOD! We went to two food trucks to get something to eat. We decided to try Southern Munchies and The Naked Cupcake. I loved the design and colors on the food truck for Southern Munchies. Funny story: I took a picture of the truck and forgot about it. My sister and I started talking while we waited our turn to order. I looked into the truck and I seen a man and I’m like “he looks so familiar, I know I’ve seen him somewhere” and then I glanced at the side of the truck and there he was, haha. So they designed their little character on the truck after the actual owner/cook. I thought that was so cool. He even had the purple hair in real life!

At Southern Munchies we both got donut hole sliders & fries. They were so delicious, but I think it would have been even better if they put some cheese on the little burgers. At The Naked Cupcake we got cupcakes, duh. 😛 I got a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting and sprinkles. My sister got a dulce de leche cupcake with white chocolate sprinkles. What I loved about The Naked Cupcake was you could get their standard cupcakes or you could design your own to be whatever cake, frosting, and toppings you wanted.

We ate and walked around for a little bit. I took a few more pictures from downtown area. I really can’t wait until the hubby is living here so we can go explore the city even more. Here are a few other pictures I took.

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Above is a picture of the Polk Theatre! I looked at their website and they play a lot of films there or host events there. Below are a couple of art banners. I thought they were cute and pretty funny.

I decided to add a little Easter touch to my dining table recently, so I found these little Easter eggs and glass bowl from Walmart for super cheap. It was about $6 to make this and it’s so cute. I love that I can just put anything into the bowl too to have as a centerpiece throughout the year. I’m thinking skull heads for Halloween. 😛

Me reading in the hammock and the hubby chillin in the hammock. We really love this hammock swing. I sit in it at least once a day, haha.

Below are some random sunset pictures, because you already know that I am obsessed with taking pictures of the sky, sunsets, and sunrises. LOL.

The next pictures are just a bunch of pictures that I’ve been taking of my furbabies throughout the last few weeks. I can’t help but take a ton of pictures of them.

Above are a couple pictures of my pup, Dax. He loves walks and spending time outside. He’s definitely really happy with his new yard.

Little Leaf. She loves sunlight and windows. Every morning she’ll take a nap in this spot when the sun comes out. And speaking of Leaf, she spends a lot of her day in my office with me, which is so cute. She also is so cuddly too and I love it. She is either laying next to me or on me. Below two pictures are Leaf laying in my lap while I worked.

October, I forever have heart eyes for her. She’s so pretty. She’s out a lot more now that we have this bigger house. She seems more happy, which I love. She’s still pretty skittish though, but I think that’s just part of her personality.

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ColbyJack, I love this dude. He’s been a pain in the butt since moving here, but hopefully he starts to chill out more once Andy is living here. Which will be this weekend! After this weekend he will start working up here.

And Digby! He’s Andy’s parents dog, but I’m dogsitting him this week. So I currently have a house full of pets. Two dogs and three cats, haha. It’s fine though and they all get along. Leaf loves him. They are always playing with each other and chasing each other around the house. Digby also spends a lot of time with me. He’s pretty much attached to me, so wherever I go he follows. The picture on the right (with me in it) you can see him sleeping on the little pillow in my office. He spends all day in here with me.

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This past week I’ve been kind of in a reading slump and trying out a bunch of different books. I tried to read a couple of my ARCs, but I wasn’t in the mood to read them at the moment, so I put them aside for now. I’ll pick them up soon though. I don’t want to force myself to read them when I’m not in the mood and end up not enjoying them. I decided to try out Jackaby, which is a book for my Alphabet Challenge. I’m actually really enjoying it. I get hella Sherlock vibes and I love that. I am also listening to the audiobook of The Priory of the Orange Tree. I’m a little over 100 pages into it (it’s an 800+ page book). Honestly, it’s so detailed and so much to remember that I don’t really know exactly what is going on. I kind of just forgot everything that I heard/read. UGHHH. Hopefully that’s not the case for the entire book, because it seems interesting. I just don’t want to be confused the entire time! Anyway, so that’s all for this update.

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #57.
Friday Finds #76.
Random|| Birthday & Other Things.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Birthday & Other Things.

pictureupdate

Hey!

On Sunday (March 3rd) was my birthday! It was mostly spent just relaxing at home, because my childhood best friend’s wedding was later that night. It was nice though! We decided to go to Sonny BBQ for dinner the night before to celebrate, which was awesome.

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On Sunday afternoon we walked around a little shopping area and got cupcakes from Smallcakes. So good! Andy got a margarita cupcake, my younger sister got a peanut butter cup cupcake, and I got a chocolate & vanilla cupcake. My sister paid for them for my birthday, which was nice of her.

We also went to Books-A-Million, because it’s in the same shopping area and I can’t go to a bookstore without stopping in to look around! I decided to get one book, which was Tales of King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table. I love anything King Arthur and this edition was in the bargain books section and only $10. I love the gold shiny cover so much! It has little illustrations inside as well. I can’t wait to read it. It’s probably one of those books that I’ll most likely read a story at a time and pick it up at random times to continue to another story, if that makes any sense.  I could have gotten so many more books, but decided I better not haha. After that we went to Rocket Fizz, so Andy could get some sodas. I skipped on the saltwater taffy that I usually get when we go to Rocket Fizz. But now that we are living in this area, I can go whenever and don’t need to stock up like I usually do, haha.

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Onto some birthday gifts! I got most of my gifts days early, but I was fine with that! 😛 I got a lot of things that I really wanted, which was nice. My older sister got me a hammock chair for my birthday and my mom got me the little table to put next to my hammock. I am so stoked that I got a hammock chair, because I actually really wanted one since we have this huge tree in our yard that’s perfect for it. It’s so comfy! It came with two pillows as well, which is awesome. I would have eventually bought one for myself, but it was a nice surprise to see that my sister got it for me! Perfect reading/chill spot.

My aunt bought me these coasters, which are pretty hilarious. I am all about coasters now…does that mean I’m becoming a real adult? Andy’s parents got me the essential oils air diffuser, which I really wanted. My mom has one and her house always smells good, so I am stoked to have one now.

Andy got me Crash Bandicoot for our Nintendo Switch and the Monsters Inc. Sora Funko Pop. I loved Crash Bandicoot as a kid and this game has the first three Crash games in one! I remember mentioning on my Instagram Stories a couple weeks ago how I hoped they would make a Funko of the Monsters Inc. Sora from Kingdom Hearts 3 and it’s a thing!! So when Andy asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I sent him that.

Around 3pm we started to get ready for my friend’s wedding. We wanted to get there early to make sure we found the place on time. Good thing too, because the address on the invitation ended up taking us to some other place! We eventually found it, so that was great. Her wedding was so beautiful. I didn’t really take any pictures at the wedding, because they asked for cameras to be put away during ceremony and at the reception we were just having fun and I didn’t really have my phone out. I did take a picture of the decorations on the table. It was nice seeing my friend get married. She and her husband looked so happy. I was able to say HI to her brothers and sister too, who I haven’t seen in YEARS. Last time was most likely around my eighth grade year in middle school! So it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her family.

Here are some random pictures that I took while we walked around the area that the wedding was taking place, which is called Lake Mirror. The building and swan were just in random places in downtown Lakeland. It’s so pretty there and I was able to get a ton of great pictures!

On Monday (March 4th) my cousin came over with her husband and son to see my house and visit. They bought us some housewarming gifts. A little ottoman filled with towels, toys for my dog and cats, some random misc. food, and a Presto Pizzazz (rotating pizza oven). That was really nice of them. I am really excited about the Presto Pizzazz! You can make so many things from frozen pizza, homemade pizza, other frozen food (like pizza rolls, bagel bites, chicken nuggets), sandwiches (like grilled cheese), cookies!!!, and even s’mores!! I am totally trying out making s’mores on this thing!

This weekend my older sister, niece, and nephew are going to come visit for the weekend. They haven’t had the chance to see my house yet besides videos or pictures, so that’ll be nice having them visit for the weekend. Anyway, that’s all for this post! I’ll have another picture update soonish with random pictures that I took throughout the last week or two that are not a part of this post/day.

In case you missed it;
Review|| Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee.
Wrap Up|| February.
Book Haul|| February.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Hello, Central Florida.

lifeupdate

Hey!

Friday was moving day! We packed up the truck on Thursday night and Friday after work we packed up the kitties and the pup and hit the road to our new house. It’s a four hour drive from where we were living. I was so nervous about the cats in the car for four hours, because they hate the car! They cry non-stop in the car. Luckily the hubby took two of them and I only had to take one in my sister’s car. He took the two that are most scared, so I didn’t have to listen to them crying the whole time. It’s always so sad. Leaf (littlest and the one we took) didn’t make a peep! See took it like a champ. Andy said the other two cried 3 of the 4 hours. 😭

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We made it around 10pm and started to unload some of the truck before it started raining. We did the rest the next day (Saturday). On Saturday I unpacked a lot of things and tried to put as much away as I could. The kitchen is pretty much done and so are our clothes. There’s still so much more to do though, sigh. My right arm is killing me today from all the moving and unpacking. Hopefully I can get a lot more done today though. We’ll see what happens!

My younger sister came up with us, because she’ll be staying with me until Andy comes up and until she goes back on the road (she was a truck driver and may go back to that job). She slept a couple nights in the room that will be my office/library until we finished the floor & borders in the guest room (pictures later in the post). I can’t wait until my desk gets here (Wednesday) and eventually be able to buy some bookshelves so I can unpack my books.

The cats took the new house in different ways. October is the shy one that’s scared of everything. Never likes being pet or anything. Always hides. Well…she’s loving it here! She’s out and about and very happy. She even lays with us and wants attention, which was never a thing about her before! She was the one I was most worried about when it came to this move, but she seems so happy. She loves all the windows. She spends a lot of time laying or sitting in front of different windows around the house.

ColbyJack (oldest) was not a happy camper. He spent a lot of time growling and hissing and just being grumpy. He also hid 90% of the time. Little Leaf wasn’t really sure about the house either. She hid majority of the time too. I really thought they would be cool about it, haha. Totally the opposite than I thought! I’m so happy about October though. I really worried about her. They other two kitties seem to be getting used to the house now though, so that’s a plus. I think that now that it’s not as chaotic, they are coming around.

My pup Dax loves the house. He’s been here before this weekend. We brought him up last weekend and he was so happy. He was even rolling around in the backyard. He has his own yard now! We didn’t have one at the last place and he’s never really off a leash outside often. Now he can be. At first he wasn’t sure about it, but by the end of the weekend he was rolling around in the yard.

There’s still so much to do, but I have plenty of time to do it. Hopefully by the end of the week it’ll be mostly done. 🙂 Here are some other random pictures I’ve taken at the new house from last weekend and now.

We’ve been in the process of changing the floors in one of the bedrooms as I mentioned. We took the carpet out and put a dark brown wood laminate flooring. Next I need to paint the walls in the room. I’m unsure what color I want, but I think it’ll be some kind of shade of white. There’s so many shades of white!! We were going to do our bedroom with this same flooring, but I think we may use something else. I want to find a similar color though. We have other remodeling/updating that we want to do to the house, but that’ll come in time.

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Second bathroom (not the master bathroom). This room is currently probably the nicest/cleanest room in the house right now, haha. We currently have boxes EVERYWHERE. I’ll be taking recycle out for weeks before we finally get all of them out of the house.

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My boss gave us a ton of furniture. The dining table and barstools above are some of the pieces that he gave us. The dining table glass is supposed to have that shattered glass look/effect. Andy thought it was broken, but according to the description and my boss it’s supposed to be like that lol. The dining table also has a leaf and two more chairs that we didn’t put out yet. Four is more than enough for us right now. Colby loves that table. He’s been out more now that we have it up. I love the bar stools. They are all the same shade (more the middle stool color), but the lighting and shadow makes them look different.

I’ll have more pictures of the rest of the house another time once we get everything put away and cleaned up. So far this is what is done. So until then, below are some random pictures I’ve taken of the area and outside of my house.

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I seen the below banner hanging up on a window when we were driving through some of downtown Lakeland. A lot of the buildings have different banners of art like this hanging on their walls. We were driving or I would have taken a picture of them all.

Some random flowers and plants growing in my yard. I’m pretty sure the white ones and the orange ones only grew because the grass needs cut. I hate to see them go, but I love that I have this plant in my yard that grows these really pretty pink flowers.

These are all of the tree in my backyard. I take pictures of it every single time I am here, lmao. All different views at least. I got some close ups, some of the branches, and some through my lens ball.

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I took this picture of my tree when we got here on Friday night for my Instagram stories (heyyitsashley) and I was looking at the picture after I posted it and with the lights/shadows it looked like a face and made me think of Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas, haha. 😛

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The sky this morning from my front door. Forever heart eyes. It was actually 60 degrees outside too, which was so nice.

All week will most likely be spent cleaning and putting things away in the house during breaks at work and after work. I have so much to do. I also forgot that we have a ton of boxes that we put in the closet. I plan to go find the library and get a library card this week too. I’m hoping to finish one more book before the end of the month to include in my wrap up, which will be posted in the next few days as well as my book haul. I’ll also try to catch up with your posts at some point this week as well and reply to comments.

In case you missed it;
Random|| Life Update – New House!
Review|| Just for Clicks.
Friday Finds #75.
Review|| Comics Will Break Your Heart.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Life Update – New House!

lifeupdate

Hey!

Exciting news….the hubby and I did a thing…we bought a house on Friday (2/8)! We pretty much kept it secret and didn’t talk about it that much to anyone. I didn’t want to jinx things, because we really wanted this to work out! AND WELL….it did!

We are super stoked about it! We took a bunch of our stuff up there that we don’t use often. Funny story…so we brought an air mattress to sleep on, but forgot the air pump to blow it up. So I was like, okay, that’s okay. We have a big comforter we can lay on the the floor with….yeah, forgot that too. LMAO! So we had a ton of sheets and throw blankets to sleep on. Not the best sleep, but it is what it is. HAHA. We aren’t bringing our bed or other furniture until next weekend or the weekend after that.

My mom and aunt ended up coming on Saturday afternoon though and we went out to Walmart to get some stuff. She ended up buying us a couch/futon. It’s a futon, but when folded up it looks like a couch. It is really comfy and it’s really cute. She also bought a couple of air mattresses too, so next time we are good to go until we get all of our stuff up there! It’s currently about 3.5-4 hours from where we currently live.  Don’t mind the mess, we are moving in HAHA. 😛 We spent pretty much all Saturday morning cleaning and doing other things around the house until my mom and aunt got there.

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I haven’t taken any inside pictures yet (besides the one above), but I will probably do that once we are settled in. The weekend was just just crazy busy doing a ton of different things and I guess just taking it all in, because it’s like a huge step in our lives. It’s super cool though! We have SO MUCH space. It’s three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and there’s a bonus room (which we will use like a second living room/family room). The “bonus room” is actually pictured above. We already have a list of things we want to do, haha. That’ll be fun. 😛 We ate lunch on a piece of cardboard Sunday hahah, so we wouldn’t get the floor messy and because we wanted to watch TV. My mom left her hot spot for us to watch TV until we got our own internet setup on Sunday.

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We’ll be going back up Friday night to do some more cleaning and hopefully more organizing of things. The living room when you walk into our house currently has so many boxes, so hopefully we get some things put away and more organized before we bring in the rest of our stuff in the next week or two.

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I took my smaller lens ball with me and got this pretty awesome picture of our house. I’m kind of obsessed with how great this picture turned out. We also have this HUGE tree in our backyard and I’m totally living for it. I already have plans to hang a hammock chair from it. Perfect reading spot while the pup runs around the yard, haha. The yard is fenced in, but we’ll be eventually getting a privacy fence, but for now it’s fine.

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Our house is more in the country side of town, which we actually like. Lots of good picture taking opportunities in the future, haha. Also, there are cows, goats, and horses and lots of woods too. One house across the street before turning into our neighborhood has three goats in their front yard, LOL. The next few pictures aren’t the best quality because we were driving and I didn’t have my zoom lens on my Nikon or the correct setting, but here is some of the area. I definitely plan to get more later this week.

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So we’re now homeowners which is pretty neat! This year is going to be pretty crazy for us. New house, new city, but we’re super stoked to see what happens. We have so much work to do with packing, moving, unpacking so I may not be around too much like I mentioned previously. I apologize in advance! I didn’t even get to read that much this week, which sucked! Hopefully I can finish at least one book this week. I’m halfway through Crooked Kingdom, so I would love to be able to finish that one this week. Guess we’ll see what happens!

In case you  missed it;
WWW Wednesday #56.
Wrap Up|| January.
Book Haul|| January.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Christmas 2018.

pictureupdate

Hey!

For Christmas this year were were able to go visit Andy’s parents. It had been a very long time since we’ve been able to have a Christmas with them. They live about 2-2.5 hours away from us. We left on Saturday morning and stayed until the afternoon of Christmas Day. We both had to work the next day, so we had to come home on Christmas.

On Saturday we went downtown to look at some Christmas decorations. Above are a couple of pictures that I took on the way to downtown. You have to drive over a bridge and the sun was starting to set, which was nice.

There are two houses downtown that put up a ton of Christmas decorations. Top two pictures are of one of the houses. For $5 you can go inside and see them all. I didn’t take a ton of pictures inside, because there was so just so much to see and I was pretty much living for everything. I did get a few though.

There were Christmas trees in every single room, it was pretty crazy and totally awesome! These above are some of the Christmas tree pictures that I was able to take and a few of my favorites.

These above are just some other random pictures that I took inside and out side of the houses. After we looked at the Christmas decorations, we went to get some food at 3 Pepper. It’s a Mexican restaurant. It was pretty good. No pictures though. I was starving and dived into my food right away.

After seeing the Christmas decorations and eating, we went back to the house and watched TV for awhile. I think I went to sleep pretty early every night we were there. I had a list of Christmas movies that I like to watch every Christmas, so we worked our way through my list of Christmas movies all weekend/Christmas. On Christmas Eve we had dinner and then Christmas Day we opened presents, had breakfast, and then ate Christmas “dinner” for lunch since we had to leave shortly after that. It was so a lot of fun and I’m glad we were able to spend Christmas with Andy’s family. Dax had a lot of fun being able to hangout with their pup Digby too.

Below are just a bunch of miscellaneous pictures that I took throughout the time we were there.

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We (Andy, his mom, and I) took the dogs on a walk around the neighborhood and the park that’s down the street from their house. These are all the pictures that I took on that walk. It was a really nice day out.

I seen a squirrel in the tree in Andy’s parents backyard and got pretty excited about that, because it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new zoom lens that Andy got me for Christmas. The squirrel was pretty vocal and basically screaming at my dog. HAHA. I think the pictures came out pretty great.

Andy’s parents have an orange tree in their back yard, which is always cool. We were able to pick some oranges to bring home with us. I had fun taking pictures of the tree. Left the orange picking to Andy, haha.

First picture is of Andy and I after we ate dinner of Christmas Eve. Second picture is just a random selfie of myself.

These last set of pictures are from a couple of weekends ago when we went to Lakeland to visit my friend. I figured I would include them as well.

Random view from her guest bedroom window on that Sunday morning. I’m a sucker for a pretty view, haha.

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We seen a house that had SO MANY Christmas lights and decorations, so I had to snap a picture. We also drove down another street and every single house on the street went ALL OUT with their decorations. I didn’t get any pictures, but I wish I had.

And these are just a couple pictures of her cat Bruce. He’s so cute, but he’s still unsure about me. HAHA. Once we are living in Lakeland, I am determined to make him love me. 😛 Although we did make some progress after I gave him some treats. Treats = friend?

Anyway, that’s my picture update for today. I had a great Christmas and we got so many wonderful presents (including an Instant Pot and an iPad Mini) from both our families. I ate a TON of food and candy, which was good and bad (because I totally over did it) haha. How was your holiday or weekend? I have five other blog posts that I am working on that will slowly be making there way onto the blog. Wrap up and book haul coming soon. I’ll have a 2019 reading goals post and a reading challenge I am hoping to tackle in 2019 coming as well. I still need to work on my end of the year book survey too. Be on the look out for a bunch of posts soon. 😀

In case you missed it;
TBB Asks: Holiday Edition.
Random|| Picture Update.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

TBB Asks: Holiday Edition.

Hey!

I’ve been so busy with all my last minute Christmas stuff and life in general, so I haven’t been around the blog much the last week or two. Hopefully that changes soon. I need to catch up with you guys ASAP, promise! 😀 A lot of things happening right now, so my mind is preoccupied. Today though, I figured it would be fun to post this holiday themed blog post since Christmas is coming up soon and I’m not sure when I’ll get another chance to post. I seen Brandie (Running on Words and Wine) post this on her blog, so I figured I would too. I love Christmas. 😛

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Candy Canes? Yes or No?
I don’t mind candy canes. I don’t usually eat them by themselves very much anymore, unless it’s a mini one. When I was a kid I used to love eating them right off the Christmas tree though. I do love candy cane flavored things though! Especially chocolate, like peppermint bark. I LIVE FOR PEPPERMINT BARK!

Christmas morning early riser or sleep in?
Honestly, I’m an early riser period these days. So I guess I am an early riser on Christmas morning; as a kid I was too. As an adult, I’m more of an early riser because I get way too excited about giving everyone their gifts. LOL. I don’t even care about gifts myself, but giving gifts is my thing and so I get way too stoked about everyone seeing their gifts, haha.

Did you shop on Black Friday? 
This year I went to a couple places to see what kind of deals they had going on, but I don’t think I bought anything besides one DVD for myself. Normally, I don’t usually do Black Friday shopping. I don’t like big crowds and being around a lot of people at one time, so I usually stay home.

Christmas tree up in November? 
Yes, I love putting my Christmas tree up in November. I’m very guilty of this and I don’t even care. Judge all you want, but I love being able to enjoy my Christmas for as long as possible.

Do you get holiday ideas from Pinterest?
I love pinning holiday ideas in my Pinterest boards, but I don’t always do them. I guess I just collect pins. But if I was looking for an idea, I would definitely go to Pinterest.

Christmas Glam or Ugly Sweater?
Ugly sweater, for sure. I’m not the “glam” type of person. I don’t really dress up and I definitely do not wear any makeup at all. I’m all about jeans, converse shoes, and ugly sweaters.

Stocking Stuffers: Wrapped or unwrapped?
As much as I love wrapping gifts, I don’t usually wrap stocking stuffers. Depending on the size of the gift, I will though; but very rarely.

Traditional or Modern Christmas songs?
Traditional Christmas songs. I don’t really listen to new Christmas music (or Christmas music in general), so I don’t know what all modern Christmas songs are out there or that come out. So I know and am used to the old traditional Christmas songs/versions of the old songs. I do love the Hanson Christmas album though, haha.

Fruitcake?
Never had it. I don’t even think I’ve ever seen one, but I hear they’re gross so I probably would never try it.

Is your Christmas shopping finished?
Yes! All prezzies are bought and wrapped. My Christmas shopping is officially done as far as buying gifts goes. I do have to stop by the bank before Christmas to get some money for my niece and nephew as their gifts, but it’s done.

Is there snow in December where you live?
Sadly, no. I live in Florida and there’s no snow here. On the rare occasion it’ll snow in northern Florida, but hardly ever, especially not in South Florida where I currently live. When I used to live in Illinois as a kid, it snowed and that was fun.

Classic Show: A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph?
A Charlie Brown Christmas, always. I love Charlie Brown anything, so I always make it a point to watch the Christmas show every year. As I do with all the holidays where there is a Charlie Brown special.

This weekend we’re going to Andy’s parents house for Christmas, so I will be pretty busy with that. I’m excited though since we haven’t had Christmas with them in such a long time. What are you holiday plans?

In case you  missed it;
Random|| Picture Update.
December TBR.
Wrap Up|| November.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

I haven’t done one of these updates in quite awhile, so I have a TON of pictures to share with you guys. It’s almost 50 pictures, so be prepared. 😛 I’m just going to jump right into it!

My sister (Stephanie), Andy, and I went to this Renaissance festival called Camelot Days that we have here two weekends in November. It was an okay time. I felt like other years were a lot better than this year was. I didn’t take a ton of pictures while I was there, but these above are the ones that I did take.

My mom making homemade noodles for Thanksgiving! 😀 She made SO MUCH food! Thanksgiving was really great. Lots of food and some family friends came to our Thanksgiving too.

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My younger sister Stephanie and I made Christmas cookies for Thanksgiving too. We started off really good with them, but then we were just over it from spending so long making them that you can tell with the cookies when it started to go downhill for us HAH. They all tasted good though. 😛

A bunch of us sitting on my mom’s sofa waiting for all the food to be done. We were watching the dog show that they have on every Thanksgiving. We were also switching between that and the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Right picture is DINNER! That was only one of my plates. There was so much food and I couldn’t fit everything on one plate, haha.

Speaking of Christmas, I got some pretty awesome wrapping paper from Target this year. SHARKS! SKULLS! YETIS! FLAMINGOS! SANTA BEARDS! 😛 I also go Home Alone 2 (my favorite one) for only $9 at Target on Black Friday. I can’t wait to watch that this week.

I’m not having a full size Christmas tree this year, but this is my mini Christmas tree that I have on my dining table. The cats already messed it up though, lol. But it was good for about a couple days.

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Stockings hung! I moved my desk to the living room, so it was right under this wall, so it was kind of hard to reach over my computer to get to the wall (LOL), so they all kind of went crooked and downhill. My sister is moving back here and going to be living with us, so I didn’t want to forget her and got her stocking up too. She’s the top. My stocking is Santa, Andy’s is the reindeer, and then of course the other stockings are for our furbabies (three cats & a dog).

Speaking of cats, here they are! Leaf (left picture), October (top right), ColbyJack (bottom right).

I can’t forget my boy, Dax! We took him to the groomer a couple weeks ago to get his haircut. His hair was getting out of control.

A couple weeks ago my sister Stephanie, my nephew, and I went to the park to go Pokemon hunting. I took my camera with and got a few pictures.  Middle two are pictures of my nephew. The bottom left is a picture of my sister.

A couple different sunset pictures from the nights I went to the gym. You guys already know how obsessed I am with taking pictures of the sky. It’s the first thing I do whenever I step outside. See if the sky is picture worthy, it usually always is. 😛

Some random pictures I took at the park over the weekend. It was Andy’s work holiday party (HOLY ANXIETY) and I went with him. It was kind of awkward, because well..I’m socially awkward and I don’t do good with small talk or social gatherings, lol. It was okay though. It wasn’t a horrible time and the food was good. There was also a ton of cookies and I love cookies. First picture is when we first got there. That’s Andy walking in the first picture. Second picture is when we were leaving the party and the sun was starting to set.

Some random pictures. Left one is of little Leaf laying on me. She was totally hugging me and it was the cutest. Right picture is just a random picture I took because I really loved my cacti shirt, lol.

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Another random sky picture that I am obsessed with.

So Andy and I kind of sucked with Christmas this year by deciding to give each other our big presents (the expensive ones) that we got each other, lol. He got me a new zoom lens for my Nikon D3400, which I was so stoked about. Check out the size difference! The zoom lens is on my camera and the lens that is next to it is the original lens that it comes with.

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I’m so used to my original lens being able to auto-focus, but this zoom lens that I got doesn’t auto-focus, so it’s going to take me some time to get used to focusing the shots myself. It’ll be fun though. I haven’t had the chance to use it very much yet, but I did take this picture that I thought came out really nice.

We all decorated the tree outside of the house a few nights ago. Totally looks a mess, haha. 😛 Very Charlie Brown-ish. It’s still cute in it’s own way. First picture is the three. Top right is one of the ornaments on the tree, and the bottom right is just an out of focus picture of the lights (bokeh). I like taking out of focus pictures of Christmas lights.

That’s all the pictures that I have. Feel free to follow me on Instagram (heyyitsashley) if you want to. Some of these have been posted there already in the last month or two. Others haven’t made it there yet. The next couple of weeks I’ll be pretty busy, so not sure how active I will be on here. Seems to always happen around the holidays though.

In case you missed it;
December TBR.
Wrap Up|| November.
Book Haul|| November.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

I haven’t done one of these photo dumps in awhile, so I figured now would be a good time to do one. Feel free to add my on Instagram (heyyitsashley) if you want to see them as I post them. Some of these pictures haven’t been posted there yet, but will eventually make there way over there. I love posting my pictures on here, which I ended up having to upgrade my blog to a personal plan because I was running out of storage space for photos. It looks like I might have to end up upgrading again to a premium plan, because I’m getting to a point that I’ll probably be out of space (AGAIN) by the middle of next year? I guess we’ll see what happens. Anyway! Onto some pictures that I’ve been taking over the last couple of months and different things I’ve done that I never updated about. I think I’ll start off with the newest things/pictures first.

Now that Andy has weekends off from work, we’re actually able to do stuff! This weekend we decided to go walk around Target and the Spirit Halloween store. I actually left Target not getting anything for myself, crazy! I usually walk out buying things I never needed and spending way too much money. The Spirit Halloween store had a bunch of different Hocus Pocus costumes and accessories. I was living for this sign they had. We also decided to grab Taco Bell for lunch and eat it at the park. It was actually really nice since we were under the trees in the shade.

More food pictures. Andy’s birthday was on October 9th, so we decided to go to our favorite restaurant for dinner. They seriously have the best pizza ever! I decided to try something else from their menu though and got the baked ravioli. It was so good! I need to go back this week for more.

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Another weekend we all (my entire family) went to go eat at Joe’s Grill. It’s literally right at the end of our street, so we can walk there. They sell amazing pulled pork and mac & cheese. They have a lot of food on their menu, but I always get the pulled pork and mac & cheese. I always forget to take pictures of the food, but it’s so good!

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The weekend before Andy’s birthday we decided to go visit his parents. I mentioned that in my last post, I believe. It was a pretty fun time. I took this picture at a rest area that we stopped at before getting to his parents. I really love it.

These are just some random pictures that I took while there. Top left is his parents’ dog Digby. Top right is just a picture of my shoes and the grass. I have this weird obsession with taking pictures like this, I don’t know why. I have a ton and I do it all the time. 😛 Bottom left is my dog Dax exploring their backyard. We don’t have a fence yard, so whenever he goes to visit he gets to run around without a leash. Bottom right is a picture of Dax and Digby together, which I shared in my last photo a day post.

Andy and I decided one weekend to walk around Anne Kolb Nature Center park, so I could find things to take pictures of. We didn’t stay too long, because it was so hot outside, but I didn’t get a ton of nice pictures. Left is the observation tower, which you can go up. Right is one of the walking trails. Below are a bunch more pictures that I took at Anne Kolb.

These six pictures are all taken from the top of the observation tower. I took the stairs to the top, but took the elevator down because it was seriously so hot outside, HAHA. I love all these pictures that I was able to take though.

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I was pretty happy with every single one of these pictures that I took. This is another part of Anne Kolb. There’s different parts to the park/nature center. This is an area where you can actually go fishing at. The last picture is this really cool butterfly that I seen. It’s called an atala butterfly. I love that it looks like it’s glowing with those blue dots on it. I wish it had it’s wings opened, because they are even prettier with their wings spread.

And now this is where I just post a bunch of random pictures and a ton of my furbabies, haha. 😛

I was trying to get the girls into the Halloween spirit. Honestly, I wanted them to sit next to the pumpkin and look at the camera. They didn’t want to do that. I even tried to offer them toys, but nope. 😛 These were the best I could do.

Sleepy kitties! Left picture (October), I started to give October treats every day, so she’s starting to come out more. She’s usually a loner and never really likes attention much. We have a room that we call the “cat room”, because that’s where we keep the litter boxes, their cat tree, and it’s warm so they all like to chill in there. 98% of the time she is in there. Now that I’ve been giving her a lot of treats, she’s been coming out of the room more and hanging out in other areas of the house. She’s even sleeping more in our bedroom at night! Right picture (Leaf), that’s Leaf’s favorite blanket. she LOVED it since she was a really tiny kitten. It somehow ended up lost for months and months. Finally found it in the hubby’s trunk of the car and as soon as we got it out and washed it, Leaf was in love again and obviously super stoked to have her blanket back. Below is a picture of her when she was a tiny kitten with her blank versus now.

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And some other random Leaf pictures. Left picture, she was being so weird and wouldn’t stop looking into the lamp, lol. Eventually I had to turn it off, because it’s a really bright light and I didn’t want her to hurt her eyes, because she seriously wouldn’t stop. Right picture, was Leaf trying to lick my eye, haha. She’s such a strange cat, but I love her to death.

The boys! ColbyJack (left) and Dax (right). We celebrated Colby’s fifth birthday recently. I can’t believe he’s already five. He refused to put the birthday hat on as he does every year. I think only two years I’ve actually been able to get it on him, haha. And my pup. he’s forever the cutest.

These last two pictures are just some random pictures I took outside of my house. That’s all for this post! I hope you enjoyed seeing all my pictures. I’ll have my next set of photo a day pictures in the next day or two. I’ll catch up with you guys later this week as well.

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| October 6-10.
Blog Tour/Thoughts|| The No-Good Nine.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyhalloween

Random|| Life Update.

lifeupdate

Hey!

I think it’s been like ten or so days since my last update. I’m been so MIA this last week and a half on the blogosphere, but I am ready to get back into it in September and catch up with you guys this week. August has been such a weird month for me with things not working out and other things happening. Here is just a quick little update and a few pictures.

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It was my mom’s birthday on August 17th and we had a birthday party for her on August 18th (a Saturday). We decided to do a beach themed party and we created a little “beach” in the backyard. It came out really great too! We used a beach/ocean backdrop and added a bunch of sand. We also included seashells, beach balls, beach toys, and other beachy things. We wanted to create it for picture to take pictures there. Like a little photo booth area and of course you could hangout there if you wanted. It was also a pool party too, so we all played pool volleyball and had a lot of fun.

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The hubby got a new job! It’s a job he really wanted and I am so stoked for him. He worked really hard in school for a year for this, so it’s really awesome. So we were supposed to be moving, but it didn’t happen like we thought it would which is what I’ve been so down about. BUUUUT, with this new job he got, it changes everything. They actually want him to move there to work in their office in Orlando so it should definitely happen for us this time around. He just has to train here where we currently live for 8-10 months and then they was him to transfer to Orlando. I am really hoping this works out this time. We are taking a different approach and route as well this time around, so hopefully so. Over the weekend I put together a little party for him to congratulate him on his new job. I got a cake and we grilled out. We decorated with some decorations and balloons.

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I finally read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I really enjoyed it. I kept seeing spoilerish things with the movie having just released on Netflix, so I decided to finally read it. I finished it on Sunday and watched the movie on Sunday too. First of all, I really liked the book so much. The movie though….I really didn’t care for it that much. It was just okay. I think having read it and then watched the movie right after kind of ruined it for me it. It was so different and things happened that didn’t happen in the book…BUT THEN I decided to start the book sequel after the movie and I was annoyed AF! The movie pretty much spoiled the beginning of the sequel. A big event that happens too, not something minor. So I’m like “WTF” and now I feel like maybe I would have liked the movie a little better had I read the entire series first. The movie had some things in it that didn’t happen until the sequel. I read 70 pages of PS I Still Love You and events that happened in those pages happened in the movie. That annoyed the heck out of me! So yeah, not a fan of the movie. The hubby really liked it though, but he also never read the book so there’s that.

Just some random pictures. Halloween candy is starting to make an appearance and I am super stoked. I had to get a few things, like my favorite little pumpkin candy corn type thing. I’m not entire sure what to call them, haha. But I love those things and I buy so many every year at this time. And the other is just a random picture of my shoes. I don’t know. I just thought the grass was really green and I liked it.

So next weekend (September 6-10) I am going to Illinois! One of my cousin’s is getting married, so my mom and I are going to go. We’re going to ride with my other cousin and his family. They are going to rent a van. We’re all going to pitch in $100 each for gas & renting the van. It’s a 18-20 hour car ride (ahhh), so we’ll literally only be there for the wedding which kind of sucks. We wont’ really have any time to do anything else, but it’ll still be nice to see family and hangout for a day or two.

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And here are a few pictures of the furbabies. It wouldn’t be an update without a picture of them. 😛 Top Left (Dax). Top Right (October & Leaf). Bottom (ColbyJack). That’s all for this little update. I plan to catch up with all of your posts and comments this week when I get some free time.

I’ll have my August wrap up post coming soon. I am hoping to finish the two books I’m currently reading in the next four days. I don’t know if this will actually happen, but I am hoping. I will also have my August book haul soon too. I probably won’t have my own pictures, because I’m still waiting on the books to actually arrive. Dang Book Depository taking forever!

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| Anonymous Bookaholics.
Thoughts|| #MurderTrending.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

It’s been almost three months since I’ve done one of these posts and I don’t even know where to begin with it. I don’t remember what I have and haven’t posted already. So there may be a few repeats. I love posting these type of posts and my pictures, but when I go so long without doing one then I have no clue where to begin again, ahhh. 😛  Warning this is probably going to be REALLY picture heavy, because there’s probably 60+ pictures.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram (heyyitsashley)! A lot of these haven’t been posted on my Instagram yet, so you’re seeing them first! Eventually they’ll make their way on there. I take so many pictures and don’t want to post a million at one time, so I hoard pictures to post later, lol. Anyway, onto my pictures!

Let’s start with FOOD, because food is amazing. 😛

I stumbled upon this restaurant called “I Heart Mac & Cheese” and holy crap I was in heaven. I needed to go their, ASAP! Last week the hubby’s parents came down to visit and they took us there and it was great. I got the pulled pork mac & cheese. SO MUCH CHEEEEESE!

Recently the hubby and I tried a new pizza place (it’s amazing and we’ve already gone twice in like a week and a half) and we also tried a new burger place that was really great too. The burger place is called BurgerFi and the pizza place was called D’Salvos.

This new shaved ice place opened up down the street so we tried it out for my aunt’s birthday. It was really good. They sell alcoholic drinks in kind of shaved ice form and they were good. No picture of the drink, but I do got a picture of the shaved ice we got too. Also, their interior decor is amazing. One wall is painted like the ocean/sky. The ceiling has lights that are printed with clouds on them. The floor is like the ocean. And the table is sea glass. I accidentally deleted my picture of the floor. They also have a chalkboard wall so you can write/draw on it.

The shaved ice is blueberry. It’s sitting on the shaved ice table. The ocean/sky scene in the background is one of their walls. Below is my mom writing on their chalkboard wall and the top right corner is their sky/cloud lighting. SO COOL! 🙂

Alright, moving right along. Onto, furbabies!

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A year ago yesterday my little Leaf turned one (well technically she turned one in June, but I got her in July so that’s her new birthday). I tried so hard for days to get pictures of her in the birthday hat, but she just wasn’t having it. So I got pictures of her eating the birthday hat instead? They are all still pretty cute pictures though. I am so stoked we decided to keep her. We love her so much.

We’ve been dogsitting the hubby’s parents’ dog and Leaf and Digby love each other so much. It’s cute. They’ve been playing so much together to. 😀 Here is another picture of Digby, because I have a problem with taking pictures of animals. 😛

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My four! Dax, Leaf, October, ColbyJack.

And some pictures of them loving each other.

Some other misc. pictures. First two are the cats are when I was trying to relax in the bath, but they all wanted to watch me. WEIRDOS. Third picture of me walking the pup. And the last picture is Leaf photobombing my picture of October.

Now onto nature type pictures. First up, the sky.

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Next, flowers and plants.

First picture is a shadow of some leaves on the side of our house. I really love how it turned out.

The rest are just some random pictures.

Some really neat buildings I’ve seen. The first picture each shop is a different color. Second picture is a parking garage that is painted to be a sunset (or sunrise). The entire parking garage isn’t picture. It’s HUGE.

A couple different pictures of the moon.

Playing with sparklers with my nephew and sister. My nephew didn’t a bunch of scribbles with his sparklers while I took a picture. My sister tried to write things out. Got this really cool one of an “A” she did. Last picture is just me holding the sparkler.

The hubby’s eye, lol. For some reason I really LOVE this picture though. And the second picture is of me and my new glasses! 😛  I really love these glasses.

And DONE! So many pictures. There’s even more pictures that I probably didn’t post, but trying to figure them out will be so hard. I’ll just leave you with these and hopefully I don’t let myself go months without doing another one of these posts. I will hopefully catch up with all of your posts at some point this week. I hope you had a great weekend!

In case you missed it;
Travel|| Black Point Marina.
Wrap Up|| June.
Book Haul|| June.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Life Update.

lifeupdate

Hey!

So I think I am battling a reading slump, which totally sucks! I was flying through books this month. I was making pretty big progress with my June TBR (check it out here). I read seven books (most were graphic novels) and then finished another that I had started in May. That’s eight books I read at the beginning of this month and I read them so fast too and I think I burned myself out, to be honest. My current read Love, Hate, and Other Filters goes back to the library in SIX DAYS and I am not anywhere near to finishing it, because I haven’t been in the mood to read. I am really enjoying it too and that makes it worse, in my opinion.

I also have things happening in my life that are taking over brain space. My mind is elsewhere. I’ve even neglected finishing some school stuff, ugh. I have a lot of things that need to happen in such a short amount of time. I try to stay composed though and realistically, I probably brush off a lot of important things. If things don’t make me happy or things I don’t want to do, then I tend to ignore doing those things for as long as possible. I also have this mindset that whatever happens, happens. I mean, that’s a pretty good mindset…to an extent. It’s good for things that are not really in your control. What’s happening now was totally in my control…

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I am a huge procrastinator, not going to lie. Example: I’ve known I was going to be moving for probably almost a year now and I have done nothing to move the process along to make it go more smoothly. I have three months now and….I’m fucked? Everyday I procrastinate things and then things happen that are no longer in my control and my trusty (not full proof, by the way) motto pops into my head “whatever happens, happens”. So when I say my mind is elsewhere, it’s on what the heck am I going to do about moving?

Where? How? How much is this going to cost? Savings? What savings? Things come up and there goes the savings. What about all the crap the hubby and I own? We own so much damn stuff, ughhh. What happen to minimalism this year? I had plans to toss pretty much all our stuff this year… <— I put that idea to the side and decided i’d come back to it later the next day after thinking it. I have four animals, who’s going to rent to someone with three cats and a dog? I’m sure there is ways around this, but I get paranoid they’ll find out and then we’ll be screwed. BLEHHHH. Life.

What about work? I am socially awkward (hence my blog name) and I also have MAJOR social anxiety…so the fact that I have to talk to my boss about potentially moving away but still REALLY wanting to keep my job is freaking me the hell out. I have the type of job that I can do it from home if needed. I have panic attacks thinking about this. If he says no, then we have to stay here; in this expensive city that realistically we just can’t afford anymore. Or if my boss says no and we still move to the cheaper city that I really want to move to, what am I going to do about a job? I can’t talk to people. SOCIAL ANXIETY SUCKS. I can’t handle finding a new job. Even thinking this is a possibility is scary as hell!

So what do I do when I can’t handle things? I pretend this is all a non-existent thing in my life and go about my life; doing whatever it is that I want to do instead of what I NEED to do. Sometimes I like to think I work harder (maybe even better) under pressure or a deadline, because I literally have no other choice but to do the work now that there is no time to stall or that word again…procrastinate. That’s not a good way to go about life either, by the way. Everything is a lot easier when you give yourself time to actually do things instead of trying to do a million things in a short amount of time on top of your regular life stuff. It only drives you crazy.

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I honestly had no intentions of this post to turn out like this. I was actually going to tell you guys I was in a reading slump and then post pictures that I took while at the park with my sister a couple weeks ago. I am so tired of adulting. Not that I really do much of it aside from pay my bills on time. That’s probably the only thing I got right as far as this adult thing goes. Sometimes I buy vegetables. I think I rambled way too much and I think I needed to just vent this all somewhere.

Anyway, this is part of why I’ve been so MIA on here. It’s also what kick-started this reading slump. I have so many things I need to figure out. I also need to figure out how to get over my fear of talking to my boss, because I really need to do it ASAP. The sooner the better, especially because we need to do know if we’re staying or going. Enough of that though. Here’s a lens ball picture of me that my sister took. I was taking a picture of her taking a picture of me through the lens balls, lol.

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I’ll share all of my other pictures soon. I have some from when my sister and I went to a park. I also have some from when we visited our dad and we went to another park. And then a TON more from the last 2.5 months. I’m sorry if I continue to be a little less active for awhile. This post pretty much explains why and also what my life is going to be like the next few months trying to figure all of this out!

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| Mid-Year Freak Out.
Thoughts|| Be Prepared.
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack