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

Random|| Life & Reading Update.

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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

5 Star Reads of 2018.

booksiread

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to do blog posts showing the books that I read throughout the year and what I rated them. This list is my five star reads and I’ll do other posts for my other star rating books as well. They are in the order that I read them, but I did group book series together. You can check out a list of all the books that I read in 2018 over here. All titles linked to Goodreads.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (read twice)
*one of the two times was audiobook*
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

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your name. by Makoto Shinkai
Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
Member of the Family by Dianne Lake, Deborah Hermnan

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Inferno by Julie Kagawa (audiobook)
Orphan Number Eight by Kim van-Alkemade
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (audiobook)
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

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The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Garden of Fiends by Various Authors
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (audiobook)
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

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Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Not Even Bones
by Rebecca Shaeffer
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
I Will Find You by Joe Kenda

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Bright Side by Kim Holden (audiobook)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple
Down Time by Barry Lyga
What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli

I tried to think of which ones would be my top five favorites out of them all, but I couldn’t narrow it down. It’s so hard to narrow it down, because they were all really amazing and I loved them so much. Of course that’s the reason why they got five stars! I got pretty lucky with reading some pretty amazing books last year. In the next couple days I will post my four stars rating books, so be on the lookout for that! 🙂

What books did you give five stars to in 2018? See any favorites on my list?

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| The Wicked King.
Reading the Alphabet.
2018 Year in Books (Reading Stats).

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

December TBR.

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Hey!

The last two months I did really good with sticking to my monthly TBR created for each month (October & November), so I decided to go ahead and try one last time with a December TBR. There are so many books that I swore I would finally get to this year and sadly, I have not. I want to say I’ll try in December, but realistically that probably won’t happen because I have quite a few ARCs that I need to read. I created a reading challenge for next year to hopefully tackle those books that I swore I would finally read and didn’t. I’ll talk more about that and those books later at the end of the month or beginning of January.

As always, this may not end up being my final TBR or all the books that I end up reading. I have some books on hold at my library that I’ve been waiting FOREVER for, so if those get checked out to me then I will most likely read those first. Also, depends on my mood if I end up reading something else not listed. With that being said, here is my December TBR.

Physical Books:

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The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (ARC)
The Lonely Dead by April Henry (ARC)
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills (ARC)
The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson (Buddy Read)

I have quite a few ARCs as you can see that I need to try to get to this month, so I can get my reviews up. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven was already released, but the others are January releases. I am also going to be buddy reading The Extinction Trials with Avery (Red Rocket Panda), which I am stoked for!


E-Books:

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The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
The Wicked King by Holly Black (eARC)
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (library)
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli/Adam Silver (library)
My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

I am so stoked for The Wicked King. I am hoping to have time to reread The Cruel Prince before I read the sequel, but if not, it’s alright. There’s also a few other e-books that I own that I hope/want to read, but I’m not going to list them in case I don’t get to them. These are pretty much my top priority right now as some are library books and I may have a couple other library books that get checked out to me later this month. I am actually currently reading What If It’s Us now and it’s so good. I am really enjoying it a lot. It’s so hard to put down!

What’s on your December TBR? Have you read any of the ones on mine? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one.

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

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

Random|| Picture & Reading Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

This won’t have a ton of pictures like usual, because I haven’t really been taking very many pictures these days. But I do have a few of neat ones from the weekend and some pictures that I found on my old camera. Also a desk tour, because why not? lol. I am skipping my usual WWW Wednesday post, so I can post this instead. I’ll put a little reading update at the end of this post though. First though….food, as always. 😛

The hubby finished school last week and to celebrate we went out for pizza and fried ravioli at our new favorite Italian restaurant. I usually always get the BBQ chicken pizza and he usually always gets the buffalo chicken pizza. It’s so good and it passes the cold pizza test. Their fried ravioli is so freaking good, so we have to get it every single time we go. I’m already craving them again and it’s only been six days since I had them. 😛

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The Umbrella Sky Project was happening in Miami, so the hubby and I decided to go check it out. It original started in Portugal for an art festival, but then other cities around the world started to do it. Basically during the hot summer months they’ll string a bunch of umbrellas up as shade for people. They’ll be taking them down in September, so I wanted to go see it before that happens. It was really neat and pretty. A guy that lives over there told us that when they first put the umbrellas up they were a lot more colorful and brighter, but the colors started to fade. I still think they look really neat though. Below are some more pictures of it.

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I set up my desk area our apartment. I really like how it came out. I’ve been neglecting finishing up my school stuff (sigh), but I am hoping now that I have my desk all setup, it’ll motivate me to finally finish it. I’m kind of close to being finished with all the work. I am hoping to have it finish by the end of next month.

On the left I have some notebooks and school book, one basket with post-its and page flags, one with sharpie markers, desk organizer that just has random things in it that I need to clean out. A box that has note cards in it, because I have an obsession with buying all of Target’s dollar bin note cards. A cork board (and dry erase board behind it) that I need to hang up, a stack of books that I hope to read soon. A cat mug, some candles, a Stranger Things coaster, my butterbeer mug from Harry Potter World that is being used as a pencil/pen holder. Some paper clips (I have some others that are currently MIA right now and I am annoyed that I can’t find them), armadillo lamp, my laptop, my desktop computer, some random faux succulent plants, and my TARDIS Funko Pop. Hanging on the wall I have a Sherlock print, Supernatural print, and a Doctor Who print. At the time of this picture the hubby hung them up crooked but I have since fixed them because it was bugging me LOL. Under my desk I have some baskets with a bunch of miscellaneous things in them.

A couple random pictures. I took this picture the bird on the power lines awhile ago when I first got my Nikon D3400. I actually didn’t like that picture, but then I was going through my memory card again to delete pictures and I decided to transfer it to my phone anyway and I ended up really loving it, lol. I found my “whatever forever” bracelet and perfect timing, because I need to live this like I used to. I’m letting stresses of life affect me way too much lately and I hate it because I was never like this. I started to wear it every day again as I reminder.

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The sunset from Friday night. It was storming really bad, but once the storm was over the sky looked like this. I love the shades of orange. It was really pretty and I of course had to get a picture of it. I’ve said it a million times, I am sucker for the sunset.

I found my old digital camera that I bought back in 2016 for our California trip and there were still pictures from California on it. These four a pictures that I took when we went to Monterey Bay, California. Such a pretty town! I definitely want to go back to California again.

Random selfie from Friday. The picture on the right is Leaf and I watching Pocahontas. Funny story, so I was talking to Leaf (because I always talk to my furbabies, lol) and I was listing all the shows on Netflix that we should watch. Secretly hoping she would answer back and pick one, because you know…maybe cats can truly talk? 😛 Eventually she got bored with me and ran off, so I chose Pocahontas. Then she comes back and I say to her “oh, you came to watch Pocahontas with me! You’re in for a real treat.”, haha. Crazy cat lady….for damn sure.

Here is my mini reading update. I usually do a WWW Wednesday post on most Wednesdays, but I really wanted to post this little picture update, so I am including a mini WWW Wednesday down below.

Currently Reading: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh. So far it’s pretty interesting. I’m not too far into it, but I like it so far. It’s one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I am hoping it’s amazing.

Recently Finished: #MurderTrending and Florida. #MurderTrending was so good! You can check out my review linked below. Florida was just okay. It wasn’t anything too exciting. It wasn’t what I expected it to be.

Reading Next: I am hoping to read All Your Perfects next! I am so stoked to read the new Colleen Hoover book. Hopefully I can start that at some point this week or definitely next week if not. I am EXCITED!

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| #MurderTrending.
Travel|| Lake Placid, FL.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

WWW Wednesday #51.

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions. 🙂

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

*Goodreads linked below.


Hey!

My reading is all over the place. I’m reading (and listening) to so many books at one time, which I never do. I think I’m in a reading slump or heading that way, so I keep starting new books to see if one will grab my attention. I also have so many ARCs that I need to get to, but just haven’t been in the mood to dive into my stack. I don’t want to read them when I’m not in the mood for them, because I don’t want to risk not liking them because of that. I’ll have a post on all the ARCs and review books that I need to read, so I can start checking them off the list! Anyway though, onto what I have been reading recently.

Currently Reading:

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
The Shadow Minds Journal by Kia Carrington-Russell

Also, Circe. But it’s unofficially on the list, because in reality I haven’t touched it in months and not sure when I will pick it up again. I’m listening to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, I’ve had it on hold at my library for months and finally got it. I only have it for a few more days though, so I have to try to finish it this week. It’s good so far. I’ve been wanting to read Why We Broke Up for awhile now. I was looking at my bookshelf over the weekend and it was calling my name to finally read it, so I started that. It’s okay so far. I’m a little over halfway through it now and I am hoping it gets better. I’m not really a huge fan of the writing style and sometimes the conversations in the book make no sense at all. I was sent an e-ARC of The Shadow Minds Journal from the author for review. I’m about 16% into it and it’s alright so far.


Recently Finished:

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The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic…I wasn’t that impressed. I liked it, but it didn’t blow me away. I was pretty bored throughout the first half of the book. I’ll still give the series a second chance and pick up the sequel soon. I also read The Boy Who Could See Demons, which was really good. It deals with mental health and I really liked it. I flew through it, it was hard to put down.


Reading Next:

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#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil

I’m not entirely sure what I will be reading next. I’m reading so many at one time right now that I am going to try to focus on finishing those. I may try to read #MurderTrending soon since I got that ARC from Netgalley and it’s release date is early August. I have a few July ARCs I need to read too, so we’ll see what happens. I packed up the majority of my books (see below) and only kept like 30 or so out; including my ARCs that I need to read. So we’ll see what happens.

What are you currently reading? Recently finished? Reading next? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to link me to your posts, so I can check them out!

I have so much going on right now outside of the blogosphere and reading, so I don’t even know how much time I’ll have to read (or blog) the next month or two. I got the okay from my boss about moving and keeping my job, so we are heading to Lakeland at the end of August. We have a lot of things to do like get rid of things, start packing our stuff, paint our current apartment, and finding a new place to rent in Lakeland. There’s also a ton of little things that go into it too, like changing our address with the post office and changing it with other places too, getting power and water turned on over there, switching our internet/cable service to over there. SO MUCH TO DO AND NOT ENOUGH TIME! Hopefully once all of that is done and we’re settled, I’ll be on a lot more. I’ll catch up with your posts in the next day or two when I get some down time. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Book Tag||My Blog’s Name in Books.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Best Books I’ve Read in 2018 (So Far).
Random|| Picture Update.

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