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. 😛

4b0b16a9-a526-4c1e-90ee-c64f1e2887c5

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.

f1012df5-18ca-455a-a32e-520f79c9abe2

f54d5662-51ee-4d3e-bedd-57a7b561afc1

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.

27441d52-4d32-496a-ae09-4c4c910493d0

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.

wwwwednesdayflower

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:

illbegoneinthedarkwhywebrokeuptheshadowmindsjournal

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:

theboywhoadarkershadeofmagic

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:

murdertrending

#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…

img_0274

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.

img_0275

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.

img_0004

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

 

Book Tag|| Mid-Year Freak Out.

booktag

Hey!

I seen this tag over on Kelly’s (Another Book in the Wall) blog and decided to give it a go today. I usually do the mid-year freak out tag every year, so I am excited to do it once again!

1. Best Book You’ve Read This Year?

Definitely a tie between Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes and Inferno by Julie Kagawa. They are both series enders and OMG, they were amazing. The Falling Kingdoms and the Talon Saga forever hold pieces of my heart. They are my two favorite series of all-time now. I am so sad they are over, but holy crap were they everything I could ever hope for!

immortalreigninferno


2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018?

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors and he has not disappointed with the Magnus Chase series. The sequel was perfect and I can’t wait to read the next book.

hammerofthor


3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

SO. MANY. OMG. I’ll stick with books that I own and choose Puddin’ and Leah on the Offbeat. I bought those on their release dates and still haven’t had the chance to get to them yet. I am super stoked for them both.

puddinleah


4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

I am so stoked for Patrick Ness’ new book And the Ocean Was Our Sky. I need to own and read everything Ness writes, because he is amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on his new book in September.

andtheocean


5. Biggest Disappointment?

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp. I loved her first book so much and her new book sounded like it was going to be really good. It was a pretty big disappointment for me, because it was just way too weird for me and there were a lot of times where I was just beyond annoyed with everything happening. It also didn’t really make sense to me at times and left me more frustrated than anything. It wasn’t for me.

beforeiletgo


6. Biggest Surprise?

I’m going to choose Turtles All the Way Down by John Green for this one. It was a big surprise, because I honestly went into this book thinking that I wasn’t going to like it. John Green’s books are usually a hit or miss and mostly a miss for me. I absolutely loved Turtles All the Way Down though and I was completely shocked that I did! It was so amazing and I already want to reread it again.

turtlesallthewaydown


7. Favorite New To You Or Debut Author?

Holly Black! I read The Cruel Prince and OMG it was amazing! I loved everything about it and I can’t wait to read her other books. I feel like I have been missing out!

thecruelprince


8. Newest Fictional Crush?

Prince Cardan from The Cruel Prince. I loved his character. He’s wicked, he’s cruel, but there is more to him than meets the eye.

thecruelprince


9. Newest Favorite Character?

Penny and Sam from Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. They were such great characters and I love how they balanced each other out in the book. By the way, Emergency Contact was AMAZING. It was one of my highly anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. Loved it.

emergencycontact


10. Book That Made You Cry?

your name. by Makoto Shinkai. HOLY CRAP, AMAZING. Also, the feels. So many feels. I was crying throughout, lol. So damn good though and the movie was even better.

yourname


11. Book That Made You Happy?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. This book was so damn cute and had me smiling like crazy. Also, Rishi…ahhh, he is also a new fictional crush. LOL 😛

dimple


12. Favorite Book-To-Film Adaptation?

I just watched Every Day this week and the movie was so good. I loved the book by David Levithan so much when I read it back in 2015, so I was stoked when the movie came out. I can’t wait for third book in October.

everyday


13. Favorite Post You Have Done This Year?

Honestly, I’m not really sure about this one. I guess one of my picture posts. I posted a few travel ones that were fun to write and share pictures. Linked below:

Travel|| Biscayne National Park.
Travel|| Butterfly World.


14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

I am going to go with beautiful covers for this one. I am a sucker for beautiful book covers. Isn’t everyone? 😛 My top three that I bought this year so far is Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. I love these covers so much! I still need to read these books too, haha.

reighofthefallenchildrenofbloodandbonearushah


15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?

Again, SO MANY! I want to try to read more of my older books that have been on my shelves the longest. I actually made a list at the beginning of the year of all the older books on my shelves that I want to read this year. A couple being Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

sixofcrowsadarkershadeofmagic

I have a picture post in the works, but currently I am a bit overwhelmed with it because the last one I did was two months ago. So I have a TON of pictures I want to post on my blog and I also have a ton of pictures I still need to go through. It might just have to be multiple posts, because two months of pictures is A LOT! I also have to catch up with your posts and comments. I’ve been MIA this week, because I haven’t really been in the mood to blog and I have some other things going on, so I’ve been busy. I also feel a cold coming on. Thanks to my sister for getting me sick, ugh. I  needed a little break. I’ll catch up soon! 🙂

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| Be Prepared.
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Be Prepared.

beprepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!


I was sent a copy of Be Prepared from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was April of this year (2018).

Be Prepared is a middle grade graphic novel. For it being middle grade, I really enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp as a kid, but never had the chance to experience it. Vera gets the chance to finally go to a summer camp like all her friends get to do every year. She’s already having a hard time fitting in at home, so when she gets the chance to go to a Russian summer camp she is really stoked about it, but it ends up not being like she expected it to be.

Be Prepared is sort of like a true story, because it’s about the author’s time at summer camp from the bits and pieces that she can remember and piece together. I thought that was really cool. She even included real letters from her and her brother’s time at camp. The story itself was great. I really enjoyed the characters and there were a lot of funny moments. In a way it was also a bit sad, because Vera is trying to find her place at camp and it’s not that easy at the beginning. She doesn’t have the easiest time as her brother did.

Overall, I really liked this story and the characters. I loved the illustrations. It was fun and even some life lessons mixed into it. It’s a great summer read, especially for the younger crowd. I’m way past middle grade years, but it was still enjoyable as an adult as well. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have little ones. I think they would enjoy it. My nephew is perfect age for this one, so I will be passing this one along to him.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

allsummerlong

All Summer Long by Hope Larson
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.


I was sent a copy of All Summer Long from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was May 1st of this year (2018)

I first want to point out that All Summer Long is a middle grade graphic novel. I don’t read a ton of middle grade books, but I do like reading them from time to time. I’ve been wanting to branch out to more graphic novels as well, so it was exciting that All Summer Long was a graphic novel. I really enjoyed this book and the illustrations were great. Bina’s best friend Austin went away to soccer camp so she has to figure out how she was going to spend her summer and how to have a fun summer without him. It’s a really quick read, but still such a fun book.

All Summer Long had me missing when I was a kid and had summer vacation from school. I really liked Bina and totally awesome that she plays guitar! I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar. I love that she is so into music too, because I LOVE music. I could relate to her on that level and obsessing over my favorite bands. I was happy to see Bina bond with Austin’s sister, although at times I wasn’t his sister’s fan. There were a ton of fun (and funny) moments that happen throughout the story. Overall, I thought it was a quick, cute, and fun story. It’s perfect for summer. Even though it’s targeted for middle grade, I personally still thought it was a good book.

In case you  missed it;
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

June TBR {Maybe}.

junetbr

Hey!

I am so bad with sticking to TBR lists, but I decided to make one for this month because I have a pretty good idea about what I want to read this month. I’m dedicating this month to a lot of graphic novels and hopefully will also have time for some other books as well. I have quite a few graphic novels that I own that I finally want to read.

Graphic Novels:

allsummerlongbepreparedtheprinceandthedressmakerwiresandnervemausesagavol1

All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
Maus Vol 1 & 2 by Art Spiegelman (2 to read)
Saga Vol 2, 3, 4, 5 by Brian K. Vaughan (4 to read)

I already read Saga Vol 2 & 3 yesterday and I am currently reading All Summer Long right now. I was able to get volumes 4 & 5 of Saga from the library, but I will eventually be buying my own copies. I love the series so far. I’m nervous about Wires and Nerve, because I didn’t really like the Lunar Chronicles all that much.

Other books if I have time:

leahtokillakingdomthewickeddeeplovehateandotherfilterscirce

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Library)
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Library)
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Library)
Circe by Madeline Miller

If I have some time this month, then I hope to read these four books and I also want to finish Circe as well. I still have the second half the book to read, but I ended up putting it on hold for now. I’m just not as into it as I thought I would be. I was able to get the e-books from my library, so hopefully I’ll get around to reading some of them before they get returned. The books on this list are books that I have been DYING to read, so I am hoping to get to at least a couple if not all.

This is a pretty big TBR, but I am hoping since I am reading a lot of graphic novels, I’ll be able to fly through them. I read Saga Vol 2 & 3 in one day and I probably could have read 4 & 5 yesterday as well if I hadn’t started something else. 😛 So we’ll see what happens!

img_9854

What’s on your June TBR? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Any that you think I should read ASAP?

I hope to catch up with your posts and reply to comments later today or tomorrow if I don’t have time today. 😀

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| May 25-31.
Wrap Up|| May.
Book Haul|| May.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack