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