2020 Personal Goals.

personalgoals

Hey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! 😀

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

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

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

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

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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

Tag|| This or That.

booktag

Hey!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a tag on my blog. I am going to just jump right into it. Thank you Crystal @ Paper Royalty for tagging me to do the This or That Challenge. 🙂

INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT

I am definitely an introvert. People give me anxiety. Social situations give me anxiety. I much prefer a quiet place. It’s actually kind of annoying, because a lot of the things I want to do in life involve people or crowds of people….the struggle.

WIN THE LOTTERY OR WORK AT THE PERFECT JOB

This is a tough one, but I think I would probably rather win the lottery. I honestly just want to travel the world and take pictures, so if I won the lottery it would make that happen for me.

READING OR WRITING

100% reading. I am not a very good writer and I don’t really have any creative stories floating around in my head and wouldn’t even know where to begin. Books though…I want to read ALL THE BOOKS.

BREAKFAST OR NO BREAKFAST

I wasn’t really a breakfast person, but now that I started to work from home I eat breakfast. I usually eat yogurt and apples for breakfast.

MARVEL OR DC

Neither. I don’t like superhero stuff, to be honest. I think I’ve only ever watched like two superhero movies before and never read any comics. They just don’t interest me.

TV SHOWS OR MOVIES

I would have to go with TV shows. Movies are great and all, but I much rather watch a TV show. Sometimes it feels like there is too much invested time into watching a movie and with a TV show they are usually 30-minutes, so it doesn’t feel like forever. Even though I end up binge watching an entire season/series in one day. LOL. I just like the idea that I can stop after an episode, but you can’t really do that with a movie. Also, TV show episodes can be different than the previous ones; which is nice.

FRENCH FRIES OR SALAD

Ooooh this is a hard question, because I LOVE french fries. I would go with salad though, because you can change up a salad in so many different ways. I’ve also been eating a salad every single day for lunch for the last 2-3 months and I don’t hate it. 😛

DYED HAIR OR NATURAL COLOURS

I always pin ideas of different ways to dye my hair, but it makes me nervous haha. So right now it’s forever natural.

LEGGINGS OR JEANS

I am more of a leggings person, because I can never find jeans that fit me the way that I want them to. Like just recently I ordered skinny jeans online at Target but when I got them…they were NOT skinny jeans on me. That’s one of my huge problems. I have skinny legs and pant/jean legs NEVER fit me correctly. Blehhhh. So leggings all the way.

DISNEY CLASSIC OR PIXAR

I haven’t really watched a Disney or Pixar movie in such a long time. If I had to choose, I guess I would go with Disney Classic. I love Aladdin & Peter Pan so much.

I tag:

Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall
Brandie @ Running on Words and Wine
Maren @ The Worn Bookmark

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #60.
Review|| Happy Messy Scary Love.
Friday Finds #80.

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