Random|| Picture Update.

pictureupdate

Hey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another random sky picture that I am obsessed with.

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

December TBR.

sociallyawkwardbookwormorange

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

Wrap Up|| November.

wrapup

Hello!

I had another good reading month and once again I actually did really well with my TBR. I’ve said it many times that I am so bad at sticking to TBR lists, but I’ve done pretty great at it two months in a row! My list had seven books on it and I was able to read 6 of the 7 from my list. I also read some that I didn’t include on my original TBR list. I did pretty great, especially with the last couple weeks not reading as much as I did at the beginning of the month. Here are the books that I read in November. You can find a full list of these books and the other books I read this year over here. All will be linked to Goodreads below and I will also link to individual blog posts for them if I did a review.


Physically Read Books:
These are the books that I read myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of November.

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The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – 4 out of 5 stars.
I really liked The Poet X. At first I wasn’t sure about it, but then it started to grow on me and it ended up being so good! I flew through it and really enjoyed it. ALL THE FEELS TOO! I really enjoyed it.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness – 4 out of 5 stars.
I loved And the Ocean Was Our Sky. There were so many feels in this story. I definitely did my fair share of tearing up. I liked the whole concept and retelling. The illustrations were pretty amazing too. “For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make.”

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson – 3 out of 5 stars.
I liked the Speak graphic novel. It had really good illustrations. I read the original book a long long time ago, so I didn’t remember everything exactly. The graphic novel is pretty much a summary though and I didn’t feel like it was very in depth like the original book would is. Understandable though since it’s a graphic novel and you can only fit so much into the boxes and speech bubbles. I liked it though.

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins – 2 out of 5 stars.
I thought I would really love People Kill People, but it was only okay for me. At times I even wanted to DNF it. I already guessed at the very beginning of the book what was going to happen and I ended up being right, so that was a bummer. I was hoping to be surprised or shocked and not have seen it coming. Oh well. It’s told in multiple point of views and I had a hard time really connecting with any of the characters. They all struggle with something, but it was really hard to connect with them. At times it was boring and felt like it was going on forever. It does talk about really important things, such as guns/gun control and immigration. This just wasn’t the book for me. I usually like reading books like this, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into this one or connect with the characters.

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The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite – 3 out of 5 stars.
The Perfect Friend was a pretty good book. There were a few times that I was bored, but overall I enjoyed it. There were a few things that I didn’t see coming, but there were also times where it was predictable too. As a whole, I enjoyed it though.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – 5 out of 5 stars.
I am so glad that I finally read Where’d You Go, Bernadette. It is now one of my favorite reads of the year. It was hilarious, but also so sad. There were so many “omg” moments and it was hard to put down. It’s written in letters, documents, and emails, so it was a pretty fast read too. I loved Bernadette and Bee so much.

Down Time by Barry Lyga – 5 out of 5 stars.
I was so stoked when I found out about the new Jasper Dent prequel, Down Time. I know I sound like a broken record here, but the Jasper Dent (I Hunt Killers) series is one of my favorites. I really loved this novella, it was so good. If you decide to check out the series, make sure you read this (Down Time) last or you’ll spoil the series for yourself.

Wilder by Andrew Simonet – 3 out of 5 stars.
I wasn’t really sure how I wanted to rate Wilder or what I even think about this book. It wasn’t a bad book. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about it, but there were also things that were annoying or I had no clue what was really going on. It was a weird book too. I may have a full review soon since I was sent an ARC. I just have to figure out what to say about it.


Audiobooks:
These are the books that I listened to the audio versions throughout the month of November.

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Bright Side by Kim Holden – 5 out of 5 stars.
I was in the mood to listen to an audiobook and I came across Bright Side randomly on my library’s site. It sounded interesting, so I decided to check it out. Holy crap did I love this book and the characters so much. It was also insanely sad and I was totally crying my eyes out at work. The downside of listening to audiobooks at work. 😛 I can’t wait to check out the sequel, which I will hopefully do soon!

The War Outside by Monica Hesse – 3 out of 5 stars – Review.
I was sent an ARC of The War Outside from The Novl, but since it has already released I decided to check out the audiobook. I really enjoyed this book, but it did feel like it was missing something. I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would, but the story is still really good and I’m happy I read it and I would recommend. Feel free to check out my review for more.

What books did you read in November? Have you read any of the books I read? Feel free to link me to your wrap up posts if you have one!

I usually have a currently reading section in these posts, but right now I am not currently reading anything and I’m not sure what I am going to read next or in December. It’s still up in the air. I’m taking this day off from reading. I have a ton of TV shows to catch up on and I’m not feeling that great today.

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| November.
Photo & Quote.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleychristmas

Book Haul|| November.

bookhaulyellow

Hey!

November was the month of e-book deals. There were SO MANY! There were quite a few that I decided to skip out on, because there were seriously just so many deals and I didn’t want to go crazier than I already did, haha. I’ll probably kick myself later for not getting the others, haha. 😛 I did buy a couple physical books this month too, which total was only $10 for the month of them! Here are the books thought I got this month.

Physical Books I Bought:

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A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

I was browsing the books at Goodwill and came across A Wolf at the Table. It sounded really interesting, so I decided to buy it since it was only $2. I also have Augusten’s book Running With Scissors that I’ve been wanting to read, so decided why not. I’ve seen The Extinction Trials around the blogosphere earlier this year and have been wanting to pick it up and never got around to it. I seen it again floating around recently and decided to finally order it from Book Depository and it was only about $7-8. It always takes so long for Book Depository orders to get to me. I was hoping to get it before the end of November, so I could buddy read it this month but sadly that didn’t happen. I finally have it though, so I’m excited. 😀


E-Books:

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
War Bride by Sal Mason

I’ve been on the fence about reading Moxie, but since the e-book was on sale for $2.99 I decided to just get it. Same for My New Crush Gave to Me, but I wanted a few Christmas vibe books to read in December, so I decided to just get it since it was on sale for $2.99. I seen War Bride on Netgalley and it sounded really interesting, but the e-book was already released and I think only $1.99, so I got it.

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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Southernmost by Silas House
Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
Contagion by Erin Bowman

I actually had all four of these books on my Christmas wishlist that I gave to my family, but the e-books all went on sale. I had to ask my family if they already bought them, because I wanted to get the e-book deals. HAHA. Luckily they didn’t. So I bought them and replaced them with four other books, lol. 😛 My family never buys me books on Christmas though, so I probably won’t be getting any. I think that’s so lame, but they think it’s lame to buy me books on Christmas when I am always buying books all year. UGHH!!! I still add books to my list every year in case one year they change their minds, haha.

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Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

These other four books are books that I’ve been really interested and excited to read, so since they were $2.99 or less I decided to finally get them. I actually already own Puddin’, but it’s packed up and I want it now. LOL. 😛

What books did you get in November? Have you read any of the ones that I got? Feel free to link me to your haul posts, so I can check them out!

I should have my November wrap up post in a couple of days. I’m kind of hoping that I’ll be able to finish my current read before I post it, but I don’t know. Guess we’ll see in a couple days.

In case you missed it;
Picture & Quote.
Thoughts|| The War Outside.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas

Thoughts|| The War Outside.

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The War Outside by Monica Hesse
3 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: It’s 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado–until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan. Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a “family internment camp” for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day, and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother’s health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis. With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone–even each other?


I was sent an ARC copy of The War Outside from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. It was released last month (September).

There is a book called Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse that I absolutely loved, so I was stoked when I was sent a copy of her new book to read and review. While I did receive the ARC, since it was already released by time I got to reading it, I ended up listening to the audiobook instead. The War Outside is a YA historical fiction book set in America in World Word II. While I didn’t absolutely love The War Outside, I thought it was a really great story and I enjoyed it. There were a few times where it was a bit slow for me and that maybe more could have happened. It just felt like maybe something was missing.

I really liked Margot and Haruko. They were both struggling with things in their own lives and families; but also at the same time things were a little similar between them and they could relate to each other on some level. One family is from Germany and one is from Japan, which lands them in a internment camp because of the war. I really liked Margot and Haruko’s friendship from the start. There were a couple surprises in the story, which were a bit sad. A lot of the story is heartbreaking when you really think about it and the things that happened.

I really liked the author note at the end of the book that mentioned all the similarities between the book and the things that happened in real life/history that inspired the story. The main characters and their stories are fiction, but they are based on events, stories, and things that actually happened. The camp in Crystal City was actually a real camp there at one time. It makes everything seem that much more real and can connect with the characters even more. Overall, I really enjoyed The War Outside. Great characters, friendships, and it really opened my eyes more into that period in time and events that happened during World War II that I didn’t know about.


I haven’t updated in a couple weeks, but I’ve just been busy and preoccupied with other things. I usually get busy and my mind wanders more during the holiday months though, so this is expected. I’ve been making a lot of progress on my Christmas shopping, which is nice. I think I should be done with it in a couple weeks! Anyway, I’ll have another update soon (probably early next week) about what I’m reading and life happenings. I’ll also catch up with all of your posts soon too. I hope you have a great day! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving tomorrow!

In case you missed it;
Random|| Reading & Life Update.
Unofficial November TBR.
Wrap Up|| October.

ashleyblack

Unofficial November TBR.

novembertbr

Hello!

I did really well with my Halloweenie TBR last month, so I decided to throw together a TBR list for November. I, of course, can’t make any promises that I’ll read these books but I hope I do. I’m pretty limited with the physical books that I can read since most of my books are packed away, so these are all books that I got in the last few months that are not packed yet. A couple of them are ARCs that I hope to read this month and get my reviews up. I will also be reading e-books as well, but not listed in this TBR post because I’m not sure which ones I’ll be reading. All depends on what I’m in the mood for and if my library e-book holds get checked out to me this month or not. So we’ll called this my “Unofficial November TBR”, because it can change. Anyway, here is some of the books that I hope to read this month.

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And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

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Wilder by Andrew Simonet (ARC)
The War Outside by Monica Hesse (ARC)
Clean by Juno Dawson
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
(currently reading The Poet X)

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What books are you hoping to read in November? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Feel free to link me to your November TBR post if you have one, so I can check it out!

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| October.
Book Haul|| October.
Travel|| Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack