31 Days of Introspection: Week 1 Summary

Heya,

One of the greatest things I’ve realized that happens when you take a hiatus from social media is having more time for the things that you love. Mainly, Naomi.  I freaking love this little baby but I’m often doing school work when I am home, and my guy’s at work. I didn’t realize just how much time I spend on my phone until I stopped using it as much. When I wasn’t studying, I was crawling around on the floor with her, playing and reading books. I was able to get more bonding time with her while feeding because, instead of being on my phone scrolling through the latest Twitter feed, I’m gazing into her eyes.

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One thing that I have been doing since I started the 31 Days of Introspection is counting the Twitch. I’m not exactly sure who came up with this because I was watching dozens of videos on youtube at the time that I heard it, but the Twitch is that moment when you have an itch to reach for your phone. Most times, I want to whip my phone out and look at it during the slow points of my day. When you’re on the toilet, cooking, watching tv, in between browsing loads when doing homework, etc. I didn’t realize just how much it filled my time until I started counting it.

Th first day it was hard. As soon as the clock stroke midnight, I felt the Twitch. I wanted to post about it. I’ve been keeping track of them in my The Elyzabeth Collection journal and, because I’m using the grid pattern, I filled three lines of boxes. As the days of the week went on, I realized the Twitch became less and less often. By the 6th day, which I spent in a hotel with my guy (thanks to his mom being in town and watching Naomi to giving us a break), I only counted 3 Twitches! How crazy is that? I went from at least 20 by midday to 3. It just reaffirmed that I’m taking this Introspection month seriously.

Another thing that I really wanted to do for this month is meditate. I decided to first focus on my confidence and self-esteem. I’m not down on myself but I definitely feel that I could believe in myself more. Especially when it comes to starting my business, writing books, taking great photos, and my ability to share my creations with the world. After I meditate, using Headspace, I’m calm and relaxed. I’m able to truly think about the future, who and what I want to be. I write in my journal at that point. But at first, I wanted to dive right in, do 30 minute sessions but I’m glad that I decided to go with the free trial for Headspace. The sessions are only 3 minutes long and it’s helped me be consistent and get excited to do it. I’ve also been approved for the Student account- which is only $9 a year versus $99. I’ll definitely take them up on that offer after the trial period is over.

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I’m happy to say my hair looks fucking fantastic! I started dread locs on November 16th because I was already getting a bit lazy with my hair and I wanted to try something new that was low maintenance. My guy has been pushing me to do it for the last 5 years and I’ve finally given in. Yes, he’s excited. I’ll admit that I am as well. I feel…beautiful. Fucking beautiful. I started them with two strand twists but my hair is fine and thick and they quickly slipped out of the twist, as usual. I bought an interlocking tool and it’s made things so easy. What do you guys think?

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Another thing that I’ve decided to do is hand pour my coffee. It’s perfect timing because we literally just ran out of pods. I hadn’t known much about this before I became obsessed with Matt D’Avella‘s videos on Youtube. He has a channel that is inspirational, heavily talks about minimalism and productivity. He’s also the film maker behind the documentary Minimalism. It’s absolutely fantastic. I almost cried watching the movie and I truly believe his videos have changed my life. I am ready to take on minimalism, although it is hard to let go of my sentimental items, and look forward to this journey. I’ve already gotten rid of more than one thousand books. Anyone who knows me knows that is heart-wrenching. But it was needed.

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Speaking of books, I requested some from the library that I hope will help me on this journey to Minimalism. I’m so happy that our library system delivers! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever experienced snce moving to Florida.
These are the ones I’ve chosen:
Everything That Remains by The Minimalist (Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn- from the documentary Minimalism)
The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
The Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

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I set a goal to achieve this week. I wanted to do something regarding my business. Whether that’s to create a logo, a website, take product photos (etc). Every week has something. I started with a bang! I’ve created a website for my small business! The journals I sell are a part of The Elyzabeth Collection, check out the new site and tell me what you think!

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Lastly, I’m still working on the actual ‘Minimalism’ part of this month. I didn’t realize that when I started getting things together everything would first fall apart. My apartment looks wrecked! Books, papers, boxes, and random miscellaneous items are everywhere. I’ve been attempting to use the KonMari method (Marie Kondo) and, although I’ve gone through the clothes and papers sections, I’m still not done. I keep going back to look at sections I’ve already done to declutter even more. I think that by the end of the month I will have even LEEEESSSSSS and I’ll still feel like there’s much to get rid of. It’s going to feel so good to have a safe place for Naomi to crawl and play.

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Thank you for reading this summary of the first week of 31 Days of Introspection. I want to be a new person in 2020. A Better me. I definitely feel that I am taking the steps, to do that, in the right direction.

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
 
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter Blake Crouch

 

This was the second book Tony bought me at Barnes and Nobles. Several people recommended this book to me but I never got around to reading it. Then, we walked into BaN and I was like “OMG! I have to have it!” Alright, alright, it wasn’t so dramatic but that’s basically what happened.

It took me about a day and a half to read Dark Matter, mostly because I didn’t start reading until around 11:45pm. As I do. By 4am I knew I had to to go to bed; I just didn’t want to. It was so good, start to finish it blew me away.

As I picked it up from a recommendation, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into or what the book was about. I didn’t want to cause bias so I didn’t read the synopsis. Sometimes this sets me back, so I choose not to read them. Honestly, about halfway through I wanted to skip ahead. I just HAD to know what was happening, why it was happening and if it would all end out ok but I didn’t. It was so hard but I stopped myself.

If you need further convincing that you should be going to get this book RIGHT NOW; I didn’t even wait 2 minutes to tweet after finishing:

“Omg…I just finished .
Superb
Intriguing
Intense
Scientific but understandable
Mind bending
I don’t know if this is crazy but I legit almost cried at the end.

Easily best book I’ve read all 2018…” 

…that’s how great it was. After reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my life would be if…no, I can’t say anymore lest I spoil it for you. Thank you, Blake Crouch. Thank you so much for making me think, making me imagine, making me ask questions about the universe (or…multi… heh heh).

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d seriously love to hear your thoughts. How did you like the book? Did you know what was going to happen? Could you predict the way it would go? Are you upset with the ending? Happy?

If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

Link to Book

New Posts and Beta Reading Services

Heya! 

So I took a hiatus from the blog for a few months. Since finding out that I am pregnant again, I’ve had a lot of life things to deal with. Fall 2018 school semester, a high risk pregnancy (with copious amounts of doctors visits and check ups) and a new job (and now past job) has taken up most of my time. 

However, I’ve been reading a lot! Of course…nothing detracts from my reading! I have a lot of new reviews that I want to share with you and, as the semester just ended, I have plenty of time over the next few weeks to write them! 

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I have added Beta Reading services to my blog and I hope, if any of you are writers, you will take advantage of my reading addiction! 

If you’d like to know more about my Beta Reading services head over to that page to check out my process, rates and more!

Beta Reading Services

I’m still taking suggestions for books! Feel free to comment or send me a message and I’ll look into it for my next read! 

Alright guys! Gonna keep this one short for today. Oh, how I’ve missed you

Good Readdance, 

Jade

Book Review: Them Bones by Carolyn Haines

No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state–or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to raise some cash.

But soon Sarah Booth’s walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she’s hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself…and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.

 
Heya!!

So I felt really bad. Past tense. I saw a suggestion for this book and quickly requested it from the library. I preceded to keep the book for a month and a half. Started accruing library fees and I didn’t even realize it. At the time, we’d just moved from the old apartment and I thought I had packed all the library books in the same box. Not true.

Anyway, so by the time I found it and opened it, I already had an $8 library fine. YIKES! So, of course I thought, I might as well read it now. I practically own it.

So I did. And it was glorious. I was so happy with this book that I read it all in one day. Well into the night. I then looked up the sequel to request. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn it in for three more days. ARGH!

 

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So basically, I really liked it. I liked the character development, the mystery, the coziness (har har har) and the pacing. I’m a big fan of cozy mysteries and I didn’t know it! I like to giggle and sense suspense at the same time. Who knew?

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readdance,
Jade

Link To Book

Third Rule of Book Club: Be…

Our second meeting went monumentally better than the first one. We got to sit and chat about last months book, which gave everyone thoughts of forgiveness, strength, and hope. The next book was chosen and it’s one that I’ve read before. I’m happy about this because I get to share a book I really liked with others.

Not only that, we needed something different this go around. We’ve had miscarriage, abortion, bad parenting, strength, divorce and a host of other strenuous topics. I’m glad we got to choose a good old fashioned psychological thriller.  We need a break from life. For most, reading does that for us. I definitely don’t want to spend all of my time reading tough and emotionally triggering books.

So…Our September book is:

Invisible

by James Patterson and David Ellis

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Hate it? Learn from it? Leave a comment below! If you haven’t, feel free to join us this month and in the end for the discussion.

 

Invisible

Everyone thinks Emmy Dockery is crazy. Obsessed with finding the link between hundreds of unsolved cases, Emmy has taken leave from her job as an FBI researcher. Now all she has are the newspaper clippings that wallpaper her bedroom, and her recurring nightmares of an all-consuming fire.
Not even Emmy’s ex-boyfriend, field agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, will believe her that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders are all connected. That is, until Emmy finds a piece of evidence he can’t afford to ignore. More murders are reported by the day-and they’re all inexplicable. No motives, no murder weapons, no suspects. Could one person really be responsible for these unthinkable crimes?

Link to Book

Book Length Matters…Or?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m a part of several reading groups on Facebook and it’s asked so many times. I wonder, are you partial toward a certain length?

I turn that question back on myself and it’s really tough for me to answer. I find that most of the books I tend to read all have roughly the same amount of pages. Usually, I find a romance or mystery to be around 280-320 pages. Most of the science fiction or fantasy novels are considerably more than that. As someone who grew up reading mostly romance, it never occurred to me to think about the length of one. I don’t think, in anyway, it correlates with how much I like or dislike a book. I love to read Harlequin and those books are very tiny…very…very…tiny.

That being said, to answer the question, I am fond of books of all sorts of sizes. I am currently reading a book that is around 600 pages and I’m rather enjoying it. If a book is interesting enough, keeps a certain amount of tension and urgency, then I will read it no matter the size.

So, I turn the question to you, reader. Do you prefer certain book lengths? Are you someone that hates to read anything long? Do you love quick reads? Are long reads considered quick reads to you? Let’s chat.

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

The Book That Made Me A Reader

Heya!

So I am beyond excited! I can’t even believe I’m writing this right now.

When I was a young  foster girl, sad and angry, I needed a coping mechanism to fill the void love loss left in me. I found that in The Westing Game. I was around seven years old when I first read it.

I had been looking for it for so long but could never remember the title or the author. All I could remember was that a ton of people are invited to a house as heirs to a large estate. There’s intrigue, mystery and crazy twists. A huge competition would pit them against each other until one lone person came out the winner…and single heir. Something to do with a guy named West…or something. I tried every form of google search but couldn’t come up with results that fit the book.

Then, a good friend of mine told me she was moving back to her home state. ‘Can you come over and help me pack?’ Of course! Then she added ‘and you can look through my books and take whatever you like!’ Umm…what? She had a ton of books from the 90’s. All those old covers and big pants. I loved it! We had the greatest time!

And then…I saw it. The instant she pulled it from the book I almost cried. My heart nearly exploded. The Westing Game!! That was the title! That was the book I read at least twice a month! That was the book that made me want to read any and everything I could get my hands on. All the old memories rushed through my mind and I grasp it to my chest.

I’d finally found it. It was finally mine.

I’m going to read it again. I don’t even care if it’s different than I remember. My inner child is jumping for joy and shivering with anticipation.

Dramatic, I know…this is me.

No google found photos here. This is the actual book on my bookshelf. Yes!

TheWestingGame

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

P.S. I picked up 50 books in total.

 

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Link to Book

Reviewing Ready Player One- The Movie!

 

I know, I know! I already did a review on the book and I said I would not be doing movie reviews with the blog reboot but I couldn’t help it. DID YOU GUYS SEE THE MOVIE!?!?! Alright, alright. I actually really loved it. I read the book in about two days in January and then I found out that the movie was coming out and I got so excited.

After watching a few of the trailers I realized that the movie would be completely different than the book. I mean, the tone is different, the characters are different and even the methods of gaining the keys are different. In the book, and I won’t spoil it, the deaths of certain characters hit you harder than what actually happens in the movie. It’s very light hearted with more a comedic release than the distress of the main character in the book.

BUT WHO CARES?

1

The movie was great. I absolutely loved it. One person on twitter said they hated that it became more of a love story and I disagree. I think the fact that you see the two physically together you see the romance more but they were just as ‘together’ in the book, just online. Sounds weird but it’s true. I loved the imagery, the CGI, the move back and forth between real and animated was so smooth. The music was spot on, character development was amazing. You didn’t NEED to read the book in order to follow the movie or to really fall in love with the characters and that is huge coming from an avid reader like me.

2

I am usually a hard critic when it comes to book to movie adaptions because I am just another reader, like you. I find it hard to see what I’d only imagined in my head, done incorrectly. This is definitely a change I will accept. I think that Steven Spielberg did amazing and I can’t wait to see more films by him.

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Yaaas! The excitement is real! Let me know what you thought of the movie! Did you like the changes they made? Were you on board with the fact that he spends more time in the ‘real world’ as opposed to how he spent most of the book in his trailer? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Good Readance,
Jade

 

 

Book Review: You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

It starts as a prank—a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O’Neal a little . . . or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?
Everything. That summer, two young girls went missing.
Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come texts containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.
It started years ago. But it will end here—as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.

 

This was another one of those books that I read fairly quickly. I had forgotten how much I liked to read books by Lisa Jackson.  She writes mystery with just a hint of romance. In this book, you follow a sort of contorted ‘who done it’. You get the comparison of the characters when they were young and impressionable and them as adults when they have had a chance to put the past behind them. There are a few twists and turns in the story that were pretty exciting and unexpected.

lisa jackson

I will say this book is longer than I expected it to be. I think it could have been shorter and we still would’ve gotten the same level of character development. Some parts did drag on just a bit. This may just be me though, with my attention span and the fact that I have so many books to read so I really have to be very invested in every chapter.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick mystery read. If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

 

 

Good Readance,

Jade

Book Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Alright, I admit it took me a really long time to read this book. Almost a month. Just as I was cracking the book open my college courses started. Always the one with her head in the clouds, I thought No, I won’t have any issue reading for entertainment while also trying to read class assignments. I was wrong. The Philosopher’s Way and Plato soon took over all of my free time. The only time I could find for personal reading was before work, during my lunch break and just before my eyes shut at night. That basically means I only read ten to fifteen pages at a time. My usual average is around fifty to ninety so this just makes me look sad. I didn’t want to stop though and took the book everywhere with me; to the doctors office, to work and to stand in line at Walmart.

Anyway, I really liked the book. Often times I caught myself wanting to tweet the author and say “Oh my god! They could totally be best friends!”. I loved the fact that you go back and forth between point of views. I didn’t like this sort of writing when I was younger but as I get older and hone my own writing style I appreciate the craftsmanship. The personality differences between Ellen and Saskia are so vast and you really get to see that. This way, you get the stalkers thoughts first hand and maybe, you don’t totally hate her.

the hypnotists love story

I would definitely recommend this book! If you are looking for an easy read that doesn’t have too many twists and turns this is for you! One part of the book I thought, there’s totally going to be some crazy plot twist that will have me on the edge of my seat and things turned out differently. No worries though, I did like the way the book ended. It was a pleasant story.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Readance,
Jade

Link to Book