The Christmas Tag

the-christmas-tag-awardI almost forgot about this tag! My friend Cindy over at Bird Flight, tagged me for this a few weeks ago. If you haven’t met Cindy, you really should. She shares the most wonderful stories about her life dealing with various mental illness as well as some cool Czech food recipes among other things. I’ve truly learned a lot from her blog and she’s such a wonderful person in general so please give her a visit and a follow!

This festive tag was created by Little DIY Projects . Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog
  • Add the picture in your blog
  • Copy these rules into your post
  • Add a link to this original post (littlediyprojects.wordpress.com/thechristmastag)
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas-related questions if you want)
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs
  • Have fun!

And here are the questions and my answers:

  • 1. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

My favorite thing about Christmas, as harsh as this is going to sound, is having a day off from work. I used to work heavily with animals and after that retail and Christmas doesn’t exist for animals so it was very rare when I actually got the day off. I’m glad I get to wake up with my husband and just cuddle and enjoy the peace.

  • 2. What’s your favourite Christmas memory?

Hmmm. I think I’d have to go with all the dinners that occurred with my family. Huge family gatherings like Thanksgiving where we’d all exchange gifts. My mother would always take me and my sister to the dollar store and give us like $20 dollars to spend on all our aunts and uncles and cousins for Christmas. The dollar store we went to had all KINDS of cool stuff. I remember one year we got everyone these huge mugs that had their birth month and zodiac sign on them. I think my grandma still has hers! Oh, another memory that’s great was my grandpa used to give us all these giant candy canes with money taped around them and a lemon. He showed us how to bite the candy cane and stick in the lemon and sip “lemonade” that way. 

  • 3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?

Not really. Someone hosts a dinner on Christmas even or a brunch on Christmas Day usually and we just be together and reminisce about the year over delicious foods.

  • 4. What’s your Christmas wish? (Can be personal or general)

My Christmas wish is to continue being as healthy as I am right now. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never broken a bone, never had a cavity, I don’t have any type of disorder and I don’t get headaches. Whether it be genetics or whatever, I’m absolutely grateful and I hope it continues for as long as I live.

  • 5. What’s your favourite Christmas dish?

Do you even know me?!?! I can’t even answer that question because I love food. It’s basically Thanksgiving all over again and I love all the food!

  • 6. What’s your favourite Christmas decoration?

I honestly don’t have one.. You see, my husband was raised around Jehovah Witnesses so nobody ever decorated. I’m slowly but surely cracking his shell. We got these little gold and silver kitty hooks to hang stockings on and the kitties are wearing Santa hats. They sit on our wood stove when it’s not burning. If I wasn’t painting my house next week, I would have gotten some lights to string up or maybe even a little tree. Baby steps right?!?

  • 7. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

I hate Christmas music. Before you start yelling at me, I worked in retail for FOUR YEARS! Christmas music started the day after Halloween and didn’t end until January at some point. You get over hearing the same song in 50 variations for 8+ hour shifts, 6 days a week okay! But if you demanded I picked one Christmas song to like, I’d choose Little Drummer Boy cover by Pentatonix:

  • 8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?

Usually I celebrate in one of my family member’s homes. The only time I had a completely different Christmas was when I was in Maui back in 2011. My coworkers were my family then and we had a pretty great time. 🙂

  • 9. What does the ‘Christmas Spirit’ mean to you?

I have to be honest, it doesn’t mean much to me. I’m not religious in any capacity but I think for most it just means love and happiness and hopeful life in general.

  • 10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

WELL! If I could spend Christmas with my Idris Elba I definitely would in a heartbeat! I think I would also spend time with some of you lovely bloggers and experience how your Christmases are since we all come from different backgrounds.

Here’s the part where I’m supposed to tag people but it’s the holidays and we’re all busy bloggers so I say to you, Merry, early Christmas and if you want to do this tag, go for it! Have fun with it! If you want to answer any of the questions without doing an official post, feel free to leave me a comment below. 🙂

Brotherhood of the World Award

I was nominated by the lovely Noriko to do this award that I’ve never heard of or seen around in the blogging world. Noriko and I have become really close friends since we met months ago. We talk on a regular basis via social media (it’s a wonderful thing) and I’ve just come to consider her one of my closest confidantes. I’m really glad I was nominated for this award by her because she asks some really good questions. I know I’m a slacker where tags and awards are concerned but, like I said, these are good questions so I can’t resist answering them. Here we go:

 

  • Briefly explain your blogging style (where your favorite blogging spot/tools – as in, on the couch using your smartphone or something).

I can’t say that I necessarily have a style. I like to share life stories. When I started out the blog, I followed the WordPress word prompt things for inspiration and to meet other bloggers to follow. I participated in the blogging University thing too and then somewhere along the way it became a mix of stories, bookish posts, and regular endangered posts. When I first started the blog back in February, we were two people. M and I were going to use it as a way of retail therapy cause we worked the same job and wanted to murder the same people. We ended up not doing that and M still works at that job and has no time to write. So, now it’s just me and whatever pops into my head, I blog. It’s normally at my work desk because I have an hour slot of time in the early morning before the phone rings and the hoopla happens to crank out a post. I’m an on the fly type of girl. It’s very rare if I pre-schedule a post. Sometimes I’ll use my phone especially when I have photos I want to share cause it’s easy to upload them via the WordPress app.

  • How do you manage your blogging time including blog reading time?

I used to make it a point to blog every day. That quickly became very tough to do especially since I found myself not able to read and watch shows in my free time because I was constantly checking the blog. Now I only blog on the weekdays and I’ve designated Thursdays and Fridays for very specific content which only leaves me three days to think of something to share. I don’t blog on Saturday or Sunday but I do read  some of my followers posts. Reading other blogs is a bit easy to do in my opinion because a lot of you post around the same time; early morning. So, I catch up on posts from overnight and early morning first thing before I write my post and then I check again after work to see if anything new popped up that looks interesting. I don’t have a massive amount of followers and a lot of blogs I follow don’t regularly post. Maybe about 15 total that do. So far it’s pretty easy to juggle. If I gain a bigger following, well, we’ll see. People who visit my blog on a regular basis and comment all the time definitely get priority though, I have to admit.

  • Who is your most read author?

Most read as in how many books of theirs have I read? Well, I can’t pick one so here’s a sort of overview. I’m the type of person where when I like an author, I go on a binge, most times, to read every book they’ve ever written. But, I also read a lot of series so depending on how long a series is, that can equal a lot of books. For example, I’ve almost read all of Ilona Andrews works. That equals about 15 books give or take a few novellas here and there. I’ve also read a good chunk of Nalini Singh which is only two series but that equals out to about 24ish books. Charley Davidson, that’s 12 books just in that one series; I’ve read them all. An author who writes a stand alones, Judith McNaught. She’s written 15 books, I’ve read and own them all. My list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of my shelves, haha.

  • How did you come up with your blog name?

Haha, you know, I don’t even remember really. M and I were bouncing names around and thought about naming it organix or something like that I think. Then I was tossing around ideas with my husband and I thought about how when you read a blog post, you want to have some sort of reaction. That reaction can range across the emotional spectrum but it’s nevertheless an emotion. Then I thought about how much a bookworm I am and that’s where the tales part came from because it’d be a different “story” every day. Stories make you react. Then I had to be original so I went to one of those domain name things where you plug in words and it spits back possible, available names at you and this one appeared.

  • What keeps you blogging?

The friends I’ve made keep me blogging. I know there are a lot of people here who look forward to my posts as much as I look forward to theirs. It’s a really fun hobby and I adore the many friends I’ve made. I plan to continue blogging as long as I have an audience really and probably even if I don’t. It’s just something about putting ideas to virtual paper that’s very relaxing.


Great questions right?

I’m going to tag: Mischenko, Claire, Orangutan and Roda. Short list I know but their answers are the ones I’m most looking forward to reading. I ask you 4 the same questions Noriko asked. Enjoy. 🙂

The Fall Book Tag

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This tag was created by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm. All of the graphics used belong to her.

I was tagged by two of my favorites to do the Fall Book Tag: Mischenko at ReadRantRock&Roll and Claire at Brizzlelass Books. I decided to focus only on books I’ve read this year cause I imagine I may get tagged in this next year and I’ll have a new set of books to recommend (beg you to read) by then. 😉

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Ferromancer by Becca Andre. First book in her new series and its set in a time where canals were the main mode of transportation for manufacturing businesses. There’s also a super freaking cool character named Lock who’s an iron pocket watch that can transform into a little iron dragon! If you like steampunk elements in a fantasy novel, you have to check this book out!

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Gotta go with Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. I pray that they continue this series because it’s ridiculously good.

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Definitely Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh. I can’t tell you how much I swooned and melted into a puddle of emotions while reading this book because Raphael and Elena…. ❤️❤️😍

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Besides Ferromancer that has all the colors in it, I’ll have to go with Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. Great intro book into a very long space opera series.

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This year there were many but in order for me to not repeat authors, I’m going to go with A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. So much stuff goes down in that massive 700 page book that it’ll leave you in a bit of awe.

Yay for Autumn! I hope you enjoyed this tag. I’m only going to tag a couple people but feel free to do this tag if you haven’t already: Lana, Noriko, Orangutan, Patty

Have you read any of these books before? Do any of them look interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below!

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

I was so graciously tagged by Claire at Brizzlelass Books for this fun award! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you should. She’s an avid book blogger who is very engaging with her audience and a cool person. 🙂 So here’s the thing. I have amassed quite an MP3 collection over the years in my Google Play music account and I used to put it on shuffle while driving to and from work. But then my husband bought Tidal and now I just listen to whole albums or NPR on the way to work and Pandora at work. So I went into said Google Play account and hit the shuffle button to see what happens. Here are the rules and following those are my songs chosen by a robot.

The Rules

  • Put your music on shuffle and list the first 15 songs to play (no cheating).
  • Tag 10 others to do it as well.

Beyonce – End of Time

I am a Beyonce fan. Mostly of her newer stuff from the album 4 and newer. Her songs are so upbeat! This was actually my “omg we were just pronounced married!” walk back down the aisle song. I know its called something else but the name is eluding me at this moment.

The Sleeping – Don’t Hold Back

I am not ashamed to admit that I learned this song from playing Guitar Hero 3 back in the day. I didn’t have much of a rock background before guitar playing video games so this is a time that I thank video games for expanding my horizons.

Void of a Legend – Triptyq (Antoniette Costa and Kevin “K.O.” Olusola

If you like acapella, cello and beatboxing combined, you’ll love this track!

Killswitch Engage – My Curse

Guitar Hero 3 and you had to unlock a certain amount of levels in order to be able to play this song! (Also, the main singer is a black man, whaaat!)

Sia – One Million Bullets

I adore Sia. She is so underrated.

Michael Jackson – Remember the Time

If you have not seen this video, you should watch it. Just once! And then imagine me doing the same dances the “Egyptians” are doing because everytime I hear this song I get up and I mostly do them, hahaha. I mean it’s MJ! You can’t not dance when you hear MJ.

Donna Burke – Kaze No Ne

So this apparently came off of a Final Fantasy video game but I learned about it from a random CD mix a friend used to send me back in the day and I love this woman’s voice.

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

Classic. So many covers of this song on singing competitions.

Gorillaz – Kids With Guns

I mean it doesn’t get any more varied than Gorillaz

Rush – YYZ

Guitar Hero 2….. Hey! I went from not having any hand eye coordination to playing on expert! And yes, we played Rock Band too and still do on occasion if you were wondering.


I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did cause man it’s been a while since I’ve done that. We’re lucky we didn’t get some Disney tunes this round cause trust me I have a least two Disney soundtracks in that shuffle 😉 . Now I’m thinking of listening on my way home and see what else I have in there! Isn’t it so cool how many songs you have memorized? I feel like if my entire schooling and work career were taught using song, I’d be a genius.

Oh yeah! Tagging people! Umm….

I’m lazy. If you feel like doing this tag go for it! Link me back. I would love to know your musical tastes!

Have you heard anything off my list? If you haven’t and deigned to listen to a couple tracks, did you like what you heard? Let me know in the comments below!

Emperor’s New Clothes Tag

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My favorite monkey has tagged me in her new debut, awesomesauce tag! It’s pretty self explanatory so here we go:

“Your Majesty, this is a magic suit” – An Overhyped Book That Promised to be *Something More*  

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The entire Twilight Series. I only read it because it was hyped up so much. I enjoyed the first book but that was the beginning and end of Twilight for me. And I won’t even get started on the movies. I still don’t know why I watched them; probably the hypeness.

“Somebody send for the Queen” – A Love Interest That Wasn’t Called For

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In the Tiger’s Quest books, having Kelsey get into a love triangle with both brothers wasn’t necessary. In a series so rich in culture and plot, it was ruined by her wishy washiness about them.

“The doublet is a lovely shade of green” – A Book That Seduced You with Its Cover (that you ended up disliking)

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Eternal by Kristi Cook. It was the 3rd book in the trilogy and I enjoyed the first two well enough and I loved all the cover art with their vibrant colors and minimalism but that third book was awful! It was one of those build you up only to completely let you down. Oh, my best friend and I were so disappointed!

“Summon the court to convene” – A Book Where You Were Swayed by Public Opinion

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On the Edge by Ilona Andrews. I read it because all Andrews fans love everything they write, including me but this book just did not do it for me. I made it through the first book rating it 3 stars but I did not continue with it nor do I plan to despite the ratings.

“Look at the the King! Look at the King, the King, the King!” – A Stark Raving Mad Book That Just Boggles the Mind

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Gonna have to go with The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Can you believe I read this book in high school?? If you weren’t afraid of diseases before, you will by the end of this book. The craziest part for me is that it was based on a true story. I can’t even say “man that author thought up some crazy shit” cause it was partially real….

“It’s altogether the very least the King has ever worn” – A Tropey Get Up You’ve Seen Before That Probably Needs Redressing (aka a trope you’re bored with seeing)

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The rich guy or girl who is spoiled and whiny and has the “woe is me” outlook on the world but then ends up getting the girl/guy next door and salvaging the mess some older relative left behind before they died (or were murdered) aka The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. Been there, done that, didn’t work for me this round.

“Summon the court physician! Call an intermission!” – A Book That Needs Medical Attention AKA A REWRITE

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Haha, I’d have to go with Fifty Shades of Grey here. I know we see this book pop up on ugly lists a lot but the series at least needs grammatical resuscitation before complete plastic surgery.

“It’s altogether the very least the King has ever worn” – There’s No Hiding For This One: A Book That Is Just Nakedly Bad

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I had to consult Goodreads on this one so I avoid saying Fifty Shades again and I’d have to say Forbidden Blood by Kristen Painter. I don’t remember why it was bad but I rated it a one star and didn’t read the rest of the series.

Bonus: “His majesty is wide open to ridicule and scorn”- Something (anything) That Astounds You With Its Popularity

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I’m probably going to get some crazy flack for this but I’m going to have to say The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve never read the books mostly because the story idea just never appealed to me but I’ve seen 2 of the movies with my husband and we just weren’t impressed. It could have been bad acting but we can overlook that when there’s a good story (I mean just watch John Wick, haha). I’m just not seeing what everyone else is seeing but I also attribute to not being super into the dystopian genre in general as well. Maybe that’ll change one day? Who knows.


Thanks for tagging me orangutan! I quite enjoyed this tag and I hope you as well as everyone else enjoys my answers! I may have given you books you may want to read (READ THE HOT ZONE *cough*) or I may have just given you a ton of books you’ll want to avoid.

In any case, I tag:

Mischenko, Lana, Patty, Susan, Des, Hsimone, Brizzlelass, Dani

Miranda Sings Award

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Rules:

  • Announce your win with a post, and link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Include the featured image on your blog post.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.
  • List 7 things you love about yourself. (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)
  • Don’t use negative connotation (i.e. Don’t say things like – “I’m prettier than an average person.” or “People have told me I’m smart.” You are pretty. You are smart.)

The beautiful, amazing, wonderful, fantastic Roda@Growing Self, nominated me for this award a ways back and since I can’t think of anything else to write today except for my toilet installation (not sure if you all would want to see pictures of that), I chose this instead.

7 things I love about Me
  • I love my hair. In America, there’s this “natural hair movement” going on where all these black women are “reclaiming their roots” which basically means they’re either transitioning from always having their hair relaxed to wearing it natural or they did a “big chop” and are starting fresh with their natural texture. I, on the other hand, have never relaxed my hair nor do I ever plan to even though it would make my life a million times easier. I’ve always been natural. I’ve never even dyed my hair before because I’m afraid of chemical reactions making me bald. I hate doing my hair cause it’s tedious as hell but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • As I said in a previous post, I’m a tech nerd. I am proud of my tech nerdiness. Every laptop I’ve ever own has gotten taken apart and put back together in some capacity. I make it my business to know all about my motherboard, the graphics card whether its on board or not, the RAM, all of it. I dug into my photos server to find a picture to show you an example of a laptop I took apart and put back together:
  • I am stellar at internet research. I can find any answer, deal, outdated video, something for sale on the internet. I’m literally the go to person when someone needs me to find something or sell something for them on the interwebs and I’m proud to say I’m really good at it. I’ve contemplated going to school to become a hacker but then I think about how much I don’t want to work for the government and the dream dies. I wouldn’t be a nefarious hacker! I just am not a fan of the US government right now, lol..
  • I’m not a girly girl and I’m completely okay with that. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t wear nail polish, I don’t wear dresses unless I’m forced and I absolutely hate heels and I’m 100% happy that I am the way that I am.
  • I like being the go to person when people need honest advice. I pride myself on being honest even if there’s a possibility it might hurt someone’s feelings. I’m of the mentality to say what I mean and mean what I say. I might apologize for the tone of voice that I used later but I don’t say something unless I mean it even if it’s in anger because there’s no such thing as saying something out of anger; at least to me.
  • I love my life currently. I have goals and dreams but at this point in time, my life is perfect. I wish I had more money to accelerate some things like being able to visit my wonderful friends in other countries but patience (I’m saving!).
  • Lastly, I love eating. I’m lucky to have great genetics in that my metabolism burns faster than I eat sometimes. I also love meat (literally eating beef brisket for breakfast right now). I’m probably more carnivorous than omnivorous and I plan to keep it that way. I was probably a cave woman in a past life or a T-Rex or something. I know a lot of people are all about being vegetarian and vegan but that is and will never be for me unless a doctor deems it so and even then, I’d question it.

There you have it! 7 things I love about me. Hope you all enjoyed these bits and let me know if you want to see a post about my toilet installation in the comments below! Happy Monday!

One Lovely Mystery

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I’m making an exception to my never-having-time-to-do-tags anymore to do a tag by one of my favorite bloggers and friend, Mischenko. She has so graciously nominated me for both of these awards plus I like the title because I like to think I’m a lovely mystery on occasion. Anyway, thank you Mischenko. You obviously know how inspiring you are to me; especially when it gets me gifted with expensive blenders 😉

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself
7 More Facts about me:
  • I am very good at finding things on the internet especially a good deal because I’m cheap and poor
  • I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding because I’m weird and felt that nobody was else was good enough at doing my hair and I used a Youtube tutorial for basic makeup
  • On a regular day, I don’t wear makeup at all. Too much work and I think it makes me look like a different person
  • I hate wearing dresses unless it’s absolutely necessary. I hate wearing heels more. I’m all about comfy clothes and would come to work in my pajamas if I could
  • I have a younger sister. Most people think I’m an only child though cause we rarely talk to each other
  • Which leads into my family is very dramatic so I make it a point to see them a couple times of year cause I can’t handle more than a couple hours at a time
  • But I have a huge extended family through my friends network and I’m super grateful for that.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

“Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

RULES:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Since I just shared 7 things, I’m just going to answer Mischenko’s question.

Mischenko’s Questions:


1. What’s your ideal pet?

I already have 2 cats and a painted turtle. My next ideal pet is most definitely a dog. I’ve only ever had a dog as a pet once in my entire life and I love him still. He was a pit-bull/lab mix named Cinnaman (cause he was the man) and he was mine. He lived to be the ripe old age of 14 years old. Since his passing I’ve vowed that if I ever get another dog it will be a pit bull mix of some sort.

2. What’s your favorite food? 

Lol, I don’t even know how to answer that. I love eating. It’s life. For the past couple days it’s been KFC fried chicken. I also love sushi and alfredo and steak and zucchini fries and authentic ramen and pho. I love food.

3. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

If I could do over anything I would probably have chosen to go to community college instead of a private college. Student loan debt is not fun and I wish it would go away faster. I definitely don’t regret the friends or the experiences but expensive college is overrated considering my degree is sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

4. What is your favorite music?

Girl! I just love music! I will pretty much listen to any genre except country (sorry folks, I can’t take the southern twang) oh and also Taylor Swift. Not of fan of her at all. I love artists such as Pentatonix, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Lindsay Sterling, Leona Lewis, Radiohead and occasionally I will jam on some classic Disney tunes. Yes, I am that friend that will sing in dance in public if I know and like the song. I’m always discovering new music though from listening to Pandora and Tidal all day.

5. Who do you most admire in life?

I pretty much admire anyone who is following their dreams and accepting people of all walks of life no matter their skin color, religion, gender, any of that. Life is way too short to worry about those things especially with much bigger problems going on in the world. I also admire everyone taking steps to protect the environment and the animals that live within it whether that be lifestyle changes or volunteering or donating. Oh! I also admire authors because they keep me sane with all their wonderful pieces of gold, silver and precious gems that make me even more poor but super rich at the same time.

My favorite posts will have to be my stories. Just click the “story” tag and you’ll find them. I still can’t believe half of them are my life but I enjoy sharing them with you all and bringing smiles to your faces each day. I also like my endangered posts cause they bring awareness and Facebook Friday posts seem to be a hit as well. (I really like my blog can you tell?) 😀


Consider yourselves tagged. I’m too lazy to list people and I know I’m not the only one who has tags upon tags on the back burner. Again, I made an exception because Mischenko is very influential in my life and I love her. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you’re missing out and you should probably remedy that situation!

Get To Know Me Tag

I haven’t done a tag in while (cause I just have way too many stories to tell) and I actually had a story lined up for today but I saw this tag floating around and I remember Patty tagging me a long time ago (sorry!) so I decided to join in the tag fun instead.

get to know me tag

VITAL STATS

Name: Chanel

Nicknames: Nel, Chica, Sexy

Star Sign: Taurus

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Occupation: Office manager for a small business

Living In: The heart of the nation — Ohio, USA


APPEARANCE

Hair color: Black or jet black as my mom would tell you. I’m too scared to ever try to dye it because I like my hair a lot.

Hair length: It’s about breast length which is the longest it’s ever been. I have kinky afro hair and I used to straighten it a lot or do those brazillian keratin treatments but it changed my hair texture a lot so a couple years ago I let a friend take scissors to my hair and cut out all the straight so I wore it in a short afro puff for a while. Now I’m constantly trying out different hairstyles I see on Youtube.

Eye Color: Dark brown according to my driver’s license

Best Feature: I don’t know! That’s like a question you ask a man but maybe my smile because people always comment about how happy I am all the time.

Braces: Nope, never. Almost once but my mom disagreed with the dentist’s assessment so I didn’t get them

Piercings:  Ears that I got pierced at birth. I don’t want anymore

Tattoos: Yes. I have on on my lower left back. Its a bamboo shoot with “to live” in japanese next to it. I got it in my senior year of college. I got the words “to live” because I was feeling some kind of way back in those days so I tracked down my Indonesian friend, Soya, and had him draw the exact symbols for me because I didn’t trust the internet translations and he is fluent in Japanese.

Right or Left: Right I guess. I’m right handed, lol.


FIRSTS

Real Holiday: I’m guessing I had quite a few as a child that I don’t remember but I’ll probably say Thanksgiving and Christmas cause that’s the only time I really see all my family together in one spot. For a couple years growing up, our house was the party spot. Every holiday, my mom would throw these huge, extravagant events and we’d have family and all the neighbors and their kids piled up into our house. It was great but definitely exhausting.

Best Friend: My husband of course but also my friend Suki. We met in an MMORPG (massive mulitplayer online role playing game) almost 10 years ago and it was an instant connection. Back then, when we were poor college students, we would only see each other once a year but now we make it a point to see each other at least twice or three times a year. She always comes to visit me around my birthday and I always visit her in the late summer early fall (her birthday is in December and I’m not a travel in the snow type of person). She was my maid of honor at my wedding and I was matron of honor at hers. We’ll actually get to see each other in October because we’re all flying down to Orlando to have some beach time before it gets cold. 🙂

Award: I always used to get perfect attendance awards in school. I’m the type that unless I’m falling down sick, I was going to school. The first and best award I ever remember getting is back in sixth grade. We had this big awards ceremony and I was sure this kid was going to get valedictorian over me because I just didn’t think I’d made the cut. Well to my and my mother’s surprise, I ended up getting that award. It was funny because she yelled at me later for not telling her and I had to keep reiterating that I didn’t know! In high school I got into the National Honor Society which is cool. I still have the book that contains hundreds of kid’s faces that made it that year. In my work life, I’ve received employee of the month numerous times. When I used to work at Petsmart, I actually got the award 2 months in a row which was super awesome!

Sport: I played volleyball and ran track throughout middle school and high school. I dropped all sports in college cause I just didn’t have time.

Concert: My first concert ever was Jay-Z with my husband. That’s his favorite rapper. Later that year though I got to see Pentatonix back when they were just YouTube famous and touring colleges and that concert was AMAZING! After that, I’d say the other best concert was seeing JayZ and Beyonce together with my husband 2 years ago. In two weeks, I’ll get to see Ed Sheeran in concert so I’m excited for that as well!


FAVORITES

TV Show(s): Oh goodness, there are so many! I love Game of Thrones, all the TGIT shows which are Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, Spartacus, the Marvel Netflix TV shows, Shameless, a long list of anime, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, I mean this can seriously go on forever

Color: Purple

Songs: I have favorite artists that sing some of my favorite songs — Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Prince, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Pentatonix, Gorillaz, Ed Sheeran, etc. I’ll listen to any genre except country

Restaurant: My favorite restaurant is this place called House of Hunan. Its sushi and thai food and my husband and I eat there probably about once every other month. We had our second date there and the one waitress still remembers us from ten years ago.

Shops: I hate shopping even though its necessary for survival. I love book shopping though so I go to a lot of independent bookstores in my area as well as library sales.

Books: I really love the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, The Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson series by Patrica Briggs, The Emperors Edge and Fallen Empire series by Lindsay Buroker, every book Judith McNaught has ever written and The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.

Shoes: I’m most comfortable wearing flip flops. But most of the time I prefer big comfy socks or socks in general. You don’t want to know how many pairs of socks I’ve accumulated….

Book Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Suspense


CURRENTLY

Feeling: A little tired. I woke up around the time my husband leaves and then when I tried to go back to sleep, a car alarm went off so I’m definitely running on low fumes. However, I feel happy at the same time cause I made a mixed berry smoothie in my new Vitamix (anniversary present) and I’m in love with that machine!

Single or Taken: Taken and then some. Just celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary last week and we’ve been married for 2 and a half of those years.

Eating: Drinking my mixed berry smoothie and eating some lemon creme Nekot cookies

Thinking About: How I have to wait two years for the final season of Game of Thrones. All the actors and actresses better be safe and live for the next two years!

Watching: I’m watching three shows actually. I’m in the middle of the final season of Orphan Black, season 2 of The Last Kingdom and season 2 of Wynonna Earp.

Wearing: Work attire


FUTURE

Want Kids: Yes. One only. Took me years to come to this decision. Child birth terrifies me and I told my husband if he wants more than one, he better pray for twins.

Want to Get Married: Already am

Want To Travel: Yes, definitely. First time out of the US (besides Canada) was when we went on our honeymoon to Florence, Italy. Our next big travel will most definitely be Japan. It’s the top of our bucket list.


DO YOU BELIEVE…

In Yourself: I very much do. I used to be a shy, quiet individual but I don’t know where she went because I’m definitely very outspoken and passionate about a lot of things and not afraid to say what’s on my mind.

God: I can’t say that I do but I can’t say that I don’t either. Religion is a touchy subject; one that I choose not to touch because people can be easily offended.

Miracles: I guess so. I’ve never experienced one personally but I’ve seen some unbelievable things happen so I wouldn’t completely rule them out.

Love at first sight: Ha! I was just talking to Noriko about this. I believe in lust at first sight. I think it takes a lot to grow to love a person and I mean in the significant other sense. I can easily love my friends on sight. It’s an interesting feeling.

Ghosts: Sure why not? I read paranormal things all the time. It’s in the realm of possibility.

Aliens: Definite yes. Only because the universe is vast and it’s one of those things we’ll probably never know in our lifetime. The Milky Way is not the only galaxy and the Sun is not the only sun in the universe.

Soul Mates: I want to say yes because I feel like I’ve found mine but I also believe a person can have many soul mates in many forms in one’s life.

Heaven: Goes back to my answer for God. I’ve never been there or met someone who’s been there and came back to tell me about it so maybe, maybe not.

Hell: See answer for Heaven.

Kissing on a first date: If the chemistry is there, hell yes! Take the chance! You only live once!


I’m not going to tag anyone because this is quite long. Feel free to do this tag if you’re interested! Hope you enjoyed another segment about your friend Nel. Have a great Monday everybody!

Growing Self Award

I recently decided not to post on the weekends because I’m so behind on my Goodreads challenge I figured I’d be able to devote more time to reading if I cut back on my posting. I still interact and read all of your posts, I just don’t post any of my own. I’ve been nominated for quite a few awards over the past few weeks. I’m also behind on those and I want to say I apologize for that and admit that I’m probably not going to catch up on them if they aren’t book related (please don’t hate me).

Today, however, not only am I breaking my no weekend posts rule, but I’m also doing an award post. I actually cant NOT do this award because it’s just so beautiful. The wonderful, fabulous, amazing Roda nominated me for her Growing Self Award. Here is the description:


What is the Growing Self Blogger Award?

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, but to reach out and help others GROW as well.” ~Roda

How Does It Work:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda @ Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs. Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Give 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

I’ve been around since the inception of this award and I always applauded each wave of nominees. I honestly thought I didn’t fit the parameters for this award so never thought it would come my way. Imagine my surprise when it did exactly that and not only from Roda herself but also Mischenko and Noriko. If we were all in person, I’d pretty much be speechless. I know the Endangered posts are having a lot of impact, which is what I continue to wish for, but I’m coming to realize that my stories are a lot of fun as well and my blogging purpose, besides talking about my everyday passions, is to bring a smile to each person’s face. I don’t often talk about my own insecurities but I just want to say that I appreciate that the three of you recognize something in me that you feel the need to share with others.

With that said, I would like to point out the souls who have impacted my blogging experience as well as my life in general in a fantastic way. Most of you have already been nominated but you’re going to endure another one! 😉 P.S. it’s going to be more than five.

The first person I have to nominate is my blogging bff, Peela. Peela and I connected one long ago day over her post consisting of her encounter with an old man trying to buy a box of tampons for a female member of his family. I remember laughing so hard and instantly knew I had to read more. From there I’ve been enduring following her six word romance story religiously and the rest is history. We talk every single day. I defer to her for advice about literally everything. She lives on the other side of the world but is truly one of the closest friends I’ve ever had. So thank you Peela for being you.

Next, I have to shout out James. I know he’s basically been nominated by everyone because hes such a great person but he’s another one that I talk to on a daily basis. I don’t know what else to say that anyone else hasn’t said but I’m glad that we have the friendship that we do. You know how much you mean to me. I’m glad you trust my advice as much as I trust yours and I look forward to our continued friendship and helping you grow your writing career.

Following James, I nominate theorangutanlibrarian. As I’ve said in previous posts, she was one of my first 10 followers. I remember being amazed that someone with over 1000 followers (at that time) saw something worth following on my blog. She always responds to my comments I leave on her blog as much as I respond to hers on my blog. I really feel like I can wax poetic about you girl but just know you are definitely a huge reason I keep writing.

I have to re-nominated Noriko. Noriko is another soul who lives on the other side of the world but since we’ve met has been such a great friend! I love boosting your confidence on your book reviews because you truly write them very well. I’m also so glad you’ve started to share a bit of your world with me and the rest of your readers. You are so freaking sweet and I always look forward to talking to you every day!

I’m also re-nominating Mischenko. Honestly, where do I begin. You inspire me to explore! That’s the best way I can describe it. I never thought I’d ever have a feeling to read non-fiction until you and I definitely didn’t think I’d find myself wanting to be in the kitchen more often thanks to you. You are a great friend, an amazing mother and truly a role model for all of us.

(This is getting long, I know, but bear with me through a few more!)

I can’t have a love post without nominating Linda. I’m sure you all have seen the banter Linda and I have with each other on a regular basis. I mean I even made a post called the Unique Linda Award because she is the very definition of unique! I never thought I’d find my equal in the snarky, no holds barred department until I met you. Because of you I got into sharing more stories about my everyday life and the craziness I get into. I was pretty open and honest before but you’ve definitely driven me to new, awesome levels. I know you’re having a rough time right now but I hope when you read this post that you smile even if it’s for a couple seconds.

I have to nominate Patty. Patty and I got close over our love for all things Charley Davidson. She got me in with the Grimlet Street Crew and inspires me to be more involved in the book community. I love seeing your cake posts because you are super talented and I cannot wait until November because our meet is going to be the highlight of my year!

This next person I’m considering an honorable mention. I’d like to nomin-mention CimmerianSentiment. Cim writes romance short stories that I’m absolutely hooked too. The installments are the first posts I read every morning and like I said before, I’m your number one fan. I know you don’t do awards but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you. Especially when you make exceptions for me while torturing me with cliffhangers!

I’m ending this post by thanking Roda herself for creating such a beautiful award in the first place. I believe you’ve left a great mark on the blogging community through your experiences and your encouragement to all of us to be our best selves.

I love you all and thank you for being the most exceptional people on the internet. ♥♥♥

The TBR Tag

I was nominated by my beautiful friend Noriko to do this tag a while ago (sorry!) and I’m finally getting around to doing it. Thank you Noriko for making me think about dusting off my TBR shelf. One day I’ll actually do it 😉

Questions:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

There’s no rhyme or reason to it cause I’m constantly adding to it. I have a list on Goodreads that mostly gets ignored.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Definitely ebook. I have this problem of downloading all the free books Bookbub and Instafreebie send me. I have a ridiculous amount of ebooks. If I had to guess a number, it’s probably upwards of 200 or more, no joke.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Depends on my mood. I usually go for fantasy, romance and sci-fi but once in a while I’ll throw in a contemporary or suspense novel.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

According to Goodreads, there’s literally a whole page of books that have been on my TBR since Februrary 2015.

A book that you recently added to your TBR.

The Undying King by Grace Draven
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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

Woodwalker by Emily Martin
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A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

Probably the remaining Study books. I hate when a series is picked up a million years later with very different cover art. Fire Study came out in 2008 and was a good end to the books in my opinion. Shadow Study came out in 2015! That’s a huge gap! I can’t do it. Plus I hate the covers.
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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones. I have my signed copy preordered 🙂
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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. I’m getting closer and closer to reading this! I’ve heard nothing but good things.
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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

Nobody’s recommended a book to me in a while so I’m going to pick Hexed by Kevin Hearne cause I read Hounded and really enjoyed it and would like to jump back into that series since I’ve heard it gets so much better!

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read.

Honor and Roses by Elizabeth Cole. I just got this through a free Bookbub and the cover art is gorgeous! Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve read a historical.

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The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf.

  • 217 on Goodreads
  • 81 on Google Play Books (free downloads)
  • 42 on Barnes & Noble (free downloads)
  • and an unknown, always growing number on my physical shelf (library sale later today!!! Weeee!)

I’m going to refrain from nominating anyone this round because I know a lot of people are overwhelmed with the amount of tags they’ve been receiving lately. If you would like to do this tag, please go for it and link back to this post so I can have more things to add to my TBR ;).

Do any of my choices look appealing to you? Have you read any of them or are now maybe thinking about reading them? Let me know in the comments below!