Can I? Should I? Maybe?

Can I?
Should I?

These are the things we ask ourselves when we’re hesitant in a decision. Can I really change my career? Should I order that dessert that’s calling my name? Maybe I should hold off on that decision until something better comes along. Any of these sound familiar? Why is the natural instinct for choice to hesitate? Why raise that level of doubt when it can be nonexistent? Probably because we feel it necessary to weigh all options before making that choice. Maybe we are in a situation where we need to think before we speak and that one second of hesitation can make a difference between keeping or losing a relationship. Maybe none of that matters. Don’t hesitate, just say it, just do it; you only live once and it will open doors. No thinking. Just instant choices, instant decisions, deal with the consequences, if any, later. I wonder, do you think even those people have a moment of hesitation?

I look back on important points in my life and I wonder if the outcome thus far would be different? Would I be any happier than I am in this exact moment in time? At this rate, I believe it can only get better, happier, stronger from here. Ask me again a year from now. 🙂

How do you live your life? Is your hesitation level situational? Curious.



“Confidence is what we get when we take fear, face it and replace it.”
― Tim Fargo

The Strength of Friendship

I’ve had an idea for a post on my mind all day long. I couldn’t quite figure out where to start to write it. I came across the Daily Prompts page and decided today’s word would actually work out in what I’m trying to get across. Last night I was invited to tag along with a group of friends for dinner. We had a great time; talking and laughing and sharing stories. When I got home later in the evening, I had a moment of reflection. I thought to myself how lucky I am to have these friends; how much fun they bring to my life. Do you ever just sit down and think about everyone you interact with each day and how much they actually mean to you? Who your real friends are and really, what is the definition of a real friend?

Each of of us have different definitions. For me, I would define a real friend to be someone who likes you the way you are. I don’t mean looks wise, I mean personality wise. Someone who always has your back in any situation. If your name were to come up in a negative light while you were not around, your friend would be the first one to call someone out. Someone who keeps your secrets and honestly, knows that sometimes it’s necessary to break those secrets. Someone who laughs with you, cries with you and will be blatantly honest with you when they think you’re being an idiot and then laugh about that too later. This is where you realize that at the center of everything there is always that one person or couple of people that just fit your always evolving definition of a real, true friend.

Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people are really, really good at making friends. I envy those people. For the rest of us, we make friends, hope we’ll become close to them, and then hold on to them as long as possible because the process of finding a new friend is hard. Most of us meet our closest friends in the workplace. These are people we see five out of seven days a week or more. I’ve been told not to make friends at work before but how can you not? My co-author and I met through work and throughout transfers, workplace drama and almost anything else you can think of, our friendship has survived. I think the root of a lasting friendship is to want to have a lasting friendship. Sounds super simple but as adults, we have to work a little bit harder to keep something we want to survive.

Newbie Success!

For anyone who has visited this blog in the past few weeks, I AM SO SORRY! I’ve changed the theme around a million times and every time I thought I settled on one, something tiny would stand out at me and I wouldn’t like the whole theme anymore. Then when I finally found a theme I liked, I couldn’t figure out how to manipulate it to my specifications. I finally confessed to myself that I was more of a beginner than I wanted to admit.

In lieu of this, I proceeded to search for the simplest themes possible. I found quite a few but still had trouble executing them. For whatever reason I just did not know how to make a drop down menu, or add widgets the right way or text alignment, shortcodes, none of it! You think it’s easy, it’s not! Then I started to download random widgets hoping a combination of all of them would give me what I wanted.

Finally, (thank you YouTube gods!), I stumbled upon a video that gave the most perfect step by step instructions on how to create a WordPress blog from scratch. So I went back into my dashboard and deleted all themes, except the one featured in the video, and deactivated almost all of the plugins so that I could start from the beginning. The video was two and a half, gloriously long, hours and now because I followed that video step by step, I have created something that I’m proud of AND got a HUGE lesson in WordPress. I’m sure there is more in the WordPress great beyond but I am very proud of what took me half the day to accomplish and I promise I am done changing anything for a very long time!

If you are swimming in my canoe, or have in the past, I HIGHLY recommend you visit WPSculptor or follow Josh Jackson on his YouTube channel. He explains everything in the easiest way possible and his video guides are truly a godsend.


I recently started watching the television show on Netflix called “The 100”. The premise of the show is there is a space colony of about 2000 or so people who have made the ship their home because for whatever reason, Earth is no longer habitable. Aboard the ship there’s a Chancellor and a round-table of councilmen and women who decide the rules and regulations of the ship. They have a system set up where if you are a couple looking to have children, you can only have one child. If you have two, and the system finds out, they will “float” either you or your child. Same applies to people who commit crimes. Floating is basically a form of death where the individuals are sent to the air docks and released into outer space to die. There is also a procedure where every once in a while, after analyzing oxygen levels of the colony, if it is determined that the levels are too low to sustain the number of people, the Chancellor can decide to essentially neutralize a subsection of the colony by cutting off the oxygen flow to that area. Once they do that everyone in that area will fall asleep and die and then they float those couple hundred people.

The 100 are individuals that were handpicked from the criminal sector, mostly teenagers, to be sent down to Earth to see if its live-able again. They are not equipped with body suits or anything to be able to check the air quality before walking off the ship so it’s a suicide mission; kind of like, if you make it Earth awesome but we don’t expect you to. Since it is television, the 100 make it to Earth and find out that it’s live-able but they have to figure how to survive on the land. Turns out there is already a species of human living on Earth, called grounders, who are not exactly thrilled about these “space dwellers” and naturally start killing them off. Then  you have the group of 100 who would prefer to start fresh and not have the rest of the colony come down because they would go back to being prosecuted for their crimes. I forgot to mention that they have these wrist bands that monitor their life from space so they know if the individuals are dead or alive. So this group breaks off the wristbands to make the colony believe it is mass death and that Earth is not live-able or safe. Even though there is clean oxygen, every once in a while a sort of sulfur storm floods through the area and if you aren’t underground or sealed up somewhere and this sulfurous air touches your skin, you burn.


Since this is a CW show, it’s kind of cheesy but the reason I wanted to share the premise of this show is because yesterday it was announced that scientists have found seven new “Earth-like” planets orbiting a single star and that three of the planets could potentially be habitable. This is considered a big deal because the natural resources on Earth are being used up at a rapid rate and there’s concern that we will run out which is bad with the billions of people on Earth. I don’t want to go too much into it because it could turn political real quick and nobody wants that but I always wonder if television shows somehow predict the future when you can draw similar parallels between fantasy and reality. Would it be cool if these planets were habitable? Sure, but fantasy and even history has taught us what happens when you invade your neighbor’s territory. We shall see what happens.

A Leader Should…

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren G. Bennis 

As a young person in a leadership role I often times find it hard to create balance between being “fun” and being the “boss”. This is one particular role that helped my co-author and I become as close as we are. She is openly more down to business than I am and that allowed us to run a tight ship. Over the past year I have learned a lot about myself and my associates.

I have put together a short list of things that I find helpful on a weekly basis. Sometimes we have associates, friends, or children who are stuck in a rut and need a little TLC. I hope you find these reminders helpful as you maneuver whatever role you’ve taken on:

  • Honesty/Expectations: Good leaders always lay out the expectations of projects, cleaning, behavior or what have you. …and they do this honestly. It’s unfair for someone to come into a role or position believing it is (or you are) something that isn’t. I find that most people who fail to do what is asked of them do so because they are not properly educated about what is expected. You, as a leader, need to be held accountable for the outcome. However, you cannot hold someone accountable for something that they were not shown or told. Create a detailed map of your expectations and you are more likely to get the results you want.
  • “Get on the bus”: This is a phrase I like to use when I’m hiring new associates, training new associates, or even checking in with more seasoned associates. The bus leaves the station without a lot of children, players, and employees. The morale of the group is often times low when people get left behind. This is as much of a “push” for them to do the right thing as it is a way for you, as the leader, to pick them up and dust them off. The road to winning is a two way street and everyone is expected to do their part. If you set the proper expectations for your team, you can ensure that everyone will be “on the bus” going in the right direction. When someone gets a little distracted from the goal that is when you have a “get on the bus” discussion. This allows you to figure out why this person is about to miss an opportunity to be a team player and hopefully correct the problem.
  • Check Ins: Most people are uncomfortable bringing problems to their leader/boss/manager/coach. It is much easier to squabble among all the other team members to get their opinions than it is to face the issues head on. I use check ins fairly regularly as a way to get a feel for how each associate is doing in my building. If they are struggling with procedures, policies, or have any other questions, the “check in” is a great time to level the playing field and allow both parties to speak freely. Not only does this demonstrate your willingness and ability to put each associate first – it shows them that you are approachable and happy to help. This is also a good time to do any “call outs”, good or bad, in attempts to right the ship and get people on track without the rest of the team knowing.
  • Fairness: Lastly, I have found that above all else that fairness matters. Whether it is between pets, children, managers, bus boys, or who does the nightly cleaning – fairness matters most. If the leader is not willing to clean the toilets how can they expect anyone else to? Lead by example not by pointing and instructing. Dig in the trenches with your people and show them that they matter and that their happiness matters. People will work harder for someone who sweats with them.

These are just a few of the things that I find myself wishing I would have known before stepping into the role that I now have. Most of them seem pretty simple, and they are, it’s just important to keep working on them. Nobody is perfect and it’s important to let the team know that you’re all striving for the same goal of betterment.

Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Found this through a Discover search on books!

What do you like about buying new books?

The real question is what not to like? New books, whether they be hardcover or paperback just give you that new book feeling. It’s like getting a new car. You stare at it for a while, look inside it, smell it, debate how long it will take you to finish it, those kinds of things. The other nice feeling I get is great joy because I am supporting an author that I love by buying their whole series. I’m very active on Twitter so I send pictures of new books or series to my authors, with giant “MAAAIL” captions and getting that response back that I’ve made them happy with my purchase is one of the best feelings in the world!

How often do you buy new books?

Honestly, I didn’t buy new books very often because I couldn’t afford it before but now I buy them whenever the need arises or a coupon appears because I am a member of at least two local bookstores and there’s no way I’m ignoring those 20% off coupons! Also, I used to have a Sony e-reader and a Nook Color so I would purchase eBooks through their respective online stores.

Bookstore or online book shopping – Which do you prefer?

Most definitely both. As I said before, I am a member of two local bookstores. When I go to them in person and they don’t have the books I check their online marketplace. I like a lot of indie authors though and its very rare to find their books in a bookstore unless you’re super lucky so for them it is always online — Amazon or eBay or Half Price Books marketplace. Another, general, place I frequent is libraries. I bought my first historical romance at my college library which was having a book sale fundraiser. It was A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught. I bought it for 50 cents! To this day it is one of my favorite books and besides leading me to read every book she’s ever written, it lead me down a path of discovery to other authors! Now I frequent library sales as often as I possibly can thanks to a handy website that lets me know when, where and times. You can find some real gems in a library; even gently used gems!

I have to say, the best online bookshop occurs in my mailbox everyday courtesy of Bookbub. If you like ebooks, Bookbub is the best tool in your arsenal to obtain discounted ebooks as well as great recommendations.

Do you have a favorite bookshop?

The bookshops I most frequent are Half Price Books and Books-a-Million. On occasion I’ll hit up Barnes & Noble if I’m in the area. Local bookstores are awesome as well such as Loganberry Books and The Bookshop on main. I don’t really have a favorite. If I’m craving books and I have a full, empty day, I’ll plan a route and shop all of them. My best friend and I have an excel sheet that we keep on hand so when I go out and shop for books, not only am I looking for books for me, I’m looking for books for her as well.

I solemnly swear I don’t have a problem….

Do you pre-order books?

Again, I didn’t use to because of funds or I would bribe someone else to do it for me. When I was younger, I would beg my mom to pre-order the Harry Potter books because I had to have them the day of release. She always did even if the books arrived on a day I wasn’t home and would text me and let me know my book was there. I would get SO excited! Now I pre-order books if I know the author is going to sign them or I absolutely cannot wait to read the book because I’ve already waited a year plus to continue from that GIANT cliffhanger in the previous installment.

Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

I didn’t even know that was a thing. My husband doesn’t care how many books I buy. He often jokes and says we can’t possibly fit anymore books but I always find a way which most of the time just means buying another bookshelf. That would be like me telling him he can only buy one video game a month. It’s just not going to happen!

Book buying bans – Are they something for you?

I really don’t even know what that means. I guess if I don’t have a monthly book buying limit, I don’t have a book buying ban. My Goodreads list is constantly growing. I always scour my TBR list for a new read and then end up picking something not even on the list. You can’t imagine how hard is NOT to click the recommended books! The covers are so pretty and when you hover over it and see that snippet and star rating how can you not click it?! And then the next one from there and the next one….

How big is your wishlist?

As I said earlier, my friend and I keep and excel sheet of books we wish to have that the other can see when we each go book shopping in our respective states. Currently I have 36 books on my list and she has quite a few more. Its constantly being updated with additions and subtractions.

Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own?

Image result for city in embers


City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown is the first book in the Collectors series. I wish to own all four books in this series. I used a Google Play credit to buy the first book and it was a nonstop read from beginning to end.

End Game by Lindsay Buroker is a space opera, sci-fi type of series. It is the final book in the Fallen Empire series. I have the previous 7 installments on trade paperback and I’m just waiting for this last one to be printed. I read the whole series in ebook format first then decided I needed it in print form as well. If you’re interested in this series the first book is called Star Nomad.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a series full of just magic! Initially I had no interest in reading anything by this author because her Throne of Glass series just did not do it for me. A friend promised me that this series was different and assured me that I would love it. She turned out to be right and this series, so far, is fantastic. A Court of Wings and Ruin comes out May 2nd!

Since the blog is fairly new, I don’t have anyone to tag but feel free to like or comment with your bookaholics tag for all to see! 🙂

Dying With Dignity

…if there was ever such a thing.

This topic has been at the forefront of my mind over the past few weeks. My boyfriend and I have each learned of the declining health in our respective grandparents. Long gone are the nights with bed time stories, midnight snacks, and movie marathons. Dark are the days that lie ahead with devastating phone calls, worrying parents, and sleepless nights. I know that we are just a few of the millions who are experiencing a situation each and every day.

Growing up sickness and death was something that I was able to cope with because it wasn’t happening in my immediate family. My mom worked for many assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Up until a few weeks ago I was still visiting clients and attempting to bring some light and hope into their lives. Now that it’s happening to me I feel a little hopeless, sick, hurt, and confused myself.

Like many grandmas, mine is lovely, caring, forgiving, and selfless. While I don’t want her to hurt or be in pain any longer I want her in my life. Over the past few days I’ve gotten calls and texts from my mom telling me that she has fallen, has somehow forgotten how to walk, or that she can barely hold a conversation. Thankfully, my grandma has lived with my mom for years and they are two peas in a pod. (We’re three peas, really.) The severity of her declining health didn’t hit me until today.

…it got real today. Hospice became a part of our lives. The more I read about hospice care the more worried I become. I was told it’s because she needs “more help” and someone who can always be there when my parents and brothers are away. Every day on the phone my grandma sounds like an independent woman. Every night my mom tells me otherwise.

Am I supposed to be thankful that these people are caring and educated individuals? Should my mind be put at ease knowing that they are helping her deal with her pain and “manage” it better? Am I being selfish for wanting her to fight harder? Does she even have the will to continue on this path? I am blessed to have each day with her and I am grateful to the medical professionals who have helped her along the way…but dang. This sucks.

Hospice claims that they are “end of life care” professionals that help the patient and their family during the dying process. Having them as an aid during this time allows the patient to receive care in their homes, if they so choose. While many times, hospice is only called in once a patient is given a 6 month window of life, sometimes they do exceed this window and far surpass it. If this is the window I am given, I am committed to giving my gran the best “end of life care” that I possibly can in any way that I can. That also provides her the dignity to die in her own home surrounded by her loved ones.

From diapers to doll babies to dance recitals and driving she’s been there through it all for me. I intend to do the same for her.

Good Read or not Good Read: Frustrations of a Book Nerd

We all know the platform Goodreads. (At least I hope you do! Shame if you don’t!)

I have been stuck in a bit of a book rut. Usually when one book finishes, I have another book lined up. My latest read was Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones. If you haven’t read the Charley Davidson series, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. I promise you’ll laugh, cry, sweat, curse and everything in between. Anyway, after coming down from my Darynda Jones high, I look to Goodreads for recommendations. We have our lists. Kind of like a Netflix queue of sorts. Shows your read books, currently-reading books and to-read books. Based off any books in your lists, you can gain recommendations based off the Goodreads algorithm that determines what you would like or dislike. Sometimes the recommendations are spot on. Sometimes they aren’t. The problem is when you have certain expectations. For example, I usually don’t look at a book if its rated 4 stars or less. My rule doesn’t apply to pilot books in a series. Why? I have no idea. Usually when you don’t like the pilot of a show you’re highly unlikely to continue watching right? For books it’s a little different especially when it comes to a series. You have to establish a feel for the writing style, get a good understanding of the world building and see how plot lines are handled. In that sense, you are giving the pilot of chance.

When exploring new authors, sometimes its good to look at the reviews and other times you probably shouldn’t. I personally skim through the reviews. Goodreads is great in that you can look at reviews without spoilers. If an individual leaves a review, they have to specify if there are spoilers in the review or not. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of bot that will remove reviews if there are spoilers. I skim the star ratings to see what people say or if it was added to the DNF (did not finish) pile. The problem is how to decipher actual, GOOD, reviews from bandwagon reviews. If you want to know what I mean by “bandwagon” reviews, just look up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve explored many books this way but so far I’ve experienced one and dones. All of these were pilot books to 8+ book series’ and they weren’t bad, they just weren’t good…. I think my expectations are set too high because I’m constantly comparing new stories and writing styles to stories written by authors I love. How do you turn that instinct off? It’s not necessarily a bad thing (you like what you like) but it narrows your reading genre down significantly; makes you close-minded of sorts. That’s no fun.

As you can see from my picture, I have found something to read for now. I confess it’s just a pilot book for a different series from an author I already love but cross your fingers my next book will be something new! I have a 100 book 2017 Goodreads challenge and I intend to reach this goal!


First Things First

I have been staring at this page for a week.

Actually, make that two weeks; wondering what the first post topic should be. Why is this so difficult? There are many topics, ideas, thoughts floating around in my brain but the decision of picking one is taking literal days. The only thing that is at the forefront of my mind is taxes and Valentine’s Day.

Taxes. Love.

Everyone hates taxes. Talk about complicated. Between the million and one different forms, schedules, deductions, it truly is the most stressful time of the year. My advice? Just don’t adult. Who needs their own home? Is that freelance job really necessary? Can you squeeze by without it? Seriously though, the best way to combat taxes, besides changing your W-4, that I’ve found to be most successful, is saving. Now, we’ve all seen the challenge where if you save 1 dollar for each day of the year, for 365 days, yadda yadda you’ll have $2000 by the end of the year. It’s a great concept, don’t get me wrong. It gets the wheels in your brain turning, thinking about saving money and not touching those savings unless absolutely necessary. The hard part is math. How do you remember to add $1 for day one then $2 for day two, etc. I, personally, have a terrible memory especially when you have a job that is very demanding on your brain power. The best solution is to come up with a stagnant amount that you won’t even notice is gone every cycle. What does that mean? Ok, here’s what we do:

Step 1: Think about how much you spend on fast food and other related activities in a week.

Step 2: Ask yourself is this really necessary. Don’t be afraid to lie to yourself by saying yes.

Step 3: Take that number and cut it in half. This will be your starting point for saving.

Step 4: If you don’t have a savings account with your bank, start one. They’re usually free.

Step 5: Take that number from Step 3 and set up and automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account for every paycheck you receive. Now, this could mean weekly or biweekly or even monthly. Either way, you decide. In my case, I did weekly even though I was paid biweekly.

Step 6: Watch your savings grow and DO NOT touch it unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. As in, emergency funds only!

Step 7: Smile! You did it! Now all you have to do is keep it up!

The first time my husband and I did this, we raised $3000 in a year. Trust me, if you set up automatic transfer, you won’t even miss it. So when tax season comes around and you end up in the owing taxes boat you can dip into your savings to pay that off, if necessary, while still growing your savings account.

Enough about taxes. Let’s talk about love!

Sadly, there’s less to say here than taxes because love is so easy! Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and whether or not you have a significant other I hope you love yourself.

What’s that saying from Parks and Recreation?

TREAT YO’ SELF! Get some dinner, eat that cake and have a great day!


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