The Christmas Tag!

I’m feeling festive this year, so when I saw this cute little Christmas tag posted by The Happiest Pixel I decided to join in on the holiday fun! 🙂 Fun Fact: I used to be a total Grinch til Cupcakes and Machetes made it her personal mission to show me the joys of the holiday season. I was skeptical at first but have slowly come to enjoy Christmas and the chaos that comes with it. 😛

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1.) What is your favorite Christmas film?

I actually have a few. 🙂 It’s no secret that I love The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s definitely a holiday staple. I’ve also always enjoyed Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration and the more recent Krampus film from 2015.

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Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration

2.) Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

It’s always been fake, except for one year. That was the year my cat turned into the Hulk and took down an entire pine tree, bringing it and all it’s decorations crashing to the floor. Cats seriously up their dickhead game this time of year.

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3.) What is your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells has been my favorite for a good while now. 🙂

4.) What is your favorite Christmas scent?

Hmmm . . . I really like cinnamon scented things, especially around Christmas. It reminds me of when my mom helped my brother and I make cinnamon ornaments for the tree when we were kids. For several years I was pretty obsessed with Bath & Bodyworks’ Vanilla Bean Noel scent, but I kind of burnt myself out on it.

5.) Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

It’s usually pretty laid back. I pretty much just enjoy the company of who I’m with and we open one present that night. I’ve always done that since I was a kid. I think a lot of people do it, too.

6.) Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

See the above question. 😉

7.) What tops your Christmas tree?

Well, this year the only tree I’ve decorated so far is the one my room at work decorated, and we have a big beautiful silver bow on top. We’ll see what the other two trees I have yet to help decorate will be topped with this go around.

8.) What is the best thing about Christmas for you?

Spending time with my loved ones and doing all the festive activities with them leading up to the actual holiday. Also, the book club I’m in always has a fun Christmas party to look forward to.

9.) What is your favorite festive food or treat?

As of this year, I’d have to say that damn tasty Christmas Kronut I was just raving about in my last blog post. Other faves include the chocolate candy cane doughnut from Tim Hortons, the Bigby Peppermint Mocha Latte . . . basically anything chocolate and peppermint, apparently.

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10.) What is on top of your Christmas wish list this year?

Trump’s removal from office. A girl can dream, can’t she? 😛

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If you’re up to doing this holiday tag, have at it, and please let me know because I’d love to read your answers! 🙂

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Giant Days, Vol. 3 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Giant Days is, as I’ve seen it described before, “a slice of life” sort of comic following a group of friends as they navigate their first semester at university. It’s honestly quite charming in my opinion, and one of those feel-good sorts of easy reading. Not to say it doesn’t have the occasional sad or angering moment thrown in as well, but overall it’s got fun and silly humor and good female characters/friendships. Good male characters, too. Just good, human characters all around it would seem. (Maybe even a good pigeon character as well.)

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Being a young adult makes for stressful and odd times, and the events that have transpired over the first three volumes of Giant Days do not shy away from that. In fact, GD fully embraces it with a running start and tackle-hugs it to the ground. This volume in particular covers topics ranging from bedtime romps and heartache to student elections and the terror that is camping.

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My boyfriend and I have been reading through this series together and our personal reviews on this volume were mixed. We both liked volume 1 the best so far, but he wound up enjoying 2 more than 3, and I on the other hand enjoyed this volume more than I did with volume 2. We both agree we’re definitely going to continue reading the series though with volume 4 at some point. 🙂 The series just has some sort of comfy cozy vibe that keeps me coming back for more if that makes any sense. Maybe it’s because I enjoy the characters so much, even when they’re doing normal everyday stuff.

So, how about you guys? Reading anything good right about now? Do you have any go-to feel-good reads you enjoy like this one?

Wytches, Vol. 1 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Happy October, everybody!! ❤ This is my favorite time of the year, so expect plenty of horror and Halloween related posts this month. To kick things off, I figured we’d start with a review of the first volume of Wytches. I’d heard some really good things about this comic and it did not let me down. In fact, it wound up being even cooler than I expected, with some really interesting twists on the conventional “witches” of some of our darker fairy tales of old.

The way this story beautifully unfolds the further you get into it kind of makes it hard to gush about without spoiling anything, but I’ll do my best. Although this is definitely a gritty horror story, the heart of it revolves around family, specifically the bond between a father and his daughter. It’s great because it doesn’t try to present a “perfect family”, but rather one with flaws but where there is genuine love. They definitely have their ups and downs. It made the characters and the world they live in feel more genuine, despite the supernatural hellish nightmare going on all around them.

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This is, in my opinion, a really creative spin on witches (or “wytches” as they are called in the story) and witch hunting. It isn’t just a “burn the witch!” sort of thing, with the story even addressing some of the all-too-real witch hysteria that plagued our own history. The way these ancient wytches have managed to survive all these years was pretty interesting, too. You can tell Scott Snyder put a lot of thought into this when coming up with and writing the story. I want so badly to go into all the little details that I enjoyed, but I feel it’s better for people to learn them as they go along. I’m just a sucker for all those cool little tidbits authors come up with when worldbuilding.

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All in all, volume 1 was a great introduction to the story and I really wish there was already a volume 2 out so I could read that as well. This was a solid horror comic and one I look forward to reading more of one day. 🙂

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Looking forward to sharing lots of horror/Halloween posts with you guys this month, and talking about tons of beasties and things that go bump in the night! 😀

Giant Days, Vol. 2 (No-Spoiler) Review

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I’m a wee bit behind writing up my review for this because of the recent business with work and whatnot, but here we go!! Better late than never, right? 😉 So, a while back I read and reviewed volume 1 of Giant Days. (To sum it up: I loved it!) ❤

A few weeks ago my boyfriend got me volume 2 and I was excited to read more of the shenanigans of the characters I came to love in the first volume. This series is cute and fun, with fantastic characters. Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with new-but-great friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy banding together to get through the madness that is their first semester at university. We’ve got dances, relationships, hometown rivalries and antics, and other hijinks abound in this volume.

gd2 It was a fun read, but I will admit that overall, I did like volume 1 a little bit more, but I still enjoyed volume 2 and will definitely continue reading the adventures of Daisy, Esther, and Susan. Curious to see if many other people felt how I did on the matter I went ahead and read several other reviews regarding volume 2 and it seems pretty split down the middle: either people enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but still liked this one as well OR they preferred volume 2 because they’d already gotten to know the characters in volume 1 and now felt more connected to them going into this volume.

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There’s also an artist change part way through this volume. The artist change isn’t bad or anything, but I did miss some things about the first artist’s (Lissa Treiman) style. Mostly their bold lines. The new artist (Max Sarin) did a good job though not making it too jarring by matching up pretty well how the character’s looked and everything, while still adding their own flair. (And we still get Whitney Cogar’s awesome colorist skills this go around.)

Overall, Giant Days is a fun series about three girls with a great friendship. John Allison has written them realistically from the very beginning, with flaws and strengths, distinct personalities and interests, and their own insecurities and hangups.

What are you reading at the moment? Anything good? Anything horrid? Anything just “meh”? Let’s talk about it! 😀 I always love to hear what you guys are reading, too.

201 Massive Thank You’s

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Wow! I was NOT expecting to sign into WP today and see a notification that I’d hit over 200 followers! Omg, thank you guys so much!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I’m sick with a real bastard of a cold right now so this really put a smile on my stuffy-nosed face. 🙂

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It has been so awesome getting to know you guys through our interactions here and by reading your blogs. I’ve gotten to chat with so many different kinds of people from all over the world since I’ve started this blog and it never ceases to amaze me how great of a blogging community we have here. 🙂

I’m a painfully shy person in the “real world”. An introvert through and through. Anxiety often keeps me from piping up in conversations at social events. I’m polite and friendly of course, but literally terrified to speak up most of the time. Blogging has been a great release, allowing me to express myself and my passions in life in a way I can be much more comfortable with. I had no idea when I started this blog that so many people would have any sort of interest in the things I have to babble on about, but it really does mean a lot to me. So, thanks, guys. You’re the best! ❤

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* Happy Mother’s Day! *

Woo! It’s Mother’s Day and I figured it would be fun to have the spotlight be on my own mom today. I consider myself very lucky to have the mom I do. Both of my parents are pretty damn amazing, but today’s Mother’s Day so it’s all about Mama Moth! 😛

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I went ahead and did an interview with the lovely lady I call Mom so you guys could get to know a bit more about one of the people who shaped me into who I am today.

Q: Are you more of a Science Fiction or Fantasy fan? Or both?

A: Fantasy! Your dad’s more into science fiction than I am.

Q: Favorite Mythological Creature?

A: Pegasus.

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Q: Favorite Visual Artists?

A: Ooh, I have so many. I love Brom. There’s Dali. Michael Parkes, Amy Brown and Brian Froud. I feel like I could keep going but I’ll stop with those.

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Q: What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

A: My kids. Watching you grow up into individuals. Spending time with you guys.

Q: What does your ideal “Girl’s Day Out” consist of?

A: Three things. Bookstore, Chinese restaurant, and then top it all off with iced cappuccinos.

Q: Favorite Family vacation?

A: Florida. All the winter breaks we spent in Florida were always nice.

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Q: What is one interest you had growing up that you’re surprised neither of your kids ever got into like you did?

A: Well, you like books like I do, you like art like I do, you like animation. You’re like a mini me, except a better version. So, probably sports. I think that’s about it, because you like baking and cooking and everything else I like. So yeah, sports.

Q: Do you think your kids look more like you or their Dad?

A: Your brother looks like my side of the family, but you definitely look like your dad’s side. So it’s a 50/50.

Q: Why were books so important to bring your kid up on and make sure they had in their life?

A: Because books are the best. They just rule. You could escape into another world and be who ever you want to be.

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Q: What are some of your favorite movies?

A: Hmmm . . . well, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, all of the Studio Ghibli Movies . . . oh, and Overboard!

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Q: Favorite Candy?

Black licorice

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your husband?

A: (Smiles.) He always makes me laugh and he’s got a good heart.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your children?

(About my brother) He’s my gentle giant. He has an old soul. He’s just such a sweet and loving person.

(About me) You, my dear, always make me laugh, you have such a great heart and you always care about others. Just an all around great person to be around. And you make bad ass cupcakes.

Q: How would you describe your family?

A: We’re a nerd family who is fabulous. I wouldn’t trade any of you guys for anything. Except maybe a Choco Taco (evil mom laugh). No, seriously, I think our family’s a good family. Each of us is willing to help others and that makes it even better.

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Please note that at the end of interview my mom declared “DONE!” and pretended to drop a mic. lol

The Nightingale- No Spoiler Book Review

As Book lovers, many of us are well acquainted with those nights when we know we should get to bed, but we just can’t put down the book we’re reading until we’ve finished it. This was me last night while reading the last quarter of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

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I don’t even know how to do this book justice in a review, but I’m going to try my best just the same. This novel is a great example of what historical fiction as a genre can accomplish. It takes what we know of history but gives us as readers the ability to step into the shoes of the characters who are living through the events that happened before many of us were even born. It shows us parts of day to day life that we might otherwise not consider while reading about the overall big picture presented in our history books.

The Nightingale follows the lives of two very different sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, as they do what they must to survive in France during WWII. Vianne is the older of the two, a wife whose husband is being held prisoner in a Nazi war camp, but also a mother who wants more than anything to keep her daughter as safe as she can while struggling just to keep them fed. Isabelle is the young and impulsive sister with a rebel’s spirit, a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. In German occupied France, these are dangerous times. Throughout the story the two sisters are forced to make choices time and time again that could be the difference between life and death, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

Several times while reading this I thought back to people I’ve met and cared for who were there in the thick of things during WWII. In previous jobs I’ve had I have taken care of people from different walks of life, born in different countries, but who all had lived during the same war. Soldiers, civilians, holocaust survivors. I’ve seen firsthand the numbers that were forcibly tattooed onto a person’s arm in their youth that they had to carry with them into their old age long after the war was over. I’ve seen how something seemingly as simple as helping someone to undress and take a shower even decades later can trigger a horrible flashback that mentally takes them right back to the horrors of life in a concentration camp. As I read The Nightingale I couldn’t help but be reminded of these people I once knew. I was moved to tears several times as I read this book.

There is a quote from the book that I think is very relevant now, much as it would have been back then. “What good is safety if she has to grow up in a world where people disappear without a trace because they pray to a different God?” Wars like WWII don’t happen overnight, and I think this book illustrates that very point. Hate, ignorance, and intolerance are all ugly things that can only build in momentum if we let them. This happened then, and one can’t help but feel it happening now. It makes another, older quote come to mind: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It is a disturbing thing to consider, but we as people have to learn from the mistakes of the past if there is ever to be any hope of us moving forward. As another quote from the book explains, “love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.”

The Nightingale shines a light on the ugliest parts of humanity as well as the beauty and compassion we are capable of if only we choose to do the right thing and be there for one another. It shows that love comes in many forms, not all of them perfect or easy.  This book gets a solid 5/5 stars from me.