2019 Reading Challenge: COMPLETE!

Screenshot_2019-07-10 Recent updates Goodreads

Woo! A few days ago I officially completed my reading challenge for the year! ๐Ÿ˜€ And even though I still have six months to go, I plan on sticking pretty much to my original plan. I kept my reading goal low, slashing it in half from last year’s 50 down to an easily attainable 25. The reason I did this was to be able to shift my focus to some of my other goals, the main one being writing. Well, as previously stated, I intend to GET. SHIT. DONE. over the next six months, so I’m ready to pour my all into writing for the rest of the year. Still, I thought it’d be fun to discuss how the reading challenge went. ๐Ÿ™‚

1534247108455

I started the year off on a dystopian/post apocalyptic streak with The Road and The Handmaid’s Tale.

1ioghl

From there I ventured off into some lighter whimsical fantasy with Howl’s Moving Castle and a re-read / buddy read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with Cupcakes & Machetes.

l-15121-when-someone-says-they-havent-read-harry-potter

I also squeezed in some good non-fiction with Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works and the morbid but very interesting The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery. (The latter of which I intend to do a special review of for blogging buddy and podcast extraordinaire, Imperial Rebel Ork for his and his buddy’s Fly on the Wall Podcast.)

giphy

Eventually I found myself in a total Urban Fantasy binge, devouring two novellas and the third full-length novel of The Iron Druid Chronicles as well as the first installment of the Mercy Thompson novels.

hB7500B27
I’m sorry (not really) but I found this one while looking up memes and I couldn’t resist adding it. The struggle is REAL, I tell you!

Along with these titles were several graphic novels of various genres (horror, slice of life style comics, superhero, action, and comedy). I also read River of Teeth recently which was such a great story that I will probably end up reading its sequel sometime soon despite insisting I’ll not be reading much the next few months. ๐Ÿ˜‰

disney-book-memes

Well, that’s it for me, but how has YOUR reading challenge been going this year? ๐Ÿ™‚ What was your reading goal? How’s it going? Let’s talk books! โค

Advertisements

My Blogiversary: 3 Years Ignited

arm

Three days ago officially marked my little corner of the blogosphere’s third birthday!! I had no idea when I started my humble little blog 1,098 days ago that I would still be calling this bit of cyberspace my little home away from home, but look at that, here we are! ๐Ÿ˜€

giphy

It’s been such a fun and inspiring three years, and such a large part of that is the fantastic community here on WordPress. You guys are the best. โค It’s amazing how you can form such great connections with people you’ve never met face to face, some even living in a completely different hemisphere than the one you live in. The world is crazy and awesome like that sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, a big shout out to all you amazing people who have shared in this experience with me the past three years. There’s no way I would have stuck around this long without such an outstanding community to share in all the fun with. โค

I originally made this blog as a little hub of creativity. Adulting can make chasing creative pursuits challenging, but I feel like I’m starting to find a good balance now to focus and squeeze in more time for it on a larger scale again. It isn’t much, but I’ve started using my sketchbook again for the first time since the beginning of the year, and I feel like I’ve finally settled down on and committed to a single writing project. As I continue to nurture my creativity again I’d like to start sharing more about that journey here on the blog. I still plan to do reviews and my other random posts, but I think I’d like to make a turn back to focusing on creativity here again, be it mine personally or just the topic in general. ๐Ÿ™‚

BogusOptimisticGermanpinscher-small

Well, there are officially only six months remaining in 2019, and I don’t know about you, but knowing that has reignited a fire in me to GET. SHIT. DONE. Both creatively, and here on my blog. Looking forward to sharing the journey with all you wonderful people. โค Thanks for making this adventure such a great experience the last three years. ๐Ÿ˜€

Lost and Found

dust

Phew, looks like it’s time to clear out some of the dust and cobwebs from this little old blog! It’s been over a month since my last post. Life has been hectic (which I’m coming to realize is just kind of my norm anymore) and I’ve been in a weird funk adjusting to some major changes in my day to day life. Anyway, I won’t bore ya with the details, but I will say it’s good to be back. โค Special thanks to my partner in crime (Cupcakes and Machetes) for the reminder and motivational kick in the ass to get back to blogging! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Part of the moody little funk I’ve been in has had me watching a lot more TV and movies than I usually do. Generally it’s something I can’t stand to do for long (even if I’m really enjoying the content) but yeahhh, the struggle’s been real.

tyriontv

One show I’ve gotten into recently is A Discovery of Witches. I also added the first book of the series to my TBR list. Has anyone read them? Any good? Inquiring minds wanna know! I am consistently blown away by the “scenery porn” as I call it. Seriously, every episode just has absolutely gorgeous background scenery that makes me want to pack my bags and get traveling right this instant. The show definitely goes at a slowww pace which might bore some viewers, but (oddly enough) I’m enjoying it. It’s keeping my interest. I mean, with witches, vampires, demons and alchemy, how could it not? Anyone else watching it?

tumblr_pf46bwnpyg1scb6izo3_500

Another show I surprised myself with recently was the new Netflix show Dead to Me. Totally not my usual type of show, but I binge-watched the whole first season in a shamefully fast amount of time.

tv

Oh, and of course, it’s Game of Thrones season, so ya know, Mr. Moth and I have been screaming and cheering at the TV each Sunday night like a couple of rabid football fans during the Super Bowl. It’s so bitter-sweet knowing it’s the final season! Can’t wait to see how it all ends. ๐Ÿ˜€

original

Another show I got into is The Act on Hulu. Based off the real life murder of Dee Dee Blanchard and the events that led up to it. It gives some dark insight into the abuse and manipulation that went on in that home. It was really interesting to watch and I remember being blown away by the case when it hit the news, so the show drew me right in as well.

ANYWAY, despite currently being sick with a cold I’m determined to pull myself out of this little funk by my bootstraps. Time to dive back into being productive and getting shit DONE.ย  I hope you guys have all been doing well, and I look forward to catching up with all my awesome blogging buddies! โค

 

 

Ready to Spring into Spring

WineterMeme

Happy Spring, everybody!! โค Life’s been quite topsy-turvy as of late, but thankfully, things are looking up. ๐Ÿ™‚ I (like many of us, I’m sure) am beyond thrilled that spring is finally upon us. With all the snow and ice and winter vortex business we’ve been dealing with the past few months, warmer days are definitely something to look forward to. Plus, no more of those horrible “winter hands” from all that cold, dry air. You know what I’m talking about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

winter hands

So, with spring here, I’m curious what everyone is looking forward to the most? I just bought one of those little pop-up greenhouses today so now I’m even more excited for gardening than I already was. ๐Ÿ˜€ The past couple years I’ve taken to going outside and taking lots of photos of all the flowers and plants. I’m no pro or anything like that, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy doing, so expect plenty of outdoors pics in the months to come!

thats-a-nice-looking-garden-be-a-shame-if-something-should-happen-to-it

Anyway, even though I’d been too sick/busy/exhausted to do much blogging in the last few weeks, it was never totally far from my mind. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the direction I want to take the blog in and what kind of posts I really wanna focus on. I also definitely want to give the whole look of the blog a major re-haul before July when this little baby blog turns three whole years old!

Anyway, I’m keeping this post short and sweet, but it’s good to be back. Looking forward to catching up with everyone and I hope you’ve all been well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lemme know what you’ve been up to and what adventures you’re planning for spring!

 

My First Drawings of 2019

Jan and Feb art 5
New Year, New Sketchbook

I mentioned recently that I’d try to make more time for drawing this year, and part of that goal is to fill up the new sketchbook pictured above! ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved the cover when I saw it and figured the new sketchbook might help to inspire me to keep at it with my drawing if I had an actual set amount of pages to fill up. So far it seems to be working. I’m definitely rusty and I’m tinkering around with watercolor brush pens so that’s been fun. It’s taking some getting used to but I feel like I’m *starting* to get the hang of them. Anywayyyy, here’s some of the WIP drawings I’ve got going so far.

Jan and Feb art 6

I did this Ignited Moth to be my profile picture and debut picture for Instagram. It seemed fitting to finally make a piece to go with the alias I’ve been blogging under the past couple years.

Jan and Feb art 4

A WIP shot of the girl that kicked off the following WIP piece. I need to fill in a dark background for it and add some more details, but you get the idea. I’ve always been a fan of drawing monsters, so expect plenty of those in the art posts to come. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jan and Feb art 2

It’s been interesting using the watercolor brush pens more. They’re definitely a good practice in patience for me. I have to go slowly and deliberately with each stroke and it can be difficult for me with my itty-bitty attention span. It’s kind of relaxing in its own way, too, though. Here’s a close up of the monster pictured above:

Jan and Feb art 3

I don’t really know what exactly I was going for with this guy. Like a horse skull mixed with some sort of Krampus vibe is about the only way I could describe the creative notion behind him.

Jan and Feb art 1

This drawing almost didn’t get beyond the sketch stage. I was originally going for a pinup Poison Ivy, then when it wasn’t going how I wanted I was going to do a whole Dรญa de Muertos inspired makeup on her, but for now I’m leaving her like this. We’ll see what happens with her in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, that’s it for today’s art post. I hope you guys enjoyed. What creative shenanigans have you been up to lately? What are your go-to art tools of the trade?

 

Happy New Year!

tumblr_o0904yzkEp1qald0lo1_500

Happy New Year, all you amazing, lovely folks! โค I can’t believe 2018 already came and went. My last post served to kind of wrap up the old year before we headed into the new one. I went over how I did working on last year’s resolutions and what some of my favorite things and big milestones were. 2018 was great and all, but I am so excited to venture into 2019! ๐Ÿ˜€ With that in mind, let’s talk New Year’s Resolutions, shall we?? Here’s some of the major goals I want to conquer this year:

1.) Skydiving! My biggest fear would probably have to be heights, but my dad has talked about wanting us to go skydiving together since I was a little kid. This has yet to happen because I am a total wuss. My dad has been skydiving before and he loved it, so when I asked him what we should do to celebrate his 60th birthday, of course he would go and pick to jump out of a damn plane! *INTERNAL SCREAMING* Well, my dad is a really great dad and this is a big milestone birthday for him, turning 60 and all, so it’s happening! Full Disclaimer: I make no guarantees that I will not cry like a baby when we go to do this!

catch-you-on-the-flip-side
I promise you I will be nowhere near this cool or composed.
giphy
Yup, I think this is a pretty accurate representation of what I can expect from myself.

2.) Go on some sort of vacation with Mr. Moth! Oddly enough, we have yet to go on a real vacation together despite all the relationship milestones we’ve shared. We’re not quite sure where yet, but we know we want to make it happen this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

KpZlexI

3.) Complete my GR Reading Challenge set for . . . dun dun dunnnn . . . 25! That’s right, I’ve drastically lowered my reading goal for the year. My reason? I want more time to further work on other goals like writing and drawing. It’s the age old problem: too many hobbies but never enough time. Sacrifices must be made, yada yada yada.

original

4.) Re-vamp my Blog. Your blog is like your online home and sometimes isn’t it nice to reorganize and redecorate a bit? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m looking to spruce things up a little around here. I’d also like to get a little more structure to my blogging schedule and whatnot, but we’ll see about that. ๐Ÿ˜› Changes are coming, what they are exactly remains to be seen. Ooooh, mysterious, no?

68d162b837736dd4997d1654eb018c4e

5.) Focus on my Creativity! Writing and drawing are two things I really want to make a priority this year. I want to get better at avoiding distractions and really push myself to have my first submission-ready novel by the end of 2019. This is going to be one hell of a challenge (and, honestly, it’s one I’ve failed at before . . .ย  a few times) but I’m so excited about the current project I’m working on, so I’m going to do my absolute best this year! I think I’m going to open up a bit more about my writing and the journey as well this year in my blog so I can kind of hold myself accountable more. I also really want to work on getting more into my drawing again. This started in 2018 so I’m hoping to continue to push myself artistically in 2019.

c589454ca9679b6209d12c264774ab8c

6.) Share more recipes! I’ve done it a few times here and there on my blog, but I’d like to share more. Despite all the cussing you might here from my kitchen while I’m cooking, it’s actually something I really enjoy doing. You can expect desserts and vegetarian dishes mostly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

anigif_sub-buzz-29120-1536610884-8

7.) Health/Fitness. The usual goals everyone has: drink more water, go to the gym more, etc. I really like going to the gym so as long as I can manage my time/schedule this shouldn’t be a problem.

monster

Well, those are MY big goals for 2019, what about you guys?? ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d love to read about them. Trying anything new this year? Tell me all about it! I hope the New Year ends up being amazing for all of us. โค

 

2018 Wrap-Up

time

2018 has been a crazy year full of big and exciting new adventures. Mr. Moth and I went home hunting and moved into our first house together, we both applied for/received promotions at our jobs, and we did a lot of work around the house/yard in our first year of home-ownership. During this time I also worked on my resolutions for 2018 and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t do too shabby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Concerning my READING GOALS for 2018: I completed my GR reading challenge goal of 50, and I explored reading more poetry like I hoped to do as well. My only reading goal I messed up on was that I still didn’t read all the neglected, unread books already sitting on my shelves. Sigh . . . I suppose that’s the curse of any lover of books, though, isn’t it? We always wanna obtain more books even before we’ve finished all the ones we already have at home.

de54ec8a6650c2bb28012e4b9ed6e71f

Some of my reading highlights of the year included discovering a new author I really enjoyed in V.E. Schwab. I’ve only read her book A Darker Shade of Magic so far, but I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say all in all, my top 2 favorite novels I read this year were Strange the Dreamer and The Great Alone.

Concerning my CREATIVE GOALS for 2018: I had sort of an iffy year in the creative department. I did more writing and drawing like I intended to do, but with everything going on I just never seemed to make it as far as I wanted to with my creative goals this year.

I participated in Inktober and Women’s History Month by producing multiple new ink drawings, as well as experimented with some new watercolor pens during Shark Week to produce a new whale shark illustration.

As for writing, I did more of that and am really excited about my current writing project. I recently shared the currently-private details with my BFF, the lovelyย Cupcakes & Machetes and she shared in this excitement, making me that much more motivated to not be the notorious project hopper that I am and see this one through. I participated in NaNoWriMo and although I didn’t make the full 50,000 word count I’d hoped for that month, I didn’t give up and got some good writing in which I’m pleased about. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did try a new creative thing this year that I hadn’t even been planning on, and that was face painting. Mr. Moth and I both required skull makeup for the Halloween event we attended this year, so I gave it a shot and was totally thrilled with the results.

Concerning my HEALTH/FITNESS GOALS for 2018: This was another set of goals that I worked on but would have liked to have been able to push myself further with. I did make a few gym buddies, I took some different classes at the gym and tried lots of new things there, pushing myself out of my comfort zone quite a bit. Me being my very introverted self, I’ve always preferred working out at home to going to an actual gym, but I think that really changed this year. I wanted to try hitting the trampoline park again and finding new active hobbies like that, but the gym was pretty much my go-to in that department this year. Maybe next year?

All in all, it was a pretty damn good year for me as far as milestones and working on goals. Any growth and development one can make to oneself is always a plus, right? I know I have lots of exciting new things I want to work on in 2019, but we’ll save all that for my upcoming New Year’s Resolution post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

TOP MOVIES I WATCHED IN 2018:

Deadpool 2

Black Panther

Avengers: Infinity War

Fantastic Beasts 2

The Incredibles 2

Game Night

Coco

TOP SHOWS I WATCHED IN 2018:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Attack on Titan

American Ninja Warrior (and it’s other counterparts)

Channel Zero (I didn’t really care for this show previously, but this season was much better!)

The Jim Jefferies Show

American Horror Story

Insatiable (this show got a lot of hate for not being PC but it’s a dark comedy. The characters are supposed to be flawed, messed up people with flawed, messed up views. I binge-watched the hell out of this.)

Riverdale (Okay, first of all, WTF is going on with the writing this season, also I can’t pull myself away.)

Anywhoooooo, I hope you guys had a productive year working on your goals and that you made lots of amazing memories in 2018. Here’s to everyone having a fantastic New Year! โค Best of luck to all of you with your New Year’s Resolutions and let’s make 2019 the best it can be! ๐Ÿ˜€

And, just for funsies, here’s a picture of Bailey taking a nap. Something I’m sure we’ve all been ready to participate in after all the recent holiday chaos. ๐Ÿ˜›

bailey nap