When you’re trying to be productive in the new year by starting a new Planner and your cat decides to flop down on your pens and stickers for it like, “Nah. Our only plan for today is to be lazy and comfy.”
Happy New Year! ❤ I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready to kick some ass in the new year, and by that I mean, of course, find and do all the things that make you happiest in life. 🙂
Now, before we get on with this year’s resolutions, let’s see how I did with my goals for 2021. *drum roll, please!*
After the dumpster fire that was 2020, I decided to be gentle with myself when setting goals for 2021. I really wanted to work on my focus last year. My brain is all over the place all the time, my attention span sucks, and I have a tendency to start ALL the things and complete almost none of them. (It’s not beating yourself up when it’s 100% truuuue!) 😀
That said, I think I nailed this goal. 2021 was the year I completed the first draft of my book I’ve been working on, which was a HUGE milestone that I’m very proud of. ❤
My other goals had been to push myself out of my comfort zone more, and to work on my mental health. I think these were both kind of a mixed bag for me, and they’re things I’d like to continue to work on in 2022.
SO, that said, let’s get into the year at hand: 2022 😀
Goal #1: Finish the second draft of my book. I’d really like to get this done by mid to late summer if I can.
Goal #2: Work on my overall well-being. Health, Mental Health, Working on my goals, but also making sure to set aside time to have fun.
Goal #3: I set my Goodreads goal for 20 books/graphic novels this year. I wanted to keep the number of books I read reasonable since I will be spending so much time writing. Another part of my reading goal is that I primarily want to read things I already own.
Goal #4: Scheduling my days and living by a solid collection of To-Do Lists is how I thrive, so I want to try to structure my days out a little better this year so I have time for all of the things I enjoy and want to achieve.
Goal #5: I’ve been struggling with making time for drawing AND writing, so I’d like to try to find some balance there if I can.
What are your goals for the new year? How did you do on last year’s resolutions if you made them? What things are you most excited for in 2022?
Does anyone else look forward to when Goodreads posts your “Year in Books” at the end of the year? 🙂 I always think it’s fun looking back on things you’ve done throughout the year, so maybe that is something I’ll try to keep better track of in 2022 in general. For now, though, I’ll just let GR do most of the work.
This year I surpassed my goal of reading 30 books/graphic novels, and read a total of 45. (Though, let’s be honest, A LOT of those were graphic novels this year.) 😉
Hello, December! ❤ It’s kind of bizarre to think that 2021 has already nearly come to an end. It feels like we were JUST wishing for 2020 to be over. What even IS time anymore since the pandemic hit? 0.o
I hope you guys all had a great November. 🙂 What was your favorite part of the month? Here’s some of the things I enjoyed most throughout November:
NaNoWriMo: NaNoWriMo was definitely interesting this year. This was the first year I’ve gone into it in 2nd Draft/Revisions mode, so it was a little more difficult for me to get my footing at first. I definitely added to my word count and fleshed out a lot of the bare bones areas of the book, but I also spent a lot of time moving things around and merging my new material in with the old. Near the end of the month I found myself less focused on the word count, and more focused on just doing whatever needed to be done. All in all, I may have veered off course as far as my original NaNoWriMo goal, but I still think it was a very successful month of writing/editing, and I’m proud of what I accomplished in that amount of time. 🙂
Buddy Read:Cupcakes & Machetes and I did a buddy read for Science Fiction month ofThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells. If you want to see what we thought of it feel free to check out our post we did about it.
Thanksgiving: We kept things very small, just immediate family, and everyone involved was vaccinated. I like laid back holidays so I thought it was really nice. ❤ My dad and I love Bruce Campbell, so we watched his new movie Black Friday.
Watching: My favorite shows I watched this month are definitely Arcane (on Netflix) and Dragula, Season 4 (on Shudder).
Reading: I only finished reading ONE thing this entire month, and it was my buddy read with C&M. Buuuut, I did also just start reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which has been very interesting right from the beginning. 🙂
Video Games: I’ve been playing a lot of Mario Kart 8 this week. 🙂
Baking: Meh. I was pretty excited to try this no bake pumpkin pie recipe, but it was bland as hell, to be honest. I’ve only ever tried making 2 pumpkin pies in my life, both for Thanksgiving with my family, and both were terrible. The first one was when I was a kid, my dad and I made a gorgeous pumpkin pie but forgot one of the ingredients… SUGAR. D: So I guess failing at pumpkin pie is a family tradition at this point. lol
What are you most excited for in December? Any last minute projects or goals you have going on before the new year? 🙂
My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) 😛
Update #2: Pumpkin Babies
Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. ❤ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!
Update #3: Writing Progress
Writer Girl Summer is going really well. 🙂 I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*
Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of
I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.
Update #5: Drawing
Other than completing the Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!
Update #6: Watching
July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.
Update #7: Baking
For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly baked bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.
What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! 😀
May really feels like it lasted all of ten whole seconds this year. I couldn’t have told you it’s already been 2 weeks since my last Fan Art Friday post, but here we are just the same. 😛
Anywhoooo, it’s update time. Gonna keep this brief because I’m very, very tired and sleep is calling my name.
READING: I finished reading all the volumes of Attack on Titan that are currently out, and now it seems I’ll be waiting until October for the final volume to be released so I can see how the epic saga ends. That will be pretty good timing since the second half of the final season of the anime will start back up this winter. I really hope there’s a good ending because the series has knocked my socks off since the beginning.
TELEVISION:Schitt’s Creek and a bunch of anime, including Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, which I’m really enjoying so far. 🙂
BAKING: The only things I was ambitious enough to bake this month were a coconut cream cheese danish for Mother’s Day and a dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for a family member’s birthday.
DRAWING: After finally getting the iPad Pro and accessories I’ve been drooling over for a while, I’ve been having a ball starting to learn how to use it all and have already picked up some really useful new techniques and skills I didn’t have before. It’s all been very exciting! ❤
I am soooo ready for this long holiday weekend. I have 5 days off from work and I’m planning to savor every single minute of that time. Especially because I finally get to be reunited with the most fabulous BFF in all the land, my number #1 Partner in Crime, Cupcakes & Machetes!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Can’t wait for the shenanigans to commence! 😀
Oof, March has been an absolute whirlwind of a month. It’s been quite the mix of high and low points. Registering for classes, family health emergencies, the sudden loss of a wonderful friend who taught me so much about life and brought so much joy to everyone who knew her, house and yard projects and repairs, and many other things have had me a bit stressed these past few weeks to say the least.
I did manage to squeeze in a bit of practice on my art tablet, taking some old sketches and outlining and coloring them digitally as seen below:
Started playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U with Mr. Moth so that’s been a fun distraction from some of the more stressful stuff that’s been going on lately.
I think the only thing I baked this month was a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Soooo good! ❤
I haven’t finished reading anything new at all this month. My mood has been all over the place, which also means my reading preferences have been just as erratic. I did start reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saintsand re-reading Shadow & Bone in preparation for the Netflix show coming out. It’s been like 7 or 8 years I think since I read S&B so I was definitely due for a refresher before the show starts. I always think it’s interesting to see the differences between a show or movie and its source material. I also started reading this big ol’ Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology that had belonged to my grandma back in the day. It’s something I have read bits and pieces from but never completed reading from start to finish so I’d like to finally do that. I’m not in a rush though, It’s a lot of information that I’d rather take my time and read here and there rather than all at once.
All the critters are doing well. Luna the baby hedgehog at my work is getting sooo big. She’s “quilling” right now so she’s a little grumpy at times but the Aveeno Oatmeal baths we’ve given her have helped a lot. Quilling is basically a process that can take up to 6 months of age where she will slowly be losing her baby quills here and there and having them replaced with her big girl quills. Here’s a pic of her after her first Oatmeal bath. She was so happy and relaxed afterward.
Bailey’s been living her best life, as always. 😛 Mr. Moth got her one of those little flower-shaped kitty water fountains and she LOVES it. It’s funny because he wasn’t exactly Team Cat before Bailey and I lived with him and he’s since turned into this Turbo Cat Dad, spoiling her rotten and researching things to make sure she is the happiest kitty she can be. ❤
My parents new fluff monster is also doing really well. 🙂 He had his first vet appointment and got a clean bill of health. He did really well while he was there and so he got a special “Shit Happens” treat from the doggy bakery. Kind of appropriate since they needed a stool sample from him for his first visit. Haha He’s such a happy boy and has already brought so much joy to my parents’ home with his goofy personality. The neighborhood squirrels may not like him but we adore him. ❤ We’ve been working on tricks and he currently knows “Sit”, “Lay Down” and “Speak”. He’s also really good at solving dog treat puzzles. ^_^
That’s pretty much it for my updates for March. I tried to focus on the more positive stuff for my post but it was definitely a month with its fair share of worry and tears. Hopefully April will be better. 🙂 How was your March? Oh, yeah, and Happy Spring! 😀
I can’t believe it’s already almost March! February was a busy and awesome month full of surprises so I figured it was time to get my butt back on the blog and do an update post. 🙂 I just got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Tuesday and I’m so happy and grateful. (Even if it did really knock me on my ass the day after with sore muscles/joints, fatigue, little waves of nausea, and a headache). After that, I was back to my normal self though and I was just thankful to be able to get it, so no regrets. Thanks, Science! ❤
I also started the process towards going to school for graphic design. Michigan has a new program it has rolled out to get people over the age of 25 back in school to get their associate degree by covering their tuition. It’s such a great opportunity and was too good of an offer to pass up, so I’ll be starting classes this summer. I’ve even already got my college ID! One of my co-workers is already taking the exact program at the same college and has had great things to say about it, so I’m really excited. Pluuuus, I’ll get to share in this experience with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetessince she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. 😀 Different schools/classes, but we’re both excited to geek out over school stuff together so that will make it even better all the way around!
Other fun surprises this month came in the form of two new fuzzy and prickly friends. A girl I went to school with before was recently trying to find a home for a good dog in a sad and tough situation so he wouldn’t have to go to a shelter so long story short, my parents opened their home to him and now have a lovable, goofy, clumsy, fluff monster to call their own. ❤ My other new little animal friend came in the form of a lovely little hedgehog at my work. She’s so sweet and cute and the participants at my job just absolutely adore her, as do I. 🙂
It wouldn’t be an update post on THIS blog if I didn’t mention recent reads, hobbies, and baking. I didn’t have as much time for those things as I’d have hoped, buuuut I did bake this delicious Honey-Drizzled Cinnamon Chai Cake:
In reading news, I happily read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book this month. It was such a treat. Kind of a nice and cozy, comfort read. 🙂 I also started reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse) and, for a refresher before the Netflix adaptation comes out, I’m re-reading/listening to Shadow and Bone. I just watched the official trailer yesterday and I. Am. PUMPED. ❤
Well, those are my updates for the month! 🙂 I also did some writing and more practice with digital art but not as much as I had planned due to all the other stuff going on. All in all, though, February was a pretty good month. I hope you guys all had a good go of it as well. ❤ Looking forward to catching up on some blog posts I’ve missed but please fill me in on any excitement I have missed in the mean time. What were your highlights of the past few weeks?
What time is it? RECIPE TIME! 😀 I I was so excited to get to spend New Year’s Day baking and boozing with the amazing Cupcakes & Machetes during our very first Virtual Baking Party. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off 2021. ❤ One of the things I’ve always loved so much about our friendship is that it never matters how far apart we are or even how long it’s been since we’ve last been able to actually see eachother, it’s always an amazing time when we get together. Here’s my favorite pic from our Zoom session, of C&M, being the reigning Queen of Silly Faces that she is. 😛
C&M made a delicious-looking Eggnog Bread with an Eggnog Icing and I made a very yummy Honey Beer Bread and (because I happened to have an abundance of cranberries) I made Cranberry Cosmos and Cranberry-Cinnamon jam. We both loved what we ended up making and had a blast along the way. 😀 If you’ve been video-chatting with any of your friends during the pandemic, I wholeheartedly suggest throwing some fun activities into the mix sometime. It was a little tricky at first, but we quickly found our groove and it was fun to drink, bake, and plan our next Buddy Read together. Thank goodness for modern technology. I couldn’t imagine having gone through the pandemic without it, or without C&M for that matter. We may be miles and miles apart and forced to Quarantine away from each other for months on end, but being able to video chat and keep in touch via text and online has been a lifesaver! ❤
Hey, there, all you majestic beasties! ❤ Can you believe November is nearly over? I hope you’re all well and finding ways to keep entertained and happy. 🙂 I’m back at home, my work being one of the places that has closed during our state’s three week partial closure. I’ve tried starting multiple posts while I’ve been off and nothing sticks. I’m in this foggy headspace where focusing on one thing is even harder than normal, which brings us to my first November update…
UPDATE #1: CREATIVE STUFF
With the exception of drawing, I haven’t been able to concentrate on a whole lot. So, that’s pretty much what I’ve been focusing on. Drawing. Especially mythical creatures/beings. It’s actually been a lot of fun. 🙂 (The weird tree lady pictured above is a Dryad I drew, from Greek mythology.) NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, obviously got shot in the foot on take off. I don’t know what I was thinking with that one. Haha Between the pandemic and a very tense election I was pretty much glued to the news during the beginning of the month, so not much writing going on, I’m afraid.
UPDATE #2: HOLIDAYS
I think we all know by now that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Under normal circumstances I’m usually a bit on the Grinchy side, not really one for Christmas music and all the fluff that goes with it. (I’m not as bad as I used to be, but it’s never the part of year I’m really looking forward to.) Well, it’s 2020 and everything is all messed up and crazy, so of course this would be the year that I am PUMPED for Christmas. 😛 Bring on the holiday baking, Christmas movies and music, cozy winter bullshit, and decorations. I would already have the tree up and decorated if it wasn’t for Mr. Moth demanding Thanksgiving be allowed to have its moment. Haha I didn’t make the comic featured below, but when I found it, it immediately reminded me of Mr. Moth and his bizarre love for Thanksgiving. 😀
UPDATE #3: BAKING
I don’t know what it is about being stuck at home, but it really makes me want to bake ALL the things. Recent baking adventures include Snickerdoodle Cupcakes for Mr. Moth’s birthday, peanut butter cookies, pumpkin cookies, and rainbow chip cookies. I also busted out our new waffle maker and made homemade Belgian Waffles. One batch was regular and the other I jazzed up and made Pumpkin-Chai Belgian Waffles. 😀 It’s actually been really nice finding a joy in baking again. I used to bake all the time and then eventually I got sick of it. My favorite things to make this year definitely seem to be cookies. I’m really picky about cookies, so making them at home has been nice because they are super soft and chewy, just like I like ’em! ❤
UPDATE #4: READING
Like I said previously, my level of focus has been practically ZERO lately, so needless to say, not a lot of reading was getting done. Well, thankfully I’m starting to come back around and get some light reading in again. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, I was sooo sad when it hit me that I was reading the FINAL volume of Giant Days. This comic about three college friends and their lives has been such a treat to read. I can’t say I’ve read many other things that made me feel like I, too, along with the characters was saying farewell to my friends at the end. Mr. Moth and I both read this series, and we agree that John Allison does a fantastic job writing female characters. (Really, just characters in general, but if you’ve ever read anything from a male author where the male gaze gets a bit heavy, you know what we’re talking about.)
Written by Clive Barker, The Forbidden tells the story of what would eventually become the 1992 horror film, Candyman. I really enjoyed this short story, though if you’ve seen the film before you’ve read the story, this one feels like the blueprint to the movie which expands upon it in a really great way.
It’s always a treat reading more of Joe Hill’s work. With the recent news of the premature cancellation of AMC’s television adaptation of this title, I decided to go ahead and dive on in. Initially I was going to wait closer to Christmas due to some of the holiday horror vibes of this story, but as I mentioned already, I am feeling festive as fuck and could no longer wait. It’s off to a great start and I’m looking forward to reading more of it and seeing what the characters I came to love in the show get up to in the pages of this novel.
This title and I go way back. I’d gotten to read a smidge of Hack/Slash long ago, enough to have given me a taste of what it was bringing to the table but not enough to sink my teeth into. Well, at 300 pages, this omnibus lays out the whole feast and dessert too. Hack/Slash follows our resident goth drifter Cassie Hack and her pal Vlad, a big, deformed man of few words who has the soul of a kitten (as long as you’re not on his to-kill list) as they hunt Slashers across the country and put them down for good. I like the way they handle their slasher mythology in this series, describing Slashers (your standard Michael, Jason, Freddy sort of fare) as “a type of undead, sort of like a vampire or zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex . . . things they miss from life.” I mean, how often do we see the big murderous slashers who go after teenagers spring back up for more mayhem and murder after they’ve been killed? All the time, right? Makes sense to me to throw the supernatural spin on that. The series definitely isn’t for everyone, and I, myself, sometimes roll my eyes due to that “male gaze” thing I mentioned previously, but it has a lot of appeal for horror fans, and thus I do enjoy it. Genre favorites from the big screen and behind-the-scenes even make appearances such as Robert Kirkman and Mr. Good Guy Doll himself, Chucky.
Anywhooo, that’s it for my November updates. Now it’s time to play catch-up and see what you fine and fancy folk have been up to. Happy (early) Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it. And Happy Monday (ugh) to the rest of you! 😛
Okay, so I’m a little late to the party on this Tag, but in all fairness what even IS time in 2020?? I sure as hell don’t know! 😛 I saw this wonderful post from Lair of Books and decided that I, too, wished to join in on the fun. Better stylishly late than never, right? 😉
1.) Best book you’ve read so far this year?
Probably the same book I’m about to give as the answer for the following question, too. 😛
2.) Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?
Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. Loved this book. Great characters, great twists and turns, and great worldbuilding.
3.) New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Even though I’m still not finished reading Dread Nation (not the book’s fault, but mine) I went ahead and bought the book’s sequel Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland that was released earlier this year. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Dread Nation and then diving into this one.
4.) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I didn’t have anything that instantly sprang to mind (mostly due to my own lack of research of new releases) but upon a little digging I discovered that we can, in fact, have SOME nice things in 2020. As it turns out, the fifth (and apparently final) volume of Monstress is coming out in October! 😀
5.) Biggest disappointment?
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, and I will explain why in the next question because it really does apply to both.
6.) Biggest surprise?
Probably how much I was disappointed by Boneshaker (pictured above). Zombie Steampunk shenanigans should have been my jam, but I just could not get into the characters, especially the main 2 characters. I was so sick of reading how “smart” the son was when he pretty much gave me zero evidence of that himself. And the mom just felt so flat. Like, we knew who she was married to, we know she wants to find her son, but other than that, there isn’t much I can say about her, unfortunately. And as much as I adore worldbuilding, I think they went a bit too heavy with setting the atmosphere compared to the actual plot and character development. I really had high hopes for this one but it just was not my cup of tea, sadly. 😥
7.) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)?
Ilona Andrews. New to me, and such a treat. 🙂 Looking forward to checking out more of her books, especially in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.
8.) Newest fictional crush?
Ya know, I hate to be boring on this answer, but I don’t have one from the books I read. Unless you want to count Henry Cavill’s portayal of Geralt in The Witcher. I mean, it started as a book series (that I have yet to read) but who can deny how pretty this dude is wielding a sword, kicking all sorts of monster ass and brooding all over the place??
Though, by that logic, I could make a similar argument for Charlize Theron in The Old Guard, based off a graphic novel series I *also* have yet to read. Fierce. Badass. Warrior. QUEEN. ❤
9.) Newest favorite character?
Zoya Nazyalensky. She may not be a new character to me since I read the original Grisha Trilogy back in the day, but it was new to me just how much I enjoyed her character in Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. Really good character development.
10.) Book that made you cry?
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. This book is so dark and beautifully done. Grief is such an ugly and complicated emotion and this book captures it perfectly.
11.) Book that made you happy?
Giant Days is always such a feel-good and fun slice-of-life style comic. Sometimes there are sad parts, but overall it’s a comfort read for sure. ❤
12.) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
I don’t know . . . I really couldn’t pick one right now, sorry! D:
13.) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Definitely sooner than before the end of the year, but I need to finish my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes for Gideon the Ninth! Enjoying it so far, just have a lot going on right now and an attention span in tatters.
How has your year in reading been so far? 🙂 Let’s talk books! ❤