Updates: Writing, Drawing, Reading, OH MY!

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Hi, guys!! โค Life has been a whirlwind the past couple weeks, so apologies for my unplanned absence so far this month. There’s been some pretty big ups and downs, so I just haven’t been able to sit down and sink my teeth into blogging during all of it. But, I’m back, and I figured I’d throw together a quick update post full of Blah Blah Blah’s to catch up a little bit.

BLAH #1: Instagram has really been a lot of fun so far! I know I was late to the party on that one, but better late than never, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve mostly been posting drawings, photos of Bailey, bookstagram and breakfast posts so far. Due to a busy schedule it’s been a lot easier updating on there more frequently, but I still love the blogging life and all my blogging buddies, so it’s good to be back! โค

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BLAH #2: I’ve been drawing more, just like I said I wanted to. For the new year I treated myself to a new sketchbook, so the un-official goal is to fill it up by the end of the year with new drawings. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve posted a couple WIP pieces on Instagram, but I’ll post some more here soon as well.

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BLAH #3: Writing has been going really well. Usually fall seems to be my big creative season, but this winter I feel like I’ve really hit my stride again with my writing. It feels great. I have been learning to navigate my way around Scrivener. (Thank goodness for Youtube tutorials!!) It has some pretty damn snazzy tools and features for writers and I feel like it’s been helping keep me focused and on track with my writing since I started using it. Big thanks again to the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes for gifting it to me for my birthday! โค I’m the sort of person who likes practical gifts and this was the perfect surprise. I’m using the hell out of it and it’s helping me a lot as I work on my story.

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BLAH #4: In reading news, I’m currently doing a Harry Potter re-read/buddy read with the previously mentioned C&M. Neither of us seem to re-read books very often since there’s just sooo much out there to be read, but I’ve greatly been enjoying re-reading this one. Most. Magical. Buddy. Read. EVER.

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Anywhoooo, that’s about it for me right now. How have you guys all been doing?? I’m so behind on everyone’s posts so it’ll take me a hot minute to try to catch up a bit, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting news of yours I may have missed. I hope everyone has been having a great February so far. Have a wonderful weekend! โค

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Birthday Snow Day

Brrrr! My portion of Michigan is currently under a Wind Chill Warning from the National Weather Service that included fun little details like “Wind chills as low as 45 below zero expected.” and “The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.” So, basically, stepping outside right now is like getting bitch slapped by a Wampa.

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With all the snow and ice we’ve had lately I’ve been on a little unplanned vacation due to all the snow days at my work. All the schools are closed due to the weather so I’ve been able to stay cozy at home and do a bunch of writing, reading and drawing which has been really nice! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hadn’t planned on taking my birthday off from work so it’s kind of a fun little surprise having it off today. Mother Nature can be cruel AND kind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It can be difficult finding ways to go out and celebrate your birthday when you were born in the frigid dead of winter, but this year I managed to celebrate AND stay warm, so it was a win-win. Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes and Machetes came to stay the weekend, which included going to dinner, going to a giant arcade, prezzies of the most epic caliber, and board games galore! I also celebrated with family before the weekend came to an end, and of course that was fun too because my parents and brother (and the puggies!) are awesome. Needless to say, it was a fun but exhausting weekend, so I wasn’t totally heartbroken when school/work was canceled. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (The only thing that sucks is not getting paid for all these snow days!)

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Poor Mr. Moth had to hop on his tauntaun and brave the cold today to go to work so I plan on getting good and properly caffeinated and writing my butt off. More birthday shenanigans to ensue once he gets home, but for now I’m off to work on my book with an awesome new writing program courtesy of the bestest friend in all the land, C&M. โค

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Hope any of you a bitter cold winter like us is staying as warm and cozy as possible right now. โค

 

Happy New Year!

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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!

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I promise you I will be nowhere near this cool or composed.
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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™‚

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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˜‰

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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˜›

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I’m Baaaack!! (November Wrap-Up)

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Hello!! โค Wow, it seems November zipped by before I could even blink! I was hoping to get to do this update yesterday but I spent the whole day doing holiday shopping and playing with baby hedgehogs. I’m so glad to be back from my month-long hiatus, though! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve missed all you marvelous people and I’ve missed blogging. I think that, although November didn’t necessarily go according to plan, it was a good month for me, and I hope it was for each of you as well. โค

So, first thing’s first, let’s talk NaNoWriMo! So, how did I do, you wonder?? Well . . .

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I didn’t end up making the goal of writing 50,000 words for the month, buuut I did keep at it, even when I knew I was too behind to accomplish the NaNoWriMo challenge successfully. I didn’t give up, and I made progress with the book I’m writing so I’m not completely heart-broken. Instead of the intended 50,000 words in 30 days, I wound up with 36,595. Not quite what I’d been hoping for, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. How about you guys? ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, how did you do? I’d love to hear about it!

Even though the goal was to do nothing but write this month, I found myself constantly being pulled in different directions: hanging out with my loved ones, reading, work, playing games and watching movies . . . the list goes on. My willpower was weak, but my month was full of fun and good times so I regret nothing. ๐Ÿ˜›

BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS READ IN NOVEMBER:

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The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (I got side-tracked when I started this in October for Halloween but ended up finishing it in November.) 4/5 stars.

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Parasite, by Mira Grant (November’s book club pick for Sci-fi month, courtesy of my real-life BFF and blogging buddy Cupcakes & Machetes. You can read her review of the book here.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m hoping to do a review for it myself soon as well. 4/5 stars.

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Strange Candy, by Laurell K. Hamilton (a collection of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy short stories.) 3/5 stars.

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Rat Queens Special: Orc Dave #1, a standalone issue of the Rat Queens comic featuring the character Orc Dave. Definitely an enjoyable little read. 5/5 stars.

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Rat Queens, vol. 2, so glad to finally be reading this series again. (Review for this and the Orc Dave special to come soon!) ๐Ÿ˜€ 5/5 stars.

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Saga, vol. 9, the latest volume of the series and the last we’ll get for a good while as the series takes a hiatus. As per usual with this series I had ALL THE FEELS! (There’s a review for this one coming soon as well.) 5/5 stars.

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A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab (my first time reading anything by this author and I will definitely be checking out more of her books!) โค 4.5/5 stars

Spread, vol. 4 and vol. 5 (Woohoo! Finished the series.) I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚ 3/5 stars.

I didn’t plan on reading much this month, but with the frigid early winter that has hit my home state, I was feeling the cozy-stay-in-and-read vibe and I just went with it. Michigan got ripped off when it came to autumn this year so I’m rebelling in the only way I know how: isolation under blankets with good books and comics. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs, but it might take me a bit, so feel free to tell me about or link me to any of your posts if you wanna share some of your own recent updates/news. โค

 

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2018

Hey, everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve really been enjoying getting to post a lot more again this month, but I wanted to give you guys a heads up that I’ll be taking the month of November off from blogging to focus on participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka: NaNoWriMo), or “Nano Rhino” as I like to call it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Taking part in the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month is always difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun. It takes a lot of time and effort, so I’m heeding the advice of The Shameful Narcissist, and avoiding distractions throughout the month that could hinder my word count goals throughout November. Sadly, this means no blogging for the month, but I think it’ll be the only way I’ll reach that goal and complete the challenge successfully this year. Things are always so busy, so I’m going to have to devote any free time I can get to working on my writing. Plus, it’ll really help me reach my goal of having my first draft for my book DONE before the start of the new year. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m hopeful I can bust my ass and get it finished.

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I’ll still be posting more throughout the rest of October, and I’ll miss all you fabulous people in November, but things will return to normal again come December. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to see this first draft finished by the end of December. It’s been a while since I’ve completed a first draft for a book I’ve written. I went through a notorious project hopping spree (something I’ve always been terrible about) but I’m feeling really committed to this current project I’m working on. I want to see it finished and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

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Are you planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Got any big projects you’re working on that you’re excited about? Let’s talk about it! I love the creative process, no matter what form it takes, so I always enjoy reading about what you guys are creating and working on. โค

 

Three Things Tag!

It’s taaaaag tiiiiime, guys! Big thanks to Random Melon Reads for tagging me for the Three Things Tag! ๐Ÿ˜€ If you haven’t yet ventured on over to their blog, I suggest you rectify that and experience their humorous and entertaining posts for yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, onto the tag at hand:

3 Read Once & Loved Authors:

Well, might as well start with my most recent newly loved author! ๐Ÿ™‚ After hearing so many good things about V.E. Schwab, I’ve finally begun my first venture into one of her books, A Darker Shade of Magic! I’m loving her writing and fully intend on reading more of her stories in the future. โค

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V.E. Schwab

Of course I would have to include Leigh Bardugo on this list. Her writing is always a treat for me, but it just seems to keep getting better and better. She’s definitely one of those insta-buy authors for me.

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This list wouldn’t be complete for me without mentioning George RR Martin.

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3 Titles I’ve Watched But Haven’t Read:

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I happened upon 2 of the books in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I enjoyed watching the film version and am definitely looking forward to reading the books that inspired it, starting, of course, with the first one.

Another set of books I would really love to sink my teeth into, would be Diana Gabaldon’sย Outlander series. โค I love the show and have only heard amazing things regarding the books.

Although I wasn’t too crazy about the third and final season of Hemlock Grove on Netflix, I did really enjoy the first 2 seasons and would definitely love to check out the source material some time. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, so maybe I’ll make this a priority on my reading list for October. It certainly seems like a fitting time to give it a go! ๐Ÿ˜‰

3 Characters You Love:

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer. He’s just such a good character overall. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to read more about him and the other amazing characters when Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares hits the scene in October!

I’ve always loved the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. From his crazy grin right down to the very way he speaks.

It’s always been difficult for me to narrow down my favorite character from GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I’m calling it a tie between Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark.

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3 Binged Series:

I binge-read George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books after having the first one literally thrust upon me by Cupcakes & Machetes years ago. Still waiting (and waiting) on the last 2 in the series to come out, but those two books will no doubt be binge-read as well upon release. ๐Ÿ™‚

If memory serves right, I think I also binge-read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy a while back. I’m pretty certain I read the three books very quickly.

And, in the graphic novel arena, I definitely conquered Joe Hill’s Locke & Key series in quick succession. It was an excellent and imaginative series I just couldn’t seem to put down.

3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions:

Prologues don’t bother me. I know a lot of people seem to hate them, and I understand why to an extent, but as long as it is at least interesting, I’ve got no beef with a good prologue. ๐Ÿ™‚

If I’m studying a certain topic, and I’m reading an informative book about it, I bust out the highlighters and cover those pages in neon streaks. It’s quicker than writing the notes out by hand, makes for a quick reference, aaaand it’s my book so I do what I want with it! ๐Ÿ˜› Oddly enough, though, you’ll never see me dog-ear a page. I mean, I’m not a complete monster. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Call me crazy, but I hate book jackets (or dust jackets if you prefer). I know they’re to protect the book, and I get it, but they’re just so bothersome to me for some reason. I’ve gotten better about dealing with them in recent years, but they still tend to irk me just a bit. Plus, I always like the way the actual book looks underneath.

3 Current Favorite Book Covers:

Leigh Bardugo’s books are always lovely to look at, but I really like the cover for The Language of Thorns.

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Another book I just love the cover artwork for is My Life as a White Trash Zombie. The colors, the badass look of the character, it just all works for me.

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I had a really tough time picking three covers for some reason, despite always drooling over new cover art. I dunno, for some reason when I’m put on the spot my mind goes blank and I flounder about. But, I had to give some love to The Girl From the Other Side, with a cover and internal artwork that gives me the warm fuzzies. It blends two of my favorite aesthetics, monsters and cute shit.

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3 Goals For The Year:

Hmmm . . . well, there isn’t a whole lot of 2018 left at this point, it being September and all. That said, I really want to spend the remaining months of the year writing my ass off. NaNoWriMo is in the not-so-distant-future, so I definitely plan to participate in it again, but I also want to push myself to make more time for writing in general.

I’m also still working on my goal of reading 50 books/graphic novels for the year. With so little free time I’ve fallen a bit behind where I’d like to be by this point in the year in terms of my reading goal, buuuuuuut I’m confident I can catch up in the months to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

Aaaand my third goal is to continue being a boss bitch and getting shit DONE! ๐Ÿ˜› Haha and by that I mean to keep attacking my goals head on for the rest of the year. No sense losing momentum now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, for the tagging! Mwa hahaha! If you’re reading this still at this point, consider yourself TAGGED! (Or not . . .) No pressure or anything. You know the drill, do it if you think it looks fun! ๐Ÿ˜€