Monthly Reading: February

Book Reviews

I’m really proud of the reading habit I’ve created. I’ve really missed it over the years, and flying through book after book gives me an odd sense of accomplishment.

This month, I read two books which is right on target for my yearly goal. I was even able to start my first March book a little early.

The first book I read was Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. It was a cute coming-of-age book about the bond of two step-siblings and their struggles with mental illness and sexuality. The relationship between Little and Lion is very sweet and was the beating heart of the story. It is what kept me invested, wanting to know how things resolved for both of them.



The next book I read was a given to me by Cassandra. It is called You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It’s kind of a motivational “self-help” book, but I found it really inspiring and helpful. So, for anyone wanting to light a fire under their ass, you should check it out and recognize the badass in us all.

Check back with me next month to see my thoughts on my March reading!


Getting Back into the Swing of Things


So if you couldn’t tell by my past couple of blog posts, I am putting a lot of effort, thought and time into my goals. And I feel like I’ve made decent progress in all of them, or at least put more intention into them.

However, there is one goal that I am STRUGGLING with. Like it feels like pulling teeth trying to get motivated. That goal is writing. I’m trying to be a writer this year. I have trouble giving myself that title because I don’t feel like I’ve deserved it. To be a writer, you have to write. That’s pretty self-explanatory. I have not written in several years. I’ve journaled, I’ve written blog posts, but I miss writing. In high school, I wrote novels. Like I had written three whole books in high school. Sure, they sucked, but I did it. I finished them. And they had decent plot, a few interesting characters.

Now, though?


I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for 5 years. And I can’t get it out onto a page to save my life. There are just too many uncertainties. I can’t get all the pieces to fit together and it is beyond frustrating. Because it could be so good.

And just like so many other things in my life, I know what I need to do, I just can’t make myself do it. I don’t know what’s stopping me. I’m not afraid. I know I’m capable. I think I just put too much pressure on it to be good. All the real writers always say that the first draft is going to suck. The first draft is the worst that it will ever be. But, with my writing in the past, I’ve always written in one fell swoop. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have an outline. I had an idea, and I created a story.

But that is gone now.

I seem to have lost that ability. But I am also stuck feeling like I don’t know any other way to write. When I try to just write, I feel aimless. At this point, I’m just venting in the form of a blog post. Because I’m not looking for anything. I have the answers. I need to just do it.

Anyway, thanks for reading if you do. Hopefully this is something I can look back on at the end of this year and laugh at. Also, hopefully by then I will have another first draft to add to my collection of Books That No One Will Read.

Monthly Reading: January

Book Reviews, lifestyle

As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I want to read two books a month in 2018. I’m currently subscribed to Book of the Month, which I love, but I’ve gotten a little behind with my reading so it is on hold for now until I catch up. Both of the books I read in January were BOTM books and so far they haven’t disappointed.

The first book I read was Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong.

Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong.

It was kind of a coming-of-age story but about a young woman named Ruth in her twenties instead of pubescent teenagers. Ruth is at a junction in her life where she is dealing with a recent breakup as well as family issues that lead her to move back in with her parents. It is one of those books where you don’t realize the big picture until it’s over. I had a firm grasp on what was going on throughout the book, but it wasn’t until I finished it that I was like, oh shit, I get it now. It was a beautiful story and nothing at all what I thought it would be when I first received it.

The second book was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

This one was definitely my favorite of the month. Recently, Jessica Knoll has become one of my favorite authors (I wrote about her debut novel, The Luckiest Girl Alive, and I’m eagerly awaiting her next novel) and this was a book that she had recommended, so when I saw it as an option, I went ahead and ordered it from BOTM even though I already had an impressive stack of novels yet to be read.

Eleanor is such an interesting character, and I loved every second I got to spend in her head. She is complex and endearing even though I’m certain I would dislike her very much if I ever crossed paths with her in real life. Eleanor is a creature of habit, but throughout this book, she takes measures to examine her past and try new things and meet new people. She reminded me that it really is never too late to change the course of your life. No matter what has happened to you or impeded the plans you had for your life, you can overcome it with enough perseverance and gumption.

I highly recommend both of these books, and I hope this kind of post is something I continue throughout this year (as long as I keep my resolution to read more).


Just Another Resolutions Post

lifestyle, Planner

It’s 2018, which means it is time for yet another new year’s resolutions post.

This year I decided to tackle my goals in a new way. This wasn’t particularly difficult since my previous way of setting goals consisted of last minute guestimations of what I wanted out of the new year. My goals always ended up disappointing me because I treated them like birthday wishes, I thought they would come true magically and without any effort on my part.

So instead of wishful thinking and zero follow through, I decided to use Cultivate What Matters’s Goal Planner for 2018.

Their website can probably do a much better job of explaining the ins and outs of their goal planning process, but essentially, you go through their prep work to figure out what is most important in your life. The prep work is emotionally draining and reminiscent of a therapy session, but honestly, I’d do it all over again.

Once the prep work is complete, I decided what I actually wanted to accomplish or make progress towards in the next year. As you’ll recall, this is pretty much where my goal planning ended before. From there, the goal planners allow you to break those goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.

So instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel excited and in charge of my goals, and I have a seemingly tangible way of accomplishing them.

Another great part about this goal planner is that you get to pick a word for the year–just a single word to inspire you to continue working towards your goals.

My word of the year is “ignite”. There are a lot of things that I want out of life but have been dormant for many years. So this year, I want to ignite those passions again so I can work towards those goals and hopefully be somewhere that I’m proud of by the end of 2018.

Throughout my prep work, I realized there were many things I hoped to accomplish in my life. Some were familiar, and some were kind of surprising. I found things I didn’t realize I’d been hoping for.

I narrowed my goals down to four, but the goal planner has seasonal check-ins so I can change them or add to them throughout the year.

  1. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Like every other person this year, I’m looking to leave my crappy eating habits in 2017.
  2. Be a writer. All my life, I’ve wanted to be a writer. In high school, all I did was eat, breathe, sleep, and write. However, since starting college, I’ve let it slip to the backburner. Actually, not even the backburner–I let writing fall off the back of the stove, never to be found again. So, this year, I am writing a book. Or at least make progress on writing a book.
  3. Cultivate my interests. Every year, I have a list of books I want to read and a list of classic films that I’ve always wanted to see. But every year, I fail miserably. So this year, I’m going to read 2 books a month and watch 1 movie a week.
  4. Be a strong, faithful Catholic. I have wavered in my faith the past couple of years. Waver may be an understatement, but nonetheless, I am making strides to form a closer relationship with God.

So that’s it. I just wanted to share here to maybe help hold myself accountable. I mean, if it’s on the internet, it must be true, right?

If you have any interest in this kind of goal planning, you should check out Cultivate What Matters’s blog because they share great goal planning tips all the time.



Holiday Break Rewind


Happy New Year!

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I’m so happy to be back, and I’m ready to kick 2018’s butt! I am well aware that I’m saying the exact same thing a million other people say once January comes around, and just like them, I’m full of good intentions.

Better follow-through is one of my resolutions.

While I start to get back into the swing of things, I figured I would start back with what I was up to during the last couple of weeks months.

Since my last post was in November, I’ll start with Thanksgiving. I spent it with my family in North Carolina. Yes, all those people are related to me. It’s a Catholic thing.


It’s not often that we are all together, so we had a fun little photo shoot before digging into some turkey and pie!

Here is my family. You know what they say, families that color-coordinate together, stay together.


At the beginning of December, Georgia had some unexpected snowfall, which was inconvenient, yet beautiful.


I turned 23 in the month of December, but I don’t have any pictures to share. It was a pretty relaxed birthday this year spent with my friend, Cassandra, and the love of my life Adam Driver. He was too busy with press for The Last Jedi, but I was able to at least see his beautiful face on the big screen.


Right before Christmas, MAC was reunited. Amberlyn flew in from Denver, and was able to spend a few hours with me and Cassandra before we all went home for the holidays.


We met in Decatur at the Highland Bakery. It was such a nice restaurant with good food. Plus, the company was pretty decent too. Pictured below is my shrimp and grits. I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life but this was my first time trying the dish.



Excuse the shadow of my phone. I need to get better at being a foodie.


As my siblings get married and essentially LEAVE, traditions tend to change. So instead of having Christmas morning with them, we all get together Christmas Eve to exchange Secret Santa gifts and have a big family dinner. Then, all of us single kids spend Christmas morning with my parents.


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family and loved ones. Here’s to 2018. May it be less crappy for all!




November Bullet Journal Spread

lifestyle, Planner

Happy November 1st everyone! I cannot believe that October is already over! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sharing my October spreads with you.

So for November, I decided to follow along with Amanda Rachel Lee. She is a YouTuber that I follow who does gorgeous spreads and for November she did a crystal theme. I’m not the greatest free-hand drawer so this was actually pretty challenging for me but I think I like how it turned out in the end.

Here is my month at a glance page. I kept it fairly similar to last month but instead of splitting up the calendar by morning, evening, and all day, I split it between personal and school. So we’ll see by the end of the month how I like the change. As I mentioned in my first post, the customization is my favorite part of bullet journaling.

Next is my tracking pages. Last month was the first month that I really stuck with my tracking. Even if I didn’t do every habit every day, I was consistent in tracking what I did accomplish. I also really liked the way I did the mood tracker last month where I colored in a different leaf each day so I’m doing the same thing here except with poorly drawn crystals.

And for the last of my monthly spreads, I have a November Memories page. This has been a really cool part of my bullet journal and I know that it will be fun to look back on over the years.

P.S. the glitter washi tape is from Target in their dollar section.

Thank you so much for reading.


Fall Activities: Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

Fall 2017, lifestyle

The fall is one of my favorite times of year. The weather gets cooler, you can wear scarves and boots, and most importantly, there is just so much fun stuff to do.


Personally, I’m not a huge fan of summer.  Unless it involves a body of water and an ice-cold mixed drink, I’m out. So when the leaves start to change and the weathe drops a few degrees, I’m here for it.

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I’ve got a whole list of fun October/fall things to do coming your way and the first thing I’m going to share is Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville.


You can also partake in a hay ride through the pumpkin patch. I’ve yet to actually do this because I’m into doing things that are free haha but I’ve heard great things about it.

And before you leave, you’ll definitely want to check out the gift shop to get some delicious baked goods and other souvenirs. I recommend the apple bread and their pumpkin rolls.


Despite the weather clearly not knowing that it is fall, it was a beautiful afternoon. There were so many people there and so many pumpkins that were lined up perfectly for as far as the eye could see which made it the perfect spot for a little photo shoot.

I hope you enjoyed this post and keep an eye out for another post later this week about the Keeneland horse races!


September Music Round-Up

lifestyle, Music Round-Up

It’s September, which if you’re a student like me, then that means you are probably starting to feel overwhelmed and nearing a panic attackRecently, music has been a crutch of sorts for me to throw myself on, praying it will hold me together. Well, that and wine. Lots of wine.


So in true procrastinator spirit, I have abandoned my homework and other daunting assignments, and I compiled a list of songs that I have been obsessed with this month instead. Now, take this with a grain of salt, because I am no music expert. I have pretty lame taste in music. But that’s okay. Because as long as I am not in the midst of a full-blown panic attack, I’d count it as a win.

So without further ado, here is the cluster of music that I scream at the top of my lungs on my way home from class and work.

1. You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore – Demi Lovato


Demi Lovato is my ride or die when it comes to singers. I mean, aside from my queen, Adele. Like I love her. One of my favorite pastimes is Kitchen Karaoke where I pretend I can sing pop songs. Her voice is amazing, and she blows me away again and again with the control she has over her voice. She has a new album coming out next week, and I am so ready for it.

2. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B


I’m kind of slow at keeping up with hot music trends. My friend, Cassandra, over at Sequins & Sass played me this song, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Another one of my tried and true pastimes is pretending I can rap.

3. Too Good At Goodbye – Sam Smith

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Need I say more? It’s Sam Smith. You know it’s beautiful. You know it’s great. You know it will make you cry buckets of tears.

4. These Heaux – Bhad Bhabie


This song made its way into my playlist as a joke, but it’s actually kind of amazing. Again, I like to pretend I can rap. But seriously, give it a shot. Blare it. Love it.

5. Younger Now – Miley Cyrus

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Like Demi, I have loved Miley Cyrus for a long time. Even when people thought she was crazy, I was still there. You can say what you want, but Miley was born to perform. She also has an album coming out next week so basically I’m in music heaven right now.

6. Woman – Kesha

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Kesha’s whole album is pretty great. I was definitely surprised at how real it was, compared to the music she did in the past. This song is another great one to sing scream while speeding driving at a perfectly safe speed down an empty road. There is something really empowering about yelling “I’m a motherfucking woman” at the top of your lungs. You should definitely try it.

7. Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

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Refer to #1. I’m super pumped for this album. I wanted to spare this list all of my Demi love, but while you’re at it, check out “Sorry Not Sorry”.

8. I’m a Rebel Just For Kicks – Dunez

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This is just such a fun song. It transports me to another place entirely where I’m rocking bell bottoms and crop tops: Coachella. Just kidding, but yeah this song is great.

9. What About Us – P!nk

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P!nk is another amazing singer. Her voice is so rich and distinctive. Enough said. She’s great.

10. Walking the Wire – Imagine Dragons

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This song feels like it belongs in a movie during a montage or something. It’s just a good song. I’m not a huge Imagine Dragons fanatic–like I don’t religiously listen to their music or anything, but I  can’t deny that they’re great musicians.

11. Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift

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I’m a bit of a basic bitch when it comes to music. I love T. Swift. Unless she murders my dog or something, I’ll probably always listen to her music. I don’t think this song will have a super long shelf life–I’m about sick of it–but for a couple weeks, it played on repeat.

12. …Ready For It? – Taylor Swift


See #11. This one is on the rocks for me because I still haven’t figured out how I feel about her “rapping”, but again, I’m a basic bitch when it comes to Taylor.

13. Attention – Charlie Puth

I liked this song when I first heard it on the radio, and then I’ve recently been really into it. It’s just another fun one to sing along to.

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So that is my music round-up. I’d like to make this something I do regularly, so keep a lookout for next month’s.


Logan Lucky: A Review

Movie Reviews

It’s been described as a redneck Ocean’s Eleven or “Ocean’s 7/11”, but as catchy as those names are, they don’t measure up to the subtle genius that is Logan Lucky.


Logan Lucky is Steven Soderbergh’s latest film starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers who, with the help of a motley group of characters, decide to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I have been following this film from almost the beginning. And by beginning, I mean ever since I found out Adam Driver was going to be in it (because I am low-key high-key obsessed with him and keep up with all of his projects). Also, it was filmed in Atlanta, so I had some personal ties to it.


Anyway, for those who are not obsessed with Adam Driver and therefore know little to nothing about this movie, it was made very differently from other popular heist films. First of all, it was not made under the heavy influence of a major Hollywood studio. Soderbergh financed the film himself so that he had full creative freedom over the entirety of the project. He is a director who wears many hats, according to Tatum, who has worked with the director many times in the past. I’m sure you’ve heard of Magic Mike. Soderbergh does everything from directing to making sure he gets the exact shot he needs, and he is even the one at the end to tie it all together in the editing room. To ensure there wasn’t unnecessary spending, he cut most of the marketing and press expenses, which meant there was not a huge press junket for the film and there was minimal marketing aside from social media.

The economics surrounding the film were enough to lure me in, aside from seeing Adam Driver on the big screen again. And if that wasn’t enough, Soderbergh threw in the hat from directing in 2013, so I knew it had to be pretty good if it pulled him from retirement.


Now on to the film itself, I absolutely loved it. However, I went into the theater knowing that it was going to have an “indie” feel to it since it wasn’t going to have that overpowering Hollywood studio touch. For me, that made it better. There was an actual story that was being told. It wasn’t just a spectacle for the sake of being a spectacle where laughs are forced down your throat. It was subtle in its humor, deadpan sarcasm from my favorite actor.


The actors were incredible. The West Virginian accents threw me for a loop but became endearing as the film progressed. Adam as the one-handed Clyde Logan was amazing, as always, but I doubt I would ever find a performance of his less than phenomenal. I am not as well versed with Channing Tatum’s repertoire as I am with Adam’s, but I was pleasantly surprised to see such a real character portrayal from him. He was a delight on screen and deserving of the heart strings that he pulled. Daniel Craig was a fire-cracker. Even as someone who is not familiar with his role as James Bond, I was still amazed at the reckless energy he exuded as Joe Bang. He stole every scene he was in, which is a lot for me to say considering that meant I wasn’t looking at Adam Driver. Riley Keough played the Logan brothers’ sister, and she was just as fierce with her spit-fire knowledge of muscle cars and highways.


The only performance that irked me was Seth McFarlane’s. It just felt like Seth McFarlane pretending to be an annoying man with a fake British accent and a bad wig. I feel like there are two types of actors: the ones who pretend to be someone else and those who become someone else. And surrounded by actors who so flawlessly became their characters, McFarlane stuck out like a sore thumb.


Despite it feeling like an Indie film, it still was just a damn good heist movie. Even though as an audience member, I knew the premise of the film, I was still surprised with how it unraveled. As a viewer, you think you know exactly what is happening until you realize that you don’t. It was unsettling at the end, like clashing notes on a piano, but then once I got my bearings on what was actually happening, it left me with an excitement that carried me through the rest of the evening. I walked out that theater wanting nothing more than to turn around and see it again, to find the things I might have missed, to stare at Adam Driver’s beautiful hair once more (Ok, I’ll lay off the Adam Driver love).


For those who may be expecting a plot-driven Hollywood blockbuster, it might have a slow buildup. The storytelling of the film is truly beautiful. As I’ve said a million times by now, it is subtle, but utterly engaging. When films try and force a reaction out of me, it yanks me right out of the narrative. It truly was beautifully written. In fact this is the writer, Rebecca Blunt’s, first script to be made into a movie. There were some theories that she is perhaps a ghost writer or doesn’t exist at all, but I like to believe that female screenwriters can write a kick-ass script right out of the gate without being accused a fraud.

So with this review/history of Logan Lucky, I urge anyone who reads this to go see it. If you get nothing at all from the film, well, at least you get to stare at Channing Tatum for 2+ hours.

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What I Learned by Traveling Alone


Recently, I went to Denver, CO to visit one of my best friends who moved there for work. Not only had I never been there before, but I also had never traveled by myself before. I’d only flown twice before in my life and both times I was surrounded by my family. It’s pretty hard to get lost when you travel with a small army of 9 people (including the in-laws) everywhere you go.

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Before I left, my mom drew me a map of the airport, explaining exactly where I should go and where to find my gate. It was helpful in theory, but as soon as I entered the airport all of her well-intended advice flew out the window, and I practically threw my boarding pass at a very kind employee who pointed me in the right direction. Security was pretty quick, but I did have to get patted down because I stupidly wore bobby pins and pants with an excessive amount of zippers.

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So I guess Lesson #1 is when in doubt, ask someone for help and Lesson #2 is don’t wear pants that have zippered pockets because then a lady will rub your crotch with the back of her gloved hands and test your fingertips for explosives.

Once I made it through security, my next stop was finding my gate. I got distracted by the bar on the way there, but then decided that maybe a cocktail at 11 A.M. wasn’t a good idea especially since I already felt like I was going to vomit with the anticipation of boarding by myself.

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Lesson #3 is to never turn down the bar. It’s been a week and I am still regretting not grabbing a drink to make flying more enjoyable. Instead of a nice cold rum and Coke, I got an iced coffee and a muffin that I couldn’t finish because my stomach was in knots. Again, a quick shot of something would have fixed that rather quickly. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Since I am a freak, I got to the airport super early and ended up sitting at my gate for almost 2 hours. But honestly, it was probably for the better since my gate changed. I had to go in the complete opposite direction of where I was, which brought me past the bar yet again, and yet again, I turned it down. Please refer to Lesson #3, NEVER TURN DOWN THE BAR.

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Lesson #4 is to always check the screens around you to make sure you are at the right gate in case it does change. When my mom was prepping me, she said that gate changes rarely happen, so of course when I am flying alone for the first time, my gate changes. Lesson #5 is to wear comfortable shoes because whether or not your gate gets changed, you will be doing a lot of walking around the airport. And maybe wearing those flats that are cute but give you horrible blisters is not the best thing to wear.

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Lesson #6 is to try and be the first group that boards the plane. My mom told me I would be Zone 1, but I was not. So Lesson #7 is don’t listen to your mother. Just kidding, moms notoriously have pretty great advice; mine just happened to be striking out that day. If you board first, you have the luxury of having your baggage in the compartment above your seat, and you get to get all situated before everyone else boards. I was not that lucky. Both times, to and from Denver, I had to have my luggage put somewhere random on the plane and people were already seated in my row. Lesson #8, if the compartment above your seat it full, try to put your luggage in front of where you are seated because otherwise you will have to wait for the people behind you to get off the plane when it lands before you can get your bag.

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Once I landed in Denver, it was just a matter of following signs. I thought I was doing so well. Since my friend was still at work when I arrived, I had to take an Uber to her apartment. It seemed easy enough, so once I was outside I ordered my ride. And right when the car was a minute away, I realized that I was at the wrong exit on the wrong floor. Lesson #9 is to make sure that the dot that represents your location is near the pick-up location. Seems self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised. Luckily, I had a nice driver who waited for me to find him.

Finally, Lesson #10 is to have a good time. Once you’ve made it to your destination, don’t let the little things get to you. Take advantage of the fact that you’re in a new place and just enjoy yourself.

Who do I think I am? I traveled once by myself and I suddenly think I’m Dora the Explorer. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these off-kilter lessons I learned about traveling.

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