Book Challenge of the Month! Apr. 2019

I can’t believe it is already April! This year is just flying by! This month’s challenge is:

A book that a friend loves.

My challenge book this month is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. My friend, Reagan absolutely loves this book but I have never read it, nor have I seen the movie. She has a tattoo on the back of her neck for this book so it has to be good. I’m ready to fall in love.

My classic book for the month is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Another of Reagan’s favorites. I’ve seen the movie, which I love, so I already know what happens but I’m excited to read it anyway.

My sequel book for the month is Cold as Ice by Lee Weeks. I read the first book to this last year. It’s a murder mystery series, so of course it’s right up my alley. My mom gave me this series and so far I like it.

And finally, my for fun read is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I saw this book suggestion on Goodreads and after reading the blurb I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I saw that there are plans to make this into a movie so I want to read it before it comes out. For bragging rights of course.

What is your challenge book of the month?

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March Book Reviews

The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I stopped reading this one after the first chapter. The reason being, I was just not in the mood for a story like this. Normally I like these kinds of stories, anything with a female lead I’m usually in to but I just could not pay attention to this one. My mind kept wandering so I decided to put it down and come back to it later when I can really focus on it. I know it was my challenge book for the month but I’ve decided I’m not going to force myself to read something that can’t hold my attention, I don’t want my experience with this book to be a bad one so I’ll try again some other time.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

I know this is a classic science fiction and “horror” story but it was just not that interesting to me. I mean it would be creepy to think that a person could actually figure out how to make himself invisible and that they could be in your home without your knowledge. They could take from you or kill you and you would never see it coming, literally. I just didn’t like the way it was written, it’s just not my style. I give it 3/5.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

So I did not want to like this book. I don’t know why I just didn’t. But I freaking loved it. I don’t want to give anything away but it was just too good. Miles reminded me so much of a guy I know and I just kept picturing him as Miles the whole time. John Green is just an excellent writer and I was all in from the moment I started reading. The way he writes is just so effortless and engaging. You can’t help but relate to it all. I didn’t cry til the end, though. I stayed strong but that ending got me. You just have to read it if you haven’t yet. 5/5

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

This book kind of irritated me in the beginning because it was like the author was trying to be too cool. He had obviously done a lot of research for this book but he seemed like he was trying to really impress the reader when really I was annoyed because I’m not an FBI agent and don’t know their lingo so I just felt like I was reading the story in a foreign language and it was not enjoyable. It felt like wading through mud and then it finally got interesting. I enjoyed Red Dragon more than this one but I did like this story. Clarice Starling is one of my favorite female characters now.  I give it 4/5.

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The New Thing I Tried This Month! Mar. 2019

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As you saw earlier in the month I started my own business. That’s the new thing I tried this month and let me tell you it was so exciting. But also, let me tell you a secret: I almost didn’t do it.

Let me tell you why:

To be honest I was scared. I wasn’t scared that it would fail. In fact I expected it to. I already had it in my mind that it wasn’t going to work, that yes I would have a few sales and then the excitement would die down then everyone would go back to their lives and then all the work I’d done would have been in vain. I expected that because every time I have high hopes for something it never turns out the way I think it will. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. So I wasn’t afraid of failure, I was afraid that it would get too big to handle. So far that has not been the case, obviously, I’ve just started. It would be great though if it did take off because that’s what we all want for ourselves and any business we start. Just like this blog. I hope that I get lots of readers and that my words are read by many but we all have to start somewhere. I don’t make money doing this (yet) so it’s a little different than Dahlia Lux. I just don’t want to let others down. I’m afraid that if I get swamped with orders that I won’t be able to keep up and then my buyers might have a bad experience. I just want my customers to be happy with the things I make and to get it in a timely manner. I want my business to thrive and to have some longevity. I want to be my own boss and have the freedom to work from home so that I can be here with my children. As crazy as they make me I know they are only little for so long. Once they’re grown up these times will be gone and I’ll only have my memories of them being little. That’s why this business is so important to me. It gives me the one thing I want most in the world, time with my kids.

Despite the fear I’m just glad I did it. I’m proud of myself for pushing past that fear and I’m proud of the work I do. I’m still scared but at least I’m not letting that fear stop me from doing something I really enjoy.

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I Have My Own Online Store!

It’s finally happened, y’all! I’m a small business owner! I’M A BOSS LADY. 

It all started nine years ago when I was working in a Hobby Lobby store and decided I wanted to try a new hobby. I chose jewelry making. I started with stretch bracelets and necklaces. I tried selling some but it didn’t do very well. I gave some as gifts but that’s as far as they went. Well last year I was thinking of ways I could work from home so that I could stay home with my sons and I remembered I could make jewelry. I started experimenting with new styles and tried my hand at making earrings. I was really impressed with myself and got a new hope that it could really work this time. So I decided to start an online store and here I am!

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Check out my Shopify store, Dahlia Lux where you’ll find beautiful, handmade jewelry made by yours truly.

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I’ve been working on getting this business going for months and it feels so good to finally have it up and running.

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My main styles are very earthy. I love incorporating elements of nature into my jewelry as well as some spiritual aspects.

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I got the name of my business from my favorite flower, also lux means light. I also wanted something feminine and uplifting, something that would be easy to remember as well as something a person would feel good about sharing with friends.

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The dream of becoming my own boss is slowly coming true, I really hope you can all find something you like and I would so much appreciate it if you would all spread the word. I believe that even international sales are possible! I’m so excited to see where this endeavor takes me and I just want to thank all of you in advance for all the likes, shares, business, and kind words any of you decide to give me.

I’m so excited!!!

The New Thing I Tried This Month (Feb. 2019)

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This month I decided to test out Oprah’s The Power of Gratitude. I believe that a lot of people take the little things for granted in their life and that it sets you up to not realize all the good things you do have in your life. When you don’t focus on the good thingsyou have going for you, you tend to only focus on the bad which can make you a very negative person. Negativity has followed me many times in my life and I hate it. I don’t like myself when I’m a negative person. I get to a place where no one wants to be around me, I just stew in my own anger and ungratefulness and it’s ugly.

I have listened to a few episodes of Oprah’s podcast Super Soul Conversations and it has changed my perspective quite a bit. It’s the perfect podcast for people who need to clear their minds of negative thoughts and learn to love themselves and accept themselves again. She has talked about how to make your life more enjoyable and how to find joy every day. You can achieve this by finding three things each day that you are thankful for. I decided for the last 30 days I would find at least one thing each day that I was thankful for and this is what I found:

Jan. 23:

My children

This of course is an easy one. I am so thankful that I have these wonderful babies in my life. I have healthy, beautiful sons who are growing and thriving every day. They have taught me a lot and have made me a better person. 

Jan. 24:

My husband

I am so lucky to have an amazing, supportive and loving husband who is just so dang beautiful I just have to stare at him sometimes and wonder what I did to deserve him. 

Jan. 25:

My health

I’m thankful that my body is healthy, that I can walk, run, hold my children, play with my children, love my husband. I was able to carry and give birth to my babies. I’m able to give them high fives and hugs. I am strong.

Jan. 26:

Nail polish

Nail polish is just one of those simple ways to make you feel like you have your life together. If you need to feel a little more pretty or put together just put on a coat of nail polish.

Jan. 27:

My mother and father in law

I’m thankful for my in laws because they’re always there for us. We need a little help every now and then and we know we can go to them.

Jan. 28:

My father and stepmother

I’m thankful that I got to see my dad and stepmom this day. I hadn’t seen them in a while and I loved seeing them spend time with their grandkids. They live a state away so we don’t get to see them very often so I’m grateful for the time we do get together. 

Jan. 29:

Makeup

I’m thankful for makeup because sometimes I need a little confidence boost. My skin has been pretty horrible lately but makeup does a great job of making me feel a little better.

Jan. 30:

Paw Patrol

My oldest has been waking up in the middle of the night and being scared of the dark. He got a big Paw Patrol body pillow and I reminded him that Paw Patrol will save the day so there’s nothing to be scared of. It really helped to calm him down and comfort him. 

Jan. 31:

Baby nap time

When Felix naps is when I can be most productive. That boy is in to everything and has to be watched every second. 

Feb. 1:

Running electricity and water

I’m thankful that I have access to clean water and electricity. I am able to clean my clothes, my dishes, myself and my children. We are healthier for it and we stay warm.

Feb. 2:

Pain relievers

Sometimes life requires a pain reliever. I am thankful that there are people in the world who have an understanding of the human body who can make medicines to improve our quality of life.

Feb. 3: 

Friends

I am thankful that I have great friends who I enjoy talking to and learning from. 

Feb. 4:

My blog

My blog has been one of the best things to ever come into my life and I am thankful for it every day. It has been a great outlet for me and I just love it so much.

Feb. 5:

Museums

I am so thankful there are interesting places where I can take my children and they can learn and enjoy themselves. And they’re never very expensive.

Feb. 6: 

A running vehicle

I’m thankful that I have a running vehicle that can take us where we want to go. 

Feb. 7:

Friendly strangers

I’m thankful that there are nice people who are happy to help when you’re in a new place with crazy toddlers.

Feb. 8:

Libraries

I love taking my boys to the library because it’s free and they get to socialize with other kids and do crafts and have stories read to them. I love that our library has book sales where I can get books for super cheap. I’m glad that our librarians are so nice and helpful and familiar.

Feb. 9:

Fans

I’m thankful for fans, even in the winter time. I can’t sleep without a fan on at night and my kids needs a fan to drown out the outside noises so they can nap properly.

Feb. 10:

Baby gates

 I am so thankful for baby gates for without them my books would all be destroyed. 

Feb. 11:

Hair ties

I’m thankful for hair ties because sometimes a mom needs to eliminate all distractions and hair is no exception.

Feb. 12:

Medication

I’m thankful that I have medication that helps me function like a normal human being. I can make it through the day without trying to blow up everything in my life. I’m thankful for the birth control I take every day that keeps me from getting pregnant which could be potentially dangerous for me.

Feb. 13: 

The Sun

I’m thankful for sunshine, it boosts my mood and shines light onto the world. One of my favorite things that Cillian says in the morning: “The sun is out!”

Feb. 14:

Love

I’m thankful for love. I’m thankful that I get to experience it. I’m thankful that it can save lives and make our world a better place. You don’t have to understand it, you just gotta give it.

Feb. 15:

Coffee

Even though my body is becoming more and more resistant to caffeine, (it makes my anxiety worse and it irritates my badder) I still love the taste of coffee. I do drink half caffeine type coffee so it helps. There’s just something so comforting and satisfying about a cup of coffee. Iced or hot.

Feb. 16:

Family

They say it takes a village to raise your children and they aren’t kidding. I love my village. I could not ask for a better one. I seriously got so lucky when I married into my husband’s family. It took me a while to accept that they really did care about me but once I did I have never felt more loved and accepted in my life. It truly is the best feeling. I also brought a great family. We fight sometimes and we don’t always see eye to eye but they love me and my kids so that’s what is most important. Also, my sisters are my best friends. All of them.

Feb. 17:

Excitement

Excitement is such an amazing thing and I am so thankful that I get to feel it. I know that not everyone gets to experience this feeling because of things they can’t always control so I’m happy I can.

Feb. 18:

Knowledge

I am so thankful for the knowledge I possess and the knowledge I continue to take in. When we understand each other and the world around us better we can live better. We become less afraid of things and others and we have fuller, more meaningful lives. 

Feb. 19:

Parks

Another wonderful (free) place where my children can run and play and have fun. I am thankful for parks.

Feb. 20:

Patience

I am so thankful that as we get older we develop patience because if we all stayed at the same level of patience as a toddler we would all go insane and probably kill each other.

Feb. 21:

Life lessons

I would not be where I am today if I had not learned all the things that life has taught me, sometimes the hard way. I am thankful for everyone of those lessons and I know there are still many more to come.

Doing this has definitely improved my mood and helped me to appreciate my life so much more. I recommend that everyone do this, it could do wonders for you. I am so glad I did this. 

Have you tried anything new lately?

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12 Year Friendversary

It’s crazy to think that I have been friends with Karen for twelve years already. I mean in just four short years I will have known her for as long as I didn’t know her before we met. Does that make sense? It means I will have known her for half my life when I hit 32 years old. It blows my mind.

I met my best friend Karen when I was sixteen years old. I was a cashier at a store called Academy, they sell sports equipment. She was 19 and had just transferred from another location. I thought she was closer to my age because she looked younger than her age. I wanted to be friends with her pretty much immediately. We had a bit of a tumultuous friendship at first. We got along fine in the beginning but Karen was three years older than me and there were just some activities she got up to that I wasn’t quite old enough to do. She then became my superior at work and our friendship suffered because of it. I thought I could get away with not doing my job since my friend was my team leader so I would just not do my job. It frustrated her and she finally got sick of it and started getting me in trouble. Of course I didn’t like this. We got into a couple arguments and we took a break from being friends for a bit.

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Us at Karen’s birthday dinner.

We couldn’t stay on a break too long though. We eventually became friends again. She had started seeing someone. Someone she is married to today but also that someone happened to be the guy who took me on my first date. We laugh about it now. They got married and had a daughter. I got married and went through a divorce. I remarried and she got pregnant with her son only six weeks before I got pregnant with mine.

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When we were pregnant with Cillian and Elijah

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At my wedding.

We’ve been to each other’s baby showers, birthdays, Christmas parties, and any other thing you can think of. We talk about everything. I honestly can’t imagine my life without her in it. She is not only my best friend but she’s like an older sister to me. I have learned so much from her and she gives me such great advice. I really do see her as my family. We always have a great time with each other, we have the best conversations and I cherish her friendship so so so much.

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At Felix’s first birthday.

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A girl’s trip to Dallas, TX.

We probably see each other once a month because life is busy and we both have two kids. We know we’re always there for each other though and that alone makes me feel comforted in our friendship. I feel really blessed to be celebrating such a long friendship and I can’t wait when we’re old and still laughing at each other’s jokes and hanging out.

 

What to Expect

It’s a new year! A new opportunity to start over and do things differently. The new year has inspired me to do some new things here on my blog and I couldn’t wait to share these new ideas with all of you amazing readers!

I have a few new series I plan to start, hopefully you like them!

  1. Book Challenge of the Month: As you may have already seen in a previous post, I’m doing  a new reading challenge this year. Before I was doing a book club style where I picked a book and we all read it and I would review it at the end of the month and you guys would comment if you read it or not. This year I want to give you the choice of what book you want to read and then we all talk about the books we picked. I figured this would be more fun for everyone and it would mix things up for me and my reading goal I have every year.
  2. Dream Series: I’m still continuing my dream series. It’s enjoyable for me to write about my dreams and what they could possibly mean so expect to see a crazy dream or dreams from me every month.
  3. Toddlers Around Town: This is a new series that I thought would be fun. Now that I have a camera to capture all the cute moments of my little ones I thought I’d take them to cool places around Oklahoma City so you guys get a tour by the cutest townies around. It’s also an excuse to get myself and the boys out to see the sights and maybe even learn new things!
  4. The Days of My Life: This will kind of be like a random rambles/ diary entry type post. I have a lot of thoughts and ideas so I thought I’d write them down and document them for later reflection and maybe even some cool discussions.
  5. The New Thing I Tried This Month: As per my new year’s resolution I have to try one new thing every month to enrich my life. I want to let you all in on what I do and tell you how it went.
  6. Short Stories: I plan to write a short story every month. Mostly I want to work on my writing and also get some feedback from my readers. Please feel free to let me know what you think!
  7. Book Reviews: Along with the book challenge of the month I intend to read other books throughout the year. I of course want to share with you guys what I read and what I think of them.
  8. Religious Studies: I really enjoyed writing a post on Mormonism, you can check it out here. Religion is just something that has fascinated me for all my life and I want to investigate others to see what they’re really about and to shed some light on religions that others may see as “bad” or “extreme”.

Well there you have it! Those are some things to expect this year on my blog. I hope you’re looking forward to reading some of these. I also plan to switch my posting days to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as those are the days I am off. I may post a few bonus ones every now and then but for the most part I will always post on those three days.

I also would like to know what other things you would be interested in seeing. I’m always open to suggestions and maybe there’s something you’ve seen here that you would like to see again. Just let me know! I hope you all have an amazing year!

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