46 Things in 46 Years 

Written by my wonderful mother ~

 1. Have dessert for dinner.

2. Stay up late, wake up early.

3. Go camping.

4. Pray

5. Exercise. No matter what. You will always feel better after it.

6. Take naps.

7. Make coffee dates with your grandmother, consistently.

8. If you want something, ask. Always.

9. That stain on your shirt? That pimple? Your flat/frizzy hair? Those 3 pounds you gained? No one, and I mean no one, is noticing it. Only you.

10. Take mental health days.

11. Every home needs an animal.

12. Every home needs a baby.

13. Thinking about going back to school?? Do it. Time is going to pass anyway-go to college.

14. When a person is quiet and doesn’t smile, that doesn’t mean they are mean or rude. Be the one to talk and smile. You will see the change in them, even for only a brief moment.

15. Strike up conversations with strangers. Especially the elderly. While in line, at restaurants, etc. their stories are fascinating.

16. Those things you said you’d never do or weren’t interested in? Do them. Step out of your box.

17. Embrace the differences in people. These differences make: the work day go faster, raising kids an exciting, adventurous challenge, various opportunities to learn in social settings, hanging with friends humorous and makes families what they should be; unique and loved unconditionally.

18. When a child sees you, light up like they are the best gift you could have ever been given. Each and every time.

19. Sit on the floor/grass with your children. It means a lot to them and their vantage point is amazing.

20. Love someone? Tell them AND show them.

21. During times of sadness, feeling overwhelmed, etc. take one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one hour at a time.

22. When someone tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t. -Louis CK

23. Be messy, and complicated and afraid, and show up anyway. -Glennon Doyle Melton

24. It’s never too late to make a big change. Big changes are the scariest, yet the most rewarding in the end. You will then wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.

25. Do NOT do what is expected.

26. Rules are meant to be broken (learned this from my child) History gets made when you act a fool.

27. You can respect a role without respecting the person.

28. Listen to the person talking to you. Truly listen, do not just wait to respond. Make eye contact and don’t look away at other things.

29. Accept apologies. But, only accept sincere, straight-from-the-heart apologies from someone who rarely needs to apologize.

30. Apologize. Look them in the eye, tell them why you are sorry and learn from it. Make it a point to not have to apologize to that person again.

31. Good people make bad decisions. They just do. Even the kindest, most compassionate people make poor decisions.

32. It’s okay to disagree with someone. Do it respectfully.

33. SOMETIMES, ask for forgiveness instead of permission (another tip learned from my child).

34. If there is a toxic person in your life, even if a family member, you CAN choose to NOT have them in your life. Your choice. Simple.

35. Ask others: “Are you okay?” and “How can I help?”

36. Laugh. Laugh a lot and daily. Need help with it? Watch Ellen, Kevin Hart or anything Robin Williams.

37. Empathy is important, extremely important. Gotta have it. Make sure your kids have it.

38. Dance! Dance in the kitchen. Dance with your small kids. Dance with your grown kids. Dance in the car.

39. Compliment others.

40. When someone does something that you appreciate, tell them. Do this often.

41. Sometimes, you just have to say (and convince yourself) “It is what it is”.

42. Have family game nights.

43. Spend oodles of time with your parents.

44. Write down the funny/not so funny things your kids say and do.

45. Never stop dating your spouse.

46. Marry that person that agrees with all 45 of the above tips.

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22 Things in 22 Years

  1. A bad night won’t last forever.
  2. Have patience.. with everything. It can really go a long way.
  3. Take whatever career path you desire, even if it’s not guaranteed to make you a lot of money. Your happiness means more than money every damn time.
  4. The only key to your happiness is within yourself. Your happiness is not someone else’s responsibility.
  5. To continue off that, just because you have a boyfriend does not mean your life will be perfect. You just have someone to comfort you when life isn’t perfect.
  6. And to continue off that, your life will never be perfect. Roll with the punches.
  7. Shit happens to everyone, got that? You’re not the only one going through shit.
  8. Smile in your selfies, even if it shows your eye wrinkles.
  9. Everything has the potential of being temporary: that boy, a friend, this feeling.
  10. Enjoy what is good while you can, and exercise your patience while it’s bad.
  11. High school is not the best years of your life. 
  12. Exercising is good, but so is that pizza.
  13. When in doubt: Treat. Yo. Self.
  14. Life is too short to put up with shitty people.
  15. It’s important to learn to appreciate your alone time.
  16. People may disappoint you, but that is not always a true indicator of their character.
  17. Treat everyone like they are your best friend.
  18. Never go to bed mad at someone, especially your child, parent, or significant other. You know what they say about not knowing what tomorrow will bring…
  19. People are different. This shouldn’t scare you. Differences are beautiful.
  20. Popcorn completes a movie.
  21. Love always wins.
  22. There is no other person in the world like you. There is no one else you were meant to be. You are you, and you are beautiful. ❤22

STARFISH Giveaway!

Hello my lovely friends, family, followers and everything in between ~

I am doing a book giveaway over on my twitter account! The book I chose for this giveaway is STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman! I read and reviewed this book last month (thanks, NetGalley!) and absolutely loved it! I want every person possible to love this book too so here’s your chance!

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So just head over to my Twitter, follow me and retweet my original tweet (maybe leave a mention and say hi?!) and you will be entered! For an extra entry, just follow my blog if you do not already! When you follow my blog, just leave me a comment saying you found me through the Starfish giveaway ❤

There are so many new YA book releases I am looking forward to this fall, and Starfish is one of them! What book are you most excited for this fall?

Review: What Does Consent Really Mean?

 

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Title: What Does Consent Really Mean?

Author: Pete Wallis and Thalia Wallis

Illustrator: Joseph Wilkins

Publication Date: November 21, 2017

My Rating: 3/5

As soon as I saw the title of this book I immediately knew I wanted to review it. We all know the importance of teaching our children and youth the importance of 1.) understanding what consent means, 2.) Learning “no” means “no” and 3.) knowing the importance of consent. What better way to illustrate this to our children and youth then with a graphic novel of our own youth discussing among themselves?

The whole graphic novel consists of a group of high schoolers discussing consent, what it means, and how you know if you received consent.  The graphic novel begins with a new girl in the local high school who, as rumor has it, transferred schools because she was a sexual assault victim. This sparks conversations among the characters about sexual assault and consent.

The conversations begin with the characters feeling somewhat confused and bewildered about what consent means. However, throughout the story, this group of friends bounce their ideas off each other about consent, which leads the characters to having a good understanding about consent by the end of the story.

I was impressed by the topic of the book, but I was not impressed by the content or the dialogue. I feel as if the writers could have done a better job with the dialogue, because it did not seem like a real conversation teenagers would have; you could tell that this graphic novel was written by adults. There is a lot that needs discussed to our children and youth about consent, so I would argue there is more content that could have been added to this graphic novel to really get the importance of consent to the readers. I do not think this graphic novel did as good of a job as it could have. Though this graphic novel is a great starting force for getting the discussion of consent out there (we have to start somewhere!), there were ways to enhance the content of the graphic novel and making the dialogue more realistic.

I would also like to note that this is not a graphic novel meant for younger children, because of some of the explicit sexual content, the graphic novel is directed towards students who are in high school. But by this point, high school kids should already know what consent is. I think this graphic novel would have had more of an effect if it was written with less explicit content and directed more towards those children in middle school.

All in all, the graphic novel had an excellent topic that is well need in the literature world, but it was not perfect and could have used some improvements.

I would like to express my appreciation towards the authors of this graphic novel for recognizing the important of sharing what consent means. I would also like to thank the publishing company Jessica Kingsley Publishers and Singing Dragon for allowing me to review this book. This publishing company works towards publishing works with themes like autism, education, mental health, spiritual development, and wellbeing. I plan to read more books from this publishing company in the near future!

Writing is Hard™

This is more of a ramblin’ post, so I am sorry if it is messy or confusing, but here are my feelings, friends:

I’ve loved writing since I was a kid. I would write little “silly” short stories, and even some autobiographies, which made my mom claim that I was her favorite author. I was convinced that some day I was gonna be professional writer. (Little did I realize how difficult it would be to write a whole novel.)

Writing has been hard lately, especially this past year. I have had a whole jumble of words in my mind, but I have just been unable to get the words out on the page (or computer screen, let’s be real.) I had hoped that maybe it was just college getting in the way, which was a feasible excuse. Once summer hit, I had high hopes that I would be doing a lot more writing.

Well, I was wrong. Writing is hard and I am struggling with it and, basically, I don’t know how to go on.

I don’t know where to go exactly as per a writing theme for my blog. Should it simply be for my creative writings? Should I make it a book blog? Is it okay to keep it a mix of things? Am I even meant to have a blog?

I guess I just haven’t developed my own sense of blogging and writing style yet, which hurts my soul because I want it more than anything.

I partly believe I have been struggling with my writing because I feel my writing is not good enough. (Fun fact: I never feel good enough about anything. I am merely mediocre just wingin’ life.) Writing is clearly just a hobby of mine, whereas other people take it so much more seriously because it is their actual career. Yikes.  I read all kinds of blog posts, magazines, journal articles, etc. and become in awe of how well some people write; I’m constantly impressed with the way people put words together and obtain the ability to tell such fantastic stories. If they can write that good, then where does my writing even fit in the grand scheme of things? Where do my words have a place in this world?

When I tell people this, they give me advice, such as “Just write!” “Write for thirty minutes each day!” And, I’m sorry, but that is BS. If I were to try to follow that “write for thirty minutes” rule, it would just stress me out more about writing, so I don’t think it is something that would make me fall in love with writing again.I have about 20 drafts saved on here, with great ideas and topics that I am actually really proud of, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to actually write them. Writing just is not as invigorating as it was before; it now seems more exhausting. It seems that, lately, only on a rare day does writing enthuse me like it used to. (Oh, how I miss that feeling.)

I don’t have a large audience that reads my writing on my blog. It sucks, I wish I had more readers, I wish my blog was able to reach more people, because maybe that would encourage my writing more. This sounds kind of pathetic to be putting out there, but it is the truth. I am not feeling encouraged to write because no one else is relying on me to write. (I’m a people pleaser, what can I say?) My boyfriend has told me, on multiple occasions, to write for me, not for my readers. This advice  was probably the most helpful writing advice I have received. I want to start writing to impress myself, because who cares who is viewing my work and if they like it?

I have a lot farther to go in my writing journey as well as a pretty big hole to dig out of. I have a lot of confidence that needs built, with many other things besides writing.

Writing is what gives me happiness but also makes me feel super lonely and withdrawn.

I just wanna be a bomb ass writer, but at the same time I don’t feel motivated to write at all. A conundrum at it’s finest.

Writing is hard.