My Year In Books: 2019

Greetings and salutations my dear followers! It’s that time again to discuss the results of my GoodReads Reading Challenge. You know the drill, I’ve been doing this since 2013. So

As I’ve said in previous posts, this year I’ve been busy working on something that’ll improve my life and I didn’t think I would have time to read, but lo and behold I accomplished my reading goal and even doubled the amount that I read!

My reading goal was 15 books and I read 33.  There were comics and graphic novels, novels, biographies, poetry, inspirational, informative and more. This year I started reading a book series A Twisted Tale and I’ve been enjoying all of the books in it. This series is Disney’s version of “What If” and takes a spin on some of the properties’ popular stories such as Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc. These takes so far have been pretty good and somewhat dark-Sleeping Beauty & Beauty & the Beast are the darkest ones I’ve read. You can read the full report here. You can see some of the books that I read below:

Granted I read less books this year than last, but that was to be expected with what I’ve been working on. Last year I had three goals:

Read at least 15 books for the year.

Read the entire original Sailor Moon Manga Series.

Read books by authors of color.

So I kinda met my goals so yay? For 2020 the main goal will be to read 20 books. And I’ll add three sub-goals:

Read more books by authors of color, read The Outsiders (since I skipped a year (or two) of reading it), and read the entire original run of the Sailor Moon manga.

 

I think these are doable. What about you my friends? Did you accomplish what you set out to read this year? What are your reading goals for the new decade?  Let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook page.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! See you in 2020.

Nine Life Tips To Take With You Into 2020

With 2019 almost at an end, a new decade is nearly upon us. Like its previous comrades, this year has been a doozy in more ways than one. I don’t know about you but I’ve been stressed out, disappointed, angry, sad, heartbroken, and a few rare moments happy.

While I’ve barely been writing on this site, I have been writing and working on things to improve my life since last year. And so far that’s been going well-it hasn’t been easy in fact it’s been very stressful, so much so that I became physically ill because of it-but I’m far from being done. I’ve still got a lot of hard work ahead of me and I’m up for the challenge.

2020 brings a brand new decade and much uncertainty as we’re gearing up for an election here in the U.S. and many things-hopefully good and not bad-in our personal and professional lives. So today’s post is an encouraging one-its somewhat a complication of things that I’ve written in the past of what I’ve learned whether it be from writing or from other life experiences. But I wanted to share them with you to encourage you and to get you ready for whatever may come in the new decade. So without further ado here are nine life tips to take with you into 2020.

Stop comparing your journey to other people’s journeys.

Ever looked at what other people in your age bracket or career field are doing and wondering why you aren’t where they are?  Raises hand, guilty as charged. For a long while I would do this and think to myself that I should be farther along.  Comparing myself to others didn’t do me any good, in fact it stressed me out.

Don’t rush.

When you see other people succeeding at a faster pace in the same areas that you’re working on, it can be easy to compare yourself to them.  It’s not healthy to do this. A lot of times when we look at other people we may feel inclined to play catch up. When we rush, we make more mistakes and set ourselves back even further.

Everyone has their own roads and paths created for them and each one must travel at their own pace. It’s important to remain focused on where we are right now.  Don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on what you’re doing and what you want to accomplish.

That being said,

“Never give up, never surrender.”

This phrase from Galaxy Quest has become one of my favorite life lessons. In my writing journey there have been multiple times where I become frustrated and wanted to throw in the towel. However, I learned to put my work aside and take a break from it. Then I could return to it later with a fresh approach in hand.

Disappointment is a part of life.

It’s either predictable and preventable or unavoidable and beyond our control. We need make sure that our expectations are reasonable by keeping them realistic, making sure that we didn’t set the bar too high or low, and asking ourselves if this was the outcome that we wanted.

We must deal with disappointment in a positive way by channeling our energy into other endeavors, reevaluating our perception and behavior, and redirecting our energy and focus on positive solutions.  It’s important to avoid self-loathing, blaming ourselves and others.

It’s okay to complain (Sometimes).

Look of course there are people who are in worse or better situations than you, that’s how it is. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to vent or complain.  It’s okay if you need to vent or complain about something-big or small, insignificant or important, do it. Get it off your chest (while having the understanding that things could be worse of course) in a constructive manner!

Change is a necessity for growth.

Change is hard but a lot of times in life it’s necessary for growth to happen.  Sometimes change involves leaving things or people behind that have weighed you down and kept you stagnant.  Or it may involve you never settling in different areas of your life and knowing your value. It might also help you become picky in deciding who or what deserves your time, energy, and cash. Change can help you be sure that you’re investing in things that are worthwhile and or save for important things in the future.

Practice self-care

The world can be a chaotic mess and there are days that you’ll feel overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid, etc.  It’s important to take time out for yourself, especially whenever you feel stressed the f***out.Stress is a part of life and there are many ways-negatively and positively-to deal with it.

Whether it’s listening to your favorite artists, watching a film, exercising, aromatherapy, writing your thoughts out in a journal, and or practicing mindfulness, find time to take care of yourself.

No matter how small, an accomplishment is an accomplishment.

While I might not have accomplished much according to society’s standards, there are many goals that I’ve met.  I wrote and self-published a novel and two novellas, among  other things that I’ve accomplished. Big or small, celebrate your accomplishments! You did that! All that hard work has paid off and has finally come into fruition.

Always forward, forward always.

As I continue my life’s journey, I’m both anxious and hopeful of what the future has in store for me. I can’t give up nor can I surrender. There will be days when I want to and there will be times when hope seems lost, but I must move forward. Even if I must take some steps backward, I’ll continue to move forward, no matter what. And I wish for you to do the same in your own journey.

I hope these tips were beneficial to you and if you have any suggestions please share in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Remember your existence is important and I’ll see you soon.

When You’re Stressed the F**k Out… Part II

Back in August, I wrote a brief post about being… well let this gif express how I was feeling:

Well things got worse after that and I was feeling… well the following gifs capture how I felt very well:

 

You get the idea. Yes, once again I was stressed the f**k out and I mean all the f**king way out. So much so that I got physically ill! This all happened in October and part of November.  Things were just going haywire, I was frustrated and apprehensive on the thing I’ve been working on, work was cutting my hours, family stuff, finances, and things going on in K-pop community due to cyberbullying.

It was a lot and it wasn’t a fun time for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been that stressed before in my life. Thankfully, I was able deal with the stress in a healthy way and while I’m not extremely stressed as I had been during this time period I’m still a little stressed and anxious.

So I’m back with seven more tips to help alleviate your stress and anxiety:

From WebMD:

Get enough sleep

Six to eight hours is recommended. Our bodies and minds need time to recover from stressful events.

Don’t use alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress.

These things can stress your body even more. You might end up like Sylvester here if you:

Breathe deeply:

“Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.”

From VeryWellMind.com:

Create Artwork

Reconnect with your creative side and draw, paint, or color in a coloring book as all of these can be great stress relievers.

Give yourself a regular pep talk

Instead of speaking negatively about yourself, speak positively.  This can help you develop a healthier outlook on life and can help manage your emotions and take positive action.

Get social support

Having supportive people in your life is essential to managing stress. Reach out to someone in your existing social networks be it a family member, friend, etc. If you don’t have emotional support or friendship you may need to expand your network by joining an organization, attending a support group, or getting professional help.

That being said…

If there are things or people adding to your stress, CUT THEM OUT! 

This is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and give you more peace. Sometimes shitty people come into our lives and we need to cut them off.  We also need to get rid of bad habits and make way for better ones that can help us feel better.

I hope these tips can help you alleviate your stress and anxiety. With the new decade approaching we’re going to need all the help we can get. I wish you love, peace, and health in 2020. Remember your existence is important and I’ll see you soon.

 

 

When You’re Stressed the F**k Out…

Hey everyone hope you’re doing well. Let me ask you something:

Have you ever felt like this?

Or this?

Or maybe even this?

Have you felt the urge to do this:

If so then you’re not alone.  Welcome to the stressed out club. I’ve been stressed out for a few weeks-no scratch that-months now. My current state of oblivion is due to a combination of things: life, family, work, etc… Stress is one of those unfortunate things about life and there are many ways to deal with it-both positive and negative and we don’t want the latter.

So here are five positive ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercise

This is a good way to relieve mental stress.  If you exercise regularly you’ll lower your stress hormones, improve your sleep quality and gain more confidence.

Aromatherapy

Light a scented candle  or Use essential oils. According to Healthline.com, these are some of the most common scents:

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium
Write

Jot your thoughts down in a journal. Whether it’s a notebook from Dollar Tree or a kawaii stationary journal, writing can help relieve stress.  Focus on what you’re grateful for or write about what’s troubling you.

Mindfulness

This is an excellent way of combating anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking. Mindfulness is a series of practices that keep you anchored to the present moment.  Ways to practice mindfulness include yoga and meditation. Here’s a brief list of resources:

Free Audio Resources for Mindfulness Meditation via Mindful magazine

Mindfulness Resources [pdf] via Stanford

Free Resources via The Free Mindfulness Project 

Listen to Relaxing Music

Music is another method to help relieve stress as it can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow paced instrumental music is highly recommended.  Here’s a few playlists via Spotify:

Best Relaxation Music

Calming Music

The Most Relaxing Playlist in the World

So how to do you feel? Still stressed? No matter here’s a few more resources for you:

16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety via Healthline.com

Stress and How to Lower It via Center For Young Women’s Health

1o1 Things To Do When You’re Stressed via Care.com

18 Ways to Calm Down When You’re Stressed – Entrepreneur

I hope this helps.  Have a wonderful weekend and please remember your existence is important. I’ll see you soon..

Three Tips For Dealing With Disappointment

Well folks we’ve finally made it. Tonight 2018 comes to an end and we’ll have survived the second year of the orange troll’s reign in one piece more or less. This year was one full of disappointment in numerous ways.

  • A few of those we stan shocked us with their dismal words and actions, while other people’s problematic faves proved to be too problematic and entered the sunken place choosing to be enslaved to ignorance and mediocrity.
  • A segment of society showed their ass by continuing to act out their racism at the polls while another segment remained shocked and in denial that this was America-even though we know this IS America.  Children and their families have been tear gassed, separated, and abused.
  • Our actions have resulted in Mother Nature giving us wildfires, horrible hurricanes, and other turbulent natural disasters. And we lost some of the best among us great and small…
I miss him.

I could go on but it’s not my intention to sink you further into the mire of this disappointing year. What I want to know is…How are ya’ll feeling? 

Mood

Like it or not disappointment is part of life. Doesn’t matter  whether it’s personal, professional, relationship, etc.  It exists (Read this infographic from  bestpsychologydegrees.org on the psychology of disappointment).  As I stated three sentences ago, disappointment is an inevitable part of our lives, there’s no avoiding it.

So with 2019 looming around the corner, I wanted to  give you a three tips on how to handle disappointment.

1.Understand what’s taken place.

  • Disappointment can either be predictable and preventable or unavoidable and beyond our control.

2. Were our expectations reasonable?

  • Keep it realistic.
  • Did we set the bar too high or too low?
  • Is the outcome what we want?

3. Cope with it in a positive way

  • Channel your energy into other endeavors
  • Reevaluate perception and behavior
  • Redirect our energy and focus on positive solutions
  • Avoid self-loathing, blaming yourself, or blaming others
Here are a few helpful links:

How to Get Back on Track After Disappointing Yourself

4 Steps to Deal with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment in Life

11 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Overcome Disappointment

A Letter To INFJs About Dealing With The Pain Of Disappointment

Feeling better? 

That’s pretty much what I expected. But don’t worry we’ll get there. It might take a while but we’ll get there, I promise.

Whether great or small, when life disappointments come at us how we choose to respond is vital in becoming better people and improving our lives and the world.  As we enter 2019 I hope that when disappointment comes knocking at your door-cause it will come-you’ll be able to weather the storm.  And when you’re feeling down remember:

Until we meet again…

 

 

 

My Year In Books: 2018

Welcome back to another annual post of my year in books!

As I’ve stated multiple times in the past, each year since 2013 I’ve participated in GoodReads reading challenge and 2018 was no different. What was different was my reading goal. With each passing year I often double the number of books that I want to read.  That was not the case this year.  Instead I slimmed down my goal to only 10 books for the year.

You may ask. The answer is that my life’s getting busier and I wasn’t sure I could read a large number of books.  But guess what?

While my reading goal was 10 books I ended up reading  45 books for the year. 

What can I say,

Now I know compared to other folks the number of books I’ve read for the year pales in comparison but I’m happy to that I accomplished my reading goal again. I’ll give a brief breakdown of the stats but you can view the full report here. Why don’t we take a closer look at what I read shall we?

A couple of the books I read this year were written by first time authors and guess what? They were excellent! Three of my favorites were One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus , The Beauty That Remains by  Ashley Woodfolk  and Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry .  I loved The Beauty That Remains so much I’m going to purchase a copy.  The number of pages that I read was 11,119 across 45 books!

 

Like previous years, graphic novels and trades were prominent among my reading selections, as were Star Wars books. Last year I wanted to read more books by people of color, I did but not to the extent I wanted to.  This year I didn’t read The Outsiders like I’ve done in the past. It remains a favorite book but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. Perhaps next year…

Speaking of which, in regards to my 2019 reading goal I have a few things in mind for what I would like to accomplish.  If things go according to plan, next year I’ll be extremely busy working on something that’ll stir me forward in my professional career (more on that later), so I might not have time to read books that interest me as much as I would like to.  With that in mind, here are my goals for my 2019 year in books.

  1. Read at least 15 books for the year.
  2. Read the entire original Sailor Moon Manga Series.
  3. Read books by authors of color.

When the end of the year comes around again, I hope to accomplish these three goals. What are your reading goals for 2019? Did you accomplish what you set out to read this year? Let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook page.

Until we meet again my wondrous readers!

 

Diving Into Cosmetics: Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case Display Review

Hello my fellow Beauty Kings and Queens!

Welcome to another entry in my Diving Into Cosmetics series. Today I have a review. If you haven’t gathered from my previous entries, I’ve acquired a lot of makeup-lipstick to be exact-so much so I needed an effective way of storing it all.  Enter Amazon once again to save the day with my first makeup storage case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product: Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case Display, Purple (4 Large, 2 Small Drawers)

Manufacturer: Sorbus

Purchased from: Amazon.com; 88% positive reviews

Price: List price is $49.99, but I paid $31.99 with free shipping via Amazon Prime.

Remarks:

After keeping tabs on the price point since January, I finally purchased the product last month.  As I embarked on my search to locate a make up storage item within my budget, my eyes set their sights on Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case Display.  The things that appealed to me were storage space and the color options-7 to be exact varying a bit in price-available for the product.

Storage wise, this product is excellent. It fits all of my lipstick, lip gloss, lip linear, nail polish, etc. And there’s still room for more items.  I ordered my storage unit in purple with the option of 4 large and 2 small drawers. There’s also an option for 3 large, 4 small drawers which is available in the 7 colors.  The top part of the storage unit fits neatly on top but it can also stand aside on its own.

So far I have no issues with the product, though the negative reviews (3%) have stated that the product may crumble and fall apart due to being damaged. I’ll keep my eye on that for future reference.

Overall the Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case Display, Purple (4 Large, 2 Small Drawers) meets my expectations and is a good quality product.  4/5  stars