Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rainy Thoughts: Try Something New

Hi guys! If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, then you probably know that I started a new thing...Lyra classes! Or mostly known as aerial hoop class.  For those of you who don't know who what lyra is, it's a little hard to explain, is here is a great video to watch! (That's not me btw, but hopefully one day!)


Cool right?! I've actually been wanting to do stuff like this for a while. And by a while, I mean 2 years already. Two years of me saying that I'm going to do it, but never do. But now I'm in a more financially better place where I can do this and I also have more confidence in myself to go there with a bunch of strangers and I'm just ready to try new things. And that's what I kinda wanted to focus on today for my blog.

Wherever you are in life, try something new 

Whether you're a parent, student in college, starting your career, getting married, try something new. Try something that you've been wanting to do and go for it! Don't keep making those excuses, because trust me, I made them all the time. Whether your something is crafting, or learning a new skill, new trade, whatever, try something new and see if you like it. If you don't you're just going to keep thinking about it. 

Life may happen, but that doesn't mean you can't do you boo

Yep, I've been there. Something in life happens. And something that I learned over the years is that life always happens. If life is always going to happen, might as well do something you love, right? Life is too short to let the time get away from you. And if you keep letting life get in the way of your pursuits, you're always just going to wonder. As Shia Labuff would say, JUST DO IT!


So, try something new!

This is definitely one of my shorter blogs and it turned out to be more of a pep talk, but I just felt like reminding you all to not let yourself get away from the things you want to do in life. You do you boo! 

And if you did it, but didn't like it, then that's okay because at least you put that curiosity to sleep and you can try something else! 

Until next time, I hope you do something new and if you are doing something new, let me know in the comments below! And don't forget to check out my book, The Inevitables, on sale now in the button below!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Review: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Hello everyone! It's been feeling a lot like Seattle here in Texas. The rain has been non-stop for a week now. I actually really enjoy the rain, especially on the weekends, but as soon as I saw the black slug on my front doorstep, I was over it. I'm ready for some sun!

Anyways, I found Liane Moriarty while I was waiting at a Barnes & Nobles for time to pass for work. I was going through the aisles and one of her other books, What Alice Forgot, caught my attention. I read the first chapter, was hooked, put it back on the shelf because it was time to head to work and that weekend I went to a Half Price Books and didn't find that book, but found this capturing and page-turning book, The Husband's Secret. SPOILER ALERT!



A little of Background

Liane Moriarty is an Australian author. Liane has written 10 books, which includes 3 children's books. She is best known for her novel, Big Little Lies, which was adapted into an HBO limited series, which went on to win multiple Emmy's. The Husband's Secret came out in 2013 and went on to sell well over 3 million copies worldwide and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year. CBS Films currently has optioned the film rights (finger crossed).


The Husband's Secret starts off with a normal, suburban housewife, with 3 kids, husband away on travel, a successful Tupperware business and a nice home. Her life goes down the drain when one day, while her husband is away for work, she finds a letter he wrote years ago that that says for her to open in the event of his death. While this is going on, you meet two other ladies dealing with there own gone astray lives, until towards the end when their existence comes into play.

What was Enjoyable

From the very first page, this book has you on a leash wanting more. Liane takes you directly by the hand and pulls you through a world of crazy, mouth dropping and intense moments. Trust me when I say, you will not fall asleep reading this book.

Throughout the story, the three ladies all talk about the coming down of the Berlin Wall. Any history buff would love this analogy and how it plays out with the lives of these ladies three ladies that had nothing to do with the wall coming down, but still, hold significant importance in a way.

The characters are very relatable. This book may be fiction, but the characters seemed real. they reacted how people in real-life would react. They talk and respond and feel the way you or I would. When an author can make a fake person seem like they live down the street from you, you know they did a good job on characterization.

What was least Enjoyable

I truthfully can't think of anything.

Overall

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book from the first line I read to the very last period. Even though I started reading one of Lian's other books, I knew that whatever book I read from her would be great and would be something I would want to read. She is definitely on my top author's list and any reader will enjoy her book. Can't wait to pick up another one of her books soon.

As always, if you haven't already, check out my own book that you can pick up on Amazon today by clicking the button below. If you aren't following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, then let's be friends! And until next week, Happy Reading!


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rainy Thoughts: Finding a Job After College

There have been lots of articles and stories about how hard it is for some people to find a job. Let me tell you, it's true. At least it was for me.

In college, I had internships and jobs that were closely related to my degree. I created one of the top 8 capstones in my senior class and I kept close ties with everyone I met. I thought finding a job after college was going to be easy, and in truth, I was one of the ones that landed a full-time position in my degre field a month after I graduated. But I got that job because I knew someone who knew the manager who needed someone asap. Either way, I got the job. It was defintily not my dream job and it was for a start-up company. I had my own office,  my own money, my own hours, it was great! It was great up until they decided they didn't want to spend money on me and wanted to hire someone for cheap instead and let me go!

But I wasn't too sad, because I found out the next day that I was moving back to my hometown, so I tried not to feel too bad about it. Took it as a sign from above that I was meant for other things. I didn't know those other things would have taken 6 months!

The first month, I applied to places selectively. Only applied to to places that sounded nice to me. The second month, I started opening up my options. By the fourth month, I opened up the whole horizon. I started to apply to places for positions that I didn't really want, but that paid well. It sucked. It sucked so much and it made me feel like I was icompatent in a way. I would have very close interviews, but it always seemed that there was someone with more experience, someone who had been in the industry longer, someone better.

And just when I felt that I was settling for my current position as a collections person at a call center, someone took a chance on me. Yeah, maybe they needed a media specialist like right away, but I didn't care. a company took a chance on me and I am very happy at my job. I get to use what I learned in both my Associates and Bachelors degree and that my friends, is a very fulfilling feeling.

But enough about my experience, I am here to let you know that you are amazing. It sucks not being able to find a job after college. I get it. But it doesn't mean that you suck at what you do, it doesn't mean that you aren't capable and it doesn't mean that you wasted your time. It can mean that you are just in a competitive field, which is definitely true where I live. It can mean that you apply to places that you didn't think about applying for before. I currently work for a big HOA, who would've thought?

But what I am trying to say is that you are awesome and I hope that you land that job soon. And if you have that job, congrats! And if you can't find that job, make your own! You do you boo. That's what I started doing with my book, The Inevitables, which you can buy right now on Amazon.

Anyways, hope you all have a good day and I'll be back next week with a great book review! Till then, happy job hunting!




Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Review: Poetic Insights Through the Journey of Life

Hey guys! I've been so busy, with my new job, my first book just came out (which you can pick up now by clicking this hyperlink) going on vacation and just life in general! But I really want to get back into my blog. And I've been meaning to do a review from a fellow Self-publishing author, DeAsia N.L Zellner. Ms Zellner asked me to do a review, and here I am! Read on for the review of Poetic Insights Through the Journey of Life.

A little bit of background

DeAsia has experienced so many different situations throughout her life. She decided to write her experiences out in a poetry book to express how she felt about it all. DeAsia is not just an author, but also has her MBA and MHA, and is a mentor at MSTRS New York.

What was enjoyable

I really enjoyed and appreciated the honesty of DeAsia. I felt like she was being brutally honest and was not holding anything back from what she experienced and felt. IT really felt like you were reading from a crazy movie.

What was least enjoyable

I enjoyed reading this book, but the only thing I would suggest is the flow of the poems. I felt like they some of them went in a timeline, but others out of sequence. But it did not take away from the book. 


Overall

Overall, this was a great poetry book. I'm not one that reads a whole book of poetry, but this was one was worthy to note. You can find DeAsia's book on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Rainy Thoughts: Getting Married

Hello everyone! It's been about 2 and a half months since I got married! Yes, time flies by and I have been insanely busy. But I really wanted to do a blog post on getting married and planning a wedding. I know I went on so many forums and blog posts about how they planned, what they did, what they wish they did and did not do, etc, etc. So here are my thoughts on getting married and the whole process and some advice for you!

Planning the Wedding

Planning your wedding is some stressful stuff! I actually didn't choose to have a wedding planner. I have experience in planning events, so thought it would be one of those things that I could cut back on. If you're planning your own wedding without a wedding planning/coordinator, I have some advice for you:

  1. Plan Early. Repeat after me. PLAN EARLY! The last thing you want to do is planning everything last minute. That is just too stressful. Once you have your dates in mind, start planning. First, if you're getting married in a church, get that date done first. If you're not having a church wedding, then get that reception hall down. Those two things are the very first things that need to be booked. After that, you can start focusing on everything else, but plan early. 
  2. Let your wedding party know as soon as you know the date. If you're inviting people to be part of your wedding, then you must somewhat like them...hopefully! But letting your wedding party know early is just courtesies so they can start saving up a fund and getting what they need little by little, getting their dresses tailored, etc. instead of all at once.
  3. Have a signed contract with all your vendors. This is important. A signed contract helped you stay clear of messed up catering orders, mixed-up dates with the photographer, etc. And if someone happens to not show up and you already put a downpayment, you can get your money back. 
  4. As stated in number one, do the big stuff first (church, venue, caterer) and then find the dress and then all the extras. 
  5. PLAN EARLY! 
I was engaged for 2 years and 5 months and I think I started planning about 2 years into it. I somehow still found myself getting things late. That's just life.

Planning the Honeymoon

Planning the honeymoon was my favorite part. If you have read my blog post on my trip to Japan, check it out by clicking these highlighted words. I think I had more fun planning my honeymoon than planning my actual wedding. So when you go on your honeymoon, remember, it's just as much of your trip as it is your partner's. 

When I thought of my honeymoon, I always imagined going to France. But when I suggested it, my husband was fine with it, but he wasn't over the top and I wanted him to feel that way. It was going to be both of our first trip out of the country and I wanted us to both experience that fun and adventurous feeling. So the next place on my list was Japan and he was thrilled. 

So when you're planning your honeymoon, here's some advice:
  1. Plan a trip you both want to go on. Compromise people. 
  2. Try to plan your trip not right after your wedding. I especially advise this if you're going out of the country, even out of state! I know some people who wished they didn't plan their trip the morning after their wedding. I heard horror stories of people missing flights, having to dish out more money and just being mad the whole time. I didn't want to do that, so our wedding was on a Saturday and we went on our trip the following Friday. Gave us some extra time to work and use the weekend to our advantage. 
  3. Remember to book everything in advance. Just like how you want to plan your wedding early, the same goes for your honeymoon. Plan early and get everything in advance. Flights do not become cheaper the longer you wait. I know. We tried. We failed. 

Finding the perfect dress

I knew what I wanted in a dress, but I didn't know how exactly my dress was going to look. I am one of the few who found her dress at the first place she looked. Granted, I did add some of my own special touches, but in the end, I loved my dress. I wanted to look like a bohemian princess and that is what I accomplished. And yes, it is true, you do get emotional when you find your dress. Especially when you had 12 bridesmaids as your audience. 

 I don't really have any advice for finding the perfect dress, just don't settle. You'll find it. But like I've been saying, find it EARLY. Chances are, you're going to need to tailor it and you're not the only dress in the dress shop.


The Day Before 

The day before the wedding is stressful. I don't know what else to say. 

It's going to feel stressful and you're going to feel overwhelmed. Just remember to take a deep breath, get what you need done, send out a text reminding everyone of rehearsals and everything should be fine. Take as long as you want during rehearsal, but not too long and all should go smooth.

The Day Of

It's going to be stressful. For the most part, I was stress-free, besides my contacts suddenly going missing, my hairstylist shoes going missing, a highway shut down on the way to the church, my photographer not showing up and my DJ not thinking logically, I was pretty stress-free.

For my Advice: Even though I had some hiccups, the day of my wedding was awesome. I learned that everyone has hiccups, and you just got to roll with the punches. It's not about the things that went wrong, it's about all the things that went right. I had a kick-ass cake, a beautiful ceremony with all my close friends and family, a gorgeous venue at Old San Francisco Steakhouse, good food, good drinks and a husband. I loved my wedding. 

Oh, and don't forget your marriage licence! That's kind of important.

And yes, you are going to feel emotional. You promise you aren't but then you're walking down the aisle and all of sudden all the feels come out and you don't know what just happened. But it's all right. You're that's how you're supposed to feel. Feel away. 

The Day After


It all felt like a dream. Like a stressful, fun-filled dream that you've been thinking about since the moment he put that ring on your finger, and in the morning, it's all done. 

Was it worth it? Yeah. 
Would I do it again? Honestly, I would just do it in Vegas. 

As the wedding day came close, I was pretty sure I was going to be sad that I wasn't planning my wedding anymore. It wouldn't come up in any more conversation and that would be that. I don't know why that made me sad, but it did. Then the day after came and I was so glad it was over. 

The Day After That

Okay, the day after that and after you come back from your honeymoon, you're probably going to need to do a few things, especially when you're the one changing your name.

Quick advice, but more like tips:

  1. The first thing you have to do to change your name is to change your social security card. Without that, you can't get anything else done. Once your marriage licence comes in, take that and your old ssc to the ss office and they will order you a new ssc.
  2. After your social security card with your new name comes in, you can go ahead and change everything else. I personally went to get my driver's licence done and then my bank, and then changed the name on my credit cards, made it Facebook official, etc. 
  3. It's all free. At least in the state of Texas, mostly all of this is free. I did pay go just go ahead and renew my licence, but that was my choice. I don't have to go to the DMV for another few years hopefully.


Overall

Overall, I'm happy with my wedding and I hope you have fun planning yours. Remember to have fun.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and that I helped you somewhat in your own wedding planning. As always, if you'd like to be the first to know when my posts come out, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Review: To The Nines by Janet Evanovich

Hello Everyone! Just a quick update, my self-publish book is coming out this month!I'm so excited and I want you all to know to know that I am having a giveaway right now, so head to my author website to check that out and consider signing-up for my newsletter (I promise I don't spam), Anyways, it's been a while since I reviewed or even read a Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum book. I've been trying to read different things and have been asked to review some more local books (which means double book reviews this month!), so I haven't gotten the chance to read my favorite series. But for the month of June, I decided it was time to read on, so read on I went. Onto the review! SPOILER ALERT!


A Little Bit of Background


Janet Evanovich is a New York Times Best Selling author for plenty of her works. Her Stephanie Plum series started back in 1994. This book is her eighth installment out of 24 (I know, I'm a little behind). This book came out in 2003 and follows directly after the 8th book and the Christmas special book, Visions of Sugarplums.

As for Stephanie, she is on another round about chase to find a missing fiance and dog. Mainly the dog. She ends up finding out that the missing fiance is in some crazy cyber game. Stephanie ends up on a whirlwind chase that will take her all the way to the casinos of Vega. Typical Stephanie. 



What I Enjoyed


What can I say? It's definitely a Stephanie Plum novel. What do I mean by that? Well, first off, I was laughing right from the first few pages. My husband came in and asked, "Is it really that funny?" I looked at him and said, "Yes, yes it is." One can feel that all the Stephanie Plum novels are funny ad number nine is no exception.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the growth of the side characters. Sometimes in books, or even in some shows, it can feel like everyone is stuck in one place. But in this book, SPOILER, Stephanie's sister is pregnant from the guy we meet with in the last book and she does give birth. Having this development in Stephanie's surroundings, gives Stephanie a chance to interact with her normal environment and let's us know that she is not just stuck in the same family scenario.

I really enjoyed the plot line of this story. The story involved both a cyber and real life chase. And with the cyber aspect, it keeps you from finding out who the real killer is until the very end, which makes you keep reading. 


What I Least Enjoyed


Other than visualizing Lula eating on this meat on her new "meat diet," throughout the book, I pretty much didn't find anything wrong with it. Typical Stephanie Plum book.

Overall


Overall, if you're looking for a funny, yet captivating book about a kickass woman who always seems to be in the weirdest positions, then this series is for you. And if you were debating on continuing this series, well, you should. 

Thank you for reading this review and be sure to subscribe and follow me on my author website. And follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Until next review, Happy Reading!


Monday, June 18, 2018

Rainy Thoughts: Airbnb

Hello everyone! It rained last night here in Texas, which is nice because we really needed it. Some quick updates before I begin today's topic: My book is being proofread as we speak (keep up with updates by subscribing to my author website)! I have also become a Shutterstock Contributor, so check out the few photos I have right now of Japan's countryside. Other than that, things have been kind of crazy, but not too bad.

So today I'm going to talk about Airbnb! I recently started using Airbnb and I thought it might be helpful for those of you out there wanting to know how Airbnb works and if it's a good option for your next trip.



Why I first used Airbnb


 I first decided to use Airbnb when my husband and I were planning our trip to Japan. I was in charge of getting our room and I remember seeing Airbnb commercials recently and was hearing more and more of my friends using this service. I quickly looked through the Airbnb's in Japan and compared them to the hotels in the areas we were considering staying at. Overall, Airbnb was much cheaper. I paid $413 for 7 nights and 8 days, compared to everything else which was about $600 and up for the cheaper hotels that were far away from where we wanted to stay.

My husband and I then chose Airbnb again when we decided to move from the city we originally bought our departure tickets from (Dallas). So we had to get a night both the day before we left and the night we got back. In total, we stayed at 3 different types of Airbnb. Here are my thoughts.

Quick overview 

  • Airbnb is typically cheaper. When you book your Airbnb, you will pay a cleaning fee (about $5-$30 depending on the size of the place), which means you don't have to detail clean your area, but you should just pick up before you go. 
  • You and your Airbnb will rate each other on the app so hosts can see how past hosts have rated you (so be nice).
  • As a customer, you have the option to choose someone who has done Airbnb a few times or a "superhost," aka someone who has tons of reviews and has done this whole thing before. I personally only chose superhosts because I watch lots of horror movies, but if you want to support and give a new host a try, more power to you! 
  • There are cancellation fees, but most hosts give you up to a week to cancel, so if you know a month in advance that you can't go on your trip anymore, you can cancel with no fees. 
  • Airbnb's have to provide a lock on their guest room doors for your safety. So if you check into an Airbnb that doesn't have one, question everything.
  • Different Airbnb's have different house rules, but everything is laid out before you book.
  • There is no fee to use Airbnb and all transactions and communications are through the app or the website. 

Private Room In House


The first Airbnb we stayed at was a private room in a house. Check in was at 3pm and we could check in anytime afterward (reasonably speaking). We stayed in a private room in the house with 2 other guests sleeping in their own rooms. Our host and hostess, Peter and Shay, were really friendly and nice to us. They let us have free roam of the living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms. They had snacks set up in the living room with a small coffee bar. Our room was themed and came with a vanity, free Netflix and Hulu, guest wifi and a lock to our door. Yes, like locks you would put on your front door if you didn't want people coming in, which actually made me feel very comfortable. 

Our stay was comfyand even though the guest down the hall could be heard snoring, it was a nice place to stay for the night.

Peter & Shay's Music Room via Airbnb

Entire Apartment  


When we went to Japan, we had a whole apartment to ourselves and I absolutely loved it. Our host was Kaoru and he was so helpful and had such a clean apartment! We were able to wash our clothes, cook, microwave leftover, buy food to put in the fridge to eat later. We also got to sleep on one of a traditional Japanese bed, which actually was more comfortable than we thought it was going to be. 

My favorite thing about having the entire apartment to ourselves, especially in a different country, was that it didn't feel like we were tourists, minus the camera I had around my neck the whole time. We watched Japanese TV in the morning, went to our local 7/11 for rice balls and morning sandwiches. I felt like we were locals, even though I know we definitely were not. 

Another thing that I enjoyed about this Airbnb, was that we were in a nice and quiet neighborhood with neighborhood priced restaurants and bars. (We stayed next to a 200 yen bar, which is basically a $2 everything bar). We weren't bombarded by other tourists and skyrocketed prices. 

Kaoru's apartment via Airbnb


Private Room Side of House


Our last Airbnb was in a private room that was technically in-house, but it felt more on one side of the house. Our host, Robert Bo, was great at communicating and let us check in late since our flight was delayed. Our room was pretty spacious and came with an equally big washer and dryer, with lovely decor, private bathroom, mini fridge, and coffee pot. He had a table with a journal that had all of hiss recommendations of the area, plus some other people who have stayed there as well. 

It was such a cozy room and he had said that we could roam around the house, but we didn't have too much time to stay. 

Robert's place via Airbnb

Conclusion


In conclusion, I would highly recommend staying at an Airbnb, especially if you're looking for something for the night, if you want something cheaper, or if you are going to a different country.

Will I continue using Airbnb's? Yes! Will I continue booking hotels? Yes, I would for certain travel areas, but in all honesty, I really enjoyed staying at an Airbnb and will probably be booking more of them than actual hotels.

Hope this has helped you if you are considering staying at an Airbnb. My husband and I actually want to start an Airbnb once we get a house and my parents are into the idea as well. If you want to check out Airbnb to book your next vacation, head to the Airbnb website today!