One thing I wanted to do this year is limit the amount of romance books. I want to focus on other genres, but I saw the ladies of Kennedy Fox mentioned this one was free on Amazon last month, and I couldn’t help myself I had to get it before the opportunity disappeared. They were also in the process of releasing the fourth book of this series called “The Heart Of Us” so I figured I would check out the start of this collection.
I am still on the fence about it, mainly because I don’t really care for age-gap romances, but the snippets they shared on Instagram prior made me really happy, so we’ll have to see what comes out of this post. I’d still like to continue Travis and Viola‘s story of their Checkmate series, but these things take time apparently!
What happens when the biggest blizzard of the year hits and you’re trapped in a cabin with your best friend’s brother? You take every opportunity to spend time together and make him fall in love with you.
The Best of Us is a best friend’s brother, opposites attract, and snowed-in together standalone romance.
taken from Goodreads.
There were a lot of things I truly loved about this story. I mean besides the steamy sex scenes; it had a great and relatable plot amongst the characters. The main reason why I choose the word “relatable” is because everyone, especially Ryan, are coming out of the COVID-19 mess. He is a doctor who saw firsthand of what the virus did to his co-workers and patients. I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan as a whole, he was portrayed as a stoic person, but also showed a lot of emotion about his family and work. Whenever I read books like this, I am pulled towards the female character a lot of the time, but for this, I was fully on Team Ryan.
I want Kendall as much as she wants me, and the only thing coming between us is my insecurities.
Now with that being said, it doesn’t mean Kendall wasn’t an awesome character. I admired her sense of humor but most importantly her strength while wanting to find herself outside of her family and focusing on her charity work.
It was interesting to see how these characters share their reasons why they do what they do and you as the reader find out they are more alike in ways neither one expected, and I was surprised I didn’t find it annoying or unrealistic once they got over that hump–no pun intended there!–and began to think there could be more for them as a couple.
If you haven’t read anything by Kennedy Fox, I definitely you should grab this book. If you think using the pandemic as a prop for this story is a bit weird, because honestly, I thought I wouldn’t be into it either, trust me when I say it makes sense to use it to show you another side of Ryan’s life as a doctor.
Have you read “The Best Of Us” yet? If you have, what were your thoughts about this story of Ryan and Kendall?
There are times where I take advantage of things and since August ends at the start of a brand new week, I rook it as a sign!
August in general was an odd month. We got a new puppy that has been running our house like crazy! I got a new TV, which meant I wasn’t really reading much and spending a good chunk of time between watching my favorite Disney films and Criminal Minds late at night. And then to top it all off, Nolan was diagnosed with COVID a few weeks ago. Thankfully, he is feeling much better but it’s been slightly stressful but full of enjoyment for everyone in my household lately.
Honestly, my music tastes kind of reflect everything that happened this month, so I wasn’t too focused on one genre, but earlier in the month, I decided to do something different and arrange all of my Liked songs to Title and listen to each one and I have been enjoying this a lot, because I’m not stuck in on a loop of the same songs, sometimes I do want to change it up, and I am loving this switch a lot!.
Here are my Top 20 songs for this month. If you want to check out the full list on Spotify , click here.
In Another Life by Crown The Empire featuring Courtney LaPlante Urinal Rodeo by Rev Theory featuring Heidi Shepherd Survivor by Pop Evil Last Dance by Butcher Babies Kiss My (Uh Oh) by Anne-Marie x Little Mix Show Yourself by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood Bleed It Out by Lauren Babic featuring Halocene Kill This Love by Social Repose Run It by DJ Snake featuring Rick Ross & Rich Brian Hallelujah by Underoath Stronger by The Phantoms featuring Black Violin Do Not Disturb by Halestorm A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes by Ilene Woods Hard To Kill by Beth Crowley Harley by Letters From The Fire It Won’t Kill Ya by The Chainsmokers featuring Louane Choke by The Warning Monsters by All Time Low featuring Demi Lovato & blackbear Risk It All by Ella Henderson Visiting Hours by Ed Sheeran
I am really excited to get my summer 2021 playlist up for all of you next month. Hopefully the last of bangers will release before the post like last year but you can never quite tell when it comes to music these days!
What were you listening to in August?Have you already picked out your anthem for this summer? Let me know in the comments!
Well, we are ending this crazy year in a few days and since it is Monday, I thought we would go through 2020’s best songs, so I hope you are ready for this huge playlist!
I think music was at the heart of everyone, our favorite artists, bands were played over and over in order to help keep us going with life. When COVID-19 started to take away our music festivals and tours, I think a lot of us panicked because for some, going to concerts and seeing their favorite people on stage is the biggest and possibly the safest drug on Earth. The same goes with everyone putting on these shows every night, this is their job and livelihood so this virus took away any income for anyone who help build these performances, they are just as important than the artist and/or band.
One of the first songs I heard that was inspired by the quarantine life was “Level Of Concern” by Twenty One Pilots. Thankfully it is a very pop generated type of song, so it has a happy beat and catchy lyrics. This is probably one time that I listened to pop music about how someone is dealing with this new normal and find it really comforting… You will see in the depths of the playlist that I tried to listen to a lot of pop-y music at the start of the year and somehow switched to another genre as the seasons and circumstances changed with the world.
There were a lot of things that happened this year, and one of my “favorites” was during the summer, after everyone was coming out of the lockdowns and we are all dealing with the aftermath of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Everyone was so affected by their deaths, police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement, they created a large cataclysm of musicians wanting to express their overall feelings to the world and even though I would rather have anyone killed by the police alive and well–the music that was being released was so amazing and special to experience. The one song that really makes me think of this time is DaBaby’s track “ROCKSTAR” with Roddy Ricch, who was celebrating being on the music charts with “The Box”. This was the second song that came from Tik Tok that I became obsessed with for like two months!
Once we finished with summer and life decided to go back to sort of this weird normalcy again, I found that there was only one genre of music that I just wanted all the time and it was heavy metal. This genre just makes me feel better about my surroundings so once I put on that security blanket, I just tried to consume as much music I could in these last six months.
By late September, I noticed that I was keeping my TV on the modern hard rock channel, Sirius XM Octane, and within like a week, I had already found a large collection of new music and the first was “Popular Monster” by Falling In Reverse. It instantly reminded me of both Linkin Park’s older records like “In The End” and “Faint” and Papa Roach’s recent releases, and I was hooked after that. I started looking on various rock playlists on Spotify to see what I’ve missed and it was just what I needed at the time. I am still keeping a close eye on that station and the genres really make up the bulk of the playlist below.
Let’s get into that right now. Here are my Top 50 songs of 2020!
The In-Between by In This Moment Sunday Best by Surfaces Woman by Ellie Goulding WAP by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion Alive by Daughtry Bang! by AJR Heartless by The Weeknd Simmer by Hayley Williams Love Me by Stanaj Show Yourself by Idina Menzel & Evan Rachel Wood The Other Girl by Kelsea Ballerini featuring Halsey I Love You’s by Hailee Steinfeld Adore Me by Harry Styles Pinky Ring by Ne-Yo featuring O.T. Genasis React by The Pussycat Dolls Mambo by Nikki Vanna Good in Goodbye by Madison Beer Yummy by Justin Bieber Before You Go by Lewis Capaldi Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves Goddess by Krewella x NERVO featuring Raja Kamari Trust Nobody by DJ Snake Parasite Eve by Bring Me The Horizon Marching On Versailles by Ad Infinitum Footprints On The Moon by Gabby Barrett Rage by Halocene Thinkin Bout You by Ciara Slow Motion by Charlotte Lawrence Candy by Serena Ryder Control by Zoe Wees Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus Levitating by Dua Lipa featuring Madonna & Missy Elliott Shame Shame by Foo Fighters Ice Cream by BLACKPINK featuring Selena Gomez Share That Love by Lukas Graham featuring G-Eazy Anxiety by Palaye Royale Everything I Wanted by First To Eleven My Own Dance by Kesha Heart Of A Champion by Hollywood Undead featuring Papa Roach & Ice Nine Kills Animals by Architects Bite Back by FEVER 333 Brick Wall by A Day To Remember Brand New Thing by Zayde Wolf Inferno by ABIR Lie by Sasha Sloan Unmapped Darkness by Seven Spires Primrose by Dram State Wasted On You by Evanescene Go Crazy by Leslie Odom Jr.
Even though I wasn’t doing a lot of music reviews this year, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to them. I know there were three that I absolutely adored and each one is from the same three genres that I was obsessed with in 2020.
Rare by Selena Gomez, Manic by Halsey, zer0 by Krewella, Apocalypse & Chill by Delain, Heartbreak Weather by Niall Horan, Kelsea by Kelsea Ballerini, Diamonds by The Birthday Massacre, Mother by In This Moment, Human: II Nature by Nightwish, Half Written Story by Hailee Steinfeld, Like A House On Fire by Asking Alexandria, Everything’s Strange Here by G-Eazy, Brightest Blue by Ellie Goulding, I Am The Empire – Live from the 013 by Kamelot, S&M2 by Metallica, The Album by BLACKPINK, Post Human: and Survival Horror by Bring Me The Horizon.
Since I decided to list out the albums I loved this year, I figured it was only right to tell you the ones I will be looking out for in 2021 too!
So, there’s Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted by Passenger, Suckerpunch by You Me At Six, Certified Lover Boy by Drake, Medicine At Midnight by Foo Fighters, Californian Soil by London Grammar, Death by Rock and Roll by The Pretty Reckless, Riddles, Ruins, & Revelations by Sirenia, For Those That Wish To Exist by Architects, Omega by Epica, Life Support by Madison Beer, and The Bitter Truth by Evanescence are the ones that have a “secure” due date and I’m sure others will be released soon.
If you would like to check out the rest of my playlist, click here to be directed to Spotify.
As I went looking through other blogs in late October into early November, I was trying to find new ideas for Blogmas and this one seemed fun to do, but my only worry is, I’ve probably done this in the past… If I have, I’ll just link it at the bottom for a bonus post. If not, whoohoo for me!
I was going to list 16 things, but with my luck I wouldn’t even make it passed 10, so I thought it would be better to go safe and do a little free write, so I hope you enjoy what makes me happy during this time of the year.
My sister and I are polar opposites when it comes to Christmas. She certainly enjoyed it growing up, as she was the loudest one of the bunch while opening gifts at our house and nana and papaw’s, but as she’s gotten older, her joy for the holiday is basically gone. She’ll still put up the tree, makes cookies with us and watch Christmas films, but she doesn’t feel very Christmassy inside, which is really but I’m not writing this to make her feel even more depressed about it by the way, there’s a reason for this I promise because I understand a lot of people out there do not like it, and I am trying to be respectable, including my sister, because I’ve been there. It is possible to absolutely despise holidays such as Christmas. I mean, you should see me going into the month of February, and Valentine’s Day. I am not one to be bothered with the lovey dovey stuff and I’ve been like this since probably middle school, and I definitely know I’m not alone with my thinking too, so if you don’t feel the love for a certain time of the year, that’s fine! You shouldn’t force yourself to feel something you don’t; the same goes for our guilt too!
For the last few years though, I’ve been increasingly obsessed with Christmas. I like almost everything about it, whereas when I was younger, I felt lost and it just seems like we switched our views about it somewhere going into high school and it’s honestly strange to explain, especially on a blog post. Anyways, with this year, my nephew Nolan is another year older and even though COVID-19 wants to crush everyone’s plans for the holidays, I don’t want to act like it already has, so I think that’s the other part of my intense feelings to want to celebrate Christmas like we always have in our family.
He really loved helping put up the family tree and usually, we wait until like the week of, to put it together so the fact that we did it the day after celebrating our Thanksgiving was interesting! Nolan helped me rearrange the limbs of the branches and gave them back to mimi (my mom) and Blondie who were storing each one on the stand. Once we got that done, he walked around in many circles with them to wrap the lights and tinsel from top to bottom. We even had a couple of short pieces that he would place inside and around the front end of the tree. He was utterly excited about his little addition!
Once we got to the ornaments, he literally saw each one and said, “BALL!” and we just hoped to sweet baby Jesus that he wouldn’t throw it! Thankfully, he didn’t but he would show each one to his parents, and was very cute about it! He loved putting them on the branches, and we were sure that he stayed safe on the ones with the hooks and pretty much gave him the ones that I tend to use, as they have string and ribbons around them. The final thing was when we got the nativity pieces and village out of the tote, Nolan was absolutely obsessed with them! He loves to arrange things in his own way and for the most part, the little houses my mom has always had under our tree, were standing on the windowsill in the living room for the better part of the visit. If the window is cracked open, he will actually leave a row of cars in that little section and we have many, many pictures of them. See below.
Recently, we baked our sugar cookies a week earlier than usual because my mom had the weekend off, and thankfully I said something or we might not had been able to do them this year.
It was a bit strange to add someone so little in our tradition. Last Christmas, Nolan was still at an age where he liked to put everything in his mouth and we just didn’t think he was ready for it. So, being able to include this year was exciting because it is something brand new to do. We’re all in agreement that he definitely enjoyed the cookies, the decorating part, not so much! Although, he did like the sprinkles. We even had to put some on his fourth cookie that he was holding tightly in between his hands. After finishing with the cookies, we switched tactics and was really glad he didn’t become confuse with it, because since I have finished with my projects, I have extra canvases left and we basically made him paint assortment of robots, snakes and various shaped cows. While he worked on his painting, the amount of focus on his face was so amazing to watch because his mommy was trying to get him to smile for pictures and he wasn’t paying her any attention at all. It was so cool and his painting turned out very beautiful!
Since the arrival of Nolan, he’s definitely been a factor to my festive side. Whenever he comes over and if I am not in my wheelchair at the moment, he will explore my room and point out certain things like my purple moon garland, he’ll say what they are and he knows his colors very well now, so anytime he spots anything purple, he’ll shout it out to anyone willing to hear him and he will sit up against the wall on my bed and chat with me a little.
He has so much energy radiating out of him that it is sort of easy to pull out a slice and hope you can get to that level with him enough so he keeps going with it. I am so excited to see him experience the snow, baking cookies, unwrapping presents from Santa, and enjoying papaw’s big breakfast he does every year. I am so thrilled to see the tinkle in his eyes for everything new and old, because obviously he is experiencing the holiday with new eyes! As this post was suppose to be about multiple things, I think I mainly love seeing the holiday like Christmas through his eyes. His innocence and the fact that he can talk more has really made a difference. He definitely has the same expressions that his mommy wear on her face when we were little, so that has been a little mind blowing for me!
What makes you feel Christmassy? You can make me a little list or write a gigantic story like this through my comments or DM. Whatever you decide, I’ll enjoy either way.
Today is the last day of November, for anyone participating in both NaNoWriMo and Nonfiction November, you should be proud of what you were able to accomplish in the last 30 days! I didn’t join NaNo this year because I’m not in that headspace to write anything for that long, and I doubt I have made any changes in reading the two books I got for this month. It happens… and I’m okay with it!
We are itching closer to Christmas and finally, to the new year: 2021. It seems so crazy how fast this year has went, despite the COVID mess that has taken over 2020! I bring this up because I have always felt November is a weird time for music. We are obsessed with Halloween-y songs and then we are quick to switch to Christmas carols at midnight.
I have to say, I have been doing very well at ignoring the festive commercials on TV and online, and I will be very happy when I can finally watch Christmas movies without being judged by my parents! I have a total of eight films in our DVR at the moment, so I can get my fill and enjoy everything that comes with this time of the year! As far as music goes though, I allow myself to listen to my favorite Christmas songs early, mainly because they tend to remind me of my papaw and so, it is just better for me to cave in now instead of feeling bad about it later.
This year, I am working on my “Ultimate Christmas” playlist on Spotify and will hopefully be speaking about it soon. I will hold off on that for a week or two, until I feel it is ready.
For my November playlist though, I have collected a lot of music that is selected in my “Discover Weekly” every Monday. I am always excited to see what type of music will be unleashed from the moment I hit play, and sometimes they create their own aesthetic but sometimes they reflect whatever genre I’ve focused on that past week and it is always a fun surprise at the start of another week.
Here are my Top 25 for the month!
Talk To Me by Apocalyptica featuring Lzzy Hale Gravity by Sara Bareilles Share That Love by Lukas Graham featuring G-Eazy My Spring Your Fall by Falconsheild Scars To Your Beautiful by Oceans featuring Anna Murphy Goddess by Xana Royals by Lorde Remember by Leah You’re Not From Here by Lara Fabian Eugene by Arlo Parks Cielo a un Diablo by Maluma Teeth by Dirty D’Shire Drew Barrymore byBryce Vine Que Color by Major Lazer featuring J Balvin & El Alfa Ordinary Day by The Animal In Me The Purge by Within Temptation Dream On Me (Stripped) by Ella Henderson Peer Pressure by James Bay Lullabies by Yuna Grip by Seeb If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher Betty by Chase Holfelder Numb by Carlie Hanson Cold by Crossfade
What I truly love about this list, is its diversity! You have hard rock, pop, and reggaetón like it is supposed to fit together. I continue to surprise myself on the amount of music I am willing to listen to everyday. The sad part about it is, there’s sadly not a lot of people like me, who are brave enough to be interested in shuffling their music out in the open and enjoy sharing in hopes we create even more fans for these artists and bands, new and old, and honestly the longer I go about this, I tend to enjoy it even more and I think that’s why I still want to do these playlists too.
Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I was able to post a new album review this month. Well, technically, it was an update to an older post I did in 2018, and I was recently told by the artist, that she really loved it, so that makes me really happy! Anyways, here it is, in case you haven’t seen it yet. Oh, and speaking of links, here is the Spotify playlist for November too! 🙂