Blogmas | A Little Wrap Up

Hello!

Welcome back to Blogmas everyone!

I wasn’t sure I would actually participate this year, especially what happened those two weeks at the beginning of November… If you’re wondering about that, you can read my little update in the monthly playlist I released on Monday. Anyways, we are here now and for some odd reason I have developed a trend during Blogmas and I tend to do a simple recap of the previous year’s holiday posts. I’m still unsure why I started doing this, but it’s become part of my ritual for the first week of December; kind of like publishing a playlist at the end of each month, I guess.


Why I Decided on 8 Days

For anyone who doesn’t know or understand what Blogmas/Vlogmas is, it is a theme in which a person releases a post or vlog (video log) of everyday up until Christmas or sometimes the day after, it just depends on the person. I have blogged every day once and I will never do it again, because I felt so stressed out, so when I wrote this post, I was explaining my need to shrink the timetable just a bit with only eight days. This year, I am doing seven posts, but it could also change depending on my end-of-the-year posts too.

The Christmas Song Tag

This is another annual thing for me to do for Blogmas, and that is at least one Christmas-y tag. I actually love doing them every year, mainly because I am curious about if my answers will change as much as the year before, and since we’ve added a new member into our family, I’m sure that’ll change it up a bit.

I’ve done this tag multiple times over the years, but I think the oldest is from 2014, and again, I enjoy reading about what I had said in that post and compare it to the others. As much as I like this tag in general, I would love to see if anyone’s created any more Christmas tags; I have been tempted to combine all of the tags I’ve done in the post and come up with an ultimate Christmas tag, but I haven’t made my mind up yet, so we’ll have to see what happens next year.

Festive and Winter-y Baby Names

Last December, I decided to do something different and share some of my favorite holiday theme baby names.

Back in 2020, I spent the entire month creating new and festive name combinations on my second Instagram page, and it was really fun, but extremely chaotic as I was posting six name pairings each day. I will say, my page looked gorgeous, and I did feel proud for committing to both Blogmas and the names. I definitely don’t recommend it, and I will not be doing that again but kudos to anyone who is multitasking like that in 2022.

So, when I go to 2021, I knew I couldn’t do that again, so I thought of a different route and honestly, this was so much better! I was able to add more names and discuss which names represent this time of the year the best.

Holidays Reads & TV

I spend a lot of my time on Instagram and scroll through a lot of bookstagrammers and I always see various holiday-ish books that actually sound interesting, but I am very difficult to please when it comes to stories based around Christmas, I mean, there’s a reason why I have never been a fan of the Hallmark Channel. I actually pick that channel and Lifetime out of my guide once November comes around because they drive me nuts!

However, I finally talked myself into listening to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins, and I think I may end up making it part of my tradition, kind of like what I do with Halloween; I like to watch the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the final day of October. I’ve done it every year since 2009. This year, I wasn’t able to watch the film but I listened to the actual song before I left for the nursing home, and I’m saying that counts for something!

Anyways, I also shared my favorite short Christmas cartoons. They were not produced by Walt Disney, but they are as old as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1939) and I’m happy to know I can actually watch them without having to use YouTube because that’s what I’ve been using since 2015, but now they’re on Prime Video as a collection, and I’m really enjoying having them so easily again.

Wooden + Dot Ornaments

I love giving and making gifts for people. I’ve done a lot of seasonal crafts over the years but being able to do them for Christmas is different for me as a person. I like being able to make someone else special for a day, and Christmas is the perfect holiday to do that. As I continue to do these wooden ornaments, the list of people increases and unfortunately can knock off others, and honestly, I hate leaving certain people off the list, but I can always add them to my 2023 list. I was literally rereading these paragraphs and realized I sound an awful lot like Santa Claus…

Best Songs of 2021

One of the main reasons why I keep track of all of the songs I’ve enjoyed over the past year, and it actually makes things so much easier in the end. I like to be almost done writing the December post before I bring everything into one playlist. It is also helpful to wait until Spotify’s unleashed their end-of-the-year collections as well. It gives you a better idea of which artists, bands, genres, etc. you were loving the entire year.

The list for 2021 is actually one of my favorites. Despite my best efforts, not all of my yearly playlists end up being favorites in itself, but I’ve had a couple of them before, the first was 2016, the second best is from 2019 and this one. I am excited to see what I can do with the best songs for 2022 later this month.

If you would like to check out my 2021 wrap up playlist, you can click here.

Top 7 Books of 2021

For the final post of Blogmas content, it is usually my top favorite books of the year. In 2021, I decided to write about the Top 7 books, and I find it odd that I completed my original goal of 30 books and managed to shrink my favorites list to only seven. I probably wanted to make things easier for myself, especially doing this post in general, and I can understand my need to do it that way, especially if I wasn’t in the mood to do any more Blogmas stuff after Christmas.


Next Monday, I will officially start my Blogmas content, and my schedule will continue as normally, a new post will publish around 7:30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am hoping to finish before Christmas arrives and relish in those final two weeks of December before putting my sights on what I want to do in January. So, I truly hope you find something that you enjoy and if you’re a new blogger, looking for advice or ideas to do for Blogmas, I hope you are inspired to spread your own Christmas spirit onto your platform.

How do you feel about Blogmas and/or Vlogmas? Whose content are you most looking forward to this year?

snowflake

November Playlist

Hello!

Since I’ve been kind of turning these monthly playlists into mini wrap ups, I figured this was the perfect way to talk about October and why exactly I was staying at a nursing home for a bit.

So, let’s rewind back to around August as it was the month where everything went up a notch.

My dad has a lot of health issues, but at the end of summer, we started noticing he was losing the usage of his right arm. He has had many MRIs and X-Rays in the past few years and the majority of his trouble areas are in and around his neck and spine. He has broken several discs in the past, but now as he ages, he’s continued to add more arches and pains. He has been told to have surgery since I was a kid, but he’s always turned them down for risking his ability to take care of me. If you’ve ever met my dad, you know how stubborn he is, so you wouldn’t expect anything less from him, especially for something like this.

Four years ago, when my mom had her surgeries, I made the decision to staying in a nursing home while she was there in the hospital and recovering, and since she is a nurse at a really great residential home, and at the time where my nana was living, the idea was simple but most importantly practical for everyone involved. I would spend my week there, before going to stay at my sister’s on the weekend. I was having my mom’s co-workers and friends basically take care of me like the rest of the people there. I was even allowed to get my hair cut by the hairdresser there! Honestly, I had a lot of fun spending time with my nana and the other ladies, and of course playing bingo too!

Fast forward to now, the idea of dad having surgery and knowing how indeed stubborn he truly is, made my mom and I make that crucial decision of staying at the nursing home for two weeks. We had made this decision pretty quickly, because we knew if we had it planned out well enough, my parents could essentially forget about me, and focus on dad’s surgery and recovery. We figured it out within a month or maybe less than that, because we discussed it quite a bit beforehand, so it’s difficult to narrow down the timeline.

This time was completely different.

There were things that I expected like my tiny calf muscles screaming at me during the first week because I was rolling around in my wheelchair the entire building, and like my dad, I am also stubborn and rarely asked for help, because I actually liked it. It was when I was pushing my folded bed in breakfast table with some stuff I had I would need for that day, down the massive hall that I was actually allowing myself a break and had someone carry it to my destination, which was always the activity room.

What we didn’t intend on happening was the edge of my knees, all the way down to my ankles and toes would become very swollen. I have never experience this before, it actually freaked us out because my feet felt like balloons and looked like they were going to explode at any moment. After that, I was put on a water pill and gradually it helped with the swelling, but I would still have some issues around the ridge of my feet, especially on my left foot, which makes sense considering I was using that foot to push myself around, but yeah that was a fun little surprise.

I was only supposed to stay there for two weeks, but I kept having the date to go home pushed back… twice.

My nana had moved up north with my aunt and uncle a few months later, so I would be alone this time around, and I’ll be honest I was worried about being on my own, but I was in really good hands too, as the longer I was there, the more I was making friends with the other residents too. This was my first time having a roommate since 2002, and she was a lovely lady and we sat together for meals, and we would go to the different activities. The first I participated in were these weaving pumpkins. They gave us a wired outline of a pumpkin and there were two different types of yarn to us, i went with the skinnier and darker orange whle my roommate went for the Cheeto-like yarn as it was bright orange and very puffy!

Besides doing lots of crafts, they played a lot of games too!

The first full day, not only did I weave a pumpkin, but I played Screamo for the first time ever. What is Screamo you say? Well, like my dad said, it’s like Yahtzee and it is, you have two dices and a sheet with the numbers 1-12 including 12 chips or coins, and the group goes around and rolls the dice and whatever it lands on, like a four and five which adds up to a nine, so you can cover those numbers or eight and one, or just the nine, but it is smarter to get rid of the 1 first as it can be tricky to get it as you cover the others. Once you’ve covered the entire board, you scream it out and win. It is easy to follow and would be really great for kids who have trouble with math, and you could switch it up to subtraction and maybe even multiplication if you feel like getting really creative with it.

Three weeks after I came home, I introduced it to my four-year-old nephew, and he literally kicked my butt in three games. However, I will overlook the loses as he thoroughly enjoyed himself and to me that is even better than winning any game with him. Speaking of which, I will be doing a post about fun games to play during the holidays for Blogmas, so keep an eye out for that coming soon.

I was able to spend my birthday there, it wasn’t planned as I was supposed to come home that weekend, but my gal pals really wanted to throw me a party and I thought it was too sweet to tell them no, so after playing Bingo, we had a party and my mom, sister, Nolan and Kimber came out to help celebrate it. I heard the “happy birthday” song three times and by the second time, where everyone in the dining room sang to me, absolutely terrified me, because I don’t like being the center of attention at all. I felt very loved, which was their intention of course, but again, totally out of my element.

The last day I was there was bittersweet as it was nice. I had a lot of people trying to keep me there, but I needed to go home too. While I was there for four weeks, I had missed my dad (he did come to visit me), Rumer, and the cats. My cat Stormy became fairly sick before I left, he’s been really snotty and his allergies really took hold of him, so while I was gone, I kept getting updates from my parents on him, and I enjoyed the pictures my mom would send me, but my ultimate favorite was this one. He felt good enough to climb up to the back deck, which wasn’t something he could do before I left. My mom was so proud of him she opened the patio door and allowed him to enjoy his lunch on the kitchen rug. He now has a bit of a head tilt, but he seems to be doing better. He has been coming up and meowing to us whenever we call him.

November was chaotic in those first two weeks. I had a really heavy time of the month and then on top of that, I either contracted food poisoning or stomach flu. We think it might’ve been the latter since my mom was also affected by it too, although, she wasn’t too bad, I definitely made up for her that’s for sure! Once I was through with both of them, the month started to perk up a bit. We had to have Thanksgiving two days earlier than usual; my mom tends to work on Thanksgiving, so we try to have it on Black Friday, but we had a conflict with other schedules, so we had it on Wednesday.

While I was in the nursing home, I ended up starting and finishing two books I found there. I read Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie and The Duchess by Danielle Steel (the review will go out on Wednesday!) and I still have my third book which is, The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It is about Anne Morrow Lindburgh, who was the wife of Charles Lindburgh, but I actually haven’t been doing any reading lately, which is sad, but I read over 50 books this year so I’m not too mad about it honestly. I’m just not going to enjoy updating my stats on Wednesday because that is going to be a real bitch, but I think once I’m done with all of my blog work for the year, I will be able to get back into it again.

I have one more thing to say, since I wasn’t able to get everything done for my final installment of the “Garden Tour” I will be waiting until January to publish it. I am going into Blogmas content on Friday and will not have time to do anything with it for a while, so I just wanted to give you a heads up on it.

And now, I can finally give you the November playlist. If you would like to hear the rest of the playlist, click here

End Of The End by Blastoyz featuring Reality Test, UNSECRET and Krigare
Rise Up by 2WEI x Edda Hayes
Ghosts by Xandria
Hold Me, Help Me by Halocene
Vivien by Crosses
Wake The World by Epica featuring Phil Lanzon and Tommy Karevik
I Like It by Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin
Shut Down by BLACKPINK
Dark Sun by Ros Stephen x Power-Hus
Believer by Lea Michele
What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
House On A Hill by Kamelot featuring Simone Simons

How was your November? What were you listening to?
snowflake

October Playlist

Happy Halloween my friends!

I actually wondered if I would publish this or not; I’m not in my normal element at the moment. October in general hasn’t been a regular month, I have been staying at my mom’s work, she is a nurse at a nursing home and this is my second time here, I came roughly around the same time in 2017, when my mom had surgery, I only stayed for eight or nine days whereas I’m going on my fourth (and hopefully final) week, and I’d like to get back to some of my old routine again.

Anyways, I’ve had some issues with being able to type between trying to find the perfect level and lessen the amount of swelling on my feet, it’s been somewhat difficult. I did, however, write up my posts from last week in advance so I was smart in that regard but since I figured I’d been home by now, I didn’t exactly bother to do this one.

I would like to write up a full post of my experience here so I will not be discussing much about this month, just going ahead with the October playlist for you instead. If you would like to check out the rest on Spotify, click here.

Unholy by Sam Smith featuring Kim Petras
This Is Why by Paramore
Beep by M.I.A.
Diseased by Icon For Hire
Wolves by Marshmello x Selena Gomez
Kick Me by Sleeping With Sirens
Feeling Good by Michael Buble
Red by Taylor Swift
Shenandoah by Celtic Woman
World’s Smallest Violin by AJR
5 Foot 9 by Tyler Hubbard
Down Home by Jimmie Allen
Teardrops On My Guitar by Taylor Swift
Truth About You by Mitchell Tempenny
Fancy Like by Walker Hayes
Hell On Heels by Pistol Annies

I was able to listen to one album before I left, and it was Icon For Hire’s sixth called “The Reckoning” and it has become my new favorite lately and perfect for Halloween too! Speaking of holiday tunes, I think I will be doing a couple of album reviews for Christmas, because you know how much I love doing blogmas every year. So, down in the comments I want to see your guesses on what recent release is on my list for this year.

What were you listening to this month?

snowflake

Recent Additions To | Halloween Playlist

Hello 😉

In 2019, I had felt guilty I didn’t do this after I had signed up for Spotify several years ago, I finally created a Halloween playlist. I had hoped it would be more of an aesthetic pleasing to both the traditionists out there that enjoy the classics like “Monster Mash and the original version of “Thriller” by the legendary Michael Jackson, and for anyone like myself finding modern hits that could pass for the season. Once it became October, I immediately wanted to revamp it with songs I’ve been listening to for the past three years.

So, this post is all about the music I’ve found and we’re going to discuss some of my ultimate favorites here and there.

A type of mood or vibe I go about looking for awesome candidates.

I am a lover of darker tones when it comes to music in general. It doesn’t have to be autumn or Halloween for that matter to generate that type of vibe for me because I want it all the time.

This didn’t exactly happen for me until I found a collection of artists in their early days of releasing music; now when it comes to the type of music BANKS and Ruelle releases, they’ve barely changed since their first singles, and usually that’s not like me because I love the evolution musicians tend to do after doing the same for so long, and you can thank Linkin Park for that by the way!

For these women though, I just can’t let it go and they continue to give us as fans, more and more, and I just consume all of it. Unfortunately, I saw Laurel and Zella Day make that switch fairly after their first albums/EPs were out to the public and a part of me was very sad, but I can learn to enjoy these new changes and search for more devoted to that certain style I was drawn to in the first place.

Heavy metal, hard rock and a tiny bit of grunge…

As you finish with the classics, you start to notice a pattern because instead of hearing straight pop music or songs you think belong in a playlist like this and you instantly move onto the melodramatic beats and vicious screams. In the beginning, I wanted an even mixture, but it quickly became a mess after a while because I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.

The one thing I have never enjoy is music like grunge, but I find it absolutely perfect for Halloween!

Back to Linkin Park and I was never a fan of their grunge-y album, that had a slight nod to the nu metal fanbase that most of us fell in love in the first place. The album in question is “The Hunting Party” that was released in 2014. I will say, it is rightly titled for this time of the year! Anyways, this is one of three albums LP ever made that I didn’t really enjoy that much but I tend to have a craving for it by the end of October. I don’t know why it happens, but it is consistent, and I’ve learned to live with it.

If it was featured on a recent film and/or TV show, or just a freaking ad for a product, I’ll find it.

I am NOT sorry to admit this, but I actually enjoyed the first Suicide Squad film–actually, both my dad and former brother-in-law are in agreement with me about it. They also liked Ben Affleck as Batman too, but let’s not get too sidetracked here, and let’s talk about the soundtrack. I really love “Purple Lamborghini” with Rick Ross and Skrillex, but I’ve never thought of it as “Halloween-y.” but like many others, I’d put Twenty-One Pilots’ “Heathens” on the list in a damn heartbeat. It took me a bit longer to add “Sucka 4 Pain” with Logic, Lil Wayne, Quavo,

Two of my absolute favorite tracks to date that I will listen to all year long but instantly be drawn back to the first season of The Chilling Adventures to Sabrina on Netflix is, “Black Mad Woman” by VCTRYS and “A Little Wicked” by Valerie Broussard, which plays during the end of the last episode where Sabrina becomes a bit of a bad b(w)itch and her hair goes from a natural blonde color to platinum and her whole swagger just changes in those final scenes and I just adore them!

Here are some of the most recent additions to the actual playlist.

Sweet But Psycho by Ava Max
Mad Hatter by Melanie Martinez
Lurk by The Neighbourhood
Diseased by Icon for Hire
Wish You Hell by Like A Storm
Red Cold River by Breaking Benjamin
Spellbound by Lacuna Coil
Bloodmoney by Poppy
Halloweenie: IV: Innards by Ashnikko
Come Little Children by Clovet Mae
Dead Man Walking by Jelly Roll
Yikes by Nicki Minaj
Like A Villain by Bad Omens
Zombified by Falling In Reverse
Sweet Revenge by Kat Leon featuring Jo Blankenburg
Burn by 2WEI with Edda Hayes
I Did Something Bad by Taylor Swift
Man or a Monster by Sam Tinnesz featuring Zayde Wolf
To The Hellfire by Lorna Shore
Pink Venom by BLACKPINK

If you would like to check out the whole Halloween playlist, click here to be transported to a new window and you can listen to your favorites and maybe you find some brand-new tunes along the way. Before you go, how about you tell me about your absolute favorite song for Halloween in the comments below.

snowflake

Summer ’22 Playlist

Well hello there!

Every summer for the past six years, I’ve done an actual summer playlist on here. I’ve loved putting them together for not only you, but for myself because then I can keep track of these amazing songs year after year. I suppose if you wanted to go back even further on what I liked to listen to prior to these individual posts, you can look through at June through September and you might find some more jams that way, it’s just going to be time-consuming on you though. My only regret is I just wish my Spotify worked in 2016-18 so that I could have collected even more and shared them with you but can’t quite fix it now.

In the beginning, I was obsessed with EDM (electronic dance music) and I would go crazy for anything that would come out in mid-March in that genre and see how it would become the summer jam of the year. However, this summer I was really drawn to rock music, and I mean, the majority of the playlist below is made up of rock and heavy metal tracks, I don’t mind the switch one bit honestly. Some of the songs were released at the start of the year and depending on my love for it and how much its played on the various Sirius XM stations I listen to, will make its way to the summer playlist, so I hope everyone loves on what I’ve been enjoying lately and maybe you’ll find your anthem for the year, that is if you haven’t already!

Here is my Top 12 songs of the summer. Want to check out the entire playlist? Click here.

Rest in Peace by Dorothy
About Damn Time by Lizzo
ABCDEFU by GAYLE
Eye of The Storm by Pop Evil
Cleopatra by Train featuring Sofia Reyes
Pink Rover by Scene Queen
Trap God by Hollywood Undead
Voices In My Head by Falling In Reserve
Meteorite by BANKS
Pink Venom by BLACKPINK
Happy Ending by Demi Lovato
Boyfriend by Dove Cameron

Now have I found my anthem for the year? I don’t think so. Every time I think I’ve found it though, it changes on me, so that definitely doesn’t help me out at all, but any of these songs on the list above can be a great reminder of summer 2022. I would really love to hear your favorites on your own list in the comments.

snowflake