Photo Diary | Feeling Like Spring

Hello!

For the past few weeks, I have felt like I’m in a daze. I don’t want to do absolutely anything, and it has been very annoying! However, nothing really compares to the trouble we’ve had with out internet services. I think a big chunk of why I feel so out of it is because our WiFi will stay on for like a minimum 10 minutes each time someone goes to turn it back on; on the good days, it will be really good but those days are very rare anymore.

Thankfully, I have some things to help distract myself from it, like getting into a new TV show. I am happy to share that I am finally done with Rizzoli & Isles! As I was watching the finale though, I cried like a baby! It was like watching the episode “500 Years of Solitude” of The Vampire Diaries, where all of our favorite characters who had died came back, I was a fucking mess! On the good note though, I have been getting into the show Bones now. It has the same dynamic duo but with David Boreanaz as the officer and Emily Deschanel (plus her band of assistants) as Maura Isles! So, the teamwork and crazy banter is still there and at the moment, I am enjoying it!

What surprised me though, that while I am in this fog, I was able to do something I hadn’t done since the start of winter. I was allowed to go outside.

Despite the fact that I love the changing landscape and seeing all of the birds fight for food on my bird feeder, I really miss being outside.

I hate being away from my cats, and it doesn’t really help now that like four of them are not living at my sister’s house! Bear-Bear and Oscar have officially moved on and it really sucks because they are my social kitties, they tend to want to spend time with me the most and since they would rather stay on the block, I’ve been somewhat sad, but I have Grumpy and I think he is perfectly fine with this change because now he doesn’t have to wait in line to be the center of attention to us. We still have Stormy, Nelson, Midge, and Felix too, so it’s not too terrible, although my dad kind of wishes they would all move out but I think he would be sad for me because that’s my connection to the outdoors for now.

We were able to experience some early spring in March. It isn’t too uncommon to have a few good weather days around this time, but it is important to remind yourself that we could still have another big snow coming until the middle of April. So, when we had three days of beautiful weather, my mom put me in my wheelchair and I sat out on the deck for a little while.

For the first two days, I would bring my camera out with me, but I wouldn’t turn it on. It wasn’t because of the lack of cats coming to see me, I just wanted to enjoy being in the moment with them. I needed a change of scenery and being among the cats, trees and noisy birds was a big comfort to me in those early days. The temperature would seesaw between a good 64 degrees to a chilly 57 degrees and I would only allow myself to stay out for like twenty minutes because I felt like my toes were going to fall off because it was so damn cold!

Even though this is a photo diary, I like being able to just unleash whatever I have in my mind. I tried my best to lie and be all cheery but this is what I’m been dealing with, and I know it can stem from the fact it is five years since my papaw’s passing and I could have suppressed feelings about it. So, I feel somewhat better now that I have unleashed my thoughts before allowing you to see the pictures I took on my third day outside. If you are still reading this, thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the beautiful photos of our cats.

Do you have any advice for me when it comes to being in a haze? What are your favorite things to do when the weather starts to warm up a bit?

January Playlist

Hello!

Despite the fact January rarely releases bangers that will echo until the middle of the summer, I have found lots of interesting tunes! The day I don’t find anything that makes me happy, you should worry about me; just as a heads up, okay?

I am always pulled into this nostalgia vibe towards the end of December, and once January comes around, I am fully dedicated to keep it going until the early days of spring. I have never understood why I get like this, and it literally happens like clockwork so it doesn’t matter whatever genre I have been listening to the most, my brain will use it to make me want to go back to certain playlists or iPod, which has been REALLY a lifesaver lately! If you didn’t know, I haven’t updated my iPod in about three to four years, so I want to say the cut off year is possibly 2014. For my brain, this is the most recent but fits that box I need to be in during the colder months that I don’t really have a problem with it.

Here is the top songs for January. If you want to look into the rest of the Spotify playlist, click here.

Save Me From Myself by Vertical Horizon
Vita Nova by Halocene
Someone Like You by Adele
Bitter by Evie Irie
Every Time You Leave by I Prevail featuring Delaney Jane
Another Life by Any Given Sin
Take Me Away by Ayron Jones
Adrenaline by Zero 9:36
All My Life by Attack Attack
Intercorrupted by Ra

Decode by Cole Rolland featuring Lauren Babic
IDOL by Lauren Babic
DONE. by The Band Perry
It’s Not U It’s Me by Bea Miller featuring 6LACK
Ready Set by Vo Williams
Scars [En Espanol] by Papa Roach
Numb by Nick Jonas featuring Angel Haze
Golden by Harry Styles
Therefore I Am by Billie Eilish
The Devil’s Own by Five Finger Death Punch

Before I go, I would love to know what you were listening to this month so here are some of my questions for you. Am I the only one who is basically forced into the memory dumb but weirdly enough, enjoy it just the same? If you are a Spotify user like me, what are your Top 5 playlists that Spotify created for you? If you don’t like Spotify, what other music streaming apps do you use instead? Does anybody out there still use their iPods?

Hope you have enjoyed this post and the questions too. I can’t wait to find out what I become obsessed with in February!

Photo Diary | Spring/Summer

Hello!

The last time I did a photo diary was in 2017, so three years of no cat pictures, which is really sad considering these cats are very well loved by almost everyone.

In that time, my nana had just moved up north so my ability to upload any photos at all from my camera(s) was pretty much over. A part of me was okay with it, I thought I could just live with creating and reusing old pictures for my banners. If I did want to take a picture of something, I would have my mom and/or sister do it for me, but as time went on, I really began to get the itch to do it myself again. For most people they can whip out their phones and take as many photos as they want, but for me, it can be a bit of a production in itself. I have a system and it’s just easier for me to do it then to depend on others.

Lots of things have happened since the last post. I became an aunt for the first time and we got a new house, this spring, we finally got our side porch and ramp put together. I love being outside again. I’m pretty sure the cats are very happy to see my smiling face too! Unfortunately, the ramp isn’t quite finished yet so I still haven’t use my “rocket” chair to sit outside, which is fine with me because while I sit in the blue chair, I am able to read my books out there and be at a comfortable level with our cats at the same time.

Another good thing about the porch itself is that, we get to do pumpkins again! I tried my best to bring them back last year, but my mom wasn’t having it! For some odd reason, she thinks we will mess up the floors… The last time we did them, my sister was in the early stages of her pregnancy so this will be the first year with Nolan! Hopefully it will become an annual tradition, especially since next month the three of them (plus their animals!) will be moving into the neighborhood. Whoohoo! I have collected a lot of fun DIY/craft stuff on Pinterest for Nolan and I to do together and I think we will be able to form a closer bond and we will be able to unleash our creativity too!

I think it is now time to share some pictures with you, now that I have given you a “mini” life lately update so let’s bring on the cats!

Wow!

I may have to bring this series back, especially if I continue to take as many pictures as I did, but the funny part about this is that, this is just a fraction of what I took at the end of April to early June!

So, I wanted to come up and explain who everyone is, because I might have a few more people that visit my blog and they may not know anybody’s names. We have a total of nine cats, but the ones that are camera friendly are: Oscar, Bootsie, Tavis, Bear-Bear, Grumpy, and Felix aka Fifi. For the most part, when I go outside, Oscar and Botsie are the most excited, because they generally love the attention. Bear-Bear and Tavis are just starting to open up to me and hang out so that’s been a fun accomplishment! Grumpy is still very much a lovebug but it took him a lot longer to accept being touched by anyone that isn’t mom.

I wanted to tell you something absolutely hilarious before I go! My mom got the idea of me bringing out my books so if the cats were to leave me and beg at our back door, I could stay outside longer and not have to depend on anyone’s company. This was the greatest idea ever! I think it is the reason why I was able to finish my reading challenge sooner than we expected to! Now onto the funny part of this story. In the beginning, my mom would bring out this bench so I could see the book better, but everytime I didn’t go into my position fast enough, our cat Felix would literally make himself comfortable and get on top of the bench and book itself, and take a little nap!

Do you need proof? Well, this is him sitting on and without the bench itself and just hanging out on my book. Thank god he’s adorable or else, this would be really annoying! I guess this is the joy of having cats… Oh, one good thing, he’s the only one who does it!

Okay, I think I am officially done with this post. If you think I should do a post like this every month, please let me know because I can definitely get back into a routine with it. And once I am able to get around with the “rocket” chair, I will be able to take pictures of other things than the cats so that could be something to look forward to in the future.

Do you have any cats? If you do, how many and what are their names? I would love to know more about them!

snowflake

Book Review: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake

Hello!

I have seen this book on BookTube a lot in the last year or so. It is a very popular read among the fantasy lovers out there, but I have also seen some mixed reviews too. Some people think it’s too slow in parts and a little cliché. So, when I saw it on Prime Reading, I was sort of confused on whether or not I would give it a chance. Since it was free, I knew in my head that I could always return it and move on to the next, but the opening line pretty much washed away every inch of doubt in my mind. I will share it with you too.

Three dark queens, are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends. Three dark sisters, all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen.

At the time I started reading this book, I was caught up in a troubling situation. I was reading another book in a totally different genre but I wasn’t feeling it anymore. As much as I was originally enjoying it, somehow I lost the will to continue with it. Once I found this, I was refreshed and back to reading again. However, within about four days later I went back to another book in the same genre, and I was SO worried that I would feel burnt out after reading a similar story, but so far I feel fine to keep going with it.


055c57b555c80ebe15494ad70ad84e24Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest … but she may be the darkest.

taken from Goodreads!

Okay, I want to start this by saying that I have never met a book–much less in the fantasy genre–with the most gorgeous names for their characters! I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce Arsinoe but I think I’m close and I feel that’s good enough for now! Anyways, I’ve always been really critical about the mixture of regal and unique names together, but I felt like everyone fit perfectly with each one! I adore them so much that I even started to add a few into my monthly favorites on my naming Instagram account!

Now that I have that out of the way, I can move on to the actual review and we have lots to talk about, but I will try to keep as many spoilers out of this post as I can. No promises though!

We start off meeting each Queen, first it is Queen Katharine. She is a poisoner and lives with the Arron family.  The family as a whole has enjoyed their blessings as they have seen a poisoner Queen on the throne three times. Katharine is a bit of an intervort in the beginning. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone especially her mentor Natalia Arron, who has been teaching her how to handle various posions both physically and mentally since she was a child. After her, we move on to Arisnoe. She is a naturalist and lives with the Milones. Her most trusted friend is Jullienne Milone or Jules for short and her familiar Camden, which is a mountain lion. We meet the two of them trying to channel Arisnoe’s gift to call on nature for everything. The girls are brave and of course stubborn, and they fill the story of adventures. And finally, our last is Mirabella. She is an elementist. She can control every element and has been in control with her abilities for a long time. Her popularity is so large that support for her sisters is only extended to their foster families and islanders.

I was a bit hesitant when I first started though. I was reminded back to when I read The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz a few years ago; it also had more than one point of view going on all at once but for that book, I wasn’t able to keep up with every character. However, for some reason I was able to stay focused on everybody’s stories for this, I was even seeing what was going on in my head. I could imagine Queen Katharine’s birthday with the fabulous Grav Noir, and Queen Arisnoe discovers Madrigal doing something she shouldn’t and the scene where Queen Mirabella finds Joseph and “warms” him up. Everything was very detailed so it wasn’t a big deal for me to form vivid images of everything going on and I absolutely loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to the end. There were certainly chapters that were slower than others, but I really loved seeing each character grow and how the whole thing worked in its own little way! I’m hoping to get back into this series around November, so it’ll be a nice fantastical birthday present for myself!

Have you read the first book, “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake yet? If you have, who was your favorite Queen? Besides the triplets, maybe tell me your favorite secondary character(s) too?

snowflake

 

EP Review: “Petals” by Phavors

Hello! 🙂

It has been an awful long time since I’ve done an album/EP review; even longer time since I’ve been asked to do it as well!

Back in mid-May, I was sent a message on my Instagram page from a duo called Phavors. At the time, they were just about to release an EP called “Petals” and wondered if I could write a review of it on my blog. They are my first group to be based in the U.S. to ask for my services, and even though I feel more comfortable talking about international music, I thought it would be fun for not only me, but for my audience too!

So, when the band sent me their pitch and link to the tracks included on the EP. They also included that they sound like Bon Iver but have elements of Billie Eilish, which is what sold me. I’m not a huge fan of folk music, even though I love singer-songwriters Dido, Celtic Woman, Sarah McLachlan, and The Civil Wars; I’m still pretty picky when it comes to the genre as a whole. However, I chose to look beyond that and focus my attention to Philip and Kayla’s work. I hadn’t listened to anything before I went to write this review, it’s just what I like to do for things such as this, that way I’m not overthinking my words as the music flowing in and out of my mini speaker.

The EP itself only comes with four songs, and the first happens to be the title track “Petals.”  My first thought was how beautiful it was, the light sound of the acoustic guitar with Kayla’s soft vocals, were really nice. It reminded me of waking up early and wanting something soft and mellow to begin the day on the right foot. It’s a soothing song that suddenly made me really calm inside. It’s the perfect way to begin a short musical journey. And then we move onto, “Waste Time” and I’m not going to lie, I wanted to use the title as a pun, but I didn’t. I was good, but boy! It would’ve been perfect. One thing I liked about this, was we were finally able to hear Philip’s voice. He is definitely quieter than Kayla. I really liked the slight boop of bass in the beginning, it made me think the general sound would be a little different compared to the first and it is different. I had the same vibes I experienced in the previous, but the tempo is more upbeat and happier.

Third is “Water Is Still” and I was actually looking forward to this one. I had hoped it would sound calm; almost like you should expect to hear it at a spa. In a way, it was exactly how I hoped it would be, but thanks to the addition of electric guitars to the airy beat in the background it gave it a nice little change. It was the perfect instrumental for me. I was so happy to hear something like this, where there’s no vocals at all. It’s just a nice collection of soothing sounds together. Lastly, we have “Home” and to hear Kayla and Philip’s soft words come into focus and together was wonderful, but towards the end of it, everything grows louder and I really liked it.

I was genuinely surprised by this. There were moments when I thought of them sounding like artist Banks and British band London Grammar in a way, like the second track gave me a strong Banks vibe with Kayla’s cool voice, but the whole thing had a London Grammar type of flare. I find it a bit odd that I was half expecting everything to sound a bit like Dido, but they ended up sounding more modern, almost new age type of music that I am learning to fall in love with in the last few years. After I finished listening, I started searching on my Spotify playlists for more comforting type of music like Phavors. After what’s been going on with the world lately, I needed to escape my reality a little longer.

Have you heard of Phavors yet? If you have, do you have a favorite song? What were your thoughts on their new EP too?

snowflake