Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy 2017! | Life Update + Hiatus

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a lovely holiday and that you're ready for 2017.

Clearly, I haven't updated in a couple weeks and I know I use this excuse all the time, but I've just been so busy! But I wanted to eventually come back with a post to let you know what's up. 

Around the middle of December, my dad had an accident at work and broke his leg. Surgery went well, but he's been bed-ridden since then and will still be for a couple more weeks. Everything's a-okay and he's been recovering well. So, I've obviously been helping take care of him at home. Luckily, we've had very many supportive friends and family who've helped us around the house during the holidays to take care of things and run errands including getting both of our Christmas trees and hanging up lights. 

Toward the end of December I've been extremely busy with finishing up course work for the end of the semester (I got A's in both my classes - woohoo!), work at the library, Christmas shopping/decorating, and LOTS of singing! I was the cantor for one of the Misa de Gallo masses which happens at 5:30am and that has been the catalyst for my really bad sleeping schedule since I had to wake up around 3:30am to get ready. My sleeping schedule always gets whacky during this time of year because of all the adrenaline for the holidays anyway. I cantored for midnight mass on Christmas Eve and then I cantored for two more masses Christmas morning at 7:30am and 9am! So I was running literally on 2.5 hrs of sleep Christmas day morning. 

 Overall, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm so glad that the spring semester doesn't start til the 17th, so I have plenty of time to recuperate and get back into the swing of things before taking on my next courses.

When I started my blog, I told myself that I had wanted to stick with for at least a full year and once I reached my one year anniversary this summer, I was proud of myself for really keeping up with it and meeting so many wonderful people. 2016 has been a pretty decent year with some rough patches toward the end. Most importantly, it is the year that saw the beginning of my journey to earning my Master's Degree in Librarianship which has been great so far, but has also made me even busier. Online school combined with work, singing, and taking care of my dad, blogging has been put on the back burner and has started to feel more like a chore than an outlet. I knew halfway through the semester that I was probably going to start reducing how much I post, but once my dad had his accident, I started to think that a hiatus or ending my blog might be better.

With all that said, I really do love blogging and I always get an itch to share something with you guys, but I can't seem to find the motivation to take time out of my day to take photos and write up a full post, since I pretty much use any free time I have to relax or read. For now, I've decided to go on a hiatus and hopefully post every once in a while if I suddenly have the spark. Will this mark the end of my blog? I'm not so sure yet.

I'll try my best to update my instagram as a sort of replacement for blogging, so that I can still share things that I love since I don't have the time to post. 

But I just wanted to send a special thanks to all of you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog posts. Thanks for your lovely comments, interacting with me, and sharing all your opinions and words of inspiration! I hope that your 2017 is off to a good start, that you achieve all of your goals, make tons of new memories, and have lots of exciting adventures this year. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Holiday To-Read List

Happy Friday, y'all. How was your week? I'm so behind on Christmas shopping, agh! I've just been so busy and there have been quite a few things for me to set aside money for aside from Christmas gifts, unfortunately. Hopefully I can get most of my shopping done BEFORE Christmas! Although, I've definitely given presents a day or so late before, hehehe. What about you? Get any holiday shopping done? Anything you're tempted to buy for yourself? The struggle is real, you guys!

Today I wanted to share a few holiday books I'd like to read this month. Reading Christmas books is definitely a great way to wind down from a hard day of work as we inch closer to the big day. I'm usually glued to the television watching Christmas movies, but whenever something's playing that I'm not really into, I love to snuggle up with a warm and fuzzy Christmas love story.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
(Authors include: Rainbow Rowell, Holly Black, David Levithan, and many more!)
Goodreads: "If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins." Ohhh I am soooo excited to read this. My co-worker who is in charge of social media at work asked me to take it home to photograph and when I started looking over it, I was sort of like "huh...I kind of want to read this now."

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
These books are written by the same authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, but I was drawn to read these books because of their adorable Christmas covers. I've just recently finished the first book, Book of Dares, and it was so adorable that I'm currently on hold for book 2! In the first book, Dash finds a red moleskin notebook wedged between books on a bookshelf filled with challenges from a mysterious girl named Lily. The two continue to write back and forth to each other, leaving each other dares to complete, until they finally meet in person. The Twelve Days... takes place a year later.

What Light
Jay Asher
I saw the cover of this book when I was catalogging new books a month ago and it was just so pretty I had to look it up. Ratings seemed to be so-so online, so I was a little hesitant to read it. But my co-worker who just finished it said it was really good and that I had to read it. I'm officially on the waiting list, but another co-worker is ahead of me, unfortunately, so I probably won't get to read it until after Christmas.
In this love story, Sierra's family lives in Oregon, but moves to California each Christmas season to set up their Christmas tree lot. This Christmas, she meets the not-so-perfect Caleb, whom she is determined to understand and help find redemption for his past mistakes.

Let it Snow
John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
This is a compilation of three short holiday love stories. So far, I've read the first one by Maureen Johnson and it was just so adorable and sweet! I saw that John Green had a story in here and hoped that his writing might motivate me to read his more popular works like The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska which everyone in the world has read except for me.

Let me know if you have any books you plan on reading this winter! Any adorable Christmas ones?? I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bookstagram Roundup #4

Happy Wednesday, everyone. What have you been up to this week? I've been pretty busy since I'm trying to get my final projects done as soon as possible just to get them out of the way. So, I'm sorry I haven't been as active and visiting and commenting on your blogs as much as I usually do!

I'm here with my fourth bookstagram round-up, but I haven't been able to photograph quite so much last month! Once winter break comes around, I'll definitely be taking more photos and I'll probably try to stock up on some.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Pinspiration: Oh Christmas Tree!

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? On Saturday, I sang for a funeral which was for the deceased wife of one of my parish's deacons. Because of this, it was a particularly long service as all of our priests, plus priests from the surrounding area, and many of our parishioners were in attendance. Also, our Deacon and his wife are first-generation Irish American and they had a huge family that was there too.

Almost right after the service, I had to head straight to an optometrist appointment and after that, my parents and I went holiday decoration shopping for the house! I'm really excited because I finally ordered myself some new glasses and this time I decided to try a pair from Warby Parker! The frame I really wanted isn't available for home-try-on since it's so popular, but I'm so excited for it to come in. I knew after writing up a post with them a while back (Warby Parker 2016 Collection) that I really wanted to get a pair by them. I'll be sure to reveal the pair I chose and do a full review once I get it :) .

Like many of you, I'm sure, my family and I are in the midst of decorating! I've put up most of the interior decorations. There are just a few things I need to do including buying the trees and decorating them! We always buy two, one for the basement and one for the living room upstairs. But we usually wait about 2 weeks after December starts to buy them because we don't want them to start dying too soon right before Christmas since we keep them up for a quite a while.

Decorating the trees is one of my most favorite things to do this holiday season. Our trees are themed. The larger one in the living room is decked in shades of silver, gold, and red - lots of glittery and sparkly ornaments. The shorter one in the basement is Victorian themed with lots of pink, purple, and silver and figurine ornaments (dolls, fairies, etc). But I love all sorts of Christmas trees and love looking at photos to see how other people decorate their's.

This is pretty close to what our upstairs tree looks like!

If you have any photos of your trees (current or years passed), please share! When it comes to decorating your tree, are you pretty traditional or do you like to experiment with different colors and textures? Do you prefer live trees or fake trees? Comment below!

Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016 Favorites

Happy Friday and Happy December, everyone! I've put up all the decorations around the house and now we just need to decorate the outside (and the trees once we get them). But I literally spent my whole morning before I went into work decorating, so my feet were killing me by the time I clocked in. Have you decorated yet?! I've also picked up just a few extra shifts this month and I also have a funeral to sing for tomorrows which is great (and sad) so I can have some extra money for tree shopping and gift shopping.

Okay, seriously you guys. I am in love with International Delight's Salted Caramel Mocha creamer. I've been using it every morning with my regular coffee and it tastes just like hot cocoa! I know that's pretty much like un-coffee flavored coffee, but it's just so yummy and makes my morning even better.

So it totally doesn't count because I just started it earlier this week and I haven't finished it yet...but I've been dying to read Royally Screwed by Emma Chase! So when it was waiting for me on Monday, I was so excited! I'm a little over halfway finished and it's seriously so good. It's a contemporary romance/fiction about the Prince Nicholas of Wessco who is ridiculously hot and knows it and meets average American girl Olivia Hammond who runs her family's pie shop. There is an instant spark between them and sexy times ensue. This book is already so funny and adorable and steamy, so I highly recommend!

I know I've mentioned my Longchamp a million times in previous posts and have included it as a monthly favorite a while back, but I seriously love this bag - specifically the Neo version! It goes with all my outfits, holds everything I need, and is much more durable than the standard le pliage bags. I've had this one for over a year now and there's almost no wear on the corners compared to my regular le pliage which I've only used and owned for a couple months so far. I loved the my black Neo so much, that I got myself another one in navy which is just gorgeous and is a great color for me to use all year round. I recently bought this purse organizer from etsy which also came with a plastic base shaper. I like my longchamp bags to maintain their structure (I hate bag sag) and this has definitely helped with that.