Posts by riannanicole13

I'm a mid 20-something with a dream of getting out of the retail world, and completely diving into the online world. I adore animals (mostly dogs, wolves, and owls), nature, traveling, and helping people plan their lives, as I am just as horrible at times on planning mine. This is my story, as an unfortunately fortunate millennial, going though life.

Book Series Review: Dan Brown Series

Recently (right before the new year actually), I renewed my monthly Audible subscription, knowing I wanted to read more books. Sure listening isn’t reading, but hey, I’m consuming the book right?! With that, I got a couple books that I wanted to have in my library (once you get them through the subscription, you have them even if you cancel or suspend your membership, which is really cool).

One book I had found, was from the author Dan Brown. I’ve read some of his work already, “way back when”, about a decade ago now. It was right before Angels and Demons (the movie adaptation) came out that I last read his work. I loved reading that book and watching the movie then. After that, I watched the Da Vinci Code. I loved it, and moved on, thinking nothing of it.

Some time later now, I stumbled upon his name again in the Audible library, with the latest Robert Langdon novel, released in 2017. I saw that character’s name and went gawkingly wide eyed. The middle schooler in me went “OMG I can’t even right now!”

You know I tapped that “buy now for 1 credit” button so fast, I don’t even recall seeing the “confirm purchase” deterrent- yes, there WAS NO DETERRING THIS GIRL!

Maybe it was the cold meds, maybe it was the book (in the Maybe it’s Maybelline slogan)

Come to find out, while letting the book download over LTE (I was on my way to work, okay! And no, I wasn’t driving- babe was…thanks babe!), there was 2 WHOLE OTHER BOOKS THAT I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HAPPENED.

“Buy 3 more credits for …” GIVE ME THOSE CREDITS DAMN IT!!! Haha…I was literally an irrational 8 year old with $20 to spend at the toy store, with too much sugar in her system.

So yea, I bought extra credits so that the other two books that I missed were technically cheaper, and have one extra credit to spare, when in all good reality, I’d be able to wait (if I had the patience…lol) until next month, where I could pick them up without coughing out this extra money, but oh well….Christmas money right?! (Thanks grandma’s)

Anyway, now that I have more books to listen to, due to my impatience, ya’ll in turn will get more reviews of books! Hopefully you like these reviews!

I’m reviewing each book as I listen to them, for reference. This is more for my end, since (1) I kind of went out of order and (2) it’s easier to review as I go, then upload this post, as I feel doing it out of order and individually wouldn’t be fair to you guys/wouldn’t be enough content for one post, each, while leaving you wanting to read the books.


Angels and Demons (Book 1) (Movie)

Obviously this is the series starter book. The nice thing about these books, is that it doesn’t really matter what order you read them in. Each book is it’s own adventure, kind of like the multiverse in comics.

This book does set up some character development on Robert Langdon though, the main character that is throughout this series. Picture him as the fit, attractive, while also dad-aged sub you had in high school.

Yes, this is that Angels and Demons that got a feature film. So did the next book. Yes, they did it backwards.

Assuming you’re not familiar, or it’s been clearly too long since the film was relevant (same boat girl, same boat. I read it right before the movie came out and watched the movie. I couldn’t tell you the actual plot to save my life, without googling it to see what the gist was. Hence why I’m re-reading it!), let me give you some info to lure you in!

So some major science guy is murdered, in Switzerland. But he’s not just murdered, he’s murdered by a group that is thought of as long dead. He’s branded and his one eye has been torn out, and the eyeball itself is eventually found in his lab, where only him and his daughter are the only ones who can get in.

What’s in that lab? The only thing that is 5-8 times more deadly, ounce for ounce, than the atomic bomb: anti-matter. What’s also missing? The anti-matter.

Since Langdon is a professor of symbology, especially religious ones, he’s called in, to decipher the branding initially, until they discover that the anti-matter was stolen. So there’s less than 12 hours for them to find this anti-matter tube, before it’s battery that keeps it stable, runs out of battery juice.

To make matters worse, it’s the day that clergy is voting on the next Pope, as the late Pope had just suffered what is thought to have been a stroke (no formal autopsies are done on any Pope). Why is this bad? 4 of the most prominent clergymen are missing…then there’s the call.

The caller is the one who will be killing one of the clergy, on the hour, starting at 8pm (20:00), and the big show of the anti-matter explosion, taking out Vatican City, occurs at midnight.

Each clergymen is murdered in a different way: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Each clergymen is killed in a different location. They must figure it out: Langdon, the scientist’s adopted daughter, and the higher ups in the Vatican City, that aren’t voting for the next Pope.

It’s a hot mess, which will keep you on your toes and wanting to keep on reading!


Da Vinci Code (Book 2) (Movie) (finished approx. 1/26/2019)

Oh boy! A murder one! It starts with Robert Langdon on a business trip in Paris, and a desperate call to his hotel room. He told the main desk to let it wait till morning, but they insisted otherwise.

Langdon gets dragged into a murder scene at the Lurve. As a symbolgist who now has some extra notoriety after the incident in Vatican City, on top of his regular work as a professor and a writer, he gets called in to help with this shit.

Everything points to the works of Da Vinci, and the murderer uses hidden things in the art work that is in the area.

*Please be nice to me, I didn’t write this right after finishing it, so I’m doing the best I can here*


Lost Symbol (Book 3) (finished 1/27/2019)

This book takes Langdon to the DC area, and he has a brief thing to deal with his mentor. This is the shortest book in the series, so this will be the shortest book review.

So Langdon is offered to do a speech in DC, from his mentor, but once he arrives, he quickly learns that the inventation was not set up to be a speech, but was a kidnapping to get more information.

He’s given the hand of his mentor, tatto’d with symbols (previously not a tattoo’d hand), and that’s only the start of the journey. He’s accompanied by security to figure this guy out, and see if his mentor is still alive.

Thanks to his fitness and swimming routine, Langdon survives being waterboarded even, in the process, because he wants to protect those he loves, and he doesn’t actually know the answers, which the kidnapper doesn’t believe to be true.


Inferno (Book 4) (Movie)

If this isn’t a direct reference to Dante’s Inferno, I don’t know what is. Basically a creative way to introduce someone to the Divine Comedy. Good recommended read for those in school.

This is a read and a half. 3 hours away from the end, and I still need answers. You’ll become lost about 5 hours away from finish, whatever that is in pages. It’s a journey and a half leading up to there, but then it takes another twist, and makes you reconsider investing in the book, because it’s half not worth it. BUT IT’S ALL WORTH IT! Really, I swear, even with the extra WUT there, as you’re nearly at the end.

Langdon wakes up in a hospital, with no recollection of what has happened over the last 2 days, nor how he landed up in Florence. He has a believable head wound, and a nurse telling him it’ll be okay. But is she a nurse? Is she even a legal resident of Italy?

The last thing he remembers is getting an invitation and him being back home in Cambridge. Now since he’s in a hospital, he doesn’t know what to make of anything.

Moments after gaining consciousness, he gets told that he had a head wound, and had amnesia, and had an odd thing in his internal pocket of his coat. But he doesn’t have an internal pocket on his infamous coat.

He also doesn’t have his Mickey Mouse watch that he’s had since childhood. So what’s really going on? He doesn’t know.

Until shots are fired right in front of him, and him and a nurse flee the scene, since he was told he had a guest just moments prior.

He’s been told that he’s being hunted. Or is he? Is it the nurse? Is it all just a ploy?

Someone wants to spread the 21st century version of the black plague, and wants to stay anon about it. Was Langdon involved and couldn’t recall? What did he even do? No one really knows.

No one knows until he gets saved, after his nurse friend flees, and he finally gets some answers. Now, is her fleeing, allowing him to get the answers he wants? Will this save the planet from the plague?


Origins (Book 5) (finished 1/6/2019)

This was the 2nd book I personally read, and third story/adventure I had with Langdon’s character. Reading this book made me want to go back and read through the whole series properly, and impatiently got more credits on Audible just to have all 5 right away.

Origins is a journey that Robert Landgon takes, when he is invited to a non-disclosed party/announcement launch that no one knows what this thing is all about. The host is a former student of his, that he’s kept in touch with, but through life and the student’s projects, they stopped keeping in touch until this invitation.

This announcement was brought through technology, and was about the two key questions we have as a species: “Where did we come from?” and “Where do we go?”. The student/host gets assassinated mid-presentation, and it’s a hot mess for the next not even 12 hours, like always.

Ugh, I hope there’s more adventures! I love it all. I plan on exploring more of Dan Brown’s work over the next while.


Have you read any of Dan Brown’s work? Have you read anything of his outside of these 5? Let me know how you liked them (and which ones you read, so I know!).

If not, what are you planning to read in 2019? What have you read already this year?

What are some good reads I should look into?

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Plan With Me: February 2019

One month down already into the book that is 2019! 11 more chapters to go, and what have you accomplished so far?

Outside of this last week, where I was down for the count (got a flu like thing, ugh), I did rather well on my goals. My main focus this past month was to form consistent habits. Fitness didn’t do the best, but she was present. Self care goals were good though!

Now to move onto the next chapter of 2019: February.

To plan my monthly outlook, I start with my workbook. I look at the goals I want to accomplish, and this year I’m trying on building off of the previous month, and not to be so all over the place on goals. Each quarter has a general theme, and from there I’m letting that guide my month.

I didn’t make some actual steady habits (fitness really), but I did good on others last month, so I want to keep with the good habits, and see if I can do better this month on my fitness goals. I want more yoga, since I seem to like that a lot more. Since it’s still cold and winter out, I will do my best for indoor workout, but come spring is when I really want to take it outdoors.

So this month is going to be a lot more of the same as January, but adding water intake goals, and more self-love practices. I want to learn/enjoy loving myself, in a frugal manner, but also do simple things like watch more on Netflix and YouTube that makes me feel joy.

I want my weekends to be all about relaxing and taking care of myself (fitness included), since I have no long weekends this month, like I have been enjoying. I want to sleep more, and better, I want to do a workout a week at least, yoga twice a week at least (honestly I like doing a few moves before bed too). I want to paint my nails and do hair masks over the weekend, so I can use up my nail polishes, and feel like a lady for awhile, even if the paint chips the first night back at work.

Next, I go into my planner, and organize bills due for the month, paydays, holidays, and any birthdays that may occur. In the side bar on the left, I usually write (or wrote for January….since I did get away from using a planner in the later months of 2018. Planners help so much, I feel, even just the monthly outlook) some of the major things I want to focus on.

For February, I want to keep posting on my planner page, keep up with the blog posts on here (5 planned out!), and working on a side project with my dad, on top of working on those habits.

I also am loosely planning on a date with babe, for Valentines Day, but not on the day itself, because it’s during our work week. With our dates, we never formally plan anything. Outside of seeing deals (like Lobster Fest at Red Lobster is going on) we don’t try too hard. Can you tell where we’re going this month? haha!

From there, sometimes I do my whiteboard monthly calendar, but I’m not feeling that this month, so I’m just leaving it clean. It’s a rather mild month, so I don’t feel the need to separate some of it out so I don’t feel lost looking at one “planner”.

My month is very laid back, as you can see. Mostly bills, work, off, sleep, and minor stuff so I don’t just lay around all day going crazy 3 days in.

What’s your month looking like? Let me know!

Book Review: What Have You Done?

I’ve done a lot of reading lately. Well, via Audible. I’m in the middle of a 5 book series, that I’ll be sharing a BIG review on, once I’m done with the series.

This time though, I’m doing one on the book “What Have You Done” by Matthew Farrell. And even though the “about this book” section gives a good bit of info, THAT END THOUGH is something else.

It’s very much a “who needs enemies when you have family” book. Family drama, murder, and revenge cheating.

When a mutilated body is found hanging in a seedy motel in Philadelphia, forensics specialist Liam Dwyer assumes the crime scene will be business as usual. Instead, the victim turns out to be a woman he’d had an affair with before breaking it off to save his marriage. But there’s a bigger problem: Liam has no memory of where he was or what he did on the night of the murder.
Panicked, Liam turns to his brother, Sean, a homicide detective. Sean has his back, but incriminating evidence keeps piling up. From fingerprints to DNA, everything points to Liam, who must race against time and his department to uncover the truth—even if that truth is his own guilt. Yet as he digs deeper, dark secrets come to light, and Liam begins to suspect the killer might actually be Sean…
When the smoke clears in this harrowing family drama, who will be left standing?

Is that not convincing? You can read AND listen to it for free on Kindle Unlimited and Audible (make sure to have the Kindle Unlimited subscription and the Kindle app, and the Audible app. Download the book to the Kindle app, and tap on the book settings, and there you can access the Audible version, which will open up in that app).

The audio book is 9 hours long, which includes credits to the author and storyteller. This is one of the shorter books I’ve listened to, but still rather good.

If you like crime and mystery, you’ll love this book. I forgot how much I missed crime and mystery type books, until reading this and the series I’m still reading.

What books have you been reading lately? I’d love to know, to add to my ever growing list of book inspo!

Foodie Friyay: Fish Tacos (Lent Approved)

Okay, knowing that it’s clearly not lent season, but HEALTH season, I did want to add, for those who might be visiting during lent season, that this is a suitable Friday recipe. I’m posting this as the first Foodie Friyay of 2019, let alone as a healthy one for those of us focusing on health, since it is January.

I’ll be honest right here, I failed to take pictures up until the end, of the food. But it’s simple enough (I think…If you want pics that bad, leave a comment and I’ll make it again and update this with pics, PLUS add it all on an insta post when I do, to let ya’ll know I updated this post. So make sure to follow me on insta. Comment here or there about the pics!).

Off my Pinterest board, I took the Halibut Tacos, and switched the meat into Tilapia, because I have a 2 pound pack on hand that I need to make a dent in. I didn’t make the slaw, but chopped up a small handful of spinach, and a quarter tomato, and put it all over a taco sized tortilla, with a tad of leftover rice, and ate it all.

I made the full batch of cilantro-lime sauce though, and kept the rest for later, for another recipe I’m trying, plus for future use. It’s not much, so don’t be worried about how much sauce is there.

I put a full tilapia per person in my version. I had made a cup of brown rice the day before (1 cup rice to 2 cups of water, so 2 cups? Idk). I don’t know proper measurments to it, but a little less than a half cup per person, for the tacos.

I did about 2 spoonfulls of the sauce, per person. It was very basic, but that’s the point, and when I can get babe to approve, that means it was good. We know how our men are! Babe loves old bay seasoning, and the fact that it was a hidden ingredient, plus I like to introduce things one by one (hence I left out the slaw at this point…plus I didn’t really look that I needed cabbage…oops), things worked out great!

What’s your favorite Taco Tuesday meal? Let me know in the comments!

12 Days of Christmas: Simple Saturdays

As I wrap up writing this series, I’m battling a winter head cold. The headache, I can’t speak much on if it’s my vision or the cold or both (probs both, let’s be real), but I have the nose going 3 different directions, the cough with the come-and-go tickle in the back of my throat (thank you tea!), and a light dose of fatigue.

While dealing with this, I figured why not talk about keeping a day good and simple. What better day than Saturday, right?

Why Saturday, you might ask? Why NOT Saturday is what I’d reply back, lightheartedly.

Saturdays are no better a day than Sundays, right? Plus, for those who are religious, Saturdays are great, because if we go back to Jewish culture, and outlook (like they don’t still exist…anyway), Sabbath is Saturday. Why do most of us consider Sunday the first day of the week? Because God created the universe in 7 days, and Sabbath is the last day, making Saturday Sabbath.

Another good reason to do Self Care on Saturdays, is that it’s your first day off, typically (lucky you! Mine’s Monday…kind of. 3rd shift makes things weird.). You can go grab all the good stuff form the store, go get stuff to take a good bath and rub some sort of face mask on your face, as you read a book. You can even go get a mani-pedi (or one of them…).

Now, men, don’t think I’m not including you. Try some of these things. As much as it tickles, go get a pedi and tell me you want to walk afterwards!

An odd thing to do, is take some time off from social media. You may not realize HOW MUCH TIME you waste on there. Sure it’s fun to look at the dog pictures, but it can get toxic, fast. I’m doing one now. You can go from limiting it to just an hour a day, to taking a weekend a month off, to a 30 day to even a year off!

Even limit which social medias you constantly turn to. Don’t know what to do in those moments where you’d be scrolling on social media? Look over your goals, break them down into something small enough to do, but able to accomplish. Try something new, or even catch up PERSONALLY with those you’ve been meaning to talk to.

Something else you can do, is to brew a cup of tea (spike it if you’re old enough and want to!), shower and put some conditioner in, braid your hair, and watch a good movie. Even re-runs or the DVR’d episode you’ve been putting off.

A final thing I want to mention, is to get some beauty sleep. Sleep in, go nap 2 hours after you wake up, even nap after you run some basic errands, go to bed early (or at a reasonable time, instead of staying up too late). Sleep is your friend. Have a glass of wine (or drink of choosing), unplug, and read a book, or listen to some non-lyrical but soothing music for a little bit before bed. Set yourself up for sleeping success!

On that note, I’m making myself yawn, so I think it’s time for me to find my wine wine and blankey for a nap!

How do you self care on the weekends? How about during the work week? Let me know, while I go take my nap!

Foodie Friyay: Recipes I’m Trying/Looking forward to this year

So on the back of yesterday’s post, I’m going to share some food I’m wanting to try this year. I hope to share as much of them as I can with you, but I don’t see sharing all those lovely dishes. I have to keep some to myself, right?!

This year I’m focusing on riding my body of anything that helps yeast flourish, due to some health issues I’ve been having the last handful of months in 2018. Please keep that in mind, and I’d love to see your creations of what I share, either now or later on in the year, whether you add something like bread or flour pasta to it or not.

To start off, I’m going to start by sharing the fact that I want to change my drinking habits. Like this whole process, I’ve kind of already started, and it’ll be gradual, to my body’s detoxing process. I’m significantly reducing alcohol intake, and that’s going to be more of a drastic change than gradually. Sodas I’m going to be limiting down to being very occasional, like the alcohol, and going for more teas and infused waters, and smoothies come summer time.

I’ll have a running list on Pinterest, which will be added to throughout the year, as I find and want to try new things, and search recipes. Be sure to follow it and share your creations of what I save!

When I was starting to plan out this month’s food plan, I asked babe what he wanted to try more of. He kind of made me look twice by saying more Oriental foods, because he wants to feel better and loose some weight, like I do, and most of the traditional oriental foods help keep things in balance, and keep their people petite.

Some of the first things I’m trying, that is (not so taste wise, but cooking specialty) out of my usual range, is miso soup, some Indian chicken dishes like butter chicken, tomato-cilantro chicken, and a mild (but not coconut based) curry dish.

Since I’ve gotten babe into more spicy dishes (well, he can handle more heat than when I first met him), let alone more cultured foods (he eats mushrooms and spinach now!), this year will be so much fun, food wise for us, and cooking wise for me.

I’ll be making more fish tacos (because taco Tuesdays is a thing, plus those good ol’ fatty acids that fish provide for us ladies), let alone just regular fish and veggie dishes.

During the colder months, I want to keep doing warm dishes, and make a batch of something in our crock pot or Instapot (we have both, the later thanks to my dad), for work days. I want to make a few soups, turkey chili, a Chinese Beef Stew, and some actual ramen of course!

Come summer months, I want to do more salads and cooler fish dishes, like sushi and sashimi. Other than smoothies, what are some other healthy (non-bread or sugar based!) foods that you like to make? I’ll always take some ideas!

What are some dishes you’re wanting to try this year? Let me know that too!

Travel Thursdays: Where to Travel/Gain Inspo

While watching the Paleo Way on Netflix (they only have season 2 on there right now, but that’s good enough), this is what started some of my interest in places I’d love to visit sometime in my life. I also have the wanderlust while watching Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat that’s also on Netflix (thank’s dad!).

Most people I see, who travel, usually want to go tourist-y, more to the main places, that aren’t usually food. Yet we can’t survive without food, so usually you land up eating sometime each day on your travels. It seems to me that not many people focus on local foods, but that’s how I’d travel, if I could. Sure the churches, the museums or other attractions would be lovely, but trying new food, and meeting the locals through local food, I find makes it all the more memorable.

Think of this, as you plan your travels this year, or over the next while, if you’re like me, and have to save and wait a good while to travel.

Going back to the show I’ve been watching, the Paleo Way, I got inspiration to go to the rain forest area of Queensland, Australia. I also got inspiration to go down a few states from where I live here in the States, to a farm. It’s a holistic farm, that looks like a very neat place to visit, and I think it’d be a great place to search for the restaurants that they supply their animals to.

One place I’d love to go for more family history reasons, is Japan. I’d love to go to Tokyo, but I’d more inclined to go more rural. Is that a surprise though, with what all I just said? haha!

Another long-out dream I have is to ride the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which is similar to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The main difference is what countries you visit throughout the trip. Here’s a website that offers both!

I’d love to visit the Mediterranean region as well. Can you tell I have no set region to visit yet? Most of this is in my dream life, probably in my older years.

Where would you like to travel in your future, near or far? I’d love to know!