Birthday 2018: Life Update

There’s so many things I want to share in this post, so be prepared. Also, this is a start to finish in a day post, quite literally on my birthday, so also be prepared!

This post contains affilliate links. You get some, I get some! Treat Yo’ Self!

As you read this, or think of me today (when you’re reading this, even if it’s not when this goes live), listen to: this, this, and this. Yes, I will always reference my band, and yes, this blog will take me so much longer to write, because I had to stop and appreciate the videos. Watch the behind the scene’s of High Hopes here, because it’ll show you how obnoxious Brendon really is!

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Yes, I’m being so “basic” and making a mood board for 24. I’m all about setting goals and making sure I’m happy and setting myself up to be happy in the future, by pushing myself now. Of course in a healthy manner!

I have lyrics from one of the songs I suggested to listen to (Hey Look Ma, I Made It!), a planner, to keep planning for the future, and make amazing memories, as well as build myself in all aspects I can, and the film picture for Farmlands, which is from Lauren Southern. This film really inspired me back into my journey of investigative journalism.

A little known fact about me, is that I wanted to go to college for journalism, and investigative journalism was (and is) something I wanted to more focus on. I never went because I know my talents are decent, but the field is so overpopulated, and I didn’t want to waste my time, money (or really credit to pull out student loans) for a degree that would hinder me more than help me.

With things like Skillshare¬†(2 free months if you sign up!), and freelance work, I want to make it happen. I have some ideas in the works, that I am going to start on this year, since the fire has been kindled underneath me. I’ll see where it takes me!

To continue onto some of my vision board for 24, I have cooking, savings, and photography goals and aspirations. All are overlapping as well as different.

Now let’s get into a tarot reading, because why not?! Here’s the spread I chose for today:
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Now, here’s my drawing, which by the way, was spot on, and I am glad I drew it!
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Yes, this is a hot mess, but it spoke to me! I won’t go into great detail here, but this spread called out that I should forgive and allow my past to be my past, be and create my confidence and leader self, and go after the goals that I wish to set up for myself, in aspects of betterment and what my soul longs for. This is going to be a good year for me (until I turn 25, and I can assess how 25 will treat me!).

For reference, my cards were:
1- Ace of Swords
2- Ten of Swords
3- Five of Swords
4- Seven of Cups (Reversed)
5- The Emperor IV
6- Judgement XX (Reversed)
7- Queen of Coins

So, with all of that in mind, that is the general gist of me turning another year older. I have some basic things planned in honor of my birthday, with those that are close and love.

What do you like to do for your birthday? Do you have any specific rituals you do each year, or do you try to do something different? Do you do anything at all? I’d love to know! Share in the comments what you do, or have done!

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Audio Book Review: Wisdom of Sundays

I’ve never really gotten into Oprah, but I know she’s so influential, and love her vibe, for what I’ve listened, heard, and saw of her. Awhile back, Aileen from Lavendaire said that she had listened to the audio book of Oprah’s Wisdom of Sundays, taken from her series on her network.

I chose my first of two audiable credits I had, to listen to Wisdom of Sundays as well. It was no better time to listen to this, right before my trip to California. I’ll be sharing more on how I planned that on Monday! Anyway, I truly suggest, as a fan or not so much fan, to go listen to these conversations she shares in this audio book.

Truly, this book is something that was perfectly placed into my life, and made it’s way into my life, at no better of a time.

Oprah’s best life style shines through this whole book, which really isn’t a book, but filled with best life tips, tricks, and “Ah-ha!” moments we should all experience. I would love to get into watching or listening to more of the Super Soul Sunday conversations because of this book.

Oprah shares her conversations with people like Gary Zukav, my next re-read author (which I next to never re-read) Ekhart Tolle, and one of the last ones on her list, Daniel Pink. I love the idea that that conversation brought: every great person/influencer has a sentence or catch that we remember them for.

Throughout this book, every time that Oprah talks about gratitude and her gratitude journal, I keep telling myself that I need to get back into doing my daily gratitude. I was doing so well, doing 5 a day, and kind of lost track of it. This is a habit that I wanted to cultivate this year, and I’m not doing it as much as I should.

Also, while listening to this whole book, over the course of many days, I am brought back to mindfulness and self awareness. When I say I needed this book, at this exact point in my life, I mean it. The mindfulness brought to light in the conversation of John Kabat-Zin was the start of everything I needed in this book. When he says “When you’re making pasta, and stirring the sauce, JUST STIR THE SAUCE”

The next conversation that hit me was the one with Reverand Bacon (I think that’s his name…chapter 4 of the audio book…listed as chapter 5 because of the intro being a “chapter”, for reference).

Their take on vibrations, and how what you do, say, and surround yourself with, creates your vibration and energy. When you tweak or mess with one (or when one messes with you), the others are affected. It makes sense on why I have a lot of the desires that I do, wanting to branch out and move on, in terms of my work, let alone who I want to keep around me.

I’ve been on the journey of filtering out or limiting the energies that don’t vibe with mine, either as they come, or the ones that have been around too long and need to go. Frankly, most of that has been dealt with, so it’s just a “deal with it as it arises” sort of thing.

My next “Ah-ha” moment came just a little over a chapter later in the listen. Commentary on the idea of “the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, but justice”. What justice are you doing for yourself? With that

As I listened to Oprah’s conversation with Elie Wisel at the end of her book, the first minute broke my heart. Any survivor of that type of horror brings my feels out, and knowing that his heartbreak of his sister dying during the Nazi reign makes me feel the sad feels. Anything like that, sad feels doesn’t even cut it for my pain, and I didn’t even loose someone from those wars.

Wiesel had written about 50 books, and he is best noted for saying “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference”, which is remarkable. Looking through his list of books is what I HAVE to do over the next while, and add to my ever-growing list of books to read.

He passed away just under 2 years ago, and may his soul truly rest easy.

This audio book is a MUST READ/LISTEN. I grasp why those who recommend it, recommend it. When you need hope, when you need inspiration, when you need ideas, when you are in need of “Ah-Ha” moments, get this audio book. Listen to this when you are short on yourself, when you need something to pull you out of yourself, out of your mind.

This will be a listen frequently. This will be at least an annual listen, like what I’m making the Power of Now from Tolle, and Tuesdays with MorrieTuesdays with Morrie by Albom.

I’ve never been the type to re-read books. But as of late (the last 2 years really), I’ve turned into one of those. My first re-read was Tuesdays with Morrie, hence my desire of talking with “older” people, and wanting to turn it into a podcast.

The Power of Now hit me so hard last year that I couldn’t help but want and near NEED to put it on a re-read list. Listening to Wisdom of Sundays has done the same thing. 12 Rules for Life is on my re-read list as well.

 

Wine Wednesday: The House by the River Review

Do you recall two weeks ago when I did a review on 2 books for World Book Day? Well, here’s the third book’s review that I got during those days of free e-books and super cheap audiobook versions because I have the eBook version.

My two books for World book day were Last Train to Istanbul and A River in Darkness. Go check them both out, on top of going to my World book day post, if you want my opinions on them.

I’ve truly fallen in love with audiobooks lately. My “day job” is so dull, and to listen to podcasts and books make my job more bearable. I’m aiming this month, to decrease my spending, and get more income, through working with people who may lower my costs of things I can enjoy, and things I can’t dodge paying (mainly the electric bill, for now…stay tuned for that!).

Anyway, let’s get into this review for ya’ll. It’s been too long since World Book Day, and I told you I’d read/listen and share my thoughts.

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This little love story is the story of a woman’s 5 girls who all left her, 4 out of love for a man, that would each take them to different places outside of their small town, and their house by the river. The last girl went out on her own journey, as she went after her passion instead of love like the other sisters.

Going through the book, you take each girl’s journey, and like the girls, you almost forget about the mother, who lost each one of her children, until they get into a situation where they miss and feel the need to go back to the house by the river, but are too ashamed to go back to there.

You can see most of their struggles, and see where they should’ve gone back, or at least dove deeper into their adult relationship with their mother.

This book is a perfect lead up/reminder for Mother’s Day (at least those who participate in it). As someone who only knows the daughter side of things, and only seeing my own mother a handful of times in the almost decade, this is such a reminder of what my mother might see things.

With some of the girls’ struggles in their personal lives, I’ve also seen where my own relationships could go. The advice that the girls’ mother, let alone the influential people they meet along the way, is everything a young woman needs to hear, let alone reflect on.

If you’re interested in the book, visit:
physical copy
ebook
audio version

Try audiable if you aren’t sure about it, or haven’t yet! It’s great for long commutes (personally, over a half hour each way), or if your job is as dull as mine is, and you can at least somewhat get away with audio books. Each book you get, you keep, regardless if you keep your membership. I’ve paused mine a couple times, and enjoy re-listening to some books.

A lot of my older books were cheaper since I had the book in my kindle app, and I only had listened to so much of the book, versus reading it. Half the time, if I can’t get into a book, but want to finish it, I’ll grab the audio version and listen to it at work and it’s made the world of difference!

What fiction books have you been reading lately? Do you like reading books (physical or ebook) or do you like audio books better? I’d like to hear, so I can read/listen, review, and share on here!

See all the books I’ve read or listened to below:
House by the River
A River in Darkness
Last Train to Instanbul

April Book Review: 101 Secrets for Your Twenties

This month was an easy-styled read for me, since I’ve been struggling with the reading bandwagon. I know with my “reading” of the World Book Day books I got from Amazon, it seems like I’m rocking it this month. Well, I guess I have, but in the same time, sitting down to read a book is so challenging sometimes.

But hey, most of it’s me, who procrastinates on taking a shower in the morning, even though I know it helps my morale, going from working that night, to whatever I have set aside for myself during the morning.

For April’s read, I had penciled in 101 Secrets for Your 20’s, which hey- if you didn’t know: I’m a 20-something! (no really, I am). I loved the format, from the moment I took a look into it, earlier this month.

Each secret is its own chapter, and sometimes, it’s just even the secret itself! Just from what I’ve said, plus given the title, it’s a very straight-forward read.

One of my early on favorites was the rule of “Don’t cram your plot line into someone else’s story”. Grant it, we’ve heard a variation of this before, but I love the language he used for this.

There’s not much more I can say about this book, other than go read it, if you want to have a good laugh down memory lane (if you’re past this 20’s phase), or need some good ol’ tips, during your twenties, if you’re struggling (or not….I don’t know).

If anything, you can surely grab a few tips, and shove them down a friend’s face when they need it!

Waking Up to the Second Quarter of 2018

So yesterday, I gave you a recap on the first three months of 2018. Now I’ll be sharing my general plans and goals for the second quarter!

If you didn’t already know, I’m in the second year of THE Artist of Life Workbook program, created none other by Aileen Xu at Lavendaire. I’m apart of the OG from last year, as 2017 was her first year of the program. It’s a workbook, which can be done digitally (and printed, if desired…that’s what I did this year), or mailed to you, in a very cute smaller paged book (I did that last year). There’s also a private Facebook mastermind group that runs in junction with the workbook. You don’t need the workbook per se, but it is a huge influence into what goes on in the group.

Anyway, now that I’ve explained a little more of what that is, let’s jump into what I have going on, what I want to do, and where I want to see myself in three months time. Since it’s Wednesday as well, so I’m going to share my “wine Wednesday” choice, which is a chilled brut sparkling wine from California.

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What are you sipping on today (or looking forward to, since we’ve made it through half the week?)

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This is the quarter overview page, and as you can tell, I did the print version and typed up all that I could, then printed it out so that I could physically write down my progress during each month. The pictures I shared in yesterday’s post display the monthly outlook, as well as the quarter review. This is the other end of the quarter, since I haven’t share this end of it yet.

To give you some big goals for the overall year, my goal was to explore and learn. I wanted to read a book a month (or 12 books) at least. I’ve done 2.5 books so far. I want to read more, if I can manage, as I have a book given to me by my maternal grandma, but it is a heafty read, so I’m leaving that book for the months where I travel a lot, or when I have spare time at the end of the month, where I’ve finished the book that I have planned for said month.

The exploring end is my travel bug, that has been a general thing since I was younger. I traveled across the two US coasts near all of my childhood, and I want to actually travel. My grandparents asked me last fall if I wanted to join them on a trip, and I couldn’t say no, so hence this year is all about exploring and experiences, of all sorts.

My travels started over Easter weekend, with going to more properly explore Pittsburgh, as it’s one of a handful of close larger cities to me. I’ll be experiencing more come summer, but this was a nice introduction.

Going back to the “smaller picture”, this quarter is a strange one, at best. I have some self care and home care I’m taking care of, but in the same time, come June (the last month of the quarter, let alone the last month of the first half of the year), I’ll be traveling. To me, it’s a reward to both “adulting”, because what fun is it (and what good is it really, to your health) if you don’t have something to look forward to, and it’s also a reward for working on myself and the place I live in.

Our aparment isn’t messy or needs too much work done, but since babe was here long before me, and with the Universe granting it, we’ll be together a long time, I want to add a more personal touch that I like as well. Most of it’s just organizing and tiding up, as we’ve accumulated things. I’ve become more simplistic in material goods, and I want it to show throughout our apartment.

Organizing the house, is something that both Aileen targets in the goal setting and planning sections of the workbook, and she has a whole section devoted to the home. After reading Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life (read my review), it solidified that I did need to get my house in order as well. He always says start with your room, and that’s always a work in progress. Then your house? That’s even more always a work in progress. Yet as long as you sort out and plan and try to expect things (like plan for when you need a new garage door, or if you have pluming issues), you’re doing pretty good.

So April is covering what I want or should get for the start of organizing the living room and attic, while May is the living room, and after that and into June, before my 2 week trip (yes half the month!), will be the attic. I have no idea what I’m getting into, but I hope I have enough time and stamina!

I have 3 books planned out, and already have two of them. I should get the third on audio book, so that I can listen to it while I’m organizing…or maybe I should just re-listen to 12 rules for life? I’d probably fall asleep on the couch if I did that!

During June, I’m letting myself enjoy things, and my biggest goal is to explore and work on photography while I’m on my trip. I have 10 busy days out of 14, which includes flying. I’ll be able to get some reading done, as well as some prep work for here.

Do you think I’m doing enough? Or do you need another drink to process all of that (haha)?

As you can tell, I’m planning to get some housework done before the trip, so that I can fully enjoy the summer, all the way through my birthday events, in September. After September, it’s all hustle and bustle to pay it off, and start saving for next year!

The fun is only starting to begin, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Share what you have planned for summer, down below, or repost this blog and do it there!