Where Have I Been?
Anxiety , Mental Health / August 24, 2019

The past month or more I have been horrifically absent from my blog, bad taste I know. This post is just a little (okay big) life update on why I have been missing and talking about some exciting things to come!! Anxiety The first thing I would say is that my anxiety has gotten so much better. At the beginning of June I finally found a practicing plan that works for me. From June until now, my area of comfortability in driving has gone up from 4 minutes to 8 or 9, which may seem small but is the fastest and most miraculous progress I have made in the past two years. Every morning I get up at 7 am, eat a quick breakfast, and then hit the road to practice driving. I have been really consistent and have been seeing great progress by sticking to my plan, and I am really thrilled for it. This also means that my husband and I do much more together at night, so I have had a bit less time to write. Health Another big update is that I have officially gained ten pounds! If you haven’t seen my post about my body,…

The Secret History By Donna Tartt
Book Recommendations / June 28, 2019

Sometime in early 2017, I first saw The Little Friend by Donna Tartt at Barnes and Noble. The eye-catching cover that puts you in mind of Annabelle pulled me in instantly, and I knew it needed to go on my reading list. Flash forward to 2018, and I finally owned it. I plowed through The Little Friend in three days and thoroughly enjoyed it and its Bildungsroman style. A large ritual I have when I find a random book by an author I don’t recognize and enjoy it is look up their other work, because normally if I enjoy one of their books, I will enjoy the rest of them as well. Therefore, after finishing The Little Friend, I looked up Donna Tartt and her other works, and was surprised to find that The Little Friend was not the book that got all the rage, it was The Secret History, which was published a decade prior to The Little Friend. In true book crazed style, I bought The Secret History the first chance I got last September after my husband and I’s wedding. I had a few books that I wanted to read first, so I did not get around…

A Change
Anxiety , Mental Health / June 11, 2019

I was 14 when I decided I wanted hair like Rapunzel. But there was something Disney didn’t tell me. Rapunzel’s hair was so long and sleek Because she didn’t have anxiety attacks That made her pull it out in clumps. Because depression didn’t leave her unable to get out of bed Brushing her hair wasn’t too hard a task. Rapunzel’s waist was so perfect, so tiny. But what Disney didn’t say Was that if you were that small, There was probably something wrong. Your hair and nails would go brittle from malnourishment… And break off. I know now I can’t be Rapunzel. And Disney is all lies. But I can be fine. I am strong. I am beautiful. But most importantly I’m alive. The past year and a half of my life have been insane. From star student set to graduate early to crippled with anxiety, I’ve put my soul and body through the ringer. But there are improvements. And losing 11 inches of hair was only the start. My hair looking it’s absolute best from far away before: My new look:

How Not To Die Alone
Book Recommendations / May 15, 2019

How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper was my book of the month. I would place the book in the humorous fiction category, with a bit of dark humor mixed in. If you have enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will love How Not To Die Alone. Richard Roper is able to touch on the subjects of death, grief, loneliness, and bittersweet friendship while still maintaining a light mood that kept me laughing all the way through. “Andrew could think of many things he’d rather be doing that evening-most of them involving his testicles, some jam, and some aggrieved hornets…” – Roper, Page 115 Andrew works for the city council. He has the lovely job of going to people’s houses who have died in their district without anyone being aware that they were even gone. After the body is taken away, it’s Andrew’s job to hunt through what is left of their life to find next of kin and the money required to cover the funeral costs. If he finds no family, Andrew attends every funeral as an act of service for those who have passed alone, unnoticed. A fairly distressing job, but thankfully, he gets to return…

No Exit by Taylor Adams
Uncategorized / April 22, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams is a thriller set in the Colorado Rockies. It is 333 pages, but as a disclaimer, I read all 333 of them in about three or four hours. I received No Exit through Book of the Month Club, and it was released in December of 2018. Before we start, let me provide some background. No Exit revolves around Darby, a college student who is racing through a snow storm in order to see her dying mother. She gets stranded at a remote rest stop without any cell reception. There are four strangers inside, and at first Darby believes that this will just be an annoying night, until she goes outside and finds a child locked in a cage in one of the vehicles. One of the strangers is a kidnapper…but which one? No Exit has sat on my shelf since I received it the first week of December. I was in the middle of other books at the time, and then was gifted 12 books for Christmas, so I had a bit of other reading that was more important. At this point I’ve read every book I own besides No Exit and Lost and Wanted…

Best Books to Read 2018
Book Recommendations , Books / April 17, 2019

For this weeks Spring Reading Challenge, you are supposed to read a book that was on your list in 2018. I had a lot of books on my list, because my book list is always running about 50 books long (even more now that I have gotten into the blogging community!). Thankfully I worked through quite a few of them once I moved 5 minutes from my favorite bookstore in August, but there are still a lot! Here are just a few from my list that I still have yet to read in 2019. Title: Call Me By Your Name Author: Andre Aciman Length: 256 Pages Genre: LGBT Literary Fiction Synopsis: The book that the critically acclaimed movie of the same name is based on, Call Me By Your Name is the story of a beautiful and unexpected romance that crops up between a young boy and a guest at his parent’s mansion. With the gorgeous scenery and intense passion between them, the young lovers must decide whether or not they will go into territory previously unknown. Title: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Author: Caitlin Doughty Length: 272 Pages Genre: Sociology of Death Synopsis: Caitlin Doughty takes her degree in…

In Cold Blood By Truman Capote
Book Recommendations , Books / April 15, 2019

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is a true crime novel set in Holcomb Kansas, 1959. It is 343 pages long (though it felt longer at some points due to the details that are involved in the story). Capote has received praise as well as criticism for his work on In Cold Blood. Obviously the most important aspect of a true crime novel is the crime that it resolves around. In Cold Blood tells the story and details of one of the most famous murder cases in Kansas history. On November 15th, 1959, four members of the Clutter family are murdered in their own home. Their bodies are discovered by family friends; the cause of death is shotgun blasts at close range. There are few clues, and no apparent motive. In Cold Blood was my first true crime novel, and I was really looking forward to enjoying it. Which I did, only in a different way than I expected to. I am a fan of mysteries and thrillers, and for whatever reason was expecting the true crime to be the same. So I was slightly disappointed when Capote starts narrating from the killers perspective within the first few chapters. I…

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Book Review
Book Recommendations , Books / April 14, 2019

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is a historical fiction novel set after September 11th, 2001 in New York City. It is approximately 368 pages. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close became a major motion picture in 2011. Foer is also the author of Everything Is Illuminated. Most of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is narrated by nine year old Oskar, who is socially awkward and we can assume may have some developmental issues as well. The book leads you through his grieving process as he comes to term with the fact that his father was one of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The only thing that Oskar has left of his father are several voice messages that he left the morning of the attack, and a key that he found in the closet in his parents room. Oskar is convinced that this key was meant for him to find, and that if he can search for the lock it belongs to he will have uncovered a secret message from his father. Foer takes the reader on a journey with Oskar as he travels throughout New York City, overcoming his fear of talking to people, public transportation,…

Best Books to Read on Vacation
Book Recommendations , Books / April 10, 2019

This week for my Spring 2019 Reading Challenge, we are going to look at a book that is set in a city you have been to. I was trying to think of the best way to do this for all of my international readers, and decided that I would find the top traveled to cities of 2018, and provide books from there. If you would like to see a full list, visit Business Insiders post on most traveled to cities! Bangkok, Thailand A Marine sergeant is murdered under a Bangkok bridge inside a bolted-shut Mercedes Benz, and it is all seen by a group of witnesses. Among the witnesses are two cops…but one is murdered within the hour. The other, Sonchai Jitpleecheep is set on revenge. Bangkok 8 follows Jitpleecheep and his partner Jones, a beautiful FBI agent, as they go through the illegal and sinister world of underground Bangkok. London, UK Tom Hazard seems like an ordinary 41 year old man in London. He’s a high school history teacher and on his first day, meets the French teacher and is immediately smitten. There is only two problems: First, Tom has a disease that makes him age slowly, and he…

Crisis Helplines for Mental Health
Anxiety , Mental Health / April 7, 2019

I believe that it is important for all mental health platforms to have a place where help is available. I would love if these numbers were shared with friends and family, because they are SO important. Crisis helplines can help in times of distress and anxiety, as well as depressive and suicidal moments. United States Crisis Helplines for Mental Health: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) This hotline available 24 hours a day, and should be used if you are having suicidal thoughts. It can provide free emotional support and crisis intervention. Crisis Text line: Text “home” to 741741 This text line is a bit more discrete, and there are counselors available on the other end to talk you through emotional distress and make sure that you stay safe. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) This helpline can assist if you decide that you are prepared to take the next steps in your recovery. They have a locator for information on treatment providers, therapists, and even support groups. National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) This helpline is only available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Monday-Friday. They will answer general questions on…

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