Aloha Friday, Musings

Aloha Friday | 1/8/21

Well…this week was wonderful because it started with my daughter’s 4th birthday! I love her so much and she had a great time with our little luncheon ~ she didn’t want food, she just wanted family, cake and gifts, and that is what she got.

The week got even better when the Georgia election Tuesday night showed Georgia turning blue…thank you Stacey Abrams and all your amazing hard wook, teamwork…all of it. πŸ‘‘ Then Wednesday morning I was watching the news to make the Georgia results official…and realized the electoral college votes were going to be certified…and they got to Arizona, and there were objections so they went to debate it…and then all hell broke loose outside and inside. I am appalled, mad at the hypocrisy, just disgusted…can they just remove him today (as I write this on Wednesday during the protest)? So I wasted a day watching the news…

Anyway enough of that negativity…sigh…how was my reading week?

Newly Acquired Books:

NetGalley:

Kindle Unlimited:

TV, Movies, Etc…:

Netflix:

  • The Queen’s Gambit ~ finished the series and enjoyed it! It’s dark, sad, but love love love how it’s filmed, the aesthetic, her make-up, her hair, style…ugh, love. It was fascinating watching Beth Harmon’s life and how she grows from child to young woman. I love Jolene being real with Beth. β™₯️ Compelling story for sure!

Adulting:

  • We got a fish. Haha…my son did his 2nd quarter project on an axolotl and I saw our local pet store had one so I took them there to see it. And we came home with a fish – daughter wanted the axolotl and I said no, told her to get a betta fish instead since ours died last year. Our fur baby died 2 years ago and I was waiting until my daughter turns 5 to get another dog…so I’ve been looking since last year! The search continues…
  • My son will start hybrid schooling come February and I’m happy for him. I wish they could roll out the vaccine quicker, teachers need them – my sister got hers because she works at the hospital. But yes, would be great to get that out quicker.

I hope your week went well and you are staying safe out there!

β™‘ ~ Yolanda

Musings

Year in Review | 2020

In review it was the worst year ever – lost family members to COVID, the anxiety was unreal, turn to stress eating and a daily coffee drinker now πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ. Cancelled the family Disney Cruise which my daughter keeps insisting we are still going on when the virus disappears (not happening). BUT my friends and family are safe and healthy despite the crazy year…we got through it! Books got me through it so let’s see what I read!

According to Goodreads.com:

My goal was to read 70 books because I read close to 200 last year. Well…I tried getting to less than a hundred but in a pandemic year? Forget it!

351 sounds about right and wow, I rate books fairly high huh? 😁

And here are the books I read…

You know I did read more than this, a few were kindle unlimited series that I wanted to review all together in one post, but I’m waiting for the final book of the series to do it. Oh well…I’ll write them in 2021. There really were some amazing books this year!

As far as my blog format is concerned, I changed up the look a little this year by adding different banners for sections. More changes may be coming because I learn as I go and I may change how I write my reviews (again)…haha, I know, I know, more changes?!…I want more fun bookish content,. I just wish I had the time to spend on the blog. Anyway, we shall see how I feel! How did you do this year?

πŸŽ† ~ Yolanda

Aloha Friday, Musings

Merry Christmas | 12/25/20

We made it to Christmas 2020, y’all! If you celebrate, Merry Christmas, if not, happy Aloha Friday! The ones who are super excited for today are my kids and the opening of gifts. I got a haircut and massage on Sunday so that was my Christmas gift and it was AMAZING. The massage was so needed. We are going to my mom’s for Christmas Lunch with my family, and all I want to do is chill.

My sister got the covid vaccine this week because she works at the hospital and honestly, I think that could be the best gift ever this year. I wish I could get the vaccine but I’m not essential. I hope this means things are going to be better for 2021. Looking back on this year, my husband lost his aunt to covid and my aunt lost her granddaughter. This virus doesn’t discriminate, it took young and old. Prayers to all of those who lost someone to this virus this year…it really is my Christmas wish, for everyone to stay healthy and safe.

Thank you for all the bookish content you post for me to read, it helped me get through this crazy year bonding with all you fellow book lovers. πŸ₯° I hope you get some awesome book gifts and Merry Christmas!

πŸ’šβ€οΈ ~ Yolanda

Aloha Friday, Musings

Aloha Friday | 9/25/20

Hi friends! How was your week?

I was so upset to learn Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last Friday. πŸ’” May she rest in power and peace. She did so much for women’s rights in America. Our political environment is…crazy…with the election only 39 days away…39! It’s making me anxious. You know my birthday is the day after the election? I told my husband I may need to get a bottle of wine for election night (to calm my nerves). Hello, I haven’t drank alcohol in a long while…it makes me so tired and with two young kids, my poison choice is caffeine. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

So what happened this week ~

New Books Acquired:

  • Legendborn by. Tracy Deonn – I finally have it IN MY HANDS!
  • To Carve a Fae Heart by. Tessonja Odette (Kindle Unlimited)
  • I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by. Kimberly Jo & Gilly Segal (Overdrive Online Library)
  • The Midnight Lie by. Marie Rutkoski (Overdrive Online Library)
  • The Merciful Crow by. Margaret Owen (Overdrive Online Library)

NetGalley Books I’m Reading:

  • Every Single Lie – Rachel Vincent
  • Shadow City – Francesca Flores
  • Warmaidens – Kelly Coon

Books on my Shelf That I’m Trying To Finish:

  • Rogue Princess by. B.B. Myers
  • Strange Grace by. Tessa Gratton

Books I Want:

  • The Inheritance Games by. Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Greythorne (The Bloodleaf Trilogy, #2) by. Crystal Smith
  • Skyhunter by. Marie Lu

Adulting News:

  • Hoping to get a car this weekend! 🀞🏽
  • Counting the days when my son can go back to his physical school location haha – we are both kind of tired of each other at this point. His first quarter is ending soon and he has fall break in two weeks. Crazy!!
  • Time has flown by…we will be in October and I’m so sad that Halloween finally falls on a weekend this year and Halloween isn’t going to be happening, exactly. I’ll decorate for sure, but passing out candy – sorry no. Guess I’ll save money that way haha! ☹️
  • I know we are only approaching Halloween but I have to start thinking of Christmas items for my Etsy shop! So I’ll be getting started on making ornaments soon. πŸ’šβ€οΈ
Aloha Friday, Musings

Aloha Friday | 9/18/20

Another week done and we are almost into October. Craziness!

New Books Acquired:

  • Legendborn by. Tracy Deonn – I pre-ordered but my book didn’t come this week. πŸ™ It’s shipping next week! Oh well, at least I already read the arc.
  • Blood & Honey by. Shelby Mahurin

NetGalley Books I’m Reading:

  • The Ravens – Kass Morgan & Danielle Page
  • Shadow City – Francesca Flores

Books on my Shelf That I’m Trying To Finish:

  • Rogue Princess by. B.B. Myers
  • Strange Grace by. Tessa Gratton

Adulting News:

  • Finally going to shop for another car πŸ˜•. I honestly hate car shopping, it just takes too long and I’m not into cars at all haha, plus it’s a pandemic so showrooms here are “closed”. That makes things somewhat challenging but hopefully I can get a car by next week? Or please by the end of September. I can’t believe I’ve been carless for more than a month, just happy the claim went through.
  • My son’s online schooling is…going. We supposedly have two more weeks of it but I think it may extend into the 2nd quarter. We shall see, our positive COVID cases have dropped but they are going to open up our state to tourism in three weeks. We’ll see how that goes.
  • I’m trying to work on Halloween items to add to my Etsy shop. Any resin pieces that need help or I just can’t sell, I’m going to turn into Christmas ornaments.

What’s new in your life? Or what new book did you get? Leave me a comment bellow!

πŸ’• ~Yolanda

Musings, What I'm Reading Next

New Book Finds on Kindle Unlimited

Do you read ebooks and have Kindle Unlimited? I do, so I scour the new titles once in awhile trying to see if there is anything that I wanted to read but couldn’t afford to buy. I’m a mom on a budget so I can’t splurge on books like I used to. I usually use Kindle Unlimited to read indie authors.

I was checking out what was available on Kindle Unlimited last night and I found a bunch of titles I’ve been wanting to read. With the monthly subscription you can basically read whatever is in their Kindle Unlimited catalog without paying extra. So here’s what I added to my Kindle Unlimited library:

I’m reading Red, White & Blue first!

Some other titles I saw that I hope I can get to are:

I actually have a copy of The Great Alone on my shelf but honestly it’s easier for me to read an ebook at night than a physical book with a light on. I already have a bunch on my TBR for September so I hope I can get to these.

Happy Reading!

πŸ’• ~ Yolanda

Musings

Mid August Updates | A Very Bad Week

Aloha readers!

Last week was rough. 😞 My daughter and I got into a fender bender – we are FINE thank goodness, but my car is not fine. I got rear ended from behind and then my car hit the car in front of me…so my fender and bumper got damaged among other things. My daughter crying freaked me out a lot…but I’m so glad we are okay. I had some tightness all over my body the next day but the next day I felt pretty normal – so I think I’m good. I’m just without a car until the insurance claim goes through and it’s a pandemic…so things are SLOW GOING.

And speaking of pandemic…

Our numbers in Hawaii went from 0 positive cases in the beginning of May…to a daily of 200+ this past week, our highest was 355! A lot of these cases are in the city where my parents, sister (and her fam), and friends live – it’s where I grew up. And my anxiety has been through the roof with the accident but then I had a friend (negative result thank goodness) exposed to someone with COVID and then my own family have been exposed this week also. It’s a stressful waiting game to see if symptoms appear or when they can take the test.

We need another lockdown in out state – people here got too complacent when we had 0 cases. We were so happy, we did a good job staying home then we started opening the state and cases exploded. Also school was pushed back a few weeks but we start this week. I signed my son up for online instruction and I’m glad I did.

It’s a stressful time and I just want to protect my friends and family. Put them in a protective bubble sigh…so no one gets sick. Hopefully we get that stay at home order soon. And I hope that guy’s insurance company calls me back soon saying they ready to cover damages – because I need my car. I don’t go out a lot, but just going to do something normal like buy groceries…KEEPS ME SANE. I only go to the grocery store anyways these days or to buy take out to support local restaurants. πŸ˜’

Please stay safe out there fellow bloggers and readers! Positive vibes to you all.

β™₯️ ~Yolanda

Musings

Update: Hurricane Douglas Watch

Aloha friends!

So our islands are under a hurricane watch – we have them almost every year so I think everyone on the island is usually prepared with the supplies. It makes it more challenging this year because of COVID. Speaking of the virus, during lockdown in March-May we got our numbers flattened. I mean we got it seriously flatlined. As we opened up late May and into June, numbers started to rise, but this week…it’s been the highest daily cases. 50-70+ cases the past 3 days. And school is supposed to reopen in one week. They are rethinking doing that and as a parent, I don’t feel safe for the staff (teachers, etc…), and now I don’t feel safe to send my child even though it was only for 2 days a week.

I feel like the hurricane, covid numbers rising and school reopening has been a triple whammy – talk about anxiety. But I know I can’t control a hurricane, and I can’t control the virus. I do know I can make my family and I prepared for a hurricane and prepared to prevent catching the virus as best we can. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

To relieve my anxiety I’ve been crafting – if you want to check out the 40% off sale I have on my Etsy shop click this link: Fanciful Wish – unfortunately I’m only shipping in the USA right now. Making resin crafts has really given me an outlet to dealing with my anxiety.

Of course I read as much as I can – do any of you find yourselves not able to read when your anxiety is high? I actually have to be in a certain mood to read these days. I have a TBR list that’s growing!

Cooking? I was not making bread during lockdown like everyone else because hello…there was no yeast to be found, anywhere!! Haha…I have learned to make more veggie dishes for myself though so that’s a win.

Music – because I craft a lot, I listen to music constantly and my playlists have consisted of:

  • BLACKPINK: because for some reason when I’m making kawaii resin items, it gets me in the mood for colorful things haha! It’s the only kpop I listen to.
  • Chromatica – Lady Gaga: because her music is so upbeat and energetic! And I was doing spaceship/alien themed resin pieces (like the photo above) and it just worked.
  • Hamilton Soundtrack – after watching Hamilton on Disney+….the soundtrack was on repeat for days in my house. I especially love when Eliza and Angelica sing, UGH…so good! Anyway, it was like listening to an audiobook that I could follow because it was music. I don’t follow audiobooks AT ALL. But the Hamilton Soundtrack works for me.
  • Folklore by Taylor Swift – just recently released and the story lover in me is obsessed with the song Exile and My Tears Ricochet! All her songs remind me of young adult contemporary novels and it’s such a more relaxed vibe than her usual pop songs that it’s perfect for when I’m crafting.

And when I need to watch something I turn on Netflix! This is what I watched this week while blogging or crafting:

  • Cursed – I borrowed the book and never had a chance to read it so yay for it being on Netflix! I wish they would make every ya book into a tv show or movie haha because visually, they all look amazing. Now Cursed…is violent, I didn’t realize how bloody it would be! So far I think it was pretty good, some parts I wanted it to hurry along but it makes me want to watch season 2.
  • Indian Matchmaker – because I’m always curious how different cultures see marriage and dating! This was fascinating.
  • Kissing Booth 2 – Kissing Booth the first movie was okay but I think I like this second one better because another hot guy is added to the cast! Just kidding! I didn’t think much of “Noah” in the first movie, but honestly after watching the same actor in HBO’s Euphoria, I became a fan. Anyway, it let me escape the real world for an hour or so which is what I need these days.

That’s my update and yes, typing this out is always helping me not think of the hurricane that is 24 hours away from “hitting” us. The waiting sucks haha so just gotta stay positive and busy.

Can you recommend any other Netflix shows for me to watch? Stay safe out there everyone!

Musings

Last Day Of May…and Here We Are

I haven’t been able to read books the last few days. We still get covid positives here in Hawaii but it’s been under 5 cases each day, some days with 0. I think we’ve had 650+ positives overall and almost 90% have recovered, with 17 deaths. But things are getting under way now and more restrictions are being lifted, and then I saw George Floyd murdered on my social media feed. I felt – Sick. Anger. Grief. Pain…I couldn’t understand how that policeman could stare at the person taking video of the whole incident and not flinch.

The last few days I’ve been watching the protests and the riots taking place all over the USA and now even in some places around the world. Jobs are gone, there are people trying to survive out there, there are people pent up with staying indoors, there are people dying from a contagious virus (100,000+ deaths in the USA alone 😒) – we need leadership and there is none. Black Lives Matter. I’ve been talking to my son about what is happening, I’m posting on social media and donating to organizations. We need change, we need hope that things will change.

I’m sure I’ll post my May wrap up sometime in June. I can’t believe pre-covid we had plans to be on a Disney Cruise this week! 2020 really has been a crazy, emotional rollercoaster year so far. It’s been a year of grieving and pain. I’m scared to see what the rest of 2020 will bring…

Please stay safe out there. ❀️

Musings, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday | 3/25/20

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is pretty simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

What are you currently reading?

I spied this title first on Bookishfirst but didn’t win a copy in the raffle. That’s okay because I found it on my online library. So far it’s a quick read and I’m enjoying it!

I’m also trying to make a dent on the Bookoutlet haul I got back in December! So I’m finally reading this book – I love cover!

What have you just finished reading?

Ehhh – it was okay, more for Grey lovers (whom I really did love in book one!)…but this one didn’t hold my attention like book one.

What are you going to read next?

I have this one up next on my NetGalley to read and review, so I better get to it. A little space opera, if I can get in the mood for it.

Updates:

How is everyone doing? I hope you all are finding ways to cope with the worrisome news that is bombarding us daily. I read, I craft, I play Just Dance 2020 edition with my son so we can dance and laugh our worries away.

Speaking of my son…he is officially off from school until April 30th – SO that means homeschooling and look even before COVID-19 I knew I’d never make a good teacher. HAHA, I have only so much patience and ugh does he test me like how he doesn’t test his teacher. He’s an angel in school…at home, it’s a way different matter. He is in first grade and is learning parts of a whole, reading a clock and among other things for math. So I thought, okay I need to make breakfast this week so we shall turning home economics (baking) – into a study session.

We researched our ingredients like salt, sugar, cinnamon and learned some history about it. I explained measuring cups and spoons…hahaha, and then we made cinnamon rolls from scratch with our ingredients. It turned out delicious. So I was happy to hear from his teacher today that we get to pick up their distance learning packets on Saturday. Hooray!

Now my littlest one, she’s three and because I’m a stay at home mom, we always got up early to drop her brother off to school then ran errands to Target, or the grocery store. Hawaii is officially on a “lockdown” yet essential activities are still allowed like grocery shopping, even exercise (but practice social distancing). People who are essential workers go to work, my husband has been working from home this week, but they are taking turns so next week he will go to the office. Other than that we are at home, trying to stay healthy and safe.

To all of you – please take care of yourself and I wish you well.

Best Wishes! 😘