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6 Books I Read in April | & What I Want To Read Next…

April was yet another busy month – but I still managed to read quite a few books in an array of genres. Thank you, audiobooks for making multitasking so much easier. I’ve been continuing my fantasy era with an ongoing series as well as a new author who will be an automatic buy. I also dipped my toes into more romance which seems to be a trend once the weather gets warmer. From small towns to bull riding hunks, I’ve gained an appreciation of the fluff reads & will be adding more for my summer vacations these months. I did decide to break my book buying ban [ treat yo self ] so instead of reading what I already own, I am looking at those new additions with heart eyes. Luckily, I also discovered you can read a selection of books for free if you have Amazon prime. So, my wallet will thank me for that. I am just a sucker for a physical book & adding them to my home library collection like trophies. With that being said, I am challenging myself to read more of the books I already own in May & see if I will stick to my TBR this time. Fingers crossed – because I’ve already been eying Emily Henry’s new release – Happy Place [ even though it’s hardback].

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan – Books 7 & 8

As I’m writing this, I’m little over half way through book 9 but I doubt I’ll finish it in time to include here. This was where I hit a wall with the series for a bit [ as many people tend to say]. Book 7 was pretty good with only a few slow parts here and there. Book 8 on the other hand, is my least favorite of the series. It was very slow & if it weren’t for the fact I’m listening to the audiobook along side the physical copy, I’d probably be still drugging through it. I’m reluctantly making my way through the series with only 5 1/2 more books to go. I’ve been enjoying being in this world & the characters, so I’ll definitely miss it when I’m through. It will also be quite the accomplishment.

Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score

I’m happy to say this was a five star read! It’s so hard for me to rate a romance book sometimes because chances are I find them to be rather cheesy & cringe. The world of Knockemount, the characters & the trope of this book was everything to me. I also enjoyed the mystery / suspenseful subplot with Naomi’s twin sister. The grumpy sunshine / strangers to neighbors / fake dating trope was so entertaining. And I just love Naomi & Knox. I can’t wait to read Things We Hide From The Light [ Nash’s story] this summer. Lucy Score has become an automatic buy.

The Serpent & The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent

I wasn’t planning on reading this book until late summer / early fall but I kid you not – EVERYONE has been talking about this author & book & I just had to be in the know. A lot of it had to do with the release of the second book this month [ which, yes I did buy because I have zero self control ]. I’m so glad I read this because once again we have another high rated book. I did give this one 4.5 stars only because the ending was slightly disappointing. But it’s a STRONG 4.5. I ate this book up within the span of 2 days. I annotated the crap out of it because CB’s writing is immaculate. If you are on unaware, Serpent & The Wings of Night is about a human girl who is taken by the vampire king & is basically raised within the vampire kingdom. 23 years later, she is to compete in what I like to call, vampire hunger games. And through these trials, she meets the morally grey vampire, Raihn. I highly recommend you check out this duology as well as the novellas [ which are optional].

The Inmate by Frieda McFadden

It has been a minute since I’ve read a thriller in one sitting & the Inmate did just that. I really enjoyed her book, The Housemaid when I read that a few months ago. And I knew I wanted to read more books from her. I discovered this along with a few other of her books in the Amazon prime free reading section. This is about a nurse practitioner who gets a job working at a prison, the same prison her ex boyfriend is incarcerated. Very fast paced & didn’t see the ending coming. And the epilogue made me question everything.

Flawless by Elsie Silver

Everyone has been in their cowboy romance era lately & raving about this series. If you are a fan of the tv show, Yellowstone, this is pretty similar. I will say, this genre of book is rarely my cup of tea. It was a very fluff read with a lot of spice but those scenes felt a bit cringe in my opinion. So, I only gave this a 3.75 stars because I want to see what the rest of the series is about. I’ve heard the second book, Heartless is the best one. I think for me, it all depends on the trope. And Flawless was a forced proximity / body guard [ her] / grumpy sunshine.

May TBR

Now onto the books I hope to get to in the month of May. And perhaps, I can look back on this post & see if I kept to my word.

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan Books 9 & 10

I know for a fact I’ll finish book 9 but book 10 is a rather thick one so we will see. I’m just determined to finish this entire series by the end of the year.

The Ashes & The Star- Cursed King – Carissa Broadbent

Obviously I had to continue this duology especially because the first book fell on a cliff hanger. I just love a morally grey man with wings, what can I say?

Things We Hide From the Light – Lucy Score

I love adding a romance novel into the mix & I need to read more about the town of Knockemount & Nash’s story.

Magnolia Parks – Jessa Hastings

I really want to find another romance series I can fall in love with & so of course I’m going with the most toxic relationship trope. I’ve heard this series talked about all over the internet. People either hate it or love it. When I heard it was like Gossip Girl but with rich British socialites, I knew I had to see what the hype was about.

Hooked by Emily McIntire

I’ve been wanting to get more into dark romance & this Captain Hook retelling seemed right up my ally. I love Disney movies & the fact it’s that plus a bit of smut – sign me up.

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

This dark academia thriller has been on my shelves since last fall & it’s just about time I finally read it. I felt like this would be a good beach read I can knock out within a weekend. And I’m a sucker for a fast paced thriller.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

I really don’t want to purchase the hardcover of this book. But I feel really left out not reading it when everyone else seems to be. Perhaps I’ll download this on my Kindle. This book just screams summer time!!

📌 on Pinterest for later

I may or may not get to all of these I’ve mentioned. And I most likely will trail off this list because I’m quite the mood reader. But as it gets closer to summer, I find more & more time to read & I am just so motivated to get a lot of reading in.

-B

intentional living, Minimalism

5 Ways I Wouldn’t Be Considered A Minimalist | & Why It’s Ok

It’s so easy to place ourselves into a box. I’ve never liked strict labels because as soon as you veer off the course, you are seen as a hypocrite. Minimalism is no different. As soon as you say you enjoy living with less, people expect you to live in a barren wasteland. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. Minimalism & intentional living looks different for each person. But to all the critics out there, here are ways I am not the ‘less is more’ queen you all think I am.

I Enjoy Shopping & Experimenting With Fashion

The pandemic placed me in a serious style rut. I was more than happy to walk out the door makeup less & athleisure wear. And although I’m grateful it gave me a sense of confidence I didn’t realize I needed, I miss expressing myself through my appearance. Lately, I’ve been shopping more often, adding new pieces into my wardrobe & finding excitement over what I will wear to xy & z event. I do try & maintain an intentional mindset when making purchases & I don’t go overboard. But I also no longer deprive myself on new clothing. Life is too short not to experiment with trends, colors & patterns.

I’m Not 100% Sustainable

I do my best with using less & less plastic as well as finding alternative ways that benefit the environment & my wallet. But I am not 100% there. I don’t compost. I shop fast fashion more often than I’d like. And I don’t own all of the reusable tools that are offered. I still love using paper towels & napkins & even paper plates if it makes life easier. I’m trying to be more sustainable but I’m not perfect & that’s ok.

My Dream is To Own a Home Library

I strongly believe the notion, if it makes you happy – embrace it ( unless it’s drugs ). I have slowly become a guilt free collector of books. Reading is my favorite hobby & having my favorites displayed like trophies makes me so happy. It provides a homey atmosphere & I’m able to showcase a side to myself I am proud of. Now, as I read more & more books, I have learned to be more selective on the ones I purchase. I have become rather resourceful with finding free options to read most of the books on my TBR through apps, the public library & audiobooks. I also do yearly decluttering sessions of my bookshelves & donate or sell the ones I no longer wish to own. But at some point I do hope to have a room that is floor to ceiling shelves with an array of literature.

You Might Also Like: 5 Types of Books To Declutter From Your Bookshelves

I Don’t Always Live With Intention

Life can be hard. I tend to let stress overtake myself & as much as I would love to slow down & take in each moment with grace, I’m human. Endless to do lists & circumstances I just simply cannot control ultimately becomes the narrative. Sometimes I choose to scroll Tiktok for a few hours before getting out of bed. And sometimes, making a quick trip to the fast food drive through is just easier. As much as I would love to set better intentions, meditate & write in a gratitude journal regularly, it’s just not the reality.

I Don’t Keep a Strict Inventory

I’ve tried my hand in challenges such as project 333 or limiting myself to a select number of items within all categories of my life. But as someone who declutters enough & refuses to feel deprived, I don’t like limiting myself to a number of items. I will have duplicates in some cases, especially when it comes to toiletries. I own multiple pairs of black leggings because it’s a go to piece of clothing. In general, if you are looking to downsize your life, these challenges really help you open your eyes to how consumerism can get out of hand. But I also don’t want to feel like I can’t own something just because it’s not minimalistic of me.

So, no I’m not the poster child of intentional living. I don’t think there is an ideal within such a lifestyle. I love to organize & declutter. But I also tend to embrace consumerism far more than most. I don’t want to count my belongings & trap myself in this boring box of deprivation. I guess you should call me “minimalish” from now on.

-B

Fashion, organization

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Have Nothing To Wear

I’m sure a lot of us have had those I have nothing to wear moments as we are staring at our closets. Even though there are hangers & hangers of clothing, nothing seems to speak to you & you are slowly entering a style rut. Lately, as I’m entering the spring cleaning era, I found myself so uninspired by my fashion sense. I don’t know if it’s due to the pandemic & leaning into the altheisure wear trend. But now that we are three years out, I’m wanting to get back into fashion & experiment with different looks. This means, I’ve been going against the minimalist lifestyle of owning a certain number of clothing pieces & instead, allowing myself to be less strict with living with less. I’ve felt deprived & honestly – a bit frumpy.

As I am decluttering my closet once again for the rest of the spring & summer season, I have come up with 5 questions to ask yourself to create the perfect capsule wardrobe.

Do I Have The Basics?

When it comes to your closet, being basic is actually a good thing. Those basic t shirts & tanks are the bones to your outfits. Case in point – the classic white tee & jeans. You just can’t go wrong. As you are going though your closet, be sure you have those essential shades of black, grey & white as well as the colors you love best. I for one am excited to add a few brighter colors to embrace the warmer seasons.

When I Put This On, Does it Make me Feel Confident?

Every single clothing piece you own should make you feel confident & your best. There’s no need to hold onto those just in case items or those maybe one day pieces that will simply collect dust. And as you are decluttering & find yourself lacking confident boosting outfits, it might be time to treat yourself to a shopping trip.

What Am I Lacking?

I tend to discover the clothing pieces I’m lacking to create the perfect outfit. I realized I would love to own / experiment with different styles of jeans & pants. I find shopping for tops easier, so the bottom half of me seems to suffer.

What Do I Need To Stop Buying?

Clothing declutters enlighten me on what I waste money on. As I see the piles of clothing I no longer want, I take in mind & remind myself to not buy those types of items again. It’s important to be smart with your purchases & not buy tons of clothing all at once. Creating a wardrobe you love takes time.

Am I Being True to Myself?

There are times where we dress to impress. But sometimes we need to remind ourselves, our style is our own. And we shouldn’t be choosing clothing based on other people’s opinions. It’s fine to take style inspiration. Believe me, I do it all the time. But it’s important to understand the difference of completely copying someone & wearing something that truly makes you happy. If you feel yourself in your clothing, you are on the right track.

As you create your seasonal wardrobes & let go of the pieces you no longer want, I feel like these 5 simple questions will help you establish a wardrobe that defines you in the best way possible. In the comments below, let me know of your favorite styles & what piece that makes you feel the most confident.

-B