Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books I Read in 2013

I didn't read quite as many books in 2013 as I wanted to, but I did put a decent dent in my reading list and I am hoping to make an even bigger one in the year to come. I've decided to share everything I've read this year with a simple star rating to let you know how much I enjoyed each read. Most everything is a part of a series and I'll make sure I give you the book numbers so you know.

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison
  • 5. For a Few Demons More ****
  • 6.  The Outlaw Demon Wails ****

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Claire
  • 3. Clockwork Princess ****

Night World Series by LJ Smith
  • Night World, No1 (Books 1-3) ****
  • Night World, No2 (Books 4-6) ****
  • Night World, No3 (Books 7-9) ****

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
  • 1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone *****
  • 2. Days of Blood and Starlight *****
  • 2.5. Night of Cake and Puppets *****

House of Night Series by PC & Kristin Cast
  • 10. Hidden ***

Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan
  • 7. The Calling ***
  • 8. Changeling ***

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • 1. Vampire Academy ****
  • 2. Frostbite ****
  • 3. Shadow Kiss ****
  • 4. Blood Promise ****
  • 5. Spirit Bound ****
  • 6. Last Sacrifice ****

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  • 1. Bloodlines ****
  • 2. The Golden Lily ****
  • 3. The Indigo Spell ****
  • 4. The Fiery Heart ****

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 1. The Raven Boys *****
  • 2. The Dream Thieves *****

Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 1. Shiver ****
  • 2. Linger ****
  • 3. Forever ****

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • 1. Divergent ***
  • 2. Insurgent ***
  • 3. Allegiant ***

The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo
  • 0.5. The Witch of Duva (fairytale) *****
  • 1. Shadow and Bone *****
  • 1.5. The Tailor (novella) ****
  • 2. Siege and Storm *****
  • 2.5. The Too-Clever Fox (fairytale) *****

Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee
  • 1. Angelfall *****
  • 2. World After *****

Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin
  • 1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ***/*

Greywalker Series by Kat Richardson
  • 2. Poltergeist ****

Stand Alone Books
Out of this list I 100% recommend: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone books, The Raven Cycle books, The Grisha books, Good Omens, and The Scorpio Races.

You can check out what I plan to read next year here. Now what about you guys -read anything good this year? I am always open to recommendations!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Look! Another 2013 in Review Post

In an ideal and organized world this post would be filled with links to my best posts from the past year, a positive outlook on what the last 12 months have been like and my high hopes for 2014. Unfortunately, that is not the world I am currently living in.

When it comes down to it, 2013 was a pretty crappy year for me and just about everyone I know. My anxiety has gotten worse, I haven't been able to find work, I fought with my best friend, my relationship has been up and down and everything in between, my brother's in lock up, my sister got pregnant and lost her baby, and my mom's gone through hell with her ex-boyfriend and had to move too many times. Jobs lost, hearts broken, crying, numbness, panic attacks, burning anger, and exhaustion. This has been my 2013.

I'm glad it's behind me. Usually I don't get too excited about the new beginnings of a new year. But I am desperately hoping that the Universe has something better in store for me and my loved ones for 2014. I'll be bringing in the new year in my new (old) home with my cat for company, probably watching cartoons on my laptop, hopefully with a bottle of wine. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

And normally this is not something I would share on my blog. I've always tried hard to keep this a positive space. But this year wasn't very positive and I'm too tired to lie about it. I can't even rustle up enough energy to add a picture to this post. Isn't that a blogger faux-pas? Eh, not a fuck to be given today.

So here's to the new year, hopefully it doesn't suck.


p.s. a post about my year in books will go up tomorrow -book wise life was better in 2013. I read a lot of good stuff.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy The-Day-After Christmas

I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday!

Things have been hectic around here, but my holiday was okay -as good as it could have been considering everything that has been going on. My mom bought me a new camera which was the highlight of my gifts and I am so excited to use it and snap some pictures for the blog. I also got tea, chocolate, makeup, gift cards, and a new Monster High doll (because my mom knows me that well.) And I have eaten more pie in the past two days than I eat all year. Granted, I don't really eat pie other than at Thanksgiving & Christmas, but still.

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Mug from my sister. It came with lemon tea as well!
And now that Christmas is over I am spending my time packing, cleaning, and going through my stuff to see what I can get rid of. Because I am indeed moving. Again. I am losing track of the amount of times I've moved in the past few years to be honest. I'm lucky that Eli adjusts to being in new settings really well, although he's a pain in the butt when I'm tying to pack. He really loves boxes. But I really love him, so it's okay.

How was everyone else's holiday? Any good plans for New Years?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogging Confession

This space has been so quiet lately, and part of that is because I honestly don't know what to say. I don't know what I want from blogging anymore. I don't particularly think that I want to give it up, but I also know I can't return to the way I was doing things. Not because it was bad, but because it doesn't feel right anymore.

I love the blogging community -the people, the content, the dialogues that open between individuals all over the world. It's incredible. And I love weekly features, sponsor programs, giveaways, all of that. But I feel like I have been trying to fit myself into a blogging space that is just the wrong shape for me. I am not, by nature, an organized person. And despite how positive I try to make this space, I am not always a positive person. There's a lot of dark things in my life, I struggle with anxiety and depression, and sometimes I'm just angry. And I try not to let all that seep into my online life, but it's difficult sometimes.

And when it comes down to, although the upbeat and loving persona you all see on this blog is a part of me, it's only a small part. That's only who I am sometimes, and it's tiring to try to be that person for my readers every time I post. I feel like I'm lying, something that I really don't want to do.

So here's the truth of it. I love bohemian aesthetics, exploring spirituality, spreading love, and all of that. But I also love to be up to my ears in books, write about monsters and magic, get trashed and dance all night, marathon fantasy/supernatural tv shows, talk about literature and mythology, swear like a sailor, bake at two in the morning, and sometimes dress like I'm ready to kill a man.

I don't have a "brand" -something that for a long time I thought I needed to be a successful blogger. I have spent a lot of time trying to pin my brand down, never satisfied with what I came up with. But now I can honestly said that I don't want a brand. I can't fit my personality into a single aesthetic and I'm sick of trying.

I'm not sure where that leaves me in the blogging world, but I do know that I want to be more honest in my posts. We'll see where it takes me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Style Inspiration: Glam Punk

Lately I've been feeling the glam punk look as far as style goes. I move between so many different aesthetics on a regular basis, but the past week or so I have wanted nothing but sparkly dresses, heeled boots, plaid leggings, and leather jackets.

"street style" by sisaez on Polyvore

PUNK - Sarah Co Mode ton Look

cascading chain, inspiration for suit adornments

glam punks not dead by jessica prautzsch

sosungalittleclodofclay:fashinpirate:I’ve tried this on in red and black in both New York and London and every time I want to smother my entire naked body over it because it’s an obscenely perfect piece of craftsmanship and I am sexually attracted to the perfect wardrobe. It’s just… BONING??? KNITTED?? RIBBED??? THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING? SO many things that are happening.If I owned this I would just walk around in lingerie and this all the time only. Maybe also a PVC skirt. But mostly just be as naked as possible. God. One of my favorite (and also the most unexpected) of partnerships of recent past. I want it

That last jacket is soooo expensive, but goddamn it is beautiful. Also I am hoping I can figure out how to do something similar to that braid faux-mohawk with my hair now that's gotten longer. I'll probably make a mess of it but at least it will give me something to do.

Manda Rave

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hello December

So it's December -the last leg of 2013, can you believe that? This year has disappeared so quickly. I know everyone always say that about ever year, but this year really did seem to go by in a blink of an eye. And it's strange because it's already the third and we still don't have snow here. It's gotten cold, and we've had a few light flurries, but nothing that has even remotely stuck. Usually we've had at least one small storm by now. Not that I'm complaining, I'm not a huge fan of snow. I like it better in pixel form falling over my blog. Did you guys notice that? :)

I do, however, like the holiday season. I don't like it before Thanksgiving, but now that we're past November I an feel myself getting into the holiday spirit. I love all the light people put up and seeing Christmas trees in people's windows. And I love decorating the house. I started on that today, just putting up some glittery snowflakes that my college roommate gave to me awhile back, as well as stockings.

Technically, all three of those stockings are mine. Two of them were from college celebrations and bought or me by friends and the bottom one is from my mother -she has a tendency to get me a new one every year and then bring it to me. I used to have another one that had my name on it but I lost it in one of my moves last year. Anyways, I put up all three because I like them all and I figure I can give the extra one to Eli and stuff it with toy and catnip for him.

I know I used to make goal posts for each month, but I'm not sure I'm up for that right now. My only real goals for December is to continue writing my novel (I "won" Nanowrimo! 50k in 30 days!) and decorate some more.

Manda x

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