Friday Favorites

Blogtober Post #5! Still on a Roll! 

Oh Friday...thank goodness your here. This week I have to admit I struggled to focus everyday. I have a lot on my mind and you can only blast music so loud in your car to drown it all out. But I think checking off a couple things on my To-Do list this weekend and once NY Comic Con is over I can relax a little bit. 

I'm anxious about my Mom's breast cyst biopsy on Tuesday. Having a cyst, a lump, a fibroid is not an instant cancer diagnosis, but it's stressful nonetheless. October is Breast Cancer Awareness and it is so important to do self breast examinations and go to your gynecologist for your yearly exam. Also, you must speak up! My doctor missed in my breast exam that I had a fibroid in my right breast 10 years ago. I spoke up and yes I had to have surgery to remove it, but it was a benign tumor and I have a piece of mind because I got it checked out. *Knock on wood* I've been breast fibroid free for 8 years and I still do my yearly exams and will continue to do so. 

This weekend my husband's Aunt and Uncle are visiting from Texas this weekend and I'm so super excited to see them! I haven't seen my in-laws in a while too so I'm very happy to catch up with everybody. The weather in New York is also going to be perfect "Spring/Fall" so we're hoping to go to a street fair on Sunday and eat as much Apple stuff we can find! =)

But first, New York Comic Con. 

Oh boy, it's going to be an intense Saturday. The cosplayers, the panels, the fan craziness, the vendors, Ahh it's always nuts and this year is their projected biggest year to date. I will tweeting and Instagramming a lot tomorrow from the show floor and blogging about it next week! =)

I did have some time to check out a few things... 

Here are my Friday Favorites from the week! 

Thursday Thoughts - Currently...

Blogtober Day #4:
 Thursday Thoughts...

~ I finally got to have lunch and dinner at the Art Cafe in Nyack, NY and they have latte art! I just loved my dirty chai latte (w/ espresso) in this blogpost's main picture! I can't wait to go again! ~ 


Downton Abbey
~ I'm definitely a few years late to the Downton Abbey TV Show party, but I'm obsessed. All seasons are on Amazon Prime.  I'm just starting Season 2 and I love how much they integrate History with English society. It's such a good show! ~

Harry Potter Themed Cupcakes
~  Cupcake Decorating with Fondant is freaking hard. Seriously, it's so hard. Even if it looks simple it's not. I really need to work on gaining more experience it with. I made Harry Potter themed cupcakes for my boss and Whew, they came out great. ~ 

American Horror Story Apocalypse
 ~I've been waiting for this American Horror Story season for years. It's so good, I'm so happy! Finally I feel like this show is back on track with everything it has already set up. There are crossovers from other seasons that are so perfectly laid out that I have to watch last night's episode again. The attention to details for the mega fans is really being executed well. Mr March played by the Evan Peters makes an appearance and once again his dialogue is the best! ~ 

New York Comic Con
~ Now that the cupcakes are done I can focus on my costume for Comic Con.I'm the doing the biker version of an evil stepsisters, sass and all. I have to really thank Target for having a wide variety of plus size pieces in store. The majority of retailers keep their plus sizes only online which makes shopping a nightmare. No plus size woman is the same. It's so important to be able to actually try on clothes in the store before purchasing because 9 out of 10 times I don't know what size I will be depending on the fabric, cut, and price. I think I'm going to do an additional blog post all about Cosplay as a Plus Size Women because it's so difficult. But at least I found some pieces in Target to make my life a little easier. ~

What are Your Thursday Thoughts?

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My Favorite Non-Horror Halloween Movies

Yay! Blogtober Day #3! 

I'm a movie girl, always been. My town had a Captain Video and the next town over had a Blockbuster. I had both membership cards growing up. The second I found out I could take movies out of the library I did. My ultimate favorite time of year for movies is Halloween! 

I love a great horror movie, but I know they're not for everyone. There are some movies I always watch around Halloween that aren't horror movies per se. I basically wish I could stay in every day of October and watch some of these classics. =)

So for Blogtober Day #3 - Here is a list of my favorite non-horror Halloween movies!

My Writing Journey #3: Ten Ways to Find Inspiration Everywhere!

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Day #2 Blogtober coming at you! 

One of the greatest feelings in the world is being inspired to do something. Whether that inspiration leads you to blogging, writing, traveling, or a new adventure, it doesn't matter, the important part is that it made you feel and make that change or volunteer as tribute sorta speak. I'm lucky to say I am surrounded by a great support system of family and friends whom inspire me daily.

Keeping with my Tuesday theme documenting my writing journey, I try to find inspiration for my writing projects everywhere. I know, can I make it a little more specific? I can and I can't. Simply put, keep your eyes open, ears listening and bring a notepad and pen wherever you go. If you can't fit a notebook anywhere, notepad apps on your phone work best too! Trust me, the inspiration is out there, you just have to uncover it!

My October 2018 Goals

October is a big busy month for me and I already feel slightly behind. Hopefully #Blogtober will help keep me on track with my goals this month. 31 Days, 31 Blogposts. I decided to come back to blogging last month and this everyday posting schedule should be great motivation for me!
On top of my busy month, I'm a marketing analyst by day and deal with the weekly ads in your local newspapers, therefore we are already preparing for the extended holiday workload. Lots of busy work, long hours, and mental burnout. Self care is definitely going to be key this month.

When I feel overwhelmed I sit down and write everything out. I probably spent too much time today organizing my bullet journal but I honestly feel better and made sure I had plenty of space for everything in my very minimal October weekly spread. Space is key for me!

First Week of October Weekly Bullet Journal Spread

I'm actually glad I took a "Before" picture because this pretty clean bullet journal page is no longer clean & pretty.

 Alright, let's get started on the my goals for October.

Hello October!! TBB - October Fall 2.0 List

Hello October! You are my favorite month and my busiest month before the holiday hustle. Falling leaves, apples, a valid excuse to watch Hocus Pocus everyday this month, cider, donuts, hoodies, and festivals!

Tonight I'm going to "Then She Fell" in Brooklyn, NY with my friend Kristina and I've never been to anything like this before in my life. It's like a Haunted House except Alice in Wonderland inspired.

Then She Fell - Website
"An immersive theater experience combining a hospital ward,
the writings of Lewis Carroll, and only 15 audience members per show."

It should be a nice way to kick off October festivities and go out of September with something cool. 

Therefore today I've decided to join in on the fun at The Blended Blog for a great Fall List of my favorite things.

Friday Favorites! Goodbye September

"Wake me up when September ends..."
~ Green day

Goodbye September. I will miss you. September was a month of uncertainty. Everything for me was so up in the air. These last few days has brought closure to a lot of the loose ends and hope for new beginnings. Something I've been hoping for my entire life might be happening! I can't say a lot now, but it's so exciting and I'm nervous as hell, but all in due time I will hopefully be able to say more!

My kitty Angel is unfortunately blind, but her blood work actually came back good. We have to change her food to a more kidney function friendly dry food because she is dehydrated, but no sign of diabetes or infection in her blood levels. The vet doesn't know why the sudden loss of the sight happened but she is a healthy cat at the 17 years old. It might possibly wasn't a "sudden" loss but alas I'm just grateful to still have her.

I'm not a hundred percent sure where this weekend is going to lead me, with the exception of Sunday night (Below), but it's the last weekend in September and I'm determined to do something FALL-esque. It will happen! =) Even if I just buy some apple cider, it will be something! lol.

Thursday Thoughts

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Today I need to hit the ground running...literally. I have a lot of work to do at my day job, we are hoping to find out the results of the blood work on my cat Angel to see why she could have gone blind, I'm off tomorrow for doctor's appointments, and I have to be out of the office today by 5:30pm. Yup, a little crazy Thursday to finish out week.
 So here's a quick little Thursday Thoughts post about some things I'm doing and using until my favorite blogging day - Friday! 


Blogging Tip: 
If you've been blogging for a while you might have heard of Canva. Canva has free images, fonts, layouts, and a variety of other usual tools to create pretty, crisp, and appropiate images for blog posts! Using Canva has completely changed my blogging life, eliminating the stress of taking that perfect picture for a blogpost during the day, especially when you are an almost daily blogger. It's very user-friendly too. Did I also mention its free? You can choose to upgrade to a paid account, but I'm very content using the free services. There is enough variety of free things to use if you hold out on the paid one.

My Writing Journey #2 - Following Guidelines & Waiting...

Hello Tuesday! 

"Is it raining in there? It's raining in here, too." 
I always loved that scene in Winnie the Pooh. It's raining so much in South Eastern NY, my phone alerts have gone off three times this afternoon.

I've never been good at following directions. Maybe that's why I'm not the greatest cook? lol. At least I can bake a good cupcake. But I can't skirt around the rules this time. In the current part of my writing journey it is crucial to follow guidelines and wait for the outcome.

For now, I have decided to pursue traditional publishing and I do not have an agent. Through my copious amount of research, I discovered it was possible to submit my work to publishers who don't require an agent. And I gave it a shot. I found publishers who accept my genre of manuscript and followed their submission guidelines.

I re-formatted, queried, proofread, over-analyzed, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and hit the send button. Quickly, I re-read the email over and over again to make sure I did it right. Then proceeded to freak out that I sent my erotic contemporary romance out into the world. Luckily the freak out was brief and I patted myself on the back for taking the initiative and finally submitting my work. 

Then you wait for a response...
Even if you have an agent you have to wait...
Even if you self-publish you have to wait...
Even if your Young Adult, Romance, Non-Fiction, Sci-Fi, or have to wait...
Yup, waiting is inevitable...

 I don't exactly feel like Blake Lively in Shallow where she is clinging desperately to a buoy while a shark is circling her bleeding body, but I do feel like Saturday at NYC Comic Con, trying to claw my way through the masses of people trying desperately to get that limited edition prize only a few will get to win. It is a series of mixed emotions and definitely a different journey for every writer. 

The most crucial lesson I learned from this part of the process is that YOU MUST FOLLOW ALL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES or else you are short-changing the potential future of your hard work.

Let's dig in deeper...

How to Maintain a Bullet Journal

I can honestly say that I now own the most stickers I've ever owned in my entire life. Seven year old me is jealous AF and super proud of the woman she grew up to be. I was going to write a post on how to start a bullet journal, but from my experience maintaining a bullet journal is the real fun part!

Starting is Simple...overcoming the initial anxiety of creating your own content on a blank page is the hard part. But, as the cover of my dotted bullet journal says..."Nevertheless she persisted."  

My first few pages weren't that good. Even though I'm an arts & crafts type girl I struggled getting the hang of it at first. It could be my OCD when it comes to notebook things. If I mess up I want to desperately pull out the page and start again. With a dotted journal without a perforated edge you can't do that every time. Thank God for Washi tape and correction tape. The first batch of markers I bought bled right through the page which frustrated me as well. Then days got a little intense and I ran out of room with the way I set it up. 

But Pinterest...saved the day.
My Pinterest Bullet Journal Board - Here

Stolen Moments Sunday

Hello Fall! Now I don't have to hide my pumpkin everything I've been having since mid-August. Also, new season calls for a new Welcome mat for my condo. I'm such a lazy homeowner. Full disclosure, my neighbor got a new mat and I got jealous. I think mine was the same since I moved in 7 years ago. I went to A.C. Moore for this lovely treat. It's perfect and exactly what I wanted.

Bring on the Fall activities and sweaters! I will always be a jeans and a nice top girl, and Fall is my perfect time for just that. I can't wait to make some apple and pumpkin picking plans and hit up an Okbterfest or two. We stopped by one at our local Brewery Defiant Brewing Co. to pick up Steins for next weekend. That place has become our home away home and it's within walking distance of our condo. Yes, my husband and I need to move...but we're too busy loving our life here.

Sometimes blurry photos are the best. lol. 

Friday Favorites


It feels good to be back. There was definitely something missing in the last 3 months in my life. I did start the "hopeful" other books that will follow my first novel, but sometimes you need to let ideas marinate before you add them to the page. Writing daily helps me think of the other projects  and blogging is that perfect appetizer to my novel writing. Blogging also helps the creative flow for me.  Oh and it gets me to stop playing with my Nintendo Switch. haha.

Luckily I only have one game - Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind, for now. I was beating the game too fast so I forced myself to slow down and pick up my computer again.

But anywho back on track. I live for the weekends and this Saturday is the first day of Fall!! Yes!! I will admit I've already been enjoying pumpkin everything since August, but now I don't have to be quiet about it. 

This weekend I have a good friend's birthday party, hopefully catching a movie, and getting some much needed rest after the long week. 

My Writing Journey #1 - Five Helpful Writing Youtube Channels

Happy Rainy Tuesday everyone! Down here in Southern New York were getting the last of the lingering effects from Hurricane Florence. I don't mind the rain. It always makes me want to listen to The Lumineers, The Shins, & other soft rock artists. Also, it gives me the perfect excuse to stay in and write. 

Over the past year and half I completed my first novel. It's still crazy to me to say the words out loud. I wrote a book. It's a dream I've always had since I was a kid and damn it was hard. I'm not exactly sure if I would be considered a "Pantser", but I did take an initial scene and spiral out from there letting the story take me where it wanted to go. About 50k words in...I had to start outlining and writing plot points down and backstories to the characters, when I realized I had a lot more to go. I guess I'm a hybrid of Pantser and Outliner...a P.O. without the

I would never have been able to finish my hybrid work without watching fellow writers on Youtube, giving out extremely helpful tips, trying to keep their meowing cats out of the camera frame, battling the dreaded show vs tell argument, and most importantly relating to the struggles of becoming a writer. We all took high school English, but seriously listening to these amazing ladies has helped so much.

Better Late than Never...I'm back!

Have a vision. Be Demanding. 

Once in a blue moon you get a fortune cookie that resonates with you and changes everything. Yup that happened to me as well as a myriad of other things. Some were good and others not so great, but reflecting back, it was one hell of a summer. 

Like in TV Shows...Here are a few things you might have missed.

The unexpected departure of a co-worker caused my 9-5 job to became utterly swamped. Even that is an understatement. This shake-up changed how my job operates and finally it has returned to a new manageable normal.

I finished and submitted my first manuscript to book publishers. I think my writing hurdles series will need to turn into "My Writing Journey Series"...I will definitely be posting more about this in the weeks to come.

 I'm obsessed with my Bullet Journal...Literally.

I traveled to Disney World and the my favorite place ever Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

I saw Weezer in concert (I recommend if you're a fan!) and Evanescence with Lindsey Stirling and wow...what a concert!

I turned 33! Gulp. August was seriously just whiplash.

I'm absolutely excited for Fall and of course everything pumpkin. I'm more excited to get back into the swing of things here. I missed sitting here and writing.

The decision to put my focus into work and editing my first novel for the summer was a hard one, but I can't wait to share about the above and more.

Have a great night!
Until tomorrow... 

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My Weekend Trip To Saratoga Springs

Sometimes you have to leave the husband home and drive 2 and a half hours for a friend's Bachelorette weekend! After all the extra hours I've put in at work I needed to kick back, drink fruity drinks out mason jars, get stuck in an inflatable tube, and make some new friends. 

Cheesy sounding, I know, but it's the honest truth. 

The destination picked was Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. I thought it was going to Lake George, but I'm mildly terrified of swimming in a lake so I was kinda happy about the final choice. Saratoga is best known for the horse races but even off season there is a lot of fun things to do! There were shops, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and the architecture of all the buildings is beautiful. It has all the New England prettiness without the 4 hour drive. 

Friday Favorites!

If you didn't know, I have a slight obsession with flamingos...My mom does too. When I finally move out my tiny apartment I will be that lawn with the plastic flamingos! Luckily Canva - which I use for most of my blog graphics had this little cutie! Perfect for today!

I can't until 3pm so I can get the hell out of here! I'm on my way up to Saratoga Springs in Upstate New York! I live downstate outside of New York City. It's about a 2 and a half hour drive and I'm super excited!

I do have a quick list of Friday Favorites from the week! Here it goes!

Thursday Thoughts: Ipsy, Disney, Magnolia Table, & The Ultimate Time Hop

Okay, the weekend needs to hurry up! 

~ This weekend I'm going to a bachelorette party mini getaway in upstate New York and there will be wine...oh yes there will be. Wine, fancy dinners, gossip, local town shopping, pool party, and a peek into the nightlife of somewhere new. After the craziness I've had at work these past few weeks I'm so excited to wind down for a 2 days. ~ 

~ Evidently a million things have changed at Walt Disney World since I went in 2002 and I'm not talking about them adding the Frozen ride. I now understand why people still use travel agents. It's quite stressful to set up the fast pass & reservations 30 days in advance. ~ 

~ Also Disney related - There is something called Disney Bounding where you dress up in normal clothes that make you look a version of a Disney character. I think I might have to do this...I'm obsessed with Nightmare Before Christmas. If I can do Sally easily I'm so in! ~ 

True Story: A Honeymoon, A Funeral, A Tesla, & Who The "F" Are They?

My favorite picture of my grandfather...Baby me eating his shoulder.

June 14th...Seriously, how did we get here? 

It seems like yesterday I was leaving for my honeymoon to the Dominican Republic and finding out my husband & I's luggage didn't exactly make the trip along with us. Oh yeah...not fun. Thankfully we were staying at an all in-clusive resort and we had a lot of cash with us. Let's just say I'm glad the gift shop sold maxi dresses and I was able to buy the a swimsuit.

This however was not yesterday. It was three years ago. When we returned after the most awkward honeymoon experience I found out my grandfather had passed away the day we left. I was lucky enough to see him a few weeks before and got to tell him I loved him. Of course it saddened me that my grandfather had died, but truly I felt like he was finally at peace. 

The next day after we came home we had to rush up to Connecticut for the funeral because luckily my family was able to wait for me to hold the services. But this is where things got even weirder. 

Craig noticed a Tesla in the church parking lot and asked me, "Who in your family drives a Tesla?" I had no idea and thought maybe it was my uncle's rental car. Why not drive a Tesla to your father's funeral service I thought. Or possibly there were two funerals happening at the same time. 

Ironically Craig and I accidentally went to a wrong cocktail at a wedding venue once. It happens, I swear it does.  lol. 

Movie Night: Lady Bird & Other Coming of Age Movies

All I can say is Wow. This is a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

It's been a long while since I've seen a movie that spoke to me so clearly and tugged at memories I hadn't revisited in years. 

For me, this was a coming of age movie I wish 17 year old me could see, but thankfully I'm 32 year old me and I just want to write Greta Gerwig letter after letter say Thank You for making this movie over and over again. I can't relate to every part of it, but fuck, 90% of it I stopped what I was doing and remembered what it was like being a senior in high school in 2003. Even watching Laurie Metcalf struggle as a mother to support her family made me call up my mom and thank her for everything she's done to help me be where I am today.

P.S. This movie is not about Lady Bird Johnson. =P

Lady Bird is available on Amazon Prime Video. I want to watch it again to see what I missed. I remember trying out for the school play, I remember the first bad boy and the lies that followed, I remember going to Catholic school as a kid, and I remember talking over and over to my best friend about everything under the sun.

Writing A Novel Hurdle #3 - Finding The Time To Write

Hi Everyone! Happy Monday or Hurry Up and get here Tuesday so Monday can be over!

I've been thoroughly enjoying this little series I've started "Writing a Novel Hurdles". In no way am I trying to re-invent the wheel or even become a copycat because there are much more qualified published authors who give amazing advice to help you on your journey. My intentions are to share with you the tips and missteps I'm learning as I go along listening to our people's tried and true formulas. 

Writing A Novel Hurdle #3:
Finding the Time to Write...

Stolen Moments Sunday

I have absolutely no clue what type of flower this is but I just fell in love with it. My husband laughed because the flower was growing in a trail part of the zoo we went to today where there were tons of animals yet I was taking pictures of the flowers for  my blogpost header! lol. 

The weekend was crazy busy from my friend's bridal shower to my god-daughter's dance recital to a date day adventure to the zoo. 

Did it all go off without a hitch?  
Nope. Florists close mad early on Saturdays?!?!

Did I win Bridal Shower Gift Bingo?  
Uh-huh! I won an adorable Pineapple tumbler.

Did I realize I was Taking Photos of the Wrong Kid on stage at the Dance Recital?
Most definitely...I think I need a better glasses prescription for distance

Friday Favorites!

This week got overpowered by work. I didn't leave my office until 7pm most nights. I'm really hoping it starts to calm down, but in marketing/advertising my extra job load is unpredictable. It's keeping me busy and not snacking (On par to lose that 5 pounds for my June goal), but I'm exhausted. I'll have to get my groove back!

This week is jam packed with a double event on Saturday. My life runs like this constantly. I'll say yes to something in March then find out 2-3 more things are happening on the same day in May. At least it's all happy things this weekend. =)

Thursday Thoughts: Movies + TV Shows + Books!

Well I blinked Monday morning and now it's Thursday morning. This week went by super fast. Work has been crazy, but it's kind of a good thing because I find myself snacking less at my desk. lol.

I'm a big Book + Movie + TV person. I always have been. I've been very caught up with work and missed a few things I really wanted to see. I can't wait for a few things to finally come out! 

A Wrinkle In Time

I completely missed seeing this in the theater and I had no idea it got released on DVD this week. The marketing campaign for this movie was insane but then it just came and went so fast. I know there were mixed reviews but I still can't wait to see it. I'll watch anything Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon do. Oh and we mustn't forget Chris Pine. He's my of my favorite Hollywood "Chris". 

I never read the book while I was in school so I'm going in fresh and new! I might check it out On Demand first before I buy it!

Writing a Novel Hurdle #2: Four Ways to Self - Edit Your Writing

This part of the writing a novel process will be my ultimate downfall. I'm sure of it.

Over the past 3 months I've read over my entire novel 10 times at least. I've never been a big fan of editing, but I'm stuck on this one. I have to do it before I send it out to a professional content editor and it's hard to know when to stop.

 I'll admit I did a lot editing as I went along. I would write a scene and then read it over. This works for some people, others it doesn't. Maybe it's making these read-throughs harder because I feel like I did it already? I'm not sure, but this is definitely hard part of the process for me. 

 I need to do it regardless of what I think I've done already. 

Monday Diet Check: 5 Healthy Food Swaps!

Goals don't accomplish themselves. Sometimes, they take lots of hard work and doing what you don't want to do. But the good outweighs the bad and the end result will be amazing. So I'm told.

I promised myself this June I will lose and keep off 5 pounds. From my last Health Check post 2 weeks ago - Find it Here - I have a lot riding on getting my health in check. I honestly feel like I've lost/gained/lost/gained the same 15 pounds for years and it's steadily worsened. I have to do this. There is no turning back.

I already have learned something about myself right off the bat. Telling me to eat healthy isn't enough. I'm much better at Eat This Not That mentality. I'm doing very well with finding out exactly what products to eat and not to eat. The not to eat's are super easy but the good to eat is a struggle on it's own. It's a process and I've nailed down some great go-to's already.

New York City Book Con 2018 Recap!

I came, I saw, I conquered Book Con 2018! Woohoo! 

This weekend Saturday and Sunday I went to Book Con 2018 at the NYC Javit's Center. I have to start out by saying once you've gone to a New York City Comic Con almost every other convention is a walk in the park. I went into this weekend with absolutely no expectations because I've never been and it was so much fun and rewarding that I can't wait to go again next year. 

Friday Favorites...June Goals!

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Why are the shortest weeks the craziest? Seriously, it's always the way! 

This short week at least ends in a brand new month with brand new opportunities! I love the start of a new month. It's a fresh start and 31 days to get it right this time. June is my favorite month, beginning the whirlwind of summer and literally something planned for every single weekend. I'm going to be in serious need of a relaxing vacation after this one! 

But first I'm going to set some goals I hope to achieve or at least chisel at this month. 

In May, I successfully accomplished Two Large Goals for me:  

Finish My First Novel -> Mission Accomplished! 

Restart my Blog -> Mission Accomplished!

These two accomplishments will definitely be setting the stage for my June Goals! 

Life Lately...

Craig and Me aka Toots & Dill - Memorial Day Weekend - 2018

~ I can't believe Craig and I met eight years ago. It seems like yesterday we got married and the day before that we moved in together and in a blink of an eye we were together. I'm so happy I waved at a friend and Craig saw me instead. ~

~ I've been breast fibroid free for 8 years! It's so important to do self breast examinations and to say something to your doctor if you feel something off! ~

My Side-Hustle: The Top Ten Money Making Apps I've Used This Year

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Last year I tried to get a part-time job. It didn't exactly pan out the way I hoped it would.

My full-time job as a marketing analyst got in the way and I knew it wasn't going to work out. I'm a salary employee  also so when work needs to get done, it needs to get fucking done regardless of how long it takes you. All I had left were part of my nights and the weekends, which was basically the time I spent with my husband, family, and procrastinating going to the gym.

So I was sorta stuck. But last November, just in time for the holidays, my mother told me about the app Ibotta and the rest is history. I found the solution to my problem and a slippery slope to a few other great apps. Pennyhoarder and other bloggers helped guide me to other apps and I can honestly say I will never go back.


All Money Making Apps Are Not The Same!! 


Don't Buy Things Just to Receive the Money Back!! 

 The key to making it work is not going out of your way to buy something you won't use! Keep track of daily shopping habits and use the apps where applicable. Plain and simple. Some take time, others are more instant gratification with little planning. It's up to you and your personal discipline to use them at your own discretion. 

Now for the Fun Part...

Friday Favorites For Memorial Day Weekend!

Here we are again with another Friday Favorites!

 I think these are my favorite type of blogposts. They're fresh, new, & fun to put together. All week I think about little things I'm doing or using so I can share them all with you! It's something I really look forward to each week.

This week was a blur. A flash of working late, cleaning, writing, and sleep. So boring. lol. I've been very impatiently waiting for this 3 and half day Memorial Day Weekend for far too long. I'm off work starting tomorrow at 1pm and I'm going to be running out the door before anyone can stop me. Not this time, I desperately need some time off. 

But first...This week's Friday Favorites:

Ten Exciting Things I'm Looking Forward To Do!

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When you get home from work at 8:30pm, after a long 12 hour work day, you need to look to the bright amazing things you have planned because damn today sucked! I barely got up at all. This is a short work week for me so I have to cram in all the tasks I would usually take my time on. Once I get it all done I can play and relax for a glorious 3 and a half days. I hope tomorrow goes by fast!

Now on to the fun stuff! The months of June, July & August are going to be crazy busy and I'm going to love every minute of it!! =)

Writing a Novel Hurdle #1: Letting People Read Your Work

Why is it so hard to send out my work??

Lack of Courage? Low Self-Esteem? Judgement? Anxiety? Uncertainty? Shyness?

Each emotion plays a big part in this process for me and frankly it can be hard to see past it. Putting yourself out there is scary. People reading your words and your thoughts is so crazy! I never thought I would get this far. I'm actually doing my dream I've had for so long. I have to see past these road blocks and push forward!
E.L James had to send out "Fifty Shades of Grey" in all it's telltale ripping of the condom glory.
Margaret Atwood had to let people read "Handmaiden's Tale" and dive into Gilead headfirst.
Stephen King must have sent out "Carrie" catapulting people into the worst prom ever.  

Monday Health Check...A New Beginning...

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I've been putting off getting fit and healthy way too long. Now that I'm blogging again I have no choice. I have to push through, absorb the inspiration, and finally do this fucking thing. 

Who's with me?!

Stolen Moments Sunday

 This weekend was a quiet one but there was still a few cool things that happened.

~ A lot of times my Sundays revolve around family. I spend it catching up with my parents and visiting my grandmother - my mother's mother - at the nursing home. My grandmother suffers from dementia but somehow when I say "Hi Grandma!" she perks up and smiles. Somewhere in her subconscious she knows it's me. It's always my favorite stolen moment just between her and me.

Friday Favorites!

My first week back and I'm already so happy I started to blog again. I really missed it. There is so many great exciting parts to blogging and I'm only scratching the surface.

I always struggled with the balance of work, blogging, social life, tiredness, and writing. There's so much pressure to post every day, like every blog post, read this and that. This time I'm going to take it slow and enjoy the process without driving myself crazy on stats and numbers. If I don't post everyday, it's okay. If I can't think of the latest and greatest and need another day to process my thoughts, it's okay. This time around it's for me and I'm so grateful all the other amazing bloggers motivate me so much!

 Here are some of my favorite things from the week...

I Wrote My First Novel...Now What?

This is exactly what I typed into Google and am currently diving into the madness head first. Did I mention madness? Sea of options? One of the most important turning points of my life? All of the above and then some. And more madness...

But first...

I can't remember a time where I didn't have a book in my hand growing up. I read at family events, finished my summer reading a week into summer, packed book after book for vacations & car rides, got excited for the Scholastic "book orders" in school and spent most of my time on the bus devouring R.L Stine Goosebumps & Christopher Pike horror novels. I had a library card the second I knew I could have one. This priceless and valuable hobby I cherish has opened my eyes to endless possibilities.

 Now it's my turn...

What I'm Watching Now...Vida & Sweet Bitter

Images credited to IMDB

Has anyone noticed the same movies are on Hulu & Amazon Prime?

They both have their unique originals but the hopes of more extensive variety has been inadvertently squashed. Luckily Optimum won the Starz battle and saved Outlander and *fingers crossed* American Gods figures out what the fuck they're doing. While I'm waiting for Jamie & Claire to come back I've been riveted to the new 2 shows Starz has added to Sunday night.

Better Late Than Never! We're Back!!

Created using Canva!

Finally, I'm back! I've been waiting so long to say those two words!! For the longest time I knew something was missing. During the past 8 years I've blogged on and off through several blogging projects and Toots & Dill is the latest and greatest! 

So Who's Toots? Who's Dill?

I'm Toots and my husband is Dill aka Melanie and Craig. Craig got the nickname Dill from middle school and Toots well, he graced me with that nickname about a year into our relationship. I fought the Toots, but now I embrace it and wouldn't think of changing it ever.

What can you find here at Toots & Dill?

This is a lifestyle/personal/daily musings blog.
I hope to create an interactive space that is welcoming and inviting across a broad range of topics.

A little more about Me & Craig

 I'm your typical dreamer who is aspiring to be a writer one day. Writing has always been a hobby of mine and then of course daily life chimes in sidetracking everything. Finally I've wedged in some time for myself and finished my first novel. Which is only Step One of the Process. I'm so excited to start the next steps.

By day I'm a marketing analyst, a wife, an avid book reader, a movie nerd, fan girl, and I'm always on the hunt for ways to save a little extra money. I also teach a cupcake decorating class and I love to share my creations.

My husband Craig is a banker by day and a rock star by night. His band Dig A Revel, find them on Facebook, has gained some traction and has a whole list of shows lined up for the spring and summer. Each week he plays guitar at my favorite place to write, the Defiant Brewery. There's nothing like kicking back a beer, writing your heart out, and listening to my husband's punk serenades.

I am the main writer of the blog, but he is my favorite co-pilot for most of my adventures and hit or misses.

On Sunday I'll be back, pushing full speed ahead!

 I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day!