Check-in | Coffee Over Books

Good morning everyone! Amanda back again to just check in with you all.

Make sure you comment on this post and let me know how you’re doing.

Sorry this intro isn’t really much. There’s not really much I have to say to introduce everything. Let’s just get into this.

Continue reading “Check-in | Coffee Over Books”

Goal Motivation | Coffee Over Books

Good evening everyone! I discussed this a bit in my most recent video, but I would like to motivate you all a bit.

It’s February, nearly mid-February, and I’m sure that we have either given up on some goals from the beginning of the year or are trying to find the motivation to get them done.

Continue reading “Goal Motivation | Coffee Over Books”

Tarot Reading for February | Mind, Body, Spirit

Good morning everyone. I’m trying to get back on track here. I just have been behind on everything lately and I am beating myself up over it because there’s no reason. So here’s to me doing better.

But I decided to do a tarot reading for February. I drew 3 cards. One for mind, one for body, and one for spirit. When drawing for body, a second card felt the need to come out so I drew that one as well.

Let’s take a look at what I got.

Mind – The Hanged Man

So, not initially a good one. But I’m also very new to tarot, so let’s see what it means.

So, according to the app that I use to find out the meanings of the cards, The Hanged Man is about self-sacrifice to move forward.

I think this is interesting because I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress with school and applying for internships. I haven’t turned any in because I am honestly scared of taking this next step. I think this is a sign that good things will come when I take the plunge and deal with the “consequences.” There’s also a lot going on at my current job that’s been on my mind so it could have to do with that.

Body – The Tower; The Wheel of Fortune

So, The Tower isn’t a good card inherently, but it can lead to good things. It talks about complete destruction, but that can also lead to new beginnings.

The Wheel of Fortune is about things that are out of human control and full circles in life. So I’m interested because of everything going on with my body and what this could mean for February.

Spirit – Page of Pentacles

This card is all about new journeys and such. I think this is interesting because I’m really connecting with myself lately and I’m looking more into Wicca/Wiccan stuff and it just really connects with me. So I think this is a sign I’m heading down the right path to better understand myself.

Judging by this reading, February is going to be a month of sacrifices and growth. Change and new beginnings. I’m interested to see how this all plays out, but I think February, while it’s going to be a tough month, is going to end up being a beneficial one to me.

Let me know if you do tarot and can help me better understand this reading. I know I’m probably doing it “wrong,” but I feel the whole point is that I connect with the cards and do readings the way I feel comfortable and feel right. But if I’m misinterpreting any of the meanings, I’d like to know.

Let me know if you’re Wiccan and some resources you have used in becoming and understanding the person you are.

Thanks everyone for joining me and remember that it’s not too late to grow. Just because you thought you understood yourself before, doesn’t mean that there’s not more to learn. Explore and discover.

I’ll see you all soon. Bye!

Coffee Over Books Announcement | Coffee Over Cardio Barista Babe

Good evening everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day and got a chance to check out my last post. This one is going to be a really quick one.

I just want to introduce a new series that I’ve been doing kind of already but I haven’t really given a name to it.

I’m going to be doing a “series” where I just talk about things other than books. But in those posts, I will be sharing with you all some coffee I’m drinking.

The main idea for this series is because I’m an ambassador for a company called Coffee Over Cardio.

It’s a women run coffee company. There are so many different flavors from just plain ole coffee to pumpkin spice to birthday cake. There’s also march like shirts and cups along with some products you may need to make your coffee a bit extra like I like it.

I tried out this company and knew immediately that I wanted to be an ambassador for it. So I applied and got it! I’ve been posting a bit on my Instagram about it, but I wanted to make a formal announcement here.

These posts will not be sponsored by the company, but if you do buy from them using my affiliate link or the code 10COURTOFLOVE at checkout, you will save and I will get a portion of the proceeds to go toward feeding into my coffee addiction.

So for the purposes of this post, I’m going to talk about the Pumpkin Spice coffee they have.

Currently this coffee is on sale and you can use my code to save more! I got this one and I’ve been drinking it every day using my reusable kcup and there’s still so much left! Definitely worth it for me and I think you’d say so as well.

I have an order coming in today so make sure you all go check out my Instagram stories to see what I got! Definitely some exciting things.

Please make sure you use my link or code if you decide to buy anything.

Now, back to this series. I will be using this series to talk about things outside of books. Whether that be life in general or something else. Comment below or DM me with any post ideas or things you would like for me to discuss.

Go to my Instagram stories to participate in the Q&A I’ll be doing for the first official post! I think I’ll make these weekly every Sunday. So make sure you all are following me to see more.

Thank you all so much for joining me and I hope to see you all in the next post! Have a wonderful day!

See you all soon. Bye!

Things I Want To Learn

Good evening everyone! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m graduating in June. While I plan on starting internships, I also don’t want to stop learning.

I feel like I’ve been in school for so long that I just can’t stop myself now. I need to keep learning. So I’m going to share with you all a few classes I’d like to take through the website, Alison. This isn’t sponsored (though I wish it was). It’s just a website I’ve been meaning to check out for a while.

The first thing I’d like to learn is French. I took French in high school but I had a bad teacher so I don’t remember much of it. I’d love to be able to speak French.

Honestly if they had ASL, I’d learn that too. I’d love to learn ASL.

I’d also really like to learn some graphic design. I make a lot of graphics for this blog and I’d like to improve those for you all. So taking a free course on graphic design would help me there.

There are a few journalism classes I’d like to take. As a blogger I know that they will only improve the posts that I’m putting out for you all.

If you didn’t know, I’m vegan. So food is something I take into account OFTEN. I would really like to learn more about nutrition, especially since my husband wants to go to school for it when he decides to go back.

Mental health is something that is so freaking important to me. Between me being in touch with my mental health and me wanting people to know they aren’t alone in how they are feeling, I’d really like to dive deeper into mental health and how it affects people.

So, not through Alison, but I’d really like to learn more about different crystals and their uses. Along with that, the moon and how it affects people. I’ve been feeling really connected to the moon lately and I don’t know what it is. I definitely would like to look more into pretty much anything Wiccan and see if I connect with it the same way I do now.

There’s a ton more that I would like to learn, but these are just a few that I would like to prioritize in the coming year. It will all depend on how internships and working goes, though. I’m hoping to send out some resumes today and I’m freaking out about it.

Thanks so much for joining me and I hope you all have a wonderful day and week.

Mondays are hard on all of us. Take the time to sit down and relax after getting back into the work week. Don’t stress out over getting everything done that needs to be done. It will get done.

See you all in the next one! Bye!

Decluttering My Life: Week 4 Check-in

Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful beginning of the week and continue to for the last half of the work week. If you didn’t have a great start to the week like me, then I hope the second half looks up.

What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

One of the things I do is sit down and come up with a plan. So that leads us into today’s post. We’re going to do a check-in with how I’m doing with my decluttering.

We’re into the fourth week of the year. The third full week, but the fourth week.

And I haven’t decluttered anything. Some of my son’s toys but I also had those packed up and ready before this year hit. He found the box and started digging through it so we got rid of it.

The question of the day comes into play with the lack of decluttering that I’ve done. I’m feeling overwhelmed. January is almost over and I feel like I haven’t been working toward my life goals. Reading, yes. Life, no.

So I’m going to make up a plan for the rest of this month and one for next month. We plan on moving out of our apartment in July so the less stuff we have to move, the better.

Plan of Action

There are 5 months that I would use for decluttering. February through June. And I have broken my apartment and life into 6 categories. One will be done this month.

January will be focused one general cleaning rather than organizing and decluttering, but I’m not going to let myself not declutter something so I’ll be focusing on my electronics.

My phone, iPad, and laptop. I’ll be moving documents off those and moving them to my external hard drive. I’ll be going through. The hard drive and try to organize it in a way that makes things easier to find when they are needed.

February will be focusing on the kitchen, March the living room, April the bedroom, May the playroom/library, and June will finally be the bathroom and closets (in my hallway and living room/entrance.

So that’s my general idea. For now, I’m going to share with you all the checklist that I’m going to use to track my progress with decluttering my electronics.

If you all want more graphics like that one, let me know and I can make them over my journey. I’m more of a visual person and I love making lists, so this will definitely help me out a lot.

Thanks so much for joining me and I hope you all enjoyed this post. Let me know how you are trying to minimize in your life.

Have a wonderful second half of the week. Always remember that you’ve been through worse and you’re only dealt cards you can handle, no matter how impossible it may seem right now.

Life Struggles | Triggers: Infertility, Depression, Miscarriage

Good evening everyone. So I was going to do a post about books that I would like to see as wall art, but I wanted to sit down and have a bit of a discussion with you all.

If you’re following my Instagram (and if not, you should!), then you probably know that I’ve been going through a bit of a lot recently. Last week I hit an all time low in my depression and even now I’m still stuck there, but I’m doing a lot better.

I’m sure you all have seen, but I discussed a couple months ago about my struggles with infertility and a miscarriage I had in June.

Briefly, I have been struggling to get pregnant for my second child since Jan 2016. In May 2019, I found out I was pregnant for the first time since coming off the depo shot (after only getting it twice and I was due for my third shot in Jan 2016). So, May comes, I’m pregnant! Yes! We couldn’t have been more happy. End of May, we tell my mom because we needed her to take time off work for the first ultrasound to watch my munchkin man.

The week before we were due for our first ultrasound (June 6th, to be exact). I woke up and was bleeding. We went in, got an ultrasound at 6 weeks, heartbeat was found but was low. We were told there was a high probability that we would lose the baby.

Went back the next week (the day of our original ultrasound) and discovered we lost the baby. No heartbeat. I made the choice to let everything pass naturally instead of getting a D&C. So, come beginning of July, everything finally passed. We were (and still are) heartbroken.

I bring this up again because it’s the basis for why I’ve been feeling the way that I have. I was due in January. It’s November. I would be two months away from having my second child. Two months.

But that wasn’t the case. We have been trying again. Tracking ovulation with ovulation strips (I know temping is better for all of you who know about tracking), doing to dirty as often as we wanted (and especially around ovulation). But haven’t had any luck.

This month it just hit me a lot harder when I started my period and discovered that once again, I wasn’t pregnant. Then add in the fact that I have a coworker who announced her pregnancy shortly (and I mean by days) after we were told we lost ours.

So I’ve been watching her grow and gush and complain. It’s been hard. She deserves this. I’m happy for her. I truly am. But it’s hard. Especially since I have been working more directly with her recently over normal.

Seasonal depression on top of all of that has been rough. Add in the fact my job has been making me miserable and you just have the whole shebang.

But I’m doing better. Let me just make sure I say that again. We’re back to trying, but not tracking anything. My period tracking app that usually shows ovulation and such, I’ve stopped using besides going into the discussion section to connect with other ladies that are struggling.

We’re just enjoying the process and hoping for the best.

I’m also internship searching! Which means I’m working on my resume which is a whole load of stress itself. I wanted to have it done today but I decided to take a step back to work on school work and posting something here.

I’m behind again. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry this wasn’t book related. I just needed to get it off my chest again. Thank you all for sticking around and supporting me. Thank you.

I’ll see you all in the next one! And it will be a lot happier, I promise! Remember to drink your water and smile any chance you can. If you every need to chat, especially if you’re feeling you have no one to talk to, please message me. If you’re going through infertility, you’re not alone and I support and love you.

My Struggles With Infertility

I’m sure that most of you know that I have a son. I’m not going to get into how I ended up pregnant with him too much in this post, because that’s not the focus. I’m just going to say it took 2 months and zero struggle.

This post is going to be a hard one for me to write. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about with you all for a while now. Since June, to be exact, because that’s when it hit the hardest. So trigger warnings to all. If you can’t handle where this is going, don’t continue reading. It’s going to be a struggle without a happy ending. Not yet, at least.

I had my son in July of 2015 and we decided a few months later that we wanted to try again for another baby so they were close in age. February of 2016, we decided to start trying.

Fast forward to May of 2019, aka over 3 years late, and we FINALLY get a positive pregnancy test. 3 years of wanting. 39 months of negative tests. We were to the point of giving up.

I was torn down to my lowest, or so I thought. I gave up on expecting it to happen. It wasn’t going to. Then it did.

My husband and I were so freaking happy that I can’t even put it into words. The one thing that we had wanted for so long and had been trying to achieve for so long had happened. We were pregnant. We were going to have another baby.

Fast forward to June, a week before my first appointment. My husband is working a day shift for training (we both normally work nights) and my boy was sleeping, so I took a nap. I wake up and there’s blood.

I call the doctor, my husband, and my mom to watch my boy. We go in and they do an ultrasound.

When they told me there was a heartbeat, I was so relieved. But we knew that there was a chance it wouldn’t last. The thing I’m most grateful for throughout all of this is the fact I got the ultrasound printed off.

Needless to say, we went back the following week on my originally scheduled appointment and found out that we lost it. between 6 and 7 weeks. Which wasn’t long, but that doesn’t take away any of the hurt.

I had planned to write this post now with the hopes that I would be pregnant again. I should have known better.

I have reached a point now again where I’ve accepted that it won’t be happening. We aren’t going to stop trying, but we are going to focus on us and our son. I’ve reconnected with my spiritual side and I’m accepting the fact that it will happen when it will happen. I have plenty to keep my mind off it, despite the fact my mind will never be off it.

I will never forget this experience and I still constantly think about “what if.” I can’t stop myself from doing so. I wouldn’t be writing this post in the same way if I was still going to have a baby in January. But I’m not.

I don’t wish this struggle upon anyone. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this loss. But I know that people have gone through this and worse. The depression still hits me. Just this past Saturday was a very low day for me. I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t want to even exist if we’re going to get down and honest.

I forced myself to get out of bed and do the things that I had to do. No. It didn’t make me feel better. But by the end of the day, I wasn’t as low as I was. And that’s because I spent time with friends and family. Not all of them know what happened. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t help.

Even people that haven’t gone through this can be helpful to your mood. But if you ever need to talk, don’t hesitate to message me. I will try to make you feel better. I know that it won’t work, but sometimes even just talking about it can help and all I want is for you to be happier.

I don’t really know how well this post worked out. It probably went over better in my mind. Just know that you’re not alone. You are strong enough to get through this, even on your low days and you will have low days.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for joining me. I’ll keep you all more up to date with everything as I progress through this.

Getting Yourself Out of a Rut

We’ve all been there. We’ve been just wanting to be better, but we can’t help ourselves from getting into a rut. It just happens and we can’t dig ourselves out.

We tell ourselves that we’ll do better tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. But that needs to stop. We can get ourselves out of these ruts.

Before we start getting into that, I want to point out that being in a rut every once in a while is normal. We’re allowed to have down days and weeks. We can take breaks.

But I’m sure you can relate when I say that there are times that I get myself down into the hole and want to get out, but can’t. I’ve had my chance to sit there and reflect, but now it’s time to start the climb to the surface. Sometimes I just need to take it all one step at a time and get there.

take the time to relax

So, I’d like to take a specific scenario that I’ve gone through more often than anything else. But this all applies to life ruts overall.

BookTube. I’ve been in a BookTube rut a few times. I’ve overworked myself and just ended up not happy with the stuff I was producing. Then I couldn’t bring myself to get back into it, despite my want to do it.

This last time I forced myself to stop and not get back into it, no matter how badly I wanted to. I came back stronger than before.

Make a plan

Come up with a plan of action. For me, it was waiting until the beginning of a month to start posting again. I came up with what videos I wanted to post and when. That leads into the next thing and the most important.

Start. Small.

Don’t throw yourself back into everything with no limits or restrictions. For me it was not posting a video a day or 5 of the 7 days in a week. I decided to post 3 times a week, no more, for at least the beginning. I got a bit behind and this past week I posted several videos. But I’m going back down to 3 a week. If I have an announcement or review, I will plan for it or just post it on an off day.

I won’t be pushing myself to post all the videos all the time. I don’t have the time or energy. But that’s okay.

Don’t pressure yourself

Okay, this is the most important. If you’re still not feeling up to whatever it is you’re trying to do, that’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to do everything. Just do what you can. Your mental health is the most important thing here.

You’ll get out of the rut when you are ready. Just focus on yourself and you will know when you’re ready.

I hope you enjoyed this little post and were able to get something out of it. I tried to keep it short and sweet, but also give you all a few little tips to help you out if you’re feeling stuck. I know it probably wasn’t anything new.

Have a wonderful day!

How I Edit My Bookstagram Photos

If you don’t know, I run a bookstagram! Today, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how I edit my photos for my posts. I will show you all what programs I use and the process while I edit a photo for a review that I did a bit ago.

If you’re going to go super in depth, the photo you see in this post may end up looking a bit different than the one I posted. I didn’t have any unedited photos, so I went with this one.

I’m working on posting all the backlist photos that I have so I can change my theme come Sunday. So this entire post will change slightly when I change the theme. But I’ll get into that as we progress.

What is Bookstagram?

Bookstagram is Instagram for readers, pretty much. It’s where people post photos of books and discuss them. It’s honestly my favorite social media outlet. I have always loved photos. Taking them, editing them, sharing them, everything. So adding in my love of books and I’ve never felt more at home.

If you want, I can share with you all some Bookstagram accounts I love! Or I could shoutout to some at the end of every post 🤔

Editing Process

The above photo is before I got through and do any edits. All software that I use to edit my photos is Adobe. Depending on whether I’m feeling up to editing on my phone or on my compute will depend what program I use.

On my computer I use Photoshop; on my phone, I use Lightroom. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to use Lightroom. Any edits that I do in Lightroom, I would do in Photoshop besides the last step. That I have to do in Lightroom.

First picture shows what Lightroom looks like and the second is just the original photo uploaded to the app and ready to be edited.

These three photos show the changes I made in the levels of exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. The amounts of these that I change in each photo varies based on how dark the photo was to begin with along with how bright I want the final product to be.

Then I just throw on a filter and call it a day. With this theme, my most common filter was Artistic 06. I’m going to be taking a look at that again with my new theme, but currently that’s what it is.

And there’s the final product. Here is a comparison between the two.

Let me know in the comments which you liked more. Like I said, a bit of this will be changing when I start my new theme, but this is how it has been for a month or two now.

I hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you all in the next one!

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