I’ve been spending the last 6 or so weeks working on a website for my “authorial image,” if that’s even a thing. It’s a website where I’ll share the books I’m writing and (if I ever finish one) have written. I will keep people updated there on how my writing is going and any progress that I’ve made. As of right now, none.
I am telling you all this because that’s why changes are coming. I’m going to changing things up A LOT. As most of you know, this. blog has been switched over to lifestyle posts. I’ve barely been posting, but that’s going to change. And where they are posted is going to change.
I didn’t like the fact that I had my lifestyle posts under my bookish name. So with the creation of my website, I started a new blog to go along with it that is under my real name.
Over the past weeks, I’ve been thinking about how this is going to be used outside of this course. I think I’ve figured that out.
So I’m going to try to break it down simply, but overall just know that changes are coming and I won’t be posting again until November.
I will have a main website. You will go there for any author related information, like books I’ve written, books I’m currently working on, or where I am in those books I’m currently working on.
At the top of the main website, which is under my real name as I do hope to become a published author one of these days, there will be a few tabs to lead you around the website. But the two main focuses for this post are going to be the book blog tab and the lifestyle blog tab.
The book blog tab will lead to back to this blog. Clicking that main tab will bring you to the home page of this blog, under the A Court of Books and Love name. Or hover over it and you can choose a specific location like reviews, cover reveals release blitz, lists, TBRs, wrap ups, etc.
The lifestyle blog tab will be the same way, but under my real name. And, obviously, instead of book related locations, it will be life stuff like being a mom, veganism, infertility, etc.
That is the main breakdown of how this is going to go. but it’ll be much easier to figure out once I get it all setup and ready to go.
But all of this being said, I do hope you all stick around and join me on both blogs. I won’t be posting videos on YouTube anymore, because, well, YouTube is screwing small creators over. It’s not worth the time and effort right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t post videos. I will just post them on IGTV on Instagram instead.
Thank you all for joining me and please let me know any lifestyle or bookish posts you would like to see come November!
What would you like me to talk about? It can be literally anything, just comment down below.
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for joining me for this cover reveal. Thank you so much to Give Me Books Promotions and M Jay Granberry for allowing me to join into this reveal!
Exquisitely Hidden is the sequel to Exquisitely Broken. I will have a review up forboth books in October.
He was everything I needed when I thought I had it all… As front man for the band everyone’s eyes are on me. I bask in the spotlight Because it hides the flaws. Everyone has secrets. Mine will ruin everything I’ve built. My career, my music, my life… But keeping this secret? It’s breaking my heart. I knew how we would end before we started And still I can’t resist him. Not everyone will understand. But I do. It’s simple. He’s the man I’m meant to love. How long can I deny who I truly am? Should I keep my secret or risk it all?
M. Jay Granberry is first and foremost an insatiable reader.
Among her favorite things are classic fairy tales, smutty books where characters have heart, old lady sweaters (preferably chunky knit), gift baskets (giving not receiving), and charcuterie trays (green olives, smoked cheese, and Genoa salami).
She is a true Las Vegas native, the one in Nevada not New Mexico, and to answer the most frequently asked questions about growing up in Sin City…
No, she doesn’t live in a hotel.
No, she has never been a stripper although she does know some.
Prostitution is absolutely illegal in Clark County (Las Vegas)!
And what happens in Vegas does indeed stay in Vegas.
M. Jay earned a degree in words and stories, and after fifteen plus years of doing everything other than writing, she penned her first novel.
Giving a voice to characters, that are strong yet fragile, that are sometimes uncomfortably real, that express love in dirtiest ways with the sweetest sentiments is honestly a dream come true.
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.
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.
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.
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 🤔
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!
Building a routine is something I’ve been trying to do for the past year or so. It still just hasn’t stuck.
I find myself procrastinating until the last minute to do everything. Here I am, the day before I wanted this post to go up, finally writing it. I don’t want to be like this. I want to be that person who is ahead of everything.
So that’s why I’m writing this post. I’m hoping that someone can connect with it and be able to become the person who doesn’t want until the last second to do everything. I’m hoping I’m that person as well.
So, here are some tips to building a routine from someone who knows how to build a routine, but doesn’t do it because she is not following these tips.
Have a reason
What is your reasoning for wanting to have a routine? These may seem like something to obvious, but sit down and figure it out. Why?
Here are my reasons for wanting to have a routine:
For my son. I feel like not having him on a routine is not benefiting him at all. He’s as confused on when do things as I am.
Content. Without a routine, I’m finding myself waiting until the last minute to do things and then everything is rushed. And that tends to show. It probably is in this post as well. I’m sorry.
Consistence. If I’m waiting until the last minute to do everything, there’s a high likelihood that I won’t finish what I’m doing on time. Then I just decide I don’t have to do it. Hence the reason there wasn’t a post Friday.
Happiness. I get stressed when things are rushed and I’m not being the best me I can be. So putting myself into a routine will help me to get the stuff done I want to get done and I’ll have a chance to be less stressed out.
Time. If I’m on a routine, I’ll have more time. Does that make sense? Not entirely. Proceed to next tip.
Don’t do everything at once
One issue that I have is that I try to do everything at once. Sometimes it works because I’m in the flow of doing it. Other times, it stresses me out and I keep getting distracted, leading to me taking 5 hours to do a 1 hour task.
Block everything out. I will be getting into why Block Scheduling doesn’t work for me in another post, but I still like to incorporate a bit of it.
I have a rather short attention span. So, I have been trying to take 15-30 minutes at a time to do something before doing something else. That’s enough time to get going on some things and then stopping before I get distracted.
By taking everything a little bit at a time, it leads me to getting everything done quicker than realized.
I had a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to do my homework assignments. I spent this week taking a little at a time. Near the end of the week, I fell out of doing that. But even then, it took me so much less time to finish my assignments today than it did any other week.
Give yourself some deadlines. Have an assignment due Friday? Tell yourself you’ll have it done by Thursday. Then if something happens, you’ll have that bit of leeway. If you’re over paranoid, like me, make it Wednesday.
I try to do this with my posts and videos. I try to bulk film all my videos for the week over the weekend. Then I want to have them edited and ready to go the day before. I have realized that this isn’t enough leeway or motivation for me. So I’m going to try to make it two days this week.
Don’t Stress if you don’t get it
Things happen. Sometimes we aren’t meant to be on a routine.
Everyone is different. We all have different lives. Some things work for some people, but don’t for others and that’s okay.
My routines are going to be very minor impacts on my life. I’m hoping to just set aside an hour or so a day for each thing. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I will adjust as needed. If it doesn’t work, that’s fine.
Don’t stress about it. Have fun. It’s your life and you can make of it what you will. Whether that be waking up and following a strict morning routine, making sure you eat breakfast and work out EVERY MORNING or just waking up and having a cup of coffee and reading a book. Dealing with the workout and breakfast when you are ready. If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine.
If you would like for me to do a post listing some healthy habits I either do or that I would like to incorporate into my life, let me know in the comments.
Also, let me pose a question for you:
What is one thing you want to add to your routine?
For me, it’s definitely yoga. I have never been someone who has done yoga religiously, but it is something I’ve always been interested in. I’ve tried adding it a few times, but then life happens and something goes wrong in my life, leading me to stopping. I’m hoping to pick it back up again soon. I even downloaded an app for daily yoga to see if it helps.
I’ll talk to you all in the comments. Until then, have a wonderful day and remember to smile.
Good morning all! I suck, I know. I’m sorry. I meant to post something these past few weeks, but it’s been a rough time.
I was going to post something within the last week of August, but after looking at the first post I wanted going up in September, I figured “what better way to reset everything?”
So here we are, discussing how I plan on getting my life back together.
I’ve been a mess over the summer. I will get more into what lead to this in a future post, but there was a lot going on in my life both physically and mentally. But that’s all mostly passed (there’s still something I’ve been dealing with that is still ongoing, but overall the huge “problem” has passed), so it’s September and I’m ready for a reset!
I’m hoping that something else falls into place, but that’s out of my control at this point.
GYST is a term that I first heard from Kalyn Nicholson. It stands for Get Your Sh*t Together.
She usually uses Sundays to GYST and that’s when she resets everything and gets ready for the coming week. Cleaning, planning, working, and self care. Those are the main things that she focuses on.
How am I personally going to incorporate this?
I broke this all down over the course of the week. This is the first week of my new classes, so the perfect time for me to come up with a new schedule that works for me. If you would like a post about my schooling and what I’m majoring in and hope to do after I graduate, let me know in the comments.
I have a problem with getting behind in class, so I’m going to be trying to keep up with everything. And when I say behind, I don’t mean that I’m actually behind. My stuff is turned in by the due date, but I cut it close. And I’m sick of it.
Here’s the general plan that I have:
-Monday-Friday: School Work (Weekends off/catch up time)
-Everday: Dishes and 15 mins cleaning intervals (as breaks from “work”)
–Work: Instead of scheduling down to the detail when to do each step with my blog posts and youtube videos, I’m going to just write the tasks that go into creating each on the day I want it to go up and check them off as they get done
–self care: Everyday. No ifs ands, or buts. I will be focusing on getting my health back on track by not eating so much junk food, cutting back on caffeine, bringing my lunch instead of buying, and working out (especially yoga again)
Another step in all of this is getting back on a routine. I know my body and I know what makes it work best. So, going along with this, I’m going to start with a sleep schedule and along with that will be a morning and night routine.
It’s hard with my son because I don’t have him most nights. The schedule his grandma has with him is different than the one I have with him on the weekends.
So morning routines (which will be my afternoon routines) will be my main focus with him.
Since I work overnights (10pm to 7am), it’s hard to get into a routine. But I’ve been doing it for 5 years. It’s about time to figure this crap out.
Morning Routine *Tentative* (Which is actually my night routine from approx 8pm to 10pm when I clock in)
8PM: Wake up, Drink Water, Check Phone (I know, bad but let’s be real here.) 8:15PM: Get up and Shower (if didn’t before bed) 8:30PM: Get Ready For Work 8:45PM-9PM: Leave For Work 9PM-10PM: Read and Eat Before Work
Night Routine *TentativE* (Actually afternoon/evening from approx 2-3pm)
After getting home from work in the morning, I will spend most of that time working and spending time with my munchkin man. If I try to go to sleep any later than 2 or 3, then I won’t be able to fall asleep. I’m going to start this at 2pm, but depending on how it goes, I may push it back to 1pm so I am in bed by 2pm.
2pm: Put down all electronics, start reading physical book 2:15pm: Wash Face, Brush Teeth, Shower if Alex is napping 2:30pm: Get everything ready for work 2:45pm: Wake Hubs, Get in bed, Read physical book 3pm: Go to sleep
So those are the two main things I want to focus on in September to get my life back together. I want to get into a routine and GYST. The main things I want to focus on GYSTing are my work, school, and cleaning. I need to start decluttering and the first step in that is going to be basic cleaning.
I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you want to join me in GYSTing and creating routines, feel free to message me on Instagram. I can always create a little group of people who are just trying to get their lives back together after the summer.
Let’s all live our best lives. We are all capable of doing so.
I look forward to speaking with you all in the comments and in future posts!
Good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening! Good night! Hello! Hi!
I’m excited, can you tell? So I’m sure most of you already know me from the bookish side of my social media presence. But I wanted to reintroduce myself for anyone new and anyone who may be joining me since my change to a more lifestyle based blog.
I’m Amanda. I’m a 24 year old that is just trying to live her best life. I have a 4 year old son who will be featured often and is my world and my everything.
I’m married, but I don’t know how much that’s really going to be discussed.
Something that will be talked about as often as I can is the fact that I’m vegan. I have been vegan for a year and a handful of months now and I haven’t looked back. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I’ll get into that in a specifically vegan post, though.
Also, my type A personality is going to be drawn upon A LOT. I try my hardest to be organized, but I know that 90% of the time, I’m a failure at it. Actually, one of the first posts I’m going to be making is about block scheduling and how I failed at it. Okay, not exactly failed, but I realized it’s not for me.
So make sure you’re subscribed to my blog and my email listing so that you can be notified right when that post is live!
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After all of this is said, I’m not perfect and I don’t have my life together. Honestly, it’s actually quite the opposite. But I have so many thoughts and things I feel like I need to share because I don’t see it often.
One of the main things I’m going to be focusing on for a while is scheduling. I work such a weird shift and add that into my family schedule and you have a unique and strange family dynamic.
I work Sunday through Thursday from 10pm to 7am. My husband works the same hours, but right now he’s working Monday through Friday. We have a 4 year old that we don’t have in daycare or preschool right now. Life is hard.
I see a lot of schedules of nurses, but not everyone that works a night shift is a nurse. So I’m hoping to share my perspective as a night worker, mom, and all the other crap I do.
I have posts planned out for the remainder of the month and I think you all will be very interested in the topics. We discuss distancing friendships and the mass shootings and how that affects me as someone who works a retail job with a high level of anxiety.
I’m looking forward to getting into these posts with all of you and I hope you look forward to them as well.
Let me know anything you would all like to see and make sure you check out my YouTube Channel.