Currently Obsessed With: April 2020

Hi everyone!

So, I can’t believe it’s May already!  Time is so weird, and I can’t believe I’m recapping April already.  2020 has been the longest year ever, and even though April didn’t feel as long as March, April still felt pretty long.  April was full of familiar things, and I’ve found that I’ve wanted to revisit things I haven’t listened to or read in a while.

I barely took any pictures last month, and with being at work or at home, there hasn’t been a lot of picture-taking.  But I did get a picture of some of the tea I plan on drinking.  I got it from the Literary Tea Company, and everything I have tried has been really good, so I know they will be too!

Let’s get to the highlights from April!

Inspired By:

  • The Smoothie Project.  I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies lately, and it’s been a really easy way for me to get some extra fruit and vegetables in.  I’ve only made the Bright Green smoothie so far, and it’s really good!  Everything looks really good, and I’m pretty excited to try some new smoothies.
  • YallStayHome.  I was really sad when YallWest got cancelled, because I was really looking forward to it.  I had a great time last year, but I watched a few of the panels that they did virtually, and it was really cool/inspiring to hear a lot of authors talk about writing and life.


  • How To Get Away With Murder.  This was more of a rewatch of the first 5 seasons, but I was in the mood for a lot of drama…and murder.
  • October Faction.  I started watching this at the end of April so I’m not that far into it.  But I really like the couple of episodes I’ve seen, so I’m sure I’ll have more to talk about once I’ve seen more.


  • Shatter Me.  After finishing Imagine Me, I decided I needed to read the whole series again.  It’s nice to read something familiar but also awesome.
  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.  I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, and I’m taking my time with this one.  But I love the tips I’ve seen so far, and it seems like it is a great resource.
  • Jubilee.  I love the history in it!  I’ve only made the chicken and dumplings (which were amazing) but it’s equal parts cookbook and cooking history, which is cool and different.

Thinking About:

  • Joining a CSA.  Most of my grocery shopping lately has been for produce but it would be cool to support a local farm.  I’ve actually thought about it off and on for quite a while, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot more lately.

Listening To:

  • The Black Tapes.  I don’t know why but I just really wanted to listen to this podcast again.  I really like story and how it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would.
  • Welcome To Night Vale.  After listening to The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home, I immediately starting listening to Night Vale from the beginning.  I forgot how many of the really early episodes are really cool (and quote worthy).


  • The San Diego Zoo!  I’ve dreaming about going to the Zoo a lot lately, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m following a few aquariums and zoos on Twitter, or if I just really need to get out of the house.  Once things settle, and the Zoo opens up, I’m definitely going!


  • Label Makers.  I have some things I need to label, and I just want it to look pretty and organized.
  • Body Pillows.  I’ve been sleeping good but in really weird positions, and I just need something to help out with that.
  • Weighted blankets.  I’ve had a hard time falling asleep, and I’ve heard weighted blankets can help with that.  I feel overwhelmed by the options, and I don’t know if I should go with both a body pillow and a weight blanket, or one of them.  Does anyone have a recommendation of one they really like?

Eating And Drinking:

  • Smoothies.  I’ve talked about being on a smoothie kick already, and though I love this Basic Blueberry Smoothie, it’s also time to try something different.
  • Chili.  Mostly because I’m using up stuff from my pantry that I wanted to get rid of, but chili is always good.
  • Chocolate.  I’ve been on a chocolate kick this month.  Normally, I’m not big on sweets, which is weird, because I love to bake.  But if I want chocolate, I’m going to eat it!
  • Breakfast.  I’m not usually hungry in the morning, but lately, I’ve been pretty hungry by the time I get to work.  I started keeping stuff in the freezer that I can heat up.
  • Tea!  I have quite a bit of tea, and I’m excited about some of the tea I shared above.

Grateful For:

  • Having a job.  I still feel lucky that I have a job to go to, and I’m glad I can keep a routine going.
  • Virtual YALLWEST.  Even though the in-person YALLWEST was cancelled, I’m glad a virtual one was put together.
  • Just being okay.  Oddly enough, I’ve been a lot happier than I have been in a while, and I’m glad I’m doing okay.

Good Things:

  • Getting the stimulus check.  It actually came at the perfect time, because I had to get a new car.  The reason for the new car was not great- there were a few days where it was raining pretty bad, and I hydroplaned, spun around, and proceeded to total my car.  It was terrifying, because I was driving, and the next thing I knew, I was spinning around.  I’m okay, though, and as long as I’m okay, that’s all that matters.
  • I had some time off which was great- I had a four-day weekend followed by a three-day weekend.  I had originally requested the time off for the LA Times Festival Of Books (postponed) and YALLWEST, which was cancelled, but done virtually.  It worked out really well, though, because I ended up using some of the time off to go car shopping and do other car-related stuff.
  • I’ve been cooking up a storm, and I can’t remember the last time I cooked so much!  Months, for sure.  I’ve cooked, of course, but I’ve cooked stuff to keep in the freezer.  And I’m enjoying being in the kitchen again.  For a while, I wasn’t super into cooking, and it’s nice to be interested in it again.  A lot of it has gone into the freezer to use later, but it’s nice knowing that I can pull something out of the freezer if I don’t want to make anything.

And that wraps up April!

Stay safe out there,

Currently Obsessed With: May 2019

Hey everyone!  It’s actually good to be back with my monthly wrap-up feature, and I’m really hoping this will come back more regularly.

May was a pretty fun month!  It started off great with YALLWEST, which I already talked about here.  I’m not really going to talk about it again, but I had a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for next year!

So, this is an April thing, and not a May thing, but I have to share a picture of the cake we had at book club in April.  It’s too cool not to share.  I can’t believe it’s been a year already!  The cake was made by celestialsweets, and you can find her on instagram here, if you want to check out her other creations.  All of which look awesome, by the way.

I also had a birthday, which was fun!  I’m pretty sure I ended up with food poisoning, but at least I started feeling the effects of it at the end of the day.

I never realized how cool the benches were at Fiesta De Reyes.  I know that’s super random, but it’s true!  I love how they’re decorated.

Usually when I go to Old Town, I get my coffee and some candy, and leave but it was a nice day out, so I decided to wander around for a while.  I always get taffy, and every once in a while, I’ll add some other candy too.

Anyway, Cousins is an old-timey candy shop and it’s fun just to go in and look around.  Even though I didn’t get any tea this time, when I do, I always get the black currant tea and the peach white tea.  I also love their highlander grog coffee.  If you happen to be looking for recommendations for coffee or tea.

You thought you were done looking at benches, weren’t you?

You’d be wrong, because there’s one more!

It was definitely a good day to stop and admire this flowers.

And also these flowers.

Plus this really cool plant.

And a huge tree!

And I don’t know why, but I always have to look at this flagpole!

No birthday is complete without ice cream.

Oddly enough, I didn’t have cake…but I was in the mood for ice cream, that I sadly didn’t get a picture of.  I didn’t think of it until I was done eating.  And of course, since it’s me we’re talking about, I did get some yarn.

I’ve been thinking about making some washcloths and those little face scrubbies.  Since I don’t have a lot of cotton yarn in my stash right now, I stopped by my local yarn store and got some.  I have a few projects going on and I swear, there’s a post coming on what I’m working on.  Not today, because I have zero pictures, and when it comes to craft projects, it’s always fun to actually see them.

That’s all for today, and I hope you have a great day!

The YALLWEST 2019 Recap Post

Hey everyone!  Today, I’m going to ramble on about yallwest.  I had a lot of fun, and I knew I had to talk about it with all of you.

I drove up from San Diego, and while I was glad I didn’t get any traffic on the way up, I was also glad when I got there.  After being in my car for over 2 hours, it was really nice to get out of my car and be able to walk around.

I got a few books signed- I was really excited about getting Girls Of Paper And Fire by Natasha Ngan signed, and I was super-excited about getting The Hate U Give and On The Come Up signed.   I didn’t think to actually get pictures with them, and I honestly didn’t feel like taking a picture of the actual signed pages.  But it was great meeting them, and all three books are great, so it was nice to get them signed.

I also went to a couple of panels.  I went to one that was sci-fi vs fantasy, and it was really fun.  There were definitely some surprising answers to some of the questions asked, but it was really interesting to hear the panel talk about what they like about both sci-fi and fantasy.  Veronica Roth moderated, and Jay Kristoff, Robin LaFevers, Nafiza Azad, Melissa Albert, Tochi Anyebuchi, and Brandon Reichs were on that panel.  I’ve heard that Jay Kristoff is really tall, but I didn’t realize how tall until I saw him on the panel.  I’m 4’10, so everyone is tall from my perspective.  Anyway, I really loved Nafiza Azad’s answer about why she loves fantasy, and it makes me want to read her book even more.

Oh!  I ended up with an ARC of The Tenth Girl.  They were giving them away to the people who went to the Sci-Fi Vs Fantasy panel, and it looks interesting.  I don’t know if I would have picked it up otherwise, but I’m excited to read it.

Right after that one, I went to a panel that focused on writing mysteries and thrillers.  I don’t read a lot of mysteries but it was still really interesting to hear the panel talk about writing and where they got the inspiration for their current project.  Alexia Bass, Gwenda Bond, Sara Farizan, Karen McManus, Matthew Modine, and Gretchen McNeil were on the panel, and it was moderated by Peter Stone.  I’ve only read Gretchen McNeil and Sara Farizan and while I didn’t love their books, I definitely liked hearing everyone talk about how they write.

There’s a lot going on, and as a first-timer, it was really overwhelming.  I didn’t really know where to start or go first, so I wandered around feeling a little lost and confused.  I was okay by the time I ended up leaving, but it was very much deer-in-the-headlights.  At least for a while.  It was pretty well-organized, though, and putting something like this together can’t be an easy task.

I’m definitely appreciative of all of the work that went into it, and I very much appreciated all of the authors who came out and the volunteers who took the time to be there answering questions and keep things going.  I’m glad yallwest is around and close enough for me to go to.

Now that I know where to go, it’ll be easier for future festivals, but for the first time?  It was a little hard navigating, and even with a map and program, I had a hard time with figuring out where everything was.  It’s user error, though, because I can be directionally challenged sometimes.

I didn’t buy a lot- I already had copies of the books I wanted signed, and that actually made things a lot easier.  That’s something I’m definitely doing again next year.  Even though Mysterious Galaxy had a booth right next to the signing area, it was a lot easier for me to not worry about needing to buy the books I wanted signed.

I did get this really cool bag from the Book Beau booth.  It’s a travel size pouch, and it’s super cute.  I would definitely buy a couple bigger sizes from them and in different patterns.  I just fell in love with it, and it’s just so pretty!  Not that I don’t love what I got from them, because I do, but all of the samples they had were really cute.  I kept seeing people walk around with them all day, so I was glad when I actually saw where they got them so I could get one for myself.

I also made a stop at the Owl Crate booth, and got a tote bag and a signed copy of Pride by Ibi Zoboi.  I ended up moving my books from my bag to the tote bag, which made it a lot easier to carry it around.

The only other things I ended up getting were an enamel pin and a water bottle…which got a lot of use, because I ended up getting really thirsty throughout the day!  At least there were water fountains so I could get more water.

I had a lot of fun, and I’m definitely going back next year.  It’ll be easier now that I know where things are and what to expect.

Here are my takeaways from this year:

  • I’m wearing/bring sunscreen.  I didn’t realize I’d be outside pretty much all day, so I ended up with some pretty nasty sunburns on my arms and my face, so sunscreen is a must for next year!
  • I’m using a backpack next year.  Walking around with a yarn bag full of books (I left the yarn at home this time) meant my arms and shoulders were killing me by the end of the day, so a backpack will be a lot better for me.
  • I’ll definitely be buying any books I want signed/personalized ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about buying them there
  • On a related note, I really need to remember to have my own sticky notes with my name on them if I want them personalized.  It’s a lot easier than trying to flag someone down so I can get my books personalized
  • The drive home was pretty rough.  I was tired, sore and sunburned.  I did stop about halfway home to stretch my legs, take a bathroom break and eat something, and that was a good idea.  It’s something to keep in mind for next year.  I’m glad I left when I did, though, because I wasn’t sure I could have made it until everything was over
  • I’m totally printing out the schedule for next year.  It’ll be easier than looking at it on my phone

Overall, I had a lot of fun, and I’m glad I went!