Life lately: book hoarding, fountain pens, my TBR

Boots by Rob and Mara PH

The other day I came across the fantastic website of writer Catherine Lacey—I can’t remember now but apparently I subscribed to her newsletter some time back for some reason (I think I just added one of her books to my wishlist that time)—and I was suddenly filled with the urgent need to tweak my blog again. Hence, this new-ish look.

For the last few months (or longer) I’ve been trying to make my blog look like one of those cool blogs from the past. You know the ones—old school journal type, dated background, strange spacing, somewhat weird and unwieldy interface, but ultimately cool. I don’t know how to describe it, but I wanted my blog to look like it.

I think it’s all just part of me being nostalgic for what used to be. I miss being able to blog like in the old days when I wasn’t too concerned about my writing. I miss being able to read books and post reviews in a span of a few days. I miss being fit haha. I just miss a lot of things.

Anyway, here be life updates and what not!

The pandemic activated the book dragon in me and my book hoarding tendencies went into overdrive. Oh gosh, I acquired so many books in the last three years. Used books and sale books mostly. I rarely bought anything at its full price, but still. I’ve turned into a book hoarder now and I fear I won’t be able to get back to becoming an actual reader. It is what it is, but seeing the books on my shelf brings me so much joy, so it’s fine (I say to myself). Oh, I haven’t given up on reading. I still think—nay, I believe—that I can get to all my books eventually in this lifetime. Hah. ;)

pocket fountain pens

I got into fountain pens! It started in late 2020. I decided that I wanted to add more creativity into my life and joined an art club. It’s where I discovered fountain pens and got bit by the bug. Now I have almost 20 pens in my collection. That’s a big number for me, so I’ve decided to slow down on the pen buying. I have a couple of pens on my wishlist, but I’m not in a hurry to get them. This year I want to spend more time enjoying my pens instead of wishing for more pens.

I stopped working out and doing yoga. Ah, I’m so annoyed with myself. I didn’t get sick or anything. I just didn’t feel like doing any of it. Oh, I tried a few times to start up again, but couldn’t make it a habit. I could blame the pandemic, but I know I have no real excuse. This is one of my main priorities this year. I want to get back into it. I miss it and miss feeling healthy in body and mind. (It’s such a trip, isn’t it? You want to mind your mental health so you don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t feel like doing. But you also know that doing those things you don’t feel like doing can help your mental health. What are you supposed to do?) Anyway, I’m determined to get fit again this year, just you wait. Hah.

Life updates: trying to read Mistborn

This month’s TBR

I read a grand total of two books in 2022. TWO! Gah. Sad, right? I’m not giving up on trying to get back into reading, so I’m still going to give my priority TBR from last year a try. I had three things that I really wanted to read: The Sandman Volume 1, A Darkness At The Door, and The Bell Jar. I’m adding a fourth one, Mistborn, just for the heck of it. One of these is bound to get me going again, right? Wish me luck!

What’s on your list of goals or on your TBR this year?

My checklist for 2020

SMM_MRBLE PNY 3 by Her Creative Studio

New year, new list, right? Well, not exactly. I always have the same things on my yearly list of things to do or be, but that’s just how it is, right? Every year, every month, EVERY DAY is a chance to keep trying. And, well, you know, writing down things makes me feel more accountable about doing them, right? Right? :)

Well, okay, here’s my list then. :D

The projects I want to accomplish this year

1 – Get back to yoga and use up my current class card before it expires on October. – I haven’t been to a yoga class in about three months. The studio where my sister and I used to go to closed down and the next closest one where we can use the shared class package we bought is a few minutes farther. Honestly, it’s not really that far but I’ve just been having a hard time getting off my lazy butt and actually going. So that’s on this list. I gotta get back to yoga.

2 – Read 20 books. – Last year my goal was to read at least one book a month, but I managed to finish 20. Although, if we’re going to be technical about it, it was 9 novels and 11 comic books. This year, I want to see if I can still reach that same number. And yeah I will still count comic books. I have so many unread books (physical and digital) that sometimes it feels criminal that I’m not reading any of them at any given time.

3 – Finish my little tarot journal project. – I took an email tarot course last year and was planning to create my own “little white book” but I wasn’t able to get to it and finish the course the way I wanted to. Now I want to go through the course again (I still have all the emails) and finally finish that project. I mean, I already have all the materials I need and I’ve been making little plans in my head about how to do my journal spreads. I just need to get to it.

4 – Sew at least one thing using my sewing machine. – I’ve had that old sewing machine for years. My mom gave it to me, but I never sat down to learn how to use it. I have a list of the sewing projects that I want to do, and though I keep adding to it every time I think of something, nothing ever gets checked off. I need to make time for it. Seriously. So this year my goal is to just finish one, at least one, sewing project.

5 – Do weekly strengthening exercises for my knee again. – I really should be doing this regularly and consistently and forever, but I stopped and I have start it up again. I mean, I should if I want to keep practicing yoga and maybe start running or something. I want to add some sort of cardio activity to my life, that’s all. And I can’t do that if I’m worrying about my knee giving out or whatever.

So, those are the major projects I want to accomplish this year. I also intend to do the usual important stuff like EAT HEALTHY and DRINK MORE WATER and WRITE MORE. I just feel like these things are a given already and they’re in my mind all the time. I just have to do better.

Do you have a list for the year?


This list was inspired by THE CHECKLIST BOOK by Alexandra Franzen. Get the book at your local bookstore, local public library, or order it online: .

What would you do if you only had 24 hrs left? #MyFinal24

ALEX-SO-THIS-IS-THE-END-AUGUST-2018-8864 copy

Are you subscribed to writer Alexandra Franzen’s newsletter? If not, you should be. Her letters are thoughtful and inspiring. Anyway, her new book So This Is The End: A Love Story has just been released! The novel is about the last 24 hours of the main character Nora’s life. Basically, the book poses the question: If you had just 24 hours to live, what would you do with your time?

So? What would you do?

Alex posed this question in her latest newsletter and I have to say it took me a few minutes to come up with my own list, which I’m sharing below.

#MyFinal24 List

final24 list

  1. Write letters to my family and friends. – The first thing I thought about was, you know, I gotta tell people I love them. Then I thought, I might have a few more things to say to some of them and that’s going to take some time, so maybe I’ll just write letters. Just short letters though because I know writing stuff will also most probably take me a while.
  2. Close or take care of my different accounts so my family doesn’t have to. – A kinda boring thing, but practical, I think. I’m referring to my bank accounts and online accounts and what not. You know, just make sure they’re all in order or that they can be accessed by my family.
  3. Go to the beach. – I can’t swim or surf or whatever for shiz, but I’ve always been drawn to the beach. I think I would love to spend a few last hours on the hot sand, in the salty water, and under the scorching sun.
  4. Tell the truth always. – I don’t know if I could actually do this, but I think it would be nice to leave the world with only truth in my heart.
  5. Spend time with family and friends. – This needs no explanation, I think. I would love to hug my loved ones before I go.
  6. On my last hour, listen to my favorite songs and dance. – My favorite songs always make me feel everything – happiness, sadness, ecstasy, agony, hope, frustration, etc, etc, and etc. Before the end, I want every inch of me to be dripping with emotions. I want to feel everything before fading away.

And that’s all I got. 24 hours is pretty short if you think about it. Making this list is actually making me think that I should actually try to do most of these things now and/or as much as I can while I still can, you know?

What would be on your #MyFinal24 list?

If you want to share your own list, you can find the assignment details here: .

– – – – –

So-This-Is-The-End-Alexandra-FranzenSo This Is The End: A Love Story by Alexandra Franzen

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Jill Santopolo’s The Light We Lost, comes a powerful romance

What if doctors could revive you from death―and give you an extra 24 hours of life?

One more day. One more chance to tell your family how much you love them. One more chance to say goodbye to friends, listen to your favorite song, throw an epic party, feel the grass beneath your feet, or watch the sunset. How would you spend your time?

So This Is The End follows Nora Hamilton as she navigates her final 24 hours. She’s determined to do something meaningful and make every moment count.

Enter: Renzo. Ren, for short. Strong, compassionate, unfairly attractive, with a face that makes Nora’s stomach explode into stars. Their connection is immediate, with white-hot intensity. Nora is wracked with bittersweet joy and confusion as she realizes, “I’ve finally met the love of my life… on the last day of my life.”

Should she tell Ren the truth about her condition―tell him she doesn’t have much time left? How will he react? Is it unethical to allow yourself to fall in love with someone when there’s no possibility of a future together? Or is love a precious gift, no matter how long it lasts, even if it’s just for one day?

What happens next is a story about taking chances, making your own rules, and the power of living like there’s no tomorrow.

A moving romantic drama: Early readers call So This Is The End “a breath of fresh air,” “moving and beautiful,” “an amazing wake-up call,” a book you’ll be “unable to put down,” with a story that makes you “fall in love the instant you start reading.”

You can purchase the book here: http://bit.ly/so-this-is-the-end

Time for a Mid-Year Check!

I’ve been pretty chill about my goals this year because I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I think I became too chill about it though. I had about nine things on my 2018 list but I can honestly say I’ve only been somewhat true to three* of them. And I say “somewhat true” because I feel like I’m only hitting the minimum with those three goals.

When June came around I was feeling pretty blah about doing a mid-year check because, you know, I’ve nothing much to show. Then I joined the Respark Challenge by Arriane Serafico of The Purposeful Creative. Respark was a 5-day challenge to help participants get the spark back into their goals and motivation. I did all challenges and though I did feel like they helped a lot, I still haven’t done anything more to really jumpstart my goals again. Insert huge sigh here. Yup, looks like I’m still pretty chill about my goals. Hah.

So I thought, maybe doing this mid-year check will help turn the spark into a bit of a flame, yeah? You know, accountability and all that. Bahaha. Anyway, here goes.

The usual things on my 2018 list

Continue with my knee strengthening exercises – Yeahhh, nope. Didn’t do a single workout, but I need to start this up right away. Gah.

*Practice #yogaeverydamnday – I haven’t been able to practice everyday, but I’ve been attending classes at least three times a week so that’s a good thing, methinks. I’m still aiming to start a home practice, so I don’t have to always rely on classes at the studio.

*Eat healthy – I’ve really been trying my best to do this, so I’m counting this as part of my “somewhat” wins. I have to keep working on it, of course, and be even more mindful of what I eat.

Practice daily meditation and learn more about self-healing – Haven’t really done this. I downloaded an app some months back but never even opened it. I’d like to think I meditated a few times before or during yoga, but I’d really like to actually spend a few minutes each day to meditate. And about the learning about self-healing part – I know I have to read up on it but I’ve been in a serious reading slump for a while now and have a hard time picking up any book.

My  personal projects

Read two books a month – I’ve read a total of two new books! Yay. LOL. I’ve also re-read three favorites in the hopes of getting out of my reading slump. I honestly have no idea how I’ll do with my reading challenge this year. *cry*

Finish a new #100dayproject – Haven’t started a new project but I already have a topic in mind. I just need to flesh it out some more cos I’m still not sure what my daily task would be with this new topic. It’s geared towards NaNoWriMo, which I’ve decided to join again.

*Start a gratitude journal – I’ve been doing this! Fine, I miss a few days or weeks sometimes but I do write down stuff whenever I remember. It’s a nice thing actually. Helps me remember what to be grateful for when I’m feeling stressed or down about something.

Restart my language lessons on Duolingo – I’ve completely neglected my Spanish and Japanese lessons! Hah. I may need to start over sometime this month. Or next month. Bahaha.

Finally learn how to use my sewing machine – My list of sewing projects is growing and I still haven’t attempted to study my “new” old sewing machine. Hahahuhu.

And there you have it.

I realize these are somewhat sad updates on the first half of the year, but at least I have my three “somewhat” wins, right? I know I just have to do better. I know I can hit more of these if I would just get off my ass to try. Hah. Reality is, I have no discipline and motivation to manage my time better so that I can do more. I really just have to do better.

How’s your year so far?

Of synchronicity and reading goals

sylvia_plath_collected_poems

Do you believe in synchronicity?

Last Friday I went to the bookstore to see if they had anything by Sylvia Plath because I thought it was time for me to get acquainted with her work. Yeah, I’ve never read Plath, can you believe it??

So I went inside and immediately saw the sale tables. Of course, I headed there because, you know, BOOKS ON SALE, and I browsed for a few minutes. Then at the last table, I absentmindedly grabbed a thick book that was lying on its cover and it turned out to be a sale copy of Sylvia Plath’s The Collected Poems! How awesome, right? That was a really nice surprise from the universe, I swear. Anyway, I’ve decided that this book is going to be my first for the year.

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Happy New Year! Here we go again!

hello 2018

The start of a new year always makes me feel hopeful. Hopeful that I’ll have better success with my goals for the year. I’ve long given up on “new year’s resolutions” or, rather, I’ve stopped referring to such things as “resolutions” and just think of them as things I want to do or focus on for the year. I guess it helps take the pressure and stress of it all. Hah.

I basically have the same things on my lists every year because, you know, these are some things I want to keep doing. That’s also one of the reasons why I don’t call them resolutions. They’re really nothing new or revolutionary. The ones that are new or different are more like small personal projects for my mind and spirit and sanity. LOL.

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August Challenges

Happy August 2nd, folks! August 2nd is not really a thing, right? But it’s a new month and with it come some pretty interesting challenges for moi and some pretty exciting things I’m looking forward to. I have lots on my mind and on my plate for the month and I just wanted to share it with you. Yeah, I really should be working right now, but lemme just spout off these things, okay?

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Mid-Year Report: Checking in!

tumbler notebooks computer

I just realized it’s already July and we’re halfway through the year. Thought I should do a mid-year report of some sort just to lay out how my year has been. Also, I wanted to blog about something personal to balance out all the book spotlights I’ve been doing for the last few weeks. I admit, all those bookish posts are a sign of how lazy I am to blog about other things.

Anyway, not gonna ramble long about that. So, I’m basing this mid-year check on my new year post last January. Here we go!

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