It has been sometime since I last updated everyone on my indoor and outdoor gardens. I decided that I would take a little time today and share the victories and pitfalls I have had over the last few months.
Sadly my moon valley and pothos did not do well at all. My pothos did some to me ill with something and I did my best to care for it and reverse the damage. Sadly, the spots on the leaves slowly took over the plant to a point it was no longer able to properly photosynthesize. My moon valley also did not do well at all. It was getting burned where I was keeping it and then it was starting to get very floppy so it wasn’t getting enough sunlight. This went back and forth for about 2 months until it finally died. I am really upset about this, but it seems like I do not have the proper environment for this plant.
My ZZ plant has a new very large stem on it! It was so much fun watching it grow and slowly unravel each and every day for about a week and a half two weeks. It is going very well as of late, even though I have had to cut off two older stems that were starting to yellow and wither.
One of my outside, nameless succulents, has been doing amazing! It has flowered a few times and grown tremendously. I was able to catch a bug hanging out in the flower as well. Not sure if it is a bee or not, because it was loving the pollen inside.
My air plant continues to thrive and do wonderful. It has slowly, but steadily growing. In this picture it is in need of a soak. It gets even fuller when it has been watered.
This year my tomato plants are going wonderful! Last year I struggled quite a bit, but this year they are doing better than I thought they would. I have a study supply of these yummy bite sized fruits this year and I have been eating them in salads.
Now, this last one I am worried about. I feel like I have a bit of a spider mite issue. It looks like my main plant is getting eaten by something, but I have this new little plant growing at the same time. As of writing this I am looking up ways to try and beat them. If you have any suggestions let me know I don’t want anything happening to this beautiful snake plant.
Do you have a vegetable or fruit garden this summer?
Last month was my first time getting www.coffeeandaclassic.com box and I loved it so much I decided to continue my subscription. Like my previous month, I am subscribed for the Adult Classic Starter Box, which is 29.99. Also, note that you can pick either coffee or tea, I have picked the coffee option. Anyway, I am excited to be sharing this unboxing with you!
Here is a card on top that shows you everything that is going to be in the box. I will say I don’t usually pay attention to this until I unpack everything and want a little more information such as the artist or shop that it same from. I love that these are made different for each month to match the book instead of having the same card with different font, it really shows how much they care.
I really love the different coffees each month and how they take the book and try to take key aspects of the story or take inspiration and come up with these coffee blends. I opened this one up and it smelled so good. I am looking forward to drinking it within the next few weeks. At the top and center we can see one of the bookish goodies is a puzzle with artwork based off of the book. I thought this was such a cute idea. Since my post, Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle , I have been doing puzzles off and on and I was really excited to get my hands on this. Next at the bottom center is this months bookmark. It is a very cute large paperclip with a fabric flair made of denim.
This months book is The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, while I have heard about this book. I have absolutely no idea what this book is about. So, I went to good old goodreads and found the following:
A nineteenth-century boy from a Mississippi River town recounts his adventures as he travels down the river with a runaway slave, encountering a family involved in a feud, two scoundrels pretending to be royalty, and Tom Sawyer’s aunt who mistakes him for Tom. –goodreads.com
Honestly, this description doesn’t really tell me too much. It does tell me that I will be following a boy and an African American man, who is a runaway slave, in the mid-west and south. Which, sounds dangerous and I am really hoping already that they are not caught and the man is able to maintain his freedom. I feel like there might also be a lot of drama with the case of mistaken identity as well? I really am not sure what to expect. On top of that they are meeting some scoundrels, I feel like there is going to be a lot of bad things happening to the main characters, I hope I am wrong. If you have read this please let me know a little more without spoiling to much.
Now in the picture of the book, there was two little boxes next to the book. At first I was kinda unsure about them, but it seems like these are straw made out of wheat. I am going to assume that this has to do with the book since this box is so good about finding objects that actually go with the book. I am curious to see how these tie in.
What did you think of this book box?
Have you ever read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
We are officially coming to the middle mark of the #NEWTsReadathon! I cannot believe it is already halfway through this fun adventure of a readathon. I have been having so much fun with my exams, I have been liking my reads more than I had anticipated. Now, I don’t want to make this introduction to long, but I am going to review the NEWTs I have passed, my current scores, and give some mini reviews of the books I have read. I hope you enjoy!
OWLs Passed: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Charms, Transfiguration, Arithmancy
A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
I didn’t think I could say this about a series, but I liked this book better than the first. I am not a big romance in books lover unless I specifically pick up a book looking for that. I was happy to say that this book had a lot of action and a lot of stuff going on and love took a back seat. I don’t want to say too much, but the writing was good and I really enjoyed where the story went. I am looking forward to the next one coming out.
I was not disappointed by this 1800s historical classic mystery. The length was perfect, I didn’t feel like there were parts that could have been cut. On top of that the pacing was also wonderful. The array of characters of our main group are great great chemistry, but also realistic.
There are some strong characters in here and some you don’t always feel like you can trust. I love when I find characters I adore, but there is just something a little unsettling. I find that leads me to question a lot more and read more intently to see if I can catch anything. I also loved the use of real historical figures and characters in this book, it really made this historical fiction feel like it was real. I have to say it is one of my favorite things when a historical fiction surrounds people who actually lived.
Overall, this was a great adventure and I am very, very happy that this is a series.I recommend it to anyone looking for a good on your toes mystery. I will warn there is some graphic treatment of children in this story. So if that bothers you this might not be for you.
I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.
It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.
I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.
I really enjoyed this nonfiction account of the trial of Madeline Pollard vs Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge, which took on the inequality in morality between men and women within US society. The author made this case accessible and I was interested throughout reading. I liked how the author described the history of moral judging through US history how it shifted from equal blame during colonial times, to mainly being a woman’s problem. The coverage of the court case was detailed and I also really liked how the author covered the holes and inconsistencies in both arguments. On top of that, I enjoyed how the author described the effects of the court case on women, Madeline, Breckinridge and the futures they lived.
This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.
If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.
I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.
Another wonderful novel by Stephen King. I really liked the slow build of this novel that intertwines the entire small town. It is very dark at times and can be quite gory from time to time, but physical horror is not all that is present in this novel. There is a psychological aspect to this that really makes you think about human nature and how easily some people can loose their values and morals especially when their hearts desires are on the line.
Before I get started with this review, which I am terribly excited about, I wanted to state that I was gifted a copy of the book to review and be part of this amazing tour. Also, please check out all of the stops!
September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him twenty-five pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another “crime story.” Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.
Once there, he is offered one month’s employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a “consultant” in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell–Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes–agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.
Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.
A Knife in the Fog is truly a wonderful atmospheric historical fiction murder mystery book that mixed the perfect amount of fact and fiction.
One of the most notable things about this book was the fact that it felt very accurate to the time period that was being written about. Not only does Harper take one of literatures well known figures, Arthur Conan Doyle, he embodies the time period. You can tell that author has done his research. He knows the use of language at the time well, clothing, customs, and social hierarchy. It is far from a haphazard combination of these vague ideas, which for me is a huge deal. In addition to being well versed in the time period, he is also very knowledgable about the Jack the Ripper case. This knowledge is essential since our three main characters are on the hunt for this vicious murderer.
While the author fuses fiction with the real life case of Jack the Ripper he also pulls from real world individuals such as, Professor Joseph Bell and Miss Margaret Harkness. In doing this it really brings this story to life for me. The characters were wonderfully written and had very distinct personalities. Professor Bell, the inspiration of Sherlock Holmes, was very much observant, interesting, and not afraid to speak his mind. Miss Harkness was a strong woman who was not afraid to do what she needed to do to tell her stories as well as help with this investigation. She was truly a wonderful strong character in this novel and I loved how bold she was.
Throughout the story the character acted true to themselves as different obstacles were presented to them. Between walking the unsafe streets, helping people in need, going to the police station, and murder scenes I was truly entertained by the story and plot. I laughed when they called themselves the Three Musketeers because I was actually thinking that were like the three musketeers before they said it themselves. Three great characters taking a very dangerous and risky mystery with some humor tossed in for good measure.
What I Didn’t Like
At times there were events that happened for the sake of happening to showcase something. But, it wasn’t out of character. It still felt like it belonged in the story and it didn’t take away from the story. But, a few things happened in the story were I was felt like it was kinda random just to show us something that needed to be established. While it might have felt random, the information gathered was needed and none of them were unenjoyable.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I was very happy to find out that this is the first book in a series because I would be able to have another adventure this these characters, but also with this authors writing. I cannot stress this enough, this author does a wonderful job at building a very real atmosphere with what seems like minimal effort and that for me is a mark of a good writer. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, mystery, murder mysteries, or if you have an interest in the Jack the Ripper stories or Arthur Conan Doyle.
About the Author: Bradley Harper
Bradley Harper is a retired US Army Pathologist with over 37 years of worldwide military/medical experience, ultimately serving as a Colonel/Physician in the Pentagon. During his Army career, Harper performed some 200 autopsies, 20 of which were forensic.
Upon retiring from the Army, Harper earned an Associate’s Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. He has been published in The Strand Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and a short story he wrote involving Professor Moriarty in the Holmes tale of The Red Headed League (entitled The Red Herring League) won Honorable Mention in an international short fiction contest. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime, Harper is a regular contributor to the Sisters in Crime bi-monthly newsletter.
Harper’s first novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and was a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author.
Queen’s Gambit, the upcoming sequel to A Knife in the Fog will be released in September 2019.
Welcome to the second month of my Read 5, Buy 1! I have to say I am very proud of the progress I have made over the past month and a half of doing this. My TBR is down to ___ amount of books and I have been really selective with the books I have been adding to my TBR. Anyway, here are the books I read and here are the books that I bought!
Hello everyone! Today I am going to give you a peek inside of my August bullet journal. Like the past few months I am really inspired by plantbasedbride’s theme. This month I took from her watercolor ocean vibe. I am really feeling the deep blues and greens, not sure why because blue is not my most favorite color, but I am going with it. I also changed up my weeklies for the first time in the last few months, I hope it works out well. Anyway, here is my bullet journal!
The image on the left I fell in love with. I did some googling and came across Let’s Make Art she has an entire kit you can buy or you can use her print out and paint along with her if you have paints already. It is so cute and I loved how she shared her talent. As normal I have a mini calendar on the other page so I can have a quick reference for the month.
I really have been loving this new social media calendar I have been using. It really is great to be able to see everything in one place and visual see when I past because lists of dates don’t really work for me. I added a little quote with my stamp set on top of a water color water image I came across.
Here is my favorite spread of the month, my NEWTs page. I wanted to take a bit of inspiration from Book Roast and her first OWLs bullet journal tracking page. I loved the look of used roughed up parchment. On the left I printed out my desired career and put it down as a little bit of inspiration and motivation and on the right I placed the NEWTs grade I need. I didn’t write in my books from my TBR, which you can find here:___. The reason is because sometimes I don’t stick to a TBR, so I decided I would write in the book title when I read a book that meets the NEWTs requirements. I had a lot of fun doodling the castle and the fancy HP font for NEWTS.
This page is just like I have every month. It works really well for me so I don’t want to change it. I did add a bit of color to tie in the water / ocean theme. On the right I draw a physical representation in the form of spares or rectangles for the days I read a particular book. These books are color coded based upon the color that is assigned to them on the key page.
This is my new weekly spread. I decided that I did not need an hourly breakdown for the upcoming month and I didn’t want to have wasted space and waste my time making something I don’t need. I put all of the days on the left hand side and on the right I left open for notes and reminders. I did put a mini calendar on the top corner and highlight the week I am currently in. It gives me a good visual perspective as to where I am during the month.
This month I also decided to redo my blog kanban board. I found that I needed to redo the order of the steps. I find that it is best for me to write my posts first and then take the pictures. I also gave myself a little more room the blocks are larger and I left a page blank. On the left side I decided to leave it blank to hold the tabs for the days I need to brain storm topic idea. It is a nice visual for me to see empty tabs with dates waiting for my attention.
I am so excited that it is finally August and the Magical Readathons continue once again! This is my second year doing these readathons and I have to say Book Roast does an amazing job. Earlier this year I participated in the Owls, you can find those posts here: Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019 , Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update and April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019. This year I decided to go for Herbology since I have been loving gardening and flowers this year on top of the fact that I am a proud Hufflepuff. I plan on continuing this journey to becoming a herbologist with these exams. Without more ramblings, here are my exams and the books I am planning on reading.
A: Audiobook: Emma by Jane Austen
E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Care of Magical Creatures
A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
A: Ends in an even number: Endless Night by Agatha Christie
Just like last year, my most up to date NEWTs News will be over on twitter, but I will be updating half way through the month of August via my Middle Mark post. The readathon will be using the hashtag I know that the readathons official tag is #NEWTsReadathon2019 and the readathon also has a twitter of their own, you can find that here: is @MagicalReadthn.
Best of luck on your exams everyone!
What NEWTs are you taking? Which profession are you trying to become qualified in? Any fun books you picked to read?
Another month, more books read! I have to say I read a lot more this month than I thought I was going to. I think the main reason for this was the #24in48 readathon I took part in. I had such a blast spending two days just dedicated to reading and relaxing. I ended up reading a total of 10 books this month. I have not read that much in a while, so I am super excited. Following the #24in48 I took reading a little slower due to the fact I did not want to put myself into a slump right before #NEWTsReadathon2019! Anyway, here are the books that I have read this month and a few mini reviews.
This book is quite long, but I laughed a ton. I had no idea how funny and goofy this story was before reading it. I wish someone told me this sooner because I would have read it a long time ago. I will say the audiobook really saved this book for me. While I did enjoy the story and the adventure reading it physically was a bit slower and blah. When I downloaded the audiobook from my library and followed along it really came to life. I am also surprised at how this book held up, I really was expecting it to be more of a relic and distant.
This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.
I am so excited to have finally starting reading The Chronicles of Narnia series in its entirely. This is a great place to start and to see the birth of this magical world and story. The writing flows and I love that it is to the point and not dragged on. I am very much going to continue reading.
This is a very interesting account of both a serial killer and the great London Smog. Both of which, were killers. This was a very sad time for London and I think the author handled this topic very well. It gave equal attention to the effects of the fog on the health, safety, and the political climate. It also went into great detail of a serial killer who was targeting women at the same time. The book covered the crimes as well as the court cases, which I think she did a great job with.
Another thing I really liked was that the author really summed up the book. She noted how things changed after the fog and the murders. She followed how things changed decades later as a direct result on the families, political thought, and energy resources.
It is really interesting how I have forgotten so much of the story since the last time I read this book, but it felt like I was going home to an adventure. It was great great fun to annotate my feelings this time around being in my 20s and being so many years after publication. While there were parts I can for sure see the time period very clearly in this book, I still very much enjoyed the adventure.
Well, I have to say that I have enjoyed this second part of The Green Mile. I can also say that this book truly ends the build up and world building. At the very end things truly start to happen and I can’t wait to jump into part 3 to see what is going to happen on E-Block.
So, if you were not aware, I love to crochet. I have done it for years, but this year I have really fell in love with it. I have made blankets, hats, and other goodies and I only want to keep going. I wanted to make a point of sharing more of the things I love outside of reading so I thought I would do a monthly post about my WIPs and completed projects.
In the past I shared a post called, Crochet Project | Making a “Project Bag”. I loved sharing this, but I make a lot of things and I didn’t want to overload my blog with projects. So, I figured a monthly check in would be a good balance. Let me know what you think. Anyway, here are my WIPs!
So, if you are unfamiliar with a temperature blanket pretty much you have how many colors you want and you assign a temperature range to them. So, as you crochet the colors you use are determined by the temperature of the day. I tend to wait until I have a few days worth of data, but other people crochet a row a day. I started this in June, so I will finish this May 31st, 2020! Note, only June is pictured below. I will put an updated picture in the next update!
So, this one I am pretty happy with, it is the first item I have ever made without a pattern. I just mashed together a few different stitches I have learned over the last year and came up with this. It is a cute little envelope pouch with a loose tie to hold it closed. I was thinking about putting on a button, but I love this boho look. I also love that this can be used for so many different things, just need to adjust the length of the starting chain.
Welcome to part two of my continuation of my mid-year check in! Earlier I did a whole post talking about my top 5 books I have read so far this year. Now, it is time to talk about the bottom 5 books I have read this year. If you would like to see my top 5 you. can find that. here:Let’s Talk | Top 5 Books I Have Read So Far This Year. Anyway, I don’t want to do too much. of an introduction, but the books I mentioned just didn’t do. it. for me personally for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean they are a bad book or that you can’t like them. I just didn’t and thankfully most of these were library books.
There is only a single “book” I gave so far this year and that would be a work by Shakespeare. Since I first read some of his works back in high school, I did not enjoy them in the slightest. I thought that this feeling was mainly due to teachers in the past making me read a bunch of them. Turns out, I still don’t like the plays all that much. Maybe it would be different if I saw one of them preformed, but I just thought it was WAY too dramatic.
So far there is only one book I have given two stars and this would be The Woman in the Dark. I was just bored by it and I don’t really think it has anything to do with the book. I just read a lot of thrillers and this one never really surprised me or kept my interest. I think It was just predictable because I read so many of them. The writing itself was good and the author is talented, just the plot of me was meh.
The fact that I need to list any three star reads is great in my eyes. That means I have not read a lot of books that I didn’t enjoy. I am finally getting better at finding books I am more likely to enjoy. But, while these books are not bad at all, they are at the lower end of my rating scale.
War and Peace was good, just I was not that drawn into the lives of the people I was reading about. These stories are very character driven in my opinion and if you are not feeling the characters you most likely wont enjoy it very much.