Updates.

Wait, was my last blog post really in January?!

New year… new me… more content I promise guys… that post?

Wow it’s already March! And Owen turns 1 tomorrow! And I haven’t posted ANYTHING?! YIKES!

This happens though. I think of a lot of great content and don’t finish it or don’t even start it. and You have heard all of the cliche (but true things) between lack of motivation at times, to anxiety to not having time cause TWO little boys.

and while all of that is true and all of that plays into it. My primary focus has been instagram (@alittlebit_kt, @boltinabottle_etsy and @boltinabottle) and marketing on there. As well as working on my business! I have been making enamel pins (here) and it has been doing SUPER well! To top that off, I started doing custom illustrations (here) and that is doing REALLY well too! So all my time as been dedicated to THAT and promoting THAT and I kind of let blogging slide…

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Currently the 4 pins I sell. More to come designs to come and almost all of these are close to selling out! 

In other exciting news I have also FINALLY officially begun planning our wedding! Which is an experience I guess I could totally blog about as well! So really tons of content should be coming your way guys.

Before I Turn 30 – A Bucket Lis

Today I am 29 Years old. Which means I and 365 days away from my 30th birthday.

Since 25, I have sort of dreaded every birthday. 29 being no exception, in fact even more so. I could never exactly pin down WHY i dreaded get closer to 30. Besides the standard.. I am getting Older, but although that does scare me in some ways… that was truly the root of WHY I felt that way.  Until earlier in the month when I finally figured out WHAT it was that bothered me about my 29th birthday and that fact that I am now closing in on 30.

I was sad and anxious about the fact that my life was not where I had hoped and pictured it would be by now.

That doesn’t mean, I don’t love the life I DO have at the moment, it just means I was hoping to have accomplished more and I know all the logical reasons why I am not there yet and I also, know the excuses too. However, after making this relevation about myself and discovering Rachel Hollis (review on her book to come) I decided to make a Bucket List of things I would like to accomplish by the time I turn 30.  This is not my lifetime bucket list (although, I should probably write that out too) and this is the 2018/2019 Goals List I made for myself and will make again in the new year. This is just a list of stuff I want to accomplish Before 30. I’m aware some are superficial, some are going to most likely NOT happen (Breast Reduction & Owning a Home) and some will be hard to obtain; while others can be enriching and empowering. As I accomplish these goals, I will cross items off the list; and I am sure Items will also be added to the list as I go.

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We Tried Home Chef for a Month..

Meal delivery services are pretty popular.. most popular probably being Hello Fresh and then Blue Apron. I have tried the first but not the latter. Last month, I was watching a youtuber I enjoy (KatekaGood) and she mentioned that her and her husband had teamed up with Home Chef and offered viewers a discount code. Because of this; I decided to try it. For a few reasons. 1) I was feeling lazy and uninspired as far as cooking new meals every other night and 2) It’s discounted, so why not?!

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As I had mentioned before we had tried Hello Fresh almost a year and a half ago and only did one week before canceling our subscription. Which was for a few reasons… it seems expensive.. but also, the food felt too fancy for us. Which is always a problem for Andrew and I… as, we are both pretty picky eaters. Although, we may give Hello Fresh a chance again.. we clearly last longer with Home Chef. So Here are our thoughts on it.

You begin the process taking a short survey on your food preferences and then they present you with the menu options they are doing that week, that fit those preferences. You can swap out those if you like something else on that weeks menu. However, we quickly learned that doing that will change your base price. So, we stopped doing that and just had whatever the recommend meals were. Which was a small con for me but was ultimately the big factor for Andrew to have us stop our subscription.  Anyways, after you do that and pick a weekly delivery date. Your Meals arrive in an insulated box and you take care of your meal planning from there. We selected 2 meals a week.

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I am going to start with the Pros of the service.

  •  The fact that we were trying meals we would have never made before and honestly NONE of the meals we had were bad meals.
  • They weren’t super fancy meals, each meal had an ingredient that I didn’t like food/ flavor wise, but could easily be taken out or substituted without the meal falling apart.
  • The Meals were super easy and pretty quick to make.
  • Although, this wasn’t our intention Andrew and I ending up making the meals together and it became a nice bonding activity for us and something I looked forward to on those nights.

The Cons

  • The price changing when selecting different meals
  • Small Portions – The meals usually come with one main protein and one side dish. I understand that the meals are probably made to typical serving size and all that. But normally I get full super quickly, like embarassingly quick; and I found myself still very hungry after the meals.

 

The Price overall is up for debate in regards to Andrew and I . I personally think we saved money as we only spent $50 bucks a week on meals for two of us. I will save, since serving sizes were small, we didn’t have leftover so we still had to “spend money” for meals on days we weren’t using the service provided meals.  Which when we normally make our 2 meals a week, we have leftovers to cover those days.. but we also spend about $150 a week. So, Andrew will have to finish the budget for August to let me know if we ended up saving money or not. BUT for now the subscription is canceled. However, we did enjoy it and if we were not on a budget, we would probably continue to use it. We also will be continuing to make the meals we learned to make this month.

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My Favorite Meal we made was the Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Cream Sauce  and Andrew’s was a tie between the Chicken Stuffed Tacos and Tortilla Chicken.

If you are interested in using Home Chef you can use this link to get $30 off your first order.

 

The Slump

Years ago I wrote on my book blog about having Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” – Harvard Business Review

This is feeling and/or anxiety I have had for a long long time and probably has only gotten worse in the last two years. Essentially, being a stay at home mom.. has really spearheaded this feeling. As well, as the fact that my 29th birthday is just around the corner… my last year in my 20’s and my feelings of not having accomplished as much as I had envisioned for myself at this point in my life.

One problem, i seem to suffer with is my interest in multiple things. I want to do A LOT, I like doing a variety of things and I want to be successful in ALL of those things. I am what some would call a Jack/Jill of all Trades.  I know a decent amount about a lot of things, but i am not proficient in just ONE thing. So, I find it hard to master just one thing, when I love doing ALL THE THINGS.

Which leads me to doubting my work and feeling stuck. Especially, creatively. I find myself constantly comparing my work to others. I know, I know, Comparison is the thief of Joy, but I can’t help it. I get inspired by successful people in the areas I am currently pursuing and then I feel defeated when the projects I am working on don’t look as polished and professional as theirs or at least how I envisioned them to be.

and then the cycle begins. Where I don’t feel like I should be pursuing the things I enjoy. (Blogging, social media, Etsy, design, crafts, business, etc.) I am not as successful as I want to be, I am stuck, my stuff is just basic and not innovative and then I get depressed and I hit a big slump and become uninspired and have anxiety attacks daily. Until, I eventually get the courage or motivation to try again; but that cycle eventually begins again.

Book Review: I Am Still Alive

Have you ever just scanned over a books summary and kind of infer what you think the book is about? I totally did that. I first saw this book on Penguin’s First to Read Program, but didn’t get it. From what I read it was a book about a girl surviving in the wilderness and getting revenge and for some reason, I thought it had to do with high schoolers. So I assumed it was like a book about like a mean prank or something and they leave the main character in the woods and she has to fight for survival and then gets revenge.  BUT that is not what this book is about… it is about survival and revenge.. I just for some reason  made up the last part when skimming over the summary. Although, as I type this up.. maybe, i should write that book.. or does it already exist? It probably already exists. Anyways, with that in mind… when I received an e-mail from Penguin/Viking to review I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall and participate in this blog tour (which upon editing have realized was suppose to go up YESTERDAY and not today.. OOPS!); I quickly said yes, thinking that was what the book was about.  Very quickly into the book however, I realized I was wrong and because it was so apparent in the beginning I wasn’t disappointed by it.

The book follows Jess Cooper who is reconnected with her estranged father after an accident kills her mom and leaves Jess disabled. Jess thinks he father lives in Alaska, but is in for shock when he lives off the grid, somewhere in the Canadian wilderness. Jess isn’t a fan of her time there, but is quickly in for a rude awakening when her father is killed and the cabin they live in burned down. She now has to fend for herself and plot revenge against the people who killed her Dad.

The book is told through Jess’ journal and the first half is told in Before the incident and after it. Then also broken down into seasons.  The book is a very quick read, when formatted like this. However, I think you could have done without the concept of her writing in a journal, as that is really all it is a concept, one we only know about cause she mentions it in the beginning but isn’t really executed in the writing style or important to the story line. With how quick paced the book is it only really feels like she has been in the wild for a few weeks not several months and frankly, with all the mistakes she made that would normally prove fatal. Realistically… Jess would not have survived. As far as the revenge part of the book goes.. It isn’t your typical idea of revenge. I would think of it more as trying to survive and a little bit of payback, not a scheme of revenge.

With all that being said.. I DID enjoy the book. It was a quick read that gave me every 80’s and 90’s kids surviving in the wilderness movies nostalgia. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it went into greater depth. More back story of Jess’ life, more backstory of her Dad’s, more time of the two of them together and a few more actual challenges in the wilderness.  I’m Still Alive is a solid 3 star book. Not a bad book but not a book I loved, either.

 

 

 

**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**

 

 

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Several months ago, I was in a Target book aisle picking up two copies of A Court of Thorn & Roses by Sarah J Maas for Andrew and I to read for our book club. Like usual, I was looking at the rest of the books just to see if there was anything new out that I haven’t seen or heard of before.. when the cover of this book caught my eye. I’m a sucker for historical fiction especially when the cover has a girl in a pretty dress. Next being the title; I am morbid and have a slight fascination with unsolved crimes.  I hadn’t planned on buying a book for just myself. Especially, cause there were several other books on my TBR i needed to get to do (and still do) but the price was right and I felt compelled to do so.

As you can assume by the name Stalking Jack the Ripper is about pretty much just that. The author does a great job at combining the fictional story she is creating with the historical facts of the actual case. We follow Audrey a young high society lady who is fascinated in learning the work of her uncle…. a medical examiner. She loves the observation skills, medical knowledge and police work that goes into it but is very aware that it is frowned upon for a lady in general.. let alone her status to engage in.  Soon into the books we are meeting The Ripper’s victims and piecing the puzzle together. It seems the ripper could be someone close to her.. but we aren’t quite sure who just yet.

Audrey struggles with societal pressures, romantic feelings and an over protective father all the while trying to solve the case and catch Jack the Ripper. Although, I enjoyed the book overall. I would have been happy with a little more world building and the absolute ending wasn’t my favorite, but did the job. The one thing I struggled with was that I wanted Audrey to be a little more badass. (She is, and he knowledge of fighting is pretty historically accurate) BUT given the knife wielding girl on the cover; I was expecting someone more assassin like. Also,I am intrigued by the supernatural elements that will be at play in the next book in the series.. which I will eventually read but I am not dying to get my hands on at the moment.

Buy the book here: Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

 

This Blog Post Contains Affiliate Links

5 Books You Should Read for World Book Day

As a former book blogger, I had to celebrate this day in some way!

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What Remains is one my absolutely favorite reads. Carole Radziwill tells her heartbreaking story about losing her best friends (Carolyn Bessette and JFK Jr.) as well as her husband (Anthony Radziwill) in the most elegant and raw way possible.

Buy Here:What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love

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Narrated by Death and set in WWII Germany, it’s impossible to NOT bawl your eyes out while reading this book.

Buy Here:The Book Thief

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I’m going to be honest with you. John Green is a favorite author of mine and I would recommend reading all of his books. Paper Towns is actually my personal favorite, but a close second is Looking For Alaska; it is also a more universally enjoyed book than Paper Towns.

Buy Here:Looking for Alaska

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A Vampire story, that is WAY better than Twilight (and I did like Twilight) Richelle Mead creates a world you will never want to leave. So much so that after you finish this series, you will read the spinoff series as well and then STILL ask for more. Just don’t watch the movie.

Buy Here:Vampire Academy

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I have noticed that the books, I am recommending have a theme here… but really besides the tears, if you read this book be prepared to fall in love with Adam Wilde and then read the sequel to this book. You are welcome in advance.

Buy Here:If I Stay