MJ’s 2022 Book Bullet Journal Update#2: March and April

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, I am all the way on book 43, it’s insane. I hadn’t even read 43 by August last year. I also bought like a billion books in April because I hit the big sad for a few weeks. Let’s just say that having feelings are dumb and no one should have to deal with them. 

            In March I read like nine books and in April I read ten, two were Accelerated Reader books for school so I didn’t count them in my Bullet Journal, well at least not in all the places I count the other books I am reading that I own and have on my TBR.

            It’s really soggy outside today as I am writing this and it’s also state testing week and that means that we are all busy all the time. 

            So, this pretty much like January and February, just with new months, I know that’s such a revolutionary idea, but that’s about where I am today. Believe me, as I am sitting here my brain is trying to conceptualize a writing journal, which seems like too many journals. Way too many journals, because I have for sure already started my 2023 Book Bullet Journal, I had the time and wanted to avoid other things so here we are. 

            March, I for sure had some days where I didn’t read because we were on vacation for Spring Break and trying to read 100 pages a day in that situation is difficult, I want to read 100 pages minimum every day; some days are much more successful than others. There are also some days where I read a whole book, so here we are. 

            I considered making BookTok content, but that’s still something that scares me, that’s 100% not what this post is about though! 

March: 

Cover: I love lavender, and the quote is from The Love Hypothesis so it’s a super cute cover that I really enjoyed. Several of my covers this year are more nature themed and I probably will continue that into next year. Again, I went for simple, and it will remain that way.

Books Read: Shorter list than February because I took some time off this month reading, I was on vacation, it was a lot of driving, we went through seven states to and back in something like nine days. It was insane and did effect how many books I read.

Thoughts and Insights: This is very similar to how I write my book blog posts to be honest, it’s quick takes though, small little bullet points that say whether or not I actually enjoyed the books I was reading or not. Some of them were weird this month. Just my comments, because I don’t censor in my Book BuJo, A Court of Mist and Fury was amazing but it broke me. 

Stats: I love a good condensed statistics page and man do I love tracking stuff! It really does put into perspective though how much I read per month. 

Recap: I chose new colors and I like these ones better, so I will be sticking with them the rest of the year, provided that my markers hold out. I read more paper back than hard cover, I rated lots of books in the 4-star range, and I read like a lot of fantasy. 

Monthly Book Stack: Still going for the larger books, I accidently put the wrong name, I got a little ahead of myself when it came to the second book in the ACOTAR series because I’m dumb. 

The page between March and April is a book playlist, I have one song and that’s it. I need more but I wrote that one in here last December when I was reading Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of the Cursed (I have preordered the third one because I have a problem!) 

April: 

Cover: Birthday month and I went with bubbles; I think that this one could have been executed better but the A Court of Mist and Fury quote was amazing and I needed it in here. 

Books Read: 10 this month including one for Battle of the Books at school. It takes ten books to fill up one column, at least this month. That is my one problem with this journal and why I switched to an Artist’s Loft for next year, the dots on this one change from month to month so spacing is weird. 

Thoughts: I had a lot of thoughts about the books I read this month, including two where I thought that they were going to get thrown across my office, I had a fear of a trope that is for sure a giant ick in my life. I was glad that I was wrong both times. 

Monthly Stats: I bought a lot of books, don’t judge me. I also didn’t read a 5-star book this month and that’s the first time that’s happened this year. I like having five-star books, but here we are with just an okay reading month. 

Recap: Likes of 4-star reads, a few 3-star reads (you can see my rating system if you want to, I did a whole post about it because of TikTok earlier in the year.) I read more hardcover than paperback, which for me is a little odd, but here we are. 

Book Stack: I want to see these stacks hit the top of the page, this one got closer than last month. I really should color them in, but maybe that’s something that I do next year. I don’t know, I don’t want to have it be too complicated.

The page between April and May is my Best Book of the Year Bracket, next year it’s two pages because I needed that in my life, the formatting on this one for me is a little weird, I am enjoying filling it in though. 

            Well, there you have it, my March and April Book Bullet Journal update. I like writing about my Bullet Journals, it’s fun for me even if it doesn’t matter to anyone else. 

            I will be back later in the week with another post, but until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

April Book of the Month Review:

Title: Kaikeyi

Author: Vaishnavi Patel

Hey hey, it’s MJ.

            Well, here we are with the fourth installment of this series for the year. I love a good retelling, I read a few last year because of Book of the Month and I enjoyed them. This one for me was good, not my favorite, but good. 

            I don’t know the myth; I am ignorant to it, which is my own shortcoming, not a shortcoming of the book itself. I am rating this one 3.5/5 which is not a bad score in my book. 

            I got through this book rather quickly and it was well written, it kept me engaged but there were parts where I was either confused or disinterested because of my own personal failings. It was a good book; it was interesting and it does make me want to learn more. 

            We are not as exposed to cultures unlike our own when we are growing up. We should be, because I think knowing the original myth before I started this book, or at least giving myself the context would have made it much more interesting to me.

            It kept me engaged from about page 15 or so and it was not hard to read, the pronunciations are in the front of the book which was super-duper helpful! I always love magic and the weaving of it into the lives of the characters. Kaikeyi is an interesting and dynamic character, cursed by the Gods, or Gods-touched it seems so the sway of the gods doesn’t affect her. 

            You see her build these connections knowing that she has a destiny that will rip her and all those relationships apart. 

            I loved the dynamics of the familial relationships throughout because that was a big part of it and how easily breakable a relationship is. 

            The ending was sad and it kind of left me just wondering about things because I know that that’s probably where the original myth and legend starts off, so maybe reading it now will make me have a different perspective about the character of Kaikeyi in the original myth. 

            Remember these are all my opinions and not every book is for everybody and that is totally fine. Because I know that a lot of my favorite books are not well liked by some. We are allowed to dislike things, art and literature are subjective. This might be someone else’s book of the year, it was good, but it was not 100% for me. 

            I think that people forget that we all are allowed opinions on the internet, we all don’t have to like everything all the time and that’s totally cool.

            This book didn’t do it for me like others do and that is the beauty of choice and opinion, we don’t have to like everything that we read, view, or listen to. Art is subjective, it has been and always will be. So, while I enjoyed this, it was not one of my top ten so far this year. 

            If you want to see what else I have read this year, you totally can, just click on the month, January, February, and March

            I will be back later in the week with another post so, until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ 

Books I Read in April 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Last month was not a great showing on the number of books that I was planning on reading but I kept up such a pace in February that a mini-slump was inevitable. I knew it was coming and clearly March was that month, oops. I had such plans on where I wanted to be on my TBR this month. If I want to actually hit the goal that I thought that I would get to I would need to read a little over a dozen books and I just don’t see that happening, it might, but who knows. I am going to try, but I am not going to burn myself out to get there. 

            I have read 33 books so far and as I am writing this; I only have another hundred or so pages in the book I am reading, hence why I started this post today because I know I’m going to finish it and I need to have this part started before I do. I want to get a good chuck of my TBR read earlier in the year so I can read whatever I want later, I’m beginning to think that is a mistake because being a mood reader means that I want to buy all the books that I see that I think I might like so here we are. I do not have the room for more books but I could be doing things that are a lot worse. 

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase (4/5)

            It was a slow start but when I got into it, I could not put it down. I know that I say that about a lot of books, this one was no different though. It was good, there was a moment in it where I almost hurled it across the room because incest is not allowed in this house. (It was a lie so we are good.) I guessed the plot twist pretty early on, but it was a fun read and felt very cinematic overall. The Epilogue was weird and it felt completely unnecessary to be completely honest. It had a really happy ending before that though and I was smiling a lot throughout it. I am not 100% when the “modern” timeline took place actually, I just couldn’t pin point it. I was happy with the read overall though and that is my fifth historical fiction (yes, I’m counting it as historical) of the year so I am half done with that category which is a lot of fun. 

Book Boyfriend by Claire Kingsley (4.2/5)

            Well, it was short, sweet, and hella spicy. Like I read it in two days because I finished the one above and started this one on the same day. It was so spicy, like there is spicy and then there is SPICY this one was that. It was cute, it really was and it was one of those books that kept me turning page after page. I loved the characters and the plot was interesting, I mean it was a lot, but it was such a fun, quick read. I will probably read the other two in the series that focus on Alex’s siblings. If you want a cute little romp with something I wish would happen in real life, someone buying you books in a bookstore like they would buy you a drink, this one might be right up your street.

Always Look on The Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle (4/5)

            I love Monty Python, I watched The Holy Grail in high school, I was probably just a touch young to watch it and then one of my first Netflix binges after I moved to Arkansas was finally watching all of Flying Circus, twice. I love the humor and I for sure will make random references every once in a while, I for sure have said “and now for something completely different” to my students before and they just look at me. I have also said Ni over and over again like a crazy person. I loved reading about one of my favorite Pythons, I think that the humor has both lasted for decades and also become so quotable and timeless. I have for sure also said ‘nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition’ in casual conversation to see who understands it. Reading stories about these storied figures in pop culture history was fascinating to be completely honest, man times were wild and there were chapters dedicated to people who changed the world because of who they were. I laughed, a lot, while reading this book and now I want to go back and watching Flying Circus again. My copy is also signed because Barnes and Noble did that in like 2018 and I had to have it. 

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (3.5/5)

            It was my April Book of the Month book, if you want a full review of it, you can totally can when it comes out in a few days. I liked the book; it was not super for me and that is totally cool. Not every book is for everybody and that is what is really cool about having varying reading tastes. You don’t have to 100% love everything, not every book can be your favorite book. Some books are just there to teach you things. 

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (4/5)

            This came out right before the pandemic and reading it now almost hurts. It’s YA dystopian alien fiction. It was good, maybe I’m not the target demographic but it was good. The ending was weird and I have no idea if there is a second one because I was confused by the ending, it felt like it came up too quickly and I don’t feel like it was resolved, but it leaves it open so who knows. It was a super cute little love story between a human and an alien trying to save the world from more aliens, it kept me engaged throughout the novel so that’s always a good thing. This is one of those books that I could for sure being made into a film, it was written like a movie and I enjoyed it overall.

Pleading the Fish by Bree Baker (4/5)

            This is the last in the series and I am upset about it! I love the series and I hate when series ends, I mean really, it’s short for a cozy series to be completely honest, only seven books. I loved Charm and all the characters. Like reading it was very Once Upon a Time for me for some reason, I think it was the names, I don’t know. I loved it though, but I am sad that it’s over. The epilogues were weird, I got really confused for a minute and had to re-read them because you know it skipped like thirty years between one epilogue and the next, there were three. The story was good, it was a little bland for me though to be honest, I loved the love story in this more than the mystery in this one, which for me is really odd when it comes to cozies. I am just a little crushed that this was the last one. Now I have to find a new series to read, dang it. 

Twisted Games by Ana Huang (4.3/5)

            I couldn’t put it down; I literally told my cousin that it’s like The Princess Diaries but they do it. It was so good and it ripped me apart the same way that Twisted Love did, this one is a lot spicier though, like so spicy. I love Ana’s writing, she’s great and I cannot wait to read the other two in the Twisted series. I love Bridget and Rhys and how it followed for a little while at the beginning alongside the timeline of Twisted Love, the twists and turns had me turning page after page. I loved the found family aspect, though I for sure called the plot twist like 200 pages in, I was even right about the character that the twist pertained to. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing, she laid some amazing groundwork for it. This one had a lot of very traumatic moments, so if you are averse to that, I would avoid it. Though it seems the whole series is like that and Ana, don’t rip my heart out again, please! Like I love a happily ever after and I am no above throwing books across my office! (Then carefully picking them up and apologizing to them.) 

A Study in Ashes by Emma Jean Holloway (4.2/5)

            This is the third and final in this series, I read the first one in 2016 and the second one last year. I loved this series, it was so fun sherlock Holmes, sky pirates, steampunk, a London ruled by the steam barons. This book was dense and the ending did leave me with questions, but that is totally cool. I have had this book on my shelf for a long time and it was so worth the wait. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about the series when I purchased them, but it was amazing. I wanted so much different for the main character in the first book, but the person she became was dimensional and I loved watching her grow through the series and the trauma that she went through. 

Delicious by Ruth Reichl (3/5)

            Three is a generous score. I liked most of the book though, that’s the only reason that it is getting a three. It had so much potential, it was so good and then like 75 pages from the end it shifted. I hated the ending; it was so quick and left me absolutely unsatisfied. The wrap up was an email and it just felt so rushed. Like if you like this book, cool, I loved parts of this book but the ending and a lot of that felt inconsistent with the rest of the novel. I was so hopeful that I would like this book because I was enjoying the read so much, the ending ruined it for me. 

            Well, I only read nine books in April which I wanted to read more, I had a goal of 13, but April came through and kicked me in the teeth so here we are. I read some good books this month and some that I will be unhauling at the end of the year. Though I am on book 42 of the year so that means there are books that I probably won’t like. I also bought a bunch of books in April because I have a problem. 

            If you want to see all the other books that I have read this year, you totally can with January, February, and March

            I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ 

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 4/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny,)

Historical: 5/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 6/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A study in Ashes,)

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 4/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, )

Extras: 11/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games,)

What Was in My April 2022 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            As far as I know this post comes out on my birthday, so happy birthday to me, a whole year older and entering a new decade, well that’s interesting. I mean, at this point it’s just another day. I have work, I have a staff meeting, and then I will be going home to hang out by myself. It’s coming out a few days after my birthday because last week was rough, this was supposed to come out on Wednesday the 20th, it didn’t. Full transparency.

            I feel like this post is going to be pretty short and at the moment, I am totally on board with that because I don’t need to have a huge long-winded post to go along with something that I write every month. 

The Bag: 

            I really like this bag; I love the very pale pink and the daisies and the zipper pull for the bag is a daisy and that’s so cool! I like this bag, though IPSY had had some really cool bags lately and I am totally on board for it. 

The Products: 

CosRX Master Patch intensive:

            I chose this one! I love the videos of people using the hydrocolloid patches that pull all of the crap and nonsense out of your skin and I really want to try them. Seriously I have been seeing them all over the internet and I think that the idea of them, as someone who’s used pore strips for years and that seems a bit excessive, I really want to try them. I don’t know how I feel about the overnight thing, but we are going to give it a try.

Kaleido Cosmetics Obsidian Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: 

            I don’t use eyeliner so this one is not really for me, I might try it, but who knows. I know that there are so many people that love liquid eyeliner, I was an emo kid at one point in my life and I used a lot of eyeliner. I don’t anymore. I don’t even use mascara most days anymore because I don’t feel like it. 

Ouai Melrose Place Body Crème: 

            I love Ouai’s hair products and I honestly didn’t know they had a body care line. Call me ignorant, I only get Ouai products in my IPSY bags or fabfitfun that’s pretty much it. I haven’t smelled it yet, like I should have before I started the post, so now I have to go and get it to sniff it. It smells really good to be honest a nice light rose smell. I actually really like it. 

V Kosmetik Lightweight Powder Blush in Magnolia: 

            It’s a really nice shade, it’s really complimentary to my skin tone and it blends really well. I swatched it on my hand and at this point that’s about as good as it’s gonna get at the moment. I like the shade, it’s a little powdery which is not a bad thing most of the time. Perfect for spring time and that’s always really exciting! 

Wander Beauty Mini Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara in Tarmac:

            The name is a little weird, I know it’s the branding because it’s a place you go to and get where you are going. I like the curved wand, I am not used to a curved wand, but here we are. I am actually almost out of mini mascara’s so having a new one is never a bad thing in my book. I am looking forward to trying it out, I never know how I feel about the tubes like this but I am going to give it a try and just roll with it because I need to have a more open mind when it comes to products. 

            Well, there you have it, my bag for April was pretty good. I actually enjoyed most of the things in it, I feel like there has been some hit and miss the last couple of months and it’s nice to see that both of my bags for this month were both actually pretty good. 

            If you want to check out what else I have gotten in my Glam Bags this year, you totally can! January, February, and March

            I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

-MJ

April 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, well, well, here we are almost at the end of April and that’s so hard to believe, I am going to preface this post with some stuff. April is birthday month my birthday is on a certain day this month that makes a lot of people want junk food. So here we are and there are fer things in this bag that have that vibe, those were the choices I was given and here we are. 

            So, my bag got here a few days ago and I have been putting off writing this post and my regular Glam Bag posts because I have been trying to write a bunch of other stuff and my blog posts kind of get shoved for my books, they take priority so here we are. I am writing this alone in my apartment on a Saturday night because I don’t have much of a social life and that is 100% my choice. 

            I liked the bag though so let’s get right on into it. 

The Bag: 

            It’s super cute with daisies on it, who doesn’t love daisies and it feels like it’s made out of a water-resistant material, that’s what it feels like, I don’t know if it is or not. It’s a really cute bag though and I like the texture; it’s very spring all around.

The Products: 

F.A.R.A.H 4pc Complete Face Set:

            Leaning into the flower power theme is this brush set. I have a few sets of F.A.R.A.H brushes and they are all amazing, I like the handles on these ones, not just because of the daisy design but because they are a solid thing to hold onto, I have some brushes where the handle is what makes it hard to use, these are for sure not going to fall into that category. The brushes themselves are soft and well-made and they all came in netting so the bristles weren’t everywhere which was really a great choice on their part. 

Kimchi Chic Beauty Puff Puff Pass Set & Bake Setting Powder in 03 Translucent:

            Now that is a long name. Here is where I started to see a theme with the products this month. I love a good setting spray and the packaging on this one was amazing. The powder puff is nice and the holes in the powder itself is in the shape of a heart and that is super cute. I feel like I should have more to say about this one, but I can’t really pass much judgement until I actually give it a try, it’s super cute though and I am excited for it. 

Kopari Beauty CBD Recovery Balm:

            I picked this I think and that was because it’s a recovery balm. My shoulders hurt all the time and I need something to try and dull that pain away so I am so for trying this one out. I think that CBD has a lot of benefits. I need an anti-inflammatory and that’s about all it is. I just need something to bring the pain down a little bit because I carry all of my stress in my shoulders and my left foot so I am just trying to find something that will help. I for sure will not be able to use this and then go to work, people will think I am smoking something. Like I don’t know if I am placeboing it but it made my neck feel better. 

High High Expectations Cannabis Facial Oil:

            I didn’t know that this was a thing to be honest, I usually stray away from things like this, again, birthday, sense the theme here. I can for sure say that this one does not smell like it is the thing that it is, which is super cool. I am all for using products that help, I don’t know much about a lot of them but here we are. 

Lilly Lashes Level Up Lash Enhancing Serum:

            I love the packaging, it’s super cool to be completely honest and I love cool packaging, it should shock no one. I have pretty good natural lashes but after years and years of mascara they are not as nice as they used to be so I am hoping that maybe this will help a little bit, who knows. I have never used a lash serum so we are going to try it out and see how it is.

            Well, there you have it, sense the theme that I somehow got with this bag. It’s a really good bag over all and I am excited to see the choices for next month because I have no idea what they are going to be. I’ll find out eventually. 

            If you want to see what else I have gotten this year; you totally can, January, February, and March.

            I will be back later in the week with a new post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!
 

            -MJ

BookTok Made Me Buy It

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I never and I truly mean never thought I would be writing a post like this. BookTok is a thing that has taken over my life. I have over a dozen books in my Amazon cart because of it and it’s because there was one line on the internet that hooked me in. It’s a problem, I didn’t used to buy books at the rate I am currently buying books and that is really a problem for me! 

I did put them in the order that they are pretty much on my TBR. I have only read to Book Boyfriend. Which is about in the middle.

            I have bought a lot of books this year and most of them were because of TikTok, the others were because of Book of the Month, but BookTok has a hold on me. There are books that I claimed for a long time that I wouldn’t read, like ACOTAR (which I love!) but then the internet got ahold of me and I have discovered something that is highly addictive. 

            So, this is just going to be a list, more or less, there will be some blurbs with books that I have already read but I am only going to talk about the ones that are currently in my collection, not in my Amazon cart Save for Later section because it would be a much longer list then. 

            Everyone knows how much I loved The Love Hypothesis, that was one of the first BookTok books that I actually bought and that was in December, that’s right, December. The other one that I bought because of BookTok was A Fate of Wrath and Flame, that book was amazing and I am really excited for the second one that comes out in June I think, I have no idea where it’s going to go, but I always hope for a happy ending. 

I could say that BookTok also convinced me to buy Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of The Cursed because I saw it there for a while, but I would have bought them either way because I read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year as well and I love her writing. She’s one of those authors that I will pick up her books knowing nothing about them. 

            Next was A Court of Thorns and Roses, I devoured that book and I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. That book broke me and I have something like 20 books until I read the next one, I am so excited for the next one. I am waiting until A Court of Silver Flames comes out in paperback before I grab that one, which is in September. September is going to be a big month for all the books that I am waiting for. 

            Then I fell down a hole, and I do mean a hole, I found my wait onto another section of BookTok and well, none of those books I can take to work, let’s just put it that way. Is it a weird side of TikTok? Yes, but man do I have a lot of books in my Amazon cart because of it. 

            So, what have a bought this year alone that really belong on the BookTok made me do it list? I have to consult the Book Bullet Journal for that because there are several and most of them were read in February where I read 15 books, which for me is a record. 

            Also, a lot of these authors are on TikTok and that’s usually where I find their books so it’s been fun to see what people are out there writing. Hot Vampire Next Door is a lot, it’s good, but so much and the first two are out in paperback, the third will come out eventually and I know that. I could read it on Kindle Unlimited, but that would not be a good idea and I really like physical books. 

            The Twisted series by Ana Huang is amazing and I have only read the first one, I have the other two that are out and I am waiting for the fourth one because I love the idea of intertwining standalones because that’s so fun. 

            Deal with the Elf King was one I saw there as well and I don’t remember what made me add it to my Amazon cart but I did and it was sweet, it was a lot but really cute. The second in the series is also sitting in my Amazon cart as well because why not, just need a little hit of serotonin that books have been giving me lately. 

            The Fine Print was the last one that I read because of BookTok, it was…a lot and the sequel to that is also in my Amazon cart because I have a problem, I straight up have a problem and here we are, not regretting any little bit of it. 

            I hope y’all can sense a theme here, hence why I cannot read them in public, or ar work, or with other people around, they are all a lot. 

            Those are the ones I have read so far so I am going to do a quick fire of the other ones that I have in my TBR as extras because I needed to have some actual choice books in my list that I didn’t mick from my shelves. Book Boyfriend I will start here today and hopefully by the time that this post comes out I will be done with it, long done with it. Also, there is Twisted Games which is the second in the Twisted series which I am looking forward to. Twisted Hate is later in the TBR pile, but it’s up there and I am looking forward to it, it’s a thick book. A Not So Meet Cute which I have heard good things about. Hooked which I have heard is dark, I don’t know how I am going to feel about that one, but here we are. It Happened One Summer because the internet told me to and I loved Schitt’s Creek which was an inspiration for this one. Not the Witch You Wed which is a paranormal, again, here we are. A Winter’s Promise which I know a little bit about because of the internet but I don’t know a lot about it and that’s always fun, I think that one is YA so I don’t expect it to be risqué at all and that’s the hope here. 

            Like I said I have about a dozen in my Amazon cart and that means that this list will grow, I joke that I could be doing drugs or other things, instead I buy books. I am looking forward to a lot of the books on my BookTok list and I know that there will be other books that join this list even if I never make another post like this, I probably will when I actually buy and read more. I don’t need to buy more books though so I am going to try and keep myself from buying any more books at least this month. 

            Well, there you have it, if you are interested in seeing what I have actually read this year, you totally can with January, February, and March. If you want to see how I track my books, that’s cool too with my Book Bullet Journal for January and February. I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone has a great time until then, I also hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ 

MJ’s 2022 Bullet Journal Update #1

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I am prewriting a bunch of posts because we are having AMI days at school and I have the time while working online with my kiddos. While we are getting a thunderstorm with freezing rain, it is unpleasant. 

            My Bullet Journal this year is Marvel themed, I like the theming every year, it’s kind of fun. I already have next year’s themes picked out and I won’t be revealing that until the end of the year. 

            So, we are just going to get right into it and go over January through March. I could do every two months but I think that’s a bit excessive. I am a lot as a human and even I think that’s excessive. 

            Let’s roll right into it because I am running on two cups of coffee and spite, that’s just my baseline, but here we are. 

January: Avengers

Cover: They are supposed to be stickers, I somehow ended up on sticker small business TikTok late last year and I loved the idea of stickers, I tried. If I would ever actually make stickers, this would probably be the content. Each sticker has a quote on it and yes, I did pick a lot of Avengers, all of the movies were fair game because it’s more MCU than the comics.

Mood Tracker: It’s the A, a very iconic symbol of the Avengers and I mean it was fun. I did it more like a piece of stained glass with the original six Avengers colors because I have a problem. I mean, I have lots of problems and wanting fun and cute things in my Bullet Journal’s is one of them. 

Last Page: It’s villain quotes, I took the major villains from all three of the Avengers movies. (I am lumping Infinity War and Endgame together because Thanos.) I picked their symbols or something to represent each of them and then found a quote that made sense for that character. I am not the best artist, we all know this, it has never been a secret that I really like art I am just not that great at it. I did mess up on the stone order on the Infinity Gauntlet, but it’s fine. It’s artistic representation, I don’t know, I made a mistake, it happens. 

February: Guardians of the Galaxy

Cover: The music in the movie is such a large part of the theming and the radio on the ship is iconic, I grew up with cassette tapes, well the end of them before we got CD’s (I am a child of the 90’s, it happens) and so I remember cassettes. This was fun to draw with all of the very regimented lines and details. I did simplify it slightly because otherwise it never would have gotten done. 

Mood tracker: Well, about that. It was fun and a little gross because it was inspired by one line from the movie and if you know it, you know it. I wanted something simple and this was fun to do. I like organic shapes, after doing such a regimented lined piece for the cover this one was the opposite of that. I picked fun colors and that is all I plan on saying about it. 

Last Page: Again, the music in these movies is so important to the storyline in so many ways. I chose to recreate the soundtrack from the first movie specifically on the tape as if it got unwound, if you were not alive during the cassette era you do not know how annoying it was to have the tape unspool and you would have to fix it. It was very annoying and happened more frequently than anyone liked to admit and I was a little kid during those days, I almost ruined like all of my tapes. 

March: WandaVision

Cover: I had a number of ideas for this page, seriously like four or five and then I went with something a little simpler. The town sign was fun to do especially with the bars around it like you were going through the shimmer or whatever it was that Wanda put up to keep the town how she wanted it. The other page is a spoiler and sorry if you haven’t watched it yet. It got spoiled for me too. 

Mood Tracker: I went with a TV show theme for this one because that’s kind of the theme of the show, shows through the eras of television. I went with an old school set and the color bars. I had to improvise on it a little bit because there are so many days in March and I didn’t plan it as well as I should have and could have. Again, we are going for fun not 100% accuracy.

Last Page: Seeing this in the last episode or whenever it was broke me a little bit. It was just so sad and the reason that Wanda did what she did. She lost literally like everything and this hurt. I went with basically just a line drawing in black and white and then put in the heart because I wanted it simple, it didn’t need to be fancy and complicated, it just needed to be. 

            This year is a little simpler than last year and there is no shame in that, I don’t have the same amount of time to work on it that I did last year and that means that while I really like the ideas, I am having I don’t have hours and hours to spend on it like I did last year. Times have changed. 

            I have a lot planned for this bullet journal throughout the rest of the year so I cannot wait to show everyone that stuff. 

            I will see everyone sooner rather than later with another post and until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

Books I Read in March 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I don’t know how we got here. I really don’t, it’s March, somehow. I read 15 books in February, only 14 made it to the last blog post because I finished the other one after the post came out, so I read it in February but it’s on this post. There is just too much some days. 

            I have literally a dozen books in my Amazon save for later cart because I am on a book buying ban until the end of April (I made it to the tail end of March, my bad), I’ve bought 14 books this year and it’s March. That’s a lot of books, I love books though and I am such a mood reader and BookTok doesn’t help. It doesn’t help one little bit. 

            I am starting this month off with a book that is not on my TBR, it was an extra add-on I got with Book of the Month. I am learning that I need to mix in extra books that I want to read in with my TBR books so I don’t hit the dreaded reading slump because no one needs that. 

Well Met by Jen DeLuca (4.3/5)

            I couldn’t put it down. I love a good rom-com and enemies to lovers; it’s a really good trope and I loved this book. It was super cute and super real. I read like 230 pages in one night because I couldn’t put it down and the rest of the series so far is in my Amazon cart because I want to read the rest of it! I loved the family angle and the Ren Faire angle so much, the handfasting bit was so fun and I love Emily and Simon, this book for sure gave me New Girl vibes and I was here for it! It was super cute and had me laughing out loud several times alone in my apartment. It’s a rom-com so it’s a little spicy, but tame compared to some of the books I read last month. 

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (4/5)

            This book came out in the 1970’s. I want to preface it with that, who doesn’t love an Arthurian legend though? I love Arthurian legend and this is a telling of Merlin growing up and it was really good. It was a lot to read but totally worth it. The next one is already on my TBR for next year, do I think I will complete the whole series? I am going to try. I pictured only the characters from BBC’s Merlin the whole time I was reading it because why not. There is so much in the legend and the canon of Arthur and his round table. I have The Once and Future King in my collection as well, I should have read that in high school, I didn’t, it was a mistake to not read it then but I didn’t want to. I’ll loop back around to it eventually. It was interesting seeing the origins of Merlin who is such an intragyral character in fantasy, the idea of him spans much further than the legends themselves. 

Teacher Misery by Jane Morris (4.3/5)

            I am a teacher, this book was hilarious, it hurt so much at some points though because it is so true that it’s pathetic and it came out before the pandemic! Like I cannot imagine what could be added if the pandemic was included. There were so many things that had me laughing but also nodding and shaking my head because apparently it is not uncommon for things that I have seen or heard that happen in schools happen in more than one place and that seems a little ridiculous. TeacherTok is a real place that I have found myself in and we are all going through it y’all. This book was hilarious, real, and I wish I could say shocking, but it wasn’t. It was a reflection of the current state of our education system and while I love teaching, I love my kids, and my school family, but some days you just want to sit at your desk and cry because it’s overwhelming at all times anymore. Please check in on your teacher friends, we are not okay. 

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma (4.4/5)

            This was my March Book of the Month so this one has its whole own dedicated post. I am going to brief overview it here, but if you want to know my more in-depth feelings on it you can check that post out when it does, I will link it here so you can read it if you want. It was cute and I enjoyed it a lot, it had a lot of interesting topics and fun moments. A little spicer than I am used to when it comes to more of the romantic comedy genre. It was a really fun book though and if you are looking for a cute enemies to lovers and fake dating rom-com, this one is for sure something that you might want to look into. 

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2.5/5)

            I didn’t like it, actually there were no redeeming qualities for me when I read this book. I bought it when the movie came out because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I never saw the movie and this book has been in my collection since like 2013. Maybe I would have liked it more then, but now, it gave me all the icky feelings. Like it was boring, the drama was predictable and annoying, and the ending was terrible. Like I didn’t like the main character at all, I feel like I should, I feel like I should have felt bad for her and everything she went through, I don’t. I am angry about this book, like this is the closest I have gotten to DNFing a book since like 2016. I put off starting this book for almost a week and read another book instead. It wasn’t good. I normally say that not every book is for everybody and I do still think that. A lot of people liked this book, I was not one of them. Normally I can find qualities in a book that I like, this one had none for me. The relationships and friendships felt forced and unnatural, the plot lines were a lot and not in a good way, and I found myself skimming sections because I didn’t care to read them. Most of the time I at least kind of recommend the books that I read; I don’t recommend this one. This is one that will be leaving my collection at the end of the year and I won’t be sad to see it go. 

It Devours! By Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (4/5)

            I have been an avid listener of the podcast Welcome To night Vale for a long time, I actually need to catch up on it because I loved the series and then I stopped listening to podcasts. I forget them, sorry, my bad. This is the second novel from that universe and this one was a little weird; in Night Vale though that is 100% par for the course. This focused-on Carlos and his band of scientists trying to figure out why pieces of the town are being devoured. The Joyful Congregation of the Smiling God makes a large appearance, that was fun. I was not a huge fan of the ending to be completely honest, I liked the rest of it, it was a lot of fun. Violent, but a lot of fun. Just the end made it a little less cohesive, also I like happy endings and it really wasn’t 100% that. It was fun though and I will eventually read the third novel, I just have to get to it. 

Sword of Destiny by Andjez Sapkowski (4/5)

            I mean, I like The Witcher Netflix series, it’s fun. I started reading it because my best friend was obsessed with the game, at the time she had played something like 1,300 hours and that to me is insane, more power to her. I have played something like 500+ on Animal Crossing so I understand that better now. It was good collection of stories, some that were in the series already and a few that I would like to see in the series in the future. The one with the mermaids was fascinating, I will say this, they are different than the series for sure. Some are closer to what you see on screen and some are vastly different. I am excited to read the actual series and I will probably read it later in the year when I am done with my TBR. 

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (4/5)

            This took me days to read. It was good, Scooby Doo meets Supernatural. It was weird, I am going to put it that way, it was just weird, but it was fun. I enjoyed reading it, I am on vacation so I didn’t read it like I should have. There were a lot of comments on Kerri’s hair, which was really weird. The whole book was really weird, it was a good weird though. Like I wanted to go back and re-read things but I didn’t, it was interesting though and I did enjoy it. It was written a little strangely which was okay, again, the book is strange. I feel like I want to say more about it and I really don’t know what to say about it though, I enjoyed the book, that’s the bottom line, it was just a little odd and I can’t think of any more synonyms for it. 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)

            I couldn’t put it down and it’s like 600 something pages. I get why the internet gives one of the characters a not so nice nickname, I completely understand I swore at him a lot throughout reading it. I want to go to the Night Court; I want to be there and I loved all of those characters that I have been seeing on the internet. The imagery is stunning and I cannot wait to read the next one. The end, it broke me a little, actually it broke me a lot, there was swearing, almost tears, and just heart break; absolute heartbreak even though we all know there are more books in the series. If I was reading these when they came out, I think that the waiting for the third one would have killed me. I love Rhys, that should shock no one I always go for that type in books, he’s a lot, but in the best way.

            Well there you have it, I only read nine books in March, there is one that isn’t on here because it was for One School One Book and we read Frindle

            I for sure wanted to read more in March and I expected to because I was off for a week with Spring Break but we traveled and it was like 2000 something miles in the car and I can’t read in the car. So, I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to.

            My goal in April is 10 books, I think, I had a much more ambitious goal but I don’t see that happening because I didn’t read all the ones I wanted to read in the month of March. That’s okay though, reading 15 in February was an unsustainable. 

            If you are curious what else I have read this year, you totally can and see what I read in January and February. This list will grow and grow as the year goes on and I am looking forward to it. 

            I hope everyone has a great day and I will be back soon with another post! So, until then stay safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 3/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission,)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny)

Historical: 4/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 5/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering and )

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 3/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, )

Extras: 8/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, )

March 2022 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are with another post because I let March absolutely get away from me with no remorse at all. I feel like we are still at the beginning of March, it is for sure not, I am writing this on April First, AKA April Fool’s Day and I am trying not to get pranked by my class. 

            I don’t feel like I have much to say before I actually get into the meat of this post, I don’t really want to say much, I just want to get this written at this point. That’s not the kindest thing to say to a thing that I enjoy doing. I love blogging, it just bogs me down sometimes. Maybe it’s the content, maybe it’s the schedule; I really don’t know but somedays it’s just hard to write anything for this place that I like. 

The Bag:

            I like this one a lot better than the Glam Bag this month. I think it’s the all over patterning, I like all over patterning and this is just another example of IPSY doing a great job at that and the strings say “Power moves only” and this think this is the first time that the strings have had anything printed on them and that is super cool. I like the geometric pattern on this one as well, I know I am repeating that word a lot, but it’s true. Overall super cute bag that I cannot wait to find a reason to use. 

The Products: 

Freck Beauty Rich Bitch Cactus + Vitamin C Moisturizer: 

            Who doesn’t love a product with a funny name? I mean I love catchy names when it comes to products. That is one reason why I love Sunday Riley so much, also their stuff is amazing. I have never heard of this brand, I don’t think anyway, it is entirely possible that I have seen it before while scrolling through the internet and I just don’t remember it. I love a good moisturizer and I am always excited to try and new one. Okay, I have heard of the brand, they made the freckle pen, that’s why it was familiar. It’s got some really good ingredients in it so I am excited to give it a try when I run out of the other moisturizers that I have waiting in my fridge for their time to shine. 

Seoulkleen Probiotics Balancing Cleanser: 

            It’s K beauty from what I can assume with their name, I went to their website and confirmed my suspicions. K Beauty is one of the very few things that I can say with almost 100% certainty that I won’t have a reaction to. I am so excited to try this one out because I just opened up my last cleanser, even though collecting these beauty boxes makes me feel like a hoarder sometimes, so I am excited to be able to give this one a try as well. Also, the buzzwords of vegan and cruelty free will always get me interested. 

Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten Marbleized Blush in Tropic Hues: 

            I chose this one, I am still trying to get into blush, it’s working slowly but surely and then I fall back into my normal routine of foundation and concealer and maybe, if I’m feeling it, a couple of coats of mascara. It’s a really nice shade and I will feel like I am in the mid-2000’s with a marble blush, don’t ask me why, but I will. It’s clean beauty which is also really nice and it’s baked for 24 hours apparently. My dumb self didn’t think they actually baked the blush, I feel kind of dumb now. Can’t wait to have a reason to use this one though because it truly is a beautiful shade. 

Karmela Cosmetics The Defiance Palette: 

            This is what I would wear if I was planning a heist, I think it’s the name to be completely honest. It’s a nice neutral shades palette that’s not as large as some of my other neutral shade palettes. I love a good neutral shade though, I have not swatched these yet so I don’t know how the pigmentation is or the powder factor, I have no idea at the moment. I am going to judge the product by its package for a moment and say that it looks cool and fun. People on the IPSY reviews page have mixed feelings about this one so I can only imagine that it’s a little polarizing when it comes to what people want in an eyeshadow. I have been watching someone on TikTok make eyeshadow palettes into watercolor paint and that is super cool! Not going to do that, but it’s just worth mentioning that the clock app has taken over my life. 

Chella Good Drama Mascara in Black: 

            It’s mascara, I feel like I want to talk more about it, but it’s mascara and to me most mascaras are about the same. I know that some of them promise to make your lashes as big as the moon, but there are some that are $50 and some that are $7 and they do the same thing. Also, you have to throw them away after a few months and so it’s just not worth it, right? It’s water resistant so getting this one off is going to be an adventure, not my first rodeo and I am willing to look like a raccoon for a few minutes, just hope it’s worth the trouble in the end. 

            Well, there you all have it. My IPSY Glam Bag Plus from March, I am a little behind and I am in the middle of what I am calling “catch up post-mageddon” I just need to get things posted so I am not pulling out my own hair trying to move things around throughout the month when I can just have a few days where I post every day because it’s my blog and why not? 

            If you want to see what I got in my January or February bags you totally can, just click on the month and you can go over there and read them.

            I will be back I think tomorrow with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ

March Book of the Month Review:

Title: Dating Dr. Dil

Author: Nisha Sharma

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I saw this book on TikTok a while back, before it was a choice for book of the month and I immediately thought of a YouTube Sims 4 series that I used to watch. It brought a smile to my face. Which is completely unrelated to this review, but just a bit of general knowledge about me as a person. 

            By now everyone knows that I have a weird relationship with romance novels, it should be no shock that I chose it though because I love a good enemies to lovers rom-com romp and this for sure was that. 

            This book was great, I really enjoyed it even though I am not a part of the culture, so some of the things were lost on me. I laughed a lot though and I hope there are going to be more because I can see some future couples from reading this book. Also, according Goodreads it’s #1 in the ‘If Shakespeare was an Auntie’ series and that title amused me greatly. 

            Let’s set it up, Kareena Mann is a career driven 30-year-old (as someone who will be 30 in a couple of weeks, that is scary) who is single, and in the culture being single at 30 is frowned upon. I mean that seems to be a cultural norm for a lot of people and that’s not fair. 

            There is a lot of strife in the family and Kareena is treated poorly by the other members of her family, they are a lot, I can for sure tell you that. Some of the running jokes with the family are hilarious though. She throws a drink on a hot-shot doctor and then they fake date, which leads to real dating, which leads to things, and then fights, doubting, and then well it’s happily ever after. Also, I love Kareena’s friends; they are real and a lot and remind me of some of my friends. 

            Of course, the love interest is a lot also, a doctor who has a very guarded heart of gold who isn’t in touch with his feelings and at the beginning is kind of painted as an ass. You learn to like him, I promise. I can’t ever see the word Charlie the same though now because of this book. That’s just a thing, I am trying not to spoil it, but there are several scenes that qualify as spicy, I didn’t expect so much spice, but I should have expected it to be honest. 

            I was a fun little book though and I breezed through it, it was a little predictable because it’s romance and they have that formula, this one was fun though and I enjoyed it even though I was lost some times with the cultural stuff, that is no one’s fault but my own. I am not part of it, so I can look at it from the outside but not understand it from an inside perspective. 

            Like Well Met, this one almost gave me New Girl vibes but more Cici and Schmidt, I really enjoyed New Girl, it was a really good show. 

            Will I read the rest in the series if this is a series? I will, it was fun and I like the characters. The epilogue in this book was really well done, as an online advice column, sort and sweet, and left it completely open. That’s the epilogue I like, let me draw my own conclusions. 

            I loved that Kareena was hard working and expected a lot of people, also this book just proved to me that online dating is for sure not for me. I do wish that a little more credence would have been given to her job because being a lawyer for a startup to help found women owned businesses sounds super cool and I felt like it was a little glazed over. 

            I didn’t get around to posting my rating up top though, so we are going to get to that here, I gave it a solid 4.4. It was good and I cannot wait for the rest if there are more, it was fun and I love interconnected standalones so much. 

            Well, there it is, my March BotM, I go an add-on this month as well and that was The Cartographers, I will get around to reading it eventually, but not quite yet. 

If you want to check out the other Books of the Month that I have gotten this year, you totally can with January and February.

            I will be back later in the week with another post so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ