Graded in Red| Chapter 2

Chapter 2

“Hey! Do you need any help with that?!” Someone across the street yelled as I was heroically carrying three boxes from the moving truck. 

“No! I’m good! You know women’s rights and feminism and all that!” I hollered back struggling against the weight of the boxes I was carrying. Who in the sane world owns this many books? I mean seriously, ’Maggie read them once, donate them, sell them, move on!’, is what a sane person would tell herself. And yet, here I am, moving across the state, with more boxes full of books then basic materials to live. 

Hearing an exasperated sigh from behind me, I knew that I was about to get a talking to from whoever was behind me. The hair rose on the back of my neck as the person spoke. 

“Seriously I don’t mind helping, really! I promise, I will still look at you as the womanly woman that I think you are behind those boxes. You know, the kind of woman that doesn’t mind asking for help. Unless you’re cool with tripping over that next step, face planting, and then being a toothless feministic female who carries heavy boxes by herself.” 

I tried to move forward but was blocked by an unmoving object. I was pretty sure it was the frustrating  floating voice becoming a solid form and blocking my way into my parent’s basement apartment. 

I tried moving around the foreign object, moving left, and then right, but it kept impeding my advancements and I felt the load in my arms lighten and the brightness of the sun penetrate my once shadowed face as this stranger lifted one of the boxes from my arms. 

“Listen, I get it. You are a gentleman and you wanted to help the lady across the street. But I specifically said I did not need any help. Now, I have pepper spray in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it. Put the box down and step away slowly. No one will get hurt.” I said as my eyes adjusted to the light that was forced upon them. 

I was however bluffing, after I moved back home from the city, I didn’t feel the need to carry my pepper spray and cat keyring with me 24/7. But this guy didn’t need to know that specific piece of information. I could front with the best of them. 

As my eyes focused on the person in front of me, I could not believe who I was seeing. Jake, the neighborhood terror was standing in front of me carry my box of books. The mischievous look in his eyes knew that I recognized him and showed that he was having a grand old time messing with me. 

“Margaret Turee, looks like you are still as stubborn as ever at letting people help you.” Jake said in a playful yet obnoxious way. 

“Jake Peterson, looks like you are still as pushy, overbearing, and still don’t understand the words ‘No Thank You!’. And its Maggie, its always been Maggie” I snapped as I pushed pass Jake and walked down the stairs, while not so gracefully tripping over the lifted up edge of the threshold as I entered the kitchenette and set my boxes down on the counter. 

Jake, obviously still ignoring everyone else’s wishes came down the stairs, missing the warped edge of the entryway, and set the other box of books on my counter. 

“Maggie, Mags, when are you going to get over what happened? That was 10 years ago. I came to help you out, I’m not the same person I was when I was 18. Are you?” 

I blew the hair out of my eyes and looked up at Jake. I wasn’t short for a woman at 5’7’’. I also wasn’t tiny, I liked to eat real people food. I weighed in at a solid 160lbs, and wore a size 10. 

But when I say that Jake grew into his body. I wasn’t kidding. His wide shoulders and big ears, and buck teeth became more in proportion with the rest of his body. It looked like he was growing his  chestnut colored hair out, from the military cut his dad always forced on him when he was younger. Being the son of the police chief was something that Jake had hated, growing up, but he seemed to have accepted it, as shown by the badge on his hip.  

“Of course I’m not the same person as I was when I was 18. Would you have seen me move back home?” I snapped as sweat fell down my face and threatened to fall and sting my eyes. 

The heat of Oklahoma never seemed to waver in July. Not only was the temperature hot, but the humidity was at 90% today. You got out of an air conditioned car and you were hit with a wall of wet fire. 

“Maggie my dear!” A voice hollered down the basement staircase. 

“Yes mom! What is it?” I shouted back. Jake squinted and covered his ears at my response. In my family, we don’t merely walk to the other side of the house to have a regular conversation. This is what normal people in normal families do. Nope, in my family, we scream at the top of our lungs. Even if there isn’t a thing going on in the house, we scream. It’s just the way I was raised. 

“I just made a fresh batch of sweet tea, would you like one? It is hot as a whore in church out there. I am afraid that you are going to overheat!” My mother continued screaming down the stairs. 

You see, my mom, Heather, was what you would call a special woman. She did not care about what others thought, spoke her mind, and cussed like a sailor. This to my dad was a redeeming quality, since it was exactly opposite of himself. I guess the saying opposites attract really rings true when it came to my parents. Mom is loud and boisterous and has never met a stranger. Whereas my dad, Paul, was shy, rarely spoke out, and had the best sense of humor you could possibly imagine. I found my love of puns through him. 

Walking to the end of the stairs, I could see my mom peeking out of the door at the top, “I am good mom. I don’t need anything, thank you though!” I whispered up the stairs and shooed her away with my hand. 

“Oh! You want me to leave?! Who’s down there with you? A boy!? Paul! Maggie has a boy in her room!” My mom  shrieked into the living room, where I knew my dad was sitting in his recliner watching a sports ball game of some sort. 

“I’ll come on down and see who is here!” My mom said as she waddled down the steep stairs into the apartment. “Oh! Jake! It’s so good to see you! Were you coming by to see me? I need my front yard mowed and our gutters need cleaning out!” My mom started digging through her pockets in her jeans shirt and jean shorts coming up with a wrinkled $20 bill. 

“I’m sure this will cover both of those chores, now come on up for a nice cold glass of tea. If Maggie-Poo wants to die of dehydration that is her choice, but I want to make sure you don’t keel over while tending to the yard.” Mom said as she walked away and Jake trailed after her looking helpless. 

I had a tiny urge to rescue him from my mom, but then I remembered what happened 10 years ago, and I decided that this was his punishment. My mom could make paint peel talking it to death. I love her, but you can only listen to the same story so many times before your eyes start to roll. 

It was time to start unpacking. This was the beginning of a new chapter for me. I was going to meet with Victoria this evening to talk to her about my new job at the high school and what to expect. I needed to rinse off really quick, change into some shorts and a tank top, and head on over to the pub on Main Street. 

Graded in Red| Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Remembering the time I once told myself and everyone around me that I was an adult and that I  would never move back home and live with my parents. I remember that I meant it. I remember thinking that I had the world in the palm of my hand. 

I was thinking about that famous saying, “The best laid plans…” ? Yeah, 18 year me didn’t believe her plans would go sour. I didn’t know that after getting my degree in Education with a minor in history that I wouldn’t be able to find a teaching position. Well not a teaching position that didn’t require me to coach, work a second job, and still have trouble making ends meet. Millennial’s  believed that the world was their oyster. I believed I was going to have it all. Unfortunately, “The Best Laid Plans”, left me wanting. 

Long story short, I graduated from a state college with a degree in education. I was hoping to touch student’s lives, make a difference, and if anything get a kid to love history as much as I do. That however, was not realistic. I got a job at a soul sucking corporate office. Upselling the next biggest thing to ever hit the world market. Or at least until the next newest, shiniest, and biggest thing hit. I could have stayed at that job. It paid the bills and even allowed me to have a vacation once or twice a year. The kicker was falling in love with my boss. 

What is the one rule in dating? NEVER. DATE. YOUR. BOSS. However, I believed that this this was true love. Even when I found out that he was married, I believed that he would choose me. That were would be together forever. Yet when push came to shove, he chose his wife. Which I couldn’t blame him for. I look back at my decisions and cringe. There are just sometimes in your life that you question who you were as a person and who you wanted to be. 

So, when I got a call from my childhood friend Victoria to come and teach with her at the high school in my hometown. I knew that was what I needed, a fresh start. Of course, if I told 18 year old Maggie that we would be back to Broken Bow, Oklahoma as well as moving in with mom and dad again, I’m pretty sure she would faint. 

New Chapters Every Friday!

 

Review: Boho Berry| December 2018

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Boho Berry Box

One of my absolute favorite things in the world is to be organized. You could say that I am a Type A personality or a nerd and you’d be 100% correct. I love making To-Do Lists, I thrived on checking boxes, and I get super excited for stationary items.

As the years have gone by Bullet Journals have gotten more and more popular. I have always loved the idea of being the creator of my own agenda and journal. I don’t like being boxed in by what other people might think the best agenda would be. In comes bullet journaling! I can create my own boxes, themes, color schemes, and more!

However, I am not the most artistic person in the world. I am not the best at straight lines and sometimes I need help visualizing what my next month’s spread should look like. I started following a lot of Bujo youtube channels and the only that hooked me the most was Kara’s channel Boho Berry. I love the way she would do her spreads, how relaxed she was, and how simple they looked. When I found out that she was creating her own goods and even a subscription box I jumped on the chance and ordered the November 2018 box. I fell in love.

Okay, so with that back story out of the way. Here is my December 2018 box from Boho Berry!

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I love that Kara designs items that will actually be used in that month’s spread! I can’t believe that 2018 is ALMOST over! Can you believe it? Where did this month go!?! I love that Kara and her Crew are into reflecting on what happened in 2018, the good, the bad, the ugly, and what can be changed or grown in the next year!

This sticker was amazing! I love the quote and the lettering. This will most certainly go on my laptop. I have been looking at the questions she asked on this FULL STICKER page for my bullet journal for the past couple of days and I am excited to fill it out tomorrow!

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Not only does she create items that are perfect for the month but she also creates products that I have a problem drawing myself. As I admitted above, I am not the best with straight lines or spatial awareness. Haha! I really appreciate the Monthly Tracker that she puts in the box every month! She was talking in her unboxing of this box about how next year the tracker and the other stickers will also start matching the themes that she creates for each box. This is really exciting for me!

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Another aspect that I love with this monthly box is that she has a theme and color scheme that matches. This month is all about reaching for the stars. She added these ADORABLE star and moon paperclips, the moon and star washi tape, and the beautiful crescent moon dish. Not only did she include those stationary items, but she always puts in writing utensils! This Tombow pencil is FREAKING amazing and you can never go wrong with a Tombow double sided marker.

This is one of my favorite boxes that I get every month and I do spend my own money on it. I love everything about this box and I hope you do as well!

If you would like to give this box a try you can use this coupon code B4A5 for a one-time use, $5 off your first purchase!!

I hope you have an amazing weekend! Keep planning!

~Courtny

Tea Talk| Episode 1

Video Now Available!

Good morning everyone! I hope you are having a most wonderful Friday! I can’t believe it. Today is my 28th birthday! I have walked this planet for 28 years. I have breathed in the air, fell in love, made friends, had heart break, and have started new adventures! Speaking of new adventures, I am hoping that these Tea Talks will be a start of a wonderful new adventure and that you all will become apart of it with me.

I am currently drinking an amazing tea that I received in my June Sipsby box. This is a subscription box that I have been really enjoying. It has brought some AMAZING and mouth-watering teas into my life that I couldn’t be happier about.

 

This is a Super Fruit tea, if you are interested in knowing more about the tea click here. This is NOT an affiliate link, I am just loving this amazing caffeine free fruity tea. I love the name of the tea and the taste bursts on your tongue! It has a beautiful aroma and color as well.


So, you are probably wondering what are these Tea Talks going to be about? Are they bookish related? Are they going to be something that I want to watch or read about?

The short answer: I hope so.

The long answer: I have recently noticed somethings on my channel and on my blog. I have been drawn to different genres and different types of content lately. Isn’t that the way human nature works? We are constantly evolving and changing. To stay stagnant in something is to stop evolving.

I have had many people comment and question about whether or not I am going to be doing anymore Cozy Mystery reviews, books, and the like. Yes, most certainly. Cozy Mysteries are always going to be my favorite genre. There is just something about the small towns, the proud and tough women, and the mystery of it all that I love and can’t get enough of.

However, I am going to create more and new content. I have become interested in other genres and new and exciting types of videos. I see you all as my friends. I see you all as amazing people who love the same things that I love and who are also growing in their lives as well.

I have recently been reached out to by A Year of Boxes Company. They love the pictures I have been doing on my Instagram and the fact that I review tea and different types of fun things like that and have asked me to be a reviewer for some different type of subscription boxes. This is so exciting for me, because it gives me the chance to see how others think of their boxes, I am STILL working on getting The Cozy Mystery Escape up and running. It is a lot more work than I thought.

 

I’m stating all of this because I was thinking about doing unboxings on my channel and I wanted to see what your thoughts were about that. You are all part of my Bookish Family and I want to grow with you and get your opinion and what you think about the different things that I am wanting to incorporate into my channel! This is something that I am SUPER SUPER excited about and I wanted to share all of it with you! EEEK!


On a slightly more serious note, I have been having some serious thought as to whether I should bring this up or not. I normally don’t want to bring attention to negative aspects of my channel, but lately it seems as though there are a few people who have been consistently thumbs downing my videos.

Now I know that there are always going to be people who you can’t make happy. I have had to remind my students quite a bit over the years that not everyone is going to like you. That is just life. You could be the nicest person in the whole entire world and someone wouldn’t like you because you are too nice.

I once had someone tell me that I am way too happy of a person and there must be something wrong with me. That I brought them down because of my perkiness at work. Of course that hurt my feelings and I have now realized that not everyone is going to like me or my videos or the changes I have been making. But I wanted to ask a favor.

If you see yourself as my friend as I see ALL OF YOU, please let me know if there is something that I have done to upset you. Maybe give me suggestions on some videos you would like to see. I want this place to be a place of happiness and fun. I normally ignore the thumbs down and love all of the comments that you all send me every week. They really are the highlights of my week!


Well, that is the end of the Tea Talk Episode 1. I am super excited to get to know everyone more and to have you all get to know me more than what I normally film every week. I am hoping that once Summer is over I’ll be able to keep up with three videos a week, including these Tea Talks.

XOXO Happy Reading! XOXO

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Reading Wrap Up!| June 2018

Copy of Copy of June Cozy Myster Releases

Video Now Available 

Happy Wednesday and Happy 4th of July everyone! What an amazing year so far, am I right? I can’t believe that we are already halfway through 2018. It seems like yesterday that it was the beginning of the New Year and now we are already almost done with Summer break and I’ll be heading back to work later this month!
I had a pretty decent reading month! I was super exited to find new authors, new characters to fall in love with, and a new genre to read. Sometimes you have to get outside of your comfort zone to really spread your horizons and fall in head over heels with something different. This month, I would say that I stepped outside of my comfort zone! So, without further ado lets get into this!

32495444Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab was the second book in the series and I really enjoyed it. Normally with Young Adult novels you expect everything to end happy and that the main character will get what they want or are looking for.

I did not expect that this book would be so dark! Even though the title most certainly did warn me! Haha! I loved getting to know Kate and August more. Watching them evolve and become the young adults that they were meant to become was something that I really enjoyed.
I will admit, I did tear up in this book. I was more attached to these characters then I thought I would be and I am super happy that I decided to finish this duology. It was most certainly worth the read.

15810915Mayhen at The Orient Express was the first book in A League of Literary Ladies Cozy Mystery Series. It was also the Cozy Mystery Bookclub book of the month for June.

I rated this book a 4/5 Stars. I really enjoyed the different characters and the fact that it gave a nod to the Mystery Queen Agatha Christie. I loved that there wasn’t just one main character. I enjoyed getting to know the four ladies who ended up being the League of Literary Ladies.

I do anticipate reading more from this series because I am eager to see how their friendships blossom and I also want to know more about Bea Cartwright’s life from before she moved onto the island.

While I was joining in for the Library-A-Thon I picked up the Court of Thorns and Roses series. As my blog post for the readathon stated, I was originally going to be listening to Cinder on audiobook. However, once I started the audiobook I realized that I couldn’t stand the woman’s voice who was narrating it and that I needed to pick up something else in that genre and read it for myself.

Thus started an addiction to a brand new series that was totally outside of my comfort zone. I have fallen in love with the Fae world in this series. The characters are so well developed. The flaws, the strengths, the weakness, the falls, and the way they bring each other up.

I can’t explain what this series really means to me. I loved it so much that I brought my best friend Bre into reading the series and she is as in love with the series as I am, maybe even more if I’m being honest. All I know is that I will be reading everything written by Sarah J. Maas soon. If she writes this way in all of her books, then I am already in love.

51vzujA3AAL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_As always Ellie Alexander has left my heart fluttering and my mouth watering! This was the 8th book in The Bakeshop Mystery series featuring the amazing baker Jules Capshaw. She has a lot on her plate during this book! A wedding to plan, an expansion of her bakeshop Torte, her feelings for her estranged husband, and trying to be there for her friends. To top it off someone has a grudge towards Jules herself and tries to poison her!

This book had me laughing, it had me tearing up, and falling in love with the characters over and over again. Ellie has a way with her characters, she brings them alive. She is able to weave words of meaning, feeling, and scrumptiousness like The Bard himself!

I recommend this series to anyone who loves coffee, friends, family, and a good mystery! You will find yourself lost in the world of the characters trying to figure out the ‘whodunit’. This book had me on my toes the whole time guessing and I loved every second of it!

I have always been wary of reading poetry. I have never really been able to get into it. Even in high school when I took a Creative Writing course and we were required to do a whole unit on Poetry and write our own I always felt silly. I don’t know why.

It didn’t help that all of the poetry that was required reading during school was the old and classical poetry. I know that as a history major I should appreciate and love the classics, but I personally don’t. At least not a lot of them.

So when Bre and I hung out last week and went to Books-A-Million we stopped by the poetry section. Bre is an English Major and is getting her Bachelors in English. She was talking to me about poetry and mentioned this author and her poetry books. I opened the first one up and immediately knew that I was hooked.

I bought both books on Thursday and read both of them while laying in bed on Friday. I loved this set of poetry. I could relate to all of it. Some of it broke my heart. Other parts made me laugh. I loved all of the different aspects.

download Fawkes is one of those books that surprised me. I went into it believing that this was going to be a Young Adult Fantasy novels, which is the reason why I picked it up! I have been on a Fantasy kick lately. This book was so much more than that.

This is technically a Historical Fiction novel with a fantastical twist. It was a wonderful rendition of 1600s England. An outcast of people who live by the pure way of magic called the Keepers versus the Igniters a group of people who talk to the White Light, the original color who created all other color powers. There is a war between them with the Keepers being exiled, killed, tortured, and worse.

This story is based on true events with fantastical characteristics. I loved the characters. The elements of magic were really intricate and fun. I loved the idea of having a mask that helps with their magic.

Our main character is Thomas Fawkes. He is a teenager who is readying himself for his last year in school where he will get his mask from his famous father Guy Fawkes and he will finally be able to cure himself from the Stone Plague that has swept through the country since the Igniters have taken the White Light.

Thomas’ father fails to show up to the ceremony where he is supposed to be getting his mask. Thomas is bound and determined to find his father and demand his mask. He finds himself in London and scary place for Keepers and Plague. He is drawn into a plot, trying to find his feelings for his father, whether or not he is a Keeper or an Igniter.

This was a fun, magical, and well written book about finding yourself, accepting others for their differences, and learning a little bit about history. I highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley, Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.