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.

This or That: Modern vs. Traditional

This or That_ Modern vs. Traditional Mysteries

So I have been thinking, what is the difference between Traditional Mysteries and Modern Mysteries? What author jumps out at you for a traditional mystery writer? If you said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie I would have to agree. Though they are from somewhat different timelines aren’t they?

Untitled design (3).pngI mean, Doyle started writing his first story about Sherlock Holmes in 1887. Whereas Christie wrote and published her first story about Hercules Poirot in 1920 right after World War I. That is a little over 30 years between the two.

I have read quite a bit about Sherlock Holmes! I even wrote my Junior English paper comparing Sherlock and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It was a pretty awesome read if you ask me. It helped that my English teacher was a HUGE Buffy fan! I loved how eloquently Doyle wrote about the crimes, Sherlock’s personality, and even Watson.

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Though, it is not entirely relatable now is it? I mean some items stay the same when it comes to a mystery. There is always going to be the murder, the sleuth, and the red herrings along the way. But the way women are viewed in series like Sherlock Holmes and even in some of Christie’s Poirot series they are seen as almost weak in a sense. They do grow as time goes on, but there are certain stereotypes that stay within the tradition mysteries that you don’t seem much of in the modern mysteries we read now.

The main characters in Christie and Doyle’s work around surrounded by the murder, right? They aren’t growing as characters very much. We see the flaws in the characters, but for the most part even the secondary characters, besides Watson, aren’t given much thought. This is something that is extremely different from Modern Mysteries, especially Modern Cozy Mysteries that are apart of a series.

You do need to know, that this is just my thought process and I wanted to write it out. I have not read very many Agatha Christie novels, but I plan to. I have read quite a few Sherlock Holmes adventures, but it has been about 11 years since I was fully immersed in the series.  Untitled design (5).png


Now, let us fast forward to the present. When I am talking about Modern Mysteries I am mostly talking about the type that I read the most of, Cozy Mysteries. I am not an expert in any shape or form nor do I claim to be when it comes to the Mystery or Thriller Genre.

However, there is something that I have noticed in the Modern Mysteries that I read. Women are predominately the amateur sleuths in the mysteries. They are also starting their life anew after a terrible accident, divorce, or something else entirely. They are needing to be in control of things within their lives. The secondary characters are almost as important and the primary characters. Also, the mystery is part of the book, but watching the protagonist grow is more important if you ask me.

As a reader if the protagonist isn’t relatable I am not going to read it. This is quite different with my expectations with Traditional Mysteries. For some reason I am able to over look the sometime harsh and cocky nature of Sherlock and Poirot. Whereas if any of the characters in my Cozy Mystery series showed those characteristics I would push away from reading it.

There is a difference however in Agatha Christie’s writing when she started the Miss Marple series. She is what I would call the Mother of the Cozy Mystery Genre. Miss. Marple took crap from no one! She was able to use her sweet demeanor and get into the mysteries and solve them. I think she is the one character that bridged the gap between Traditional and Modern Mysteries.

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I am thinking to myself, Why? Why am I okay with the way characters were written 100 years ago, but if my modern characters had the same opinions or thoughts about certain topics I would be put off by them?

It makes me wonder to myself. Am I allowing of that “behavior” because that is just how it was in the past? Women weren’t going to be considered sleuths or viable witnesses during that time and so I am more able to understand it and forgive it? I’m not sure.

This blog post has actually turned into something that I didn’t really expect it to turn into. I was wanting to know which one was better to read. I am now questioning why I allow myself to read somethings but then have a double standard for a more modern version of it.

Do I have high expectations for Modern Authors? I think so. I think the Modern Authors should, in essence, get with the times. Be as liberal and accepting as I am. I know this isn’t something that I should put on authors but for some reason I do. I have been unconsciously judging Modern Authors on a scale to which I do not judge Traditional Authors.

What are your thoughts? Am I completely off kilter when it comes to that? Let me know in the comments down below. I really want to know what you think!

Camp NaNoWriMo & WORDSONTHEPAGEATHON

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Hey everyone! I hope that you are having an AMAZING Sunday! I am doing a lot of adulting today unfortunately. I would rather be curled up on the couch reading or writing then to be doing laundry and packing up to drive to Oklahoma City tonight. But alas, someone has to fight for our children’s education and that is going to be me!

Now, enough of that. Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMO! I am so excited. This is just what I needed to help jump-start my writing again for Graded in Red! I am about 23,000 words into the Cozy Mystery but I needed more of a push! This is the perfect push if you ask me!

I am hoping to get to at least 50,000 words this month on Graded in Red. Most Cozy Mystery books are anywhere between 70,000-80,000 words. So this would give me a great jump-start. Not only am I participating in Camp NaNoWriMO, but I am also participating in my good friend @Writerahart or WordsOnThePageAthon write a thon! I mean how cool is that!?!

This coming Wednesday on April 4th Angela and I are going to start a Live Stream called Starting Your Book! So mark your calendars! This is going to be so much fun! I hope all of you come and stop by, talk about your WIP (work in progress), and come make some new friends.

#QOTD Are you working on a book right now? Are you planning on joining Camp NaNoWriMo? This will be my first time participating. Do you have any suggestions for me?