Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekly Roundup {8/16-8/22}

Excuse the holy hot mess that is my hair. :)

This week was pretty slow and typical until Saturday when I got my new studio! 

(See my day of the dead wall back there? Yeah...LOVE!)

I've gotten a pretty decent amount of headway as far as furniture so now I'm focused on getting some color and decor in there. I will post a big reveal post when it's all done. :)

Here's what I've been up to this week:

Writing-  I wrote the four chapters of Kenna's Musing. I also jotted down some really good plot line for Fade. 

Reading- Finished Fourth Debt, Tyrant, and Souls Unfractured. I'm currently reading "Set in Flames" by Sam Destiny. Reviews for all of those books can be found on my Goodreads profile here

Weight Loss-  Stagnant. If I'm still stagnant next week I'm going to be switching something up. 

Gaming- I didn't play anything this week.(Feel free to add me on Xbox!)

Music-  Stuck with my "checked" songs list and the Discovery Weekly playlist. Song of the week is "Poison and Wine" by The Civil Wars. (Check me out on Spotify to see my playlists!)

News/Causes- Josh Duggar is a disgusting human being. 

What I'm Wearing-  I did wear a lot of cute jewelry. I wore jeans every day but one paired with cute cotton tops and tunics.

Beauty- I am actually making a doctor's appointment to talk about these break outs. It's a symptom to me of a hormone imbalance (which isn't uncommon with PCOS) but we're going on almost a month of straight up acne. This is from the girl who never had a pimple in high school. So, something's gotta give. I wore an orange essential oil spritz all week for scent and used Jason brand grapefruit body wash. :)

What I'm watching- We watched a few episodes of Masters of Sex, South Park every night, and watched Accepted for like the 500th time (but I still love it.)

Mommyhood- Lesson learned. Never place the groceries in the back within reach of the tiny humans. And if you do make the same mistake as I, one would hope that you do not have to spend hours cleaning EGG out of your backseat. Bleh bleh bleh.

Self Awareness- This week I worked on focusing on the positive, and trying to enjoy the small things. 

That's it for this week, folks!

As always, leave me some comment love!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturdays in RVA: Market & Jewelry Haul, Bellytimber Tavern, & MY NEW STUDIO!!

Started our day at SOTJ Market (as usual) and picked up a bunch of fun stuff! :)  

I got this really cool necklace from Red Lintu! Isn't the little diver precious? 

I picked up this cool tank, necklace, and earrings from New Normal, which is a brand that is locally owned and made. I'm going to go to their brick and mortar shop and get some better pictures and an interview, so I won't give too much details today. Definitely check them out online though! :)

I found her! She was hiding but I found my jewelry girl! (Aka Ma's Madhouse of Adornment) Jeremy got the OM necklace, I got the robot necklace and leaf earrings, and the 3 smaller earrings we got for being good and regular customers. :) 
(There may or may not be a giveaway coming up with those darling Saturn earrings!) 

We got this fantastic GMO free, natural, and humanely raised pork and lamb sausage and frankfurters. Seriously, delish. Check out this brand- Sausage Craft. :)

We picked up this delicious parmesan oregano bread to go with our dinner this evening. :)

We picked up these spice blends from Village Garden that are made to be blended with olive oil for dipping bread. :) 

This is the produce haul from today. Tomatoes, gala apples, and peaches. 

Jeremy picked up this kombucha. Not gonna lie- it's not my thing. But more power to him! :)

After we went to the market, we headed to Bellytimber for lunch. It's on the corner of Main and Plum in the Fan and is AMAZING!

The decor is rustic and quirky and fun. 

The tiny humans were not with us today, it was just me and the husband. :)

We started with side salads. Homemade croutons? Yes please! 

Now this bad boy right here is worth the drive. Introducing the Duck Pie. A wood fired pizza with a hoisin base, duck confit, and red onions. It also came with cilantro but I said no thank you to that. You guys, I felt like I was in pizza heaven. The photo makes it look large but it's only a 12 inch pizza. It took literally every ounce of willpower that I have to stop at two pieces. EVERY OUNCE!

Jeremy got a beefalo burger. Basically, half beef, half buffalo. Yeah- it was awesome. If you are in the Fan and want some place local and delicious, be sure to check out Bellytimber. :)

My next stop today is what made this the best day ever! This is artworks. Also known as the location to my brand new studio! My own private paradise where I can go and write in peace without the distraction of the tiny humans or just the general chaos of our lovely home. :)

It's totally plain Jane right now but I can paint and make changes and do whatever I want! Let the pinning commence! :)

I am beyond thrilled to have a space to go and write surrounded by all of this positive creative energy. So beyond thrilled. :)

That's all for today, folks. 

As always, leave me some comment love! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Author Rhonda James #CoffeeWithClaire

Sometimes in life people cross your path that you know without a doubt were fated to be there. Rhonda is absolutely that person to me. When my first book, When Faults Collide, was still in it's infancy (like, not even completed yet!) I read Rhonda's book Across the Miles. I like to think of my work as wholly original, but her book was the first time I felt like I connected to the writer on the same writing level. Our books are very different, but they are also very similar. So, I reached out to Rhonda on Goodreads, which later carried over to Facebook, and we have become kindred spirits of sorts. She has genuinely been my biggest supporter on my horribly bad days when I just wanted to chuck my work against the wall and say "FORGET IT!" she was there to pick up the pieces and remind me why I'm doing this. Genuinely, she is the absolute BEST person EVER! So much so, that my second book, Kenna's Reverie, was dedicated to her!

So for my first #CoffeeWithClaire link up, I wanted to interview this amazing author who is also an amazing friend. :)

1. First things first. What books have you written?

I have a series that I started called The Not So Bad Boys of Rock. That series is slated to include 4 stories that will cover the life and love of each member of the rock band, Paradox. The first two have already been published and I am working on the third as we speak. 

Across the Miles (Book One) This is the love story of Sebastian Miles and Brooke Caldwell

Miles Apart (Book Two) Sebastian and Brooke's story continues in this book.

All Hands Off Dek (Book Three) This is the love story of James 'Dek' Dekker and Jade Parker - this book is slated to be released October 2016

Under the Gunn (Book Four) Will be the love story of Chris Gunn and a mystery girl that I don't want to give away right now - this book is slated to be released January 2016

I am also writing another rockstar romance, the Twisted Fate series, that will include at least 3 books.

My Only Regret (just released) - This one centers around rocker Jesse Montgomery and a frustrated Rhyann Michaels. They have one night of intense passion and go their separate ways, but two years later they are once again thrown together and have an unconventional arrangement that puts both of them to the test. Will they be able to resist the inevitable?

2. What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the near and distant future?

I am working on No Regrets - Jesse's POV (a companion guide to My Only Regret) slated to be released in October 2015

I am concurrently writing All Hands Off Dek and hope to release that in October as well.

I also have many projects in the works that haven't been mentioned already:

Shelter from the Storm - a story about a Texas cowboy who's finance was murdered. He leaves town because he can't face the pain of living in the town where the murder took place. Two years later he comes back home and meets a woman that came to town after he left. Like him, she was running away from something she could no longer face. Their separate worlds collide and soon they fall in love, only to find that the previous lives they had been living hadn't really been separate after all.

"Unnamed Novel" - I've been working on a story about eight friends that reunite for their 10 year reunion at the lake house that they spent an entire summer at after leaving high school. They've all stayed in touch except for one, and she had her reasons for staying away. Now, has ten years been long enough for her to finally go back and face the man that still holds her heart, and can she tell him her reason for keeping her distance in spite of the love she still carries for him? And will he forgive her?

3. Your new book, My Only Regret, is different in content and style than your first book, Across the Miles. Why did you go so tame in your first book, and then significantly more graphic in this one?

Well, My Only Regret was actually my first complete work. I had written this book with every intention of publishing last January but due to a complication I was asked by my previous employer not to publish because of the explicit content. I was devastated, of course, I had worked so hard on that book. That story is very personal to me not only because I wrote it, but also because it is loosely based on part of my life. But, I needed my job so I did what I could to keep my job and went home and cried for two days. After those two days I literally went to bed and dreamed up Across the Miles. I woke up and started writing. I kept it tame to appease my employer, but I also found it refreshing to write in that light-hearted style. I love the story of Brooke and Sebastian, but just because there aren't graphic scenes doesn't mean they weren't rolling around. I just left it to the readers imagination.

My Only Regret tells a story of two broken people who find each other and share a night of unforgettable passion. Their love story is told over a span of time and they have their ups and downs but ultimately find a way to make it work. This story has a happily ever after, no cliffhanger here. I actually find it easier to write more sexually explicit scenes. I also prefer to write from the male POV which is why I am writing a companion guide to My Only Regret, entitled No Regrets, as told by  Jesse. I can't wait for you all to read this one!

4. Looking back now, what do you wish you could tell yourself a year ago?

To not let anything, or anyone, hold me back from reaching for my dreams. I've wanted to be an author for 30 years. I've wasted a lot of time, and lost a crap ton of great stories, by waiting for the right time. If you want something bad enough don't let anyone hold you down, or make you feel ashamed for what you are doing. My writing didn't sit well with some and I was forced to make some major changes in my life these past few months. While it hasn't been easy, I can honestly say that the changes should have come long ago. I am much happy for making them and I am now free to write and say what I damn well please!

5. What are you reading right now?

Just finished three amazing books within the last four days. Cocky Bastard, by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland. Kyland and Stinger both by Mia Sheridan. I can't recommend either of them enough. They were all amazing, but Cocky Bastard is by far and away the most amazing book I've read in forever!

6. What's the best advice you have for a new or rising indie author?

Don't give up. It took me 30 years to finally stick my neck out there and publish my first book. If I had the chance to do it all over again I would have pursued the dream a long time ago. With the huge success of Indie Authors and self-publishing the possibilities are endless for someone who is trying to test the waters. I've also learned the importance of networking on social media. Getting out there and meeting fellow authors and readers has proven to be invaluable to me. My upcoming release will happen because of the encouragement and support I've received from new friends that I've met through social media. I would also tell them to ask questions. Don't be afraid to contact authors and ask for help. They were once in the same position and needed a helping hand. I am still learning but I always welcome questions from fellow authors and readers. I love helping people! I encourage readers to check out my Facebook page or my Goodreads/Amazon accounts to submit questions. 

7. Any shout outs to other indie authors?

Being an indie author is both exciting and terrifying. You are free to write as you please, but then you are also responsible for all of the promotion. That isn't easy work. It truly does take a village to make this happen, just having an awesome story doesn't make the cut. I give major props to my fellow indie's because they are working hard to make it happen, and they are also kind enough to make themselves available to us newbie indie authors. Here are just a few of my personal favorite indie authors:

Claire Granger - because you are truly one of my very best friends and I know that I can always count on you to push me to be better and to not be afraid to put myself out there.

Lauren Stewart - She is an amazing author and friend. Whenever I ned advice, or just a should to vent on, she is always there for me and I am in awe of her kindness and willingness to be there for me.

Brittainy C. Cherry - Truly talented author that puts all of her heart and soul into her writing and the connections that she makes with her readers and fellow indie authors.

Caisey Quinn - She is a charming southern gal and amazing author that carries herself in a way that makes you proud. She is also very kind to new authors begging for advice!

There are many more that I have met through the wonders of FB but these four have made my life much richer over the past six months!

8. Now, the most serious question of all... Do you prefer your cupcakes vanilla or chocolate?

Chocolate, of course!! 

Stalk Follow Rhonda online:





Go buy her books!

Across the Miles

My Only Regret

Check out the fan made trailer for her new book:


Today's post was part of the new #CoffeeWithClaire link up! 

Link up your bookish posts below! :)
{And be sure to include a link back here in your post!}
As always, leave me some comment love! <3

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

{Review} Mad Max:Fury Road

Max Max:Fury Road is a fast paced, action packed, post-apocalyptic movie which released May 15, 2015 and was just recently released for purchase in on-demand platforms. 

The story follows Max after he is taken hostage by a group of psychotic post-apocalyptic warriors of-sort.  He soon meets Imperator Furiosa, who has just taken five of the imperial dictator's wives, who were being used to breed more warriors for him. Basically from that point it's a giant chase to get away from the crazy clan trying to catch them.

There's a lot more to the story, that's a vastly under written description, but I don't want to give away a lot of plot. 

Here are my thoughts on this movie:

While it is fast paced, and can be confusing to keep up with unless you are paying attention (like don't get up at all while you're watching it, you'll probably miss something), the story line is fascinating and really original which I liked a lot. I am really into dystopian/post-apocalyptic types of films and books, so this was right up my alley. It was also macabre and odd enough to get major brownie points from me. 

What really made me love this movie, however, was the pro-woman subplot. Were there still ridiculously attractive women with sex appeal and scant clothes? Yep. (Welcome to Hollywood!) However, Imperator Furiosa is a warrior and a bad ass one at that. And towards the end of the movie you meet more badass women. Overall I really loved the "we can do this ourselves and don't need a man to save us" thing going on. Does Max jump in and "save the day" a few times? Yes. Again, this is Hollywood. To all the critics saying this is a seriously feminist movie, just go fuck yourself. If it were, those above mentioned things wouldn't be there. This movie does, however, show that Hollywood is maybe LISTENING and trying to give women more of what we want (which is, you know, just more women in movies with less demeaning roles....Heaven forbid). 

Overall, five out of five stars. Go see this movie. I mean it! 

As always, leave me some comment love! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekly Roundup {8/9-8/15}

Sorry this is a day late! We had a long, relaxing weekend and I just forgot to hit publish on this bad boy! :) 

Here's what I've been up to this week:

Writing-  I got some really good headway on Surviving the Aftershock! Here's my teaser pic from what I was working on. :)

Reading- Didn't read one single page. I've decided to put down City of Bones because I have three books in my Kindle I am cracking open TODAY. (The new Indebted installment by Pepper Winters, Tyrant by TM Frazier, and the newest Hades Hangmen installment by Tillie Cole) No offense to Cassandra Clare, but those bitches take priority. Ha! 

Weight Loss-  It's girly time week so no weigh in this week. :) 

Gaming- The only things I played this week were Destiny and Battlefield 4, and both were just casually with friends. (Feel free to add me on Xbox!)

Music-  Listened to my Discover Weekly list and my "starred" songs this week. Song of the week is "Like I'm gonna lose you" by Megan Trainor and John Legend. (Check me out on Spotify to see my playlists!)

News/CausesNo, Mr. Trump, you aren't Batman, you are a misogynistic asshole with a God complex. This Batman's death is a tragedy in every sense of the word. I hope we can come up with a solution for the California drought soon. :(  

What I'm Wearing-  I tried to amp up the cuteness factor this week while still keeping it totally casual. One day I went with a cute lilac top with a peter pan collar and corded leggings and another day I wore a really fun textured shirt with (of course) leggings. Tried to use a lot of cute jewelry this week too. :)

Beauty- Second week I've gone sans makeup (as you can see in the picture!). Until I get this PCOS under control, which it usually will give me a crazy hormone flare up for about a month or so, I really don't want to put anything but cleanser or treatment on my skin. Scent wise I've been using VS Bombshell. A classic but still great-smelling scent. :) The pedicure from Cali is at the end of it's rope, and I'll be getting a fresh one this coming week. :)

What I'm watching- Mister and I continued watching Master's of Sex, I delved into season 7 of Mad Men, and we watched Mad Max. All good, good, good. (I'm going to review Mad Max.) 

Mommyhood- The oldest tiny human has been on a mission of finding reasons to get out of bed when it is well past bedtime. "I need water!" "I need Mickey!" and her latest and my favorite "But Moooom! I just need a HUG!!!". Touche, tiny one, touche. 

Self Awareness- It's okay to say no. That's what I'm learning/working on this week. I have a really bad tendency to just say yes to everyone, without considering how it's going to affect me and my schedule with the tiny humans. So, it's okay to say no. That's my mantra. 

That's it for this week, folks!

As always, leave me some comment love!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturdays in RVA: SOTJ Market, Burger Bach, and Ellwoods

We started our Saturday like usual and went to SOTJ farmer's market. 

Stopped by Red Lintu's booth again and got some better pictures of her work. 

The mister was a little over generous in my jewelry habit today. :) 
{See haul below}

After we were done at the market, we went to Burger Bach. 

It's in the same parking lot as Ellwood Thompson's in Carytown. 

Jeremy got this root beer and fell in love. <3

We started with fries that are hand cut and served with from-scratch dipping sauces made in store. 
(Dude they make their own ketchup and mayo, how sweet is that?)

Yummy burgers! I didn't photograph our whole table's order but just wanted to show mine and the husband's as well as one of the tiny human's. They were really great about splitting the meals in half for the tiny ones since they don't have kid's meals. 

Each burger is made from local grass fed beef ground fresh in store, with a homemade bun, local and organic produce, and more of those yummy from scratch (and organic) sauces. They are served with small mixed green salads tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette. 

Just look at that cheesy beefy goodness. 

5/5 stars hands down. :)

Here's my haul from the market today. We got granola (they weren't lying when they called it the world's best granola- it is.), some more nut butter, some venison jerky, bread, my jewelry, and hubby got some soap. Produce wise, we had a lot still in the fridge from last week and some that Jeremy got at work this week, so we only got a spaghetti squash and some corn.  

We got white chocolate macadamia peanut butter and cashew nilla cashew butter. Yum!

My jewelry haul! I got this gorgeous compass necklace, clock earrings, and a lock bracelet. 

So gorgeous! 

We stopped buying store bought bread several months ago (I'm going to write a post about this next week), and I was happy to see our bakery with a stand. We picked up a loaf of english muffin bread and banana bread. 

This is my haul from Ellwood's. It's all really random stuff. Haha. Two gallons of organic, local milk (1% for me and Jeremy, whole for the tiny humans), some cold-pressed orange juice, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, cream cheese, butter, local eggs, ketchup, BBQ sauce, strawberries, salsa, corn chips (those Frontera brand corn chips are the folks!), some chicken jerky, and ramen. Like I said, lots of random stuff. All tasty, organic, and lots of local, but still random. 

That's all for today, folks! 

As always, leave me some comment love! 


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