Weekly Favorites #4!

Weekly favorites!

It’s been a great reading week for me- I have a lot of favorites to share! I’ll be sharing three different books I enjoyed today.

The first book I wanted to talk about was Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live off the Land by Kurt Timmermeister.


This non-fiction book is part memoir/part how-to by the author on giving up living in the city and owning a restaurant to starting his own dairy farm when he was in his mid-twenties. He shares his changing relationship with food from owning a restaurant and getting food products in mass quantities, to caring for and creating the best food possible with his own two hands. He also does include a lot of tips and ideas for anyone who wants to make their own food and start a farm like he did.

My interest in agriculture and sustainable farming/living has been growing over the past few years. This book was a great, very practical look on how difficult something like this is. However it is also very motivating and really helpful on even small steps you can take in your everyday life.

His writing was clear, entertaining, and made me excited to keep reading. The chapters were evenly mixed of stories of his life and advice for those reading it. I would recommend it for anyone interested in small farms or sustainable living in general.

Here’s my review of the book on Goodreads:

Review: Growing a Farmer

Here’s a link to buy the book on Amazon (affiliate link):

Growing a Farmer on Amazon

The second book I loved this week was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.


I was a little late to the game on reading this, but I am so glad I finally did! This middle grade book is about a little boy named August, who was born with a facial difference that keeps him at home for most of his childhood years. He finally starts going to a school in fifth grade, and has to deal with what his peers think about anyone different from them. He deals with people treating him differently than everyone else, bullying, and other hardships as a unique kid entering school for the first time.

This book was perfect for kids who struggle with looking different or who treat others who look different badly. I really appreciate children’s stories that tackle issues like this. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a heartwarming story or loves middle grade books.

Here’s my Goodreads review:

Review: Wonder

Link to buy the book on Amazon (affiliate link):

Wonder on Amazon

The last book  I am going to talk about is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Women’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. Now, I am only giving a brief synopsis on this book since I’m doing a book review video for it tomorrow.

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This story is a true crime nonfiction book written by Patton Oswalt’s late wife. She had been extremely passionate about finding the Golden State Killer for years, and even started the well-known website True Crime Diary to connect with other people with the same interests. The book is a mixture of snippets from McNamara’s own life, her growing obsession with finding this killer, and the history of the Golden State Killer as well.

I absolutely loved this book, and I’ll be posting a video review of it tomorrow!

Thank you so much for reading!

What were your favorite reads this week? 

A Bucket List


When I was younger I used to put together bucket lists all the time. It always seems like such an easy task, until I sat down and tried to think of the ideas ‘most worthy’ of being on my list. I wanted to try my hand at a new one today where I was less strict and just included anything that I am passionate about doing.

-Write a book and get it published.

-Walk on the Great Wall of China.

-Complete the Appalachian trail.

-Go rock climbing.

-Build my own home.

-Perform on stage, whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, talking, etc.

-Rescue as many animals as possible.

-Visit every national park in the United States + Canada.

-Live on a farm and grow my own food.

-Learn to make my own clothing.

– Meet Amanda Palmer in real life.

-Be a part of a protest I feel strongly about.

-Volunteer for a fantastic cause.

-Go to a ceremony for every religion.

This is it for me for now. I’m sure there will be other things to add to the list as I go through life.

What’s on your bucket list? Feel free to share them with me!

Weekly Favorites! #3

Weekly Favorites. (1)

This was a pretty mediocre reading week. Most of what I got through was either just plain bad or just OK. However there was one book I really did enjoy.


Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller


“One of the more popular theories behind the triggers for hoarding indicates that people who were neglected emotionally as children learn to form attachments to objects instead of people. When they do connect with others, they then keep any object that reminds them of that person as a way of holding on to those attachments.” 

If you follow me on Goodreads or ever talk to me about books, you probably know that I love memoirs. The darker the childhood or story, the better. I had heard good things about this particular book and I was not disappointed.

The author talks about her life growing up in New York with her parents. As a young child, she worships her father and doesn’t realize how strange his habits of keeping every piece of paper/trash he comes across in the house.

His habits get worse and worse. and we find out that he  is a recovered alcoholic who had horribly abusive parents. He doesn’t even remember most of his childhood, and won’t talk about it.

As Kimberly gets older, the house they live in literally begins to crumble as it’s taken over by garbage. Her parents fight about the mess, Social Services makes regular visits because of the state of their home, and she becomes angrier and angrier at her life.

Her mom becomes horribly depressed after a botched surgery for her Scoliosis, and begins to add to the trash herself by excessive online shopping. It gets bad enough that a homeless person is able to live in their attic without them knowing.

Once Kimberly grows up, she becomes the complete opposite of her parents. She cleans excessively, won’t stand for any clutter or mess, and has nightmares about her childhood. The book ends with her coming to terms with what she grew up with and attempting to help her parents repair their destructive habits.

This book was super interesting to me. I didn’t know anything about hoarders, and was interested in all the information she provided about the psychology behind the habits. Her writing is clear, concise, and shows a lot of mixed emotion towards her parents. I appreciated her frankness and the amount of details she shared about her childhood and recovery.

Unlike a lot of the memoirs I read and talk about, this one does not have excessive abuse in it. There are a few very small instances where it is mentioned, but it’s not a huge part of the book.

Here is my Goodreads review of the book, I gave it 4/5 stars:


Want to buy this book? Here it is on Amazon!

Coming Clean on Amazon

*This is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you purchase the book using this link I may receive a small portion of the funds.

Have you read this book? Are you interested in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Too Young?


I apologize for the lack of a blog post earlier this week. We’ve had some financial/personal stress in our lives that took up most of my reading time, and I wasn’t able to do a weekly favorites video. That’s been figured out for the most part and I will have one up next week!

To continue with the ‘marriage’ theme I started on the blog last week, I wanted to bring up another topic that people feel the need to ask me about frequently- the age I got married.

Just like any other discussion I bring up on here, I have the same opinion- mind your own business because everyone is different. People are always shocked that I got married at 21, and always feel the need to ask a million questions about it.

Haha, was it a shotgun wedding?

(Um, rude?)

Won’t you miss dating? 

(If anyone tells me that they actually miss dating, I’m laughing at them.)

Why not wait? 

(Because I don’t want to?)

You know this is for life, right? 


You’re HOW old? 

(Old enough!)

Etc, etc… As you all know, people can be incredibly insensitive about matters that are truly none of their concern.

However, I am here to defend my desicions.

Growing up, I always assumed I was going to live alone until I was at LEAST 30. That would give me time to date whoever I wanted, get my life set up financially, and just generally have a good time.

I met Cameron when I was seventeen,  he was my boss at a fast food place. Immediately I found him to be the most interesting and wonderful person I had ever met, and I still think that to this day. We worked together for about six months, and then I went away to college. He actually went to the same school that I did, and we still had conversations occasionally.

In the summer of 2013, we finally had a first date. It didn’t take long for me to know that this was what I wanted, and it wasn’t going to change. We got married in 2015, right after I turned 21. Cameron was 24.

My personal opinion is- if you’ve found the person you can deal with anything with, why wait? I know that no matter what garbage gets thrown at me, I have my best friend with me to deal with it. You never know how long or short your life will end up being, so do what makes you happy.

That may be overly simplistic, but it’s worked for me.

Now of course, this doesn’t speak to every single person who got married at a young age. I do know people who have had horrible experiences. However I can only speak for my own. Also, if you marry someone horrible- it could be at age 18 or 65, there’s no limit. My point here is that it is not generally a horrible thing to get married at a young age.

What are your thoughts on the subject? What age did you get married? How do you think your life would have turned out differently if you married someone at a different age? 

Keeping My Last Name


For those of you that know me personally, or read my blog regularly, you probably know that I’ve been married for almost three years now.

People are never afraid to share opinions about this with me. Whether it’s my lack of children, the age I got married, etc. there are always thoughts that family members/friends/strangers feel entitled to share. This is fine, and I’ve gotten used to it, but it doesn’t make it less ridiculous at times.

One of the things that upsets people the most that I understand the least is my last name. After we got married,  I decided not to change it. My husband doesn’t care, and agreed that it’s totally my call, and why should anyone care anyway? I did this for a few reasons, and anytime I meet someone new and they ask about it, people still don’t get it. So here are the reasons, and if you’re still upset by it at the end, maybe just try and think about the fact that it’s not your choice or business.

First of all, I like my last name. I like the people it came from, I like that I have had it for decades, and I like the way it sounds with my first name. My husband’s last name is great, but I want mine to stay.

Secondly, I didn’t feel like changing it. For anyone who has gone through the process of changing their name, it’s kind of a pain and takes a while. Why go through all that trouble if it’s something I don’t care about anyway?

My next reason is because I’m a feminist who believes that a lot of these traditions are rooted in sexism and completely arbitrary. Now I don’t believe that every woman who changes their name hates themselves, or isn’t a feminist, or thinks of themselves as property, and I don’t think your husband is the worst if he likes that your names are the same- it’s just not for meThis is the reason that always gets the eye rolls, the anger, the judgement, etc. I am not going to apologize for the way  I feel about it. If you decide to change your name, awesome! That’s great for you! I just want people to feel the same way about my choice.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject. Again, no hard feelings to anyone who feels differently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts as well! 

This Week’s Favorites! #2


I had a lot more time this week to get in some reading, so here’s my second favorites post!

Most of what I’ve read over the past two weeks are classics. I read Life of Pi by Yann Martel, after having it on my TBR list for about ten years. I am only sorry to have waited so long.


“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”

This story follows Pi Patel as he is travelling to Canada with his family and some of their zoo animals. The ship wrecks, and Pi is left stranded on a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Over the next 200 or so days, they brave the elements together, and come to have a special bond. 

Pi’s personality was something I really enjoyed. He isn’t satisfied with one religion, so he proclaims himself as Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. To him, he is loving the same god no matter what, he just loves to worship in different ways. He is kind, even to an enormous cat that could potentially kill him. He is always thinking of the pain that the animals around him suffer, even when he has to eat fish while stranded on the boat. 

The writing was lovely and surreal, the development of characters (especially Richard Parker the tiger) was amazing, and the story was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

Here’s my Goodreads review of the book:




My second favorite this week is a book that’s also been on my TBR list forever- We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I had watched the movie years ago, and the book has been on my list ever since.


“I thought at the time that I couldn’t be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that’s a common conceit, that you’ve already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.” 

For those of you who don’t know the story, it’s incredibly disturbing. The story is told from the point of view of Eva, who is the mother to Kevin- an emotionless child who ends up becoming a mass murderer. The story follows them as Kevin grows up, hating his mom from a very young age. The book starts before Eva has him, and climaxes into the moment he ruins the rest of her life. The writing is amazing, the story is horrifying but incredibly interesting to read, and the character development left me almost confused on who to root for by the end of the book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but I’d personally recommend it to anyone who can handle disturbing subject matter.

Here’s my Goodread’s review of the book:



What are the best things you read/watched this week? 

Spring Cleaning


As the weather in Virginia gets more and more spring-like, I’m getting ready to overhaul my life physically, spiritually and emotionally. I don’t know a lot of people who actually participate in ‘Spring cleaning,’ but it’s one of my favorite parts of the year. Similar to New Year’s, it gives me a reason and motivation to completely start over.

During late February/early March, I like to clean my house. And I mean clean my house. Washing everything, bleaching everything, airing out the back rooms, washing dog beds, etc. I go through my computer/phone/tablet and clean out old files and pictures, clean out my fridge, and re-pot most of my indoor plants.

On top of physically cleaning everything, I like to make sure I myself am ‘clean.’ I schedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure everything is in check, including my mental health. I go through my skin care routine and make sure that I’m doing everything as efficiently as possible. My exercise schedule gets set up (I am guilty of abandoning the best intentions in this field.)

As for spiritually, I haven’t done much in that field in a few years. I don’t know that I want to. I enjoy going to religious ceremonies of all different kinds, but I’m not stuck to any particular one. I do enjoy meditating, and I will probably plan to do more of that this year.

What do you do to ‘spring clean?’ 

Coming Back Down


My goal for this week was to do a regular blog post over the weekend, and then a favorites post today, however neither of those things are happening.

I spent the past five days at my parent’s house in Ohio. It was a much-needed break from reality and my everyday life, and I couldn’t make myself stick to any sort of habit.

I did do a lot of reading this week, between audio books and my normal reading- but wasn’t able to finish anything that I liked enough to do a favorites post. By next week I will have some things finished that will be worthy of blogging.

As for a regular blog post, I made it a point to barely touch my computer all weekend. The break was so good for my mental health, and I only wish it had lasted a little longer.

Instead of sticking to a writing schedule and strict work schedule, I spent time with my parents and siblings, played more with the dogs, read more, ate whatever I wanted, and slept in. Time was less important, and every second was well spent.

I drank without worrying about waking up the next morning, I didn’t time myself for anything, I slept until waking up naturally, and I ate what I wanted without thinking about it. It was surreal.

I think it would be helpful to make it a point to give myself this kind of break at least once a month. It’s so easy to get lost in your career/chores/schedule/etc. that you can completely forget who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So I am adding that to my New Year’s resolutions. At least once a month I will take a day unplugged from technology, eating and sleeping when I want, and taking care of myself.

What do you do to recharge mentally? Share it with me in the comments- I need some inspiration!