Starting over…AGAIN

I start and stop a lot in life, projects, habits, exercise, health and crafts. I always seem to find myself leaving a project half done or forever a work in progress. I will start a project, work on it then get bored or side tracked by some other idea I have. I fear this will happen with this blog.

My hope is that since I know I won’t stop reading, I’ll at least have my book reviews to do if I do start to taper off. I don’t want to taper off though and I don’t want to leave projects half finished. The one good thing I can say though, I have not given up. I have not given up completely and don’t plan to quit. I just go on a hiatus with somethings.

The reason why I’m writing about this is because I’ve been thinking about my health and my productivity. I’ve not lived up to my productivity that I promised myself and I need to make a change. I also just found out that through work, I can get money each month to pay off my gym membership if I go 4 or more times a month. The question is then, why am I not taking advantage of this? My next step is to make a list of projects I want to get done this year and go to the gym at least one time this week.

Have you started something over and over again? How do you stay on task or keep yourself motivated to complete tasks?

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Beautiful Disaster

This review contains spoilers. 

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

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  • Genre : New Adult – Romance – Contemporary
  • Date Started :  February 13, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 20, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website.

Abby is supposed to be a good girl with a past, Travis is supposed to be a tattoo’d thug.

This story is about a girl who meets a guy, they become friends and fall madly in love. Their love is similar to obsession and can be typical in young love. At first Abby is sassy and doesn’t want to be with Travis. I enjoyed this part of their friendship and liked their bantering back and forth as the book goes along. After spending time with him because of a bet, Abby falls in love with Travis. This happens fairly fast and it’s cute and sort of heartwarming. The problems appear when the obsession becomes possession and tempers rise. At this point in the book, I actually became a little uncomfortable. I don’t like violence in my romance novels and was worried where this was going. Especially after reading some other reviews. While there are a lot of red flags, at no time did I think he would hit Abby or even her friend America. Travis is scary intense though.

I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book, worry, pity, sadness, hope, love and irritation. To me, this is not your typical romance, not what I’ve normally come to expect from contemporary romance books. Now I only recently started reading new adult, so I can’t say if it is typical for this genre. If it is, I should stop reading new adult because I’m pretty sure I growled a few times in frustration. I mean, McGuire writes college age students pretty spot on but they are still annoying.

The two main characters drove me nuts. Between their poor communication skills, lack of maturity and disastrous decision making skills, I almost didn’t finish this book. Abby and Travis’s relationship is not a beautiful disaster its a, excuse my language, fucking mess! There were so many times where they could have avoided a fight if they would have talked about things. Honestly this story should have ended at the 75% mark and I would have probably rated it higher. The end basically came screaming fast. I get that the adrenaline and life threatening fire experience probably had a lot to do with it but marriage, come on. I feel like we could have had the last quarter of the book start book 2.

I was not sure how I would feel about this book. While reading it, it had it’s moments. When I started the book I was hooked and loved Travis and thought Abby’s witty remarks were entertaining. As the book went on I started becoming uneasy with Travis but still held out thinking anything bad of him. He was too intense, too obsessive and possessive towards Abby but he treated her well and he was an all around decent guy. Abby on the other hand started to annoy the crap out of me as the book went on. She played with Travis’s feelings and constantly made matters worse. You know how your boyfriend feels about you, why the hell would you just sneak out and leave? Why would you let him tell you he is backing off, when you finally decided to get back together? I’m not condoning she be a doormat or tiptoe around Travis in order to not make him mad but she didn’t have to be so stupid.

My last thought because this is getting long and i’ll probably mess up explaining this but here it goes. I realize that I might be a hypocrite in saying I don’t like violence in my romance. If this was a paranormal romance, I would not feel uneasy and Travis’s behavior would not make me bat an eye. There is some part of my brain that thinks a man with Travis’s obsession with Abby and the possessiveness of them both can not be in a contemporary romance. Contemporary is just too real and I know that Travis would cause red flags to go up with any sane woman. I feel like there is hope for both main characters to mature and change but to me, their characters had very little growth in this book.

I’m giving Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire a 3 star.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3 Stars

Critters

In response to the weekly photo challenge “Fresh“. We had a beautiful day here in Washington on Monday. It’s amazing the great things that happen during spring and it’s even better when you take the time to notice them.

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On my walk back to my car after work, I ran into the interesting scene pictured above. I have no idea what caused it but I know that with the warmer weather coming out, the critters are starting to make their presence known. I have no idea how the petals got placed in a circle either!

Thursday as I was driving home and I had to stop at a cross walk to let a pair of mallard ducks pass by. I took this next picture 3 years ago and pretty sure the female duck I saw on Thursday was either the same one or her offspring, how cool is that?

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Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Alleviate Boredom

I have too many hobbies.

It’s not a complaint but sometimes I get overwhelmed when I get bored. I could read a book because I have tons, I can work on a crochet project, I can work on a knit project, oh how about paint a picture. When I am bored, instead of doing ANY of my projects I have set up, I end up watching TV and laying on the couch. Not cool I know! I wish I could schedule projects but I’m very much a project based on my current needs and creativity. I know I mentioned working on my needs vs wants with regards to working out and being productive. Maybe this is another place to work on that…

In all reality, hobbies are usually based around the freaking TV for me. Am I in the middle of a TV show on Netflix that I need to focus on, well no project today. Is the TV show I’m watching this week something I can kind of tune out, cool I can knit, crochet or play a video game. I can’t find anything to watch, NOTHING, I guess I will read. Then I read and end up blinking up at the bright lights in my living room and noticing it’s 3am. That’s not really healthier either.

Do you have a lot of hobbies that you struggle to find time for or have a hard time deciding what projects to work on?

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

*Spoilers* First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

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  • Genre : Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy – Romance – Chick Lit
  • Date Started :  March 9, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description on the author’s website.

Charley can see dead people and has been able to since birth. Yes, that’s right, she remembers this because she can remember being born. Not like you and I know we were born because we have pictures or video and we are alive, but she can remember the doctors cutting her cord. Life is different for Charley and she is not your average human. She also happens to be a grim reaper, THE grim reaper, and the dead come to her because she is bright. Charley is also a Private Investigator and a consultant for the local police force.The dead come to her for help crossing over and if solving a murder helps get her father and uncle a promotion, why not right?

I enjoyed the story, the evolving case and how it wrapped everything up. I was not expecting that the case the police, Charley and Garrett were working on would intertwine and evolve into the big case it became. I liked that through her own abilities and her uncle believing her, they could work together and solve the case. In the forefront you have the cases they work and the dead clients that Charley helps, then in the background you have a much larger issue. The larger issue, a war between Heaven and Hell that the author barely touched on, that is bubbling to the surface.

Charley’s interactions with her dead clients are hilarious and great. It was interesting and kind of cool to see how they helped with her cases. Although I was surprised that the dead were not in denial about being dead for longer. I mean with the exception of the one ghost who would not leave his body, but even he got over it pretty quickly. Her interactions with real people on the other hand are a little less friendly, except with Cookie and her daughter. Charley’s reactions to people are totally understandable though since they tend to look at her weird or funny because of the rumors about her. I mean, look at how Garrett and Tate treated her. Garrett stopped being friendly toward her and Tate verbally attacked her. I do think her reactions are a tad extreme but I guess after the dozenth time of the same reactions, you get short with people. The woman has created some sweet sarcasm retorts though to cover up her insecurities. Her sarcasm spoke to me, probably because I’m pretty sarcastic too but it had me laughing out loud with how outrageous she is. It makes me want to get to know Charley even more and pick at her brain!

Now for the good part, her love interests. Obviously Reyes is the main love interest here, but I think this might either turn into the “can’t have them” sort of relationship or they recklessly love one another while Heaven and Hell battle it out and they live with death at their heels. I like their intense, sort of relationship, where they don’t really know each other all that well but are extremely lustful. I mean he’s like smoke most of the time and in a coma, so it’s not like they’ve had the opportunity to get to know one another. Yep, that sounds as weird as it does while reading the book but this book is filled with odd paranormal activity, so just go with it. Then we have Garrett. Charley thinks he is hot but it doesn’t seem like she is into him at all, maybe if he was not such an asshole, her words. Jones drops a few giant hints that Garrett is into Charley, flirting, getting jealous and worrying about her safety. I’m not a fan of either love interest yet but I look forward to learning more about each of them.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and was not expecting so much humor. First grave on the right is a witty, paranormal, chick lit novel with some heavier undertones. If you like slightly raunchy humor, over-confident females (pretty sure this is just covering her insecurities), witty banter and mysteries, you will like this book. My only real irritation with this book is that there are so many attempts at jokes. I found some of them hilarious but it almost felt like Jones was trying too hard to make you laugh. I gave this book a 3.5 stars because it was a great read but book 1 is just not purchase worthy for me.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3.5 Stars

Can this week be over yet?

I’m so happy today is Friday and I don’t even care that it is Friday the 13th.

Lately I’ve been tired all the time. My sleep is sporadic throughout the night and when I do sleep, I dream vivid dreams and then wake up late. This week I had a dream about going into work in the most inappropriate outfit, it was…horrible. Then the Benefits Admin announced to the whole company that they were taking away all of our Holidays, then she burst into tears and tells us we all need to go home for the day. Employees were pissed off and left and facilities didn’t lock down the building. I work in the front office so all of these customers were coming into the lobby, which had turned into a retail shop counter much like Les Schwab. I could not get any help because most of the building was empty and the people who were there didn’t want to help because they were mad at the company. I finally had to tell everyone that I could not help them and we were closing. That was a stressful dream. I had other dreams but I only remember snapshots of them.

I’m thinking that the dreams might be due to my 40 day Quit It challenge I’m doing on HabitRPG. Part of why I’ve been so tired is because I’ve been eating like crap. One thing I’ve noticed is, if I have a soda I’m usually eating something not healthy, like a pizza. I love pizza and can’t really eat it without drinking soda, it’s a mind thing. My friend once told me she only smokes when she drinks and I said that’s horrible, I kind of get it now. Way to be judgmental Tiffany! So ya, I’m on day 10 and have been soda free for all 10 days. It’s been interesting trying to pick out other drinks to have besides water. While I enjoy water, it gets boring real fast, but it has introduced me to new drinking experiences. I’ve also made healthier decisions when going out to fast food because well, soda just goes well with fatty, grease food. Yesterday I had my first carbonated drink in 9 days, I really needed it. It was not soda but a carbonated water.

I had a craptastic day yesterday, that’s why I needed it. Oh and this might be TMI, you have been forewarned. First I slept poorly and for some reason, the best sleep I get is either right before I have to wake up or right after hitting snooze. After finally getting up and ready, I was late to work.  Around noon I had a surprise visit yesterday from my monthly lady friend and didn’t realize until it was too late. Yeah it happens to the best of us but it is still embarrassing. It’s embarrassing because when I go on break, someone comes to watch the front desk for me. So I got up and BAM the stain on my computer chair was just staring me in the face. Oh gosh, this is awkward. Luckily my coverage is super awesome and was very understanding. I got her another chair and went to town trying to clean up the stain. I left to go home and change and ended up being late getting back into work because I was stopped by 2 freight trains. Ugh the day just kept getting better. Everything was going better until I left to go home for the day. Turns out someone tried to break into my car and the rubber/foam grip thingie, yes the technical term grip thingie, between my car frame and the door was all shredded. I didn’t notice it until I got in my car and my sweater got caught in the shredded piece and the whole rubber/foam grip thing pulled and fell off. Seriously one more thing to add to my shitty day. I put the piece back in place and start the car. Fuck I just wanted to go home. I start the car and wonder why I can clearly hear the engine start. Turns out I left the window open less than an inch. Oh ok, whatever. Then I look down at the passenger door and what do I find….BIRD SHIT. Yes a bird pooped in my car. I cleaned it off and got home as fast as I could. My day was definitely over, SO OVER.

I’m happy today is Friday because I’m ready for the weekend and ready for this week to be over. The bonus that made the week tolerable, I’m going to the Sounders game tomorrow. Crossing my fingers for a win and an awesome weekend.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

*Spoilers* Bound by Flames Review

Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

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  • Genre : Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy – Romance
  • Date Started :  February 22, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 5, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from Jeaniene Frost’s website.

This is the third book in the Night Prince series about Vlad aka Dracula from the Night Huntress universe. Bound by Flames was supposed to be the conclusion to Vlad and Leila’s story but it looks like there will be 1 more. So short description, Bound by Flames is about the final battle between Vlad and his most hated enemy, Szilagyi, but we get a surprise new enemy at the end. Also, Leila gets captured again, Vlad is betrayed, people and places are destroyed by fire and yes, the bad guy dies. I’m still struggling with my rating on this book, even after rating it I’m like, but maybe it should be this instead. A part of me enjoyed the dialog and the characters but the other part was so bored with the story, it’s hard to give it a rating.

This book starts off with Vlad and Leila attempting to find the traitor in his line. Someone has been giving information to his most hated enemy and we all know Vlad is the wrong man to cross. It’s sad to say this but I don’t remember much of what happened during this book, it’s not at all memorable. Normally a book like this and from this author should have taken a day or two to read, but I was so bored. The most enjoyable part in this book was probably the last quarter of it and the dialog, Frost writes some great dialog. I loved Vlad in the Cat and Bones series but for some reason, his and Leila’s story doesn’t interest me as much.

I’d like to think Leila is the reason I don’t like this series as much but I think it’s the relationship as a whole I don’t like and the villain. At least most villains have a good reason to want to kill the hero but Szilagyi’s is pretty lame. Even the new villain’s reason, Vlad not loving him as a son, is a lame excuse to cause thousands of years of trouble and trying to destroy the guy. Besides the villains, Leila seems boring to me, although she does have her moments. A big annoyance in this book was the internal dialog Leila had with herself. I get that growing up she had a crappy life and has low self-esteem but a vampire like Vlad isn’t going to love you the way he does if he doesn’t think you are worthy. It just grated on my nerves. Another thing, I’d rather be reading this story from Vlad’s point not Leila’s. One of the best parts in this book though was when Vlad revealed one of his deepest secrets to her…he started the Dracula story.

Overall, I was disappointed in this book but I have hope that Vlad and Leila’s relationship will continue to grow and evolve in the next book. I am interested to see what happens in the last book and how Frost ends this series.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2.5 Stars

Gender Reveal T-Shirt

My sister has been patiently waiting to see if she would have a boy or girl come July. For a while, she was not even sure she would be able to carry this baby to term because of the babies placement. Lots of problems at the beginning of this pregnancy. Well on February 23, she found out the baby had moved into a good position and had the doctor check the gender. Right after the doctor put her ultrasound in the thick envelope she provided, taped that sucker good so she would not be tempted to look, she drove straight to my house. I was then tasked with coming up with a way to reveal to my sister, her husband and my nephew what gender the unborn baby is. I racked my brain for fun ideas, everything from a cake, to a box with balloons, and to those color dissolvable powders but I only had a week to do it. With only a week to get this done and since they were combining this and my nephew’s b-day dinner at Red Robin, I decided to do a T-shirt for my nephew.

While the other ideas were good, I didn’t want to turn my nephew’s b-day celebration into focusing all on the new baby. Instead I decided to do something that would focus on HIM finding out if he was going to have a brother or sister. My first step was figuring out what sort of theme I wanted to do. My nephew loves superheros so I decide to do something with the saying “This superhero is getting a sidekick”. Since my sister’s family already knew they were pregnant I needed to figure out how to word it differently. Once I figured that out I needed to find someone to print my design and boy is that NOT cheap. I searched online for other options and found this website, A Splendid Assemblage and she shows you how to use freezer paper and fabric paint!

All I had to do was create the design I wanted, trace it onto the freezer paper (wax side down), use an exacto knife to cut out the part I wanted to be painted on the shirt and then Iron the freezer paper onto the shirt. It’s a super easy project to do! This was my first attempt at painting on a t-shirt!

Tracing

Preparing to trace

Cut out

Cut out and ready to use

Once I washed the black shirt I had and ironed on the above pieces of freezer paper, I dabbed the paint colors where I wanted. I chose to leave out the center parts on the letters because 1. the writing is really small it was not easy cutting out such small pieces and 2. I liked the way it looks with the center of the e,a,o and p’s left in. I followed the fabric paints instructions and the T-shirt turned out great! I wish I would have gotten a picture of my nephew when he opened his present but I only have the pictures below.

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Front

Back

Back

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

*Spoilers* Revenant Review

Revenant by Larissa Ione

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  • Genre : Romance – Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  March 2, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 3, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from Larissa’s website.

I absolutely love this series and liked the way Ione ended it, satisfying end and wrapped up. Revenant is the sixth and last book in the Lords of Deliverance series and eleventh and last book in the Demonica series. This book is about a fallen angel, Revenant who gets his entire world turned upside down when he learns that he has a twin brother, he really is an angel, not fallen and he gets his memories back. He struggles with this information, especially since he is pushed away by his twin and heaven doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him. Rev is in a tough place because he wants to be welcomed into heaven but he is stuck with the taint of Satan. He might be the 2nd most powerful thing in hell but he still has to partially follow Satan’s commands. Now that he knows who he really is, he struggles with the guilt of being the evil fallen angel he used to be. Then he meets Blasphemy and it becomes even more difficult to do what Satan wants.

I enjoyed both of the main characters in this book. Ione creates such fantastic characters, both the good guys and the bad guys. I stared this book thinking, how the hell is Ione going to get Rev out of the mess that is his life and then how is she going to keep Blasphemy alive. The odds were against them both! Both main characters don’t really have a place in the world.They are lost and torn between the worlds they live in, with no place they feel like they can belong. Both struggle with trust, which is understandable because the world has been a hard place for them.

There are so many good characters to talk about but I’ll stick with the two mains. So Rev, oh boy was his life and path filled with horribleness. His early life growing up and what he had to do was heart wrenching and painful to think about. I felt sad for Rev’s twin, Reaver in the last book but holy hell, Rev’s life was so much worse. I mean the poor guy was literally living in hell.  After all that we have learned in this series about Lucifer, Satan and hell, we know his life was horrific. I’m glad they did not get too graphic about his experiences growing up because we already know from previous books what it can be like. While I was reading, I felt like Rev and Reaver had a similar dynamic to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron and Styxx. Although I did not come into this book with the same amount of dislike I had for Styxx.

As for Blasphemy, I loved her but was sort of disappointed that she was not involved with more of the action. She seemed like a strong character. Even though she doesn’t know who she really is (because she’s been living as something else) she has standards and a moral code. Especially since her cover is of a slutty false angel and keeping up that appearance didn’t turn her evil or make her start acting like a fallen angel. I just wish she would have been involved with saving herself more. All the other females in this series seemed to take a more prominent role in the solution than Blas did and that was disappointing. I did like how Ione slowly revealed who Blas was throughout the story. It was interesting to read about what she was and to learn about the ritual her mother completed to hide what Blas really was from the angels who would kill her because who she came from.

As for bad guys. I forgot how much I hated Gethel and Satan, serious psychopaths. I feel like the solution to getting ride of the bad guys was sort of pulled out of left field because I didn’t remember much about the prophecies mentioned in this book or previous ones, but I liked what Ione came up with. Also, a certain Angel gets what is coming to him!

I truly love this series and enjoyed this book. Although I feel like this story was focused more on the whole picture/wrapping up the series than being focused on developing Rev and Blas’s relationship. I would have liked to see a deeper relationship developed but I think that would have crowded the book. Regardless of what it didn’t have, Revenant was a can’t put it down book for me, the humor, the story and the characters had me hooked and I’m giving it 5 stars. I can’t wait to read it again even though I have plenty of other books to read. Maybe I’m just missing the Demonica series now that I know it has an end.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars