About Me, fun, Lila

Lila Does The “Anything But Books” Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I figured, since it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts with fun fun facts about me, I’d jump on this tag! Now, I must warn you…what you are about to read is very, very nerdy. You have been warned! Now let’s get this show on the road!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

Uh oh, it’s already confession time…My confession is that sadly, I’ve never really liked cartoons, save for Disney movies, which I’m not sure if those count? If they do, then my favorite Disney movies are Mulan and Pocahontas.

2. What is your favorite song right now.

I’ve had “Human Touch” by Betty Who on repeat for the past few weeks and, miraculously, I’m still not sick of it!

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I could spend ages just singing, making art, learning new skills, and/or socializing!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Something that everyone (even my irl friends) save for my mom seems surprised by is that I enjoy listening to hip hop and rap, especially from 90s artists like Tupac, Arrested Development, and Digable Planets. I think this surprises people because I’m an opera and jazz/blues singer, so people think I only like classical music. But, no. I like all music, even rap!

5. What is something unnecessarily specific you like to learn about?

Anything science related! I love any and every branch of science and I love learning new science stuff! I can’t help it–I’m a nerd!

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know how to do the lab parts of a basic paternity test, as well as how to analyze the raw data results of the test. Ya know, swab, centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, analyze gel? We did a live lab on how to do it in my IB Biology class in high school…

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year?

My long term project that I began in about February of this year is my journal. It’s a work in progress, but I’m really proud of how it’s coming along so far.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Myself? Hah! I kid…sort of. I am working on being a bit more organized and put together.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

I often think about the physics of how the universe began and about uniting quantum mechanics and relativity.

10. Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

I love the feeling of singing a really heartfelt song–and, for me, there is a very specific physical feeling when I do this. I’ll sing a really emotionally pure sequence and I feel something in my chest, right above my stomach, pang and leap, like my heart is flying. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I know for sure the people who are musicians and who consider music more than a hobby can relate to what I’m talking about.

So Those Are All The Quirky Facts About Me That You’re Getting Today! Thanks For Sticking Around! And Tell Me An Oddly Specific Favorite Thing Of Yours In The Comments! SMuch Love And TTYL! 💗

 

fun

Month In Review + Obsession Confessions | September 2016

So you can pretty much equate a quiet blog with a hectic life. At least, in my case you can. Cause honestly, that’s pretty much the short summary of my September: quiet blog, hectic life. I spent the majority of my days adjusting to being in school and doing homework. I tried to squeeze reading, eating, and sleeping into what time I hard left, which, unfortunately, left me with little time for blogging. So I kind of vanished. I’m still running around like a crazed, debt-riddled, twenty-something college student though, and life doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon so my content will probably be a little sparse for a bit longer….

The Reading Review

Books Read + Mini Reviews

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen | 5/5 Stars

I seriously enjoyed this book and its soooooo ironic because I was so resistant to reading this book due to the fact that it involved trolls and I just thought that wouldn’t be interesting. Boy was I wrong! Stolen Songbird is fast paced, action packed, and full of swoonworthy romance! I highly recommend picking it up!

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir | 5/5 Stars
This book sold me on the Ember series because is was just amazing!!! A Torch Against The Night definitely stole the spot of “favorite book of September 2016” because…wow. I’m still reeling. I can’t say much more because this book is a sequel but just know that it’s so incredible!

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron | 4/5 Stars
I was pleasantly surprised with this book I went in not expecting much since there wasn’t much buzz surrounding the book and came out pretty pleased. I was intrigued by the mystery The Forgetting presented and was enraptured by the plot. The one thing I’d say about this book is that the first 3/4 of the book is kinda slow, but it’s made up for by the action packed ending.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | DNF/ 1/5 Stars
This book and I did not get along. I went in expecting darkness, evil, and fights to the death. Sadly, there was none of those things. The characters weren’t just all nice, they were boring. The book was made worse by the fact that t had no plot whatsoever. I finally decided to set this book down after listening to 60% of it.

Book Haul

Book Bucket

Blogging Recap

Monthly Snapshots

for more, follow @thebookkeeper5 on Instagram!

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

  • Carolyn has one of the most important discussions on diversity that I’ve read and I highly suggest you read it

Obsession Confession

Book

So after my rousing endorsement in the Read + Mini Review section above, is anyone really surprised that I’d choose A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir as my bookish obsession of th month??? A Torch Against The Night was an absolutely phenomenal whirlwind of a ride! It is my honest opinion that the Ember series is one of the best YA fantasy series out there and A Torch Against The Night proves that! As this is coming ffrom the mouth of someone who wasn’t on board with the hype surrounding the first book, An Ember in the Ashes! But trust me when I say now that I see so much potential in this series!

Music


Whenever this song starts playing, I legit get a tingling in my toes that translates into, “Time to dance!” I love the way “Life Itself” mixes different sound and beats! In a way, it kinda reminds me of old school 90s rap mixed with a funky pop tune and semi-ethereal vocals. Definitely a great song to jam to!

Movies & TV

And thus we have come to my favorite movie/TV show/trailer of the month. This past month, the movie added to my “to watch” list was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (directed by Tim Burton and based on the popular YA series of the same title by Ransom Riggs). I have yet to actually see this movie, but I honestly can’t wait! After reading the book, I can’t wait to see what Burton brings to this story, especially as I think there  is no better person to bring this story to life! From the look of the trailer and from what I’ve heard from reviewers and audiences, the film does differ slightly from the book, but that’s only to be expected. Regardless, I can’t wait to see this sure to be kooky, crazy film myself!

Web/Blogs


This month I’d like to give Shannon at It Starts at Midnight a shout out for running an awesome blog! I love how Shannon infuses each and every one of her posts with her own unique brand of sass, snark, and sarcasm. Shannon’s reviews are always interesting and engaging and her discussions are alway so insightful. I’m always excited to see a new post from Shannon on my timeline and I look up to her as a blogger so much! Definitely run over and check out her blog!

Quote of the Month

fun, On A Personal Note

Tag Time! The Get To Know Me Tag

Heya! Look at me doing a tag I wasn’t tagged for yet again (surprise)! Anyhow, that’s not important. What’s important is fun! And this tag was. Fun, that is. But also I’ve always been shy about putting information out there, so this was kinda nerve wracking. But it was fun in the end! I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better!

Vital Stats

Name: Lila

Nicknames: Lil, Bean, Bug

Birthday: November 28

Star Sign: Sagittarius

Occupation: College student (biology major)

Appearance

Hair Color: Dark brown

Hair Length: When it’s curly it’s to my waist, when it’s straight it’s past my butt!

Eye Color: Dark brown

Best Feature: My smile

Piercings: None. I tried getting my ears pierced twice and both times they got infected, regardless of the metal used, so I stopped trying 😦

Tattoos: Hopefully soon!

Right or Left: Righty!

Firsts

Best Friend: A girl named Ryan-Marie when I was in first grade!

Award: I won multiple karate competitions when I was just a kid, so I guess it’s probably one of those trophies!

Sport: Basketball! I loved basketball as a kid, but stopped playing as I grew up (*queue sadness*).

Real Holiday: Christmas! Although it you’re talking about vacations, my first was probably a camping trip or some place in California, which is where I was born.

Concert: Santana when I was 3! Although I’m sure I attended street concerts and festivals before that as I’m from a musical family (my dad was a professional musician), but my first real concert was Santana.

Favorites

Film: Probably a three way tie between Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

TV Show: The 100 (I’m such a fangirl for this show)

Color: Fuschia

Song: I can’t choose–it changes all the time! But one of my constant favorites is Renee Fleming’s rendition of “Chi Bel Sogno Di Doretta”!

Restaurant: I have celiac disease, so I can’t really go out to eat much but I found an entirely gluten free restaurant/cafe 45 minutes from my house and it’s my obsession!

Shop: Barnes & Noble? (God, I’m such a nerd)

Books: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!

Currently

Feeling: Happy, I guess?

Single or Taken: Taken

Eating: Chicken

Thinking About: Doing this tag (I have laser focus when it comes to trivial matters but can’t focus on anything important, haha!)

Watching: Nothing atm, but I’m going to watch Daredevil or The Flash sometime today or tonight (*happy dances*)!

Wearing: A cream colored blouse, olive green khaki shorts, and sandals

Future

Want Children: Lots!

Want To Be Married: Definitely!

Careers In Mind: Clinical geneticist, genetic engineer, physicist, pathologist, forensic anthropologist, forensic chemist, researcher, secondary school teacher, any computer science career, or singer!

Where You Want To Live: My hometown, which is literally 15 minutes from a major city in the U.S. But I hope to always be traveling around the world and just call my hometown a home base!

Do You Believe In…

God: Yes

Miracles: Yes

Love At First Sight: I don’t know…Maybe? Kind of?

Ghosts: Not the scary kind, but I do believe the spirits of our loved ones never truly leave us.

Aliens: As a scientists, there’s no way I can’t! It’s impossible and arrogant to think we’re a unique occurrence in the universe

Soul Mates: Absolutely!

Heaven: Most definitely

Hell: No, I don’t think God would allow something so cruel, I think s/he knows that the most evil people are the most broken, and need the most love and care.

Kissing On A First Date: If you’re feelin’ it, I guess.

Yourself: I’m learning to.

fun, On A Personal Note

The Mental Illness Tag (Mental Health Awareness Month)

I saw this tag done on You’re Not Alone In This World and the blogger tagged everyone with a mental illness. If you didn’t know May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I figured this tag would be a great way to kick it off. I will also be guest posting in Amber’s @ BookStacksAmber series of guest posts on mental illness. Okay, so let’s jump right into it!

1. What mental illness do you have? 

I have dysthymia (a form of depression in which you feel no pleasure at/for anything. it is different from major depression, but harder to treat and more “treatment resistant” than major depression), generalized anxiety disorder (performance anxiety), and severe ADD/ADHD.

2. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD when I was 7. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was about 16.

3. Who knows about it? 

I actually try not to hide my mental illnesses. My parents, friends, school administrators, and teachers know about it because they have to, but if it comes up in conversation or someone asks about it, I’m not shy to share. I find that sharing is relieving to me and it helps others know they’re not alone.

4. Do you receive treatment for it?

I see a therapist and a neurologist and I take many medications to help me.

5. Has your mental illness stopped you from doing anything? 

Oh god, YES! The biggest thing it’s affected me in is school in that I have extreme academic related performance anxiety. This has lead me to not study for tests, skip classes, and have to skip tests (and retake them later). The anxiety and depression have worked in tandem to make me skip classes. My depression has gotten in the way of me going out with friends or even hanging out with them period. I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of life in my 20s due to mental illness.

6. Is there anything in particular that has helped you? 

Medication, medication, medication. The right medication does wonders!  My family is a big fan of “better living through chemistry,” as my mom calls it, and believes that with the right dose of the right medications things can get a lot better (and I, personally, have experienced this).

7. Can you describe what it feels like to have your mental illness?

Anxiety feels like…like hell. It feels like burning alive. You know what’s happening and yet you can do nothing to stop it and no one can save you. No matter how much you fight, you can’t do anything about it. But it’s also a quick death, there’s that sense of immediacy and urgency that fire brings with it.

Depression feels like drowning in a tank slowly filling with water. Instead of the quick death by fire that anxiety is, depression is slow. You flail, trying to swim, but your motions are encumbered by the wight of the water and limited by the walls of the tank. They say that death by drowning is the most painful. That is what depression is. In a gif, it feels like this:

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ADD/ADHD feels like I never have my mind together. It feels like there’s a hoard of bees buzzing around inside my mind, preventing me from thinking straight or organizing anything.

8. What is a common misconception about your mental health issue?

ANXIETY: That I can just think differently and get over it. That I’m faking it or exaggerating.

DEPRESSION: That I can just think differently and get over it. That I’m just being lazy.

ADD/ADHD: That it’s not real or a valid disability! That I can just get over it. That all people with ADHD/ADD are hyper. I’m a very calm person on the surface, but ADHD/ADD makes my mind a turbulent place.

9. What do you find the most difficult to deal with? 

Anxiety for me is the most difficult to deal with. It warps my reality and whispers terrifying things to me at night, telling they’re real until I believe it. Anxiety has stopped me from academia, my true love. It’s prevented me from achieving my goals at this moment because I’m too afraid to even move.

But more than that…The hardest thing is feeling like I’m less than. Less than normal, less than everyone else around me, less than who I used to be. When I was younger, I was so…vivid. I was young and free and talented and a promising student. Now…I feel worthless, like a nothing and a nobody. I’ve been reduced to a shadow of myself, less than human. I feel like mental illness stole my life.

10. Do you have anything else you’d like to say? 

Two things:

Number One: Please stop demonizing the use of medication to treat mental illness. Stop calling us addicts. Stop telling us we need to learn how to handle it on our own. You would never deny a diabetic insulin. You would never  deny an AIDs patient their medication. You would never deny your own sick child antibiotics. Our medication is just like all other medications treating any other life threatening illness–and these are life threatening illnesses we’re talking about here.

Number Two: There is hope, even in the darkest of places. I believe that everyone has a fire within them, that burns no matter what. Sometimes it is  a raging fire, sometimes it is only an ember, but it never goes away. That’s you. Who you truly are. Never give up on it, because it’s so worthwhile and beautfiul. One day you will burn as gloriously as the sun, a beacon for all to see. Have hope, be strong, and be brave. I have faith in you.

 

fun, On A Personal Note

I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Almost 22! Here’s My List Of Cool Things To Do-oo!!!

*Turns music up loud enough to have the neighbors complain.*

“I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU! BUT I’M ALMOST 22! GOT SOME GOALS AND WISHES AND HOPES AND GOTTA LOT OF THINGS TO DOOOOO!!!!” (okay, so I know those aren’t the actual lyrics but I improvised to fit my life)

So my birthdays coming up fast. Okay, fine. So it’s in November, but it seems like it’s rushing toward me. Anyways, I saw this post Cait did on Paper Fury about her list of 22 things to do before she turned 22 and I thought it was a brilliant idea and that I’d love to take that challenge!

My 21st year has been a year of a lot of change, a lot of it the result of turmoil that I had no control over. I don’t want to remember this year for that. I want to remember this year for the good change that I created. I want to remember this year for the positive things I learned and loved. But to make that happen, I have to actively choose to create change. I guess this list is kind of a list of goals for how I plan on doing that. Some of these goals are reading related, some are blog related, some are life related, but all of them are things that I think will help me improve myself. So let’s dive into the list!

1. Learn HTML and CSS

This is actually something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, since I was in high school, waaaaay before I started a blog. I’ve always thought I’d like computer science. It’s kind of where art and science really meet in my mind and art and science are the two major things I love. Now that I run several blogs I have an even better excuse to learn coding as I’ll eventually need it for design purposes. There are tons of excellent and free online courses from top tier universities on coding too, so I’m in luck!

2. Create A Great Blog Design

This kind of goes hand in hand with #1, but I want to make my blog a beautiful place for myself and others to come. I love graphic design, it feeds my artistic side and continuing to make my blog feel like a beautiful sanctuary is kind of a passion project for me.

3. Read At Least 86 Books

This is one of my “simpler” challenges. I just want to read as many books as I did last year, if not more. I’m already ahead of schedule, so so far so good with this goal!

4. Start Singing Again

Singing is a part of my soul, a part of who I am at the deepest level. When I fell into my depression and anxiety, I stopped singing. I haven’t truly sung and sung out for about a year and a half. And that makes me so sad. It’s like half of my heart has died. So we’re bringin’ out the defibrillator to start that part of my heart up again! I’m going to start singing again, even if it’s just in small ways, in the shower, in the car, whatever. This goal is nonnegotiable.

5. Take Morning Walks

Where I live, there are gorgeous mornings in spring and summer. The sunrise paints the clouds shades of peach and rose, the crickets and birds sing, and fresh air hums through the trees. I miss that feeling of being out in nature, feeling free, and just appreciating how beautiful life is. So to remedy that, I’d like to take a morning walk at least once a week.

6. Polish Up My Photography Skills

It’s ironic that I’m really good at photo editing and graphic making because I’m absolute crap at photography. No, really. Something always feels…off in my photos. I’d like to get better at taking photos. I don’t have a fancy camera or anything and I definitely can’t afford to take a photography course, but I can practice on my own and hopefully (fingers AND toes crossed) improve.

7. Calm My Anxiety Enough To Read

One of the reasons I listen to audiobooks is that I get really anxious when reading actual books. I have no idea why, there’s obviously no reason to be scared, I’ve (quite literally) read hundreds of books in my 21 years. Nevertheless, when I pick up a book, my heart seizes, my stomach churns, my mind whirls into a tizzy, and the words swims before my eyes. It’s so bad that it impairs me from pleasure reading as well as reading ARCs. Which is a big problem, as I’m a reviewer. And it needs to stop. I’m not going to let my fear take another thing I love away from me. This is ridiculous! Enough is enough; I’m putting my foot down. I’m going to read in peace again.

8. Go Out Dancing With Friends

I’m 21 and I’ve never been clubbing. It’s a tragedy. I don’t drink, but I love good music and dancing. Unfortunately, I went to a very serious university (:P guess who was the odd one out…) and could never find anyone to go out with because everyone was always studying. Now that I’m back home, I want to go out and go dancing with some of my really close friends!

9. Finally Get That Tattoo

I’ve wanted a specific tattoo since I was about 16. My mom has always been cool about it, even when I was a teen, she just cautioned me to be sure about it because I can’t take it back once it’s done (gee, is that a metaphor, Mom?). And I’m sure. I know what I want and how much it means to me. I’m scared of the pain, but I think it will be worth it in the end. Now, this goal kinda depends on money, so it might not happen, but I want to try and make it work out.

10. Go To Some Summer Festivals And Events

I live 15 minutes from a major city in the US, so there are always events and festivals going on in the summer. But I almost never go. Sigh. I’ve become an anxious homebody, and that’s not who I really am at heart, at heart I’m an extrovert! I need to take the opportunity to appreciate what my city has to offer. And I will, starting this summer.

11. Feel Pretty Again

I feel like my depression has just sucked the life out of me. I used to be pretty and smart and confident and now I’m…I don’t know. I haven’t felt pretty in a long time, haven’t felt like I’ve had the right to be pretty or feel pretty. I stopped taking care of myself, stopped doing my hair and makeup and wearing pretty dresses that made me feel beautiful. That ends now. I am beautiful and I do have the right to feel that way. This has gone on long enough. It’s time to start taking care of myself again. It’s time to feel beautiful again.

12. Connect With My Friends Again

Another thing my depression and anxiety stole from me is my friends. I just kind of withdrew and curled up and stopped interacting. And it’s time to stop that. I’m ready to have friends again, ready to not be alone (honesty, when was I not ready?).

13. Improve My Reviewing Skills And Find My Voice

My reviewing skills have come a long way, but they also still have a long way to go. I still feel like I have yet to find my voice as a reviewer. I want to make my reviews more me, more infused with my unique personality. This will mean a lot of experimenting, so y’all will have to bear with me through it all, but I promise you it’ll be worth it in the end!

14. Put My Ideas On The Page

Remember when I said I wouldn’t write a novel unless some idea struck me? Well an idea struck me (straight in the bulls-eye)! And I really want to get it down on the page. Its kinda been in the incubation stage for a while now and I think it’s time to start turning it into a reality. My goal is not perfection (something I have to remind myself of frequently) or to get published, just to get this story out of me. Maybe I’ll end up sharing it on Wattpad or something. Who knows? It’s an adventure so we’ll have to see where it takes us!

15. Tap Into My Adventurous Side Again

As a kid and teen, I was such an adventurer. It’s been harder to be a physical adventurer with an illness that causes chronic fatigue, though. And that’s been getting me down. But there are many ways to adventure aside from actual physical adventuring and I think it’s time to bring out the good ol’ pirate ship and set sail again. Who knows what treasure awaits?

16. Spruce Up My Room

Confession: my room is a cluttered mess of junk. I barely have room for my bed. I feel like I don’t have a space of my own and that’s really not good. So I’m going to spruce my room up! It could be cleaning or rearranging things or just something to make the space feel like a sanctuary again. I think I need that.

17. Start A Collage Journal

I LOVE collaging! It’s one of my absolute favorite art forms. And I think a collage journal would be so cool! I’ve never really kept a journal because I never know what to write, but I know I could find some prompts online to get me started–oh! I could even share some with you guys! What fun!

18. Do Something Really Super Special For My Mom

I’m really close with my mom. She’s my best friend and she works really hard to help me and take care of me. And all while she’s completing her doctorate in psychology (her patients also adore her)! I’m so proud of her and happy to call her my mom and I just feel like she deserves something really extra special. Maybe a play or a concert or a comedy show or something? I want to give her an experience, versus just a thing. I want her to have something she’ll always remember!

19. Make Good Art

I’ve always been an artist and musician at heart. But when I got depressed, I just…stopped. Gave up. Threw the towel in. But I want to start again. Whether it’s digital or physical, vocal or visual, I want to make art! (As is indicated by many of the items on this list)

20. Start Getting Over My Perfectionism

My anxiety stems from my perfectionism. I have to be perfect at everything. On the first try. At least, that’s what I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking. And it’s wreaked havoc on my mind, torn apart my soul. I think overcoming my anxiety begins with overcoming my perfectionism. I know I can’t just snap and get over it, but I want to take small steps to overcome it. And that ties in with making “good” art, art that’s just for me, that doesn’t have to be perfect.

21. Do Some Volunteer Work OR Do Nice Things For Random People

I love giving back, in any way, big or small. I also believe that performing acts of kindness do a lot to help you when you’re depressed. So I want to do something nice for someone.

22. To Start The Search For My Heart’s Passion

I feel like my anxiety has gotten me all twisted up. I used to know who I was and who I wanted to be, but now…now I’m not so sure. So that’s my final mission: To search for it. For what sings to my heart. For that special something. For what makes me come alive. And I’m not going to stop until I find it.

So that’s it. Those are the major things (and minor things) I want to accomplish before my birthday comes around. I think this will be good for me. A journey of self discovery. Let’s hope I can stick to the list, though (remember: I do have terrible ADD/ADHD, so sticking to a list will be an accomplishment in and of itself). I think I can do it. You know what? No. I know I can do it. And I will.

Thank you again to the wonderful Cait for this lovely post idea (and life idea)! I hope y’all enjoyed it (and don’t forget to hold me accountable for it)! I’ll see you on the other side!

Over And Out!

Lila