I've got things to write about other than books! For the last few months, I've been in a stagnant routine of only posting monthly book clubs and gang, I don't know about you, but I am supremely bored with it. There was a time where I actually used to post blogs that were witty, interesting, and sometimes so epically off the rails that even I was concerned with my mental state (Side Note: still am but that's besides the point). I haven't written anything with real substance and meaning in so long and I'm a little sad. I just miss writing. So I've dusted off the keyboard and am putting my skills back to work again. Keep reading to see the fabulous disaster I've created.
First off, this edition is hot off the press from Spanish class. I know, I know. I should be studying or doing something to further my skills but I am so bored. I'm 100% certain that everyone currently sitting in this room is on autopilot but after a very long year, I think we all deserve it. Even if we do end up driving our teachers insane. There's a week left of school and I am coasting through it. And if you think I'm bad, my table mate is currently playing Wordle. If only they hadn't blocked Netflix on our computers. I'd totally be on a Criminal Minds or Grey's Anatomy watch-a-thon by now.
Hello, it's Wednesday. Back in Spanish where we're about to play a round (or five) of Quizlet Live for some vocab practice. Fun! I'd like to point out that the definitions (which our teacher wrote) have spelling and grammatical errors, so, um....take that as you will. For our finals next week, our writing assignment is to write to a class in Spain. They wrote letters to us but those got lost in the mail. So now, to save time, we get to type instead of write by hand. Luckily, I'm 95% done with it. Until tomorrow.
At this moment, I am supposed to be working on trigonometric functions in right triangles but at this point in the day, I am so exhausted. It is only by sheer force of will that I am not on my desk asleep right now. And there's still TWENTY MINUTES left in this class. I could try to do work but I'm definitely going to write this instead. I'll just have a long to-do list tonight but that's okay because your girl has so much stationary to burn through. Bring on the lists! For some reason, doing all my work at school is a foreign concept to me. I wait until the day is done and once I'm home, I sit at my desk, gather my thoughts (read: watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds on my iPad), and put my list of things together. It's a weird process but it works for me.
Anyway, that's school. I'm just trying to get through the next week. Onto more fun topics! First of all, I've had lots of good food/been to new places. Starbucks is obviously a forever favorite. I'm on an iced caramel macchiato binge with a chocolate croissant if it's breakfast time. I also add in a strawberry refresher every now and then because that's my summer drink. The Starbucks in Waukee was closed at the end of April so we got Dunkin' Donuts a few times. I shockingly didn't hate it. Kenzie and I also decided to try a new place during the closure. It's called Fredrick's and again, was another winner. I can't tell you exactly where it is but we took University Avenue all the way to Urbandale, I think. It was somewhere within that general vicinity. Or I could be entirely wrong. Which, let's be real here, is more likely. There's also this place called Hyper Energy Bar which is so good! My favorite drink is the pink power. Strawberry and watermelon is actually pretty good together. A classic favorite, Panera Bread, makes my list because there is a new mac and cheese sandwich that was absolutely created and handed down by God himself. That's been my go-to lunch since April. I feel like I also need to hype up the croissants and coffee. They are phenomenal! I finally tried boba tea while I was shopping this weekend and I don't know why I waited so long. Five stars across the board. Cinnaholic is relatively new but you need to try it if you're ever downtown. I did a taste test in a vlog so look up "Trying Fancy Cinnamon Rolls" on my YouTube Channel. It's also here under the "YouTube" tab. I have it from a good source that Cinnaholic will be catering my sister's grad party this weekend so pop in if you want some! Crumbl Cookies is another place to get your sugar fix. The flavors change weekly and sometimes they're fabulous and sometimes they're not. Make sure to check the menu before you order. For Mother's Day brunch, the whole fam ventured downtown to Americano. It wasn't heart-stoppingly delicious but they still deserve some love. I loved the brownies, the chocolate mousse, the eggs, the sausage, and the mashed potatoes. Mini side-note: While Wayne was getting food, Ashley poured salt into his water but he, like, didn't notice?! I was kinda bummed.
Moving on! It's storytime! For those who don't know, the van, which has a wheelchair ramp, is very old. Dinosaur old. Wuthering Heights old. The Queen of England old. It likes to break and just, not work in general a lot of the time. Last September, it died multiple times in one week. My dad got a new battery and everything was fine(-ish). Flashforward to prom. We drive to take pictures, drive to dinner, and drive to the actual dance. We have our fun but by 9:15, we're good to go. So we get in the car, Kenzie puts the key in the ignition and it..... doesn't start.
Welcome to day three of me trying to write this blog. Yesterday, I left you on a cliffhanger, so let's get back to it, shall we? A quick reminder of the current situation. It's prom night. Very cold and rainy. We are decked out to the nines in formal attire. The car is dead. Kenzie and I look at each other for awhile before deciding that we can do nothing else except make the call of shame to our dad. This is a new term I invented during this week's vlog and I'm sticking with it. He comes, tells us that, yes, it is dead. Fantastic! But then he just leaves to get his jumper cables without letting anyone know. We were so confused at first because none of us can see him anywhere and I happened to open Find My Friends which showed that he was halfway home. But that's my dad. Communication isn't always his forte. Then the weekend after, Alexis and I had ordered pizza. I ask if I can go too, thinking nothing of it because we had been in Iowa Falls all day at graduation parties and the van drove perfectly fine. The place we had ordered from was ten minutes away but not even five minutes in, the battery light comes on. I'm not kidding when I tell you that we watched everything shut off. The speedometer didn't work, the gas gauge went to empty, the radio shut off, nothing was functioning at all. Luckily, once we turned everything was downhill. So we somehow manage to turn and get into a bank parking lot. We make the call of shame for the second time in a week and sit there. Very hungry as well because, remember, we were on our way to get food. Dad gets there, jumps it, and then we start driving home. As soon as we get back into four lane traffic, that demonized battery light turns on. We end up having to leave it in a Casey's parking lot until my dad brought it home at like, 11:30 after replacing the van's battery with the one from his car. Monday comes around. I get to school without issue but then after school, the thing dies again as soon as I get in. The third call of shame has to be made and a battery switcheroo is made again. That afternoon, it gets fixed and now the battery works fine. Now, however, there is a plastic piece dragging on the bottom and my dad thinks the muffler needs to be replaced. Such a fun month May has been!
In reading news, I've been getting through a lot of books recently. This week, I've finished a book about Jack the Ripper and another that covered French history from the days of Julius Caesar to the 90s. Right now, I'm halfway through a Russian history book called The Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia. I'm very interested by everything I've read so far! At the end of June, I'll be filming a video with every book I've read so far in the year. Let's see if I can get through my entire TBR list (to be read list) before then.
I've got lots of other things to write about like my new favorite podcasts, TV shows, books (obviously), stores, and more. This summer's going to be a fun one and I'm planning a variety of different things across the board. I'm very excited for you to see it all! Hope you're all having a great day!
New month, new books! As I was picking, I didn't realize that most of this month's book follow a theme. Can you figure it out?
#1: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
You guys!!!!! This. Book. Was. Fantastic. A big chunk of the story takes place in a courtroom and throughout the whole thing, I was so sure that I knew what was happening/what had happened. I ended up being completely wrong. The early chapters lead up to the court drama and the last two or three chapters all take place post court ruling. The very last page twisted everything on its head. My mouth literally fell open as I read those lines. And then it was over! It ended with this major twist but I'm not mad about it. In fact, the way that the author structured the book all the way to that last chapter was so fabulous. You will not regret reading Where the Crawdads Sing!
#2: Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
I'm on a Colleen Hoover binge at the moment. I have four of her books already and I plan on trying to read all of them by the end of the year. Reminders of Him is my favorite so far. I actually almost cried so I had to remind myself that it was just a book and the characters aren't real. The book follows the main character, Kenna, as she adjusts to life post-prison. She's trying to reunite with her daughter but it's a challenge because the grandparents blame Kenna for their son's death. It's a whole rollercoaster of emotions and you need to read it because the whole plot is a masterpiece!
#3: Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn
I'm a history nerd, we know this. Recently, I wrapped up this biography about Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary Queen of Scots. I loved it! It was super detailed and so well told. Their story is intricate with so many layers that if you try to do your own research, it can get chaotic really fast. This book had all the information you could ever want to know and then some. There's even a few pages solely dedicated to full-color photos. I know you can look up all the things because this is a biography but it's a fantastic story that I feel is so much better in this form.
#4: The Tsarina’s Daughter by Ellen Alpstein
I also have a fascination with Russian royalty, Yes, Russia actually had a royal family for many centuries. From the 900s to 1613, Russia was ruled by many different people. Essentially, everyone just kept killing people and ending the ruling bloodline. The crown hopped around a lot. In 1613, Mikhail Romanov was crowned Tsar of all the Russians and this book takes place throughout the mid-1700s. Mikhail's great-granddaughter, Elizabeth is the second-born daughter of Tsar Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter the Great died and his wife, Catherine became the Tsarina. When Catherine died a decade later, the crown goes to Elizabeth's nephew Peter. Peter didn't last long and up next is Elizabeth's cousin, Anna. There's lots of drama and backstabbing, and love affairs and all kinds of things in between. Such a good story.
#5: The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis
We're closing out the month with a good old murder mystery! The first few chapters were slow but the middle makes up for that very well. All the characters are enjoyable which is a blessing because sometimes characters can fall short. There are a few that are annoying but none are entirely unlikable. There's lots of historical New York landmarks used throughout the novel and the descriptions are really vivid and beautiful. I did my own research after reading and was surprised at how accurate it was. The overall mystery is fun (outside of the whole murder thing) and it gave me Clue vibes. When the killer was revealed, I was satisfied, especially because there was lots of easter eggs when I went back through at the end.
See you in June!
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!