Saturday, September 30, 2017

My 5 Favorite Books

To ask a bookworm to name her favorite book is often going to end with both of you frustrated. Sure I have rereadable books, but my favorites are always changing as I read new books. However, I shall try to oblige with my 5 favorite right now. Don't be surprised if this topic gets revisited in the future as my favorite books change.

1) I want to start with fiction today and it's not really one book, but a series that I really like. Indebted By: Pepper Winters I'm not really into books where love comes easy. I like to cry with my characters. I'm not going to delve into what these books are about except that there is an age old debt between two families that ends in death. I'm on book 6 right now so I don't even know if it ends happy yet. I'm afraid to finish the books for fear that it doesn't have a happy ending. I have to have a happy ending. Pepper does an amazing job of adding playlists to the back of her books and I've taken the liberty of creating a Spotify playlist named "Indebted" for anyone that wants to easily listen to all the songs in one place.

2) Next is my Tarot book Learning The Tarot By: Joan Bunning. While I have a knack for reading the cards on a whole the individual meanings of the cards still allude me. So, I like to keep this book on my nightstand. I do readings for people and am pretty accurate. I haven't charged for the service yet because I need the book too much. 

3) While on the topic of spiritual woowoo... The Goddess is in the Details By: Deborah Blake is another book I'm digging right now. Yep, I'm Pagan (don't know if I mentioned that before) but this book shows that being Pagan is not about locking yourself up in your witchy room and lighting candles once or twice a month. It's about how you live every single day that helps you be your best spiritual self.

4) And because I know most of my readers come here for money saving know how instead of fiction must reads or religious books that have nothing to do with their own beliefs (don't you hate that?) I've included Living The Savvy Life By: Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons I love that this book doesn't focus on constantly denying yourself the good life just to save a buck. Instead she inspires her readers to focus on spending in one area that's important to you (my blog?) and then it becomes easier to find ways to save in all the other areas and she is full of fabulous ideas.

5) My last book is another money saving book. City Chic By: Nina Willdorf Now, you don't have to live in the city to enjoy this book. In fact, I lived in the burbs when I bought it! But, the tips she gives in this book is a goldmine for those of you that literally need to shave all spending you can... and still live a good life! She covers everything from dumpster diving to grocery shopping. Good stuff in that book!

Friday, September 29, 2017

5 Things I Want To Learn

I have learned to do a lot of stuff I never thought I could do in my life. However, I always want to learn more so I've culled out 5 thing that I want to learn to do.
1) I want to learn Macramé I'm obsessed with all things Hippie and I feel like Macramé falls under that category. So, I want to learn how to do it. I did a small Macramé project where I made some necklaces with a 4 strand braid. I gave them away. But, I'd like to make something like a plant holder or curtain of some sort.

2) I've been knitting since I was 8... and crochet is part of the knitting process. Aside from the chain stitch I haven't learned anymore crochet and I'd love to learn to do it just to have a more rounded use for my HUGE yarn stash.

3) I tried Tie Dye once. My mother (lowercase m intended.) insisted that I let my younger sisters be included. The result was a waste of money and a bunch of t shirts that looked like they had been rolled around in mud. I'd like to give it another try, this time without children underfoot and see if I can make a better go of it.

4) I have a YouTube channel, and I want to make videos for it (right now I just share playlists that I like) but I have no clue how to edit videos for YouTube. I'd like to learn to do that.

5) This blog means the world to me and learning how to do stuff to make it better is important to me. What would make it even better is if I could learn to make money with my blog and have a little side income to at least keep the blog sustainable. Like, earn enough to self host and pay for I just can't seem to figure it out yet. But, I'm working on it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I Feel Like Myself When I Do These 4 Things:

I'm not promising you the world if you do these 4 things too, but I am saying you should try it and see if it helps you too.

1) A Hot shower just really helps me in so many ways. For one there is the mental cleansing that a hot shower gives you (come on, I can't be the only one) and for another it REALLY helps my creaky bones and joints. I know, I'm too young to be falling apart like this, but I'm chronically ill and the heat from a hot shower is a balm for sore muscles and achy joints. I feel so much better after a hot shower.

2) Hot tea... I promise, not everything on this list is hot. My current favorite tea is Chai/French Vanilla. So tasty, and it does for my insides what a hot shower does on the outside. Plus, tea is just relaxing. Every month when we go grocery shopping, I pick a new tea for me. Hubby just treats it like that cutesy thing I do and sometimes helps me find a yummy tea to add to my collection. 

3) Blogging, it's like journaling with a focus for me. I know, I know, this is a lifestyle blog... but, seriously, journaling is known to be good for you, I just focus mine on topics and do it online. If you aren't brave enough to journal to the world it's still a good idea to have a journal. I have several. I keep one for workouts (keeps me on point) and I keep one for book writing notes.

4) Keeping a Day planner. I don't care the format, as long as I have one and copy all my important appointments in it. That goes for my Hubby and Step-Son too. All the important stuff goes into my day planner. I keep a separate day planner for my blog too. It's not that I'm an over achiever by a long shot. I would lose my head without planners and I have in the past. I lost my insurance once because I kept missing doctor appointments. I don't want to go down that road again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Being Homeless: Part Two

When last we talked my Mom was saving my hide from my brother's then fiancé talking him into kicking me to the curb. I had a new place to stay for a whole year! Surely, that's not homeless, right? Well, that isn't the end of the story...

To start with, I only got the couch and the water closet to keep my clothes and other important things in. The closet constantly leaked and ruined clothing and textbooks (I was in college at the time) I ended up buying new clothes from the Goodwill, but I had to lie to my mom and tell her they were old clothes because she didn't want me buying clothes. My sister let me keep a few items in her closet for awhile, but sister relationships can get strained and my clothes were soon back in the water closet again.

In the mean time I was paying my mom well over $2,000.00 a month in rent and she constantly challenged me to find a better deal, but I couldn't because all my money was going to her. She finally let me have a month's worth back to buy a car with. So, many nights I ended up parking across the street and calling my Dad (In Florida) weeping over my circumstances. There was so way out as far as I could see and I was abused every day that I spent there. Accused of uncleanliness and being lazy. Every night I stayed up until the morning hours locked in the bathroom to do mounds of homework. I just did the best I could do.

Finally there was a break. One of my sister's was hanging out with a creep of a guy that would go into our younger sister's room and rifle through her dirty underthings. It disgusted me to know end and finally I had enough and went to choke the man for being pedophile. Only my sister jumped to protect him and I ended up grabbing her throat instead of his. Oops. She called our mother and I found myself homeless again.

Even though Mike and I had been together over a year at this point, he lived with his mom and there really wasn't a chance she would move her son's girlfriend in. So, he helped me find a Homeless shelter. It was in a horrible part of the city so I had to make sure I didn't hang out outside at all. Everyday I drove 2 hours to school for morning classes. Took a nap at Mike's house and then headed back to school for evening classes before making the 2 hour drive back to the shelter. Thankfully this only lasted 3 months.

I finally found an apartment near Mike (same zip code) and even though I didn't have any furnishings, I moved in. It didn't take me long to go dumpster diving for furniture to fill my home. I did buy my mattress set brand new, but I never bought a frame for it. I just set the mattresses on the floor and made up my bed on that. My Granny even had some old rugs and blankets for me to use in my apartment and my mother in law gave me some pots and pans to cook with. Most everything else was pilfered from dumpsters or bought thrift. I vowed never to be homeless again.

Now I am married to my love and we live with his Mom, the threat of homelessness looms if anything were to happen to her, but we have promised each other never to be homeless as long as we live.

Have you ever been homeless or worried about it?

Monday, September 25, 2017

15 Questions TAG!

Time to warm up a cup of tea and sit down to answer some questions about me! Again, feel free to TAG yourself and comment below with a link so I can come read your answers too.

Here are the 15 Questions to answer:

1. What do you think you can do but can't?

I think that I can get along with my family, but I just
can't. Most are too selfish to carry on a kind conversation with me. I've given up an made my own family along the way.

2. What's a difficult word for you to pronounce?

Drawer... I guess the Redneck roots come out and I just can't that one word. 

3. What is a favorite TV show from your childhood?

Wishbone so I'm a PBS nerd.

4. What are your virtues and vices?

I am faithful to my Hubby and kind to those in need of kindness. I am quitting weed, for my Hubby, so I guess that doesn't count as a vice anymore. I also quit smoking cigarettes 4 years ago... so. I guess I'm stubborn and I'm a bit lazy.

5. What's more important: love, fame, power, or money?


6. If you could live in any era/time period, when would it be and why?

I wanna be a real life Hippie!

7. If you had to redo your entire wardrobe with 2 stores, what would they be and why?

Goodwill and St. Vincant DePaul Both are great thrift stores in this area and I can have tons of nice barely used clothes to wear for a fraction of the cost if they were brand new.

8. Can you recall what you were doing a year ago on this day?


9. Do you have reoccurring dreams? If so, explain?

 End of the world dreams all the time. 

10. What's your horoscope?

You mean sign? Leo I don't follow the horoscopes from magazines and grocery store. I prefer making my own destiny.

11. What does your dream bedroom look like?

Bohemian and Hippie stuff all over the place.

12. What position do you sleep in?

On My Stomach 

13. Who is your favorite vampire of all time?

Romulous, a vampire of my own creation. I hope to write his story soon.

14. What are you currently wearing on your feet?

Nothing. My slippers wore out and I don't have the money to replace them yet.

15. Do you have neat handwriting? Show us! 
Yes I do, but I can't show here. I'll post it to Instagram I'm @dismalgrin on there.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

3 Movies That Make Me Cry Everytime

Everyone likes a movie with so many feels in it that it wells from your soul and pours out your eyes. Hubby didn't get it at first until I found a manlier version of a cry so good movie and he ended up agreeing that sometimes you have to cry to enjoy the ending that much more.
Beauty & The Beast, I was in love with the cartoon and the movie is sooooooo good! Emma Watson is the perfect Belle. I always thought either her or Anna Kendrick would make a good Belle, but Emma Watson clearly was the best choice.

This is a romantic comedy, you know what that means... lots of laughter, tears of delight, tears for the characters and tears of joy when all turns out alright. Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses in a lot of movies... too many to list here. She is a good singer too, but she doesn't sing in this movie.

Pride & Prejudice One of my favorite books turned into a movie. I always cry when Lizzie reads the letter from Mr. Darcy and again when the scene depicted above happens. Such a great movie!

What movies make you cry?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

3 Free Online Photo Editors

Recently I logged into and the unthinkable happened. They want me to pay to use it now. Don't get me wrong, I love picmonkey and I will probably end up paying the cost to use it in the future (when my wallet doesn't have 0 dollars in it) But, for now I wanted to share some back up ideas with you.

The above image was made with It works a lot like picmonkey. They have a paid version and a free version. I didn't play around too much with the features because there aren't as many as picmonkey. But it is a great site to quickly make a graphic with for a blog post... see what I just did there!

By the way, the original photo is actually a close up of a pillar at the St. Louis City Museum. It's a fabulous place to play for adults and kids of all ages. Everything is recycled and upcycled in the museum from other places in the city and they have craft stations where they show you how to do some eco art too. I'm just saying, if you are planning a trip near me, you should stop by there.

The above image was made using I didn't like that it took me forever to find the editing portion and when I got there I'd have to say that Microsoft Paint has hooked me up with better images than this does. But, in a pinch this is a handy site. Just don't expect high quality photos.

Finally, the above image was made using I love it! It's just like picmonkey in a lot of ways. I'd even say it's almost easier to use because it wasn't hard to find my picture on the computer after I edited. For anyone that refuses to pay picmonkey or buy Adobe software. In the foreseeable future I think that I'll be using befunky until I get the money together to buy picmonkey.

P.S. For those who need to use their phone to make graphics on the go. I highly recommend the Aviary app. This is great for if you blog from your phone or need personalized graphics for social media posting.

Another good app just for putting words on your graphics is Phonto. It has tons of fonts to make your graphics special.

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