Life Update Through Covid-19

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Hello Lovelies and Happy Friday Eve!! Well, it feels like forever since I’ve done some kind of life/personal update. I also know that I’ve been less active here with a few occasional blog post and reviews. Life has just been all over the place lately… in a good way. At least, it is now.

I was absolutely excited for 2020. I had plans to travel, books I was excited to read, book festivals I always look forward to going, birthday and anniversary plans, and so many more. But, you all know what happened. Covid-19 changed the way we live and pretty much everything that goes on. There’s some normalcy now, but I think this pandemic has forever changed the world and changed many of us. It definitely changed me…

This year has not been kind to me and it hasn’t always been the easiest. I’ve had some really awful days… days where I honestly did not even want to get up. It was really tough… I’m not going to lie. I fell into depression for a while and it was such a dark place to be. I lost interest in reading and things that made me happy. I just wanted to be left alone and for a while, I shut some people out. I guess heartbreak will do that to you. I never imagined going through a break-up the year I was planning for what would have been the 10th year anniversary with my ex. We were going to Greece, Italy, Spain and Paris. It was going to be romantic, epic, and unforgettable. But Covid-19 happened… other things happened or didn’t happen and at the end of it all… it was just time to let go. Did I try? Yes! I’m not the type of person who just leaves. I really tried to be understanding, patient, loyal, and I know I gave it my all. Even in the end… when it was hurting too much, I still stayed and I gave it a chance… up to the point I just couldn’t anymore and I let go… and we went our separate ways.

The next few days was unbearable. It was painful. It was excruciating. And I felt it all. I cried for days. I felt like I couldn’t stop crying and at some point I didn’t even know why I was crying anymore. I’d cry when I woke up. I’d cry myself to sleep. I’d cry in the shower. I’d cry while walking my dogs. I just cried… I also couldn’t eat or sleep much. I barely ate anything for two weeks. It was hell. I kept telling my famlove that I don’t know if I could get over this. I don’t know if I can move forward. How do I move forward?

A good piece of advice from my future sister in law really helped. She told me to cry it all out. To watch sad movies and listen to sad songs and just cry. My cousin also told me to keep riding the wave and let it all go. So, I guess that’s why I kept crying… and just feeling everything. It was really difficult and sometimes I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I just wanted it to stop… but I let it be and just felt it all.

Then one day… I fell asleep. When I woke up, I couldn’t cry anymore and I was HUNGRY. Like really HUNGRYYYY… LOL. I mean I love food!!! And to not eat or really eat for days… well that was quite bad. So the moment I knew I was hungry and wanted food… well that’s the moment I knew I would be okay. That I was okay. That my Someday came sooner than I expected… Actually, it was surprising considering I was heartbroken. I mean 9 1/2 years is a long time. A lot of memories and so much of our life was meshed together. But, after thinking about every good and bad and all the things in between, I think I was just so tired of trying all the time and when it was all over, I could finally breathe again and there was just this lightness. I can’t quite explain it and I know people have said that I need more time to heal. But, I think we’re all healing every single day in some way or another. I just decided and chose to be happy in every way possible because we only have this one life. I mean I still felt sad, but the sadness wasn’t wanting for things to go back. I didn’t want the relationship back anymore. And as much as I cared, I didn’t want to go back to him. Just sadness. Sadness that it never worked out. I’m not sad anymore though. That feeling went away over time… I’m more grateful… for the memories, for the experience, and for the love that was there. I would never wish anyone to suffer or be miserable. That’s not who I am… and I hope my ex, whatever he’s doing now that he is happy and if he’s not that he’ll get there someday. Cause we all deserve happiness.

Life gives us experiences and teaches us lessons. Lessons that make us appreciate what’s important to us. Lessons that gives us strength and hope. Lessons to keep us moving forward to a better today and tomorrow. I don’t regret the time I spent with my ex. In some ways, he helped me become this better version of myself so that someday I can be that way for someone else everyday. He showed me what I want and don’t want in life and in love. I learned so much about patience and understanding. I learned that I’m always going to care deeply even when it hurts cause that’s just who I am. I’m going to give as long as I can. I’m going to be kind, open, honest, and loving. I’m going to continue seeing and focusing on the good in people. I’m always going to care and love people unconditionally, wholeheartedly, and truly. And, I honestly really LOVE this version of ME. Even though I know that I still make mistakes, that I’m far from perfect, and that I get insecure and scared sometimes… this is ME. And even if I get hurt all over again being myself, I’m going to still be ME. Cause if people can’t love me at my worst, then they don’t deserve me at my best. And if I’m not being true to who I am flaws and all, then who am I really? If I harden my heart, push people away, build walls no one can tear down, and hide the real me… then I’m not living at all. And if there’s one thing I’m going to take away from this year… that’s to keep LIVING. There’s a difference between being alive and living. And I choose to LIVE and I’ll experience everything that comes with that — to smile, to cry, to laugh, to getting hurt, to fail sometimes, to being frustrated, to try new things, to facing my fears, and to fall in love. All of it… It’s chaos… absolute chaos, but that’s what makes life breathtakingly beautiful and utterly worth living.

Cause even though my heart broke into a million pieces this year… so many people and moments also helped put it back and make it whole. It made me stronger in all the ways that matter and I want to keep being better at loving myself. I honestly never felt happier, braver, and livelier. I never pictured myself doing some of the things I do now months ago and years ago. I’ve smiled and laughed more this year. I can’t even remember feeling this light and hopeful and just so darn happy. And I want to stay this way. To keep looking forward.  To being kind and honest. To being happy. To loving life. And to just LIVING.

Through all the wonderful moments I’ve spent with the people who’s come into my life now and those that have been my constants… just know that you have all affected me in ways that made my heart warm and full of love. And I’ll be forever thankful for that.

So what have I’ve been doing lately? Well, I’ve been hiking and walking a lot.  I still read…  every now and then, but sometimes I just get distracted by other things. I’ve been spending more time with family and friends. It’s funny how I barely saw them before Covid-19, but now I think I see my brother and his fiance almost every week. And since I work from home, I can bring my work and spend a few days with them which is really nice. I’ve also been dating and that has been quite interesting and fun. I’ve never really dated dated before or even used dating apps, so that was pretty scary at first. It’s definitely an experience… LOL. I also got into taking care of myself health wise. I’ve been working out more now and just trying to eat healthy and clean. BUT, I do eat! I love food and don’t deprive myself. If I want it, I’ll eat it. LOL. And yeah, that’s pretty much it. Just enjoying life, doing things that make me happy now, and living.

That went a little longer than I planned. I’ve been wanting to finish writing this for a while now and just never got to it cause I was busy… just LIVING… I do plan on doing more bookish post. More bookmail, book spotlights, and of course book reviews/blog tours. When that will happen, I can’t quite say. Maybe in a week or a month, but I’m still here lovelies and I’ll be back full force soon. Love you all!!!

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Thanks for reading! Hope you are all having a delightful day and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Stay safe, be kind, keep smiling, wear a mask, and happy reading!!!

Until next time! Take Care fellow swoonies!!

sincerelykjologo

Blog Tour Review – Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler

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Hello Lovelies and Happy Wednesday! Welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler hosted by TLC Book Tours.

This book was such a joy to read and absolutely warmed my heart. I love Christmas movies, but haven’t read too many Christmas themed books. After reading this delightful gem, well, I’m definitely going to add more on my TBR during the holiday season.

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From Karen Schaler, the writer of the Netflix phenomenon A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp comes this new heartwarming holiday romance. Mamma Mia meets The Bachelorette in Christmas Ever After…

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Publication: September 29, 2020

Publisher: Hawktale Publishing

Genre(s): Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Holiday, Romance

Format: Paperback, 396 Pages

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purchaselinks

Amazon | Bookshop.org

Barnes & Noble | Target | Walmart

 Apple Books

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While promoting her next novel, a Christmas love story, author Riley Reynolds is caught off guard when she’s asked during a live national television interview how she can write about romance when she still hasn’t found “the one” herself. Scrambling for an answer, she quickly answers that she has had great love in her past and that love inspired her novels. Little does she know that this one offhanded remark will turn her world upside down. Three of her ex-boyfriends see the interview, and each, believing she’s talking about him, shows up for her Christmas Camp book event at the Christmas Lake Lodge, determined to rewrite his happily-ever-after with her! Over the festive weekend, Riley’s old boyfriends compete to win her heart, pulling out all the stops while planning the most romantic Christmas dates on the planet. Despite herself, Riley starts falling for each guy- again-but for different reasons. As Riley revisits each relationship and discovers more about herself, she embraces the magic of Christmas and finally finds true love and her own Christmas ever after…

Bonus Content: Christmas Ever After includes delicious original Christmas recipes and fun holiday crafts and activities.

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A delightfully romantic, funny, and heartwarming story! 

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A delightful, fun, sweet, and utterly enthralling read that had me hooked from the start! This book made me smile and oh the feels… Really enjoyed this Christmas gem.

I love discovering new authors and falling in love with their writing and that’s exactly what happened here. Schaler’s storytelling is engaging and mesmeric. Christmas Ever After is such a wonderful story and I seriously cannot stop gushing about it. I love the premise of the story and the plot has everything that made me smile, laugh, swoon, and feel all the feels that I just wanted to cuddle someone forever! The characters are definitely intriguing and fun. Riley Reynolds is pretty much a grinch when it comes to Christmas so watching how she reacts and changed throughout the story was really interesting and enjoyable. Luke is totally swoonworthy in my opinion and I loved that he was really funny too. I also really enjoyed all the Christmassy parts from the decorations to the food and songs. This book is just a bundle of joy and laughter with the right dose of drama and romance that will have you turning the pages.

I absolutely loved reading Christmas Ever After and just can’t recommend it enough! It’s lighthearted, entertaining, romantic, funny, sweet, and such a wonderfully heartwarming book. Karen Schaler is an amazing storyteller and writer and I’m excited to read more from her.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and publisher for participating in a blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Instagram Features

Tuesday, September 29th: Instagram: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark

Wednesday, September 30th: Instagram: @theocbookgirl

Thursday, October 1st: Instagram: @my_book_journey_

Friday, October 2nd: Instagram: @falling4romance

Saturday, October 3rd: Instagram: @babygotbooks13

Sunday, October 4th: Instagram: @intentionallybookish

Monday, October 5th: Instagram: @readitandquip

Tuesday, October 6th: Instagram: @baytownbookie

December Instagram Features

Sunday, December 6th: Instagram: @melanatedreader

Monday, December 7th: Instagram: @thereadingchemist

Tuesday, December 8th: Instagram: @thebooksinmylapp

Wednesday, December 9th: Instagram: @nurse_bookie

Thursday, December 10th: Instagram: @inquisitivebookworm

Friday, December 11th: Instagram: @thephdivabooks

Saturday, December 12th: Instagram: @barkingaboutbooks

Sunday, December 13th: Instagram: @trissinalovesbooks

Monday, December 14th: Instagram: @reallyintothis

Tuesday, December 15th: Instagram: @createexploreread

Review Stops

Tuesday, September 29th: A Bookish Way of Life

Wednesday, September 30th: Into the Hall of Books

Thursday, October 1st: A Chick Who Reads

Friday, October 2nd: Kahakai Kitchen

Monday, October 5th: Instagram: @readinggirlreviews

Tuesday, October 6th: Instagram: @readwithmason

Wednesday, October 7th: Stranded in Chaos

Thursday, October 8th: Books, Cooks, and Looks

Friday, October 9th: View from the Birdhouse

Monday, October 12th: Tabi Thoughts

Tuesday, October 13th: Instagram: @shejustlovesbooks

Wednesday, October 14th: Sincerely Karen Jo

Thursday, October 15th: The Sketchy Reader

Friday, October 16th: What Is That Book About

Monday, October 19th: Literary Quicksand

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abouttheauthor

Karen Schaler APKaren Schaler is a three-time Emmy Award–winning storyteller, screenwriter, author, journalist, and national TV host. Karen has written original Christmas movies for Netflix, Hallmark, and Lifetime, including the Netflix sensation A Christmas Prince, Hallmark’s Christmas Camp, and four books, Christmas Ever After, Finding Christmas, Christmas Camp, and Christmas Camp Wedding, earning her the nickname “Christmas Karen” in the press. Karen has also created a real-life Christmas Camp experience for grown-ups, held around the world, where she carefully curates and hosts magical holiday activities from her movies and books and the show Christmas Karen: Behind the Story. For Karen’s novel Finding Christmas she also wrote the movie. Traveling to more than sixty-five countries, Karen is the creator and host of Travel Therapy TV. All of Karen’s stories are uplifting and filled with heart and hope.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Thank you for stopping by sweeties. I hope you have an amazing day and I hope you’re doing something fun! Have a wonderful week lovelies! Don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and happy reading!!!

Until next time! Take Care fellow swoonies!!

sincerelykjologo