Let It Snow!

1982994_original We’ve had our first snow! It was so exciting and it was so cold and gray and foggy. I loved it!

Has anyone else had their first snow yet? Did you enjoy it? Or am I just weird? Haha.

But you know, while I do enjoy the snow so much, I miss my sand and sunshine. I’m such a sunshine girl. I miss living in Florida! The heat is my home. Or maybe the ocean is. Both probably.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking to myself a lot lately about this blog. I was stressed for a minute even. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take The Lively Peony in. I mean knew that I wanted to talk about my life- but, my life is so boring sometimes! I mean, the most eventful thing that’s happened lately is I got in a car accident and bruised my shit pretty bad. But that just doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you’d blog about. I mean maybe though. 
But I realized this blog isn’t for me to stress about. It’s for me to have fun with. It’s for me to make friends, connections, and hopefully help some kindred spirit maybe going through the same things as me. You know- moving out, getting a job, finding yourself (maybe not in that order). 

Who knows, maybe one day this blog will gain some traction and maybe help pay some damn bills. (Kidding…. Kinda. Mostly. Definitely.)

P.S. I’m trying to finish Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and it’s so hard because I’m so bored with it. God’s of reading give me perseverance. Please and thank you.


Bless Their Heart // Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Mid-Book Review

BTR Mid Book Review I clutched Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard to my chest when I bought it at Barnes & Noble. I could tell by the cover that it was going to be a good read, I could feel it in my toes. The cover was so inviting– dramatic, a crown tilted upside down with blood dripping down it against a silver backdrop.  The words “The #1 New York Times Best Selling Novel” across the top of the book, and the dramatic  “Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood-” sprawled across the back. It was all enticing and I was going to devour it.

But boy was I wrong.

At ten pages, I put the book down for maybe a week. It took me 31 pages to get vaguely invested in the book, and it took even longer for me to want to keep turning the pages. I feel like I don’t really care what’s going to happen in the book- mainly because it feels so cliche and like I’ve read it before, only with another title and another author, and I’m only halfway through it. 

I’m not saying the book is horrible. The writing style is good. The way the world Mare’s in is portrayed well, and unlike in A Court of Thorns and Roses, I know where and when the book is freaking placed. Plus I like the character development and portrayal so far– something everyone knows I’m a stickler about. I kind of really do like the main character, Mare Barrow, even though she’s a bit two dimensional.

With that being said, the book drags on, and when it gets to the exciting parts there’s so much going on and so much imagery attempting to be portrayed that you kind of get lost in it all and have to reread it (which is a pain in the ass the third read around).

I’m halfway through and if I hadn’t paid $10.99 for the book, I probably would put it down and return at a later date when I was feeling less picky. Alas, I’m determined to get my money’s worth, and I’m hoping that my final review of the book will be like “BOY WAS I WRONG IN MY MID-BOOK REVIEW. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING.” but the way I’m feeling right now, I’m not entirely sure.

I’m starting to think I’m a harsh critic, y’all.


To Be Read (Most Likely)

TBRI’m horrible. I have about 84 Books on my TBR + Reviewed list, and I’ve made a dent in maybe one of them. (Can ten pages be counted as a dent? I’m counting it.). Some of the books I’m going to read aren’t my usual, but most of them are! So without further ado let’s get into it.

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (I know, I’ve been working on this book for forever now.)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Me & Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
  • Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
  • The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
  • Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
  • Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
  • The Black Key by Amy Ewing
  • Fifty Shades Darker E.L. James (I know. You don’t even have to say anything.)
  • Fifty Shades Freed E.L. James (I KNOW.)

Whew! That’s quite a list, I know. I love that I said it was like 84, but in reality, it was only 12. But in Book Speak, that’s like 84! I don’t know how people have more than 15-20 books on their TBR List. If that was the case with me, I’d fall over and probably be too intimidated to even pick up book.

I’m excited to dig into some of these and get to reviewing. I have some ideas for a new review thingy I want to start (hello mid-book reviews!), and I hope that you all like it too!

Moving Out // Why Can’t It Just Happen?!

1885423_original I originally decided to make The Lively Peony to document my life after moving back in with my mother, starting college, moving to a new state, and mental health. I feel like I haven’t really touched base on any of those subjects though. So I thought “Why not start now?!”

I’ve been living with my mother again for about two months, and while I’m more than thankful that she’s let me move back in with her (on conditions of course), it’s been a huge adjustment. It’s been adjusting to her rules again (I have a CURFEW), the way she likes her house- I swear it’s like you’ve stepped into a museum every time, and I’m not dirty by any means, but I like for my house to not be…eerily perfect. It just freaks me out. However, those are just a few of the things that we butt heads about, and there’s probably 90 more things I could write about.

There’s nothing like having the freedom of your own home. And I just don’t have that here.

I used to live on my own, but I got very sick and lost my job. When I lost it, I had trouble finding a new job and soon found myself in a financial bind where my choice was to move back in with my mother… Or to move back in with my mother.

Now with all that being said, can we talk about how hard it is to find a good job that can pay for a one bedroom apartment? The only way I see myself making this work is if I get a roommate. Which I so don’t want. I’ve had them before and some of the experiences were… Less than great to say the very least.

So far my plan is to find a better job, save up at least 3k (such a big number that it’s almost terrifying.), pay off my $400 in debt, and then move out of my mother’s and into my own place– with probably a roommate.

I hope that this time though, there isn’t as many problems with roommates as there was last time!

Mental Health & Seasons // Let’s Talk About It

1857090_originalBrrr, it’s getting so cold! I can barely take it. Yesterday I wore three different tops! It’s definitely tea and cuddle-under-a-blanket time.

Okay, the way I’m acting you’d think it was below zero, but I swear my tropical soul feels like it is.


How’s everyone doing lately? I feel like when I take longer than a day or two to make a blog post, I miss everything! I miss other people’s update, announcements, everything!

I’ll tell you how I’m doing, I’m doing pretty okayish. It’s no secret that I suffer from mental illness’, and that during these colder months I have to make sure I keep from getting into a slump and staying in bed all day.

This can be hard. Especially for people with Seasonal Depression, other seasonal mood disorders, or disorders in general. So I thought I’d come up with a fun and short list of things to help get folks in the mood to get up and get going!

  1. Music.
    • When you wake up, turn on some music. It helps gets your endorphins going and it makes you feel more like getting up. (I’m sure there’s a reason in every movie waking-up montage, there’s always an upbeat peppy song to go along with it!)
  2. Baking.
    • It helps! There’s nothing to beat a chill outside than getting on an apron, getting some flour and sugar out, and going to bake-town! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled myself out of a slump by making Peanut Butter Butterscotch cookies! (One day I’ll even share the recipe with you all!)
  3. Stretching.
    • It sounds crazy, but I swear by it. When I feel sluggish or when I feel that winter haze starting to envelop me, it helps for me to put on some music, close my eyes, and stretch.  If you want to take it a step further, you could do Yoga also. I heard it does wonders for mental health and physical health. It’s two in one!
  4. Journaling.
    • This one can be tricky. Journaling can be highly helpful, so long as you keep your journal entries from slumping into “everything is hopeless”. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional entry stating that things feel hard won’t make or break you. But it’s so easy to get stuck into a journal echo chamber where all you’re doing is yelling at yourself about how sad you are.– Journal about things that make you happy, thoughts that pass through your head randomly, your favorite movie.
  5. Talking to friends.
    • This one is so important. I can’t stress how important it is to talk. Talking helps immensely. Even if it feels like it doesn’t. And when I say talk, I don’t mean it has to be face-to-face either. It could be over the internet, via text, on the phone, anything. As long as you’re getting a connection there that’s what matters.

I’ve used all of these things time and time again to help me when I’m feeling blue. So I’m hoping they help others too.

Mental health can be such a taboo thing to talk about when in reality it’s… Reality. Reality is that people suffer from mental disorders and illness’. Reality is that it can affect anyone. Reality is that if it wasn’t such a taboo thing to talk about, then maybe it would be easier to treat and easier to help with.

Reality folks. It’s time we all get with it.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas // A Reviewish

1946115_originalI can’t rightfully give this book any stars because I haven’t finished the damned thing (yet).

As you all know I have a love/hate relationship with Mrs. Maas. I can’t figure out if it’s more love or more hate. It’s more something. I know that much.

I’ve been sitting, trying to read the last of this book. I’m in the home stretch. Only a hundred or so pages left- not that much when you think about it. But I’m finding myself puttering out of energy over here. I’m drinking cider, putting on cozy socks, isolating myself on a comfy place, bathing in the sun (am I a cat? Maybe.), I’ve done everything to make reading time A++. I couldn’t be better equipped to read if I tried.

Until I realized.

It’s not me.

It’s the book.

See, the books are good as long as you’re drinking them in one after another, reading until your eyes say “Please, no more. Let us REST.”. You know what I’m talking about. The reading addiction.

But once you put it down for a day or three (oops), it’s like you can’t get back into it when you pick it back up. Plus you’re kinda shaky on what the hell’s going on, wondering why she’s using the same sayings over and over, you don’t quite understand what a “vulgar gesture” is. Plus when and where the hell is this damn story placed. 

This happened to me while I was reading Throne of Glass too. I consumed it all at once, but somewhere I stopped and when I picked it back up my only thought was “Wtf is going on.”

I never did pick Throne of Glass back up though. Will that happen with A Court of Wings and Ruin? Maybe. Maybe not. But maybe. ONLY TIME WILL TELL, Y’ALL.

How was everyone’s Turkey Day (if you’re in the states)? How was everyone’s weekend? What did you get up to? Did you by chance have the same “I can’t read the rest of this”  moment that I did?

Tell me below!

Thanksgiving Musings

1942262_originalThis year my family is doing something different for Thanksgiving, and by “something different” I mean they didn’t celebrate it at all. Which is crazy. I don’t think that’s ever been done in my family.

I’m sure my great grandmother is turning in her grave right this second.  (She was big on holidays.)

This Thanksgiving not only did my mom work a 13-hour shift, but I too worked. In retail hell. I’m a retail associate for a high-end retail chain, and we were open all night into the next day (which I also worked. Hello, Black Friday.). I honestly thought the lord himself was going to come down and take my soul straight from my body. By the time I got home my feet felt like they were on fire, my back needed to be cracked and massaged, and don’t get me started on my legs.

The complaint’s aside though, I guess I’m not really that bummed about not celebrating the day. I mean aside from the food, I never did like the holiday. It’s a bloody holiday with a bloody history, and the small 1/8th Native American in me screams every time we ever gave thanks around a Turkey.

Matter of fact, I don’t see why my family can’t scrap Turkey Day altogether, and instead celebrate a different day, give thanks that day, and stuff ourselves that day. I mean, that’s the point, isn’t it? Giving thanks and being with friends and family while eating our body weight in dressing and yams? Who says it has to be on a day where hundreds of Native Americans were slaughtered?

I made this post political.