The Television Tag!

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Hello! Okay so I don’t normally talk about this on my blog, but I thought it would be fun to do something different. This tag was adapted to blogs by Sam @ Fictionally Sam and I was tagged by one of my favourite people, Kelly, over @ Struggling Bookaholic to participate in it! So thank you to both of them, you should definitely check out the content over on their blogs as well 🙂

1. Favorite shows?

Alright, I’m going to be super basic with this right off the bat and say that Friends is definitely up there. Watching it just feels like being rolled up in a blanket burrito in bed – comforting, warm, and really stupidly funny. Some other shows I love are How I Met Your Mother, Queer Eye, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Black Mirror, Nailed It, This is Us, and How to Get Away with Murder.

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2. Favorite genre?

I like sitcoms a lot! I really enjoy following a story-line and becoming attached to characters and how they develop as the seasons progress. I also really like drama – especially if it has a criminal or sci-fi theme to it.

3. Least favorite show?

I can’t even think of what my least favourite show is. If I’m not feeling something, I usually stop watching it before it has a chance to develop into something I hate. I kind of just allow myself to become indifferent to it, which is probably why I can’t think of any examples right now.

4. Most re-watched show/favorite show to binge watch?

Although I haven’t re-watched it the whole way through chronologically more than once, I like watching random episodes of Friends. My favourite shows to binge watch though are usually reality shows like Are You the One? or RuPaul’s Drag Race something where each season is its own separate thing that’s super light and entertaining where I don’t have to focus too much.

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5. Do you prefer watching things week-by-week or binge-watching?

Binge watching for sure because watching an episode week-by-week sometimes starts to feel like a chore and I stress myself out thinking about having to watch it in time for the following week. I would rather watch TV at my leisure

6. Favorite television characters?

Monica and Chandler from Friends; Barney from How I Met Your Mother; Annalise Keating from How to Get Away with Murder; Will from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

7. Favorite television ships?

Marshall and Lily from How I Met Your Mother; Jesse and Becky from Full House; Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World and others that I can’t say because I think they would be spoilers for people if they are currently/decided to watch those shows.

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8. Show you could never get into?

There was a lot of hype around this show at the time that I tried getting into it, but I could never get into Suits. I don’t even remember there being anything wrong with it, I just remember having very little interest in continuing after a few episodes so I never watched again.

9. Show you fell out of love with?

I wouldn’t say I fell out of love with it because if I picked it back up again, I know I would enjoy it, but my answer for this one is Nashville. At the time, I knew that some very serious plot moves were on the horizon that I didn’t want to see happen, so I stalled for as long as I could until I eventually stopped watching altogether (oops), but I would still recommend it as an awesome drama.

10. Cancelled too soon?

Thankfully I’ve never really had a problem with this because most of the shows I get into have been around for a while prior and have a foreseeable closure.

11. Guilty pleasure show?

Nailed It has been a guilty pleasure show for a while. It’s about amateur bakers trying to replicate really intricate desserts and it is hilarious!

chocolate chip cake GIF by Rachael Ray Show

12. What are you currently watching?

Right now I am watching Queer Eye, slowly making my way through Season 3 through a film of tears.

fab 5 netflix GIF by Queer Eye

I’m not going to tag anyone because I just wanted to do it for fun, but if you do want to participate feel free to ping back my post so I can check your answers out!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


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An Open Letter to Myself on my One Year Blogging Anniversary

Dear me,

You did it – you’ve been blogging for a whole year. I know that when you started this, it was because you love to read, and you wanted an outlet to share all of your thoughts about one of your favourite hobbies, but I also know that you probably didn’t anticipate lasting this long so I’m really proud of you. Although ‘this is one for the books’, it’s also become one for the life lessons, new friendships, and everything in between. This is a space where you can talk about whatever you want, and I like that you never shied away from that, even when it made you vulnerable and nervous to be so open.

In the past year especially, you have been growing into such a strong and beautiful person even though you don’t see that a lot of the time. Between you and me, I think the one year ago you who started this blog would be really proud of the person you are now, and if you could see yourself through her eyes, I bet your perception of yourself would be a lot different. Reading has helped you through so much, and I’m glad you could find a community of people like you to share that passion with. When you first started one year ago, I don’t think you understood how impactful your blog would be on your personal life. You have made some amazing friends, both online and off, and read some of the most eye-opening and life changing books this past year which have enriched your life in ways you may not even be fully aware of yet.

If your experiences last year are any indication of what’s to come, I’m excited to look back this time next year at all of the new adventures you went on because of all the great books waiting to be discovered by you right now in this very moment. I know that these days it’s become difficult to finish books as fast as you used to, and sometimes even to pick one up at all, but my wish for you is that in the next year, as you get to know yourself more deeply, that you get to read even more books that change your life for the better. Happy one year of blogging; I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things and books in store for you next.

Always & Forever,
Catherine

“One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”


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3 Favourite Quotes from 3 Favourite Books

There is something about revisiting an old favourite that feels like coming home – whether that be a memory, a food, a hobby, or book. Something I haven’t done in a while is revisit a favourite book, so in this post I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and dig up three of my favourite quotes (in no particular order) from a few books that are very close to my heart.

“…I can be myself around you, even if I don’t know who I am yet.”

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Ever since I read this a few months ago, I have not been able to stop thinking about that quote. It’s such a simple, innocent statement, yet it holds so much power. As a teenager, I really did think that I would have it all figured out by now – that I would be so sure and confident in my life, choices, and path that I was taking to accomplish all I set my mind to. The harsh reality check is that I could not be farther from that place, and the even harder pill to swallow is that that’s okay, because newsflash: you are always kind of going to be a work in progress. But the sliver lining is that through all the chaotic mess of question marks that is your life, there is a good chance that the stars will align just right in order to bring you people with which you feel you can be your true self around – regardless of if you even know who that is yet. And maybe you will never really know who you are just yet, because once you think you know, life throws another curve ball, but sometimes finding someone you can be the work-in-progress ‘you’ around while you try to make sense of it all is one of the luckiest, most magical things one could ever ask for.

“The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence, to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it.”

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Okay that probably isn’t even considered a quote, it’s more like a passage, and if you read it all, I’m impressed. Hopefully you came away from it thinking really hard about what it means, because I know I did. I feel like I say this a lot, but this book changed my life and searching through my copy for quotes made me want to read it again, ASAP. I will never forget New Years Eve in 2014 going into 2015, there was this wall that everyone was writing their wishes for the new year on, and all I wrote on the wall was, “to be happy.” “To be happy” – what a general, vague statement, that of course means different things to different people, but at the time (and even now), is really all I wanted out of life. When I think about it now, it’s silly that I wished for something I had in me all along, and that I knew that no matter what happened, I would always have somewhere. I didn’t need a new years wish to hope that my year or life would be happy, because it was and is, just as it’s miserable and seemingly unbearable too. What Siddartha is saying is that you need both – you need to experience both extremes in order to appreciate the full picture. As difficult as it is to see sometimes, Siddartha is right when he says that everything that exists is good, because everything that exists makes up the full picture that is your life, and as far as I know we only get one of those, so I hope the picture you make of it is one that’s beautiful.

“When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.
“Oh, sure you know,” the photographer said.
“She wants,” said Jay Cee wittily, “to be everything.” 

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This book. Not even going to lie, reading this book was like inviting a dark fog to form around my perspective of the world to the point where it suffocated me. Why, then, is it one of my favourite books of all time? Because Sylvia Plath puts into words thoughts and feelings I have never known how to express myself. I have never connected so much to the words of an author, which, when you read about her personal life, is really sad, but there is just something about her writing that gets to me and this quote is no exception. The main character in this book, Esther, is extremely overwhelmed by life and by the finality of making choices that affect it. Like Esther, I have always felt that way too. Sometimes I wish that I could experience everything – that I could be and do and live out every path to see which one suits me best, to see which one brings me the “best” life. I don’t think Esther meant it when she said she didn’t know who she wanted to be, I think she just wanted to be so many things and didn’t know which to choose, because choosing one path means missing out on all the others. But the thing is, the choosing and risking having regrets about it isn’t the scary part. The scary part is actually the not choosing of anything because you’re too afraid and having every option rot at your feet because you took too long to decide. Being everything like I wish I could be doesn’t have to come from living all versions of my choices out side by side to see which one is best; contrary to my belief, being everything can actually come from making tough choices that lead me to better than I could have ever dreamed on my own.

To anyone who made it this far, thank you for reading. I hope you find a book whose words impact you as much as these ones did for me.

❤ Cat


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18 Things I Learned in 2018

This post is going to be something a little different from my norm in that it’s not necessarily related to books, but it is something I want to share. Since starting my blog earlier this year, I have learned so much, and I want to be able to reflect on all of it in one final post of 2018. It would be awesome if I could write two thousand and eighteen things I learned this year, but in the interest of time and length, eighteen things will have to do.

  1. Do whatever it is you’re ‘waiting to be ready’ for sooner rather than later, because chances are, if you don’t, it’s never going to happen.
    This goes for anything – careers, self-improvement, hobbies, and everything in between. For months, I contemplated starting this blog; I would come on WordPress, fill out all the fields to get started, and then press backspace on the browser because I was scared I wasn’t ready. Finally, after a gentle nudge from a friend, I just closed my eyes and did it. Even now sometimes, I still don’t think I am ready. But guess what? I’m doing it. And it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Reading and writing are more than just hobbies, they are an escape, and if it wasn’t for this blog this year I would have had a much harder time getting through it all. Even now I wonder, am I ready to publish such a vulnerable post? Nope. But I’m going to do it anyway, and I’m going to be better for it.
  2. It’s okay to not finish a book.
    Leaving things left undone is not in my nature. I always feel like a quitter when I stop in the middle of something or think I haven’t given my all. It’s true when they say you are your toughest critic – at least, I am mine. However, it’s okay to recognize you’re not enjoying whatever it is you’re doing – like reading a book – and stopping if it doesn’t make you happy. This same logic can be applied to many other situations in life: if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it; if it isn’t fulfilling to you, you’re allowed and valid in focusing your attention elsewhere.
  3.  Every bad thing that’s happening to you is preparing you for something better.
    This is going to sound so cliché, but I’ll put it like this: when plants are growing, they need water, and dirt, and fertilizer. When you Google how fertilizer helps plants grow, you get this answer: “Plants need to be fertilized because most soil does not provide the essential nutrients required for optimum growth.” Well, I like to think that humans are the same way. Just like plants need to grow through shit, humans need to go through shit. If all the negative things that happened to me this year didn’t happen, I would probably be a lot happier, but I also wouldn’t be as strong. There have been so many times when I thought, “why is this happening to me?” but looking back, I feel like none of it was ever truly negative, because the character I’m building will only serve to prepare me for all the good things the world has in store in the future. And if I’m being honest, I kind of like the me that I am now more than I liked the me that I was at the beginning of the year, and I couldn’t say that without all the things – good and bad – that happened this year to shape me into who I am today.
  4.  You will never regret putting yourself outside of your comfort zone.
    If you asked me if I were an introvert or an extrovert, I would say that I’m an extroverted introvert. It’s like having the devil and angel on your shoulder – the introverted part of me tries to convince me to stay inside the comfort of the bubble I’ve created, while the extroverted part tries convincing me that it would be fun to pop it. About 60% of the time, the introverted part wins, but the 40% where the extroverted part does are the most exciting. I have no idea what winning the lottery feels like, but I imagine the high I get from doing something outside of my comfort zone and it not being the most painful experience in the world, like my introverted side tries to warn me, is prettttty close.
  5. Your feelings are valid. All. The. Time.
    People will try to convince you that they’re not, and for the rest of your life, someone probably will. For the rest of your life, these people will also be wrong.
  6. Having a full-time job does not have to be miserable.
    This was a big year for me career-wise because I got my first full-time job. For probably my whole life, I have had the impression that having a full-time job is daunting and that I’m going to go to work every day hating my life. Well, guess what? That is not the case all the time! I’m very lucky, but I genuinely like going to work every day and I never thought I would say that.
  7.  Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving other people.
    I’m way quicker to forgive other people than I am to forgive myself. If someone hurts me, I’m over it before I was even under it. But when I hurt me, I can hurt me and hurt me and hurt me and the forgiveness just doesn’t come as easily – I almost feel like I don’t deserve it sometimes. With that being said, you have to live with yourself your whole entire life. Isn’t that crazy? It sometimes boggles my mind to think that I will never know what it’s like to be someone else. So, even though it’s hard, the least I can do for myself is learn to forgive me if I have to be around me forever. You should do the same for you.
  8. Your worth doesn’t come from other people, it comes from you!
    I think that I have placed too much of my self-worth on whether or not other people see me in a certain way, and this year has really challenged my ability to see worth in myself.  It’s not something you can change overnight, and it’s something I’m going to have to keep working on, but I feel like I have come a long way. Focusing your energy on you actually attracts people automatically. You don’t (and should never) have to actually work to get people to like you, or to care about you, or to see you, or to talk to you, THEY JUST DO. And anyone from that point who doesn’t see how amazing you are to be around or talk to is just plain stupid, probably has their own personal issues to sort through, and doesn’t deserve your attention anyway.
  9. When you’re at a party, dance.
    You know how many solo dance parties I’ve had in my room? Too many. And you know what usually happens when I go to parties? Not dancing! I don’t want to constantly think about whether or not I look stupid, because even if I do, who cares??? I love singing and dancing with my friends and if I’m having fun, who cares. The secret is that no one is paying attention to how stupid you do or don’t look, because they’re too busy worrying about themselves. So dance at parties, these are the memories with your friends you’re going to remember.
  10.  Meeting new people is really fun.
    This kind of goes back to the comfort zone thing, but I never realized how much I love talking to new people until this year. Like I said, I am not the most extroverted person, so talking to strangers is something I’ve never thought I enjoyed until now. This year, I complimented a lot more strangers and let me tell you, it felt good! Also, if it weren’t for me talking to new people, I wouldn’t have met Kelly, one of my best friends in the book community ❤ So, go out there and talk to strangers, because you never know if one might end up being a big part of your life one day.
  11. Going on trips without your family can be really good for your growth.
    This year, I went on vacation for the first time without my parents. It was both my friend and I’s first time going anywhere alone together, and we were both kind of nervous, but it ended up being one of the most memorable things that happened all year. Planning our own trip made me feel like a real responsible adult, and made me a lot more grateful for all the times my parents organized vacations for the five of us, because organizing for just myself was hard enough!
  12. Take the opportunity to go for walks when the weather is nice.
    Something I kind of dislike about myself is that I am a hermit. I love being in my room alone having me-time, which is fine, but it makes a world of a difference when that me-time is out in fresh air. I live somewhere where the weather is nice less than half of the year, so when it was good, I went for a walk almost every day and my mood improved all the time. Definitely going to be doing more of that in 2019.
  13. Go to bed early if you’re tired. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
    I’ve been a night owl ever since I can remember. I don’t know what happened to me this year, but I have been getting tired at normal times lately, and I have never regretted falling asleep early and feeling so refreshed waking up early the next day. Didn’t even know that was a possibility for me, but let me tell you, it is life changing.
  14. If you compare yourself to other people, you are always going to be miserable.
    This is a huge one and I’m probably going to have to keep working on it for life. Trying not to compare yourself is hard enough without social media in the mix, magnifying everyone else’s highs and making you feel like you’re behind. It’s not easy at all, but when I tried my best to not compare where I am at in life to where other people my age are, I stopped feeling sorry for the things I haven’t done, and started to feel proud of everything I have. Life is not a race; everyone is on their own path. Focus on yourself instead of focusing on other people.
  15. Putting effort into your appearance can actually make you feel 10x better about your day.
    Obviously appearance isn’t everything, that’s not what I’m saying. But I noticed that this year, I tried putting a lot more effort than usual into what I wear and trying to get up earlier to do my makeup, and the outlook I have on my day has improved exponentially.
  16. It is okay to make mistakes – healthy, even.
    This is another one I am going to have to continuously work on, but I really hate making mistakes. However, making mistakes is really the only way you’re going to learn life lessons. I know that I have a lot more mistakes to make, and it does scare me, but for the first time probably ever, I think it excites me too. I know that sounds strange, but I actually feel kind of happy about it because it means that I am going to continue to grow and change so much more and (hopefully) become a better person from them; who doesn’t want that?
  17. Doing things alone doesn’t have to be lonely.
    I used to be so embarrassed to do the smallest things, like sitting in a coffee shop, alone but now I love it. I think enjoying your own company is really important and a healthy part of growing into who you are.
  18. Everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t see it right now, and everything is always going to work out – maybe not in the way you imagined, and maybe not as soon as you’d hoped, but it will work out for the best and you will see that eventually.

Although I think that 2018 was probably my hardest year mentally and emotionally, I don’t want to look back on it as a bad year because I learned a lot, I grew a lot, and despite everything, I still laughed a lot. Something tells me that 2019 is going to be even better, and I can’t wait to experience all the highs and lows that come with it and see how much farther I’ve come next year.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and if you made it this far, thank you for reading.
If anyone has any of their own experiences to add, let me know! I’d love to hear them 🙂

-Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


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Tag: Three Day Lyrical Challenge | Day 3

Thank you Sara for the tag! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do 🙂 I’m kind of sad that this is the last day of the challenge, I had a lot of fun writing for this one.


The rules are simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The Best Day
Taylor Swift

I really enjoy Taylor Swift in general, but her older music is where it’s at for me. This song makes me really emotional every single time I listen to it. It’s told in a narrative of her growing up and having the best days with her mom. My mom and I have always been very close, so listening to it makes me think about my own experiences with her. I had actually never watched the music video before writing this post, and let me tell you it’s a good thing this is the last day of this challenge because I think I did some major water damage to my computer. Totally worth it though, because this song is beautiful.

I’m five years old
It’s getting cold
I’ve got my big coat on
I hear your laugh
And look up smiling at you
I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch
And the tractor rides
Look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs
And fall asleep on the way home
I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you’re not scared of anything at all
Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today
I’m thirteen now
And don’t know how
My friends could be so mean
I come home crying
And you hold me tight
And grab the keys
And we drive and drive
Until we find a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop
‘Till I forgotten all their names
I don’t know who I’m gonna talk to now at school
But I know I’m laughing
On the car ride home with you
Don’t know how long it’s gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today
I have an excellent father
His strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother
Inside and out he’s better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house
And I’ve got space to run and hide
And I had the best days with you
There is a video I found
From back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart
And you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world
And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine
And, I didn’t know if you knew
So I’m taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today.

Tagging: Bibi | Lily | Celine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


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