Fresh New Year!

Hello friends!

I had no idea that I’ve neglected my blog since DECEMBER! I am so sorry for my lack of posts, I keep up with my Instagram and my YouTube channel more. Hopefully I can link that for you guys below and you can follow me there.

So, corona happened. My family is practicing self distancing to the max by self-quarantining unless we absolutely have to go out, then my husband does that. I should be blogging and reading so much more now that I have the time to.

That last paragraph said husband, did you catch that? I decided on forever with the man of my dreams. I’m so excited to announce that to the world. My boys and I are so blessed to call him ours.

I am currently reading two books- an actual book in my hand and then an audiobook! Becoming a mom changed that aspect about me, it’s so much easier to download audiobooks than it is to hold a book. I’m reading the Ted Bundy Deathrow Interviews and listening to the audiobook of Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Both are amazing so far. Feel free to follow me on GoodReads as well, to see my goals for 2020 and what I’ve read recently! My goal for 2020 is 36 books, that is 3 books a month and so far I’ve stayed on top of it!

I truly hope you’re all doing well. Below I will share the links to all of my social platforms so you can follow me there! I will also be sharing my newly made channel art for you guys to see. I love it! My youtube account is super old, don’t judge!

Always,
Lauren

Instagram:
Youtube:
GoodReads:

 

“I Hope You Get This Message” by Farah Naz Rishi

Good morning friends and happy hump day! I hope December has been good to you all! I set new goals for my platforms that I will be carrying with me into 2020 as my new year resolution! I cleaned up my instagram platform to make it solely about my love for books and I also am working on the quality of the pictures I take. I am hoping this will bring me more fellow book lovers to my accounts!

My 2019 GoodReads goal was to read twenty four books which is two a month, sadly I do not see myself reaching that goal but I am trying! I put Outlander to the side because my plan is to go into 2020 with this series as my main focus. I am trying to sit down with the Owlcrate Exclusive books I have gotten this year and trying to use them to finish up my goal. The first book I sat down with was from Octobers box!

I sat down Friday night and read an incredible book! I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi was one I could not put down until I finished it! It was that good, ya’ll! You follow three characters in the book- Jesse, Cate, and Adeem- as they try to make sense of things in theirs lives with only seven days left for the world. News Stations began reporting Aliens were soon ending the world, you also read from the standpoint of the Aliens as they deliberate what to do with Earth.

Adeem and Cate cross paths with Jesse in Roswell, how ironic right? The ending though! Oh my goodness. I’m stopping here because you need to read this for yourself!

I definitely give this book a 10/10!

Always,
Lauren

Owlcrate Link: https://shop.owlcrate.com/collections/books-exclusive-covers/products/i-hope-you-get-this-message-exclusive-signed-edition-w-author-letter

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Happy Monday, friends! I apologize in advance for my lack of content recently. I have taken a much needed social media break here lately and have somewhat taken a break from all things reading. As a mother of three, taking time to pick up a book is a struggle at times. I am literally busy from SON up to SON down seven days a week. With that being said, I have not been able to pick up a real book and hold it in my hands for the past month. Sickness hit our household hard and my boys have been sick for over a month now. Just when I think we are in the clear, someone else comes down with something. After this stomach virus left, I deep cleaned the house with lysol, bleach, and boiling hot water. Here’s to hoping these germs stay away!

With the inability to pick up a book, I have dove into audiobooks from my local library! Thanks to the Libby app, I can rent books from my local library right from my phone, I highly recommend doing this if you aren’t able to afford a monthly payment for audiobooks just like myself. Totally free of charge, some books and audiobooks have holds on them because others using the app have rented them out all ready, but it adds you to a holds list and will notify you when the book is ready!

Thanks to the Libby app, I was able to listen to this latest audiobook. Read to me by the author, Rachel Hollis. I couldn’t pause this book from start to finish, it’s a six hour book! But it is so, so worth listening to! She gives so many good tips- whether you’re a mother, employer, whatever! If you are seeking advice about how to live your life to it’s fullest potential and focus on YOUR goals and YOUR happiness, read this book! It is definitely worth listening to and taking notes. Rachel Hollis is blunt and real, something most of us women or even men, need in our lives. I laughed, I cried, I felt so many emotions listening to this audiobook. Please get your hands or ears on this masterpiece, we all need helpful advice sometimes! I added the link below to the Thriftbooks sale!

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Hey guys!

I finished my SECOND audiobook and within FIVE days! I am pretty proud of that, honestly. Being a stay at home mom of three little boys makes it hard to have time to read, but I still try to at least do some me time during the night when they go to bed. Like right now, I took a hot bath then turned on The Flash and now I am writing out this review! Lets get to it then, shall we?

A little background story on yours truly, anything to do with World War II or the Holocaust has always been a huge interest of mine. Some people may find this strange, but it was my favorite thing about History class in school. Anne Frank was the first Jew I ever read about, her diary. I still have it to this day. I have even gone to see the play they do for her story. As sad her story was, she was admirable.

The tattooist of Auschwitz is one of those admirable people. In a time of complete horror and chaos, Lale did whatever it took to survive those times. Whether it be smuggling things into camp to get on the good sides of those around him or tattooing the numbers onto each Jew who walked into the camp. Lale was just taking things one day at a time until he met and tattooed the woman he would soon fall in love with. From that day forward, Lale did whatever it took to keep himself and Gita alive.

This novel is heart-warming and gut-wrenching all at the same time. At times I cried, at times I laughed. I felt every emotion humanly possible but it was so worth listening to. The love these two have one another was strong enough to keep them going through the hardest of times.

I definitely give this story a five star review! I will say no more because I do not want to give anything away, but please read it if you can! I will of course share the Thriftbooks link down below! Happy Monday friends.

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks: 

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Hey guys! As promised, my review for my FIRST ever audiobook is here!

If you had asked me years ago if I would ever find myself listening to a book instead of holding it in my hands and reading it, I would have laughed in your face and told you definitely not. There is just something about holding the book that I’m escaping into that is just so calming for me. It just feels right, plus BOOK SMELL. I swore for the longest time I would never do audiobooks, but as a mother of three small boys, audiobooks may be a bit easier for me!

My first audiobook was Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter and it was amazing! I definitely recommend either reading the actual book or listening to the audiobook version. It will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Andrea learns so much about her mother, Laura, that will have you second guessing if it is truly her mother! So many twists and turns. So much chaos and if you do not pay close attention to every detail, you will be lost in it. I definitely give this one a 10 out of 10, it was definitely a favorite and when I have the chance I will be buying the actual book from thriftbooks because I must own this one!

FUN FACT! This book is actually coming to Netflix soon! I will definitely be watching this the second it hits Netflix. I cannot wait!

Also, if you have the ability to download apps, go to your appstore or google store and download the app “LIBBY”. You will login using your local library card number, from there you will be able to checkout audiobooks or eBooks for FREE! Be warned that some books have a wait, two of the ones I’m waiting on have a SIX month wait. I’ll probably buy them by then! I’ll be leaving you guys the link for the paperback version of this novel through thriftbooks, under $5!

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks: 

Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover;

Happy hump day, friends!

If you had asked me a year ago today if I listened to audiobooks, I would have laughed in your face and told you there is NO way I would ever not hold a book. But fast forward to today and three kids later, I am currently listening to one. Funny how life happens.

I have always been a firm believer in only holding the book because you are able to truly focus on the story and even smell the book, because I am one of those weird book worms. But, today I am a mom that is constantly on the go and holding a book does not work out for me as often as I would like. I even try waiting on the boys go to bed at night and sitting down with a book, but by that time I am so tired I just go to bed myself.

The first audiobook I have ever listened to is the one I am listening to from the app called “LIBBY”. If you have a library card for your local library, I highly recommend downloading this app and using your card number to log yourself into the app. Some books have rather long waits, like two of the ones I am waiting for. They have a SIX month wait. But, I found “Pieces of Me”by Karin Slaughter and it was available to rwad now! I get it for seven days. I listen to it while the boys nap, while I shower, while I clean, and when I lay down for bed at night. I love it so far and I am only halfway done! I can not wait to do my first audio book review for you guys.

I am also reading the DC Universe Rebirth Suicide Squad comics currently. I have not done any reviews on my comic book reads but if you would like to keep up with me on those, follow my instagram and goodreads account- bookswithgypsy is the name on both of those!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Be prepared for a book review by this weekend! I have three days left on my libby audiobook!

Always,
Lauren

Deeper Understandings.

Hey guys, I wanted to jump on here and give everyone a quick update while I cooked dinner! I know I have been absent from my blog and all other social platforms for a little bit now and it is all within good reason.

To begin with, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and digging deep into my past to help make my present and future a little better. I have been attending church every Sunday and Wednesday, I was baptized for the second time two weeks ago. A lot happened in my life that made me feel that baptizing myself again would bring me closer in my walk with God. In doing this, I was able to forgive the woman I swore ruined my life. I was able to let go of my anger toward her and move on with my life. That moment was so rewarding. You don’t have to forget what someone has done to you, but you can forgive it. I promise it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. You should also know that just by forgiving someone, it doesn’t mean you have to be their friend. You can forgive an enemy simply to move on with your life. Forgive them for you and your happiness. I have also made the decision to step away from my photography page on Facebook. I will still be doing photography, I just will not be publishing to that page any longer. My edits will go to my personal page from now on, there’s really no explanation for it. I just no longer wanted to have a domain dedicated to my passion for capturing beautiful moments. Too many people in this world make photography domains simply because they own a nice camera and use it. My photography isn’t a hobby, it is a passion. It is part of who I am. I can do it privately without bragging all over social media about it. A nice camera makes no one a photographer. Please don’t take that offensively, if your camera makes you feel professional and you make a public platform for it, I’m proud of you and support that! It’s just not for me any longer.

The next big thing that happened was wedding planning! Yes, you heard me right. I have finally bit the bullet and began planning my special day. It took me almost six months to get the courage to start this journey, but my pastor and his wife helped me come to the realization that my fiance is NOT my ex-husband. Derek stepped up to a plate that another man chose to put down. He came back into my life at my lowest point and he helped me up. He took the role of daddy to a little boy he barely even knew, but my god, he hangs the moon for that little boy. It was no longer fair for me to punish my future marriage all because my first marriage was built on lies. My ex-husband even admitted that the only reason he married me was because he felt badly for cheating, but he continued to cheat anyway. He blamed everything on me. That blame stuck with me and caused me to be terrified of moving on to planning a second marriage. But, Derek is a good man and I’m ready to take the plunge.

The last little bit that has happened and caused me to be MIA from social media minus a few story posts here and there is.. sickness. Lots and lots of sickness. First all three of my boys got pink eye. Then I got pneumonia and bronchitis at the SAME exact time. I was in and out of the hospital, doing breathing treatments and everything. I was miserable. Then once I got well, my oldest twin came down with a fever. An extremely high and scary fever. He kept it for five days and within those five days, I didn’t sleep. I had even checked out three library books during that time to read and post about, but due to all the illnesses, I had to take them back and never even read through all of them.

But I’m back now. I am still currently reading Outlander, the first book in the series by Diana Gabaldon. I will post the link to that one for you. Also, feel free to follow my other platforms as well. BooksWithGypsy on youtube and instagram! Thanks for reading this far and being supportive of my absence. Love you guys!

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks: 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown;

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Hey guys! As promised I came back this afternoon to post my review on the WONDERFUL book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Lets start with a little bit of background on what made me want to read this book so much. A month or so back, I texted my amazing sister in law because I had suddenly hit a hard spot with my passion for photography. I was at the point where I would rather sell my camera than hold it. I did not in any way feel like I was worthy of this passion, simply because my ex-husband was the entire reason I had that camera. In 2010, my passion for photography really began and I wanted so badly to have a better camera than the one I had. On our one year anniversary in 2011, the first real gift he ever got me was my Canon camera. I was in love with the camera and it literally never left my side. Then he decided that being together after five years was no longer something he wanted and he left. In 2017, I signed the remaining pages for our divorce and started a new life.

Now before you start wondering why this became a huge post about my ex-husband, I want you to know that I moved on from the situation. I have forgiven what needed to be forgiven, but in the same way, I haven’t been able to let go of some things. I thought by putting down my camera and turning my back to this photography passion that I would finally be free of him. I was wrong and late one night, it slapped me hard in the face. I wanted my passion back. I wanted to pick up my camera and feel like I was worthy of calling myself a photographer. I wanted to take pictures of my sons, nature, friends, and family and know that this was part of who I was supposed to be. I wanted to embrace that part of me and not hide it away just because someone from my past helped make it come alive.

My sister in law suggested this book and surprised me with it as her gift to me for Mother’s Day. This book made me feel so many emotions and it personally made me feel attacked which is EXACTLY what I needed. I needed a wake up call and Brené’s words gave me that with every chapter. I have always struggled with hiding the parts of me that I didn’t believe the world would find pretty and this book helped me realize I needed to embrace all parts of me. I needed to love myself more than I worried about others loving me. She helped me understand that squandering my gift for photography and even writing, brings distress to my life. The main reason I felt so empty, resentful, and ashamed was my own fault because I was ignoring my talent.

Please, if you are looking for a self-help/emotional-health book to read, get this one. It’s worth it entirely. I am blessed to have a sister in law like the one I have. She helped open my eyes to a whole new world. When I finished the last sentence of this book, I felt renewed. I felt like the weight of these emotions I was feeling was gone. I see through a whole new lense now. My goal is to live a wholehearted life, because I deserve to.

Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Always,
Lauren

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Gifts-Imperfection-Think-Supposed-Embrace/dp/159285849X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1559159406&sr=8-3

Feel free to follow me on instagram and youtube as well!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookswithgypsy/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/xXLaurenLustyXx

Life Happens;

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  I wanted to pop in and say hey! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, I’m not going to lie. Life has been crazy lately. I’m hoping to get things together this week and be back to my normal weekly posts for you guys! I have dealt with some horrible health issues lately that I’m hoping to get into a doctor for soon so we can hopefully get some answers. The boys have also been sick on and off since Christmas, my oldest seems to get the worst of it each time. He has been in and out of doctors the past couple of weeks, blood work after blood work. We still don’t have any answers for him but we are taking things one day at a time. Hopefully since warmer weather is upon us, we can all catch a break and enjoy the summer.

I am currently reading TWO books and I’m in love with both of them. I am halfway through reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, my wonderful sister in law got this book for me as part of my mothers day gift from her. So far I am absolutely in love with it. Brene Brown is an incredible speaker and author, I highly recommend her to anyone that needs a good we life wake up call. I hit a really low point in my life before mothers day and I texted my sister in law late one night and we talked about so much. She pulled me out of that and I found a love again for a certain passion in my life that I had lost interest in back when my ex husband walked out on us. This book has helped me find strength in myself that I forgot I had. When I finish it, which may even be today after this life update, I’ll be posting my review!

The second book I am reading is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, it is the first novel in the Outlander series and it’s really interesting! I’m definitely enjoying it. If you would like to keep up with how far I’ve gone in this book, please follow me on Goodreads! I keep up with it a lot and I also keep up with things on my instagram account! Both handles are BooksWithGypsy! Please feel free to give me a follow on there if you would liek to keep up with my life and content. I also post once a month on my youtube channel, I subscribed to OwlCrate and I do unboxing videos for that on my channel, please subscribe there as well to see that! Also called BooksWithGypsy.

Other than all of the sickness making its rounds in my home, life has been typical. Constantly on the go, constantly being a mother before anything else. Trying to get the baby weight off so I can start planning the wedding of my dreams, which is a terrifying idea because my first marriage blew up in my face. Do I have anymore anger toward that situation? No, I do not. I moved on from it. I forgave the situation and I am living my life for my boys. Their daddy and I take care of them the best we can and they’ll never know life without love. That’s my only goal these days, keep my boys smiling!

There’s an update for you guys, I hope to post a little later tonight with a book review! Have a wonderful week guys.

Always,
Lauren

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