Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Carving Out My Own Little Space

You may be asking, what do these two things have to do with each other?

For me, everything.

I've had a blog for years now with various names but in the last few years I've done very little with it. I've been a half ass mommy blogger, a half ass book blogger, and a half ass mental health blogger. And there was that brief embarrassing stint when I thought I could be a DIY and craft blogger. The only thing that remains of that is my blog name Whole Latte Ideas.

Like Emilia Fart, I have wanted to sit at the cool kids table. For me that means being accepted as a blogger who's made it. Having thousands of people read my posts. Going viral. Being accepted as someone who has a blog so cool I make Top 50 Best Blog Lists. Being so clever and popular that someone offers me a book deal. At the very least being noticed. (After posting this I checked my visitor number at the bottom of my blog and with shock realized the idea that I'm not being noticed at all is completely in my head.)

The truth is I stopped caring about my blog because I felt no one noticed me. No one cared what I had to say. No one read my posts. No one joined my readathons or reading challenges. I did however once have a blog post on creating crib bar bumper pads from pool noodles that got hundreds of views but I was never able to recreate that kind of enthusiasm for anything else I posted. It was my one and only blogging achievement.

As a blogger and writer I've been completly adrift. Not blocked. I've had a million things to say but I've been too damn scared to write them or post them.

I actually saw Cara's tweet about a blog being someone's own little space before I saw Emilia's video. It feels both totally random and like something in the stars aligned and it was meant to be. When I saw the tweet I thought about how I've had this blog for years, my own little space for years, and how I've done nothing with it.


Because I always wanted it to be some huge production. I wanted it to be something big. Like a beautiful wordy Instagram post of what I imagine my life to be and what I want anyone who reads my blog to believe my life to be. I didn't have the courage to just be myself. Like Emilia, part of me just wanted to fit in. Be liked. Hell, be paid attention to. I was so afraid of rejection that I hardly ever posted anything.

As I watched Emilia's video, I realized I can't be rejected and ignored if I never even put anything out there. Another wise thing Emilia asks in the video is "Do numbers even matter?" Does it really matter how many people read my blog, how many followers I get, or likes I get? Emilia asks if the numbers are even something real.

I'd like to go further down the rabbit hole and ask:.Are the numbers real if I'm someone fake?

I don't want my blog to be some fake Instagram version of me. I want to be my real, authentic self. And maybe people will visit my blog and read my posts and maybe they won't. Regardless this will my own little space that I carved out for myself.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Announcing the 2019 Fun in the Sun Reading Challenge!

Something happens to me when it starts getting hot out. Sure I want to slip on my flip flops, go swimming, and drink some iced lattes but what I really get in the mood for is reading a certain genre of books that are about fun in the sun! So I'm bringing back my seasonal challenge specifically for these books.

 The Rules:
  • This short term challenge begins June 1, 2019 and ends Aug 31, 2019. 
  • You may sign up anytime during the challenge. 
  • I won't be creating different levels.
  • Read as little or as many books as you want. Even if you just read one book I want you to participate!
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.
  • Books may be any genre but must have a fun in the sun theme, a cover with these elements on it, or something in the title that is about the theme. This includes everything associated with spring and summer such as weddings, swimming pools, the ocean, beaches, lounge chairs, flowers, sunglasses, palm trees, vacations, the sun, a garden, rain, thunderstorms, heat and so on. 
  • You may reread books. Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  • Use the hashtag #FunIntheSunRC 
  • If you could be so kind, please place the Fun In the Sun Reading Challenge banner on your blog to help spread the word. 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • Sign up below using Mr. Linky

Saturday, April 27, 2019

My MentalHealth-Athon TBR

I am super excited about this readathon. I've always wanted to do something like it. It is hosted by A Beautiful Chaos of Books.

What is it: A readathon dedicated to reading books about mental health and/or featuring characters who live with a mental illness.

When is it: Mentalhealth-athon is a month long readathon taking place between May 1st till May 31st

Who are the hosts:
Nicole from a beautiful chaos of books. Twitter is @beaut1fulchaos_ 
 Cait from Chaptercviii. Twitter is @chaptercviii 
Rachael from Rachael Marie Book Junkie. Twitter is @__Rachael_marie

How do I take part: You can take part in lots of different ways. You can post your TBR, for what you will be reading on your book blog or booktube channel or show what you’re be reading on Twitter or Instagram. Make sure you use the hashtag #mentalhealthathon so we can see your TBRs. The readathon’s twitter handle is: @__mentalhealth1

What are the challenges: I have created a bingo board with 15 different prompts to help you choose which books you read during the month. You can read one book, a line (Diagonal, horizontal or vertical) or the complete board. Here is the board:

The description of the individual prompts can be found here


Anyone who knows me knows my TBR is never set in stone. I am a mood reader and tend to change my mind. However there are a few challenges I do want to focus on. I have borderline personality disorder and bipolar II myself, so these are the challenges I will focus on completing. I'm probably not going to complete any rows because the topics that interest me most are scattered.

My OWLs Readathon 2019 TBR and Update

The O.W.L.s Readathon is a month long Harry Potter themed readathon hosted by Book Roast in April. 

The goal of the readathon is to choose a wizarding career and follow those prompts so you can meet the requirements at Hogwarts to go into that field. They vary in challenge so you can choose a career that is easier (meaning you have to complete less challenges) or harder (with more challenges). 

I chose the career Mind Medic because it closely resembles my own real life interest in mental health and because it is one of the harder challenges requiring 8 books to be read. 

You may notice that many of the books I have on my TBR are movies or television shows. This is not a coincidence. I purposely chose books that will help me complete my own 2019 Book to Screen Reading Challenge.

More on  the O.W.L.s Readathon 2019

The wizarding careers list can be found here.

The O.W.L.s reading prompts can be found here

If you completed any Charms Extra Credit you can start a day early for each one you completed. I got one extra credit so can start reading today. 

You can also find the readathon on Twitter @MagicalReadathn

Below is the announcement video!

I HAVE PASSED MY O.W.L.s to be a Mind Medic!!

I changed up my TBR and am still working on my credit but I wanted to share the books I actually read for the O.W.L exams for Mind Medic.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Book and Movie Review: Crazy Rich Asians

I have not written a book review on my blog in over a year so I'm really rusty at this. I also read the book about a month ago so that doesn't help either. I've never written a movie review before so this is something completely new for me.

The Book Review

Here is the book blurb from Amazon:

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. 

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

My Review:
The last time I had to keep this many characters straight was when I read Game of Thrones. I even tweeted this...

It just took forever for any story to actually begin. However, I wasn't bored. I loved reading about this Asian superrich culture. While Kwan didn't pack in much story he blew me away at his world building. This was a deep dive into the culture. As a lower middle class white woman I have to admit I had culture shock. I'm someone who is impressed by Jeffree Star's boujee lifestyle but this was about people that have more money than God. I also wasn't prepared for the control the parents exercised over who their children married.

While there was a deep dive into the culture, there wasn't into the characters. I think this is because there was so many. We don't even get to know the main characters, Rachel and Nick, very well. What disappointed me the most is that while we get to know how they met, we don't see what their relationship is really like. It's clear that Rachel loves Nick with or without his money and Nick is nothing like his snooty family, but I had trouble believing this was a couple in love. Still the main characters are really likable. You can't help rooting for these two because they are morally so different from the other snobby, elitist characters in the book. I also wonder if Kwan knew this would be a book series and knew we would get to know Rachel and Nick over time.

As for the plot, at one point I cared more about what was happening in Astrid's life than I was in Rachel and Nick's. The story also takes a strange turn about two thirds through the book and suddenly becomes a serious family drama regarding Rachel and her mom. I understand plotwise why this happened but it felt so out of place in the book. Once this is somewhat resolved the book returns to its original mood and romantic story. I don't like to give away spoilers so I won't share any of the details.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the sequels. My rating is Photobucket

The Movie Review
The movie plot was slightly different than the book, especially regarding Rachel and Nick's mother. The scene with them playing majong was absolutely brilliant. I'm glad the bachelor party location was changed. The characters were all absolutely wonderful and played well. Peik Lin Goh played by Awkwafina really stole the show and was so funny. The family drama between Rachel and her mother was played down and resolved in a touching mother daughter scene. Their resolution wasn't quite so neat and tidy in the book.

Rachel and Nick weren't any more believable as a couple in the movie to me than they were in the book. I just never really saw any chemistry between the actors. The way they did the proposal was really disappointing to me.

Another thing that disappointed me is that there wasn't the same deep dive into the superrich culture. After reading descriptions of the lavish clothes, locations, cars, and private planes I really hoped the movie would show all of this. To be honest, I cared less about the love story in the movie and more about seeing the lifestyles of the families. It just didn't live up to my expectations. The book was about the most expensive wedding in modern history but did they show us this in the movie? Nope. Not even close.

Then again, is any movie ever better than the book? It rarely happens. I expected to be disappointed. I also haven't seen a really good romantic comedy in years. It's kind of a dead genre.

My rating is Photobucket .

This book was read for my own 2019 Book to Screen Reading Challenge. For more info please visit this post.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Like to Switch Places With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl

 The topic this week is Characters I'd Like to Switch Places With 

It was suggested by A Gingerly Review. And I'm cheating a little and only listing five. I admit I also have only listed books that were made into movies because...gifs. 

1. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding


I relate to Bridget Jones so much. Sure she's a little awkward and makes a lot of mistakes. But the perks are she has so many friends that love her "just as she is" and she gets Mr. Darcy. 

2. Julie from Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

First, the main character Julie and I share the same name. Second, R is hot and this is one of my favorite love stories. 

3. Tiffany in The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

I have a lot of the same mental health issues as Tiffany so I really relate to her. And she gets Pat played by Bradley Cooper who is my future husband. He just doesn't know it yet. 

4. Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Is there a rule that we have to be the same gender? Because Magnus Bane is absolutely my favorite character. He's lived forever. He's been everywhere. He's the High Warlock of Brooklyn. He has the best clothes. And he gets Alec.

5. Art3mis from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Art3mis was one of the best players in a virtual reality game. I would love to be able to be in this world. I grew up in the 80's so I'd fit right in. I'm terrible at video games in real life though so hopefully I could keep her skills. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Favorite Books Bingo

I was on Twitter and saw this meme going around. The idea is to make a Bingo card of your favorite books and see how many others have read them. It was created by Novel Thoughts. At least I assume so since the Bingo card was. I couldn't find the original challenge. 

This was really fun to do. I was able to see how I really do read a variety of books and which genres are my favorite. There's memoir, self help, adventure, classic, romance, fantasy, young adult, and science fiction on my list. There's also two Stephen King books. I was honestly surprised to see romance and science fiction where the two genres I liked the most. Maybe it seems odd to some that I didn't know this about myself but in all the years I have book blogged I have never before made a list of my all time favorite books. This is honestly the first time I've ever done this.