Novel November

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every November. Every year since 2008 (14 years)! I wrote about it here in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

And holy fish nuggets, I’m wondering where the heck this year has gone, much less this month. Here we are (nearly) halfway through November. And I haven’t written one blog post about NaNoWriMo 2021!

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Challenge Accepted

I love challenges. Reading challenges, puzzle challenges, fitness challenges. I’m not motivated to compete against other people. For me, it’s all about competing against myself. Can I read more than I did last time? Can I put together more puzzles? Can I lift heavier weight? Can I go further, faster?

For me, when it comes to competing against myself, I will nearly always say Challenge Accepted.

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Sunday Morning Adventure to Naha

Finally after months of being under a state of emergency due to the pandemic, Okinawa lifted its state of emergency on Friday. What this means is that parks, beaches, museums, and other sites are open again! And Sunday morning, I headed to Naha to visit Shurijo Castle Park & the Tamaudun Royal Mausoleum, two of the 9 Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (a combined registered UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

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Men Read Romance Inaugural Subscription Box

So after weird mail delays where I ended up getting all of my July/early August packages over the course of two days, I finally got Lyssa Kay Adams’s inaugural Men Read Romance Subscription Box!

And (maybe more importantly) I finally uploaded the box opening video!

Warning: Spoilers of what’s in the box below.

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Opening A New Subscription Box

Over the years, I have tried many a subscription box. Some I subscribed short-term, some I wanted to keep subscribing but for whatever reason the box ended, and some I still subscribe to (hello OwlCrate).

Added to my love of subscription boxes, I also love to try new things. Last year I participated in a witch-themed swap on Litsy.

In this swap, I received a great set of starter crystals and Crystals for Beginners by Karen Frazier. This spurred me to learn more about crystals and delve more into all things magical.

But how to go about learning more?

Living in Okinawa does have its downsides. For starters, I can’t read Japanese, so local bookstores or local libraries are out. I have to order books from the U.S.

I also haven’t found any kind of wicca or magical shops. I’m not saying there aren’t any, I just haven’t found any. Another downside is that many Okinawa businesses don’t have a web presence, so a google search isn’t always accurate. Plus with COVID, I haven’t been able to meet a lot of local people to ask either.

Enter subscription boxes.

I’ve found that subscription boxes are a great way to try new items that I might not otherwise try or even know about. So I thought a subscription box would be a good way to expand my crystal collection. Yet I didn’t want to be limited to only crystals.

I searched CrateJoy for a magical-themed box. For those who haven’t heard of CrateJoy, it’s like the Amazon for subscription boxes. You can find any and every kind of box you could ever imagine.

(Word of warning, it’s easy to spiral down the subscription box hole on CrateJoy. I found subscription boxes for all sorts of things, include cocktails, plants, and jerky.)

Quite a few boxes met my search. After considering each one, as well as reading the reviews, I found Tamed Wild.

I liked the description of the box:

a monthly delivery of magic & earth medicine. Each month is created around a theme and includes items for the earth spirited and the lovers of all things mystical and natural. Deliveries can include crystals, herbs & teas, ritual tools, altar items, jewelry, essential oils & other lifestyle pieces.

Today my first box arrived!

And without giving away the contents, I loved it. The box definitely exceed my expectations. And now I can’t wait until the next box.

Below, I posted a video of me opening the box. So if you don’t want to know what’s in the box, STOP HERE.

But before the video, a few notes:

(1) This is not an affiliate post. I paid full price for the Tamed Wild box. I received no compensation or other perk for this post or video. All opinions and thoughts in the video are mine alone.

(2) The link to is an affiliate link. For more info on affiliate links, please see my Terms of Use.

(3) Swaps are a fun thing we do on Litsy. Swaps are usually themed and anyone can sign-up. The swap host matches people. Swaps can be secret (i.e., you don’t know who got your name) or not. They can also be one-to-one (i.e., the person who you receive has your name) or not. When you receive your match, you buy books from your match’s TBR (usually themed-related books) and some theme-related items (bookmarks, totes, stationary, mugs, etc.) to send to your match. On the specified day, everyone opens their swap and posts photos on Litsy. It’s super fun and I’ve found swaps are a great way to get books I might not otherwise read.

Now, if you want to see the contents of the July box, scroll down!

My Review of the Men Read Romance: Starter Kit for Novice Romance Readers

It’s double post day! After too many months without posting, I’m going all out today.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been on a romance reading kick this year. Because who hasn’t needed some happily ever after in the past year and a half? And when I found Lyssa Kay Adams’s website and her Men Read Romance subscription box, well, I had to sign up.

And being relatively new to the romance genre, I also ordered her Men Read Romance Starter Kit.

Well, the starter kit arrived TODAY! And I did a video unboxing.

Overall, I’m super happy with this Men Read Romance Starter Kit. First, it came with 5 books, 4 of which I have not read yet. So I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Do you read romance? Why or why not? If you do, who are your favorite romance authors? Share in the comments below!

This is *not* an affiliate post. For more info on my affiliate links, please see my Terms of Use.

Romance Books Have Sort of Become My Thing

On New Year’s weekend, I binged a little show called The Bridgertons on Netflix. (Thank you Shondaland!) When I realized the show was based on a book series by Julia Quinn, I immediately opened my Libby app and checked out the first of the (audio)books, The Duke and I. (This is the book the first season of The Bridgertons is based on.)

I became immediately hooked obessed with reading regency romances.

But like any good obsession, it spiraled and soon I was reading all sorts of romance—Scottish highlands, western, contemporary, sports, comedy.

Out of the 93 books I’ve read so far this year, 65 fall in the romance genre.

Right? I know.

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