Hi there! my name is Devan and I am the writer behind this blog! by day I am a HVAC design technician, by night I write this blog....sometimes. I plan to write about everyday life, minimalism, feminism, and the environment.
hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy writing it. Also I post on my Instagram when I upload a new blog so follow me there too!
Well hello there! It has been a hot minute since I last put up a blog post, but no worries I am here and I have a new book review for ya’ll.
I found The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires completely by accident. I was scrolling through what was available for audiobooks at my library and saw it and decided why not. I haven’t read much fiction/storyline books so I borrowed it and here we are.
I really only took a chance on this one because it had slaying vampires and southern in the title. I really thought it would be an quite an adventure to have a vampire running around in Georgia and some book club ladies hunting it.
So for a little synopsis, the book follows the main character Patricia, a stay a home mom who is part of a book club. When a neighbor’s nephew moves into town a few things start to happen around the area. People are going missing, little children are being attacked in the woods and then killing themselves. No one knows what is going on. Then, one day Patricia witnesses something she can’t explain.
I don’t want to give too much away because I really liked this book. For just a random shot in the dark I really truly liked it. Most of the time that I try a book at random I can’t get into it. and stop reading it. This book really enthralled me.
Like I said before, I got this as an audiobook, and the reader did a southern accent for all the characters which also made it really good.
I definitely give this book 5 stars. I found it very well written and exciting. There was one part that made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but I think it was because I was going through a particular stressful time and the situation in the book didn’t help me.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like a little fiction and adventure. This book kept me on edge the entire time and I really enjoyed it.
The latest book for me to review is Untamed. There is a pretty good chance you have probably seen it or heard of it because it is quite popular. The only reason I am able to write this review right now is because I got a skip the line copy from the library ( I dunno how it works but sometimes they show up and I snag them). I full didn’t expect to be writing this review till like next year sometime.
I won’t lie when I saw this book and everyone raveing about it I was definitely thinking, Uggh another white mother who is telling us how we need to change and then goes on to say how they found themselves. I have read enough of those books to really start hating them (I was apart of a book club and that was most of the books we read.)
Now I wasn’t completely wrong about my assumption, she is white, she is a mother, and she does find herself. However I felt like this book was more of her discovering how societies “norms” really are just stupid. Which I think is great because I am not a huge fan of the “normal”. By discovering that we don’t have to adhere to these norms she finds herself.
I will also say that this book is a little bit different because she talks about her marriage ending and how she falls in love with her now wife. I should preface that her first marriage was hetero. Which I love that she found herself and figured out that she liked women. This isn’t the norm for most books like this so I was very pleased about that.
There is a lot of “a-ha” moments in this book which I really liked. I believe that most of them had to do with what society deemed as normal and realizing na that isn’t right like I have said a few times by now.
One of these moments is in the chapter called tick marks. Glennon goes into detail about how she performed voter fraud on the high school homecoming votes just so she could be one of the “golden ones” (her words not mine) because we are conditioned to think that we need to be the popular kids for our lives to be happy then you don’t get picked on or made fun of.
We then are taken back into present day and Glennon realizes how much money she has spent just to look how society has told her she needs to look. Also how harsh society is to those who don’t maintain that standard. This story just attached itself to me. I have felt this way for soooo long it really just hit home.
There were so many other stories and examples that Glennon talked about that just made me be like YES!!!! please more people need to hear this!
I really really liked this book. I believe that everyone should read it because it is amazing and points out so many things that we are conditioned to do, like not leave a situation when you feel uncomfortable in because you were told to not leave ( it is a story in the book that makes more sense just don’t want to spoil it).
I felt like this book was written really well and even though it may not be chronological, it made sense the way it was written. I followed along easily.
I will say that I got this book as an audiobook and that was really nice. It was Glennon reading it so I got to hear how she intended everything to sound and where anger or sadness was that you wouldn’t necessarily have gotten by just reading it.
I am giving this book a 5 star review. I loved the whole thing and recommend it for anyone to read.
Keep your eyes on the lookout for my next blog post. I am not 100% sure what it will be about but I know it will be worth reading. Definitely check out my instagram to keep up with me and also so you know when new blog posts go up!
On my continued journey of unlearning societal racism and learning to be a better ally I came across the book Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates.
This book is different than any other book that I have read because it is a letter to Ta-nehisi’s son. Although this did confuse me for a bit because for some reason I thought it was written as a letter to himself from his father. I don’t know why I thought this… but I figured it out.
Between the World and Me tells the story of growing up as a black male. He describes a lot of the issues that many black males face. He also describes the differences between what he dealt with and issues that his son might/has come across.
One thing that I picked up on was Coates continually is telling his son about how someone could endanger his body. The wording really stood out to me because it put a different visual in my mind that I never thought about.
I think that he worded it this way because of the ongoing struggle that black people have in daily life. There is a constant fear that someone could easily harm them or kill them.
In this quote he references endangering your body, knowing that there is a chance that someone could hurt/kill him (the cops). Just mentioning calling the cops is used by the white people playing on that common fear and they know what they are doing. This is a very similar situation like the Amy Copper issue in NYC (a more noteworthy and recent reference)
Further along in the book Coates references to a Mecca which is Howard University. This bit also confused me because the only Mecca that I knew about was Mecca in Saudi Arabia and its relation to the Muslim religion. Once Coates kept calling it the Mecca I figured it was because Howard University is a Historically Black University (HBCU). Come to find out Howard University is one of the most prestigious HBCUs and is referred to as the Mecca.
We see him referencing this while he is an adult once he had gone to Howard. This open him up to a whole new world and many experiences which I won’t explain here because you should really read it.
Anywho, this book is a great book like all the books I have written about before. I will say make sure that you can focus on the book wholeheartedly. I was really only able to read the book for a small amount of time because I kept distracting myself. This book is not very long, it should have taken me a day to read… it took me way longer.
Because of not being able to focus on the book I have requested it as an audio book and will be going back to listen to it.
I am going to give this book a 5-star review. It is a great book and it walks you through the life of a black man who faced a lot of racism. I liked it because that is something that I never experienced and it gives me a better idea of what others feel.
Now that it is October start looking for some spooky halloween posts! I am looking forward to writing them!
I have heard so many good things about this book! I kept seeing people suggest it and so naturally I was pretty pumped to get my hands on it.
When the time came and I got my notification from the library I was like YESSSSS! Unfortunately, I only had it for 14 days which was pushing it because I also was listening to another book at the same time.
Anywho let’s get to this book review, all I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved this book (as expected). I felt so calm reading it and if made me want to go and learn more about the earth around me and more about the Indigenous People that were here before the colonizers.
Each chapter was a story, which I love because it helps me keep things straight in my mind.
I super loved that she told some stories that were about the classes she taught and others about her roots and her family. I really liked the variety of the stories that were told because they were all so interesting.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. I loved it so much I might buy it (not a common thing for me). So I highly recommend reading it. This books gets 5 stars because it was such an amazing read.
I probably won’t have a post next week because I have started a new day job. Getting back into working and having an influx of new information has really wiped me out. However, keep your eyes peeled for the week after!
We have reached spooky season! But we are also in a pandemic which has numbers going up again, at least where I live.
Last year, my partner and I got possession of our house on November 1st, so we didn’t get to hand out candy to kids and before that we lived in a condo which isn’t great for trick-or-treaters. This year I was really looking forward to handing out candies but now we are in a pandemic.
Maybe something that is on your mind is do we let the kids go trick-or-treating?
I think yes. I believe that it is easy enough to maintain the 6ft distance, have no contact and you can incorporate a mask into costumes. Here is how I will be dealing with Halloween and I hope some of these ideas can help you too!
1. Incorporate a mask into the costume
This one I think is major. We should all be using masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you can incorporate it into the costume that is awesome. For example drawing the Joker’s smile on the mask if your kid is going as the joker, super easy right. Or putting lips on the mask if your kid is going as a princess or something more feminine.
2. Hand out candies that can be easily wiped down
This would be the single small packets that you get in a 120 pack or maybe a can of pop. I don’t recommend that you get anything that has a paper wrapper because if it gets wiped down it can make a mess. You know what wet paper is like.
3. Have a stick or something that you can ring the doorbell with
The doorbell with be a high touch place on halloween so I suggest getting a stick or something like a “kooty key” or germ utility hook (pic below)
having one of these to ring the doorbell will be key. I also suggest having something to knock with because if the doorbell doesn’t work you are going to want to knock which will also be a high touch area.
4. Have hand sanitizer
just have it on hand in case because you know life.
5. Once the doorbell has been rung stand 6ft back
this is just for the social distancing it might be hard to maintain when getting the candy but you know some people like to guess what the kids are so having as little close contact is best.
6. When handing out the candy get a reacher grabber
Or tongs from the kitchen will work!
7. Wear a mask when handing out candy
this is kind of the same as the other mask one but I feel like it is also important for the giver of candy. You may not be in others presence for long but it can still be beneficial.
8. Keep chit chat to a minimum
I know this one seems almost rude but it can help. It limits an exposure time which will help.
9. Keep the 6ft distance between your group and the next if you are walking
this also applies to when you may be waiting at a house for candy.
10. Wipe down your kids candy when you get home
If you can get some sanitary wipes just wipe the outsides of the candies. If you are able to maybe let the candies sit untouched for a few days just to be safe.
So that is what I will be doing for Halloween this year. I would hate to not have the kids going out because it has been a hard year for them and really everyone so if we can give them this holiday that can easily be made COVID safe lets do it.
We have reached the best time of year and ultimately the prettiest. If you live in Saskatchewan, you know that this is really at max a month window. Usually there will be snow soon after or the wind has blown all the leaves off the trees.
As I am writing this, I can see the pretty yellow tree across the street that still has some green and I am just living for it.
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to get in a few fall photo days while the weather was nice and the leaves were on the trees.
Naturally I have made a list of photos that every basic bitch should take, well at least this basic bitch. I have also included said photos because fall photos are the best (some are not mine because I didn’t get them in time.)
Your pumpkin spice latte.
If you don’t take a pic of you PSL are you really a basic bitch? Yea that is what I thought #PSLlife.
A tree that has changed colour
Not going to lie, if you are not snapping a photo of a tree that has changed you really are not appreciating the trees. This is such a standard photo is isn’t even funny.
As a Basic Bitch you have to go to a pumpkin patch, it is mandatory. Also it is to get a pumpkin so you can carve it for a Jack-o-lantern picture which is coming up.
person laying in a pile of leaves
There is something so relaxing about laying in the leaves in a warm sweater. I did have a picture of me doing this but my organization system has failed me so accept this photo as a replacement.
naturally with the pumpkin from the pumpkin patch you have to carve them. Bonus points if you can get more creative than standard smiling jack-o-lantern. Show off those skills.
Picture with a leaf
Well if you are not taking a photo with the foliage you are not living your basic bitch life!
A person bundled up
This is really just you standard basic bitch outfit with a scarf. Looking cozy in the brisk air. Bonus points if you have a PSL while looking cozy.
Throwing leaves in the air
This photo can also be shot as a boomerang for instagram. I opted for a photo. I suggest a burst photo if you want to photograph this.
Fall boots in leaves
This photo is probably the easiest to get because it is a quick pic over leaves!
Fall path covered in leaves
Once again another standard photo if you are not taking this photo you are not a basic bitch. If you can get this photo with you in the path you have reached ultimate basic bitch!
I hope that you liked this list of photos! Definity let me know what other kind of basic bitch photos you like to take or ones that I missed!
Keep your eyes open for ideas for Halloween during COVID next!
It is that time again! You can smell the pumpkin spice in the air…. along with a bit of a brisk wind. It is fall! which is this bitches favorite season! ( I wear my basic bitch-ness proudly). Naturally I had to make a list of things that are a must for the season!
Get a Pumpkin Spice latte (but not from Starbucks)
Yes this is number one one my list! When I was in college I had countdowns till Starbucks would release this coffee again. Now in recent years I have found that if I order it, it is just too sweet ( if I get it, it is half sweet). With the popularity of this drink I have found it in more and more local coffee shops which is awesome! They tend to be not as sweet and I get to support a local coffee shop!
2. Going for a walk on the University grounds/ by the river
So this one may not be accessible for everyone, but if possible get out and do it. If you don’t live near a body of water or a university, go wherever there are trees with leaves changing colour. The smell of the leaves with that cold air filling your lungs is magical.
3. Carve a pumpkin
This one I tend to leave to the week-ish before halloween so the pumpkins make it. I have now made it a tradition for my partner and I to carve pumpkins and this year people will actually get to see them. It is our first halloween in our house so I am very excited for this.
4. Play in the leaves
Ugg this one is just to appease the child in me. I love kicking around a pile of leaves. That crunch of the leaves under your boots is just awesome. Do expect a picture of me playing in leaves on Instagram….
5. Get a fall themed candle
not going to lie, I had one of these mid August. I live for all the smells of fall. I have a Apple candle going as I write this. Going along with my theme of shopping local I also got a candle from Coal and Canary, a candle company from Winnipeg.
6. Eat Pumpkin Pie
There is only one appropriate time to eat pumpkin pie and it is fall. If you don’t like pumpkin pie… GTFO. Just kidding. I have always loved pumpkin pie and probably forever will. Also Canadian thanksgiving is in October, so it is synonymous with that. This year I may also try and make my own? I am not usually a baking type but maybe I will have to give it a try.
7. Visit a pumpkin patch
This one is a tradition for my friends and I, and I cannot wait till we can possibly go to one this year? (thanks COVID). I like to make a photo shoot of it so we dress very fall-ish.
8. Having one last fire
This one is usually the one to usher in fall officially. I love sitting by a warm ass fire with a blanket wrapped around me with just my nose poking out and the tip being cold.
9. Make a soup
ok this one may sound weird but hear me out. I normally hate soup ( except for a very specific one) But when fall rolls around and the weather being more moody than normal I seem to want soup. I have for the past few years been trying to make the perfect butternut squash soup. I have yet to get it but I will attempt yet again this year. Who knows, maybe a recipe will come out of it. I also have another type of soup pinned that I am wanting to try. I will report back with my findings.
10. Make mulled wine or apple cider
This one I am just starting as a tradition. I made some mulled wine for my friends-mas last year and it was delicious and mad the house smell amazing. So naturally I will have to make it again or maybe I will try my hand at apple cider.
And that is my 10 things that I have to do for fall. I truly enjoy doing all of these because there is just something different about fall. The way it smells, the way it washes over me and bring about a calmness. It is also not 35 degrees celcius so I am not sweat out liters of water, so that is a bonus.
Like I had said on previous posts expect an influx in the fall posts. I have a few ideas in mind just have to execute them.
I am always looking for book recommendations so when a youtuber that I follow was reading it and suggested Atomic Habits I immediately when to put a hold on it at my digital library.
As I was reading this book I would have to periodically jot down some notes to keep things straight in my head. I am glad I did so I could also write this review and explain some of the methods that Clear suggests to form habits.
Atomic habits is a book about creating habits and keeping them. There is a lot in this book so I will try to keep this to a minimum because there is no way that I could really explain everything so I will try to just highlight the bits that really stood out to me.
Some of the things Clear talks about is increasing your improvement by 1% a day. So not going and running a full 5k when you haven’t gone for a run in years. Start slow with maybe a 1k walk and work your way up to that goal of 5k as an example.
Another topic that stood out to me was not having a goal first mentality to form a habit. An example of this would be thinking that you will be happy once you lose 20lb. Once that milestone is reached, most people revert back to old habits and end up back in the same place that they were before. This is because there is nothing motivating you to keep up with that habit.
The last thing that I will mention of the methods to build habits is the word association that goes along when creating habits. The example that Clear gave in the book was when someone is quitting smoking but is offered a smoke. In this situation a lot of people would just state that they are trying to quit. Instead say “I don’t smoke”. I can’t exactly remember how Clear explained it but I will explain how it makes sense in my head. With the second statement you are affirming that you no longer smoke and everytime that you affirm that you believe it more. Eventually you get to the point that smoking is not even in question. In the first statement it isn’t affirmed that you no longer smoke and therefore leaves a window to fall back into the habit.
I am a firm believer that wording is very powerful so this last method really stood out to me.
Like I said there was a few methods throughout this book and they are all categorized into 4 laws. Clear goes into much more details and ties them all together very nicely.
I found this book really helpful and I do plan on implementing some of these methods to create habits. I might even buy this book to go back to for reminders.
Overall I enjoyed this book because it will help me better myself. I highly recommend it if you are wanting to change some habits or are looking to make new ones.
I am giving this book a 5 star review. I think this book can be beneficial to many. I know it has helped me.
Look toward the future expect to see fall posts! I am going full basic bitch for the fall.
Here we are again! Another book review. I would like to pat myself on the back because I have been doing so good at reading all the books. Although I have also gotten super overwhelmed because I put a butt tonne of holds on books and they are all coming up to be read! Eeeek! Thankfully, I am able to delay them a bit. whew!
A bit about the author first! Celeste was actually raised in the city that is featured in the novel, Shaker Heights. This book is her second novel. Little Fires Everywhere was made into a TV show on Hulu in 2020.
I have not seen the TV show so I really didn’t know what this book was about. From stuff I had heard I thought this book was about something totally different so maybe I was thinking of another book? Anywho on to the review.
Little fires everywhere is a book about two very different families whose lives get entangled because of their children. As soon as a museum picture is found of one of the mothers, the other is off on a journey to dig up her past and find out who she really is.
I really did enjoy this book, it has been a while since I have read anything that is more fiction and lighthearted. Don’t get me wrong there is some talk of abortion and some other stuff that might be a bit hard for some but such topics are not hard for me.
The only thing that I didn’t enjoy in the book was when it the the sort of mystery was figured out, I did not get that oh damnnnnnn feeling. It was not powerful enough for me, I wanted a bigger mystery. The ending was also a bit underwhelming also. I won’t spoil it for anyone! Don’t worry.
I found that the book was very well written though and was smooth enough to keep me captivated the entire book. I just wanted more. It was still a great book and recommend it for anyone so it gets four stars!
Welp that is it for now look out for more book reviews cause I got those stacking up again. I am trying to incorporate other blog posts in between them though so look out for those also!
Hello all! and welcome to another bomb list of a blog post!
Ever since COVID-19 happened and shut down/forced people to work from home I found that my productivity and motivation plummeted. Like really dropped off.
I would wake-up have my coffee, mosey my way to my home office and half ass do my work. When the day ended and supper was done, I would go lay on the couch or in bed. That was on repeat for months! It got to the point where I just felt shitty. I knew I had to make better decisions.
So I sat down and thought about all the things that made me feel good or when I was more productive what I had done to get into that mindset.
So here is my list of things you can do when you want to be productive that have helped me.
1. GO FOR A WALK / EXERCISE IN THE MORNING
This is one that is like hands down the best. I remember when I was in school on the mornings that I worked out, I always got more done. I also carried myself differently. I didn’t shy away from asking questions about school work I thought might be dumb.
It was the same thing when I would go for a walk in the morning before work. I got the blood pumping and the endorphins doing their thing. At work I never second guessed asking my boss questions that might be stupid. SO the pattern became clear, moving my body in the morning helped me get into the headspace to get stuff done.
2. DRINK GOOD COFFEE / ENJOY YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
This one seems silly but I feel like it helps. There was a few weeks where my partner bought the wrong coffee. For those few weeks I was not as productive. Maybe it was because I wasn’t drinking as much coffee because I hated the taste of it maybe it was because my morning was starting off on a sour note. Either way I knew I had to fix this. Coffee time is my wake-up time, so if I can make it a good experience I will have a better day and will be much more positive and productive
There are days where I am a lazy ass and don’t shower in the morning or maybe I decided to shower at night. I can say that showering in the morning is like an extra bonus to a new day. Fresh start to a day and a clean body, look out world I am coming for you! I have found that this has helped me overall have a great day. I feel fresh and my mind is fresh to get stuff done.
4. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
Yes that means you will have to wake up earlier then maybe you want to, but if you can give yourself that peaceful time before going to work / doing whatever you will thank-yourself. On the days where I didn’t give myself the time to wake-up and process it was morning, I was usually very distracted at work. On a good chunk of the rushed days I would forget something at home, usually my lunch, which would cost me more money cause I am not making it through the day with no food. Now I know that this isn’t always a possibility if you have kids or are a night owl, but it is something that I have found to make my mental space better to have a productive day.
5. MAKE A TO-DO LIST
I don’t know about you but I am very list oriented. I make a lot of lists. My desk is often full of many different lists. This is how I organize my life. Having one of them be what I want to accomplish in a day is awesome. It doesn’t have to be some huge ass list of things that need to be done but just a few items. Have just a few items can help you slowly make that overwhelming list more doable. Even if it is just three thing, it is three things that I have to get done in the day. If I want to accomplish more so be it, but if I want to end at that list I can. Having a list like this makes it so much easier for me to get things done because I look at the list and figure “hey I can do these three things no problem.” When it is a large ass list, I want to go curl up in my bed and then do nothing.
6. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
Before my coffee in the morning I drink a glass of water, first off to help get my vitamins down second get give my body some hydration and get the gears going. Doing this in the morning has just helped me and my body. After 8 hours of no water, the body appreciated it. It also helps me get to my daily hydration goals…. oh btw have you drank your water today?
7. PUT STUFF AWAY AFTER YOU ARE DONE WITH IT
This seems weird but I find it very beneficial. I have been actively making this apart of my daily routine and it has made my life SOOOO much better. Normally I would save cleaning up the house to Saturdays. It would take me half the day to just tidy the house. In my most recent book I read (Atomic Habits review coming soon) this is called resetting the room. This means when you leave a room you put it back exactly how it was. Now all I have to do is really wash the floors, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms on Saturday. This is saving me SO MUCH TIME!!!! So much more time for activities and getting bigger projects done. I know that this one doesn’t really work if you have kids but even if you do it some of the time I am sure it will make your life easier.
8. SET YOURSELF UP FOR AN EASY MORNING
This helps me out so fucking much. I get my coffee set up so it is brewed for when I wake-up. I have my lunch made and ready to go. I have my clothing set out and ready to go. Doing all of this helps my morning go so much smoother and I am less likely to forget my stuff. It really does make for a smoother day. This one kind of goes with enjoy your morning routine. when the decisions and hard work is done before your mind is free to think about other things like the stuff on that to-do list!
So there it is, everything that I do to make sure that I have a productive day. I have found that even doing a few of these things just helps me get into the right headspace to tackle my day.
I hope that some things on this list are helpful to you. If you have something that helps you be productive in a day let me know in the comments! I am always looking for things to help me.