willpower – can i get a refund?

Guys, I really think I got the short end of the stick in terms of willpower. I have none. Trying to push myself into doing something I don’t want to do is like trying to wrangle an unruly two-year old: exhausting.

It can be frustrating to look at other people and it seems like with no effort they are able to accomplish all these great things, and I look at myself and how did that cookie get in my hand?

and now i want cookies.

It can be hard for anyone to get up and do something not necessarily pleasant in order to better themselves. Personally I think this culture of Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram makes it even harder. When all you see is the polished and perfect pictures of everyone else’s victories, it can make your own look small and insignificant. Continue reading

The Outlander

Here goes! My first book review not written for some required school thing. I had fun re-reading this book (for what was likely at least the third time) with the new intention of sharing it with others. I took notes and did a little research and feel prepared to share my opinion with you all! Before this post you’ve been privy to my unresearched opinions on things, so you should now be feeling p r e t t y special. One quick note before we start – I don’t like reading book reviews that are mostly a summary. So, if you stumbled upon this looking for an extensive summary review, fair warning! You’re not going to get one.

Scan 2014-4-23 0002     The Outlander is a fairly hefty book (387 pages) that takes me about 3 hours to read, less if I’m not going slower than normal in order to write a book review. It’s neither a particularly fast read (I’m looking at you, Janet Evanovich), nor is it anything close to the undertaking of the Lord of the Rings. It sits comfortably somewhere in the middle, a book that requires your attention but not years of attentive worry that you might have missed something. I like that in a book. If you enjoy reading about the turn of the century or frontier living, this is a good book for you. If you have never tried reading about those things, this is a good book for you. If you think you don’t like reading those things, I encourage you to try again. This could be a good book for you. What I enjoy in particular about this book is that all of the interesting historicity of it is just the background music to the story of Mary Boulton, as it should be. I really like this character. She’s only 19, but (as I’m sure was true with many who existed in times such as hers) she experienced much hardship way before most of us feel prepared to grocery shop on our own. (I’m still struggling with that. Anyone else just sort of meander down each aisle hoping that inspiration will hit?) Something I find interesting is that she’s only called Mary at very specific points in the story, the rest of the time she is simply referred to as the widow. Continue reading

we have to choose

Here’s what I dislike the most about adult life so far:

the need to choose.

Of course there are a veritable plethora of things I could be talking about, but in this instance I’m talking about dreams. Aspirations. Desires. The wants that flit across our minds that we are only barely conscious of. I have so many, and I hate that I have to choose. There’s only so much time and money. There’s only so much of me. How do you look at all your darling hopes and tell them that some must be shelved for a while (or a lifetime) in order to make way for other things that call upon your attention?

I feel like so many people tell me about how I can still follow my dreams even on a smaller scale. In some way, I suppose they are right. There exists, however, this increasingly large part of me that resists and fights and angrily insists that if I tried to do things on a smaller scale that wouldn’t be me.

I am not a small scaled person. I attack things wide-eyed with fervor, knowing that failure looms imminent but the chance of success promises everything. I want to experience the world. I refuse to accept that I cannot.

On a completely different note, the first of many book reviews will be coming next Friday, and I’ll (hopefully) be back to my regularly scheduled programming of personal posts on Monday! I’m currently deciding how I want to set up the reviews, so next weeks will be a trial of what I think will work best. Please feel free to respond and let me know if it works or not. The first book coming up for review is:

The Outlander

by Gil Adamson


Hey guys!

So, things are looking a little bit different around here lately. I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, both in real life (and thank goodness because my mother would have been very unhappy to see the state of my room) and here on the blog! Firstly, the blog went from shelbyannelee.wordpress.com to shelbyanneleeblogs.com. It’s okay if you don’t remember the change because the original will redirect to the new one.

Also, I’ve updated the look of the blog. It feels more like me and less like I chose some pre-made theme! It also took about a million years to do, because I’m a perfectionist who has little-to-no-experience in all of these design type things. But I made the header all by myself, and everything included it in is French and over a hundred years old except for the two itsy bitsy globes in the left hand corner, which are from my grandmother’s elementary school geography book. I love that I got to incorporate elements that mean something to me and share them with anyone who cares to look.

In addition to all of these visual things, I’m thinking of adding a little extra something in terms of what I write. I wanted to update this blog at the very least once a week, but I’ve been finding myself coming up empty recently when Mondays roll around. Things are slower here, and it’s hard to justify putting up boring nonsense about how I added celery to my potato soup to try something different just so I can say I met my weekly quota. All of this to say that I think I’m going to start doing a weekly book review! I feel like I’m always hearing people talk (or seeing people post) about how they want something to read but they don’t have any ideas, or requesting recommendations. Well, I own upwards of 300 books (some of which are ebooks) and I’ve read them all at least twice, so why not share some of those with everyone else? I love love LOVE to read, and I’d be doing it anyway, so the plan is to begin with the A’s (author last name) of my physical books and once I’ve finished those, start with the ebooks. I read very quickly and thus have a very large variety of books to chose from. I think it’ll be fun! And maybe you all will find a new book series or author that you love.

I’ll let you know a week in advance which book I’m going to be re-reading/reviewing, that way if you want to get it and read it for yourself you can. I’m going to release the reviews on Fridays and I’m hoping to start that soon! Be sure to check back to see when I’ll begin adding that to this little ol’ blog.

So, what do you think? Do you have any interest in finding new books or are you not a reader?


I couldn’t find a place for this lady in the new blog design, but I still like her!