Author: jessimatts

Reflection and planning for the fourth quarter: Aries Full Moon Goals

So the moon will be entering its next full moon cycle for the year tonight. This means that there is only an day left in September and then we’re sprinting into the fourth and final quarter of 2023.

I will be more than happy to see the end of this year…and if I could find a time machine—I’d jump ahead a few years to say 2026 or 2028.

So the moon will be moving through the Aries constellation—which means that astrologically we’re ‘starting a new year’ since Aries is the start of the Zodiac calendar. It is the time to reassess, redesign, toss, and make new goals if one is inclined.

So what are some of the questions we can reflect on during this time? They include:

Have I been hotheaded, selfish, or argumentative this month?

Have I been going too fast or been impulsive this month?

Have I been brash, blunt, or too competitive?

Have I ignored other people’s finer sensibilties?

Have I had enough fun?

So before answering the questions, I do need to point out that September is basically over, and these questions can be answered in one of two ways: 1) reflecting back on the month of September, or 2) how one want to behave during the Aries phase (which is the first two weeks of October). So as usual I’m going to number the questions 1 to 5 as I answer them.

  1. I would have to say that I’ve managed not to lose my temper, get into any arguments (at least any that are worth remembering having), and I haven’t been acting selfish. September (while it is my birth month), is now just another month I’d rather avoid if possible. I was joking with someone that I was only going to acknowledge half the year, and was debating on how often that would mean I’d have a birthday.
  2. Have I been impulsive during the month of September? Well—yes, if I take into account how many e-books I’ve bought. I probably should keep the phone on airplane mode for majority of the day to ensure that I’m not spending time on social media; also should download another time management app that would ‘block’ my access from different sites (namely Facebook). Have I been going too fast during the month of September? No. I probably have been going a little too slow again. While I have the science/health/med blog/website up and going—I haven’t gotten a blog post up or started any projects to highlight in the portfolio section of the site. The goals for October are not to spend excess money (only order what is absolutely necessary and no new books [other than what’s already been pre-ordered]), and to have at least one if not two blog posts up on the new site, and drafts of at least three different pieces for the portfolio done. 
  3. No, I don’t think I’ve been brash, blunt, or too competitive this past month. I may start being a little more blunt around certain topics (especially education and basic civil rights), but that is a topic for another day. I’m only going to try to be competitive with myself—and only the person I was yesterday.
  4. Well I’m still self-isolating for the most part, and therefore majority of my interactions with people are virtual. I’m working on being more empathetic while at the same time drawing and maintaining my boundaries on certain topics/areas of life.
  5. What is this word fun? The past year has been nothing short of a dumpster fire and we’re going to be stuck dealing with the damn SARS-CoV2 virus thanks to all the idiots back in 2020 that didn’t want to stay at home any longer, and all the idiots that refused to wear masks, social distance, and get their damn vaccines and/or booster shots. While I may have caught COVID—luckily it’s been extremely mild (though it could also still be allergies—need to purchase an in-home test to determine for certain). Therefore, I’m slowly trying to ‘reintroduce’ fun into my day-to-day routine. Fun for me can mean anything from working on my needlepoint project, to sitting outside with the dogs, to making cookies or brownies.

Aries is moves through my sixth house (or my daily work and health zone). This house is where we can sit and reflect on who we are (both in terms of professional/work and personal/health) and decide to work on those aspects that we don’t like.

It’s that time of year (for the second time) to sit and reflect on various things—the good, the bad, and the silly. Figure out where we’re stalling, and then try to develop a plan to start pushing the needle forward again (instead of having it spin around in a circle).

Health wise—I’m still procrastinating on developing a weekly schedule for fitness. I have most of my dumb bells in the family room (the 14-lb and 20-lb weights are still in my bedroom), the exercise bike is in the living room, and I technically have the room to roll out the yoga mat. 

My excuse has been centered more or less around our youngest pup and the fact that if you’re on the ground—he thinks it is playtime (and he plays rather rough—but then again he’s only about seven or eight months old). The excuse for the bike—nothing to watch and I get bored after only a minute or two; and the dogs try to attack the pedals. 

Needless to say—I need to ‘schedule’ the thirty minutes or so for a bike ride, pop on a movie (or pull one up on Amazon video) and get my workout in. Also—can pop in a workout DVD (I do have a handful that I could work out to again), and see how they handle me trying to do a workout in the front of the house.

Nutrition wise—I’m trying to get more protein in each day (starting to mix protein powder in with plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and fruit), drink more water, and cut back on the processed foods (mostly the sweets and chips).

Career wise—I’m pivoting to freelance science/health/medical communications. Why—to help improve the science/health/medical literacy in the global community. There is so much mis- and dis- information out there on various things, that if we’re going to try to colonize another planet—we need people who understand these topics.

I’m still working on developing a schedule that will work for life (health/wellness, career(s), personal/professional growth, and crafts/hobbies), and determining different ways of handling the procrastination bug when it bites (which it does on a fairly regular basis). So time and project management skills are still on the ‘improvement’ list of habits.

The Aries full moon is arriving just before the start of the final quarter of 2023. Therefore, my goals for this full moon are going to revolve around getting things going for both the final quarter of the year—and the next year or two. 

The goals of the Aries full moon will then include:

  1. Setting up the October calendar, fourth quarter BINGO card, and the October BINGO card
  2. Devise (and then test) an intentional movement schedule that includes weight lifting, walking, cardio (exercise bike, dance parties, and shadow boxing), yoga, and so forth.
  3. Have at least two mini-book reviews written and posted on various sites
  4. Work through at least part of a personal/professional e-course
  5. Continue reading (and finishing) at least one non-fiction book that I’ve started.

The motto for the final quarter of 2023: ‘Progress over Perfection’.

What is a personal/professional goal that you’re going to work towards achieving this quarter?

No Comments AstrologyBookscareerCraftsfitnessFull Moon GoalsHealthno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Review of Pisces Goals: Procrastination Habits Acknowledged & Progress on Projects

So the moon will be entering its full moon for September tomorrow night, which means I should look back at the goals that I set for the August Super Blue Moon (since it had two). This also means that we’re basically down to the last quarter of 2023.

So what goals did I make for the Pisces Super Blue Moon? They included:

  1. Troubleshooting my weekly ‘schedule’—making notes of what blocks of periods work, what doesn’t work; am I trying to cram too much stuff in on any particular day; are there days that may be better served as ‘brainstorming’/‘learning’ days?
  2. Spend at least fifteen to thirty minutes a day on some type of craft project
  3. Working on both blogs—getting the second blog up and ‘running’ (having the home page & about me pages written, and having the ‘blog’ portion live with at least one post by the end of September); working on editorial calendars, and so forth.
  4. Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

So how did I do with each of them?

Troubleshooting my weekly schedule:

I had hopes that I would be done ‘troubleshooting’ my weekly schedule this week and could commit to a schedule come October. Well—what I’ve found is that my evening block is best spent doing crafts and relaxing, and I’d rather flip and move around times for doing chores and cooking instead of blocking those off in the late afternoon.

I also think that on Wednesdays, I will be dedicating more time to brainstorming and/or e-courses in addition to the chores for the day. I also need to get better at actually doing things on the weekends. Usually I’ve managed to get about sixty percent of things I want done during the week done…goal for the last quarter is to get that percentage up to eighty percent.

Spending at least fifteen minutes to a half hour on crafts:

I’m starting to spend more time in the evenings working on my large needlepoint project (and hopefully will have it done by Thanksgiving weekend if not by Halloween). One thing I’d realized over the past week, is that unless I’m doing crafts (and taking progress photos) there isn’t a lot of new photographs to share (since I was going to try to do a 365-day photography challenge). But that is something again to work on during the fourth quarter of the year.

Working on both blogs:

Well, I have the second blog/website (the science/health/medical) up and ‘running’. Basically other than the blog and portfolio pages, the rest are all visible. I had planned on getting a blog post up last week, but stuff happened (we unexpectedly lost one of our cats) and that blog post never happened. But it is on the schedule for October. 

I have also posted at least four times to this blog, while I had a bigger goal in mind (say weekly)—I’ll take being at least consistent in being sporadic in posting. Again, becoming more consistent is on the schedule for October.

Working through another e-course:

I worked through/watched ‘The Ten Steps for Getting Your Point Across in Writing’ on Udemy. The main thing I got from this course—I don’t spend enough time on the planning and editing stages of writing. That will change (especially for the science/health/medical site) moving forward.

Progress is being made in terms of both time and project management. The fourth goal (which was the only ‘yes/no’ in terms of total completion) was completed, and progress on the other three were made. Scheduling (or time blocking) is the aspect of time/project management that I need to get better at during the next few months. 

I know that I switch things up at the last minute because I feel I will either get bored or not get the task completed to my ‘liking’ (aka fear of failure and my inner critic is rearing it’s ugly head again). How will I work with my inner critic? Well, I could offer it an unlimited supply of cookies and brownies…which means focusing more on baking than content creation. So—maybe (at least every so often). Basically, I need to dedicate a good chunk of time to the planning stage of projects (outlines, determining what style(s) of communication I can get out of said outline; and then making (and sticking) with a reasonable deadline schedule). This means that to begin with I may only have a blog post monthly on the new site, and once I get enough outlines/mind maps made it could move to biweekly, and then weekly.

It is better to start at a slow jog, than to try to sprint my way to a ‘finish’ line that may or may not be the one for me.

The two phrases I need to keep in mind as I move forward with various endeavors: ‘progress over perfection’ and ‘done is better than perfect, because perfect never gets done’.

As the moon moves into Aries, it is time to take a look at things and figure out where I’ve been stalling in goals…and that is the subject of the next Full Moon Goals post.

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Health, time and project management: Goals for the Virgo New Moon

So, we’re going to entering the Virgo New Moon this weekend, and I’m a couple days late in posting my new moon goals. That means the month is literally halfway over, and there are only a few days until my birthday. It also means that we’re almost through Virgo season as well.

While I’m not counting down the days until my birthday (I have too many things that I’d like to get done before hand…that if I start counting down the days—I may have either a nervous breakdown, or just turn off the computer and read), I will try to focus on what goals I can set and achieve during this time.

So what are some of the things that one can do during the Virgo new moon?

Take an inventory of your life. Figure out what is working and what isn’t and then figure out what needs to change for the things that aren’t working.

Be of service—help out more at work (if able), do the little things that can help make someone else’s day a little more bearable.

Be healthy—see what is and isn’t working in your health and fitness routines and then figure out what to fix—what new habits to start working on.

Avoid nitpicking—this is where the motto “progress over perfection” really comes into play

Get organized—pay bills, figure out the monthly schedule (workout, eating, so forth)—things that can make life a little more bearable going forward.

While most would think that the new moon would be moving through my first house (since my star sign is Virgo), it actually moving through my 11th house (or friends’ zone), since I’ve been going with my rising sign (which is Scorpio). 

Last year I wrote that my ‘new normal’ was social distancing (with a few exceptions—meeting a friend for lunch), wearing a mask, and just trying to be considerate of others. That is still part of my ‘new normal’, but now it also includes trying to figure out life post-trauma (death in the family back in May, and loss of a couple of pets in June).

Some of the things one can do in regards to their 11th house include:

Sign up for an evening class in something you’ve always wanted to do.

Ask your friends to introduce to friends of theirs you’ve never met.

Wish on a star every night for a month.

Introduce a childhood pal to a friend from your life now.

Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see nearly every day but never talk to.

Thank your best friend for being there for you.

Even though the pandemic has been ‘dialed’ back to epidemic status—I still don’t get out that much, therefore about two-thirds of the above list won’t be getting done.

The only things I could do in regards to my 11th house is: wish on a star every night for a month (would help improve my astronomy—as I’d probably be wishing on a satellite or a plane), and thank my best friend for being there for me (especially this past year).

So, since I’m still in semi self-isolation, my goals for the Virgo New Moon period will include:

  1. Take inventory of various aspects of life (research/writing/editing, crafts/hobbies, fitness, and mental health/spirituality) and develop a working schedule that will help me increase my productivity throughout the week.
  2. Create a fitness schedule that includes weights, shadow boxing, and getting on the exercise bike.
  3. Continue with the evening meditations, oracle card readings and journaling.


Goals are similar to last years—but I removed two of them. One didn’t add anything to the list, and in theory should have just been combined with the first goal (which I did here). The second one I removed was the list of outlines/drafts that I had planned for last year. I still need to make outlines/drafts/lists for both blogs, but I don’t need to do them all at once.

September is now over halfway over, and that means that there are only 105 days left in 2023. I’m more than ready for those 105 days to fly by…while at the same time wanting them to drag (mainly to ensure that I get things accomplished before 2024 gets here).

Progress is being made—I hit ‘publish’ on the science, health, medical blog website, and am working on getting it linked to my LinkedIn profile and the ‘business’ page I made for it on LinkedIn as well.

While I want to say that things are mellowing out—I also don’t want to jinx things, so I’ll just raise a toast (my cup of sleepy time tea) to the last 105 days of the year. Now, off to get some more planning done for the last quarter of the year.

What is one big goal you have for the last few months of 2023?

No Comments AstrologycareerfitnessHealthNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Baby-steps back to productivity and goal-setting

So, tomorrow is the Virgo New Moon…which means that I should review the goals that I set last month for the Leo New Moon. I’m slowly getting back into a routine of setting goals based on the cycle of the moon, aiming to have them complement the larger and long term goals that I’m refocusing and fine-tuning.

So what were the goals that I had set for the Leo New Moon? Well, they included: 

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This will include meditation time; time outdoors, journaling, stretching, and getting back into weight training.
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the blogs and possibly even LinkedIn to help streamline projects and have an idea of what I’m talking about on different platforms. Also should think of creating an editorial calendar for Instagram as well. In addition to finish editing some pages on the science/health blog.
  3. Create my September BINGO card for goals.

So how did I do with each of them?

(1) I’m getting better with the self-care/self-love routine. I spend a few minutes at night meditating, prior to (or at times while doing) an oracle card reading, and then I journal on the day. Hopefully will be spending more time outdoors as the temperatures cool down—while I like the sunny days of summer, I’m not a fan of the triple digits and high heat index. I usually try to stretch multiple times a day, and am slowly organizing a space in the front of the house for my weights—so that when I want to take a break and do a quick weightlifting session, I don’t have to go back to the bedroom.

(2) Well, in terms of editorial calendars and such—I finished editing several of the pages for the science/health/medical blog/website, and actually now consider the site ‘live’. I also have shared the link to the blog on LinkedIn and Facebook. Since I’m still in the early stages for the new blog, an calendar hasn’t been extremely necessary—but I’ve been able to keep up with about seventy percent of what I want to post on this blog.

(3) I did make my September BINGO card, and have managed to check a couple of boxes. Since the month is only half over, it’s a little too early to tell how many BINGOs I may get during September—but it should be at least one.

So all goals were at least semi-completed (BINGO card was a total completion) for the Leo new moon. Moving forward into a new normal is going to take time, as I know there will be times that I backslide into bad habits and will have to crawl my way out again. Now, though I can look forward to the Virgo new moon, set some goals and patiently count down until 2023 is over.

How did you do with your Leo new moon goals?

No Comments Uncategorized

The nanny and tattoo artist: Review of Happily Ever Never

Welcome back to Colorado and the next generation of Montgomerys.

What I love about Carrie Ann Ryan’s series is that secondary characters are never overlooked. Usually one or two couples get their happily ever afters via novellas.

Happily Ever Never is one of those stories, and is May and Leo’s story.

Both May and Leo were first introduced in Bittersweet Promises (the first of the Montgomery Ink Legacy series).

Leo is a tattoo artist at Montgomery Ink Legacy (the tattoo shop run by Lief, Nick, Sebastian and Lake).

We first met May on her one and only blind date with Lief, and then she became the nanny to Brooke’s son Luke in Bittersweet Promises.

May had made a promise to her father—to keep looking until she found her happily-ever-after.

She made a deal with family members—every other blind date—they’d chose her date.

She feels she’s become the ‘queen’ of first dates…as no one sparks enough interest for a second date.

She then decides to swear off dating after a specially horrendous one results in her car getting totaled.

Leo has a crush on May…but doesn’t want to potentially mess up the dynamics of all their little groups…and foolishly listens to the other guys.

Which results in him managing to mess things up for awhile…

To find out how Leo fixes things…and how many ‘first’ dates they go on…pick up a copy of Happily Ever Never today.

Happily Ever Never is a five out five star read, and I love the glimpses into lives of all the Montgomerys…looking forward to the series continuing.

No Comments Book ReviewsBooks

Focusing on time & project management during the Super Blue Moon

So the moon will be entering its second full moon for August tonight—making it a super blue moon. I’ve seen it stated that the moon could be either in Pisces or back in Aquarius…so I’m going to go with the first—that the moon will be moving through Pisces tonight.

That means there is only a day left in August of 2023, and four months left in the year.

So if I look to the book “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland, there are five questions that one can ask themselves during this time:

Self-reflection questions:

(1) Have I been dreamy to the point of not getting enough done and making silly errors?

(2) Have I been overly sensitive and too easily hurt?

(3) Have I been acting like a martyr? Or too easily led?

(4) Have I been meditating every day, and if not, why not?

(5) Have I been in touch with my intuitive side? Following my dreams and hunches?

My answers:

  1. I don’t think I’ve been ‘too dreamy’ lately…distracted, semi-depressed, dealing with grief, and still totally irritated with the world? Yep…this year hasn’t been the greatest, I’m working on finding a new routine, while balancing various other things—and working on improving my overall mental health. I haven’t been making silly errors, but I probably haven’t been getting nearly enough things done…though I have managed to three ‘BINGOs’ on my August BINGO goal card.
  2. The past year has been a sh*t show of epic proportions, and I probably am a little more sensitive lately compared to say two or three years ago. I do realize that everyone is busy with things and that if someone doesn’t respond—it only means they’re busy. 
  3. Nope.
  4. While I’m still using the soothing pod app for ‘guided’ meditation at night…I’d say my ability to ‘focus’ on breath for meditating is currently sitting around two minutes (the opening intros of the guided meditations)…then I listen as I pull a couple of oracle cards to ‘read’.
  5. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times—this is something that I’m working on…having spent so many years in higher edu research—I’m extremely good at being in touch with my analytical side, and ‘ignoring’ my intuitive side. I’m working at getting better at being in the moment, taking things slowly, and not having everything planned out. I am going after my dream of having a more independent career away from the bench. I am pivoting to the direction of freelance/remote/contract science/health/medical communications. In other words—writing, creating infographics, posters, slide decks, and other educational type material. Once I have that up and going, I’ll also be working different ideas/directions for this blog as well (creative writing/crafts/photography/travel/book reviews). I’ve chosen these directions because I want something that is location independent, time independent, and allows me to ‘jump’ between different areas/subjects that are of interest to me as I create content. 

So in addition to the self-reflection questions, one should also check to see what house or zone the moon is moving through as well. For me, the Pisces full moon is moving through my 5th house (according to my rising sign), which is also known as the “kids, romance, and creativity zone”.

I’m still semi self-isolating—I’ll meet a friend for lunch occasionally, we try to get out to walk the dogs at a park once a week (temperatures permitting), and hopefully within a month or two I can start trying to get a walk in at Boomer; but there are new variants of the omicron COVID-19 variant popping up—so I may not do the lunch meetup all that often this fall.

I made note last year that when (and if) I move, it would require moving into a small one or two bedroom house, due to my dog…well, now when that happens—it will probably be a two (or three) bedroom house with a basement, and possibly an apartment over the detached garage. Seems mighty specific, huh…well—moving is going to become an ‘family’ affair. My father is going to be retiring within two or three years, and has been talking of moving once that happens. My younger brother is financially dependent on my father, and well—I’m going to have power of attorney…so I’d rather be in the same area in case something goes wrong.  The current ‘specifics’ of the house/property is from how I imagine us being able to move and ‘live’ around each other.

Again, the only ‘kids’ I’m currently around are the furry variety—the two dogs and two cats. My niece is out in CA, and we don’t see them that often; and when I meet up with friends for lunch, if it’s during the school year—her daughter is in school.

I’m doing well with crafts…I’m making progress on my large cross-stitch project, and have started a large doodle/drawing project as well. If I like how the doodle/drawing turns out this winter—the second one will actually be done on a canvas (the current paper is a little too thin for even water colors).

Pisces Super Blue Full Moon goals:

(1) Troubleshooting my weekly ‘schedule’—making notes of what blocks of periods work, what doesn’t work; am I trying to cram too much stuff in on any particular day; are there days that may be better served as ‘brainstorming’/‘learning’ days?

(2) Spend at least fifteen to thirty minutes a day on some type of craft project.

(3) Working on both blogs—getting the second blog up and ‘running’ (having the home page & about me pages written, and having the ‘blog’ portion live with at least one post by the end of September); working on editorial calendars, and so forth.

(4) Work through at least part of one personal/professional e-course.

Four goals, and while only one (the last) will actually have a ‘yes/no’ in terms of completion—the rest can also be considered on-going/continuous goals—but if one doesn’t start them…one can in theory never continue them…

Bits and pieces from previous chapters of our lives usually find their way into our current chapters that we’re trying to write…the bits and pieces from my previous chapters unfortunately right now include: imposter syndrome, inner critic, negative self-talk, and feelings of inadequacy. 

I know that I can work through all of those feelings, and will be doing so—but also just acknowledging them is a huge step in the right direction of self-care/self-acceptance, and healing. 

Therefore, I’m also going to keep the following quote at the forefront: ‘progress over perfection’, and knowing that I’m slowly starting the next chapter of my life (as I’m done re-reading the last one), in addition to limiting the influence of others in terms of what I decide to do with my future.

Question time: what are some of your favorite crafts?

No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

The first stepping-stones of getting back into a routine

So, we’re going to be having a blue moon on Wednesday, August 30th. This means that during the month of August there were two full moons. In addition to being the blue moon, it will also be a super moon (meaning it will look slightly larger than normal, because it is at its closest orbital point to Earth). Depending on what site you go with (and where you are in the world), this blue super moon will either be back in Aquarius or it will have moved into Pisces.

But before looking ahead to the blue moon (and moving through Pisces), I need to look back at the goals I set for the Aquarius full moon and see how I did with each of them.

So I only set a few goals for the Aquarius full moon…in part because I’m just starting to get back into a routine, and because I’ve realized in the past—setting more than four usually means I only get possibly half of them done (or semi-met) before the next full moon (or even the midway point of the new moon).

So what goals did I set for the Aquarius full moon? They included:

A large open-ended goal of working on my time and project management skills. Since I left that ‘open-ended’, I made some specific mini-goals:

Finish reading: It’s Okay that You’re Not Okay by Megan Devine & Oracle Cards 101 by Sunny Johnson

Unplug for at least 90% of one (or more) weekends (knowing that I will possibly give in and check social media on the phone)..

Start creating content for both blogs and various other social media sites as well.

Continue working on my very large abstract needlepoint project

So how did I do with the more specific mini-goals?

In terms of reading:

Well I finished reading Oracle Cards 101 by Sunny Johnson.

This book was basically an introduction to what oracle cards are used for, and the biggest takeaway message I got from it was to not always rely on the guidebook for guidance in terms of interpretation of the cards.

This is something that I’m slowly working on…as I will be the first to admit that I usually open up the guidebook to see what it has to say for each card. This is in part due to just randomly pulling cards at the end of the day (I’m never quite sure if I actually have a question in mind when I’m pulling cards), and other times I’ll continue flipping through cards until I get to one that I hadn’t pulled recently. 

I also realize that I do need to downsize the number of oracle card decks that I own, and that way I’d be using decks more often (currently I can cycle through a different deck each month and not have to use the same deck for at least fifteen if not sixteen months)—so yeah, few decks of cards are key here. I’ll be posting a more consist review of the book during September.

I’m still reading ‘It’s okay that you’re not okay’ by Megan Devine. I’m almost two-thirds of the way through this book, and will possibly finish it before the end of August, or at the very latest early September.

Though I did finish reading another non-fiction book: ‘Survivors: the plants and animals that time forgot’ by Richard Foley. I’m thinking of posting the review of this book on the science/health blog come late September or possibly early October (once I have the blog/website up and running).

Unplugging/staying off social media & the phone:

I did unplug for least 80-to-90% of the time over the weekends. I haven’t been participating in any social Saturday events on LinkedIn for quite awhile, but I usually checked social media briefly in the morning and evenings on the computer; and I still need to work on controlling the ‘doom scrolling’ on the phone during the weekend.

Crafting update:

I’m making progress on my large abstract needlepoint project—hoping to have it done by Thanksgiving (since I’m only putting in about thirty minutes a day on it).

In terms of content creation….

Well, I have an rough outline for topics for the science/health blog that I will hopefully be getting up and running by mid to late September.

I have some ideas for other types of content to put on the portfolio page (to highlight what I can create)…just haven’t lined up what exactly I want on the page.

I know the types of content I want to create (blog posts, infographics, posters, slide decks, and other educational type pieces; in addition depending on the topic, I may also consider mini reviews, abstracts, data analysis type pieces as well)—I just need to put them on to the calendar in terms of research, drafts/edits, and final posted project.

In terms of content for the creative blog—I have a list of bird pages that are ready to be posted, I just need to write the corresponding blog post for them…and then I have about another eighty to eighty-five birds to research.

I’m also going to start trying to do a book review a week (or biweekly to start), since I enjoy reading fiction so much; the non-fiction book reviews will be divided between the two sites depending on the topic of the book—the more science based books on the science/health blog, and everything else on this one.

In terms of other social media sites…I know that I will be using LinkedIn (and possibly YouTube) for the science/health/medical blog, and I’m still in the drafting stages for content for LinkedIn (especially after pausing two series that I had started last fall). I may add in Instagram (but will probably start a new account)…

In terms of social media sites for this blog…I have Facebook (just haven’t really posted on the page for the blog), my personal Instagram account (again may start a new account), Pinterest, GoodReads, and BookBub.

I need to come up with a schedule and ideas for Pinterest and the Facebook page…GoodReads and BookBub will see me posting whenever I do a book review (so hopefully I’ll be posting to those sites at least once a week), and they may see posts from the science/health/medical nonfiction books as well.

Instagram will be used…but a new account started…so stay tuned to for whenever I change the handle….there have been some problems in the background…needless to say I haven’t done changes yet—only because I need to schedule the time to set up a new one.

Launching a YouTube channel (and then a potential podcast) is probably a good year or so off…in part because I need to save money to buy a decent microphone and all that jazz…but also because I will need to figure out how to merge the content types into a video/podcast style of content…so yeah—there is quite a bit of work to be done for this one.

Recap of my progress:

Overall…I would say that I managed to probably hit 80% of the goals. I read two non-fiction books (and am slightly over halfway through with the second one I stated I would read). I did unplug on the weekends—but still ‘doom scrolled’ on the phone, and broke down at the end of each day to check email and social media (briefly…but I still did it). Total unplugging is something that I’m still working on.

Progress is being made on the needlepoint project—not as much as I had done during June, but that is because I’m also slowly starting to focus on other things as well (so, yea progress in other areas of life)…and if I can focus thirty minutes or so each night, I may get it finished by Thanksgiving.

Two non-fiction books have been read, while probably another dozen or so have been bought and added to the list (which is up to roughly 442 books—I say roughly since I think there are some historical fiction books that are on the list, so if that’s the case…there are probably about 430 non-fiction books on the list).

I’m actually going to be trying to schedule more time for doing research for the various topics for the science/health/medical blog…but also doing some for the creative/hobby blog at the same time. In other words—when I get slightly bored doing research for the science/health blog, I may look up something for this blog.

So—that’s my recap of my goals for the Pisces full moon—I managed to do each (though possibly not 100% for unplugging and content creation). I’m looking at those as stepping stones, and realizing that I need to make note of when I start getting back onto social media (when I’m trying to unplug) and see if it’s because I’m bored or whatever.

Now, it’s time to look forward to the blue moon—making goals, and also putting aside time to journal, have a brain dumping session, and try to get all ideas into one central notebook (instead of being scattered among a dozen different notebooks and journals).

So tell me, how did you do with your Aquarius Full Moon Goals?

No Comments AstrologyBooksFull Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Breathe…self-care and productivity goals for the Leo New Moon

So, while I will be a day late in posting my August new moon goals…it will be the second time this year that I’d done my new moon goals (last time was back in January or maybe February). 

It’s been a rough year…and I’m slowly getting back into a routine. I’m slowly working on a schedule/idea list of things I want to talk/write about on this blog…and also for the other blog (which will be possibly getting a little more attention to get it up and running this year).

The new moon is happening roughly mid-month (since at noon on the 16th marked the half-way point since there is 31 days in the month)..that means that there are roughly 137 days left in 2023, and it’s about five weeks until my 43rd birthday.

So, what are some things that one can do during the Leo New Moon? If we look to ‘Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles’ by Yasmin Boland—we’ll find suggestions such as:

  1. Show off–celebrate life
  2. Flirt
  3. Be creative
  4. Love thyself–self love, work on confidence, and leadership skills
  5. Spoil thyself

Well…I’m probably not going to be flirting with anyone…while the ‘pandemic’ has been downgraded to local ‘epidemics’—I’m not much for going out…

Celebrate life…yeah, I should do that this year…but I’m not one to show off…so this is a total maybe.

I’m still working on self-love, improving my self-confidence, and leadership skills; at the same time being creative, and possibly spoiling myself (well within reason).

Self-love is being kind to myself but at the same time working on setting a schedule for doing things—and keeping to said schedule. Improving my self-confidence includes publishing more on LinkedIn and interacting more on the site as well. Last year, I stated doing a video intro…but haven’t worked up the nerve to do one yet…maybe this year.

Why haven’t I done one yet?? Well…I could say that I don’t have the proper equipment, lighting, and so on…but truthfully while I’m not super vain–I just don’t like seeing/hearing myself on replay…something to work on over the next several months.

These are all good for being within the Leo constellation, but one should also look to see what house/zone the moon & Leo constellation are progressing through as well. For me, that means that Leo is going through my 10th house, or my career zone. This is about my career & reputation (professional brand).

So what are some of the things that one can do during this time in regards to the career zone? They include:

  1. Speaking to your boss about how you’re doing
  2. Helping a colleague out of a rut
  3. Check that you’re not becoming status mad
  4. Start a new business as close to the new moon as you can
  5. Apply for new jobs with confidence
  6. When you’ve earned it, take the credit
  7. Plot your next best career move

So, we get to focus (a little more) on our career zone twice a year (whenever the moon moves through our tenth house—which it does twice—new and full moon); not to say that one should be ignoring their career zone/reputation the other ten months of the year. My 10th house (via the new moon) always seems to be around the start of a new academic year…and it’s always fitting that I should be focusing on the career at this time. I’ve been on my reboot/career break for a couple of years (though I had plans of getting things up and going this time last year…and those fell flat)…and now I’m going to be putting more focus on getting the science/health/medical blog/website up and running.

So, I could talk to myself about how I’m doing (or better yet—schedule a chat with someone else)…I’m doing okay—but need to create that schedule and aim to stick with it (at least ninety percent of the time). Going to try to schedule more virtual water/coffee chats with people as well. I’m not status mad (never have been), and in regards to the last four things:

Starting a new business—I’ve got the domain for the science/health/medical blog/website already. I just need to start creating content, get two pages ‘rewritten’, and start posting.

Career move—ultimately, I want to do freelance work, but will also accept remote work. The reason(s)—I want location independence, time flexibility, and not having to answer (for the most part) for fluctuating productivity times.

Apply for jobs with confidence—I’m slowly getting there. I need to update my functional resume (mainly to reflect a shift to more science/health writing than medical writing), and continue working on optimizing my LinkedIn profile, in addition to getting a portfolio put together for the new website.

The science/health blog/website will be the current focus of the ‘new business’, but I will also be spending time with the creative blog, and doing crafts/photography (and figuring out the best ways of monetizing those areas).

So looking at these two lists, my goals for the Leo New Moon will include the following:

  1. Continue developing my self-care/self-love routine. This will include meditation, time outdoors (when the temperatures/humidity play nice), journaling, stretching, craft time, and getting back into lifting weights.
  2. Create an editorial calendar for the two different blogs, and possibly LinkedIn. While I created one for August, it was only really for this blog (and I have managed to stick with the schedule). Possibly create a calendar for other social sites as well…
  3. Create my September BINGO card for goals, and get my September calendar drawn up.

Only three goals…but one is open-ended (self-care/self-love routine), and the other two are tied together somewhat.

I will accomplish these goals, and at the same time remind myself: progress over perfection, and done is better than perfect.

Based on the house that Leo is passing through for you–what is one of your Leo goals??

PS…if you have kids returning to the classroom (K-12 or college)–good luck, remember to breath, and reach out if some science help is needed….

No Comments AstrologycareerNew Moon GoalsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Review of ‘Stay Here with Me’–East Wilder Meets His Match

Welcome back to the Wilder Retreat and Winery, located within the Hill Country of Texas.

Stay Here with Me is East’s and Lark’s story, and takes place shortly after Coming Home to Us (Elijah’s & Maddie’s story).

Lark is an award-winning singer-songwriter, and a good friend of Bethany (Everett’s fiancée). 

She’s currently working on songs for her latest album…problem—she promised never to write about him…and he seems to be all she can think about.

She’s shared a night (or two) of passion with East previously, and they always seem to be like oil-and-water outside of the bedroom…

East still struggles with issues related to his time in the service…

Lark decides to head to Wilder Retreat & Winery to spend some time with Bethany, and to try to get some songs written…

She’s also asked to help with getting their new spa up and going….East is helping to oversee the construction…and Lark’s parents have their own spa…and Lark worked there as a teenager…

While they may not get along in public…they agreed to be ‘enemies-with-benefits’, as they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other…

East’s issues come to a head as a former teammate booked some time at the resort with his family, and another shows up ‘uninvited’…

How does he handle them?

How long does it take for him to realize that he’s fallen head over heels for Lark? How long for Lark to realize the same thing?

The answers lie within the pages of Stay Here with Me…along with a Wilder wedding, and the usual cheese, wine, and other Wilder shenanigans.

The ‘enemies-to-lovers’, ‘oil and water’, romances are some of my favorite—because they prove that there is someone out there for everyone—even a grumpy Wilder male. All it takes is a little risk, a lot of love, and a good amount of chocolate, wine, and cheese.

Stay Here with Me is now available everywhere, and is a great place to jump in to meet the Wilder family, and all their friends (and even a few ‘enemies’).

It’s a five out of five star read, and I’m eagerly awaiting Elliot’s story…though I don’t know if I can then actually pick a favorite Wilder brother or not.

No Comments Book ReviewsBooks

Finding his way: Review of Coming Home for Us

Welcome back to Texas, and the Wilder brothers.

Coming Home to Us is Elijah’s and Maddie’s story, and takes place a couple of years after The Path to You (Everett’s & Bethany’s story).

Wait…wasn’t Elijah dating Joy?

Yes…and to understand things—one should read at least the last few chapters of The Path to You…

Anyway, let’s jump a few years…

Maddie is thinking of leaving Wilder Retreat & Winery for a ‘new’ start with a different company…

But before she breaks it to the Wilders…they surprise her with the offer of partnership within Wilder Retreat & Winery…

While asking for time to think on the offer, she and Elijah head off for a brief business trip trying to schedule the first festival at Wilder Retreat & Winery.

On the way back, there is a downpour that delays them…and forces them to share a hotel room.

She just broke up with her boyfriend, and Elijah is still dealing with his issues.

They share a night, and decide to try to be couple (along with staying friends).

There are bumps in the road…flower girls arguing at a wedding, and roll down a hill.

Then comes the flash flooding, a brief ‘swim’ in a swollen river, and a massive fight.


There is nothing like ‘brotherly love’ Wilder style to get Elijah to see things straight.

Want to see exactly how Elijah and Maddie work things out?

Want to go to a good old fashion barbecue?

Want to catch up with the rest of the Wilder family?

Then grab your copy of Coming Home to Us—it’s a five star read, and does require a few tissues as well.

I loved seeing Elijah coming back to the ‘living’, and Maddie getting her happily-ever-after. I’m sure they’ll still have bumps in the road—after all, Elijah is a Wilder…and a stubborn one at that.

Still need to stories for the last two Wilder brothers (East and Elliot) before I can even start to decide which Wilder brother is my favorite.

So, grab a nice cold drink, some chips and dip (or cheese), and settle in with some friends…

No Comments Book ReviewsBooks