Happy New Year! Cheers to 2020!

Happy New Year and new decade everyone!

So the question on everyone’s mind is: what are your goals or resolutions for 2020? I have a couple ideas for myself but I’m not a huge resolution-maker. Here are just a couple of off-the-bat goals I want to work on this year:

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  1. Start a bullet journal. I have never done one before but I have never found a planner that quite works for me. I am hoping that a bullet journal will be good for keeping me organized and creative.
  2. Pick up some ukelele skills! I received a uke for Christmas last year but I still haven’t done anything with it–and I mean nothing!! So seriously, I need to learn at least 2-3 chords and 2-3 songs. The more the better!
  3. Read more books that I already own. My shelves are absolutely out of control. I am filling boxes with books that don’t even touch my shelves and putting them into storage. That’s not okay! So I really need to prioritize reading what I have and ARCs that I commit to.
  4. Clean and organize more. My husband and I have been living in an apartment for about two years longer than we originally thought we would. Between the two of us we’ve accumulated so much stuff that we really don’t need to hang on to. At the time we think of it as cute and sentimental but really its piling up, crinkling up, stinking up, whatever. So we really need to go through and sell, donate, or throw.

And those are the first of my goals for the year. They’re pretty generally and not completely book or reading related but I certainly have those goals as well so stay tuned!

What goals do you have for 2020?

Face Lift!

Woo! Update! How do you like the face lift on my blog? Had to flip over to autumn, you know. Get that fall feel going! I was ready to do it in like, July but I refrained 😛 Anyway, I’ve been MIA for a little bit because…you know…life. But here is a little update before we resume with the bookish.

Quick life updates:
– My husband and I just celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary!
– I’ve been a bit bummed because I applied for an amazing position within my workplace and unfortunately I didn’t get it. So I needed to take a little time for myself and breathe. I am still coping a little bit but time is healing.
– A big project is starting up in my Book sleeve shop and I have been weighing the pro’s and con’s before committing to anything. I finally decided to say yes so then came the prep work and that has been crazy!!!! 
– On top of that, our basement flooded and everything has been wet. And smelly. And moved around for the project. And wet. But on a brighter note….
– Fall is here and its my FAVORITE.

That is mostly what has been keeping me away from the blog. Things are leveling out now so my updates will be more regular and I am glad for that because–as I will soon introduce–big events are coming in October! Let’s do it!!

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Bout of Books is Back!

bsziyc0Hi everyone! I have decided that July and August are officially the best months for reading! Pretty much all of the best events happen and its so exciting. Unfortunately I have been bad about posting about all of them and I have been pretty busy so I have been a bit of a from-a-distant participant. However, I am putting up a post about this one! Here comes Bout of Books, and I am jumping in! From August 19th through 25th I will be reading with the BoB readathon. They are doing Twitter chats, daily challenges, giveaways, and more. I have participated in this event once or twice before and it is always a good time. 8/20 is the last day to sign up so if you miss this go-round, you can check out the next date on their Twitter or blog!

Is anyone else participating? Stay tuned for updates!

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Game of Thrones – the first two episodes (no spoilers)

Hi everyone! I just want to give a couple thoughts on the final (*sob*) season of Game of Thrones thus far.

We are now through two out of only seven episodes of the last of seven seasons. Past seasons have had ten episodes so its kind of heartbreaking that a) we are losing out on three episodes that we usually get. and b) we had to wait extra as well.

So far this season, I feel that there has just been so much fluff. There are so many reunions and relationships and worlds colliding that could have happened along the way. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been some good moments and they have been enjoyable–magic carpet rides, trapeses in dungeons, singalongs in the Great Hall…

All of that being said though, I know things are going to escalate. And quickly. Too quickly? Probably. But we’ll see. Afterall, “In the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

Oh, and just for fun, I have to post this selection of emojis that you can play around with if you use the proper hashtag on Twitter. I love them!

Do you watch GoT at all? Who is your favorite character?

Listening to: Jenny of Oldstones by Florence + the Machine

Pardon my absence…

I’ve always said that I don’t really believe in apologizing for absences from social media, and I really don’t. So this isn’t an apology as much as it is a reason, as well as an excuse to share with you my BABIES!! Okay, not really babies but even better….PUPPIES

Today I am straying away from the bookish to share with you what has been a big part of my life since the holidays: my family’s puppy endeavor! The last three dogs we have had, my parents have talked about trying to have a litter of puppies. A golden retriever, a miniature schnauzer, and now with the second golden retriever, we’ve finally stepped up and taken the jump. Our baby has had babies!

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Of course she isn’t a baby any more, but your dog will always be your baby. Ellie has been such a champ going through this whole process. We did a lot of research going into this event and from what we read, some mamas can be very territorial of their pups, not letting their humans near in the beginning and not wanting to leave the area much. Ellie, however, is a perfect mix of taking care of the littles when she needs to and letting them get their rest and having her own (and her owner’s) self-care. She needs her own space and cool off period (the room where the puppies are has to be a consistent 82-degrees F! It gets pretty warm!).

Right now, the puppies are 3 weeks old. There are 6 adorable, purebred golden retriever pups–5 boys and 1 little girl.

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This little guy we’ve been calling ‘Rizzo’ after our favorite Chicago Cub

At 3 weeks, they are just starting to open their eyes and their hearing is just developing. They are also just starting to walk, which is honestly the funniest thing. I never really thought about dogs figuring out how to walk, but some of them use their two front legs and drag their back legs–kind of salamander-ish. A couple of them can get up on all fours for about 5 or 6 steps and then just flop down in a little puppy pile. Mostly they just sort of climb all over each other to get from point A to point B and its just adorable. And of course, I can’t forget to mention (as you can see from this picture) that right now, their tiny nails and tiny teeth are incredibly sharp!

image4Obviously, I am loving these little cherubs grow and change, and as my dad keeps saying “Its amazing, the instincts that Mother Nature has instilled in them.” And he’s not just talking about the babies, but mama pup too. She had her litter and pretty much knew what to do! Life is so messy (and smelly and gross) but so sweet and so beautiful. I hope you can all take some time to enjoy it today.

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Tag Tuesday: The Television Tag

What day is it? TAG TUESDAY!!! So this week I’m taking a break from the bookish and substituting for the tube for a week! I don’t always watch very much but I was tagged by Fictionally Sam so I have to answer the call!

tumblr_n04dqqnz261tp2pppo1_5001. Favorite show – Off the top of my head, gut reaction, first thing that comes to mind when you ask me this question, I would say that my favorite show of all time is House M.D.

2. Favorite genre – I like medical dramas, crime thrillers, comedy, historical stuffs, DIY….a pretty good variety just so long as I deem it good entertainment.

3. Least favorite show – The Curse of Oak Island (my husband watches this religiously). Also South Park and Archer.

4. Most re-watched show/favorite show to binge – House, Grey’s Anatomy, Family Guy, Friends, Criminal Minds, Mind Hunter.

f58bb36bf30f7b0dad030400d7dae36c5. Do you prefer to watch things week-to-week or binge watch? Binge, duh! I don’t mind comedy sitcoms on a week-to-week basis but dramas and thrillers are pretty much meant to be binged, amiright?

6. Favorite television characters? House, Jon Snow, Dennarys, Derek Morgan, Derek Shepard (the name Derek…I think I’m seeing a trend, eh?), Sherlock, Dr. Brennan/Bones

7. Favorite TV ships? Derek + Garcia (Criminal Minds), McDreamy + Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy), Killian + Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time), Elaina + Damon (The Vampire Diaries)

09eee546e6ce8128fbf829e6933dcc428. Shows you could never get into – CSI, The Office, Firefly, True Blood

9. Shows you fell out of love with – Once Upon a Time, Supernatural (I still love Sam and Dean SO MUCH but the show/storyline just is not what it used to be)

10. Cancelled too soon – Galavant, Smash, Forever

11. Guilty pleasure show – The Vampire Diaries. Riverdale? Maybe Pawn Stars or American Pickers. Ghost Hunters? More of the reality dramas.

12. What are you currently watching? Playing catchup on Outlander, Supernatural and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

13. (I’m adding this Q in because I can’t believe it isn’t here!) Other shows you love or have swooned, laughed, or cried over in the past? The Haunting of Hill House, Hemlock Grove, Gilmore Girls, Are You Afraid of the Dark?,  Boy Meets World, Bones, The X-Files, Game of Thrones, Supernatural

And that’s it my friends. These are my faves and my least faves….at least as they come to me off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m missing some, but its the best I can do. If you’re interested, give it a go yourself. Be sure to tag me so I can see your answers too!

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Blogmas 30: Best Reads of 2018

As I mentioned in my last post, my yearly Goodreads wrap-up reports to me that my average rating of books that I read this year is 3.8 stars. I feel that that’s a relatively good rating. I generally do enjoy most of the books that I read. Looking at my list, though, I gave 18 books 5 stars. 18!!! (compared to 1 book with 1 star). But which do I feel were the “best” for this year? I have to narrow this down. Let’s reflect back….

27833670Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – This is my first pick for a favorite of the year because it is a book that I feel I could read again and still not get every detail out of. Yes, I already know the outcome, but there are so many subtleties to this book. Its like one of those trippy movies that you can watch over and over and still ask yourself “What the hell did I just watch??” Think Inception or a really good episode of Stranger Things. I did have a worry that things in this book might get over technical or too scientific, as the MC is a scientist and professor, but this never happened. Everything is really at just the right amount of science and maybe just crazy enough to work.

36082326-1Every Note Played by Lisa Genova – On a completely different level, there is this book here. I had never heard of this one but I picked it up once the Goodreads nominations for books of the year for 2018 came out and this was in the Best Fiction category. Me and my musical self gravitated to this simply because of the title and the characters being musicians, but at the same time, I’m always skeptical about books with music at the center as well. Its tough not to be a critic, ya know? But the author did an amazing job with the musical aspects and just the human aspects in general. I was blown away just by the fact that Lisa Genova is a brain scientist. Uhhh, seriously? Yeah. And she conducted a lot of interviews with ALS patients and caregivers and just really put heart and soul into this book. I thought it was beautiful.

And that’s it, folks. My top two books for 2018! How about you – what were your top books? Tell me here, or drop me your links to posts that share yours! I’d love your recommendations as always! Any genres! Until next time!

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Blogmas 18: Tag Tuesday – The Christmas Carol Book Tag

Its the last Tuesday before Christmas!!! Well, not including Christmas itself, of course. Time is flying (which, I feel like I say in every single post…but its so true!!). I am looking forward to working through this tag, and I hope you will too!

YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH
Name a villainous character you can’t help but love to hate.

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The Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. He is vile and ruthless, but he is so in love with Alina and would do anything for her. How can you not love that?

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
What book do you most want to find under your Christmas tree this year?

Colleen Hoover’s latest (which I only learned about recently): Verity. Unlike all of CoHo’s other books, this one is a thriller/suspense novel and everyone who I have seen read it have come away saying something along the lines of “WTF?!” So basically, I MUST READ THIS!

rudolphRUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER
Name a favourite character that had to overcome a major obstacle.

Katniss Everdeen is forever one of my favorite characters and I think, by now, pretty much everyone knows her story. The obstacles that girl had to face and the pressure on her shoulders was just enormous. From being sent into the games not once but TWICE, to everything that happened to Peeta, to losing her sister, to then being manipulated into being the Mockingjay and leading an assault into the Capital…yeah, she’s pretty much my hero.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN
Which characters do you think are at the top of Santa’s “Naughty” and “Nice” list?

At the top of Santa’s “Naughty” list is the Ministor/Pastor in Christina Dalcher’s Vox. This dude was awful. He truly believed what he preached about women’s true place being at the head of the household, and that they should be seen and not heard. Vox is a dystopian sci-fi book but honestly, I would almost categorize it as horror because the concepts and just how realistically it was written is just terrifying. On a lighter note, at the top of Santa’s “Nice” list is Jamie Fraser. This man is a saint. I mean, he gives all of himself not just for his wife but for his entire family, for his country, and for the bum on the street, no matter his or her nationality. Definitely at the top of the “Nice” list. We all need to be more like Jamie.

frostyFROSTY THE SNOWMAN
What book just melts your heart?

I’m going to say A Christmas Carol for this one. I think the book is absolutely great. Not only that, but it is tied in my head to the movie versions which are so sentimental and hold such good memories.

FELIZ NAVIDAD
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our favourite book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Uhh, Harry Potter….duh!! 😛

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
What book do you read to get in the Christmas spirit?

I read different books every year, and I sort of have a rotation going. So other than A Christmas Carol, which I already mentioned, I also have Skipping Christmas in my rotation which I really enjoy. That’s the John Grisham book that the movie “Christmas with the Cranks” is based off of. Its really good, if you haven’t read it before!

SLEIGH RIDE
What character would you most want to spend the holidays with?

Christian Gray, baby! *wink*wink*

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BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
What book do you hate so much you would sacrifice it to the fire to stay warm?

Twilight. When I first read the series several years ago, I didn’t think they were too bad. Of course, I was several years younger and I read them post-surgery. Both of those factors must have had much to do with my thinking because when I *tried* to re-read them last year….yeah, I’m ready to throw them into the fire.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
What book would you recommend to everyone?

The Light We Lost. This book warmed my heart and then broke my heart. So good.

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If you’re in the mood for a Christmas tag, I hereby tag you to do ^this^ one! Its not too long, not too short! Just right! And now I have these stuck in my head. 😉

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October 2018 Wrap-up

Hello, and happy November! Only two months left in 2018! Two months left to hit those reading goals. I didn’t think I was setting mine particularly high, but when I chose mine, I forgot that I was getting married, finishing up school, searching for a new job, and starting a small business! So I’m behind and I only may or may not hit my goal for the year so….we’ll see! But this month was pretty good for me. Six books read total! Here are the specs:

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab  ★★★★★ “Embrace your strange. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo ★★ ““What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not?”

Southern Magic by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “Heck, at this point I didn’t know my butthole from my navel. On top of all the craziness in the past day, I was now accused of murder.”

Dracula by Bram Stoker ★★★★ “There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” (SO many good quotes in this book)

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White ★★★ “I used smiles like currency. They were the only currency I ever had.”

Southern Spells by Amy Boyles ★★★★ “My heart plummeted to the ground, going past my feet and falling until it hit the center of the earth’s core, where it burst into flames.”

And that’s that, my friends. How many books did you read in October? Do you have any recommendations to share? Any books we should stay away from? Open up and share!

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October (Re)Reads: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Just a warning: this review is likely an unpopular opinion regarding the first book in this (so far) trilogy. I have been seeing so much hype and merch around about Audrey and Thomas lately that I decided to take a trip back to the beginning. Maybe I’ll like it more this time around. Maybe my opinions will have changed. Hm. Nope!

img_0607I really like the premise behind the books! I like the victorian London setting, I love a female MC studying anatomy and post-death this and that. However, I just have such dislike for Audrey! I understand her motives and her thoughts and of course I want girls/women to be treated fairly as well! I want you to be able to think freely and study what you want and to be respected also! But don’t be such a prat about it! I can’t handle it!! The plot is constantly held up with her stubbornness and her own blindness to her surroundings because she is whining about being a female and being treated as such. Maybe Thomas (or your father or brother or Thomas…whomever) is just treating you like a human, not specifically like a “girl” or “lady” or “woman”!! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Looking back, the last time I read the book, I mentioned disliking Thomas. Nah, I’ve warmed up to him. He has a flirty arrogance that I am rather digging. And god bless him for having patience with Audrey.

So now that Audrey is getting her way and is going away to “forensic school,” I am eager to see if she maybe (hopefully) calms down a little bit on her feminine whining. I’m sure school will still be tough for her but she at least has a good start since she’s already there and she will have Thomas. Of the books in similar time settings that I have read, women’s rights is always a theme but never quite this strong so once we get over this hurdle, things will clear out nicely.

Book soundtrack: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde

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