Wrap-up’s so far…January & February 2020

Hi everyone! First off, let me just say that I hope your 2020 so far has been much better than mine. I had minor surgery on my back, we are currently uprooted from our living space due to flooding, and our puppy is still working on potty training. Work is work, but I am trying to fill my break times in with a new hobby: bullet journaling. So far it is coming along super slow, but if I can track my bills and books, I will be pretty happy. Aside from all of that, let’s wrap up my reading for January & February!

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– BOOKS READ –

📚 Unspoken … 1/12/20 … ★★★★★
📝 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 … 1/16/20 … ★★
🎧 Ninth House … 1/24/20 … ★★★★★
📚 Jeopardy in January … 1/25/20 … ★★★★
📝 The Tea Dragon Festival … 1/31/20 … ★★★★★
📝 The Lightning Thief … 2/4/20 … ★★★★
🎧 The Night Country (The Hazel Wood 2) … 2/11/20 … ★★★★
🎧 A Constellation of Roses … 2/19/20 … ★★★★
🎧 No Judgements … 2/29/20 … ★★★

– BOOKS HAULED –

(Gift – Hard Copy) The Beautiful by Renee Adieh
(Ebook – $1.99) Jeopardy in January by Camilla Chafer
(Special edition) Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw

I am so proud of myself for not going crazy buying books. That is one of my biggest goals for this year. So many great releases have dropped already this year and I was extremely tempted but I am continuing on with my goal of reading what I have on my shelves and reading books from my local library and grabbing only the best book deals as I see them. Another goal goes along with my new adventure of bullet journalling and that’s just that I need to create more. In January I finished three pages. In February I really have only practiced! Going forward I would like to work through at least 1 spread per month. As someone who is new to the bujo, this is a bit intimidating and I’m already ready to say “Maybe I should be making this for 2021??” because it truly is a big undertaking! More updates next time! Have a great month everyone!

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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?

#Blogmas 2019…the mostly non-existant

Happy December, everyone!

Well, December 17th. It has been a pretty rough couple of months for me and I have needed to step back from the blogging for a moment or two. Work was stressful, I have read a couple of good books, and Thanksgiving was fortunately pretty relaxed. I hope that many of you can say positive things about your lives and your reading time.

nookSo getting down to business, for the past two years I have participated in a phenomenon called “Blogmas.” Now anyone who doesn’t know, Blogmas is for both bloggers and vloggers alike, and the goal is for us to post at least once a day for all 25 days leading up to Christmas! We can post about anything we like, but ideally, we should be posting some holiday cheer along the way. Now, I am already behind but I enjoy posting and participating by blog/vlog hopping so I am putting the hashtag on it and calling it a post!

I look forward to sharing a little bit of holiday cheer with you all and I plan on blog hopping and leaving some tidings with you as well. Until next time….happy reading!

Are you doing any reading or writing challenges this month to close out the year?

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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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Blogmas Day 4 – Tag Tuesday: Christmas Characters Tag

I have been looking forward to this tag since I first heard of its development! Anthony did a tad of brainstorming with our blog group and it got me in the Christmas mood WAY early. But I’m not mad. I love Christmas characters! You can go see the original tag on Anthony’s blog – Keep Reading Forward!

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santa-claus-sugar-cookies_exps173334_th133086b08_06_4bc_rmsSanta Clause – A Gift You Received or Want This Year
I am hoping to get the new anniversary editions of The Hunger Games and the special edition of Six of Crows. Its so pretty!!

Mrs. Clause – A Favorite Holiday Treat to Have Every Year
Peanut butter blossom cookies! Or really just the huge variety of Christmas cookies in general.

Ghost of Christmas Past – A Holiday Memory from Your Past
My younger brother and I have always loved Home Alone and can pretty much recite it line for line. When we were little (I was maybe 5 and him 3? Something like that?), we wanted to re-create the scene where Kevin sleds down the stairs in his house and out the front door. The thing was, though, that our front door didn’t QUITE line up. He could figure out how to turn, right? I mean, its like a race car going around the corner! Well, I think you can figure out that this didn’t all go out as planned. He went down the dozen-plus stairs on his plastic sled and went SMACK into the wall. Practically UP the wall, actually! 🤣 Its a story we revisit EVERY Christmas.

fotorcreatedBuddy the Elf – “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” – A Holiday Song You like to Sing Each Holiday Season
Umm, all of them! I usually make myself a new playlist every year too. There are only so many Christmas songs out there, but the versions and arrangements are infinite!

original-28011-1463671484-3Misfit Toys – An Unpopular Toy You Really Wanted to Get One Year
I don’t know about unpopular…but I know I wanted one of those XL Barbie heads, where you were supposed to be able to do their hair. I never had sisters or anything but I wanted to learn about playing with hair. I never got her. I’m kinda glad because looking at her now, she’s rather creepy….

Grinch – A Moment When Your Heart Grew Three Sizes
A few years ago, I was invited to sing at the White House at Christmastime as an alumni of the college I had just graduated from. I had put in a lot of work the year before to be able to go and my class wasn’t able to, but the year after they did. I was touched that I was invited to go, and that trip was so amazing.

Jack Frost – A Tradition You Like to Do Every Winter
Going out to get a live Christmas tree is something my husband and I do every year. We walk out into the forest at the tree farm and walk around until we find “the one.” Before we were together, I hadn’t had a real tree since I was very young. Now though, it has become a yearly tradition. We almost got married at the tree farm but decided against it for other reasons.

Hero Boy – A Moment You Believed in a Holiday Wish/Miracle
I absolutely believe in holiday wishes and miracles. I know that the holidays can be an emotional, and even lonely time for some. However, I also feel that there is a power and a beauty to them as well.

Cindy Lou Who – A Favorite Holiday Tradition
I love attending church on Christmas Eve. I haven’t been the most devout of Christians over the past few years of my life, but church on Christmas is a beautiful thing to me.

frosty_primaryFrosty the Snowman – A Memory Involving Snow or A Memory You Would Like to Have Involving Snow
This isn’t necessarily a specific memory, but I do remember a few times that I have been able to go out at night while it was snowing and just watch the snow fall. I find it fascinating that snowflakes fall from the sky, but they make no noise. That stillness is almost indescribable. And then fresh show shimmers and glistens. I’m not a fan of slippery surfaces and cold, but fresh snow and just watching it fall….I absolutely love it.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – A Holiday Activity You Like Doing
Christmas crafts! I am addicted to seasonal and holiday crafts!

Ebenezer Scrooge – “Bah, Humbug!” – A Favorite Holiday Saying or Quote
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” Also the quote from the Grinch where–and I’m paraphrasing here–“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas is

Spread the Holiday Spirit!
Tag 1-12 People!
Linda
Abbey
Jenna

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Game on! I’m back!

Hello! Not that anyone probably missed me but just in case you did….I’m back!! Its been almost a month and I took the time away to do this little thing with my best friend…

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It was, of course, an exciting time and a beautiful day. Everything came together so wonderfully, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more. We (I) did choose to do a lot of things “DIY” so there did end up being quite a bit of work, as well as set-up involved, but again, we were so blessed to have so many people willing to help with tear down so that my husband (I still squeak a bit saying that word) and I could enjoy our night.

So now things are winding down and we’re doing the last bits of getting our lives back on track (I requested a day off work in a couple weeks to get my name changed and do all of that running around). A lot of my reading was put on hold and slowed way down for a month so according to my Goodreads tracker, I am “9 books behind” and that has my blood pressure way up! HOWEVER, Dewey’s 24-hour readathon is coming AND October is usually a big reading month for me so I am optimistic!

That being said, if you are still following me, thanks for hanging in there. I have a couple of reviews to catch up on, and I have already finished one amazing October read so I am excited to get that review up. Until next time…ciao!

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