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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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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OTSPSecret Sister – Seeking Sisters for Book Exchange

Hiya everyone!

For the past six months, I have been participating in a book exchange project that I have wanted to be a part of for years….probably since I first discovered the bookish community. The ladies I have met and corresponded with under #OTSPSecretSister have shared joys, fears, anxieties, everyday goings on, and everything in between. The letters and packages that we exchange are just a fun side effect of our community.

becca-tapert-u5e1kqW6E3M-unsplashIf you are interested in being a part of our group, there are just a couple more things to know. First off, we chat mainly on Twitter under the hash tag mentioned above. Second, you do need to know and understand that this is a commitment. If you come on board with us, you’re in the fam for six months. There are different tiers or monetary groups to sign up for, including $0 where you can be a penpal with someone or someones. If you choose to exchange monthly bookish packages with a secret sister then that’s great too but in the end, its about the connections with the group!

So of course this is all a summary, but what you mostly need to know you can find on the Round 11 information and sign up page. There you will find more information as well as a link to an FAQ page. And in the meantime, if you have any other questions feel free to ask me or search up our hash tag on Twitter! Sign-ups are open NOW and will remain open until August 23rd.

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June Wrap-up, July Goals

Holy guacamole, we’re over halfway through the year! So I have bought a ton of books but have read (according to my Goodreads counter) less than I should have by this point in time. I have also blogged a little less than I have wanted to. But, on the plus side, I have done pretty well with my book sleeve business and that has kept me busy. We have had a couple bulk orders come in and that has helped, and my husband and I have been “house hunting” so that has been taking up time in addition to working overtime all year so far. WOW!!! So that’s where life has been personally. Let’s get to the books!

– Books Read –

These Witches Don’t Burn …. 6/3/19 …. ★★★☆☆
Mockingjay (reread) …. 6/10/19 …. ★★★★★
Hot Dog Girl …. 6/14/19 …. ★★★★☆
To Kill a Kingdom …. 6/21/19 …. ★★★★☆

– Books Hauled –

65467285_351443765544406_1908834842464747520_nSub Boxes:
We Hunt the Flame
Barnes & Noble:

The Princess and the Fangirl
The Beholder
Finale
Community Buys/Trades:
Carry On
Slayer
Digital Buys:
LIFEL1K3
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Contagion
Sherwood

And that’s all, folks! I am hoping this month I can get back on track for blogging (get more reviews up and have more structure in general…and I’m jumping in on the BookEnding Summer event with some awesome people!) as well as maybe play a bit of catch up reading-wise. Overtime at work is almost over so maybe I’ll get some free time back! That would be amazing. All that’s left is finishing up my bulk orders! Until next time….happy reading y’all!

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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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Something Worth Celebrating: Post #200!

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And just like that, this is my 200th blog post! I have been posting book reviews, tags, memes, news, and other bookish insights for just shy of two years on this domain. I have been reflecting on my experiences and I’d like to share a couple bits of advice and contemplation. Allow me to share:

First, there are no “rules” to blogging. Your blog is your blog. If you want to post every day, about a different thing each day, do it! If you need to take a break for a month, its your blog, so do it! Furthermore, you never have to apologize. I always see bloggers saying sorry for not posting for a day or a week or more. Life happens! Other people’s lives don’t revolve around your blog, so don’t be distressed when life calls you somewhere else.

Next, be active with other bloggers and on other social media platforms. Making friends in the community is not only fun but its important as well. Finding friends with interests similar to your blog’s theme can inspire post ideas, conversations, follows, and traffic through other followers. Its all a win-win.

Finally, know and remember that blogging (especially book blogging) is a time consuming hobby. Not only do you have to do the reading, but then there’s the organizing and planning of your blog itself. Most of us book bloggers don’t get paid, but rather, spend plenty of our hard-earned dollars investing in books and bookish merch to make our blogs and social media accounts look pretty. Remember that at the heart of this, we do this for the love of reading. At least I do. I love the adventures of the written word and I love sharing them. And this is why I blog!

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Blogmas 24: Our First Christmas

48415251_1047746612080873_5406209415764246528_nThis is a post on a more personal note. This year marks me and my husband’s first Christmas together as a married couple. That being said, though, our holiday has been turned upside-down today, because my grandmother was taken to the emergency room in an ambulance at Christmas brunch. So its looking like our day will be waiting rooms and test results. But we, as family, will be together so that’s important.

I hope you all enjoy your days, evenings, and time with family, friends, and cozy reads! I’ll be blog and social media hopping, so feel free to leave me any Christmas cheer, links, recommendations, anything you feel like dropping in the comments! Ho ho ho!

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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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Blogmas Day 11: Tag Tuesday! Bookish ‘Naughty or Nice’ Tag

naughty-or-nice-temporary-tattoo-tt0138We survived another Monday, y’all! And how do we celebrate? With a tag for Tag Tuesday! I was “tagged” by Destiny @ Howling Libraries, and I have to give credit to Jenn for creating the tag. Here we go:

  • Received an ARC and not reviewed it – Naughty! I did this once and it hit my Netgalley score so hard I’m never doing it again. Next year, my answer will be “nice”! 
  • Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley – Nice! I am currently sitting at 81%. Its one of my New Years resolutions to get that number up. I WILL hit at least 90%, gosh darn it!!
  • Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) – Naughty. I rarely ‘promise’ a full review to come. I think maybe once or twice I have. I really only rate or rate and review. Its all or nothing. I am trying to get better at this too.
  • dog-eared-book-e1358973316431Folded down the page of a book – Nice. I really don’t mind this too much, but I have so many nice bookmarks now I have no reason to fold. I used to though. Not anymore!
  • Accidentially spilled on a book – Nice. I am SO careful of my books. I do NOT spill.
  • DNF a book this year – Naughty. I also don’t think that this is a bad thing necessarily. I just have come to realize that it takes a lot of time to read a book, so why waste it on a book you aren’t enjoying?
  • Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it – Nice. I will admit that I cover buy relatively frequently. However, I always intend to read it. And I am ok at walking away from a beautiful cover if I’m not going to read it.
  • Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) – Naughty. I do this all the time. But also, I have learned the skill of multi-tasking….working and listening to an audiobook!
  • Skim read a book – Naughty. Once you get past the point of DNF and then a book takes a turn for the worst and you just know you’re in for a LONG RIDE…yeah. Been there.
  • fol-book-sale-general-pic_img_0267Completely missed your Goodreads goal – Nice. I will PROBABLY miss my goal of 75. I’m not giving up yet though. I am currently at 62 books.
  • Borrowed a book and not returned it – Nice. I am not really a borrower unless its the library, and I bring those back!
  • Broke a book buying ban – Nice. A book ban is a book ban. I have SO. MANY. BOOKS. just sitting on my shelves that I need to read! (and so little money in my wallet)
  • Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about – Naughty. This I so fairly often. I very rarely write a review right after finishing a book. I Just need to let it sink in. But then sometimes I sort of forget to go back and finish a review….whoops.
  • Wrote in a book you were reading – Nice. I really don’t write in books unless its for school, and I’m not in school any more. At this point, if a note needs to be made, I make it on a Post-it or in my phone and come back to it later.
  • c1z93cykfzklFinished a book and not added it to your Goodreads – Nice. No way! If I read a book, I want “credit” for it! Those are going straight to GR!!
  • Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend – Nice. I have already mostly answered this one. I really don’t borrow books, but I will add that at the same time, I don’t really lend books either….for good reason!
  • Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book – Naughty. Sorry but….I just don’t trust people!
  • Broke the spine of someone else’s book – Nice. I definitely don’t do this. Maybe I would ask first, but I never initiated it.
  • Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged – Naughty – I literally just did this today! It really wasn’t too bad but I am so good at squishing and wrinkling them!
  • Sat on a book accidentially – Naughty. Uhhh, yes. Do you know how many books you have to pull out at a time to have booksta pics? A lot. They litter your furniture and floor. I’ve definitely sat on them.

So that’s all folks! My score: 7 Naughty/13 Nice. Woo hoo!! I’m a nice bookworm!! Where do you rate?

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