April 2015 Recap: My Life in Photos, Music, Books & MORE!

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1. I got sunburned: I’m not particularly excited about THAT but I’m excited about the fact we had a beautiful 80 degree day in which Will and I went to our favorite brew pub, sat out on the deck and the walked around that part of the city. And I got the most amazing cookie ice cream sandwich EXCEPT  for the fact that moment was tainted by a guy who came INTO the store with a very big snake wrapped around his neck and I had a panic attack. COULD NOT GET OUT OF THERE FAST ENOUGH. But yay cute outfit weather?? Unleashing my pasty legs on the world!!!

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2. I had a walk down memory lane that was kind of hard — So, my stepdad is getting remarried (my mom passed away in 2006 for those of you who don’t know that). My sister and I are still very close to my stepdad and we both still have stuff there at his house in our rooms. BUT the new wife and her kids are moving in soon and so we had to go clean out our stuff and also go through some of my mom’s stuff. It was really, really hard to clean out my mom’s stuff and watch all the things that still made me think of my mom in the house basically be taken down. It feels like another part of the grieving process. Another piece I’m losing of her and it was hard. Going through my stuff made me all nostalgic but I found some childhood books and stuff. It’s a weird feeling to realize you won’t have a room in your childhood home anymore. I will go there and basically be a visitor.

3. I have been consistently working out this month: I had gotten out of habit this year but April was definitely the month of getting back on the wagon and I feel GREAT. It takes a lot for me to motivate myself to do it but once I’m doing it and after I feel great (even if I’m dying and sore).

4. I got to see my dad TWICE in one month– My dad lives 4 hours away and Will & I went up and visited him for Easter but then he and my stepmom just came down this past week for my niece’s 18th birthday party.

5. I officially decided I’m going to BEA: I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen this year — money-wise and just if I WANTED to go but over Easter weekend I officially decided that I would especially since next year is in Chicago and that will be way harder for me to go if I’m still blogging and interested in going.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here !

 

1. Let Me Down Easy — Max Frost


2. Bros — Wolf Alice

3. Still Want You — Brandon Flowers


4. Carried Away — Dionysia

5. What’s Real — Waters

6. Painted — MS MR

 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Until We Can’t (Let’s Go) by Passion Pit, Shame by Young Fathers, Wild Eyes by Matthew Mayfield, 1999 by Active Child, Change Is Everything by Son Lux

 

Check out the rest of my April playlist

 

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I read 11 books this month (2 of them being via audiobooks)

 

99 Days by Katie Cotugno: I LOVED Katie’s debut How To Love and I seriously enjoyed this one as well as HARD it is to read. The character is uber flawed and makes mistakes and does shitty things and I loved it. Katie is the queen of writing uber messy and complicated stuff. Especially in this case to make me like a character who does things I am so not down with. Post to come on this one!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers: SUCH AN IMPORTANT BOOK. I vote it should be required reading for all teenagers (and adults obviously).

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby: What a sweet and heartfelt book this was! Post to come on this one!

 

 

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Something real by heather demetrios

I really enjoyed my second Heather Demetrios book, Something Real, (I was backwards and read her debut after I read I’ll Meet You There). Such a good discussion starter!!

 

 

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“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.” — All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I was really thinking about this one. It’s SO true.

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1. If We Were Having CoffeeI love this chats with you all. Thanks for letting me talk and thanks for sharing stuff with me!

2. Whatcha In The Mood For: I’m so excited for my new series on this blog and I’m glad you loved it too!

3. I Need A Recommendation: Audiobooks: You guys are CLUTCH! Thank you for all your suggestions. STILL going through them all weeks later!!!

4. 10 Inspiring Quotes From Books: LOVE THESE QUOTES SO MUCH.

5. My 3 Part Series Trying to Explain Where My Head Has Been At Lately With Reading: I’m glad I broke this into 3 parts rather than the mess of a post it was before. Post 1, Post 2, Post 3!

 

mr12ANY of my book talks! I keep trying to figure out if it’s that people don’t care about things that resemble reviews (my book talks) in general or if it’s me.

 

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Oh HEY I posted a video this month:

April Book Haul

 

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1.  Notes On Authenticity: This blogger has been one of my favorite travel blogs for years because she always writes such thought-provoking posts.

2. Because I Don’t Want To: I really loved this post. So many times I feel like I need to come up with good reasons not to do something and, you know what, sometimes the fact that I just don’t want to is a good enough reason. Also, the idea of doing things just because you HAVE been really resonated with me. “Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way for a month or a year or 10 years doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. If you want to stop, you can stop. If you want to change, you can change.”   Especially in relation to my blog. It’s given me motivation to take a step back and look at the things I’ve been doing “just because it’s the way I’ve done things for 5 years” rather than because I actually still desire to.

3. 9 Life Lessons From Kimmy Schmidt: I just bingewatched and LOVED The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so I loved this post!

4. Always One More Time: I needed this little reminder!

5. Remove One Word From Your Vocab & It Will Change Your Life: Oh my gosh I say this ALL the time. I’m trying to experiment with banning this from my vocab.

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1. Ginger Pear tea from Trader Joe’sI feel like my picks are always new teas but I LOVE MY TEA, OKAY? This one was new in the store and UM YEAH I had to have it.
2. My Crafted Van bookmark collection – I was NOT a bookmark user before these really. I would dogear or use makeshift bookmarks. But I LOVE THESE. Except RIP I lost my unicorn bookmark already.
Crafted Van bookmarks
 3. Audiobooks: I used to be obsessed with audiobooks but really stopped listening to them. This was the month I FINALLY got back into them and I listen to them A LOT — while I’m driving, on the treadmill, while I’m cleaning, while I’m getting ready and Will isn’t here.

 

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1. ALL THE LOCAL BOOK EVENTS: Sarah J. Maas release party for ACOTAR (in which I am moderating), Sabaa Tahir, Sarah Dessen, Tiffany Schmidt’s release party and the Openly YA tour. If you are in the Philly area and want info about these events let me know!!
2. Our first Block Party concert: I’ve talked about how our local alt/indie station puts on free concerts in the summer (you have to just be fast enough to get the free tickets that are released). Will and I got tickets and will be seeing Banks, The Airborne Toxic Event, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Bad Suns.
3. BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA: EEEEE so excited. This is year #5 for me and I can’t wait to see friends and do ALL THE FUN THINGS. I’m planning to do a meetup again like I did last year (we crossed Momufuku and Macbar off my bucket list) so stay tuned if you are going to BEA and want in. Gotta figure my schedule out but then will decide.

 

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I ‘ve got two questions this month because one is definitely more blogger specific:

Are you going to BEA this year???

 

Who is one author you wish you could meet?

 

 

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

Hey Spring, Is That Really You? (A March 2015 Recap)

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 mr2a

1. Saw Gayle Forman, Libba Bray & AS King: What a FUN night! Such interesting conversation about feminism, diversity, friendship and more! They reenacted a scene in I Was Here and it was hilarious. I’m always thankful when I get to see Gayle — she’s so fantastic to talk to and just somebody you want to be bffs with basically.

10989646_10102231968658715_1372333546296726158_oWith Gayle and my pal Frankie

2. We actually got a significant snowfall amount — I was already over Winter but we really hadn’t gotten a REAL good snow. Just like tiny snowfall amounts that are more annoying than anything. Love a GOOD snowfall!

3. I was sick 3 out of 4 weeks of this month: Basically March = MISERABLE. KIDS ARE GERM MAGNETS. BOTTOM LINE. Nannying kind of sucks in that way. I’d be sick all week and then get a day or two of being healthy and then BOOOM sick again. OH and then this past weekend I was in bed because I had the worst pain of my life and thought I had appendicitis. GOOD TIMES.

4. Will and I took Genevieve out for a little date– There are so many kids in my sister’s family and we decided to take Genevieve out for a little alone time with us. We did lunch and then took her to this big indoor playground. She had a blast. Her little face was red and she was sweating a little as we dragged her out haha

5. I did a little retail therapy: I was feeling so blue all month because I was sick ALMOST EVERY WEEK so I decided to buy a cute skirt and dress! THANK GOD FOR ONLINE SHOPPING.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! SERIOUSLY I think my March playlist is one of my most favorites in a while!! It’s going to be so hard for me to pick. Lots of new loves and lots of new stuff from old faves.

1. Dead – Phoebe Ryan


2. The Balance — Royal Tongues

3. Knocking On Heaven’s Door – RAIGN (I like their other stuff too but this cover is EVERYTHING. And it was on The 100 season 2 finale!!!)


4. Vamala – Champs

5. Hey Now — Matt & Kim

6. We Won’t Sleep — Handsome Ghosts

 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

So many  favorites released singles so I figured I’d just round those up down here but I listened to all these A LOT:

No Room in Frame – Death Cab For Cutie
Believe – Mumford and Sons (suuuuch a different sound for them but I LOVE!)
Crystals – Of Monsters & Men
Hollow Moon – AWOLNATION

Also, I can’t leave Busy Earnin’ by Jungle off my list! Been my jam all month!

Check out the rest of my March playlist

 

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Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta: MY QUEEN. Loved all her contemporary and SO glad to have started her fantasy trilogy.

The Start Of Me & You by Emery Lord: Emery’s sophomore novel was just as amazing as her debut!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: Oh this fantasy was so fun! Espionage! Taking back the kingdom! Vigilante justice!

 

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Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

I was so glad to finallyyyyy share my review of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I was sitting on this review for quite a few months to wait til closer to the release date and I’m so happy so many of you loved it too or are SUPER excited about it!

 

 

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“In friendship, we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.”  And then a couple of lines after: “Because with true friends, no one is keeping score. But it still feels good to repay them — even in the tiniest of increments.”  – Emery Lord’s The Start Of Me & You

These two lines are pretty much what I think about friendship in a nutshell!

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1. My Review of Two YA Monthly Subscription BoxesI’ve been curious about these and I’m glad my review was so helpful to so many of you who were also super curious!

2. Is It The Author’s Job?: Oh my goodness. This was one of my favorite discussions I’ve had with y’all in a while. Thanks for being so thoughtful and making me think!

3. Books For Readers Who Like Not-So-Easy-To-Like Characters: I had fun putting this list together and loved chatting about the topic of unlikeable characters with you!

4. Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Want To Revisit: Oh the nostalgia!!

5. That Thing I Regret Not Having: I love doing these Beyond the Pages posts and chatting with you guys about real life things that books make me think of!

 

mr12ANY of my book talks! Always haha
BUT
I also really had a good time writing about the joy of a good album! Music lovers, where were ya?! :) Or maybe it was just me being super nostalgic and weird and nobody could relate haha

 

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STILLL NADA. Womp womp.  I should probably leave this section off until I get my crap together.

 

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1. Even more organization awesomeness from HannahI’m dreadfully behind on book blog reading. Like really embarrassingly. So thankful for the Twitters for being all abuzz about Hannah’s post! Hannah is the most organized person EVER and always shares great tips and now she’s got me pining for all these things — THAT FOXY DORI!

2. The People We Don’t Get the Chance To Thank: What a beautiful post from Jess! Definitely made me start making a list of people I’d be remiss if I never got to thank!

3. Email Guidelines for the World: YASSSS. THIS.

4. Hard Is Not A Reason:  Oh man did I need this post right now! I feel like I’ve been chalking a lot of things up to being “too hard.” Needed this post to call me out!

5. Authenticity Online: If you read my Monthly Rewinds every month you know I always seem to share a post Shannon writes. Her posts are always so thought-provoking and timely and RELEVANT to me. Also really loved “What Compels Us To Share?”  and “Your Perspective Is Important At Any Age” that she wrote in March as well!

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1. SherlockOKAY OKAY. So I listed this a couple months ago when I watched the first season but like OBSESSION does not even cover it now that I’ve finished season 2 & 3 this month. I’m just basically non-stop thinking about this show (and Benedict because YEAH). WHY THE LONG WAIT?! (You can find out what else I’ve been watching lately movie/tv-wise)
2. My new skirt I bought – I’d also post a pic of the dress I bought but I’m too lazy. But yeah, this skirt is going to be a staple FOR SURE. I’ve already come up with a few outfits with it. I need it in every color ever.
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3. 2 new teas: I’m always getting new tea. Up this month is the Echinacea with elderberry from Traditional Medicinals and Trader Joe’s Rooibos & Honeybush Tea!

 

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1. Going to visit my dad for Easter: As I’ve mentioned before my dad lives 4 hours away so I don’t see him often. BUT Will and I are heading up in a couple days for the Easter weekend.
2. MAYBE FUN OUTSIDE THINGS?!: Spring so far has been COLD. Very winter-like. I’d like to ummm play outside THANKS.
3. New Mountain Goats album and a new Passion Pit album: WAHOO. Excited. Been a fan of TMG for a long time and same with Passion Pit so YAYS.

 

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So this question isn’t like my typical ones nor is it really an exciting one or too thought-provoking one BUT I’ve been wondering:

Do you like that I just tell my top THREE books I read in my Monthly Rewind or would you prefer I listed ALL the books I read each month and denote my favorite 3? I’ve always just done top but I was curious what you all found most helpful!

 

 

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

February 2015 Rewind – Music Recs, Inspiring Posts & More!

mr1a

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetBook + Chocolate Torte Cake

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 mr2a

1. Went to Apollycon: Had such a fun time at Apollycon in Philly to celebrate the release of Jennifer Armentrout’s newest release with 20+ other authors. Was so nice to hang with friends and chat with authors I love!

2. Will and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with pizza and chocolate cake — That’s how we roll. We were going to go out for dinner and then it was snowy/icy so we decided to just ditch those plans. Plus restaurants are more annoying on Valentine’s Day.

3. We took our older niece and nephews for lunch & bowling: This was our belated Christmas present to them — a day to just do something fun without the little ones. We had such a fun time and it was nice to spend some quality time with them. Will kicked our butts in bowling.

4. Changed my hair up a little bit– I get so BLAH in the winter and I just wanted a little something different so I changed my hair color up from the typical reddish color I do to something more purpley-red. It’s fun and made me happy.

5. I’ve been in a weird reading/blogging space: I’m simply not reading as much as I usually do so far this year. I’m just trying to ride it out and do what I feel like. I think it’s related to blogging to be honest. Feeling like I have to PROVE/GIVE REASONS why I liked or did not like a book. Sometimes I just do or do not. It’s just hard to feel like I have to put my critical hat on every time I read something. That’s not who I am as a reader which is why I said I’m no longer a book reviewer. But, even with declaring that, I still feel self conscious because of what other people still expect this place to be because I’m a book blogger. I’m not a reader who picks apart things. I read and I talk about what I liked/disliked, how it made me feel, what it made me think about, etc. I don’t want to be a book reviewer. I just want to talk about books. However I feel like. Focusing on what IIIII want to about the book. *repeats to self, ignores all the other crap*

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now !

1. Falling Short — Lapsley


2. Dangerous — Big Data (ft. Joywave)


3. Strange Enough — VERITE


4. What Kind of Man — Florence + the Machine

5. Show Me Emotion — The Dunwells

6. Under Stars — AURORA

 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Can’t See the Light by Reuben and the Dark, Lifted Up by Passion Pit, Shots by Imagine Dragons, Reconfiguration by Other Lives

Check out the rest of my February playlist

 

mr4

 

Again, this month I only read 6 books so I’m just going to give my top book of February!

Mosquitoland David Arnold

 Mosquitoland by David Arnold — My review will happen this week but this book is so unlike anything I’ve ever read.

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A Court of Thorns & roses

 My Save the Date for Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR. I know it’s a most anticipated book so I wasn’t surprised at all! WORTHY OF THE ANTICIPATION! :)

 

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” Forgiveness is tricky, Alexis, because in the end it’s more about you than it’s about the person who’s being forgiven” ” — The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

I thought A LOT about this sentence and forgiveness after reading this.

 

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1. Ten Fantasy Novels This Newb Needs To ReadI loved all your recs and input! Your love for fantasy books makes me even more excited to be into this genre!

2. My favorite things when it comes to romance in books: THIS WAS SO FUN. So many LoVe fans. I knew you were my people!

3. On second chances: This is one of my favorite discussions I’ve had in a while SOLELY for the fact that I loved all your thoughtful responses and how varied they were!

4. I Recognize The Insanity, I DO!: Another session of bookworm therapy where bookworms enable bookworms. LOVED IT.

5. Ten Bookish Problems In My Life: This was so fun! We bookworms sure do have some “problems”! Lack of shelf space seems to be a big one!!

 

mr12ANY of my book talks! I was so excited to talk about some of these books!

 

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STILLL NADA. Womp womp. Youtube is so much harder for me because I need good lighting and to look decent and for Will not to be here making noise. Never can find a good time these days!

 

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1. Does Your Opinion Need To Be Heard?In an online world full of hot takes on the latest issues, I do not want to live my life constantly in a reactionary status”  SO MUCH THIS. I am always so cautious in my online life to think before I spout my opinion on something that has happened — whether in the community or a current event. It’s easy to see something online, feel your blood boil and tweet out an angry 140 character rant before you’ve had the time to do your research/take a breather and ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish/wonder if your opinion could be more helpful if you step back and wait for you emotions to settle. I’ve seen the knee-jerk emotional reactions in full force (I’m not judging) and I’ve just always known that reaction isn’t for me which is why I stay silent on a lot of things when the bullets are flying so to speak. Not because I don’t care or HAVE an opinion but because I carefully weigh how I want to present my opinion, if it’s something that ACTUALLY needs to be said, if I have the time/energy to facilitate a discussion about that opinion, what I hope to accomplish by saying it (is it to start a dialogue or to slam something I don’t like?) etc. I have opinions but I’m not sure every single one of them needs to be heard. (And I’m sure others feel differently and that’s okay!)

2. A Reverse To-Do List: I’ve unintentionally done this when it comes to blogging. I started saying no to a lot of things when I realized how unhappy it was making me to do TOO much. It feels bad saying no sometimes but it is empowering and Jess’s post really explains this well!

3. The Awesome Power of Tiny Triumphs: “That’s the thing with forward progress. It’s made up of lots of small steps, and we have to take an awful lot of them on our own, in the dark and away from the fanfare, before we can get to those big moments that really do merit recognition and applause.”  LOVED & desperately needed this post for the reminder that the tiny triumphs are important to remember!

4. Why Am I Not Doing The One Thing I Want to Do?:  It’s funny because I always have these couple things that remain on my to-do list daily and I never seem to do. Soooo this was very relevant!!

5. Five Surprising Things You Learn As A Female Solo Traveler: Interesting post! I’m a woman that truthfully has had to work A LOT to be okay with doing things alone (it’s so hard for me) and become more independent. Hell, I could cry thinking about eating at a restaurant alone. But I work on it and I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone A LOT in the past 5 years…especially BECAUSE of this blog.

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1. Better Call Saul on AMCWill and I were huge fans of Breaking Bad and Saul was one of my faaaavorite characters so I’ve been excited every since I heard about this show! I AM SO OBSESSED ALREADY. The actor who plays Saul is brilliant and it is bringing even more depth and to a character I didn’t think I could love more. Learning about Saul BEFORE Breaking Bad? AMAZING. This whole new Saul we are seeing!!
2. Fresh Off the BoatWill and I don’t watch a lot of comedies but we watched this one and it gets me rolling!
3. My “College Jamie’s Favorites” playlist: I’ve been having some major nostalgia issues lately. So I’ve been putting this playlist on and it just seems to transport me. And also I remember how much awesome music I loved back then. SOME OF MY FAVORITE ALBUMS I HAVEN’T LISTENED TO IN A WHILE.

 

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1. Gayle Forman!!: I’m going to get to see Gayle Forman twice in one month and THAT IS EXCITING. She’s coming to a bookstore in Princeton and then my favorite local indie, Children’s Book World. ALL THE EXCITE. (Gotta get all this out so I can act ~normal when I see her). I’ve met/talked with her quite a few times but I CANNOT HELP FEELING EXCITED LIKE IT IS THE FIRST TIME.
2. Maybe more spring-like temperatures?: A GIRL CAN HOPE RIGHT??
3. NYC Teen Author Fest: I’m not CERTAIN that I’m going but I’d really like to go at least for a day!

 

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Who is one author you would love to chat with over a cup of coffee? Why?

(For me it’s Gayle Forman, OBVIOUSLY. Every time I talk to her I just could talk for even longer. She’s so interesting, smart and funny and always has great stories to tell (esp her travel stories) and she cares and thinks deeply about life! And maaaaybe she could tell me what Allyson and Willem are up to right now. 😛 )

 

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

The First Monthly Rewind Of 2015! WOO!

mr1a
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Eric’s release party was at the coolest venue — Tattooed Mom

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 mr2a

1. Will & I froze our butts off at Winter Jam: Our alternative radio station in Philly puts on free concerts sometimes (I talked about the Summer Block party we went to in August before). We snagged the free but limited tickets to see Andrew McMahon, Walk the Moon, Cold War Kids and The Gaslight Anthem. It was outside & COOOOOLD. Seeing Andrew McMahon was a dream because I was a huge Something Corporate fan back in the day and Walk the Moon was fun! Love CWK and it was fun but the first two stole the show. We left before Gaslight Anthem because Will’s layering game wasn’t as good as mine and he was too cold to handle it anymore.

2. We went to Eric Smith’s release party for his YA debut Inked — I was thrilled to celebrate this exciting day with Eric and FINALLY meet his lovely fiance. Will and I didn’t know anybody really but the venue was SO awesome and everyone was really nice. (Check out Eric’s guest post here on the blog)

3. Genevieve turned 3: I seriously can’t believe she is THREE!!! It was so cute because my sister said she woke up at 5am and said “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!” so it was the first time she really UNDERSTOOD it. Had such a good day with them and then her party was fun.

4. SICKNESS PART 2– I was sick a lot in December and OH MY GOSH I CANNOT STAY HEALTHY in 2015 apparently. Nannying = GERM CENTRAL. I was doing so good. I got so lazy with trying to keep the germs at bay so THAT WILL TEACH ME.

5. I had a weird reading slump in January: It had nothing to do with what I was reading. I was reading good things. GREAT THINGS. BUUUUUT. It was like more like I didn’t read at all for the first 10 days of the month?? I just haven’t had a burning desire and think I may have gotten burnt out so I just let myself wait it out and figured I’d pick up a book when I wanted to.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now !

1. Shake It Off – Us The Duo (love this cover!!)

2. Big Guns — Ruelle


3. Kamikaze – Young Brother


4. Fits & Starts — Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes

5. Under the Influence — Elle King

6. Trustful Hands – The Dø

Check out the rest of my January playlist

 

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I only read 5 books this month so I’m just going to go with my TOP book I read  and then list the other ones I read!

A Court of Thorns & rosesA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas — AMAZING

 

1. A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard — awesome sequel!!
2. The Boy In the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds — so underrated!
3. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey — book club pick that I really loved!
4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie E. Hall — I thought this one was a quick, fun read but I’m dying for book 2 after the way that ended.

 

 mr5

 

 I'll Meet You There Heather DemetriosI was so happy to share this one with you guys. GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK!!

 

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” But this game here, I-DEE-clare war, is how life really goes down.”…. “I flip a card, then you flip a card,” he explained, and waited for me to turn my first card. A six. His was a ten. “Sometimes I win” — he raked the cards off to the side, close to him — ” and sometimes I lose.” He flipped another card. An eight. This time I turned a queen and beat him. “And sometimes,” he continued while flipping another one, “I can lose and lose and lose and I don’t know why. But there’s nothing I can do but just keep flipping the cards. Eventually I’ll win again. As long as you got cards to keep turning, you’re fine. Now, that’s life,” he said, pushing another hand I won over to me. ” — The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

 

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1. Ten Series Starters That Should Be On Your Radar For 2015SO MANY GOOD SOUNDING SERIES.

2. The Five Best 2015 Books I Read In 2014 & Highly Recommend: These should be on your radar for SURE.

3. 2015 YA Debuts Novels I’m Most Excited For: Where am I going to find all this time??

4. 2014 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t: Which ones are priority??

5. Reformed Book Buyer…Apparently: Habits change I guess!

 

mr12

Hmm the post where I talked about enjoying life for what it is or my review of I Was Here by Gayle Forman  just because I know it has been a very polarizing book amongst fans and would have loved to discuss it!

 

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I STILL didn’t do anything on Youtube this month. I blame getting sick so often. No fun to be snotting all over the place while filming. (this is why blogging is so much easier because being film ready is HARD haha)

 

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1. Four ways to pursue new friendshipsI am notoriously bad at pursuing new friendships — it’s a combination of fearing rejection, getting set in my ways and also just really enjoying my own time so much I forget to let others in. This was really SUCH a great post about friendship with four easy ways to be more intentional! BUT FOR REAL WHY IS THERE NO TINDER FOR FRIENDSHIP?

2. The Possibility In Blank Spaces: “Don’t see the emptiness in your blank spaces, see the possibilities.”

3. How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You: Oh dear god I needed this post. I really try to be a person who doesn’t hold grudges because it’s clutters up too much and life is too short for it most of the time. Plus, I want people to be gracious with me, as I am only human, so I try to do the same and give second chances/forgive (when it’s not an unhealthy situation). But when someone really DOES hurt me deep down I really struggle to let go. I internalize. I cry. I try to forgive and let go. I fail. I feel awful. IT SUCKS. This post is PERFECT and practical and makes so much sense.

4. Today Is Not Over Yet: I saw this post on a day where I had slept in and messed around on the computer for HOURS getting NOTHING done. I was just SO frustrated. SO FRUSTRATED. I had resigned myself to the fact it was a waste of a day now. Somehow I had gotten into my blog reader and this was the first post I saw.  Funny how you sometimes see the things you need to, huh? GREAT reminder.

5. Realistic Advice On How To Save Money To Travel: I’ve been in a situation I’ve hated for the past couple years of getting laid off. The financial struggles that brought made travel happen less for me and I can’t tell you how much it hurts my soul. For real. But I really do want to, as we rebuild our finances, want to prioritize and save money for travel. This article had some great things to think about plus linked to other resources!

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1. My new infinity scarf my little sister got me for Christmas. — why didn’t I ever buy one of these before??
2. Young Adult PHL My friend Kim got the ball running on having meetup group for Philly young adult lit lovers that I’m helping to co-run. SADLY I could not make the first meeting but can’t wait until next time! If you are in the Philly area, check it out!
3. Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night tea: I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately so I wanted to try a tea to calm me a bit and I love this one! Downside: Will has been drinking it too (he rarely drinks tea) so I’m going through it sooo fast.

 

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1. Apollycon: Very excited to have some book fun with a great lineup of authors!
2. Book signings!!: Sarah J. Maas & Samantha Shannon, Gayle Forman, Lauren Oliver!
3. Taking my older niece and nephews bowling: We were a little strapped for cash to get things they’d actually WANT for Christmas so we told them were going to take them out for pizza and bowling (they don’t often get to go out and do things because there are 7 kids) and FINALLY we found a weekend that works.

 

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 What’s something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t because something has held you back?

(This question is something I have been thinking about A LOT for my own life because I can recognize things I want to do but haven’t and there are a number of things that have held me back — fear, not believing in myself, sometimes it’s my own fault such as laziness or something)

 

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

December 2014 Rewind — A Little Belated!

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Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

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1. Celebrated Christmas: For the first time since Will and I got married I was able to travel the 4 hours to my dad’s to spend Tuesday through Sunday there! It hadn’t worked out with days off in the past two years so I was thankful to spend the holiday with my family.

2. We went to Will’s work Christmas party — It was fun to meet all the people that Will works with and see how quickly he’s become well-liked and friendly with people at this new job! We had a great time and I got to wear a pretty dress. (If you check out this post you can see a pic from it)

3.I took a decent amount of time off from the blog: I was really intentional about making December very low key and taking time off. I didn’t post a lot of discussion posts or reviews but rather did lots of best of 2014 lists and did a fun week of handmade Etsy giveaways. And I also scheduled lots of days off from posts. My plan WAS to use some of that time to get ahead in January but I ended up not doing a thing. Oh well, I needed the time.

4. I got sick 2-3x– It was AWFUL. I hadn’t gotten sick in a while and then it kept hitting me. I got a cold, then was out for the count with aches and a high fever and then NYE I woke up at 3:45 puking and spent my NYE in bed!

5. I participated in Secret Santa: At my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish, I host a Secret Santa and this was the 5th year and there were over 300 people who participated! My Secret Santa, Maggie, was the sweetest ever and I loved all my lovely presents and I had such a blast shopping for my Secret Santa Ellice over at Paper Riot.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now !

1. Honest — Kodaline

2. Awakening — AURORA


3. High – Young Rising Sons (Um, I don’t know how this didn’t end up on my October or November rewind??)


4. Wicket Youth – Sego

5. Tears – The Tragic Thrills

6. Cloudline — Joseph

Honorable Mentions: Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse (AHH NEW MODEST MOUSE), Palm Trees by Lowell, 1965 by Zella Day, That Time of Year by Charles William (I’m LOVING him — see last month’s pick!)

Check out the rest of my December playlist

 

mr4

I read 11 books this month!

best-books-read-december

1.  Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
2. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (also made my top books of 2014 that deserved more attention)
3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

 

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I didn’t do a ton of reviews for the month of December because of my break + I find people are so busy and they don’t get much attention in that month! But you guys seemed to like my 11 books that deserved more attention in 2014 which is a whole lot of once sentence reviews! :)

 

 

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“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”   — Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

** this is taken from the ARC so it is subject to change.

“We try to explain how we feel, but there aren’t always the right words or the words we have fail. But with music, you can hear a piece and say, Yeah, that’s it. That’s exactly how I feel. — There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos

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1. I Didn’t Intend To Write This Post– This was a spur of the moment post and I’m glad I did post it. I posted it while I was away so I haven’t had time to get to all the comments but I love you all <3

2. So I Sat Here Ready To Declare My Goodreads Challenge— Loved hearing your thoughts on what I was contemplating!

3. 18 YA books I Cannot WAIT For In 2015: So much to look forward to!!

4. My Book Related Goals & Resolutions For 2015: Let’s hope I will accomplish these things!

5. My top twelve 2014 releases : It was so hard to narrow but these ones definitely stuck out!

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Either my favorite backlist books I read in 2014 or my Beyond The Pages where I talk about Station Eleven! I definitely wanted to just discuss the crap out of the stuff I talked about.

 

mr7

I STILL didn’t do anything on Youtube this month. Good thing I made this my resolution for 2015!

 

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1. On Creating Safe SpacesI feel the same way about my blog and also really need to go through my personal Facebook. I’ve always felt like my blog was this safe space where I am more honest and more myself than anywhere else other than my home and with my closest friends and family.

2. New Years Resolutions To Transform Your Life: I really liked thinking on these ones!

3. Be Kind Whenever Possible: A hundred amens to this post. I often feel kindness gets discounted just as Alex does. And it’s sad because I don’t think kindness means being passive or weak or not able to have an opinion like I’ve heard so often. A reminder for me that I can always choose kind even in unpleasant things.

4. Why Minimalism Should Be Your 2015 Resolution: This was a good read! Because circumstances of the past couple years I’ve definitely become more of a minimalist which is so the opposite of who I was. I don’t reject buying things or keeping things but I definitely have become more thoughtful on everything I buy, what I consume, the amount of choices I give myself, the clutter of my life. I don’t think I could live the way some of those I’ve seen in the minimalism movement live but that’s okay…I’m paring down what I need to and putting less value in STUFF…and it makes me happier and more free to be honest.

5. Why I Don’t Do Reading Challenges: I’ve been feeling like the only one who doesn’t do these but they just don’t suit my reading habits (see: what it is like to be a mood reader) or personal habits. Gillian’s post explains really well why I don’t do them despite so wanting to!

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1. Gelato Fiasco — This brand is amazing! I had the Torched Marshmallow S’more gelato and it was TO DIE FOR.
2. All these Etsy shops I featuredI love the bookish Etsy community!
3. My new infuser water bottle: I’ve been wanting one and Will told his mom to get it for me for Christmas. It’s DELIGHTFUL and I’ve been putting oranges and lemons and cucumber in it depending on what I have on hand. The cucumber water is real good but I love the taste of the orange and lemon water together!

 

mr9

1. Going ice skaing: We didn’t go in December because it was just too busy but this month for sure!
2. Genevieve’s 3rd birthday: I cannot believe she turns 3. HOW? I remember the day I became an auntie and it seemed like yesterday.
3. Eric’s INKED release party: Eric Smith’s YA debut, INKED, comes out in January and I’m so excited to be going (and dragging Will along) and celebrating here in Philly!

 

mr12


 What’s one thing you really want to work on in 2015?

My answer is something I tweeted, “I want to care less about things that don’t really matter and more about things that actually do matter.” I spend so much time thinking/stressing/fixating on things that don’t actually matter in the big picture. It’s easy to fixate on that person who unfollowed you and rack your brain all day on why or to get in a spiral of social media scrolling and get nothing done or get yourself worked up about something that doesn’t matter and let it affect your day, etc. I want to just be more accountable to myself with where I’m spending my time, my energy and my thoughts.

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

November 2014 Rewind — an obsession I must share, bye bye hair & more!

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 We had a pretty mild November so I definitely took advantage of the nicer days!!

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month including some fun leaf jumping time with Genevieve and some pretty Fall foliage with books.

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1. I bought Taylor Swift tickets : AHHHH I’m going to see Taylor with my darlings Katie and Morgan. So I saw Taylor back in the day at a very small venue (near where Taylor grew up) when her first album came out and it was so fun. I was 20 or 21. And so now I will be ushering out my 20’s by seeing Taylor again. It’s kind of symbolic in a way….looking at how different my life is/her career is from my early 20’s to now when I’m in my last year of my 20’s. I AM EXCITED.

2. I cut six inches of my hair off — Okay so IIIIII didn’t actually do the cutting. Holla at my girl Jenna from Mint Salon. But yeah…I cut my hair off. Whaddya think?

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3.I celebrated Thanksgiving: We’ve spent Thanksgiving, since being married, at my dad’s house because Christmas wasn’t working out with Will’s work so this year we are doing Thanksgiving here and Christmas at my dad’s so it was interesting for me to spend Thanksgiving, for the first time in my life, elsewhere.

4. I BOUGHT A WINTER JACKET LIKE A GROWNUP – I’ve always bought more fashion-y and not super warm jackets. I decided to be a grownup and buy a proper warm jacket. IT IS SO WARM.

5. I saw Mockingjay!!: I was nervous how the movie would be because WELL THAT BOOK IS DIFFERENT THAN THE FIRST TWO. I personally loved the book and I was actually really happy with the movie. Not my favorite of the 3 but it was solid for me.

 

mr3

I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now !

1. Starts — Charles William

2. Hypnotic — Zella Day


3. Brother — Might Oaks


4. See Me Now — Ryan Keen

5. Little Grace — Hippo Campus

6. Promises — Ryn Weaver

Honorable Mentions: Reflections by MisterWives, Postcard by Jukebox the Ghost, Cool Kids by Echosmith, Make You Better by The Decemberists, Get Away by CHVRCHES, Headlights by Tor Miller

Follow my November playlist

 

mr4

I read 7 books this month!

books1

1.  Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
2. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
3. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

 

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 Even In Paradise by Chelsy PhilpotI really loved this book — check out my review!

 

 

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“It gave me hope: if you could make a beautiful piece of art from discarded newspapers and old matchbooks, then it meant that everything had potential. And maybe people were like collages — no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”  — I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

** this is taken from the ARC so it is subject to change.

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1. The Sacrificial Book Lamb– I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this problem!

2. Books I Want To Read This Winter— So many good books to read!

3. New To The Queue: I love doing these posts every month!

4. Ten Books I Want To Re-Read: I really do want to re-read more!!

5. What I’ve Been Watching : I decided I wanted to sporadically share what I’ve been watching!

 

mr7

I STILL didn’t do anything on Youtube this month. MUST FIND MY MOJO AGAIN.

 

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1. How To Reach Your Goals Starting TodayThis post is perfect in light of the New Year but ALWAYS. I am such a dreamer and a thinker and I do struggle sometimes with the actual action part of my goals.

2. Notes on Sonder: I like this term “sonder” and this post was really great!

3. I Am Not For Everyone & Neither Are You: I loved this post from Jess (I reflected on some similar things recently) and needed a reminder of that in recent days. “You create more joy in your life when you let go of worrying about what everyone else thinks.”

4. Get Shit Done Even When You Are Unmotivated: Oh man the lack of motivation I’ve had recently is UNREAAAAL. Needed this!

5. Creatively Zapped? Try This Madman Trick!: I have been feeling SOOOOO uncreative this month. It’s been a struggle lately. This post is awesome and makes so much sense. Creatively I pour too much of myself into this and only this and I’m not getting creative elsewhere anymore.

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1. The 100 — OHHHHHHH MY GODDDDD THIS SHOW. So I watched the first 4 episodes on a Monday and then got out of work at like 1 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and finished the first season and then the 5 episodes that are out for the second season. GET ON THIS FRIENDS. I wasn’t addicted until 4 or 5 episodes in but this show has SHOCKED me. And season 2. OMG. I CANNOT EVEN. WORDSAREFAILING. Even Will got a little intrigued (although I think he was more entertained by watching ME watching The 100 because I went a little loco and was talking to myself and jumping up and down and screaming). BELLAMYYYYY. And the OTP to challenge all your other OTPs.
2. Fleeced line leggings- OMG BEST INVENTION KNOWN TO WOMANKIND. I got mine at Forever 21 but I know they sell them at Target. YAY FOR WARM THINGS.
3. Vanilla Cinnamon Black Tea from Trader Joe’s: SO DELISH. And it was only $1.99 so YAYS.

 

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1. CHRISTMAS: I love Christmas!!! And I get to spend it at my dad’s for an extended weekend for the first time since Will and I have been married so YAYYAYAY.
2. Potentially going ice skating: There is this new ice skating place that opened up in the city that we want to try. I AM SCARED THOUGH BECAUSE I HAVEN’T BEEN SINCE I WAS A CHILD….AND MY CLOSER TO THE GROUND WHEN I FALL!
3. Will making these red velvet cinnamon buns again: Yeah, seriously. A food item being consumed deserves its own spot.

 

mr12(I have been feeling like my Monthly Rewinds are so less interactive than I want them to be so I did some brainstorming and I thought it would be fun to ask you a question based on something that happened to me this month, something I was thinking about, etc.)


So my question is: With the holidays coming, tell me a holiday tradition you have or one that you WANT to start?

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

October 2014 Rewind

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YES I LOVE ALL THE FALL THINGS. Especially mini pumpkins.

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month including some fun leaf jumping time with Genevieve and some pretty Fall foliage with books.

 mr2a

1. I turned 29!! : It’s so crazy to me that this will be the last year of my 20’s. SO CRAZY. Like did I just graduate high school or at least COLLEGE? Noooope apparently NOT. In honor of turning 29, I created a 30 things before I turn 30 list to do in the next year and it’s going to be FUUUUUN.

2. Related to my birthday, I created a 30 things before I turn 30 list to have a little fun and stop stressing about the fact this is the last year of my 20’s — As Will put it, “well, it’s so you? Random. A little weird. Kind of hilarious.”

3. I spent a lot of time outside: The weather has been pretty nice which makes me happy because October is always a mixed bag weatherwise. Been taking advantage of the nice weather to take walks and do outside things.

4. Did LOTS of FALL THINGS – went pumpkin picking, apple picking, played in the leaves, carved pumpkins, made chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies, have made some chilis and other hearty crockpot meals.

5. I went clothing shopping for the first time in a while: I came to the realization, upon organizing my closet, that all I own are dresses and tank tops. My go-to for winter clothes has just been to put a cardigan over a tank top and BOOM WINTERIZED. So I got some birthday money/gift cards and decided to get myself some warmer clothes. I HATE the cold weather and this year I’ve been trying to embrace it and find ways to hate it less. So I got myself some warm sweaters and such and my life already feels better.

 

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I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! I also have my October playlist where you can find other stuff I was listening to this month.

1. High Fever – The Bronze Medal

2. Light It Up — Eliza & The Bear

3. 10,000 Emerald Pools — BORNS


4. James Dean — Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

5. Boardwalks — Little May

6. This Is How We Walk On The Moon – Jose Gonzalez
(I fell in love with him years ago in college and I’m digging this new song)

Follow my October playlist

 

mr4

I read 7 books this month!

bestbooksOctober

1.  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
2. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (book 2; first book is The Winner’s Curse)
3. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

 

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

 

 

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“Other people will try to decide things for you, she says. They’ll try to tell you who you are. Remember, no matter what they say, you’re the only who really decides.”  — Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

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1. I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake– I loved talking about book lending habits and OMG some of your horror stories!!

2. If We Were Having Coffee— It makes me happy that I’m able to sit down and talk with you guys about what’s on my mind and in my heart. I am humbled by your responses and all the emails I got privately in response.

3. 8 Reasons I Struggle To Put Down A Book: I really AM trying to get better and your encouragement and words of wisdom helped!

4. In Theory I Like Re-Reading:  I loved hearing about your love for re-reading and also your struggles like mine! Also, check out this re-reading challenge two other bloggers are hosting since so many of you wanted to challenge yourself to reread also!

5. A Personal Response to A Shocking Thing That Happened : It was a wakeup call to say the least. I’m so happy I’m a part of this community despite all that happened.

 

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I didn’t do anything on Youtube this month. MUST FIND MY MOJO AGAIN.

 

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1. On A Personal Note: Unboxing FriendshipsThis post about friendship from Magan at Rather Be Reading really resonated with me!

2. Have You Changed Your Narrative Lately?: “It’s easy to cling to a story, even if it doesn’t serve us anymore. It’s harder to shed the layers of past selves and emerge into a new narrative. The transition can be awkward, abrupt, or bumpy.” This post REALLY resonated with me right now.

3. Books, Blogging & Back In The Day: I love reading about how other’s reading habits have changed since becoming a blogger. I had a whole series on this if you are interested in mine. I think it’s really a good thing to be mindful of the good and not so good habits that have changed and developed over the years.

4. Are You A Taker?: This was incredibly thought-provoking and something to reflect on.

5. Thinking About Friendship: Really good post from Rachel from Hello Chelly!

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1. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream — NO SERIOUSLY. This ice cream is the stuff dreams are made of if you are a pumpkin fanatic. Get thyself to a Trader Joe’s.
2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar: Can you tell I’m all about dessert in my life yet? But seriously, I was riding the PMS waves and Will is a good husband and picked this up for me so I my PMS rage could be calmed. SO DELISH.
3. How To Get Away With Murder: I’m a huge Shonda Rhimes fan (holla Greys & Scandal) and I didn’t mean to start watching this but I did. The first episode was the very end of September and in October I became full on obsessed.

 

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1. ALL THE BOOK EVENTS: In November we have Ally Condie, Robin Lafevers, Claire Legrand, Sarah Fine and Sarah Raasch coming to my area! ALSO MOCKINGJAY OMG!
2. Thanksgiving: Getting my Thanksgiving pants out in preparation!
3. Christmas shopping: I actually hate the ACT of Christmas shopping because I basically want to drop kick someone every time I go to the mall near Christmas but I really like Christmas shopping for my family and it’s fun to go out with Will and grab lunch and hot chocolates and just pick out things for our loved ones.

 

mr12(I have been feeling like my Monthly Rewinds are so less interactive than I want them to be so I did some brainstorming and I thought it would be fun to ask you a question based on something that happened to me this month, something I was thinking about, etc.)

So I read this quote recently and it got me thinking a lot about areas in my life that I want to push my boundaries a little more — especially in relation to some of my 30 before 30 list items and just getting ready to leave my 20’s in general: “Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.”

 

So my question is: What’s an area in your life where you want to push yourself more or where is there an unknown frontier in your life that you’ve been scared to pursue?

 

 

lets-talk

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog? Answer to my question of the month?

In Which Summer Clings On For Dear Life (AND I LIKE IT) — September Rewind

Image From This Month

Fall readingFollow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

SEPTEMBER In One Word

SUMMER-LIKE
I’m so happy Summer weather decided to stick around a bit!!

 

5 Things About My Life In September:

1. Will and I went to the last Radio 104.5 Block party & saw some amazing bands: Our alternative rock station puts on these free concerts in the summer! It has been on our bucket list of sorts to go and we FINALLY snagged the free tickets for the last one! We got to see Grouplove, Wolf Gang, Sir Sly, Vance Joy and Bricks + Mortar — all music I LOVE. It was raining and kind of cold but we stuck it out and had a good time — minus the moments where I felt like an old grumpy lady because THE YOUTH were acting a fool.

2. I saw Stephanie Perkins TWICE — She came to TWO local indies and so obviously I went to both events. OBVIOUSLY.

3. I went to two other amazing book events: Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Tiff Schmidt and Liz Norris came to town and it was SUCH a fun event. And then the Fierce Reads tour came to me! You can check out my Fierce Reads interview here!

Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire selfie

4. Lots of park days & outside reading: – Seriously, it was SO nice out this month that I didn’t have to give up my outside reading!! SUNSHINE AND WARMTH I LOVE YOU.

5. I enjoyed some Fall food: I have NOT had a pumpkin spice latte this year and I’m only planning on having ONE every Fall for a few different reasons. HOWEVER, I had pumpkin gingersnap ice cream (tasted like PUMPKIN PIE) and a pumpkin cream cheese donut. SO THERE’S THAT.

 

 

6 Songs That Were Most Popular On My Ipod This Month:

I put all my Monthly Rewinds In a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! I also have my September playlist which honestly I’m kind of obsessed with so you should check out the rest of the songs I was listening to! WAS SO HARD TO NARROW DOWN.

 

 

1. Stolen Dance — Milky Chance ( I really like the song Down By The River too) I know this song was on my radar earlier this year but I have no idea HOW and WHERE but it was one of those experiences where I was like OMG THIS WAS THE SONG I HAD HEARD BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS until I came across one of the new singles.

2. Night Window — Young Liars

3. You and Me — You+Me — Okay okay so I’m really excited about this collab. So it’s Alecia Moore (PINK) and Dallas from City and Colour. Alecia is from my hometown (literally she went to my same middle school & her childhood house is on my road) so I’m SO stoked for this  because I’ve always loved her voice and enjoyed her music because I ROOT FOR MY HOMETOWN GIRL but this just showcases her voice so much and is much more my style of music than what she does as PINK.

4. All I Want — Dawn Golden

5. Celeste — Ezra Vine

6. Out of My Mind — The Madden Brothers

Honorable Mentions: Wild Love by GosslingThe Lake by Fences, Sailing by The Strumbellas, The Wild Life by Vacationer, Io & I by Impala Ray, Been There Before by Ghost Beach, Beatings by Cove

Follow my September playlist

 

 

Top 3 Books I Read This Month:

I read 9 books this month!

1. The Young Elites by Marie Lu — AHHH I raced through this one. It’s going to be a great series. I know it.
2. Girl Defective by Simmone Howell — Another Aussie win for me!
3. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen — I was really glad I gave this one a chance!

 

Most Popular Review This Month

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

My review of A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

 

 

Most Popular 5 Blog Posts Overall This Month

1. I’m a Distracted Reader…Like the Worst!!— I’m glad I’m not the only one!! Although I wish none of us had this problem??
2. SEEKING THE PERFECT BOOK— STILL SEEKING.
3. My Halloween reading plan: Thanks for all the recs in the comments!!
4. Life Is Too Short For That It didn’t get many comments but view-wise it was popular! I’m glad so many of you were with me on this! It felt good to write it to be honest.
5. New To The Queue {7} : I love doing these posts!

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To On The Youtubes This Month:

I did a September TBR video and a book haul!

3 New Obsessions In September

1. Pumpkin cream cheese donut — This donut place is DANGEROUS. Will and I had 2 Saturday donut dates in a row and I’m OBSESSED. We also got maple bacon donuts and peanut butter fluff ones.

2. Polish Dark Chocolate: OMG OMG I am savoring my last piece. The people I work for went to Poland and brought me back this dark chocolate and it was PHENOMENAL. Will doesn’t even eat chocolate really and he was obsessed.

3. The Killing: Will and I started watching this show and are HOOKED!

 

3 Things I’m Looking Forward To In October

1. Can I say my birthday?: I can’t decide if I’m excited for it or not. I mean, I’m going to be 29 and that scares me because it’s my last full year being a twenty something. WHAT EVEN??? Like how am I that old?? Do you ever think…how did I get here??
2. Epic Reads in Princeton: WOOOO the Epic Reads tour is coming to town!!
3. Fall festivals: ALL OF THEM!

 


Favorite Quote From A Book I Read In September

Two books I read this month had a lot of really quote-worthy passages.

This one was really simple but it really resonated with me:

” We can’t be afraid of change,” she tells us. “Or else we’ll miss out on everything.”  – Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

This book was freaking beautiful with every page:

“Our relationship still has too many blank spaces, and I’m sick of people I love being defined by stories I haven’t heard first hand” Words & Their Meanings by Kate Bassett (which I’ll talk about more on the blog later)


5 Posts I Starred In My Reader That You Should Check Out

1. On Trusting Your GutI had a similar post scheduled (but a more specific thing) when I read this and well the way Hannah put it all just was SO MUCH BETTER than my post haha.

2. That Awkward In-Between Place: So relevant to my life right now. Going from point A to point B (place you’re unhappy with to place you long to be in) gets weird and awkward and frizzy for a while. But you have to go through the icky transitional phase in order to realize any real change. You have to learn to sit with the discomfort and antsy-ness if you ever want to emerge on the other side.”

3. Sorry But Your Problems Are Not As Complicated As You Think: Real talk! This chronic over-complicator needed this.

4. Making space – holding the container open, empty and ready: Really great post about change and cleaning out — people, things, thoughts, that which isn’t US anymore. making space is about removing what’s dead in your life so new growth can flourish

5. Social Media + Living the Present As A Memory: Food for thought. I’ve been thinking A LOT about social media and my consumption of it and how I live because of it. More conscious. (Obviously because a couple posts on this list LAST month were related).

 

 

 

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog?

 

Let’s Just Hit PAUSE So I Can Soak In More Summertime (August 2014 Rewind)

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Lots of outdoor reading! Have to get it all in before the weather chases me inside to read!!

AUGUST In One Word

BITTERSWEET
Super busy and fun but some cold weather reminding me SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER. And I’m a summer girl.

 

5 Things About My Life In August:

1. Will and I celebrated 2 years of marriage: I can’t believe we’ve been married for two years but at the same time, maybe because we’ve been together for like 8 years, I feel like WAIT HASN’T IT BEEN LONGER?! We went to our favorite Mexican place and then we went bowling because we haven’t gone since probably COLLEGE. It was so fun and we had a blast. I also wrote a post where I talked about how we met and gave the deets to how we fell in love.

2. I went to Maryland for my family reunion/crab feast — It’s our yearly tradition and I love coming together to see the family, hang out at the bay, eat a ton and take in an Orioles game.

3. My baby sister and her new boyfriend came down to visit us: My sister met a boy at college last semester and so she came down and we went to the beach one day and just did lots of hanging out with them. We give him thumbs up as the older sisters! Nice kid…and besides my dad (although truly we might be WORSE than my dad), he had a lot of approval he needed to get haha.

4. Will and I did more exploring of finding fun, free/cheap-ish things to do: -We found a new park in the city to love ( THEY HAVE A HAMMOCK PARK), got froyo and did a free movie (Sandlot!!!) in the park that our township was doing, went to Chinatown and tried a new Ramen place and got bubble tea. Lots of NEW places because sometimes we get so stuck in our routine so August was really fun in that way.

5. SAW AND SOBBED THROUGH IF I STAY: NO SERIOUSLY. SOBBED THROUGH THE WHOLE THING. I thought it was really good. Obviously not as good as the book but I thought it was excellent. The music coming to life was AMAZING. I love Adam’s band (go check out the soundtrack and look for Willamette Stone)!! And Adam (although we came to the consensus they dicked him up a little bit), GRANDPA, and then my favorite scene EVER involving a cover of Today by Smashing Pumpkins. The only thing I thought was that the FEELS I got for the romance in the book didn’t translate as well..you just didn’t feel the sweeping romance you do in the book. I think BECAUSE Adam and Mia are already in my hearts is why I FELT it but I think if you didn’t know them..it wouldn’t have as big an impact on screen because it was rushed.

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My post If I Stay “I ugly cried the whole time” face.

 

 

 

6 Songs That Were Most Popular On My Ipod This Month:

I put all my Monthly Rewinds In a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! I also have a August playlist filled with other AWESOME songs that wouldn’t fit on here.

 

** WITHOUT A DOUBT, T. Swift’s SHAKE IT OFF WAS MY MOST LISTENED TO SONG THIS MONTH. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. But it’s not on Spotify so I left it off since I use Spotify to display the songs**

 

1. Geronimo by Sheppard

2. #88 by Lo-Fang

3. Forget Me Knots by Heathers

4. I Will Be There by Odessa (which ended up being on the If I Stay soundtrack which I think is PERFECT!!!

5. The House by Air Traffic Control

6. Octopus by Carnival Youth

Honorable Mentions: Excuses by Run River North, When You Sleep by Mary Lambert, Slow Motion by PHOX, Four Walls by Broods (just released on 25th or else it probably would not be honorable mention but above), You Haunt Me by Sir Sly, Home by Johnnysmith, Hold The Line by Jack + Eliza

Follow my AUGUST playlist

 

 

Top 3 Books I Read This Month:

I read 10 books this month which is a record for me this year!

1. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid — OH MY GOD. This book. I’m so glad I read it as a married lady.
2. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta — MARCHETTA. SHE IS BRILLIANT, MAN. This takes place 5 years after Saving Francesca and I LOVED THIS BOOK!
3. Toss up between I Was Here by Gayle Forman or Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas CANNOT CHOOSE.

 

Most Popular Review This Month

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My sort-of review/gush fest of Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire!!

 

 

Most Popular 5 Blog Posts Overall This Month

1. Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read For Various Reasons— This was FUN and helped me knock some books off my TBR list! Thanks guys for your insights of what to skip and what to read!
2. I Got The Message Loud & Clear: READING ISN’T COOL— Thanks for letting me share my experience! Wish so many of us didn’t have similar ones but other people had really GOOD experiences!!
3. Operation Make Myself Suck Less At Series: Still have to respond to comments on this one because I was super busy but YOU GUYS HELPED SO MUCH!!!
4. The Summer I Fell In Love With Fantasy Because Of ONE Series: I can’t wait to read more!! Also, thank for welcoming me to the club!
5. Ten Books That Have Been Recommended To Me A LOT But I Still Haven’t Read Yet : I’m actually really craving to read a classic after making this post! Going to make some time this Fall I think and you helped me prioritize!

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To On The Youtubes This Month:

I’ve been quiet on the Youtubes again this month. I did post a book haul yesterday….that was my end of July/early August haul. OOPS.

3 New Obsessions In August

1. Hard Cider — I’ve enjoyed ciders before but I’ve been REALLY into them this month. I am OBSESSED with the Apple Pie Woodchucks. APPLE PIE IN A DRINK REALLY. And Angry Orchard has some amazing ones I’ve been digging!

2. The Tudors (tv show): I just started this show but I’m already obsessed. HATE THAT LIFE IS GETTING IN THE WAY OF WATCHING!

3. Talenti Caramel Cookie Crumble: I have tried A LOT of the Talenti gelatos but never this one. SO YUM.

 

3 Things I’m Looking Forward To In September

1. Possibly going camping: We’ve been wanting to go camping SO we are planning because WHY NOT.
2. ALL OF THE BOOK EVENTS!!!: If you are in the Philly area just SO YOU KNOW…Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Tiffany Schmidt and Liz Norris are doing an event on 9/3. Stephanie Perkins will be in the area on the 11th AND 12th!! And then Fierce Reads on the 21st!!
3. Bringing my boots out of the closet: Listen…not even the allure of pumpkin spice lattes, sweater weather, cute boots and pretty fall leaves can ever make me want summer to end. THAT BEING SAID…I am ridiculously excited to wear my boots again!

 


Favorite Quote From A Book I Read In July

I had to pick two this time around because I COULD NOT PICK BETWEEN THESE TWO!!

 

From The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta — THIS PRETTY MUCH SUMS UP MY LIFE.

“I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.

From After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid — TRUTH. SO MUCH TRUTH. Something I’ve learned in the past couple years.

“Isn’t it nice … once you’ve outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is.”


5 Posts I Starred In My Reader That You Should Check Out

1. How To Be A Grown-Ass Woman: FriendshipsAs soon as I saw Sarah (the blogger who wrote this) tweet this out I was like OMG YES CLICK FAST GO. I have struggled with friendships since leaving college — I’ve grown apart from people because of  geography, I’ve dropped toxic friends, being bad about maintaining some friendships and just had a hard time FINDING new friends as a grownup especially with some past hurts on my heart. This post was BRILLIANT and reminded me of some things I can do better.

2. The Magic of A Good Old Fashioned Summer: I LOVED THIS. As an adult I’m always talking about how summers were so much better as a kid and I can never put my finger on it except the fact that I had 3 months of NOTHING — no work, no school. Just play. Even though the summer is over I’m bookmarking this post for next summer and will think on what made SUMMER summer to me as a kid and try to incorporate more of this into summer.

3. Living YOUR Life: Interesting food for thought for bloggers (and the social media obsessed!)

4. When Everything Needs To Be Shared: Another interesting post for our social media, document-everything lives.

5. Things I Don’t Care About: I really loved this real talk. I’ve realized as an adult there are things I simply just don’t care about anymore — despite what society thinks or what past Jamie would think. MESSY HAIR DON’T CARE. LAUNDRY ON THE FLOOR WOO. CHIPPED NAIL POLISH THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF A MONTH AGO. Also, this post makes me want to be more honest about those things I might still be pretending to care about.

 

 

 

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog?

 

I Conquered A Thing — July 2014 Rewind! (GET IT GIRL!)

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With Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard at the Color Run!

JULY In One Word

BLUR
Seriously how did July fly by??

 

5 Things About My Life In July:

1. I conquered the Color Run: I’ve mentioned YA Runs A 5K and that was this month! I was really nervous about it because the one other 5K I did was NOT VERY GOOD FOR ME (10 degrees out and I only ran 2 times in preparation after a lifetime of being lazy) It was a great event with a mix of authors and bloggers! I was proud of how much I had run and, while I still don’t particularly like running, I felt really good about it and might continue to run a couple times a week! It was also fun because my pals Alexa and Elena came to stay with me!

2. I survived a week watching the nieces — So my sister got married at the end of June as you might know and they went on the honeymoon and our gift to them was watching the babies for a week. The two boys stayed at my dad’s and then Will and I had the girls — ages 10 months, 2 1/2, 7 and 16. It was a really good week to be able to spend time with them and it was NOT as difficult as I thought it would be. I thought the baby would be a mess without mom and I thought Genevieve would living up to the terrible twos like she does for my sis. But NOPE good behavior!!

3. I found a new favorite ice cream place: I HAVE a favorite ice cream place but it’s in downtown Philly and I’m not trekking there for ice cream on a normal day. The ice cream places seem to be limited in our area (WAH SO MISSING THE ONE NEAR WHERE I USED TO LIVE) but we finally tried this place that we’ve eaten at a couple times and it was delish. Not the BEST ice cream but now when I’m craving ice cream we can go there instead of buying it at the store because there’s no ice cream places we like.

4. I read Isla and the Happily Ever After— !!!!!! If you know me you know how long I’ve been waiting for that book and how happy I am!!

5. Will had his first week at the new job: He got a new job last month and he started the week after we watched the nieces. It seems to be going well for him and it’s definitely a better situation for us now!

 

6 Songs That Were Most Popular On My Ipod This Month:

I put all my Monthly Rewinds In a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! I also have a July playlist filled with other AWESOME songs that wouldn’t fit on here….seriously this might be my favorite playlist yet.

 

 

1. Start Again by Bishop Allen (I discovered their first album Charm School my freshman year in college (2004) and it was my most listened to album for sure. Happy to listen to some new stuff from them!)

2.  I Got Your Back by Paul Otten (One of his songs also made this list last November — really loving his music!)

3. Mother & Father by Broods (I have been obsessed with them this year! Every new single has been a LOVE for me)

4. Battles by Hudson Taylor

5. Disappear by Seryn

6. Brighter Days by Saint Raymond

 Honorable Mentions: Thirteen Sad Farewells by Stu Larsen, Are You Behind The Shining Star by Trampled By Turtles, From Eden by Hozier, Like A River Runs by Bleachers ( their whole album has been on repeat as I mentioned in my New To The Queue post this month..their singles have dominated this list each month so I figured I’d leave them off), This Is The Place by Sam Brookes, Feel by Bombay Bicycle Club, Tonight (Young Hearts) by The Colourist

Follow my JULY playlist

 

 

Top 3 Books I Read This Month:

I read 8 books this month which surprised me but then didn’t because I did some good pool side reading!

1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas — Is it surprising to you I have something that ISN’T contemporary on this list?? I read Throne of Glass during Memorial Day weekend and this month I decided it was time to binge read CoM & HoF. As I type this I’m close to being done with HoF!
2. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid — Road trip book!! And very thought-provoking!
3. Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: I so loved this one!! I have one issue with it, which I’ll share when I review it, but it didn’t really diminish my love for it if that makes sense!!

 

Most Popular Review This Month

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Historical fiction for the win! You guys should definitely check out Brazen by Katherine Longshore!!

 

 

Most Popular 5 Blog Posts Overall This Month

1. How Do YOU Define A Spoiler?— This was SUCH a great discussion and I’m STILL responding to comments because it was that awesome of a discussion. Verdict: Spoilers are so subjective but do the best we can not to be asses about it!
2. What Is A Bookworm To Do??— In which I have a bookish dilemma and you enable me!
3. Top 10 Of My All Time FAVORITE Movies: It was so fun to talk about movies I love!
4.True Life: I Think I’m A Creep: Oh you guys I love you and that you let me know I’m almost normal. Maybe a little past that line but almost normal.
5. 10 Classics I Need To Read : I’m actually really craving to read a classic after making this post! Going to make some time this Fall I think and you helped me prioritize!

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To On The Youtubes This Month:

I’ve been quiet on the Youtubes this month. I haven’t felt like filming but I have two videos I still need to edit and put up. Balancing both has been HARD this month. I was all gung ho…but now I seem to not have time!

3 New Obsessions In July

1. Sprouted Kitchen blogWe’ve already made some things from this blog but LOVE!! And I love her pictures!
2. My new dresses: I finally did some shopping after scraping money together to save for the past couple months and YAY NEW DRESSES!

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3. My new blender: WE LOVE SMOOTHIES but lazy Jamie is lazy sometimes. I was so sick of cleaning our blender out all the time but we just got this blender and it has individual cups that you use to blend it! So now I’m not washing out the blender AND a cup. Just the cup and the blade attaches so it’s SUPER easy to use! I’ve been making smoothies pretty much every day!

 

3 Things I’m Looking Forward To In August

1. Family reunion in Maryland: I will be there when this post goes live but I’m really excited for this weekend — see some family, do some crabbing, EAT some crabs and it will just be nice to be away!
2. My baby sister coming to visit: She’s bringing her new boyfriend and I’m so excited to meet him and hang out with them!
3. Hershey Park!! Will’s old company always did a day at Hershey Park and we are still going even though he doesn’t work there anymore. Excited to ride some rollercoasters!
Adding number 4: IF I STAY MOVIE COMING OUT!!!!!! If you have read If I Stay, do that before the movie!!

Favorite Quote From A Book I Read In July

From  Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour ( I think this SO applies to books too!)

“We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. they tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.”


6 Posts I Starred In My Reader That You Should Check Out

1. Hannah’s post on cultivating a curiosity for stories: This post was pure perfection. I wanted to comment on it but I was like I HAVE NO WORDS. I got goosebumps when I read it because this is how I feel!

2. Thou Shalt Determine A Thing’s Importance By How Easily It Can Be MeasuredI LOVED THIS. This was just a general LIFE post that really spoke to me but I was really thinking about how this applies really well to blogging. It’s easy to put the worth in these things that can be measured but they don’t really tell of something’s value and importance and aren’t the whole picture.

3. You’re Standing Where The Grass Is Greener: This could not be more true!! I needed this reminder as I’m really trying to work on embracing where I am in life.

4. For The Pursuit of Happiness: I loved this post from Jess and it made me reflect quite a bit. I am always a person who feels like I have to justify something I do but why can it not simply be for the pursuit of happiness?

5. Meg’s post about sex positive YA: I really loved this post and so respect Meg for sharing her experience. This is a REALLY great post!! (also, there are some really great suggestions of sex positive YA in the comments but I’d love to hear any books you think I will particularly love that are sex positive!)

6. Maggie’s post on how she has no desire to own a lot of books: She is surely in the minority in this community and I loved her thoughts because I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist when it came to books I keep after reading them but my book buying habits have also changed during my time of unemployment.

 

 

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog?

 

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