30 Things About The First Year Of My 30’s

I celebrated my 31st birthday this past Saturday which was a blast — 3 out of my 5 ladyfriends have birthdays within days of each other (no literally the 11th, 15th and 16th) so the other two planned an awesome birthday celebration for the 3 of us and all of our husbands. I had such a great time.

I was feeling rather reflect-y of how this time last year I was FREAKING OUT about turning 30 (idk it felt like a really big deal to me) so I thought it would be fun to talk about all that happened in my first year of being 30 and all the things I’ve learned this year — because it was a pretty extraordinary year!


1. Year 30 was the best year I’ve had in a long time!! I love that I irrationally feared it but it honestly was one of the BEST YEARS IN A LONG TIME.

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Why I’ve Been MIA Lately

I’ve been pretty quiet in the past week and I figured I’d give a little update even though I’m not normally one to explain my absences with blogging — because sometimes I just take little breaks and I don’t feel like I need to explain it. BUT this is a relevant life update so it seems different. And honestly it’s the first time I feel like I could type this out without crying.

It’s interesting how you can wake up one morning and have your day just not at all go as you expected it to and everything kind of changes. That was this past Wednesday.

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5 Quotes To Help You Refocus & Finish The Year Strong

5 Quotes To Help You Refocus & Finish the Year Strong


Every time September hits I have this back-to-school nostalgia that overcomes me. September always brought a new school year and I always felt the way I did about it as I did the New Year — fresh & new possibilities and goals and declarations of things I would do differently.

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8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & A Blogger

Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & Book Blogger


Back in July I talked about how I started bullet journalling mid-month and here we are (well, as I write this) at the end of August and I have to say, with a full month of bullet journalling under my belt, that I really think this is a system that will work for me. Mine is super simple and not all pretty and creative but I would get way to hung up on that so a more simple approach definitely works for me. Literally the most I do is like use pretty colored pens — these ones actually. I’m using a journal that I had lying around (from one of my spontaneous journal purchases) so I would just get started with it but the pages are thin so the pens bleed through sometimes and I think I’d like to purchase one of these that are apparently all the rage in the bullet journal community.

I’ve found that I really like having all my lists in one place. I really like having the birthday calendar I made for each month to glance at every month to be more intentional about that. I made a tracker for some habits and things I want to work on because I am such a person who likes to check things off so it feels really nice to fill in my little bubble that I completed it for the day. It works SO well in helping me work on my goals.

I also have random pages I’ve really come to love like “Things To Look Up” because I always have random things that I want to research or look up and I always forget what they were. I love having various to-do lists in there but having a MASTER TO DO LIST that encompasses like everything — things I might not have a set start day for but that I want to do. It’s just a system that REALLY works. I don’t use all the things I see others do but I just put in it what I think I truly want and aligns with my life.

Anyways, I’m not at all an expert so this won’t be a post of tips or anything like that because I’m still a baby at this but I figured I would share things I’ve used it for as pertaining to my life as a reader and book blogger. (I highly suggest you check out Pinterest and just type in bullet journalling and you will find a wealth of info on how to start and ideas if you don’t know what it is and are curious if it would be a good system for you).


8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader and Book Blogger:

(no pics of these pages because like they are reaaaaaally ugly and not creative or fancy…just me writing these categories at the top of the page..maybe some little circles to track stuff. BOUT IT. Nothing to see. lol)



1. Books To Get From The Library: This might seem like a random one but EVERY FREAKING TIME I go to the library I know there are books I wanted to get out but I can’t remember half of them. And then I end up on Goodreads or on my library wishlist which is sooo inconvenient while I’m there but now I have a list that I can look at before I go or have in my purse while I’m there and, when I go to look for one, can make notes on if it’s in the library or if I will have to interloan library it.

2. Monthly TBRs: I’m always so off and on about doing Monthly TBRs on the blog or on Instagram so I really like that I can quick jot down a list of books I’m planning to read before the next month begins. It helps me remember any library books I have out or book club books or whatever. It also helps me when I can’t choose from what to read — even though, as a mood reader, I’ve totally thrown caution to the wind and gone off my TBR list…like a lot. I do like the idea of going through the notebook to see how many I actually ended up getting to.

3. Series To Finish: This has been SUPER useful for me. I was trying to keep track of it via a Goodreads shelf but it just got so hard to keep messing with and taking books off and putting them on and blah. This is great because I put all the current series I’m in the middle of and it’s so easy to cross it off if I finish or add a new series if I start one.

4. Comics I’m Reading: Pretty self explanatory. I like keeping track of what comic series I’m currently reading and make any notes to keep me updated when new stuff is released.

5. Reading Stats: I’ve never really kept many reading stats before in my life but I’ve been kind of curious to look at, especially after I wrote this post, what genres I’ve been reading. So for every book I read I make a little circle and then I fill it in with a color that corresponds to whatever genre it is (they are pretty loose genres because I’m simple). I also have been keeping track of some other stats like male authors vs. female that I’ve read and stuff like that. I would LOVE some other ideas for interesting things to track. I can see myself really tweaking this for next year based on what I find interesting/helpful to track.

6. Reading/Blogging Goals Progress: This is where I track these goals I make at the beginning of the year. It’s been really nice because I realized recently I’m SO visual when it comes to my goals and I like seeing the progress I’ve made (or not made). When I make goals and resolutions I typically forget about a lot of ones or they get pushed back but having this page (and doing my mid-year check-in) helps me sooo much. I need it right in my face.

7. Blog Post Idea Dump: This is where I literally just brain dump even the dumbest ideas for the blog. I’ve seriously filled sooo many pages. Before I would have tons of scraps of papers and random notesbooks with ideas jotted down, a notebook on Evernote (my faaave digital note-taking system), 100s of unfinished drafts in WordPress with post ideas and like one sentence for what I wanted that post to be. I’ve made this new system where I now use this to dump every idea (and it’s typically always with me) and then I only put the winners in my Evernote notebook that I actively want to work on and KNOW what I want to do with. Sometimes I still go for my Evernote if I’m on my phone and it’s more convenient to type into my app but I always transfer it to my bullet journal. I think this has also helped me do some brainstorming OFF LINE. I can take my notebook and really develop or brainstorm the ideas further without sitting on my computer looking at Evernote and getting easily distracted. DEFINITELY a winner of a system for me.

8. Blog Improvements: This is where I put more administrative/maintenance and behind the scenes blogging stuff — aka all the things I hate and put off for forever. Things like “make my about me page prettier” “go back or format/make prettier graphics for old posts that still get lots of traffic”  or  “figure out WHY THE HELL my email notifications when I get comments on my blog are no longer working” — still haven’t figured out that one. I miss getting individual emails every time someone comments..always made my day to read them throughout the day.

Things I might like to implement:

Books Read In X Year: I was too lazy to go back and list all the books I read from January through July when I started this but next year I would like to keep a list of books I’ve read throughout the year. I have Goodreads for that when I want to glance over but sometimes I just like that stuff written down.

Quotes: I already have a dedicated quote notebook that I’ve used for yeaaaaars so I’m still waffling if this is something I want to also go in this notebook. Maybe I could use this because I always have it with me and then transfer it to my quote notebook?? IDK IDK.

Books Recommended By Friends/Elsewhere: I typically just auto-add to Goodreads but sometimes I like to keep track of just WHO recommended it. I know I can do that on Goodreads but I’m not sure if I can do that from my phone and also it’s REALLY hard to find someone with the auto-fill in especially if they have a popular name. Especially for my New to the Queue posts it might be helpful to remember why I added something to my TBR — like from a person I know, a magazine I saw it in, a blogger whose post I saw it in that piqued my interest.


Soooo that’s what I’m currently using it for as it pertains to reading stuff and book blogging! It’s probably not that super interesting and I probably do not make bullet journalling all that appealing because I don’t have pretty stuff (seriously go search on instagram and Pinterest) but I’ve really enjoyed the system and will keep going with it!


Do you bullet journal? What kind of reading related or blogging stuff do you put in yours?


To Savor Or To Binge? That’s Literally Always The Question.



For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a binge watcher/reader. Whether it’s a show on Netflix that I love or a book I’m obsessed with I just cannot control the impulse to stop my entire life and do nothing until I finish it. It’s a thing that Will and I “fight” about when we are watching a show together and I’m like, “WOOOO 10th episode in a row LET’S KEEP GOING ALL NIGHT” (that’s what she said, amirite?) and he’s like OH DEAR GOD WE NEED TO STOP RIGHT NOW THIS IS MADNESS. I dive in head first and don’t come out until I’m done and then have the biggest hangover ever and feel depleted emotionally depending on the show. I LOVE IT. Definitely with shows it’s always been this way — even before Netflix I remember my college roommate and I getting stuck in show vortexes even without Netflix auto-playing it and having to get up to put a new disc in. Which is #dedication.

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What Are They Up To?

Every once in a while I’ll have a book I really enjoyed and then something will make me think about the book/author and think, “huh! I haven’t heard anything new about them in a while.”  I will then scamper over to Goodreads to find out what ~they~ know and more often than not I will find out one of three things:  1) they came out with a new book and I didn’t even know (rude! why didn’t the world alert me!) or  2) they haven’t come out with anything new or 3) they have a book coming out soon! Hurray!

This happens quite a bit because honestly I only really heavily keep track of news of favorite authors. And by that I mean I stalk their social media and Publisher’s Weekly and Goodreads and websites for any updates on new work from them! I wish I could be up-to-date on all authors I enjoy but alas…I’m not so this happens so often.

I thought it might be fun whenever this happens to share it on the blog because 1) I get to talk about a book I enjoyed a while ago and maybe YOU get to discover it for the first time and 2) maybe you are curious too.

So this first one up is the book that actually inspired this idea and it’s taken me forever to actually write this post:



Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna - new dystopian book series

Amazon // Goodreads // My Review Of The Lost Girl


I read this book back in September 2012 and absolutely LOVED it. I feel like it’s such an underrated gem! I had hoped that it would be a series I remember!

What It Is About: The Lost Girl takes place in the future when scientists (the Weavers) have perfected a way to make an “echo” or copy of somebody that would take the place of the original human being, or the “other” as they are referred to, in the event that the “Other” died. The practice is not widely accepted in some countries and is against the law in many others so the echos have to be hidden. The echo’s life is devoted to studying their Others life so intently that, if something happened, they’d be able to take their place seamlessly. They are quizzed on their other’s friends, learn everything they learn at school and even have to get a tattoo or an ear piercing if their Other does it. Eva has been studying her Other, Amarra, for fifteen years and gets her chance to fulfill her duty when her Other dies in a car accident. She must say goodbye to the family & friends she has made and must travel to India to live and convince everybody that Amarra still lives. When she arrives she quickly realizes how hard it will be to BE Amarra amongst a family who has known her for her whole life & a boyfriend who knows her so intimately  — especially when Eva struggles to eliminate who SHE is and fully become Amarra.



I actually didn’t even have to go to Goodreads for this one because my friend and literary agent extraordinaire Eric Smith made an announcement about signing Sangu this year!

My hopes for a Lost Girl sequel probably aren’t happening but the book that was queried sounds AWESOME.

From Sangu’s website:

“The book, for those of you who have asked, is a YA space fantasy based on Indian mythology. In which a teen girl tries to reunite with the family that abandoned her and instead ends up on the wrong side of a war.”

YA SPACE FANTASY BASED ON INDIAN MYTHOLOGY? Um yes. Editors! People who make decisions! Pleaaaaaase please scoop this book up because I want it. THANKS!

So this is my reminder to read The Lost Girl if you haven’t already and keep your fingers crossed for this YA space fantasy!!

When Everything Feels Heavy


I know the darkness has always been there in the world but I feel like I’ve felt it weighing heavier on me more than usual lately. Maybe it’s that I’m paying more attention to current events and things. Maybe it’s the way I see everything on the internet so it feels all up in my face. Maybe things really ARE just especially bad right now more than usual. Whatever the case…these days I just feel heaviness. Like I have “heavy boots” to steal a phrase from a book I love. It’s murder and injustice and terrorism and garbage people and hate. So many awful headlines. So many scary current events.

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6 Years of Blogging? Say WHAT! (Plus A Different Sort of Giveaway?)



As of yesterday this blog is 6 years old. OH MY STARS. That is a long time. I’ve said this before but I have always been surprised I lasted for more than a year at this as a serial hobby dropper. 24 year old Jamie who started this blog probably would have never imagined that at 30 she would have been able to keep this blog that long and really let it grow alongside her.

Look how cute I was like 3 months into blogging!!! And skinnier, oof!


I didn’t write anything for yesterday because I just didn’t know what to say. What more can I say after 6 blog birthdays? I’ve done flashy giveaways. I did an embarrassing video my first year. I’ve thanked you all profusely and talked about how important this blog has been to me/how it has changed my life. All the things you’ve seen me through. I’ve reflected and given advice to people on this blogging journey.

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Home Sweet Home

I’m back!! Some of you might be like, “hmmm oops didn’t even know you left.”  I did though — thanks to the internet it maybe felt like I never went anywhere. I just got back from my two week trip to London and Madrid with my husband — I’ll share some pictures down below. I sooo could have done another week or two in other cities after these two weeks but 1) haha money 2) I missed our dog.  We had a great time at which maybe I’ll talk about in more detail later…or maybe I won’t. I haven’t decided because motivation is always a problem so we shall see.

I will slowly be catching up with responding to things (lols to my inbox right now) and getting back in the groove but I have a feeling this week might be S L O W.

I *DID* post while I was gone but did a crap job of promoting it via other social media so you may have missed it. So, maybe while I get my crap together, you can check those out in the meantime.


So here’s a little sneak peek of my trip in the event you weren’t following along on Instagram or Snapchat or Twitter.  I plan to go through our pictures from our real camera this week but these are just ones from my phone that are largely unedited.



Segovia from the alcazar

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I’ve been blogging consistently (mostly except like when I was planning my wedding) for the past 6 years. In those years I’ve written A LOT of posts — reviews, discussions, lists, all sorts of random goodness. I always thought I’d run out of things to say but lololol if you know me…that’s likely to never happen.

There are some people who I know have been along for the journey with me since the beginning and there are some who may have just come along in more recent years. And when I was thinking about what I’d post while I’m away on vacation for two weeks I started thinking how when I find a blog I like to dive deep into their archives when I have time. I’m the one who will be click click clicking around your website. So I thought it might be fun, whether you’ve been here for a few years or a couple days, to revisit some of my favorite and most popular posts I’ve done through the years.

I mean, because, really….as bloggers we spend a lot of time on these posts and I’d hate for them to be collecting dust and never seeing the light of day again. I always try to link to relevant old posts in my posts (such a good thing, for many reasons, for all bloggers to do if you aren’t doing that!) but sometimes I just want to shout, “HEY I WROTE THIS POST ONE TIME AND IT WAS GREAT AND YOU SHOULD READ IT!”

So, while I’m away, let me guide you through a tour of some of the blog posts you may have missed along the way (narrowing this down was sooooo freaking hard)! Hope you enjoy catching up/revisiting! And, I hope, maybe some of these will even spark a blog post or two for you! Would love to know if it does!

(NGL, it’s going to be light on the posts from 2010 and 2011, because while I’m proud of a bunch, they are ugly and need to be spruced up and reformatted (or are just outdated) and I never find time to do that.)

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