Monthly Rewind: August 2015

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 mr2a

1. Will and I started looking for a dog One day I’m just like LET’S JUST GO VISIT THE PUPPIES and the next day we are seriously looking for one. We put in an application for a 3 month old Staffordshire puppy at the shelter and then they called our leasing office (we thought the dog met the weight requirements and all) and they denied us and said we couldn’t have a Staffordshire because of breed restrictions and apparently they have some pit bull blood in them. I was so upset. We loved this dog. He was so sweet. I think breed restrictions are such crap and of course all the sweet dogs we fall in love with are that breed. So we are still looking..hoping we will find a dog to come home with us!

2. Will and I celebrated 3 years of marriage — I can’t believe it’s been 3 years but also it feels like we’ve been married way longer because we’ve been together since January 2007. We ate in Center City at one of our favorite places and indulged in donuts and ice cream and just generally walked around enjoying the beautiful weather.

3. We saw Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, Saint Motel and Wolf Alice.: Another fun concert series!!

4. We tried a new local brewery– We went to a brewery that is basically right in our backyard (Conshhocken Brewery) and we loved it! I can’t believe it took us this long to go. It was really cool though because a bike trail is right behind it and soooo many people riding on the trail would stop for beers. MY KIND OF PEOPLE. Exercise followed by beer.

5. Will and I are starting the process of looking at houses: We are in the very very early looking stages and starting to figure out our range, what we want/where we want and need to inquire about loans and mortgages and all that crap BUT it’s starting. Any tips are welcome!!!

 

 

mr3

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

 

1. Alive Tonight — Grace Potter (super super love her stuff she does as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals but loving this new stuff!)


2. Deadwater — Wet

3. Never Ending Circles — CHVRCHES


4. Colors — Halsey (you know I’ve been obsessed with Halsey for awhile…MOAR MOAR MOAR PLS I JUST WANT MOAR)

5. Drive — Oh Wonder

6. Falling Faster — Andrew Ripp

 

Honorable mentions:

Sorry by Meg Myers
A Perfect End by Atlas Genius
Mr. Rodriguez by Rayland Baxter
Night Swimmers by Foals
Space Song by Beach House

Check out the rest of my August playlist

 

mr4

I read 8 book this month!

1. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler — I really enjoyed this one so much which made me happy because I’ve enjoyed this author’s past books but didn’t have good success with her most recent one before this.
2. Happiness For Beginners by Katherine Center: I read this book at just the right time when I needed to! It’s an adult fiction book and I highly recommend.
3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: Best book I read all month and probably all year to be honest. Everything I had been hoping for and more.

 

mr5

 

Yes Please Amy Poehler

My review of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please

 

 

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“When one dream burns to ash, you don’t crumble beneath it. You get on your hands and knees, and you sift through those ashes until you find the very last ember, the very last spark. Then you breathe. You breathe. You fucking breathe. And you make a new fire.” — The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

I loved this and it is kind of my new mantra when things aren’t working out.

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1. Perception, Reality & Our Super Reader CommunityI really really loved hearing your thoughts on this!! It was also really nice to hear from authors on Twitter and for them to (sadly) confirm a lot of what I’ve been thinking.

2. If We Were Having Coffee: Love getting to catch up with you guys!!

3. Retail Therapy: In Need of Cute Mugs: OMG I AM GOING MUG CRAZY.

4. Aussie YA 101: I love talking about the Australian books I love and I’m glad so many of you found recs!

5. Authors On My Auto-Buy list: I’ve realized I have a lot of auto-buy authors…good thing they don’t all publish books at the same time!! EEP.

 

mr12My Whatcha In The Mood For? post! The first one of these I ever did got a lot of great feedback and I LOVED that people were posting their own recommendations for the categories because I thought it might be helpful! But each month it’s gotten less and less and this month was really sad! I LOVE doing these posts so I won’t stop but I really was hopeful it could be interactive where people could help others out with recommendations in the comments as well.

mr7

I actually DID get my butt in gear this month! I filmed a video about what I’ve been reading, a tag video and a book haul (which you can also find here if you don’t do videos).

 
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1. Why I Do Not Use Social Media AnymoreI thought this was interesting! While I definitely am not to the point where I want to give it up, because it DOES (well Twitter at least) add to my life in positive ways, I have cut back A LOT for the same reasons she talks about. Social media is great but I’ve realized being on it as much as I used to is not how I want to spend my days. I also loved her post The Phone People…something I’ve noticed before as well and found equally as distressing.

2. The Answer To Where Do You Get Your Time: Love this! I feel like people ask me a lot about where I get the time to read so much as well as blog about it and this is how I feel, too!

3. Slow Cooker Mango Salsa Chicken Burritos: Made them since bookmarking that post and YUM. And YES….Will cooks 99% of the time but your girl actuaaaaally made these. Heh well the slow cooker did but DETAILS.

4. 32 and growing up; what I know so far: I really enjoy this blog and I just liked the lessons she shared and found myself really agreeing with them as I’m approaching 30 this fall.

5. Why I Scrapped My Bucket List: I am a big fan of the bucket list but I REALLY liked this post. I liked her question: “If I truly only had 6-12 months left of my life, how do I want to spend that time? What could I realistically achieve in that time, that I would totally regret not doing? If I had one wild, final fling with life, how could I life it to the fullest?”

mr8

1. Looking for dogs at the shelter: No like it has turned into an obsession. I can’t start my day without looking at all the dogs on the website to search for shelter dogs. Will and I send new arrivals to each other all the time. ONE OF THESE DOGS WILL WORK OUT.
2. Bookworm Boutique – This shop….TAKE ALL MY MONEY.
3. Game of Thrones: I started finally watching the show and I’m pretty addicted. I still can’t decide if I should read the books. GAH.

 

mr9

1. The last block party concert of the year: Panic! At the Disco, Joywave, The Wombats, The Front Bottoms + Good Old War.


 2. Visiting my dad: Will and I are taking a few days to go stay at my dad’s and I’m REALLY looking forward to it!
3. New album from CHVRCHES: Very very excited!

 

mr12

Favorite memory you made this summer?

 

 

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?

Monthly Rewind: July 2015

mr1a

 

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 mr2a

1. I went on a road trip to Michigan: I was so happy that it worked out that Will and I could road trip to see my girl Tara, one of my original book blogging buddies from back when I started, and I got to see my other bffs I met through blogging Anna and Ginger (who I actually have never met in these 5 years since we’ve known each other!!). Tara was a beautiful bride and it was a super fun wedding. Will and I explored Grand Rapids a bit (lots of foodie adventures) and it was soooo nice to spend time with some of my favorite people and have Will FINALLY meet people who are so important to me.

2. Went on a week long vacation to the beach with my family — My stepdad’s family is HUGE and every other year we rent 3 beach houses and hang out together all week and eat soooo much food. I’m typing this the day we got back from vacation and I have to tell you I cannot fit into my clothes the way I did pre-vacation. We end the week with a crab feast with even more extended family and it’s just a really fun week!

3. I found a Little Free Library really close to me: I was so excited to find a nearby Little Free Library but I got talking to the lady who owns that particular one and the experience really reminded me why I do all this.

4. I had a really big reading slump in the beginning to half of the month– I just didn’t feel like reading at ALL so I didn’t but then I got so busy I didn’t HAVE time to read and that was annoying. Luckily the second half of the month I made up for it.

5. I started a major purge of my closet & bookshelves: I still have a LONG way to go but I’m working on paring down on a lot of things. I’m planning on getting that KonMari book to try that method.

 

 

mr3

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

 

1. Flame by Sundara Karma


2. Leave A Trace – CHVRCHES

3. Silhouettes — Colony House


4. Back of the Car — RAC, Nate Henricks

5. Forever Mine — Andra Day

6. Revolution — Catey Shaw

 

Honorable mentions:

New Americana by Halsey
Number One by Tove Styrke
Molecules by Atlas Genius
Wasn’t Expecting That by Jamie Lawson
Avalanche by Hana
Gorgeous by X Ambassadors
Sparks by Beach House
Clap Snap by Icona Pop

Check out the rest of my July playlist

 

mr4

I read 9 book this month!

1. God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo — Oh man this book was soooooo good! Made me sob. (And no, it’s not religious…you’ll see what the “god-shaped hole” is)
2. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: This book was so delightful!!
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler: Really enjoyed this one! If you love Amy, it’s a must!

 

mr5

City Love Susane Colasanti

My review of City Love

Was kind of surprised that a more negative review was most popular this month! Was super disappointed by this one :(

 

mr10

‘The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.” — Yes Please by Amy Poehler

It was in a section about technology and living in the moment and I just loved it! Lots of quoteable lines from this book!

mr6

1. In Memory Ofin which I reflect on memories and remembering on the 9th anniversary of my mom’s passing.

2. Why I Am the Way I Am: a bittersweet story + how it reminded me of why I do what I do when it comes to blogging.

3. Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read: This was fun to confess those major hyped books I’ve still not read and hear your shouts of “READ THIS OMG”

4. Podcasts I’m Listening To: I’ve gotten into podcasts and shared what I’ve been listening to! Love your recs as well!

5. Status: Fatigued & Overwhelmed: I think I have a case of internet/social media fatigue

 

mr12

My post on friend breakups or maybe my Whatcha In the Mood For post?

mr7

NADA. Too busy to film.

 

mr11

1. In Five YearsReally loved this post from my friend Ginger — it had some great reflections and reminded me that it’s never too late!

2. How To Get Back On Track When You Are Backsliding On A Goal: Really relevant to my life right now haha

3. How Giving Away 1000 Books Made Me Love Reading Again: This was an interesting read that I found on a minimalist blog I follow! Curious what all my fellow book nerds think about it!

4. When Information Becomes Clutter & Noise: I was checking my Feedly and came across this not too long after I wrote about my internet fatigue I was feeling and this was PERFECT!

5. 15 Lessons from Turning My Travel Blog Into A Career: I have followed Kate for quite a few years and there’s a reason she is one of my faves! Loved her lessons!

mr8

1. So many new beers but especially Founders Rubaeus: I tried so many different beers this month but my new favorite is Founders Rubaeus that I tried when I was out in Michigan. We visited the brewery which was really nice and had good food!
2. True Detective & Wayward Pines – I’m on the first season of both of these but I’m obsessed!
3. Snapchat: I got it in June and got addicted but I’d July it became an obsession. I’m brokeandbookish on there if you want to be friends on there!

 

mr9

1. Will’s birthday: He will be 27! He likes to remind me every birthday that he’s still not as old as me. Especially this year as I freak out about the big 3-0.
2. Another block party concert: This time we will see Matt and Kim, Atlas Genius, Saint Motel and Wolf Alice.
3. Relaxing & also enjoying the last month of our pool : July was pretty crazy but August is wide open for us so I see some good pool days in addition to other spontaneous things.

 

mr12

The last book you read that made you cry?

 

 

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?

Monthly Rewind: June 2015

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1. I saw Taylor Swift on the 1989 Tour: Oh my gosh. I wrote all about it here but it was SO FUN and I hadn’t seen her since 2007 at a tiny little venue so it was so cool to see her where she is NOW. Had such a good time!

2. Lots of pool days!! — The one thing I love about our apartment is the pool. I’ve had some really nice and relaxing days at the pool reading! ULTIMATE RELAXATION.

3. I decided to start tinkering again with the story idea I started last year: I really have never wanted to write fiction before but I had this really personally inspired story idea and I finally wrote a paragraph last year, cried and was done with it. Meanwhile scenes have been popping up in my head and I can’t stop thinking about it. So I randomly found myself opening on a Friday night and wrote a couple more sentences.

4. We went to our second Block Party concert of the Summer– We saw A Silent Film, Misterwives, Big Data, New Politics + Foxtrot and the Get Down! Was super fun and I LOVED seeing Misterwives because they have become faves since I first heard them last year! Also we went to an AMAZING burger joint in Philly before the concert (PYT) and I got a cheese steak burger on A GLAZED DONUT BUN. It was incredible.

5. I discovered some new local foodie spots I love: I found a new Korean food stall at a local farmer’s market and it was SO GOOD and while I was there I saw the Brunettes Bookshop Bakery!! THE TWO THINGS I LOVE THE MOST — dessert and books!

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mr3

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

 

1. Seventeen — Sjowgren


2. Back to the Ordinary — Kid Astray

3. Astronaut — Paris Carney


4. Cliff’s Edge — Hayley Kiyoko

5. Alligator Years — Twinsmith

6. Could Have Been Me – The Struts

 

Honorable mentions:

Hold Me Down by Halsey
You’re Mine by Lola Marsh
Make you Mine by Family of the Year
Slip by Elliot Moss
Winter is for Kierkegaard by Tyler Lyle
No No No by Beirut

Check out the rest of my June playlist

 

mr4

I read 12 book this month!

1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard — OMG I had no self control after I got it at BEA. Will be reread MULTIPLE times before it comes out in 2016 I’m sure. SO GOOD.
2. Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta: WHAT A GOOD SERIES ENDING. THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING.
3. PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: What a delightful book and conclusion to Lara Jean’s story as we know it!

 

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Saint AnythingI’m not at all surprised it’s a NEW SARAH DESSEN. Read my thoughts on Saint Anything!

 

 

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‘Me. I determine my own worth. If I had to rely on others I’d have lain down and died waiting.” — Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Quintana once again proving why she is so BADASS. When I read this line I was like PREACH MY QUEEN.

mr6

1. My 5th year blogoversary postI didn’t set out to write a post talking about those things to celebrate my 5th blog birthday but WHATEVS.

2. If We Were Having Coffee: These are my favorite posts to write if I’m honest and I love catching up with you guys!!

3. Ten Books I’d Love To See As TV Shows/Movies: Thanks for letting me ramble and be a bit sentimental and nostalgic but also for letting me share 4 blogs I’ve really been digging lately.

4. A Sentimental Value: Loved talking about some books that are special to me!

5. I’m Not Too Old For That: Another post inspired by a conversation I had with a non-YA reader that caused me to reflect!

 

mr12

Are We Out of the Woods Yet?
or maybe my two mini review roundups (here and here)

mr7

Eh only one video this month:

My Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda book talk

 

mr11

1. The Status of All Things: It’s ComplicatedI loved this post from Estelle and she totally sold me on this book. I loved how she reflected on social media and the things on her mind have been A LOT of what have been on my own lately.

2. 7 Places To Pause For More Peace In Your Life Courtney’s blog is a new-ish add to my blog reader and I’ve really been enjoying her posts! This one REALLY was one I’m glad I read. They were all so spot on in places I really should pause more often. Except for #4. If I pause when I wake up I’ll fall back asleep haha. I also have to say I loved Courtney’s post How A Devastating Diagnosis Taught Me To Really Live

3.When You Die You Won’t Care About Emails: If you read these recaps of mine every month you pretty much know Alexandra is always on here because her posts always resonate with me so much. I have been thinking about a lot of things in the “when I die I won’t care about this” so maybe I shouldn’t obsess over it.

4. How To Find Balance Between Self Improvement vs. Self Acceptance: I swear I’m like a self help/self improvement junkie. I NEEDS THE BALANCE.

5. Welcome to the Present Moment: Nice, short little reminder from Jess about living in the present. When I think about what I’m thinking about all day it’s either worry about something I can’t go back and undo or ALL THE FUTURE THINGS. I’m rarely in the moment.

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1. Litographs! I got my Throne of Glass litographs shirt and I just want sooo many of them! It is made up from THE TEXT of Throne of Glass (and other books…mostly classics!)

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2. Podcasts – So I had asked for podcast recs in this post and you guys came in clutch! My friend Ellie suggested the Happier podcast with Gretchin Rubin (who I have previously read) and a few of you recommended that so I started that one and another recommended one which was Stuff You Missed In History Class. Any and all recs welcome!!
3. Sun Cups: I’m always looking for new food if you haven’t noticed by now that every month my new obsession is always food or drink related. Will grabbed these for me on a whim when I was PMSing and OMG SUNFLOWER BUTTER YOU ARE BAE. Like a Reese’s but not as sweet and it’s dark chocolate.

 

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1. Our roadtrip to Michigan for my girl Tara’s wedding: I met Tara about 5 years through book blogging (she has since quit..SAD) and I’m so happy to be able to go to Michigan for her special day. Will and I are pretty excited for a road trip!
2. Our beach vacation with my family: I AM SO READY FOR MY VACATION. My family rents houses in Fenwick Island, DE and it’s lots of beach and pool and eating and family time. I am excited!
3. Starting my Throne of Glass series reread : I’m pretty sure Bloomsbury is hosting one that I’ll join but either way I’m starting my reread next month either way.

 

mr12

In honor of my road trip in July, tell me:

One song that would DEFINITELY be on your roadtrip mix!

 

 

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?

May 2015 Recap: A Very Non-stop, GO GO GO, Crazy Month

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Truthwitch Susan Dennard
Happy my darling friend Christina gave me her ticket for Truthwitch because it was my top book to get at BEA. So so happy for Susan that it was the IT book to get at YA…minus the fact it caused a stampede and crazy behavior. BUT SHE DESERVES IT. AND I AM SO HAPPY TO READ IT.

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

 mr2a

1. I went to BEA!!: BEA #5 is officially in the books! Always a good time to see bloggers, readers, authors and publishing buddies. The week went by so fast! Expect a recap soon!

2. First beach trip happened –I went to the beach for Memorial Day weekend. It was a bit cold for my liking but got one okay beach day in before I was too cold.

3. I WENT TO ALL OF THE BOOK THINGS: May was EPIC for bookish stuff. I feel so so fortunate for the opportunities I got this month. CAN YOU BE EXCITED WITH ME? Because the husband was not as excited as I would have liked haha. I got to moderate Sarah J. Maas’s release party for ACOTAR and Tiffany Schmidt’s release party for Hold Me Like A Breath! Yay local authors! Then Sarah Dessen and Sabaa Tahir came into town and I feel fortunate to have been able to sit down and interview them before the event. I feel like we barely had any book events locally lately and then ALL OF THEM. And there was more but I wasn’t even able to go to all of them.

4. I read less this month than I have in a long time– I don’t know what it was — maybe being a busy month? Maybe the fact I was reading Froi of the Exiles which is a monster sized book? Maybe I was just in need of less reading time this month?

5.Will and I went to our first concert of the summer: Our local alt station puts on the best free concerts in the summer — Summer Block Parties– and WE LOVE THEM. We snagged tickets and got to see Banks, The Airbourne Toxic Event, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Bad Suns. SO MUCH FUN.

 

mr3

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

 

1. Come Home — Cattle & Cane


2. My Love — Kopecky

3. Portland, Maine — Donovan Woods


4. Back Back Back — Anthony D’Amato

5. Black & White — The Staves

6. For You — Rae Morris

 

 

Check out the rest of my May playlist

 

mr4

 

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta: OMG WHAT AN EPIC SECOND BOOK. DYING.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: I loved this one so much! Classic Dessen yet not.

Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen: LOVED this one.  <333 ALSO, JAMIE AND CORA <33

 

 

 

 mr5

99 Days Katie Cotugno

Not surprising it’s 99 Days as this one has had very polarizing reviews thus far! I loved it though!!

 

 

mr10

“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn’t just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn’t expect them to be. You can’t make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.”Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

Loved this so much.

mr6

1. A Release Day Guest Post From Sarah J. MaasOh my goodness I loved this post so much. TEARS. TEARS. EVERYWHERE.

2. My May TBR List: I think I’d like to make this a regular thing. Though I super failed this month. I love sharing what I’m planning on reading!

3. 4 Bookish Blogs I’ve Added To My Reader Lately: Thanks for letting me ramble and be a bit sentimental and nostalgic but also for letting me share 4 blogs I’ve really been digging lately.

4. On Books That Change Your Life: Thanks for letting me share this with you and for sharing with ME! <3

5. Ten Books I Hope To Bring Home From BEA With Me: 9/10 books acquired! GO ME.

 

mr12

 Hmm maybe my New To The Queue or Whatcha In The Mood For post? (I AM SO TRYING NOT TO SAY ANY AND ALL BOOK TALKS LIKE I DO EVERY TIME HAHA)

mr7

Oh HEY I posted 2 videos this month:

May TBR List
May Book Haul (Pre-BEA)

 

mr11

1. When You’re Scrappy You Don’t Give A Sh*t: Needed this real talk, man!

2. A Life Worth Waking Up For: I think I needed this question to be posed to me to really think about it: “Am I living a life that energizes and motivates me to even sharpen the saw in the first place?” You’ll have to read the post to understand the analogy! 😛

3.How I Make My Morning Routine Work For Me: I liked this! Sometimes I’m really on point with a morning routine — I wake up at 5:30 and am all energized and get shit done — and other times I roll out of bed and run around like a crazy person as I try to eat my fried eggs off a paper towel while driving.

4. Trying Is Always Worth It: I’ve been in this little rut where I just have a defeatist attitude before I even TRY. Good reminder!

5. How To Cleanse Your Calendar Part 1 & Part 2: This was helpful in general but actually helped me a lot when thinking about my blogging “calendar”…we know I pretend to have one of these but mostly it’s just draft roulette in which I have a bajillion half written posts in drafts and I say I PICK YOU and that’s what goes up the next day. I’m always one to reevaluate what I do on the blog but these posts gave me some focus.

mr8

1. New hair products I bought: Acure Leave In Conditioner, John Masters Sea Salt Spray and Kinky Curly Hair Custard — I use the Acure shampoo and conditioner and decided that my hair was in need of a leave-in and I started using this and love it. The smell is great too! And the sea salt spray is so great for texture and bringing out that beachy hair. And I’m super digging the kinky curly custard because I’ve been in need of something new to deal with my curls.
2. Trader Joe Organic Peppermint mints – I wanted to get mints for BEA because yeah…LOTS of interacting so since TJ is like my GO TO for all the things I got them and it’s bad because I just want to eat them all day.
3. ORPHAN BLACK!!!: FREAKING HELL THIS SHOW YOU GUYS. I binge watched season 1 & 2 in like a week and now I’m almost caught up with the current season. IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING YOU NEED TO. TATIANA MASLANY IS MY QUEEN. CLONE CLUB FOREVER.

 

mr9

1. Taylor Swift concert!: AHHH I CANNOT WAIT. I saw Taylor when her first (country) album came out in a small venue when I was like 21 and now I’m leaving my 20’s this year and I’ll be seeing here…which is kinda of cool to see her journey in this decade basically. My own journey through the decade has been less impressive than hers obvi but I FEEL LIKE I HAVE GROWN ALONGSIDE OF HER.
2. Second Summer Block Party concert of the year: This time it’s A Silent Film, Misterwives, Big Data, New Politics + Foxtrot and the Get Down.
3. ENJOYING MY POOL: I’m so happy my pool is open now!! It is basically the only thing I like about my apartment if I’m being honest.

 

mr12

Last month I did karaoke and so I decided that for my 30th this year I want to have a big karaoke party! In light of that:

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG?

(Songs I picked this past weekend: Sk8r Boi by Avril Lavigne, Bitch by Meredith Brooks, Your Love Is My Drug by Ke$ha & Hold On by Wilson Phillips)

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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

mr1a

bookstagram photo

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

 mr2a

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!

 

 

 mr5

 

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.

 

mr12

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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Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

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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!

 

 mr5

 

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

 

mr7

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.

 

mr12

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!

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Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetBook + Chocolate Torte Cake

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

 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.

 mr5

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!

 

mr12


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!

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

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

 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!

mr8

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.

 

mr9

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.

 

mr12


 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

 mr2a

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.

 

mr3

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!

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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

 

 mr5

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! :)

 

 

mr10

“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

mr6

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!

mr12

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!

 

mr11

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!

mr8

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.

 mr2a

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!

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

 

 mr5

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

 

 

mr10

“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.

mr6

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.

 

mr11

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.

mr8

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.

 

mr9

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?

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