Some Announcements!

HELLO THERE!

I haven’t had much time for writing lately, but I wanted to pop in with a real quick update & some announcements that I’m super excited about & hopefully bring some fun changes around here (and maybe a little more consistency!).

1. I’ve started a Booktube Channel!! 

I’m so excited to announce that I launched my Booktube channel over the weekend. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but the perfectionist in me kept putting it off until I could have the perfect filming spot in my house, or better equipment, or excuse after excuse, and I’ve finally decided to just start & tweak things as I go! My first video is up and is the Booktube Newbie Tag, which is a great introduction to the kind of videos you’re going to see on my channel.

 

2. I’m starting a new job!!!

I’ve been offered a new position with a local company, which I’ll be starting on April 25th! I’m so excited for this change and all the opportunity it could bring, but that means that for the next couple weeks I’ll probably still be MIA around here. No worries, though! Once I settle into my new routines, I should have even MORE time to focus on writing and I can get back into posting some regular content here! I have so many things I want to talk about here, it’s just a matter of getting myself organized so I can dedicate time to all these things I love!

3. April Re-read-athon

I’m making April a re-read-athon month, since SO many great books are coming out in the beginning of May & I wanted to revisit each of these series before picking up the new installments. I’m actually going to be posting my Q1 wrap-up video either tonight or tomorrow, which will talk a little more about this 🙂

4. AdultBooklr April Read-alongs

Our theme for April is Page-to-Screen, and the people have voted to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (luckily this fits into my re-read-athon!) and Sandman, vol. 1 for the AdultBooklr read-alongs this month! If you want to join us, all you need to do is pick up one or both of the books, and follow the tags #abperegrine and #absandman!

I’m really excited for everything that’s coming, please stick around & we’ll have lots of fun in May (cough cough *BOOKCON* cough cough)!!

Until Next Time ❤

Life Updates & Announcements

Oh. My. Gourd. You guys. These last couple months have been a total ride. I just wanted to pop in with a few major life updates & some proclamations, because dammit somebody needs to keep me accountable!

New Adventures

First of all, I’m so excited to announce that after nearly a year of contemplation, I have taken the plunge to become a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist! If you don’t know what Stella & Dot is, it is a direct-sales jewelry & accessories company with HELLA cute pieces that I seriously cannot get enough of.

I have been such a fan of every. single. collection Stella & Dot has put out over the last year, and I finally just swallowed my fear about direct sales & decided to go for it! It’s been about a week since I signed up, and I’m already so grateful that I didn’t let my hesitations hold me back (for once). This is going to be awesome. Seriously, look at these beauties!

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Now, you might think that this is going to drastically change the content of my blog? My intention is that it absolutely will not. I love blogging about my life, books, and fandoms. This will continue to be the place for that. Of course, my selfies will likely start featuring more jewelry than the absolutely zero I currently own – and I’m going to put up a banner to my website over in the sidebar – but the biggest change this is going to bring is an opportunity for fun jewelry giveaways! Can’t complain about that, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, most of my updates are going to be found on my Facebook page, which you should most certainly go & like, to keep up on things!

Speaking of Giveaways…

I’ve got a great giveaway coming your way in December! Just gotta get the post written up & published – hopefully you’ll be seeing that on the first! I’ll give you a hint. It’s something I was TRULY obsessed with this year & I am SO. EXCITED. to be giving it away!

TBR Pile

So, I’ve paced down since September, which I’m convinced was a total fluke with the number of books I read. Obviously, in October I only read 2 books. and so far this month I’ve only read HALF of ONE (and 2/3 of an audiobook). I’m hoping having some good time off from work for Thanksgiving next week helps me get back into a groove, because I really loved the feeling of accomplishment I had at the end of September! My end-of-2015 TBR goes as-follows:

November 

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (currently reading)
  • You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day (currently listening)
  • Nimona
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • Sons of Thestian by ME Vaughan

——

December

  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Bitch Planet vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (re-read)
  • My True Love Gave to Me by Various

Realistically, I realize I’m definitely not going to read all of these by the end of the year. But it makes me feel good to be overly ambitious.

Book Club

If you have been keeping up, you may have noticed that we have kind of scaled down the hype around AdultBooklr over the last couple months. Lots of our members & admins went back to school & we just haven’t had the time to implement many of the features we’ve been wanting to try out. We’ll get there, though. It’s just going to take one really good planning pow-wow, and we’ll have a 2016 gameplan to knock your socks off! 🙂

Planning

Speaking of PLANNING, have you seen the limited edition 2016 Passion Planners? If you haven’t seen the Kickstarter campaign, you are seriously missing out. They are perfect & you can still get your hands on one through the end of this weekend! Just check out the Campaign & know that any money you spend with this company is going to be used to help people.

Super-DUPER Secret Project

Lastly, ba-ba-BAAAAA!! I want to announce that I’ve got a collaborative, super-secret project in the works. Unfortunately, I can’t say more than that right now, but there should be a sneak peek available for you by early January (fingers crossed) so STAY TUNED, lovers!

What have you all been up to lately? I’ve been so out of the blogging loop! Let’s touch base, please! 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

Books, Revisited: Why I Re-Read Books

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HAPPY OCTOBER, EVERYONE! Ok, so I’m not sure if you’d figured this out yet, but holy crap I love October. I’m so excited it’s here & cannot wait for Halloween (except that whole “I really need to start working on my costume” thing). Anyway, I’m feeling refreshed and totally energized by the prospect of a new month and a new season, and my trip to the salon a couple weeks ago definitely helped things, as well! Clearly, I’m feeling like rambling because of all the excitement. I haven’t had that much caffeine yet today, I swear!

Today I wanted to talk about revisiting/re-reading books. I’ve only read a handful of books more than once (children’s books excluded), and I was thinking this morning –  since I just finished re-reading Heir of Fire & have moved on to re-read Queen of Shadows – about which books I have chosen to devote more of my time to than others, and why.

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Similarly to re-watching movies over and over again, re-reading a book gives you new insight to the story. You pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around and you put the pieces together in the way the author intended, rather than the way your brain decides to piece it all together before the author comes out & explains it (did that even make sense?). Let me try again: I love using an author’s foreshadowing & tiny clues to try and figure out the twists and secrets before they are revealed later in the story. At the same time, by doing that, I miss out on just experiencing the story and taking time to really connect with the characters. On a second (or third, or fourth) read-through, you know where the story is going & you can just marvel at the way the author brings the narrative together.

The obvious difference between re-watching a film and re-reading a book, though, is time commitment. I’m not a very fast reader, so reading a book multiple times really is a commitment & takes away from the time I could spend reading new books (and putting the tiniest of dents into my To Be Read list, you feel?). So, what makes a book re-readable for me, personally?

  1. FEELS. This is the primary reason I will re-read a book. If it makes me feel strongly – any emotion, really, but just resonates on an emotional level? It’s definitely worth reading again. This is basically the first criteria for whether or not I’ll take the time to revisit a book. If I didn’t feel anything for it, why bother, right?
  2. BEAUTY. I am a sucker for poignant books with beautiful language or beautiful settings. I have read The Great Gatsby more times than any other book (I think I’m sitting around 5 or 6) because it is just so beautiful to me. Tragic, of course. But beautiful. I’m certain that as my experience with classic novels grows, there will be a few more that I add to this list. I’ve also re-read the book The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant three times since the first time I read it. That book is like soul food for anyone obsessed with Renaissance-era art history.
  3. SEQUELS. So series are a huge thing right now, obviously. Seems like every book you pick up these days is part of some series or another, and finding stand-alone novels can really be a daunting task. What about that feeling when you finish a book that you didn’t KNOW was in a series and then you have to wait a year (or more) for the next installment? That might be one of the worst feelings. By the time that next book is released, you’ve likely forgotten some of the key points of its predecessor, and a re-read would help pull you back into the world and better understand what is happening in your new book.
  4. ADAPTATIONS. This is one I haven’t really experienced yet, but would definitely qualify as a reason to re-read something. In a time when Film/TV adaptations of best-selling books seem to be the norm, it’s likely that one of your favorite book series is going to be adapted at some point. Now, my previous exprience has just been to read books once the adaptation is already nearing completion, so it’s not a re-read scenario, obviously. But The Selection and Throne of Glass series have both been optioned recently for adaptations, and you can rest assured I will be re-reading if/when those projects reach completion.
  5. NOSTALGIA. There are always those books you read when you are young that stick with you because they resonate on some level or are really integral to developing the person you choose to become.  I started a Harry Potter re-read this year for that very reason. It’s a series I love desperately, that had a huge impact on me as a teenager (obviously I’m not alone in this), but I haven’t read the books since Deathly Hallows was released.  Another great example of this for me is Ella Enchated by Gail Carson Levine. I adored that book the first time I read it & it may have been the book that really cemented a love of reading in me. I have re-read it a few times over the years, but I’m actually probably due for a another read-through soon.

I mean it when I say I don’t have many books on my re-read shelf. It really takes a hugely emotional connection to a book before I’ll consider spending extra hours on it. Because, why would I when a new favorite could be next on my TBR pile?

Here’s a look at every book I can remember reading more than once. Again, excluding children’s books & beginning at about mid-grade level:

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Fun fact: Twilight should technically also be on this list, but I didn’t include it because the only reason I’ve read it more than once is that I completely forgot I had read it the first time. I don’t know if that’s on me or Stephanie Meyer, but apparently it really didn’t resonate that much the first time through.

So, how about you? Do you tend to read books once and move on, or do you re-visit old favorites? How do you choose? I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time ❤

Fall/Winter TBR List: Books Galore!

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Well, I think I’ve finally put a finger on why I’m feeling so stressed out lately! Regardless of how excited I am for Fall (and Halloween, of course), I haven’t been able to shake this feeling like I’m never going to accomplish everything I want to by the end of the year. It’s been really discouraging, but I’ve realized it’s just because I’m too damn ambitious.

I read a quote the other day that was along the lines of “having too much freedom and too many options leads to procrastination” and I think that completely sums up my entire life perfectly. So. I’m going to try and cut back on my expectations of myself and work towards smaller goals – with the help of my trusty Passion Planner, obviously – and just make things more manageable for myself until I have developed better habits. All that’s a post for another day, though.


Today, I’m going to start small and share my To Be Read (TBR) list for Fall/Winter 2015. I’m under no delusions that I will actually get through all of these books in the next three months, but I’m already on track to make a pretty big dent (assuming I don’t hit a book slump after finishing Queen of Shadows for the 2nd time…eek!).

I went back & forth on whether I wanted to share these by genre or by the order I have tentatively assigned to them, and I think I’m going with my random order, so we can see how many I end up skipping by the end of the year. Because *that* won’t be discouraging to look back on (sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm).

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  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman (AB read-along)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (bookdrunkinlove read-along)
  • Through the Woods by Emil Carrol (AB graphic novel read-along)
  • Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (re-read)
  • Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (re-read)

Books 11-20

  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
  • Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
  • The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • With this Heart by RS Grey
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (re-read)

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Aditionally, I’ve got the following graphic novels that I’d like to finish before the end of the year:

  1. Sex Criminals vol. 1
  2. Wicked + Divine vol. 2
  3. Hawkeye vol. 1
  4. Saga vol. 5
  5. Halloween Eve

So needless to say, I’ve got an overly ambitious reading list for the season, and that’s only one aspect of my life I’ve been planning out. There is physically no possible way to get everything done that is on my to-do list, and I think that’s really got me frozen in place and feeling stuck. I’m sure someone out there can relate. I hope someone out there can relate…

In the end, I think it’s a matter of recognizing that it’s not the end of the world, and it’s definitely not something to be ashamed about if I don’t get around to everything. I mean, I’ve already surpassed the number of books I read in 2014. Right now I’m sitting at 33 books read this year, plus a ton of comics that I haven’t even counted towards my goal. I’d say I’m doing alright. And I need to look at things from this perspective more often. I also need to prioritize all of my 2015 goals to determine which ones I want to focus on for the next 3 months. It’s a work in progress, you guys… but aren’t we all? 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

*AB = AdultBooklr (what’s that?)

[Book Review] The Duet + The Design by R.S. Grey

Happy Monday, world!

I had a pretty relaxing weekend spent glued to my Kindle. After finishing Queen of Shadows on Thursday (review still in the works because I have a LOT of thoughts), I really needed something light & fluffy to read while I recovered. Luckily, I have an arsenal of book lovers at my command (or at least I like to think I do), and they never disappoint me with their recommendations. This time, it was The Duet and its sequel, The Design, both by R.S. Grey, recommended by my lovely Heather (anarrayofbooks). Both books can be borrowed through the Kindle Lending Library, or are available to read for free with a Kindle Unlimited membership!

THE DUET – R.S. Grey

When 27-year-old pop sensation Brooklyn Heart steps in front of a microphone, her love songs enchant audiences worldwide. But when it comes to her own love life, the only spell she’s under is a dry one.

So when her label slots her for a Grammy performance with the sexy and soulful Jason Monroe, she can’t help but entertain certain fantasies… those in which her G-string gets more play than her guitars’.

Only one problem. Jason is a lyrical lone wolf that isn’t happy about sharing the stage—nor his ranch — with the sassy singer. But while it may seem like a song entitled ‘Jason Monroe Is an Arrogant Ho’ basically writes itself, their label and their millions of fans are expecting recording gold…

They’re expecting The Duet.

I went into this book without actually reading the synopsis. It took me a couple chapters to figure out exactly what Brooklyn was famous for, and I’ll be honest – I wasn’t thrilled with the overall premise of this book at first. I made fun of it with my husband once I got to the part where they explained that Brooklyn and Jason would be forced to team up…oh, and that she would be traveling to stay with him at his cabin in Montana until the duet was finished. I mean, really? REALLY? It seemed cheesy and forced, but I knew I would be able to find some redeeming qualities in it – and I wasn’t wrong.

The characters in this book are vibrant. I swear they are real people, and they are so much fun to read about. Sure, I was rolling my eyes on a regular basis at the tropes and the cliches, but deep down I was really enjoying the ride. I flew through this book in a day an a half and reached for the follow-up book almost immediately…

THE DESIGN – R.S. Grey

Five minutes until the interview begins.

Fresh on the heels of her college graduation, Cameron Heart has landed an interview at a prestigious architecture firm.

Four minutes until the interview.

She knows she’s only there because the owner, Grayson Cole, is her older sister’s friend.

Three minutes.

For the last seven years, Grayson has been the most intimidating man Cammie has ever had the pleasure, or displeasure, of being around.

Two Minutes.

But the job opportunity is too good to pass up. So, Cammie will have to ignore the fact that Grayson is handsome enough to have his own national holiday.

One.

After all, she shouldn’t feel that way about her new boss. And, he will be her new boss.

“I’m not intimidated by you,” I said with a confident smile.
“Perhaps we should fix that, Ms. Heart. Close the door.”

Technically speaking, The Design was in pretty rough shape. I found some heavy duty continuity errors that were just glaring me in the face and begging me to put down the book, but I also really wanted to follow through with the series, so I kept truckin.

The formula for both books is the same, but the main character in The Design is Brooklyn’s little sister, Cammie. I liked the change of perspective, and I loved reading from Cammie’s POV considering she was my favorite character in The Duet. Both sisters have a clear voice, regardless of how similar they are. Brooklyn is the more mature/ responsible one, while Cammie is clearly the younger of the two, and still working on that whole “maturity” thing.

There’s really not a lot to analyze with these books; they’re the definition of fluff. But they are enjoyable and quick reads (with moderate levels of steaminess), so I would certainly recommend them to anyone who’s looking for a surface-level read to pass the time or to recover from something a little heavier.

I’m not sure where these books fall in the Author’s list of works, but I definitely feel as though they were written by someone who could use a little more experience with drafting & outlining details. The pace changes had a tendency to be jarring, leaving me confused as to how much time had lapsed between pages, as well as the continuity errors I mentioned before, which would be easily negated by an outline or more detailed character notes. They really just need to spend a little time with an editor, which I realize is not always an option for independent authors.

FINAL VERDICT

3 star

I really did enjoy both of these books. I felt attached to the characters and had to keep turning pages to see what would happen next. I was satisfied by the conclusions, and will recommend these books to anyone who is looking for a light-hearted romance.

Until Next Time ❤

The Epic Summer Book Haul

Starting a book club was a bad idea.

I mean, it was a great idea & has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life, but… it was also a BAD idea. For my bank account. Because books. I can’t stop buying books.

As I was taking these pictures the other day, I thought to myself, “you know, it doesn’t really seem like all that many, does it?”…and then I looked at my Kindle purchases. Ah. Yes. Therein lies the problem.

So, without further ado (and to avoid feeling the need to justify myself to the internet), I give you my summer book haul, June-August 2015.

Oooooh pretty 🙂

This is essentially my whole TBR pile right now. I honestly didn’t own many unread books before this whole book club thing…you guys are the worst best, if you’re reading this.

The breakdown:

*Note how I listed no reasons for purchasing the graphic novels? That’s because I don’t need a reason. I just want them ❤

You may recognize this photo from my Book Square Challenge post on Tumblr or Instagram. I figured why not kill 2 birds with one stone? These are the covers from the Enchanted Collection Box Set, which I purchased on Amazon Prime Day for like $17. It was basically the only good sale that day, I’m fairly certain.

And, of course, the illustrious Harry Potter box set. Basically my prized possession right now, if we’re being completely honest. Remember when I got this set for $40 over 4th of July weekend? *Happy sigh*

Now for the scary part…the e-books. I have even less restraint when it comes to Kindle deals, if you can believe it.

AND there you have it. A total of 59 books purchased or received as gifts since June 1. Not sure if I should be proud of that or ashamed of my lack of self control? Ah, well. I’ve got books to take my mind off of this terrible moral dilemma!

Back to the reading chair!

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have read any of these books! I’ve only read a few of them, so far!

Til Next Time ❤

[9] Obsessive Wednesdays: August Obsessions

Hello again! I’m back. I told you I’d be back and, while I’m a little late, I AM here! I figured I’d just ease myself back into this whole thing today with a quick little obsessions post, because my body has the worst timing & decided to come down with its second case of bronchitis this year – YAY! Not…

So I’ve got a whole month to catch up on with obsessions, but I’ll try to keep things to a minimum today…key word: try.

First of all – BOOKS

The Martian

So, this was an AdultBooklr August read-along that I started on September 1 because I’m a slacker. Regardless, I cannot tell you how many times I was reading this book and laughed out loud. I mean really, REALLY loudly. I highlighted something like 25 lines throughout this book. I loved it so much. I have a full review coming, so I don’t want to spill all my thoughts here, but holy crap. I loved this book. I kept turning to my husband to say “you HAVE to read this book”, “PLEASE tell me you’ll read this book?”, or “it would make me SO happy if you would read this book”. He’s probably tired of hearing it. Too bad. It’s so good. So, y’all gotta read it 🙂

Queen of Shadows

The moment so many of us have been waiting for! The 4th installment in the Throne of Glass series was released on September 1, and I cannot wait to read it! I pre-ordered the UK paperback from The Book Depository, which has not arrived on my doorstep yet, BUT I did get a Kindle copy from my library just this morning (eep!), so I’m FREAKING out! I’m actually about 30% of the way through Assassin’s Blade right now, because I didn’t expect to get my hands on Queen of Shadows until closer to the 15th. So now I’m going to be power reading Assassin’s Blade today so I can hopefully start Queen of Shadows tonight and AHHHH! I’ve heard some rather discouraging things about this installment, so I’m a tiny bit worried, BUT still open-minded. If you want to follow along with my escapades, check out my #OGFQoS tag on Tumblr or the Unofficial AdultBooklr Read-Along thread on Goodreads!

COMICS

The Wicked + The Divine

The official AdultBooklr read-along graphic novel for September is volume 1 of The Wicked + The Divine. I’ve had this trade for a couple months, now, and just picked it up a couple weeks ago, after we had selected it as our read-along for September. I still haven’t actually finished it, because I got distracted by The Martian, but I’ve only got one issue left in the first volume & then I also own the 2nd and all the current single issues, so I can get all the way caught up! This series is based on a really unique premise of 12 Immortals, who return to Earth once per century to live among the humans for 2 years before they die. This event is called “The Recurrence”, and is the basis for the whole series. I don’t have much more information beyond that, except that it’s exciting & unpredictable and the artwork is just utter perfection. Highly recommend.

Batgirl

August’s AdultBooklr graphic novel read-along was Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart, with art by Babs Tarr. I was late on this read-along, as well, but instantly fell in love with Barbara & this storyline of hers. I’m constantly mesmerized by Babs Tarr’s artwork, and have been a  fan of hers for a while now. I have the newer issues of this run, as well & I’m really looking forward to reading them.

Scarlet Witch

So, Wanda’s getting a new solo arc this fall and you know that makes me hella excited. I love her redesign by Kevin Wada and this cover by David Aja. I can’t wait to see what Marvel does with her. Again, I’m a little bit skeptical, but still optimistic. They did make some pretty huge changes to the character’s origin story, which is super obnoxious. Thanks, copyright. Bah.

LIFESTYLE

FabFitFun

Hellooooo, new favorite subscription box! Ok, I’ve done a bunch of different subscriptions over the last couple years & this one takes the freaking cake. FabFitFun is a quarterly box that combines fitness, lifestyle, and beauty products into one.  Every box is the same, but they jam nearly $250 worth of products into a $50 box every 3 months, and it is AWESOME. Take a look at  their summer box:

That’s a wireless bluetooth speaker, a 14k gold necklace, an exclusive jump rope, fragrance sample, tarte lip gloss, hair repairing spray, spray-on moisturizer, nail wraps, cleansing sponge, and a gift card to Headspace, which is a guided meditation app! Total value is near $300.

I actually loved this box so much that I ordered one for me & then a 2nd for my BFF as a birthday gift! The necklace alone is worth over $100. I got the yellow gold version with a moon pendant, and Kristi got the rose gold version with a horseshoe pendant. We both love them & I’m so excited to see what’s in the Fall box, which ships in a couple weeks! If you’re interested in checking out this service, you can get $10 off your first box with this link!*

*I have not been paid or sponsored by FFF. I just REALLY love this box <3.

Passion Planner

Yep. Still loving my Passion Planner! Thought I’d bring it up again, because we’re closing in on the end of the year AND they’ve been having lots of flash sales on their Academic planners! I’m finally working out an effective system & I need to do my August reflections/ September goal-setting and I’ll be writing up a thorough review in the near future!

TECHNOLOGY

Photo Candy App

I almost never pay for my apps. I don’t really see the point. BUT, I found this cute photo editor app & loved the different options it gives. PLUS, one of my credit cards has iTunes rewards, so I just recently received a $25 iTunes gift card, so it didn’t REALLY feel like spending money on an app. Anyway, Check out some of the cute edits I’ve done with this app! There’s a free version, too, by the way! You just get ads & a few less features. Still a totally great app, though!

I used it to create a couple fun Instagram posts last week:

    

OSMO

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Osmo is simple. It’s an iPad accessory that turns your tablet into an interactive game system. You get a stand and a little mirror attachment that hooks over your camera, as well as some Tanagram pieces & a set of both red & blue letter tiles. You then you download their free apps to play. There’s a Tanagrams game, multiple Word games, Physics games, and even an Art studio game. My mother-in-law bought this for Kiddo’s birthday and we have been having a BLAST with it. Check out the video below for more information!

BB-8

Ah yes. Last, but CERTAINLY not least. BB-8 is the newest addition to the Star Wars Droid family. In case you hadn’t heard, Sphero has developed a remote-controlled version of the little guy with some seriously cool features. You can control him via any iOS or Android device, he responds to your voice, you can record and display holographic messages, he’s got an autonomous setting, and he has an adaptive personality. I have watched a number of BB-8 demos, and wanted to order one more than ANYTHING on Force Friday (September 4). Unfortunately, the price tag was a little high at $150. BUT THEN I GOT A SURPRIIIIISE today, when my husband informed me he ordered one!! We’ll have our very own BB-8 this time next week! Booyah ( yes, that just happened. deal with it)

Whew. OK, so I didn’t do a GREAT job being brief today, but I’ve had a lot of time to obsess without talking about it! It’s been a MONTH, you guys! A whole month where I didn’t write a thing. Nothing. It feels good to be back 🙂

How about you? What’ve you been up to since I disappeared? I’d love to hear from you!

Til Next Time ❤

[Book Review] Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

I don’t quite know where to start with this review. I really loved Anna. She’s a LOT like me, which was a little freaky but also kind of annoying. Like, I don’t really want to read about myself all that much. The primary difference between myself and Anna, though, is the one thing that made me dislike her – her inability to communicate with other human beings. So, maybe I wish she were a little bit more like me? Who knows. I’m a conundrum.

Though this book is touted as a romance novel, it didn’t FEEL like a romance novel for the majority of the book. I still can’t decide if I think it is one or not. Obviously, the romantic relationship is the central focus of the story, but it didn’t play out in a way that was enjoyable (for me, at least), and I feel like the romance in a romance novel should be enjoyable to read. Personal opinion. You guys, I honestly fear I may be ready to move on from the angst & drama of YA, oh no!

With those two grievances out of the way, though, I did enjoy this book. I don’t want my review to come across like I didn’t. I read it pretty quickly – about 2 days – and never once was I bored or uninterested. I found all of the characters to have a unique perspective & each was interesting on his/her own, but when put together, the cast of this book is really great. The way the characters play off of each other & interact with one another feels very realistic, for high schoolers (or even undergrads).

In the long run, the majority of the plot here is driven by Anna’s inability to communicate with people – both in a literal and figurative sense. Literally, she doesn’t speak the language, which causes a few minor hiccups in her integration into boarding school life. The real problem, though, is that she is unwilling to take a chance & speak her mind and, as such, jumps to all the wrong conclusions about pretty much every person in her life. If this book taught me anything, it’s to say what I’m thinking, lest I sabotage my own chance at happiness.

I’m not necessarily put off by this method of plot development, but it is a very “YA” thing to do, and one I’m looking forward to putting behind me as I try to branch out from the genre.

Final word:

4 star

I struggled so much to write this review because I can’t really articulate how the book made me feel. From a technical perspective, it is nothing spectacular and I have clearly made a point to air my grievances, but Stephanie Perkins has a way with characters that makes them come alive & really helps you connect to the story. For that reason, this book gets more stars than my review would lead you to believe. Haha.

I hope any of this made sense to you. I’ll be accepting questions to clarify my jumbled mess of a thought pattern. I promise.

Until Next Time ❤

Flash Fiction Wednesday: The Nurse is In

Happy FlashFic Wednesday, all! Thanks for tolerating my hiatus! I figured this would be the perfect day to pop back in with a little writing. As always, this is an exercise in writing short pieces, but mine happen to continue a single narrative. You can find parts one & two here. Constructive feedback is always welcome!


Sienna just stared at him. What do you even do in a situation like this? There certainly had to be a way to break this awkward silence, but first she needed to break the connection. Reluctantly, she dropped Luke’s hand back to his knee and put some distance between the two of them by standing & pressing herself into the wall, those currents still pulsing through her body as if they had become an integral part of her bloodstream.

The expression on Luke’s face had not changed. He stared up at her with equal parts confusion and awe plastered all over his face, as well as just a hint of desire. He wanted that feeling back, and so did she.  Also, she needed to get that glass out of his hand before it caused even more problems, right? Right.

Sienna slowly knelt down on the floor in front of where Luke was sitting. She reached up to grab a pair of latex gloves out of the first aid kit and put them on. Tentatively, she reached for Luke’s hand again, gently touching his skin with her fingertips through the gloves. While not nearly as effective as she had hoped, the gloves did a decent job of numbing the sensation; enough that she could keep her head clear while she set to work cleaning out his palm.

It occurred to her – as she was practically holding her breath and using every last ounce of concentration to keep her features neutral – that neither of them had spoken for a while… how long had it been? Twenty minutes? Surely longer than is socially acceptable, but Sienna could not string together a sentence right now to save her life. Instead, she merely peeked up at Luke through her lashes, more than a little pleased to find him also holding his breath and still looking dumbfounded. At least she wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a clue what to say. Or do.

She made quick work of the last few pieces of glass (to the best of her ability ignoring the magnetism  and grabbed the peroxide from the kit to disinfect the small cuts. As she dampened a cotton pad, she chanced another look at him, only to find him inspecting his palm.

“You’re pretty good at this. Are you in nursing school, or something?” his eyes did not leave his hand.

“No, I, um… I have a little brother who thinks he’s Evel Knievel. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cleaned gravel out of that kid’s knees.”

Sienna fumbled with the peroxide, grateful that Luke was so entranced by his own palm that he did not notice. She reached for his hand once again, warning him, “this is going to sting.” He flinched a little, but didn’t pull away.

Once she was satisfied that the cuts were sufficiently disinfected, she wrapped up his hand & tossed the gloves in the small trashcan. “Well, you’re all patched up. Maybe next time you’ll think twice before starting a cage match in proximity to a glass coffee table?” She tried to fix him with an indifferent stare, but he just smirked as he stood up and reached for her face. Everything in Sienna’s world went technicolor.


Flash Fiction Wednesday is a monthly writing challenge, initiated by @loudlysilent, to write a piece of fiction, 600 words or less, on the first Wednesday of every month. Check out FlashFicWed on tumblr for more writing from across the web!

Until Next Time ❤

Break Time – I’ll Be Back (you totally just read that like Arnold, didn’t you?)

Announcement! I’m taking a hiatus – just for this week – to finish getting things set up with AdultBooklr! We’ve got all kinds of things planned & I need to get my butt out of our 24/7 chat so I can actually get stuff done for all our wonderful members.

In case you missed it last week, AdultBooklr is a Goodreads/Tumblr crossover community founded by yours truly on the hallowed date of June 11, 2015. The only requirements for membership are that A) You are over 18; B) You love books; and C) You have a tumblr account. That’s it! If you meet these qualifications, come check out what I feel is the greatest place on the internet.

Not convinced? Let me tell you more.

Oh yeah, and books. Lots & lots of books.

Hope you’ll come hang out with us! I’ll be back next week for your regularly scheduled programming. ❤