Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goals for 2017! Reading, Fitness, and Creativity

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I'm so excited to start the new year and take on some new goals. I went a little bit crazy with the goals I've set for myself but I believe these are all relatively attainable within the next 365 days. Because I have so many goals, I'm not going to write out an explanation for each an every one (most are pretty self-explanatory) so if you'd like to know a little bit more about any of the goals I have written out here, click play on the companion video below.

Personal Goals

Create an art log of the year.
Inspired by the many graphic novels and travelogues that I've read in the past, I really want to chronicle my year in an artistic way. I've bought a beautiful Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook to draw, paint, write, and paste pieces of the year into in order to create a really nice tangible book of memories.

Track all of my work outs. Lately I've done a really bad job of tracking work outs. It's not really necessary that you track workouts in order to be successful, but it definitely helps! I want to track all of my work outs in some way, shape, or form in 2017, so this time next year I can reflect on all that I have accomplished fitness-wise!

Reading Goals


GoodReads reading challenge: Read 70 books

1. Read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace


2. Finish or catch up on 3 series

3. Start 3 new-to-me series

4. Read one classic every month

5. Read one diverse book every month

6. Use my TBR jar every month

7. Taper my book buying - buy with a purpose as much as possible!

2017 Reading Challenge

I had so much fun finding books that fulfilled the PopSugar Reading Challenge prompts in 2016 that I decided to do another reading challenge! While I had a great time, however, it did encourage me to buy a LOT of books to fulfill each prompt, something that as you now know I'm trying to cut back on a bit. For 2017, I created prompts that would encourage me to read the books that I already own! To give myself an extra challenge, the books I read for this challenge will be in addition to the books I'm aiming to read each month. (So my non-ficition, diverse, classic, and TBR jar book cannot be the same as a book I'm reading to fulfill one of the following prompts.) Hopefully that makes some sort of sense! The list of prompts I am using are below - feel free to join in on this challenge if this interests you!


1. A book with a color in the title
2. A book with a title that begins with "the"
3. A book with a name in the title
4. A graphic novel
5. A YA contemporary novel
6. A book that was published the same year you were born
7. A book-to-movie adaptation (read the book and watch the movie)
8. A book that features a character of a different religious background than you
9. A book that features an LGBTQ+ character
10. A book that is under 150 pages
11. A book set in a country you have never been to
12. The book that has been on your TBR shelf the longest
13. A re-read
14. A book with a one-word title
15. A book with a title that starts with your first initial
16. The newest book to your shelf
17. A book that features one of your hobbies
18. A book by a celebrity you love
19. A book that is 500 pages or more
20. A book with an animal on the cover
21. A book picked out by a friend
22. A short story collection
23. A book set during a holiday
24. A book set in multiple states or countries
25. A book by an author you know you enjoy
26. The first book you see on your shelf
27. A used book
28. A book by an author that is no longer living
29. Read a book with a cover from each color of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
30. A 2017 Release


I hope everyone has a very successful and positive 2017 and that you achieve all of your goals as well! Thank you for a wonderful 2016 and see you in the new year! <3

Friday, December 30, 2016

January 2017 Plan With Me! + December Flip Through


It's my first Plan with Me for 2017! I'm not doing anything too fancy to kick off the new year when it comes to my planning. My bullet journal is still working really well for me so I'm sticking with my planning method that I've been using since September with a few different tweaks here and there. I've also included a LIVE sped-up planning session as I set up January, something I haven't done since I moved into the Moleskine! I forgot how much I liked showing you my process. :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video and that you're excited to get organized fr the new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bout of Books #18 TBR!


I am kicking off 2017 strong with joining in on Bout of Books #18! For those of you who may not know, Bout of Books #17 was my very first readathon, so I knew I had to hop back in when the next round came about. Knowing my reading habits as of late, I've only picked out three books for this readathon as that's what I've been tending to average for all of the readathons I've participated in over the past few months. That being said, these books are all fairly chunky, but I'm really looking forward to ALL of these titles! Check out my TBR video below to hear my initial thoughts and my maybe-incorrect synopses of each title (correct synopses and reviwws on GoodReads linked below). :D



BOOKS MENTIONED

2016 Reading Challenges Updates #4


We are getting so close to the end of 2016! With fall coming to a close I wanted to do one more quarterly update on the two reading challenges I took on for myself this year. At the beginning of the new year I will be wrapping up ALL of my reading for 2016 as well and talking specifically about my favorite titles that I read throughout the year, so be on the look out for those posts in a few weeks! For now, let's get into what I read in the fall.

GoodReads Challenge: 69/20
PopSugar Reading Challenge: 38.5/40


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
PopSugar Category: A book recommended by a family member
Audiobook, 4/5

The Girls by Emma Cline
PopSugar Category: A book from the library
Hard copy: 2/5

Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
PopSugar Category: N/A
Audiobook, 3/5

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
PopSugar Category: A romance set in the future
Hard copy, 5/5

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 3.5/5

Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by Grace Helbig
PopSugar Categoty: N/A
Hard copy, 2/5

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 3.25/5

Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max! by Noelle Stevenson
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 3.5/5

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

The Humans by Matt Haig
PopSugar Cateogry: N/A
Hard copy, 4.5/5

Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath
PopSugar Category: A murder mystery
Kindle eBook, 4/5

Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 1/5

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 3.5/5

Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

Saints by Gene Luen Yang
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 3.5/5

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

In Order to  Live by Yeonmi Park
PopSugar Category: A book recommended by someone you just met (Recommended by a new-to-me BookTuber, BooksandLala)
Hard copy, 5/5

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

The Sellout by Paul Beatty
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5


Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
PopSugar Category: A book that is more than 600 pages
Hard copy, 4.5/5

Jinchalo by Matthew Forsythe
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 4/5

Freeway by Mark Kalesniko
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

Intensity by Dean Koontz
PopSugar Category: N/A
Hard copy, 5/5

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fall Favorites 2016!


I'm finally getting around to sharing my Fall 2016 Favorites! This season I don't really have a ton of new favorite things to share with you all. I think my busy schedule really prevented me from finding new things to consider "favorites" and honestly the election and the ensuing results really made me avoid the media except for things I knew would make me happy. Anyway, the things that I do feature in this video I really did love this season, and I hope you all are able to enjoy them as well! :)

FAVORITES MENTIONED

REVIEWS

Happy Vlogidays! CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! (December 22-25, 2016)

It's the Happy Vlogidays Christmas Special! I wrap up #Cramathon, Brett and I spend Christmas with his family, and have a wonderful action-packed holiday! This video is full of gift-giving, musical  excitement, and general holiday cheer with the family. It was a wonderful holiday! I hope everyone really enjoyed their holiday as well and that you were able to make a lot of wonderful memories with you friends and loved ones! :) 
There will be one more Happy Vlogidays vlogthe will feature Christmas with my parents and New Years that I will be posting next week so be on the look out for that! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Festive Christmas Book Tag!


Merry belated Christmas, everyone!

I didn't realize that I never posted this video on my blog! A few weeks ago I did the Festive Christmas Book Tag on my channel to get in the holiday spirit. I had a lot of fun picking books that went along with the prompts and it definitely made me feel a bit more festive. I hope you enjoy this video even though you're seeing it after Christmas! (I don't know about you, but I STILL feel super Christmassy!)

I will be posting a ton of videos this week so be on the lookout for those! It will be a lot of wrapping up the year and looking forward into 2017. I will start uploading TODAY so if you're interested in seeing all of my end-of-year videos, make sure you're checking back every day for new uploads! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that you enjoy the last week of 2016!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Vlogidays! Week 3 (December 15-21, 2016)


Hello everyone! Here is week #3 of Happy Vlogidays, during which I attend several Christmas get-togethers with friends and colleagues, I battle a migraine of epic proportions, Brett and I go out to breakfast and a movie to celebrate our anniversary, and I participate in the #Cramathon! You'll also notice that I am feeling very burned out in this vlog... I'm hoping that the vacation I'm taking over the next few days will help with that feeling and I am able to get back to feeling positive and energized! :) 

I hope everyone has a fabulous Christmas holiday! 
I will, of course, be vlogging my way through and sharing everything I get up to here on the blog! <3

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy Vlogidays! Week 2 (December 8-14, 2016)


I always forget how freaking busy this tim of year is! We are in full December mode in our neck of the woods with plans on basically every single day of the week. It is crazy. BUT it is extra fun and that's really what matters the most! 

On this week's episode of Happy Vlogidays, we find out about New Found Glory's 20 Year Anniversary Tour and IMMEDIATELY buy tickets, I run the Ugly Sweater Run with my parents in Boston, I have one of the biggest events of the year at work, and Brett and I celebrate our 4-year anniversary! I hope you all are enjoying these vlogs - they're some of my favorite to make every year! :) See you next week with episode three!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Race Review: Ugly Sweater Run


Over the weekend my parents and I ran the Ugly Sweater Run in Boston, MA! This was a fun run that clocked in just under 3 miles (2.87 miles by my watch) and was holiday themed and encouraged you to dress up in your ugliest holiday sweater! There were hundreds of runners at this race, all of which were dressed up in some way, shape, or form, which made it all the more fun!

The race was held at Suffolk Downs right outside of the city which is an old horserace track. It was perfect for an event like this. The entire race route was held within the complex so you did not have to worry about running on the road or battling traffic mid-race. The race started at 8:30AM and I arrived to the site around 8:00. I met up with my parents inside the building as it was a balmy 23 degrees outside with the windchill dropping the temp to 10 degrees. Luckily there was an indoor space to hide out before the race, and it was even decorated with inflatables to keep it festive!



Showing off our ugly sweaters!

When the time approached 8:30 we faced the cold and headed to the starting line! We didn't realize that they were sending everyone out in waves so we did a bit of stop-start in the starting corral before we could actually start moving. It was great to see everyone's sweaters up close while we were waiting, though, and the MC (who was rocking an ugly sweater suit) was doing a great job of keeping everyone entertained in the frosty temperatures.

A quick pose before starting!


The race route, as I mentioned, was all on the site of Suffolk Downs so there was no street running involved. A lot of the course was marked by tape but it was so windy that most of the marking tape was blowing everywhere and some of the route was a little confusing. I cut an entire corner without even realizing that I was doing it - I was just following the crowd! :P What was really cool, though, was that you got to run ON the sand race track! I had never done that before! The track was pretty frozen and flat so it wasn't hard to run on which was great and it was a really cool experience running on a new surface during a race.

The post-race party was really great! It was mostly outside and with the cold weather it seemed that many people decided to opt out, but those who stuck around were treated to Kahlua hot chocolate, music, carolers, photos with Santa (both human Santa and inflatable Santa), and a hot dog truck! I mean, it was only 9:40AM but we totally took advantage of the Kahlua and beef hot dogs. Breakfast of champions?


This race was a great time and very much worth the money. The entry fee was $30 and for that fee you got entry into the race, a free winter hat, access to the after party with a pass for a free drink, and a super awesome medal! A portion of all of the race fees went to One Warm Coat, a great charity that gives coats those in need, and there was a station for you to donate coats in person as well. Charity running events are always a HUGE plus in my eyes. Overall, this event is a super wonderful way to have some fun over the holidays (even if it's freezing out). This race holds events all over the US, so if you have one in your city I would HIGHLY recommend checking it out as your holiday fun run!

A close up of my medal! (And my awesome gingerbread man leggings)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Black Friday 2016 Book Haul!

All of my book orders from Black Friday finally made their way to me so today I'm sharing a huge book haul. I mention at the beginning of this video that I'm going to take a break from buying books for myself for the next few months. I have so many books on my shelf that I'm so excited to read and I want to focus on those! I might still receive books as gifts over the holiday season and I might buy a new release that I'm excited about here and there, but for the next few months giant book hauls like this will not be happening. Anywho, I hope you enjoy this video! You can find the links to the GoodReads pages to each book below!
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ichiguro
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Dune by Frank Hebert
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Buffering: Untold Stories of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
Giant Days, Volume 1 by John Allison
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully Ture Stories by Mike Birbiglia
American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
The Bear by Claire Cameron
Japanese by Spring by Ishmael Reed
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Stitches by David Small
Maus I by Art Speigelman
Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire

Friday, December 9, 2016

#Cramathon TBR! | Winter 2016 Round


Happy Friday, everyone!

Starting next week I will be participating in the Winter 2016 Round of the Cramathon hosted by Whitney and April! There are several challenges associated with this readathon which always makes things so much more fun if you ask me. Below are links to all the books I will be reading during the readathon - check them out and maybe you'll find something you'll enjoy as well!


Read a graphic novel:
Freeway by Mark Kalesniko

Read a book that you've been putting off:
Intensity by Dean Koontz

Read a book set in a different country than where you live:
The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Read a book with pictures in it:
My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Read a book that is under 200 pages:
Jinchalo by Matthew Forsythe

Read two books within 24 hours:
Earthling by Aisha Franz
Tomboy by Liz Prince

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Happy Vlogidays! Week 1 (December 1-7, 2016)


It's week one of Happy Vlogidays! (It's basically the same as Vlogmas buuuut I just post weekly instead of daily.) This week we decorate for the apartment for the holidays, my parents and I run the Hot Chocolate 5K, and I kick off the season RIGHT with some egg nog. I'm really looking forward to this action packed holiday season and of course I will be vlogging my way through it all. I hope you all enjoy this first installment of Happy Vlogidays! If you're participating in Vlogmas or Happy Vlogidays let me know in the comments! I love watching everyone's Christmassy adventures. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists

I haven't done a book review here on the blog in a LONG time, but I recently read We Should All Be Feminists by my woman crush Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I wanted to take a moment to really appreciate this piece the way it deserves to be appreciated! I absolutely loved this essay and continue to fall into deep admiration of Adichie every time I come across her work. Keep reading for a glimpse into this work and my thoughts on it!


We Should All Be Feminists is an essay based on a TEDTalk that Adichie gave in 2012 of the same name. In this essay, Adichie tackles the subject of feminism in the 21st century, from its societal perception and stigma, what it means to identify as a feminist, the benefits of feminism for society and the societal harms of stifling the feminist movement. Adichie presents these ideas in such a brilliant and concise way and in language that is accessible for readers of a wide range of levels. This essay is a very quick 48 pages (I believe it took me a total of 40 or so minutes to read from cover to cover) and covers such an important topic in a way that anyone can read and learn from it and if I could afford it I would totally buy tons of copies of this essay and hand them out to everyone.

Though this TEDTalk was originally given in 2012 and this essay was originally published in 2014, the concepts still translate and are culturally relevant in our society, especially everything that has occurred around our country's election cycle this year. This quote in particular stood out to me:

"Not long ago, I wrote an article about being young and female in Lagos. And an acquaintance told me that it was an angry article, and I should not have made it so angry. But I was unapologetic. Of course it was angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better."

In our society, we are taught that it's not okay to be angry. It's not okay to raise our voice. It's not okay to feel our feelings and let our emotions drive us to bring change. Anger = bad. Emotions = bad. Accept the status quo and everything will work itself out in the end. This is one of the most frustrating things that those who see injustice in the world and want to make a change have to unlearn. It is an act of bravery to stand up an express your displeasure with what you see as an injustice in our world because you open yourself up to so much criticism from everyone in your life. This goes for not just topics of gender and feminism, but for everything. This is why it's scary for people to speak out. This is why it's easier to sit in silence and accept the status quo, ESPECIALLY when you're in a position of privilege (what's up white people, men, straight folks, cisgender friends, etc. etc. etc.) and it makes it that much more important to express your anger and concern for the state of our society. Silence won't change anything. Expressing ourselves and standing up for the change we want to see in the world will.

This essay is filled with wonderful bits just like this and while it may be easy for someone like me who discusses feminism and issues of social justice as a part of my every day life, this work is also a great stepping stone for someone who is new to the concept of feminism or might not fully understand what it is or why this concept exists, without dragging you through the history of women's rights that a lot of us are familiar with. It's a modern view on why feminism (and fighting for equal right for all people in general) is a benefit for everyone in our society which makes this a great entry way to further discussion on the topic.

To end, I wanted to leave the actual definition of feminism, as it gets so misconstrued so frequently:


feminism
noun fem·i·nism | \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests


Of course, I whole heartedly recommend this book to readers everywhere. It's a book that will make you think critically, see the world from a perspective you may not have experienced, and understand your place in fighting against the injustices in our society, something I'm a huge advocate for. Definitely pick this up whenever you get the chance for something that will make you feel inspired and empowered!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dear Santa...

It's that time of year again! Today I am sharing the items that I'm eyeing for Christmas this year. I've been writing these posts since December 2014 and they are probably my favorite posts to pull together each year. It's just so fun to pull a wish list together, especially when most of the list contains silly, Harry Potter-related items! :P I'm also a huge fan of seeing everyone else's wish lists every year, so if you've posted something similar to this on your blog or another social media platform, please share it with me in the comments! I would love to see what you're hoping to receive this year.



1. The Harry Potter Remote Control Wand

This is honestly the coolest thing ever. We've been without remotes for our TVs for a solid two years now, mainly because we're too lazy to actually go out on a shopping trip specifically for a new remote. THIS would be awesome and will make me feel less muggle-like every time I watched TV. I would love to find one under my tree on Christmas morning!

2. Rubeus Hagrid Funko Pop

Brett and I are beginning to accumulate quite the Funko Pop collection in our little apartment. I think these little figures are just so fun and I would love to collect more! This one is particularly awesome because it's bigger that your typical Funko Pop which makes perfect sense because Hagrid is a half-giant. AND extra bonus points because Hagrid is 100,000% my favorite Harry Potter character ever. I would love to have him in my collection!

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay

I am in love with these editions of the Harry Potter series. Just take a look at how beautiful some of the images are! I have The Sorcerer's Stone right now and fully intend on collecting all seven of these beauties as they release. This is the absolute perfect gift for any HP lover in your life, myself included! :)

4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

I have yet to see this film (Brett and I are hoping to go see it for our anniversary next week) but I have a feeling that because it's in the HP universe, I am definitely going to love it and I'm definitely going to want to own the screenplay that has recently been released! Not to mention how beautiful the cover is. Can't beat that gold foiling!

5. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Of course, it is no secret that I'm obsessed AF with Hamilton and I've been eyeing this book since it was released. It's a book comprised of every word of the production as well as photos of the original broadway cast that are absolutely gorgeous. I would be PUMPED to receive it as a gift this holiday!

6. Instax Mini 8 in Raspberry, Grape, or Yellow

This was actually on my Dear Santa post from last year! I never got around to treating my self to one of these over the last twelve months but I would still LOVE to have one and would likely use it all the time. These actually went down in price recently which is awesome and makes capturing memories in this fun way more accessible for everyone! I may or may not have dropped a big hint to my parents when they asked what I wanted for Christmas this year so fingers crossed Santa will put this on his list.... :)

7. Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer

These are so cool! I'm the kind of person that will take a really long time to drink their coffee or tea and if it's a hot coffee or tea it tends to go cold by the time I'm halfway finished. These keep your mug nice and warm when you set it on top and will keep your hot beverage warmer for longer. Wins all around! I would love to pick up a couple of these (one for home, one for work) for myself so my drinks stay nice and warm all winter!

What are you hoping to find under your tree this holiday season?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November 2016 Reading Wrap Up! + December TBR

Today over on my YouTube channel I shared my November Reading Wrap Up and my December TBR pile! I managed to read 10 books in the month of November and am hoping to get through at least 11 in the month of December. It's a bit of an ambitious goal when you consider how busy that holidays can get, but I am extremely excited to read through all of the titles I have picked out in this TBR so hopefully that will keep me motivated to read! 

Books Read in November

Skin by Roald Dahl
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Sellout by Paul Beatty

December TBR

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Intensity by Dean Koontz
The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay

What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 2016 Plan With Me! + November Flip Through


It's DECEMBER! Can you believe it? Of course, I'm sharing my December Plan with Me today so you can see how I've set up the 'ol Bullet Journal to stay organized for the holidays. I've taken a step away from doing a monthly goals post this month because I just want to enjoy time with my family and friends and have a happy and relaxing holiday season. After this year, we can all use it, amirite? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the first of many videos I will be making this month and you have a great start to your month! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life REVIEW

It happened y'all.


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life released on Netflix on Friday and it was so glorious. I thought it would be great to do a review and put my thoughts out into the universe in blog form and I have a LOT of thoughts. There will be many spoilers in this blogpost so if you haven't had the chance to watch it yet and don't want to know what happens before you have the time to sit down with your coffee, pizza, and Pop Tarts, stop reading now and come back at a time when you're done visiting Stars Hollow. Without further adieu, let's get on into it!

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 2016 Book Haul! Classics, Nostalgia, and a Secret Book Swap!


Recently I went onto Book Outlet and found that they were doing a huge 50/50 sale on classics! I really want to have a great classics collection in my personal library so I thought I'd splurge a bit and buy a whole bunch of them. Here is my haul from that order! I also have a few titles that I'm very nostalgic about in this haul, a highly-anticipated sequel that released at the beginning of the month, and a bonus unboxing from a secret book swap that I participated in this month. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful in 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Let's face it - this year has been rough - very, VERY rough - for a lot of people. That's what makes it extra important to take the time to be thankful and grateful of all the things that I have in my life. I have many things to be thankful for in my life this year and what better time than Thanksgiving to share those things with you?

I'm thankful for...

My friends, colleagues, and students that are constantly challenging me intellectually, encouraging me to engage politically, and being genuinely awesome people that I can learn from each and everyday. Ever since I started working at Mount Holyoke I've become much more politically engaged and much more focused on issues of injustice and oppression, which of course has become exacerbated by the narrative of this past election cycle, the acts of hate committed since the results of the election, and human rights violations happening right in our faces without much opposition to those that are in positions of privilege. I have become increasingly confident in my political views and have been developing my political voice and while I never considered myself to be a political person before this year I'm continuing to realize each day the importance of political involvement in order to shape the country in a positive way. I have my friends, colleagues, and students to thank for that and I am eternally grateful for them.

My family and Brett for being a constant source of support and love throughout the year (and always). This goes without saying but it is ALWAYS important to say it - my family and my partner are unwavering sources of support for me through good times and bad times. I am very fortunate to have the comfort of knowing that these people are always there for me for whatever I need help with. I never have to feel lost or alone all that long with my parents, sister, and Brett by my side and it's important for me to acknowledge how thankful I am for them.

The discovery of BookTube and throwing myself back into my love of reading. After grad school, I admit that I was feeling a bit lost, a bit off, a bit not like myself. It was this summer that I realized what was missing - books. I was able to read for fun during undergrad but when I started graduate school reading for fun was put on the back burner. I've always read here and there but this summer when I discovered the online bookish community, readathons, and so many great titles that I had never heard of before, I kicked up my reading to another level and it has felt awesome. I am so happy I am back in he groove of reading regularly and it honestly feels like I've rediscovered a piece of myself that I forgot that I was missing.

Advancing professionally and feeling comfortable and secure enough financially for a change. This year I was promoted to a 12-month position at Mount Holyoke, I moved in to a smaller place, and kind of hit a groove in my financial balance for the first time ever. I can save money without feeling like I'm struggling for a change. Just this week I was able to do simple things like get a haircut and get my car's oil changed without feeling like it totally has broken the bank and I can't think of a time when it hasn't felt that way. I am so happy that I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable financially and I'm looking forward to continuing to move in this direction.

The home and life Brett and I are building for ourselves. While we definitely aren't in the situation we want to be in forever, I am so thankful that Brett and I have found a way to live together, to continue to build our lives together, and really just be happy together no matter how much or how little we have. We constantly are reminded how lucky we are that we get to see each other each day, that we have a roof over our heads and don't have to go hungry, and have a bright future ahead of us. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#ReadORama Fall 2016 Round | Vlog & Wrap Up


Over the weekend I participated in #ReadORama! I just decided to hop in and read the books that I was already planning on reading over the weekend, but it was fun to also vlog the weekend! I managed to get through two books, played a bit of the new Pokemon game, and hung out with Brett a whole bunch! :) I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and if you're celebrating Thanksgiving this week that you enjoy the holiday!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Library Book Haul! {#001}


Hello all and happy Friday! While I have a Book Outlet haul filmed and ready to be posted, I figured the most appropriate video post-BorrowAThon would be a LIBRARY book haul! I wanted to talk a little bit more about the importance of using a library and promoting financial inclusivity within the online reading community and kind of practice what I preach a little but with a haul from my library! I'm so excited to read all of these books! If you've read any of the books mentioned in this video let me know what you though in the comments! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

#BorrowAThon Round 1 Wrap Up & Thank You!

The first round of #BorrowAThon has come to a close and you guys - it. was. AWESOME. There was such a great crew of people joining in on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram - all people who LOVED reading, LOVED supporting their libraries, and LOVED building an amazing community of readers on the internet. Every chat was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with one another, discuss books, reading, and libraries, and to get to know each other on a more personal level. There were people from all over the world joining in on the readathon which was just so cool to see that the importance of using your local library and the message that you don't need to spend money to be a reader reaches far and wide.

I want to send out a big THANK YOU to all who participated in the first round of #BorrowAThon! Thank you for being active and chatting on Twitter. Thank you for participating in the Twitter chats/parties and daily sprints when your schedule allowed. Thank you for taking part in the social media challenges every day. THANK YOU for helping to build this awesome community of people and sending the message that all you need to be a reader is to read. YOU GUYS ROCK and this readathon would not have been a success without you! <3

There will be a round 2 of #BorrowAThon in the spring at some point. All the details will of course be announced on the @BorrowAThon Twitter page, my YouTube channel, and right here on the blog so keep an eye out for more details! I will announce them as soon as I have them! To wrap things up, I'm going to share a few links for you to check out to enjoy more #BorrowAThon Round 1 content and you can see what we all got up to during the week of the readathon! I hope you enjoy. :)

My #BorrowAThon Daily Vlogs for Round One 
All of my daily vlogs are in this playlist. Just hit play to see them all!


All #BorrowAThon Round One Videos
These are all the videos I can find on YouTube that are #BorrowAThon related, whether that's a TBR, a blog, or a wrap up! We have over 40 videos and counting on this playlist!

#BorrowAThon on Twitter
Everything that was tweeted during the week in relation to #BorrowAThon!

#BorrowAThon on Instagram
All the lovely #bookstagram photos taken during #BorrowAThon!

Monday, November 14, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 8 Schedule

#BORROWATHON DAY 8 - WE DID IT!!!!
It's finally here - the last day of #BorrowAThon!!!! Nice work this week everyone!! I hope you had a fantastic week of reading and can end the readathon on a strong note! Today, just focus on finishing up some of your final pages and BE PROUD of all you have accomplished! Even if you only made it to one book or even one page this week, that is a SUCCESS!!!


Social Media Challenge: Complete-pile selfie!

Once you are done reading for the day, snap a selfie with your completed stack of books! If you weren't able to necessarily complete any books, just snap a picture with any books that you read a portion of! It's time to be proud of any progress you made no matter what the size is! Make sure to post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or all three and use the hashtag #BorrowAThon so we can see it! :) <3



Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 7 Schedule

#BORROWATHON DAY 7!
We're here folks - we're in the final stretch of the readathon! We're almost there! Keep going!!!!

Throughout the week I will be posting one of these schedule blog posts a day so you will know what will be going on each day. These posts will be going live at 1AM EST*, but if you want to know the overview of the week ahead of time, check out the #BorrowAThon schedule blog post. These daily schedules will have more detail and direction for each of the activities but you can pretty much gather enough information in order to get an idea solely based on the original schedule. 


Social Media Challenge: Character Relationships Challenge

For this challenge, all you have to do is answer a handful of questions about the characters in the books that you've read so far this week and the relationships you have with them! Make sure to share the answers to these questions on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, your blog, or all four, and use the hashtag #BorrowAThon so we can see your answers!

1. What character have you related to the most in the books that you've read so far this week?
2. Who has been your favorite and least favorite character?
3. What has been your favorite character relationship in your readathon books so far? (This can be romantic, familial, friendship, etc.)
4. If you could have one of the characters in your #BorrowAThon books interact/develop a relationship with a character in one of your favorite books, who would you pick and why?

Final Twitter chat @ 5PM EST*!

We will be coming together for the final hour-long Twitter chat at 5PM EST* this evening! This chat will allow all of the participants to get to know each other a little bit because the whole point of a readathon is to read as a community! If you're unsure how Twitter chats work or if you've never participated in one before, check out this article for more information. I hope to see you there!


Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

*All Twitter chats and daily schedule posts are scheduled in EST as that is the time zone the host lives in. Make sure you're looking into the time zone difference for your area so you do not miss out on the fun of the chats! You can find a time zone converter here to help you figure out the difference.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 6 Schedule

It's Saturday and DAY 6 of #BorrowAThon!
I hope everyone has a wonderful start to their weekend and can find some time to read through all of the fun activities I'm sure you have planned!

Throughout the week I will be posting one of these schedule blog posts a day so you will know what will be going on each day. These posts will be going live at 1AM EST*, but if you want to know the overview of the week ahead of time, check out the #BorrowAThon schedule blog post. These daily schedules will have more detail and direction for each of the activities but you can pretty much gather enough information in order to get an idea solely based on the original schedule. 


Social Media Challenge: Story Environment Challenge

Today you will be recreating the environment of one of your #BorrowAThon books! Take a photo that captures the setting or world of one of the books that you've read this week and share it on Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or all three and tag it with the hashtag #BorrowAThon so we can all see! I'm looking forward to your creativity with this challenge!

Twitter chat at @ 2PM EST*!

We will be coming together for an hour-long Twitter chat at 2PM EST* this afternoon! This chat will allow all of the participants to get to know each other a little bit because the whole point of a readathon is to read as a community! If you're unsure how Twitter chats work or if you've never participated in one before, check out this article for more information. I hope to see you there!

Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

*All Twitter chats and daily schedule posts are scheduled in EST as that is the time zone the host lives in. Make sure you're looking into the time zone difference for your area so you do not miss out on the fun of the chats! You can find a time zone converter here to help you figure out the difference.

Friday, November 11, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 5 Schedule

TGIF and Happy Day 5 of #BorrowAThon!
Now comes the best part of any readathon - weekend reading! Hopefully after you come home today you will have plenty of time to kick back and enjoy your books without interruption! Enjoy your Friday and Day 5 of #BorrowAThon!

Throughout the week I will be posting one of these schedule blog posts a day so you will know what will be going on each day. These posts will be going live at 1AM EST*, but if you want to know the overview of the week ahead of time, check out the #BorrowAThon schedule blog post. These daily schedules will have more detail and direction for each of the activities but you can pretty much gather enough information in order to get an idea solely based on the original schedule.

Social Media Challenge: #StacksSelfie Challenge!


This challenge is fairly simple - go to your local library and take a selfie in the stacks! Libraries are beautiful places and they deserve to be shown off and visited! Make sure you post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or all three, and use the hashtags #StacksSelfie and #BorrowAThon so we can see your beautiful faces among the books of your library!

Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

*All Twitter chats and daily schedule posts are scheduled in EST as that is the time zone the host lives in. Make sure you're looking into the time zone difference for your area so you do not miss out on the fun of the chats! You can find a time zone converter here to help you figure out the difference.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 4 Schedule

#BorrowAThon Day 4 -  OHHHH WE'RE HALF WAY THERE!
*wooaaahhhh* LIVIN' ON A PRAYER!!! I can't believe that after today we'll already going to be half way through the readathon! I hope everyone is trucking right along and feeling good! And most importantly, having so much fun reading their borrowed books!

Throughout the week I will be posting one of these schedule blog posts a day so you will know what will be going on each day. These posts will be going live at 1AM EST*, but if you want to know the overview of the week ahead of time, check out the #BorrowAThon schedule blog post. These daily schedules will have more detail and direction for each of the activities but you can pretty much gather enough information in order to get an idea solely based on the original schedule.

Social Media Challenge: Mid-Week Update Challenge!

As we come to the official half way mark of the readathon, it's time to check in and share where you are currently standing in your progress! On the social media platform of your choice, answer the following questions and update us all using the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

1. What is one part of the books you've read so far this week that has really stood out? (Favorite book? Character? Scene?)
2. Have you stuck to your original TBR so far this week or have you found something new that you wanted to read?
3. What are your goals for the rest of the readathon? (Page count? Book count? Just want to have fun?)

Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

*All Twitter chats and daily schedule posts are scheduled in EST as that is the time zone the host lives in. Make sure you're looking into the time zone difference for your area so you do not miss out on the fun of the chats! You can find a time zone converter here to help you figure out the difference.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

#BorrowAThon Day 3 Schedule

Happy Day 3 of #BorrowAThon!
Can you believe it's already day 3?! It seems like we just started and we're already 25% done! I hope everyone is still feeling good about their reading and remember - any reading at all is a SUCCESS so keep going!

Throughout the week I will be posting one of these schedule blog posts a day so you will know what will be going on each day. These posts will be going live at 1AM EST*, but if you want to know the overview of the week ahead of time, check out the #BorrowAThon schedule blog post. These daily schedules will have more detail and direction for each of the activities but you can pretty much gather enough information in order to get an idea solely based on the original schedule.

Today we have both a social media challenge and a Twitter chat lined up for you all! I hope you're able to join in for both! As usual, my social media challenge will be located on my Twitter page, so make sure to follow me there if you'd like to see my post that will go up later today!

Social Media Challenge: Character Portrait Challenge!

For this challenge you will be channeling your artistic side! Choose a character in the book you are reading today and develop a portrait of that character. This could be anything - a literal drawn or photographed portrait of your character, a collage of words that describe your character, a photo of a collection of objects that represent your character.... as long as it represents your interpretation of your character you can really do anything! Make sure you share your portrait with us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, your blog, or all four and tag it with #BorrowAThon so we can see!

Twitter chat at 9PM EST*!

We will be coming together for an hour-long Twitter chat at 9PM EST* this evening! This chat will allow all of the participants to get to know each other a little bit because the whole point of a readathon is to read as a community! If you're unsure how Twitter chats work or if you've never participated in one before, check out this article for more information. I hope to see you there!

Make sure you're following @BorrowAThon on Twitter for continuous updates and post along with the hashtag #BorrowAThon!

*All Twitter chats and daily schedule posts are scheduled in EST as that is the time zone the host lives in. Make sure you're looking into the time zone difference for your area so you do not miss out on the fun of the chats! You can find a time zone converter here to help you figure out the difference.