Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017 Reading Wrap Up!


As predicted, April has been a month worth of insanity. I staffed a major event at work literally every weekend, so needless to say it was exhausting. However, I have a stellar team that I get the pleasure of working with to make every event so much more enjoyable, and *bonus* I GOT TO MEET ELIZABETH FREAKING WARREN (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so I guess it's all worth it. More on that later! ;) Through all the craziness I did get the chance to read 7 books in the month of April which I definitely didn't think would be something I could accomplish with my exhaustion and lack of free time, but it happened and I am very happy about it! Click play on the video about for my thoughts on each book I finished throughout the month and continue reading for my April reading stats! :)

READING STATS FOR APRIL

Participated in 2 readathons (Tome Topple & Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon)
Completed 1 reading challenge
Continued 1 series
Completed non-fiction, diverse, classic, and TBR jar reads
Read 414 pages of Infinite Jest
1,779 pages read
books completed



BOOKS COMPLETED

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Physical copy, 3.5/5
Classic pick for April

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country by Helen Russell
Physical copy, 5/5
Non-fiction pick for April

My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Physical copy, 3/5
TBR Jar pick for April

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Physical copy, 3/5
Diverse pick for April

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
Physical copy, 5/5

Giant Days, volume 1 by John Allison
Physical copy, 5/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A book with a yellow cover

Lumberjanes, volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Physical copy, 5/5
Continuing a series

Vlog: Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon {April 2017}


Yesterday I participated in the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon for the first time! This day full of reading came at the *perfect* time. I had just wrapped up my final April event at work on Friday and was in desperate need of a quiet relaxing day. I definitely embraced this event and has the absolutely perfect day of reading and fun! I can't wait to participate again in October. Click play on the vlog to see what I read and got up to throughout the day! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

May 2017 Plan With Me: Moving into a New Bullet Journal! + April Flip Through


With the academic year coming to a close and my Moleskine running out of pages, I have officially transitioned into a new bullet journal starting in the month of May! This time around I opted for a Leuchtturm 1917 dot grid notebook in the color lemon. I am so psyched to have a yellow bullet journal! Yellow is definitely one of my favorite colors. It brings be so much joy and that's exactly what this notebook does for me every time I look at it! Click play on the video above to see my flip though my final month in my Moleskine :'( and the way I've set up in my new organizational home! :D

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon TBR! {April 2017}


I am SO PUMPED to be participating in the April round of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! If you haven't heard of this readathon, the name basically explains the premise: 24 hours. Read as much as you can. The really cool thing about this readathon is that it starts at the exact same time all around the world, no matter what time zone you live in! That way everyone is reading at the same time thought the duration of the readathon. Lucky for me, it's based out of the East Coast of the United States which just so happens to be my timezone (score) so starting at 8AM on the 29th I'll start reading my lil' butt off until 8AM on the 30th! Whoop whoop! Here's what I'm shooting to read during those 24 hours:

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Giant Days, volume 1 by John Allison
Lumberjanes, volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson, et. al.
Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

And check out my video below to hear more about each title!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Anything But Books Tag!

Earlier this week I uploaded the Anything But Books tag on my channel, originally created by ReadOrRot! My Booktube buddy Michael from Michael's Shelf tagged me to participate so of course I had to jump in and play along! Click play to hear my answers to each one of the tag questions, and if you're interested in doing this tag, you will find the questions below! :)

TAG QUESTIONS

1. Name a cartoon that you love.
 
2. What is your favorite song right now? 

3. What could you do for hours (that isn't reading)? 

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?
 
5. What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about? 

6. What is something unusual you know how to do? 

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can). 

8. What is your most recent personal project? 

9. Tell us something you think about often. 

10. Give us something thats your favorite, but make it something oddly specific (not like your favorite food, but like your favorite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vlog: New Found Glory #20YearsofPopPunk Tour - BOSTON

Brett and I ventured to Boston a couple weeks ago to see the Boston stop of New Found Glory's @0 Years of Pop Punk tour and it. was. awesome. We went on the second night when they were playing the entirety of Stick & Stones and their self-titled album. It was just as amazing as I was anticipating and I am so happy I made the call to vlog a bit of the show. I didn't record the whole thing (I wanted to enjoy the majority of the show without worrying about getting nice, stable footage) but recorded a nice slice of the evening that I'll always look back on and smile. I love that NFG is still doing their thing after so many years and remind me with every show why they've been my favorite band for as long as they have been! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video below! :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pittsburgh Marathon Training Update: March 2017

It feels like I *just* posted my training update from February... time is flying! We are just under five weeks until the Pittsburgh Marathon and this is honestly the best I've felt this close to a marathon. I feel like when I usually get down to a month out I start to panic a little bit because I haven't been as on top of my training as I would like. That's really not the case this time around, and while I'm not hitting *every* run on my training calendar, I'm really trying to prioritize lacing up and running on the days that I need to and I'm very happy about that!

After a few successful long runs and a very successful Golden Shamrock Challenge weekend, I'm feeling like I'm in a good spot for May 7th. My legs, particularly my butt and hips, start to both me around the 2.5 hour mark which is a bit concerning as my marathons are usually over 5 hours in length, but I'm hoping a healthy dose of foam rolling and yoga will help with that. As long as my lower half is good, I'll feel good about walking into another 26.2.

My one concern entering into April is time. April is the busiest month of the year for me work-wise, not leaving a ton of time to fit in running on top of working more hours than usual and attempting to still care care of myself and the other responsibilities in my life. (Example: I was up all night with a sick dog last night, only got about three solid hours of sleep, and have a twenty-mile long to-do list that needs to get done today. Yeah... run will likely get sacrificed on a day like today to avoid sickness/insanity.) I'm going to still try to work in as many runs as I can in these final weeks of training, prioritizing long runs (of course) and fitting in anything else that makes sense during the week. We'll see how things go!

Final month of training!


Monday, April 3, 2017

April 2017 Bullet Journal Plan with Me! + March Flip Through


Here it is - my very last Plan with Me in my Moleskine gridded journal! I'm kind of sad I'll be finishing up this journal after April. It's stuck with me all through this crazy academic year and holds some serious memz. I am looking forward to starting fresh with a new journal as I enter into a slower time in my schedule, though, and who doesn't love a fresh new notebook?! My May Plan with Me will be a bit different so stay tuned for that, but for now I hope you enjoy this video! :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 2017 TBR! + #TomeTopple Round 3 TBR!


It's April! AKA the busiest month of the year for me. D: I'm walking into this month knowing I'm going to be insanely busy, insanely tired, and likely insanely brain dead, so I'm not setting the bar too high for myself reading-wise. I still plan to read all of my monthly goal picks but beyond that, any reading I do will be icing on the cake. I'm planning to participate in the #TomeTopple readathon to help me knock out a good chunk of Infinite Jest which I am pretty excited about, and I also hope (if I'm not too exhausted at the end of the month) to participate in the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon on April 29th. We'll see where the month takes us!

2017 Goal Picks

Infinite Jest goal: Read at least 500 pages during the #TomeTopple readathon
Non-fiction: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
Diverse: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Classic: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
TBR Jar: My Story by Elizabeth Smart

#TomeTopple TBR Picks

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Cress by Marissa Meyer

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 2017 Reading Wrap Up!



April is an insanely busy month for me and I really think I had the impending busy-ness in mind all of March and savored every free moment I had to read because I wound up reading 14 books in the month of march! Not only did I complete a significant amount of books this month, I also reading books that I was giving pretty high ratings which is awesome! It's like the universe knew I needed to enjoy my reading time as much as possible this month because it would basically be non-existant next month XD. Anyway, make sure you're clicking the video above to hear my thoughts on what I read this month as well as continuing reading this post for more stats!


READING STATS FOR MARCH

Participated in 3 readathons (#iiReadathon, #ReadORama, & #BorrowAThon)
Read 4 library books, 1 book borrowed from a friend, and 9 of my own books
Completed 4 reading challenges
Completed non-fiction, diverse, classic, and TBR jar reads
Read 90 pages of Infinite Jest
Started 1 new series
3,140 pages read
14 books completed


BOOKS COMPLETED

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Library book, 3/5

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Physical copy, 4/5
Non-Fiction pick for March

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Physical copy, 5/5
Classic pick for March

You in Five Acts by Una La March (Review)
Physical copy, 4.5/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A book picked out by a friend

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Physical copy, 3/5
Start 3 new series (fulfilled 1 of 3)

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
Physical copy, 4/5

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Physical copy, 4/5

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Physical copy, 5/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A book under 150 pages

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan
Library book, 4/5

A Game of Thrones, vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin
Borrowed book, 4/5

The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Library book, 4/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A book a violet cover

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Library book, 4.5/5
Reading challenge fulfilled: A short story collection

Vlog: #BorrowAThon Round 2

Last week was the second round of #BorrowAThon! Things were a bit busier for me this round so instead of uploading a vlog every couple of days, I decided to do my typical vlog that captures the entire week. This round was so much fun and there were so many more people joining in this round which was the coolest. We had so many fun chats, sprint sessions, and even an impromptu pajama party! It was so much fun reading and chatting with everyone throughout the week and the time just flew by. Thank you so much to everyone who hopped in this round and a BIG shout out to Michael and Lala for helping me plan and host this round - I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you! :D <3


See you in November for round 3!

Race Review: Golden Shamrock Challenge

Over last weekend I participated in the Golden Shamrock Challenge - a weekend of running sponsored by Millennium Running that included the Shamrock Half Marathon on Saturday and the 2-mile Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday. When you take on the challenge, you have the opportunity to earn TWO medals - a medal when completing the Shamrock Half and a magnetized clip on GOLDEN medal when you complete the Shamrock Shuffle!

Even Kiwi thought I was a little crazy taking on this challenge!

I needed a training half in March for my marathon training, and it turns out the Shamrock Half was the only half that was going on in ALL of New England last weekend. Lucky for me, it's super close to my home town AND my family. I've run one other Millennium Running event, the RibFest 5-Miler, and had a really positive experience with that race, and I'm happy to say that I had a really positive experience with the Golden Shamrock Challenge as well!

Shamrock Half Marathon

If you don't know, the Shamrock Half Marathon is the first spring half marathon that Millennium Running has ever put on! Saturday was a rainy, cold, and even SNOWY day which is never the best condition when you're running 13.1 miles, but honestly the race was so well put together that the weather was my only complaint! Millennium did a great job of keeping everything close to the starting line (bib pick up, merch, food, bathrooms, etc.) and kept the energy up with plenty of music and opportunities for photos in front of the start/finish! Exhibit A:

The course itself was extremely spectator friendly with 3 loops that take you by the start/finish location multiple times. I was able to see my parents several times on the course which was so much fun! I love when courses are more spectator friendly - it definitely makes everyone at the event much happier! The course took you through neighborhoods and right through downtown Manchester so you had some variety of scenery. Each loop connected at a different spot as well so it didn't get boring just running through the same streets each time. SUPER important to keep that in mind when designing a looped course! There was also plenty of water stops, bathrooms, and even gels at the 8mi mark (albeit they were a tiny frozen due to the cold temperatures... never thought I'd have to chew a gel before!).

There were a few hills, including a nearly ALL uphill mile 10 and 11 (yikes)... I was definitely thanking my lucky starts that I live in a hilly area and that's my normal training situation. Otherwise I might have keeled over :P However, the spectator friendly course, the change of scenery with each loop, and the amount of support you had on the course from race volunteers made the run so much more enjoyable, so A+ to Millennium!


Overall I did much better than I was expecting to. I was on PR pace until mile 10 & 11 which absolutely drained me. Even with the course being a gentle downhill and relatively flat for miles 12 & 13, I was totally gassed out after those final hills. Even so, I did SO much better than I thought I was going to do and I am very proud of the way I ran! And of course, I was super psyched to earn the first part of my Shamrock when I crossed the finish line! I would definitely recommend the Shamrock Half Marathon and would say it's a *perfect* half marathon for someone who is training for their first!

PS: Huge shout out to my parents for cheering me on in the pouring rain and freezing snow! <3

Shamrock Shuffle


Sunday was the 2-mile Shamrock Shuffle which took you on a much abbreviated portion of the half marathon course and stuck pretty closely to downtown Manchester the entire time. This race was much more packed which often times makes things a bit more fun! The facilities were generally the same, except that there were things set up in the nearby hotel in addition to what was set up near the start/finish.

I treated this race more as a speed training and really tried to push myself as hard as I could through this race and it. paid. off. I managed to run at a 8:40 pace which I'm not sure if I've ever run in ANY race ever. I was especially surprised because I was definitely sore from the half marathon the day before! Again, I was thrilled with how I ran and really enjoyed the short course, even if they stuck us with another gnarly hill at the 1-mile mark. Damn you, course designers and your hills! :P My mom also ran/walked the Shuffle with a friend from work so my dad and I got to watch her cross the finish line. We also got to see a couple get engaged at the finish line which was so sweet! :)

After some ~drama~ in the hotel (hotel staff trying to kick out Millennium when folks like me were trying to get the Golden Shamrock piece of the medal; owner of Millennium scrambling in to get shit straightened out.... #JohnRules) I finally got my hands on my Golden Shamrock and officially completed the challenge! :D PROOF:



I had a fantastic weekend of running and hanging out with my parents. We had so much fun spending time together and doing what we love to do, which for some reason is running ridiculous distances... :P Highly recommend you take on the Golden Shamrock Challenge next year if you can! Millennium did a great job hosting their first spring half and puts on amazing events for runners and spectators alike!