Monday, May 1, 2017

Update on life - & next Read-a-Thon

My second semester of grad school is getting ready to wrap up and I cannot even tell you how much I am looking forward to the only summer I will not be taking classes until I get my MPH! This semester, I am taking the dreaded Biostatistics and it has been KILLING me! Many a' tears have been shed. Literally.

It is nearing the end and the final is May 19th and of course, unfortunately, it is cumulative and not open book. I have NO idea how I am going to get through it, but I have to b/c it is 30% of our grade.  I also have my behavioral health exam but it's take-home so I feel better about that. The next three weeks with school and two back to back out-of-town weddings are going to be very trying but May is here and the reward will be incredible!

I am VERy much looking forward to reading A LOT this summer. Of course, albeit a very stupid idea, I am going to try to participate in the Bout of Books readathon in May... before school is over which is downright silly but this is one of my favorite readathons so I want to at least try! I will be using the template below and have absolutely no idea what my TBR will look like yet. To find our more information go here:

I will keep you updated and post again with my TBR and will be sure to post a wrap up, like I did for the Borrrow-a-thon!

Til then, live well!!

Time Devoted to Reading

I will be reading a day/on the weekend/all week.

My Goals

  • [this can be as detailed or as vague as you'd like]

Books to Read

  • [add the books you hope to read here] [or don't add any. your call.]


Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Borrow-A-Thon Wrap Up!

Hello everyone!

I recently participated in the Borrow-A-Thon readathon from March 19 - 26th. I actually was pretty successful considering I work full time, am in grad school part time, had my parents staying with me, and two bridal functions all in the same week!

The challenges were:

  1.  a book you would like to purchase
  2. a graphic novel
  3. an author you've never read before
  4. a book that has been recommended
  5. a book that's cover has your favorite color
  6. a book that features a library

While I tried to select more books to complete these challenges (the more, the better, right!?), I figured I would only get through three. And since there was overlap, I technically completed EVERY challenge but one! :)

I started and completed the books below and in order. Under each, I will give my thoughts, when I read each, and what challenge/s they fulfilled. 

 This book fulfilled challenge #6 - Featured a library! It was a short book and had pictures. It was only 96 pages and I finished it during the first day's sprints. While this is a strange book, I was so intrigued and wanted to see what happened next. It was a very easy and fast read. It was different from anything else I had ever read before so I appreciated that. I would gave this book 4 stars.

The second book I read - the very same day, was Saga, Volume One. This fulfilled challenge #2 and was 160 pages. I LOVED every second of it. I have tried a few graphic novels in the past but this was the first to grab my attention and keep me 100% invested. I loved the character, the story development, the variety of stories being told, the art, etc. I already have the next volume waiting for me at the library. I can't wait to see what happens next. I was waiting to find a graphic novel that captured my attention and this one was it! I love it so so so much! I will read all of them! I gave it 5 stars!

I read this book third and started it on the second day but did not finish it until March 26th! It was only 173 pages. This book technically fulfilled every other challenge, but #5, having my favorite color. It actually helped me complete #'s 1, 3, and 4. It was a book I have been wanting to purchase but had not found at a reasonable price. It was an author that I had never read before, as well as, a book that had been recommended to me by so so many on the BookTube! :) I liked it... It actually reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I may have liked this one more. It held my attention more in the beginning than in the end, which is strange. But, I liked hearing about the worlds where everyone came from. I think the second book will be better than the first but it will be interesting to see which direction they take the story. I liked it but did not love it. I would give it 3.5 stars.

This was the only book I did not read and the challenge I did not complete was #5 - favorite color on the cover. I almost started it the last day but knew I could not complete it so I continued with the previous book I was reading before the readathon started (The Raven Boys).

SUMMARY:  I borrowed every book from my local library. Overall, I only read 4 days of the readathon but read a total of 429 pages and my average rating was 4.16 stars. I completed 5 of the 6 challenges but only read 3 books. I am pretty happy with my results, seeing as I had so much going on that week! 

Thank you so much to the hosts of the readathon and thank you for always making those sprints fun! You can find the hosts on YouTube and Twitter. Details below. 

The next Borrow-A-Thon is from November 5 - 12, 2017. Details will be available in the future here: 

@rmrickfack - YouTube Channel: (creator of the challenge)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Optimists Die First - Book Review!

Optimists Die First -- By: Susin Nielsen

I recently read this book and did not have any expectations going into it, as I am more into YA fantasy, rather than contemporary but I LOVED IT! There have been several YA contemporary books that while others absolutely loved, I did not feel the same about. I sometimes think it's because I am older and see life differently now. Perhaps though, it was just the specific books because this one, I absolutely adored. I loved the characters and thought they were a good mix of quirky, nerdy, sweet, realistic, and funny. There were quite a few quotes that I highlighted in my e-book that really got me thinking. I truly believe everyone has a story and our experiences shape who we are today. This book highlights a few young adults that have gone through traumatic events that have altered their life in some way. It has affected how they live and they are all trying to work through it. Oddly enough, as I was reading it, I was smiling.... and happy. When I told my boyfriend what the story was about, he told me it sounded so dark, depressing, and tragic. I guess saying it out loud did make it seem that way, but the story overall is uplifting and hopeful. I don't know much about specific mental health issues so I am not sure if the author portrayed the mental health aspect of it correctly but because there is a spectrum, I thought it was done well. I read this book in two sittings and really enjoyed it!  I highly recommend it for a quick read! 

When I finished the book, I tweeted about it and the author tweeted back - which is always a nice touch! Leave a comment below if you plan on reading it!

Til next time.... 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Hauls and

Hello everyone!

As you all know, I am super into reading since I discovered BookTube about a year ago. Starting Grad School, DEFINITELY hindered that rekindling of love for books but I have been reading more this past year than  in the last decade or so, even with school. I try very hard to make time for it. I sometimes get lost watching videos and not spending that time reading which I hope to remedy but let's face it -- BookTube is fabulous!

I recently made a Book Outlet purchase (pics below).

And yesterday, I went to the used bookstore near me for the first time in forever! I did not find as many books as I had hoped but hauled them in a picture below!

I recently found out about NetGalley, thanks to BookTube. It is a place where you can requests e-ARC's... which are essentially e-books that are Advanced Reading Copies! So I can read and review them before they come out. I requested a few and did not get my hopes up b/c I am new to this 'blogging' thing. But, I ended up receiving a bunch. I unfortunately, have yet to review any. Currently, I am finishing up 'The Edge of Everything' which is an incredible debut! I love it so far and I am 3/4 of the way through. After that, I will start my first ARC in order of when they are coming/came out. My first one came out 6 days ago on the 21st of February and I will start with that one so I can do a review! That book is called 'Optimists Die First' by Susin Nielsen. Per NetGalley's website, here is the posted summary:

Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you. 

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .

Book Haul from BookOutlet and my cute lil Bella in the background!

Just because I cannot help but take pictures of pretty books!

The Front Cover is made of vellum-like material!

Haul from Friends of the Library Bookstore!

Don't forget to come back to see my review and other bookish and crafty updates!

Until then... be well!

Monday, January 30, 2017


Hi everyone!

Wow! It's been way too long since I have updated this Blog! A few quick updates:

  • I started Grad School!!! At the end of August 2016, I started the Masters Program at UMD - School of Public Health! 
  • My boyfriend moved in mid-August, as well!
  • I revived my love for books! 
Now that those announcements are out of the way, I will expand on the last one. I would guess about a little less than a year ago, I discovered the BookTube community. It's just a way of saying videos about books on YouTube. I have always been a reader and have always owned way too many books. I used to read websites and go to the used bookstores for hours and come home with 20 books for less than 20 bucks! I got away from that a little bit but always still read. I started a book club at work, etc. But technology has grown so much and social media has created so many new platforms that when I learned about BookTube, my love for books in an obsessive way came back full force. I now participate in Read-a-thon's despite my lack of time. I take lots of book-ish pictures and post them on Instagram and my Amazon wish list has doubled in size! I highly recommend the following sites for cheap books btw: Book Outlet and Thrift Books .  I got rid of a lot of my older books but could not donate a lot of them... so I have only been adding to my collection, which is quickly taking over the hallway. Pics below. I am very much into YA Fantasy but still read almost all genres. 

I hope to update this blog more often but with working full time, taking two grad school courses a semester and trying to still live a life with my boyfriend, family, pets, and friends, it is extremely challenging. 

I found the time over break to make a few cards for upcoming events. The only one I can share with you that has passed is posted below. It was the card I made for Mike's birthday. 

Weekends are pretty full of studying (since most of our assignments are due every Sunday at 11:59pm but I hope to take part in the #LoveAThon read-a-thon. You can find information below as well.

Catch ya on the flip side! 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My #ShareHandmadeKindess

Hello Again!

Twice in a week!? What is going on here? :)  I just wanted to post a picture of my handmade kindness. I made air plants with handmade mugs and tags -- and a pretty lil butterfly for a few of my friends! I made a few others a week or so back but I really have to take their mugs back and work on them because they are just plain.  Here is a shot of the front and the back of the mugs. 

See the blog post below for all of the information on Jennifer McGuire Ink...

Monday, November 2, 2015

#sharehandmadekindness -- A Jennifer McGuire Ink Challenge :)

I know it has been awhile. Things have been so very busy since the move and I have not even finished unpacking, believe it or not. I'm waiting for the winter to do that -- when I'm stuck in the house because it's way too cold for me out there. Brrr.

For now, I did want to post something that I think is a very kind and awesome idea... Jennifer McGuire is doing a #sharehandmadekindess challenge on her blog for the entire month in November. Each week there will be a new challenge. You don't have to be an avid crafter -- you can make a small treat with a touch of personalization... have some leftover halloween candy that you don't want to continue staring at while it taunts you? - Go ahead and gift it with a personal note....

Here is the challenge if  you want details!

Hope to catch up in the next few months -- Until then, Happy Fall and have fun sharing kindess :)