Thursday, December 31, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New November 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: November 2015

Books Read: 1
Books Reviewed: 0
Favorite Book Read: Five Summers by Una LaMarche
Favorite Post: An Updated Shopping App List

If you have a smart phone and haven't downloaded some of these shopping apps you are missing out. Check out the post and let me know if you download or use any of these apps.

November was another month where I only read one book. I enjoyed Five Summers, but it was a laid back book, so it was easy to put down and pick up again. I was very busy in November as I finished up my internship hours and the assignments.
My goal for November's post last year was to let myself quite books. This one was a fail. I know I quit Belzhar in February with no regrets, but I forced myself to read Meant to Be, The Orphan Queen, and #Scandal, which I didn't enjoy. 

In With The New: Goal #11


Lower my Goodreads TBR. This has been a goal of mine for a while, but it tends to grow more than it decreases. I'm glad to have plenty of books to read, but I'm hoping through My To Be Read list to get to some of the books I have forgotten about.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New October 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: October 2015

Books Read: 2
Books Reviewed: 0
Favorite Book Read: none
Favorite Post: The Day I Have Been Waiting For

I wrote a wrap up post on Taylor Swift's 1989 concert, which was a day I will never forget. It was amazing experience.
My goal for this month talked about Dewey's Read-A-Thon and I really enjoyed both April and October's readathon this year.

In With The New: Goal #10


I plan to participate in both the spring and fall Dewey's read-a-thon. I love how these events bring so many readers together and how much reading I can get done in a day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New September 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: September 2015

Books Read: 2
Books Reviewed: 1
Favorite Book Read: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Favorite Post: When transactions go wrong?

This one was more of a couponing rant than a couponing post. As an experienced couponer I was able to confidently resolve this experience. I can see how this would be scary for a new couponer. It is one of the reasons I don't like Walgreens although some of the best deals are at Walgreens. I want to write this post to tell you that you can do it. I'm not perfect and not all my transactions go as planned, but coupons are a huge money saver for me. It makes my head hurt to watch my friends spend 50 dollars at Walmart because they buy items without coupons. My shopping trips are smaller because I look for what is on sale and what I can pair with coupons. Yes I still do sometimes end up spending 50 dollars, but it on items that would otherwise be more than 70.

I set out the new releases I wanted to read in 2015. The list is below. I read all of these except I was Here by Gayle Forman, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, and Winter by Marissa Meyer.
1. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
2. I was Here by Gayle Forman
3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
4. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
5. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
6. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
7. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
8. Winter by Marissa Meyer

In With The New: Goal #9

My new release list for 2016. I have not researched 2016 releases, so I do not have a lot. Some of my favorite authors are not coming out with books this year, so the list is not as long.

1. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
3. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West


Monday, December 28, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New August 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: August 2015

Books Read: 2
Books Reviewed: 0
Favorite Book Read: The Fill- In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Favorite Post: none

I didn't post at all in August, so there is no favorite post. We took our family vacation to Disneyland at the end of July and I finished up my work schedule for August. I ended up working overtime two weeks in a row since we were so understaffed with 2 people quitting in August. Then I returned back to school towards the end of August after a busy summer.

My goal for August was to participate in Sunday post. I kept up this goal for about half of the year, but they just became too much to keep up with and I ended up quitting the feature. 

In With The New: Goal #8

Remember that blogging is a hobby. Last year I didn't feel like blogging a whole lot, but I kept putting out posts because I felt like I have to. In the end I just needed a break and I'm excited to start blogging more regularly in 2016.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New July 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: July 2015

Books Read: 3
Books Reviewed: 1
Favorite Book Read: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Favorite Post: Insurgent Exclusive Clip

I got to release an exclusive clip on Insurgent and share some of my favorite book to movie adaptations.


My goal for this month was to participate in COYER and this one was a success I love COYER and already signed up for this year to get down my kindle TBR. It isn't always easy when some many of the books are free or cheap. 

In With The New: Goal #7

I want to bring back the monthly wrap up and TBR's. I think having a TBR helps me to be motivated to read because I have a goal. I think these posts are fun to look back on and see which books I read each month and how much of my TBR I completed. Some years I do great with these posts and other years I don't, but I want to make 2016 a year where I stick to the posts.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Book Review: Once Upon a Winter's Heart by Melody Carlson (no spoilers)

 Book: Once Upon a Winter's Heart
Author: Melody Carlson
Publication: January 7th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: December 16th-26th, 2015
Summary (from goodreads):

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

 Just as Emma's heart begins to lift, however, she learns her sister has already staked a claim on Lane. Emma's mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can't help wondering if it could be something more.


In the heart of winter tragedy strikes. When Emma's beloved grandfather Poppi passes away Emma rushes home to be with her grandmother Nona and her family. Emma begins to help out in the family bookstore where she meets Lane Forester. Lane knew Poppi well and helps Emma remember fond memories and celebrate Poppi favorite holiday, Valentine's day. Romance is dead to Emma, but Lane helps her remember that love will find a way.

I randomly picked this book off my tbr list originally assuming it was a Christmas novel because of the title. I dove into the book without reading the synopis and boy was I surprised to find this be a valentine's day novel. I'm really glad I decide to keep reading this book because it was such a joy.

This book reminded me that in tragedy happiness can be found. Emma would have never returned to her family if Poppi had not passed away. She was one of those people that was too consumed to visit even for the holidays. When her family needed her she came and she realized the love and joy she was missing out of in her life. I loved to watch Emma interact with her nephew Tristan, who she hadn't seen for a long time. I loved watching Emma reconnect with her sister, Anne. Family was an important part of this novel.

Emma's time in the bookshop is where I could truly see her passion and love for Poppi. The place held so many memories and I could feel Poppi's presence when Emma was there. Lane Forester was an important part of the bookshop and I liked how Emma and Lane's relationship developed slowly and releastically throughout the novel. Lane is a very likeable, friendly, romantic guy, and he has a heart of gold like Poppi.

I'm so glad I decided to pick this book up this holiday season. I enjoyed this story and Melody Carlson wrote this book with the perfect mixture of sadness and happiness. I enjoyed this sentimental story.

Out with the Old & in with the New June 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: June 2015

Books Read: 1
Books Reviewed: 0
Favorite Book Read: Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
Favorite Post: none
So I only read one book in June. I did really enjoy this book, but with my summer class I didn't have a lot of time to read. I was only reading for school at work, so that doesn't leave much time for reading for pleasure.

I talked last year about how I want to make my own pile my priority, but I also want to continue to support my local library. I think this is true. I will always be a library reader. 


In With The New: Goal #6

Finish those series. I focused mostly on standalones last year, but this year I want to binge read finish some series. I hope the Prequel/Sequel challenge will be my motivation because the more series I read the more I get.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New May 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: May 2015

Books Read: 3
Books Reviewed: 1
Favorite Book Read: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Favorite Post: Avera Race Recap

I ran my favorite 5K race and did a recap of my experience. It was my fastest 5K and the first time I haven't walked. I'm looking forward to getting back into training and running this 5K again in May.

My goal for May of last year was to empty my TBR jar. I didn't do a final tally, but I know it is not completely empty. I did manage to complete some books out of it this year. 

In With The New: Goal #5

I want to continue to work on my Fill in the Gaps/ Deal Me In Challenge. I read 15 books for this personal challenge this year so I would like to at least match that number for 2016. If you don't remember my Fill in the Gaps/Deal Me in Challenge check out the post here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New April 2015

Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: April 2015

Books Read: 3
Books Reviewed: 5
Favorite Book Read: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Favorite Post: Dewey's Read-A-Thon Wrap Up

I always enjoy reading my day away and finishing a book in a day. Its fun to see how my stats compare over all the times I have participated in this read-a-thon. Meant to Be ended up being one of the worst books I read this year and it took me most of the month to read this short book.


My goal for this month was to stress less and relax more and I think I did great overall. Sure there were still weeks where I was overwhelmed, but overall I handled this semester well and I'm just waiting for the rest of my final grades to come in. I have been on vacation for a week and it is lovely to not have to think about school until January.

In With The New: Goal #4

Read the books I want to read. I think I did great with this in 2015. I didn't focus all on New Releases. I had a mixtures of 2015 releases, owned books, library books, series books, standalone books. I had it all in 2015 and I hope to see those kind of stats in 2016 also.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New March 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: March 2015

Books Read: 4
Books Reviewed: 2
Favorite Book Read: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson and To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Favorite Post: Library Challenge Sign Up

I just love my enthusiasm in this post even if I only participated in one week of the challenge.



My goal for March was to participate in Take Control of Your TBR pile, which I managed to read 3 books for the challenge. 

In With The New: Goal #3

You guessed it I'm going to do the same goal to participate in Take Control of Your TBR Pile. Kimba has not announced it yet, but I hope she will soon. If not I will just have to remember to read owned books in March. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Out the the Old & in with the New February 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: February 2015

Books Read: 7
Books Reviewed: 3
Favorite Book Read: Princess Series by Jessica Day George
Favorite Post: Top 10 Fairytale Retellings I haven't read 

I still haven't read a single one of these books hopefully I change that in 2016.

Goal #2 was my book buying budget. This goal was a total fail. I didn't keep track and still ending up spending quite a bit on books this year.

In With The New: Goal #2

I'm joining The Shelve Love Challenge again this year and I'm hoping to really focus on the books I own in 2016. I think the best way to make this happen is by taking more books I own to school with me. That is going to be my goal this year is to read more books I already own because I bought them for a reason.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Out with the Old in with the New January 2015


Hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading and Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
This will take the place of My Year in Books since I will wrap up what I read during each month of 2015, see if I met last year's goal and make a new goal for the year. 

Out With The Old: January 2015

Books Read: 6
Books Reviewed: 2
Favorite Book Read: Sold for Endless Rue by Madeleine E. Robins
Favorite Post: Book Bracket Challenge Winner
This was so fun to do march maddness with books and I'm hoping she hosts the challenge again this year. If I have the time to get the posts done over Christmas break between work and relaxing I will participate.
My goal for this month was to participate in To Be Read List as my random book selection for 2015. I managed to complete this goal through April and then I gave up for the remainder of the year.

In With The New: Goal #1

In 2016 I plan to bring back the To Be Read List and I hope to stick to it for most of the year.

Friday, December 18, 2015

COYER Sign Up

Because Reading is better than real life
Sign up Here

I'm a little late on the ball game, but of course I plan to participate in COYER. I'm looking forward to reading some of my kindle books in 2016 and  this should get me off to the right start to clean out my e reader. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Our Black Friday Score

I'll be the first to admit I haven't always been a fan of Black Friday as a little kid Black Friday was a day for insane people, who would camp out at the stores at midnight waiting for them to open at 4 am. People had to fight insane crowds to get amazing deals. I just didn't see the point. Now days I can't say I'm always happy with the Black Friday madness that requires you to leave your family on Thanksgiving Day to go shopping and have people spend Thanksgiving Day away from their family to work. That is the world we live in. With the internet we do 80% of our Black Friday shopping online. We do not shop on Thanksgiving. We go shopping around 11:00 am on Black Friday. We are pretty laid back as far as Black Friday shoppers go. It still is possible to get great deals.

Our Online shopping destinations were The Body Shop, Disney Store, and American Eagle. Yes we do shop on Thanksgiving day when it comes to online shopping because they seem to sell out more and employees do not have to work for us to order online.

Our first stop of the day was Barnes and Noble. This place wasn't really any crazier than usual. Barnes and Nobles only deal which is valid through tomorrow November 30th is 30% off a single item. We got Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by An Jacobus. My sister and I were both drawn to this book and we wanted to get the most expensive book in store since we get the 30% discount. One book for $12.68 is pretty good.

Our next stop was the mall. We started with Pink by Victoria Secret. Their main deal here was they were offering a bag for free with $75 purchase. The bag ended up having 4 samples of lotion, body wash, etc. It wasn't that great, but my sister and I both got a half zip pullover that I love since the sleeves are super long and that is hard to find as a tall person. These were both normal price $60 on sale for $30. We got 2 of their lotion, spray, lipgloss gift sets which were 2/25 to make up the 75 we need for the order. 

Bath and Body Works does a similar bag deal to Victoria Secret except they tell you what is included in the bag. This year they featured the Be Joyful scent which I love. It had Be Joyful lotion, body wash, and body mist. It also had a three wick apple cinnamon candle. The bag is $25 when you purchase $35. $103 regular price. The entire store was buy 3 get 3 free. Our game plan was to get 7 items since we had a coupon for 1 free signature collection item with any purchase. We also had a $10 off a $30 purchase coupon. We got to use both coupons to save the most money. I really wish I took a picture of all our items together. We ended up getting two body scrubs, 3 body washes, and 2 lotions plus the bag. Yes still a spendy order, but we saved a lot of money. I had 2 of $10 off $30 coupons so I gave it to the people in front of us in line since they didn't have any coupons. I have several of those coupons that expire around Christmas.

Our last stop was Younkers for half price K-Cups. We are brand new Kerurig owners. Fun fact is that the Kerurig was actually at its lowest price of the season at Kohls about 2 weeks before Black Friday. We weren't allowed to use any coupons, which is disappointed, but still ended up getting 8 box of K-Cups for around $82. 

We ended up saving $368 and spending around $300.