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


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. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

Are you guys ready? The Christmas season has officially begun and I need to sign up for at least one seasonal challenge this year.

I started my first Christmas book a couple of days ago. The Trouble with Christmas by Debbie Mason. I'm hoping to get lots of books read in the month of December. I'm signing up for Misteltoe, which is to read two Christmas themed books. I think this is totally doable even with my slow reading pace this year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Updated Shopping App List

So earlier in the year I did a list of Rebates Apps that I Use. Well since then I have added a few more to the list, so I want to update you guys. This is going to have some of the same apps, but others will be new. All these apps can be stacked with coupons to maximize your savings. 

1. When I reviewed Ibotta in May they had tons of any brand offers although they do still have any brand offers they don't have as many. They are all .20 cents now, so it is slow earning, but if you are going to buy the item anyways then it is worth it. Also it still has produce options, which rarely have a sale. Ibotta was my favorite last time and it still remains my favorite because it has rebates on anything and everything. I took a screenshot as an example of current offers, but there are so much more. 

With ibotta you browse the offers by stores near you, then you completed a couple of quick tasks to unlock the offers (take less than 30 seconds), and then you shop. When you get home you scan the product and then capture your receipt. Ibotta has the money in your account within 24 hours. The great thing about this app is that you only need $10 to cash out. There are so many options to cash out. You can deposit your money to paypal or redeem giftcards through amazon, walmart, itunes, etc. I have redeemed from Ibotta several times and never had a problem getting my money. If you would sign up using my referal code: yijminj I would greatly appreciate it. If you are a new member then there is an amazing bonus going on for you. If you redeem any 10 offers over .25 cents then you receive a $10 bonus. This can lead to really great deals. I honestly wished I joined when this was going on. and have great deal senarios for this bonus. 

2. Cartwheel has moved up to being my second favorite on the list. When I first wrote my post back in May I had just downloaded Cartwheel and only used it once. Now I use Cartwheel weekly. You will be surprised how many offers are on the list that you will use. From food, to personal care, to home essentials, to electronics, and toys for the Holiday season. Every day through December 24th they are putting out a New 50% toy cartwheel every day. This is huge savings for Christmas toy shopping. 

With Cartwheel you scroll through the offers and add the ones you want to your barcode. Then you put those products in your cart. At the checkout you have the cashier scan your barcode and the savings are immediate. I always get excited to look at my receipt and see how much Cartwheel saved me. In my mind every penny counts. My first transaction with Cartwheel I only saved .15 cents. I have saved over $10 in a transaction now with Cartwheel and over $90 with this app. The best part about this app is there is no waiting around to get the money back. The amount you saved is taken off your receipt just like a coupon. 

3. The next app is Savingstar. This one is a little bit different because there are cardlinked stores and reciept stores. I'm going to use Hy-Vee and Walmart for example. With Hy-Vee I have my fuelsaver card, so I link my card to my account. Then I select the offers I want to redeem, buy the items, have the cashier scan my fuelsaver, and the money is submitted to my account within a few days. With Walmart I select the offers, buy the items, and then take a picture of my receipt after I leave the store. 

What I like about this app is that it often times matchs up with coupons, so you can double dip on the savings. If you don't have a coupon for the item you still can get great deals with Savingstar. You only need $5 to cash out to your Paypal account. I have had to contact costumer service a few times with this app, but most of the time they get the issue taken care of and I get the money in my account. 

4. The next app is MobiSave. The great part about this one is that there is no cash out limit. Whether you redeem a rebate worth .75 cents or $3 the money will automatically be sumbitted to your paypal. With this one you need to remember to select the offers Before you shop and then you take a picture of your receipt when you are done. The offers all refresh on Monday and the same offers are usually available for several weeks in a row. The money is in your Paypal within 24 hours. What I like best about this one is that it is brands I recognize and actually use such as they often have Patene, and as you can see above they have products such as Advil, and Ocean Spray Juice. 
5. Receipt Hog is cool because you can submit any receipt no matter what you buy besides restaurant and gas receipts. Then they reward you with coins and you cash out when you have enough coins. Right now I have enough coins for a $5 giftcard, but you get the best reward when you wait for $30 cash out. This one is pretty slow, but literally you are going to shop anyways, so why not get rewarded for your receipts. They also have Hog Slots where certain receipts and challenges will earn you spins for extra coins. I have a referal code for this one also that I would love if you use. Referal Code is pror6864. 

6. ShopKick is the next app. This one is brand new for me as in I literally downloaded it last week. I'm hooked. I had heard of Shopkick before, but I was a skeptic and wished I joined sooner. You earn free giftcards for just walking in to stores and scanning items. Let's use Walmart for example. You are going to earn 30 Kicks just for opening the app while you are in the store. Then you can earn another around 115 right now just for scanning items. I have already used some, so the total scans is higher. For example the Gillette Fusion gift pack is 15 Kicks, so you walk in the store, find the product, scan the product, and earn your kicks. I love this one because I'm earning money for literally just going to the store. I don't even have to buy anything, so this one is actually giving your free giftcards. I need 1250 for a $5 target giftcard and with only being on the app for a week I'm on my way there. My referal link for shopkick is You can let me know if you want me to send you an invite to shopkick in the comments. Otherwise you can use my link. I would greatly appreciate it. 

7. Checkout51 has gone way down on the list. The pros to Checkout51 are they update every Thursday. You get new offers every week and some offers reset so you can use them again. There is a pick your own offer every week. Bananas are on the list every week and that is usually what I use. I'm a runner I eat a lot of bananas. The pick your own offer has a variety of fruits a vegetables, so you can get 25 cents back every week. The con to Checkout51 is that their cashout amount is $20 and then they will send you a check in the mail. Not as instant as Ibotta. I redeemed my first cashout at $25 dollars and it took about 4 weeks to receive the check. I haven't overly used the app since. I have used the app a couple weeks for the pick you own, but otherwise have not been interested in the offers. Otherwise this app is a lot like Ibotta, you come home take a picture of your receipt, select the offers, and within 24 hours the money is in your account. 

There you go. This is my updated list of apps I use. You may notice that I took Shrink and Snap off the list. I still have these apps on my phone, but I so seldom use them that I don't think they are really worth recommending. If you are going to choose just a couple apps off this list I would recommend Ibotta, Receipt Hog, and Shopkick. Right now my all time favorites are Ibotta, Cartwheel, and Shopkick. I think these apps make couponing a lot of fun, and rewarding.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Oct 2015 Finish Line

Another Dewey's readathon complete! Thanks to everybody that made this day possible! I had fun cheering and watching everybody's progress. 

pg 112 to pg 121 12:49 am to 1:02

I managed to stay awake until hour 19, by far not the longest I've stayed up, but I have a long week ahead of me so I didn't want to push it. 

Pages Read:9
Time Read: 13 minutes
Total Pages Read: 256
Total Time Read: 4 hours 38 minutes                                                                             

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 18, because I was ready for bed. 
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Five Summers by Una LaMarche
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? The read-a-thon is so amazing! Keep up the good work!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I always love the hourly updates. They keep me motivated. 
  5. How many books did you read? 2 and part of 1
  6. What were the names of the books you read? #Scandal by Sarah Ockler, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, and part of Five Summer by Una LaMarche
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Five Summers
  8. Which did you enjoy least? #Scandal
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I didn't get to everybody, so set aside time to make it to as many blogs as possible. Listen to audiobooks while you cheer if you want. 
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will for sure be a reader and consider being a cheerleader again. 

April 2013: 296 pages
Oct 2013: 92 pages
April 2014: 440 pages
Oct 2014: 417 pages
April 2015: 360 pages
Oct 2015: 256

April 2013: 8 hours 6 minutes
Oct 2013: 3 hours 44 minutes
April 2014: 11 hours 24 minutes
Oct 2014: 8 hours 44 minutes
April 2015: 9 hours 13 minutes
Oct 2015: 4 hours and 38 minutes

This by far is not my most productive readathon, but it isn't my least productive either. I only had half of the time free yesterday, so I used that time to get as much reading done as possible. I'm proud of myself for completing A Long Walk to Water, a book I needed to read for class, and I'm glad that I'm enjoying Five Summers and actually want to read this book because I have been in a reading slump for so long. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's 24 hour readathon Hour 18 Update

This update post for me is new. I usually update at hour 16 and then I retire to my bed for the rest of the night. I usually make it to hour 19 before falling asleep. I'm here to do the midevent survey because I didn't do it earlier and give you guys my very short update. I'm sad that Readathon day is almost over! 

1. What are you reading right now? Five Summer by Una Lemarche
2. How many books have you read so far? I have finished 2 #Scandal by Sarah Ockler and A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? reading more of Five Summers. 
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? yes I actually had an extended interruption. I just set aside reading and knew my book would be waiting for me when I returned. 
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? how each and every readathon is different. 

pg 83 to 112 from 3:20 to 3:55

It is 12:27 am now and this is the last time that I have picked up this book. I made a quick trip to Walgreens, which didn't go as planned because they were out of a lot of things, and then my friend has a desk job where she is allowed to have visitors, so we hung out until she got off at midnight. It is always great to hang out with my friends! 

Pages Read: 29
Minutes Read: 35 minutes
Total Pages Read: 247
Total Time Read: 4 hours 25 minutes

This will be my last post until the finish line in the morning! Every blog that I have visited is doing amazing!

Dewey's Readathon Hour 9 Update

I took a nice long bath and continued to read Five Summers. pg 32 to 83 from 10:50 to 11:55. Then I had some progresso soup for lunch. 

I needed to read this book for class. How convenient that I can do homework that involves me in the read-a-thon. This book is very short, so I have already finished it. 

pg 0 to pg 120 from 12:50 to 2:40

Pages Read: 171
Time Read: 2 hours 55 minutes
Total Pages Read: 218
Total Time Read: 3 hours 50 minutes

Dewey's Readathon Hour 5 update

Good Morning Readathoners! Dewey's Readathon is one of my favorite times of the year! A time set aside for reading with 1000s of other people around the world. I woke up this morning around 8:15 and got reading right away. For the first time this year I'm an official cheerleader. I'm on #teamdogwood, so I hope to get to every blog on my team. 

It seems every readathon I start by finishing a book I was previously reading. I only had 14 pages of this book left. I have been reading it since September. From 8:23 to 8:40 I read from page 386 to 401. 

Then I picked out another book to read off my stack and so far I think I have picked a winner with this one. 
8:47 to 9:06 pg 0 to pg 14
9:21 to 9:30 pg 14 to pg 23
9:45 to 9:55 pg 23 to pg 32

Pages Read: 47
Time Read: 55 minutes

Dewey's Readathon Starting Line October 2015

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I'm reading from South Dakota, United States
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Fruit Squish'em, Apple Sauce, Yogurt, Granola, Cinnamon Rolls
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
My name is a Rachael. I have been a book blogger for over two years. I love reading YA and Adult fiction. I am now a Junior in college and this is my 6th readathon. When I'm not busy with school work I'm always reading or with my friends. I also enjoy running and love living a happy active lifestyle. 
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my 6th Dewey's Readathon. Last read-a-thon was very productive. I was able to finish 1 book even though I may have fell asleep while reading the book. I did finish it before I went to bed for the night. I had most of the day free. I'm going to try to make my day free and enjoy reading again. I haven't been in the mood to read lately, so I'm hoping this is the book that will make me want to read again. 

Here's my plan for this lovely Saturday
This is a prescheduled post so it looks like I was up early, but I'm most likely going to sleep in. Once I do get up probably around 8 I'm planning on reading in bed until around 9 and then taking a long bath. 
After my bath it should be lunch time. I'm planning on having leftover taco soup or progresso soup. 
Then I might go to get my weekly shopping done. I didn't have time this week. 
Around 3 I'll return to reading and read until we go visit my friend at her desk job. 
I'm also a cheerleader this year, so I will take some time to cheer for my blogs. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Day I have been waiting for...

My friend Rachel and I bought tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert over a year ago. We waited 327 days for the concert to come around. We fell in love with her album 1989 and we knew we needed to see her in concert. We bought 4 tickets, so my little sister, Renae could come along and Rachel's guest didn't work out, so we ended up inviting our best friend, Lynette to come along. 

Rachel lives in Des Moines, Iowa, so this concert was our obvious choice since we were able to avoid hotel fees by staying at her parents house. It took a lot of careful planning to get to this moment, but Renae and I were finally able to see our second Taylor Swift concert (That shirt I'm wearing I got from the Fearless concert), my friend Rachel attended her fourth Taylor Swift concert (she only missed Red and her tour with Keith Urban counts), and Lynette got to experience her first Taylor Swift concert. 

If you are a Taylor Swift fan and you will be attending one of her remaining tour stops, She only has 6 US concerts left, I would suggest you stop reading the post now. If you all know Taylor Swift her concerts are some of her best kept secrets, while I for sure will not spoil the whole concert I do want to talk about my experience and of course the music is part of it. I took all the pictures used in this post, so there is no copyright infringement. 

We arrived at the concert early so we could take pictures in front of her millions of semi (no kidding, but she has at least 20). Then we went to wait in front of the door for entry. 

Of course as super fans, we had heard about the light up bracelets that were supposedly free. We thought we would get them when we came in the door, but we didn't. We went upstairs to find our seats after a quick trip to the souvenir shop, and the bathroom. We were so ecstatic to find the wristbands on our seats.

Then we began the long wait for the concert to begin. Taylor Swift as usual had videos playing before the concert, so we were entertained. We made friends with our neighbors. Way to the left we had a 5 year old, who was very cute. She says that she is the biggest Taylor Swift fan and her favorite song is Welcome to New York.

My new shirt. Taylor is a rockstar.
Vance Joy came out around 7:30 and he sang for a half an hour. I enjoyed his music, but he could have stepped up the performance. He said that Taylor Swift could have chose anybody and he was glad that it was him. Glorianna opened at the Fearless concert and I fell in love with their music. I can't say the same for Vance Joy, but I may buy a couple songs.

Taylor Swift finally came out at 8:30 and started off the concert with Welcome to New York. She sang all her songs off 1989 minus This Love. She sang 5 throwback songs, which were You Belong with Me, Love Story, I Knew you were Trouble, Enchanted (mashed with Wildest Dreams), and We are Never Ever Getting back together.

Highlights of the concert for me were seeing the wristbands light up and change colors in tune to her songs. Especially
during I Knew You were Trouble, where only special people got a red bracelet and my friend Rachel was lucky enough. The catwalk was by far the thing we talked about the most after the concert It was so cool to watch it rise up when she sang You Belong with Me and later in the show it spun around. I loved the inspirational speech she gave before she sang Clean. She said that this is the song that fans have told her over and over again how much it has helped them get through a different time. She emphasized that after you get out of a relationship that is a great time to find out what is important to you. I haven't been in a relationship, so I didn't personally relate, but I think the hardest part for me has always been putting myself out there and I think that is the most difficult part of finding a lasting relationship is having the courage to start the relationship.

Overall Taylor Swift was amazing, as always each set fit the song perfectly, and I had fun dancing and singing along to the entire show. Although Taylor Swift has changed over from country/pop to pop I am still a hug fan. I fall more in love with 1989 every day. I have listened to this album over and over again and the lyrics are still Taylor Swift even if her sound is different. Although are seats were pretty high up we were able to see the entire show and I would have liked if our section stood up, but overall we had a lot of fun. It was great to share this experience with my two friends and my sister. This might be the only time that we are all in one place and able to do something like this, so I'm glad we took the risk and decide to buy tickets, even though it wasn't in our college student budget. Life is about taking chances and their worth making.

We had a fun rest of the weekend too, which I will talk about in another post since this one is pretty long already. October 8th, 2015 will be another day I will never forget. This moment will forever be implanted in my mind and be a highlight of my life. This night is sparkling don't you let it go.