Geeking Out: Borrow. Read. Repeat.

The year before I entered kindergarten, I learned to read. My Mom used to read me bedtime stories and I recall picking up some of the words and essentially memorizing my favorites. When I got to that first fabulous year of school and they started the reading lessons, I was one of the kids that could go to the library and pick out their own book to read and then find a quiet spot and read.

And so began my love of the library.

I remember reading an entire section of books (the kids biographies) and then another (dr. suess) and then another (fairy tales). When that library flooded a year later, my family donated books to rebuild their collection.

The town I was in at that time had just remodeled their library and I had one of the first brand new laminated cards.

When we moved to our next town, my Auntie, took me to her library to get a new card. And I quickly learned that the “children’s section” had the best chairs but the back section of “adults” had the better books. I got to be part of the ribbon cutting when they expanded this library.

When we moved the next time to the town that I am still a resident of, I found the library quickly- it was right by my new school. I got a card and when school started, I became a regular.

Cut to 20 years later and I’m still a regular. I had a co-worker years ago that used to scold me for spending so much money on books when I had a perfectly good library so close by. She was totally right.

Don’t get me wrong-I love books and trust me, I spend a lot of money purchasing them (same goes for DVDs and CDs ((yes! CDs. I love them. I will continue to love them. ))) especially when there are book sales or something I need came out (i.e., The Cursed Child). However, I am the head of my household so I save my book buying for special occasions (Library Book Sale! Every year! It’s sooooo good) and I frequent my library.

This past year, I’ve been all over going to the library. Turns out, they have a really great selection and my state is pretty awesome at Interlibrary Loans so I have access to a ton of titles. So! When I hear about a book I like, I go right to my library’s search site (because again, my library has awesome things like a site you can log into and then search the entire catalog and request away) and see if they have it.

So! Allow me to geek out for a minute on this fantastic website I stumbled upon through one of those “13 books you need to read this weekend” type lists: Borrow. Read. Repeat.

This site advocates libraries. More importantly, it gives you a heads up on the newest reads so you can go ahead and get on that hold list NOW. I am absolutely loving it. The lists of reads they suggest are interesting and make me want to just go ahead and request everything.

It’s just a fun site for any book worm or book dragon, especially those of us that are utilizing their local libraries.

Excuse me while I go looking for more reads to add to my never ending list. 😉

What? Another readathon?

YUP!

I discovered the fun of readathons about the same time I discovered BookTube. I enjoy the challenges they present and it’s motivating to have the knowledge that this (sometimes) massive group of people is reading at the same time. Now! As it stands, I am actually 6 books ahead of schedule for my GoodReads challenge this year (WHAAAATTTT?!) annnnnd this readathon isn’t an all day event like Dewey’s.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog – From the Bout of Books team

As of tomorrow, I shall be participating in the Bout of Books 19! I’ve never done this one but it looks like they have daily challenges so, expect some daily updates.

Let’s talk TBR.
Currently, I have 4 books out from my library and they are due back on May 16th. Thus, this is perfect timing! These books are:
  1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow–currently about 200 pages into this monstrosity
  2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kailing–currently 25 pages into this.
  3. . Petticoat…something…It’s about sex scandals way back.
  4. Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Now! My ultimate goal for the 16th is to be returning the first three books and into the 4th, and hopefully being able to renew it.

If I somehow end up getting through all of these–I have 30 some odd NetGalley reads to get to annnnd 10 books borrowed from Amazon. I also have a lovely stack of books lent to me by friends and family to get to. In other words, plenty to choose from.

I’m hoping to read at least a few hours each day during this readathon and update each day.

Yay readathon!

 

20 Questions

There’s this whole thing in The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon where the two main characters ask each other questions that are essentially supposed to make them fall in love. It’s kind of adorable.

I was thinking about that trend of surveys back when Myspace was a thing. Remember them? It was like a new one every day. I used to love those.

I’ve always been someone that loves to ask and answer questions. It’s one of those quirks that tends to be a deciding factor in whether or not someone actually wants to keep me around (friendship or otherwise).

I went on a little searchy search in my somewhat stubborn sleeplessness to find some kind of survey related to a new relationship. I am perpetually single after all (that’s not a complaint) and why not?

So! Without further adieu, 20 Interesting Questions to Ask Someone to Get to Know Them, says Buzzle. Let’s get to know me!

  1. What is the one thing that you love most about yourself? I pride myself on being a great friend. I’m accessible. I don’t hold grudges. I’m not particularly judgmental. I am open to giving advice. I am just as happy chit chatting on the phone as I am texting. I don’t require seeing someone constantly to consider them one of my people. I try my best to really be there for my people. Essentially, I give what I get.
  2. If you were to change one thing about yourself, what would it be? That moment when I get super stressed and instantly go into bitch mode. That. I’d love to change that. It’s annoying and  tend to feel compelled to apologize to anyone that has to deal with me on those days.
  3. What do you appreciate most about your life? Growing up in Maine. There’s a certain character that develops when you grow up in New England and you don’t even realize it until you go somewhere else. I like that.
    Also! Because I can’t just have one here, I appreciate that I get to have a life. My mother and the doctors that performed my surgery when I was just a little bitty me are appreciated every single day.
  4. What do you like to do in your spare time/on the weekends? In the summer, wearing flip flops! I can’t wear them on the days I work. haha. In general, I love to get lost in a book, try a new recipe, and spend QT with Mom or my people.
  5. What are the 5 important things you would include in your to-do list? What? If someone asked me this I would just stare at them and ask them to elaborate.
  6. Do you have any regrets in life? Nope. I believe that all mistakes are made to learn from.
  7. Have you ever been so drunk that you have not remembered anything of the previous night? Yes and no. I have been so wasted that I only remember bits and pieces but typically it would come back to me at a later date. Like that time I answered a hotel door 100% naked. Yup.
  8. Would you flirt with a professor of the opposite sex for a better grade? If I thought they were attractive and I needed the grade that bad, perhaps. But why is this only for opposite sex. I mean, if you’re desperate enough for a shortcut to a better grade, why would you care if the professor was the opposite sex or not. I get hit on by men and women. If I’m reduced to flirting for something, I’m not going to care what sex they are. If I’m flirting with the intent to sleep with someone, I’d be more apt to care that it was a good looking man.
  9. Would you ever go bungee jumping/sky diving/deep sea diving/ parasailing? NOPE
  10. 15 hours of a train journey through a scenic route or a 1 hour plane ride? OOOOOOOOO! I have this dream of taking a super long train ride so I am allllll for that! Can we go now?
  11. If you were stuck in an elevator with your childhood idol/crush/boss how would you react? Ok! Crush would be interesting. I’d probably strike up a conversation and see if he remembered me. Idol, I’d be super frikkin awkward. Boss? Uhhh…what’s a childhood boss? Like from my first job? I never met him. haha.
  12. Would you cover a hickey or flaunt it? I FUCKING HATE HICKEYS. HATE.
  13. What is the first thing you notice about a member of the opposite sex? Seriously, when was this list posted? Why isn’t it gender neutral? Now, since this is in the “romantic” section I’m going with opposite sex since that’s the gender I date but get with the times Buzzle. I typically notice the hair and eyes. Like today, I was putting away some trash while at work and realized someone was standing in the back room with me. He had ice blue eyes, was dressed in slacks and a comfortable version of the stores uniform. Then I saw the piercing and tattoo and necklace. And that gorrrrrgeous smile. Man! He was what I would call yummy.
  14. Are there any specific personality traits you would like to see in your life partner? Of course. Doesn’t everyone have that list in their head? Kindness, honesty, trust, humor,  passion.
  15. Do you see yourself getting married in the next few years? No. I’m not opposed to it if I met someone I felt I wanted to marry. Currently, I haven’t been on a date in quite a while so it’s not something I see happening anytime soon.
  16. Would you marry your partner if you knew they were suffering from a fatal disease? If I was truly In love and wanted to marry them, of course. In sickness and in health, right?
  17. What is the one thing that would be a deal breaker in any relationship for you? I can’t seriously date someone that smokes weed regularly. I’m also far passed the party stage of my life, so someone that requires a constant party wouldn’t work for me. Oh, and being married. Friendship wise, It’s really only someone completely close minded that I couldn’t actually be friends with.

huh? Well that isn’t 20 questions at all, now is it. Ohhh well. This would be one weird ass conversation. I tend to ask people about vacations, books, movies, music, hobbies,, food, and things of that nature to get to know them.

What do we think? Interesting or no?

 

 

The Don’t Wanna’s

I am a chronic sufferer of the ” I Don’t Wanna” syndrome. I have been since that job I had years ago that stressed me out so regularly I had to actually force myself to go. I hated having to leave my perfectly good bed to go to a job that I felt was 1. horribly boring and 2. I was severely underappreciated at.

But I went. Every fucking day. When I was sick. When my boyfriend broke my heart. When my favorite co-worker (and super secret crush) was fired. When the co-workers I was closest too broke my confidence. When the guy I was sleeping with decided to sleep with my best friend. When people I knew passed away. When I hadn’t slept in four days. When I hadn’t eaten in longer. When I was severely depressed.

I went. Why? Because the idea of losing my job scared the hell out of me. I was late constantly. Partly because I lost the ability to be punctual around age 19 and partly because I just didn’t want to be there.

That job ended somewhat abruptly a couple years ago and while every one else wept or got angry, I was over joyed. I got to start over! I got to do something else!

That kind of freedom is scary. What do you do when you can do whatever you want?

Cut to now; I work a job that is independent, has super flexible hours, and I can make my own hours. This means that the “I don’t wanna’s” can be so so soooo bad for me.

If I’m completely honest, sometimes, it’s sheer laziness. I just don’t have the motivation to do anything, so I don’t.

Other times, it’s this deep seated fear that I’ll be scolded. I get extremely defensive and emotional when I feel I’m being scolded. Just ask anyone in my family or that one manager that loved making an example out of me.

Some days, since Mom’s bout of sickness and Dad’s passing, I just need the sanctuary of my own space and I can’t handle anything else.

I had one of those days without even realizing it earlier this week. I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. So I figured I’d just stay in bed a little longer and drift back to sleep. I read. I played games. I watched Food Network and Cooking Channel*

*side note: is there anything more soothing then watching someone make some delicious dish?

I did all the things that help me sleep. But nothing. So I spent half the day in my bed and the other half with Mom. Just because. By the end of the day, I’d planned the rest of my week and felt like a person again. But man! those I don’t wanna days are the hardest ones.

My current I don’t wanna is going to sleep. My fitbit says its time but PSSH. Just because my eyes are droopy does not mean I need to sleep. 😉

 

Dewey’s Updates!

I feel my hourly updates should get their own little home and thus, here it is!

Hour 1: Slightly distracted but did fall right back in The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I am IN LOVE with this book. It is the definition of “everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” and it is beautiful. I like to think of myself as a thoughtful person. I think of what people are going through but! I also have those narcissistic moments when someone gives you a look and you instantly judge them for it. I feel like I can’t read this book and not be changed somehow. It’s that well done. I declare that I shall read anything Ms. Yoon chooses to share. I love her writing so. And I may have tweeted her something to that effect (Yep. I fangirled during hour 1). Now on to Hour 2 which will be a bit eaten up by my hair appointment but! I’m hoping to get in a little reading just the same.

Hour 2: Read maybe 3 pages. Gt myself dressed in workout gear (because at some point today I will take a break to work out) and did one of my most favorite things: got my hair done by my fabulous stylist, Mindy. Mini-challenge complete

Hour 3: Stopped to pick up beverages after my hair appointment at Dunks. Mom informed me when I got home that she spent the entire time reading her book so! she was my stand in for the readathon. Seriously, how cute is she? Mini-Challenge complete

Hour 4: Holy crap! Where did that hour go? I read a couple pages but mostly spent it playing with mini challenges because I do love them so. The hour four one is super fun, definitely have to think on it for a moment and then I can get a fun paragraph going for Natasha from The Sun is Also a Star and Heather from Panic. OK! Determined to read in hour 5! Mini Challenge Complete

Hour 5: According to Good Reads I am 25% through The Sun is Also a Star. Spent more of this hour checking in with friends and chitty chatting but! I did read and stay cuddled up in my book bubble for the most part. I like it! BTW love that this hour was referred to as the Bob Ross hour. Strong place in my heart for Bob Ross and his “happy little trees.” Posting my six word story here because the comments on Estella’s page are hating me: Hope knows no bounds through books. Mini- Challenge complete.

Hour 6: Little bit of reading but more cooking up lunch than anything else. I made Mom & I steak and veggies over brown rice and it was amazing. (check out my Instagram if you want to see it). Mini-Challenge Complete!

Hour 7: Making my way through The Sun is Also a Star and I’m in love with it. In love. I feel as though when I get to the last page I will be changed somehow. It’s also made me laugh out loud and gasp. Love when a book does that.

Hour 8: 54% through The Sun is Also a Star. I am determined to get through one book during this readathon. The goal was simply to complete one book and to get back into Hamilton. We shall see how that goes. There are plenty of hours left in this readathon after all annnnnnnnnd I still have energy. In fact, methinks it’s time for a work out. Did I discuss here yet how working out clears my head? Sometimes, I just do a few minutes, just so I know my body works. Other times, I’m so happy doing it I can just go until I can’t do any more moves with good form. I like it. It’s on the list of things that help to dissipate this anxiety I’ve developed since Dad passed. Mini-Challenge Complete!

Hour 9: Workout done! Watched a couple Booktube videos and a TIU Meal Prep video. Grabbing a shower and making some dinner and then back to my book I go. Woop Woop! Mini-Challenge Complete!

Hour 10: Man oh Man! These hours are flying on by. I believe I only opened my book this time. Made and ate dinner with the Momma and checked out some Instagram posts.

Hour 11: WOOOO! First hour since this morning I actually just sat in my book bubble and let me just say again how frikkin great this book is. Mini-Challenge Complete

Hour 12: Mid Event Survey Time!

1. What are you reading right now?
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
2. How many books have you read so far?
Just this one, I haven’t completed any yet or read any other book.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I am looking forward to finishing this and getting back into Hamilton
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
YES! I had a hair appointment which helped to eat up 2 hours. Then there’s the normal caregiver-ish duty of Mom wanted me to be the cook today so I made us lunch and dinner and we always eat meals together. Working out. A shower. The internet in general. Haha.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
That I have actually actively participated, even if I’m not blowing through books.
Mini-Challenge Complete!

And I am now 87% through The Sun is Also a Star. I have a feeling I will be sobbing at the end if it continues the way it is going. 😦

Hour 13: Finished The Sun is Also a Star and I am a just…in awe? I think that’s an accurate description. It was soooo good. SO GOOD. I had a moment where I was in tears and angry at the turn it had taken and then…OH! Oh to have hope again. LOVED IT SO MUCH. So! One book completed! Mini-Challenge Complete!

Hour 14: Spent some QT with Mom and our current binge watch, One Tree Hill. I’ve seen it all but she has not and she’s totally into the insanity. We’re in Season 3, which has what I call the Terrible Awful Episode that always makes me cry, that one is going to be a shock for her I’m sure.

Hour 15: Most of this hour was spent with Mom. And the rest diving back in Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. If you do not know, this is the biography that Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda randomly picked up on vacation and then Hamilton, the AHHHHMAZING musical became a thing in his head that he just had to create. I started it a few months ago but barely made a dent so I figured why not use a readathon to try and get into it again.

Hour 16: Read about 12 pages of Hamilton which puts me at 7%. Such a giant book but! it is really interesting. I am officially getting tired so, I am going to cozy up and see if I’m ready to sleep.

Hours 17 through Hour 24: Slept. Really slept. I did not wake up over and over or toss and turn. That is rare and lovely.

SO! I completed 1 book, started back into the chunker that is Hamilton, and completed 16:24 IG challenges and 11:24 mini-challenges. Sounds good to me!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

When you read you begin with ABC – The Sound of Music, Do Re Mi

That is the song that I woke up with this morning. Completely fitting for readathon day! And what a readathon day it shall be.

Today is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! This readathon starts at 8:00am wherever you are in the world (20 more minutes for me!) and goes for a complete 24 hour period.

During the readathon, there are little mini challenges that happen on Instagram, the Dewey’s blog, and twitter. The best part, you can drift in and out of readathon mode, if you want. You can do just a couple of hours or attempt for the long haul.

Now! Let’s do the Opening Survey, shall we?

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading from my home in Southern Maine 🙂
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I am actually excited about all of them! The first book I’m focusing on is The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon which is just fantastic so far.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I didn’t really pre-plan snacks. I look forward to my first of many cups of tea.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Let’s see, I started to read when I was 4 and I haven’t stopped since. I get lost in used bookstores and love library sales. Currently, the place I feel most at peace has been my library so I’ve been borrowing a lot of books. At some point this year, I’m hoping to actually make a dent in the books I own so that come June and the next library sale, I’ll have somewhere to put any new finds.
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?
Last time, I feel like I didn’t actually set aside time for reading. I just kind of grabbed a book for a couple of hours. I spent more time looking at blogs then I did actually enjoying my book. I’m not sure if it was about the book or life at the time but! this time around I’m doing things differently.

Today, the only plan that will take me away from my various reading nooks is my hair appointment at 10:00am and other than that it’s all books all day! I want to check in every hour that I participate. I’m also doing the Instagram challenge. I really want to just devour books today so I think that will certainly help me enjoy the readathon this time around.

So! What am I reading?

I have a stack of books on loan from my library. They aren’t due back until the 16th of May but! I have a couple chunkers because when you set an intention to live in a book bubble all day, why not attack some chunkers? My TBR basically consists of the books I have on loan from the library and the books I have on my Currently Reading shelf on GoodReads. Here’s the actual list:

  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon]
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kailing
  • Petticoat Affair by John Marsza
  • Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling
  • The Paper Magician

Of these, I am currently reading The Sun is Also a Star. I also started Hamilton and The Paper Magician and I’ve been actively reading HP a chapter at a time between books just because beautiful HP book.

All right! Just two more minutes to go so I am going to get myself cozy and get reading. See you in an hour!

Challenges!

Somehow, I find the act of signing up for and attempting a challenge to be stress reducing. Last month, I set out to complete a fitness challenge in the form of the Tone It Up girls book, 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous and complete it I did.

That was super fun for me. I’ve been trying to get back into daily activity and couldn’t stick to much of anything. But this was easy and fun to do. Now it’s just finding a way to continue. For 30 days though, I moved on a regular basis. I started using weights again (nothing giant, I’m only up to 8 pounds) and playing with the Beachbody on Demand programs.

Working out is just a huge stress reducer, for me. I find that I can clear my head and focus on getting stronger, rather than whatever may be wrecking me at that moment.

As previously mentioned, I also love to read. Total bookworm here. Although, I do greatly enjoy the notion of being  a book dragon too. Anyway! I set myself a reading challenge every year.

For a long time, I followed a blog that read 52 books in a year and did reviews every week. He ended up reading more like 95 books and I was in awe. I’ve always loved to read and even consider myself a fairly quick reader. However, reading that much seemed quite impossible.

Last year, I attempted 100 books and barely made it over the half way mark. So this year, I thought, how about that 52 books in a year goal! I mean, that’s a book a week and depending on my weeks, I’ve been known to get through at least that much.

To help me reach this goal, I decided to find some challenges to complete. Right, I know. The actual reading of a certain number of books is a challenge in of itself but, being the book worm I am annnnnd the shopper I am, I have acquired a lot of books. A LOT.

I have two book shelves that are over stuffed, a side table with two giant stacks of books, 3 small totes full of the last two years purchases from a local library sale ( GOD, I Love that sale!), a stack on my floor of books I took when we cleaned out my Dad’s place after he passed, a stack on my floor of books I have borrowed from my library, and then the stack of whatever I’m reading that tends live in the corner of my bed. *phew* Overwhelmed yet?

I tend to just stare at them thinking I want to read EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW but as that isn’t actually possible, I like having a way to pick out my next read. I find that reading challenges help me to grab something I may not have or that I’ve had forever and just haven’t picked up yet.

So! I found three that all together work out to 50 books. Yup! I’m smart (sometimes). And because I’m me and will read things that don’t fit the lists, I know that I can get two more in.

The first two are actually the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenges. These are extremely popular and I just like the categories that tend to be part of them. The third is the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2017.

I feel like I’m doing pretty good thus far. According to Good Reads, I’m actually ahead of schedule in my reading for this year (Woop!) and I’ve actually checked off a bunch of things from my challenges!

Here’s what I’ve completed so far (Updated 5/11/17)

from the Reading for Fun Modern Mrs. Darcy List
8/12 Completed

  • A book you chose for the cover- Heartless by Marissa Meyer. -and for the author and for the fact that it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland which I frikkin love. This was an excellent read.
  • A book with a reputation for being un-putdownable- Lost Among The Living by Simone St. James— THIS BOOK! A ghost story set in the 20s that’s just the perfect amount of haunting.
  • A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit- My ( Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella–because London.
  • A juicy memoir- The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • A book in the backlist of your new favorite author-Panic by Lauren Oliver— I am seriously loving everything I read of hers.
  • A book recommended by someone with great taste-Lumberjanes
  • A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet-Amulet:Firelight by Kazu Kibishi–My niece got me hooked on these years ago and I counted down to this one and then never picked it up. I was not disappointed.
  • A book about a topic or subject you already love- Mortified by David Nadelberg– I’ve been following Mortified since I was in college the first time.

from the Reading for Growth Modern Mrs. Darcy List
5/14 Completed

  • A book publish before you were born- Letters From Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkein–this was so beautiful.
  • Three books from the same author- Pandemonium, Requiem, and Alex by Lauren Oliver
  • A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

from Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge
3/24

  • Read a debut novel-A Man Called Ove–I can’t believe this is a debut. This was so, so, so good.
  • Read an all ages comic-Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelen
  • Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location- Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver– Most of the Delirium series takes place in Portland, Maine which is all of 10 minutes from my location and certainly less than 100 miles.

Currently, I’m working on the 7 books I have out from my local library. I’m headed to vacation on the 23rd so I’d like to be able to return at least a few of these happily read on the 22nd.

The Read o Rama read-a-thon starts tomorrow so I’m hoping joining in on sprints everyday this coming week will help me along with my goal. Getting lost in the books in helping my general anxiety and stress anyway. I’m also working my way through the Alexander Hamilton biography that Lin-Manuel Miranda read randomly on vacation and then Hamilton happened, so I feel like I’m learning a lot of history too.

 

 

 

 

Books Books Books: Affordable Ways to Obtain More

I am such a bookworm. I have a serious book shelf problem. Yes, you read that right. Book shelf problem. Not enough book shelves to properly house all of my books.

Financially, I am living pay check to pay check. In other words, I’m constantly broke.

Because of this, I look for ways to save money on things I love, like booksbooksbooks.

Let’s talk getting books for little to no cost. Ready!?

  1. Sign up for Book Bub emails. I LOVE THIS EMAIL! You can choose your preferred genres, if you want daily emails, etc. And guess what? You get an email chock full of books that are currently on sale on a variety of platforms. These are e-books so if you’re not interested in them, skip this, but! keep in mind, Book Bub finds amazing deals. I mean, I downloaded 4 new books today for $0 to my Kindle. Yup. Freeeeeee.
  2. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite authors. No joke, a lot of authors do discounts, special sales, or even free e-books.
  3. Bookmooch! I adore Bookmooch. I am a person that reads a lot of books and sometimes, I feel that pull to keep the book so that I can read it again later but typically, I just pass them on. Bookmooch allows you to list any books you’d like to give away. Each book you list gives you a portion of a point. Bookmooch points allow you to “mooch” books from other people.
    In other words, you go browsing and find Joe Schmoe from Washington has a copy of Great Gatsby and you have been dying to read that again (true story). You send a mooch request. Joe agrees to send the book to you and boom. You’ve got Great Gatsby!
    The only cost associated with Bookmooch is the cost to ship books out. You can set up a profile stating that maybe you’ll send books out once a month or once a week. Whatever works for you.
    Personally, I tend to send mine out when I can afford the extra couple bucks to do so and not many people mind.
    If you’re picky about the condition of your book; be sure to check the condition descriptions. Sometimes you get some really worn copies and others you get a first edition Wuthering Heights hardcover. (yup.)
  4. Book Outlet and Book Depository. Both of these sites have really fantastic prices and excellent selections.
  5. Books A Million’s Millionaires Club. Seriously, I know, this is a big chain and it’s not the same as shopping local. I know, I know, I know. But! They have fantastic bargain book prices. They have a huge YA collection (Hands up to the over 30 crew that love YA! *Waves frantically*) and they offer discounts on everything. The club cost $25 a year and it gets you 10 to 40% off. You get lots of coupons and the coffee and tea offered at Joe Muggs is pretty delicious. Side note: don’t drink the Frappe unless your stomach is cool with artificial everything.
  6. Amazon Prime. Again, this has an initial cost and is a giant corporation. BUT! They obviously offer a giant selection and because Kindle is Amazon’s baby, you can find a ton of ebooks here. Bonus to being a Prime member (and I geek out over these two things) you get one free new release every month is you sign up for the Prime Reading newsletter annnnnd you get 10 titles at a time (also offered on Prime Reading) to borrow.
    In an effort to de-stress this Christmas. I borrowed 10 Christmas/Holiday reads that were geared for children and blew through most of them in one night. I’m actually still working on Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien which is just gorgeous and creative and lovely.
    The 10 titles you borrow can be kept as long as it take you to get through them and then you just click return when you’re finished and you have space to grab up another.
    Oh! And! If you like Audiobooks; you can stream featured Audible audiobooks for free as well. Yup!
  7. Which of course brings me to the most obvious money saver for books-GET A LIBRARY CARD! I can’t bear the idea that people are actually saying libraries are becoming obsolete. I adore my library. I used it all through middle and high school. Both rounds of college (a whole different story) and still now as an adult.
    I’m also super impressed that libraries have found a way to kind of keep with the times.
    My local library offers two different e-reading options; 3M and OverDrive. 3M-which follows whatever rules your library has for borrowing. So I could borrow up to 3 titles at a time and have them for 3 weeks each. This one has a super convenient app so if you like reading on your phone, download it.
    OverDrive allows you to borrow for 1 week at a time and I’m not sure there is a limit. I love the wish list feature on OverDrive because I am always finding more things I’m interested in reading. I have a Kindle so I tend to use OverDrive for my ebook borrowing. This allows it to get sent right to my Kindle. Speaking of, I have one waiting for me now-note to self, charge your Kindle.
  8. And just to even it out. Net Galley. Authors and publishers want their book to be read. They want buzz. They want feedback. If you like giving feedback, sign up for a Net Galley account now! The agreement is if you read it, you review it. It doesn’t need to be a huge review but by all means, have at it. You can link the account to a blog, a youtube feed, whatever you’d like. It’s super easy to sign up and you can find some great reads on there.

Woo! Now get to it, grab some new books and get reading. Personally, I find reading to be incredibly relaxing. It is my go-to de-stresser.

 

 

Let me re-introduce myself..

My name is HOV.

Wait. No. My name is Erika.

My brain does automatically fill in song lyrics on a regular basis though.

I’m also constantly spouting off trivia knowledge and weird grammatical rules.

I dance (pretty horribly) any time I need to laugh.

I organize, re-organize, and organize just about anything put in front of me.

I don’t know how to remain focused any more.

Hence, the tweak to this lovely little blog.

I am 34 years old and stressed on a regular basis.

A year ago, I became the head of my household. Suddenly, instead of splitting responsibilities with my incredibly independent mother and saving for vacations, dreaming up business ventures, and planning on moving into my own home, I was faced with needing to shift my plans.

First off, let me say, I am not complaining. I am not upset that I am a care giver. I am not angry that I spent the last year alternating between my Dad (who has since passed away) and my Mother’s needs. I am not.

They did everything they could possibly do for me. They we’re always supportive (in their own ways) and spoiled the crap out of me (and my older sister). We grew up well despite struggling. My life has been a lovely one.

In my adulthood, because adulting in hard and you know it, I have some how procured several stress related ailments.

I was a care free and full on silly child.

I am a hopeful to be care free adult who is incredibly awkward who is definitely still silly.

Those ailments I mentioned. The not so cute IBS. The super inconvenient Vertigo. The scary ass sounding Care Giver Burden. Oh and the stress induced lack of sleep and lack of focus.

I have turned into a ball of stress. Sometimes, its super manageable. Light a candle, grab a book, *poof* I’m good.

Other times, I sit at work and try not to sob.

I am stressed. This year, I am hoping that perhaps if I let myself fall back into things I loved. Things that are so a part of me. Things that bring me joy and make me smile. I am hoping that if I can just pull those into every day again. I can be Worry Free.

Before you say anything, I hear you thinking “worry free? yeah right.” I’m not saying that I will NEVER WORRY AGAIN! Ha! I know that isn’t a possibility.

I believe that I can live without feeling consumed by stress though. I know I can.

Now, let’s start having some fun, shall we? 🙂

Mickey Waffle Obsessed!

Just a few weeks ago I traveled across the country to California and enjoyed a 4 day vacation with my bestie at non other than Disneyland. Yes, that’s right, Disneyland! It was by far the best vacation I’ve had and far too short. I am seriously considering relocating to the West Coast at some point in my life. So, gorgeous!

Any who, since we’ve been back we’ve been craving all the delicious food we had while we were there and no craving has been worse than the Mickey Waffle.

Have you tasted a Mickey waffle?
IMG_0306Not only is it completely adorable, it’s also absolutely delicious.

The texture is crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The taste is just sweet but not too sweet and oh.my.gah. We ate one for breakfast every day we were there and have been craving them ever since. So I did what any curious craving baker does–I went on Pinterest.

I love Pinterest.  It’s made for people like me that love to collect recipes from anywhere and everywhere. I searched “Mickey Waffles” and boom, a recipe with ingredients I currently had at home popped up.

Now, I do not own a mickey shaped waffle maker, so I knew it wouldn’t “look” right. I do have a pretty fantastic waffle maker though, so  figured I may get the texture right. Personally, and I wish I had a cross-section picture of the waffles we ate at Disney, I think they use fresh vanilla and possible other spices in the waffle. The waffles have this coloring that isn’t that creamy blonde color a waffle typically have. Fresh vanilla is hella expensive though so I don’t have that readily available in my home. I do have some kick ass vanilla extract though (Spice Islands Madagascar Vanilla, SOOOOO Good!) so that’s what I used (and what this particular recipe called for).

I make waffles fairly often so I know my basics. I have to say, I have never whipped egg whites for a waffle before this one and woah, does it make a world of difference. Here’s how my waffle came out:

IMG_0375

Soooo pretty. It has just butter and powdered sugar on it. The waffle was beautiful and it tastes amazing. Light in texture, eggy and buttery. Just a tad sweet but not so much that it no longer feels like breakfast. Really, really good. Sadly, not a Mickey Waffle though. At least not the Disneyland ones.

I think the next time I try these, I’ll add more spice to the batter and see what happens. Maybe in playing around, I’ll end up with a more Mickey-esque waffle. The recipe is below for you to try on your own if you’d like. Please comment if you know of a Mickey Waffle recipe that tastes like the Mickey waffle at Paradise Pier in Disneyland orrrr have any ideas on spicing up this recipe.

Recipe from The Disney Chef

<b> Mickey Waffles (WDW)</b>

<I>Ingredients</I>
4 eggs, separated

1 – 2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup milk

¼ cup (half a stick) of butter or margarine, melted, cooled to room temp

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

<I>Instructions</I>

  1. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl until the sugar is thoroughly mixed and the yolks are thick and sunny colored.
  2. Add the milk, cooled melted butter, and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
  3. Add  flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, but be sure not to overmix (overmixed batter will be frothy with lots of bubbles). If the mixture is too thick, add more milk until the mixture resembles that of thick pudding.
  4. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter. DO NOT MIX. This will take a while, be patient.
  5. Pour batter into a waffle maker and bake as instructed for your waffle maker until golden brown. These will expand so use less batter than you normally would. I use scoop that’s about 1/4 of a cup and did one and a half scoops.
  6. Serve however you like your waffles. If you’re going for the “plain” Disney version, put a tiny bit of butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Makes 6 waffles