“Get Your Game Face On”

July 14, 2014 Book Review 0 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“Get Your Game Face On”Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #3
Published by HarperTeen on April 29th, 2014
Pages: 379
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads
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five-stars
It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

I am still so surprised by how much I have enjoyed The Sweet Trilogy. I was so close to not giving this series a chance and I’m so happy that I stumbled upon the read-along of Sweet Evil that helped to ignite my love of this trilogy. In general, I kind of hate to review a series, especially the last book in a series, because I’m so worried that I may give something away. Without giving too much away, I can happily say that fans of  The Sweet Trilogy should be very satisfied by this concluding novel. Sweet Reckoning provided exactly what I was looking in so many different areas. Some relationships that I was rooting for prosper until the final pages. New relationships are formed between characters I love. Sweet Reckoning is action-packed and suspenseful until the conclusion. I rarely stumble across books that I have a hard time putting down and I’m pleased to say that Sweet Reckoning was one such book. In fact I daresay that each book in the trilogy was nearly impossible for me to put down. There are some circumstances that were very sad that could have led to me not liking Sweet Reckoning, but what is great about Higgins’ writing is that she is really good about helping the reader to understand why things are happening the way that they are. All in all Sweet Reckoning was a great book and I think fans of The Sweet Trilogy won’t be disappointed. 

If you haven’t yet started any of the books in The Sweet Trilogy I would definitely recommend that you check them out! Despite the cheesy covers this is a trilogy that I would like to have grace my bookshelves sometime in the near future.

About Wendy Higgins

author

After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, I taught high school English until becoming a mommy. I’ve always had a heart for teens, and writing YA stories gives me the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal years before adulthood.

I live in the D.C. area with my husband, daughter, son and puppy Rue.

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Tale Told by September Girls Cover

July 10, 2014 Books - Other 0

I often find myself picking books to read just based off of the cover alone. It usually proves itself to be a terrible idea but this is just one of those habits I can’t seem to kick. September Girls is one of the many books I added to my TBR list based off of the cover. I actually really don’t know what this book is about but I thought it might be fun to see if I could take some guesses to get an idea of what the book might be about.

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Cover-Inspired Summary

Chuck is your normal teenage-male, 11 months of the year. His dating life during those 11 months is next to nonexistent and he has very little game. Inexplicably, every September his life resembles an Axe commercial. Maybe it’s because Summer is ending or maybe there is just something in the air. The girls seem to flock to him and his signature move is to take them skinny dipping. He very rarely remembers their names, but that’s okay because he is a gentleman the rest of the year. When referring to these girls he calls them the September Girls as they all seem to lump together. Then he meet Andi. There is something so different about Andi. Chuck finds himself drawn to Andi and he realizes that he wants this relationship to last beyond September. What will happen when September ends? Will Andi still find herself drawn to Sam? 

 

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My Blogging Confessions

July 8, 2014 Books - Other, Life, Top Ten Tuesday 0

TOP TEN

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/Top Ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. 

For some reason every, single time I think of the word confession Usher’s song “Confessions Part II” starts playing in my head. Without fail. I literally cannot think of anything else now so “I guess I gotta give part II of my confessions.”

Oh my goodness. Now I have another song with the word confession in my head. (Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby. . . One More Time.”) 

It’s going to be a long day.

  1. I study other blogs when I’m in a blogging slump. There are so many talented and creative bloggers out there! I’m not saying you should go out there and copy everything, but just taking a half an hour to study a blog you really admire can really inspire you to create some of your own features or can help you to twist a feature or an aspect that you really appreciate.
  2. I’m a collector of fonts. Chrome is such a cool browser, it seems like it has an add-on for just about everything. To help collect my fonts I use the WhatFont add-on.
  3. I’m also a collector of colors. Another super awesome Chrome add-on ColorZilla will tell you the color code for anything. It’s been incredibly helpful!
  4. I knew virtually nothing about HTML until fairly recently. I was actually already fairly decent at manipulating code to get it to do what I want via a ton of trial and error. However, my husband is very into computers and coding and he finally convinced me that maybe I should at least check out Code Academy so I could understand why everything worked the way that it does. 
  5. PicMonkey is my BFF. Ain’t nobody got the cash for Photoshop. Okay, obviously some people do, but I don’t. Creating via PicMonkey is all I can do.
  6. I judge books by their covers and I judge blogs by their design. I don’t have the best looking blog on the block, but it’s simple and clean. My blog is free of the frou-frou. Bottom line, I’m not a fan of cutesy things. If your blog looks cutesy and juvenile then I probably won’t stick around. 
  7. I confess that I hate proofreading. Sometimes I just don’t and I almost always regret that.
  8. I didn’t understand the difference between Categories and Tabs. In my defense I’ve only been on WordPress for. . .7 months. Oy vey. I’m working on it.
  9. I’m really bad at commenting even on my own blog. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.
  10. I record vlogs a lot, but I hardly ever post them. Some jerkasaurous left a comment on one of my vlogs saying that my videos suck. I actually agree, but sometimes I just prefer to talk instead of type. #firstworldproblems

 

What are your blogging confessions?

 

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Who is That Boy on the Porch?

July 7, 2014 Book Review 0 ★★

I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Who is That Boy on the Porch?The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
Published by HarperCollins on September 3rd, 2013
Pages: 160
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genres: Children, Contemporary, Mystery, Realistic Fiction
Goodreads
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two-stars
From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a singular story that reminds us of the surprising connections that bloom when unconditional love and generosity prevail. For when a young couple finds a boy asleep on their porch, their lives take an unexpectedly joyous turn.

When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there-and they didn't expect him to stay, not at first, but he did stay, day after day, until it seemed as if he belonged, running and smiling and laughing his silent laugh, tapping and patting on every surface as he made his music, and painting-with water, with paint, with mud-those swirly swirls and swings and trees.

One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of person would leave their child with strangers? All they know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. And as their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, and John and Marta and the boy begin to see the world in brand-new ways. Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech delivers a poignant story of finding family when you least expect it.

The name Sharon Creech automatically fills me with warm fuzzies. While growing up I read and re-read her novel Bloomability and later discovered a love for Walk Two Moons while enrolled in a Children’s Literature course during my undergrad days. When I read the description for The Boy on the Porch I found myself thinking of the cute, yet odd film The Odd Life of Timothy Green and hoped that this book would also fill me with some warm fuzzies. I’m sorry to say that while there may have been a slight warm fuzzy discovered at the end, overall, The Boy on the Porch just didn’t do much for me.

Perhaps the novel is simply too short to fully develop and explore the characters involved or maybe doing so would be too much for a children’s book. Without that thorough character development the tale never quite reaches the depth that it really should for the topic involved. I do like the uniqueness that The Boy on the Porch has in that it ultimately deals with becoming a foster parent and the reasons one may have to become a foster parent. I haven’t really encountered a lot of books that tackle that topic so it was refreshing to read something along those lines.

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Don’t Forget You

July 4, 2014 Beyond the Small Talk, Books - Other, Conversations, Life 0

As I reached the end of The Time of My Life I found myself reflecting on my own life, the choices I had made, the people I had met so on and so forth. I also started thinking about the choices I am making now, on a daily basis. I’m a fairly busy person and I’m sure that life will just become busier and busier, however, I should be making time for myself. I should be consistently checking in with myself and making sure that I balance everything the best that I can. How useful is a frazzled, stress-out, unhappy person anyway?

If I met my Life in person the way Lucy does what would he/she look like? Honestly, I have some pretty bad habits and there are some areas of my life that are really lacking. I worry that my Life would be kind of a greasy, overweight, frazzled, uncertain mess and I want to take the steps now to fix that. There are a lot of things that I want to fix, but I’m going to start with my health and fitness.  For months I have been making the excuse that I can’t really make a huge change right now because it would be too hard with the little one, but then I realized that I am exhausted and overwhelmed and I bet my current habits and imbalances have a lot to do with that, so I cut back on work, I started Blogilates, and I’ve been working on taking things one day at a time. 

My plan for my health and fitness is to continue on my Blogilates journey. I finally made my way through the entire beginner’s calendar and I can see that I’m getting stronger. It’s so awesome to see these muscles in my legs that I had never really noticed before! I’m not really getting to the place I want to get though, and I won’t until my diet improves. It’s so important to me to start setting a good example for my daughter. I want her to be healthy and have good habits but if I continue to drink so much soda and binge on YOLO food then that is much less likely to happen.  A couple of months ago I saved up the meal plan and the New Body Makeover calendars. When I read this post I realized that I had no more room for my excuses. Starting on Sunday I am going to make this part of my life. 

 

“As long as you’re around, your life is too. So just as you shower love and affection and attention on the husbands, wives, parents, children and forever friends who surround you, you have to do so equally with your life, because it’s yours, it’s you, and it’s always there rooting for you, cheering you on, even when you feel like you can’t do it.”

- Cecelia Ahern

 

What are you going to do to make sure that you don’t forget you?

 

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Date Inspired by: The Time of My Life

July 3, 2014 Books - Other, Date Inspired by 0

Date Inspired by: The Time of My Life

 

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

I have a 9-month old so legit date nights are kind of a thing of the past. . . for now.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally think about or plan awesome, make-believe dates. While reading The Time of My Life I found myself struck with inspiration for what I think would be a pretty awesome date even with a 9-month old! 

Setup

Lucy met Don by calling the wrong number and they got to know each other via text, mainly in the form of pictures. I always think that dates are way more fun when some anticipation and build-up occurs prior to the date itself. Throughout the day of the planned date send your date some picture clues as to what the date will entail. For example at some point during this date you will be playing 2 truths and a lie so you could send a picture of Pinocchio. Like this one:

Pinocchio

Practicing Parents.com

Food

 

In my opinion Food is an essential part of any date. Lucy and her friends often frequented a French restaurant where their waiter pretended he was French as he really needed the job and fluent French was required in order to get it. French restaurants tend to be on the expensive side and also tend to have menus that I cannot read. French Bakeries though have delicious desserts and chances are that you will find something that you really like. If you live somewhere close to a French Bakery, apparently Salt Lake has a decent amount, then the date will start with some sort of French dessert. If you don’t have a bakery nearby then why not try your hand at making a French dessert?

Here are a few links to some French desserts:

game

Lucy was a compulsive liar, so tonight you too will practice your lying abilities by playing Two Truths and a Lie. If you know your date really well then this game might be really easy. This game might also be easy if you are just an incredibly bad liar. 

Rules: It’s exactly what it sounds like. You take turns telling two truths and one lie about yourself. The other person has to guess what the lie is. You could make it even more interesting by instituting consequences for the loser of each round.

Do you have any ideas for a low-key book inspired date?

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Impulse Watch: Girl Most Likely

July 2, 2014 Impulse Watch, Movies 0

Girl Most LikelyTitle: Girl Most Likely
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Where? Netflix

What is Girl Most Likely About? 

Imogene moved to New York to pursue a career as a playwright but that hasn’t quite worked out the way she had hoped. She did find herself a Dutch boyfriend and has a current “in” with the socialites. When her Dutch boyfriend breaks up with her she loses it and stages a suicide attempt in the hopes that the Dutch boyfriend will realize his mistake. She also quickly discovers who her friends are and finds herself back home in Ocean City, New Jersey. Her family is dysfunctional to say the least but somehow she finds a way to accept and love them while she is trying to get her New York life back. Along the way she learns a lot about herself as she has to finally a bunch of truths. 

Why I watched this and why you should too:

  • Kristen Wiig. Despite this being a more serious role for Wiig, she is as funny as ever and part of me wants to be her when I grow up.
  • Matt Dillon.  Every single time I watch him in a movie I can’t help but think of his role in There’s Something About Mary. His character in Girl Most Likely is so incredibly absurd and hilarious.
  • Dysfunctional Families = entertainment. This family is all kinds of dysfunctional. Mom used to be a go-go dancer and is addicted to gambling/love. Brother spends most of his time with crustaceans. Wiig is super delusional and at times reminds me of Lucy in The Time of My Life.
  • Dysfunctional families are often made up of quirky characters. Each character in Girl Most Likely has some absurd quirk that you are bound to appreciate and enjoy.
  • So many familiar faces, including the super-cute face Darren Criss from Glee.
  • You will actually laugh. 
  • Girl Most Likely is funny but also leaves you with some warm fuzzies. 

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Films Based off of the “Classics”

July 1, 2014 Books - Other, Lists, Movies, Top Ten Tuesday 0

TOP TEN

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/Top Ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. 

 

Today we are talking about the Classics.  I have read many, many classics throughout my lifetime. It was kind of required reading for my undergraduate studies. There are some classics that I love and some I would like to pretend don’t even exist. I’m all about books being turned into films and today I want to focus on some of my favorite movie adaptations of the classics. In no particular order:

Little Women

I have to confess I saw the 1994 version of Little Women well before I ever picked up the book. I wish I could say that I hold the book as near to my heart as this version of the film but I would be lying. This film remains my all-time favorite movie. 

This scene always gets to me! My heart aches because Jo and Laurie are supposed to be together! Amy is such a little turd and don’t even get me started on the sweet yet simple, old professor. Also, that kiss is all kinds of nasty. Saliva alert at 1:18.

Anne of Green Gables

Now this is a hard one to choose a scene. Should I go with an Anne and Gilbert montage covering the entirety of the mini-series? Or do I go with the scene where Anne tells Diane that they are bosom friends at their slumber party? Then I remembered the following: 

One of the things I love most about Anne is how hard she tries to always be her idea of proper. She is a dreamer and always imagines that things will go according to plan but they never do. She is so incredibly awkward and how I wish she was a real person. 

I couldn’t resist an Anne and Gilbert montage. I mean, let’s be serious here. Greatest love story of all time. I don’t care what anyone says, I would take a Gilbert over a Mr. Darcy any day of the week.

Jane Eyre

I know many will disagree with me, but I love the 2011 version of Jane Eyre. I know it wasn’t a perfect adaptation but that is okay with me. This scene always makes me feel like my heart has jumped into my throat. In a good way though. 

Pride and Prejudice

Here is the moment where I make a confession and polarize some people. I cannot stand reading Jane Austen. Seriously, thinking about reading Austen makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I’m sorry. With that said, while I don’t enjoy her writing style, I do love her stories. (Even though she essentially tells the same story again and again.) The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. I’m not madly in love with Mr. Darcy. Instead I really enjoy the secondary characters like Mr. Bennett, dear, sweet, awkward Mary and the delusional Mr. Collins. Below is one of my favorite moments. 

The Last of the Mohicans

Great music, great film. One intense ending. There will be tears.

The Count of Monte Cristo

I have never actually tried to read The Count of Monte Cristo. My husband loves the movie adaptation and didn’t enjoy the book so I have decided to take his word for it, for now.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

Is there someone out there who hasn’t seen this film and doesn’t know this scene? 

The Crucible

This adaptation is admittedly terrible, but also very enjoyable. I’d compare it to an episode of Gossip Girl. It’s so bad that it’s good.

She’s the Man

I’m also a huge fan of any modern-day adaptations inspired by the classics. This film was loosely based on Twelfth Night, so there ya go! I miss when Amanda was acting! 

That’s pretty much how I act around bugs of all sizes.

10 Things I Hate About You

Speaking of modern-day films that are based on a classic. This was based on The Taming of the Shrew. Who doesn’t want to be serenaded like this? 

What are some of your favorite films based on a “classic?”

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“I was a laughter whore, I’d take it from anyone.”

June 30, 2014 Book Review 2 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“I was a laughter whore, I’d take it from anyone.”The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern
Published by William Morrow on April 23rd, 2013
Pages: 512
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads
Buy the BookReading Challenges: 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge, Attack My ARC Pile, Spring TBR
five-stars
"Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday, May 30, 2011. Yours sincerely, Life."

Lucy Silchester keeps receiving this appointment card and sweeping the envelope under the rug. Literally. Instead, she has busied herself with work (a job she doesn't love), helping out friends, fixing her car, feeding her cat, seeing her family, and devoting her time to their life dramas. But she's stuck in a rut and deluding everyone. Only Lucy knows the real truth.

Then one day life shows up at her door, in the form of a rather run-down man in an old suit, who is determined to bring about change. Life follows Lucy everywhere—the office, bars—meets her flabbergasted friends, and won't let Lucy off the hook. What she learns in the process is that some of the choices she's made, and stories she's told, aren't what they seem either. Now her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory . . . unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

Can I just start out this review by saying that more books need to do what Ahern’s books do? She is so good at inserting some sort of magical element into everyday life and let’s be honest everyday life needs more magic. The Time of My Life is no exception. I went into this read knowing not a whole lot about what I would find inside. All I knew was that Ahern wrote it and, for the most part, I have had pretty good success with her novels. I also knew that it had a fairly cute, albeit misleading to me, cover. I’m probably alone here but based on the cover alone I thought for sure that this was a fictional tale that would remind me of Eat, Pray, Love. Maybe it was the bracelets?

Anyway, The Time of My Life is a tale about pathological liar, Lucy Silchester. Once upon a time Lucy’s life seemed to be on the right track, she had a fantastic apartment with the love of her life, a great job and her father’s approval. Then her boyfriend up and leaves her and she loses everything. Instead of just dealing she lies about everything. Her friends think that she left the boyfriend and just wanted to downsize. Her family, for the most part, think that she just wanted a new career challenge. Basically her life is a mess. Girlfriend is in major denial though. Lucky for Lucy everyone has someone who is the yin to their yang, who monitors their life and steps in if need be.  The man who is Lucy’s life is in bad shape when we meet him, because her life is in such disarray. Together they work to make her life a life worth living. 

First off, I love this idea of someone being your life. I love that this person’s appearance and well-being is directly influenced by your decisions. It’s just such a cute idea and the story was such a fun tale with some really great lines. Seriously, this novel had some freaking fantastic lines, references and nicknames. One of my favorite bits is the following:

. . . there was a smile on his face as bright as my new bathroom lightbulb which, given, on first read is a lame and unromantic simile, but when plunged in darkness for a year while on the toilet, a new lightbulb is a very welcoming and enlightening thing to have, not to mention useful.

 

Bottom Line

Basically, if you are looking for a fun, lighthearted read that actually makes you pause for moment and consider your own choices in life then The Time of My Life is a book that you will really enjoy. I liked this book so much that I’m actually thinking I need a physical copy to grace my bookshelf. That’s some coveted space my friends. 

Don’t take my word for it. . . .

Leeswammes’ Blog – “The book was an easy and fun read, and I loved spending some time with Lucy and her Life.”

The Novel World - “Ahern has done a fantastic job with magical realism in the past, but this one could have used a few more revisions and more depth of personality in all the characters. It’s still a decent read, don’t get me wrong. “

Canadian Bookworm – “This is a book that will have you looking at your own life, and asking yourself what you’ve been avoiding.”

About Cecelia Ahern

author

Cecelia Ahern was born on September 30, 1981 in Dublin, Ireland. She is the daughter of the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. On 14th December 2009 it was announced that Cecelia had given birth to her first child with partner David Keoghan, a girl named Robin. She was secretly married on 11 June 2010 in County Kildare, Ireland. Her older sister, Georgina Ahern is married to Nicky Byrne of Irish pop group Westlife. Cecelia was a member of the Irish pop group Shimma who finished third in the Irish national for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. She attended Griffith College Dublin and obtained a degree in Journalism and Media Communications.

Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS. I Love You when she was twenty-one. It was published in 2004, the number 1 bestseller in Ireland for 19 weeks and sold in over forty countries. The book was adapted as a motion picture directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and released in 2007 in the United States.

Her second book, Where Rainbows End (US title: Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) won the German CORINE Award in 2005. She contributed with short stories to charity books and is also the co-creator and producer of the ABC comedy Samantha Who?.

Her other works include If You Could See Me Now (US title: A Silver Lining), A Place Called Here (US title: There’s No Place Like Here) Thanks for the Memories (US title: Desire Lines) The Gift The Book of Tomorrow.

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Check-In 2: 2014 Goals

June 27, 2014 Books - Other, Lists 0

Uh. . . where is 2014 going?! It is so crazy to me to think about how often I used to wish time away, now I just wish it would slow down! This is my second check-in of the year. Next year I am definitely approaching this goal thing differently. 

 

reading goals

  1. I am officially going on an ARC fast. Until my pile is cut-down to at least 20 books.  I’m pretty mad at the me who got so excited by shiny, new books. 
  2. I’m completely finished with the Ebook challenge! That was a cinch for me.
  3. I have gotten back to this recently. I’ve decided to spend some time studying up on HTML, CSS and blogging in general. It’s cool to realize how much I have actually already taught myself. 
  4. I have handled this like a pro! I don’t feel qualified to review informational books, but maybe I should suck it up and try my hand at that too.
  5. I’m 17 books behind. Blah. 

blogging goals

  1. That has been an epic fail for the past month or so, but I have been getting my butt in gear. You just wait and see.
  2. I’ve recorded some vlogs but have hated them so I just never put them up. 
  3. This is hit and miss. Some weeks I rock and other weeks not so much.
  4. I’m getting back to this! I felt so much better when I had posts written in advance so I’m looking forward to having that feeling once more.
  5. Someone told me that I should just decide what it is that I want from my reaching out and then pick the outlet that works best for that. Lately I have really been trying to make more of a conscious effort on Twitter. Ultimately I want this whole blogging thing to connect me with other readers who I can fangirl it out with and it seems like Twitter is the best way to do that! Let me know if you’re on Twitter!

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