Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Time for Bout of Books 15!

Am I right?

Bout of Books

Yes, it's time once again for my very favorite readathon: Bout of Books. If you're like...uh what the hey hey??? Read below:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th 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 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I am so excited to start my 2016 off with a bang and really lay the foundation for a good reading year :) Who's with me?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Baby Mason: Nine Months

*cries* My baby is getting too big. I hate how fast this goes. Little guy is actually about to be 10 months on the 24th.

Friday, December 4, 2015

November Photo-a-Day: my month in pictures

Once again, I'm a little late on this. Actually I'm really writing this up on the 2nd, but I'm not posting until Friday because I don't want to post too much. I didn't take pictures every day because I'm awful, but hey...I made my post, so I guess I'm not too awful.

Descriptions will go top caption is for large picture, bottom caption is for three on the right.

We got Saydee on Halloween - she didn't hesitate to fit in.
We finally got new bedding and I love it. Got a sweater throw to go over our quilt // She looks so teeny here. Mini GSD!! // That is a turkey vulture. WTH?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Books I Read in November

Isla and the Happily Ever After Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - 5 Stars (finished 11/5)
This is the 3rd book in the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy.

I am not a contemporary reader. I mean not usually. I love the very fictional fiction, you know supernatural, paranormal, fantasy. The very obviously not real type of stuff. However, I adore this trilogy. All 3 books got 5 stars from me, no question, no hesitation. Stephanie Perkins is a beautiful writer and her characters are rich and detailed. They feel like real people. They feel like real people you actually know in real life. Therefore, it is easy to connect with her characters.

I know a lot of readers are over instalove. I feel like Josh & Isla probably skirt on the edges of instalove here. However, it is done in a very sweet way and it actually reminded me much of how the beginning of my husband and I's relationship started and we were around the same age too. I know how Isla felt and that probably contributed to me loving this story even more. It was a perfect ending to the trilogy. Although I do want more! ;)

Split Second by Kasie West - 5 stars (finished 11/22)
This is the second book in the Pivot Point duology.

I am still very new to Kasie West, but she is very quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Pivot Point had such a raw ending. It was such a great book and West definitely continued that with Split Second. Instead of 2 timelines, you get Addison's POV and Laila's POV. It was nice to be in Laila's brain because I feel she was a little misunderstood (by me) in the first book. There was a little more in depth on the para powers and even more on the Powers That Be on the para side. Overall, an amazing story...great building and character development were on point...just perfection all around. I have no complaints.

What did you read in November?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My December TBR List + Upcoming Releases

Ah, a slow reading month in November and I am now 14 books behind my 52 book Goodreads yearly goal. OUCH. Let's see what I can accomplish in the last month here.

Possible December Reads: 
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind [reread]
  • Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon [new series]
  • Poison Princess by Kresley Cole [new series]
  • Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

TarnishedTheir Fractured Light (Starbound, #3)Not If I See You FirstBlood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1)Inherit the Stars
What books do you hope to read this month?
What releases are you excited for?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

October Photo-a-Day: my month in pictures

I missed August's P-a-D and then was a week and a half late posting September's...I'm posting November's on time. Or it'll drive me bonkers!! I didn't do so swell in October taking a picture each day...I think I'm missing 8 days. But I'll share what I got!

Cupcakes for breast cancer awareness // Cami made a friend at the brew store
Little guy out of the stroller at the allergist's office // Daddy snuggles are the best!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Books I Read in October

Spider's Trap (Elemental Assassin, #13)The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy BunnyThe Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)

Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep - 4 stars (finished 10/1)
This is the 13th book in the Elemental Assassin series.

Estep is only slotted to write 14 books in the series, but I hope she continues. This series is just as addictive as the Stephanie Plum series. They are my guilty pleasures. Yes, the plot and story arc is a little repetitive, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy me some Gin Blanco. This book, in particular, I really enjoyed because we got to see a little more of Gin's past - and I love flashbacks. I'm dying for the next book already!! 

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - 3.5 stars (finished 10/10)
This is the 2nd book in the Mara Dyer trilogy.

It has been a while since I read book 1 - which I really enjoyed. This book I felt was a little all over the place. I think that may have been the intention, but it was a little hard for me to keep up at times - and falling asleep while trying to read it didn't help. I wasn't really feeling Mara or Noah in this one. Her parents drove me insane. Daniel was soooo gullible. Plus the flashbacks had me like...what? I'm hoping book 3 redeems itself. I typically don't like second books in trilogies. I'm a hater. LOL. I think I just don't like how the stories are bridged.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison - 4 stars (finished 10/14)
I own 5 seasons of GND and watched all of Holly's World when it when I found out Holly was writing a book, you bet your patootie I was gonna read it. It was everything that I thought it was going to be, plus some. I always wondered what was really going on behind the scenes and Holly put it out there and it makes a ton of sense. And while Bridget was my favorite GND, I really liked Holly too. Her book made me feel much more connected to her and sympathize with all that she had gone through in her years at the mansion.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - 2 stars (finished 10/26)
This is the 3rd book in the Mara Dyer trilogy.

I struggled with the first 40% of the book and then it picked up and I was hoping for some resolve. I felt like my questions weren't really answered and the ending was overly cheesy. I sorta rolled my eyes a little. It just wasn't what I had hoped for with the trilogy that had such a strong start. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

My November TBR List + Upcoming Releases

Not surprisingly, I read nothing off my list for last month's TBR. However, I did finish 4 books again, so I'm happy with that. This month, I signed up to do a buddy read with a Goodreads group for The Hobbit. It was on my reading list in September and I never got around to it. This month's list is small. I may get around to reading one of the three. Perhaps :)

Possible November Reads: 
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien [reread]
  • Real Murders by Charlaine Harris [new series]
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #10)The Girl Who Could Not Dream SoundlessWinter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22)Chimera (Parasitology, #3)Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion #3)

What books do you hope to read this month?
What releases are you excited for?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Baby Mason: Eight Months

It seems like the months are just flying by. This little guy is not so little and the milestones have really come in like a hurricane over the last month. He is now standing. Last month he was barely able to crawl.

Sleeping on his big Bubba *AWW* // Cheesing it up while I put Matt's old hat on him.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Books I Read in September

Sugar and Spice (L.A. Candy, #3)Paper TownsEverything, Everything

Sugar & Spice by Lauren Conrad - 3.5 stars (finished 9/7)
This is the third book in the L.A. Candy trilogy.

Not that this is like some high class quality reading or anything, but I did expect more from the ending than what was given. It was like all of a sudden, it was done. There wasn't as much closure to the characters as I had expected and that kind of stinks. It wasn't a terrible ending, but definitely bad enough for me to dock a star. I especially WTF'd to Jane and [spoiler: Braden].

Paper Towns by John Green - 3.5 stars (finished 9/14)
I really love John Green's style of writing. It makes it quite easy to read and connect with the story. I really loved Q and the entire journey of finding Margo. Radar and Ben were great supporting characters, although I do lean more towards Radar :) My only "problem" is that I don't quite get the ending. It may be a herpderp moment for me, but it went over my head, nonetheless. Am I supposed to make up my own ending? Is there a metaphor? Is it an implied ending? *shrugs* For that, I knocked off half a star. I still enjoyed the book, but I don't know that I would read it again. Now I just need to see the movie :) I really think Cara was a perfect fit for Margo. She was very easy to imagine as Margo.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - 5 stars (finished 9/17)
7/20/15: Read an excerpt from Buzz Books: The main character in this story is literally deathly allergic to everything in the outside world. So that already makes it a very fascinating premise. I really enjoyed Maddy and her perspective in the excerpt and have high hopes for this one. I love the cover too!

Update: 9/16/15
My grandma sent me a Target gift card for my birthday, so I picked this up today and I'm super excited to start it!


I haven't finished a book this quickly in I-don't-know how long! From pretty early on, I figured two things that would happen, but that didn't spoil the book at all [spoiler: her leaving the house and having an attack - and her mom lying about her having SCID - I figured the attack would be because of her upbringing]. Madeline is one of the most interesting, delightful characters that I've come across in a while. Olly is just as quirky as Madeline and a gentleman. I just can't express enough how much love I have for this book. Throw in Nicola Yoon's husband's illustrations and seriously, the most perfect book ever, guys! You MUST read it!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

September Photo-a-Day: my month in pictures

I missed August's Photo-a-day and honestly, we were so busy that I didn't do very well anyways. I'm aware we're a third of the way through October, but I'm just glad that I'm even getting around to posting. My blogs have been suffering lately as we just have been entirely too busy! So here's what we did in the month of September...

1: I discovered my new favorite ice cream. Like legitimately the best ever. It hasn't been stocked lately, so I've tried Breyer's and Edy's - they aren't nearly as good. // 2: Octoberfest hit the shelves and that means it goes into everything, like soup!
3: Cami had her first Girl Scout meeting and was so excited. It's her first year to do scouts. // 4: Nick had to take a final exam, so the kids and I went to Walmart (and then I surprised them with ice cream at a local shop)...and we spotted the PDub kitchen products! YASSSSS.

Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Series "Challenge" - Update #3

In my last update, I had 2 series down, 15 books read. Not really making much of a dent in those three months. But this go-around, I think I've done pretty well considering I'm not reading as much as I'd like. I've finished 1 more series and 5 more books for a total of 3 series and 20 books. 

In these final three months of 2015 (what???), I hope to knock off some of these series that I only have one book left to read. My 8 year old recently fell in love with Rick Riordan books and so far this school year has read all of the Heroes of Olympus books, having just finished Blood of Olympus and teased me mercilessly that he beat me. For my benefit, I will be highlighting in blue the books I want to read before the year is done!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My October TBR List + Upcoming Releases

I read 3 books in September - 1 off of my possible read, 1 brand new one, and 1 series. So that was a pretty good month! I finally got close to what I'm supposed to do :) This month my list is small, so let's hope I can get around to reading most of them and some others too.

Possible October Reads: 
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien [reread]
  • Naked in Death by J.D. Robb [new series]
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Becoming DarknessA Step Toward FallingThe Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)We'll Never Be ApartBlack Widow: Forever RedThe Masked TruthIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)A Thousand NightsThe League of Unexceptional ChildrenWolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)Signs Point to YesThese Shallow GravesThe Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #3)

What books do you hope to read this month?
What releases are you excited for?