Bookmark Lit Bulletin – January 2015

Posted January 31, 2015 / Bookmark Lit Bulletin, Features, Wrap-Ups / 12 Comments


The Bookmark Lit Bulletin is a monthly feature where I look back on everything I did and everything I plan to do next. I’ll also be updating my challenge progress here each month and linking up wherever I need to.

look back

life updates

  1. Living in a fort for two weeks – As you may know from a previous post on here, Chris and I built a blanket fort in our living room. We figured we’d keep it up for about a week… and ended up living in it for two weeks. Honestly, we probably could have gone even longer, but we went skiiing one weekend and just had to sit on the couch afterwards. (Laying on the floor = not good for a sore body)
  2. Blizzard Juno – This week we had a bit of a blizzard. No big deal. I think our area got maybe a 15-20 inches of snow. I worked on Monday but it started snowing part of the way through the day, and luckily my boss said that we could work from home the next day. She’s pretty famous for making us come in during bad weather, even though most of our work can be done from home. Anyways, they ended up shutting down roads and not allowing people to drive anyway! The wind was even more intense than the snow, though! Luckily that meant that Chris’s car had snow surrounding it, but not a lot that needed to be cleared on the top. It only took us about 10 minutes to get his car shoveled out because the wind had created snow drifts instead of surrounding the car.
  3. Trip to the CT Science Center – We went over to the Science Museum a couple weeks ago and got to hang out with a bunch of annoying children. (Pretty sure I don’t want to procreate anymore.) It was a lot of fun, but definitely geared more towards children. The main exhibit was Grossology, which explored all the yucky parts of the body. So… that was interesting.
  4. Busy, busy weekends – We usually do not do much of anything on the weekends, but this past weekend was insanely busy. Friday night, we had Chris’s work holiday party. Yes, I have no idea why it was at the end of January. It was pretty fun and we won a $50 Longhorn gift card in the raffle! The theme was Casino Night, so there were fun tables set up to play Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. We were at the party until 10pm, slept at his parents house, and woke up at 6am the next morning to go ski at a mountain that’s an hour and a half away. (More on that below)  After coming from skiing around 5pm, we had to go back to our apartment, shower, change, and drive 45 minutes away to go to his cousin’s birthday dinner at a delicious Chinese restaurant. Skiing took a lot longer than expected so we ended up an hour late, but it ended up being fine!
  5. Learning to ski – So yes, the girl who hates physical activity of any kind learned how to ski. Chris’s family all skis (except he and his sister snowboard), so I decided to give it a try. I took a group lesson for about an hour and a half and then was off on my own. It was fun but also really frustrating. I’m not very strong, so picking myself up after falling over was nearly impossible. I’d get so nervous I was going to fall because I couldn’t get up afterwards, that it ended up making me fall. It was an endless cycle. Overall I did enjoy it though and plan to give it another try before the end of the season.

jan blb 2


current addictions

  1. Ben & Jerry’s That’s My Jam Core – THIS IS SO YUMMY my diet went right out the window. I am obsessed with anything raspberry flavored, and this has a core full of raspberry jam. It’s legit perfection. There’s another new B&J flavor with raspberry jam too that I need to try!
  2. Crafted Van Bookmarks – These are the cutest ever. I ordered a set with Lego Movie characters and of course a dancing Baby Groot. Once I get my new planner in, a couple of these guys will have a permanent home in there to mark my place. Check them out here!
  3. My funny TV shows are back! – It feels like it’s been FOREVER since my eyes have had the pleasure of seeing some of my favorite shows. Broad City and Workaholics on Comedy Central are the absolute best and finally have their seasons up and running. The same goes for Parks and Rec, although I’m super sad that it’s the last season. I didn’t think the previous season was AS funny as usual, but it seems like this one has picked up quite a bit.
  4. Time alone – Not sure if this necessarily qualifies as an addiction, but I know it’s going to become something like one. I absolutely love my boyfriend and living with him is so much fun. We have a lot of good times together. BUT, sometimes it’s nice to be by myself! Chris gets about two hours per day alone because he gets home at 3:30 and I get home at 5:30. That leaves me with nothing, unless I want to wake up early! Now that he started school up again this week, I’ll have a couple of hours two days a week to myself. I can read! I can watch my old TV shows! I can lay in bed! HOLLER.
  5. Cookbooks/meal planning – I am not going to pretend that my “meal planning” is the healthy kind that you’re probably imagining. But, I am making more of a general effort to be health-conscious and eat out less. I have four cookbooks that I’ve gotten for Christmas in recent years (because I always ask for them) but haven’t used them. I finally pulled them out, wrote down some of the recipes, and grocery shopped accordingly. This week I’ve made Pecan-Crusted Orange Chicken and Mexican Lasanga. I still have ingredients to make Cheesy Beef Soup, Stuffed Cranberry and Almond Turkey, and Chicken and Broccoli.

jan blb 1


best booksTHIS IS HARD. My average rating for the books I’ve read in January (not including rereads) was 4.2! Seriously. I only had two books with 3.5 and one book with 2.5. All of the other books were between 4 and 5 star reads. Some of them even made it onto my Favorites shelf. Anyways, here’s me attempting to choose the best of the best in this stellar month:jan blb 4

  1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – EEEP. This book doesn’t release until March so please keep your eyes peeled if you haven’t already added this to your TBR. It was perfection. I loved it so much.
  2. Pivot Point by Kasie West I looooove her. This book was so unique and interesting; I couldn’t stop reading. Now pardon me as I anxiously await book two to arrive in paperback next month.
  3. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger – My girl Keplinger strikes again. I read this one in a day (which seems to be a recurring thing with her books). I loved pretty much every aspect of this book. She finds away to flesh out every character, situation, emotion, event, etc. SO WELL. I just can’t.
  4. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay – Another solid, solid read. I’m so glad I pushed through the first 100 pages. It started off a little slow/confusing, but pays off so much by the end. Such an engrossing and complex story.
  5. All Fall Down by Ally Carter – I pretty much couldn’t contain myself when the signed ARC with my Ally Ambassadors stuff arrived. I devoured this one pretty quick. Like some of my other solid reads this month, there were so many unexpected twists and turns that kept me reading.

book reviews


fave quotequoteIn friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

book haulThere are probably some duplicates here from the last BL Bulletin, but I’m including all of these, since this will be a monthly feature now!

jan blb 5

She’s So Dead to Us / He’s So Not Worth It / Shadow Falls / Reunited / Sapphire Blue / Jellicoe Road / Dangerous Girls / There Will Be Lies / The Darkest Part of the Forest / Shatter Me / Blythewood / All Fall Down / These Broken Stars / Out of Sight, Out of Time / United We Spy

jan blb 3

The Start of Me and You / 99 Days / All Broke Down / Forever, Interrupted / Compulsion / Unhinged / Cruel Beauty / Side Effects May Vary / On the Fence / Princess of Thorns

blog posts


challenge updates

  • Fairytale Retelling Challenge – 1/15 – Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
  • Reread Challenge – 2/17 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  • 105 Challenge – 11/105 – The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (new release); The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (authors previously read); All Lined Up and All Broke Down by Cora Carmack (new adult); Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (ARCs); Get Even by Gretchen McNeil (series-starter); Yes Please by Amy Poehler (memoir); Pivot Point by Kasie West (time-bending)
  • TBR Pile Challenge – 1/12 – The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
  • Library Challenge – 2/30 – Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
  • Flights of Fantasy Challenge – 5/20 – Siege and Storm by Leigh Barguo, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Audiobook Challenge – 4/35 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

blogosphere loveSome of my favorite posts by YOU cuties this month include:

  • Lots of bloggers have been focusing on spreading the looooove and stopping the drama! I signed up for Alexa’s Love-a-Thon to hopefully spread the love to all bloggers at the end of February. Jamie posted about random acts of kindness that we can all do to increase nice gestures to others. I need to print out her list, because it’s really worth following! I also loved Hannah’s post about being the change you wish to see in the blogging community; so many of us say how much we hate the drama and then continue to perpetuate it. Stay out of it, move on, and keep things positive! That’s the message I got from everyone this month <3
  • Some of you made some great comments about the role of bloggers today. Ashley asked how much obligation bloggers have, specifically in regards to ARCs and publishers. I love that people are asking the question: what drives us to blog. What made us decide to be bloggers? Surely not everyone knew you could get ~free books~ out of the deal. Everyone should focus on the real point: BOOKS. Reading what you want and discussing it with your friends. Hazel’s post discussed the truth about blogging, and I completely agree.
  • I love all of the reflection that’s happened at the beginning of the year! Hannah and Alexa talked about culling your TBR and being more picky when reading. There were lots of other goal and resolution-oriented posts that I loved from the end of December, too, but I’m sure you’ve already seen them through TTT!

look ahead goals to dos

  1. Continue reading books that I want to read, based on my mood. All of my January books have been SUPERB and it’s because I’ve read WHAT I wanted, WHEN I wanted.
  2. Focus on the Blogger Organization Challenge for February and get going on cleaning up the blog. I plan to replace old graphics, reformat old posts, and change up some categories/tags. Big to-do but I can do it!
  3. Better utilize the library and read from my physical TBR piles this month. It seems counter-intuitive, but basically it means STOP BUYING BOOKS.
  4. Make my OTSP Secret Sister feel special, spoiled, and happy every month until July.

upcoming life

  1. Foxwoods My friend is having her birthday celebration tonight at Foxwoods! We’re staying in a hotel and doing whatever around the casino. It should be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see my college friends.
  2. Superbowl I hate the Patriots. More than just about anything. I am going to be hardcore rooting for the Seahawks, even though I don’t exactly like them either. In other words, I don’t care about this Superbowl at all. I am hoping to eat some chicken wings and hang out though. It’ll be fun rooting against the Patriots in a room full of fans, though 🙂
  3. Valentine’s Day – Because it’s a long weekend, Chris and I are going to hopefully go away for Valentine’s Day. We’re not sure exactly where we’re going to go, but probably somewhere that looks pretty with snow. Maybe Vermont. We’ll see! I’m just excited to have a long weekend away from work.

12 responses to “Bookmark Lit Bulletin – January 2015

  1. You had such a wonderful month Lauren, I’m so pleased! I’ve got to say, it’s brave to ski, so good on you girl, and your reading has been fabulous, so I’m glad about that. Good luck with Dangerous Girls, I loved that read, and I’ve heard good things about There Will Be Lies, so have fun with that too. Challenges are looking good, keep it up, have a great February! 🙂

    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted: Book Review - Heir of Fire
  2. That fort was so great. 🙂 Blizzards suck, I remember we had one a few years back, or, maybe it was just a snow storm, either way, they suck. It’s good that you were able to work from home instead of going in. I can’t imagine traveling in 15-20 inches of snow. Science center…that reminds me of this thing called Science City. 🙂 It’s definitely kid geared too, though I’d like to go. The casino night sounds like so much fun.

    I need to try that jam ice cream! Time alone is definitely an addiction. Yay! Start of Me and You and Duff. <3 I finished Duff, loved it.

    Ah, that is so many book reviews. Great job. I need to work on writing more book reviews.

    i love that The Start of Me and You quote. I need to figure out about this Blogger Organization Challenge. 🙂 My library's e-book system is basically he best thing I've ever discovered, I don't have to worry about over-due books or anything. I just have to worry about the books that aren't in Kindle format and only Epub. 🙁

    I hope you had fun at Foxwoods! You've had a great month, I hope this month goes just as well.

    Amber recently posted: Looking Forward To: February ’15

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