Month: December 2018

2018 End of Year Statistics

Posted December 31, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
2018 End of Year Statistics

I participated in the Statistics Survey in years past (2014, 2015, and 2016), created and hosted by Brittany and Andi, two of my all-time favorite bloggers and friends. They didn’t move forward with hosting it for this year and I decided to make some adjustments to their questions for my own purposes. I always share stats and EOY information at this time anyways, but there are bits and pieces sprinkled in from their survey as well! Monthly Reads and Stats, Book Buying Habits Average book rating for 2018: 3.7 stars Average number of pages per month: 3,504 pages Average books acquired per month: 12.8 books Most books/pages read in a month: January – 14 books (4,765 pages) Least books/pages read in a month: June – 7 books (2,343 pages) These are definitely not surprising to me. I always try to get ahead on my Goodreads challenge in January. Signing up for new reading challenges, participating in Bout of Books, and just being excited for a clean slate of reading? Those things all lead to an increase in January to get me on the right foot. I’m also not surprised about having a low reading month in June. It was super busy. We packed in EVERYTHING we could during our last month in Maine, including a trip home for a wedding AND a trip to California for a wedding/vacation. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of reading done that month, which is why I tried to read a little more […]

2018 End of Year Survey

Posted December 30, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 4 Comments
2018 End of Year Survey

I loved filling out Jamie’s survey in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. This is the 9th time she’s hosted this survey and it’s so fun to see what everyone chooses for the categories. Last year, I didn’t allow myself any duplicates. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum for this survey, but it feels impossible. I’ll need to have a few. To learn more about it and see a blank set of questions, check here! It was so fun to reread my answers for last year, since I copied that survey here to clean out and fill out. Number of Books You Read: 120 Number of Re-Reads: 2 | Number of DNFs: 5 Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary 1. Best Book You Read In 2018? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) See a full list of my “best reads” of the year (5 stars and 4.5 stars) here if you’re curious.     Best of the best: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills Best contemporary: Love a la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm Best non-contemporary: The Wicked King by Holly Black Best adult fiction: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid Best sequel or companion: 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno Best diverse read: Dear Martin by Nic Stone 2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t? My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows just, for me, was not as good as the previous companion. I enjoyed that it followed a […]

DNFs & Books Put on Hold in 2018

Posted December 29, 2018 / Book Lists, Features / 2 Comments
DNFs & Books Put on Hold in 2018

I don’t DNF books very often because I think I’m quite good at determining which books will work for me and which won’t. Looking through these six books I stopped reading or put on hold, I see a few patterns. I typically will DNF a book around the 20% mark, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. I think that’s usually enough for me to know for sure that I’m not interested anymore. A few of these DNFs are books where the audio narrator wasn’t for me or the writing style wasn’t what I expected. One of these books was “out of my norm” so I’m not surprised it didn’t work for me either. Regardless of the reason, keep reading to see the “mini Goodreads reviews” that I posted when I stopped reading. The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox DNF at 35%. Yikes, this was nothing like I expected. I feel so weird right now. I was expecting something witchy and creepy, but this gave me the heebie-jeebies in a totally different way. I strongly disliked all of the characters initially and then the story took a few turns I don’t currently want to read about. I can’t fault the book though; I knew this wasn’t in my wheelhouse and decided to read it to get out of my comfort zone. Many, many others have enjoyed it! I truly think if gothic historical fiction with (apparently, later on) witchiness is your thing, give it a shot. Leah […]

2018 Resolution Progress + State of the ARC

2018 Resolution Progress + State of the ARC

I’m here today to start some of the 2018 year-end wrap-ups! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. First, I’ll be going through my resolutions from 2018 and seeing where my final status is for them. Did I complete everything or fail miserably? (Remember I did a check-in during the summer? Again, I’ll say it, time flies and I can’t believe it.) Second, I’ll be checking in with the State of the ARC meme to see where I stand at the end of the year. I was hoping to get to an 80% Netgalley ratio and spoiler alert, I did not. [See my 2019 resolutions and challenges here!] Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies ✔️  I’ve done a good job of this yet again. Sure, it’s led to some sad reading months, but that’s what happens! I also have learned that balance is so important. If that means I have to create a reading/listening schedule based on certain days of the week or month, so be it. I don’t want to feel pressured to read and avoid watching shows with Chris or enjoying a podcast. Read 50% or less contemporary novels ❌ Alright so this one is VERY CLOSE – arguably the closest it’s ever been. I’m writing this at the end of November so I guess I won’t know for sure what this will look like by the end of December… but all of my holiday reads will definitely not help this case! My total right now is 52%. […]

Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

Posted December 26, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

I posted my Hallmark Holiday round-up the other day (which I continue to add to after posting, if you care to click the link for an update!), but wanted to do a last-minute movie round-up for everything else watched in 2018. There were some new-to-me movies, the yearly classics, and some I haven’t watched in YEARS. They’re all categorized below and some of the old favorites / new movies have little bits of my thoughts underneath. The tried-and-true yearly favorites don’t need any information! Yearly Watches       My favorite Christmas movie is THE SANTA CLAUSE, and that’s usually my first “real” holiday movie of the season. I don’t really count all of the Hallmark ones I keep on in the background starting in November. My second favorite is CHRISTMAS VACATION because it’s perfect. The others are classics we’ve started to watch each year! New-to-Me (Non-Hallmark) Movies Hallmark movie reviews can be found HERE!   I wanted Chris to watch THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES with me (we failed at that) but knew I’d be watching THE PRINCESS SWITCH alone! I put it on while wrapping presents and folding laundry (fun and exciting stuff) on my favorite day – Christmas Eve Eve. It has the classic switcheroo storyline of two strangers who look alike and decide to swap lives for a period of time. It was definitely a cute one! Haven’t Seen in Years    I had high hopes for this section because I really wanted to watch a lot of rom-com Christmas […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #215: Under My Tree

Posted December 25, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 6 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #215: Under My Tree

My Christmas Wishlists Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. The original topic was BOOKS I hoped to find under my tree this morning, but I asked for shockingly few of them. I thought I’d highlight some of the items on my wishlists this year. I have one for my mom/stepdad and one for my dad/stepmom, but broke everything down by category. Also, don’t judge me for the amount of things on this list. First of all, my parents like a lot of options so I don’t know exactly everything I’ll be getting and they can choose what they think is most fun/interesting. Second of all, these lists/items make their way to four different parents, who also share with grandparents. [All of the images came from Amazon but I am way to lazy to link everything – comment below if you’re curious about something!] Books / Planner Happy Planner budget insert for my new planner, plus a Happy Planner sticker book with basic icons | Sightwitch by Susan Dennard | Hand lettering book so I can finally learn some more modern calligraphy | I’ll Be There for You by Kelsie Miller (my mom, the Friends lover, will totally get this!) | Cravings (both books) by […]

Holiday Reviews: Season of Wonder, Christmas on Mistletoe Lane, and It Started with Christmas

Posted December 24, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Season of Wonder, Christmas on Mistletoe Lane, and It Started with Christmas

Story ASK ME HOW PUMPED I AM FOR NEW HAVEN POINT BOOKS! (Very excited, obviously.) I love this town. I heard a few mixed things about this main character and the story as a whole, but I knew the small town Haven Point feels would make up for a lot. The lead, Diana, has two girls – one bratty teenager and one adorable six-year-old, and she moved everyone to Haven Point to hopefully run the town’s veterinary practice. She can’t resist her cop neighbor and he seemingly can’t resist her either, especially as he helps the aforementioned annoying teen daughter make up for some mistakes. This one was a bit repetitive with Dani’s internal dialogue, going back and forth all the time. She was an okay lead character but a little too hard to get to know. She was closed off to everyone, including the reader. Ruben was amazing though; the scenes with him and her kids were adorable. Mia was the cutest and Silver was a bratty teen that got better with time. I also think the big “reveal” about her ex-husband wasn’t as bad as expected? Maybe that’s terrible to say given the nature of it, but still – they built it up quite a bit. I definitely missed the cameos here too… not as many as I’d hoped because Dani refused to become a part of the town. I hope the next book, if there is one, features more of actual Haven Point and its residents. Wintry Setting […]

Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Posted December 21, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Story I’ll keep it real – I did not love Dash and Lily as much as everyone else (and any good feelings that led me to rate it four stars have definitely faded over time for some reason). I like to eventually finish things I start though, so I decided to give the sequel a shot. It’s a short book and therefore a short audiobook; I thought it’d be the perfect one to listen to during the Tis the Season-a-thon in early December. I really loathe Lily because of her immaturity and Dash is so pretentious. It’s hard to ship a couple when one of them feels like they’re 10 years old and shouldn’t be in a serious relationship. Speaking of which, how is it possible that after a year of dating, they’re in the exact same place they were in the previous book/year? They did not communicate at all and it’s frustrating to see that they were still dancing around things. I would hope dating someone for that long would open you up a bit. Aside from that, they were constantly running to catch up to each other (so to speak). They were never on the same page. Wintry Setting & Holiday Feels The story was mostly depressing with some holiday feels involved? It happens in the 12 days before Christmas, which should bring about the most Christmassy feels possible. While being in NYC for Christmas is the last thing I want to do because of the crowds, I absolutely […]

2018 Favorite Products

Posted December 20, 2018 / Lifestyle, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
2018 Favorite Products

I circled back through my Lauren Lately posts to round up some of my favorite new products, purchases, etc. from 2018. As you’ll see, it’s mostly makeup and healthy/beauty related because that’s where most of my money goes. Sorry, not sorry. [Links will be mostly to where I bought the item, or on Amazon if it makes more sense.] Skincare / Body / Hair Body Anti-Chafe Balm | This was great when I went to NYC for a weekend and walked everywhere! I’m not a city gal and don’t often walk around, but when I visit cities in the summer? This will be my go-to from now on. I love wearing shorts or breezy dresses to keep cool during those months, but walking 20,000+ steps around a city requires some kind of anti-chafing system. This worked well and I didn’t even notice it was there! Keep it in your purse if you have to reapply. Thayer’s Witch Hazel | This stuff just feels so nice on my skin. I learned that witch hazel makes a good toner and this is the one I use during the daytime. It’s light and doesn’t feel like anything, but refreshes my skin. I don’t massage it in with a cotton pad – I just kind of let it absorb and apply the COSRX liquid (below) right after. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer | I know I just talked about these in my last Lauren Lately but they’re both already favorite purchases this year. I love being […]

2019 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

Posted December 19, 2018 / Book Challenges, Features / 5 Comments
2019 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

I’ve been doing these resolutions for the past couple of years and found that it’s a really nice way to keep track of some goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be honest when I say that generally “resolutions” or the “clean slate of a new year” isn’t my shtick, but sometimes the marking of a new year just helps when setting new goals. It’s an easy marker of time and that’s about it. You can find 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 resolutions as well. Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies | I feel like a broken record with this one but honestly I have to remind myself every year to KEEP DOING THIS. I used to get so bogged down in meeting my goal or challenges that I would focus exclusively on reading every second I could. I would have the audiobooks going during my morning routine in commute, plus another book to read from the second I sat on the couch after dinner until bedtime. It’s nice to read all time because DUH I love reading, but I really want to feel like I can veg out for a week straight with my favorite show instead. Read 50% or less contemporary novels | I got SO close to completing this goal in 2018 – I was about 3% over! I’m genuinely quite impressed with myself because I think it’s the closest I’ve ever been. I know I can definitely get under 50% for contemporary books in 2019 because […]