My Whirlwind September

My September was crazy!  I was so busy and took so many trips it was ridiculous.  As much fun as it was, I am glad it is over and everything is settling back down.  Its a good thing I was super far ahead in my GoodReads reading challenge because I barely had any time to read last month.   I had a super fun, whirlwind September, and here is the proof:

September 1st – 3rd

Nebraska Cornhuskers Home Opener

We started our month by driving to Nebraska (about a 7 hour drive) on the morning of the 1st.  My Boyfriend and Best-friend are both HUGE Cornhusker’s fans.  Nebraska beat Arkansas State 43-36.  We partied a lot before and after the game. (There were quite a few Jello Shots consumed)

 

September 7th – 11th

Oregon Ducks vs Nebraska Cornhuskers

I will root for Nebraska as long as they are not playing Oregon.  I am a HUGE Ducks fan! We are a house divided, but its not so bad since Oregon and Nebraska are not rivals.  In fact they don’t usually play each other at all.  This was a 2 year deal, and since we went to the Oregon/Nebraska game last year in Lincoln, we had to go this year in Eugene.  My Grandma lives just outside of Portland so we stayed with her a couple nights, and spent the rest of our time in Eugene.  (Where we had even more Jello Shots) Oregon won 42-35!!! (Nebraska won last year 35-32)

September 16th

My Birthday

In the morning I went to do a trial run for getting my hair done for a wedding.  Then after that I went over to my Grandmas house to celebrate birthdays.  With my family we try to get together once a month to celebrate anyone who has a birthday that month, but we were slacking this year so we ended up celebrating birthdays from June through September.  There were 12 of us and we were celebrating 5 birthdays.

September 17th – 20th

Vegas Wedding

My Boyfriend’s Sister got married in Vegas.  It was a small ceremony with just her family.  My Boyfriend was the Best Man and I was the Maid of Honor (there were no other Bride’s Maids or Groom’s Men).  She got married at the Flamingo and it was really pretty!  We also did normal Vegas things, like Fremont Street and the giant Ferris Wheel.

 

September 23rd

Wedding Reception

While the wedding ceremony was in Vegas, the reception was here at home, so all the couple’s friends and family could come celebrate.

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September 24th – October 6th

Germany Trip

To finish off our whirlwind September we had a whirlwind trip through Europe.  We are calling it our Germany Trip but we also went to Belgium and Luxembourg.  We didn’t stay more than a couple nights in any one place so we moved around a lot.  Our main point of the trip was Oktoberfest, so, of course, lots of beer was consumed!  There were 8 of us who went.  We had such a great time and got to see so many cool things.  Unfortunately the last couple days of our trip I had the flu, which sucked.  It was nice to come home after that, being sick in a different country is not fun.

Germany

  • 24th – Really Long Flight
  • 25th – Brussels
  • 26th – Luxembourg
  • 27th – Lichtenstein Castle (Outside of Stuttgart)
  • 28th & 29th – Munich (Oktoberfest!)
  • 30th & 1st – Nuremberg
  • 2nd – Rothenburg
  • 3rd, 4th, & 5th – Frankfurt
  • 6th – Really Long Flight Home

 

Other than getting sick I wouldn’t change a thing about our September.  It was awesome, and I will always have so many great memories.  There was a lot of “Once in a Lifetime” events and I’m glad we could be there for all of them!

Now that I am back and everything is returning to normal, hopefully I will have more time to read!  I have so many books I want to read and just haven’t had the time.  It will be nice to relax a bit!

6 Degrees of Separation – Like Water For Chocolate

Better late then never! I finally got around to playing this month’s 6 degrees of separation! My chain took a nostalgic turn and has a lot of kids books.  See for your self below!

For those of you that don’t know: 6 Degrees of Separation is a monthly post hosted by Books are my Favorite and Best.  They pick a book to start you off, and then you list the next book that comes to mind, then you go from that book to another book, creating a chain. You do this 6 times (so you have 7 books including the one you started with).

If you missed my past “6 Degrees of Separation” posts here they are:

This month’s starter is Like Water For Chocolate

Disclaimer: The header titles are affiliate links to Amazon.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

1. Like Water For Chocolate

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I have never read this book and probably never will, but the title reminds me of Water for Elephants, which is another book I will probably never read.

2. Water for Elephants

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When I was a kid I collected Elephant figurines.  My mom chose them for me when I was born.  She chose lambs for my sister.  I just realized that my little brother doesn’t have a “mom-chosen” collection, but right now he is collecting Pokemon cards.  He has a LOT.  His favorite book is a Pokemon Handbook

3. Pokemon Essentials Handbook

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That might not be the exact cover he has, but its similar enough.  I bought it for him so you would think I would know, but I don’t don’t.  When I was about his age, my favorite books were the babysitter club books.

4. The Baby-Sitters Club #1: Kristy’s Great Idea

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Side note: Apparently they have made some of the Babysitters Club books into graphic novels, so that is weird.

The original Author, Ann M. Martin, wrote the first 35 books in the series, and the rest were written by other people.  As far as I can tell there are 130 total books in the series.  That is a crazy amount of books.  I probably owned 25 or so Babysitters Club Books when I was younger.

Another Series I read that had a lot of books is the Stephanie Plum Series

5. One for the Money

One

There are only 24 of these books but at one point I owned 1-17, plus all the random holiday specials.

Speaking of holidays and since it is almost Halloween:

6. Corduroy’s Halloween

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Corduroy’s Halloween was my favorite Halloween book.  My favorite Christmas book was:

7. The Snow Tree

SnowTree

From Like Water For Chocolate to Snow Tree, my chain this month had a lot of kids books, but it was nice to take a trip down memory lane!

As always, I love this post and had so much fun making it! Let me know what you think and what books your chain included!

Lit-Cube September Reveal!

Hi all! Its been a while.  My September was a whirlwind of activity and I didn’t have time to write.  But I am back now, and things should settle down for a bit!  I will write more about my whirlwind later, but I wanted to get started with this long overdue post.

Back in August I wrote a post about Book Subscription Boxes and at the end I decided to order from Lit-Cube.  As promised here is my big reveal! (And Yes, I know, its October and I am just revealing the September box, I will do better next time I promise)

September’s theme was:

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This theme does not make a great first impression.  It sounds weird and not book related at all.  What kind of book is going to fit in with “Apple Spice & Everything Nice”? A Cookbook? Better Not be.  Even though I am skeptical about the theme I am still super excited to find out what is in the box!

The box itself is mint green and very nice looking.  Though, honestly, I could care less what the box looks like,  (It will most likely end up in recycling)  I care more about whats on the inside.

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P.S. My cats refused to stay out of the pictures so meet Logan (Bottom Right) and Kaylee (Top Left).

Inside, the box is nicely packaged so the items aren’t crashing around.  There is a cute design on the lid that goes along with the theme.  (Again I don’t really care about the box.  I would rather the creator put more effort into what goes into the box rather than designing the box itself)

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And finally there were three items in the box:

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Item 1: Baked Crunchy Apple Chips by Bare.

Holy Cow these are delicious.  They taste more like apples then apples do! The only ingredient is apples, which is awesome.  I googled it and you can buy these at both Walmart and Target so I will definitely be buying more.

Item 2: Finger-less Gloves

At first I wasn’t too sure about these.  They are super cute, but most of my wardrobe is black based so they don’t match anything I own.  But, they are also super comfy, like little sweaters for your hands.  Not uncomfortable like most gloves.  I realized these are perfect for work.  My office building is FREEZING.  I wear extra layers and have a personal heater but my hands still get cold.  I can’t wear normal gloves because I type all day, so these should work perfect.  (Because I don’t care what I look like at work as long as I am warm!)

Item 3: The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Here is the back of the book, so you can see what it is about:

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This book sounds like the perfect book to curl up with on the couch and, drink some hot cider, while watching the leaves change.  Its got cozy written all over it.  I will start reading it just as soon as I am done with this post!

Overall I really liked all three items, but I was a bit disappointed that there were only 3.  Yes, they are all quality items, but I thought I would get more.  Plus I already knew I was getting the gloves because they were revealed in a “teaser” email.  I thought it was weird that they would reveal the gloves when the only other items are the book and apples, so I went back and re-read the e-mail.  I found this little tid-bit:

Included in this box will be:
1. Beautifully written women’s fiction book!
2. A pair of lovely fingerless gloves! Pictured below (you will receive a different colored pair, not the red ones pictured!)
3. Something scented & made exclusively by a wonderful small business!
4. Something exclusively made for Lit-Cube by a fabulous bath & body business!
5. Something yummy to snack on while you read!

So it seems that I didn’t get items 3 and 4.  I e-mailed Lit-Cube and within a couple hours I received a response saying that I was indeed missing 2 items, and that they would get them sent out pronto!  Lit cube gets an A++ for customer service, pending on me actually getting the missing items.

I will update you when I get the items and will post a review on the book soon.

Keep an eye out for next month’s reveal! The theme is:

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And this is the “Teaser:”

Featuring a brand new YA novel not even out yet. This book has a witchy “Picture of Dorian Gray” vibe! Unique, well-written, & an award-winning novel.
Included in the box will also be some fabulously “witchy” items
to enhance your reading experience!

I HATED The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I was pleasantly surprised by September’s box, so I am still looking forward to Octobers!

The Summer I Became a Nerd

***** (5 out of 5)

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Nerd

I’m not gonna lie, I needed this book.  I have been soooo stressed and busy lately I could feel myself start to spiral.  Two weekends ago we went to Nebraska, last weekend we went to Oregon, this weekend we are going to Vegas, and 4 days after we get back, we leave for Germany.  Its an understatement to say we have a lot going on.  On top of that I am procrastinating writing a review for Lion Heart, because I don’t know what to say, and Astrologer’s Proof because I haven’t even read it yet.

Yesterday, while hiding from my to-do list, (i.e. procrastinating) I was skimming through some blogs when I found a post about The Summer I Became a Nerd by Book Princess Reviews.  I read the first paragraph of the synopsis, skipped the second (because they usually reveal too much) and then read Mandy’s first paragraph:

Mandy

I didn’t even bother reading the rest of her post.  Those two paragraphs were all it took to ensnare me.  I downloaded the book and started reading it immediately.  I was leaving work so I read for the two minutes it took me to get to my car then I had to wait till I got home.

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Its a good thing this book is short-ish because I could not put it down.  I stopped reading only for dinner and my softball game. I even read while we hung out in the parking lot, drinking beers before the game.  I read until 1 am, when I finished the book.  So I pretty much read from 4 to 1.  Its been a while since I binge-read that hard.

The Summer I Became a Nerd is about Maddie, who is a closet nerd.  She fears the rejection of her peers if they were to find out about her nerdiness.  On the outside she is your typical cheerleader dating the quarterback, but on the inside she is all about comics.  It makes me sad to think that there are girls that feel like they have to hide who they are because it isn’t socially acceptable, but I get it.  I have never completely hid that side of me, but I don’t usually flaunt it either.

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I have two groups of friends; my sports buddies and my nerd buddies.  With my nerd buddies I can be whoever I want.  We play D&D and they don’t care if I watch the big game at the same time.  They accept both sides of me.  But my sports buddies aren’t as open.  They know I’m nerdy but they don’t know the extent, and they tend to make fun of me if I get too intense about it.  They don’t make fun of me in a mean way, more of a big brother sort of teasing way.  They will watch all the new Marvel movies, but they don’t understand how people can enjoy reading.

This is why I LOVE e-readers.  For some reason it is socially acceptable to play on your phone and ignore everyone while watching the big game or getting beers before our league games, yet if I pull out a book, everyone accuses me of being anti-social and makes fun of me for reading.  But if I read on my phone no one says anything.  They just assume I am playing games, texting, or whatnot.  Its awesome!

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This book not only appealed to me because I was able to relate to it, but it appealed to me because it was a light, fun, easy read.  When I am spiraling I tend to gravitate toward romance novels and cliche teenage novels.  The Summer I Became a Nerd definitely falls into the later category.  Its got all the cheesy, classic, teenage-summer-love tropes you could ever want.  And I absolutely loved it! Like I said before, I could not put it down.  It was the absolute perfect book that I needed yesterday.  I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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Thank you Mandy for your post! I needed this book so much ❤ I can see why it is your favorite contemporary of ALL TIME. (and I did go back and finish reading your post after I finished the book)

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Amazon

Big Hid

*** (3 out of 5)

Big Hid by Roisin Swales

Big

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Amazon $10.51 

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.  Giveaways are free raffles for books.  The trade-off is that, if you win, you write a review.  Its that easy!  I have won 4 books so far.

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I don’t have any kids, but I have a 10 year old brother and a 3 month old niece.  I used to read a ton to my brother, but I have yet to read to my niece.  I am a bit out of the loop when it comes to children’s books, so I apologize in advance if my review offends anyone.  (I entered the giveaway with the intention of giving the book to my niece, but I still need to write the review)

In all honesty I thought this book was stupid.  The story was too simple, and missing a huge plot point.  Why did Big Hide?

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I feel like that should be an important part of the story. The back cover says “A tale of friendship and overcoming sadness,” but the story has no indication that Big is hiding because he is sad.

I did really like the colors and illustrations in the book.  The illustrations are different from anything I’ve seen, and they are fun.  The colors are bright, happy, and warm.  As weird as it sounds I also liked the physical feeling of the book.  It is fairly big (10.5″ x 9″) and the pages are very thick.  The texture of the pages is rougher than a normal page.  Almost like construction paper.

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I didn’t want to be unfair in my evaluation (I feel really bad calling a children’s book stupid) so I looked at other reviews online.  Most people just said it was beautiful and they liked the simplicity.  One person said Big Hid  “can easily start the conversation about sadness, depression, social anxiety”  I disagree with this because there is no indication he is hiding because he is sad.  No one had anything bad to say about the book, so I was still worried about my review.

Next, I brought the book to work, and gave it to a coworker to see what she thought.  While showing her the book,  a couple other guys joined the conversation.  Kristin, who has a 1 year old, thought the book was incredibly stupid. (her words not mine) Andy, who has two daughters aged 3 and 6, thought the book would be okay for a 2 year old.  Kristin disagreed saying that she wouldn’t even bother reading it to her 1 year old.  Andy did say that halfway through he thought Big wasn’t really hiding but that he had died, which would have been a little morbid, but not completely out there.  Gary, who doesn’t have kids, liked the illustrations, but thought the story was too simple.  All three agreed (without any prompt from me) that it was weird that the book left out why Big hid.

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I decided to go ahead and give it an honest 3 star review.  It is a children’s book so it is supposed to be simple, but it is missing a major key issue.  Other than that I didn’t have any issues with the book and I liked the illustrations.

6 Degrees of Separation – Wild Swans

6 Degrees of Separation is a monthly post hosted by Books are my Favorite and Best.  They pick a book to start you off, and then you list the next book that comes to mind, then you go from that book to another book, creating a chain. You do this 6 times (so you have 7 books including the one you started with).

If you missed my first “6 Degrees of Separation” post it started with Pride and Prejudice.

This month’s starter is Wild Swans.

Disclaimer: The header titles are affiliate links to Amazon.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

1. Wild Swans

swans

I have never read this book, but the closest book I can think of, that I have read, was an autobiography about a Chinese man and his childhood in China.  For the life of me I can’t remember the title and google failed me.  I am going to cheat a little and use that as my second book even though I can’t remember the name.

2. ????

unknown

The circumstances of why I read the book still piss me off.  It was required reading in my American Lit Class.  It was a book written by a Chinese man about his childhood in China.  My teacher said it counted as American Lit because the author lived in America when he wrote it.  I think that is baloney. The teacher didn’t want to be teaching American Lit so she did whatever she wanted and that was her half-assed attempt at justifying it.  When I think of American Lit I think the plot, at very least, should take place in America.  We did read Pudd’nhead Wilson which, in my opinion, qualifies as American Lit.

3. Pudd’nhead Wilson

Wilson

Pudd’nhead Wilson is not a very well known Mark Twain book.  I think the most well known is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has a history of being banned for its use of the “N” word. I read this as part of my High School curriculum and didn’t have a problem with it.  When thinking of banned books The Diary of Anne Frank comes to mind.

5. The Diary of Anne Frank

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This book came to mind as a banned book, but I wasn’t 100% sure it was.  So I googled it and learned 2 things.  The title is not The Diary of Anne Frank, it is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. And the book is not banned because of all the Nazi stuff, it is banned for a scene where Anne Frank learns about her anatomy.  Here is an article that includes the passage that upsets people.  While The Diary of a Young Girl was an actual diary, there are other books that are written as if they were diaries.  For example the American Diaries series.  The first American Diaries book I read was American Diaries #18: Janey G. Blue: Pearl Harbor, 1941.

6. American Diaries: Janey G. Blue

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This is a historical fiction book about a girl living in Hawaii when Pear Harbor is attacked.  It is written as if it were her diary.  Another historical fiction book that includes Blue in the title is Girl in Blue.

7. Girl in Blue

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This was my favorite historical fiction book as a child.  It was an awesome story about a girl running away and dressing like a boy to fight in the Civil War.


I love this post it’s so much fun 🙂 Let me know how your chains turn out!

The Mystery Blogger Award

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I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Natalina at Never Too Late!  I am super excited to be nominated! Thank you so much!

For those of you who don’t know what the Mystery Blogger Award is, it was started by Okoto Enigma.  She started it as a way to discover new blogs.  Here are the rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

So three things about myself:

  1. I have two kitties that I love! Their names are Logan (after wolverine) and Kaylee (from firefly)
  2. I went to Colorado School of Mines and got a degree in Applied Mathematics
  3. I collected elephants as a child and I still like to buy one every now and then again

Here are the 5 questions from Natalina with my answers:

  1. What made you start a blog?
    • I love reading books and it just seemed like it would be cool to start a book blog.
  2. Where would you travel to if money was not an issue? Why?
    • Ireland.  It just seems so beautiful and majestic and I think it would be really cool to visit.
  3. What is your biggest fear?
    • Saunas.  I have no idea why but they creep me out and I can’t do them.  Might have to do with a Rugrats episode where the parents got locked in a sauna?
  4. If someone was writing your biography what would be its title?
    • Perfectly Tolerable (haha is that a cop out?)
  5. What is one thing you’ve never done but would love to to do?
    • I would like to travel more.  I have traveled a bit and I love it.  I definitely want to travel more!  I am going to Germany later this month.

In my opinion, my best posts are:

Here are my nominees:

I tried to pick people who have not been nominated before.  So I apologize if you have already done this!

Here are my five questions:

  1. What is your favorite book?
  2. What was the last thing you created?
  3. What is your favorite childhood memory? (Or at least a very good memory?)
  4. If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
  5. What is the best joke you have ever heard / told? (This is my funny question, hahah get it? Cuz jokes are funny)

Good luck everyone and thanks Natalina!!!