Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sick and Tired...

Well...I guess it could be worse...
Today I'm sick. I HATE being sick. I'm pretty sure I was contaminated by the kid, who apparently spent a day or two in bed at his mom's place last weekend. The day after he got back, I got a sore throat. I figured it would pass easily and was pretty elated when my throat felt better the next day. Then there was a resurgence. It started off as an innocent drippy nose...then last night at dinner I started getting a bit congested. By the time Collin & I got home two hours later, I was in purgatory. I was in bed by 9, asleep by 11. For someone who historically stays up until 1 or 2 in the morning, that was quite the early night.

I have my arms full with school, which has been running me ragged. I got two quizzes and two tests under my belt this week, but have another 2 big tests and a paper to write for next week. I definitely don't have time to be sick. Thanks to the crazy hours I've been keeping though, I think my immune system just decided, "nope". I'm now relegated to take a small break and get myself back together so I can focus on the fun that will be studying for finance this week. The test will apparently be comprised of quite a bit of true and false. I'm miserable at true/false questions. They, just behind group projects, are the bane of my academic existence.

And yes...there is a heavy dose of whining in this post. I'm taking advantage of the situation. In all likelihood, I will bounce back a bit by tomorrow and spend the remainder of my weekend making up for lost time. Next week, I'll be pulling double duty, trying to take on all of the work I need finished by the following Monday before Thursday evening so that Collin and I can enjoy our anniversary/my birthday weekend trip without the constant interruption of homework deadlines.

But for today...I'm sick. I'm going to stay bundled up in this cozy bed with the laptop, the iPad, my Nook, and a cup of tea for the duration. There may also be a nap involved. Homework will just have to wait...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

BOTNS Summer Book Bingo Wrap Up

Summer has officially ended...well, officially unofficially. Technically, fall doesn't begin until September 23rd, but let's all just agree that we can call Labor Day a pretty good bookend for the summer months.

The end of summer means the end of summer book bingo. The Books on the Nightstand Summer Book Bingo Challenge has come to a close. 

If you remember waaayyy back to Memorial Day(ish), I started off with this:

Believe it or not, I managed to snag myself a bingo! Hooray for Bout of Books for pushing me to finish some great books and helping me to make the final score. 

Qualifying reads:

1. Set during a war or conflict: 

Recommended/lent by Patti.

2. Has been on your TBR for longer than two years: 

Part of the Blume-a-Long hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm.

3. Published in 2015:

Fantastic ARC that I was lucky enough to snag.

4. Six or more words in the title:

Another amazing ARC that got finished just in the nick of time.

5. That you think you will dislike:

Part of my Classics Spin and not a bad little read.

6. Young adult novel:

A GREAT read that was gifted to me by the author, a blogging friend.

7. With an animal as a key character:

A Goodreads First Read that had me on the edge of my seat.

8. That you saw someone else reading:

EVERYONE has been reading this one and raving (me included). I snagged myself an ARC.

9. Set in another country:

Yet another ARC. A beautiful epic of a read.

It was a summer of magical reading. I was very lucky to have such a great batch of books. I'm looking forward to even more amazing novels in the fall. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015


I've been trying to write this post for three days. THREE DAYS. And I very nearly gave up on writing it again tonight. I don't know what it is about my lack of motivation, but I do know that it's freaking ridiculous. I've been terrible about getting anything blog-related completed.

Yesterday, I managed to attack the Feedly feed and whittle down 1200 posts to just under 300. I suppose that's more manageable, ya? I also updated my challenge and bucket list pages. That hadn't been done in almost three months, so it was an undertaking that was sorely overdue.

School has been back in session for two weeks now and I have been a bit overwhelmed with getting myself used to a new schedule. That's meant less time for anything outside of work, school, and sleep.'s getting a little more under control. At least I say that now. This upcoming week will be my first round of testing, with tests in three of my six classes and quizzes in two others. So I suppose ask me how I really feel here in another five or six days.

Watching :

There has been very little on the watching front, but what there has been has been glorious.


We sat down as a family last week and I made the guys watch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I can't believe that Collin had never seen it! Travesty. I think they both enjoyed it.

Other than that, the only other watching has been YouTube videos. But have no worries, I found a gem there as well. If you're familiar with BuzzFeed, there's another of  their employees you need to know. His name is Matt Bellassai and he hosts the weekly YouTube show Whine About It where he "get[s] drunk at [his] desk and complain[s] about stuff". He's a riot. Enjoy!

And yes...I may have watched another of his videos while writings. I also may or may not have completely laughed my ass off. Well played Matt.

Reading :

Will it come as a shocker to anyone that I am woefully behind on reading? No. Because I am forever behind. It's like the forever alone guy, but with novels.

I have like 20 pages left in The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. Seriously, what is my problem? This book is freaking awesome and yet it's sitting there, taunting me. That's it. I'm finishing it tonight. You heard me people. A book will get read today!

Listening :

First of all, can I just say that Spotify's new(ish) "Discover Weekly" list is freaking awesome? I get like 20 new songs each week based on stuff I've already put in my playlists. So. Many. Good. Songs.

Second, I'd love to share this great song I heard yesterday, but for the life of me I CANNOT remember the name of the song or the artist. It's driving me crazy. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, coming in a close second to the song that I have unwittingly forgotten, was this one. It's a little off the beaten path from my usual, but I still enjoy it. 

Sleep by Poets of the Fall.

Learning :

Oh all the learning! Classes started on August 24th and I'm taking an insane 16 credits this semester. The list of fun is: Accounting Cycle, British Literature, Finance, Management, Marketing, and my uber favorite...Business Statistics. (I'm being overly sarcastic there. Statistics is the devil's work.)

Before this semester started, I had a 4.0. Ya...I'm more or less resigned to the fact that it won't survive beyond this semester. My goal is honestly just to get out of stats with a C. It might be a freaking miracle. I contemplated dropping it, but then I'd just have to deal with it another semester. Better to just rip off the band-aid and be done with it. Right?

Making :

Nothing. Yes...nothing. I'm a complete crafting failure. I don't have enough time to sew a button on let alone make something useful. One of these days my sewing machine will see action again...

If you stretch the definition of making a little bit, I suppose that I actually am getting something made. I'm in the midst of designing a new book review template. It's getting there. It's more creative than what I've done in the past, but I'm trying to weed it down. Right now it's a bit of a bear. There are some promising components though. I hope to give it a test run before the end of the month.

Thinking :

My brain has been full of all sorts of stuff over the last few weeks. Most frequently it's been thoughts of "why did I think this was a good idea?". There's also been a lot of contemplation about where I really want my life to go from here. Yes, big, fat existential thought stuff...the ultimate result of which is usually resigning myself to my current fate since the mountain of debt I've accumulated has me virtually trapped in a specified path. Ah, to do it all over again. There would be changes.

Feeling :

Concurrent with the thinking stuff, I've just been feeling the need for a different lifestyle, something more simple and less overwhelming from a responsibility and financial standpoint. The things I thought I needed for myself in my twenties are not the things I think I need now. Stupid growing up...

Wanting / Needing :

I'd love to win the lottery, does that count? I actually want a new house. to me. It doesn't have to be new. This want stems from a need. Because it seems that the current house of horrors has decided to bless us with another repair need. This time it's the sump pump. It decided to go ahead and go out. There will be a plumber here on Tuesday to let us know whether our anniversary and Thanksgiving travel plans get to be exchanged for a new pump and the pleasure of his company for a couple of days. Ugh. Adulting sucks guys.

Loving :

I'm loving that fall is right around the corner. It's my favorite time of year. The weather has shifted over the last week and I can definitely feel a change. Hoodie weather has commenced! Yay!!

Planning :

Hand in hand with loving that fall is here goes the planning. The big plans. The Halloween plans. Pumpkin season is approaching. I threw out a call for help on my Facebook last week so that I could get some ideas for this year's yard display. By popular opinion, it looks like we'll be doing a Minions theme this year. I suppose that means I should probably watch the movie.

Holy crap...I wrote a blog post! Look at that guys. Behold, a miracle before thine eyes! One of these days I'll stop sucking at being a blogger...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bout of Books 14: It's a Wrap!

Another Bout of Books has come to an end. I extended it out for an extra day, hanging out in the tent for one last night, but now the tent is on its way down until the next read-a-thon. It's a little bit of a sad day.

Darian returned home Sunday night and managed to get himself a little more reading in before the read-a-thon came to a close.

Darian's Stats:

Currently Reading:

Minutes Read: 214 minutes

Pages Read: 143 pages

Books Read: 0 books

His participation in Bout of Books, though minimal, got him away from his tablet for a little while, so I'm calling it a success.

Elle's Stats:

Currently Reading:

This book is really weird, but totally awesome. I'm speeding through it.

I managed to meet the majority of my goals and I'm pretty stoked with my progress. I skipped out on the mini-challenges this time simply because I wasn't really feeling it and preferred spending my time with my nose in a book, but some of them were pretty creative and I enjoyed seeing other people's involvement. I still have quite a bit of blog reading to get caught up on, so I'm looking forward to hearing about even more great books and Bout of Books experiences.

Books Read:

I completed three ARCs during Bout of Books and am a good portion through the fourth. With three more books out of the TBR and in the "read" pile for this year, I'm calling this one a total win. Bout of Books never disappoints!

If you didn't participate this time, but want to get in on the action, the next Bout of Books is scheduled for January 4th - January 10th of next year. It's a long time to wait, but there will be other read-a-thons in the meantime. Next up: 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Progress Report #3

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It's a week long read-a-thon that begins at 12:01am on Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever timezone 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog
-From the Bout of Books team.

Only one day left for Bout of Books. I hate that these weeks seem to go by so quickly. I've been getting some decent reading in, but not as much as I originally planned. (Isn't that always the case?) This was partly due to a week that filled up with other random "have to's", but also partially due to the fact that I passed out on my couch this afternoon and inadvertently took a three hour nap. Whoops.

I'm back in the tent for the evening, nice and cozy in the blankets. The lantern is up and the laptop is plugged in. After this post, it's back to reading until I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

Darian provided me with some updated stats before he took off for his mom's house this morning, so here's where he sits.

Darian's Stats:

Currently Reading:

He tells me that he's almost finished with it, so he must at least like it somewhat.

Total Pages Read: 76 pages

Total Minutes Read: 111 minutes

Total Books Finished: 0 books

He'll be back tomorrow evening and will probably get in another little chunk of reading before all is said and done. His tablet seems to be a pretty big time suck so we've had to have some chats about being responsible with his time use so that his dad and I don't have to lay down the law and restrict his privileges. Teenagers...

Elle's Stats:

Currently Reading:

I should be able to finish this one up by tomorrow. It's pretty good. Sad and a little depressing, but good.

As you can see, I'm not doing so awesome on the mini-challenges. For some reason, I just haven't been feeling them this time. Oh well. I'm not going to force myself to do them, so I suppose those will just be goals left unmet. That's the best thing about Bout of Books. I just let my reading do what my reading does. Low pressure.

I've learned that I quite like my tent living situation this week. If it wasn't for having to trek across the lawn every time I need to use the bathroom and the fact that it gets crazy hot in the mid-afternoon, it would be perfection. Perhaps this is a sign that I would enjoy living in one of those mobile "tiny" houses that have become so popular. Pretty sure Collin would divorce me if I tried to make him life that lifestyle...

How is your Bout of Books going? I've been awful about checking up on everyone else's progress, but I promise I'll make the rounds in the next week or so. I've just been enjoying my isolated little cave (other than hanging out at the two Bout of Books Twitter chats). Sometimes I'm just a little antisocial.

Now, I think it's time for me to get back to the books. Happy reading!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Progress Report #2

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It's a week long read-a-thon that begins at 12:01am on Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever timezone 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog
-From the Bout of Books team.

Happy Friday everyone! I had a couple of busy days and my planned lazy week of nothing but reading has turned into everything but. Apparently I'm not allowed to have time off.

But...there has been some (and will still be more) reading. I'm not giving up. The tent has been set up in the yard, complete with super awesome air mattress and cozy bedding. You've already seen the fantabulous setup if you follow me on Instagram. I even attached a lantern to the ceiling so I have light for the dark hours late at night. Oh...and I have an extension cord running out across the yard, so I am fully powered for all of my electronics. I did spent the night out there last night and it was awesome. I plan on repeating through the weekend, save for mid-afternoon reading since it's a sweltering mess in my yard for a few hours in the middle of the day. 

Currently Reading: 

Both of these books are ARCs. I started reading Things Unsaid after I finished my amazing success with Everything, Everything. ( it.) Unfortunately, Things Unsaid gave me a bit of trouble, so I have put it aside for now and started reading The Color of Our Sky last night. The plan is to finish The Color of Our Sky and then give Things Unsaid a second chance. 

Being a mood reader, I can't just bail on a book without at least factoring in the possibility that the problem is me. However, if it doesn't work on a second pass, then the book in question becomes an unfortunate DNF. Here's hoping that will not be the case.

Remember how on Sunday I revamped my reading list thanks to receiving a bunch of new ARCs? Ya...well...this week another NINE have come through. Yes...NINE. I'm drowning in beautiful, beautiful books. (Figuratively...they're mostly digital copies.)

Added to the list:

1. Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley
2. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
3. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (YES!!!)
4. The Shore by Sara Taylor (Double YES!!!)
5. State of Grace by Hilary Badger
6. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (Woohoo!! Shaina!)
7. The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block
8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
9. The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by ScottWilbanks

Obviously, I need to step up my reading game.

Darian's Stats:

Yes...Darian has been doing some reading. He's only doing a short term amount of participation since he's going to go hang out at his mom's house for the weekend, but some reading is always better than none. 

He didn't set any goals this time around, so it's just boring ol' stats for him.

Currently Reading:

It took me a while to get him talked into this series. We'll see how it goes. He's hit those teenage years where things have to be cool, so this might be too girly for him. Who knows. I'm hoping the werewolf/vampire/warlock components keep his interest because Cassandra Clare is freaking awesome.

Total Pages Read: 42 pages

Total Minutes Read: 50 minutes

Elle's Stats

I did set goals, so I get the fancy graphic. Here's how I'm doing...

I'm slacking a little in the mini-challenge department. Here's hoping that I can get my act together for the weekend. I'm on track to get more than halfway through my minutes and pages goals this evening.

For those of you participating in Bout of Books (or just those of you who love reading), the second Twitter chat is tomorrow morning at 10am CST. These are notoriously crazy and fun. Come join in by using the hashtag #boutofbooks for the hour. It won't disappoint!

Now...if you'll excuse me...there is serious reading to be done!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books 14: Progress Report #1

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It's a week long read-a-thon that begins at 12:01am on Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever timezone 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog
-From the Bout of Books team.

Well hi there! Welcome to day two of Bout of Books 14! The reading has commenced with great success. I took part in the most fantastic Twitter chat ever last night and we had a marvelous time. I'm actually still sorting through the reading suggestions and bulking up my TBR...because we all know how much I need that (sarcasm is dripping heavily here).

I was surprised by the announcement earlier this evening that Darian will be joining in on the festivities. He has no stats right now, but at some point he apparently plans to put down the tablet and start reading. He starts school tomorrow so I wasn't sure he'd be up for it. I have a feeling he was swayed by the fact that he usually gets to eat a pile of junk during read-a-thons. He's also increasingly psyched for the tent now that he found out we have an air mattress on the way. Super hardcore reader guy.

As for me, reading is well underway. I have a nice pile of ARCs that I'll be working on--quite a few that I'm overly excited for. It gives me very high hopes that reading will be a mega successful endeavor this week. Yay!

Currently Reading :

This book is unbelievably awesome thus far. I'm totally loving it. The characters give me a bit of a Rainbow Rowell vibe and there is a touch of an American Beauty undertone for me in Olly's family situation. It's reading like a breeze and it totally gives me all the feels.


I'm changing things up just a smidge from previous Bout of Books read-a-thons. (I also discovered about an hour ago that this is my FIFTH time participating, not the fourth as I had previously thought.) I'm tracking things as I have in the past, but I'm using a fun new graphic.

Because...well...why not?

I'm not going to lie...I'm kind of happy about this.

I haven't done any of the mini-challenges yet, but that's just because I haven't really been home today. This will likely change tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm getting back to my wicked awesome book.

How is your Bout of Books so far?

Other Posts You Might LIke

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
01 09 10 11 12
Blogging tips