I love these Wacky Holiday stickers from Once More with Love! I always intend to blog about them, but am continually distracted.
Tomorrow is Cheese Day, which is funny because when I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work today, that’s pretty much all I bought: white cheddar popcorn, shaved parmesan, shredded cheddar…. So, I guess that means that I’m all set to celebrate tomorrow!
As far as cheeses go, I tend to prefer drier cheese. My favorite string cheese is the low-moisture, light Sargento brand – anything else seems to be too oily or waxy.
I picked this Quote sticker to hold a spot of prominence in my planner this week for a couple specific reasons:
Sunday, May 19th, my friend Kristin celebrated 9 years with her company, Krissyanne Designs. She has grown from a hobby shop on Etsy, to hosting her own website, becoming a corporate sponsor for our (huge and amazing) Go Wild planner conferences, to having a line in Michael’s stores across the nation and beyond. Through her shop, she has brightened countless lives and inspired those around her to celebrate their lives. Of herself, Kristin is a dear, sweet, creative, kind, caring, brilliant and fun sticker scientist who is a fantastic role model, not just in the planner world, or in the business world, but an overall prime example of what it means to be a compassionate and loving person. The vibrancy of her dreams, the strength of her determination and hard work, the consistent choice of kindness that is the backbone of her world-class customer service – these are truly things to be proud of.
In the planner community, we #KADdicts (the Krissyanne Designs (KAD)-addicted members), are celebrating with her this week. Her shop (www.krissyanne.com) is offering special anniversary items, discounts, and daily deals all week long. Many of us are recognizing this by featuring her products and giving shout-outs on social media, and using her stickers in our planners. This “Don’t Stop Until You’re Proud” sticker is one of her “vintage” stickers. It was printed in the older formatting, before she moved to vinyl stickers (which have since changed again to a reposition able formulation). In my planner photo (featured), you can see stickers from Krissyanne Designs from near the beginning of when I discovered her shop to stickers from her line at Michael’s.
One of the things that I struggle with in my planner is how to plan out my week when I don’t have a lot going on at home. For a long time, I’d plan out my work day meetings in my weekly planner, but so often these are repetitive – I have a schedule of Monday meetings, Tuesday meetings, etc. In addition, I have a Daily Emily Ley planner that I use and keep at work, so putting these things in my Weekly Erin Condren doesn’t really add any value for me.
So, I’m trying something a little different this week. Well, a couple things that are different, but we’ll get to the #pencolorchallenge in a minute.
First, I am following some inspiration from both Laken (@planwithlaken) and Julie (@julies_plans on IG), who use either quote full boxes or checklist full boxes to mark off the times in their planner where they are at work, since they both also use separate planners for work. I don’t typically have a lot of to-do items any given day, but I can use smaller checklists/quotes/decorative stickers as needed. I’m thinking that I’ll keep these at the top of every day to either be motivation or putting right in front of me the things I want to accomplish before I go to bed.
Second, I’ll use the middle and bottom boxes to put any appointments, activities, or notable things about the day. It’ll be (mostly) in chronological order from top to bottom, but I may/may not make a distinction between things I did before work vs. things that I did after work, unless there’s a reason I might need that information later.
In this spread, I currently have a lot of text. Mostly, because I didn’t do too much other than dishes, shopping, and watching YouTube while I ate dinner. What I did do, was spend some time in introspection, which I don’t do all that often.
On Monday, I asked myself the question: What is one small thing that I can do today to make myself proud?
These cute daily log sheets are part of Kristin’s line at Michael’s, and I had a really fun time filling it out. It made my very boring day seem important and allowed me to celebrate my mundane daily #adulting accomplishments. Like keeping up with the dishes. I even took all the recycling out of the house and into the bin.
Today, I worked a couple hours past my shift, then spent probably another hour having a great conversation with a coworker and her husband. How often have we done that? Taken the time to really get to know those we work with? Not as much as we’d like, probably.
One interesting part of the conversation concerned our reactions to horrible/dangerous/clueless drivers around us. Both Eric and I have a tendency to be – let’s say less than charitable – in our hearts and thoughts. I have, over the years, really tried to be aware of this and the reasoning behind it, and have come up with a few things that I try to keep in mind to re-train my heart to be more forgiving and compassionate. I’ll follow up with more details on this in an upcoming blog post.
For now, I’ll leave you with the question I left for myself today:
I hope you have all been enjoying the reread-a-thon so far!
Today’s theme is: Childhood Favorite.
One book popped into my head as soon as I heard about this theme for today and has stuck with me for weeks:
This is a lovely story about an ordinary princess who runs away from her parents who are trying to hide her ordinariness so that they can marry her off. She would rather be herself, play in the forest, and get dirty, instead of all the boring, stuffy things that princesses have to do.
The author also illustrated the book and the line drawings are fantastic!
Please make sure to check out our other hosts for today:
From the time I was selected to help host the Reread-a-thon, I have been excited about the giveaway. I have been a voracious reader since my Pre-K days and want to celebrate that, so I tried to think of what puts me in a reading mood.
A good book (required), coffee (yum!), and a cozy place to read (maybe a pillow or a blanket to cuddle up in or sit on outside on a nice sunny day).
To make sure you have what you need, I will be giving away a $40 Amazon gift card and a $10 Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner!
Comment below with what you have enjoyed most about this Reread-a-thon! Please include your Twitter username so that I can DM you there if you win (to get contact information, so I can email you the gift card codes). I am @cadyly (most places, including Twitter).
I will be choosing a winner at 5pm tonight (Eastern Daylight time), so please make sure you have entered by then!
Every once in a while, a day will come around to really remind me that I have this mitochondrial myopathy. Today was one of those days.
Yesterday, I was finally feeling a little better and could – for the most part – breathe without coughing. So, I had a nice dance party in my living room in the evening. I love to dance!
This morning, I woke up and everything was fine. I had Bible Study with Pam via Skype, then went to tackle some dishes that were left over.
I was only standing at the sink for about 10 minutes or so, but every muscle started screaming in pain. So, I winced through putting the final dishes in the dishwasher and starting it.
Walking away, I started to have bursts of pain in my lower right quads along with muscle failure. The best way for me to describe it is: if you go to the gym and do burn-outs, where you exercise the muscle to temporary muscle failure.
It was like that.
So, for the rest of the day, I’ve been having this quad trouble and having difficulty standing and walking. The rest of the muscles calmed down after I finished with the dishes, but the quads are refusing to chill out. I’ve taken some meds that my neurologist prescribed that I take PRN, but this has been pretty persistent throughout the day.
I’m equally amused and frustrated by this. The amusement mostly comes from this game of What’s Going to Be Troublesome Today? that my disease likes to play with me. My response was to sit on the couch and read for most of the day, and take a nap.
The featured photo is me taking a picture of the offending party. Apparently to shame it into better behavior or something. Because while I can deal with a speed bump today and not be as productive as I would like, I have Things To Do tomorrow!
In a hurry? Skip below for the details of the challenges and giveaways…
Make sure to follow the Reread-a-thon Twitter! @rereadathon2019
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a competitive person. Mostly with myself, but I’m always game to join a challenge.
I’ve also been a bookworm my entire life. Growing up, it was rare to see me without a book. My mom would have to chase me out of the house to make me play and experience the sunshine. Of course, my mom was also a big reader (and still is!) and taught me to read at the dinner table and basically any time I had a free moment.
One huge difference between our reading styles is that my mom does not hang on to any books. She reads them, then gets rid of them. If she accidentally picks up a book that she’s read before, she will toss it aside as soon as she realizes it.
I’m the complete opposite.
Characters in books are beloved friends and I enjoy revisiting them often. I’ve read The Martian about 30 times, so you know that Mark Watney and I are tight. 🙂
When I heard that Merphy Napier was organizing a Reread-a-thon, I knew that I had to be a part of this! I jumped at the opportunity to host a day and can’t wait to participate alongside my co-hosts throughout the week! This is going to be so much fun!
The Reread-a-thon will take place from March 10-16, 2019.
There are seven challenges over the seven days, but you are not required to read seven books! You can double or triple the challenges for books, or, you don’t even have to do the challenges!! This is all for fun, so read a much or as little as you want 🙂
Giving a Book a Second Chance
A Recent Favorite
An Old Favorite
A Game Changing Book
An Underrated/Unpopular Book
A Childhood Favorite
A Popular Book
Make sure to follow the hosts of the day on each platform (Blog, Insta, and YouTube) to enter giveaways! (Prizes and how to enter will be determined by each host – make sure to follow them and follow the Reread-a-thon on Twitter @Rereadathon2019, for updates, reading sprints, and more!)
Sunday, March 10 – Game Changer A book that opened your eyes to / made you love a new genre.
After nearly a month off, I am back to work and my days are falling into a familiar rhythm. I’m fairly pleased with the reading I’ve done this month. Quite a bit of Jennifer L. Armentrout – more than anticipated!
This month, I read 9 books, with a total of 3,897 pages! That’s just one book off my 10 book/month goal, if I’m going to meet my Goodreads goal of 120 books read this year. Pretty good so far!
That’s about 125.7 pages/day.
Average Star Rating: 3.9
0 Children’s books vs. 9 YA/Adult
4 E-books vs. 2 Audio vs. 3 Physical books
This is not terribly surprising to me, as I am back to work and spend a lot of time commuting or away from home.
I read 18/31 days reading on my Kindle in January.
It’s kind of interesting that all 3 of my physical books this month are a hue of blue.
0 e-ARCs; 0 Library books; 8 Owned books; 1 Subscription book – To be fair the library was closed for much of the month for some renovations.
I’ve added the book reviews as links below, to try and shorten the length of the monthly wrap-up posts, and hopefully encourage me to post them as I finish reading throughout the month, instead of waiting and having a pile to do all at once. Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments. Thanks!
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“Sporks are only used in the most dire situations.”
Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
This was a really cute read! I loved the friend group and the dynamic between each of the friends. I felt that the characterization was well done. The banter in this book was great!
“No matter how old you are, no matter how ready you think you are, nothing quite prepares you for the loss of a parent.”
January TBR Books I Didn’t Get To
Burying Water by K. A. Tucker
This one almost doesn’t count, since I finished it at 3 am on February 1st.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
This is a long book! It makes it more difficult to read in bed and carry around with me, so I didn’t get as much of a chance to read it. Then, I would start another book while away from home and want to finish that read.
I’m currently only 61 pages into it and still figuring things out. I’m sure once I know what’s going on, I’ll pick up the pace and knock this one out.
Cindy single-handedly made me stop ignoring YouTube.
I’ll mark down when this appointment is…
Oh hai, Mark!
I met Cindy via the planner community about half a decade ago. Who ever thought that a Facebook group that you join based on one of your random interests would end up completely changing your life? But for me it has in so many ways.
The one dearest to me is all of the amazing friends that I’ve made. Legitimate friendships. People I share my secrets, embarrassing stories, successes, failures, and sorrows with. Through the planner community (PGW, WLEC, and the million others that have cropped up), I have had opportunities to Go Wild (or Geaux Wild, if you’re an OG), traveling to many cities I haven’t seen before, and be able to hug my friends and share experiences with them.
Cindy is one of the people I call my friend. If you haven’t met her yet, just know that she is awe-inspiring, talented, down-to-earth, hilarious, compassionate, honest, and the most *real* person I’ve seen in a while.
You might look her up on Facebook or YouTube for her lettering, watercolors, or vlogs. But – if you are like me – you’ll quickly see what she puts out there for everyone to find: Cindy has an amazing heart. She cares deeply about people. All people. She will have opinions, but she always, always advocates for you having your own opinion and going with that. She is open and honest and real and prefers to see people as they are and not just the perfect image that they project. And she truly loves people for themselves, flaws and all.
I think it’s because of this very basic acceptance of people with all their warts and deficiencies that she is such a sought-after teacher when it comes to creative skills. She will cheerlead your efforts, point out your shortcomings, and accept you where you are. There’s no sugar-coating. She never promises that you’ll have professional-looking lettering or art in a year or after taking a course. What she *will* say is that if you put in the effort and really try, eventually progress will be made. She will say that maybe you don’t want to copy someone else’s art or handwriting, but find what you love about your own and perfect that.
That’s just a small glimpse into her heart. But what about her style, her vibe? What’s it like to hang out with CGB? It’s been blunt and honest, sad, exciting, wildly entertaining, outrageous, and common everyday life. The one thing that you never are is bored. She also has a quality to her voice and her narrative that makes it easy to listen to her for hours on end.
Lucky for me, she not only has a fairly large collection of videos on YouTube (which I’ve almost completely viewed), but she also has a Podcast called The Uncurated Life. I have a long commute and I am happy to listen to Cindy all 3 hours/day.
Since Llamas Love Lettering evolved from the planner community, we are typically a demographic which appreciates pen and paper, so this naturally lent itself to reviewing pens, art supplies, and planners. Cindy is able to point out both the positive and negative aspects of whatever she is reviewing, give her personal opinion about it, and frequently will also point out what kinds of people may enjoy that product, even if it was not her cup of tea.
One of my favorite series that she posts is her Plan With Me or Plan As You Go videos. These will show how she pre-plans her weekly layout, or how she updates her planner(s) throughout the week. It definitely is inspiring to me and I cannot tell you how often I plan my week with a PWM video playing on the computer on my desk.
She is open about a lot of her life and lately has been speaking candidly about the struggles with living with advanced PKD (polycystic kidney disease). As someone who also has a chronic illness, I love how she both advocates taking care of yourself and setting boundaries in what you sign yourself up for in anticipation of times when you are not able to do All The Things… But she also shows you that she – like you – is bad at this and often overextends herself, with predictable results. (Just today, one of my staff had to ask me, “Didn’t you get off work an hour and a half ago?”) I don’t know, it just comforts me to see other people who are also lamenting bad decisions and then scheduling the next long list of tasks with the speed of a dog spotting a squirrel. #irelate #irelatesohard
You may also want to watch Cindy if:
You want to gain proficiency in profanity
You want to be bewildered and fascinated by how seemingly easy she makes lettering look
You want product reviews by someone who is completely honest, and at the same time willing to show both what she doesn’t like in a product as well as what someone else might see in it that would make that product work for them
You want to watch art videos that inspire you to test out your own creativity
You want to watch content that is entertaining, welcoming, and fun – Cindy always makes the viewer feel like a friend. You’ll quickly come to know the inside jokes about eggplants, “naughty” words like spooge (which usually describe writing utensils – what were you thinking?!), and know which pen would survive in a Gladiator tournament (these things are important, no one wants a weak pen that will be defeated in the first round!).
You want to subscribe to someone who makes diverse content. Cindy creates lots of different kinds of art (including watercolors), is known for her hand lettering skills (and does this professionally), talks candidly about her struggles with a chronic illness, has a podcast called The Uncurated Life that discusses being real and authentic on social media, can talk about important issues like social justice without being preachy or judgmental, creates fun challenges for viewers to participate in, vlogs, and has great planner-related content.
You are Nicholas Cage.
You want to watch someone who is a truly remarkable, beautiful human being.
Non-sequitur: Why was this rather simplistic eggplant my featured image for this post? (**Note: I was able to update the featured image with a photo of Cindy. 1000000% better!)
My eggplant drawing mostly sucks. Like, objectively sucks. But… what might Cindy think…?
First, she would applaud my efforts and the fact that I made an effort at all in the first place. She is always encouraging others and reminding people that skill comes with practice. She would never make me feel bad, even though my drawing sucks and I dashed this off in 30 seconds and took a photo in bad lighting.
Second, it’s an eggplant, which has become an inside joke/mascot between Cindy and her followers. Sometimes, products will be graded with how many eggplants (vs. stars) they receive.
Third, it’s a little ridiculous. Which I feel she would appreciate. Cindy reminds me to not take myself so seriously and that doing something just because it’s fun or you love it is 100% valid.
Okay, I think I’ve rambled on for quite a while, but I still feel like I haven’t done Cindy or her channel justice. Quite possibly I’m just not capable of that daunting task. So, I urge you to take a peek yourself. Here are some ways for you to find her on the interwebs (from her YouTube show notes):
My last few YouTube posts have been about BookTubers. Today, I’m going to go in a different direction and talk about a different subject: beauty vloggers!
Dani is a very personable beauty vlogger that I’ve been watching for the past several months. She has a very sweet and down-to-earth personality.
I’m pretty sure that I found her channel when searching for makeup videos for beginners (me, I suck at makeup, but occasionally want to get better at it). I enjoy the looks that she creates and feel that she explains them well. She also gives good do/don’t advice, as well as describes the pros and cons to different makeup products and formulas.
After watching several of her videos, I feel that I have enough information to know which brands I might want to try next for certain categories of makeup. For example, she is a fan of the Ofra line of highlighters, and they look really good in Dani’s videos, so I will likely buy from this brand when I am next shopping for a highlighter.
I beat my reading goal by 113%, which was nice. I wasn’t scrambling too hard at the end, even though I had a pretty big reading slump earlier in the year that could have thrown me off my game.
115 books translates into an average of 9.6 books per month; or one book every 3.2 days.
Below is a graphical representation of the number of books that I read per month. You can see that in the first half of the year, I wasn’t really reading too much. Still a decent pace, but for me, it was a slump. June – no books? Really? In August, I was introduced to BookTube and it reinvigorated my love for reading.
Looking at my reading trends over the past several years, you can see that in 2013, I had my biggest reading year, with 200 books read. My goddaughter was born in 2013, and I was reading and reviewing a *lot* of children’s books for her.
Looking at page counts over the past several years, you can see how I stopped reading so many short children’s books and started reading more adult or YA books. So, while I had read almost twice the number of books in 2013, my page count in 2018 is greater.
I don’t know why Goodreads has my page count as 33,843 in one graphic and 33,926 in another. Perhaps they are counting some of the pages in books that I have started and marked as “In Progress?”
For the sake of my calculations, I’ll use the smaller number of pages. I averaged 2,820 pages per month, and 93 pages per day.
My shortest book was one of my goddaughter, Gabby’s, books.
My longest book was “Winter’s Tale” that I felt like I listened to via Audible a lifetime ago. Was that really just last year?
My average book length was 294 pages, which is pretty good!
Star Rating Stats
These are my books broken down by star rating. I did give the majority of my reads 4 stars. They have to really move me to be given 5 stars. I give out 3 and 4 stars fairly easily, and feel a little bad about giving out a 2 or 1 star rating.
According to Goodreads built-in rating scale 2 is “OK” and 3 is “I like it,” but I tend to see 2s as more “meh/not for me” and 3s as more “it was OK.” For me to give out a 1 star, I have to really not like the book for some reason.
This year, my only 1 star was “Clear” by Jessica Park. It was good for the first 50 pages or so, then went off the rails in a bad way and had a horrible plot resolution. Horrible. Implausible and – are you serious? It took me forever to finish the book and I’m surprised that I slogged through. This doesn’t say anything about Jessica Park’s other books, which I have really enjoyed.
“Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes,” I just couldn’t get into. This isn’t to say that I might not pick it up at some point in the future and like it. I just wasn’t feeling it at the time. This is why I put it on my DNF shelf, but didn’t give it a star rating.
This sounds like a high average for me. But looking at the graphic, it looks like I lucked out with a pretty significantly high number of 5 star books. Also, the lack of 2 and 1 stars….
I wonder if I should adjust my scoring for next year and move some of my 2.5 stars down to 2?
The Popularity Contest
This did not surprise me. I thought ACOMAF was fantastic! 🙂
I was fairly surprised that “The Girl on the Train” was the most popular book on my shelf. I was *not* surprised about “Gabriella the Superhero,” as I had to add that title to the database. 🙂 Before “Gabriella,” by next Least Popular title was “Exploring Seeds” – a children’s non-fiction title that I picked up late in the summer when I thought that I was going to do the Harry Potter OWL and NEWT challenges (Herbology, yo!). Alas, I didn’t complete the challenges.
However, I did learn something about my reading habits: I am a mood reader. I will *not* read it if I do not “feel” like it at the time. This actually surprises me somewhat, since I am normally very competitive and generally find challenges to be compelling.
In fact, this changed the way I viewed my goals for 2019. This year, I am not going to sign up for a lot of very strict challenges (like PopSugar or the Quarterly YA challenges with 10 categories every 3 months).
I find that if I try to constrain what books I can read too much, I’ll end up not reading at all. So my goals are more fluid.
To help me reach my goals – and for a fun way for me to track my reading – I purchased “The Bookworm Life” planner from my friend, Monica. It is adorable! You can buy it from her on Etsy, using the link above. (She also has lots of adorable bookish stickers for your calendar, bullet journal, or planner!)
More Random Stats
48 authors I have read before, but 67 were new-to-me. (I counted the first book in a series as a new author and subsequent books as read-before.)
I read 50 books across 27 different series. Of those, I’ve completed (as far as I know) 6 of the series, and would continue with 14 of the series. I really get attached to characters and worlds and like to live in them as long as I can, so series are really attractive to me.
Blood of Eden (1)*
Breathing (4) – Completed.
Bright Side (1) – Completed.
Choose Your Own Adventure (1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (4) – Completed.
Crazy Rich Asians (2)*
Dash and Lily (1)*
Disney’s Frozen (1)
The Gender Game (7) – Completed.
Hush, Hush (1)
Illuminae Files (1)*
Kitchen Princess (1)
Lisbon’s Misadventures (1)
Malory Family (1)*
Marked Men (2)*
The Raven Cycle (1)*
The Selection (1) – Completed.
Star Darlings (1)*
Uglies (5) – Completed.
The Vanderbeekers (1)
Wayward Children (3)*
65 books I own in some form vs. 50 books I borrowed or read as part of a subscription service (like Scribd or Kindle Unlimited).
I re-read 7 books:
100 Ghosts by Doogie Horner (Super cute Halloween read)
Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft (for A-Z challenge)
The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey (Fave from teen years)
The Martian by Andy Wier (LOVE!)
Once and Always by Judith McNaught (LOVE!)
Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony (for A-Z challenge)
Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony (for A-Z challenge)
18 books published in 2018.
A big thank you to Kayla from Books and Lala, who inspired me to spend *hours* making this long-winded blog post for y’all! I’m tired, but happy to see all my reading stats for 2018!
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a rock star! Please link your blog/vlog posts in comments, so I can see your end-of-year wrap up!