I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently. It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in. Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!
I have to be honest here. December was a major fail on the monthly goals front. My mom was in the hospital for the last two weeks of the year and I was just to stressed before her operation and then too busy visiting her every night afterward to complete anything. I did make the blogging goal but my other two goals were a no go, so I’m going to start 2017 with a fresh slate.
1) Clean our kitchen & hall closets – I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up before my aforementioned vacation and let me tell you, it was life-changing. I spent almost all of my days off cleaning out my closet, my drawers, my comic book collection, collectibles and other random things that I’m not even sure how I acquired. I set up a filing system for our important paperwork (#adulting) and I’ve felt so much better ever since. More on this process to come!
2) Blog 2-3 times per week – While I wish I would’ve had the time to fall back into my blogging routine in November, I realize that with the amount of commitments I had, it was unreasonable to believe I could make time for writing (this is why I’ve also failed NaNoWriMo 2x – November is just not a good month for me). Now that my room is completely clean and organized, I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of clarity and that I’m in the right mental state to sit down and be creative instead of stepping over piles of books, feeling guilty about blogging instead of tidying and then giving up and binge-watching YouTube videos instead. Plus Christmas so I’m SUPER excited.
3) Re-read a favorite book – I’ve often talked about how I grapple with re-reading things because there are so many things I haven’t read (a bunch of them are currently mocking me from my shelves) but December is such a comfort month that I want to make the conscious choice to re-read. I know I’ll enjoy it, I just have to do it. I’m thinking of picking up Fangirl or The Raven Boys since I’ve re-read Harry Potter so many times I can’t count anymore and I feel like some of my other favorites deserve some love<3
1) Reorganize Bookshelves / Buy a new bookshelf (or two…) – I rearranged my shelves a little while ago and while there are some shelves I love, there are others that just aren’t working for me. Plus, it’s been very confusing to find certain books since I moved them around because I don’t think my new system is organized enough. And if you’re someone who watches my book hauls… you know very well that I could always expand my Potter shelves!
2) Clean out kitchen & hall closet – I’m going to carry this goal over since our weekend in January seem pretty free which is the most exciting! We’ve been talking about possible getting a shelving until for our hall closet so I can organize what we have in there better too.
3) Read The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – I’ve been dying to get to this book, I’m in full-blown fantasy mode which tends to strike me as soon as the holidays are over. So far, I’ve read the first chapter but I had to put it aside momentarily so I could read The Amateurs by Sara Shepard for book club on Sunday. That’s going to be quite the ridiculous discussion. Cassie and I have already started a list of all the awful elements so far!
4) Cook better meals at home – I’m adding a fourth goal this month! Once I finish writing this post, I’m going to head over to pinterest and look for some simple healthy recipes. Because of our long commute, I really don’t have the time to be spending an hour or more cooking on weeknights which is why Trader Joe’s frozen foods have been such a godsend in the past. But I really want to start making some more homemade meals, even if I only devote 1-2 nights per week to cooking for a longer period of time. Some things I want to try out are more Asian meals (ramen, pho, etc.) and those delicious looking smoothie bowls (although that will be more of a weekend breakfast food)! I have to remind myself that watching YouTube while cooking is pretty much the same as watching it in my bed or desk and I’ll be happier with the end result.
What are your goals?
Top Ten Tuesday’s are a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which anyone who participates creates a Top Ten list of books based on a weekly prompt they provide (the list for advance topics can be found by clicking the link above).
This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesdays after reading plenty of everyone else’s posts throughout 2015. I thought bookish resolutions would be the perfect place to jump in since it’s January which means it’s a great time for new beginnings and fresh starts! I’m not necessarily going to be creating a post for the topic every single Tuesday but I’ll definitely be joining in on the topics I find most interesting.
1) Reading goals
In 2015 I set my Goodreads reading goal at 100 books and I ended up surpassing my goal by 8 books which I’m very proud of considering that I had some slow months in the latter half of the year. I’ve decided to set the same 100 book goal for myself this year because I have a lot going on (ie. wedding planning) and since I was satisfied at the end of 2015, I’ll be happy if I reach or surpass the same goal in 2016! I also want to complete all of the 2016 Reading Challenges I signed up for!
2 Reviewing goals
I did a fantastic job of reviewing the majority of books I read in 2015 and I want to continue on that path in 2016. There were a few reviews that I wish I would’ve written a little closer to when I had finished reading (just because procrastinating bothers me, not because I feel like it effected the content of the review in any way).
3 Book Buying Goals
Unlike most people, my book buying goal doesn’t necessarily have to do with buying less books or spending less money on books because a big goal for me in 2016 is to build an even better Book Collection. I really want to invest in collectible editions of some of my favorites (I’m particularly eying some Folio Society editions). I also want to make a huge effort to read my new release books right away instead of letting them sit on my shelf until they end up in a video like this.
4 Book Photography Goals
I mentioned in my End of the Year Survey that I’ve gotten really critical of my photos to the point where I don’t post as much as I want to because I feel like the reality of my photos don’t live up to the ~expectations~ I hold myself to (it’s RLY hard to get good photos when you leave for work before the sun rises and come home after it sets). I want to make an effort to take a bunch of photos on weekends that I can edit and post throughout the week. My goal is to to post at least one Bookstagram Photo a day (Monday – Friday) for all of 2016. Ambitious, I know!
5 BookTube Goals
I’m really proud of how consistently I was able to post videos on my BookTube channel in 2015. February will be my one year mark and there’s a good chance I will hit 100 videos by that time! (Thanks in huge part to Andrew’s incredible editing skills). In 2016 I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing because it’s my favorite non-work-thing-that-I-treat-like-a-work-thing that I do.
6 Read-a-thon Goals
I want to actively participate in at least 3 read-a-thons this year. I’m currently working on the TBR Takedown 3.0 event which runs through the 10th and I’m definitely planning on participating in BookTube-A-Thon again because that was one of my favorites. I’m also considering RYBSAT. I’ve always wished I could do Deweys 24 Hour Read-A-Thon but I’m an old lady so there’s no way I could stay up for 24 hours reading. There have been numerous times where I’ve tried to read before bed and woke up to my book falling on my face.
7 Book Blogging Community Goals
2015 was the year that I discovered what a huge community of book bloggers there are, thanks in large part to Alexa of Alexa Loves Books who hosted the Book Bloggers Love-A-Thon. I met the majority of book bloggers I interact with regularly during that event and I couldn’t be more thankful! I want to participate in so many more events like this in 2016 (like the OTSP Secret Sister Project, TBTB Secret Santa which is how I met Michelle of Pink Polka Dot Books and I’ll definitely be doing the Love-A-Thon again). I’m really looking forward to making even more online friends that may someday turn into IRL friends. I also want to attend more bookish events since there are SO many in NYC. I feel like I have no excuse for not going to them all! And lastly, I want to make an effort to comment more on the sites that I follow and read every single day. There are probably a ton of people who don’t even know that I keep up with all of their post because of my lack of comments but I swear I’m there and I’m listening!
8 Book Unhaul Goals
I really need to do a major book unhaul and purge my current collection of books I’m never going to re-read, books I thought were okay but I don’t have shelf space for, books I really dislike but I’ve kept so I can hold them up for negative questions in BookTube tag videos and just some old ones that I’ve lost interest in. I just need to make sure I can find a good place to donate my babies and to know that they’ll be loved once I let them go!
9 Goodreads Goals
My number one Goodreads goal (besides the year challenge I previously mentioned) is to keep extremely organized shelves so my end of the year posts will be easier to complete. I remember last year seeing the billion shelves many book bloggers have and thinking yikes! that seems like a nightmare to keep up with. Then I did all of these end of the year posts and I kept thinking, WHY DIDN’T I CREATE MORE GOODREADS SHELVES?!
10 Bookish Organization Goals
Since 2016 started I’ve been using Hazel of Stay Bookish’s Book Blog Planner and I’m pretty obsessed with it! The design is just beautiful and it’s really helped me stay organized so far. I may have even outlined some things I want to do in December of 2016 because that’s how far ahead it’s inspiring me to plan. I also want to make sure that I always carry TWO notebooks (one for blog ideas and one for BookTube ideas) with me at all times. The amount of times I’ve had a great idea and forgotten it due to not writing it down is unacceptable. Lastly, I’m going to continue keeping an iPhone list of books read by month in addition to Goodreads updates because I’ve been doing this since 2012 so it’s really just pure habit at this point.
One of the 2016 Reading Challenges I signed up for this year is the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Jess of Gone With the Words and Danielle of Love At First Page. My goal is the Grand Slam which means I’m committing to 21+ contemporary romance reads which I think is very achievable for me! Each month of 2016, the girls will be hosting a monthly link-up and they’ll announce a topic that anyone who signed up for the challenge can participate in. This month’s topic is the 10 most anticipated romances for the first half of 2016. It was actually really hard to narrow down my list (I feel like I say this ALL the time but BOOKS). I’m hoping to catch up on a bunch of contemporary romances I already own in addition to the books I’ll be adding to my shelves throughout the year.
Preorder the Books from Amazon!
The Unexpected Everything
P.s. I Like You
Bookishly Ever After
Firsts: A Novel
Tell Me Three Things
The Museum of Heartbreak
Summer in the Invisible City
Summer of Sloane
When We Collided
You Know Me Well
This week’s Top 5 Wednesday category is Halloween recommendations which is appropriate since Halloween is only 3 days away! For some reason my subconscious decided to type decorations instead of recommendations in the first sentence which shows much being festive is always on my mind on some level so that’s normal. Are there any specific books that you recommend for Halloween? Doing my video has given me the desire to re-read some of Neil Gaiman’s books<3
This weeks topic is actually 5 Broadway roles I would love to play but since I severely lack an acting gene I decided to spin the topic to 5 movies, tv shows, books, etc that I would love to see get a Broadway adaptation. I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing A Very Potter Musical (and I couldn’t have asked for anything better), Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (which was supremely entertaining for all the wrong reasons) and the recent off-Broadway Heathers: The Musical. Each are things that I never imagined seeing on stage and as a musical no less so if those work, there are definitely some others that should be in the works!
1) The Legend of Zelda – The score is very well known anyway so why not adapt it into a musical?! Who wouldn’t love seeing Link try to save Zelda on stage? I know I would! It might be best to do something involving Majora’s Mask because that costume would look outstanding in all its vibrancy.
2) Lord of the Rings – Again, a story with a well known score. The heroes journey to Mordor would translate on stage well. Hobbits love singing anyway and a second breakfast number would be a total crowd pleaser. And they should absolutely acquire the rights to “They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard.”
3) Star Wars – I feel like I keep choosing things that already have awesome music but I can’t help that they’re so perfect! Star Wars has been done in almost every medium imaginable so I don’t see why they haven’t graced Broadway yet. Unless they have and I just wasn’t around for it!
4) The Nightmare Before Christmas – It goes without saying that I love anything involving Christmas so The Nightmare Before Christmas is an obvious choice for me. They wouldn’t even have to write new songs because the tracks in the film are so darn perfect!
5) Mean Girls – There are SO many Mean Girls catchphrases that hold up to this day and are frequently quoted by almost everyone I know. I could just picture ‘stop trying to make fetch happen’ being a singing and dancing number, as well as ‘four for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco.’
I’m so excited for Fall. Like SO excited. I decided to put together a list of things I want to make sure I do so I can fully enjoy the season and I just got Photoshop(!!!) so I used this opportunity to test it out! Yay learning! What activities are you looking forward to this Fall? Or do you wish Summer would last a little longer?
I love the idea of having a published Bucket List to reference when I’m planning future events and reflecting back on the past. Kristina Horner published a bucket list on her blog and it inspired me to type out my own so I can focus on making sure I accomplish as many of the things I want to do during my lifetime. I’ll be writing posts about the things I do and even flashing back to some things I’ve already experienced but were always a part of my list. What’s on your bucket list?
Visit Harry Potter World in Orlando Live in New York City
- Meet JK Rowling
- Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
- Tour Studio Ghibli
- Lord of the Rings Tour in New Zealand
Attend the Yule Ball
- Visit all of the Canadian locations in Scott Pilgrim
- Disneyland in Paris
- Disneyland in Tokyo
- Visit Club 33 at Disneyland
- Sakura Matsuri in Japan
Attend Sleep No More
- Wine tasting in Napa Valley
- Publish a novel
Own a pink KitchenAid mixer
- Drink champagne in front of the Eiffel Tower
- Cultivate and maintain a garden
Go to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
- Learn to French braid hair
- The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff
- See the Chicago Bean
Go pumpkin picking See Shakespeare in the Park
- Go on a Jack the Ripper Tour in London
- Learn how to bake French macarons
See the Yayoi Kusama exhibit
- Go skiing
- Go to Coachella
- Go to The Louvre
Stroll through Central Park in the fall
- Complete NaNoWriMo
Sakura Matsuri in NYC
- Stay in the Library Hotel in NYC in the Fairy Tale room
- Tour NASA
- Ride a train across the country
- Stargaze on the Highline
- See Stonehenge
- Kiss Andrew atop the Eiffel Tower
Go apple picking
- See the Northern Lights
- Watch a sunset on a beach
- Go to all 50 states
- Climb a lighthouse
- Create a board game
- Fly in a private jet
Meet R.L. Stine
- See the Acropolis in Greece
- Stand on the Equator
- Visit The Globe Theater in London
Visit YouTube Studios
- Go strawberry picking
- Carve Andrew and I’s initials into a tree
- Attend the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
- Get married
Kiss Andrew in front of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center
- Visit NBC’s Rainbow Room and Observation Deck
- Attend a live taping of SNL
Attend a live recording of Welcome to Night Vale
- Tour Pixar
- Tour Nintendo
Meet George Lucas
- Tour Google
- Attend BlogHer
Drink at the Met’s rooftop bar
- Learn how to use photoshop
- Visit the Glow Worm Caves
See the Hollywood sign Attend a movie premiere with a red carpet Walk the Brooklyn Bridge Meet Michio Kaku Own a pair of Christian Louboutins Own a Chanel purse Style a fashion shoot Be styled for a fashion shoot by a celebrity stylist Attend an outdoor concert at Jones Beach Attend a farewell concert for a band I love Visit Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany Be thanked in the acknowledgements of a published book Meet Neil Gaiman Meet Stan Lee Get a Sandman tattoo Fall in love Help out at a fashion show Get published
Be on a television show Be made fun of by Joel McHale on The Soup Have an IMDB page Speak on a panel at a convention Moderate a panel at a convention Live in Los Angeles
- Read all of the books I own
- Get a Harry Potter tattoo
Attend San Diego Comic Con Attend Star Wars Celebration Attend Book Expo America
- Walk and shop along the Champs-Élysées
- See a show at the Moulin Rouge
- See the Cirque de Soleil Beatles LOVE show in Las Vegas
Drink gluhwein at Rolph’s during Christmas season
- Go to the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball in LA
- Buy a vintage typewriter
- Visit The Last Bookstore in LA
The Walking Dead Tour in Atlanta
- Visit Powell’s Bookstore in Portland
- Visit the Space Needle in Seattle
Attend an event in the Great Hall at Whimsic Alley
- Visit the castle in Scotland that Hogwarts was based on
- Go to Star Wars Weekends at Disney
- Meet Peter Jackson
- Go to a Renaissance Faire
- Attend the Holi Festival in NYC
Take a photo in front of the mirror fence at Storm King
As soon as my college years ended and I quit drinking coffee, I formed a strong addiction to tea. It is by far my favorite thing to drink and I consume countless cups on a daily basis. I love branching out and trying new flavors but since I still need to invest in a steeper for my new apartment, I haven’t been drinking many loose leaf teas as of late. My signature drink is a treinta unsweetened iced green tea from Starbucks but for the purpose of this post and due to the never ending winter I’m going to stick to hot teas. Here are my favorites!
1) Tazo Zen Tea – Zen tea is a delicious blend of green tea, lemongrass and a hint of spearmint. It’s my current favorite tea and since it’s always stocked in my office, I definitely drink it more than all others!
2) Tazo Chai Tea – Chai tea is such a delight! I drink this when I’m really craving a high dose of caffeine. It’s a mix of black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and spices. The spicier, the better!
3) Yogi Kombucha Green Tea – I recently saw what kombucha looks like in a Buzzfeed post and it is just so delicious that the horrifying photos do not even deter me from drinking this in the slightest. Proceed with caution if curiosity gets the best of you!
4) Tazo Earl Grey Tea – Mmm just thinking about the citrusy bergamot oil used in this black tea is giving me a craving. Earl Grey is also made with lavender essence. In fact, I think I’ll go grab some right now…
5) Trader Joe’s Organic Cranberry Green Tea – This is my favorite tea of all time and SADLY it was discontinued a few years ago. I was actually in tears when I heard it would no longer be available. Every sip is like a tangible perfection in your mouth. It’s on the sweeter side and I would guzzle this tea like it were going out of style (little did I know, it would). Every once in a while I’ll find an errant tea bag in one of my old purses and it elates me beyond belief. I’m so hesitant to try other Trader Joe’s teas after the discontinuation of this tea scarred me for life.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
Besides the freezing cold weather which in NYC is so raw that it often makes my face and hands hurt, there are a lot things I really do enjoy about winter. It’s actually really appropriate that I’m writing this post today because as I sit here in my Batgirl pajama pants and fox slippers I’m admiring snow falling outside my window. If only I didn’t have to get dressed and venture outside for work! Anyway, here are my favorite things about winter!
1) CHRISTMAS – Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve often talked about how I consider the Christmas season to start the day after July 23rd (my birthday) but it’s late fall / early winter before other people really start getting into it too. I love having days off from work and spending time with my family and everything else that goes along with this wonderful holiday!
2) Drinking All the Tea – I am a complete tea addict. It even says so on all of my social media profiles but I definitely consume the most of my favorite beverage during the winter months. I’m very fond of my caffeinated teas (green and chai being my favorite), but during the winter I’ll sometimes end up drinking a decaf flavor (gasp!) in an effort to stay warm.
3) Snuggling Under Blankets With a Good Book – As I mentioned above, it can get very cold here in NYC (not as cold as it does in Canada, I have no idea how anyone survives winters there) so much of January-February-March is spent inside under as many blankets as I can find. The cold weather is the PERFECT excuse to stay in and read. Being an introvert, I’d chose staying in and reading about my fictional friends over going out any day of the week.
4) Sweaters, Boots & Scarves – Let’s face it, winter is great time for wardrobes. I love layering tops and feeling cozy in big sweaters and scarves. I live in boots throughout the winter months and while I don’t enjoy being cold, I definitely enjoy purchasing clothing to wear in the cold.
5) Snow! – Now that I’ve moved to NYC and I no longer have to drive anywhere ever, I have a new appreciation for snow! It’s still no picnic to walk around in it, but it is pretty to look at. It looks especially gorgeous floating down with all the buildings and Central Park in the background. It’s almost like being inside of a snow globe. (It even happens to be snowing outside as I write this very post!)
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
I decided to lump together all of my favorite performances into one big best of 2014 wrap up post so I’m not overwhelming anyone today! I split both television shows and movies into two top 5 lists, one being the best of 2014, and one being the best of what I watched in 2014. And Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Comics, and Top 10 Books! What were your favorite tv shows, films and plays this year?
Top 5 TV Shows of 2014
Top 5 (New to Me) TV Shows of 2014
Top 5 Movies of 2014
Top 2 (New to Me) Movies in 2014
Top 5 Broadway Or Off-Broadway Shows of 2014