Travel Diaries: Life Near the Beach (+ Away from the Internet) is Better

Warning: This post is going to be SO photo heavy and before I get into everything, here is the physical embodiment of what my dream of a future house will look like:

Last weekend, Andrew and I took a vacation day, turning our regularly scheduled two day weekend into a three day long mini-getaway.  We went to visit Andrew’s parents on the Jersey Shore and I have to say how completely charmed I am by the appeal of a small town with a sense of community.  It was so nice to walk around in a spacious and scenic area without constantly being stuck behind smokers or people walking too slowly.  When we were crossing streets, cars actually stopped to let us cross even if we didn’t have the right of way!  I was completely and utterly shocked by this since it feels like you’re often running across the street for your life in NYC.  Complete strangers would wave to each other, one of the only open breakfast spots in the town (SO DELICIOUS btw) only had a 20 minute wait for a table for walk-in customers, and porch life (which is basically what I aspire to) is a huge way of life for these folks.  Because we visited off season, there were a bunch of places that were closed or had shorter hours for the season but we’re definitely planning a trip back once it gets warmer so we can experience everything!

Saturday was my favorite day of our weekend.  Andrew’s parents took us to the aforementioned breakfast spot where I had a delicious broccoli and Vermont white cheddar omelet and fluffy homemade biscuits with a cinnamon butter spread that I wouldn’t object to putting on all the bread I consume henceforth. We then journeyed to the quaintest little town, a few minutes down the road and I immediately began to get major heart eyes for all of the beautiful Victorian style houses.  The vibrant color combinations, the sheer volume of spires (a brilliant stroke of architectural genius that’s pretty much a non-negotiable feature I want on my future home) and the homey feel of everything almost had me asking for the name and phone number of the local real estate agent.  We then walked to Asbury Park (there are like 5 towns that are all within walking distance of one another!) and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather along the boardwalk!  We checked out the Asbury Park Convention Center which was holding a Roller Derby event and a Valentine’s Day Market.  I found a photographer that I really like and I may look her up online to purchase some of her prints.  There was also an entire store for Havianas which I never saw before! But I guess #BeachLife.  We also saw the Beachfront Hotel where we’re attending a wedding later in the year, the Asbury Park Bierhalle which I’m DYING to try and more adorable local eateries and businesses!  We walked so much that our legs were actually sore the next day (in that amazing I-got-so-much-exercise kind of way)!

*This is when I forgot to take any more photos from the weekend* Then on Sunday, the rainy and cold weather forced us to stay inside for most of the day but we did venture out to the most magical grocery store in the land.  They literally had full slices of pie and danishes, cups of coffee or apple cider and large pieces of cheese as samples! I can honestly say that I’ve never gone food shopping and been given a full slices of homemade cherry and blueberry crumb pie for free before.  They also had delicious locally sourced foods, gorgeous looking produce (#vegetarian), homemade salads and extracts I’ve never considered baking with before. And we ended our trip on Monday at a trendy new restaurant that had delicious food! Andrew’s mom and I split a vegan burger and four cheese grilled cheese and fries and we also had a giant buttery pretzel for the table!

Overall, last weekend was definitely one of our best in months.  Thinking back about what exactly we enjoyed so much has made me think a lot about the current state of our lives.  We spend 4+ hours per day commuting and 8+ hours per day working which really only leaves us with 1-2 hours of free time on any given weeknight (unless we’re willing to cut down the 6-7 hours we designate for sleeping or forget about preparing dinner and showering) and zero ounces of energy on weekends after we finish running our errands, cleaning our apartment and filming/editing videos for YouTube.  Some of the elements that contributed to how wonderful we felt afterward that really stuck out to me are 1) Andrew and I unintentionally unplugged completely (Twitter, YouTube, instagram-minus one photo I posted, and definitely Facebook) were so far from our minds that it barely occurred to us to check them.  Which also meant that there were times when my phone wouldn’t even be in the same room as me for hours on end and I didn’t even notice!  2) We spent a good portion of our relaxing time working on the most difficult 2,000 piece puzzle I’ve ever attempted.  Not going to lie, I became a little bit addicted- to the point where I was dreaming about finding certain pieces.  We didn’t get to finish it before we left but we did make a huge amount of progress and it felt so good to exercise our minds in a way that we don’t usually get to.  3) Speaking of exercise, I mentioned walking around to until our legs were sore and not only that- the air quality away from the pollution of the city is just so much better! It felt so refreshing and I didn’t even notice we were getting a workout until the next morning. And finally, 4) spending an entire day browsing around in small local businesses made me realize that I cannot even remember the last time I walked into an independent shop.  Like most people these days, I order 99.9% of everything I own from the internet because of convenience, competitive pricing and general lack of time.  Now we just need to become millionaires so we can afford a home there!

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Windwitch by Susan Dennard (Witchlands #2)

Personal Thoughts: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard was one of my favorite books of 2015 (I was lucky enough to read it early thanks to sprinting to the Tor booth on the first day of BEA) so obviously, I was feeling super hyped about reading Windwitch which is the second book in the Witchlands series.  It was one of my most anticipated releases for 2017 (I feel like I might say this a lot but I swear it’s true! I just get really excited about new books, OKAY) and I love the autumnal cover and the prospect of getting Prince Merik’s perspective.  The stars seemed to be aligned until I started reading and everything I loved about Truthwitch was just… missing.  Talk about a major disappointment.  I’m still interested in finding out where the story is going so I will most definitely be picking up Bloodwitch but this was just not the second installment I was looking for.

Plot Summary:  The events in Windwitch are a continuation of the story we got in Truthwitch.  I’ll be totally honest, it’s really difficult to come up with a coherent plot summary for this book because the story completely changed from the first book.  We’ve got Prince Merik who is on a crusade against his sister Princess Vivia.  He’s determined to prove that she has bad intentions and he’s traveling around under a false identity as everyone believes he died when his ship exploded.  Then we’ve got Safi, traveling around with Empress Vaness after also surviving a shipwreck.  Lastly, we’ve got Iseult and Aeduan (the Threadwitch and the Bloodwitch) on a mission to find Safi but getting into antics of their own.

Critique: Where to start? As an overall critique, I have to say that Windwitch was missing just about everything that I loved about Truthwitch.  One of the reasons I was so drawn to the series and why I became so invested to begin with is because of the friendship between Safi and Iseult.  In Truthwitch, we get to see all of these amazing best friend moments between two powerful ladies and then they’re separated for the entirety of book two.  Next, the story is completely sidelined in Windwitch.  There was so much set up for this epic tale in Truthwitch and not a single story line was continued or explored enough in book two.  This is my main issue.  Book two, it really felt like Book one, take two.  There was so much groundwork laid in Truthwitch that I was expecting a lot more action this time around.  While it wasn’t completely unenjoyable to learn about these new situations, the pacing was much slower than in it’s predecessor and I found myself getting bored.  There are also A LOT of narratives to follow.  Windwitch increases to five separate POVs so if there was a particular story line you aren’t as interested in, it feels like it takes forever to get back to the one where your heart is (cough *Iseult and Aeduan* cough).  There were some important strides made during the course of the story and there was a ton of character growth with the exception of Safi.  I also really wish the relationship between Threadbrothers and Threadsisters would’ve been explored further but I’m expecting that’ll be coming in future installments.  So overall, I liked Windwitch (despite all of the complaining I just did), but I just was expecting so much more out of it.  There’s now a TON of buildup between books one and two and I’m just hoping the payoff in the final two books will live up to my expectations.

Do I Recommend?: If you enjoyed Truthwitch as much I did, I would definitely recommend continuing on with the series but I would warn you that the entire feel of the story changes and to not go into it with high expectations.  Hopefully this will have been a necessary addition to what will be an epic fantasy story.

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Kristin

#LoveAThon: Wrap Up + Giveaway

I can’t believe that another Love-A-Thon has already come and gone! Time really flies when you’re spreading book love! This was my third year participating and my first year joining as a cohost and I’m so pleased with our overall event! It was so much fun to read everyone’s posts, see their photos and videos and of course, chat in real time on Twitter.  Every single participant did such a wonderful job of showing love and support for everyone in the book community and it really touched my heart.  It makes me proud to be among such wonderful people. And there were so many participants that I’m still making my way through the list!

A huge, major, incredibly large thank you definitely goes to Alexa because she is really the heart of the Love-A-Thon.  All of the hosts worked hard to bring you this event, but Alexa is really the organizer and the brains behind the operation.  Her hard work deserves all the recognition<3  It was wonderful to get the opportunity to collaborate with Mel and Cee as well!  I truly admire each of them and I think we all made a great team!

So now, we’re ending this years event with yet another giveaway! So many publishers generously donated the books and merch going out to our winners (who will be announced shortly!) for each mini challenge so it seems fitting to have an overall wrap up giveaway too!

Prize Pack #1

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, Shades of Magic series book hugger, NOVL water bottle + tote bag, Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins, Game of Shadows tattoo, Game of Shadows postcard, Arabella of Mars paper doll, Becoming Bonnie newspaper, Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan, I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil, This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (ARC), Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (ARC), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon + Dean Hale (ARC), Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (ARC)

Prize Pack #2

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Shades of Magic series book hugger, NOVL water bottle + tote bag, Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins Game of Shadows tattoo, Game of Shadows postcard ,Arabella of Mars paper doll ,Becoming Bonnie newspaper ,The Nerdy + The Dirty by B.T. Gottfred, Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill, Updraft by Fran Wilde, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Gauntlet by Holly Jennings (ARC), The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ARC), At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (ARC)

Prize Pack #3

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin, Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly, Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly, Shades of Magic series book hugger, NOVL water bottle + tote bag, Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins, Game of Shadows tattoo, Game of Shadows postcard, Arabella of Mars paper doll, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The Infinity of You and Me by J.Q. Coyle, Spindle by E.K. Johnston, Dreamworld by Kit Alloway, Replica by Lauren Oliver, Romeo and What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff (ARC), The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARC), Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman (ARC)

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #7: Let Me Sing You A Love Song

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

Now’s the time to let your musical tastes shine! Dedicate a love song (or two or three) to your favorite book characters, and tell us why. Get as creative as you want, whether you decide to film a video, share a playlist or write out some lyrics and snap a photo.

Since my music tastes tend to be all over the place (seriously, I mainly listen to indie rock, showtunes and Disney music lol I swear I’m an adult), I decided to stick with Disney love songs since the widest range of readers will probably be familiar with them.

Lysandra & Aedion – Tale as Old as Time – This is definitely my favorite pairing of any that I’ve come up with.  Mostly because in their situation, Aedion is the beauty and Lysandra is the beast<3

Nicholas Carter & Etta Spencer – A Whole New World – What could be a newer world than time traveling together and searching for an astrolabe? 

________ – Once Upon a Dream – I’m not going to name my OTP couple here because spoilers but if you’ve read The Raven Cycle, I think you’ll get it :-)

Luna & Fowler – Now I See the Light – Since Reign of Shadows is a Rapunzel retelling, it’s only fitting! But poor Luna who has been locked away in her tower has not been out in the light of day past a very small perimeter near her home until Fowler comes along.

America and Prince Maxon – Love is an Open Door – I think that giant palace parties are what made me correlate Frozen and The Selection series<3

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #6: Valentine’s Day Care Package

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

Is there anything more exciting than receiving a surprise care package from one of your best book buddies? Didn’t think so! If you had the opportunity to surprise one or more of your favorite characters with a care package for Valentine’s Day, what would you be sure to include? Have fun virtually shopping for the character(s) you love and let us know via photos, collages, etc., what you would love to send them!

My Character – Lara Jean Song

My Care Package

Lara Jean - Valentine's Day Care Package

 

Lara Jean – Valentine’s Day Care Package by superspacechick featuring Anthropologie

 

1) Heart flip flops – These just seem so cutesy and Lara Jean to me! I picked up a pair of the mint version recently and I immediately thought of them when coming up with my care package – IPANEMA flip flops, $26
2) Pearl headband – This headband is wayyy too expensive to ever purchase but it would be in my hypothetical package.  Lara Jean is all about her pastels! Alexandre de Paris pink headband
3) Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Brush Set – This is another thing from the list that I own but I think Lara Jean would also get a kick out of the brushes being marketed as teddy bear hair.  Too Faced Cosmetics toiletry kit
4) Too Faced Blush – This is for Lara Jean to use her teddy bear hair brushes with.  She seems like a minimalistic girl when it comes to makeup so I could see blush being one of the only products used in her morning routine. Sephora Collection blush
5) Pastel teaspoons – Here we go again with the pastels! We all know Lara Jean is a baker and I thought these teaspoons would appeal to her! Anthropologie flatware
6) Measuring cups – See above. Plus they’re rose gold! Anthropologie kitchen gadgets tool
7) Pastel candles – I couldn’t pick just one scent to send Lara Jean’s way.  One is fresh basil, one is grapefruit and one is kiwano melon! Mercato Candle Jar | Anthropologie
8) Rifle Paper Co Print – UM HOW PERFECT IS THIS ALWAYS AND FOREVER HEART PRINT?!?! That’s literally the title to Lara Jean’s next book so I felt like I struck gold when I found it! Always and Forever Art Print by RIFLE PAPER Co. | Made in USA
9) The Curated Closet – Lara Jean is a regular fashionsita so I think this book about defining your style and learning how to shop for what works for you would be really interesting for her to read! The Curated Closet A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style…
10) Rifle Paper Co. Journal – Lara Jean is certainly a writer which is how she got into the mess she did in the first book so I thought a new journal where she could write her thoughts and feelings (and hide it VERY carefully from her family) would be perfect! RIFLE PAPER Co.
11) I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo – First of all, I’m dying to read this book! But I think Lara Jean would love it too because it has a Korean main character who is new to love and learning about romance from K-dramas.  Lara Jean experienced being new to love quite recently so I think she would relate! I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Link Up

 Giveaway

PRIZE PACK ONE (US GIVEAWAY ONLY):

Passenger, Vassa in the Night, Love and First Sight, A Season for Daring Greatly, Tor Teen pin, The Dark Talent pin, Amberlough pin

PRIZE PACK TWO (INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY ONLY):

Passenger, Truthwitch, Seven Days of You (ARC) Radio Silence (ARC), Metaltown tattoo, Tor sticker, Arabella of Mars paper doll, Becoming Bonnie newspaper

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #5: X Meets Y Challenge

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

Mix and match away! This challenge is made for you to combine the books and movies/tv shows that you love in some way, in order for other people to find new recommendations for things to check out. Whether inspired by characters or themes, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

If you liked Pushing Daisies then try The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard! The Architect of Song is actually a Beauty and the Beast retelling but there are a bunch of parallels to Pushing Daisies which I absolutely adore!

If you like Supernatural then try Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake!  Both involve awesome squads hunting demons in a super cool car!

If you like The Illusionist then try CaravalThe Illusionist has always been one of my favorite films! There’s a forbidden romance, everything about it is pure magic and there’s a scheme that reminds me of Caraval!

If you like Dexter then try The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis!  Both involve morally grey main characters who avenge the deaths of innocent people.  They also both touch upon very uncomfortable but important topics.

If you liked The Lunar Chronicles then try The 10th Kingdom!  The 10th Kingdom is a completely underrated television miniseries that deserves so much more love than it gets.  It’s a fun fairytale adventure story and I can definitely see fans of Cinder and Co. loving it!


If you like Illuminae then try Battlestar Galactica! BSG is another one of my favorite shows that I just don’t see talked about enough.  It’s quite the journey from season one to the end and it takes place on a military battelship in the depths of space.  Sound familiar? :-)

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #4: Sweethearts Candy Messages

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa ofAlexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

You’ve received a box of Sweethearts candy, and you’re asked to share the candy with a person or couple – fictional or real. Tell us who you’d give these messages to:

Love Wins – A couple you didn’t think would get together, but against all odds, they did – Cress & Thorne <3 One of my #1 OTPs of all time.  I love those two silly lovebirds!

I Do – A character you’d marry – That would have to go to my first book crush, Ron Weasley<3!

 

Dream Big – A character whose dreams you want to come true – Cath is so passionate about writing and she’s such a relatable and wonderful characters that I truly just want all the good things for her in her future.  I wish we could see how her second year of college went!

Crazy 4 U – A character you’re crazy about – Will Herondale <3 <3 <3 – You guys, I read the Infernal Devices series this year and I TOTALLY get it now.

True Love – Your Ultimate OTP – No explanation necessary.

Te Amo – A language you’d want to be wooed in – French of course! It’s the language of love<3

BFF – A character you’d want to be your best friend – Lara Jean! Get ready for so much Song sisters love over the next two days<3!

Wink Wink – A character you’d want to wink at you – Definitely Wesley aka Guyliner! He just has that certain something and he was irresistible to me from the first page he appeared on!

Sweet Talk – A character who knows how to sweet talk / flirt – Kvothe definitely doesn’t necessarily get flirting but he sure is a sweet talker.  His mouth gets him out of and into lots of trouble so life with him would be nothing short of an adventure!

Best Day – A moment from a book you wish happened to you or your IRL best day – I would love to attend Caraval, most likely as a spectator and not as a participant because the roses, chocolate and wine appeal to all of my senses! It sounds like it would be the experience of a lifetime.

Ooh La La – A character you’d want to slow dance with – I recently finished reading Alex, Approximately and Porter is for sure a new book boyfriend.  He’s a beautiful surfer boy with so very many layers and I have no doubt he would be a great dancer.

Love You – The character that gets your undying love – Gansey<3 He is my favorite Raven Boy of all time and I will love him forever and ever.

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #3: Fancy Yourself a Poet?

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa ofAlexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

One of the most popular Love-a- Thon challenges is returning this year! All you have to do is create book spine poetry. You can either take a photo of the books, type out the titles in a post, read them out loud for a video or even get creative and collage it. Get as creative as possible!

I’m hoping that the third time is a charm for me when it comes to book spine poetry.  This is my third year participating in the LoveAThon and my first time ever competing this challenge because I never felt like I could do it- tbh, I still don’t but here’s my best attempt! I was so tempted to end every try with Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies because it would be funny but I decided that was too macabre ha!

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#LoveAThon: Mini Challenge #2: Mix + Match

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa ofAlexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

We all love books, but there are other things we’re passionate about too! All you’ve got to do is mash-up a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent/fandom with your bookish life. Do it through photos, collages, or videos. Get as creative as you’d like to!

Fashion – I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology for college and my love of fashion has never wavered! I’m definitely a smarter shopper now and I love finding the silhouettes, colors and styles that I’ve adapted as my style.  The joy I feel when finding that perfect piece of apparel (or shoes) is incomparable!  I am the girl that spends a good portion of her day checking all of the new arrivals sections on her favorite shopping sites.

Baking – Admittedly, I haven’t been baking as much lately as I used to but that doesn’t mean that I love the process any less. I still visit baking websites daily and save the most decadent looking recipes to my various pinterest boards for one day when I have more time<3.

Makeup – I am a complete and total sucker for makeup.  Do I need anymore Too Faced eyeshadow palettes? No.  Will I buy them anyway if they’re scented and packaged in an adorable manner? Yes, absolutely.

Japanese Culture – (excuse the photo, I don’t have the best lighting situation near my manga shelf!) – My love of manga and all things Japan runs deep.  I dream of visiting Tokyo one day (but I’ll seriously need to psych myself up for that plane ride!) and visiting the Studio Ghibli museum, all of the cute Nintendo attractions, Hello Kitty cafes, cat cafes, maid cafes and of course, Akihabara! Plus the food is my absolute favorite.

Disney – I’ve always been a Disney girl at heart.  In fact, my hair is currently so long that’s its reached Rapunzel status which is exactly how I’ve always wanted it.  I love Disney so much that Andrew and I even went there for our Honeymoon last year! I’m dying to go back in the Fall when the weather is cooler and we can enjoy the Christmas decor!

Christmas – My favorite season of the year is Christmas season.  Every since I was a little girl I’ve adored the magic of Christmas and all of the warm feelings that go along with it.  And for those who aren’t aware, Christmas season begins at the end of July in my heart.

Link Up Your Posts!

GIVEAWAY

PRIZE PACK (US): Passenger, Vassa in the Night, Amberlough, Be Good Be Real Be Crazy, Metaltown tattoo, Tor Teen pin, The Dark Talent pin, Amberlough pin

PRIZE PACK (INTL): Passenger, Truthwitch, To Catch a Killer, The End of Our Story, Metaltown tattoo, Tor sticker, Arabella of Mars paper dolls, Becoming Bonnie newspapers

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#LoveAThon: Mini-Challenge #1: Mad Libs Fairytale Edition

This is the third year I’ll be participating in the Book Blogger’s Love-A-Thon and this year, I’m cohosting the event alongside Alexa ofAlexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit and Mel of The Daily Prophecy.  Sign-ups are still open so there’s time if you want to join in (and you should) and the Love-A-Thon takes place from February 19th – 20th.  It’s the perfect way to meet new book bloggers and make new friends<3

I’m so excited that we’ve already kicked off this year’s Love-A-Thon (link to post) and that we have so many lovely book addicts joining us this year!  The first challenge of the Love-A-Thon was created by Mel of The Daily Prophecy and it’s one of the most fun and creative challenges I’ve ever had the pleasure of participating in.  Mel crafted an adorable Mad Libs version of a fairytale, giving us prompts to come up with answers for and then the full fairytale text where we could insert those answers.  I had so much fun reading this one I finished coming up with prompts and some of the answers had me laughing out loud! If you also came up with your own version of the fairytale, don’t forget to link your post over on Mel’s blog so you can be entered in the giveaway!

The Prompts / My Answers

  1. LOCATION – Hogwarts
  2. CHARACTER – pirate
  3. TYPE OF STORE – Book Store
  4. BODY PART (plural) – eyes
  5. ITEM – tea cup
  6. ROYALTY – Princess
  7. REPEAT ITEM FROM #5 – tea cup
  8. ACTIVE VERB – prancing
  9. ANOTHER LOCATION – Mordor
  10. AN EMOTION – happiness
  11. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT – lyre (wow that is the actual first instrument that came to mind!)
  12. PIECE OF FOOD – cupcake
  13. NUMBER – seven
  14. TYPE OF HOUSE – castle
  15. VOICE ADJECTIVE – loud
  16. DESCRIBE A SOUND (ending with –ing) – banging
  17. ROOM IN A HOUSE – library
  18. OBJECTS – candles
  19. DESCRIBE AN OUTFIT – fitted pinstripe suit, skinny tie and cognac oxfords
  20. INFINITIVE VERB – swimming
  21. REPEAT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT from #11 – lyre
  22. A JOB – social media manager

The Fairytale with my Answers

Once upon a time, in a far away (1) Hogwarts, there lived a smart (2) pirate. She lived alone in a (3) Book Store, where she had grown up with the deceased owner. She had beautiful (4) eyes, and she was known for her shiny red (5) tea cup, the only thing she had left of her parents.

Alas, the (6) Princess of the country became jealous and wanted to own this (7) tea cup. So, she became a wanted person and had to flee into the forest to find a place to hide. After (8) prancing around for hours, hungry and tired, she stumbled upon (9) Mordor. An old lady appeared, offering her shelter from the bitter cold.  She looked at her with (10) happiness and said “I will protect you, but I need your help first. Years ago I lost something precious and I want it back. You need to climb into the sky and get my (11) lyre back. Here is a magical (12) cupcake, throw it into the earth, sprinkle it with water and it will sprout a beanstalk. You have (13) seven days to return before the stalk withers.”

She followed the instructions given to her, and lo and behold, a beanstalk grew and grew and grew all the way up to the clouds. After an exhausting climb, she saw a huge (14) castle. She walked to the door and knocked. A (15) loud voice said “Fee-fi- fo-fum, who dares to come and enter my house?” She was not afraid and said “My name is Jamie and I’ve come to collect an item.”

The door made a (16) banging sound when it opened and revealed a large (17) library filled with golden (18) candles.  She stepped inside and walked towards the spiraling staircase, where a figure moved, cloaked in darkness.

“Who are you? Step in to the light, so I can see your face.”

The beast growled angry. “Why did you come here? I just want to be left alone.” Still, she moved and stood in front of it. There were three horns on his head, and hair all over his face and his mouth was filled with large teeth. He wore (19) a fitted pinstripe suit, skinny tie and cognac oxfords. “What happened to you?” She reached out to touch one of the horns, but the beast flinched. “Many years ago I was cursed by a witch. I have one year left (20) swimming so I can break the spell, but I’m not brave enough.”

“If you give me the (21) lyre, I will help you.”

In keeping her promise, the beast and her worked for a few hours and that afternoon, the beast transformed into an ordinary older guy. “I can’t wait to return to my job as a (22) social media manager in the normal world. Can I come with you?” Together they climbed down the beanstalk, carrying the instrument for the old lady. The moment she saw the guy and her beloved instrument, she started to weep.

“My husband, you have returned!” They hugged and looked at her.

“We have to tell you something” the old lady said. “You are our child. We were separated after the curse, but now we are reunited!” From that day, the three of them lived together in the forest, happily ever after.

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