What I read: February 2016

What I read in February 2016

After a few book-light months, I ended up reading a ton in February. Unfortunately it was a mixed bag and included a few DNFs, but overall it was still a much better month than January, December or November. Here’s the good, the bad and the meh of what I read in February 2016. If you want more reviews and bookish chatter, make sure to look me up on Goodreads! I always love making new bookish friends. :)

(more…)

February 2016 Birchbox: the best yet

See what I got in my February 2016 Birchbox!

I kind of forgot my February 2016 Birchbox was coming last month. We had a lot going on, in between school, work, spring cleaning, and home remodeling (that unexpectedly took about two weeks to complete—not the promised four days). It was a busy month and so it was a real treat to find this cute little box in the mail one rainy day!

I’ve been decently pleased with Birchbox so far, but this box was easily the best yet. The theme this month was “What’s the occasion?” and these products are definitely perfect for getting you ultra-glam for a date night or just because you want to feel pampered. Read on for pics of what I got and my thoughts on the products!

(more…)

On my mind: spring cleaning (March 2016)

"Wash your spirit clean" (John Muir quote) (spring cleaning)(Original photo by Caleb Wright via  Unsplash)

March is usually the time when I start thinking about spring cleaning. It’s time to whisk away the dust bunnies, repot house plants, and generally freshen up the whole house. This spring I’m trying to get past the physical side of spring cleaning and do a little mental and emotional spring cleaning, too.

I got really bogged down this winter with negative thoughts and useless habits. The start of spring, full of light and fresh air, seems like a perfect time to make a change! I’ve found that my spirit is happiest when I’m giving plenty of time to creating art and reading books and taking time out to visit nature, rather than cooping myself up with technology and too much “busywork”. I read somewhere that we take way too much pride in being “busy” and not in taking care of ourselves, and I’m guilty of it. I tend to put everyone and everything else first and not take time out for what my soul needs the most.

So for spring, I’m cleaning all that away and and making a to-do list that includes lots of time in the garden, lots of time to read, and lots of naps with the cats. I think my body and spirit alike will be happier for it.

What’s on your “spring cleaning” list?

Release day review: ‘Live and Let Bee’, by D.S. Nelson

Live and Let Bee is on sale now!Live and Let Bee took me right back to Sunday nights spent watching a British crime miniseries on PBS with a big bowl of popcorn and a cozy blanket. I could practically hear the Masterpiece Mystery theme song playing in my head as I turned the pages! If you’re a cozy crime fan who’s somehow not already familiar with the Blake Hetherington series, then you need to be, because it’s one of the best in the genre I’ve read in recent years.

To understand why I’m such a fan, it probably helps to understand that I’m also a big Agatha Christie fan, so my standards for this genre are high. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years enjoying Christie’s books and the TV miniseries adaptations, and as such I suppose I’ve gotten kind of picky about books that label themselves as “cozy crime” or are compared to Christie’s work. So when I discovered Blake two years ago and started reading the series, I was pleased to see that it checked all the boxes: setting, atmosphere, dastardly twists and turns, and a huge cast of highly suspect characters (more on that later!).

(more…)

Top Ten Tuesday: books to read if you are in the mood to become a better writer

Top Ten Tuesday: books that will teach you how to become a better writerHappy March everyone! This week’s TTT topic was a little open—it’s just a list of books to read if you’re in the mood for _____. I’ve been trying to get back into writing and was thinking of some of the books I’ve read that have really taught me a thing or two about writing along the way. I suppose you could say they are helping me become a better writer. (They’re all favorites and well worth re-reading just for how awesome they are, even if you aren’t a writer, BTW.) In no particular order…

(more…)

Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go together

Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go togetherI love books. I love music. So you’ll excuse the narcissism if I say that I feel like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was tailor-made for me! This week it’s all about music and books that go together—books that could have theme songs, songs that should become books, etc. Obviously I could go on and on about my favorite books and favorite songs but here are ten that really fit together perfectly (at least in my mind).

(more…)