Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Top 10 Books on my Fall TBR List

Are you looking for a good read to curl up with this fall as the nights get cooler and the drinks get yummier? Look no further! I've compiled a list of ten books I hope to read this fall, along with reasons you might want to read them, too. I acknowledge ten might be a little ambitious, considering I don't read ten books per season now and I'm starting grad school today (!!!), but if I did read ten books from now until December, these wouldn't be bad picks. :)


Something to celebrate your freedom to read. Between Banned Books Week and the start of the school year, September is the perfect time to pick up that challenged book you've been wondering about for years. Currently, the top of my list includes Their Eyes Were Watching God, Lolita, Catch-22 and A Clockwork Orange.  (Psst .... you should also join my #bookphotoaday challenge if you haven't already!)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Wishes: Back-to-Blogging Edition

photo & design by Megan

As I am sure most of you have also discovered, sharing personal goals in a public forum helps keep us accountable and motivates us to complete our goals on-time. Therefore, what better way is there to celebrate my return to (regular) blogging than by participating in Melyssa's Weekly Wishes link-up? I'll keep it short and sweet this week (I don't want to overcommit myself too early and get frustrated), but I do plan to check back in at least monthly and continuing setting new goals for myself and Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. Here is what I want to focus on for this week (and the rest of September):

  1. Draft an editorial calendar. I don't plan on posting more than 3-4 times a week, but even so I think it will be very helpful to plan out my posts so I have a good balance of content (link-ups vs. original topics, books vs. travel, photo-heavy vs. text-heavy, etc.).
  2. Organize my Bloglovin' feed. One of my favorite parts of blogging is reading all your blogs. That being said, I have gotten dreadfully behind on my feed. It's time to rearrange my folders, remove those blogs that are no longer active and maybe even add some new reads if I'm feeling adventurous. :)
  3. Develop a social media strategy for my Facebook page. My Facebook page for Semi-Charmed Kind of Life is grossly underutilized. Sometimes I consider deleting it altogether because I think it's worse to have an inactive social media account than not have one at all. Do any of you with Facebook pages have any "best practices" you could share with me??
Of course there are plenty more projects/improvements I want to work on, but this seems like a good start for this week. What goals are you currently working on?

P.S. — If you're stopping by from the link-up, be sure to check out my photo challenge to celebrate Banned Books Week, going on now!

Linking up with Melyssa for Weekly Wishes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014: A Semi-Charmed Photo Challenge

Good evening, friends! I write to you tonight from Seattle, Washington, where I am spending the next few days attending orientation for my Master of Library and Information Science program. Woohoo! During our introductory lecture today, our program chair had a few great quotes that I had to write down, including:

"We're all better off when people can read and think freely."

Well said. Naturally, this got me thinking about Banned Books Week, which I then looked up and realized is next week! Last year, I hosted a photo challenge for Banned Books Week, which I found to be quite entertaining and received some positive feedback on. Therefore, I am turning this into an annual challenge!

Instead of providing specific prompts for each day this year, I decided to leave it open to all of you to post any bookish photos you wish throughout Banned Books Week (September 21 - 27). Please tag your photos with #bookphotoaday, and I will curate my favorite posts each day and feature them on my personal Instagram at @mcstroup and also here on the blog!


Please feel free to share the above graphic on your own social media and/or blog to encourage others to join the challenge! I hope to see your bookish posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr next week. :)

Linking up with Nicole for Treat Yo' Self Thursday.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Change is here!

Well, now seems as good a time as any to post my big news, considering I just got home from my last day at my current job. Woohoo!! As of next week, I will be working part-time as a library aide, and (hopefully) part-time as a lifestyle blogger. ;) Y'all are some smart people; most of you guessed that a new job was one of my big announcements!


As for the other announcement, it goes hand in hand with the new job....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Final Scoreboard!

button design by Kelsey

Oh my gosh. First, let me just say that I love each and every one of you! My heart was so happy reading all your comments on the final check-in (and the check-ins leading up to that). I love hearing that my little challenges have inspired some of you to renew your love in reading after a dry spell, or even just point you in a new direction. Thank you so much for playing along and making these challenges fun! Can you believe there were 19 finishers this summer?! Looks like I need to make the next challenge a little more challenging. ;)

But really, speaking of the next challenge, I have it scheduled for November 1 to February 28. And, with so many finishers this time, I'll be able to do something I've never done before: A completely reader-created book challenge! If you finished the challenge, please send me your category idea for the winter challenge before October 10 so I can post the preliminary list on October 15 and give everyone enough time to plan out their challenge books and get any "non-challenge" books out of the way before November 1. :) You can comment on this post or email me at semicharmedkol[at]gmail[dot]com. Keep reading after the jump to see who finished and/or check where you ended up!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Change on the horizon ...

This picture doesn't have anything to do with this post; I just like it. :)

I have big news! But, like any good blogger, I can't just come out and say it. I have to keep you coming back for more. :) Plus, I thought it would be fun to hear what you think my big news is.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 4

button design by Kelsey

After four months of reading, the Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge is over! Remember the challenge ended at midnight, so please only count books that were finished before then. With 12 finishers so far, I think this is the most successful challenge yet! Or perhaps it was the least successful, as I obviously didn't make it hard enough. ;) Continue reading after the jump for the current scoreboard:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 3

button design by Kelsey

The Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge is almost over! Just one more month to get all those categories checked off your list. :) Congratulations to everyone who has finished so far! And even if you haven't finished/won't finish, I hope this challenge has at least introduced you to some new great books you wouldn't have tried before! Here's the scoreboard as of last month's check-in:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Funny: Word Crimes

Blogging makes me happy. (Surprise!) Seeing that the only post I've managed to publish in the past 30 days was for my book challenge makes me not so happy. (Not that I don't love my book challenge, but there is so much more I want to share with y'all!)

I have lots of ideas for posts I want to write soon, but while I ease back into the blogging groove, I'll admit I'm copping out today: I'm just sharing a hilarious video. I don't share videos often, so if I do you know it's going to be good. (Like this one.) Fellow grammar nerds enjoy:



So tell me: What's the funniest video you've seen lately?

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 2

button design by Kelsey

Welcome to the second Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge check in! We're halfway through the challenge already; do you think you'll finish?? Here's the full scoreboard after the first check-in last month (including one winner already! Heather is so sneaky....):