Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Semi-Charmed Winter 2014 Book Challenge



It's time for the next installment of the Semi-Charmed Book Challenge series! Because we had so many people finish the summer challenge this year (y'all are awesome!), this challenge will be known as the "Reader's Choice Challenge" (because all the categories came from your fabulous brains and not mine!). Thanks to everyone who suggested a category. :) And now for the rules and categories....

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Perfect Bridal Shower Gift: A Creative Wine Basket!

Is it just me, or is everyone getting married?? If anyone else is experiencing this same phenomenon and needs an awesome gift to take to the next bridal shower, I have the perfect solution for you! A bride-to-be wine basket.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Recipe: The Easiest Breakfast Sandwich Ever

I love breakfast. Seriously. I have all these posts in mind where all I do is talk about my favorite breakfast foods, namely, eggs. But what about when I really want to eat eggs, but I don't want to go through the trouble of heating a pan and cooking eggs and washing the pan later (i.e. almost every morning)? That's when this little recipe comes in handy:



This sandwich takes fewer than 5 minutes to make and only gets two dishes dirty (only one dish if you want to wrap the sandwich in a paper towel to go!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Best of: #bookphotoaday

Thank you to everyone who participated in my little #bookphotoaday challenge last week! I've collected a few of my favorites to showcase here on the blog:

Clockwise from top left: @dairecharlotte, @hello_mimi, @dairecharlotte & @writerjmriley

And, of course, a quick recap of my "bookish" photos from last week (including two libraries and only one book). Unfortunately, my phone camera hasn't been working since it took a trip in the river during my triathlon in July (more on that in another post!), so my Instagram presence has been sorely lacking lately. Sigh.... Just counting down the days until November 18 when I can upgrade my phone to one with a working camera!

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.