Sunday, December 29, 2013

Photo a Day: November

My thoughts tonight: "Quick! Better get my November photo-a-day recap up before December ends!" *whoops* But really, I almost skipped November because it is so late until I noticed I only participated four times last month anyway, so this won't take too long to share. And I really liked these photos, so I wanted y'all to see them. :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dear 2013 ...

Photo via @mcstroup on Instagram
When I saw Amanda was co-hosting a "Dear 2013" link-up, I knew this would be the perfect way to recap the year. As I mentioned in my November recap post earlier this month, this year has been full of SO MUCH FUNNESS. (Yes, I am aware funness is not a word. And because I know this rule, I can break it. Ha!) Without further ado ...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cityscape on Camera: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary, on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

So Christmas Eve probably isn't the best time to bring back Travel Tuesdays, but my Timehop feed has been full of pictures and tweets from my trip to Budapest last Christmas, and I realized I never blogged about it! This post will be short and sweet so you can get back to the holidays with your family. Enjoy more pictures after the jump!

Monday, December 23, 2013

24 Before 24: Run a Half-Marathon

I think I already mentioned this on the blog once, but in case you missed it: I ran my first half-marathon last month! In fact, this was my first "real" race ever. (Unless you count the two-mile "Friendly Frolic" run at my grandma's practically-retirement-community lake every Fourth of July. I don't.) Anyway, running a half-marathon was #1 on my 24 Before 24 list and also #7 on my Life List, so that was pretty exciting to cross it off both lists. (To be completely honest, my Life List originally said "run a marathon" because I wanted to do one with my sister, but then she saw it and told me she never planned to run a marathon again. So I was perfectly happy downgrading to a half-marathon haha.)

Why did I decide to run a half-marathon? I have never been a runner. I enjoy being active and working out, if that means: playing sports, cycling, lifting weights, doing sit-ups, hiking, swimming or skiing. I do not enjoy running. My mom and sister, on the other hand, have run numerous half-marathons, and my sister, Abby, also ran the Chicago Marathon a few years ago. Abby has been wanting me to run a race with her for quite some time, so when I got engaged, she finally convinced me to train for a half-marathon as a way to get in shape for my wedding.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Currently: looking forward to Christmas!

Photo via @mcstroup on Instagram

reading | Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I'm only halfway through the first book, but holy cow! I honestly think this series will be better than Divergent. When will it get its own movie franchise?? (And speaking of underrated young adult trilogies, when will Uglies get its own movie(s)??

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Best of 2013: Read

So I'm probably not going to reach my goal of reading 53 books this year, but I have read 39 already, and the even better news is that I thought eight of them deserved 5 stars! That means I absolutely loved more than 20 percent of the books I read this year, so I really can't complain about that. :) In no particular order, here are those eight special books:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Literary Junkies: December 2013

Welcome back to the monthly Literary Junkies link-up! This is the first month that Christine is taking over as Taylor's official co-host, so be sure to check out her blog at Life with a Side of Coffee and say hi! Read this month's questions and my answers below:

Image via @mcstroup on Instagram

1. If you could write a book, what would it be about?

Definitely historical fiction. In fact, this has been a goal of mine for quite some time; I just can't seem to decide which historical event to write about! Too bad I didn't do better with my reading resolutions this year...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stocking Stuffers Under $20: The Book Lover

Stocking Stuffers for the Book Lover

1. You all know I'm a huge advocate of Goodreads, but if you have a friend who stills prefer pen and paper, this library-card-inspired journal would be the perfect place for her to jot down books to add to her ever-growing TBR pile.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Currently: preparing for the holidays!

Photo via @mcstroup on Instagram
reading | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I'm not loving this series as much as the bloggers I learned about it from did, but the books are fun, quick reads. And I'm excited to start Paper Towns next—hopefully tonight! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Best of November: A Month in Review

Who else thinks 2014 should be a lot farther than 25 days away?! Even though this year has gone by way too fast, I must admit I'm getting pretty excited about writing my "year in review" post for 2013. This year has been eventful and full of "firsts" for me, which are always fun to record. For now, though, let's review what happened at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (and in my "real" life!) during the month of November:

Most Popular on Instagram & Notable Events

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

November was full of fun events, as illustrated in my Instagram feed from the month. Jonathan and I either had people visiting us or were traveling every single weekend. My mom and sister came into town and helped me pick a wedding dress (I'm not sharing pictures of that for obvious reasons haha), Jonathan and I took our engagement photos, I ran my first half-marathon with my sister in Monterey, and my family was able to spend Thanksgiving together in San Diego. (Even our dog, Brady, was able to join us!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stocking Stuffers Under $20: The Travel Bug

Stocking Stuffers for the Travel Bug

1. A cute journal to record what she did, ate and saw each day. Unfortunately, since the time I made this collage, this specific journal from Francesca's has gone out of stock, but you can find adorable journals at Target, Barnes & Noble, Papyrus, local boutiques, etc. :)
$12 (no longer available)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Autumn 2013 Book Challenge: Month 2

Photo via @mcstroup on Instagram
Welcome to the second Semi-Charmed Autumn 2013 Book Challenge check in! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (or just a wonderful weekend, if you're elsewhere in the world!). It's been two months since the challenge started; how far are you into your 13 books? Here's where everyone stands as of the first check-in (including one winner already!):