Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Top 10 Books on my Summer TBR List

Ahhhh, summer! Although it is actually my least favorite season, now that I'm back in school, summer means way more time for reading, so it can't be all bad. :) I'm hoping to read a LOT this summer to make progress on my reading challenges (and this fun read-a-thon I found on Instagram yesterday). Here are the 10 books (adult and YA) I most want to check off my extensive TBR list before fall comes around:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Let's Discuss: Book Reviews & Ratings

photo via Instagram

This might come as a shock to you, but ... I always skip book reviews in my blog feed. (But I will skim your monthly recaps and check out your ratings! Just not your reviews.) That might seem weird, considering I love reading and blogging about books, but I don't particularly love book reviews for a few reasons:
  1. I'm terrified of spoilers.
  2. Lately, I've been picking up books that look interesting or have gotten a lot of buzz without necessarily knowing what the story is about. A book review would give me more information than I want to know.
  3. If I want to read reviews, I just go to Goodreads. (Are we friends yet?? Check out my reading history here!)

Monday, June 8, 2015

How do you measure success?

Deep thoughts on this Monday morning....

photo via Instagram

I had just walked into the break room at work a few weeks ago when a co-worker caught me off-guard with a very deep question:

What does being successful mean to you?


I was definitely not expecting that. I answered with the first thing I thought of: "Being happy with what you have while always striving for more." (And then, of course, I immediately wrote it down so I could share it with all of you and start a conversation here on the blog.)

My co-worker then clarified his question: At the end of my life, how would I measure my success? Would it be money? Children? Something else? I answered that I would consider my life to have been successful if I had changed something (or someone) in the world, for the better. Some people enact positive change through raising families, others through having influential careers, and others through volunteer or charity work. Everyone works their own magic in their own ways, but I think the most important thing is that the choices you make in your life help make someone else's life better.

For others, I think success could be measured by having children and raising a happy, healthy family. Others could measure success monetarily, if only to say, "I want to send my kids to college" or "I want to be a homeowner." Others might measure their life success by their success in their career(s). Some of you probably measure success in a way I've never considered!

So now I have to ask: How do you measure success?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Currently: making "wedding guest" my part-time job.

photo via Instagram

playing | Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! on my Podcasts app. I haven't been listening to my favorite podcasts as often as I would have liked over the past few months, but I've been trying to catch up on old episodes! Plus, it's good motivation to go running or cycling because I can listen while I exercise. :)

going | to all the weddings! As you may know, I married my high school sweetheart last fall, and since then I have attended the weddings of four high school classmates and will be celebrating yet another Class of 2008 wedding next weekend. How crazy is that?? Even crazier: Three of these newlywed couples are also high school sweethearts. I swear, there is something wrong abnormally romantic about my high school class.... :)

wearing | these pants from Anthropologie as often as more often than is acceptable. They were a splurge (actually, not for me—thanks, Mom!) but sooooo comfortable. I need to get a few more colors when they go on sale. They are perfect for all the squatting, crawling and general shenanigans I do at the library each day.

sipping | water, mostly! Trying to stay hydrated as the weather heats up in California.

reading | the fabulous young adult novel I'll Give You the Sun. Noah's voice is five stars on its own. I'm not loving Jude's storyline as much though, so we'll see how the novel ends up for me.

What are you up to currently?

Linking up with Anne and Jenna for Currently, and Becky for her Currently link-up.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Best of Spring: Three Months in Review

Hi! Remember me? :) I know I've blogged before about how "I'm too busy" is really not an excuse, and I still agree with that. That being said, between a full-time job, a part-time job and a full load of graduate classes (a.k.a. four) for the past few months ... let's just say blogging has not been a priority for me. :) But, my full-time job ended last week and spring quarter ends next week, so I look forward to being more present on the blog over the summer! For now, here's a quick update on what's been going on with me this spring.

Most Popular on Instagram & Notable Events

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Of course my most popular photo of the last three months has Jonathan in it ... and three of the four are about books. Should I just change my Instagram to a bookstagram already? ;) In all seriousness, we did get to take some pretty fun weekend trips this spring. From seeing Newsies in Hollywood (bottom right) to celebrating my little brother's college graduation to attending a wedding in Malibu to hiking in Aptos to wine tasting in Sonoma, there was only one weekend in all of April and May that we were home! (And that was this most recent weekend, when I wrote and scheduled this post. Woot!)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer 2015 Book Challenge: Month 1

Hello, readers! It's been one full month since the summer book challenge began, which means it's already time to check in with your progress! If you are new to the challenge, feel free to review the rules and categories here. Remember, all books you have read dating back to May 1 count, even if you just joined the challenge yesterday (or today)! Continue reading after the jump to learn how to check in with your progress.