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Bout of Books Update Hub

Bout of Books

Welcome to my Bout of Books Update Hub! Here you will find just my daily updates!

Day 1: Monday 1.4.16
Time spent reading: 10 minutes
Pages read: 12
Book(s) read: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft
Challenge Completed?: yes #insixwords on twitter
Bookish IG posts: nada

Day 2: Tuesday 1.5.16
Time spent reading: 40 minutes
Pages read: 35
Book(s) read: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft
Challenge Completed?: yes - would you rather
Bookish IG posts: one

Day 3: Wednesday 1.6.16
No reading for me today - I binge watched Downton Abbey. I decided to re-watch ther series during my Christmas break since the new (and final!) season released this week. Of course, I didn't get through all 5 seasons during break... so I'm trying to finish season 5 so I can start 6 now that it is out!

Day 4: Thursday 1.7.16
Time spent reading: 45 minutes
Pages read: 38
Book(s) read: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft
Challenge Completed?: nope
Bookish IG posts: none

Day 5: Friday 1.8.16
Time spent reading: 25 mins in the car
Pages read: 18
Book(s) read: The Girl with no past 
Challenge Completed?: yes, on Twitter 
Bookish IG posts: 0

Day 6: Saturday 1.9.16
Time spent reading: 40 mins in the car
Pages read: 35
Book(s) read: The Girl With No Past 
Challenge Completed?: yep - on IG
Bookish IG posts: 1

Day 7: Sunday 1.10.16
Time spent reading: 2 hrs
Pages read: 110
Book(s) read: The Girl With No Past 
Challenge Completed?:
Bookish IG posts: 1

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Would You Rather?

Time for today's Bout of Books challenge! This challenge is hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale and is a fun little game of Would You Rather.

All you need to do is pick one or the other... that's it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Would you rather:
Lend books to someone who dog-ears pages or to someone who reads with cheesy Cheetos fingers?
Dog-ear pages for sure! I am a person who dog-ears *hangs head in shame* BUT I never ever ever dog-ear a book that is not mine.

Would you rather:
Be able to meet one character of your choice or meet one author of your choice?
I would absolutely pick author... JK Rowling, obviously.

Would you rather:
Never be allowed in a book store again or never be allowed in a library again?
Library - and only because I can use overdrive to still at least access the library and borrow ebooks.

Would you rather:
Have to choose one of your favorite characters to die in their book or have to pick one of your favorite couples to break up in their book?
I'd rather someone break up - I'm not a huge romantic when it comes to reading anyways.

Would you rather:
Be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of your life or The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of your life?
The Scarlet Letter without a doubt. I would probably off myself if I had to read Twilight once a year.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Bout of Books 15

Bout of Books

Is it seriously time for the first readathon of 2016?!
Obviously, I'm game. I love readathons and having one start the first week of January is the perfect way to ring in a new year of bookish fun!

I've been a BoB participant for years. It is one of the best because it is low-key, no-stress, and great fun!!

For those of you who need some more details- here's the official word from the Bout of Books site:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
So, I hope you'll join us! I will make an update hub here on the blog and update my reading progress each day. My goals are simple: read 2 books this week. With heading back to teaching after a week off, a belated family holiday party Friday, and an out of town birthday party Saturday, my week will be full. However, I still love tracking my reading and the mini challenges, so I'm going to just do my best!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Hello 2016

Well, I think it is safe to say that 2015 wasn't my best blogging year. It seems that as the years go by, I let the blog fall more and more off my radar, I always say that I will do better next year, and make blogging resolutions and all that... but let's be honest, it doesn't really ever happen for me anymore.
At this point, I feel more connected with my bookish peeps on IG then I do on here, I've also utilized Goodreads more, and I am finding that the simplicity is more my style.
I'm not saying that this blog is going away... I of course love it to keep in touch and do reviews and participate in great fun readathons (like Bout of Books coming up!)... what I am saying is that I'm going to stop putting pressure on myself and feeling shitty when I don't blog. I've spent more time feeling crappy about it and reading books I've gotten for review then I have reading books for me and not giving a damn about writing some long winded review that a handful of people will read. I'm at a point where I'd rather read for me and review books in a simple, short, and sweet forum like GoodReads and Amazon.
I had given some thought to starting a LBR instagram solely dedicated to books and mini reviews... but I am not so sure I would have the stamina for that either- I mean really, the #bookstagram hashtag is ridiculous.... it is beautiful, but I don't have time to perfectly pose photos like that. So really, I doubt I will.

So, for 2016, I resolve to do what I want. I'll review books I feel like reviewing, I'm going to stop saying yes to every pitch, I'll write about other things and not feel ashamed of that, I'll stop pressuring myself to keep this blog constantly updated, and I'll start reading for me again.

Oh, and I'll use the hell out of the blog for readathons... as I always do.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


If you get, GIVE.


One of my absolute favorite traditions is buying a full Thanksgiving meal (turkey included!) and donating it to the local food bank through the Thanks-4-Giving food drive hosted by Mix 103.3 radio station with my husband and stepdaughter.
Our Thanksgiving meal we purchased and donated to the Thanks-4-Giving food drive
Madeline and Bear handing over our Thanksgiving meal donation
Since I love doing this with my family, I decided to expand it and do it with my classroom this year. We organized an agency-wide food drive. The kids made and hung up signs and collected food for the food bank for the first few weeks of November. When the day rolled around, we took a field trip to drop off multiple bags and 4 huge boxes of food to the local Thanks-4-Giving food drive.

Signage made by the kids
A few of the boxes/bags we donated - never did get a picture of everything together!

I also decided to do the Operation Christmas Child with my students this year. For those of you not familiar, Operation Christmas Child is the program where you stuff a shoebox of little toys, novelty items, hygiene items, etc. and they then go to areas of the world where the children can use them. An additional component (it's through Samaritan's Purse) to bringing the shoeboxes is that Samaritan's Purse also sends members to spread the word of Christ when they drop the shoeboxes.
While I personally am not a believer, I do still believe in their mission of doing good and spreading hope. I also believe in giving my students the opportunity to learn and practice faith (or not, if they choose so), so this fits that belief of mine as well. Anyways- ramble over.

We purchased items for boxes, and each student in my class made one. I did one, as well and my aide, Danielle. My stepdaughter wanted to participate too, so she made one at home that I brought in to donate with our class boxes. In all, we were able to purchase and donate 8 stuffed to the brim boxes. Here's a peek at what a few of the boxes looked like:

This experience was incredibly enjoyable for all of us. The kids had a great time shopping and they really liked putting the boxes together. It also seemed to really hit them that there are many children who are less fortunate than they are (which is a hard concept for any kid, let alone my students- kids who have had a rough deck dealt to them). We also got the tracking labels for the boxes, so we are excited to see where are boxes will be going and we will follow them!

Giving is such a rewarding feeling. I give for the pure reason of kindness. I don't give because because I think I need too or that a God is telling me to. I give because it feels good and because I can. Passing on the love of giving is a gift I want to give to all my students- and one little action at a time is how I plan to do that.

So, here's two examples of giving that we did this month. (well technically three since I donated to the food drive two times)

Have you given lately?

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow