Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Winter Book Challenge; Preliminary List!

YAY MORE BOOKS. Check it out

I kinda failed the last challenge. I picked some books just because they fit the categories and then I didn't want to read them - I actually found a few good books that way, so I am still glad I read them, but this time I'm going to make better decisions so I can win this shiz. I have been reading like a fool lately so I think I'll do better on this one - it's easier to stay in and read when it's cold (which is anything under 80 for me...).

The challenge is from November 1st to February 28th. Plenty of time to read 13 books- it's 120 days so a little over a book every 9 days. You don't have to finish the challenge (I didn't last time) it's still a great way to find books and book lovers. Doooo eeet.

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.

Hmmm. I imagine I will find something. Wink wink.

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books.

I'm reading the Stephanie Plum series and I'm not even halfway through it. Janet Evanovich has probably published 50 or so books, so one of those will cover this one. I am also passed the ones I have read before, so they aren't re-reads after #10.

10 points: Read a book of short stories

This one really stumped me but then I thought of A Pemberley Medley, which I haven't read yet. Does that count? It's 5 short stories so I think it counts. 210 pages.

10 points: Read a book with a food in the title.

I actually got a copy of All's Fair in Love & Cupcakes via Netgalley, so there you go. 320 pages.

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you). 

I have had a few people recommend the Selection Series to me, and it was already on my list... I'm totally going to read the whole series though, unless I hate the first book. 336 pages.

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language. 

I had no idea Inkheart was originally published in German, and I watched the movie a couple years ago and remember bits and pieces, so I'm excited to read the book. 548 pages (excuse me?!)

15 points: Read a book written by a local author.

Do you know how many awesome books there are from KY authors? Not a lot, let me tell you. I wanted to make my 'local' Australia but was told I couldn't, boohickey. I found The Queen of Kentucky (375 pages) which sounded mildly interesting.

20 points: Read a "bookish book" (see original post for explanation). 

The Thirteenth Tale (one of the examples) was already on my to read list and it has such great reviews, I can't wait to read it. 406 pages.

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title.

OMG NORTH AND SOUTH. It's a bit soon for a re-read though, so I will read Northanger Abbey (251 pages) and if that doesn't count, I'lll read Margaret of the North (363 pages). 

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read. 

Honestly, there is a reason I stay away from the genres I don't really read. I love this suggestion, but thinking about a book in a genre I don't usually read makes me go harrummph. I wish I had saved Gone Girl now, no matter, I'll read Sharp Objects because it has pretty good reviews and I did like Flynn's writing.

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title. 

The Girl You Left Behind (one of the examples) was already on my list, so yay! The song is Girl You Left Behind by Pixie Lott.

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title.

This one was so bloody hard. I had zero books on my to read list with breakfast, lunch or dinner in the titles - there are 500 books on that list! What the shit! Finally I found Breakfast at Darcy's (funnily enough, nothing to do with P&P and 427 pages) and Lunch in Paris (314 pages).

If you are going to do the challenge, here are my suggestions:

Make your 'to read' list work for you. A lot of my books are ones I already had on my list - last time, I just found any book that sounded good and I dragged my feet towards the end because I wasn't feeling it. Obviously that's not always possible, it helps if you use goodreads to keep track of the books you want to read.

Don't rush + have fun. As soon as I started thinking I had to read the books and had to finish them quick smart, the last thing I wanted to do was read. Who cares if you don't finish the challenge? The important thing is that you're reading... and we all know there is no enjoyment like reading!

So? You with me?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

House Tour; Master Bedroom + Bath Before & During

Ah the master bedroom. For some reason, this is the hardest room for me. I know what I want, but it's hard to find things in my price range and taste, so I just leave it all as is and sulk in a corner. Sigh.

Here's what it looked like when we first saw it:

Very pretty, and oh how I wanted that dresser. Beautiful. But anyway. KC wasn't a huge fan of the purple, and wanted to paint. We painted it the very first night we moved in, which was not the smartest idea because we were tired and it was the first bad snow of the winter and it took KC like 5 hours to get home. Also, not smart was the fact that I let KC pick the colour. What was I thinking?

Here's what it looks like now:

The Disney print was a gift for our wedding.

Ok, I know it's not that bad (or is it?). It's just so blue like nursery blue. And the dressers aren't horrible, but they are KC's from when he was a kid. So, I'm allowed to want my own stuff, 'our' stuff. But like everything, there always seems to be something just a little more important to buy first.

And this is what the master bath looked like when we first saw it:

And here's what it looks like now:

This thing was the first item KC and I bought together for our apartment, and it's from Goodwill holla.

It's very small and outdated, and so gold, but it works for us and I am hoping we can update it a little soon. Baby steps, right?

The master bedroom needs a complete overhaul, in my opinion. Everything. Bed, bedding, walls, furniture, art and whatnot. So I will not be offended if you want to throw all the suggestions at me.
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Monday, October 20, 2014

House Tour; Living Room Before & During

Don't want to get any hopes up - this is not pinterest worthy at all. Just my living room.

Here's what it looked like when we first saw it.

Super cute, right? Here's what it looked like when we moved our stuff in. Please excuse all the crap, I did say it wasn't pinteresty.

Ok. Then we ripped the carpet up, painted, KC put in laminate flooring and new baseboard thingys, I ripped the 'mantel' off the wall and almost decapitated my husband, you know, all in a day's work.


Before and after, because why not.

I know, it's not crazy different and awesome but we love it.

But that was several months ago, so here's what it looks like today:

The 'gallery wall' is definitely not finished, I'm just waiting for the right pieces.

I have a Gallifrey poster that I am going to put above these frames, once I find a frame.

So, yeah, no mantel and there is a chair in front of the fireplace. Not the best solution, but it'll do until we can get a sectional. And yes, that TV stand. I can't. We used to have a dresser turned tv stand and I loved the height and that it was white, but didn't love it completely, and mum got this one for us for christmas last year, and I thought I would be ok with it, but yeah no. I have big dreams for the replacement.

My best friend painted this as a wedding gift for us.

And here is the fancy hallway as well:

I'm not a huge fan of the layout of these frames, but I put them up in a rush and haven't touched them since, but I'm sure I'll change them because they just don't look right.

I hate dislike our couch (and the chair) and can't wait to get a sectional, we need to do something about the mantel, either buy a shelf that actually fits the fireplace, or build one - can't be that hard, right? I want a new tv stand, more books and some sort of art to fill that gigantic wall that the tv and computer are on. Plus something above the mantel that doesn't exist.

So, this is a 'during'. We aren't in the after stage yet, not by a long shot. But are you ever really done?

Clearly I need some help in getting to the 'after stage' for the whole house, so while I am posting these room tours, I'd love for you to throw some recommendations at me, help me out! I'm looking at you Nadine nudge nudge wink wink.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Makes Me Happy #Blogtober14

Day 19. What makes you happy.

Helene in Between

Talking to my family.
Buying & smelling books.
Making people laugh.
Discovering something for the first time.
Pride & Prejudice.
Kitty cuddles.
Food. All the food.
Saving money.
Spending time with the girls.
Waking up naturally, without the alarm.
Accomplishing something.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear 'this makes me happy'?

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