My Realistic Resolutions for 2014

First of all…OH MY GOD IT’S 2014 WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DIE TWO YEARS AGO TAKE THAT MAYAN CALENDAR. (Except not really because science says that was all bullshit to begin with.)

Anyway.

Welcome to a new year, a new start, a flashy new set of resolutions to uphold. If you’re into that of course. I, gigantic holiday fanatic that I am, love celebrating the new year and thinking about ways to make it better than the last. And a big part of that is, naturally, New Year’s Resolutions.

“Sam, Sam, Sam, what are these mysterious ‘resolutions’ you speak of?”

Well, I’ve got a few. This year is going to be a year of change. High school graduation, starting college (most likely far away from where I am now), getting a job, hopefully finishing my novel, family moves, and my little sister starting her first year of high school (what, I’m not panicking AT ALL). So I’ve got quite a few resolutions, partly because I love lists and partly because with all this change going on, I want something to focus on. This year is going to be crazy enough, and I want to have something solid to think about when everything around me is going nuts. So here are my resolutions.


Res1

Develop healthy eating habits.

I’ve been making some really bad choices lately in regards to what I put in my body. My diet isn’t healthy or balanced and I’m not treating myself the way I ought to, with regular meals and veggies and fruits and some semblance of exercise. So I want to make a conscious effort to make time to eat properly this year.

Res2

Spoil myself rotten.

This year I will make some of the biggest decisions of my life, and with those decisions will come a lot of really difficult situations that will be hard to get through. So whenever I can, I want to focus on living and having fun and doing what I want to do.

Res3

2014 Jar of Memories

This year Julia and I decided to engage in a terribly romantic, terribly cheesy activity. We each bought a large jar for ourselves and for the next year we will write down good things that happened in our relationship in 2014. They can be funny things we say or do, dates we go on, movies we see, arguments we have, places we go, etc. And then at the end of year, we get together with our jars and go through them and read each memory to each other and reminisce like the sappy fools we are.

Res4

Be an awesome girlfriend to my lady-love.

This is pretty self-explanatory. But I’m making it my mission to spoil her rotten.

Res5

Call my family more often and be more involved in their lives.

My family is very scattered, and I’ll be even further away when I go off college in September. So I want to make a conscious effort to call them more, send more cards and books and presents throughout the year. I haven’t been able to be very involved in their lives, but family is extremely important to me and I want them to know how much I love them.

Res6

Complete my reading challenges.

As of now, I’m participating in 4 challenges for 2014. They are as follows (with levels in bold):

  • 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge (hosted by Bookish) — Could this be love? (41-50 books)
  • A Year in Re-Reading Challenge (hosted by caffeinatedlife.net) — Occasional re-reader (1-4 books)
  • 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge (hosted by me!) — I Like A Challenge (13-19 books)
  • 2014 Reading Challenge (on Goodreads) — 100 books

Wish me luck!

Res7

Get to and maintain an 80% feedback ratio on Netgalley.

I’m at about 60% right now, which I’m happy with, but ideally I’d like to get up to 80% by summer.

Res8

Go outside my comfort zone. Try new things. Meet new people. Find out what I’m really capable of.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but as I’ve said, this year will be full of massive changes in my life. It’ll be challenging of course, but it will also allow me to stretch my limits and learn more about myself.

Res9

Keep blogging!

I’m still very new to book blogging, but I love this community so much. Blogging gives me a way to express my love for books and meet other awesome book lovers, and it’s also motivated me to keep reading, which is just brilliant. High school put me in a reading slump and I nearly forgot why I love to read, but blogging has been a way to get back into books and writing. I’m really looking forward to further growing my blog in 2014 and meeting more of you spectacular people.


I’m so excited for the new year, and I hope you are as well. Whether or not 2013 was a good year for you, 2014 is a new chance to begin afresh and explore the world and yourself. I wish you all the best for this year, including but not limited to books, family, friends, good health, and happiness!

Happy New Years!

Love, Sam

 

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The Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Last Week on TNN

MondayReview of Weather Witch by Shannon Delany (5/5 hearts)

TuesdayTop Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

WednesdayWWW Wednesdays #3 (find out what I’m reading!)

ThursdayFlash Review of The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (3/5 hearts)

FridayReview of Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin (4/5 hearts)

SaturdayStacking the Shelves #7 (find out what books I’ve added to my shelves this week!)

This Week on TNN

Monday: ARC Review of A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (4/5 hearts)

Tuesday: My Holiday To-Do List

Wednesday: Review of The Fault in Our Stars (4/5 hearts)

Waiting on Wednesday (Stormbringer)

Thursday: Thoughtful Thursday — Heroines I Love

Friday: Book Blitz of Ondine by Emma Raveling

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves #8

Bookish News

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge: I love retellings. Love. Them. So. Much. So I decided to start my own little reading challenge here at TNN for this coming year to read more retellings. There’s so many great ones out there that I haven’t read, such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Splintered by A. G. Howard, so 2014 is the year I’m going to dive into these wonderful reads and find out what I’ve been missing! If you’d like to join me, check out this post for more information.

Non-Bookish News

My New Electric Tea Kettle: For my birthday yesterday, my awesome madre bought me an electric tea kettle for my tea-drinking pleasure. I’m over the moon. (It makes ramen too, I mean what.)

Aroma Hot H20 X-Press 7-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

No More School: School is over! Winter break is here! Let the outrageous partying begin! (Nah, more like reading of books and drinking of tea alone in my bed. I’m hardcore like that.)

I’m No Longer Dying: So I was sick for over a week with the flu’s lesser-known twin, and after shots, steroids, and profuse bloodletting (jk you guys jk), I am finally in recovery. Of course, I still missed the entire last week of school, which was a bug to deal with, but I’ve just got to make up an exam and a presentation tomorrow, and I’m all finished.

Shop ‘Til I Drop: This week will be shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I have a shopping day with the wifey on Tuesday, accompanied by a night showing of “The Desolation of Smaug” (hell yes), and then most likely multiple outings to the bookstore because it’s there and I am not strong enough to withstand the seductive allure of books.

I hope you all have a fantastic, festive, felicitous week full of good books, good food, and good cheer. Happy Holidays!

Love, Sam

Great Holiday Gifts for Writers and Readers

As a writer and reader with writer/reader friends, I love brainstorming bookish gifts to put under the tree. Most people tend to think the only thing to get a writer/reader is a notebook or a random new release or a gift card to Barnes & Noble. But au contraire, mon amie; there is a vast world of gifts out there for the literary-minded sort, and I’ve come up with a list of gift ideas to prove it. (That sounded like such an advertisement. Am I in the wrong field?)

1. Coffee/tea mugs

Reading is Sexy Coffee Cup

Who doesn’t love a good mug? Even if you don’t like hot drinks, you can use it for cereal or (sometime in the dead of night when there’s nobody around to judge you) candy.

This cup is from Etsy. Click on the image if you’d like to buy it!

2. Hairstick

Hairsticks

For your long-haired reader/writer friends, hairsticks are awesome. You haven’t felt artsy until you have one of these things in your hair. This one is from Etsy, so click if you like it!

3. Bookmarks

Wicked Witch bookmark

You can’t go wrong with bookmarks. I mean, for real, you actually can’t. Also, this Etsy bookmark is supercalifragicool so you should totes click the image and buy this beauty.

4. A Really Old Book

Old books are not only great decor, but it’s just an awesome feeling in general to know that the book in your hands has been through a lot of shit. There will likely be names or random notes or dates that just make it even more interesting; my writer girlfriend found an old book of maps and geographic facts (I think it was in France, but I can’t remember) and her face lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s no joke. Plus, they’re super easy to find. Just pop into your local used bookstore or even just an antique store and you should be able to find something with a halfway decent price tag.

5. Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless Gloves

I don’t know about you, but holding a book and typing up stories on my laptop in winter is kind of sucky because your hands are constantly freezing, even indoors. At this very moment, as I write this post, I’m having to take breaks to stick my hands under my legs and warm them up.

6. Beverage of Choice

Beverage

Does your giftee enjoy the delights of raspberry tea? Or perhaps is enraptured by the sweet aroma of cocoa? Gifting somebody with their favorite drink, even if it’s something  as mundane as beer or Kool-Aid, is a nice way to say, “Hey, we must be real friends if I know your beverage of choice. This Diet Cherry Coke is proof that I care.” And it also means your giftee won’t have to go shopping for their favorite drink for a while longer.

7. Anything Handmade

Monogram Art

I’m not remotely artistic, but I can write a poem for someone for Christmas. You may not be a writer like your giftee, but if you can draw a heart with “Happy Holidays” in the middle of it and stick it in a frame, I at least would be thrilled. Even if you can’t sculpt a lifesize marble replica of your giftee, you can still make something, be it a cool crayon monogram or even cookies. But chucking $50 on some random piece of art isn’t going to be nearly as meaningful as something you’ve made yourself.

8. A Bookish Date

This isn’t so much a gift as it is a significant-other arrangement. Don’t just give your darling dearest a gift card to Border’s—take them to the bookstore and buy them a book they find, or just spend the day exploring the shelves and bonding over literature. Take them to a book signing, spend the day curled up together on the couch reading to each other, have an intense debate about Charles Dickens over take-out. Your writer/reader will be happy to know that even if you yourself aren’t a raging book addict, you don’t want that part of their life to be something outside of your relationship. Getting involved with their passion, even in a small way, shows that you love that aspect of them.

That’s it! I’d love to hear about your gift ideas, or what you’d like to give/receive for the holidays. I myself would kill for another bookcase so I don’t have to keep stacking books by my bed. ;)

I hope you’re having a great December so far wherever you are!