Books I Read: May

Happy Moving Day Friends!

JB flew into town yesterday and he’s helping me pack on up and head on out today. As you’re reading this we’re probably on 75 towards Knoxville. Whoo!! Next stop Boston!

As you can see from the title, today is all about the books. And y’all…..I’ve now read 49/100 for my 2015 goal……(be sure to check out my summer book challenge as well!)

My social life is doin well, thank you for asking 😉

But seriously, most of May was spent only working a few days a week so I had plenty of lazy days spent in my giant chair by the window losing the hours in a good book, wandering the various hiking trails near town, and lounging my days away. I live a charmed life.

Also in case you missed it, click here (LINK) to check out my reading challenge for you this summer!

Books Read May

So I decided to do another book recap. I really will read just about anything, I think I’ve mentioned my annoying habit of finishing any book I start whether it’s good or not. For that reason, perhaps I can spare you that same annoyance. Unless of course I’m the only one with that weird OCD tendency, in which case you can still skip the boring ones.

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. 5 stars. I was still on my memoir kick from the end of April, so this was my first book of May (following the Elizabeth Smart book. Note: poor writing made for a painful read despite already knowing the story well.) Anyway, as a self-proclaimed non-foreign wanderluster, I love reading about other’s exotic escapades and adventures. Of course Amanda’s had a very tragic event happen, but her spirit inspired me and I devoured the book quickly. A must read!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 4 stars. It’s a YA book and a quick read (which is why I only gave 4 stars) but I guarantee you won’t guess the ending.

The Stranger On The Train by Abbie Taylor 4 stars. I nabbed this book because I have yet to be able to find Girl On A Train that everyone is talking about so much. Girl, stranger, they’re on a train. Anyway, it kept me guessing, but I honestly had hoped for more of a twist or more suspense. Still a good read though if puzzle-solving is your cuppa.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 5 stars. I knew I was gonna like this book, because I’ve liked all her other ones. If you like quirky characters, different points of view, and never getting the full picture until the end, then this book if for you. Seriously, the entire structure of this book had me guessin until the very end. Who dies, who killed them, why are the most beautiful ladies always the ones most damaged? These are the questions we must ask ourselves….

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones 5 stars. Dear Hollywood, please make this into a movie like yesterday. Holy Fast-paced Thriller Batman! This has history, time jumps, mystery, nobility, murder, torture (yeesh), OCD, and a little girl named Leah…..go put this book in your hands now.

[Tweet “Book reviews for the book lover #bookwormlife”]

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 4 stars. I saw this recommended on Lauren Conrad’s website I think. I take any suggestion from her as gospel so added it to my list. I scored big at the Knoxville library and found several of my YA picks. This was a quick read and was cute. I gave it 4 stars for the cuteness alone. (also I’m beginning to think I’ve a pretty lenient critic.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 4 stars. As  the one who IS the more reserved one in the friend duo, this book spoke to my soul. I also love how my friend’s challenge me and push me outside my comfort zone to really live. Also, lists…..It’s a YA book so again I couldn’t give it 5 stars just on principle. Sorry if that makes you mad.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica 3 stars. Obviously I’m a sucker for books that write from more than one point of view and this one certainly delivers. It gives everyone’s thoughts and feelings besides the girl who was actually kidnapped. Even her kidnapper gets a voice, say what? And despite the ending having a good “you’ll never guess it” twist, it just didn’t have me raving about it to anyone, so 3 stars…

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver 5 stars. Go get this and read it now. Big twist, feuding sister’s, teenage love, tragic accident. If this isn’t made into a movie sometime soon I’d be surprised. It’s got everything you want in a drama. I also can usually eventually guess the endings of most books, so the ones that literally make me stop reading, look up, and say what are keepers!

I ended up reading another ——- books this month as well, but we’ve already established from last month’s recap, y’all think I have no life so I capped it at 9. My favorite number, don’t steal it!

Now give me more recs to add to my list, yo!

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Bookish Side of Life Challenge and Linkup

I’ve made it no secret that I love reading. I read books like normal people breath. Physical impossibility aside, I really do read more than the average bookworm. Last semester of grad school with no classes really frees up lots of time…..

I’ve already mentioned my goal to read 100 books in 2015. A daunting task of about 2 books a week. So far so good. However, with Summer weather upon us, the call to spend all my time outdoors is a strong one. I shall not fight that pull. I will give in to it and bask in it’s infinite wisdom.

Here’s where the tricky part comes in then. When I am inside once the Sun goes down, I need to read, not watch Netflix. I challenged myself back in April to read instead of Netflix and I ended up ahead of my goal! That’s really a sad statement of how much Netflix I watched while in school my last semester so feel free to judge me, I don’t mind, I have a Master’s degree now.

How I need your help and where this challenge and link up comes into play.

Introducing the Bookish Side of Life challenge.

Bookish Side of life

I challenge you to set a goal of books this summer. June, July, and August. Three months of putting books before technology. Mine is 20, but I’m a crazy person. Choose something realistic for you and your own crazy person tendencies.

At the end of every month (June, July, August), we’ll all linkup! You can do a book review, talk about your experience thus far, or just linkup whatever you have scheduled for that day simply because you’re reading and we’re friends.

[Tweet “Lookin for a fun summer book challenge? Look for further! #BookishSideofLife”]

You can also use the hashtag #BookishSideofLife on all social media as a way to interact and encourage each other.  I am under no illusion that this will garner thousands of hashtag uses, because it’s not really an instagram challenge or anything, just a fun way to connect and possibly trend (kidding)

You should grab the button anyway 🙂

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

Also if you’d like to receive an email reminding you each month to linkup (I promise that’s the only thing I’ll email you about) then just add your email to this form below.

Alright, now my fellow bookworms, I wanna hear your goal for the Summer?

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Why You Should Send More Mail

Happy 3-day weekend Friends!

I’ve got a question for ya……

Do you like getting mail? Unless you just simply love loneliness and perhaps kick puppies for fun, chances are your hand is raised.

If you hate both of those things and your hand is still not raised then you must have no soul because getting mail OTHER than bills is close to the best feeling in the world. If you happen to be eating ice cream on a Sunny 75 summer day and Than receive mail?…Well That’s the best feeling….

Anyway, mail, we all love getting it, but how often do we think about sending it? I know other than birthday’s and holidays I never send mail……This needs to change!!

Send More Mail

I’ve composed a list of reasons you should send more mail below, but if we’re being honest no one really needs to read the list to understand why (unless you’re the soulless mail-hater from above, you keep reading). For everyone else, just imagine the smile you’d put on someone else’s face by sending them a tiny card…..

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Apparently, you still need convincing if the imaginary hypothetical smile didn’t do it for you, so here we go.

1. Make Someone’s Day. If the pretend smile of your loved one didn’t prompt you to immediately raid the Dollar Section at Target (as if you needed an excuse…*see below*), than you really need to reflect a bit on your own reaction to getting mail. Now concentrate real hard and transfer that unexpected joy to that of a loved one. Your best friend perhaps, or your Mom. Now can you picture it!

2. Have Something to Instagram About. Get out your whiteboard, slap your stationary down, toss in a glitter pen, your coffee mug, a succulent or two, possibly flowers…oh and duh, one freshly painted hand of pastel fingernails. Points for midi rings and bracelets. You’re on your way to lots of likes.

3. Make Yourself Feel Better. I don’t know about you, but making other people happy is the biggest thing that makes me happy. I’m a great friend to have around 😉 I also bake on demand……

4. Get a Hole Punched in Your Blogger Card. You’ve already got your Starbucks and Fro-Yo notches, so why not go ahead and complete the trifecta of cute blogger behavior?

5. An Actual Excuse to Buy Cute Stationary. Like I mentioned above, no self-respecting Blogger can resist the lure that is Target and it’s Dollar Section. Here’s an actual reason to justify purchasing all that stationary, wasi tape, and packet of stickers. Now quickly pass along the cuteness to your friends and family in the form of mail so you can high-tail it back to Target to get more.

Now who’s with me!!

Seriously, who wants to start sending me mail?

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What Your Bed Says About You

Bed Says about you

 

This is a sponsored post not written by The Blonder Side of Life.

What does your bed say about you?

Surely your bed’s just a place to lay your head each night, right? Well actually, this is wrong. The look and feel of this bedroom staple can speak volumes about your sense of style and about your personality more generally. So, next time you enter your boudoir, take a good hard look at this piece of furniture and consider the following questions.

Lover of tradition or technology?

Firstly, do you look to the past for your style inspiration or are your design preferences firmly fixed in the future? If you’ve opted for a classic bed frame, like one of the elegant four-poster, art nouveau or gothic hand-crafted designs produced by furniture specialists like And So To Bed, the chances are you love the reassurance of traditional and timeless interior design styles. You might also be keen to create a sense of permanence in this part of your house. After all, furnishings like these never fall out of fashion and they can last for a lifetime – and even be passed down as heirlooms.

On the other hand, if you’ve gone for a more contemporary creation, you might love the excitement of the new. There are now a host of innovative design features available, including adjustable divans that allow you to control your sleeping position at the flick of a switch. These products are even available with massage and music functions, giving you an added sense of luxury.

Introvert or extrovert?

Then there’s color to think about. If your bedding features warm hues like oranges, yellows, peaches or pinks, you may be more likely to be an extrovert. Cheerful and welcoming, these hues are typically associated with people who are outgoing and confident. The same applies to intense colors like reds and purples.  Bold hues are often thought to reflect creativity as well.

On the other hand, if you prefer mild blues, lavenders and greens, you might be more of an introvert. These colors are perfect if you’re keen to create a tranquil, peaceful look. The same applies to neutrals like grays, browns, ivories and beiges.

Spontaneous or super organized?

Take a look at the state of your sheets too. If your bedding’s usually a bit chaotic and you find you often don’t have time to straighten your sheets and plump your pillows, the chances are you’re on the slightly disorganized and spontaneous side of the personality spectrum. Alternatively, if you love crisp hospital corners and perfectly positioned throws and pillows, you’ve got to be super organized.

If you’re bored with your bed or you think this design feature doesn’t reflect your personality, now could be the time to shake things up and invest in a new version.

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Some Friday Five Randomness

Hey Hey Party People!

It’s Friday and with all my traveling and laptop charger forgetting saga’s, I feel like I’m a bit out of the loop. I did however make it around to all your blogs though so I guess I’m not as far out of the loop as I feel…..Let’s be real, I just like talking about myself 😉

So for today, we’re doin a little Friday Five fun!

friday five

Gettin right down to business!

ONE

One fo my best friend’s is moving to Zimbabwe next week to volunteer in an orphanage all summer while simultaneously teaching sexual education and safety classes at the local college…..yea try having that as a best friend as you tell people you’re working at a summer camp post grad-school….

Kidding! I love her and she’s off to do big amazing things in the World!!

TWO

Like anyone with more important things to do with their lives, I spent like an hour…..or more, on Buzzfeed last night instead of writing this post…..Don’t worry though, I found out like really deep and important soul-searching type things about myself. Things like if I’d make it past the first night on the Bachelor (I would), or what kind of donut my personality is (old-fashioned, duh), also if I’m more Cosette or Eponine (Cosette), and finally what job I’d have if the internet didn’t exist (tailor).

Clearly you need to get on my level…..

THREE

Enough about me for a second, but only a second……..

Kym at Our Fox Tales is holding a book swap for the summer. In case you’re either new to these parts or don’t actually ever read anything I write, I love books. I’m currently reading my 47 book of the year…..You should go sign up and swap books with us

Now back to me….(admittingly that was mostly about me anyway…..)

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FOUR

I haven’t done a confession sesh in entirely too long and needed to get this off my chest, here’s goes….

I mostly skim posts that don’t have lots of photos unless it just really pulls me in and here I just wrote one myself and expect y’all to sit there and read it. For that reason, anyone who comments below that they read this part gets a prize (this is not a drill people!)

FIVE

I tried this Instagram trick, minus pretty much all of it except the one part. I spent about 1 min, 5x yesterday scrolling through the search page liking photos I liked and commenting on the ones I felt like I had a comment for. By the end of the day I’d gained almost 15 new followers…

I don’t like the whole mindset of “if you don’t follow me, I won’t follow you.” I’m not, nor will I ever be, a #follow4follow girl, but if you’ve got something I like, then heck yea I’ll follow you and like you and comment. If you choose to follow me  as well, then hey, nice to meetcha!

That’s all I got for ya today.

I just want to finish with saying that just because the Secret Blogger Club is taking a little break, doesn’t mean I won’t still be promoting y’all. It’s one of my very favorite things to do #gagifyouwant

P.S. that gif above was just for you skimmers (you might wanna go back and read below it)……P.P.S It was also my very first gif ever so you’re welcome….P.P.P.S(?) now I’m kinda addicted…..

Now tell me something random goin through your head right now! That means YOU!

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Secret Blogger Club (15)

Ok, I can explain…..

I did it again…..I went somewhere for an extended trip and left my laptop charger at home…..Perhaps if I was one of those “prepared” Bloggers, or not the only one who’s drunk the Apple kool-aid in my family things would have been different…..but neither of those things are true……

So I swear I don’t mean to ignore your comments and questions. I promise I don’t just read them and form responses in my head that don’t get sent until a week later. And I cross my heart that I’ll eventually comment on your posts two weeks late but at least you’ll know I finally read them……Hope to die, stick a needle in my eye…..

Whew, ok now exiting excuse city.

And welcome to the last meeting of the Secret Blogger Club for the Summer!

Secret Blogger Club Title

I’ve got the great pleasure to welcome Alanna as my co-host today. it’s only fitting really that she, who has been with me since the beginning, should be hosting the last. Well, the last for three months at least. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still come visit me on Wednesdays…there just may be something even More fun for you….wink, wink, nudge, nudge….

But back to Alanna!

SBC Alanna

Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Bloglovin

Isn’t she the Cutest? Ok in case you didn’t see my adorable links above, you should think about checking out some of her posts. I mean she’s the one who taught me how to add glitter to my text in Picmonkey. If that’s not useful then, perhaps you want to prove your American Pride at the next cook-out you attend, in which case you need her Intro to Baking; Cherry Pie post. If all else fails you can get super relatable with her 15 Signs You’re Going Through a Quarter Life Crisis15 Signs You’re Going Through a Quarter Life Crisis post…..You’re welcome.

Now for my weekly Blog highlight reel, I’ve also included some of Alanna’s picks!

>> Things That Make Me Weird (Making Mrs. M) Um, hello! Bloggers are weird, we share our lives with complete strangers on the internet, as if we needed any more reasons. But Jaelan gave us a few to relate to anyway. Happy Reading!

>> Weekly Blogging Checklist (Love the Here and Now) Because who doesn’t need another checklist to keep them on track…..Love it.

>> 5 Simple Ways My Non-Blogger Friends Can Support My Blog (Just a Little Bit Louder) We already covered why YOU should comment on my (ok fine, and others’) blog, but Stephanie brings it home again with how non-bloggers can get in on the blogger love train as well.

>> Ideas That Would Make Horrible YA Novels (The Wife in Training) Becasue books are life and why not dream up hilariously awful plot lines lol

Now if ya don’t mind, link up below and get all share-y with each other!

And don’t worry, I’m comin round to see you next!!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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The Truth Behind Instagram

Happy Friday Friends!

As with any time I go home to see my Family, not a whole lot of screen time happens. I spend most of my time running around town with my Mom or Sister, out back on the porch reading, or in the incredibly large kitchen creating yummy treats. A laptop won’t be cracked for days.

Good thing for y’all, I don’t go home all that often. But with double graduation’s and me moving away to Massachusetts soon, that spells lots of family time all in a row. #sorrynotsorry

truth behind instagram

I’ve seen these Instagram posts floating around from like everyone, so no one to really credit. Unless you happen to be the original creator of this in which case I credit you and I apologize for not linkin back to you…..we good?

Alright. It’s no secret I’m pretty horrible at all the blogging extensions, like Twitter and Pinterest (beyond obsessively planning my pretend wedding anyway).

Instagram however, I actually WANT to be good at. Am I? Well that’s for you to decide (click here!) I guess until I invest in some white countertops, perpetually painted nails, and random glittery or gold prop items I’ll haveta just keep doin my thang.

Since I’ve actually had quite the boost in Insta followers lately, I thought I’d give some insight into my latest postings….because, well I must be doin something right, just don’t ask me what it is….

Let’s start with my most popular post to date

Truth in advertising👌#preach #workit #30photosinbetween #ootd

A photo posted by Kelsey Sheron (@kelsnsher) on Apr 17, 2015 at 2:39pm PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI found this tank in a Five Below store and instantly was like, “yup, gotta have this.” Plus it’s only five bucks so it was really just begging me to anyway.Truth: I had my Mom snap a few takes before I filtered the crap out of it. Oh, also I hadn’t showered in about two days…… #modelstatus Next we have a little gem I like to call,

Next we have a little gem I like to call, Staging 101.

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See, I know as Bloggers we like a few select things more than others. These things include, cute mini treats, accessories, and photo staging. I’d say I accomplished all of these things, no? Truth: I actually had several more macarons but couldn’t be bothered to photograph them before I ate them….also that white background is my stove. Classy.

Talk to the Hand

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsSeriously what’s with the hand thing? I don’t know, and I don’t care because I love it. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Truth: I was sitting in my office taking this same picture over and over from different angles (one-handed of course) while people walked by my door peeking in. It wasn’t until later that I realized they could hear my shutter sound go off every time I snapped a pic….. When all else fails, post a

When all else fails, post a selfie 

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But please, if you want people to actually like it, be sure to crop part of your face out of it, jeez. Truth: I took this in My Mother’s kitchen as she cooked dinner and gave me the side-eye. I went for the more traditional hands-holding-flowers-against-a-wall thing that Blogger’s love, but heck, if I don’t love myself. It’s always the right time for a selfie…..

All in all, I might get less likes than you, or post less than you (both very true) but heck it if I don’t just love me some Instagram. Tiny photos that give me a glamorized glimpse into other people’s lives, crack for introverts.

PS. you can follow me here, please and thank you. Feel free to go on a liking spree as well 😉

Tell me your Instagram tricks?

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