Month in Review: September

Is it bad that I just posted two monthly reviews in a row?

Oh well.

With all the new readers I’ve gained this month (hello!) I thought I do a little month in review. Not because you feel like you’re missin out, but because this is what bigger bloggers do and although I’ll never be one of those, I thought it’d be a nice review for me to see what September has brought.

Month in review

-I kicked off the month detailing all the things I still don’t understand as an Adult….26, why so confusing?

-I wallowed in self-pity for a bit about not having a full-time job yet. Y’all were amazingly supportive though so I quickly bounced back 🙂

-We all learned a thing of two about Google Analytics.

-I grew the balls to post my very first vlog.

-I also re-did my entire website diy style. Again, y’all were super supportive and emailed me about everything I’d done wrong. Hopefully it’s all bueno now 😀

-We compared our online and in real life selves. I think we can all agree that I’m the same basic chic here and there.

-I for some reason thought I was qualified to create an Instagram challenge for October. Not sure what possessed me but please join me. #pleaseandthankyou

-I shared 5 of my fave ladies. Y’all know I’m all about supporting others.

-I linked up with Allyson for what’s In and Out this Fall. (Hint, comparison is out!)

-Finally I recapped the books I’ve read in September. I stepped my reading game up and I’m back on track for hitting my 100 book goal for 2015.

Also don’t forget The Secret Blogger Club is coming back as a weekly linkup every Thursday (that’s tomorrow people)

What have you accomplished this month?

What are your goals for October?

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What I Read: September

Hello Friends!

I’m back with more books than the past like 3 months combined almost. It was a nice return to books and I’m now sitting pretty at 78/100 for my yearly goal with 3 months left to go. I’d say unless something drastic happens, like me actually getting a FT job, I’ll easily make it. If you couldn’t detect the sarcasm in my voice just then I’ll come right out and say I’d much rather get a job than meet my 100 book goal.

Alright let’s get to the books.

Hint, the following list is more of a don’t-bother list then an actual book recommendation list. September was a bust with a few bright spots in the book realm. Actually, that’s a pretty accurate metaphor for my job search….ok I’ll stop, here’s the books.

Books I read September

Books

I Am having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum 3-4 stars. I couldn’t decide on how many stars to give this book. On one hand it was a good story about a man who cheated on his wife, then realizes what a mistake he’s made and tries to win her back. On the other hand it had some serious political undertones (slightly anti-American vibes) and that’s just not my jam. Good read if the political agenda was left out of it.

The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen 4 stars. This story really had me hooked even if it was slightly hard to understand the inception level mind work that the main characters could do. However, beware, the dialogue leaves something to be desired. The main female character’s response to everything is literally “bullsh*t.” Examples, “How are you?” “Bullsh*t, you don’t really care!” or “I’m hungry” “Bullsh*t, you aren’t!” A little over dramatic and reaching for substance, but the plot keeps it moving.

Last Orphans by N. W. Harris (meh) 3 stars. The fact that the book opens with very graphic deaths of all the adults in the world, I suggest not reading this one unless the detailed demise by killer bees won’t bother you. It was a good story in theory, but when the answer to the problem is a top secret government cover up that is conveniently located just a few short miles from where the main character lives? You lose a few stars for lack of creativity.

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand. 5 stars! Of course I love her books so this is no surprise here. I also love reading about weddings, always have, always will. I’m that girl that cries at weddings, watching weddings, thinking about weddings, and reading about weddings. I love love and that’s that.

You Should Have Known by 3 meh stars. I kept waiting for the the action to begin. Like where was the scandal? Where was the action? Where was the conclusion? Unless you want to be bored to death with the occasional glimpse of brilliant writing. I say skip it.

The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson 3 stars. Again, I picked a book that just didn’t seem to quite get going. I just couldn’t relate to the main character and she had the weirdest back story with her high school boyfriend that it really made no sense how she ended up with her husband (who did she ever really like?) I guess that’s the point of the story, but then the author slipped in some under-cover FBI something or other story line that was just out of place.

The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai 4 stars.  This book drew me in instantly and had me going all weekend long to finish it. I love the reverse time hop and seeing the connections back generations. I also love history and thinking about the stories behind buildings, locations, geography, etc. It was a bit helter-skelter on the relationships between characters. For example, there was a husband-wife combo that seemed to have zero communication which was a bit odd in the story-telling aspect, but a great book.

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls 2 stars. Ok if this book got published, then so could I. It had good bones, but the author couldn’t quite string them together. The apex of the story happened in a very anti-climatic manner and then just kind of kept going and ended in the strangest way…..If I didn’t feel compelled to finish a book I start, I would have put this one down. I recommend not even picking it up.

The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons 4 stars. Cute story, quirky characters, one was a Kentucky student (go Wildcats), predictable ending. A good palate cleanser. I think it only took me two days to finish it.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Audiobooks

Here’s where I ventured into audiobooksSeveral people have told me they listen as they exercise or commute so I figured I’d give it a try. (ps. I used OverDrive and checked audiobooks out of my library) It seriously took me all month to finish this book which blows my mind. I can read a book in a week but listening to it takes 4. Either I gotta step up my workout game to over an hour a day or put it on other than exercising because I kept forgetting the storyline it took so dang long lol

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline 5 stars. The voice, yeesh. But other than that definitely a book to add to your list if you like thrillers and or books about sociopaths!

So besides a pair of winners, I had horrible luck picking books this month. Although my picks gave me some great hope that pretty much anyone can get a book published. Sorry authors :/

What have you been reading lately?

Leave me some recommendations in the comments!

 

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Celebrating Friends in Philly

Happy Monday Friends!

Y’all know I couldn’t attend a giant wedding bash in Philly last weekend and NOT write about it right?

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen some of the snapshots of my weekend, but I figured I’d go a little more in depth on here because I’m an adult and I do what I want. Except all the stuff I can’t afford because I’m broke as a joke and have student loans up to my armpits (#ThanksObama)

So here ya go, if photo dump aren’t your thing, then I’ve sprinkled in a few tidbits here and there for ya 😉

The rehearsal dinner kicked off at a Brazillion steak house in the suburbs of Philly. The food was delicious. Since I didn’t know anyone but a total of 3 people I didn’t whip my phone out for any photos beyond the people kind. Again it was dark in there as well so you just get the dress and accessories in the car over. I posted this photo of my entire outfit on Instagram and Kohl’s asked to regram it. Why? Because I went on a LC Lauren Conrad bender the other day and was wearing practically only her line. They have yet to follow through with that so we’ll see.

Wedding Rehersal

Next up, wedding day! Of course not my wedding day like a few friends thought I meant on Insta. Apparently I’m the type of friend to get married and not invite anyone. 😉

I did my own hair and makeup so excuse me for not being supes fancy. Actually I was pretty proud on how it all came together. Shocked really….

Wedding makeup

As you can see, even with pretty makeup on I can’t make a serious face. Ignore the lighting in like every single one of my photos, I claim reception lighting for some of them and the rest just bad blogger skills 🙂

I found the absolute PERFECT lipstick the day before we left and I’m seriously in lipstick love. It’s a matte shade and didn’t wear or rub off all night. I did reapply maybe three times between the hours of noon and midnight but only because I wanted to, not because it was actually coming off. I highly recommend. Mabelline Matte Lust for Blush.

Wedding LC Dress

Here is my entire look. Again the lighting was dark so I tried my best to lighten it up and this is what we are left with….weird lighting….. Whatevs. I wore on of Lauren Conrad’s new dresses from her runway collection. It was absolutely perfect and I felt so beautiful all night long. If you wanna know what this dress looks like on a model instead, look here.  I got it on sale (plus 3 other LC dresses all under $20) so really it was a steal.

I had a friend take a few different photos of accessories, the back of my dress, shoes, etc but those are boring and I’d rather show you a few fun snaps from the reception.

Wedding Friends2

Remember Jesse? She wrote this post for me. She’s also one of the coolest people I know who lives in Seattle now…boo, but she’s so happy so I’m happy because that’s what good friends do.

Look here she is again! Also I cut JB out of this photo to my right because he wasn’t looking at the camera and was I guess moving at the time because his face if all blurry. Either that or he self-censors himself in order to not appear on my blog. It’s really not my fault I swear!

Wedding Friends

So there ya have it. We’re a classy bunch. 😉

Ok, ok, ya pulled it right out of me. Here’s a photo of me and JB. Cue the doves!

Wedding Kiss

It was really so so fun though. And I’m so happy for Mr. and Mrs. Lint (who are currently traipsing around Europe, specifically the Swiss Alps!)

Have you ever attended a wedding that you knew next to no one at?

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In Vs. Out

Happy Last Friday in September, what?

Weird to be typing those words. It’s such a blogger thing to say though so somehow it felt right at the same time.

I’m linking up with Allyson for her In vs Out Linkup!

In Vs Out

 

I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to telling other people what to like or do, I do tend to have an over-inflated sense of importance so this is really up my alley!

IN

 >> New Blogging Supplies. I even wrote an entire post on the supplies that you should have to reinvigorate your passion for blogging!

>> Tripod for Your iphone. I bought one for myself for my birthday and now it’s so much easier to take my own photos! It’s a lot more awkward though….Amazon Prime <<(Affiliate link) got it to me in only 2 days Free shipping too!!

>> All the Musical things. Have the seen the T. Swifty mashup by Todrick Hall? Musical genius. Check out his website here for more gems.

>> Hiking! Fall is the perfect weather for hiking! It’s my happy place 🙂 I’ve got plans this weekend with some friends! Ok fine, JB’s friends but really we’re all friends now right? I just know who’s side they’ll take in the event of a breakup kind of friends…hint, not mine lol

Fantasy Football. This is the first season I’ve ever participated in Fantansy Football and I couldn’t be having more fun. It’s literally not even possible. The games are So much more fun to watch and I find myself turning on every single one of them instead of just the bigger ones. Thanks Lindsey and Rebekah for putting it together!!

OUT

>> Comparison. It’s hard not to play the comparison game, especially when it comes to blogging. For instance, I’m sure you’d all love to have an awesome photogenic sense such as myself, but we can’t all be models 😉 Check out this awesome article on pulling back the curtain on Instagram lives. (here)

>> Only working PT. I’m one of those people who actually likes working. When I’m not working I feel useless. I like being a contributing member of society. You’ll be hearing about this one until I can secure something FT sorry peeps.

Ok I’m out of OUT things….Loving things is way more fun anyway!

So what about you? what’s In and Out this season?

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Your 5 New Best Blogger Friends

I am seriously blown away by the reaction I got from my Instagram Challenge. (check it out if you haven’t already) I knew I’d get one or two, but dang, y’all sure know how to support and make a girl feel good so thank you for preventing me from having to cry softly into my pillow last night 😉

Anyway,

Thursdays….

They’re not as happy as Wednesday which signifies the middle of the week and far from the excitement of a Friday which kicks off the weekend. For that reason we’re going to liven it up with some awesome ladies.

This is also a perfect time to remind you that the Secret Blogger Club is set to open again next weekend! Check out the details here.

New Blogger Friends

Today’s Blogtember prompt was all about friends. I talk about my girls all the time so by now you know how much I adore Kristen and Alyssa among others. So I wanted to introduce you to a few of my faves that I don’t talk about all the time. Besides I can’t hold a link-up all about finding friends and supporting eachother without writing for this prompt.

Introducing,

Your 5 New Best Blogger Friends

Geez Louise

1. Kalyn of Geez, Louise. Kalyn is the friend you want in real life, cool, laid-back, adventurous, and a book worm (she loves HP). She just got married not to long ago in an absolutely adorable ceremony. I’m also obsessed with her awesome easy, breezy Insta feed. One day maybe I’ll be as cool as her.

Just the Elevator Pitch

2. Nicole of Just the Elevator Pitch. It’s no secret I like witty people. Mostly because I want to be them…She writes about the important things like how to not be “that” guy and things that should be invented. Oh and she’s really good at making graphics, this one describes her blog. She also just got engaged, congrats!

The Other Juliette

3. Juliette of The Other Juliette. Juliette is like the voice inside your head, voicing all those worries and thoughts that zip through but don’t say out loud. So now you can just go read them on her blog and feel better about yourself.

Avoiding Atrophy

4. Christy of Avoiding Atrophy. Christy is a newer find of mine but I’m already in girl crush with her. If you’re not hooked by her About page alone then you probably don’t have a single funny bone in your body and are boring. I’m not even joking. Go read it. I’ll even link to it again for you….here.

Always Al

5. Alex of Always, Al. Alex is adorable. She’s also getting married (are you seeing a theme here?) so I like to live vicariously though her. Shes does a lot of her wedding items diy which is the kind of bride I pretend I will  be.

So those are some of my favorite blogging peeps, so now I wanna hear who yours are?

Leave the url of one of your favorite bloggers in the comments so I can check em out!! (and check you out, *whistle*)

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Blonde-tober Instagram Challenge

Goin up!…..On a Wednesday.

Yup we’re turning things up here on The Blonder Side.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this summer about certain directions I want to take my blog. I’ve been writing now for, gosh, 2 plus years and it’s about time I re-evaluate a few things.

A big theme behind my blog (and the title) is finding the humor in life. Searching for anything that can brighten a situation, celebrate the beauty in every day, and find that unique thing in you and your life that makes you special. The Blonder Side of Life is all about finding the laughter in life and celebrating the beauty that is you.

Blondetober Schedule

With that in mind, I’ve got a fun Instagram challenge for you for October!

There will be a prompt for every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it verbatim. I encourage you to use your creativity and see what happens. I can pretty much guarantee that your photos will be way awesome if they mean something to you.

So here’s the prompt for the month. I suggest saving it to your phone so you have it on hand to refer to. The group hashtag is #Blondetober

Blondetober Title

Make sure to also hop around the hashtag and interact with the fellow Instagrammers. The best way to make friends is to be a friend. I feel like that’s cross-stitched into a pillow somewhere.

And seriously, come play with me otherwise I may just go into a downward spiral and start a riot in the streets, you never know. So let’s avoid all that uncomfortableness for everyone and just join me for Blondetober.

*Disclaimer, you don’t have to be blonde to participate, just fun. If you find this challenge offensive to brunettes, you’re probably not fun anyway. 😉

Are you gonna join me?

Would you at least spread the word for me?

If you would, save it on Bloglovin for me here! Please and thank you 🙂

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Using Words To Motivate and Inspire

Welcome back to another Monday!

I just spent the weekend in Philly for a wedding and am still recovering from all the warm fuzzies weddings bring. I’m one of those girls that loves weddings and yes I do cry, even when I don’t know the couple. I’ll share some snaps later, or you can always check me out on Insta where I shared a few.

For today’s Blogtember prompt, it’s all about quotes. I’m your typical blogger so of course I love quotes. I write them in my journal, I collect them in my planner, I say them to myself as pep talks, and say them to others when they need it.

As a writer (that’s still weird to say) I of course dream of writing elegant and inspiring words that others can quote. I usually only manage to get out a few slightly giggle-worthy jokes and the occasional punchline. Such is my cross to bear.

Strong enough quote

What really bothers me though, is when people use their words to hurt someone else. Perhaps they simply forget the power that their words can wield. Maybe they are just unaware of the impact a lone phrase can affect the psyche of a person.

[Tweet “Use your words to motivate and inspire, not judge.”]

If I could be there with the perfect quote or encouraging word for anyone who needs it, then my life mission would be complete. But I can’t. Which is why I want to spread the most positive message in this space as possible.

Strong I am quote

I have lots of favorite quotes, but the one above really resonates for a few reasons. One. no one knows exactly the path another person has walked to get where they are. Therefore, no one has all the facts to make a judgement on them. Two. Everyone else has their own struggles. Just because someone else’s struggle may be more visible than yours or is hard for you to understand, doesn’t make them less of a person.

Nothin boils my biscuits more than a close-minded, hate spewing, hypocritical jerk-face who inputs themselves in other people’s business. I just wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat it and be happy. A girl can dream.

So I challenge you all to spread more encouraging and motivational words. Send a card to someone far away. Write a note to someone close. Compliment a stranger, heck even SMILE at a stranger!

Let’s all do a little extra this week to make someone else feel awesome!

What is your favorite quote?

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