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Life Update: July 2015

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Despite having a full time job right now, I’ve spent much of the last month out of town. First I spent 1 week in NYC for BEA (a personal trip) and then another week in LA for E3 (work). And of course, a natural side effect of this is watching everything I’m doing online just sort of dissolve around my feet while I’m traveling. I used to be so good at it, guys. I used to be so good at filming everything, blogging on the go, tweeting my adventures nonstop – but now that I’m a little older (I think it has to do with being older? maybe not), I really appreciate that personal time and it’s so nice to just… detach a little bit.

But now, I am making an active effort to jumpstart everything back up for summer. It’s interesting though – when I’m busy, when I’m really aware of how much time I have to accomplish my personal hobbies and goals… two things happen.

1. I usually tend to get MORE done. There’s no time to lie around trying to figure out what to do. When you have 1 hour in the morning before work and something like five hours when you get home (not including nights when you have plans), that time gets used to its absolute best ability.

2. When there isn’t enough time to do everything, it really becomes clear which of those things are the most important and which can be put on the back burner. This is another thing I am trying to keep track of.

So what does this mean? I’m not really sure yet! I will be blogging and making videos all summer, but I am going to try to cut down to only the content I really want to make. I’ll also be making some costumes, reading, hosting a reading event or two, and maybe doing a live show here and there.

I’ll also be spending a lot of time outside. I want to spend at least 2-3 days a week at the lake I live by. I want to do less talking about reading and more actual reading (though I’ve already read 43 books this year so this clearly isn’t my biggest issue). I want to spend more time working on my writing. Going on more walks. More runs. I want to clean out my room and downsize my belongings. I want to make some clothes. Go camping. Dye my hair.

In immediate life news, I bought a new car. This was my first major adult purchase and it’s still a little scary, but I got a great deal on it, and it’s so cute.

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It’s a Mini Cooper Countryman in “brilliant copper”, though the salesman really sold me on it when he called the color “root beer”. Also there’s this hidden mickey on the dash:

Hidden mickey on the dash of the mini cooper

I’ll be at VidCon, PAX Prime and Faerieworlds this summer. There might be a few other events that pop up but those are the big ones, and I am so, so excited for all of them.

It’s interesting – I’m doing entirely too much every day (like usual) but I’ve also been trying to slow down, read, spend time outdoors and relax lately. Nothing like scheduling in that relaxation time, but I’m trying to get better.

What are you trying to focus on this summer? I’d love to hear about it.

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Americans Try Snacks from Israel!

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These videos are growing to be my new favorites – Joe and I have had many chances to try snacks from foreign countries lately, and it’s been a ton of fun. The newest adventure? Israel.

Thanks to Universal Yums, we got an entire box of fun snacks to check out. We definitely still want fans to send us things if people are interested, but it was neat to take a look at a subscription service doing a similar thing. Check out our video and tell us what you think!

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BEA 15 Haul + Video Diary!

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I was a little late on this, but here’s the video I put together about my trip to NYC for Book Expo America! I had a fantastic time, got to spend time with friends new and old, and came home with a sizable stack of ARCs I can’t wait to read. I absolutely adored this event and I can’t wait to go again next year!

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May Book Haul | YouTube

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I’ve been so busy with BEA and BookCon I completely forgot to post some of my new videos over here on my blog! I promise not to neglect you again. I can change.

This is my May Book haul. It’s a little deceiving, since I filmed this BEFORE I went to NYC and packed a suitcase full of ARCs, but that will be its own video in a couple of days. I had such a wonderful time in New York, but that’s a story for another day. For now, I give you the books (and new vlogging camera!) I acquired in May. Enjoy!

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May Unboxings & Haul

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I feel like every month I try to squeeze even more into this one video, and May was no exception. In this month’s unboxing, I’ve got Loot Crate, Zbox, NatureBox, and a couple of fashion hauls from Sheinside and Dressin.

Check the video description for more info on each of these brands, and be sure to watch the video all the way through to catch them all!

 

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A Review of ‘The Heir’ by Kiera Cass

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Here’s my review of ‘The Heir’ by Kiera Cass. It’s a big long… but I had a lot to say. Thanks to my good friend Jenn for both buddy-reading ‘The Heir’ with me, and for agreeing to be in this video!

And trust me, we didn’t hold back. This is less of a review and more of a rant, but what can I say? The Selection was a lot of fun, and I think this book had a lot to live up to. I don’t really think it succeeded.

What did you think of ‘The Heir’? Will you be reading the next book in the series?

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Bout of Books – Day 4 Update

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Whew! I could not have picked a crazier week to attempt a readathon – I’ve had to squeeze reading into the nooks and crannies of my schedule, but I’ve still managed to find a bit of time each day, which is important to me. I even managed to read on my lunch break twice, which I’m sure made me look anti-social but luckily I could not care less about coming across as the weird book-reading girl. Literally everyone who works at Microsoft is a nerd in some way. I’m in good company.

I’ve also shifted up my TBR a little bit. I’ve read way too many amazing reviews of An Ember in the Ashes in the past week or so to ignore it any longer, so it’s earned a spot in the stack of books I am trying to finish for this readathon. In fact, it’s almost replaced everything else, since it’s so long.

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My goal is to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (TGWCFIASOHOM, if you will) first and then to power through An Ember in the Ashes this weekend. If I can do all of that, I will be 100% satisfied with myself. If I can’t, well… that’s okay too.

I haven’t actually read anything yet today, but I didn’t get home from work until almost 8pm and then I decided to go running because I had pent-up ‘i just sat through a five hour meeting’ energy. I needed to relax a bit by writing this blog post (because working relaxes me, yes, I’m strange) and then I’ll start reading.

Current progress overall:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Done! (323 pages)
The 100 by Kass Morgan: Done! (323 pages – weird, they’re the exact same length)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: Put on hold.
The Utterly Unintersting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant: Listened to 2 hours of the audio book
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland: Just started.

Why are all of my book titles so long? These are abnormally long.

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Bout of Books 13 – Day 3 Update

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I decided to participate in my own challenge, even though I obviously can’t win. Today I had the honor of hosting the Bout of Books challenge, and I have a fantastic time reading all the book haikus people sent in over the course of the day. It was a lot of fun, and now I want to do it too. I literally just finished reading Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and I’m a big goopy mess on account of how great it was – but there is no time for book hangovers in a readathon. So I am affording myself enough time to write this blog update before diving into Rebel Belle before bed.

Rebel Belle

My haiku about Attachments by Rainbow Rowell:

Beth and Jennifer
write extremely long emails.
So, when do they work?

I’m a little bummed it took me 3 days to finish this book, but I can’t even really be annoyed because I loved it so much. If I don’t read all five of the books on my TBR, well, life goes on. I’ll replace them with a few graphic novels on Sunday so I still hit the number. Yolo!

Here’s my day 3 update:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: Done! (323 pages)
The 100 by Kass Morgan: Listened to 6 hours out of 7
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: Just started.

Hope everyone else is doing well with their readathons – please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing, or send in more book haikus! Go nuts! I love them.

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