December 31, 2016

My Year in Movies & TV {2016}


I always enjoy December, from a blogging perspective, because I love looking back at the past year. Whether it's reflecting on lessons learned or sharing my enduring obsessions, it's so fun to recap the past twelve months. For the next few days, I'm highlighting some of my favorite things from 2016. Today, it's movies and TV shows!


I watched a lot more movies this year, but these five were my favorites:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - I'd been excited to see this movie, but I loved it so much more than I'd anticipated! Watching it was such a magical experience, and I'm thrilled there are so many more to come.

The Intern - I got this from Redbox one day and ended up loving it! It wasn't what I expecting that much, but it surprised me in the best way possible. I watched it with Nick, and he enjoyed it, too!

Me Before You - I wasn't able to see this in theaters, but I made it a priority to watch it as soon as it came out on Blu-ray. Although the book was definitely better, I loved this adaption and the casting.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 - This movie technically came out in 2015, which is when I first saw it. But I've watched it a few times since it came out on Blu-Ray because I love this series so much!

Zootopia - I had to include at least one animated movie! I wasn't planning on watching this movie, and then I kept seeing it talked about online. I was curious and decided to give it a shot - and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

I spent more time rewatching old favorites this year, but here are the four new discoveries that stood out to me:

Grantchester - I haven't watched the second season yet, but the first season was a delight! I love James Norton and found the show's premise - a clergyman who finds himself investigating local mysterious - so enjoyable!

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - I've only finished the first season of this show, but that's mostly because I want to go slow and savor it. This show is a joy to watch, and I totally understand why everyone is so obsessed with it.

Scandal - There are so many things that annoy me about this show, but I had to include it because I watched all five seasons this year. It was my biggest binge! Shonda Rhimes knows how to create addicting TV.

This is Us - This is my absolute favorite thing I started watching this year! I adore all the characters and am so emotionally in their lives and storylines. It's not the same, but it's filling the Parenthood-shaped hole in my heart.


And finally, here are the old favorites that I couldn't get enough of this year:

Downton Abbey - I was so sad to say goodbye to Downton Abbey at the beginning of the year! The show had its ups and downs, but it was still one of my favorites. I love this family and all the drama they go through.

Grey's Anatomy - Honestly, I still adore this show! It has had its rough seasons, but I feel like it's been so great lately. I miss a lot of characters (Yang! McDreamy! Lexie!) but am still so invested in the ones that are on now.

Jane the Virgin - This is one of the most underrated shows on TV right now, in my opinion. Watching it makes me so happy! If you're put off by the title and premise, hopefully this post will convince you to try it.

The Mindy Project - I fell behind when this show moved to Hulu, but I finally got caught up this fall. I like that Mindy did something unexpected with the breakup, even though it made me sad. Excited to see what's next!

New Girl - I used to watch this show every week, but I stopped in the third season (I think?) when I felt like I had too many shows on my DVR. I got caught up on Netflix this year and fell back in love with these crazy friends.

Poldark - I was able to binge most of the second season, which was the perfect way to watch. Ross does NOT deserve Demelza, but I still loved watching. It's got adventure, danger, romance and so much more!

The Vampire Diaries - This show has been so much fun to watch, even when it's been insane. But I'm not sad that this season is the last because I think it's time to say goodbye. I look forward to seeing how it all ends!

What was your favorite movie of 2016?
Did you find binge any new (or old!) TV shows? 

December 29, 2016

My Year in Music {2016}


I always enjoy December, from a blogging perspective, because I love looking back at the past year. Whether it's reflecting on lessons learned or sharing my enduring obsessions, it's so fun to recap the past twelve months. For the next few days, I'm highlighting some of my favorite things from 2016. Today, it's music!

I was a little wishy-washy with Spotify Premium this year! I kept my account through May, but when I canceled it over the summer. I didn't realize just how much of my listening time was spent driving, blogging and at work. I definitely wasn't using Premium as much at home with my newborn! But now that I'm blogging a little more and out running errands, I joined again because I missed it too much. It's so worth it! But you can definitely tell the difference between 2015 and 2016 when you look at my stats.

 Last year, I listened to 18,000 minutes of music. Talk about a pretty drastic change in 2015! There was also significantly less variety in the number of artists I listened to, and I think some of that is because I wasn't using the Spotify Discover playlists as much this year. But I'm hoping that will change in 2017! I'm not surprised by my most played artist/album because I had it on repeat for most of the summer. And "Youth" (Troye Sivan) caught my attention in January, I think, and was a listening staple this year!


Chaos and the Calm by James Bay - This was my most played album of 2015, and my love for it trickled over into 2016. I feel silly featuring the same album two years in a row, but it's truly what I listened to!

VENUS by Joy Williams - This is the only other album that appears on last year's list, too. I was craving familiarity in winter, which is why I gravitated towards favorite albums and artists. This one definitely fit the bill.

The War Inside by Jill Andrews - This came out in 2015, but I didn't really start listening to it until earlier this year. I really love Jill Andrews' music, and this was no exception. Her whole catalog was on repeat in the winter.


Chelsea Lankes EP by Chelsea Lankes - I discovered Chelsea a year or two ago in a Spotify Discover playlist and fell in love with her single. She hasn't released a ton of new music, but I was thrilled to have the EP in spring.

Atlas: Senses by Sleeping at Last - I had several songs by Sleeping at Last on older playlists but didn't realize it until an episode of Grey's Anatomy prompted me to stream everything I could get my hands on by them.

Sing Over Me: Worship Songs and Lullabies by Various Artists - This is, without a doubt, the oldest album on my list this year. It was released in 2006! After my baby was born in May, I found myself play lots of calming music.


Hero by Maren Morris - My most played album of 2016! I find it funny that this was my top album because I'm not even a huge country fan. But there's something about Maren's voice + her lyrics that just hook me.

Conscious by Broods - Anytime I wasn't sure what I wanted to listen to this year, I inevitably turned on this album. I don't know why, but it worked no matter what mood I was in! I'm so glad I found this duo last year.

Inheritance by Audrey Assad - "Be Thou My Vision" was a very significant song to me this year, and I found Audrey Assad when I was searching for different versions of that hymn. I ended up loving the whole album! 


The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert - I couldn't wait for this album to come out! Miranda is one of my all-time favorite country artists, so I was thrilled to have so much new music from her release this year. 

Georgica Pond by Johnnyswim - While they aren't quite the same, Johnnyswim has been filling the whole in my heart that was left by The Civil Wars breakup. I adored this album and have had it on repeat for weeks.

Hamilton: An American Musical by Original Broadway Cast - I finally succumbed to the hype and gave Hamilton a shot. I can now say that I understand what all the fuss is about! Now, if I could just go see it...




What was your favorite album in 2016? 
Were there any songs that defined your year?

December 28, 2016

My Year in Beauty {2016}


I always enjoy December, from a blogging perspective, because I love looking back at the past year. Whether it's reflecting on lessons learned or sharing my enduring obsessions, it's so fun to recap the past twelve months. For the next few days, I'm highlighting some of my favorite things from 2016. Today, it's beauty products!


1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Gifted Smart Mascara ($21) - Tarte had a special promotion where I got seven full-size products for $60, which is why I tried this mascara. But I'd totally pay full price for it - that's how much I love it!

2. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($29) in Rose Gold and Cocoa - My mom introduced me to these sticks. I use them by themselves, but I also use the Rose Gold under powder eyeshadows. It's amazing.

3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25) in Blacquer - This is another favorite that I discovered because of my mom! I have brown right now, but the black is best and will be my next one.

4. The Original Beautyblender ($20) - I bought this in Sephora's VIB sale last fall, but I didn't really start using it until this year. I'm surprised by how much I love it! It helps me blend my foundation more evenly.

5. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($28) in Exposed - I typically buy Tarte's blush palette during the holidays, but I ended up getting just this color on a whim and am in love with it. It's the perfect nude! 

6. Laura Geller Bronze 'n Brighten ($33) in Fair - I can't even tell you how long I've used this bronzer because it's been too many years. And I still haven't used it up! It's just enough color for me without being too dark.

7. Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer ($23) in Fair - I've been using this concealer stick under my eyes and to cover up blemishes. It works great for both, though it's a little better for the latter.

8. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Foundation ($39) in Fair Beige - I didn't find this foundation in 2016, but it solidified its place on my all-time favorites list. This is the only foundation I've found that's a great shade for me!


9. Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser ($24) - There are so many cleansers out there, and I usually opt for a cheap one. But I splurged on this one earlier this year, and it's been worth every penny.

10. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($45) - So, I think the company's claim that this helps tighten your skin is a little ridiculous. But I love the scent and that it's got a tiny bit of shimmer to it!

11. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian 4-Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel ($25) - I bought a set with the lotion above and this shower gel, and I think this product is my favorite of the two! It smells so heavenly.

12. Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo ($6) - Honestly, I rely way too much on dry shampoo! It's one of the best inventions ever. I've tried a bunch of cheap ones, and this is the stand out so far.

Do you have any beauty product recommendations?
See anything new on my list that you want to try?

December 16, 2016

Five Years of Favorites: The Lessons (+ Giveaway!)

Well, my blogiversary celebration is coming to a close. I've had fun looking back at the past five years of obsessions, books, blog posts and memories. And it seemed fitting to end by talking about the lessons I've learned! It's hard to put into words everything that blogging has taught me - or the things I've taken to heart from the books that I've read. But here are the five that first came to mind:

This is probably the most obvious lesson, but I've got to start somewhere! I've learned so many new skills because of my blog. From creating graphics to using HTML, I've gained a lot of practical knowledge in the past five years. It even spilled over into my "real life" job, which involved social media. Blogging always gave my ideas for how to better market our company! I'm certainly not an expert, but I never imagined I'd know how to do things like make my own graphics or fix HTML issues with my posts.

Have you ever been talking to someone you don't know very well and discovered that you both love the same book? It's an instant connection! I've had it happen in real life, and I love that moment so much. It typically sparks a longer conversation where you compare your favorites, offer recommendations and get lost in the world of books. With blogging, that experience has increased tenfold. I touched on it yesterday, but I've learned that a shared love of books can lead to real, meaningful friendships.

While there's so much more to me than So Obsessed With, I will readily admit that this blog has been a huge part of my life the past five years. But it's been the best kind of commitment! It's taught me the value of a long-term project - giving me the opportunity to grow something over time and cultivate it into the kind of thing I'm proud to call mine. It's not always my main priority, but it's certainly helped give me focus. Every time I think about quitting, I remember how much I love having an outlet for my thoughts!

I've been a reader for my whole life, so I already knew that books could teach you things and take you to new worlds. But I didn't truly realize the way books can help you grow - open your mind to new ideas, introduce you to cultures you're unfamiliar with, and give you the opportunity to relate to people you've never met. Books remind me that everyone has a story. Books can teach you about others, but they can teach you about yourself, too. It's an amazing feeling when you're able to relate to a character and see yourself in their story!

And finally, this is the lesson I'm probably the most thankful for! I've always love reading and words, but I don't know that I would have described myself as a creative person before I started blogging. But now, I feel like my mind is always spinning with ideas for posts. Whether I'm dreaming up discussion post topics, pondering new ways to push books on other readers or brainstorming collaborations with other bloggers, blogging has sparked my creativity like nothing else. I love the thrill of a new idea and the act of bringing it to fruition.


Well, I hope you've had fun revisiting the past five years with me! I have no idea what the future holds, but I'm so thankful that this blog has been such a huge part of my life so far. If you're considering starting a blog, I'd tell you to go for it! It's not always easy and can definitely take work, but the journey has been so worth it for me. I can't imagine my life without the people and books that blogging has brought into it!

And as a thank you to everyone who has supported So Obsessed With, I've got a little giveaway to celebrate:

GIVEAWAY #1
One Book of Your Choice from Five Years of Favorites: The Books
Open Internationally / Ends 12.31.16
Book must be available on Amazon or Book Depository.

GIVEAWAY #2 
One Audiobook of Your Choice from the Graphic Below
Open to U.S. Only / Ends 12.31.16


Audiobook Options:


Not Pictured (But Also Options!):
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire or Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Froi of the Exiles or Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
Days of Blood and Starlight or Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

December 15, 2016

Five Years of Favorites: The Memories


Today is my official blogiversary! On December 15, 2011, I hit publish on a post titled "A Case of Obsession." I'd been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a few months, and it was finally time to take the plunge. After discovering Goodreads the year before + filling my RSS reader with tons of book blogs, I knew I wanted to be a part of this community. But I never expected to love it the way that I do.

Creating a blog was a small decision that has brought so many lovely things into my life! And what better way to celebrate than to share some of my favorite bookish memories? As I started listing out of my favorite moments, I noticed a general pattern. So, I grouped all the random little moments from the past five years into five big things that will always have a place in my heart:


1. Attending Book Signings
I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet many of my favorite authors. There are two independent bookstores that are within driving distance for me, and they frequently host incredible signings that I've been able to attend. I know just how lucky I am to live near them both!

Through Avid Bookshop and Little Shop of Stories, I've been able to meet Colleen Oakley, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Rossi, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, and Markus Zusak. And Emily Giffin at a local Barnes & Noble was my very first book signing - an experience I won't forget!

But those are the only signed books on my shelves! I've been blessed with incredible friends who have sent me signed books by Jojo Moyes, Emery Lord, Jennifer Donnelly, A.C. Gaughen, Heather Demetrios, Lauren Graham, and Jenny Han. I've received some signed books from generous authors AND through bookish events, too, but I'll talk about those in a second.

Book signings weren't even on my radar prior to blogging, but now I always keep an eye out for authors coming to my city! I love getting to meet the authors who have created worlds, characters and stories that have impacted me. It's so cool to get to hear them talk about their inspiration and their process. From listening to Markus Zusak tell a hilarious story from his childhood to fangirling with Tahereh Mafi about Team Warner, book signings have definitely been one of the best parts of the past five years.


2. Interacting with Favorite Authors
Before I started blogging, I'd never thought very much about the authors responsible for the books that I read. Well, except Jane Austen. I've spent a lot of time thinking about her! Other than that, however, I had favorite authors and would eagerly await new releases from them - but that was about it. I never thought about meeting them or getting to interacting with them online!

Attending book signings changed that for me, but social media did, too. Existing in this bookish community and being social online has put me in contact with authors in a whole new way. Being able to tag authors in a tweet where I'm gushing about their book AND having them respond or favorite it makes me giddy.

And that's just talking to them online! You can probably imagine my INSANE level of excitement when Liza Palmer sent me a handwritten note and signed copy of Nowhere but Home. Y'all, I think I died and went to heaven! When Erin Lindsay McCabe sent me a signed copy of I Shall Be Near to You, I squealed. And I'll never forget the time I mentioned I hadn't read a mermaid book yet and Elizabeth Fama offered to send me a copy of Monstrous Beauty. The kind note from Bethany Chase that was tucked inside the ARC of Results May Vary made my day, and I was overjoyed when Colleen Oakley sent me Close Enough to Touch

It's so exciting to be able to tell an author how much their book meant to me! I love fangirling over books, pushing them on other readers and to see other people discover authors that I'm so obsessed with.


3. Traveling to Bookish Conferences
I can't forget to mention Book Expo America and YALLFest! In May 2014, I went to BEA with Betty. It was one of my very favorite things I've gotten to do because of blogging, for so many reasons. I recapped all my memories on the blog - Part I and Part II - if you're interested. 

I loved the bookish part of BEA, but spending time with my friends was definitely the highlight. Late night laughter at Insomnia Cookies, watching Rocky, sitting in a massive line waiting for Sarah J. Maas - it was a memorable few days, to say the least. And while I'm not sure that the event itself was actually worth it, I'd highly recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you have to meet the bloggers you've become friends with.

After having such a great time at BEA, I started scoping out other bookish events. I came across YALLFest, a Young Adult book festival in Charleston, and everything fell into place for me to go with Alexa. The event itself wasn't our favorite, but we had SO much fun hanging out together. Eating delicious Southern food, calling Kelly to share our adventures, singing along with Taylor Swift's 1989 album in the car, staying up late talking about everything - I wouldn't trade those memories for the world!

At both of these events, I was able to get books signed by Sarah J. Maas, Karen Abbott, Alexandra Bracken, Leigh BardugoLaini Taylor and more. My collection just keeps growing!


4. Finding Friends Who Get Me 
When I started blogging, I didn't really picture myself becoming friends with other bloggers. I assumed I'd find people to chat books with, of course, but I wasn't expecting them to be "real life" friends. My main motivation for blogging was that I didn't feel creatively challenged at work and wanted an outlet to express myself. Combining that with a love of books and a little bit of boredom led me here.

I'd been on Goodreads and subscribed to a number of blogs, but it wasn't until I started commenting on blogs and being active on Twitter that I started to truly get to know people. Before I knew it, I was texting with people - and not just about books! I'm so thankful for blogging for the people it's brought into my life. These friends are at the heart of all of my favorite bookish memories from the last five years. The pictures above are some of the gifts I've received from my friends - proof they totally get me!

Alexa is one of the kindest people I've ever met, and she's always there to chat about or life, to plot new blog ideas and to fangirl over books. She inspires me in so many ways, but especially as a blogger. There's a reason basically all of my favorite blogging collaborations involve her!

Betty never fails to bring a smile to my face and make me laugh with her crazy antics. She's willing to give me mom advice and answer my dumb questions. She makes it all look so effortless as she raises three of the cutest babies I've ever seen - and she makes it seem like her house is always having fun!

Cassie is someone I talk to every single day, without fail. She can be feisty and a voice of reason, make me laugh and calm me down when I want to cry. She's full of ideas, works hard to make her dreams a reality, and loves people (and pupperz!) fiercely. She lets me tell her what to read, encourages my Starbucks addiction and needs to move to Georgia like yesterday.

Ellice is my fellow Southerner, even though she still doesn't live close enough to me! She's sweet and generous and has given me some of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received. I hope I'm able to meet her one day!

Estelle is so creative and such a great sounding board when something's on my mind. I love watching her tackle and succeed at anything she puts her mind to! She inspires me with the way she challenges herself - with work, with fitness and with the things she's passionate about. 

Judith once surprised me with a Dutch copy of Pride and Prejudice - her thoughtfulness made me cry! Founding the Recaptains with her, Betty and Amber was so much fun, even if I was the worst recapper ever. I miss seeing her blog posts in my reader! 

Kelly is the Sicilian sass I didn't know I needed in my life. She never fails to keep me on my toes! She's strong and independent, and I know she'll always have my back. But she's got a soft side, too - the way she's there whenever I need to vent and supports me through thick and thin. She shows up for the people she loves. 

Laura is a delight to chat with on Twitter and has great taste in books, but I think my favorite thing about her is that she's as enthusiastic about the movie Belle as I am. (But seriously, you need to watch it.)

Lauren is a bright spot in my blog reader! Her creativity and consistency with her blog inspire me, and I'm constantly bookmarking her posts to save them. I haven't gotten to meet her yet, but hopefully someday!

Lindsey is my historical fiction and planner loving friend. I'm so glad got to meet her when she drove through Georgia because chatting with her over dinner was like hanging out with a friend I've known for years. 

Lisa is one of the most fun people to chat with! She's a self-confessed unabashed nerd, but she's also a thoughtful friend, awesome crafter and hardworking mama.

Magan may not be blogging anymore, but I love keeping up with her little family through Instagram. The way she's opened her heart and home to others is one of the most beautiful things in the world. And I wish she lived nearby so I could hire her to take all of my family photos!

Morgan is one of my favorite people to fangirl over things with! She's recommended so many great books to me, leaves the most thoughtful blog comments, has sent me some very sweet surprises in the mail and is definitely on my list of people I sincerely hope I get to meet one day.

Rachel is someone that I got to know a little better last year, and I was excited to find out how many things we have in common! Our shared love of Audrey Hepburn and Anne of Green Gables are two of the biggest, but it doesn't end there. 

As you can probably tell, I've been fortunate enough to meet some fantastic people through this blog. Books may have brought us together, but there are so many more reasons that we became friends. And this isn't even an exhaustive list of all the people who've impacted me these past five years!


5. Nurturing A Book-Loving Baby
Finally, I had to talk about my dream of raising a book-loving baby! It took two years of trying before I finally got pregnant, but my sweet boy was worth every minute of waiting. And while he's not quite old enough yet to appreciate all the books I'm reading to him, books have already been a part of his life.

Long before I had a baby, I discovered the Baby Lit books. I sent my mom photos of them, picked them up when I was browsing in bookstores... basically anxiously awaited the day that I could finally buy them. So, you can probably imagine how emotional I was when my parents bought them for me after I found out I was pregnant. I took a photo of my giant pile of books to announce my pregnancy on Instagram - the start to the little library I've had so much fun building.

In December last year, Nick and I found out we were having a boy. To celebrate, we finally went and bought a few outfits for the baby - it was like things started to truly feel real! But that's not all we did. After leaving my doctor's office, Nick took me to Ikea and bought me new bookshelves. He knew how much I wanted them, and updating my library was the perfect pre-baby activity.

My friends at work threw me a book-themed baby shower. Everyone who came brought a book in lieu of a card, and I honestly can't tell you how touched I was by the whole thing. My friend made a wreath and banners from the pages of picture books and hung quotes from famous children's books on the wall. I felt so loved by everyone who was there that day!

And finally, I can't forget about the baby shower in a box! I looked outside my door one day and spotted a GIANT box with my name on it. When I opened it up, I discovered a bunch of gifts from all of my blogging friends! Y'all, I cried. Since we all live too far away from each other to get together in person, they sent the baby shower to me. I get emotional all over again just thinking about it.

So, needless to say, books have played a huge role in my life during the past five years. And although I haven't blogged as much this year, I still enjoy this space. I love the thrill of finding a new favorite book, the excitement when an author replies to my tweet, the anticipation of an upcoming book signing on my calendar, the joy of making new friends and the hope that I'll be able to raise a child who loves to read. I've made a lot of memories these past five years, and I look forward to so many more!

Check back tomorrow for the last day of my celebration
Five Years of Favorites: The Lessons! 
(And a giveaway, too.)

December 14, 2016

Five Years of Favorites: The Blog

My blogiversary celebration, Five Years of Favorites, continues today with a look back at some of my blog posts! I've got five categories of posts - Reviews, Discussions, Features, Collaborations and Top Ten Tuesdays. I featured five of my personal favorite posts for each, plus added links to the five most popular. 

I apologize in advance for the length of the post, but I just had too much fun revisiting all the work I've put into this space. Five years ago, I couldn't have imagined that this blog would become what it is now. I can't say enough how thankful I am for the opportunity to create content I'm proud of and to belong to this community!


1. The Lynburn Legacy Series by Sarah Rees Brennan
Although it's a lot more than I typically write, I think this is probably my favorite book review I've ever written. I loved taking a three-sentence summary and turning it into a list of 11 reasons this series is a must read.

2. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
The heroine in this novel loves to create collages from random items, so my review highlighted the bits and pieces that make up the book if you look close enough. I like that the format was inspired by the book.

3. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
This is another review where I got creative with the format! For this one, I went through 26 things (one for every letter of the alphabet) that readers will find inside this story. I was surprised by how quickly I thought of things!

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
I made a list of reasons that I'm so obsessed with this story and included a quote from the book that corresponded to each reason. I felt like I really captured the book in my review, which is always satisfying.

5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Finally, this is another review with a list! Are you noticing the pattern here? I'm a sucker for alliteration, so it was fun coming up with five reasons (all starting with the letter F) to drop everything and read this book.

{Most Popular Reviews}
in order, excluding any featured above

1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
2. Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
3. At Home with Audrey by Luca Dotti
4. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
5. The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons



To celebrate 200 years of Pride and Prejudice, I spent a week talking about my lifelong love for this classic. I admitted to collecting copies of the book - something that started accidentally and grew into an addiction. My collection has grown since then, but I love that this post highlights the personal aspect of buying books.


This post was so time consuming to write, but I'm so glad I went for it. I'm a big fan of non-fiction, and I loved sharing advice on how to find the right non-fiction for you. I like when I'm able to talk about stuff that's not discussed as often by other bloggers, especially when it's something I'm passionate about!


While working on my post about my favorite planning tools last year, I had the idea to write about channeling your creativity. I was feeling inspired and full of post ideas last year, and I love that this captures those feelings. Blogging has definitely helped me become more creative, and this reflects that development.


I wanted to write more personal posts on the blog, and this one post came out of that desire. I went to the beach for a week with my best friend, and I came home thinking a lot about friendship. Writing about the journey that led to my friendship with Lauren was cathartic - and reminded me of just how thankful I am for her!

This is, quite honestly, probably my favorite thing I've ever written on the blog. It's so long (basically an essay!), but I loved every minute spent writing it. Sharing what the Anne of Green Gables series taught me about romance helped me illustrate the profound impact that one book can have on a reader.

{Most Popular Discussions}
in order, excluding any featured above



If I could only keep one feature, I'd want it to be Buy the Book! It combines two of my favorite things: gift guides and quotes. The name is a play on "by the book" since all of the gifts in these posts come directly from quotes in the book featured. I've shared six so far, and this one for Happiness for Beginners is my favorite.

I wanted to start a new feature last year and ended up with Tune in Tonight. I love talking about TV shows (more proof here!), and my very first TV show obsession was Alias. Working on this post inspired me to rewatch all five seasons - and sparked so many discussions with fellow fans on Twitter! There's only one Sydney Bristow.


I love sharing seasonal So Obsessed With posts filled with things I'm currently loving, but I was excited when I realized that I could post "mini" editions highlighting specific obsessions. My favorite so far is my post about The Folio Society - the expensive (but gorgeous) book editions that I'm now carefully collecting!


After resolving to create a new feature in 2014, I got the idea for Series Speed Date. Do you ever have a moment where inspiration strikes and everything just flows out of your brain? That was this feature! I love reading series and was thrilled to come up with a creative way to share a review for a series.

In 2013, I wrote a post called The Classics Conundrum. I talked about why I enjoy classics and shared eight tips for reading them. I loved the feedback on the post, and it sparked the idea for this feature where bloggers recommended their favorite classics! It was so fun - and introduced ME to classics I've never read before.

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If you'd told me before I started blogging that I'd start reading fantasy (and end up loving it), I would have thought you were insane. I love how blogging has expanded my reading taste! This event with Alexa from Alexa Loves Books was a joy to create. My favorite post was A Book for Every Fantasy Reader.

Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and I had been talking about our book buying and reading habits. We both wanted to make changes for the better, and The Picky Pledge was the result. We've written quarterly check-ins, discussion posts and taken a detailed look at our reading stats - and this post is my favorite of them all.

I became so obsessed with Nowhere but Home in 2014, and Cassie from The Casserole fell in love after I recommended it to her, too. We wanted to share our love for Liza Palmer by hosting a fun event to celebrate her 2015 release, Girl Before a Mirror, and this was the result. My favorite was the music!


This event holds a very special place in my heart! I loved celebrating my all-time favorite series with Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Rachel from Hello, Chelly. I already mentioned my favorite post (in the Discussions section), but my second favorite was my re-read review of the series. This series fostered my love of reading!


With the explosion of book tags around the blogosphere, it seemed only fitting to create one for my favorite fantasy series with the blogger who introduced me to them in the first place - Alexa from Alexa Loves Books! I love the tag because I feel like we nailed the categories, and we had the best time collaborating.

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This post was one of the first times (at least that I can remember) where I got more personal on the blog. I enjoyed reflecting on how books have been such a huge part of my life, even before I was blogging, and sharing ten of my favorite book-related memories. And my list has only grown in the past few years!


I absolutely love reading love stories! I had so much choosing the types, the feelings and the moments that I adore when I'm reading. Plus, I'll be honest - I had way too much fun pairing each item on my list with a gif that illustrated each one from some of my favorite literary-inspired movies.


For as long as I can remember, I've kept a "quote book" - a notebook filled with my favorite quotes. Whether they're from famous people or books I've read, I love jotting down words that have had an impact on me. So it's no surprise that I love any Top Ten Tuesday topic involving quotes (like this one and this one, too).


Even though it's nerdy to admit, I always enjoyed picking out what classes I'd take each semester in college. I've had good and bad professors, but my favorite class was about a subject I adored: Jane Austen. This post was my attempt at creating a syllabus for my own version of that class - separated into units with required and optional reading + film screenings.


This was one of the first posts I wrote after taking a long break from the blog earlier this year, so I have a special place in my heart for it. I wrote it after a period of time where I wasn't reading as much, so it was nice to take the time to reflect on why reading is so important to me. Books have truly changed my life!

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Check back tomorrow for
Five Years of Favorites: The Memories!
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