Starting 2018 Off With a BANG!

Happy New Year & Welcome 2018! As per usual here is my annual post about my New Years resolutions! Check out my 2016 & 2017 posts if you need any additional idea for yourself.

The past two years my motto was just to pick a few things, not to jump in with a dozen things all at once. I’m keeping that same theme this year. I believe in the new year being a fresh start and a time to make some healthy changes in your life. Some of these resolutions are similar to the past two years, but that’s okay in my book. They’re things that I have been doing that I want to continue doing into 2018.

  1. #52Books2018: Last year my goal was #52Books2017. I tracked my progress on Goodreads and completed this goal! I’m hoping to redo it again for 2018. I am a member of a bookclub on Facebook. My other literary goal is to participate in this group. I would like to read their monthly book & join in with their journaling, reflection, and discussion.
  2. Journaling: As always, I am going to continue my journaling. This year I will continue my personal journaling with a new notebook from Christmas. I also have my yearly Q&A, daily line book to complete this year. I’m interested to see how my 2018 answers compare to my 2017 answers. I also am attempting to low-key bullet journal in a notebook for my book club and to track my reading challenge. There is another special journal project up my sleeve, but I can share more on that at another time.
  3. Blogging: I want to continue blogging. I enjoy having this record of the different aspects of my life. I’m not trying to be the most popular blogger out there. I’m doing this for me, and if other people get enjoyment out of it, thats AWESOME! Please let me know types of posts you’d like to see down in the comment section!
  4. Clarinet: I’ve played the clarinet for 10+ years now. I was in my college’s marching band and earned a performance degree as well. I haven’t been playing as much now that I’m working full-time. I would love to start playing again this year!
  5. Save $: Now that I’m #adulting, I’ve realized how expensive it is! I have student loans along with other bills to pay off. I am also actively saving for my June 2019 wedding! I have specific savings goals laid out in my planner which I hope to meet.

What are some of your resolutions? How do you hold yourself accountable? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you have a happy and healthy 2018!



A to Z Bookish Survey

I decided to give this survey a shot.

A: Author you’ve read the most books from:

  • Jodi Picoult

B: Best Sequel Ever:

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

C: Currently Reading:

  • What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan

D: Drink of Choice While Reading:

  • A mug of hot tea.

E: E-reader or Physical Book?

  • I do enjoy reading on my iPad especially since I discovered the OverDrive app, but Physical Book for sure!

F: Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

  • Probably Quentin from Paper Towns by John Green

G: Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

H: Hidden Gem Book:

  • Heartprints by Anne Schober

I: Important Moment in your Reading Life:

  • Reading Gone with the Wind in sixth grade and being finally being old enough in ninth grade for the Outlander series.

J: Just Finished:

  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

K: Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

  • Science Fiction.

L: Longest Book You’ve Read:

  • Either the books in the Outlander series or Gone with the Wind 

M: Major book hangover because of:

  • Probably the last Harry Potter book back in middle school.

N: Number of Bookcases You Own:

  • 3 shelves, 1 bookcase.

O: One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

P: Preferred Place To Read:

  • Outside on the patio or in my bed!

Q: Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“Love is not a because, it is a no matter what” -Jodi Picoult Second Glance 

R: Reading Regret:

  • Not really a regret but I started trying to read the Game of Thrones book series by George R. R. Martin as new seasons of the show came out. I decided to abandon the books and just watch the show.

S: Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

  • There is not really one I can think of at the moment.

T: Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

  • Outlander by Diana Gabladon, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling.

U: Unapologetic Fangirl For:

  • Character: Jamie Fraser. Author(s): Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner, Sarah Dessen, JK Rowling, and Diana Gabaldon.

V: Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon. This will be the 9th novel in the Outlander series. While there is no official release date, I AM STILL SO EXCITED IT IS COMING!

W: Worst Bookish Habit:

  • I fold the top corners down when I don’t have a bookmark handy….I also take the dust jackets off of hardback books when I read them so they don’t get ruined.

X: X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

  • My main bookshelf is just one long row of three shelves going around the top of my walls, so I started on the lefthand side and counted! The 27th book on myself is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah! I have read this book two times so far and have really enjoyed it.

Y: Your latest book purchase:

  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

ZZZ: Z-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


Update-One Month Post-Grad

So today marks one month since I graduated college. May 7, 2017 I walked across the stage ( did not receive my diploma-they are mailed to us) and I did it. So much has happened in this past month that needs some updating.


Since graduation was on a Sunday, my family came to my house starting Friday and we had a little celebration on Saturday. When my mom and her siblings each graduated from Penn State, my Poppy had their names put on a banner. Well, my Grammy had a section made with my name and graduation year to add to the bottom of the banner. I was so incredible to see this and know that I did it. I accomplished one of my biggest goals this far in life! The actual ceremony was Sunday up at school and I got to sit next to my best friend which made it all the more special. Down below are some quick snapshots from the weekend!

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Applying for Certification:

I ended up applying for certification two days after graduation. I wanted to get it done as soon as possible because I plan on taking the PRAXIS to become certified for 5th and 6th grade as well as middle level English. I also wanted to get some days in as a substitute, just to gain some more experience–more on that coming. The application process was really easy and Penn State was very quick in their response of support. My application was officially approved on June 1, 2017!

Substitute Teaching:

I started substitute teaching a week and a half after graduation. I applied on a Wednesday and had my on boarding meeting the next Tuesday. My first day subbing was that Thursday. I only got a few days in for this school year, but those days provided some different experiences and boosted my confidence, like “Hey, I CAN do this!”. I am applying for a full-time teaching position for next year, but if I do decide to long term sub, or daily sub, I have that option too!

Work Zone:

This summer I am working as a Day Camp Counselor for our local recreation department. This is a new job for me as the last few summers I babysat. I’m looking forward to meeting all my co-counslers and having a fun summer! We have kids in first through eighth grades. Each day we get to take them to the pool and once a week we’ll go on a field trip. Let me know if posts on summer activities for kids is something you’d be interested in! In addition to Day Camp, I am continuing my volunteer work with PAWS and playing with some cute reduce kitties on a weekly basis.

What’s Next?:

As I mentioned before, I am applying for full-time teaching positions and I’m excited to continue through the job search process. I am going to the beach in July so hopefully I’ll be able to do a few blogs about that as the summer progresses! For the blog I plan on continuing my bookshelf updates each month and once I get a job and start planning out my classroom expect some posts about all that fun too!

Hope you all are having a great day. What is one post you want to see this summer!? Let me know down below. 🙂


May Wrap-Up//June TBR

This month I got back on track with my #52Books2017 reading challenge! I knew being home from school for the summer would help with my pace of reading!

May 3, 2017-Good Time Coming by C.S. Harris.


This book gets 3/5 stars. It was a very well written and interesting read, but I most likely wouldn’t pick it up again. The novel starts out with the sentence, “I killed a man the summer I turned thirteen”. This was more than enough for me to jump right in. A story of the American Civil War, this novel sheds light on how the women and children left at home in the south defended themselves, their land, and their honors. With a Gone with the Wind feel, Harris does a phenomenal job of latching on to the reader’s emotions though protagonist, young Amire St. Pierre’s voice.

May 11, 2017-I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi.


This novel earned 4/5 stars for its twists and turns. When Maddy seemingly commits suicide by jumping off of a building the lives of her husband and daughter go awry. From  her birds-eye view, Maddy try to align fates and picks school teacher, Rory to take her place in her family’s lives.

May 17, 2017-The Trophy Child by Paula Daly.



The term helicopter parents rings true for Karen Bloom in this novel. Dictating every second of her daughter Bronte’s life, Karen runs her from activity to lesson to tutoring session like mad. When Bronte goes missing and refuses to tell where she was and another sudden disappearance occurs, secrets start spilling out left and right in this novel. This book earned 4/5 stars. The way the author wove the different character’s stories and voices seemed effortless.

May 21, 2017-Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.


Mother Kate Baron is called to her daughter’s expensive, private school under the impression that her daughter plagiarized and received a failing mark. What she finds when she gets there is a whole different scenario. Amelia has jumped from the top of the school, committing suicide. When Kate starts receiving bizarre text messages claiming that Amelia didn’t jump, Kate realizes there is more to this story and has the case reopened. For fans of Gossip Girl and crime shows, this novel combines the two earning it a 5/5 stars.

May 27, 2017-Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight.


After experiencing the loss of a stillborn child, Molly Anderson, her husband, and five-year-old daughter Ella relocated to a small town where she takes a job as a reporter. When an abandoned, deceased infant is discovered, Molly is put on the case to report the findings. Along the way, she works through her grief and feelings of loss, while also uncovering  decades old secrets some members of the town are working hard to keep covered. Told from alternating character perspectives, this novel gets a 4/5 stars.

May 28, 2017-What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross.


How can you miss something you never knew? Lucy Wakefield longs for a baby. After a miscarriage when in college, many failed fertility treatments, and her husband nixing the idea of adoption it seems she will never be a mother. When four month old Natalie is taken from a shopping cart at IKEA and raised as Mia for 21 years, worlds collide. Told from perspectives of all parties involved this novel is fast paced and a quick read. I gave this a 4/5 stars.

This month I didn’t finishing reading The Program by Suzanne Young, opting instead to wait until next month and read the series as it stands right now, back to back. I did have a  bonus book not mentioned on my TBR. The first is titled: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.



With a tag-line on the cover reading, “Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.” this young adult novel takes place over an hour. The entire student body is locked in the school auditorium when the shooter shows himself. While this book kept me engaged and I didn’t want to put it down, I only gave it two stars. Told in 4 different voices over less than 300 pages, I felt that it was a little much for the length of the book. The teen angst of the shooter also felt a little stereotypical and I predicted his motive around page 80 earning this novel a 2/5 star rating. However this novel brings up great conversations about bullying, mental health, and awareness of how your actions affect others. If you need a quick action packed read however, this novel fits that bill. Check out more on this book and others I read this month on Instagram @ms.m_teaches


WOW! OKAY! If you read through all that, thanks, you’re a trooper! Now on to a rather short TBR list for June. Right now I only have four books checked out from the library, and I am halfway through the first.


~Books to read in June~

  1. The TeacherKaterina Diamond (Currently Reading)
  2. The Finishing School-Joanna Goodman
  3. The Program-Suzanne Young
  4. The Treatment-Suzanne Young

I hope to read the rest of The Program series by Suzanne Young this month as well!

What are you currently reading? Share in the comments below!

Happy Reading!


April Wrap-Up//May TBR

April Wrap-Up

Well my April reading didn’t quite go as planned…

I anticipated reading three books last month: finishing Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey, and Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. I started off GREAT! I finished Scrappy Little Nobody which was AMAZINGGGGG (more on that below) and began The Girl With All the Gifts. But then I had to stop at the campus library to a meeting and decided to look at the new book shelf (when will I learn?). I ended up checking out Little Deaths by Emma Flint and put my other book on hold. Well it took the rest of the month to read that book, which I finished on May 1st.

Here’s what I thought of the two books I read this month:

Scrappy Little Nobody-Anna Kendrick: This book was 5 star material in my opinion. I received this book at Christmas and had to control myself not to read it super quickly. Anna Kendrick is funny and charming and her stories are priceless! I would love to meet her one day although I feel I already have by reading her memoir. If you need a funny beach read this summer, pick up this.

Little Deaths-Emma Flint: IMG_7706

This book was a two star book. Although I’m happy I read it and it did keep me interested, I wouldn’t pick it up again. The ending seemed like a cheap way out even though I was a twist I didn’t see coming until a few pages before.  This read like a true crime novel and I felt like I was reading an episode of Law & Order.

May TBR: 

So this month started out with me posting on my bookstagram @ms.m_reads about how I was just going to finish Little Deaths and keep working on last month’s book list. IMG_7704

Well then I went to the library.

I happened to check out SEVEN books.

So my new TBR post looks a little like this…


I have two weeks to read these, and I’m almost finished with the first one.

  1. Good Time Coming-C.S Harris
  2. I Liked My Life-Abby Fabiaschi
  3. The Trophy Child-Paula Daly
  4. Reconstructing Amelia-Kimberly McCreight
  5. Where They Found Her-Kimberly McCreight
  6. What Was Mine-Helen Klein Ross
  7. The Program-Suzanne Young

As I finish each of these I’ll begin writing next month’s wrap up post.

I also found the OverDrive App too which may become dangerous to my reading addiction as I can borrow and download books from ANYWHERE!

As for an update on #52Books2017 I am currently reading book #9 Good Time Coming-C.S. Harris and #10 Grey-E.L. James (Yesss the 50 Shades novel…but I had to test out this ebook app!).

Let me know what you’re reading this month in the comments below!



March Wrap Up/April TBR

Oh wow! We are over a week into April and I am very late with this post!

In March, I read 2 books:

I finished The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor & I also read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

I started to read Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick and I finished that last night (April 8).

The Girl Who Came Home was about the sinking of the Titanic. It is told in flashbacks to the disaster and what is considered present day in the novel. This was the second time I read this book and I enjoyed every part of it even more this second time around.

Small Great Things is such a relevant read to right now. When an African American nurse is told she can’t touch a newborn baby but then is the only one around when this baby is in distress, what is she to do? This is a compelling novel that makes you think about everything.

For my April TBR:


Finish Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. So even though I finished this book before this post I will about it my next Wrap Up/TBR post. But if you can’t wait, check out @ms.m_reads on Instagram for a bit of an update!


Read The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. I have no clue what this is about. I think maybe zombies? So a bit out there for me, but the back was just so intriguing: “Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don;t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.” So this seems like it’ll be a fun read.

Finally, read Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. In this novel a young girl is separated from her family during WW II and sent to an orphanage were she undergoes experimental treatments. Years later she encounters the man who performed these experiments on her. This time she is in the dominant position. What does she do?

I am hoping that for May I’ll be able to have more than three books on my TBR list and I’ll actually get this #52Books2017 challenge rolling!

What are you reading this month? Comment below!



I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately.

There are people who say that the friends you make in high school will last you the rest of your life. Then there are those who have the same sentiments about college friends. Or those you make post-grad.

Who is right?

Sure there are some people I keep in touch with from high school. But there are others who just keep popping up when you don’t want them to, who keep you tied to the silliest memories and things you just want to forget.

I’ve meet so many amazing people in college. Some of my best friendships were formed here at Penn State. But with my track record, how many of these friendships are going to last once we walk across the stage in a month? All of them I hope but that is wishful thinking.

Something that’s been on my mind lately is forming a bridal party. I’ve heard so many stories of people who had a major falling out during the wedding planning process or afterwards. Who is important enough to be considered a part of this momentous day? How do you choose? Who comes first, family, high school friends, college friends? It’s crazy times and I just can’t fathom picking.

Frankly, I wish being friends was easy…and it is to some extent, but maintaining friendships is hard. It’s something I struggle with. I get caught up in my life and my world and sometimes forget about others. So to my friends, I’m sorry if I’ve been a bad one. But I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤

Do any of you struggle with this idea of friendship and how quickly they change? Comment below if you’d like to share.

Lots of love always.