Category Archives: Etcetera

Top Ten Tuesday: 12/19

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

  1. Harry Potter Juniper Boxed Set | Seriously, it’s gorgeous. I don’t have an actual physical set of Harry Potter books (THE HORROR!) but when I do, I’m investing in a beautiful set.
  2. Food52 Genius Recipes | If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Food52. I just haven’t shelled out the cash to get this puppy on my kitchen counter.
  3. Jurassic Park/The Lost World Collector’s Edition | Jurassic Park is my favorite book. I had this edition at one point, but made the MASSIVE mistake of lending it to someone…and now I don’t know where it is.
  4. The Love Poems of Rumi | I love Rumi, and I simply haven’t had the chance to pick this one up.
  5. Whiskey, Words & A Shovel by R.H. Sin | Cold days, clouds and fuzzy blankets make me want to read poetry.
  6. Astrophysics for People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson | I read the sample and enjoyed it but haven’t purchased the full version.
  7. A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book | I loved these books when they first came out. I remember thumbing through them, smiling or crying, and realizing that A) I wasn’t alone in many aspects and B) people have some pretty interesting secrets.
  8. The Shredded Chef | I’ve had this book on my ‘to buy’ list for ages.
  9. Humans of New York: Stories | I follow the Facebook page and imagine the book is good, too.
  10. Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo | The cover, the story, the author…yes.


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Start Where You Are notecards by Meera Lee Patel

I branched out from my typical review request over at Blogging for Books — I got some notecards!

I haven’t read Start Where You Are, but after seeing these beautiful pieces of art, I’ve added it to my list. Each notecard is different and features watercolor art. They include quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., Amelia Earhart, Henry David Thoreau and CS Lewis. Here are some examples:

  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
  • “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine De Saint Exupery
  • “The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as big or as small as you want.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love them because they’re so easy to pop in the mail and send to someone who needs a pick-me-up. Definitely recommend if you’re in the market for some cute notecards.

Gluten-Free for Good: Simple, Wholesome Recipes Made from Scratch by Samantha Seneviratne

27774473No meal should be defined by what’s not there.Gluten-Free for Good has 100 easy, healthful gluten-free recipes that are so delicious you’ll never miss the gluten.

Here are dishes you may have thought you’d never enjoy again—not without resorting to expensive packaged gluten-free foods that aren’t as delicious or healthful as the real thing. These quick-cooking meals are for any time of day, all made from scratch without hard-to-digest processed additives like xanthan or guar gum. – Goodreads

I am not Celiac, nor am I diagnosed with a gluten allergy or sensitivity. That being said, I do notice that I have a reaction when I eat gluten after a period of avoiding it. Does this mean I have a sensitivity? I don’t know. Does this mean I should eliminate it? I don’t know. Do I believe that gluten is the devil? No. I have been trying to make a more conscious effort of eliminating it from my diet, though, as the digestive issues and achy joints that I experience after consuming it are annoying and probably not normal as compared to how I feel when I eat other things.

So, long story short, I saw this on Blogging for Books and jumped at the opportunity to review it.

Upon first flip through, I noticed the bright photography, tons of recipes, and thickness of the pages. This book is constructed well, and I had a difficult time narrowing down what I wanted to make — everything looked so good!

One gripe: many of the recipes were things that wouldn’t have had gluten in them to begin with, such as chicken and potatoes or sweet potato spinach hash. The recipes that included gluten-subs made up for it, but it still seemed odd.

Recipes vary from simple/few ingredients to much more laborious endeavors.

For the record — the Miso Shrimp with Snap Peas was the This will be a permanent weeknight staple.

I rated this a 4/5 on Goodreads — many of the recipes didn’t seem very imaginative, but the photography was beautiful and I enjoyed the idea behind it—it’s not defined by what isn’t there. I received this through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


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Hiatus…hopefully over?

I must confess, I completely fell off the face of the Earth when Kiesha left LBR. I stopped reading (well, read much slower and less often) and haven’t posted a damn thing since May. Apparently getting a new boyfriend is distracting, especially when it comes to reading. And blogging.

But I’m back (don’t worry, still have the boyfriend — we’re just in that ‘k, i’ll read and you play video games’ stage now).

I will be catching up on reviews of books I read while on hiatus. I’m looking forward to more TTTs, lists, etc. I definitely miss reading AND blogging, so I’m pretty excited to be back.


Top Ten Tuesday: 3/15

Holy hell have I been in a reading slump. Hopefully today’s TTT revs up my reading drive again — I am WAY too behind on my 2016 Reading Challenge goal!


Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

  1. 3636Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling | Okay, seriously, I preordered this damn thing in September and never got around to it.

2. A Day of Fire by Multiple Authors | What? How have I never heard of THIS?

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein | This has been sitting on my shelf and collecting dust for MONTHS.

4. Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | I have an e-ARC of this from NetGalley, and Alyssa (my reviewer spirit animal) gave a stunning review.

5. Eidolon by Grave Draven | Guhhh. It’s no secret that I’m a Draven fan (4 and 5 star reviews on Master of Crows and Radiance respectively, folks). So, yes. I’m pretty excited about this one, which will be released at the end of May.

6. Missoula: Rape and The Justice System In A College Town by Jon Krakauer | It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a Krakauer book, and I just recently heard about this one. Certainly a heavy topic, but an important one nonetheless.

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel | My co-worker insists I read this ASAP.

8. The Giver by Lois Lowry | I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve seen the movie before reading the book. I liked the movie, so I’m hoping I’ll like the book even better.

9. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari | Strictly because I think he is hilarious on Parks & Recreation and Master of None.

10. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin | I know I hate chick lit, but Giffin is my only exception.

Top Ten Tuesday: 1/12


Top Seven 2015 Releases I Meant to Get But I Didn’t

  1. Winter by Marissa Meyer |  I read the other three at the beginning of the year, but I never picked up the fourth!
  2. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary Pearson | Damn it! I loved the first book in this series but still haven’t picked up this little number!
  3. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black |  Looks good!
  4. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows | I keep looking at this one and thinking about how awesome it looks — and then I don’t buy it.
  5. A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab | I just love magic.
  6. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell | This has made multiple TTT lists for me in 2015—yet I still haven’t ponied up and bought it.
  7. The Lake House by Kate Morton | Meant to read it, never did.


{Belated} Top Ten Tuesday: 1/6


Top Ten Bookish Resolutions I Have for 2016

  1. Request only what I want. I have a bad habit of going on ARC request binges and then having a hell of a time finishing them, or getting sad because I have other things I want to read.
  2. Have more fun blogging. We started LBR to showcase our love of reading and have fun. It was a creative outlet. Yet I sometimes fall into the trap of creating content to create content, which isn’t as fun. I need to have more fun with it 🙂
  3. Read stuff on my shelf. I have another bad habit of hoarding books and not reading them. I preordered Mindy Kaling’s book. Haven’t read it. Have about 9000 more on Kindle that I’ve bought when they’re on sale and haven’t read them.
  4. Do more social. I’m a PR person. Why don’t I do more PR for us? Because it’s my day job, probably. But we work hard on our stuff and I’d like to showcase it more.
  5. Actually partake in challenges. I did several challenges last year through a Goodreads group I’m in, but I’d like to do more — but more than that, I want to challenge myself in what I’m reading. I have a tendency to stick to what I know and I’d like to branch out.
  6. Don’t buy books until I read what I have. See #3. I buy an assload of $1.99 and that ish adds up. I tell myself, “This is cheaper than a Starbucks coffee!” but it’s not when I get 40+ in a year. Also I just did the math on that and shuddered.
  7. Get a library card. Alright, put the pitchfork down. I’ve HAD ONE BEFORE. I went to the library three times a week growing up. But I’ve moved cities and haven’t been to my local library, a fact I need to remedy.
  8. Participate more on other blogs. I’m a bonafide blog creeper. I creep on everyone’s reviews, TTTs, etc. But I never talk. I need to talk more.
  9. Read in coffee shops more. I used to go every Sunday to a little local coffeeshop and read over my latte. I miss this.
  10. Read 150 books. I almost hit it in 2015, but life happened.


Thursday Things 12/31


It’s that time of year, when everyone is thinking about the fresh start looming ahead of us and what we can do differently to make the next year even better than the last. With that train of thought in mind, here are a few things that are inspiring me for this coming year…

Books for the successful woman… I’ve read Bossypants, the next ones up are How to be a Woman, Why Not Me?, and #girlboss. I also really want to read Leave Your Mark and I’ve heard really good things about I Am That Girl so it’s on the list too… I’ve been feeling lately like I have two (or more) paths ahead of me and I need to figure out which one I want to take. I’m hoping that reading these types of books will help me make my decision without wasting more time. I’m taking the Spring semester off from school and transferring in the summer so a lot of things are up in the air right now, so to speak.

I really really love this take on digital detoxing – I think I’m going to talk to the hubs and see if he’d be on board for once a week or once a month digital detoxes – our phones and/or laptops are constantly glued to our sides when we’re at home and I’m over it.



It’s no secret (or maybe it is?) that I have a shopping problem… I spend way too much money on clothes for myself that I generally don’t really need… it’s my way of making myself feel better when I’ve had a bad day and I’d really love to learn how to not rely on that outlet. I’ve heard a lot about no-spending and no-shopping years in the good ol’ blogosphere, and I think 2016 is going to be my year… I’m going to commit to buying no clothes for an entire year. This terrifies me. I really like this take on the whole process, and while I’m not going to go as hardcore as she did, I am determined to end next year without a huge pile of new clothes I’ve collected throughout the year. My only exceptions to the no-clothes-buying rule are going to be (1) underwear and bras (because the size of certain things gets out of control sometimes), (2) if something I wear regularly gets ruined, (3) workout clothes within reason and (4) I will make exceptions for smaller sizes… I’m on a workout program and getting my thyroid medications figured out, so if I lose weight and cannot fit in the clothes I currently own, I will not force myself to deal with them longer than I have to for confidence reasons. I think that’s it though. Wish me luck!


P.S. Sorry for this ridiculously long post 🙂

P.P.S. I want to read ALL of these books. Damnit.

P.P.P.S. 2015 is officially over and while I didn’t hit my Goodreads reading goal (50 books… I feel like such a failure), I DID read more this year than last year. For 2016, I’m not setting a number for a goal, my goal is just to read more than I did this year. Happy 2016!!


Forget resolutions, here are my 2016 book challenges

I used to be a real fan of resolutions. Get healthy, be successful, travel more, do fun things…but the problem is, resolutions aren’t measurable, attainable goals. Sometimes they are, but often they’re general. /rant over/

My 2015 Goodreads book challenge was to read 150 books. I was doing pretty well until we bought a house and I lost four weeks of reading time. I hit XXX books (or XXXXX pages), though, which I’m pretty damn proud of.

My 2016 book challenge goal is slightly more attainble — 125 books — but I’m also participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.

Read a horror book, a collection of essays, a food memoir, a book with a person who identifies as transgender. The list is pretty impressive, and will definitely challenge me to step out of my fantasy comfort zone.


Anyone else participating?