Saturday, February 16, 2013

GIVEAWAY Winner!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered! The winner was chosen randomly by PunchTab. And now. . . the winner is. . . Sharon! (I will be contacting you soon on delivering the journal.)

I want to say thank you again to everyone who participated, I wish I could give you all one! Also, I apologize for the delay in releasing the winner. I hope you will all stick around and check back at this blog again. See you later!

Monday, February 11, 2013

January in Review and a Glimpse of February

Have you read my first post on my New Year's Resolutions? You can read it here. The reason I mention this post is because I wanted share how I have been doing so far this year.

Already I find January has slipped by me, but I also have some great memories to go along with that month. This year is proving to be different for me. Not in huge, over the top, in your face noticeable kind of ways, but small changes are being made here and there. It is those little things that are making an important difference. I will go ahead and admit I have already "failed" some of my new years resolutions, but I am determined not to let that stop me from continuing to work on them and finish strong this year. I want to be proud of the progress I have made and confident that I can do even better in the years to come (with dedication, and God's help and guidance).

Reading my Bible everyday has had an affect on my attitude and overall outlook on life. I have again noticed more how I feel better and do better when I have spent time praying and in God's Word. Sure, I came to realize this last year and have before, but this year I realize more and more each day how much I need some personal time with my Savior. There has been a few days (really like 3 or so), when technically I did not sit down and read my Bible. Instead of letting that get me down, I am still aiming to read my Bible everyday because it is more important than just fulfilling one of my new year resolutions.

When it comes to reading 50 books this year. . . Well, technically I have read three and an currently finishing two other, longer-ish ones. I still think I can read 50 books this year. Some of the books I have read are manga books around 200 pages, those help get me closer to my goal and I enjoy the quick easy read. If I make it to 50 books this year, next year I will definitely consider doing the 50 books in a year challenge again, but add the "rule" that short, manga books do not count.

I did not draw a picture last month. . . I think I sat down on the thirtieth and tried,  but I just did not have it in me and did not feel like drawing. Maybe I'll get some sketches in this month before it is too late!

Exercising. . . I failed in the first week. But it is still a good goal I need to be working towards. I hope by the end of this year, exercising a minimum of 2 hours a week will be a normal, habitual part of my day to day life.

I have not written anything on my novel this month. Possibly because I was a bit worn out after participating in a 100 for 100 challenge (where I wrote 100 words everyday for 100 days). I really enjoyed the challenge and ended up writing about 25,000 words! To put that into perspective, the average length of a novel is 50,000 words, I believe. I am not trying to brag because most of what I wrote will probably need to be cut, and there are a lot of places that need filled in. But that gives a better perspective on what 25,000 means. It might sound crazy, but that was actually more the average word count for the challenge. A lot of people wrote thousands more. It was a fun challenge. Still, I plan to start picking back up on writing this month.

Personally, I feel I have succeeded when it came to blogging. Not only is this an opportunity to flex my writing muscle, but it is out of my comfort zone and something new. That is also why I am counting making a blog and everything I have done along those lines (making a twitter, contacting a publisher, hosting a giveaway) as my something "new" I did for January.

Last, but not least, what am I doing about my resolution to get a car? (Maybe?) Saving. Because that is all I can do right now. I do not need a car at the moment, but once I start college, I would like to have one. (Key word: would like to.) So I am trying to put most of my income (aside from my tithe, phone bill, and a little spending here and there) into savings. Hopefully, by the time I graduate, I will be well on my way to saving up for a car.

February is approaching its halfway mark, so it's a bit late to be writing about January, but I hope to update my happenings in February sooner after it ends. Not only is Valentine's Day approaching, but so is my birthday! Eighteen. It sounds crazy to me that I am actually turning 18. Soon, very soon. I look forward to it though. I still have not finished any books for February, but I am trying to get on it! Soon I will be posting some more book reviews. Stick around! My giveaway will be closing soon and a winner will be announced.

So what were your new year's resolutions?
Or what do you hope to accomplish this year?
Is it just me, or did January go by fast?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

GIVEAWAY: The Book Lover's Journal

Who does not like free stuff?

     I certainly enjoy things that are free. Recently, I messaged Pauper Press asking for their permission to use pictures of this journal in my review, and I was very surprised when they offered me a sample. I told them that I already owned a copy, but they were still willing to send me one. Now I have one to giveaway! Hopefully I am not the only one who is excited about that. This is a great journal, and I am sure it will leave many a book lover's mouth drooling.

Would you like this free journal? I would love to give it to you! (By the way, you can read my review of it by clicking here. There are plenty of pictures in that post as well.) But since there is only one journal, I think it would be best to give everyone a chance to win. I will be using PunchTab to gather all the entries. Want to enter? Read on!

Deadline to enter:
February 15, 11p.m.

Releasing the winner:
February 16, 3p.m.

How you can enter:

1. It's quite simple! Check out the PunchTab box below and select your preference of which way to enter. And that is it! (Please note, I will not be sharing any personal information of those who enter with anyone, except for the name of the winner on February 16th.)

2. Want MORE entries? Which means MORE chances to win?! Then take advantage of three extra opportunities to earn more entries! Comment on this post, share it with friends on Facebook, tweet about it! Check out the box below to find out how *you* can increase your chances to win.

(Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change or adjust the giveaway as I see fit.)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: The Book Lover's Journal

By: Rene J. Smith
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press
Genre: Nonfiction; Book Journal; Reading Record; Organizer
Number of Pages: 216


What is this??? This is a journal designed to log books, record what you have read, and review novels. But this journal also contains sections to write down books that you would like to read, books you own (borrowed, lent, or have given), book group info, and some fun pages at the end.

Positive Opinions:

First of all, I will say that I love this journal. I have already recorded two books in it and can not wait to fill it up more. Though I will add that I am not using this journal to record previous books I have read, only the ones I read starting with this year.

Alright, so as you can see from my sneak peek into this journal:

. . . it has a rating chart!

This is one of the things I liked about this journal compared to my previous one (which is much smaller- almost pocket sized- and less descriptive). It still did/does its job very well, but I like my new journal better overall.

I also just like how the entire book is laid out. The format and information included for each book review is great. It is easy to fill in the blanks, circle the numbers I feel the book deserves, and then make any comments I want about it on the next page. There is plenty of room for me to write anything; be it the basic plot, how I liked the book, things to remember about it, or whatever else.

Another good thing about this book is that it has a hard cover and a spiral center, making it easy to write on. (Yay! No awkward middle section that is a pain to write on!) It has a table of contents for book reviews as well, so you can write down the title of the book and what page its review is on. I really like that about the journal.

Then last, but not least, it has an overall five-star rating at the bottom!

Negative Opinions:

The main thing I wish was different about this journal is that it had a specific line that said something like "Date Started" and "Date Finished". My previous journal had this, and now I sort of miss it. But I can still use the "When & where read" line in this book to do the same thing, so I will survive.

Closing Words:

So if you are in to reviewing and keeping track of the books you read, pick yourself up a copy of this journal! I would recommend it and think it is definitely worth the money!

Check it out on:  Amazon or Barnes&Noble!!

Or if you prefer to just keep track of the books (and don't care so much for the reviewing 
in depth part), try the previous version I had!

Wait! Don't go yet. . .

SPECIAL NOTE: All opinions are my own. I purchased the previous journal and the new one was given to me as a gift for Christmas. Peter Pauper Press provided three of the pictures used in this post, and I was also given another journal by them that I will be giving away!

So stay tuned for a chance to WIN a FREE The Book Lover's Journal!!!

Do you record the books you read?
What are your thoughts on keeping track of read books, a great idea or a waste of time?
Also I am always open for new reading suggestions!