Life of a Blogger - Routines

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is routines.  With a two-year-old, routines are SO important, so our day looks like this:

Monday to Friday, we wake up at 7 and wake Marko up at 7:30 if he doesn't wake up earlier by himself.  We're out the door by 7:45ish.  I drop Marko at daycare, and then usually arrive at work shortly before 9.  I work 'til 5, pick him up and we're usually home by 6:15.  Our evenings are spent playing at home, or going to the mall so Marko can run around a bit.  Once the days get longer, we go for a walk to the park in the evenings, but it's dark by the time I get home at the moment.  Marko goes in the bath at 8:30 and is asleep by 9.  From 9 to 11, we tidy up the house, make lunches for the next day, and then relax by watching a bit of TV or reading.  Then, it's off to bed!

On the weekends, our days are pretty relaxed.  Marko has gymnastics on Sunday mornings, but otherwise our days are filled with grocery shopping, household chores and, of course, time for playing.  We try to get outside whenever we can, unless it's pouring rain (which, unfortunately, is most of the winter!)

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Life of a Blogger - Organization

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is organization.  I am a very organized person by nature, but one of things that I struggle with in our small condo is finding a place for everything!  Especially as Marko grows older, I find that the amount of stuff that he has just gets larger!  For example, I used to keep his books in a basket, which then grew to a plastic box.  Last week, I went and bought him a little bookshelf for his books because I just couldn't keep his box organized.  Plus, when they were piled in the box, he'd only pull out the books sitting on the top of the pile.  So far, he hasn't expressed too much interest in the books on the shelf, and only looks at the oversized ones in the basket that's sitting on top, but his little shelf looks super adorable.

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TBR Tag!

I wasn't tagged by anyone specific, but I saw this show up a few times in my blog reader, so I thought I'd join in the fun.  If you haven't been part of this yet, then TAG -- you're it too!

1. How do you keep track of your TBR?

On Goodreads!  I have three TBR shelves: series to finish, series to try and then the rest of my to-read books.  These are exclusive shelves, and then I also have books I own and wishlist shelves, which I can view in conjunction with any of the TBR shelves.  This allows me to see what I have to read, as well as what I still would like to purchase in order to read.

2. Is your TBR pile most print or e-books?

Definitely print!  I have a couple of unread e-books (iBooks freebies), but I mainly use my e-reader for e-galleys.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I've had a post on this in the works for months now, but I'm definitely a mood reader!  I think that I've pulled myself out of reading slumps by realizing that I need to be true to what I want to read when I want to read it.

4. A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

On October 16, 2007, I added Paulo Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.  It has been a long, long time since I got caught up in Coelho's writing ... I'm long overdue!

5. A book that you recently added to your TBR?

Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train, which is my book club's next pick.

6. A book on your TBR because of its beautiful cover?

So freakin' pretty!  I borrowed this one from the library, but returned it because I think it's one that I would prefer to own.  I *think* it just came out in paperback?  This might just sneak its way into my next Chapters order!

7. A book on your TBR that you honestly don't ever plan to read?

Every time I see Beth Revis' Across the Universe on my shelves, I wonder if I'll ever pick it up.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you can't wait to read?

It's a three way tie!  Winter by Marissa Meyer, Queen of Shadows (it has a TITLE!) and Crown of Thorns and Roses (a new SERIES!) by Sarah J. Maas.

9. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

I've seen, and am still seeing, lots of buzz about Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  It's definitely a series that I'd like to try out this year so that I can see what all the fuss is about!

10. The number of books on your TBR?

On Goodreads, I have 330 books on my TBR list.  Goodreads says that there are 57 TBR books that I own, 19 series books to finish and 24 books from new series to try.  This is a total of 100 TBR books that are physically on my shelves.  Honestly, I thought that these numbers would be much worse!

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Book Haul [15]

Happy Saturday everyone!  In my 2015 new year's resolutions, I shared my version of a book buying ban for this year, where I swore to only buy a book if I planned to read it right away.  So far, I'm more or less on track!  With the exception of the second and third books on this list, but I just received them in the mail this week, and I'm currently reading the first book on in this haul ... so that's pretty good, right? =)

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
My husband bought me The Rosie Project for Christmas, which I've already read and absolutely LOVED.  I spotted The Rosie Effect at Costco the day after I finished The Rosie Project, and I dove in almost immediately.  Don's character makes me laugh so much!

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I had to place Chapters order because I wanted to buy Marko some Monsters Inc. books for his upcoming birthday, and had to buy Orphan Train because it's my book club's next pick.  I was close to finishing Grave Mercy and already own a copy of Dark Triumph.  I knew I'd be finishing the series in one big gulp, so I grabbed Mortal Heart.  

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I've already read this book, multiple times in fact, but I lent my copy to a former friend, shortly before we had a falling out and she removed herself from my life.  Unfortunately, my book went with her!  I'm happy to own a copy again, as this is one of my all-time favourites.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
I've had my eye on this book since it was first featured on a Heather's Picks table at Chapters.  Luckily, I found a copy for $6 at a used bookstore, so I snatched it up.  Hopefully, I'll be able to read this one before spring rolls around, as it looks like a wintery read.

Most shockingly -- I have NO new review books!  I have a small-ish pile of books from last year, and haven't been inclined to grab any off Edelweiss or NetGalley recently, so I'm enjoying the break! Most of the e-galleys that I have are for April/May releases, so there's definitely no pressure....which I am LOVING.

How about you?  Anything new on your shelves?  Have you read any of my new books?  Leave me a comment below!

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January Wrap-Up!

Wow, the first month in 2015 is over already?!?  I was doing seasonal wrap-ups last year, but I thought I'd mix it up a little and try monthly wrap-ups for a bit...so, here goes!

The Books

Books Read: 4 (Grave Mercy, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Saga Vol. 1 and The Rosie Project)
Of these books, three were books that were from my own shelves (even if The Rosie Project was a recent addition from Christmas!).  Only one book was borrowed from the library.

Books Acquired: 3 (The Rosie Effect, Mortal Heart and Orphan Train)
I bought The Rosie Effect as soon as I finished reading The Rosie Project.  In keeping with my New Year's Resolution, I'm reading it right now!  Orphan Train is my book club's next read, so it'll be coming up on my reading list soon.  After I finish The Rosie Effect, I'm hoping to jump straight into Dark Triumph, so I'll be completing the His Fair Assassin's trilogy soon, and needed to have Mortal Heart close by.

The Challenges:
Prequel & Sequel Challenge: None so far, but I started two series this month! 
Flights of Fantasy: 2 books read! (Grave Mercy and Saga Vol. 1)
TBR Challenge: 3 books so far! 

The Blog

I felt a renewed sense of blogging fire this month, and shared a LOT of posts!  I discussed racing to finish a read on December 31, and why reviewing has been hard lately.  I shared my challenge goals for 2015 and wrapped up the 2014 Prequel & Sequel Challenge.

I was excited to join back in with two of my favourite memes, so I shared some thoughts on scars, bad habits and achievements as well as lists of 2014 releases that are still on my TBR and series that I want to finish and binge this year.

I was just as excited to bring back two of my own features: Marko Monday and Favourite Friday!

The Other Stuff

2015 has been a great year so far!  I'm approaching a year at my new job, and I couldn't be happier.  There have been a lot of staff changes at the company since I started working and my position and grown and changed along with the company.  At my previous job, I would often come up upset about something someone had said or done, and would often spend the evening either complaining about work or sobbing on my husband's shoulder.  I'm a very positive and upbeat person by nature, and I didn't like the fact that the negativity in that office was starting to affect me as a person.  Now that I've left that job, I love how much I love my new job.  I'm still doing the same type of work (administrative), but my new co-workers are just amazing and the company is so great!  I took a leap of faith with my decision to start a new job, but it has paid off SO well.

I started my second to last semester towards my library technician diploma!  This semester is my field work (practicum) so it's not a regular class with reading and assignments.  Our final grades are just pass/fail, so we have to tour a bunch of different types of libraries and then do a two-week practicum.  My placement hasn't been confirmed yet, but I think I might be placed in a hospital library, which sounds pretty cool!

Marko's second birthday is coming up on February 9th!  It's hard to believe that it's been almost two years since I first shared a post about his arrival into this world!

With 2015 off to an awesome start, I'm excited to see what February will bring!  Hope you all had a great January, and thanks for stopping by!

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Life of a Blogger - Dreams

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is dreams.  Since I don't often remember my dreams in the morning, I thought that I'd write about the broader definition of dreams.  Here are some of the big dreams that I have...
  • Buy a house.  We currently live in a two bedroom condo and, while it's enough space for our small family, I would like to have a house to call my own, with no strata rules and no one living above me.
  • Publish a book.  I wrote a YA novel years and years ago, and sent it off to a few publishers.  After receiving some rejection letters, I put the book on the backburner and haven't revisited it in a long, long time.  I would love to see my name on the cover of a book one day!
  • Travel more.  I've been to quite a few places, but I would love to see more of the world, and go back to Serbia/Montenegro, where my husband and I spent our honeymoon.
How about you?  What are some of your dreams?  Leave me a link to your post and I'll stop by!

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Marko Monday [13]

Marko Monday is a monthly-ish feature where I share a book that my son and I have read together, as well as a little update on what he's up to these days.

In all honesty, Marko hasn't been spending as much time with his books over the past few months as he used to but I think it's because we were buying him new books on a fairly regular basis, so he always had something new to read.  Just like his mama, he's a sucker for a shiny new book!  I'm also planning to buy him a bookshelf in the not-too-distant future, since his box of books is overflowing!  I think it'll re-ignite his interest in his books when they're organized and easy to access.  At the moment, he can't even see the books at the bottom of the box.

And here's my little angel -- enjoying some sunshine last weekend, and sporting his absolutely favourite T-shirt ... he adores Mike & Sully!

Thanks for stopping by!

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