Monthly Archives:: February 2014

LoveAThon: Letter to Future Me

February 16, 2014 Katie A 2014 LoveAThon 12 Comments

loveathonDear future me,

It’s been quite the journey getting into blogging – it’s no stranger to you, you updated a LiveJournal for years on end. You’ve struggled settling into a routine, writing reviews and trying to figure out your own unique blogging voice. Still, so far you’ve had a  lot of fun and met some amazing friends. Friends who have always been supportive, friends who are in your life forever.

It’s been worth it.

I hope that future!you will be able to find a steady routine – that’s been the hardest part. It comes with the weird work hours, the chaos of being a student and juggling caring for a family. It’s hard – but I know once you find a routine that works for you – everything will settle into place. That should be your number one goal.

I hope that you are still having fun, and still making new friends. I hope that you’ve been able to meet some of them, too! Even if you haven’t been able to go to BEA, I hope that you’ve found a way to meet some of these amazing people and hang out with them. There’s already some summer plans in the works for 2014 – and that is pretty exciting.

In the future, I hope you’ve finally found your own voice. It’s been hard – and frustrating. I know there’s been moments where you think you’ve found it, only to run to post to find that it just isn’t working out. It’s hard and it’s held you back – but don’t let that stop you. You’ll find it! Relax, have fun and be YOU. DSCN7381

As for those reviews you struggle with? Relax. They don’t have to be long and elaborate. They don’t have to be fancy. I want to see YOU come out in those reviews, to see your bubbly personality and to touch on all those points of why the book worked (or didn’t work) for you. It’s been another big struggle, but hopefully in the future you’ve been able to move past this.

Most importantly, I hope that you have continued to blog for YOU. You started this blog with the intentions of mixing real life adventures with books. I hope that you’ve continued that – maybe people don’t connect with those posts, but it’s important for you to keep those memories and blogging is a great way to do just that. HAVE FUN with it – even if you think no one will read it.

Don’t ever feel like you have to blog a certain way to fit in and be popular. It’s not about that. Besides, look how far you have come over the last year since you really decided to blog. You’ve been yourself. People love it. People love you for YOU. It’s gotten you so far and that’s the best part of this entire journey. You’ve found a place where you can be yourself, where you are accepted, loved and welcomed. Don’t ever forget that.

Lots of squishy hugs,

2014 me.


LoveAThon: MadLib!

February 15, 2014 Katie A 2014 LoveAThon 5 Comments


I have to tell you that I love the idea of this challenge, my family and I will sit and do MadLibs together for hours on end and laugh until we cry, so this is perfect!

One day, I was talking with Chaol. Out of the blue, a giraffe came out of nowhere! It was so big, tall and clumsy. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we flailed. We hopped on lightrail to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together came on and made me sing. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an alligator appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Chaol stayed on lightrail, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn’t get up, and felt dizzy as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a crack among the leaves, and felt worried. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of brown hair and grey eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a couch. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a cat and fireplace in the room, along with chocolate and water. The door suddenly opened to reveal Gale, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he nodded and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about reading ,traveling and cooking and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was handsome and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Mal. “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at Gale. They each had spoons in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so annoyed. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, Gale fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. Mal dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, love.” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as Everything Has Changed started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my terrible luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

I’m sitting here giggling over this (caffeine helps!) Thanks, bookish boys for your help! 😉


LoveAThon: Dear Gale…

February 15, 2014 Katie A Uncategorized 6 Comments


I have to admit, I had a hard time thinking about this one, but once I thought about the series that really brought me back into reading it was obvious who I was going to write my letter to. For those that know me fairly well – it should come as no surprise to see who it is.

Dear Gale Hawthorne,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know, I know – you probably don’t even want to be my Valentine, but I wanted to ask anyway. You probably have your eyes on Katniss, and you know.. all those girls at school probably want you to themselves. Still, I’m writing to YOU because you need to hear what I’m going to tell you.

You are amazing. You are. Okay, look – you can be grumpy, but I don’t blame you. I’d be grumpy too – Katniss is stubborn and you’ve got a lot on your plate.  You are caring for your family. Your mother, two brothers and a baby sister. You’ve promised Katniss that you would watch out for her family too if she was ever reaped into the Games.

You love your family so much, and you care about Katniss so much – that’s why I adore you. I know things are difficult and you are craving change, but just remember that you are setting an example to those around you about how they should love and care for each other. All they have to do is look at you and the way that you care for your family and the Everdeen family.

You are always there when Katniss needs someone, even if she doesn’t talk much or knows how to explain how much she really cares for you. You listen to her. You are her best friend. You help each other out and you are her strength. She couldn’t have gotten this far without you. Remember when you met in the forest for the first time? Exactly. She wouldn’t be where she is today without you around.

Most of all, I love how you fight for what you believe in – a changed world, a better life for your family and friends. You just want things to change so that everyone can be happy and not struggle. I don’t blame you. I want the same for my family. I hate that times are rough, but just like you – I do what I can to support them and I work hard in order to do so.

You don’t have to pick me as a Valentine, but just know that someone thinks of you and believes in you. You are amazing, Gale.




LoveAThon 2014: Interview Swap!

February 15, 2014 Katie A 2014 LoveAThon 11 Comments


I can’t tell you how excited and flaily I am about being able to participate in the LoveAThon this year! I really loved watching it happen last year, but wasn’t able to sign up so when I knew I could participate this year? I jumped right in.

Even more exciting?

The moment I was assigned my interview partner! As a newbie blogger, I was given a veteran blogger to interview and when I got the e-mail, I pretty much shrieked with joy once I saw who my partner is.

Without any further hesitation… let’s meet Suz from A Soul Unsung! Fun fact: we were introduced to each other through my girlfriend and have gotten to know each other really well over the last few months – so this interview was a BLAST because I got to ask her some questions I normally wouldn’t get to ask.

Suz: So, oh my gosh, I have to take a minute and just gush about the fact that I LOVE my Love-A-Thon partner so much, because she is just a really sweet, amazing, and inspiring person that I’ve been lucky enough to get to know. I literally – really – I think I scared people nine counties away when I squealed in delight at the email. Hahaha. What can I say about Katie, she’s just so freaking AWESOME! <3

Q: Aw, thank you girl! I’m super excited, too. My first question for you is going to be: What are the top five books you’ll always remember?

Suz: This one is easy, because even though I’ve read a ton of books there haven’t been quite as many that have touched me, as much as these books have. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t start off with Flowers In the Attic by V.C. Andrews. This book really changed the way that I read and it also reminded me of why I love to read so much, plus challenged me in so many ways as a reader. Can, I cheat a little bit and talk about series of books, because The Baby-Sitter’s Club and the Sweet Valley Twins/High books are definitely at the top of my list of books that and series that I’ll always remember. They encompassed so much of my childhood that it’s unreal and they were just feel good books that I really loved to dive into during the summer. I remember being in school and having to read books and write reports on them, none of those books touched me in ways that Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry touched me. I loved it so much, that I remember checking it out quite a few times and re-reading it. And, I can’t not mention The Harry Potter series, because once again this is another series that reminded me just exactly how much I really love to read and why I love delving into other worlds and going on adventures with such wonderfully memorable characters.

Q: How long have you been blogging, and what is your favorite memory?

Suz: I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and I love it so much, because I’ve been able to get to know people who enjoy reading a lot of the same or similar books that I do, and getting to work with publicists and different authors that I admire. It’s just been a really fantastic experience, plus I’ve grown closer to some of my friends. I would have to say that my favorite memory is that first year of blogging, because it truly helped to mend a friendship that I meant a lot to me. Somehow, over the course of the year, blogging and books just sort of brought the two of us a little closer and we both realized that we could “be better” and it made all the difference.

Q: What inspired you to start blogging?

Suz: I started blogging about books, because I wanted a place where I would be able to talk about what I was reading, keep tracking of what I was reading, and share my thoughts on various bookish things with a community of people who generally felt the same way. It was sort of a coping mechanism at first, a way to escape the stress that was eating away at me on a daily basis, but then it became so much more than that and I couldn’t be more proud or happier that I started this blog.

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The Whirlwind Life of Katie #1!

February 8, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 0 Comments

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

How did January go by so fast?! How is it almost the middle of February?!

January was an interesting month for me, to say the least. There were ups and downs, a big reading slump just after the start of the new year, big choices to make and a whole bunch of other stuff to get through. The month went by too fast and I still find myself sometimes thinking it’s still January. OOPS.

SCHOOL: I was supposed to start pre-algebra at the end of January because I had to retake the class. I snagged the only class available to me – a 7am class that was four days a week. I hated getting up that early, but if I have to retake it… I have to take whatever class I can get. I went into it with high hopes for the semester and knowing I’d work hard to pass this time around.


I knew within the first ten minutes of class for the day that I was in some deep shit.

It turns out that my professor for the semester was pretty much refusing to teach in class (and it was a lecture format course!) and straight up told us the following:

1. He’d assign  homework but he’d never collect it, OR correct our errors.

2. All grades were only based on exams, so for someone like me with horrible text anxiety? NOPE.

3. Our ‘study guides’ were copying word for word the vocabulary out of the chapter section with no actual math problems to review.

Needless to say, I dropped two days later and it was the best choice I could have ever made for myself. I was feeling burnt out on class anyway and needed a break, but I was also not going to allow myself to stay in a class where I wasn’t being taught the material and would fail. I was hesitant because I need to take the course, but I did what was best for me.

I took my book back, got my $70 refunded and dropped the course.

WORK: It’s been good – hectic, but good. I had to miss two days at the beginning of January because I was really sick, but I am back to work and haven’t had to take any time off. I think I have the next two Monday’s in a row off, which is really nice. I’ve done two late nights this week and they’ve worn me out.

Best part? I got a raise at the end of January! I’m STILL so excited!

WHAT I READ: The only two books I read in January were THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green and ME SINCE YOU by Laura Wiess. Both books were amazing, yet emotionally draining and devastating. Both were well written and realistic and made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut multiple times. Still, I loved both books.

I wanted to read more but then I got hit with a reading slump.

The end of the month came in with INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi, which I finished earlier this week and absolutely adored. I’ll leave that one for my next monthly wrap up post.

OTHER (RANDOM STUFF): I got to hang out with friends a bit in January which included – going to dinner a couple times, planning my girlfriends perfect Valentine’s Day present, the niece is officially walking now and the best part? My ugly, uncomfortable and stupid cast came off! One of my favorite adventures of the month was exploring Folsom Lake (dry, dry, dry due to drought here in California).

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

Over all, it was a decent month of abnormally dry and warm weather here and I’m currently bundled up inside with hot tea while we face our first “big” winter storm. I’m going to curl up in bed with some breakfast, a good book and hot tea.

How was January for YOU? Anything fun and/or exciting happen? What did you read? I’m hoping your year is off to a good start and I’m looking forward to catching up with you!