Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY | TBR JAR

diyHello everyone, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t know what to read next. Most of the time I pick my next read based off of what catches my eye, but sometimes that does not work. So I decided to make a TBR jar. Now of course I went to youtube to get some inspiration. I ended up getting inspiration from J. Bookish , although I did tweak it a bit because I did not want to wait overnight for it to dry. Now on to the DIY project!

Step One: Get the Supplies

 photo IMG_9761_zpsxld37w9d.jpgYou need a jar, Mod Podge, gel food coloring, a few paper plates, a paint brush, and any decorations you may want. I picked up wooden letters and a few small paper flowers. Depending on the decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun or super glue.

Step Two: Add Some Color


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For this step you are going to take your jar and add some Mod Podge, I recommend adding more than you think you will need. Then add a little bit of the gel food coloring. For the coloring I suggest starting off with a little and mixing it, then you can add more if you would like the color to be darker. Stir, stir, stir until everything is evenly mixed. This is important because it will show later on if it is not mixed correctly. P.S. don’t stir to quickly you will get air bubbles.

Step 3: Turn That Jar!

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Now that your color is mixed you need to slowly rotate while slowly turning it side ways. This will evenly distruble the mixture inside the jar. If done to quickly you may have uneven coverage and air bubble.

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Once your entire jar is covered continue to rotate it and pour the extra color mixture onto a plate. Get as much of this out as you can because it will speed up your drying time.

Step Four: Let it Dry

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When as much of the liquid is out you place it upside down on a plate. Now at this point you have two options:

  • You can leave it like this and let it dry over night and continue tomorrow
  • Set oven to warm or 175 degrees F. Place the jar upside down for 10 min. on top of wax paper or foil. When those 10 min. are up it is now time to flip your jar over so the opening is facing up and keep in oven for another 20-30 min. If you take it out of the oven and there is still streaking you may need to leave it in for a bit longer.

While it is air drying or you are baking it in the oven now is a great time to either print and cut out the books on your TBR or hand write them. Even though I did not add reading challenges I think that could also be a fun idea.

Step 5: The Fun Part, It’s Time to Decorate!

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Here are a few of the decorations I picked up, you can get whatever it is you like. I did not end up using everything.

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Sorry you cannot really see the color of my jar in this picture. I had to place it on an oven mitt to protect my floor. Yes, I was to lazy to wait over night, I wanted to decorate! Anyway, I suggest planning out what you are going to place on your jar. As you can see in the top left I picked out my letters and flowers and laid them out. Now depending on what decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun, use some more of the glue we used earlier, or you have picked something that already has adhesive on it.

Step Six: Put in Your TBR Titles

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Here is my final TBR jar. I really love how the color came out. It is light enough you can see all the papers inside, but dark enough that it colorful. I hope you enjoyed this little bookish DIY. I love this DIY because it is so customizable and does not require a lot of supplies. It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.


Do you have a TBR jar?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstore Travels

A few weeks ago I drove a few hours to Princeton University and walk around the historic campus and downtown. To my amazement when we were walking around the downtown I found a cute little bookstore that I HAD to go into. Let’s just say I spent an hour in here easily.

The Bookstore: Labyrinth Books 

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What cause my eye first about this bookstore was the fact that they had 6 or 7 tables out front piled high with books. Not only were there so many outside they were ALL on sale! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when books are on sale. It means I can buy more and not feel as guilty about spending money on them.

When I finally combed through all of the sale books I headed inside dragging my friend along. The inside was bright and beautiful. There were books on two floors. There were displays by subjects, new releases, ancient texts, and classics. What I liked the most was the wide range of non-fiction that I don’t normally find in my local bookstores. So jealous of people who live a reasonable distance away from this place. Here are a few pictures I was able to take inside the shop.


After spending about an hour in this store I ended up leaving with three gorgeous books. Still so sad I have to travel hours to get to this place!

The Haul:

 


I think I want to plan some more day trips to far off bookstores. On a side note, this campus is just as beautiful as the bookshop!

What is your favorite bookstore you love to visit?

 

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Hauls

Birthday Book Haul!

Book Haul

Some of you may have know, but my birthday was a few days ago and I was lucky enough to get a few books for my birthday this year. Normally my family and friends just pick out gift cards from Barns and Noble or Amazon so I can pick some stuff for myself, which is great. But, it is very nice when someone picks a book or books out just for you. Here are the books friends and family got me this year.

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The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

The first book my Mom picked up for me is The Invention of Nature because she knows I enjoy science, nature, and non-fiction. Even though in my picture you can only see the spine, click the title to look at the actual cover. It is absolutely beautiful. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, I read the description (below) and it sounds really interesting. I cannot wait to eventually pick it up and read it.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.

– via goodreads


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

This is the second of three books my Mom picked up for me. I have been really into suspense/thriller reads as of late. Once again I read the description and was very happy with this pick. There is a great mixture of mystery and history. I am very excited to see what unfolds in this book.

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace.

– via goodreads


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is the last book my Mom picked out for me. I read The Goldfinch and generally liked it overall, but found faults with it. You can read a little bit more of my review in my post  #TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up. Anyway, my mom picked this up because I have mentioned I have wanted to try another book by her. This one is much shorter so I am more confident this book will not have the same large flaws, fingers crossed!

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

– via goodreads


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One of my best friends picked this up for me because I LOVED The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I was so happy when I finally got it open. My friend loves to wrap presents in a way that makes it very difficult to open so she can watch people struggle. She put it in a box, surrounded it by two bags, and then wrapped it completely in duct tape. I was not allowed to use scissors. Anyway, I was so excited to get it open AND it to be this book.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

– via goodreads


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

My wonderful boyfriend bought me a personalized autograph copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I am so grateful and excited! I am so worried to actually read this because I don’t want to ruin it. I may put in a call to the library and carry that one around instead.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court.

– via goodreads


I am so happy with the book I received for my birthday and I wanted to once again thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday. It meant so much to me. Have a great day and happy reading!

What book would you pick to read out of the ones mentioned?

 

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Reviews

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

4

Holding Up the Universe is the second book I have read by Jennifer Niven. I read All The Bright places with my Penpal Raven so we could discuss it and let me tell you, that book wrecked me. I was left crying and wanted more. Due to the fact I was so affected by this book I set out to read another book by Jennifer Niven.

*Any information mentioned about the characters or plot are mentioned in the blurb.

28686840Holding Up the Universe is a duel point of view book that follows Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby is a strong character, she is fierce, strong, and yet vulnerable which makes her come across as real. Prior to the start of the book she has been through a lot, even has been given the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”.  Jack comes across as someone who just fits in with no problem. He has friends, a girlfriend, and seems to not have a problem in the world. But, that is not the true. He hide a secret from everyone, even his family. He cannot recognize anyone, even when he sees himself.

As you read the book you explore what Jack and Libby are currently going through, but you also learn a lot about their past. You explore the whys of Libby getting the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”. You also  explore Jack’s relationship with prosopagnosia. I have to say the one thing I enjoyed most about this book is that is explores relationships. Not just romantic relationships, which there are, but also friendship, parent-child, and also being a good citizen. When you start the book not all of these are present, but as the characters grow you begin to see the humility and the good that comes from just being nice to one another and respectful.

Additionally, this book sheds light on a topic that is not really discussed. Prosopagnosia, which I have heard about, but I did not understand what it actually was. I am grateful that Jennifer Niven took this and decided to share it with others through her writing. Throughout the book there are definitions, statics, and resources. All of which I found helpful.

Throughout this book there are good times and bad. You see the characters grow and become stronger. My favorite part of this book is not a specific moment, but how it made me feel. Jennifer Niven has the ability to make you so invested in her characters that you cannot help but get excited when good things happen to them, get anxious when something wrong might happen, and mad when something bad happens. Let me tell you I felt all of those emotions. I recommend this book, I enjoyed it from page one all the way until the end. If you enjoy reading about high school romances, a little of adventure, self discovery, explore relationships, and the idea of knowing this book is for you. Once again Jennifer Niven has me wanting to buy another book of hers and read it right away.

5 stars!

P.S. There may or may not be a little shout out to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on page 211.

Here is a link to the Goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 2016

List Price:$17.99

ISBN:978-0-385-75592-4

Pages: 391


If you have read this book, what did you think? If not do you plan on reading it?

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Reviews

Quarterly Co. Literary Box: February 2017

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Quarterly Co. is one of my favorite book boxes that I have tried over the years. For me personally I like that it is seasonal. It gives me time to read the books, when  I used to get a few monthly boxes I would get overwhelmed and that led to my TBR getting totally out of hand. I also like the fact you can pick YA or Literature. I like YA don’t get me wrong, but it was nice to find a box that was Adult Literature. Lastly I love how the box picks an author, they write notes throughout the book and then adds in a few books they enjoyed. It’s like having a book club with the author!

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This quarter was curated by Kayla Rae Whitaker. When I opened the box there was a typed note from the author explaining her book and an explanation for the other two books she included in the box. Not only do you get to read books chosen by an author, but you learn their significance to the author as well.

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This is what I love about this box, author notes! There was sticky  notes all over the pages in the book. I always get excited when I get to a page where I see one poking out a bit.

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The books that were included in this box are the curators debut book The Animators, which I am very exited to read. I read the description a while back and it sounded like fun. If follows two women who meet at a private college and follows them to a decade later where they are “now an award winning animation duo” (It is taken right from the description, no spoilers here). It seems to be a book following great friends through their ups and down, just a much needed feel good book since I have been on a thriller binge as of late.

The second and third books in the box I have never heard about. The first of these two books is The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which is a memoir that discusses diversity and love. Now that I have looked up the description I am very happy to have it to read in the near future. The final book in the box is The Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur Ash. This book follows a well known patron of the arts in a small town. But, Annie does something that has serious repercussions on her life. Was it worth it? I’m not sure, but I will read a find out.


I hope you like my little unboxing*. You can find more information on this box by clicking the link right here. To find out more about the books mentioned simply click on the title, I linked to all of their goodreads pages.

What book or bookish subscription box do you subscribe to?

 

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*This is not an affiliate link or sponsored post. I buy this box happily with my own money.
Lists & Recommendations

Bookstagrammers I am Loving

Since last week I talked about my reflections upon my own bookstagram I decided this week to share some of my favorites in no particular order. Also, please share some of your favorites in the comments! I am always looking for new people to follow.

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstagram Reflection: January

 

I cannot believe the first month of 2017 is already behind us. It seemed like it flew right past me. Anyway, I wanted to take this time and reflect on the pictures I have taken on instagram over the past month. Man, were my tastes all over the place! I had graphic novels, horrors, classics, thrillers, and some non-fiction books. Some of my photos were full of color while others were in black and white. I think my instagram page is like my taste in books, all over the place.

Below I have added two of my favorite of the month. One is an old edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the other is The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. Now comes the reflection part of the post.


Little Women

What I liked:

There are a few things about this picture that make me enjoy it. The first is that I love this book. I first read this book when I was a little girl and have reread it numerous times throughout my life. Even though so much has changed for me I still enjoy the story and it continues to resinate with me. Second, I love the worn look of the book as well as the natural look of the wooden chair. This makes me want to add some more natural elements into my photos.

What I did not like:

One thing I did not like about this picture is the color. For me it feels like the blue of the book is fighting with the deep brown of the chair. To me the main focus is the book not the chair.


The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

What I liked:

What I love the most about this picture is the intensity of the red and blue of the book. Even though my eyes are torn between looking at both of these colors they are both on the main focus of the photograph. The contrast of the color saturated book and white simple background works well in my eyes.

What I did not like:

When I took this photo it was boring. There was minimal challenge in balancing the photo.  I don’t know, I guess I just like a little bit of a challenge. I enjoy setting up and staging photographs that are dynamic, but not overwhelming.


Thanks for reading my little self reflection. From time to time I personally think it is important for me to look at the past to make the future better.

What are some things you love seeing in bookstagram pictures?

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Uncategorized

Bookish Photo: July 28th, 2016

Uncategorized

Daily Photo: June 21st, 2016