Monday, February 22, 2016

How Klever(Case): My New Kindle Cover!

Sometimes, a new thing comes into your life, and all you want to do is talk about this new wonderful thing, and it consumes you with its perfection and you keep wanting to work it into new conversations, and basically, what I'm trying to say here, is that I'm fully obsessed with the new cover for my Kindle Paperwhite, which I bought from KleverCase

 Reminder: I will always disclose when I've been gifted an item - whether it's a book or otherwise - but this was 100% a purchase I made myself! If it seems like I'm a little effusive, its just because I have a lot of feelings. 

Isn't it just stunning? KleverCase has so many incredible options - and I'm pretty sure most people would know them best for their mock-book cases, like their Harry Potter and To Kill a Mockingbird options - and I very nearly got the Pride and Prejudice version, but in the end, I just couldn't say no to this stunning turquoise color. 

The gorgeous factor is also bumped up significantly by the incredible, golden embossed monogram initials, which I chose to put into both the inner and outer sections of the front cover. You're given plenty of options for personalization, too, and the cover is basically guaranteed to look lovely!

At first, upon opening the package, I had a little trepidation about the size, because it seemed like it would be a bit of a tight squeeze for my Paperwhite. In truth, it absolutely was... but that's also the point! By making sure the fit is as snug as possible, your tech is left completely protected. It also allows it to handle better than a bigger, burlier e-reader case, and still kind of preserves that feel of reading a real book.

It took a little bit longer for shipping - because it traveled here all the way from the UK - and the expense of it all is definitely not a purchasing decision to take lightly, but in the end, I think it's all totally worth it! Hope y'all look forward to seeing it on my Instagram at least once a week. ;)

What does your e-reader look like? Would you ever think of purchasing a KleverCase? Let me know, in the comments below! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Powells and Portland Haul!

What a beautiful, crisp Thursday afternoon we have upon us here in Seattle! 

We've been experiencing our regulated Seattle Spring weather aberration - the annual, unseasonably sunny and cool week in February that tricks us into thinking good weather is is on its way, before mercilessly flinging us back into the rainy gray that lasts until April - and its the kind of weather that makes me want to go adventuring. 

Or, maybe its just the holdover from this past three-day weekend, where we celebrated my second younger sister's birthday with a trip down to Portland

Seen in the OMSI giftshop: I wasn't
able to buy it then, but you can bet I'll
be picking up a copy soon! 
The excursion was filled with plenty of tourist traps and forms of entertainment... Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Blue Star Donuts (because Voodoo is passe nowadays, apparently), and, of course, the bookish behemoth and labyrinth for the linguistically-inclined, Powell's Books! 

For those not of the PNW persuasion, Powell's City of Books is a massive secondhand bookstore found in the Downtown Portland area, and it is a beauty. With most of its books sold at significantly cheaper prices, and almost always guaranteed to be in almost-new condition, Powell's is hands-down one of my favorite places to purchase, 

Thank God my 2015 Resolution is finally over, because holy cow, would I have lost my mind if I had stepped foot inside this monolith of wordiness without being able to take anything home with me. And by "anything," I mean "everything"... 


for me 

tbh, I think one of my favorite #bookstagram poses will always be the "cradled in the lap, on the way home from the bookstore" look
In case you're wondering how I prepared for this particular excursion, I've been keeping a list in the "Notes" section of my iPhone for the past two months with all of the books I was on the lookout for. Then, I printed out a copy of the store's expansive layout at home, and filled in titles into the margins of their appropriately-shelved areas! 

I made sure to plot out a route to follow, as well, entering through Couch Street, an easy walk after brunch at the Zeus Cafe, at McMenamin's Crystal Hotel (for the love of bread, please try the french toast). 

If you think all of that prep work is adorable, then you're just like the delighted cashier who found the wrinkled and abused paper map after it had gotten crushed into the bottom of my shopping bag. (If you think it borders on the obsessive, you're more like my mom). 

Anyways, it served its purpose well, because even though they didn't carry all of the titles I'd been looking for, I found quite a spectacular assortment of books, nonetheless. 

Sabriel, Garth Nix
American Gods, Neil Gaiman
One of Our Thursdays is Missing and The Woman Who Died Alot, Jasper Fforde
Why We Write About Ourselves, Meredith Maran
The Age of the Image: Redefining Literacy in a World of Screens, Stephen Apkon
Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
Dragondrums, Anne McCaffrey

Not pictured: a pretty dope pencil pouch that says "Be Bold, or Italic. Never Regular." Because even as a 22-year-old, I'm still all about those school supplies. 

for fam

Adorable hedgehog pic, just because.
We snagged a super-cute hedgehog tote bag for my younger brother - whose hedgehog, Beignet, is one of my favorite things on this planet - and picked up a copy of Stan Lee's comic memoirs, Amazing Fantastic Incredible, for my Dad, for Valentine's Day presents. 

Only later did we realize that the KtBB
cover perfectly matched one of her other
presents from me, Tarte's tarteist lip cream
in "Adorbs"!
My younger sister and all of her friends got matching Powell's tee shirts, while I took a few moments out of my own frantic book browsing to grab a few titles for belated bday presents, as well. 

Kill the Boy Band, by Goldy Moldavsky, was an impulse purchase that speaks a lot to the power of book cover marketing, and whose plot sounds a lot like some teenage girls had Niall Horan stuffed in a hotel closet, while Audrey, Wait!, by Robin Benway, has been on my buy-list for Madeline since Christmas, because it seems like the best book I could ever recommend for someone who's five months into a relationship with a lead vocalist. I was ecstatic to find both in hardcover, and reasonably good condition! 

Overall, I'm immensely happy with my Powell's purchases, and look forward to returning once again... sometime this summer sounds nice! 

Have you ever been to Powell's? What's your favorite secondhand bookstore? Let me know, in the comments below! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

My Random Bookish Valentine 9: Authors, Novels, Series, and More Things that I Love!

Well, prep for Valentine's Day is well underway for me... I've got my valentines for my 5 family members all drawn and ready for delivery, just like I do every year, and a box of 34 Good Dinosaur valentines was cheerfully distributed into the in-house mailboxes of our sorority house just this afternoon, after class.

However, there's so much in my life that I'm so in love with, that I'll never be able to give a valentine. How, exactly, does one inform their favorite tea mug, exactly how much they mean to you? So, I've gathered together a superfine, valentine list, of NINE of my favorite bookish things, that give me the honeyglows. 

Tea and Cookies

No better accompaniment to a cozy day of reading than something that warms your hands and something that warms your soul. Bonus points if the tea is Twinings - with two lumps of sugar and way too much milk, like my Cuppatea Grandma used to make - and if the cookies are homebaked. The only kind of homeyness I think could ever compare might be...

Lots of Pillows

My bed has usually stayed pretty Spartan for most of my life, but I've come to the conclusion, in college, that if your bed is as cozy as it should be, then you should never want to leave it. Two extra-plush sleepers, a sorority present, my trusty UW pillow pet, and a mattress switch-up later, and I'm well on my way to being lazy forever.

My College Bookshelf

I'm seriously kicking myself for not having a picture of them handy for you guys, because I really don't want you getting the wrong ideas of things: while I do have a full - in fact, far overly full - bookcase at home, I've also managed to snag a smaller, foldable bookshelf to stow away at college, completely packed with entirely new books, which I've purchased some time in the past month and a half. It's not much, but it's more than enough to me.

Homemade Bookmarks

Recently, I unearthed a stack of slightly-worn bookmarks my Big and GBig had made for me, in the midst of our sorority's Big-Little Reveal celebration, back during my freshman year (Mine had been Beauty and the Beast themed, for obvious reasons). Thus, bookmarks have become a part of my regular reading routine again... but only because they were made with so much love!

Funny Female Memoirs

There isn't a glance at my shelf where a handful of poppy, printed names don't jump off of their covers at me, and they're usually ones you'd find familiar, too. From the zany Amy Poehler, to the elegant and sedate Julie Andrews, reading accounts of the lives of other women - especially when graced with a dash or a dollop of comedic self-reflection - makes me feel like it's okay that I don't have it all sorted out just yet. Who knows what my story may end up looking like!

Modern Day Jane Austen

Basically to the good folks and content creators over at Pemberley Digital - the teams in charge of The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and Emma Approved - I'm in love with all of you. Let's get group-married.

Paranormal YA that Isn't Hot Monsters

Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys works the mystical and magical residue of Welsh myth and history, into a world where a happy house filled with assorted female psychics read tarot cards for small town Virginians. Libba Bray's The Diviners roar through '20s era New York City with a diverse, gender-balanced crew, that takes out grumbling ghosts, voodoo spirits, zombies, and other spooktastic specters with period-appropriate panache. These things don't go bump in the night so much as crash and bellow, and for that, we thank you.

Highlighting my Books

I'm an annotator by nature; any time a college professor or peer has an aneurysm about people dog ear-ing pages or writing in the margins instead of using bookmarks and post-it notes, I can't help but roll my eyes. They're your books, do what you want! And years from now, when you're re-reading, you can see in real time exactly what you thought was so important.

Reading Marathons

No, not reading about marathons. Basically, while wallowing in the interim of time that was alotted to pass before I went home for Winter Break, I decided to pass the time by dealing my 2015 Goodreads Challenge a decisive blow, in the form of mini reading marathons, consuming 2 or 3 books in a day. It was truly a beautiful thing.

But here's one last bookish valentine I feel like I need to thank: you! Thank you to all of the amazing friends, family, and fellow bloggers who read the scribblings I jot down here. If I could buy all of you books and chocolates for Sunday's celebrations, I would.

What people, places, things, and more, do you wish you could give a valentine? Let me know, in the comments below! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How I Use My 2016 Planner : Planner-ed Out Perfect, Part Four

You have seen everything from my experiences picking out an academic planner last year, to updating that planner purchase for 2015, to checking in at the mid-year mark! Now, since we're more than a month into 2016, I figured it's about time to see what kind of planner situation I'm working with this year...

First things first: I'm still absolutely loving my trusty Day Designers, by Whitney English!

This year, I've traded in my 2015 Aqua Shell for a 2016 Belle and Blush exclusive edition in Pink Painterly Stripes. The exterior is a little girlier than last year's, but I love how soft and feminine my 2016 edition looks... and so, in fact, did my sister! Delaney - the (ex-)Cheerleader - recently was elected to serve as current president of her sorority, here at UW, and she liked the look of my new planner so much she requested a matching one for Christmas. (I'm clearly the real trendsetter of the family!)

I still love filling my planner with colorful stickers, to punch up my daily agenda with a little color and whimsy. There are quite a few that I bought during the Spring - when I had my regularly-scheduled Finals Week distraction attack - that I used over the summer, and am still using; however, I've also beefed out my collection with the new year, stocking up on things with gold foil accents, inspirational quotes, cutesy symbols, and, of course, lots of flowers.

My personal favorite stickers are a remnant of a fascination I've held since I was in elementary school. I've always been infatuated with the historical significance and symbolism of bees... and yes, I'm very aware of how strange that sentence sounds. But think of it this way: bees are synonymous with royalty ("queen bee" ;) ), sweet things (honey), and flowers, and, of course, hard work. No matter if my planner's daily page is packed or completely blank, you can bet that there's a bee settled somewhere, reminding me of all the things I need to "bee" today. 

When it comes to organizing the contents of each page of my planner, I don't have to do a ton of work: The Day Designer is honestly one of my favorite planners because it allows you to schedule out and reflect on every single part of your day! There are so many fun features, including...

  • "Due," "Dinner," "Dollars," and "Don't Forget" spaces at the top of every page make it easy to track the little parts of your day, which might otherwise get caught up in the shuffle. 
  • The "Daily Gratitude" block down at the bottom of the page reminds you to reflect on the little things in life, (So far, this year, I've been thankful for everything from "toast" to "hair straighteners," to "working with great people" to my roommate's "triumphant return to Seattle after battling an infected bug bite wound.") 
  •  and the entire page is dominated by two columns, of your Daily Schedule and your To-Do list, ready and available to be divided up however you wish. What I typically try to do it consolidate like items on my To-Do list into individual, discrete sections, so I can have them all in one place, and give better focus to what areas of my life need more attention that day. 

There are plenty of other fun elements, too, like the Quote of the Day at the top of each page. I burst out laughing as soon as I opened mine on January first, and had to point out the quote to my mother, as it was one of my favorites. Clearly, 2016 is going to be my year!

So, that's how I'm still working my planner this year. I feel like I've covered quite a bit of ground with my planner journey to this point... y'all have seen everything, from the selection and refinement process, to the experiences of my first year, to how I love to decorate it! Maybe next time we chat about this kind of activity, we can take a glance through my extensive sticker collection... I'll make sure to jot it down somewhere. ;) 

What planner do you carry? How do you accessorize your planner? Let me know, in the comments below!