Let’s Get Personal : “How Do You Have Time?”

One of the things I used to love about book blogging was the sense of camaraderie between bloggers. We loved on each other, we sang praises, we built each other up. Not that I don’t see that now, but seeing as how I’m a bit removed, it’s something I missed. When I came back to blogging, I considered doing a couple Danie Reads Books-specific features. I debated about Let’s Get Personal for a bit, because I am careful to put too much out there. Between my job, and my son, I’m hesitant to put too much of myself out online. But, then I realized….that sense of friendship was BECAUSE we put ourselves out there. So, I’m starting Let’s Get Personal. Graphic to come, after I find someone who can actually make them, ha.

 

One of the things I’ve had a couple people ask me, is “how do you have time to read and blog?” Well, that’s easy. I make time. BOOM DONE.

 

No? Okay. Here we go then.

 

For those of you who don’t know….I’m a single mama. I have a 1.5 year old son, Noah, who will be two in October. I have him full-time. This means from sun up to sun down, he’s with me (or in daycare). The exception being the 7-8 hours a week (or every other week, or every three weeks, or once a month…but that’s another story) that his father takes him on Sundays. He’s a pretty rad kid, with an awesome sense of humor, a huge sense of curiosity, and a love of books and music like his Mommy.

 

I also work 50-ish hours a week as a preschool teacher. I teach 15 two and a half year olds. It’s exhausting, it’s draining, it’s SO MUCH FUN. But it does involve a lot of work, both in my actual classroom, and with stuff I take home. Not to mention trainings, staff meetings, and conferences.

On top of THAT, I go to school. Full-time. I’m (slowly) working on my bachelors in Early Childhood Administration. This usually amounts to 15-ish hours a week of homework, studying, writing, etc.

And then the blog.

So, how do I manage? Easy. I plan every day of my life out. I’ve tried many, many planners before. They always got pushed to the side, and forgotten about. So now I have a stupidly expensive planner, I decorate it with stickers, and I spend more money on it than I should. Why is this a good thing? Because I’m not spending freaking $70 on a planner that I’m not going to use.

This is my decorated planner, before it’s written in. Some things I write are private (specific to kids in my class, or related to my son’s father, etc), so I won’t post that here. But yeah.

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So, this is an Erin Condren LifePlanner. In the top row, I write specific date-related things. If I have a class that night, if Noah has a doctor appointment, etc. Middle row is my to-do list for that day. And on nights that I have class, it’s my list of homework for the next week. Bottom row is anything else. “Talk to XYZ’s parents about _____,” “get gas,” “phone bill due.” That type of stuff.

My typical  VERY BRIEF weekly schedule looks like this :

SUNDAY : Noah-free from 9AM-5PM. I mainly work on homework this day, because I’m able to focus and power through without stopping. If I have Noah, then I’m usually cramming as much homework as I can into his nap time.

MONDAY-FRIDAY : Wake up at 4:45AM. Leave for work at 6AM. Usually get home around 6PM. Sometimes earlier, if I’m lucky. Noah duty until 8 when it’s his bedtime. Class from 8-9 on Mondays, from 7-8 on Wednesdays. Clean, laundry, dishes, etc after classes, or after Noah goes to bed. I try to be in bed by 10, and read until about 10:30.

SATURDAY : Blog stuff, or taking Noah places.

 

A lot of my reading gets done on my hour lunch breaks at work, or when I’m in bed for the night. Not having a lot of time is hard, but we make it work. I like staying busy, it keeps me from ever being bored.

 

Do you have a lot of things going on besides your blog? What do you do to manage it all?What do you think about the Let’s Get Personal feature? What type of things would you like to hear me talk about with it? It can be anything at all, as long as it’s about getting to know each other. Let me know in the comments!

 

The Sunday Post [5] & Stacking the Shelves [1]

sundaypost
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

stackingtheshelves

I also decided to try linking to Stacking the Shelves, which is weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality.

LIFE : Man, where have I been? It’s been a super busy couple of weeks. I’ve had some school stuff going on, some work stuff going on, some life stuff going on. All at once. I went to a signing for Victoria Schwab, Madeline Roux, and Joelle Charbonneau. I also went and brought two tubs of books to my local used bookstore for store credit. I ended up getting $80, so I went on a bit of a shopping spree. Other than that, it’s been a pretty uneventful two weeks, just really busy.

BLOG : I’ve been sucking at blogging. Too much going on. I’m hoping to have a Top Ten Tuesday this week, a Can’t Wait Wednesday, and one or two reviews this week. I’ve read a few books the past couple weeks.

BOOKS I BOUGHT BUT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE : Y’allllll. I bought so many books the past few weeks. To be fair, a lot of them were from the store credit I got at the used bookstore. BUT STILL. I need to stop. For real. I think I’m just going to take a picture of everything I bought. It’s probably easier that way. Sorry in advance, I am awful at taking book photos. Definitely not a bookstagrammer (although I do love to follow them)! Links below lead to Goodreads.

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Whoa, that’s a lot of freaking books. Twenty-one. I am definitely on a book buying ban for a bit.

So that’s it for me this week! Have you read any of the books I just bought? I’m currently reading The Unexpected Everything, then I’ll probably read Empire of Storms. And then who knows. What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

The Sunday Post [4]

sundaypost
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

LIFE : So, this week ended up being slightly less crazy than what I wrote about last Sunday. My sister didn’t move back to TN, which was a bummer. But I know she made the right choice for herself and my nephew, to stay in Providence. My brother came home from college for a week, so that was fun! It was really great to just hang out and have some sibling time. Wednesday night, my next round of classes started. So I spent some time adjusting to having class again. Thursday night I went to a book signing with Brigid Kemmerer, Emery Lord, Tara Altebrando and Sarah Tolcser. It was super fun, and everyone was so great about me having to bring Noah. Thankfully, he was the best behaved toddler in the world and just played with his Hotwheels cars and ate Goldfish while we sat in the back and listened. Parnassus Books has a dog that wanders around the bookstore, and Noah was LOVING it. When we met the authors and got my books signed, he got some stickers from Emery Lord and he was SO excited. He pointed to them for the rest of the night until he fell asleep. When I tried to take them off his shirt before bed, he got VERY VERY angry at me.

Friday I went to an opening for an art store that my mom sells some of her paintings in. There was live music, wine, and lots of really great artists. It was a a fun night, and I was so proud of my mom for the work she’s doing.

 

BLOG : This week was a pretty short on the blog front, since I had so much stuff going on. I’m hoping for a better week this coming week. I’ve been debating a post on my planner and time management, and how I juggle full time work, school, single mom life, and part time blogging. A few people have commented asking questions, or tweeted at me. Let me know if there would be any interest in a post like that, maybe I’ll put it together this week!

REVIEW : Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell

Top Ten Tuesday : 10 Most Recent Books I’ve Added To My TBR

Can’t Wait Wednesday [2]

This week I will have a review of the behemoth that is Heir of Fire, possibly one on Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and maybe a post on time management and/or my unofficial summer of series. Who knows? Not me! Ha.

 

BOOKS I GOT BUT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE : 

 

I did good this week! No books for me!

 

 

 

How was your week? Would you have any interest in the time management post? What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments below!

Can’t Wait Wednesday [2]

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It’s a weekly meme to spotlight new releases.

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A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realized he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.
When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California’s most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he’s no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he’s initially too traumatized to speak, but he’s alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he’ll recover his memories; all that matters now is they’re together again.It’s perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.

He isn’t Daniel Tate.

He’s a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he’s not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.

 

Here Lies Daniel Tate, by Cristin Terrill, is being released on June 6th, 2017. So technically, it will be published the day this post goes live. BUT because I’m writing this a few days early, I’m still waiting for it. Boom, totally counts.

I am really intrigued by unsolved mysteries. There are actually a couple cases similar to this, with a boy who has gone missing and then returns, only it isn’t the actual boy. Two of the most famous ones are Bobby Dunbar, and Walter Collins. A movie was actually made about Walter Collins’ mother, called The Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie. It was an interesting movie, and if you are an unsolved mystery junky like myself, I definitely recommend watching it.

What book are you waiting to be released?

Top Ten Tuesday : 10 Most Recent Books I’ve Added To My TBR

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is “10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List.” I think I’m going to spin it a little though and just do the 10 most recent books I’ve added to my TBR, without any genre. Since coming back to blogging, my TBR has EXPLODED. I’ve been adding books like crazy.

 

 

 

SO MANY GOOD BOOKS. I’m super pumped to read all of these!

 

What books have you added to your TBR lately? Anything good? Because, you know, I really need to add even more books to mine.

REVIEW : Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell

ouadTitle : Once Upon A Dream
Author : Liz Braswell
Published : April 5th, 2016
Publisher : Disney Press
Genre : Fantasy, Retelling
Series : Twisted Tales #2
Goodreads
Amazon

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple—a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

 
Okay, so I love Disney. I love retellings. I love fairy tales. I was really excited for this, despite Sleeping Beauty not being my favorite Disney movie.

Once Upon A Dream starts out as a weird flipped version of Sleeping Beauty. Aurora’s parents were evil and made a deal with the three fairies, who were also evil. Maleficent showed up at Aurora’s first birthday party, intercepted the three fairies, and overthrew her parents, throwing them in the dungeon. She then surrounded the entire castle with vines and thorns, “protecting” everyone inside from the Outside, which was supposedly a desolate landscape.

Aurora continues on with her life in the castle, raised by Maleficent, interacting with all the other people who are also trapped in the castle. They have magnificent themed balls every month, Aurora has a tutor to help her with her schoolwork, they have delicious meals. Until Aurora starts putting two-and-two together and starts figuring out the truth of her world.

I really wanted to like this book. And on some level, I did. It was fast paced, I read it over the course of two days I think. There was a lot of action, sword fights, monster creatures, etc.

But overall, I was kind of let down by this one. Aurora seemed very bland to me. I’m not sure what it was. She just kind of accepted everything that was told to her by Prince Phillip. And, I’m sorry. If a random dude I stumbled onto out of the blue in the middle of the woods told me my whole entire life was a lie, I would most definitely not be trusting that man. Obviously, he ended up being right, but still.

Another thing that really bothered me was how convenient everything seemed to be. Aurora bumped into a stranger who happened to be Prince Phillip, who was her one true love. They, in turn, bumped into the only man who knew anything about the Outside, because he had been banished. That man turned out to be Prince Phillip’s father. There were just a lot of little things like that, that kind of bugged me.

I ended up somewhat enjoying this one, so I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series, but the next one is a Beauty and the Beast retelling which is one of my favorites. So who knows.

Have you read this series before? What are some of your other favorite retellings? Let me know in the comments!

The Sunday Post [3]

sundaypost
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

LIFE : Well, this week was eventful. Our internet was having some issues, so everything I had planned to write up and schedule for this week didn’t get posted. Whoops! That’s my life though, unpredictable. We’ve had a lot of transitioning this week with my class, with our group of kids moving up to the next class, and me and my assistant teacher getting almost a whole new class. So that’s been fun, but stressful. We also found out that my little sister, and my nephew (who is three weeks younger than Noah) are moving back to TN from Providence. They get here next weekend. I’m really excited! They moved away about a year ago, and I’ve missed them a lot. Plus it will be good to have Noah and my nephew together again. I’m kind of scared the trouble that they’ll get into, we will definitely have our hands full with them! My brother is coming home for a few days this week since he’s on summer break from college. Oh, AND my next round of classes start on Tuesday. Man, this is going to be a hectic week! Thank goodness I’m a planner!

BLOG : Like I said, this week we were without internet. The horror! I did manage to get out two posts before we lost our service. I reviewed The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins. I also did a Top Ten Tuesday , where I listed my most anticipated books for the rest of 2017. Next week, I’m not sure what I’ll be posting exactly. I have a lot of stuff going on, so I’m going to try and get as much done as possible tomorrow while Noah is visiting his father for a few hours. We’ll see!

BOOKS I BOUGHT BUT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE : 

I’ve decided this summer I’m going to do an unofficial ‘Summer of Series’ theme. I have lots of series I need to catch up on, lots that I want to read. These are four series that I really want to start so that I can see what the hype is! I’ve actually read City of Bones before, wayyyy back when it first came out, TEN YEARS ago. Whoa. I wasn’t crazy about it then, but I decided to give it another try. We’ll see what I think this go-around!

 

 

And I’m done for the week! What’s going on with you? Have you read any of the books I bought this week? Any other series you recommend? I’m currently working my way through the Throne of Glass series (I’m on Heir of Fire now), what series do you think I should start after this?