{Month in Review/Monthly Preview} September: The month of babies, Hamilton, Sarah J. Maas, FFXV, and SO MUCH MORE!!!


  
This week is going to be AMAZING, because we get to see both Sarah J. Maas AND Hamilton!

This week is going to be INSANE. I'm going to be the walking dead, so ignore me if I sound nuts, okay? I'm completely crazy. I have the EMPIRE OF STORMS midnight launch party at my local Barnes and Noble at midnight (with events and activities for 2 hours before that), then Sarah will be signing that night at her launch party at the same store!

THEN bright and early the next morning, we're leaving to go to NYC for the day. We're seeing both Hamilton (OMG!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!)  and Waitress (Yep, it's based on the Keri Russell movie, and yes, Sarah Bareilles DID compose it!). This is going to be Mandy's first time ever seeing a Broadway musical. Can you get any better than this!?

Not to be outdone, my nephew turns one on Friday and his party is on Saturday, so it's going to be a whirlwind of a week between work, parties, and FUN! 

Sleep? Pffft, what's that!?

Mystery Week: It's time to Get a Clue!

Okay, so Mandy and I have been keeping this under lock and key, but we're planning a week-long event revolving around mystery novels, so stop back on September 11th for some more information, okay!?

(Annnnd, we should whisper that we're doing two more week-long events in October and November. Details to come, but we'll be busy making things fun for you guys because we love you!) ♥ ♥ ♥

#OTSPSecretSister

I decided to participate in OTSPSecret Sister for the first time, which is kind of like Secret Santa + Pen Pal all mixed up into one...for six months! The next round will start in 2017, and the entry process is really extensive, so I know a lot about the Sister I'm sending gifts for, and the Sister who has me knows a lot about me, too! So now I have two Sisters! 

I loved sending my gift to my Sister and can't wait to send my September package! I've already got big plans for boxes through the holidays, whoohoo!!

Here's what my Sister sent me the first month:




I loved the Alice in Wonderland theme, especially the awesome "Drink Me" mug and the pencil pouch with three compartments! (For writers, it's the little things...!) My Sister also knew that nobody got me a game I'd wanted for my birthday and gave it to me. I loved the box so much, and can't wait to get to know my Sister better!!!

NAIL POLISH!

For my birthday, my sister gave me two Essie polishes (my two and a half year old niece picked out the colors, a greenish-blue and a lilac purple). One of them was from the new Gel Couture line, where the polish is like gel, but you need a special top coat. She thought I had the top coat already so she didn't pick it up, so I bought a box set with the topper and a second color (It was cheaper to do so!). I decided to go with the blue first because it was such a strong summer color!



 Here's how they came out:



It's a really pretty blue, right!? I'm just sad that this color only comes out in bright sunlight. Indoors, it's more purple! Which, don't get me wrong, I love purple....but I WANTED BLUE!!! You know?

Here's a picture about a week, week and a half after I painted my nails:



(You can see some of the purple here because it's not a bright day and the color is much duller.)

They've grown out and stayed intact with no chipping! There's some tip wear, but I also forgot to paint my tips, which I normally do, so that was my own fault. I noticed it within a day and was too lazy to fix it. ^^;;;

This "gel-like" polish really does last a long time....I was very impressed! We had Kohl's Cash recently, so I picked up a couple more colors in the line and will definitely be trying them out again!

(And apparently blue is THE color of my soul this month, because I painted my nails Zoya "Ling" two weeks ago, then redid them in the same color...and this color makes me so happy! (You can see "Ling" in one of the ARC pictures below on my thumb!)


ARC Season Has Arrived!

You know a big book season is ahead of you when you start getting piles of review copies in the mail. Here are a few of the books I've recently received for review. (And thank goodness for Mandy!!! She gets a few to review as well, which helps lighten my load!!! ^.~ ...Especially when I'm sent books that aren't exactly in my wheelhouse--and they're finished copies--because then I REALLY feel like I'm letting the publisher down....)

I should have been better at taking pictures....but I still managed to capture a lot of these on film to share with you!


Thanks to HarperTeen and Algonquin Books!
Thanks to Penguin Teen!
(And hey, look....Zoya "Ling" polish is photobombing!!!!)

Thanks to Penguin and Simon & Schuster!
Thanks to Tor!
Thanks to Macmillan!


PHOTOS OF THE MONTH

Here are some of the photos I've taken and shared this month!


Mmm, this Bistro had the most amazing Chicken Caesar Sandwich using ciabatta bread that I've ever had!
The matching Caesar Salad was also quite delicious!!!
I am so addicted to EOS. I heard they came out with a Shimmer line on Twitter
and HAD TO HAVE IT. THAT PACKAGING!!!!!!!! *drool*
We were going to Kohl's that night because COUPONS
and I was lucky to scoop them up that same day!!!
Kohl's also had two new Twists. I love the Twists because they're so moisturizing!
There was a Food Truck Day at my local mall and there were SO MANY food trucks!
It was a blistering hot day, too, so we didn't stay long, but after eating lunch,
we made sure to leave with some delicious ice cream!!!
We live near one of the largest malls in the USA, and they recently expanded even MORE.
I was there the weekend of the unveiling of the new corridor (by chance, not design).
Here's a look at one of the seating areas for when you're walking the mall and get bored.
So fancy!!! This mall always looks so expensive to me....
When you come home to a bunch of packages...
...and one has a Magic Mouse waving to you!!!
mmmmm, sushi!!!!

mmmmm, tempura!!!!
(How you make me wish Japan!!!)

MUSIC đŸŽ¶


For my birthday, my dad gave me Waitress the Musical, which I've been listening to a lot. The music is so gorgeous, and I can't wait to see it in---ahhhh, THREE DAYS!!!!

I've also been listening to Katy Perry's "Rise" and think it was a great song to do during the Olympics!

Finally, I've been listening to Christina Grimmie's Side A each week as videos released to YouTube and mourning her tragedy all over again. ;_;

MOVIES AND TV

I haven't watched much TV this month. Ummm, but I bought The Jungle Book and The Huntsman: Winter's War, so I have a lot to watch? ^^;;;

Oooh, I did re-watch Now You See Me because the sequel releases on DVD this month and I want to rent it....

UMMMM, BUT FINAL FANTASY XV IS COMING OUT AND DO YOU REALLY EXPECT ME TO WATCH TV!? ^^;;;

That was my August. 

How was yours???

Here's a look at everything that happened this past month!
 

ONGOING GIVEAWAYS:

*THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp (9/9)
*A CLEARING IN THE FOREST by Kim Love Stump (9/25)

Check out the September Blog Tour Schedule for more upcoming giveaways!
SEPTEMBER BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
(Most blog tour stops feature giveaways as well!)

*GET A CLUE WEEK Begins September 11th at A Backwards Story!

*THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp {9/2 Celebration Spotlight}
*THE HANDS OF TIME by Michelle Madow {9/5 Cover Reveal}
*LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida CĂłrdova {9/7 Spotlight}
*A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess  {9/18 Review}
*STEALING SNOW by Danielle Paige {9/22 Guest Post}
*THE SWAN RIDERS by Erin Bow {9/23 Author Interview}
*FALL OF THRONES AND THORNS by Jennifer Ellision {9/28 Review}
*LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson {9/29 Feature Post}

 
READING NOW:
{All links to Goodreads!}

*WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook

PLANNING TO READ IN AUGUST:

*EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas {YA}
*A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess {YA}
*FALL OF THRONES AND THORNS by Jennifer Ellision {YA}
*LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson {YA}
*STEALING SNOW by Danielle Paige {YA}
*CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber {YA}
*THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins {Adult}
*MARKED by Jenny Martin {YA}
*OUTLIERS by Kimberly McCreight {YA}
*SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon {YA}
*SACRIFICE by Cindy Pon {YA}
*ABHORSEN by Garth Nix {YA}
*CLARIEL by Garth Nix {YA}
 
[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]
READ IN JULY:
{All links to Goodreads!}

TOTAL: 6 Books (I KNOW!! No free time!)

*NEMESIS by Anna Banks {YA}

*THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS by Mary Pearson {YA}
*LONG MAY SHE REIGN by Rhiannon Thomas {YA}
*A PROMISE OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet {Adult}
*BREATH OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet {Adult}
*A CLEARING IN THE FOREST by Kim Love Stump {YA}
REVIEWED IN JULY:
{All links to my review!}

*MORRIGHAN by Mary E. Pearson {YA}
*WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones {Upper YA} [Spotlight]
*PILFER ACADEMY by Lauren Magaziner {MG} 
*LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE by Anne Rockwell with illustrations by Melissa Iwai {Picture Book}
*A CLEARING IN THE FOREST by Kim Love Stump {YA} 

Sorry for another short month of blogging!

Now that summer is over, hopefully things will pick up again! ♥♥♥

(Plus, if we read more, we can review more.............)

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