2017-18 Winter Bingo

Happy New Year Everyone!! I hope you guys had a fantastic night! I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve — I feel like it’s a little over-rated, but it is what it is.

Anyway, thanks to Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews for hosting this challenge. I’ve been wanting to do a Bingo for awhile now but I could never find the card until AFTER bingo was done. This Bingo is for the months of December, January and February. Basically, Bookish Bingo is a reading challenge that spans a specific season this being the three months just mentioned. Each square has a a theme that you have to read.The biggest rule is that you can only have one square per book.

Below is the Bingo Card.

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I’m not going to tell you guys what I’m going to be reading to get to this challenge completed until the end of the challenge where hopefully I’ll have reviews up already. I’m excited that I already have some squares covered without even realizing that I was going to do this Bingo Card!

Once again, Happy 2018 — let’s start our reading off right ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!

 

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6 hrs in Key West

Since I was in Miami, I begged my friend to go to Key West for the day. It wasn’t hard, she’s up for just about anything (lucky me). Once I set foot on Key West, I knew I had to come back. I could stay a few days there, go parasailing, lay out on the beach, go snorkeling, do a sunset cruise or maybe go on a dolphin cruise. There were so many activities out on the water that I wanted to run to a boat and get on.

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But since we were only there for about 6 hours, I didn’t have time to do any of the things that I mentioned above and still have time to do some of the land things on my list. Which is reason #1 why I want to go back.

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Key West reminded me a lot of Cape Cod but with clearer and bluer water — above is me in the Gulf of Mexico, an ocean I hadn’t put my toes in before so I knew I had to do that here just to say I had!

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If you’re looking for some places to walk around and just hang out, try hitting up Mallory Square or Duval Street — while you’re at it, go to Kermit’s Key Lime Shop for some Key Lime pie. If you like Key Lime, this is the snack for you. For lunch, try stopping by Conche Republic Seafood or Waterfront Brewery which are scenically located right on the water and boat dock.

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Last but not least try Hemighway’s House — which has his “ancestor cats”, I love that the cats can go wherever they want but us humans can’t touch the bed. Don’t forget about the Southernmost point in the US! That has to be the first thing you do, don’t forget about it! Who knows when you will be able to say that you stood there again!

Overall, I can’t wait to go back to Key West and just relax for a weekend there. It’s definitely worth the 3+ hour drive (one-way) from Miami.

Heir of Fire

Author: Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass #3

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Synopsis: Picking up where Crown of Midnight left off, Calaena has been sent to do the King’s bidding again, but really, she’s looking to find ways to destroy him. This brings her in contact with a family member she doesn’t trust and a Fae warrior who she doesn’t understand. With these new encounters, she needs to decide if she will stay the person she is or become the person she is meant to be. Meanwhile, Chaol and Dorian are dealing with their own inner struggles back at the castle and determining who they are as young men in a world so different from what they believed it really was. This story brings new characters into the story line at the castle as well as away from it.

Review: Hmmm, I don’t know you guys, it seems a lot of people really liked this book but I honestly found it meh.

There are three different story lines happening — the first with Manon and witches, Caelaena and Rowan and then Chaol and Dorian. A few reasons I didn’t love this story could be because I don’t like the new character Rowan, at least not yet and I find that the relationship has similar qualities of Feyre and Rhys (Sarah J Maas’ ACOTAR series) but a lot more boring (in my opinion). I really did not like the story line of Manon and her witches either, while I understand it’s going to be important later on, I still couldn’t find anything interesting about it. The one story line I really enjoyed was Chaol and Dorian, to me, their character development in this book was just as dramatic as Calaena’s, who are they, what they believe in and the ramifications it has politically will all be developed more in the upcoming books. Also — I know a lot of people don’t but I still really like Chaol.

As always with this series, the ending really had me wanting the next book, it seems the Throne of Glass series does that to me. I’ll find the last 100 pages really interesting while the first 300 is meh. Crown of Midnight still holds the top spot in the series as my favorite so far, while this one almost had me considering not reading any further.

I’ve only found one other person who didn’t really like Heir of Fire, have you guys read this and felt the same or did you love it?

 

 

 

10 Books I’m looking forward to reading in 2018

I really liked this post (like all from The Broke and The Bookish) because I don’t normally think ahead this much about books coming out, so again, a new way to think about things :).

Not all of the books I have listed below have a cover or a title yet which is why you won’t see covers for all of them. If there is a cover, you can click on it to go to Goodreads.

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.5)Another story about Rhys and Feyre but also in the perspective of some of the other characters — I can’t wait!

War Storm (Red Queen, #4)When the third book ended, I remembered thinking: NOOO what happens next?!? I’m pretty excited to see where War Storm takes our characters especially after that bombshell ending.

Legendary (Caraval, #2)I tell you what, whoever does the cover art for the Caravel series is phenomenal. I’m excited to see where this story takes us, the first was so different.

Trouble the WaterA young woman from Britain comes to America to live where she learns that the man she is living with is an abolitionist.

The Great AloneThis story seems to be a lot about rebuilding when your life falls apart, but rebuilding in the Alaskan Frontier — I’ve enjoyed reading Kristin Hannah’s stories in the past so when I saw she had a new one coming out, I knew I needed to remember about it later on.

The Atomic City Girls

A story about the Woman who worked the Manhattan Project during WWII.

Still Me (Me Before You, #3)ย I had no idea there was a third story in the Me Before You series. Honestly, it could have ended after the story After You but regardless, I’ll be reading this — let’s see what happens next for Louisa Clark!

The Winter of The Witch — Katherine Arden: The third and final story in the Winternight (Hello The Bear and The Nightingale) series

The Cursed Sea — Lauren DeStefano: The second story in the Glass Spare series

Untitled Throne of Glass (#7) — Sarah J Maas: I know this is coming out some time in 2018 so I put it on the list even if it has no title and no date.

 

What’s on your 2018 list? If I can get away with only these 10 books I’ll be happy but I’m sure there are others out there that I’ll be interested in.

2017 Round Up of Adventures

Happy Holidays everyone! I felt like doing An Adventure Roundup Post before I take a 3 day hiatus from blogging.

I’m using that time to be with friends and family during the holiday season but I will be back soon!

2017 might have been one of our best yet! I don’t normally like odd years but this one was pretty great. A first full year back in New York but we/I travelled so much it didn’t even feel like we were there the whole time.

Before I get into the adventures, I just want to talk about some random ones which were all the weddings we had. 5 in total! Not only were they fun but I got to see states (Hi Indiana and Illinois) that I hadn’t seen before!

Below is a highlight of 2017 adventures (don’t worry, a book roundup is coming) and some of my favorite pictures to go along with each.

Outside of New York Adventures

Well there were a ton of these! Here’s the big reveal for this year, I am afraid of flying but traveled to 4 locations that required it. I think I’m finally over my fear!

Those 4 locations were: 2 trips to Florida (Miami/Key West and Orlando/St. Pete) and twice to Chicago.

Chicago was such an awesome city too, it might be my favorite City that I’ve visited. At the same time Miami was a little bit of paradise.

Let’s not forget my two other trips that didn’t require travel. One is the usual trip, to Cape Cod. The little quaint area has more to do than you might think. But I have to admit, my trip to Maine might have passed the Cape. I hadn’t been to Maine in years so it was nice to go someplace different in the middle of June and really see what the area has to offer without a lot of people.

The New York Adventures

Man, that was a lot of adventures outside of my home state, but let’s not forget about all the cool things there are to do in New York!

My favorite trip of the year was probably Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake. Mainly because it was the first time in awhile that my boyfriend and I were able to just travel somewhere by ourselves. It’s also the most affordable weekend away that you can probably do which is also nice.

We also did a lot of local things, like our hikes (including some 46ers!), musicals, walking around gardens, museums, and even some chowder. All in All I would say it was a good time.

As mentioned before this year was pretty great but I am so excited for next year……….

We have officially booked our tickets to London and Cornwall England. It’s always been a dream of mine to go so I am anxiously waiting and I cannot wait to tell you all about it (any tips are appreciated).

Don’t worry, I have some other trips planned but nothing definite so more to come!

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the time with your friends and family, it’s an adventure in its own right ๐Ÿ˜Š

6 Days in Miami

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I had a post about an adventure!ย  I took November off so I could keep my wallet from hating me before I went to Florida. I’m so excited to finally tell you guys all about my trip to Miami. I had never been to Miami before so when my friend asked me to go with her I knew I had to say yes!

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The Weather:

In December, the weather isn’t as warm as you would think for Miami. People were definitely walking around in pants, scarves and jackets but for someone from the Northeast, it was the perfect weather. High 60s to high 70s all week, I could definitely get used to that.

Where to Stay:

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I loved Ocean Drive in South Beach. It was such a classic little street with a 1950s-70s feel. There were a bunch of different hotels to choose from too, I’m sure (especially in December) you could get a pretty good deal. Ocean Drive also has a bunch of restaurants as well as being right across the road from the beach. I loved that it was away from Miami City so it felt like you were in your own little paradise. Also — I had no idea that South Beach was basically it’s own little island. It was great!

The Attractions:

We spent three days at South Beach which was awesomeย  but we also did some other things, such as Key West and attractions around Miami City. Anyway, one of the things we did was get a Go City Miami Card which is not only affordable but also provided us with some transportation and sight seeing. One of things that the Go City card allows you to do, is get on a Hop on and Hop Off ($40) bus which was awesome because parking in Miami can be a bit expensive ($20 for 24hours). The Go City Card was $98 (thanks to Groupon) below is a list of attractions with what the price would have been without the Go City Card.

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The Attractions:

  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens ($18)– so gorgeous and old! It reminded me of Downton Abbey.
  • Miami Science Museum ($22)– this might be one of my favorite Museums EVER. It had everything you could think of.
  • Art Museum ($16) — I think you could skip this UNLESS you really like art. I don’t really like and/or understand contemporary art so this really wasn’t anything for me.
  • Botanical Gardens (Free)– Google really made me think this was going to be a lot cooler than it was.
  • Holocaust Memorial (Free)– if you take the Hop on and Hop Off bus, you can see the Memorial from it, or you can go to the Botanical Gardens which is adjacent to this Memorial. One that is very well done.
  • Lincoln Mall (Free + Parking)– feeling like shopping? Maybe on a day that isn’t really for the beach? This is one of those places to go! Also within 2 blocks from the Botanical Gardens and Holocaust Memorial.
  • Key West Day Trip($75) — that will be it’s own post coming up in a few days ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Wynwood Walls (Free + Parking)– while I’m not a huge fan of art, Wynwood Walls was amazing. I really liked the different art that was shown there. I swear, I tried that whole instagram look but failed, I’m okay with that though :).

We saved $72.50 by doing the Miami (2 day) Go City Card

Where to Eat and Transportation:

Obviously there is Uber and taxis that you can take. You could also rent a car but remember you have to pay for parking everywhere you go. We found a garage that was $20 for 24hours or $1 an hour. It wasn’t terrible but if you’re looking to be a on a budget, I’d suggest not having a car, especially if you’re on Ocean Drive AND doing the hop on and hop off. We used the car a few days out of the week but not every day.

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We also tried not to eat out for every meal. We really only ate out for dinners, partly to keep on that budget. Places I would recommend are: The Leslie and Penguin Restaurant. Both were delicious and reasonably priced. Oh and for dessert try Mammamia Gelato it was delicious!

Those are my tips for Miami. It was so much fun and so relaxing, I read, I got a tan and I just enjoyed some R & R. I can’t wait to go back! IMG_20171215_084246_857.jpg

 

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Originally I wasn’t going to do this post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The reason? I honestly didn’t think there were 10 books out there that I would hope to get before the end of the year — but silly me, I was wrong. Black Friday reminded me of the fact that there are a lot of newer books out there that I haven’t gotten recently because of my wallet.

Here’s the list:

  1. The Girl In The Tower you guys have heard me gush about The Bear and The Nightingale a hundred times already so of course this one is on the list. But I don’t need Santa to bring it because I already bought a signed copy ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2)

  1. We Were The Lucky Ones: this cover literally breaks my heart. It’s definitely one I want specifically because of the cover. According to Goodreads, the story is: a true story about a family of Polish Jews during WWII. How can you not want to read that?
  2. City of Lost Dreams: the second book in the City of Dark Magic. I love the idea of Prague and magic mixed together. It was entertaining and different.
  3. Artemis: A Novel: one of my favorites is The Martian so when I found out the author was writing another, I knew I needed it, plus it’s about space and people living there with some drama, how could you not want to read that? PS: this one won a goodreads 2017 award already and it just came outArtemis
  4. Beneath a Scarlet Sky: I’ve heard a lot of good things from fellow book readers about this one. I was told I’ll love it and it sounds really interesting so I can’t wait.
  5. A Gentleman in Moscow: I’m really excited for this one because it’s so different from anything I usually read. It dives into Russia in the 1920s and its history and for some reason it caught my attention.
  6. Tower of Dawn: While I am crazy behind on this Throne of Glass series, I’m determined to read the whole thing before the next book comes out and Chaol is one of my favorite characters in the series so far so of course I want to read a story that’s mostly based around him.ย  Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6)
  7. Beartown: like The Martian, I loved the book A Man Called Ove written by this same author — once I find a book or author I really like, I honestly can’t stop.
  8. The Orphan’s Tale: This one was easy Barnes and Noble said it’s The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants. I’ve read both, enjoyed both (actually loved The Nightingale) so I can’t resist. A traveling circus during WWII that shows strength and sacrifice.
  9. The Pillars of The Earth: I put this on the list because my boyfriend’s mom said I would like it. Mainly because of my historical fiction fandom. This takes place in the 12th century while building the “greatest Gothic Cathedral of all time”.
  10. Queen of Shadows: I added this one to the list because if I’m going to continue to read the Throne of Glass series, I’m going to need the next in the series (though Heir of Fire wasn’t my favorite).

Honestly, if I get any of these I will be so happy,ย  — have you guys read any of these? If so, what would you recommend?