2017 Reading Challenges

I know that we are 2 weeks into the new year already, but because I read so much last year I thought it would be fun to join some reading challenges for 2017. I’ve spent the last couple of days searching all different book blogs and picking out some of my favorite challenges that I think I can do well in.

Flights of Fantasy Challenge

Runs: January-December

Challenge: Read as many fantasy books as possible in 2017. There is also a FOF book club book picked quarterly

Goal: My personal goal that I’ve set is 20 books, I’m pretty sure I can meet that and even exceed it but I don’t want to get too carried away.

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New Release Challenge

Runs: January-December

Challenge: Read and review 2017 new releases

Goal: There are different levels to this challenge and I’m thinking I’ll probably be level one since I get most of my books from the library.

  1. 1-30 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 31-60 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 61-100 books per year – New Release Veteran
  4. 101-200 books per year – New Release Enthusiast
  5. 200+ books per year – New Release Obsessed
2017 Library Love Challenge

Library Love Challenge

Runs: January-December

Challenge: Read books borrowed from your library instead of buying them

Goal: I’m hoping to reach at least 36 books read that were from the library, while I get most of my books from the library to save money I have a feeling this year I may be buying more as well to compete in these other challenges.

  • Dewey Decimal: read 12 books
  • Thrifty Reader: read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: read 36 books
  • Library Card on Fire: read 50+ books

 

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January Goals

I realize that we are now 10 days into the month, but I saw Kristin from SuperSpaceChick post her small monthly goals and thought it was a great idea and something I wanted to do as well. I’m always writing things down in my planner, but I figured if I write them here on the blog and have to do a followup post I would be more accountable.

  1. We move the second weekend of February so I’m really trying to focus on de-cluttering while packing. There is actually a new Plato’s Closet opening up near my work and I really want to bring my shoes and jewelry that I won’t wear anymore there so I can get some cash for it.
  2. Look presentable for work. Most mornings I am way too lazy to take the hour to blowdry and straighten my hair so I just throw it up in a bun and call it a day. I used to straighten my hair every single day, but for some reason I’ve just gotten lazy and I want to get better about that.
  3. Prepare lunches for work. I am constantly planning on making something and then decided I’m too tired and I’ll just grab something from the grocery store near my work. This adds up pretty quickly and doesn’t always equal the healthiest meals. I used to meal prep every single meal back when I was doing crossfit so I know it can be done, it’s just a matter of me not being lazy.

I would love to hear what some of your monthly goals are or if you’re sticking to a new years resolution.

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2017 Most Anticipated New Releases

Last year I posted about books that were being turned into movies that I was excited about, but this year I’m much more excited to just to get new books to read. During my research I didn’t see a whole lot of books that were being turned into movies for 2017 so I figured this would be a better list. Plus this year I ended reading an all-time high of 70 books! I hope to keep the streak going in 2017 with these new releases.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake coming out January 10, 2017 is the debut novel for Blake and I actually received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley. I could not put this book down and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great YA to kick off your reading in 2017. This book hasn’t even come out yet and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series.

 

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas coming out May 2, 2017 is the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I just finished the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury, and was blown away at how good this series is. Sarah J. Maas is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors as I’m also catching up on her Throne of Glass series.

 

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han coming out May 2, 2017 is the third book in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. The first book in the series was our book club choice for April of this past year and typically I don’t love these kind of books, but this series is adorable and I’m so happy that Han decided to write a third book for it.

 

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth coming out January 17, 2017 is a new sci-fi book that sounds like everything I loved from Roth in the Divergent series. While I have heard some not so good things about this book on BookTube, I’m willing to give this book a chance solely based on the fact that I loved the Divergent series.

 

30226723Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard coming out February 7, 2017 is the third book in the Red Queen series which I absolutely loved. I actually broke my own rule with this series and bought the kindle books instead of waiting for them to become available at the library so I know I will more than likely have this book day one.

 

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller coming out February 28, 2017. This is the debut novel from Tricia Levenseller and I am really intrigued by the description of this book. When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

 

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer coming out April 11, 2017 is the first book in a duology darker retelling of Sleeping Beauty with two heroines. I absolutely love retellings and this one sounds so interesting. Aurora has a half-sister, Isabelle, who is trying to find Aurora’s prince to wake her from her sleep and save the two kingdoms.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh coming out May 16, 2017 sounds somewhat like a Mulan retelling and has me very interested.

 

 

 

The End of Oz by Danielle Paige coming out March 14, 2017 is the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series which I devoured at the beginning of last year. The concept of this series is that Dorothy has gone mad with power and has destroyed Oz and our main character Amy must take her down. Can you tell I really like retellings?

I’m sure there are more books coming out in 2017 that will have me excited, but for now these are the top ones on my list. Since I had such a successful reading year in 2016 I’m hoping I can get to reading all the new releases on my list in 2017.

Christmas DIY * Snowflake Pillows

I cannot believe that next weekend is Christmas! This month has flown by and compared to last year I’ve basically done nothing. I had a lot more crafts planned, but time slipped away from me. I am happy that I at least got to do this craft and the best part about it was how cheap it turned out to be. I am always obssessed with everyones beautiful Christmas pillows, but I’m so cheap and refuse to spend a ton of money on them so I currently have none. Instead I ordered these blue pillows from K-mart for under $5 each and then I already had a ton of jewels so I just had to go out and buy fabric glue. The best part of this DIY is that snowflakes are always so different that you can design yours however you want. I made mine very simple, but you can make yours however you want. Also as a side note these have been on my couch for about a week and my dogs have constantly pawed at them and no jewels have fallen off! Make sure you grab the fabric glue specifically for jewels and you’ll be good to go.

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I hope everyone has a great Christmas as I don’t think I’ll be posting again before then.

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December Disney Dare

I meant to post this way sooner then today but honestly completely forgot until today. So there are still 20 days in this month to participate and I’m going to try my hardest to watch as many as I can! I’ll be honest there are some Disney movies that I’ve never seen for one reason or another and I’m hoping with this challenge that I can cross a few of those off my list. I’m lucky to have a husband that tolerates the never ending Disney moviethon. I’m currently watching Beauty and the Beast so what better time than now to post.

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The Dates: Runs from December 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016

The Dare: To watch as many Disney / Pixar animated films as possible!

The Details: This is a low-key challenge for all the Disney lovers out there so you can feel free to set your own goal or aim for one of our tiers:

1 – 4 films – Moana (Newbie Disney Fan)

5 – 8 films – Aurora (Rather be Sleeping Disney Fan)

9 – 12 films – Stitch (Crazy for Disney Fan)

13 – 16 – Ariel (Disney Film Hoarding Fan)

17 – 20 films – Rapunzel (Diligent Disney Fan)

21+ films – Snow White (Ultimate Disney Fan)

The Deal: Films that qualify for this challenge encompass all of the animated Disney and Pixar films.  Live action films and Marvel films do not count for this challenge.

Look out for my recap post on January 1st to see how many I’ve watched, I’ll be honest I’m hoping to at least get to Stitch! You can also join in on the fun on twitter and instagram by using #disneydare.

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Winter Candle Dupes

Apparently I only like to blog during the holidays! Sorry for the long absence, but I do have some holiday themed posts coming your way this month and who knows what will happen after that. Today I wanted to kick off the month of December with everyone’s favorite…candles! As much as I love candles I have been extremely hesitant to spend the money on Bath and Body Works this year and have been looking for cheaper alternatives that are just as good. Just like last years fall favorites, Walmart has once again stolen the show. Their 3 wick candles are by far the best of the “cheap” candles you can find. Their candles are only $4.95, you cannot beat that price!

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Spreading Holiday Cheer smells like all the sweet candy in the world. I am absolutely obsessed with this one and have been burning it none stop. I may even go back and get a couple more to stock up. The scents used in this candle are citrus, berry and ginger.

Ice Skating in the Park reminds me so much of a scent from B&BW a couple years ago and this is a good one to pick up because it’s not just holiday themed and you can burn it well after the holidays have ended. This one actually reminds me of the smell when walking into a country Christmas store that I’ve visited with my mom. The scents used in this candle are spearmint, peppermint and evergreen.

Winter Sleigh Ride is another one that isn’t technically holiday themed, but all I can think of is Christmas songs when I say the name of this one. I feel like this one smells like a Christmas tree, but not as strong as most tree candles are. The scents used in this one are woods, balsam and pine.

There were a ton more to choose from, but I tried to control myself. I would say run to your nearest Walmart and pick up some cheap candles! I found mine in the holiday section instead of with the candles.

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Workout Wants

I know January is the month for fitness and resolutions BUT so many people do that and then after a couple weeks fall off and I didn’t want to be another cliche. Instead I waited until this month and finally decided it was time to get back to a healthy lifestyle. As you guys know I once was fully dedicated to crossfit and eating fairly clean, but when I moved I never found a new gym (or could justify spending the money) so fitness went on the back burner. I’m so excited to start classes at OrangeTheory Fitness, a new studio is set to open by my work and I signed up a couple weeks ago and even went all in and joined the nutrition challenge. I can’t wait for it to start and of course for extra motivation I need new workout gear! Here are some of the things I’m currently coveting.

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The entire bottom row is from Forever 21 which I am absolutely in love with for relatively cheap but decent quality workout clothes. The 2 sports bras are from Victoria’s Secret, I usually prefer their bras because as a bigger chested girl I need all the support I can get. And of course I need a new pair of shoes! I couldn’t find the exact Nike flyknits that I just ordered, but the older flyknits are on clearance right now and you can score a great deal on them if you are on the fence about spending so much money on them. I will fully admit that these will be my first pair of Nike’s because I refused to spend that much money. I was actually gifted the pair I wanted for Valentine’s Day to help me get motivated for the upcoming challenge.