Book Blogger Hop ~ 6.30.17


The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.

Name a book that changed your life. (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)


I’ve talked about this book on my blog MANY times because it is so important to me. If you’ve been around Land of 1000 Wonders a while, you’ve probably read about my connection with this book.

That being said, I slightly feel like a broken record, but I will never stop talking about it. It wasn’t so much that the book changed my life, but the timing of when I read the book with a major life event that was so impactful for me.

I will also preface this by saying I have run across more people who trash this book or don’t want to even talk about it more than I have for any other book. This is a book I have always been very careful about pushing to others because of the topic.

I have been the unlucky one at a table full of master ELAR teachers who were hardcore hating on Alaska because of one scene in the book. Don’t we all do at least one thing we regret? Or one thing that we are proud of? One thing to help another person out? Should we knock the whole book because of one scene? If so, goodbye Beloved!


Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same.


In the spring of 2011, I was required to read John Green’s Looking for Alaska for my adolescent literature course in order to get my teacher certification. It was a wonderful class with an excellent professor and the group of students in the course were fantastic. I loved every minute of that class. I am thankful for being exposed to so many different books I would not have picked up on my own and had the experience of reading and discussing.

About six months after I read this book for my class, my oldest male cousin committed suicide. He was the only son in his family, and the second grandchild. He had two very young sons of his own. This book is so personal for me for this reason. It’s so important to me. If you search “Looking for Alaska” in my search bar, you’re going to get probably close to 100 posts. I talked in-depth about the impact this book has had on me in a post about a new feature I started last year. This book never would have even been considered as a reading choice after Ricky’s death. I thank all my lucky stars that I was assigned to read this before.

In the days and weeks and months following the loss of my cousin, I scoured this book. I went back and furiously read sections trying to find answers, just as Pudge and the Colonel are trying to find answers.

Not only did I love the friendships in Looking for Alaska, I loved the fun they had. It very much reminded me of my cousin’s childhood. He would have fit right in with Pudge, Alaska, and the Colonel.

I’ve also talked about this book in these other posts:

My Bullet Journal: My Worst Ideas


This is one post in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 

I have about five-ish solid months of bullet journaling under my belt now. I took a month-long hiatus from mid-April to mid-May. While this is my first year of the journal, I’m learning. A lot. Learning how to do things better and things maybe not to do again…like these spreads. I’ll be sharing my worst ideas and designs to date.

My Worst Ideas


index 1After getting cracking on my bullet journal and working through more than 100 pages by mid-March, I realized I was out of room to finish my index for the rest of my bujo.

I logged EVERYTHING when I started setting it up. Even my weeklies. There aren’t enough spaces for the number of pages…so Leuchtturm needs to add a fourth page for the index.

Or just don’t do what I did. In my bujo research, I discovered you shouldn’t index your weeklies.

Because you will run out of space. And you know they follow your monthly calendar anyway, so it’s not necessary to log the weeklies.

Bland and Inconsistent

Movies - 1st tryThis was one of my first few pages. I didn’t know what I was doing, so I just made a list. I used this photo in an earlier post as an Oopsie! And then I reinvented the page.

Here’s where things went wrong from the get-go: Instead of cleaning up the M and O, I just kept laying it on. Why? Why do I do that? Sheesh. Don’t let me around the eyeliner. Nobody will need eyeshadow.

I wanted to reinvent this page because I hated it. That M and O so thick and inconsistent in size drove me crazy. And I didn’t really like my list version, either. I wanted something more than this provincial life.



I never thought I was an impatient person, but lately I’m rethinking my own self-assessment. If my bullet journal is anything to go by, I’d say it’s probably right.

One of my worst qualities when it comes to working in my bujo is rushing myself. This page is very evident of that. I tried freehand lettering. It is all uneven and inconsistent in size. Then those horrible pink stripes around that grow and shrink in size. Not to mention uneven.

Here’s what I learned from this spread: I didn’t plan for it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and it looks it. This might be a page I go back and reinvent.



Choosing a font is just as important as the size. Neither of which I paid attention to when I tried out my new stencil on my Shows page.

I didn’t choose color wisely. Everything just blends all together. I think I should have selected two colors to alternate.

But the big thing about this font is the decent and the size. With any font, where all the letters come to rest is the baseline. You could draw a line across the page under the words. The letters that dip below that, typically g, j, and y, drop down to the decent line.

The S and the R are horrendous to try to use because they also drop down to the decent line with this particular font. How high do you place the stencil so that the bottom swoops aren’t ridiculously lower than the baseline? If you look at the lowercase S in “Fosters” and the uppercase S in “Switched” – or better yet the two in the title word “Shows” – you’ll see they are almost the same size. This is madness! I am sad to say I probably won’t use this stencil much…so it was basically a waste of money. 😦






I took a hiatus from blogging and my bullet journal for a month. I had already set up the washi tape before my hiatus for my May weeklies. Then I put my book away and didn’t even look at it for a month. When I came back, I was behind. I tried quickly to get my weeklies set up and move on to catch up. In doing so, I got really lazy while trying out my new brush markers. This is the worst of the damage. I couldn’t be bothered, and now I wish I hadn’t been so lazy.


March week 4.jpg

This is one of my March weeklies, before the hiatus. I was trying out different ways to lay out my weeklies, and suddenly became obsessed with washi tape. I saw so many people on Instagram using washi tape in their weeklies…and I obviously failed at that. I think it depends on the color and the pattern, as well as the width of the tape. I should have used a thinner tape for what I was trying to do here. The other thing that was not the brightest idea was my marker color choice…and the stencil font I chose. There are too many things in opposition on this spread that it detracts from a clean set-up.

Did you learn from my mistakes? I sure did! What are some mistakes you’ve made in your bullet journal? 

Look for the next post in the series about things that didn’t work out for me. 

Review: To Move the World


Title: To Move the World
Author: Regina Sirois
Publisher: Createspace
Release Date: October 2016
Length: 246 pages
Series?: Power of the Matchmaker #10
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Eve Brannon never had to bother planning out her future. In the Yorkshire dales where life is harder, it is also simpler. Next in line to inherit her family’s farm, she will raise another generation of children and sheep high in the uplands of England. Waiting until next year when she is 19 to marry her father’s handsome hired hand, Alan, is the detail she added herself.

But in 1939 even the most stalwart corners of the world are vibrating with the tremors of change. Eve’s long-anticipated proposal comes on the wings of losing Alan to the Royal Army and at the brink of the farm’s profitable war years the sheep herd is decimated by a mysterious illness. With her steady future suddenly in the clutches of a capricious fate, Eve is introduced to Jonathon Doran, a land manager anxious to prove himself in a crisis, and she discovers that the solid earth beneath her feet is moving after all.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

Eve is a young woman living on a sheep farm with her father and brother. Eve and the farmhand her father hired plan to marry the following year. With the rumblings of war, everything is topsy-turvy. Her beloved enlists to earn more money for their own farm, and he is sent to fight. Worse still, a strange outbreak among the sheep threatens the livelihood and home of Eve and her family.

In Alan’s absence, she meets a wealthy landowner, Jonathon, who takes it upon himself to assist Eve and her family with the mysterious sheep attack.

The Players

Eve – a young girl responsible for the family farm; she yearns to write

William – Eve’s older brother; he attends university

Alan – the farmhand who works alongside Eve’s father on the farm; he plans to one day have his own farm

Theo Weller – Eve’s best friend;

Marion Doran – the youngest son of a wealthy family nearby; Eve’s girlhood crush

Jonathan Doran – a wealthy landowner and older brother of Marion; he lends aid to the family farm

The Quote

“You say a heart doesn’t move,” she said, “but that would mean it is dead. Love should always move us.”

The Highs and Lows

  • Pearl. The Power of the Matchmaker series is a series of stand-alone books with one common thread throughout. The character of matchmaker Pearl is the connection between all the books, but in this installment Pearl hardly appears at all. More than halfway through the book Pearl still had not surfaced, and when she did, it was quite minimal. I was disappointed with that and hoping Pearl made a  grand entry in this book, but that wasn’t the case.
  • Writing. I couldn’t put this story down! The imagery and language were poetic and detailed. I felt like I was there with Eve, like an invisible soul living alongside Eve and her life.
  • Eve. She was such an interesting character. Eve brought such expression to life with her typewriter. That was her outlet, the one thing on the farm that was hers. Eve is a bit of a mix. She is loyal and devoted to the family farm, but at the same time she regrets the lack of the opportunity to go to college like her brother. While she is grounded to the farm and level-headed, she also has a dreamy side.
  • Journal Entries. Since Eve has this typewriter and she records her daily life, the story is told through journal entries. At first this confused me but after the first two chapters I got used to it.
  • The Engagement. Alan is a wonderful, loyal, sweet but shy young man. He works as hard as Eve’s father on a farm that isn’t his, but he has hopes and dreams for his future – and Eve’s. It was a path Eve thought she wanted, and she is handling all these new emotions and feelings. When Jonathan shows up, it is obvious to everyone but Eve where her path should go – and who should walk it alongside her.
  • The Niggling Feeling. While it was obvious how Eve reacted to Jonathan from the start, I didn’t find that she really expressed any true emotion or feeling for him (or Alan for that matter). It was like she was swept up and just went along with things. The ambiguous ending also didn’t really satisfy me after this long-laid romance on Jonathan’s part.



Regina Sirois believes in intelligent books that challenge us to reach higher and be better. She believes in the powerful years of adolescence and loves to capture the raw moments when young adults begin to solidify into the people they were meant to be. She lives in Kansas with her high school sweetheart (also known as her husband), her two daughters, and their nearly hairless cat. She continues to write stories that won’t leave her alone.

Find the author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blogger Hop ~ 6.23.17


The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.

If you are at a really good point in a book and the phone rings or the door bell rings, do you stop reading or let the phone or door bell go unanswered? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

First, let me state that for the record as a law enforcement officer’s significant other, we don’t ever answer the doorbell unless it’s the pizza delivery. So the doorbell can ring all day. If it isn’t the pizza, you can forget about it.

I can’t say I’ve ever answered the phoned while I was reading before. Not any instance that I can recall, at least, but I’m sure it’s happened at some point. After the suicide of my cousin, Rikki Tikki, after placing an unanswered call (to his mother), I try to answer the phone whenever it rings – given I know the individual calling. It’s just something that has stayed with me over the years that I just can’t shake, so it doesn’t matter how good the book is getting, I’ll answer the call.


Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning To…But Haven’t 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Series I’ve Been Meaning To…But Haven’t 

Outlander – I stopped reading at Fiery Cross. I got stuck and just couldn’t move forward, and put it on my bookshelf one day several years ago and haven’t touched it since. I want to finish the series so badly – I own the entire dang thing – but it just seems like this part is dragging on and on endlessly and not for much in way of the plot.

The Land of Stories – I read the first book, The Wishing Spell, and FELL IN LOVE. I bought the second when it came out in paperback and I was waiting on the next ones in paperback. I should go buy them now…

Junie B. Jones – I was requested to read these to my baby brother and my mother because they thought I read them so well. I know we didn’t read all of them, and Junie B. gets herself into some funny scrapes and situations!

Bloody Jack – I’ve read through the seventh book (or eighth, I can’t remember). That’s when I discovered he was still publishing more. Then, a couple years ago L.A. Meyer passed away and I discovered he’d published even more. I think there are 12 in total, and I need to read the latter part of the series.

The Power of the Matchmaker – These were published one a month last year, and I read and reviewed all of them except for two. I really want to read the last two and finish the series.

The Lockwood Legacy – I reviewed the first three books through a wonderful tour company (that is now defunct). I thought the author ended the series there. Last year I discovered she’d written three or so more books, so I bought them in an omnibus but still haven’t gotten around to them.

Hercule Poirot – I’ve only read a couple of Agatha Christie’s books in this series (probably the two most famous). I want to eventually read the entire series.

The Hunger Games – I still haven’t read the last book. I read HG in 2011 for my elementary block (for teaching). I read the second book shortly after, but I never got around to the last book.




Which series have you been meaning to start? Or like me, which ones have been hanging around that you need to finish up? 

Book Blogger Hop ~ 6.16.17


The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.

How do you organize your blog in terms of what is in your side bar? Do you have categories and defined sections in your side bar? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

My sidebar has been a bit of a thorn in my side ever since creating my blog. I always felt I was overdoing it. I’ve changed it up so many times I don’t even know what I originally had or even what I had last year.

Now I keep my graphic at the top, with my recent Instagram photos (that I don’t think anyone pays attention to). Then I have all the classic follow buttons, followed by my NetGalley badges and my Currently Reading on Goodreads tracker.

Then I have my blog stats – HEY-YA! I’ve hit over 50K views!!

Followed by the top pages and posts and giveaways graphic (linked), my sidebar wraps up with the archives and categories and FTC Disclaimer and Copyright.

That’s all I’ve got, all collective in a single sidebar down the page.


My Bullet Journal: Favorite Spreads


This is the sixth in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 

I have loved and hated and loved and hated my bullet journaling journey. I can’t compare to the more professional photos you’ll find online (particularly Instagram). Just like with blogging, sometimes it does seem like a competition. I will admit – I can’t compete. I don’t have the time or the steady hand or the creativity. But I do enjoy this and I do have fun, and today I’m going to share my favorite spreads I’ve done so far.

Favorite Spreads

Weekly Spread

This was one of my first weekly spread layouts I used from about January through some of March. I slowly started incorporating washi tape, and with this one I used two artisan stencils for the blue badge-like outline around the days, and the corner design. What I loved about this spread was the combination of the colors, the stencil designs, and the clean look.

Monthly Calendar Companion

This is the very first monthly calendar and companion I set up for January. I LOVED the bookshelf at the top and that’s why this is one of my favorites. However, designing just the books took up so much time and I will only ever possibly fill all of them in the summer months, so I nixed that feature after January.

Free Hand

This spread was featured on my Oopsies! and Reinvented Pages segment a few weeks ago. If you look closely you’ll see the mess-up and White Out. While I am a perfectionist and having inconsistencies bothers me, I really liked the free hand lettering and numbers I did on this weekly spread.

March Creativity

One thing I will lament always is that there is NO WAY I am as creative as any of the amazing artists featuring their work on Instagram. (Seriously, just look up #bulletjournaljunkies. I’m in awe.) But since I already had two months under my belt and had a little ground accomplished, I decided to start finding little ways to add some designs and color to my boring spreads. I adore the March calendar. Everything is completely free hand except the boxes and it looks so good! I was proud of how it turned out.

And on the bottom is the monthly calendar companion. I was trying to think of cool ways to incorporate March’s biggest day into it. While my little leprechaun didn’t turn out quite how I wanted, I still think he looks cute. I now have the right type of markers to do the rainbow, so if I ever try something like that again it will look better.


A lot of my eighth-grade students decided to focus on a current topic for their own bullet journals back in March. They had just finished studying the moon phases in science, and several of them did different renditions of their own. When they presented their two best collections, I had two different students present their moon phases and I liked it so much that I decided to do my own.

Travel Destinations

Another collection a couple of my seventh-grade students did was a travel destination spread. I liked the idea and had wanted to do my own, but didn’t know how to do it. I was inspired by one of my veteran officers. She put little icons next to most of her places. For example, Disney World was one of hers and she put the classic black Mickey Mouse ears. One was overseas, so she used an airplane. I went home and researched the spread and modeled mine after an amazing one I found. Later I found a sticker set and placed those on the page.

Wish List

This is in the front of my bullet journal. For a long time, I only had one item on my list. I couldn’t think of anything else! It defied the whole point of the list! Then I came back and added the dandelion. I love that dandelion so much, that’s why it’s a favorite. I slowly added a couple more items after about four months or so. I think I can now add a couple more.

 Thanks for reading! Do you have a bullet journal? Which monthly and weekly layouts work for you?

Check back for my next post in the BUJO series. The next two will be about changing things that aren’t working and some recent things I’ve done. 

Top Ten Tuesday: All the Fathers

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

Father’s Day Freebie

We all know the difference between a father and a dad. True, there’s the connotation we apply to each of those words to take into consideration, but a father can be anyone who is a sperm donor. A dad is a different story, and there are sometimes these wonderful men out there who have no biological children and are dads to so many young people. Today I’m looking at the dads.


Part I

Favorite Dads in Literature

Atticus Finch ~ To Kill a Mockingbird

Charles Ingalls ~ Little House (on the Prairie series)

James Potter ~ Harry Potter (series)

Riley Stinson ~ This Heart of Mine

 George Kronenfeldt ~ Real Santa


Part II

Best Father/Kid Relationships

*Charlie and Gibbie McGraw ~ Land of a Hundred Wonders

Auggie and Nate Pullman ~ Wonder

Kyle and Doc ~ Hope in Every Raindrop

Todd and Ginnie West ~ Ginnie West Adventures (series)

Yi ~ The Warrior & The Flower


*This is the book that inspired my blog name!

Do you have a favorite memory of your dad? 

Cover Characteristics: Face in the Sky

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Face in the Sky

This one lends itself to a classic romance. It just does! I also discovered Australian Culture was a genre? Lots of horses and such, and I like that!



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