Awards

One Lovely Blog Award | 4

Waking up to see that I’ve been nominated for things like the One Lovely Blogger Award always brings a smile to my face. Thanks so much to Stephen @ Stephen Writes and Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library for nominating me!!

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • Share seven facts about yourself;
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them.

Does being nominated twice mean I have to share fourteen facts about myself instead of just seven? If you insist…

1. I’m a morning person. Not only do I enjoy mornings the most out of all the times of the day, but I also tend to automatically wake up early (relative early, of course–around 7:30am).

2. Jurassic Park is my favorite movie. I even dressed up as Laura Dern in Jurassic Park for a bop that was movie themed. Dedication. 

3. I’m a pretty terrible cook. Why make actual meals for myself when I can just eat variations of breakfast (a.k.a. eggs, toast, and oatmeal) for every meal?

4. I like to bake. However, baking is different. What’s not to love about sweet treats at the end? I also feel like mistakes are less noticeable while baking than while cooking actual meals (chocolate hides pretty much everything).

5. I can touch my nose with my tongue. When I was younger I assumed that everyone could do this, but apparently that isn’t the case. Now I use it as my go-to fun fact during awkward ice-breakers at orientations, group meetings, etc.

6. I have no idea what Hogwarts House I should be in. This became an actual dilemma when I visited the Platform 9 3/4 sign at King’s Cross Station in London and the Official Scarf Waver asked me what House I’m in. I ended up saying Gryffindor because I thought the maroon scarf would stand out more in the photo AND because I just couldn’t decide in that short moment. WHAT AM I.

7. I’m allergic to MANY things, not just nuts. Dogs, Cats, birch pollen, ragweed, grass… the list goes on and on!

8. My favorite food is pizza. I could eat pizza every night for a week (or two! or three!) and still not complain. I am ALWAYS in the mood for pizza.

9. I rarely watch Netflix during terms/semesters. Some people turn to Netflix when they want to wind down after a long day of working in the library, but for some reason I usually don’t watch Netflix during term time unless I’m watching it with friends. Maybe this explains why I’m always so behind on shows?

10. I love listening to music while I work. Some people prefer silence when they read or write, but I’d rather have at least some background noise while I’m working.

11. I have a bookstagram. If you’ve followed this blog for a while I feel like you probably already know this already, but I thought I would throw it out there just in case. It’s so much fun!

12. I am an avid list maker. Almost every day the last thing I do before heading to bed is make a to-do list for the next day. Even if I don’t check off everything on the list it’s still nice to wake up with a clear direction for the day. (Besides, what’s more satisfying than checking off tiny boxes?)

13. If I’m not drinking tea, I’m usually drinking hot water. Drinking plain hot water in a mug is something that people are either 100% on board with or think is the strangest thing they’ve ever witnessed. I love it.

14. I love mugs. Speaking of mugs, I adore them. I have far too many for one human being. But when will I stop acquiring new ones? (Never.)

Thanks again to Stephen and Emma for nominating me! ❤

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Bookish Resolutions

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Happy Tuesday!! I know that today’s official Top Ten Tuesday theme is about our most anticipated 2017 debuts, but here’s my dilemma: I really don’t know any upcoming debuts being published in 2017. Due to an incredibly busy college semester I’ve been out of the bookish loop for so long that I haven’t been able to stay up to date with new releases. Rather than ramble on about books I know nothing about, I’ve decided to share my Top Ten 2017 Resolutions instead. (Look at me, starting off the New Year as a blogging rebel!)

1.Read 24 books. Though I easily surpassed this Goodreads Challenge goal in 2016, I’m nevertheless going to set the same overall reading goal for 2017. I like to have something to work towards, but I never want to feel pressured to read an impossibly and impractically high number of books. Two books a month feels just right!

2. Read more classics. Yet another resolution that I’m borrowing from last year’s list (I assure you, there’s a purposeful trend here). Over the past few years I’ve been really enjoying reading classics and I’d love to continue expanding the network of authors and genres within classical literature that I’ve read.

42003. Read something by Zadie Smith. 

Ever since reading her interview on the New York Times’ By the Book column I’ve had the itch to read something by Zadie Smith. Her most recent novel Swing Time has received fantastic reviews, but I think I might start with her debut novel White Teeth and then work my way forward from there. As long as get around to reading one book by this fascinating, highly-praised author this year, I’ll be happy!

Charles Dickens4. Read more by Charles Dickens. If this goal looks familiar, it’s because I sadly failed to accomplish it last year. I absolutely adored Great Expectations when I read it two (three???) years ago, but since then I have read nothing else by Dickens. I desperately need to remedy this in 2017! Any suggestions on where to start would be greatly appreciated! The only other book I’ve read by Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities, so everything else is fair game for a recommendation.

a game of thrones cover5. Read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. That’s right: another goal that I failed to accomplish in 2016. I’ve honestly been meaning to read this book for years but for some reason my inner bibliophile is really intimidated by it, both in terms of size and content. A little pep talk, anyone?

6. Continue posting to my bookstagramCreating a bookstagram was one of the best bookish decisions I made in 2016. I randomly decided to make one over the summer and I’ve had a blast doing it every since! In 2016, I want to continue posting photos and exploring different themes and angles.

7. Write more discussion posts. Lately I feel as though I’ve been getting into a blogging rut. My blog has been mostly tags and Top Ten Tuesday posts lately with the occasional review mixed in, so I want to make an effort to write more discussion posts in 2016. I was surprised and overjoyed by the positive and thoughtful comments left on my recent discussion post (Why It’s Okay to NOT Make Time for Reading). Discussions in the comments section always remind me how amazing the online book community is!

8. Be more engaged with the online book community. With my discussion post goal in mind, I would also like to be more engaged in the online book community in other ways. Recently I’ve been using Twitter (@peanutfreeisme) more, but I would also like to be more active on Goodreads and other platforms. Feel free to reach out and follow/friend me on any of these platforms!

9. Read slowly. As I recently mentioned when taking a look at my 2016 resolutions, reading slowly and taking the time to appreciate and absorb each book I read is always something that I can improve upon. It’s easy to feel as though we have to rush through books to achieve reading goals or read as much as possible, but where’s the fun in that?

10. Have fun!! As always, I include this final resolution as a reminder to myself that reading is for ENJOYMENT. I want to read to have fun, to learn, and to be inspired– not merely to check off books on a list or achieve a Goodreads challenge.

What are your 2017 resolutions, bookish or otherwise? What do you think of the goals I’ve set for myself? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

2016: How Did I Do?

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Today I’m taking a look back on the 2016 resolutions I made last January to see what progress I made on these goals. I honestly haven’t looked at these resolutions since I first made them, so this will be as much of a surprise for you as it will be for me!

untitled-design-21. Read at least 24 books. I definitely completely this one! As of right now I have read 67 books, which is a lot more than I initially expected to read. I would say that about half of these are probably books I had to read for school, but reading is reading!

untitled-design-22. Read more classics. I just did a quick count, and out of the 67 books I read this year 18 of them were what I consider to be classics. I’m really happy with that number, especially since they generally take me longer to read because I like to take my time with them.  

untitled-design-23. Read more nonfiction/memoir. According to another quick count, I read 23 nonfiction books/memoirs in 2016! I can definitely thank my coursework for that high number. I feel like I found a new appreciation of nonfiction in 2016, which to me is a success in and of itself.

Charles Dickensuntitled-design4. Read more works by Charles Dickens. SUCH A FAILURE. I have yet to read another book by Charles Dickens and it makes me so sad. (Hint: sneak peek of my 2017 resolutions!)

untitled-design-25. Read at least 3 books in Spanish. This past semester I took a Spanish literature class in which I read three novels and countless short stories in Spanish, so this goal has definitely been achieved!

untitled-design-26. Organize my bookshelves. YES. Though I still have to donate quite a tall stack of books that have been sitting on my bedroom floor for months, I recently organized all of the books that I do not. Also: I GOT A NEW BOOKCASE. It’s glorious and shaped like a staircase and I love it so much.

a game of thrones coveruntitled-design7. Finally read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. ANOTHER FAIL. I just can’t seem to prioritize reading this book. (2017, I’m looking at you to pull through!)

untitled-design-28. Read more of the books I own. Though I have acquired quite a few books over the past year (I just can’t help but gravitate towards used book sales!), I have made a conscious effort to read the books I already own while on breaks from school. Besides the occasional used book sale, I have also tried to limit the amount of books I buy. For example, I didn’t ask for any books for Christmas (so much self-control!).

untitled-design-29. Read slowly. This goal will always be a work in progress for me, but I think it’s say that I did make some improvement in this area over the past year. For instance, I’ve consciously chosen to take my time reading longer books such as Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s not perfect, but I’ll keep working on it!

untitled-design-210. Have fun! YES!! One of the ways I spruced up my bookish life in 2016 was by creating a bookstagram. I’ve had a blast taking photos and connecting with other readers on this fun platform. And, as always, blogging has made reading an amazing experience!

All in all, I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made achieving many of my 2016 resolutions. Hopefully I can be just as bookishly successful in 2017!

How did you do with your 2016 resolutions, bookish or otherwise? What were your most fun, challenging, and rewarding goals to work towards? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Tags

Scavenger Hunt Book Tag | #bookstagram Style!

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Hello, hello! I  hope you’re all having a wonderfully bookish day. Since I’m currently away at college and don’t have access to all of my books at home, I thought I would do this Scavenger Hunt Book Tag using photos I’ve posted on my bookstagram. Thanks so much to Ola @ Ola Reads Books for tagging me!

Okay, this might be a bit more challenging than I initially expected…

FIND A BOOK WITH THE LETTER ‘Z’ IN ITS TITLE OR THE AUTHOR’S NAME

Thank goodness for One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez… it’s the only book I have a photo of with a “z” somewhere on the cover!

FIND A CLASSIC

The cover of this classic novel is decievingly lighthearted! Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is such a dark, twisted, captivating novel. I need to reread it soon!

FIND A BOOK WITH A KEY IN THE COVER

There’s not technically a key on this book cover, but there is one in my photo! (That counts, right?)

FIND SOMETHING ON YOUR SHELVES THAT ISN’T A BOOK

TEA. I couldn’t go without mentioning this essential part of my everyday routine!

FIND A BOOK WITH AN ANIMAL ON THE COVER

This bird plays an interesting role in John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back. I highly recommend this quirky, unique novel!

FIND A BOOK WITH A GIRL ON ITS COVER

My beloved Penguin Threads edition of Emma by Jane Austen.

FIND A NON-YA BOOK

Can you tell that I love my Penguin English Library editions? This copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. 

FIND A BOOK WITH GOLDEN LETTERS

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spines spines spines 📚

A post shared by HOLLY (@nutfreenerd) on

I found these books tucked away in a corner of my library. Even though they’re weathered and old, they still have some shine left!

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What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Do you have a bookstagram? I’d love to check it out! Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

The Liebster Award | Love Actually, Advice & Pie

Book Courtship-8Though I was nominated for this Liebster Award quite a while ago, I thought I would go ahead and write a post about it anyways. It’s always fun to answer some interesting questions, ask a few of my own, and then highlight a bunch of lovely bloggers. Thanks so much to Grace @ kimmie.gg for nominating me! Be sure to check out her blog if you haven’t already.

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1) You must acknowledge the person who nominated you and display the award.
2) Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
3) Ask your own 11 questions.
4) Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award.

Suspense-271. Why did you begin blogging?

I originally began blogging back in high school simply to keep a written record of my thoughts on the books I read. I had no idea that such a vast, enthusiastic, and active book blogging community even existed!

2. What’s your favorite movie and why?

This is such a difficult question, but I think my answer is going to have to be Love Actually. I watched it for the very first time this past December and absolutely fell in love with it (and watched it two more times before Christmas!). British accents, adorable love stories, and Hugh Grant– what more could you want?

Love Actually

3. Where is your next travel destination?

Back home from college? I have no current travel plans in the future, although I would love to study abroad next year!

4. What is an item on your bucket list?

Travel abroad! I have never traveled outside of the United States, but it’s definitely something I hope to accomplish (ideally in the next few years). England, Spain, and Germany are all countries I hope to visit someday!

5. Where do you buy most of you books from?

Lately I’ve been buying books in two extremes: either online or at my local independent bookshop. I much prefer to browse the bookshelves in person and support small book businesses, but sometimes that’s difficult to do while away at college. I had a lot of fun on a recent trip to this bookshop when this happened:

6. If you could give advice to your 10 year old self, what would it be?

This has been said so often by so many people, but it’s true: BE YOURSELF. Don’t worry about the bullies or the senseless drama. It will all work out in the end.

7. Who is your role model? (Can include fictional characters as well)

My parents. They are supportive, they are kind, they are intelligent, and they are successful in more than just their careers. They inspire me in every way, and they will always be my role models.

8. What career path is your ideal choice?

I would love to someday be an English professor at a college or university! Discussing literature, meeting with students, working on my own research… it sounds like the ideal job for me.

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Blueberry pie ❤

9. If life handed you lemons, what would you do with them?

Find out a way to make lemon meringue pie. Pie is too good to not bake when handed lemons.

10. What is your earliest memory?

I don’t have a distinct first memory, but one of the earliest things I can remember is celebrating a holiday (Thanksgiving? Christmas?) with all of my family members over my house.

11. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Being able to communicate with everyone– people, animals, and even plants– by knowing how to speak all languages. Communication is vital, yet often times it is impossible due to language differences (or, in the case of plants and animals, species differences). Imagine being able to talk to everyone and anything!

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Since I enjoyed answering Grace’s questions so much, I’m just going to send them on to the next round of nominees!

1. Why did you begin blogging?

2. What’s your favorite movie and why?

3. Where is your next travel destination?

4. What is an item on your bucket list?

5. Where do you buy most of you books from?

6. If you could give advice to your 10 year old self, what would it be?

7. Who is your role model? (Can include fictional characters as well)

8. What career path is your ideal choice?

9. If life handed you lemons, what would you do with them?

10. What is your earliest memory?

11. If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

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  1. Briana & Krysta @ Pages Unbound
  2. Anne @ Inked Brownies
  3. Alice @ Arctic Books
  4. Karen @ Run Wright
  5. Ava @ Bookishness and Tea
  6. Proud & Prejudiced Book Thieves
  7. Sammie @ Bookshelves & Biros
  8. Lydia @ Ocean of Myths
  9. Amy @ Read.Dream.Live
  10. Estefani @ Fiction Jungle
  11. Maggie @ In A Reading World

Again, thank you Grace for nominating me! I hope you all have a lovely day!

What are your answers to any of these questions? What do you think of my answers? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

How Did I Do? | Bookish Goals for Summer 2016

 

How Did I Do?

It’s that bittersweet time of August once again: the end of summer. This weekend I move into my college dorm room to begin my sophomore year at Wheaton College (MA), and I couldn’t be more excited. However, that also means that I have to say goodbye to an incredible summer filled with friends, family, and fantastic books.

At the beginning of the season I shared my Bookish Goals for Summer 2016, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at the again and see how many I actually accomplished. Let’s see how I did!

Untitled design1. Read 15 books. Success! This is an easy one to check off because I’ve read a total of 26 books since last semester ended. I never expected to read so many books this summer, especially considering that I read some pretty chunky ones (I’m looking at you, Alexander Hamilton and Gone with the Wind!)

Untitled design2. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in July. This is one of goals I’m most proud to have completed. As I celebrated in my Camp NaNoWrimo Wrap-Up, I reached my word count goal of 25,000 words on July 15th. It’s certainly not a full draft of my novel, but I’m just happy to have written so much in such a short amount of time.

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Untitled design-23. Stay up to date with writing book reviews. Okay, so I sort of completed this goal. In the beginning of the summer I was really good about writing reviews immediately after I finished reading something. Then July came around with Camp NaNo and the BookTubeAThon and I got so behind with writing reviews. Since then I’ve managed to do a fair amount of catching up, but not completely. This is still definitely something that I have to work on!

819699Untitled design4. Read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It has finally happened: I read all 1037 pages of Gone with the Wind!! Let me tell you, I did not expect it to be the wild, emotional rollercoaster ride that it was. This is such a brilliant novel, not only for its story but for its views on gender equality, the Civil War and Reconstruction, poverty, love, loss, and life. A full review is on its way, but for now you can read my immediate thoughts about it here. 

Untitled design5. Participate in more readathons. Although I didn’t participate in multiple readathons this summer, I’m calling this a success because I did participate in the BookTubeAThon in July. I read so much more than I thought I would and I even managed to complete the majority of the reading challenges. I love this event and I can’t wait to participate again next year!

Untitled design6. Read more books that I own. Just about half of the books I read this summer were from my physical TBR. I’m pretty happy with this amount, especially since I’ve been meaning to read many of them for ages. 

Untitled design7. Regularly update my new bookstagram account. Definitely a success! I’ve had so much fun taking bookish photos and admiring the gorgeous ones that you all post.

Untitled designIMG_43288. Read at least one book in Spanish. In July I read a Spanish translation of Animal Farm by George Orwell, and I absolutely loved it! The story was gripping and unsettling but brilliant nevertheless. Initially I was afraid that this would be too challenging for me to read in Spanish, but I ended up being able to understand the majority of it without a problem. Full review to come!

Untitled design9. Have fun! SUCCESS! I had oodles of fun this summer, bookish and otherwise! I read some amazing books, chatted with some lovely bloggers, and have had a blast discussing all sorts of topics with you all in the comments. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this blog of mine. I truly appreciate each and every one of you! ❤

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All in all, I’m really pleased with how much I was able to accomplish this summer. To be honest, when I first made this list of goals I was doubtful that I would actually be able to achieve them. This summer was the most fun and productive one I’ve had in a long time. Part of me is sad to see summer end, but I’m also really excited to see what autumn will bring!

Until next time, summer!

What were your bookish goals for this summer? Were you able to achieve them? What do you think of my progress this summer? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

Sunshine Blogger Award

Book Courtship-5

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day! I’m a little late with posting this (I was nominated in July) but better late than never, right? Thanks so much to the lovely Megan @ Tables of Content for nominating me! Definitely go check out her blog if you haven’t already. She’s so kind and her nomination made my day! ❤

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  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

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William Shakespeare
Good ol’ Shakespeare.

1. What city/country would you like to travel to next? 

Fun fact: I’ve never traveled outside of the United States. I don’t even have a passport! However, I’m hoping to study abroad during my junior year of college in either England or Spain.

208940842. What book(s) are currently on your nightstand? 

Right now the only book on my nightstand is the one I’m currently reading: A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland. So far I’m absolutely loving it. It’s every literature lover’s dream!

3. What do you find most rewarding about blogging? 

For me, the most rewarding part of blogging is definitely talking with and getting to know others in this lovely bookish community. Whether it’s through blog comments, Twitter, or even email, I truly enjoy chatting with all of you!

4. Any advice to new bloggers? 

I’m certainly not a blogging expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I would love to know your answers to this question as well. At any rate, my blogging advice is simple: do it because you love it. Otherwise, it’s easy for blogging to feel like a chore at times. If you love it, though, then blogging becomes that much better!

5. What is the craziest/wildest/most adventurous trip or journey you’ve taken? 

I’m not the most adventurous person in the world, so I don’t have many wild stories to share. The most adventurous trips I’ve taken are probably the many hiking trips I’ve been on over the years. One time I camped in Baxter State Park in Maine and hiked a few mountains around there, and to this day it is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

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This train is accurately called the Knife’s Edge.

6. Three songs you always have on your travel playlist? 

Whenever I go on long road trips with my family, I inevitably end up listening to these three songs at some point: Ribs by Lorde, Anna Sun by Walk the Moon, and Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons.

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The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater7. What is one book you are secretly embarrassed you haven’t read yet? 

I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily embarrassed to not have read certain books, but there are definitely many that I need to read as soon as possible. A few that come to mind are The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. (But seriously, there are SO MANY MORE that I could list!)

8. Do you have or want any pets? 

DO I. Currently I have three days, which is the most my family has ever had at one time> Melody is a mutt who we adopted when I was in kindergarten, Abby is a miniature dachshund who is very nervous, and Eddie is a friendly chug (a chihuahua pug mix!) who we adopted this past April. Needless to say, my house is pretty crowded with furry friends!

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Eddie and I!

9. What are your favorite types of blog posts to write?

Even though I never manage to keep up with creating them, I think my favorite posts to write are book reviews. They take a while to finish but I feel so accomplished when I do. Also, I love seeing the response they get and learning about whether or not others had similar thoughts on that particular work. Book reviews are very rewarding posts (both personally and in terms of community engagement), which is why I love to write them.

10. Are you a planner or a spontaneous traveler?

I’m a planner when it comes to nearly everything, including traveling. I love to make schedules so I know well in advanced where we’re going and at what time. I also tend to do a lot of research about the place before I travel there, particularly regarding restaurants due to my nut allergy. It just makes the entire trip so much easier when you know where you’re going ahead of time.

11. Is the glass half full or half empty?

Sometimes I can be a bit of a pessimist (can’t we all?) but I’m going to say half full for this one because it’s what I try to remind myself every day. There are so many reasons to smile, even when you feel blue!

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I’ve decided to include the two themes of this award in my questions: blogging and sunshine!

  1. What’s your biggest source of motivation when it comes to blogging?
  2. What inspires you?
  3. Out of all of your posts, which one is your favorite?
  4. Do you stick to a blogging schedule or do you prefer to post spontaneously?
  5. How did you come up with your blog’s name?
  6. What’s one of your biggest blogging pet peeves?
  7. Any blogging advice?
  8. Do you prefer sunny or rainy days?
  9. Favorite pair of sunglasses?
  10. What’s your ideal way to spend a sunny summer day?
  11. Favorite song with “sun” in the title?

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I’m nominating 11 blogs that I recently followed. Definitely check these great blogs out!

  1. Olivia @ Heir of Glitter
  2. Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction
  3. Sarah @ Reviews & Read-a-Thons
  4. Ola @ Ola Reads Books
  5. Nagina @ Oh Bookish
  6. Alisha @ Alisha’s Words of Wonder
  7. Laura @ Life is a Book Blog
  8. Eliza @ Bookaholic
  9. Olivia @ Olivia Chanel
  10. Emmy @ Fictionaire
  11. Georgia @ Books & Other Miracles

Thanks again to Megan for nominating me!! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? What blogging advice do YOU have? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 | Wrap-Up

Let's Go- CAMP NANOWRIMO

I did it. I actually, finally, miraculously did it.

I reached my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 25,000 words!!

To be honest, I was doubtful that I would be able to reach this goal at all by the end of July due to my busy internship schedule, a family camping trip, and the BookTubeAThon in the latter half of the month. However, I completely surprised myself by surpassing this goal on July 15th, just about the halfway point of July!

This certainly isn’t a full draft of my novel, but it nevertheless feels amazing to have a solid foundation upon which I can build in the future. I’ve been working on various drafts of this one story for years, and I finally feel as though I have a version of it that I’m really pleased with. I’m so glad I decided to take on Camp NaNoWriMo this summer!

CNW_Winner_555-1One piece of advice that I found really helpful was to write every single day. Even if I didn’t feel like writing after getting home from work or if it was simply too hot to think, I made it a point to scribble down at least a few words or thoughts. Not only did writing every day keep my momentum going and my spirits up, but it also kept my story churning in my mind. I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t actually writing, which meant that I was much more prepared with ideas when I did sit down to write.

Goodbye for now, Camp NaNo! It’s been real.

Did you participate in Camp NaNoWriMo? How did you do? What tips and tricks did you find helpful? If not, have you been writing lately? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

JUNE 2016 // Wrap-Up

JUNE 2016Happy July! Since June has come and gone, I thought it would be fun to revive the tradition of doing monthly wrap-up posts. I did them a lot before going to college, but then I got so busy that they sort of fell to the wayside. But have no fear: summer is officially here, and that means MORE FREE TIME TO BLOG! *fireworks and happy dances galore* Here’s what I was up to in June:
June

16130In June I read a total of 7 books:

  1. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
  2. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  3. Zero by Morgan Dark
  4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  5. When We Collided by Emery Lord
  6. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  7. Holes by Louis Sachar

My favorite book of the month was Ron Chernow’s incredible biography Alexander Hamilton. Never before have I felt so invested and entrenched in the life of a historical figure as I did while immersed in this dramatic, unbelievably true narrative of one of the USA’s Founding Fathers. This biography is a masterpiece!

June (1)

So far this summer I’ve done a lot more than I originally thought I would, both socially and productively. It’s been so nice spending time with friends I haven’t seen since winter break, and I’ve enjoyed having time to just relax, read, and work on some personal projects that I’ve been meaning to get done for a while.

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You can never have too many confetti cannons!

In June I went to two fantastic concerts. In the beginning of the month I saw Florence and the Machine with my parents, and Of Monsters and Men were the opening act. Later on in the month I went to a seven-hour long concert with some of my friends and saw SO MANY artists perform, such as Troye Sivan, Melanie Martinez, Charlie Puth, Nelly, and Halsey. The only concerts I had ever been to before this were to see Walk the Moon and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (the latter of which my mom and I have seen every year around Christmastime for the past six years or so). Seeing this many artists perform in such a short amount of time was amazing, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see them all live!

Apart from hanging out with friends and doing bookish things, I’ve mostly spent my time interning at a local Child Advocacy Center. It’s nice to have a regular schedule again– as you can probably tell, I love routines!

June (2)

It feels so great to be back blogging again after months of being too busy with schoolwork to post much of anything. I missed it dearly! Since I’m planning on doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month and probably won’t have a lot of time to blog, I made sure to write and schedule a bunch of posts in June so this blog is still being regularly updated with new content.

In June I participated in the #fullybookedjune16 challenge on Instagram, which was a blast! I posted a photo every single day, which I’m super proud of myself for sticking to. If you want to stay up to date with my bookstagram, follow me @nutfreenerd!

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Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

I also participated in my first ever joint book review! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do a joint review of When We Collided by Emery Lord with Peyton @ A Bookish Mess. Click here to check it out!

How was your June? What books did you read? What fun things did you do? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

Bookish Goals for Summer 2016

BOOKISH GOALS FOR SUMMER

Even though my summer break from college technically began about a month ago, I’m just starting to feel like it’s actually summer. The weather is getting warmer, the sun is starting to shine on a regular basis, and other students are finally having their last days of school for the year. I have a little under three months of summer vacation left, so I think it’s about time that I share my Bookish Goals for Summer 2016. 

This summer I’ll be plenty busy with an internship at a Child Advocacy Center and a bunch of little trips with friends and family planned, so I’m not going to overwhelm myself with goals. My hope is that by setting numerous goals for myself I’ll be able to achieve a good portion of them by the end of the summer. In no particular order, here are my goals:

1. Read 15 books. So far this summer I’ve already read 7 books, so I definitely think that this goal is achievable. I’ve made it so low because I want to give myself the flexibility to read longer, more challenging books or even take a few breaks from reading to do other things.

camp_logo-e8deafda6bcc5574e54da9c596dbf6b62. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I love Camp NaNoWriMo because it gives you the flexibility to set your own word goal and work on virtually any project you’d like. I probably won’t be able to write 50,000 words, but to be honest I’ll be happy with any sizable chunk of my novel that I get down on paper.

3. Stay up to date with writing book reviews. It’s so easy to get behind with writing book reviews. Whether it’s because I read too many books too quickly or I just don’t have time to sit down and gather my thoughts, I always inevitably end up falling behind. However, I’m setting a solid goal to write a review of every book I read in the next few months by the time my next semester of college starts in August. It might be a bit of a challenge, but I’m confident that I can do it!

8196994. Read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Rolling in at a grand total of over a thousand pages long, I’ve been intimidated by this hefty novel for far too long. This is where the intimidation ends!! I’m determined to read this famous tome this summer, even if it means it’s the only book I get around to reading. It seems like something I’ll really love, so I’m eager to dive into it!

5. Participate in more readathons. I love joining readathons, but for some reason I do so only very rarely. At the very least I would like to participate in the Booktubeathon again like I did last summer. I don’t make any videos or anything like that, but I enjoy watching them and I love the sense of community that this annual event fosters.

6. Read more books that I own. This is probably going to be one of the hardest goals for me to meet. Going out with friends to new places in the summer means that I visit a plethora of new bookshops. As you can imagine, I therefore accumulate WAY MORE books than I can possibly read in the few months that I’m home. By the end of the summer, my goal is to have read more books from my physical TBR than anywhere else. I need to trim down that toppling tower ASAP!

7. Regularly update my new bookstagram account. Recently I’ve been getting more into bookstagram (which you can follow me at here), and I feel like my photos are turning out better the more practice I have taking them. If I can maintain a schedule of posting a photo a few times a week, I’d be a happy camper!

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8. Read at least one book in Spanish. Next semester I’ll be taking a literature class called Contemporary Women Writers, which I’m really excited about. Here’s the catch, though: it’s entirely in Spanish. To maintain the Spanish skills I’ve developed throughout these past two semesters I want to try to read at least one novel in Spanish, but hopefully more if I can find the time.

9. Have fun! I always throw this goal in there just for good measure. Because I read so much for my classes, it can sometimes make reading feel like a chore. I need to remember that reading should feel fun and should be something I look forward to doing. If not, it’s totally okay to take a break and do something else for a while!

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What are your bookish goals for this summer? What do you think of mine? Have any advice? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY