Awards

Versatile Blogger Award {Oxford themed!] | 5

Look familiar? I’m back with another Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks so much to Dani for nominating me! Last time I gave this award a summer theme, but this time the theme is extra special: Oxford! As you read this, I will be flying across the pond to Oxford, England to visit some friends at Mansfield College, where I spent my junior year studying abroad. I’m beyond excited to go over again and see so many familiar people and places—and I’m excited to share my adventures when I get back! But for now, here are seven Oxford themed fun facts about me.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Leave a link to their blog.
  3. Tell us 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers/bloggers you’ve discovered recently or follow regularly.

1. In a shocking un-Holly-like move that bewildered all of my friends and family back home, I was the goalkeeper for the Mansfield-Merton football team. I wasn’t very good and really was only able to play because they desperately needed a body in goal, but I still played. I loved the feeling of being on a team—and the lemonade we shared after games! I’ll always be grateful that I randomly decided to go to a football taster session with my friend one afternoon early on in the first term.

2. Although I love so many cafes in Oxford, the one that really stole my heart was George Street Social. (Which I wrote about in a post here.) Not only is it a lovely place to read and write during the day, but it also doubles as a fun pub-like setting in the evenings. One of my friends and I went there a few times to have a drink and play one of the old board games they had piled on a shelf upstairs. There’s this one table on your right when you first walk in that was my absolute favorite—the chairs were comfortable and it was next to a wide window with a perfect view of the bustling street. Would definitely recommend stopping by if you’re ever in the area!

3. Almost every day my friends and I would take a 3pm essay break and walk through Uni Parks to a little farm with the most beautiful group of horses. It was definitely someone’s field—their house was right beside it—but if they ever had any qualms about a bunch of American girls standing by their fence gazing out at their horses, they never said anything. We named the horses based on their colorings and even got to pet them a few times. It was such a serene scene, one that I looked forward to every afternoon. Even though Oxford is a city (albeit a small one), I was delighted to discover that there were still plenty of green spots to be enjoyed.

4. As a Visiting Student, I wasn’t required to attend any lectures or other meetings apart from my weekly tutorials; however, I found myself attending a handful of them each week anyways, at least throughout the first two terms. I initially started going to them because I genuinely enjoy listening to lectures—ones about literature, at least. Yet I kept going to them for very different reasons: I quickly realized that they were a great way to gain a bit of context about what I was reading and writing about this week without having to do all the research on my own. Lectures provided me with a great starting point from which I then branched off into what I was specifically interested in. Academics aside, lectures also provided me a way to interact with English lit students from different colleges. Often I would end up sitting next to the same person a few lectures in a row, and eventually we would strike up a conversation. I even met some other American Visiting Students that way, which made me feel more at home.

5. It seemed as though everyone at Oxford was obsessed with ABBA—specifically the songs from Mamma Mia.Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some ABBA. But this seemed like a deeply entrenched knowledge of ABBA. At every Mansfield bop there would be a half hour DJ set of solely ABBA, and no matter what direction you looked everyone was singing. And I mean everyone—even that guy on the men’s football team that I never pictured singing anything was belting out the lyrics and dancing like his life depended on it. While I fully supported everyone’s obsession with ABBA, it did initially take me by surprise.

6. I was the Visiting Student Representative in the Mansfield JCR during my year at Oxford, which was as fascinating as it was fun. Having spent two years as a Class Senator in student government at Wheaton, I was really interested to see what student government at Oxford would be like. The answer: much, much more supportive and engaged (at least at Mansfield) and much, much more efficient than at Wheaton. It was such a breath of fresh air to see agenda items actually being ticked off and funding be allocated to things that the student body was actually passionate about.

7. Oxford taught me how to balance work and play. Although my experience was obviously different from a matriculated Oxford student, I nevertheless found myself simultaneously working harder and having more fun than ever before. Part of this is due to the nature of the tutorial system that Oxford uses—since I had to write about 1.5 essays a week for three terms, I could budget my time so that I only had to work from about 9am to 5pm every day and the rest of the time I was free to explore the city and spend time with friends. It’s more difficult for me to strike that balance here, but even so I felt like I did a much better job after Oxford than before.

YOU! Because I just did this award last week as well, I’m not going to go through and nominate anyone specifically. But if you had a hankering to share seven fun facts about yourself, please do!

My year at Oxford shaped me in so many ways, some of which I’ve only realized after being back for months. Do you have a place that’s shaped you in a similarly profound way? What do you think of my fun Oxford facts? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Awards

Versatile Blogger Award | 4

Today I’m here with the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for nominating me!! I’ve done this award a few times, and for the most recent one I did an autumn theme. Since I love a good tradition, I thought I would give this one a summer theme.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Leave a link to their blog.
  3. Tell us 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers/bloggers you’ve discovered recently or follow regularly.

1. I’ve worked at the same nonprofit for four summers now (!!!). It’s called a child advocacy center and they conduct forensic interviews of child abuse victims in our county so the kiddos don’t have to be interviewed my multiple people in different settings. I do a lot of writing for them, applying to grants for funding and creating anything they need for fundraising events. It’s such a great job because it blends together my love of writing and my interest in the legal field. It’s wild to think that this is my fourth summer working there!

2. Up until a few years ago, my family camped at the same site in the same campground over the same week every summer–for twelve consecutive years. We’ve stopped doing it because of busy work schedules and the fact that it takes a lot of work to prepare for and actually execute, but it’s one of my most beloved family traditions. So many wonderful memories came out of those nights curled up in sleeping bags in the tent, sitting around the campfire, and lounging by the lake.

3. Every summer I try to tackle a tome, preferably one that I’ve been meaning to read for a while or that I wouldn’t otherwise have the time to read. I’ve read Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy this way. This summer I’m buddy reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien with Mary Drover, which I’m really excited about. It’ll be so great to finally check this one off my list after literal decades of it sitting on my shelf.

4. Summer is my blog scheduling time. As soon as a new semester starts, I find that I barely have time to pick up a book, let alone have the headspace to write blog posts in the midst of writing paper after paper. I’ve gotten into the routine of scheduling a bunch of posts ahead of time so that I don’t have to worry about writing new posts for at least the first few weeks of the fall semester. Blogging nonstop like this also keep me reading and writing regularly, which helps make the transition back to taking classes a lot easier when the new semester begins.

5. I love going picking. Every summer my mom and I pick strawberries and blueberries and then bake with our goodies. We always make a strawberry rhubarb pie, and then experiment a bit with the blueberries–sometimes we’ll bake a classic blueberry pie, and other times we’ll make breads or muffins. We’ve stayed loyal to the same farm for years, returning each summer to pick and then peruse their farm stand for pea pods and raspberries. It’s one of my favorite summer traditions!

6. When I was younger, I was an avid summer reader. I have distinct memories of being 11 or 12 years old and going to my local public library each week. I would check out four or five books at a time and always return with my stack the following week to return them and get more. I remember thinking that I would love to work at that library someday–and then I did! Such a nice little full circle!

7. This summer I’m doing #100daysofsummer on my bookstagram. I love taking bookish photos, especially in the summertime when I can take them outside in the garden or by the edge of the woods surrounding my house. I’ve decided to post a photo every day this summer as a fun little project to get me taking more photos and talking about books more beyond just this blog. I’m really excited about it! Follow my bookstagram here to follow along!

Emma @ Emma Reads || Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca || Georgiana @ Readers’ High Tea || Amanda @ Amanda’s Book Review || Dini @ Dini Panda Reads || Mia @ Pen and Parchment

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

Versatile Blogger Award | 3

Book Courtship-10

What a better way to start the day than with a fun blogger award! Thanks so much to Grace @ kimmie.gg for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award– I always appreciate nominations like this, especially from such lovely fellow bloggers. ❤

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  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person that has nominated you
  • Share 7 different facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
  • Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

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Since it’s officially autumn,  I’ve decided to make my seven facts fall-themed.

  1. Autumn is my favorite season. I adore all things relating to pumpkin spice, jumping in leaf piles, wearing cozy sweaters, and drinking excessive amounts of tea.
  2. During the chillier seasons (autumn and winter) I usually drink around two or three mugs of tea each day. Is this healthy? I have no idea. Will I continue to drink this much tea? Absolutely!
  3. 124862When I think of autumn, the first book that always come to mind is October Sky by Homer Hickam, a memoir that was later turned into a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Don’t worry, it’s more than just the autumnal title– there’s something about the overall setting and atmosphere of this book that exudes fall to me. Whatever the reason is, I highly recommend both this book and the film!
  4. For me, fall is also a season of candles. It seems as though I’ve inherited my mom’s love of cozy scents, because I always get the urge to light candles as soon as the leaves start taking on their golden array of colors. Apple, pumpkin, and baking scents in general are the best!
  5. I’m terrible at carving pumpkins, but I love eating roasted pumpkins seeds. Oh, the conundrum!
  6. The last time I tried to go apple picking I was informed that this particular orchard only allowed people to go picking on the weekends. Needless to say, I was incredibly disappointed.
  7. I love the smell of air in autumn, the way the leaves infuse it with their earthy scent and the crisp snap of fall makes it just chilly enough for a cardigan. There’s nothing better!

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  1. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads
  2. Callum McLaughlin
  3. Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  4. Rebecca @ Books and Bubble Baths Blog
  5. Caitlin @ Caitlin Loves Books
  6. Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales
  7. Megan @ Bookslayer Reads
  8. Anne @ Inked Brownies
  9. Alice @ Arctic Books
  10. Ava @ Bookishness and Tea
  11. The Proud and Prejudiced Book Thieves
  12. Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros
  13. Estefani @ Fiction Jungle
  14. Maggie @ In A Reading World
  15. Emmy @ Fictionaire

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you think of mine? Most importantly, what’s your favorite season? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY