Blog Awards #23: The Liebster Award – Number Four!

The Liebster Award

Found on Planet Simon

Thanks, Simon, for nominating me! Check out his blog, Planet Simon. I love his science and NASA posts!

Here’s the link to where I was nominated:


Simon’s Questions

  1. What inspires your blog?
  2. Have you been writing since you were a child? If not when did you start writing?
  3. What is your favorite blog and why?
  4. What are you most passionate about?
  5. Do you draw inspiration from everyday ordinary occurrences?

My Answers

  1. I love writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 10-years-old. Also, I had to create a blog for one of my communications classes in college. That blog inspired me to continue my journalism endeavors, and share my own thoughts, passions, and goals along the way.
  2. I kind of answered this in #1, but yes. I filled notebooks and tons of loose-leaf paper with journal entries, stories, and more. I wish I hadn’t thrown many of them away when I was an embarrassed teenager. However, I still have the dark blue three-ring binder with a variety of typed and hand-written short stories from age 10 through high school.
  3. I can’t pick just one. Nope, can’t do it!
  4. Excellent question. I think I’m most passionate about helping others. I love engaging with people, and problem-solving. A lot of my paths in life have gone this way, and the journey continues.
  5. Absolutely. I particularly take note of nature and natural elements around me.

My Questions to the Nominees

  1. When did you start blogging?
  2. Do you remember what inspired your very first blog post?
  3. If you could sell anything, what would it be, and why?
  4. What’s your favorite season?
  5. Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack?

Tag – You’re It!

  1. Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  2. Howling Libraries
  3. Fiction No Chaser
  4. Bookmark Your Thoughts
  5. Perfectly Tolerable

No obligation to participate!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #70: Book Blogger Confessions Book Tag

book blogger confessions book tag

Found on Fiction No Chaser

I found this tag on Fiction No Chaser!

Here’s the link to their post:


The Rules

  1. Answer these questions truthfully.
  2. Once you’re done, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

I have to go back into 2018 for a minute. I think it was All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. However, at the beginning of January, I picked back up and am enjoying it again.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Pretty much anything written by Nicholas Sparks. I did my college senior thesis on his books. I haven’t read several of his new releases, so I may do that soon.

Which book do you love to hate?

I have to agree with Fiction No Chaser here. The Twilight series.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I really struggle with multiple POVs in general, but this book drove me nuts! And I was super disappointed, too, since I LOVED and absolutely inhaled Divergent and Insurgent.

Which book have you read the most?

It’s a dead-on tie between The Great Gatsby and To Kill A Mockingbird. I re-read both of these every single year.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Nothing. I adore books. And I agree with Fiction No Chaser – Worst case, I can give it to someone who wants it.

Which book could you not live without?

I just can’t pick just one. If my house were to catch on fire, I would automatically save my hard cover British copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that I got in England on the release day in the summer of 2005, and then my Bibles.

Which book made you the angriest?

Can I say Allegiant again? That’s seriously the ONLY BOOK that comes to mind.

Which book made you cry the most?

I’m not usually a big crier while reading. But, I agree with Fiction No Chaser. I cried quite a bit while getting through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It took me quite a while to read it and finish it, but there were definite tears. And it took me at least two weeks to pick up another book, and that’s saying something for me.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

I loathe book covers that have the movie adaptation characters on them. I refuse to buy them! Nicholas Sparks and John Grisham are two examples.


Tag – You’re It!

  • Kristian at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table
  • Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts
  • Destiny at Howling Libraries
  • Daniel at Page to Page
  • The Electric Contrarian

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #160: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter O)

The ABC Book Challenge - L


Memorable Books that Start with the Letter “O”:

Onwriting.jpg

10569

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  • This is by far one of my favorite memoirs, and writing craft books. I first found the book on a whim at the library. I loved it so much, I knew I needed my own copy. This book is staying on my bookshelf forever.

320

One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • This was a hard book to read and digest in high school, but it was definitely magical.

231804

The Outsiders

  • I love this book. I read it when I was younger. Then, I re-read it, and fell in love with it. The movie adaptation (1983) is also quite good.

1381

The Odyssey

  • This was a whole unit in one of my high school English classes. I’d originally learned part of the story from Wishbone.

Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “O”:

890

Of Mice and Men

  • I enjoyed reading Steinbeck in my American Literature class in college. We didn’t read this one then, but I tried after the class ended. I failed. I want to try again, however.

70401

On the Road

  • I became fascinated with Jack Kerouac, and the other Beat Generation poets, while studying history in high school.

332613

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  • I first learned about this book from Sesame Street! They did a “Monsterpiece Theatre” segment where they were discussing classic literature. A number 1 flew over a cuckoo’s nest.

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Ordinary People

  • I really should read this book. The movie adaptation (1980) is fabulous.

year-cover

Our Year of Maybe


What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter O? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #159: “The Alphabet Post Challenge”

the alphabet post challenge

I saw this post on Kristian’s blog, Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table! I wasn’t tagged for it, but I wanted to do this because it looked like so much fun. I could see how much fun Kristian had with it. Her enthusiasm is contagious!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post:


Guidelines

The post was created by Stuart of Stuart of Something to Stu Over

Acknowledge the blogger that challenged you.

Display the challenge photo or create your own. 

Link back to this post so I can read yours. 

Create one post or multiple posts, using a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet and share your thoughts on the word you chose and how it can be applied to our lives.

Be creative and have fun!

Nominate 5 -7  bloggers to participate.


Here we go!

A is for Al.

This was a no-brainer for me. Al is not only my husband. He’s an amazing friend, brother, son, secret-keeper, dog dad, and so much more. I love you, baby!

B is for Big Bird.

Those of you who know me well, and see me on Facebook, know that Big Bird is one of my all-time favorite characters. Sesame Street is one of the only shows that I have watched for forever. I had not one, not two, but THREE stuffed Big Birds when I was a kid. They were small, medium, and large. The small one was handmade by someone in my family, either my grandmother or my aunt. The medium one was bought for me at our local mall, I think at the KB Toys? The large one had a pull string that made him talk. There are many family photos where one of them makes an appearance. He was my “lovey” for so long. I think Mom and Dad still have at least one of them at their house. I sincerely hope that’s the case, anyway!

C is for Church.

I was raised in an incredible United Methodist church. I have so many memories from there – Sunday School, Confirmation class, youth group, volunteering, starting our blood drives, mission trips, retreats, communications committee, the media team, and more. I also married Al in the beautiful sanctuary on November 14, 2015.

D is for Dolls.

I grew up with Barbie dolls, and then a Bitty Baby. When I was nine, I received my special American Girl of Today doll for Christmas, whom I named Stephanie. Now, 21 years later, I have six American Girl dolls, including Stephanie. Al’s dad designed and hand-built this amazing display case, wardrobe, and double-sided shoe rack. I love it so much, and it’s in the perfect place in my Lady Lounge.

E is for Enthusiasm.

I’ve typically been described as enthusiastic, energetic, and excitable. All three of these personality traits go hand-in-hand!

F is for Forrest Gump.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies! If it’s on TV, I usually end up watching it until it ends. Tom Hanks became one of my favorite actors because of this movie, and Gary Sinise is top-notch as Lieutenant Dan. I know my interest in 20th century American history started because of this movie, too. It’s celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2019, and I would love to go see it on the big screen.

G is for Glee.

Glee is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I fell in love from the pilot episode in 2009. I own almost all of the albums. If I’m having a rough day, I know I can pop one in my CD player in the car, and singing along helps lift my mood. Also, I used their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mine” to serenade Al during our rehearsal dinner in 2015.

H is for High-Fives.

I love giving, and receiving, high-fives!

I is for Ice Cream.

Ice cream is one of my loves. I don’t eat as much as it any more, but you can count on it being in the freezer during the summertime, and for any birthday celebrations. My favorite is chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum!

J is for Josh Groban.

My family fell in love with Josh Groban early in his career. My mom and I have seen him perform live twice in Norfolk, and I would love to see him perform again. Also, he’s quite the comedian, with several guest spots on late-night talk shows.

K is for Kermit the Frog.

Like Big Bird, Kermit is one of my favorite Muppets. When I was 15, my Florida friend Megan and I went to a fun game/arcade place called GameWorks in Miami. Together, we gathered enough tickets to get matching stuffed Kermits, and leopard-print plush mirrors that were flower-shaped. Also, Jim Henson was a genius, and many of us miss him. He was taken from this world too soon, dying as a result of pneumonia in 1990.

L is for Libraries.

Libraries are amazing. I’m been a proud card-carrier since I was four years old. I can’t wait to show Al the main branch of the New York Public Library when we go visit New York this summer.

M is for Michael Buble.

Another one of my favorite singers!

N is for New York.

I was born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. It’s right across the street from Central Park. Because of my premature birth, one of the things the nurses told my parents was that they wanted to see these kids, graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) do well and thrive. So, my parents took me back to the hospital every summer until I was 16.

We lived on Governors Island for two years, and then moved to Virginia. I have so many wonderful memories of New York. Seeing several shows, the World Trade Center before 9/11, all the sights and sounds, THE FOOD, the architecture, the subway, and more.

Central Park is one of my favorite places! Also, my Great-Aunt Sherri lives in the Tribeca/Soho area, and happens to live about a block and a half from the firehouse that was the Ghostbusters headquarters!

One of the coolest experiences was playing at Carnegie Hall with my high school orchestra in my senior year. The head nurse from Mount Sinai’s NICU, Doris, came to the performance with my parents, and brought me flowers. The orchestra also got to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Winter Garden Theatre. It was a ton of hard work – We prepared for nearly 18 months – but so incredibly worth it.

O is for Oreo.

I love Oreos! One of the best things my Grandma Grace taught me was that Oreos taste better when they’re frozen!

P is for The Polar Express.

The Polar Express has always been one of my favorite books. My parents have a gift set which includes the hardcover book, an audio cassette of the book reading, and a bell.

Also, the movie adaptation (2004) is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Q is for Queen.

I discovered Queen’s music in high school. After football games, they would play “We Are The Champions.”

Their Live Aid performance (1985) is on YouTube, and it’s one of the most spectacular music performances EVER.

It wasn’t until Al and I were dating that I first watched Wayne’s World (1992) and their epic rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

If you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), GO SEE IT. It’s one of the best movies that I’ve seen in the last several years. It’s also one of those movies that should be seen on the big screen. I can’t wait to get it on DVD.

Also, Rami Malek did an awesome interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. I was captivated!

R is for Reading.

I started devouring books as soon as I could. I know my parents and relatives read to me, too, since there are several photos of that.

Reading is one of my true passions. I love books, libraries, collecting books, and more. I love writing Book Reviews here on the blog. Also, I’ve been writing a fun Awesome Authors series, where I research different authors, their lives, and their books.

S is for Swings.

As a kid, I loved the swings at the playground.

Many of my dreams have portrayed some sort of swing – Tire swings, playground swings, porch swings, rope swings over water, and more.

That feeling like you’re flying while on a swing is indescribable.

T is for Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift is magic. I love her voice, her presence, and her dedication to charity and her fans!

U is for “Uptown Girl.”

Billy Joel is another one of my favorite singers! This song, while not the first one I remember hearing, is one that I love. And it’s so catchy! I’ve practically memorized all the lyrics.

V is for Viola.

I played the viola for eight years, starting in fifth grade. We had the choice between the recorder in our music teacher’s class, Mrs. Brennan, or strings. I had taken piano lessons for several years, and just did not want to play the recorder! I originally wanted to play the violin, but the viola was a good compromise. It looks like a bigger violin, but has the strings of a cello.

Orchestra was one of my fondest memories of middle school and high school. Sixth grade, with Mrs. Glasco, at Western Branch Middle School was big and loud. For seventh grade, my house/neighborhood was part of the transition to the brand-new Jolliff Middle School. Jolliff’s orchestra class, with Mrs. Rice, in seventh and eighth grade was pretty small – I think there were only four violas, maybe six tops.

I was in orchestra class when I found out that I had been accepted into the brand-spanking-new International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Oscar Smith High School. I was the only student from my district, Western Branch, to attend the program when I started at OSHS in the fall of 2003. I started in the Concert Orchestra with Ms. Kringel (Yes, that’s really her name!), and then moved up to the Chamber Orchestra when I was a sophomore. As I mentioned in my New York entry, we had the ultimate trip of a lifetime when we were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2007. I can’t think of a much better way to cap off my SENIOR YEAR of high school than that!

W is for Writing.

Writing has been one of my passions since I was in elementary school. I would fill journals, notebooks, and tons of loose-leaf paper with short stories and doodles about everything, but mainly stories about my Barbie dolls, and then my one American Girl doll, whom I named Stephanie.

As part of the “Young Authors” program in elementary school, kids had the opportunity to write and illustrate their own spiral-bound book. When I was in fifth grade, I called my story “Electro Girl,” and it was a simple friendship story about a girl and her new friend, a robot, set in the forests of Oregon. “Electro Girl” was selected as an honorable mention in the program, and I was able to attend the special ceremony with my parents and other kids from around the city. That ceremony is where my friendship with my best friend, Melissa, started to bloom!

I’m pretty sure I still have my copy of “Electro Girl” (I hope so), and my treasured dark blue three-ring binder with all of my childhood short stories. It’s covered with stickers from the doctor’s office, from craft stores, and birthday parties. I threw away many of the journals and notebooks as a teenager, and I’m so mad now that I did!

Fast-forward to January 2019. I’ve completed four National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo), two Camp NaNoWriMo sessions, and began drafts of four novels. On New Year’s Eve, I hit a HUGE milestone. I crossed the 50,000-word mark on my first NaNoWriMo attempt, which I started in 2012. I made so much progress on this baby in 2018 alone. I’m almost finished, but I’m struggling with the ending!

Next up: Making headway with my 2013 WIP.

Also, I have this little blog of mine as a huge part of my life. Thank you to all my readers and followers thus far. I appreciate every one of you!

X is for Xeno.

I love Nick and Savy’s dog, Xeno! He has so much energy, and he always makes us laugh.

Y is for You!

Thank YOU for supporting this little blog of mine for many years. I appreciate every follower, like, comment, tag, and more!

Z is for Zebra Cakes.

I love nearly everything with a Little Debbie label, except for Oatmeal Cream Pies! Zebra Cakes, however, have always been delicious, and funky-looking!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #69: Holiday Drinks Book Tag

Holiday Drinks - Wide Open Eats

Image Credit: Wide Open Eats

holiday drinks book tag

Found on Page to Page

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but I loved reading Daniel’s post so much, I knew I needed to post my own version.

Here’s the link to Daniel’s post:


Hot Chocolate: Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my! Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.

Forgetting My Way Back To You

Forgetting My Way Back To You, Karina Bartow.

I read this book as an ARC a few months ago, and it’s really sweet and touching. I noted a touch of cheesiness, but it was also integral to the story. No spoilers!

Peppermint Mocha: The flavor of peppermint is strong and distinct. Recommend a book with a lot of strong emotions.

Image result for harry potter and the goblet of fire book

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.

It’s so hard to pick a single Harry Potter book for nearly anything. This one runs the reader through the gauntlet of emotions, though!

Apple Cider: It’s so good it can’t be good for you, but it’s from apples – That means it’s healthy, right? Recommend a book full of characters with questionable morals.

hunger-games

The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins.

I will probably never stop raving about this trilogy. If you’re looking for a great series with a ton of diverse characters, I highly recommend it. And there are definitely lots of characters with questionable morals here!

Eggnog: It’s creamy and smooth, with a little spice, and some people even add alcohol to it. Recommend a book that’s mostly fun, with just a hint of danger.

Image result for safe haven book

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks.

This is one of Sparks’ books where I truly felt scared several times for the main character. No spoilers, but it was certainly intense for an author who has traditionally written sweet romance novels.

Gingerbread Latte: A drink with a veritable explosion of spices. Recommend a book with a lot of action.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins.

This book was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It kept me on my toes, and on the edge of my seat, almost the entire time. Great book!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #156: Ninth TBR Recap

book quote - good housekeeping

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

Welcome back!

In case you’re interested, here are the links to my previous TBR posts:


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Laakso, Laura, Fallible Justice (ARC Review)
  2. Watts, J. Holley, WHO KNEW? …Reflections On Vietnam
  3. Block, Lawrence, Small Town
  4. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  3. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  4. Hopkins, Ellen, Crank
  5. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  6. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  7. Summers, Courtney, All the Rage
  8. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  9. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give
  10. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1

Removal Rate: 10/14 = 71%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America *Re-Read*
  2. Ng, Celeste, Everything I Never Told You
  3. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  4. Weldon, Fay, Habits of the House

Keep Rate: 4/14 = 29%


Adding To The TBR

  1. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  2. Kubica, Mary, Good Girl
  3. McGinnis, Mindy, The Female of the Species
  4. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  5. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee
  6. Pon, Cindy, Want
  7. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone *Re-Read*
  8. Sanderson, Brandon, Mistborn: The Final Empire
  9. Westover, Tara, Educated: A Memoir

So, my current TBR is 13 books.


Do you have a TBR?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #68: Disney Princess Hair Book Tag

disney princesses

Image Credit: The Washington Post

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but I love Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts so much! Her enthusiasm for this tag was contagious!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post:


The Rules

  1. Link back to Kyera’s original post on Kyera’s Library and Mandy’s post on Book Princess Reviews so they can see all your answers! Be sure to do this via pingback, we don’t get notified if you just tag our URLs.
  2. Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  3. Obviously, come up with your own wonderful answers!
  4. Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

Best Hair Accessory

Favorite book sidekick

Princess: The red ribbon in Snow White’s hair.

Book: Ron Weasley from Harry Potter.

Biggest Hair Change

Plot twist that totally caught you off guard

Princess: Anna’s streaks from Frozen.

Book: The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. So crazy!

Prettiest Up-Do / Bun

A book or author with the most elegant prose

Princess: Princess Tiana! I love the The Princess and The Frog. So elegant and gorgeous!

Book: To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I was assigned to read this book during the summer before ninth grade, and I fell in love. It’s one of several books that I strive to re-read every year.

Most Bounce / Body

Book that bounces between multiple time periods

Princess: Ariel, hands down! So beautiful.

Book: I haven’t read it yet, but Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, immediately comes to mind.

Most Intricate Braid

Favorite plot with multiple story-lines that are woven together

Princess: Elsa!

Book: I got nothing!

Short & Sweet

A book that’s short and sweet

Princess: Mulan! One of my favorite princesses of all-time.

Book: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is another book that I typically re-read every year.

Nicest Half-Up / Half-Down

A book / character that you had a lot of ups and downs with

Princess: Belle! I love Beauty and the Beast!

Book: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling. Such a good book, but it was also the end of the epic series that defined a good portion of my childhood and my life!

Medium & Manageable

The last book you felt right in the middle about

Princess: I’m running out of princesses! I think Moana is the best pick for this one.

Book: Small Town, by Lawrence Block. A good read, but also long, heavy, and graphic. I gave it 3 1/2 stars in my review.

Best Bangs

Eye-catching cover

Princess: Ariel!

Book: Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. I don’t normally pick books based on cover, but the minute I saw it, I need I wanted to read it. It’s going back on my TBR soon!

Long & Loose

Longest book you read this year

Princess: Merida!

Book: I honestly can’t answer this question. I don’t normally pay attention to the length of books.

Best Pony

A book that swings from POV to POV

Princess: Jasmine! I wanted hair like hers for years.

Book: Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. Many know my disgust with this book. I have trouble reading books with multiple POVs thanks to this one.

Stunningly Straight

A book that made you want to dive straight into the sequel

Princess: Pocahontas! Absolutely gorgeous!

Book: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This book captivated me. I think I had all three books in my possession when I finished this one. If I hadn’t, I think I would have gone straight to the store to pick up Catching Fire the minute I finished the first one. If you haven’t read the trilogy, DO IT!

Enviable Curls

A book with twists and turns

Princess: Aurora.

Book: The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. Holy moly! This was such a good book! It kept me on the edge the entire time. What a ride!

Hair Closest to Your Own

A book that you strongly connected to

Princess: Rapunzel’s hair after it’s cut off. I felt this way when I decided to cut my hair to its current length. I’d grown my hair out from 2013 through 2017, and I’m glad I did since my wedding hairstyle came out beautifully in 2015. But, after a while, the length was frustrating and I really started to not like it. It took FOREVER to blow dry! I decided to cut it off, and I’ve never looked back. I know Al was sad, but I’ve loved the compliments I’ve gotten with my current style. Plus, blow drying is a cinch now!

Book: This is one of the toughest questions. But, I think the proper answer, at this moment, is Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, by Lilly Ledbetter. I greatly enjoy human interest stories, and especially ones written by women. As a woman, and someone who is very much aware of the wage gap, I try to learn more about it. Reading Ledbetter’s story was so encouraging and inspiring to me. This book will remain on my bookshelf forever.


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂