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 🙂

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.


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 🙂

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 🙂

Getting Personal #155: “North Island, New Zealand” (Reblogged)

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love lighthouses. I’ve had the opportunity to visit and climb several of them on the East Coast – Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. One of my dreams is to visit every lighthouse in the United States, and climb as many as I can. That’s no small feat!

For Christmas 2017, my sister-in-law Savy bought me this incredible book, Lighthouses of America. I love it! I plan to review it here on the blog soon.

For now, though, I’ll be admiring this photo of North Island in New Zealand. And thinking about the next lighthouse in my vicinity that I can visit and climb.

Do you like lighthouses? Where do you dream of traveling and exploring?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

North Island, New Zealand

View original post

Getting Personal #154: January Goals

Happy New Year!!

Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.
  2. Check out savings and investing apps.
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.
  4. Donate, donate, donate.
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule.
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.

  • We decided to start a Google Doc that has all of our budget items for 2019. Hopefully, this will be much more manageable and less frustrating!

Check out savings and investing apps.

  • Since I listen to a lot of podcasts, there are always advertisements. I’ve heard about Robin Hood, an investing app. I don’t know if I’ll commit to it, but I want to check it out.
  • One app that our sister-in-law loves and swears by is ibotta.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.

  • I started recently – I spent nearly two hours in there last Saturday afternoon. I filled four donation boxes, finally organized my bookshelf, replaced the light bulbs in the ceiling fan fixture, filled a trash bag completely, and cut up at least 10 various-sized boxes for recycling.
  • Next weekend – I want to concentrate on the filing system.

Donate, donate, donate.

  • I’m long overdue to make a few trips to the thrift store and the library.

Continue work on my 2013 WIP.

  • Current word count: 14,247 words.
  • My rough goal is to reach at least 17,000 words before the end of January.

Reset our cleaning schedule.

  • I started using our wall calendar to mark what area of the house needed cleaning every weekend. This was a good system for us, since we typically divide and conquer the cleaning together. Just need to get back to it.

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

  • My original plan was to post these every Monday, but it’s fallen by the wayside recently. However, I’m committed to posting one every Monday in January!

Do you have any goals for the month of January?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #153: December Goals Recap

New Year Ahead

Image Credit: First Baptist Church

It’s the end of 2018! Wow!!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  2. Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!
  5. Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!
  8. Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!
  10. Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.
  11. Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!
  12. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished! 

  • December 8th: 606 new words
  • December 9th: 217 new words
  • December 30th: 620 new words
  • December 31st: 2,372 new words
  • Current word count: 50,461 words
  • I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!
  • I DID IT!!!!!

Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.

  • I haven’t finished the story yet.

Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.

  • This was put on the back burner.

Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!

  • I have a timeline established for these two. I want to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April to work on the 2014 WIP, and then the July session to focus on the 2018 WIP.

Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.

  • Since we didn’t celebrate at home this year, we decided that the tree wasn’t necessary.
  • I wanted to put up the wreath on our front door with battery-operated Christmas lights and Christmas ribbon, but that didn’t happen.

Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.

Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!

  • We had ourselves a good time!

Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • No effort at all.

Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!

  • See the photos below!

Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.

  • The boxes are stacked and ready, but they didn’t make it to their destinations this month.

Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!

  • Here’s my list: A new pair of glasses, a new pair of prescription sunglasses, my first pair of Rothy’s shoes, continuing Rodan and Fields skincare, and a new business suit.
  • A good chunk of the rest of my money will be squirreled away!

Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

  • We had a wonderful time at Al’s parents for Christmas. We took almost a week off of work, and it was great. Al had nearly two weeks off altogether.
  • No New Year’s parties for us – Just a quiet night at home with our dogs, a delicious dinner, and watching movies until midnight, with Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 12 goals. I’ll take 50 percent. Not bad for the end of the year!
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: A lot of these were due to time constraints, and lack of motivation and effort.

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!

Happy New Year!!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂