EMPTY SHELF CHALLENGE

Dear Reader,

Each year, one of my resolutions is always the same: read more. And, each year, I start off strong, struggle for a few months, and then end just as I began. But I don’t come close to making any of the reading goals I set for myself.

And maybe it’s because I have more time to read in the winter compared to the rest of the year, but this year I’m going to be self-motivated for the full twelve months.

*Cue The Empty Shelf Challenge*

This challenge was created at the end of 2013 by Jon Acuff and the rules are simple: clear off a shelf in your bedroom/office/library/etc. and fill it by the time the New Year rolls around with the books you read. I’m starting mine today because 1) I just went on a shopping spree where I bought four new books that I can’t wait to dive into and 2) in the words of Jon, himself, waiting until January 1st to do something awesome is stupid and fake.

So that’s what I’m up to. I encourage everyone to partake–I challenge everyone to, actually. And you can even do this if you’re an e-book reader or audiobook listener! Just get out there and read–and share your progress on their Pinterest board too!

Here’s to the many stories to discover in 2015.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Current obsession: Ghost by Ella Henderson

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BOOKS ARE REFRESHING

I find books refreshing.

Chapter One.

You meet your protagonist. Sometimes you meet them in their worst state–directly after a tragedy. You meet a shell of a person. Pathetic. Probably not doing much. Wondering if they can carry on. But you know they will.

You read Chapter One and you know there’s going to be more. Many more. Sometimes hundreds of chapters.

And you know that by the last chapter, your character will be whole again. Or on their way.

You don’t know what’s about to happen within these pages, I mean sometimes you have an idea, but you don’t know for sure. And, of course, even your best guesses can sometimes be horribly wrong. There are such things as plot twists, you know.

And sometimes, many times, I find, the book turns out to be a better story than you could’ve hoped for. The characters your protagonist meets are surprising. They’re loving and supportive. They deal with their own troubles too, of course, yet they’re still so good.

Then there’s all of these crazy events that happen. Weird plot lines and crazy stories and remarkable adventures, all covered on these next pages.

But then it ends. If you think as I do–and I encourage you to make the jump with me–these characters lives’ don’t end. There are epilogues, some never told. The characters don’t just die at the end of their novel. At least not always. Not all of them.

I like to believe that they live on, sometimes ordinarily. Maybe something not quite sequel-worthy, but they live on.

But the story is so important. Everything that starts with Chapter One and ends on Chapter Who’s-Keeping-Count-Anymore is important. The characters develop. The problem is solved. The world is right again.

I don’t know that my story has started yet, but I take comfort in the fact that I can be far from perfect when it does. And I surely won’t end up as a perfect character, but I like to believe that something incredible is in store for me. Not that I should just wait around for it, but it’s nice to believe that everything is going to be okay.

One day, I’ll have my own Chapter One. I might be a hot mess, but we’ll just go with it.

My story will be written.

On days as sad as this one, it’s nice to believe that this might one day happen to me. It’s nice to escape into the mind of my 10-year-old self and believe that I am the star of my own story.

It’s nice to find books refreshing.

June Favorites

Dear Reader,

Here’s what I’ve been loving in June regarding everything from music to fashion to books to makeup and more (in no particular order). Also, if you click on any of the pictures (for the most part), you’ll be directed to a website where you can purchase the item, if you so choose.

Beauty

They’re Real! Mascara (Benefit): When it comes to makeup, the one thing I care about is my eyelashes. I curl them and am almost always wearing mascara (except I am more lenient in the summer). Normally I opt for the Maybelline or Covergirl options from Rite Aid or Target, but this month my sister gave her half-used tube or Benefit’s “They’re Real!” Mascara to me and I. Love. It. It’s pretty pricey in comparison, but I believe it is definitely worth the purchase.

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NIVEA Lip Butter Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss: I’m not really one for lip sticks and lip glosses, but this vanilla scented lip butter is my absolute favorite. And it lasts a long time.

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Music

The Fault In Our Stars Album: The book was fantastic. The movie was fantastic. And I’m so relieved to announce that the album is fantastic as well. It has fun songs like Boom Clap by Charli XCX and Let Me In by Grouplove, but they also have slower songs that truly relate to the movie with lyrics that are perfect and music that is dramatic in all the right places, like All I Want by Kodaline and Wait by M83. It also featured one of my favorite artists, Birdy, three times. This song, Tee Shirt, is one of my favorites from the album.

Jasmine Thompson – Not About Angels Cover: Not About Angels is originally sung by Birdy on TFIOS album, but Jasmine Thompson’s version is just as good. She’s definitely an artist worth checking out.

Ed Sheeran’s “X” (Deluxe): After “Sing” came out and blew up, Ed Sheeran’s sophomore album became highly anticipated. And it did not disappoint. The whole album is awesome. He has such a unique rhythm and style and this album offers a good variety from him. Some favorites are Don’t, Photograph, The Man, and Bloodstream.

Larger Than Life – Pinkzebra: I can’t find this song anywhere! It’s not on iTunes or Spotify, so the only place I can listen to it is YouTube but I adore this song. Please just do yourself a favor and click play.

Entertainment

22 Jump Street: I was nervous for this movie to come out because 21 Jump Street was so funny, but the sequel is great! As always, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are hilarious, but Ice Cube was hysterical! And it was nice to see Jimmy Tatro on the big screen after watching him for so long on YouTube.

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Just My Luck: I took a journey to the past this month and fell back in love with Just My Luck. For those of you who don’t know, this movie stars Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine circa 2006. And it features one of my favorite bands from my childhood: McFly. It’s wonderful.just_my_luck_ver3_xlg

Undateable: Chris D’Elia came out with a new show on NBC this month called “Undateable” and I like it! I think it’s hilarious and I love the cast and variety of characters. It reminds me of SNL too, because sometimes they scenes are so funny, it’s hard for all of them to keep a straight face. I find that somewhat refreshing, though. Because it’s new, I’m scared it’ll get cancelled, but I’m loving it for now.undateable_gallery_1200_article_story_large

Young & Hungry: This TV show is a late addition to the list because the pilot episode came out this past Wednesday, but I have high hopes. It stars Emily Osment, which is enough for me to continue tuning in, and it’s on ABC Family. I find Gabby, her character, so funny and quirky, but not in the too-forced-out-of-the-box kind of way. Anyway, I look forward to watching more.Young_&_Hungry

Orange is the New Black: I’m so mad I don’t have Netflix because I am loving this show. I’m only on episode 3, but with all the hype, I know the rest of the series will be just as good. Still, three episodes in and I’m already hooked.orange-is-the-new-black-52e7a57275fd3

Fashion

Black Dresses: I graduated on June 1st and every weekend since, I’ve had dozens on grad parties to go to. And, for multiple reasons, I always opt for dresses. Normally black dresses. This is because I can easily throw on colorful scarves, sneakers, jewelry, cardigans, or whatever else I want to dress it up or down. The one I’ve been wearing the most is from Target and is still on sale for $20.

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Rings: I’ve also been getting into rings more, for some reason. I think I just like wearing more jewelry in the summer. Anyway, the rings I’ve been wearing are from Forever 21, but I don’t think they’re available on the website anymore. Still, they offer plenty of stackable rings like these to choose from, along with statement, cocktail, multi finger, and midi rings as well.

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Books

I have two book recommendations from the month of June and they’re both written by Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor & Park and Fangirl are now two of my all time favorite stand-alone novels. You can check out my Goodreads account if you want a more in-depth review.

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Miscellaneous

Jump Rope: One random thing I’ve been loving this month is jumping rope. I’ve been trying to get in shape for my trip to Texas, and just for the summer in general, and jump-roping is so easy! Mine is from TJ Maxx and it has removable weights in the handles, which I like for an added challenge. I try to jump 100 times every day, but lately I’ve been pushing 150.

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Blogging: It just wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t add WordPress, Sincerely Sammy, blogging, or anything for that matter to my list of June favorites, because I really have been loving it! I really like sharing random thoughts or favorites or pictures with possible viewers on the internet, and I also like exploring the website and other people’s blogs. One of my favorites so far is A Note From Sophie. She was the first person to comment on my first post, so I immediately replied and followed her back, and her post “Pointless trip to Ireland” is my favorite. It has a really good message and I seriously “aww’d”  out loud when I read that three years later this best friend is now her boyfriend. I don’t know, stuff like that just gets me. I love it. Anyway, that post is seriously less than 500 words, so just take a second and check it out.

http://anotefromsophie.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/pointless-trip-to-ireland/

Well, that’s probably more than enough favorites to mention, but if you made it this far, thanks for sticking until the end.

Sincerely,

Sammy