Getting to Know You Blog Hop & Giveaway

Welcome everybody!! So glad you stopped by to check out my blog as part of the Getting to Know You Blog Hop hosted by the ladies over at Cuddlebuggery! I’m so excited to take part in this hop because I love meeting new readers and bloggers, and am hoping to make a bunch of new friends. Be sure to head over to the original blog hop post to discover some amazing bloggers and their amazing giveaways!

The purpose of this blog hop is to help readers connect with other readers and bloggers they may not have heard of as a way to help build stronger and better connections to the community. I loved this idea from the moment I heard about it (Thanks for the heads up Andi!) and I’m psyched to tell you all a little bit about me and my blog, What Sarah Read!

getting-to-know-you

Before I begin, I want to make a confession and let you all know that I’m KIINNNND of cheating here! You see, wayyyy back in May when I started this blog there was this little known event going on down in NYC, maybe you’ve heard of it? BEA ring any bells? Well, in any case, I didn’t attend but I did take part in a fun online event called Armchair BEA! It was a blast to take part in and it helped me come up with content for my first few posts here on What Sarah Read. One of my posts for this event was a fun Q&A as way to introduce myself. I had such a blast responding the questions, that I decided to re-visit the post, six months later, and update my responses, as well as add a few more that I didn’t cover the first time around. So, here goes…

giphy

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

My name is Sarah and I’m a 30-something living in the mountains of Northern New England…where the winters are long and the summers are entirely too short. Here’s a quick rundown of what makes me…ME!

ya book blogger • cat lover • diet coke addict • cheeseburger aficionado • city mouse • daydreamer • fangirl • disney obsessed • shower singer • lover of life

I’ve been blogging since May and have loved every second of it. As a matter of fact, TODAY is my six month blogiversary! I was so inspired by some book bloggers I befriended on Twitter and they were super encouraging of my desire to start a blog. I was totally nervous and intimidated at first but they showed me a LOT  of love and I finally felt confident to strike out on my own.

giphy

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online.

It’s more than one sentence but I feel like this paragraph from the “About” section of my blog does a great job of summing it all up: Readers can expect this blog to be filled lots of random thoughts, ideas and musings generally related to books and reading but may also include random sprinklings of my personal life and current obsessions. Most importantly this blog will be a work in progress so bear with me through my growing pains. I’ve carved out my own little corner of the internet as a way to document my life, my loves and my desires with the hopes that I can get a little inspiration, feedback and encouragement from anyone who may be interested in following along.

You can find me all over the interwebz! Check it out…
BLOG / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / GOODREADS / TUMBLR / PINTEREST

What genre do you read the most?

I’m a total Young Adult (YA) junkie…I’ll read it all! Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Dystopian, etc. Some of my favorite authors include: Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Sarah J. MaasHeather Demetrios, Huntley Fitzpatrick, A.C. Gaughen, Leigh BardugoRae Carson, Emery Lord, Laini Taylor and there are sure to be many more. Since I am still fairly new to the YA genre there are still SO many more authors that I want to read so I just know this list will grow and grow! I may have a slight problem!

giphy

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

I didn’t read very much at all last year, but my favorite book was 11/22/63 by Stephen King. What’s interesting is that I only read THREE books in 2013. My New Year’s resolution this year was to read more (I used to read a TON and just stopped somewhere along the way) and set a goal of 100 books for 2014. I’m currently reading book #90! SOOOO close I can taste it!!

I’ve read a bunch of amazing books this year but I would have to put the Throne of Glass series, The Grisha Trilogy, the Scarlet Series, Exquisite Captive, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, the Fire and Thorns seriesOpen Road SummerMy Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True, Something Real, the Just One Day series and Fangirl at the very top of my list! Pssst…you can win your choice of one of the books mentioned here…just click on the link at the end of this post!

Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers.

Oh wow…where do I begin?! I’ve met so many amazing people in the book blogging world this year and they’ve all been SO amazing to me, but I want to give a special shout out to five ladies in particular who have been so encouraging and supportive!

Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

I couldn’t choose one, so here are two of my favorite quotes about reading. They perfectly sum up my feelings!

quotes

What does your ideal reading space look like?

I mean…really?! How amazing do these little reading nooks look? Can you blame me for daydreaming about being in one of those spots right this very moment?

reading nooks
I hope you enjoyed my little getting to know post. If you’re new to my blog, I hope I get to see you around more often, and if you’re a regular visitor, hopefully you learned a little more about me. Thanks so much for stopping by!

But don’t leave until you CLICK HERE to enter for your chance to win one of the books mentioned in my favorite books of 2014 list above!

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 30th at 11:59pm and is open internationally!*

YAY! My FIRST international giveaway! I’m so excited I can barely contain myself!

giphy

* only countries that Book Depository can ship to are eligible!

Fangirl Friday: 182 days!

Tomorrow marks six months since I started What Sarah Read and I’m celebrating on the blog today! Six months…that’s 182 days since I started on this adventure! 182 days of making new friends, discovering new books and experiencing so many amazing things! When I shared my very first blog post with you guys, I had no idea how much FUN this would all be and how many amazing people I would meet who have become such dear friends of mine!

I want to give a special shout-out to some amazing bloggers, and friends, who’ve really gone out of their way to support, encourage and mentor me. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart you guys!

giphy

I also want to thank some supremely talented authors who’ve been so wonderful and friendly in my interactions with them. Being able to connect with my favorite authors has been one of the best parts of blogging. So thank you ladies for writing some of the best books out there…keep on doing your thing!!

giphy

I thought I would share some of my favorite Instagram photos I’ve posted over the past six months as a way to reminisce and celebrate how far I’ve come! So, in the past 182 days…

I’ve discovered some amazing books!

discoveries

 I’ve attended THE.MOST.FUN book signings and events!

Events
Generous friends have shared their coveted ARCs!

SharedARCs

I’ve been gifted and have collected some ridiculous swag!

swag

I’ve filled and overflowed my bookshelves (and bedroom floor)!

shelves

Finally, I’ve had some proud, milestone moments! Like the honor of having my blog recognized in a published novel (Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios) and receiving my first two ARCs from a pubilsher…thanks Bloomsbury!

Honors

I’m feeling very proud, excited and grateful today…thank you all so much to everyone for your love, support, guidance and enthusiasm. Without you this wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun! I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings!

Fangirl Friday: Disney World Edition

I’m scheduling this post for the same exact time my flight leaves this morning…6:05am (YAWN), so by the time you’re reading this I’m either on my way, or may have just landed in sunny (hopefully) Orlando , or maybe I’m already on Splash Mountain! Yup! I’M…ON…VACATION! My husband and I will be spending seven glorious days at “The Happiest Place on Earth”…DISNEY WORLD! The first three days will be spent with my sister and her family showing how a Disney vacation is REALLY done, and then after that my husband and I will have another four days to ourselves. I am a huge Disney fanatic and so…freaking…excited about this trip!

The Magic Kingdom is a sentimental favorite for my husband and I. We love the classic Disney feel to it and it’s always the first park we go to when we arrive to Disney World. There’s nothing better than the feeling of walking through those gates, hearing the classic Disney music and looking down Main Street USA to Cinderella’s Castle. Ummm…no….YOU get teary eyed every time!

Disney - Welcome

Our favorite rides at this park are old-school Disney classics! They are original to Disneyland Park out in California and I am so happy they brought these favorites out to Orlando when they first built the parks. Splash Mountain is such a blast with all of the funny scenes throughout, and who doesn’t love a big plunge at the end with the very real chance of getting completely soaked? I’m a total diva and suit myself up in a poncho before we hop in our log. As much as I LOVE this ride I really don’t want to walk around the park afterwards soaked from head to toe. Out of all the parks in all of Disney World our absolute favorite ride is Pirates of the Caribbean. Don’t ask me why cause I don’t really have a reason for you. It’s probably because it’s the first ride we went on together during our first trip to Disney together, but we always rides it at least twice a day when we’re at the Magic Kingdom.

MK FAVE RIDES

Animal Kingdom is another favorite park of mine because they really do an amazing job of immersing you into the experience. The theming is top notch…I mean would you look at this view!

AK

My favorite rides at Animal Kingdom are Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl. Expedition Everest is this amazing roller coaster that takes you through the Himalayan Mountains on a broken track and the mythical Yeti to attack! It’s a fast-paced and fun roller coaster with some of the best ride theming in all of Disney World. My other favorite ride is Primeval Whirl, and although it may be classified as a “kiddie coaster” this ride makes laugh so hard with all of its sudden twists and turns. Both coasters are a MUST ride for my hubby and I when at The Animal Kingdom.

AK FAVE RIDES

Next up we have Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This park is like stepping onto an old Hollywood movie set. I love all the neon lights and art deco architecture. It’s my husband’s favorite park theme-wise and I must say, it’s absolutely gorgeous at night.

DHS

My very favorite THRILL ride in all of Disney is here as well…Tower of Terror! I love to hate this ride! When I get into that elevator car I seriously start to freak out and wonder what the heck I was thinking. But the second I hear that bell *DING* and the elevator drops I remember why I love the ride so much. You’ve also got Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at this park and if you love indoor coasters this one is for you. Plus, it’s all themed to the music of Aerosmith and this 80’s kid loves that!

DHS FAVE RIDES

Ohhh Epcot, I mean, I do love you. You’re in Disney after all! I just wish you had some newer and more relevant attractions. Out of all four parks Epcot would have to be my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy my time spent there but the theming really doesn’t do it for me and none of the rides really get me overly excited.

Epcot

What I DO love about Epcot is The World Showcase! I am a wanderlust at heart and have such an appreciation for different cultures, varieties of food and unique architecture, so World Showcase is like someone dropped me in the middle of travel bug heaven. I can get a margarita at the Mexico pavilion, a glass of wine in Paris, or a stein of beer in Germany! Are you sensing a theme here? The World Showcase at Epcot is such a beautiful area to stroll through and take in all the sights. Stopping at each pavilion to get a taste or a sip of something that each country is known for. Quick bit of advice, it’s better to go in the evening when the temperatures are cooler and you can check out the amazing fireworks show that takes place out on the lagoon.

WORLD SHOWCASE COLLAGE

It may seem a little early for Halloween, but Disney World is just getting into the swing of things with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go, and this year my husband and I will be able to attend opening night on September 1st. A special parade and fireworks show are featured that night as well as special character appearances and trick or treating. I’ve heard this event is not to be missed, so I’m pretty pumped we get to go …even if it is almost two months ahead of schedule. What can I say, Disney brings out the kid in me!

DISNEY HALLOWEEN

So, there you have it! Some pretty great reasons why I love Disney so much and why I am beyond excited to be visiting again! Be sure to check out my Instagram feed over the next seven days as I’m sure it will be filled with Disney photos! I just can’t help myself when I’m surrounded by the happiness and magic that is Disney World!

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”
– Walt Disney

CLOSING

All of the gorgeous photos in this post are courtesy of the fabulously talented Tom Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog!

State of the blog…or listening to your little voice

It’s been a little over three months since I started this blog. Three months of meeting amazing people, making some fantastic friends and building up the humble beginnings of my little corner of the internet. I cannot tell you how much fun it has been to explore my creativity through coming up with original content and writing about what I love. The past few years have not been easy for me and in blogging I’ve finally found something I’m good at that helps me not to focus so much on the struggles in my life.

I am so excited to see where this journey takes me and am so enthusiastic and optimistic about where I’m headed.

click for source

click for source

All that being said, I’m tired you guys! I haven’t had more than four days off in a row in more than 14 months and in these past couple of months I can literally FEEL my brain just shutting down. It’s a struggle for me to focus at work, to find motivation to do daily chores or even to do anything besides sit on the couch all weekend and do nothing! I HATE feeling this way! I want to be excited about life and ready to take on challenges. Starting the blog back in May gave me the charge I needed and it’s really the only thing I can get excited about these days. Unfortunately though, the stresses of my daily life, and the lack of energy and motivation have led to a SERIOUS creative block when it comes to my beloved blog.

Good news though, I have a vacation coming up and it’s only three short days away! I don’t think I can fully express how much I need this vacation! I can finally just stop worrying about what I have to do and just HAVE fun! BUT….the time leading up to my vacation is seriously stressing me out. All weekend I kept thinking about all the things I have to do before we leave, and for some ridiculous reason I got it in my head that on top of all the things I need to do before we leave, that I also wanted to have this big week-long feature on my blog. I seriously thought I was going to be able to come up with seven blog posts in like two days. I had BIG plans of busting them all out this weekend but plans had to change at the last-minute and we were away from home from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. When I got home last night the prospect of writing all those blog posts AND getting all the things done before vacation totally freaked me out and I SHUT DOWN!

click for source

click for source

SO…as much as I would have LOVED to have given you all a week’s worth of fun and exciting blog posts. I’ve decided that I’m just going to take a break. Slow down. I’d love to get a few more posts up on the blog before I leave, but I’ve let go of my grand plans for this week and decided that my sanity is more important. I’m seriously bummed though because I really was looking forward to implementing the idea I had but sometimes you just have to know when you can’t make EVERY SINGLE good idea reality.

That moment has come for me and I hope I haven’t disappointed anyone. Posting will be light for the next three weeks since the first half of September is absolutely nutty for me. I’m pretty disappointed in myself and just plain sad because I feel like I have been on a roll lately and I hate to slow things down just when it was getting good. Honestly, this has NOTHING to do with blogging and everything to do with me just needing to take everything in my life down a couple notches. I really want to be good at this book blogging thing and want nothing more than to be as successful as so many of you out there. But, as I’ve been told SOOO many times my a lot of my blogging buddies, I cannot let blogging become something that stresses me out because that’s when it stops being fun. Blogging is still SOOOO much fun for me, so I’m just slowing things down around here for a short time. I’m hoping that my vacation will give me the re-charge I so desperately need and I’ll come back better than ever with the creative energy to give you all something amazing.

click for source

click for source

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the love and support you’ve shown me these past few months…it means more than you’ll ever know.

Thank you for being a friend…

I just want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who has shown me so much love and support for my new little corner of the internet! Last week at this time I was writing up my very first post and was so nervous about joining a huge community of so many talented people! I was (and still am) so overwhelmed with all of the positive feedback, support and love you have shown me. It’s truly humbling!

As my way of saying thank you, I’ve decided to hold a fun giveaway just in time for the kick-off of summer! The winner will receive a sweet prize pack that includes a summer pre-order of your choice from Amazon.com (must release between June 1 and September 1) as well as some other surprises! Giveaway ends Thursday night (May 22) at midnight! CLICK HERE TO ENTER! Sorry my international friends…US shipping only!

Thanks again for being so amazing…I consider myself so lucky to be one of the newest members of this fantastic community!

Here's mini me enjoying summertime at the ocean in Maine! Sorry sweet vintage E.T. shirt not included with prize pack!

Here’s mini me enjoying summertime at the ocean in Maine! Sorry sweet vintage E.T. t-shirt not included with prize pack!

Here goes nothing…

meI’m a thirty-something city girl living in the mountains who’s crazy about many things…including but not limited to my amazing husband, adorable cat, loving family, kick ass friends, yummy food, exciting travel and constant daydreams. Oh….and reading!

In January of 2014 I got it into my head that I was going to read 100 books in a year! Little did I know that personal goal would set me down an amazing road that would lead to such a fun journey! I’ve met this wonderful online community of book bloggers, authors and avid readers…some of the nicest people I’ve ever met! Love you guys…mean it!

Visitors to my blog can expect lots of random thoughts, ideas and musings generally related to books and reading but may also include sprinklings of my personal life and current pop culture obsessions (e.g. television shows, fashion…cute boys). This blog will be a work in progress so bear with me through my growing pains. Most importantly…I’ve carved out my own little corner of the internet as a way to document my life, my loves and my desires with the hopes that I can get a little inspiration, feedback and encouragement from anyone who may be interested in following along.

EMAIL ME: whatsarahread@gmail.com