Life As Kate (12)

This is a feature I decided to put on the blog. Every Saturday I will post a list of ramblings to let you know what is going on with the person behind the blog! Well this past week included Christmas so there was lots of goodness that went down!

So last Saturday was Christmas Eve so I woke up early, got myself all prettyful, and then finished up with the basement so we could have our annual Christmas Party!!! Everyone came over our house at about 2 p.m. ready to eat! We had SO MUCH food I could hardly believe it. I ate chips & dip, nachos, maccaroni, pie, cheesecake, cookies, basically anything I could get my hands on. I am fairly certain everyone else had about the same eating habits as me. There were a ton of people at this party but we still ended up with a fridge full of extra food.

After everyone’s faces had been thoroughly stuffed, we opened gifts! I have never seen paper and bows go flying like that. The little kids (all 10+ of them) were so excited. And of course after presents it’s play time so The Zeke Monster and I played a few rounds of “crash the monster truck into the tiny cars as much as you can while simultaneously making a ton of truck crunching noises that irritates the rest of the family like no other.”

Games and toys were played with, football was watched, and more food was consumed before it was time for everyone to go home. Once my step brother and step sister got to our house, we were allowed to open one gift early. Even though we knew exactly what it was, we were still SUPER excited. (stay tuned for this week’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK to find out exactly what we got!)

Then it was downstairs to bed so Santa could come. Getting the brat pack to sleep was terrible! We make it a tradition to always sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve so the siblings and I pulled mattresses and cushions out into the downstairs living room and turned on a movie. Of course everyone fell asleep except for Zack. By the time I got the little monster to sleep, it was well past 12:30 a.m.

But of course it wouldn’t be Christmas morning if we didn’t wake up at 4 a.m. Yes I said 4! Santa was just arriving and Zack woke up to the footsteps. Keeping him contained while Santa did his business was so extremely difficult especially since I was in zombie-sleep mode. At last, Santa was finished so we raced up the stairs at exactly 5 a.m. to open gifts. Santa was very good to us this year!

As hard as we try to open gifts slowly so we can all see what everyone gets, it becomes very difficult with 8 people. Kari got a Blackberry touchpad, Abby got a Kindle Fire, Andrew got super awesome catcher’s gear, Zack & Zeke got the world’s biggest pile of “most annoying toys ever created.” And now what you’ve all been waiting for, what I got! I got a brand new printer of my very own. It is just so pretty. I also got a quesadilla maker AND (one of my favorite presents) a super big shadow box picture frame with all of my tickets in it! One thing you may or may not know about me is I keep my tickets from EVERYTHING! The movies, concerts, plane rides, train rides, sporting events etc. and my stepmom err.. I mean Santa knew this! I was amazed to see all the great things I have seen and done displayed like that!

After everyone tore through presents, we all went off into our own little corners to enjoy our gifts while the parents made breakfast. I then shoved my face for about the billionth time that month and went to take a nap. Now since we come from “broken” families, the rest of the day was spent with the mother’s side. We had so much fun! 18 people and 2 dogs crammed into the small space that is known as my grandma’s house and we enjoyed each other’s company. And in case you are wondering, I did indeed eat some more food. After a while we opened gifts…again! My aunts and uncles got family trips to The Great Wolf Lodge, my grandparents and mom got lunch dates with my sister and I (aren’t we so sweet ;)???) and I got a Nook! Heck yay! I was very adamant that I hated everything about e-readers but now that I have one I adore it! Nothing will ever replace the feel of a real book in my hands but having an e-reader is a super convenient thing!

After more presents, more food, and more family craziness, I was finally able to go home, visit with my neighbors, and finally go to bed!

Of course I had work the next day and I dreaded every second of it. I wanted so bad to be home and curled up in bed with one of my new books but instead I dealt with grumpy people returning Christmas gifts.

Then on Tuesday I had a day off. Hip, hip, hooray! I seriously sat around in pajamas ALL DAY LONG. I hardly left my bedroom, and I experienced pure bliss for the first time in a long time.

Of course my moment of bliss was short-lived because on Wednesday I had work again. Work actually went by pretty fast and I was able to leave early so Kati and I went to the hospital.

We finally got word that we were able to visit Stacey in the hospital so we took our first free moment to go see her. It is the moment that I first saw her when my heart broke into a million pieces. I have never really had to see someone I love like that. The loved ones that I have lost were years ago when I was younger so really, I have not seen anyone suffering. Seeing Stacey in that hospital bed, still not aware of things going on around her was so disheartening. I know she has made tremendous progress and I know she will make a full recovery but every time she cried or wiggled around in discomfort, I wished so badly I could take away the pain.

The one moment at the hospital that made my life full and complete: Kati and I picked up a few gifts to give Stacey when we were to visit her and one was a frog pillow pet. This girl has the craziest obsession with frogs! When we got there, her mom gently told her “Stacey, Katelyn and Kati brought you this gift.” Of course Stacey didn’t respond verbally but when her mom laid the pillow pet down next to her, she hugged it tight and began petting it. Talk about insta-flood-of-tears.

Really the whole hospital visit was such a bitter-sweet moment. I don’t think I was quite prepared as to what to expect so her condition definitely caught me off guard BUT I was so happy to see her being taken care of so well.

Thursday was a day I decided to stop being a lazy bum and finally clean up the Christmas mess. I spent the whole day scrubbing countertops, doing laundry, and sweeping only to have it ruined hours later. This definitely put the siblings on my bad side for the weekend.

Friday rolls around and I had work again. Like Wednesday, it went by pretty quick! After work, I had some coupons to use up so I went shopping. I thought for sure I would be sick of shopping by now but no such luck. I left with 3 new pairs of jeans.

After shopping I met up with Kati and we went out to eat. She got the brownie desert and I got the Deep Dish Macaroni. It was simply amazing.I know I have mentioned it before a million times and I will probably mention it a million more but Kati is the best friend I could ever ask for. This whole past couple weeks have been the hardest I’ve had to go through and I wouldn’t have made it without her. Regardless of how stressed or worn out I am, Kati ALWAYS brings a smile to my face and this was definitely the case at dinner.

And now folks, it is New Years Eve. Of course I am working almost 8 hours but afterwards I plan to join in the New Year’s festivities at Kati’s house. There will be food, the hot tub, kinect games on the x-box with her family, and lots of fun! I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas and will have a super wonderful New Years Eve. Please be safe & I will see you in 2012!!!!


That’s right people, our early Christmas present was red pajamas! This is a family traditional we always uphold on our household. We all get red pajamas to wear Christmas morning. I love it so much!

TGIF (31)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

First & Last:

What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?

2011 has been an EXCELLENT year as far as  books have been concerned. Some, okay almost all, of my favorite books, I consumed during the last year and this post is definitely making me think about that. As I got ready for this week’s TGIF question, I enlisted the help of trusty, ole’ goodreads to do the dirty work (by this, I mean I looked at the books I read in 2011 in chronological order. Really, it made everything so much easier.) While doing this I pondered over some titles and thought to myself, “Wow, I seriously read that book within the last 365 days? It feels like forever since I’ve read it!” But of course goodreads never lies, and I have indeed read those books in 2011.

By doing this post, I got a little bit sad. I kept thinking of all the great titles, the “new book excitement” I got, the wee hours I stayed up to read, the countless amounts of time I put into expressing my feelings just so if only to convince at least one other person to read it. And it really did make me tear up a bit. I want nothing more than to read through some of those titles again. To experience those feelings of pure joy that I first got while reading them. But I shall resist because I know for a fact that there are excellent things to be read in 2012. The new books coming out, the review books gathering dust on my shelves, and let’s not forget the 152 books sitting in my room just DYING to be read. Will I get through these all in the coming year? Heck-to-the-no. But can I expect to have the same, uber excited feelings over books that will be read by yours truly? Well of course! Here’s to a fabulous year we all had in 2011 and an even better one to come in 2012. Happy New Year everyone!

sidenote #1: I would recommend almost ALL of the books that I read the past year to at least one reader out there. Even some of the lower rating books that I picked up, may not have been “the one” for me but there is someone out there who it is perfect for. It is all about finding the right person with the right interests! With that being said, there are a few titles below that I would recommend to pretty much every living, breathing human on this planet because of its sheer awesomeness!

sidenote #2: The first 5 books read in 2011 are linked to the review where as the last 5 books read in 2011 are linked to goodreads. I haven’t quite gotten around to reviewing those ones.

sidenote #3: If you do on an off-chance check out the reviews linked, pretty please with sugar on top DON’T laugh at my lameness. Okay…I guess you can laugh at my lameness but only little chuckles are allowed. The reviews are…interesting for lack of a better word.

The first 5 books I read in 2011 were:

1) Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols is a YA contemporary rock star! I won this book from her, (and yes, it is now ruined thanks to two of my sibling. Don’t bring it up though. It still causes tears to spring to my eyes.) and then quickly devoured it. I was so caught up in the perfect summer she created for us. Every character was very real to me and I loved every second that I spent with them. It was the perfect, fun read to start off the new year.

2) Beastly by Alex Flinn

This was a pretty good story. It wasn’t the best thing I have ever read but it surely kept me entertained. Plus it was one of the first fairy tale retellings I have ever read and I am now hooked! It was very cool how Alex did it from the Beast’s perspective as opposed to Belle’s.

3) What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

I have some serious love for this book and for this author. As I have stated before, Ashley was the very first author who ever took a chance on my blog. I still remember the cheesy smile that was plastered on my face for DAYS after she asked if I would review her book. I still get that same little high every time an author so much as responds to one of my tweets. This book was powerful and beautiful. I love it oh so much!

4) Fade by Lisa McMann

This whole series is full of greatness. I was able to read all three books super quickly and they entertained me from start to finish. Wake started my obsession with the series and Fade only added to it!

5) Girl vs. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Yvonne and Sandy are a writing duo that I have quickly come to love and that is because of this book! They are just super fun and their books put a big smile on your face. It was easy to get through and it just made me insanely happy. After this, I will forever be a fan of theirs!

The last 5 books I read in 2011 were:

5) Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

It is safe to say that this book made me extremely happy, it then broke my heart into a million pieces, and then left me feeling a sense of calmness. Any book that can take you through those emotions especially in a small amount of pages is HUGE!

4) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Huh? What? Did that just happen? Was this a dream? Was this a nightmare? Wait…he did what? <<<That was my stream of thoughts throughout this whole book and now weeks after finishing it, those are STILL the thoughts I am thinking. I cannot grasp what exactly went down but I do know that I loved every thrilling, exhilarating moment of craziness that Michelle took us through. SUCH A GOOD BOOK!

3) Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

This was my first Elizabeth Scott book and it is now safe to say she has made a fan of me. The book was fun but still packed with some emotion. The characters were super easy to relate to and sympathize with even if it seem we have nothing in common. I loved reading this one!

2) Summer on Fire by Kevin Craig

This was a pretty good book. There were a few things I didn’t quite like but I did love that it was from a teen boys perspective! We were really able to get inside the head of the main character and while I did not like a few of the things he did, it was all very believable and in the end it was a pretty good story.

1) Unbreakable Love by Angela Carling

This was also a pretty good book. There were some moments I thought were a bit cheesy or almost cliché BUT it was a really sweet love story and exactly what I needed to cheer me up.

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (12/23-12/30):

TGIF (30) Dear Santa: My Christmas wishlist!

Life As Kate (11): One tough, tough week :-/

The Trylle Series by Amanda Hocking + Book Trailer

Tune In Tuesday (40): My ultimate concert love for Taylor Swift & We The Kings!

Tune In Tuesday (40)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the last week in Tune In Tuesday Concert Edition so as always, I like to end it with a big bang! I couldn’t even mention some of my favorite concerts without the names We The Kings and Taylor Swift thrown in there! I will get made fun of endlessly for my obsession for Travis Clark, the hot lead singer from WTK (who just happens to have red hair) and Taylor Swift, the lyrical goddess whose words are like mini books that speak to my heart.  Even though it may hinder my coolness level, I will forever be a fan-girl of these two!

Taylor Swift has been a favorite of mine since she first entered the music scene. Seriously, I was blown away that such a young girl could write all these great songs that seemed to be a soundtrack to at least one aspect of my life. No matter what I was going through, I could turn her music on and know that she would be able to relate to me somehow. Fast forward years later and she still creates these wonderful, humorous, girl-power type songs. Could you imagine putting your diary out there for everyone to see (or in her case, hear)? Could you fathom the idea of telling every guy off who broke your heart instead of sitting in your room crying? I know I couldn’t, but Taylor seriously gives me hope. I know she sings country, I know a lot of people don’t like her (Tee, I am SO giving you the stink eye right now) but I look to her as a hero of some sort. She shows me that it is possible to be independent, strong, girly, tough, mouthy but sweet, all rolled into one. Instead of succumbing to the hardships that fame often possesses, she has shown the whole world that she is staying true to who she is. She has goals to reach and she will not stop until they are achieved. That my friends is why I love her so dearly <3

And as if she needed to be any more awesome, she also puts on one heck of a show! She doesn’t just sit on a stool and sing honky-tonk country songs. No, not at all! She puts on a full-fledge production. Scene changes, costume changes, amazing lighting and effects. This is more than a concert, it is a show, a play, a movie of her life being played out! Every song she did was showcased in such a brilliant, unique way. I may not remember all the details of the one concert I did attend but I know I will never forget the feeling of pure happiness that I got when I was there!

My sister and I super excited to be seeing TAYLOR SWIFT!

P.S. It’s Zach Gilford!!! He is all sorts of adorable <3

And now on to my favorite concert (well I guess I should say CONCERTS) of all time!

It is no secret I love We The Kings. I mean they are mentioned in at least every other post on this blog and I listen to them at least a couple times a day. Plus, I am engaged to Travis Clark, the lead singer (so what if he doesn’t know this yet!) Unlike Taylor Swift, I can’t really tell you why I love them. All I know is that I always have from that very first moment their sweet melodies entered my ears. A lot of their music has great meaning behind it but it isn’t SUPER, OVERLY POWERFUL and it doesn’t teach me extremely profound life lessons (like how to get over heartache and making a change in the world like Taylor’s music) BUT it does cause me to smile. It makes me happy and giddy and I often times dance around like a fool when I hear them. My life is hard and complicated and there are several moments throughout the day that I just want to yank my hair out but We The Kings with their fun lyrics and happy songs make those tough moments bearable. They allow me to laugh and let go like a normal teenager if only for a couple of minutes and to me, that is reason enough to adore their music.

I have lost count on how many times I’ve actually seen these guys in concert but it is somewhere around 7 or 8. The shows they put on are ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS amazing. They make me laugh, make me swoon, make me dance, and make me sing out loud every single time. They are hilarious and they never fail to get the crowd doing some strange, goofy thing. I cannot tell you how many times I have been to concerts where they were not an opening act yet many concert-goers say that they should have been just based off of their performance. These guys give it their all each and every time and I can say with confidence that you will have a good time at their show! Long Live The Kings!!!

Obviously we are super stoked to be seeing We The Kings AGAIN!

What do you think? Do Kati and I have what it takes to be the newest members of We The Kings???

Blog Tour: The Trylle Series by Amanda Hocking

In just a few short days, St. Martins will be releasing Amanda Hocking’s smash hit series, The Trylle series into the wild. The very first book to be released is Switched!

Here is a little bit about the series and Switched:

From Amanda Hocking, million-copy bestselling author and internet sensation comes the Trylle series…it all begins with Switched, available everywhere 1/3/12. As a special gift to readers, Switched contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of Trylle.

The Trylle series continues with Torn, on-sale 2/28/12, and concludes on 4/24/12 with Ascend.

SWITCHED…at birth:

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discover her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel– all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth–and he’s come to take her home. Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become… 

Today on the blog I have the amazing book trailer for the series! Take a look and beware, if the summary didn’t mesmerize you, this trailer will surely do the job!

Don’t forget to add Switched, Torn, and Ascend on Goodreads and of course, follow Amanda Hocking on Twitter!

Life As Kate (11)

This is a feature I decided to put on the blog. Every Saturday I will post a list of ramblings to let you know what is going on with the person behind the blog! I have had a hard, tough week to say the least. Here’s what went down:

So I worked last Saturday which wasn’t too bad considering it was well, work. After work I went home to pick up my little sister so we could drive to my older sister’s house across the state for our Christmas party. In hopes of keeping the brat pack in line, my parents left a bit before us. Once we were on the road for about an hour my dad calls and asks where we are. OF COURSE we would be driving an hour out of the way. So once we turn back around and get going in the right direction. We had already wasted a ton of time. At this point the roads were pretty bad and we still had a good 3 hour drive ahead of us. This = 1 Super Stressed Katelyn. We finally make it to my sister’s house and dinner was lovely. We got to see her new, finished basement and we had the most delicious cupcakes (someone please tell me what cupcakes aren’t delicious). Soon though, my parents decided we better get on our way because as I said earlier the roads were pretty bad. About 3 hours later we were stuck in traffic jam about a half hour from home. I go into major detail in THIS POST but a long story short, the person in the accident that caused the traffic jam was one of my best friends, Stacey. Once I got home Saturday night (more like Sunday morning since we pulled in the driveway at about 1:30 a.m.) I played phone tag with Kati trying to figure out any information possible on Stacey’s condition.

Sunday morning, after about 4 (maybe 5) hours of sleep, Kati, Sadie, and I drove up to the hospital to check on Stacey’s family. She was in ICU at this point so we weren’t able to see her but we still wanted to give any support that we could muster. We talked with Stacey’s dad and sister for about an hour. It was at this point in the week when I went into shock. After this I wasn’t able to think clearly, eat, sleep, and do normal Katelyn-ish things. I got home from the hospital and I wandered from room to room with paper towel and Windex. I am sure it was my intention to do some actual cleaning but I was pretty much in zombie-modemso who knows what got a wipe down that day.

I had work on Monday which was more of Katelyn wandering around going through the motions but not actually completing anything. I got yelled at by a costumer and almost broke down right then and there, I gave another costumer the wrong change, and I completely forgot the name of every person I was helping. To say I was happy to go home that night would be a HUMONGUS understatement. Oh but stop the press. Once I got home, I realized I had to babysit! My parents had a funeral to go to so I kept the complaining to a minimum (trust me though, babysitting was the very last thing I wanted to do).

Tuesday was last day of class, HURRAY!!! I had my 8 a.m. class in which I got to watch a group of students dress up in native Nigerian costumes and explain their culture. It was entertaining plus they gave us food! After class I had to hurry home so I could write up my last two papers for my English class. Get this, we spend the whole semester writing pointless stuff NON STOP and when it comes to our final, the teacher gives us 2 papers each 250 words long. I feel like if he is going to challenge us throughout the whole semester, at least act like he’s challenging us for the final. Once that was written up, I had to do my take home exam for Intro to Business. I am keeping my fingers crossed the teacher can read my writing and will give me an A. And last was Trig. Oh, how I loathe ye. It is sometimes hard to believe that I want to be a math teacher one day with the amount of complaining I do but it is the truth. I just want to be a good math teacher as opposed to the ones I’ve had my whole life.

After trying to survive through my Trig exam without a complete breakdown, I returned my rented text books and sold my one of my books back to the school. They gave me 90 whole dollars for one book!!!! This was probably the first thing that made me smile all week. Last time I sold back a book I only got $20.

After classes I met up with Kati for dinner. I can’t imagine not having her there for me. We made each other laugh, ate lots of good food, and attempted to relieve some of the stress that Stacey’s accident caused. After entering food coma status we went to the mall to get some gifts for our good friend. Since Stacey’s super expensive pair of jeans had to be cut off of her, we got her a gift card so she can go get a new pair. What can I say? She’s lucky to have us ;)

Wednesday was work again. Oh how joyous. It went by pretty fast which was really nice. We had a lot of last minute shoppers so I was constantly busy doing something. After work I paid the grandparents a visit. It was so lovely.

As for Thursday, I got my hair done! Since I am growing it out to donate, I cannot get anything fun done to it so even the slightest trim is a big deal to me now! She had to cut almost a whole inch off just so I could have healthy hair again. After the hair appointment I went home to help finish decorating the house for the Christmas party we would be having on Christmas Eve. Later on that night, I had to babysit so we rented a movie, Tangled! It was so freaking adorable. I cannot believe I haven’t seen it before!

Friday was a day of roughness regardless of the good start it had. To start off, I had to babysit again so my stepmom could finish up some decorating and Santa tasks around the house. So my sister and I took the brat pack (Zack & Zeke) to the movies. Alvin and the Chipmunks was such a cute little movie and the boys were surprisingly good. It was hard because they are both little, they both kicked over every popcorn they could find, and don’t even get me started on the potty breaks but still their attitudes were great. After this I had to run to the mall for TWO quick stops. They were getting a little antsy towards the end so we were ready to head home BUT fate had different plans. Just as we were getting in the car, my dad called and said he would be dropping off money so I could shop for my stepmom. Aside from a vacuum and a camera he had absolutely nothing else for her to open and as I’ve stated before he is clueless. For example he said “Katelyn buy her a bra.” To which I replied “I have NO idea what size bra she is. This was his genius response, “Just hold it up and guess. I don’t want to do a gift card.” I did a gift card. The mall was packed with last minute shoppers and the brat pack and I were among them. Navigating a stroller through that mess was not a fun time. Finally, I finished shopping and was home by 10:30 p.m. That is one day trip I NEVER want to repeat again.

I was so exhausted after that but I still had some cleaning and party prepping to do for the next day. I finally went to bed around 2 a.m.

So now it is Christmas Eve!!!! Yay!!!!! Regardless of how sleep deprived and stressed I am, I’m still incredibly excited that it is officially Christmas time. Stacey is doing much better. My nerves are a little less frazzled. But for the most part I am doing better. The family is coming over in a couple hours (the family, as in all 30+ members) and we will eat lots of food, exchange gifts, and have a grand ole time.

And then it is Christmas!!! Just so you guys know, we will all be waking up at 5 a.m. to open gifts. I guarantee you. It happens every year. But I wouldn’t have it any other way ;)

I hope you all have a very fabulous and merry couple of days!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


Since we couldn’t find our tree topper, we improvised!

TGIF (30)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Dear Santa:

Which books made it to your Christmas wish list this year?

I think the easiest thing to ask would be “Which books DIDN’T make it to your Christmas wish list this year?” Every year I try to come up with books I want but fail to formulate a really awesome list. Random times throughout the whole year I think  “Oh my, I really really really want that book,” and by the time Christmas rolls around, I have forgotten which one it was.

However, I tried to be better this year (keyword-TRIED)! At the beginning of the year I put my sticky note app on the computer to good use! Every time I added a book to my TBR list on Goodreads, I thought to myself “Do I want this book or do I REALLY want this book?” If I really wanted it, I put it on the sticky note so I wouldn’t forget about it months later. Of course if I was out sometime shopping and happened to buy one, three, or ten of the books on my list, that was okay because I was constantly adding more, right? Wrong! (Well right about constantly adding more books, wrong about it working out okay)

Imagine my shock when my grandma asked me what I wanted for Christmas last month and I soon realized I had purchased most of the books on my wish list. I went into panic overdrive. Seriously, I was coming up with a complete blank on which books I wanted. After hours, and yes I mean hours, of deliberating, I decided I should do the smart thing and ask for books that would finish out a series for me. I have the first or second books to many series but do not have the whole thing so I asked for books like Cascade and Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren or Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins, Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade, Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty were some more among the list. Keep in mind this was only for my grandma! Then I had my mom, stepmom, three aunts, and friends asking what I wanted!

This is the point where I was about ready to pull my hair out so I got organized. I got on Goodreads, went through all the books I have read. If it was part of the series and I didn’t already own the rest of the books, they went on the list. If I owned parts of the series (and have NOT read them yet) then the rest of that series also went on the list. Then I went through books on my 2011 DAC list to see which ones I missed this past year but still wanted to read. After that, I quickly scrolled through the 1000+ books on my TBR list on Goodreads and came up with some random ones that I wanted! This was quite the production once everything was all said and done. Some random books that made it to my list were:

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sara Mlynowski

Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

Even though I have all of these awesome titles (and more) on my Christmas wish list this year, the chances that I will receive any of them are slim to none. See, the issue with my family is they think that getting me books is too boring or predictable (or some other wacky excuse). They like to do anything in their power not to buy me books. This whole thing baffles me! Last year my wish list was a lot less complicated but I still had a ton of good choices. How many books do you think I got for Christmas? ONE! I got one whole book for Christmas. So unless the guy in red has a few extra books lying around, I will most likely be buying my own bookish presents this year.

And just to show how insane I really was with the Christmas list this year, I have evidence!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (12/16-12/23):

TGIF (29): Crazy blog stats and my most popular posts!

Life As Kate (10) Making up for lost time and more craziness!

Bad News…: My good friend Stacey was in a pretty bad car accident. Everyone’s kind words, prayers, and well wishes have made a world of difference. Thank you!

Tune In Tuesday (39) Part 1: The bands I would LOVE to see in concert!

25 Days of Jubilation: Tune In Tuesday Part 2 + Giveaway: My top 10 favorite nontraditional holiday songs PLUS an international giveaway!

Blog Tour + 25 Days of Jubilation + Tune In Tuesday: Part 2

Three awesome bloggers (Cyndi @ Dog-Eared & Bookmarked, Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives, and Yani @ The Secret Life of an Avid Reader) have come together this holiday season to host the 25 Days of Jubilation! What is this 25 Days of Jubilation you say? Well it is a month-long blog tour. Each day a different blog is posting a holiday related post and giving away lots of great goodies. Today is my turn to post for the event and I decided to go with HOLIDAY MUSIC!

Buddy the Elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear,” and I couldn’t agree more with that statement! I love the day after Thanksgiving for a lot of reasons but the biggest reason would be that it is finally an “acceptable” time to turn on the Christmas music. I am most definitely one of those crazy people who could listen to Christmas songs all year long. I have been known to rock out to the classics but I like to mix them up with modern-day songs as well . Below are my top ten “nontraditional” favorites, in no particular order:

1) Santa Baby – Taylor Swift

2) Christmas With You – Artist vs. Poet

3) This Christmas – Every Avenue

4) Wishlist – The Ready Set

5) Santa Stole My Girlfriend – The Maine

6) Winterlove – Parachute

7) Baby Please Come Home – Anberlin

8) Baby, It’s Cold Outside – She & Him

9)Winter Passing – The Academy Is…

10) Christmas at 22 – The Wonder Years

So tell me, what did you think? I thought posting some of these lesser known songs/versions of songs would be a fun way to celebrate this holiday season!

Now on to the part that you are all here for, the giveaway!

As you all can probably guess, I love music. I also love books. BUT what I love best is books with music in it! Today I will be giving away your choice of two of my favorite music inspired books! The giveaway is international (as long as The Book Depository ships to you) so anyone can join! Please fill out the form below to be entered into the giveaway!

Your music related book choices:

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Don’t forget to stop at all the other blogs on this tour to enter some more awesome giveaways and to celebrate this holiday season!

Thursday, December 1st:

Christen at Goldilox and the Three Weres

Friday, December 2nd:

Molly at Surrounded By Words

Saturday, December 3rd:

Meridith at Mint Tea and A Good Book

Sunday, December 4th:

Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks

Monday, December 5th:

Shannon at Books Devoured

Tuesday, December 6th:

Bex at Becky’s Barmy Book Blog

Wednesday, December 7th:

Christi at Christi the Teen Librarian

Thursday, December 8th:

Jen at In the Closet with a Bibliophile

Friday, December 9th:

Sara O. at The Librarian Reads

Saturday, December 10th:

Ginger at GReads!

Sunday, December 11th:

Asheley at Into the Hall of Books

Monday, December 12th:

Tina at Tina’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 13th:

Heidi at YA Bibliophile

Wednesday, December 14th:

Jess at Gone with the Words

Thursday, December 15th:

Lisa at Lisa Is Busy Nerding

Friday, December 16th:

Jen D. at Not now…I’m Reading!

Saturday, December 17th:

Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner

Sunday, December 18th:

Andrea at The Busy Bibliophile

Monday, December 19th:

Karis at YA Litwit & Sarah at Workaday Reads

Tuesday, December 20th:

Katelyn at Katelyn’s Blog

Wednesday, December 21st:

Ruby at Ruby’s Reads

Thursday, December 22nd:

Jac at For Love and Books

Friday, December 23rd:

Asher at Paranormal Indulgence

Saturday, December 24th:

Nikki at Books Most Wanted

Sunday, December 25th:

Merry Christmas!

Tune In Tuesday (39) Part 1

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the third week in Tune In Tuesday Concert Edition! It is a month-long feature where we talk about our favorite concerts, ones we want to see, or ones we will be seeing in the near future. For this week I decided to go with a list of performers/bands I have not seen in concert yet. (The major word being YET)

I consider myself very lucky when it comes to the amount of concerts I get to go see every year. Right now I am at about 4-5 concerts (at least) per year but I would love to raise that number even more, especially now that I have a steady job. Over the years I have been able to attend awesome events and see all sorts of bands live. BUT there are some bands that visit MI and leave before I get a chance to see them. Some of the bands that I would love to see and will pretty much die happy if I do get to see are:


I am a HUGE fan of Augustana. When I saw they were touring MI a few months ago I freaked out BUT then they canceled the tour and my heart broke. However, I now have something to look forward to! They plan to be in MI on January 30th. Can you guess who is going to try to get front row at that concert? This girl right here!

Dashboard Confessional

This is one of those bands that came to MI and snuck out before I got a chance to see them. Actually Chris Carrabba was playing an acoustic performance the same night of another concert I was attending so there was just no way. I would LOVE to see them sometime soon though. Their music is just so amazing.

All American Rejects

I love these guys so much. In fact if you look at my comment on Tee’s post last week, you just might spot some drool residue. I have been in love with them since I heard the lyrics of Swing, Swing while at recess in middle school. Since then, my obsession has only grown and I will not be happy until I get to see them live. And yes, I will be the crazy fan in the front row trying to tear their shirts off.

Plain White T’s

There is just something about their music that is soothing, lovely, and adorable. I have a feeling they wouldn’t be the normal type of concert I attend, they would be a bit more mellow but they are still someone I would love to see live. You can’t listen to the lyrics of this song or Hey There Delilah, and not love them!

Jack’s Mannequin

These guys were at Warped Tour the very first year that I went and I missed them! I had no idea they were there until I met up with another group of my friends later on and one of them showed me her picture with the band. I almost started crying! I imagine sitting on a beach somewhere, watching the sun set, and having them play a small concert for anyone gathering around. I know the odds of this actually happening are slim to none but I can always hope.


Yes, Ginger has made me a SafetySuit fan. Yes, I will buy their CD even if half of the songs are on my iPod just so I can listen to it in the car. No, I am not against driving across states to see them. Seriously guys, LISTEN TO GINGER! She is not lying when she fan-girls all over these guys saying how truly amazing they are. Listen to her tweets, read her posts, they are ALL telling the truth. This band is amazeballs!

The Veronicas

I love these girls. I think they are edgy, unique, fun, and just so freaking cool! I think their concert would be like one epic dance party that you just DON’T want to miss. I can only imagine Kati and I going crazy, dancing like maniacs, singing super loud, and having the best time ever at one of their concerts.

So there’s the list of some bands I would just love to see! As of right now, a lot of them have absolutely no tour information posted on their websites but it is my goal to see at least half of them within the next year!

Of course they are not the only ones I would love to see in concert though! The Avett Brothers, Parachute, Walk The Moon, The Cab, Boyce Avenue, Hawthorne Heights, The Killers, and  Mayday Parade would also be some super epic concerts! I think they would all put on a good show.


That moment in Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty, when Marcus Flutie takes the stage, is enough to capture any girl’s heart. You have to read the book to fully understand what I am talking about but that song, yes, that song, is what I really want to see played live one day. I have a feeling if it were to be a real performance at a real party, I would have beaten Jessica Darling (even though I love her to pieces) just so Marcus could be mine. I realize how psychotic that makes me sound but if you (or once you…) know the words to the song and what happens following it, your heart will just flutter.

Special Announcement!!!!

Don’t forget to check out my Tune In Tuesdy: Part 2 post. It is my day for the 25 Days of Jubilation! There is plenty of music and a few books up for grabs!


Bad News….

So last night I was on my way home from visiting my sister. We had some snow and freezing rain so the roads were super bad. About a half hour from home, we got stuck in a traffic jam. Little did I know this traffic jam was caused by someone I love. While waiting it out, I get a call from Kati saying “Katelyn, don’t freak out'” (so of course I started freaking out) “but Stacey has been in a bad accident tonight.” Well, for those of you who don’t know Stacey is one of my best friends. She is the funniest, silliest, nicest person I know. She is also one of the smallest people I know so hearing she was in a bad accident instantly caused me to have a panic attack. All I could think of was she has got to be broken in a million pieces. How does someone that small not get hurt? At this point, Kati had just a little information to relay to me. She had the main story which was that Stacey and her boyfriend were driving down the express way and they collided with the car in front of them. While Stacey’s boyfriend was seeing how the people in the other car were doing, a car getting on the express way, slammed into the back of Stacey’s car.

After spending the whole night trying to figure out information, Kati, our friend Sadie and I decided to head to the hospital this morning. Once we got there, Stacey’s uncle was in the waiting room and he gave us all the information. This is how the accident happened (in more detail):

Stacey and her boyfriend were driving down the express way. The car in front of them hit ice, got turned around and Stacey’s car hit them head on. The airbags deployed but no one was injured. Once they were settled down, Stacey’s boyfriend got out to check on the people while Stacey was getting her insurance information ready. As this was happening, a car was entering the express way at about 65 mph. They saw stopped cars ahead but failed to slow down. That person lost control of their car and slammed into the back end of Stacey’s car. This caused all windows to smash and Stacey was shot out the driver’s side window.

Stacey was then rushed to hospital. While at the hospital Stacey was unconscious the whole time. They did a CT scan and found swelling and bruising on several parts of the brain. A few hours later she started to move around some so they sedated her until some of the swelling can go down. The only bone broken is her nose and she has several scrapes, gouges, and bruises on the upper part of her body. As of right now she is still in the ICU and we don’t have any information as to when they will take her off of the sedation or when she will be able to come home.

If you guys could just keep Stacey and her family in your thoughts and prayers I would really appreciate it. She is one of my best friends and it just breaks my heart that they all have to go through this, especially during the holidays. I have faith that everything will be fine in the end,but  we just need to hope for a fast recovery for her. Thank you all so much!

With love,


Stacey, Me, Kati

Life As Kate (10)

Hey guys! I am so sorry about the lack of my Life As Kate post last weekend! I will try to make this one super awesome to make up for it!

Last week kind of sucked! I am entering the last couple weeks of class so everything is due, research papers need to be finished up, and there are a whole slew of exams that I need to study for. In between writing my ten page (yes I said TEN page) paper, I also had work (dumb), Christmas presents to make (Yay!!!! I am so excited!), and fast food to eat.

This is my favorite part of being extremely busy. My parents get take out food literally every other night around this time, which if you ask me, is much better than eating mac n’ cheese four nights in a row. However, every time I got food last week they messed up my order. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME! My parents went out to get Tropical Smoothie to come home only to find out they forgot mine. Taco Bell gave me a chicken quesadilla instead of cheese which is terrible for a vegetarian. Also, when we ordered pizza I SPECIFICALLY asked for a cheeses pizza with the butter cheese crust. They gave me a pepperoni pizza with a garlic crust. Obviously this upset me dearly.

I was all prepared to vent to you guys last Saturday in my Life As Kate post but our internet died on us Friday night (stupid internet) so I had to quietly seethe alone. It was not fun. But things are mostly better now.

Here’s some random things that went down TWO weeks ago. These are things that probably would have made it to my Life As Kate post had I not lost internet.

-My baby sister (the 17-year-old) went to California. Not to live, only to visit but it was still kind of scary because we are not apart that much. I know things have been rough with us the past couple weeks but a big sister just never stops worrying.

-My baby brother (the 3-year-old)  has decided to join a nudist colony. I am kidding, mostly, on this one. Zeke, a.k.a. Zeker, a.k.a. Zeke the Freak, a.k.a. THE ZEKE MONSTER, a.k.a. Spawn of Satan #2,  has not kept pants on for longer than 20 minutes in the past 2 weeks. Every time I turn around the kid is naked.  I just don’t understand what his issue is. Does he not know it is like 30 degrees outside!?!?

-Also, that reminds me, it is like 30 degrees outside! Winter has been teasing us Michigan people lately. It would be super cold and then the next few days would be slightly chilly, and then it would get super cold again. Last week was fairly cold. We had some snow and the roads were slick and now it is warm-ish again!

-It is officially Christmas cookie time and I couldn’t be more excited. We had a whole night set aside for decorating last weekend. Holy messiness! We made over 140 cookies and had every color of frosting imaginable (our family has way too much fun with food coloring). Kati came over and we had a blast doing all the cookies. Of course the little kids (the ones we were actually doing this for) made like 4 cookies and got bored with it so us older “kids” got stuck with the remaining cookies. Oh well, it was more frosting for me!

And now, on back to your normally scheduled Life As Kate post!

Last Sunday was fairly normal. Kati stayed the night Saturday night so we spent Sunday morning eating breakfast (it was delicious) and watching a movie. See, Mandie talked about this movie during a Tune In Tuesday 90’s Music Edition post and I was intrigued. Johnny Depp and the song “Have A Little Faith In Me,” count me in! So I have been searching endlessly for this movie since then and finally it was on the TV the other day. I recorded it and waited for the perfect time to watch it. The movie I am speaking of is none other than Benny & Joon and Mandie, let me just tell you, you are so right!!! I loved this movie so freaking much! Kati thought it was dumb and had no point what so ever, but we can blame her lack of intelligence on cookie coma. After a while, Kati had to go home and I spent the rest of Sunday doing pointless things around the house.

On Monday I had to work which was actually not too bad that I can recall. I am feeling a little bit sleep deprived (I’ll get to that part in a bit) so I can’t remember for sure if it was a good or bad day. After work I had lots of homework to do which is actually me spending time on Twitter or my blog while my books lie open on the bed.

On Tuesday I had school. And let’s just say, school is torture. I had two tests and I am pretty sure I failed them. Not only did I suck it up on my Introduction To Business exam, I didn’t even get to finish all the problems on my Trigonometry test. I like to blame my failure on dumb teachers who do nothing but ramble on for hours at a time. If their stories have nothing to do with the subject matter, I would rather they just shut up and teach.The one thing I did NOT fail was a presentation I had to give in my English class. We had to talk about our research paper (the TEN page one I was talking about earlier) and I must say, I am extremely proud of this position research paper. I did it on Banned Books! I talked about why I feel books should not be banned and the class loved it.   After making my way through classes, I got to go Christmas shopping with my dad. He is clueless when it comes to things my stepmom likes so he likes to take me with him as a consultant every year. This is how our christmas shopping usually goes:

Stepmom (before we leave for Christmas shopping): “Don’t let your dad buy me clothes. I am just way too picky on how things fit, I’d rather but them myself.”

Me (while shopping with my dad): “Dad Karie said not to get her clothes, let’s get her something else that she wants.”

Dad: “These sweaters are on sale do you think she’ll want one?”

Me: “No Dad. She said no clothes.”

Dad: “Pick out a color you think she’ll like”

*insert obnoxious teen eye roll here*

I like to make my stepmom happy and trust me, clothing is just NOT the answer. So this year I stood my ground and we finally got her the PERFECT gift. I am so excited that he finally listened to me after all of this time!

I had Wednesday off of work so I got to sleep in a little bit. After getting all ready for the day, I went to schedule classes. Well who would have known it would take three hours to see a counselor? I finally got to see him and it turns out we only needed to talk for a total of 10 minutes. Let me phrase this so you can all understand: I waited three hours for a ten minute conversation. I was irritated immensely by this. After scheduling was out of the way, I went to mall to try to get some Christmas shopping out of the way. I ventured into the guitar store to get something that’s going toward my super secret, super awesome surprises that I guarantee are going to a majority of the people reading this. After that, I went to the CD store to buy CD’s for the family and friends. After making a friend in the store and discussing music with them for a full hour, I left the store with 8 CD’s none of which were for my friends or family. Soon after leaving the CD store, I came to the realization I would get nothing important done on this shopping trip so I decided the cupcake place was the only logical place to end my day with. Holy DELICIOUSNESS! After this I had to race home to work on my research project. This certainly was a doozy of a project!

Reasons this research project sucked majorly:

-It was a group project

-It was a group project over Gypsy culture

-It was a group project over Gypsy culture that I had little to no information over

-One member of my group has been missing from class 3 weeks in a row therefore had no way to get me her information

-Another group member was a complete doll and had all her completed work AND gave it to me on time

-Our other group member e-mailed me the night before the presentation was due with 1/5 of his completed work. He then asked if I could help find the rest of his information. I was about ready to connect my foot with his face

-I was up until 3 a.m. trying to put together our 39 slide powerpoint and coming up with all the missing information

-I woke up 3 1/2 hours later for class

-I arrived to class late with no voice AT ALL

-When I tried to put the flash drive in the computer, it doesn’t fit

-We had to give our presentation without the powerpoint I spent all night working on

-Right after giving all the information to the class, I figure out how to work the dang flashdrive

(I am surprised I did not break down into tears at this point)

This was only my first class of the day. The other three were considerably better than the first one but I was so ready for that day to be over!

Friday passed by pretty fast. Work was short and sweet (only a 4 hour shift), I got to watch Mr. Popper’s Penguins three times with the two little monsters, and I had pizza for dinner! And now on Saturday I get to go to work and then I am going with the family to see my big sister and her husband!!! Yay! I can’t wait to see them.

I hope you all have a fantabulous weekend and that your week goes super great!


This is a picture of the brat pack! They got to meet Santa. As you can probably tell, Zeke was not too thrilled about this.