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!!!!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK:

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!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK:

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!