Blogtober

This year, I’m going to take part in Blogtober. I got the idea from Jenniely when I saw her post on Twitter. I think this is a wonderful way to stay active in the month of October and this is my first attempt at anything like this.

I am going to tweak my posting schedule though, most of the posts are going to stay along the lines of what Jenniely suggested, but there are some ideas that I know won’t work for me. Plus, I don’t want to double post and I post a new book review on Tuesday. Some of these posts are not exactly book related, but I thought I would give this a try.

Here is my modified posting schedule, I hope you’ll join me for Blogtober!

  1. October TBR
  2. Book Review Tuesday
  3. October Releases
  4. End of Summer Motivation Tips
  5. Favorite Autumnal Reads
  6. Best Reading Clothes/Reading Attire
  7. Autumnal Drinks to Pair With Reading
  8. Autumnal Decorations
  9. Creepy Reads
  10. Book Review Tuesday
  11. Autumnal Blogging Essentials
  12. Tips to Get Out of a Reading Slump
  13. Why Autumn is the Best/Worst Time for Readers
  14. Autumn Aesthetic
  15. Bookish Pumpkin Carving Ideas
  16. Treats to Read With
  17. Book Review Tuesday
  18. Favorite Ghost Stories
  19. Horror Films
  20. Favorite Autumnal Candles
  21. 10 Reasons I Love/Hate Autumn
  22. My Fears
  23. Book Review Tuesday
  24. Books I Wish I’ve Never Read
  25. Books I Wish I’ve Read
  26. Witchy Reads
  27. Spells I Wish I Could Cast
  28. Cosy Books and Shows
  29. Book Review Round Up
  30. Book Review Tuesday
  31. October Round Up
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DIY Sugar Scrub

Total Prep Time: 5 minuets

DIY skincare has been taking off. We’re tired of overpaying for simple products. But if you’re anything like me, when you search for DIY skincare you come up with a list of ingredients that you don’t have. Most of the tutorials claim that the scrub is made from things you find at home. But, who has a case of essential oils just laying around? Or specialized ingredients that you have to track down. If I cannot find it at Target or my local grocery store, I’m not going to get it.

This DIY is easy and takes minimal time to put together. I am all about simple things, so I made a scrub with just three ingredients I had at home. But if you don’t have these, you can find them at any grocery store.

All you will need is three ingredients and some kind of container to hold your scrub.

Mason jars are usually what is recommended for your sugar scrub. I found these at target for 4.99. Each jar is 8 ounces, which is the perfect size for a single batch of sugar scrub.

Your ingredients are: sugar, coconut oil, and lemons. You will also need a bowl to mix everything in and measuring cups.

One 8oz batch includes:

⁃ 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar

⁃ 1/4 Cup of melted Coconut Oil

⁃ 1 Lemon

Directions:

1. Pour 1 cup of sugar into the bowl

2. Add 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil*

3. Squeeze the juice of one whole lemon into the bowl

4. Mix until all ingredients are combined, I just mix by hand

5. Once combined, put your mixture into jars

*As a tip for melting your coconut oil, I submerge the jar of oil in a container of hot water. It will take about 5 minuets to melt. This way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with hot oil

That’s it! I love that this scrub is easy and you can genuinely use what is in your home or at your local store. You can get as creative as you’d like to be-I’ve added cucumber juice, or if you do have any essential oils laying around you can add those too.

DIY Galaxy Shoes

This project is by no means new or innovative. I originally saw this youtube video back in 2016 and forgot about it.  I stumbled across this DIY galaxy shoes project recently again on Pinterest and thought it was time to make my own version. It is a simple project to complete, with a lot of drying time in between steps. If you love galaxy or space themed things and have a couple of hours to spare, this is the perfect project for you.

Supplies:

  • White Shoes (Make sure they’re canvas shoes)
  • Permanent Markers (blue, light blue, black, purple, and pink are the colors I used)
  • Rubbing Alcohol (91% works best)
  • Dropper
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Toothbrush
  • Thumb Tack

Total time: about 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

First of all, canvas shoes are the best to use because of the fabric. It is absorbent and will take both the ink and the rubbing alcohol better than some other fabrics. Second, I know rubbing alcohol is not widely known or attainable. As a substitute, I suggest using hydrogen peroxide. But note, the higher the alcohol content the better the outcome-the colors will blend better.

 

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Step One: Gather your supplies. I picked up white canvas shoes from Target on sale for less than $8. The permanent markers I also found at Target, they came in a pack with the light blue, dark blue, pink, and purple markers. The black marker I already had at home. I thought this color combination would work perfectly for a galaxy print. But you can use whatever colors you’d like for your shoes. You do not need to use the Sharpie brand, but your markers need to be permanent in order to do this project. I had some issue finding the dropper, the one I found is called an ear/eye dropper. I suggest checking the baby isle or the medication isle of your local drug store. If all else fails, you can use a straw. You do not want to pour the alcohol on your shoes, just use small drops.

Step Two: I suggest stuffing either a plastic bag or tissue paper into the front of your shoes in order to maintain their shape. This will make it easier to color the front of your shoes. Remove the shoe laces from your shoes and begin coloring.

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Step Three: Color small sections at a time. It is best to do small sections to control the bleeding of the colors. You also want tomato sure you’re not drawing in straight lines. It’s okay if the colors overlap because it will make the blending easier. It also doesn’t need to be perfect. I am a horrible drawer, but there is no need to worry about coloring in the lines or making any fancy designs on the shoes. I also suggest not coloring right to the sole of the shoe, once you use the rubbing alcohol the colors will spread to that area. Color about a centimeter or two away from the sole.

Pro tip: you can either tape around the should of the shoes with painters tape or regular tape to avoid getting sharpie on the soles. OR, the sharpie wipes off immediately with a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel

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Step Four: Take your dropper and fill it with rubbing alcohol. Then, release the drops over your colored areas. The more alcohol you add, the more your colors will blend and spread out.

Step Five: Repeat this process all over the shoe. Note that you may have to wait for parts of the shoe to dry before coloring over them. You can cover every available white space on your shoe, or leave as much of it as you’d like. This project is completely customizable. Don’t forget to color the tongue as well! Repeat this process on your other shoe.

Step Six: Once your shoe is covered in color and alcohol, you may need to let your shoes dry. I left my shoes to dry for about 15-20 minutes before moving onto the second phase of this project. Once your shoes feel dry, this part of your project is complete.

Step Seven: This part is completely optional. I have seen the shoes with and without painted stars, and both look amazing. Gather your acrylic paint, thumb tack, and toothbrush. When your shoes are dry, you can begin painting stars on your shoes.

Step Eight: Dip your toothbrush in white acrylic paint and begin splattering it all over your shoes in a random pattern. You can add as much paint as you would like until you have achieved your desired effect.

Step Nine: Take your thumb tack and dip it in paint. Use the small tack to paint on stars and moons. My final product looked something like this

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Step Ten: Once your shoes are dry, put the shoe laces back in. I found these purple laces on amazon. You could also weave ribbon in similar galaxy colors in with your laces for a unique look.

There you have it, your own set of galaxy shoes!

 

 

Battle of the Book Sleeves

What is a book sleeve? Book sleeves are known by many names. Most of us used to put brown paper bags on our school textbooks and the ideas revolved from there. There are now stretchy book covers for school textbooks and kids these days will never know how to perfectly cut up a paper bag to fit your books. Books sleeves, however, are made to protect books when they’re not in use. Sleeves are a way to protect books in your bags or when you carry them so that pages do not get bent or dust jackets do not get damaged. Recently, book sleeves have swept etsy and the bookstagram community on instagram.

Do I need one? As mentioned above, books sleeves are a protective cover. If you would have told me six months ago that book sleeves are necessary and that I would own a dozen of them, I would have called you crazy. But truthfully, I do think book lovers need to protect their books. I am the kind of person who always carries a book with her. There is constantly at least one, but more than likely two, books in my purse. As a consequence, I have damaged a few books this way. Book sleeves protect your books. My paperbacks are free from lipsticks loosing their caps and I can keep the beautiful dust jackets on my hardbacks. Simply, book sleeves protect books. And if you carry books on you at all times, I would recommend buying a book sleeve.

There are a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colors of book sleeves. I do not claim to be an expert, but I own more than my fair share of sleeves. I thought it would be helpful to walk you through the sleeves I own and list the pros and cons of each. For reference and to compare sizes, I have chosen four books to demonstrate each sleeve’s capabilities. These books are: the mass market paperback version of The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin; A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas; Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo; and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.


Baby My Book (Etsy Shop)


There are two sleeve options for Baby My Book—paperback (10” x 7.5”) and hardback (11.5” x 9’). Some of these sleeves come with pockets and others do not. You can also customize and add on a strap or vinyl lettering to your sleeves.

I chose a blue swirl pattern hardback sleeve with a Velcro closure and pocket. I also decided to add on a book strap in white. The foam is stiff, meaning it will hold it’s shape, but there is also some “give” when trying to put in larger books. The pocket is perfect for a small journal, post-it flags, and a pen. The strap is also long enough that you can wear it as a cross body, if need be. The inside lining is a white felt-like material, and seems to protect my books well. This size can fit most of my larger books—both hardback and paperbacks.


Book Besties UK (Etsy Shop)

These sleeves come in one general size and are approximately 10” x 7”. I chose an Australian Shepard and donut print from this shop. This sleeve is deceivingly small. It can only fit smaller paperbacks and works perfectly for mass-market paperbacks. 


Book Keeper Boutique (Etsy Shop)

Book Keeper offers sleeves in three sizes: baby, mama, and papa. Baby keepers are designed to fit kindles and some small paperbacks. Mama keepers fit paperbacks and smaller hardback books. The papa keepers protect larger hardback books. I have purchased two sleeves from Book Keeper Boutique—a baby sushi keeper and a papa Velaris/Night Court/galaxy sleeve. The baby size fits mass-market paperbacks and other small books. I use it to hold my journals and small notebooks. The papa size is huge in comparison. It fits all of my large hardback books and is beautiful. The foam in both of these sleeves are harder so that the sleeves keep their shape when not in use.


Book Biff (Etsy Shop)

Book Biffs come in two sizes: paperback (7.5” x 9”) and regular (8” x 10”). I have the regular size in a Harry Potter print. The foam in this sleeve is firm and not quite as forgiving as other sleeves and because of this only fits small hardback books and paperbacks. But, this sleeve is well made and adorable.


The Bookshelf Quest (Etsy Shop)

The Bookshelf Quest offers two-sized book sleeves: one for paperbacks and one for hardback books. I picked up one of each size: a Night Court/purple star hardback size and a “Not all those who wander” paperback sleeve. I love both of these sleeves. These sleeves look like they can’t hold much, but they can. The paperback can hold small hardback and larger paperback books. The hardback sleeve can hold two average-sized hardback books. I also requested an add-on button closure and I love it!


The Cozy Life Shop (Etsy Shop)

Cozy life has three book sleeve sizes: sapling, pine, and redwood. Saplings are the smallest and protect kindles or small paperbacks. Pines are the prefect size for general paperbacks. Redwoods, the largest, fit large paperbacks and hardback books. I chose a redwood Jane Austen inspired cozy. This sleeve is wonderful, I love the pattern on it, and holds large paperbacks and hardback books.


Kathy’s Kovers (Etsy Shop)

These covers come in either large or small sizes. I have purchased one of each. The large sleeve is whiskey themed and the small one is Nightmare Before Christmas themed. The shipping for both of these sleeves was incredibly fast, within 48 hours. There are some slight imperfections on the small sleeve as the top seam is not completely straight. The small sleeve fits paperback books only; it’s too short for hardback books.


Thingimabobs A Plenty (Etsy Shop)

This shop sells “bookimabobs” and reversible bookimabobs. These come in one general size of 8” x 10”. These sleeves fit paperback books as well as some small hardback books.

This is one of my favorite shops and shop owners on etsy/instagram. The sleeves are well made and I have no fear of them falling apart or fraying. The first sleeve I purchased is a dragon scale/mermaid scale sleeve. The fabric of this specific sleeve is stretchy and there are some imperfections on the top, but I was warned of this before I bought it. The colors on this sleeve are amazing. It is generally green, but in the light there is a purple shift. The second sleeve I purchased is a Game of Thrones fabric. This sleeve is just as wonderful as the other one. Both of these sleeves shipped fast—I believe within 24 hours of purchase.


Black Violet NYC

Black Violet offered large and extra large book sleeves. I save this one for last because this is the only shop that I would not recommend. I had a horrible experience with my shop and it seems like I was not the only one. First, the etsy shop has been taken down. I don’t know if the owner did this or it was for some other reason, but I will not speculate.

I purchased a large Supernatural themed book sleeve from this shop. I purchased this sleeve on 6/5 of this year, but did not receive it until 7/12. The sleeve was supposed to be delivered by 6/12, but was not shipped until 6/30. My biggest problem was not that the sleeve arrived late, but that the shop owner lied to me. When the initial ship date passed, I didn’t do anything. I understand people run late. When the initial delivery date passed, I contacted the shop. The owner told me she would ship it out the next day and it should be there by 6/20. I waited and understood. At the end of June, I contacted the owner again. I didn’t hear anything until I threatened to open a case on etsy. Sure enough, the same day, a printing label was finally made. But it still didn’t ship out for 3 more days. I have no problem if a shop or a business gets busy, I understand that handmade products take time. I just did not appreciate being lied to.

Second, the quality of this sleeve is the worst out of all of the ones I own. For a “large” it barely fits most of my paperback books. Cinder sits very snuggly and I have had covers bending while trying to put books inside. The inside of the sleeve is also fraying. I’m afraid that it will all come unraveled at the seams.

 

 

**I am not sponsored by any of the above named companies or brands. I bought all of these on my own. All links are not affiliate links, they will take you directly to each shop owner’s site**

Book Jar

Do you have an overwhelming to be read (TBR) list? Do you have a stack of books to read but no idea where to start? Then maybe a simple solution is creating your own book jar.

Last year, I stumbled upon a friend of mine making a book jar. At first, I hated the idea. I thought it would take too much time and I hated feeling restricted in what I was reading. But now, I have found a more reasonable and manageable way to use my book jar.

What’s Needed:

  • Jar (or other container)
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Stack of Books
  • Ribbon (or other decorating accessories)

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Instructions:

First, you have the difficult task of gathering the names of every book that you want to read. I have over 60 books on my TBR list that I have yet to get around to. You can even add books you don’t own (i.e. books you want to buy or check-out from the library).

Next, write down every book title on a new piece of paper. I found it easier to use post-it notes and to write on the reverse side so that each post-it can seal itself. The different colors don’t mean anything to me, I just wanted to change up the colors. But I have seen people use a different color for each genre, or a book that’s part of a series is a different color than stand alone novels. Or you could make every single book a different color. I just went back and forth between blue and pink while writing out book titles.Titles

Finally, pick a title from the jar and read!

Now, I mentioned that I found a more reasonable way to use the book jar. I have multiple TBR lists. All of the book titles I put in the jar are general books I want to read, but am not in any rush to get around to reading. Another TBR—those books that I want to read immediately are left out of the jar. This way, I can pick a book out of the jar whenever I want to. This helps for reading slumps. And I don’t feel like I’m obligated to read every book title that’s pulled from the jar. You can be as liberal or as strict as you want—you can keep picking a title until you’ve found one you like, or you can stick to the luck of the draw every time.

Happy reading!

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