Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Blogger Hop #58

Book Blogger Hop is another post I'm going to be trying out and this one has a topic each week, which is something I've been trying to bring to the blog.  I'm really excited about this one because I have a hard time coming up with something fresh to talk about and I'm hoping this helps.

If you would be interested in doing your own post, please CLICK HERE to learn more about this great hop! 

30th - December 6th- If you could travel back in time to purchase the first printing of a specific novel, what book would that be? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Another great question this week. There are so many books that I would love to have the first printing of.  So let's see, I would love a first printing of The Lord of the Rings books. I would also love the first printings of The Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist. Thost books are some of my all time favorites. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Teaser Tuesday #155

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

As the Inn appeared on the crest at the end of the snowy drive, nestled in the folds of the gently rolling Vermont foothills, Molly Winslow actally laughed aloud. Her anticipation had been building ever since she'd turned off the main road.

I'm loving this book so much and I can't wait to tell you all about it, but you're going to have to wait till next month when I review it on the 20th. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ali's Favorite Things: Fall Edition

A Favorte things post is something I've always seen other bloggers and Youtubers do. It's also something I've always wanted to add here on Ali's Bookshelf, so I figured it was time to do so. Lately I've been adding new types of posts on the blog and I hope you are all enjoying the variety I'm trying to bring to the blog. 

So this post was born. Ali's Favorite things is going to be something I add sometimes, I'm not sure if it will be a monthly thing or maybe a seasonal thing. Right now I'm going with seasonal, but later I might add it more often, we shall see. 

Anyway, below you are about to see a few of my favorite things lately. These can vary in topic, from movies to cleaning products. Speaking of cleaning products, that's exactly where we are going to start. 

I'm not sure if you all know, but I'm a VIP member of a online store or subscription service, it's called Grove Collaborative and I love it! They send me cleaning products that I pick monthly and honestly I'm addicted to it. It's so much easier than going out to the store and going through all the products trying to figure out which one is going to work for me and my house. These products are all natural and that's the other thing that I love about Grove Collaberative. They are very selective on what products go onto their site. My favorite is below...

They also sell the seasonal scents of Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products and right now I'm addicted to Apple Cider, not something I would normally love, but it makes my whole house smell like fall! 

If you would like to try Grove out and get a 5 Piece gift set of Mrs. Meyer products..CLICK HERE. (Fair warning if you do CLICK HERE and get the free set, I will get a small amount sent my way that I will use on more products.) 

Grey's Anatomy 

Anyway, I have a goal to re-watch all of the 14 seasons of this amazing show on Netflix. I know there is another season but I'm trying to get caught up. I love the show but have never watched all of them. While re-watching I've realized just how much I love this show. I can't get enough of it. 


Fall Candles 


Yep now this is something that I really love year around, but the ones that I'm really in love with right now I found out our local Krogers. It's called Vanilla Cinnamon Brulee and again it makes my whole house smell like fall!  It's by the candle company Tuscany Candle, just in case you want to grab yourself one. I love candles, I mean who doesn't enjoy a good relaxing candle! 




So there are three of my favorites as of right now. I'm pretty sure I'll think of some later and do another post. Here's another favorite to take with you...Christmas Movies! I could do a whole video of my favorites. I might have to do that, if you would like to see a post on favorite holiday movies, please let me know in the comments below.


Anyway, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and...





Sunday, November 25, 2018

10 Day Social Media Ban and How It Changed The Way I See Social Media

A few weeks ago I was watching Youtube, like I do every morning and I was listening to one of my favorite Youtubers, Kimmy over at She's In Her Apron, as she explained how she was going to be taking a 10 day fast from social media. It had been a challenge made through her church. Well at the end of the video she challenged her watchers to do the same. At first I thought there is no way I can actually stay away from social media that long, but I figured why not at least try. 

The first thing I did was go to my mom's and told her the plan, she thought I was crazy and didn't think I could do it either, thanks for the boost of confidence mom LOL! Anyway, after that, I took my challenge to Facebook and told everyone that starting the very next day I would be taking a 10-day ban from Social Media challenge and wouldn't be around for those 10 days. I got a lot of people that told me Good Luck a few people told me there was no way I could do it. That of course just put a fire up my butt and made me want to do the challenge even more.

The very next day I deleted Facebook from my cell phone (Which I still haven't added back and don't plan to!). It was the first feel-good moment of the challenge. I didn't have to hear it ding anymore letting me know that someone comment on some post and I didn't have to run to check it right away. To me this made the biggest difference starting out. Second, I promised myself that I would stay away from social media. I would do this challenge and I would finish it.

The first day was really hard, let me tell you. I actually missed those ding sounds at first, the second day it was still a little hard, but by the third day, I realized something. It wasn't as hard to stay away, I had tons of time to work on my blog, to spend with my kids, to clean my house, to do so many things that I had been putting off. Just because I wasn't scrolling on social media for five to ten minutes every few hours, I had time to do the things that I wanted to do.

We waste so much time scrolling and trying to figure out what other people are up to that we put off the things that we want to do or the things that bring us joy. At least that's what I figured out that I had been doing. I also realized how draining it was scrolling through social media, all the sad stories that brought me down while reading them or all the sad news people post on social media. All these things would make me sad and make me want to scroll more to find something happy.

After 10 days, I honestly realized that I don't need to be on social media as much as I was. I would rather spend that time playing with my kids or doing things around my house that I enjoy. It also gave me more time to read, which is something I love! All in all, this challenge was amazing and really opened my eyes to what damage social media can really do to your day and time. Now I only allow myself to get onto Facebook twice a day or every other day and only for about 15 minutes a day.

My challenge for you, take the 10-day social media ban challenge!

See what it was done for you, then, of course, come back and let me know how it goes. I would love to know what you spent your extra time on.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Briggs Book Tag

I've seen a few different bloggers and YouTubers doing this fantastic tag. The one I saw recently would be Lauren over at Bookmark Lit. Her blog has become one of my favorites to read. Each time I saw their posts it made me wonder what my answers would be.  So, I took the test and actually I took it twice to see if the different sites would give me different answers and guess what it did, but only by one letter! Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself, this original tag was started by Jaded Reader and you can find the questions HERE just in case you would like to do a post like this as well. Let's get to it!

So the first personality test/quiz I took was over at 16 Personalities, my results didn't surprise me at all!

I tend to be a debater especially when I really know I'm right LOL! Anyway, so I knew this really fit my personality, that's the reason I took the second quiz, I had to know if it would come out the same. My results for the second one didn't look as pretty as this one graphy wise, it came from Personality Perfect but here they are...

Which this one also fits me perfectly, so I guess I'm just a mixture of both? Anyway, I'm going to answer the questions as both. Enjoy!

Okay so, let's go with the first type. The initials are ENTP-T! 

 Being alone has its perks, but what’s the point of a good book if it can’t be shared?  What are 3 all time favorite books that you would love everyone to read and talk about?

So these are three of my favorite books, one has been on my list for a while and the other two a bit more recently.  Ready Player One has been a favorite of mine for a few years, I love this whole book so much and the plot is perfection! Sky In The Deep I added to my list this year and I had never read a Viking book and I was so surprised at how much I loved this book. I read this one so fast and didn't want to put it down. Now MY Commander is a book that I most recently added to my Favorites list and honestly, the whole series should be on there. Lately, I've needed books that make me laugh but still have amazing plots in them. This whole series had me rolling but still in love with the story as well. Love this whole series so much.

 Some books are meant to be understood and others are meant to be explored. What book or character stands for an idea that is deeply meaningful to you? 

I know you all are probably looking at me funny right now or wondering what in the world...but give me a second to explain this one. When I read The Selection series, well this book really made me think. It really hit home for me that we shouldn't label people, it's what's inside that counts and what's inside will always be able to be seen if you get to know that person. Labels don't matter! 

Non-Fiction for some can seem tedious, but where would we be without the truths of our world? What book, text, or reading material have you found yourself referring to when in need of real world answers? 

This was pretty easy for me to answer, I just recently finished reading Girl, Wash Your Face and normally I don't do this type of books. But I loved this book so much! Every chapter was just breathtaking and it just hit home for me. If you haven't read this one it's a must for my female readers!!! 

TBRs are fun to construct and meant to be destroyed.   Do you stick to the list or mix it up every now and then? What’s a book you’ve put down that you want to pick back up, but just haven’t been in the mood for?

This past year I stopped posting TBR's mainly because they felt like so much pressure, but recently I've been thinking of bringing them back. So lately I've just mixed it up! Being a mood reader it's been easier that way, but we shall see. As far as the book that I put down but want to pick back up it would have to be Fallen Heir! I loved The Royals series, but this book just wasn't hitting it for me when I tried. I really want to re-try though and soon!

Now for the only letter in the second personality type that I got was an F so I'm going to answer that one too!~ 

Not everything needs to be realistic, where is the fun in a world with limits? Which fantasy world do you find so atmospheric you slip inside and never want to leave? (Put simply a book with good vibes)

I know this is probably going to say Harry Potter but it's so true! I could live in that world forever and never get tired of it. Though I would also say that the above book series My Commander is also a contender for this one. I love that whole fantasy world filled with Shapeshifters, vampires, and witches. So much love for books that can drag you inside its pages and not let you go till the end. (I know I've said that a million times here on the blog, but it's still true!)

Now for the last part of this tag, since I have two different answers I was going to answer both again, but the questions only had one of mine. So here is my answer for that one! 

ENFP: The Champion

Quite honestly you’re amazing, and while you are not the best at everything, you are the best at what you strive to be. What character in a book did you look up to, and why?

It's weird how fitting these are to my personality! Both of them, but The Campion is really fitting. Anyway, it's kind of hard to come up with an answer to this one, but let's see if I can come up with one anyway.


Come Back To Me is another one of my fall time favorite books, no matter what Jessa and Kit have to go through they both fight for what they want. They both deal with everything and even when it's hard they stick with it. That to me is something that I really look up to.

I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed answer these questions! What is your personality type? If you don't know I challenge you to take the quiz as well and figure it out for yourself, it's very enlightening.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Book Blogger Hop #57

Book Blogger Hop is another post I'm going to be trying out and this one has a topic each week, which is something I've been trying to bring to the blog.  I'm really excited about this one because I have a hard time coming up with something fresh to talk about and I'm hoping this helps.

If you would be interested in doing your own post, please CLICK HERE to learn more about this great hop! 

23rd - 29th - You meet an interesting person of the opposite sex at a club. Suddenly, they start acting as if they're a character in a novel you've read, and they are firmly convinced that they ARE that character. First, which character is it, and second, how do you react? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

Well now, this is a different kind of question, but a great one! Let's see I would say it's Hunter Cross from Crossing Hearts by Kimberly Kincaid. (If you haven't read this series, it's a must!) Hunter is my favorite character! Total book boyfriend worthy. I think at first I would stare at the person for a long long time. I don't think I would believe them at all. Though if they looked like Hunter (on the cover) it would be hard not to believe it lol. Secretly in my head though I would be saying "jump him, don't let him get away!" LOL 

I mean look at the man on this cover, I'm sure you all would be thinking the same exact thing! I would be all grabby hands for sure. 


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Homeschool Curriculum Review: Beowulf Grammar

First off I want to start off by saying Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you all are enjoying some great food and time with your familes. Now time for a review! 

I am so pleased to share with you my thoughts about this fantastic curriculum. This is our first year homeschooling and as I've said before on the blog, my son is autistic and it takes a lot to get him to write or listen to a grammar lesson. Beowulf's Grammar is the perfect solution for us.

When I first started looking into homeschooling Braxton I wasn't sure what I was going to use for LA and Grammar, since both of these are required in the state we live. I knew they needed to be short lessons that would hold his attention and luckily for us I found the Guest Hollow website. I will say that these amazing people were nice enough to donate this curriculum to us to use for an honest review.

My son has loved this curriculum and I love that it's shorter lessons and easy to teach. He's caught on very quickly and he really enjoys the funny stories. Now inside Beowulf, there are things like comic strips, fun little craft like pages and easy to write lessons. Beowulf's Grammar was created by a homeschool mom and that is another reason I love it. It's been tried by several of my friends as well and the reviews are spectacular.

At the beginning of this grammar program your child gets to make Beowulf himself and they get to make a box for him to stay in. The best part of this is that I as the teacher gets to use this little object he made as a special prize box for him. Now, this isn't each and every day, but I leave little notes from Beowulf inside or encouraging notes from me. My son gets a kick out of it and loves seeing what's going to be inside the box.

The other thing I really enjoy about this curriculum is that it's really at your own pace. There is a guide in the beginning, but I've found that sometimes it's a little too slow or a little too fast for my son, so we just go at our own pace. The best thing about this program is that it goes along with their other Language arts program and you can use them together. Which is exactly what we do. (Review of that curriculum coming soon!)

All in all, I love Beowulf's Grammar and would recommend it to anyone that's looking for a great grammar curriculum.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mom: Our Morning Routine!

I haven't written a post like this one in a long time, but I'm thrilled to do so and honestly I think it's going to be a regular post around here on Ali's Bookshelf. I've been wanting to share more of my life with you and this is going to be a way I can do just that. As most of you know I'm now a Homeschool Mom! My son is autistic and the public schools where I live aren't really open to him going to their schools enough for him to learn. (Yes, that's putting it lightly!) Anyway, I want to share how our day goes on a typical homeschool day with you, for now I'm going to share what a typical morning is like here at our house. Later on I'm going to do another post with our afternoon routine, but for now let's get to our morning.

When I say typical, that means a day where there aren't too many melt downs and we actually get all our work done. Because let's face it there are going to be those days where this doesn't actually happen and the way I would love our day to go doesn't go as planned. Anyway, it's time to walk you through our mornings.

So in the morning I usually have to get up around 6:05 to get my daughter up and off to school. My daughter still goes to public school, though that might change next year. I make sure she gets up and go get dressed myself. Brush my teeth and do all that jazz. After that I fix myself something to eat while she's getting ready to head out to catch the bus. She likes to eat breakfast at school so normally she just grabs a granolla bar or a muffin to eat on the bus.

After she's on her way to school, I have the rest of the early morning to get my day started. Normally I put away any dishes that were washed the night before and start making breakfast for my son. He usually wakes up around 8:30 AM and eats his food. We try start our school day normally around nine or nine thirty in the morning. Some days I'll be honest we don't start our day till around ten, another perk of homeschool.

We usually start off with the Pledge of Allegence. I'm really big on this, I think it's the way we should start off our day. Public schools don't really do this anymore, but here at our homeschool we do. I bought a small flag that sits on our kitchen table. As soon as that is done, we mark off our day of the year. We are doing a count down where we mark off our days that we have completed. As soon as all of that is done and he's ate his breakfast we start our Morning Basket work, which consists of a few weekly studies and our daily work. Below is what's on our list for this week.

Daily Growth Mindset Journal
President Study
Word of the Week 
Element Study
State of the Week 
Spelling Words (We just go over these in the morning) 

After we get all of that done, my son usually needs about a 15 minute break. He's autistic so giving him breaks is a must. Another reason why homeschool really works for him. During those 15 minutes or so, I usually put a load of laundy into the washer and fold the load that's in the dryer. (The part of my day that I hate, but is a must. I try to do one load a day! Yep I said try...)

As soon as those fifteen or so minutes are over we get back to work. Right now we are still trying to figure out our schedule, but we are getting closer to really honing in on it. We do use a loop schedule for certain subjects, but I'm thinking about changing it up a bit when the new year starts. Anyway, after our morning basket material, we do our daily reading and independent reading.

We are having a lot of fun reading together and right now we are reading The Indian in the Cupboard. One of my all time favorite books when I was his age. I must also add that while I'm reading, he's usually doing something fun with his hands. Either playing with his legos or coloring. This helps him listen to what I'm reading plus gives him something to do and keeps his mind from wondering. Then after we read a chapter or so in that book he picks a book from either our library books or a book off his own bookshelf to read himself in his room for about twenty minutes.  Sometimes he also goes up to my Mom's house and picks a book to read to her. This helps build his reading confindence.

When he was in public school they told me several times that he couldn't read. This kid loves to read, but they weren't letting him read the type of books that he loves. Graphic novels are a great way to get younger boys to read and that's the type that my little man has always loved. His new favorite is the Sonic the Hedgehog ones we found at the library the other day. Speaking of the library we do go to the library once a week. It's usually on Mondays.

After reading, we take another ten to fifteen minute break, again it's something he needs. At this time I'm usually doing another chore that I need to finish for the day. Either answering emails, something from my Fly Lady list, or working on a blog post. Then after all of that, we do our daily chores. My son's major chore is to make sure his room is cleaned up. But right now we are re-doing his room, so mainly all he has to do is pick up his toys and make sure there isn't anything in the living room that belongs in his room. Pretty simple morning rountine if you ask me and that's exactly what we need. Simple is best when it comes to us.

If you would like to know in more detail about any of our Morning Basket, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to do a post about each of our items. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Teaser Tuesday #154

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

Mom lost her job today. Maybe that's not quite the right word. Lost makes it sound like, if we just looked hard enough, her job would turn up somewhere, maybe under a sofa cushion or in the back of a drawer.

Scholastic sent me this one a few weeks ago and I'm so excited to read this one. I love the sound of it and honestly I love the way the book is put together. Each month of the book has a title cover like the main cover. It's so pretty.

Monday, November 19, 2018

If We Were Having Coffee...

I saw this awesome post over at The Perpetual Page Turner and fell in love with the post idea. I knew right away that I had to do the same over here on the blog as well.  I'm pretty sure she got the idea from a life coach named Ashley from a blog called Awesome Life. I really hope they don't mind that I'm jumping on the bandwagon and posting my own as well. 

So today here on the blog, I'm going to do just that, tell you exactly what I'd tell you if we were sitting down together having a cup of coffee or in my instance a cup of hot chocolate. Okay you caught me I don't drink coffee and I know people are going to be stunned and wonder why not so don't send out the horde of people with pitchforks after me. For right now let's just sit down and have a chat. Don't forget to grab your drink of choice! 

If we were having coffee... I would tell you that this past weekend was my daughters birthday and we got to spend Saturday together having a blast. We went out to lunch at Olive Garden, which she had never been and once there she told me she was in heaven. LOL. Then we were shopping at the mall, but the best part of the day was that we went to see the new Crimes of Grindleward movie and it was so good!  I'd probably have to explain to you that the night before my daughter was born I was actually at a Harry Potter movie premere and we are carrying  on said tradition with the new Harry Potter themed movies on her birthdays! 

If we were having coffee... I would tell you all about how our homeschool life has been. I would tell you how proud I am of my son for doing 9th grade math in 6th grade and how amazed I am at how fast he's learning new things. Then I would ask you how you and your family is doing? Because I love hearing how others are doing as well.

 If we were having coffee... I would probably tell you that I'm currently reading The White Christmas Inn and loving it so far. Being the book lover that I am of course I would have to know what you're reading, mainly because I would need to know if it's a book that I've heard of or not, if not I would have to know what it's about to see if I should add it to my list.  

If we were having coffee... I would have to ask you about your Thanksgiving plans and tell you that this is the first year I'll be cooking the whole Thanksgiving dinner by myself at my house. It's not going to be some big production, mainly because it's just for my kids and myself, but I'm excited to actually cook the turkey by myself, even if it is a daunting task. Of course I would have to know if you have any tips for me, because even if I am excited I'm also freaking out inside about having to cook said turkey by myself. LOL

If we were having coffee... I would tell you all about my 10 days away from social media and how it impacted my life. It's crazy how much 10 days can change your thoughts and feelings about something.  I more than likely would dare you to do the same thing. 

If we were having coffee... I would have to discuss my new goals with 101 things in 1001 days. I'd tell you about a few of my goals that I am working on right now and excited I am about a few of the goals on my list. I'd probably tell you it's a little daunting as well. 1001 days isn't really that long, when you think about it. Years fly by so fast these days. 

If we were having coffee... I would also ask you if you have read Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Have you? If you haven't it's a must read. This book has changed my life. I of course, would tell you how it changed the way I think about certain things and how it showed me that sometimes I can't control everything, even though I try.  

If we were having coffee... I would tell you how much fun it's been bringing back our Friday Family  nights.  We play board games or watch movies. It's something that I had missed. Then of course, I would ask you if you do something similar and if not I would probably tell you to try it! I learn so much about my kids on these nights. Oh and we have pizza those nights which is always a good thing! 

If we were having coffee... I'd ask about your Christmas plans or Holiday plans, (I have a few amazing friends that don't celebrate Christmas.) I love Christmas so of course I would tell you all about my decorations and what I plan to buy for my kids this year. Which is my favorite part, seeing my kids faces as they open their gifts is hands down the best part for me as a mom. 

If we were having coffee... I would tell you that I suck at read-a-thons but still love participating! I was supposed to be reading Christmas books this week and I only finished like 3. But then again it's been a crazy busy week. With my daughters birthday and homeschool, it's been non-stop around here. 

If were were having coffee... I would tell you how excited I am about the house work I'm doing at my house. We are re-doing the bedroom floors and putting in wood flooring. I can't wait, it's going to be so much easier to clean in the bedrooms! 

So the question is IF We WERE HAVING COFFEE...what would you tell me? 


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