I know, I’m like two weeks late on this and I’m so sorry for that, especially to those who have been looking for this link-up post! But I promise that it won’t happen again. I’m going to go ahead and schedule the next few months of Random Reads link-up posts so that those of you that have been participating can still join in and work towards your awesome reading goals! Let me be clear though that Random Reads is not going anywhere. I really enjoy this meme and I want to do even more with it in the future. So keep linking up and check back every month to see if something new with it is going on.
Random Reads, Blog, Book, & Life Updates
I hope you all are doing better with your Random Reads this year than I have been! If you’re interested as to why I’ve been pretty absent on the blog, Random Reads, and pretty much the entire book world in general, I’m going to give you a bit of a life and blog update at the end of this post . If you don’t care (lol – I’m not offended) then feel free to skip that part and just link up or join in using the copy/paste buttons below.
What is Random Reads?
In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. I’m on Goodreads so I’m using a combination of the sorting feature and Random.org to pick the book I’m going to read.
Want to join in on Random Reads?
- If you’re on Goodreads enable sorting to your to-read shelf (you should see numbers next to each book now).
- Go to Random.org and type in the Min as 1 and the Max as how many ever books are on your to-read shelf.
- Scroll down to the book matching the number Random.org picks.
- Link up to your Random Reads post (below).
- Read and be merry.
If you’re not on Goodreads just pick a random book from your list in whatever way you want to do it. You can use the method I used above or even just close your eyes and point randomly at a book on your bookshelf if you want (spin the bottle style). lol
Random Reads Buttons
Here is the meme button you can use and it’s copy/paste code:
Or you can use the longer “banner” version I used in this post instead:
Link to Your Random Reads Meme
Life Updates (Scroll Down to “Blog Updates” for Blog-Related Only)
It all started at the beginning of this summer around June or July (whenever my posts started getting less frequent on here haha). I got this major itch to re-decorate my house and it sort of took over my life for a few months. Sometimes I get into phases with this sort of thing during the summer. I’m not sure why the summer, I guess just because it’s pretty and I feel uplifted and good about things and in need of some change.
A few rooms into my decorating binge my maternal clock apparently went off because I started thinking about how nice it would be for us to start a family now and overall feeling pretty ready to get nice a big with a lovely little bean. First off, no, I’m not pregnant. We’re very much plan-oriented type of people when it comes to big decisions and major life changes and so we have a plan and a timeframe we are going to try to get pregnant. I’m on prenatal vitamins, but that’s all for now. I know what all the moms/dads out there are thinking because every time I tell someone we want to be ready and such, I get the old “you’re never going to be ready”, blah blah blah. I won’t get into it too much, but I disagree that you can’t prepare yourself and various parts of your life for children. In fact, I think that too many people don’t take advantage of modern medicine (i.e. birth control) in order to better plan and prepare for children. We want to be emotionally, financially, and spacially (I know, not a word), ready for kids. I’m 26 and my husband and I have been married for 4 years. Now is our time. lol We’re pretty emotionally ready, are very close to being financially ready, and the spacially ready part is what has pretty much eaten up my whole summer/mid year.
By spacially ready I of course mean that I want to have enough space for the little bean to grow up. We have a house right now that is 3 bed and 2 bath. Sounds good, but when it comes down to it it’s just not enough space for us if we’re having kids. The bedrooms are small, we of course need a room for ourselves, I need an office because I work from home, and we pretty much need a designated guest bedroom because we pretty frequently have out-of-town family that comes to stay with us. So our three rooms are pretty much all needed space that we can’t lose.
All of that to say that our first plan was to look into how much an addition on our house would cost because we weren’t sure we could sell. We’re actually very lucky to not be upside down on our house and even have a little equity, but we weren’t sure the market would allow us to sell anyways. But as it turns out an addition of the size we would need would be about as much as just buying another house (especially in this market).
So one day (August 3rd to be exact) I decided to see if the cost of the addition, plus what we owe on the house would really cost more than what we could get out there (not even factoring in the headache and the money we’d have to spend on staying somewhere else during a huge renovation like that). It turns out we could. That very day I found my dream property. I’m not going to link it because everything isn’t final and I want to keep things on the DL. But it’s an old 1900′s farmhouse on 15 acres. Love! We both love property (we have a meager 3.59 acres right now), the country, and all things old and with lots of character. This property has it all.
After spending all of a few hours convincing my husband that this was the way to go we were already in contact with a realtor who was going to help us sell our house and buy our “forever home” (which will hopefully *crosses fingers* still end up being the one I mentioned above — but nothing is for certain).
The next month was spent basically doing everything to our house that we have put off for the past 5 years we’ve owned it. Little fixes, big fixes, cleaning up, etc. Basically spending lots of money we don’t have on things that need to be done to get our house sold. We’re big DIY people so we did it all ourselves, but still spent a good amount of money when everything is said and done.
On September 5th we listed our house and now we wait. We’ve actually already gotten quite a few showings in the first two weeks, which our current realtor and our previous realtor (who we are still friends with but is retired) both said is a very good sign and not common. So the interest is there, which is great. I’m not sure how many showings we’ll have before we get an offer, but as we continue to show the house we just keep doing a few more fixes here and there to make things even better for the next showing.
I’m not going to even mention all the hops, skips, turns, and hoops we’ve had to jump through in order to get things prepared for both selling and for purchasing. Loan types, down payments, various bank approvals, toying with the idea of buying the house and just short-selling our current one (I know, bad). But we’re the type of people who have had to fight for any and everything we have and for some reason it is always a fight to get to where and what we want. It’s something we’re used to, and yes it sucks, but for some reason it’s nothing new with us. So we came into all this prepared to fight every step of the way for what we want, and we have no plans of giving up anytime soon.
As it stands I do have more free time now that the house is pretty much just being shown and we’re just doing small things when we can, as opposed to the big projects we were doing in the beginning. We don’t have an offer in on the house we want to buy because of a few different reasons. We’re trying to sort out the financing options and what we ant to do, and we also have come to the very hard decision that we will absolutely not short sale. We aren’t upside down, so there’s really no reason to. We just need to sit on it for awhile and that’s very hard to do when you’re as impatient as I am.
If we don’t sell, we will probably throw around the idea of renting this out for the time being. We’re hesitant about that because of hearing about landlords getting very much screwed by non-paying tenants. But we’re looking into it all and it’s something that we’ll consider if the house doesn’t seem to be selling. According to our realtor the rent would definitely cover our mortgage with a tiny bit left over. It’s not ideal, but better than nothing at least while we have the house on the market.
Anyways…enough of my rambling. ^THIS^ is what’s been going on. How much reading have I done since all of this started? None. At all. I’m not even exaggerating. *sad face* I really haven’t had any time and any downtime from the house I’ve had has been sucked up with working as much as I can and sleeping.
So I’m Loving Books will probably be on a hiatus until all of this is smoothed out. I’m hoping that everything will be sorted out before January. I’ll try to put a little update into each month’s Random Reads if I have time, but for now I’m just going to schedule the posts for the next few months so you guys at least don’t have to miss out on linking up.
Mini Series Banners
If you’re wondering about my mini series banners and if I’ll be making more of those anytime soon. The short answer to that is not until I’m back to the blog again. I enjoy making them, I know a lot of people like them and use them and want me to make more for new book series’ that have and are coming out. But I just don’t have time right now. When I have the time to get back to book blogging and reading I will make more. I know there are a few blogs out there who have been making some that are “inspired by” mine, which is fine. I don’t mind but if you do this please at least credit my blog for the original idea.
To the frequent questions I get about how I make them and how I get the fonts to make them: The program I use is Adobe Photoshop CS5.5. If you live under a rock (kidding, lol) and haven’t heard of it, it’s a professional graphic design program that is expensive, but because it’s good. I didn’t buy this program specifically to use for mini series banners, but I have it because I’m a professional web designer and use it for work. I started making mini series banners because I wanted to list my favorite book series in my sidebar but thought that just a list was boring so I decided it would be fun to make banners using the book covers for the series and any other media available online. I honestly couldn’t tell you how “easy” Photoshop is to use because I’ve been using it for about 12 years and it comes pretty second-hand to me now. So I can’t really judge how it would be for a beginner. I think I remember it being pretty intimidating at first, but everything I learned about it I learned using free online tutorials I found using Google.
Discovering the font(s) used on a book cover is by far the most time consuming part of the entire mini series banner making-process, and I think it’s what sets my banners apart from all the “inspired by” banners that either use simply the book’s name because it was on the cover, or just use a standard font that doesn’t match. I’m not going to share this process because it took me a good long while to figure out what to use, how to use it, and what to do in order to get the best results. If you’re interested in figuring out how to do it for yourself, I will give you one hint as to how I figured it out: “Google-It” is a phrase that is used pretty regularly in our household.
To Publishers & Authors:
To those publishers and authors who have given me review copies of books in exchange for an honest review, I sincerely apologize for the delay. All the books sent to me I still fully intend to read and review, but my timeframe will I’m sure be well after the publish date for the book. For this I’m sorry and if you would like me to return a review copy please feel free to email me using the contact form on the Contact page linked in the menu at the top of my site and I will be sure to do so. Otherwise I will read and review the book(s) you’ve provided to me as soon as I am able to.
To authors who have scheduled a promotional post including an interview, guest post, giveaway, etc. I apologize that these posts did not (and will not) go up until I come back from hiatus as well. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this causes, but I will be more than willing to work with you in the future if you’re interested at a later time.
See You Soon
Thanks to those of you who actually read part (or all) of this post. I know it’s a hefty one, but I wanted to be sure to keep you guys in the loop now that I had a little time to sit down and let you all know what’s been going on with me. If I do get a spare moment here and there to read, I’ll still keep what I’m reading (if anything) on my Goodreads and maybe even post a review here if I have time (no promises though lol).
I’ll talk to you all soon. Hopefully sooner rather than later because that means we’ve sold our house and moved into a new one! *crosses fingers* Here’s to hoping everything works out and soon!