Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Bloggers We Read: Brittany @ Book Bumblings

Introducing....Brittany @ Book Bumblings


I discovered Brittany's blog this year and am loving following her. She puts out awesome information about blogging, shortcuts and other random stuff as well as some blunt and funny reviews on the sexy romance novels she reads. She also hosts the Be A Better Blogger Challenge.

Why did you start blogging? 
I've always loved writing and blogging just as much reading, and have been blogging for as long as I can remember. I'd been toying with the idea of a book blog since I graduated in 2012. Previously, I only read for pleasure over school breaks. Now that I was reading constantly, I wanted to talk about the books, but didn't know many people who read the same books as me. Since I had no one to talk to about *all the feels*, as I like to say, I took to the interwebz.

Do people in your personal life know about your blog or is it your private spot?
Most people in my life know I have a book blog, only a few know the URL. Although if they really wanted to find it, I'm sure they could. I don't think any of them read it though. My mom's the only one of them on my mailing list, and that's because I added her when I first started the blog. For some reason, a mailing list consisting of myself and my mom seemed a tad less sad that one with just me. :P (awww, I'm sure mom loves it :) )

Do you have other blogs? If so, what are they?
I do. My "professional" blog is I also manage the company blog at my day job, and guest post on blogs about marketing, public relations, and social media.

What are some blogs (bookish or not) people should check out that you enjoy?
I probably read at least 50 blog posts a day, so I'm going to come up with a theme here to keep from rambling. These are all book bloggers that will help you become a better book blogger.

I love Ashley at Nose Graze. Before finding her blog, I never would have considered trying to turn my blog into a resource for other book bloggers. It just didn't occur to me to write blogging tips there...that was all over on my other blog. I also love The Book Vixen and all the Bloggiesta bloggers who host mini-challenges. (all great blogs! I read them too.)

Anything you would like to share about yourself, family, etc?
Another reason my mom is on my mailing list: she's my biggest fan ever. There's probably a downside; I'm positive my ego is overinflated at times because of it. (that's what moms are for)

What do you do for a living?  Anything book related that the rest of us can be jealous about?
Haha, nope. I'm a content marketing strategist. If you like blogging though, be jealous, because that's basically professional blogging. I manage my company's blog, email marketing, and social media. (very cool job!)

What are your childhood reading memories?
I remember reading on family vacations to Bethany Beach, DE. I read so much that my grandpa, Poppy, would have to take me back to the bookstore on Main Street pretty much every day. I also remember staying up late reading in the bathroom at the beach house we rented, because it was the middle of the night and my sister was asleep (looking back, I don't know why I didn't use a reading light and just stay in bed, haha).

What do you think of forcing students to read certain books especially the classics? Yes or No? Harmful or helpful to their reading life?
I'm for it. I was always a big reader but hated most classics. But then in 10th grade American Lit, my eyes were opened. A lot of my all-time favorite books (Gatsby, Catcher, The Sun Also Rises) were assigned reading

What suggestions or advice do you have for new bloggers?
Figure out what makes you different. Too many reviews are way too generic. Inject your personality, get personal, and be real. Talk about the memories that a book or scene reminds you of, tell stories, etc. Readers become loyal much more quickly when they feel like they really know the boy/girl behind the blog. (check out one of her reviews here)

What is your guilty secret pleasure?
This is a hard one, because I have like no shame. I feel like a popular guilty pleasure would be something like singing showtunes loudly in the car, but I will own up to that in a hot second. I will also fully admit to dancing in the mirror. I feel like everyone already knows these things about me.

Favorites Section:
Favorite Author: Oh, you're mean, making me pick a favorite! Penny Reid is definitely my favorite author, but she also stands out from my other favorites in that I feel like I know her through talking to her in her fan group on Facebook (Sharks of Awesome). So I can also say she's one of my favorite people in general.
Book: This changes weekly, but it's usually on a rotation between 20 or so books. It's currently Alice Clayton's Wallbanger's turn in the rotation since I just finished listening to the audiobook. I kept having to rewind back to parts I laughed through.

Blogging event/challenge: I love The Book Vixen's monthly Write On Review-a-Thon. I actually think I've participated in it every month except this past one (because I was away all weekend and knew I'd be too busy). I'm really bad with reviewing non-ARCs or NetGalley books that I don't have an assigned tour date for. I always use the Review-a-Thon to catch up on reviews. I usually binge review during the marathon and schedule them out over the next month. Also, am I allowed a shameless plug for the Be a Better Blogger challenge? :P (of course because its AWESOME)
Food: Popcorn! Especially from my WhirleyPop popcorn maker. Omg, I'm addicted
Drink: Diet Coke :)
Tea or Coffee Drinker: Neither...I feed my caffeine addiction with Diet Coke and hot chocolate.
Dream vacation spot: Any European beach. They look so pretty in pictures! (oh yeah!)
TV show: I'm a huge TV junkie, particularly sitcoms. My all-time favorites are Friends and Will & Grace, and Parks & Rec more recently. (I'm a TV junkie too)
Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum: I used to be a dancer, so obviously Channing Tatum. You have to love a man that can move, especially when a guy is classically trained as a dancer. (oh yeah, Magic Mike yummyness)
Summer or winter:Summer! Especially right now, as I stare out the window at 8 or so inches of snow. :(

I'm totally stealing her email signature line created through WiseStamp. Isn't it cool?!
photoBrittany Berger
Book Bumblings
My latest blog post: My March Be a Better Blogger Goals

Thanks for participating. You can follow Brittany on:

The Bloggers We Read is a regular feature on  If you would like to have the spotlight shine on you, send me an email
or leave a comment and I'll get ahold of you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Books to Roatan

These are the books that made their way into my backpack for my trip to Roatan.

  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress - Rhoda Janzen
  • Fly Away Home - Jennifer Weiner
  • Visiting the Sins - Melanie Denman (review book)
  • Losing Faith - Adam Mitzner (review book, I read his other two books and can't wait to start this one)
  • A Small Indiscretion (review book)
AND I finally bought a Kindle Paperwhite so I have several books on that brand new puppy to read. The paperbacks will find themselves on the hostel's bookshelf after I finish them for others to enjoy.

Currently, I'm in transit. Woohoo! White sandy beaches here I come.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mt. Hood Goals Update

Damn, my cell phone takes good photos

My time has come to an end here at Mt Hood. Before I arrived, I had in mind a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Let's see how I did on my lengthy list of goals.
  1. Finish my TEFL class 
  2. Continue working on Spanish
  3. Finish ebook guide (Denali, It's for Everyone from Tourist to Seasonal Worker)
  4. Write a novel
  5. Lose 2 inches: 10 minute ab workout
  6. Visit Willamette wineries
  7. Blog twice a week on my travel blog
  8. Buy a camera
  9. Possibly buy a tablet
  10. Try skiing
  11. Pick up Italian
  12. Look into online business idea
  13. Make a calendar
  14. Design a website
  15. Apply for teaching position overseas

Pretty Damn Good! 9 out of 15 completed! Woohoo!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Links We Read and other daily stuff

  • From the same blogger: ever consider writing an ebook but don't know where to begin, look no further than what you've already written
  • Email templates! Never thought about using them until now.
  • I'm trying to create a love affair with Goodreads, this post should help with organizing it
  • Dog-Eared & Dog-Tagged: A new-to-me blog I found through Bloggiesta that I'm looking forward to checking out her backlist as well as her grammar tips

I spent last week packing up my belongings and settling my affairs here in Oregon. I took all my boxes to the post office and packed my backpack already. Can you say excited to leave? I received my very first digital camera in the mail. So exciting. Now I need to figure out how to use it. Hopefully my Kindle will be in the mailbox tomorrow. Fingers crossed. I've been cooking a lot in order to use up the food I still have. I did pack a whole box and ship to myself in Alaska. I had just too much food to not spend the extra $15 to ship it.

Visited the tulip festival and took some colorful photos of fields of flowers. So pretty.

Last Week:
  1. Finish TEFL
  2. Learn about adding Related Posts in Wordpress (I don't care for Zemanta, need to find another plug-in) (I've found EngageYa, JetPack, and LinkWithin. Any recommendations?)
  3. Go to Tulip Festival
  4. Learn what is Meta Description on Wordpress
  5. Complete Bloggiesta list (I came so close to finishing)
  6. Write "if I die" paper (kinda like a will, I guess)
  7. Buy contacts
This Week:
  1. Write 4 travel posts
  2. Send out blogger interview requests
  3. Finish my moving to do list (about 6 more items)
  4. Fly to Roatan
  5. Lie on the beach with a book and watch the world go by

  • March Madness final update
  • The Bloggers We Read shines on Brittany at Book Bumblings
  • My first look at a Caribbean island

Currently reading:

How was your week?

Spring Bloggiesta Goals

This is a sticky post and will stay on top until Bloggiesta is over.

Time for Bloggiesta! Here's my list:
  1. Move Lists of a Book Lover to pages bar
  2. Update pages bar to only be one row
  3. Change title and post title font
  4. Prewrite April's The Bloggers We Read posts
  5. Make templates for April's posts while I have good wifi connection
  6. Finish Book Addict's monthly book challenge
    1. Link reviews to Amazon (as a bonus I added on Goodreads too)
    2. Pin reviews to Pinterest
    3. Pin travel blog posts
  7. Write at least 6 posts for travel blog - 2 done
  8. Write wine update
  9. Add post subscription box and an author box
  10. Update links on What is Your page, The Bloggers We Read page, and reviews to 2015 books page
Considering everything else I have to do in order to close up my current house and move to Honduras, I think this list is plenty.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Wine Club - December's Everything Else

Last Updated: 3/28/15

Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2013 - Willamette Valley - skip it

Updated: 1/26/15

Cavit Pinot Grigio 2010 - Italy - from bottle: elegant, crisp and light, with delicate nuances of fruit.  I wasn't impressed.  Wouldn't buy again.  Received a little bottle as a gift.

Gazela Vinho Verde - Portugal - from bottle: fresh, young and floral, light and smooth wine.  I LOVE this inexpensive wine.  It is my favorite to sip outside on a hot summer day.  It's lightly bubbly.  $6.99

Domaine Aime Cabernet Franc 2009 - France - YUMMY!  This is my first try of cabernet franc and it will not be my last.  Delicious.  From website: deep dark purple color. In the mouth the wine is full of black fruit flavors, with hints of blueberry and plum. The finish is soft and supple with ripe tannins.  Try it.  I received bottle as a gift.

Bottle #2 of Cabernet Franc
Karma 2008 - South River Vineyard, Ohio, YUMMY!  I'm really liking Cabernet Franc.  This bottle is a blend - Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Tastes like dark berries, smooth, mild tannins.  I drank 3 glasses before I realized it.

Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc 2007 - Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington. At one point, this wine won many awards. Sadly, my bottle was corked and I didn't get to taste the original intended flavor.

Chateau Figareaux Seven of Hearts 2011 - Columbia Valley, Washington. (from their website: delivers aromas of cherries, floral spice, and roses, along with a broad range of flavors including red fruit preserves, marionberry, floral/bramble spiciness, and minerals.") Good but a little out of my price range to drink for everyday. Too many other wines to explore

The Dreaming Tree Crush 2012 - North Coast California. Skip it! (from the bottle: "notes of smoky berry and a pop of raspberry jam")  Sounds good, right? But it's meh. Has a cool label though.

The Wine Club - November's Pinot Noir

Last Update: 3/28/15
Underwood Pinot Noir 2013 - Oregon. This very reasonably priced wine quickly became my "everyday" wine. Several bottles made their way into my house. From the bottle: "notes of cherry, blackberry, and cola."  Definitely try this one if you can find it.

Update: 1/26/15

Viridian Pinot Noir 2010 - Oregon Family Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon. (from the bottle "classic Oregon style; fresh red berry fruits, balanced structure, rich mouth feel and finish. Oak-aged for nine months) I say "Skip it." It tasted cheap and alcoholy.

King Estate 2012 - Willamette Valley, Oregon. This wine was delicious. Smooth, soft, rich berry flavor. A definite must.

Planet Oregon 2012 - Oregon. Would definitely drink this wine again. Mellow. What I would consider an everyday sipper. Something that is not necessarily memorable as a Wow but pleasant plus it has a cool label.

Biggio Hamin 2011 - Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Oregon. Meh. Skip it.

David Hill Estate 2010 - Willamette Valley, Oregon. Yummy! This wine was not like most Pinots I'm used to. It was darker and heavy.  Smoky with leather and spice. A definite drink another.

Purple Hands 2013 - Willamette Valley, Oregon. Totally different than the David Estate. Light, bright fruit flavor. Delicious. Yummy. Try it!

Heydon Road 2009 - Umpqua Valley, Oregon -skip it

Amity 2010 - Willamette Valley, Oregon. This single glass is the one that turned me onto Pinots. Light spice, cherries and oh so smooth. Perfect!
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