Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:
Top Ten Things that Make Blogging Life Easier/Better
1. Goodreads I started using Goodreads back in the winter. It is great to help log all of the books I’ve read, want to read, own, etc. I love it!
2. Library As a stay at home mama to two kids, books don’t get purchased often. Or if they do, they’re ones I know I’ll like or I have already read them, but don’t own them. The library is great because I can get up to 20 items at a time for free. The downer of this is I have to share my 20 items with my kids til they turn 6 and can get their own card. They love being read to, so we’re at the library frequently to rotate books for them. (I’m actually working from our library now! Our children’s library is huge and great to work in with the kids. Bug sits with me and Punk plays – today he has everything to himself, yay school being back in session!)
2. WordPress Let’s face it, without wordpress, there would be no Whimsical Mama!
3. Spotify/Pandora/Amazon Video I don’t work well with silence. I’m too ADD to sit in complete silence. If I don’t have some noise going on in the background, my mind goes crazy jumping all over the place. I discovered Pandora in HS and started with Spotify a year or so ago. I love music. Music is a huge part of my life and has been since day one. It’s always on in the house. I love Amazon Video, because I can throw on a show I’ve seen and have that as background noise too. Currently rewatching The Tudors. I love me some Jonathan Rhys Meyers! (TMI TOMORROW!!!)
4. Notebook I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Now, I keep book notes as well. I have a full size journal on my nightstand and several small journals stashed in various places around the house and in my purse and diaper bag.
5. Kindles Understand one thing. I am a physical copy girl over digital copy any day, but let’s face it. I have two small children. A diaper bag will be in my future for several more years. All their crap plus carrying around a giant book just isn’t gonna cut it. I SWORE I would NEVER buy a kindle. I lasted for that for a good long while. I got my Kindle Fire for Christmas almost two years ago. I instantly fell in love. I could carry around as many books as I wanted and it took up almost zero space! Then came summertime. I love to sit out in the sun and read. With the Kindle Fire’s LCD screen, you can’t really see. I toughed it out by doing my best and reading physical books. Then I played around with my mom’s Kindle Touch. I loved it and decided to get one for myself. Luckily I still had some money left on a gift card from Christmas (: I love that I have digital copies of some of my favourite books, and can easily carry around the DRCs I’m approved for.
7. PBS, bouncer, swing, toys I have a toddler. He loves PBS. We have a morning routine of watching several shows while he plays. This gives me a great chance to do a lot of my blog work. So do naps and bedtime. I have a baby. She loves her bouncer and swing. When she’s content to be in those and not cuddling close, she plays happily in them. Toys are pretty self explanatory. They’re good at occupying themselves and each other while playing.
8. Friends Real life and virtual world friends. If it weren’t for Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog, I probably would’ve never found my niche for blogging. She and Alex @ Peace, Love, and Fangirl are definitely my two best blogging friends.
9. Twitter Twitter has definitely opened a doorway to make blogging easier. It’s enabled me to chat with Mary and Alex on an almost daily basis, and has allowed me to interact with authors I’ve grown to love!
10. NetGalley & Edelweiss If it weren’t for these two great companies, I wouldn’t be able to have access to so many wonderful DRCs. I know book printing is expensive, and the internet has given publishers a way to bypass that expense. I never thought when I started this journey earlier this summer that I would’ve been approved for as many books as I have. Lesson learned. Do not underestimate my power as a reader. I requested like 40 something books and have been approved for most of them so far… eep!
Now, on the flip side. Things that make my blogging life more difficult.
1. Kids I love them. I really, really do. My kids make my reading and blogging life super difficult. My son wants to be read to if he’s not sleeping or playing. My daughter wants to snuggle all the time. Great and bad things all at the same time. I’m still learning on how to balance all of this. Naptime is quickly becoming my best friend for uninterrupted reading. Morning PBS routine is good for blogging because it’s not that hard to stop and help them. I generally keep notes so I don’t lose my train of thought. Book derailing is a bit more difficult to recover from – at least for me.
2. Family Right now since I’m just getting started in this whole big review world, they aren’t too sure about it. This is a side of the reader world they’ve never ventured into. Other than one of my aunts who worked at Borders in Albuquerque, I don’t think anyone knew what an ARC/DRC is. So far they have been supportive and that’s all I can ask of them.
3. Internet Like I said earlier, bad ADD if there is silence. Well, I have bad ADD on the internet too. My hubby can tell you that I usually have a slew of windows open. Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, email, etc. I read about an interesting app that keeps you limited to certain things during certain times and I think I’m gonna give it a look.
4. TBR list Now that seems weird, right? How can my to be read list harm my blogging life? Easy. When I started this earlier this summer, I had a few books planned to review to give me a start. I have some giveaway books to read as well as a few I’ve recently gotten either from the library or Amazon. I never anticipated that I would be approved for as many ARCs as I have been. My first day on NetGalley, I requested like 20 books and requested more that week and also on Edelweiss. Now I’m swamped in books. I have a rough reading schedule sketched out for the next few months. I’m trying really hard to mix ARCs with for fun books.
5. Housework I’m a stay at home mama. I have two kids. Our kitchen is (almost) remodeled. There’s stuff everywhere in our house. Two kids = never ending supply of laundry. I actually had to take throw some laundry in after lunch before I got to jump back into this after we got home from the library. I have dishes that need washed. I have sheets that need changed. Housework really cuts into reading time, which cuts into blogging time. Vicious cycle haha.
What helps you in the reading and blogging world? Do you participate in TTT? Feel free to post your link! I’d love to read it!