3 Things Saving My Life Right Now

January and February are my least favorite months of the year. It’s cold outside. It gets dark way too damn early. It’s cold and flu season. My husband leaves the country for work every January for two weeks. The beginning of the year is the pits.

I recently read a blog post from my favorite blogger/podcaster Anne Bogel on modernmrsdarcy.com entitled 3 Things Saving My Life Right Now where she tries to reframe the negative woes of winter by focusing on the positives in her life at the moment.

I thought I’d play along, and I encourage you to, too. Here’s to hoping putting a positive spin on winter will get us through the next few cold, miserable weeks.

1. Books

This is an obvious answer, but I put it here because this is the first winter where I’ve really taken a deep dive on my book journey. There’s nothing better than coming home on a dreary day, starting a fire in the fireplace, and cracking open a book (or my Kindle app) to read under a cozy blanket.

2. LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-7 for Xbox

My husband and I saw this game on sale for about $20 around the holidays, and couldn’t resist the awesome deal. Now we spend our nights together playing a level or two and slowly making our way through all seven years of Harry Potter’s time at Hogwarts.

It’s a fun game for the whole family. My 12-year-old daughter also likes to play while my 3-year-old is memorized by the graphics. I love seeing the movies (which the games are based on) come to life in LEGO form, and using our wands and spells to make our way through the wizarding world.

3. Later.com


I’ve had a #bookstagram account for a few months now (you can follow my account here). I’m still trying to learn my way through it, including what types of pictures to take and what to write in the captions. I was never good about posting consistently because it felt like such a hassle to remember to log in on my phone, think of something to say on the spot, and post right then and there.

Later.com has been a lifesaver. You can schedule your posts in advance, which includes writing your captions and adding your hashtags. It’s easy to space out your paragraphs (no more typing everything into the notes app first and then copy and pasting into Instagram) and you can store all your pictures in one space.

I use the free version, which has some limitations (you can’t view analytics, and there’s a hashtag suggestion feature that only comes with the paid version; man, would that be useful!), but you can schedule up to 30 posts a month, and it’s extremely easy to use. My bookstagram posts have jumped in number since I started using this app, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get a better handle on their own account.

What’s getting you through this winter? Share in the comments!


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Bookish Goals for 2020

New Year Sparkles Facebook Cover Photo

A new year calls for new reading goals!

My reading life really took a turn for the better in 2019. I learned so much about the bookish world, from #Bookstagram to book podcasts to Facebook group book clubs and so much more. All these resources really helped guide who I am as a reader, and I’m excited to start the year off fresh and with new goals.

Here is what I’d like to accomplish in my reading life for 2020:

Read 100 Books


I read 82 books last year. That number probably would have been even higher had I discovered I liked listening to audiobooks before May. Though this is a monetary goal, I’m also going to focus on quality and not be afraid to DNF a book I’m not enjoying (still a hard concept for me, but I will persevere). This number correlates with my reading goal on Goodreads, my favorite social media app for tracking books. Before 2019, my Goodreads yearly goals ranged from 12 to 24 books in a year. I’m planning to read over 4x that number, and have no doubt I will be able to make it. I’m always reading at least one physical book, one audiobook, and one ebook at any given time. I like being able to read in different formats, and this will help me reach my 100 book goal by the end of the year.


Read More Classics

close up of books on shelf
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Oh, have I struggled with classics in the past. It’s the old-school language that always gets me. If the characters aren’t speaking in modern tongue, then I’m completely lost. But I want to read them! I think to rectify this problem I will try to listen to classics, such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre, on audio to see if I fare better that way. I’ve also signed up for the free Serial app, which lets you read classics in small chunks on a daily basis. I’ve started Peter Pan, and I’m enjoying reading it this way. The app makes the old-fashioned language easier to read by modernizing words when needed. And it connects right to Goodreads, which is a nice extra. I’m hoping to read at least one classic novel a month this year.


Devote More Time to the Blog and #Bookstagram


And by that, I mean stop spending so many mindless hours on my phone and laptop and actually use my devices to do something productive! I love writing and posting about what I’ve been reading, but I’m so bad about actually devoting time to it. I would also like to be more interactive on Instagram and not be afraid to converse with people. We’re all on #bookstagram for a reason – we love books! It’ll be nice to actually discuss books with people since no one I know in my personal life is as passionate about the topic as I am while sharing pictures of what I’m reading. So, stay tuned for more content from The Shelf.ish Life in the coming year!


Read What I Own

SH6XaD9wR3+RSeKBlar2nwI bought so many books last year. Some used, some new, but way more than I care to admit. I don’t mind borrowing audiobooks and ebooks from the library (although I do have a ton of owned ebooks I need to read, as well), but when it comes to physical copies of books,  I have more than enough to last me the year, and probably the next couple years, if I’m honest. I do subscribe to a couple book boxes, so I know I’ll be adding to my pile throughout the year, but no more buying 10 books at every book sale I come across… unless it’s a book I really want… or the price is right… or I see a book cover that’s calling my name… On second thought, collecting books is like making new friends.

I may have a problem.


Share your 2020 book goals in the comments!