Review: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World – William H. McRaven


Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World – William H. McRaven

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

Title: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World

Author: William H. McRaven

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Format: Audiobook

Page Number:

Source: Libby

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.

3 out of 5 stars


I gained such a new appreciation for Navy Seals after listening to this audiobook.

This is a short book talking about lessons Admiral William H. McRaven learned during his career as a US Navy Seal. The title originally caught my attention because I, too, make my bed every morning. I love climbing into a nicely made bed, and this was the first lesson talked about during the book.

Part of the training for becoming a Navy Seal is to look professional, and that always included the barracks. Each individual was to make their bed pristinely every single morning. I liked that this is what the book started with because the idea behind it is this: if you make your bed, no matter what, you’ve started your day off with finishing a task. It’s simply that you can have something positive done right at the beginning of your day. Plus having a nicely made bed is so much nicer to sleep in, and makes your bedroom look 100x more organized.

I liked the advice given throughout this book, but I found some of it to be pretty generic. I was intrigued by the stories the author told about his life in the Navy. I knew it was intense, but not as intense as he was describing it. There is literally no way that I could do half of what he had to endure. Anyway, I liked the stories even though the advice was a little average.

There were moments that I was getting chills or getting teared up because of some of the stories. I think I’m just becoming a big softy, but I almost started crying multiple times just because something was so touching.

I’ve come to really love self-improvement books because there is ALWAYS something to be gained from the advice given. I love having positive information in my ears as I walk on campus during the day.

Yay for the first book of the year!

December Wrapup


Read:

  1. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) – Cassandra Clare *REREAD review*
  2. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Carroll *review*
  3. The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta *review*
  4. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare *REREAD review*
  5. My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows *review*
  6. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be – Rachel Hollis *review*
  7. Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (And Still Have Time to Enjoy Your Trip!) – Dave Fox

Review: Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis


Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

Title: Girl, Wash Your Face

Author: Rachel Hollis

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 240

Source: Gifted

Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was filled with so much wisdom and great advice, and I think any female-identifying individual would gain insight from this book. There were so many moments that it felt like Rachel Hollis was speaking directly to me! I loved pretty much everything about this book!

The writing style made this book so memorable to me. Rachel Hollis is so honest with all of her stories and advice, that it makes it so much more believable. Some self-help books make you feel like the author has it together and has this perfect life and is above you because they know something you don’t, but Rachel Hollis writes like she’s a real person. Crazy concept, but that’s what makes it so great! She doesn’t talk down to her readers, and just wants to create something useful for people to read.

There were a few chapters that I couldn’t completely relate to because I’m not married and I don’t have kids, but I there was something I could gain from every page of this book. I’m so excited to have kids in the future, so I know that I will be able to remember some of this book or reread it to help me more once I’m in that stage of my life.

I already want to reread this even though I just finished it. I feel like that always shows how great of a book it is! I annotated this book, so I have sections I liked underlined for future reference. I think I will love being able to flip through this book and read my underlined passages when I need some inspiration.

Another thing, this book was so inspiring. It made me want to get up and actually live my life. I’m only 19, so I think it’s an amazing thing that I already feel like this, but I don’t want life to just pass me by. I want to be the one controlling my world, and I think that’s where the main message of the book comes in.

You are responsible for your own happiness.

I think I will come back to this mantra time and time again because IT’S SO TRUE. My mom has always told me that “you choose happiness” and that is exactly what the message of this book was, so I could completely relate to it. I love this because you truly are the one who decides your own life. Yes, there are situations you can’t avoid, but you choose how you react to those situations.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop lettings others do it too. Sop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track. Your life is supposed to be a journey from one unique place to another; it’s not supposed to be a merry-go-round that brings you back to the same spot over and over again.”

“Stop waiting for someone else to fix your life! Stop assuming that some day it will magically improve on its own. Stop presuming if you only had the right job, the right man, the right house, the right car, the right whatever that your life will become what you’ve always dreamed of. Be honest about who you are and what you need to do to make change.”

“Girl, get ahold of your life. Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, stop saying you can’t do it. Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday or next year. Stop crying about what happened and take control of what happens next.”

Review: My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows


My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)

Title: My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1)

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 512

Source: Half-Price Books

Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

4 out of 5 stars


SO CUTE.

I was hoping I would like this book, but it totally exceeded any expectations that I had before going into it. I wasn’t sure about the comedy aspects of it as I don’t find “typical” comedy actually comedic, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This book is super hard to explain, but the synopsis does it justice. Pretty much, King Edward is dying, and he appoints his best friend and cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to become the next queen of England. He arranges a marriage for her to the son of his advisor person, and on top of all of these political shenanigans, there are people called Eðians who can turn into different animals.

This was totally not what I was expecting, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t typically gravitate towards historical fiction, but I’m obsessed with pretty much everything England related, so this book appealed to me because of that. I loved the Eðian fantasy element to the story. It kept it super interesting, and I was engaged the entire time. I think it was so surprising, that I just happily went with it.

This is the perfect example of a book that it’s fun to go into without knowing anything about it first. I love doing that with books and am usually good with the outcome.

Another thing. The characters were so cute. Of course I loved Jane; she was obsessed with books and reading, but she was also unbelievably stubborn and opinionated. I loved that there was some girl power from her. I also really loved Gifford, Jane’s husband. He was so sweet and loved her so much, you just couldn’t help falling for him.

Edward wasn’t my favorite, but that could just be because I was half-expecting him to try and end up marrying Jane, and I was REALLY not here for that. I think he was an okay character, and it was obvious he wasn’t the main character in this story even though every third chapter was written from his perspective.

I think I loved this book so much because I was in the exact right mood for it. I have been doing my reread of the Shadowhunters books, and of course I love them, but it was nice to have something new and different. I needed a cute book with lots of *sometimes unnecessary* drama.

The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because there were some aspects that fell short to me. I think some of the decisions that were made were just so stupid. For example, you would give up a dagger instead of having to go fight a bear. You would talk to your significant other before just assuming something is 100% true. Some of the decisions just didn’t make that much sense to me, but what can you do sometimes?

I also LOVED the narrator sections. I don’t typically enjoy when the narrator actually interrupts the story, but it added such a fun layer of humor. I didn’t laugh out loud, but that’s also just not my style; I still found it funny, though.

This book was set in London, so it just made me THAT MUCH MORE EXCITED FOR MY ENGLAND TRIP WHICH IS LITERALLY HAPPENING IN 10 DAYS. Sorry for the screaming, but I’m so excited wow.

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who enjoys YA books. It was easy to read and kept me hooked. I also loved the way the story played out. Super cute. Super fun. Highly recommend :)

REREAD Review: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare


City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

Title: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 725

Source: Barnes and Noble

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

5 out of 5 stars


THIS IS SUCH A GREAT FINALE.

Cassandra Clare is a genius, and I will fight you if you say otherwise… lol maybe not fight you, but strongly disagree.

The small connections made throughout the Shadowhunters Chronicles are insane, and must have taken and insane amount of careful planning. I can’t even imagine the time that has been spent on creating these books, but I’m so grateful for them.

I think this is my favorite Cassandra Clare book… or they just keep getting better and better every single time and the newest one will always be my favorite… either way. This was an amazing book; even better the second time!

One thing that stood out to me about this book was the prevalence of Emma and Julian from The Dark Artifices. At the time, Lady Midnight hadn’t come out yet, so I didn’t know them, but now that I’ve met them already I gained even more appreciation for them! Seeing them as their twelve-year-old selves made me so happy. I love them. They’re my favorites. Ugh everyone is my favorite lol.

Yay for relationship development! I love Clary and Jace. They love each other so much, and their little speeches are always perfect. I love Alec and Magnus. They’re my ALL TIME favorite couple because yay for that LGBTQ+ rep! I appreciate their relationship so much. I love Simon and Izzy even though it’s a little different at the end… no spoilers, but anyone who hasn’t read this series, get on top of it. It’s so good and you’re missing out.

The first time I read this I hadn’t read The Infernal Devices, so Tessa and Jem kind of just went over my head, but I’M HERE FOR IT NOW!!! They’re so precious and I love that we get to see them again. I just love them. I love all the characters. Redundant, I know.

I love picking up on so many little things I missed the first time. There are so many little things that just shows that Cassandra Clare is a queen wow.

Favorite quotes:

EMMA ABOUT JULIAN:

He was going to be so handsome, she thought; girls would be all over him and one of them would take him away from her forever, because Emma was his parabatai and that meant she could never be one of those girls now. She could never love him like that.

BOI. She knew that she loved him when she was 12 !!! Excuse me. Come on I know that being parabatai is what you’re “supposed” to do, but if you know you already love him don’t put either of you through that! So much foreshadowing. I love it I love it I love it.

MAGNUS TO SIMON:

Because the world isn’t divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. As long as you have a soul and free will, you can be anything, do anything, choose anything.

So true. So beautifully worded. Magnus, you always know best. I was almost in tears during this part because I kind of forgot what happened at the end of the book because I read it 4 years ago, and man a lot has happened since then.

CLARY TO JOCELYN:

F is for Fairchild, and the rest for Gray.

yes kill em with all these connections. I just. It’s just so good. I run out of words sometimes.

Also, Clary and Jocelyn have red hair because of Henry from The Infernal Devices. HOW DID I MISS THIS BEFORE NOW?

Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. Romantic. Perfect. I just love these books.

Series:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)

Review: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta


The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta

The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

Title: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

Author: Leo Babauta

Release Date: October 26, 2009

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 105

Source: Scribd

3 out of 5 stars


I liked the concept written about in this book, but I feel like nothing was talked about deep enough to have a lasting impact.

I love learning about other people’s recipes for minimalism; it’s refreshing and nice, but I didn’t really relate to this book that much, honestly. I think there were some amazing points, but again, not enough depth.

Formatting, I think this book was effective. I listened to it on audiobook, but each new section started with a quote from someone talking about living more simply. I think this was a nice touch, and gave some more context to the book as a whole. I didn’t enjoy how short the chapter were, though. I wish that it had been longer and had gone into more detail.

I think some of the stuff Leo talked about was a little too hardcore for this being a “simple guide” to minimalism. He was saying that in some aspects of your life, what you’re currently doing is wrong and you should do it his way. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

I think the best part of this book were the sections on finances. I am 19 and am just starting my “adult life.” My parents are amazing and are providing my education for me, but I’m at the PERFECT point in life to start thinking about how I’m spending the money I’m earning.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

This was my favorite quote from the whole book, because it’s so true. My parents have always instilled in me to not leave beyond my means, and thats what this whole finance section was about. It’s so refreshing to read something in the EXACT way I’ve always thought about money. I don’t have a credit card, and don’t plan on getting one because my debit card will suffice. I don’t see it ending well for me to be given the opportunity to spend money I don’t have. I love this quote because it’s unbelievably true.

So many people have things that they don’t own. Be it financed cars, a super huge mortgage, thousands in student loan debt. A lot of people don’t own their things, and that’s something that honestly blows my mind. My parents have always been the ones to buy their cars by writing a check; they haven’t financed anything. They paid off their mortgage in a short amount of time. I’m so lucky to have grown up in an environment where actually owning your things has been a priority.

Overall, I enjoyed this book because I think there was plenty of information that was helpful and valid, but I wish it would have gone deeper into the ideas behind minimalism more.

Review: The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Carroll


The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Title: The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Author: Ryder Carroll

Release Date: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Portfolio

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 336

Source: Scribd

For years Ryder Carroll tried countless organizing systems, online and off, but none of them fit the way his mind worked. Out of sheer necessity, he developed a method called the Bullet Journal that helped him become consistently focused and effective. When he started sharing his system with friends who faced similar challenges, it went viral. Just a few years later, to his astonishment, Bullet Journaling is a global movement.

The Bullet Journal Method is about much more than organizing your notes and to-do lists. It’s about what Carroll calls “intentional living:” weeding out distractions and focusing your time and energy in pursuit of what’s truly meaningful, in both your work and your personal life. It’s about spending more time with what you care about, by working on fewer things. His new book shows you how to…

• Track the past: Using nothing more than a pen and paper, create a clear and comprehensive record of your thoughts.

• Order the present: Find daily calm by tackling your to-do list in a more mindful, systematic, and productive way.

• Design the future: Transform your vague curiosities into meaningful goals, and then break those goals into manageable action steps that lead to big change.

Carroll wrote this book for frustrated list-makers, overwhelmed multitaskers, and creatives who need some structure. Whether you’ve used a Bullet Journal for years or have never seen one before, The Bullet Journal Method will help you go from passenger to pilot of your own life. 

4 out of 5 stars


I love bullet journaling and planning and have been consistent with a bullet journal for a few years now. It really, truly has changed my life. I know that sounds a little out there, but it’s so beneficial to have your thoughts written down on paper. When I saw this audiobook on Scribd, I immediately started listening to it because I wanted to know how the lovely system of the bullet journal came into fruition.

If you don’t know, the bullet journal is a system created by Ryder Carroll that replaces a rigid planner system. You add only what you need, and don’t even pause to think about the wasted space in your current planner.

Ryder Carroll’s story behind coming up with the idea made me appreciate it’s flexibility so much more. He is a smart, motivated, and determined individual, but didn’t thrive in a school setting. I feel like I relate to this because I believe myself to be motivated and determined, but have to work extremely hard in school to get the grades I expect of myself. So, learning how he came up with this to help himself through his life was interesting to hear about.

Planning is one of the ways I’ve learned to cope with my anxiety. I despise the unknown and can’t sleep at night *literally* if I don’t know what I’m doing the next day. (In my everyday life. Traveling is a whole different story.) I fill out my daily page for my bullet journal every single morning while I’m drinking my coffee or tea just so then I know what I need to accomplish or work on in the day. This has been so beneficial to me and my mental health!

I love looking at the super fancy, beautifully decorated bullet journals, but that is totally not achievable for me. I LOVE being artistic and expressing myself through art, but I don’t want to spend 2 hours creating something that I probably won’t look at too much in the future. My bullet journal method is simple and straightforward. I have my index, future log, monthly logs, and daily logs. I do the bare minimum, but it still totally works for me. It’s a magical system because it’s so customizable.

The first section of this book was about the actual bullet journal itself. Opening a new journal, creating your index and key. The whole shebang. But the second part of the book is what really stood out to me. It was the idea and methodology behind putting the journal into practice for you.

I loved that they way things were explained was in a way to give you ideas, but not put you down for not wanting to use some of them. For example: I remember when I was in elementary and middle school, I never really remembered when my mom would get home from work that day. My brother and I rode the bus home from school, but because my mom was working in a salon, she created her own schedule. She could be home at 4:00 one day, and not back until 9:30 the next. Just thinking back, it would have been so beneficial to have a family “catch-all” system where we could write down where we would be at a given time. Something similar to this is mentioned in this book.

I strongly believe that bullet journaling can benefit many people and can help in a variety of ways. If you haven’t tried bullet journaling, pick up this book and see if it could work for you!