Full House Reading Challenge 2018

When writing my 2018 New Year’s Goals, it was initially going to be a goal of mine to read 15 books. It was on par with what I’ve read the last two years. I wanted to also complete a challenge, so I got to hunting for one on the internet. I sifted through quite a few that just didn’t really work for me, and then I found this!

Full House Challenge 2018

It was set up like a bingo card, which initially intrigued me.

2018 Full House grid

As I got to looking at the list, it seemed like not only one I seemed comfortable with, but one that if I try hard enough, I’ll be able to do! A few of them overlap for book club, but I will still end up with about 30 books read in 2018, if I read my heart out and complete it all! Here are the books I chose for the challenge! Those marked with a * are those that double for book club!

Mystery / Thriller: Inferno, Dan Brown
Historical: Hidden Figures*, Margot Lee Shetterly
Over 500 pages: The Host, Stephenie Meyer
Setting in a Library / Bookshop: The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan
4 word title: The Couple Next Door*, Shari Lapena
Last book added to your TBR: Capital Gaines, Chip Gaines
Classic: Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Fantasy: The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Coming of Age: The Kite Runner*, Khaled Hosseini
Movie Adaptation: Under the Tuscan Sun*, Frances Mays
Holiday: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Plot Twist: We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
Humor: Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern
Self-Improvement: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey
Redemption: A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
Number in Title: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency*, Alexander McCall Smith
Under 250 pages: A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
New to You Foreign Author: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
From a Favorite Series: The Slippery Slope, Lemony Snicket
Dual Timeline: Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
Nonfiction book about a hobby: EITHER Running Like a Girl, Alexandrea Heminsley OR Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, Kristin Armstrong
Children’s Book: 
The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt
Random TBR: 
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green
Memoir or Autobiography: Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham
Reread: Ready Player One*, Ernest Cline

It’s very intimidating. But with 6/12 book club books working with this challenge, it makes it a little easier. Let’s go 2018 – I better get to reading!



2017 TV Lineup

It’s premiere week! I LOVE premiere week!!! It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. I write this post every year (check out last year’s lineup here), and let me tell you, this year is vastly different! I have only nine shows this year compared to last year’s 15, and only have three new shows (two of which I don’t even know if I’ll watch more than the first episode). Heeeeere we go!

Couple notes on a few of the shows –

  • The Good Doctor and Dynasty:  I have no idea if I’m going to watch either one of these past the first episode. I don’t think Doctor will go far, and Dynasty’s definitely going to be cancelled, but might be a good guilty pleasure while it lasts.
  • GREY’S ANATOMY I CANNOT WAIT. Talk about a guilty pleasure. God I love this show – two hour season premiere in three days! ❤
  • Pretty pumped for The Resident, premiering midseason. Hello Logan from Gilmore Girls!
  • If Casey dies in Chicago Fire, I swear my heart will break and I will cry a lot.
  • Once Upon a Time, PLEASE be good with all new cast members.
  • The Bachelor is coming midseason. Yes. Yes yes yes.


The Good Doctor, ABC (New)


This is Us, NBC


Chicago PD, NBC

Dynasty, The CW (New)


Chicago Fire, NBC

Will & Grace, NBC (New)

Grey’s Anatomy, ABC

Scandal, ABC


Once Upon a Time, ABC


The Resident, FOX (New)

The Bachelor, ABC

A to Z Book Tag

Yaaay tag posts! This one was kind of fun on youtube, so I just decided to do it 🙂

A – Author I’ve Read the Most Of
Julia Quinn

B – Best Sequel Ever
The Golden Lily, Bloodlines Series

C – Currently Reading
Two by Two, Nicholas Sparks

D – Drink of Choice While Reading
Iced mocha coffee on a weekend morning in my reading room. 

E – Ereader or Physical Book?
Physical Book

F – Fictional Character would have Dated in High School
Harry Potter ❤

G – Glad You Gave this Book a Chance
The Hunger Games series 

H – Hidden Gem Book
A Little Something Different, Sandy Hall 

I – Important Reading Moment in Your Life
Collecting full sets of my authors and vowing to have their entire sets (Nicholas Sparks, John Green, & Julia Quinn) 

J – Just Finished
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

K – Kinds of Books you won’t Read

L – Longest Book You’ve Ever Read
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

M – Major Book Hangover
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

N – Number of Bookcases you Own
Three plus two small built-ins 

O – One Book you’ve Read Multiple Times
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard

P – Preferred Place to Read
My reading room! 

Q – Quote that inspires you or gives you all the feels

R – Reading Regret
Fifty Shades of Grey series

S – Series that You’ve Started & Need to Finish
Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen

T – Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard
Can You Keep a Secret?, Sophie Kinsella

U – Unapologetic Fan Girl For
Nicholas Sparks books

V – Very excited for this Release
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of books that I’m “waiting for” right now. I’m just trying to get through all the ones I already own! But if I had to say something, I would say the final installment to The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. 

W – Worst Bookish Habit
Not reading enough nonfiction.

X – X Marks the Spot: Pick the 27th Book on Your Shelf
Princess of Glass, Jessica Day George

Y – Your Latest Book Purchase
The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gaines

Z – Zzzzzzz. Book that Made you Fall Asleep.
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck 

Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

So….I got my wisdom teeth removed on Friday.  I consider myself fairly lucky in the fact that my recovery has gone quite well. For me, the first day was the worst day because of the anesthetic. Three days later, I’m finally back on solid foods, and I’m off pain pills. I couldn’t really talk about my surgery for a whole post, and honestly, nothing much has changed in my life since my life update, so I decided to write about one of my favs…Harry Potter. I’m making my way through the final book, and I’m watching the sixth movie as I type this, so I figured I’d write about it! I googled “Harry Potter tag,” and it led to this page.

1) Favorite book?download
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As I’ve reread my way through the books, my favorites have been reinforced (OOTP & DH). While I’m not fully through Deathly Hallows, I’m fairly confident that it will remain my favorite.

2) Least favorite book?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This was surprising to me on my reread, but it’s true. Prior to my reread, I was fairly partial to GOF, but honestly, it just infuriated me more than anything this time around. I don’t really understand the purpose of the Triwizard Tournament, I have a hard time understanding Dumbledore, and the book just feels out of place.

3) Favorite movie?
I’m watching the films as I read the books, so I haven’t gotten to the last two, but I’m pretty sure it’s still going to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. 

4) Least favurite movie?
Same as the books, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, for pretty much the same reasons.

5) Favorite quote?
This one is hard, but I really think I’ve got to go with:
“After all this time.” -Dumbledore
“Always.” -Snape

6) Favorite Weasley?

7) Favorite female character?
I mean who else could I say but Hermione??

8) Favorite villain?
I’m a Slytherin, my patronus is a cat, and my favorite color is pink. So naturally, I have to say my spirit animal, Dolores Umbridge. This is also true though.  I think Voldemort is kind of boring honestly, and not really his own villain since he has everyone do his dirty work for him. While Bellatrix gives me nightmares, I think Umbridge was the most pure evil and had the most direct impact on the greatest amount of other characters.

9) Favorite male character?
Harry Potter! I think he’s the most underrated of main characters in any series, and he deserves far more credit than he’s given.

10) Favorite professor?
Albus Dumbledore. I love McGonagall too (she’s so fierce), but in rereading the books, my admiration and respect for Dumbledore has grown exponentially.

11) Would you rather A) Wash Snape’s hair or B) Spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
Wash Snape’s hair.

12) Would you rather duel A) An elated Bellatrix or B) An angry Molly?
Of course A. Ignorance can be beaten, anger like Molly’s can’t.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying car?
Of course the Hogwarts Express!!!

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) Give Umbridge a bubble bath?
This question is stupid. Probably A?

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Ginny! Book Ginny was such her own character that was able to be developed independently, and she was a force to be reckoned with. In the movies, all they did was make her a love interest, and that’s just sad.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
Not at all.  Books always trump films.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
I think this question is slightly unfair since we didn’t really have an opportunity to see how Richard Harris could have developed. I would have to say Michael Gambon simply because we were exposed to him more.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?
This one is tough. Probably Peeves. I think it added fun humor to the books, and he was actually in them quite often. I think that would have been fun to see translated to the screen.

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. This movie was honestly just boring. I understood it’s purpose, but I think they could have hurried the narrative more than they did to tell the story. It didn’t need to be as long as it was.

21 Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?
Gryffindor, because it’s the house that you instinctively are conditioned to view as the best. I was very young when I read the books, and naturally wanted to be part of the “best house.”

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Slytherin! Truly, this was difficult for me to take. I’d always put myself in Gryffindor, but as time has gone by, I truly do see why I’m a Slytherin, and I embrace it now!

23) Which class would be your favorite?
Transfiguration! I don’t know why, but this one has always interested me the most.

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?
It’s not a spell persay, but I would say Apparation. Gosh, that’d be so convenient.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
Luna. She and I march to the same weird drum.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Invisibility Cloak

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
Nope. Even though there are parts of the books I don’t like, I wouldn’t change any part of them. JK knew exactly what she was doing!

28) Favorite Marauder?
Remus. I feel that he was the most level headed and always was able to think through situations without emotion getting in the way.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
So difficult. I have very strong opinions on bringing Snape back, bringing Dumbledore back, Fred, and more. But Dobby over all of them is the one I would choose to bring back. It just killed my soul when he died, especially watching that onscreen, and he was such a selfless character.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?
Hallows. I have no desire to commit murder or split my soul

There you go! My Ultimate Harry Potter tag.

The Hotties of Nicholas Sparks Films, Ranked <3

So I sat down to write tonight, fully intending to finish my “Best of 2016” post. But then I popped in the movie The Longest Ride to accompany my writing, and ummmm, Scott Eastwood is on the screen. So I got a little bit distracted because hello, have you seen Scott Eastwood? Then I decided I might as well write about what I’m focused on at the moment, so I’m going to talk about how good looking the leading men of the Nicholas Sparks book-to-movie adaptations are, in order, and why I think they’re so good looking. I wanted to include pictures, but I don’t have license to use any good ones, so I decided to include videos of the hotties doing hottie things instead. NSFW moments in the below videos!

11. Richard Gere, Nights in Rodanthe

Even older, Richard Gere’s still got it. If this was mid to late 1980s Richard Gere, he would have the top spot, but unfortunately, it’s not. In this film, he just doesn’t quite pull it off like the rest of the men on this list.

10. Shane West, A Walk to Remember

Oooooh, Shane West as Landon Carter is so damn smooth in this movie! I had such a hard time picking a clip and he almost moved up a couple spots becuase of how smooth he is. I’ve watched this movie a hundred thousand times, and my friend Audrey and I can quote it back and forth. He didn’t get higher up because he’s just pretty young and skinny to top the other men.

9. Liam Hemsworth, The Last Song

Liam Hemsworth is so much hotter now, years after this movie. It’s because of this reason he’s so low on this list. Baby Liam is not near as good looking as Current Liam.

8. Ryan Gosling, The Notebook

I mean, how could I put any other scene but this one? Damn. Damn damn damn. I know I’m crazy for not putting him higher on the list, but Ryan Gosling just doesn’t float my boat like he does everyone else’s. But man, this scene (and what follows)….

7. Kevin Costner, Message in a Bottle

There is a special special place in my heart for Kevin Costner. I have just always thought he was hot. This movie is no exception. He would have been lower on the list, but I just love me some Kevin Costner.

6. Channing Tatum, Dear John

I was going to put Channing Tatum at #8 or #9, but I mean, in this movie he’s pretty fine. He’s got dress blues in other parts of the movie (gotta love a man in uniform), and I really enjoyed his character portrayal, so for this scene and him in the whole movie…#6 it is.

5. Josh Duhamel, Safe Haven

We’re getting to the really good stuff now.  Josh Duhamel is so good in this film. It’s one of my favorite adaptations and it’s in part because of him. His subtle flirtation then turning on the good stuff? Oooooh girl.

4. James Marsden, The Best of Me

James. Flipping. Marsden. Be still my beating heart. There are other clips I should have posted, but this part in the trailer and in the film absolutely gutted me. 

3. Benjamin Walker, The Choice

I warned you all. N.S.F.W. posts comin up. But can you blame me? I was shocked at how spot on Benjamin Walker was in this film, and how attractive he was. Hot. Damn.

2. Scott Eastwood, The Longest Ride

The whole reason I’m writing this post! There are far better clips than this one that conveys how hot Scott Eastwood is in this movie, but I can’t find them. This one does a pretty good job.

1. Zac Efron, The Lucky One

No words necessary.

Sidenote: All I typed in was “The Lucky One” on youtube, and this is the top result. Here’s lookin at you, fellow Zac Efron fans!

There you have it. I would really recommend you watch all these films, if for the eye candy alone. Cheers!








The Bachelor: Season 21, Episode 1

First off, watch this:

If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, then continue reading. I mean, obviously I want you to continue reading anyway, but I would understand if you don’t. I barely made it through both hours.

A few months ago I watched The Bachelor finale. It was…an experience. See my thoughts here. I didn’t watch JoJo in The Bachelorette, because good riddance, but yesterday I was at my mom’s house and my friend Allison texted me, “Are you watching?” I looked at my mom, noticed she was asleep, and well, that’s how I ended up watching the premiere of The Bachelor. This is season 21 —- seriously???? 21??

See below for Allison & I’s text messages back and forth from the premiere. This will probably become a regular series – at least for season 21. Enjoy.

Allison is in purple, and I’m in pink.

Are you watching The Bachelor premiere?
Haha! No! But I’m at mom’s and I think I’m gonna change the channel.
Now I am!
Oh good. Nick is already annoying. It’s great.
Was nick a reject of last season or ??
Not last season, but he was the runner up two seasons AND three seasons ago.
He was also on Bachelor in Paradise. 

Allison knows her Bachelor. I know nothing. 

He was runner up two years in a row? What.
Your man is on here!

“Her man” is Sean Lowe, former K-Stater whom she adores and is her favorite of the Bachelors. 

I. Love. Sean. Lowe. 


He’s the only one with a ring on (insert three crying laughing emojis)
Yuuuuup haha
Are the other two with their people? I mean are Ben and Lauren even still together?
Ben and Lauren are. 
Christ and his lady broke up real fast. 
Ah. #reallovegoals
Let’s petition to make a curvy girl bachelor and I’ll go on. Bahaha
Saw on the news some girl spent $40,000 on clothes for the show (upside down smile emoji)
Apparently they have to pay for all of it
Woof. Maybe I won’t apply. Or maybe I can go around middle-school style and ask local businesses to be my sponsor of finding love. 
I can’t wait to see their occupations. That’s my favorite part. 
I know. Like how are there always three bartenders? How are they affording that?
I like the ones that are like “college graduate,” or when they add “aspiring” before any occupation. Or blogger. 

 There was a “law school graduate,” AND an “aspiring dolphin trainer.” Perfect.

No joke
How can you take that much time off of your life to go do this?
I have no idea. I only get 17 days per year lol

Now we start discussing all the Bachelorettes. We jump from one to the next with no warning.

Yesssss the tri-lingual teacher who was “put on this earth to be a mom”
And also Canadian hahaha
This Josephine nurse chick can go
Always one weird one
I cannot with this southern accent
She’s lonely! And walks on railroad tracks to feel dangerous
Also he is 36 and this blonde is 24

I honestly thought she was commenting on birds that just so happened to fly across the screen.

I guess age is just a number for her. AHH she’s talking about kids! Abort!
This nurse will go far
I liked her. The baby one
How do you have footage of the random wedding you met at??
Because their wedding was televised hahaha
Bachelor world is not a normal world
Oh that was a bachelor couple?
Ohhhhh. That makes sense. Well she’s my favorite so far and also, halfway in and I’m pouring a glass of wine (two laughing crying emojis)
Only way to do it
I couldn’t make it any further
God Bless Chris Harrison
He is the best
Low key imagine all of the snarky thoughts going on in his head
Well he’s in a successful relationship right? How he keeps a straight face I have no idea
They pay him enough to hahaha
True story. 
Cue the “omg he’s so cute! eeeee!”
So many accents
Elizabeth didn’t even tell him her name. 
“The only plays I wanna make are for your heart.” Good. Grief.
I want one of the girls to be like, “I don’t know who you are.” 
Oh god
That last one is my age
Blue dress?
Gold dress is pretty!
Horrible pick up line with the last names but pretty dress
No wine colored who said her friends thought he was a piece of shit

No joke. This chick basically introduced herself and then said he sucked. Nick came with the win though when he muttered under his breath after she walked away, “Can’t wait to meet her friends” Nick got props for that one. 

They’re going by so fast!
Here’s another 23 year old!
He is so old
Why is she wearing that fur coat
No idea
What is happening. Neil Lane is here.
Well the hookers have shown up
So uncomfortable
Okay, past hookup wedding chick is my fav. Her dress was gorgeous and I live for the drama
If he didn’t remember that he’d slept with me I would kick his ass
It’s weird she didn’t say anything

Backstory is this chick slept with The Bachelor nine months ago, said no when he asked for her number, and heeeeeere we are.

This nurse
She’ll go far
Oh god. Here’s your southern belle
I can’t with Arkansas
We can hate her together
I can’t with Josephine. Oh please don’t get a rose.
Is that the one with the hot dog?

You can’t make this up

Yeah she’s uncomfortable. 
Whyyyyyy. I’m going to be an alcoholic by the end of the season. 
Half way through it gets better
Because you sift past the crazies and actually can remember who’s who haha
“There is a debate between whether it’s a shark or a dolphin.” Best quote of the night. 

“Aspiring dolphin trainer” showed up in a shark costume claiming to be dressed as a dolphin.

I like the tri-lingual chick
Mom wants you to know that her IQ is dropping (laughing crying emojis)
I told my parents they had to either stop making fun of it, or leave
I don’t like this blonde at all
The hooker?
The one who kissed him
And is the brat that lives with her parents
Yeah I’m calling her the hooker. Lmao. She’s probably gonna get a rose though. They wouldn’t spend this much time on her otherwise
She’ll stick around and be the one everyone hates
Calling it now
I bet you’re right
Corrine saying she’s hoping shark dolphin isn’t a train wreck is a bit hypocritical. Shark dolphin is wasted.
She is
Also, Corinne sucks
We. Hate. Corrine! and pig sooie
This is weird
This is really awkward. She should have just gotten his damn number and this whole season could have been a different dude
Yeah it’s suspicious
Or she just wanted in on her best friend’s fame
Well they had to choose to cast her though 
She definitely failed to mention he asked for her number
So was Jade the bachelorette or her husband the bachelor
They were both contestants and then met on Bachelor in Paradise
Ohhhhh. She’s at a disadvantage at this point since he was clearly interested and she’s all like, “Mmmmm better not”
This nurse
They change the music when she’s on
She’s the next bachelorette
I could see it
Yes! I like the attorney!

The attorney received the “first impression rose.”

Corinne the ho with the incredulous look on her face not understanding that her making out didn’t get her a first impression rose
And I like her too!
How many does he give away tonight?
I think 24?
Though I’m not sure
You think they’re crying because they didn’t get a rose or because they potentially ruined their jobs, lives, and bank accounts?
Definitely the second
At least if they’re smart
Well you were right about Corinne being a ho
Everyone will hate her
It will be frustrating but glorious
Can’t wait. I’m calling Baby Nurse as runner up. 

And there you have it! I honestly am kind of looking forward to this season simply because I think it will be fun to be ridiculous with Allison in our expectations and subsequent reactions. I’m making two predictions right now:

  1. Shark girl, previous hook up girl, and baby nurse will be the top three.
  2. I will spend more money on wine in the next six weeks than I have in the last six months.

To season 21! Cheers!



My Favorite Cheesy Christmas Movies

I. Love. Christmas. One of my favorite parts about the season (and one of my favorite parts about life) is all the Christmas movies! Of course I have a fondness for a few of the classic favorites (the original Miracle on 34th St, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Home Alone, Elf), but what really makes my heart happy are those cheesy Christmas films. Ooooh, sit me down with some pizza, Christmas cookies, and the Hallmark channel, and I’m a happy camper. I wanted to share some of these gems with all of you while there is still time to watch them. It takes a lot for a movie to make it into the Torey Hall of Fame, so these are definitely the best of the best.

In no particular order…

Holiday in Handcuffs

Plot in nine words or less: Woman kidnaps man to impress parents for the holidays.

Love at the Christmas Table

Plot in nine words or less: Lifelong friends go to same annual Christmas party.

Christmas in Boston

Plot in nine words or less: Pen pals finally meet after years of messaging.

Side note: Apparently this used to be called “Instant Message.” I prefer “Christmas in Boston.” 

A Christmas Kiss

Plot in nine words or less: Interior designer falls in love with boss’s boyfriend.

Dear Santa

Plot in nine words or less: Rich woman finds letter and fulfills girl’s Christmas wish.

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Plot in nine words or less: Two people are brought together by a cat.

Snow Bride  

Plot in nine words or less: Reporter falls into story by meeting man in snow.

Side note: This is new to my list this year! 

Happy movie watching and Merry Christmas!