Remember that time?


Just like, 2 days ago, when I said I wasn’t going to be writing here anymore? Well, I have one last order of business. After my last post a lot of people tweeted/e-mailed/commented and were like “Thanks for letting us know about your new blog but the link just doesn’t work to subscribe!” 

So I did some investigating with the help of my good blogger friend San and came to the conclusion that WE HAVE NO IDEA why the link doesn’t work. However, if you’d like to subscribe to my new blog & it didn’t work for you, try this:

Use the link: (or

Hope that helps, if anyone else had questions! Hope to see you all over at the new space.

& because you’ve all been very patient with all this rambling I’ve done about my new blog… Here are some Harry Potter pictures: 

You’re welcome.

And thank you Tumblr for consistently creating new pictures to feed my obsession!

Closed for Business


Hey guys!

If you’re reading this, my temporary site re-direct for my brand new website is now over, so my new posts that get published over there will no longer show up if you’re subscribed to me through this feed. You can find me writing at my self-hosted domain site! It’s all the exact same content that I have here, but self-hosted allows me a lot more freedom in my design and my writing.

This website will stay open, but I will no longer be updating it. You can subscribe to me, if you liked what you read over here, at my new website. Come say hi! It’s been a bit of a slow start but my new space has really re-inspired my writing, so I hope you’ll check it out.

Thanks for all your support on this site over the last two years. I’ve been a blogger for 4 years now through Blogger and WordPress, and this move to my own website was just the next step for me.

Hope to see you all at!🙂

The Book Chat {Vol 11}


Thursdays, as always, are Book Chat days hosted by Jessica over at Sweet Green Tangerine. Head over and link up!

Today’s question: Who are your favorite male characters? Least favorites? 

In my last few book reviews, I’ve mentioned how important male characters are to me. Especially in YA (I say especially because I realize that they’re catering to younger people) I look for strong male characters that have real depth to them- not just really good looks.

In fact, most of my favorite male characters recently have been the ones that are more than just those really gorgeous characters that the less-than-perfect girls fall for and win over. I don’t think I could ever narrow it down to just ONE. To be honest even narrowing it down at all seems tough. I’ve loved quite a few of male characters… But here are a few that have stood out for me over time:

1) Max from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (See also: Hans Hubermann)

When I first started reading The Book Thief I just wasn’t sure what to make of it. The characters, the POV and the overall story started off by confusing me. The minute Max was introduced to the story, though, I truly began to fall in love with this book. He is one of my favorite parts of the whole novel. Him and Hans are two of the most memorable male characters in all my reading history, to be honest. But Max? I have a special place in my heart for that character.

2) Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

See also: Miles, Colin and Quentin from various John Green novels (Alaska/Katherines/Paper Towns)

John Green is one of my favorite authors, so it’s really no surprise that just about ALL his male characters are in my favorites. This may sound somewhat biased, but the reason I really love his writing is because his lead male characters (most of his books are from their point of view) have so many fun quirks and I just love discovering more about them throughout their stories.

Augustus Waters is definitely his most unique character. I loved meeting and learning about him. I must say though that runner up is  Colin from Abundance of Katherine’s. That character doesn’t get nearly enough love and he is SO damn awesome. Love his anagram skills!

3) Kai from Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The entire time I was reading Cinder I couldn’t believe how awesome Kai was. I can’t stress how much I love this book enough, and he is a huge reason why. He not only sounds freaking adorable, but there is SO much to his character that makes me wish he was a real person so we could meet.

4) Thomas from The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner  (& his crew!) 

I really need to re-read these books because I don’t remember Thomas nearly well enough. But considering the entire trilogy is told from his perspective AND he’s got the whole memory-loss thing, he’s a very well thought out male character. You learn so much about him throughout the three books, I grew extremely fond of him by the end. Don’t even get me started on Minho, Frypan, Newt and the rest of the guys in these books!

5) Etienne St. Clair from Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

St. Clair makes it on the list because I was basically in love with him during this book. Is that weird? Oh well. At first I was all “Ummm St.Clair you’ve got a girlfriend, chill out” but then his mysterious act is all unveiled and it was love. YAY Anna! I’m such a sucker for good stories like this one.

Honorable mentions: Ed Kennedy from I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, Harry/Ron/Weasley twins from Harry Potter by JK Rowling (these deserve more than an honorable mention to me but since I always talk HP I tried to keep it to a minimum here), and Marcus Flutie from the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty.

Least favorites are a bit tougher because I generally won’t even finish a book if I’m not enjoying it (AKA not even KIND OF relating to characters). Plus, I feel kind of mean dissing authors’ writing with least favorites. Basically I’ll be nice & just leave you with all the male characters I’ve loved most. There are several more, but these are definitely the ones that have stood out the most to me, especially in recent years.

Who are your favorite and least favorite male characters? 

Guest Post- Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine


Today I’m doing a blog swap with the lovely Jessica! You can check out my post on her blog today as well. We both wrote about our adventures sharing music together via Dropbox these last couple weeks which has been SO much fun! 


Hello Press Play readers!  If we haven’t “met” yet, I am Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine.  I blog mainly about books and music, but you can sometimes catch a glimpse of my two small boys and one big one…who are all pretty cute if you ask me.  I also host the Book Chat every Thursday, which I’m sure you’ve seen Melissa’s posts before.  We would love more people to join in, so jump in anytime!

My absolute favorite part about blogging is the amazing people I meet.  Melissa and I have been blog friends for a while now, and I honestly don’t know if there is another person alive with more similar interests as mine.  When you get to connect to people based on like interests and similar tastes, it results in the most rewarding friendships.

Recently, Melissa invited me to share music with her using a program called Dropbox.  It’s basically like a virtual mailbox that lives somewhere in space.  I put music into it, and she can download it.  Then, she puts music in it that I can download.  It’s completely safe and legal (I think).  It’s great because we’re not just doing it to “steal” music, but to expose each other to new sounds and artists.  Rather than burn a CD and send it out to her via snail mail, I can just shoot her a tweet and say “Hey Mel, check out this band!” and BAM she has the album to listen to instantly.  Then, we can promote those bands here on our blogs and everybody wins.

Today, I want to share my favorites that Melissa has sent me.  Here is a short list of some of the stuff I received…

Anthony Green – Beautiful Things

Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

Ed Sheeran – +

But there are two specifically that I want to talk about…

1. Young the Giant – Young the Giant.

I had heard YtG on the radio a bit and I knew they were a band to listen for. Songs such as “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” are easily marketable songs that we will be hearing much more of in the future.  However, they don’t quite showcase the singers voice like I wish they would.  He is so unique.  He’s totally a crooner in a rock band!  Don’t believe me? Listen to “I Got”.  He’s like the Michael Buble of indie Rock.  Such an incredibly fresh sound that never gets old.  I like their popular songs, but I LOVE the rest of this album.  And let me tell you, I was stoked when I found out they would be at Bonnaroo this year! (as will I)

Young the Giant may sound like just another mainstream rock band by their singles, but I promise this band has something special in their lead singer.  Do give them a listen.

2. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal

Oh man, oh man, oh man.  This is easily one of my new favorite bands.  I cannot say enough about how much I love this album, but I’ll give it a shot.  I heard their single “Little Talks” a lot on XMU and Alt Nation back in November.  I was immediately obsessed with that song.  However, I never gave the rest of the album a chance.  I have a fear sometimes when I fall in love with one song, that the rest of the album won’t live up to it.  That is NOT the case here.  “Little Talks” isn’t even the best song on the album.  Let’s talk about their sound.  The two lead singers, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson (they’re from Iceland), have these voices that blend so well.  Raggi has a sweet, husky voice that sends me away with “Sloom” every time.  And Nanna’s voice, while not overbearing, is so gentle and almost timid.  There’s a moment in the first song, “Dirty Paws”, where they crescendo into the emotional, yelling line and every time, I get chills.  This band owes a lot to their percussionist too, I believe.  Every song has a powerful tempo that supports the soft voices and sinewy instruments.

Let’s talk about the song “Lakehouse” for a moment.  What is it about this song?!  When Melissa told me she listened to them sound-check with this song, I was drooling with jealousy.  Best song on the album I tell you.  They invite you in with this sweet guitar melody and simple harmony…pause in the music…then BAM, the band joins in and I’m swept away.  This song soars.  Once again, the percussionist owns it.  Then Nanna joins in with the line “Can you chase the fire away” and it slays me.  Her voice.  Okay, stop reading this, and just go listen to it and I promise you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Basically, their sound is humble and honest.  They are a stellar team and they work together seamlessly.  There are so many moments in this album when I literally hush everyone in the room with me, and we just listen.  Particularly to the instrumental refrain in “Yellow Light”.  So beautiful.

Thank you Melissa!  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have a whole new list of albums that Melissa has sent me that I cannot wait to really explore.  I’m so glad she introduced me to Dropbox.  It really gives us the opportunity to find & share new music while also becoming even closer friends.  If you haven’t used it yet, I recommend you try it.

Thanks to Melissa for having me on the blog today…hope we can do it again soon!

Ad Swap in June


Just a random, pretty picture from when I spent the weekend up North a few weeks ago! 

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m taking in new ads for the month of June, if you’re interested. My sponsor “program” (if you’d like to call it that) is based on a swap- You host my blog button (or guest post or anything, really) and in return I post your blog button and offer you a guest post opportunity, if you want one. Plus I always love my sponsors and I love talking about them around here.🙂

If you want to know more information you can check my Sponsor Info page. I’d love to have you!

You can leave me a comment below if you’re interested (with an e-mail address) and I’ll contact you ASAP.

Happy Tuesday!

A little motivation to move


You might say that in the last couple months I’ve really slacked on eating well and exercising. I think there’s a million reasons excuses that I could give as to why this happens. I mean, in the winter time it’s easy to just get comfortable in a routine of NOT moving around because the weather is no fun and, let’s face it, I hate winter and being part of it.

Actually, as a side note, one of my goals this year was to find a way to appreciate winter. I really tried, you guys, but realized once the snow had melted how truly relieved I was to see it all go. I came to the conclusion that the only part of winter I’ll ever appreciate is the excess amount of teas and coffees I drink, Christmas, and reading with a warm blanket.

Summer is so much prettier anyway🙂

Back to my point, though. I get into this routine of doing-nothingness and it’s the easiest thing ever to just stay there. The worst part? I was doing a KICK ass job of eating awesome back in January. I’d actually never felt better than when I’d cut 95% of the meat out of my diet and replaced it with other various proteins. I had really taken myself out of my comfort zone & accomplished a goal I’d never even though I could do. I was proud of myself and I had SO MUCH FUN with it.

Now that I look back, I was eating all that amazing food right before I left to spend a week in Florida. And the time before that, I spent a ridiculous amount of time exercising and eating well right before my trip to Greece. I have a pattern that I’m beginning to notice as I started subconsciously eating really well these last couple days & significantly cutting the CRAP out of my every day diet.

I like to eat well when I have a goal to work towards. AKA vacation. AKA I want to feel good when I’m on a beach. The thing is, I book vacations so regularly now, a healthy lifestyle should be so much easier for me to keep up because I know I’ll always have somewhere to look forward to being. But I don’t WANT to just keep up a healthy lifestyle for as long as I travel- I want this to be a long term kind of thing. So why is it SO HARD for me to stay motivated to always eat properly and exercise regularly? Shouldn’t WANTING to FEEL GREAT be enough motivation? Why do the caramel frappucinos always beat out my willpower?

Must eat well now so I can eat pasta every day in Italy! 

I work in a really big store where there is a built-in Starbucks. This has been my ultimate downfall, although I’ve been really good at regularly ordering the ‘skinny’ version of anything I want. They all know to cut all the sugar out of my drinks, and yet I still feel extremely guilty at how often I get a coffee. Like, every day. Sometimes more than once a day.

I want to make a permanent lifestyle change without slipping back to old habits. I’m not sure how to make this a permanent thing yet, but with 2 and a half months before I’m back on the beautiful beaches of Europe, I’m willing to give this good eating & exercising thing yet another shot.

I’m going to start by cutting out a BIG part of the bad stuff I eat and replacing it once again with fruits and veggies. I want to cut down on the meat I eat again. I’d been doing really well at consciously eating LESS of it, but with school & finals that all went away too. I’m going to make healthy choices when I eat out, and try with ALL MY WILLPOWER to pretend there isn’t a Starbucks 10 feet away from where I spent 7 hours of my day.

I really want to give Jillian Michaels another try but so far she’s been my biggest downfall because I can never finish her freaking work outs. She’s too hard on me, guys. I think I may try some easier work outs at first and then kick butt in Jillian Michaels and see what happens from there.

I can do this. 

I’m even going to make myself a nice little deal. If, by July 1st, I’ve held up my personal goal of eating well, avoiding foods that are clearly not good for me & making a conscious effort to exercise regularly, I will buy myself a lovely new bathing suit for Europe & some other treat that I haven’t decided yet. I really want another bathing suit though & the ones I like aren’t CHEAP. If I’m going to spend the money, I better feel damn good wearing it. So I mean, I have to make this work!

What do you do to stay motivated in your healthy eating & exercising lifestyle? 

A new countdown begins!


It’s no secret that I’ve caught the traveling bug, and I think after going to Europe last summer for the very first time it got even worse. I vaguely remember coming home after 3 weeks in Greece with 3 of my best friends and feeling like my ACTUAL home would never be the same to me again. I was wrong, of course, but when that travel high went away I realized that what I REALLY wanted was simply to have the opportunity to travel MORE. Instead of spending all my money on ALL THE THINGS that didn’t matter, I wanted to save & see the world.

Coming home from Greece last year I remember feeling one thing for certain. I LOVED Europe & I wanted to go back and see many more of the countries there. However as a student, that trip was extremely expensive for me. I told myself that  I would go back when I was no longer a student struggling my way through expenses.

Turns out, I just can’ t stay away from Europe.

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or if we’re friends on Facebook you may have already seen my news but… I’m going back to Europe for almost THREE weeks in August! I’ll be spending 19 days with my best friend traveling through Italy, France, and parts of England. Things may change a little bit here and there (we’re still figuring out our itinerary) but basically that is what we have planned.

I’m SO excited. We’ve been talking about this trip for weeks now, but as of Saturday our flight to Rome (and leaving Paris) is BOOKED!

I’m so nervous, to be honest. I love talking about traveling the world but I think this trip will be my scariest yet. I have to find a backpack. I’m going to be traveling into different COUNTRIES. Just the two of us. Probably staying in hostels with strangers. I’m nervous because I’m going back to a country I LOVE and I have all these memories from my last trip. I know that traveling has been SO good for me. I’ve ultimately changed as a person for it. It makes me nervous to see who I’ll be when I get home on August 26th after three weeks of living from a backpack. Last summer I had so much trouble re-adjusting to being home and I just don’t want to go through that again.

But most of all? I’m excited. I’m SO excited. I’m going back to Europe.

I’m visiting places like this:






Europe 2012. Let the planning begin! 

If you have any suggestions, recommendations or tips for any parts of France, Italy or England… I’d love to hear them :)