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My Spring Planner

A to Z

I have taken part in the fabulous Blogging from A to Z Challenge the past two years and I had a blast both times. The challenge is just that – CHALLENGING – that’s a huge part of what makes it so much fun.

I regret that I didn’t save my posts from my freshman and sophomore challenge outings – I had a different blog for 2015 and 2016. However, I do remember my themes: totally random and notorious historical characters, respectively.

I definitely had an easier time coming up with posts at random than when I followed a specific formula; therefore, I will probably go with the flow and fly by the seat of my pants again this round.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to follow along with other participants’ challenges this year. With such an enormous number of bloggers taking part, it’s really tough to dedicate hours to visit everyone.

Anyhow, the link-up for the official theme reveal goes live March 20. You never know – I may hit upon the most awesome theme ever – stay tuned!

Getting Ahead

I also love to participate in the Blog Ahead challenges hosted by Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup! Anna is hosting a mini-challenge, which begins March 1 and ends March 15. The goal is to ramp up my scheduled post count by 15 over that period of time.

I’ve done this challenge a couple of times before and with each outing I actually managed to get ahead blogging wise!

Pretty Little Liars

Who else is about to explode for April’s season seven premiere of Pretty Little Liars?! I am dying, as this will be the final season of one of my most favorite shows ever! I keep seeing teasers all over the place already!

I remember watching the series premiere on a whim years ago. I immediately fell in love with the theme song and opening and got sucked into the could-be-convoluted-if-it-wasn’t-so-damn-good story!

Rites of Passage

I’m Catholic, therefore, quite naturally, my sons will be baptized as Catholics. We’re going to have a double baptism, complete with all four godparents in April, hopefully around Easter.

I’m really excited, not only because my babies will finally experience their first sacrament, but we’ll get to see all of our children’s chosen godparents at the same time, making a nice party!

Jack, our oldest, has my cousin’s wife and my husband’s cousin as his godparents, while Hank will be guided by my best friend ever and a best friend of my husband’s, who is doing us the honor of flying to the U.S. from Colombia. πŸ˜€

New Endeavors

I am SO proud of my husband! He worked his ass off in a factory for six years to provide for our family. Fortunately, he has gotten a MUCH better job and has lifted himself up so very much. I honestly can’t convey how proud of him I am!

He works so hard for me and our boys; we’d truly be lost without him. I hope I convey enough just how much I appreciate him and everything he does for us. He is by no means perfect, but I think he’s pretty damn close!

Love, Maggie

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Book Report

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is the question asked weekly by the meme’s host, The Book Date. Additionally, you can announce to the world what you plan to read next as well as what you recently finished.

Now Reading

I started a NetGalley ARC, Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany and I absolutely adore everything about it! I mean, a main character who owns a Sherlockian book store and investigates murders, yes please!

I’m still listening to the Audible edition of Stephanie Garber’s much hyped Caraval. I’m about two hours into it and have yet to be captivated. Please tell me it gets better…

Already Read

This past week I read the amazing Kasie West’s The Fill-In Boyfriend and Figment by Cameron Jace. I gave one book five stars and the other three – I’ll post my reviews soon! πŸ˜€

Up Next

I’ve got a few ARCs that I need to read this week, as their archive dates are creeping up on me. Those books are Ensnared by Rita Stradling and Noteworthy by Riley Redgate.

Ideally, I’ll finish Elementary, She Read early today, as it archives tomorrow, and finish Ensnared, archiving March 1, by tomorrow. As for Noteworthy, its archive date is April 2, so I’d love to get a head start on it.

Well, that wraps up my beginning of the week reading report! Good luck to all of you readers out there on achieving your reading goals! πŸ˜€

Love, Maggie

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Funny Bone Tickling Books

TGIF! πŸ˜€ Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! The weekly meme features a question and answer format, with a new prompt each Friday. In addition, Feature and Follow Friday gives bloggers a means of promoting their work as well as the chance to discover new blogs.

The Prompt

What are your favorite humorous books? [courtesy of Brooke @ The Broke Book Bank]

The Answer

As I think of my response, I realize that I don’t read many funny books. I tend to lean toward dark, fantastical books. However, I can think of some cozy series that aren’t technically serious that I enjoy.

I’ve always loved Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who… series, with my favorite being The Cat Who Moved a Mountain. My favorite aspect of Braun’s tales is the hilarious names she comes up with for characters and places.

I’ve read book one of Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series, Meet Your Baker, and adored it! Janet Evanovich is also a funny, yet serious, writer.

Well, it looks like I’ve read more funny stuff than I first thought! πŸ˜€ Celebrity memoirs are almost always fun, like Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and even Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison!

How to Follow The Caramel Files

If you’d like to follow along, feel free to do so in any way you choose! Social media links are located in the footer and there’s always the classic email follow! πŸ˜€

P.S. If you do follow my blog, please drop me a little note in the comments so I can follow back!

Love, Maggie

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The Reread = Never Been There

TGIF! πŸ˜€ Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! The weekly meme features a question and answer format, with a new prompt each Friday. In addition, Feature and Follow Friday gives bloggers a means of promoting their work as well as the chance to discover new blogs.

The Prompt

What book do you reread the most? [courtesy of Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason]

The Answer

I have NEVER reread a book, unless you count Beowulf, which was assigned in both high school and college. I don’t think it counts as an official reread though – I just pretended to read it in my college English class, as I hated it in high school.

I would love to reread the Harry Potter books! I recently got J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone on audio and I’m SO damn excited to listen! Plus, now that Goodreads has added the reread option, I have extra incentive, as the redo will count toward my reading goal for the year.

Speaking of audiobooks, the Shakespearean plays have come very highly recommended, especially those featuring full casts. I totally want to get my ears on my favorites of the classic playwright’s works!

How to Follow The Caramel Files

If you’d like to follow along, feel free to do so in any way you choose! Social media links are located in the footer and there’s always the classic email follow! πŸ˜€

P.S. If you do follow my blog, please drop me a little note in the comments so I can follow back!

Love, Maggie


P.P.S. Thank you so very much to the Feature and Follow hosts for choosing moi as the featured blogger this week! Happy dance! πŸ˜€

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Groundhog Day Special

TGIF! πŸ˜€ Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! The weekly meme features a question and answer format, with a new prompt each Friday. In addition, Feature and Follow Friday gives bloggers a means of promoting their work as well as the chance to discover new blogs.

The Prompt

Groundhog Day! What book or scene from a book could you live in and have it on “repeat”?

The Answer

If I could live in any bookish scene on repeat, I would have to choose to fly Falcor with Atreyu in the beautiful The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I admit that Ende’s book is one I haven’t actually read, but I have totally seen the movie adaptation 1000 times! πŸ˜€

I adore Falcor (who doesn’t?) and Atreyu’s adventure is an epic one that I certainly wouldn’t mind joining in on. The extended scene in which Atreyu and Falcor have fun in the sky is among my favorites ever. I’ve always been in awe of Falcor and his sweet nature. I’d definitely fight Atreyu for him…

How to Follow The Caramel Files

If you’d like to follow along, feel free to do so in any way you choose! Social media links are located in the footer and there’s always the classic email follow! πŸ˜€

P.S. If you do follow my blog, please drop me a little note in the comments so I can follow back!

Love, Maggie

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My Blogging Mantras

TGIF! πŸ˜€ Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! The weekly meme features a question and answer format, with a new prompt each Friday. In addition, Feature and Follow Friday gives bloggers a means of promoting their work as well as the chance to discover new blogs.

The Prompt

What are some tips that help you with blogging?

The Answer

As a dabbler in blogging for the past two years (!), I’ve mainly learned how to curate my space by learning from my mistakes. I’ve also had to teach myself to go my own way – to really personalize my spot. Following are my top four tips:

  • ALWAYS contact other bloggers whose ideas may have sparked a creative burst within you. I learned this early in my blogging ‘career’ by starting a project on my former blog that was too similar to another blog’s established community. While the thought to contact the blogger whom I was inspired by crossed my mind, I neglected to do so and felt repercussions. I managed to apologize and mend fences, but I was absolutely mortified. Just remember to maintain open lines of communication with others in the blogging community.
  • Reading comments on my posts makes me so happy. Knowing that someone actually read my writing and thought enough about my words to leave a reply is validating. I do my best to blog hop and support other bloggers when I can. Even if I can’t actively visit other blogs as often as I like, I always reply to comments I receive, unless I overlook one. I feel that engaging readers in conversation is very important and uplifting to fellow bloggers.
  • I know a lot of bloggers give this next bit of advice, but it’s so true – blog for yourself first; remain true to your passions and don’t feel imperfect by comparing your blog to those of others. I have been guilty of feeling less than by comparing my follower counts to that of more established blogs, which I had to realize was silly. This is something that I have to remind myself often!
  • HAVE FUN!

How to Follow The Caramel Files

If you’d like to follow along, feel free to do so in any way you choose! Social media links are located in the footer and there’s always the classic email follow! πŸ˜€

P.S. If you do follow my blog, please drop me a little note in the comments so I can follow back!

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Love, Maggie