The Night Circus

Just as I anticipated, The Night Circus was my favorite read of 2017. Yes, I read this beautiful book over two years ago – putting my feelings about this story into words has definitely proven difficult. So, I decided to open my heart and let the words flow at last!

What I Expected

  • Somehow, I knew before opening its beautiful cover that this would be a beautiful story
  • Typical circus fodder – clowns, acrobats, lion tamers, etc.
  • Maybe a bit of magic

What I Got

  • A gorgeous tale of fateful, true, never ending love
  • Such vivid descriptions, I felt like I was literally part of the story
  • Magic!

What I Thought

I fell into this book as though it was a proverbial rabbit hole – I was sucked in from the first sentence –

“The circus arrives without warning.”

I really enjoyed how the story jumps around through time and is also told from multiple viewpoints. Fortunately, these aspects were simple to follow, as the book is so extremely well-written.

Morgenstern’s words and the way in which she weaves them together are mesmerizing, to say the least. The author’s prose is truly indicative of the author’s talent.

I can even picture Morgenstern letting the ink flow from her feather-tipped fountain pen – the writing is seriously that good.

In addition to exemplary writing, The Night Circus features a mysterious – and epic – love story, that between Celia and Marco.

One of the least predictable books I’ve read in the past while, The Night Circus will transcend time, as does its story.

I feel like I’m getting all giddy and corny – I guess that’s how tingly and good this book made me feel!

A classic tale of forbidden, yet fated, love and expectations of a bitter feud, The Night Circus could totally pass as required reading!

The paperback edition I read, as pictured at the top of this post, is comprised of awesome, thick, off-white paper, which felt so good in my hands, urging my to turn each page as quickly as possible.

While the tale clocks in at 516 pages, I yearned for more story upon completing it. I recently learned that Morgenstern has another book, The Starless Sea, set to be published on November 5, 2019. While the book is not a sequel to The Night Circus, it is already intriguing and I cannot imagine not loving it as much as the first I read by Morgenstern.

I love that The Night Circus is a standalone, that there is simply no need for the tale to continue into a second or even a third book. The story finishes with a perfect landing and I very much look forward to reading more of Morgenstern’s work.

I went into reading The Night Circus with very high expectations – which were all met, plus more. I am simply blown away by Morgenstern’s writing style and I am beckoned to devour more of her work, which I undoubtedly shall.

5 stars – given with a standing ovation

Love and light, Maggie

Say it, Don’t Spray it

Since I’m doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge, during which I’ve dared myself to post EVERY day in October, I decided to make today’s post simple – for me to write! LOL! Here, I’ll be listing my all-time favorite bookish quotes! I’m excited to have fun on PicMonkey in order to make the quotes I choose pretty! 😀

What are your favorite bookish quotes?

Tell me about it, Maggie


Get that smile going – it’s world smile day! In honor of today, guess what I’m writing about? You got it – SMILING! Personally, I love to smile, especially at strangers; you just never know who needs a smile in his/her life at any given time. A smile in my direction can certainly make my day!

I’m all about being kind to those who work in the service industry – cashiers always come to mind. It seems as though people who work in customer service in some form are the brunt of peoples’ bad days and I seek to ensure they get at least a smile from me.

In my hometown, there is an amazing barbecue restaurant. The only caveat to ordering at this particular eatery is that it often takes a decent amount of time for patrons’ orders to be filled, as everything is made-to-order. I recall an instance a few years ago in which the cashier of the day told me she was always so glad to see my smiling face. I proceeded to ask her if she often had rude customers – she did, of course. I just couldn’t imagine being rude and taking my bad mood out on someone serving me!

No one in their right mind enjoys a sourpuss! It bothers me when certain people seemingly refuse to smile. I’m reminded of many of the girls in my crappy high school class who constantly had resting bitch face and would not return smiles even if their lives depended on it!

A girl in particular comes to mind when I think of NOT smiling – a bitch in my class – thank God I’m out of high school – would apparently smile at everyone EXCEPT ME! I finally gave up smiling at her, as she would always get this weird look on her face and roll her eyes if I attempted to behave cheerily toward her. As far as I know, she hates me – literally – to this day. I will never forget her hateful personality.

I feel that even if someone is gorgeous, one’s looks are incredibly tarnished when a frown is consistently worn by them. People who aren’t necessarily the most attractive on the outside are made beautiful with simple smiles.

I remember being a frowner as a child until my mom told me how unbecoming a perma-frown is. I honestly didn’t realize how much I did not smile until Mom told me that! Ever since that day, I’ve at the very least worn a grin, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it – I’d rather make others feel good, which in turn causes me to feel better.

Here are a few of the things that make me smile 😀

  • Beautiful weather, especially blue skies and cold air
  • The changing colors of leaves in autumn
  • An excellent book – hell, books in general!
  • Libraries, bookstores, the scent of books, etc.
  • Candles
  • Animals, especially when I can win over the affection of cats!
  • Being smiled at 😀
  • Bright, bold, saturated colors
  • Sports, especially NCAA basketball and football
  • Swimming
  • The scents of summer [sunscreen, chlorine in the pool]
  • My babies
  • My love
  • …and LOTS more stuff!

So, in honor of world smile day, paste a smile onto your beautiful face, refuse to frown – even if you’re down!

:D, Maggie

Blogging in October

Hey, y’all! This month, I’m participating in my first ever Ultimate Blog Challenge, during which I shall – attempt – to post EVERY SINGLE DAY throughout October! I’m really excited about this challenge, as I need a push to post much more often!

I’m really looking forward to the free training that’s happening this afternoon regarding blogging! What I love about this challenge is how laid back it is – the host stresses that it isn’t necessary to give up if participants miss posting a day; however, I seriously hope I can make it through! I’ve got a few post ideas for the month and actually have two scheduled – YAY!

Although I would LOVE to participate in ALL of the amazing October challenges, I decided the UBC would fit best with my schedule. I have SO many books on my plate right now, it’s really impossible for me to cram in Halloween-y books this month, which gives me a frowny face! 😦

I love reading y’all’s October posts – fall is my absolute favorite time of year, although it’s already at least 90 degrees today – and it’s still morning! I live in Tennessee and we practically have two seasons – summer and winter! LOL! I just hope it cools off in time for Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday! My family typically gathers outside for the day and I’d love to NOT be burning up near the end of November!

I am getting a bit Halloween-y this month, however. I’ve got some spooky, err, one scheduled thus far, reviews to share, which makes me smile! 😀 I also have plans to write about my own experiences and thoughts about Halloween!

I’ll be taking my boys out trick-or-treating this year; my four-year-old wants to be Jason of Friday the 13th fame! LOL! He learned about the character by watching YouTube, so I’ve had to cut his YouTube time back big time and monitor what he watches!

Anyhow, I’m really excited about my own Halloween costume – jeans and an adorable orange Jack-o-Lantern print shirt! It’s so cute, if I say so myself! I don’t know what my itty bitty boy will be – something adorable, for sure!

Other than blogging and reading plans, what are y’all doing for Halloween?

Lovely blogging, Maggie

Confessions of a Book Blogger

Hey, y’all! I got into the mood to hunt down a variety of fun tags to complete, so, naturally, I did a Google search and found many! This tag allows the writer to be completely honest regarding his/her blogging and reading preferences and habits.

The only requirement is for one to be TOTALLY HONEST when answering the questions. Of course, it’s recommended that participants tag other bloggers to take part, but I’m not big on tagging people – it makes me feel like I’m bombarding them with posts and I don’t want anyone to feel like they MUST do the tag!

With that being said, if this tag appeals to you, definitely feel free to JUST DO IT! LOL!

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

I am so very disappointed to report that I absolutely detested and totally DNFd The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Me, being goofy and refusing to read synopses prior to the reading of books, assumed the book would be about libraries in general due to its title.

However, it’s about the burning of the Los Angeles Public Library in the ’80s, including the endless investigation into the fire’s cause. I was, in all honesty, pissed when I figured out the book was not all about books and multiple libraries and DNFd before making it even 50% through the book.

I later read in the synopsis that Orlean does touch on her own love of books and the role in which libraries play in our lives. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it that far in my reading. I just can’t imagine how Orlean stretched the LAPL saga into over 300 pages…

Seriously, I think the title of this book should’ve been reserved for a much better book, one that’s actually about libraries, not just one. The title is just misleading; had I read the synopsis first, I would have passed on this one totally.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

I don’t feel guilty about it [LOL], but I LOVE re-reading books I consumed during my childhood and teen years. As of now, I read Nancy Drew mysteries and The Baby-sitters Club books, especially since the Graphix editions have been published, quite frequently.

I’m also loving the Dork Diaries series and have my eye on a few more MG series and standalones. I’d like to read the old school American Girl books again – Felicity is my favorite character! A Series of Unfortunate Events is also a favorite of mine.

Which book do you love to hate?

Sorry, people, but Caraval by Stephanie Garber is BY FAR the WORST book I’ve ever ATTEMPTED to read! All I could deduce from the sure-to-be convoluted plot was that two sisters jumped off a boat or something to get to the stupid circus, or what the hell ever Caraval is supposed to be.

First, I DNFd the audio edition of the book – I couldn’t follow the plot if my life had depended on it. Then, because I really did want to give it a chance, I bought a hard copy of Caraval thinking maybe it would make sense if I devoured every single word. Well, I still found the book to be ridiculous and donated it to the local thrift shop. Talk about a waste of money and HYPE.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

This is actually an easy as pie question for me – I would happily chuck My Antonia by Willa Cather into any body of water. I was forced to read the classic tale in senior AP English in high school. I despised every minute of that book and once again, could not follow its plot.

I remember scraping my way through quizzes on the required reading and pretty much guessing details and plot lines when writing essays concerning the book. There is a TINY chance that I may attempt to read it again, just to see if my perspective on the work will have changed since 2001…I’m not too sure on that though!

Which book have you read the most?

Well, I’m not much of a re-reader, except for reading beloved books from my younger days. So, I really can’t answer this question as it’s posed. The one book I’d love to read over and over again is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

The Russian romantic tragedy is a beautiful book and I’ve gotten to where I collect various editions. Despite its length, the version I’ve read is made up of nearly 900 pages, it seemed like I blew through the story, eating up every word. Anna Karenina is one of the very few books that have really touched me. I recall being virtually devastated upon my completion of the novel!

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

This one is pretty tough to answer – it’s rare that I’d say ‘no thanks’ to a bookish gift. I suppose I’d die of disappointment if I received The Hunger Games series. I hated the first book and DNFd it quickly – sorry, not sorry.

Which book could you not live without?

Anna Karenina, being my most favorite book ever, is the obvious answer to this question!

Isn’t this edition, the one I’ve read, an absolute beauty?

Which book made you the angriest?

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, most definitely pissed me off so bad – I could’ve chosen it to be tossed into the ocean! The book starts out intriguingly and gets stupid FAST. I was so excited to read it and then SO VERY DISAPPOINTED in the quality of the storytelling and especially by the author apparently taking the easy way out just to finish the book.

Which book made you cry the most?

I really can’t think of a book that was a real tearjerker for me. Maybe I’m cold and heartless, but more than likely my brain is scrambled.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Sadly, there are too many book covers that are so incredibly unappealing to create a complete list. So, I’ll simply go with romance book covers! LOL! I don’t read romances, but their cheesy covers are just WAY TOO MUCH cheese for me!

It’s true, Maggie


Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is by far one of my favorite, and most consistently done, over the course of three different blogs, memes.

Each week, a prompt for TTT inspires bloggers to create lists based on that week’s topic. This week’s idea, submitted by Emma at Words and Peace, challenges bloggers to list books with numbers in their titles.


Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is one of my favorite novels of all time. I recall buying it at a chain bookstore in Knoxville and proceeding to devour the entire tale on a bench downtown. The story, as oddly written as it is, is compelling. This is definitely a book I would read again.

2001: A Space Odyssey by the – in my humble opinion – penultimate writer of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, is another of my most loved reads. I chose to read the book as a sophomore in high school, merely to take an accelerated reading test for a grade.

I ended up staying up all night prior to the day of the quiz, completely absorbed into Clarke’s could-be-real-world. Needless to say, I’m anxious to read his final series installment, 3001: The Final Odyssey!

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a book I rated a single star. I just could not get into the story. However, it’s rated over four stars on Goodreads, so I don’t know what I missed! I may attempt to read it again someday, but I doubt it!

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is equally fascinating and boring. I enjoyed Verne’s writing, but the story wasn’t as exciting as I expected. But I had always want to read it, which I did!

Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven is a book that I read ages and ages ago, not long after I read and adored the author’s Tuesdays with Morrie. I remember reading this book in undergrad and devouring it quickly.


Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is a mystery that sounds – by the title – incredibly mysterious. I’m sorry to admit I haven’t gotten around to reading any of Christie’s works, but I’m so excited to do so; I may begin with the Poirot series and Miss Marple!

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a book that has always intrigued me. I remember one of my best friends from high school telling me the novel got its title because it symbolizes the temperature at which paper burns. I’m looking forward to reading the book to see if what she told me is true!

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is a classic I have wanted to read for such a long time. I’m excited to read about d’Artagnan and his pals’ adventures.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is one of those books that reminds me of – because it is from – the time of my parents’ comings-of-age in the 1960s. Pretty much all I’ve heard about this classic is that its story is odd, if not bizarre = bring it on!

1984 by George Orwell is a book about which I know nothing about, except that is perhaps dystopian?! Regardless, I’m dying to read it! Since I refuse to read book summaries prior to my reading of them – I often read spoilers on book jackets [I don’t need the whole plot on the back of a book] – it’ll be a completely surprising story!

Keeping count, Maggie

Large Library

Welcome to the first installment – on this particular blog of mine – of WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words! The rules for this meme are simple – bloggers and readers are to list what they’re currently reading, what they’ve just completed, and what they’re planning to read next, hence the three W’s!

Currently Reading

I’ve got a bunch – six to be exact – books listed as currently reading on Goodreads right now! The first is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, which I began reading over a year ago! While I’m enjoying the first installment in the Lord of the Rings series, I’ve put it on the back burner in favor of other books for challenges, etc.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is the next book on my list. Although I’ve only made it through 2% of the book – LOL – I’m already sucked in and know I’ll love the whole story.

Rothfuss’ work has come highly recommended and I love his writing style!

I’m looking forward to being able to get back to this behemoth, which will probably be in early 2020 to start the year off fresh, but hopefully, I’ll be well beyond 2% by then!

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines is my third currently reading – and I use that term loosely – book on my list.

Thus far, I’m loving this story. I would be finished with it by now; however, I had it as a loan from the library and it got sucked back into the stacks before I could continue.

So, I’m waiting for the first installment of The Field Party series to show back up in my active loans list!

Origin by Dan Brown is the fourth book I’ve got going. I’m 60% through it, but it’s pretty heavy reading to be honest.

Although I’m loving the story and heart Dan Brown’s books in general, I just needed to put it aside in favor of lighter reading for a bit.

I’m also loving the nonfiction book by Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which incredibly thoroughly covers seemingly every aspect of life, and those of the main players, in the time of Henry VIII.

Like Until Friday Night, this book was ripped from my eyes by the library; however, I have another hold on it and I’m next in line to get it onto my loans list.

FINALLY – the book I’m actually actively reading is Murder, She Knit by Peggy Ehrhart. I made the silly mistake of requesting and being granted my wish to read this cozy mystery, which is the fourth book in the series!

I’m reading from book number one so I’ll know more of what’s going on before getting to the most recent book, Silent Knit, Deadly Knit, which takes place during Christmastime, making it perfect timing for a holiday read!

Recently Finished

Most recently, I’ve finished reading some short and sweet books, mainly to keep up with my Goodreads goal for the year; I’m still 12 books shy of my reading goal!

I’ve read and completed three books in the past couple of weeks – the Graphix edition of Boy-Crazy Stacey by Gale Galligan, The Voice on the Radio by Caroline B. Cooney, and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

Coming up

Well, there are tons of books I’d love to read immediately, but, with my six-book currently reading shelf, I believe I shall focus on those at this time – and probably for a while! I will, however, read shorter books in between the longer books, primarily to attempt reaching that Goodreads goal this year!

Checked out, Maggie

Books to Read in a Leaf Pile

Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is by far one of my favorite, and most consistently done, over the course of three different blogs, memes.

Each week, a prompt for TTT inspires bloggers to create lists based on that week’s topic.

This Tuesday’s topic asks bloggers to produce lists of our fall TBR lists!

My number one priority this fall is to read MYSTERIES! I’m talking cozies, of course, in addition to some Agatha Christie – finally – I’m planning to toss in Sherlock Holmes, among others. I have been lucky enough to be chosen as a member of The Mystery Crew! I am so excited to work with my current co-bloggers, Cass and Jackie!

Another series I’m excited about diving into is the Knit and Nibble mysteries by Peggy Ehrhart. I ended up requesting, and receiving, the fourth book in the series, so I’m starting at number one, Murder She Knit!

I am in the process of reading Alison Weir’s, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. I adore historical nonfiction and this is an amazingly informative and interesting work thus far. It’s pretty heavy reading, but with the subject matter, I will enjoy it regardless. I was making decent progress through the book, when the library sucked it back into its stacks – so, I’m waiting for it to become available to borrow again.

Dan Brown’s Origin is another library book I want to finish up soon. I’m about 60% through the story, which is really good, but slower reading for me. I adore Brown’s Robert Langdon series and this, the fifth Langdon book is proving to be an amazing read.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is a tale I’ve been interested in reading for a long time. I’m looking forward to it moving from my ‘holds’ list onto my ‘loans’ from the library list soon. I feel that The Red Tent will have been worth the wait.

I’ve been dying to start Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. I adored the TV series based on the books and just have to read them. I hope I enjoy the first installment enough to continue with the book series, but I really can’t imagine not loving it!

I am a lover of The Bachelor franchise and really lament not tuning in until about half the seasons were past. But, I am now a proud fan! I’m super excited to read Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman, a real member of Bachelor Nation, who has been banned from Bachelor events due to her book’s candor.

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines is another book that was sucked of my library loans shelf, as its rental expired before I could finish it. I was really enjoying the story and then BAM, I’m waiting for it again. My Goodreads reflects that I’ve only finished 11% of the book, but I really think I was further along than that! LOL!

Baby-sitters on Board by Ann M. Martin is the first Super Special of the iconic series and I’m so excited to read it again! I’ve been on a major BSC kick over the past year or so; I’m in love with the Graphix editions of the original series!

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis is another book I’m looking forward to. Honestly, I’m a bit iffy on reading Hollis’ first book, as it’s not classified in a genre I normally read. However, I’m hoping my branching out into another section of the library will be a good thing!

For a bit more light reading, I’m planning to blow through The Vile Village, Lemony Snicket’s seventh installment in his Series of Unfortunate Events. I love this series and figure this book will add some lightness to my reading!

Out raking, Maggie

Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag

So, I was literally tagged to do this in spring 2018 – and now, here I sit, typing up the post in September 2019! LOL! First of all, I want to thank Sarah at The Book Hooked Nook for tagging me, oh, about a year-and-a-half ago! Seriously though, check out Sarah’s blog – she’s even got her own personally curated BOOK BOX! Trust me, Sarah is a cool cookie.

Moving on, let me introduce you to the beautiful aesthetically pleasing book tag! While it’s all about looks, this tag truly enables us to appreciate and showcase the beauty – inner and outer – of books! I’m personally excited to go through my own books to pick some pretties!

Best Color Combo on a Book Cover

What better book to choose for this category than The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair! As you can see, the cover is covered with dots of many different colors, thus making this book very aesthetically pleasing.

I adore the dotted cover. The beauty of this book makes me want to move The Secret Lives of Color up on my TBR list!

Best Typography on a Book Cover

I am very drawn to the cover of the 50th anniversary edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird,
especially its font – I wish I knew the name of it…Anyhow, I also
adore the photo of Scout zooming around on a tire swing, but we’re
talking typography here!

Best Simple Cover

Surely, by now, it’s rather well-known that my all-time favorite book is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

I have made it one of my missions in life to collect as many beautiful editions of the beautiful, yet tragic, saga of Anna.

I have a few editions in my mini-collection thus far; I’ve got my eyes on a Spanish edition – it’s gorgeous!

Best End Pages

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman could actually fit into quite a few of the categories presented here, as the entire book, from cover to cover is gorgeous.

I love the end pages in this book because they are so intricate and obviously were created by a very talented artist.

Best Map(s)

The maps in all of the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin are gorgeous. I chose the ones in A Dance with Dragons because they are very intricate and plentiful. Plus, as the last book in the series, it seems to feature maps of multiple kingdoms not represented in previous series titles.

Best Naked Hardback

I sort of cheated on this category, as I didn’t do a reveal of a naked hardback, hidden under a sleeve.

However, my pretty copy of Oscar Wilde’s Gothic The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorites. I love the feathery things on the cover, whatever they may be!

I also really like the black background, with the feathery stuff being the contrasting white.

Ninja likes it too! LOL!

Best Back Cover

Of course I love all of the back covers of the first seven Baby-sitters Club Graphix editions by Raina Telgemeier and Gale Galligan, but I absolutely adore the picture of Stacey in love as Mary Anne gives her the evil eye in the background! LOL!

I also really like how the back cover shows pictures of the six previous Graphix installments.

The installment pictured is Boy-Crazy Stacey.

Best Chapter Headers

I love the simplicity, yet elegance of the chapter headings in Anne Bogel’s I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.

Let me just say that I’m so excited to get to this book! I’m really looking forward to reading more books about books!

Best Illustrations

Hands down, the iconic Where’s Waldo? books by Martin Handford have the most amazing and complicated illustrations.

This particular masterpiece was taken from The Great Waldo Search, the third series addition.

I adored the Waldo books as a child and am seriously pondering going through them again and seeing what I can locate!

Best Spines

I chose a slight variety of books for this category. I adore, of course, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with its darling pink flamingos.

I also chose the Penguin Classics editions of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Anna Karenina, Homer’s The Odyssey, a new edition of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore was chosen because of its blue page color!

Favorite Cover on My Shelves

I LOVE my chalk-colored edition of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum! My asshole ex-husband got it for me, but I still adore it and can’t wait to get to it on my TBR list!

Even if the book blows, which is highly doubtful, at least the cover is awesome!

Looking good, Maggie

Get to Know Mag!

So, I’ve been thinking…I should give y’all the opportunity to get to know me better! And what better way to start the introduction process than to answer hilarious icebreaker questions?! I found the list I’m using on on Pinterest! [I added the link to the pin itself!]

If you could buy any time of food, what would you buy?

I have always been obsessed with visions of eating blueberry ice cream or a milkshake! I was able to fulfill this vision for a time when Ben & Jerry’s had an apparently limited edition blueberry cheesecake flavor – IT WAS DELIGHTFUL!

Sadly, I haven’t been able to locate that blueberry ice cream for years; I can taste it now…

What color is your toothbrush?

I am saddened to report that my toothbrush is simply plain old blue and gray.

My boys have slightly more exciting colors – J’s is his favorite color, green, and H’s is blue.

P.S. I love the taste of kid-flavored toothpaste and have to keep myself out of it! It’s probably not as good for my teeth anyhow!

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

This question requires absolutely zero thought to answer – I would totally be a dolphin, swimming wild and free. My only hope would be not to get eaten up by a predator! LOL! But, just imagine jumping in the waves…

In case you haven’t deduced, I am in LOVE with swimming!

What is one of the things you would put on your bucket list?

I would most definitely love to travel the United States – hitting every state and the sightseeing would be amazing and surreal. I’d like to drive, believe it or not, so I wouldn’t miss a thing. It would be fabulous to take pictures with my love(s) along for the ride at both crazy sites and natural fascinations.

I’d also like to complete my ultimate TBR list, but we all know that’ll never happen! LOL!

Who is your favorite superhero and why?

In all seriousness, I’m a villain-lover! So, I’m going to switch this one up a bit and go with the total opposite answer! I LOVE the Joker and the Penguin from Batman fame equally. I also LOVE that sun bad guy, I can’t remember his name, from one of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.

I always love the penultimate evil queens in fairy tales, as well as antagonists in any stories, especially if they’re evil cheerleaders or the like!

Who do you admire the most?

It’s such a close toss-up between two of my loved ones, that I thought, hell, I’m choosing both!

First, my maternal grandfather was an amazing man, who left an important, loving legacy and continuously promoted “lifelong learning.” He was an important figure in our small hometown; however, he was very altruistic and never sought the spotlight – it found him. He never tried to outshine anyone else – he was his only twinkling star.

Second, I very much admire my mom – I feel like so many people look up to their mothers, which is deserving. My mom has overcome so many obstacles in her adult life. She’s been a free spirit her entire life, but sometimes I witness her light fading. I’d say the hardest, yet most important, thing she’s done is raise my autistic brother, which was not easy, to say the least.

I admire her strength, resilience, candor, humor, and her outlook on life – when she’s mentally healthy. I can only hope that I’ve inherited many of her positive qualities – she’s truly amazing and I don’t know where I’d be without her.

What is your favorite summer activity?

Another no-brainer – swimming – everything it involves – racing, doing laps, learning and putting into action the different strokes, playing and being silly in the water, jumping off the diving board, sunbathing – I could go on and on.

I was a lifeguard as a teen and absolutely adored that job! I seriously could be a lifeguard for the rest of my life! LOL! I love the summery scent of chlorine, suntan lotion, and salt. I get so nostalgic thinking of the olden days!

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be? Who would play you?

My life has truly been a comedic tragedy, so that’s the genre! My existence has been sprinkled with much joy, laughter, love, learning, caring…all that good stuff. However, as I’m sure everyone’s has in some shape or form, I have experienced tragedy, such as deaths of loved ones, financial difficulties, divorce, mental illness – lots of stuff.

As far as who’d play me, I pick – since I’m apparently not supposed to choose myself – Charlize Theron!

If you could be any flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?

I would probably be some nasty flavor, like black licorice, so no one will want to eat me! LOL! But, in all seriousness, I would choose to become my favorite flavor ever – mint chocolate chip! I’d be so nice and cool – and frozen – in minty freshness! It would be difficult to avoid taking a few bites out of myself! LOL!

Who is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Historically, Wile E. Coyote has always been an all-time favorite. I remember watching Looney Tunes and loving the coyote failing miserably at trying to catch the elusive Roadrunner.

I can name tons of characters whom I love – Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra and He-Man, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob and Squidward and Gary Beavis and Butthead, Pepe LePew, Foghorn Leghorn – the list could really be endless!

I also like Archer, who’s kind of cute for a cartoon, as well as Randy Marsh and Towelie from South Park. I love to hate Peggy Hill from King of the Hill! My favorite episode ever is the one in which Peggy competes in the state Boggle tournament!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

If I felt safe traveling to another country – I know, I’m silly, plus, I’ve NEVER FLOWN; I would totally want to go on a world trip to view all of the ancient sites. Such sites as the homes of the Mayans, Aztecs, etc., the Middle East – the cradle of civilization – Asia, Europe; there are SO many places to see!

What is your dream job?

I have a master’s degree in social work, but have had such a terrible time finding a job that actually accepts my degree. Every profession seems so specialized now! When I first obtained my social work degrees, I was fresh and excited to help others to the best of my ability.

Little did I know just how much documentation I would be tortured with. The required documentation of client contacts, etc. kept me at work for long hours – in the majority of my jobs. My last job was as a therapist for a supposedly non-profit community agency. Needless to say, the job killed me; I even went into work at 4:00 AM some days just to complete ridiculous DOCUMENTATION for the insurance companies.

So, after many years of having jobs in which I had no idea when I’d get home because of paperwork, I simply want a job where I can go home and not worry about anyone or anything work-related at closing time!

Are you a morning or a night person?

I’m a total night owl and have been my entire life. I’m one of those people who sets about 50 alarms for each morning, as I often sleep through the first few buzzes!

What is your favorite hobby?

My top hobbies shift like the tides, but now I’m loving reading, anything and everything. Also, since I’m wading my way back into the blogging waters, I’m falling in love with writing all over again!

What is one thing that annoys you the most?

A lot of things annoy me, so let me narrow the list down to the ultimate irritation – when people have zero integrity. I just can’t handle it when others are inconsiderate, flaky, jump at the chance to take credit for others’ work and general rudeness – mainly people who will mow others down just to find “success” and move up the social and/or company ladder(s).

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Sorry, foodies, but I’m averse to anything “fancy” or “gourmet,” within reason. I swear, some people with money simply want to show their societal status by eating shit no one in their right mind would – at least I wouldn’t.

I’m referring to exclusive restaurants that serve crap like truffles – they taste like dirt – escargot – come on; they’re snails – asparagus fries…sea bass is disgusting. I cannot believe people actually enjoy stuff like fried squid – ew, I’m getting so nauseous…next question!

What is your favorite thing about someone in your family?

No way can I single out one person in my wonderful family; everyone on my mom’s side has amazing qualities, such as being hilarious, unassuming, kind, altruistic, and almost always smiling. I love it when we all can get together – we laugh and laugh! Plus, when the family is all together, love and understanding virtually vibrate through the room.

What is one of your weird quirks?

Everyone has idiosyncrasies, but most of mine are pretty weird, at least to others. I guess my oddest, and most frequently used, quirk is that of knocking on wood at all times so as not to jinx anything and for good luck – I literally just knocked on wood! My superstition was ingrained in me in childhood – a gift from my mother!

FYI: my boyfriend has an old school pencil in his car, on which I knock when necessary. I also carry around a piece of special “knock on me” wood that came in a good luck set! LOL!

Describe yourself in three words.

Introverted. Imaginative. Sensitive.

If you could change lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

This kind of question is just goofy to me. Sorry to be boring, but I don’t want to be anyone else, even for merely 24 hours. I like myself.

If you could talk in your sleep, what would you say?

I’ve been told I do talk in my sleep quite often. Generally, I’ve been told I mumble incoherently or make nonsense statements [ex. your puppy boy is a butthole’]!

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Well, after I lament having to rise up from my cozy nest, I tend to my boys and then race to make coffee – with extra delicious creamer, naturally. I literally don’t feel like myself all day if I miss out on my morning coffee.

What is your favorite movie quote?

“That really was a Hattori Honzo sword.”

Lucy Liu, Kill Bill, Vol. 1

What is your favorite joke?

Q: There are two potatoes standing on a street corner. How do you know which one is the prostitute?

A: It’s the one that says IDAHO!

I seriously can’t get enough laughs out of that one – err, my own laughs!

What would you do on Mars for fun?

I would totally explore and try to create Mars-surface angels as if I were in snow!

If you could get yourself anything, what would you get?

Besides money and all that jazz, I’d get myself some great headphones at this time. Preferably, they’d be in an awesome color too!

Where is the worst place you could get stuck?

I would definitely say out in the middle of the ocean – or any body of water for that matter! Realistically, the worst place to get stuck would be anywhere in my car. I’ve actually gone off the road and landed in fields twice; I was able to just drive away, quickly, from both scenes! *knock on wood*

What would you do with ’15 minutes of fame’?

I would blow it out and party for the entire 15-minute span, while people knew who I was! LOL!

Where would you go if you were invisible?

I’d probably sit on my ass and hide from everyone all day as I clean off my DVR!

What is your favorite flavor of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans?

I’m going to say the puke one, just to be gross! LOL! I’ve never had this Harry Potter-inspired candy, but something nasty would have to be fun!

What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?

I get rid of crap I don’t want or need. I love useless stuff in the garbage and donating the decent things I’ve accumulated to my hometown’s local thrift shop.

Nice to know me, Maggie

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