Tag Archives: Blog Event

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 6 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round SIX of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We have had to put more strict standards in place due to prior issues and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. Only those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards. IN ADDITION to packages, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

This round runs from February 1st, 2017 – July 31st, 2017. 

Last thing, sign-ups run from January 13th to midnight on January 27th!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join!
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.*Don’t stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete”.
  • Keep in mind that there is strong emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishilists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?
It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on January 27! ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. This is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to a previous round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match!

Here we go!

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!):

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)


Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above, do not forget, or you WILL NOT be paired!!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary | Series Appreciation

Hi, friends! Today I’m sharing a little series appreciation for the Vampire Academy books in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and special edition release! When I got an email from Penguin asking to share some favorite things about the series, I knew this would be a perfect post for me to write.

See, I got into Vampire Academy after the Twilight/vampire craze. My friend Lisa introduced me to the books and I was like, “Ehhh, I don’t know. Vampires? Aren’t we done with this?” I had no desire to read a vampire novel after my Twilight frenzy wore off but Lisa’s a pretty good judge of books and had just gotten me hooked on The Hunger Games (which I devoured) so I trusted her recommendation and became hooked!

Although the Vampire Academy series is about vampires, it has a whole lot more going on than just that. There are best friendships, steamy romances, wonderful bonds, society politics, and a whole lot of “omg” moments! The series is really special to me because it was one of the series that brought me onto the YA scene and into a whole new set of books that I didn’t even know existed because I wasn’t looking at “teen” books. While the series deals with many typical young adult moments like first loves, friendships, mean girls, and high school, it also has so many different levels of politics, plenty of action, a whole lot of adventure, and some pretty wild moments that always left my jaw on the floor! Richelle Mead put quite a few good shocking moments in this series, especially in the first few books, and I was constantly flipping pages to see what she’d surprise me with next!

I can say that it’s “so much more than a vampire series” for those who are hesitant about vampire books but it was also really awesome to see vampires in a little different light. There are different types of vampires within the realm of the supernatural in this series ranging from mortal but with supernatural powers to the “typical” undead vampire. I really loved how the range of the average vampire was expanded and really explored!

Then there’s the romance. There are SO many good romances throughout this series but the relationship between Rose and Dimitri is just so swoony! I don’t know why but it totally got me, despite the age difference which I’m usually not on board with. I just love the tension, how it’s sort of forbidden, and the push and pull that happens throughout the series.

If you haven’t yet, hopefully you’ll give the Vampire Academy series a shot! It was one of my favorites, especially when I first started reading YA, and I think it really appeals to a wide range of readers on a few different levels! Ready to jump into the series? Check out a little bit more on the special anniversary edition of the first book!

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Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

  • The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty…
  • Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt…
  • The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes…
  • From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school–it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s–the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

GIVEAWAY!

You can enter to win one of five copies of this beautiful anniversary edition that are up for grabs from Penguin Random House! Check out the Rafflecopter form below as well as legal and rules that follow. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Legal:

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) paperback copies of Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (ARV = $11.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, 2016. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 12, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Apple Cake Recipe (Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books is sharing a delicious apple cake recipe!


Fall is the perfect time for apples and pumpkins. This recipe doesn’t include any type of pumpkin ingredients in it, but it does have apples. And who doesn’t like apples? My mom makes this recipe every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its called “Jewish Apple Cake”. I’m not Jewish, but my mom found it somewhere and it’s delicious. Anyway, since the one my mom makes is a ‘special recipe’ I found something really similar to it and it seems to be just as good. Everything you need to know to make this delicious cake is below as well as the link I found it from, enjoy and have a great Halloween!

Jewish Apple Cake

untitled

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of real vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, unbeaten
  • ½ cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed (*my mom just uses our Tropicana Orange Juice (no pulp) we drink in the morning for this*)
  • 4 large apples, peeled, and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar, separated (**keep from the other sugar**)

Directions:

1) Beat together until smooth—flour, 2 ½ cups of sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, oil, eggs, and juice. Then in a separate bowl, mix apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

2) Layer the batter and apples in a greased pan. *Make sure to pour some batter—then layer it with apples—then switch back and forth until it is all used up*

3) Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours – 1 ¾ hours.


A big thanks to Joannamarie for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! You can find the original recipe on the web here from Food.com.

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Wreath Craft (Amy from Read A Latte)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Amy from Read A Latte is sharing a super fun fall craft and how she makes her own fall wreaths!


When the chilly weather hits, I am either reading under a blanket somewhere, or wielding a hot glue gun as I craft my way through the fall and winter. Since October is one of my favorite months, I wanted to start my craft making as soon as I could.

Luckily, AC Moore and I operate on the same schedule. As soon as that leaf decor comes out, I’m there for it. Today I put together a quick guide to DIY-ing your own fall-themed wreath — bringing that fall foliage feel right to your front door!

The Foliage Wreath

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This is super simple, because the bulk of it is the base, which comes pre-made! I got all my supplies at AC Moore, but let’s be real, any craft store this time of year has the same things:

You’ll Need:

  • A Grapevine Wreath
  • Fall Foliage Garland
  • Large Bow
  • Assorted Pumpkins and Gourds
  • Hot Glue Gun

First, I pulled apart the wreath, just a little, to give it a slightly messier, fall look. Then, just take the garland and wrap it evenly around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into the branches as you go. I hot glued the edges of the garland onto the wreath, as well.

If there are gaps, no problem! That’s where the pumpkins and gourds come in! I grouped mine together, but you can arrange them however you like. Then, top it all off with a large festive bow at the bottom, and VOILA! That’s that!


A big thanks to Amy for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! I totally need to make one of these for my house now. This is so cute!!!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 5 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round FIVE of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!! Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We are going to have to put more strict standards in place this round and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. Only those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards. IN ADDITION to packages, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Last thing, sign-ups run from July 16th to midnight on July 30th! This round of #otspsecretsister will be from August 1st – January 31st.

THE RULES

Should you need any clarification on these rules, please refer back to the FAQ post!

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join! 
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. *Don’t stress about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • Keep in mind that this round will have more emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishlists
  • ARCs do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

SO HOW DO I SIGN UP?

It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on July 30th! (In the body of the email is preferable instead of a Word/Google doc — it’s easier for us to go back and forth!) ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form was NEW last round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to a previous round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: Please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone and for your pen pal to get to know you.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we cannot guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match!

SIGN-UP QUESTIONNAIRE

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!):

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)


Please copy and paste the questions into an email when you send. We copy and paste your answers directly to your match (when we have it) so a Word doc or attachment makes things harder, not easier!

Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above, do not forget, or you WILL NOT be paired!!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!


Sign-ups will be open from July 16th through midnight on July 30th. No submissions will be accepted after July 30th (this is two weeks to sign up so you have plenty of time)!! You will receive an email once we’ve matched you so please be patient! We try to match you with someone who has similar likes so it is a time consuming process.

Matches will be emailed July 31st and possibly extending to August 1st.
Have fun!!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 5 Pre-Sign Up FAQs + Info

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and positivity shown during The Secret Sister Project! Thank you all so much for your kind words to those of us who host, and for being there to provide cheer for one another. It is really something to go through the hashtag and see you all lifting each other up despite only being matched to one “sister.” Your generosity shines through and it is heartwarming to be part of a group filled with strong, uplifting people!

Most of you can imagine how much work goes into a project like this. The three of us are expected to always be available to answer questions, keep on top of people who are not abiding by the standards we set, promote the project and so on. It’s tough and frustrating at times, and we are doing everything we can to make it easier on everyone for next round. That being said, this post is going to be LONG and DETAILED and should provide you with all of the information that you need if you want to sign up for the next round.

We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information needed, odds are that someone participating knows the answer to your inquiry!

THE BASICS

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups will go live on July 16, 2016
  • This round will run from August 2016 through January 2017

The Who:

You guys! But there are some conditions that must be met prior to signing up, we are going to outline those below under “The Rules.”

The How:

On July 16 we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form is NEW this round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET.

FAQs

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?

This is a commitment, we can’t lie to you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Do I have to send presents?

Yes, unless you are signing up for the pen pal group you are expected to send a little something on top of a card or letter. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club, so though you must abide by the price guidelines you should also be sending letters and cards to keep communication open.

Look at how extravagant that package is! I don’t have that kind of money…

Neither do I! This is why we have different price ranges, one of which is strictly pen pals – that means NO trinkets, etc! You should never, ever feel as if your package is inadequate as long as you are meeting your price range “standards.” Trust me, it is much more meaningful if you stay within your price range but then send an extra letter or card just to check in that month! Anyone who is getting caught up on the size of the gifts is missing the entire point of the project and will be dealt with accordingly.

Do we have to remain secret?

No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! Some have used the same sending and return address, which is sneaky and perfect. It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret -like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

Do I have to be a blogger to join?

Technically, no. You absolutely do need to be bookish, however. We are book people over here! We do have some non-bloggers who have joined us but full disclosure they are people that we know and trust. That is not to say that we won’t allow you in unless you are a blogger, but as this project was started and is promoted in our blogging community, it is filled with mostly bloggers.

Is this project international?

It has been in the past! We are going to have to again gauge how many international participants wish to join, and see if we have enough to keep you all secret. Please keep in mind that if you are international and wish to join, you may have to send international in order to be allowed in. We didn’t have to do this last round, and we hope that we won’t have to but we have to gauge interest first!

Umm…I’m a guy so…

That is wonderful! Welcome! I know it is a little off putting to see the word “sister” up there but honestly we just did that because it sounded better than “The Secret Person Project.” I personally would love a secret bro, pal, dude, or friend regardless of gender and we had a few males join us the past few rounds!

What are the price ranges, and can we have some examples of what a package would look like for each range?

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers.
  • $5-$10: Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!
  • $15-$20 Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a paperback from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $25+ The sky is the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!

THE RULES

Here is where things differ from last time, and where we go all “mean mommy” on ya. We ask that you pay attention because we are going to hold you to these standards with no exceptions. I am sure that you all realize that we absolutely do not have the time or patience to deal with nonsense and when I say that, it is coming from a place of love and experience as we did have some issues before. If you think this is too strict and “not fair” then we are sorry you feel that way, but we made some exceptions before and spent lots of time chasing after people and yes, even kicking people out for neglecting to do their part. NOTE: There are no exceptions to these rules unless otherwise stated. Also, If you send back an unfinished questionnaire I will send it back to you. Thanks in advance for understanding.

    • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! The hosts are Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), and myself(@bookaddictguide). What does “knowing” us entail? First and foremost, you should be following all three of us on Twitter, you should know our names, and if one of us reaches out to you, you should know who we are. It is embarrassing (for you) when we reach out to you and you do not know that we are the creators of the project to which you belong. (Seriously, there have been circumstances where we had to reach out to someone regarding the project and they didn’t know who we were. Incredibly embarrassing for them.) We are all pretty active on Twitter and really like chatting. Tweeting at us a few times saying “Hi! I want to join The Secret Sister Project!” does not count. We want to get to know you, there are three of us and our tastes range – this shouldn’t be too hard. Not to mention that we have been promoting this project for months and have been telling you to chat us up! We even wrote up a “get to know us” post to make it easier for all of you to chat us up! Please keep in mind that there is absolutely no “vouching” for people you know, so please do not try. Start forging those relationships with us, or you will not be allowed to participate.
    • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project (The ONLY exception to this rule is If you are under 18 and have participated before, just please make a note of this when you send your sign-up email in two weeks)
    • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister to thank your sister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project. It is worth mentioning this again, USE IT TO THANK YOUR SISTER!! We get TONS of emails asking things like “It says my sister’s package was delivered last week but I never heard anything?” This is unfair, creates more work for us and quite frankly is rude. Be courteous and classy, thank your sister. If you are not abiding by this, we will ask you to cease in participating. In addition to this “rule,” use the hashtag to interact with one another, ask questions, and answer questions put forth. We promise, this makes the whole project more fun!
    • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating. If you are going to be late, tell us. You will not be in “trouble” if life gets in the way and you let us know. If we have to chase after you, then we will have an issue.
    • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. We DO understand that life gets in the way and time gets away from you, so be honest. We DO NOT abide liars, so keep that tracking handy!
    • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US. We have had some who have reached out to us at the end of a round to say they hadn’t been receiving. Please don’t do this. We need this information to help you and ensure that no one suffers in the same way in future rounds. We are not going to be checking in with all of you throughout the month so it is imperative that you let us know if you are not receiving! Please do NOT ever feel uncomfortable reaching out to us to say that you didn’t receive something. We WANT to help you with this, you DESERVE to get cheer as you are sending cheer!!
    • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out.
    • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.
      • Your sister will contact this person to ask things such as “Can you ask Sally if she likes citrus or flowery smelling candles better?” This person can also say things to your sister such as “Hello Joan, Sally ended up buying a copy of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” off of her wishlist so please do not purchase it.
        • This person will only act as YOUR buddy. They will not be acting as moderator for the hashtag or as a stand-in for any of the hosts.
  • You will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
    • The wishlist must have 20 or more books on it and must contain new and older titles – SOME ARCs are fine but keep in mind your sister may not have access to these.
    • This list MUST contain books that you are not going to purchase for yourself. IF you simply cannot resist a title here or there then please let your “buddy” (see above)  know PRIOR TO BUYING so that they can tell your sister – but please refrain from doing this.
    • Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. We had a lot of people buying things their sister already owned due to someone else buying off of this list, and it was a waste of money and went against our specified rules.
    • If your Goodreads profile is private, your sister cannot view your wishlist.
    • If you do not wish to make your Goodreads profile public then you may use another format for your wishlist such as, Amazon, or by providing one in the sign-up email.
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • We are asking that you put a little more emphasis on the “pen pal” aspect this round.
    • This means if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so please don’t forget.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
    • OK to say: “I love owls!” “OMG I am obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment!” “I just got engaged!!”
    • NOT OK to say: “Please send this to me…” while providing links to something expensive or “#OTSPSecretSister this toaster would look excellent in my new apartment!” Even linking to something you think is super cool while using the hashtag seems grabby, and believe me, we see what you’re doin there, so let’s not.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
    • Things such as “Wow, I wish I knew if my sister got her package” or “I wish my sister would use the hashtag more” are statements that promote negative communication. We will see them, and we will call you out. If you have issues like this, reach out to the person your sister designated as her “buddy” or to your point person and we will do our best to solve any issues.
  • Do not send your sister ARCs unless you are also sending additional things to compensate as we know no one pays for ARCs and you are to abide the monetary limit.
  • Do not send packages straight from Amazon. We had some people who completely forgot about their sister and then sent things directly from Amazon to try and make up for it. This is not okay. The emphasis should be on the cheer and the thought that you are putting into your sister and her happiness.
  • Please refrain from sending “swag.” Unless you KNOW that this is something your sister would love, random bookmarks etc. you have received from publishers, etc. just looks like filler and do not go toward the monetary limit.
  • Please pay attention to your sister’s likes, wish lists etc. This is hard to say, because it seems as if we are emphasizing the gift aspect, but it is a waste of money for you to send something that your sister will not enjoy. If your sister says she loves coffee mugs, try and cater that to her fandoms, etc. There are exceptions to this of course but we don’t want you to waste your money on things!
  • If allowed to participate, you will be given the contact information for one of us. You are to contact that person, and that person only regarding any and all Secret Sister Project questions, or concerns. This will help us keep things more seamless, and will let us have divvy up the “work” a little better.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our community. Be as thorough as you can when answering the questions. There is no “writing too much” when answering these questions! Remember that this project is The Secret Sister Project, wouldn’t you expect your actual sister to know LOTS about you? The best advice I can give you is to be creative and keep in mind the entire reason for the project is NOT about gifts, but fostering a positive environment. If you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! Or ask your fellow sisters! I saw some fantastic monthly themed packages last round! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at Gals on the Same Page)!

READ THIS!

We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. Though we had very few issues the first round, each round proves to be more difficult and frustrating. Please recognize that this is a commitment and that there is someone out there relying on you to follow through. Not to mention the fact that the three of us have full time jobs and busy lives, we love hosting this project but absolutely loathe having to chase people down for being inconsiderate.

SO HOW DO I SIGN UP?

The sign-up post with all questions that need to be answered will be posted on our blogs and promoted via Twitter starting on July 16. Do NOT send a sign-up email prior to seeing the post on July 16. Please also do not forget to sign up via the Google form in addition to sending your sign up email. If you do not do both then you won’t be qualified for the project. Sign-ups run for two weeks until July 30, so you will have plenty of time.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends! If you still have any questions then please reach out on Twitter. If you are new to the project then I encourage you to use the hashtag to talk to your fellow sisters as they may have the answers you are looking for! Thanks for sticking with us and being so generous and kind!

Life Lessons From Gayle Forman | Favorite Quotes

Gayle Forman is one of my all-time favorite authors. IF I STAY was one of the first young adult contemporary books that I read (thank you, book bloggers, for the rec!) way back when I first started blogging. I instantly fell in love with her writing, her characters, and how much emotion she could pack into a story that was just over 200 pages. I didn’t hesitate to pick up every book of Gayle’s that followed and I’ve truly loved each and every one of them.

One of the things that I love the most about Gayle Forman’s books is the ability to feel the intensity of each character’s feelings and how well I can relate to them on any scale. There are some amazingly beautiful quotes that have really touched me personally and some wonderful characters that I felt completely connected to, like Allyson in JUST ONE DAY and Adam in WHERE SHE WENT.

I’ve become a little bit (okay, a lot) obsessed with Gayle Forman’s books… and the collector in me naturally couldn’t resist any format of her collection that I could get my hands on. I started with adding the hardcovers to my collection when I purchased them upon meeting her (!!!) and then slowly but surely filled out the entire collection! I only collect the books that really mean a lot to me so clearly this shows exactly how much they really are a part of my life!




Today, we’re celebrating the life lessons that Gayle Forman has taught us in conjunction with Penguin Teen’s celebration and launch of the I WAS HERE paperback release. I’ve selected some of my all-time favorite quotes to share with you today and my favorite life-lessons that I’ve learned from Gayle Forman books. I’ve said it in previous posts but it always bears repeating that I truly have learned so much about myself through her characters and the stories that she’s penned for her readers. I relived and worked through situations from my past through their experiences and learned to let go of things I didn’t even realize I was holding onto. Her books have truly been life lessons to me and I’m so grateful for each one of them and the things that I take from them!

FAVORITE QUOTES

if i stay quote     where she went quote Just one day quote     just one day quote just one day quote     i was here quote

Which Gayle Forman quote or book is your favorite? Which book speaks the most to you? I think for me, it was JUST ONE DAY!

And don’t miss Penguin Teen’s own life-lessons on their Tumblr account! Check out “Six Life Lessons You Learned from Gayle Forman“!

GIVEAWAY

Oh, yes! There’s also a giveaway! Penguin Teen is giving away Gayle Forman’s complete collection in paperback to five lucky winners! The  books included will be: I WAS HERE paperback, JUST ONE DAY box set (JUST ONE DAY, JUST ONE YEAR, JUST ONE NIGHT), and IF I STAY box set (IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT). US Residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Good luck! 

 

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