Tag Archives: On the Same Page

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 7 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round SEVEN 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 refer 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!

Last thing, sign-ups run from July 7 to midnight on July 21!

NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS: Due to time zone differences and issues in the past with late questionnaires, etc. we are only able to give you until July 16 to sign up for round 7 of The Secret Sister Project. More details on how to sign up as an international participant below.

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 wishlists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon without speaking to your point person first

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post (the post is old so the dates will be different) and remember that we are here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to use if needed, we want to help you and can’t unless we know what is happening!

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 21! 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!” 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! Please remember that you have until midnight on July 16 to sign up as an international participant.

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” 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…etc. 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 on which you would need some cheer!):

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.

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 positive vibes and cheer throughout our community!

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!

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!

6 Bingeable Series You Won’t Want to Put Down

binge read books

Alyssa, Amy, and I read THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER in January for our On the Same Page read and we all pretty much knew once we started it, we’d end up binge-reading the rest of the series. I had heard so many things about the series and we had been waiting until the full trilogy was out for the express purpose of binge-reading. We finally picked it as our January read and I’m so glad I read straight through the whole trilogy!

There are some series you just don’t want to put down and they’re just so easily bingeable. The Mara Dyer Trilogy inspired me to think of some other series that I’ve binged (or wanted to) and I came up with my recommendations for series that you can start and finish one right after the other!

6 BINGEABLE BOOK SERIES

The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (#1) | The Evolution of Mara Dyer (#2) | The Retribution of Mara Dyer (#3)

Being the inspiration for this post, it’s obviously the first on my list. There are so many wacky turns, crazy moments, and questions left for the reader to ponder that I just didn’t want to put this series down. I think it’s always helpful for me to read a series like this back-to-back-to-back so I don’t forget anything from the previous book. When there’s so much going on and so much more to discover, it’s great to be able to pick up the next book right away! Mara Dyer definitely had my mind reeling and I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait to see how this series concluded!

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: The Final Empire (#1) | The Well of Ascension (#2) | The Hero of Ages (#3)

Okay, so these books don’t exactly make for a short binge (each one is at least 500 pages long) but this was one of the first true series binges that I had. I started MISTBORN and couldn’t stop thinking about it so when I started THE WELL OF ASCENSION, I immediately had THE HERO OF AGES on stand-by. The books are so good that I zipped through them and really had a hard time actually stopping. This is still one of my favorite series to date and if you fly through these, there’s a whole second era of books that come after them! (And more to come too!)

I’d also recommend Brandon Sanderson’s YA series The Reckoners as a bingeable option since I inhaled those books (and then had to wait for the final book’s release… but it’s out now)!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys (#1) | The Dream Thieves (#2) | Blue Lily, Lily Blue (#3) | The Raven King (#4)

While I’m really glad that I’ve been a fan of this series (almost) right from the start, this is definitely the kind of series that you want to binge. These books leave you with so many emotions, questions, and desire for more that it’s hard to stop reading! I first read THE RAVEN BOYS a little after its release date and then I read THE DREAM THIEVES and BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE early as ARCs… The wait for each next book has been excruciating!! I’m both excited and nervous for THE RAVEN KING but the good thing about the wait is that it gave me time to re-read the series… and I binge-read my re-reads haha! If you’re new to the series, it’s one I highly recommend and with THE RAVEN KING coming out in April, you can start reading now just in time for the final book’s release!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Curse (#1) | The Winner’s Crime (#2) | The Winner’s Kiss (#3)

These books are filled with so much intrigue and angst (in a good way) that I just didn’t want to step away! There’s this fantastic push and pull between Kestrel and Arin (the two main characters and alternating POVs) that this series was one I just didn’t want to walk away from! Again, this was a series that I read each book as an advanced copy so I made the wait even longer for myself but the conclusion was definitely worth the wait!! With THE WINNER’S KISS coming out, you won’t have to wait like I did!

The Curse Workers Trilogy by Holly Black
White Cat (#1) | Red Glove (#2) | Black Heart (#3)

It took me a while to get from WHITE CAT to RED GLOVE, but that was mostly because I was waiting to see if my library was going to to get the audio for it (they didn’t). These books are fun, easy to read, and really hooked me with a few little twists and surprises. I loved that Cassel is sort of an anti-hero, though maybe not quite all the way to anti-hero status. There’s a lot of gray area with him and the reader is always meant to root for him, even if it means he’s not always doing pleasant things. The sarcasm and deadpan humor was great and I loved the magical ties with mafia spins.

the 5th wave trilogy

The 5th Wave Trilogy by Rick Yancey
The 5th Wave (#1) | The Infinite Sea (#2) | The Last Star (#3)

This is a series I wish I could have binged! I started when THE 5TH WAVE came out and there was just so much that went on in both books one and two that I just wish I could have read them all at once! They were SUCH quick reads for me and I totally inhaled them. I’m not even a fan of alien books but these had me hooked!

OTHER BINGEABLE SERIES

I wanted to feature series that I don’t talk about all the time (okay, so I do talk about The Raven Cycle and Mistborn a lot) but obviously you see me raving about series like The Lunar Chronicles and The Grisha Trilogy all the time. Those are definitely on my list of series to binge as well, especially since all of the books are out.

Then there are some heftier series like Harry Potter which I’d also obviously recommend but seven books is a lot and I figure at this point, you’ve either read them, know you want to read them, or know you don’t care so it’s kind of a pointless series to recommend! I binge-read my way through the first three books in the Throne of Glass series and I wish I could just read any of Sarah J. Maas’ series non-stop!

There are also other series that I’d like to binge but only the first books in the series are out, like ILLUMINAE, but I have to be patient and just wait!

Lastly, there are those series that I should have binged and wanted to but got sidetracked on other books, like HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, THE DARKEST MINDS, and ALANNA.

If you’re looking for recommendations, you know I’m always up for some! I love a great book and a good series binge so check out any of the lists below for some of my favorites based on some of your favorites!


Do you binge-read any series? Which ones haven’t you been able to put down? Do you like to start series when they come out or wait so you can read them all at once?

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Thanks again for checking out this month’s feature for On the Same Page! We had a blast reading The Mara Dyer trilogy and sharing our thoughts with you! And don’t forget to check out Amy & Alyssa’s posts today too!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) // Amy (Tripping Over Books)

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 4 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

Okay, the moment you all have been waiting for…#OTSPSecretSister sign-ups for round FOUR are here! YAY!

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

The two most important things to do before 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 CANNOT 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/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. IN ADDITION to this, 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 January 16th to midnight on January 29th!

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. *Stop stressing 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 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 letter here or there 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.
  • 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 January 29th! 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 is NEW this 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 last 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! SIGN UP USING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 

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.)

  • 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!):

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!


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!
If you have any questions, don’t forget to check the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag on Twitter! Everything should be answered in the FAQ post but we are answering other questions there as well so we may have already answered yours!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or myself (@bookaddictguide) for 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 January 16th through January 29th. No submissions will be accepted after January 29th (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! Matches will be emailed January 30th and 31st.
Have fun!!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 4 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 January 16, 2016
  • This round will run from February through July 2016

The Who:

On January 16 we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out and email back to us. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions on 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” you sign up forIt 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?

Depending on the group that you sign up for, it may not be necessary for you to send presents. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club.

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 handmade 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 was last round! 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 last round!

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, paperback straight from Amazon (thank you Prime shipping!), 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 newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $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!!

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 last round 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 myself, (@bookaddictguide), Amy (@trippingbooks), and Alyssa (@withthebanned). 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 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. 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 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!! In this vein, we want to emphasize the “you” part of this requirement. We had several instances last round of people telling us that SOMEONE ELSE told THEM that no package was received from their secret sister, but WE had no idea. Confusing, right? This also winds up being frustrating for us, and it creates and extra unnecessary step in resolution. So again, PLEASE don’t ever feel bad or like a tattle tale for reaching out to us if a month goes by and you haven’t received anything yet.
      • You must mail your package so that your sister receives it DURING the current month. You do not have until the last day of the month to mail your package. 
    • 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 much 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 letter here or there to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so be prepared.
  • 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 one of us 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.
  • 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 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 environmentIf 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 including book subscription boxes one month! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at 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 January 16. Do NOT send a sign-up email prior to seeing the post on January 16. If you do, we will delete the email and we will assume that you do not know how to follow directions and therefore cannot trust that you can handle being a part of this project. Sign-ups run for two weeks until January 30, so you will have plenty of time.

We 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!

On The Same Page Secret Sister: Round 4 | Get to Know the Hosts!

Hey there loves! As many of you know, one of the biggest “rules” that we are pushing is that we hosts must “know” you. A lot of you have asked what constitutes us “knowing” you, and that is a very valid question in this digital age! Basically, we want to have faith in those that we are allowing into our precious project. We want to be able to say, “Oh yeah, that is the girl who OtSPcirclebanner250chatted with me about her search for a job as a Librarian.” Or, “She is the girl who was active in the hashtag despite not being able to join in on last round.” We look at your avi picture, we memorize your name, we make notations next to your sign-up in our spreadsheet. Full disclosure: when we go to our spreadsheet and one (OR TWO!!) of us has to notate, “no idea who she is, she doesn’t even follow me” we give some serious side eye. Are we looking for followers? Not in the least bit. Do we think that you ONE BILLION PERCENT should know who ALL THREE hosts are? OH. YES. We actually had a ridiculous amount of people this round thank two of us or not know that they were speaking to one of the hosts when we reached out to inquire about an issue, and so on. It is embarrassing for YOU when we bring this info back to base as the information on who we are is so readily available in a few different places.

With that being said, we thought it would be helpful if we each wrote up a little “about me” so that you had some points to bring up when you chatted us up over the next month. HINT: THIS MEANS IT IS A VERY GOOD IDEA TO GO AND VISIT ALYSSA AND AMY’S POSTS, THERE MIGHT BE A QUIZ LATER. We put the question to twitter, and some of you had some things you just HAD to know, so let’s get goin’!

GET TO KNOW THE HOSTS!

How did you get the idea for The Secret Sister Project? The project was Alyssa‘s idea! There was a lot of negativity floating around in the blogging world — specifically on Twitter — and Alyssa wanted to implement a project to bring positivity and build relationships throughout the community. She/we threw some questions out there to gauge interest and voila! The Secret Sister project was born!

How did the three of you meet? I first “met” Alyssa when I was a baby blogger and looking for awesome blogs to follow. I liked her posts and then saw a Princess Bride quote in her Twitter profile and I knew we needed to be friends. We worked on the very first Fortnight of Fright together, ended up tweeting each other Friends quotes all the time, and finally decided to move our friendship from Twitter to texts. We finally met in person at BEA 2013! She actually picked me up from the airport and we roomed together. We were afraid that once we met, we’d have nothing to talk about but we hit it off as if we’d been friends forever!
I knew Amy from around the blogosphere and we had chatted but not really talked as much as I had with other bloggers. We met briefly at BEA 2013 but I still didn’t know her really well. Once I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire (one of her favorite series), we ended up talking about the series! She and Alyssa had texted and we were like, “This is silly! We need to group text about this so we can all talk at the same time!” And thus, our conversation and a best friendship was born! 

IMG_2915

What is your favorite (or most popular) blog post that you have written? Favorite and most popular cross over a bit but are still a bit different! Some of my most popular:

Some of my personal favorites:

List a few things that anyone can mention to get you talking!

  • Friends (I’m obsessed. I quote. I re-watch millions of times)
  • Any of my big book fandoms: The Lunar Chronicles, The Grisha Trilogy, Harry Potter (I’m a Ravenpuff but lean more Ravenclaw!), anything Gayle Forman, Throne of Glass, The Name of the Wind, Brandon Sanderson books (Mistborn, Steelheart)
  • The Princess Bride
  • Beer (I’m a beer girl! I homebrew with my husband too)
  • Heroes: Reborn – I just binge watched and caught up on the season so far!
  • Pitch Perfect (JESSE <3)
  • Choir (I used to be a total choir nerd! I miss it. Sigh.)
  • What I’m currently reading
  • Anything about reading/blogging!
  • Hmmm this is hard! If you’ve struck out on all of those ideas, just stop by and say hi! I don’t bite 🙂

Which FRIENDS character would you have dated? Definitely Chandler. 

Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? No. I mean maybe a break but a “break” doesn’t mean “break up”. Sorry, Ross. 

What is in your Zombie Apocalypse Kit? Besides weapons/zombie-fighting essentials? A kindle loaded full of books (and some of my favorite physical copies for when I can’t find a way to charge the battery anymore), beef jerky, ummmm. This is hard! Photo albums to keep with me… and… water? I haven’t really thought about this! 

Marry, Kiss, Kill: Loki, Thorne, Jamie Fraser | Kiss: Loki, Marry: Thorne, Kill: Jamie (sorry, Jamie, only because Loki would kill me if I tried to kill him and we all know I end up with Thorne)

What genre do you enjoy reading the most? Fantasy (both YA and adult) and lighter contemporary. I’ve started getting more into sci-fi too! It’s changed a lot over the years! I didn’t think I liked fantasy until I started reading the right books and now I can’t believe I wasn’t reading those all along! I do like a more serious contemporary/realistic fiction but lately my life has been so hectic that I need those lighter books! 

Do you have interests outside of reading? Of course! My husband and I homebrew beer as a hobby (a delicious hobby) and we also started our own company to make and sell homebrewing equipment — Starting Point Brewing Equipment. It’s still a work in progress and we’re working on items to add to our shop but we’re hoping to kick that off even more soon! The dream is to open a brewery someday but that’s of course quite costly.
I also started making candles! It was just for fun at first and then I couldn’t help but pair them with book-inspired scents for inspiration and I really wanted to share that with other book lovers! I just opened my own Etsy shop — Novelly Yours — last month! 😀
My husband and I also love traveling. We haven’t gotten to do as much lately but we love to go camping, find new places to visit, and just get away when we can.

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What is your favorite standalone book that you have read lately? Hmmm. The first one that comes to mind is The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens. I thought it was so well done and I really connected with the characters a LOT! 

Who is your favorite or least favorite character in literature? I haven’t thought about this question in a while and I think it’s Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. He just has so many qualities and traits that I love. He’s studious and smart but also wily and a prankster. He’s tough and yet sensitive. He loves music and performing, I love his friendships, and he’s maybe a bit of a dolt with the ladies but I’ll wait for that to develop a bit more haha! I just love him and I’ve become so invested in his story! 

Who is your favorite author that you have met in person? Leigh Bardugo is instantly the author that comes to mind! She’s such a strong and fierce woman, which you can see from her social media accounts as well, and she’s also absolutely hilarious and so much fun to be around in person! I’ve been fortunate enough to meet her a few times on tour and she’s always so nice, warm and welcoming, and just an absolutely blast to “hang out” with! 

 

What upcoming books are you excited for? Any new book by my favorite authors (Heartless, Throne of Glass #5, A Court of Mist and Fury, The Raven King, The Dregs #2), P.S. I Like You by Kasie West, The Last Star by Rick Yancey, Summer of Sloane by Erin L Schneider… oh just go look at my “omg can’t wait” list on Goodreads haha! There are WAY too many!

Favorite gifs for reference?  (All of these are like Friends, New Girl, and Pitch Perfect by the way…)

For times when people need to shuuuuush

I mean, you just need this one. JESSE!

And this one

We all need a good omg gif

When you’re having a bad day…

Because Schmidt


Okayyyyy that’s about it about me! If you’re new to #otspsecretsister we would love to get to know you ASAP so we can give you the green light for round four! Unfortunately due to some circumstances in the previous round(s), we are enforcing the “get to know” you rule and do want to be familiar with at least who you are and maybe some things that you love! Hit me up on Twitter (@bookaddictguide). That’s the best place to chat! But you know where else to find me on social media if you want to hang out there (see sidebar!)…

Don’t forget to stop by the other two hosts (and my BFFs), Alyssa and Amy! Hop to it, friiieeeends!

On the Same Page: Howl’s Moving Castle | On Reading Middle Grade

One of the things I really enjoy about reading books with Alyssa and Amy for our On the Same Page feature is the wide variety of books we read. We try to always choose books we’ll think we’ll enjoy but each one of us differs just a little bit in reading tastes so we also try to challenge ourselves at least one book a year to read a little bit outside of our comfort zone. For me, one of those “comfort zone” boundaries is middle grade. I really don’t read much middle grade at all outside of Harry Potter (which doesn’t count. It’s Harry Potter) and the books I grew up with and read as an actual middle-grader. I’ve seen a few that might look interesting but honestly, I will pick up YA over anything for the most part and adult over middle grade too.

So far for On the Same Page, we’ve read three middle grade books (The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, Peter and the Starcatchers, and Howl’s Moving Castle) and I’ve actually really enjoyed them all! It’s definitely renewed my faith in reading a middle grade book every now and then and helped me not to worry that I won’t connect with it because of the age level.

That being said, I have had a hard time adjusting sometimes. I think I really need to put myself in a middle grade reading mode and try to adjust for what I’m about to read. That’s really not a bad thing and I hope it doesn’t come off as negative, but the storytelling is just a totally different style and the focus is always different. Being an avid YA reader (and in adult stories as well), there’s almost always a romance. The middle grade that I’ve read of course focuses much more on the plot and also friendships, family, and finding one’s own confidence and personality. YA is so much more figuring out where a character wants to go in the world, the transition from child to adult, and often times that includes first love and romance. I don’t necessarily need a romance in a book BUT I usually do enjoy it and it tends to bring out another side of my emotions that helps me connect more personally.

I’m definitely always open to reading more middle grade but sometimes it’s hard to make it a priority. I’m really a YA girl at heart with some adult books mixed in but it’s hard for me to pick up a middle grade book and really just be in love with it. Aside from Harry Potter and Walk Two Moons (which I read as a kid so I probably already have that connection to it), I haven’t loved a middle grade book since I was that age. I’m still interested in trying more and I’m glad I have opportunities to read them with other people like we do with On the Same Page!

 Are you a middle grade reader? Or strictly YA/adult? If you do read middle grade, do you only forage into specific genres?

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Thanks again for checking out this month’s feature for On the Same Page! We had a blast reading HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and sharing our thoughts with you! And don’t forget to check out Amy & Alyssa’s posts today too!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places) // Amy (Tripping Over Books)

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 3 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

Okay, the moment you all have been waiting for…#OTSPSecretSister sign-ups for round 3 are here! YAY!

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

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. Just to cover all of our bases let us 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/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. IN ADDITION to this, 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!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! (see details on this in the FAQ post!)
  • 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 twice 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 (Twitter and/or email address) of a “buddy” close to you who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. *Seriously do not 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, start working on this now!
  • 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 letter here or there 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.

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! 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 the FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!
Please copy and paste the questions into an email. 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!

If you live outside of the US and wish to participate, (we’re referring to you as our international friends), we are requesting you hold off on filling out the questionnaire for now! We will be gauging whether or not we have enough people to make international happen. If you have not yet emailed us to let us know you’re interested, please do so. If you have already sent us an email, we will contact you directly with a yes or no. We will be deciding based on how many email responses we get!

** SIGN-UPS FOR ROUND 3 ARE NOW CLOSED! CHECK BACK IN JAN FOR ROUND 4 INFO! ** 

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?

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. If you see yourself between ranges, please pick the ONE you think you will fulfill best.)

  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, paperback straight from Amazon (thank you Prime shipping!), 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 newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!)
  • $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!!)

Would you prefer if your sister was located closer to you rather than further away? (*NOTE: We cannot guarantee a match with someone in a close region but we will do our best if you say yes!)

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*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. 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!):

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!
If you have any questions, don’t forget to check the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag on Twitter! Everything should be answered in the FAQ post but we are answering other questions there as well so we may have already answered yours!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to Alyssa (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or myself (@bookaddictguide) for 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 12 until July 25th. No submissions will be accepted after July 25th. You will receive an email once we’ve matched you so please be patient! (Should be by the end of July!) Have fun!!

** SIGN-UPS FOR ROUND 3 ARE NOW CLOSED! CHECK BACK IN JAN FOR ROUND 4 INFO! **