Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ryan & Joe // Couple Portraits, 2016


It's been three years since my last photoshoot with Ryan & Joe, so it was time for an update! 

currently listening to: The Ocean At the End of the Lane // Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top 10 Books I Read in 2016

It's time for a Top Ten Tuesday! I've read 33 books so far this year (I'm really trying to get to 35 before 2017!). These are my favorite first-time reads in 2016 (sorry Prisoner of Azkaban).

This week's topic: Top Ten Best Books of 2016


10) A Darker Shade of Magic // V. E. Schwab
I just finished the audio on this one and gave it 3.5 stars. The world and the characters intrigue me, but I was less thrilled about the writing. I'll be starting off 2016 with the sequel in hopes to be ready for the 3rd book in February.

9) I'll Give You the Sun // Jandy Nelson
This one took me awhile to get into. I nearly DNFed. But it really started picking up towards the middle/end, and I ended up giving it 3.5 stars. The writing takes awhile to get used to, but it's beautiful and entirely unique.

8) Crown of Midnight // Sarah J. Maas
Such a pleasant surprise for me. I hated the first book, which may have been partially due to the audiobook. I switched to ebook for this one and enjoyed everything so much more. 


7)  Stars Above // Marissa Meyer
I pretty much love anything related to The Lunar Chronicles and was not ready for the series to be over after Winter, so you better believe I picked this up and devoured it as quickly as possible.

6) Avatar: The Last Airbender - Smoke and Shadow // Gene Luen Yang
This is the 4th Avatar graphic novel I've read and I enjoyed it a lot. It's beautifully illustrated, and the story was intriguing. And I liked seeing more of Mae without it being so romantically centered on her and Zuko.

5) Attachments // Rainbow Rowell
I also read Landline this year, Rowell's other adult novel, but liked Attachments so much more. I loved the idea behind the story, the characters, the friendship, the shipping. My only complaint is that the ending is too short (in true Rainbow Rowell fashion, I suppose).


4) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda // Becky Albertalli
I listened to this audiobook in a single day. I literally could not stop. When I ran out of things to do, I just sat and listened. It completely captivated me.

3) Attack on Titan, vols. 1 and 2 // Hajime Isayama
This was the year I was introduced to Attack on Titan and I never realized it was something that was missing from my life. I loved the first season of the show and the first two volumes of the manga did not disappoint at all. It's so beautiful and thrilling and intense. I love it so much.

2) The Scorpio Races // Maggie Stiefvater
I'll admit it: All interest in Stiefvater's books left me after I read and hated Shiver. I never picked up another book by her again...until this year. I listened to this audiobook and though it took me a little while to get into, I really loved it. I was an absolute wreck by the end.

1) Eleanor & Park // Rainbow Rowell
The first book I read this year and truly my favorite. It never dulled in my mind, and I only want to reread it over and over again. It's a story that I never want to leave or let go of.

Let me know what your favorite 2016 read was!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

10 Books I'd Like for Christmas

It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday! (I realize today is not Tuesday. Grades were due last night. But now I'm freeeee.) Some of these will be repeats from my other list from August, but that just means that I want them even more because I still don't have them. 

These week's topic:  Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

Image result for attack on titan vol 7 Image result for attack on titan vol 8

Attack on Titan (vol. 7+) // Hajime Isayama
I own the first six volumes of this (I think they're up to 19?) and have only read the first three, but I really want to read more, especially before the new season comes out. 


The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger // RenĂ©e Ahdieh
These covers are to die for, so I must have them.

Image result for shirley jackson collection 

Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories // Shirley Jackson
Because I really appreciate Shirley Jackson and love The Lottery but haven't read anything else by her? So this is long overdue.

Everything Leads to You // Nina LaCour
This was on my list in August. I still don't know much about it, but I still love that cover. So much cover love.


The Female of the Species // Mindy McGinnis
This came out recently and I saw some good reviews for it so...yes. I'll get over the yellow.

We are the Ants // Shaun David Hutchinson
This also came out recently, and the cover is pretty, and the blurb sounded intriguing, and I saw some pretty great reviews over it. 


Alice and the Fly // James Rice
I've wanted this ever since Cait @ Paper Fury wrote her review over it, but then it took forever to come out in the U.S. and it's finally here.

American Born Chinese // Gene Luen Yang
This was also on a previous list. But it's a graphic novel so I really need a physical copy, and they're hard to find! (Plus it's by Gene Luen Yang who I have immense respect for because of the Avatar graphic novels.)

Image result for harry potter illustrated edition

Harry Potter Illustrated Editions // J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay
I don't really expect to get these because they're a little expensive, but they're so beautiful. Someday.


Illuminae and Gemina // Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Okayyyy, you guys have convinced me. I need to read these. And I want the physical copies so I can experience it. Because apparently it's pretty cool.

Let me know what books you would like for Christmas, and if you'd recommend any of these!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Heflins // Family Portraits, 2016


This day was surprisingly cold, but the Heflins stuck with it. I took a lot of photos, so there will probably be a Part Two to these. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

6th Blogiversary!

It's been six years.  

That feels like a long time for blogging, even if it went by relatively quickly.

I've been thinking a bit about my blog lately. Six years and what is there to show? Almost 700 posts, hours and hours of time put into it, and only a handful of subscribers. My views have gone up in the past few years, but they're still pathetic compared to most blogs.

That's on me, though.I've always taken blogging as a hobby. I've always said it's about me, not the views. I know how to get more views. Post more often. Set up a strict schedule. Promote. Read and comment on other blogs.

I've never been too strict about it, though. Almost every day you see a popular blogger going on a "hiatus" or taking a break for awhile because it's too much for them. I've always wanted to keep it as a hobby, and a hobby that I enjoy. So I post when I want and what I want. For awhile, I felt pressure to be strictly a photoblog or a book blog, to fit this little space in a box, but always decided against it. Because I have multiple interests, and my blog is a reflection of all of it.

So I've come to terms with not gaining a huge following. It is kind of disheartening, though, when I work hours on a post and only a few people read it. But either way, I try to consistently put out good content that I'm proud of.

This blog has come a long way. Margins used to be To Be Real. It used to be all about poetry and angsty letters to a boy that became my husband. (I keep the archives up but hate the thought of people actually going through them!) The design has changed a lot, but my HTML and CSS skills have not. I post less now than I used to, but I like to think I put more time into each post now than before. Despite not having a schedule, I've still managed to consistently post nearly every month since I started, except for the summer I got married and briefly after Christina Grimmie's death. To be honest, her death made me not want to post anything ever again. But I think I have to blog. I have to have a place to put out content.

I'm not tired of blogging. I'm not sure if I ever will be. Even if I don't get a lot of views or comments, I'm still happy to be here, and I'm happy that you're here.

Top 5 Posts of All Time:

1. Revisiting Unanswered Questions from the World of Avatar
2. Tyler & Amanda // Maternity
3. Why You Should Stop Watching Harry Potter
4. Kyle & Jenna // 2015 Couple Portraits, Part One
5. Kyle & Jenna // 2015 Couple Portraits, Part Two

currently listening to: Mary Did You  Know? by Pentatonix

How long have you been reading Margins (formerly To Be Real)? What brought you here? Are you more of a fan for the photos, books, poetry (ugh), or life updates? Let me know!
(I mean let's be real though: we're all just here for Rex.)