that time Amazon gave amazing customer service.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

I nicked my Kindle accidentally. It's a tiny, little scratch on the screen; barely there, but it's there and I notice it. It was bothering me. Then, I remembered the one year warranty that all Kindles have, but I also remembered it was not for accidental damage. I knew for sure there was no way that Amazon could do anything about it, but it was Friday night and I was home. I went online, clicked 'contact us,' and started a chat session with a customer service agent.

Here's how it went:

Me: Hello, I was just wondering if the one year warranty covers accidental damage. It's not a huge damage, just a tiny little nick on the middle, but it is bothering me while reading I know it's completely my fault but I thought I would try. I have the Kindle Paperwhite, and got it in November and would like to know more about your policy. Thank you.
Amazon: I'm happy to process a free replacement Kindle.

Just like that. 
It took less than ten minutes and I already had a new Kindle processed to be delivered on Sunday, guaranteed apparently. All I have to do is print out a prepaid shipping label, ship the item, and that's it. No questions asked. 

Maybe it's not a big deal, but I can't remember a company that was that easy to talk to! Now all seems right in the world and I guess I wanted to write this post because I have to share that one time I became a very happy Amazon customer and Kindle owner. 

diy: instagram sized photo collage

Friday, January 30, 2015

I've been wanting to put up photos on my wall, because there's an empty space for... something. Anything. I figured because I love having and keeping photos, I'd go ahead and put frames of them up. The only thing was, I couldn't pick a single photo, so I decided to do a collage instead. 

I initially got this idea from this great company called Printstagram that prints your Instagram photos and put them together in a collage. That's a great option if you're interested! However, I was feeling a little crafty and wanted to do it myself. Enter this project, thanks to a blog called Bits of Everything

First thing's first. Here are the materials you need for the easy and affordable project.
  • Foam Board 20x30 - $3.50 
  • Mod Podge (matte) - $5 - bought this at Joann's Fabrics where there's usually a 50% off coupon
  • Command Strips - $4 
  • Brush Applicator - $0.79
  • Double Sided Tape - which I already owned
  • Photos you want to use - printed them off Walmart 4x4 size

1.Once you've figured out in which order you want them to line up (mine was random), apply the double sided tape on the back of the photos.

2. Stick them one by one, neatly on the foam board, making sure they're all straight.

3.When you're finished, apply the mod podge. Two thin coats were fine for me. Try to apply them in the same direction. Mod podge acts like a glue, a sealer, so it looks messy at first. It will dry clear, giving your project texture. I would say this is optional, but I prefer it with the Mod Podge. 

4. Let the project sit there for a while so your Mod Podge can dry. I left it for about two hours before I touched it comfortably.

5. Once you're ready, apply the Command Strips on the back of the board. 

6. Put it up the wall! 

This is what my collage board looks like the next day! 

I did cut off four inches from the side of the foam board and about two inches from the bottom, just because I like its size more. It's not too overwhelming. It's totally up to you though if you want to use the entire 20x30! If you do, you can fit 35 4x4 photos. Not bad. Personally, I love it! 

Book Recommendation: Gone Girl

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sometimes, in order to find out if I truly enjoyed a book, I usually have these three aspects to use as my basis for judgment:  
  1. how my experience was while I was reading the book
  2. how I feel right after I've finished it and if I am able to rave about it
  3. If I still every now and then, months after finishing, think about it and remember how good of a read it was

My experience with Gone Girl would be a perfect example of a time when I used those aspects to judge a book. See, when I picked up Gone Girl a few months ago, I didn't know much about it. I only knew that it was about a missing person, and that there was going to be a movie adaptation. Naturally, I ran out and bought the book to see what the fuss was all about. 
Well, I finished it in two days. 

Without spoiling anything, let me just say that everything about this book was great - the writing, the plot, the characters, their development, its pace. However, its greatest strength is definitely its unpredictability. To say that it was unexpected and shocking is a bit of an understatement.

I remember reading this late at night after an exhausting, long day at work, not being able to sleep. All I wanted to do was read more, read faster. I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next. It was such a suspenseful page turner, and I couldn't put the book down. Every few chapters or so though, I did find myself closing the book for a second and thinking to myself, "What the heck am I reading?" At times, it even creeped me out, disturbed me, and gave me goosebumps. I remember thinking twice about going downstairs by myself in the dark late at night. Weirdly enough, it was a sure sign that I was completely immersed and believing its story. 

Overall, Gone Girl was engaging, thrilling, and exciting - worthy of the 5 star rating I gave it for sure. If you haven't picked this up yet, give it a try. It's not for everyone, but if you enjoy a thrilling mystery with interesting, believable, and intriguing characters, go for it. 
I would also recommend seeing the movie adaptation as I thought it was pretty brilliant as well. It's out on DVD so you have no excuse, readers! :)

Buy Gone Girlhere

Cozy Reading

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons without a doubt. I love the festivities, the weather, the clothes, the overall feeling you get during these times of the year. One of the best things about it too is the fact that there's just so many opportunities for some good old cozy reading. 

Now I will pretty much read anything no matter what the season, but when it's gloomy and chilly (especially if it's raining!), I tend to gravitate toward certain novels.

I particularly enjoy reading classic books. Any Jane Austen should do the trick for me. It's even better if the book has a Gothic-like atmosphere. Books like Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Rebecca are perfectjust to name a few. I also tend to choose books set in gloomy locations. Some examples would be a book set during the early nineteenth century in Iceland, or in a manor in the French countryside during the Victorian era. I love The Thirteenth Tale, Burial Rites, even Mrs. Dalloway. 

There's just something about that atmosphere and that life that I find especially perfect to read during cozy days and nights. Maybe it's the language they used back then, or perhaps it's because of the way people used to speak so eloquently. It's also maybe because of the simple lifestyle these characters in these stories lead, compared to the modern lives we have today. Whatever the reason may be, for me, it's my preferred choices for sure. 

I know everyone has their own preferred choices to read in order to call it cozy reading, so my question today is, what are some of your options? Are you like me and prefer classic books? Or do you crave for something else entirely? Let me know! 

Bookstore Dates

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's obvious that as a bookworm, I love going to bookstores. While I enjoy the solitary experience of going by myself, it can also be pretty great when you have someone to go with. Hence, the bookstore date idea. 

I love bookstore dates. In my opinion, bookstore dates encourage conversations and open opportunities to get to know the other person. If it's a first date, you get to hear about their likes and dislikes, favorites and not-so-favorites, figure out their tastes. It doesn't put pressure either, because you're both focused on the lovely shelves. 
For me, my boyfriend and I still go and love it after a few years together. We usually enjoy each other's company in silence, as we peruse through, but let me tell you, books have also sparked some amazing, meaningful conversations between us two. I highly recommend trying it out! 

(P.S. -My boyfriend is not a huge reader, but he loves non-fiction - mostly environmental, science, and photography books. He just understands my addiction with books, which makes him suggesting going to bookstores even more appreciated.)

Are bookstore dates a typical thing for you? What other date ideas do you have that you think others should start doing too? As always, I'm looking forward to hearing from you. 

Happy 5th Year To My Blog!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Truthfully, there's been many times in the last five years, specifically in 2013, when I wasn't blogging at all, and I contemplated deleting this blog. However, I just couldn't do it. This blog created and gave me many memories, experiences, and lessons that I knew if I deleted it, I'd lose the chance to have moments like that in the future. It's also just been such a huge part of my life; it's always there, a click away. It's gotten me through unexpected changes, tough days, sleepless nights, as well as exciting, happy times in my life. My blog friends and the readers here have continued to inspire me all the time, and I just knew that it wasn't the right time yet to say goodbye to my little space here.

So happy birthday to Random Ramblings. Here's to more years reading, dreaming, and talking about books. And as always, thanks for reading.

Follow Friday - Magnet Collection?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Since it's a brand new year, I thought I'd join follow friday today. Hopefully, I meet new bloggers and visit some new blogs I haven't seen before. If you would like me to check out your blog, link below! As for the question for this week, "Do you have any fun collections (other than books)? 

The only thing I can think of that I collect are magnets. My boyfriend and I collect them from every place we visit, whether it's a local museum or a national park from another state. We've not gone totally out of the West Coast yet, except for Florida, but I know over the years, the collection will definitely grow!

There's some places we go to where we forget to buy magnets, but we'll go again someday and buy it then! What else do you collect other than books?

First Book in 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's always a tough decision, finding the perfect first book to read for the brand new year. This year, I figured I'd pick a book that would not only be a great read, but also something that will hopefully inspire, motivate, and jumpstart the writer and the dreamer in me. So enter the memoir, On Writing by Stephen King. This is a memoir, solely dedicated to his life as a writer, and I definitely respect him as a creator, so this should be perfect for me. 

How about you? Do you ever read about books that are in your area of interest, hobby, passion, or field? I find that doing so causes a huge spark of inspiration for me, and every little bit of spark definitely helps. Anyway, let me know what your very first book is for this year. Happy reading!

Buy On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
Add to your TBR

Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I only read 35 books in 2014, but I think it was a pretty good year. I've read a variety of books in different genres. Some of them I disliked, some I was disappointed with, some I absolutely loved. I think the top 3 books I've read this year has got to be: 
For 2015, I aim to read at least 50 books, blog more like I used to, and continue writing more. I've put a stop on my writing for a while, but I definitely want to fix that.

What are some of the best books you've read this year, and what books would you recommend me? Also, what are your new year's resolutions and goals for this year? Let me know.