Friday, December 20, 2013

Today I'm officially old

So today is my birthday and I'm the big 3 0! Eek. I got home from work last night and got ready for bed and decided that I would take a picture during the last moment in my 20s...

And the first moment in my 30s...

I more mature now that I'm 30 in case you couldn't tell. Well I decided that being on my phone reading the news was a pretty lame way to spend the last moments of my 20s so as soon as I took the pic I jumped out of bed and did the running man. 

Going ice skating and then spending some time with my family. Woke up to find my kitchen covered in balloons. My awesome husband woke up in the middle of the night and blew them up. I'm pretty lucky! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Princess and the Opal Mask - Jenny Lundquist

The Princess in the Opal Mask
by Jenny Lundquist

So you take one part The Man in the Iron Mask, one part Cinderella, shake, serve over ice with a sugar rim and you have The Princess in the Opal Mask.  Sign me up!

I started to read this and then put it down and then picked it up and then put it down.  I wasn't in the mood and something in my gut was telling me to save it until I could really appreciate it. I'm so glad I did.  I loved the story and the fierce girls it follows. Elara is stubborn and independent and just wants to be free. Wilha is uncertain of the power she holds and caring and also just wants to be free.  I enjoyed watching as they navigated their way through the turns their lives took, slowly learning more about themselves as well as each other. Okay I wish they learned more about each other in this book but I guess I'll just have to wait for the sequel for that.

The suspense as the story shifted between each of their perspectives was well done. There were a couple moments that cringed because a character did something that I found not entirely realistic but just as a began to grow frustrated that it was all for a dramatic scene that I thought was coming a curve-ball was thrown and my frustration was forgotten. I didn't want to stop living in the world that was created even with all the bad guys and assassination attempts and life decisions.  I found the strength of the girls empowering and also appreciated when they accepted the help of others.

I can't wait to read the sequel.  Bummer it's not out until Fall 2014 but the author lives near my old stomping grounds. Maybe I'll go visit the in-laws and friends and see if I can casually bump into her at the grocery store.  Is that stalking?  Shucks.  Guess I'll just have to bank on meeting her at a future book signing.

**Source: from publisher 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let's Catch Up

It feels like forever since I actually posted one of those things that I actually posted one of those things I started this blog for...what's it called...oh yeah a book review.  I was in a slump...a bad one.  One in which I either picked up a book to read and didn't get into it or got so into it that I decided it would be better for me to put it off until I could really enjoy it.  Lame right?  And the thought of actually writing about one of the books I managed to finish did not sound appealing. I mean procrastinating on the review part was one of the reasons I would put down a book I knew I would want to share with you. 

Well I'm coming back tomorrow with a review. I'm excited to tell you about The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist and hopefully there will be more to come after that because I have just felt so chatty about the books I have been reading.  It feels so nice again.

In my time of the Review Funk I read some new books and also enjoyed a few rereads.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor played a big part in turning my mood around (my original review here).  I found I have unknowingly set myself on a 13 month schedule of reading it.  Funny.

I may do a few mini reviews, reviewlettes if you will, for the other books I have read...or not, we'll see how it goes. I am also in the middle of How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, catching 15 min here and there, and I can already tell I am going to be chatty about this one. 

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 9, 2013

My favorite Christmas card

One of my boys from work made me this awesome Christmas card. 

Things I love about it:
He used the "creative" spelling of my name. 
While my husband's name is Mike, this is actually my coworker Mike but it works for when I hang it at home. 
The photoshopped faces are actually a fairly close match to us. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold weather moments

I can't tell you how much I wish I had a photo to post with this story but since it is my mom's story and she isn't as camera phone obsessed as me (though she is getting there) you will have to use your imagination. This is an email she sent out to the family on Friday. We've been having lows in the 20s which may not be absurd for some parts if the country but we Northern California folk are struggling. Observe...

For those of you who are not here in Sonoma County it's 26 degrees this morning and supposed to snow tonight at our house.

So today I have to go to a customers house so I figured I better have a shiny clean car.  So I always go to the touch free car wash where you drive in and it gets washed and blower dried so you don't even have to get out of the car and can drive away clean and dry.

So at the point where my car was completely covered with soap to the point where I couldn't see out the of the windows I heard two loud clunks and the car wash thing broke and stopped spraying water.  So my car was covered with soap.  I said a couple of choice words and drove to the do it yourself washing option which they also have at the same car wash.  Put in more money and attempted to spray the soap off of my car but the water and soap just froze on my car.  It was a lovely drive to work.  Leaving shortly to go to another car wash and head to Oakland.  That's my morning story to share.  

Oh I love my mom.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Marvel comics movies

I went to see the new Thor with the boys I work with (hereafter referred to as "my boys") and I found it enjoyable enough. It put me in the mood to watch more of the Marvel Comics movies, especially Iron Man 3 which I had heard great things about.  

So...I finally just watched Iron Man 3 and it started off a bit rocky for me because out of the Marvel comics I have only seen Iron Man and Thor so about 20 min in I switched to Netflix and started watching Avegers to try to fill in some of the gaps. Then I decided what I really wanted to watch was Iron Man so I switched back. When it was over, I switched back but started to fall asleep so I gave up for the time being. 

Here's the thing...I think I just have to accept that I'm not a full marvel comics fan. I mean Iron Man I can get behind. It's funny and he's got his money and gadgets and Pepper. I get it and I enjoy it.  Thor....well he's hot. Enough said. But he's also got Jane and her hilarious friend Darcy. Plus, not that I would ever admit this to anyone but my closest friends (and the World Wide Web apparently) I'm kinda into Loki.  

So Iron Man and Thor I accept. But then you have The Hulk. He's big and green and likes smashing stuff. While green is my favorite color, I just don't care. And Captain America. Oh Captain America, you are such a bore I almost feel sorry for you.  Seriously. I have given you chances. I have watched the beginning and middle (oddly, not in that order) with my boys and I just find him a big fat snoozer. 

So for the time being I'll be keeping up with Thor but that's it. Well and Loki, obviously, but they go hand in hand. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's that time already?

Well I'm sad to say that I have been in a Christmas decorating slump. Maybe it's because I can't believe it's already that time. Maybe I'm bummed because this is the first time in the history of my life that I have to work on Christmas. Maybe I'm secretly (not so secretly) freaking out because 5 days before christmas I turn...30! Egats! 

Whatever the case may be I am seriously lacking inspiration on house decorations. It's my first time decorating for Christmas here and I don't even know where to begin. 

But that's not to say that I'm not excited about the whole process. What can I say...I'm complicated. I'll be checking out the holiday section at Target tomorrow and I took a stroll with the husband into town today to check out the Charlie Brown Chrsitmas Tree Grove and found some adorable trees. Everything from trees decorated by kindergarten classes:

That's right folks, those are super hero snowmen. 

Yeah. That's a zombie crossing zone tree. Love! Sponsored by an outdoor store  I'll be making then my first stop on my zombie apocalypse plan route. 

I also loved this Dr. Seuss tree, complete with hat. 

And one of us. The hat above my head is actually on the tree behind me. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What I'm Watching

Well, I don't talk a lot about movies but I love to watch them so I thought I would fill you in on one I love. I think many people will agree with me when I say I was Rob Pattinson jaded after the making of Twilight but I am about to talk up a movie that he not only starred in but was also an executive producer.  If y'all haven't seen Remember Me you need to go check it out.

I saw it back when it was streaming on Netflix (not anymore, sorry) and immediately bought it.

This movie is hilarious and heartbreaking and surprising and I love it.  It touches on something that I wasn't expecting and I typically have an automatic problem with because I think it is used for shock value but Remember Me did it right. It was real and raw. 

So Ally meets Tyler and they go on a date but it was all because of a bet for the wrong reasons and of course life begin what it is and movies being what they are stuff is revealed and drama ensues. But it is really about family and love and heartache and loss. 

Do yourself a favor and at least check out the trailer below...and then watch the movie.  But DON'T read about it or take the chance to happen upon any spoilers. Just trust me on this one.

I have watched it...maybe...eight times or so and this last time I suddenly picked up on a few hints that I had missed all the previous times.  It just gets better every time.
  Just...give it a chance...and see it through till the end. And if you hate it you can yell at me for your wasted two hours.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

String of skulls

Two of these light up for Halloween!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My little pumpkin buddies...

...all lined up with their mustaches.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A small skeleton

He looks like he is peering into my house....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

He greets me...

Everyday it's flowers and a toothy grin.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Birds found a bone

Yes more dollar tree birds...I only bought 10 of them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Birds Standing Guard

Making the most out of my dollar tree birds.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meet Wilhelmina...

She made her way out of the grave and is trying to break into my house.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Time!

I'm still loving my Halloween Decorations.  I thought I lost my Dollar Tree doormat in the gusty winds we had last week but I found it in my rose bushes on the side of the house today so that's a plus! It wasn't anything special but I was bummed about littering.

Crappy Dollar Tree doormat

Awesome Dollar Tree door knocker!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Halloween Decorations

So I bought the rest of my decorations and got them up (aside from a skeleton who was giving me trouble so I have to wait for my husband's help to set him straight) and I'm in love with them.

Rather than bombard you with the gazillion photos I took I'm going for a slow reveal...starting with this...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Decorating for Halloween

This is a work in progress but I'm pretty excited about it so far.  I put up the lights and web and my husband's response was "there needs to be more." 

Challenge: Accepted!

I'm going to the spirit store tomorrow to see if I can make my dreams a reality without spending a fortune...unlikely.  I'll just have to make due. I'll also hit up the craft store for a few things.  Yay!!
I had a bag of mini pumpkins in my hand when I saw the mustache stickers and couldn't pass this up.

I'm working on keeping the headstones standing on my sloped lawn.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall is here!

And I am loving my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season while enjoying some Fall color out my window.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Little Fish - Ramsey Beyer

Little Fish: A Memoir
By Ramsey Beyer

Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the challenges of being a young person facing the world on her own for the very first time and the unease—as well as excitement—that comes along with that challenge.

I'm doing this review a little differently.  Above it a synopsis and below are my the form of a letter to the author...which (in going along with the theme of this story) includes a list.

Dear Ramsey-

Can we hang out?  I think you are:

-A lot like me
-Similar to many college freshmen
-A risk taker

Thank you for writing a book that was so easy to read and connect to and yet said so much.  I was drawn into the story but still had a running list in my head of things that were like me and parts of me that I hadn’t even thought about yet.  When I looked up from the book it took me a moment to remember where I was and what day it was, like coming out of a deep dream.

I loved learning about your experiences in such a unique way and I appreciated all the ways we were similar.  My first year of college was a year before yours and I felt the connection in the time-frame but your story is so real that I know people who have been out of college for decades, are in college now or are thinking about going to college will all connect to it in their own way.

**Source: Amazon Vine

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Don't Tell My Husband

I hope you can keep a secret because my husband is about to become frustrated with me otherwise. I went to the library today to pick up a couple items I requested. I walked in with just my keys and library card planning on making it a quick trip (I didn't even bring in my coffee) but I had to turn right around and get my wallet because they had shelves of books for sale in the entryway that I just couldn't pass up.

Since moving, I have been trying to be really good with my book buying. I have even put together some boxes to donate and my husband has been oh so patient with me.  This was just too much for me to pass up.

They were all in the $.50 - $2 range so it was quite a deal. Yes, I already own one...or two but they are in different formats.  I know I have a problem people!!  One I have been curious about for a while.  One I grabbed because I will eventually read it.  And because of the loving, devoted, caring wife that I am, I picked up a book for the husband as well....and maybe as a bribe to not judge me for my addiction.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Doh! Moment

I was so proud of myself today because I finished a book yesterday and wrote the review TODAY.  Only the day after.  That is something that hasn't been happening lately.  Reviews in general haven't been happening.  I just feel disconnected from the little blog and all the wonderful peeps behind it and I want to get back in it but I have to post to do that and in order to post I have to write something and to write something I have to FEEL like it and I don't because I am so disconnected and it is a vicious cycle.  So today I was all on my game and I wrote my review and didn't happen to to look at the publication date on the ARC and was all...

It isn't out until September.  I was just THAT excited to tell you about it.

My mom and me at the fair...just because it's funny
But then I thought...why must I feel the pressure of posting a review.  I can get back into this world other ways.  I loved posting Saturday Snapshot but that's not happening anymore because I work 8am - 10:30pm on Saturdays but I like Wordless Wednesday too...I just tend to have a problem with the whole wordless part...

But I can do it!  And I will.

So tomorrow I will be back and sometime in September I will have a review.

Also, I came across this little gem thanks to Shelf Awareness for Readers today.   
Harry Potter Fun Facts; Reading Cats
Check out Emma Watson mouthing Rupert and Daniel's lines.  Funny and adorable.  

(Little Fish was the case you were wondering)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book signing: Andrew Sean Greer

I went to a book signing today and it was a total fluke. I normally work until 10:30pm but I was asked to come in at 7am today which meant I got off at 6:30 and I just happened to notice in my Copperfields Books newsletter that Andrew Sean Greer was going to be doing a signing at 7pm. Well I haven't yet read The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells but it has been on my TBR list since reading such good things about it and I thought "what the hell, I've never been to a signing for a book I hadn't read yet but the stars seem to be aligning."

Well Andrew was awesome! He was entertaining (and adorable...always a bonus) and the sections he read had me captivated. I can't wait to start this book! I just have to figure out how to read my signed copy without hurting it.

Oh, and Andrew ended his talk with a serenade on the ukulele. I told him that I work with a bunch of boys who play as well and he drew me a little ukulele picture in my book. So awesome! more thing...I just have to share the conversation I overheard while perusing the shelves before the signing began. It was between a mom and daughter who was about 7.

Daughter (pointing to a book): "Can we get this for daddy?"
Mom: "How about you let daddy's girlfriend buy a book for daddy instead of mommy."

Bet you weren't expecting that answer!
And yes, I wrote this down to make sure I remembered it verbatim.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Catching up...

Hey friends! Well what can I has been crazy here.  I have a new job...that I LOVE...working with teen boys (enough said on the insanity factor). I moved and am still unpacking my library.  The house is bigger but the spare bedroom is not conducive to all my bookshelves so I have had to make some adjustments.  We have since sold our condo and it is super bittersweet...more sweet than bitter. We made money which we weren't expecting to really do but it was our first home we owned so it is sad to say goodbye.   You may remember my first library and all the love I had for it. But I have embraced my new bookshelves (I have a color-coordinated bookshelf that I have always wanted...and the roses are from my new garden).
This bookshelf that now resides in my kitchen.

Needless to say, it has been stressful yet fun to find new ways of rearranging my books so that they all fit (and no, they won't actually all fit, some will have to go in a box to the garage to live a sad existence until we move again and some are being donated to the Free Bookmobile).

My new library space.
I'm not going to make any promises about the blogging frequency for awhile but I will say I have a new Ikea desk and a comfy chair and pillow that will hopefully make it a more frequent occurrence because I miss it here.