January 31, 2011

Home Management binder...

I'm doing this challenge that is posted up on one of the lovely blogs I read, it's called A Bowl Full of Lemons and the challenge is that I have to create a binder for our household mess of lives!  I'm really excited!  I need to get a binder, label maker (borrowing from mom), dividers, etc and make tabs for what fits our lifestyle.  Ours will definitely have sections for:

Schedules (weekly, monthly and year)
Finances (including a budget and a place with our creditor names/numbers so we dont have to search far)
Menu Plans
Grocert Lists
To-Do Lists
Cleaning and Chores
Health (keep copies of cards, DR numbers and Policy numbers all in one place)
Vacations (we plan on taking a LOT of vacations in life, so we need this...maybe Disney should even have its own tab...lol)

That's all I can think of now - but isnt it a great idea?  A place to keep life organized.  I like it!  If you want to join the challenge, or just do it on your own - go to the blog above and read all about it.  I'll post more later as I get all my supplies together to start this binder. 

I'm also off to the library for my February 10 books: I'm really excited!!!  I'll post later with my picture o books and rough draft book list;)  Have a happy Monday!

January 30, 2011


I did it!!!  Yay!!!  1 month of reading down, 11 more to go!!!  110 books to read now, lol.  I am honestly proud of myself, I didn't know if I could do it.  I thought I would be rushing to finish 4 books at the last minute, but I wasn't.  I just finished Anne of Avonlea today, with one day to spare.  Last week I hardly read at all, because I wasn't really digging the Overton Window, so it dragged on by. 

I give the Overton Window a 2.  It ended really weird, it actually didnt really end at all.  The book was about how the government really has complete control over the public and how we think, using terrible incidents like Pearl Harbor or 9/11 to gain even more control over us.  The Window refers to how much we the people can handle knowing and accepting about this "control" at any one point, and when tragedies happen the government shifts this Window towards the extreme of complete government domination (very extreme).  I think the book is based off "facts" but it was not nearly as interesting as it could've been.  The theory is interesting, but nah...this book wasn't all that great.  Even if this crap is true, who cares?  We live in a world that is forever going down hill, not that we shouldn't try to save it or the people in it, but the world is never going to get better - the Bible tells us so!  I know Glenn Beck is very famous and well loved, maybe I should read something else by him and give him another chance.  Or maybe I'm just too naive about government and politics that it's over my head - but I'm ok with that!

Anne of Avonlea gets a 5.  I love these books, I may re-read all of them over the course of the year.  I know I originally chose this book because I have it on my IPhone and I intended to read it on the road or portably whenever I needed it but I actually read 99% of this book at home, since I have a copy of it in it's truest form - A BOOK:)  The way LMM writes is so beautiful, it makes you want to go to a meadow and make up fairy tale names about everything.  I love Anne, she is a wonderful character.  She is one of those characters that I aspire to be...like Elizabeth Bennet, or Rory Gilmore, or Hermione Granger.  Smart and bookish and great imagination...I love reading!!!

So my official January list turned into the following:
1.  Julie & Julia by Powell
2.  Dead until Dark by Harris
3.  Safe Haven by Sparks
4.  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Meyer
5.  Lost Voices of the Titanic by Bartlett
6.  The Last Battle by Lewis
7.  The Hidden Magic of Disney by Veness
8.  Along Came a Spider by Patterson
9.  The Overton Window by Beck
10.  Anne of Avonlea by Montgomery

It was a good month!  Lots of different kinds of books.  I liked most of them, learned a lot about a lot of different things, was inspired out the wazoo to cook, clean, decorate, learn more about history, etc.  I'm enjoying this so far!  Tomorrow I am going to the library to get my Feb 10 - so more suggestions would be great:)

January 26, 2011

English cottage or Cape Cod-ish cottage?

I've been working hard on our little room off our basement.  It was old and gross...here look:

Our basement has all this cool brick but back in this little nothing sorta room there is that brown gross wall - so I decided to paint it because we cant take it off - there is just concrete foundation behind it.  You can see we were not really using this room, it was a box graveyard, with extra wood and flooring and of course Frodo's kitty box...not too much use out of it!!! 

So I painted the walls white, added a reeeeeeally basic curtain to the gross, yucky window and PRESTO - look at it:

Isn't it a million times nicer?  See Frodo hanging out on the shelf?  He loves it now!  I still have to do some work thought - those little window looking things on the shelf bases lead to water pumps and such and have these ghetto doors on them, so I have to figure out what to do with those.  Plus, the big shelf over in the corner needs a curtain rigged up on it to hide the storage - plus the parts of the yucky wall I could reach because the shelf was in the way (it won't move easily!)

Now that its all pretty it sort of looks like a cottage - doesn't it?  So the question is - do I go with English Country cottage or Cape Cod-ish beachy cottage?  I have lots of knick knacks and picture ideas that could go either way.  We already have "London" in our family room so maybe a beachy New England cottage would be best.  But then, we have beachy places upstairs too.  Decisions, decisions...

This will be a multi purpose room.  I wanted to put the sewing machine my mom gave to me down here, it's the only place there is room, plus I think I want to put all my scrapbooking and crafting stuff down here too, as well as our ironing board.  It's upstairs in our office but I hate that it's there, plus our laundry room is right through the door on the right of this room...so that will free up a lot of room up in the office.  I have that shelf up there and will have more room for my millions of books (yes, I love that I have LOTS of books, Kindle lovers!!  I will NEVER get rid of them!!!!)

Right now I have that folding table down there, the sewing machine is on it, but I want to custom building a desk with cubbies underneath to go between those two shelves, which by the way, aren't those shelves cute?  With the white paint they have a whole different life!  My mom gave me that little cabinet which I can use for sewing supply storage, and there was this random mirror down there that I want to hang on the wall.  It's all about using what you've got, right?!?!  The price of this makeover so far - NOTHING!  We had tons of leftover white paint from my house painting spree right after we moved it.  I love projects that cost nothing!

Oh and of course I have been doing some reading...the Overton Window by Glenn Beck.  I'm not really getting into it yet....but I'm almost halfway through so I am committed to finishing it - but its really slow.  I love reading about government lies and conspiracy theories and all that...but this is...slow going with all that stuff?  But, I'm holding out for something big...if not...eh...can't love them all!  I'll give my official review tomorrow when hopefully I will finish the book.  I can't do much else with this crazy Thunder snowstorm outside! 

I'm also going to make Cake Pops, which are really cute and fun.  I'll post pics later!  See what happens when I'm inspired - I do tons of different stuff!  I guess I should say inspired and unemployed, lol, since I have time to do all sorts of things like cook, clean, redecorate and read;)

Enjoy your night!!

January 25, 2011

Feeling inspired....

Do you sometimes ever feel...inspired by certain things you see?  I do!  A really cool book, a beautiful old building, a cooking show, or a picture in a magazine, or a blog post that has meaning.  I am very...."inspirable" lol I KNOW it's not a word, but I'm saying it anyway.  I am a sponge and I soak up ideas in the world around me, take them in and create something of my own.  Right now, in my crazy in-between life, I feel most inspired!  I really could do anything?!  I could write a book, or paint a wall magenta (Don't worry babe, I wont!), or cook up some really crazy swanky recipie.  The only problems is, I have SO much inspiration that turns into SO many ideas, I dont know how to harness it all in and actually DO something about it?  I mean, ok, sometimes I do make really fun, fancy dinners....or randomly decide to paint a little basement room one day to turn into a craft room...but these are just a few of the millions of "ideas" I have in my head that I want to act on!

 Is anyone else like that?  Reading does this to me!!  I'll read a book and become so absorbed in it that I want to experience the life of the book for myself.  Well...not all books, I just got done reading a murder mystery but don't be scared, lol, the only thing that was inspiring in that book was the psychology of it all - which mean me remember how much I really love counseling people.  I read that Disney book the other day and now all I want to do for the rest of my life is read about, write about, and travel to Disney.  It's just a phase (well kinda...I will ALWAYS want to travel to Disney!)  Or I read the blog I love, Young House Love, and I'm inspired so much to do little updates around our home!  Then...I'll think about how fun it would be to do other updates, and remember I need a job for money to do this stuff, and then I'll be inspired to get online and apply to 100's of crazy jobs (believe me, in 2 years of almost complete unemployment, you can get creative!)

Anyways, these are just thoughts going out to the void...it may not make any sense.  I know that I love being this way.  I love thinking that anything is really possible if we put our minds and hearts into something.  I feel that as this blog begins to live and breathe you will see a lot of my ADHD inspiration going around...cooking, decorating, writing, reading, traveling...I know this started as a reading challenge blog and that is still what it is...but with life all around it - I'm not just about reading and therefore am not sure I can confine myself to just writing about that!  The Disney stuff I'll save for my little side job of writing for the Examiner;)  Unless it's something really good!  There may not be rhyme or reason to this little blog I've started, but after almost a month, I really love doing it, even if no one is reading!  It's there for me, to get my thoughts and ideas out into the world - however crazy or unimportant they are;)

Ok well it's off to clean, and come to think of it - to make Ashley stop playing Wii and clean too (sounding a little evil stepmotherish?  I'm not, I promise!!!  She has weekly chores!)

Good night!

YAY! I've read 8 books!!!!

So today I finished Along Came a Spider!  Did I finish the Disney one today too?  Or was that yesterday?  Goodness, it's all running together;)  So I've read 8 books so far, and only have 2 more to go - those two are Anne of Avonlea and The Overton Window!  I'll post the full list (since it's changed  some) when I am done for the month. 

You know what?  This has been really fun!  I'm already excited to start choosing my next 10 books!  I've done fairly well I think, I have exactly one week to finish these 2.  I think I can do it!  What is nice about this whole thing is that I CAN take breaks from reading if I need to be in the real world.  Last week I think I took 4 days of no reading, because I was so sick I couldn't even hold the books up;)  So it's good to know that if life gets busy or something happens, it is still possible (hopefully!) to read 10 books a month!

I give Along Came a Spider a 4 out of 5, its a murder/pysch/mystery that will have you hooked from the beginning.  It's a little unpredictable too - I kept trying to guess what the heck was going on and I was always wrong...until something happened and it was obvious what was going on!  I will definitely be reading some more Alex Cross novels in the future - I know there are a ton?!

The Disney book was also a 4 out 5, since I'm obsessed with Disney it was fun reading about the history and the secrets and what not! That said, I will be reading tons and tons of Disney books this year too!  What a great opportunity to read about the history of something I love so much!

How do you think I am doing?  Am I crazy?  Will I be able to keep this up??   Hmmmmm....

January 23, 2011

I'm still alive!

I haven't blogged in almost a week - GASP!  I had a really random and painful stomach bug or virus and I am just know getting over it:(  It was awful!  I am still reading Along Came a Spider, but it's going slow because I am also reading another book called The Hidden Magic of Disney World by Susan Veness!  I didn't think I'd read this whole thing so fast but I have, so I am using it as one of my 10, and will bump one of the other books.  I'm writing about Disney for an online journal so it helps my research;)  It's really good.  If you want to know all the little secrets and tucked away nooks of Disney World, you will love this book.  It also has a lot of helpful history for understanding how Disney came about.  I'm fairly obsessed with all things Disney!

Along came a Spider seems good so far, it's kinda creepy so I still try to only read it when Dave is home;)  If he isn't then I'll finish the Anne of Avonlea book!  It is a lot different then the movie we all saw about 10 years or so ago with Mr M. Freeman. 

I have two interviews this week, I'm really hoping something good opens up soon!  We are ready to be financially ready for life, buy cars, have lots of extra, and go to Disney every other month (lol, I'm kidding but I wish I wasn't).  I had a few with one company a week ago, and I think those went well but I havent heard from them yet - although they did say they would call me either way. 

I hope everyone had a good weekend and hope you also have a fabulous week!  I'll post my review of the Disney book and hopefully the Alex Cross book tomorrow - if I finish either of them!

January 17, 2011

Narnia and the end of all things...

I just finished reading "The Last Battle" and it was so good!!  Maybe the best of all of the Narnia books?  I can't believe I didn't read that one, but read all the others:)  This one is the end of the Narnia stories, and indeed it does end with great finality!  Narnia, itself, ceases to be in this book, but not as you think - it has a very very happy ending (bittersweet but happy!)  Its so sad yet so wonderful at the same time - I can only hope my "story" will end that sweetly and it makes me proud and happy and feeling lucky all at the same time that I love Jesus and believe in a life after this one! 

Anyways, I give this book a 5 out of 5!  I loved it, it was the end book of a series which usually tends to get a "5" from me, plus it had so many wonderful parallels to ponder!  The Narnia books each have a "lesson" or story that we can learn from, whether it been choosing good, overcoming obstacles or temptations, or whatever - the books are wonderful!

I'm down to 4 more books, the Julia Child one, Along came a spider, Overton something and Anne of Avonlea.  I think I am going to read Along came a spider next - I've been putting this one off because I'm afraid it will scare me or something...I have a bad time of scary and disturbing images lately.  There is too much fear in me - begone fear!! 

That is all for today - if you haven't read Narnia yet, do it!  The very first book (if you want to read in order of the Narnia World beginning to end) is the Magician's Nephew.  Start and I promise you will not be disappointed:)

January 15, 2011

Halfway done - with a fun freebie!

Yesterday I finished my 5th book, the Titanic one!  I'm halfway through 1 month of my crazy 10 books a month challenge - woooooooo!!!  I took a few back to the library today, so that I do not forget about them.  I signed up for that Get Steamed reading challenge hosted by the Harford County Library - and today I got my mug!  Here is a picture...
Don't mind my morning mess look, crazy hair and all!  We really do not need another mug here, but oh well, I'm a sucker for free stuff. I'm drinking my coffee (from my fave appliance the house - the keurig!!!) out of it right now!  If you want to do it, it's soooo easy.  Just get a slip from the library and read 5 books by March 5th or something, and then turn the slip back in and you get a mug - fun freebie!
I took out all these research books on Disney, because if you didn't know, I am now a internet writer for Examiner.com!!  I'm the Baltimore Disney Travel writer, and its really fun so far!  I'm getting paid (not much) to write about Disney travel stuff!  Cool, huh?  Here is my link if you want to read it: http://www.examiner.com/disney-travel-in-baltimore/christina-bland its really cute.  So I am reading up on all sorts of Disney stuff to get the creative juices flowing.  I already have about 100 ideas for articles, just from my experiences planning, going, and enjoying all things Disney!

I also took out a bunch of books on party planning!  My bestest friends and I are starting a small event planning business, it's call Sweet Pea Events!!  We also have a blog and Facebook for that, here is that link: http://sweetpeaeventplanning.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweet-pea-events.html .  We love to throw parties and especially help brides with weddings, so we are taking that love and hobby to the next level, we are very excited!

So I have a lot going on right now, but it's all really fun stuff.  Isn't life better when you enjoy every bit of it?  I also went on an interview yesterday for the behavior consultant job (2nd interview) and I think I will probably get it, yay for having a job and money again!!!

Ok well I'm off to clean, read (The Last Battle, Lewis is next on my list), cook, paint our little basement office and watch the Ravens kick the Squeelers butts!!  GO RAVENS!!!

January 13, 2011

Iceberg, right ahead!

I'm reading my Titanic book - it's awesome!  Its called Lost voices from the Titanic and it has all sorts of letters and oral responses from people who built the ship, were on the ship and survived, and even some words of those who perished.  They had a mail room and from the journey from Southampton to Cherbourgh and then to Queenstown some of the passengers wrote letters and had them mailed from these cities.  It is very interesting.  The accounts of these people really put the whole thing in perspective!  You know what surprises me?  Of all the people who voiced their stories, not one of them talks about how cold the water was?!?  I feel like that is all I think about when I imagine what it must have been like to try to survive this disaster, jumping into the freezing water and getting to safety.  No one talks about it!  I guess with the fear and adrenaline people were just not concerned about it?  Although, they do talk about their friends and families that died of exposure and frost bite, so you KNOW it had to be cold.  Interesting! 

It is heart breaking reading the accounts of the women and children who lost their hubbies and dads, the tearful goodbyes as they were thrown into life boats!  The book also has the stats on 1,2 and 3rd class and how many from each category lived and died.  By far the most were 3rd class men, its so sad!

Which gets me thinking, how grateful I am that our social classes, while they still exist, don't give us the upper or lower hand for survival as much as it used to.  I know these circles still exist and sometimes it does matter, but if a cruise ship went down in the middle of the Atlantic, no one would be saying 1st class first!  Only woman and children, sorry!  If a man wanted to get on a life boat with his wife and kids, he would be allowed!  Of course, most men would probably choose to let women and children get off first, but at least they have the choice!  And these days, there are enough lifeboats to go around, so really my hypothetical is moot;) 

The lifeboat situation itself is absurd, there was enough space for 64 boats, which was more then double the amount of passengers on Titanic's maiden voyage!  They only used 16 - 16?!?!?  Because the space looked too cluttered.  Not that is actually WAS too cluttered, it LOOKED that way.  There would have been plenty of space.  So stupid!  I'm glad that as a whole, our society is not collectively that dumb these days.  Someone, somewhere would say...hey....don't you think we at least need enough for the people aboard?  And they would fight until it happened, involving the gov or safety people or something. 

I'm more than halfway through this one.  I'm giving it a 3.5. It's really good and informative, but it gets a 3.5  because it's not a suck-me-into-it story, it is just really interesting.  If you've always wanted to know more about Titanic, this is a great book to read!  Don't watch the movie, it's not all accurate, that was Hollywood's version, the real life stories are much better!!

Oh and I've replaced my 10th book, that stupid Cholera one...I'm reading another non-fiction called, "My Years with Julia" written by Nancy Verde Barr.  She was a friend of Julia Child, so I get to learn a little more about this amazing woman's life and stories. 

I really love learning;)

January 10, 2011

Bree Tanner....oh how sad it is

I made up for wasting three days on that Love/Cholera book!  I read the short second life of bree tanner in less than a day.  Not hard to do since its very short.  It was really good.  Bree has a short cameo in Eclipse (3rd Twilight book) you hardly even notice her?  Meyer decided to expand on her life as a vampire to be let us see into the life of the "bad" vampires.  It was very interesting, but sad too because you already know how bree's story ends before you read it (again...because of Eclipse).  I highly recommend it for Twilight fans, its such an easy read - you can read in in less then 4 hours I'd say! 

I felt I needed to read the short book to make up for the Cholera disaster, to keep up my motivation!  Now I need to figure out what to read next.  Plus, I have to figure out my 10th book now, since I evicted Cholera;)

Bree gets a 4 out of 5.  I'm reserving 5 for ONLY the best;) 

Alright thats it for today, I have lots to do!  See ya!!

January 9, 2011


Ok, Ok, Ok - I can not handle it!!!  I'm on page 78 and reading this book is like pulling teeth to me:(  I know it is supposed to be this wonderful classic love story, and I did get to that part where the story between the lovers is set up....but there is so much other....JUNK in there, it is just not for me!!  I skimmed the book, the whole thing, and not one part caught my interest enough to say, "oh - this is going to be worth it!!!"  The most excited part is when the old man, husband of the main character, fell off the ladder a died.  That was on page...55 or something.  So, this book is not going to count and I will find another.

Sorry, to all my non readers at this point, for failing!!  I just can't stand books that do not interest me...what is the point??  I love to read!  I love to read about things that I love!!  Am I so superficial that I can not get through this book?  Oy...maybe when I am older I will appreciate it more?  You'd think that it being set in the Caribbean and all, that I'd love it.  No.  Sorry!  Love in the Time of Cholera is not for me.  If you have read it...let me know how you feel about it?  Maybe someone can give me something that will make it worth while to finish, but for now - I'm moving on!!! 

FYI - this is not one of those "tell you what you want to hear" blogs.  This book is an Oprah Book Club book - I cant imagine millions of people sitting down and totally loving this book, I think they all say they do because it's a classic, or maybe because Oprah liked it, because they want to sound SMART or something, that is ridiculous...I'm not going to go with the main stream and say OH how wonderful, if its not.  The story sounds nice, but the writing style is not to my liking.  Call me crazy, but this book is getting....ugh.....a 0.5!!! 

I can't believe I wasted three days on this!  Looks like one day this week or weekend will be a day of reading again!

On a HAPPY note - GO RAVENS!!!  What a nail biting game, goodness!!!  Stupid squeelers next week, I'm all sorts of stressed again! 

Oh and today we found a leak in our basement, which turns out to be a leak in our hot water heater, which turns out to be covered under warranty until Tuesday - thank you Jesus!!!  We are so not in the "money" right now with me looking for a job, so warranties are such a blessing! 

Have a great week!

Tell me it's worth it!!!

Love in the time of Cholera is a very hard book to get through - I'm only on page 60 and I need to be done by tomorrow!  Someone tell me its worth it!!!  Ugh!!  Isnt this book supposed to be amazing?  I need to get to that part - otherwise I will fall seriously behind here;)

I keep finding 'better' things to do then read, which is a habit when I'm reading a book I am having trouble getting through.  Something needs to be cleaned, or I want to watch Friends, or...theres playoff games on (I'm really stretching it there!!LOL)  So I need motivation.  I'll learn something new, I'll be more "well read", I'm expanding the culture of my....literariness....right??

Ok, for the next hour, until 11:30, I'm going to turn the tv off an sit on this big couch with Frodo and a blanket and read this stupid book! I hope I have better opinions by noon;)

January 8, 2011

A book a day....

I am here! Yesterday was so busy - I didnt read at all!! I needed a break though. Why, you ask, would I do that when I have taken on such a challenge?!? Well my friends, on Thu not only did I finish Dead until Dark, I also read Safe Haven by N Sparks!! Not just started it....but started and finished reading it!! I started at 11am and by 3am yesterday (so actually I did read yesterday!) I was done! His books are easy reads, I can usually read them quick:) This book is about a woman who is beaten repeatedly bY her cop husband and then runs away to NC (all his books take place in NC) and falls in love, but the crazy husband wants to find her, badly. Its pretty good! I give it a 4 out of 5, since I couldnt put it down and all!! I took breaks too, trust me! I cleaned that room and Dave and I went out for a few hours. But after that, I needed a day to relax and clean and not read;) Now I am moving on to book 4 which will be Love in the time of Cholera!!

I will write more on that later!!! Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend:)

January 6, 2011

Sookie Stackhouse novels - your thoughts?

Dead until Dark...I give it a 3.5 overall.  It was good, I liked the flow of the book and the little tragedies and twists the author throws into the story!  It was very "adult", lots of adult talk and situations, some of it wasn't too bad, some was more than I wanted to read.  But overall, I didn't get too hung up on that stuff.  Dark vampire stuff!  Sookie Stackhouse is a good character, I like her a lot.  The book has some mystery in it that keeps you wanting to read it and see what happens.  Even as it ends, it leaves me wanting more.  I'll probably get the next book for February, I know there are a bunch in the series!

Read it and let me know what you think, or, if you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts too!  I think that if I hadn't read Twilight first, I'd probably like this one more - but alas....I'm a Twilight freak so that will always have my heart :)

I'm halfway through book 3 already!  I'm reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, I've read all of his books and have a love/hate relationship with them!  On one hand, they are easy reads and always have me hooked, but they always always ALWAYS have tragic parts that make me want to die!  This one is good so far, is about a woman who has a past of domestic violence and is trying to make a new life in an NC town, and falls in love - I can sort of figure out whats going to happen with this one, but we'll see if I'm right about it!  I have to admit that besides cleaning and organizing our office/scrapbooking extra bedroom for an hour or so, all I've been doing today is reading:)  But, that's all I had on my agenda today, our room was REALLY messy so I feel like I did accomplish something today which makes me feel less guilty for reading the rest of the day!  Here....look at this change!!

 good gracious what a scary mess!
 now its all organized!
 everything has a place, that's my motto!
 floor is cleaned too:)
what was once a crazy mess is now organized again:) yay!!

Dave is up now though, and we have some running around to do so I'll have to stop reading for today.  I think I'm doing ok with my pace here - hopefully I can keep it up!!

have a great day everyone!  its supposed to snow tonight, I'm excited:)

January 5, 2011

Sleep deprived!!!

For the past week I've been a terrible sleeper.  I haven't been getting in bed until after 1, and I'll wake up every hour after 3am.  What the heck?!  Sometimes I blame my night owl hubby (thanks babe) but sometimes its not always his fault.  He is a nurse who works overnight and sometimes we stay up and sleep in to be on the same schedule, since I'm not working right now.  Other times I just cant fall asleep.  Whatever the reason, its got to stop!!  I cant live like this, I feel all groggy and sick all the time because of the poor sleeping habits!  I didn't let myself have any caffeine today, which is torture, so that I can go to bed early.  Well, it shouldn't be a problem because I slept so crappily (made up word, I know)  I'll be in bed and out cold within an hour (it's 7:45pm!). 

On to the book, Dead until Dark is pretty good!!  It's like Twilight, for grown ups.  Twilight has that teeny bopper feel to it when you read it, not to mention the extreme teeny bopper following in the world.  I'm not sure I don't prefer Twilight over DuD, the jury is still out.  I'm definitely intrigued with it though, and will finish it soon!  If I wasn't so incredibly tired, I'd probably be able to finish it tonight, I'm on page 176 of 252 so I'm moving through it fairly fast.  I didn't sit and read all day either!  I napped from 9 to 11 (since I didn't sleep) and then went to the Good will and over to the school I subbed at in the fall as counselor to help with the Variety Show practice.  I'm determined, in my time off, not to read all day because that is setting up a standard for the year that I will not be able to live up to.  Who sits and reads all day for 365 days?  Man, I think that would be my dream job!  If anyone out there wants to pay me to read everyday all day, please message me and we can talk:)

I got off track.  DuD is more grown up, lots of vampire murder and night time extracurriculars (which I think is why I think I like the old fashioned Twilight more...I'm very conservative with that...stuff!)  But it is such an easy read and it will drag you in at about the 3-4 chapter.  I'm enjoying it!  Who knew I'd like vampire stuff?? So weird...I've been weirded out by that since I fell in love with Edward & Bella.  I am SO SO SO not a vampire girl.  I shop at Gap and Old Navy and love Disney and wii and ..... vampires?!?  Doesn't sit right;)  These vampires are more vicious too - I guess some people like that sort of thing!

Ok, bed time for the Tinester...I'll write my official review tomorrow when I finish, and then I'll be on to book 3!  That is kind of fun to think about, almost on 3 already!!  Yay!

BTW I am getting fairly obsessed with looking at home decor blogs on here, so don't be surprised if I start adding lovely home decor and projects on my blog too - I love our house and am all about fixing it up and sprucing it, but I have so many ideas and not a lot of knowledge of how to execute those ideas....I know...I should read books about it!!!

January 4, 2011

I'm nervous....

Good evening!  I finished Julie & Julia last night and started  Dead until Dark by Harris.  I'm only on page 50 or so, but its good so far.  It hasn't caught me, like Twilight, at least not yet....its still too early to tell!  J&J was good, as I said in my other post...I feel like I should have a rating system or something.  Something official...well until I get that up and running I'll just tell you!  Out of a 5 star scale I give it a 4.  4 means I enjoyed it, was excited about picking it up and reading it, and because it made me laugh and inspired me. 

Has anyone else read it?  Let me know what you think, if you have....if anyone is even reading this;)

Anyways, I'm nervous about living up to this challenge!  Looking at this stack of books is very daunting!  I'm keeping them here in my family room so that I never get lazy about the challenge.  If I am sitting here doing nothing but watching TV - that stack of books screams at me- READ ME READ ME READ ME OR FAIL!! LOL - seriously though!  Right now the challenge seems doable bc I'm not working, but we'll see if that changes once I start work again - whenever that will be!  I had an interview today for a really cool job, not what my Master's is in, but sorta related...so we will see how that goes!  I'm always saying God will give me the job if that where I'm meant to be, and if not...well then there is something better!

Alright everyone, that's it for today - enjoy your Tuesday evening!  We are cozily warm with our pellet stove on, watching Food Network (while reading - its really just background noise) and challenging ourselves to get Ashley through all this homework, and dreaming of winning 290 million in the lottery tonight....have a good one!

January 3, 2011

The January 10!!!!

Ok, here is the list!!! I think I've got a bit of everything?  It's my first 10 so go easy on me! 

1.  Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
2.  Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery
3.  Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris
4.  The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
5.  Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
6.  Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7.  Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
8.  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
9.  The Lost voices from the Titantic by Nick Barratt
10.  Overton Window by Glenn Beck

Some of these were recommended to me by friends, some are ones that I've wanted to read but just haven't gotlooks pretty intimidating, seeing them all stacked up liked that!!! 

Dead until dark I think I will like, based on the whole new vampire lit obsession thanks to Twilight!  The Last Battle is the only Narnia book I have not read yet - I'm not sure why I read all the way through them and stopped at that one?  I thought I read it, and then looking through Ashley's book I realized I hadn't!  I bought the Bree Tanner book before our honeymoon but haven't laid a finger on it since...its short too which I like;)  I got the Titanic bio because its one of those things I love learning about but am never motivated to do so!

So there it is!!  I am finishing Julie & Julia (I have 10 pages left) tonight and then will decide on the next one after that.  The Anne of Avonlea is my "road" book that I'll read all month long:)  Let me know what you think of my choices!!! 
ten around to it, and some I randomly chose base on reviews on Amazon.com but this is it, my crazy list of 10 books.  It

The smells of Boeuf Bourguignon....

I haven't gotten to the library yet!  I'm on page 234 of 307 in Julie & Julia.  The reason I may be so behind is because reading this book has made me so hungry for REALLY good food, that I spent the morning making Oeufs en Cocotte and I've spend most of the day making the multi-step, kind complicated yet very easy Beef Bourguignon.  My goodness, our house smells amazing!!!  AMAZING!!! 

I am ok with my pace of reading though, because if and when I get a job I wont be able to read all day, and cooking/cleaning today has taken that place thus far - so I keep telling myself its ok its ok...its day 3 and I should be moving on to another book, and I will!  Ashley (stepdaughter) and I will go to the library tonight after she is done mounds and mounds of homework and I'll pick up my 8 books:)

I really like this book, so far.  I'm almost done so I can't imagine I'll change my mind!   There is bit of language in it, but I've been able to stomach it because the talk of the food is so glorious.  Just like Julie, I have also 'stolen' my moms copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 - the cream colored one with the orangey Fleurs de Lis on it, I think it was my grandmothers, an original copy.  Trust me, if you read this, you will want to cook!  I think its almost IMPOSSIBLE to read it and not cook something from the cookbook - its either so inspiring or makes one so hungry that its inevitable! 

The eggs, cream and butter I made this morning were the best tasting eggs I've ever had, so so yummy!  Maybe one of my 8 books with be a Julia Child biography.....

Anyways, as this is not a copy cat blog of Julie Powell, enough of the Julia Child/cooking talk.  Its a good book, if you love cooking and twenty to thirty something humor, read it:)

January 2, 2011

January 2 of 10...

The library is closed on Sundays now??  When did that start?? I remember when the library was always open on Sundays during the school year!  I guess now with internet and all that stuff, they dont feel the need to provide books to the public;)

Anyways, I've picked two books so far!  One is Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.  Usually, I'm a book-before-movie sort of girl - but until I saw the movie I didnt even know there was a book (just an example of how removed I am from the book world, I am ashamed!!  Ashamed!!)  Since I loved the movie so much, I knew I had to read the book!  I got it from the library 2 1/2 weeks ago and it has to go back this week, so not only do I have to read it fast for my own challenge, but theres a due date and fine on the line too:)  Plus, it's a good way to start my resolution by reading about someone else's crazy challenge.  Of course, hers was much more challenging (365 days to cook 524 recipies - YIKES) - but its inspiration nonetheless.

The other book is Anne of Avonlea.  Now, I have read this book before, but its been probably over 10 years.  The reason I picked this one is that it is on my iphone and portable, so I can read it when I am not at home or don't have access to my other books.  Ok....I am not one for "electronic" books and I'll save that rant for another day - someone is going to have to seriously talk me into the goodness of the Kindle, (I've had a few try already!!) but I think it's an abomination to books everywhere!  However, the hypocrite that I am, I do have the app on my IPhone, only because it was free and I know it will never take the place of sitting down and opening a physical, beautiful book:)  Plus I only ever download the free books on it, and Anne of Avonlea was one of them. 

That's my first 2 of 10: Julie & Julia, and Anne of Avonlea

I do want to point out that if I do want to read any HP or Twilight this year, I can...but they will not count towards my 10 a month - so if I want to read them I have to work extra hard;)  If I want to re-read a book I've read before, I can only do that once a month and I cant have read it recently.  If the whole point is to branch out and read new things, I cant keep reading books that I have already experienced!  So, while Anne of Avonlea is on my Jan list, I can re-read any other books this month, the other 9 have to be new new new!

I am going to the library tomorrow and will pick out my other 8 books - I am really really excited!!  What am I going to read??! :)

Oh and by the way....GO RAVENS!!!

January 1, 2011

New Years Resolution!

Usually I am not a "New Years Resolution" type of person!  I started thinking this week, though, that maybe I should make one!  Not one that I won't follow through with, not one that will make me cringe when I think of it, but something that I could be excited about. 

So that's how I came up with this resolution - I want to read 10 books a month for a whole year!  Now, I know that may sound challenging to some, and maybe not such a big deal to others.  I figure I need to make it challenging to add some excitement, but not make it TOO hard that I wont do it!  Now, I can read books fast.  You can ask any of my family or friends, I have read whole books (big ones!!!) in under a day sometimes.  But, I am also probably starting a new job this month, have a husband, an 11 year old, a cat and a house to look after, so finding time may be tricky some weeks.  So 10 books a month it is.  120 books this year.  I could be a dork but that excites me a lot!  There are SO many books out there...

Which brings me to the next reason for this resolution - that there are so many books in the world and I really want to branch out and read all sorts of them!  I have become very limited in my reading material - my most favorite books are Harry Potter, Twilight and Pride and Prejudice.  I re-read HP and Twilight every year, maybe even twice a year!  I need to branch out! I am interested in so many different types of books too, I want to read biographies and mysteries and personal accounts of historic events and cooking books and huge old Russian novels so so so much more - there are SO many choices!!  I cant limit myself, even though my favorites are wonderful, I cant call myself an avid reader and not have read classics that I am ashamed to say I've avoided;)

The reason why I am starting this blog is to talk about these books!!  I am not going to write long boring reviews, but I want to be able to share my literary journey here - books I like, books I have a hard time getting through, and just being able to talk about the books as I read them.

I don't have my 10 books lined up for January yet.  I am finishing (SURPRISE) HP and the Deathly Hallows today, I chose to re-read that one because of the movie being out and its the one that I haven't read as much (maybe 4 times, all the others I've read at least 7+ times!!  See what I mean.....I need variety!)  So maybe tomorrow or Monday I am going to the library and picking out the January 10!  I'll post my choices here!  Hopefully I can get feedback and book ideas from others too - I love reading books that others love!

So here we go!!! 10 books a month for a year.  120 books.  Will it be hard?  Will it be too easy?  My husband here is telling me..."um, you know that's a new book every 3 days?!?" So it'll probably be a challenge!  Here's to 120 books in 2011!  Happy New Year!