Tuesday, July 20, 2010
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
While I enjoyed the book, I found myself a little more emotionally detached than I normally would have been. I had put this book on my to-be-read pile over a year ago, and a friend contacted me and told me that I should wait. At the time, I had recently had a miscarriage, and she said that this might be a tough read. She was definitely right. I'm in a much better place in dealing with the miscarriage now, and decided to go ahead and read it with my book club. But I never really connected with the characters like I thought I would. I admit I did skim some of the tough scenes (mostly for my sake), but even then, I wasn't really connecting. Mostly I just felt very sad for the characters. It is still worth reading. I think my history kind of colored it for me.
View all my reviews
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I listened to this book on audio. Definitely one of the best books that I have read this year. This is a story set back during the beginning of the civil rights movement. It is told from three different perspectives. Two of them are maids and one is a society girl. The way the story weaves between the three of them is truly beautiful. It really got me thinking about that time in our history in a different way. But beyond that, it is just a beautifully written, heart-moving story. I definitely think that this is a book worth picking up.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010
The boxes are setup when you get there, and you get to pick an herb, and something from the members choice table (I think it was supposed to be rhubarb, but it didn't end up being ready yet).
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Chris and I joined a local CSA. We have split the membership with friends of ours. I have been wanting to join one for a number of years, but the sign up time always came and went, and it didn't get done. When you join a CSA, you are essentially getting a "membership" to their farm. Depending on the agreement, you get a share of the produce during harvesting season. For our particular CSA, Berries on Bryan Station it was $400 per share, and we get 20 weeks worth of produce. Since we had never joined before, we weren't sure how much we would get each week, and if we would be able to eat it all (we aren't huge vegetable people). So we decided to split a share this first year and see how it goes. I picked this particular CSA because they offer strawberries, blackberries and raspberries throughout the season instead of just veggies.
We hope to get exposed to some new vegetables, and hopefully establish better eating habits. In the past, our regular vegetables have been potatos, corn, green beans, and squash. Generally our salads come from a bag. And more often than not, I end up throwing the salad bag away when it gets all nasty. I know that a lot of people join CSAs because they want organic vegetables, or they are concerned about buying locally to help reduce how far their veggies travel to get to them. I will be honest and say that we didn't join for those reasons. I don't have anything against organic food, and while I'm interested in sustainability, I don't really do much about that yet. However, I do like supporting the local economy, and I wanted to be exposed to a more diverse set of vegetables. My hope is that we get a little bit healthier this summer. I also hope that I can show that this is actually a good deal. I'm going to try and keep track of how much food we get, and kind of compare that to what we would spend if we bought the same stuff at the grocery store. And I'm sure there will be other benefits that we discover along the way.
I will try to post pictures each week of what we get from the CSA. If you have any questions or advice, definitely leave a coment. I know I tried to do a little research from real people before we joined, and it was hard to find.
As a side note, I've also planted a tomato plant in the topsy-turvey (the upside down growing thing), and a basil plant and sage plant. I'm not fond of gardening AT ALL. But I do think it is an important skill to have. In the past, I have had ZERO luck growing anything. I have 10 black fingers. But I'm determined to try. :)
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Most of my goals are private, but I have them listed in a OneNote notebook, and have a "plan" to help implement them.
My work goals include getting my A+ certifcation by April 1 and my Project+ certifcation by December 1. I've already had some training for the the A+ certification, so I just bought a review book, and hopefully I'll be able to bang that out quickly. That way I can focus on the project certification for the rest of the year.
I hope that Chris and I will be able to go to Washington DC this spring on vacation.
I'm working on a new blog that does Christmas reviews. I'll add the address later, when there is a little more content. My goal is to post to that site once a week. I am hoping to post to this site 3-4 times a week.
Happy New Years!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My planned list is:
1. Postmortem, Patricia Cornwell
2. Black, Ted Dekker
3. Chosen, Ted Dekker
4. City of Shadows, Ariana Franklin
5. And then there was none, Agatha Christie
6. Fantasy in Death, JD Robb
7. Indulgence in Death, JD Robb
8. Breathing Water, Timothy Hallinan
9. The Bourne Identity, Robert Ludlum
10. The Last Days, Joel Rosenberg
11. The Quickie, James Patterson
12. 4th of July, James Patterson
1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
2. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
3. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
4. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
5. Eragon, Christopher Paolini
1. Remember Me, Sophie Kinsella
2. Undomestic Goddess, Sophie Kinsella
3. The Nanny Diaries, Emma McLaughlin
4. My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult
5. In Her Shoes, Jennifer Weiner
6. Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs
7. The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love - Jill Conner Browne
8. The Castaways, Elin Hilderbrand
I will be doing the Addicted level of the challenge, which is to read 12 historical fiction books.
My planned list is as follows:
1. Regency Buck, Georgette Heyer
2. North and South, John Jakes
3. Love and War, John Jakes
4. Heaven and Hell, John Jakes
5. Through a Glass Darkly, Karleen Koen
6. The Concubine, Norah Lofts
7. The Reluctant Widow, Georgette Heyer
8. Lady of Quality, Georgette Heyer
9. Sprig Muslin, Georgette Heyer
10. The Luxe, Anna Godbersen
11. David Copperfield, Charles Dicken
12. Rainwater, Sandra Brown
I have a feeling I'm going to be purchasing a few of these books, because our library doesn't carry some of the Heyer books. But I always see really good reviews, so I'm guessing it will be worth the investment.
I will be doing the Addicted level of the challenge, which is to read 12 books (that are the first in a series).
My planned list is as follows:
1. North and South, John Jakes
2. Eyes Like Stars, Lisa Mantchev
3. Tomorrow, When the War Began, John Marsden
4. Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier
5. Heart's Blood, Juliet Marillier
6. Storm Front, Jim Butcher
7. Postmortem, Patricia Cormwell
8. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
9. Keeping it Real, Justina Robson
10. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
11. Chosen, Ted Dekker
12. Black, Ted Dekker
All of these books (except Storm Front and Postmortem) have come from other blogger's lists. I checked out their lists, and then looked up the books on GoodReads. Hopefully I'll find some gems!
1st in a Series Challenge 2010
2010 Historical Fiction Challenge
2010 Chick Lit Challenge
2010 Book Blogger Recommendations Challenge
Thriller and Suspense Challenge 2010
and the one challenge that encompasses EVERYTHING I read in the year, the
2010 100+ Reading Challenge
I will do individual posts (with lists) for the first five challenges, along with progress updates in the sidebar. I will compile my full list in the sidebar as well. To participate and/or read the rules for the challenges, please just click the image and it will take you to the host's site.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There were parts of the book that I really liked a lot. Quite a few hilarious scenes. However, there are parts in the middle that could have been edited quite a bit more. The flow seemed off, and it was hard to follow what was going on. And sometimes I felt like she was referring to things that she thought she had already mentioned, but she hadn't. I saw the movie first (it is usually the other way around for me) and I really liked the movie. There isn't as much Julia in the book as in the movie. I've read that Julie Powell just published another book, but I probably won't be reading that one. Its about infidelity and butchering. Kind of a bizarre combo.
View all my reviews >>
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Even though I haven't been blogging, I've still been keeping up with what I have been reading. Here are the additions for this year since my last update:
44. Fat Chance, Deborah Blumenthal - good
45. Finger Lickin' Fifteen, Janet Evanovich - good
46. Smoke Screen, Sandra Brown - ok
47. Atonement, Ian McEwan - bad - I hated this book.
48. Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon - fantastic
49. Bet Your Bottom Dollar, Karen Gillespie - good
50. Sanctuary, Nora Roberts - good
51. Good Grief, Lolly Winston - good
52. 92 Pacific Boulevard, Debbie Macomber - ok
53. The Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon- good
54. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon - good
55. An Echo in the Bone, Diana Gabaldon - good
56. Bed of Roses, Nora Roberts - good
57. Certain Girls, Jennifer Weiner - good
58. Kindred in Death, JD Robb - fantastic
59. REREAD - Twilight, Stephenie Meyer - fantastic (yes I read them for a 2nd time this year)
60. REREAD - New Moon, Stephenie Meyer - fantastic (yes I read them for a 2nd time this year)
61. REREAD - Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer - fantastic (yes I read them for a 2nd time this year)
62. REREAD - Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer - fantastic (yes I read them for a 2nd time this year)
63. Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah - good
64. Can you Keep a Secret - Sophie Kinsella - fantastic
65. Barefoot, Elin Hilderbrand - good
So I'm definitely NOT going to make it to 100 books this year. Good thing I didn't sign up for the challenge. Not that it matters, I didn't complete some of the challenges that I DID sign up for.
Chunkster Challenge - FAILED
Deadline: Nov 15
I was supposed to read 5 books by the deadline. I only read 2 from my original list. I substituted another 1 from the list because my original was to hard to find. And just ran out of time on the other two. I read the following for this challenge:
1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - decent book overall, but very depressing. Took me FOREVER to get through cause I kept stopping.
2. The Moon Below - decent book - I think my hopes were too high
3. Substituted An Echo in the Bone (most recent Outlander book) for History. Couldn't find History anywhere. Echo was FABULOUS - started out slow but then the ending picks you up, throws you across the room, and then slams the book in your face. Yes it is that crazy.
Romance Reading Challenge - COMPLETE
Deadline: December 31
1. Bridget Jones' Diary - good
2 Bed of Roses - good (substitue for The Reluctant Widow - our library didn't have it, but I still want to read a Georgette Heyer novel)
3. On a Highland Shore - good
4. Vision in White - good (The Awakening was nixed. Couldn't get through the first chapter)
5. The Princess Bride - EXACTLY like the movie - good
Outlander Challenge - FAILED
Deadline: Release of An Echo in the Bone
Hubby and I were listening to these on audio (btw, Hubby loves the books). We were getting them from audible.com, but they didn't have the last 2 books in an unabridged version, so I had to wait for them at the library, and it just seemed to take a lot longer. I did finish the 6 book about 2 weeks after Echo came out, so that isn't too bad.
Chick Lit Challenge - IN PROGRESS - 1 book to go
Book Vs Movie Challenge - IN PROGRESS - 5/6 books to go
It doesn't look like I am going to finish. I have watched 4 of the movies, but only read 1 of the books. EEP.
Look for my postings on the 2010 challenges that I will be signing up for soon. Here's hoping I do better next year.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really really enjoyed this book. I had heard of the author before, but hadn't read any of her books. This was a pretty fast read for me. I had several literal laugh out loud moments (one was late at night and I woke up my husband, who was quite irritated). I seem to have a thing for books about British women. So far I've read several books where the main character is a British woman, and I've loved all of them. This is a fun, entertaining, captivating book. I highly recommend it.
View all my reviews >>
I know its been awhile since I've posted, but I found some motivation. :) This blog is giving away a KINDLE if you post a book review. Go to this site for more info:
Book Supplied by: Lexington Public Library :)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here is my list:
1. Recipe Organization (fun project)
2. Filing (to do project)
3. Clean/Organize office (to do project)
4. Organize scrapbook stuff (fun project)
5. Clean out garage (to do project)
6. Paint (to do and fun project)
I have a good start on the first three projects. I decided to put all my recipes into OneNote. I have one notebook for the "Keeper" recipes and one notebook for the "Recipes to Try". This way I can get rid of all the printouts and torn magazine pages that I have. And man, I have a lot. I thought I was almost completely done with this project, and when I was looking for something by my cookbooks I found a whole new accordian file with more in it. Thankfully, a lot of these have been from the web, so I can just find them on the web and copy them. That way there hasn't been a lot of manual data entry.
I'm also being mindful of my previous goal to get healthy. I haven't lost any more weight, but I also haven't gained. I walk with Brodie almost every night (except for recently because the poor guy has been sick with one thing or another). I've added the Wii Fit into my routine as well. It is almost embarassing to admit how sweaty I got on that thing. I don't know if it is because I don't feel like I'm excercisng, but feel like I'm playing a game, but I'm always surprised at how flipping sweaty I get. Brodie is hilarious cause he doesn't quite understand what Mama is doing, and sometimes he comes and steps on the balance board, or tries to catch my feet when I'm doing one of the excercises.
Monday, July 27, 2009
1. Suite 606, JD Robb
2. Trace, Patricia Cornwell
3. Blue Dahlia, Nora Roberts
4. Black Rose, Nora Roberts
5. Red Lily, Nora Roberts
6. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Joanne Fluke
7. The Little Lady Agency and the Prince, Hester Browne
8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
9. Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow
10. Into the Wilderness, Sara Donati
11. Promises in Death, JD Robb
12. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman
13. The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory
14. Cradle and All, James Patterson
15. Pop Goes the Weasel, James Patterson
16. Lost Souls, Lisa Jackson
17. Digital Fortress, Dan Brown
18. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
19. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
20. On a Highland Shore, Kathleen Givens
21. The New Yorkers, Cathleen Schine
22. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
23. New Moon, Stephenie Meyer
24. Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
25. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
26. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
27. The Summons, John Grisham
28. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
29. Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon
30. Short Change, Patricia Smiley
31. Vision in White, Nora Roberts
32. The Shack, William Young
33. The Moon Below, Barbara Bickmore
34. HP and the Sorcerer's Stone, JK Rowling
35. HP and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling
36. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling
37. HP and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling
39. HP and the Half Blood Prince, JK Rowling
40. HP and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
41. The Villa, Nora Roberts
42. Voyager, Diana Gabaldon
43. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
Okay, now that I have the list out, I'm not nearly as far behind as I thought. I'm not halfway through, and we are already in the second half of the year, but I should definitely be able to catch up. We have instituted NO TV MONDAYS at our house, and that should free up some reading time. Woot. I know it is pathetic, but lists make me happy.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
- Things are moving along swimmingly. You can blame mafiawars and farmtown for so few posts. :) I'll try to be better.
- My husband would like you to check out his blog. He is writing as a fictional character. It really can be quite hilarious. Its too hard to describe. You should just check it out. :)
- We tried an experiment last night that went well. We decided no TV for the whole night (unless it was an exercise dvd or the Wii fit). I have noticed that we are both feeling kind of lethargic, and letting some stuff slide, so I thought one night a week without tv is doable. We have DVR, so if there is anything on Monday nights that we want to watch, it is being recorded. We learned how to play a new card game, cleaned the kitchen, made dinner (and actually ate it at the table instead of in front of the tv), walked the dog, did the grocery shopping, listend to music, read a little bit and played skipbo (chris is a menace at that game). The night was very enjoyable, and seemed to last a lot longer. I think we will try and continue the expermint next week.
- Brodie is getting HUGE! I'll try and upload the most recent pictures later this week. Don't get me wrong, I love my cats. Baggins was the first pet that was "mine". But I'm telling you, this dog brings us so much joy (along with a bit of frustration, this is true), and we just love him like crazy.
- I have a long list of projects that I need to be working on. However, the rest of the weekends of the summer are quickly filling up.
- I need to blog about our trip to Wisconsin. I think we will move there one day.
- The weather in KY is AMAZING. We are loving it. I hate hot weather and would be happy if it never reached above 80.
- I'm horribly behind on my reading challenges. Trying to catch up. :)
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
So here is a very brief update, with the hopes that once I get the ball rolling, I'll fill in the blanks. :)
* We got a bulldog puppy!! Named Brodie.
* Weight Loss is going well. I feel really good, and am walking (with the dog) about 3/4 of a mile to a mile everyday. We've only missed 2-3 days since we got him (begining of April).
* Emotionally, I'm in a really good place right now. Definitely had some healing in that area.
* Chris is off school for the summer. Definitely need some clarity and guidance with the whole school situation.
* Have some great FO (finished objects) to show off (a lace scarf that is amazing, if I do say so myself)
* Some book updates (but not as many as there should be)
* We are going on a road trip/vacation to Wisconsin, the Land of Cheese. :) Super excited and pumped.
Thats all for now. That way I can say that I updated. :)
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The first few days were a little rough as I got used to following weight watchers again. Particularly because I didn't have much in the house in the way of healthy snacks. But I made it. I do feel a different sense of purpose this time around. And I succesfully made it through a wedding without any of the appetizers or wedding cake. I know that I could have if I wanted, cause I had the points. But for me it was a discipline thing. I didn't want to fall into my normal trap of "giving in" and enjoying too much because it was a special occasion. So I just removed the option to go overboard by not having any. I don't think I will always have to do that, but until I feel like I have the self discipline under control, I just have to avoid.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I've seen a number of people mention FlatOut breads when they are talking about low points recipes. My Kroger only had one kind (the sun-dried tomato variety), so that is what I got. Imagine pita that has been stretched out.
First things first, the ingredients.
hmmmm, something is missing here . . . oh yeah, the cheese! For someone who is known as the cheese-eater, you wouldn't have expected me to miss the cheese. By the time I remembered, I had already started cutting up the ingredients. Too late for a re-take.
Step 1. Bake a single piece of FlatOut bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for 7 minutes.
Step 2. While baking, chop up the toppings.
There's the cheese. :) I used 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/4 of a red onion, and 1 roma tomato. I saved the rest of the toppings for tomorrow's lunch.
Step 3. After the bread has been cooked for 7 minutes, spread the spaghetti/pizza sauce over the bread as close to the edges as you can get. Sprinkle with cheese and then toppings.
Step 4. Return to 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes.
This is the finished product:
It doesn't really look that different from the pre-cooked version because there are so many toppings.
All in all, it was quite tasty. And only 7 points for the whole thing. Which is about what my Lean Cuisine meals usually end up being. But this was a lot tastier.
Now I just have to figure out some other things to use the FlatOut bread for . . . .
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Without further ado, here are the 100 books that I have read since April 1, 2008. I'll leave up widget on the side with the full list for a little while before I take it down to make room for the next one.
1. Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by Haywood Smith
2. Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
3. Educating Caroline by Meg Cabot
4. Monster by Frank Peretti
5. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (audio)
6. Point Blank by Catherine Coutler
7. The Hollows by Nora Roberts
8. HP & the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
9. HP & the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
10. HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
11. HP & the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
12. HP & the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
13. HP & the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
14. HP & the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
15. Size 14 is not Fat either by Meg Cabot
16. Big Boned by Meg Cabot
17. The Woods by Harlan Coben
18. The Last Jihad, Joel Rosenbergl R
19. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
20. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
21. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
22. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
23. Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen
24. The Stork Reality by Malena Lott
25. Daring To Dream by Nora Roberts
26. Finding the Dream by Nora Roberts
27. Holding the Dream by Nora Roberts
28. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
29. Eleven on Top, Janet Evanovich
30. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
31. Twelve Sharp, Janet Evanovich
32. Midnight in Death, JD Robb
33. Naked in Death, JD Robb
34. Survivor in Death, JD Robb
35. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
36. Divided in Death, JD Robb
37. Glory in Death, JD Robb
38. Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich
39. Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner
40. Born in Death, JD Robb
41. Innocent in Death, JD Robb
42. Creation in Death, JD Robb
43. Strangers in Death, JD Robb
44. Morrigan's Cross, Nora Roberts
45. Dance of the Gods, Nora Roberts
46. Valley of Silence, Nora Roberts
47. Purity in Death, JD Robb
48. High Noon, Nora Roberts
49. Remember When, Nora Roberts & JD Robb
50. Devil's Own, Sandra Brown
51. The Little Lady Agency, Hester Browne
52. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
53. Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow
54. Scarlett, Alexander Ripley
55. The Husband, Dean Koontz
56. Queen of Babble, Meg Cabot
57. Tribute, Nora Roberts
58. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lilian Braun
59. Fearless Fourteen, Janet Evanovich
60. Midnight, Dean Koontz
61. Queen of Babble in the Big City, Meg Cabot
62. Salvation in Death, JD Robb
63. Little Lady, Big Apple, Hester Brownea
65. A is for Alibi, Sue Grafton
66. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, Meg Cabot
67. The Pagan Stone, Nora Roberts
68. Candy Cane Murder, Joanne Fluke
69. The Danger of Candy Canes, Laura Levine
70. Candy Canes of Christmas Past, Leslie Meier
71. Divine Evil, Nora Roberts
72. Dark Tort, Diane Mott Davidson
73. Play Dirty, Sandra Brown
74. Birthright, Nora Roberts
75. A Murderous Yarn, Monica Ferris
76. Son of a Witch
77. Ritual in Death, JD Robb
78. Love Endures, Mary Blayney
79. Cold Case, Ruth Ryan Langan
80. Wayward Wizard, Mary Kay McComas
81. Trace, Patricia Cornwell
82. Blue Dahlia, Nora Roberts
83. Black Rose, Nora Roberts
84. Red Lily, Nora Roberts
85. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Joanne Fluke
86. Candy for Christmas, Joanne Fluke
87. World Without End, Ken Follett
88. The Little Lady Agency and the Prince, Hester Browne
89. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
90. Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow
91. Into The Wilderness, Sara Donati
92. Promises in Death, JD Robb
93. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman
94. The Constant Princess, Phillipa Gregory
95. Cradle and All, James Patterson
96. Pop Goes the Weasel, James Patterson
97. Lost Souls, Lisa Jackson
98. Digital Fortress, Dan Brown
99. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
100. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Anyway, that got be to thinking about what my due date would have been, and what I'm going to do on that date. Part of me hopes that it will just go past without me thinking about it. But I'm not thinking that will be the case.
Friday, February 27, 2009
My reviewrating: 5 of 5 stars
I love all of the In Death books. They are all about a homicide cop, Eve Dallas, in NYC set in the future (2050+). The author has done a great job of creating this future world, with tons of little details that just make it came alive. JD Robb is a pseudonym (SP?) for Nora Roberts. So some of the scenes are quite steamy. And some of them are kind of graphic, because she is a homicide cop.
But there have been a lot of books in this series, and sometimes the storylines feel a little familar. The main plot in this story was solid. But the best part of this book was the character interactions. She brings in a lot of the secondary characters, and there are TONS of great little scenes. I swear, I wish they would make some of these into a movie. Not a made for tv deal, but a real feature movie. I truly had some laugh out loud moments. And it felt like the main character grew a lot personally in this book. If you have never read any of the In Death books, you probably won't get the same impression of this book. Because you have to know the background of each of the minor characters to reallly understand what is going on. You'll still like the book. But this book was definitely a payoff to all the longterm fans.
View all my reviews.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I started with these ingredients:
Normally I would use a fresh banana, but I had a bunch of bananas that were about to go bad, so I cut them up and froze them, and I actually like the way the smoothie turned out with the frozen bananas. That is about 2 handfuls of baby spinach, 1 small glass of water, and 1 apple cored and sliced, and about 1 banana (peeled and cut into pieces).
First you put the spinach and water in the blender. I kind of stuff the spinach down in the bottom, because I have a cheap blender, and it doesn't always get all the stuff blended smoothly. I use the liquefy option. It just takes a few seconds. Then I add the apples (usually in 2 batches - again, cheap blender). Few more seconds on liquefy. Then I add the bananas. The banana adds a creaminess. You can also add ice or more water at this point. Chris tends to like them a little thinner, so I added some more water.
And then you get this:
Yes it is green, yes it looks a little bizarre. But I can tell you that I can't taste the spinach. The banana and the apple provide almost all of the flavor. And I don't know what exactly it is, but I have some much more energy during the day after I have one of these. Chris is even a believer (mostly - he still thinks it is a blog fad, but he agrees that they really work). There are tons of combinations out there. The other ones that I have tried are kale instead of spinach and rainbow chard instead of spinach. I've also added frozen berries instead of the apple. But then they are purple smoothies. :) The kale and rainbow chard combos had a different flavor (and texture), and I think I will have to work my way up to those over time. I think I need a better blender to try kale again. It didn't liquefy as well.
The place where I first learned about green smoothies was Happy Foody. She has some great ideas (and inspiration) and even a link to a video on how to make them. Just google Green Smoothie, and you will find a ton of resources. Particularly on peoples blogs. If you try one, let me know!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The first is Eightcrazy The Blog. I found it through Tip Junkie. Tip Junkie is one of my dailies that has all kind of great ideas from other people. They have everything from decorations, to organizing ideas, to food, and beyond. Anyway, they posted this link to a post on Eightcrazy about a fantastic craft idea. I won't say much more about it, because I plan on buying the stuff for this project tomorrow, and I'll blog about my success (failure).
The second is Our Best Bites. I haven't made it very far into this blog yet, but one of my weaknesses are food blogs. I want to make everything I see. So far, I've had some luck, and a few not so good choices. Anyway, I found this blog today (through Eightcrazy) and I started looking, and immediately knew I was sunk. I plan on trying a a few of their recipes soon.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
My reviewrating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. It is set mostly in Charleston during the Revolutionary War. Gwen Bristow does an amazing job of portraying strong women as the main characters. There is a thread of romance in the story, but it isn't the primary focus of the story. I've learned (retained) more about history from reading some of Bristow's books than I have from my history classes. :)
My other favorites of hers are Jubillee Trail and Calico Palace.
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I think I'm to close to it to really identify what I thought about the book. At one point, I had to stop reading it for awhile because it was too depressing/hard-to-read/sad/emotional/somthing. But then I picked it back up yesterday, and couldn't put it down till I finished it.
The author is a wonderful story teller. And it is definitely worth reading. But it makes you think. Sometimes about stuff that you don't want to think about.
Friday, February 13, 2009
rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very fun book. I liked the first two books in this series a lot, and this one is a great addition.
This is a story about an English girl who sets up her own "Little Lady Agency" where she acts as "sort of a freelance advisor for single men who need a bit of help keeping everything running smoothly. You know, all the things girlfriends do for free" (but not that). In this one, she has to tackle a playboy prince who has to reform his act.
Anyways, a very good read. Fun and easy to read. Definitely has laugh-out-loud moments and I even teared up a time or two.
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Chris had class till 7 last night, so I just hung out in Lexington after work, and he met me at Coffee Times. We decided to go someplace close by, and I suggested Paisano's Italian Ristorante, because we had never been there, and it looked cute. It was delightful!!! If you have never been, it is one of the nicest Italian restaurants in Lexington. The prices were very reasonable, the food was delicious, and they had a ton of variety. We had 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 dessert and one beer for around $38. That is incredible!! And the dessert. AHHHHHH. We shared a tiramisu, and no joke, it was the best that we have ever had. It was just amazing. It wasn't just Chris and I who thought this either. We heard the couple at the table next to us say the exact same thing. The ambiance was very cozy, and the service was great. The rolls they served with the meal were very yummy. I had the Baked Cannelloni stuffed with chicken, spinach and cheese with Alfredo sauce. Very very tasty, and enough leftover for lunch today. Chris had the linguine with clams, and he seemed to enjoy it as well. If you don't have plans yet for Valentines Day, I definitely recommend trying out this place. You won't regret it!
They are located at:
2417 Nicholasville Rd # 3Lexington, KY 40503
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I think part of the reason that Chris and I loved it so much is that we both really long for that fictional small town community. Those perfect little towns where there are community gatherings, beautiful downtowns, everyone knows everyone, etc. We have both lived in small towns, but haven't found one that works like that yet. Oddly enough, I have felt really pulled towards Wisconsin and Minnesota lately. I think we will have to plan a trip there to see if my day-dreams are just my imagination, or if it is really that great.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book, and its companion (Pillars of the Earth), are two of the best books I have ever read. I love to read, but these books have completely captivated both my husband and I. We listened to both of these books on cd. They were both narrated by John Lee (who did a fanatsic job). They are incredibly long, but totally worth it. My husband and I are both sad that they are over.
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****edited to add: There are a number of graphic scences in this book. There are a number of very uncomfortable scenes. There are sexual scenes, as well as very violent scenes. Definitely for adults. Wanted to make sure you all were aware of it if you decided to read this book.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Right now, I work from home 4 out 5 days. On the fifth day, I go into UK to work. It has actually been nice, because the one day that I'm at UK, I get to get out and about, and see people, and run any errands after work. Plus, we found out that our offices will be moving offsite, so when that happens, I won't have to worry about paying for parking anymore. My job is exactly the same. I'm tied to my computer via my headphones, and I troubleshoot over the phone all day. But now, I have a window and comfy clothes, and a relaxing envioronment. Positives all the way around! It has actually already been a benefit to UK as well. One day a few weeks ago, UK lost power for 5+ minutes, and the rest of my team weren't available to answer calls because they didn't have electricity, but since I wasn't there, I was able to keep answering calls from the rest of UK that didn't lose power. :) So far my stats are staying high, and I'm able to answer just as many calls now as I did before.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The list of books, and which ones I've read can be found here. I've currently read 3% of the list (how sad). My personal goal is to have read 15% by the end of this year.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Read a minimum of 6 books that have been made into movies and then watch the movie. Write a review of the movie and be honest about whether or not you think the film-maker was successful in translating the book to film. You must both read the book and watch the movie within 2009.
Right now I'm going to read/watch the following:
1. The Time Travelers Wife, Audrey Niffeneggar
2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
3. Prince Caspian, CS Lewis
4. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
5. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
6. Nights in Rodanthe, Nicholas Sparks
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Here are the rules:
* Read 3 historical fiction books in 3 months from 1st Jan 09 - 31st Mar 09.
* Historical fiction will be counted as anything set or written prior to World War II. This will include classic novels, time travel novels or anything you feel fits the genre.
My books will be:
1. Celeia Garth, Gwen Bristow
2. Into the Wilderness, Sara Donati
3. The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory
17. Sanctuary - DONE
18. The Fiery Cross - DONE
19. A Breath of Snow and Ashes - DONE
20. Certain Girls - DONE
21. Firefly Lane - DONE
22. Can you Keep a Secret - DONE
23. Barefoot - DONE
24. Pride and Prejudice
Time for me to sign up for some new challenges!
I've decided to do the "Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big?" option. Which means I need to read 3-5 "chunksters" over the next 10 months.
The rules are as follows:
- A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction)
- No audiobooks
- Start anytime (signups end March 1st) after signing up. You must complete your reads before or on Nov 15th.
- Short Stores and Essay Collections will not be counted
- Books may crossover with other challenges
Edited to add my books:
1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski, 576 pages
2. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolover, 576 pages
3. History, Elsa Mornate, 600 pages
4. The Moon Below, Barbara Bickmore, 624 pages
5. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins, 720 pages
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I did NOT read all the books on my list. Granted, I had a huge list. I read 10 of the 40 books I listed. I read 9 additional books during that timeframe. So basically, I read half the number of books I expected to read, but only 1/4 of the books that I picked. I really enjoyed picking books that I was going to read for the challenge. Part of the reason some of them didn't get read, is that they weren't readily avaialable. I didn't make it to the library as frequently as I thought I would. I also picked some of the books that were more of a "challenge" for me, and I found that I couldn't read them as quickly as I normally do. Or I couldn't get the motivation up to start them (or continue). I've discovered that I need a good mix of "edifying" reads and "pleasure" reads.
I think my favorite books that I read this fall were the Queen of Babble books by Meg Cabot. I've read a few of her other books, and I just really enjoy her style. I ended up listening to these on audiobook, and I also really like the person who read the books. I've been through a lot the past few months, and I found that I needed fun, upbeat, light books that could distract me. Not to say that these books were "fluff", because they weren't. One of the reasons that I love to read is because I can "escape" into the story.
I would definitely be interested in more challenges sponosored by http://callapidderdays.com. :)
I read the following books from my list:
- Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
- Scarlett, Alexandra Ripley
- Calico Palace, Gwen Bristow
- The Husband, Dean Koontz
- The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lilian Jackson Braun
- Queen of Babble, Meg Cabot
- Little Lady, Big Apple, Hester Browne
- Fearless Fourteen, Janet Evanovich
- Salvation in Death, JD Robb
- The Pagan Stone, Nora Roberts
I also read the following books that weren't on my original list.
- Queen of Babble in the Big City, Meg Cabot
- Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, Meg Cabot
- Midnight, Dean Koontz
- Tribute, Nora Roberts
- A is for Alibi, Sue Grafton
- Candy Cane Murder, Joanne Fluke
- The Danger of Candy Canes, Laura Levine
- Candy Canes of Christmas Past, Leslie Meier