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Friday, November 29, 2013

Tops Reads of All Time - November

From a tired mommy who reads for entertainment, not enlightenment

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Apropos, considering the movie for numero dos just came out.  Anyway, have you read this?  Are you one of the few people out there who hasn't?  I LOVE it.  LOVE IT.  (Of course, it wouldn't be one of my top reads of all time otherwise.)  I loved the whole series.  I know a lot of people hated the last book, but I didn't.  I think it is a series definitely worth reading.  (And I liked the first movie too....haven't seen the second yet.)

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Okay, so I am not a Mitch Albom fan.  I don't like those inspirational novels he's come up with.  They just rub me the wrong way.  This, however, is a wonderful book.  Because it's TRUE.  It's not some stilted forced pseudo-inspirational story that triggers my gag reflex.  It's real.  And moving.  You should read it.

These is my Words by Nancy Turner
GOOD book.  REALLY good.  Set in the Arizona territory in the late 1800's, it's a story about a woman surviving...and triumphing.  SO enjoyed it.  Earthy and detailed and authentic and memorable.

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Week's Reads 11/22

From a tired mommy who reads for entertainment, not enlightenment.

The wedding is tomorrow.  The reception is a week from tomorrow.  But despite the utter CHAOS of it all, I did manage to read a couple books this week.

Shadows at the Fair: An Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait
Another cozy mystery series.  I enjoyed it, but I didn't LOVE it like Jenn McKinlay's cozy mysteries.  This one is set in the world of antique dealers, which I did find interesting...mostly I want to go antiqueing and watch Antiques Roadshow now!

Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber
I LOVE this series.  LOVE it.  This is book two in the Lady Darby mystery series.  Set in 1800's Scotland.  It's SO good.  SO good.  I think I liked number two even better than number one (The Anatomist's Wife).  Can't WAIT for the next one to be released...A Grave Matter, coming out in July.  (WAY too long to wait!)

Friday, November 15, 2013

This Week's Reads 11/15

From a tired mommy who reads for entertainment, not enlightenment.

Ummm.....you remember how I said I was just a little bit occupied with this?  We're in hyperdrive now (hyperdrive?  is that a sci-fi reference?) getting ready for the wedding.  She gets married one week from tomorrow!  Reception two weeks from tomorrow.  I'm startin' to sweat a little.  It will be fine.  IT WILL BE FINE!!!!

Anyway, since I had no time to read this week, I thought I'd post another kind of book I've been making my way through.

Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook
I check cookbooks out from the library all the time.  I'm always in search of inspiration, and even if I glean only a single recipe from the book, I call it a success.  (I only cook the recipes that sound good, are fairly simple, and don't contain ingredients that will be highly repugnant to my family.  Well, except for my older daughter, almost everything that isn't bread or apples is repugnant to her.)  Anyway, I've tried two recipes so far from this particular cookbook, both of which I thought were delish.  The Low Country Gumbo on page 101 and the Crisp Cod Cakes (without the tomato-peach salad, again, the repugnant thing) on page 57.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations
Also, just got my pre-ordered copy of the the Pioneer Woman's latest in the mail a couple weeks ago.  Haven't had time to cook from it yet, but looking forward to trying some recipes out!  (Though her recipes, as mentioned once before, must be used in moderation.  Attorney husband, not cattle rancher husband.  And I can say things like that without worrying about retribution because he never reads my blog unless I specifically ask him to.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

This Week's Reads 11/8

From a tired mommy who reads for entertainment, not enlightenment.

The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber
I LOVED this!  A mystery set in the 1800's in Scotland.  Lady Darby, the main character, is a young (mid to late 20's) widow thrown into finding a murderer after a guest at her sister's house party is found dead in the garden.  To make matters more interesting, there is her background: the wife of an anatomist, who married her for her artistic skills and forced her to illustrate his dissections.  First in a series, I've got number two on hold at the library!

Glitch by Amber Gilchrist
This was a funny book for me.  It's an LDS romance, which in this case means all the crazy cultural stuff might be hard to follow if you're not a Mormon or at least a little familiar with Mormons.  It's about a 30 something single girl and her bumpy road to love.  I enjoyed it, it sure made me smile!

Jane by April Lindner
I think my favorite part about this book was the cover.  Stunning, right?  I was really intrigued by this book.  I mean, modern retellings of Austen have been done and DONE (that's not to say I haven't enjoyed many of them, believe me, I have!), but Bronte?  That's new.  Well, just as all those Austen fan fiction authors are no Jane Austen, April Lindner is no Charlotte Bronte.  Not that she thinks she is, of course.  It's just that somehow the disparity seems much more obvious with this novel.  I just didn't find the love story believable.  I understand translating such a story into modern times offers challenges, but the choices the author made in her interpretation just didn't work for me.  I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, and you may enjoy it.  But go in with lowered expectations.  Oh, and there is a sex scene that I skipped.  No idea how detailed it was, but I have no interest in reading about anyone's sex life, detailed or not.  Anyway, overall, I was disappointed in the book, but it's not without merit.  April Lindner has also tackled Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights in Catherine...I'll probably read it, but I'm not expecting too much.  I think this story might be even more difficult to retell.  And her next undertaking, due out next year, is a retelling of A Room with a View by E.M. Forster.  I'm trying not to be horrified...open minded instead....  :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

I needed to let off some steam tonight, so I did a scrapbook page.

Kit: Be Awesome by Libby Pritchett
Template: DAttlan SSD Template August

I've been a little occupied....(budget wedding invitations...)

Because of this:
Yep, my little sister is getting married.  In less than three weeks!  So you might not see much of me in the next few weeks, but rest assured, I'll have plenty of wedding....stuufff...to show you later!

But in the meantime, let me tell you about the invitation I designed.  Photoshop, of course.  Simple, clean lines photo style invitation is what she wanted.  Fonts used: Jane Austen, Arrivals and Departures and skinny jeans.

I did some more looking around to find a printer, and I found an amazing deal from Got Print.  We ordered 500 5X7 postcards on 16 pt dull cover with matte finish, color on both sides, for $72.81, plus S&H (they are only sold in increments of 250, and it is cheaper to buy 500 from them than to buy less from someone else...A&B most likely won't send out all 500, but they have as many as they could possibly need).  Then over the course of a couple weeks, every time we went by a Michael's, we bought a package of 50 count 5X7 envelopes using the current coupon until we had 500, which cost us $40.54 plus tax.  Reasonable quality for a lower cost than the cheapest envelopes at Walmart or another online supplier.  (And speaking for myself, I just rip open the envelopes and then recycle them without even noticing how nice they are!  Not place we wanted to put much money into!)  So unbelievably, for $113.36 (plus the S&H and tax, of course), we got 500 beautiful invitations.  Is that a deal or what?!  And Got Print did a wonderful job, they look terrific.  If you are interested in their product, they offer a free sample kit you can order (I ordered one from them and two other companies before concluding they were the best and more affordable option). They also have detailed instructions for preparing your files to get the best possible result.  I highly recommend them for any bride, not just the budget conscious bride!  :)

(And no, I'm not getting any kind of kick back for this, just wanted to share a great find.)

So there you are!  See ya in a few weeks!  :)

P.S....we've had three of our six (combined) siblings get married in the past 15 months.....M&M, B&H and now A&B.  I need a break from weddings!  :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Top Reads of All Time - October

Late getting this up!  (And actually, this particular entry was supposed to go up last Friday, but I didn't realize that would be the last Friday in October!  Time is flying!!!)

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
Oh how I love this book.  If you have little girls, they need to read it as soon as they are old enough.  Princess Amethyst, blessed with special fairy gifts like her beautiful sisters, was also given one different gift: to be ordinary.  Such a lovely story.  I think I should reread it.  :)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This is an incredible book.  Thought provoking, as classics should be.  Dorian Gray, the picture of goodness and innocence.  But what happens when he discovers that the choices he makes will show up on the countenance of his portrait rather than his own face?  An interesting examination of human nature, among other things.

I Am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson
This is a book about the importance of being a mother.  It is written from the perspective of an LDS woman, the former network news correspondent Jane Clayson Johnson.  It is....wonderful.  Well researched, thoughtfully written.  Uplifting and encouraging.  I can't say enough about it, so I'm not going to try!

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