Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Things and a Book Review

So, I've decided to start posting book reviews again.  Sort of.  I just really liked "The Help" and wanted to tell someone.  You've been told.  That's pretty much my entire review.  You should read it.  I feel better already.

A few things of note:

1.  The Living Proof Live simulcast with Beth Moore on September 10th was PHENOMENAL.  Seriously.  Even though I was with people from work, I was also sort of alone (hard to explain) and yet I still had the best day.  The free mocha latte to start it all didn't hurt anything either.  I didn't want to leave when it was over, so I popped my Travis Cottrell CD into the van player and sang "In Christ Alone" as loud as I could several times on the way home.

2.  Next weekend I will be attending the .mom (that's dot mom) conference in Birmingham, AL and I am SO EXCITED!!  I plan to review it on the blog when I come back.  Stay tuned!

3.  Tomorrow morning I will getting up and walking on my treadmill.  I really mean it this time.  No, seriously, I do.  I made a fitness schedule today and I intend to follow it.

4.  Tomorrow I will also be digital scrapbooking with my buddies Jenn & Jennifer, so plan on seeing some cool pages displayed here if I happen to finish any.  The last time we scrapbooked together I was a complete waste of space.  They scrapbooked and I sat there playing on my computer.  For TWO WHOLE DAYS.

5.  Speaking of schedules (see #3), I also made a housekeeping schedule and a meal planning schedule.  I actually made the meal schedule earlier this month, but I have been tweaking it.  Instead of planning the week's meals just before going to the grocery store, I wrote out our meal plans for the ENTIRE MONTH.  And you know what?  It has been really, really great.  I've already started my October schedule.  As for housekeeping, well, that is not going quite as well.  I've got to leave room for improvement somewhere!

Until next time -

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome 2011!! What? It's June Already?

First things first.  I am alive.  Just in case any of you out there in the blogging world were wondering.  Also it appears that I have managed to lose one of my four followers since I last posted.  That's a whole 25% of my readership - and it wasn't even the 25% that is canine.  I lost an actual human.  Tragic.

Since I last posted I have lost 15 pounds, gained 5, had two very successful yard sales, bought season passes to Dollywood, helped with a 5K, started organizing a scrapbooking crop to benefit Royal Family Kids Camp, been to two Zumba classes, watched my son finish elementary school,  had one terrible bout of car sickness, read a multitude of books some good - some mediocre, rode a jet ski for the first time in my life, went to the Murphy, NC flea market on two occasions, started drinking caffeine again (after a 10-year hiatus), enjoyed some dueling clogging at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, experienced more snow in Cleveland TN than I ever have before and just a few months later watched tornadoes devastate our county, unfriended about 1/3 of my facebook friends and "hid" another 1/3, got a smart phone, bought and broke three phone covers, bought Beaches on DVD, completely overhauled our landscaping outside our house, hung two ferns on my front porch, and am currently trying a new brand of makeup.

There.  You are caught up.  I will try desperately to do a better job from here on out.  Empty promise, I know.  Stay turned for the possibility of some more book reviews.  Perhaps.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review - Body Double

Body Double by Tess Gerritsen

I believe at the end of my last review I mentioned I was going for darker fare next time. This book does indeed meet that description. This is the fourth book written by Tess Gerritsen I have read, also billed as the fourth book in the Rizzoli & Isles series. This past summer, TNT started a new drama series called Rizzoli & Isles which I watched and enjoyed. Not until I did some browsing on their website did I realize that the show was based on a series of books. Naturally, I had to start reading them.

There are so many "spoilers" I could give away in reviewing this book, but I will try not to do that. While not everything in the book came as a surprise (the jacket cover tells you that the dead woman is Dr. Isles' twin sister), there were several times that a twist caught me off guard and it wasn't until the end that I discovered I was wrong about who the killer was. I LOVE it when I'm wrong about who the killer is. There was also more than one storyline going on here, sort of, and getting caught up in one made me forget about the other for a time. That's not a complaint, because when it came back up it was kind of thrilling to have one more mystery that had to be solved before the book could end. This is very good thriller/mystery and I highly recommend it. Unless you're pregnant. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE PREGNANT. Trust me on it. You won't rest easy if you disregard my warning.

Several of the book storylines have been covered in the TV series, and while this book deals with Maura's parentage and so did one of the shows, it is not nearly the same. Even so, that episode was called "The Beast in Me" which is a huge nod to the book.

If you enjoy thrillers, you might want to give this series a try. If you're more of a TV-watching sort, I think the last four episodes are still on TNT's website for viewing. The second season starts next summer.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Mushroom Soup!

I LOVE soup. Something about making soup makes me feel all Rachael Ray-ish. (Although, I think she's more prone to making her "stoup" than regular soup.... I think it's just the chopping of vegetables and EVOO that sends me there.) There are several soup recipes that I adore, especially when the weather is chilly, but as a mushroom lover - this is hands-down my favorite. I've made it with the heavy whipping cream it calls for, but I also sometimes substitute half and half when my fat clothes are feeling a little on the snug side.

If you decide to try it, remember to add the garlic. It's in the ingredients list, but not in the recipe. Add it when you cook the celery and carrots near the beginning.

Crust up a loaf of french bread to dip in the soup. You'll be SO glad you did.

Link to recipe:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review - The Wednesday Letters

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

Since the back cover SAYS they die, I won't be giving anything away when I tell you that the first chapter involves the death of the two parents, who die in each others arms. Sad. And enough to make me not want to read any more. I'm glad I kept going.

The rest of the book (except the last chapter) covers the few days between their death and the funeral. I will admit to shedding a tear or two, even though this was not one of those books that just drove me over the edge into a sobbing mess. It was very solid and very enjoyable. Now I want to tell John to go write me a letter every week for the rest of our lives, but that will probably not happen. This was a very quick read and I think I read the majority of the book in a single day. Once the children discover the letters, my reading really picked up. The letters ranged from simple little notes to revelations of all sorts, some of which are quite surprising and some which are shocking. It really makes me wonder how much of my own parent's lives that I have NO CLUE about. I'm sure there is probably a great deal. I recommend this book.

My next review will probably be darker fare. I've read too many feel-goods lately!

And could I use the word "probably" any more?? Probably.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nobody Greater

Don't die of shock that I'm actually posting to my blog. Seriously, don't. I couldn't take the guilt.

So, this past Sunday morning I was all excited/scared/freaking out because I had the solo to the choir song. This happens approximately once a year, maybe twice if the choir is apparently we must have been. I got to sing in the first service and it went off without any drama, which is a nice change. I could elaborate, but that's not what this post is about.

During the second service, the praise team started singing a song they had not sung in the first service. It was so fantabulous that the Pastor came up and took the mike (mic?) and we sang it a gazillion wonderful times. I won't get into the thrill that I felt when I realized the direction the service was going and that I wouldn't have to sing my solo again. I guess I just did get into it, didn't I?

ANYWAY, I felt that I needed to share this praise/worship song that was so awesome because I have been singing it ever since. So has my husband. So has every single church person I've come across in the past three days. EVERY one. Oh, except you Athena, since you missed it. :)


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Books Reviews - May 2010

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I have to say, I'm not sure why I saw this book and thought, "Hmmm.....a book full of demons? I'm SO there!" But, I did. I read this one quickly because it was interesting and I mostly liked the characters. This is part of a trilogy, but I am not going to go on. Why, you ask? Demons. That is really my only reason. The main characters were demon killers, so it's not like it was PRO demon, but still. The book was Twilight-ish in many ways, and there was a couple twists that turned out to be VERY Star Wars-ish. VERY. To the point I was thinking, "Really? No one thought that was a tad copycat-ish?" I'm really liking adding "ish" to everything tonight, can't you tell? It is 3:30 AM, yes AM. I am going to hate myself in about 3 hours. So, you will no doubt enjoy this book if you are into that whole underworld creature kind of thing. Otherwise, you probably want to skip this one.

2. A Wicked Snow by Gregg Olsen
There was wickedness and there was snow. I didn't write this review right after reading the book, so my thoughts are less than fresh. I liked it, but I really felt there needed to be more of a mother/daughter confrontation....or mother/aunt if you can forgive me for the gigantic spoiler. I have no other thoughts.

3. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
I am 2/3 of the way through "The 19th Wife" which is about Mormon plural marriages and so I'm going to cheat and go ahead and write the review even though I haven't finished the book. It goes back and forth between the history of the Mormons and plural marriage, and specifically Brigham Young's 19th wife....and then a more modern murder mystery also involving a 19th wife in what I guess you would call a "fringe" group that still practices plural marriage. I really enjoy the more historical story and find myself blowing through the modern chapters to get them over with and back to the other story. I would call this one....interesting.