Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where I proceed to make everyone hungry...

I am SUPER bad about taking pictures and uploading them. So bad. Like I was planning on making a teaching blog around Valentine's Day with all my wonderful plans for 100th day and Valentine's Day celebration and yeah, neveruploaded the pictures. Perhaps that will be a summer project. Anywho, once again I have left the point of what I was saying..

So uploading pictures. In the last month I have taken quite a few kitchen shots of food. (A food blog is always talked about between my husband and me, but like I said, bad photo uploader.) So today you get a plethora of yummy food. I am so hungry and yet, have no idea what I want to make to eat.. Lunch? Breakfast? Eggs don't sound good and the milk is gone. What is a girl to do? I am trying to determine what refried beans, hummus and salsa could do for me ha.
First thing is first.. I won these wonderful Chocolate Cheerios from a giveaway at Trying to Stay Calm..

I got the cheerios, a bowl, and some chocolate soaps.. yummmy..

Chocolate cheerios were a nice change of pace for me and wonderful when mixed with yogurt, Kashi Go Lean and Bananas.. I would say they are a good 'treat' for oneself but, they didn't keep as full as myother breakasts... But I loved the bowl and stuff that came with it, I mean who can't NOT like chocolate??

Now on to some previous breakfast meals...

this yummy breakfast was a fried egg, tomato and cheddar cheese..
it was delicious.

my go to breakfast during the week for most of the month... Kashi Go Lean cereal and bananas.. yum yum

oh this isn't food is it? hehe.. this is one for the adorable heart hats that we made to celebrate the letter H and Valentine's Day. :) my kiddos wore it to the party..

this is a class effort... we took tissue paper and wrapped it around the pencils and viola.. something to hang on the wall.. :)

100th day of school.. 100 pieces of food.. yum yum yum

another wonderful breakfast.. chicken sausage stuffed with spinach and mozz cheese.. grilled the buns.. those are my husbands.. i had sandwich thins..

two eggs sizzling away...

the sandwich toppings...

the finished product...

And now I really need to go find something eat.. Hubby has beer bread in the oven..

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Discussion Questions for The Reader

The Reader was our February Group Read. Vote for March's on the sidebar.


1. At what point does the signficance of the book's title become clear to you? Who is "The Reader"? Are there others n the story with an equally compelling claim to this role?

2. When does the difference in social class between Hanna and Michael become most clear and painful? Why does Hanna feel uncomfortable staying overnight in Michael's house? Is Hanna angry about her lack of education?

3. In a novel, so suffused with guilt, how is Michael guilty? Does his narrative serve as a way of putting himself on trial? What verdict does he reach? Is he asking readers to examine the evidence he presents and condemn him or exonerate him? Or has he already condemened himself?

4. Do you agree with Michael's judgment that Hanna was sympathetic with the prisoners she chose to read to her, and that she wanted their final month of life to be bearable? Or do you see Hanna in a darker light; do the testimonies out her cruelty and sadism ring true?

5. How does the novel leave you feeling and thinking? Is it hopeful or ultimately despairing? If you have read other Holocaust literature, how does The Reader compare?

PLEASE tell us what you think. Respond in the comments. I can't wait to hear what everyone has to say. Also, if you have any questions, post them in the comments, so we can respond back!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Bachlorette Party

Now, this was a lot of fun. I was really looking forward to my Bachlorette Party and my friends did not let me down. We did play some silly games, (not a fan) but they weren't too bad.

Our evening started with my ladies coming to my houses for appetizers made by my lovely friends, getting our t-shirts that my friend had made up, and opening some presents that the ladies got me. My mom and MIL were present at the beginning part, where we kept it tame and they had a lot of fun with us. Present were: Matron of Honor, Sarah, Maid of Honor, Lisa, Bridesmaid's Ashley, Amanda and Lane and friend Jen and my husband's cousin Annie.

After, everyone arrived from far and near we car pooled into town to have a dinner at Applebee's. Yum girly cocktails. We had a lot of fun and I had a sparkly hat to wear, what can be bad about that? (Oh yeah, the sweat from dancing in a couple more hours. That was a Bridesmaid idea FAIL. Ugh.. It got sooo hot and sweaty and I couldn't take it off because my hair was soo gross oh and I also had the worst ever stress acne around wedding time. yay fun. ha )

After that we went back to my BFF's house to drop off our belongings and condense in cars even more. We walked into the kitchen to a giant blow up penis hanging from the light. Oh lordy. My friend was mortified because she forgot my MIL was coming. ha ha..

Then we went downtown to our local bars. Did I mention my BFF was about 7 months pregnant at this point? Yeah not fun. Anyway, we went to this bar first mainly because they had outdoor seating, and my other friend's bachelorette party was that night so we saw her and her ladies for a bit and had pictures taken together.

After this bar, we went to the one bar in town where people go to dance and said goodbye to my mom and MIL. We spent the rest of the night here boogieing down and met up with a bachelor party where the bachelor was a bit strange and I got dared to dance with him. UGHHHH ew. And there was the token married guy who kept giving me advice "to keep doing what I had been doing" before marriage and don't withhold afterwards. Holy hysterical conversation there.

Around closing, we walked across the road to the "quiet bar" and danced to the band they had, quite ridiculously and closed down that place. At that point we called my BFF'S husband to come pick us up because the original idea of walking, sounded bad and we all smashed into the 5 block car ride. :)

I would have to say the highlight would the the random guys who followed us to all three bars, whose names none of us good remember, yet we remember them taking photos with us and telling us to find them on myspace. I am sure they are very special photos. The other highlight? A great night of dancing and laughing with my girlfriends.

What's the craziest bachelorette party you've been to or witnessed?? I SOO cannot wait until my SIL's bachelorette party.. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spooky Little Girl Blog Tour

I mentioned here about how I received an ARC in the mail from for Spooky Little Girl. I asked around for those who would be interested in a Blog Tour in anticipation of its April 13th release. I had interest and I think there will be at least four stops for the book. If anyone still would like to participate feel free to send me your email address, but I can't guarantee that you will get it before the book comes out. As it is, I am not sure all four of our stops will happen before the book gets out!

I am sending the book out to its first stop today, hopefully everyone will write up a little post that I can share here. Look back on April 13th for my review!

PS... I think you're going to like it!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

McFatty Monday

Woot Woot, lost another pound. :)

Tuesday my legs were feeling sore from the weekend and the yoga the day before because I am soo not flexible people. So I only got about 11 minutes on the bike and just over a mile on the treadmill. Still pretty solid.

Wednesday I took the day off for dinner out with my friend.

Thursday I rocked out 2 miles. Now I am soo proud of myself here. I did my first mile in around 12:30 or something like that. Okay, not great but THAT IS THE BEST I HAVE TIMED MYSELF DOING SINCE LIKE FOREVER AGO. Like my entire 20s ha. The last time I was timed doing a mile was 9:52 in 9th grade. The best is that I only walked 3 minutes of that mile. Wooooo. (FYI before last summer I could barely ever run because I couldn't get breathing down so this is huge for me.. anyone who is a runner can just STFU about my lameness hehe..) The second mile my goal was to try to use incline again without killing my calves because I am still trying to concentrate on running properly on the treadmill. I realized that is why I've been sore after running on the treadmill. I've been running weird and it hurts. Thanks to my beautiful friend I had dinner with last week I realized this. So for my second mile I added some incline, ran a minute, walked a minute and what not and I was not sore afterwards, so I called it success. Then I did the 1 mile Walk Away the Pounds video with my mama. It was a nice cool down after the treadmill and nice to use some weights while working out.

Friday - Sunday off. Lame I know.

Today I shoveled my driveway for 20 minutes as my workout. I was just exhausted when I got home and the thought of making my body work anymore today was not doing. So I was productive and cleared the heavy snow from my driveway. My gut and back and legs enjoyed it. ;)

My goals for this week Tuesday = off or bonus workout depending on the plans with my one friend.. Wednesday = 2 miles on the treadmill, either 1 mile or 2mile Walk Away the Pounds video with my mama. Thursday = 2 miles on the treadmill, probably 15 minutes or so on the bike.

What is your favorite healthy lunch to pack? I like packing veggies and hummus. I really love salads but something about them being packed in my lunch sometimes loses it's awesomeness on me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

March Group Read Suggestions

Anyone have any suggestions for what we should read in March?

Books we have already read are:
I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

If you've thought about joining us before but have not, why not use the inspiration that March is Reading Month to join in!!

Just leave a comment with 1 or 2 book selections by Tuesday, February 23rd to have yours be included in the poll that will be posted Wednesday morning in the sidebar of my blog. That poll will be up until the 27th with the winner being announced next Sunday, February 28th.

Can't wait to read another book with you ladies!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: The Reader

I am going to start this by telling you that I typed up the most amazing, probably my best review ever and then it got deleted. So not only am I not thrilled to type this again, it was SO good the first time and I am afraid now it will fall flat. You have been warned.

I really really liked this book. I felt that it brought up very good questions, not only through the text via Michael's thoughts but through your own ponderings as you read. What is personal responsibility? Does someones actions NOT speak for them? Things to ponder.

Michael Berg, 15, falls ill one day on his way home from school. An older woman (he later learns her name is Hanna) helps him clean himself up and gets him home. Three months later he comes to thank her and sees her naked leg as she is putting on stockings. Needless to say this begins an affair between Michael and the 30 something Hanna. It lasts for about 6 months and during it, you can see Hanna acting very oddly throughout it. Michael refers to a class at school as idiotic and she reams him so much about it that he buckles down and does the best work of his life. He also begins reading to her every time they get together. Their relationship continues until the day Hanna leaves town without word.

Fast forward a few years and Michael is studying to be a lawyer and has to spend time in a courtroom listening to a trial involving SS officers during the Holocaust. Hanna is one of them. Michael goes to court EVERY day. While watching the trial and Hanna's bad defense of herself he realizes that she is illiterate. He struggles with what to do with this information. Does he tell the judge what he knows or shall he let Hanna determine her own fate. He even consults his father who is a philosophy professor on the matter. Eventually, the trial ends and Hanna is sentenced to prison.

"Her sense of self was worth more than the years in prison to her.
But has it was it really worth all that?" pg. 138

Michael marries and has a child but his whole life is colored by Hanna. His wife doesn't smell like Hanna and every thing she does he compares to her. They get divorced and Michael begins recording himself reading and sends it to Hanna in prison. In prison, Hanna learns to read sends him letters in return.

"My own diagnosis is that the numbness had to overwhelm my body before it
would let go of me, before I could let go of it." pg. 168

Michael's entire life is shaped by his relationship with Hanna. He struggles with his guilt over what he should with the knowledge he has of her illiteracy, he struggles with the guilt over what he should do for her and he compares every single woman in his life to her. For a first love, he most definitely did not get over her. I'm sure some could argue it was because the power she had over him because of her older age, but I think it was more of it being his first relationship with a woman and how many secrets and unknowns there was in that relationship. There really hadn't been closure and without that closure he couldn't lose off that part of his life.

I am a strong believer in personal responsibility. What you do has consequences. However, are we guilty of the sins of our fathers? If we stand silently while horrors occur are we guilty? How do we make amends if we are? I think that Hanna should have taken responsibility for her actions during the Holocaust and she did. In court, she admitted the things that she did and denied others. However, I don't think she deserved the sentence she got compared to the others. But that had a lot to do with her hiding the fact that she couldn't read or write. Also, I think Hanna was most definitely partly responsible for not saving the women in the church, BUT I also think that was a horrible position for her to be in. Yes, she willingly joined. But most would argue she did that to hide her secret. When she was there she had to do what she had to do to survive. Yes, she was kind and helped the weaker ones, but she still sent them off to death. But if she didn't, what would have happened to her? I think that if you are NOT in that exact same position at that exact same time you cannot judge her actions. At that church in the middle of the night when you know you are going to be left alone with more people than you, with little back up, what do you do? If you are told one thing by your superiors, whose orders do you follow? When you are in that thick, you are in a total different mentality.

I also believe that Hanna's obsession with cleanliness had a lot to do with her time in the SS. I think she may have been taken advantage of by men guards. Or that may be part of her early history since NOTHING is said of her family. I think Hanna had issues but I also don't think she was a monster. I think circumstances forced her. However, at any time you do have free will, and she decided keeping her secret was the most important thing.

"There's no need to talk, because the truth of what one says lies in what
one does." pg. 174

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beautiful Blogger

The wonderful Julie over at Book Hooked was gracious enough to bestow upon me the Beautiful Blogger Award. THANK YOU JULIE!

The instructions that go along with this award are as follows:

- Thank the person who nominated you for this award.-

Copy the award and place it in your blog.

- Link the person who nominated you for this award.-

Tell us 7 interesting things about you.

- Nominate 7 bloggers

- Post the links to the 7 bloggers you nominate.

1. I only drink cocktails when I'm out with the ladies. If I am out with the guys / husband it is strictly whiskey, rum or beer.

2. I prefer failing over and over than dealing with tough stuff.

3. I get my straightforwardness from my grandma, who was a VERY blunt lady. Man I miss her.

4. I would move to a warmer climate / bigger city area in a heart beat. I love my big yard but I miss the culture and restaurants and what not that bigger cities have.

5. I cannot wait for my summer off from work.

6. I get distracted by blogs and keep adding more and more to my "to read list" and it takes away from book reading time. Whoops.

7. I get annoyed with people who constantly complain about situations that arise from choices they made in their life with them knowing the downfalls.

Now here are seven ladies that are very beautiful to me. ;)

1. Lisa

3. Girl With The Red Hair (Amber) (I apparently read a lot of blogs by Amber's ha..)

7. Erin

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Planning the Ceremony

When you aren't getting married in a church and your uncle who gets ordained is the person marrying you, you pretty much have to plan the ceremony by the minute. If it were not for google and the many random Internet sources, I'm sure I would have gone crazy. I also had collected a bunch of programs from other weddings, and used them to follow the order around and what not. I would say it took me a couple hours total planning everything. This is how our ceremony went down.

Prelude (Bach)
Seating of the Grandparents
Order: Grandma D (Seated by Groom)
Grandma V (Seated by Best Man)
Grandma G (Seated by Groom)
Grandma N (Seated by Bride's Brother)

Seating of the Parents
Order: MIL (Seated by GROOM) he then goes to front
Bride's Mom (Seated by Bride's Brother) he walks back out (after everyone is seated mom and MIL will go and light the unity candle) - Except we didn't end up lighting it because it was slightly windy. I think we ended up having it at our head table.

Bridal Party Processional –Jesu of Man’s Desiring
Order: yada yada yada

Bride – Uncle Jeff sings “She” by Elvis Costello (dad walks me down and then sits down next to mom then we do the welcoming)

Welcoming - Friends, we have been invited here today to share with Emily and Anthony, a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife. At this time they would like their friend Jenny to read a special poem. ( I found this online and probably copied it word for word with a few changes.)
Reading (By Jen)

MY LOVE~ Linda Lee Elrod ~
When I met you, I had no idea
how much my life
was about to be changed...
but then, how could I have known?
A love like ours happens
once in a lifetime.
You were a miracle to me,
the one who was everything
I had ever dreamed of,
the one I thought existed
only in my imagination.
And when you came into my life,
I realized that what I
had always thought
was happiness
couldn't compare to the joy
loving you brought me.
You are a part of everything
I think and do and feel,
and with you by my side,
I believe that anything is possible.
(this day) gives me a chance
to thank you for the miracle of you...
you are, and always will be,
the love of my life. (end sappy fest)

Officiant – Discuss seriousness of marriage. How he knows the bride and groom. About our relationship from what he has witnessed.

Wedding Vows –
Anthony says: I (Anthony), take you (Emily) to be my (wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.
Emily says: I (Emily), take you (Anthony) to be my (husband), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

Solo – Megan singing “When You Say Nothing At All” by Allison Krause

Lighting of the Unity Candle (while Megan is singing Anthony and I will light it)

Exchange of Rings –
Anthony says: This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.
Emily says: This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I have and all that I am.

Solo – Uncle Jeff singing “Looking Through The Eyes of Love” originally by Melissa Manchester

Closing: Because Emily and Anthony have desired each other in marriage, and we have witnessed this, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and they have pledged their love and faith to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, I do proclaim that they are husband and wife. Let all people here and everywhere recognize and respect this union, now and forever. Anthony, you may now kiss your bride.

Introduction of the Bride and Groom: It is now my privilege to introduce to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. .....

Recessional: Music “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw
Reverse Order of the Bridal Party
Anthony and Emily return to greet and dismiss guests

And all of that took around 20 minutes or so.

Anyone else have to write out their whole ceremony? What songs will you/did you have at your wedding? Any particular poems or readings you would want?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Reader... some thoughts and ponderings..

Sunday, I sat down with the intention of starting The Reader so I could discuss it with those of you who have already finished and to write some questions. I finished it Sunday. Needless to say, after Part One was over, it picked up considerably and I really connected with Michael and a lot of what he was thinking / questioning. The older woman / younger boy relationship did not phase me. Probably, because it wasn't made into a big deal. Probably because he DID tell her he was 17. Which, still isn't great, but it's not like she actually knew he was 15. And he was a willing participant.

Anyway, I have SO much to say about this but I am going to try to space it out in a few posts instead of one huge long one.

Questions Michael posed..

"Why does what was beautiful suddenly shatter in hindsight because it concealed
dark truths? Why does the memory of years of happy marriage turn to gall when
our partner is revealed to have had a lover all those years? Because, such a
situation makes it impossible to be happy? But we were happy!" pg. 37

What do you think?
(For those who don't know this is the part where he is looking back at his youth and wondering why it makes him sad.) In part I do agree with him, how things end do tend to color how we think of the situation as a whole. But sometimes that does our past and our actions a disservice. If you knew you would fail, would you still try? If you know that love can make you miserable and people die, do you not still love?? It is interesting, because I know that I have discolored memories of events / people because of the outcomes. What are your experiences?

"What is law? Is it what is on the books, or what is actually enacted and obeyed
in society? Or is law what must be enacted and obeyed whether or not it is on
the books, if things are to go right?" pg. 91

I found this to be an interesting question. Because really, what is law? Is it what's already in place, or what was in place in the past? Is what is written as law, followed to the T? Or is there interpretations made case by case? To simply answer, I say that law is fluid and ever changing. That is the simple and uncomplicated version at least. What do you think?

I really enjoyed The Reader and the many, many questions it brought to light. Whether Michael is posing them or they naturally pop out as you are reading. What questions that Michael posed stood out to you?

Monday, February 15, 2010

McFatty Monday

Well as sore as my lower body is today, I would have expected weight loss. Of course not. Still holding steady. Yesterday, the hubby and I attempted at 40 minute workout. HOLY CRAP. Around the 30 minute mark we were dying and we smelled BAD. We stepped outside into the frigid air for a breather and then jogged to the mailbox and back and I then did the rest of the video and he jumped in the shower. The longer today goes, the more I hurt ha.

This morning I woke up and attempted Yoga for the first time. I say attempt because I got maybe 20 minutes in and I was like HOW THE HELL IS MY BODY SUPPOSED TO DO THAT??? Yeah, so I stopped and did about 10 minutes of cardio and then my mom called and I got in the shower.

My goal for this week is to work out every. single. day. I am getting fitted for that bridesmaid dress on Saturday and while I know I can't magically lose weight I am hoping to fit comfortably into a certain size so I don't have to order the other one and in hopes that I will continue to lose weight before the wedding and can get it taken in.

Last week I got an hour workout in on Monday and Friday. I had a goal of waking up Saturday to workout before I went shopping but we were out until 4 am so I did not get enough sleep. :) My hip was so whacked out from Monday that it hurt every time I tried something Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday.

So this week my plan is Tuesday = 2 miles on the treadmill and possibly 15 minutes on the bike. It depends on where I go. If I use my parents house there isn't a bike. Wednesday =30 day shred, Thursday 2 miles on treadmill, Friday 20 minute sweat video, Saturday: Beginner Cardio Workout.

I have been using Exercise Tv to find free full length workouts to use at home. I can hook it up to my tv so I can watch it on the big screen. It's worked out nicely. I have also been using Mag Rack on demand to find videos. The Beginner Cardio workout is what I did on Friday and it was pretty darn good. I've realized I am so uncoordinated and kickboxing is sooo not for me. Every time I have to coordinate kicking and punching I fail. I also cannot punch. I just don't get it. I guess I'm not much of a fighter.

Two areas I really want to strengthen and find new workouts for are stomach and back. Anyone have a good routine for either that they'd like to share? What are your workout plans / goals for the week?

I cannot wait until it gets nicer outside so I can start running outside again!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm gonna be down in Tennessee....

Yes, Yes I am! Tennessee is going to be the destination of our Spring Break trip March 26th-April 1st. We are going to visit my husband's cousin with his other cousin and our friend. We have hotel reservations in Nashville for that time because we got a really great deal. However, we are thinking of leaving Nashville that Monday or so and driving somewhere else for the rest of our stay. That some place else MAY or may NOT also be in Tennessee. The leader for other potential Tennessee location is most likely Memphis. Any suggestions??

I have been to Tennessee (Nashville area) 3 times. New Years 2005, March 2006 and May 2008. I've also been over to the Pigeon Forge area in March 2006. New Years was a girls trip to visit my friend and her husband who lived in Goodlettsville and we spent New Years Eve in downtown Nashville. That was AWESOME. March 2006 trip was a Spring Break trip with my then fiance to visit my friend and her husband and then we drove across the state to spend the rest of the week with another friend of ours and his fiancee at their time share. May 2008 was to visit two of my friends who had moved to Tennessee after falling in love with it visiting my best friend and her husband who have since moved back to Michigan and then to Texas.

My husband and I have spent a lot of time in the downtown Nashville area and we will be probably visit that area at least once. When I was there in 2008, I spent a lot of time on the West End and near Vanderbilt area and I really like that area. We also plan to go visit the Jack Daniels Distillery. We are mostly searching for cheap bars and restaurants with great happy hours or what not.

Here is a list of places I really want to revisit when we go...
Provence Breads & Cafe - they had really yummy stuff when I was there last time and they are right by the next place I my list..
Book Man/Book Woman - THE BEST USED BOOKSTORE I HAVE EVER BEEN TOO... I could live there...
BroadWay Brewhouse - When I was there, we enjoyed 2 for 1 drafts on Sunday... yumm

Anyone have any must sees while we are in the Nashville area? Any suggestions on where we should spend a few days? (Within driving distance...)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to make a Non-Reader a Reader...

This was the gist of today's Booking Through Thursday that is circling around and that apparently blogger won't let me copy and paste into my blog. And I am lazy because, I STARTED MY 4 DAY WEEKEND. Yes, that required shouting.

Anywhoo... My suggestions to be taken with a grain of salt. If it is a child, who claims to hate to read, I always first try to determine if they are having trouble reading. Since a surefire way to not like something is when one cannot do it well.

Barring any issues in that department. I start to question their sanity. How can you not like to read, child??? I kid. I kid. I ask them what they are interested in. Not related to books. Do you play sports? Do you like to run? Are you a fan of dolls? What is your favorite television show? Is there something you want to learn more about? Then I use these answers to come up with some reading selections.

A boy who likes sports? Matt Christopher. Scooby Doo fan? Here is a book. A fan of comedy? Captain Underpants to the rescue. Mysteries? Goosebumps. Michigan Chillers. Whatever. So it may not be "great literature," but it doesn't need to be. Hook em' with what they like and they will eventually venture out. Will it mean they will enjoy Shakespeare? No. Will they suddenly want to read the entire canon? Probably not. But, I am a firm believer in reading a gossip rag is better than being illiterate.

I remember growing up, my parents had us watch the nightly news with them every night and got two newspapers a day. I read them both willingly. My brother read the Sports sections in each. We both read every day. My dad read the newspaper and the occasional Mitch Albom or Ohio State related book. My mom always had a magazine and/or book going on. Reading was all around us. Yeah, my brother hasn't read a book since Junior High, but I read every day.

Positive experiences and encouragement go a very long way. Oh and a library membership that I believe everyone should have.

How did your parents shape you into becoming a reader? Or a non-reader? ::shudder:::

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wedding Wednesday..

Sorry guys, taking a break this week because I didn't get the snow day I should have and this week is crazy busy at work. :( Have a nice 4 day weekend coming up which excites me greatly.

Though, in wedding news, I am a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law's wedding that is most likely going to be in October! Going dress shopping this weekend. Eek.

Has anyone started The Reader? Anything you want to share? I am starting it this weekend on my break.

Now I am back to finish getting things ready for the Valentine's Day party and crashing early tonight.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Sister Pact

Back Cover: Savannah Compton is devastated when her sister and best friend Allison falls into a coma after a tragic accident. Or was it an accident? Even with a charming and handsome detective at her side it seems Savannah may never discover the truth. But if she doesn't her family could be in even more danger. And Savannah's past holds its own secrets that could change everything.

Now she must prove her innocent to the one person who is beginning to matter most. join Savannah as she struggles to summon hope and rely on faith, even in the darkest of circumstances, and learn how the bond between sisters can overcome anything.

Okay, this book was nauseating. There I said it. I only finished it because I received it from the author and wanted to give it a chance. It was terrible. I feel really bad saying it, but if I want to be a credible book blogger, I have to be honest. There were too many similes of poor taste, way too many adjectives, passive voice, word mishaps (know instead of now, sticks out), ridiculous scenes between characters and unbelievable stupidity involved.

It almost reminded me of a bad romantic comedy. Oh wait, it is billed as a romantic mystery. But there really isn't any mystery because the whodunit is spelled out at the beginning. Sure there are parts of the characters slowly revealed, but it doesn't take a novice reader to pick out the details before they are spelled out for you.

My biggest problem with this book was that one of the characters, Noah, would be convinced that Savannah, was the person who had injured her sister and in one moment and not even halfway down the page he was thinking in his head how attractive she was or telling her he cared for her. Ummm hello. Or the ridiculous attempts by each other to make the other jealous, but them not realizing the other was trying to make them jealous. Or Savannah not telling the truth all the time when it was stupid not too, and it just made the plot even more terrible.

I just went back to re-read the back cover and realized that the back is SOOOO deceiving to what the story really is. Cuz I wondered why I would have wanted to read it, but the back makes it sound promising hmpth.

I suppose if you are into romance novels this book would be good for you. But there is just kissing, no sexy love scenes. I would also say that if my grandma was still alive, I'd probably give it to her to read, but she would probably be disappointed by the lack of sex.

Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author via a giveaway.

Monday, February 8, 2010

McFatty Monday - Getting in Gear

I did not weigh myself this morning because I was afraid my Super Bowl eats would make me cringe. Though on Sunday morning when I weighed myself I had lost a pound. So we will probably call this a no loss week ha. But I did eat pretty bad Wed-Sunday.

My SIL got engaged on Friday night and wants to be married within 2010, so that has re-encouraged my efforts. My goal for the week was 1 hour of treadmill a day and whatever else was bonus. Sounds great right? Until minute 42 on the treadmill today when I felt the most searing pain of my life in my left side hip area. Um yeah, huge pain. I have no idea what is going on, but it is very painful. I have back issues and I know that it has been acting up the last week but wow. When I get up from sitting down I can barely walk and I most definitely walk normal. So I am hoping I can manage something tomorrow.

After I had to get off the treadmill I did 100 sit ups. Yay. This week is going to be insane at work and especially if we get the snow tomorrow that we are supposed too. Now, I have wanted a snow day for about a month and now that we are going to get one it is making me mad. We have the 100th day of school scheduled for Wednesday and the Valentine's Day party scheduled for Thursday. Now I can be super woman teacher and combine them all together if I need to but it would be SOO MUCH more fun to have two separate occasions. The best thing I have going for me, is that after I survive Thursday I get a 4 day weekend! Woot.

Anyway, last week. I only worked out Sunday night and Tuesday after work. Whoops. Wednesday I was just lazy and Thursday I had a get together and Friday I was lazy and Saturday I did go out dancing, so that counted I am sure.

But yeah, if I am going to be in a dress in front of the family in the near future, I am hitting the workouts until I get knocked up. ;) This will be my motivating factor. That and that I want to someday fit in my size 8 pants that I kept. (Who cares that they will be completely out style by then ha.)

If I do get a snow day I will most likely have a mid-week check in because I took some pictures of some of my eats last week but they are still on my camera.

My new fave breakfast - Kashi Go Lean Crunch with banana (love it just as much as the other one but it's almond flavor so it's kinda sweeter?)

Favorite workout - The treadmill until my hip died on it

New Goal: 10 pounds gone by my 26th (gulp) birthday on March 26th

And Blair wanted to know :What is your end goal and what are you measuring it in? My end goal is to not feel fat. My end goal is not hate my stomach. My end goal is to not hate my thighs. When that happens it will be the end. But, I also love food and refuse to not stop eating junk forever and ever because I don't believe in living a life of bland. And to me, most health food is bland. I need bean dip, I need Qdoba, I need cheese. Not all the time and not all in one day, but I will never eat like a bird and I will never eat ridiculously healthy. My aim is to live and let live even if that includes more Oreos than lettuce.

How was your week?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just in My Mailbox...

I just received an ARC of spooky little girl by Laurie Notard from Random House Publishing via Goodreads First Reads Program. Spooky little girl comes out 4/13/10.

Death is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Coming home from a Hawaiian vacation with her best girlfriends, Lucy Fisher is stunned to find everything she owns tossed out on her front lawn, the locks changed, and her fiancé’s phone disconnected—plus she’s just lost her job. With her world spinning wildly out of her control, Lucy decides to make a new start and moves upstate to live with her sister and nephew.

But then things take an even more dramatic turn: A fatal encounter with public transportation lands Lucy not in the hereafter but in the nearly hereafter. She’s back in school, learning the parameters of spooking and how to become a successful spirit in order to complete a ghostly assignment. If Lucy succeeds, she’s guaranteed a spot in the next level of the afterlife—but until then, she’s stuck as a ghost in the last place she would ever want to be.

Trying to avoid being trapped on earth for all eternity, Lucy crosses the line between life and death and back again when she returns home. Navigating the perilous channels of the paranormal, she’s determined to find out why her life crumbled and why, despite her ghastly death, no one seems to have noticed she’s gone. But urgency on the spectral plane—in the departed person of her feisty grandmother, who is risking both their eternal lives—requires attention, and Lucy realizes that you get only one chance to be spectacular in death.

I am excited to read it. I think it will be a well deserved light funny read. It’s in my pile next to my chair underneath The Reader and The Sister Pact.

It made me wonder, who else would be interested in reading this ARC? If I get enough interest, I was thinking of sending my copy on a Blog Tour. It could travel around to those who are willing and able to read and review it on their blog in anticipation of its 4/13 release date.

If you would be interested in taking part of a Spooky Little Girl Blog Tour, leave a comment and include your email address. Depending on the amount of interest I will get it started. And if it’s only one person, hey you are the lucky recipient of my copy when I’m done. :) Just FYI though, if you want to participate I will need your mailing address and will give it to the person who will be responsible for mailing it to you, so if you are uncomfortable sharing that info, be forewarned.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Twenty Stories - Kristin Fouquet

I received Twenty Stories from a giveaway. It is collection of flash fiction and short stories by Kristin Fouquet. While, I'm not a huge fan of flash fiction, I can tell you that Fouquet can surely write good flash fiction. In 2 pages she can hook you, draw you in and promptly drop you back in the water wanting to be plucked back in again. Some authors cannot do that in 300 pages.

I liked the last two stories the best "The Moon is New but Love is Old" and " Depreciation of The Darbonnes" mostly because they were a bit longer and a bit more substance. But that is just my personal taste.

I really enjoyed how Fouquet, who is from New Orleans, incorporated New Orleans culture; past and present into her writing. You've got Bourbon street in "Dames of Dumaine", flappers mentioned in more than one piece, the food, the language, and the music.

Some of my favorite of the flash fiction were "Faithful Still" about a woman and an older lover, "Traveling Lightheaded" which is a bit sinister, "Propped Up" which is comical, "A Reason to Believe" because it rings so true, and "Boy in Waiting" about a boy who waits outside the same house waiting on his dad almost every day after school for a year, what is soo important that he keeps on waiting?

If you are a fan of New Orleans culture, flash fiction or short stories you would enjoy this collection. Check out Kristin's blog here.

FTC DISCLOSURE I did receive this book free from

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Bridal Shower #2

When I first plotted out sharing my wedding I thought for sure I should have broken the showers apart. But now, as I am going back and talking about them and posting the pictures, I apparently realize that most of my pictures from both events are hard copies and not on the computer. Whoops. :)

Anyhoo, my mom and my aunts threw me a shower about a month before I got married. I would include my grandma in the throwing but all she did was demand there was nuts and mints on the tables. :) Love her and miss her. I had a bowl of those the other day and about cried. Eesh.. Anyway, moving on...

The bridal shower is actually where I got my final cake idea from. My Aunt Jodi was in charge of getting the cake and I could NOT stop gushing about it. Finally, she started laughing and told me the "story" behind the cake. She got it from a local bakery that makes FABULOUS stuff. Like OMG this is amazing stuff. She picked it up the day before the shower and took it home. She got home and the cake and SLID OFF the cake plate. CAKE EVERYWHERE. She was trying to like slab it together and it was soooo not happening. FREAK accident. She calls in a panic and they somehow managed to FIX the cake (free of charge of but she had to pick it up THE DAY OF THE SHOWER.) Needless to say she made my other aunt carry it the entire way to the shower hahaha. The story was a lot funnier and better told in person and if I would have told it to you oh say 2 years ago. ;) Just trust me on it.

totally worth all the hassle.... ;)

My aunts and mom made alllll of my favorite foods. We had Day Ahead Salad, snicker bar and apple salad, fruit, taco salad and sub sandwiches. Yum. I had great food at both showers.

mmmm.. forgot about that delicious fruit salad!

I also received some awesome gifts at this shower. I got some lingerie (ooh lalala), an awesome cooler, wall art, an AWESOME blender, more dishes, my bathroom stuff (curtain, liners, toothbrush holder etc..) towels and lots more. I was seriously spoiled at my showers.

actually for my husband.. for his Man Room

We also had some games. My aunt had a game with Famous Couples and you were given the name and you had to come up with the show they were in. It was alright and different. I really don't remember any other games.. :)

Oh and I apologize for my terrible appearance. Apparently when you don't actually pre-plan what you are going to wear to your shower and then realize the new shirt you bought was an XTRA SMALL and therefore not going to fit and you have NOTHING ELSE TO wear apparently pants in July was a good idea. Also, notice that it must have been ridiculously humid since my hair is SOOO PUKEY. ugh..

What was the WORST Bridal Shower / any shower that you've attended???

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This was our January's Group Read and I will be honest, I really had no desire to read it. So that MAY be why I wasn't 100 percent into it. Perhaps, a tad biased. But, I thought it was just okay.

This was a complex novel which had many characters to keep straight and multiple plot lines to follow. The main story line involves Mikael Blomkvist, a financial reporter, who has just been convicted of libel. He is contracted by Henrik Vanger to look into the disappearance of Vanger's niece Harriet, 30 odd years ago.

"Salander fitted into this picture as well as a buffalo at a boat show." (pg.

Another story line includes Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant loner who works for a security firm and is introduced to the reader in snippets. The more you know about Lisbeth the more you wonder and I am anticipating that is why there are more books.

I also would have to say that the relationship that Blomkvist had with Erika Berger was quite interesting as well. It's hard to believe a relationship like their's would survive marriages and time without jealousy and with such great friendship.

"Sometimes they were together so often that it felt as though they really
were a couple; sometimes weeks and months would go by before they saw each
other. But even as alcoholics are drawn to the state liquor store after a
stint on the wagon they always came back to each other." (pg. 62)

To say much more, I unfortunately feel as though I would give too much away and part of the point of reading the book is for the storylines to slowing reveal themselves. The slowly revealing themselves part partly is the reason why I was not a huge fan.

The writing was brilliant, I actually learned more about Sweden than I knew before, and it inspired me to research more about Sweden, however I could barely keep going. I honestly think the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to know more about Lisbeth. I figured out most of 'mystery' before it was fully revealed and was as disgusted and over the Vangers as Mikael was by the time THAT wrapped up. And sadly, even Lisbeth was disappointing me towards the end.

Perhaps discussing the book with someone else would help. I will say that I would probably enjoy the book in movie form. Not sure when or if I will pick up The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Anyone agree? Disagree? Want to talk? Leave comments / questions and I will respond.

Monday, February 1, 2010

McFatty Monday

So does losing .6 of a pound count??? ;) The large chocolate malts I had this weekend probably were not good but hey whatever. Also, I only got in one good workout all week with how crappy I was feeling. Today I ended up shopping with my mom and then with a headache instead of working out. Whoops.

I did lay out a good plan for workouts this week and I'm excited for them. I have learned that no matter how excited I can make myself to workout in the morning? I just can't get up. If only work started an hour or so later. ;)

I really just feel so blah that I can't work up much of a McFatty post.

However, I did want to post a day of eating in the life of me.. so here is today's eats ..

Breakfast: 7:00 Kashi Go Lean Cereal with banana and milk, glass of water
Snack : 10;00 4 Peanut Butter Crackers
Lunch: 11:20 Smart Ones Ravioli and a large handful of grapes, 2 glasses of water, 3 chocolate kisses
Sipping on Green Tea after lunch
Snack :3:30 Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar
Dinner: Vegetable Stirfry, apple with peanut butter, glass of water
Dessert: 2 cookies, a dark chocolate piece

I apparently have really wanted some sweets today. Which is weird, I go through phases. But this is a ridiculous amount of sweet stuff for me.

Does anyone else do workouts via On Demand? I found some workouts through Mad Rag that I am going to try out this week. Some dancing , kickboxing.. looks interesting and a good way to mix things up! How is everyone else doing?