Friday, March 30, 2012

Discussion 2 - The Violets of March

I feel, like it has been foreeever since the first discussion, but I guess that's what happens when we have an extra Friday in the month! ;)

Greetings and Happy Friday.  It’s Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns.  I hope you all enjoyed Violets of March as much as I did. I had been looking forward to reading it since it first came out and I was not disappointed.  I read it in a span of days, staying up past my bedtime on the final night to finish it as I just had to see how it would all turn out.  For me, it’s always a sign of a good book when I am willing to break my strict bedtime rule.  ;) 

While I loved the book, there were some things that bugged me.  For instance, I didn’t find Greg & Jack’s characters super believable…  Maybe I am just too cynical these days, but the professions about her beauty, etc, seemed a bit overdone and made me roll my eyes a bit.  And it annoyed me how she was willing to accept the mysterious nature of her relationship with Jack.  But besides that, I really loved the book and was surprised by the ending.

 Now for the discussion questions…

  1. What role does Bainbridge Island play in this story? What makes it unique? What does the island offer Emily that she can't get from her life in New York?
  2. Both Bee and Elliot harbor guilt about the night of Esther's accident. How do you feel they handled the situation? Would you have protected Elliot the way Bee did? Would you have gone down after Esther the way Elliot said he had wanted to?
  3. What do you think about the fact that Esther was living all this time?  What do you think about the fact that she kept in touch with Henry, but never made contact with her child?
  4. Elliot says that he and Esther were “soul mates,” and Emily's relationship with Jack mirrors that sentiment. Do you believe in soul mates? What role does timing play in these two couples' relationships? What could Esther and Elliot have done differently to be together.
Thanks, Lisa! I really enjoyed this book too, and can't wait to discuss Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah in April.  Discussion dates will be April 13th and 27th! Hope you will join!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April's Group Read

I realized, I never posted on the blog what April's pick was, I just mentioned it on twitter.  Of course the results are on the side bar, but I should probably let you in on that, huh? ;)

We will be reading Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  Discussions will happen on April 13th and April 30th.

I do not have the book in my possession at this point, so I cannot let you know chapter break downs.  But the first half will be discussed on the 13th and the second half / rest of the book on the 30th. ;)

Thanks for joining us!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teeth Suck

Oh my poor baby, she is a miserable little lady.

Right after Thanksgiving and a round of shots she was a mess.  Then two teeth popped through.  Those were quick. 

Now, for the last 2-3 weeks she has been working on 2 more, but I think I saw 4 total the last time I got a look inside that mouth before she decided to clam up whenever anyone dared to enter the same zip code. ;P

On one side she has an upper lateral incisor (i think ha) coming through and it looks horrid (last time I was able to see it).  The other one hasn't popped yet, but there was a bump.

My poor girl.  She has cried inconsolably and woken more often than normal and on the one positive, she sleeps more,just more interruptions.

Poor lady.

Come on teeth!

And, for not the first time, I wish all babies could wake up magically with all full set one morning, or at birth.

On a good note for my boobs, she hasn't thought they were a chew toy for awhile.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A day in the life of Angie...

If you want to share a day in your life, email me at pinkflipflops44 @ gmail dot com!

Today we have my fabulous friend Mrs. Slick! You can find her over at Mrs.Slick where she writes about her journey through infertility.  She's funny, tough and a great friend.  Here is a day in her life...

5:00 - Alarm goes off and I get up. Now comes the challenge of dragging the beast out of bed without waking the mister.

::Gunner, here. Guuuuuunner, heeeeeere::

Nothing, he doesn’t move. He’s pretending not to hear me. So I go drag him out of his bed. He resists at first but then gives in...but not without stretching and taking his sweet time to get to the door.

5:29 - He’s finally outside, now I go to turn on our weed...I mean PLANT lights. No, really it’s all perfectly legal. The almost constant glow of the blue plant lights in our house just looks very suspicious.

While getting ready for work, I realize today is THE day.

6:15 - Gunner is back inside, I’m ready for work and have my lunch packed so I leave.

I make it to my doctor’s office before my 7:00 appointment time so I play around on my iPhone for a while until the nurse can get me back. It takes her a few tries to get my vein and I realize I haven’t drank anything today...oops! She takes two vials and sends me on my way.

7:52 - I pull into work and run in. I’m supposed to be there no later than 7:50, luckily I sneak in unannounced.

A few students drift in and out for tutoring before school starts. I check my phone compulsively even though it’s too soon for THE call.

8:30 - School starts

1st and 2nd period: Oh, my special babies. I teach what is called Opportunities. It’s a co-taught class with a special education teacher for kiddos who need additional support. Most of these kids should be in resource, one should probably be in a self contained classroom, and many have been in and out of juvy and trouble. I love my special babies. They need much more attention and tlc and I love giving it to them.

Half way though I realize that I forgot to make copies of today’s homework so I play the hero, “Surprise guys! No homework today!” I smile at their excitement and let them think I planned it. Little do they know that I planned on an evil handout, ha.

I checked my phone 3 times between 1st and 2nd period - even though I still knew it was too soon.

3rd period: This is a regular class but still has some special babies. I get all the ones that need a little more love. None of the other teachers seem to have the patience for them. I have little patience for the snotty advanced kids - well really more their parents.

One boy falls asleep for a brief second and rips a loud fart on those hard plastic chairs. He wakes himself up, realizes what he’s done, shrugs and attempts to lay his head down. While shooting death glares at any kid who looks like they’re thinking about laughing, I tell him to keep his head up and get to work. ::inside I’m DYING to laugh but I keep it in::

Again, I get to play the hero by not giving homework - woohoo!

Lunch: I have 25 minutes for lunch. One of my special babies has trouble with her back pack zipper and wants to tell me all about her new dress. I help her out and listen intently - it takes 3 minutes to get her out the door. I now have 22 minutes. I check my phone. No call yet.

I start walking to the lounge with the microwave...damn, forgot a fork I have to trek it back up to the front of the building get my fork then walk back to the lounge. My food is heated and now I head down to my friend’s room where a group of us eat, it’s all the way across the building. Now I have 14 minutes to eat. I check my phone again. Still no call.

While eating a student comes to me and asks if he can get back into my classroom because he forgot his binder with his science homework in it. I take him back to my room and then walk back to lunch - I now have 3 minutes to finish my meal ::sigh:: As I’m walking back to my room, I check my phone yet again - yep, no call.

4th period: This class is like the ocean, you can’t turn your back on them. They’re a tough bunch. I am exhausted by the time this class is done every single day. Give them an inch and they’ll run a mile - in the opposite direction you want them to just to annoy you. This is a class of 26 kids - I only have 24 desks. And 19 of them are boys. There is just too high of a testosterone to estrogen ratio for things to run smoothly, I think. I don’t check my phone at all this class - I can’t trust them to take my eyes off of them or go to the back of the room to my desk.

5th period: Another one of my special baby classes. This class is a supplemental math elective for kids who need additional math support. Today we’re going to the computer lab. They are PUMPED! They love it and so do I because it means I can get some work done. While they’re working, I’m grading homework assignments and answering emails from the day. I also may or may not have checked my phone a bazillion times.

6th period: I’m so glad I get to save the best for last. I’d like to lie and say we teachers don’t have favorites, but we do. I love my 6th period class. Every single kid is hilarious in one way or another. They’re all super sweet and willing to help out others when needed. They make me cute funny pictures to put up on my wall and send me funny emails when they’re given computer time in other classes. They even send me punny math jokes.

::Hey Mrs. Slick, what did Zero say to Eight? Give up?...I like your belt::

Surprise! Principal stopped by for an impromptu observation. I’m lucky they picked this class period instead of 4th, I would likely cry if that happened. The principal gets to see me play the hero yet again with no homework. Phew.

I checked my phone 5 times this class (before the principal came in).

7th period: Conference. I get some more graded and pretend to work, but I’m really compulsively checking my phone.

3:30 - Last bell rings and kids fill the halls to go home and I get to put on my snazzy yellow vest to do parking lot duty.

3:45 - I come back in and check my phone. Nothing.

3:59 - Phone rings. My heart pounds, palms instantly get sweaty. I panic.

::answers phone, listens to nurse, talks to nurse, hangs up phone::

4:01- I made it to the car before breaking down in tears. I’m supposed to stay until 4:30 for tutoring but I don’t think I can today.

4:34 - The mister calls and I tell him the news.

::We’re not pregnant, it didn’t work, I don’t know if it will ever work::

We’ve been trying for three years now. Our main obstacles are that I have PCOS and a uterine malformation. We’ve tried everything from old fashioned sexing it up to IVF. This was our 3rd embryo transfer and we now only have enough embryos for one more transfer. With this failure comes the start of our last chance to have a biological child.

6:18 - The mister comes home unexpectedly early. He usually works long strange hours due to his job as a police officer. He tells me that he just got to come home early but I think some of his coworkers are covering for him and he just doesn’t want me to feel guilty. Either way, I’m glad he’s home.

We go to dinner and I lose it at the table. I feel terrible for the waitress, as she has no clue and doesn’t know what to do.

We get home around 8:00 and I take some Benadryl and go to bed. I can’t handle anymore of today. I need a redo.

Oh Mrs. Slick.  My heart aches for you and I just want to wrap you up in a hug.  You are a fantastic teacher and an even better woman. ((((()))

How do you cope with disappointment?

Monday, March 26, 2012

My 28th year...

Happy Birthday to me! The big 2-8.  I really can't believe that I am sooo much closer to 30 than 20.  I don't feel like an adult.  Well, I feel tired like an adult and I do adult things, but like my good friend Jimmy Buffett says, "I'm growing older, but not up!" ;)

This last weekend I pampered myself and got a haircut, pedicure and ate tons of foods I shouldn't.  I even enjoyed a short nap on Saturday afternoon, which is very very rare around these parts.  My Buckeyes made it to the Final Four and Mad Men started back up.. Woot woot.

What can make my birthday even better? For all you lurky loos to come out and say hello! Taking a page from the amazing Amber .

1. Who are you?
2. What's your favorite book?
3. Red or white wine?
4. Why don't you comment all the time?

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wine & Love

Finally, it is Thursday.  I feel like it should have been Thursday, 3 days ago.  It's been one of those weeks! Hence, I'm linking up with Nora!

- A miserable teething baby is good for NO ONE.  I hate teeth, have no desire to look up the correct names, but her teeth on the top sides (not the front) are coming in and OWWWWWWWW.  Poor baby.  Poor mom.  Poor anyone who has to deal with her.

- Rude students. OH MY GOD.  Horrible.  They are 4! I cannot believe the language/attitude I've been getting.  And I'm pretty much done calling some parents since it would be like the 5th call and NOTHING has improved. 

- An unfortunate incident with my new cell phone. SO freaking pissed at myself.

- The babe may have possibly been exposed to shingles/chicken pox.  Now, personally I would much rather she gets chicken pox than have to rely on a vaccine.  However, WE ARE GOING TO FLORIDA IN A WEEK.  NO BUENO.  So since I don't know if she was exposed YET or not, I found alternative care for her today and tomorrow and am debating on whether or not to do it for next week too.  Yeah, it may be overly cautious. BUT OH MY GOD. NO CHICKEN POX ON SPRING BREAK.  Ugh.

- Pumping sucks.  Why can't I just tell my boobs how much I need and they give me that amount? K, thanks.

- The BEAUTIFUL weather.  OH MY GOD.  IF winter/spring was like this all the time I would be in heaven.  HEAVEN.  Daily walks, trips to the swings.  ahhh.

- First spring in FOREVER, where I tried on my summer stuff and most of it was toooo big or fit fabulous! Woot.

- My birthday is coming up and I am getting a much needed pedicure, hair cut and trip to the mall by myself on Saturday!


- Isla is wearing a ton of adorable spring clothes and like 2 seconds away from walking.

My philosophy of the week? Just keep swimming.. just keep swimming.. and have a beer! ;)

What's on your list?

Don't forget to vote in the side bar for April's Group Read!! Voting ends tonight!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blank Screen..

Don't you hate when you really want to blog, but you just sit there and look at the screen and have NOTHING to say?

It usually makes me want to go out and do something fun so I can write about it. But, I  HAVE been doing fun things lately,but when I want to share? Nothing comes out.

I was going to post pictures of my kid, cuz she's adorable, but I realized I only took one photo since the last time I posted any, and it would take more effort to move it from my phone to the computer, so I was like eh... no.. 

Then I was going to blog about how my birthday is coming up, ON MONDAY!! And I was going to review my 27th year of life, and then I though.. ehhh, that's a lot of work.

So then I came and I was like ok, I will blog about my horrible day yesterday, but then I was afraid of the rant it would go into about freaking rude children and parents who allow their children to interrupt adults talking and not teaching them how to listen and how they are all disrespectful and realized I didn't want to do it.  And there I just ranted a tiny bit..

And NOW, I am blogging about not having anything to blog about and I suppose I could have just not posted but I really wanted to blog.

So this is what you get.

Happy Wednesday.  Two days until Friday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A day in the life of Bethany...

Today, I'm featuring, Bethany a friend of mine who is currently waiting to find out if her first IVF cycle was successful!  Head over to Can't Rush a Miracle and wish her luck!

If you would like to participate in the series shoot me an email at pinkflipflpos44 @ gmail dot com and we will set it up!
A little background info, I have been married for over 2 years and trying for baby just about as long. My husband and I were in the midst of our first (and hopefully only) IVF cycle when I recorded this day.

6:15 – alarm goes off. Snooze
6:20 – turn off alarm before it goes off again. Time to get up and get dressed.
6:30 – wake up husband so he can give me my shot. 

6:40 - shot is done and I’m in the car on the way to the reproductive endocrinologist.
7:-00 – arrive at the RE’s office and head back to the ultrasound room.
7:30 – ultrasound is all done. The nurse says things are progressing nicely and gives me my updated meds plan and we schedule another ultrasound for tomorrow morning.
7:40 – give more of my precious blood to the lab. They’ve gotten my blood every day this week and I’m starting to think I may run out before the end of this.
7:45 – back in the car to drive to work.
8:00 – arrive downtown and park. I’m very fortunate that my RE is so close to home and work, as I know many women who have to drive hours to and from.
8:10 – Stop at the Subway for breakfast and then head up to my desk on the 4th floor.
8:15 – work starts! I work in the new business area of an insurance company processing all of the incoming annuity applications (if you have to Google annuity, I totally understand. I did too when I started). I get logged into phones, enjoy a peaceful 5 minute breakfast, then pop my morning pills

8:20 – Work starts. First on the agenda is to look over contracts that issued the night before and make sure we did everything correctly before the contracts are mailed out to the clients.
9:00 – all the contracts are ready to go out so I hand them off to another associate for mailing. I now move into the daily processing. I review incoming applications for completeness, email agents with outstanding requirements, apply payments to contracts, and answer any calls that come through the 800 number. This is pretty much the bulk of my day.
10:00 – taking a break from my routine work to help out our service assistant. Our team is currently down about half of our staff, so there is a lot of helping each other out going on. This morning I’m sending out some rollover requests to other companies.
10:40 – I am sitting at my desk doing nothing. I can’t get up because one of my coworkers is away from her desk and if I get up our phones are abandoned. This is the worst part of my job. I have things to do but I’m chained to my desk, so they wait. I guess this is a good time for an internet break to see if anything exciting is happening on my message boards.
11:00 - Coworker is back, so it’s back to work.
11:30 – lunch time! The nice thing about working downtown is the large amount of food choices available in the skyway. On cold, dreary days like today I don’t have to go outside. Woo! Today I am heading down to my favorite sandwich place for a Thai chicken wrap. I always bring it back to my desk so I can play on the Internet while I eat.
12:15 – Back to helping out since my work is currently all done.
1:30 – My own work comes in, so I shift focus back to my usual.
3:50 – Error reports. I take a few minutes to run through and fix any issues that would bomb the system overnight.
4:15 – Back to the grind.
4:50 – Time to start staring at the clock. I’m ready to get the heck out of here
5:00 – Oh my goodness I get to go home!!!!!
5:30 - Walk in the front door to smell of pizza. My husband picked up Little Caesars. woo!
6:00 - TIme for my evening routine of sitting in my recliner watching tv and playing on the internet.
9:00 - Time for more shots. I have two this evening to get through. I get everything all ready and then my husband does the stabbing. I also have 4 more pills to choke down

9:15 - shower time!
9:30 - hop into bed with my husband. We always watch a little tv before bed. Tonight we settle in for an episode of Newhart.
10:00 - lights out. I have another appt. in the morning so I need my sleep.

Thanks for sharing Bethany!! I am jealous of your skyway and your multiple lunch options.  I only have 2 quick options and I get quite sick of them when I am busy and have to grab stuff from there constantly!

Do you go out to lunch or do pack a lunch from home?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Once again, we are back to planning out our dinners, couponing and trying to limit grocery shopping because we got out of control again on our grocery bill! It helps that my husband's new business is not as crazy busy as he has been in the last 5 months so we can actually plan on eating together and on meal times (for the most part). 

Here's what is up for dinner in our house this week..

Monday - Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Roasted Asparagus/Red Potatoes/Broccoli

Tuesday - Pork Tenderloin in the Crockpot w/ carrots and roasted red potatoes

Wednesday - Leftovers with the Pork, either bbq pork sandwiches and a salad or pork tacos with rice (will depend on our mood of the day ha)

Thursday - Meatball Stroganoff

Friday - Chicken Tenders w/ rice

Saturday - Out to dinner for my birthday

Sunday - At my parents for my birthday (lasagna)

What's on your meal plan for the week?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby Lit

It's no surprise to ANYONE out there that I have a book problem.  I hoard books like a crazy lady.  I am sure we have over 100 books in this house and they are stashed in various locations.  Actually, I am sure we have over 100 books.  Make that closer to 200.  It's insane.  One of the things I was most excited about when I was pregnant? Sharing the love of reading/books with my child.

Her bookshelves have been full since before she was born and her books are now joining mine in bursting out all over the house.  LOOOOVE. 

However? Kids/baby books? Some of them flat out SUCK.  As in, we never open them because they are just that bad.  Book publishers/writers/whoever, books NEED TO MAKE SENSE.  Even baby books!!!

I was stoked early last month when I came across Baby Lit books in Parents Magazine (i think?).  Pride & Prejudice for babies? Jane Eyre? Alice in Wonderland? Shakespeare? Be still my nerdy heart!!! I immediately added the Pride & Prejudice to Isla's Amazon Wish List and made a trip to Barnes and Noble to check it out in person, just to make sure I was a fan.

Oh my gosh.  The beautiful illustrations, the connecting to the real story (making reading time fun for parents and babies alike!!) , the sturdy board book and just enough words made it even more of a WANT.

Imagine my joy, when I opened an email a short time later asking me if I wanted to review some Baby Lit books? YES, PLEASE!!!

This week, I opened a package with Jane Eyre: A Baby Lit Counting Primer and Alice in Wonderland: A Baby Lit Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams and art by Alison Oliver.

I immediately sat down with Isla and read Alice in Wonderland.  She sat, listened, hit on the pages and when we were done she gave the edges a nice chew.  I think this means it got her approval. ;)  It defintely got my approval! Bright colors, simple words and a nice intro to Alice in Wonderland.  Only complaint? The blue caterpillar isn't really blue in my color opinion.  Very small complaint.

Later on that same evening, we opened up Jane Eyre.  Now excuse my ignorance as I have yet to read the real Jane Eyre, but I found this book to be just as awesome as Alice! My favorite page? 3 candles with a side note: It is always dangerous to leave a candle lit at night! So true!

Once again, beautiful illustrations, nice simple text and even a little science lesson with pictures of insects and their names!  Beautiful. 

I really cannot rave about these books enough! The illustrations are amazing.  I highly recommend them, especially for those adults who enjoy these stories.  Great books for baby and mommy/daddy!

Thanks to Gibbs Smith for allowing me to review these, however all thoughts / opinions are mine!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I've always said that Summer is my season, followed closely by fall.  However, the last few days I've been re-evaluating and have come to the conclusion I may becoming a Spring girl. (Note: Spring still hasn't officially started so this may change. )

I mean 70s, sunshine, trips to the park, multiple walks, runs outside? Ahh.. My body missed the sunshine.  (In more ways than one, I may cause a car accident with the glare from my legs, if you know, I lived on a busy street.)

Spring is after all, when my beautiful daughter was born, (and me too!).  Spring is March Madness.  Spring is trips to Florida!! Spring is flowers.  Spring is the sound of birds chirping (before they get annoying when they keep you awake/wake you up at 5 am in July).  Spring is new full of new beginnings.  Spring is a time to start fresh.

Yeah, it might not be so bad after all.

Don't forget to suggest something fot the April Group Read!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A day in the life of Kim...

Today, we have Kim! She's a friend of mine who has an adorable daughter and is basically me, in a different body and state.  So she's awesome.

I am a mom, wife, and RN, navigating my way through this world. I have chosen to write about a normal day in my household. This took place on Thursday, March 1.


4:45 - Alarm goes off, turn over to quiet it as to not wake up B (my husband).

4:50 - Start pumping before T (my 7month old daughter) wakes up so she has her morning bottle.

5:05 - 5:35  Finish pumping, clean parts, and jump into the shower. I get ready for the morning and grab a granola bar or a banana to eat. I'm not a huge breakfast fan, for some reason it makes me nauseous.   (See, I also can't do breakfast!!;) )

5:40 - B is showered and getting T ready for daycare this morning, he drops her off. I grab my lunch from the fridge, kiss B and T goodbye and head out the door for the morning commute. I am hoping traffic isn't horrible.

6:30 - 6:45 (depends on traffic) - I arrive at work head up to the floor and grab my assignment.  I work in a level one trauma center (hospital) in a metropolis. I currently work in the cardiac-renal unit. Today's assignment isn't bad, I start out with 4 patients with room for an admit. I start getting information from the charts and prepare for report.

7:00 - 7:20 Receive report on my patients and get prepared for the day ahead. I'm working a 8 hour day shift today.

7:30 - 10 I spend the morning doing assessments, giving medication, answering phone calls, calling MD's, and preparing patients for various testing. This time always goes by quickly.

10 - Finally! A few quick moments to chart before being interrupted by a resident. Changing fluids and medications for a patient, darnit I had just hung a new bag.

11:30 - Lunch! I grab my lunch and pump and head into a private room. It isn't the most convenient thing to pump during lunch but to provide nutrition to my child, makes it worth it.


12-3 Back on the floor, more medications, more charting, more answering/sending phone calls. I have one possible discharge and an oncoming admit.

3 - time for report to oncoming shift.

3:45 - Finished tying up loose ends and head out to the parking ramp to pick T up from daycare. Thank goodness this wasn't a crazy day (which is few and far in between).

4:30 -  Pick up T from daycare and head home.

4:45 - Feed T supper, she started solids about a month ago and we are now feeding her 2 times a day in addition to her normal milk feedings.

5:10 - No bath time tonight. We do baths on Thursday and Sunday night, more often as needed. So we start her normal bedtime routine: diaper change, lotion, pjs.

5:30 - 5:45 - Bottle and rocking chair. She falls asleep quickly and goes down for the night. T generally sleeps 12+ hours. She goes down around now and is up between 6-7am.

6:00 - Sit down to pump and read through emails and online boards. Start supper if it is something that will take awhile. Tonight it's love birds -  quick and easy so B will make dinner, he is the cook in our house.

6:30 - 7:30 B get's home from work and makes dinner. He checks on T and we eat together. Sometimes he has work to do from home otherwise we catch up on shows we've DVR'd.

7:30 - 10:30 Catch up on tv shows, surf the web, read a book, laundry, pick up the house, whatever needs to be done or we feel like. Then it's off to bed while waking up and doing it all over again tomorrow.

Luckily my shift varies, although I work weekends it is nice to have extra days at home with T. This also gives me time to clean the house and get odds and ends done around here during the day.

Thank you for reading!

Thanks, Kim!

Do you work the same set schedule or does it vary?

Monday, March 12, 2012

April Group Read Suggestions!

How is the year flying by so fast? I mean, it's almost spring break and soon after we will be done with school for the summer! Woo woo. In April, we will be discussing whatever we pick on the 13th and the 27th.

Here is what we have already enjoyed..

The Violets of March
State of Wonder
The Invisible Bridge
The Postmistress
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Still Missing
The Sandalwood Tree
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Something Borrowed
The Blue Orchard
Sammy's Hill
In the Woods
Shanghai Girls
The Weight of Water
Water for Elephants
The Color Purple
The One That I Want
The Secret Garden
House Rules
American Wife
Firefly Lane
The Reader
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Awakening
Pride & Prejudice
I See You Everywhere
I really enjoyed The Violets of March and am excited to talk about another book! Suggestions will close on March 16th and I will add a poll up on the side bar!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Violets of March - Discussion 1


I sat down with this book and the next thing I knew I was on page 160! I really am enjoying it even though I keep thinking a little critically over the details.  I think hearing how gooooooooood it is, kinda set me up to find something to dislike.

I will say, Sarah Jio has a way with words. I can see the characters, feel and smell the Puget Sound and I want to know alllll their secrets.  This book reminds me of a Kristin Hannah novel. 

I like how she can pick right back up on the island like she's never left even though it has been 10 years.  I would love to have an island/oasis to go to like that.

1. Emily finds two love interests on Bainbridge Island: Greg and Jack. What are your impressions of each of these men?

2. How do you feel about everyone keeping the secrets and not givng Emily more information?

3. Who do you think Esther and Elliot are?

4. How do you predict their story will end?

5. Do you believe in fate? What do you think of the affect fate had on Esther? On Emily?

Anything else you'd like to add? Last discussion will be March 30th with a guest post from the lovely Lisa!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Have you ever...

been reading a book and keep going, DID THE WRITER REALLY JUST WRITE THAT???? I am currently struggling with this.  The book in question, started out slow, as a slew of characters were introduced and then some random pig-headed comments started slipping through.  I thought hmm, well that was odd the first time and then within 10 pages or so more popped up.  Are you kidding me?

I am all for being crass and and the random gross comments but when you are reading a thriller and the line "he shook his friend when he is done", is included you start to wonder if this isn't supposed to be a BAD erotica book?

I mean COME ON.  The worst part? I was given this book for a review and I am hosting a giveaway for another book by this author. 

So far? The review isn't looking very nice and I doubt any of my normal readers will want to try out his other book. 

However? You can't buy my opinion and I will honestly review it, because there are a few parts that keep me interested, if I don't throw it out the window first.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A day in the life of Angela...

Hola! Tuesday's seem to come quicker and quicker! Today, we have my friend Angela, a kickass, super smart, and ridiculously gorgeous gal from Minnesota!

If you would like to participate in the day in the life series email me at pinkflipflops44 at gmail dot com.  If you already did one and want to partake again, you are more than welcome! ;)

A day in the life of a suburban, corporate American worker bee.  A little background on me:  I am in marketing research for Target Corporation, married, and have a dog and a cat.  Here is how a typical day in my life goes:

5:57 Eyes open.
6:00 Think about getting up before alarm.
6:06 Alarm goes off. Invite dog back into bed. Check phone. Close eyes.
6:15 Snooze.
6:24 Think about getting up.
6:31 Finally up. Stretch.
6:50 Teeth brushed and showered.
6:59 Half dressed watching the cat chase a fly.
7:08 Hair dry and dressed.  Kiss my sleeping husband before heading downstairs.
7:26 Out of the house after cleaning out the front seat of my car. Driving to the transit station.
7:43 Parked. Bus leaving station but another one will pull in shortly. It's 20* out (warm! for this time of year), contemplated leaving my gloves in the car.7:46 On the bus.
7:50 Departed. Using my phone to read up on crocheting dreadlocks - my sister wants to dread her hair.8:08 We're downtown.  Just a few blocks' walk to work.

 This is one of my favorite views on my walk to work every morning.  I work on the 30th floor.

8:17 At work. Grabbing something to eat in the caf.

 This is one of a few entrances to the HQ building.

8:23 At my desk. Stopped on every floor but 27. #annoying

 This is my desk.  It's never this clean...

8:30 Catching up on emails, reviewed a deck from an agency, forwarded, checking websites, emailed potential financial advisor for a meeting = basically procrastinating.
9:35 Making good progress, but interrupted by a coworker. Have to run to Caribou (a few blocks away between two Target HQ buildings, connected by skyway so I don't have to go outside) for a meeting. #notenoughtime
10:19 Meeting went well, lots of synergies between 2 upcoming projects.  Walking back to HQ.
10:22 Is it lunch yet?
10:25 Back to my desk, working on an exec summary on a 1pm deadline
10:58 I live off to-do lists. Need to make progress, FAST.

 The start of my to-do list for the day.

11:20 Deadline doc sent to coworker for her adds/edits. Time for lunch?
11:35 Sent a draft email to coworkers. Now lunch! Catching up on personal email in the elevator.
11:39 Quick jaunt outside. In line at chipotle. #hungry Choices...
12:20 Brought lunch to team table, chatted with a co-worker over a burrito.
12:42 Back at it.
1:25 The 1:00 deadline passed without issue, minor changes before sending by EOD (end of day).
1:32 Status meeting with a client
2:00 Status done, checking websites, pumping myself up for the afternoon. Looking forward to yoga.
3:38 Working my tail off to get this exec summary out!
3:56 Mother fucker, Outlook crashed.  I pray to god in heaven that I didn't lose my email draft.
4:03 Sent and only 3 minutes late to my 4:00.
4:40 I survived Monday! Ducked out of a meeting and changing into yoga gear.
4:46 On my way to the bus. It's going to be tight getting there on time.
4:49 Eff it's snowing. The commute is going to be terrible
4:54 Still waiting for the bus... It usually comes every 6 minutes. Standing under a heat lamp.  At least I'm in comfy yoga clothes.4:57 On the bus (and got a seat!) next to someone playing analog sudoku - a rarity these days.
5:14 Halfway there. I'm going to be late :( Plow is slowing down traffic behind it.
5:25 Just turning into the bus station. Not sure if I'll make it or not.
5:32 Driving to the studio.  Map says it will take 16 minutes.  Let's see if my lead foot does me justice...
5:33 Call the studio to see if they will start on time; they will.  #crap5:42 Stuck at a light. Ack.
5:48 Off the highway, missed my yoga class. Going to cry.
6:00 Home, not happy.  Sulk around in my yoga clothes for a while despite my husband's words of consolation.
6:10 Decide to make French onion soup for dinner.  Appetizer: carrots and hummus.
6:30 Onions cooking on the stove.  Pull out my phone and/or hop on my laptop while dinner is cooking.
7:26 Add wine, beef broth, chicken broth, and apple juice to the soup.
7:42 Spoon soup into mini casserole dishes, top with bread and Gruyere cheese.  Broil.

 I <3 these mini casserole dishes (yes they are broiler safe) - they are perfect for French onion soup.

7:48 Dinner is served.  A glass or two of wine consumed.
8:13 Turn on the Bachelor from the DVR.
(Lost track of time at this point, probably went up to bed around 11:30, checked my phone, fell asleep to do it all over again the next day.)

That's a pretty typical day.  It takes me about 45 minutes to get ready in the morning and an hour commute each way.  It's a longer commute than most, but I like my job and my house, so I'll deal with it.  The snow is par for the course this time of year in Minnesota.  I should have planned my afternoon better - I was only minutes away from making it to yoga.

Most of my days are meeting-filled, like this one.  I rarely have a day without 3-4 meetings - the busyness keeps me on my toes and productive, believe it or not.  As you can tell, I live off deadlines.  My personal and professional life are planned out based on due dates.  My work gets done in the order that it's due.  I love to-do lists; I could not survive without Sharpies and Post-Its.

My desk isn't always that clean - consider yourself lucky that you see it in a neat state.  Most cubes at Target are covered in red bullseye paraphernalia; dogs are very coveted plush toys around these parts. 

There you have it - thanks for reading!

Thank you, Angela! I am addicted to shopping at Target. 

Do you require to-do lists or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Isla Ate...

A goal of mine was to nurture a child that wanted to try new things and not be a picky eater. Ever since I introduced solid foods to Isla, various tastes/textures have been my focus.  I am proud to say that at this stage in the game the only thing she isn't a huge fan of appears to be green beans.  I'll take it.

Some things she enjoys: apples, bananas, pears, peas, sweet potatoes, goldfish crackers, graham crackers, cheerios, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, avocados, spinach, corn, pulled pork, chili, black beans, salsa, sour cream, greek yogurt, dijon mustard, nutrigrain bars, macaroni and cheese, burgers, cheese, broccoli, potatoes, ritz crackers, cauliflower and I'm sure there are other foods I'm missing. 

Basically, if I put it on her tray? She will annihilate it!

Here is a glimpse at a typical weekend day..

6:30 Nurse

8:30 Breakfast - 1 banana and some cheerios

10:30  Nurse

1:00 Lunch - Raspberries, Macaroni & Cheese, sweet potatoes and goldfish crackers

her poor cheeks.. they were soo puff and big after her big nap (this is her lunch photo that day)

1:30 Nurse

3:30 Nurse

5:30 Nurse

6:00 Dinner - Some bites of Chili, cheese, sweet potato, corn and peas

7:15 Nurse

The funny thing is, she usually eats even more food than this! Her teeth have been bothering her and so she hasn't been shoveling as much food in lately.

Here's to hoping she will always stay so open-minded to trying new foods!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Five


1. I am exhausted.  All the time.  My body won't fall asleep at night and my daughter keeps waking up earlier and earlier.  I am good until about 8pm.  But, I have to stay up til at least 10 to pump and when I pump, I get a second wind and I usually end up tossing and turning until midnight-ish.

2.  My daughter is 9 months old.  HOLY CRUD BUCKETS.  The last 9 months have gone by so so so fast.  On Saturday, she will have been outside living as long as she was inside growing! ;)

3. March is my birthday month! ;) I get ridiculously giddy over my birthday and I really shouldn't.  My husband sucks at gift giving and I'm not having a party nor will anyone probably get me a good present, but oh well, a girl can still wish for birthday surprises.  2 years ago my students threw me a surprise party and that was awesome!

4.  Speaking of my birthday, that means Spring Break is coming!!! We are headed to Anna Maria Island and I am so so so excited.  Anyone ever been? Any places we need to hit up?

5. Please for the love of all things holy, if you have a child, please teach them that they are not the BEST THING EVVVERRRRR.  That, yes, there are OTHER people they must share space with and take turns with and no, they cannot choke them and yell at them if they don't get there way.  Heck, remind the random adults you pass who didn't have parents that taught them that.  Please.  I'm begging you.  Preschoolers are outta contrrrrrrrrrrrrrrol.

Oh and let's throw out a random Friday 6.  I got engaged on this day, 6 years ago!!! ;)

Are you as ready for the weekend as I am?