Friday, January 29, 2016

Finally Friday

Hey folks!  It's Friday!   I'm so excited to get past this work week and get the weekend started!

I have been so busy with crafty stuff lately that I haven't finished a single book this week.  I'm very close to finishing a few, hopefully this weekend.  We have the grand opening of our booth on Monday so we'll finish getting set up tomorrow.  After we finish, I may do some traveling and visiting, but I really hope to do some reading.

Here's some random terrible attempts at selfies from me and the Princess to get your weekend started.

Do you have big plans for the weekend?

Monday, January 25, 2016

More Crafting?

I have some very exciting crafting news!  I have committed to a place to sell my wares!  The downside, I guess is that I better get to crafting!  I already had a few things tucked away in a gift closet, but I'll break those out and get them set up.  I spent most of my crafting time making displays, so I didn't do much crafting for sale.
Just this pic and one other I didn't get a shot of.

In other news, I got to see my friend for a short time over the weekend and cheer her on while she ran her race.  For some reason, we didn't take any selfies this weekend, weird.

I did almost no reading this weekend save for a little of my audiobook on a short road trip for supplies on Sunday, but I'm sure I'll make up for that very soon.

What did you do this weekend?  What are you reading?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend Recap

Welcome to Monday, friends!  (well, friend, I'm pretty sure only one person reads this...)

Anyway,  did you do anything interesting this weekend?  I did!  Saturday was Granny's 75th birthday.  A bunch of us got together to give her home a face lift.  Wall texture, paint, scrubbing and polishing.  Looks like a whole new house!  Happy Birthday Granny!

 <Very preggo sister got some light duty

Hubs was actually happier than he looks He got to use his mad remodel skills. to help.>

We mostly had a great time and the look on Granny and Papa's faces at the end of the day was priceless.  It's always good to put your own stuff aside and do things for others.

Sunday was a SUPER lazy day after all that work on Saturday.  I finished Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor and will probably wait to review the last two books together after I finish Dreams of Gods & Monsters.  I finally cracked the spine on this month's book club book, more on that later.  Then I watched a lot of Lost.  A lot... seriously.

What fun did you have this weekend?  What are you reading?

Friday, January 15, 2016

R.I.P. Goblin King

After 30 years, I had still held out hope that there may be a Labyrinth sequel, but alas, that dream has died.  By now you all know that David Bowie passed away on Sunday after losing his 18-month battle with cancer.  While I was very upset by this news, I hadn't planned to post on this blog about it until today.  Someone posted a list of his top 100 books on the internet and since it's on the internet it must be true, right?  How cool is that!  Of course someone has created a GoodReads list for it too!  Use the list to track the books as you read them.  I already had a few of the books on my TBR list and there are a ton of classics that I probably should have read by now anyway.  It's a pretty eclectic list because he was a pretty eclectic guy, I may attempt a few.

R.I.P. Jareth, Ziggy Stardust, the Great Mr. Bowie.  You will be missed.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

All the Wisdom is Gone, Yet the Crafting Remains

I promised to do more life updates, so here we go:

On Tuesday I had my wisdom teeth out.  Super fun, right?

They left me alone while the lidocaine did it's thing, so I took a super hot selfie.  Doesn't everyone do this? Maybe just bloggers and narcissists, which does that make me?

All four wisdom teeth out, does that mean I'll never be wise?  I hope not!
Sad gauze face selfie.

I felt pretty good right after the procedure.  I didn't want to have to go under since it wasn't necessary but I think I nearly ripped the armrests off the chair when the dentist broke those teeth loose.  I'm glad it's over now!

I've also been trying my hand at jewelry making lately and crafty stuff lately.  Mom has been doing so much bead work lately that she is going to set up a booth at a couple shows.  I decided to throw a few things together and join her.  What do you think so far?  I need to improve my photography skills, but the jewelry looks nice in person.
 A rabbit with a waistcoat?

 I was commissioned to make several of these resin map charm necklaces at Christmas time, they are very fun to make.

Paper crafting is like therapy for me.  So relaxing and I get to tear stuff up and put it back together in a different way.

What have you been up to lately?  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Resolutions? What resolutions?

Well folks, I'm a couple days behind on the challenges my tiny trainer is pushing me to do, but only because she wasn't home this weekend.  She expects me to make up for it though and get caught back up, so I'm sore today.  Plank doesn't look that hard when you watch someone else, but trust me, it's brutal!

I hope to update you on the meal plan thing I mentioned last week, but I never remember to take pictures of what I'm cooking.  I promise to get better at that.  I am really loving this plan and I really want to tell you about it!

I also decided that 2016 would be the year of the blog.  I'd like to get more organized and post more regular updates about things other than book reviews.  While I do read a whole lot, there are other things in my life too!  I should tell you more and take more pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I'm sure you have all seen the selfie stick, right?  I have laughed at people for owning these things because it seems very silly to me.  Well, someone got me one for Christmas and I gotta say, I kinda like it.  Now I don't carry it around with me, although I could, it fits in my purse, but I have played with it some and posted a few pics on Instagram.  I wouldn't have purchased this on my own, but I'm glad I got one as a gift.  It's kinda fun!

Note the pile of books

What's in your phone's photo gallery?

The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

Remember a few months ago when I told you how much I loved Warm Bodies?  Well, I finally got to read the prequel and it did not disappoint!  In this novella, we get a little bit of the background as to what is happening before Julie has settled in the stadium.  What was life like after Life started to end?  How did Nora and Julie and R get to where they were?  On Isaac Marion's blog he talks about how he wrote the prequel second on purpose "because your knowledge of book 1 changes the way you read it".  Boy was he right!  If I had read The New Hunger first, I probably would have never read Warm Bodies because The New Hunger would have been a pretty depressing book.  Equipped with my knowledge of the events of Warm Bodies, the prequel while sad at times, is full of hope.

Like I said with Warm Bodies, I love that Marion can spin together a beautiful story using words that aren't generally associated with beauty or happiness.  With zombies being an 'in' thing right now, so many writers and television shows and movies want to see how much they can scare their audience or gross us out.  It's refreshing that Marion adds so much humanity to his zombies while still maintaining that zombies aren't pretty or nice or somehow all good.  Some zombies are good guys while so many are still the bad guys just like some of the people can be bad guys.  I felt like he kept me on my toes and maintains a level of intensity and anxiety for the characters but without the gross factor.  He tells a story and doesn't just try to scare the reader.

Needless to say, I'm still very excited to get the next books in this series and this is saying something!  Do you know how many series I've started and never finished?  I can't think of any series that I've finished.  I had a tough time putting both of these books down.  I don't keep many books on my own book shelf because I'm trying not to be a hoarder.  I want to share books so I usually donate the books I buy to the library or pass them on to a friend, but these are books that I will have on my shelf in case I want to reread.  Feel free to send me an ARC of the next book, otherwise I'll preorder from Amazon!  Be sure to check out the author's website to stay up to date and check out a couple short stories here and here.

What should I read until The Burning World comes out in August?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Book Challenges

I already told you that I had planned to read 75 books in 2016.  Sometimes the question is what do I read next?  There are sooooooo many book challenges you could try if you are wanting to diversify your reading.  I quick Google search will bring up thousands of sites, but my favorite book blogger found a short challenge she likes, only 12 items on the list so one thing each month.  Of course I'm going to join, she is my favorite book blogger after all!  I copied this from her page and I'm sure she copied it from someone else, you should join us!  I'm already making progress and I can't wait to see what you are reading.  Tell me what you have read in each category or suggest things I should read to cross things off my list.

2.  We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4.  Harry Potter series

Friday, January 8, 2016

Don't eat tacos before you plank

Remember when I mentioned my new trainer the other day?  Let me tell you about this trainer.  She is spunky and doesn't take "no" or "I'm too tired" or "I ate too many tacos" for an answer.  We committed to three 30 day challenges; squats, plank and wall sits.  My new trainer has told me that since I committed to doing these and got her involved in the process, I WILL see it through to the end.  She said her mother taught her that once she makes a commitment to a team or a class or a challenge whatever the thing is, she has to see it through to the end or else she will disappoint her team or her classmates or herself.  She was very serious, looked me straight in the eye and said, "We don't want to be a disappointment to ourselves, do we?"

Please excuse my messy bedroom.

That's right, my new trainer is the sassy girl I gave birth to about ten years ago.  She saw me doing my squats for day one of the challenge and was curious.  I suggested she do it with me and she happily agreed.  Who knew she was going to get so serious?!?  Tuesday night when we returned from her dance class, she reminded me that we needed to do day 2.  When I started with my excuses, she turned into a personal trainer and made sure that we both finished each task before she marked them off the list.  The silver lining here is this:

1)  She will likely make sure I finish something in January.
2)  The lessons I have been teaching her her whole life have sunk in and she has found a way to apply them to me.
3)  Maybe I'll lose a couple of those lbs I found in 2015.

Have you ever finished one of those squat challenges everyone posts on Facebook?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

My mother-in-law saw this book on Dr. Phil or Oprah or something.  Usually that kind of publicity on a book is more of a deterrent for me than anything.  I know, I'm weird.  This time, though, my MIL was so excited by whatever she saw that she was raving about it and couldn't wait to get her hands on it.  So I took the bait and downloaded the audio on my library's Overdrive.  I'm glad I did!

This is the story of Frankie Presto, an international music start from the 50s, 60s and 70s that played with a ton of bands over the year including Elvis and Duke Ellington.  They say he was the greatest guitarist who ever lived.  The narrator is Music, himself, and Frankie is an obvious favorite of his disciples.  Frankie's life was rough from the very start, born in a burning church during civil war, abandoned during childhood, and pushed to the limits of survival a few times.  On the other hand, almost like magic, things would fall into place for Frankie when it was least expected and Frankie had a way of effecting people.

The story is being told while we wait for Frankie's funeral to start.  We don't know how he died until the very end.  There are very interesting interviews with many famous people in the funeral procession including Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, and Paul Stanley.  The story bounces back and forth between past and present time a lot.  I think it's hard to get that sort of storytelling right, but Albom did an excellent job.  It didn't feel patchy, it felt like it all tied together well.

I think this book should probably be consumed via the audio.  While I'm sure your imagination could read this in the many voices necessary, why bother?  The interview parts that are actually narrated by folks like Paul Stanley, Roger McGuinn and Ingrid Michaelson!

Do you resist popular books too?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Season 2016, Episode 1

Welcome to 2016!  Do you make resolutions?  Do you stick with them?  I almost never stick with a resolution, but then I'm not great at following through with most of my hair-brained schemes or 'plans'.  In 2015 I didn't stick with my fitness or nutrition plans and I managed to gain about 30 lbs.  Not good, so obviously I need to do a better job in 2016.  Now I'm not saying I'm going to lose 50 lbs and run a marathon, but I am going to make a few changes.  I have subscribed to a meal planning service and have a new trainer, more about those soon.

One thing I did manage to stick to in 2015 was my reading challenge.  GoodReads has an annual reading challenge and since I already use their site regularly, I joined.  I decided I'd read 24 books in 2015 and when the year closed, I had logged 38!  This year I got really ambitious and signed up to read 75 books for 2016.  I've already read 2 short ebooks and I'm nearly finished with an audio, a paper and another ebook, so I don't think 75 is going to be a problem.  Stay tuned because I can't wait to tell you about the things I'm reading!

Are you on GoodReads?  Are we friends on GoodReads?  We should be!