Monday, February 04, 2013

Here I Go Again

I was given the book Here I go Again by Jen Lancaster to review as a part of the BlogHer Book Club.

I was excited to read this because I was familiar with Jen's blog Jennysylvania, most notably her hilarious Twilight reenactments.   Seriously...go check them out!

This book revolves around Lissy Ryder, queen bee of her high school and as far as she is concerned, the rest of her life.  There is basically one word you can use to sum up Lissy and I won't use it here b/c this is a family friendly blog.  But you can guess! Then take that word and multiple it ten times and you have a glimpse of what Lissy was like in high school.

 Lissy hasn't changed much as an adult and even as her life crumbles around she is still blinded to the fact that it is the natural consequences of her selfish self centered life style.   She attends her high school reunion oblivious to the idea that her high school power and influence no longer exists.  Basically everyone except Lissy has grown up!

It's a this point that Lissy starts on an incredible journey that takes her back to high school gives her the chance to change the course of her life.  But how easy will it be and will she even want to?  

Honestly I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, mainly because it wasn't as predictable as I thought when I started reading it.  The hardest part of it was pushing through even though it's kind of difficult not to hate the main character for a good chunk of the book!

Overall it's a quick read, takes you back to your high school days, makes you think about what you would do differently if given the chance.  

Just the usual, I was compensated for this review but all the opinions are my own


Thursday, October 04, 2012


I read the book Matched by Ally Condie as a part of Blogher's Book Club.  It's definitely a book that is right up my alley because the quickest description is Young Adult Dystopian.  So basically think Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium - all books I've read and enjoyed and recommended!

I have to admit though, it's hard to read a book that reminds you of other books you really like and not draw comparisons.  That is one reason I hadn't read Matched before this and I may never have, if it hadn't been for the book club.

I'm really glad I did.  The love triangle and romance are the part that most people will enjoy, but I really love trying to understand the society in which Matched takes place.  Watching the main character Cassia grow and change and start to awaken was what I really enjoyed.

The society in which Cassia lived is seemingly a peaceful, organized and all about the good of the people and the society as a whole  Of course what you quickly realize is that it's all about keeping the citizens under control and closely monitored, their food portions are individually delivered, every activity is scheduled and approved, and you have to actually where dream monitors on certain nights.  It's all in the name of keeping the citizens healthy and performing their duties successfully.

Another interesting aspect is that when the society was formed the took all of the art, literature, music, etc and picked 100 of them and rest are discarded.  Permanently - as in no longer exist.  Children are no longer taught to write, there is no ability to create.  

It is in this setting that we find Cassia about to find out her Match - the person who will be her husband, who she will have a family with.  Her Matching banquet turns out to be wonderful as well as the reveal of her Match, but it's also when the stage is set for the main plot of the story (Seriously, I can't give away things, even though you could read about this on the back of the book!).  

Another major experience in Cassia's life happens early on as well, involving her grandfather and it is one more thing that is pushing Cassia to think, to question, to open her eyes and really see what her world is like.

It's just the beginning of her journey, you'll have to read it to find out any more - I think you'll be glad you did!  Come join me over at BlogHer's Book Club and join in the discussion and hear from the author!

Disclaimer Statement: I was paid for the book review, but the opinions are all my own!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The First Husband Book Review

The First Husband by Laura Dave is the most recent book I read as a part of BlogHer's book club.  It's a quick easy summer read without being flighty or silly - for lack of a better description it's chick lit (hate that!) with depth.

The First Husband is about Annie Adams, a travel writer based in LA who is seemingly content with her life with long time boyfriend Nick.  When Nick suddenly ends things Annie is left to pick up the pieces of her life and reevaluate all that she thought to be true about herself and her hopes and dreams for her future.  She quickly gets swept down a totally unexpected path and has to make some tough decisions about what is truly important in love and in life.

And that's all I want to give you because I'd rather you read it and not have me give away the whole story!

Overall I really enjoyed the book.  I wish it had been longer because certain parts of the book happened too quickly for me and I would have liked to have more time with the characters and exploring their relationships with one another.  At times I would get frustrated about situations that Annie would find herself in, mostly because I am an over communicator and it kills me when things get all messed up and confusing simply because people don't sit down and talk.  But again, that's me, maybe that's just me!

I hope you'll check out the book as well as all the discussion going on over at BlogHer.

BTW - I was paid for the book and the review, but the opinions are all mine!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Photo A Day May

So I've decided to jump on board and do this month's photo a day challenge.  I've always wanted to and then I miss the first day or two, can't find the list and then before I know it it's mid way through the month. 

It's a fun way to be creative and pay attention to what I'm seeing throughout the day- I love having a little challenge (yes, I know, taking a picture a day should not be a challenge, but calling it that adds motivation!).

I won't post every day on here...maybe I'll weekly summaries.  But I will post every day on Instagram and Twitter.  If you're feeling up to it, join in.  Click HERE to find out more about it!

Just to prove that I actually did the first is my picture for May 1st - peace.  It's 9:00, the kids were in bed and I had my kindle by my side, about to start some reading....

Can I just say that after that I got distracted, went downstairs, did something else, and didn't get back to my reading until after 11!  But in that moment....there was peace!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter 2012

We survived the busyness of Easter week and Spring break and overall had a really nice week.  On Good Friday we did our traditional egg hunt with our friends - such a great group of kids....

and a great group of friends!

That evening Matt and I walked the girls through the various stations of the Cross that had been set up as a part of our Good Friday gathering at church.  I had gotten to walk through them on my own the night before so I really enjoyed being with the kids and helping them experience a bit of Jesus' journey starting with the Triumphal Entry and ending with the Cross.  Each station had an action they could do in response a reading, Scripture and reflection.

Here was the Last Supper and The Lord's Table and they were writing their thankfulness for Jesus' sacrifice. 

My favorite part of the whole thing is walking through curtain to the Cross on the other side.  It is just so powerful and moving.  When you get to the Cross you are able to write something you want to leave behind on a piece of paper and nail it the cross.  I was trying to explain to the girls that it could be a habit, a fear, an addiction, etc., when I heard Catherine say "I don't like seagulls...?"  I almost laughed out loud - "No Catherine Jesus can't get rid of seagulls for you!"  :)

Saturday was so nice and relaxing.  We dyed Easter eggs - you know, better late than never.  I don't know about you but after years of buying the little kits I have reverted to the old school childhood method of using food coloring in hot water in vinegar.  Seriously - it is so much easier, there is little mess and it looks great!

We also got to see a cute little show featuring Jack and Annie of the Magic Tree House at a local book store.  Catherine is super into the books these days so it was perfect timing!

Easter morning is always busy for us.  Matt is out the door before 7 and for some reason it seems to take longer to get me and the girls looking our best.  Not that we don't usually go to church looking decent but the bit of extra effort that Easter seems to inspire makes for a hectic morning.  

I was determined to get a halfway decent family picture this year.  Actually the decent part wasn't super important, but I just thought it would be nice to get a family picture.  I had to crop the heck out of it to hide my super white winter legs but hey, it's a family picture on Easter!!  And a few more just for fun....

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend and celebration of the Resurrection!  

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Spring Break

This is the first time in a few years that we haven't lost most of our Spring Break to snow days so I was super excited for Tuesday to be the last day the kids had school for a week. 

We had no set plans but managed to have some fun.  Our first day we went for a 10 mile bike ride that involved lunch in the middle.  Never underestimate the power of food to give your kids incentive and energy!  

After the bike ride the kids got to take an impromptu trip to the zoo with their friend.  Since they weren't there until later afternoon they each got to pick their must see exhibit and I learned that Catherine's favorite animal is the giraffe and Ella's is the polar bear.  They were delivered to back to me at the church around 6:30 and Ella got out of the car in tears begging to go home.  Seeing as how we had first left the house for our bike ride at 11am I knew she was exhausted.  I promised her would eat dinner quickly and head home.  One meatball sub later and she was back to bouncing off the walls, wrestling and doing wheelbarrow races with her friends.  Seriously - the power of food...amazing!!!

Today Ella was ice skating with her girls group (parent lead alternative to girl scouts) and Catherine got to play with some friends.  Ella needed the bar because this was basically her first time skating and after  a lap or two I encouraged her to go with one of the parents and try without the bar.  I am excited to say that she can now ice skate! It was so cool to watch her improve the way she did over a small period of time.

(No, I did not ice skate.  I don't own skates and I have vivid memories of how sore my ankles were after using the rentals.  I came close but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I was just moral support on the sidelines!)

I am a big fan of Pinterest and I love finding a simple fun activity that involves stuff I already have.

We took pans of baking soda, cups of vinegar tinted different colors and medicine droppers outside and played for 45 minutes making fizzy foamy mixtures.

Tomorrow we have an egg hunt and lunch with friends and we'll finish the day off with a wonderful Good Friday gathering.  I am looking forward to taking the girls through the various stations on the journey to the cross that are set up around the church.  Tonight we were helping with a few final touches and the girls each wrote on a paper palm leaf words of thanksgiving to Jesus at the Triumphal Entry station.  Ella didn't show me hers but I had to help Catherine so I got to see hers - she wrote "I like how you rose on Easter. Thank You.  (smiley face) Catherine"  Made my heart melt!!

Hope you are enjoying your week - so wonderful to have extra time with my girls during this Holy week - I know we are all so mindful of their little hearts as they soak in the events leading up to Easter. What a blessing it is to have your children truly understand how special Easter is!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jump Jump

Something new and fun just arrived in our backyard.  And by just arrived I mean Matt spent pretty much an entire day putting it together!

I am looking forward to lots of this...

And definitely lots of this....

Check out Ella's smile!  Without a doubt we'll have lots of those...

I know I will have fun taking all sorts of cool jumping pictures - it is harder than you think for the inexperienced photographer....

The kids are already having a wonderful time jumping, being silly and burning off energy. 
The big kids seem to like it too!

Related Posts with Thumbnails