Monday, June 30, 2014

14 in '14 June Update

You guys know the deal by now, right? 

The Dust of 100 Dogs

This was a good read, however one of the biggest hangups I had about it was that it's labelled as a YA book and in my opinion it was way more mature to be considered Young Adult...all the violence, sex, and language was not something I would think would be allowed in a YA book. With that being said, it was a good read. The story follows Emer, a woman who is a pirate in the 1600s, and Saffron, the "reincarnation" of Emer after she is cursed to live the life of 100 dogs. I enjoyed the book, but the content is definitely not for everyone.

Assassination Vacation

You may remember that I read Sarah Vowell's Partly Cloudy Patriot in March and was not a fan at all. I really dreaded reading this book because Patriot wasn't my cup of tea. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this book much more than I did her other one and actually learned a few things about some of our presidents. Vowell has a great way of writing that mixes humor with history and I think that's a great way to learn. I did find a few parts boring but for the most part Assassination Vacation was a good read. 

Here is the list so far:

1. Where'd you go Bernadette?
2. Sacre Bleu
3. Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?
4. The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic
5. The Partly Cloudy Patriot
6. Assassination Vacation
7. The Alchemyst
8. The Graveyard Book
9. The Maze Runner
10. The Husband's Secret
11. Beauty Queens
12. The Dust of 100 Dogs
13. The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making
14. The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books

What are some books you read this month? Did you like them?

I'm on Goodreads, if you'd lik
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Sunday, June 29, 2014


I took part in Bon's book club again this month, and we read Matilda. Shockingly, I never read this as a child so it was nice to pick it up and read it finally. 

It was a cute book to read and I got through it fairly quickly, which made me feel like I was legitimately accomplishing things.

Jumping right to Bon's questions:

+ What do you like more or less about reading a children's book as compared to adult fiction?

I loved that we read a children's book this month. With so much happening this month, it was nice to pick up a quick and easy read and finish it up in a day. Some month's it's nice to read longer, adult novels but with the warmer months coming up and everyone being so busy, this was a good pick for the month. 

+ What did you like or dislike about Roald Dahl's writing style?

I loved reading Dahl as a child (anyone else remember Witches?) and it's no different now that I am an adult. He's funny, witty, and writes great stories. 

+ Were the characters over the top to you or did that not matter to you?  Did you have trouble "buying" the story?

If this were an adult fiction book, I would be rolling my eyes at all the ridiculousness of the characters, however reading it through a children's book is a lot different. You kind of have to read this story with the mind of a child and be more open to silly things, the way a child would. The only part that made me have a "oh come on!" moment would be the end. It seems odd to me that everyone would be okay with Matilda moving in with Miss. Honey, no questions asked. But, it did end the story nicely so I guess it makes sense in that way.

+ Did the story seem too grim or dark for children?

There were parts that seemed a bit dark for children, but it has enough magical elements in them that I don't think kids would pick up on it the way an adult reading the book would. Let's put it this way, I would take no issue with my children reading this book. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

aaaaaand I'm Out!

While you're reading this, I'm sitting on a beach in Jamaica. I'm not saying this to make you jealous, but to explain why this is the only post you'll be seeing from me this week. 

As a consolation prize, please feel free to come back and watch this video as many times as you need this week to lift your spirits. The first time I saw it, I was laughing so hard I was crying. 

Make sure you turn the sound up! 

See you all in a week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

I totally forgot to write this post up last night...sorry for any grammar errors! 

1. Last Friday, my friend Becca and I grabbed some ice cream from a local farm. It was delicious!

2. Friday night, I drove up to my sister's place and we picked up her dress for her wedding next Tuesday! It's very exciting, I leave for Jamaica on Sunday!

3. Sunday was Father's Day. I have this hilarious picture of my dad passed out on the back patio with his dog passed out in his lap....I'm pretty sure he'd kill me if I posted it so I'm settling for a recycled pic.

4. I picked up the Sam Smith album that was released Tuesday. It's the first album I've ever bought were I knew all the words to the songs before it even came out. The man is amazing!

5. I hate going on vacations and leaving my babies behind....I'm going to miss our morning cuddle sessions like this one while I'm gone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grumble Grumble Grumble

Have you ever watched The Simpson's episode where Sideshow Bob kept running into the rakes and making that grumbling sound? If I could find a way to phonetically title this post that, I would because it is the perfect description of how I feel about a recent conversation I had with a family member. Since I can't quite find the right letters for that, I'm settling for the Grumble times three, cause in real life that's what I'd end up doing anyway. I'm bad at impersonations. 

Anyway, we were talking about a recent breakup of another family member that had gotten messy. I really had to watch what I said, since this person was very close and very loyal to the other relative. She's also got a bad temper and I like my face. 

When we got near the end of the conversation, she blurts out, "We think he's gay anyway. It's the only explanation we can come up with for doing all this."

I knew I had to tread lightly, so I responded with an innocent, "That seems a bit odd, why would you guys think that? He seemed straight to me and they've been together much longer than it would take to notice." 

She responded with, "He was really clean and tidy. Like beyond a normal guy clean."

Wait, what? 

I respond, "That doesn't' make sense. So and so was very neat and tidy and was always cleaning up the house."

"Yeah but this went beyond it, he was too clean to be a straight guy."

"Oh, that clears it up, I didn't realize that in order to be gay you had to be super clean." 

"Exactly. [editor's note: I was being sarcastic, but this person apparently did not pick up on that] But if he tried to get her back, she would take him back, but only if he apologized."

"But I thought you guys said he was gay?"

This absolutely ridiculous conversation led me to the following conclusions:

1. My relatives in question are freaking morons. I still love them, but they're idiots.

2. Collectively, we need to learn that bringing down the other party to make ourselves feel better will not, in the long run, actually make us feel better. In fact, it is us that will look like fools, not them. 

3. If you're going to assume something bad about someone to make yourself feel better, try to come up with something better than how well someone cleans. May I suggest something like whether or not they drink diet soda? Cause if your man is drinking diet soda, he's probably gay. I googled it and got one hit, so it has to be true.  

4. Just because a man breaks up with you doesn't mean he's gay. It's insulting to him, the gay community, and your intelligence. Stop it. 

5. I need to begin to document every time Dave cleans up to ensure that he does not go above the appropriate amount that heterosexual men clean. If he gets to the point where he is too "tidy" I will have to hire him as a cleaning lady and find a man for him who does not have better cheekbones than me. I'll be damned if I have to contour my face every freaking day just to top out that queen. 

End rant. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Play Time

I'm still trying to learn my new camera and obviously the best way to do that is to use it. I decided to try and catch the boys in action playing with their favorite things to see how well I fared with action shots. I had attempted an action shot/playtime post when I first started blogging last year...needless to say I think the picture quality is much better. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures and they bring a smile to your face! 

First up is Squish and his ice. Dave started Squish in the terrible habit of expecting an ice cube every time we use the ice button on our fridge. He will sit there and meow as loud as he can and give you the best guilt trip face possible if you don't. Once he gets the ice he likes to play ice hockey with it. It's so funny seeing him bat the ice around the kitchen floor...until you step in the puddle an hour later. 

Nibbler likes to play with conventional cat know strings, things that sit on mommy's nightstand (like her glasses), etc. So I pulled out a string from an old bikini I had.

The first two pictures are my favorite. You can see in the very first picture the look on his face is so serious...then the second he's just going for it. For some odd reason, he likes to bat at the string with his mouth wide open. 

I think my favorite thing about all these pictures is seeing their paws, especially Squish's. It's just so cool to see the moment right before he makes contact with the ice. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

It's rained this whole week. That only means one thing: I'd rather be curled up in bed with a book. Here's the roundup for the week:

1. Over the weekend I finished up a baby quilt for my friend and started another T-shirt quilt I was hired to make. I think I've made more quilts this year in the past five years...

2. This week was the week of yummy goodies for me. First up one of my co-workers surprised me with a cupcake made especially for me by her daughter. It was so sweet (both physically and emotionally)!

 3. Next, my friend Sheena surprised me the next day with homemade brownies. Bikini season smishini season. Or whatever. 

4. This meme had me cracking up so bad at work, I had to put my head down on the desk to stop.

5. Over the weekend I also finished up "thank you" notes from my party. Nibbler was apparently working just as hard. 

And finally....because this was and always will be my JAM!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hoagie Dip

This dip is so good and quite frankly the first time I bit into it I thought it was so cool how much it tasted exactly like a hoagie in bite sized form. This has to be one of the easiest dips you'll make, since all you have to do is cut up some lunch meat and mix it with mayo and spices. 

What you need:

- 1/2 lb ham
- 1/2 lb capicola ham
- 1/2 lb salami
- 1/4 lb american cheese
- 1/4 lb provolone cheese
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup mayo
- french bread cut into bite sized pieces

*The seasoning/mayo is all to taste. If you feel like you need to add more to make it more "hoaglie-licious", go for it!*

What you do:

Cut up meats and cheeses, combine with mayo and spices. Serve cold on top of bread pieces.

Monday, June 9, 2014

There's Your Sign

The chef that works in the cafeteria in my office building is such a positive, optimistic person. We had a really great conversation a few weeks ago about how he chooses to find the good in everything after he spent several minutes looking for sausage patties that another chef who was filling in for him placed somewhere else than where they normally were. Any regular person in his situation would have been so angry and probably cursing the other chef, but when he did find them eventually, his only response was "oh he put them in this dish to save room, that is so nice of him".  I was amazed at his positivity. I've never met someone who wouldn't have been incredibly annoyed at not being able to locate something that someone else "misplaced". His response to me was that he was so much happier when he spent less time focusing on the negativity and found the good in everything. 

It's something I really try to strive for, but it's really easier said than done. I resolved to try and emulate this great behavior and was put to the test a few nights ago. A "friend", who I'm kind of stuck with due to their connections with family, was trying very hard to bring me down and be negative in the most passive aggressive way possible. My first reaction was to rage. I wanted to storm around the house, I wanted to unfriend and block her on Facebook and erase any existence that we ever were friends. It made me so angry that my stomach was in knots. 

Then the conversation I had with the chef came back to me and I realized that it was more important to me to focus on the people who cared about me than to allow the one person who was filled with so much negativity that she had to bring me down to pull herself up to get to me (holy run on sentence, Batman!). 

I had just gotten home from teen book club and though about about the teens, how much they cared about me, and the club, and how much I cared about them. 

I thought about my friend Sherrie who works at the library and the sheer joy on her face as we shared great news to each other from the past month.

I thought about Dave and how lucky I am. 

I thought about Nibbler and Squishee and how loved I am. 

I thought about my mom, my Aunt Steph, and Aunt Penny and how proud they are of me. 

Suddenly a parade of family and friends that loved me began to march through my mind, and that one "friend's" actions suddenly were insignificant and petty. 

As I sat there I thought to myself, "oh her actions just gave me a great blog post, how nice of her" and I smiled. 

Then my phone beeped this message (from the Tiny Buddha app):

In the words of Bill Engvall, "There's your sign". 

Friday, June 6, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

How has everyone's week been? All this talk about getting a new camera and I'm a little short on pictures this week, eep! Sorry! 

1. I mentioned Monday that I just bought a new camera. Dave got an email yesterday from Best Buy that this camera was now on sale with a tripod, extra lens and memory card for $75 more than what I originally paid for the camera (the extra lens alone is $200!). I was soooo mad, but Dave went back to the store and was able to upgrade so now I've got some extra goodies to play with! I'm so excited to see what I can do with this camera! 

2. Sunday was my graduation party. I talked a bit Wednesday about all the creative things my mom did to make the party a success, and of course I had to throw in a picture of my dad and I being goofballs again...since I didn't think you got enough of it last week!

3. This week, my neighbor and I started walking the neighborhood. Its nice to get some exercise in and being able to chat with her, I have no idea why we didn't start sooner!

4. Squish enjoying the sunlight and trying (and doing a great job of) to look cute for Momma.

5. Nibbler looking know for a cat who hates having his picture taken he sure does take good ones.

Loving this song! Most definitely backing my azz up to this one!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Unique Graduation Party Ideas

This past Sunday, Dave and my mom threw a graduation party for me. My mom went all out with this party and came up with some really great ideas for the graduation theme that I wanted to share with you!

First, for dessert, my mom had a cake custom made that was made to look like books. The "subject" for each book was my major and minor. 

She also made cupcakes since she wasn't sure if the cake would be enough to feed everyone (it was and then some!). On top of each cupcake she decorated it with graduation themed toppers. 

She also had a candy table with bags that guests could fill up and take home as a goody bag. She made homemade chocolate hats in the shape of graduation caps in the colors of my school as well as regular chocolate. She used a mold very similar to this. She also placed most of the candy in empty boxes (similar) that are shaped to look like books, it was really cute! 

She also made chocolate covered pretzels in my school colors too!

She also had an assortment of candy in my school colors as well as "Nerds" and "Smarties"...get it? Ha ha!

For cards, my mom made (MADE!) a card box that was shaped to look like a graduation cap. She is so creative, it's insane. 

My mom also created little tags with keys attached to them, to act as the "guest book". Guests were instructed to write their own "keys to success" for me to read. I have to say this was probably one of my favorite things about the party, my friends and family's suggestions ranged from inspirational to hilarious. 

I hope this suggestions come in handy if you ever have to throw a graduation party!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fun with the New Camera

On Friday I bought a new camera. It's a Canon Rebel T3, it's my very first DSLR camera and I'm so excited to be able to take better pictures on the blog (up until this point, I've used my iPhone camera exclusively). Over the weekend I was playing around with learning the camera and took some quick shots. 

Nibs trying to figure out what the heck I was doing 

My favorite picture!

Squish has cheekbones to die for!

Squish enjoying the breeze that's blowing through.