Friday, July 25, 2014

Beachin' It

Spring Break by Katherine Appelgate
: January 26, 2010 by Simon Pulse
Originally Published: April 1, 1996
Series: Summer # 4
Last year I started Beach Blondes while at the beach so it only made sense (at least in my mind) to continue that tradition and read the next in the series on this year's beach trip. Yes, these are a bit ridiculous and probably not appropriate anywhere but the beach, but they're still kind of fun.

Not too surprisingly my complaints of this book are the same as the first. The books were first published in the 90s, but when they redid them for republication they updated a lot of the references. Which means the girls listen to ipods instead of cd players or answer their cells phones instead of car phones. Except while this could have worked, there's things that would have been to difficult to update and were left in, so Summer spends her time looking for a pay phone or visits Disney World and sees the Skyway and Captain Nemo Submarines, rides that haven't existed since the 90s. The book is definitely caught in a bit of a time warp between 3 decades that doesn't quite fit.

But I didn't find the plot nearly as cheesy this time. I think it helps that this was a single book, while the first had the first 3 in the series repackaged. But even so, I found this one a lot less predictable than the first.

I do have the next in the series, and while I don't plan on reading it till next summer (which hopefully I'm able to make happen with a baby!), part of me is looking forward to reading it.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

20 Weeks Bumpdate

20 Weeks
How Far Along: 20 Weeks. Which means I'm somehow halfway through!

Size of the Baby: A banana

Maternity Clothes: Pretty everything I'm wearing at this point is maternity.

Nursery: We actually made progress here this week. We hung up the curtains, and built both the crib and bookshelf. Unfortunately, I had planned on buying all white furniture, but once we opened the boxes realized I brought home a black crib. I know there's several options, we could paint it or return it, except the closest Ikea is in Houston. Still, we'll probably just keep it as is and have black and white furniture. It really isn't that bad, and really more annoying than anything else.

Stretch Marks: Still none, which considering I keep forgetting to us my belly cream, is pretty miraculous.

Sleep: Still pretty normal. I've been woken up by leg cramps once or twice in the early morning, but nothing to crazy.

Movement: I think I may have actually felt a few flutters.

Cravings: Well I did buy a carton of Ben & Jerry's Red Velvet Cake that's pretty delicious.

Symptoms: Besides the leg cramps nothing out of the ordinary.

What I Miss: Starbucks lattes. More specifically pumpkin spice latte, which aren't even in season yet, but I would love to have one now.

Looking Forward To: Registering! I'm not sure when exactly it will happen, but probably in the next few weeks.
6 Weeks7 Weeks8 Weeks
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9 Weeks ~ 10 Weeks ~ 11 Weeks
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12 Weeks ~ 13 Weeks ~ 14 Weeks
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15 Weeks ~ 16 Weeks ~ 17 Weeks
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18 Weeks ~ 19 Weeks

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Top 10

Each December I like to go back to look over and post the stats of the year. It's things like where I had the most readers from, which blogs lead the most people to my blog, and my top posts of the year. And while I've done this the past few years, I've never taken the time to list out the all time top posts of the blog since the beginning. At least till now. So please enjoy this blast from the past! Hopefully you can find some new posts to delight in or maybe it will remind you just how long you've been reading.

1. Show Us Your... Holiday Decorations
This post, like many of my others, was linked up to Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life series. Actually this top ten post could easily be entirely posts that I linked up there. So to keep things fair, I've decided to pick only one Show Us Your Life post. This is one of my favorites showing our 2012 holiday decorations.

2 All American Girl
Meet Felicity
I'm a little in love with the fact this post on my American Girl dolls is here. I was, and really still am, obsessed with my American Girl dolls, so I'm happy to see I'm not the only one.

3. Behind the Labels
From L.A. to LA - Wrap Around Labels
When I was working on our wedding invitations I looked in vain for a great wrap around label template. Instead I wound up making my own, and posted a tutorial on how to do them. It really was far easier than expected, and I'm happy to see so many people have found the posts and hopefully are trying it themselves.

4. Brulee-ing In the New Year
Creme Brulee
This recipe has quickly become my most pinned post. Not too surprising since it is one of the most delicious things ever, creme brulee. I made this the day before my 101 list started, and since making creme brulee is on that list I still need to make it again. Is hasn't happened yet, but I'm already looking forward to is.

5. The Tea Rose Trilogy: Book 2
I'm not quite sure why this is my most read book review. But I did love Jennifer Donnelly's Tea Rose Trilogy so I'm happy to see if here.

6. The Argument Against E-Readers
No, I still don't have an e-reader. I obviously see the convenience of them, and how they make life easier. But for the reasons in the posts I haven't made the change yet.

7 Dressing Up the Tables
I do find it interesting that this post of centerpiece inspiration for the wedding is so high on the list. It is interesting to go back and see what my initial thoughts were. Especially since my final centerpieces made not have been replicas of any of these, they definitely had a similar feeling.

8. Roasted Polenta with Swiss Chard
Amy's Roasted Polenta with Swiss Chard
Every once in a while I'll bring back a Frozen Thursday post, but I don't write them nearly as much as I used to. I think this is an interesting choice to be in my top 10, since I'm pretty sure this is the only time I ever tried this meal. I'm also not sure if they still make this option, which could be one reason why it's become so popular.

9. The Final Invitation Post
Another invitation post! Along with a photo of the full suite, this include a budget breakdown as well as a link to each diy step.

10. Why I'm Using Feedly Over Bloglovin
Yes, I'm still using feedly as my reader of choice. I know for many Bloglovin seems to be the best, but I still stand by my decision.

Do you by chance have a favorite post on From L.A. to LA? Or are you surprised by the most popular posts on your blog?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mailbox Monday (84)

It's funny, each week I'm never sure what, if anything, I'll be linking up in my Mailbox Monday post. But most times, like this week, I wind up being pleasantly surprised. So without any more suspense, these are the books I was lucky enough to pick up this past week.
Mailbox Monday
From a Friend
Horns to Toes by Sandra Boynton
Perfect Piggies by Sandra Boynton
Doggies by Sandra Boynton
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
A co-worker of mine was going through her daughter's old books and brought a box in to giveaway. I made sure to go through and pick up all the Sandra Boynton books. I believe the only one of hers I had growing up was Moo, Baa, La La La!, but I heard such great things about all her others. They've actually been my go-to baby shower gift for a while now. I always planned on making sure I had a few of her books before the baby arrived, and now I can officially say that's been taken care of.

From Paperback Swap
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
As soon as I finished reading The Deception of the Emerald Ring (review to come) I knew I wanted to continue the series, sooner rather than later. Thankfully a copy was in stock at Paperback Swap, and it quickly made it's way to me. Now if only I can make time to start reading this one just as quickly!

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

And you still have a time to enter my giveaway to win a copy of A Triple Knot by Emma Campion!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to Wonderland

Unhinged by A. G. Howard
: January 7th 2014 by Amulet Books
Series: : Splintered #1
I did enjoy Splintered, but I can't say I fell in love with it. I also wasn't clamoring to read the sequel, but being that this was our book club book of the month I was pretty much forced to. I'm glad I did though, since I wound up enjoying this one so much more than the first.

One of my biggest complaints of the first was that is was so confusing. Thankfully this one didn't feel the same. I think I lot of that is now the majority of the story takes place in the human realm instead of Wonderland. I'm sure it also helped being familiar with all the characters.

I wasn't really a fan of Jeb in this one though. He just seemed so bland, and made a lot of the love triangle fall flat for me. But luckily the love story isn't the main plot point with this.

Then of course there's the ending, which I really didn't see coming. I definitely makes me excited for the next book, far more than I had been to read this one.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More from the Beach

Earlier this week I posted about our trip our trip to the beach, and while I said I wasn't going to do a day-by-day recap I never said that would be the only post about it. While the point of our trip was definitely to spend time in the sand, that wasn't quite all we did.
We went to dinner at The Hangout where we played ping pong and our niece and nephew got to dance on the table.
Of course there was food too, which was a fried crab claw plate for me.
Fried Crab Claws
We spent nights in the condo playing King of Tokyo.
Playing Monsters
We went to lunch at Slap Happy's Sammiches because, well, with a name like that how could we not go. I had a chicken salad sandwich with potato salad, which was pretty much exactly what you'd expect a sandwich at a place like this to taste like.
Chicken Salad Sandwich
We spent the day shopping at the outlets, and while the baby may not need any more clothes they may have gotten a thing or two. And while this isn't a photo of shopping in progress, it was most definitely taken at the outlet mall.
Taking a Break While Shopping
And for one last meal, we went to Lucy Buffet's Lulu's. I may not have a photo of my actual meal (which was a greek salad and jerk chicken sandwich), but I do have one of the mango daiquiri I had while waiting for our table (non-alcoholic obviously).
Mango Daiquiri
It's crazy to think that this is our last vacation as a family of two. And while we may not have an official babymoon scheduled, I think this was a close as we're going to get.

What are your thoughts on babymoons? Have you ever taken one? Or would you want to?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

18 & 19 Weeks Bumpdate

Since I was at the beach last week, I wasn't able to get in a weekly update. Have no fear though, I did manage a bump picture, and I'm back with 2 weeks worth of updates.
18 Weeks
18 Weeks
19 Weeks
19 Weeks
How Far Along: 18 weeks & 19 weeks

Size of the Baby: A bell pepper and an heirloom tomato

Maternity Clothes: In my last post I mentioned how only one pair of shorts fit me. Well, they no longer do. But we did hit up the outlets on vacation, and I found a pair of pregnancy shorts, which I'm wearing above, and will hopefully last me the rest of summer.

Nursery: The future nursery is still home a a variety of random furniture pieces. But we did manage to get rid of one item, so we have made some, albeit small, progress.

Stretch Marks: Thankfully, still none.

Sleep: I did nap quite a bit on vacation, but I feel like that's far more because of being on vacation mode than the baby.

Movement: Sadly, still none.

Cravings: Still nothing really.

Symptoms: After being gone a week when I got back to work everyone commented on how much I grew. I think part of that was more my absence, but I also did think I've really popped out in the past week or two.

What I Miss: Again still nothing really, especially since most days I really don't even feel like I'm pregnant.

Looking Forward To: Our next ultrasound, which is next week!
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6 Weeks ~ 7 Weeks ~ 8 Weeks
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12 Weeks ~ 13 Weeks ~ 14 Weeks
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15 Weeks ~ 16 Weeks ~ 17 Weeks