Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mailbox Monday (89)

It's that time of the week again, time for Mailbox Monday. Except since tomorrow is Labor Day, it means there's still one day of the weekend left! So I'm still linking up my books, I just get a little extra time before things get back to normal.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I know so many people who love all of Julie Kagawa's books, but till now I've never read anything by her. In case you're like me, and a bit unfamiliar with her work, this is the first in her Iron Fey series, a YA series about a girl who finds out she's half fairy. Hopefully like everyone else seems to, I'll fall in love with this one too!

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 29, 2014

From the Nation's Leading Midwife

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
March 4, 2003 by Bantam
I've been wanting to read this book since before I was even pregnant. Granted I could have read it then, but I think it packs a bit more of an emotional punch reading it now that I'm actually pregnant instead of before.

The book is organized in a way I wasn't quite expecting with the first half birth stories and the second half more of a self-help section. While I do think putting all the birth stories together packs much more of an emotional punch, I'm not sure how much I liked it. I think it might have flowed better if the stories were throughout, and instead of being referenced back to with a specific detail, lead into a specific section. I also almost raced through the stories, since I was so looking forward to the actual "meat" to come.

I did still appreciate them, and could see how helpful they could be if you haven't heard very many. In general most people tend not to share the gory details of their births. At least not in person, but bloggers are a different story. I do feel like I've read a number of stories from fellow bloggers that I wouldn't have heard otherwise, so it some ways while the stories were unique, they more of a rehash of things I've already read.

But I did really enjoy Ina May's section explaining much of the birth process and felt like I learned so many little details reading it. At this point it's hard to say how much of it will actual be useful to me, but I have a feeling I may surprise myself. I do think as much I as enjoyed this now, once I look back on it after giving birth I'll likely have a completely different opinion. But for now at least, I'm a big fan.


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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

24 & 25 Weeks Bumpdate

I'm back from California and ready to share two weeks worth of updates!
24 Weeks
24 Weeks
25 Weeks
25 Weeks
How Far Along: 24 Weeks & 25 Weeks

Size of the Baby: An ear of corn and a rutabaga

Maternity Clothes: This dress I'm wearing in the photo above is one I've had for years that thankfully worked for the party! But still, all my bottoms are maternity and I haven't had a need to buy anything knew.

Nursery: Not too surprising since I've been out of town lately, but we're still at a status quo here.

Stretch Marks: Still nothing, which worked out well since I was laying out in a bikini in California.

Sleep: Still normal, even with sleeping in strange beds while traveling.

Movement: This has definitely picked up. It used to be that I really only felt things laying down in bed, and I've started to notice a few random movements throughout the day.

Cravings: Again, nothing I can really think of.

Symptoms: Thankfully flying wasn't too bad. It was a little difficult to bend over and get things out from under the seat in front of me, but I managed.

What I Miss: There was definitely a lot of fruity, summery cocktails during my trip that I missed out on. Not the biggest deal, but they all looked delicious.

Looking Forward To: For football season to start actually. It's a little crazy to think that this will be our last season cheering on the Tigers without a baby. Although the baby would be here for to root for LSU in the BCS championship game! Ha!
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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
: January 1, 1990
I don't do very well with comedic books. There's just some part of me that reads everything as if it were serious. (The same happens with me for movies sometimes too.) Unfortunately for me, that's probably my biggest problem with this book.

Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed it, and could remark that parts were funny. But never to the point where I found myself laughing, either internally or out loud. After all even though I see the humor in it, I'm sure knowing that the book is about the apocalypse, I read everything far my serious than what was needed.

There was a lot going on in this. A lot of characters and at lot of going back and forth between scenes. At first it confused me a bit, and while it was less confusing by the end I still found myself paying more attention to certain characters than others. The main ones being Crowley and Aziraphale, a demon and angel respectively, whose sections I always found myself looking forward to.

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting with this book. I can't quite say that I loved it, but I'm happy to have finally read it. And knowing how much I do love Neil Gaiman's movies, I'm excited to read more from him.


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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From India to France

The Hundred-Foot Journey
I found it kind of interesting the way this movie played out. The first half was exactly what you'd expect based on the previews. But the second was a bit different. Not that it took a complete u-turn, but going into it I would have expected it to end about halfway before it did. There's just a lot more to it than simply a French and Indian restaurant "fighting" each other.

I would recommend not being like me, and not seeing this movie hungry. (Of course I can't even follow my own advice, since here I am writing this post hungry just before eating dinner.) The food does look delicious throughout, but since I was so hungry for most of it, I found myself trying to distance myself from it all. But I do think if you saw this on a fuller stomach you'd be able to appreciate the dishes quite a bit more.

Overall this was a really fun movie. (And one of the few I haven't fallen asleep in lately!) It may not be one you need to see in the theaters, but either way I still think it's worth your time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mailbox Monday (88)

First can we talk about how well my Mailbox Monday books match this week? Not really intentional on my part, but hopefully it makes up in a way for posting this so late. Although it is technically Monday that I'm posting it, so I guess I could still be considered on time!
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Back in January I posted my review of Shiver, the first in the series. I can't say I fell in love with it, but I did enjoy it enough to continue. Maybe this is one series that gets better and better with each book, and I wind up a much bigger fan this time.

From Goodreads
The Forgotten Girl by David Bell
I don't know much about this one, but from the cover and summary it has a feel similar to Gone Girl which I loved. I've yet to read anything by David Bell, but maybe after this I'll be wanting to read more from him.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
I really wasn't planning on buying this the day it came out. But then Barnes & Nobles e-mailed me a 20% coupon, and I figured it was I sign. I absolutely adored the first two Stephanie Perkins book, so I have no doubt, especially after reading the first few reviews, that I'll fall in love with this one too!

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And when was the last time you rushed out to buy a book the day it was released?

While you're here, be sure to check out my giveaway for 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
: August 5, 2014 by Crown
I'm not sure what I expected going into this, but I don't think there's anyway I really could have understood what I was getting into. Yes, the book is about a little girl who goes to The Cat's Pajamas, a jazz club in Philadelphia, but yet it's really about so much more than that.

The story is told from several different perspectives, which could get a little confusing, but really seemed to work. The three main ones were that of Madeleine, a 9-year-old who recently lost her mother, Sarina Greene, Madeline's teacher, and Lorca, the owner of The Cat's Pajamas. There's a few other characters who have their moment in the spotlight with a scene or two told from their perspective, but Madeleine, Sarina, and Lorca are the ones you hear from the most. As you might expect, I enjoyed certain characters more than the others, with Lorca's momments being my least favorite. But while I started out enjoying Madeline's sections the most, I soon fell a little in love with Sarina's.

Madeline though is still the heart of the story, and you can't help feeling for her throughout. She puts on such a tough exterior to the world to get through all the hardships life has dealt her. While she isn't the nicest person to many, because we're in her head we can see where she's coming from, and it's a bit heartbreaking. Luckily there are a few others, like Sarina, fighting for her, and when she finally has her moment you can't help but cheer for her.

I don't know that I've ever read a book quite like this one. I do think a lot of it is because it all happens over such a short period of time, only 24 hours, and we hear from so many different characters. But it's more than, really. There's just such a soul to this book that's almost indescribable, but I feel a little blessed to have had the experience of reading it.


I have one copy of 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas to giveaway to one lucky reader. (US and Canada only.) Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

23 Weeks Bumpdate

23 Weeks
How Far Along: 23 Weeks.

Size of the Baby: A mango

Maternity Clothes: Still regularly wearing maternity clothes, with a few non-maternity tops that manage to work. Although I guess really the next big update here will be once some of my maternity clothes stop working!

Nursery: Still the same.

Stretch Marks: Still none!

Sleep: Still pretty normal. I'm not too tired, and I'm still able to sleep fine.

Movement: The boy claims he felt something in my stomach poke his hand the other day. But from my side, they're still the same flutters I've been having.

Cravings: Nothing really. Although the boy did make that arugula pesto again for dinner last night and I can't wait to eat the leftovers tonight!

Symptoms: I've definitely been really emotional this past week. And while I'd love to say it's probably a one time things, I'm guessing it's only going to get worse from now on.

What I Miss: Still much of the same here since nothing really stands out.

Looking Forward To: Next week I'll actually be heading to a friend's big 30th birthday bash, which will be my last trip away before the baby. While I guess not an official babymoon since it's basically a girl's trip, at least depending on your definition, I'm still really looking forward to one final mini vacation.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Heros in a Half Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Clearly this had to be the movie of the weekend. After all I've seen ever movie, including the 2007 cartoon version. And while I would list this as my favorite of them, it still was a lot of fun.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by Megan Fox. Or more that I was expecting her to be a lot worse than she actually was. I didn't necessarily think Will Arnett fit well. Especially since he was somewhat of a love interest for Megan Fox's April, he just seemed a little too old for her.

I did love the movie's take on the turtles origin, and love all the flashback moments. I'd even list those as some of my favorite scenes.

Overall I wouldn't say it's an absolute masterpiece, but it was a lot of fun, and I think think stand up to all the nostalgia.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mailbox Monday (87)

It's hard to believe summer is almost over, especially since growing up in California we didn't really go back to school till around Labor Day. But here in Louisiana, several schools started this past week and the rest will have their first day tomorrow. Which of course means no more summer-y traffic-free days. But back to the point at hand, which for the seemingly last time this summer, I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from TLC Books Tours
Vintage by Susan Gloss
I know several bloggers who have fallen in love with this one, so I hope it's the same with me. And while it is a chick lit type, it doesn't look especially summer-y, so hopefully it's the perfect book to bring in the fall.

From Goodreads
The Hello Kitty Baking Book by Michele Chen Chock
This one was too adorable to pass up. Looking through it, I'm not too sure on the recipes, but I am curious about the Hello Kitty Jack-o-Lantern Spice Cookies and the Red Apple Cupcakes. Now I just need to make time this fall to try them out!

Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran
I've never actually read a cozy mystery, but they seem to be a lot of fun to me. Plus it's a mystery involving food and books, which you can probably guess from this post, are up there in my world. I'm sure if this is one I enjoy I'll be turning to cozy mysteries far more often.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, August 8, 2014

From Flowers to Gemstones

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
: November 16, 2006 by Dutton Adult
Series: Pink Carnation #3
Somehow it's been over two years since I last read a book in the Pink Carnation series. It was never an intentional choice, since always enjoy these books, but it seems I never quite found the time to continue. At least till now.

Being that it's been so long since I read the last in the series, it did take me a while to remember who the characters were and what happened in the last book. But somewhat thankfully, while there is still a linear story, each book is could almost work as a standalone. Yes, there are familiar characters, but each time we're introduced to a new couple and their love story.

I think one aspect I love about this books is the way all the girls are written. In some ways their characters are similar, but they're really enjoyable to read about. After all while these are in a way a love story, there's still the spy aspect woven throughout, and each one gets herself involved in it somehow.

I still love these books and I'm so glad my mom was able to introduce them to me. (Although I do wish she was able to continue the rest of them with me.) I actually already have a copy of the next in the series, and there's no way I'm going to let another two years go by without diving into it!


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