Monday, March 31, 2014

March in Review

Normally I write these monthly recap posts about how quickly the month flew by. Except that wasn't quite the case with March. I'm not quite sure why, maybe it was the cold weather, maybe it's because nothing too exciting happened. But either way, here's a look back at the last 31 days of March.

In March...
Sausage PoBoy
...We went to our first LSU baseball game of the season. Of course the Tigers lost, I only took 2 photos, and when we were ready to leave our car was double parked, hence the reason why you haven't heard about it till now. Hopefully if we make it to a second game this year the experience will turn out a little better.
Finally picked up my copy of Frozen! I'll never #letitgo
...I bought Frozen on dvd. I've yet to actually watch it though, but I'm sure the time will be coming soon.
Chicken Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes
...The boy made chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes. This was pretty much an awesomely delicious meal that even tasted great as leftover.

...I posted reviews of 6 books and 4 movies.
The Runaway by Terry Kay
The Highlander's Reward by Eliza Knight
Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In by Keith Hirshland
Pilgrim Footprints on the Sands of Time by Sylvia Nilsen
Round the Bend by Alistar McGuinness
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
The Monuments Men
300: Rise of an Empire
Veronica Mars
Muppets Most Wanted
Without question, my favorite of them all had to be Where'd You Go Bernadette.

...2009, I posted my reflections on The Bachelor finale where Jason left Melissa for Molly. Coincidentally, 1 year later, in March 2010 I wrote my thoughts on Jason & Molly's wedding.
And just because it's fun to share Bachelor news, this week Ashley and J.P. announced that they're expecting a baby this October! While they are one of my favorite bachelor couples it still is a little absurd how excited this makes me.

What are some of your highlights from this past March?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mailbox Monday (70)

I was all set to share these books last week for Mailbox Monday, and then time got away from from. Of course I've seen received even more books that should be here, but I guess they'll just have to wait their turn till next week.
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Imagine There's No Heaven by Mitchell Stephens
The subtitle of this one actually sums it up pretty well, "How atheism helped create the modern world." It's definitely an interesting take on history, science, and religon and I'm really curious to see how it all plays out.

For Review from the Publisher
Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison
This is about a mid-30s woman who has to move back in with her mother. Not only that but her toddler is moving with her, and her mother lives in Beverly Hills. This one definitely has a lot of potential.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy
I absolutely loved Bond Girl, which is why I'm so excited to read Erin Duffy's next novel. This one looks to be on a bit of a lighter topic, but I'm still thinking it's another I'll fall head over heels for.

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
I actually had a friend read this recently and really enjoy it. As you may be able to figure out from the title, it's about the last original wife, meaning that out of her husband's group of friends hers is the only one who hasn't remarried yet.

As much as I'm looking forward to reading all of these, I can't get over how pretty all the covers look together. There's so bright and just feel like spring, which I know I'm more than ready for, and I'm sure the way winter has been I'm not alone in that feeling!

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

And you still have a few days to enter my giveaway forRound the Bend by Alistar McGuinness!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Where in the World is Bernadette Fox

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
: January 1, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company
I feel like I've been in a bit of a book slump lately, which is why this one was so refreshing to read. I have read my fair share of mixed reviews on this, but I'm definitely in the camp of love.

A bit complaint of this seems to be the way it's written, full of e-mails and documents. I actually really liked this format. Maybe because I'm a bit noisy, but I love how we're able to get a peak into everyone's secret life and know what's happening with so many different people.

Also, knowing there's going to be a movie version, I couldn't help by think how they were going to adapt it. After all, e-mails and notifications don't lend themselves well to the screen. And on top of that just who will they get to play Bernadette and Bee? It's definitely going to take a bit of creativity to get it all to work, but I can't wait to see it happen!

I will say that for me, this lived up to the hype. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly recommend it, especially before the movie makes it's way.


Don't forget, I'm currently hosting a giveaway to win Round the Bend by Alistar McGuinness!

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Lovers, The Dreamers, & Me

Muppets Most Wanted
Growing up I don't remember being a huge fan of the Muppet movies. Yes, I did love The Muppets Christmas Carol, but I don't believe I ever saw a muppets movie in the theater. (I did really love watching Muppets Babies on Disney Channel though.) Which is why it's funny, in a way, that the boy and I saw both this and the last muppet movie in theaters.

It's interesting going back and reading my last review about how surprised I was by all the music. We were ready for it this time, and there definitely was close to 7 or 8 songs throughout. My favorite of which had to be a rendition of "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line.

I really loved all the cameos as well. Yes, there were a lot of big name actors in the leads, but there was a ton of other celebrities with only a single line or two. So many that I'm sure I missed a ton of them.

Overall, this movie was, as expected, a lot of fun. It may have been a little long at moments, but still, it's worth seeing even if you don't make it to the theater.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Search for Life After Redundancy {Giveaway}

Round the Bend by Alistar McGuinness
: November 26, 2013 by Matador
I've been lucky to I've been able to do quite a bit of traveling. I've been to France, Israel, Japan, and quite a few others. But I've never made it to South America, Africa, or Australia. Knowing the this book is the author's travels to all three continents is one reason why I was so excited for this book.

Except while I'd love to visit each place someday, I'm not quite sure I want to replicate McGuinness adventures. The entire memoir reads like a bad episode of Amazing Race, a comedy of errors. Over and over he winds up cheated by locals. He always seems to be always suffering from some type of food poisoning. And unfortunately seems to be a bit miserable throughout most of the journey.

The book started out with him and his wife in South America, but overall I wasn't a huge fan of this section. I did find myself enjoying the book more once they made it to Africa, and especially when they climbed Kilimanjaro. I may not have wanted to be with them on a lot of their adventures, but would have loved to by at Kilimanjaro, and if there was ever a part I felt transported to another country, that was it.

The book also includes gorgeous maps depicting the couple's travels and destinations. I get the feeling they were originally done in color, and while I would have loved to see them unaltered, I still looked forward to each one.

This book wound up as quite the an interesting journey. I don't know that I've ever read a travel memoir quite like it, and it definitely was a ride throughout.


If you're also looking to travel throughout the world with McGuinness I'm happy to say, you have the chance! I'm giving away one copy of Round the Bend. The winner is able to choose a print copy or an ebook and the giveaway is open internationally. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sand Through the Hourglass

Pilgrim Footprints on the Sands of Time by Sylvia Nilsen
:December 2, 2013 by LightEye Editions
I've read a lot of historical fiction where characters go on pilgrimages. But yet, there's never been very much detail to it. Instead it's normally a sentence or two saying so-and-so went on a pilgrimage to a certain place for some reason, without really telling the story of what it took to get there. Until I started this book, I never thought about the fact that it's a narrative I've been missing out on, but this book finally filled me.

This book feels incredibly well researched. The author has gone on many of her own pilgrimages, and is able to bring an authenticity to a historical tale, something you don't always expect. She definitely wants us to have as much information as possible about this time and what was going on in the world, but it doesn't always quite work. The story is told from the point of view of William, who is on his first pilgrimage from England to Spain. Except while the story is told from him, in present tense, there's often details that he wouldn't have known provided, items about a wall being finished in 5 years or the fact that 50 years from now a certain synagogue would be a church. They all seemed to be true details, and if the story was told as William looking back on his life it would have worked. But instead it almost felt as if the 4th wall with the reader was broken.

Also, while this is an adult historical fiction novel, there was a bit of insta-love I'd expect from a YA book. Yes, the characters were teens, so it could be explained. But still, it's hard to really care about a couple when they're both in love with each other before a single word has been spoken between them.

This book was an interesting idea, and definitely fills its niche. If you've ever been curious about what it may have been like to go on a pilgrimage in the middle ages, then this could answer those questions. But unfortunately, as anything more than that, it didn't quite work for me.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat

Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In by Keith Hirshland
: August 8, 2013 by Createspace
I'm not a big golf fan, but I am a big tv fan which is the main reason I wanted to read this one. Cover Me Boys is the memoir of the original producers of the Golf Channel, so while I knew there would be a lot of golf, I was hoping there would be enough tv production for me to stay interested. Thankfully, for the most part I was right.

Hirshland does have a big background in TV production coming from a family where his father owned a tv station. We're able to travel alongside Hisrland from his family's small time station in Reno, to working at ESPN 2, to finally the Golf Channel. I loved all the behind the scenes details, especially in the first half of the book. But even so, once it got more into golf closer to the end, found the pieces of how new technology came about fascinating. Although funny enough one of my favorite parts didn't have to really do with Hirshland producing tv, but instead he time as a tv show contestant on Classic Concentration.

As you get further and further into the book it feels a bit like a Who's Who in the world of golf and sports. There are some fun bits of the early lives of tv personalities, like Matt Lauer, that I really appreciated. But a lot of the names were those I didn't recognize, or at least couldn't place immediately. I did ask the boy if he knew a few, and most times his response was yes, and that I would probably recognize them as well. After a funny bit with Keith Olbermann, I asked the boy about him, not having any idea who he was. But the following night the boy pointed him out to me on tv, and yes, while I may not have been able to place him, I have watched him a number of times.

It's funny in a way, because while there is a ton of information in here, probably more than needed to be at times, at the end I wanted to keep reading. In some ways it feels a bit unfinished, but unfortunately that's how life works sometimes. Our story never really ends, it's more a new chapter is always starting. With that note if Hirshland ever does to write a follow up memoir I'd be curious enough to read it as well.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through Virtual Author Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Out Like a Lamb?

While it isn't hasn't been warm enough for me to lay out in the backyard (travesty of travesties!), spring is slowly starting to show up in our backyard!
Our Backyard
While it may be hard to tell with all the dead-ness in the photo above, I promise you the small signs are there.
Fig Tree Buds
Our fig tree is starting to bud. Of course you can also see our dead and frozen aloe in the background that I'm hoping finds a way to make a miraculous comeback.
Our peach tree is starting to flower.
There's yellow flowers all over our trellis.
And while I have no idea what these flowers may be, I just had to include them because they're so pink and pretty.

Have the signs of spring started to appear where you are? And has anyone actually made it to the point where it's warm enough to lay outside?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Calling All Marshmallows

Veronica Mars
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a huge Veronica Mars fan, but I still watched a few episodes back in college when it was still on tv. I liked it enough to know I wanted to see the movie, but not necessarily enough to remember exactly who everyone was.

I will say the movie did do a pretty good job at making you feel caught up even if you hadn't seen a single episode. But there were a ton of inside jokes for super fans, and while I'm sure I missed a lot, I did appreciate the ones I noticed. I did love Veronica's sarcasm throughout, and actually it was probably my favorite aspect of the movie. (Although I did love Dax Shepard's cameo too.)

But I can admit, at times it was a little cheesy. And the boy, who I don't believe has seen a single episode, pretty much hated it. I do think if you were a huge fan of the tv show you'll want to see it in the theaters, but otherwise it's probably one you could wait a bit for.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mailbox Monday (69)

Another week as has come to an end, which does mean it's time for my weekly Mailbox Monday with the book that have recently entered my home!
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Poison Spring by E.G. Vallianatos with McKay Jenkins
This is an expose about how we are exposed to a mix of chemicals daily. It reminds me a bit of Erin Brockovich, but besides that I don't really know what to expect with it.

Enduring Courage by John F. Ross
This is a biography of a WWI pilot, Eddie Rickenbacker. I've never heard of him before receiving this book, so I definitely have a lot to learn.

From Paperback Swap
Matched by Ally Condie
I feel like I'm one of the last people I know to read this one. But at least now I can read them all at my speed instead of waiting for them to be published. This is one is YA dystopian about a society where the government matches you with your future spouse.

Have you read any of these? And what did you find in your mailbox this week?

Also, you still have a few hours left to enter my giveaway for The Highlander's Reward by Eliza Knight!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To Be Continued...

Every since I can remember I've always loved reading series. There's just something about reading a book and knowing there's more and more to continue with. Back in elementary school it was The American Girl Books then The Baby-Sitter Club books. Middle school was when I fell in love with the Betsy-Tacy series. In high school I used to love the Fearless series. And while I may not have done a ton of reading in college, I was in my college bookstore at midnight for the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

As I've gotten more into book blogging, I seem to read less and less series. Or more correctly, finish less and less. I still love reading them, I just don't have the time to finish them all. So I thought it would be fun to list out all the series I'm currently in the middle of, in hopes that it will inspire me to finish more of them.

I've decided to define a series as more than 2 books, so while there may be a book or two where I haven't read its sequel, it won't be listed here. I've also only listed series where the books I haven't read are currently published, which means The Mortal Instruments and Mara Dyer won't be here since I'm all caught up with what's available. This does get a little tricky at times since there are series that are expect to be more than 2, except only 2 are currently published, but based on my official rules, those aren't listed (which excludes Splintered and The Boleyn Trilogy).

I'm only listed books I've read in the past 7 years, since I can track that with goodreads. That does means The Giver Quartet won't be here (I read the first 2 in college, but not the most recent two) nor will The Wizard of Oz (I read the first 5 or 6 in college, but still have about 10 or so I haven't read). And finally, I won't be listing series where I have no intention of reading the rest (mainly having to do with romance series, but if it's a book I hated, I likely won't be continuing). So with that introduction, here are the series I'm currently in the middle of...

Causal Enchantment by K.A. Tucker
Read: Anathema, January 2012
To Read: Asylum, Allegiance, Anomaly

The Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano
Read: Wither, March 2012, Fever, March 2012
To Read: Sever

Chesapeake Diaries by Mariah Stewart
Read: Coming Home, August 2013, The Long Way Home, February 2013, At The River's Edge, January 2014
To Read: Home Again, Almost Home, Hometown Girl, Home for the Summer

Cleopatra's Daughter by Stephanie Dray
Read: Lily of the Nile, July 2011, Song of the Nile, February 2012
To Read: Daughters of the Nile

The Cousin's War by Philippa Gregory
Read: The White Queen, October 2009, The Red Queen, October 2011
To Read: The Lady of the Rivers, The Kingmaker's Daughter, The White Princess

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Read: Delirium, October 2011, Pandemonium, March 2013, Requiem, March 2013
To Read: Delirium Stories

The Fallen by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Read: The Fallen and Leviathan, July 2011, Aerie and Reckoning, July 2011
To Read: End of Days, Forsaken, Armageddon

Guardian Trilogy by Laury Falter
Read: Fallen, January 2013
To Read: Eternity, Reckoning

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Read: Hex Hall, May 2011
To Read: Demonglass, Spell Bound

Jen Lancaster Memoirs
Read: Bitter is the New Black, June 2009, Bright Lights, Big Ass, July 2009, Such a Pretty Fat, May 2010, Pretty in Plaid, September 2011
To Read: My Fair Lazy, Jeneration X, The Tao of Martha

Jessica Wild by Gemma Townley
Read: The Importance of Being Married, July 2008
To Read: A Wild Affair, An Ideal Wife

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Read: L.A. Candy, April 2010, Sweet Little Lies, November 2012
To Read: Sugar and Spice

Languedoc by Kate Mosse
Read: Labyrinth, April 2009, Sepulchre, June 2009
To Read: Citadel

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Read: The Lightning Thief, March 2010
To Read: The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian

Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
Read: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, December 2011, The Masque of the Black Tulip, March 2012
To Read: The Deception of the Emerald Ring, The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, The Mischief of the Mistletoe, The Orchid Affair, The Garden Intrigue, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

Sea Breeze by Abbi Glines
Read: Breathe, December 2011
To Read: Because of Low, While It Lasts, Just for Now, Sometimes It Lasts, Misbehaving

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
Read: Dead Until Dark, August 2009, Living Dead in Dallas, February 2010, Club Dead, February 2010, Dead to the World, March 2010, Dead as a Doornail, April 2010, All Together Dead, July 2010, From Dead to Worse, September 2010, Dead and Gone, October 2010, Dead in the Family, June 2013
To Read: Dead Reckoning, Deadlocked, Dead Ever After

Stolen Bride by Eliza Knight
Read: The Highlander's Reward, March 2014
To Read: The Highlander's Conquest, The Highlander's Lady, The Highlander's Warrior Bride, The Highlander's Triumph, The Highlander's Sin

Summer by Katherine Applegate
Read: Beach Blondes, July 2013
To Read: Spring Break, Tan Lines

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Read: Unearthly, March 2012
To Read: Hallowed, Boundless

The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: Shiver, December 2013
To Read: Linger, Forever

Any recommendations on which series I should work towards finishing first? And how do you track the series you're reading? I have actually heard good things about FictFact, but I've yet to actually try it out. Although I'm not sure I need another website to keep track off!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three Hundred & One

300: Rise of an Empire
Back when 300 opened, 7 years ago, I loved it because it was so unique. 3D was still relatively new at that time, and seeing movies in it was an event. Except now 7 years later it's not quite the same.

I'm a bit over 3D, at least unless it's a movie that's epic, and for us this wasn't one. And while the original was unlike anything else, being a sequel this clearly wasn't. Although sequel isn't quite the right word, since the events take place at the same time as the first.

But all in all, it is still a fun movie. If you liked 300, you'll probably enjoy this as well. It may not be as good as the first, but I still think it's worth seeing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Stolen Bride {Giveaway}

The Highlander's Reward by Eliza Knight
: July 19, 2012 by Eliza Knight
Series: Stolen Bride #1
Everyone once in a while you can't help but crave junk food. You know exactly what to expect with it, and while it may not be worthy of any awards, it's perfect because it meets your needs. The Highlander's Reward is exactly that type of book.

Lady Arebella is traveling to Scotland to marry the English lord decided on by the King of England. Laird Magnus is fighting the English alongside William Wallace. As unlikely a pair as they may be, this is a historical romance and part of a the Stolen Bride Series, so you know exactly how things will go.

They may have been aspects I wasn't a huge fan of, from the way to the Scottish brogue was written to what felt like historical inaccuracies (I can't imagine there were many vegetarians in the 1200s), and I may have wished to be a little more transported to the Scottish highlands, but it's hard to complain knowing what you were getting it.

And actually, I really enjoyed myself with this book. I read it in only a day or two since it was a book I didn't want to stop reading. There are a few steamy scenes which I think is a lot of the fun reading a book like this. While again it may not be the truest representation of history, I still loved this historical backdrop. There are currently seven books in the series, and after reading this one I'd love to get my hands on each one!


If you'd also like to get your hands on this series, I'm giving you all a chance to "steal" a copy! Winners have the choice of a print copy (US Only) or an eBook (International). To enter please use the rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was provided this book through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mailbox Monday (68)

Another awesome week of books! Seriously, if I would have known the amazing books I'd be bringing into my home three years ago or so before I got into book blogging, well... I'm not quite sure I'd believe it. As always, I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Stranger Things by Erin Healy
I will admit I'm not completely sure what this one is about. But it does look like some type of thriller/mystery, so we'll see...

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
I know so many people who have loved this book. Plus it's currently being turned int a movie, so if you haven't heard of it yet, you probably will soon. It's actually our book club book for the month, so hopefully it's one I'm just as found of as everyone else.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson
This looks to be a chick lit type book about a woman who finds out her husband is having affair. It also looks to be from the point of view of the woman in the affair, for two takes on the same story. Maybe a slightly overdone concept, but one I'm still excited for.

From Paperback Swap
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
I love historical fiction, but I'm not sure I've ever read a book about Catherine the Great. I'm hoping to change that with this book, one I've heard great things about. I believe this sequel for this came out recently as well, so if I enjoy it know there's more of the story to look forward to.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And have you read any of my finds this week?

Friday, March 7, 2014

On the Run

The Runaway by Terry Kay
: October 28, 1997 by William Morrow & Company
Back when I read A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash I mention how much it reminded me to To Kill a Mockingbird. Now with The Runaway I can saw not only did it reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird but also of A Land More Kind Than Home.

All three start off with a child in a small Southern town who is innocent of the political and social issues that those older than them are dealing with. Except while that child is the focus of the entire book in the other two, it isn't the case here. In The Runaway we start of with Tom, a young boy who likes to runaway from home, but about a quarter of the way through the book the main narrator switches to the sheriff of the town. Tom is still mentioned throughout, and is the catalyst for the events that follow, but it isn't really his story.

I'm not quite sure the cover fits the book though. At least until I looked at the covers of both To Kill a Mockingbird and A Land More Kind Than Home, because it actually fits in with the mood of each of those. It's just more that it isn't what I would have chosen, and I don't feel it really captures the essence of the story..

I did have a bit of a hard time getting through this. It was actually our book club book, but I wasn't able to finish it till a few days after we met. It wasn't that I disliked the book, since overall I actually enjoyed myself, it's just that it read slowly. In some ways it read like a dog day of summer, the type where you're enjoying yourself, but the day seems to last forever. But now that I'm looking back, part of me wishes I could go back and relive it.


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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Let the World Be Your Oyster

Every since I've been living in Louisiana I've been hearing about Acme Oyster House. But I've yet to actually visit. At least till a few weeks ago when we finally went there for dinner.

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting with it, maybe something completely unique and original, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to that. Don't get me wrong it still was good, but similar to a lot of other local Louisiana restaurants.
Fried Oyster PoBoy
Although I did go with one of my standard go-to options, an oyster po-boy, along with a side salad. Maybe if I had branched out a little more I would have been happier. Although I did have a slice of their chocolate caramel pie, which was so delicious it disappeared before I could take a picture.

Funny enough after not going to Acme for years, a week later I was there with a large group of friends. This time I went with their shrimp and corn bisque and a again with a side salad was good, but not necessarily out of this world. Although since I was there with such a large group, I did get to try quite a few bites of others' dishes from shrimp etoufee to chargrilled oyters to onion rings to their root beer float.

Although I think I found my favorite out of them all when sampling their crab cake, and now think that the next time I'm there, crab cakes are what I may need to go with.

When was the last time you finally went to a restaurants after years of waiting where it didn't quite live up to expectations?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Saving the Art

The Monuments Men
This was an interesting movie. It wasn't incredible exciting, yet there were moments of excitement. It wasn't incredibly suspenseful, yet again there were moments of suspense. All in all though, it did have a good message behind it.

For me, the main reason I wanted to see it was because of George Clooney and Matt Damon. For the boy it was because of Bill Murray. But I was also pleasantly surprised to see Hugh Bonneville, aka Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey, who was also pretty awesome.

With a lot of movies I've seen lately, this isn't necessarily one you need to run out and see. But it is worth watching, and one I'd gladly sit down and watch again.

Monday, March 3, 2014

February in Review

Another month has come and gone. But as sad as it may be to see it go, I'm definitely ready for things to start warming up in March! But first...

In February..
Chicken & Dumplings
...The boy made this delicious bowl of chicken and dumplings. I also made Mixed Up Crock Pot Pasta and a White Russian Bundt Cake, although I can admit my contributions weren't nearly as good as his.

..We spent the day with out niece and nephew,
taking them to lunch
and to the movies
to see The Lego Movie.

...I posted reviews of 6 books and 2 movies.
At The River's Edge by Mariah Stewart
Marie Antoinette's Head by Will Bashor
The Taste of Apple Seeds by Kathatina Hagena
Hidden in Plain Sight by Jane Allen Petrick
Everybody Else's Girl by Sarah Sawyers-Lovett
Three Souls by Janie Chang
The Lego Movie
3 Days to Kill
Out of all my favorite was easily Three Souls by Janie Chang.

5 years ago, in 2009, I posted a tour of our first apartment which I ended with this photo out by our pool.
The pool
Yes, the photo above was taken in early February and this year it's already March and it still hasn't been warm enough to lay out. But hopefully it happens soon!

What are some of your highlights from this past February?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscars 2014

Yes, it's time for my annual Oscar predictions. I feel like I haven't done near as much research as normal this year (aka I've yet to read my EW Oscar Prediction Issue), so we'll see how this goes...

Best Picture: American Hustle
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock - Gravity
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty (Austria)
Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Make-Up: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Production Design: Gravity
Best Animated Short Film: Room on the Broom
Best Live Action Short Film: Helium
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Costume Design: American Hustle
Best Film Editing: American Hustle
Best Sound Mixing: Inside Llewyn Davis
Best Sound Editing: Lone Survivor
Best Original Score: Saving Mr. Banks
Best Original Song: "Let it Go" - Frozen

Feel free to share some of your Oscar predictions in the comments, and I'll be back tomorrow to share my results.

Edit: So I wound up with 13/24, which is about what I've been averaging these past few years. Interestingly enough, I did guess several of the smaller categories correct based only on which name I liked the best!

Mailbox Monday (67)

It's Oscar Sunday! But first, because it is a Sunday, I'm sharing my weekly book haul with Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from Virtual Author Book Tours
Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison
This is a chick-lit type book about a woman's relationship with her daughter and best friend. The author also sent me a ton of book swag, of which only a small sampling is pictured in the photo.

From Paperback Swap
Spring Break by Katherine Applegate
Last summer I read the first in this series. It may not have been amazing, but I already own the next in the series, so I figured I'd request this to complete it. And again, while it isn't the best, it is pretty perfect to read on the beach.

Also, I'm currently a finalist for The Bookish Babe, or Best Book Blog at My So-Called Chaos. Voting closes today, and I would be incredibly appreciative if you have the time to vote for me.
">My So-Called Chaos Best of Blog Awards
Are you planning on watching the Oscars tonight? And what books did you add to your shelves this week?