Friday, July 31, 2015

Starting The Iron Fey

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
: February 1, 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Series: The Iron Fey #1
I feel like I'm way late to Julie Kagawa. Not that I haven't wanted to read her for years, it's just that it's taken so long for it to happen. But better late than never, right?

This book surprised me, in that it wasn't quite what I expected it to be. It reminds me a lot of Alice in Wonderland, except with fairies or fey. It was just a lot more adventure that I anticipated, and I'm not quite sure what to make of that.

I think what was difficult for me is that Megan travels to so many different places that it was hard to really get a grasp and picture each one. At times I'd start to feel transported, except that we'd be moving somewhere else and I'd have to figure things out once again.

I did have quite high hopes for this after hearing so many people rave about Kagawa. So while I really did enjoy my time in the land of fairies, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. But there are a ton more books in the series and I definitely plan on continuing. Hopefully next time since I'm a little more familiar with the surroundings, it will read a bit easier for me.


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

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Project 365: Days 156 Through 164

Somehow it's been 4 weeks since I've managed to post a Project 365 update. I'm past saying that I'll catch up eventually, because at this rate the year will be over and I'll have moved on by the time that's a possibility. So I guess, enjoy it while it lasts!
Look I'm Standing!
June 5, 2015 - 156/365: Look! I'm Standing!
Baby Showers are Hard Work
June 6, 2015 - 157/365: Baby Showers are Hard Work.
Trying Pancakes
June 7, 2015 - 158/365: Trying Pancakes.
Cake Batter with Heath Bars & Caramel
June 8, 2015 - 159/365: Cake Batter Ice Cream with Health Bar and Caramel.
Summer Books
June 9, 2015 - 159/365: Summer Books.
Trying the @Starbucks lemon bar frappucino, which really does taste just like a lemon bar!
June 10, 2015 - 160/365: I actually went through and tried all of the new Starbucks frappucino flavors. I planned a post on them, but I'm not sure that will actually happen! The first one I had was a Lemon Bar, which I thought tasted just like a lemon bar. Although I had it again earlier this week, and it wasn't as good as I remember. Maybe because I like some of the other flavors more?
6 Month Outtakes
June 11, 2015 - 161/365: 6 Months Outtakes.
Cinnamon Roll Frap
June 12, 2015 - 162/365: This time it's a Cinnamon Roll Frap, which I'd consider to be my second favorite of all the new options.
Folded Baby Laundry
June 13, 2015 - 163/365: Folded Elley Laundry.
photo 4
June 14, 2015 - 164/365: Tutu Baby.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mailbox Monday (117)

The weekend may be drawing to a close, but I'm still managing to squeeze in my somewhat weekly Mailbox Monday post.
Mailbox Monday
From PJ Library
Laila Tov: A Bedtime Poem for Babies by Richard Van Camp
Our August book from PJ Library! This was originally published as Nighty-Night, but after changing a few words and pictures it now has a Jewish focus. Along with the text, it's photos of babies of various nationalities all getting ready for bed.

From Paperback Swap
Misconception by Paul and Shannon Morell
After reading and really enjoying Inconceivable, I'm now reading the story from the other point of view, that of the couple whose son was accidentally implanted into another's. I think it will be interesting reading this especially since the Morell's don't look the best in the Savage's book, but I think a lot of that would have to do with perspective. Even though this is basically the opposite of the last book I read I still see myself really enjoying it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift

Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage
: February 14, 2011 by HarperOne
I remember seeing this book when it first came out and being slightly heartbroken by the idea of it. It's about a couple who gets pregnancy with IVF only to find that the wrong baby was implanted. At the time I wasn't even married but was deadly afraid about getting pregnant in the future and the idea that something like that could happen absolutely horrified me.

Clearly this book left an impression, which is why 4 years later I remembered it and decided to read it. Turns out that this was a book I couldn't put down and sped through because I had to know exactly how everything developed.

At several parts through the book Carolyn mentions the support she received from her online friends. Maybe it's something a lot of people wouldn't get, but knowing the friendships I've made through blogging I really appreciated hearing this experience.

This book prompted interesting discussions between the boy and I something I wouldn't have expected. It's definitely a book that makes you think how you'd react in a similar situation. But also one that makes you grateful for all the little blessings you currently have.

Out of curiosity I did google to couple the find that they have a blog of their own. But even more impressive is that since this book has been published they've gone on to have twins through surrogacy, plus another baby boy conceived naturally who is about the age of Elley.

There is also a book written by the other family involved in the medical mishap, and while I imagine that one will have a different feel, I've already ordered my copy and can't wait to read it as well.


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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7 Months Update

You are 7 months old!
July 11
There's no official doctor's visit this month so we don't know exactly how big you are, but I'd guess somewhere around 13 lbs. Although we do have a weight check on the 24th to make sure you're gaining enough weight, so we should have an official number soon.
Tutu Baby
Wearing Your First Tutu from Your Godmother, June 14
You're still primarily in size 3-6 months clothing and wearing size 2 diapers. I have opened your bumgenuises one row on the legs, but closed one row on the waist, so only one is open there.
June 18
On top of the food you had eaten last month we've now had peas, applesauce, carrots, chicken, and mashed potatoes. Still, we've yet to find anything that you haven't seemed to enjoy.
June 18
In the biggest news of the month, you've started crawling! It's more of an army crawl than on your actual knees, but you can definitely get where you want to go. Especially if there's something you're not supposed to have in front of you, more specifically cell phones, remotes, or like in the video above a vcr (which actually isn't even hooked up, but it is still officially in our house!).
Your First Father's Day, June 21
Not that you're mobile you've really starting to play with your toys. In general, it's a lot easier to keep you happy since you're able to entertain yourself crawling between your various toys.
So Excited
June 23
You've started to show a bit of separation anxiety as well and freak out a bit whenever your Daddy or I leave the room. Thankfully you're still content at daycare drop-off because I think it would break my heart a little to hear you cry as I'm leaving. Instead I think you're just excited to have new toys and other babies to play with/chew on.
First Time at the Mall
First Time at the Mall, June 28
You had your first night away from us when your daddy and I went to see Garth Brooks in concert. (More on that to come, at least assuming I find the time to write about it.) We were a bit scared how you'd react when your Nana came to get you in the morning instead of one of us, but you surprised us and were fine by the change.
July 5
I feel like I saw this every month, but seriously, so much has changed since your last update. I can only imagine what new things you'll be accomplishing by the time I sit down to write next month's update.
1 Month Old2 Months OldIMG_3341
1 Month ~ 2 Months~3 Months
4 Months ~ 5 Months ~ 6 Months

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mailbox Monday (116)

I'm doing the unthinkable here and actually posting my Mailbox Monday on a Monday! Craziness, right?
Mailbox Monday
Won From So Obsessed With
Nowhere but Here by Liza Palmer
Hannah is currently co-hosting a ReRead challenge this year, something I love the idea of! While I haven't reread much since I was on maternity leave, I did get quite a bit done then and hope to do more the rest of the year. But the main reason I'm talking about the challenge, is because I won the mid-year challenge giveaway. I got to pick which book I wanted and decided on one that Hannah blogged about and got me excited for. I hadn't heard about it before she mentioned it, but ever since she did I can't wait to read it.

Purchased from Usbornse
Baby's Very First Touchy-Feely Colors Playbook
That's Not My Monkey

If your facebook feed is anything like mine you're constantly getting invited to various direct sales parties. I've yet to purchase anything from them, till now that is. After all, how could I say no to a children's book party?!?! I've heard great things about the That's Not My... series and at a quick glance think the book is adorable. I did take a chance on the Colors Playbook and so far have been pleasnatly surprised by it. Actually receiving both of these kind of make me want to host my own party.

From Paperbackswap
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
The idea of being in high school, going on AOL, and stumbling on my future facebook profile is amazing to me. It doesn't hurt that AOL and facebook practically defined certain parts of my life. The hype for this was huge when it came out, although I have read some reviews where it doesn't quite live up to it. Needless to say, I'm hopeful that it works for me.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 17, 2015

19 Katherines and Counting

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
: 2012 by Speak
First Published: January 1, 2006
When it came time to read my next John Green book after The Fault in Our Stars I wanted to start with his first published. Turns out I failed on that note, since it was actually Looking for Alaska. But I think it worked out reading this one instead, because I wound up being a big fan.

Reading this book, again after reading The Fault in Our Stars, you realize John Green must be a fan of math. I don't say that to scare people because there you don't actually need to love math to get his books, but if you do love math it provides an extra element of fun. In this book, Colin, the main character tries to comes up with an equation to predict the length of a relationship between two people. It's math-y enough that I found it exciting, yet not too over the top to scare someone away.

This book really brought me back to being a teenager. You're really able to get inside the characters heads and experience what they're going through. I will say that this book was nothing like I expected it to be, although I think that's partly because I never could have imagined that's where it would go.

After this book I'm only more in love with John Green's work and can't wait to continue to devour everything else he's written.


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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I'm the Nurturing Type

For a while now I've always been jealous of everyone else's Influenster boxes. Except now I can finally join the crowd, since I received my first complimentary box from them for review. Of course, it's the perfect box for me since it's a Nurture box for moms, something that's still fairly new to me as well.
My Nuture Vox Box
First for the smaller items there were coupons for Uncle Ben's flavored rice and OreIda potatoes. I haven't had a chance to use these yet, as you'll see is the theme for most things here, but since they expire somewhat soon, I'll need to get on that!

Something that's more for me than Elley, is the Hada Labo Anti-Aging Facial Mask. I can't remember the last time I used a face mask (maybe in high school?), but I'm looking forward to making the time to relax a little and try this out.

Then there's something definitely more for Elley than me, skinfix diaper cream, the perfect size to throw in the diaper bag.

Next up is something that we can both use, Blue Lizard sunscreen in sensitive and sport versions. Sadly, I've yet to be in a bathing suit this summer. But we'll be heading out to California next month so not only will I hopefully get to spend time in one, it will also be Elley first trip to the beach. (And first plane ride too, but I'm trying not to think about that!)

There is one more item best geared for Elley, or at least her in a few years, and that's Attitude hair detangler. I remember how awful it was having my mom brush my hair when I was little, but hopefully this is able to make that process a little smoother for Elley.

Last but certainly not least, were my Red Vines. Out of everything in the box this is what I was most excited about which is a little silly since I buy them all the time. But seriously, I think there's Red Vine people in the world and then people who have only tried Twizzlers! I made quick work of these though and devoured them the last time the boy and I went to the movies.
While we may not be road tripping this summer, I'm taking my fav road trip snack to the movies instead. #redvinesroadtrip #contest @redvines #influenster
All in all a package worth waiting for and I'm excited to see what else makes it my way from Influenster!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Do You Believe in Magic

Magic Mike XXL
If you know anything about this movie, you have a pretty good idea what you're in for. And on that front, it completely delivers.

Looking back at my review of the first movie it's that it tried to have a plot and failed. But this time they don't really try for one, because they realize it isn't needed, and it's far more successful. In a way it's a little bit like The Hangover, but with strippers.

As for me, my favorite part had to be the Backstreet Boys references. I mean really, what else would you expect? But besides that, you couldn't help but enjoy yourself throughout.

This isn't a movie I necessarily see myself sitting down to watch again, but I definitely had fun while watching it!

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Tale of Two Sisters

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
: February 1, 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
First Published: January 19, 2010
I've reviewed ever book I've read on the blog for the past 6 years starting with Courtesan by Diane Haeger. So even though it's been almost a month since I've finished this book, and I've since finished two more books, one I've which I've already reviewed, I still feel the need to return to it to write down my thoughts.

This book is told from the point of view of two sisters starting when they are small children till they grow up and have children of their own. The defining moment of their lives, which happens almost immediately, is when their father murders their mother. The girls are grow up basically as orphans because even though there father is alive he rightfully so, is in jail.

Just from the small summary you can tell this book wasn't about the brightest of topics. It's hard to say I really enjoyed it, because it's just not that type of book. I did appreciate my time with it though and it did capture my attention.


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

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Movie Review

Inside Out
I always love Pixar movies, so it's no surprise I was looking forward to this. Especially after it got such great reviews, I knew it was one that we couldn't miss. So much so that we had my in-laws watch Elley for the afternoon while the boy and I went ourselves to see it.

Except it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed it and found it amusing. And there were certain parts that I fell a bit in love with, like the first scene when Riley is a baby and Joy first appears seeing her parents. But most of the time it just didn't quite live up to the hype for me.

I wouldn't consider this my least favorite Pixar movie though, but also it's even further from the top of the list.

However, I absolutely adored the short before the movie. Much more than the movie. Even so, it's still in second place behind Feast as my favorite of the recent shorts, but it is absolutely adorable.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mailbox Monday (115)

Sadly this three day weekend is coming to an end. Although we are still looking forward to cheering on USA in the women's world cup final tonight. But first, a look at the books we've recently brought into our home with this week's edition of Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from the Publisher
That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart
I've already read and reviewed this one. In case you hadn't seen my review I loved it, along with the rest of the series. I still have a few others from the series I haven't had a chance to read yet, but I'd love to find the time to read them later this summer.

For Father's Day
Your Baby's First Word Will be Dada by Jimmy Fallon
This was one of Elley's Father's Day presents to the boy. In the book various animals try to get their babies to say, "Dada," except instead they respond with their normal animal noise. It's a cute book, although hopefully it doesn't predict the future and her first word will in fact be Mama.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Another book I've already read and loved. This is our book club book this month. While we'll be meeting this week as well as going to see Magic Mike, I hope everyone else has read it because I'm dying to talk about it. My review for this one isn't yet up, but I promise it will be soon.

From PJ Library
My Face Book
PJ Library is an organization that sends free books to Jewish children from the age of 6 months to 8 years. I heard about this program before I was pregnant and I've been looking forward to the month Elley is finally eligible. This month's book shows baby faces with different emotions and then has the emotion written in both English and Hebrew, similar to how it's written on the cover. I'm so, so excited for this program and can't wait to see what books they'll be adding to our collection each month.

What books did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rise of the Chalklings

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Published May 14, 2013 by Tor Teen
Series: The Rithmatist #1
The boys has been a fan of Brandon Sanderson for a while now. And while everything I've heard has me intrigued, I'm not quite ready to pick up one of the giant fantasy books the boy normally reads. But a YA fantasy book, that's definitely more my style.

I love the chalkling world that Sanderson comes up with in this, a place where chalk drawings can come to life. I do feel like we've just brushed the surface of the workings of this world and can't wait to see the rest of the mythology come to life as the series continues.

But with that mythology, I wasn't a huge fan of how the story took place in an alternate form of the U.S.. I'm assuming it was done to keep things a little less complicated for young readers, but as a 30-something it just felt almost dumbed-down. Clearly, though I may not be the target audience here, but even so, I wish the reader was given a little more credit for being able to understand a completely made up world.

My main lament upon finishing this book is that the sequel doesn't come out till 2017, especially knowing that this book came out 2 years ago. Of course when I complained to the boy his response was that Sanderson has far more important books to be writing, but I'm sure eventually he will come back to this one as well.


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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Project 365: Days 148 Through 155

I may not be very successful at getting my posts up lately, although I am still managing to get my Project 365 posts up, which I guess is at least a step in the right direction.
Be Happy
May 28, 2015 - 148/365: Bee Happy.. or really here, bee sleepy.
Baby's First Book Club at Chimes
May 29, 2015 - 149/365: Baby's First Book Club at Chimes.
photo 12
May 30, 2015 - 150/365: While you can't quite read her onesie here, it does say If You Wake Me Mom Will Cut You. Although honestly, when I bought it I had no idea how well she'd actually be sleeping!
Morning Smiles
May 31, 2015 - 151/365:Morning Smiles.
Arugula Burger
June 1, 2015 - 152/365: Trying out Smashburger with an Arugula Burger.
June 2, 2015 - 153/365: First Time Trying Bananas.
Heavy Sleeping
June 3, 2015 - 154/365: Such Heavy Thoughts
Chicken with Artichokes
June 4, 2015 - 155/365: The boy made chicken with artichokes, and while it isn't exactly the same as my version, it is quite similar.