Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Birthday Gift To Myself

My Sabika obsession collection has grown so much! This jewelry wall armoire will be perfect for all my Golf earrings, Fun bracelets and Manhattan chokers.

A Book Report

This was one of two books I needed to review for Bethany House Publishers.

Before I even cracked the spine, there were three things that immediately caught my attention. The first was the title. It's embossed, so I spent a good 30 seconds tracing my finger over the indented lettering. The second thing that caught my eye was
the "Alaskan Courage Book Two" insignia. Not having read Book One, I was a bit worried. And the third thing was Dee Henderson's quote, "Shattered will keep you turning pages until the very end! It should be on your keeper shelf." Considering these 3 things, I went into this book expecting big things.

Shattered is really a love story wrapped around a murder investigation. Sheriff Landon Grainger has been family friend since high school. He's grown up around Piper McKenna and protected her like a little sister. Last summer his feelings became confusing. Does he love Piper? If he loves Piper would she look at him as more than a surrogate brother? Piper's brother, Reef, returns home for a snowsport competition and is subsequently arrested for the murder of his ex-girlfriend (ex-fling, ex-friend with benefits?). This ultimately throws Landon and Piper on opposite sides. It's only when Landon requests a leave of absence, to protect Piper who is injuried while trying to investigate on her own, do they work together and work out their feelings for each other.

The McKennas are a very big family. So much so that I had to refer back to previous pages to keep folks straight. And I'm still not sure where Jake fits. My guess is I'd know a bit more had I read the first book.

I found Landon's character to be most interesting. His conflict and inner struggle, most of it stemming from a painful past, was nicely fleshed out. Piper's character was the opposite. She was uninteresting, boring and annoying. Someone broke into your house, drugged your dog, ran you off the road and still you are determined to investigate by yourself.

I enjoyed that the investigation took Landon and, ultimately, all the McKennas to Canada and California. The gang lead was tiresome. (Isn't it always gang related?) It wasn't until the investigation took a turn into biotechs and microchips did I start really turning the pages. Until the end, which was rather contrived.

While this was an enjoyable book, I was able to put it down. I also respectfully disagree with Ms. Henderson. It's not a shelf keeper.

Disclosure: This book was provided to me free of charge through Bethany House Publishers for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Last Night's Feature

I absolutely loved the movie's premise. At midnight, Gil Pender is transported back to Paris in the 1920's.

Watching this quaint movie made me even more determined to go to Paris this year.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Book Report

Even as a little girl I've always had a fascination with witches. My mom made a witch costume, including cape, which I wore for several Halloweens. The Witch of Blackbird Pond was a favorite book, as was The CrucibleI come by this fascination honestly. I was born in Massachusetts. I've been to Salem several times, visiting the Salem Witch Museum and shops full of all things witchy. Salem is one of my favorite places.

As such, I completely understand the draw Salem has for Abby Silva. Of course, I'm not a budding witch and it seems Abby is.

Abby has a crush on Travis, a popular senior. She meets Rem, who has the eyes of the guy in her dreams. She may have a crush on Travis but she's attracted to Rem. When Rem spurns her, she casts a spell into a cupcake for Travis to adore her. The spell works, but Travis' toxic ex-girlfriend wants revenge.

In addition to the typical high school drama, Abby learns that she's a potential fire witch and her awakening powers are needed to complete a circle. This circle is 300 hunderd years in the making and will right the sins of Salem.

There's nothing not to love about this book. It's another quick and easy read. It's highly entertaining, humorous and the ending does not disappoint. From start to finish I was spellbound.

Disclosure: This e-book was provided to me free of charge through NetGalley for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

So Excited!

My Sabika jewelry came in today. Look at all the free jewelry I got for having a Sabika party!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Early Morning Injury

I was busy drying my hair when Allan came into the bathroom to tell me he had to pick Cade up from school. He had just gotten a call that Cade had been injured in PE. Cade apparently had two gashes on his side that might require stitches.

I told Allan I'd finish drying my hair and wait for him to come home with Cade. While I waited I tried to prepare myself for the worst.

Cade limped into the kitchen. Taking a deep breath, I asked him to show me his injury. Thank goodness it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. His wound was bloody, but I didn't think it warranted stitches. We had Cade step into the shower and we cleaned the wound.

Allan was all for simply bandaging the wound. The second gash wasn't deep but it was bad enough that I preferred to take Cade to the doctor. I just didn't want to risk infection.

Dr. Anderson was wonderful. He asked another doctor to come in to consult. We all agreed Cade wouldn't need stitches and decided to Dermabond the second gash. In addition, he'd need a tetanus shot.

With the doctors out of the room momentarily, Cade asked if the Dermabond would hurt. I told him it was like superglue. He was a little wide eyed about that, but was relived it wouldn't hurt. He then asked if the tetanus shot would hurt. I took me a few seconds, but I decided to tell him the truth. He weathered the glue and the shot like a trooper.

After the doctor we went to McDonald's for breakfast and then to school to pick up his bookbag. He'd decided to convalesce at home with Commander.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Book Report

For as long as I can remember I've secretly wanted to be a rock star. As a little girl I used hairbrushes as microphones while singing along to my records. Even now, if you're stopped beside me at a stoplight, you can see me singing at the top of my lungs and rocking out to whatever song I'm currently obsessed. Not having a drop of natural singing talent hasn't stopped me from my rock star fantasies or living vicariously through characters like Abigail Kelly.

Abby is a major rock star truly caught between life and the horrors of the music biz. We meet her taking the summer off at her sister's place in Florida, badly in need of healing from emotional wounds stemming from their brother's murder the year before. Abby meets Todd Camford, an ex-Marine with a wealthy family, who is understanding and more than capable of protecting her from the local autograph hounds. Despite her manager insisting she return to LA immediately, the two begin a summer relationship that sustains the first 3 months back in LA. Eventually Todd returns to Florida as he doesn't like how Abby's manager treats her, nor how Abby allows it.

Abby Road is a very quick read that does not get bogged down in the minutiae of Abby's and Todd's budding relationship. Our hearts are warmed as they fall in love, but I'm more than ready to skip the schmaltzy summer details and move back to life in the recording studio. Certainly Max is more interested in the revenue Abby and bandmates bring in, but he never really rises to the Svengali heights we are lead to believe. Max was not the only participant in the central betrayal, so the book's climax ultimately fell flat.

Minor flaws aside, Abby Road is still a very enjoyable and satisfying read. My personal rock star fantasies remain intact.

Disclosure: This e-book was provided to me free of charge through NetGalley for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

Last Night's Features

Not as good as the original, but still highly enjoyable.

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Such an interesting study in psychology. Gertrude, her kids, and several neighborhood kids tortured Sylvia to death.

File:Compliance Movie Poster.jpeg
Another interesting study in psychology. The premise is so unbelieveable, but the movie is based on a true event. An event that happened 70 times in 30 states!

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Due to the bulging disks in my back and the upcoming sales training in April which would require me to be on my feet for hours, I decided to invest in a pair of Danskos.

I read hundreds of Amazon reviews for the Sophie and Donna sandals. I really wanted something dressy like the Donna, but the reviews for the Sophie were better. So, off to the Mall I went, to The Walking Company so I could try on both sandals.

The Walking Company has this machine that you step on and it measures the amount of pressure you put on your feet. Here's a picture of my feet. You can see my left foot takes the most pressure, and it affects both the heels and balls of both my feet. My arches are high and are apparently good. The salesperson told me the Danskos would definitely help.

I first tried on the Sophies and all the reviews were right. It felt like I was walking on a cloud. The only con: too casual for work.

Next was the Donna in patent black leather. It was a little dresser, but with a lower heel. It didn't feel as good as the Sophie.

The salesperson then suggested I try the Tasha. It had a higher heel and walking around the store, it felt almost as good as the Sophie.

Ultimately I decided to go with the Tasha, pictured here. It's cute enough to be worn with capris, skirts and shorts. And it will work fine for work.

Next up, a pedicure to get my toes ready for my new Danskos!

Friday, March 01, 2013

A Night At The Theatre

A friend of mine recently became a Pure Romance consultant and invited me to her "trial run" party. I was all excited about attending, until I realized her party was the same night as Theatre Alliance's staged reading of God of Carnage.

When I first learned of the cast I was very worried. With Ken Ashford as Michael and Neil Shepherd as Allan, I knew the guys would be great. What really concerned me were the ladies; Steffanie Vaughan was playing Veronica and Sherri Masters was playing Annette. I've seen several of these ladies' shows and I've never been impressed with their acting. Still, I figured working with Ken and Neil would help raise Steffanie's and Sherri's performances.

Within the first 5 minutes I realized it was going to be a very long night. I quickly glanced at the "program" and inwardly groaned to learn there was no intermission. I was stuck.

I never got the sense that Steffanie had read the script, at all, until that very night. She had no characterization and simply read Veronica's lines. She was absolutely terrible; the weakest link in a role that won Marcia Gay Harden a Tony.

Sheri didn't fare much better. Instead of acting, she frequently swung her head which resulted in her hair being tossed around. This made her appear childishly petulant. The fact that she couldn't maintain eye contact, instead looking over the head of her scene partner as if there was an invisible someone (Harvey, maybe?) standing behind them, was extremely distracting. I won't even mention the lame vomiting scene.

Neil was the strongest in this ensemble. Having seen the show on Broadway, I always thought Veronica was the central voice. Not so in this show. Neil made Allan the strongest and most believable voice.

Walking to my car after the show was over I silently berated myself. I had traded fun discussions of adult toys and flavored lubes for an hour and a half of drek.

2013 Goals - Monthly Update

  Looks like February was a bad month for my goals.

See a minimum of 5 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in NYC
- Lots of talk about going in April, but nothing firmly decided or planned.

Read 65 books for my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
- I read only 1 book toward my goal: Hidden. This is the first time within this series that I really struggled. The entire book was just, well, boring.

- I've read a total of 13 books toward my goal of 65.

Read a minimum of 9 books off the BBC Reading List
- I've been reading Atonement for several weeks now. So much exposition and not enough dialogue means a very slow read for me. Ugh.

Increase my daily steps at work to an average of 3,000
- We are no longer tracking steps for work, so I need to change this goal. I'll be thinking on it and I'll let you know next month.

1.The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA
- We talked about going to see I'll Never Be Hungry Again on March 2. I had to cancel. Tentatively rescheduled for sometime in April.

2.The Moulin Rouge in Paris, France
- Originally talked about May 11-18. Possible Paris trip has been pushed back to September.

3.Walt Disney World or Disneyland
- Maybe EuroDisney?!?!?!?

4.Boston, MA
- Nothing planned.

5.Pittsburgh, PA
- It's been discussed but nothing planned.