Friday, October 31, 2014

Books & Halloween

What if your favorite books were Halloween candy?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) This week has been complete crap. I mean COMPLETE crap. Of course, this is all based on the 8 hours I spend at work. After 4pm, my days are usually pretty fun and happy. It's got me thinking a whole lot about where I want to be next year, because right now, I DON'T want to be here.  The only consolation (if any) is that most of my co-workers feel similar.

2) After that total crap Monday, I had a great Tuesday night. I drove a little over an hour to Greenville, TN to see Kenny Loggins!! It was the best 90 minutes of my week. Oh, man do I love him!! I am not a big concert go-er...I love them, just haven't been to a lot of them...but I have seen Kenny 3 times...each in a different state!! Michigan. Arizona and now Tennessee. Here's a clip from "Danger Zone" that night:

3) I am really enjoying watching "The Mysteries of Laura" but last night I was just too tired to stay up and watch it. So thankful for DVR!!! Hoping to squeeze it in tonight!!

4) Looking like another RAINY Halloween here in East TN and that totally sucks. It happens just about every other year. 

5) This is the week for the big scrapbooking/memory keepers Week In The Life and it's something I've done for 4-5 years now and I absolutely love it. Both Ethan and I enjoy looking back at the "mini" albums that document a (regular) week in our lives. I've been pretty good with remembering to take pictures, though I'm not in a lot of them...gotta work on that part. Here's a pic from yesterday...just out in the parking lot at school during dismissal duty.

6) I received an email recently from First Reads (Penguin) and saw that I could choose Sarah Jio's new book "Look of Love" and be able to read it before it comes out later November...I was so excited. Yesterday, I rec'd confirmation that I was chosen to receive the book. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've followed the link to download the e-book and keep getting the message that "Penguin has encountered a Server Error"...I get this message from my computer and iPad so I'm assuming it's on their end. I hope it's fixed soon. I just finished reading her book "Morning Glory" so I'm super motivated to dive into this one. I've loved everything I've read by her. 
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7) I received my first ARC!!!! Woohoo!! And it's The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy...I have SOOO many books I'm dying to read right away that I cannot decide which one to start with. I sent the publisher an email to ask for a copy and never got a response, but then on Friday when I got home from work, I had a lovely package waiting for me. Hooray!!!

8) Ethan and I (mostly me) made these cute marshmallow treats for his classmates for Halloween tomorrow. I hope they enjoy them!!

9) I am insanely happy to have NO plans this weekend. Sleep is on the agenda. And some reading too.

10) I'm hoping for a few hours of "me" time this Sunday...thankful for another Boy Scout outing. Yahoo!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) I had a fabulous 26 hours to myself when Ethan and his dad went camping w/Boy Scouts last weekend. I went to the YMCA, did some house chores/laundry (which was still fun because the house was silent w/the exception of MY music), went to Starbucks & read my books, dinner w/mom followed by the movie "Best of Me"....I am now madly in love with James Marsden!! *sigh* I stayed up until 1am watching the 5 episodes of "The Mysteries of Laura" that I had recorded...which also rekindled my love for Josh Lucas!! Apparently I am very a bit star-struck...I think it's good that I don't watch much TV. :)

2) Let's just say that today is my least favorite work day of the month. I will be so happy when 3pm gets here. 

3) I've been enjoying the elliptical machine and the past couple times I've actually managed to read instead of watch a movie...I've not had much time for reading lately, so being able to read while exercising has been awesome. Hoping to go again today for a short workout...also tempted not to go at all since it's the ONLY night we have ZERO plans after would be SO nice to go straight home and actually cook a decent dinner. 

4) The rest of this year feels crazy busy. We are headed to Charleston two weeks before Thanksgiving for that awesome Author event with Dorothea Benton Frank. Then 2 weeks later I go to middle-Tennessee for my professional conference and then it's Thanksgiving. Whirlwind. Pretty sure Christmas will be at home this year and though we love to travel at least to SC for a quick getaway, we are trying really hard to just stay put and save money because just two weeks ago we booked ourselves a DISNEY CRUISE!!! I am crazy excited - as is Ethan of course. None of us have ever been on a cruise anywhere nor been to any part of the Caribbean, so this will be a blast for sure. It's not until late June 2015 but that gives us lots of time to save $$ and get everything situated. 

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon
5) I've been doing this Read-A-Thon...trying to anyway...and since it began on Saturday, I have read 270 pages. I'm happy with that considering all the other things in life that get in the way of quality reading time. 

6) I keep track of all my appointments etc. using my iPhone. It works perfect for me. I also LOVE the look and idea of a paper planner, especially all the fun things going on with them these days. I'm on the fence on pulling the trigger in buying one...probably an inexpensive one at first to see if I really use it. I don't have much down time to sit and jot ideas or doodle and so the phone has always worked better for me. Do I want something else to carry around? I also don't like my (poor) handwriting so then my calendar doesn't look "pretty" (yes, that's my OCD issue-I own it!) Can't decide what to do!!

7) Planning to do a practice run of our school Halloween treats this weekend. Found the cutest idea on line somewhere (a crafty blog) and want to give them a try before the very last minute. Hope they turn out. 

8) I wonder how much it would cost to get my own soda fountain machine with Diet Dr. Pepper? Seriously it is so much better than bottles or comparison.

9) Proud mama bragging moment: I had Ethan's parent-teacher conference yesterday. This week is their first week of differentiated spelling lists. He has 12 words. Used to have 6. These words are all twice as long as the previous words. The teacher told me that there is a group of about 5 kids (this includes Ethan) with these more difficult words. Then she said she needed to bump the words up even a bit more for Ethan. She followed that with that she will probably have a list for Ethan, a list for the group of remaining 4 kids, and then the rest of the class. In other words, he is the top speller in her class. I am so proud!!!

10) I really,really, REALLY wish weekends were 3 days long. They just go by so fast. They are full of errands and things to-do, there is little down time. I'm working this Saturday and so is Oscar. Contemplating going to Boo @ the Zoo (again) on Sunday...we went last week too. Ethan wants to go again. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


Trying: to find joy in as many moments as possible. this is freakin' hard by the way.

Moving: a lot more than I was this month. better workouts at the YMCA & making a point to walk more at school during the day. I've had 13k steps 3 of 4 days so far this week. Yay!! #fitbit

Wondering: I do this all day, so it would take a lot of space to type in the answer. 

Loving: seeing the excitement Ethan has for life...he has been looking forward to Halloween since mid-September and he has also been singing Christmas carols since about the same time. Cracks me up!!

Crafting: not much due to time constraints, but I do have at least 4 projects "in progress" right now. That's not good.

Hoping: to make huge progress on above mentioned projects this weekend. :)

Planning: some fun Thanksgiving day activities for dinner. Thank you Pinterest. :)

Remembering: how awesome growing up in Michigan was...even with the snow. In fact, the snow was great, until I became old enough to drive. 

Eating: much of the same...yogurt, cottage cheese, granola's getting old.
Drinking: Diet Dr Pepper. Water. Diet Orange Pop.
Reading: The Vacationers by Emma Straub and Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (for 6th grade book club)
Watching: just the movies I rent on iTunes to watch while spending 1 hour on the elliptical machine at the YMCA.
Cooking: yesterday was tacos & I'm not sure what I'll cook tonight.
Blogging every now and then.
Listening: i'm in the world's longest music funk. can't find ANYTHING that I LOVE...I'm even exploring podcasts because the music world is the pits.
Thinking: about the pros/cons to certain situations I would sometimes like to change.
Needing: to have time to workout at least 4x a week so I can get my quad strength back and commence running, which will lead to weight loss. hooray!!
Wanting: some things to be different.
Hating: certain things about my job...hadn't felt this way until past few weeks. total drag.
Loving: sleeping. resting. reading.
Avoiding: conflict wherever and whenever possible.
Anticipating: dinner & movie w/my mom Saturday night. Oh and the "me" time I'll get when I get home that evening...I plan to scrapbook until the wee hours of the morning. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1) I think I may be the last person on earth (or at least in the USA) who doesn't have a list of Podcasts that they are regularly listening to...or at the very least, are fond of. I'm really trying to find some I may like...but I also wonder if I will struggle to truly listen since I'm a big failure at audio books. Podcasts though are much shorter, so maybe there is hope. The 1st one I plan to try is: Stuff You Missed in History Class-wish me luck!!

2) I'm surprised it took this long, but the negative feelings about my job have finally set it...along with the feelings of dread every morning and oh yeah, the Sunday blues. It's probably safe to assume most of this is fueled by the numerous comments that my role is "unimportant" that have been launched my way this year. Yeah, it's been so awesome.

3) In happier news...the boys are going camping w/Boy Scouts this Saturday to that means a whole LOTTA "me time"...which I'm insanely excited about and without a single feeling of guilt (so far). Mom and I will catch a movie on Saturday night - probably "The Best of Me"...yes, I read the book and I cannot wait to see what the movie is like. I'll be bringing tissues for sure. 

4) Looking so very much forward to another hour on the elliptical today. I'm serious. Though it may end up costing me some $$ to spend an hour on the machine every time I'm there as I've found it's rather helpful to rent a movie on iTunes and watch it while exercising....since it's a bit bumpy for reading. Last two movies I watched: "Million Dollar Arm" (awesome!!) and "They Came Together" (thumbs down!! Too much of that stupid-type humor). Today's movie is "Horrible Bosses" to re-kindle my love for Jason Bateman...and to prep for the sequel coming out. Woot!!

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon

5) I think I'll try this read-a-thon...I could use a boost in my reading motivation as I've been insanely tired every night lately and haven't done much reading since Monday. Now to remember to document how many pages I read each night...that's the true challenge. Ha!!

6) I'm going to see Kenny Loggins in concert in just 12 days and couldn't be more excited. We're even driving 1 hour away to see him...which is strange because our city is MUCH bigger than the one he's going to play that doesn't make much sense to me...oh well...I'm sure there's a reason. This will be the 3rd time I see him and each time in a different state. Ha!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Q & A

1. Favorite childhood book:
I really cannot remember what book was my favorite, but I have been told my both my mom and aunt that I made them read me Dr. Suess's "The B Book" over and over again while on a road trip to Florida. Big Blue Bear. Beautiful Babboon....and it went on and on like that.

2. What are you reading right now?
It never fails...the school year is back in session and I'm reading multiple books concurrently...3 to be exact: "Absolutely Almost" by Lisa Graff for 6th grade book club, "The Big Disconnect" by Catherine Steiner-Adair - for (personal) professional development and "The Vacationers" by Emma Straub for good 'ol fun!!

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None at the moment...which is rare, because I almost always have at least one I am waiting on. "The Vacationers" is an e-book loan from the library though.

4. Bad book habit: 
Adding books to my TBR list and never reading them.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
See #3

6. Do you have an e-reader?
You betcha!!! I read on my iPad mini and I love it. I occasionally read regular books but only if I have to!!

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I prefer one at a time, but I have to read more than one at a during the school year.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Slightly at first. I found I wasn’t making as much time for reading because I was focused on blogging so much. I’ve cut back my blog posts so that I could focus on reading more – since that’s the reason I blog in the first place.

9. Least favorite book you have read this year:
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - who wants to read about a bunch of whiny, spoiled rich adults who make poor choices?!? Not me!!

10. Favorite book you have read this year:
It's a tie between....Goodnight June by Sarah Jio and The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

11. How often do you read outside of your comfort zone?
Not too often...which is probably why I'm not so good at book clubs...I enjoy the gathering part, but if the book doesn't sound like something I'll enjoy, I don't bother. Initially though, I did read a couple that I normally wouldn't have read and it confirmed my suspicions that I will likely NOT encounter some fabulous book through book club. I'm too stingy with my time to waste it on a book I am not going to enjoy.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
First & foremost...WWII historical fiction. I also love reading Low Country "chick" books over the summer (or any time really) from Dorothea Benton Frank and Mary Alice Monroe...two of my favorite authors.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Sure!! And I wish I could take a bus to work so I could get in more reading time. I need to move to a city with public transportation AKA New York City!!! 

14. Favorite place to read:
In seems that's the only place I read because that's the only time I have to read anymore. I used to love going to Starbucks to sit and read, but dang, who has time for that?!?!

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I will only lend a book out if I don't care about getting it back. People are irresponsible. Fact.

16. Do you dog-ear your books?
I read mostly e-books, but have and use regular bookmarks for "real" books!

17. Do you write notes on the margins of your books?
No way!

18. Do you break/crack the spines?
Not purposely.

19. What is your favorite language to read?

20. What makes you love a book?

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I really enjoyed it, read it in "record time" and did not want to put it down.

22. Favorite genre:
WWII Historical Fiction

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did):

24. Favorite biography:
See #23

25. Have you read a self-help book (and was it helpful)? 
Yes I've read a few. Haven't found them terribly helpful though.

26. Favorite cook book:

Ha! I get my recipes on-line anyway.

27. The most inspirational book you’ve read this year:
I think I have to say "Goodnight June" because though she did not think she would do what she did (sorry, don't want to spoil it in case you want to read it)...I love the risks she took and wish that I was as brave as her.

28. Favorite reading snack:
Iced Chai Tea from Starbucks

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience:
I can't think of one...I mean, I read "Gone Girl" because of the hype but it didn't ruin my experience...the ending ruined my experience, but not the hype. 

30. How often do you agree with the critics about a book?
I don't read critics reviews...why should I care what ONE person said about a book...they could have very different taste than me. 

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
If I don’t like a book, I don’t feel bad saying so. 

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which would it be?
Spanish. And I could read in Spanish right now but it would take me a LONG time to get through a book. Someday I may have to try it...when I have an abundance of time...who knows when that will be.

33. Most intimidating book I’ve ever read:

Ha! None...I avoid them!!

34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin:
See #33. I would like to read some classics, but I guess you could say I'm too "nervous" (hesitant) to bother as I feel like I'll end up bored outta my mind and have lost valuable reading time.

35. Favorite Poet:

36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library at a given time?
For me 1-3 including e-books. For Ethan - 10-15 at a time.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?'s the whole "eyes are bigger than my stomach" effect...I take home (way) more books that I really have time to read. :(

38. Favorite fictional character:
Probably Harry Potter.

39. Favorite fictional villain:

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation:
All of them. Thank you iPad mini and!

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading:
1-2 days at most. It's ranks up there with breathing, pretty much have to do it every day.

42. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
My son, chores, work, life.

43. Name a book you could not finish:

Code Name Verity - I tried, I really did, but despite many people saying how wonderful it was...I just couldn't feel it...and it's my preferred genre. Dang!!

44. Favorite film adaption of a novel:
This Is Where I Leave You

"This is Where I Leave You" - love love loved it!!!

45. The most disappointing film adaptation:
? no idea.

46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time:
I have no idea...never too much in one visit...I'm more of a frequent, but low-dollar over a couple months, that could be quite a few dollars, I just never kept track.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never. I just read the description on Amazon and/or Goodreads as well as a couple reviews if my friends have read it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through it?
My policy is, if I can’t get into a book by the halfway point, I’m not going to keep wasting my time. Too many books on my list to read, to waste my time on something not keeping my attention, for whatever reason.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I like to keep EVERYTHING organized.

50. Do you prefer to keep your books when done, or give them away?
Since I read primarily e-books, I keep them. The lending programs w/e-books are lame and nobody seems to really use them anyway. If I read a "real" book, then I probably got it at the library.

51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding?

"The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer...I really REALLY want to read this, but frankly, anything over 350 pages (it has 651!!) makes me hesitant...silly, I know...but it's my issue, I own it. :)

52. Name a book that made you angry:
"War Brides" by Helen Bryan....another that I thought I would LOVE, but the story was all over the place, there were a gazillion characters and it was impossible to keep up with them. I made it 1/2 way through and gave up...totally frustrated and then I end up angry that I wasted precious reading time on it.

53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did:
I don't start to read anything that I don't expect to like.

54. A book I expected to like but didn’t:
I expected to like "Code Name Verity"....but I did not. See #43.

55. Favorite guilt-free guilty-pleasure reading:
Staying in my PJs all day and's never happened, but I imagine it would be wonderful.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) I'm confident today will be a great day (after work)...library visit, E's TKD class and then home. Enjoyable and low-key. I love "me and E" time.

2) I'm overjoyed to have discovered that the elliptical machine at the YMCA may be my new best friend. I tried it months ago, but it bothered my knee, went back to it last night and there was no pain and it was a great workout. Bonus: my Fitbit counts the steps too...woot!! It's also a bigger calorie burner than treadmill walking - hooray!! I'll be spending many happy moments with the elliptical machine from now on. I'm determined to shed some of this fatness!!!

3) On Sunday, my little man had a nasty fever but no other symptoms. Monday we stayed home from school though he felt much better. I am thankful for the extra day off, I finally finished "Masterminds & Wingmen" and good thing too since it was due on Tuesday. Hooray! On Sunday I finished "The Winter Guest" by Pam Jenoff and loved it!! Great historical fiction!!

4) Totally full of joy that Fall Break is just about upon us...Friday is an in-service day, but Mon and Tues are days off. Woot!! I hope to catch up on some sleep. and scrapbooking. and reading. Yeah that's doubtful.

5) Trying again this weekend to get the patio poured. No rain in the forecast. Looking good.

6) Speaking of the patio and home improvement...the plan was for it to be a screened-in patio AKA reading haven for me....well, we are currently "on-hold" with that part after learning that Dollar General (gag!!!) is trying to build a 9000 sq ft store just outside our literally across from the entrance, in the middle of a residential area. Stupid. Residents are furious. There is a City meeting today to discuss this and I hope and pray it doesn't get approved. If it does get approved, we are moving. I refuse to live across from a Dollar General...we already have enough hoodlums coming to our neighborhood as it fact, they just stole our pumpkins on Monday night (assholes!) and DG will only bring more of the same garbage people. Note: Sorry if you shop there and this offends you...but they really need to build in a more commercial area and not turn our neighborhood into a ghetto.

7) On the fence on buying this book. Really want to but wonder if it's a waste of my time. I don't even have an idea to pursue...I read his previous book "$100 Startup" and loved it...but again, I don't even have an idea to start my Startup.

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8) Can't wait until these two books are released next year...they sound wonderful!!!

9) Getting really excited about Dorothea Benton Frank's Fan Fest in Charleston - November 14-16. My mom and I are going and are super excited since we have read just about all of her books. We will meet her, have our picture taken with her and even go to her house on Sullivan's Island for cocktails and sunset. Cannot wait!!!

10) Totally bummed the Detroit Tigers got swept in the first round of playoffs by the Orioles. True Tiger fashion though - blow it in the end...they need a bullpen, bad.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1) Well, it seems like these are the only blog posts I'm able to squeeze in every week. *sigh* Gone are the days of daily blog posting.

2) October is anti-bullying month, which means all my classroom guidance lessons are about bullying prevention. Sometimes it doesn't seem worthwhile...I teach and teach anti-bullying/bullying prevention and kids still do mean things to one another...always have, always will. 

3) Trying really hard to get my knee ready to return to running. Of course, the doctor hasn't released me to run yet, but I figure I can still work on getting ready. I see the doctor on Oct 14 and while I don't think I'll be released that day, I'm hoping he has some good suggestions for knee strengthening exercises. Meanwhile, I'm doing tons of squats at home every night. Ick!

4) No shock to anyone who has been reading my blog for a while but boy do I wish I had a whole day to just sit and read. Of course, the other dilemma is where to read...maybe I'd start at Starbucks for a while, but that could get old after a few hours. I really don't have a great reading spot at home. I was hoping to have one by now out on my screened in patio (to-be)...we were hoping to pour it tomorrow but now there is an 80% chance of rain, so no concrete for us. :(

5) I am a planner. I also love spontaneity. I cannot stand it though when people wait until the last minute to plan or confirm when the baseball coach wants to change next Friday's game to this Saturday morning at 10am. They asked everyone via text yesterday who could be there. So far we still don't know if we will play on Saturday morning. A message came out that said the coach is going to wait until tomorrow's game to ask't we just do that over text...and some people like to know before 8pm on Friday night if they need to be back at 10am for another game. Come on people....get your shit together!

6) I am so looking forward to returning to Yoga class this will be hard to go every week because the hubs and I both enjoy this class but it's not practical to hire a sitter every Sunday. This should be a good jump start though to getting back to it and hopefully I'll manage to go to the Thursday 7pm class at the YMCA where they provide child care. I have to do SOMETHING more until I can run again.
cross of faith bracelet {pewter}
7) I want this bracelet. And a few billion more things from her website.

8) Happy Thursday!!!