Thursday, May 21, 2015

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) Glad I found some time to participate in this blogging event of my favorites for sure!

2) I re-stumbled upon Swagbucks and am going to make the effort to earn LOTS of them...and then get some Amazon giftcards=FREE books!!! Yay!!

3) This will be the best Memorial Day in a long time...why, you ask? Because I will have the day completely to of mother and wife duties. Right now the plan is a nice long walk with a friend/coworker followed by a fabulous lunch. From there, I plan to go to Starbucks (or other fabulous reading spot) and plow through some reading material...I just need to decide exactly WHAT I want to many choices right now.

4) So I entered this "contest" to host a book-launch party at my home for 10 people on June 7th for Dorothea Benton Frank's new book. You know I love her and this would be super awesome. If I am chosen, they will send me all kinds of goodies for everyone who comes to the party. I find out if I'm chosen on Friday, May 22nd...tomorrow!!! Eeks!! I haven't stopped thinking or talking about it...and husband has offered to cook for us....using the Lowcountry shrimp recipe they will send in the package!! Woot!!  Now to formulate my list of invites....the #1 person I know who would love it will be on vacation already...boohoo....she's also the person who forwarded me the email and encouraged me to enter. Wish me luck!!

5) I rarely never pass up anything COTTON CANDY or BIRTHDAY CAKE when I read about these lovelies, you know I raced to Target to pick up a package. I do have to say they are simply "ok" and I much prefer the original version dunked (and soggy) in a glass of milk.

6) We hit a bit of a rough patch in little league baseball this year....some (mega) issues with a class/teammate and essentially the lesson here is that we will no longer do extracurricular activities in the leagues where the entire school also does them. These issues made life for me at work and personally quite super-stressful and uncomfortable and I was (beyond) miserable. To put it lightly. Thankfully the issues have somewhat worked themselves out but that doesn't change my mind about playing on this same team next year....nope....playing elsewhere.

7) Ethan has taken 3 drum lessons so far. He seems to enjoy them though does need a little reminder at home to "practice"...these were 100% his idea so I'm hoping it's something he ends up being passionate about. I feel like we've yet to find what he truly LOVES to do....on that note, we also signed up for a one-week Tennis camp, also his request. He enjoys baseball, doesn't complain or say he doesn't want to go, but it's obvious he is not WILD about it, while some (a few?) kids his age seem to be...maybe that is yet to develop? Either way, I feel like it's good to explore new things and provide him with new experiences. Please chime in with any insight on the general topic of "kids and their passion"...or personal experience etc.  Hoping I'm just worrying about it too early...

8) Speaking of my little man...these books were recommended to him by our school librarian and wowsers - they were like, he's always been "into" reading, but these CATAPULTED him into obsession...he read all 8 that are currently out in less than a week, banking 150 minutes of reading on his weekly log for school. He's now entered the world of anxiously awaiting the newest release in October. It was SO cool to see him in the car with his books and not asking for the iPad constantly. Woohoo!!! We've read one of the Captain Underpants books (same author) as well, but they have not drawn him in like these Ricky Ricotta books!! 

9) And more speaking about reading...our Children's Reading Festival was last Saturday and it was the first year Ethan and I attended....this coming on the heels of his Ricky Ricotta "readathon" when we discovered that Author/Illustrator Dan Santat would be there. Let me say that he was hilarious...he read 3 books to us and did some funny illustration techniques. Super entertaining. Since I didn't plan ahead, we ended up buying a (boardbook version) copy of Crankenstein at the festival which he signed (and drew a picture in) for Ethan. Totally awesome day!!

10) We both signed up for our library's Summer Reading Challenges...all kids who complete it get a little prize....adults have to read 4 books to submit their form and in the past were entered into a drawing to win a tablet...sadly though, last year they gave everyone a tote bag...probably the absolute last thing I need at this point. Oh well, I'm going to read more than 4 books anyway...maybe I'll just let them keep their tote bag this year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer 2015 Book Challenge

I think I'll join in on this challenge...I plan to read like a crazy-woman this summer anyway, so why not add in a bit of challenge to it as well. Eeks, I'm already 20 days behind schedule...I better get started!!

General rules:

  • The challenge will run from May 1, 2015, to August 31, 2015. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on May 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on August 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print versions meets this length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the next challenge.

And now for the exciting part: the challenge categories!

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!)
10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you've had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)
10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.
15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.
15 points: 
Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)
15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. Edited to add: The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional.
20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it's worth the most points!)

Here's what I think I'll start with:

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey - 15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you. (not to mention that I purchased this one more than 2 years ago)

The Strangers at Montague Street by Karen White - 25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
Miss Timmins' School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy - 10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list (and on my ereader) for at least 2 years.
All The Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank - 15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
Summer Secrets by Jane Green - 30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Watching: still just The Mysteries of Laura...I think there's one waiting for me on the DVR.

Eating: too much of the banana cake I made on Sunday. Yum!!

Drinking: the dr pepper, but I am pretty happy to report that I've just about given up on Starbucks Iced Chai...I did have one last week for the first time in almost a month. No more cravings for them. Hooray!! My wallet is also happy about that!!

Reading: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and also trying to finish The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

Thinking: it's going to be a great summer, even if I can't get everything done or every place visited that is on my list. 

Trying: to balance work/life, you know, just like every other working's impossible.

Cooking: made slow cooker lasagna on Sunday along with some oven baked fries. Also made a banana cake. Will be making carrot- raisin bars this week to bring into work too. As usual, more baking, than cooking, but that's how I roll. 

Going: to visit at least 3 zoos this summer. Ethan will love that!!

Discovering: some fun crafts to do with Ethan this summer. Can't wait!!

Starting: to put together a parent presentation I have been asked to do next Tuesday.

Feeling: slightly stressed about aforementioned presentation I've been asked to do. *sigh*

Needing: a bit more sleep....staying up too late the past few nights trying to just get things done!

Wanting: for the construction noises outside my office window to stop for a while...yesterday I had to leave for lunch JUST to get away from the sounds. 

Crafting: trying to catch up a bit on Project Life, received a big picture order on Friday and have yet to put them all where they go.

Enjoying: Ethan's baseball games again now that the drama & stress has seemed to resolve itself.

Loving: watching Ethan get a good hit and run the bases during a game!!

Playing: Words w/Friends and a little bit of Trivia Crack. 

Hoping (for): a whole lot more reading time in the much I want to read right now and just cannot find the time anywhere.

Listening (to): back on an Alejandro Sanz kick...bought his new album Sirope but am not loving it as much as his older I'm back to listening to his older tunes.

Celebrating: the near end of the school year. hooray!

Finishing: the school yearbook...just about. I have LOVED this project too!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm still alive...

Eeks - so it's been 25 days since I blogged? How did THAT happen?!?! Oh yeah, that crazy thing called LIFE got in the way (again)!

So I'm still running and have finally moved past week 4 of I'm dealing with week 5 which has been just as challenging to successfully complete. *sigh* In time.

And crafts...crafting is all I want to do lately...for example: this weekend E and I made some Lego crayon people...then it turned into we will make them as gifts for all his (18) classmates...what did I get myself into? Then I made another crayon art piece....pictured here for you! And lastly, I just couldn't wait to do that cork &...and here is the finished product. Hooray!! I love it!

There may be another crayon art piece in my future...this summer. It was super fun to make!

I still can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged, but work has been pretty crazy. I'm happy to report that we are down to just 7 days of school left and I finished all my classroom lessons last Friday so I'm working big time on the yearbook to get it completed...not an easy task!!

That's all for now...I'm going to regret staying up so late when tomorrow morning gets here!