Tuesday, April 30, 2013

i is for...

...I apologize...

How to apologize!

I have become OBE - Overcome by Events!  I haven't been on top of this, and I will also take this time to bow out gracefully!  I would love to do the A to Z Challenge, as it is fun, but I do not have enough time to commit to this cool project, nor do I have time to share the love.

I do hope you will read my occasional reviews and musings.

I hope to have time later to see more of other A to Z Challengers!

Enjoy the weekend! I hope that Spring is on it's way to you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

review: The List

Title by Author: The List by Siobhan Vivian
Series (if applicable): n/a
Publisher: Push
Publication Date: 2012
Page Count:  332
Source: library
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

My Interest in this book is: The premise of the book captivated me.  A list of girls, both ugly and pretty, and how they deal with it.

My Review:
It’s the Monday of Homecoming Week, and the List has been posted throughout the school… for the 20 something-th year!  The List names the Ugliest and the Prettiest girl of each class.  This book looks at each girl, each day leading up to the Homecoming Dance.

We are introduced to each girl, and see a snippet of their lives.  In the Freshman class, we have Dan the Man, and Pretty Abby, who has been pointed out for overcoming family genetics.  Candace, of the Sophomore class, was told that beauty isn’t just skin-deep, placing her as the ugliest girl, while Lauren, the homeschool girl, is rocketed instantly to famedom  when the list is put out.  Our Junior girls are Sarah – could she try to be any uglier, and Bridget was noticed as the prettiest after a summer of dieting.  Then the Senior Class has a four-time loser in Jennifer while Margo could be the next Homecoming Queen.

It is amazing what the list does to these girls.  Boyfriends either run and hide, or stand by the girl’s side, even if she wasn’t noted as the prettiest.  Best friends leave or flock, due to status of the girl. The girls themselves? Boy, do some of them have serious issues!

Monday, April 15, 2013

top ten Austen-esque

Top Ten Books for those who love Jane Austen

Our hostesses The Broke and the Bookish!

There are several Austen-esque books that I have enjoyed, as well as a few that were well-written and might appeal to those who have loved the novels of Jan Austen.  There may be one or two ‘modern’ ones, but the rest of historical. (Please note, these are not in any particular order – they are all fabulous and you should throw them on to your TBR pile if they aren’t already there!)

Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton.  This has been one of my favorite spin-offs, and it’s about a minor character who gets her own story.

An Assembly Such as This (and the others in the series) by Pamela Aidan.  It was shortly after I had discovered Jane Austen in my 20’s that I came across this series in the library.  I had no idea that someone had retold P&P from the perspective of Mr. Darcy.  It was a wonderful treat to discover this story.   I still think of the piece of ribbon in his pocket!

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James.  I loved this story.  It was neat to read Jane Austen’s “diary.”  If you haven’t read this (or her story about Charlotte Bronte) you are in for a treat!

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.  This delightful book, the first in a long series, is a historical novel that is time-split and very well done.  I enjoyed the high-level of with and intelligence in this story.

Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe.  This takes place after Marianne Dashwood (of Sense and Sensibility) marries the Colonel and what would happen if Willoughby decided to re-enter her life.  It was very well-written and a great story, to boot.

Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight.  This is a modern day story with the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen who guides a scientific skeptic in finding love.  It’s great fun and I loved the trip around Austin, Texas!

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. A modern girl gets transported back to Regency England without cell-phone coverage and tries to make the best of it.  If it had happened to me, I probably would have thought many of the same things that occurred in this story.  Laugh out loud fun ensues!

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly.  I thought that this was the best of the series (being the first) and quite fun!  Lorna Warwick was the most fun, and most surprising, of the story!

The True Darcy Spirit and others by Elizabeth Aston.  I believe the first one written was Mr Darcy’s Daughters. Each book is a stand alone, but you may see characters from one story in another.  Another wonderful thing about these books was that each had a different style. A mystery, a continuation, a love story… they were well-written and quite enjoyed!

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino.  This was based on Jane Austen’s epistolary novella Lady Susan.  I really enjoyed this novel, as it was well-written and had good depth.

And these are ones that I have on my shelf and will one day get to, once I am done reading text books and non-fiction reference books (there are several others, but these are at the top of my list!):

Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight
Attempting Elizabeth by Jessica Grey

Looking forward to your Top Ten List this week... what will it be?
all books are linked to GoodReads

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

h is for...

...bizarre words that begin with the letter H

I could go on about one particular word, but there are so many cool (and unusual) words that begin with the letter H!

Here are a few that caught my fancy, struck my eye!

The Century Plant

hapaxanthous flowering only once

 hebetic of, like or pertaining to puberty& hebetude stupidity  I think this is PERFECT for teenagers!

heyday expression of elation or wonder

hippocras medieval hot spiced wine

hippodamist horse-tamer

hircismus stinky armpits

Scottish New Year Cakes

hogmanay gift or cake made on New Year's Eve

homichlophobia fear of fog  Not good if you live in the Pacific Northwest!

honorificabilitudinity honourableness (Just so cool looking!)
hoyden tomboy

huggery the action of hugging Everyone needs more huggery in their lives!
hustle lively disco dance derived from swing elements with a plus-like pattern Is it considered a flash mob if it's performed by inmates?!?

hwyl emotional state capable of arousing intense eloquence

hyetal rainy; of, like or pertaining to rainfall

hygeiolatry excessive devotion to health

hygrophilous preferring or living where there is an abundance of moisture

hylogenesis the origin of matter

The Pantheon, Rome

hypaethral roofless; open to the sky

hypergamy marriage of a man to a woman of lower status

hyperhidrosis excessive sweating

hypnoetic of, like or pertaining to unconscious logical thought

hypnomogia insomnia

hypobulic weak-willed; lacking willpower

hypophrenia weakness of mental facilities

hypotrichosis hairlessness

And, for my dear daughter, who sometimes struggles with her heavy-framed glasses!

What is a Hipster?
 Which is your favorite H word listed here?  Wanna write a sentence?!?

A to Z Challenge 2013!  Check out my other entries here!

Monday, April 8, 2013

g is for...


Here's a Real Quick overview!

If you have never heard of this high-tech game of hide-n-seek, I would highly recommend it! 

What I love about it is that it will take you to places you have never been, or help you to explore the area around you better.

It's all about the hunt!  And the 'prizes' can be fun, too!

When we go to a new place, we try to find a cache or two.  We have also placed a few caches as well.  It's so nice having people find what you have hidden, and leave a nice note about it!  I had a great time creating "Landa New" which brings people to a new place in San Antonio, as well as get them involved with their surroundings when I created a Puzzle for the coordinates!

We have also done geocaching in GREECE!  When we went on a family trip, we actually found a cache at the base of the Acropolis.  That was cool!

Martha Stewart Meets Geocaching

If you have a smart phone, and it has GPS, give Geocaching a try!  Discover something new around you!

For those of you who have a little more time, here is a video my Dear Husband and I created for one of his classes.  Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

f is for...


Who isn't happy when they receive flowers!?  

Even hand-picked ones from the one you love!

What are your favorite types of flowers?

Why not surprise someone with a bouquet of wildflowers! Spring is the perfect time to do so!

bonus: e is for...


...and finding new places

I spent three years on a college campus, and never knew that this little gem existed!

In the middle of the desert, in a tucked-away corner, there is a Turtle Pond.

...and it was built in the late 60's, so I have no excuse for not finding it sooner!

Have you explored lately and found something that was right under your nose for so long?

This is a BONUS - as I realized that I did EGGS last year.
(Note to self...check last year's list first!)

A to Z Challenge 2013!  Check out my other entries here!

Friday, April 5, 2013

e is for...

... eggs!

I know...I know...silly one.  But having just been the Vernal Equinox and Easter, I thought it was appropriate.

by our dear Daughter, Sam, on Vernal Equinox!
Tipping an egg is quite the phenomenon, and it has been done by yours truly, and her progeny!

So, what's the difference between brown eggs and white eggs?  Believe it or not... the color of the egg is based on the chicken's earlobes.  I am serious!  However, there is a BIG difference between organic and non-organic eggs.  Do yourself (and the chickens) a favor and spend a little extra on the organic eggs!

How do you like your eggs? Did you know that starting your day with a breakfast that include protein is the best way to start the day?  How many different ways are there to cook eggs?  Two? 20? Even 100 different ways?! A Breakfast taco with Fresh Guacamole is one of my favorites. But then, I also have been known to love a good Deviled Egg!

What's your favorite egg recipe?

A to Z Challenge 2013!  Check out my other entries here!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

d is for...


Donuts vs Apples
Man... I have been craving DONUTS lately! What does this mean for someone who is *trying* to be gluten-free?

Probably that donuts have all of those things which are forbidden, but make them irresistible.  Fat, Wheat, Sugar?!?  YUM!

What's your favorite?  It's a toss-up for me.  I would be torn if there were both a maple bar and a lemon danish... what the heck...I will take both!

Now... where did I leave those carrot sticks?!? 

Enjoy your day!

April Reviews

WOW... How did it get to be April already!?  Time truly is flying by!

Here we go... time to post more reviews!  I love visiting others and seeing what they read and how the put it in to our challenge.  I hope you are also sharing the love and doing the same!

Once again, Name and the Category Number that you read.  Thanks!

Here's a quick recap of the Categories:
  1. To the Screen
  2. Another Voice
  3. Opposites Attract
  4. Five Star Day
  5. XyZ pdQ
  6. It's My Birthday
  7. From One Place
  8. It's All about Me
  9. Visit an Old Friend
  10. Look at the Pretty Pictures
  11. She Made Me Do It
  12. I Couldn't Help Myself
  13. To Be or Not to Be
Happy Reading!

Here is the Challenge Rules and Info...

review: Scarlet

Title by Author:  Scarlet by Marissa Meyers
Series (if applicable): Lunar Chronicles #2
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: February 2013
Page Count:  452
Source: library
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
My Interest in this book is: Absolutely LOVED Cinder!

My Review:
Scarlet is the second in the Lunar Chronicles series of four books (I have to wait until 2015?!? to finish the series?!). Scarlet is the main character in this book, but Cinder is ever-present in almost alternating chapters.  Scarlet Benoit is a young lady who lives with her grandmother in the French countryside, and helps out on her grandmother’s farm.  When Scarlet comes home to find her grandmother gone, but her id chip left behind, Scarlet knows that something is wrong.  Even though the police don’t take her grandmother’s disappearance seriously, Scarlet wants answers and she is willing to do just about anything to get those answers.  That includes trusting Wolf, a street fighter, who says he can help.

While this is going on, Cinder is trying to break out of prison before the Lunar Queen Levana can take her back to the moon to execute her.  Cinder is still trying to deal with the knowledge she recently learned from Dr. Erland.  As she tries to escape, she finds herself teamed up with another prisoner, who may not have all of his wires connected.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

c is for...

...Camping by the Creek!

Beaver Creek

It's been too long since we have been camping.  It was so nice when we slipped away for the weekend and left the things of man behind!

Even better was waking up before the sun crested the mountain so we could see it peeking through the trees while making our Beer Pancakes (a camping tradition... did you know that Bisquick's Gluten-Free mix does well with BEER?!?!)

Sunrise from camp site!
We were lucky enough to find a spot right next to the creek.  It was wonderful hearing the constant susurration of the creek as we fell asleep.  It was even better to spend time all day by the creek... soaking up Nature, as it were!

If you haven't been out in nature recently, I would highly recommend it!


A to Z Challenge 2013!  Check out my other entries here!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

b is for...


What happy little balls of helium these little beauties are!

We started early with our girls. Birthdays are special, and we always celebrate with a ton of balloons first thing in the morning.  It became tradition that we were not allowed out of bed until the rest of the family woke you up.  If you got out of bed early, you would ruin the decorating fun that was going on outside of your room, and possibly throughout the rest of the house.

Also... Hot Air Balloons!  Never Been In One... Want to Remedy THAT!

Steve Yabek, 2nd Place Photo Winner

Also want to do the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.  I hope we can make it this October!

Monday, April 1, 2013

a is for...


Yup...that's where I live, and have lived for several years.

I am more of a NW Gal, but the mountains in Arizona are beautiful.

When one thinks of Arizona, they think of flat, dry desert...or the Grand Canyon.

But many don't think of the mountains.  It struck me yesterday, as we were heading home, that in most places of Arizona, you are surrounded by mountains!  As a matter of fact, we have one in our back yard!

There is different type of beauty here, not forests of pines and firs, but the majestic Saguaro and the spindly Ocotillo cactus.

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