Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Such a rush





I have to admit that I only wanted to read this because I fell in cover-lust. Then, when I saw it was about airplanes I sort of backed away and didn't think I would be in love. But, Mrs. Echols intruiged me from the very beginning.

And, I have to add this book was perfect for reading over the weekend, while lounging in the pool and looking at these huge, fluffy, white clouds..........

There was just something so real about these characters.
Leah: Struggled with being poor, with growing up in a trailer park, with having a very absent mother. She had trouble figuring out exactly who she was supposed to be, but she had her sights set on becoming a pilot. Leah was annoying at times, but I felt for her. She was a complex and thought proviking character for me.

Grayson: Struggled with the death of his brother and Father, with the thought of his only other brother leaving, with maintaining his Father's business, with his feelings for Leah.

Alec: We don't get to know him as well, but some information given to us later in the story really gave some insight on the questions I had. He is also going through the ache of losing 2 of his family members and trying to figure out what to do with his life. He seems so easy going and polite, but he has a lot going on behind his cool demeanor.

Molly: The most annoying rich best-fried on Leah got on my nerves. She has a big mouth and feelings for someone that she should have just been honest about in the beginning.


Honesty. A simple little word that these characters needed to use. They all mostly had good intentions, but some kind of backwards ways of showing they care.

Swoon over Grayson with me and read this one.
Root for the Rags-to-Riches, stubborn, goal-oriented Leah and read this one.


4 stars

definitely curious about this author.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The elite review

Stay with me here for a minute....
My favorite shows consist of:
TrueBlood
Vampire Diaries
Big Bang Theory
The Tudors
Game of Thrones
Californication
That 70's Show
Cougar Town

What I'm getting at is no where (not even near the bottom rung) is there any reality shows on my list. I do not watch the Bachelor. I do not watch American Idol. Heck, I don't really even get into The Voice. 
I'm stating this because I want everyone to know that these books are not my usual cup of tea, but there is something so compelling in them, that I can't help but gobble them up! 

In this book, there are only 6 girls left fighting for the right to become a one and wear the Maxon's matching crown. 

Some Spoilers from here on:

I have rooted for Maxon pretty much the whole time! Until, that horrid moment with Celeste! I really wanted to punch her IN THA FACE !!!!
Even after he revealed his horrid little secret to America, I still didn't have as much sympathy for him as I probably should have. I get that his situation kind of sucks, but that girl is Awful! I think in most cases, I would be rooting for Aspen, but for some reason this go round, I can't really root for him either. 
In the beginning of this one, I pretty much thought America had this one in the bag. But, I have to admit I am worried. I can't help but wonder what Maxon's intentions are. Is he really a meanie?? 

All-in-all, I just wish America would make up her mind! I think she might have at the end of this one, but knowing her she will probably flip-flop again. I'm a bit annoyed with her, yet she fascinates me as a character. 

4 stars. 

Cover lust: the selection





What is it about this book that makes so many people hate it? What about it has made for such mixed reviews.

I.Don't.Know.

I.Loved.It. it



I have to first start off and say that I 100% despise the television show 'The Bachelor', so when this started off with Bachelor with Royalty vibe I was worried. But, something about this world Kiera Cass has created just sucked me in. It was magical.  And, don't even get me started on the cover- it is most definitely a personal favorite! 


So what is this book about? In a nutshell it's about a Prince searching for love and a girl who gets swept up in The Selection and doesn't know where her heart is headed. Can she ever love this Prince? Does he even really care for her? Can she ever get over her first love? Does he really love her in return. 

This girl needs a little self-esteem in the love department.... But, doesn't young love do that to us all? Leave us guessing? Leave us on our toes?


Fantastic 1st book. 4 very deserving stars. 1 very tired Kristy (I just marathon read this Beeoch!)

Across the uni








If you’re looking for structure and complete thoughts you might want to avert your eyes. If you’re into ramblings then I’m your girl!
I believe I waited to read this one for so long because it looked so long and the back wasn’t screaming at me either. I am an IDIOT! I should have read this as soon as I bought it. The word “good’ just doesn’t seem to do this justice. It was brilliant and so creative. I loved it. GUSH, GUSH, GUSH! Beth Revis better watch out, she just created a monster of a Fan-girl! This should seriously be a high-school English Novel, there are so many thoughts in this that could turn into such wonderful discussions. Ie:
The Humanity, or lack thereof in this book is just unreal. 
The drugs used to make people less emotional.
The hormones being filtered in the air.
The Plague, that’s not really a plague. 
The Elder/Eldest relationship.
Orion.
Why did Amy get unplugged?
Why would Amy’s parents ever agreed to doing this in the first place?
Is Love a needed emotion?
Is the “Season” to animalistic or is it practical?
Whose side are you on? 

There are so many more. I’m just trying to list some without giving anything away. 

This is my favorite book I’ve read this year. I’m sure there are skeptics who are going to look into the probability and likelihood, the science and not get into it… BUT, if you can just read it as the fictional story that it is, WOW, it will blow you away.

I know I say this all the time, but READ IT!!! 

Yes, dingus I am talking to you! READ IT!!!

Even if the back doesn’t feel that interesting to you, READ IT!! 

Give it 50 pages, if you’re not hooked then it’s not for you, but man… just try this one out!!!! 

4.5 stars





Stolen: a letter to my captor




I don't know what to say about this one, other than this is one you have got to read for yourself. I know you think you know what it's about and you've heard all the highlights, but you'll never get "it" until you have read the book.

Can you imagine finding out that someone has been following you and studying you since you were 10?? Planning to take you? Thinking they were doing you a favor really??!? Ty has been doing this to Gemma and he has decided it's time to take action. He is not scary looking, in fact he is muscular, tanned and handsome- not threatening. Gemma basically falls right into his plan. He drugs her, changes her clother, gets a new passport and they fly away.... to the middle of nowhere. Gemma is terrified that he is going to kill her, but he doesn't even touch her unless it is completely neccessary. He's exactly who I would want to be kidnapping me if I was caught in that posistion. He loves her and is going to do her no harm. He wants her to love the desert. He wants her to like him. The entire time reading your mind will wonder if she will ever escape such an isolated place. Does she have a chance? Why does she not just give up? Ahhh, it's sooooo good!!!!!


After I finished reading, I want to know what the house they lived in looked like. What itSomething like this?!?!?
and I very much so want to know what Ty looks like.
I also have came to the realization that I have a love/hate relationship with the ending... but I think that's what the author was going for because that was the MC's view toward her captor.

Fantasic story. The relationship between Ty and Gemma is fascinating. Usually you get a kidnapper who is also a rapist and a murderer. This was just so refreshing. There is NO violence, except for what Gemma does to her own self. There is no Sex scenes or raping. It's just really a beautiful story.

Try it.

4 Camel humps up! 




Peculiar






An interesting story. Normally these peculiar people might be the bad guy, something scary, but in this book they become the heroes.

Spoilers ahead.
A part of me really enjoyed this journey. A part of me really didn't like those old photos. I'm a chicken, I know. There were a few times I had to cover the picture to read the page beside it. Some of them were hauntingly beautiful.

The parents. Ugh. I don't like them. Poor Jacob really couldn't talk to them....and then to be tricked by the therapist???!!! It was sad to me, for him.

The whole Emma-grandpa-Emma-Jacob thing... A part of me wants them to be together..... But, then again....how could he ever trust that she wasn't just using him to feel a connection to her former love? I guess her letter to Jacobs dad was showing her moving on....


That picture in the end looked like a concentration camp! If that's where #2 is going, I don't know if I can hang! Those war stories absolutely make me sick. I am curious about these characters' journey though....

And, why the heck can't Mrs. P turn????

4 stars. 








Monday, August 29, 2016

Gotta laugh


Fabulous Chalk Paint

I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make a piece of furniture look fabulous. 



My daughter who has twin girls needed something for more storage in the girl’s room.  I remember that we had kept Kristy’s dresser after she married. So, with help from the hubby, we took the dark stained dresser out of storage and soon the fun began. I have a love for painted furniture (chalk painted). If you are not familiar with chalk painted pieces, it has a similar look to milk paint. You can distress the chalk paint to give it an antique look. I like to finish with soft wax over the painted surface.  I also make my own chalk paint. (Cost a lot less)

  To view my chalk paint recipe; click on link below:
You will need:
  • Chalk paint
  • Paint brush
  • Soft Wax
  • Sandpaper (if you want a distressed look)
  • Clean cotton rag
Guys, I got so excited about this project....  I forgot to take a before photo,but I believe you can see from the photos just how dark the piece was. I first removed all the hardware and set aside. Not sure if I would use the old hardware on the piece. Take a clean cloth to wipe clean.
Paint first coat of chalk paint on the piece. Let dry. (I was outside on my deck, so my piece dried very fast) If you are indoors wait 15-20 minutes for the first coat to dry.

 Paint a light second coat. Let dry 30-60 minutes.


 I usually only paint 2 coats but with the dark color and not going to distress I actually painted a third light coat.
Softly sand areas where natural wear would occur if you want a distressed look. (I decided not to distress this piece)
I'm in love with the final  results!

My daughter wanted blue or yellow handles and pulls. We found these at Hobby Lobby. So we got both colors!
 I could spend all day at our Hobby Lobby! Hubby would not be happy with me because I can find way to much to buy....
I hope that I have inspired you to start your own chalk paint project. Would love to see photos of your before and after projects.


Hold still







This took me just a little while to get into, but after about page 75 I was so engrossed I didn't want to put the book down. The back cover has praise from the authors of "Once was lost" and "If I stay", if you liked these, you will love this book. 

I want to see the photographs Ingrid took... I want to see the photo's that Catlin took... I want to read ALL of Ingrid's diaries.... I want to see Catlin's treehouse.... Can you tell this book captivated me?!?!?!

Did the inside of her treehouse look like this???
2nd Picture
Does the outside look like 
this?????

Am I even close?!?!?!?!

I would love to see what the author created brought to life. Movie?? Yes, Please. 

I also have to say I loved the music references, the poetry, the drawings. This is an artists' wet dream of a book!! 


We are following Catlin, after the loss of her best friend, Ingrid. Ingrid who we find out was messed up. Ingrid who committed suicide. Catlin goes through the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and eventually acceptance. She is mostly in a state of blaming herself. Why didn't she tell anyone about her friend cutting herself??? Why didn't she tell Ingrid she was beautiful? Why didn't she stick around when the going got tough? Why did she just look the other way?

This is a beautiful story and no where near as depressing as you would think. 

You should probably read it!

Quotes I loved!!!

" There is an indescribable feeling that comes from being desperately in love with a song."

"My best friend is dead, and I could have saved her. It's so wrong, so completely and painfully wrong, that I walked through my front door tonight smiling."

"There is a secret here. Somthing private being exchanged between photographer and image."

"My treehouse is finished. Actually, finished might not be the right word. I'll say this instead: my tree house is complete."

"An expression that's hard to pin down- part longing, part sorrow, part hope."




After




Props to Amy Efaw. This author made me root for a girl who dumped her baby in a trash bag and feel empathy toward her. Before reading this, I would have said "send her to jail, try her as an adult, who cares about her!" But after reading it, I care about the girl. This author did her job. She made me feel exactly what she wanted me to. 

Enter Devon: above-average, smart, atelethic, goal-oriented 15 year old girl. Everything is going for her unitl one day while babysitting she meets a guy. They end up doing the nasty, which is Devon's first and only time, then she decides she will never talk to him again. She is ashamed of herself. She vowed she wouldn't be like her mother-no sex, no relationships until way later in life. She has goals for her future. Something happens after she looses her virginity, she inverts, she starts lying to everyone, including herself. Months go by and she notices herself not feeling good, dragging. She will not admit IT to herself. One night while her Mother is working, she gets sick. So she thinks. She has stomach problems, but not really. She is pregnant and at this moment she is in labor. She panics. She cuts the cord with fingernail clippers. She dumps the baby in a bag. She takes IT out. She goes to sleep. No one knows. Only someone finds this baby screaming, and IT lives. The police eventually track it back to her and she ends up in prison. Will she be considered in trial as an adult or Juvienile? What will people say about her? What is going to happen to her future?


This is another book that I will chant "READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!" 
Seriously, this one doesn't feel like a Young Adult book, this has relevance. This book matters. This book opened my eyes and changed my opinion. Do I like it that the girl dumped her baby off? NO! But, I do see what was going through her mind and can't help but feel sorry for her. Good people can do bad things.... Should she be punished? Yes. Like an Adult? No.

Sidenote: I am not endorsing baby dumping!!! There is no excuse for that. I really don't understand why these mothers wouldn't at the very least find a hospital or orphanage or somewhere/someone to give that innocent life to instead of just leaving it there to die!!!!





See me




well, at this point I'm beginning to wonder if Nicholas Sparks just writes the books to be made into movies? As usual, the story is good, but his way of telling it is just...ok. I 99.9% of the time prefer his books as movies (with the exception of The Longest Ride , which was fantastic).

This one had more of a mystery-romance vibe going on, so it veered a little different than most of his other books that I've read. All in all, I enjoyed it. I'm not raving about it, but i wouldn't try to deter anyone from reading it either. 

Honestly, I think i enjoyed the side character of Evan and Lily more than Maria and Colin at times.....
And, I never get the 'who-done-it' right, but I guessed this one pretty early on :) Bonus points for me.


Spoilers ahead:
I would have liked more details of the actual case that causes all this ruckus...instead of Maria's day to day work and pervert boss. Just gross. 
That epilogue really drew me in. It would have been awesome to have a few more of those Stalker perspectives throughout. 
Also, this one didn't have a ton of cheesy moments, which is great!

3 stars






Thursday, August 25, 2016

The sky is everywhere

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

"My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring spirit and joy."

I connect with the book whole-heartedly. I find the above snip-it to be so incredibly true. I feel like the author is writing about something she knows about. I feel it from her heart. I feel it in my bones.
This one was emotionally hard for me to read. I lost my brother of 16 years, October will be 8 years. He was my best friend. He was such a joy in my life. I understand the character's in this. You will do anything to find a moment's relief. It is consuming. It is your own personal tear-filled hell. 

" I try to fend off the oceanic sadness, but I can't. It's such a colossal effort not to be haunted by what's lost, but to be enchanted by what was."

"I don't know how the heart withstands it"

Me either. But the point of this book I believe is to keep pushing forward. That those we love are not as far away as we think they are. My only complaint with this book, is i do wish there was just a smidgen of sprituality/religion in it. I know it's not for everyone- so i guess i understand her reasonings as to not put it in. I think I'm just a religious person and without Jesus in my life I know my situation would be just about unbearable. But, I have something to believe in. I believe in life after death, heaven. I believe I will be reunited. 
(Don't send me to the chopping block people, it's just my belief and i'm not trying to sway anyone)



Also, don't let this top half of my review fool you. The book is actually fun. And, pretty much lighthearted. It has an uplifting love story that's not cheesy and a cast of characters you will love.
This is definitely in my top 10 of the year. I 100% want everyone to read this. It is beautiful!!






Seafoam sensory

Sensory bins seem to be at an all time high right now....and for good reason. There are so many teaching possibilities. For this one, we were learning about the ocean. Easy enough. You can make the foam with equal parts dawn dish soap and water....for the extra fluff add 1/2 cup of cornstarch. We added a few drops of liquid watercolors to make it the pretty blue. We had a few fish and sharks to add, along with some seashells. Orbeez are another great add on. 








After our bubbles ran out we moved onto watercolors. Easy enough to find seashell printable online or in coloring books.

 My girls really like this book, with all the flaps. They also really enjoyed listening to baby balluga.


 Can't you just smell that salty air??!!!









Vampire Diaries Tour!

With the sad announcement that this season would be the last season of Vampire Diaries, I figured I had better get my toosh down to Covington, GA to do the tour!! It was all of an hour and a half away from my home, so my birthday was the perfect excuse to go.
Got to say, I had a blast. (Hubby had a pretty good time even though he is sooo not into the show)
Going to the tour definitely inspired me to go back and re-watch all the seasons! I forgot how much i loved the first 2 especially!

Vampire Stalkers is the tour to do! These ladies know their stuff.

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Anywho, thought I would share a few pics.
The iconic courthouse

We did eat here, at the Mystic Grill....but, it is not anything like the one from the show.....

Kissing in the same spot as the famous Delena kiss!!!

at the lockwood fountain 

My husband hates this pic! But, I had to be drowned a la Carol Lockwood. 

These signs are so cool. FUN FACT: they change the square out with whatever mystic falls event is going on with these flags/signs. 

Bonnie's house

Mask from the Masquerade Ball episode.

I can't wait to do The Originals Tour! (Done by the same company)
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#teamdamon
#tvdforever

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